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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

45 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 219
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 12.14%
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 (81) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 219
Photo of srhoadsy
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very cola like appearance, brown glass with reddish hue, a quick bubbly head that dies back to nothing. I blame pecans (oils kill head).

Smell: The cocoa nibs come through with a very chocolatey roasted barley smell that works. A whiff of heat which is odd, either the alcohol or the chile note.

Taste: A lot of flavors give a lot of complexity. The spices are strong but don't overwhelm everything else going on, mostly a pumpkin pie spice. There is a chocolate note in the sweetness, no real hop notes but it doesn't get cloyingly sweet. I get a bit of pepper heat which I assume is the green chile, and even a bit of pecan shell dryness at the end. Kudos for actually showing off 4 different flavors in one beer.

Mouthfeel: A bit toward the flat end, medium heavy body is slick and oily but manages to dry out encouraging the next sip.

Overall: A complex, flavorful beer. Expensive (about $12 for the bomber) so not something I would do often, but glad to have tried it out. Recommended.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a small light tan head. In the aroma, a caramel roast and a small presence of alcohol. In the taste, dry licorice and boozy, with a small spice presence. A spice like bite and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice and licorice in the aftertaste. Spicy, roasty, and licorice, ok, but about average.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into sniffer glass.
A: one finger khaki foam head, little lacing, some carbonation, dark reddish brown
S: sweet chocolate is really strong, toasted hazelnuts, booze
M: medium thick, coats the tongue
T: chocolate up front is very strong, hops, roasted nuts, toffee, chilie spice lingers at the end and warms up the tongue
O: impressive brew, profile gets more heat as brew warms from Chiles.

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Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received this from a friend back in late October. Bottled on 8-8-12.

Beer poured dark brown, rather flat, with a off white head.

Nose is dominated by cocoa.

Taste is eclectic but very good.This is a well crafted blend of cocoa, chilies, pecans, northwest hops. It works very well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this was very fun to try...too bad i did not have it a year earlier!

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of jtd1969
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of AlTrombley
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I sell this beer. I have waited for a long time for a case to break so I could take one out of the breakage room. It never sounded very good (pecans with Chili's sounds bad) but I figured for free I would give it a try. I was REAL surprised how good it was. Just a hint of heat on the back end.... Very nice!!!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out as a nice looking brown color with a thin white head on top. The lacing and retention were minimal. The smell of the beer has a mixture of cocoa and malt with some spice on the nose as well. The taste of the beer has nice levels of complexity to it. The chocolate notes come up strong in the beginning then in the finish there is a moderate heat from the peppers. The flavors blend pretty well together in my opinion. The mouthfeel of the beer is medium bodied. There is a nice amount of carbonation and even with the heat of the peppers it remains very drinkable. Overall I like this beer a lot, I wouldn't mind drinking this one again.

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Photo of DonDirkA
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Half finger head with nice lacing on a deep amber clear body. Aroma of dark fruits, candied sugar, caramel and milk chocolate although this is a minor note. Flavors flow well but is more chcoolate dominat with very nice degree of sweetness with dark fruit taking a back seat on a bready and caramel malt base. Medium body and light to moderate carbonation. I really liked this one. Widmer keeps surprising me with their brews. Certainly not as talked about as deserved.

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Photo of rand
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 22 oz bomber to snifter

A: Copper-brown in color with a ruby hue, a liberal pour yields virtually no head to speak of. No lacing either.

S: Sweet bouquet, bold. Toffee-malts anchor the aromas, with notes of oak and chalky yeast at the edge. Distinct molasses and cocoa, warming booze lingers.

T: Malty sweetness at the front of the sip, toffee-like and creamy. Caramel notes are easily parsed and very sweet, but the brew is nicely balanced by oak, booze and a touch of bittering hops. Suggestions of chalky cocoa and cherry phenols come through toward the finish, along with the added cinnamon. Closes long and sweet.

M: Strangely thin for the style and all of the flavors bouncing around your palate. It's not off-putting, but a little more viscosity might've driven home the nuances of the flavor profile.

By far the best beer I've had from Widmer. There's virtually no hype surrounding this beer, and it's a bit underrated - I wonder if the ubiquitous, and rather lame, Hefeweizen (which is really just a pale wheat ale) has damaged the brand among beer geeks. But if anyone gets a chance to sample it's worth a try - easy to drink and full of caramelly, full-flavored goodness.

Note: I just noticed that the last entry was 2012 - this brew is about 2 years old, and aging may have done a beer good, based on other reviews. Some of the nuanced aspects of the added ingredients may have waned, but the flavors are singular and tasty.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of Kromes
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of bcostner1
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
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. :-)

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Photo of shand
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of JHS123
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
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).

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SXNW (Brothers' Reserve Series) from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.