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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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very good

912 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 912
Reviews: 510
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 32
Gots: 59 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 912 | Reviews: 510 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biggred1
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, reddish orange with a big fat sand colored head that leaves rings of sticky lace all down the glass. Smells nice and hoppy with some caramel malt. Tastes more like a DIPA than IESB to me, but who cares? Tasty and richly malty with gobs of grapefruity hops slathered on top with a nice bitterness in the finish. A hop head's delight for sure.

Photo of thartman
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured amber with gold shimmers, not much of a head and there was some spotty lacings left on the glass. Oaky smell mixed with honey, somewhat sweet. Citrus and honey mixed with malt taste, nice hop bitterness, seems a little bitey for an ESB, but still very tasty. Slick, oily mouthfeel, slides down nice and easy. Overall, nice beer, worth a try, different from other ESBs that I have tried.

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

Best by: April 09.

Clear dark amber with orange highlights. A frothy off-white finger head forms and falls quickly to a ring. Just a few straggly bits of lace.
Aroma is moderate malts. A hint of earthy hops.
Taste starts with sweet malts, caramel, slightly toasted/bready then it gives way to earthy hops with a slightly citric bitter finish. The bitterness lasts for quite some time and does pick up a slight bit of harshness I'm not fond of. Definitely alcohol bite in the finish as well.
Medium-light body and well carbonated.

While I'd like the nose to exhibit a bit more specific hop character, I want the bitterness to not be as harsh in the finish. Impossibly to please I suppose. Even with those complaints, this is a pretty tasty brew. I'd happily down a few.

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

A: dark amber red. off-white head that fades slowly with heavy lacing.

S: malty aromas that give a slightly sweet scent. Slight undertones of hops and citrus.

T: nice strong hops and slightly complex background flavors of glazed caramel and light citrus.

M: very smooth, full body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: Tasty beer. I've had it on tap and it's even better.

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 CrazyMacHarris99
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber red with a small white head that leaves a small thin ring with some legs and lacing on the glass. The smell is some dark fruits with a hint of alcohol. Not much of a hop presence in the nose. The taste is fruity with some yeast and alcohol. There is a slight bitter hoppiness at the end but mostly an alcohol sting. Another reviewer stated this is more like a light barleywine. Since this is billed as a Imperial ESB I would agree but it needs more hops to become a true b-wine. The mouthfeel is oily from the alcohol and could be a little thicker in the body. Drinkability is good for a cold, snowy night. I could finish off a sixer by the fire before bed.

Photo of UA8
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear ruby color with a one finger cream foam head that fade rather quickly.

S- Starts with tropical fruit notes and touch of released booze. If I didn't know better its giving me hints of a aged barleywine.

T- Leads with a nice sweet and sour yeasty tone, moves nice light malt balance and finishes sweet and bitter with citrus rind hops.

M- Nice and round in the mouth with moderate carbonation.

D- Feels like the key to this beer is to serve it just lightly chilled so much larger flavor profile than when its cold. Its says esb but tastes more like a light barleywine. Either way I like it.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium copper color with a thin beige head that fades to very little cloud cover in a matter of seconds.

Grassy hops are abundant in the nose, but it also has a pretty pronounced sweet caramel malty smell. It smells ok, but I wish it had a cleaner, crisper nose.

Taste is more of the same as the nose, but the bitter hops are more prevalent and floral. Has a British feel to it, but without the mineral flavors. There is a heavy malt backbone here and has a big beer feel to it. Not bad, but not particularly memorable either. Not what I look for in a winter seasonal.

Photo of cdrummer
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky, cherry wood colored brew topped with a short-lived off-white head.

S: Herbal and floral with a surprisingly soft hop aroma.

T&M: A firm viscous mouthfeel with flavors that start out nice and malty then - WHAMMY! - the hops come in with a storm surge of bitterness that lingers all the way through the warming alcohol finish. Overall pleasant caramel, woody, dark fruit and earthy notes (accented by a yeastiness) that get more smoothed out and complex as the beer warms.

D: I am a fan of big bitterness, but with the alcohol being quite in-your-face, I feel it is best sipped instead of guzzled. But that's just me.

Photo of bort11
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. Finger width of head, slow to recede. Not much in the way of lace. Color is a clear red copper with pretty active carbonation.

Smell has a nutty/dark wood aroma with a honey malt backing. Taste is fairly tannic and woody. Hop bitterness is blended into the wood character.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with a little carbonation prickle.
Blipped Children of the Sea by Black Sabbath

Photo of RickS95
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Almost no head and what's there dissipates quickly. Dark amber in color, looks filtered, but a little cloudy at the same time.

Malt and hops in the nose. Almost creamy mouthfeel.

Taste wasn't that impressive...mostly hoppy bitter and alcohol, which warms you right up at 7.5%.

The finish is nothing but the warming alcohol. It gets my attention like I just took a shot of something harsh. Not the strongest in terms of alcohol I've ever had, but it tasted like it.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Wonderful copper color and thin head.

Amazing floral, hoppy aroma.

First time for everything including an imperial ESB. I'm not sure how far from a strong ale this really is.

Halfway through carbonation seems to fade and the drinkability subsides a bit for my liking.

Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is reddish amber with a small whitish head that leaves behind some faint lace.

S: Not too strong in the nose. Basic sweeter malty scents and some floral hops.

T: Sweet caramel malt and sugars are noticed up front, along with a slight metallic taste. Dry, grassy bitterness at the finish, along with some spiciness. Some heat evident down the gulley. Grassy hop taste lingers.

M: Lighter side of medium bodied.

D: Pretty good. Tastes like it says it is: a strong ESB.

Photo of hopdog
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a deeper orangish / copper color with an averaged sized off white head. There were lots of suspended particles in there too. Aromas of caramel, toasted grains, and citrus. Tastes of caramel, toffee, and citrus.

Notes from: 12/24/07

Photo of schoolboy
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is definitely a quality brew, like everything I've had from Clipper City. It's negative attributes are really positive attributes.

There is no bite and no hoppy aftertaste, two things I expect in this kind of brew. There isn't even any feedback on the booziness. It goes down smoothly. One could easily drink a bunch of these and suddenly find oneself wasted. I think I might do that.

It's perfectly clear but a darkish reddish brown. The one I am drinking is a little flat too, but not so much as to be none drinkable. Maybe it was too cold.

I've had these before and I'll have them again (within minutes). Like all the other Heavy Seas beers, this is recommended.

Photo of Coorskid33
3.19/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appears~ Pours an amber red with a slight orange to it. Small head with minimal retention and lacing. Clear and clean in appearance.

Smells~ Malty and hoppy. I didn't know this beer was on sterioids until I smelled it. Bottle read 7.5 %. It was pleasant overall.

Taste~ wow, alcohol and malt flavors are strong all the way through. Initial hops gives way to a bullish alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel~ Thin and smooth with good carbonation.

Drinkability~ Fair. I guess good for what it is, but not my idea of a good winter brew. Probably won't have another but worth the try and experience of having this type of beer.

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

Poured from the bottle a deep clear amber with two fingers of frothy white head.

Aroma is very floral with a good amount of sweet malts and caramel.

Tastes of malts, caramel, floral hops, and biscuit. Clean hoppy finish. The 7.5% alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied, smooth, and moderately carbonated.

Easy drinking, smooth, and an enjoyable winter ESB.

Photo of kkosmoski
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Longneck poured into a tulip style. Bit of haze on this dark amber colored brew. Small amount of cream colored head with tiny bubbles crawling up to the surface. Sticky lacing covers the inside of the glass. Aroma is fruity with hints of pineapple, orange, banana, and a touch of dark toast. Sweet orange flavor to start off followed by some toasty malt and finishing with tropical fruits and an earthy bitterness. Feel is sticky and medium-full with a smooth carbonation. Drinkability suffers a bit from a sticky sweet feel and upped alcohol content.

I do look forward to this seasonal from Clipper City. It is balanced and one of the more approachable brews in their heavy seas series - a solid brew.

Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a two-finger head with seethru body that left a lace ring as it went down my mug. Small, minor aromas of both sweet malts and citric hop notes. Smooth and creamy with a subdued malt sensation that is well-balanced with hints of cocoa and caramel. The hops are noticeable too with a leafy, bitter feeling that leads to a balanced beer and a spicy, dry backbite. Both mellow/sweet and with some hop pick-me-up, the ABV is tucked away well and this beer picked me up on a very cold Pittsburgh afternoon.

Photo of farrago
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Super-clear, almost shiny, amber red to orange in hue, you could read an eye chart through it, the head disappears real, real quick with no real lacing left behind. Nothing archly bitter about the nose, green hops, spices, meadow-like florality and grassiness, nothing too concentrated, the citrus component starts and then stops, not too round nor soft, just angular enough to stay within category bounds. Medium-bodied, glides well for its consciously semi-gritty texture, the malt eases it into the palate and ably hands off to the hops by the mid-palate. Orange rind, pine resin, hard maple candy, hardly any caramel nor chocolate accents. Never really bitter here too, just keeps you off-balance and plunging forward at angles. Really grows on you over time.

Photo of donteatpoop
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice clear amber red color with a finger-thick cap of white head.

Smells of bready malts and a light floral hop.

A very tastey winter ale with no "tricks up its sleeves" that most winter brews tend to attempt.

Semi-sweet malts and a mellow bitterness dominate the palate.

This would make an excellent session beer, I'll be buying more of this.

Photo of hosehead83
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass

Color-ruby/amber/copper with 1in. head

Taste- A malty onrush followed by a hoppy undertone, a lingering bitter finish

Not bad at all, but not the best from Clipper City- certainly worth a try, especially if you are fortunate enough to have a beer store that allows single bottle purchases

Photo of jjboesen
4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Having always been a fan of this Baltimore brewery, I was eager to suck this baby down! There was little dissapointment: this beer offers a golden hue with clarity; and it abides beneath a fast-dissolving head, loose clingage and many pinpoint bubbles rising from the bottom.

The nose is treated to an intense floral bouquet that is present at the initial pour. The palate is offered a sweet hop intensity throught the quaff.

I did enjoy the acute and well-balanced hop/malt mouthfeel; additionally, there was detected a lingering warmth sans any noticable bitterness - surprising, given this style.

I love Clipper City beer. They always have something wonderful to offer. Would that they could increase their distribution area, so more beer lovers could fall in love with their wonderful product.

Photo of sweetwaterman
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a sort of dark orange amber. Medium head that doesn't last long, but goes to lingering lacing. Appears mostly clear.

Smell: Nice smell very malty, with a hint of sweet. What I'd expect of a winter-type beer.

Taste: Mmmmm, nice solid malt flavor, aggressive hop bitterness about the middle. sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly viscous. Can kinda-sorta taste the alcohol.

Drinkability: A fine winter beer. I can see why people are giving this one accolades. Would quaff again.

Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle best before April 2009.

Clear orange copper body, topped by a small, gauzy, light khaki head. Good lacing. Nose shows off toffee malts, grassy-herbal hops, faint metal, toasted bread, and strawberry jam. Toasted grains and minty hop bitterness up front. Toffee and cookie dough malts add some sweetness, while maintaining a toasted edge. Herbal, grassy hop bitterness comes in near the finish as the malts turn a little butterscotchy. Slightly warming. Medium body with a creamy feel. A pretty good winter-y ESB.

Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
86 out of 100 based on 912 ratings.