Wild Swan | Thornbridge Brewery

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Wild SwanWild Swan
44 Ratings
Wild SwanWild Swan

Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by beerdrifter:
Photo of beerdrifter
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Ever so slightly cloudy pale yellow pour with a quickly fading two finger head with minimal lacing. Very subdued nose with hints of grass and just a touch of lemon. It opens up a bit as it warms though. What it lacks in the aroma, it makes up for in the taste. Wonderful bold, herbal, floral hoppiness with refreshing hints of lemon and pepper with just a touch of pine. The lemon really comes out as it warms up. The mouthfeel is crazy awesome with a great tangy carbonation and an incredible crisp, dry, refreshing bitter finish. They had to have dry hopped the shit out of this! This is the perfect summer beer. And with an ABV of 3.5%, it's totally drinkable. Another great offering from what is becoming my favorite UK brewery!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of stephenlee
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 500ml bottle with a BB of June 2011 and an ABV of 3.5%. A tall bottle with gold foil around the neck and a cool damask background on the label. Picked up from my favourite beer specialist.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A hazy pale straw colour with light carbonation. Yields a thick white head with a creamy consistency; this lasts for several minutes before subsiding. A lovely aroma dominated by floral hops. Undertones of grainy malt with citrus notes and a nectary sweetness.

Tastes of crisp aromatic hops with a refreshing bitter finish. Light malt is present but disguised. Notes of grass, citrus and faint pine. Mouthfeel is prickly and lightly acidic, as well as somewhat astringent. Body is a little bit thin. Mild aftertaste of aromatic hops.

A light ale with a fantastic hoppy flavour - very refreshing. Could easily imagine sinking a few of these on a warm summer day. It could benefit from a somewhat maltier backbone to balance the hops - but I'm nitpicking here as the flavour is excellent for such a low ABV. Well worth sampling if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. White Gold Pale Ale, eh?

This beer pours a hazy, super pale straw hue, with two fingers of thinly puffy, foamy white head, which settles at an even pace, leaving some sudsy, soap-film lace around the glass in the process. It smells of biscuity white grain, lemon oil, some mild tart tropical fruit, and floral, earthy hops. The taste is tart lemon rind, grainy pale malt, and grassy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body fairly robust in its medium weight seat, given some of the other mitigating characteristics, and generally smooth. It finishes pretty dry, the lemon and herbal hops seeing right to that.

Well, looks sure can be deceiving - I guess this offering's appearance at least lives up to its particular and peculiar moniker. Beyond that, we have ourselves a decent bitter - fruit edition. The lemon doesn't overpower, though, letting the noble hops show their stuff. And the 3.5% ABV - bartender, keep 'em comin'...

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mick_cooper
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear bright straw color with white head. Aroma has grains and some spoiled lemons (not in a bad way) along slightly dank hops. Taste has at first just a hint of lemon and not much else but the hops intensify towards the finish with grassy bitterness that dries the palate and lingers on the aftertaste. Light body, medium carbonation. At first it seems quite watery but overall I get what they were aiming for with this beer and I think they succeeded.

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Photo of ReluctantScooper
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask. Various places, usually outdoors.

Having brewed a robust 5.9% IPA, it would have been easy for Thornbridge to just dial everything down to brew something lighter. Thankfully they didn't.

It's one of those beers that's "just enough". Just pale enough, just lemony enough, just light liquid malt enough. Three or four pints is just sessionable enough.

It's often overlooked for its stablemates, but Wild Swan ought to have more of a rep. As a light-ABV but full-tasting English cask ale, it's close to being unbeatable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.59/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a lightly hazy blonde color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of citrus and sweet malt with light floral notes is a bit off as too much citrus is apparent. Taste is also dominated by underlying citrus notes which are bit too powerful and don’t necessarily seems to originated form the latest fresh West Coast hops. Malt base is solid with light floral notes and limited sweetness. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Not bad but way too much citrus notes with light sour notes.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle: best before 16 Aug 2012, opened on a warm and sunny 24 May 2012.

It is certainly pale, even for a 'pale ale' and it reminded me of urine, especially with it's white frothy head.

The smell is all citrus hop: grapefruit and lemon aromas mostly.

The taste follows the smell: citrus flavours and hoppy with a bitter undertone at all times.

Pleasant and easy to sip, the alcohol level although low, suits the body strength nicely. All in all a nice enough beer, but not really exciting or more-ish.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of vinicole
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OMG! it looks like Rolling Rock when poured but with a big frothy head.

The aroma isn't all that great either, opening the bottle was like being scented by a cat, it settles down though to a more complex pleasant floral and soapy scent.

The taste is a knock out though, a real rampaging taste starting dry desert dry then picking up a citrus zing then a long pass to a super hop strike, it's a great pint, not 'alf ;)

thin mouthfeel but this is good it slates the thirst, great carbonation.

You know what, I bet if they were to brew rolling rock to a much higher standard it might come out like this

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Photo of BigBry
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle. I believe we saw this for a sample at Beer Fest, now to try a full bottle.
This beer pours out hazy, straw yellow, maybe some shimmery highlights. Short, foamy white head, with lots of loose bubbles, filmy lace left around the glass. It smells of mild grain, and some light fruit along with floral, earthy hops. The taste is a mix of pale malt, and grassy, earthy hops, slight citrus finish. As expected for an English Pale Ale.
The carbonation maintains a decent head, medium body, smooth.
Low alcohol keeps it easy to drink, but I'm not sure I would search it out again.

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Photo of safaricook
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautifully golden light english ale with a good hoppy nose of floral and herbal hops. Taste and body are a bit thin but regarding the low abv this ia neither a surprise nor a real flaw. A fantastic, tasty and refreshing session beer

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Photo of rex_4539
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Slightly hazy golden color, quarter finger white head, messy lacing, loads of carbonation.

S: Spicy, bready, hints of hop. Not much going on.

T: Malty, bready. Not much going on.

F: Light bodied, yet not easily drinkable due to high carbonation.

O: The worst beer I had from Thornbridge. No character whatsoever. Stay away.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast..

Poured a very pale yellow colour. White head poured thick and foamy with a pock marked topping then faded to light covering... some light carbonation bubbles drift slowly to the surface... light lacing...

Aroma - Some juicy tart citrus fruits with maybe some tropical hints (lemons and limes, pears,), sulfur notes, quite grassy, floral honey, light sweet grainy malts, talcum powder traces, herbal, peppery hops...

Taste... decent peppery hop bitterness, quite floral, metallic hints, light sweet biscuit malts, mouth watering fruits (lemons, apples, limes), some saltiness, faint floral honey sweetness...

M&D - Fairly sharp and dry... light bodied... very quaffable at 3.5%

Overall - A pretty good English bitter... very quaffable and certainly worth a try...

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Photo of AlastairM
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ChapelTom
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Zimbo
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gave a stinky skunky smell in the bottle which thankfully diappeared the moment it was poured.
Very pale lcrystal clear yellow with a very light but reasonably full fluffy head. The head leaves small whisps of foam around the glass when drunk.
A bit thin but it still possesses a lengthy chewy dry bitterness which is also strangely delicate. Gentle flowers, ginger and lemons all come to mind but its the mouthfeel which really is the winner here.
I'm usually not a big fan of this style of beer but its made a believer out of me.
Is there anything which Thornbridge does badly?

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Photo of steverx8
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of grahamboudreaux
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Champagne coloured. Lots of bubbles. Foamy white head.
S: Rindy tropical fruit. Gooseberries, grapes and lychees.
T: Dry with a pungent, tropical, earthy, rindyness. No malt character but not the most Alka-Seltzer like pale ale. Has a cooling mentholated/eucalyptus type property on the tongue. Not bitter.
O: Not my cup of tea but probably someone else's.

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Photo of mizx
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of petluo
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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Wild Swan from Thornbridge Brewery
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 44 ratings