SweetWater 420 Fest Double IPA
SweetWater Brewing Company

SweetWater 420 Fest Double IPASweetWater 420 Fest Double IPA
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial IPA
4.06 | pDev: 6.65%
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
SweetWater 420 Fest Double IPASweetWater 420 Fest Double IPA
Notes: The newest beer to the Dank Tank line is brewed with 100-percent Marris Otter grain for a clean, malty finish. Turning up the funk on this brew, SweetWater worked with the Hopsteiner Breeding Program in Yakima Washington to throw in two new varieties of experimental hops – Eureka™ and Lemondrop™. Eureka™ yields a blend of black currants, dark fruit, strong herbal notes, pine tree, mint, grapefruit rind, citrus, and tangerine; while Lemondrop™ gives off lemon, citrus, orange, grapefruit, and “Amarillo-like” notes.
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 108 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, orange amber colored with a short white head that dissipates leaving little lacing, cloudy

S: very unique for a DIPA, cherry, dark fruit, raisins, blackcurrant, lemon

T: quite sweet with a earthy dark fruit flavors, lemon zest, grapefruit peel, figs, cherry

M: sticky with higher than expected carbonation that is prickly

O: the smell of this beer is it's most unique quality, borders on an American strong ale range of flavors

 481 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A clear amber colored beer with a medium sized white head. The aroma is pure hop heaven., very inviting. The flavor matches the smell. The brew has a dry finish and is very enjoyable. The beer was a bomber poured into a pint glass.

 239 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"It all started 11 years ago with a couple of hippie bands, 420 people, 80 dogs, and 50 kegs kicking off the first 420 Fest. Our fest was created as our way to give back and recognize the great community that has made SweetWater what it is today. This year we are ripping the lid off this sucker!" Brewed in the style of an American Imperial IPA brewed with Experimental hops added. Available in limited 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

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

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a pale gold color over a mildly hazy orange amber body with lively, plentiful carbonation and thin flecked sediment. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) The experimental hop blend in this beer generates dank notes of lemon, grapefruit peel and herbal tea, atop a gentle pale malt body. Potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) Clean caramel syrup malts with a touch of biscuit body meets a moderately bitter hop blend of lemony, fruity and sweet tropical hops. This is a fairly sweet and clean bodied DIPA but one that plays with equally accessible and bright hop flavors to pair, along with an appropriate amount of bitterness to counter. I like the finished product, find it very well done, and very easy to drink. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, slick, moderately residual, lightly syrupy, mildly dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly evenly bitter to sweet, with the latter seeming to take an edge on an account of the contributing sweet and syrupy hop flavors. Alcohol presence is low and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) I don't have very many criticisms of this Double IPA to mention. It's good to see the occasional Double IPA that doesn't go for broke with over-the-top bitterness and a gruff, grainy malt body. 420 Fest hits the mark as a solid, flavorful and drinkable IPA with a slightly enhanced alcohol content, but consider it an IPA-and-a-half, if you will. 4

SweetWater Brewing Company's
420 Fest Double IPA

 2,150 characters

Photo of barczar
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aroma is very grassy and piney, resiny, slightly dank, and sweetly floral.

Flavor is on the sweet side, with a fairly malty, lightly caramelly backbone, grassy, resiny, piney, and lightly bitter at the finish. Floral notes of honeysuckle accentuate the sweetness. There's a touch of muted citrus.

 297 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful and bright, the beer that brings the 420 Fest of 2015 is chocked full of hops in all their bitter, floral and fruity glory.

Pouring a standard medium amber with a dense foamy cap and regimented lace, the beer's look is stern and confident. With the nose hovering above, the light whiffs of caramel and honey and soon dominated with pink grapefruit, blood orange, lemon and melon. With the taste seeping into the tastebuds, its upstart is supple with honey and caramel before the hops really command the show.

Over the middle palate, the sweetness drifts and the hops begin to reign supreme with their strong citrus, tropical and orchard fruit tang, bitterness and succulence. Passionfruit, juniper and nectarine all emit from the hops as the ale trends drier and drier toward finish.

Bitter to its core, the medium-bodied beer retains the memory of malt flavor, but long excuses its sweeter associations. What's left behind are the crust and nutty remnants and a playfully starchy-dry echo to absorb all the bitterness and citrus rind aftertaste that the beer leaves in its wake.

 1,092 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a teku glass.

A: A clear golden with a tight white one finger head that lingered. Thick, fluffy lacing.

S: Piney hops and biscuity malts co-mingle for some olfactory loveliness.

T: So well balanced. So vaguely bitter you won't even notice. Pine and biscuits mix for a smooth, scrumptious taste that goes down easy. That's how I like my IPA's. Those experimental hops were well chosen.

M: Medium with medium carbonation.

O: Even better than I was expecting. I could drink this one again. No need to wait until 4-20. Recommended. Would love to try it on tap.

 587 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Crystal clear yellow, solid head/lacing.

AromaFlavor: Hop driven. Interesting dark fruit hop character, with some hints of pine and some earthy dankness.

Mouthfeel: Medium+ bodied, sticky lingering finish.

 219 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The orange-amber color, typical of many DIPA, and the clear body made this pour look quite good. The head formation was two finger thick, beige, and very stable. The beer smelled very strong at an arm's length, and the aroma at close quarters was evocative citric fruits and and floral hops. The taste was where the intensity dissipated a lot. There was an herbal bitterness, but sadly not much of it. The malts showed up much more prominently than anticipated as result, in the form of flavors of pineapple and papaya. I would rather have felt a more bracing presence of hops than these fruity flavors. The finish was a little spicy and quite fleeting. The body was lighter than medium, and a little underwhelming for a DIPA. Not too bad, if you are looking for a lighter take on the style.

 794 characters

Photo of ryho
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Hop City, a bomber poured into a 420 fest glass that I got at SweetWater this weekend.

Look: A bit darker than I expected. Decent amount of head and lacing.

Smell: Smells a bit malty, medicinally hoppy. Darkly fruity, kinda floral, some citrus.

Taste: Very enjoyable. A substantial amount of malt flavors, more than I expected but I'm liking it. The hop flavors are very unique, and a lot like it smells.

Feel: Substantial enough

Overall: I hope this one gets brewed again, I enjoyed it. Reminds me of a better version of Orpheus Transmigration of Souls, that one was a bit too sickly sweet for my taste.

 624 characters

Photo of babaracas
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear yellow-orange with fluffy white head, lacing halfway down the glass, thin cap retained. Smell: orange, lemon, resinous, mildly herbal, toffee back. Taste: grapefruit, orange, leafy and herbal, toffee, mint-ish, nectarine-ish. Some booze, sweetness, creamy carb to balance the two. This is pretty nice.

 315 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Bright lemony hop aroma with a decent malt backing

T- Big bitterness right off the bat but the considerable amount of sweet malt lends some balance to the equation. More notes of lemon plus some pineapple and grapefruit. ABV is well-hidden.

M- Sharp with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A solid DIPA for sure. Was expecting a bit more pungency in the nose but the tangy hop punch in the flavor makes up for it.

 753 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22oz picked up in late March 2015 at Greens on Buford Hwy

L - Bronze copper, with 1 finger of lace and sticky lace left all over the glass. This is a poster child of how a IPA should look

S - Big wet dank citrus notes. Hoppy. Smells more potent than 8%

T - Delicious well balanced citrus and malty DIPA. Not overly hoppy or strong. This one is well balanced and just about perfect

F - Well carbonated.

O - I disagree with previous reviewers. This is a damn good tasty DIPA thats not too strong it knocks you out and Sweetwater makes better IPA and DIPA's as compared to the new local competitors.

 611 characters

Photo of jrawlinsGA
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another Sweetwater Brew that's completely mediocre. Comes in at 8% abv which to me is a sign of a weak imperial to begin with. Pours nice with a decent color. Taste is lacking. A little fruity with mild citrus, but is overdone by the malt that leaves me just wanting more. Go see Burnt Hickory, Orpheus, to get a quality Double IPA in Atlanta.

 343 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 6.99. No apparent bottle dating but this was a late March 2015 release. Served in Sweetwater snifter.

Pours near opaque yellow orange with a finger and a half white head. The froth settles to a thin collar and an island of surface haze. A few patches of lace pepper the glass.

Aromas begin with a tantalizing blast of orange, melon, lemon and floral hops before opening up and being subsequently dominated by dank hops.

The taste begins with a huge blast dank hops right up front- onion, garlic and socks. Followed by floral, orange zest and some faint bread but those dank hops really take over. Almost no discernable alcohol so this goes down easily.

Medium full body with fairly soft carbonation. The heft of the body is nice but while I typically prefer lower carbonation I'm not sure it works here. The aftertaste is dank and bitter with garlic, socks and faint marmalade.

Sweetwater's famed "Dank Tank" earns its name with 420Fest Double IPA. It is full of big, bold hop flavor but unfortunately for me it favors dank hops over my preference for citrus and pine. Still, this is a fine IPA that is well worth a try.

 1,186 characters

SweetWater 420 Fest Double IPA from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 108 ratings