Not quite the ugly duckling: Thornbridge – Wild Swan


God how I love the output of the Thornbridge brewery…their beers are always just so individual, well-crafted and delicious. Well, almost all of them are…I just can’t find it in my heart to be so effusive about Wild Swan.

I mean, you can see where it gets the name from: being beautifully light and pale, and all delicate looking in a glass.  The head is lacy and light as freshly spun gossamer threads.

In the aroma I got light, summery perfumed hoppiness – citrus notes just like you get in a decent white Semillion.  Wisps of very pale malt accompany a pineyness that’s as subtle as the fragrance of nearby forests on a Greek island beach.

I must confess that I found Wild Swan’s mouth-feel and taste to be a major let-down; it’s too over-carbonated – almost to the point of drowning out any other taste – and feels like having a mouthful of soda water.  When the bubbles eventually cleared, the malt seemed too thin and the hops just didn’t sing like they should have.

Then I swallowed the mouthful, and it was all gone – just like a Greek island holiday does: One minute it’s all sunshine and scenery and then, before you know it, it’s all over and you find yourself dumped outside the doors of Gatwick in the pissing rain.

Aroma-wise with Wild Swan we were pretty much there – but there just wasn’t enough in the taste to make this a really enjoyable beer.  It’s such a desperate shame as I love everything else from Thornbridge that I have ever tasted.

I know Wild Swan is only 3.5% ABV – but that’s just not an excuse…Adnams manage to put out a 3.4% beer that tastes amazing – but we all know that Adnams are past masters at making small things seem big:

About a quarter way down the glass I handed it to Eve and said how disappointed I was with Wild Swan.  She sipped it and said “I could drink that all day” and proceeded to drain the glass.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Far be it from me to suggest that this might be an ideal beer for the ladies.  That would just be sexist…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s