Winter Storm
Heavy Seas Beer

Winter StormWinter Storm
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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #38
Ranked #20,630
3.83 | pDev: 11.75%
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
Very Good
Winter StormWinter Storm
Notes: Formerly Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)
Reviews: 546 | Ratings: 1,082 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by weasbri:
Photo of weasbri
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper color with a small but persistent head that leaves a good lacing behind on the glass.
A piney hop aroma is very present and continued prominently in the flavor as well. There was a sweet malty note at the front of the tongue, followed by the lingering hop bitterness at the back. If not for just a bit too much aftertaste, I might have rated it a bit higher.
Still, a fine beer, pretty darned drinkable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of GHow
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received as a X-mas gift from the youngest of My Three Sons. This (E)xtremely (S)mooth (B)Sailor from Maryland meets high standards in my captains log. Dark color, spicy, earthy, forest taste. Also gifted a logo-ed chart map pint Heavy Seas glass. Arghhh Yee Matey!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

Arrrr! You may have missed "Talk Like A Pirate Day" on September 16th, but at least you can drink like one. Yes, this is part of the "Heavy Seas" brand from Clipper City, pirate theme and all--eye patch not included.

Rusty red color, clarity is good. Solid foaming action from medium pour, head retention is stable. Big flamboyant aroma, fruity with expressive alcoholic esters, hops are not shy with thick herbal and citric notes, and the malt draws in caramel, bread crust and cake batter. Fluffy full body, smooth with a light snappy crispness that says "refreshing." Complex flavors flail around, hops and malt battle for domination. The malt is dense with clean toasted grain and sweet caramel flavors while the hops bring a duo of balanced bitterness and an herbal, bitter citric-peel flavor. Middle to end the alcohol comes in with a spicy start and warming finish with suggestions of melon, peaches and raisins. Finishes a little bittersweet.

So this is what an Imperial ESB tastes like--American brewing at its best here even with excessively creative made-up styles. Impressive, yet another seasonal we wish was year-round. Give this one a go especially if you are already sick of the spiced winter warmers that taste like organic toothpaste.

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Photo of BJB13
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
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 BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a big ESB; nearly approaching strong ale strength and flavors. Begins with a piney-sweet, malty-spice aroma that captured clean fermentations aromas, citrus, and pecans. Flavors begin and remain with a strong balance of barley malt and assertive hops (I think they may have sneaked in an American hop or two). Remains strong well into the finish. Body is heavy for the style which hurts the drinkability, but the access flavors I find pleasant and bold. Almost minty fresh in the finish with a mild drying, partly from alcohol, partly from hops. You'll likely find this brew in my fridge until they disappear from the shelves.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by date of March 09.

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beautiful looking beer. Clear and cherry wood stained in color. A slightly tan head of about two fingers forms: it is dense, rocky, and very frothy.

Aroma is a big letdown. I really dont get much at all. I tried and tried. About the only thing I smell is a metallic aroma like a wet battery or cold, wet steel.

Decent flavor. Pretty hoppy and a touch alcoholic. Creamy and caramel malty with some good hop bitterness but not much flavor. Earthy hop flavor with some fruitiness.

Medium bodied with a touch too much carbonation. Finishes really dry which accentuates the hop bitterness. Not a bad beer. A little heavy in the alcohol for an ESB but I guess this is a "Heavy Seas" beer. I would recommend this one.

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Photo of abrand
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into tumbler, notched on bottle at april 2009.

A- pours a deep amber color that is translucent. Very small head that dissolves rapidly and no retention is seen.

S- smells of malted nuts and lots of hops. Somewhat of a sweety smell with hints of citrus and earthy aromas.

T- much like the smell, very complex. Hoppiness dominates the palate but also nuts and citrus linger.

M- light bodied

D- Pretty solid beer, not overly powerful or the best tasting ESB ever but pretty good.

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Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jgunther71
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Labeled as an Imperial ESB, the beer pours a stained brown color with a low, off white head that soon recedes to a ring around the glass.

smell: Smells great. Big sweet, green hops upfront give a hint of spice. Toasted malts give earthy notes and a touch of fruit. Great blend of aromas here.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is smooth, and on the higher side of the medium range. The body is a full medium.

taste: Toasted malt backbone with a hearty, earthy American hop flavor that increases after the swallow as a moderate bitterness comes into play.

drinkability: Quite easy for a bigger beer

single bottle from Whole Foods Raleigh

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Photo of angelmonster
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a 1 finger off white head. Body is clear and amber/copper brown in color. Head retention and lacing are slightly above average

Smells of caramel malts and herbal hops. There is also hints of copper and sweet fruit like peaches, hmm weird

Taste was first of sweet malt similar to a dopplebock. Also some buttery diacetyls. Next the hops come out, somewhat subtle and earthy. Slightly bitter but not much.

Mouth feel is fizzy and over carbonated. A bit on the light side but not quite watery.

Drink ability is good. For 7.5 percent the alcohol was hidden nicely. Not one of my favorite styles but overall a good beer

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Photo of nickmantia
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of dankjohn
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RoBotGod
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think I may have drank this beer a little late in the season. Everything looks good from the pour. Smells like a good ale and it looks a little cloudy. Up front the beer taste good with a notable amount of good malt and hop balance. The finish is a bit off though. I'm not sure if its the yeast giving off an odd tone at the end. I get a sweaty sock taste at the end, almost reminds me of bad tap water. It not so bad that the beer is undrinkable but doesn't make me want to drink 6 of them.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best by April 09'.

A. Poured into a clean pint glass. Stunning amber with a soapy off white head that sticks around for some lace.

S. A malty and floral nose with just a hint of citrus. Strong bready and earthy notes fill the room.

T. Honey like malt sweetness paired with some brutal earthy pine/grapefruit hop. The malt needs to be very sweet to combat the hop onslaught and does a good job at that but could have used more character. Actually as it warms some roasted malt pulls through and is nice, watch the serving temp. on this one. Probably the most kick ass tasty ESB I've had.

M. Pretty decent overall mouthfeel, creamy yet abrasive to the palate. Smooth yet harsh. Lingering sweet hop on the tongue.

D. This is an extreme ESB and I like it alot.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

single finger frothy head without much retention. dark amber in color and clear. some lacing but not much.

lots of herbal and floral hop aroma with a malt backbone.

Very hoppy beer. spicey notes with a semi sweet finish. Nice complexity to the hop character.

Medium to high carbonation and medium body.

Overall a nice beer, a nice strong ESB. One of the better offerings from this brewery,

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Photo of wr3ck00n
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of nriech
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice deep amber color, light head but not completely white. Medium/Light on the lacing.

Smell: Lots of hops. Very fresh too. Very good malt smell also. Tiny bit of alcohol.

Taste: Huge amount of hops at first. A little more than a 60 min IPA but not quite 90. After you get accustomed to that, the malts come out. A little sweet but a good blend of hops and malts. The alcohol isnt very evident. Overall taste is very enjoyable. Mouthfeel was enjoyable, just right.

Overall a very good ESB, one of the best I've tasted. I prefer the extra hops which tasted very fresh.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer appeared a nice reddish brown color, kind of typical of an ESB that produced an oatmeal color head that dissipated into a small thin cap that lasted throughout the beer.

The beer gave off a nice caramel malt aroma with some hints of hops in the background.

The taste of the beer was mostly malty, upfront, with some bitterness at the end. Kind of what I expected from a higher ABV ESB.

The beer had a medium feel, it was smooth and the beer seemed a bit under carbonated, but I suppose that is more typical of the style. Overall, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Newport_beerguy
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of The-Sud-Truth
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of trickynicky
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of saintwarrick
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't expecting an ESB for a winter seasonal, but I'll take it. This brew pours a cloudy copper with a foamy, long-lasting white head that sticks to the glass. I get mostly malt in the aroma, semi-sweet caramel, with a bit of piney hops mixed in, but nothing overpowering. Malt takes over in the taste, with some bitter citrus tacked on to make this a true bitter. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming. A solid brew to come in from the cold for.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Fatheads...was suggested to me and I really enjoyed this beer!

A: Pours a ruby red/brown color with a one finger off white tan head.

S: Not as much initially. Some sweet malt, alcohol with a twinge of hops.

T: I was not overly impressed with the smell, but the taste more than made up for it. Starts off with a good amount of bready and caramel malts. Finishes with a floral hop taste.

M: A good amount of carbonation for this medium body beer.

D: I really enjoyed this ESB, but for me, this style of beer I cannot have more than 2 in a sitting It is one of my favorite ESB's though that I have tried, though I have not tried many but I will.

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Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Winter Storm from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1082 ratings