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

Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)
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BA SCORE
86
very good

787 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 787
Reviews: 491
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.46%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 787 | Reviews: 491 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby with barely any amount of head. Little spotty lacing. Smells of citrus and malt. Some slight alcohol scent wafting out.

Taste of alcohol and some citrus notes. Deep bitter aftertaste. Some licorice and dark fruit flavors. Gets better as it warms. Not too bad. Moutfeel is nice and crisp due to a decent amount of carbonation. Not a bad ESB. But wouldn't drink a ton of these due to the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 03:59:02 | More by Onenote81
Photo of RoBotGod
RoBotGod

Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think I may have drank this beer a little late in the season. Everything looks good from the pour. Smells like a good ale and it looks a little cloudy. Up front the beer taste good with a notable amount of good malt and hop balance. The finish is a bit off though. I'm not sure if its the yeast giving off an odd tone at the end. I get a sweaty sock taste at the end, almost reminds me of bad tap water. It not so bad that the beer is undrinkable but doesn't make me want to drink 6 of them.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2008 01:03:22 | More by RoBotGod
Photo of Vendetta
Vendetta

New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours burnt reddish-orange, nice foamy head that leaves a lacing.

Smells well balanced, some bready malt followed by a tad of piney hops. Very nice.

Taste follows, some very good balance to be found in this brew. The malt is good, caramel. A bit more wet than the smell would indicate, at least. Some sweetness, a little bit of a brown sugar twinge. The finish is hoppy, and a bit sticky.

Mouthfeel is good. It's medium-bodied, smooth finish, but decently thick. Very satisfying.

This is a pretty good brew, I'd recommend it for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 06:08:34 | More by Vendetta
Photo of Coorskid33
Coorskid33

Rhode Island

3.15/5  rDev -18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 02:32:57 | More by Coorskid33
Photo of GoalieRon33
GoalieRon33

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- pretty beer...dark orangish brown with some red mixed in. decently clear, fun to look at.

s- not much here. Some hops, some malt, but overall, nothing great with the smell

t- decent maltiness with a some hop finish. Heavier alcohol is definately noticeable with a slight metallic flavor

m- not bad, but not great either. A little thin for me, considering it's a winter beer

d- Easy to drink, with mellow flavors. This beer goes down easy, even though it may be lacking in some other catagories

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2009 21:53:11 | More by GoalieRon33
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Summer time winter storm? Pours a darker copper color with some minor haze but still clear. A good pour leaves ample head but does quickly dissipate over time. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is has more of a winter warmer aroma than an ESB. Some sweeter malty aromas up front with noticeable bready and caramel notes. There are some very noticeable spice notes as well, with a touch a cinnamon, pepper and figs. Some honey/molasses. Noticeable yeasty notes and some solvent character. Some herbal hop aroma with some minor oxidation.

The taste is similar. The malt comes out sweet with more caramel and spice notes. The some minor bready with a hint of metallic that is a bit off. Emphasis a more peppery taste. The hops are one dimensional with a strong bitterness with some bite. Leaves the beer too sweet. The alcohol is more noticeable as is the oxidation/card board notes. There is a light woody, vanilla in the end but hard to pick out from the sweetness.

The body is moderate full but hard to pick out from the sweet finish. Overall this is too much for an ESB and with the spice characteristics I can't see how this is an ESB.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2008 21:05:45 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0

Maine

3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Allagash chalice.
Its color is a golden amber with a thick white head. The head dissipates but does leave an nice lace on the glass as the glass empties.

The aroma is hard to place it is a mix of crystal malt and perhaps biscuit. The aroma together seems almost off for an ESB, not to say that it isn't pleasant a slight almost alcohol comes in the end.

The mouth begins with a large amount of carbonation on the tongue, and top of the mouth. Flavors of a caramel brown and a roasted porter come together to make this ESB. The end is dry and a slight alcohol finish mixed with a slight out of place hop bitter probably to make it more "American".

Overall not a bad ESB but definitely not the best. I bet most would like it but i like a little more of an English style

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 23:19:03 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 01:21:57 | More by RickS95
Photo of GrizzlyBrew
GrizzlyBrew

Georgia

3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - rich amber, brilliantly clear, a whitish head that disappeared almost immediately

S - metallic/minerally character (reminds me of Bombardier, but a little too prominent), some British yeast characters

T - low bitterness with a semi-sweet malt character coating the palate and then a sharp turn towards toffee at the end of the sip; an unexpected twist. That dark, dry caramelized finish is nice, but comes a little too late and fades too quickly. There is also a alcohol sweetness coming through (not heat, but sweet).

M - fine carbonation at a moderate level, but still extremely smooth overall

O - A little too disjointed for me. Some nice characteristics, but they fail to play nicely together and leave me searching too hard for the highlights.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 15:01:10 | More by GrizzlyBrew
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was dark orange, and decent looking. Smelled like nothing and tasted weird. I guess I don’t understand the point of an imperial ESB, why not just make a good ESB? Why does everything have to be "Imperial"? It tasted alcoholic and sweet. This beer was not my bag.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 16:09:00 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, slightly hazy golden amber/chestnut brown color with a thin fizzy yellow head that quickly fades. Not much in the way of lacing.

Bland aroma with some slightly roasted malt notes, subtle hops and sweet alcohol.

Nicely balanced medium body with some caramel malt and hazelnut countering a bitter earthy hop presence. The hop bitterness is pretty tame and not too overpowering but lasts throughout. The ABV is pretty well masked with only some slight alcohol warmth.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 06:22:17 | More by corby112
Photo of Philabeerphia
Philabeerphia

Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The ESB is a style I appreciate but often overlook. Glad to have this in front of me. 12oz into a snifter. Hazed amber and ruby body, the khaki head looks painted on. I like my ESBs a shade darker and with a bit more action up top.

The Winter Storm gives up round malty notes of shortbread that elongates into some nuttiness and finally sharpens into a sugared grapefruit blend of caramel and hops.

Giving this a shot on the tongue. Sharp carbonation at the start is a plus...taste starts with a honey and caramel maltiness. Thin on the tongue... A citric acidity shows up at some point then goes back into hiding. A nice, slight touch of dark fruit appears towards the balance. Ends with a potent but long TOASTED CARAMEL note on the tongue... This is the dominant taste here overall. Hints of bitterness pool in the corners of my mouth. A bit of alcohol present at the top of the throat. This beer is too nondescript to really impress. A solid brew, but lacking bright or deep notes. One saving grace is the strong carbonation. The activity on the tongue enhances the beer's bitter character and impedes the toasted malts from becoming cloying. In light of this beers shortcomings, at 7.5% ABV, it is not a beer I would choose to drink often...

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 03:23:44 | More by Philabeerphia
Photo of RobH
RobH

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle

I've taken to the ESB style lately so I went into this one with high anticipation.

It came up short for me compared with Anderson Valley ESB, Redhook ESB, and others.

In terms of delivering on aroma and taste this one seemed as though it is about 2/5 to 3/5 of the above mentioned beers.

Average.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 23:05:51 | More by RobH
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 03:30:54 | More by chefhatt
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. Bottle part of the "Clipper City Sunken Sampler 12pk" $16,99
This looked fantastic, but everything else was rather average. Poured a brown chestnut colour with a nice looking soapy head with lots of froth and plenty of nice sticky lacing. Nice. I felt the smell was rather average, quite honestly. Well balanced with a malty presence, but dominated by hops. I would assume this to be a Winter Warmer, but it is indicated here as an ESB. I feel if this *is* in fact an ESB, they did a decent job at keeping with the style. Plenty of malt in the taste, but a nice, bitter, hoppy finish. Not an amazing concoction, but it certainly wasn't a bad ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2006 23:41:38 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of kimcgolf
kimcgolf

Georgia

3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a brownish orange with medium off-white head and some lacing. Nose was very hard to detect and the mouthfeel was slightly on the thin side. Taste tried to bring out some caramel hints, as well as a touch of hoppy fruit, but didn't exceed well. At 7.3% abv, I would have expected either a whiff or taste of alcohol, but got neither. Not surprisingly, finish was somewhat on the short and watery side. Have realoly enjoyed the others I've had from Clipper City...this one just missed the mark slightly.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 03:27:58 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice light orange amber color with a tight white head. Smells of pine and citrus with a underlying malt backbone. It is a touch more fruity than I would have thought from the smell and the alcohol jumps out more than I remember it. Still very piney and a decent balanced IPA. Good mouthfeel and a nice mix between a sipper and a pounder. There are better DIPA's out there like the Clipper City Loose Cannon.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2006 16:21:11 | More by Higravity
Photo of binkman
binkman

Maryland

3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - I like head. This one had a decent quarter inch or so, but it didnt last. Hence the less than 4.0 rating. Otherwise, its a very attractive amber orange.

S - I have a cold. Not much came through it all. Not fair, I know. I'll update it later when the nose is working a little better.

T - So this might suffer from the cold, too. It tastes rather metallic, almost coppery. Coming through the metalness is a burnt kind of caramel. Very alcoholic. Really fits Baltimore pretty well.

M - Very carbonated but its not a bad thing, takes your mind off the metal. Finishes very clean and dry.

D - Don't drink it with anything salty, it tends to highlight the boozy character and undercut the more subtle hopsy flavor. That being said its just too metallic for more than a few. Luckily as an ESB you won't need more than a few.

Overall it's decent brew and I'll drink it again. ESBs aren't my favorite style but this one's decent. Nice company for a winter night.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 23:20:48 | More by binkman
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a pleasant caramel amber pour, the thin head does well to maintain a solid but thin cover. Streaky columns of lace decorate one side of the glass.

Aroma - some light caramel and sweet malty notes, but on the lighter side as a whole.

Taste - nice biscuity/caramel maltiness up front, decent toastiness to the grain. The hops are piny, floral, and a touch soapy but it works quite well. The bitterest ESB I can recall, almost medicinal. Tastes more pale ale than ESB, but I like it whatever it is. The swallow and aftertaste go dry and grapefruity. Ends with a last hit of hops, slightly medicinal now.

Mouthfeel - smooth, good body, fairly crisp.

Drinkability - not quite as sessionable as I'd like. I could enjoy more but would prefer a less hoppy ESB for a session.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 03:19:28 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The freshness date was not notched. Poured amber in color with a filmy head. Fairly high carbonation. The aroma is hops. The taste is strong in the hops, but brings to mind cleaning supplies. The mouthfeel is overly carbonated and the alcoho burn is almost uncomfortably high. I think after a couple of these beers my taste buds will be shot.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2005 21:12:05 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of iceball585
iceball585

New York

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Reddish copper color, semi-clear, half finger thick fluffy head that lowered to a thin cover

S- Citrus (mostly lemons), pale malts, flowery hops, slightly sweet

T- Bitter hops, grapefruit, light malts, floral, honey, grass, earthy

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, bitter, oily finish

D- Worth trying

This is definatly not an instant classic in my eyes but still good none the less. The hops flavor is too overpowering, in fact thats about all you taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 23:07:27 | More by iceball585
Photo of paulthebeerguru
paulthebeerguru

Florida

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heavy Seas Category 5 Winter Storm
12 oz. brown bottle

Poured into a snifter. Pours a light mahogany color, with an off-white/slightly tan head, that leaves decent lacing. Sweet aroma of prunes, figs and molasses. Tons of flavor up front, sweet immediately then the hops take over for the finish. Tastes of dried fruits with a floral garden finish. Warm and thick mouthfeel, mild carbonation. Very smooth for a 7.5% imperial ESB.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 01:54:50 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of curasowa
curasowa

New York

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color with a thin cap of head that fades to a ring. Big, sweet malt aroma, with hints of fruity hops. There's a strong, green bitterness that dominates from start to finish, with some sweetness from the malt trying to make itself known, but not succeeding too well. The finish is lingering with a slightly harsh bitterness, and a bit of alcohol and body is medium with a decent amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good. Its nice to try a winter beer that doesn't involve cloves or nutmeg, but the hops are a bit too green for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 00:47:27 | More by curasowa
Photo of bobljr
bobljr

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby color with a nice creamy head. Leavs a good amount of lace.

Aromas of citrus, pine, and fresh hops.

There is a strong hop presence with a mild sweet malt quality. Not the most balence as the hops are a bit overpowering.

Low carbonation which is pretty nice, and mid to full bodied.

The dominant hop presense and high alcohol content can make this a little tougher to drink. Was drinking this from a SN Celebration glass and I gotta admit I was a little confused.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 08:15:43 | More by bobljr
Photo of FireEmt37
FireEmt37

Maryland

3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark amber color, little head, nice lacing

S-toasty and earthy aromas come through nicely

T- stong, bitter hop flavor, slight metallic taste also

M- smooth with a little carbonation, a little heavy

D- a decent beer if you like strong a strong malt/hop beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 19:47:24 | More by FireEmt37
Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
86 out of 100 based on 787 ratings.