The Pint is Mightier: Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

From the heart of Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, our next review is…

Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

Based on the film noir movie by the same name, Naked City is a cozy, dimly-lit establishment. They have a broad selection of delicious microbrews on tap, which alone would be more than enough of a reason to patron the establishment. More important for our purposes, however, is the handful of beers they brew in-house. Strolling in with our trench coats and fedoras (note: there were no actual trench coats or fedoras) we took a break from the crime beat for a nice cold one.

After looking over the in-house choices, we started with the Duplicity Belgian Dubbel style ale. This beer was served in a goblet and had a dark brown color with a creamy looking head. The aroma was mild, but distinctly Belgian. The beer lacked any sort of bitterness and was extremely malty, as Belgians often are. The minimal carbonation made drinking it incredibly smooth, and the taste was creamy, sweet and quite authentic. The one downside of this otherwise excellent beer was that it lacked much of an aftertaste. Overall this beer was a great Belgian style, done the way it should be done.

Next up was an out-of-the-ordinary brew: the Naked City Peach Hefeweizen. The beer had a golden hue and definite cloudiness to it, with no noticeable head. It had a strong peach aroma that wafted outward from the glass.  Despite the intense smell the flavor was actually quite subtle; it was heavy in traditional wheat flavors with faint notes of peach that frolicked about in the aftertaste. Fruit-infused beers should occupy a small middle ground between underwhelming and overly fruity; this beer definitely hit that (not-too) sweet spot.

Our third beer was the Night and the City Black Ale. The beer was very dark in color and almost entirely opaque, with a very dark roasted aroma. The flavor was an intriguing mix, akin to combining a porter and a brown ale. This black ale went down smoothly and consequently was quite drinkable. The profile was well balanced and, after drinking it a while longer, we noticed some of the roasts coming out and lingering in the aftertaste, a pleasant thing indeed. While this beer was good, it didn’t quite distinguish itself amongst the many that we’ve tried.

We closed out our evening with the Smoked Porter. For all intents and purposes it looked like a traditional porter – dark and vaguely opaque – but the first sip revealed noticeable differences in the flavor profile. The best way to put it: Damn, this beer is smoky. The initial notes of porter were quickly overpowered by char and hickory; it was as though someone had emptied a small vial of liquid smoke into the pint. It wasn’t until the aftertaste emerge that the flavors became more balanced, countering smokiness with sweetness and roasted porter notes. It was a bit too much like barbecue for us, but if you’re in the mood for some smoke then this is exactly what you’re looking for.

Naked City pairs a classic theme with some good in-house brews and dozens of microbrew taps to create a spot that’s definitely worth checking out. In addition to generally being a nice place to grab a pint, they regular host events and movies in keeping with the film noir atmosphere. If you decide to go, let us know. Chances are we might already be planning a trip back.

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