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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

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
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Ratings: 596 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WOLFGANG
WOLFGANG

South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

07-21-2013 19:39:47 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

09-12-2012 00:57:18 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.89/5  rDev +1.3%

12oz bottle from total wine Tampa FL for $3

Appearance - Reddish brown colour with an average size fizzy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel/butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and an earthiness. There are also some dark fruits, butterscotch/caramel, and a bit of anise. It ends with a malty sweet aftertaste with some lingering chocolate flavour.

Overall - Not terribly exciting, but a nice well balanced very drinkable flavour. You would never know it had a higher ABV. I've only had a few beers from this brewer, but they have all been winners so far.

06-29-2013 00:52:28 | More by spinrsx
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

10-22-2013 15:05:02 | More by RBorsato
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%

1L swingtop poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep mahogany with hints of ruby around the edges. An aggressive pour produces a two-finger tan head that recedes to a very thin cap leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas are pretty basic with lots of sweet caramel malts and dark, sweet fruits, apples and grapes maybe. I didn't get much in the way of spices in the aroma.

The taste is also extremely sweet, with sugary caramel malts and dark fruits. I thought I got some chocolate hints as well. The finish has a cola-like sweetness.

The mouthfeel is pretty light for the style with good carbonation but lacking the body I was hoping for.

This is a decent but not great beer from Sweetwater. Probably a bit one-dimensional for me, but I may sit on a bottle or two and see how it develops over time.

12-31-2008 03:11:47 | More by gford217
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

01-19-2013 04:49:21 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

12-13-2013 03:47:35 | More by cjgator3
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.3/5  rDev -14.1%

33.8oz. waxed fliptop bottle shared by Thirstybird and served in my Allagash 25cl chalice. 2006 vintage. Poured the color of cola with some highlights around the base - half inch off-white head quickly dissipates into nothing. Nose is a little sour, malty and some booze. Taste is malty, roasty, watery and sour dark fruit (plums, prunes, raisins). Mouthfeel is medium-light with an even background effervescence. Something was a little off on this one - definitely some oxidation here. I'd have to say that this beer was a little beyond its prime.

01-10-2010 16:52:18 | More by Jwale73
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -18.5%

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a very dark burnt sienna color. Some good tan froth and lace.

(S)- A rich raisin and almond spice to it. Simple, but nice.

(T)- A spicy raisin and nut combo (walnut?)

(M)- A good carbonation level. A solid rich balance too without being too strong.

(D)- Overall, a solid little winter warmer. Not the best, but worth trying.

05-24-2012 14:28:10 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

02-04-2013 00:33:22 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of blackie
blackie

California

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

a: Gives a low off white head that rapidly recedes to a thin ring around the glass. The beer is a dark mahogany brown in color.

s: Nice blend of chocolate, toffee, and dark aromas. Earthy hop aroma.

m: The carbonation is a low medium, and the body on the full side of medium.

t: Reminiscent of a heavily malted, low hopped brown ale. Nice touch of chocolate on the the palate, with pale and caramel flavors accompanying. The chocolate comprises the bulk of the complexity. Gentle-moderate bitterness in the finish with some roast lingering.

d: not a problem...abv remains hidden

12 ounce bottle from Bruisin' Ales

01-03-2008 03:01:05 | More by blackie
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

12oz bottle thanks to Bulbman, appreciate it! Dark brown color, short wispy head. Smells a little spicy like a winter warmer but also very malty. The taste is mostly malts to me but maybe there is a hint of cinnamon hiding. This was not bad at all and I'd probably buy a sixer if I could. The alcohol was not noticed at all.

11-25-2010 21:47:01 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

01-24-2013 19:15:16 | More by rudzud
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%

This one came via OskarsBamaBlues.

A: Pours a nice nutty brown hue with a thick foamy creamy head. The head dies down but some spider webbed lacing is left behind.

S: Nice malty aromas with hints of toffee, brown sugar and nutmeg.

T: Wow one of the better if not best Winter Warmers out there. I am uaually not a huge fan of the style but I am down to try anything. The taste is very much liked a kicked up brown ale. Tons of toffee and choclate with hints of brown sugar sweetness. There is a touch of tobacco and hazelnuts. The finish reveals a touch of spice. I can't put my finger on it, but it is a perfect additon to the beer.

M: Medium in body rich and creamy.

D: Very, this is probably the first winter warmer I could enjoy two bottles of.

Overall: As I stated I usually bash the style as they are often all over the place with spices clashing with one another. This brew is balanced. It is more about malty goodness. There is just a touch of spice (god I wish I knew what it was) that is a perfect addition to this brew. I am drinking this one on a 87 degree Tampa afternoon. It would have been even more enjoyable during a not so cold winter evening.

Overall: I like it. Would love to have a sixer to drink along with my xmas dinner.

05-01-2008 20:16:08 | More by tpd975
Photo of mhaugo
mhaugo

California

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

05-18-2014 05:15:10 | More by mhaugo
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-17-2014 14:11:40 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%

A-pours a deep brown with hues of red, a thin finger of off white head that dissipates quickly and leaves nothing on the glass

S-light aroma of cinnamon spice, smoe floral hops and a touch of sweet ciitrus

T-light taste of sweet cinnamon, touch of pepper, hint of vanilla, some caramel malts come in next with a light roasted character that finishes with a dark fruits and a hint of citrus hops

M-solid body, full on medium, very smooth with a fair amount of carbonation

D-not a huge fan of winter ales and the spices associated. impartial rating as the flavors are decent and well related to the style. they aren't huge and i've had better winter's.

01-05-2010 02:05:30 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3/5  rDev -21.9%

11-14-2011 21:28:11 | More by jophish17
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

A: This poured a cloudy dark copper with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like brown sugar and mocha, with a bit of copper and sour yeast.
T: It tasted like coffee and dark chocolate, with some copper and sour yeast. It had a bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. A bit thin and weak.
D: This was a nice porter-ish winter warmer, but there was nothing exceptional about the brew. Good scent and taste, with a mediocre body. Alcohol was well hidden, so it was pretty easy to drink. Enjoyable but not super memorable.

12-21-2010 01:02:36 | More by Pencible
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%

** Note on 12/18/10** I received another bottle from RBald42 over a year ago and just popped it. I think this aged nicely despite the style not conforming to cellaring. I really enjoyed this today. Malt flavors really smooth out and it's a chewy caramel flavor.

Big Thanks to BHalter8 for providing this in a trade. He's an excellent trader!!

Pours a deep brown color. A wonderful tan head that is about a perfect thickness. (2 fingers) the head begins to dissipate almost immediately. Almost looks like a real Root Beer. Maybe a little thicker.

Aroma is sweet caramel and lots of deep malt.

Deep caramel flavor follows the aroma almost perfectly. The slightest hint of spices as well. Not sure if I can pick anything specific out, but it's there. A bit nutty as well. Almost roasted nuts....

Thick full bodied beer. Very light carbonation.

Very drinkable as a Winter Warmer. Definitely warms the heart.

Glad I had the opportunity to try this beer.

03-09-2009 21:18:26 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Tops my list for "hardest bottle to open." My sample was a big bottle of '01, with a ceramic swing top stopper. The entire top, wire and all, had been dipped in red wax, like Maker's Mark bourbon, and was the hardest stuff I've run across. It took a pocket knife and chiseling to get it off. Fortunately, the beer was worth the effort, and you can be sure there was no oxidation.

Poured a walnut brown. Overall, it struck me as Anchor Our Special Ale's little brother. Nutty, mildly spiced - nutmeg and allspice, with a lively mouthfeel. A touch of carmel and maple syrup, but not too sweet.

12-08-2002 20:21:23 | More by Brent
Photo of BGsWo22
BGsWo22

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-23-2013 18:58:37 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

04-15-2014 03:27:58 | More by Holland
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, dark brown in color

Smell: caramel malt, figs, brown sugar, alcohol, touch of plum

Taste: caramel malt, figs, brown sugar, black cherry, and spice--maybe cinnamon, small alcohol at the end

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: A nice dark holiday seasonal that leans more on dark fruit than spice. This is a sipper and kind of reminds me of a cross between a Belgian dark ale and a dark red wine. I will want another.

01-06-2010 14:58:07 | More by tigg924
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

One liter bottle, number 7083 of 7200, $12.50 at the Weinhaus in Asheville, NC. Swingtop bottle sealed in red wax. Pours a dark brown body with a two finger tan head. The body appears a clear chestnut with garnet highlights when held to light. Head retention is excellent and lots of sticky lace is left behind on the glass.

Aroma opens with citrusy orange esters, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg/mace, and some brown sugar. Undertone of caramel and an odd note of vegetal squash.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied, with moderate carbonation.

Toasted grains and sweet malty caramel dominate the taste. Brown sugar is overly prominent and adds a cloying aspect. Hops contribute an earthy bitterness, and the spicing of mace and cinnamon are present, but understated. Alcohol is very well concealed. Very much the winter warmer, but the sweetness is overdone.

Not a bad effort from Sweetwater, but I thought the sweetness was a bit cloying.

11-19-2005 13:18:27 | More by merlin48
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.