Residing at a cement-floored Industrial mall inside an inconspicuous light blue-walled, black-ceilinged, 15-seat taproom (with track lighting and wooden US flag), NOBLE JAY BREWING COMPANY serves its quaint Mystic-area village of Niantic with a small variety of well-crafted homemade nano brews.
Owned and operated by proud military veteran, Mike Lincoln, Noble Jay dedicated three tap lines to lagers, a surprisingly large amount for such a small pub, during my mid-January ’19 afternoon perusal. Its diminutive interior features a small living room space with couch, rug and overhead TV plus multiple service academy flags along the walls. Led Zeppelin plays in the background as I down the three lagers, one rangy saison and a porter.
Musky German-styled pre-Prohibitonist flagship, Mo Pilsner, retained wet-grained pilsner malt breading and herbal Noble hop lemon rot.
Brisk orange-candied Lager Jammin Double IPL gained grassy-hopped astringency to contrast its sugared pale malt spine.
Perhaps the finest lager, stylistically dryer Chappy’s Red Valor regaled spicy red fruiting and dewy caramel malting to counter sour orange tartness in a briskly clean manner.
Inarguably, the most dynamic offering, complexly balanced First Ladies Saison coalesced its lightly sour fruit-spiced farmhouse dryness with the vanilla-sugared banana daquiri sweetness (and lemon meringue twist) of a heady tripel.
On the dark side, Fatty Boom Boom Baltic Porter contrasted soy-milked peanut oiling with sweet hazelnut-glazed caramel malts, leaving dark cocoa traces on the back end.
Open for business since August ’18, Noble Jay joins Niantic Public House as one of Niantic’s initial craft breweries.
On tap at Beef Trust, subtle kiwi and strawberry sweetness embraces light ‘acidic bitter coffee curbed by milk and sugar’ of fabulous fruited version of Basic Coffee Imperial Cream Ale. Milk-sugared coffee goodness also caressed by cinnamon, vanilla, blueberry and several anonymously wondrous illusions. Naturally recommended.
On tap at Beef Trust, charmingly decadent full-bodied mocha dessert plies velvety whiskey-bent Irish cream liqueur to bitter black coffee overtones and fudgy vanilla-spiced brown chocolate stead. Tertiary cocoa, espresso, pecan, walnut, cola and hazelnut illusions deepen its complexity.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, Tavalon’s subtle chai tea influence guides peppery-spiced black chocolate syruping above silken oats-flaked spine. Milk-sugared mocha malting sweetened by cinnamon, cumin and cayenne piquancy, overwhelming latent green tea bittering of fine herbal-spiced stout hybrid.
On tap at Ambulance, dark-roasted coffee tones and dark chocolate malting glide above charred oats, leaving nutty espresso reminder at brisk iced coffee finish.
On tap at Morris Tap & Grill, richly creamed dark chocolate syruping and bitter vanilla bean complement gain wood-scorched Chinook-Columbus hop char. Recessive cocoa nibs, black coffee, espresso and anise illusions reinforce mighty mocha-vanilla template.
Considerable nitro stout brings mildly creamed coffee roast to oats-charred black chocolate bittering and nutty espresso splurge in supreme fashion. Crystalline clean-watered base maximizes mocha resonance.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, highly complex Imperial Stout/ barleywine blend soaked with maple bourbon syrup then aged in brandied marsala wine barrels lets spiced wine licks receive dark cherry, plum and raisin subtleties as well as oaken vanilla tannins above its bittersweet chocolate malt base. Champagne-wined cuvee influence is minimal.
Cold-brewed coffee roast gains oily hop residue, light walnut char and earthen murk, leaving lingered espresso tones on the tongue.
Oily hop resin drips off earthy wood-seared walnut char as coffee-roasted dark chocolate bittering surges. Mild cola, hazelnut and Brazil nut illusions deepen nutty aspect to complement its caramel-burnt mocha aspect.
On tap at Ambulance, dry dark chocolate and drier cocoa powdering gain oily hop-charred nuttiness in medium-bodied dark ale setting. Wispy raw molasses bittering seeps into coffee-burnt mocha midst to contrast less enthralled almond-pecan-chestnut sweetness . Bitterer robust stout fans unite.
On tap at Beef Trust, dazzlingly fruitful wee heavy gains caramelized candied sweetness over dewy peat malting. Rum-spiced whiskeyed cherry whir grazes cocktail-licked red grape, bruised orange, brown apple, honeyed pear and marmalade illusions in a delectably tempting manner. Recommended.