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RATINGS: 63   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 70   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
elgiacomo (745) - Ringgold/Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA - FEB 11, 2012
22oz bottle, very fresh release. Served at around 45F.

Pours lightly cloudy copper/amber with a nice two finger off-white light beige head that leaves really nice sticky bubbles of drippy lacing and recedes to a foamy island and ring. Before long, all head and lacing disappear for a flat appearance.

Aroma is caramel, toffee, grassy and earthy hops, fairly fruity, bread. Pretty sweet, some alcohol. Good strength.

Flavor starts with some sweet malt, toffee, caramel, some fruit, some bread, molasses, finishes with a nice hop punch featuring some pine, grass and citrus, good bitterness on the finish. Quite a bit of candy sweetness throughout (akin to the recent Dank Tank 420). Decent bit of alcohol at the end as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, a bit sticky, moderate carbonation.

Initially I was rather meh on this, but let it warm up a bit and it starts to open up. Let it warm too much and it just gets messy. Still a bit sweeter than I like for my tastes, and IMHO a style that doesn’t really need to be jacked up to 10% ABV. To be honest I would’ve liked to seen a little more from a big anniversary brew.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
unclemattie (4158) - Georgia, USA - FEB 11, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 12, 2012 22oz bottle, pretty trout painted label. Dark ruby color, rocky foam. Aroma of sweet fruits, raisins, sugary malts. Strong taste, loads of sugar. Silky heavy body. Mellow hop bitterness. Wow, what a BarleyWine. Better in a smaller glass. Happy Birthday Jo.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mixmasterob (883) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 10, 2012
Dark amber/orange pour with no head. Aroma was full of caramel and earthy hops, notes of citrus lingered in the background. Earthy describes it well. Flavors were heavy on the caramel malt side without being too sweet. Nicely done. Nice bitter hop flavors throughout, actually well balanced given how big it is. Overall I thought this was a winner. Love how they went back to their roots for their big anniversary brew. The alcohol was incredibly well hidden, this was almost too drinkable. Mouthfeel was oily and slick, super smooth. They haven’t brewed a beer this big in a long time and pulled it off in great fashion. Cheers to the dudes at SW.


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