This beer tastes way punchier than it actually is–only 4.5% ABV. I had two last night, thinking I’d write a review. The only problem was, it was kind of late, and I hadn’t slept well the night before, so I got sleepy. I passed out on the dog.
“Antoinette, Antoinette! ANTOINETTE!”
“What are you doing down there?” my husband asks.
“Sleeping on the dog.”
So yeah, that’s how last night’s review attempt went.
Before we get into this though, I’d like to take a moment to talk about that fickle flavor, hops. At it’s best, it’s floral. I’ve had drafts that smelled like pot (and I should note the plants are related). It tasted like it smelled too (I don’t know if it tasted like pot, as I’ve never eaten any). Fresh hops can be amazing. It’s a taste that doesn’t last though, as it seems to mellow to a more malty flavor, and at its worst it can be bitter and metallic. And of course, anything that relies on the bitter portion of your palette can be very subjective. What tastes like flowers to me might taste like vomit to someone else. I’ve chosen “vomit” as someone once described a case of Stone’s Arrogant Bastard to me as tasting like vomit.
Bitter floral hops overwhelms the background notes of any Belgian taste. It’s not bad though–a cavalcade of brassy horns drowning out the bass line. You’d know if it wasn’t there thumping along, but if it fades into the background, that’s okay. Very tasty, will drink again. You’d do well to pick up a case.
I should note, my husband thinks this beer tastes very Belgian.
Why it misses the mark for me, is it doesn’t have that, almost yeasty taste I associate with summer wheats and beers like Hoegaarden. Victory’s Golden Monkey is a much more Belgian tasting beer to me. Swing reminds me more of Gulden Draak barley wine without the musk and immediate drunkenness. Of course, it’s been years since I’ve had Gulden Draak barley wine, so I could be wrong.