1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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
86
very good

596 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 596
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.76%
Wants: 15
Gots: 58 | 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: 596 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zrab11
zrab11

Indiana

4/5  rDev +4.2%

02-26-2013 01:57:11 | More by zrab11
Photo of rcontn
rcontn


4/5  rDev +4.2%

12-15-2012 20:39:11 | More by rcontn
Photo of cadaugherty
cadaugherty

Illinois

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-18-2011 05:06:44 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +4.2%

A festive ale indeed. I have learned to expect lighter and more tame brews from Sweetwater. This beer surprises with a heavier malt base, complexity, and spiciness. Looks brown through and through with a tan head and simple lacing. Smells deeply roasted and chocolatey, much like an English Brown. This brew seems to have added chocolates and christmas type spices that are shown equally in the nose and flavors. Flavors continue with a bready / toasty character, caramels, and increasing spiciness. Feels full, but not rich. Never thickens or waters. Finishes with a mild alcohol warmth, and a mild bite comming from the spices and grains. Nice winter brew. Thanks again Ding.

11-26-2006 18:39:18 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Lovely85
Lovely85

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-06-2013 22:40:12 | More by Lovely85
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude

Colorado

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Big thanks to Yesac for this in our most recent trade. 12oz bottle, 2009 vintage.

A: Deep dark brown in color with a light tan head that recedes into an island of bubbles in the middle of the glass. A few spots of lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: Roasted malt, some booze, a little caramel, a little caramel, and some spices, really strong booze presence though. Not bad.

T: Roasted flavors are nice, and cinnamon comes to mind, slightly boozey, nice malty sweetness, slight little hop profile mixed with the alcohol makes a nice bitter ending. Pretty tasty beer here.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation, coats the mouth nicely, nice alcohol warmth.

D: This is dangerously drinkable, wow, I'd probably get into a ton of trouble if I had this around on the regular. Great winter warmer. Nice malty thickness and a good alcohol heat with a bit of spiciness. Very nice. Highly recommended for a cold winter night.

Thanks Casey!

12-08-2009 00:54:28 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of waiting4lunch
waiting4lunch

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-23-2013 01:40:37 | More by waiting4lunch
Photo of HiWire
HiWire

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-29-2013 02:42:58 | More by HiWire
Photo of engineerkate
engineerkate

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

10-07-2013 02:52:13 | More by engineerkate
Photo of sendbeer
sendbeer

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-12-2012 20:22:14 | More by sendbeer
Photo of Brinks
Brinks

Alabama

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-12-2014 16:54:51 | More by Brinks
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Acquired this from tigg924 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with mahogany hue edges. A one finger of khaki colored head that dissipates quickly. Wispy lacing is left on the side.

S: Nose is of caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses, and spices.

T: Taste is caramel malts, brown sugar, hint of bitter chocolate up front. Middle is a bit nutty, some molasses, spicing. Finish is bitter chocolate with just a hint of hop bite, and bit of alcohol.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp, clean body with a touch sticky finish.

D: Nicely balanced, goes down easily, in my winter warmer days, I could drink these all day. One would probably do me now.

02-16-2010 01:43:20 | More by Jayli
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +4.2%

02-13-2012 15:03:00 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of n00tz
n00tz

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

A - A one centimeter deep, tight tan head floats atop a dark body with active carbonation. Laces a good halfway down the glass.

S - Nutty, spicy fruits, and sweetness.

T - Sweet cream and fig. Kind of a dried spicy flavor, somewhat roasted. Followed by a nutty and mild hop taste.

M - Thick body with a smooth landing. Hides the alcohol content flawlessly.

D - If the intent is to drink this in happy company around a warm fire complementing some mildly sweet desserts like a pumpkin pie, then this hits the spot perfectly. By far the best brew from Sweetwater I've ever had.

11-13-2008 23:59:03 | More by n00tz
Photo of BrkfstOfChmpns
BrkfstOfChmpns

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

12-11-2012 03:33:07 | More by BrkfstOfChmpns
Photo of zatchv
zatchv

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-21-2013 21:32:12 | More by zatchv
Photo of DocAJ
DocAJ

Alabama

4/5  rDev +4.2%

02-15-2012 20:51:45 | More by DocAJ
Photo of GeorgiaGirl93
GeorgiaGirl93

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

06-09-2014 18:31:51 | More by GeorgiaGirl93
Photo of SarahHealey
SarahHealey

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%

02-16-2012 20:51:57 | More by SarahHealey
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%

2010 bottling re-visit

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a decent head that leaves shards of lace on the pint glass

Smell: Malty aroma that includes a touch of dark fruit, chocolate, nougat and holiday spice

Taste: Starts with a brown bread flavor that is promptly matched by the dark fruit, chocolate and nougat elements; after the swallow, the cinnamon spicing adds a holiday flourish; the finish brings on a surprising lift from the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice flavor profile with subtle aromatics; not sure whether the recipe has changed but this has a lot more character than what I tasted a few years ago

12-07-2006 03:47:43 | More by brentk56
Photo of TheMarkE
TheMarkE

California

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-11-2013 23:32:13 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of harpus
harpus

Alabama

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Appearance: Pours a nice deep brown (coffee-like) and starts with a short 1/2 finger tan head that fades quickly to a thin and uneven skim; body is mostly opaque and shows some deep mahogany highlights when held to the light; no real lacing to speak of, just a thin oily residue.

Smell: Deep dark malts, a slightly smokey peat scent and perhaps a bit of tall grassy graininess (wheat or straw). Not especially potent.

Taste: Quite nice -- nice deep roasty malts taht are not quite burnt; a slightly smokey peaty flavor is there as it is in the smell; I'd swear that there's a touch of cinammon; a slightly cola-like sweetness lingers near the end of each sip before it goes back to the warm roastiness and that tall grassy graininess of wheat or straw; as it warms, there are also mild notes of chocolate and sweet dark fruits as well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is quite strong and stops just shy of being sharp; body is of moderate thickness and a little heavier in weight; moderate stickiness and the belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: I like the flavors and feel I picked a great night that is absolutely frigid outside to enjoy this as the warming sensation in the belly is quite pleasant as well. The ABV is a tad high, but I feel that if it's just sipped over the course of the night, I could get through a couple.

12-09-2010 03:00:12 | More by harpus
Photo of UNCCTDawg
UNCCTDawg

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-30-2011 02:41:48 | More by UNCCTDawg
Photo of planbee
planbee

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-26-2011 05:55:33 | More by planbee
Photo of Heavenisbeer
Heavenisbeer

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-01-2012 20:54:42 | More by Heavenisbeer
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.