Sweetwater Festive Ale - SweetWater Brewing Company
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Ratings: 596 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
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.
12-08-2009 00:54:28 | More by pokesbeerdude
3.28/5 rDev -14.6%
[Best served in a Lager glass]
The pour was a murky dark brown with an average sized (1-2 finger) head that was not around for long and only having fair lacing.
The aroma was very mild of a toasted chocolate malt a very mild resin hop and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of allspice, cinnamon, toffee and dark fruit.
The taste was moderately sweet and malty with a hint of toffee and some fruit at first then had the strong effect of spices take hold with a nice note of dark fruit and an alcohol warming sensation at the end. The flavor lasted only a short time while the taste of the dark fruit faded into the background of the spices.
Mouthfeel was just a smidgen below medium in body and a tad watery in texture with a weak carbonation.
Overall a Winter Ale with a nice dose of spices and a superb maltiness. A very drinkable brew even with the noticeably strong alcohol presence.
12-11-2011 17:10:22 | More by KajII
4.2/5 rDev +9.4%
2010 Version in a 750ml bottle.
A: deep mahogany color, very pretty
S: incredibly different nose, when I read the label and noticed the beer was spiced I was disappointed but the nose is chewy, treacle and hints of barrel aging although the beer isn't, some cinnamon noticeable also
T: somewhat thing for ABV but very nice roasted malt and spice hints, not overpowering with hops, nice roasted malt
M: thinner for color and ABV but good
D: very drinkable despite ABV
02-26-2011 21:24:46 | More by wisrarebeer
3.28/5 rDev -14.6%
Pours an opaque black with a thin brown head, no lace. Smells fruity and roasted malt. Lots of spice, nutmeg, clove and allspice. Roasted coffee finish and aftertaste.
Not great. Kind of like Anchor Christmas gone wrong. Too much spice. Lackluster.
03-11-2005 04:13:51 | More by ViveLaChouffe
3.88/5 rDev +1%
Ah, tis the season for winter brews.recieved this as a bonus beer from a recent trade.
A - Rich dark brown, nice tan head.
S - Rich malts, light ripe fruit and cinnamon, solid nutmeg
T - Similar to the smell. Rich ripe fruit type malts, nutmeg and spice. Didnt' notice the orange but I find this to be the fastest fading spice in most winter beers.
M - Medium bodied, well balanced with a dry finish.
D - Easy drinking, hard to believe it's almost 9% ABV until after you've had a couple.
I would love to have this fresher but either way I'd drink this again!
01-03-2007 16:58:47 | More by barleywinebrewer
3.4/5 rDev -11.5%
22 oz bottle, poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.
Sweetwater Festive ale pours a solid black, with between two and three fingers of khaki colored foa crowning the beer. Head retention is well above average, and there's definitely more of the glass left covered in lacing than not. The nose is disappointingly weak. There are some light chocolaty notes, and a decent amount of cinnamon aroma, but all in all it's a bit muted. The flavor profile is a bit more complex, if still dull. The malt opening features layers of biscuit and caramel, along with a delicate chocolate presence. The back end is cinnamon, which brings an almost pepper like spiciness to bear The mace is more noticeable here, adding a bit of balance to things. The body is a bit thin, and the carbonation is on the flat side, all in all the mouthfeel is a little lackluster. I've found most of Sweetwater's beers to be hit-or-miss, and this one is unfortunately trending towards the latter. I like the concept for the beer, but the execution largely leaves a little to be desired.
12-14-2012 03:06:19 | More by axeman9182
3.9/5 rDev +1.6%
Tasted On: 11-18-2011
Freshness: 2011 Vintage
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Nonic Pint
Purchased: 6-pack from Midtown, Nashville
A: Pours dark brown to black, with garnet highlights. Head is tan with 1+ finger worth of foam. Lacing is good.
S: Malty sweet, with spices I can't identify. Roasted malts are present as well, but overall not much in the way of aroma.
T: Rich and sweet, this is a malt forward beer, with nutty and spicy flavors. Nice alcohol warming.
M: Chewy body with moderate carbonation. Finishes both sweet and nutty.
O: Very nice warmer, reminds me of a stronger version of a nut brown ale.
11-19-2011 04:50:51 | More by sommersb
3.63/5 rDev -5.5%
a - poured a one finger thick light tan head into a goblet that left thin ring and sheet throughout. the head billows nicely. the body is a dark and deep reddish-brown.
s - dark and sour fruits with a hint of spice.
t - sour cherries with a dry chocolatey finish.
m - medium and bubbly.
d - good beer but the bomber was a beast to finish after my fiancee' didn't like it.
12-08-2008 22:31:08 | More by GPHarris
3.9/5 rDev +1.6%
A: Dark brown, almost black with a fingers width tan colored head.
S: Chocolate, coffee and caramel aroma.
T: Toasted caramel malt, chocolate and a little bit of hop in the finish.
M: Heavy bodied and light carbonation. Thicker feel to it. A little alcohol burn in the finish.
O: It's that time of year again and it's not a bad way to start the winter beer season with this beer. Easy drinking for the alcohol content.
10-29-2011 18:14:40 | More by Kromes
3.1/5 rDev -19.3%
Aside from this being a bit darker than I would have expected, everything else I was dead-on about. It poured a very dense dark chocolate brown through which light could hardly pass. No head. The smell was hoppier than I care for, which I predicted it would be. A bit of malt present, which is what I enjoy, but plenty of hops. No thanks. The taste was the same as the smell. A greater presence of hops than malt. Mouthfeel is very nice, however. There's little carbonation and it's very smooth and easy to drink. This has a very very slight heaviness to it. Or rather, what I think I'm trying to say is that there is a consistency here that seems a bit thicker than one might expect. Not like syrup, but certainly more dense than water. Overall, I probably will never buy this again. It certainly isn't terrible, but it certainly isn't for me either. I really didn't care for it that much, but it sure does have a smooth finish, and at 8.6%, it'll do the trick in a hurry!!
12-11-2005 03:19:51 | More by SilentSabre
3.86/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
01-16-2013 03:08:19 | More by Murrhey
2.3/5 rDev -40.1%
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.
12-29-2012 00:47:14 | More by BeerImmediately
3.63/5 rDev -5.5%
2006 limited edition, liter bottle, number 4985/9000!
Poured from the beautiful red wax-sealed bottle into two pints. The head is a nice dark tan, compact, but eventually settles to ring the outside of the glass. The beer itself is a deep dark red, nearly black till you hold it to the light.
Smells rich, with lots of roasted sweet grains and more than a hint of tobacco, along with alcohol and a slight grape-tannic quality. Overall it's quite malty, with a bit of cocoa coming through. No hops. Brown sugar to spare. Ok smell, no real spices however. Is this really a Winter Warmer?
Festive is pretty tasty, albiet basic. It's just a sweet mildly roasted malt bomb, with a smooth mouthfeel and a few interesting notes to keep you drinking. Roasted grain, burnt sugars, the ever-used "dark fruit" (figs? raisins?) and a bit oc chocolate round it off. Not very complex. Don't know how much I could buy this (especially at the $12 per bottle...) but is pretty easy to down the pint in front of me. Finishes sweet and warming, with a hint of roasty bitterness.
Reminiscent of Old Chub, really, this is a tasty beer, but not such a good deal for the price. Still, it's worth a try, and the bottle is super slick and will win you cool points at parties when you show up toting it. As usual, Sweetwater does something interesting, but not exactly ground-breaking.
04-05-2007 03:05:49 | More by kkipple
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.