Sparkling Swan
Lagunitas Brewing Company

Sparkling SwanSparkling Swan
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Wild Ale
Ranked #1,573
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #27,630
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 10.79%
Reviews:
20
Ratings:
45
From:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2
Gots
  4
SCORE
87
Very Good
Sparkling SwanSparkling Swan
Notes: A tart, bubbly, grape ale... This sparkling beer-wine hybrid is light, cool breeze across the landscape of your palate. Fermented with red wine grapes, giving it an intriguingly purple hue. It's a crisp and satisfying treat, like a sunset stroll through a vineyard. Perfect for a beer and wine lovers alike!
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well this doesn't happen often, a bottled beer courtesy of the creator of the canquest, woodychandler. Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a purple color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grapes, fresh cut flowers. Taste is like a dry red wine, a touch of sourness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall it's not bad, but not am beer I would need to drink again.

Jul 19, 2020
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hman43 from North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It is dark burgundy with a pine head. It has low head retention. It has very good clarity.

Smell: It has a grape aroma with a slightly dry element. There is a slight earthen elements in the background.

Taste: It has red wine elements in the flavor. There is a very low strawberry element. There are some earthly notes in the background as well.

Feel: The first thing I notice is that this beer is very dry like some wines.

Overall, it's nice to drink a beer that is very different from the mainstream. This is actually an Italian Grape Ale.

May 15, 2020
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got a nice little deal on this one, $8 for a 12 pack in the clearance basket. While I've been recovering in absolute agony from my knee surgery, my buddy drank a few of these and now I'm on to my first one to review it.

12 oz bottle poured into boiler snifter.

Light purple from the bottle forming into a dark beet colored body and a pinkish-whitish head of 2 fingers. Recedes to 1. Pretty quality.

Aroma is of mineral and hibiscus and roses, maybe a touch of grape juice. Not incredibly detectable or strong.

Flavor is mildly sour but mostly mineral, crab apple, hints of communion wine, sparkling grape juice, and faint oak. Lingering puckering acidity on the finish.

Drinkability is just dangerous. Drinks like a 3% saison, zero alcohol heat, and an acidic dry finish.

Overall, a pretty solid little drinker and at an astounding 6.5% ABV, you'll be drunk in no time. This thing goes down like water but doesn't taste like it.

Apr 02, 2019
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark red-purple body, clear and bright, with purplish tinged white head. Minimal lacing.

S - Strong hit of grape must, a bit of wood, and funk below.

T - The core may be a beer, but the flavor is lush with red wine, grape and oak, sour finish.

M - Slick with strong carbonation and moderate weight. Tingly finish.

O - A very nice hybrid. The sour hit mingles with wine flavors, and it all works pretty well. Tasty.

Mar 17, 2019
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120 from Minnesota

3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with no date

First time buying Lagunitas after they sold-out. Say it ain't so, boys. Taste and smell is crab-apples, caramel malt and sweet candy. Kinda light on flavor, medium sour, no alcohol presence.

Gets a big "eh" from me. Doesn't stand out; waste of time. All that said - it's $10 for a 12 pack near me and that's cheap for a sour around here. The big beer industry strikes again.

Mar 15, 2019
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mildly murky deep purple/red body with a light mauve foamy head. The nose offers plenty of grape and cherry, a little soil, a little funky yeast, and a little butter. The taste is heavy with grape, solid tartness, and not a small amount of iron. The body is light, a tad syrupy, and overcarbonated with sharp nips on the tongue.
Despite its significant technical flaws, its fruity nature and appreciable tartness wins me over, and I'm rating it higher than I probably should. Sue me bitch.

Feb 22, 2019
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12 oz. bottle

Dark ruby hue, clear, scant pink head which quickly disappears. No lacing.
Winery grape aromas, vinegar, very slight funk
Wine and malt flavors, red grape, plum, not tart in my opinion
Low bitterness, light body, dry finish
Hardly “wild” but pleasant and complements spicy foods. I’ll keep it in mind when I’m in the mood for a fruit beer.

Feb 19, 2019
Photo of russpowell
russpowell from Arkansas

3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent scarlet hued purple with a thumb+ of pinkish head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Slight mustyness, hints of red grape

T: Tart cranberry, a little grape & dryness up front. A little sweet red grape, then some tartness & a little bit of cherry sweet tart as this warms. Finishes dry, tart with a little cherry kool-aid sweetness

MF: Light/medium body, fairly firm carbonation

This didn't do a lot for, kind of a sour beer for noobs, for lack of a better description, drank alright. glad I only grabbed a single

Feb 16, 2019
Photo of cbutova
cbutova from Massachusetts

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Chalice pour from the stubby with a massively foamy head that rises out of the glass almost instantly with a thick and very creamy texture. Thick sheets of lace around the glass with some webs on the lower parts as well. The color is something to boast about. A ruby purple beast.

S- The wine aspect of the beer is huge as the grapes are just juicy and fresh and lead in the forefront of the aroma. Tannins and oak abound coming along for the very vinous ride with some acetic acid, lemon tartness, slight buttered popcorn, grape stems and dried dark fruits.

T- Again the grapes and vinous aspect of the brew is absolutely massive. The buttery acetic flavors, which feel a bit off, get a bit stronger but honestly they fade wtih time and aren't as big of a deal in the end. Tart grapes are the showcase flavor and the beer wine hybrid title is 100% appropriate. Between the acetic, musty wine and beer flavors it takes on a Flanders feel with a lot more juicy purple grape juice flavor staying behind in the ferment. Flanders plus Welch's Grape Juice.

MF- The body is towards the lighter side with a very airy and puffy texture and a very very high end carbonation. Ends very tart with grape flavor lingering forever.

Takes some time to warm up on the palate as there was a very slight hint of butter and acetic to begin with to end up tasting like a big Welch's grape bomb mixed with a young Flanders brew.

Feb 08, 2019
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a purple ruby with a rocky pink head and falls leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have some funk and vinegar going on along with some grape and berries. Malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose for the most part. It's tart, but not over the top. Nice sweetness. More grape notes. More vinegar in the mix. Low bitterness. Malts do their thing. Finishes dry for the most part. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is nice. It's medium-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's very fluffy, creamy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a pretty solid brew. I'll admit I've never been the biggest fan of this style and really never got into the style, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. This has nice aromas and flavors. It's enjoyable and fun to drink. I like it (shrugs).

Jan 14, 2019
Photo of drtth
drtth from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The clear bright reddish purple beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 2 1/2” finely bubbled light pink head that recedes slowly to a thin irregular island of foam and a small ring round the glass while leaving a web of rings, patches and legs of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates scattered patches and small legs of lacing.

The aromas have lots of berry character from the red wine grapes along with a bit of acidity and some light earthy character from the hops. The malt mostly in the background.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose and include a bit of sweetness from the malt that compliments the upfront berry character of red grapes that seems both both tart and lightly tannic. Also, way in the background there’s a bit of earthy bitterness.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and lightly prickly from the active finely bubbled carbonation. The finish begins as the berry flavors of red grape and most of the tartness fade away to leave a long crisp, dry and lightly tart finish.

Overall another interesting hybrid from Lagunitas with the red wine grapes in charge of the show. The tartness is well controlled by the malt sweetness and there’s a bit or residual earthy bitterness. Worth trying at least once but I don’t expect to be looking to find another Sparkling Swan.

Jan 13, 2019
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't sure what to expect here but since I automatically buy new Lagunitas without really thinking, I am staring this maroon colored, grape smelling concoction in the face. The texture is tight bodied and initially very champagne-like but kind of mellows through the sip and finishes as a medium ale, although the flavor is all over the place. The flavor is super dry, which is a relief after the nose, but doesn't really have malt or hops as the dominant flavor. Crisp and interesting and different but probably not something I will go for again.

Dec 17, 2018
Photo of Czequershuus
Czequershuus from Minnesota

3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This beer pours a purple grapey color with a moderate head. The aroma features a grapey, candied essence, with hints of black tea. The flavor is milder, with some wild yeast notes of grass and new leather, but still with a grape soda core. The mouthfeel is light and plentifully fizzy. Overall an odd duck of a beer to me, much to sweet grapey for my taste.

Nov 30, 2018
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Edging more and more toward wine, the fields of barley and grape continue to intertwine as the brewers of Lagunitas take their already vinous ale and dial down its darkness to elevate its red wine flare.

Bright and ruby, the sparkling ale looks the part of a stern rose except for its loose froth overlay.Tart, berry-like and supple with a sour twinge to the nose, the beer's winey impressions come closer to fruition in the nose. Supple sweetness comes in the form of mixed berry lifesavers, taffy and an overall candied impression.

But the candy soon wears off as the tart ale carries off any malt impressions with the militant nature of carbonation. The bubble highlight the beer's peppery tartness and the fruit flavors as the beer trends juicy but dry in a vinous laden, but simplistic late palate.

Medium bodied and not full-blown sour, the beer is shy of complete dryness while subtle hints of cork, burlap and sourdough dance about the periphery of taste. In the end the beer finishes quite sangria-like.

Nov 28, 2018
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have decided to Sparkle with the Swan since it is well after Midnight on Thanksgiving morning of 2018. I put in a marathon shift at CKW2G for Amateur Night & it really wasn't too bad, comparatively. It took us a while to get the place squared away, though, hence my late return home.

From the Bottle: "Magnificent, transcendental and, one might say, pulchritudinous ... The mythical bird appeared with the brilliance and magnitude of so many suns. Sparkling with an intriguing purple vividness, it gracefully rose into the air. Light, yet dark. A dazzling, winged conundrum, stunning all in its path ..."; "Say: Lah-Goo-Knee-Tuss"; "Life is uncertain, don't sip!"

I Pop!ped the cap & gave thanks for yet another year above ground. I always hear that being upright & breathing beats the alternative, so I suppose it is worth being thankful for. I then began a slow, gentle C-Line pour into the awaiting glass. I could not help but smile at what began to appear in my glass. It looked like Welch's Grape Juice, albeit carbonated! It formed two fingers of dense, foamy, fizzy, magenta (!) head with decent retention. Hey, I thought that these types of beers were supposed to have lousy head retention! Color was a gorgeous deep-Purple (SRM = N/A) with NE-quality clarity, more towards Burgundy than most beers in my experience. Nose was very grape-y & quite vinous. The Notes mention "red wine grapes", but I am curious as to precisely what type. Its sweetness on the nose put me in mind of Concord, like my late maternal grandfather used to grow in an arbor on the upper lot. Hmm. Mouthfeel was kind of light, not watery, but not much beyond it, either. The taste was more tart than the nose had led me to expect, but it was very pleasant. It had a definite red wine vinousness with the attendant dryness, but not gasping. I am really curious as to which grape variety//ies they employed in the production of this beer. Finish was dry, no getting around that, but it was crisp & I was satisfied, which seemed to be their aim. Very intriguing.

Nov 22, 2018
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sat at around a medium body
Aroma was tart sweet,and sour grape with some funk
Taste was very similar to aroma, had a grape vinegriet taste that worked somehow. Definitely delivers on the grape taste,sweet,sour and tartness but not flavor was overly dominate.
It's definitely worth a try even if just once a year

Nov 18, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. No bottling date information found.
Slightly cloudy, garnet red colored body. Two finger of pinkish white head eventually settles down to thin cap and thick ring. Big globs of lacing left behind with each sip.
Smells close to a wine, with red grape accents. Has a slight base quality of a sour/tart beer.
Taste is really all about the red grape, and the tart/sour nature is really quite mild, but does express some funk and leather.
Medium to full mouth feel. Very good carbonation.
I agree that this is a hybrid brew with beer and wine aspects. With wine one does not get the fizzy/frothy carbonation as exhibited here, nor the funk, but the wine component of the experience is very much present, in the smell and flavor. Quite refreshing.

Nov 18, 2018
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depechemode1983 from Texas

3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a burgandy color. the head is pink with excellent retention. There is a good amount of lacing in the form of even rings.

The nose is sour cherry with a bit of a funk.

Very merlot like with a splash of plain mineral water.

The mouthfeel is that of a red wine spritzer.

Nov 12, 2018
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superspak from Michigan

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/18/2018. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red, light pink/purple color, with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light pink head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big juicy/tart red grapes, skin, plum, cherry, currant, raspberry, lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, red/white wine, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, and lightly toasted biscuit; with light notes of peppercorn, leathery/musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, red grapes, and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big juicy/tart red grapes, skin, plum, cherry, currant, raspberry, lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, red/white wine, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, and lightly toasted biscuit; with light notes of peppercorn, leathery/musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tartness, fruit tang, and light Brett spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of tart red grapes, skin, plum, cherry, currant, raspberry, lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, apricot, melon, red/green apple, red/white wine, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, lightly toasted biscuit, light pepper/funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, red grapes, and bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/tartness and tangy fruit balance, with no puckering flavors after the finish. Fairly crisp/clean finishing. Light-moderate increasing dryness from tartness, tangy fruit, and carbonation. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy, fairly acidic/tangy, and lightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 6.5%. Overall this is an excellent fruit sour. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, red grapes, and bready malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, clean, and refreshing to drink with the mellowly acidic/tangy/drying finish, not overly lactic. Awesome balance of juicy/jammy red grapes, Brett/Lacto complexity, and pale/wheat malts against acidity. A really enjoyable offering, and well made style example as expected.

Nov 10, 2018
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, snifter glass. Darker purple body, slight dark pink hue, one finger pink head. Good retention. Plenty of lacing. Smell is red wine grape juice, light oak, a bit of lactic acidity, touch of cheese. Flavour is a deeper grape juice flavour, a bit of Brett leather, sweet grainy malt, a bit of lagery mineral. Pretty nice stuff. Mouthfeel is lighter medium bodied, good carbonation, a bit slick but not quite buttery. Has a mildly astringent, leathery aftertaste. An interesting wild ale, more of a hybrid of grape juice and beer with a nice tartness.

Nov 04, 2018
Sparkling Swan from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 45 ratings