Monday, August 5, 2013

WINE BARRELS, NECTARINES & FUNK - THE LATEST ALMANAC "FARMER'S RESERVE"

Suppose I really shouldn't tantalize you with "latest", because in the time it took me to write the headline above, ALMANAC BEER CO. came out with another three artisanal beers, made with left-field ingredients from around the farms and fields and containing the flora and fauna of the San Francisco Bay Area. Their "Farmer's Reserve" series has been something of a hit, though a hit and a miss here at Beer Samizdat - to say nothing of that "Barrel Noir" that came out around the same time and blew me clean away. The rule of thumb with Almanac is, now that they're proven their beermaking chops and then some ten or so beers into the game, grab anything you see with extreme prejudice, and count your change later. You'll be rewarded with a stellar beer just about every time.

I still haven't caught up to "Farmer's Reserve #4" yet, so let's talk about "FARMER'S RESERVE #3", which I had last week. It's a barrel-aged sour. Oh yes it is. Aged in wine barrels, #3 also had strawberries and nectarines fermenting in the wood right alongside it. I tasted the nectarines, big-time - strawberries not so much. I'm pretty sure I've never drank a beer more slowly than this one, truly. I popped the cap at 7pm or so, recorded my "Otherworldly and Gone" music podcast (horrifically shameless plug!), and around 10am was taking my last swallows of this fine barrel-aged creation. You know what? The foamy head that came out at 7pm was still hanging around at 10, I kid ya not. Wild and acidic, #3 definitely takes some time to sink in and, uh, "reveal" itself, but as it does you're gonna like it more and more. My score kept creeping up every half hour until we topped out at a very pleasant and in-line-with-past-winners 7.5/10.

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