Sweetwater Dank Tank Red Hot Mama | SweetWater Brewing Company

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Very Good

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 105
Photo of u2carew
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber
A) Pours with a finger thick, tight, creamy, beige colored head. Settles slowly. Deep ruby in color. Weak lacing on the drink down.
S) Subtle caramel notes. Hints of spruce and citrus. Overall not very aromatic.
T) Classic red characteristics - caramel, slightly grainy. Add to the mix a noticeable alcohol. Lingering piney notes in the aftertaste - a bit astringent.
M) Medium body. Dry. Alcohol warmth.
O) Overall an okay brew. The finishing hop characteristics are a bit too bitter, almost as if the brew has turn to the "dark side". Could be the case since the release date was Oct. 2013 six months ago.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Oh how I love the Dank Tanks. Sweetwater just does it for me...love their creativity, their snarky labels, their toilet-ish humor. They are a great brewery, and it's an honor to open any of their DT series. Here goes...

A. For an amber/red ale, this is surprisingly dark. Pours more like a brown ale. Very dark brown with some mahogany hues. Clear around the edges, but opaque through most of the brew. About a finger of loose khaki head that stays relatively consistent through the session. Lacing is spotty but present. Hmmm...it's a pretty good looking beer, but doesn't look much like the style. I would think this is a Black Lager or a Black IPA from the pour. I grade to style, so I guess it's taking a hit.

S. Oh man, there is a crazy amount of dank hoppy delicious on the nose here. Pine needles, some grapefruit zest, loads of caramel and biscuit, even a little roastiness. You know...the style label on this may be misleading. This even smells a little like a Black IPA. There is certainly a hefty amount of breadiness and fruitiness in the bouquet. But mostly just beautiful, wet, dank, spicy hops. Very nice nose.

T. Hmmmm....a curious beast. Very malty with some mild roastiness, some sweet bread crust and biscuit. On the mid to finish, there are loads of hops. Very piney, citrusy, earthy, and bitter. This really drinks like a Black IPA with, frankly, too much malt presence to call a typical amber. It's a bitter brew, with loads of dry, spicy hops. Overall it's solid, just not quite to style.

M. There is an overriding bitterness that dominates just a little too much for my taste. Very drying beer, with a burnt malt and bitter grass quality that is every so slightly overwhelming.

O. Well, crap. It's a solid beer, just not really to style. Lots of roasted malt qualities and some very bitter hops and booze give this a Black IPA quality. Black IPAs admittedly are not my style, so I'm not sure how impartial I can be. But I can say this is not an Imperial Red Ale. That said, it's not bad. In fact, it's definitely a bitter brawler of a beer with the malt backbone to boot. It's solid, if mislabeled. Cheers.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhere in between just ok and outstanding... sorta falls in the middle for me.

Its good, but a little rough around the edges... its balanced but I was hoping for either the Centennials to pop or the malts to smooth this out. I guess it sounds like im negative about the beer and im really not but... these Dank Tanks can be polarizing and this one just doesn't do it for me this time

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Photo of oberon
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into an impy nonic a clear rich deep bronze with a tight one finger light beige head atop.Aromas are quite muted with some floral and resiny hops and brown sugar coming thru,again muted.A nice fuller feel with moderate carbonation.Herbal/grassy hops stand out on the palate with underlying citric tones,sweet alcohol and some doughiness as well in a sweeter finish.The hops kinda go in different directions and not all in the right ones,a little off kilter but not bad.

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Photo of BirdsandHops
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear, dark copper with a finger of off-white head that fades into a frothy ring with good lacing.

S: Caramel malts along with some sweet, citrusy hops up front. Earthy pine aromas follow along with a little vanilla.

T: Caramel malt flavors are strong here as well with grapefruit, citrus rind, and resinous pine hop flavors. The finish is earthy and lightly bitter.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is slightly sticky feeling from the heavier malt presence.

O: A solid beer overall and bordering on a barleywine more than a red ale or IPA. I'd like a bit more hop presence and a bit less sweetness, but it's still enjoyable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish-brown body, clear, with a growing, foamy, sandy-beige head.

Smell: Spicy fresh herbs, florals, and fruity with a ripple of incorporated heat-giving alcohol paired with the sugar-coated, toasty maltiness.

Taste: A surprising pop of well-caramelized sugars (a little light brown sugar, too) with toasted malts with an initial, early-breaking fruitiness embedded in it. Sip of still mineral water. Floral, fruity, citrusy hops with a growing orangey presence. There's bitterness, sure, but not nearly what I was anticipating. Way less than anticipated, actually. Spicy herbs, altogether gentle pine on the backhalf, still rather malty. Finishes bittersweet and soft on the tongue with a little alcohol showing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Frankly, this caught me off guard; I was expecting just another hoppy ale.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"This Red Hot Mama was not one to mess with. She hooked up with a Harley gang, and made her way down to Atlanta looking for a soul to steal. She met her match with El Danko, and the two of them got nasty in the brewhouse together; clothes and hops were flying all over the place. The load of fresh Centennial hops were dropped, and Head Brewer Nick Nock scrambled to use 'em as they smelled extra dank! After hosing off, El Danko showed her to the door. He knew he didn't have enough left in him for another round." Brewed in the style of a Wet Hopped Imperial Red Ale. Brewed as an autumn 2013 installment of the Dank Tank series, available in limited run 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a SweetWater snifter. Served above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy frothy foam head of an ecru-tan white color over a deep red/near medium brown with maple highlights, flecked sediment and light relaxed carbonation. Retention is very good, lacing is light and tiered. 4

(Smell) Spicy, fruity and peppery wet hops forward, much denser in presentation than their dry hop counterparts, alongside a biscuity caramel malt with a faint roastiness and a mild sweetness underneath. The potency is modest. 3.5

(Taste) For a Red Hot Mama, the hop profile is fairly easy going, with a moderately bitter wet piney, fruity hop flavor atop a smooth caramel and biscuit malt body with a mild sweetness. It finishes with a touch of cold roastiness alongside a pinch of grain. Highly drinkable, yes but admittedly underwhelming in the hop character which is at least half the focus of the beer. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The texture is moderate slick, medium chewy and very slightly dry. Carbonation generates a soft frothiness for a smooth, relaxed mouthfeel. The body is shy of medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly wet bitter over sweet. The alcohol presence is mild, and there are no notable off characters. 3.75

(Overall) What comes off as a simple harvest red ale isn't anything spectacular in hop nor malt flavor, rather fairly pedestrian and simple. If the Dank Tank series bottles weren't priced at such a bargain, this might have been a somewhat regrettable purchase. For the style itself, I've had much better wet hopped ales that showcase hop bitterness, flavor and malt depth better than this, but it might be a good transitional beer between the mild mannered IPA and something akin to Celebration or Founder's Harvest Ale. The most enjoyable part was the appreciated malt profile which was quite decent, if not enjoyable. Quite the tame wet ale that may be red in appearance, but tastes short of hot. 3.75

SweetWater Brewing Company's
Dank Tank: Red Hot Mama

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost clear and incredibly dark burgundy-looking color (mainly in the light, otherwise it almost appears black) with two fingers of thick, creamy tan head that eventually settles to a big film, but is very active. Very good retention; delicate lacing.

Very sweet. Molasses, oats, some hoppy astringency, dark fruits, licorice.

Musty, dirty, vaguely sweet. Dark bread, pepper, molasses, earth, herbal hops, roasty caramel malt. Really interesting.

Medium-full bodied with almost undetectable carbonation. It is fairly drinkable and has a lasting, but not smarmy finish/aftertaste.

An interesting beer to say the least.
Pours gorgeous, with a huge head of nitro-like cream. Wonderful. The nose is peculiarly 'molasses-y' with a really big malt profile. However, it pretty much smelled like molasses to me. The beer tastes quite good, but with the same musty molasses quality. It is less hoppy than other similar beers I have had, but it is quite well-balanced and the hops are definitely present, but well-hidden.
This is a strange-but-good beer which is fairly drinkable, but which kind of wore me down after a while.
Would maybe have again, if it was around; worth trying for the 'interesting-ness' of it (although maybe that is just me).

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 6.49. No bottling date but this just hit shelves a couple weeks ago. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours deep ruby hued chestnut with a half finger of beige head. The head fades to a wisp on top and a thin halo that leaves decent lace.

Smells of pine, tropical and citrus hops with sweet bready, caramelly malt. Nice.

The malts are more apparent in the taste than they had been in the aroma but the hops are right there up front. Oranges, mild mango, citrus rind/zest and faint pine mixed with sweet bread, brown sugar and caramel. Very little alcohol presence considering that it's close to 9% abv.

Medium body with fairly light carbonation. Sweet hoppy finish.

Another hopped up Dank Tank from Sweetwater. There might not be anything original or outrageous here but this goes down very easy. I had no problem drinking the entire bomber in a short sitting. Enjoyable if not stellar.

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Photo of rawfish
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First dip into Sweetwater, silk screened bottle with a flavor text that makes me feel a bit dirty before cracking it.

Pours deep shade of umber with garnet highlights, fairly clear with a small fluffy beige head. Retention is so-so and leaves loose clumps of lace on the glass.

Doughy with caramel sweetness, not too much depth beyond that. Hops are muddled but likely intended to dominate the landscape. Piney and orange citrus with some dust and earth, flat and dark. Strength of the aroma could be ramped up some, I attempted to look for malt nuances I usually find in reds such as leather, red fruit and tobacco but there is none here.

Malt and hops battle equally with a solid bready and caramel sweetness that occasionally dips into a toffee and dark fruit realm. Hops are full of dark and dank pine with some warm orange citrus. Medium bitterness leaves an earthy pine flavor and bready residue.

Moderate body and carbonation. Slick and wet over the palate, attempts to dry in the finish but there is also some sticky malt left over. Alcohol is well hidden and complements the pine and danker tones.

A solid red ale, intended to be piney and dank this one accomplishes its goals but doesn't push the envelope quite enough to be one to regularly seek out.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-EBF sample pour, I believe it was a bottle but it may have been draft. Pours a murky amber hue.

S-both hoppy and sweet. Citrus and pine hops as well as a lot of caramel. A straightforward amber, at least in the nose.

T-More of the same. Well hopped but equaled by the dense caramel maltiness. Sweet and toasty. Finishes bitter.

O/D-Balanced with intense flavors in both bitter and sweet. A decent beer but not the most memorable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Built for pre-Halloween enjoyment, why wouldn't it be a Red Ale? Thinking of it as deeply malty IPA or a liberally hopped imperial Amber Ale- this 'tweener of a brew is as challenging as it is experimental.

Brownish red in color, its rusty color captures highlights of crimson and bronze peaking through its highly hopped haze. Creamy to the eye, its head separates with an eggshell white froth to easily endure the session and lace the glass evenly with each sip.

Strong hop aromas capture a strong grapefruity and grassy scent that rises just about a sturdy malt foundation. White grapefruit, equipped with tangy juices, peels and pith- its playfully acidic scent is the perfect counterbalance to its sweetness underneath. Toasty, biscuity and full of burnt caramel, the grain contributions are boastful and strong.

But its the malts that rise first in taste. As the malty sweetness and sturdily toasted flavors lock onto taste, its nutty, toffee, caramel and brown sugar flavors ride along side of a nutty and bark-like woodsy taste- its culmination reminds me of Cracker Jacks candy or peanut brittle. At the apex of sweetness, the citrusy taste of hops slice through the sweetness with the racy bitterness of grapefruit and orange peels. As the hops turn from citrus to pine it crosses grassy and leafy character and eventually with mint.

Medium-full in body, this imperial beer is kept from firmer texture because of its malty-dry and strongly bitter mouthfeel. But early on, its richness is in full swing with strong residual sweetness and embedded carbonation. Its long drag across the tongue leads to an eventual dryness and pleasantly bitter finish.

Its the perfect fall-time beer that remembers the taste of summer with its hoppy drinkability but also looks ahead to darker and more emboldened malt taste.

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Photo of Mojo
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - ruby red pour with a nice foamy inch tall head with pretty good retention and excellent lacing.

S - the nose is relatively weak. Mostly grass, bread, and a barely perceptible hint of alcohol

T - very malt forward as caramel malts seem to dominate. The finish is slightly bitter. The alcohol is well hidden.

M - full but a slightly unpleasant aftertaste

O - nice imperial red. Worth a taste if it comes your way.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ho-Hum. Another Red Ale billed as a special release. If you're going to go to the trouble of brewing something special, then how about making something that's interesting? I could see this as a standard release, or as a seasonal sixer, but it's a wasted opportunity as a Dank Tank release in my estimation. It's fine for what it is- and it's fresh right now, so I'd drink sooner rather than later, since this particular red ale is definitely malt driven and the malts are currently very clean and toasty. In addition, the whole malt profile is barely held in check by the hops, and any hop fading should definitely make this whole thing sweeter tasting and unbalanced. Nice pour, standard red ale aroma, toasty, almost biscuity taste with a modicum of bitterness. Pleasant, in a fairly forgettable way.

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Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brought back from Tampa. Have heard that Sweetwater is generally nice and this was the only one I could find really.

A- Poured to a snifter from the 22oz bottle with a dark amber, almost crimson red body. One finger off-white head forms and has decent retention. Falls to a small, foamy bubbled ring and leaves a huge thick ring at the top but not much else after that.

S- Malt forward here with a pretty deep caramel and toasted malt feel. Fresh cracked grains and some sweetness too. Hops bring some citrus, pine and floral notes to round it out.

T- Hops seem to open up just a bit shifting it towards a fifty-fifty balance of hops and malts overall. Hops have a feel of mostly citrus and pine with some earthy and spicy hints. Malts bring notes of toasted cracked cereal grains, caramel, some sweetness and slight nuttiness.

MF- Moderately thick body with a nice creaminess when agitated on the palate. Medium level of carbonation and silky smooth thanks to that texture. Light bitterness in the finish.

A nice higher-ABV Amber Ale with a good balance of malts and hops. I wouldn't mind having this one again.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. No freshness date.

A- Wow this is one dark red ale. Pours a medium brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a bubbly center patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a thin ring behind.

S- Somewhat citrusy hops bounce off a sweet cereal grain malt structure.

T- Kind of hard to believe this is 80-some IBUs since the bitterness is there but is not very harsh and doesn't linger long. The malt is definitely there too bringing toasty notes to round things out. Very strange because it's balanced...but in a boring way. I kind of wish one of the flavors would jump out and wreak some sort of havoc on my palate but instead everything is neutralized and tame. Plus, there's this metallic aftertaste that I'm not digging. Still, the alcohol is very well masked.

M- Thick and tight with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- While certainly drinkable, this beer needs some extra character. I usually love hoppy red ales but this left a little to be desired.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, red brown colored with a large tan head that dissipates leaving good lacing, clear

S: heavy pine hops, sweet malt, fruity citrus

T: sweet up front with surprising balance, fruit flavors of pineapple and orange, pine resin

M: fuller bodied with lower carbonation, alcohol well hidden

O: nice red ale, goodhop flavors mixed with sweet malt

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A 22oz bomber picked up at Total Wine. Hot off the bottling line!

A - Deep brown/red with no clarity. Definitely the darkest red I have had.

S - Fresh centennial hops present. However, I had to stick my nose down deep to smell it, it doesn't jump out like all the other Dank Tanks

T - Malty and hoppy, and amber. Does not blow me away. Not enough of something. Just kind of bland.

M - Heavy carbonation and sizzles on the tongue. Great mouthfeel.

O - Sweetwater's Dank Tank line is my favorite side project line of any brewery, and they usually kill it everytime. The bar is set high, and I was disappointed in this one. It is a great brew, however, its Dank Tank brothers blow it away. Better Imperial Reds include the Port's Shark Attack and Lagunitas' Imperial Red.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into an Upland pint glass.

A: Pours a reddish brown, quite dark for style, with a finger's worth of tan head that fades quickly to foam. Moderate haziness with low visible carbonation.

S: Pine and citrus hops with a toasted biscuit malt base.

T: Starts with a nice hop punch up front (citrus, grapefruit rind, resin, dank, and a bit grassy) and a nice toasted toffee and biscuit malt backbone. Hefty hop bitterness in the hang but not overly so, and it fades quickly.

M: Medium body and carbonation sensation. The alcohol is noticeable, especially as it warms somewhat, but not boozy at all.

O: Quite an enjoyable red ale. Nothing to make it stand out particularly, but easy to drink.

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Photo of rangerred
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a clear deep reddish-brown with a thick one finger dark tan head. Amazing head retention and lacing that is very long lasting.

The aroma has a certain chocolately character to it as well as grapefruit and pineapple. Some candy/bubblegum and caramel as well.

The bubblegum/candy sweetness carries over into the taste. There is grapefruit and pineapple from the hops but is lingers below a heavy chocolate/caramel/tootsie roll malt presence. Mouthfeel is on the thick side with a good bit of stickyness.

Overall, I like this beer but I feel it might lean a little too much towards the malty side and is a bit sticky. The hops are great but I wish they were a little more up front. A sipper for sure but a good beer.

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Photo of gentlystewed
4.87/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks like roasted toasted amber with hints of maraschino cherry.
Head like espresso froth.
Smells like eating a freshly baked red velvet cake under a Christmas tree.
Tastes like singed brown sugar, Snickers bars, and caramel malt, all smothered in copious amounts of Centennial hops.
Balanced out so absolutely perfect it bends the mind.
The mouthfeel is medium.
Overall an outstanding brew. I bought a bomber Friday night and another Sunday. This is what craft beer is all about. Wish they could brew this year round.

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Sweetwater Dank Tank Red Hot Mama from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 105 ratings