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SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady BeersSweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers

Educational use only; do not reuse.

44 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 44
Hads: 99
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 5
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kromes on 02-11-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers Alström Bros
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 99
Photo of FATC1TY
4.58/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Bomber 1 mile from the source!

A: Pours a golden copper color, with a 1/2 finger head on it. Decent lacing on the glass, and a fair bit of bubbles from the bottom coming up. Keeps a thin line of the head till I drink it all.

S: Sweet, maybe a little peach, pear, and citrus in there. Not a ton of smell, but it's sweet, and you know there is some hops in it.

T: Sweet and malty up front, a bit of fruit in there, brown sugar and bready. Malt moves out and then the hops hits you in the mouth and says WHATS UP!. Finishes crisp and da bit of booze on the end. As it warms, it gets a bit stronger tasting, and everything comes out ten fold.

M: Good carbonation, I like it a fair bit. Bit thick and sticky I guess? Coats the mouth, and a lets you savor it all. Smooth though.

Overall: I like this beer! I'll admit, I'm from ATL, and I'm not a massive fan of Sweetwater. Good beer, I'll support them all day long, but it all tastes the same to me. However, this one is different. Packs a punch, it's a big boy brew. I'll also admit, that I planned to share my bomber with a friend, and instead just finished the whole thing tonight. I really like this beer, and makes me really appreciate SW brews more. Very balanced beer in my opionion. Has it all here, and really jumps around to balance it out. Alcohol is there, but at the end, and it's moderate. KUDOS on 15 years SW. This was one big surprise for me in 2012.

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Photo of jchoffman
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a nice copper into the pint glass with a full finger of light cream colored head, great retention and lacing
S - Sweet crisp malt profile, citrus hops smell

T - pretty seriously sweet malts up front along with a nice blast of citrus and sweet fruit hops. Fairly bitter before transitioning to sweet and fruity. Dry alcohol finish when cold.
M - medium bodied, well carbonated, very refreshing.

O - Excellent brew, a little sweet for me, but excellent qualities to compliment a nice bitter and sweet malty brew
serving type: bottle

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Photo of babaracas
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A doubled/"bumped" ESB.

Pours a slightly hazy orange-red with one finger of dense cream colored foam, settles to a thin layer with sparse blobs on the glass. Smell: caramel, date, evergreen, leafy, candied citrus peel. Taste: lots of toffee, spruce, orange, lemon peel, date bread note and another citrus and earthy hop blast in the finish. Exceptionally creamy feel. Alcohol is hidden in all the right places. Very tasty and also pretty well balanced. Congrats to Sweetwater on 15 years!

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Photo of Kromes
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

3.5 A: A slightly hazy copper color with a thin tan colored head that leaves a little lacing on the glass and dies down to a thin line of bubbles.

4.0 S: Fruit aromas, peach, pear, grapefruit along with slight caramel and alcohol.

3.5 T: The initial flavor is of grassy and citrus hop and that is quickly overtaken by a rather strong alcohol flavor. I'm not getting too much more than that since the alcohol and hop both have a really sharp bite. Maybe a slight peach and toasted malt in the background. The finish is warm and bitter.

3.0 M: Medium-heavy feel with low carbonation.

3.5 O: An interesting beer. Definitely not for the faint of heart. This one packs quite a punch.

Update....This review is of a bottle that has been cellared for 8 months.

A hazy amber color with a thin line of soapy bubbles and lacing down the glass. There is a very nice sweet roasted grain aroma with some caramel, oak and a touch of hop in the background.

Initial flavor is of sweet toasted grain and caramel. Then there is some cherry fruit and a touch of alcohol. The beer finishes very smooth with a sweet, oak and smoky caramel flavor and a touch of warmth and bitterness from the alcohol.

Full bodied with smooth, low carbonation.

Much better with age. This beer has matured nicely and is much better this time around.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a nice copper into my tulip glass with a full finger of light cream colored head, good retention and excellent lacing

S - Sweet crisp malt profile, sweet sweet fruits (peach like), citrusy hops

T - pretty seriously sweet malts up front along with a nice blast of citrusy and sweet fruit hops. Pretty bitter before transitioning to sweet and fruity. Dry alcoholy finish when cold. The warmer it gets the less bitter and more sweet, pretty big difference

M - medium bodied, well carbonated, very refreshing.

O - Good brew lots of sweet fruit qualities to compliment a nice bitter and sweet malty brew drinkability is phenomenal

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Photo of UnderPressure
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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'

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Photo of nickfl
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - poured with a small head of off white foam on a clear, amber body. The head settles rapidly and leaves nice lace.

S - sweaty pine hops with some toffee and caramel.

T - thick malt up front with some spicy hops. Notes of mustard, caramel, and burnt sugar in the middle. Finishes with velvety hops, dark caramel, and strong hop bitterness.

M - medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - nicely done, no one individual element stands out, but the overall impression is quite pleasant.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Dope
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber pour with a huge effervescent light tan head floating on top. Fades very slowly, leaving a solid wall of fluffy lacing all along the glass.

S: Sweet caramel and toast. Toffee and raisins. Some citrus, mainly orange.

T: Orange marmalade up front, followed by caramel. Toffee and toast. Really nice toasted malt - almost nutty. Bit of piney hops in the aftertaste.

M: Pretty heavy but not syrupy or cloyingly sweet.

O: I don't know what style this is. It tastes like a really big ESB is my best guess (imperial ESB?). Nice malty aromas and flavors. I really enjoyed the toasted malt especially. Drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, beer is brown but clear, dark with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, nice retention, decent carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, a little peaty, a nice scotch ale aroma.

Beer is light to medium in body, nice throughout, good integration and a nice finish, the whole beer comes together nicely. A little sweet up front and a mild roastiness at the back. I'd have this again.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger off white head with nice lacing on a hazy amber with golden hues body.

S: floral, grass, oak, some caramel malts and mild sour citrus.

T: up front the sweet caramel malts and fruitness consisting of pear and orange peel transition to a grassy and piney hop finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: fairly complex and dynamic tasting beer. Fairly drinkable. One of the better beers from this brewery.

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Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JonnyGalt (Reddit) to let me try this interesting beer.

It pours a fizzy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with some decent lacing, with a hazy coppery reddish colored beer.

Nose is essentially an imperial red ale, with tons of reddish malts, slight toasty malts but mostly sweet, caramel and toffee up the wazoo, the red candy that you get from candy apples, etc. Plenty of sweet malts, reddish malts, with a coppery sweet malt, bringing a hint of booze, and some light reddish fruit aromas. Then a bit of earthy bittering hops.

Taste starts with more copper malts, reddish toasty malts, with plenty of sweetness that doesn't overpower. in comes the sweet additions with plenty of caramel, toffee, light nutty flavors, and the candied apple candy again. It gets slightly juicy as well, as the malts really layer upon itself, and a slight warming booze kicks in. Then slight earthy chewy and a bit spicy hops come through, with fair bitterness that doesn't get too strong and keeps the malts forward. As it finishes the hops gets even more spicy and earthy, as well as chewy, with a bit of sweet caramel, toffee, and candy lingering.

Mouth is fuller bodied, slightly syrupy, decent carb, some warming booze.

Overall a nice beer, nothing too special, but does fairly well. Malts come forward with nice flavors and sweet additions, with hops adding a nice touch without overpowering. Booze is there a bit but drinks much easier than 10%. A nice tasty beer that I wouldn't necessarily make an anniversary beer since its more basic imperial red ale, but still a well done beer.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A lot of hops in the aroma, along with some citrus as well.

T: Tasted of hops (a surprisingly heavy amount), malt, citrus (a little grapefruit), and caramel. In a way this reminded me of a barleywine: A big, hoppy, thick flavor. Very solid.

M: An average amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An interesting beer that's big, potent, and well worth checking out.

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Photo of abrand
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Funky Buddha snifter. Poured a ruby red orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, earth, earth hop, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, caramel hop, earth, wood, earthy hop, dark fruit, and subtle sweet alcohol. Overall this was a fairly good brew. The aroma on this one was a little weak for my liking as it took me quite a bit of effort to pick up some of the things in it. The flavor on the otherhand was a little more robust and enjoyable. A really well done brew for their 15th anniversary, hopefully they keep up the good work for another 15 years.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Victory tulip

A- pours a nice shade of cherry red with a one finger tan head. Looks solid, though in this style, there's really nothing to compare it to...

S- getting some caramel sweetness....not a whole lot else though. Very mild aroma

T- mild spice flavor, almost like a winter warmer....there's a slight bit of bitterness. I can see why they kind of refer to this as an imperial ESB, because I get a lot of ESB qualities, just cranked up

M- medium bodied, maybe a little syrupy. Not bad

O- really like it. Not overwhelmingly hoppy, nice malt backbone....another good job from Sweetwater

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-ounce brown glass bottle poured into a SweetWater 15th Anniversary tulip. Served at approximately 45 degrees F.

Deep copper hue with a twinge of gold, showing off a thick, creamy head of beige froth that hangs determinedly to the walls of the glass, and a sparkling clarity. The appearance certainly hearkens back to this heady brew’s ESB roots.

The nose is full of piney, resinous hop notes, with a touch of earthiness, a slight hint of booze, and a whole boatload of malt character – sweet pan-caramelized brown sugar combines with medium-toasted bread and even a bit of cashew-like nuttiness. All together, the mélange of malt and hops is more than inviting – time to dig in and see what lies underneath.

Up front, the malts lay down a big ol’ base upon which to layer the hops. Sweet caramel-drizzled biscuit is overtaken in the middle by a huge dose of earthy, herbaceous, piney hop character with some grapefruit peel and orange zest; the bitterness is dry and intense, but not overwhelming, as the malt backbone keeps things in check. Toward the back and edges of the palate, the malt picks up momentum again, with rich toffee and bread pudding enveloping the palate before the bitterness kicks back in, finishing with a very dry, toffee-resin character and a bit of light boozy alcohol that all lingers long afterward and screams for a palate cleanser – be it another quaff or something altogether different.

Body is full and heavy, but the mild-to-medium level of carbonation, combined with the fairly high bitterness leaves the brew feeling sprightlier than it really is. Alcohol is, as stated, somewhat present on the palate, and leaves a bit of a slickness in the mouthfeel, but as far as headiness goes – well, this one is really much bigger than it lets on is all I can say. Be aware!

This is one brew that could use some age, no doubt – I’d wager that it could make it at least until the brewery’s 20th birthday, which, at the rate their going, is undoubtedly going to arrive. And I can’t wait to see that party! Cheers to fifteen years of heady beers, SweetWater!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is not particularly strong, but does invite with its firm maltiness and fruity note of apple and pear, along with a hint of caramel. It comes out of the bottle a clear, dark coppery amber with a respectable light golden-tan head. Mouth-filling flavor is more than what the aroma promises: a malty and fruity core, notes of apple and pear, hints of caramel and wood, and a firm alcohol bite that lets you know this is indeed a strong ale. Smooth, firm texture has minimal fizz, and leaves a woody, slightly tinny finish. Though not Sweetwater's best, this is still a worthy brew.

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Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours clear, dark rose-amber with a good head.

The high ABV is still rather pronounced in this aged bottle but acceptable in the flavor. Rich, complex flavor is bitter-sweet, leaning to sweet early on but mildly bitter by the aftertaste.

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Photo of brentk56
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with a magnificent, rocky cap that leaves a nice pattern behind

Smell: Intense caramel and stone fruit elements; vague earthy hop tones

Taste: Caramel and stone fruit flavors, up front, with a growing brown sugar element; some earthy hops add another dimension by mid-palate but the finish has a lot of sweet/fruit flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a bit thick and syrupy

Overall: Clearly influenced by the ESB style, this beer is just a bit too thick and sweet for my palate; not a bad beer and many will like it for what it is

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color, There was an inch of foamy head that stuck around for awhile and had some nice lacing good looking beer.

S: A lot of hops in the nose, I also picked up on some slight citrus hops (grapefruit) and what seemed to a lot of different malts.

T: Tasted of hops (a surprisingly heavy amount), malt, citrus (a little grapefruit), and caramel. It has a strong taste I think the malts come out more in the taste and balance out the hops.

M: Good amount of carbonation, Medium bodied

O: Overall a good beer in which I think it will get better with some age on it. Worth checking out if you get a chance.

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Photo of shivtim
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking bottle. Poured into a chalice.

Dark ruddy amber. Nice foamy, lasting, tan head.

Nose is really great. Sweet, bready malts. Belgian sugars. A little bit yeasty. Tiniest hints of ethanol and even chocolate malt. Very complex and enticing.

Taste is an OK strong ale. Malty. A bit of corn/grain flavors mix with ethanol on the end. Doesn't match the nose.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall it's still a nice beer. Propped up quite a bit by the great nose and strong appearance.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 220z bomber pored into a Sweetwater tulip glass

A - A clear red/amber, with a touch of head and not much lace

S - Citrus hops up front. Earthy aromas

T - A double hoppy ESB. Alcohol kicks in the aftertate

M - Medium bodied. Pretty smooth

O - I feel like Sweetwater's other Dank Tanks are much better. It is very strong, but not worth the huge buzz the beer is giving me for the taste.

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SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers from SweetWater Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.