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King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

King Heffy Imperial HefeweizenKing Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

93 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Hefeweizen |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
A refreshing, German-styled wheat beer with a distinctive banana and clove aroma, it is made with barley, wheat, hops, water and hefe yeast and named in recognition of the thousands of climbers who come from around the world to climb Squamish, BC's walls, crags, cracks, slabs and boulders.

25 IBU

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 06-29-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 38 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mactrail


3.14/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Rich clear amber color in the tumbler. Big coarse bubbles that fizzle out to a ring of foam. Powerful aroma of bananas and black tea. Quite spritzy on the tongue.

Strong clove taste is just overpowering. Goes down easy enough as long as you don't stop to swirl it around where it might touch your taste buds. Slightly sweet but it has that dark bitter edge that annihilates any subtleties of taste.

More of a malt liquor than any kind of German ale, but for a powerful buzzcock brew it does the job. From the big swing-top bottle purchased at Wine World and Spirits in north Seattle.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 06:00:29 | More by mactrail
Photo of emerge077


3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from written notes, served in a goblet.

The cap gave a good "psssh" when decapped, and a hearty "fwup" when opened a second time with the flip-top to preserve carbonation.

Bright saturated orange, sweet bubblegum smell. Bland wheat flavors, lots of residual sweetness, light banana yeast with dominating wheaty grain. Lots of carbonation, finishes dry. A bit one note, a sweet hefe with little "imperial" character aside from the higher abv, which isn't all that noticeable. Needs more yeast complexity to be interesting.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 02:51:55 | More by emerge077
Photo of crossovert


3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

1 liter swing top.

It pours a beautiful, vibrant color. It is a hazy golden amber with a foamy white head that leaves creamy lacing.

The smell is good. Obviously more basic than a German hefeweizen. Mostly bubblegum and malt. Smells almost more like a Belgian witbier strain than a hefe-weizen.

The flavor is also imo more belgian-like. It also reminds me of the New Glarus version of this "style".

I like weizenbocks but this imperial weizen stuff is somehow different and decidedly American.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 02:18:23 | More by crossovert
Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver

Ontario (Canada)

3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company is located at 37801 Cleveland Avenue in Squamish, British Columbia, 45 minutes north of Vancouver. In 1996, John Mitchell helped design the Howe Sound Brewery and worked as its first brewer developing the initial recipes. His relationship with the brewery is ongoing.

Bucky picked up Howe Sound's King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen ("King Heffy") in a brown 1 litre bottle with no visible production or best before date. King Heffy was 7.7% alcohol by volume.

King Heffy poured a slightly cloudy golden/orange colour with plenty of slow rising bubbles visible despite the haze. Pouring produced about 1.5" of fluffy white head that survived as a 1/4" cap all the way down the glass, leaving behind some minor spotting. Its aroma was the best part of the beer, with a strong aroma of ripe bananas with undertones of yeast and sweet light fruits. As the beer warmed, clove and vanilla aromas also became detectable. Full marks for King Heffy's aroma! Could the taste live up to the standard set by the aroma though? The beer's taste began with sweet light fruits including banana, apples and pears, transitioned to a yeasty taste, followed by a mild sourness, with clove and vanilla notes again emerging as the beer warmed. The finish was noticeably bitter though, and the bitterness lingered for quite some time as an aftertaste. King Heffy had a medium level of carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel aided by the 1/4" foamy cap that never died, and I would describe the beer as medium bodied. In summary, a beer with some wonderful aromas and flavours, but personally I could do without the long-lasting bitter aftertaste. At $11.20 per 1 litre bottle by the time it reaches Ontario, King Heffy is priced at almost 2 times its competition, and I have to knock its rating down a bit for this rather hefty price tag.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 22:15:15 | More by BuckyBeerBeaver
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub, frehly put on. Orange wheaty aroma. Cloudy light orange coloured body with some soapy head. A little water in there so only average mouthfeel, i would want above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Decent taste but have had better for the style whether you consider it a hefe or a weizen.
Had on bottle a few months later, high carbonation. Not as good, though the bubble gum aroma clear.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2011 23:10:03 | More by Sammy
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Howe Sound's "King Heffy" @ 7.7% served cold from a 1 Litre pot stopper bottle
A-this unfiltered hefeweizen pours a hazy pale gold with a thick head that clings to the weizen glass
S-ripe banana and some vanilla bubble gum
T-banana bread , cloves , a sweet start somewhat spicy finish
MF-the alcohal is apparent from the first sip and lingers on the palate , medium body mild carbonation
Ov-glad I tried it , worth giving a try , an ok beer for the summer

cheers LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 17:43:02 | More by LampertLand
Photo of decimator

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1L bottle poured into a weizen glass. ABV 7.7%.

A - Poured a cloudy gold with a fluffy white head. Head reduced to a half cm cap that just never dies. Decent lacing.

S - Banana bread with lots of yeast and a hint of booze in the background.

T - Honey, bread, bananas, vanilla, bubblegum, citrus, spices, hint of booze in the finish.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, some creaminess, some stickiness, finishes dry with some heat.

O - A hefe with a bit of a kick.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 03:43:28 | More by decimator
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see this available again this year, I managed to try a bit last year but it disappeared before I could do a proper review of it. Well then, I suppose that makes this the Summer 2011 version of it. Comes in a 1L brown bottle that's capped but also comes with a flip top.

Pours out a bright cloudy straw/gold hue, tall frothy white head that settles slowly, a lot of thin patchwork sticky lacing along the way.

Soft bready wheat on the nose, balanced levels of banana esters and spicy phenols (with nutmeg being most prominent). Some mild alcohol is present in the background.

While I have fond memories of this, and enjoy sipping on it, a closer evaluation reveals some puckering astringency on the finish that tends to break up the picnic. Nice smooth and rounded wheat up front, even a bit of creamy sweetness, along with candied banana esters, some earthy nutmeg and apparent alcohol, but it seems the phenols steal the show towards the finish and linger into the aftertaste, more tannins than phenols by that point.

Medium-full body, creamy and silky smooth, low carbonation.

I'm gonna get more of this while it lasts, I have no delusions about that, it's a great quaffable Hefe, even at the higher abv%. However I still can't ignore that harsh finish, and it does detract. Perhaps it wasn't even in last year's batch, and is an idiosyncracy to this current batch. Either way it's the only thing standing in the way of me declaring this as my favourite Canadaian made Hefe, and it still hovers near the top of that list either way. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 07:45:10 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of michaeledoan

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a marmalade yellow/orange. As expected, a nice white head with decent retention. Unfiltered!

Smells like a classic Heff. Citrus and clove coming through.

Clove really comes through. Light bitterness from the Amarillo sustains well after. Higher gravity than I am used to for a Heff, and I like it. Tasting slightly more alcohol than I would like.

Feels thick in the mouth, not as refreshing as a lighter Heff that you might be expecting as a patio/summer beer. More substantial possibly also due to the fact it is unfiltered with more sediment on the bottom of the bottle than other Heffs.

Another good beer from Howe Sound. Yet to be disappointed, though this isn't my favourite of theirs.


Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 00:16:26 | More by michaeledoan
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1L bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $10

Appearance - Hazy yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some okay lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, clove/coriander, banana/bubblegum

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains mixed with some clove/coriander and floral notes. There is also lots of banana/bubblegum flavour.

Overall - A very drinkable and tasty beer. Perhaps a little heavy on the artificial banana flavour, but still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:18:58 | More by spinrsx
Photo of clayrock81


3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a cloudy gold with large head and minimal lace patches. The wheat and yeast twang is pretty strong, typical clove spice aroma along with banana and little bit of orange and a decent amount of hops. Smooth, fuller body due to heavy use of yeast and there is a little bit of sweetness from this. Goes down easy and there are some spices and banana/orange /citric flavor notes along with little bit more hops/booze in the finish. A good beer to relax with and worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 22:34:43 | More by clayrock81
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1L swing top bottle poured in to snifter.

A - Cloudy golden orange; opaque. One finger of cream coloured head that reduced to a thin layer.

S - Banana, clove, spice, Belgian yeast and citrus.

T - A big bubblegum and banana presence with some bready sweetness, spice and Belgian yeast notes. A fairly noticeable warming alcohol profile that bordered on boozy at times.

M - Medium body. Dry. Light carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 15:00:20 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of stakem


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

1-liter brown capped bottle with an additional swingtop grommet to plug this puppy up incase you cant finish her all off in one sitting. Thanks go to psiweaver for seeking this one out and hooking me up with this. Poured into a proper brutus size weizen glass, this brew appears a hazed golden color with nearly 4 fingers worth of slightly off-white head. The head maintains very well and leaves thick frothy patches of lace all over the glass.

The smell is strikingly strong with clove, a faint touch of banana and some bready malts. There is a light tangy almost tart element to the nose that I associate with the inclusion of wheat. More sniffs reveal a light amount of underlying fruity character that blends into something along the lines of original pink bubblegum sweetness. As it warms up and is swirled, there is a light sulfur inclusion.

The taste includes the bready malt character along with spicy clove initially. There is a mild pepper aspect as well as faint banana. There is a fruity alcohol element that intertwines well with the bready wheat backing and the spices of the yeast. It also displays a minor herbal hop element that doesn't necessary push forth any bitterness, but it is there in the flavor.

For nearly 8% abv, this is certainly the most powerful hefeweizen I have had. However, it is surprisingly well balanced and enjoyable. It is light bodied and moderately carbonated. My only gripe here is that it almost feels a bit watery at times (perhaps that is due to the increase alcohol.) Regardless, this brew was a good time and I would recommend it if you can get your hands on it. Certainly worth a try. That alcohol is VERY well integrated.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 03:33:26 | More by stakem
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes.

A - Poured mildy hazy and golden. Strong carbonation and a three finger fluffy white head. Great thick lace was left all around with a half finger of retention. Bottom of the bottle obviously adds more cloudiness.

S - Lot's of banana and yeast, sweet spice, and bread.

T - Sweet grain, tons of banana, and a little spice.

M - Good carbonation, medium creamy body nearly full and a slightly sweet finish.

O/D - A solid Hefe. Doesn't break the mold but the boost in strength is a neat take on it. A big beer disguised as a little one. No noticeable alcohol and nice to drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 16:18:58 | More by tbeckett
Photo of chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a white head. Nice aroma of yeast, fruits, and cloves. Taste has tropical fruits, wheat, bubblegum, yeast, and a little alcohol. Medium bodied with medium-light carbonation, and slightly dry. Alcohol content is rather high, but this is still quite drinkable. Not bad at all, this is a very good hefeweizen!

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 21:01:56 | More by chickenm
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark golden color ale with a large foamy white head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of banana bread with bubblegum notes. Taste is also dominated by banana bread with bubblegum notes and some residual sugar notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid offering with great refreshing factor with enough complexity and no apparent alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 02:50:33 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Smurf2055


4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a bit dark amber, hazy, five finger white fluffy head.

Smell is an amazing hefeweizen smell of banana and clove, really soft, sweet, and a tiny hint of alcohol.

Taste is gum and banana.

Very drinkable and refreshing, but very little carbonation. Good.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 05:49:20 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another big-ass 1L swing-top bottle, found at my local wine-shop, go figure...

This beer pours a hazy medium straw colour, with two fingers of foamy white head, which leaves a solid wall of painted lace around the glass after it melts away. It smells of sweet white grain, banana cream, orange, mild fruity pit melon, and some soft sweet alcohol. The taste is yeasty, peppery malt, some root-like vanilla, and the usual suspects of banana and clove lurking astride a decent sweet maltiness. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, crisp, and a little chalky. It finishes off-dry, the fruity malt in a dance of the death with the spicy, tangy yeast, and well-hidden alcohol.

A stellar loaded hefeweizen, the enlargement betraying no growing pains. Just a fuller than usual flavour, no extra booziness, no extraneous sweetness. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 03:10:25 | More by biboergosum
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy pale orange, thick collar of white head, some lace. Smell is full of bubble gum, yeasty, banana and clove, lively and full of fresh wheat scents. Taste starts with a good dose of banana and clove, bubble gum and yeast, no abv of the 7.7% to be found. Med-high carbonation, good feel, fairly full body. This was very nice, a very flavourful assertive hefeweizen, glad I shared this as this is a big bottle but drinkable to the point where this could be done solo.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 00:32:33 | More by peensteen
Photo of CookstLiquor

British Columbia (Canada)

4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1L bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy deep yellow orange. Huge aromas of banana bread and lemon are present. Really inviting and delicious smelling. The taste is similar with the classic sweet banana notes dominating and a little tart fruit in the background. There's a nice bitter finish to this strong, very quaffable beer. One of Howe Sound's better seasonal releases.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 20:13:49 | More by CookstLiquor
Photo of Dawkfan

Alberta (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This poured really clear for a Hefeweizen. Light golden in color, 2 fingers of white head that left no lacing behind, subpar retention, lots of carbonation visible.

S- Overly ripe bananas, clove, bubblegum, light spice and sweet apples on the nose.

T- Not as good as the nose would leave you to believe, but the flavors are still nice. I didn't get much banana in the taste until it warmed up. Lots of bubblegum and wheat. Some spice and bitter fruits in the finish. The alcohol is noticeable as well.

M- I thought there would be more carbonation given the appearance, but it's quite subdued. Body medium, crisp and fairly dry.

D- This is a style that I like to session. The alcohol in this one caught up to me quick, but this is still approachable given the abv. I've enjoyed everything that Howe's Sound has put out thus far.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 18:51:15 | More by Dawkfan
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a recent trip to their place in Surrey.

Poured from a 1L bottle and shared with a few friends.

Appearance: A very cloudy dark yellow body with massive foam that clings. Very nice.

Smell: Bananas, a kind of yeast and spices.

Taste: Pureed bananas, light pepper, and mild spices.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a full body. Alternates between feeling a bit flat and carbonated. Not sure if that makes sense but it's the impression that i get.

Overall: Didn't feel too imperial but the flavor was really nice. The body could have used more work but still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 11:59:33 | More by papat444
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big ass 1L swingtop, Howe Sound style. Pours a murky golden 'hefe' golden, couple of fingers of head which leaves some stick rings around the glass. Nose is sweet and banana, hint of phenols and a touch of spice. This is a really tasty hefe, loads of banana and bubblegum, enough spicing to balance, bit sweeter with a touch of booze than normal but this isn't 'imperial' for no reason - affects the drinkability though. Round and sweet but still dry in the finish, ample carbonation. A really pleasant drinker.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 04:09:41 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this on-tap, and wasn't overly impressed, but it's getting some good reviews, weather is warming up, and at $8 for a 1L bottle I couldn't resist.

It's really more of a blond Weizenbock than a hefeweizen, much like the Weihenstephaner Vitus, but with a lot more bitterness.

A: Hazy gold with a white head, thin ring of retention, leaves a little lace.

S: Vanilla, banana bread & clove. Great stuff.

T: Vanilla, pineapple, banana bread, light clove, light grassy & slightly peppery spice, a solid bitterness with a bit of alcohol warmth. Very good.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has a drying alcohol finish. A nice carbonation in the bottle (I thought it was a little lacking on-tap).

D/O: Very drinkable for its weight. This is a well-crafted brew that's certainly unique.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 02:59:25 | More by Derek
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tangelo orange with kinetic carbonation and a white, mossy topping that engulfs the glass like overgrown ivy. The beer is darker in colour than many weissbiers and, although far from see-through, isn't truly cloudy either. Still, King Heffy looks like something delicious.

King Heffy has an aroma that is indeed notable and majestic. A banana bread-like base is doused in clove, green herbs and lemon zest. The yeast is tremendously energetic and spirited, animating the zest and spice to the point of seemingly breathing life into them.

Reviewing beer often requires the use of descriptors to give the reader an abstract of what is being smelled and tasted, even if those descriptions don't resemble the flavours absolutely. Sometimes there are exceptions, however. This Weisse tastes *literally* like banana bread.

The finish reveals a sweeter, pink bubblegum-like side to the beer that dampens the spice. The huge character notwithstanding, this doesn't taste any stronger than the usual hefe. It certainly offers the same satiation and refreshment. Amarillo and Saaz lend citrus and grass, respectively.

Even if King Heffy were German-made it would still rank among that country's best (which, in case you don't know, produces the original and still most iconic examples of the Hefeweizen style). It may come in a huge bottle but, trust me, it's a beer you won't want to share.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 00:31:53 | More by biegaman
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King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.