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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

600 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 600
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 15
Gots: 59 | 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: 600 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerGod27
1.75/5  rDev -54.4%

BeerGod27, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of barczar
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with garnet highlights and a frothy tan head that slowly dissipates, leaving modest lacing.

Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate the initial aroma, with an underlying malty tar character surfacing beneath. Notes of chocolate, cola, and clove add complexity. As it warms, molasses and subtle dark fruit emerge.

Flavor reveals more clove dominance, with dark chocolate and roasty malt dominating the slightly bitter finish. Hints of cola and ginger are subtle initially, but become more pronounced. Cinnamon rounds out the finish.

Body is moderate, with carbonation on the low side, and modest alcohol warmth.

Good variety of spice character, with enough malt presence to prevent it from becoming completely overwhelming. Hides the abv fairly well. Still a little too much spice for my tastes. Perfumey notes and a touch of acetaldehyde surface as it warms.

barczar, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of Born_Beerknurd
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Born_Beerknurd, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

BillRoth, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of DeeMalloy
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

DeeMalloy, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of bpop23
4/5  rDev +4.2%

bpop23, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of dharmabum1102
4/5  rDev +4.2%

dharmabum1102, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of jdavidk93
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

jdavidk93, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Mannard
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Mannard, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Chaosfiend
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Chaosfiend, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of SplitsAtoms
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

SplitsAtoms, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown to black in color with moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and ruby red + cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light tan head that reduces to a medium to large patch of thin film with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass with some sudsy spots. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of brown sugar, molasses, and caramel with lighter notes of anise + nutmeg.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of caramel malts with moderate amounts of brown sugar and molasses sweetness. There is a light to moderate flavor of spices I associate with the holidays - nutmeg, cinnamon, and anise/licorice.

M: Just heavier than medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly slick.

O: Enjoyable with well hidden alcohol making this beer fairly easy to drink. A nice combination of the sweetness of the malts and spices.

dbrauneis, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Liverpool08
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Liverpool08, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of bmjivi221
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

bmjivi221, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of tillmac62
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.

tillmac62, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of kushlash23
4/5  rDev +4.2%

kushlash23, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of DrewLikesBeer
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

DrewLikesBeer, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of jonothehut
4/5  rDev +4.2%

jonothehut, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of zatchv
4/5  rDev +4.2%

zatchv, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served into a Riedel tulip glass. Appearance is nearly black, with hints of red when you hold it up to the light. Tan head fades super quickly and doesn't leave much lace.

Smell is bready - kind of like a dubbel. There are hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, but they don't dominate or seem over-the-top. It actually smells pretty pumpkin-y.

Taste follows the nose, with some nice dark fruit added - figs. Spices are really well-integrated - they're noticable, but not at all overbearing. Alcohol is similar - present, but not too much.

What brings this down for me is the mouthfeel. It's surprisingly light-bodied for the taste, and just doesn't really work for me.

MasterfulIdiot, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of MPSTARR
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

MPSTARR, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of godlessape
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured this into monster size thistle glass.
The body has an intensely dark malevolent ruby brown shade to it, just one degree from midnight. It's topped off with a creamy tan head that diminished rapidly.
Aroma is like burnt brown sugar, with maybe a hint of cinnamon toast.
Taste is both malty and fruity and densely so at that, along with a earthy, almost leathery savoriness There's also a minimal hop sizzle on the tail end that works rather well.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. The alcohol is well hidden.
Overall a fine brew from a great brewery. Caution: This beer will sneak up on you something fierce.

godlessape, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of Immortale25
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Label says Best if Enjoyed by 10/24/14.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing slides down the glass leaving a thick ring behind.

S- Sweet sugary aroma that has notes of anise, molasses and caramel.

T- Hearty flavor of mild roasted malt, some nutmeg and more anise. Still sweet but the hops put forth a moderate bitterness to balance. Bit of clove. Alcohol is wonderfully hidden.

M- Slightly thick and slick with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A no-frills, easygoing winter warmer that's dangerously drinkable.

Immortale25, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of Segelstrom
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Segelstrom, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of dbrelsfo
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

dbrelsfo, Nov 04, 2013
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.