Monday, October 11, 2010

Southern Tier Farmer's Tan (2010 imperial lager edition)

Henry brought this beer over for a Friday afternoon back-to-back session of lagers (we've never done that before). I know Jay thought this beer was only okay a few months ago. But you know I'm a huge Southern Tier fan - so which way would I go on this?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (604) - Albany, USA - JUL 18, 2011
Pale lagers by definition and tradition aren’t brewed, drank, or appreciated for their flavor, but rather their performance value. What’s interesting is that Farmer’s Tan is basically any other pale lager at the core, but with a stronger energy level and more hops to give it genuine flavor. It’s a remarkably drinkable, smooth beer and quite refreshing considering its potency.

I poured a 22oz bomber into a pilsner glass (as suggested on the bottle).

Appearance: Bright gold/yellow color, very clear with minor hop haze. Slow, sparse carbonation remains visible throughout. Forms a large, bright white frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: Mild nose with some notes typical of a non-adjunct lager. Light hop flowers, hint of citrus.

Taste: The may be the best-tasting beer with a mild palate. There actually isn’t a lot going on in the palate of Farmer’s Tan, and yet it’s very enjoyable. It begins in the vein of a high quality pilsner with light hop spice and rich grain taste. There’s a slight spiciness almost of coriander or all spice through the middle, and the finish ends with a kiss of citrus - mostly lemon and lemonpeel with a matching aftertaste with a hint of honey sweetness. As a whole, the palate isn’t very complex, which is fine because I think that’s the point.

Mouthfeel: It’s amazing how thick and soft this beer is for a lager. It glides across the tongue and leaves a light coating of bitterness - yet it isn’t dry or cloying at all.

Drinkability: Weighing in at 8.6% ABV you wouldn’t think a beer that big could be refreshing, but Farmer’s Tan absolutely is. The bottle recommends serving cold at 38 degrees, which you think would be too cold and lock out flavors, but it is plenty robust right out of the fridge. The alcohol is completely non-existant: can’t smell it, can’t taste it and even after an entire 22oz bomber I couldn’t feel it much, either. The thicker, softer body and relative tepidness make this one of the smoothest beers I’ve ever drank and probably THE smoothest imperial beer I’ve ever had. Killing a bottle of this on a hot summer’s night is the best way to enjoy it.

Overall, Southern Tier Farmer’s Tan is a very impressive beer and a fun beer to drink.

Grade: 8/10

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