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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 rickcrip76
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

rickcrip76, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4/5  rDev +4.2%

SubpoenaDeuces, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Hophead21
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Hophead21, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of ectomorph
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours jet black with a light hint of mahogany when held up to the light. Full finger tan head fades to rings at each sip.

S - Malty molasses and figs. No spice readily available. Surprised.

T - Chocolate, molasses, and nutmeg? Not nutmeg, what is that?? I love this beer. Very faint hop citrus in the back.

M - Medium to big body and rich feel. Nice.

D - Very high, you would never in life guess 8.6%

ectomorph, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of ZinFanDave
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ZinFanDave, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of SlowWideTurns
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

SlowWideTurns, Nov 29, 2012
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 slatetupelo
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.

slatetupelo, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
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.

DeltaGolfSierra, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of ejohnson654
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

ejohnson654, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of fuzzbalz
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

fuzzbalz, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of purplehops
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.

purplehops, Aug 24, 2003
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
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.

Kkottonmouthkngz, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of jlove5
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

BeccaH, Friday at 08:00 PM
Photo of PoolFishGolf
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

PoolFishGolf, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of Zachb4au
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Zachb4au, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of jmhart
5/5  rDev +30.2%

jmhart, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Cluker
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Cluker, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of KMitch
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

KMitch, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of bassmantin
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.

bassmantin, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of MAJ85
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

MAJ85, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of AlCzerik
4/5  rDev +4.2%

AlCzerik, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of kjmass
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

kjmass, May 18, 2013
Photo of Janderson91
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Janderson91, Nov 14, 2011
Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.