Narnad (1521) - Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA - APR 2, 2012
Arrived a dark black color with a tall, creamy, cream colored head that left excellent lacing. Strong ethyl acetate nose which provides a pungent fruity/estery nose. A lot of banana esters and cloves but well rounded by a light coffee and mild toasted malt presence. Flavor has a punch of fruitiness up front with banana leading the way. The middle calms the strong fruitiness with a smooth toasted malt note and some surprising light smokey flavors at the end. Body was spot on for style, modest density, slightly creamy and low carbonation. Alcohol (iirc was 8.1%) was well hidden. A nice brew. Fits stylistically and the added light smokey kick at the end really rounded out the flavors and added a unique twist. The smokey pairing worked remarkably well with the strong ester/fruitiness, something I wouldn’t of expected. Only knock on it for this rater was the overly strong fruitiness and some chlorophenols (band-aid) hints in the middle of the tasting but not enough of the later to put a drinker off. Good brew overall.