Name: First Harvest 2019 Botanicals (Gemüt Reserve)
Brewer: Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery (United States)
Style: Wild Specialty Beer
Review Year: 2022
First Harvest 2019 Botanicals (Gemüt Reserve) is a mixed-culture farmhouse ale made by Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery with estate-grown grain, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, and Lemon Verbena. Aside from being matured in oak barrels with Brettanomyces for over a year, this beer also features Old World hops and locally-sourced well water.
This beer is being evaluated as a Wild Specialty Beer (28C) in the context of the 2021 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version can be found on the BJCP website.
Clear pale gold; tall white head. On the nose, a medium-low Brett-like funkiness dominates but is accentuated by lime zest and rose petals. Light-medium-bodied; moderately high carbonation. Herbal flavors reminiscent of rosemary and sage surfaced at a medium intensity. These were backed by lemon zest and a floral character. Dry; bitterness and wood flavors were not explicit. Brett funkiness was noted at a notch below moderate while together with a grainy/wheat-forward backbone. Finished lingered long of indistinct botanicals.
First Harvest 2019 Botanicals (Gemut Reserve) is an intriguing interpretation of a Brett farmhouse ale. The base of this “farmhouse ale” could be a Saison, but tagging it as such is overreaching. Nonetheless, it shares similar dryness and malt backbone of the mentioned Belgian style. Dryness is an expected characteristic in beers inoculated with brettanomyces. The Brett funk is still elegantly fruity and not off-putting, but it was the botanicals that really made this beer vibrant and memorable. Unique, refreshing, and rustic– First Harvest 2019 Botanicals is an excellent beer and one that we would definitely seek out again.