Dark Swan | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Dark SwanDark Swan
BA SCORE
3.89/5
Very Good
428 Ratings
Dark SwanDark Swan
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An experimentally hopped sour ale fermented with dark red wine grapes. Observers of yestercentury once doubted the existence of the Dark Swan, stating the fair-feathered fowl was the only color of its kind. Explorers eventually upended that theory, shocking the world and shining light on the Dark. This beer might just do the same. It’s a sour ale fermented with dark red wine grapes, giving it its uniquely deep and rich purple hue. Then it received the signature Lagunitas treatment with a healthy dose of experimental dry hops. This might just shock your taste buds!

There just really isn't anything else like the Dark Swan... it's a dark purple hybrid ale the takes our house yeast and feeds it some Petite Sirah grapes to munch on. It's smooth, slightly sour, and superbly strange. Give it a taste, if you dare!

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 10-29-2016

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#13,858
Reviews:
111
Ratings:
428
pDev:
9.51%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
86
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 428 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of kkazemi
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Satsuma
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dacrza1
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

DATE: September 27, 2018... OCCASION: watching The Office after a Liberty back-to-school night... GLASSWARE: La Fin du Monde tulip... a dark purple body, intimidatingly dense, but a half-finger of brownish off-white head that resiliently stays creamy and foamy... deep merlot, cranberry, rich dark chocolate, bitter and slightly boozy with a subtle hop fruitiness.... this draws as a medium-bodied live wire, effervescent and bold, with a punchy entrance and a long, dry finish that leaves a smooth, wine-like experience.... the flavor profile is strong, and at 8.5%, a powerful collection of strawberry, cherry, dark red wine, rich lilac, blackberry, and a light hint of oat and malt... a BIG experience from a 12 oz. bottle, this retains that Lagunitas hop thought while slowing the roll on each sip with a buzzing at the teeth and a warmth at the throat... worth sipping, though its profile does muddle at some point, making the experience not as memorable as some others... that said, what doesn't Lagunitas do well....

 1,024 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Maxms
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ruby wine color, moderately sour but strong by ABV. Smells black currant. A little bit like classic lemonade. But leaves distinctive beer finish. Rare type.

 156 characters

Photo of kybeerdrinker
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of maxarvo
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of AgentMunky
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Teku glass.
5/4/2.75/4/3
A: Pours a stunning purple and expresses in the glass as a wine-dark, clear-deep ruby.
S: Grapico, lactic acid, loads of fruit, kinda of a barnyard Jolly Rancher vibe going on here.
T: Goshdarn. "Barnyard Jolly Rancher" pretty much nailed it. It is somehow less pleasant on the palate. It looks like Welch's and tastes a bit similar, putting me in the mindset of prison wine. Still. Interesting.
M: Zesty enough!
O: Ultimately, I think this is more interesting than good. And you know I'm liable to give points for that, but still. There's a cheesiness here I can't quite place or support. Slightly too sweet.

 667 characters

Photo of dannycohen62
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer appears to be clear and is very dark purple in color. It poured with a quarter finger high pink colored head that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar of medium-sized bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of Concord grape juice are present in the nose along with notes of sourness.
T: The taste follows the smell and is a little sour with flavors of red grape juice. No hops or bitterness are detectable, but any traces of sweetness from the grapes are well masked.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is hardly sour at all, but has subtle yet interesting aromas and flavors of red grapes.

Serving type: bottle

 724 characters

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

Photo of mamaraza
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tinfang
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not to my personal preference. Neither sour enough nor fruity enough, but someone who isn't familiar with the style might enjoy it as an introduction.

 151 characters

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, it's purple, really purple, short pink head that dissipates leaving little lacing, clear, and it's purple

S: dark grape juice, welches to be exact, some fruit hops, wine, slightly sour balsamic vinegar smell

T: there is an extreme bitterness up front that is quite shocking, it's the white part of the grapefruit kind of bitter, that fades into the flavor of red wine mixed with seltzer water, the finish is sour and tart, flavors of grape must linger, also a dry earthy hop finish

M: thin but alcohol is well hidden

O: think heavily hopped very dry sparkling red wine

 622 characters

Photo of KingTen144
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice sour that hides its ABV very well. A good amount of tartness but not overly fruity. The flavor seems to somehow be lacking something, but I vastly prefer this beer to some other sours that overdo the flavor and turn the beer into cough syrup.

 249 characters

Photo of drstalker
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Flyte
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Mirandabp
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jjquinter
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mrcraft
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours dark and clear, garnet in color with a touch of purple. Pink, finger width head that dissipates in fair time to reveal a thin, consistent layer of suds. A few spots make up the lacing.

Smell - Tart, dark fruity aroma. Grape-ish, with lesser citrus and distant apple cider vinegar.

Taste - Tastes slightly better than it smells, but not by much. Tart, dark and fruity with grape, green apple and lesser tangerine. Hint of vinegar comes though vaguely in the finish to accompany the aforementioned fruitiness.

Mouthfeel - Light-bodied with moderate, tingly carbonation. Slick texture with a crisp, slightly dry finish.

Overall - Not a great sour by any means. There's definitely a bit of vinegar in there, though my lady isn't picking up on it. Hopefully they've learned to improve their 'sour ale' process, as evidenced by their latest release Cherry Jane, which is pretty darn good.

 906 characters

Photo of bcsbeer
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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Dark Swan from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 428 ratings