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El Jefe Weizen Ale - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

Not Rated.
El Jefe Weizen AleEl Jefe Weizen Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

84 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 15.08%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Hefeweizen |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cvschaller on 03-12-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by kickerofelves:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

Pours out a hazy golden-orange brew, head retention is par for the style. Aromas of green bananas, pear juice and faint lime are mixed with an underlying breadiness and chalky yeast. Very smooth with a semi-chewy medium body. Lots of wheat and yeast on the tongue, hops and herbal phenolics drop a substantial smack of bitterness on the palate with a long linger. Light on the fruity esters with suggestions of pear, banana and kiwi. Hint of bubblegum in the middle right when the maltiness rises with some sweetness and breadiness. Finishes a little dry with lots of lingering flavor.

Impressive, this tastes like a fresh German Hefeweizen, fresh meaning right from the source and not shipped from another continent. Kudos to Hale's for getting this style right!

Photo of magictrokini
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A solid effort, but this does not come close to Franziskaner or even Paulaner. Pours hazy gold with a puffy white head. Good aroma of bananas and candied sugar, with some wheat. The taste is dominated by the wheat and yeast, but fades towards the back with the sweetness taking over. Enjoyable and worth a try, but you'll end up wanting to drop the same amount of money on a better beer next time.

Photo of hreb
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into pint glass. Pale yellow and fairly hazy. Medium thick white head forms nicely.

Traditional yeasty citrus-wheat aroma. Big bubbles float up through the beer.

Flavor is dead on for an American/German-style hefeweiss. Very lemony/citrusy. Good wheat flavor, not just for show, and fresh. Moderate bitterness. A good bit of clove. The only fault I can find with this beer is that the lemon flavor is a little strong...I wonder if there's something added.

I should note that my bottle had a bunch of sediment firmly in the bottom -- agitating it produced a much cloudier pour with no damage to the flavor, while reducing the carbonation nicely.

Having moved to Seattle from Boston this could totally challenge UFO as my every day drinking hefeweiss.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hale's El Jefe pours a clearer than might be expected hefe. It's hazy - even quite hazy - but not cloudy. You really need to stir up that yeast! And, once it's in there it helps round the flavor. Golden in color. Bright-white frothy head. Retention should be better. Lacing could be better. The nose is phenolic, but plastic-like rather than banana-like. Lots of fruit. Peach. Green banana. Apple. Dull plum. Interesting. In the mouth it's light-medium in body with a crisp effervescence. The flavor shows some more of the yeasty phenolic character, but otherwise it's clean. Basic. Wheatish malt. Lots of yeasty fruitiness. Just lightly sweet. Well-balanced. Finishes short and dry. Not too phenolic. A decent American weizen.

Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent bronze with 4+ fingers pillowy sand-colored head. Stays effervescent, below average head retention & average lacing

S: Slight phenolic & pepper notes

T: Clovey & fruitty up front. Lemons, bananas, grassyness & pepper are all present as this warms. Finishes with pineapple, honey, lemony hops & a little grainyness

MF: Spritzy, somewhat soft with medium body.

Drinks pretty easy, good take on the style

Photo of Padron4KM
2.6/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber w/ no bottled on or best before date.


Hazy golden straw, smallish head for a hefe, only two fingers high and rapidly dissipating.

Aroma is mildly banana and very light clove.

Flavor is mostly lemony with a slight spice finish.

I bought this because el jefe is my nickname, that's what I get for going for the gimmick. Probably wouldn't buy again.

Photo of BeerSox
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle into 23oz Weizen glass. First bottle of this type for a Hefeweizen.

Pours a cloudy orange-yellow hue with an almost non-existant head. All that's there is a thin rim along the glass.

Just a touch of banana and clove, along with a bit of citrusy aromas. Very light.

A little more clove and banana in the flavor, and like the aroma, just a touch of citrus. Lighter bodied with high carbonation.

This one just wasn't impressive to me. It seemed to light, almost watered down. No horrible flavors, but just boring.

Photo of theopholis
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Reasonably cloudy gold/yellow with a decent, but not great white head. Head settles out VERY quickly, leaving no lace.

Aroma- Good, clean, failry sour aroma. Smells of fresh lemons. Not much in the way of banana or clove. Smells very tart. Hmmm...

Taste- Tastes fare more interesting than it smells. Fairly sour and tart with a bite at the back of the throat. Lots of green apple in the aft-taste. Hint of banana and clove. Not as much as some hefes. Kind of spicey for a hefe, but it's not unpleasant. Missing some things I expect in a hefe, but it's interesting enough to where I wouldn't mind trying another one.

Mouthfeel- Medium body for hefe, but not as chewy as you might expect. Good carbonation level. Nice CO2 bite.

Drinkability- Very refreshing. Still lacks something I expect in a hefe, including the clove and banana. But I would definately give this a whirl.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a weizen glass. Pours a medium straw amber with light gold notes with a thin white head that dissipates to patches. Aroma of wheat, mild citrus and banana and clove. Flavor follows with semi-sweet wheat, mildly bready and light banana and clove, developing more lemon citrus before a mild wheat, slightly tart finish. Light bodied with active carbonation. A good domestic take on a hefeweizen with a classic balance of flavors, but a bit on the light side; I was left wanting a bit more robustness in the pleasant flavors. The light touch made the slight tartness a bit more noticeable than it should have been. Still a good, enjoyable light hefe.

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after decanting the 22-ounce bottle pours a cloudy amber color with a prestigious creamy white head that settles leaving the lace to form a solid sheet on the glass. Nose is earthy, sweet with wheat, citrus like crispness, spicy, start is pleasantly sweet, decent grain profile; just a light touch of bitterness at the back, top is light to moderate in feel. Finish has a mild to medium acidity, the hops understated but present and accounted for, sweetness carries on until the end, fairly dry, and a nice clean and refreshing beer to start off a Sunday afternoon.

Photo of weizendoc
2.06/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber poured into a weisbierglas. Big frothy white head of at least 1.5 inches fills to the top. I don't really pick up much nose, maybe some hops.
First pull tastes faintly lemony or fruity in some way. Next I start smelling bathroom cleaner and, by goodness, I think I'm drinking the 'scrubbing bubbles'.
I poured out the remaining 2/3 of the bottle. This offering from Hale's falls far short of Widmer or Pyramid for sure. It's not even on the same scale as the Bavarians.
When I studied in Seattle in the early 1990's, Hale's Pale Ale was the first micro that I really, really liked. Bummer, El Jefe tastes like the boss of the janitors!

Photo of Zorro
4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An off beat bottle of an unknown ale found at the Beverage Warehouse in Culver City, I wonder what is inside, Maybe something good and Maybe something bad.

Poured in to my Paulaner Weissbier glass I get a good frothy and foamy head and the proper cloudy gold/yellow color with a puffy white head. Head dies a little too quickly though.

Smell is good candied and spiced bananas and phenols. Slightly stronger in the cloves and spice end of the Hefeweiss spectrum. Good clean Hefe smell though it is exactly as it should be.

Taste is slightly dry and tart with a good spice and cloves flavor in the mouth at the beginning. Banana kicks in a bit more after a while and lemon tartness too. This is quite a tasty Hefe that tends to be on the tart and spicy end of the beer style. Faintly detectable bitterness from hops. Slight lingering malt sweetness in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A quite good Hefe Weizen no matter where it was made. Flavor is spot on for the style. A good drinker that I probably would have liked better if it were warmer outside. An extremely competent German Style Hefe Weizen made in the USA.

Photo of Ghenna
4.29/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife brought this back from a trip to Seattle:
Pours a murky golden straw little in the way of a white head. Smells awesome- definite notes of banana and yeast; in a word, I would describe it as inviting and delicious.
Tastes also of bananas, with a little bit of bitter (though not hop bitter) at the end.
My only wish is that it were a little more carbonated, but this is an awesome brew. Many thanks to my wife for procuring it for me

Photo of Reidrover
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber purchased at Capital Market, Salem. Its a ok looking "hefe", the usual cloudy orange with a small white head. The aroma is a little on the sweet/candy grape flavoured bubble gum side, some small hints of banana Taste started off ok..though slightly medicinal..bananas, estry..but that didnt last a second and itwas replaced by a really sweet flavour and in the end takes on the appearance of a regular boring old American Wheat..or even a blonde. Mouthfeel..i did not like..to cloying and sticky. Its drinkable but really I paid $3 for this and i can get a 500ml of Paulaner at the same store for $2..I know which i prefer.

Photo of PhiloPsych
2.92/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It was surprisingly clear for a Hefeweizen. The head was fizzy and dissipated quickly. The smell was quite yeasty and a bit alcoholic--reminded me a bit of La Fin du Monde. Taste was a bit odd. Some banana came through, most clearly in the aftertaste. It was not bad, but it was not good enough for me to really enjoy drinking it; so I had to mark it down for drinkability.

Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: light hazy golden yellow in color. A one finger head falls quickly to surface spots. Soft spotty lacing develops.

Smell: banana and a hint of spices.

Taste: mild grain malt level with noticeable bananas, clove, lemon, and a bit of yeast spiciness. Mildy refreshing.

Mouthfeel: lightly dry and crisp from start to finish. Very short grainy banana aftertaste. Light-medium in body.

Drinkability: pretty decent. I can say it easy to quaff and the flavor profile is good. Worth a try.

Photo of bosco7
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy pale golden color. Decent fluffy little head.

Smell is pretty inviting. Lots of lemon zest, pepper, clove, white grape, and some earthy aromas present.

Starts a bit sweet with lemon and banana flavors. Pepper and hop flavors are pronounced. Hop flavors are spicy. Tartness comes in towards the finish. Ends bitter. Tastes pretty good.

Mouthfeel is really light and a bit prickly.

This is a pretty good beer. I wouldn't call it a Hefeweizen but El Jefe sounds so cool. I think if this was a tad less bitter I could drink a whole lot more of it. Still a good brew.

Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A "West Coast" Hefe. Pours the requisite Hefeweizen straw color with the standard big head with tiny bubbles.

Smell is very mild but there is cloves, bananas and astringency.

Tastes starts out the same as the smell. The hefeweizen flavors are more pronounced than the aroma....but wait, whats that at the end....?

A strong hops finish!!!

In all, it works fairly well. Somebody looking for a standard hefeweizen will be disappointed with the finish, but it is a pretty good beer overall.

Mouthfeel is rich. The switch from astringent to bitter at the end would be more pleasing to some than others and this would affect mouthfeel and drinkabiltiy.

I could enjoy several of these on a hot day. THose that don't fancy West Coast hops in their hefeweizen should look elsewhere.

Photo of Pontoffelpock
1.92/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Weird intense bitter aftertaste, like something you'd spray on a couch to stop a dog from scratching it.

Photo of rayjay
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from BevMo in Sacramento ("Beverages...More than we can sell"?) Not too impressive, a dissapointment from a good brewery. Hazy, but oxidized looking, leaving no lace, and indeed the foam disappeared before too long. Boring and thin, undercarbonated, with no real flavor virtues that I look for in the style. No clove or banana, but I can't take points off for that because it's not a German wheat, it's American. Under-attenuated. Sweet and sticky, not over the top but just enough to make it unappealing. I don't know if it's an old bottle or not--no date on the bottle. Two of us had trouble finishing just one bottle. The mild hops are one of the only things we enjoyed. This would not be refreshing on a hot day, so I can't say this fits the style very well. Sorry Hales, better luck next time.

Photo of Dotcubed
2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I got this in Colorado, no telling how old it might be.

Pours almost flat. very light bubbling from the bottom of the sam adam's glass. Good color, nice orange peel color. Smells sour, citrus, good impresion.

Unfortunately it's pretty much dead flat.

Nice taste, sweet, light with some gentle bitterness. I like it, except that there isn't any bubbles. Beer without bubbles is like mac & cheese without the mac. Cheese is good by itself but something important is missing.

Photo of ssteakley
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Whoa! , First taste and I though mighty German but the finish was weak. It did remind me of a fine German Weizen I had several years ago introduced by a German Soccer player. A summer weizen perhaps, not sure where El Jefe is perhaps in Argentina?, No this one somehow is in the PNW.

Photo of froghop
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours is a very cloudy orange, with a thin off-white head, lots of sediment, and not much lacing.

smell is of orange peel, coriander, spice, and a hint of ripe banana.

taste is crisp, wheat, spice, citrus, a little banana, and orange peel, end is a little dry.

Photo of draheim
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottled (not bottling date) poured into a weizen glass.

Hazy yellow with a rich creamy head - good classic hefeweizen appearance.

Nose is banana, yeast, and spice. Really nice.

Taste is crisp and clean with a lot of banana, pepper and clove. A little more lemon too as I get closer to the yeasty bottom of the bottle.

Nice crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Overall this is a pretty good local interpretation of a German classic.

Photo of DogFood11
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at bevmo in west hollywood. First time i've seen it there, and there seems to be a growing Hale's section lately. El Jefe has an interesting label with an older guy that has a moustache similar to Rollie Fingers of Milwaukee brewer fame. Poured into a Tulip it forms a large head which eventually falls to a thin ring like appearance and lacing is almost non existent. Cloudy and golden.

Generally speaking I'm not usually a fan of this style mainly because there is such a disparity between the "good ones" and the rest of 'em. This is one of the "good ones". Meaning its got some girth to it, while remaining very drinkable. Exotic fruits are lucious, banana comes through with flying colors. Digging deep you can get a touch of hops that help clean up, but in the end its the light citrus that finishes the bill.

This is a kick ass Hefe and the best I've had in recent memory. This style seems to be very hard to make a good one as there are so many that are just boring and uneventfull in the slightest. This one brings it.

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El Jefe Weizen Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
81 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.