Sweetwater Motor Boat | SweetWater Brewing Company

very good
150 Reviews
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Sweetwater Motor BoatSweetwater Motor Boat

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by gford217 on 08-29-2008

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Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 454
Photo of CharlestonBXFan
4.8/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My keg fridge is about 20% for me and 80% for making my friends who visit happy and festive. This beer was a huge hit with guests last night when tapped. I loved it last night and even more today. Its flavorful and smooth with a great pour into ceramic mug. I don't want it to run out which is always the best quality a home keg beer can have.

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Photo of godlessape
4.67/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my favorite pint glass and watched the head dwindle down rather rapidly to just a thin skim. That's not always a good sign but it has a great copper, whiskey color to it that looks inviting.
Smells fantastic, with rich caramel malt and piny hops.
As far as taste goes, they couldn't have brewed it better. The fruity, toffee malts are blended just right with the citrusy American hops.
The mouthfeel is perfect for this style.
Overall, this is an extremely drinkable ale. Fruity, sweet, and bitter. Now it's time to pour another.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is strong and malty with a firm hoppy undertone and a decided hint of molasses. Color is a beautiful, clear, appetizing copper with an off-white and fairly persistent head. Mouth-filling flavor is fairly but not fiercely bitter, and has just a whisper of sweetness as well as a nutty undertone. Texture is exceptionally smooth so it goes down very nicely.

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Photo of Amalak
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Hazy brown color that is basically opaque. It has a good tan foamy head with lacing. Bubbly.

S. Very strong, hoppy scent.

T. Odd lemony-hop taste. A bit of caramel in there. A nice floral taste. Really beautifully balanced. A minor bit of smokeyness.

M. Tingly with an acidic aftertaste.

O. Very well balanced. Smooth but refreshing. Not over the top with hops. Mild acidic aftertaste is only drawback.

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Photo of glid02
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask wet-hopped with Chinook served at the brewery.

Pours a hazy brown-copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells like something I never want to stop smelling - citrus, pine, floral, herbal, if it's associated with a hop it's here. Backing up the hop aromas are grainy and lightly toasted malts that gain steam as the beer warms.

Tastes good, just not as good as it smells. Hop flavors dominate but caramel malt flavors that are more earthy and mineral-like than sweet serve as a sturdy backbone. As with the smell the malt flavors assert themselves more as the beer warms. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a very nice thickness with a surprisingly moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I used all my tickets (six total) on samples of this and I would use six more if I had them.

Overall the wet-hopping influenced this beer more than the cask conditioning as the carbonation levels were almost identical to the draught version. Regardless, this beer was hoppy already but the extra Chinook pushed it to a new level. I can't wait to try Wet Dream after tasting this.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Deep, jeweled amber body. Nice off-white head with nice lace and ok rentetion.

S – Brown sugar, toffee, and soft caramel malt manage to share the stage without rendering the nose overly sweet.

T – Smooth with a pleasantly heavy-handed dose of caramel malt backed by a resiny bitter backbone. Lightly dry finish.

M – Surprisingly refreshing for the amount of flavor in the profile. Medium full body.

O – A stellar session brew. The flavor profile is simple and clean, but well defined and delicious.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 12/05/12

A= Pours a nice hazy amberish brown color with a solid finger of off white head that holds great retention and lacing on the side of the glass.

S= The smell is nice and pungent expessially for an ESB. There is a nice hop punch to it in the nose that is followed by a caramelly sweetness that makes it mouth watering.

T= The taste is just as nice as the smell. A nice hop punch to it that offers a little pine and citrus up front before a caramel sweetness comes over it. The finish is nice and buiscuity with a little lingering hop bitterness. This is a very nice ESB. There is a little bit of a watery flavor in there that I acutally kind of like in an ESB.

M= The mouth is great. Not overly carbonated.

O= This is a solid beer from a style I don't think is done enough. An easy drinking ESB is the cure for whatever ales ya. This baby is the cure that's for sure. Makes me wanna go motor boat.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty colored brew, pouring a thick, light brown head of fluff. Took a good two minutes until I could see the top of the beer. Color rates a great 22 on the SRM scale. Smell of caramel, spice, apple, malt, and hops. Good rich, bold taste of citrus, caramelized wheat, sweet malt, and a bitter hop finish. Lots of rich feel across my tongue and the back of my throat. This is a good bitter ale, lots of flavor and body, give me another. Got it in the Sweetwater tackle box, so I have two more. Yea!!!

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Photo of avalon07
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a coppery color and a mostly clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, malt, a grainy quality something sugary.

T: Tasted of malt, a dash of hops, some grain, a very definite grassiness, and bit of caramel. This is a surprisingly tasty beer with a lot of character.

M: A somewhat undercarbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: I was surprised how much I liked this beer (normally I consider ESBs an inferior style). It was definitely easy to drink and had a surprising complexity to it.

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Photo of thesyko56
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber with a two finger head.

S: Hoppy and sweet.

T: Sweetness hits your tongue at first. Very smooth malty flavor. The finish is very floral and hoppy. Very nice and hoppy. An excellent representation of an English ESB.

M: Moderate carbonation. Smooth but moderately thick.

D: Very smooth for craft drinkers but novices may have a problem with the thickness.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by Sept 29, 2010.

Pours hazy copper amber with a two finger off white head that holds well but doesn't leave much lacing.

Nice citrus and floral hop aroma balanced with some bread and caramel malts.

Flavor features caramel malt, dark bread, citrus and pine hops, medium sweetness and bitterness. Very nice flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Never had an ESB before, however I can say this is one tasty and refreshing beer. Nothing complex or extravagant, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Really enjoying this one, kudos Sweetwater!

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Photo of thehooksman
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a foamy tan head. The nose gives a piney hop profile. As to flavor, it really is an ESB as the label suggests, but with the hop character of an American IPA. It has a medium body that originally covers the tongue with malt sweetness before changing to a bitter and dry hop finish. The bitterness lingers nicely for quite a while.

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Photo of Mississipping
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an almost completely clear amber color with some extremely fine sediment suspended throughout.  A small off-white head rises and falls quickly, leaving behind a wispy film and a tiny ring.  Almost no lacing to speak of. 

S: Malty up front with some caramel, a subtle nuttiness, and a touch of bread.  Bitter, earthy hops linger throughout each waft, but there's a better balance between sweetness and bitterness than I expected.  

T: Sweet malts come out first mainly with caramel malts.  A nice earthiness from the hops, is side-by-side at the beginning.  The middle and end are a bit hopper with some nice citrus fruits coming with a subtle nuttiness and a hint of roasted malt.  

M: Medium-bodied with a moderate level of carbonation that works very well for this beer.  Really nice smoothness on the palate that makes this go down very easily.  Starts out somewhat sweet and ends a little hopper.

D: This is one of the better Sweetwater beers that I've had to date.  Well balanced and tasty from start to finish.  Not overly bitter at all, and possibly a bit out of style, but really an easy drinking beer that I'd love to get more of.  

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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. Label says Best if Enjoyed by: 11/07/13

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- A surprisingly large amount of vegetal hop presence. Very nice and "green" with notes of celery and...fresh jalapeno and/or green pepper? Hm.

T- Flavor is more malt-driven with some balancing hop bitterness. Easy to drink but not lacking in flavor. The malt is toasty and a bit sweet with a hint of caramel but the grassy hop character remains throughout.

M- Slightly sharp and oily from the hops. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- I enjoy this more than any other ESB I've ever had but I think that's due to the overly hoppy take on the style. Although the word "bitter" is part of the acronym, ESBs are generally not this bitter. This is more of a dark pale ale (if that makes any sense) IMO but, regardless of what Sweetwater wants to call it, it's very good. I admit, when I bought this variety 12-pack, the ESB was what I was desiring the least but now I know I'm thoroughly enjoying every beer in the box.

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Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well-executed placement within the style, perhaps leaning just a bit toward an Americanized hoppyness. Pleasant moderately roasted caramel malt, quickly followed by firm, slightly resinous hops flavor. Quite smooth and a good session ale candidate.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this from my Secret Santa KarrHeel03, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a slightly hazy red orange color with a two finger fluffy beige head that persists forever. Smells of citrus right off, I'm thinking grapefruit, but that aroma disappeared quickly. Some caramel and a bit of spicy, minerally esters waft up towards my nostrils as well. At first smell it was a dead ringer for an American IPA, but as it sat the nose definitely morphed into a more English bitter leaning animal. Taste is malty with caramel and brown bread, minerally with that English hop flair but an almost citrusy hop bite in there as well. Medium to high carbonation, medium body with a watery/syrupy mouthfeel. This is a weird little beer that I really enjoyed. It's like an Americanized version of an esb that is still true to its English roots.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: A dark amber with a creamy fluffy off-white head that stays up for a while.

S: Not so strong but what is there is hops! I can't exactly make out all the differences but it smells like a nice variety. Definitely floral in there though. Balanced by a slight biscuity malt.

T: Unexpectedly it is not nearly as bitter as I thought. A first sting of hops when it hits your tongue but then it is quickly balanced by nice biscuity sweet malts. Definitely a nice balance.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Medium bodied.

D: I like this beer a lot and I want to drink a lot of it. I hard poured this beer and I think it definitely had an effect. The mouth feel was amazing and the flavors work so well together. I could session this all day every day.

Notes: Only my second English Bitter and what can I say, this must be one of my more favorite styles. This beer tastes very nicely balanced and very good overall.

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Photo of ectomorph
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with a Best By date of 11-23-08 poured into the complimentary pint glass I received from the Sweetwater rep @ Riverside Beverage this afternoon.

A - Clear amber color with a full 2 finger thick white head that is fading slowly in clumps.

S - Floral hops and hop oil aromas with a malt sweetness at the end.

T - Very balanced with a mild hop bite up front with loads of malts and sweet biscuits powering through. Fooled by the smell initially, this brew is quite balanced and crisp.

M - A little watery but overall medium to light bodied.

D - Very high, I will finish these today/tonight for sure.

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Photo of fsvan
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into imperial pint glass. Best by date of 10/6/2011, well before this 7/31/2011 consumption.

A- Fairly dark copper, with tinges of red. Inch of barely off white head which lingers, but only slightly.

S- A big nose of sweet, bready, toasted malts, followed by a pine hop bitterness.

T- Very balanced, with toasted malts up front, and pine bitterness behind as the smell would suggest. The sweetness in the nose is almost completely gone in the taste, which is a good thing, in my opinion. Simple, yet tasty and super clean.

M- A little light of medium. Not bad at all. I waffled on the taste score between 4 and 4.5, and gave it the extra .5, and here between 3.5 and 4, but opted for 3.5 to keep it as fair as possible.

O- A really nice seasonal from Sweetwater. Tasty, affordable, easy drinking, and a style that you don't see a ton of from American breweries.

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Photo of beerman207
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found a bottle of this in the supermarket during a recent trip to Tennesee.

A: Pours a dark orange almost brown color with about 2 fingers head that leave nice lacing behind

S: Nose is zesty with citrus. Good malt coming through as well.

T: Bready tones with a good bitterness that lingers in the finish. Hoppy but well balanced

M: Creamy and mild carbonation

O: Great offering here from Sweetwater. Glad I got a chance to try this one.

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Photo of Deus1138
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw people talking about this in the forums over the last two weeks. Then I saw a ton of it at Total Wine & More tonight, so I picked up a six pack.

Pours a nice copper red with lots a good amount of head.

Smell is quite strong. Lots of floral and pine hoppiness coming through. Smells like a double IPA.

Taste is not what I expected from the smell. It's not nearly as hoppy as I expected. It's quite nice though. Again, floral piney hops followed by a nice malty sweetness at the finish. Balanced well? I'll say!

Mouthfeel is pretty light. Not a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability is quite high. I've never had an ESB before, but I'm inclined to try more of them now. This is quite refreshing while also giving the drinker a nice set of complex flavors to sift through.

Nicely done. My new favorite from Sweetwater!

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber with golden hues. Just under a half finger head which dissipates quickly.

S: A nice subtle hop aroma with sweet notes and grapefruit.

T: This has a decent amount of hop flavor those it is mild. Its sweeter than I expected. Floral notes.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: I haven't figured sweetwater out yet. I feel like the are sort of middle of the road but I really like this brew.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brewery yesterday. Very bright amber in the glass with a nice two fingers of fluffy tan-white head. Aromas of light caramel and fruity hops. First sip, I got more of fruity hops with a slick maltiness. Kinda reminded me of a candied walnut, in a sense. Bright orange hoppiness with the nutty malt made for an easy drinking ESB. The hops are pretty noticeable, but not overkill. I believe the ABV is 7% on this one too.

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Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Neutral amber color with a slightly hazy touch. Good start to the head--leaves some ring and spotty lace.

This is a very pleasant blend of caramel-like malt with a flowery hop smell. This continues through the taste, although the hops are more prickly. The aftertaste is bitter but doesn't last forever Rich mouthfeel with a light spritz in the carbonation. A wonderfully blended beer.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to and courtesy of our Southern beer connection, everetends...got this one a while back with a BBD 12/7/2008 but just getting my sorry @$$ around to it now - since it's an ESB I'm not worried in the least...and I have a good excuse to break out my Fuller's pint glass I got from shopping wayyy too much at Julio's. In it goes...

Classic ESB look - single-finger dulce de leche head topping honey-amber or pure copper body. Decent lacing and staying power. Sparse rising carbonation.

Gobs of heavy caramel malt...even a little bit of pears and apples...slight nuttiness and mald fruity and piney hops.

I don't hit up a lot of ESBs but this is a good one - the raw/stewed malt is so husky and the tannins are a positive with this one - they bring out the hop oils very nicely. Clean livin' right here - finish is robust. Slightly cool to the taste but solid.

Husky grain has a fair amount of tannins but it works well - hop pine and grass work well with sweet oils to create a clean but viscous concoction.

This is quite a good session effort - goes down easy but with enough heft to keep y'all honest. A perfect ESB for hop whores. Bring it on!

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Sweetwater Motor Boat from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 454 ratings.
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