Dundee Festive Ale
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.

Dundee Festive AleDundee Festive Ale
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #252
Ranked #43,134
3.53 | pDev: 12.18%
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
New York, United States
Dundee Festive AleDundee Festive Ale
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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 162
Photo of jzlyo
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is spices, malts and mild caramel. The flavor is malts/caramel, fruit, mild/medium earthiness and a mix of spices and slightly sour in the finish.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear dark amber in color, with a modest white head, which slowly fades to a dusting of foam. Thin, fine-beaded lacing coats the glass walls.

Aroma: Dark caramel, spices and fruit present a flourish not unlike a spiced holiday fruitcake.

Taste: Dark caramel dominates the opening, there are holiday spices as well, with cinnamon, and nutmeg quite notable. There is also a subtle undercurrent of nuts. Modest pine hops present themselves later in the taste to offer some balance. Finishes with a lingering spice note and a little caramel sweetness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, pleasantly soft, with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: In all, rather nice for an inexpensive and accessible holiday ale.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twelve-once brown glass long neck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.37/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Appearance- A murky reddish brown with a small amount of white head that dissipates to a small layer on the surface. No real lacing.

Smell- I get lots of sweet ripe fruit and a small amount of bready malt.

Taste- Front of the tounge gets a bitterness followed by the ripe fruit and quickly washed away with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Light and highly carbonated. Definitly on the watery side.

Overall- This beer lacks in a lot of aspects, but it just good enough tasting that I wouldnt pass it up if offered one. That being said, I definitly would never seek one out either.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a hazy copper color with an orange hue, small creamy white head with good retention

S- the first thing that jumps out is the aroma of banana nut bread, strawberry-banana nectar, yeasty and bready with notes of coriander, a bit buttery, and just a trace of hops and booze. Quite complex.

T- fruity and bready yeast, some notes of caramel and toast, cinnamon and nutmeg, finishes slightly bitter and some-what dry. There are many flavors but nothing overpowers.

M- medium body, med-light carbonation, slightly creamy finish.

O- this one was all over the place in flavor, but they surprisingly all meshed very well, making it very drinkable. I was surprised by this one and wish I would have bought more than one bottle.

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Photo of metter98
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high dense beige head that gradually died down and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The smell is quite fruity and also has notes of spices and some hints of sweetness.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of fruity yeast with notes of spices and some sweetness. Hints of orange peel seem to stand out in particular.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and a bit creamy on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. No warming from the alcohol is noticeable.
O: This beer isn’t really that good of a sipper because it’s lighter in body compared to others in the style and doesn’t provide alcohol warming. On the other hand, it’s rather easy to drink if you are looking for something that is fruity and malty.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hand-me-down six-pack of Dundee Festive Ale; which is to say, I didn't pay anything for it.

Poured into a pint a coppery color with a faded head that was once an inch in height. Looks pretty still now with the occasional rising bubble and the thin ring of foam around the top. 2.0

Smells like toasted malts, cinnamon, clove, and grassy hops. I wouldn't call the nose weak, but perhaps not very interesting. A generic winter warmer smell. 3.0

The taste is pretty crisp with a good bitter finish. The spices, surprisingly, aren't overwhelming. And, there's only just enough sweetness in the brew to not overpower the properly-toasted grains and the hop presence. The hop presence isn't much, but it rounds out the beer with medium bitterness and herbal/vegetal notes. The cinnamon (and maybe nutmeg) do their part to make this ale 'festive' enough and keep it interesting. This isn't a 'wower' by any means, but it's a solid stab at a Christmas beer by Genesee Brewing. 4.0

There's a dusty spice presence in the body that cakes in the back of the mouth with bitterness. The beer isn't particularly above or below medium in heft, but the carbonation that had been hiding and surfaced in the mouthfeel is a nice treat, after all. 3.5

I expected way worse, so I come away with a decent six-pack that I'm going to drink quickly before I lose that March holiday spirit. I'm assuming the purchaser didn't pay much for the pleasure, which makes this all the more recommedable. Personally, I could go either way. I don't NEED to have this again, but would enjoy it next year if it comes cheap (especially, as cheap as this!). Happy Holidays/First Day of Spring! 3.5

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Photo of yesyouam
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dundee Festive Ale is a very clear, sparkling, amber ale with a huge, pillowy, off white head. It leaves a bunch of festive lacing on the glass. It has just a very slight whiff of soft malt and medicinal herbs. The soft, creamy medium body has a dry, slightly silty finish. There's some fruity malt that's a touch sweet, a little bit of spice and a touch of bitterness. Everything's pretty subdued. It almost seems a little salty. That reminds me of Genny Bock. It's not really exciting, but it goes down just fine.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Orangey copper, bright and clear with streams of big bubbles rising to the small off-white head. Mediocre for retention & just barely okay for lace.

S: More balanced than I expected. Soft and rounded nutmeg and allspice about even with earthy cinnamon. But all soft overall. Some malty sweetness & hints of bread crust. Not really getting any orange peel. Nor any hops.

T: Opens with malt sweetness. Then spices – all rounded, balanced, and blended nicely with each other and the beer. Next some richer bread crust malts push in. Base malt backbone is rather insubstantial, but adequate. I never get any orange peel, just a vague fruity something. Soft grassy & herbal hops come in way at the end for balance.

M: Less than average body with fairly standard US carbonation. Feels just a tad thin and coarse. Some sweetness at first, but it goes semi-dry with a spice note. Could stand to be smoother and softer, but it is decent.

D: Not special, but certainly very good for the price point. Drinkable enough. A nice balance of malts, spice, and hops. Sort of a richly malty and spiced ESB. Another solid and reasonable offering from one of the lesser celebrated “gateway” breweries.

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Photo of jsisko01
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark amber color with an inch thick, off-white head. Has nice lacing.

Smell - The smell is very feint.. but I detect cinnamon, coriander, and some other spices I can't point out.

Taste - Lots of spices. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, coriander, light caramel flavor, and clove. Has a very bitter finish and somewhat of an alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel - Thick in body with high carbonation.

Overall - I love Dundee and this is a pretty good winter warmer. Better than others I've had.

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Photo of zimm421
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a nice amber color and is very clear. The head is tan and looks nice at first, but quickly disappears and leaves absolutely no lacing.

Nose is spicy and malty. Not too strong, but there is a hint of alcohol in the nose. Taste is very interesting. Everything works together well and blends together nicely. Sweet up front and then the spiciness comes through. There's even a hint of orange towards the end.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Goes down nicely. Overall, a good brew. Better than expected, and this is nice on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of TucsonTom
1.89/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I agree with those who don't find much holiday spice in either the smell or the taste. For me, this beer had characteristics more in line with an Octoberfest style than a Winter Warmer. My review scores reflect how I feel it fits as a Winter Warmer.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Weyerbacher Winter Ale.

A: Clear amber with two-finger, off-white, foamy head that lasted a minute. Virtually no lacing.

S: Faint. Spices like cinnamon and light malt aroma.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Light toasted malt. A bit nutty. Cinnamon and other spices. Sort of fruity.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Slightly dry and warm.

O: This was okay. I definitely liked the Weyerbacher more.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a slightly hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of caramel and toffee malt. I don't get any holiday spices or other aromas that I typically attribute to winter warmers. The flavor is rich and malty with a little bit of nutmeg mixed in. The beer is very lightly spiced but the spices are present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A decent winter warmer, but not one of the better examples of the style.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Winter warmer light? Pours a copper color, light copper maybe. Moderate head with decent retention. Allspice in the nose. Other spices clearly found on palate, especially cinnamon. Light caramel flavors. Incredibly light bodied and watery. Could have tricked me into thinking this is a BMC product.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
3.99/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has a nice head that creeps away slowly. It is a beautiful tea like color, with a nice cloudyness.
Smell is of many spices with a light malt appearance. Has so much going on you could smell this for a day and keep finding stuff in it. you can smell oranges and cinnamon as well.
very dry, but great taste. you can taste everything individually. Caramel, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.
you could drink a few of these and you would be good to go. is great straight to the finish.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.13/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

Look - clear, copper color with about a finger's worth of off-white foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - definitely a spiced ale type of smell. I seem to smell more of the allspice than the nutmeg, cinnamon, or orange peel.

Taste and Mouthfeel - a little fizzy feeling from the foam. Also with the taste, the allspice seems to come out at me more than anything else. Texture is pretty well-balanced.

Drinkability - not a bad tasting ale, but at the same time a little bland. It'd be nice if more of the flavors on the label popped out at me. So, not very complex-tasting, but not bad tasting either.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #35 (Dec 2009):

Sunset amber color, perfect clarity with a healthy lacing on the glass. Hints of pie spice, caramel and orange peel in the nose. Dry palate with a moderate- to medium-sized body; clean with a big crispness. Flavors jump from caramel to toasted bread, taffy to mild pie spice, orange peel to an even hand of hops. None of the spices seem to jump out in front of any other. Quick kiss of alcoholic warmth in the dry finish.

Lots of balance here, and no overwhelming complexities or over-spicing to kill drink- ablilty; meaning you could have more than one and not feel the need to move on.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah Dundee! Every time I crack one I can expect well... an average brew.

A - Looks kind of lacking. Tons of carbonation reducing foam to a mild lace ring. Color of semi dark amber.

S - Well I can smell some caramel and bread maybe a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon but it's hard to really nail down since its so faint.

T - Not bad! Expected something really bitter like a pale ale but got a smooth warmer with very mild spices. The most in your face part is the yeast which is bready and strong with little spices balancing it. Kind of warming really even with the low ABV.

M - Got a kind of medium to slight heavy body. Must be from the yeast.

D - Well it's good but no really something I could see as a go to winter warmer. It's pretty decent and well deserved of at least a B+ rating but to me seems to need more spice.

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Photo of Giggy
3.66/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle: "Ale brewed with spices" An interesting herbal aroma, spiced, with some caramel malts coming through. Pours a deep mahogany hue that is clear with a minimal bone colored head. Taste is alright, nothing special with the spice notes coming through on the front of the taste then mellowing into caramel and bananas. Overall, It's decent nothing great by any means but very drinkable.

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Photo of DerekP
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Brown/dark copper, creamy off-white head

S: Malty/sweet. Caramel, spices (cinnamon)

T: A slew of spices; tasting cinnamon & orange peel. Caramel in the back end. Hops dominate the spices.

MF: Light-medium bodied.

D: Pretty drinkable. Flavor is a little reserved and flat, despite the tasting credit I gave the brew above. A good brew nonetheless.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We are in the middle of a large snowstorm tonight, not that different than the scene at Dundee's Tavern depicted on the label of Dunndee's Festive Ale. The beer poured a dark amber color with red edges and a reasonable cap of foam. The aroma of dark caramel is mixed with husky grain and dark fruit. A generic spiciness is present too...is that some pepper from the alcohol in this 6.2 ABV brew?

The flavor is malty, a little sweet caramel, but grain as well. The sweetness continues through the center and the beer ends with some clove and other festive spices.

This beer did just fine on this snowy winter eve.

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Photo of MLasoski
4.62/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I haven't reviewed beer since I can remember but I feel like I have to give this beer some needed credit.

A: Transparent copper body and the head doesn't stay around very long. It is subtly carbonated as it sits in my pilsener glass.

S: FESTIVE! I smell the spices and malts. It's what I expect out of most winter warmers that are labeled as such. And it's not overpowering by any means.

T: Dundee specifically states: With a mild nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and orange peel spice character. It's on the back of the bottle. Well the complexity is there and the orange comes in on the tail end. I was a bit surprised that it was this good.

M: It's malty the whole way through with the added spices kicking into gear. Spice up front, orange in the back, with little carbonation in the way.

D: 6.20% ABV is perfect for allowing this festive beer to be enjoyed more than once in a sitting. Considering I am on my second in 15 minutes... I don't really plan on stopping on a third either!

Happy holidays!

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Photo of chilidog
3.86/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got thisone on sale as it was released at a good price with all the dundee's, im pleased I did.

It poured real nice. Deep reddish amber, slight off-white soft head of two inches. Sets to a nice half inch ring to lace fair.

Notes of spice and malts on the nose.

Tastes is malty yet crisp with spice of clove and cinnamon. Kinda typical but done well.

Feels good on the mouth with malty esters to go well with food.

Drinkable indeed. The 6.2% is a nice touch as I like my winter brews kicked up abit.

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Photo of Plokhooy
3.07/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I say about this beer what I'll say about all of Dundee's beers: If you want to teach someone about beer, by some Dundee styles and train them on what are simple examples of the various styles. I think they empty the brewery's spice rack with this one as the flavor profile is all over the place. It is an interesting treat for those long winter nights.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 3 Dec 2007 (as JW Dundee's Festive Ale).

Medium sized thick yellowish white head. Well carbonated. Deep brown with garnet highlights. Very strong aroma of bananas and cloves. Lots of bubblegum and banana in the flavor. Some clove and nutmeg. Finish is slightly acrid. Not much of an aftertaste. Body is light.

Banana seemed a bit out of place in a winter warmer...

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Dundee Festive Ale from Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 162 ratings