Reviewed: Allagash Farm to Face 2018
Product description: Drinking this medium-bodied beer is like biting into a juicy, yet tart, peach. Farm to Face is brewed as a pale ale and then fermented for ten months in stainless tanks with house yeast. After primary fermentation, Pediococcus, Lactobacillus, and a whole lot of peaches are added. Aromas of green apple and graham cracker accompany a lingering peachy finish. 6.1% ABV
Allagash Brewing Company – Allagash Farm to Face 2018 – 375mL bottle served in wine stemware – 6.1% ABV
The cork comes out of this punted 375mL bottle with a loud pop. Mostly clear, bright orange liquid fills the wine stemware and generates a large, frothy head of almost dish soap lather-looking foam. Dive in, and you get an expressive nose of pear and cinnamon apple pie. It’s rich and inviting, but I had to do a double take because I thought this was a peach sour. This is my first time trying Face to Face, which is a yearly release from Allagash at least as far back as 2014. Each year it is a peach sour, though final ABV predictably fluctuates a bit. Even the official description mentions an aroma of green apple, usually considered a brewing flaw (acetaldehyde). I’m not that harsh on it, but I definitely agree on the apple part. It’s fine, but certainly not what I expected.
After a few sips, Farm to Face continues to be a bit of a letdown for me. Typical flavors of saltwater, vinegar, and stinging acidity compose 90% of the experience with underripe peach and firm nectarine bringing up the remainder. Carbonation is high and the beer is lively in the mouth. But the flavor mix is all too familiar and doesn’t come across as refined as other peach sours I’ve had recently. Overall acidity is too high for my liking at an 8/10 while sweetness is far too low to balance things out at a 1/10.
For me, Farm to Face tastes like a young, green beer with sour apples eventually taking over what little was left of any stone fruit flavor hidden deep in the recesses of the beer. For the finale, creamy lactic acid adds a softer mouthfeel, but it is quickly burned away by stinging acetic acid. In addition, the ABV seems even higher to me than 6.1% with a headache-inducing experience before even finishing the glass.
Farm to Face is very average in my opinion for a peach sour and surprisingly dull coming from a sour perfectionist such as Allagash. I was expecting something outrageously good, but peach sours are starting to become commonplace and there is a lot of competition out there. In addition, I didn’t catch any unique or fun elements in Farm to Face that I’ve tasted in the past with their barrel-aged coolship sours, as this one is completely in stainless steel. In that sense, you are missing out on the best Allagash has to offer.
* * *
The Full Pint is a fully independent website dedicated to bringing you the highest quality reviews of today’s craft beer. Our team has no financial conflicts of interest with the beer industry in order to give you the least biased information out there in today’s craft beer world. Please use the comment section below for general comments about this beer and/or our review. If you would like to see a specific beer reviewed or have general comments on reviews, please email info(at)thefullpint.com. For more information on how we review beer read here.