Friday, June 13, 2014

Almanac Beer Company Farmer's Reserve Blackberry Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Almanac Beer Company Farmer's Reserve Blackberry - Ale Brewed with Blackberries and Aged in Wine Barrels.

From the Almanac Beer Company website: “We love blackberries. Tart, sweet and complex but guarded by thorny branches, these alluring fruit have been a favorite of ours since we added them to our very first beer. This sour blonde ale is infused with loads of coastal Blackberries from Swanton Berry Farm in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains and aged in wine barrels for many months. Pair with duck dishes and summer salads.

Farm to Barrel

Our Farm to Barrel beers focus on the eons-old tradition of aging beers in oak barrels. This American wild ale was aged in used wine casks with our house “Dogpatch” sour culture, a cocktail of wild Belgian and American yeasts, including San Francisco sourdough starter. The yeasts slowly morph the beer from a traditional ale into something wild, creating a mild acidic bite as well as pulling oak and vanilla flavors from the barrel. After maturing, the barrels are blended together—creating a vinous, delicate beer that captures the essence of a particular harvest. Farm to Barrel Beers are alive in the bottle, and will continue to mature gracefully for several years.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a cloudy pink/orange color with a nice pale pink, almost white head and nice lacing.
Aroma: Grainy and cereal malts, funky yeast, tart and sour berries, oak and a slight sweet scent.
Taste: Crisp blackberry tartness with just the right amount of sweetness to balance it out, oak, vanilla, yeast funk, vinous tannins and sweet cereal maltiness.
Overall: Light, intensely drinkable and over the top awesome, Almanac Beer Company Farmer's Reserve Blackberry is amazingly good (not that I’m surprised).  This 7% ABV offering might (I said, might) be my favorite of the series so far.  When the glass was empty I was tempted to open another bottle.  I will be picking more of this up and I highly recommend that fans of the style do so as well.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised!


Mark Harvey

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