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 steve8robin
2.69/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Best by 10/31/10. 12oz bottle...

A: Deep, DEEP copper color almost like a medium colored iced tea. Small off white head that quickly fades to a tiny lace. Good.

S: I get bitter grassy hops upfront with some faint malt. Not much else going on here. Eh, nope

T: Taste is very watery earthy hop with a tinge of metallic flavor. It's mild dry hop. I know that sounds a little strange but it's as if you took a hoppy brew and added a ton of water. You can still taste both, but it just doesn't blend well and makes for a tame brew. Eh.

M: Very light bodied with a thin carbonation feel. Sheesh.

D: This one goes down good.

All in all, this is not a very good brew. It's a bitter, yet, it's not bitter. Kind of defeats the purpose of the style IMO. Don't worry about this one.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.84/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sent to me by gford217. Best if enjoyed by: 12/14/10.

A- The color on this beer is very nice. The head retention, not so much.

S- This is very hoppy smelling. Much more so than what I expected, and more than most other ESBs that Ive had. Lots of herbal tea, citrus and even some pine.

T- This puts the bitter in the Extra Special Bitter. In fact I think it might be well beyond the limits of the style. Lots of piney, bitter hoppiness with some citrus. The biggest thing is a build up of medicinal bitterness, like crushed aspirin.

M- Vastly overcarbonated. This beer is sharp and painful on the tongue. It has a slick finish.

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Photo of DCon
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Received a 12 FL.OZ. bottle of this in a trade w/ CurtisMcArthur & enjoyed before STL vs. TX (Game 2 of the World Series). Poured from the busy looking bottle with people fishing for a green bass & a life saver on the front into my 0,47l New Belgium "Oversized Snifter" Glass & has on the side "Best if Enjoyed By: 10/06/11".

Aroma- Has tons of malt from the beginning of the smell. Very light hop aroma if any and can tell this is going to be a sweet and malty brew.

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger head that dies quickly. Has an amber colored body with a bit of cloud to it. Has good lacing afterwards.

Flavor- There are tons of malt and sweet flavors hanging around but no hops... The bitterness factor is VERY low and not sure there is anything special with this one. The malty sweetness overpowers everything! Bummer.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, and then has a sweet finish. Nothing much else.

Overall Impression- First of all, what style is this? The sweetness is way to strong and way to overpowering... Needed to be more balanced with hop. I probably won't be even giving this one another chance and not sure if you should either... Sorry Curtis but this one wasn't my favorite.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic pint. Best before date of 10/13/11.

Pours a dark amber, near garnet. Head is a whispy white that disappears quicker than that last $20 dollars. Lacing, we don't need no stinking lacing.

Nose is dominated by a rather mediocre malt body. Mild notes of cracker and a grassy hop finish, with a bite of medicinal alcohol. Yearning for more in the taste.

Umm...its hard to really grasp at any dominate flavor notes. Its rather mediocre in all regards. I mean, you more feel it as it goes down than anything. Some faint hops in the finish, a bit grassy, mild saltine cracker mid body. If this is the definition of balanced, then I perhaps lean more on the aggressive side of things.

Prickly as it enters, watery mid body, and an oily finish. Not that impressed by this one.

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Photo of DrJay
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Ding as part of Good, Bad, and Ugly BIF. Thanks!
Frothy off-white head off the pour, with bubbles settling quickly to a rocky collar and leaving some fine lacing stuck to the glass. Slightly hazy orange/amber. Lots of hop aroma, mostly of the citrus variety. Grapefruit and tangerine. Very mild malt sweetness in the background. Moderate bitterness with hop flavour dominating throughout, yet fading in the finish. Malt character was thin and did little other than provide a bit of sweetness, though as it warmed there were some faint toffee and cocoa notes. Quite dry with a thin body and average carbonation level. There was a smoothness of texture that somewhat made up for the dryness and thin malt. An okay beer and one that I'd happily drink again, but way off style for an ESB.

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Photo of bobbyc881
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours out amber/copper, very thin white head on top. Quite clear. Minimal carbonation. Smell is slightly sugar... some hops... slight apple aroma.

Taste starts on the sweet side, but not overly sweet. Finish is quite bitter. Maybe a bit too bitter for an ESB. Earthy hops, very little citrus flavors. Again, the finish is a bit harsh.

Mouthfeel could use a touch more body. Otherwise, it's fairly drinkable. This won't exactly be a seasonal I look forward to, though.

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Photo of Brez07
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from abeerlvr (via the Locals Only BIF). Served in a pint glass. Label says best enjoyed by 11/17/11

A: Pours a reddish-orange color, translucent. Leaves a 1 finger bubbly white head with limited retention

S: Sweet malt up front. Some caramel comes out form this. Bread crust. Slightly herbal and grassy

T: Still fairly sweet, but not as much as the nose would indicate. The bitterness is there, but lacking a little for the style. Somewhat citrusy, grassy

M: Light to medium bodied. Good amount of carbonation

D: Decent drinking, but not exactly what I think of for the style. Seems more like a pale ale to me

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Photo of Mikecap
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a medium amber brown with a finger of white head that fades quickly, nice lacing on my tulip.

Smell: Earthy with some grass and pine which surprises me, also some sweetness, caramel, toffee but more hoppy than sweet.

Taste: Not quite up to the nose, some pine, citrusy with a bit of orange and grapefruit, some sweetness from the malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low bitterness and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Haven't really had too many ESBs but this one is okay. Not something I'd want a 6 pack of but worth a try if you like ESBs...

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Photo of planetscott
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle in a pint glass.

A - Lovely amber/copper color. The beast feature of this beer.

S - Really not much going on. Low hop aroma. Low malt aroma. Nothing bad though.

T - Again, not much going on, but it is well balanced, I prefer a slightly maltier and bready taste. This does not have it, however what flavor there is comes off as pleasant, yet pedestrian.

M - Consistent for this style.

D- As this beer does not blow me away, I don't see my self being able to drink more than one or two, however, it is not undrinkable.

Overall - Not a bad beer, but not the ESB style I prefer. A decent gateway beer, which in this city(Atlanta), is a good marketing idea. I hope it does well.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Hazy dark amber with a touch of suspended sediment. A finger of off-white head, scattered lacing.

Smells bready and tangy, with toasted, nutty and leafy notes as well. Rather hoppy for the style, with a fair amount of citrus and pine flavors, plus a distinct leafy bitterness. All this hoppy business distracts from the bready and nutty malts. A tasty beer, although one that frankly tastes more like an east coast IPA than an ESB, and I'm docking points accordingly.

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Photo of gerite
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a glass mug initially produced a good 3 finger light tan colored head that slowly dissipated to 1 finger head and left plenty of lacing. The color is a dark amber that is not quite clear and somewhat cloudy. There was slight carbonation and fine bubbles. The taste is a definitive ESB with a slight bitter aftertaste. I my opinon, not as good as the Red Hook ESB, but still a good ESB. Worth another try.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt orange color was nice to look at, and the body was mostly clear with some lingering haze. The head was thin, like a rim of bubbles mostly. The smell was sweet and citric, and nothing like any ESB. It was too fruity and perfumey to be considered even close. The taste was spicy, earthy, honey sweet, and slightly soured. The mouthfeel was very chalky and a bit harsh. Not a bad beer per se, but way off target for the style, and not very sessionable.

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Photo of aepb1
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Semi-opaque amber with a small off-white colored head

S- Citrus and floral hops, some malts underneath

T- Citrus hops move into some piney hops and the malts from the nose are here too. Not nearly as complex as the nose which disappoints

M- Medium bodied and on the high side of the carbonation but not style offensive

D- Without a very complex taste, against that nose, it loses drinkability points for me

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Photo of blackie
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: poured into a curved lager glass, the beer is a leafy orange-amber in color, capped with a well-retained layer of off-white carbonation

s: dominant aroma of moderately toasted pale grains, very crackery, with a slight caramel sweetness, good herbal hop presence

m: carbonation around light-moderate, soft but appropriate, body a light medium

t: light to moderately toasted pale grains, sweetness light with just a flash of caramel, herbal hop flavors, crackery cereal, finishes dry with toast, dried herbal hops, and a milder bitterness

o: an okay beer, nothing particularly special about it, the flavor is fine but just leaves me looking for a little more substance

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Photo of JayS2629
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a faded copper with a nice white head that stuck around for a while and left ok lacing.

The aroma was faint, clean grains, toasty, with hints of apricot, grass, and citrus.

The taste followed with a grassy background, citrus notes, and hints of apricot. Fruity tones on a dry, clean, cracker/toast backbone.

Interesting, slightly off balance in the hop blends. Nice, easy to drink, crisp, refreshing, beer.

Alright beer. I wouldn't buy it again personally, but I wouldn't refuse one if offered.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle purchased at Total Wine in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-amber body with a small, frothy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Aroma smelling strongly of spice and plump citrus fruits overlaying lighter notes of day-old, over-cooked biscuits.

Taste: Toasted biscuits with a touch of grain and even less caramel sweetness. Taste of citric grapefruit, maybe a few berries in there as well. Spicy, citrus hops with a medium bitterness. Sugar hints come and go throughout. Finishes dry, with an herbal quality to the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Some pair up beers with fine cuisine, maybe some even pair up beers with music. Me, I set beers up alongside movies. This bitter brew contrasted nicely to the sweet, satisfying ending of Karate Kid when Daniel defeats Whatshisname from Cobra Kai. Although the bitterness comes rushing back when I see Karate Kid 2 is up next.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep russet brown color with a thick white head and a fair amount of lacing. Smells of bitter citrus hops and some large amounts of orange. Tastes bitter from the hops, a little sweet from the malts, and a little biscuit and some hidden citrus. Mouthfeel is medium and there is plenty of carbonation. Drinkability is okay.

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Photo of merlin48
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pours a hazy amber body with a medium sized offwhite head. Attractive patchy lacing graces the glass.

Aroma has a sharp hoppiness. Citrusy grapefruit and pine notes obscure any hint of malt.

Mouthfeel has a creamy carbonation and medium body.

Taste has a prominent citrusy hop bitterness. Pine notes add an edge. No significant malt presence to this one. Finishes dry and bitter like an IPA.

Misses the boat as an ESB. No malt character or no apple or pear notes that I look for in a good ESB. Way too hoppy for style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rich amber beer with distinctive aromatics.

Pleasant red amber color in the glass, and head makes a good show but dissipates. Very aromatic with floral hops. Bitterness comes on and lingers to the end. Burnt sugar flavors, a hint of coffee dregs. Wet wood and cork taste.

An appealing first mouthful, and lots of flavors. Settles down to an astringent bitterness that keeps it from being really likable.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Copper in color with a 1/4 inch head and no real retention but some spotty lacing

Smell: Toffee and caramel with some floral hops mixed in

Taste: This one really kind of let me down because it was not at all bitter which I was hoping for there was a decent amount of floral hops in flavor that was balanced out decently by the malt but just not what I was looking for

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: This one feel a little short for me because of the flavor but with that being said it is definately worth a try.

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Photo of Foyle
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1” fluffy cream colored head, recedes at a moderate rate with lots of lacing. Amber color with a cloudy appearance (probably hop sediment in suspension), significant carbonation bubbles streaming up.
Aroma: Pine and citrus hops dominate the smell. There is some detectable malt as well in the background (a bit of earthy, bready odor).
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied, just slightly sticky, highly carbonated in the mouth (almost like drinking a cola), somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: Fairly well balanced as the hops dominate from start to finish – pine, citrus, and floral, even a hint of English type earthy hops. The biscuit quality of the malt helps to even out the taste and there is some caramel sweetness also.
Overall: Great job Sweetwater!

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to hobiejack for this one! pours a standard clear amber with orange highlights and a one-finger white frothy head that leaves minimal lacing.

aroma is malty with some floral, citrusy, zesty highlights. apples and honey.

taste is hoppy up front, with a bit of cardboardy malt backbone through the middle and a clean hoppy bitterness with a hint of citrus in the finish.

mouth is moderately carbonated, moderate body for the style, a bit sharp carbonation but a pleasant lingering hoppy bitterness.

all in all, a fair ESB. a bit hoppy for my liking - or rather - lacking in malt, but it's certainly tasty and an enjoyable brew.

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Photo of GJ40
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased in a Sweetwater mix pack from Lowes Foods in Apex, NC. Best by date is 12/14/10.

A - Copper with great clarity and a small beige head. Good lacing as the glass empties.

S - Biscuity and bready with a hint of brown sugar.

T - Biscuity and bready with some caramel. There's a decent depth to the malt. The hops add a moderate, lingering bitterness and provide a nice balance. It's somewhat dry but there's a touch of sweetness.

M - A moderate consistency with very fine bubbles that give it a bit too much of an airy feel.

D - This is a pretty good beer but not outstanding.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours an almost translucent orangish brown with no foam whatsoever, just a few bubbles on top

S - not alot going on here, some light caramel malt and citrus, but nothing grabs you

T - toasted malt up front with a slight hoppy bite, definitely not what i was expecting given the style

M/D - While I think this one is easily drinkable and not bad, nothing really stands out and seem awfully light for an ESB

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Photo of mklinger
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Nice deep orange color with a good sized tan head. Good lacing left behind. Nice looking beer.

Aroma was first full of citrus and pine but these dissipated as it warmed. Also sweet caramel notes -- these god more potent as it warmed.

Taste was not as sweet as I expected from the aroma. Nice bitterness and and a more biscuity malt character with some sweetness.

Mouthfeel ws somewhat dry and easy to drink. This was a solid ESB.

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