Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

SXNW (Brothers' Reserve Series) - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SXNW (Brothers' Reserve Series)SXNW (Brothers' Reserve Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

45 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 217
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 4.66%
Wants: 11
Gots: 36 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: shand on 09-07-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (73) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 45 | Hads: 217
Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Wine 101 in Wake Forest.

A - black with a soft, brownish head that has good retention

S - sweet, nutty, caramel

T - cinnamon, nutty, caramel, chocolate, very faint cayenne heat in the finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This was an intriguing beer. It tasted like mole, and drank like a unique big bodied, full flavored brown ale. The spices were inviting and warming. This beer has notes of stout, brown ale, strong ale, winter warmer, etc. This beer refuses to be pigeon-holed. If I can find it, I will definitely have it again. (559 characters)

Photo of Brewery1337
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark Amber.
S - Nutty, with hints of chocolate and chilies. Cinnamon notes are hidden a bit in the background.
T - Nutty and slightly sweet. Spicy after note.
M - Decent carbonation. A bit thick.
O - A little boring. Certainly not worth the price. Won't be buying again. (275 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Widmer bottle pulled off the shelf. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

Pour is very dark with red highlights. Send out a search party for the nose, just about had to snort some to pick up anything, faint spices, chocolate.

SXNW is unmistakably a beer with chiles. The chile heat is the defining characteristic, but the heat is passing rather than of the buildings/sticking/hot varietal. Chocolate rides side saddle, but, well, that's about it. Simple. Growing on me as I sip. As is the warmth of the chiles, which finally begins to adhere to the walls of my oral cavity.

Not much complexity in the DNA of this organism, but hey, I don't want War & Peace in a glass every night. Good beer. (701 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin off-white head that dissipated immediately to a hint of foam around the glass. Aroma of nuts, roasted malt, chocolate and a hint of sharp chile. Flavor follows with mellow nuts, light chocolate, dark malt and light chile spicing, slightly earthy. Medium bodied with little carbonation. An interesting flavor combination that is perfect for the fall season. The dominant pecan and chile flavor is seems more southwest by southeast to me, but whatever. (533 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, clear reddish brown, with a finger of tan bubbly head building. It dissipates fast , leaving no lacing.
Smelling the beer, I notice pecan nuts, brown sugar, honey, spice and booze.
This order is pretty much confirmed during the tasting.
A heavy sweet sipper beer, beautiful for the winter season. Would enjoy this one again
With a book and an open fireplace. (373 characters)

Photo of srhoadsy
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at World Beer Fest' in Naples yesterday. Poured chilled into sample glass.

Pours a very thick, rich, dark brown heading to black. Quarter inch light brown head.

Aromas of nuts, chocolate, spice and wood.

Nice blend of flavors in this one. It is very thick and sweet but not cloying. The woody, earthiness from the pecans and the spices in the background all blend together to balance out the chocolate and coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is heavy and sweet with moderate carbonation.

Very impressed with this beer. Seemed like each sip brought out a different combination of flavors. Would definitely try again. (621 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I brought to share at Skuter's UCLA vs. USC viewing party.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, nuts, cocoa, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a mild chile flavor and very minor heat with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it tastes better than it smells. (535 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - dark black with tannish lacing. thick frothy head

S - Cocoa, some spice, chillies, a tad coffee

T - Big cocoa that is sweet and toasted nut finish, cinnamon, subtle heat appears later.

M - Medium bodied with med carbonation, tad spicy finish, smooth

D - Very complex beer, I can't decide if I like it or not. It is a very well made beer and worth a try. (361 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Whole Foods, Santa Rosa taproom. I am a chile fan so I enjoyed this.chocolate nibs, cinnamon, toasted pecans, and green chilies, chocolate malts. Lots of heat in the finish. Creamy. Roasty aroma. I will try this again in the bottle to try the complexity later but the balance featured on tap was nice. (311 characters)

Photo of Kromes
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. A black color with ruby edges. You can tell that the beer is clear as the ruby color is seen through the glass. A thin line of bubbles for a head.

Sweet roasted malts with some chocolate. There is also a smoky quality to the aroma. Almost like smoked peppers.

The initial flavor is of sweet smoky roasted malts and chocolate. No real bitterness in the beer, mostly sweet up front. There is a slight nutty flavor with some dark cherry. The finish is where this beer really shines. Lingering smoky malt, with chocolate, toffee and a spicy pepper feel left on the tongue with a slight pepper flavor. All of the flavors in the beer compliment one another. The flavors seem strange to be coupled together but in the end it's as if they belong together.

The beer is medium bodied, low carbonation, and sweet. I love spicy food and pour hot sauce on everything so the highlight for me is the lingering (but not over the top) hot pepper feel left on the tongue.

I've had a few chocolate pepper beers, but this one is better by far. If you see this, I would highly recommend picking it up. (1,111 characters)

Photo of JHS123
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is cocoa with hints of spices and pepper. Malt is clearly dark chocolate with hints of roastiness.

Appearance is Jet Black black, black, black, black, cloudy, frothy, Its got a stout appearance but taste of a dark ale.

Taste is unique: Strong pepper brought on by the chilis coupled with chocolate. Can not taste the pecans but there is limited hoppiness its mostly a malty ale so really limited to no bitterness.

Palate: This is a full bodied beer with some alcohol undertones and a long chocolate finish.

I really have enjoyed this beer and this was the first time I have tried it on tap. Normally able to find it in 22% Bottle (Nicely boxed). (658 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a small snifter. Beige head, moderate retention. Clear, resinous lacing sticks to the glass. Body of beer is dark, dark chocolaty brown. Aroma includes vanilla, chocolate, toasted malt and coffee. Not picking up the chilies or pecans (actually I'm getting more of an almond) but I'm sure they are just dominated by the other smells. Taste is mainly coffee and chocolate malt. Still not picking up chili but oh well, very tasty regardless. Alcohol very well hidden for a high gravity ale. Excellent. Edit, slight tingling in the mouth and tongue after the fact. Still didn't taste the chilies, but now I feel them. :-) (657 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice box display, pours a dark coffee brown with a 1 inch head of tan bubbles.

S: Smells of lightly roasted nuts, cocoa and some heavy roast malts.

T: The aroma was underwhelming and slightly less than I may have expected with so many non beer ingredients listed on the label. The flavor of this beer on the other hand actually displayed a lot of these ingredients. Most prominent is the cocoa and a rich caramel toffee flavor. Green chili's at the end and a nice warming chili flavor as well that will make your throat a little toasty. Dark bakers chocolate and cocoa nib flavors that are bittering rather than sweet. The backbone of this of course is a nutty old ale flavor with some pecan presence that is beaten out by the chili and toffee flavors.

M: Medium body with a lot of carbonation that is slightly prickly.

O: Overall, this is pretty tasty and has a lot going on. I am reminded of a chili chocolate bar that I had once that tasted very similar. There are very few unattenuated sugars left behind which is a nice change for a beer of this volume. Well Done (1,078 characters)

Photo of Lare453
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large format bottle into a dfh snifter

A nice jet black with a small light tan fast dissipating head. Light lacing

S light cocoa, sweet, tin,

T malt, fresh ground grain, light cocoa, tiniest bit of green pepper and a bit of Cayenne, little cinnamon, little bit of nuttiness

M thick, creamy, soft, smooth

O not bad, but nothing I would drink frequently... Probably wouldn't buy another. (391 characters)

Photo of DonDirkA
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed with chilies, cocoa nibs, cinnamon and toasted pecans. Pours pitch brown (like a deep black/brown) with a rich brown head that dissipates to about 1 cm. Nose is cinnamon, a hint of chilies, those toasted pecans definitely come through and a bit of dark chocolate. There are also some notes of coffee, rich caramel and just a bit of dark fruit like plums. The
taste is heavier on the coffee than the smell. Coffee, caramel, dark malts with only hints of chilies, cinnamon and some sweet, nutty flavors. The aftertaste reflects the spice notes from the chilies and cinnamon and some of the dark chocolate. This is definitely one of the best Widmer Brother's Reserve brews I have had. I have generally been disappointed but they always sound so good that I can't resist. Love it, but it could be more flavorful up front. All the spice notes come in well after on the back end. (880 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black color with a bit of brown mixed in and a finger of frothy khaki colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is dark caramel malts, with some dark fruit, cocoa, cinnamon, clove, and other spices, pecans, chilies, a bit of coffee and some booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of dark caramel malts, dark fruit, cinnamon, other spices, and a bit of chili heat. Through the middle, the pecans come through with some cocoa, more spices, and some coffee. The finish is a mix of dark caramel malts, spices, pecans, cocoa, chilies, dark fruit, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, warming, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice overall balance and complexity. The pecans, spices, and cocoa are a nice touch. (840 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:

Poured very dark, nearly opaque. Very deep, rich red with no sediment or bubbles when held to light. Moderate, white head that quickly dissipates to a ring.

Aroma:

Sweet aroma, strong hits of cocoa/chocolate and toffee, as well as toasted nuts. Not as "spicy" as the label suggests.

Palate:

Good mouth feel, soft and smooth. Carbonation is perfect, slowly fading into the mild chili heat that sticks to the back of your tongue. Did leave my mouth feeling a touch sticky.

Taste:

Lots of nice little flavors to pick out here. Starts with the nice smooth chocolaty sweetness followed quickly by some spice; this transitions to a subtle roasted malt flavor, and finally the last little lingering taste of chili spice. The aftertaste is very nutty and pleasant.

Verdict:

Overall, I was pleased with the taste which offered some complexity, and a nice transition through flavors. While there are a lot of things here I like,it is not something I will go out of my way to have again; it is a tad overpriced, and nothing really stands out as exceptional. (1,069 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was looking forward to trying this Widmer offering,a little off the cuff for them I think.Poured into a tulip glass a deep mahogany with amber tinge a 1/2 finger quick to fade off white head atop.Chocolate and raisin aromas with those toasted pecans underneath,the subtle spice that the label promotes is there and compliments everything well.Chocolate flavors at the onset but not very sweet,just enough sweetness,a little roast, earth,black licorice,and cinnamon melds into a great chili finish that lingers in the throat.I love complex and "different" beers like this,there are layers of flavor here that come at each sip.Great job here Widmer,this is probably one of their better beers in their profile,great to savor a Detroit Tiger victory with this one. (762 characters)

Photo of bcostner1
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a tulip from a 22oz bomber. Dark brown with deep ruby notes. Nearly opaque; transmits little light.

S: Somewhat more subtle and muted than I would have thought give the number of ingredients with which this is brewed. Mostly what I'm getting is some cinnamon and a little bit of sweet chocolate. Not really picking up any of the pecans or chilies here. Overall it smells pretty good and I am appreciating what I am picking up here but I just wish that the aroma were a little more pronounced.

T: To have such a (IMO) muted aroma, the taste on this one is really great. The chocolate is dominant here and has a deep richness; reminiscent of hershey's syrup to me (delicious). Lots of cinnamon throughout and it really compliments the chocolate well. Getting some of the pecan nuttiness on the finish. The very last thing to come in..and it does so just subtly enough not to be overstated but also just potently enough to be appreciated...are the chilies. Not really a "burn" on the end but definitely a little bit of that chili pungency. I love the way this all melds together!

M: Great body...satisfying yet drinkable. ABV is well hidden but the potency will sneak up on you at 9.3%.

Overall, I thought this was a great brew. First thing I have ever had from Widmer Bros to be honest. It paired great with some roasted avocado and tomatillo enchiladas that my wife made too! Glad I picked this up...wish I had picked up 1 or 2 more to be honest. Great brew...give it a try for sure. (1,502 characters)

Photo of shand
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

SXNW pours a brown color with a small capped head. The aroma is excellent, with rich roasted malts, chocolate, cinnamon, and a touch of chili heat. The taste is also very good, this is an obvious riff on the chocolate/cinnamon/chili thing that's been popularized by Hunahpu's, and this is one of the better riffs on it that I've had. This one is less malty than the imperial stout takes on the style, instead offering a great rich chocolate flavor along with just the right amount of cinnamon and chili flavor. A touch of nuttiness adds some uniqueness to the finish, along with a lingering chili heat. The mouthfeel is lighter and velvety, and the drinkability is outstanding. This is another great brew from Widmer, who are really making a name for themselves recently. (816 characters)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
SXNW (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.