1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

912 Ratings
THE BROS
88
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
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
Ratings: 912 | Reviews: 510 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good starting head but it dies a little too quickly; very little lace. Light brown color, reasonably clear.

Dark crystal malt aroma--slightly sweet. Great hop kick at the end.

On the dry side (surprising, considering the smell). Full bodied, but not quite creamy. Peppery hop swallow and aftertaste. There's a dry darker malt flavor that comes out in the aftertaste. Great complexity and blend of flavors.

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 InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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

Pours brilliantly clear, with no sediment at all (despite claims to the contrary on the label). The beer is topped by a frothy, initially three-finger thick, creamy-tan colored head. The aroma is nice and hoppy with a berry like hop note as well as a herbaceaus, sometimes grassy note to it. Behind this is a dry, biscuit-like malt character that at times smells like fresh from the oven bread crust. The hop character is definitely the dominant note in the aroma though.

Quite sweet, this really amplifies that berry note from the aroma. Flavors of sweet citrus are also found here. The beer is not quite as thick as the sweetness might suggest; it is certainly chewy, with lots of caramelized malt sugars. It seems to lean towards simpler malt sugars that are more directly sweet, but alot of the percieved sweetness could be an amplification of the fruity hop notes. There are some nice sharp notes here as well and these provide some balance to the hop fruit notes and the sweet malt. Green, herbal hop notes and a solid bitterness add notes of astringecy to the flavor profile that is quite nice.

A touch of hot alcohol is noticeable at times, but it is fairly hidden and seems to be brought out a bit by the sharp, herbal hop notes. This is quite an impressive hop focussed beer. I am really quite pleased by the quality of the two hop monster's I have had from this brewery.

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of GClarkage
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/08/07- Received as a gift from BA Lou91.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a best by strip on the side of the label. A year and a couple months past...uh oh! Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Caramel brown colored pour, almost and inch head and light lace trails prevail.

Smell- A light pine and grapefruit hop nose with a mild and sweet soft toasted malt scent.

Taste- Hmmm, tastes pretty good. Really light on the hops though. Possibly 'cause it's a year plus past it's time. Very mild grapefruit hops which is followed by a very sweet caramel toasted malt base. Almost sticky sweet. Pretty yummy though.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and a little fuller mouthfeel and mid range carbonation.

Drinkability- Rated it a bit higher because it tasted really good, even though it wasn't exactly to style. Maybe a pale ale would have been better.

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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

Appearance: pours a dark amber color with a nice 2" fluffy head with a few big bubbles. Mild lacing develops through the drink.

Smell: easily detectable floral hops and citrus.

Taste: the malt level is quite up front, as caramel and roasted tones are strong but nicely balanced with grapefruits and an average bitterness which does not overwhelm. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: mainly smooth with a light crispness and finishes dry. Medium bodied.

Drinkabilty: this does not overwhelm the tastebuds, and several of these can be quaffed in a session. Not great, but enjoyable and worth seeking out.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before April 2013. Pours slightly hazy ruby red color with a 1 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, pear, caramel, toast, brown bread, floral, light pepper, light toffee, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, pear, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, pepper, pine, light nuttiness, and earthy spiciness. Good amount of spicy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, pepper, pine, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity ester flavors; with a good hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial ESB style. Nice complexity of malt/fruity notes with hop balance; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of woodychandler
4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Back on The Bottle Beat, thanks to my regular trade buddy, tone77.

I was impressed by the two rocky fingers of light-tan head that I got off of my pour. Not only was it markedly different than the fizzy head that I usually see from AmeriCAN Adjunct Lagers, but its retention was fabulous. Color was a deep coppery-amber with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose was initially big with malt, but there was also a good bit of piney hops in the mix. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium with a wild juxtaposition of caramel sweetness and pine hops on the tongue. Dang, but this was really good and wayyyy too smooth. I could see putting a couple of these away before I even knew what had happened. Finish was more hoppy than malty, but it was the interplay between the two that really made this a unique beer. I really should not pooh-pooh bottled beers the way that I had been. I would drink this pretty routinely during the winter.

Photo of yourefragile
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Billolick
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer sampled, label has area for freshness dating, but no matter how close I look, nothing has been notched/marked, oh well. This one pours a nice glowing orangy amber, white tiny bubble head/film and respectable lacing. Nose is a citrusy/resiny blend. Barely respectable DIPA. Ratings seem high to me, as this one is sort of mushy body wise. This is a decent IPA ,but Double? C'mon get real. Could be more firm and crisp to get a higher rating from me. Does have a nice hoppy finish (not the crunch to be expected from a top DIPA however) and lots of caramel malts. This is the best offering I can recall trying from Clipper City

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear red-brown with a medium tan head. Head reduces quickly to a lasting top coat.

Attractive malty aroma with some light, unusual spicing. Likewise, the flavor has a solid malt backbone, with some pleasant, unobtrusive spicing. High ABV is a bit more obvious than ideal in mouth but not in the aroma.

M - good carbonation; medium body; less smooth than desired.

Photo of corby112
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap

Number five holds a burnt copperish brown color that's resembles a very dark lager. Just a bit of foam on the top of this off a tap. LAce does not cling well leaving a loose spider web design. Smells like a bigger version of a simple style. It's mainly sweet malty with caramel and some mild spicing. The hops give off a scent that's faint but not dead. This is pretty good stuff. Minimal holiday spices with just a sense of hop bitterness in the end. I really cant say that though cause the hops really don't come in at all. The feel is smooth going down with no sight of the alcohol and the carb seems muted, it works well, this is easy drinking. Medium bodied. This is nothing more than a lightly spiced simple beer with a great feel. Sometimes less is more.

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

Pours a reddish amber with a fairly thin head and spotty lacing.

Smells malty and a little sharp, with sweetness throughout.

Tastes malty and a little thin, but with a nice hop bitterness up front and a fruity pleasant sweetness on the finish.

Smooth, but a little thin.

Fairly drinkable, with a nice flavor, but nothing remarkable.

Photo of ejimhof
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: nice head, dark brown color,slight lacing

Smell: hoppy, honey and malt smell

Taste: sweetness and slight hops

Mouthfeel: smooth and very English

Drinkability: This is like every other Heavy Seas Beer easy to drink and easy to drink more then one

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

12 oz bottle dated best by April 09'.

A. Poured into a clean pint glass. Stunning amber with a soapy off white head that sticks around for some lace.

S. A malty and floral nose with just a hint of citrus. Strong bready and earthy notes fill the room.

T. Honey like malt sweetness paired with some brutal earthy pine/grapefruit hop. The malt needs to be very sweet to combat the hop onslaught and does a good job at that but could have used more character. Actually as it warms some roasted malt pulls through and is nice, watch the serving temp. on this one. Probably the most kick ass tasty ESB I've had.

M. Pretty decent overall mouthfeel, creamy yet abrasive to the palate. Smooth yet harsh. Lingering sweet hop on the tongue.

D. This is an extreme ESB and I like it alot.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Good till February 2012 we are off and running.

A real nice dark amber red and clear body, with a nice simple off tan caramel three finger head. Pin head sized bubbles, some fairly large in the head, with a small cap and some good retention. There might be some small haze in this, kind of dark to see.

Nice very mild chocolate sense from the malt, but fairly small nose. Not too much going on, but it's nice when taking a big whiff.

A very noticeable hop bitter, with a good mix in milk chocolatey malt sensations. Palate feels fairly hoppy but not so rich. Aftertaste brings some pine sense, and there's some definite prickly feelings. Not big on alcohol taste, but very stomach winter warmer boozy feeling.

Overall described as earthy, but doesn't feel like that so much to me. It is a real nice drink but definitely hop forward for this style. I think if you are a bit of a hop head and want to try and ESB this might be your perfect beer.

Photo of atrocity
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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