Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout - SweetWater Brewing Company
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Ratings: 855 | Reviews: 387 | Display Reviews Only:
1.95/5 rDev -50.3%
This was poured from a 1-liter swingtop, thanks to an unknown generous (or sadistic) BA.
A - Looks like stout. Not exceptional in any way, however.
S - Eeewww. Burnt plastic. This is terrible.
T - Yuck yuck yuck. Burnt plastic, again.
M - Okay, I guess. It felt real good when I spit out a mouthfull, to rid myself of this inexplicably bad brew.
D - Two whiffs, and two sips is all I would ever want of this awful brew.
07-18-2010 18:18:41 | More by ktrillionaire
2.17/5 rDev -44.6%
2010 vintage bomber poured into an oversized snifter on 3/2/11. Appropriately dark with a finger of frothy tan head. OK retention- mainly bubbly islands- and some scattered speckly lace.
Smells like a load of piney hops remain. Roasted and burnt malts and chocolate, but also a touch of something odd, almost like burnt plastic. It's not overwhelming, but certainly distracting. Tastes almost exactly like it smells, right down to that weird hint of burnt plastic. There's a lot of positive things going on here- a nice balance of sweet and burnt malts, substantial bitterness, a surprisingly nimble feel- but that odd plastic quality can't be ignored. In fact, it becomes rather pronounced as the brew warms.
Overall impression: A rare dud from the best GA brewery. Where the heck did that plastic come from?
03-03-2011 00:52:31 | More by PDXHops
2.2/5 rDev -43.9%
12oz brown bottle care of Cashew70. Poured into a snifter it appears a dark brown almost black color with a finger of tanned head that receeds leaving a curtain of lace all about the glass.
The aroma of this brew includes citrus hops, dark fruitiness like plum and alcohol. Also included is a peculiar note reminescent of plastic. Taste is bitter upfront from a combination of burnt grains and hops with an alcohol aspect that is both astringent and warming. However, through the body of this brew is a taste of plastic as indicated by the aroma. The plastic taste lingers in the mouth along with a flavor similar to stale coffee blended with hops. The flavor of alcohol is evident from upfront straight through till the finish and really is not enjoyable as it just exaggerates the plastic taste.
This is a lighter bodied brew than I was expecting with a moderately high level of carbonation. I am struggling to try and get through this brew, it really started off enjoyable but as it got warmer each sip exaggerated both the plastic smell and taste. As the alcohol gets increasingly warmer it gets more fusel-like to the point of just outright being bad.
I am not certain this is the flavor the brewer was shooting for with this stout or if something is wrong with it. Unfortunately I do not readily have access to try this one again anytime soon.
07-20-2010 01:19:06 | More by stakem
2.33/5 rDev -40.6%
Appearance: Pours a dark, pitch black body with a medium-sized tan head.
Smell: Well, there's some dark chocolate, cold coffee, and a little bit of soy if you can manage to sniff around the overwhelming aroma of pine.
Taste: The fact that the overpowering pine flavor squashes any chance of savoring the malty flavors is both distressing and exasperating. Is this some kind of prank? The finish is full of a black malt burnt ashiness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation. Its actually bordering on watery, what gives?!
Drinkability: Normally, I have no quarrel with the hops, and have often said, "Come on hop, come all!" but it just seems a bit inappropriate in an Imperial Stout. Who knows, maybe that's how the kids like their stouts these days. If that is the case, how about a little "heads-up" next time?
05-05-2007 04:17:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
2.4/5 rDev -38.8%
Poured into a pint glass.
A: Dark brown to black in color with a decent tan head that leaves a little bit of lacing once it dissipates. Pours thick, but not as thick as some imperial stouts I've seen.
S: Medicinal like band-aids. There is a slight roasted coffee aroma as well, but this is one strange smelling stout.
T: Very bitter & not in a good way. We have really cheap coffee at work and this reminds me of that. A little dark chocolate is there, too, but not enough to balance the cheap coffee taste.
M: Totally fine. Nothing special, not horrible - just fine. Mildly carbonated, somewhat creamy, and not nearly rich enough.
D: This is not easy to drink. It is different than any other imperial stout I've had and not in a good way. Let it warm a bit, it's better that way. Not recommended.
05-16-2007 23:57:28 | More by montageman
2.75/5 rDev -29.8%
1 liter bottle, courtesy of I believe of gford217, split with my cousin after a successfull brew day and poured into my Duvel tulip.
The beer pours an all encompassing black, with a massive, gorgeous light chocolate head rising up and displaying some staying power. Gobs of lacing cling to the glass and leave Happy Ending as one of the best looking stouts I've ever seen. The nose is fairly good, dark chocolate and coffee, and more of the former than the latter (which is to my liking). Things take a turn for the worse as I sip though, as the luxuriant chocolaty malty opening is rudely interrupted by an entirely unwelcome flash of hop bitterness. And then... there's just nothing, no segue into citrus or any other hop flavors. It's almost like the beer stops halfway through what should be the flavor progression. The body is a little bit thin for the style, but the carbonation is spot on. Drinkability is hurt by the harsh bitter end note of each sip, but any alcohol is nicely masked. I think that Happy Ending might well be a great stout, but I just caught it at an awkward time in it's life. It's old enough that the hop flavor I imagine was quite present when it was fresh has faded, but the hop bitterness still lingers and the result is a beer that was just consumed at the wrong time. I'd very much like to try this beer again under different circumstances
09-20-2010 02:00:06 | More by axeman9182
2.8/5 rDev -28.6%
From notes on March 12, 2007:
A: This is a very black beer with a 2 tan head which dissipated to a foamy surface by the time I started writing. There is no light at all passing through this abyss.
S: Something bitter and reminiscent of dark chocolate (bakers chocolate?) is the first to hit my nostrils. A slight citrus hop is carrying the chocolate in but I detect little else.
T: The hops are very present in this brew, even for an Imperial Stout. Unfortunately, other than a slight taste of bakers chocolate, hops are the only flavor I taste. Perhaps they are masking a complex beer with extra hops but I think they may just be compensating for a more simple one.
M: The hops are really giving this beer a different feel than most Imperial Stouts. It does remain creamy and chewy though, I will give it that.
D: Although I was not impressed by the beer, it did not put me off buying another sixer for a second go at it. I like Imperial Stouts and I like to support local breweries, hence the repurchase. I applaud the brewery for experimentation but suggest they tone back the hops or increase the complexity for the next vintage.
Serving Type: 12oz bottle poured into Hoegaarden Grand Cru Tulip glass.
08-14-2007 20:36:29 | More by Big78CJ
2.8/5 rDev -28.6%
1L Swing cap bottle, courtesy of Gford270. Poured into a pint glass. The appearance is awesome, this looks like a great RIS. Pitch black body with no visibility through and a nice lighter khaki with some spotty lacing.
The smell is very disappointing in and that it is very light. Very smokey and roasted malt scents. Some toasted chocolate and a semi salty scent. It just doesn't pop you in the nose like a good RIS normally does.
The taste is on par with the scent. Sort of bland, very light and very roasted. Actually very very roasted. A slight bitter chocolate taste develops from the roasts. Unfortunately there is no malt sweetness to this beer, which causes a lack of flavor and creates a one dimensional take on the style. Not impressed.
09-12-2009 01:36:10 | More by CoolJosh
2.83/5 rDev -27.8%
-Appearance 4.0: Another stout that gets it right. Jet black with a half-inch, khaki head. Head dissipated and left some interesting looking foamy residue.
-Smell 3.5: Very subdued bouquet, but I pick out lots of hops and a slight toasted/smokiness. Promising.
-Taste 2.5: Slight hoppiness up-front that fades to a deeper hoppiness in the middle. Finish is even more hops and a very, very slight smokiness. Dry finish, too. This is an Imperial Stout? I taste no chocolate, dried fruit, coffee...you know, those things that Imperial Stouts taste like. Very strange.
-Mouthfeel 3.0: Good mouthfeel. Standard amount of carbonation and body.
-Overall 2.5: I don't know what to say, except that this tastes more like an IPA than a stout. The dry finish and the overall lack of the hallmarks of an Imperial Stout force me to give this brew a low grade. If you like this beer, good for you. Sorry, but I didn't and I have tried to be fair.
01-02-2012 04:54:39 | More by BeerDocT
2.9/5 rDev -26%
Best if enjoyed before 1/9/14. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with a khaki head and it leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are full of orange peel and citrus. I'm confused because it smells like an old IPA. Caramel malts in the mix. It doesn't seem to have any stout qualities. If I was blindfolded, I wouldn't have guessed it was an Imperial Stout at all. The confusion carries on to the flavors. Tons of orange. There's some roasty malts in the mix. Not much chocolate or cocoa. Subtle bitterness. Finishes dry. Very weird for the style. Mouthfeel is nice. It's on the lighter side of full-bodied; moderate carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.
This isn't a bad beer at all, but it just doesn't remind me of a stout at all. It's a really weird interpretation of the style.
09-29-2013 16:58:38 | More by BB1313
2.9/5 rDev -26%
Cool extra from Grant. Twelve ounce bottle says it's best before 12/31/11. Poured into a tulip. This one pours very dark brown; almost black with about an inch of tan head that settles to sticky lacing.
Dry dark fruit in the aroma. Lots of pine aroma to this one. Sappy aroma with a lot of hot alcohol. Char, leather, tobacco and a bit of a smokey aroma round this out. Not bad, but if I don't reach for other aromas it's tough to smell much past pine. Really hoppy stout here. Lots of piney hops with a little bit of coffee. This really has an earthy flavor profile to this one. Must, char and leather flavors. A lot of pine in the aroma. A lot of alcohol on this one. Almost like grain alcohol was dropped into this.
Heavy dry body on this with decent carbonation. Nothing special or offensive. Overall, I wonder what a bit of age would do for this one. I'd love to see the alcohol mellowed out on this. I've had a lot of beers around this abv that didn't seem this harsh.
05-11-2011 01:28:10 | More by Bendurgin
2.93/5 rDev -25.3%
A - a bit of red around the edges. Tall creamy dark tan head that leaves a little lacing.
S - heavy malts and hops. I do not think I have smelt such hops in a RIS before, nearly IPA like. Under toe of dark chocolate.
T - chocolate coffee IPA... heavy hop bitterness mixed with malts, chocolate and a hint of coffee.
M - good coating, tingle on sides of tongue. Alcohol burn in the top back of throat.
D - too much true hop flavor for me to want too many.
11-20-2010 22:25:30 | More by biglite351
2.98/5 rDev -24%
A giant 1 liter bottle of RIS = fun for the whole family. Opaque black with a large cocoa colored head. Good retention that leaves multiple lace rings.
Suprise!, this stout smells like a citrusy IPA. Chocolaty roast malt background.
Upon contact with my palette a super-thin mouthfeel bursts my curiosity bubble. Really, this mouthfeel chaps my hide. Assertive citrus hop oil over a struggling chocolate malt base. I'd like more stout with my stout please.
Overall, a brave but lacking mix of an English, Sam Smith's type English RIS and a California citrus hop bomb.
Great website BTW with a catchy little ditty.
10-12-2009 17:25:29 | More by donkeyrunner
Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout from SweetWater Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 855 ratings.