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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

32 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 124
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 4.92%
Wants: 2
Gots: 15 | 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
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 124
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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%
AVAILABILITY: Limited

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 (643 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 oz. bottle from Fri., 01/02/2014 tasting (thanks, Erich and Sara!), unknown brewing/packaging dates, poured into a snifter glass, drank over ~30 minutes (155 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
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
3.98/5.00 (2,389 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (1,089 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (288 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

If barley-leading can make wine-strength beers, then why can't wheat? At leas that's the explorium that causes Sweetwater to embark upon in this highly imaginative "red wheat" ale that also topples 11% abv.

Celebrating 16 years, this hazy ale is golden-pink with a cast of mauve for a light murky and dense appearance. A frothy eggshell-stained head builds upon the beer and holds firm for most the session before finally succumbing to its weight and booze. With broken lace in its wake, the ale trails with a spattering of residual foam.

Spice and bread fill the nose with a wrap of caramel and bread crust. Light banana, apple and cherry highlight its estery complements while the notes of cookie dough do so on the raw yeast front. White pepper and alcohol balance the malt just as a spicy hop note jump in with a stemmy and tangy wine quality.

And its that tangy-sweet tone that kicks off its taste as the thin caramel and bread crust savory flavor is greeted with a basic fruit acidity. Its mild apple, cherry and banana character add to its tanginess while the taste of alcohol builds. Somewhat sake-like, its spicy taste is peppery and of thin booze. A certain juniper character complements the alcohol as a hop presence is tasted.

Full bodied, but not viscous or chewy, the wheat breadiness sheds its caramel heft early on in order to provide a lightened bread, croissant-like texture. Its mouthfeel remains in tact until the piercing alcohol heat slices and dices its weight into a manageable drinkability.

Not only can the brewery legally drive now, it's sixteenth year kicks off with a hair-brained ale that showcases red wheat with all of its rewards and consequences. I'm just not sure what's the fascination with red wheat nowadays. (1,751 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber red with yellowish white head, very small. Not a lot of nose. Aroma of caramel, hard candy, plums, cherries. Flavor is mostly cherry. A bit one dimensional on the flavor. Not that much booze on the taste here, and goes down easier than expected. Medium mouthfeel with lowish carbonation. Get the feeling of a heavy Belgian dubbel here. A bit boring, but not a bad beer I guess. (396 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,144 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (530 characters)

Photo of shand
4.13/5  rDev +7%
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. (445 characters)

Photo of suspect
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
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! (776 characters)

Photo of babaracas
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Rockmill tulip on 5/16/13

Thanks to PDXHops; thanks Jeff!

The color started of with a lighter straw look to it but once the glass was filled it took on more of a plum and rust hue. The head made an even, one thumb cap of foam. Thin, wavering layer of retention, though the lace is rather impressive.

The aroma has notes of floral hops, caramel, pollen, tangy wheat, citrus candy and a hint of cola; all tried-and-true even if uncommon bedfellows. It has a full, sweet aspect. Overtones of plum and not tart dark cherry. Suggestions of alcohol.

The taste and alcohol are potent. Jeff shared a bottle of this a few months ago and I do not recall it having this much kick. I reckon a palate adjustment is in order.

The wheat comes across more clearly and more toasted (though some tanginess remains). I wonder if this is red winter wheat; this tastes earthier and grassier than wheat generally does. It is backed with floral hops and a touch of piney grit. Very mild caramel, if there at all. The prominence of the wheat only grows over time. Stands of alcohol are wrapped within the wheat.

The feel is boozy and somewhat slick, but it's mostly grainy, gritty and downright abrasive. Thankfully such qualities are all in the feel and not carbonation which is pretty low. Heavy residuals linger on the finish. Perhaps the finest aspect of the feel is that it is not sluggish as can happen sometimes with wheat wines. (1,434 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of csparace
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (463 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (584 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (372 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (553 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: reddish amberish with a solid head retention

smell: whoa caramel, brandy.... some vanilla

taste: caramel bomb, not balanced, not bitterness at all, boozy

mouthfeel: medium bodied to full bodied

drinkability: not a fan. love caramel flavors in beer but not when it completly unbalanaced. (303 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (1,368 characters)

Photo of weeheavybutdieting
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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.) (1,161 characters)

Photo of Kromes
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of kaufmaal
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (525 characters)

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