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

128 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: 128 | Ratings: 162
Photo of TucsonTom
1.89/5  rDev -46.3%
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 BigRedN
2.43/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is dark amber with my pour producing a 1/4 inch white head. Head fades to a thin cover. Leaves little lacing.

Smell: An overwhelming mish mash of spices. There is a slightly sweet undertone here, but I am a bit turned off by the overall spice overload of this. I guess the bottle does proclaim this to be a spiced ale.

Taste: My tongue is assaulted by spices. I don't know if I can pick out one, just unbalanced. Nothing malty or hoppy.

Mouthfeel: A bit light in body, prickly on the tongue. A touch dry on the finish. A touch of alcohol warming is noticed in the back of the throat.

Drinkability: Not an overly drinkable beer IMO. Good easy drinking beer is on thing which I have liked about JW Dundee beers. One is enough for me.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz brown longneck bottle with a twist off cap from my parent's fridge. Don't know if this is from this year or not, probably is from this year as it hasn't been in the fridge that long but who knows. No discernible freshness date.

Pours a clear amber brown with some light tan head with okay retention and no lacing. No visible carbonation bubbles. Smell is malty and spicy, nose is a little stuffed up so i can't discern the specific spices, but it isn't anything out of the ordinary for a winter warmer.

Taste is fairly aggresively spicy. Not very enjoyable. Not enough malt backbone to balance out the spices. As it warms it starts to taste a bit sweeter, but it seems like it is from the spices rather than the malt and still isnt pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with medium carbonation--really a bit thin. Some more malts with unfermentable sugars would be a nice addition to this one, sweeten it up a little and give it some body and head retention. I would pass on this one in the future.

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Photo of Onslow
2.64/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

woo... is lightly spiced... the taste and mouth is Muddled but does show some promise, ..maybe ... medium head on the pour ... lacing is actually damn fine!! ..does carry some strange aroma's... basically..."weak!" ...Is nice for a winter warmer not to be over spiced but that lack of body hurts this brew...

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Photo of HardTarget
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Lightly bready (yeasty) with a mild grape scent, like grape soda.

Appearance: Clear red brown, ruby really, with a thin off white head and a thick collar that leaves loops of lacing

Flavor: Thin watery taste with a metallic bite. A little malt base there with the grape fruitness, but the harsh metallic flavor ... ick.

Mouthfeel: A bit soapy, light and oily

Overall Impression: There is a fair brown ale aspect that keeps it drinkable, but not festive

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours a dark copper color with a 2 inch head that fades to a 1/2 inch cap. Lacing is fair.

S - Smells of sweetness and spices. I am also getting a fruit aroma. Pie like?

T - Mild sweetness with pie like spices. There is a biscuit aftertaste.

M - This bottle was flat. This gave the beer a thick and somewhat unenjoyable mouthfeel.

D - I didn't like this one. I got this beer in a Winter brews sampler pack on clearance. I have never seen this company's beer other than this one bottle, but I wouldn't be interested in another.

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Photo of buschbeer
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured into a pint glass to a huge, frothy, beige head. It is dark amber in color. The smell is spicey, maybe some citrus and brown sugar. I get an alcohol smell after it warms up. It tastes a little bit cinamon, a little bit caramel, some spice. It gets a noticeable alcohol presence when its warm. I had this stuff of tap and it tasted a whole lot better than these bottles do. I guess that's the case for most beer. Very mediocre.

Happy Festivus!

P.S. And now for the airing of grievances!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light brown with a slight reddish tint. Creates a thick off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a decent lace.

S: Smells very malty with faint bit of spice and fruitiness.

T: Roasted malt flavor hits you first, then some bitterness and I’m tasting a corn-malt flavor in the finish. It’s not as sweet and has a little bit more hops flavor than most winter warmers. However, overall the taste isn’t very strong.

M: Medium body. Very crisp & high carbonation, considering the style.

D: Decently balanced and goes down easy because it isn’t over-powering and the 6.30% ABV is masked pretty well. Definitely worth drinking given the low price, however I’ve only seen it as one-of-four beers in the J. W. Dundee’s Craft Pack.

Overall, not bad for a cheaper beer, but there’s other stuff I’d rather drink.

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Photo of hosehead83
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
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

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Photo of Slatetank
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked this up at Queen Six pack in Lancaster, poured at cellar temp into my Valley Forge brewing pint glass from the twelve once brown bottle.

A - A rusty/garnet shade of ale w/ a pale tan microfoam cap of about 2 fingers. The ale has good clarity and the lace is a thick film on the glass.

S - A very nutty malt aroma w/ an earthy and metallic aroma that has notes of tobacco and raw dirt odors w/ a slight pepper and pine note.

M- Slightly spiced w/ full carbonation and an off kind of dull finish w/ a lingering boozy tinge an slight sweet touch

T - A nutty taste w/ a deep roasted and metallic flavor, the spice is peppery and stale w/ subtle nutmeg and cinnamon notes. The malt is full of sweetish flavor which is roasted yet has A slight wet cardboard effect. There is a bit of stone fruit and dark currant which is appealing in the flavor, but more or less a beer that is humming along w/ a bit of hops that are piney w/ mellow malt

D - Not bad in the sense that it is offensive to my taste buds, but I could find something better and would not give this a second taste. I guess without a freshness date it is hard to tell the age of this, after learning it was retired makes me question it

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Photo of PorterJunkie
3/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3/5  rDev -14.8%
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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Photo of arguemaniac
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not really that crazy about this one and usually I really like spiced beers. I guess I’ve just had so many other “Holiday” spiced beers lately and most have been of a better quality. The spices in this one have an astringent bitterness to them, and even though many spiced brews have this character this one lacks a sufficiently firm malty sweetness to balance. Still, it’s not totally undrinkable, I certainly didn’t have too hard a time sucking this one back. It’s just that there are much better examples of this kind of thing out there…

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Photo of Plokhooy
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
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 Bierguy5
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

6.3% ABV. Clear mahogany liquid, with some shades of ruby. Thick fluffy off-white head quickly settles to a thin layer. Hints of candied fruit, spices (nutmeg, cinnamon), earthy and a bit soapy in the nose. First sip seems metallic and medicinal. A bit of darker caramel flavor, with earthy spices. Some earthy and floral bitterness, which helps to keep the spices in check. Seems thin and watery. Not bad, but not something I would go out of my way for.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
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 orangemoustache
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The old twist off pours a dark copper with a tight khaki cap that retains nicely and holds a good covering for the duration. A little lacing would have been nice, but still a decent looking brew. The nose smells like ginger snaps, cinnamon rolls and subtle floral notes, maybe a hint of the orange peel the label speaks of. A decent malt backbone took me by surprise, I had been of the impression that Dundee was clearly incapable of good malting up till now. This is pretty heavily spiced as well and I am glad that it is. Without going overboard this is a pretty nice WW. Taste like pepper nuts, a German cookie that I don't normally like all that much, but here it's appealing to my pallet. I do pick up on the orange and citrus notes more than in the nose. A very soft and silky body gives this offering a nudge beyond average. A drinkable and enjoyable offering that won't knock your stocking off the mantle, but will give you the flavor and spirit you need to make it through the holidays.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a clear, mahogany-hued body with a thin, wispy, whitish head.

Smell: Subtle aroma which fails to incite a feel of winter, and only come across as very mild, limp notes of brown sugar, not-so-fragrant spices including orange peel. Wow, now I'm really on the edge of my seat!

Taste: Modest earthy maltiness displays tastes of brown sugar and a touch of cocoa from the dark malts. Stingy, indirect dose of cinnamon and other spices and just the thinnest degree of orange peel. Hint of bitterness. A bit of light this, a bit of light that until you arrive at the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not one I'll be revisiting. For me, it comes up as far too thin and lacking for a wintertime ale or even for a beer with the word "festive" in the title.

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Photo of kalkavekkian
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass beer was a medium brown in color with a small head and very light lacing. Smell was rather weak from what i was expecting with only a hint of caramel and nutmeg. Taste wasn't bad but not as pronounced in the spice dept. as advertised. This seemed a little weak and maybe a bit flat to me. Dry finish with a little lingering nutmeg aftertaste. Mouthfeel was light with low carb bite. Drinkability was not a problem for me with the 6.2 abv barely noticeable. Not bad overall but pretty much a ho-hum beer in my eyes. I picked up a six tonite on a whim for $4.99 so what the heck? I don't see myself beating a path to the store for more but not bad for dundee. Buying this from the local martins grocery store probably didn't help this beer any what with the way they store and display their offerings.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of number1bum
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper reddish color with a creamy light beige head that fills the pint glass. Coats the sides in lots of stick and keeps a nice, pretty full lace.

Smells of caramel malt and...caramel malt. I'm trying to pick up more than just that, but I'm struggling. It's slightly buttery, but it's still caramel malt. I don't pick up any of the spices it's apparently brewed with.

I really don't taste much more than caramel malt either. Again, there is a buttery quality to it, but that's really all there is going on. Maybe a bit of vanilla, but I don't find any spicing.

Mouthfeel is creamy and pretty smooth, and this is pretty dirnkable. It's just boring. If you love caramel malt then this is probably your thing, but if you're looking for a bit more going on in your beer, then this will bore you as it did me.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
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 brentk56
3.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Unusual copper color with a fizzy head that quickly disappears without a trace

Smell: Burnt caramel, with hints of spice

Taste: Lays down a caramel backbone with the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla flavors arriving by mid-palate; after the swallow, it adds a brown sugar element

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: Not atrocious, just not very enticing

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My bottle has a silver/black 'Special Edition' label and claims a 6.3% rather than the listed 6.2. Still has High Falls as the brewing company, so this might be aged a year or more. I am thinking it is the same beer as this listing. Search of the Genesee website turns up nothing. 12 oz bottle pours a pretty clear dark brown color with a decent cap of khaki colored foam. Dissipates pretty quick but leaves some nice sheets of lace.

Nose is sweet oxidized malts, candy corn, roasted pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. An interesting and eclectic smelling brew.

Taste still has plenty of sweet spices with a burnt caramel maltiness. Some blackened toast comes in at the end and it seems like most of the hop presence has left this beer some time ago. Finishes spice-laden and wet. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style and there is a bit too much of a burnt spice flavor for my liking. Still, better than I thought it would be and there is surprisingly not a whole lot of oxidized malt in here.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear dark ruby amber with a bubbly tan head.


Taste. Has a strong malty bite to it that is a little astringent. Has small hints of dark fruits, little black cherry. Below that is an even smaller touch of chocolate.

Mouthfeel. Body is at a medium level with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall, a decent beer, but i wouldnt want more than one of these. For a winter warmer i wished it had more flavor as my notes here really struggled to pull those out.

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Dundee Festive Ale from Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
3.52 out of 5 based on 162 ratings.
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