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Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) - Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)
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BA SCORE
87
very good

504 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 504
Hads: 921
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 7.25%
Wants: 32
Gots: 67 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 02-17-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) Alström Bros
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Reviews: 504 | Hads: 921
Photo of jopezu
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

amber, good carbonation, razor thin head. smells of slight hops and sweet fruit. taste is a strong nut bitter and woodsy mixture. not exactly super compelling, but a decent beer for an esb; nothing to write home about. (221 characters)

Photo of Crackblind
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pint from a cask. Definitely benefits from being cask drawn rather than tap. Nice bubbly foam head though sweeter scent than expected. Thin mouthfeel but very pleasant flavor. I'm a big fan of ESBs and while I was not disappointed, the sweetness did surprise me. Would definitely get again. (290 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap:
Pours a deep copper bordering on light brown, with a translucent light haze. Head I nice soapy to foamy off-white, and provides decent lacing. Nose is a tad malty, but that may be the "imperial" coming through. Floral/herbal bittering agents do come through as well, a bit of noble hops feel. I expected more of this "ESB bitterness" than I got.

Taste also starts a tad more malty than expected, but not as much as I would've thought from the nose. Honey-biscuit in nature, it lingers in the background after quickly being countered by the bitterness from the nose. The floral/herbal hops don't come on string enough, leaving this more balanced bitter ale, versus "extra". Body is also heavier than expected, and feel is a bit rough on the tongue (carbonation and dryness).

I actually enjoyed this beer fairly well, just not sure if you were looking for a standard ESB if this would fit. Also, not being overly versed in the style, maybe the offerings I've had are a bit more heavy on the bitter than expected. (1,028 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark hearty pour leads to a malty aroma. Tea leaf, sorghum, caramel malt, grains and barley.

The flavor is malty with a touch of spice. The malt is dry grains, dark fruits, barley, molasses and tea leaves. The spices are not overly pronounced and heard to differentiate. I think I get anise, caraway, and cinnamon.

The feel is a bit abrasive and bitter. (356 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On cask at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Great well rounded flavor. A touch of the bitter but all in a great pour. As with most cask presented brews there is not much head or lacing, but the flavor is there. It is unquestoinably an ale so Hop heads take heed. (248 characters)

Photo of Bebum
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy, orange-brown color,
Full body, intense flavor, rich but not heavy mouthfeel, avg length.
Bitter, tart, background sweetness well in balance, bitter finish.
Fruity, orange juice-like,
Different, very interesting. (222 characters)

Photo of bmcmahon1024
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It starts off very pleasant with a malty taste that quickly goes into a caramel flavor. The aftertaste is very very bitter and keeping my liking of the beer at a minimum. That bitterness seems to last forever. (210 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Toasted, burnt bread, biscuity, caramel, fruity, and earthy.

Taste: Definitely chewy malt forward with burnt toast flavor, bitterness, some citrus, caramel, and fruity notes.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, chewiness, dome bitterness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty spit on for the style. Sometime one is in the mood for chewiness and mild bitterness. (586 characters)

Photo of InkedinRi
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was not crazy about this beer. Poured a dark copper with what looked to be something like yeast floating as thick as a snow glob. Taste was watery with a alcohol after taste. Over all a poor beer. (198 characters)

Photo of TastyFoodAndDrink
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pouring a hazy orange-brownish color leaning into mahogany, Heavy Seas Winter Storm gives an initial top note of hops. As it opens up, there’s elements of orange peel, subtle woodsy notes, and elements of cacao. There’s just the slightest trace of bread. On the palate it starts bright, slightly bitter with flavors of citrus, pine, and an earthiness that’s almost slightly herbal. The hop flavors are plentiful, the but the malt plays back up, with notes of subtle biscuit, burnt sugar, and toast. The body is thick, noticeably carbonated, bright, and focused on hops leaning into the bitter side of the spectrum. The ending comes alive has elements of unlit mild cigars, dried herbal notes, bread, burnt sugar, and hits of citrus pith. The finish is long and complex. (782 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy; medium born in color; 1 finger khaki head that receded slowly to an uneven cap; nice lacing;

S: toffee and malt;

T: nicely balanced; malty with a little toffee; long, moderately bitter finish with a little spice;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; alcohol is present, but not overwhelming; dry finish;

O: a little hoppier that your average ESB, which makes me happy; (384 characters)

Photo of JimKal
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. Pours a dark amber with a tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lacing behind. It is a bit on the boozy side for an ESB and has a strong caramel aftertaste that just doesn't work for me. (251 characters)

Photo of embass
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a copper/amber-ish color with a one finger head which disapated to a thin layer pretty quickly. Nice look and carbonation.

Had a nice toasty caramel smell along with some fruits; a little citrus note as well. I really liked the initial smell of hops there…

Definitely malt forward with with some bitterness up front; (a faint) citrus flavor along with something that is a bit herbal tasting to me.

Mouthfeel was pretty smooth; medium bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall pretty good beer; not overly bitter and very bright. I have not had a lot of ESB style beers so this review may need to be tweaked a bit over time as I taste more. (651 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a clear dark garnet red in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some copper + cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy sudsy light tan head that quickly reduces to a medium sized mottled very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of citrus/orange rind hops, toasted nutty malts, and fruity yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted malts with a light amount of nuttiness as well as a light amount of toffee sweetness. There is a slightly stronger than moderate amount of citrus/orange rind hops that contribute a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness. Hints of alcohol in the finish as well.

M: Medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: An interesting take on an ESB - much hoppier than any of the others that I have tried. Slightly too much alcohol and that alcohol is not well enough hidden for me. Probably would not grab another one of these but it can definitely be enjoyed. (1,163 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a pint glass. 1/26

Pours medium reddish brown, ruby colored, light layer of white foam. Bready toffee caramel nose. A little sweet. Taste is a light bread filled malt with a firm flavorful hop in the back half. Good flavor blend. Slightly amped ESB. (276 characters)

Photo of Mojo
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> snifter glass

A - deep amber pour with a big four inch head which is light brown in appearance.

S - weak nose, mostly malt and bread

T - some honey, lemon, and orange peel with a bitter finish that is about the same flavor as the corky bitter stuff that can be found inside a pecan (prounced PEE-kahn)

M - medium thickness, bit of an aftertaste

O - decent offering. I'd drink another one. (415 characters)

Photo of Budinetz
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle vigorously into a Teku glass.

A- pours a beautiful amber color, with an inch and a half of white head that stays for a good minute or two. Nice lacing around the glass after each sip.

S- smells of malt, bread, and a hint of alkalinity. Very biscuity. No harsh scents or overtones. Maybe a hint of dates?

T- tastes of bready malts with a pleasant bitterness from the hops. A very crisp, refreshing finish for an ESB. The 7.75% abv in not detectable, in fact this drinks like a 4.5% English bitter.

M- prickly on the tongue and cheek, with a slight bite from the hop bitterness on the finish. Finished dry and clean. Very palatable.

O- a solid brew from heavy seas. Definitely one you want to drink quickly and not age, as 7.5% is a bit under the abv for aging and due to the hop content, will definitely oxidize in 6 months or so. I look forward to next year for this seasonal. (907 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a brown color with copper edges and a half finger of head. The head dissipated pretty quickly, but still left some nice lace rings on the glass. The nose was malty. The flavor is malt forward with a semi-dry finish. In addition, the finish was plagued with a funny aftertaste that was difficult to place.

Like most Heavy Seas offerings, it was underwhelming. (373 characters)

Photo of dwren89
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: caramelly brown with gold highlights, great clarity, thin white head

Aroma: bready, like a fresh baked loaf of cinnamon bread, with caramel and molasses hints, not a lot in terms of spiciness, but some fair traces of cinnamon, cardamom, sugar, and nutmeg

Taste: very malty, with a strong beast and cinnamon flavor, with supporting caramel and molasses and nutmeg notes, firm bitter finish on the end but without much hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: thick and malty, but not viscous, full body, medium carbonation

Overall: Very good, a gray companion to a winter stew, exhibiting great malt character, some delicious spices, and a fitter finish. (652 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Great lacing from a dissapating three fingered head. Toasted malt, baked apples, earthy, hint of alcohol, & faint caramel in the nose. Big malt character, thick medium body. Herbal woody hop, lots of balance here. Apple skin, dried grass, faint orange pith, brown malt, husky, drying graininess. Finishes dry and toasty.

This is a great rendition of of an ESB, bold enough to be set as their winter seasonal. (451 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice medium amber with red hue that has a nice head that laces and retains well. Nice light nose of biscuit malt with a touch of hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A nice balanced flavor of caramel malt sweetness and bitterness against a mild hop flavor, which I believe is East Kent Goldings. Finishes clean with malt sweetness followed by the bitters. My first sampling of Heavy Seas products, and this one outstanding. A nice change of pace for winter warmers that is expertly done. (501 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I forgot about this one, when I poured this beer it has a light reddish color body with a cc full 2"white head. The was of dark fruits and malt. The taste has some dark fruit notes and caramel to it. The malt comes in on the tail end. The mouthfeel is ok and overall it is ok beer, just not my style. (300 characters)

Photo of spokeydonkey
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Dark copper in color with a thin white head on it. Aroma is of caramel, figs, dark fruit. Tastes about right for the style (imperial ESB). Malt dominated with biscuit, caramel and a bit of nuttiness. Followed up with intense hop bitterness and restrained hop earthiness and spiciness. Carbonation is a bit high and gives it a bite that detracts from the rest of the beer.

Overall a very nice example of what I'd expect from an imperial ESB. Let it warm up and flatten a bit before drinking, however. (529 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A- a nice clear mahogany with one finger of creamy off-white head. Good retention and lacing on the glass.

S-earthy aromas with some subtle malt notes in the background.

T- an interesting flavor. Initially the traditional ESB notes of caramel and dark fruit are prominent but quickly give way to a nice seasonal spice blend.

M- smooth and pleasingly full on the palate.

O- not a bad beer but I wished for more focus on the esb aspects of the beer. (452 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Look what I found buried in the fridge! 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear chestnut color. There's about two fingers worth of pale yellow head, featuring a soft texture and good retention. As it fades, some lacing is left behind.

S: It smells...like an ESB. The malt profile here is quite nutty, with just a hint of chocolate; and even for an old bottle, there is a bit of a hoppy kiss. Earthy hops, in this case. There's also something funky I can't put my finger on. It doesn't really excite me, even for an ESB.

T: At first, the malts come through with some nutty, fruity, and even (occasionally chocolaty) notes. The malt backbone works decently considering I don't like the maltiness of this style. Before I know it, a wave of generic hop bitterness closes this one. The only hop flavor I really note is a touch of ginger. I actually don't mind this one having generic bitterness, because ESB. It's the jarring transition between the malt and the hops that gets me.

M: Creamy and soft, yet dry on the back end. It's pleasantly carbonated, as well. No real trouble with the mouthfeel - it's more of the flavors that support the feel that raises my indifference.

O: It's nice to have your expectations met. Before reviewing this, I thought "meh, ESB"; and after finishing this, I thought "meh, ESB." I didn't particularly enjoy this one, but that's due to my dislike of the style. (1,402 characters)

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Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 504 ratings.