Sweetwater IPA | SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA
Very Good
3,588 Ratings
Sweetwater IPASweetwater IPA

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This mammoth IPA is dry-hopped to the gills, delivering a kick-you-in-the-teeth hop chop. This beer is unfiltered, as with all SweetWater's brews, to leave all the natural flavors intact.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2002

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Ratings: 3,588 |  Reviews: 944
Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A seriously formitable and stern IPA with delicate sweetness and bold hop character- such a bitter beer for a Sweet-water brewery.

Pouring a froathy orange hued beer, the lush head gives an off-white, cottony textured appearance. Vibrant carbonation makes the beer dance with zest and sprite. Solid rings of lace reminds me how many drinks it took to reach the bottom of the glass- turns out four on this particularly thirsty day.

Bright and fruity aromas, lead by tangerine and orange zest, fill the nose with a juicy and highly citrusy character. Soft malty sweet scent provides the slightest of caramel scent to give a ripe and sweet citrusy dominance to the nose.

Flavors are very consistent with aromas: Focused on dripping citrusy fruity flavor with a dry bitter finish that remains clean and smooth. The hop showcase is focused more on the flavor of tangerine, pineapple, oranges, and ripe ruby red grapefruit and a little less on the resiny bitterness in finish. A background of powdered sugar sweetness gives a ripe and juicy roundness to support the hop flavor and bitterness, and without interferring with the drinkability.

Soft creamy textures seem less scrubbed to the palate than most IPA's and somewhat reminescent to Witbiers. The malty textures waiver at mid palate and allow for a very clean, very crisp hop bitterness and light alcohol dryness to govern the finish; and with a moderate linger of citrusy hop flavor and bitterness in aftertaste.

Sweetwater's IPA is certainly a showcase for hops on all fronts (aroma, flavor, and bitterness), but in superb balance and with high drinkability. This is an effortless beer to drink!

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Photo of doubleipa
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been drinking this for a while, but the new version has really increased my interest. Big pine and resin and lemon and citrus aroma -really nice. Very little malt taste. A little hazy with an OK, creamy, white head. I'm starting to prefer this to Terrapin. I really like that they added teh Simcoe hops. Nwo if they would only make a DIPA.

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Photo of KyleVick4
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz

A: A very pretty IPA. Good thick head, that remains on the beer as you drink it. Also leaves nice lacing on the sides. A bit hazy though, the color is a nice golden amber.

S: Wow hop city. Smells grassy oily hops. Musta dry hopped the hell outta this one. Maybe some sweet malt in the background.

T: Nice balanced IPA. Its sweet rather than bitter to begin with, then the flavor hops hit you fast. A big rush of piney hops maybe a little oily but good flavor for an IPA. The aftertaste is a smooth hoppiness. Not a killer IPA, but I guess they dont call it a double IPA now do they...

M: Real nice and smooth. Medium bodied not as dry as most IPAs. Good carbonation, not under carbonated like many IPAs are.

D: Probally the most drinkable IPA I have ever had. Not too often can one say "This IPA is a great session beer" but I have been able to put down a sixer of these and could have drank more if need be. Good job on making a light bodied, but full flavored beer.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Filled my glass with a golden copper color with just a quick showing of a white head that turns into just a thin ring. Light lacing is left. Citrusy orange smell with not much else going on. Hop flavor comes in the form of grapefruit with some orange. Slight bitterness on swallowing. A bit bubbly as well. Just an average IPA in my opinion.

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Photo of LittleWolf
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice burnt orange color with a medium frothy head. The head actually stays a while, which makes this beer very appealing to the eye.
The citrus hop smell is supported by notes of grainy malt.
The flavor follows the smell, and I add that the mouthfeel on this beer is a pleasant surprise. This is a very solid IPA, and if that is your thing, this beer is for you. Not overly hopped, which is perfect for the balance on this beer. Very drinkable, the kind that could turn into a "session six-pack."

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DeaconBluez.
Part of BIF Across America.

Poured Dark Orange copper color with a small white head. The head disipates quickly, and leaves a minimal amount of lacing.
Smells a little caramel like and citrus aromas also rise up. A little bit of a rasiny quality maybe in there too. Doesnt smell much like any IPA that I'm used too.
Definate citrus probably grapefruit flavor with a bit of malt. The hop bitterness increases a little with each drink, but is not overwhelming. I still say there's a bit of a raisiny quality to this beer. Tastes good.
Medium bodied and carbonation. The hops kind of help out the mouthfeel.
A good drinking beer even though it is not like an IPA that I'd normaly grab for.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one pours out of the bottle just a touch deeper than gold, with a nice billowing head and remarkable retention. Yeast is suspended during the pour and eventually settles to the bottom of the glass.

The nose of this beer is all about hops; lemon-peel, orange pith, grapefruit meat. Also has a green after-image, chlorophyll, and just the faintest suggestion of caramel malts.

The taste of this beer - like the nose - is all about the hops. Unfortunately, the high acid levels and low maltiness make this unbalanced to say the least. This particularly fresh batch was searing in its hop acidity, with not enough malt to make this anything less than liquid heartburn. Fireball hop belches.

The more I drink local and regional IPAs the more I realize how good i've got it. IPA is a difficult style to hit; make it too malty and you've upset hopheads, make it too hoppy and you're drinking acid hop-tea. Balance, grasshopper.

This one falls just on the hop-tea side of things, but is fairly strong especially for the $6 price tag.

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3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - 1/4" off-white head. Falls immediately to a cap. Light lacing. Golden amber color.

S - Ripe citrus. Mainly orange peel.

T - Lots of lime character. Tangy. Light malt. Light bitterness for an IPA.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Good drinkability. Hop driven, but with a seemingly different hop profile than I am used to. This is a decent IPA, but I prefer their 420 APA over this one.

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Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Citrusy in both the bitter rind qualities and the sweeter orange fruit aromas. Lusterous amber in color with a thumb thick white head that is mostly lasting. Sweet fore tastes a bit of orange/lemon spiked cake, slightly toasty with a firm malty feel. Hops are fairly low in bitterness and an excellent compliment to the fruity malt base. I put of trying this because I tend to dislike IPA’s (really hoppy ones anyway) but this is a tasty fine beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy tan colored head that is initially one-finger thick, but does not hang out for too long. The beer is a brilliantly clear, full copper color. The aroma is suitably hoppy with a sweet orange note being the most prominent. A dry biscuit like note is noticeable towards the end of the aroma, but you have to look for it. The citrusy hop notes in this are so clean, and remarkably similar to orange.

The beer is lightly sweet up front, with a solid citrusy orange note. The beer finishes with a light, though strange astringency, and a solid toasted malt note. Candied orange zest was definitely used in this beer, I just know it. The beer has a solid bitterness to it that starts up front and becomes more noticeable as it finally has a strangle hold on the long, lingeringly bitter finish. The hop character creates a bit of a tingling tongue sensation, much like carbonation does, and it is accompanied by an herbaceous hop character that is quite nice as well. This beer is fairly light and drinkable, of course I mean that it has a medium fullness to eat that is not so much that I couldn't see drinking a couple pints of this quaffable IPA.

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Photo of CNeilP09
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

By far, my favorite from the Sweetwater Family. I'm biased though, being a Georgia resident. But seriously, this is what all other IPAs want to be when they grow up. This thirst quenching ale from the south does its job tenfold in the IPA department. As far as flavor, undoubtedly the best. Please try this beer. Do yourself the favor.

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Photo of hero27
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Textbook IPA burnt orange/clear-copper color..creamy head and nice lacing down to the last drop. The obvious dry-hopping leads to the extra punch of hops..big floral hops and pine sap blended with citrus. A lot of flavor without being too harsh..quite creamy, actually. Killer drinkability and a massive array of hops..i tell ya, that's my kind of beer.

Thanks again to timtheenchanta for the bottle.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle, best before the 3rd week in January, no year.

Clouded copper with burnt orange highlights. A puffy head of loose small eggshell colored bubbles with vibrant carbonation streams. Dimpled and slowly settling, it leaves splotchy lacing. The smell is of citrusy hops, candied grapefruit. Fresh and bold. Hops, more piney up front and in the finish, some sugar notes struggle to make their presence known. Citrus rind flavors linger in the finish. Medium body, soft and loose feeling. Kind of mushy and watery. Mainly hops without much malt body.

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Photo of Zorro
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled through the efforts of DeaconBluez and the BCG BIF.

Slightly hazy orange colored beer with a fair tan colored head.

Smell is quite sweet and fairly spicy to the nose. Candied orange peel and maraschino cherry in the scent with some sweetened grapefruit and pine smells too. Additional scents of vanilla, caramel and wood.

Taste is sweet with a big hit of caramel and vanilla at the start. Tart citrus and woody hop flavors join in the mix later on.

Mouthfeel is good.

Fairly drinkable and a very sweet for the style IPA. I don't know that I would buy this again, I would buy a drier beer.

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Photo of BeerBeing
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck generic bottle, multicolored label

Appearance: hazy orange color, medium off-white head, some lacing

Smell: very hoppy and citrusy, sweet maltiness

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, hoppy bitterness big way, but pleasant not harsh, strong citrus, malty sweetness,

Notes: very good brew

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Photo of Enola
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is an average beer. It poured out with a little head. It is a cloudy yellow color. It has some floaters. It has a hoppy smell and the taste is fairly bitter. It has somewhat off a negative aftertaste which distracts from the drinkability. Still it is not a bad choice if you like IPA's. I could possibly drink a few of these. I may try this again sometime.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Looks like a southern sweet tea with a solid inch creamy milky colored head. Heavy lacing.
S: Fruity. Fresh orange and grapefruit. Very sweet. My nose keeps going back for more.
T: Has the hop bitterness that I was expecting, but there's a sweetness that I just can't identify. It's a fruity sweetness I just can't distinguish what fruit. Either way it's a very quaffable beverage. Not what I was expecting but good.
M: Very average. Nothing special in the mouthfeel. Would like to feel the hops.
D: I think you could session this IPA because the hops don't attack your mouth like some do.
Sweetwater does a good job of mixing in a fruity sweetness into this IPA while still maintaining it's hoppy character.

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Photo of Chadbrew
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Somewhat hazy with a touch of particulates (yeast?). Good carbonation and good lacing also.
Aroma - Sweet and hoppy.
Taste - A fine balance between sweet and doughy malt and bright citrusy hops. There is some slight astringency in this one, aside from that the finish is pleasant and bitter sweet.
Mouthfeel - A touch thin.
Drinkability - If you could take away the astringency this would be highly drinkable. Nonetheless... thanks to 1hoppymonster for the drink.

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Photo of imblane
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best by date of 1st week in December, from JP's liquor in Brunswick, GA. Poured a deep orange into my pint glass with a nice 2 finger head which dissipated rather quickly leaving some nice lacing. Smell is malty sweet at first then the hops come in and take over the sweetness. Taste is initially bubblegum sweet then the hops take over, but not with the authority of a good IPA such as Stone or Hop Ottin. The label claims this is the beer I have been training for, but I'm not feelin it. This may be a step up for a macro beer drinker, but in my opinion it is a decent Pale Ale that is easy drinking but not much more than that.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, so they weren't lying when they claimed that it's a "mammoth beer" even though it's only 5.9% ABV. The beer pours a very nice deep hazy orange with a thin off-white head. No lacing and very little crown otherwise I'd have rated the appearance much higher.

Smell is plenty hoppy - a good warning that there's an IPA ahead! Pine, citrus and primarily floral notes throughout. On tasting there's a reasonable malt body to keep the hops balanced. Light bready notes and a rather sweet syrup note counteract the very pronounced hops. True to style there's plenty of citrus and herbal flavors in every sip.

Mouthfeel is quite good. The medium bodied brew has a good amount of fine bottle conditioned bubbles giving each sip an interesting texture and a good sparkley lightness. Hop bittering drys out each sip nicely.

All in all very drinkable. I was concerned that the low ABV indicated a Pale Ale masquerading as an IPA but I was quite wrong. This is a nice jolt of hop juice that packs a more subdued punch.

[Thanks to mntlover for sending this pleasant surprise from Atlanta]

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a beautiful deep but illuminating orange in color with a wonderful, lacing head.

Smell – Ah, the dry-hopping leads the nose here followed by a deeper, leafy hoppiness and some nice, creamy malts. The malt aroma is thick and laced with caramel.

Drinkability – The malts and light yeast come up a bit bigger at the taste, making this a balanced “down South” IPA. The finish is sweet and caramelly.

Mouthfeel – This one just is medium-bodied with some good bitterness throughout and a modest but effective carbonation level.

Drinkability – This IPA is well put together, very balanced, and highly drinkable.

Comments – Thanks to the ever-thoughtful Uncle Flip for putting this in my WTF BIF box.

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Photo of moocey
4.84/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I don't know if it's because I haven't had a great IPA in a while or if it's because the beer might have been fresh from the brewery in Atlanta, but I had a Sweetwater IPA at Taco Mac in Decatur and it was delicious.

It smelled like a handfull of fresh pacific northwest hops and tasted the same. Loaded with bursts of hoppy goodness, and a good malt backbone. Damn fine beer.

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Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap last night at the 5 Points Grill, the first place i ever tasted this divine nectar, many moons ago now.

Seemed like the hop flavor was less intense and the malt came through a little more than it typically does from the bottle. More balanced.

It was the draught version of this that first won my heart, but i think i may actually prefer it from the bottle. I'll evaluate it again another time.

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Photo of stirgy
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very slightly hazed golden orange into my pint glass. The thin head leaves a Swiss cheese like lace on the glass. The aroma is musty, floral and sweet – like a flowery meadow. Some fruitiness and dark nuttiness. Intriguing aroma. The taste is very appealing. Accent on the hoppy with the malt bringing up a close second. There’s a grapefruit rind bitterness in the finish. A fine and flavorful IPA.

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Photo of santoslhalper
2.58/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Appearence: Pours a slightly hazy light copper with a decent, creamy white head. Dies down quickly to a collar. Decent carbonation.

Smell: The smell is of floral hops, not too strong though, and well balanced out by a malt background.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is not as hoppy as I'd expected, and I didn't expect it to be very hoppy. The hops are almost gone, and it's basically blond ale malt flavor from there on out. Doesn't even taste like an IPA, so maybe it's a bad bottle. The mouthfeel is smooth and slick.

Drinkability and Overall: Not an IPA, in my opinion. More malty than hoppy. I just really didn't like this one. Seems like it would be a lot better if on-tap at the brewery. Oh well, can't win them all.

Thanks again to rajendra for the package.

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Sweetwater IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 3,588 ratings