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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

74 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15%
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
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Gusler, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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

russpowell, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

msubulldog25, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of RJLarse
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

RJLarse, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 cswhitehorse
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

cswhitehorse, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

ArrogantB, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of jclzony
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

jclzony, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of PhiloPsych
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

PhiloPsych, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of rayjay
2.23/5  rDev -38.1%
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.

rayjay, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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 Padron4KM
2.6/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

Padron4KM, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

theopholis, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

NeroFiddled, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Gavage, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of Reidrover
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Reidrover, May 30, 2006
Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Zorro, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of weizendoc
2.05/5  rDev -43.1%
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!

weizendoc, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

TheLongBeachBum, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

DogFood11, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of beertaster13
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very light yellow with white haziness. The head pours about a 1 inch thick creaminess, as the session progresses it turned into lacing at best. The smell is of light grain, the yeast is buttery and biscuity, hints of lemon cloves, a spring run through a forest. The taste has a specific belgian yeast characteristic that I love, citrus lingerings with a banana finish. The grains are noticable but not overbearing. Very nice with a salad or during lunch, light enough to keep you going. Very nice.

beertaster13, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of czechsaaz
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lots of tart wheat aroma with subtle spiciness. (not banana/clove, more like yeast/estery.) Smells a little like dried apricots. No hops in the aroma, which is right for most wheat beers. Deep gold color and cloudy. Big head fades quickly leaving a small white head.

Tart start, in fact tart is dominant. Not off or infected, but this can happen with a good amount of wheat in the grist. Pretty nice malty finish but again, tart throughout. Very little hop flavor. Not a whole lot of spice either.

I had this at the brewery a week or so ago and was WAY more impressed than the bottle version. I'm a bit surprised that I don't really care for this beer. Will take notes at the brewery and review again. Could be an old bottle as wheat beers must be consumed fresh imo.

czechsaaz, Sep 06, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

canucklehead, Apr 06, 2005
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El Jefe Weizen Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
82 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.