1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
86
very good

875 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 875
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 33
Gots: 44 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 02-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 875 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extra malted and hopped ESB that has aroma of alcohol along with a bit of hop and malt aroma, is a bit on thin of mouthfeel and has cloudy orangey colour, but taste pretty good. Very dry finish and aftertaste. Could pass as a bit of a strong ale,more so than an IPA. thanks Dr.Jay.

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Pours a moderate copper color with a white head and a dose of lacing. The nose is fairly hoppy with some floral and earthy notes. Nice caramel notes. The taste is pretty good with a mild hoppiness. Feel is light and a tad bit harsh. Drinks fairly well and is a nice concept.

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high beige head that hardly died down and left a coating of bubbles down the side of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of citrusy hops in the nose along with some hints of fruity yeast. Malts become apparent as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has some flavors of citrus hops like the smell but is maltier with flavors of nuts, toast and sulfur along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a pretty good ESB on its own but the use of citrus hops makes it unique compared to other beers in the style.

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 version

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark caramel color with a frothy head that leaves many shards of lacing

Smell: Malty aroma with a considerable earthy, piney element

Taste: Starts with an piney malty balanced flavor that becomes considerably bitter right before the swallow; the finish is a long, balanced melding of the two flavors that is earthy and complex; slightly metallic finish which is a demerit

Mouthfeel: Medium body (a touch too thin for an Imperial) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I like this version much better than last year's; the style has departed from the norm and this Imperial ESB concept is intriguing and enjoyable

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a big ESB; nearly approaching strong ale strength and flavors. Begins with a piney-sweet, malty-spice aroma that captured clean fermentations aromas, citrus, and pecans. Flavors begin and remain with a strong balance of barley malt and assertive hops (I think they may have sneaked in an American hop or two). Remains strong well into the finish. Body is heavy for the style which hurts the drinkability, but the access flavors I find pleasant and bold. Almost minty fresh in the finish with a mild drying, partly from alcohol, partly from hops. You'll likely find this brew in my fridge until they disappear from the shelves.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transparent ochre with bright orange edges. The fantastic looking head is currently filling as much of the glass as the beer. It's orangish ecru in color, velvety firm and melts in intriguing fashion. Interlocking, abstract squiggles of lace adhere to the glass.

The nose is pungently hoppy, but isn't quite explosive enough to compete with the big boys. Caramel-covered grapefruit rind and evergreen boughs emanate from the glass. The hop bill includes some of my favorites: Magnum, Fuggles, Cascade, Centennial and Chinook. None of them really outshines the others.

There's a little less flavor than I would like. CCB Winter Storm is firmly malted, with an upfront sweetness and a slick mouthfeel. It fits the DIPA style like hand in glove (note: so why was it recently changed to an ESB?). Given the five incredible hop varieties in this bottle, the overall amount of hoppiness leaves a little something to be desired. It's definitely good, but I've had IPAs that were hoppier. White grapefruit is still the standout, followed by pine sap and bitter orange.

Although the flavor is increasing a tad with warming, this still isn't a bud buster. The mellowly hoppy finish is prolonged thanks to a mouthfeel that fits squarely between medium and full. A laid back amount of carbonation is perfect for the task at hand.

Winter Storm is sub-titled "Category 5" Ale. I'm going to have to downgrade it to a much less dangerous "Category 4". There's a lot to like, but when judged against its peers, it doesn't have enough of what makes the DIPA style hum. Namely hops. It's still mighty tasty beer. Thanks to meathookjones for the bottle.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

single finger frothy head without much retention. dark amber in color and clear. some lacing but not much.

lots of herbal and floral hop aroma with a malt backbone.

Very hoppy beer. spicey notes with a semi sweet finish. Nice complexity to the hop character.

Medium to high carbonation and medium body.

Overall a nice beer, a nice strong ESB. One of the better offerings from this brewery,

Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a nice looking amber color with a light cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer was malty, it didn't have much of a bitter aroma at all. The taste of the beer was interesting, I felt like I was getting hints of Pine in there. The mouthfeel of the beer was basically normal, not anything that really impressed me on that level. Overall this beer wasn't bad, I think it's one that I'd try again just to give it another go.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia. Purchase Before: February 2010.

Appearance: Pours out a translucent, darkened amber body with a finger-high, off-white head. Very thin, very sheer lacing on the way down.

Smell: Well-toasted malts seasoned with sugar and spice and a small dash of dried citrus peels, with just hint of alcohol in the background.

Taste: Malt profile tasting of deeply toasted and subsequently crushed bread crusts sweetened with a generous mixture of both brown sugar and common, ordinary, everyday table sugar. Slight fruitiness. Earthy, zesty, citrusy hop profile with a medium-high bitterness. The initial sweet, sugary quality comes straight back into the taste alongside the persistent bitterness for a bittersweet, lightly crisp finish at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: It's alright, I suppose. It's sweet, it's got ample bitterness, and alcohol (though thankfully not anymore than it does). Personally, I've never been overly enamored with the Heavy Seas line-up, but you could certainly do alot worse than this.

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first St. Patty's day beer of the day.Poured a rich deep copper with a tight 1/2 finger head that left a light sheet of lace behind as it settled,big dose of herbal hop in the nose somewhat grassy with a noticable caramel malt note underneath.Not a bitter double IPA by any means and well balanced piney and herbal hop notes over top a big sweet caramel malt base the alcohol seems to really come in play as it warms in the finish.This is not an in your face hopped up double IPA just a well balanced big hopped brew,I liked it.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter Storm delivers a dark orange body beneath a frothy head of ivory foam that holds very well and leaves short walls of lace on the side of the glass. The nose displays clear, grapefruity and piney hops, but it's not overtly bold, and the flavor is very much the same way. Its lightly caramelish malt works in unison with its firm bitterness and floral/citrus/pine hop flavors to deliver a solid, well-rounded and well-balanced beer... but it doesn't hit you on the head. It does leave it quite drinkable, however, and the only thing lacking is enough complexity to keep you coming back again and again. Still, this is a solid IPA that probably deserves more attention than it gets.

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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Caramel amber hue big velvety cream tan colored head leaves fine intricate lacing. Aroma: Sharp grassy citrus notes very aromatic big caramel malt base wow, yep I could sit around and smell this one for awhile nice. Taste: Strong bitterness lies in the middle of a fluid balance of flavors, somewhat mild for a double IPA nowadays but very good nonetheless. Big herbal juicy hop bursts with slightly burnt citrus peel notes puckering the lips mellowed by sugary sweet caramel malts nice brew. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied evenly carbonated sugary slightly sticky texture nice. Drinkability: Excellent really drinkable DIPA so flavorful but not overbearing in anyway very nice version, probably the best beer I've had from Clipper City.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/27/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, a good amount of hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with a hearty malt character, a strong hops bitterness and background flavors of caramel and citrus. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it's a good beer to drink for a long time if you're in the mood for a slightly stronger beer in this style.

Photo of jlindros
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a decent fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades slowly, some lacing sticking to it, mostly clear ruby mahogany color.

Nose has some earthy slightly herbal hops, light fruitiness, sweet caramel reddish malts, little candy like malts, hint grassy hops.

Taste starts with sweetness, sweet malts, candy like slightly syrupy rich caramel reddish malts, little nutty even, although that quickly turns to bitterness, quite bitter with earth chewy hops, slightly herbal and very little grassy, hint of pine even, but mostly a chewy hop flavor with a light spiciness. Finish is a bit drier which helps since it was so sweet, long lingering earthy spicy chewy slightly herbal hop profile, hint of candied orange peel as well, and touch of candy malts.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb.

Overall OK, but not great. Not my fav style, although this shies away from the over herbal vegetal grassy hops I really don't like in most ESBs. It's quite bitter and a nice malty balance though, although it does get a bit too sweet. But overall done pretty well.

Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Sebletije, cheers Seb!

Pours copper with a finger of sand colored head. Very good head retention

S: Slight brown bread notes

T: Caramel, a touch of leafy hops, some dryness & brown sugar up front. Herbal hops, more caramel, a touch of toffee & dryness as this warms. Finishes with slight grapefruit hoppyness, plus leafy hops more caramel & a kiss of vanilla???

MF: Medium bodied, semi-sticky, fairly low carbonation, great balance

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV, a nice heavy hitting example of the style. One of the better beers from this brewery IMO

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer on tap at a local beer bar in a snifter. Beer is dark amber and clear with a huge tan head of small bubbles, some lacing but low retention and low lacing.

Aroma is a little sulfury and a little malty, overall fine.

Beer is a little rough to drink though. Harsh sulfur midpalate flavor. The finish is a little dry but overall it is a decent little beer. Not my favorite but I might have it again.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, crimson coloring, a thick, puffy, creamy head, as poured into the Belgian tulip glass I chose to employ for this tasting. Looks nice.

Aroma is fruity, rosy, vibrant. Hoppy, yes, but none too bitter. Mainly fruity, though there's dull thud at the end. Doesn't give quite enough projection in this nose.

Taste: again, fruity, hoppy, but too short in that regard. Apples, melons, cherries, and a bit of citrus. Pleasant, but rather simple and shy of the bombast we'd espect from a 7.5% Double IPA. The hops, what there are, are treating the palate with kid gloves, when we really would rather get it rough.

Medium bodied, light, fruity finish. Alcohol burn starts to show further in, but doesn't flare. Too simplistic for the style, but, beyond that, not a bad IPA at all. Very warming, inside the mouth and out.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of WesWes
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale and roasted malts along with a bitter hop aroma. There seems to be good balance in the aroma. The hops compliment a darker malt bill, but lose some of their aromatic character. The taste is decent also. It has a very bitter hop flavor that comes at you hard and stays with you through the finish. The malt bill warms you, but it loses the balance and finishes empty. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This seems better suited as a full bodied beer. This is a pretty good beer, but it could use some tweeking. The hops roar, but it needs more body. Still, a decent drinker.

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by May '08 (barely) notched on label (though another bottle I have doesn't have anything notched):

Pours copperish amber with a thin head that becomes a patch.

The smell is citric and earthy with caramel coming through.

The taste is citric and earthy with an herb-like, almost tannic, bitterness that interferes with a maltiness that is caramelish/toffeeish/almost chocolatey. Alcohol a bit raw and somewhat too noticeable (even for higher abv). Bitterish finish.
Near full-bodied, but more medium.

Nice smell, but the hops (which I normally would welcome - as I did on the smell) seem out -of -whack here. The noticeable alcohol and tannic finish slow this one down. Not bad, but wouldn't be among my top choices for a winter beer.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
86 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.