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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:
Photo of masikon
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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
Photo of Cwrw
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Wee Heavy from Hale's poured a nice tawny chestnut red, with light purple hues. The beer appears quite clear. The head is dirty white, beige, and left thick screens of lace. The aroma is creamy malt with hints of vanilla and some solvent and spice notes. The aroma is not quite as sweet as I was expecting, and there seems a point where it just stops giving off any complexity. It is by no means an unpleasant smell though: soap and fresh grass, caramel, a dash of hops, candied apple, brown bread, definite apple peel, and a peculiar aroma I cannot describe, similar to soap, but with some astringency. Strong hints of dark roasted malt in the mouth, leaving a dry burnt toast feeling. Hints of brown sugar, butterscotch, and sweet fruits with a touch of metal. The hopping is hard to find in the finish, but it does come in the long run, leaving some dusty pollin bitterness, but only just. The beginning and middle is quite sweet, but the aftertaste is actually extremely dry, leaving the edges of your mouth without saliva. Grainy and medium-bodied, with fairly low carbonation.
I do not find it overly drinkable due to the dryness that just does not quite suit the style. This is definitely a beer I would drink again though. I just found it was not quite as sweet or full as I thought it might be.

Cwrw, May 16, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer looks brown and big but the taste is a let down with very little big malt for this style. This is billed as the big winter beer but the flavours are too subdued and soft. Pump up the volume and make this a real winter warmer. The winter beer is the chance for the brewer to make a statement.

canucklehead, Mar 28, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a red hued brown color wtih no head. The nose is sweet, with some tones of cherry and fig in there. It smells a little strong for what I want right now, but thats not the fault of the beer. The flavor is not as sweet as the nose would tell. There are sweet cherry and caramel notes, but also a rich roasted character as well. Not bad at all. The feel is a little weak, not quite thick enough to carry the flavor and nose. I like it, but its not something I would make a habit of drinking.

kmpitz2, Jan 16, 2005
Photo of beerceller99
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

beerceller99, Sep 09, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

TastyTaste, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured hazy dark amber brown with a decent head which fell quickly. No hop aroma, but a slight deep malt aroma with slight alcohol. Flavor is winey malt and slight chocolate with an alcohol burn. The finish is dry and bitter on the tongue and then fades into a burnt caramel aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thin.

12 ounce bottle, label says bottle conditioned.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 26, 2003
Photo of ecoboy
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mahogany in hue, great lacing.

Malt and mild spice, with dark cake and raisins in the roof of the mouth. Caronation washes the tongue. Warm, not all that round (for a scotch style) mouthfeel only a tad bigger taht a British Brown. Nice use of restraint for the American Northwest.

Fairly average for a "wee heavy" which might offer more nuances and fuller presence.

ecoboy, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

RoyalT, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

beerguy101, Aug 21, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

NeroFiddled, Jun 14, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Gusler, Apr 18, 2003
Photo of Reidrover
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
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!

Reidrover, Apr 05, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
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?

tavernjef, Apr 03, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

garymuchow, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

BeerBuilder, Mar 19, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

feloniousmonk, Feb 22, 2003
Photo of ZAP
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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..

ZAP, Jan 16, 2003
Photo of cokes
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

cokes, Jan 08, 2003
Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 Bighuge
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

Bighuge, Dec 27, 2002
Photo of Zraly
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Zraly, Nov 08, 2002
Photo of jdhilt
5/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hale's know how to brew a wee heavy, this is just excellent, slightly sweet, strong malt presence. ABV is 6.8%. It doesn't get any better.

jdhilt, Apr 22, 2002
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Hale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
84 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.