El Jefe Weizen Ale - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
04-13-2005 23:46:42 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.03/5 rDev +11.9%
Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a head of moderate size that leaves a few splashes of lace; frankly, looks more like a pale ale than a hefe
Smell: On the nose, there is no mistaking this for a pale ale; big waft of banana, coriander and clove
Taste: While it starts out like a hefe, with plenty of banana up front, the spice profile moves in a different direction; while there is some coriander/clove, there is also a lot of tart green apple and hoppy bitterness that was totally unexpected; after the swallow, the tart and bitter flavors persist and the memory of the hefe fades
Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp carbonation
Drinkability: Not saying I didn't like this as I did, very much; I was just surprised by the unexpected twists and turns
02-08-2009 19:30:17 | More by brentk56
3.6/5 rDev 0%
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.
10-01-2008 02:17:59 | More by zeff80
3.88/5 rDev +7.8%
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.
12-23-2006 03:52:39 | More by NeroFiddled
3.83/5 rDev +6.4%
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
09-30-2007 03:10:26 | More by russpowell
3.05/5 rDev -15.3%
A normal pour produces an almost four finger thick, frothy, light tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The head clings well to the class, which creates a varied surface and a foam bridge in my glass as it slowly recedes. Sans sediment, the beer has a slightly hazy, full gold color to it & shows lots of carbonation bubbles swirling & streaming up through it when held up to the light. Tart wheat aromatics, touches of green apple, a touchy of grassy threshed grain and perhaps a touch of herbal hop character. The aroma is quite clean and characteristic of an American Wheat beer (despite any subtle references on the label that are contrary to this).
Lightly tart tasting, again with a green apple flavor to it. Grassy, grain-like flavors and some soda cracker flavors contribute to the grain presence of this beer. Very light feeling, though it has a nice, prickly carbonation. The beer does finish with a light, though persistent bitterness and perhaps a touch of herbal notes are all that the hop contributes to this beer.
This is a very easy drinking, typical example of a wheat beer fermented with a fairly bland ale yeast strain. There is perhaps a touch more green apple flavor here than should be, but at least this adds a notable quality to the beer.
12-02-2007 00:36:16 | More by Gueuzedude
3.65/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
07-12-2006 23:31:03 | More by Gavage
4.03/5 rDev +11.9%
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.
04-15-2006 00:36:47 | More by Zorro
3.93/5 rDev +9.2%
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.
11-18-2007 20:15:58 | More by Gusler
3.38/5 rDev -6.1%
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.
09-30-2010 03:03:22 | More by flagmantho
3.93/5 rDev +9.2%
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 Im 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 Hefes. 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. Im glad that I did, for this is a nice fruity angle on the American Hefeweizen.
03-12-2006 03:31:34 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3.63/5 rDev +0.8%
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.
07-31-2007 15:05:11 | More by ArrogantB
3.98/5 rDev +10.6%
Thick lumpy gobs of whipped cream head trailing ivory lace in lumps and clusters. Paints a nice picture, yes? This is a pretty beer and as clouded as one might expect. And the El Jefe delivered more flavor than I anticipated. It has a pungent nose of virile clove with a strong showing of clove, nutmeg, and black pepper in the taste. The body is smooth but thin.
None too crisp and wheaty, but a tasty beer with authentic Bavarian styling and more assertive flavor than most Hale's beers.
03-28-2008 06:12:44 | More by RedDiamond
British Columbia (Canada)
3.93/5 rDev +9.2%
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.
04-06-2005 17:57:31 | More by canucklehead
2.95/5 rDev -18.1%
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.
05-30-2006 18:48:59 | More by Reidrover
3.45/5 rDev -4.2%
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.
09-19-2007 02:43:52 | More by msubulldog25
4/5 rDev +11.1%
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!
11-24-2009 02:25:05 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.68/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
07-13-2008 03:36:45 | More by JayQue
El Jefe Weizen Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
82 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.