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Anchor Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross FarmhouseAnchor Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

152 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 152
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 12.82%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Fatehunter on 06-09-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 152 | Reviews: 40
Reviews by Snebbu:
Photo of Snebbu
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into glass from beast of 22 oz. bottle.

Appearance: Clear, copper color. Some complain the yeasties aren't floating around and isn't hazy enough. No bother for me regardless. They just filtered it out or used some fancy mossy stuff. Good head - about a finger tip's worth. Lacing is medium.

Smell: Loved the smell. For a "farmhouse ale," this is the most farm I got - refresshing smell that starts off with sweet bananas, and then turns into a mix of lemons and herbs. Almost a grassy scent that you smell in the fresh air, maybe smelling the grains on a farm.

Taste:As you first taste the beer, the grains hit you with a bit of a "bready" kind of taste followed by a sweeter wheat flavoring. This doesn't last long as a spice-like flavor comes through along with a little bit of pear and again more wheat (sweet malt flavor). The brew finishes clean and crisp and does not linger. I could taste less herbs than I could the spice flavors of the saison yeast.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, doesn't linger. Not really dry, but not buttery or creamy either.

Overall: The Zymaster No. 4 Farmhouse Ale is a good summer beer to enjoy out on your deck/porch/balcony/the grass with good company. Even though the ale weighs in at 7.2% ABV, the flavor is light and finishes with a taste that leaves you wanting to take another sip. And another...and another. I had no problem finishing the large bottle without any friends with me. This is a definite recommendation for your hot and muggy weekend.

Read full reviews and other crazy food posts at endlesssimmer.com!

More User Reviews:
Photo of andyfrancis
3.06/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass.

Deep golden amber with a nice fluffy, near white head.

Smells medicinal and like a sweet floral candle. Not in a way that makes me want to drink it.

Oh no. Like a mouthful of sage. I really don't like this. About the most flowery saison I can remember.

A little syrupy for the style, the flowery taste stays with you for a while.

I haven't had any of the previous 3 in their Zymaster series and this makes me a little hesitant to try the future ones.

Photo of Jason
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz brown bomber with a freshness code on the back label.

Very unique, the use of Yerba Santa brings elements not seen in beer yet stays subtle enough to let this still be a beer. Anchor really needs to play around with extreme brewing more often.

LOOK: Clear rusty amber hue, excellent head

SMELL: Very earthy, resin, evergreen, white peaches, brioche

TASTE: Soft herbal tone, solid malt backbone, mild resin, tobacco, faint mint, broth, mild caramel, modest hopping, warming alcohol, green plantains, peppery, semi-dry finish

Photo of chinchill
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle served in a snifter.

Excellent looking: copper body woth a large, durable head that leaves a fine partial coat on the glass.
The aroma says "farmhouse ale" but without leather or barnyard; its floral and fruity rather than funky.
The flavor largely follows but has a surprisingly pronounced and complex maltiness. Good balance and complexity.

Feel: medium-light body with medium-high but soft carbonation.

O: worth seeking out.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a globe glass)
A- This beer has a slight dense deep copper body with a butter cream head full of big bubbles. There are strands of microbubbles trailing up the side of the glass.

S- The flinty wet stone aroma, geosmit, has some plastic hop notes in the finish.

T- The slight tart note leads to a slightly tin taste in the slightly toasted malt notes that finishes with a pungent hop note. There is some circus peanut esters that get over powered by some nougat characters as it opens.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer has lots of odd flavors and an odd tangy flavor perhaps from the yerba but the nougat flavor that grows and lack of malt or farmhouse yeast character makes this beer a bit underwhelming.

Photo of Brenden
3.69/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A head somewhere just over one finger tall settles to a constantly remaining half finger that's dense and craggy, off-white in color. Lacing is displayed moderately in mostly thick and heavy spotting, evolving in some places to patching.
The yeast conveys more banana and clove than funk, making it seem more like a Belgian Pale or something like it than a Saison. There's a bit of earth and a ghostly hint of dustiness in the aroma. Things get more interesting and complex in the flavor, where an herbal hops bitterness becomes stronger. Interestingly, there are notes of banana, clove and bubble gum flavors without much of the sweetness typically accompanying them.
The feel is bright and crisp in a light to medium body. Carbonation is steady and the crispness keeps it lively when the body slides off just a touch.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, deep, mahogany color, speckled with orange highlights and two fingers of white-colored head that dissolved into a quarter of a finger of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Big, pleasant aromas of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked sourdough bread and French baguettes, blended with funky aromas of Belgian yeast, sweet aromas of candied sugar, as well as spices such as coriander, saffron, honeysuckle, and some faint notes of dried stone fruit such as dates and figs. The aroma is quite inviting and delicious.

Taste: Just as inviting and delicious as the aroma. There are strong flavors of toasted malt up front, imparting notes of freshly baked sourdough bread and French baguettes, followed by some lots of funky Belgian yeast-like flavors of orange-like citrus, a touch of sourness, and spices such as black pepper, coriander, saffron, honeysuckle. There’s quite a bit of candied sugar and dried stone fruit-like sweetness, as dates and figs. The beer finishes with a touch of bitterness and sourness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very effervescent as there is quite a bit of carbonation. With an ABV of 7.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! What a great American version of a Belgian Farmhouse ale! Recommended!

Photo of Fatehunter
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured one finger of head on a medium straw colored body.
The aroma was rich with smoke and apple, like burning applewood.
The taste was spicy with some mild bitterness and dry hay. Subtle and good.
The texture was crisp with moderate carbonation.
An enjoyable drink.

Photo of russpowell
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent copper with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Pears & appleskins, plus apricot & a touch of dirt

T: Follows the nose, much grassiness & leafy hops up front. Very dry with green appleskins as this warms, a bit of white pepper as this warms. Finishes fruity, dry & with grass & hay notes, candi sugar notes as well, too dry for my liking

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation

Hides the ABV well, but can't get to worked up over this. On style, but way better Saisons being made right here in Oklahoma & Missouri

Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Snagged the last bottle in the cooler.
Apparently this was bottled end of May, so 6 months old at this point.

Slightly hazed dark orange, thin layer of loose foam on the surface, tight collar of foam around the edges. Decent clarity, a little bit of lace, retention is not the greatest, especially for a Belgian style saison.

Toasted grains, malt sweetness, fruity pear esters in the aroma.

Lightly tart, pears and light caramel, aftertaste has a building earthy bitterness. Body is medium, initial carbonation is good but it peters out a bit. It's ok, sort of complex but falls short after awhile. Worth a try but not really worth seeking out.

Photo of fourstringer
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 1 PT.6 FL. OZ bottle into a Duvell tulip. Moderate to aggressive hand. No clear date, but the label is stamped 3YQ. Maybe it's a Q. I dunno.

A: Hazy copper-orange body. 1 finger of mostly white head. Below average retention. Scant lacing.

S: Sweet yeast nose with a floral, fruity quality. Bready malt. Biscuit. Fruit is somewhat indistinct, but has a pleasant overall scent. Traditional hops float in the background. Honey. Maybe caramel.

T: Lightly bitter initially with a touch of yeasty spice. A semi-sweet malt appears midway. Returns to a moderate bitterness, relatively heavy for the style, and finishes fairly dry. Mildly herbal and floral, but the malt feels prominent. Little of the fruit noted in the smell. Light alcohol presence.

M: Bit less carbonation than your average saison with a bit fuller body. Good match for the flavors.

O: Fairly malt-forward for a saison. A bit of a biere de garde vibe. Reminiscent of Anchor Steam in certain ways. Drinks well. Flavors and scents were nice, if not a bit lacking in depth.

Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap into a sampler flight at Pizza Paradiso Dupont.

Real nice bronze body color on this brew, with slow rising carbonation. Tan light head is always present while drinking and consuming, never goes away.

Big smell of earth and mud on first whiff, but some real nice plum like fruit and softness to match. Light toasty bread crust all over as well. Real interesting quite different.

Real nice flavors and diversity on the palate. Good mix of crusty bread, some light funky character with tart fruity and punchy yeast. Lots of brown toast crispness on the finish, some good warming banana not unlike a marzen or something. Very dense mouthfeel but not over the top complimenting with a unique crispness and lightness.

Overall this is a real neat brew, with the classic Anchor profile and some neat estery fruity combinations. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Zorro
3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber maybe burnt orange colored beer with a smallish white colored head. Near clear with just a hint of chill haze.

Very aromatic beer, I can smell it from 10 feet away. Strong fruity aroma that reminds me of juicy fruit gum. Banana and ginger with some bubblegum. Little bit of coriander scent. Cherry juice and faint menthol. Very mild wild flower aromas.

Starts out mildly sweet with a taste of banana flower. Stout bitterness in the finish. Sweet fruity and bitter sums this up. Could be more complex but I not about to stop drinking it. One strange taste, roasted hay flavor. Banana, grass, bubblegum and wild flower flavors.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is a tasty beer. Not quite traditional Saison flavors, more like the same beer brewed with a fruity ale yeast. Tasty stuff get a bottle.

Photo of ARaces23
2.79/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Gorgeous color; the look of great scotch. Aroma is off. Super ester-y. The mouthfeel is almost cask-ish, and the the overall favor is caramel, floral, and, unfortunately, banana. Lingering esters are overwhelming, in general a wholly unbalanced brew. Wouldn't purchase again

Photo of vkv822
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz : tulip

Clear, amber red with a foamy, off white head.

Belgian-saison style yeast character in the nose and palate, floral, herbal notes.

Medium body, crisp finish. Foamy, fizzy carbonation.

A tasty, fairly standard saison. Prominent floral and herbal notes blend well with the yeast notes.

Photo of Edgarallenpoor
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very tasteful effort , but I am a sucker for the spices. Overall very pleasing winter enjoyment.

Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a thick, fluffy, white head that slowly dissipates down the slide of the glass leaving a nice trail and ending in a solid persistent lace.

S: Sweet caramel and hoppy aroma.

T: Similar to the smell there is a sweet caramel flavor with a mild hoppy background that finishes on the sweet side of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This is a solid beer – it actually improved as it warmed up a little.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.14/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

Ah, Fort Ross: where the colonizing forces of Russia, Spain, and the US met in California. Boom. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear ruby-amber topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises dried maple syrup, red apple skin, light toffee, mild funky wheat, and a vague melange of spices (mostly clove and black pepper). The taste brings in more of the same, along with more red apple, some straw, some grass, and a hint of what may or may not be Brett. Just sayin'. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, an interesting beer, but not one I can thoroughly say is all that great. It's just too odd a combination for my tongue to handle.

Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nearly clear amber color. Two finger head that settles slowly leaving a thin blanket of lace with emphasis on each ring after every sip.

Good crystal malt aroma. A bit of alcohol and a touch of citrus rind sourness.

Far more bitter than the smell indicates. This starts almost immediately on the initial sip. There is a subtle farmhouse sourness as well. The soft malt gets a bit lost to these two flavors. The finish is biting and lasting. Good body and carbonation. Overall, this is flavorful but not overly complex.

Photo of Gavage
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 2" head. Some lace paints the glass.

Smell: lemon zest, some breadiness, and a hint of orange come through to the nose.

Taste: fruity profile with a nice grainy breadiness, lemon zest, some yeast flavors, barely a hint of farmhouse funk, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish.

Overall: this was a mild but easy to drink saison styled beer. Flavors are a bit muted but well balanced and enjoyable.

Photo of Tone
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, copper color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, yeast, sweet malt, hint of biscuit, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of biscuit, hint of hop, yeast, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, the malt/biscuit levels are much higher than I'm accustomed to in a Saison, but still a good beer.

Photo of Jevers
3.41/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served from a bottle, poured into a tulip glass. Serving temperature 45 degrees.
Appearance-deep copper red color, little head
Smell- clean and malty, not what you normally expect from a farmhouse.
Taste- clean with a good malt backbone, but no strong yeast notes
Mouthfeel - medium with sharp carbonation
Overall - good, but with cleaner malt notes than i would expect.

Btw, first time writing a review using this format. Apologies for errors.

Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this one up a few hours ago at a SoCal bottle shop for $5.99. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, but I lost a bit of excitement when I saw its current ratings, which aren't great. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle (with a great overall shape and style) with a branded pry-off pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. 7.2% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger head of light khaki colour. Soft smooth complexion. Nice thickness. Slight creaminess. No real lacing. Apt if aggressive frothiness for the style.

Body colour is a clear copper. Translucent and transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Above average vibrance.

This is a farmhouse ale? Why the hell is it clear and obviously filtered? Why is there no yeast presence whatsoever? It's egregiously wrong for the purported style, but outside of style conventions it's of above average appeal. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt for now - especially considering the influential historical brewery behind it.

Sm: Banana and clove, probably from yeast. None of the pepper or subtle milky notes you'd expect from a great example of the style, but I'm starting to view this as a farmhouse-inspired generic ale. Good malty foundation with some biscuit and caramel malts. It's definitely fresh and appealing, with a pleasant graininess. Munich malts are prominent. It really is quite evocative, and the malty build is wonderful when paired with the subtle yet vague spicing. Hop character is minimal in strength and floral in nature. No alcohol is detectable. Any funkiness is very contained; it's very far from brettanomyces-forward. Quite clean - especially for the purported style. A bit bready. Looking forward to trying it. A pretty strong, fresh aroma.

T: Grainy and bready malts give it a wonderful core and foundation, with munich malts, caramalts, and some biscuit malt cooperating to support the subtler character present here. I get minimal floral hop character, subtle spicing, banana and clove from the yeast, and some really restrained lemongrass - which is most prominent on the climax and through the finish, lending a very subtle buried twang that ends the beer nicely. If we're treating it as a farmhouse ale, it's disappointingly simple - but I don't think that's apt; it's a shockingly well balanced beer with a lot of good things going for it. And fuck it is pleasant to drink. Light subtlety for what it's supposed to be. No alcohol comes through whatsoever. Not really funky; don't get any evocative brettanomyces.

While it does leave lots of room for added complexity and subtlety, the impressive balance and flavorful build alone are enough to make me really enjoy it. Flavour duration is well above average.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to help coax out the flavours. A bit overcarbonated. Also overly thick for the lack of flavour diversity and depth. Overall, it has a good presence on the palate - even if it does come off unnecessarily heavy. Fairly soft. Complements the flaovur profile well, and feels natural. Filling.

Dr: Throw the farmhouse ale expectations out and enjoy this one for what it is - a farmhouse-inspired American ale with a balanced flavour and drinkable approachable build. The price point is currently a bit high for the quality, but it's an enjoyable brew across the board. I wouldn't get it again or go out of my way to recommend it to friends, but it's a pleasant little beverage. Hides its ABV well. Another solid brew from Anchor. I'd like to see them continue to brew this.

High B-

Photo of scottfrie
3.79/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a burnt amber with a huge fluffy off-white head that slowly faded into a thick film that left clinging lace down the glass.
S: Peppery spice and fruity yeast on the nose with hints of peach, nectarine, and mandarin orange.
T: Slight banana, very fruit forward, slight dough, peppery spice, herbal hop, floral finish, apricot, apple juice, slight orange. Finish is sweet, floral, and fruity with hints of apple juice, and the aftertaste has a decent bitterness to it.
M: medium-full body, greasy, slightly syrupy mouth, super fluffy and soft carbonation.
O: A bit thick but a solid fruit-forward saison. Sweet but very drinkable. Great spice profile.

Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks nice enough in the tall Saxo tulip. A fine white cap of foam and lots of champagne bubbles with a brownish amber color. A very strange aroma. I first think of yesterday's damp bathing suit. Light body with plenty of spritziness.

What is that odd and distracting flavor? I'm thinking cedar chest, furniture polish, mahogany plywood. Something faintly like blackberry. Quite dry from start to finish. Little if any maltiness. It's all a thin faintly grainy flavor with a hint of citrus. Long bitter aftertaste, with a green tea flavor. Drinkable, but austere, and I wouldn't drink it again because of that weird perfumey woodiness.

I, too, hope they keep experimenting, but I don't see Anchor as coming up with any winners for the 21st Century yet. From the 22 oz bottle bought for six bucks at Barons Marketplace on Point Loma Blvd.

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Anchor Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse from Anchor Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.