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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

591 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 591
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.76%
Wants: 14
Gots: 53 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sweetwater Festive Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 591 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

02-04-2013 00:33:22 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of P1ay3rO
P1ay3rO

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

12-28-2013 15:52:11 | More by P1ay3rO
Photo of bmoney
bmoney

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

07-18-2013 00:42:00 | More by bmoney
Photo of mecmd
mecmd

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

01-08-2012 04:46:51 | More by mecmd
Photo of BeerBeast
BeerBeast

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

12-13-2013 23:39:12 | More by BeerBeast
Photo of Jeffani
Jeffani

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

02-21-2013 04:05:51 | More by Jeffani
Photo of hellhammermario
hellhammermario

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

07-07-2013 03:21:45 | More by hellhammermario
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

02-26-2013 02:16:19 | More by t0rin0
Photo of HairyHood
HairyHood

Alabama

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

10-23-2012 22:23:00 | More by HairyHood
Photo of Buck6196
Buck6196

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

11-14-2012 03:49:10 | More by Buck6196
Photo of ADTaber
ADTaber

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

06-23-2013 00:04:15 | More by ADTaber
Photo of jucifer1818
jucifer1818

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: Dark and black, with little head. perfect for a winter ale like this one
4.5/5

S: Very varible and smelling of spice. With each smell someone can smell a differnt spice or detect something new in it. It is very nice, but could be stronger. A bit of yeasty fruityness in the smell as well
4/5

t: smooth for a beer of its ABV, with light spicing and malty backbone. the maltyness comes through in the after taste with some hoppy bitterness.
3.5/5

M: Very light for its dark color and ABV, but still quite nice
but could be stronger
3.5/5

Overall
Its a very decent winter warmer and one of the best deals on a 6 pack you can get. Its good spiceing and high ABV make this one a personal favorite, even with its flaws. If it had a heavyer body and a more pronounced spice taste in the body, I might had given it even higher marks
its s 4/5, but it is still very recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 04:10:44 | More by jucifer1818
Photo of gritz147
gritz147

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

12-29-2013 01:00:09 | More by gritz147
Photo of BigTrubble
BigTrubble

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

12-03-2012 22:12:56 | More by BigTrubble
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with tow fingers of brown foam on top of a dark brown body with amber highlights and some suspended particulate matter. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves little lace.

S - Sweet malt with some caramel and chocolate. Spicy notes of cinnamon and ginger.

T - Thick, caramel malt up front with a hint of chocolate. Clove and cinnamon notes in the middle. Some light malt bitterness in the finish with a lingering milk chocolate flavor.

M - Moderately thick body, medium carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Nice, light spice flavor with a great malt character. Quite smooth and drinkable but it would probably get old pretty quickly if the bottle wasn't being split between several people.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 07:59:10 | More by nickfl
Photo of SoCaliC8
SoCaliC8

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

01-17-2014 04:12:50 | More by SoCaliC8
Photo of Tone2467
Tone2467

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

01-09-2014 23:31:34 | More by Tone2467
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the 2007 bottling, shared with dkachur and CrellMoset a couple months ago.

A: Chocolatey brown, a bit of sediment (end of the bottle pour), and an off-white, seni-creamy head

S: Sunflower seed???, candi sugar, artificial banana?

T: Sweet and sugary, some nice caramel, sunflower again?! Wtf?? Some soft breadiness, and even a little buttery.

M + D: Very light caebonation... Lacking, really. Sweet and inoffensive drinking... Not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 15:49:46 | More by Proteus93
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11/6/03 (review of aged sample): I stuck a couple of bottles of this down in the basement for a year to age. They aged surprisingly well. The spice flavor that was far too strong when fresh has subdued nicely, making this a much more drinkable beer and also allowed more fruitiness come out. Much more interesting now.

11/12/02: Dark, dark ruby, almost black. Light khaki head lasts a while. The aroma is brown sugar, pumpernickel bread and toffee. The flavor is really earthy and woody. Kind of like the smell of a forest after a rain with the rottings logs and new growth. What I'm assuming is the mace comes on a little strong while the cinammon is faint enough that I don't notice it. The alcohol tickles around the edges of the palate but is covered fairly well.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2003 00:12:39 | More by aracauna
Photo of crossovert
crossovert

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. 12 oz bottle. On the bottle it says best refrigerated, but iIprefer this style at cellar temp.

Pours a dark brown with hints of ruby, with a frothy off white head. As the head recedes thick lacing rims the glass.

The nose is full of holiday cheer. The malt is very nutty and roasty, witch hints of cocoa and cinnamon. Theres almost an eggnog scent in there as well.

The taste could be more intense (as with most Sweetwater brews) but is full of dark malt with some cocoa and dark bread. It is also sweet with some spices in there as well, just like the scent. There is also hints of dark fruits. The mouthfeel seems a bit water, I would have preferred it to be a little heartier for this style.

Overall a decent beer, warms you up but not to the greatest extent. The drinkability is pretty good on this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 00:49:08 | More by crossovert
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to reviwing this one. Never got a chance last year. This is the 2007. Pours very dark brown with some garnet highlights. Decent head. The smell is of juicyfruit gum, christmas spices, and dry malt. Taste is similar, but slightly watery and not as flavorful as the nose suggests. In addition to the aromas being echoed in the flavors, there is a nutty finish. Mouthfeeel is very smooth but lighter than one would like for the style. Easy drinking, but a little boring. There are better winter warmers out there. Also, I thought last years tasted a little fuller.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 18:50:54 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 edition, sampled amidst a bristly snow storm on the first day of March 2007. Hopefully this bout of "peace, love, and suds" will be the end of this weather and onto spring!
Pours dark in colour, deep auburn with lots of both dark and light highlights. Pearly white bubbles as head. A refreshing aroma of spice. A little spicy actually, notes of cardomom, fresh green tree bark (spruce) and a whole slew of spices typical of a pumpkin ale; if not outwright pumpkin. Spices carry the mouthfeel too. Nowhere near as much malt or hops as there is spice, which works ok. Medium bodied, fairly light drinking - especially considering the alcohol percentage. Good and enjoyed, thanks Harry!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2007 03:32:32 | More by biegaman
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle sent by my buddy, bluepred, a few weeks back; poured to a pint glass. As we're a couple days into spring now on the calendar, it seemed perhaps 'too late' to drink - then I dealt with snow showers on the commute home and it seemed appropriate on a 'winter'-feeling evening.

This is the 2011 edition, dipped in [extra-thick] red wax. Label shows 8.5%, a 'Catch & Release Seasonal' (from the 'Winter Coat Season')

A: Very dark, a ruby-tinted chocolate brown that pours with a compact tan/ivory head. Head recedes and rings the glass forming a base for drippy lace to fall toward. Most of it sticks. So dark that carbonation can only be seen in the strongest light; it's sleepy, but adequate.

S: Not much initially, even after warming 10 minutes or so. Gradually a nice spicing arises, a rooty gingerbread and molasses. It's similar in ways to Anchor's OSA... although theirs is stronger and more inviting. Kind of surprised that a 'big beer' like this doesn't have more aroma. Shrug.

T: I'm a fan of a sweeter/maltier winter ale - and this fits that bill. A dusty cocoa powder and careful use of cinnamon are highlights. The longer it sits, the more the spice turns to 'ginger', a spark that tingles on the tongue. A little drier in the finish, just enough to balance.

M: For an 8.5% beer, surprisingly devoid of alcohol 'heat'. Very easy to drink, truth be told. I assume that, by mid-March, this beer is 4-6 months since brewing; it's held up well, although carbonation is a little subdued. The end result is that it's thinner-feeling than expected. Smoothness is spot on.

O: I'm happy to have tried this (again), thanks to Mark. I've never reviewed it, but have been the recipient of a couple Festive Ales over the years. It's a better than average Winter Warmer, that does a good job with flavors that match my palate... and with subtle 'warming'. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 02:50:00 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of iadler
iadler

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown with a one finger off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a thin cap. No lacing is left behind.

S- Raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses, star anise, nutmeg, roasted malt and a hint of unsweetened chocolate.

T- Unsweetened chocolate, faint coffee beans, grassy hops, molasses, roasted malt and brown sugar. Spices are more subtle in the taste

M- Medium carbonation and a fairly light body that finishes with a hint of roasted malt.

O- A good seasonal from SweetWater. The mouthfeel was a little watered down, but other than that, a winter warmer to visit if you have a chance.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 00:33:13 | More by iadler
Photo of jmpounders
jmpounders

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2006 release. I have also had the 2004 and 2005, but I think this year is somewhat different. Pours a deep burgandy, borderline black with an average sized off-white head which falls to a thin layer of "cream" within a minute or two. Very little aroma to this one (I think previous years exhibited more hop aroma... virtually none here)... smells of roasted grains, plums, a hint of chocoloate. Nice full body. Sweet taste of berries... cranberry and plum most notably with roasted malt flavor. Little to no bitterness. It seems to lack some of the spicy "bite" that I recall from previous years, and seems much more like some sort of "berry ale." This beer will go great with Thanksgiving dinner!

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2006 02:24:43 | More by jmpounders
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 591 ratings.