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

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

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BA SCORE
83
good

71 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 71
Hads: 104
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 2
Gots: 7 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-22-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 71 | Hads: 104
Photo of Bighuge
4.59/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice clear garnet tone. A small brown head becomes a rimming in seconds. This brew smells rich, thick and malty. A bit of yeast and alcohol on the nose as well. I love the blend of alcohol and bready yeast tones in this Scotch. They blend very nicely with the thick sweet malt tones. And the hops add just the right amount of balance and also a perceived dryness. I really like this beer. (406 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (925 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought in the 12 oz brown "stubbie" Bottle conditioned.
after a fairly vigourous pour i got a half inch off white head..but didn't last though a great lace was left all down my glass.The beer is a deep dark ruby red when held up to the light.
I loved the aroma in this brew..can smell all sorts of dark roasted malt accents..alcohol too is smellable( is that a word?)BUt theres a nice strong fruity aroma too sweet fruits like blackberry, cherries etc.
Lovelly tatseing brew at near room temperatures many different tastes come to light after a few deep sips..the sweetness of the roasted malts is first to appear..after a nice balanced hop bitterness ..in between cocoa, dark esspreso, blackberry, raisins..all come to mind..very well done.
Feels remarkably smooth over the palate.
Quite a drinkable "wee heavy" very well done.te but the taste buds are tingling! (868 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.31/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nce deep brown color, that is translucent at the bottom, but the thick brown liquid swallows up light at the top of the glass. Smells mostly of hops and floral aromas. Taste is really dominated by the strong alcohol content that I perceive it has (no listed ABV). Still has a nice hops finish, and a full creamy mouthfeel. I'd be willing to bet this is a one-at-a-time beer, no sessioning for me. Too strong and full-bodied for that. (433 characters)

Photo of constantine_272
4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy brown. Sticky foam with low retention that left flecks of foam in random configurations, not in rings. Appearance was the worst part of this beer. It's also the least important in my opinion.

S: Sweet smelling. Light roast smell. A little woody smelling.

T: Very unique flavor. The combination of sweetness with the roast flavors give it a bit of a fruity raspberry flavor up front. It finishes with a light chocolate flavor and a hint of vanilla. A home run, almost a grand slam if it weren't for the long aftertaste.

M: Again I wasn't a fan of the aftertaste. It had a tongue coating effect that tastes great, but just didn't finish when it was supposed to. Thicker and chewyier than others, which I like in a darker beer , so it was still good.

O: 'Wow' was the first thing I said after the first taste. The fruity, sweet, toasty flavor was amazing. It's clear this beer was purposefully and expertly crafted. A slightly cleaner finish would have been nice. (974 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.24/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish orange...nose is great...Has some doppelbock like scents of sweet malt...also...dark fruits...big time plum smell.....also blackberry's and blueberrys....

Mouthfeel is about medium...certainly not overthick....sweet, slick feel as you drink like a doppel...

Taste is very good...sweet malt flavor...doesn't taste like a doppel but it has a great malt load...I guess more of a Scottish Ale taste, but I don't get much smokiness of peat...a bit of a try finish which is nice because this could be a little too sweet without it...

I love the nose on this beer, and overall it is a pretty tasty winter beer.. (635 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-brown color with a thick, tan head that leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt with a bit of graininess. There is also a bit of fruitiness in the aroma. The flavor up front is sweet malt, which flows to a bready, raisiny flavor. It finishes with a dry somewhat hoppy, metallic finish. It is a decent brew overall, but the metallic finish killed this one for me. (379 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from xmas 1997.
Poured a decent 1 finger head with a cloudy reddish brown color. Fairly strong aroma of orange peels and ginger. Complex, citrus-spice taste mixed nicely with caramel sweet malts. Full bodied, chewy mouthfeel.Finished slightly yeasty with a warming alcohol taste on the breath. (309 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma starts off as a rich and pretty straight malt with slight roast and even less smokey scents, but as it warms it begins to take on some character, including a fruity (plum) quality that is quite appealing. Deep red amber, with a mahogany hue. Thin tan head that settles more, but remains paper thin and leaves some lacing. Clear. Nice rich malt flavor without becoming cloyingly sweet. Flavor remains consistent strart through the finish. That moves to a medium long lasting conclusion on the tongue with a slightly dry quality. Full yet soft carbonation feel. Medium body (probably not as heavy as it should be). Also, no alcohol noticable in flavor. Highly drinkable Wee Heavy. Enjoyable, somewhat hearty winter ale. (723 characters)

Photo of jletts
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Appeared dark, dark mahogany with a yellowish-white head and no lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts and dark fruit, with hints of smoke and burbon. Not an overwhelming nose, but complexed.

Tastes of dark smokey malt, sour dark fruits (maybe cherry and plum), earthy, reminds me of a peat bog in the Scottish Highlands (not that I've tasted one, but this is what I'd imagine one tasting like). Ends on a hoppy note as the hops finally show their bitter faces.

The mouthfeel is nice for the style. Substantial and a little viscous.

Drinkability is good, not sure of the ABV but I'd guess around 6.5-7%. This is a good winter warmer and probably my favorite one by Hales. Good stuff. (734 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (611 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (755 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (515 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hale's "Wee Heavy" Winter Ale is warming me up nicely as I type this review.

The initial smell comes off as a slightly sweet but "aged" smell, it teeters on a high-alcohol wine scent. The color is a deep red-brown, Hale's dubs it as a mahogany...and I think that is an appropriate adjective. The thin, beige head was a nice contrast against the darkness of the brew itself, although the head in and of itself was not overly impressive. But, no offense taken.

Remember when you would scrape up your arm when you were little and would opt to suck on your wound for a bit until Mom would bandage it up? (Okay...Well, I did this. heh) Drinking "Wee Winter" reminds me off that a bit...perhaps if you mixed the flavor of blood with a sugarcube. The overall taste is a full-flavored, "irony" bitterness counterbalanced by a hint o' sweetness...it's pretty interesting. I like it.

Overall, I think this brew is a great score for having a nice, hearty meat and potatoes-kind-of dinner. I've got my big, hunk o' beef marinating right now...and I am gonna roast up some garlic to throw in some mashed potatoes :)

Grab a six-pack of this and chill at home with some good food. (1,187 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red color, small white foamy head, malty and smoky aroma. Very malty, smooth taste, some hoppyness, nice malt sweetness somewhat fruity with touches of smokeyness.. Nice balance of hops and malts. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty, no bitterness. (265 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently had this on tap at Hale's, Malt and mild spice, with dark cake and raisins in the roof of the mouth. Carbonation washes the tongue. Warm, not all that round (for a scotch style) mouthfeel only a tad bigger than a brit brown. I really like this beer and strongly recommend it. (284 characters)

Photo of engisch
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown and cloudy. With an effervescent and lasting tan head. After every sip, tiny bubble replenish the thin head. Makes for nice looking beer aside from the hazy complexion when light hits it. Smells sweet and floral (bit strange/unique for a "Wee Heavy").

Tastes sweet with a nice balancing bitterness. Not typical of most wee heavys, which tend to be more sweet (sometimes sickenly). This is a very unique for the wee heavy category. Very Americanized in terms of hoppyness.

I would definitely drink / recommend this, but don't expect the typical wee heavy. (569 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is ruby brownish with no head, just some small bubbles that dissolved fast and has no real lacing effect. Faint, sweetly spiced malt aroma. Taste is subtle, kinda tangy with a slightly nutty but mostly malty sweet flavor. Feel is light bodied and on the oily/silky side with a good sweet tang on the tongue. Smooth easy drinker with a good sweet tang taste and feel. Not sure where the "wee heavy" comes from? (415 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (402 characters)

Photo of czechsaaz
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is malty, sweet. Not much fermentation character (i.e. fruit or esters) There's a roasty quality in the background that's kind of nice.

Deep red with a nice lasting tan head. Head stays thick throughout the glass.

Taste is very frutiy from the malt. There's a pretty substantial hop bitterness (very out of place for a Scottish-style beer.) In fact, the initial sweetness is wiped clean by a lingering bitter finish. I get no peatiness which is often a hallmark of Scottish. I also don't get any estery undertones that a strong scottish should have.

Now to the good, I really like drinking this beer. If I were sitting at a judging and this were placed before me as a Wee Heavy, it would get trashed. But it's a really nice well made winter warmer type of beer. It's strong, but also refreshing and the hop/malt balance is really good.

Mouthfeel is nice and full bodied with subtle creamy carbonation.

I really like it, I'll probably buy it again and enjoy it. I'm not a style freak so I'm cutting the beer a lot of slack. (1,043 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, fine tan head. Aroma is nutty, soft, creamy, and a little spicey. Very tasty texture, and sweet. Balance is in favor of malt here, with little evidence of hops. A great toffeish flavor comes through in the middle. Very candyish, but still hearty and satisfying. A smooth, delicious, and very welcome antidote to the bitter sting of winter cold. (362 characters)

Photo of Jredner
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (351 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (975 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which looks to have good retention. The head is a light beige/khaki while the body is a very dark amber which is a medium to dark amber when held up to the light. Considerable lacing is left behind.

Nose- I may have kept this one too long as the aroma seems rather muted for a Scotch ale. Light notes of caramel, brown sugar, and molasses from the bottle. There was some burnt caramel, even a popcorn note. Slight notes of raisins, maybe prunes. Swirling shows more raisins in conjunction with brown bread. Maybe a slight touch of bubblegum.

Taste- Starts off with some citrus on the front (oranges mostly) that moves into a middle occupied by caramel, raisins, and brown bread. Has many of the standard flavors of a Scotch ale but seems a little bit lighter. Some pine and resin bitterness on the finish which matches up well with the dominant sweetness which manages to be lively without being cloying. Might not have the complexity or presence that a lot of Scotch ales have but I'm still enjoying it so far. A light Scotch ale that has great balance and integration. More of an everyday Scotch ale if you will, maybe even a little sessionable. Solid, good beer in my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mouthfeel- Medium to heavy bodied with minimal carbonation. Approaches smooth and velvety. Bolsters the flavor profile and hints at the possibility of a really good beer.

Drinkability- Very accessible for a Scotch ale- certainly not in the same class as the Traquair beers but as drinkable. Almost sessionable if the thickness of the beer doesn't get to you. I think this was a little more than standard craft beer six pack price but I think it's worth it. I would probably buy this again.

Overall- Solid, good beer with flashes of being a really, good beer- this is mostly because of the mouthfeel. Definitely worth a try, even if you don't like Scotch ales. You might like this one. (1,946 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy dark walnut with thin tan head, poor retention and no lacing. Light peat, caramel, and roasted malts. Tea and roasted malt with hints of peat and a bitter bite with a linger of sweetness. Slightly robust mouthfeel with light stickiness.

Not bad for a wee heavy with good flavor although a little heavy on roasted malt on the end. Otherwise easy drinking with no regrets on a sixer although I was ready to move on by the end. (430 characters)

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Hale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.