Night Swell is an American Black Ale by Heavy Seas Beer that blends roast, biscuit, and caramel with a light floral and citrus hops.

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Night Swell is an American Black Ale that’s brewed by Heavy Seas Beer. For the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a nonic pint glass from a 12 oz. can.

Packaging art for the Night Swell by Heavy Seas Beer

Packaging art for the Night Swell by Heavy Seas Beer

What You Need to Know

What do you get from a beer with a quartet of hop varietals and five malts? A lot of flavor. But is it good? Let’s get to the review.

Appearance

This IPA pours a clear, deep burgundy hue — nearly brown — that shows ruby highlights when held to the light. The ale is topped by an inch-thick cap of rocky, cream-colored foam that shows good retention. The head’s reduction leaves behind a smattering of residue on the glass. Bubbly carbonation is evident.

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Aroma

The aroma is strong with a scent of roast malt that’s somewhat smoky. There’s biscuit as well but little by way of hops. Once the beer loses its chill there’s an air of floral hops to the nose.

Flavor

The palate is hop-forward with a taste of floral hops that shifts to a malt backbone of biscuit and a sweet note of caramel. The tasting rises to a modest bite of orange citrus with a touch of pine. The tasting is rounded out with roast, biscuit, and toffee.

Label art for the Night Swell by Heavy Seas Beer

Label art for the Night Swell by Heavy Seas Beer

Mouthfeel

The feel has a rounded draw and is smooth through the middle. The tasting has a crisp, dry finish with a modest warmth from the alcohol. The body is just over medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall

Night Swell has a fine presentation with an aroma that isn’t particularly hoppy, but is enticing, nonetheless. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a Rauchbier. The feel is in line with style expectations but the absence of hops makes this base seem just a touch heavier than it is. As for the palate, this is a complex brew with a wide range of flavor. Hops are an afterthought and only have enough presence as to balance the malt. This may not appeal to some who are seeking a more hoppy brew.

Overall, Night Swell straddles the line of style expectations but the result is still a tasty beer.

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