It's Christmas Week so for the next 5 days we'll be reviewing only Christmas/holiday/festive/winter themed beers on Chad's Beer Reviews. We start out with a beer sent to me from Mark http://youtube.com/videobeerreviews down in Georgia - the Sweetwater Festive Ale. I've heard great things about this brewery and I did get to sample a few of their beers this summer, so I was really eager to see what they could do with a Christmas beer. Thanks again to Mark for the beer.
3.6AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured a 12oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.
APPEARANCE: Dark cherry/maroon/blood red color bordering on black. One-finger, light brown, frothy head. Decent retention but not much lacing.
AROMA: While I do get a dark fruit basket of sorts, the overall scent is very mild. A candy chocolate scent as well. No spices, though. Surprisingly not as intense as it should be.
TASTE: The old "symphony at a low volume" metaphor works here. Quite a complex palate with dark fruits such as cherry, plum, fig and dark chocolate in the finish. However, ALL flavors are seemingly diluted. The bottle clearly mentions spices but I get none. Still, the beer is pretty tasty and satisfying. A little more energy to the palate would make this a great beer.
MOUTHFEEL: soft, wet, tepid but not flat. A little thinner and less intense than it should be. Doesn’t turn me off, doesn’t impress either.
DRINKABILITY: Mild palate and calm mouthfeel make for a surprisingly smooth winter warmer. This beer should have more energy, but its laid-back approach makes it very drinkable. the 8.5% ABV is well hidden with no alcohol taste or warmth.
OVERALL: a good winter warmer that satisfies but doesn’t knock my socks off. A nice nightcap on a cold winter’s night. I’d buy a single or bomber of it, but not a six-pack.