Sweetwater Festive Ale | SweetWater Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
805 Ratings
Sweetwater Festive AleSweetwater Festive Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States
sweetwaterbrew.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A strong ale brewed with generous amounts of rich malt, coupled with a taint of cinnamon and mace

Added by purplehops on 11-14-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
805
Reviews:
300
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
12.6%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
177
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
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Ratings: 805 |  Reviews: 300
Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of nick_perry
2.65/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Strong flavor of holiday spice, but I wouldn’t necessarily know I’m drinking a beer. Not much of a hop profile or malt backbone, or really even any discernible carbonation. I could be drinking a tea or coffee that has the same flavors, and there wouldn’t be much of a difference.

 285 characters

Photo of Jcarriglio
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of duvel1979
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of woodychandler
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It had been my intent to get festive over the Christmas/NYE/NY holiday period, but as usual, I have more beer here at Chez Woody than I can drink on a timely basis. I really enjoyed Saranac's Holiday Ale, so I am going to continue with a few more holiday beers before the next horizontal.

From the bottle: "Bottle Conditioned for fresher taste"; "A sleigh load of malt, spiced with a touch of cinnamon & nutmeg."; "Festive Ale is a unique seasonal blend brewed exclusively for the holidays."; "Everyone at Sweetwater Brewing Company wishes you and your family a safe and toasty holiday season.!"; "We double-dog dare you!"

Bottle conditioned, eh? That means that a gentle pour is in order, following my Pop! of the cap, so as not to rouse any existing lees. It took an in-glass swirl to raise a brief finger of fizzy, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with modest retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44), allowing just enough light to penetrate to be able to see its mahogany highlights. Nose was spicy, filled with cinnamon & ginger, but I was not getting much beyond that. Mouthfeel was medium to full, not quite creamy, but big enough to merit my attention. The taste was interesting, more bready than spicy, although there was an anise flavor initially, replaced by the ginger-cinnamon flavor as it warmed. Finish was dry and spicy, but it just did not reach me the way that the earlier Saranac did.

 1,436 characters

Photo of OompaMentor
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GlennWB
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 bottle poured Jan 2017

27 characters

Photo of Ealanjones
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mattflippin
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of djrn2
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Yeldarb92
2.67/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Griffin2
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
L - Pours black with a tan head.
S- Smells like a roasty Porter.
T - Tastes very much like the smell, very roasty with some spiciness on the finish.
F - Medium body with carbonation to match.
O - Easy drinking holiday ale.

 268 characters

Photo of Zazzi82
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Brianito
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of madelf66
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of allengarvin
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Opaque brown-black color with a low initial head that fades fairly quickly to just a thin film.
S: Cocoa aroma, with a modest roast malt scent, moderately sweet.
T: Very low bitterness, relying on roast malt to offset the sweetness to a degree; chocolate cocoa flavor. If there are spices in here, I can't detect them.
M: smooth, creamy mouthfeel, nice body.
O: Mostly, a rather generic sweet stout or porter.

 414 characters

Photo of Tiernan
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of delta490
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Incredibly dark, with just a thin tan ring of head. No lacing. The aroma is malty sweet and mildly spicy. The taste is much the same. The body isn't particularly heavy or thick.

 177 characters

Photo of epyon396
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

-Best by 11.01.16. Consumed 10.01.16.

A: Nice cola pour, sits a flat black in the vessel accompanied by a frothy, dark tan head of one inch that showed a very resilient retention.

S: Spicy cola, sweet rum sugars, dark fruit of figs, and some soda syrup. Nice strength, finish of birch, rootbeer and earthy roasted hop flowers.

T: Flavor was spicy dried cola, earthy bitterness, lightly roasted hop flowers and light mention of fresh, wet tobacco. Dark fruit, some dried rum sweetness, x-mas spicing of cinnamon and caramel nuttiness, along with some oily roastiness. Great level of dark fruit, most particularly plums, a bit of sweet mentions along with alcohol gently lingers on long after the swallow.

M: Oily, medium-full, some edgy carbonation texture with some thick breadiness.

O: Earthy, oily roastiness with a nice soothing bitterness offset with some cinnamon spicing gives this a big festive feel perfect for the fall or winter nature. Big flavor from a small bottle, abv% of 8.1% is the cinderella slipper of the beer, fitting perfectly within. Wide spectrum of flavor, complexity, and very good drink-ability. very good 89 overall.

 1,153 characters

Photo of Cuervo_PCB
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this stuff. I was fortunate enough to be able to have this special brew every Christmas season though out the 90s. It always bring fond memories. Cheers!

 160 characters

Photo of T_Hass
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown color with a creamy off white frothy head. Has amber tint when held up to light. The carbonation is good but the head dissipates rather quickly. The don't really get much at all in the smell department, maybe its just me. Initial taste is very pleasant, with hints of coffee. Has a very smotth feel to the palate. Overall a very nice brew.

 369 characters

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Sweetwater Festive Ale from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 805 ratings.
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