Farmer's Reserve #1 | Almanac Beer Co.

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BA SCORE
89
very good
31 Reviews
THE BROS
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Farmer's Reserve #1Farmer's Reserve #1
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our first California wild ale is brewed with a blend of Cabernet & Muscat Grapes from Alfieri Farms, Concord grapes from Hamada Farms and plums from Twin Girls Farm—all located in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Aged for over a year in used wine barrels, this sour ale blends rich flavors of the 2011 autumn harvest with farmhouse funk.

Added by augustgarage on 02-13-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
191
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
9.14%
 
 
Wants:
121
Gots:
25
For Trade:
3
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 191
Photo of stakem
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml into a snifter. The brew appears a clear copper color with a big bubbly head that has no retaining power. The smell isnvinous and mildly medicinal. As it breaths it almost smells like a box of crayons... The taste is tart and fruity/vinous with mild medicinal edge and slight herbal character. It is light bodied, very fizzy and interesting. I think the initial aroma is perhaps the best attribute of this brew.

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Photo of Pecan
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep yellow with pink tint. Quickly dissipating white head.

Nose presents the familiar sour smell with a trailing sweet grape scent.

Surprisingly not as tart as I would have expected. Except for a brief moment, I'd almost call this bland. Initial taste of grapes and maybe a little sour plum shrouded in tartness that fades almost immediately into an acetic tone like white vinegar. The acetic taste transitions into a wine barrel flavor finish. The flavor ends abruptly.

Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. The carbonation subsides at the end at about the same time the flavor disappears.

Not a bad sour, but too acetic for my tastes. Also nothing that will blow anyone's mind, but a solid choice if you're a fan of wine and acetic sours.

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Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lovely fizz to this stuff poured into the snifter. It starts out with a rich fruity scent, which is my favorite part. Aromas of grapes and apricots with a distinct vinegar note. It's all very tart but with a nearly drinkable level of acidity. A taste of fermented apple cider leads down a funky path to a bitter finish.

I'd love it if Almanac would make a version of this like Rodenbach brews, with half new, fruity brew and a big dose of this sour aged version. From the 12 oz bottle at Local Habit in San Diego. It was fourteen bucks, as I recall.

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Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Reviewing the Farmer's Reserve No. 1, a wild ale brewed with plums and three different types of grapes from the Almanac Beer Co. out of San Francisco, California.

Score: 85

February 2013 vintage bottle served in a 7venth Sun snifter and enjoyed on 08/19/14. Thank you Fabrizio for the bottle!

Appearance: Reddish orange in color with a distinct yellow fade when held up to the light. Pours a half finger of head that settles to a ring around the glass with an island of residual froth floating in the center of the glass. Excellent lacing and retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Grape, plum, lemon, must, pear and a little lactic acid. Straight out of the fridge there is a distinctly unpleasant waft of poo poo pediococcus, but this disappears as the beer sits out to breath for about 10 minutes. Otherwise, quite pleasant. 4/5

Taste: Stone fruit and grape upfront, lacto and a residual sweetness on the finish. Sourness comes mostly across in the middle. Slightly buttery on the finish, with a little lasting power. Solid, but unspectacular. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium/medium-light carbonation. Nice, but not strong, sourness. Modestly dry finish. 3.5/5

Overall: There's a bit of off flavor here, most of which airs out as the beer warms up and gets a chance to breathe, but this is/was a solid first commercially brewed (fruited) wild ale from a newer brewery. Later sour projects such as Farmer's Reserve No. 3 and the Pluot sour certainly demonstrate their competence as a local alternative to Russian River.

Cost: $12.99 for a 375 ml bottle.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

375 ml brown glass bottle with cool etched label (and pink ring-label at the bottom) and standard branded pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I haven't liked the three or so offerings I've had from Almanac but I'm in the mood for a sour and this sounds nice.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a shockingly thin fizzy head of white colour that disappears within ten seconds. I could hear it fizzing like sprite as I poured. No lacing whatsoever. Wow, that's pathetic - especially for a scant 7.00%. Body colour is a murky watery copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's looking pretty bad so far; this is the worst appearance I've seen in the last couple months, and I've had a beer or two in that time period. Translucent and transparent.

Sm: White wine notes, lacto yeast, juicy pear, peach, and crisp apple. I don't get any plum whatsoever. The lacto is restrained; this doesn't seem like it'll be all that sour. A pleasant fruity aroma that has me intrigued. Maybe this won't be so bad after all. A bit cidery. Mild in strength.

T: White wine notes, dried pear, crisp green apple, and a touch of light sourness. I don't get any plum. Structurally, all the flavour hits in the late second act and climax; the open is empty and devoid of flavour. Quite weak up front. If only they could make the peak flavour consistent throughout. It's pleasant nonetheless, if a bit bland. Poorly balanced structurally, but decently balanced flavour-wise because it's so one-note. Cidery and enjoyable, if underwhelming. It's very shallow in terms of flavour, but what little is there is likable.

Mf: A touch watery up front; certainly too wet. Weak and thin. Carbonation is horridly underdone. Nicely smooth. Palate presence is poor. Lacks body. Acidic. Crisp.

Dr: Drinkable and somewhat enjoyable, but lacking in flavour and texture. This one needs serious work and probably shouldn't have made it to market. Still, it's not bad for a beginner's sour. The best beer I've had from Almanac, but that isn't saying much. Still, it restores a bit of faith for me; I'm not so hesitant about the Reserve #2 I've got waiting in the fridge now.

B-

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Photo of ehammond1
2.38/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Bottle (2013)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

An unfortunate blemish on an otherwise incredible series of Farmer's Reserve beers. This one has a distinct aroma of vomit, and the flavor, though not as bad, it's similarly bad. Fairly sour, and some definite Muscat grape character as well, but a dominant vomit character overrides most of the enjoyable, worthwhile flavor here. This one may get significant better with time, and if I'm fortunate enough to try another bottle (and it's better), I'd be happy to update my review.

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Farmer's Reserve #1 from Almanac Beer Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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