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

Sweetwater 16th Anniversary Ale Red Wheat Wine
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BA SCORE
86
very good

99 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.7%


Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oberon on 03-10-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 28 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 17:52:04 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 00:31:56 | More by oberon
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2013 01:31:07 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 23:23:39 | More by nickfl
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 00:44:50 | More by tdm168
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 02:02:06 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 03:49:13 | More by Chaney
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 04:30:35 | More by Dope
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 04:13:23 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 03:17:26 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of CampusCrew
CampusCrew

Florida

3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 13:37:05 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 01:31:12 | More by vfgccp
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 03:40:18 | More by rajendra82
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 01:48:21 | More by shand
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 04:05:51 | More by RickS95
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

3.76/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2013 03:23:28 | More by babaracas
Photo of Kromes
Kromes

Georgia

3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 19:55:25 | More by Kromes
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

3.79/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 04:39:16 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of superdedooperboy
superdedooperboy

Georgia

4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 03:59:24 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 00:41:36 | More by zac16125
Photo of BeerDawgs
BeerDawgs

Georgia

4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 02:27:33 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of suspect
suspect

New York

4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 01:41:10 | More by suspect
Photo of alk3kenny
alk3kenny

Georgia

3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby red color nice tan creamy head on it. Slight fruits dates and raisins maybe some alcohol. Boozy 6 months to a year might mellow this out fruit is there but not heavy mouthfeel is nice alchol stays on the tongue though might get another to cellar but not rushing out to do so.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 04:34:30 | More by alk3kenny
Photo of kaufmaal
kaufmaal

Alabama

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 03:24:23 | More by kaufmaal
Photo of csparace
csparace

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 01:46:07 | More by csparace
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Sweetwater 16th Anniversary Ale Red Wheat Wine from SweetWater Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.