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RATINGS: 63   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 70   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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For the first ever SweetWater anniversary beer (yeah it took us 15 years), we went back to our roots, dusted off our original ESB recipe, and gave it a big ol’ bump. The recipe consists of 7 malts, one of which Kevin toasted personally in his toaster oven, just like the old days, and 5 different styles of hops. In true Sweetwater style, there is no style, but it’s big, bold, and meant to grow old, meaning this beer will be fantastic out of the gate, or you can lay her down in the cellar for many years to come.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DialSquare (3118) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - APR 20, 2012
Bomber from Liquor Loft. Brown pour with a thin off-white and slight lacing. Brown sugar and malt aroma. Taste is caramel, toasted malts, earthy, dark fruits and peppery spice. Astringent, woody, biscuity. Dry and piney in the finish. Ok.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
decaturstevo (5340) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - APR 18, 2012
Brown pour with tan head and lace. Aroma is light brown sugar, caramel malt, and a light resin. Flavor mirrors aroma with a good resiny bitter. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (11918) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 9, 2012
Bomber from Bruisin Ales. Pours dark copper with a frothy beige head. Sort of mixed funky fruit/floral aroma. Not earthy - just funky. Full bodied. Flavor is light pitted yellow fruits, heather, earth, dark pitted fruits (this stuff keeps moving around, flavorwise). It’s a bit leathery. Definitely, tho subtly floral. Smooth roasted malt - not at all harsh. Heat is hardly noticeable. The bitter keeps fighting off the malt. It is "fresh". It is old. Brilliant ale. Really. Our cousins over the pond might die consuming this, but they’d likely die happy.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
ChainGangGuy (4474) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - APR 9, 2012
Appearance: Pours out a darkish, amber-tan body with a medium-small, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Lightly bready though fairly sweet-scented malts with a loose candyish quality, a noted booziness, hint of leafy green veg, and scantly tart fruits. Gee.

Taste: Bready malts hit by a blast of cutting unrefined sweetness lightly hinting toffee and light-colored brown sugar, but mainly just sugary. Growing vegetal accent of grandmother’s famous braised kale and a quick-warming alcohol presence. Soiled, lightly tart apricot and lightly pithy citrus accents. Medium-high bitterness. Squashed-together, muddled flavors on the bitterish, heated, frown-inducing finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I’m flabbergasted, Sweetwater. This isn’t what I was expecting or wanted at all. Happy Anniversary??

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - APR 8, 2012
Growler. Poured a deep amber (almost brown) with a creamy tan head that settled to a ring and left light lace. Aroma of sweet malts with a backing of citrus malts. The flavor found dark fruits with a light backing of spice and citrus. Medium to full body and a sweet malt and spice aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
SpringsLicker (3213) - Tennessee, USA - MAR 29, 2012
Pours hazy deep gold with a tall, sticky, long lasting off-white head. Mild malt aroma. The flavor is sweet with very little hop presence here. Too me this is too young and needs a few months in the cellar.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Errl (1871) - Plano, Texas, USA - MAR 26, 2012
Bottle shared at RBWG- Nose is Matls, sugar, spice..Taste is Vanilla, Malts, bold hops, spice, bitterness, cream..Palate is heavy and malty..

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAR 25, 2012
Man, surprised to see so many high ratings for this one. Pretty clear copper pour with little carbonation and an oily consistency to it. Nose of pure candied malts and booze. Slick mouthfeel, hot palate. I found it a mess of a beer, just way too sweet and sharp, with almost no detectable personality beyond its negative traits. I actually found myself craving face-throttlingly excessive hops, as that at least would have livened the beer up a bit. Turgid with sugar.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Cybercat (3735) - Georgia, USA - MAR 23, 2012
Aroma is not particularly strong, but does invite with its firm maltiness and fruity note of apple and pear, along with a hint of caramel. It comes out of the bottle a clear, dark coppery amber with a respectable light golden-tan head. Mouth-filling flavor is more than what the aroma promises: a malty and fruity core, notes of apple and pear, hints of caramel and wood, and a firm alcohol bite that lets you know this is indeed a strong ale. Smooth, firm texture has minimal fizz, and leaves a woody, slightly tinny finish. Though not Sweetwater’s best, this is still a worthy brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
nearbeer (3968) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 22, 2012
650 ml. Clear, darkish copper with a lasting quarter inch of sticky foam. Sweet nose of caramel apple and fresh oranges is tempered by some oak. Tastes of toffee, orange, and plums; with hints of banana and cherry. Some lingering touches of wood and mint balance the sweetness well. Heavy body has low-medium carbonation, with a nice touch of alcohol warmth.

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