A clever pun does not always a great beer make, but in this case there's enough to like about this swinging, fruity stout to keep even the most stationary sultan on side.
Little Critters in Sheffield has some of the best can designs i've seen on beer cans, providing fun, colourful and exciting labels for their beers which are equally as good. Sultanas of Swing is one of their more popular pastry stouts, so popular it is now part of their core range of beers which also include the Chameleon series of dry-hopped pale ales.
Brewed with juicy raisins and loads of cacao nibs to compliment the dark malts used in the brewing, Sultanas of Swing is a big flavour beer with lots going on in every mouthful.
As a big fan of puns, i'm even willing to forgive the use of sultana instead of raisin in the name in order to make the pun on the famous Dire Straits song work. Even though the two are VERY different foods (sort of).
A beer in this can with those flavours breeds big expectations, and these are made even more tantalising when you open the can and chocolatey goodness oozes out and fills the air, with a little hint of bitterness hinting at the pure cacao nibs used in the brewing.
The pour is thin but it has a bigger body than expected, coupled with quite a harsh texture that isn't smooth but is definitely not unpleasant. The flavours though bring the smoothness, with a little harsh bitterness turning into a fruitiness from the raisins that reminds me of the aftertaste you get after eating slightly burned raisins when baking.
The fruit sweetness combines well with the bittersweet, rich chocolate flavour and the only thing that lets it down is the slight metallic finish towards the rear of the profile, something that taints the aftertaste a little and makes it a lot more bitter than it perhaps would be without it.
As with all Little Critter cans, this one is completely bonkers in how busy it is. The vibrant green background allows the various monkeys, apes and other unidentifiable swinging creatures to stand out a lot more, with several of the cheeky chimps holding, looking at or balancing a pint of beer on or near them.
The fun font styles on the front give it a wild feel and it's just a fun can to look at. I mean look at it, it's the kind of label where the more you look, the more you see and i'm here for it completely.
There's a heap of information on the back which is positioned sideways, which does make it a little more legible and easier to read, but you do need to be careful that you're poured it all out first before you turn it on it's side to read it once opened.
Check your local bottle shop if you're in or around Sheffield especially, but if you're in dire straits (I can't believe I almost made it without making that joke) then you can get them in packs of 6 or 12 online at Little Critters Brewery's site.
It works out at about £3 a can if you buy them in packs but, much like bananas, some things are better in bunches.