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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

589 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 589
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.02%
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: 589 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of C-Dog
C-Dog


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-25-2013 21:54:58 | More by C-Dog
Photo of akgroom
akgroom

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-25-2013 15:00:16 | More by akgroom
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown with one finger of light brown colored head, settles to a thin layer with a few splotches of lace on the glass. Smell: brown sugar, lots of baking spices, a little plum and toasted bread. Taste: dark brown sugar, gingerbread, end of the sip is soft pear, grape skin, and more cinnamon. Sweet, creamy feel, enough spices and mild spicy and earthy hopping to keep it from being cloying. Easy drinking for 8.5%.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 04:24:51 | More by babaracas
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a deep, dark brown. Much darker than the typical winter warmer. Also, no real head on this one just thin wisps. Hard swirling does produce a light blanket that fades quickly.

S - Roasted malts, toffee, booze, and...gingerbread?! Definitely interested winter warmer spices here.

T - Bit too boozey for me. Light chocolate from the roasted malts, toffee is subded. More of the vibrant spice notes. Super unique, different from the typical winter warmer. Tasty.

M - Mouthfeel isnt bad, slightly on the thinner side with lighter carbonation.

O - If not for the average appearance this would actually be a pretty good beer. All things considered its a refreshing take on a classic style.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 19:15:16 | More by rudzud
Photo of ninaturner
ninaturner

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

01-21-2013 02:02:51 | More by ninaturner
Photo of MAJ85
MAJ85

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

01-20-2013 13:58:51 | More by MAJ85
Photo of Ravencrest
Ravencrest

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-19-2013 22:38:38 | More by Ravencrest
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

01-19-2013 04:49:21 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of Ajbradsher
Ajbradsher

Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

01-19-2013 01:13:19 | More by Ajbradsher
Photo of VaTechHopHead
VaTechHopHead


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-17-2013 02:06:23 | More by VaTechHopHead
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Expectations are quite high. I received this beer as part of a secret santa gift exchange from a beer-friendly stranger in Atlanta, Ga.

A- One finger khaki head with tiny little bubbles. Retention lasted about 45 seconds, which is alright for the ABV. Ruby red color with low clarity. Very dark. Sliding khaki lacing. Attractive looking brew.

S- Dark chocolate, toffee, coffee and gingerbread. Molasses and deep roasted malts. Rich and dark, with bakery notes. Very interesting and complex beer. Hop profile is negligible at best.

T- Molasses, toffee and deep, dark roasted malts. Alcohol makes its presence felt in the aftertaste, along with the burnt malts.

M- Dry and roasty feel, some chewiness to the thickness. Some slight syrupy feel.

O- Tasty, alcoholic and roasty. I'm glad I got to try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 03:08:19 | More by Murrhey
Photo of BeerBucks
BeerBucks

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-12-2013 23:26:52 | More by BeerBucks
Photo of TheMarkE
TheMarkE

California

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-11-2013 23:32:13 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of Damian74Shensky
Damian74Shensky

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Dark brown with a small light tan head

S- Dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee

T- Fruits, roasted maltiness, coffee and chocolate.

M- Medium body with good carbonation

O- Nice complexity, not bad for a winter warmer would get again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 18:41:50 | More by Damian74Shensky
Photo of RWLawman
RWLawman

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

01-10-2013 05:00:48 | More by RWLawman
Photo of NWCraftman
NWCraftman

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-08-2013 03:02:05 | More by NWCraftman
Photo of Lovely85
Lovely85

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-06-2013 15:43:24 | More by CitizenGrain
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Bomber. Served in a globe.

A - Pours an oily black hue with a two-finger soft-ivory head. Average retention with some lacing.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, big malts and assorted winter spices.

T - Massive malt backbone in this one. Bold creamy backdrop with some warmth from the booze. I find flavors of caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, subtle chocolate and a touch of maple.

M - Creamy medium body with average carbonation. Wish it were a touch more robust.

O -Pretty good showing this year and a certain upgrade from past editions. Holiday spices are abundant atop a might blend of malts. Not nearly as boozy as I tend to feel about warmers. I would get this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 04:36:56 | More by mscudder
Photo of Infamous7100
Infamous7100

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours deep and rich brown. It's clear, but the depth of the color makes it impossible to see all the way through. A nice head upon my pour with minimal lacing. A tan ring remains around the outside throughout my consumption.
S: aromas of cinnamon and spice are what I pick up at first. Shockingly, I am getting a lot of toasted malt and dark chocolate overtones I would associate with a stout. Interesting combo.
T: Complexity abound. The winter spices blend nicely with the roasted malts, chocolate and coffee flavors. I get a slight hoppiness as well, but malts and spice rule the day.
M: this brew possesses a nice creaminess with a medium body and medium carbonation. It finishes smooth and spicy with a hint of bitterness.
O: a nice winter brew. I enjoy the elements of a stout that were incorporated into its characteristics, wnich is unique. The flavors were maybe a bit too subtle, but were present enough to mask most of the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 01:38:18 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of MCDub
MCDub

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-04-2013 20:28:27 | More by MCDub
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served above 50º Fahrenheit. Roughly 3 months old, date on bottle is 10/8/13.

(Appearance) Beer pours thick chocolate cream head that retains well. There is a thin lacing on the side. Beer is very dark brown with dark ruby highlights. From the little I can see in this, there is some subtle carbonation. There's plenty of substance to behold with the nice presentation this beer gives. It's an attractive appearance overall. 4

(Smell) Medium roasted malts, some caramel with toffee and cream. Festive spice blends are on low, but reminiscent of licorice and cinnamon, both in trace amounts. Potency is medium. The aroma isn't the most impressive aspect of this beer. 3.5

(Taste) Caramel and toffee are in the foreground, but spices linger faintly in the background. The slightly bitter aftertaste is reminiscent of medium toasted malts. Slightly sweet, although a touch more sweetness would be desirable. The alcohol is well concealed, but I can pick up some tastes of it here and there at the tail end of the drink. The taste is enjoyable, but could be far more intense and full bodied, like the initial impressions I gathered when smelling. The beer is toasty and sweet. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Creamy and clean. Balance works well for the flavors. Malt is close to where it could be, nonetheless the beer is medium bodied for a winter warmer and medium bodied overall. Alcohol presence is light, well masked by the malt body and perhaps even the creamy texture in the mouthfeel. 4

(Overall) A malt-heavy winter warmer, with a subtle spice profile and a mild bitterness. I thought that the malt characteristics were a bit shallow for the beer or the remaining characteristics were underdeveloped and need some time to impart additional flavors. 3.5

Vertical Tasting Notes:

2011 (1 year, 3 months aged) Date on bottle: Best by 10/10/12.

Pours slightly darker head than the fresh vintage, slightly less substantial with a minor froth, overall still decent quality and retains well, perhaps even better than the fresh batch. Body color is identical to fresh with deep ruby highlights. There's a definite change in the malt background as the caramel begins to develop and bring out the subtleties in the spices, a little souring perhaps and some fruit characteristics are developing. This vertical is notably boozier as well. The age has done some wonders for the complexity; there's better balance to the beer and more yeast characteristics, imparting some tart fruit characteristics and enhancing the spices, notably cinnamon and anise, which are no longer masked by the malt bill. A touch dry still, but no worse than the fresh batch. A 1 year vertical of this beer is certainly worth your time as there is much more complexity to be found. Recommended.

Recommended Age: 1+ Years

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 01:11:05 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of Beersnob77
Beersnob77


4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

01-02-2013 21:26:50 | More by Beersnob77
Photo of Pumpknrdge
Pumpknrdge

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

01-02-2013 00:40:58 | More by Pumpknrdge
Photo of vtisme
vtisme

Oklahoma

4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a snifter
A - very dark amber, light just barely can get through it
S - chocolate, maybe some syrup
T - bitter chocolate, indistinguishable fruitiness comes through in the end and aftertaste
M - thinner than what I thought I would be getting
O - this is a great beer!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 00:27:12 | More by vtisme
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 589 ratings.