I am somewhat of a purist with my beer, if things need to be added to beer then I would prefer that they are as close to the regular brewing materials for that style as possible. That said, Swordfish with it’s added rum does appeal to me. Maybe it is because I have become so used to beers being aged in various spirit casks that I am now less offended by the addition of a little spirit to the end beer.
Wadworth Swordfish is brewed to celebrate 100 years of naval aviation and is named after the Fairey Swordfish a WWII torpedo bomber flown in WWII (as shown on the bottle). Pusser’s rum is distilled on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and is made to the original Admiralty recipe for rum.
The nose is comprised of sweet rum and caramel, the initial taste is understated but fruity then comes a middle of nutty malt which opens up into fruity raisin flavour from the rum and bitter hops from the beer which evaporate to leave a slight hoppy tang.
Wadworth Swordfish is essentially Wadworth’s 6X blended with rum, this plays with the fruitiness of 6X but adds a little something extra to the flavour, one of the things I really like about this beer is that the usual after taste of 6X (which I do not like) is deadened and replaced by a much smoother rum finish, the hops are still present but the almost metallic tang of 6X is gone!This beer is one of those “deceptively strong” beers, it is 5% but the fruitiness makes it a little bit too easy to drink. Best served slightly chilled but certainly not straight out of the fridge (I have been served one like this) as it will have little to none of the character if served too cold.
I would encourage both people who do like 6X and those that would normally avoid it to try Wadworth Swordfish, it is a good alternative and I will often have a bottle at my local if looking for an alternative to the current Wadworth seasonal ale.
This beer was originally more challenging to get but is now readily available in Wadworth pubs and many supermarkets. If you want to buy direct then visit their website.