Sweetwater Dank Tank The Gimp | SweetWater Brewing Company

24 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Kromes on 12-22-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 109
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sticks and Stones here in G-boro.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep amber/brown with a thinner off white head atop.Aromas of sweet dark fruit,brown sugar,and a smattering of leafy hops.The hops are a little more assertive on the palate but the big cakey and fruity malt base is the main component,there is a leathery element to the flavor profile that is very true to form,the hops give a big drying leafy sharpness in the finish.I had no idea the ABV was so big while drinking this,a damn good old ale with a bigger hop profile compared to most.

 562 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.11/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - A rich dark amber color, with 1 finger of head and some nice sticky lace left on the top of the beer and glass

S - Toffee and caramel, lots of malts. Brown Sugar. Sweet, maybe some nectarine. No hop aroma, but an Old Ale, so not expected

T - Sweet, marmelade. Not very much hops, but big on the barleywine/old ale front. Brown sugar again.

M - Full bodied, well carbonated

O - An excellent Old Ale. Tasty just a few months old. I will cellar my other one for a a few years. I think this one will grow with age..

 519 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Wine 101 in Wake Forest

A - dark amber with a thick, brownish head that has great retention

S - cinnamon, caramel, candy sugar

T - cinnamon, nutmeg, candy sugar, bread, sweet, faintly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, well carbonated, warm

This is an intriguing beer. It's complex and is definitely a nice stray from the typical winter warmer type beer. There are some spices that come through, but there is also an Old Ale/Barleywine-like sugary sweetness to the malt character that is actually very nice. The sugar could have been cloying, but the spices actually balance it out. This is definitely a beer that you should try if you're looking for something beyond the mundane this winter.

 710 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep brown color with a thin cream colored head on top that seems to struggle due to the thickness of the beer. The retention fades and doesn't have much lacing. The smell of the beer is loaded with malt sweetness, and just a bit of booze on the nose as well. The taste is sweet and earthy all at the same time. There is a subtle bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and sticky, very smooth also. Overall it's a pretty good old ale.

 465 characters

Photo of ksimons
3.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a slightly hazy amber brown color with about a fingers worth of cream head that

S-lots of malt in this one, raisins, caramel, light dark fruit, and a bit boozey

T-similar to the smell in that it is a malt heavy beer with some spices, but there is also a fair amount of hops in it as well so its not super sweet. Finishes with some peppery alcohol.

M-medium body, medium carbonation, a spicy finish

Overall I agree this probably would be better with age, but it is still drinkable now. Interesting spices and lots of malt make this a good winter beer.

 557 characters

Photo of Dope
3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottling date that I can discern.

A: A nice mahogany pour with a big, frothy tan head. Head fades at a decent pace, leaving pretty decent fluffy lines of lacing behind. Good head retention.

S: Significant toffee with decent caramel backing it up. Kind've has a dark breadiness to it too. Very malty in general. No real sign of hops, maybe a little onion/garlic seeping through.

T: Again, loaded with toffee and caramel. Has a spicy element to it, like spicy rye bread or something along those lines. Again, malty from beginning to end. A little bit of onion/garlic in the finish - or is that the spices? Hard to tell.

M: Fairly heavy, smooth.

O: A nice old ale. Interesting complexity and variety of flavors. Not fruity like a lot of old ales. Reminds me more of a barleywine, a slightly hoppy barleywine in fact. Actually, it reminds me of a mellowed out, lighter Bolt Cutter (which I enjoyed). Unique, I enjoyed it.

 927 characters

Photo of Kromes
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I know this should be cellared, but I'm going to open it anyway. At $6 a bottle, I'll try one now and cellar the rest. Poured into a snifter. A hazy dark brown with a thin tan colored head. Spots of lacing remain on the glass.

Toffee, caramel malt, lots of herbal hop, and grape seed.

Tons of caramel malt. Very sweet with l large dose of bittering hop thrown in. There is also a very vinuous, grape seed like flavor to the beer. This one is very green and like it says on the label, it is bred to be stashed in a dank dark cellar.

Full body, smooth feel to it. Burn in the finish.

Obviously it is way too strong right out of the gun. Still it does stand up on it's own as is. Looking forward to trying this after a good cellaring.

 744 characters

Photo of babaracas
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a mostly clear reddish dark brown, one finger thick khaki colored head that quickly fades to a thin ring, with spotty lacing. Smell: dark brown sugar, date bread.. sugary with dark fruit and mild breadiness with a very mild earthy + spicy hopping. Taste: caramel, date, toasty nutty and vinous notes, with enough spicy hopping to keep this sugar bomb from being too sweet. Not very interesting, but definitely enjoyable.

 426 characters

Photo of watsonmd
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a snifter glass. Had a brown, slightly hazy color. There was a small amount of head, left slight ring around glass as I finished it.

S: Boozy, fruity, slight hoppy.

T: Tasted of malt, stone fruitiness, and some spiciness. Full flavor, but very boozy feel.

M: Sharp carbonation with a harsh alcohol finish.

O: Good beer, but definitely needs some aging. I need to get another one for cellaring.

 424 characters

Photo of Beer21
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This particular beer has been in my fridge for about a year. It is a dark brown ale that resembles a brown ale. The head is very creamy and thick (2 fingers). It lingers for quite a while.

The smell is quite malty with notes of caramel, biscuit, and a little chocolate. No hop aroma to speak of.

The taste is very sweet and malty with a slightly metallic aftertaste. It is bready with mild bitterness.

The mouthfeel is thick with moderate carbonation. The alcohol comes through rather strong, but is well balanced.

Overall it is a good old ale, but I really don't like the metallic aftertaste. That my just be my sample. I'll try the Dank tank again!

 656 characters

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-ounce brown glass bottle poured into an oversized snifter glass. Served at approximately 45 degrees F and allowed to warm as consumed.

Pours a deep mahogany hue with an excellent clarity. A thin beige head shows itself for a brief moment before falling away back into the dark recesses from whence it appeared. There's a fairly significant body underneath, as some thick legs peek out of the folds as the beer is swirled in the glass.

Rum-soaked fruitcake shows through heavily on the nose, with a big whiff of dark dried fruits and a slight bit of boozy alcohol. Figs, raisins, and dates are evident, along with a bit of caramelized brown sugar and some faint vinous notes.

The body is indeed full and rich, with just a mild-to-moderate hit of carbonation to wipe the slate clean between sips.

On the palate, things begin sweet up front, with notes reminiscent of those in the nose. The gimp begins to show himself in the middle, where richer dark fruit notes are intertwined with harsher viniferous notes and a bit of herbaceous hoppiness which melds into a dry, slightly astringent bitterness on the back of the palate. Around the edges the sweet malts seem to dance and linger before it all heads into a rather bittersweet finish, with dark fruit and burnt sugar notes that seem to linger on for an eternity.

Overall, this is one of the more straightforward beers to appear in the Dank Tank series, and is really a showcase of malt rather than hops -- something rather surprising coming out of the kettles of SweetWater. This could certainly do with some age to soften it up a bit, but right now it is still a good winter sipper and one that will likely remain so for a few years to come. Grab a few bottles, drink one or two and sit the rest in the cellar for just those right occasions to unleash The Gimp.

 1,820 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany color with a nice two finger tan head that leaves some lace behind.

Aroma is lots of chewy caramel mingled with some toffee along with good dark fruit notes plums raisins. Some light pine notes for the hops not a huge nose but pleasant.

Taste is close to the nose deep rich caramel notes dominating not much toffee in the taste as the nose. This one is close to cloying loads of caramel even appear in the finish but the pine notes barely keep it from being to sweet.

Mouthfeel is good a heavy medium with medium carbonation level.

Overall good brew just not as good as I was expecting especially from SweetWater as they brew some good stuff.

 668 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body that does allow some passing light. Tall off white to tan head. No lacing.

Smells of walnut, russet potato, and neutral spirits (ie vodka.)

Real nutty flavor with some earthy hops and wet leaves. Slightly hot, as expected.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with sufficient carbonation.

It's an ok beer, but nothing that stands out. There's really no depth and its bland. It tasted more like a big brown ale than anything else.

 442 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Obviously built for the cellar, The Gimp (as with any Olde Ale) is fit to be tied and only pulled out after it relaxes is strength and succumbs to the smoothness and grace of age. Now approaching a year of age, its maturity is catching up but it still has a raucous side.

Tawny brown and with a cast of haze, the ale pours with a creamy viscosity that soon separates from its tarnish body with an cream-colored blanket of foam that caps the beer through the duration of the session, shedding broken lace as it fades.

Its strong malty aromas are a hearty-sweet tone with molasses, toffee, brown sugar and over-cooked caramel- it tastes much like fruit cake, except for the fruit. But actually as the beer warms a mild and citrusy marmalade aroma comes to life. Lightly of vinous port and sherry wine, the ale goes from grape to hops in a hurry as pine and citrus pith give lasing aromas heading into taste.

Its flavor is sticky-sweet with all those syrupy and emboldened malts. It wraps around the mouth like fortified wines but with grain flavors. Its biscuity undertow gives the ale a pound cake-like bready sweetness but with a glimpse of nuts, chocolate, and coffee the complex masculinity resists any wavering in taste. An eventual transition to dry taste is assisted by the citrus flavors from hop and ester and then the piney resin bitterness to close the gap.

Full, chewy and lush with alcohol sweetness, the beer latches onto the taste buds and is slow to release. Even after the creaminess of carbonation subsides, its residual sweetness continues to saturate the palate for a forced appreciation of all-things-malt. Holding firm across the middle, a late peek at dryness comes as brandy-like heat breaks up the sweetness and the piney hops evaporates off the back of the throat.

The Gimp really lives up to its mischievous ways. Even after nearly a year, I think that extended cellaring will continue to dry the beer, bring about more earthy leather and tobacco, and settle down its alcohol effects in taste and feel. And put a ball in its mouth for extra measure. One more year please!

 2,101 characters

Photo of pcguitarwzrd
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap in a 9-oz goblet.

A: dark brown, not much head but good lacing on the glass. Relatively unassuming.

S: fruity/spicy, a little booze. Fairly enticing.

T: dark fruit is dominant--plum/raisin and maybe some spices, dark malt is present in the aftertaste but not in great abundance. Not much in the way of hops but a little warmth at the end.

M: fairly heavy and satisfying, but with surprisingly fine carbonation.

O: I like old ales to have a little more malt character, but other than that a nice-tasting beer. Nothing to write home about, but I'd drink it again.

 577 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single finger thick off white head with nice lacing in a murky brown body. Aroma of sour malt, caramel, some dark fruit mostly plum and raisin, some wood notes. The aroma is a little off putting. Flavor of semisweet caramel, raisin, breads, yeast, nuts and resins. Medium to thick body which coats the palate with moderate carbonation. The booze is well hidden. It's fairly drinkable and I just don't really think its memorable except for the aroma which is sour and almost smells infected.

 490 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours a dark brown with a one finger light tan head. About what I expected, nothing too crazy

S- light resinous hops, tons of sweet-smelling malt

T- slightly bitter, very sweet overall. Lingering alcohol comes through as well. Tastes almost leathery as well

M- medium bodied on the thick side

O- not really in love with this....just seems pretty bland overall and not sure of what it wants to be

 442 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at engine 15. Dark brown with a little floating head. Lacey. Mild hop aroma. Brown style, licorice taste muddled flavours. A little cloying, well more than a little. Assertive carbonation. Not a strong example of what an old ale can be. More like a strong brown ale.

 273 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a clear consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Sparse lacing.

S: A decent, but not spectacular, aroma of malt, spices, and a little hops.

T: Tasted of malt, light hops, a light fruitiness, and some spices (cinnamon, e.g.). Definitely a very boozy beer. Not the most focused flavor. A little overdone.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a harsh finish. Full-bodied.

O: Certainly not a session beer. This is a big, powerful beer. It's also very uneven. Not undrinkable, but I doubt I'd try it again.

 604 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

"A wide-open Old Ale, The Gimp gags up Alc. 10.3% by Vol. and is bred to be stashed in a Dank dark cellar only to be brought out for your most "special" guests! This full-bodied Gimp gives off sweet scents of caramel and toffee and, as legend has it, warm sensations of malt balanced by low voltage doses of hops delivering a shocker you'll actually want to receive. Don't keep the Gimp's leash too tight, as he will mellow with age and become more experienced the longer he stays locked up in the cellar." Brewed in the style of an Old Ale, this is the October 2012 entry to the SweetWater's Dank Tank reserve series. Available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a SweetWater snifter. Served above 55º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) An aggressive pour yields a light tan head of a creamy froth consistency over a deep mahogany brown body with scarlet highlights. Retention is good, lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Notes of toffee, licorice and sweet bready caramel malt with an assertive earthy, mildly spicy hop with a subtle bitterness and very faint alcohol. Deep fruit aromas of plum, fig and molasses round this out. Really an invigorating aroma, aging has done wonders for this beer. Potency is medium+. 4

(Taste) Caramel grain with a pinch of toffee sweetness up front, concluding with a spiced licorice, pithy citrus and alcohol finish. Not quite the complex wonder that the aroma predicted, as there just isn't as much malt depth and presence as I had hoped for, and the perky alcohol and graininess are still very dominant flavors. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, slick, chewy. Carbonation adds a moderate crispness for a soft frothiness to the mouthfeel. Body is a medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is in favor of bitterness and alcohol over sweetness, even at a year and a half aged. Alcohol presence is medium/high. 3.25

(Overall) If only The Gimp tasted as good as it smelled, we might have a quality Dank Tank to behold. Unfortunately, aging this bottle to a year and a half doesn't seem to do the trick, as the bitterness is still very strong, and the alcohol presence is incredibly bold. It is questionably an Old Ale. Be wary of this beer, it may not be the most graceful aging beer in the Dank Tank line and may not improve much beyond its current age. 3.25

SweetWater Brewing Company's
Dank Tank The Gimp

 2,406 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.19/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a very dark, russet-toned body with a medium-small, brief, off-white head. Near nil lacing.

Smell: Lightly nutty caramel and brown sugar with a edge of burnt grain. Pinch of spiciness. Low fruitiness. Slight leafy hop scent. Punchy booze in the nose.

Taste: Dark caramel, a bit nutty, and brown sugar, not nutty, with a decent amount of sweetness. For me, there's certainly a roasty element present. Just as I'm left wanting some more malt depth, then, in comes some leafy hop character and bitterness along with some peppery alcohol. Noted spicy character. Slight dark fruitiness, but it's a tad obscured by the spicy alcoholic qualities. Spicy, charred nutty finish with a good amount of alcoholic warmth to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Frankly, it didn't strike me as an Old Ale, though, perhaps it could benefit from some aging.

 964 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle to glass, just a few miles from the brewery.
Light tan head over a dark, more-or-less clear, red-amber body.

Aroma: rich with traces of yeast, hints of caramel and faint booze, somehow giving the impression of a literally old ale.

Taste: definitely does NOT "follow the nose". It is interesting but, to me, unappealing and hard to describe. It is lightly spicy and somewhat bitter, with some off-tastes including too much charcoal.

Mouthfeel is good, with a medium+ body and medium carbonation.

O: Not worthy of recommendation, but maybe with some age? Bear in mind that I've never had an unspiced old ale a liked a lot.

 642 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
2.92/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Arrives a clear chestnut brown with red throughout. A light tan head with good retention and decent lace for the style.
Smell is very weak with just a little sweetness and malt to be found after a lot of searching.
Taste is malty with spice, juniper and a medicinal aftertaste.
Full body, fairly smooth and lightly effervescent. Slight drying. Good but just barely.

 365 characters

Photo of Rifugium
1.62/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a Sweetwater bell tulip. Deep mahogany color, topped with a huge cloud of foamy tan head, that settled down to a thick collar, and then to just a wispy layer of bubbles. Aroma was downright disgusting, mostly medicine and solvent, stale cardboardy malts, rock candy. Taste was just as bad, off-flavors everywhere, medicinal phenols, acetone, fusel alcohol, bread and molasses, and something vaguely resembling nutmeg and/or anise. I swirled this sip around for a little bit, then dumped the rest. It just wasn't drinkable. Either infected, or just a really poorly made beer.

 593 characters

Sweetwater Dank Tank The Gimp from SweetWater Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 109 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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