Porch Swing Single Ale - New Belgium Brewing

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Porch Swing Single AlePorch Swing Single Ale

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130 Ratings
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Ratings: 130
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 5
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-08-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 130 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful seasonal/experiment from New Belgium. A slightly hazy, golden-honey colored ale with a slightly off-white, pocky head. Slow passing bubbles create an excellent carbonation sensation to look at...as well as taste. Nice smells of grass and hay fields...makes me think I am outside.

The taste is complex and rather strong. A toasty malt note that is cracker-like and floral hoppiness makes for a well-balanced flavor. Subtle notes of apples, honey, and alcohol. It has a good and fair yeasty dimension as well. The finish is of black pepper, reminds me of how a decent Zinfandel wine finishes. Smooth sippin'.

I haven't thought of a food pairing. I'm enjoying it all by itself. I rate this as a great ale from New Belgium. I enjoy trying their offerings and hope that they continue to experiment with this type of confidence. Because this ale has a lot of confidence behind it.

Full-flavored and sensual. I think this is a Botticelli in a bottle.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Nice, golden straw color with a good head that dissipated quickly but left a firm mark on the glass.

Smell – Light, fruity aroma with hops and malts behind. I sense melon and cherries with some banana and a tinge of grain.

Taste – The bitterness comes out much more in the taste, but this is balanced with malts and an abundance of fruit. I’m also getting a little sour flavor, like a lemon or lime, along with a flowery hop finish.

Mouthfeel – I like the carbonation level of this brew, but it’s not smooth or thirst-quenching by any stretch.

Drinkability – Not bad. The balanced flavors make this an interesting brew, but it’s kind of clumsy and (IMO) not dry enough to be offered only in the summer (they started stocking it at my Larry’s Market at the end of July).

Comments – Average across the board. I hate being the lowest rater in the group, but it just didn’t do it for me.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden color, missing some of the haze desired from this style. Detected a neat mild fruity strain in the aroma.

Taste was muted, but approachable, as it lacked hops and bitterness, but the yeast strain keeps this beer afloat with its sweet and sour interchange on the palate. A good effort in a style that has never been what I'm all about.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a clear, somewhat deep, golden color with a half of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the way of aroma, however there is some faint notes of toasted malt, candied sugar and Belgian yeast, which impart some faint notes of dried fruit, clover, honey and honey suckle.

Taste: What this beer lacks in aroma, it makes up for with some good flavors of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by some hone and brown sugar-like sweetness, spices of black pepper, coriander, and a touch of ginger. Finally, the beer finishes with some nicely balanced, floral, slightly citrusy, piney, hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely effervescent as there is quite a bit of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a good beer from New Belgium, and one that I believe should be back on New Belgium’s regular line-up. I like this very much.

Photo of secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clean golden-amber, with a heaping head of off-white suds. Big wall of frilly lacing.

Aroma: Fruit-forward Belgian yeast, and some baked bread. Very nice.

Taste: Crisp with a hoppy snap up front, followed by a definite yeasty, fruity note after that initial rush. This is a well-balanced, enjoyable session-worthy ale, and one I’d pick up and enjoy again if it weren’t so limited.

Photo of Elemental
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App - Nice and light. Pretty clear with a medium amount of head

Smell - Good, nice hop aroma with a slight spiciness

Taste - Crisp and tart. Has nice citrus flavor along with a bit of spiciness. Nice bitterness that complements the aroma light body of the beer.

Mouthfeel - good not to strong not to week fits in that good mouthfell range.

Bottom line - another good seasonal beer from the great brewers of New Belgium

Photo of bditty187
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent amber-gold hue, thick white head, the apex was two finger’s worth, excellent retention, plenty of rings of lace. The nose is hoppy (mostly pine, some floral notes), grass and light fruity esters. Inviting. The palate is remarkable, surprisingly dry and piney… biscuit malt in the middle (some floral hops too); the yeast makes its appearance towards the end, pepper hints, a kiss of fruit (maybe), some funkiness… this is damn intriguing beer. There is something about it… I can’t put my finger on it though… I like whatever it is… let’s just call the flavor profile… simply complex. Ideal carbonation (on the high side of moderate), medium body, easy to drink. The abv is a little high for a summer ale… ah hell, drink up! I’ll imbibe while it’s around (freaking “limited edition”…)! Recommended!

Photo of pbrian
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can't say I've had many Belgian Singles to compare this against, but it's a tasty offering. Easy drinking enough as to not overwhelm the senses yet complex enough to keep even the most discerning beer drinker interested. Pours with a huge fluffy white head, starts off with a malty grassiness reminscent of a saison ala Hennepin, finishes bitterer(?) than I would have expected with a nice Belgian yeast twang. Finished it too quickly, I wish I had more than one.

Photo of Murph
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a dark golden with a nice white head that fades somewhat quickly. There is a nice fruity aroma that also has some yeast in it. The flavor starts off with some subtle hop bitterness but that is soon pushed aside by the light malty sweetness. The beer finishes with some spicy hop flavors. Dry and smooth on the tongue this beer is highly drinkable. An interesting brew that is a must have for belgian lovers.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best by date July 05, 2015 printed on the label. Another new one to me from New Belgium, this one their 'single ale', acquired as part of the variety twelve pack.

Poured into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass.

A - It pours a very nice deep golden yellow body with two fingers of soft fluffy white head that stays for a while and leaves behind some scattered lacing. Decent clarity. Looks very nice for what it is.

S - The nose offers up bready & biscuty malts, with some mild fruity yeast esters coming through - white grape, fallen apples. Mildly earthy & herbal, with perhaps some very subtle spicing. Smells okay, but it could stand to be more intense.

T - The taste follows in wake of the nose - simplistic at best. Bready, biscuity, & malty, above all else. The mild Belgian yeast strand fades nicely into the background. Notes of apple skins, peaches, cream, mildly herbal & floral.

M - The feel is very smooth, light-bodied, and easy-drinking. Very nice carbonation. Lingering notes of peaches n' cream on the finish, most likely from the chosen yeast strand.

Overall, it was much better than I expected, considering I wasn't the biggest fan of New Belgium's previous Belgian style offerings. A nice one, I would try it again.

New Belgium Porch Swing Single Ale -----3.5/5

Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at “Papago” Brewery, and also have a few bottles for the DBF, as it’s a nice beer for quenching the thirst in this infernal desert heat.

Beer pours a transpicuous golden amber color and the head impressive with the color bright white, frothy in texture, the resultant lace a nice sheet to cover the glass. Nose is sweetly malt as is the start, top middling. Finish is crisply acidic, hops pleasant and spicy, very dry aftertaste and a very drinkable beer from a favorite brewery.

Photo of Pegasus
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear deep golden color with a moderately sized dense white head. The carbonation is slow rising and profuse with lots of sticky lace.

Aroma: Light malt overlays substantial hop aromas, as well as mild hay, fruity esters and yeast

Taste: Begins with toasted malts, much more noticeable in the flavor than the aroma, quickly followed by a solid hop presence. Finishes with spicy notes and a lingering herbal bitterness.

Mouth feel: Rich, smooth, and velvety, absolutely superb.

Drinkability/notes: A good choice for introducing beer novices to Belgian-style beers and a remarkably fine beer to bring summer to a close – except in Texas, where summer usually ends around the time of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Photo of jcalabre
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on draught while visiting New Belgium's brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Appearance: This is a hazy golden colored brew with a fluffy white head.
Aroma: There's a touch of alcohol and hoppiness in the aroma.
Flavor. This is a thirst quenching session beer. It's easy drinking, but nothing spectacular.

Photo of marc77
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Porch Swing is golden in hue and very clear, while the head produced is a bit thin. The hop nose seems to be a combination of floral Kent Goldings, Willamette and one of the four C's. A fresh and mild chlorophyll grassiness is present as well. It's very well rounded in hop nose. The malt aroma is quite subtle and is comprised of generic, inobtrusive light crystal malt sweetness. The body and light caramel driven malt profile are quite light, and the hop bitterness dominates in flavor. Just as the hop flavor kicks in, unexpectedly strong yeast esters assert their presence and provide a unique balance. This is my favorite New Belgian seasonal. The hops and malt balance well, and esters provided by the yeast strain add additional complexity. Porch Swing is highly drinkable and should appease beer drinkers of diverse tastes.

Photo of jwc215
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Part of variety pack - freshness date of 10 May 15 - Poured into a tulip glass:

Pours clear deep golden with a foamy lasting white head. Ample trailing lace sticks.

The smell of citric (lemon/orange) notes blends with grain and mildly spiced bready yeast. Soft nose, but pleasant.

The taste is bready - some honey sweetness - lightly spiced, slightly citric finish.

The feel is crisp/effervescent - appropriately light-bodied, it has a malty smoothness.

An easy-drinking Belgian Pale Ale - mild - nice combination of a Belgian yeast strain and balancing American hops to make an enjoyable, refreshing brew!

Photo of Reidrover
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok what a treat another New belgium product..i love their stuff usually.
Comes in the typical NB brown 12 oz..same water colour typoe label.
Ok pours pretty well into my Chimay glass..crystal golden colour with good looking carbonation strings and a nice frothy pure white head.
Aroma..well really I am dissapointed..there is none..some faint spiciness ..but this smells bland.
Taste also is pretty nondescript,,there is a herbal bitterness in the middle but thats about it.
Its actually a nice enough feeling beer on the palate..not too thin and it's smooth.
I dunno I have to say for me this is not too drinkable..I never thought I would give a New belgium product a below average ( for me) review..but this is a boring beer..maybe i got a bad bottle but its dated best before Oct03..oh well sometimes our heros have at least one clay foot!

Photo of 31Sam13
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great when you can get it...New Belgium is doing it right with their seasonals...

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden with a full ivory head which leaves nice rings of lace. Light hoppy aroma and light Belgian yeasty aroma. Belgian yeasty flavor, a bit horsey and a bit tart. Light-medium body, a bit creamy and smooth.

A great beer in and of itself but hard to compare to a classic Belgian Singel like Witkap-Pater...

Best Before: 08/01/02 Tasted: 01/29/03

Photo of vkv822
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz : tulip

Clear golden with a thick, foamy white head, nice retention.

Lightly phenolic Belgian yeast notes, faint grassy, herbal hops, light caramel malt backbone.

Medium body, foamy carbonation.

An enjoyable beer, but nothing in particular stood out in a fairly subtle flavor profile.

Photo of GreenCard
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle best-by date: 9/2003...

Appearance: very light copper color, lots of frantic bubbles rising just after pour which then slow down to a more leisurely pace, sudsy white head formation and lots of fine lacing

Aroma: malty, caramelly, bisctuity, (hmm what else ends in "y"), a hint of cloves, some earthy hop notes

Flavor: initial caramelly sweetness is followed by a definite abbey yeast flavor profile (clovey phenols and plummy esters) hop flavor is dominant (a woody Anchor Steam type of flavor), bitterness is balanced but weighted towards hops, semi-dry finish

Mouthfeel: light body, crisp, soft texture, clean

Overall Impression: While it is a respectable beer, I was looking for something closer to a true Abbey single. However, the "Porch Swing" part of the title had me prepared for the fact that it would be more American than Belgian. Now, I'm not knocking American beer, mind you! I do have to say, though, that the image on the label (a porch swing) is perfect. Sitting in one just like that at the end of a somewhat hot day, tipping back several well-chilled bottles of this beer is a very enticing idea. Loft, one of their other seasonals, could be enjoyed similarly.

Photo of Mikus
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear as a bell, golden with very little head. Nice aromas of coriander, clove, a peppery note, and an overall rich breadiness. Crisp and clean with noticeable spicy notes from the clove, coriander, and yeast. Little and refreshing overall... lingering yeasty/breadiness. Very good. Clean and accessible. I would think this would be a nice introduction to the lighter Belgian styles.

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a best by date of 10-23-2003. Served chilled in a Corsendonk glass.

Appearance: Clear, golden honey color topped with a modest white head. Very bubbly, but the head diminishes to a ring of bubbles pretty quickly. Nice fine lacing on the glass.

Smell: Yeasty, bready smell with faint notes of orange. Nice herby hop presence.

Taste: Delicate pale malt flavor with a grassy hop finish. Slightly peppery. Modest amounts of bitterness come through as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp. The carbonation makes for a lively sensation.

Drinkability: My first beer from New Belgium, sampled now to ensure freshness. A rather enjoyable beer. Think a nice subtle English Pale Ale with a Belgian twist. This would make for a halfway decent session beer depending on the cost of a 6 pack. Can't wait to try some of the others from this brewery.

Thanks to prAna for making this possible.

Photo of jblake4124
2.97/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up three of these in a Folly Pack. I'ma New Belgium fan, but color me unimpressed with this one. Not much nose, not much flavor.

Photo of Bruiser81
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a light golden-orange color with a very foamy, creamy white head. The lacing was great leaving webs all over the glass, very sticky. The aroma was refreshing, lots of citrus, lemon, hay, grapefruit, and some spices. The taste wasn't quite as complex but thats okay. Sweet malt hits hard up front and meets up with a crisp hoppiness in the middle. Not a hop bitterness rather a nice rounded hop flavor. A sort of spicy flavor finishes this beer off in the end. This beer goes down very smooth almost creamy like. A very refreshing beer. Would make for a good session or lake beer if it was available here.

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brief impressions below.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a goblet in Austin, TX (low altitude).

Appearance: 1 finger wide. White colour. Decent creaminess. Nice thickness. Leaves a light ring of lacing as it recedes. Retention is below average - <2 minutes.

Body is a translucent gold of above average vibrance. No yeast or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Not a unique or special appearance for an Enkel, but it's of above average appeal.

Aroma: The hop profile rocks; it's apt for the malts. Belgian style yeast guides the beer, which is more subtly built than I had imagined. Belgian pale malts, mild grains, some light touches of bready character, subtle spice. This suggests a really well-balanced brew; I can't wait to try it.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

Taste: The hop profile is surprisingly prominent for an Enkel, but it mostly fits. The Belgian pale malt and bready malt backbone really works here, and the guiding Belgian yeast is wonderful. Honey malt. The spice profile could be more intricate, but what they got right was the yeast and to a lesser degree the malts. This is decently built, and I find it interesting considering its wide availability and price point.

Texture: Suits the taste generally well. Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, overcarbonated, somewhat refreshing.

Overall: I'm always very happy to see another Enkel on the market, but Porch Swing pales in comparison to New Belgium's other abbey beers. Inspired but ultimately mediocre, Porch Swing is a nontraditional offering in an obscure style that's worth trying but wanting. I look forward to reviewing it in-depth. Definitely above average.


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Porch Swing Single Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.