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Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel) - Minhas Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

79 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 237
Avg: 3.27
pDev: 27.83%
Wants: 1
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Minhas Craft Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: smcolw on 12-17-2011

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (111) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 237
Photo of timjg14
1.82/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had high hopes upon looking at this beer. A bit of nice foam atop a dark, but not-too-thick body (once poured into a glass). It's hard to know what to expect from it, as it really gives no indication of what type of beer it is, other than being an ale. But I'd compare it most to a porter, a style that I'm not all that fond of in general. As for the flavor, I found it pretty undrinkable. Very malty and bittersweet. But if you like porters, don't hesitate to give it a try. It was at Trader Joe's at a reasonable price ($2.50 or so for a 650-ml bottle).

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Photo of scaliasux
2.16/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Dark brown. Appears clear. Medium height tan head with some persistence.

Smell - Light dark roasted malts. Mild nutty chocolate.

Taste - Quite sweet and quite dark. Hot chocolate with a resiny finish. Lacks any depth of flavor - like flavored sugar water. Cloying.

Mouthfeel - Full and creamy.

Overall - I wouldn't have guessed it from the beer's other characteristics, but this beer has one of the worst flavors of any beer I've tasted.

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Photo of Danny1217
2.33/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is dark brown with a small tan head that disappears rather quickly

Smells of roasted malts, and some other things I can't really put my finger on. Kind of a strange smell

Tastes Way too sweet for something claiming to have 80 IBU. I taste roasted malts, some faint hops, alcohol, and syrup. Yes, syrup.

Mouthfeel is sticky with medium body and carbonation

Overall for the $2 I paid it might be worth buying simply as a way of getting messed up if you're tired of cheap malt liquor. Otherwise, it's really not even worth $2 that could be put into some decent beer.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.33/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass on 4/28/12

Dark brown, but distinctly brown nonetheless. Two finger head reduces to a thin skim. A few swaths of lace.

Smells of toasted bread, herbal hops, earth, toasted sugar and a hint of molasses. Soapy overtones. Taste of doughy, dark bread. Herbal hop bitterness, toasted sugar, burnt nuts and sunflower seeds. Fruity hints. Medium body with moderate, puffy carbonation. A tad coating on the finish. Earthy, bitter residuals.

Overall, this is ok and a decent enough value.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.49/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

New breed from Trader Joe's Minhas Line and poured into a large wine glass. A bit of a mystery from the label and still so after checking a few reviews. Pours a clear brown with crimson highlights. Half inch of tan foam offers moderate retention.

Nose of light hops with roasted malts and some light chocolate. A bit of alcohol is evident and some cinnamon spice. Quite thin and aimless overall however, rather reaching.

Flavor is thin as well. Some caramel and light chocolate up front and a bit of alcohol and light fruitiness on the finish. Finish is malty yet chalky and offers a rather brief finish of dark chocolate powder.

Warming enhances the experience here to some degree but the finish remains too brief to keep things interesting. A bit of a harsh wanderer with no real direction or redeeming asset..

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Photo of ChugMan
2.49/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Dark, bloody red, nice. Low head reduces to patchy froth which left some fine lacing.
S - Molasses, cough syrup. Overabundance of toasted malt. Dark cherry.
T - Fairly heavy fruit flavors: Cherry, orange. Metal.
M - Flavors are muddled and ultimately ruined with a strange cough syrupy quality. Pervasive metallic sensation dominates as well
O - Starts off pretty good, but rapidly wears out its welcome. Perhaps a decent stepping stone to better beer, but difficult to recommend.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

650 ml brown glass bottle with simple straightforward label art and a standard unbranded pry-off cap acquired at a Trader Joe's; I don't remember the exact cost but I'm sure it was value. 7% ABV confirmed. OG: 17.35. 80 IBUs. "Brewed & Bottled by: Rhinelander Brewing Co. LLC. Monroe WI 53566." Do we have this categorized under the wrong brewery? It's not listed on this page either: http://minhasbrewery.com/our-brews

Nowhere on the label is it identified as an American Strong Ale, so I'm not reviewing it as such. It does identify as an ale.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given its current low ratings.

A: Pours a two finger head of khaki colour. Supple. Soft smooth complexion. Nice creaminess. Pretty good (~5+ minute) retention for the highish ABV. Light uneven lacing as the head recedes.

Body colour is a an extremely dark brown, bordering on black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Opaque.

Overall, it's pretty mundane looking. Not unique or special. No overt flaws are noticeable.

Sm: Brown malts, caramalt, biscuit malt. Notable floral hop character. Some nuts. Hints of neutral fruits. Average sweetness. Some apple. Some toffee. Hints of cream. No yeast or alcohol comes through. A generally appealing aroma, though it's not particularly evocactive. Still not sure what style they're going for here; maybe it's an aggressively hopped brown ale?

A mild strength aroma with a definite English character.

T: Hm. Caramalts, brown malts, vienna malts. Way too sweet on the back end, with near-cloying fruit syrup, light vanilla, and cream. Maybe white chocolate too. Some light floral hop character. No real yeasty character. Alcohol does come through. Lightly bready.

Poorly balanced and badly built. Lacks complexity and subtlety. I'm not really enjoying it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Creamy. Slick. Decent carbonation. Okay thickness. Poor presence on the palate. Sticky. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well; it certainly isn't custom-tailored to it. Gets too dry and coarse right on the finish, tanking drinkability.

Dr: Plain, boring, and unremarkable. It could be priced far worse. I won't be getting it again. You could do worse for a value beer. It'll get you drunk. A forgettable brew that isn't worth your time. Trader Joe's has far better brews in this or a better price range. Not recommended. I wouldn't want more than one; it's not very drinkable. In fact, I'm wishing this was a smaller bottle.


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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.6/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an almost opaque super dark orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, brown sugar, candied citrus zest, and intense metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a poor beer with a surprisingly nice aroma, but the metallic flavors I am getting are really odd and pretty much ruin the drinkability for me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.64/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle - $2.29 at Trader Joe's in Roswell, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body, yielding hints of garnet against the light, underneath a tall, sudsy, beige head.

Smell: Roasty, chocolaty malts, though they're not at all effusive, nor is the scent particularly inviting. Slight dark fruitiness alongside a sting of wafting alcoholic fumes.

Taste: Roasted malt, some light, lackluster bittersweet chocolate. Lowly sweet. Scant fruitiness. Not too terribly much hop flavor, though the bitterness is there. A bit of a flat taste with a singe of alcohol from the first sip onward. Dry, malty, warm finish. Lingering nuttiness and spirits in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I've appreciated the Trader Joe brews (Mission Street series and the yearly Vintage Ale) for being fairly decent and always getting a decent bang for your buck, but this one wasn't particularly enjoyable at all. It didn't satisfying in the malt or hop department, delivering instead a cutting alcohol presence.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.8/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The color when poured into a pint glass was of a medium dark brown with a reddish hue and very little tan foam, with no lace on the side of the glass. The smell of roasted malts and hops were evident in the aroma. The taste was of roasted malts, bitter hops and a hint of candied fruit. Overall, the bitterness killed any outstanding flavors and left me with a acidic feeling on the palate.

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Photo of SerialTicker
2.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Offered this out of a bomber. Not sure of the price... no bottling date on the bottle either. Alrighty then. Poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance: The highlight. I was told this was an IPA, but I figured that was wrong just by looking at it. This is a dark brown beer with a nice beige head on it. Lacing is really nice. Looks to have great clarity. The highlight of HLV, no doubt.

Smell: Ugh. A mess, to be honest. Malts, stale (best way I can describe it) hops, and... soy sauce? Not God awful, but not exactly pleasant. Strange, to say the least.

Taste/feel: Safe bet that this beer is insanely old, I think. I'm not sure of the date (like I said), but I don't think I was drinking the same thing as others here... then again, maybe I was? I doubt it though. There's virtually no balance. It has a weird, strong metallic sort of bitterness, with malts trying to balance it out -- but it doesn't work. It's a weird mesh of bitter and sweet, and it's just not working right. The flavor itself isn't very good either -- tragically unbalanced with a pretty strong presence of alcohol. I know that this is a "Strong Ale", but the alcohol is ridiculously prevalent here. The feel is medium... relatively thin. Not very carbonated.

A third time -- I'm pretty confident this beer is well past its prime, though I'll never know. Based on this experience, I wouldn't want to try HLV again, but it's probably not normally this unpleasant.

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Photo of SolaceBrewing
2.84/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle from Trader Joe's

Appearance - dark red/brown; head disappears in about a minute; clear

Aroma - slightly malty; no detectable hop aroma

Flavor - sweet, light toasted malt, and light-medium hop bitterness; slight alcohol burn in the finish; little to no hop flavor

Mouthfeel - good carbonation level; balanced and smooth on the tongue

Overall - about what I would expect for a $2 beer; a decent strong brown ale; nothing noteworthy but nothing horrible; after drinking a bottle of this, the lasting bitterness and alochol bite in absence of anything else means I wouldn't buy it again

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Photo of Murrhey
2.84/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a standard pressure-cap bomber into a conic pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One finger khaki-colored head with rapid erosion. Walnut-color with little light poking through. Alright looking.

S- Chocolate, slightly boozy, fairly tasty.

T- Grainy, some chocolate malts. Not a lot here.

M- Medium bodied and dry.

O- Mehhh. Nothing stands out. Very plain brew.

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Photo of hreb
2.87/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours dark brown with a hint of red, and a medium head, lighter brown in color. Aroma is big and malty, but slightly estery.

First sip shows a big malt bill, with caramely notes and a little bit of roast. Unfortunately it goes on to reveal serious flaws. Slightly spicy (not necessarily bad), but also cloying sweetness (bad) on top of rotting fruit (worse). Unlike the other Boatswain beers I've tried recently, there's definitely some flavor in here, unfortunately it's not very good, even if it gives the impression the guys at Rhinelander tried...though not too hard. Well, maybe considering the price. Oh well, I've learned not to be disappointed.

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Photo of brewcore
2.88/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark nearly opaque brown. Reddish tints come through if held up to the light. Aggressive pour yields a two finger, soapy light tan head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, slightly chocolate. Dark bitter fruits.

T: Dark roasted malts somewhat burnt. Again there is a bit of chocolate in there but it is very subdued. Slight odd sourness. Lingering bitter finish.

M: Very thin for a beer I expected to be heavy (I guess I fell for the name). Moderate to high carbonation.

O: I bought this beer for the price so I did not expect much and I found what I expected. Not terrible but not great. Great price but probably won't visit again.

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Photo of wedge
2.91/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark chestnut under a slender off-white head. Smells kind of homebrew-ish...flowers, creaminess, dark fruit, raisin bread, and a little oxidation. Malty, semi-sweet, moderate chocolate and coffee roast, light black malt char, and molasses. Medium-thin-ish mouthfeel. Not awful, but I won't be getting this again.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
2.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2.29 bomber from Trader Joe's, one of a triplet I brought home (along with Chocolate Stout and Double I.P.A.). It's been two strikes for Minhas so far, let's see how HLV stacks up.

Pours a dark, dark brown into pilsner glass, with tons of carbonation, like the Chocolate Stout. Looks more like soda pop than beer, except for the large, thick, creamy head. Pretty awesome retention. I let it warm for a bit. No lacing. The carbonation settles, letting an orange/brown color shine through. Dozens of small bubbles slowly make their way upwards through the brew. If anything, HLV is pretty attractive looking. Looks thick.

Smell is malt. Sweet.

Taste is, yep, sweet malt, some booze, and a hop bite on the back end. Mouthfeel is thick, much thicker than their stout.

Finally a winner from Minhas. Not earth-shaking, and not something I'm going to go around singing the praises of, but 2.29 gets you a damn fine ale here.

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Photo of Beermazter310
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

very dark brown, dark amber when held to light. smell a little sweet with a a liitle hops And a little chocolalte. tastes sweet with only a little hops. mouthfeel has low to mild carbonation. overall just a little too sweet. too chocolatey for my taste and for an ale. No off tastes, for 2 bucks at trader joes it was worth a shot. didnt expect too much, but wont buy again.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark brown color, produced a tan head. Retention was average and it left a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma of this American Brown ALe consisted of roasted malt, chocolate malt, and coffee. The taste of this American Brown, medium in body, the flavor of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a slight hint of bitter hop flavor. Dry finish. Overall, it is a very mediocre example of an American Brown- It will do i a pinch but I would not seek it out again.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle served in a New Castle scooner glass.

L - brown with a beige head that thinned to a light layer leaving streaks of lacing.

S - roasted malt and hints of coffee.

T - fairly malt forward with notes of chocolate and coffee, there is some slight bitterness on the finish and the alcohol is somewhat noticable.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - an average beer worth a try for the price.

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Photo of coylefoto
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

i bought this beer for two dollars at trader joe's. a guy i talk to who works there pointed it out to me. at first glance i saw the price. 1.99. after looking at it, the deal was sealed. after opening it, i had no regrets. it looks like something i would drink at a bar all night on special. the crazy thing is that it smells and tastes pretty good. definitely something i could drink any time. the feel follows in those tracks. a little think, but still something 'on special' esque when all is said and done, it seems like they were trying to make a good beer that everyone could get. i'm sure it has to do with the cost of making it, but even at that, it's a million times better than getting a cobra 40oz. so take that at face value and enjoy this 1.99 something other than malt liquor for what is, because it's worth it.

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Photo of Brenden
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I don't know where this came from, but here it is...

It's a very dark brown but some light comes in and a bit of red-orange lingers in the body. The head is a sizeable creamy tan one that shows pretty good retention and some good volume on the fairly sticky lace.
There's a caramel / toffee sweetness but also roast. There's lots of dark fruits, some almost nutty character, dried bread crust, and some fusel alcohol. The flavor is much the same but with some artificial creamy sweetness, a little bit of burnt woods, overcooked brown sugar, and a sort of earthiness.
The feel is this beer's worst aspect. It's not clean, though it starts fairly smooth. It gains a roughness and astringency. It ends with lots of graininess, and it can't quite seem to figure out whether it's sweet or dry.

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Photo of Spikester
3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown with one finger of tan head. Modest amount of lacing.
Smell is raisins, molasses, some candied fruit.
Taste is sweet and dark. Lots of molasses, brown sugar, some fruit, chocolate, and bitterness from the hops.
Mouthfeel is full almost syrupy. Carbonation was just enough. Finish is sweet and bitter. Kind of like eating some dark chocolate.
Overall an excellent beer for the price. Just not my usual style.

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Photo of beertunes
3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another brew in the hated 22oz format. My bottle said made by Rhinelander, while listed here as Minhas. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a dark red-brown color with over a half-inch of khaki head that OK retention, it quickly fell to just a ring that held up well, and light lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet malts, with a bit of yeast tang as well. The flavors weren't particularly notable either, a malty sweetness dominated the front and there was just a bit of a hop kick at the back.

The body was medium, not really "Heavy", and had a bit of a sticky finish. While the drinkability was decent, I wouldn't have more than one 22 at a sitting. Overall, a decent beer for what it is, a cheap, strong bottle at Trader Joe's.

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Photo of mactrail
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Really a ruby red in color, somewhat obscured in the dark amber. Nice head and good retention.

Taste is a lot like a big Red Ale, though more malty. Some fairly severe bitterness comes on stage. Fairly sweet, with a sugary taste. Some sort of fruit cocktail flavor going on, heavy on the peaches. Sort of of an Old Ale taste.

The sweet and bitter combination is not one of my favorites, though it pairs well with toasted cheese and jalapeno potato chips. How cheap this is makes you want to question the price structure of the entire craft beer industry. However, I would recommend one of these and two 40 oz of Crazy Stallion for a nice mixed drink.

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Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel) from Minhas Craft Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.