It has been a little while since I did my last solo beer review, but I recently took something special out of my beer closet that it deserved a post of its own. The beer was Orion, the fifth beer from Night Shift Brewing Company’s 2014 Barrel Society lineup. This was one of my favorites last year and I was curious to see how it had developed over time.
Brewery: Night Shift Brewing Company
Style: Dark Sour Ale
Description: As I mentioned above, this was the 5th installment in the 2014 Barrel Society series. It was described as a dark sour ale aged in oak barrels.
Pour Info: The bottle had sat in my beer closet pretty much since its bottling date on 10/15/2014 until I put it in my refrigerator a few days prior to consuming. I appropriately drank it out my 2014 Barrel Society teku glass.
Price: The going rate for these was calculated at $15 per 750 ml. for membership purposes.
Appearance: Poured a dark yet slightly shiny brown body with a foamy off-white head.
Smell: The beer smelled rather funky with an assertive tart, fruity sweetness.
Taste: A heavily funky, almost hay-like (in a good way!) taste presided over this beer. It was accompanied by an equally distinct mildly sweet and decidedly tart fruity taste. There was also an oak barrel presence that builds a bit on the finish as the beer warms that ties everything together quite nicely.
Mouth Feel: Medium bodied and a touchy syrupy with some fizzy carbonation.
Hype Factor: I’d say I was looking forward to this. It was my first time this year taking out one of these 2014 beers and I mentioned earlier, this was one of my favorites.
Overall: An excellent beer. I can definitely tell that it matured a lot in the year since I last drank it. Whereas before it was predominantly fruity and tart, it had developed a more pronounced Brettanomyces funk and a nice oak barrel-influenced finish. Very complex and delicious.