Farmer's Tan Imperial Pale Lager | Southern Tier Brewing Company

136 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Farmer's Tan Imperial Pale LagerFarmer's Tan Imperial Pale Lager

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cratez on 05-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 234
Photo of generallee
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 650ml bottle into a Pilsener glass. The bottle has a nice description of the beer along with a list of ingredients and its abv (9%). There is however no freshness date listed on the bottle.

Appearance: The body has a clear and bright but deep golden color with an average two finger head on top from an aggressive pour. The head soap white head settles quickly and sets up a small ring of foam that does manage some lacing on the glass as I drink.

Smell: It has a decent white bready/biscuity maltiness with an odd, sort of boozy, sweetness. From this sweetness I get some notes of red apple skin. Backing up all of this maltiness are equal parts of citrusy and earthy hops.

Taste/Palate: It starts with a layer of pale malty, bready, biscuity flavor with sort of viney and citrusy hops for balance. Sweeter boozy notes move into the middle and add some warmth. Dryer pale, almost wheat like, maltiness rounds out the finish along with some lingering earthy and light citrus hop bitterness. The palate is smooth and lightly carbonated which along with the noticeable abv takes away from its drinkability as a summer time seasonal.

Notes: I'm kind of on the fence with this one. It is interesting but I don't see myself going back to get more of this one.

 1,301 characters

Photo of codewarrior
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber poured into an Imperial Pint

Part of a Christmas gift, consumed while watching a Pawn Stars/American Pickers marathon ... in the true spirit of Christmas.

L: Healthy and retentive 4-fingers of head. Unfortunately what lies beneath is a limp-hay colored affair, which is a touch light and a touch thin.

S: Sweet and thin with some light floral hints in the back. Not much going on here.

T: Light and crisp with a soapy middle and a citrus-y-floral finish. Not unappealing but not interesting either.

F: Thin and a touch under-carbonated but not a complete loss.

D: Ok, and certainly palatable, just uninspired.

 627 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Farmer's Tan is bright and golden enough to give you a tan. At least it seems that way. The thing is blinding if held directly into light and its super clear clarity allows its resplendence to emanate fully unhindered. Observing its puffy head and esoteric lacing, like looking at summer clouds, allows for personal interpretations of images and shapes of all kinds.

The nose on these hopped-up Southern Tier imperials is like "Hidely Ho" is to Flanders, "Hey hey hey" to Fat Albert or "Aaay!" to Fonzie - a likable, memorable, identifiable catchphrase. It's one replete with piny serum, seething citrus, weedy herbals and a generous splash of ethanol. I liked it in Hoppe, I liked it in Un*Earthly, and I like it in this too.

Farmer's Tan is very much like the latter two beers mentioned in that it is a big heavy-hitter supported by little more than pale malt and, resultantly, comes across a little boozy. The taste of biscuits and white bread are all well and good but against a near double-digit backdrop it's like trying to stop a flood with twig barricades. It's bound to break.

And that breaking point came some half hour in at which time the ambient temperature couldn't help but expose the beer's, shall we say, 'robust' strength. I'd be lying if I said the pine-sol cleaner flavour and tongue-singing esters weren't just a tad rattling. Fortunately, there's enough crunching hoppiness on the finish to cuddle us back to good form.

Southern Tier's summer seasonal heavily reminds me of their winter seasonal, Krampus. Both are 'imperial' (read: more boozy) versions of classic European styles that compromise the styles' balance and proven universal appeal, partially by the addition of more hops, partially by doubling the alcohol. Both should be considered mixed successes...

If you're looking for a sessionable, balanced quaff stick to the conventional, staple and single-digit lagers on the market. But if you find yourself curious to plow new grounds then by all means give Farmer's Tan a roll in the hay. I don't know that it'll be a perennial in my beer garden but I'd consider this bomber a good yield for the money spent.

 2,149 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle from Buffalo.

Pours a clear light golden yellow, a bit of light amber, medium sized white head forms and settles to a medium ring and layer around the glass, decent lace sheets stick, looks alright.

Smell is weird, kind of skunky and grassy, very sweet and sugary, a bit of apple juice, some herbal hopping, a bit of caramel, light toast, fruit, some apricot, wheat, kind of strange.

Taste is sweet and boozy, like a high quality malt liquor, a bit of corny sweetness, honey, a bit of sugar, some floral, grassy hops, alcohol, lightly fruity, herbal bitterness, weird but not bad.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with low carbonation. A little too thick and sweet for me.

 684 characters

Photo of Lldeegan
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden blonde with a stark white puffy head.

Bright and husky aroma with some citrus hop notes and booze.

Sweet pale malt with some orange, strawberry, bready, citrus hop notes and a wheat twang most likely from the wheat grain addition.

A tad creamy, light on the palate but the high alcohol content might slow down your sips.

It's pretty drinkable, not too many strong flavors but has a nice balance. The alcohol is a little much and isn't masked very well. After a hot day, this might sound good, but the booze will have you dozing off pretty quick.

 570 characters

Photo of rand
2.71/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From Bomber to pilsener glass

A: Pours a clear, bubbly light orange. The sparkling carbonation forms a 2 inch head in the pilsener glass

S: Sweet, grainy malts combine with alcohol. There's a bit citrusy tone in the backdrop, almost tropical.

T: A grainy, almost creamy malt sweetness meets the front of the sip. This combines with dry, grassy hops with a lemon-citrus edge. Unfortunately, the flavor profile fades to corn cereal slightly warmed by the alcohol. The malt finish lingers through the finish and the hops have a drying effect, but a slightly astringent adjunct tone marks the end of the swallow, reminding me of malt liquor.

M: Creamy and oily. Normally a complexion I would commend, but it seems a little disjointed from the flavor profile.

D: The flavors here are fairly subdued and, when served cold, this beer goes down fairly easily, especially given the ABV. The beer's astringency increases as it warms though.

N: I'm a little conflicted on this beer. There are aspects that are interesting and I had to take a few sips before I came to my final conclusion. But for a Southern Tier offering I'm disappointed. The brew just doesn't pop - the few beers I've tried from ST had that wow factor, and this is simply mediocre, even if fairly drinkable.

 1,271 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small, white head of foam. It left little to no head.

S - It smelled boozy and sweet. Some caramel and grain aromas.

T - This is very spicy upon first sip. It had a slight wheat flavor with some pilsener-like taste.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is an interesting Imperial Pilsener. It has a lot of heat and booziness.

 436 characters

Photo of Jdmpolk
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is burnished yellow, with a slight tinge of copper. A finger length of ivory head rises quickly, but then subsides leaving a hint of lacing on the glass.

Smell is bright and citrusy with with some piny hop aroma thrown in. Warmth from alcohol is present.

Taste is initially like it's smell, very bright from the citrus hops. Also some sweetness from the alcohol is present. Underneath the almost tangerine bitter hops and hints of spice there was buttery corn.

Mouthfeel is mostly fleeting. The bitterness and sweetness stick around for only a moment, and then only leave a tingling in the back of the throat, and a slight sweetness on the tip of the tongue.

Drinkability was high due to the balance of this beer itself. No flavor was too overpowering to take over the flavor or mouthfeel of the beer itself.

 823 characters

Photo of Onenote81
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a dark gold with a thick white head on top. Great sticky lace along with excellent retention. The nose is full of big citrus hops, with tones of floral and grass. This reminds me of an APA. The mouth is pretty heavy for a lager, albeit Imperial. Mellow finish. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the style. This is very boozy, in my opinion. Faint citrus hops bitter this one up, but the booze overpowers. Mild grains noted as well. This beer is just too hot for me. I understand this is a weird hybrid/Imperial-ized version, but when I want a lager, I want something that is refreshing and easily drinkable. This was not.

 668 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.38/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Rustico - Alexandria.

Pours a pale grain color with a fairly decent white head that doesn't have much retention or lace power. Nose brings quite a bit of grain and a bit of creamed corn along with an astringency that I can't place my finger on. The taste adds in a slight amount of bitterness, but there is now a strong alcohol burn. The body is full and nice, but the heat really kills any soothing effects. This is something that I really just couldn't find much to appreciate about.

 517 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnished gold with lemon peel highlights and nearly half a glassful of parchment colored meringue that develops even more character as it melts. A surprising amount of lace, in small chunks and sudsy sheets, sticks to the glass.

The brewery thinks of this offering as an Imperial pale lager, but it really does smell like a double pilsner. There are no Saaz in the house. Magnum, Sterling, Santium and Mt. Hood deliver a somewhat similar aroma, with less grassiness. No appreciable alcohol is a major plus.

My fear was that Farmer's Tan would taste like malt liquor. It doesn't. And the reason it doesn't is a generous amount of hop bitterness and flavor, even though this is a May release. Man oh man, it must have been a hoppy humdinger back in the Spring.

Malt contributes a background sugar cookie sweetness and very little flavor. No surprise with a grain bill that includes pale, pilsner and white white. The hops are spicy and herbal and bitter grassy. This isn't my preferred hop flavor profile, but it works pretty well given what the brewers were (presumably) trying to do.

As in the nose, alcohol is masked acceptably well. A lack of heat is commendable, but ST has traveled down the high-ABV road several hundred thousand times before. Warming opens things up a little and allows the flavors to get even more comfortable with one another. Ignore the 'best at 38 degrees' on the label as the ravings of a madman.

The mouthfeel is a pleasant (if you're a big beer lover) combination of firmness and malt sugar plushness. Sappier and stickier wouldn't have worked as well and gentle bubbles help the cause.

Farmer's Tan Imperial Pale Lager is not for everyone. It's actually more enjoyable than expected and came close to earning the next highest scores for flavor and drinkability. Even though this will be my first and only bomber, it has turned out to be pretty good high-octane beer.

 1,903 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazed lemon-yellow with two fingers of clingy white head.

Aroma of malty grains, biscuit and grassy hops.

The taste is much like the aroma. Malty grains, biscuit, grassy and citrus hops. Some hoppy bitterness in the finish along with a touch of warmth from the 9% alcohol.

Light-to-medium bodied and somewhat dry with a moderate carbonation.

A decent effort from Southern Tier but nothing really memorable about it.

 453 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.4/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Notes from 10/16/2010:

22 oz. bottle at 42* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: This pours an absolutely clear, piss-yellow color with a finger of soapy, foamy head.

S: It smells like strong pilsner malts, orange, grapefruit, biscuit, and some medicinal and soapy notes.

T: This is really bad. Stong pale malts dominate along with grapefruit, floral hops and more boozy, soapiness.

M: It is medium-thin and slightly watery at first but becomes foamy later. The aftertaste is a little perfume-like.

D: Prior to the second pour, I vigorously rinsed the glass, thinking that the glass may have had some lasting soapy residue from washing it. After the next pour, however, I realized that the beer just sucks. This is an atrocious intro to Imperial Pilsners.

 752 characters

Photo of jwinship83
2.71/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle picked up on clearance for $3. drank from my samual adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours out a clear straw colored body with large foamy bright white head. the head lasts for a surprisingly long time before falling. small rings of lacing are left behind. pretty nice.

S- pale malts are the first thing i notice. theres also plenty of sweet bready malts and cereal grains in here too. as for hops, theres a little bit of earthy and grassy. reminds me of noble hops.

T- the pale and bread like malts start this one off. after that comes some noble hops. spicy and earthy with a little bit of grass. somewhat of a metallic taste unfortunately.

M- medium bodied. too heavy for the style. a lingering metallic aftertaste.

D- i think this time i got what i paid for. not one of southern tiers better works. i dont think ill be drinking this one again anytime soon.

 883 characters

Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

radek's bottle. Pours apple juice colour, almot no head, though much carbonation bubbles. A mild lagerish taste, drinkable on a hot day, carbonation felt above average, Nothing special.Clean taste, a drop of yeast, only the faintest sign of grassy hop.

 252 characters

Photo of josefnewsong
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - pours a bright golden color, partly hazy, with substantial white head that leaves lacing as it recedes to a creamy/soapy topping
S - Sweet malts, a touch of grass, sweet citusy scents, and subtle hops
T - hints of tangerine peel, sweet, sugary malts with a bit of honey maybe, hints of wheat and grass, and just a touch of alcohol
M - Medium-bodied and very smooth with a tingle of carbonation in the finish
D - About as drinkable as they come in my book

...reminds me of something in between a pilsner and a tripel, blended with a wit, retaining the abv of the tripel. Basically a damn good drinkable summer beer with a bit more of a kick than most

 654 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large, four-finger nearly pure-white head. Large bubbled, but slow to recede (rocky as it settles). Leaves abundant lace on the glass. Mild haze to a darker straw/light gold color.

Classic paler malt aromas with a light hop spice. Very subtle.

Good grapefruit hop ending; the aftertaste is surprisingly short, although very bitter. The start is hard to describe: soft grain, a little grassy. The swallow features sweetness that is sweet, almost berry-like. This counterbalances the bitterness. Quite rich for the style with a below average level of carbonation.

 563 characters

Photo of jeranbrews
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - creamy foamy head with a color and consistency of the space mattresses. Body is a highly clarified tarnished brass color. Strong honeycomb lacing.

S - hoppy lots of chinook I think. Has an ipa sting to it. There are mild pale and crystal malt smells but it's hard to find. It's like trying to smell a rose next to a bonfire.

T - corn pale malt. Very very small doses of fusil burn. And of course lots of hoppy astringent tastes.

M - creamy almost buttery. Very slight efferveasance

D - yeah it's a lagery form of an IPA. What can I say. It tastes fine for what it is.

 579 characters

Photo of emerge077
2.71/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Four Moon Tavern, 12 oz. pour.

Bright clarity, brilliant gold. So clear you could read the newspaper though it. Sticky white foam, it leaves a drippy crown around the edges, and retains some skim on top.

Very muted nose. Dull and somewhat boozy, vague apple, nothing really stands out though, which is rare.

Ugh. Tastes dull and full of alcohol unfortunately. Reminds me of licking envelopes while drinking Slivovitz plum brandy. It numbs the tongue with alcohol. Lagers don't hide flaws well, and this one leaves nothing to the imagination. There's a mild bitterness in the aftertaste, but aside from that, there aren't any typically associated flavors of maltiness or hops. The body is somewhat heavy and flaccid for a lager, and just feels like an alcohol delivery device in short. Unbalanced and one dimensional.

Will never drink this again, and plan to warn friends against it.
Not much redeeming about this, they really should scrap it from their lineup.

 978 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

10 ounce goblet - $7.25 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Crystalline, mead-colored body (according to TheLibrarianGirl) with a scant, white head.

Smell: Largely aromatic, able-bodied floral and distinctly pilsner malt scents with a few liquidated cough drops and alcohol tossed in for either fun or spite, I'm not entirely sure.

Taste: Crisp, categorically pilsner maltiness, some malted wheat, and touches of sweet wildflower honey and firm graininess. Slight apple fruitiness. Distilled, condensed floral hop character with a hint of citrus and a moderate degree of bitterness. Light alcohol on the tail end, thankfully not expressly fusel. A bit more florals on the drying, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. The mouthfeel, yes, it is smooth.

Drinkability: Personally, I find it hard not to think it a seven-buck malt liquor, and as such goes down about as easily as the price for it.

 939 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this beer is a light tan in color (surprise surprise) with the thin remnants of what must've been a short lived head, no visible carbonation

S - hop heavy for a pale lager, a quite strong grapefruit and floral hop profile, a nice aroma but monotypic

T - the taste is more balanced, still hop-strong in the grapefruit end of the hop spectrum, yet mellowed by the sweetness of candied sugars

M&D - tasty and easy to drink, the hops are nice and the flavor balances out very well, a sessionable lager that is superbly average

 529 characters

Photo of claspada
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

Aromas are of is of light caramelized malts, maybe a hint of wheat, clean dry yeast, a little fruity and a good amount of hops.

Tastes start with a burst of biscuity/pale malts and a brief bite of hops bitterness. Then some sweet flavors of caramel and citrus come in. There is some malt and lager breadiness that are a bit over-powered which detracts from the balance. Kinda one noted despite my description

Mouthfeel is crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation.

This is a fairly tasty brew that goes down fairly easy, not too filling, decent representation of style. Overall it's a decent strong beer to drink for a while, but nothing extraordinary.

 782 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a pale hay, yellow, sunshine color. The head is a nice sticky white one finger soap. The head hangs around as a film and a lace after a few sips.

Creamy toasted pilsner malt aroma with a littler spice from the alcohol. Add a little splash of grass to that for hop balance, but still pretty sweet smell overall.

The taste makes me think of a creamy pilsner. Like cream of wheat with a spicey alcoholic kick. This beer isn't bad, but a little one dimensional.

The palate is creamy and spicey and thats about it. Nothing lingers good or bad. The texture is there and then its gone. Pretty Farmer's Tan simple.

 621 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.77/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a bomber of Farmer's Tan for $7.99 at Johnstown Beverage in Johnstown NY. Imperial pale lager, what the heck is that? Never heard of such a thing. Served cold in a Harpoon tulip.

This semi-cloudy pale yellow brew has abundant carbonation of tiny bubbles and from a moderate pour gives a very stable 1" of fluffy light tan head. Good lace. The smell is subtle but very pleasant: light perfumey florals, some sweet malt background, and a mild twang of hop and sour berries. Taste is a pungent but soft sour hop and a ton of floral elements on a background of light honey. No sign of EtOH. Jeez this is incredibly tasty and unique. Amazingly drinkable.

After it warms/ airs a bit some alcohol becomes apparent and the whole thing gets pretty pungent- the florals really intensify into some really strong estery notes. Serve it cold and watch it morph, really interesting.

 874 characters

Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a clear golden yellow color with a very thick and tall off white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts, some biscuit flavors mixed with a hint of alcohol and a nice dose of grassy, earthy hops.
T: Tastes of nice toasted malt, nice biscuit flavors, a touch of alcohol but not as much as I was expecting, then a nice grassy, piney, somewhat citrusy hop finish.
M: Crisp, fresh, refreshing, bolder than it looks, heavier feeling than it looks, perfecct amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, this one was a bit hot on the alcohol, but it was still not as detectable as I thought it would be.

 655 characters

Farmer's Tan Imperial Pale Lager from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 234 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.