5/14/24: Stormcloud Brewing Company's The Nightswimmer

5:42 PM

Michelle and I recently returned from a trip down to the Gulf Coast. We spent time strolling along the shore, looking for shells, wading into the ocean, eating some delicious seafood, and sipping tiki drinks on the beach after dark. It was a great getaway, but I still have some beachiness left in me.

A can of The Nightswimmer

Cue today's beer. This was gifted to me by my dad around Easter. It's been in my fridge since, waiting for the right time. Well, that day's today. That beer's Stormcloud's the Nightswimmer.

Stormcloud opened on the shore of Lake Michigan in 2013. Calling the town of Frankfort, MI home, the brewery specializes in Belgian-inspired ales. 

The Nightswimmer's currently listed on the brewery's "Beer On Tap" page. It's a 7% ABV Belgian-style stout, boasting aromas of roasty chocolate and dark fruit flavors.

The official description of the stout states its nose includes "light chocolate." I'm finding dark chocolate here, along with black coffee, Belgian yeastiness (banana and clove), plums, figs, and raisins. It's a delectable bouquet. Even Purrl agrees--she gave my can nine whiffs.

Purrl sniffing my open can.

I'm picking up coffee, plum, raisin, licorice, dark chocolate, chocolate-covered banana, and cinnamon on the palate. All this flavor is rounded out by a bitter, black coffee roastiness. There's nothing here I'd even try to disparage.

Mouthfeel-wise, the Nightswimmer's wonderfully creamy and smooth. It's filling and robust.

I said I'm feeling beachy still, but not oceany. Michelle and I take pretty frequent trips up to Lake Michigan. One of my favorite things to do (if I can find time for it) is to wander down to the lake at night, to watch the water swell and surge beneath the moon. There's something hypnotic about it, soothing yet eerie. This stout's like that.

Stormcloud's the Nightswimmer gets top marks from me. 10/10. It might not be exactly reminiscent of swimming in Lake Michigan at night, but it evokes the same sense of wonder those dark waters do. It's definitely worth a try if you happen across it.

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