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

97 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 3
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Kromes on 02-11-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  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 BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.63/5  rDev -30.2%
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 Jason
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of nickfl
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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 sendbeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of kscaldef
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of thagr81us
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Dope
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Chaney
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
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 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 buckyp
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of MacQ32
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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

Photo of Zach136
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

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SweetWater 15 Years Of Heady Beers from SweetWater Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.