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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
87
very good

629 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 629
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 13.05%
Wants: 18
Gots: 72 | 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
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Ratings: 629 | Reviews: 269 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bmcduff2
1/5  rDev -73.9%

bmcduff2, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of jaswilson2
1/5  rDev -73.9%

jaswilson2, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of BhojanBevGuy
1/5  rDev -73.9%

BhojanBevGuy, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of Erdinger2003
1.3/5  rDev -66.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

2006 Edition

The head pours out and falls away into nothing. The smell is like cheap cheap perfume that is very bad. Oddly enough it reminds me of the cleaners that we used back in 2001 at Hardees. It tastes like bad roast beef layed out on the table for a week. With a little sweet flowery bouquet of the cleaners from Hardees. The mouthfeel was ok, but overall the drinkability is zero, never again.

Erdinger2003, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of jneiswender
1.73/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had this beer served in a pint glass during a tour of the brewery.

Dark walnut color with a large bubble head. Head lasts quite a bit.

Smells sour and then sweet. Like a raisin like finish.

/The flavor is very, very complex. I think to a fault. The flavors aren't necessarily bad, just not layered. Everything seems to be happening at once. It even had some musty or mushroom like overtones.

One sip was all I needed. Didn't like the beer at all. Very honestly it tastes like a bad homebrew made of leftover ingredients.

jneiswender, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of BeerGod27
1.75/5  rDev -54.3%

BeerGod27, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of whitekiboko
2/5  rDev -47.8%

whitekiboko, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of cheribom
2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

cheribom, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of lillitnn92
2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

lillitnn92, Yesterday at 05:40 PM
Photo of BeerImmediately
2.3/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

6 pack from grocery store in NC. Sucked in by interesting label.

Pours with virtually no head over dark brown body with ruby edges. No lacing.

Aromas are heavy. Molasses, caramel, ginger, peppermint, and some allspice. Not bad.

Mouthfeel and flavor drop the ball on the aromas. Thick and syrupy, with harsh film left on the tongue. Flavors include black strap molasses, burnt raisin, char, caramel malt, and muted piney hop bitterness in the finish... Unfortunately, not a clean hop bite.

Seems like they're trying too hard to add holiday cheer to this one - overdone for the style, even tho there is debate on what this style should be. IMO, it should be something you could enjoy several of at a gathering, but this one is a bit of a choker.

BeerImmediately, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of planetscott
2.38/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The appearance and smell of this beer was decent, however there is just too much ginger used for my preference. So much so, it is undrinkable. This could be a much better beer if they backed off the ginger. I am hoping the 2007 edition will be better.

planetscott, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of mhaugo
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

mhaugo, May 18, 2014
Photo of Zombie_King
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Zombie_King, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of suckaj
2.52/5  rDev -34.2%

suckaj, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of PDXHops
2.65/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a La Chouffe tulip. Cola brown body with a wisp of a head that quickly shrinks to a ring of bubbles and a patchy skim of foam. Spots of lacing here and there.

Aromas at first seem to be limited to nutty malts with a hint of cocoa. As it warms, a tangy dark fruit presence comes into play. Plenty of fruity flavor as well; not quite puckering, but on the verge of sour. Tart orange and grape in particular are notable. These and a fairly potent citric bitterness team up to drown out any of the rich 'winter warmer' qualities that appear to be lingering underneath. Burnt brown sugar sweetness doesn't seem to mesh with anything. Light notes of cocoa and toffee fight through the tanginess, but are swatted down.

Overall impression: Sweetwater is perhaps my favorite regional brewery, but this is an awkward-tasting brew that misses the mark. Can't recommend this one.

PDXHops, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of UltimateLivewire
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%

UltimateLivewire, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of psdonnelly
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%

psdonnelly, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.85/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a discraft great lakes open mug. Dark, nice head, aroma is spicey, lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, allspice, hint of vanilla and fruit.

Flavor taste a bit too much like cheap pumpkin pie, too much spice and kinda sweet. It's not doing it for me, maybe some extra roast and I would be happier. There is a lot of good, just seems to be missing a few key components.

I would like to try next years festive fresh, maybe the 6 months did not do this one well.

olympuszymurgus, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of JBIII
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Overall, this beer just did not do anything to stand out from the numerous other Winter Warmer/Winter Ale. This beer was overly sweet/malty and the hop profile was average.

With a beer as malty and heavy as this one, it should have been better balanced by a more robust, yet subtle and complex hop profile to enhance the spice profiles of the beer.

Try it, but don't buy it. There are better Winter Ales out there, such as Jubilation's Avery.

JBIII, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is too thick, too sweet, cloying and doesn't really go anywhere. Oh well, never again.

Beer is dark brown and clear with a thin off white head, no lacing low carbonation, looks like beer.

Aroma is malty sweet, like syrup. Aroma does not excite me too much.

Beer is THICK, sweet like syrup and hard to swallow. Almost no other flavors other than syrup. I didn't really like this beer.

drabmuh, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of atsprings
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Flying Saucer Raleigh on Dec. 3 served in a standard pint glass and reviewed from notes. The beer was served a dark brown that showed ruby highlights when held to light and sported a barely there disappearing head. The aroma was sweet malts and a hint of spice. The taste is slight sweet malts and alcohol, not much there. The beer is somewhat heavy a bit overly sweet. This one is tolerable, but a huge disappointment.

atsprings, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Mr_Kimchee: Poured a dark black color beer with a medium off-white foamy head with average retention. Aroma of dry roasted malt with some faint spices. Taste is dominated by roasted malt with a very dry finish. I could not detect very much spice presence overall though and was surprised by the fact that this is classified as spiced beer since I honestly though it was a porter.

Phyl21ca, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of 100200300
3/5  rDev -21.7%

100200300, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of EigenBeer
3/5  rDev -21.7%

EigenBeer, Friday at 01:52 AM
Photo of masterofsparks
3/5  rDev -21.7%

masterofsparks, Sep 01, 2014
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Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 629 ratings.