Sweetwater Festive Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company
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Ratings: 596 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +17.2%
12 oz bottle. Silver label with a big catfish jumping. "Festive Ale" block letters in green under the fish.
Deep and shiny black color, ruby hints. Foamy beige head, bubbles, then leaves a small lace down the glass. Color fades to a darker brown with ruby undertones as the beer sits.
Smell is a wonderful seasonal combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, and chocolate. Taste blends into a nice combination of the mentioned flavors. The nutmeg and cinnamon are very subtle, way in the background, but a positive presence. Medium sweet creamy chocolate malt then rides to the finish. A quick hop snap, leaves your palate dry and ready for another sip. The chocolate malt, medium carbonated, and full body make for a slightly sweet, yet, very balanced seasonal. Slight bitterness, but in no way stout like roasted flavors, instead very smooth, but noticable. Chocolate and cinnamon linger.
This seasonal is in the same class as the Anchor OSA. A rich hearty full flavored ale. Very flavorful, and noticable warming alcohol prescence. I am really impressed with this one, wish I had more. Cheers to Aracauna for the trade and bringing this one to our attention.
12-02-2002 18:35:48 | More by StevieW
4.47/5 rDev +16.4%
christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. i contributed this one, which i got from purplehops as part of BC2. huge thanks stan!
giant 1L swingtop topped with red wax. 2004 vintage, bottle 3042 of 5800.
pours dark brown with a fluffy fine tan head. the head drops fairly quick but leaves lots of lace.
aroma is great. bittersweet and dark chocolate. caramel and toffee. light alcohol. almond and cashew. bit of hazelnut.
taste is great. dark and milk chocolate. big caramel and toffee. great nuttyness - almond, hazelnut, cashew. light alcohol. bit of coffee. dominated by chocolate and nut, but in a good way. big bready malt.
mouthfeel is great. medium carbonation level. medium large body. smooth as silk.
drinkability is excellent. well balanced. great big caramel+chocolate+nut combo that i'm really enjoying. this is one fine beer!
12-19-2007 18:08:29 | More by grub
4.47/5 rDev +16.4%
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a NB globe glass. Good looking bottle too.
A: Pours a dark reddish brown. Clear with a one finger brown head. Head dissipates relatively quickly with no lacing. Looking like a good cold weather beer so far.
S: Warm alcohol, spices, and malts. Hints of chocolate and sweet toffee.
T: Malty and boozy with a great spice, particularly cinnamon and nutmeg. Follows with chocolate and hints of coffee. Aftertaste reveals a light amount of hops that balances nicely.
M: Thick and frothy with light carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel that really compliments the taste and overall feel.
O: IMO it's hard to find a true winter warmer. Many that receive that label don't include the characteristics that I typically want. This beer has them all. Perfect cold weather Christmas beer.
11-22-2011 04:01:12 | More by mattsdenney
4.47/5 rDev +16.4%
A- Really dark. A lot darker than I expected. Smallish off white head disappears very quickly., thus no lacing.
S- Very sweet smelling. Lots of dark fruits. Cherries, plums etc. Chocolate, spices and yeast.
T- Cherries, oak, vanilla, caramel. This is very good.
M- Full, velvety, smooth and low carbonation.
D- Very smooth and drinkable. This is my favorite winter warmer Ive had.
This is beer #6 from the blind beers BIF. Sent to me by MMAJYK Reviewed totally blind.
This one here is really throwing me. Im initially thinking its some sort of brown ale. It pours a weird murky brown with greenish highlights. The head fades before I can even make much note of it. The beer sits in my glass really murky and chill hazed looking. Weird.
Smell is loaded up with raisins like crazy. Also some cinnamon maybe? Its like a cinnamon raisin bagel sometimes. Lots and lots of sweet toffee/caramel. Im getting lots of root beer also, like a root beer float. Yeast brings out lots of dark fruits, its very Belgian. From here Im wondering if this is Raison D'etre. Ive never had it and Im not sure if my notes are matching up with other reviews of D'etre.
Lots more raisins and Belgian fruity yeast. What ever this is Im pretty sure its some type of Belgian dark ale with raisins added. It starts out full of raisins, toffee and dark fruits, cherries but then the taste kinda just abruptly stops. This is another spot where my notes dont match up to Raison D'etre so Im thinking this is something else.
Feel is not quite full, semi dry with a carbonation that loses strength quickly.
Such a surprise to see that its an '07 Festive Ale. I was thinking it was a Belgian the whole time!
03-02-2010 17:31:19 | More by MbpBugeye
4.43/5 rDev +15.4%
I picked up a six-pack of this at the grocery store. By the time I got to drinking it, it had warmed to a pleasant 45-50°F.
The beer is very dark, but if you shine a light through it, you can see the amber hue around the edges. After pouring, a nice bubbly (non-foamy) head appeared, but didn't last long.
The smell is enough to let you know that this is something special. Hints of spices and smooth fragrances all around.
Once the head had dissipated, I gave a small taste. It was full-bodied, but not overwhelming. In fact, the taste was highlighted by its subtlety: nothing lacking, yet each sip feels like you're getting just enough.
The mouthfeel was surprisingly non-viscous. I would say "watery" but that's clearly not the word. If you are expecting something like a cream stout or a frothy syrup, that's not what this is at all. It is a dark ale that hangs in your mouth like water.
Overall, the marks on this beer are high. The taste and smell are nothing short of heavenly. I would have preferred a heavier feel, but nothing to complain about with this one.
11-27-2012 02:52:30 | More by raoulduke25
4.4/5 rDev +14.6%
Served from a bottle into a snifter
A - very dark amber, light just barely can get through it
S - chocolate, maybe some syrup
T - bitter chocolate, indistinguishable fruitiness comes through in the end and aftertaste
M - thinner than what I thought I would be getting
O - this is a great beer!
01-02-2013 00:27:12 | More by vtisme
4.4/5 rDev +14.6%
Sweetwater Festive Ale pours a brown color with a tiny mocha head. The aroma is very nice, it's chocolatey and full of holiday spices and a decent amount of hops. Ginger comes through strong on the taste, pairing well with the aroma and solid hop kick. The mouthfeel is on the heavy side of medium and with a bit of prickly carbonation leading to a smooth finish. The drinkability is very good. Overall, this is one of the best winter warmers I've had. Very tasty.
12-27-2012 06:24:45 | More by shand
4.4/5 rDev +14.6%
Well, this was supposed to be my 200th review, but I guess my math was a wee bit off. That's what you get for drinking, I suppose. At any rate, a gift from my good friend Tim F. in Hotlanta, GA. Much love for this super-rare (in San Fran, anyway) right coast gift. #176 of 7200, no less.
Appearance: Pour from a 33 oz. waxed and Ball jar-corked bottle (seriously guys, WTF?!) a deep, warm caramel with a tan, almost brown, head. Light, fizzy head head with moderate retention.
Smell: Very dense and sweet. Lots of vanilla and cola; the beer version of cream soda, if you will.
Taste/Mouthfeel: Fantastic -- probably the best winter warmer I've sampled. Dark chocolate malts, caramel, vanilla, roasted, smokey espresso. Nicely hopped and balanced. Finishes deep, charred and tight with burnt coffee long into the finish. The mouthfeel is fine, if a bit run-of-the-mill, medium bodied with fine, crisp carbonation.
Drinkability: Great -- loved the flavor, a real standout in a pretty mediocre style. Too bad I can't get no more. Still, enjoyed this one.
04-02-2006 06:54:04 | More by WetCoaster
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.