El Jefe Weizen Ale - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3/5 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.
12-09-2008 22:19:35 | More by magictrokini
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
2.9/5 rDev -19.4%
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.
08-04-2008 23:19:04 | More by Dotcubed
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
3.85/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
07-03-2008 01:53:39 | More by bosco7
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
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
3.93/5 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
3.83/5 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
3.45/5 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
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.
09-09-2007 23:21:08 | More by RJLarse
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.
08-25-2007 03:52:25 | More by yemenmocha
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.
08-03-2007 02:26:28 | More by cswhitehorse
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
3.15/5 rDev -12.5%
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.
07-24-2007 22:37:07 | More by jclzony
2.9/5 rDev -19.4%
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.
07-01-2007 07:51:47 | More by PhiloPsych
2.23/5 rDev -38.1%
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.
04-19-2007 04:11:28 | More by rayjay
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...
02-25-2007 23:21:30 | More by Westsidethreat
2.6/5 rDev -27.8%
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.
02-02-2007 05:15:24 | More by Padron4KM
3.43/5 rDev -4.7%
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.
01-13-2007 02:41:50 | More by theopholis
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
3.65/5 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
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
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
El Jefe Weizen Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
82 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.