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 MTNboy
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It has a sweet and spicy aroma that has a little bit of musk to it. It has a nice head at first that disappears quickly with some staying power. It is sort of off-white. It had a variety of different sized bubbles which I found to be unique. It has a red/brown body but mainly red. It little bit of carbonation to the body. It has a spicy flavor. You can definitely taste the nutmeg and the cinnamon. The spices are proportioned well and are not overwhelming. The mouthfeel is creamy.

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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 BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark orangish bronze that becomes bright bronze-like orange when backlit. A generously sized cap of pale caramel colored creaminess was produced on the pour. The foam looks decent enough and is beginning to lay down a barely broken collar of thick lace.

The aroma is appropriate for the style in that it's both spicy and fruity. According to the neck label, the spices include nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. None stands out, but the whole is a pleasant potpourri. Orange peel is present as well.

Dundee Festive Ale is a capable enough winter warmer from a brewery that will probably never produce better than fair-to-middlin' beer. To the extent that it succeeds, it does so because the spice load is bold without being overbearing. Those who don't care for added spices will probably want to drink something else.

The maltiness is on the order of a brown ale, with a hint of cocoa that is probably due to some amount of chocolate malt. Hops provide a balancing amount of bitterness without adding much flavor. The majority of the flavor is provided by the spices listed above. Cinnamon pulls slightly ahead of the others and the orange peel is still barely noted.

The body/mouthfeel would have been acceptable if the ABV was 5.0%. Instead, it falls a bit short in terms of heft and creaminess. So-so carbonation gets the job done, although not in especially memorable fashion.

Dundee Festive Ale is a pretty good winter warmer that colors well within the lines of the style. It's spiciness shouldn't offend too many people and I'm sure that its price is on the friendly side as well. Bottom line: not bad if you aren't expecting fireworks.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm confused whether or not I'm drinking this beer. Strange question, yes. Bottle says "JW Dundee's Special Edition Festive Ale." If this is not the same beer as this, someone please BM me.

Pours a very nice murky brown with some dark pumpkin orange around the sides. Great frothy head sits on top of the beer for a while. Extra points for the fact that whenever you take a sip, the head reinvigorates itself. Gota love that.

Aroma of corny vienna malt and light clove and cinnamon.

Taste is malty and thick but with a quirky, overly assertive hop presence that doesn't blend well with the rest of the beer. Slightly too citrusy for a winter warmer.

Very rich mouthfeel with some peppery carbonation. Drinkability is good, the problem is very easy: the beer just doesn't taste all that great. Obviously, that's a problem if you're the one drinking it.

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

A - A nice brown color that reminds me of bourbon. A thick head quickly shrinks to just around the edge of the glass but leaving no lacing.

S - Reminds me of maple or maybe caramel but not too strong like syrup.

T - A slightly nutty taste but once again, not overpowering. Maybe also nutmeg. Some bitterness at the end but not much. Very smooth. The maple adds to the sweetness.

M - After a while, some stickness is detected at the back of the throat. Maybe it is sweeter then I first detected. Still a nice beer. Don't know if I could have two in a row. Still a little sweet for me.

D - Good to try but not the best out there. Recommend trying it at a bar before getting the six pack.

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Photo of armock
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark brown with an amber tint with a tan head

S - Is of sweet caramel malt some spice

T - Follows the nose sweet caramel malt with a touch of spice

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Overall a pretty good beer from High Falls a pretty easy to drink winter warmer thats enjoyable

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Photo of climax
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a clear red/brown, head faded quickly

smooth pleasant nose. sweet and ripe fruit/banana, nutmeg sitting on a bready malt backbone. there was a slight alcohol twang

quite a bit of flavor... was initially spicier than the nose, cinnamon, ripe fruits and a slight citrus note. roasted finish

medium body with interesting feel, creamy, astringent at times, chalky/dry towards the end, carbonation was mild

this beer has a lot goin for it, good flavors, worth a try. especially good for dundee

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Photo of drxandy
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz to standard pint, pours a reddish copper hue with off white head that fades

smells of spice (most prominently nutmeg and cinnamon), malt

taste is of slight sweet caramel, light bitterness from both hop and spice, roasty malt, bread, slight hop tinge, spicy, a little diacetyl butteriness, good balance and quite a bit of flavor in this winter warmer from dundee, a very nice take and maybe even one of my favorites from them

mouthfeel is dry and biscuity, sweetness and roasty, fairly easy to drink and to style, not bad!

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Photo of u2carew
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(A) Brown and clear. Pours with a nice creamy head, then settles to the outside of the glass.
(S) Bready, with cinnamon, and a slight touch of chocolate.
(T) Slight caramel flavor with mellow hop bitterness.
(M) Crisp, just under medium bodied.
(D) A pleasant brew, but lacking a little of the "warming".

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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 jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with three finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Nice clear amber color. Malty nose. Light carbonation and light-medium-bodied. Flavor is some caramel, hints of nutmeg; finish has some of bitterness. $1.75 for a 12oz from Barb's Beer Emporium Concord, NH.

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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 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 gordavidson
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A deep copper colored beer. Absolutely clear and very little carbonation going on. When I poured it, the head was quick to form and settled down to a very thin splotchy sheet- it even sounded like a soda.

S- Nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, other assorted spices... It really reminds me of circus peanuts candy. Seems more like a pumpkin beer than a winter warmer, but it's not a bad thing.

T- All the aromas mentioned make their presence known in the flavor profile. I also get some orange peel and a bit of earthiness. Not nearly as sweet as I was expecting. There is not a lot of depth to this, but it does make for a somewhat refreshing and crisp winter beer.

M- The beer does not look very carbonated, but it is noticeable in the mouth. Pretty smooth and crisp.

D- A different take on the style and reminds me more of a beer I would drink on a nice fall day. Enjoyable, but maybe a bit forgettable.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and glassy. Deep cherry red. Rose-white head starts strong in a snifter, takes about 5 minutes to melt into a thin film. Medium carbonation. Clear but rich.

The smell is like cola, cinnamon and black licorice. Grape and bitter cherry. It's complex and quite good.

The taste is lots of spicy cinnamon. Subdued sweet malts. Some sweet toffee and cola flavors. Could use a more bready malt balance. Nutmeg and hazelnut with warmth.

The feel is syrupy and oily smooth; buttery. This beer -- overall -- is a solid, sweet ale. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. A nice little winter ale.

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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 Buggies
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 625 characters

Photo of LennyV
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color. 1/5 inch head with poor retention and very slight lacing. Has a good hop aroma along with some strong herb/spices. Fits the style quite nicely. Has a crisp and smooth mouth feel. The carbonation level is a little high, but it doesn't detract from the smoothness or flavor. Tastes sweet and there is a good malt flavor. Hints of some spices in the background, present in the prefect quantity. Any hops are barely noticeable. Overall, a smooth and full-bodied beer. The aftertaste is mostly the spice. This is one of the better offerings in the Dundee line.

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Photo of thespaceman
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
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).

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Photo of Redrover
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz twist off brown longneck with no freshness dating. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a copper color with a beige head.

The nose is of malts, some subtle spicing and fruit (pear).

There is some mild bitterness backed with grains and spice. I get the allspice and nutmeg, but the cinnamon seems mia. I wonder what style the base beer is. Given the very mild taste profile, I'm guessing a blonde or perhaps a cream ale. The beer sweetens slightly as it warms and the fruit characteristics come to the forefront.

The mouth is a trifle thin, but I do like the silkiness. Not a bad effort, would be a nice introduction to spiced beers for lots of folks.

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Photo of ShaneBertou
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not particularly fond of this ale. It's not bad, but it's nothing special.

After reading the label I was eagerly anticipating the cinnamon, nutmeg and citrus flavors it promised. But after tasting it I couldn't distinctly pull any of those flavors out. Which basically made it an average ale.

It's worth a test-drive. And the second one I tried was a bit better than the first. Not bad for the price either.

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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 blackjack000
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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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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