I was attracted to this because it shares a name with a blend of pipe tobacco from Cornell and Diehl. Night Train (the tobacco) is known for its ability to put the smoker into deep slumber due to its high nicotine content. Thankfully, there’s no nicotine in this beer.
The beer (which doesn’t put itself into a category) pours black from the bottle with a smoky-colored thin head that vanishes quickly leaving no trace. The aroma is very much like a Belgian Black Ale, with notes of leather, hops, and patent malts. The first taste is of fine Noble hops – decidedly NOT Belgian Black material. The mid taste continues the hop bitterness and adds hop florality, roasted malt solidity, and a bit of fresh leather. The mouthfeel is nowhere near as thick and creamy as a stout or even porter but still stronger than a lager or white ale. Maybe a hair denser than a good Nut Brown Ale. The rear taste adds a welcome sweetness to the hops, roasty malts, and leather, nicely rounding out the flavor profile. The aftertaste is of hop oils and patent malt, not entirely unlike a sweeter, darker Pale Ale. Overall, the experience is one of both a Belgian Black Ale and an English Ale or IPA. I recommend this beer to adventurous types that are into odd flavor combinations in their beer and are open to new ideas of what defines a beer style. Or just to folks that love both Belgian Black Ales and IPAs.