Orpheus Brewing is named after the ancient Greek musician whose tale inspired the owner, Jason Pellett, a fellow musician. After years in the making, it began brewing operations and distributing beers in throughout the Atlanta area in late May of 2014.
Today’s review is of The Ferryman, an imperial stout brewed with hazelnuts and vanilla that comes in at 10.5 percent ABV. Utilizing Apollo hops exclusively and fermenting with a Belgian Abbey yeast this beer is available as a winter seasonal from November through December.
It should be noted that the recipe for this beer changed and no longer has hazelnut or vanilla instead it now is brewed with coffee beans and is blended with a bourbon barrel-aged stout for an ABV of 11.8 percent.
The pour shows a jet black body with a good inch of toffee colored foam on top and the head seems to be holding okay considering hazelnuts and vanilla beans tend to have head killing oils in them; not as good as a stout without those adjuncts though. The aroma is fronted by hazelnut creamer, the kind that comes in little-sealed plastic cups for coffee, flanked by chocolate, roasted malts and a moderate amount of alcohol.
The flavor holds true to the nose but with a more balanced profile as some of the toasty-ness and hop character fights the sweet notes. I am finding it difficult to get past the artificial hazelnut creamer flavor though. While the finish has a solid alcohol burn, the ample carbonation is keeping it from lingering too long. That being said, the weight is a little on the light side for an American imperial stout.