1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sweetwater Festive Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater Festive AleSweetwater Festive Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

633 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 633
Reviews: 270
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 13.05%
Wants: 18
Gots: 75 | 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: 633 | Reviews: 270 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +4.4%

PEIhop, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of RochefortChris
4/5  rDev +4.4%

RochefortChris, Nov 05, 2014
Photo of beer2day
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a thin 1 and 1/2 finger head. No retention. Laces well enough.

Nose is very dark, dank, and musky. Very deep fruit tones. Earthy, peaty malt notes with overlays of cherries and plums.

Very thick hit. Very little taste in that initial hit, but quickly turns sweet with overripe cherries and plums. Nice when the taste matches the aroma. More tart than bitter in the finish, as to be expected. If you like fruit in your warmer, then this is a good one.

Feel is very thick and heavy, maybe even too much so. And I like thick beers.

As good as this one is, one 12oz bottle is plenty. For the style, though, that's fine. I've bought the flip top liters before and that is just way too much of a beer this heavy for us.

beer2day, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of qcitydarkstar
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Held to the light, this ale is the deepest brown and the sediment in suspension makes it opaque and practically black. Upon pouring this ale in a chalice, I got about an inch of off-white head.

Smell -- Licorice, Nutmeg, Coffee, Various Spices

Taste -- Licorice, Ripe Raisins, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Roasted/Burnt Malts

Sweetwater Festive Ale has an overpowering "kitchen sink" taste that causes the drinker to notice new flavors with every sip. Because of the taste profile, I would consider this an "extreme beer" as it is not what I would grab if I was in the mood for your average stout or porter. This is a fantastic brew that everyone should try, but I do not see myself quaffing this beverage often.

qcitydarkstar, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of justinm4bama
4/5  rDev +4.4%

justinm4bama, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of xseanprimex
4/5  rDev +4.4%

xseanprimex, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of mttdls
4/5  rDev +4.4%

mttdls, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of jakehembree
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jakehembree, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of RKel888
4/5  rDev +4.4%

RKel888, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of Aisha
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Aisha, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of Hands22
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Hands22, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Cluker
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Cluker, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of nalsh
4/5  rDev +4.4%

nalsh, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of MtnDewd
4/5  rDev +4.4%

MtnDewd, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of carrollmel7
4/5  rDev +4.4%

carrollmel7, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of discdueler
4/5  rDev +4.4%

discdueler, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of JeffTaylor1130
4/5  rDev +4.4%

JeffTaylor1130, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of jeffthepony
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jeffthepony, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of jayfolly
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jayfolly, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of dowen44
4/5  rDev +4.4%

dowen44, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

** Note on 12/18/10** I received another bottle from RBald42 over a year ago and just popped it. I think this aged nicely despite the style not conforming to cellaring. I really enjoyed this today. Malt flavors really smooth out and it's a chewy caramel flavor.

Big Thanks to BHalter8 for providing this in a trade. He's an excellent trader!!

Pours a deep brown color. A wonderful tan head that is about a perfect thickness. (2 fingers) the head begins to dissipate almost immediately. Almost looks like a real Root Beer. Maybe a little thicker.

Aroma is sweet caramel and lots of deep malt.

Deep caramel flavor follows the aroma almost perfectly. The slightest hint of spices as well. Not sure if I can pick anything specific out, but it's there. A bit nutty as well. Almost roasted nuts....

Thick full bodied beer. Very light carbonation.

Very drinkable as a Winter Warmer. Definitely warms the heart.

Glad I had the opportunity to try this beer.

Reagan1984, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of brewdude1982
4/5  rDev +4.4%

brewdude1982, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of jak
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jak, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of EvilAsh
4/5  rDev +4.4%

EvilAsh, Dec 27, 2012
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 633 ratings.