Apparently today is National Stout Day, so to celebrate I’ll review a porter (just to be difficult). Who needs a specific day to celebrate a certain style of beer? I love stouts (and porters) when the weather gets cool/cold. Living in New England that means they are seasonally appropriate pretty much from September through June (ok maybe April). I don’t need a day to celebrate stout, I can celebrate the style all year long.
The porter I’m reviewing today is Thunder Moon, a “hoppy porter” released as part of Night Shift’s experimental Art Series of one-off beers. I was a little unsure about the concept of a hoppy porter. I love porter as it is and don’t feel the need to throw in a bunch of hops. Besides, if you aggressively hop a darker ale doesn’t it fall into the black IPA category? You might ask why I bought this beer with all of these misgivings. It’s a matter of trust. Night Shift makes some beers that seem like strange combinations on paper, but they almost always work, so I usually give them the benefit of the doubt. Thunder Moon is available for a limited time on draft and in 750 mL bottles (it might actually be gone by now, I fell a little behind in my reviews).
Night Shift Thunder Moon pours a midnight black with a massive khaki-colored head. The smell is pretty mild, some earthy hops and a little mocha. The taste is pretty malt forward, notes of dark chocolate, cappuccino and a little plum. The hops are strong for a porter but nowhere near Black IPA level. They do add some brightness and just a little bitterness along with touches of grass, lemon and pine in the flavor. The beer is medium bodied with a pretty thick mouthfeel, the 5.4% ABV is moderate. The finish is clean with just a touch of malt sweetness. This beer is really well done, actually one of my favorite Night Shift releases. I would love to see this become one of their regular seasonal or even year-round releases. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5
Previous Night Shift Reviews: