Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)
Minhas Craft Brewery

Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Strong Ale - American
Ranked #270
ABV:
7%
Score:
78
Ranked #48,306
Avg:
3.31 | pDev: 16.01%
Reviews:
106
Ratings:
314
From:
Minhas Craft Brewery
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2
Gots
  47
SCORE
78
Okay
Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel)
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 314 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheSarge:
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this brew from Trader Joe's. Poured this one into a standard Gateway Grizzlies pint glass, and the brew makes about a finger thick tan foam, and the body is dark ruby red in color... Translucent.

The aroma is of cola, sweet maple, metallic and slightly lemony hops, black tea, and brown sugar.

Taste wise I get the characteristic cola flavor, but with a cooked veggie kind of flavor, and a mild metallic trait.

Feels full in body, well carbonated, and the ale has a slight warmth in the end.

Overall not a bad strong brown ale in my opinion. Worth the $3 I paid!

Apr 13, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

Apr 06, 2017
Photo of goodsuds
goodsuds from Missouri

3.82/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

May 22, 2017
Photo of burntoutphilosopher
burntoutphilosopher from Indiana

3.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 Ml Bottle for 2$ !

Appearance:
This beer is dark, as it should be. Roasted malts dominate and virtually no light gets through.

Smell:
Smoke.

Taste:
I can’t believe how good this was for it’s price point. It’s not omegang, or Unibrou, but for 2$ a bottle you get a beer that is really great.
A malt heavy sweet beer with a great bitter aftertaste. Balanced, and runs a perfect range of flavors. I really wish I’d bought more than four.
lightly carbonated. maybe too lightly.

Mouthfeel:
Thick and lingering. Maybe a little too lingering. Has the aftertaste of your average stout

Overall:
Very impressed. At the price point it’s fair to compare it to amber bock or some other generic canned beer. Far Cheaper by ounce than new belgiums 1554.
And what you get is… a well-balanced beer, on Lees, with complex tastes, long finish, deep, smokey, and just the right amount of bitter to not taste sweet. I wanted to guzzle it, but it also tasted great in small sips. I could enjoy many of these.
At 2$ for a 650Ml bottle, you can’t find any beer on lees at this price, and this one holds its own.

Mar 21, 2014
Photo of BrewMaven
BrewMaven from New York

3.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not bad for a $2.29 bomber..Tastes like a bock with some hops added.

Jan 12, 2015
Photo of Guppy314
Guppy314 from District of Columbia

3.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Feb 19, 2017
Photo of Jaredkylemccann
Jaredkylemccann from California

3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
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

Jan 12, 2017
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

2.6/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an almost opaque super dark orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, brown sugar, candied citrus zest, and intense metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a poor beer with a surprisingly nice aroma, but the metallic flavors I am getting are really odd and pretty much ruin the drinkability for me.

Serving type: bottle.

Oct 31, 2014
Photo of bshefftz
bshefftz from California

3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 27, 2017
Photo of tdm168
tdm168 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Mar 17, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

2.58/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

650 ml brown glass bottle with simple straightforward label art and a standard unbranded pry-off cap acquired at a Trader Joe's; I don't remember the exact cost but I'm sure it was value. 7% ABV confirmed. OG: 17.35. 80 IBUs. "Brewed & Bottled by: Rhinelander Brewing Co. LLC. Monroe WI 53566." Do we have this categorized under the wrong brewery? It's not listed on this page either: http://minhasbrewery.com/our-brews

Nowhere on the label is it identified as an American Strong Ale, so I'm not reviewing it as such. It does identify as an ale.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given its current low ratings.

A: Pours a two finger head of khaki colour. Supple. Soft smooth complexion. Nice creaminess. Pretty good (~5+ minute) retention for the highish ABV. Light uneven lacing as the head recedes.

Body colour is a an extremely dark brown, bordering on black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Opaque.

Overall, it's pretty mundane looking. Not unique or special. No overt flaws are noticeable.

Sm: Brown malts, caramalt, biscuit malt. Notable floral hop character. Some nuts. Hints of neutral fruits. Average sweetness. Some apple. Some toffee. Hints of cream. No yeast or alcohol comes through. A generally appealing aroma, though it's not particularly evocactive. Still not sure what style they're going for here; maybe it's an aggressively hopped brown ale?

A mild strength aroma with a definite English character.

T: Hm. Caramalts, brown malts, vienna malts. Way too sweet on the back end, with near-cloying fruit syrup, light vanilla, and cream. Maybe white chocolate too. Some light floral hop character. No real yeasty character. Alcohol does come through. Lightly bready.

Poorly balanced and badly built. Lacks complexity and subtlety. I'm not really enjoying it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Creamy. Slick. Decent carbonation. Okay thickness. Poor presence on the palate. Sticky. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well; it certainly isn't custom-tailored to it. Gets too dry and coarse right on the finish, tanking drinkability.

Dr: Plain, boring, and unremarkable. It could be priced far worse. I won't be getting it again. You could do worse for a value beer. It'll get you drunk. A forgettable brew that isn't worth your time. Trader Joe's has far better brews in this or a better price range. Not recommended. I wouldn't want more than one; it's not very drinkable. In fact, I'm wishing this was a smaller bottle.

C-

Jul 02, 2013
Photo of WhitmansNiece
WhitmansNiece from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

Dec 08, 2012
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman from California

3/5  rDev -9.4%

Dec 28, 2011
Photo of crob3888
crob3888 from California

3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Aug 01, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.29/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a chestnut-brown coloring, both dark and vibrant, with a thin, filmy, tan head that clings all over the glass. Aromas are very subtle, with a toasted malt backbone and some old world fruit highlights. Flavors are a complete malt bomb, with fruit characteristics of date, raisin, plum, and fig all richly blended together. Earthy highlights add to the tangible fullness of the palate. The aftertaste is roasted and darkly sweet, with a sugary highlight. Rich, lingering, slightly cloyng finish. Strong in flavor and in feel.

Aug 14, 2012
Photo of dugly2ugly
dugly2ugly from Maryland

3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Apr 15, 2012
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Trader Joe’s. Pours brown with a beige, thick head. Aroma is of toasted, bready malt, dark fruit and grassy hops. Full, oily, crisp body. Taste is of toasted malt, brown sugar, roasted grain, dark fruit and earthy hops. Finish is long and bitter. Nice brew.

Jan 20, 2012
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee from Massachusetts

3.36/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heavy Lift Vessel opens to a malty, grainy nose that focuses mainly on grains, with a few sugars thrown in for balance. The grain notes feature toast crust, biscuit, Grape Nuts cereal, wet wheat, and bits of floury baguette. The sugars bring light touches of brown sugar, as well as a smattering of orange, apricot, and berry fruit esters, though the sugars are fairly light as a whole. Bits of vanilla and caramel add additional texture, as does a touch of toasted nut. The overall aroma is also fairly light, dissipating quickly, until what is left is largely a grain husk and table sugar remnant, leaving the beer smelling weak and somewhat watery.

On the tongue, the beer proves to have a bit more punch than the nose let on, the first flavors being a fairly nice mixture of grains and fruity sugars, the former adding toast crust, brown bread, wet wheat, bits of grass, and Grape Nuts cereal, and the latter bringing in some orange, apricot, and berry fruit esters. Hops add a bit of lemon and a smidgen of grapefruit, deepening the citrusy complexity. Small touches of vanilla and caramel, as well as toasted nut, add more texture. In subsequent sips much of the nuance is lost, and the hops seem to take over, bringing a larger grapefruit rind presence that gives the beer a bitter overtone that clashes with the sweet berries. The aftertaste features a stronger bitter hop presence, as well as a continuation of the bread and sugar notes, though these fade rather quickly, until what is left on the tongue is mainly grapefruit rind. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, for the price ($2.50 a 1 pt 6 oz bottle at Trader Joe’s), this is not a bad beer, and the 7% ABV does add a nice layer of complexity and flavor. However, the beer is somewhat weak and watery, and largely overpowered by grapefruit rind, so that the entire experience is overly bitter, masking the nice sugars underneath.

Mar 12, 2013
Photo of GossageBrewery
GossageBrewery from Missouri

3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark brown color, produced a tan head. Retention was average and it left a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma of this American Brown ALe consisted of roasted malt, chocolate malt, and coffee. The taste of this American Brown, medium in body, the flavor of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a slight hint of bitter hop flavor. Dry finish. Overall, it is a very mediocre example of an American Brown- It will do i a pinch but I would not seek it out again.

Feb 19, 2012
Photo of brewcore
brewcore from South Carolina

2.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark nearly opaque brown. Reddish tints come through if held up to the light. Aggressive pour yields a two finger, soapy light tan head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, slightly chocolate. Dark bitter fruits.

T: Dark roasted malts somewhat burnt. Again there is a bit of chocolate in there but it is very subdued. Slight odd sourness. Lingering bitter finish.

M: Very thin for a beer I expected to be heavy (I guess I fell for the name). Moderate to high carbonation.

O: I bought this beer for the price so I did not expect much and I found what I expected. Not terrible but not great. Great price but probably won't visit again.

Jan 30, 2012
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz from California

1.75/5  rDev -47.1%

Nov 11, 2013
Photo of hopup
hopup from California

3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Jul 21, 2012
Photo of CP20
CP20 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +20.8%

Jan 15, 2012
Photo of CWhite
CWhite from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +28.4%

Feb 07, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004 from Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -16.9%

Jan 20, 2014
Boatswain H.L.V. Ale (Heavy Lift Vessel) from Minhas Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 314 ratings