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Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial StoutSweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout

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

891 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 891
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 95
Gots: 131 | FT: 2
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 891 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBigE5
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with no light getting through. Caramel brown head, about a finger.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel, note of alcohol.

T - Malty at first. Not as roasty as the nose. Chocolate and dark fruit. Hops in the finish.

M - Much lighter than i expected, very smooth and creamy.

O - Very easy drinking for an imperial stout, delicious and enjoyable.

TheBigE5, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of Merkur
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours a nice black color with a bit of brown head that dissappears over time.

Beer smells of rich, malty chocolate.

Beer tastes like the nose. Very rich chocolate flavor, followed by a hoppy finish that provides a nice kick mid-way through and helps hide the booze.

Very rich and thick, which makes it even more interesting to taste the hops.

Very unique stout. Delicious.

Merkur, Jan 26, 2012
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.

mattsdenney, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of hearn006
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

hearn006, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of RWNewhouse
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

RWNewhouse, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark black with a half an inch of thick, brown head that has fantastic retention. The nose is extraordinarily hoppy; piny and floral. There are hints of chocolate and roasted malt as well. The flavor is rich and chocolaty up front followed by some very faint coffee notes and finishes with a strong astringency. The hops are intense in the finish as well; very bitter and piny. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and mildly carbonated.

I like this beer, but I have to say I was caught off guard. I was not expecting such an intense hop presence. This definitely, in my opinion, drinks more like a black IPA than an imperial stout. Nonetheless, the flavor is solid and this an enjoyable beer all around.

tdm168, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of SuperSpy
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thick, dark and oily. A large, chocolate milk colored head and lots of big sticky lace.

Spicy and floral hops with a mix of charcoal, burnt sugar and dark chocolate.

All those floral hops from the aroma are immediately evident in the flavor. So is the burnt sugar and lots of dark malty sweetness, mixed with vanilla, coffee and alcohol. The beer is heavy, and the alcohol is warming. The floral hops come back in the finish and it is joined in the aftertaste by a mix of burnt and caramelized sugar.

This is a big, delicious beer. The dark malt flavors, the big floral hops and the alcohol warmth screams big American stout. All of this comes together in a very excellent brew.

SuperSpy, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 01/14/12 notes. Have had this for a while and finally broke it out. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, pine hops, bakers chocolate, and light coffee. Hoppier than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, pine hops, light fruity malts, chocolate, vanill, and coffee. Again, hoppier than expecting, but I liked this a little better than the nose.

m - Body is very light and bit watery for a stout, with moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a decent beer, but I was surprised by all the recent great reviews. Maybe newer bottles are just better, or it just doesn't hold up well? Either way it had a very thin mouthfeel and was a bit hoppy and faded. I'd recommend not holding onto this one for as long as I did, and would like to try a fresh bottle.

mdfb79, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single finger head with nice lacing on a jet black body with little light passing through. Roasted malt and hops. Flavor is similar with a better hop profile than most imperial stouts. I disagree with the reviews though. Imperial stouts are common and many good ones are out there. This is a good beer, but there are so many others to choose from that this one doesn't compare too. Body is too thin as well.

kylehay2004, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of jriggins6
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

jriggins6, Jan 18, 2012
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.

JayS2629, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of nonny4xs
1/5  rDev -74.5%

nonny4xs, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +2%

nickfl, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of daliandragon
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a sixer of this last night for this weekend's football and it turned out to be a good call, especially with the thermometer dropping like it's been. Jet black in appearance, without even a sliver of brown or orange. Head is a very dark tan, almost brown, that leaves teriffic lace. Only a relatively short head lifespan keeps this from perfection. Nose is split down the miiddle between pine and citrus hops, and roasted coffee malt, baker's chocolate, and a hint of smoke.

Plenty of flavor here, but despite the alcohol, it doesn't overwhelm you but instead gives you the ability to enjoy each note on its own. The hops are ever-present, and the malts struggle to keep up at times, and cede the aftertaste entirely. Thick, oily, and silky smmoth is the texture, and close to perfect as well.

This is a heavy hitter, and as such is not exactly sessionable. However, considering the style, you aren't going to do much better, especially for the money, than this.

daliandragon, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of jsurfs82
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

jsurfs82, Jan 14, 2012
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%

brewmasterrr, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of lespaul85
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!

lespaul85, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of justinm4bama
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

justinm4bama, Jan 10, 2012
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!!

kdawg105, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Fulkrum78
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I snagged a bottle and poured it not expecting a whole heckuva lot. Aroma is all hops. Much hoppier than I had expected. Mouthfeel is a lill thin, but very nice overall. Flavor is hoppy and tasty while being rather excellent. Alcohol is felt more in the belly than in the mouth. I'll definitely look to get another one of these to cellar. Great beer!

Fulkrum78, Jan 07, 2012
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.

godlessape, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a goblet

A: Pours pitch black with almost two fingers of light brown head. Carbonation is very thick and seems to stick around forever. Beautiful.

S: Strong piney and citrus hoppiness - almost smells like an IPA. Underneath, I smell roasted malt and a hint of milk chocolate sweetness.

T: A great mixture of hoppiness and roasted malt. Some milk chocolate sweetness helps to sweeten the beer a bit. I wish there were a bit more stout characteristics here, but the taste is good nonetheless. It's just more an American black ale than an imperial stout. As it warms, it gets better and better. I get more dark and milk chocolate flavor.

M: A bit thin, but good carbonation.

O: This is an extremely hoppy imperial stout. Not only is it quite bitter, but the later hop additions are very strong. It's also a bit thin. It could use some body and dark chocolate notes to help it out. It's a very good american black ale, though.

coreyfmcdonald, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev +2%

IrishColonial, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of Kavon
4/5  rDev +2%

Kavon, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of fantasyroach
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

fantasyroach, Jan 04, 2012
Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout from SweetWater Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 891 ratings.