Beer Review: CIGAR CITY AFTER-SESH ALE

Beer Review: CIGAR CITY AFTER-SESH ALE

The After-Sesh Ale, presented in a stemless snifter, pours with a light amber hue, offering a mostly clear view of what’s inside. A modest white foam rises momentarily, only to dissipate rapidly, leaving a somewhat lackluster visual impression. The packaging date, clearly visible on both the carton and each can, indicates a product within the acceptable freshness range, although my purchase was over 2 months old.

Aroma

The beer captivates with its aroma, boasting juicy Valencia orange sections and zesty lime. The depth of these citrus notes is commendable, providing a bright and authentic olfactory experience. It’s a promising start, raising expectations for a flavor profile that mirrors the aromatic richness.

Taste

Contrary to expectations, the After-Sesh diverges from the anticipated gose-style experience. Despite being labeled as a “no style” fruit beer with salt, the overall acidity is nearly negligible, offering only faint touches of lime. The anticipated gose-like qualities, including saltiness, are noticeably absent, leaving a beer that aligns more closely with Blonde Ale or Golden Ale. The bitterness, leaning towards tannic and fruit skin-derived, doesn’t align with the hoppy bitterness expected in an APA. The maltiness introduces firm sweetness and Hawaiian roll flavors, creating a unique but unexpected character.

Mouthfeel

While the After-Sesh leans towards being decently bitter, it lacks the desired zing of lime acidity in the finish. Instead, it concludes with a rather bland and dead finish, where tannins feel somewhat out of place. Despite these shortcomings, the beer compensates with high carbonation and a relatively malty body, contributing to its refreshing quality.

Overall

Cigar City Brewing’s After-Sesh Ale refuses to conform to a specific beer style, opting for the vague classification of a “Session Ale.” It presents itself as a blend of a regular golden ale infused with lime and orange juice. Refreshing with lively carbonation, subtle acidity, and vibrant citrus aromas, it provides a different, if somewhat perplexing, drinking experience. The deliberate toning down of expected gose qualities might be an attempt to cater to a broader audience. While it falls short of my personal preference for an assertive gose, After-Sesh could find favor among those seeking an alternative to the popular Mexican lager plus lime combination.

Similar Beers

For those inclined towards a comparable experience, a Pale Lager or Blonde Ale with a squeeze of lime might serve as a suitable alternative.

In this critical exploration of Cigar City’s After-Sesh Ale, the beer reveals an intriguing departure from expectations, presenting a unique blend that may not align with traditional styles. While it may not cater to every palate, the intentional choices in flavor and style demonstrate a calculated approach by the brewery.