Farmer's Reserve #3 | Almanac Beer Co.

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95
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558 Ratings
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Farmer's Reserve #3Farmer's Reserve #3
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
almanacbeer.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ale aged in wine barrels with Strawberries (Swanton Berry Farms) and Nectarines (Blosson Bluff Farms).

Added by OBeerMeGreatOne on 05-29-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
558
Reviews:
62
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
7.46%
 
 
Wants:
167
Gots:
80
For Trade:
10
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Ratings: 558 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with fantastic and distinct strawberry, nectarine, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with strawberry and nectarine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a fantastic aroma and tasty flavors that definitely make this beer my favorite of the Farmer's Reserve series so far.

 703 characters

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 747 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I liked but didn't love the past two Farmer's Reserve beers, and I'm expecting this will be the same. "Ale aged in wine barrels with strawberries and nectarines." Sounds tasty. 6.8% ABV according to my bottled. Bottled summer 2013. I like the labels; stylish and printed right on the bottle. Classy. 12.68 fl oz (375ml) brown glass bottle with branded '70s orange and brown pry-off cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

"Aged for 12 months in used white wine barrels with a blend of wild belgian [sic] yeasts and bacteria..."

Served cold, straight from flash-cooling in me freezer. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of beige colour. Pretty thin. No lacing at all. Minimal cream. Retention is above average - about 4 minutes. No bubble show.

Body colour is a glowing translucent nontransparent yellow copper. Some orange hues. No yeast particles are visible. Average vibrance.

Looking generally good so far. Not unique or special, but I don't notice any obvious flaws.

Sm: Lovely well integrated white wine notes with some plump white grapeskin coming on strong. Welcoming soft bright fruit - certainly nectarine. I have to search for the strawberry; ultimately I don't think it's a very apt fruit for brewing and it takes a lot to get much flavour out of it. The barrel notes are quite lovely; I really dig the oak and vanilla - they're so subtle and natural here. Fragrant and perfumey. Soft and inviting, definitely. Some lychee without any accompanying sweetness. The wild yeasts are less prominent than the well-executed fruit; I do get some lightly tart yeasty notes but no lacto or lambic yeast - and certainly no sour bacterial notes. Maybe some brettanomyces, but little funkiness. It comes off somewhat alive. No real spice. Some complementary floral hop notes; they're quite light though, aiding the soft fleeting vibe of the aroma.

Overall, it's an impressive subtly executed aroma with noticeably well incorporated fruity notes. Moderate in strength. Quite complex. I'm really excited to try it; maybe this is the Almanac beer that will finally wow me.

T/Mf: Nice acidic palpable white wine notes; good dryness/wetness balance therein. Acidity is on the slightly higher end overall, but quite manageable for a sour. Lychee, white grapeskin, white plum, and a bit of nectarine come through; these fruity notes are all well integrated and subtly executed. Perhaps some apple skin as well. I'm looking for the strawberries but not finding them. Maybe they aid the luscious juicy feel I'm getting? Nicely carbonated without going overboard. Hop presence is minimal yet complementary, with light flowery notes accentuating the dominant fruit.

The oak isn't as present as I'd like, but does make a grand entrance in the second act, injecting a bit of needed dryness and lending a guiding tone to the rest of the beer. The dryness fades towards the finish, letting it end on a somewhat juicy refreshing note. I get a hint of pear on the climax. No vanilla notes really, but I'm glad because I don't know that that'd work.

The sourness is quite tame, as anticipated, but there's some nice tartness here, which really works alongside the fruit. A touch of lacto on the climax; I could go for just a bit more. Nice light funkiness; not too much brett character here. Not getting any lambic yeast or true bacteria; I still maintain that Almanac's beers come off entirely too clinical to truly match the farmhouse image they try to present.

Crisp, clean, and approachable. I'd like it softer; I wonder about the hardness of the brewing water. It does seem a bit too minerally.

Lightly dry and coarse from crystal malt and the white wine aging. Good thickness and presence on the palate. Good body. Complements the flavour profile well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it.

Dr: I wasn't on-board with the Almanac hype before, but this beer makes a compelling argument for me to consider hopping on the bandwagon. I'm certainly more interested in their future offerings than I was before. Maybe they had a rough start but they're finally honing their skills. All in all, this is a delightful sour with impressively subtle execution and I'm glad I bought it. I'm suspicious of their claim that it will age well for 5 years; I really can't see it getting any better than it is now - and that's not a grandiose compliment, it's a statement of limitations.

Obscenely refreshing and very drinkable; I'd happily down this all night. A shockingly good beer from a brewery I had come to expect very little from. The pricetag is high, but I'd certainly pick up another. I'd probably recommend it to friends. Hides its ABV well. Bravo, Almanac.

B+

 4,877 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
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

 616 characters

Photo of oline73
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 1,466 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Library Alehouse for tap takeover with 9 offerings.

A: Pours a hazy yellow with a thin (1/4") white head whichs fades quickly and leaves spots of lace.

N: Fresh strawberries dominate along with other fruits and some vinous notes.

T: Tart and fruity with some slight funk. Very crisp and bright.

M: Medium body and semi-moderate carbonation. Fruity and tart finish.

O: Would not have guessed the nectarines, but the strawberries are very present. Aged in white wine barrels for over a year induces not so much of a barrel influence but a home for the wild bugs added. Definitely want again.

 604 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Farmer's Reserve #3 from Almanac Beer Co.
4.29 out of 5 based on 558 ratings.
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