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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.
very good

600 Ratings
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 crownrl28
4/5  rDev +4.2%

crownrl28, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of KMitch
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

KMitch, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of AdamSekulow
4/5  rDev +4.2%

AdamSekulow, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of slowdaddy
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

slowdaddy, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of JottaGibboo
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

JottaGibboo, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of kendellmarie
4/5  rDev +4.2%

kendellmarie, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of bcseda
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

bcseda, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of RHIN0002
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

RHIN0002, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of sansho
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

sansho, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of birchstick
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours black color with a nice white head

N - rich, caramel malts are all over the nose. There are also some
anise mixed in with some more sticky candy notes.

T - starts off with sweet malty candy flavors that get sweeter as it rolls down the palate. There is also a little bit of charred malt and anise. Nice winter warmer.

M - mouthfeel is full and smooth and coats the tongue - goes down nicely

D - I really enjoyed this winter warmer. Really sticky, candyish, and malty - all the flavors that should be in a warmer. I'll have to get some more for the holiday season this year.

birchstick, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of siege06nd
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alrighty, found this bottle at random in my closet and it is from way back in 2010!!! Wow!!! Don't worry, I'll be nice...

A. Excellent. Color is a super dark, rich mahogany. Very nearly black. About a half finger of cream colored head that is tight, uniform, and has good retention. Lacing is very good. The look of this beer screams fireplace, snowflakes, and fresh pies. Which is why I'm drinking it in July.

S. Bouquet has held up rather well over the last year and a half. Raisin, caramel, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, roasted biscuit, and just a little bit of sherry-like oxidation due to the age. Smells like a freshly baked shortbread cookie.

T. Spices are up front with brown sugar, cinnamon, and clove. Then roasted malts kick in on the mid and the finish is bread crust, caramel, some vanilla, spice, and maybe just a touch of chocolate. Nice.

M. Thick and chewy, with solid carbonation and a nice balance of flavors. Spices and roasty flavors linger on the palate long after it's gone.

O. A really nice Christmas beer, with a much fuller body than its better known competition (i.e., Schlafly Christmas, Great Lakes Christmas, etc.). Festive Ale is unique in that it has a much more solid malt presence, with some excellent toasted biscuit and subtle chocolate notes that in some ways call to mind a porter. I will definitely be seeking a six-pack of this over the holidays. Excellent work, Sweetwater!

siege06nd, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of herring556
5/5  rDev +30.2%

herring556, May 29, 2012
Photo of sweemzander
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

sweemzander, May 24, 2012
Photo of ncstateplaya
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

ncstateplaya, May 15, 2012
Photo of davidblack
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

davidblack, May 11, 2012
Photo of markasparov
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

markasparov, May 06, 2012
Photo of matzah
4/5  rDev +4.2%

matzah, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of ajsuper1221
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ajsuper1221, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of AlCzerik
4/5  rDev +4.2%

AlCzerik, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of CypriotPhilosopher
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

CypriotPhilosopher, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of BenBraswell
4/5  rDev +4.2%

BenBraswell, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of msubulldog25
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle sent by my buddy, bluepred, a few weeks back; poured to a pint glass. As we're a couple days into spring now on the calendar, it seemed perhaps 'too late' to drink - then I dealt with snow showers on the commute home and it seemed appropriate on a 'winter'-feeling evening.

This is the 2011 edition, dipped in [extra-thick] red wax. Label shows 8.5%, a 'Catch & Release Seasonal' (from the 'Winter Coat Season')

A: Very dark, a ruby-tinted chocolate brown that pours with a compact tan/ivory head. Head recedes and rings the glass forming a base for drippy lace to fall toward. Most of it sticks. So dark that carbonation can only be seen in the strongest light; it's sleepy, but adequate.

S: Not much initially, even after warming 10 minutes or so. Gradually a nice spicing arises, a rooty gingerbread and molasses. It's similar in ways to Anchor's OSA... although theirs is stronger and more inviting. Kind of surprised that a 'big beer' like this doesn't have more aroma. Shrug.

T: I'm a fan of a sweeter/maltier winter ale - and this fits that bill. A dusty cocoa powder and careful use of cinnamon are highlights. The longer it sits, the more the spice turns to 'ginger', a spark that tingles on the tongue. A little drier in the finish, just enough to balance.

M: For an 8.5% beer, surprisingly devoid of alcohol 'heat'. Very easy to drink, truth be told. I assume that, by mid-March, this beer is 4-6 months since brewing; it's held up well, although carbonation is a little subdued. The end result is that it's thinner-feeling than expected. Smoothness is spot on.

O: I'm happy to have tried this (again), thanks to Mark. I've never reviewed it, but have been the recipient of a couple Festive Ales over the years. It's a better than average Winter Warmer, that does a good job with flavors that match my palate... and with subtle 'warming'. Yum.

msubulldog25, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Zachb4au
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Zachb4au, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of jlove5
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

jlove5, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of randomjazzr
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

randomjazzr, Mar 14, 2012
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.