Captain Smith famously led the Titanic on its maiden and only voyage when the unsinkable ship got sucker punched by an iceberg resulting in the deaths of over 1500 people including their intrepid captain. While I love Titanic Brewery I've never really understood why you'd want to name yourself after a ship which is pretty much only famous for sinking, but here we are. Anyway the Staffordshire brewery are multi award winning and best known for producing the epic Plum Porter which inspired me to purchase a selection of their beers, one of which is Captain Smiths. I have high hopes for this one as I do enjoy a quality red ale, Lets just hope this matches the other Titanic Brewery creations I've tried in the past. Having been brewed since 1986 presumably this beer has been doing something right.
Captain Smiths comes in the usual nice enough Titanic 500ml bottle and describes itself as strong-traditional-ruby, all of which sounds fine by me. There's a 5.2% alcohol content, which I guess just about passes for strong, but only just in my eyes. The beer pours a reasonably dark brown, which is odd given its ruby tag, with a decent, but quickly receding head. You can see through the Captain Smiths without too much effort, but it looks decent to me, I'm still baffled by the ruby tagline though. Anyway I'd best describe this beer as looking like a pretty standard English bitter.
The aroma is much fruitier than I expected, with blackberries, raspberries, and maybe even strawberries coming to the fore. You'll probably also detect a bit of caramel in there, but really it's all about the fruits. It's also a much stronger smell than I was expecting given the standard bitter look, I'm not really sure what to make of it all. On the one hand it's meant to be a ruby beer, on the other it looks like a standard, traditional English bitter, and it smells like a fruity IPA. What on earth is it going to taste like?
The texture is a bit more sticky than I'd like, it really seems to linger in the throat, and not in a good way. Initially there's a reasonable taste of blackcurrant, loads of hops, and a bit of biscuit. It starts off reasonably well. However a bitterness comes through after, and that's what sits in the throat. I usually like a nice traditional bitter, but there's something in the aftertaste here that's just unpleasant, and impossible to shake, so the more you drink the worse it gets, and I don't like to waste a beer so I'm feeling inclined to grin and bear it.
Initially I marked Titanic's Captain Smiths as a 5 out of 10, then I carried on drinking it and it went down to a 4, now I'm done I can only give it 2.5 out of 10 as it just keeps getting worse the more I drink. It's a shame because I love the brewery, and because I still have quite a few of their beers to get through. I can only hope the rest are more like the Plum Porter than the Captain Smiths.