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

Dundee Festive AleDundee Festive Ale
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #265
Ranked #45,237
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 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MLasoski:
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MLasoski from New Jersey

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!

Nov 27, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Rayek
Rayek from Colorado

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

A: Roasted chestnut brown with good clarity and semi-active carbonation from tiny bubbles. Small and fizzy tan head has OK retention and leaves bits of lace.

S: Aromas of clove, coriander, citrus and a bit of burnt biscuits came through to me.

T: Quite tasty and complex. A burnt toffee flavor greats the tongue, followed by a parade of spices. Black pepper, cinnamon, clove and a hint of nutmeg interplay nicely. The dry finish is slightly acidic.

M: Medium body is somewhat grainy and has too much fizz.

D: A pretty good offering from Dundee. Better than I was expecting, given my past experiences with this brewery. Definitely worth the purchase.

Dec 09, 2008
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Clydesdale from District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear, garnet-brown color with a fairly large, foamy, light tan head with decent retention and good lacing.

S: Some biscuity and caramel malt aroma, with hints of citrus and a peppery, yeasty nose. Some vague metallic notes.

T: A mild, slightly burnt caramel malt flavor at first, with some nice, moderate spices that recall pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. Finish is dry with some herbal hop bite for balance, some grain husk as well. A slight alcohol flavor is detectable.

M: Mild bodied with subdued carbonation. A dry, grainy finish. I'd prefer it to be a touch fuller in body, but nothing wrong with it.

D: Nothing really stands out about this one, but it's a super drinkable, middle of the road holiday beer at a good price. Not overly spiced or alcoholic, but with decent character, this is sessionable.

Dec 10, 2008
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Hoagie1973 from New York

3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer to partake of during the winter months.
Clear but dark amber with a thinnish head. After a minute or so the head reduced to a light froth and left some spotty lace.
Smells malty with faint spices, fruit, and light grain.
Tastes much like the nose. Has a fairly assertive allspice flavor without being overspiced. Malty and sweet, but maintains a fair balance with a muddled hop presence and slightly bittering alcohol in the finish. A pleasant warming hits the esophagus after a few sips.
Medium bodied, carbonation is fairly crisp.
For the price its a pretty decent choice. Very drinkable. Not the best, but far from the worst (which is true of almost all High Falls' offerings).

Dec 26, 2008
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Another6Pack from Michigan

3/5  rDev -15%

Nov 26, 2011
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chefduff2 from New York

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Jan 05, 2013
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DmanGTR from New York

3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Jan 29, 2013
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HalfFull from California

3.31/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear reddish amber into a pint glass. A dense inch of off white foam bubbles slowly down to a surface cap which keeps for the duration of the glass and yields some brief lacing.

Roasted malts dominate the nose initially with deep spices arriving as the head settles out. Bit of cinnamon and allspice are present at that point but rather subtle. Notes of dry nutmeg rise up to dominate later.

Flavor is lighter than expected and a bit watery in nature. Lightly malty up front and with the spices dominating the close and becoming rather dry on the finish. Feel is a bit thin and the dry chalkiness of the spices limit drinkability for me, almost as if the spices were added after the fact given the lack of complexities on the nose.

Nov 16, 2009
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tclapper from Maine

4/5  rDev +13.3%

Nov 17, 2011
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PorterJunkie from Pennsylvania

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

Kind of thought this would of been better. I usually like dundee beers so I gave this a try. Poured out a nice dark amber with good head. A sweet caramel is all I could really get out of the smell as well as the taste. Aftertase for me was pretty alcoholic. Not the spicy, lively festive ale i was expecting. A good beer nonetheless.

Apr 18, 2010
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blackjack000 from Kansas

3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours out with a viscosity that hints that I'm in for a good layer of maltiness. We have a dark amber with hues of red to maroon. A frothy, eggshell head sits on top and lightly crackles, creating little pockets of fizzing and dancing at times.

Smell: Sweet and spicy. Pumpkin spice dances over a good dose of molasses. A faint trace of brandy.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is a little lighter feeling than I was expecting from the pour. Still, very smooth and silky. The initial taste is sweet malt, and a little carbonation highlights it well. The spiciness leaves something to be hoped for. Again, the spiciness in the taste was not what I had hoped for after smelling the beer. The taste is definitely a bit hollow--not festive.

Drinkability: Good. It fits the profile, but doesn't excel. It's not a bad winter warmer, but not memorable.

Dec 15, 2008
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generallee from Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has a nice deep reddish amber colored body with good clarity. On top sits soft light tan head of about medium size. Head retention is ok as it slowly fades to just a very thin wispy covering. Lacing is minimal and very slick sliding down with the head.

Smell: The aroma has a nose of holiday spice, cinnamon being the standout, as well as sweet dark malt with just a touch of hops.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor has a pleasant touch of cinnamon and nutmeg inside of a sweet malty body with a slight hint of orange peel and citrus acidity in the background. Its hop character is very light and modest. Its spicy flavors carry on nicely into the finish. The texture has a creamy smooth feel with a good balance of carbonation and a solid, fairly well rounded body.

Notes: Overall it was a pleasant Winter Warmer Ale.

Feb 20, 2009
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dundees Festive Ale, brewed with spices. Dundee's Tavarn is pictured on the label.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. An off white soda like crackly head forms and then disappears in about a minute. Copper colored brew.

Smell isn't very strong. Malt and just a whiff of something floral. As it warms the spices become more apparant.

Tastes initially malty with faint spices building into the finish. Nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice reflect the spice character which actually seems to build on the palate as the beer is consumed. Hops not very apparant just a vague bitterness to be found.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp, the spice adding a dryness to the finish.

A drinkable winter warmer, no frills and no surprises. Let this one get to optimum temperature for best results.

Dec 15, 2009
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kinger from Ohio

3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I am finally impressed with a brew from the JW Dundees line. This is a nice little inexpensive spiced seasonal. Good amber/copper pour with a monster head that doesn't leave. Decent lacing and ample carbonation. Bitter scent with a solid malt nose and a touch of different spices, needs to be more aromatic. Filling brew and somewhat thick, although the finish has an empty bitterness. Semi-rich malty base with hints of many spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg and perhaps a touch of ginger seem to stand out. A bit of honey is present. For what it's worth I was impressed by this offering considering most of this brewer's products tend to be rather bland. The easiness with the blend of spices really stands out.

Nov 11, 2008
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superdedooperboy from Georgia

3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours a nice ruby-copper tone with a smallish off-white head of creamy foam that falls away quickly to a thin crown, leaving very little lacing as it disappears.

In the nose is a fairly typical winter spice blend, showing some ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and surprisingly a little alcohol as the beer warms up a little. Definitely not expecting that one. Some mild buttery notes appear underneath as well, with perhaps a slight hint of toast.

The body and mouthfeel are both a little light, perhaps medium-bodied, and the carbonation livens things up and lightens the mouthfeel significantly. A good deal of toffee up front, with some buttered toast moving in shortly afterward. A mild hop bitterness and a play of spices show up toward the middle, drying things up for the finish, which leaves a lingering impression of biscuit and nutmeg.

Pretty drinkable, but nothing to gawk over as far as Winter Warmers go. Still, for the low price of $5.99 a six-pack, it's hard to argue with this beer, as it provides almost unrivaled bang-for-your-buck value.

Feb 26, 2010
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thekevlarkid from Maryland

3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this Winter Warmer was a hazy amber color with one finger of tan head that had some reddish highlights to it. As I consumed the beer the head retained itself at first but eventually disappeared entirely. However, the lacing was in sliding patches while it lasted. The aroma was of caramel malt, rye, spices, dark fruit, some alcohol, wood and a little must. The flavors were similar, starting with the caramel malt note in then went into the more woody elements accentuated by the spices followed by the bitterness of a slightly-over-the-hill beer. Admittedly, though well cared for, this brew four months ago would have been better. It was malty at first, then dry and earthy and that was about it. The body was medium, the mouthfeel average and the carbonation fine.

Jun 23, 2010
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SickGnar from Pennsylvania

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.

Dec 24, 2011
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LennyV from New York

3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler purchased at halftime pours a mahogany color into my la fin du monde tulip. Small head no lacing.

Smells of light malt

Taste's spicy sweet but not very complex, sorta boring for a winter warmer.

Feels watery in my mouth not enough carbonation.

Not one of my favorites I may have to give this one another try maybe i got the bottom of the keg.

Jan 17, 2009
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Buggies from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark amber color with about a 1/4" head. Very little head retention and minimal lacing.

S: Smells like sweet malt with a very nice spicy aroma. A very nice smelling beer.

T: Tastes as it smells. It starts out with a weak sweet malt taste with a big spiciness at the end. The spice seems to dominate this though. Very little hops, but a little hop bitter finish... though very weak.

I actually like this a lot. It has a nice crisp carbonation. That along with the nice mellow sweetness and the dominant spiciness makes this a drinker. I would buy a case of these to have in the refrigerator around the holidays.

Jan 20, 2009
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Shredz from New Mexico

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: amber brown with an appealing head.

S: subtle smell of spices. getting fairly excited to taste it.

T: not disappointed. malty taste with some spice in the background. Unfortunately for me, I am not a master of spices.

M: Nothing too exhilarating. A little heavier than most ales.

D: I could see myself drinking this all night long.

A great seasonal I hope to see again soon.

Aug 19, 2008
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BierFan from Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Head settles to about a half inch of tan foam. Clear dark orange/brown body.

Smell: Nutmeg and cinnamon are the dominant forces in the aroma, especially the cinnamon.

Taste: I think the cinnamon might be a little overdone. Pretty good winter warmer but perhaps a little over spiced.

Dec 30, 2009
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cadenwhitaker from Minnesota

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

I like this!

Maybe it is because I'm getting a little over-hopped, but this malty, caramel(y), sweet, slightly spiced, amber is going down fantastically.

This is a good winter warmer, I'll be using this as my winter fix when I get a craving for a Summit Octoberfest.

Dec 21, 2008
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thespaceman from Connecticut

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, dark amber in color, almost red. Decent sized head that dissapated into a thin wisp. Mild lacing and retention.

Smell: Light maltiness and grain, a mix of some fruit floral and a bit of spice going on as well.

Taste: The malt shows up a tad weak yet the spiciness takes over well in the finish. A nice vanilla note appears also in the finish, smoothing out the rather weak malt sensation. Some other spices thrown in there as well, clove, a bit of chocolate/earthy element, and some roasted nut.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation, again a bit thin to be a great Winter Warmer but the spiciness holds this brew together.

Drinkability: Out of alot of the Dundee's I've tried, this is one of my favorites out of the bunch. This brew features the right elements and spice to make it a real treat during cold months, a bit thin, but defintley a better brew from the Dundee family.

Jan 03, 2009
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Nov 16, 2013
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hosehead83 from Ohio

2.95/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Copper/amber in color with a big two-inch head of foam
Aroma-Faint malt and spices
Taste-Faint cinnamon, nutmeg, orange rind finish
Overall, rather light-bodied and unbalanced, with an astringent,acidic finish

Nov 22, 2009
Dundee Festive Ale from Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 162 ratings