Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout - SweetWater Brewing Company
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Ratings: 846 | Reviews: 386 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JohnQVegas:
4.08/5 rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Bottle into The Bruery tulip - silk screened and waxed! Classy with a C.
Pours pitch black with a one finger brown head on top; the first sip left a fantastic trail of lacing that never gave way, and the creamy cap left by the head was thick and very long-lived. Impressive.
Nose is - woo - big on hops. Very big. Beautiful mix of roasted grain, espresso, and piney, citrusy American hops. Bit of alcohol spices things up too, but by no means gets out of hand. This could almost be a Black Double - I mean a Cascadian Imperial - er, an India Black Double Imperial Cascadian Pale IPA Black Ale. Or you can call it a really hoppy Imperial Stout, which is what it is, instead of making up unnecessary and awkwardly named new style categories.
Sorry, rant over.
Anyway, taste. Quite tasty - bit of caramel up front melds with hints of coffee and some grapefruit, before the hops really come undone with a big, burly, piny bitterness that lingers long on the finish. Underlying chocolate pairs up with the coffee notes mentioned earlier to linger as well, though not nearly so firmly as the hops. Alcohol is fairly reserved - there's a bit of heat in the back of the throat, but it's again fairly insubstantial. Probably a 4.2 for this one - not quite a 4.5, but probably better than the 4.0 I'm giving it.
Mouthfeel is oily, a bit thinned by the big hops, though still in the medium-full to full bodied zone. Carbonation is reserved, though a bit on the sharp side. Closer to an IPA or DIPA than what I normally expect from an Imperial Stout.
Drinkability is good too - restrained alcohol, fairly well balanced flavor. Hits all the right notes, but the big hop bite and mouthfeel hurt it some for me. Not as smooth, full, or rich as I prefer, but still a good to very good Imperial Stout.
Serving type: bottle
02-17-2011 02:59:14 | More by JohnQVegas
More User Reviews:
4.21/5 rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
12oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours pitch black with a very thick one finger dark tan head. Absolutely excellent head retention considering the strength along with a thick ring of lacing all the way around the glass.
Aroma is a little lighter on the roast compared to other RIS and has more in the way of dark fruits and some pine from the hops. Tree bark, wet earth, and moss round out the aroma.
The flavor has a mix of pine and tree bark/wet earth up front followed by just a touch of dark fruit. Hops are more prevalent here compared to some other examples of the style. Roast is present but it is in the background and remains restrained. Very light coffee notes along with pretty high bitterness. Sweetness is kept in check with almost not hint of the alcohol whatsoever.
Overall, a very drinkable imperial stout with hops that really push the boundaries for the style. Extremely drinkable and a very nice beer from Sweetwater.
Serving type: bottle
07-14-2014 02:23:04 | More by rangerred
3.76/5 rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
2014 vintage, with black wax topping. Poured in a snifter, the beer is a jet black coloring, with a light tan, frothy, foamy head, around half an inch. Nose of heavy hops forward, with cannibus, grass, and piney notes, followed by roasted notes, hints of charcoal and bitter coffee, solid earthy notes, and subtle chocolate highlights. Surprisingly hop heavy for the style. Flavors are heavily roasted forward, with a strong earthy tone, highlighted by dry, spiced hops characteristics of grass, pepper, cannibus, evergreen, and cedar. There are some woody notes, as well, and a touch of heavily roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Heavy palate. The body is robust, but dry, as well. Interesting feel while you drink. The aftertaste is more of the charcoal and evergreen than anything else, with a solid smoke, earthy, and dry hopped character. The finish is slick and dry, leaving a surprisingly little amount of anything on your tongue.
Serving type: bottle
07-14-2014 02:04:55 | More by GarthDanielson
Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout from SweetWater Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 846 ratings.