Sweetwater Donkey Punch | SweetWater Brewing Company

very good
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Sweetwater Donkey PunchSweetwater Donkey Punch

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RustyDiamond on 09-21-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of GABrew
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of DiscLizard
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Kilhd
1.5/5  rDev -63.6%

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of MAJ85
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of AdamSekulow
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Kiniey01
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Vancer
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big ol' gold foil capped, cork & caged 1 liter bottle of this jewel, courtesy of my 2007 Secret Santa cartdan. Thanks again - and how the hell did I sit on this for so long??

Let's just cut to the chase - the presentation, aroma and taste are all classic barleywine; haze amber, tan head and lace, malty orange liquor. Hints of caramel and toffee just add to the experience. Thick and rich, booze well settled after the years. Actually even stays sweet tasting through the finish.

This sips like a fine wine liquor, I was really saddened to see it's no longer brewed.

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Photo of illidurit
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

RBSG09 on the bus courtesy of some unnamed kind soul. Pours a deep golden amber with a wet off-white head. Aromas of sugar and caramel, cake icing, big citrus hops. Flavor is grainy with caramel and a lighter hoppiness. Dry finish with an oddly light body.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gotta tell you folks, I don't know what I did to deserve the friends I have. My great buddy Treyrab traded away his last El Rojo Diablo solely to obtain this beer and present it to me on my birthday. Cheers to you, my man for such generous act!

2005 Vintage - Poured from a 1 Liter swing-top bottle into a Lost Abbey Straight Edge Tulip.

The body appears to be a little bit thinner then I anticipated for a barleywine. It looks similar to apple cider in color, with a hazy light brown amber body. Nice foamy 1-finger off yellow head adds a beautiful cap to this intriguing look. Leaves a ton of sticky lacing, and lots of carbonation stream through the body.

The smell is out of this world. For a beer that was brewed so long ago, I can't comprehend this fresh hop smell. The smell is best described as a sweet floral scent that was just hopped. Boat loads of sweet caramel and toffee really tie this smell as a whole together. There is some sweet vanilla and a sprinkle of toasted caramel in there that really adds nicely to the complexity. Well played, Sweetwater.

The hops are really noticeable in the onset. Creamy caramel and burnt toffee, the caramel malts provide a crazy sweet oblivion. Some vanilla comes out as well. The old ultra bitter hops provide an astringent characteristic that can be easily overlooked. Nice lemon backsplash on the tail.

I was really surprised with the carbonation in this beer, it was brewed in 2005 mind you. Despite the moderate carb the beer maintained a nice creaminess but was a little bit on the thin side.

Very approachable. Please sir... can I have some more?

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 edition called Sweetwater DP Barleywine Ale, which should be filed under a new entry. Awaiting approval, stay tuned

On tap @ the brewery yesterday. Bright copper appearance with some orange highlights. Head is super creamy & frothy, near white in color. Quite the tangy citrus aroma- tangerine, navel orange. First sip was surprisingly malty, sourdough bread followed by a big citric hop flavor. But not overwhelming at all...very big and very balanced. Good 10.2 vapor to remind you where you are. Noticeable punch of floral, bitterness in the back of the throat. Finishes very nice...some bitterness, some citrus yet not too dry.

This beer not only has a different name than the 2007 Donkey Punch, it has a different malt & hop bill:

DP = 3500# 2 row, 125# munich, 275# 70/80, 100# Victory 4000# total
Hops = 1st Summit 2nd Columbus 3rd Columbus & Centennial 4th Centennial & Cascade
Dhopped- Columbus Cascade & Centennial

Donkey Punch = 2800# 2 row, 100# Munich, 220# 70/80, 100# victory 3220 total
Hops = 1st Nugget & Chinook 2nd Nugget 3rd Nugget & Centennial 4th Centennial & Cascade
Dhopped- Nugget Cascade Centennial

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Photo of treyrab
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Mikesgroove for hooking me up with this. I gave it to jac5084 yesterday for his birthday and we cracked it to celebrate. Poured from the huge 1L bottle into a snifter...

A: Pours a very, very murky brown copper with a decent one finger head. After being in the cellar for a few years, I was really surprised at how well the carbonation had kept on this. One would never know this is vintage. The appearance reminded me of apple cider with the color and haze, but overall it was quite good.

S: This was hysterically robust. Starts with a blast of citrus hops. Not necessarily fresh citrus hops, but pretty damn close. Very nice caramel and sweet toffee in the scent as well. Some nice apricot and peach flavors creep into the smell as well. Overall: Fantastic.

T: The hops are the first thing that come to mind. For being aged for a few years, they are still a very big part of this beer. Incredibly smooth taste of bittersweet caramel and burnt toffee with a hint of roast on the end.

M/D: This was incredibly creamy, but by no means thick. For 10ABV, this beer went down faster than any Barleywine I've had.

Thanks again Mike, this was an incredible beer!

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Photo of bhalter8
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle in my cellar, but a good friend who randomly had held on to a few bottles brought one over for a dinner we had, and I had to rate it. I drank a fair amount of this fresh and enjoyed the hop bitterness in it at that time (albeit out of style, and more of a DIPA), so we'll see what I think of it now that it has been sitting for a couple of years. Pours a deep/dark amber color with a decent 1/2" head still appearing (Sweetwater's swing tops have presented issues in storage). I predominately pick up the sweet malt aroma that has grown from the age, and a fair departure from the original high IBU smell. I am really enjoying the taste; a nice mix of the sweet malt character from aging a big beer like this, combined with a fading bitterness that is not yet gone. Carbonization still exists, and makes it a sipper for sure. Still rests nicely in the mouth, and is easy enough to drink. I look forward to trying this again down the road to see what happens. I also hope Sweetwater decides to make this again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque, mahogany-hued body with a frothy, creamy, whitish head with plenty of staying power.

Smell: Sweetish, citrusy nose of grapefruit backed by an aroma of caramel and pale malts with a small whiff of good, clean alcohol.

Taste: Initially sweet, with tastes of pale and caramel malts. Light herbal hints quickly followed by a large dose of juicy Red Blush grapefruit and orange fruitiness complete with a touch of citric acidity. Sure, the hop bitterness certainly remains, but it's much, much more manageable now. Drying, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: When initially released in August of 2007, this one was more akin to a Double IPA than a barleywine, but time has shifted the scales back towards barleywine. Personally, I feel it could stand a bit more time away in the cellar. Shame on Sweetwater for failing to re-brew this one since it's 2007 inception, instead opting to give us more Road Trip.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am glad I cellared this 1 litre gift from Captain Couger. I think it mellowed, with a bit more balanced flavour from the hops - not in your face from 90 IBU. Initilly a bit sour, then the hops kicks in, a lot of citrus, lots of malt and barley. Very drinkable though not the most complex or impressive barleywine I have had.Big white head on cloudy golden yellow body.

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Photo of kkipple
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 edition. A massive liter swing-top bottle pops open to disgorge its contents... a real punch awaits, I'm sure.

A. Deep red, clear, 2 finger frothy head. Right purty.

S. Citrus hops, whiff of tropical fruit esters, peaches? Resiny... very sweet malt nose, sugary. Pumpkin spice, oddly. Weird but pretty alright.

T. Hmm. Taste is very sweet with loads of brown sugar. Pretty sure I'm tasting Simcoe hops and and there's definitely some booze to be had here. Grapefruit hops come in after a while but the whole experience is vague and messy... hop bill needs to be changed up on this one, IMO. A little sharp towards the finish. Hm.

M. Lowly carbonated, rather thin, strangely. Not great. Finish is bitter in a bad way and sugary.

D. A disappointment, given the hype and over-the-top name. I'd send Sweetwater back to the drawing board with this, as it is, it's simply a very average American barleywine that we sure don't need another of. The bottle was cool, though.

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Photo of Goliath
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy caramel color with a strong one inch yellowed head. Good retention and some nice lacing.

The aroma is decent. A dying hop presence unloads a big piney note with some sticky sweet caramel. Typical, and delicious.

The taste is weak. This is definitely on the decline. A strong hop presence would've gone a long way with this beer. Anyway, virtually no bitterness, but some of the flavor profiles of the hops still linger. A bright citrus note and sappy pine take the lead. Loads of sticky caramel round it out with a touch of cereal on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, slightly chewy, and oh so lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate to high. The flavor is fine, but a little boring for an American Barleywine. The high alcohol is hidden very well, which is nice.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from mikesgroove, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 1-Liter swing-top bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a murky brown color, with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts, very IPA-like.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel up front. There's a strong hops presence, but it's obvious that it has been toned-down somewhat after at least a year of aging since I received it. There's a hearty malt character and a very mild alcohol sting, but it's not quite as boozy as most ABW's. The after-taste is sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, pretty clean finish for a style that tends to be a little bit sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent bigger beer to drink for a long time. I certainly enjoyed it as it really hit the spot after a long, stressful day of working on my new house.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber with light rusty copper shades, almost crystal clear and glowing with a big frothy head that has excellent retention. A great looker all around. Very intriguing smell of pungent, citrusy hops and a touch of pine. Some big caramel and toffee. Also a very unique earthy, somewhat dirty hop scent...I'm guessing it's the hops. It's almost woodsy and I like it. Sip is juicy hops that aren't so over the top as when this was released, though it was never too much for me. They're more tamed and balanced very well by the malts. Orange, tangerine, light grapefruit and pine, honey, caramel. Mouthfeel isn't very thick, more on the medium to full side with solid carbonation. Very easy and somewhat silky going down. Not as difficult as it should be to handle this one. I split it with a couple friends but I could have easily drank another glass.

Big thanks to my buddy MMAJYK for helping me out with a bottle before it was too late!

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Photo of russpowell
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from ding, cheers! Been sitting on this one liter Beauty for 9 months!

Pours a slightly chill hazed ( cleared quick ) orange/caramel with 3 fingers of tan head. Superior head retention & lacing

S: Fruittyness: loads of apricot, pears & figs; breadyness & citrussy hops

T: Orange slices, dryness, pineyness up front. A touch of brown sugar dryness & breadyness & pine as this warms. Finishes fruitty with pineyness, dryness & more orange slices

MF: Chevy with low carbonation, & dang good balance

Drinks too easy for the style & ABV, glad I sat on this one for a while, damn fine American Barley Wine!

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Sweetwater Donkey Punch from SweetWater Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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