As a fairly new judge, could you spell out what is to be looked for when you hear the farmhouse term used? My own weak idea is that it will be "rustic" in the sense that it will be fruity with possibly some earthy notes. I'd suppose it would also typically be lower ABV although obviously a Baltic porter doesn't fit this characteristic. Any help with descriptors would be appreciated. Also what commercial beers might be good examples? And is farmhouse ale most like a saison or a biere de garde?
If someone described a beer as "farmhouse", I would definitely be looking for yeast characteristics similar to those in saisons, or maybe biere de garde, fruity/spicy esters/phenols. Though the strength of those characteristics could range from low to high, depending on the style, but in any case they should definitely be noticeable.