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

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Dundee Festive AleDundee Festive Ale
162 Ratings
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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Ratings: 162 |  Reviews: 128
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 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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Photo of Giggy
3.66/5  rDev +4%
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 +2.3%
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 +5.7%
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 +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 chilidog
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
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 -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 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 thekevlarkid
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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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 smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excellent starting head. It leaves some broken ring lace. The liquid is a hazy, reddish dark amber color.

Very mild aroma of mostly malt with a background of ginger and cinnamon.

Typical winter warmer spices of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon hit the tongue up front. The beer is a strongly malty concoction. It's neither dry nor sweet. I like the full body with a spritzy level of carbonation. The aftertaste is sweeter than the taste; it has elements of scotch ale. I note vanilla and cardamon spice in the swallow.

This is more complex than I first gave credit. As with all my surprise beers, I'd love to try this in a blindfolded flight with similar offerings. I suspect that this beer would do better than the average.

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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 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 tone77
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some citrus. Taste is good , malts, spices and citrus. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes for a fine quality brew.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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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 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 ClockworkOrange
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle, thanks to brothercannon for this. Poured into my shaker glass. The ale appears a clear golden amber color with about a quarter-inch of off white foam. Nose and flavors consist of toasted grains, bread, mild notes of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and citrus (mainly orange), light caramel sweetness, a bit of spiciness on the tongue, candied apples. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Lightly spiced and uncomplicated. Thanks again Tim.

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Photo of Stimack
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have had the Dundee products before and felt that they have done well with a few of their offerings so I saw this at my local beer store, they where just unloading cases of it at 2.99 a 6 pack or 10 for a case. Decided to just get a 6 pack and give it a try as some of the holiday beers I feel are over spiced. This one poured to a dark amber color with a thick head that while being off white seemed to have some of the amber color in it. The aroma was fair to say the least, the spice was there but was not over the top and there was a nice malt presence that seemed to give a slight nutty caramel like scent. The spice was nutmeg, with a bit of cinnamon. The flavors where also quite good, spice was there but again not over the top. The flavors give a slight impression of a brown ale, which seems to be a great base, caramel with a slight chocolate taste. Cinnamon is tame, which is a good thing while I think the nutmeg stands out a bit. Overall, a pretty easy drinking brew. In hind site I wish I had picked up the case, as the beer is pretty good, especially for the price.

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Photo of wknight167
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a clear dark amber with a one finger beige head that doesn't stay around long.

Nose- Cinnamon and nutmeg are dominant, but caramel and orangepeel are also present.

Palate- The spices steal the show on this one. Orange, cinnamon, allspice and pepper. The malt brings some caramel and a hint of chocolate to the table. Hops do not stand out.

Mouthfeel- A little thin on the body, but adequate carbonation.

Drinkability- I could put back a few of these and not complain.

Overall- The best Dundee offering I have had yet. I am mildly impressed.

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Photo of alkemy
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

About a finger of rich beige head sits atop a dark amber brew. I've got quite a bit of carbonation bubbling up from my SA pint glass. Burnt brown sugar aroma with hints of spices (nutmeg is most dominant for me) caramel and oranges. Malty on the front and the spices are pretty tame, but they do seem to build. Allspice is the most notable on the palette. This is the best Dundee offering I've had, but I'd not go out of my way to have it again.

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Photo of BierFan
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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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 Vancer
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The festival ale in the festival winter bottle pours a clear mahogany into my Saison Dupont pilsner glass, decent ivory head nestled on top.

Aroma starts turning suspect on this brew, just weak hints of sweet malt and winter spice (nutmeg, cinnamon). And I mean weak.

But the quaff turns it up a notch, molasses and caramel adding a nice touch - and not ratcheting up the sweetness. There is enough English woody resin and hop to balance out the brew fairly well. Still, the allspice adds an oddball flavor to the finish.

Not a bad winter warmer, but much better offerings on the market.

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Dundee Festive Ale from Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.52 out of 5 with 162 ratings
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