Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Zero Gravity Narconaut

The Narconaut is American Flatbread's bold version of a Black IPA, of which I found to be much different than local competing styles such as the Vermont Pub & Brewery or Otter Creek. It has a huge malty backbone to support seven different hop varieties including ones you wouldn't expect to be used for dry-hopping. With the exception of cask ales, all the beers on tap are listed at $5.oo per pint, a great deal for fulfilling beer!

Alcohol Content: 7.4%
Malts: Pilsner & other dark malts - unspecified
Hops: 7 varities - mostly unspecified except the dry hopped additions of Nugget and Summit.

Price: $3/ Half; $5/ Full
Medium: 12oz Snifter

Aroma: Super hoppy aroma reminiscent of the hop resins and strong tropical citrus notes. Approaching a very dank hop aroma but not skunky or innapropriate. Instead more oniony in a good way. Malts are very faint with the first couple of short sniffs due to the dominant hop character. Subsequent sniffs open up lightly smokey and grainy sweetness. Dark malty notes are possibly similar to porter.
Appearance: Beautifully dark in color with a super thick looking texture and creamy mocha head. Upon settling out, the lacing was a solid band of foam covering the entirety of empty head space. After a few minutes went by I noticed the fill level of the glass to be fairly below the initial head pour but I wasn't upset; rather, I was still admiring the aromas and appearance. Super dextrinous looking with most likely a high finishing gravity - could lead to a misperception in expected taste based on appearance. Some garnet colors towards the rounded edges of the snifter glass when drunk.
Flavor: The first sip takes on a transformation as semi-sweet malts start and are all of a sudden overtaken by a funky bitterness. The hops are super thick and resinous with bountiful flavors similar to the dank onion & citrus aromas. The malt comes back around with faint smokiness and some lingering chocolate malt character. Moderately-light grainy sweetness in the finish and aftertaste. Well balanced with both hops and malts supporting each other very well.
Mouthfeel: I first identified with the alcohol warmth and then noted its full body with lots of complex character exemplified by its thick, creamy texture and high gravity. Very light degree of astringency or puckering on the roof of mouth and undersides of tongue. Perhaps this is from the dextrinous malty background and dryness from hops. Moderately carbonated.
Overall Impression: The Narconaut is a much fuller version of a Black IPA and boldly accentuates malts, hops, and alcohol. The hops may fool you at first but you will also be surprised to find hints of smoke and other sweet malty goodness. I suggest saving this beer for last if you plan on having a variety of beers to sample in an evening. A spicy dark chocolate or other rich desserts would probably be able to hold up to this beer but stay away from lighter foods as pairings.

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