Happy Ending Imperial Stout | SweetWater Brewing Company

very good
1,123 Ratings
Happy Ending Imperial StoutHappy 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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,123 |  Reviews: 425
Photo of AlexFields
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Charlie_Hoss
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of anjah
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of dtx00
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

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

2013 Happy Ending poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Sweetwater pint glass.

Pours abyss black, totally opaque without any lightening at the edges. Nice thick frothy tan head that laces around the glass.

The first thing to hit your nose is the citrus and floral hops. There are some roasted/smoky malt undertones and caramel sweetness if you really search for it past the hoppyness.

The taste is not like any Russian Imperial Stout I have ever tasted, different in a good way. If given this beer blind I would never peg it for a RIS. The bittering hops really balance out the deep roasted malts making for a very enjoyable complex beer. The sweet and smokey malts paired with a slight astringency round this beer out and the flavors just keep rolling. I taste something new with each drink and temperature change.

This beer is extremely smooth drinking; it has solid carbonation and a light creaminess.

Overall I love this beer. Can’t believe this is my first time trying it, it certainly will not be the last. Sweetwater really hit a sweet spot with complexity and balance. This beer is extremely drinkable and at 9% that is dangerous. If you are looking for a standard RIS this is not it, this is a whole different beer in my eyes. I really wonder how this beer will age and if the deep malts will hold up as the hoppyness fades.

 1,339 characters

Photo of Wax
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Boxing beer and cleaning out the fridge and found this 12oz in the back on the bottom shelf.. Best by "06/19/07"... Yeah... Time to drink it.

Poured into my HotD goblet... VERY short lasting dark brown head and no lacing/no cap... the brew is the expected black. Not looking promising.

Nose is dark malts.. slight roast and more cocoa combined with what an old box of raisins smells like... light soy sauce with warmth.

"Stout qualities" are pretty light.. light roastiness and dry cocoa.. not enough sweetness to really deliver a nice rounded flavor.. soy sauce is definitely present.. flavor drops off fairly quickly and doesn't leave much besides some salty char on the finish.

Body is medium with a very light carbonation..

I obviously waited too long for this beer.


 796 characters

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

Bottle dated 1/9/14, so a fresh batch.

A dark opaque body, lots of carbonation leaving a thick lace behind pounded from a bottle into a pint glass.

Malty, but not a strong chocolate aroma which I was expecting.

Sweet for stout as others have noted. The sweetness coming from more of a sweet molasses or sugar type of sweet. Not the typical chocolate or coffee taste.

More medium in body with above average carbonation for a stout. Not the mouthfeel I expected, but nice nonetheless.

Surprising stout, not what I was expecting. Maybe I was not ready for the sugary sweet initial taste. But before I finished the glass, I would try this beer again on a hot southern night a see how it tastes.

I appreciate the humor on the packaging and Sweetwater has some of the best.

 786 characters

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of nikbullet
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of BigDaddyJohn
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of Ravencrest
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Segelstrom
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of Apostlebrews
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

The aroma is vibrant with lots of citrus--likely from the cascade hops with which the brewery dry-hopped the beer. This is a great example of why you cannot judge a beer by its color. I expected to get a lot more roast and chocolate on the nose and there is next to none of either. It smells a lot more like an IPA than it does a traditional stout.

The flavors are excellent! This is a two-faced beer that will please both hop-heads and stout-lovers. There is a nice roasted malt profile that balances the pine and grapefruit flavors of the hops. I would also point out that this stout features a nice smokiness somewhere in the middle of the palate.

This stout has a bitter and slightly boozy finish that is expected with the ABV and hop profile. And like all great stouts, this is a full-bodied beer. Great mouthfeel.

Happy Ending is quite creamy. But then again, aren't they all?

Check out my blog for more reviews: thebeerapostle.com.

 943 characters

Photo of Kromes
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Happy Ending 2013

Pitch black with a finger's width pitted brown head. A nice sheet of lacing down the sides of the glass.

Right up front is a big aroma of fresh citrus hops. It dominates the smell and only allows a little bit of the roasted malt to come through. Very clean an crisp aroma though.

More of the citrus hops in the flavor. Starts out with a sweet citrus/grapefruit flavor and a lactose-like, creamy sweetness. Finishes a tiny bit bitter with some strong peach and citrus flavors. The sweetness really cuts through the bitterness and there is almost no bitterness in the finish. The roasted malt is only apparent a few seconds after the finish. A nice lingering roasted malt bitterness and some sweet chocolate.

A bit heavy with a creamy, smooth feel to it. Oily on the palate. Goes down very easy.

Definitely exceeded my expectations. So easy to drink, which is not typical of a big stout and a 9% beer.

 923 characters

Photo of bradcochran1234
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of TheMarkE
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of NWCraftman
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of ortie
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Josiah2729
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of rbaldwin6
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of vfgccp
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black body with dark chocolate and cola highlights. Creamy light tan head has ok retention and lace.

S - Overly sweet. Big molasses nose with caramel, brown sugar, raisin, semi-sweet chocolate, touch of spearmint, warm milk, and a little coffee ice cream.

T - Molasses, caramel, cream, dark roast grains, and coffee. Pine and a booze center. Nice coffee and dark chocolate finish.

M - Creamy, medium/full body that lightens just enough on the backend to lend it great drinkability.

O - Drinks like a double milk stout; sweet and creamy with a dark coffee and chocolate backbone.

 586 characters

Photo of jverizon23
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Happy Ending Imperial Stout from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,123 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.