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

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BA SCORE
82
good
39 Reviews
THE BROS
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Anchor Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross FarmhouseAnchor Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Fatehunter on 06-09-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
157
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
25.83%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 157
Photo of ARaces23
2.79/5  rDev -22.5%
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

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Photo of artdob
2.89/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours with a bountiful tan head.

Then the exciting fades a bit. Nose is really light for me, got a breadbox, and some banana, but not a whole lot coming through for me.
Taste is roasty seltzer water - a bit wanting. Mouthfeel also leaves a bit to be desired - a slight fizz, relatively weak here, though some improvement after drinking more of this one.

This brew will be one and done for me.

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Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -18.3%
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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Photo of bobhits
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice white capped head with an amber body, very clear, almost too clear to be honest.

Farmhouse funk comes through with hops and some very clean malt aromas.

The clean malt really balances out and keeps this one from being overly "farmy" yet there's plenty of hop and malt.

Very drinkable.

This is a good but nothing to write home about beer. Anchor has a nice C kinda example of the style which is as good or better than most.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.04/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle - $6.98 at Sherlock's in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Bottling date: May 17 2013.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, dingy copper-hued body with a smallish, wispy, off-white head.

Smell: Blended fruit notes, fragrant spices, and sweet-scented elements atop a bit of light toast, a bit of cookie.

Taste: Bready pale malts, restrained wheat maltiness. Rock candy sweetness. Teensy taste of marmalade, a nibble of apple. Touch of banana. Variety of peppery spices (star anise, clove), light bitterness. Rolls back and forth between the sweetness and spiciness while sustaining the fruitiness throughout. Crispish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: A beer that is ultimately just okay.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A - Nice color, golden apple juice. Off-white head has ok retention and lace. Not bad, but personally I like a little more head and a little more haze in my farmhouse ales.

S - Relatively sweet. Lemon, pear, cracked wheat. Touch of passion fruit and grape skin.

T - Waxy bitters, lemon pith, mandarin, wheat.

M - Light frame. Low carbonation for the style.

O - Not a bad beer, but not a great saison.

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Photo of andyfrancis
3.06/5  rDev -15%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.14/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
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

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Photo of Jevers
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Zymaster n [Gk Zyme leaven + master-more at ZYMURGY] 1: a new word coined by Anchor Brewing to describe a brewmaster with hands-on experience throughout the a-to-z process of creating a new beer, from the research and selection of the raw materials and development of a recipe to brewing, fermentation, cellaring, and finishing 2: a unique series of beers from Anchor Brewing, rooted in its exceptional respect for the ancient art and noble traditions of brewing, featuring extraordinary ingredients, innovative techniques, and unusual flavors." Brewed in the style of a Saison/Farmhouse Ale with Yerba Santa (Sacred Herb) added. Available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served 55 above degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) pours a tan white head of a frothy creamy consistency over a medium hazy copper amber body with moderate relaxed carbonation. Retention is very good, lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Bready caramel malt body with a soft yeast fruit presence of raisin and fig, a light peppery spiciness, a note of licorice and molasses, a soft alcohol perk and some mild tanginess in the aroma. Its a fairly maltier farmhouse ale than I am used to, but the addition of Yerba Santa comes through very distinctly in the aroma, adding herbal and earthy characterstics above the usual saison notes. The potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) Bready caramel malt, lightly sweetened, with a unique peppery, herbal and slightly roasty midsection, finishing abrubtly undersweet and medium dry. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, lightly syrupy and mildly dry. Carbonation is light, generating a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is herbal and peppery over sweet. Alcohol presence is medium, and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) A pretty unique ale, not quite as simple as a standard Saison, more like a Belgian dubbel with Yerba Santa generating a great deal of herbal and peppery flavors. It's a slow sipper for me, quite filling and heavy on the palate. For the right price, it's likely worth giving a shot. 3.5

Anchor Brewing Company's
Zymaster Series No. 4: Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale
3.41/5.00

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Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
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-

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/14/13.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spice, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and spice flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop and yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some fairly bitter hop and yeast flavors for the style.

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Photo of vkv822
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of arizcards
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in early February for $6.99. Bottled on 5-17-2003.

Beer poured with very little head, amber-orange in color.

Nose is yeasty with some fruity esters.

Taste is lemon zest bitterness layered over a good size malt base.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and decently carbonated but lacks the lightness i would expect for the style.

Overall not a bad beer. i get that farmhouse brews are supposed to represent local ingredients but the result is a bit off the saison style in terms of the feel.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i feel like this has the wrong yeast for a saison, it just doesn't have that wildness, that funk, or even a Belgian essence. that said, its a tasty ale for what it is, and I am glad anchor is making new varieties, I have been waiting for that for awhile it seems. clear golden on the pour, honey color, the look is wrong for the style, but the head is foamy and rich and an inch tall. its got a nose of warm fermentation temperatures, and a syrupy malt element that is thick but not too sweet. the taste is way more grain forward than I expect in a saison, almost caramel English type malt rather than light French Belgium stuff. not at all yeast driven, and not even yeast interesting, but a tasty ale, if a bit boring. well carbonated and I like the medium body on this, more of a fall type. overall this didn't wow me like I wanted it to, but it was enjoyable nevertheless.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of babaracas
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly dark red tinged orange with two fingers thick khaki colored head -- fizzy, a few dots of lace down the glass. Smell: unripe peach, quite herbal and slightly medicinal and green; faintly toasted whole wheat biscuit with honey in the back. Taste: dilute pear-apple juice, peach skin, herbal with a bitter component... (looking up yerba santa, maybe this is it?) it's like a high-powered sage plus arugula plus aloe. Light caramel in the back... warmer this becomes more of a player. Feel is a bit fizzy, finishing crisp. Interesting beer... where there is seemingly potential for a really good biere de garde mixed in here, it maybe hits the yerba a bit too hard and ends up being just interesting.

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Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orange/amber with about 1/2 inch of head, moderate lacing.

Rustic grains, pale malts, slight citrus and a small hint of funk, not much though.

Pale malts and a bit of spice start this off. The middle has a nice lemon taste, a bit of bandaid near the end. Citrus on the finish.

Not a bad starting saison/farmhouse ale, obviously not a favorite though. I hope Anchor keeps experimenting, I'd like to try more from this series.

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Photo of Brenden
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Jason
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
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

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Photo of Snebbu
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

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Anchor Zymaster Series No. 4 Fort Ross Farmhouse from Anchor Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.
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