After the Last Death
After the Last Death (6.5% ABV)
Sour Ale with cherries and currants
Orpheus Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia)
Man, I love a good Orpheus beer. They make such killer sours and saisons, and since they tend toward those styles, it means they end up taking the style a step forward from what you might find at another brewery. Or at least, that's my experience.
After the Last Death is a great example of a sour ale taken a step further.
The beer pours a deep berry red, with a pink head, but it didn't stick around for me (probably because I didn't have the cleanest glass, if I'm being honest with myself). The smell is pretty deep for a sour — not just a fruited tartness, but instead something like a burnt saison. It's rich, a little sour and earthy.
The taste is similar. Rather than hit you with a berry sweetness, the dryness of this beer socks you in the mouth. The earthiness of the flavors hit me as something similar to when you accidentally bite a peach pit or have a bad walnut — it's not quite acrid, but it's a bitterness that you don't quite expect. Thankfully for this beer, however, the bitter and earthy qualities work with the richness of the dark cherry and currant flavors — they don't battle it like you might have with a sweeter, summery stone fruit.
The mouthfeel is also similar to a wine. Even though it poured with a good bit of head on the beer, there isn't a lot of bubbliness throughout. It's not quite the smooth mouthfeel you'll get with a red wine, but it's somewhere between that and a smoothie sour beer.
I really appreciated the complexity of the flavors in this beer because it helped it stand apart from other sours. Even though I'm enjoying this beer in the 80-degree Alabama Spring, and I mean really enjoying it, I can see why Orpheus classifies this as a winter seasonal. That darkness to the flavor would carry over really well into the winter season.
Overall, I would totally buy this beer again.