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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.
very good

601 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 601
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 15
Gots: 60 | 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: 601 | Reviews: 269 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biegaman
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!

biegaman, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
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.

msubulldog25, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

warnerry, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of bellce0
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

bellce0, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of avisong
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

avisong, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

jheezee, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of TylerHagler
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

TylerHagler, May 29, 2014
Photo of wmobley
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

wmobley, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of BudsNsuds
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Good Selection for winter. A dark beer with hints of spices. Seasonal beer.

BudsNsuds, Monday at 01:06 PM
Photo of CGAR
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

CGAR, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of jlove5
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

jlove5, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of GratefulEdd
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

GratefulEdd, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of FUwolfpacker
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

FUwolfpacker, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of GABrew
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

GABrew, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of rrski198
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

rrski198, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of Yoda22
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Yoda22, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

GeorgiaBeerGuy, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of slowdaddy
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

slowdaddy, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of JohnBender
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

JohnBender, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Tifore
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Grant (gford217) for this bottle. Poured from the bottle into a tumbler.

A - Pours a dark brown almost black liquid that is clear as it pours. Develops a very small light tan head but dissapates very quickly and leaves nothing except little bubbles rising to the sides of the glass.

S - Smells very strong of cinnamon and syrup. Really sweet and spicy. I feel like I should be bundled up next to a fire. Definitely smells like a winter warmer.

T - First taste brings lots of cinnamon to the tounge, maybe some clove and allspice? Lots of fall spices. Sweet notes and slight booze come after and finish out the taste.

M - Mouthfeel is syrupy and heavy. Medium on the carbonation and definitely warming.

D - I like this beer. A six pack would be in my fridge for sure if I could buy Sweetwater in Ohio. A few of these and I'd be set for a cold night and sleep great all night long.

Tifore, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of jmich24
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

jmich24, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of thatoneguymike
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

thatoneguymike, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of jumboj11
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

jumboj11, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

brandoman63, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of sd123
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

sd123, Jan 28, 2013
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.