This is my second experience with Victory Brewing Company’s Swing Session Saison. I first had this beer at the 2013 Brewer’s Plate event, but to be completely honest, I was so overwhelmed by all of the food and Craft Beer offerings that I don’t remember all that much about it. I remember enjoying my wee sample, but I don’t recall any of the details with regards to aroma and taste.
During a recent beer run to Wine Works in Marlton, NJ, I saw the Swing Session Saison on the shelf and immediately purchased two bottles so that I could spend some quality time with it. But before we get to the review, here is a bit of information about the Swing Session Saison from the good people at Victory Brewing Company:
Swing. It’s a lively jazz rhythm, a vigorous sway, a change of view or even a roll in the proverbial hay. Now, it also means the welcome jolt of joy you’ll experience upon your first sip of this session saison. Swing into spring with taste!
With its citrus swagger and spicy refreshment, Swing Session Saison offers you a jazzy jolt of joy. This Belgian-style ale is bracing but benign and enlivens any experience.
And now for my impressions of this beer…
- Appearance: Clear, golden yellow color with lots of small, fast rising bubbles. Half an inch of fluffy white foam that dissipates slowly. A bit of lacing too.
- Aroma: Definitely smells like a Saison with oodles of lemon zest, coriander, and cloves.
- Taste: Very light mouthfeel that leans a bit on the watery side. Light and somewhat creamy feeling carbonation. Very lemony at first with a good bit of those spices to back it up. The spices intensify a bit at mid-palate. Becomes quite dry and astringent at the finish, with a slightly bitter, lemon pith aftertaste.
- ABV: 4.5%
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you already know that I’m a sucker for a well crafted Saison (aka Farmhouse Ale). While Brasserie Dupont is my Saison gold standard, there are quite a few American versions that put up a really good fight. Boulevard Tank 7, Green Flash Summer Saison (now called Saison Diego), and Goose Island Sofie are just a few of my favorites.
So how does the Victory Swing Session Saison stack up? While it leans a bit too heavily on the lemon zest for my taste, I still enjoyed this beer. I especially like that it’s a bit lower in alcohol content when compared to the other Saisons that I mentioned, which is most welcome when you consider the fast approaching Dog Days of Summer (think light, refreshing, and not at all boozy). My only complaint is with the bitter, lemon pith aftertaste. Fifteen minutes after taking my last sip, and it’s still lingering. The final verdict: good, but not great.