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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
80
good

47 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 89
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 16.29%
Wants: 2
Gots: 7 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 89
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Significantly cloudy amber-orange, emphasis on the former. The actual yeast particles aren't as readily apparent as they are in most hefes, they simply blur and soften the color of the beer. Atop the liquid is a head of regal white, a color that I just made up (it means closer to pure, bright white than to ivory). Even though the cap is semi-firm, it slowly melts rather than maintaining its structure as it falls. Random thick chunks of lace stick to the glass.

Hale's El Jefe has a far, far better nose than the vast majority of American wheat beers (Three Floyds Gumballhead excluded, of course), in large part because it's so vibrant. It's also sweet and intensely banana-like with an underlying tropical character; passionfruit perhaps. This is a fruit punchy nose and a good one.

I got a sense of the flavor when I had to slurp the head to keep it from overflowing the glass. When the foam is this loaded with flavor, you know something good is going on. Again, I can't help but compare this beer to the legions of truly crappy American pale wheats that every brewer and his brother tries to foist off on us. Although this isn't lip smackingly outstanding beer, it is head and shoulders above most of its peers.

It's acceptably malted with a jacked-up flavor that has to be coming from hops. Yeast just isn't this fruitysweet. In no way is El Jefe in Gumballhead's league, but it does remind me of that beer in terms of the amount and type of flavor. It's tropically fruity and tangily sweet and I seem to find something new each time I sip.

The light body doesn't come close to losing its composure and even manages just a hint of slick mouthcoating on the longer than expected finish. The mouthfeel is soft and airy and fits the flavor and the (presumed) mission statement perfectly. There's no letdown in terms of carbonation either; it's lively, but not overly so.

El Jefe (The Boss) is aptly named. It's a kick-ass American weizen that does what it must to stand out in a sea of utter insipidness. It delivers loads of flavor, good flavor, to a style that often lacks imagination. A solid effort that would be a summer staple if I lived in the Pac NW. (2,180 characters)

Photo of draheim
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
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. (443 characters)

Photo of Taybeh
3.94/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my brother's garage refrigerator, a 12 oz can into a weizen glass

this was a very pleasant surprise...quite good (and markedly better than anything else I've had from these guys). Really smooth, great wheat, and nice balance of herbal bitterness, spice (which wins out in the end) and fruit (which provides some nice background support...I don't get much banana at all, but I do get some pear and some other kind of hard-to-pin-down orchard fruit).

I haven't found a lot of hefes in the PNW that I think are all that great, but IMHO, this one's a winner. (564 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +12%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce brown glass bottle sealed with a green colored crown cap. Single lime-green label has a picture of a Colonel Sanders type figure complete with white hair and a black hat. Labeled as “El Jefe Weizen Ale”, a rather cheesy name play I have to say. “The Boss” has no listed strength or Best Before Date.

Appearance: Glad I used my Erdinger Weissbräu tall glass because the luscious white head positively raced up the glass sides and filled it with a minimal amount of fluid. As it collapsed with an audible fizz the, rested white head soon returns to more logical proportions and sits atop a fused golden body. More milky, than clouded, yet held to the light the body soon exhibits a faded straw torso. Reasonable head retention, but time kills the white collar and the lack of lacing ultimately detracts.

Smell: Reigns soft fruits with freshly peeled bananas. Tartness licks its own back end with a long sharp tongue. Decent strength with a self-confident “I know where I’m going” feel about it.

Taste: The first mouthful portrayed an average Hefe feel, but subsequent samples started to reveal a very fruity body, lots of tropical island fruits with some banana. Soft peaches and passion fruit mix with the wheat in the middle, but the finish has a little acidity and a citric pucker, maybe from the hops, who knows. Sweet fruity finish with vague hints of bubblegum in the latter quarter of the Bomber, but this has a solid ending.

Mouthfeel: Light airy body to start with, but closer inspection and a longer exposure to this one shows that it has a fulfilling Mouthfeel without ever dominating the traditional soft feel of Hefe’s. Carbonation is slick with a spritzy demeanor.

Drinkability: A solid Weizen with a fruity tropical dimension that really lends quaffability to what can otherwise be a rather boring style.

Overall: Picked this one at BevMo, with such a corny name I almost left it on the shelf but I figured I would give it a whirl. I’m glad that I did, for this is a nice fruity angle on the American Hefeweizen. (2,084 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a big interpretation of the style with bananas, cloves, citrus and yeast coming together in a cloudy party. I had fun drinking this beer because it seemed the brewer had fun with his take on the style. Not the most refined Hefe it certianly is one of the biggest and flavourful. (286 characters)

Photo of hreb
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (773 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of bosco7
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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. (583 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
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 (427 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a bomber of El Jefe while traveling in western Washington. Poured in to a weizen glass.

Pours a pale gold color and is hazy, with a little yeast residue in the glass. Many bubbles are seen rising through the beer. A rich, foamy white head forms, and is very resilient.

The smell is strong, sweet and fruity. There is a soft fruit aroma of pears and apples, Also a bit of spice aroma like cinnamon.

The taste is nice, a traditional clove and banana flavor, with a little bitterness with it.

Mouthfeel is light and dry. There is a bit of a dry paper feel to it.

A very drinkable and authentic tasting hefe. I would have this again, and I'd love to try it on tap. (675 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.71/5  rDev +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. (659 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a growler into a shaker glass.

A- Poured a bright hazy golden color with white soapy head that dissipated instantly and left no lace.

S- Pretty traditional aroma of bubblegum, clove, and banana. Although not a very strong aroma.

T- Big bubblegum notes, banana, and clove. Pretty balances and traditional flavor profile.

M- Light bodied, prickly carbonation, and a slightly watery finish.

O- A very traditional tasting hefeweizen that does not differentiate itself much from others in the style. A little more body and aroma would have been nice, but a nice easy drinking beer. (594 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (780 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange color with a tightly packed white head. It smells of wheat, and some clove which is not surprising given the style. There are some banana flavors and not much carbonation which gives a flat mouthfeel. I really liked Hale's Mongoose IPA but this one fell short for me. (279 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange/bronze color with a foamy, bubbly, white one-finger head. It left faint trails of lace.

S - It smelled strongly of lemon with some citrus notes. Also, some clove, yeast and wheat aromas.

T - It tasted of a slight spice with hints of banana, clove, and wheat.

M - It was sharp and crisp. A light bodied anad easy-drinking beer.

D - This is a nice refreshing hefe. Not qute like a true German hefe, but it is still good. (454 characters)

Photo of pinotboy007
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Into a tall Paulaner glass: cloudy pale apple cider-like appearance with a modest but dense white cap and lacing.

S - Corriander, some banana, white pepper, and clove.

T - Pretty much as it smells, with the white pepper up front that fades to the spice, green apple and bannana hints. Finishes a bit sour.

M - Light carbonation and a bit creamy.

D - Nice drinkability - would be decent for warmer weather. (413 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, split with my wife over an order of Concordia Ale House's chicken strips. Into a pint glass. From the latest OBF Guide, where we most recently tried this beer - 5.6% ABV. Bottle purchased at La Bodega (Portland) for about $4.

A: Perfectly cloudy Bavarian-style hefeweizen, a hazy wheat-tan. Thin white head that fades quickly, with a thin ring clinging around the glass. Only a sliver of filmy head and virtually no lace.

S: Faint clove and banana bread aromas with a nice wheat backing. Decent spices and almost no hops.

T: Bready wheat, spiced with some clove. Quite an herbal hop profile, lending a more soapy and dry finish. Wheat is the preeminent flavor, with a bit of lingering spice.

M: Not much substance. It's not watery, but it is a muddy melding of spiced hopping and chewy bread-like malts. A bit of zing up front, but flat in the finish. Lingering medicinal bittering with a sweeter malt spice is nice, but doesn't rescue this from mediocrity.

D: Not terrible, but not too desirable either. I recall this being better on-tap at this summer's Oregon Brewers Festival - though maybe this one is just more likable on a hot summer afternoon. On this cool September evening, El Jefe is drinkable but not distinguishing; it's a closer representation to a true German Hefeweizen than many American examples, but is ultimately lacking the complexity, both in aroma and flavor, of its Euro siblings. I'd have it again, but probably not til next July, when I pass a token to the kind volunteer pouring at OBF. (1,548 characters)

Photo of theopholis
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (896 characters)

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mr. Jefe pours a rather clear Hefe-weizen. There was not much carbonation as the head disappeared rather quickly.

The smell was good as I got a hint of bananas from the odor.

The beer had less body in regards to taste as it was light like a lager.

The mouthfeel was all around but was a little to feather like.

It went down nice especially on this hot day. (369 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a weizen glass.

Appearance: rich golden color with almost no haze. Head is two fingers of creamy white foam. The way I see it, there is not nearly enough haze and not quite enough head to be commendable as a hefeweizen. That said, it wasn't a hideous-looking beer; just not really to-style.

Smell: aroma is grainy with a little bit of a wheat component. Not much estery complexity or creaminess. Really, not that great.

Taste: citrusy and sweet. There's a little banana flavor here, but it doesn't entice me much. Not bad compared to other American attempts at the style, but it is not super hefeweizeney.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with OK carbonation. Not enough carbonation to make a nice creamy hefeweizen, but it's not horrible or anything.

Drinkability: not much of an authentic hefeweizen, but it is an acceptably drinkable beer in general. (883 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of ssteakley
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (283 characters)

Photo of jclzony
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle. Pours a hazed light amber color with a buttery head that leaves a lacey ring. Aroma is aromatic and pleasant with a balance of banana and citrus. The appearance is somewhat hazy golden-colored body with a large. Fizzy with a slightly acidic tang that contains mild fruit flavors. Finishes with a dry taste and more hopped than a typical Hefe. A full bodied version of an American wheat with a mild banana and clove essence. (440 characters)

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El Jefe Weizen Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
80 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.