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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 SubpoenaDeuces
SubpoenaDeuces

California

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-19-2011 06:16:17 | More by SubpoenaDeuces
Photo of sommersb
sommersb

Tennessee

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
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

11-19-2011 03:33:40 | More by brandoman63
Photo of cadaugherty
cadaugherty

Illinois

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-18-2011 05:06:44 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of mrandypandy
mrandypandy

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-17-2011 18:23:01 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of EasyReader
EasyReader

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-16-2011 21:16:16 | More by EasyReader
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-16-2011 03:35:44 | More by oline73
Photo of harryhood41
harryhood41

Georgia

5/5  rDev +30.2%

11-16-2011 02:54:24 | More by harryhood41
Photo of ColSanders123
ColSanders123

Georgia

5/5  rDev +30.2%

11-15-2011 16:44:25 | More by ColSanders123
Photo of Hands22
Hands22

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.2%

11-15-2011 01:23:25 | More by Hands22
Photo of jmhart
jmhart

Georgia

5/5  rDev +30.2%

11-14-2011 22:16:25 | More by jmhart
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3/5  rDev -21.9%

11-14-2011 21:28:11 | More by jophish17
Photo of Janderson91
Janderson91

Alabama

4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Georgia

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
Photo of BeerDawgs
BeerDawgs

Georgia

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%

A 22 oz bottle vintage 2006. Surprised to find one 5 years old in the store.

A - A dark, but thin appearance. Not much head or lace. But it is vintage 2006, so maybe that has something to do with it

S - Sweet molasses, and dried fruits.

T - Sweet fruits, dried plums. Smooth. But high abv is very prevalent.

M - Fairly thin, not too well carbonated.

O - Not as good as expected. The fruity flavors are nice, but thin, and boozy.

07-02-2011 01:43:56 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.28/5  rDev -14.6%

I bought this one from a liquor store in Winston-Salem during Sexual Chocolate weekend. I'm now drinking it.

A: Dark brown with no light passing. The huge 1.5 finger head died down within an hour or so (yep, that's right). HUGE!

S: Spice bomb for sure. Brown sugar, winter ale spice.

T: Like a brown ale around Christmas season. Dark fruit and lots of spice.

M: Not too thick, carbonation.... enough! The lacing was ridiculous.

O: Not my thing. If you're really into Winter Warmers, look elsewhere...

06-22-2011 03:49:21 | More by Chaney
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

2.9/5  rDev -24.5%

This beer is too thick, too sweet, cloying and doesn't really go anywhere. Oh well, never again.

Beer is dark brown and clear with a thin off white head, no lacing low carbonation, looks like beer.

Aroma is malty sweet, like syrup. Aroma does not excite me too much.

Beer is THICK, sweet like syrup and hard to swallow. Almost no other flavors other than syrup. I didn't really like this beer.

04-18-2011 20:48:39 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jbphoto88
jbphoto88

Texas

4/5  rDev +4.2%

A 2010 large bottle sealed in crimson wax. The festive pours a deep wet leather color that's brown and clear during the pour but opaque in the glass. The head is egg cream in color, thick and beautiful. A fine looking brew.

The nose is confusing at first with so many scents wafting up from the glass. A few swirls and repeat sniffs reveal an earthy malt scent with hints of chocolate and cinnamon, there is also a slight tartness in the air. This nose suggests malt bomb.

Taste delivers on the scents promise of grains. BAM!!! Like a punch to the sweet pinchy spot by my molars. A ton of roasted grain that has everything from caramel, coffee and chocolate assault my tounge. The spices are present but not aggressive to really distract from the earthy malts. Slight cinnamon mixed in with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a heavier body and light carbonation. It really let's the malts shine and take the warm, snuggly spotlight. Wow, what a great sesonal and cheap!! This one was $4.99, how can the brewery use all that grain and only charge that for a bottle. A great find, I can't wait for next years.

03-25-2011 23:37:42 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 3/1/11

2010 vintage

Courtesy of PDXHops

Dark brown with crimson highlights. One finger of tan colored foam drops to a thin layer of retention and a patch of bubbles off to one side.

Lots of cinnamon in the aroma; spiced bread, earthy hops, nutmeg and maybe a dash of ginger. Smells pretty nice. The taste turns things on edge. Cinnamon is second string to nutmeg; though very much spiced said spices aren't harsh. Modest hoppiness in the middle. Toasted bread throughout. Just over medium body. Moderate carbonation seems appropriate. Some grittiness and a slightly coating finish.

Festive Ale is an easy-drinking 8.5% abv. Definitely worth a shot.

03-15-2011 04:42:46 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.45/5  rDev -10.2%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Sierra Nevada tulip. Received in the Birthday BIF from jyounger30; thanks Jay. 2006 vintage.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, dark fruits, molasses, and a tiny bit musty. Overall it smells pretty good, and seems like it has held up well. It came off smelling a lot more like a barleywine to me and had a lot of bready and caramel malts. Seems like it has lost it's spice, but I still like it a lot.

t - Tastes of raisins, bready malts, caramel malts, alcohol, and a bit metallic. Also some light spices in the taste. A big drop from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink.

d - Overall this is a decent winter warmer, but I don't think the taste has held up too great over the last five years. The smell and mouthfeel really reminded me of a barleywine, which I really enjoyed. The taste seemed a tiny bit metallic, and a bit faded. Would like to try a fresher bottle of it and would give another shot.

03-14-2011 22:52:30 | More by mdfb79
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%

2010 vintage received as an extra in a recent trade with funkydelic. Thanks again man!

Pours a dark amber/chestnut brown color with golden mahogany edges and a thin, half finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Spicy toasted malt aroma with subtle hints of alcohol and medicinal cough syrup. There's a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar as well as some pepper, caramel, toffee and rye in the nose. Slightly smokey with hits of dark fruit and robitussin. I'm picking up cherry, plum and raisin notes as well as some slightly roasted chocolate malt.

Medium bodied with a crisp, earthy and spicy character up front that lingers over the sweet and slightly roasted malt notes into a lingerng dry finish. Hints of zesty pepper, cinnamon, brown sugar and peppermint countered by a sweet malt backbone with hints of toffee, rye, caramel and dark fruit. Lots of dark cherry as well as some fig and plum. There's a slight smokey presence toward the end of the palate with notes of bittersweet dark chocolate and hazelnut. The unpleasant sweet cough syrup presence from the aroma is thankfully very subtle. I really dislike that characteristic in this style and thankfully it's kept to a minimum here.

Overall, this is a pretty good example of the style. Well balanced, complex and pretty quaffable. The ABV is excellently masked and I can see this one getting better with age.

03-08-2011 09:09:54 | More by corby112
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Dated 2009 and tasted and reviewed March 2011.

Pours black with light tan head that quickly fades.

Nose is sweet stone fruit and light coffee. Hint of some spice.

Mouthfeel is thin but bright.

Flavors are all sweet coffee/carmel/toffee with a bright almost citric character and a candy sweet undertone. A sweet porter character or an aged Belgian character dominate. Finish is rich coffee bitter and light espresso. There is a light oxidized character that is apparent but not offensive.

Beer should be consumed now and likely not aged further in my opinion.

03-05-2011 23:07:43 | More by GRG1313
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

3.33/5  rDev -13.3%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Reviewed December 2010.

A: Generous head atop an ostensibly molasses-black body. In decent lighting, the beer is translucent and a drop-dead gorgeous wine-dark red.

S: Coffee and beets(?). Spices and maybe some alcohol.

T: Sweetish and spiced (mace?), moderately vegetal malts. An odd, roasted flavour reminds me of burnt cake. The aftertaste is bland, but reminiscent of a porter (excepting the spice).

M: Moderately thick/substantial, but nothing to write home about.

D: Very drinkable, and the ABV is hidden convincingly. Still, something about it is not quite to my taste -- though all my friends love it. I can't recommend it, but I wouldn't steer you away.

03-02-2011 22:35:28 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%

Soupy milk chocolate brown color is the liquid, and the head is a dirtied white thing, biggish at first then sinking very quickly to a skim in under a minute.

Aroma is predominantly spicy/herbal, but balanced. I get spruce tips, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, grape must and alcohol in the nose (uh, not literally in my nose), very fragrant and up-front, bordering on intense but never going too far.

Truly a winter warmer, in that its got a cozy, welcoming, dessert-like, let's-stay-inside-and-light-a-fire vibe. Spices and herbs are still the outstanding feature in the taste, but as with the aroma, never overkill. Smooth and balanced mixture of spruce/pine, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, brown sugar and grape juice. Hops and malt are here although costumed for the Christmas party (especially the malt, which is the life of this party). Alcohol is impressive well-hidden, or maybe better, well-incorporated.

Love the feel here, very smooth, silky, soft, round, almost creamy even. Enough carbonation to keep it lively.

Very nice. A real pleasure to drink and one I'll definitely try and track down next year again.

02-28-2011 23:14:01 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of wisrarebeer
wisrarebeer

Wisconsin

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
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.