Winter Storm | Heavy Seas Beer

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Winter StormWinter Storm
Very Good
1,072 Ratings
Winter StormWinter Storm

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)

Added by stirgy on 02-17-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,072 |  Reviews: 543
Photo of Maestro0708
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber, fairly clear, with a small white head that fades quickly.

Aroma is rich malt, hint of caramel, earthy, spicy hops.

Good balance in the flavor between earthy, spicy hops and rich, bready malt. Hints of caramel sweetness are swept away by a firm bitterness.

Body is medium, carbonation seems a bit high for the style.

Its hard to find ESB in the States. This is a tasty imperial version.

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Photo of Budlum
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JustCamIt
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: reddish-amber and moderate head
S: jasmine tea, raisin, and caramel
T: fruitcake ( the type that has no cake but made of candied fruit, peel, and brandy)
F: medium bodied and oily
O: Uncomplicated drinking. Quite nice and competitively priced.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the growler via Jungle Jim's in a snifter. This nice ESB pours a
muddled orange tinged brown color with a nice head of khaki foam
that settles to a thick ring, thin swirling pool, and shows some light lacing.
Nose of subtle citrus, moderate pine, and caramel malt. Flavors are
perfect for the style---citrus and pine mingle with a spicy rye note
and sweet caramel malts with a touch of spicy hops. Very nice mouth
feel; medium body, medium light carbonation, and a sweet malt and
balanced hop finish.

Overall, a SOLID brew from a great brewery!


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Photo of nicholas2121
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Winter Storm brewed by Heavy Seas Beer, with an ABV of 7.50% This English Extra Special/ Strong Bitter pours out a deep amber/Copper color with a nice white head. There is a nice amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. Really digging the copper color of this brew. The smell is rich with grains and malts, with a nice amount of hop bitterness. You also pick up some spices. Now for the taste , it is Bold with flavors. You first pick up a nice amount of spices mixed with grains and malts. There is a lot going on in this brew This well put together brew. The body of Winter Storm is a solid medium. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to it. It is really hard to pick up on the 7.50 ABV in this brew,it is that smooth. The mouth feel is Bold, Rich, Clean, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I am going to give Winter Storm a 4.25 out 5. I would definitely look this brew up again giving the opportunity to.Heavy Seas Beer, did a super nice job with brew.

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Photo of mjw2808
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, 18217/225, BEST BY FEB2619... poured into a large glass mug)

L: fairly clear, med-dark amber-tawny liquid, 3/4" pad of off-white foam on pour, collapses to thin, persistent pad, but no lace

S: robust underlying caramel-y malts, raisin-packed; floral-herbal, tea-like, dried citrus peel hop aromas atop... hint of alcohol lifting what's an invitingly rich, almost doppelbock malty scent

T: huge pop of earthy, herbal/piney, pungent hop bitterness up front; rich, caramel-loaded malt starting midway, dropping during the finish, leaving a humming aftertaste of that peppery-spicy, piney/woody, black tea-like hop bitterness and a toasty, lightly-burnt, clearly-defined display of caramel malt... alcohol is at a perfect complimentary level against the unabashed bittering

F: thick, viscous malty body, plump and oily going through, cut hard in the finish by its mildly-stinging bitterness and soft ethanol burn

O: heard about this on a Brewbound podcast - had never tried this before... glad I had to buy a six-pack (and was lucky to actually stumble across one too), because this was a love-at-first-sip experience... rather American flavors overall and/or much like a heartily-hopped doppelbock - one of the more dynamic US-y USBs I've tried!

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Photo of Grackos
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lastmango
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KonigObHops
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer was poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I purchased at a local craft store. The beer was a hazy medium copper color with yeast floating in it (which was a surprise because there is nothing on the bottle stating that this beer is bottle conditioned. The head was off white and about one finger-width clear.

The aroma of the beer was slightly hoppy with a hint of citrus.

The initial taste was a bit on the sweet side, but in the middle it is somewhat earthy. The beer finishes with notes of citrus.

The mouthfeel was well balanced between smooth and crisp.

Overall, this was a nice example of a style that is becoming increasingly difficult to find. I would be happy to find this beer again.

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Photo of chrismattlin
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of rudiecantfail
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Deep, reddish amber color. Middling head with minimal retention. Left nice bands of lacing.

S---Sweet malts dominate. Caramel & some fruit. Not complex, but not bad, either.

T---Malty, very malty. There's actually some hop notes in there, too. Caramel & dark fruits.

F---Full & rich. Creamy. Minimal carbonation.

O---A nice (on some light steroids) example of an ESB. Not my first choice of styles, but it's pretty good, nonetheless

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Photo of jrc1093
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by 2/17/19

Pours a deep, burnt ruby hue with a short-lived finger of off-white head; quick retention leaves a fair amount of thicker, webby lacing around the glass.

Aromas of piney, earthy hops on a deeply saturated backbone of amber malts with hints of tempered diacetyl fleeting in between; pine, wood, leather, all well-pronounced and smooth.

Tastes of robust earthy malt, charred caramel, and faint, enhancing diacetyl adding a certain flow to the profile; earthy, grassy hops appear subtly on the finish.

Mouthfeel medium-bodied with well-balanced carbonation and a crisp, subtle denseness on the palate; lightly coats the palate with flavor while a malty bitterness maintains a general consistency.

Dense and earthy while never losing its sessionability; a well-made beer with pronounced character built for easy drinking. Good stuff.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Well balanced, biscuity malt but not too heavy, dash of caramel malt, hops have a bitter European kiss, checks all of the boxes for the style, well done

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Photo of Nunya
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of h4ger
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Lampro
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Malty and bitter. Smooth drinking, became somewhat estery as it warmed up. Got this at a bargain $0.50!

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Photo of Kelly10359
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BJB13
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip style pint glass.

Slightly cloudy tarnished copper in the glass with an inch of somewhat rocky off-white foam leaving some slick lacing.

Nose is a moderate to strong aroma of bread and caramel malt with a hint of earthy hop and some not quite dark fruity esters coming through.

No surprise after a good whiff the taste is medium bitter, both from toasted malt and hops, with a little caramel and darkish fruit sweetness. Bitterness may even be high for the style.

To the high side of thin bodied with fairly low carbonation it finishes rather smooth with a bit of frothiness. It does coat the tongue some but not too noticeably.

I have looked forward to this brew for the last few winters.

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Photo of tdm168
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of scotorum
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an English nonick pint.

a; Clear copper with an inch thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and dense patchy lacing

s: Caramel malt with slight cinnamon and pear notes.

t: Mild caramel and spice with light to moderate hop bite which lingers more as it warms. Sweetish finish along with some residual bite.

m: Medium, smooth body and some carbonation tingle.

o; A good ESB with little hop bite until it grows stronger later, which along with light notes of spice and fruit provide a relatively complex overall taste experience. The format suggests the potential for conflict between any hop flavors and the basic caramel malt, but this works well in substituting some additional if still mild hop bitterness for a heavier malt profile.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft in a pint glass

Clear, copper colored, white head. Mild aroma of earthy hops and bready malt. Mildly bitter, Clean flavor. Thin to medium bodied.

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Photo of Kurzman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SaltofOH
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle best by Feb 13, 2018. CBF Tulip.

A: pours a golden copper-amber with tiny chunks of suspended sediment and 1/4 finger off white head that fades quickly but retains well. Streams of small-bubble carbonation. Exquisite lacing.

S: sweet, orangey citrus malt. This beer smells exactly as I expected and desired. Very similar to Mt. Carmel Harvest, or a toned-down Bigfoot. English esters, too. Overripe pears.

T: taste follows the nose to begin with - sweet malt - toasted wheat bread dripping with orange honey, orange marmalade. Toward the end the sweetness doesn't stop, but is overlaid with a slightly floral, heavily woodsy hop bite that lingers into the finish.

M: full bodied without a doubt. Middling carbonation, and extremely slick.

O: I came into this expecting this to be a contender for one of my favorite beers of all time, and the appearance, smell, and first sip didn't disappoint. But it quickly got sickly sweet and too heavy. Definitely more of a sipper. Would love to have it again, but what I love about ESBs is this flavor profile and sessionability, and though this has the flavor profile 100%, the imperial aspect does it in for me.

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Photo of EMV
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip

L: Nearly-clear mahogany brown pour. 2 fingers of foamy white head. Solid ring of lacing.

S: Sweet caramel... earthy... mild spice.

T/F: Follows the nose. Sweet and spicy... caramel and toasted grains. Earthy/nutty and balanced with some spice and hop bitterness. Dark fruits and yeast. Medium to light bodied... well carbonated. Sharp on the tongue... the finish is bitterness and molasses.

O: A really nice ESB.. great flavor, good mix of bitter and sweet. Enjoyable.

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Winter Storm from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 1,072 ratings