SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers - SweetWater Brewing Company
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
3.64/5 rDev -3.4%
"For the first ever SweetWater anniversary beer (yeah it took us 15 years), we went back to our roots, dusted off our original ESB recipe, and gave it a big ol' bump. The recipe consists of 7 malts, one of which Kevin toasted personally in his toaster oven, just like the old days, and 5 different styles of hops. In true SweetWater style, there is no style, but it's big, bold, and meant to grow old, meaning this beer will be fantastic out of the gate, or you can lay her down in the cellar for many years to come. " Brewed in the style of an Imperial ESB/American Strong Ale. This is SweetWater's 15th Anniversary ale, released February 2012 in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a SweetWater snifter. Served above 52º Fahrenheit.
(Appearance) Pours a medium creamy froth head of a tan-white complexion over a dense hazelnut-copper body. Retention is good and lacing is light and streaked. 4
(Smell) Malt complexity, lots of medium toasted grain malts, some earthy caramel malts and a strong fruit profile is present here with notes of underripe raisin and fig. Bitter, earthy hops provide a spicy, floral hop aroma and an assertive perceived bitterness. Some bold alcohol notes are quickly gaining ground. Potency is medium-high. 3.5
(Taste) Reminiscent of a big ESB or even a young barleywine, with lots of grainy, nutty caramel malt notes and bitter earthy hop profiles with a sharp alcohol booziness to pair. Drinkability is impeded somewhat by the alcohol, but I enjoy the assertiveness of the malt and hop build as they are very much indicative of a very strong ESB. 3.75
(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly chewy, smooth. Carbonation keeps the texture smooth with a creamy consistency for a subtle mouthfeel. Body is medium/high for an Imperial ESB, medium/high overall. 3.5
(Overall) I'm not the biggest fan of the ESB style in general, and the Imperial treatment is no welcome enhancement to improve upon the flavors. 15 Years of Heady Beers is a beer that tries to build up an already incredibly flavorful and aggressive style with mixed results. What I recall from the last time I tried it was that it has in fact increased in perceived booziness and graininess since the young age, so if you're not looking for a grain bomb, maybe now is the time to open your remaining bottles. It's not the most graceful aging beer I have tried. 3.5
SweetWater Brewing Company's
15 Years Of Heady Beers 1997-2012
04-09-2014 17:37:47 | More by Jadjunk
4.03/5 rDev +6.9%
Billed as a double-strength recipe of their Motorboat ESB, the slightly Americanized English ale takes on imperial status as its taste now more resembles Olde Ales and Barleywines... but with that citrusy hop kick in the pants.
The anniversary ale pours a dark and rusty-brown color with highlights of garnet and crimson that pierce through its stern haze. Capped with a dense column of slight tarnish foam, the beer holds its structure to last the session and lacing the glass with separate rings at each sip.
Savory aromatics leap out immediately with notes that's sure to appease the sweet tooth. Toffee, brown sugar and molasses provide a hearty and sweet scent. Nearly fruitcake-like, its dense bread aromas are chocked full of dates, figs, plumbs and raisins. A mild vinous tone peaks through the sweetness just before the hops set in with an acidic citrus and pine note.
Heading into taste, its immense sweetness coats the tongue with bready-sweet taste. Coffee cake, pecans, dark dried fruit and vinous port pull from the malty body at times for complexity and intrigue. But it is that taste of maple, molasses, brown sugar and lightly burnt toffee that captivates the taste buds and carry the beer from early palate nearly to finish. Its long draw of malt concludes with a rise in hop bitterness that carry and inherent citrus pith tone and deep resinous pine.
Full bodied, the beer is chewy and pound cake dense. As its bready armatures wrap around its creamy carbonation, its full effect seems even larger. And this texture extends just a deep as does its taste. But finally, the hop dryness and bitterness slices through the malt for a light semblance of drinkability. But the beer does remain largely a sipping ale, equipped with rummy warmth and a spicy bite in the throat.
It seems that a year in the cellar rounds off the rough edges of the hops and allows the sweetness and warmth to mature. Its a bold and masculine taste that also carries a sense of refinement and grace.
10-28-2013 17:27:03 | More by BEERchitect
3.15/5 rDev -16.4%
Bomber courtesy of johnqvegas.
Served in Founders snifter.
Pours a ruddy, practically opaque, very murky diarrhea brown color. Ecru head of 3 foamy fingers settled quickly to a ring around the glass and a chunky film.
Smells... Lots of stuff going on here... This has toffee and caramel malt notes, along with some sweet breadiness. The hops are a little citrusy, tad piney, floral, and a hint vegetal.
There is a mild bitterness on the finish, but it is overpowered by the dry booziness.
Feels pretty full-bodied, little chewy. Firm carbonation.
Overall-- not quite what I'd hope for. If I had another of these, I'd put in the cellar and forget about it for about 3 years. Maybe 5. I do suppose that it has some aging potential.
10-08-2012 01:54:22 | More by AleWatcher
4.23/5 rDev +12.2%
Very clear red color. Fluffy white head. 3/4 inch. Decent lacing
Complex malty sweetness in the aroma. Some earthy hops.
Oh, wow! Great flavor! A nice bitterness with a balanced sweetness. Really complex. Oakish flavor.
Smooth, medium thick mouthfeel. A sticky, bitter finish.
This is a great beer. I got two bottles and I wonder what it will be like after a year or two.
09-23-2012 16:59:01 | More by UnderPressure
4.1/5 rDev +8.8%
Bomber bottle purchased in Atlanta.
A: deep copper color, clear, with nice rocky light-tan head that eventually dissipated with lingering collar
S: deep roasted malt, some heat, reminded me of barley wine
T: deep roasted malt, slightly cloying, good hop finish but not enough for extended aging of more than 2-3 years,
M: rounded, full-bodied with dense roasted malt
O: very good but defies any categoy as stated on the bottle 'there is no style'
09-20-2012 01:00:32 | More by wisrarebeer
3.95/5 rDev +4.8%
23 ounce bomber split with a friend. Poured into pint glass
Pours a deep copper almost cola color. Small but nice looking head that fades quickly although doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. Aromas are full of hops and some malts. A hint of vinegar is also present. Taste is pretty centered around the hops with hints of raisins, grains, and toffee coming through as it warms. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Overall this was really good. I think I'll let my other bottle settle for a while and see what its like without the hops dominating the taste.
07-16-2012 12:26:59 | More by abrand
4.03/5 rDev +6.9%
Gratz on 15 years guys!!
22oz brown bomber with a vintage date.
LOOK: Clear tawny color, great lacing show
SMELL: Herbal, citrus rind, mildly pungent, piney, leafy, biscuits, spicy, alcohol
TASTE: Smooth, creamy, resin, soft bitterness, oily, biscuity, pineapple, warming alcohol, mango, leafy, toasty, citrus, dry finish
There is something about this brew that makes it unique ... perhaps a few things. Good hopping all around with out being completely aggressive. The toasted grain character is real tasty and adds a layer that many bigger beers don't have. Maybe a bit of time is all this beer needed? Great all around.
07-12-2012 02:33:31 | More by Jason
3.5/5 rDev -7.2%
Served this 22 oz. bottle in a Tulip pint. The body was clear and bright copper/caramel colored. There was alight tan head that left freckles of lace.
The smell was syrupy malts. Spicy. Stewed fruits. Leather. Leafy/organic matter. Mild alcohol, and increasingly of dark bread as it warmed.
The taste was also syrupy/caramely. Subdued hops. Mild alcohol and dense whole grain bread. Sort of reminded me of Double Dead Guy. It took a while to finish this one.
The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Silky, slippery texture.
07-08-2012 13:29:12 | More by Cresant
SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers from SweetWater Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.