Thursday, May 12, 2016
Almanac Farmer's Reserve Citrus
Style: American Wild Ale
- Beer Advocate: 4.09/5
- RateBeer: 3.76/5
"Citrus and beer have made a great pair ever since the first lemon wedge was added to a frosty wheat beer. Here we expand on that tradition, melding a sour blond ale with the intensely aromatic zest of Buddha’s Hand citrons and the bracing tartness of Yuzu and Blood Oranges from Hamada Farms. Pair harmoniously with sushi or flakey white fish or contrast with earthy roasted root vegetables."
The appearance is a slightly hazy, light orange body with plenty of carbonation and half a finger of white head that disappeared immediately.
I get a lot of the base blonde ale on the aroma with doughy/bready malts and then some white grape, bacteria, yeast, and a touch of lime zest. Vanilla from the barrel comes out as it warms.
Oh baby! This has some eye-popping tartness right out of the gate. Fresh lemon acidity and that Buddha's hand make for a near eye-watering, mouth-puckering experience at every turn. The bacteria strain is sour as all hell, but so damn good at the same time. The beer then tosses in some sweeter notes of sugar-sprinkled grapefruit and even the barrel has an influence itself with a tiny bit of oak and dry, vinous notes. I picked up some vanilla on the nose, but it's not here on the taste, but the barrel has given me so many other flavors that this minor infraction is forgivable. The finish is big orange citrus and then is washed away immediately by more tart sourness. It's pretty damn sexy.
Mouthfeel is nice and light despite the 7% abv. It truly drinks smaller than the alcohol content would lead you to believe. While it is dry, it's also refreshing and easy to drink despite the sour factor.
Farmer's Reserve Citrus has delivered big time with a citrus-infused sour ale with high drinkability. I think the acidic fruits used complimented the bacteria perfectly and some tartness from the wine barrel added even more complexity. Those starting out on the style may be a bit reluctant, but veterans should fall in love easily with this one.