Winter Storm Imperial ESB | Heavy Seas Beer

BA SCORE
86
very good
1,024 Ratings
Winter Storm Imperial ESBWinter Storm Imperial ESB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
hsbeer.com

Style: 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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,024
Reviews:
522
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
11.98%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
98
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,024 |  Reviews: 522
Photo of dvmin98
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 88caprice
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Overall: awesome! A big brew. Heavy and complex, bitter sweet, caramel and herbal spice.

Great dark red color. Moderate sudsy head that clings. Great smell too. Herbal and hoppy, malty and bready, sweet dark fruits. Great taste! An herbal hop zing hits up front. Then a sweet and toasty malt character. Caremelized malt sugars and noticeable alcohol presence. Some fruity flavors of raisin and a hint of spice. Mouthfeel is very interesting. It's full, almost heavy, and smooth. Aerated. A little sticky.

 543 characters

Photo of MurphyMacManus
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz. brown bottle into oversized wine glass.

Look: Dark amber with a thin off-white head. Head retention isn't great, but I'm drinking the beer past the freshness date and didn't pour hard. So that's probably on me.

Smell: Citrus rind and dark fruit.

Taste: Balanced. There's a strong malt backbone that tastes a bit like toast and dark fruit, with earthy and citrus-like bitterness in the finish. The hop character balances the sweetness of the malt very nicely.

Mouthfeel: Easy-drinking and not overly chewy, but still substantial. Carbonation is present, though not obtrusive.

Overall: The overt sweetness of the malt profile reminds me more of a barleywine or winter warmer than an ESB, but this is still a nice offering from Heavy Seas.

 750 characters

Photo of fisherbray
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zotzot
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DaPan
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We love this imperial ESB!

26 characters

Photo of MattD93
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look:
Really nice deep amber, foamy cream head, pretty good clarity but not exceptional

Smell:
Unfortunately I get nothing but vomit on the nose, I guess some would call it "earthy"

Taste:
Nothing like the nose, bready, malty goodness. A touch of earthy hops at the end brings back the balance.

Feel:
Very carbonated with a really nice mouth feel, finish is dry and not the smoothest.

Overall:
My first ESB, could have been really good but smell kinda messed up the experience

 481 characters

Photo of joberlander
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fscottkey
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: [4.25] The bottle lists the ABV (7.5%). There is also a best by date stamp (04/16/2017). The beer is a light leather color and has 1.5 fingers of dense off white head.

S: [3.75] Leather, peat, toasted sugar. Not much more.

T: [4.00] Similar to the nose. Peat, brown bread, brown sugar and a bit of tobacco smoke.

M: [3.75] Medium body and decent carbonation. There is a bit of dryness that lingers out on the end.

O: [4.00] I really like this beer. If I had to guess I would have called it a Scotch Ale (by flavor). It has a distinguished sort of aroma and flavor. I would get this again.

 607 characters

Photo of 6thstreetbrewpub
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheOakKing
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of newcastlemike
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Urk1127
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of KatyBeerGuy
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Head disappeared quickly. Nice smell. Tastes even nicer. Very good.

107 characters

Photo of liam_mcnulty
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of rclangk
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Robust flavors.
I would drink this beer again.

46 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Brown with a thin white head.

Smell: Light hops, barley, and Malts.

Mouthfeel/ Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of bitter hops, barley notes, and Malts.

Overall: Good beer. I would have this one again.

 259 characters

Photo of BeerBucks
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of wonothesane42
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of GFD400
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of rderedin
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of robebo44
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Winter Storm Imperial ESB from Heavy Seas Beer
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,024 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.