Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout | SweetWater Brewing Company

very good
424 Reviews
Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial StoutSweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rajendra82 on 08-26-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 424 | Ratings: 1,120
Photo of GStone899
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is black with moderate khaki colored head. Lots of lacing. Smell is roasted malts, cocoa and a bit of coffee. Taste is definite cocoa nibs with a roasted medium darkness coffee. Solid beer but I wish this had a deeper body. Flavor leaves you wanting another sip and hoping for a bigger punch that never comes. I love stouts n this is solid but there are better ones. Would love to try this on tap though. Beer is much better as it warms. My advice is drink this one at close to room temp.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown almost black color with khaki colored head. Roasted malt, raw cocoa powder, and some light toast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied, and a little rough around the edges. Finishes with more raw cocoa powder and roast.

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Photo of ksimons
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-black in color with two fingers worth of tan colored head

S-roasted malt aroma with chocolate and dark coffee

T-taste is similar to the smell with a roasted malt backbone, chocolate, roasted coffee, and earthy hops

M-medium body, a bit on the thin side for the style, light carbonation

Overall a bit too light in the body for me, overall there are better offerings out there

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The look of this beer is bang-on - opaque black in color, the head is tan-colored, with the latter having a creamy texture and good retention (though not much lacing is left behind). Aroma wise, it's closer to a classic RIS than an American-style imperial stout. Hops are evident with pleasant piny tones lacking harshness, and it also features assertive notes of smoke, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. I even get some faint stone fruit and umami. An interesting and complex nose, and the flavor profile follows it fairly closely. It starts off with some piny and even citrusy hops, fading into a roasty/coffee-esque middle. Its finish shows a return of the citrusy and stone fruit flavors. This is enjoyably balanced very well, but the general lack of malt nuance keeps it just out of 4 range. I also find the feel slightly thin, but the mouth-filling carbonation and creamy texture compensates. Drinkability is nice and steady - not a chugger, yet hardly a chore. I really like this stout's tendency to show off a hoppy flavor without coming off harshly, though I am missing some complexity. Still, I'll gladly have and buy this again.

3.89/5: Well, it's certainly a million times better than finding out your masseuse is transgender!

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Photo of John44
4.78/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Maybe my favorite imperial stout. It just hits the sweet spot for me for whatever reason. I've enjoyed it on draft and from the bottle. Definitely better on draft, but still nice from the bottle.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little thin for me, given the style. I don't know if this is a thin batch, given what other people have had to say about this beer. The flavor is roasted sweetened coffee stuff. The alcohol content is actually pretty well hidden. Given other things I've had from this brewery I was expecting a more pronounced hoppy experience; the hops are there but the stout flavors balance it more than I anticipated. Still, I would get this again.

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Photo of BigGold
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had poured from 12-oz. bottle, stamped best if enjoyed by "12/17/16," into faceted mug. Pushing the taste(less) envelope with the name and label, this is a big but unsophisticated beer.

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Photo of Invinciblejets
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Jet black bubbly tan head.

S: Odd hoppy a bit roasty some green peppers maybe??

T: Roasted malts some chocolate a bit of those sweet vegetal peppers end with a nice coffee taste

F: A bit light mouth fell could be heavier but suit the flavor profile well.

O: A decent stout I've certainly had worse. Very very drinkable!

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Photo of FBGordon
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured on draft into an Irish pink glass.

A: Pours a dark chocolate, almost black with a frothy khaki head that laces nicely throughout.

S: Notes of coffee and roast, a touch of hops in the nose and a little booze.

T: Taste is a very straightforward and well-balanced array of coffee, toast and chocolate.

M: A little thin through the middle for my tastes on an Imperial Stout, it nonetheless is a palatable beer; the thick head adds to the carbonation, scrubbing the palate nicely which prevents and roasty acidity from settling in.

O: Overall not bad, with such a solid ABV and being a Dbl/Imp Stout I expected a little more waistline for this beer. I recommend it for stout drinkers in warmer weather since it's a little lighter in the body.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first offering from Sweetwater. The smell is prominently milk chocolate, with some fruity hops coming through as well. The taste is fantastic, with a chocolate potency taking center stage with notes of cherry, berry, some roast, and some sweetness shining through. Reminds me of a chocolate covered berry, in milkshake form. The body is pretty good, nice and creamy, could be thicker but certainly nice where it is.

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Photo of MUTINY
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a truly opaque, dense-looking black with 1 1/2" khaki head that recedes at a laid-back pace. Retention is good, lacing is stellar.

S: Incredible! Semi-sweet chocolate comes up to engulf the olfactory senses, followed by toasty almond & hazelnut notes. Little hints of candied fruit (cherry, raspberry) are swimming underneath, with just a subtle warm booze note to cap things off. The fruit & booze come more in to play as it warms. I could smell this all day!

T: Leads in with chocolate covered cherry suggestive of an underripe sweetness. Mid palate comes into focus with roasty black coffee notes & just a touch of the hazelnut from the nose. It finishes with a brilliant bitter counterpoint, chocolate & more significant booziness. It's deep & beguiling, yet thoroughly drinkable.

M: Low-to-moderate carb married to a rich, creamy, yet somewhat light malt body. There's a slightly unpleasant chalkiness that lingers.

O: My first dark beer from Sweetwater & truly a pleasant surprise. I'd long thought of them as mostly Lager & APA/IPA specialists, but this stellar brew has completely changed my tune.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black color with a graham cracker colored head which dissipates quickly. Some chocolate, malt on the nose. Sweet on the taste but malt is more prominent. Medium body with carbonation.

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Photo of Hootie159
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thin graham cracker head. Dissipates but sticks at the edges. Sweet smell, not much toasted malt on the nose. Taste like it smells and is a little buttery. Carbonation present, a little more watery than smooth. Decent stout but better options available.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light chocolate syrup mixes with charred coffee roast, molasses and barley malt. This has a nice hoppy pine to level things out. It drinks a little thin for 9% but at $6 a bomber I can look the other way.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste is cocoa, vanilla, sugar cane, and roasted malt. Beer falls on the sweeter side for the style. Would make a delicious dessert beer with the sugar cane being pronounced at times. One of my favorites from the brewery.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, best before 1/20/2016. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, grapefruit, tangerine, citrus zest, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and moderate citrus/piney hop notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, grapefruit, tangerine, citrus zest, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount or pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, grapefruit, citrus zest, light pine, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate citrus/piney hop flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; wit ha very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a very nice American imperial stout. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate citrus/piney hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,568 characters

Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, opaque, thick brown head that hangs around, really good lacing

S: Floral hops upfront, upon closer examination I get the chocolatey malts, pretty full nose

T: Nice hop backbone up front, the sweet, chocolate, coffee malts come in next and leave a coffee aftertaste

M: Medium to full, velvety feel

O: Man I really like this. It has a larger hop presence than all the other stouts that Ive had but I really like it. Really great beer.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 22oz bomber in a trade with kestrel. Poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

Pours pitch black with a fat tan head that lingers for a few sips leaving coats of lacing from start to finish. Tons of Simcoe and Cascade in the aroma - everyone claims West Coast style - this one actually delivers, some toasted malt and sweet esters balance this one nicely. Aroma carries over into the flavor - such an amazing hop profile that is balanced perfectly with the malt bill - makes you scratch your head why this is a wax dipped bottle - do not cellar this one - drink fresh! Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style - medium bodied, appropriate carbonation with a somewhat dry finish, making you want to go back for another sip with each gulp.

Don't let the wax dip mislead you - do not cellar this one - drink fresh to enjoy the hoppy goodness!

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Photo of AndrewMichael
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in a snifter. Best if enjoyed by 01/20/16. Well balanced with stout flavor up front with a little bitterness on the finish. Smooth for an imperial at 9% abv.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thick and jet black with a frothy finger of light khaki foam that sticks.

Coffee, light raisin/dark fruit, subtle chocolate, citrus, and light roastiness.

The raisin/dark fruit definitely stands out more in the flavor, as does the citrus. The chocolate, coffee, roasted malt is a tad subdued, but still present.

Heavy-bodied, light-medium carbonation, sticky, chewy, nice.

Overall, I was much more impressed with this than I anticipated, and the $4.99 price tag doesn't hurt!

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with fair amount of tan head and good lacing. Aroma of floral hops,citrusy, roast malts. Sweet malt forward, nice citrus/floral hop bit mid note, hint of coffee, cocoa, smokey with dry, clean finish. Mouthfeel is a bitt thin for a stout, with a good amount of carbonation (unexpected for the style, but not unpleasant).
Overall, I rather enjoyed this stout - had characteristics of all my favorite beers - RIS + stout + black IPA - a reasonably priced and delicious beer.
I would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to taster glass.

A: Dark black with a tan one finger head that lingered. Thick lacing.

S: Cocoa, malts, caramel and a touch of coffee.

T: Sweet, very smooth and robust with a light bitterness at the finish. The cocoa and chocolate malts really pop with some caramel action in the background. This was a nice surprise.

M: Medium with medium to heavy (chewy) mouthfeel. Nice.

O: I would drink this on a regular basis if and when I can find more. A damn fine stout. Well done.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle dated enjoy by 1/2016:
This beer seemed more like a porter to me (I know the lines are quite blurry, but on my scale, this is a porter). Nice medium tan head, little soapy, but somewhat sustaining also. Nose is a tad smokey, like artificial bacon flavor, with some typical roasted notes underneath (coffee, tobacco), but not appropriate for an imperial stout.

The taste, thankfully is less "cured meat" than the smell, but some of it is still there in a colder beer. I waited for the beer to warm before continuing, and a bitterness grew - grassy and resinous and dry. However, the more predominant tastes are tartly bitter lemon notes against a weak bitter coffee backbone. This is what makes me think porter more than stout. Add to this a rather thin mouthfeel (moderate carbonation), and it doesn't fit the proposed style, to me.

Even if I ignore style and look at this as a porter, I'm not sure I'd adjust my ratings much... maybe a tenth higher. This is definitely not a beer for me, as reflected by overall. I am a little confused by the high overall ratings to wonder if my bottle is off. I will probably try this again to verify my rating if the right situation arises, but with so many other options out there, I'm not sure that situation will ever arise.

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Photo of dar482
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The aroma has milk chocolate, lots of hoppiness, with a touch of cocoa and coffee, along with some caramel sweetness.

The flavor follows with that hoppiness. Up front, milk chocolate, medium roasted malt, cocoa, then onto woodiness, herbal of the hops. The mouthfeel is medium minus and slightly lacking on the back end of flavor.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into Parish Tulip.

Looks great with a 1 finger off white head. Smells pretty hoppy with lots of roast. Taste is more of the smoke and roasted coffee. A lot more than I was expecting. It has a medium mouthfeel with equal if not a little more carbonation. Overall, it was different than I was expecting, but I was a pleasant surprise. A nice, and unique take on the style.

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Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,120 ratings.
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