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7 Swans-A-Swimming | The Bruery

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7 Swans-A-Swimming7 Swans-A-Swimming
435 Ratings
7 Swans-A-Swimming7 Swans-A-Swimming

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
7 Swans-A-Swimming is the 7th beer in our "12 Days of Christmas" series. For this verse of the story, we chose the path we don’t often take – we brewed to style. No bells, no whistles, just our best take on the Belgian Quadrupel style. Brewed with nothing but water, malt, yeast, hops and a bit of Belgian dark candi sugar, this beer may not be as out-of-the-box as some of our past winter brews, but it’s just as tasty. Rich and complex, this robust dark ale juggles notes of raisin bread, dried apricots, burnt caramel and roasted pecans. The sweet flavors provide a full body and the bright yeast wafts the sweet holiday notes out of the glass, into your life. 7 Swans-A-Swimming is a perfect holiday sipper. Delicious right now, but suitable for aging up to 5 years, upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 435 |  Reviews: 51
Reviews by DougT:
Photo of DougT
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of TruePerception
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Bruery's 7 Swans-A-Swimming, Belgian Quadrupel Ale. 11% ABV.

A: Pours tamarind and deep brown. Black, with a hint of brown in the glass. Hazy golden brown in the dimple. Over a finger of creamy light tan head. Small amount of lacing, but it doesn't hold well. Some sheeting.

S: Nutty earthiness up front, with a little bit of a pine note. Some Belgian candy sugar/molasses on the back. A touch of dirt. Just a hint of prune. Smells more like a Dubbel than a Quad.

T/MF: Cloyingly sweet tree sap up front. Earthy, touch of leather. The raisin note is very faint. Not bad, but not what I'd usually look for in a Quad.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

 679 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is brown - dark reddish brown when backlit - with a small ivory-colored film of head on top. Some "legs" of lace.

S: Candied sugar, dark fruits (figs come to mind) and a hint of leafy hops.

T: Follows the nose, with dark fruits (black cherries), candied sugar, brown sugar and brown bread all forming the malty foundation. Finishes with a bit of heat from the high (11%) ABV, with that alcohol warmth felt in the belly.

M: Like the best Belgians, this one ends up feeling lighter than you'd expect. Call it medium-bodied. As for the feel, it's quite smooth on the palate, bordering on slick at times, but there's not enough "meat" in the heft for it to quite get there, which is good.

O: This is really good stuff. Not exactly up there with the best (true) Belgian quads, but it is quite good. Supposed to be a sipper (I just started a fire on this cold winter's night), but I may have trouble drinking this one slowly.

 1,007 characters

Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hell yeah Lions!Pours into a chalice a clear amber tinged dark brown with a thinner tannish colored head atop.Dark fruit and toffee in the nose,a little sweet alcohol lingers.Pretty sweet on the palate but not quite cloying,alcohol and dark fruit with some"cakiness".some toffee is there as well.A good holiday sipper.

 318 characters

Photo of don1481
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

750 ml bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours a fizzy deep Ruby red that has a head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Raisins, some plum and candy sugar notes. Less bright than most other quads I've had lately.

Taste: see smell. It's honestly an average at best taste. Nothing that screams OMG. Nothing close to St. Bernardus Abt 12 or Rochefort 10 or any of the other spectacular ones I've recently reviewed. Sigh.

Mouthfeel: thick ish, chewy, leaves a sticky aftertaste that's somewhat in the way.

Overall: Decent, not amazing. Don't think I'm buying this again. For a Bruery product, I'm very underwhelmed.

 620 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Tiernan
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerswag
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

it got better the warmer it got.

32 characters

Photo of chossboss
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DrKarl
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of inonesock
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sourdog
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of kwkdmk
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
This beer pours a midnight black body that glows a hint at the base of the glass and a tan thin film that breaks up after a few sips. The soft sweetness of malt has some notes of dried dark fruit coming through as it opens up and a brassy quality to it in the finish. The soft tang of pot caramel leads to some caramel malt flavors and the sweetness grows in the finish as it warms. There is a soft note of iodine in the finish when it is pretty warm. The soft alcohol heat grows and cuts the sweetness nicely but never becomes hot.

This beer has some nice smooth alcohol character and the malt sweetness is there aswell. It just doesn't have the yeast characters I would like to taste in a big quad. I can't see age doing much for this beer, if the alcohol mellows it will be just to much sweetness with nothing to balance it.

 858 characters

Photo of Auraan
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich translucent dark brown with one finger of thick bubbly tan head. Overall impression of appearance is of a perfect classic Quad. Scents of dark fruit, raisin, plum, dried apricot, a light vinous aroma and medium-light notes of dried and black cherries from esters upfront along with a robust malt presence lending notes of bread crust and rich raisin bread. Faint spicy phenols of pepper and spicy alcohol round out the aroma. Overall impression of aroma is of a rich, deep, complex Belgian Quad, with the style's wonderful balance of rich malty aromas and fruity esters on full display. Wonderful. Flavor begins richly sweet and malty with flavors of caramel and bread crust imparting rich flavors of raisin bread when combined with fruity esters giving flavors of raisin, prune, dried cherry and black cherry at medium-high levels and a low level of vinous sweet red wine character. Middle continues these flavors, though a light spicy alcohol is added, while flavors of caramel and brown sugar combine with esters to impart a rich feeling and toasted bread crust flavors add balance. Finish is medium sweet with notes of dark fruit, raisin and prune, dried cherry, spicy alcohol at light levels and malty flavors of burnt caramel, bread crust and bready malt, hints of molasses and light vinous flavors. Aftertaste is bread crust, dark fruit, especially raisin, caramel and light spicy alchol. Overall impression of flavor is of an excellent Belgian Quad. It is rich, malty, fruity and complex, resulting in an excellent American interpretation of venerable Belgian style. Mouthfeel is full bodied and thick, with a light stickiness and high, though not sharp, carbonation, befitting the style. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of an excellent Belgian Quad. Overall this is a fantastic beer. Like all The Bruey's Belgians it is true to tradition and the character of the style. In this case it means a lovely rich aroma and flavor with a wonderfully warming mouthfeel. The perfect winter ale, and an American-brewed Quad exceeded only by Three Philosophers and Judgement Day.

 2,093 characters

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of alcohline_trip
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of En29356
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JamesStreet
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%

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7 Swans-A-Swimming from The Bruery
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 435 ratings