1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

845 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 845
Reviews: 386
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 84
Gots: 120 | FT: 3
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 Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 845 | Reviews: 386 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep black liquid, completely opaque, with tons of dark khaki colored head that is pretty thick and creamy looking. the retention is pretty good, it lingers for quite some time leaving a thin lacing that completely coats the glass

S-the nose is different, very sweet with a big hop punch. Some dark fruits, rasisins and prunes, mix with tangerine and grapefruit hops. A touch of dark chocolate in the front is the only traditional stout aroma I am getting.

T-the taste is similar to the nose and has a huge hop presence. The roasted malts are more present in the taste which is something I enjoyed. Roasted espresso right up front with some dark chocolate following right behind. Hints of bitter dark chocolate as well. The hops take over in the back, tangerine and grapefruit with a touch of hop bitterness at the finish

M-medium body, a little thin but not too thin. It is silky smooth with very little carbonation but a slight bite at the finish. It is slightly dry in the back

D-this is a very interesting beer. It is the hoppiest Imperial Stout I have ever had and has a completely distinguishable hop presence in the back. Not enough malty goodness to be a great imperial stout but I think they were going for something different and I apploud the attempt.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 23:14:51 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of AdamGarcia
AdamGarcia

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes 3/24
Thanks to gford217

12oz btl poured into Chimay goblet

A: Pours a midnight black. One finger's worth of head from a forceful pour, it diminishes quickly leaving a ring. Decent lacing.

S: Picked up a whiff of coffee as I was pouring this one. Further expoloration unearths a fairly complex roasty aroma.

T: Flavor not as complex as the nose. Even as it warms I'm getting one distinct flavor. Roastiness that is pretty heavy in the bitter coffee department. Finishes with a pleasant hoppiness. This might be a one trick pony, but that trick is pretty darn good.

M: Carbonation is about right. Viscosity is on par for the style given its ABV.

D: Pretty good considering ABV. Unlike the top tier imp stouts out there, Happy Ending doesn't have that something that makes me really want another.

Nice beer. Won't seek it out in the future, but would definitely grab one here and there if it was readily available. Really glad I got to try this.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 16:56:16 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of scifan
scifan

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all I absolutely love this beer. I've been putting off reviewing for awhile but now that I'm down to last of it I figured I should give it a proper review.
Pours almost pitch black with a surprisingly light colored head. The initial pour reveals a huge head that quickly settles down leaving chunks of lacing along the glass.
Going in for the first sniff. Big, juicy, citrusy hops dominate the nose. The citrus hops almost create a certain sweetness that blends nicely with the malts. Dark roasted malts linger deep in the background making themselves known just enough to barely shine through. Light aromas of dark chocolate and coffee are also detectable albeit slightly.
Oddly enough I first detect light dark chocolate malts and just a touch of powdered cocoa. Then followed by a blast of hops. Sweet citrusy hop at that. It almost comes across as kind of orange juicy. Then it has a nice bitter finish from the roasted malt.
The mouthfeel is the only place this beer doesn't come through. It's just a tad watery and thin. I like my RIS's thick and viscous. The carbonation is good though. Overall an interesting blend of RIS and IPA styles. It's not a black IPA. It's just a big ol stout with a boatload of hops. Love it.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 03:29:40 | More by scifan
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter courtesy of Thorpe429

A: Pours a deep black with a large tan head that stays around for a good amount of time and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of hops, chocolate, and malt. Not a fan of hoppy stouts so this might not go well.

T: The taste is not bad at all, the chocolate malt and dark fruits take precendence and the hops add a bit of balance and further enhance the flavor. I'm eating (or drinking) my words here. The smell led me to believe this would be an overly hoppy beer like Storm King but it proved me wrong.

M: The feel is creamy, slick, and medium to full bodied.

D: Very drinkable and I'd keep this in my rotation if it was available in my area.

Recommended if you can get it. Thanks to Mike for the opportunity!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 02:48:48 | More by GregSVT
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a completely opaque black with a small fizzly khaki colored head. Retention is decent, and leaves nice sheets of lacing along the glass. From the look of the poor, the body seems a little light, but we shall see.

S: What?! Aside from the color that the chocolate malt induces- and a few notes I get, I cannot see how Sweetwater could call this a stout! The nose is very similar to Sweetwater's IPA; fruity hops that give notes of pineapple, sweet grapefruit, apple, and a hint of cocoa and lactose. This nose has effectively stumped me because there are very few qualities that have *stout* written all over it. I do not detect any of the "traditional" stout characteristics i.e. chocolate, fudge, coffee, etc., instead I see many IPA/DIPA qualities. Oh well, still a nice nose.

T: This beer is definitely two-faced, I am convinced that this is a black & tan of some sort; a stout mixed with Sweetwater IPA. If you blind tasted this, you would guess that this was an IPA. On one side I get sweet grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, apple, and a delicate bready malt backing. On the other side I find cocoa powder, a touch of lactose, cardamom, milk chocolate, a touch of coffee, and a delicate chocolate malt backing. A slightly bitter twang is evident, especially as it warms.

MF/D: Definitely light in body for the style (which I am not convinced is the correct style for this beer- even though SW bottled this as such). The feel is slightly dry, and even a bit sour mid-palate and finish, perhaps from the bitterness. Alcohol is very well hidden, but despite that, still highly drinkable.

*General thoughts for those (like myself 2 days ago) that are wondering if they want to buy this/what to expect:

I do not know exactly what makes this a stout (maybe the color and slight notes of chocolate, coffee, lactose), but this beer definitely resembles more of an IPA or even a well-hopped black & tan than it does a stout.

If you are hoping for an amazing, viscous, traditional style stout, you will not find it here. If you are looking for a delicious beer in general, you might and probably will. But hey, breweries are constantly reinventing beer and pushing styles to new limits, or even creating new ones, so I am no judge.

Either way, for the style this beer should score semi-low; (malt backing is too delicate, traditional ingredients are missing), but in terms of general ratings, this is a delicious beer- definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 21:51:32 | More by scottyshades
Photo of mechamifune
mechamifune

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah yes, another 4.0 (almost) across the board. This is a pretty unique stout that falls just a little short of greatness.

Pours a velvety black with light tan head. The smell is very unique for a IS, as it is very hoppy and citrusy, to the extent that if it was a blind tasting I would guess it was DIPA. Moutfeel is very creamy, smooth, but never losing that sense of hoppiness... very unlike any IS i've had in that sense.

As a result the drinkability is hard to really say.... this is not a rigid IS, but i'm not so sure the blending of the hoppiness/citrus works in total. Not hard to drink, but not easy to drink in the way that say terrapin outmeal coffee stout is. A very interesting IS thay i think could be something great with a little more work.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 20:46:17 | More by mechamifune
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter) Bottle number 423
A- This beer pours a jet black deep tan body with a creamy head of coco that last a good bit.
S- The chocolate roasted malt flavor has a green hop pine aroma to follow. There is a earthy roasted char note in the finish.
T- The smooth roasted chocolate malt flavor has some dark roasted coffee hints with a nice green pine hop finish. The hops linger a bit after each sip and start to take on a minty quality as the beer warms. There is a roasted bitterness that blends with the hops bitterness in the linger adding some nice depth.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat except for a very faint spicy hint when the beer is pretty warm. D- This beer is easy to drink and pretty mellow as it goes down quick. I'm not sure I would call in imperial but it is a nice stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 13:21:11 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep brown/black color. Not totally opaque, though. Head is firm and falls slowly to a nice froth over the top. Sticky rings of lace on the glass add nicely to the appearance. Better than average, for sure.

S: Woah, it smells like their IPA almost. Loads of grapefruit and pine on the nose, with notes of dark chocolate fudge and faint coffee mixed in. With warming some light notes of date and plum come through, as well.

T&M: Smooth flavors of dark chocolate, toffee up front give way to very dank piney and herbal hob flavors. Finish mellows out a touch with a reprise of maltiness and a light fruitiness to boot. A highly interesting imperial stout, but I'm not sure that it's incredibly cohesive. The hops save it, but it could use some bigger malt flavor. Body is medium/full, yet light for a big stout, with a very light carbonation level.

D: Well it's drinkable but it's not so incredibly tasty. Sweetwater definitely brewed a unique stout here, but it's not necessarily that great of a beer. Still, for 8 bucks a 6 pack I'd hit it again soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 23:52:45 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from Ding when he came and visited Columbus.
Shared it with my girlfriend. This beer is pretty good. One of the things that stuck out most in my mind was the near surprising lack of carbonation. The bottle was not flat, it must just be really low carbonated. This helps the body feel a lot fuller and very smooth. The taste is very subdued for an imperial stout. It isnt big and boozy or imposing at all. Unfortunately these are characteristics I like in am imperial stout.
In all this is quite a good beer, just not as big as I would like.
___
7/19/10

This is beer #2 from the blind beers BIF. Sent to me by MMAJYK. Reviewed totally blind.

4.5/4/4.5/3.5/4
This one is nicely carbonated. It props up a nice tan head that is sticky enough to leave rings of lace. Its a very dark beer, but not stout thick. Right away I could tell it wasnt an imperial stout. There was too much head and the body was too thin. Light can shine through and show deep deep red/brown highlights.

The smell is a bit weak., but its another clue that makes me think this is a black IPA. There is plenty of roastiness, dark fruits, cherries and rich maltiness but the hops are very strong. lots of orange, spice and tea.

It tastes really good. Hops are really nice and fruity. They are very strong. They almost defeat lots of the dark malts, cherries, and roasty stuff. Theres lots of oranges and pineapple.

The feel is a little weak. Its dry but finishes with a coating all over the palate. Carbonation is sharp and prickly.

This was a big surprise. I obviously didnt pay much attention the last time. I was thinking this was a black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 21:05:54 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best by Dec 31, 2010. Pours very dark brown to black with some red highlights. Starts with a large two-finger foamy brown head, leaves rings of foamy lacing, reduces to a weak cap and a ring.

First whiff was quite a surprise, very hoppy for an imperial stout. Citrus, pine, everything is there plus a healthy dose of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and toffee one would expect from the style. The latter aromas really take center stage as the beer warms.

Flavor starts with rich chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee, a bit of dark fruit, suddenly moving into a blast of bitter hops. Long bittersweet finish. Alcohol becomes prominent toward the end of the glass.

Mouthfeel is high in carbonation, prickly, the body is a bit thin.

Overall, the beer does seem to fall apart in the bottom third in pretty much all departments. Still, it's quite interesting, especially fresh with the hops really kickin'. Even though it only has a one-year best by date, I do plan on aging some out of curiosity to see what happens after the hops are toned down.

Pretty good stuff overall, could use a fuller body and less prickly mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 02:32:28 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of barleyman
barleyman

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. brown glass bottle into my straight sided tumbler. The dark head leaves a nice lace down the glass. Thick black color allows no light through. Fairly minimal smell for a dry hopped product. Burnt caramel smell with raisins and predominant date aroma. Taste is wonderful, at first full of malt, the hops come on during the aftertaste. Dry hopping is obvious. Mouthfeel is pretty light for this volume. Drinkability is just right for an Imperial Stout of this volume, Bravo Sweetwater, I'm gonna go back and buy a couple of cases of this wondermus Stout!

Just a thought,

barleyman

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 01:54:58 | More by barleyman
Photo of kirkpjr
kirkpjr

Alabama

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a semi-thick black with about a finger of brown head. No light's coming through this one. Lacing develops soon.

S: Quite an interesting smell for a stout. Plenty of hops here - no real toasty or malt scents. Surprising to get a hop aroma out of what should be a chocolate or coffee scented beer. As the beer warms a faint roasted malt comes through. I like where this is going.

T: Hoppy sweet start. Citrusy and grapefruit - reminds me of the IPA hop profile. However this is quickly swept away by a bold roasted malt flavor. A small coffee flavor. Very unique in that it almost has both ends of the flavor spectrum with a potent hop start and a toasty malt finish.

M: Creamy and smooth. Not as thick as another imperial stout would contend but still nice.

D: A nice take on the style. Will pick this up again.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 03:16:21 | More by kirkpjr
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to FooFaa for sharing this with me - enjoyed in a tulip

A - Dark cocoa brown color w/ thin ecru head, tiny bead and translucent clarity w/ nice webbing of lace that clings

S - A mild toffee aroma w/ mild graham cracker odor and citrus hop notes that are there enough to be noticeable w/ light toasted nut and orange rind accenting the yeast and malt esters

M - The feel is pretty toasty, yet moderate fullness for the style w/ slight acidity and more caramel than roasted malt texture w/ gentle alcohol nuances w/ mild hop spice and resinous smoothness

T - The flavor has bitter citrus hop notes leading the taste w/ an almost creamy cocoa supplment and there is mild biscuit w/ cocoa like malt tinges and hints of grapefruit and pepper in the tertiary flavor. The toffee quality is there w/ a mild alcohol flavor in the finish

D - A taste that is not your everyday by the numbers Imperial Stout -more like an Imperial American Brown but I liked it and found the combo of hops and caramel malts drinkable -Cheers Dan, thanks!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 15:18:59 | More by Slatetank
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
NYCWheatFanSC

New York

4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours an almost black dark brown, with a light tan head that recedes INCREDIBLY slowly and leaves significant lacing. I really couldn't believe the retention, to the point of thinking they must put some chemical in it.

S - Nice hop nose on top, but the roasty stout underneath is still discernable, with neither overpowering the other but both existing in harmony. I wasn't a fan of Darkness at all for the lack of a proper balance - but maybe thats why some like it

T - Very similar to the nose, with a nice high layer of citrus hops on top of a strong, chocolatey, slightly roasty malt backbone.

M - Thick but a bit oily

D - I loved this beer, and may even consider trading for it (got as an extra the first time). I used to think a hoppy stout was antithetical and just plain wrong. Now I know it can be done!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 00:00:29 | More by NYCWheatFanSC
Photo of beer2day
beer2day

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark brown pour. Can't quite call it black, but very close. Large bubbled, two-finger head with good lacing and nice retention.

Nose is much weaker than hoped for. Roast malt, raspberries, cherries are all there, but weak. Slight soapiness to the aroma as well.

Strong roast flavor up front. Very aggressively hopped. I'm actually stunned at the hop presence here. There is an actual grapefruit taste in a beer this dark ... and it works. Pine resin there, but not as dominating. I can pick up the grapefruit in the nose now, too. Getting some nice coffee tones as the beer warms. Nice alcohol burn after the finish.

Much thinner than anticipated as well. Could use a lot more malt body.

A good beer, but nothing outstanding. If you like the concept of a hoppy impy stout, then seek this one out.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 01:46:55 | More by beer2day
Photo of RedBrewer83
RedBrewer83

Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aggressively poured into goblet...

A: Pours jet black, not as heavy as I expected for 9% but forms a nice three finger beige head that falls very slowly with very nice lacing.

S: Pine resin dominated nose, funny for a RIS but its what they describe on the bottle. A little bittersweet chocolate malt comes through along with just a hint of toasted bread and molasses.

T: Very hop dominated profile, nice alternative to the usual but needs more depth and complexity of flavor to be really outstanding. This is nice, but comes across a little one note, lots of pine resin hop followed by bittersweet chocolate roasted malt with hints of coffee and caramel.

M: Medium body with very active carbonation, pretty fine but a little too much for the style. Wish it were a bit smoother, the bite of the hops combined with the bite of the carbonation overpower everything else about it.

D: Pretty drinkable for a 9% RIS, but again a little harsh in spots which slows it down a bit. This is a good beer and if it were around here seasonally I would pick it up as a nice alternative to the style, but tough to give it high marks for an RIS.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 00:09:59 | More by RedBrewer83
Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
KOPBeerDrinker

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Dark and opaque, looks like ol motor oil. A large beige head formed and stayed around for a pretty long time, leaving behind sticky lacing. Smell isn't quite what I expected - predominated by hops with a little chocolate. Bready malt up front, with just a little chocolate, finishes with large amount of hops. Mouthfeel is medium. Easy to drink, especially for 9%. Not what I expected - tastes more like an IPA than a RIS. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 02:39:28 | More by KOPBeerDrinker
Photo of rtratzlaff
rtratzlaff

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottled poured into a snifter.

A pitch black body with a tan head that leave good lacing for a 9% beer. Aromas of chocolate malts and plenty of hops in the mix as well. This is not a typical RIS in character from the start. The taste is charred toasty malts, coffee, not much chocolate, and plenty of pine and citrus hops in the finish. This drinks more like a black IPA than anything else, but I like it. The mouthfeel is lighter than most RIS, but I think that's a good thing.

All in all Sweetwater has crafted a good beer that doesn't stick to style, but is still very pleasing.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 22:28:59 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of jbone78
jbone78

Florida

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very interesting beer. I has American written all over it. Pours black; nearly opaque. Smells are hoppy, but not a bittering hop. More of a dry hop aroma. The taste has a very malty background, but has that SweetWater signature sweetness to it. This is a very easy drinking stout. The 9% is hidden so well you could drink a sixer on a cold night and sleep well. I didn't do that. I'm just saying I like this beer and I could do that.

Update: the above review is for the 2009 vintage. The 2010 bottle are just about as described in my opinion. This year has a ton of hop aroma, not sure if it is the same as last year, but a lot.

-Later

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 03:45:20 | More by jbone78
Photo of jdrury245
jdrury245

Massachusetts

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 superdedooperboy
superdedooperboy

Georgia

4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours deep brown, nearly black and opaque, with a full two-fingered topping of cocoa-tinged foam that recedes somewhat briskly but leaves behind some nice threads of lacing on the sides of the glass as it disappears.

Aroma is surprisingly full of bright, citrusy hop notes. Label confirms that the brew is, in fact, dry-hopped, explaining things. Beneath the fresh hoppy notes lies a bit of roastiness, perhaps some coffee-like notes, a touch of dark chocolate and some light alcohol.

Full-bodied with a moderate level of carbonation, it doesn't feel heavy at all and almost dances on the tongue. Things aren't nearly so hop-forward on the palate, with a dark-roasted coffee presence dominating. Flavors move toward a chocolaty, cappuccino realm before the citrusy, grassy hop notes show themselves bashfully. The finish is a little roasty, with a lingering dryness.

The hop presence here makes this Imperial Stout much more drinkable than anticipated. I would call it more of an American Imperial Stout than a Russian, as the hops are clearly American variety and play such a dominant role. Alcohol is quite well-hidden, furthering this ale's drinkability and making it a bit of a sleeper. Very nice overall, it would be nice to see how this one changes with age and the hops begin to fade.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 03:20:38 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of JMC_TM
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 chaz410
chaz410

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at the flying saucer.
This is hands down the best beer I've gotten from Sweetwater.
Appearance is dark black with a thick mocha colored finger length head that leaves a ton of lacing.
Smell is not very impressive. Some crisp chocolate malt notes along with some roasted malt.
Taste if more full, lots of roasted chocolate malt and roasted barley. Not bitter but it does have a nice unsweetened chocolate flavor with hints of cocoa nibs and caramel.
Mouthfeel is thick and silky.
Easy to drink for the abv, a great stout to indroduce people to if they want to try the high octane stouts

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2010 04:13:08 | More by chaz410
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Super pumped to see this beer at my local store. I hadn't seen it the last few times it was released. Poured into a goblet. Pours a very thick deep black. There is no light coming through this beer at all. A nice frothy tan head caps this one off. Retains well; leaves some nice sticky lace. Let's take a whiff...Hops!! Whoah! That's weird. This smells just like an IPA. All citrus and pine. I'm not getting any roasted scents; nothing in the nose would tell me this is a Imp Stout.

Great smooth creamy body on this beer. Some light subtle carbonation kicks on the tongue. With the flavor, again, this is all hops. This is really strange. This tastes just like an IPA. Citrus flavors with a bitter kick from a fresh squeeze of hops. I gave it an 'average' rating because on the finish, just ever-so-faintly, I'm getting some light roasted flavors, like toasted malts. This beer is a conundrum. Not sure this is what it claims to be. A good beer, but horribly off style.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 04:49:04 | More by Onenote81
Photo of caresville
caresville

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

big thanks to jyounger30 for this southern special!!

a- pours a thick, motor oil black with fluffy and vibrant light brown head that sticks around for a bit. no carbonation and lots of lacing.

s- so hoppy!! piney and foresty, kinda odd. smells very fresh though. malty and chocolatey backbone extends through the thick hops smell.

t&m- a grapefruit covered in chocolate and caramel.

d- this beer is having a serious identity crisis. if i wanted a weak ipa i wouldnt have selected this. this in no way reminds me of any impy stout i have ever had. there is a hint of malts, roastyness, and other things that would define stouts but it is completely hidden by the overwhelming hoppy outburst. buyer beware, this is a black ipa.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 04:15:21 | More by caresville
Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout from SweetWater Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 845 ratings.