1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
El Jefe Weizen AleEl Jefe Weizen Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15.28%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cvschaller on 03-12-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of El Jefe Weizen Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
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.

msubulldog25, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Exiled, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
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!

BeerAdvocate, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

shelby415, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of JayQue
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.

JayQue, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of DogFood11
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%

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.

DogFood11, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

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.

BeerSox, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -16.7%

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.

magictrokini, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of Hopmodium
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Hopmodium, May 31, 2013
Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%

Pours a luscious straw yellow, plenty of hazy, and a gorgeous meringue-like head - reminds me of graceful flowing snow in winter.

Nose is fresh, bready, faint bananna.

Palate is a little disappointing given the fine leadup with appearance and aroma. Not very flavorful in any of the normal directions that a hefe-weizen often goes. Balanced, but uninteresting.

Finish is semi-short. Easy drinking wheat.

yemenmocha, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of MacStinson
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

MacStinson, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of sgttibbs
4.5/5  rDev +25%

sgttibbs, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of draheim
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%

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.

draheim, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of Westsidethreat
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%

A: Drab peachy copper color with some haze to it. Head is boring and quite low, just a small ring of buttermilk colored foam wraps around the glass. Whole lotta sediment at the bottom of this bottle...think I am gonna avoid most of it.

S: Spicy wheat, cloves, green bananas and copper.

T: Begins sour and grassy, a lot like how lemongrass juice would taste I suppose. Not as much banana in the taste as in the nose, but it does follow suit with the tastes being under ripe. Some minor butterscotch flavors coexist with the sour notes, but not enough to make an impact. Finishes sour and grassy.

M: Medium body with just a sting of carbonation. Probably the best part of the beer unfortunately.

D: Not really sure why I bought this beer, I know better. Guess I'm just dumb. Once in a while an American brewery will make a decent German style hefe but few and far between. This is drinkable, but barely...

Westsidethreat, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of froghop
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%

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.

froghop, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Light and refreshing and very wheaty, without lot of the phenolic funk you'd expect from a true Hefeweizen. Really, this is a slightly edgy version of an American Wheat, and if you go into it expecting that, I think you'll enjoy this beer more.

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a big white fluffy head. The aroma is very wheaty with a kiss of honey. The taste follows through precisely, with a super mouthful of wheat, with that bready, breakfast cereal character, and a finish of sweet honey. There is a little fruit in here, but muted - apricot, perhaps, some white grape. There is relatively mild bitterness without a lot of obvious hop flavor. The mouthfeel is fairly slick.

Seanibus, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of RJLarse
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

RJLarse, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of NickThePyro
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

NickThePyro, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of jmccraney
3/5  rDev -16.7%

jmccraney, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of Eighty
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Eighty, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of Braz
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

Braz, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of Hoptometrist
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

Hoptometrist, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

cswhitehorse, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of HoppySeb
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

HoppySeb, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Birdlegs
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Birdlegs, Apr 19, 2014
El Jefe Weizen Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
82 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.