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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

609 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 609
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 17
Gots: 61 | 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: 609 | Reviews: 269 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GeorgiaGirl93
4/5  rDev +4.2%

GeorgiaGirl93, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of SarahHealey
4/5  rDev +4.2%

SarahHealey, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

brentk56, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of TheMarkE
4/5  rDev +4.2%

TheMarkE, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

harpus, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of UNCCTDawg
4/5  rDev +4.2%

UNCCTDawg, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of planbee
4/5  rDev +4.2%

planbee, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Heavenisbeer
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Heavenisbeer, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of zacncheese
4/5  rDev +4.2%

zacncheese, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of npendres
4/5  rDev +4.2%

npendres, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of Andrew4321
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Andrew4321, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of ZDePaolo
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ZDePaolo, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of Cazlo
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Cazlo, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ohtheguilt, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4/5  rDev +4.2%

OBeerMeGreatOne, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of AMCPhD
4/5  rDev +4.2%

AMCPhD, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of AlbertVogler
4/5  rDev +4.2%

AlbertVogler, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of fishguyac
4/5  rDev +4.2%

fishguyac, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of EasyReader
4/5  rDev +4.2%

EasyReader, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of stonewild
4/5  rDev +4.2%

stonewild, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of kendellmarie
4/5  rDev +4.2%

kendellmarie, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +4.2%

PEIhop, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of beer2day
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 +4.2%
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 +4.2%

justinm4bama, Nov 30, 2012
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 609 ratings.