Mantra Battleground Farmhouse Ale

I've had some good experience with Farmhouse ales. On the whole, they tend to be a lot like red ales or all-day IPAs in that they tend to be a lot lighter to the palate and are intended to be swigged on a warm summer's day when the puppies are playing in the yard and the chores are all either done or can wait. So, I must like the idea of a farmhouse ale, too.

A proper beer color of golden yellow has an inviting white head that descends into a very thin veil across the top only a single bubble high but almost completely covering the beer. The aroma is strong with this one. It is grain-heavy with wheat and lemon in the foreground with noticeable yeast backing things up. I was loading the six pack into the fridge when catastrophe struck - I dropped a bottle. Now my garage smells of farmhouse ale, and I think we need to market this air freshener.

First sip is more bold than the smell would lead me to believe. The yeast is heavy, and it has been cooked to make the taste of wheat biscuits that are crumbly and have that citrus added to the mix. It's a very nice drinking beer, as most of the farmhouse ales that I've had seem to be; they are well balanced for drinking throughout the day. This would be amongst them, based on the sip, but a sip is only a glimpse.

Tip-in is grains and lemon with a slight unmistakable hint of skunkiness. That's disconcerting. The middle rolls on in with... rolls. Mind you, there isn't much of them, as the water seems to take over and the flavor is really not even struggling that hard to peek through. The finish comes on abruptly with a tart and musty wave followed by coriander and more grains and lemons mixed with oranges.

Bottom Line: Not a bad beer, but unrefined. There are better farmhouse ales out there.



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