Farmer's Reserve #3
Almanac Beer Co.

Farmer's Reserve #3Farmer's Reserve #3
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American Wild Ale
4.37 | pDev: 7.09%
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Farmer's Reserve #3Farmer's Reserve #3
Notes: Ale aged in wine barrels with Strawberries (Swanton Berry Farms) and Nectarines (Blosson Bluff Farms).
Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 559 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BeanBump
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Probably my favorite Almanac beer. The Strawberries ad nectarines balance each other out perfectly and you get just enough of the wine barrel to dry it out a little. Refreshing, not overly tart and lightly fruity. Good beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, bottled summer 2013, poured into a tulip glass

A- pours a clear and bright golden color with a one-finger thick and creamy head that seems to retain forever, with carbonation bubble constantly shooting to the top, some nice lacing left behind

S- very fruity on the nose up front, the strawberries are definitely there, along with a hint of citrus. Toasted oak aroma mixes with grape skin and a hint of earthy funk

T- swirls of sweet strawberry and nectarine up front eventually fades to give way to some lactic sour notes, quickly followed by tasted oak, some white wine flavors and some musty & earthy funk notes to close it out

M- medium fizzy carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a bone dry finish

O- The fruity notes may have faded by now, but this still drinks just fine. Perfect mix of sweet fruit and sour funk

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Photo of markgugs
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle (Summer 2013) poured into my TalkBeer tasting tulip #bam

Pours a beautiful honeyed yellow-amber with a fizzing, bubbling head. It's not unlike the color of a great IPA, but it's easy to imagine this taking on the tone of the nectarines it was made with. Early cloudiness easily gives way to some fine clarity, it's a very nice looking beer. Strong aromas of stone fruit waft from the glass at first, followed by a tangy earthiness from presumably the strawberries, though I'm sure they're not as pronounced as they once were. But it's the delicately tart complexity where this beer truly shines. Hints of nectarine sweetness mingle perfectly with a still-lively strawberry-driven lactic sourness. This beer is amazingly tasty! A crisp, fizzy feel lends itself well to the short dry finish. Stellar beer, now they need to make it again.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a cloudy peach color with a modest but effective head that leaves quite a few nice patterns of lace

Smell: Tart and slightly funky, with strawberry, grape and and hint of nectarine

Taste: The fruit and funk swirl, up front, with strawberry and nectarine tones building; the tartness develops through the middle but recedes into the finish, when the fruit returns along with the tannic tones of the wine barrel

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Lovely fruit, wine and tartness; could be a tad funkier and perhaps a bit more sour, but this is a very nice beer

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Photo of stakem
3.46/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

375ml poured into a snifter. The brew appears a clear pale yellow color with a white cap that persists with patchy lace sticking to the glass. The nose opens up smelling of fruity quality like strawberry then a bit of plastic phenolics start to overtake everything. The taste is tart with the previously mentioned plastic phenolics taking hold and somewhat ruining the experience. This is light bodied with effervescent carbonation. Mediocre taste and decent smell. Strawberries are tough to work with, this had some real potential but the plastic notes killed it for me.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%

Bottle shared by daknole. Thanks bro!

The beer is hazy gold with a thin, wispy cap. Aromas of strawberry, funk, citrus, oak. Lovely aroma and the flavor does not disappoint. Beautiful balance and teeming with fruit character. Strawberry and juicy oranges with a piquant finish. I would love to have this again. Highly recommended.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.94/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a pale saffron colour, mild haze. Head is a swirl of bubbles on the top, decent lace trails. OK.

Smells wild - tart and hugely oaky. Peach notes with buttery wood, caramel, some barnyard character and dry spice rub. Oddball, but crazy good.

Flavour is massively sour, much more than I was crediting it for. Tart, puckering citrus upfront that actually mellows out nicely midway, giving peach and apricot notes. Finishes slightly oaky-sweet but plenty of tang to keep it crisp and interesting. I like it a lot.

Quite sharp, puckering. Doesn't quite mellow out texture-wise. Still, decent for style.

Crisp, tart and refreshing drop. Few inevitable flaws with something this crazy, but it's not much poorer for it.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Cabernet wine glass from a bottle dated Summer 2013 (Batch FR3 05/15/13)

A - Hazy, golden orange in color with a good amount of carbonation present. A white lacing that sticks to the area in which you tilt the glass. *Edit - Be careful pouring the second half of the bottle. There is a lot of yeast in the bottom.*

S - The first aroma that I get is vinegar. It seems kind of reserved after being in the bottle for a year. Let's swirl this thing and get it to open up. There we go! This is going to be tart! You can smell the sourness. There are nectarines, cantaloupe, a hint of banana peel, and star fruit. You can also get the strawberries used and a touch of raspberries and cranberries. I can't wait to taste it as it has my mouth watering!

T - This more reserved that I thought it would be. Wait...there it goes! After about 3-4 secs the flavor explodes across the palate. Flavors of sour apples and cranberries hit first followed by the tartness of the citrus from the nectarines and strawberries. This is insane! I'm sure there are more flavors that will present themselves once it warms.

M - Medium bodied, tart and very acidic. Crisp and refreshing that is mouth-coating with a long finish.

O - This is probably one of the best sours I've ever had. Of course I haven't had a lot of the "whalez" out there, so there are only so many I can compare to. This beer is ver well balanced and contains the "perfect" amount of sweetness and tartness to enjoy without being overdone by either. I am glad that I have one more bottle.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I finally get to try stuff from Almanac! And I have another 7 bottles to go. Thanks, Chris!

Pouring a moderately hazy orange with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this looks great! The first whiff on the nose is a massive dose of Brett aromatics with plenty of clove and a moderate plastic note. Once this dissipates a bit (rather quickly), the strawberry character grows. It's got the characteristics of an aged strawberry beer - a sharpness, a mustiness, a seedy tannin character and a shade medicinal. Citrus is moderate, brightening up the medicinal notes. Sourness is light, this beer is really just dominated by the Brett and the fruit.

The palate opens bright and refreshing, with the citrus notes most prominent. Bright, clean, refreshing and mildly acidic, the mandarins (or so I'm told) open up the palate, making it more receptive to the milder strawberry flavors. Flavors of farmhouse, earth, clove and a faint plastic note are present on the mid-palate. Drying on the finish with a juicy, earthy citrus flavor, this beer has a moderate acidity (mostly lactic with a little lemon). Crisply carbonated, this is pretty refreshing. Nicely done.

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Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy dark banana yellow color with straw colored edges and a one finger white head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Really dark but has nice retention for the style with sporadic streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Funky, musty aroma with some earthy oak and a vibrant vinous fruit sweetness. Slightly sweet smelling with hints of dark grape and strawberry and cream along with a subtle lactic character and prominent funky bugs. The wild yeast adds complexity without overpower the fruit notes. Smells very good!

On the lighter end of medium body with a decent amount of sour acidity along with some dry oak, musty funk, lactic cream and sweet light fruit esters. Kind of feels like a strawberry and cream wild ale with sweet berries and other vinous fruit flavors complimented by acetic acid and a nice oak barrel presence. Some lactic funk lingering subtlety underneath but it never becomes harsh or solvent like. Highly recommended!

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Photo of scottfrie
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into a small tulip. Bottled “Summer 2013”.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy glowing lemon color with a finger of bright white, short lived head. Head quickly faded into a wispy bubbly collar leaving minor stringy laceing down the glass.
S: A sweet boquet of fruit on the nose. Notes of sweet nectarines and strawberries mix well with earthy funk, tart bright acid, dry vinous wine barrel, and peppery spice. Fruity, funky, and earthy.
T: Follows the nose with bright and vibrant flavors of tart acid, nectarine juice, and a kiss of sugary strawberry. The tart vinous wine barrel hits first with a blast of drying acidity and balancing sweet fruit. Earthy and spicy funk follows. The strawberry is subtle and comes through nicely in the finish, and the aftertaste is full of more hints of citrus as well as buttery oak.
M: Mouthfeel is tart, drying and refreshing; body is medium and has a decent chew to it; carbonation is ample but soft and froths up on my palate with each sip.
O: A very drinkable and flavorful sour. Clean and refreshing, bright and delicious. Carbonation is slightly distracting, but thankfully soft and fluffy.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a light to medium straw-like yellow in color with a huge, frothy head. Retention is pretty decent, but the lacing is very good. The body is moderately hazy, just enough that you can't see through it.

S- Tart and fruity are the scents that are right up front. Definite profile of light strawberries and slightly stronger nectarines are in the fruity profile. The tartness kicks in towards the back end, with a focus on the wild yeast in a fairly acidic way.

T- Tart and stronger than it is in the scent. Tart flavor is dominant throughout, but is most intense at the start. The middle of the drink moves the flavor more toward a dry, wine barrel tartness before the juiciness of the fruits kick in at the end of the drink. Strawberry displays it's tart juiciness first with a dose of flavor before the nectarines kick in and provide even more sour flavor. Lingering fruitiness of the nectarine is mostly orange-ish and a little tart.

M- Very light and highly carbonated on the palate. Rather easy to drink in every regard except for its tartness. Fairly juicy and refreshing.

Overall, this is a pretty awesome, sour, fruity, juicy, and spritzy beer. Displays just about everything that a fruited wild ale should, from the fruit, to the tartness, to the slight bit of wine barrel flavor.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear, hazy golden-yellow. The color of a summer’s sun!

There’s a great aroma with some tartly sour strawberries and dried hay. I get a flavor that’s similar, with tart strawberries and a hint of wet hay funk. Long finish that last for days. Delicious.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.82/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is extremely hazed yellow with a white head that disappears immediately. Nose is strong brett and barrel. leathery, light tangerine skin and a touch sour. Taste is a little brighter. Much more fruity brett, pineapple, peach, tangerine. Leathery and dusty towards back with a moderately sour finish and strong carbonation. Light body and prickly on the palate.

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Photo of rudzud
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice hazy darker straw hue with a good two finger white head that fades to a nice half finger blanket with a thicker halo.

S - Aromas of nice light barnyard wild funk, gentle strawberries, nice faint vinous notes with some light almost dirty wood notes. Do not get much nectarine though.

T - Taste is more like it. Very nice tart oak and funk. Great sour wine notes and generic berries, tasty floral strawberry with nice nectarine notes. White wine and strawberries just match so nicely. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, quite crisp and clean. Easy drinking.

O - Overall, this is more like it. So far I have been very underwhelmed by Almanac, but this wild ale is incredibly well done. Awesome.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from trade from sportstar. Thanks! Pours a hazy light yellow with a half finger fizzy white head on top that dissipates quickly. Big sour aroma with vinegar, apricots, sour light citrus, and just a hint of strawberry. Really nice. Flavor is sour up front with a sweet strawberry-banana mid-palate, and ending with an extra sour kick of tangerines (nectarines I guess) and apricots. The finish has a dry oaky feel but with some additional warmth in the chest as it goes down, similar to a dry white wine, and I assume this comes from the barrel aging. A really nice medley of flavors that still let the sour punch shine. Light bodied and very effervescent as would be expected from the style. Heavy carbonation that prickles the tongue. Overall a beautifully crafted brew! I think if I liked strawberries in my beer more this would be rated higher overall, but even as someone who is not a huge strawberry fan I found this to be excellent. Maybe because the strawberry is subdued. A must try for the sour beer and the strawberry lover. My second Almanac beer and they continue to impress.

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Photo of WTKeene
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a capped bottle dated Summer 2013 into a Lawson's Finest Tulip.

Appearance: Well the beer gushed as I opened it, the beer is a hazy peach color with a moderately sized off-white, creamy head. Persistent lacing, and while the head dissipated relatively quickly, there is a thin crown that doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Smell: Strawberries come through mostly in the nose, a hint of oak and a vinous tartness is evident as well. The nectarines aren't coming through much here.

Taste: A mild and pleasant tartness reminiscent of underripe strawberries. Hints of almond from the nectarines, and some fruitiness as well. Oak definitely plays a role here, and the finish is quite dry. A creamy malt character sticks around for a while afterward.

Mouthfeel: Pretty low on the carbonation, possibly because of the aforementioned gushing. Relatively thin.

Overall: Very nice example of the style. I would have like a stronger fruit character, but the fruit combo worked well together and I liked that. Not the most tart beer I've ever had, which makes this very drinkable and sessionable. Glad I got a chance to try it.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of tart green apple, strawberry, nectarine, lemon zest, hay, straw, oak, clove, vinegar, leather, pepper, musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruit, oak, and yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of tart green apple, strawberry, nectarine, lemon zest, hay, straw, oak, clove, vinegar, pepper, musty funk, light leather, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of fruity/earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart apple, strawberry, nectarine, lemon zest, hay, grass, vinegar, oak, clove, pepper, funk, light leather, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of fruit, oak, and yeast flavors; with a great tartness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent fruited sour ale. All around great complexity and balance and fruit, oak, and yeast flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled summer 2013, opened Nov 2013.

A - Orange wheat gold body. White head settles quickly. Low lace.

S - Surprisingly light nose right out of the bottle. This is a beer that definitely has to warm. Sweet strawberries, sour lemon, pound cake, meringue.

T - Soft strawberry, sweet biscuits, agave, acidic orange juice, and a firm sour backbone.

M - Relatively smooth, medium body.

O - Bright, sweet, well balanced, and refreshing.

P - Fresh fruit, whipped cream, short bread.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Shared with Sam and Rich back in Sydney.

Pours a pale golden colour that was quite clear until some of the voluminous sediment made its way into the glass, leaving a slight hazing. Head is fine and white, as is the carbonation, which is powdery when tilted. Lacing is specked and not particularly persistent. Otherwise, though, it looks pretty good.

Nose is full of wild yeast characters giving a direct sharp acidity and slight fruity overtones. Some nectarine comes through, but I certainly don't get much strawberry, and the fruit is coupled with a plasticky overtone from the yeasts and bugs. Vegetative notes become more dominant as it warms. It's still quite pleasant though.

The taste is much crisper and probably the better for it: clean, sharp acidity through the centre of the palate giving a vinous, slightly oaky and slightly tannic bite. The strawberries definitely come through here, leaving an unusual aromatic sweetness on the back that almost seems completely discoupled from the acidity. Sherbet and green apple acidity on the finish. Feel is crisp and almost burning from the acidity.

Overall, I liked it a good deal. The acidity is very well realised and the fruit characters add their elements without really changing the case line of the beer itself—it's just going to keep doing what it wants to do, and that's what I want it to do as well.

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Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Library Alehouse, Santa Monica, CA

A: The beer is very hazy dark yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that quickly died down and consistently left lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of sourness, nectarines and white wine barrels are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has flavors of oak, notes of sourness, nectarines, wine barrels and hints of sour berries.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a wild ale, this is very light and refreshing. It has good drinkability because the taste isn't completely dominated by sourness or wine barrel flavors.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 375ml bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip. Poured straight into glass because I expected little to no head.

Appearance- Hazy orange/gold with one finger bubbly white head that leaves nice lacing. More than expected for the style.

Smell- Strong presence. Very tart nectarine, mild strawberry, lemon, green apple skin, FUNKY citrus. Slight oak and vanilla.

Taste- Incredible. Light strawberry first then changes to fresh nectarine. Berliner Weiss wheat-like flavor, mild lemon and green apple. Not aggressively sour, but nicely tart.

Mouthfeel- Very carbonated and pleasantly tart. Little mouth pucker. Incredibly smooth and refreshing.

Overall- A great American wild. Very fruit forward with a great tartness. I'll be wanting more of this!

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to eyebereej for including this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 375 mL bottle into a Florida Berliner Bash snifter glass.

A: Hazy peachy-gold, with a thin white head and moderate visible carbonation.

S: Some funk, fruits (strawberry and peaches) with some barnyard aroma, and vinous and oak qualities underneath.

T: Tart up front, with berries and sour peaches, lactic acid and lemony citrus. Then a moderate white wine flavor with just a touch of oak barrel and the acidic tartness. The tartness lasts after the swallow, but it's not overly pronounced and it fades quickly.

M: Light body, nice bubbly carbonation, and the ABV is very well-hidden.

O: Wow. This was really tasty. Perhaps not a world-class sour, but if not it's very close. Very drinkable, and the fruit flavors come through without ever being artificial or cloying. Highly recommended.

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Photo of beerhan
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A--Pours a hazy straw orange color, thin but bubbly white head that leaves a thick film around the glass

S-Strawberries, oranges, and wood.

T- Very earthy, grass, wood, light vanilla and the fruit is very subtle initially. nectarines are a strong after taste.

M- mild sourness, easily goes down without tickling the tongue too much.

O- It's a nice refreshing beer but the fruit is a little subdued. I enjoy this beer but think it should be had very fresh.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Paccamacca for this beer!!!

bottled in 2013 Summer. 375ml bottle with pressure cap. An aggressive hiss as the pressure cap comes off the bottle. Very classy looking label and cap on the bottle looks like the brewer really takes pride in the product they brew.

Poured into Crooked Stave belgian style tulip/snifter.

Appearance: hazy orange bodied beer with almost two fingers of head that quickly fizzes down to a thin ring.

Smell: Big whiffs of oak, juicy strawberries, mandarin oranges and hint of lemony tartness. Hay and straw. A lite musty, dusty basement funkiness! This smells so great!

Taste: lemony tartness with a slight bit of vinegar right out of the gates with a nice dose of wood and earthy oak notes! Sweet and juicy strawberries and oranges balance out the tartness in a flawless manner. A little hint of a fruity white wine in the finish that brings everything together so well. Great complexities from this beer . You can easily find all the different elements used to brew the beer. Everything translated into the flavor in a distinctive manner, there is not guessing what your tasting.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with high end of low carbonation that is almost moderate carbonation. The carbonation fizzes as it hits your tongue and has some creamy texture to it. This beer makes you mouth water after every sip. Does not give you any heartburn due to being over the top sour. Highly drinkable sour for sure. Semidry finish that is very clean.

Overall: This is my first Almanac sour and I gotta say that this is impressive! I recently traded for a full set of Farmers Reserve 1-4 and I am really looking forward to trying them all. Complex, balanced, drinkable sour. Alamanac really executed this beer very well. I want more!!!

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Farmer's Reserve #3 from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 559 ratings