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

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 SlowWideTurns
SlowWideTurns

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

11-29-2012 17:02:35 | More by SlowWideTurns
Photo of HiWire
HiWire

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Tennessee

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a very deep brown to nearly black, with a modest tan head. No lacing left on the glass. The scent and taste are both very much like a porter. Sweet malts dominate - chocolatey, nutty, molasses-y. Hardly a trace of bitterness to be found. Very drinkable, and was gone before I knew it. Hardly noticed the 8.6% abv at all. Sweetwater could pass this off as a nice year-round porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 20:17:14 | More by DeltaGolfSierra
Photo of ejohnson654
ejohnson654

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

01-04-2014 23:05:12 | More by ejohnson654
Photo of purplehops
purplehops

Maine

4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 batch Bottle # 2600 of 4800.

Festive ale pours a deep ruby brown with an off-white head that is full of carbonation and leaves little to no lacing on the glass. The aroma is malt sweetness with a good dose of nutmeg and mace and just a hint of anise. Taste starts with a bit of a spicy hop bite and then a rush of malt and fruit notes. Flavors of pears and apples blend with malty sweetness and flavors of caramel and allspice. The finish is a luscious balance of spicy hops, caramel and chocolate malts, nutmeg, cinnamon, and the first notes of alcohol making themselves known. Aftertaste is a very long lingering sweetness (but not cloyingly so) with just a hint of alcohol warmth and hop acidity. Mouthfeel is medium body with a very nice smoothness to it and just a touch of acidity.
Overall this has to be one of the best beers that I have had from Sweetwater. A pleasant blend of spices and malts that make for holiday merrymaking anytime you open one. The only down side to this beer is trying to open it. Fifteen minutes with a swiss army knife and you can finally open the plastic and metal swing top coated in hard red wax. There has to be a better way to seal a bottle without buying a corking and caging machine.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2003 22:27:43 | More by purplehops
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
Kkottonmouthkngz

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: this is a beautifully colored beer, with ruby, cranberry hues in the light, transforms to a menacing black as soon as taken away. just about a full fingers worth of tan head, quickly dissipates.
S: not very potent, definitely mild accents of milk chocolate, maybe a little bit of nutmeg or cinnamon.. cant discern a whole lot else individually. even though its not in your face, it is certainly pleasant.
T: here we go, this is tasty. again none of the flavors that im getting are huge like some overly spiced winter beers, theyre just right. nice maltiness, some of those well balanced spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a fruitiness that pulls ahead of the little bit of chocolate. this is probably one of the better winter beers ive had this year.
M: the decent hop presence plus the carbonatio level bring this one alive on the palate. its not overly heavy, and i enjoy how the spices stick to the top of my tongue well after ive had my share.
D: enjoying this one all the way through. goes down so easily on this cold snowy winter night.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 23:08:25 | More by Kkottonmouthkngz
Photo of jlove5
jlove5

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

03-14-2012 17:57:51 | More by jlove5
Photo of slatetupelo
slatetupelo

Mississippi

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy picked me up a sixer or 2007 for me. It pours a real dark brown with amber at the edges of the glass and a nice tan head. There's really nothing distinct about the smell for me but it's not bad. The taste was surprisingly good and tastes of dark chocolate and malts, very well balanced. The alcohol is well hidden and I could drink a few of these before realizing that I'm in over my head. This was my first beer of this style, I'll have to look for something similar.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 23:19:43 | More by slatetupelo
Photo of PoolFishGolf
PoolFishGolf

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

10-08-2012 01:29:12 | More by PoolFishGolf
Photo of Zachb4au
Zachb4au

Alabama

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

03-17-2012 17:04:23 | More by Zachb4au
Photo of jmhart
jmhart

Georgia

5/5  rDev +30.2%

11-14-2011 22:16:25 | More by jmhart
Photo of bassmantin
bassmantin

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Please note, I am drinking this beer out of a bottle because I am at the ATL airport. But I still want to put my two cents in.

No comments on the appearance or smell. The taste is very full and thick. Lots of sticky sweet malts. Decently biting hops to give it some punch, but nothing extreme. Leaves a sticky taste in the back of you throat, which I do not particularly enjoy.

Overall, I would not have this one again. It's a little too much malt and hop and not enough delicate balance.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 03:30:13 | More by bassmantin
Photo of AlCzerik
AlCzerik

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-29-2012 03:08:27 | More by AlCzerik
Photo of Janderson91
Janderson91

Alabama

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-14-2011 16:31:22 | More by Janderson91
Photo of Cluker
Cluker

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

12-12-2012 00:51:16 | More by Cluker
Photo of MAJ85
MAJ85

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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

South Carolina

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

Light to medium brown. True to style. Rocky fluffy head. Good retention. Little lacing that runs down the glass.

Spices and very faint malt. Not much else in the nose.

Lots of holiday spices. Ginger and everything else you put in cookies that screams out winter holidays. Slight alcohol taste and burn. Thin malt taste that's sweet but not great.

A little thin. Lightly carbonated. Enjoyable beer. Not my favorite of the style but good.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2006 03:12:50 | More by timtheenchanta
Photo of meich75
meich75

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

12-25-2011 05:31:03 | More by meich75
Photo of nickthegun12
nickthegun12

Alabama

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is jet black with a little head

it smells of spices, maybe cinnamon and some other spices and dark malts

the taste is different from the smell...malty and not much of a warming character from the alcohol

not dry, not creamy but a full mouthfeel...and pretty decent lacing

the drinkability would be better if it weren't so high percentage of alcohol

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 00:51:04 | More by nickthegun12
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62

South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just bought this, but the BBD is 10/31/13, so I assume this is last years vintage. Pours an opaque dark brown with a nice tan head that laces well but diminishes fairly quickly. Nose is of dark malt, chocolate and spice, probably cinnamon. Light / medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. For an 8.6% alcohol, the alcohol is extremely well hidden. A nice balance of malt sweetness and cinnamon spice with a chocolate undertone. Clean finish of dark malt sweetness and spice.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 21:13:23 | More by tillmac62
Photo of meechum
meechum

Georgia

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

A - Poured dark brown to almost black with just a little light coming through in red highlights. Nice thick tan head that fell slowly and leaves a nice lacing

S - The smell is of roasted malts with a hint of chocolate and maybe just a little mocha

T - Very much like the smell..it has a roasted malty taste..with just a bit of bitter chocolate and mocha...with a warm alcohol finish

M - Nice and thick, coating the mouth

D - Overall a very nice winter warmer and a good beer to have on a cold evening

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2007 16:58:00 | More by meechum
Photo of rickcrip76
rickcrip76

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

01-21-2014 18:39:43 | More by rickcrip76
Photo of fuzzbalz
fuzzbalz

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

07-21-2014 19:16:03 | More by fuzzbalz
Photo of Riggsy
Riggsy

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

03-09-2013 22:12:19 | More by Riggsy
Photo of DarrellK
DarrellK

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

02-09-2013 21:51:45 | More by DarrellK
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 589 ratings.