Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel) | Rhinelander Brewing Company

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Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)
280 Ratings
Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)

Brewed by:
Rhinelander Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by smcolw on 12-17-2011

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 280 |  Reviews: 92
Photo of Branlott42
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emerge077
2.99/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Murky brownish amber, thin skim of foam that fades fast, no lace.
Looks kind of like still pond water with a ring of froth around the edges.
Yeasty aroma, caramel malt, earthy hop, kind of muddled and dirty.
Oddly metallic, somewhat malty, earthy hop bitterness lingers.
Body is watery, as the carbonation ebbs away quickly.

Glad this was a single can, wouldn’t get this again.
Another hamfisted attempt at mediocre craft beer by Minhas. Bleh.
Why all the apologists come out of the woodwork for it, i’ll never know.

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Photo of Z-man
3.21/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of payhota
2.87/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

copper tint, clear, lots of head and lacing
not much smell, taste is good, towards the hoppier side. Some pine and spice almost like a pale. Plenty of malt too but not much character there. Some adjunct-like tastes in there.
Overall: not bad and outstanding for the price.

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Photo of Qcastrojr
3.9/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice strong little beer. Definitely gets you warm inside especially on a cold night. Reminds me of a nice strong brown ale. Slightly bitter after taste but that's a plus for me.

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Photo of infinite_athlete
2.49/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

This is my third beer review... I think this beer is trying to be a red/brown ale... I am pretty 50/50 on whether I would recommend.

Characteristic of a Red ale but very bitter. Bitterness lingers. Nearly no drink-ability, some DRUNK-ability. Aroma is heavy of alcohol like a malt liquor. Not many flavors to speak of and no hoppiness as advertised. Definitely some sweetness… but nothing distinct. No fruitiness. Third beer from this Brewery and all are below average… Would NOT purchase again.

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Photo of G_Shoe
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bryan12345
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Satorn
3.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of goodsuds
3.82/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If someone poured this sight unseen they'd probably think it just a moderately hopped brown ale. I suspect the ABV is the only reason it is listed as a strong ale. Overall I've enjoyed this beer, especially for the money. If this were a $10 sixer I'd say it was okay but probably not buy it again. But for $5 this stuff is great and I'll be buying it again for sure.

L - Poured from the can into a nonic. No discernable date code. "18 004 17" printed on the bottom. Pours a reddish brown hue with a one finger head that dissipates quickly.

A - smells of dark fruits, sweet malt, earthy hops. The nose reminds me of a subdued dopplebock.

T - Sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit, slight spicy hop note followed by a pronounced long bitter finish. Alcohol is well hidden. Yum. I would say this is well balanced but the finish is mostly hop bitterness and it lingers.

M -. Not watery like others have commented, but definitely thinner than I would prefer. Carbonation is high. If they mashed this at slightly higher temp to get a bit more mouthfeel and slightly less ABV it'd be even better. But for the money I'm not splitting hairs.

O - This is a good beer. It gets even better as it warms. I think I'd call this a strong brown ale. It doesn't fit well in the same category with Arrogant Bastard. I know American Strong Ale is kind of a catch all category but this beer is more delicate and approachable than any beer I've ever had in the category. I'll buy it again for sure. There is nothing offensive or of putting about it at all and I find it to be quite enjoyable. For the money it is a steal.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.84/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: [3.25] The can lists the ABV (7.0%) and a date code that makes me guess (01/04/2017) but I have no idea really. Pours out a nice red hue. Has 1 1/2 fingers of chunky white bubbles and they are receding quickly.

S: [3.00] Very nondescript nose. Mild peat and leather. That is about it.

T: [2.75] Taste is the same. Vague peat and some kind of detergent taste. I got it on the nose too - but didn't report it initially but it is in both places. I also think I can taste the alcohol - not good at 7%

M: [2.75] It has "Heavy" in the name but not in the body. It is thin and watery.

O: [2.75] This beer was cheap at Trader Joe's and I figured "What's there to lose?" I lost. It is not good.

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Photo of Eddie_Kobane
4.25/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer rules for how cheap it is. Got a couple cans at a Trader Joes for just about $1.75. Definitely try it! 7%

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Photo of bshefftz
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Can_if_you_can
3.22/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Beginner2
3.89/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I may not comment on BA average ratings any more after this one.....
But Boatswain HLV is a way, way better ale than its 3.3 average indicates.
(I won't go through the 4 criteria because it might make some people mad... and why get in a fight over beer?)
But, I think Trader Joe beers get slammed because TJ is a big distribution behemoth. But, the facts are that they have a great way of making beer: they develop great recipes, then seek out the best mid-sized brewers who can handle TJ's capacity, and a much bigger market buys great beer at an absolutely great value... and craft brewing is the better for it.
TJ is our friend.
Be nice to your friends.

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Photo of freewill35
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dmcbeerington
4.75/5  rDev +43.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have tried boatswain's other stout and it's not bad, so when I saw 6 packs of these ale in 355ML can for about $5 in Trader Joe in their name, then I ask myself why not give it a try, and It just blow me. This is definitely the best beer in an aluminum can that I have ever tasted. The taste for this ale is very similar to Anchor Steam amber ale, maybe slightly more sweet and less bitter at the same time, but in my opinion this beer is more balanced, while Anchor Steam beer is more in the bitter side. The Color for this ale is beautiful; it is slight dark golden, not very clear, probably not filtered, which is a good thing. It tastes sweet first, and gives me a slight sweet after taste, and a whole lot of beer malty goodness in between. This beer to some people could mean less complexity, but to me, it's so drinkable and tasty. As always, I only drink beer when eating something, thus, this beer can be paired with most food in my opinion. And for those who only want to get drunk, well, this beer is 7%, higher than normal, so it's pretty much equivalent to a common 12 oz glass bottle with 4-5% ABV. This is my go to beer for now. Cheap, premium, and tasty.

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Photo of Stooven
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

What's amazing is how much it tastes exactly like both of the Simpler Times beers made by Minhas and sold tthrough Trader Joes.

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Photo of Samputnam14
3.64/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Guppy314
3.42/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a can, pours as deep gold with a two finger frothy head. Aroma of hops, caramel and indistinct spice. Taste is fully roasted sweet malt followed by bitter hops and maybe dry fruit. Decent carbonation and some creaminess, but also a "hollowness" that's not quite watery.

 277 characters

Photo of AluminumBadFalcon
4.85/5  rDev +47%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of harsley
3.81/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jaredkylemccann
3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got his beer from Trader Joe's. Which I'm sure everybody knows, because that's where you get this beer. Without going into too much detail I will say that this is a very good beer for the price. It is a go to cheapy.

Color golden brown
Taste tasty hops and malt well balanced
Refreshing lightly carbonated just pin pricks on the tongue.

Over all: well-balanced refreshing beer that is about five dollars a sixpack. I get it in the cans for some reason and is my go to cheapie

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Photo of JarMills
4.07/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

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Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel) from Rhinelander Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 280 ratings