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Sweetwater Festive Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater Festive AleSweetwater Festive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

600 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 600
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 15
Gots: 59 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: purplehops on 11-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater Festive Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 600 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from waxed bomber into tulip glass. Pours a very deep brown along with a nice medium to thin tan head. Aromas of cinnamon, caramel, nutmeg, toasted malts, and maybe a touch of chocolate. The flavor allows for a decent amount of chocolate to sneak in there to go with the cinnamon holiday spice, vegetation notes, and sweet malt. Medium bodied with decent carbonation throughout. Overall, a nice holiday beer and one I wouldn't mind seeking out again!

CuriousMonk, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4/5  rDev +4.2%

gratefulbeerhead, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of zrab11
4/5  rDev +4.2%

zrab11, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of rcontn
4/5  rDev +4.2%

rcontn, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev +4.2%

cadaugherty, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +4.2%

A festive ale indeed. I have learned to expect lighter and more tame brews from Sweetwater. This beer surprises with a heavier malt base, complexity, and spiciness. Looks brown through and through with a tan head and simple lacing. Smells deeply roasted and chocolatey, much like an English Brown. This brew seems to have added chocolates and christmas type spices that are shown equally in the nose and flavors. Flavors continue with a bready / toasty character, caramels, and increasing spiciness. Feels full, but not rich. Never thickens or waters. Finishes with a mild alcohol warmth, and a mild bite comming from the spices and grains. Nice winter brew. Thanks again Ding.

BEERchitect, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of Lovely85
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Lovely85, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Big thanks to Yesac for this in our most recent trade. 12oz bottle, 2009 vintage.

A: Deep dark brown in color with a light tan head that recedes into an island of bubbles in the middle of the glass. A few spots of lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: Roasted malt, some booze, a little caramel, a little caramel, and some spices, really strong booze presence though. Not bad.

T: Roasted flavors are nice, and cinnamon comes to mind, slightly boozey, nice malty sweetness, slight little hop profile mixed with the alcohol makes a nice bitter ending. Pretty tasty beer here.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation, coats the mouth nicely, nice alcohol warmth.

D: This is dangerously drinkable, wow, I'd probably get into a ton of trouble if I had this around on the regular. Great winter warmer. Nice malty thickness and a good alcohol heat with a bit of spiciness. Very nice. Highly recommended for a cold winter night.

Thanks Casey!

pokesbeerdude, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +4.2%

waiting4lunch, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of HiWire
4/5  rDev +4.2%

HiWire, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of engineerkate
4/5  rDev +4.2%

engineerkate, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
4/5  rDev +4.2%

sendbeer, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of Brinks
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Brinks, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Acquired this from tigg924 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with mahogany hue edges. A one finger of khaki colored head that dissipates quickly. Wispy lacing is left on the side.

S: Nose is of caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses, and spices.

T: Taste is caramel malts, brown sugar, hint of bitter chocolate up front. Middle is a bit nutty, some molasses, spicing. Finish is bitter chocolate with just a hint of hop bite, and bit of alcohol.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp, clean body with a touch sticky finish.

D: Nicely balanced, goes down easily, in my winter warmer days, I could drink these all day. One would probably do me now.

Jayli, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.2%

kjkinsey, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of n00tz
4/5  rDev +4.2%

A - A one centimeter deep, tight tan head floats atop a dark body with active carbonation. Laces a good halfway down the glass.

S - Nutty, spicy fruits, and sweetness.

T - Sweet cream and fig. Kind of a dried spicy flavor, somewhat roasted. Followed by a nutty and mild hop taste.

M - Thick body with a smooth landing. Hides the alcohol content flawlessly.

D - If the intent is to drink this in happy company around a warm fire complementing some mildly sweet desserts like a pumpkin pie, then this hits the spot perfectly. By far the best brew from Sweetwater I've ever had.

n00tz, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of BrkfstOfChmpns
4/5  rDev +4.2%

BrkfstOfChmpns, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of zatchv
4/5  rDev +4.2%

zatchv, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of DocAJ
4/5  rDev +4.2%

DocAJ, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of GeorgiaGirl93
4/5  rDev +4.2%

GeorgiaGirl93, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of SarahHealey
4/5  rDev +4.2%

SarahHealey, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +4.2%

2010 bottling re-visit

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a decent head that leaves shards of lace on the pint glass

Smell: Malty aroma that includes a touch of dark fruit, chocolate, nougat and holiday spice

Taste: Starts with a brown bread flavor that is promptly matched by the dark fruit, chocolate and nougat elements; after the swallow, the cinnamon spicing adds a holiday flourish; the finish brings on a surprising lift from the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice flavor profile with subtle aromatics; not sure whether the recipe has changed but this has a lot more character than what I tasted a few years ago

brentk56, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of TheMarkE
4/5  rDev +4.2%

TheMarkE, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Appearance: Pours a nice deep brown (coffee-like) and starts with a short 1/2 finger tan head that fades quickly to a thin and uneven skim; body is mostly opaque and shows some deep mahogany highlights when held to the light; no real lacing to speak of, just a thin oily residue.

Smell: Deep dark malts, a slightly smokey peat scent and perhaps a bit of tall grassy graininess (wheat or straw). Not especially potent.

Taste: Quite nice -- nice deep roasty malts taht are not quite burnt; a slightly smokey peaty flavor is there as it is in the smell; I'd swear that there's a touch of cinammon; a slightly cola-like sweetness lingers near the end of each sip before it goes back to the warm roastiness and that tall grassy graininess of wheat or straw; as it warms, there are also mild notes of chocolate and sweet dark fruits as well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is quite strong and stops just shy of being sharp; body is of moderate thickness and a little heavier in weight; moderate stickiness and the belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: I like the flavors and feel I picked a great night that is absolutely frigid outside to enjoy this as the warming sensation in the belly is quite pleasant as well. The ABV is a tad high, but I feel that if it's just sipped over the course of the night, I could get through a couple.

harpus, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of UNCCTDawg
4/5  rDev +4.2%

UNCCTDawg, Nov 30, 2011
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.