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Sweetwater 16th Anniversary Ale Red Wheat Wine - SweetWater Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sweetwater 16th Anniversary Ale Red Wheat WineSweetwater 16th Anniversary Ale Red Wheat Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

32 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 124
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 10.68%
Wants: 2
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oberon on 03-10-2013

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 16th Anniversary Ale Red Wheat Wine Alström Bros
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 124
Photo of suspect
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle courtesy of Bulbman into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: Crystal clear red in color. Aggressive pour leads to a foamy slowly growing khaki colored two-finger head. Lacing is spotty and inconsistent. Very nice ring around the top.

S: Big malts, nice caramel and sweetness. Not much bitterness to this one, very simply, nice smelling beer.

T: Perfect balanced, simple wheatwine. Nice malted wheat flavor, good sweetness balanced by some bittering hops. Very excellent caramel, spices and a touch (just a touch) of alcohol to let me know it means business at 11%.

M: Smooth finish, big bodied beer. A touch undercarbonated but that's not a detriment.

O: A delicious, easy drinking wheatwine. Very nicely done, Sweetwater. Cheers to 16 more!

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Sweet 16 party, but this review is on the bottled up version

A - A darker amber red. Thin white head and a little bit of lace left on the glass on the way down

S - Caramel, sugar, boozy alcohol.

T - Sweet, but not overwhelming. Hops find a way to cut through the layers of wheat barley malts. Excellent balance. Loving this beer. Alcohol presence is strong, but not overwhelming.

M - High carbonation, sizzles on your tongue on the way down. Full bodied.

O - An excellent red barleywine. Definitely recommend picking this one up and trying it out. Great brew for a $5.99 bomber.

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Photo of RickS95
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The pour suggests a very rich beer. There's zero clarity, like a murky lake that doesn't give any hints as to what's in it or how deep it is. Dark brown and too rich for any light to shine through. The head is a finger thick of white bubbles. It's nice looking, but the retention is minimal but all it takes is a swirl to wake up the bubbles and leave a thinnish spotty lace.

Very malty, as you might imagine. Nothing indicates it's a wheat beer as dark, ripe fruits dominate the nose. A little caramel malt escapes along with a splash of savory hops, but it's extremely fruity--not like a fruit beer, instead like a nice Belgian.

The wheet is in the taste. The fruity flavors are there, but tempered. The wheet shines with a tangy, spicy addition to the malts and fruity flavors.

Really nice. Tangy and sweet, fruity and spicy. A bit of alcohol heat toward the end of the sip, about when the slight lingering bittering hops drop by. Savory, crisp finish.

This was awfully good. Easy to drink despite crazy high alcohol. About the opposite end of the spectrum as a Barley Wine.

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Photo of kaufmaal
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22-ounce bottle from Dirks in Montgomery. This pours a nice tea-colored reddish brown; it looks likes iced tea with a solid 1/4-in off-white head. Filtered, no sediment. Sweet smelling: toffee, brown sugar, browned butter. This is a very drinkable 11% ABV. No hint of alcohol for me, but there is a slight sourness that balances the sweetness. Hints of orange, but no real wheat flavors are jumping out. The sweetness hangs around, but not overly cloying. Sweetwater is becoming a go-to, reasonably-priced, very good brewery.

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Photo of zac16125
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a dark mahogany, but is translucent with some reddish hues when held to light. 2.5 fingers width of tan colored head that has good retention and leaves a moderate amount of cool looking honeycomb lacing.

S: Candied sugar, nutty, caramel, toffee, black licorice, dark fruits like fig and dates, hints of spice. Aromas are great, but fairly mild in that you have to really get your nose in the glass and take deep whiffs to appreciate it. Still very nice though.

T: Dark fruits, peppery spice, booze, bakers chocolate, some non-specific bitterness, woody/herbaceous notes. Booze is still a touch heavy, but not terribly so. Unsweetened chocolate and light roast coffee lingers in the aftertaste. Again, very nice.

M/D: Medium body, but too thin for such a big beer. Carbonation is appropriate, but its on the higher end of the spectrum for boozy beers which may also be contributing to its lighter mouthfeel. Drinkability is dangerously good though.

O: Overall, a very good beer. Quite surprised by this one. I didnt have high expectations-due to a combination of moderate ratings and my previous experiences of being underwhelmed by most Sweetwater beers, but this one shined. I would definitely recommend this, and at the great price I will likely grab another one if they are still available next time Im at the bottle shop.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22-ounce brown glass bottle poured into a snifter glass. Served at approximately 50 degrees F.

Pours a beautiful, sparklingly clear deep ruby-copper with a half-fingered capping of beige foam that recedes to a thick crown, leaving behind a spackle of lace on the walls of the glass. SweetWater's centrifugal filtration system is obviously working well, as the clarity on this beer coupled with its color is something to behold.

The nose is rich with sweet delicacies. Bread pudding, plums, sugared dried dates, and hints of toffee all mingle together to present a lively and enticing opening to this 'Sweet 16' brew.

Medium-to-full in body with a moderate level of carbonation, coupling to make this big brew an easy-sitter on the tongue. The palate makes it even easier, opening up with notes of sweetbread, pralines, dried figs and dates, and a light bit of caramel; the middle brings forth the hops which, while subdued, show themselves with a bit of a grassy tinge, mingling alongside a bit of light toast and a slight nuttiness. More caramel shows itself in the back, melding with the grassy, slightly herbaceous hop notes and hint of nut, along with a bit of warmth from the alcohol, to finish with a sensation somewhat reminiscent of a good amaretto or, dare I say, even a good non-peaty single malt.

A rather delicious Wheatwine, if a bit unfitting for this warm Georgia spring weather -- it was much better enjoyed at the chilly Sweet 16 bash at the brewery back in February. It's a shame it wasn't released on time to coincide with the end of the chill, but it would still make an excellent candidate for cellaring until winter rolls around again. Good show, SweetWater, and cheers to even more years!

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Photo of shand
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big, brash, and boozy, this murky red-brown monster assaults the taste buds with hops, caramel malts, earthy wheat, alcohol, and a subtle spice. There's no room for subtlety here, the 11% bashes you on the head and carries you back to it's cave. A real sweet monster of a beer, but still very tasty. If you can't handle a boozy kick with your brew, I'd stay away. Otherwise, for the cheap price that the bottle commands, give this monster a try.

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Photo of tdm168
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - dark reddish amber with a thin, off white head that hs good retention

S - caramel, alcohol, sugar

T - caramel, alcohol, candy sugar, sweet, citrus, piney, bitter finish

M - full bodied, warm, smooth, well carbonated

This is a nice wheatwine. I often find this style astringent or cloyingly sweet, but this beer was flavorful, hoppy, and complex. The candy sugar notes reminded of a barleywine and the citrusy, piney hops clawed through the intense malt character. This was an enjoyable wheatwine to sit back and enjoy. I definitely recommend it.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice deep copper color on this pour, with a gently formed, but durable head that was two fingers thick. The back label of the bottle was filled with helpful information about the contents, rather than the typical double entendre filled nonsense seen on Sweetwater Dank Tank series. The smell was underwhelming at first whiff, but revealed some candied apple like layering upon closer inspection. The taste was unusual for a whetwine, as there wasn't much of a banana or orange phenols here. Instead it tasted more like a Belgian Quadrupel, with sweet cherries, plums, and other dark fruits. Unlike a Quad, there was bitter hop finish, and the alcohol burn hit shortly after than. This beer could definitely benefit from more age induced mellowing. The mouthfeel was little thin to me, but that may be due to the dry mouth sensation created by the hops. Not really true to style at all, but interesting.

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Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark, dark blood red. Big fluffy white head adorning it. Head fades very slowly, leaving just a few dots of lacing. Great head retention, however.

S: Lots of sweet wheat and caramel. Not as wheaty as I expected, sweeter than anything. Mild wine-like aroma, can't quite place it. Don't think this was aged in wine barrels. Just a hint of some floral character, almost honey-like at times.

T: Nice big sweet caramel flavors with some mild wheatiness up front. Hint of toffee. Wheatiness is more pronounced in the middle once the sweetness fades a bit. Mild hoppiness and bitterness in the finish with just a hint of pine and again some wine influence. Lingering wheat, pine and wine. Just touches of each.

M: Pretty heavy, not as heavy as you'd expect for 11% though. Sweet but not cloying. Mildly bitter in the finish. Goes down smooth.

O: Hmph, a very interesting brew. Definitely not a 100% wheat malt bill in this one, way too much caramel sweetness balancing it out. Very nice little touches with some wine and hoppiness as well. Honestly I really enjoyed this one. Really easy drinking for 11% with great balance of flavors.

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Photo of nickfl
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours with one finger of off white head on top of a lightly hazy, amber brown body. The head fades quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Lots of dark sugar and molasses with a bit of spicy hop character.

T - Caramel and toffe up front with some mustardy brown sugar notes in the middle. Finishes with some pine and spicy hop notes and fairly strong bitterness.

M - Nedium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not bad, it reminds me more of a barleywine than anything else. I don't get any real wheat character however, but it is pretty enjoyable overall.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark rusty-red. Thick beige head on the pour with a respectable amount that lingers.
smell: Rich, fruity, bready nose with a little spice.
taste: full and rich like the nose with a little hoppy bitterness and a bit of alcohol burn in the finish.
overall: Very nice, "different" brew. Nothing to knock your socks off but a worthy anniversary ale. Happy Anniversary Sweetwater and Cheers.

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Photo of Whychaseme
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from draft into a tulip glass during a sweetwater tap takeover. Pours a nice Raspberry amber color with a good two finger head. Smells of alcohol for sure and stone fruits. Taste like is smells and pours, almost get a candied apple note. I Definately get hints of berries and dark stone fruits.. the finish actually hides the alcohol bite very well! Mouthfeel is full and the lacing created a good ladder effect. Overall, very pleased and would love to age a couple of bottles!

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

A very nice wheatwine, and quite true to the style. The red wheat adds a bit of nuttiness and a deeper body than sometimes found with a wheatwine, and although this is somewhat sweet, there is a nice lingering bitterness to balance it all out. The abv is also quite well hidden. Pleasant.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured in to tulip.

A - Dark amber in colour; almost completely opaque with a glow along the bottom. Half a finger of cream coloured head.

S - Sweet caramel and toffee with lighter pine and floral aromas.

T - A big sweetness initially with dark caramel, toffee and brown sugar flavours present. The hop profile comes in next, adding a good bitterness and mostly pine notes with some lighter citrus and floral flavours. Some raisin and fig in the background.

M - Medium to full body. Dry and slightly oily. Light carbonation.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Cranberry cocktail and chestnut brown body. Fine off-white head. OK retention and lace.

S - Super light. Malt, chickpeas, caramel.

T - Caramel, prune, white booze, vanilla frosting, touch of oak, nutmeg, ginger, pumpernickel, allspice.

M - Silky smooth. Medium frame.

O - Great mouthfeel with a smooth, well integrated profile. One of the best wheatwines I've had.

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice to see fresh bottles of the new Sweetwater anni. here in the triad.Poured into a snifter a deep rich ruby color with a thinner but well sustained light beige head atop.Caramel and banana stand out most in the nose along with strong sweet alcohol.Caramel and vanilla are the first flavors that hit than some drunken fruits,a mild toasted wheat note and some spicy/leafy hops make a pronounced presence in the finish.The 66 I.B.U.'s play a role but it's still a big alcoholic fruity bomb....wich isn't a bad thing at all. A real sipper with nice flavor combos,a worthy anni. beer.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"For our super heady 16 year anni beer we stepped on the gas and headed down the road less traveled! Our B-day present to ourselves is a Racy Red Wheat Wine Ale Racy Red Wheat Wine Ale Racy Red Wheat Wine Ale. Sucker! The SSAB "not a SAAB" rips down the road at Alc. 11% by Vol., fueled by a 45% wheat bomb with an afterburner hop shot of Amarillo, Willamette, Nelson Sauvin, and US Goldings that pushes this baby to the limit of sensory overload." Brewed in the style of a Wheatwine. Available in limited run 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a SweetWater snifter. Served above 53 degrees fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, frothy caramel white head over a maple brown body with red highlights. Plenty of specked pulpy sediment is in tow and there is light relaxed carbonation. Retention is above average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.5

(Smell) Aromas of wheat , caramel sugar and a syrupy fruitiness. Aromatic notes of banana and clove light up the nose. At this stage, there is nearly no perceivable alcohol, but a fair deal of complexity. This has aged quite gracefully, very aromatic and smooth in presentation. 4

(Taste) Soft chewy wheat malt with a lesser caramel grain malt joined by a soft sweetness. Fruit notes of raisin, fig and date accompanied by some mild grain alcohol give a half-subtle nod to the 11% ABV. It's a little edgier than the aroma suggested but overall far toned down from my expectations. 4

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, moderately sticky, medium chewy and medium dry. Carbonation generates a soft frothiness for a smooth, slick mouthfeel. Body is medium+ for the style, shy of heavy overall. Balance is slightly grainy and fruity over sweet. The alcohol presence is moderate and off characters are minimal to none. 4

(Overall) This is certainly one anniversary ale that you could carefully age for a good long while without significant issues. It's quite an enjoyable wheatwine too, with noticeable wheat in the flavor as well as in the texture and despite the high alcohol content, it's considerably reserved in how much of that booziness comes forward. I have another bottle that I will no doubt save for a later time. If you find a dusty bottle of this ale lying around, it's worth giving a try and seemingly not past its prime. 4

SweetWater Brewing Company's
So Fine 16 Red Wheat Wine Ale

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

First off, cheers to Sweetwater for 16 years of success and a respectful nod for taking on the Wheatwine style. A really great example of the style, a style that has not really been fully explored or even defined. Seek this brew out, well worth the effort.

STYLE: Wheatwine
ABV: 11.0%

LOOK: Clear ruby red, impressive lacing

SMELL: Sweet, bready, caramel, stone fruit, peppery alcohol, tangerine pulp

TASTE: Creamy, smooth, full bodied, malt bomb, loaf of bread, warming alcohol, mildly spicy, earthy, leafy, dates, hay, dragon fruit, parsley, semisweet alcoholic finish

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Photo of weeheavybutdieting
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into Estrella stemware.

A; The appearance is spot on. I beautifully clean dark red/brown. Almost a deep copper shine underneath. Makes you want to hold it up to a light and gaze at it.

S: You get a quick scent of the alcohol upfront but it carries an almost buttery toasted smell on the back end.

T: Unlike many others I found the alcohol somewhat understated in taste for a wheat wine at 11%. Definitely a warm tummy feel but drinkable to the point of wanting another sip much sooner than other double digit ABV's. There is no hiding the sweet wheat wine characters as they own the beer. Maybe I drink too many Belgium's but it almost tastes like a Quad that has been filtered. I taste the bready banana overtones in the middle with a little hop bite on the back.

M: Creamy and sweet but the feel is balanced by the alcohol to clean up the palate some. It has a tight carbonation that lends to the creamy feel.

O: Very pleased with this beer. I was expecting a little less finish on this beer being fresh. Expected to get some of the characteristics it displayed after some cellaring (doing that too and can't wait to compare.)

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Photo of Kromes
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A deep, dark red color with a thick tan colored head.

A caramel aroma with some grapeseed, alcohol, and mineral aromas.

The alcohol hits right up front with the caramel malt. There are some earthy flavors in the background and maybe a hint of cherry. Alcohol is dominant in the flavor.

A nice smooth and full mouthfeel with good carbonation. Finishes dry.

This is definitely a sipper. Fresh out of the bottle, the alcohol is up front.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shoppe (Marietta, GA). 6.29. Released 2/13. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours deep ruby chestnut with a finger and a half dense cream colored head. Decent sized sheets of lace.

Smells of sugared dark fruit and a bit of alcohol. Pleasant enough but lacks depth.

Taste is less sweet and more fruity and spicey than I typically expect from wheat wines. Cherry skins, grapes, wheat sugars, an almost rye-like spiceyness, bitter earthy hops, a touch of apple, hay and a healthy dose of booze.

Lighter feel than expected, being medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Dry, bitter finish with more earthy hops, rye spice and sugary sweet wheat.

A different sort of wheat wine that is interesting now and I believe will do well with some age. It's good to see a local brewery experimenting with one of my favorite styles. I look forward to enjoying a few more over the next couple years.

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Photo of babaracas
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a mostly clear dark garnet, with one finger thick creamy tan head. Smell: lots of pale malt, caramel, cherry cola, mild spicy and grassy hopping. Taste: lots of caramelized sugar, dates, pine, candied citrus. It's quite sweet, but there's plenty of booze and enough bitterness for it to work reasonably well. Syrupy feel into sticky finish.

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Photo of csparace
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Super dark red amber put. Creamy head. Smells mostly of Carmel with some nuttiness. The taste is best described as super sweet with some fruity notes. It's slightly watery but not in too much of a negative way. Definitely if the barely wine variety. Leaves you with that warmed throat feeling. Hides the alcohol really well. Doesn't seem anywhere like 11%. Interesting on the whole because of the sweet characteristic but not something I'd buy on a regular basis.

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Photo of Chaney
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presently #34 on the top Wheatwine list here on BA.

This Masters Degree recipient is presently up working on his Associates Degree. Don't ask, just enjoy the review.

Served in a Port City tulip

A: Infinitely murky crimson color with a few white bubbles on top posing as a head.

S: Jolly Rancher, sugar, and quite of malt. More potent than I was expecting.

T: Kinda one-dimensional, but still quite good: Cherry jello, fruity, bright... but with a good bit of malt undertow.

M: The carbonation was picture-perfect and the lacing was splotchy. This was fine in the mouth area.

O: This was good, just infinitely forgettable. I must say though that since this is not exactly my favorite style, this one definitely falls a bit above the x and y axis.

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Sweetwater 16th Anniversary Ale Red Wheat Wine from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.