many years, San Diego (and the state of California as a whole) was the
dominate force in IPAs. But over the last few years, we’ve seen a major
shift to the New England states where new breweries are making some
fantastic examples of the style. Night Shift Brewing - a fairly small
shop from just outside Boston – could be the next “it” brewery based on
what I’m hearing. The 5/5/15 edition of their continually-changing
“Morph” IPA was nothing short of fantastic. If this is an experimental
brew, I’d love to try one of their mainstays.
I poured a 12oz can into a snifter. It was canned on 5/5/15 (thanks to Jason for the can!).
Appearance: In true New England-style IPA fashion, the beer is
unfiltered with a milky orange color and practically opaque. Pours to a
fairly large, white, foamy head which laces and retains very well.
Smell: Also in keeping with form it’s very pungent with a lovely scent
of both pineapple fruit and earthy/pine character (though more of the
form than the latter).
Taste: According the brewery’s website, this particular batch of Morph
was brewed with a “high percentage” of Simcoe hops, though it doesn’t
say much about the rest of the recipe. I’m going to assume it’s actually
fairly simple as there isn’t a lot of nuance to the malt side, but
there is plenty of character to the hops. Tropical and stone fruit
flavors at the beginning of the palette transition into strong, biting
bitterness through the middle and finish with a spicy, almost prickly,
sensation of pine and herbal notes. In the aftertaste I detect some
orange juice flavor and a residual, starchy sensation. Each swig is as
delicious as the one that proceeds it – that’s a sign of a great IPA.
This definitely has the flavor intensity more commonly found in a
double/imperial IPA, so that it’s only a single it’s really impressive.
Great job, guys!
Drinkability: Something I’ve noticed about New England IPAs (aside from
their taste and aroma) is that they tend to have a smooth, almost
delicate mouthfeel. Night Shift Morph is certainly a full-bodied beer,
and though it seems to be pretty high on the IBU scale, it’s remarkably
comfortable – even gentle – in the mouth. Smooth as a cream ale, though
still well-carbonated at all times. It’s actually quite impressive that
this is “only” 6% ABV because it has the easy drinkability of something
more sessionable, but the robustness of something stronger. A versatile