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

127 Reviews
Dundee Festive AleDundee Festive Ale

Brewed by:
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
New York, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 10-24-2005

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Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 161
Photo of MLasoski
4.62/5  rDev +31.3%
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 RobH
4.38/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle.

This one surprised me. I like brown, malty, "holiday-spiced" style beers, such as Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig, so I approached this one with high hopes but low confidence. It was good!

A: Very attractive dark brown with a reddish hue in the light. Nice tan head.

S: Warm spices marked the appealing aroma. Ready to take a sip.

T&M: Very tasty, with all of the winter spices coming together quite nicely. The carbonation and a hint of balancing hops on the back. Refreshing. Not cloying to my palate.

D: Very drinkable. Some winter brews are to sweet. Not this one. I could have gone for at least another before perhaps wanting to switch out.

I recommend this one for those who enjoy this style of beer.

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Photo of Greenlabel
4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised to see this Dundee seasonal in a 6-pack in MA as all the prior seasonals were only in variety 12-packs. Only $4.99 for the 6-er. While I've previously enjoyed both the seasonal Bock and IPA, I thought this was the best of the seasonals I've tasted to date - particularly when compared to other spiced winter warmer-type products I've purchased.

Pours an amber color with excellent head retention. Spice smell is fortunately not overpowering nor is the spice taste in the ale itself. The brewer practiced moderation in the spices used which, to my mind, made the beer rate very highly on the drinkability chart. I'm not usually a fan of spiced beers but this one is an exception and I'll be making some repeat purchases. Probably the first time I've said that about a spiced beer.

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Libby ale glass, this American wassail is remarkable for its unpretentious character, with very good balance. The emphasis is ale here, not dumped down with spices like Harpoon's wretched Winter Warmer.
Perhaps it is because I obtained a very fresh sample, but it seems that this year's Dundee Festive Ale is the best one produced. I am going to pour one of these tonight on St. Nikolas Eve. Cheers!

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper color with massive tannish head. One of the best lacings I've seen on a beer.
Smell is spicy-fruity with strong notes of malt mixed with Christmas spices.
Taste is strong and and malty with the background spices making a nice compliment.
Finish present a nice balancing dryness that is a grea ending to this beer.
Drinkability is perfect. Nicely done, especially at $16.99 a case of 24.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from Lou's. Translucent red body with about an inch of off-white head. Biscuit malt and nut dominate the aroma with hints of frutiness. Nut and roasty caramel malt dominate the flavor, with suggestions of spice. Creamy medium body. While not the best winter beer I've had, a really good one, and exceeded my expectations considering the brand and brewery.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +13.6%
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 jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful one finger head with a clear amber color.

Smell is of aromatic malt. The caramel sweetness on the nose is very very nice.

The spices are a bit weak, but I like the malting. The aromatic and caramel malt properties of the beer are nice.

Mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing, adequate carbonation, sticks to the palate well.

Not bad, I want some more spice for a winter warmer. There is a nice maltiness and a good balancing bitterness.

I am not the style police and I rate accordingly.

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Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium red color with a one-finger head into my glass. Looks ok for the style.

Aroma is spicy with a hint of nutmeg that seems to stand out. Not sure if it quite nutmeg but definitely a bit spicy. A bit sweet as well.

A bit of nutmeg shows up along with sweet malt. Pretty average but there is a bit of chewiness from the malt. Not very strong so easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering spice and chewy malt. Very nice. Definitely enjoyable.

Not bad at all. Easy to drink and it shows that High Falls can produce beers that even though they may not take home awards, are still quite drinkable.

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
4/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
3.99/5  rDev +13.4%
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 jsisko01
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
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 +12.8%
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 allengarvin
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$4.50 a six pack! Cheap. Pours a very dark brownish-red with a quickly fading head. Toasty, rather bread-like malt aroma. Very nice malty flavor, a good blend of light caramel and light roast, together with a pleasantly subtle spiciness, clove I think. Bitterness is moderate but balances the sweetness well.

The Dundee's line is surprisingly good for the price. I haven't paid under $5 for a craft micro sixer since the early 90s. Better than many more that are twice or three times as expensive.

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Photo of scottblaze
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this at my local grocer... thought I'd give it a whirl.

Poured dark amber, tan frothy head, good retention, excellent lacing. Faint tire smoke, and prunes...what a combo...not bad though...interesting. Malty caramel,molasses, slightly astringent, carbonated balance. A little thin on the mouth, good drinkability.

Didn't expect much here, it well exceeded my expectations. Worth the $6.99/6pack, I think I'll pick up another one.

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Photo of Gusler
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer released from the 12-ounce bottle set a deep reddish amber with a tall creamy off white head that stays a while before settling, lace forms a standard thin sheet upon the glass. Nose has a sweet malt aroma, chased up your olfactory opening by some pleasing spices; cinnamon seems to be right, caramel, and bit of bakersÂ’ chocolate, at any rate a sniffable beer. Start has a big malt sweetness; touch of bittersweet spices, top is light to medium in feel. Finish as a delectable spicy hop presence, sweet spices and a purposeful acidity, quite a nice drinking beer, do not normally care for their beers, just goes to show you never know what mollusk has a pearl in it. lol

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Photo of Maestro
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was better than I expected. I have tried most of the Dundee's beers and most of them are average. This one is a beer I would seek out again. The malty nose and frothy, tan head start this beer off right. The taste is a biscuit and toast blend with barely any noticeable hops. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky; a trait I find in all beers from this line. Drinkability is good. I will look for this again.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
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 Rayek
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a clear dark mahogany and builds a frothy and persistent khaki head that leaves thick sheeting lace. There's the definitive smell of sweet spice. I'm getting nutmeg and coriander, along with other peppery spice aromas. There's a hint of lightly fruity malt.

In the mouth, this ale gives a nice balance of malt and spice. Although it's quite spicy up front, soon the fruity malt takes over and dominates the finish. The spice (nutmeg, cinnamon) lingers in the aftertaste as well.

A nice surprise and one that I'll have to seek out again.

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Photo of generallee
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of Shredz
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of shirfan
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby with brown tones, clear with minimal head.

Big, rich aroma. Caramel malt, raisins, plums, sweet cinnamon.

Taste and mouthfeel fall short of the nose, but are still ok. Dry, peppery notes fight for dominance with light-bodied yet dark malt flavors. Cinnamon, pepper, and a lightly hoppy lemon zest make up the finish.

This would be a very good brew if it had a bit more malt "weight". As it is, an easy to drink and tasty winter spiced beer, but forgettable.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Auburn copper color with a nice light brown head and nice active carbonation. Nice spicy aroma ... nutmeg and cinnamon. All spice and all spicy malt flavors though not overdone. Medium-light bodied with a big spicy finish.

Not bad, in fact pretty good, but probably wouldn't buy again.

Per Label: "Limited Release" & "Ale Flavored with Spices"

2006 Edition ('2766' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 02/25/07

($5.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
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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Dundee Festive Ale from Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
3.52 out of 5 based on 161 ratings.
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