SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers - SweetWater Brewing Company

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SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady BeersSweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers

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BA SCORE
85
very good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 4
Gots: 19 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 44
Photo of Bendurgin
2.27/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A nice extra from Grant. Thanks a lot homey. Poured into a tulip. Pours a nice clear reddish homey amber color with a small white head that settles down quickly.

I'm not to sure what I"m getting out of the aroma but I'm sure it's not pleasant. I suppose earthy would be my best reach, but kind of like a compost kind of earthy. Not so good here. Boozey grassy flavors with some hints of sweet caramel. Earthy grass flavors with a pungent must.

The body is full good carbonation.

This one is (from what I understand) an imperial ESB Really doesn't come together. Nice idea but it just doesn't working for me.

Photo of evilkalla
2.28/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Serving: Bomber into my Arrogant Bastard Ale glass.

A: Pours a clear, reddish copper color, about an eighth inch of head on it which has dissipated somewhat. A fair level of carbonation is visible, and it laces the glass up fairly well.

S: I smelled and smelled but I don't really smell anything.

T: Somewhat tart and bitter up front, followed by a lot of malt. Bitter again on the finish. Feels lifeless in the mouth. Not good.

M: Feels fairly thick on the mouth, about right for a beer of this gravity.

O: Not good at all. Not sure what they were going for but this doesn't work for me.

Photo of andrewinski1
2.41/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Bendurgin for this one. Poured into a tulip. There is a nice quarter inch tan head that shrinks to a thin ring. The color is slightly hazy amber, not quite brown.

The aroma is burnt sugar and some kind of odd hop aroma. This doesn't quite blend well together. There is also a bit of a swampiness to the aroma.

The taste is malty and full of caramel flavor. There is some brown sugar in the taste, with a bit of a vegetal hop finish. This is okay at best.

The body is medium-full. The carbonation is very soft.

This seems purposely thrown together as if the ingredients were just doubled (I have no idea if that's the case or not).

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.64/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours out a darkish, amber-tan body with a medium-small, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Lightly bready though fairly sweet-scented malts with a loose candyish quality, a noted booziness, hint of leafy green veg, and scantly tart fruits. Gee.

Taste: Bready malts hit by a blast of cutting unrefined sweetness lightly hinting toffee and light-colored brown sugar, but mainly just sugary. Growing vegetal accent of grandmother's famous braised kale and a quick-warming alcohol presence. Soiled, lightly tart apricot and lightly pithy citrus accents. Medium-high bitterness. Squashed-together, muddled flavors on the bitterish, heated, frown-inducing finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I'm flabbergasted, Sweetwater. This isn't what I was expecting or wanted at all. Happy Anniversary??

Photo of jettjon
2.99/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bar pour into a 12 oz glass yields a thick white head with great retention, solid collar and cap. Hazed amber brown with no carbonation. On the nose is a whiff of citrus and not much else… kind of disappointing. Tastes boozy – bitter- astringent. Piney hops are biting, unpolished. Hints of diacetyl and caramel. Mouth is bubbly, full, and creamy.

Overall: A hot mess. Disappointing. Probably would benefit significantly from aging.

Photo of rmccomas
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bomber into a stemless wine glass, perfect for splitting beers for tasting in my opinion.

A: pours a hazy amber color
S: smell is an earthy bitterness, not like hops, more of a tea type bitter aroma
T: follows the nose to a tee, it doesnt taste like hops to me, just an earthy generic bitterness going on. not bad at all.
M: par for the style, medium to light, with good carbonation
O; overall this beer is just average all the way. nothing stands out as excellent about it, but its a good rep of the style

Photo of elgiacomo
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, very fresh release. Served at around 45F.

Pours lightly cloudy copper/amber with a nice two finger off-white light beige head that leaves really nice sticky bubbles of drippy lacing and recedes to a foamy island and ring. Before long, all head and lacing disappear for a flat appearance. Starts pretty, ends ugly.

Aroma is caramel, toffee, grassy and earthy hops, fairly fruity, bread. Pretty sweet, some alcohol. Decent strength.

Flavor starts with some sweet malt, toffee, caramel, some fruit, some bread, molasses, finishes with a decent hop punch featuring some pine, grass and citrus, good bitterness on the finish at first. Quite a bit of candy sweetness throughout (akin to the recent Dank Tank 420). Sweetness picks up steam as it warms. Decent bit of alcohol at the end as well. Gets messy after a while and I found myself pouring out the last few ounces.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, a bit sticky, moderate carbonation.

Initially I was rather meh on this, but let it warm up a bit and it starts to open up. Let it warm too much and it heads south quick. Sweeter than I like for my tastes, and IMHO a style that doesn’t really need to be jacked up to 10% ABV. To be honest I would’ve liked to seen a little more from a big anniversary brew.

Photo of AlCzerik
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just expected a lot more out of this beer. I liked it, but for their 15th anniversary edition. I was hoping for something as good as one of their dank tanks and I was left disappointed. It poured a golden brown but didnt produce a good foam. Just all in all a little disappointed.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber courtesy of johnqvegas.
Served in Founders snifter.
[img]http://i.imgur.com/3xdjo.jpg[/img]

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.

Photo of Swim424
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from bomber into sweetwater pint glass

A-pours a clear red orange with a small head with a thin layer retaining on top. appears a nice ruby red up to a light.

S-smells of floral hops and malts. smells crisp. a bit weak, but good.

T-very strong. sort of a powerful alcohol/hop bitterness up front, with a sweet maltiness in the middle going back to the same hoppy alcohol bitterness on the finish. Can definitely taste the alcohol in this one.

MF-medium body with a little hoppy coating in the mouth. definitely some carbonation.

O-This is good. If you dont like hops it definitely is not for you. very strong. Needs a bit more malt balance to it. Pretty good throughout but the finish doesn't taste right to me. Love the hops, just think it could use a bit more malt.

Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange amber with a sticky look against the glass, and a fairly short head that fades away to a thin ring. Smells sweet, like taffy, with lots of residual sugar and a hint of spiciness, as well as a light toffee or molasses note. A little spicier and dryer in the taste, but there is an almost fruit juice-after-toothpaste note here that is a bit jarring. Not that well integrated, but some interesting flavors do poke through from time to time. Some fruity notes, a bit of bubble gum, and an underlying bready layer are present in the mix. A bit watery on the edges, and a bit too sweet at the core, this is a bit of an odd duck. I usually enjoy strong ales, but I could have given this a miss. I would have liked to have seen something a little more special for the 15th anniversary.

Photo of Callaghan
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle, into a pint glass. I noticed the head built slowly...

A: It pours a nice amber, orange-brown color, though not completely clear. Little, tiny bubbles slowly rise from the bottom of the glass, keeping the beige, two finger head alive for a little while. After 10 minutes or so, the head deflates to a thin film. A little stir of the glass brings back some.

S: Sweet and alcohol. Straight up, like a shot. A little earth element there too, but weak.

T: Almost like someone poured a couple of different beers into one glass. This doesn't remind me of an ESB. Lots of malts and hops. First the malts and then hops on the finish. Caramel, brown sugar, and general sweetness, and as it rolls over the tongue, the hops become more apparent. Pine and citrus stand out to me. There is a lot going on at one time, and it is fast. After the initial hit, a sweeter aftertaste lingers for a little while, and begs for another sip.

M: Thick and sticky. On the lips it get sticky, leading me to believe there is a lot of sugar in this. It is bitter as well, which is a nice contrast, being a bit dry on the tongue.

O: I like it, but have had better. It has a lot going on and through the entire session. From the pour to the last sip, it is different than just about any other beer. Good, but not the best. For a limited, anniversary brew, celebrating 15 years, I would have thought Sweetwater could put out something a little better than this.

Photo of jsanford
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a SweetWater Snifter

A - Pours a dark copper with a dense ivory head that settles to a wispy haze and moderate ring.
S - Big, sweet aromas of caramel, candied apple, toffee, and bready malt with some resinous orange peel and pine hop notes. Definitely smells like an "Imperial ESB".
T - Similarly sweet, lots of malty flavors of caramel, baked bread, brown sugar, and toffee with resinous hops that linger on the palate for some time and a solid dose of warming alcohol. Nice, but definitely not a balanced beer, this is all about the extremes.
M - medium-full bodied, with a fairly sticky mouthfeel and lowish carbonation.
O - Certainly an interesting beer, but not my favorite SweetWater release of late. Still, congrats on 15 years, maybe I'll grab a bottle or two and hold on to them until the next milestone!

Photo of cvm4
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very murky, deep amber/brown color. One finger, off white head. Minimal lacing.

S - Toasty malts, stoned fruit and caramel.

T - Malty, hoppy and slightly sweet. Raisins come out. Very one dimensional.

M - Medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Not heavy but slightly cloying sweet and alcohol rich.

O - Disappointed to say the least. I was expecting more out of Sweetwater.

Photo of Merkur
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a nice dark copper color with a slight amount of tan head.

Beer smells very sweet. Malt is present along with some floral hops.

Beer tastes extremely sweet. Very malty and almost caramel like with some slight hops bitterness at the end. Not as hoppy as the nose.

Mouthfeel is a bit syruppy and thick.

Photo of Jadjunk
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"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
3.64/5.00

Photo of Chaney
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first beer I enjoyed in my pool in 2012. The swim-up bar is open!

A: Poured a mildly cloudy, burnt orange/brown color, with a half-way dangerous off-white head that didn't add up to much in the long haul.

S: I got the sweet smell of toast, caramel, and red velvet cake batter mix. Glorious!

T: The taste was a little more suspect. Sure, the toastiness was there along with a good bit of candy sugar and more booze than you can shake a stick at... seriously.

M: Like I stated, lots of booze.... entering solvent territory. Actually though, the sweetness was tempered substantially by this, but still didn't do much in terms of drinkability.

O: This had potential from the outset and I dug the ESB quality of this, but overall, this was WAY too hot at this point. I'm going to grab another bottle of this. I have a hunch that it will be world class several years from now.

Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper red in color, with a one-finger bleach white head, and wonderful, coating lacing.

S: Muted malts and fluffy floral hop tones. I was expecting more in the nose.

T: Fruity (tropical mainly) and floral hops lead off and continue through, as sweet malts (caramel and toffee) make a brief appearance midway, followed by more bitter hop tones, and a grassy/hay finish.

M: Great feel. Puffy and feathery but with a solid body and a dry, boozy finish.

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of shivtim
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of LiquidBread219
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of brentk56
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
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

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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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SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers from SweetWater Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.