Sweetwater Motor Boat - SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater Motor BoatSweetwater Motor Boat

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451 Ratings

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Ratings: 451
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 23
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gford217 on 08-29-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 451 | Reviews: 150
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #43 (Aug 2010):

This beer is a tarnished copper color with a head to be proud of. It has a toasty, sweet malt aroma with a healthy herbal hop twang in the back. It's sublimely smooth and perhaps a tad slick. With toasted grain all around, there are quick flashes of caramel sweetness and more of a dried grassiness in the end. The tamed hops add some spiciness and a mildly bitter, herbal flavor. There's also vague fruitiness within the folds. It finishes relatively dry, with that dried grass, toasted grain flavor. This is an off-base seasonal. We love it because the norm doesn't need to be the path for everyone.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I like a good ESB and there just isnt enough around!This poured into a standard pint glass a clear bronze color with a tight formed one finger white head that settled into a soapy-like mass,aromas were malt tilted with caramel/biscuit,brown sugar, and juicy fruit malt notes,only a slight "green" herbal hop presence is felt.Flavors start out with dark"ish" fruit and caramle with a slight toastiness,a srying leafy hop presence comes thru late.A solid ESB more malt driven, but it does have a hop presence,well done.

Photo of warnerry
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber/brown with one finger of head. Head has outstanding retention and leaves a sheet of lacing.

S -- Slightly bitter hops aroma, and a bit of malt. Subtle aroma.

T -- Nice bitterness initially followed by a somewhat watery middle. Finish is a nice dry earthy bitterness. Has a dry bitterness, but I can't identify the hops.

M -- Somewhat thin mouthfeel, but a good dry bitter finish.

O -- Unfortunately the outstanding appearance only led to a decent beer. Not bad, but not memorable either.

Photo of merlin48
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pours a hazy amber body with a medium sized offwhite head. Attractive patchy lacing graces the glass.

Aroma has a sharp hoppiness. Citrusy grapefruit and pine notes obscure any hint of malt.

Mouthfeel has a creamy carbonation and medium body.

Taste has a prominent citrusy hop bitterness. Pine notes add an edge. No significant malt presence to this one. Finishes dry and bitter like an IPA.

Misses the boat as an ESB. No malt character or no apple or pear notes that I look for in a good ESB. Way too hoppy for style.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is toffee with some orange citrus hops. I also get a little bit of chocolate, which I was not expecting. The flavor is heavy on the toffee malt but there are some citrus hops to keep the beer nice and balanced. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of glid02
4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask wet-hopped with Chinook served at the brewery.

Pours a hazy brown-copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells like something I never want to stop smelling - citrus, pine, floral, herbal, if it's associated with a hop it's here. Backing up the hop aromas are grainy and lightly toasted malts that gain steam as the beer warms.

Tastes good, just not as good as it smells. Hop flavors dominate but caramel malt flavors that are more earthy and mineral-like than sweet serve as a sturdy backbone. As with the smell the malt flavors assert themselves more as the beer warms. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a very nice thickness with a surprisingly moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I used all my tickets (six total) on samples of this and I would use six more if I had them.

Overall the wet-hopping influenced this beer more than the cask conditioning as the carbonation levels were almost identical to the draught version. Regardless, this beer was hoppy already but the extra Chinook pushed it to a new level. I can't wait to try Wet Dream after tasting this.

Photo of tdm168
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sawmill Tap Room

Arrives a light amber with no head. Nose offers caramel and toasty malts with just a hint of pine. Taste is bready, biscuity, and toasty with a pretty intense hop presence which adds a welcomed piny, earthiness to the finish. Medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated, drinkable.

This is really a nice beer. A nice change of pace from other ESBs and other fall offerings.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Motor Boat...love motor boating...is a great beer. It poured a rich clear amber with thin white head that is leaving some lace. The scent is fresh bitter hop with a touch of sweetness...not sure if its of caramel or citrus nature....perhaps a combo of both. The taste starts and finishes with a very nice sweetness....the middle is a punch of bitterness that is lovely. There is a presence of caramel, biscuit and pine. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall....I really like this one...its bitter yet sweet...much like my wife.

Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to my partner in crime Barscream for this bottle.

Pours a fairly clear coppery amber, with 2 ½ fingers of creamy off-white head. Thin, yet frothy, look to the retention, leaving back a strong latticework of sticky lacing. The aroma is floral spice and bready malts, which are tight feeling in the nose. This is tinged with some green smelling citrus and just a touch of alcohol heft.

The taste has a dry spicy bitterness to it that slathers the tongue. This is softened however by the more mellowness of the sweeter malts and citrus that are present, which pull together into a tangy feel in the back. Surprisingly, the finish isn't quite as dry as I would have expected based on the initial bite of this. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a tightness to it that falls right in line with the firm spiciness of this. Once again, I'm getting a touch of alcohol heft here in the body but it isn't too troubling, just a bit surprising for a sub 6% beer.

The good balance here is what made it work for me, with a healthy dose of spicy bitterness that kept things interesting and just enough malts and citrus flavor to keep it in check. Nice little take on the style.

Photo of thesyko56
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber with a two finger head.

S: Hoppy and sweet.

T: Sweetness hits your tongue at first. Very smooth malty flavor. The finish is very floral and hoppy. Very nice and hoppy. An excellent representation of an English ESB.

M: Moderate carbonation. Smooth but moderately thick.

D: Very smooth for craft drinkers but novices may have a problem with the thickness.

Photo of beveritt
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Thanks to jraycee for hooking me up with some Sweet Water. Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label is typical Sweet Water fishing scene with the Catch & Release stamp denoting a seasonal. Best enjoyed by 11/23/08.

Appearance: Pours with 3 fingers of light tan head. This settles slowly, leaving behind a tremendous amount of sticky, webbed lacing. The beer itself is a rich copper and perfectly clear.

Smell: Aromas of fresh hops, almost smells like dry-hopping. Spicy and piney.

Taste: Smooth caramel malt that is ever so slightly sweet blends absolutely seamlessly with a mouthful of hops in the finish.Hops display a zesty spice, but are fairly mellow overall.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is very good.

Drinkability: An excellent session beer with its near perfect balance of hops and malt. Very impressed with this one.

Photo of MMAJYK
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light mahogany color with lighter yellowish orange hues when held to light. Transparent. Head is 1/4" and khaki colored. Not much lacing to speak of and looks a little oily.

S- Caramel malt scents mixed with floral hops, honey, butter and brown sugar.

T- Pleasantly malty and also bittered to balance perfectly. Hops taste a little bit dirt-y and earthy and the finish is clean and dry. Super well balanced brew for sure.

M- Oily and thin in the mouth with high carbonation.

D- This is my new go-to session beer for the late summer/early fall. Nice job, guys!

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had while out and about at my buddy’s bachelor party! Tick all day, every day! Served from tap into a Samuel Adams sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, spice, earth, earth hop, spicy hop, and bread. The flavor was of sweet malt, spice, earth, spicy hop, earth hop, bread, and floral hop. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. I have to say that I was quite surprised that I have not reviewed this one yet. There was a really nice few things going on in the flavor of this one with the bread and floral hop notes that kept my palate looking for what was going to happen next. This fact definitely made it rather easy to drink and enjoyable throughout. Definitely worth your time trying if you get the chance.

Photo of Thur123
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a dark reddish brown with a slightly tan head that never swells up much but seems to coat the top nicely. The smell is a sweet malt character with a slightly bitter hop scent on top. A little bit of caramel with toffee in there.

glug glug glug

Hits balanced and robust, leaving a flat feeling hop bitterness behind. A slightly toasty and buttery taste. Seems to lighten up and let the sweet malts come in the longer I drink it.
Pretty good, but not as bitter as it could be. Overall, very drinkable. The texture is full as well.

Photo of rebel1771
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a decent head that leaves a nice lace around the glass.

S: Sweet caramel malt aroma up front with a decent amount of bitter hop aroma.

T: Sweet toffee like flavor right off the bat but quickly balanced with a palate cleansing hop blast. Slight biscuity aftertaste.

O: Over all a pretty solid ESB here. Wouldn't mind visiting this one again.

Photo of CharlestonBXFan
4.8/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My keg fridge is about 20% for me and 80% for making my friends who visit happy and festive. This beer was a huge hit with guests last night when tapped. I loved it last night and even more today. Its flavorful and smooth with a great pour into ceramic mug. I don't want it to run out which is always the best quality a home keg beer can have.

Photo of jaredtp
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer was a really good beer. I enjoyed this beer. I liked the cream color, and the fluffy amber color head that it has. I enjoyed the pine citrus hops smell that it had. It had a dry finish with this beer. I could taste the pine, citrus, floral, earthy hops that it has. It also had a caramel sweetness to it that I liked a lot as well.

Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As all Sweetwater's beer appears this has a very clean profile with a crystal clear coppery color and a fizzy film for a head.

The scent is hoppy with a floral piney hop character melded to a fruity grapefruit and tea leaf malt.

The flavor moves in line with the aroma as the hops are at the forefront. The hops are balanced between floral and fruit with pine, earth, grapefruit, and pulpy tangerines. The flavors move to a malty tea leaf and barley to finish.

The feel is a bit bubbly but smooth, nicely crisp but a touch light.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pint glass.

A: Rustic orange with two fingers of peach-colored head.

S: Noble hops, caramel, citrus, and some floral notes.

T: Some metallic flavors, strong pilsner-like hops, sweet grains, and caramel.

M: Medium-light body with strong carbonation.

O: Very hoppy for an ESB.

Photo of aepb1
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Semi-opaque amber with a small off-white colored head

S- Citrus and floral hops, some malts underneath

T- Citrus hops move into some piney hops and the malts from the nose are here too. Not nearly as complex as the nose which disappoints

M- Medium bodied and on the high side of the carbonation but not style offensive

D- Without a very complex taste, against that nose, it loses drinkability points for me

Photo of austinhensley
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Went to my local brew-spot and had a pint or three of this Sweetwater Original. Color was dark red. I couldn't see through it but I don't know the significance of that in this style of beer. Good inch and a quarter thick head. Smell was somewhat dull, not a lot there. Not a heavy beer, sat on the stomach like a light beer (didn't feel like I had eaten a meal). New experience for me, the second gulp was significantly better than the first one. Had me ready for another sip. The only major downer I could recognize was when I burped it released this awful smelling fume (kinda like rotten vegetables). Lacing was weak, and I believe I definitely have this one a time or two more.

Photo of Cheesemoose
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic pint. Best before date of 10/13/11.

Pours a dark amber, near garnet. Head is a whispy white that disappears quicker than that last $20 dollars. Lacing, we don't need no stinking lacing.

Nose is dominated by a rather mediocre malt body. Mild notes of cracker and a grassy hop finish, with a bite of medicinal alcohol. Yearning for more in the taste.

Umm...its hard to really grasp at any dominate flavor notes. Its rather mediocre in all regards. I mean, you more feel it as it goes down than anything. Some faint hops in the finish, a bit grassy, mild saltine cracker mid body. If this is the definition of balanced, then I perhaps lean more on the aggressive side of things.

Prickly as it enters, watery mid body, and an oily finish. Not that impressed by this one.

Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

A light tan one finger head slowly settles to a thick cap. The beer is a hazy copper hue.

Some fresh lemon-grapefruit hops stick out in front, white toasty grains sit in the background, giving off a little burnt caramel.

The malts are toasty and slightly sweet, but much tamer than in the aroma. The hops add a sharp bitterness, with some tea-like qualities, very herbal, not as citrus-like as the aroma. Full bodied, high carbonation.

An okay ESB, although I would prefer the version from England. This one had a good amount of hops, with a decent amount of malts, but not enough balance in my opinion.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 received as a very cool extra from RustyDiamond.. huge thanks... I especially appreciate the locals. Poured into my Chimay goblet.

1 finger head... deep copper brew.. no lace....

aroma is a caramel biscuity amber brew... much like Fat Tire.. but much more defined.

Flavor mirrors the aroma.. but with quite a bit of grassy hops and biscuit flavor.. toasted grains and a very balanced hoppiness. the finish is surprising... minerally as it warms up... toasted wheat bread.. very drinkable.. and makes me want another sip... nothing special for sure... but i like this alot more than some of the other more "sought after" ambers out there.

Not even close to an ESB.... definitely an American amber..

Thanks again Rusty.


Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish copper hue under a fat, sturdy head. Smells pretty green with a toasted grainy sweetness underneath citrus and grass. Sweet malt flavor balanced with tea-like and juicy citrus hops. Not really something to compare to authentic ESBs, this is more like a solid amber ale to me. The mouthfeel is gritty and creamy thanks to the low carbonation, finishing dry and bitter. Again, there's way too much green, hoppy bitterness for this to be a good ESB - this is American-style stuff - but it's pretty tasty whatever it is, so I have trouble faulting it...

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Sweetwater Motor Boat from SweetWater Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 451 ratings.