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Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout - SweetWater Brewing Company

Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial StoutSweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

793 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 793
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.24%

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rajendra82 on 08-26-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 793 | Reviews: 383 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kdawg105


5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is so worth the money to buy beer with flavor. Anyway this beer is very dark as most stouts are quite inviting with 1/2 in. head when poured into glass. The smell it strong of hops and hint of malts. It has an excellent taste it starts with a spicy taste of hops with a balance finish with the malts. The beer has quite the mouthfeel very warming. Overall a great beer World Class in my book. Anyway don't take my word for it get one for yourself!!

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 22:35:37 | More by kdawg105
Photo of brewmasterrr


5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best stouts around. This beer is as dark as motor oil, with a beautiful darker brown head. It has hints of coffee, chocolate, with a nice, slight, and subtle hoppy finish. this beer will warm you up when its cold because its thick and high gravity at 9%

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2012 20:03:19 | More by brewmasterrr
Photo of Seanvonjax

5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My new favorite beer. It's a great beer to sip and enjoy. It has just the right sweetness and alcohol content. Makes me want to do a tour at the brewery and try the rest of sweet water's beers. I'm definity going to keep my eyes open for other seasonal beers that they have.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 21:04:49 | More by Seanvonjax
Photo of uscgsc22

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is my 3rd favorite beer It is great in the bottle or on tap.

You really have to try this one beer. It's a very flavorful beer which everyone loves.

Pro's= its between $11 to $12 for a 6 pack.

Con's = Once a year :(

Sweet Water Brewing Company!!!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 01:23:19 | More by uscgsc22
Photo of MADhombrewer


4.97/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Hopsbreath for this one. 2010 batch. Bottle number 1207 of 3400. 34 oz bottle poured into a NB globe.

Appearance- Black even when held to the light. Big bubbled tan head. Good lacing. 4.5/5

Smell- Creamy dark chocolate with hints of coffee. Bits of alcohol 5/5

Taste- Creamy dark chocolate with coffee flavor. There is a booziness that extends into the sinuses. Small amount of dryness to it. Earthy bitterness at the end. 5/5

Mouthfeel- Creamy and thick. Not so much as to coat your mouth, but enough to make you think about the last sip you took. 5/5

Overall- Very good beer. Glad to have had this. Thanks goes to Jason. All of the great points of an Imperial stout are in this beer. Coffee, chocolate, and hints of alcohol. 5/5

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 04:52:07 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of IcanBENCHurCAT


4.95/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Jet black with a tan head that dissipates. Good lacing around the glass. Slight alcohol aroma, not overpowering.

S - Hop-Forward. Slight aromas of maltiness and coffee.

T - Aggressively hoppy, with roasty aftertaste. Mildly sweet, but mostly strong hop bitterness upfront. Warm alcohol taste is present, but not solventy.

M - Somewhat thin for a stout. Good carbonation level.

Overall, I love this Imperial Russian Stout. Not as sweet or full or malty as some other varieties I've had, but this category has a lot of room for complex, American-style hop-forward beers. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 22:55:42 | More by IcanBENCHurCAT
Photo of Jeffro96


4.9/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer defies all attempts to label or define it by style. Just what a great beer from Sweetwater should do!
This beer pours onyx black with a think full head the color of chocolate milk.

It smells of hops and pine with fruit and malt and coffee on the nose.

Layered with hops and balanced perfectly with rich malty goodness.Lots of fruit here, dark and roasted smokey fruit. Coffee and chocolate notes give way to a slightly dry finish.

Smooth and rich. Well carbonated with a silky mouthfeel that nearly had me wanting to chew it(think dove dark chocolate).

Surprisingly drinkable given the big alcohol. Drank several if but slowly.

The only down side is that it is a seasonal. Guess I'll have to buy a small stock pile.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 19:19:09 | More by Jeffro96
Photo of mattsdenney


4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Edition Bomber w/ Purple Wax Seal.

A: Pours slow and heavy. Pitch Black with a dark brown finger of bubbly head. Head slowly subsiding leaving thick sticky lace.

S: Roasted Barley, Floral and Grassy Hops, Cocoa.

T: This tastes fantastic. Heavy flavors of chocolate malt, coffee, smokiness. All followed with a solid shot of grassy herbal hop bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy, low carbonation. Perfect consistency and mouthfeel for a beer of this style.

O: Overall a perfect mixture of sweetness, maltiness, and hops. Was very glad to see this finally make it to TN. Had previously only had it on tap in Atlanta.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 03:37:42 | More by mattsdenney
Photo of lespaul85

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I rarely review beers on here without epiphany, but this one got me. It's one of the most well balanced beers I've had ever, and it's rare I appreciate "balance"... but with a grain of salt since this is an imperial Stout and keeping with the style, it does have high alcohol and such, but it was only at the end of tasting that I figured out what perfect balance really does, it makes other beers afterwards taste like crap!... And this beer is perfect for that. Its got a perfect flavor profile for a beer-o-phile to love as balance to the extreme... Meaning high malt level, high hop level, high milk/chocolate/coffee level, and sure a slightly high alcohol level (but doesn't overpower anything, particularly considering the ABV).... but the important thing is that though all levels are "high" here, they don't overpower each other and this turns out to be a crazily easy to drink beer which only seems to manifest its greatness when trying a different beer afterward and whatever beer that is will taste distinctly different (or bad) since the inbalance of that followup beer is amplified by perfect balance of this beer... Keep it up, and please don't change anything about this beer... EVER!

Here's the kicker.. I reviewed this beer as Founders Imperial Stout initially since that's what I thought it was based on the slips I handed in at the Flying Suacer!.... but it turns out it was Sweetwater, which I'm quite familiar with their other beers and was not until now impressed by their selection. This beer is quite good and masterfully made to be subtle yet powerful... And any beer guru should be able to see it in this beer. So I went ahead and transferred my review to the correct location!

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2012 18:39:05 | More by lespaul85
Photo of tmm313


4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Mainly pitch black, but has a little red, too. Poured a huge, super creamy, tan, 3 finger head. Excellent lacing.

S- HUGE floral, tropical fruit and grapefruit! Took me completely by surprise! When you really dig in, you get some nuttiness and a little pine. If blindfolded, there is nothing about the smell that would suggest stout. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had.

T- Big floral/tropical fruits over coffee and roasted malts hit first. Grapefruit washes through next, followed by dark chocolate, earthy hop spices, and pine. Aftertaste is a mix of pine, rind, and spice. Awesome.

M- Medium body. Super creamy on the tongue with nice, oily residue. Medium lingering citrus and pine bitterness.

O- What in the hell just happened?! This thing says "American Double / Imperial Stout" on its BA page, but it is much more IPA than Stout! No wonder the best if enjoyed by date is only a year away; this thing is loaded with hops! Its probably best defined as a Black IPA. Huge flavors! Fantastic, no matter the category confusion!

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 21:06:07 | More by tmm313
Photo of jdrury245


4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- Thick and fluffy muddy white head. Almost like a thick creamy latte.

s- Bitter sweet chocolate, woody, and a slight bit of floral citrus

t&m- Coco notes, dark bitter sweet chocolate hit you first. With a bit of sweetness. Then you are hit by the hops that give this an interesting finish with orange and citrus notes. Has a silky/chocolate shake feel to the mouth.

d- One of the best Imperial Stouts that I have ever had. I could drink this black concoction all day long.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 00:51:50 | More by jdrury245
Photo of jjanega08


4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a liter swingtop bottle into a snifter
A= pours a thick black color with a nice one finger brown head that lasts suprisingly long with amazing lacing. There's a little brown that shines through the sides.
S= huge hop notes which is amazing as well as a prominent coffee smell. The hops smell grapefruity and below that is toffee and under that is chocolate. Really complex smelling almost like a fresh barlywine.
T= the hops kiss the tip of my tounge with a washing coffee taste. Good toffee notes on the back of my tongue. Really complex. I'm getting some dark fruits in it buried a little deeper. The hops are there in the finish and taste sweet and juicy. Really good.
M= the only place lacking in this beer. I thought it was a little thin and a little dry in a chalky sort of way on the tip of my tongue.
D= very high. This baby is great a vert underappreciated RIS. Great brew and it comes in a huge bottle. I love it.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 03:29:52 | More by jjanega08
Photo of lackenhauser


4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black color with a small tan head. Very nice, deep hoppy aroma with a slight underlying roasted smell to it. Huge roasted malt flavor and a big blast of floral and hoppy goodness. Mellow-espresso like flavor. No harshness from too much roasted malt or alcohol. Good body. Very drinkable and dangerously so. I knew nothing about this beer. Just received it in a trade and decided to pop it open. Good choice I say!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 23:50:27 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of JMC_TM

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC for one of their awesome rare beer Tap Nites!

This great IRS pours a deep, dark, opaque onyx. As implied, this beer gives you great head that is whipped and creamy with an alluring mocha tint. The nose on this one gives you plenty of roasted malt and unsweetened chocolate. The flavor of this IRS leads off with rich, dark, and roasty malt and is followed closely by dark caramel, hints of dark fruits, a kick of espresso and some citric hop following close behind. The smooth creaminess of this great seasonal offering from SweetWater is nice and easy to drink despite weighing in at 9.0% abv.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2010 07:37:08 | More by JMC_TM
Photo of godlessape


4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love the name, love the brewery, thus had to give it a try.

Poured this one into proper pint glass.

Darker then dark in appearance--laser beams and 50 caliber tracer rounds could not penetrate this level of blackness. The head is light chocolate brown and sinks down fast but never leaves.
The aroma is pure West Coast hop explosion. If I were to try this blind folded I'd swear it was a really good IPA. Somewhere in this glass I detect some barley malt and sweetness, but it's smothered with citrus and piney hops.

The hop bitterness dominates unlike any other stout I've encountered before but the roasted barley malt, chocolate and coffee flavors are still there and present themselves boldly.

The mouthfeel is velvet smooth, with spot-on carbonation.

Overall this is one of the best stouts I've ever had--and my expectations were high with this brewery.
Warning: Given the 9% ABV, Do not drink this beer while operating heavy machinery, preforming brain surgery, walking a tight-rope or doing long division.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 03:42:14 | More by godlessape
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got 4 bottles of this brew in a trade with oconman, Thanks John!

L - poured in a pint glass, it's black in color with a rich, rising light brown head that had plenty of legs and left plenty of lacing behind.

S - grassy/citrus hop aroma hits the nose at first with a roasted smell hiding in the background.

T - as in the smell the hops hit first with very subtle roasted flavors mixing in finishing with a dry citrusy taste.

F - medium bodied with a creamy feel.

D - heck yeah, this is totally effin' drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 01:29:16 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of cnjohn19

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

damn, this beer is great!

pours a unpenetrating dark oily black but seems light...tan head with exceptional lacing...thick head present throughout...

smells very simply of chocolate, caramel, and alcohol...very nice...

whoa, explosion of flavor...the dry hopping gives this a nice finish...robust dark chocolate and coffee flavors dominate with a strong and full flavored finish...damn, this one's good...i thought the high alcohol would give this one a slight burn, but it doesn't...very rich and refreshing...

very bold, lightly thick, and refreshing...again, the hop finish gives this imperial stout an amazing touch...no stale aftertaste which i sometimes get with stouts...

overall, you'll love this one...

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 02:22:32 | More by cnjohn19
Photo of JayS2629


4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing, hoppy stout. Actually very balanced. Similar to a black IPA but with a motor oil thick, beefed up stout. Rich, thick and velvety with dark chocolate covered raisin and coffee beans. Some rich, sweet toffee in the middle with big, spicy, floral hop bouquet of clover, evergreen, and citrus spray of orange and pineapple. Sends the taste buds into an explosive amount of different directions. Quite interesting combination and balance. I see a lot 5 reviews on this one. I can't quite do that. It has a few rough edges to work out. The hop bitterness lends a medicinal, chewed asprin like flavor that I could do without.

Beautiful beer. Rich and smooth. Chocolate covered hops! Candied oranges covered in dark chocolate, resiny pine and dark roasted coffee. Toffee sweet middle of milk chocolate and caramel like a milk stout but highly hopped up. Amazing.

Thick, syrupy heavy stout. Chewy.

Pretty interesting. I advise to give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 22:47:11 | More by JayS2629
Photo of VaterRoss

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into New Belgium snifter, 2012 batch

Appearance is an almost black color with a brown head. Leaves a strong brown and creamy lacing. Smell is lightly roasted malt and lots of bright, citrusy hops. Taste is some nice mellow roasted malt (some coffee, some vanilla) riding on top of a dark hoppy wave. Hops are citrusy, lemon and grapefruit, has some of that almost metallic RIS tone and medium alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is full body and extremely creamy, all together a very pleasant and soft mouthfeel.

This one surprised me with its hoppiness given the RIS branding. It manages to stay out of Black IPA territory with its creamy mouthfeel is heavy body. Altogether a substantial beer with lots of hops that keep it from being oppressive.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 20:06:27 | More by VaterRoss
Photo of CampusCrew


4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the brewery

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head

smell: loaded coffee, and sublte chocolate aromas

taste: probably one fo the best imp stouts.

mouthfeel: full bodied stout

drinkability: overall a fanatstic impy stout

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2012 20:13:48 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of wisrarebeer


4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: near opaque, poured with a great creamy deep tan color that dissipated to a thin veil
S: deep, dark, roasted malt, good hops but malt dominates
T: very good, doesn't taste like a 9%ABV beer, deep roasted, burnt malt up front with not an overwhelming hop bitter finish, tasted like it had a year or two already on it
M: very easy drinking for ABV and well-balanced

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 01:45:11 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Label says Best if Enoyed by: 12/17/13

A- Pours a completely opaque black color with a 3/4 inch light brown head that bears great retention time before slowly settling to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Melty lacing clings to the glass and stays while leaving random streaks behind. Very good-looking beer we've got here.

S- Fresh piney hops combined with a sweet caramel-like malt roastiness. Very pleasant with hints of chocolate, citrus and nut.

T- Taste is also quite hoppy with plenty of dark roasted malt to compliment. There's a grassy bitter plus sweet mocha dynamic that I find to be very unique and enjoyable. The alcohol is very well-masked leaving lots of room for all the other flavors to dominate.

M- Thick, delicate and moderately creamy. Also a bit dry, with medium carbonation and a robust body.

O- A well-hopped impy stout from the Sweetwater gang. These guys prove time and time again to be one of the greatest breweries that don't overextend themselves into too many markets, experimental tangents or popularity gimmicks. They just make solid beer for their core audience and I dig it. Cheers to that.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 00:33:45 | More by Immortale25
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - total black pour with a finger of smooth, rich, mocha foam. Thin lacing sheets all over.

Aroma - big chocolate sniff at once, mixed with sweet citrusy hops. Gets hoppier as it sits. Maybe too much so for an I.S., but it's good regardless.

Taste - good roasty chocolate malts to begin. Coffee flavors enter on the swallow, a good roastiness there as well, in tandem with some smooth juicy hops. Just a slight warmth on the aftertaste, the abv is very well-hidden. A mild char flavor complements without taking over. Great balance, great flavors.

Mouthfeel - plenty of smoothness. Not as heavy as I would have expected. Low carbonation, good stuff.

Drinkability - a seriously drinkable I.S. given its strength.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2007 16:40:18 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Brad007


4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with Ding and consumed on 12/6/08.

Pours a pitch black color with a brown head.

Aroma is full of creamy chocolate and roasted coffee in the nose.

Taste is strong and smooth with rich chocolate, dark fruit and roasted coffee notes.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full of bitter coffee and chocolate that linger. Only a bit of alcohol heat is visible.

A very nice take on the style. Definitely a sipping beer and with some aging, this will really mellow over time. I split this beer with a good friend of mine. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 19:51:23 | More by Brad007
Photo of sweetwaterman

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on-tap(!) at Jocks N' Jills, Vinings, GA ~March 2011

Appearance: Dark Mahogany. Head reminiscent of crema on a good cappuccino. very persistent.

Smell: Hoppy, roasted malt undertones. "Bright" for a stout.

Taste: Initial rush of fresh hops followed by dark roasted malt. Fruity toffee. Toasted figs? Sweet candied (caramel/toffee) fruit finish. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, High carbonation for a Stout IMO.

Overall: One of my favorite Imperial Stouts. Could be mistaken for a Black DIPA though.

Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2011 17:23:49 | More by sweetwaterman
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Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout from SweetWater Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.