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Hale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

Not Rated.
Hale's Wee Heavy Winter AleHale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by masikon:
Photo of masikon
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%

Pours a transparent chestnut with a slight off-white head receding quickly leaving only a collar and a bit of swirling. Nose is strong with astringent qualities causing one to percieve a fairly high ABV, unlisted but perhaps 8ish percent? Taste is malty and sweet with cinnamon and raisins coming to mind, somewhat metallic mouthfeel with a definite pronounced alcoholic tingle. Finish is quite abrupt leaving me to wonder what happened after the swallow, not much to think about once this one goes down the hatch. Overall a fair beer, unremarkable but warming and pleasant on a rainy Washington night.

masikon, Jan 08, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%

The first "clunker" I have had from Hale's,poured adeep amber/brown with just a very thin wispy head that was gone in a blink it looked like flat pop really no lace just flatness.A flat lifeless mouthfeel no carbonation to speak of,decent flavors dark fruit like that of dried cherries and raisins intertwined with caramel and brown sugar notes.Damn I am not sure if I got a bad bottle or what but it was flat and lifeless,sure it has decent flavor but to many other things keep this beer down.

oberon, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%

Appearance – Thick brown with a reddish hue. The head was decent and left a little lacing.

Smell – Light smoke character with a faint malt base. There’s not much to smell here.

Taste – The taste though is pretty good. The peat smoke flavor is clean and crisp, and there are just enough hops to balance things out. I can also pick up a small sugary sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied and somewhat dry. This one feels good and clean in the mouth.

Drinkability – This is an excellent winter session ale. It went down without a hitch and fit the style nicely. Great effort by this local brewery.

RoyalT, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of Lazaro
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Lazaro, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%

Wow, bottle conditioned. Very dark brown with a leaning to garnet, the clarity is fine. Lacing leaves a few rings on the glass. Heavy head of malt in the nose, smells of brown malt and a deep mix of toasted grain and faint caramel. Maltiness starts off bold but then a quick running of hop character comes through, at first your taste buds brace for bitterness but it lands small but balanced. Then a lingering of herbal minty flavor fades to let the malt take over. Slight sugary note, more brown sugar right in the middle of the toasted malt. Faint amount of alcohol shows up but comes off relatively clean, malty finish pulls towards semi-dry.

Solid, very solid. Easy to drink and a bit of a malt bomb, but balanced. Worth the hunt if you can find it.

Jason, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of HoppySeb
4/5  rDev +7.8%

HoppySeb, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%

Clear dark reddish-brown, tepid head that reduces to a yellowish skim in 30 seconds. Mostly a caramel aroma with a bit of cracked black pepper. Full-bodied impression, a little smokey and some impression of maple syrup. There's a bittering early in the flavor, and peppery hops are pretty noticeable late toward the swallow. Low carbonation. Hmm...the maltiness is a little unidimensional in this beer, not that interesting a sweetness to me. Some hop profile similarities to Anderson Valley Belk's ESB...

ADR, Dec 31, 2002
Photo of richkrull
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

richkrull, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of cokes
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%

Shadowy copper with a thin tan head.
Aroma is full of caramel malt richness along with faint tropical fruit whispers. Light touches of smoke and perfumed hops as well.
Taste begins big and malty. Scorched toffee and bread notes dominate throughout. Peat smoke is fairly quiet, but makes it's presence felt underneath the malts. As it warms, spices seem to materialize. Touches of thyme, orange peel and ginger. Nice! I am having a hard time deciding if this is actually spiced or not. Hops enter and mix in a heavily perfumed, floral hues which grow increasingly bitter. Smoke is noticed once again after the swallow.
Smooth drinking. If I was looking for a reason to knock this, I'd say it was a hair on the thin side, and could actually use a bit more heft from the malts. But that's being overly picky. This is lovely stuff.
Great winter brew. I'd stock up if it was available here.

Many thanks to Bighuge for this.

cokes, Jan 08, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

A slightly hazy deep-mahogany body is capped by a short lid of creamy light-tan foam. The head retention is limited and it drops shortly to just a thin collar. Oddly enough, however, it does leave some minor spotty lace about the glass. A gentle aroma of spiced cookies and some background smokiness welcome you to imbibe. The body is medium and works well with its very fine and moderate carbonation to leave it smooth and just-lightly creamy in the mouth. And a gentle mouthfeel is needed as spice (cinnamon, ginger?) immediately hits the tongue in the flavor - a higher level of carbonation would accentuate that spiciness, and it's pretty full as it is. Some moderate caramel follows as it warms across the tongue, backed by an additional touch of alcoholic "spice"; and finally a whisk of whirling bitterness that leads into a dry and spicy finish that's awash in drying alcohol. A really interesting and enjoyable beer that makes a great nightcap or after-dinner drink.

NeroFiddled, Jun 14, 2003
Photo of ElGordo
3.45/5  rDev -7%

Pours a dark brown color with orange highlights, topped by an off-white head that quickly recedes to a small halo. Nose of sweet dark malt, brown sugar, and a hint of smokiness. Palate is again sweet up front, with dark malt lending a deep brown sugary sweetness, along with some dark fruit. No discernible hop presence. A light alcohol warming sensation emerges on the finish. Body is a bit creamy, but leaves me wishing it were a littler thicker. Not a particularly interesting beer, but certainly passable.

ElGordo, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.6/5  rDev -3%

Pours a purple hued chestnut with minimal sand colored head. Minimal lacing & head retention

S: Big time cakeyness & some ginger bread spices as this warms

T: Cakeyness, chocolate & a bit of licorice up front. Caramel, brown sugar, some herbal hops & dryness surface as this warms. Finishes dry with much caramel, a little fruittyness & some toffee. Slightly out of style

MF: Chewy with slight carbonation

Drink fairly easy, but the dryness would get off this after a few. Solid Wee-heavy, worth a shot

russpowell, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of DOCRW
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

DOCRW, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%

A 12 oz bottle purchased at Liquid Solutions.

A: The ale is a garnet red color that showcases some deeper brown highlights. The head on pour weighs in around 1.5 fingers and retains nicely.

S: The wee heavy has a sweet malty aroma that is heavy on smokiness. The sweetness conjures up caramel and toffee elements.

T: The ale has a very heavy malt character. It is concentrated and sweet, having some alefruit elements that are chewy. I detect raisiny notes, some brown sugar and a distinctive funky yeast. There is a slightly smoky essence holding everything together.

M: The mouthfeel is heavy on the sweet malts, nicely supporting a smoky element.

D: The ale has a nice flavor but seems to come up short with the smokiness. The malts are sweet and could easily handle the added smoke.

akorsak, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of sflefthander
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

sflefthander, May 15, 2012
Photo of Jredner
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

12 oz bottle from Liquid Solutions. Pours a dark ruddy brown and holds a pinky sized tan head that is fairly bubbly. Fruity esters, sweet malt, brown sugar and a decent dose of hops. The first sip is carmelized brown sugar, burnt dark breads and toasted toffee. Cherry tinged fruity notes and again a fairly hefty dose of bittering hops in the finish.

Jredner, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of evilkorova
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

evilkorova, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of hannaho
4/5  rDev +7.8%

hannaho, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%

12oz picked from the Coop for about $1.55... enjoyed with a coworker... mine from a small weizen glass... I know not the best glass choice, but it was already dirty.

Very short lasting 1/2" head.. no lacing at all... deep brown until the light reveals a nice ruby color.

Aroma is suprisingly leaning toward citrus hops... some brown malts and toffee aromas... yeasty fruitiness is ever present.

Bitterness is too big for a Scotch ale.. so is the hop flavors.. citrus rinds are obvious.. dark caramel malts.. and toasted grains come into play near the end of the palate.. needs more body and malty flavors and plain and simple maltiness... a little watery.

I really don't know what to say about this brew ... does not at all strike me as a Wee Heavy.. a bigger body is definately needed and quite a bit less American hops.. I feel sorta bad writing this.. I normally like Hales brews ... Reminds much more of a winter warmer...

JohnGalt1, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a hazy, medium ruddy orange amber. Two finger fine light tan head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, cinnamon, faint hops. Flavor of biscuit malt, light peppery hops, light cinnamon, finishing with the same peppery hops. Somewhat on the dry side and hoppy for a scotch ale, but nicely balanced. Medium body with a pleasant creaminess. I enjoyed this interesting take on a wee heavy with a nod towards a winter warmer. I'll look for this next year.

LiquidAmber, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%

pours a dark raisin color, with glowing garnet and ruby at the edges. Darker and more mahogany in the glass than I was anticipating. A thin tan head quickly faded to a meager collar leaving a bit of sticky lacing.

aroma of caramel malts, sweet and sugary. there's a piney note hidden in there, and a bit more dark fruit, along the lines of figs and raisins. A touch of yeasty bread proverbially rounds it out, although definitely sweet.

Taste follows aroma fairly closely, with the sweetness dominating. Fairly simple roasted malt profile with some ample maple and honey sweetness. There's a strong hop bittering that comes through, giving a rough almost piny finish.

Carbonation is thin but heavy at the same time, pairing with that finishing bitterness to leave a lingering tingling on the tongue, not far from licking a pine tree. Prickly and sticky, vinous and lingering. Not my favorite.

On the whole not bad. A bit more middle of the road than other hales brews, this one doesn't blow me away. Pair that with the overly bitter notes for the style and a slightly offputting mouthfeel and this one just falls a bit short. Not by far, and i'm sure I'll drink a few more before the season passes, but it's just not quite what I'd hoped for. definitely good enough to give it a shot.

djeucalyptus, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%

The beer pours a deep copper to almost mahogany, the head modest in size and the texture frothy, with a decent covering of lace upon the glass. The aroma sweet malt, caramel, light hints of cinnamon, quite a nice nose, with the start sweet and malt laden, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish has a pleasant hop spicy bite and the carbonation moderate with a very dry lingering aftertaste.

Gusler, Apr 18, 2003
Photo of jklinck
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Thin head that quickly dissapates leaving no lacing down the glass. The initial aroma was that of dried banana chips. Also noticed the banana chip taste, but different than the fresh banana taste of a hefe. Lingering bitterness with with some slight alcohol notes and some sweetness.

jklinck, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of Birdlegs
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Birdlegs, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of SurlyDuff
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%

A fairly pedestrian brew. I look for a good malt-forward, peaty, earthy and full bodied brew when i crack open a scotch ale, but this was a bit light in the mouthfeel, and more than a bit underwhelming. It was more of a spiced winterwarmer than anything, which is fine, but it was also pretty boring for a winter warmer as well. Not to mention the low abv. Both wee heavy's and winter warmers generally have higher abvs, this ones really on the low abv end.

Overall, I could skip this beer, and don't really recommend if there's other wee heavy or winter warmer options.

SurlyDuff, Dec 08, 2008
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Hale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
84 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.