Farmer's Reserve #3 | Almanac Beer Co.

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Farmer's Reserve #3Farmer's Reserve #3

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States

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.

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 558
Photo of t420o
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Almanac Farmers Reserve #3

A- pour into tulip yields a 2 finger off white head with great retention and lacing. Beer is a hazy gold in color. 4.5

S- lighter smell but very pleasant. Berries, I love nectarines and definitely get those, moderate yeast, very nice wine barrel notes. 4.25

T- absolutely amazing. The tannic wine barrel gives an excellent white wine flavor and is excellent with the berries and nectarines. Yeast is in background. 4.75

M- nice active carbonation, mildly dry, lower side of medium body appropriate for the style. 4.5

O- great beer. Great drinkability. 5


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Photo of jtladner
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy golden color with a sizable white head that lingered and provided nice lacing. The aroma was tart, a bit funky. I didn't notice the strawberries, but the nectarines definitely came through nicely as the beer warmed. Fairly complex, tart flavor kind of like a gueuze, but with a little fruit at the end, and not as dry of a finish.

A very good beer, especially for a hot summer day.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright citrusy acidity, with stone fruit (apricots) and berry (strawberry) flavors. A subtle sweetness that reminds me of gatorade. Vanilla and dill come through, indicating barrel aging.

Good not great. Glad to try it, but will not buy again at this price.

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Photo of EliotRosewater
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a beatiful amber color with almost no head. Minimal lacing. Swirling produces a little bit of head.

S - there's no doubt that this is a sour beer. Lacto/Brett funk hit you right out of the gate. The fruit is a little muted but it's there. Citrus, stone fruit, vinegar. Awesome.

T - pretty classic, but great sour, funk, vinuous, fruit vinegar flavors as you might expect. I don't get quite as much fruit as I was hoping for. What fruit I do get is similar to what I get on the nose (citrus, stone fruit). Not getting a ton of strawberry.

M - very nice, light effervescence. Lighter on the mouthfeel but a great finish and lingering aftertaste.

O - great on a warm day. Each sip just makes me want more. Drank this one pretty cold at first (about 40ish). Allowed to warm up a bit, more of the fruit aromas come out. Delicious.

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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.


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Photo of popery
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale orange-ish gold. Quite cloudy. Solid head. Lots of fine white bubbles. Very good retention with some nice lacing. Aroma is sweet strawberry jam with some background barrel flavor, lightly buttery oak and some deeper grapey-ness. Strawberries seem to be a hard fruit to use in sours. They seem to contribute a rubbery/plasticky touch, and while it's present in this beer, it's minimal and handled well against the flavors contributed from the wine barrel. There's a touch of light funk, as well. The taste is light to medium tart. There's a little bit of strawberry sweetness up front, but it fades out, and the finish is tart and moderately dry. Lots of strawberry flavor. A touch of that rubber flavor, mostly in the finish, and it kinda fades in and out, much less than some strawberry sours that I've tried. The barrel seems to contribute some light vinous flavor, some blackberry/raspberry and mild oak. Very solid taste. A little bit of body, though it's generally light and lively. Medium pucker - pretty firm sourness in the back of the throat. Almanac continues to impress me with their Farmer's Reserve sours. I'm looking forward to more.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach.

Appearance: Pours a pretty hazy golden straw color with about 1/2" of white foam head. Pretty good retention that results in a small white cap, and lacing is very good.

Smell: Outstanding scents of strawberries and citrus, which must be the nectarines. Lots of funk as well as some lemon tartness comes through as well.

Taste: Fresh strawberry and citrus sweetness hits momentarily up front, followed by great levels of funk and tartness. Definitely more funk and tart than sour in this beer. Overall though, very nicely balanced between fruity sweetness, tartness and funk.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is light, airy and dry. Very good. Overall, very impressed with this sour. The fruit flavors it emits are phenomenal. I'm new to CA so had never really heard of Almanac, but this beer has definitely caught my attention.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of nataku00
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I went to buy bottles, but saw that it was on tap as well, poured into a goblet. Beer pours a hazy yellow with just a faint reddish tint, half a finger of loose white bubbly head. Some tiny bubbles floating up every now and then.

The aroma was very nice, fresh strawberries and nectarines, a bit of almond like nuttiness, some sharp lactic acid sourness, oak, and mild wet soil funk. The fruit really stands out though.

The fruit isn't as prominent in the taste, some strawberry and nectarine flavors that quickly meets with sharp sourness, fruit skin and lactic acid. A bit of biscuit malt sweetness and some light brett earthy funk. Finish is dry, with some lingering fruit and malt sweetness, old oak, and a nutty flavor.

Light body and refreshing, with good amount of carbonation. Of the three Farmer's Reserve I've tried, I've enjoyed this offering from Almanac the most, and will try No. 4 next. Would have enjoyed a little more fruit in the taste, but still a good wild.

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Photo of mroberts1204
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 375ml bottle. Pours a beautiful hazy orange. Pale white head that fizzles out quickly. Smell is strong lactic with citrus and watermelon. The flavor follows with a strong sour profile and mild citrus and berry. Kind of tastes like sour watermelon jolly ranchers without the sweetness. There's some juicy nectarine in there as well. Finishes dry with hints of oak. The body is light and spritzy. Perfect for the style. This was the best of the sours we tried from Almanac (#1-#4). Overall this is just a really solid American wild. Probably one of the best I've had this year. A great sour with phenomenal fruit flavors. Recommended.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yay! New sour from Almanac! Description states that this is, "Ale aged in wine barrels with strawberries and nectarines."

Pours out a hazed gold with a small, 1/3 inch head. The lacing doesn't stick around too long.

Pale malts, nectarine and wine barrel start the smell off. Strawberry comes in next with another hint of barrel.

Pale malts, strawberry, white wine, nectarine start this off strong! Oak and vanilla round out the middle, with a nice, sour fruit finish. The body is spot on for the style, moderate thickness, nice carbonation.

Probably my favorite sour that Almanac has done so far. I have a Farmer's 4 in the fridge too, so who knows. I got one for the cellar, wish I had a case. This beer is very worth trying!!!

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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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