Captain Smith
Titanic: Capt. Smiths (England: ESB: 5.2% abv)

Visual: Chestnut brown. Moderate creamy custard touched head.

Nose: Chocolate orange. Malt drinks and chocolate flakes. Kiwi and apples. Pear drops.

Body: Chocolate. Lots of malt drinks. Passion fruit and kiwi fruitiness. Pears. Slightly lime jelly. Smooth frothy texture. Raisins.

Finish: Passion fruit and chocolate. Nutty and lightly roasted. Gooseberry jam. Lime jelly. Marmalade. Light hop bitterness with fruitcake and raisin later on.

Conclusion: How very unexpected. This thing has layers that I just did not expect. Pleasing to the eye, this thing came in with a chocolate orange aroma that you could pick up from quite a distance leading me to expect a chocolate filled and soothing beer. It definitely provides that and on initial sip it seemed not much more, but that simple façade soon slipped away.

The thick body allows soft seeping fruit to develop, kiwi, apples and pears (no, not stairs). All the fruits are soft and green to give a juicy middle in the mix of easy building flavours. Here the contrast between the two is pleasant but more so in that it gives room for the next characteristic to rise.

The finish develops a slight marmalade turn and light bitterness which is just the perk the beer needs. Combined with that real ale roasted feel throughout as a backbone it makes for a wonderful rounded pint.

5.2% abv while far from a session beer, still seems low for a “Strong Ale” these days. However the texture feels weighty, slight jelly and jam elements are brought as feel backing the flavour which really allows the fruit flavours to shine.

Even now as I write more is coming out, darker fruits rise to fruitcake and raisins against the green fruit of early on. This is a beer to enjoy until the end. Oft in style it feels closer flavour wise to the heavier Barely Wines, but is still lower abv and soothing to a pint drinkable fashion,

Deep and complex yet drinkable as an end of the day pint if you take care. A brilliant match.

Background: Looking over my past few reviews I realized I had been light on cask real ale reviews. Not due to any lack of drinking them, but more because I usually have them while catching up with friends so don’t get much chance to do notes. So, the next time I was in “The Raven” I made sure to take some time out and o this tasting note. Oddly the USA also has a Titanic Brewing, and they also do a Captain Smith beer. Then again, considering the naming inspiration for both I shouldn’t be surprised.