King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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King Heffy Imperial HefeweizenKing Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
A refreshing, German-styled wheat beer with a distinctive banana and clove aroma, it is made with barley, wheat, hops, water and hefe yeast and named in recognition of the thousands of climbers who come from around the world to climb Squamish, BC's walls, crags, cracks, slabs and boulders.

25 IBU

Added by BDTyre on 06-29-2010

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 135
Photo of jmv0009
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L- medium brown with a nice thick head.
S- lots of banana, fruit and spice.
T- this is different than most heffes I've had. Lots of grape flavor with banana and spice with a boozey finish. Lots of grape though which stands out among heffes.
F- nice and strong and heavy. Imperial heffe should be a more popular style.
O- yeah I'll get this again.

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Photo of hophugger
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nice cloudy orange-yellow with spectacular head and traces of lacing here and there. Aroma is full of bananas and bread. Taste is strong with banana, hints of fresh baked pastry spice. Light bitterness toward the end. Balance is pretty good. 7.7 ABV is definitely noticeable.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company is located at 37801 Cleveland Avenue in Squamish, British Columbia, 45 minutes north of Vancouver. In 1996, John Mitchell helped design the Howe Sound Brewery and worked as its first brewer developing the initial recipes. His relationship with the brewery is ongoing.

Bucky picked up Howe Sound's King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen ("King Heffy") in a brown 1 litre bottle with no visible production or best before date. King Heffy was 7.7% alcohol by volume.

King Heffy poured a slightly cloudy golden/orange colour with plenty of slow rising bubbles visible despite the haze. Pouring produced about 1.5" of fluffy white head that survived as a 1/4" cap all the way down the glass, leaving behind some minor spotting. Its aroma was the best part of the beer, with a strong aroma of ripe bananas with undertones of yeast and sweet light fruits. As the beer warmed, clove and vanilla aromas also became detectable. Full marks for King Heffy's aroma! Could the taste live up to the standard set by the aroma though? The beer's taste began with sweet light fruits including banana, apples and pears, transitioned to a yeasty taste, followed by a mild sourness, with clove and vanilla notes again emerging as the beer warmed. The finish was noticeably bitter though, and the bitterness lingered for quite some time as an aftertaste. King Heffy had a medium level of carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel aided by the 1/4" foamy cap that never died, and I would describe the beer as medium bodied. In summary, a beer with some wonderful aromas and flavours, but personally I could do without the long-lasting bitter aftertaste. At $11.20 per 1 litre bottle by the time it reaches Ontario, King Heffy is priced at almost 2 times its competition, and I have to knock its rating down a bit for this rather hefty price tag.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a cloudy gold with large head and minimal lace patches. The wheat and yeast twang is pretty strong, typical clove spice aroma along with banana and little bit of orange and a decent amount of hops. Smooth, fuller body due to heavy use of yeast and there is a little bit of sweetness from this. Goes down easy and there are some spices and banana/orange /citric flavor notes along with little bit more hops/booze in the finish. A good beer to relax with and worth trying.

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Photo of mactrail
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Rich clear amber color in the tumbler. Big coarse bubbles that fizzle out to a ring of foam. Powerful aroma of bananas and black tea. Quite spritzy on the tongue.

Strong clove taste is just overpowering. Goes down easy enough as long as you don't stop to swirl it around where it might touch your taste buds. Slightly sweet but it has that dark bitter edge that annihilates any subtleties of taste.

More of a malt liquor than any kind of German ale, but for a powerful buzzcock brew it does the job. From the big swing-top bottle purchased at Wine World and Spirits in north Seattle.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes.

A - Poured mildy hazy and golden. Strong carbonation and a three finger fluffy white head. Great thick lace was left all around with a half finger of retention. Bottom of the bottle obviously adds more cloudiness.

S - Lot's of banana and yeast, sweet spice, and bread.

T - Sweet grain, tons of banana, and a little spice.

M - Good carbonation, medium creamy body nearly full and a slightly sweet finish.

O/D - A solid Hefe. Doesn't break the mold but the boost in strength is a neat take on it. A big beer disguised as a little one. No noticeable alcohol and nice to drink.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1L bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $10

Appearance - Hazy yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some okay lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, clove/coriander, banana/bubblegum

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains mixed with some clove/coriander and floral notes. There is also lots of banana/bubblegum flavour.

Overall - A very drinkable and tasty beer. Perhaps a little heavy on the artificial banana flavour, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of Smurf2055
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a bit dark amber, hazy, five finger white fluffy head.

Smell is an amazing hefeweizen smell of banana and clove, really soft, sweet, and a tiny hint of alcohol.

Taste is gum and banana.

Very drinkable and refreshing, but very little carbonation. Good.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark golden color ale with a large foamy white head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of banana bread with bubblegum notes. Taste is also dominated by banana bread with bubblegum notes and some residual sugar notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid offering with great refreshing factor with enough complexity and no apparent alcohol.

 408 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1L swing top bottle poured in to snifter.

A - Cloudy golden orange; opaque. One finger of cream coloured head that reduced to a thin layer.

S - Banana, clove, spice, Belgian yeast and citrus.

T - A big bubblegum and banana presence with some bready sweetness, spice and Belgian yeast notes. A fairly noticeable warming alcohol profile that bordered on boozy at times.

M - Medium body. Dry. Light carbonation.

 413 characters

Photo of decimator
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1L bottle poured into a weizen glass. ABV 7.7%.

A - Poured a cloudy gold with a fluffy white head. Head reduced to a half cm cap that just never dies. Decent lacing.

S - Banana bread with lots of yeast and a hint of booze in the background.

T - Honey, bread, bananas, vanilla, bubblegum, citrus, spices, hint of booze in the finish.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body, some creaminess, some stickiness, finishes dry with some heat.

O - A hefe with a bit of a kick.

 476 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tangelo orange with kinetic carbonation and a white, mossy topping that engulfs the glass like overgrown ivy. The beer is darker in colour than many weissbiers and, although far from see-through, isn't truly cloudy either. Still, King Heffy looks like something delicious.

King Heffy has an aroma that is indeed notable and majestic. A banana bread-like base is doused in clove, green herbs and lemon zest. The yeast is tremendously energetic and spirited, animating the zest and spice to the point of seemingly breathing life into them.

Reviewing beer often requires the use of descriptors to give the reader an abstract of what is being smelled and tasted, even if those descriptions don't resemble the flavours absolutely. Sometimes there are exceptions, however. This Weisse tastes *literally* like banana bread.

The finish reveals a sweeter, pink bubblegum-like side to the beer that dampens the spice. The huge character notwithstanding, this doesn't taste any stronger than the usual hefe. It certainly offers the same satiation and refreshment. Amarillo and Saaz lend citrus and grass, respectively.

Even if King Heffy were German-made it would still rank among that country's best (which, in case you don't know, produces the original and still most iconic examples of the Hefeweizen style). It may come in a huge bottle but, trust me, it's a beer you won't want to share.

 1,389 characters

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1L bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy deep yellow orange. Huge aromas of banana bread and lemon are present. Really inviting and delicious smelling. The taste is similar with the classic sweet banana notes dominating and a little tart fruit in the background. There's a nice bitter finish to this strong, very quaffable beer. One of Howe Sound's better seasonal releases.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is cloudy golden, with a large white head on top. Good retention, some lacing.

Huge banana scent in the nose- shockingly strong. Vanilla, wheat, clove. Vanilla is quite unique and also strong.

The banana and vanilla both come through strongly in the taste. Clove behind with wheat. Very smooth and creamy.

Medium bodied, very creamy, moderate to high carbonation. Good.

Overall, very tasty. A really nice hefeweizen. The vanilla flavour is unique and works well.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Howe Sound's "King Heffy" @ 7.7% served cold from a 1 Litre pot stopper bottle
A-this unfiltered hefeweizen pours a hazy pale gold with a thick head that clings to the weizen glass
S-ripe banana and some vanilla bubble gum
T-banana bread , cloves , a sweet start somewhat spicy finish
MF-the alcohal is apparent from the first sip and lingers on the palate , medium body mild carbonation
Ov-glad I tried it , worth giving a try , an ok beer for the summer

cheers LampertLand

 476 characters

Photo of leaddog
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy yellow nectar with 2 finger width of dense foamy head.

Smell - Banana, clove, yeast, spices, orange peel.

Taste - Banana, clove and spices take the lead in flavour, followed by the yeast and subtle orange peel. Alcohol well hidden. Very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - Well executed hefeweizen by Howe Sound. Aromas and taste stay true to the style. One of the better hefes that I have tried. Worth picking up if you get your hand on a bottle.

 524 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a somewhat cloudy orange amber, thick white head and nice carbonation. Aroma of banana, clove and spice burst out the glass. An A+ for aroma. Banana, wheat, clove, some light citrus, a bit of vanilla. Spicy aftertaste. Very tasty. Finish slightly abrupt and astringent, but does not mar a very pleasant hefeweizen. I enjoyed this very much.

 410 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from written notes, served in a goblet.

The cap gave a good "psssh" when decapped, and a hearty "fwup" when opened a second time with the flip-top to preserve carbonation.

Bright saturated orange, sweet bubblegum smell. Bland wheat flavors, lots of residual sweetness, light banana yeast with dominating wheaty grain. Lots of carbonation, finishes dry. A bit one note, a sweet hefe with little "imperial" character aside from the higher abv, which isn't all that noticeable. Needs more yeast complexity to be interesting.

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Photo of stakem
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

1-liter brown capped bottle with an additional swingtop grommet to plug this puppy up incase you cant finish her all off in one sitting. Thanks go to psiweaver for seeking this one out and hooking me up with this. Poured into a proper brutus size weizen glass, this brew appears a hazed golden color with nearly 4 fingers worth of slightly off-white head. The head maintains very well and leaves thick frothy patches of lace all over the glass.

The smell is strikingly strong with clove, a faint touch of banana and some bready malts. There is a light tangy almost tart element to the nose that I associate with the inclusion of wheat. More sniffs reveal a light amount of underlying fruity character that blends into something along the lines of original pink bubblegum sweetness. As it warms up and is swirled, there is a light sulfur inclusion.

The taste includes the bready malt character along with spicy clove initially. There is a mild pepper aspect as well as faint banana. There is a fruity alcohol element that intertwines well with the bready wheat backing and the spices of the yeast. It also displays a minor herbal hop element that doesn't necessary push forth any bitterness, but it is there in the flavor.

For nearly 8% abv, this is certainly the most powerful hefeweizen I have had. However, it is surprisingly well balanced and enjoyable. It is light bodied and moderately carbonated. My only gripe here is that it almost feels a bit watery at times (perhaps that is due to the increase alcohol.) Regardless, this brew was a good time and I would recommend it if you can get your hands on it. Certainly worth a try. That alcohol is VERY well integrated.

 1,675 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Pino, 1L swingtop into a tulip.

Poured a golden orange, with some light brown highlights. Nice white head and a thick collar. Nose has loads of bruised banana, bubblegum, slight wheat and general sweet bready notes. Great banana flavours on the palate, modest bubblegum notes as compared to the nose. Lots of wheat again, a general sweetness wraps around all of this. Great flavour, and light (if any) alcohol. Medium high carbonation, and a great thick body. A superior 'imperial hefeweizen,' one of my favourites of the evening.

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Photo of peensteen
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy pale orange, thick collar of white head, some lace. Smell is full of bubble gum, yeasty, banana and clove, lively and full of fresh wheat scents. Taste starts with a good dose of banana and clove, bubble gum and yeast, no abv of the 7.7% to be found. Med-high carbonation, good feel, fairly full body. This was very nice, a very flavourful assertive hefeweizen, glad I shared this as this is a big bottle but drinkable to the point where this could be done solo.

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Photo of crossovert
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

1 liter swing top.

It pours a beautiful, vibrant color. It is a hazy golden amber with a foamy white head that leaves creamy lacing.

The smell is good. Obviously more basic than a German hefeweizen. Mostly bubblegum and malt. Smells almost more like a Belgian witbier strain than a hefe-weizen.

The flavor is also imo more belgian-like. It also reminds me of the New Glarus version of this "style".

I like weizenbocks but this imperial weizen stuff is somehow different and decidedly American.

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Photo of papat444
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a recent trip to their place in Surrey.

Poured from a 1L bottle and shared with a few friends.

Appearance: A very cloudy dark yellow body with massive foam that clings. Very nice.

Smell: Bananas, a kind of yeast and spices.

Taste: Pureed bananas, light pepper, and mild spices.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a full body. Alternates between feeling a bit flat and carbonated. Not sure if that makes sense but it's the impression that i get.

Overall: Didn't feel too imperial but the flavor was really nice. The body could have used more work but still enjoyable.

 619 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Howe Sound Brewing tap house:

A: 1/8" white head that left a nice lacing over cloudy, honey-yellow liquid.

S: Yeast, citrus, pear and cinnamon.

T: Pear and yeast with a finish that is reminiscent of apple pie. Very nice.

M: Medium viscosity with a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: A tasty and very drinkable Hefeweizen with a great mouthfeel.

 365 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub, frehly put on. Orange wheaty aroma. Cloudy light orange coloured body with some soapy head. A little water in there so only average mouthfeel, i would want above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Decent taste but have had better for the style whether you consider it a hefe or a weizen.
Had on bottle a few months later, high carbonation. Not as good, though the bubble gum aroma clear.

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King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 135 ratings.
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