Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) | Heavy Seas Beer

very good
520 Reviews
Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 02-17-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 520 | Ratings: 1,020
Photo of MattD93
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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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 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.

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Photo of Blackop555
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours slightly darker amber medium off white head short lived. Light lacing.

Smells of toasted malts. Light citrus and maybe some sweetness.

Bready malt at first fading to slight bitter and light citrus. Medium to lighter full body carbonation makes it slightly picky. Finishes light bitter with maybe some yeast and make

Would drink again

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall glass: color is copper, head is off white to extremely light tan, head presents about 1 inch thick and lingers well with a thin top.

Smell is light malt, then hoppy bitterness, then stronger caramel and toffee malt aromas.

Flavor enhances the smell to showcase the 'imperialness' of this ESB: moderate malt flavor with prominent toffee and subtle caramel and toast; hoppiness is strong in bittering qualities, less so in strong flavor with moderate citrus and light pine.

Mouthfeel is good and turns better as it warms with fairly strong bitterness, but not mouth shattering DIPA bitterness more subtle and full bitter strength on the tongue.

Overall a great brew that starts simple but a beer you need to warm to enhance the subtle malt and bittering qualities.

 786 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep amber producing 2 fingers of off-white, somewhat lasting head that leaves webby, wisps of lacing. Aroma is caramel sweet & biscuit malt, nutty toastiness, faint cocoa, perfumey floral/herbal & thin citrus hops. Taste is malt forward caramel, biscuit & toast backed up by floral/herbal, citrus & resinous pine hops. By mid-sip the caramel sweetness balances with the hop flavors but gives way to a roasted malt & hop prominent finish & a nicely bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to slightly heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, silky with a slight oiliness, prickliness in the latter half with a heavy astringency late in the aftertaste.

 663 characters

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

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear amber with a small white head. The aroma is malt. The taste is malt with some hops. Ayyyyy really like this beer (had to do it)

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Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Beautiful very dark red, only barely translucent, half a finger head after
aggressive pour which faded fast, a little lacing.

S-Sweet malts & dried dark fruits, some alcohol, smelled a bit of grape as it warmed.
T-Awesome big chocolatey bitter! Offset by some sweet dried dark fruit, prunes, cherry.
Finishes a nice strong bitter.

M-Big creamy feel! Nice level of carbonation for the style.
O-Complex blend of sweet & bitter. Isn't the real test if you'd drink it again?
Yes...yes I would!

 527 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orangish light reddish color with ivory colored head. Caramel, malts, and some light grass on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with mostly malt.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark reddish brown with half inch head
Smell is caramel malt. Taste is the sweet malt with some peppery heat from the alcohol, followed by earthy hops and moderate bitterness. Reminded me a little of a scotch ale but with more hops.
Carbonation is moderate - creamy but a little bite from lots of small bubbles . Very drinkable for after shoveling.
Overall, pleased with this, would get it again.

 407 characters

Photo of Marraybay
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - Dark honeyed amber: +1 fingers of white head. cloudy.

Smell: Yeasty dough.

Taste: Decent malt backbone that gives way to some mid & closing
level bitterness that "accumulates." Wouldn't call the bitterness "citrusy"
necessarily--at least at 1st--but as it built upon the palate, it may have
taken on some of those characteristics.

Feel: full

Overall: I enjoyed this. for me it was a bit of a hybrid thing; Not
quite a DIPA, but not a brown either.

 464 characters

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

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass , best by 2/18/16.

A - Clear brown with orange highlights, Half finger head that moves to a thin bubbly lace within a few minutes.

S - Toffee, malts, some nuttiness. Raisin.

T - Bready. Toasted grains, mild bitterness. Some of the aroma notes are here, though muted.

M - Carbonation medium, a touch on the light/watery side, but that is normal for the style (as I remember it, been a while since I tried one).

O - Good to revisit the style. This beer , while not remarkable, is well made and tastes pretty good.

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Photo of Lahoi
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful copper color. Hazy. Small head, good lacing.

Smells a lot like a caramel apple mixed with a candied apple on top of an apple pie that is sprinkled with cinnamon. In other words, very good.

Starts bitter, but finishes smooth. Very earthy.

Medium to full bodied with limited carbonation.

Overall, a good beer.

 324 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a solid copper color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. There is a white one finger head which hangs around until the end and there is a pretty good amount of lacing.

The smell is a base of toasted malts and some caramel with some bubblegum and dried fruits, smells like apples, on top.

The taste starts with toasted malts and caramel along with some spice and a fruity taste. Everything is well balanced but nothing really pops. The finish is dry; leaves your mouth puckered.

Overall this is a pretty good ESB; it is worth trying.

 565 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I enjoyed this in a pint on tap at Anthony's in Harrisburg PA.

the color is dark medium brown with translucent clarity and thin head that relaxes to a ring. The smell is lightly sweet with a mild dried fruit scent and slight earthy yeast ester. The feel is okay with mild toast texture and subtle bitterness with some diacetyl but finishes generally on the dry side with moderate carbonation.

The taste is a little lackluster -starts okay with some caramel and nutty malt flavor with a hint of raisin perhaps but the yeast gives a sort of woody and earthy flavor or it could be the hops however it finishes dry and has a lingering yeast which is almost like butterscotch. Overall I hoped for better than what I tasted since I am normally pleasantly surprised by Heavy Seas beer, but that was not the case with this ESB.

 821 characters

Photo of uvachief
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draft. Pours an orange brown but more brown than orange. Finger of head. Smells like not much. Want to say ginger and hops. Something bitter. Tastes hoppy bitter upfront. Little dirty or musty. Interesting taste. Never had this type of beer before. Don't love it but don't hate it either.

 298 characters

Photo of jopezu
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

amber, good carbonation, razor thin head. smells of slight hops and sweet fruit. taste is a strong nut bitter and woodsy mixture. not exactly super compelling, but a decent beer for an esb; nothing to write home about.

 221 characters

Photo of Crackblind
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pint from a cask. Definitely benefits from being cask drawn rather than tap. Nice bubbly foam head though sweeter scent than expected. Thin mouthfeel but very pleasant flavor. I'm a big fan of ESBs and while I was not disappointed, the sweetness did surprise me. Would definitely get again.

 290 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap:
Pours a deep copper bordering on light brown, with a translucent light haze. Head I nice soapy to foamy off-white, and provides decent lacing. Nose is a tad malty, but that may be the "imperial" coming through. Floral/herbal bittering agents do come through as well, a bit of noble hops feel. I expected more of this "ESB bitterness" than I got.

Taste also starts a tad more malty than expected, but not as much as I would've thought from the nose. Honey-biscuit in nature, it lingers in the background after quickly being countered by the bitterness from the nose. The floral/herbal hops don't come on string enough, leaving this more balanced bitter ale, versus "extra". Body is also heavier than expected, and feel is a bit rough on the tongue (carbonation and dryness).

I actually enjoyed this beer fairly well, just not sure if you were looking for a standard ESB if this would fit. Also, not being overly versed in the style, maybe the offerings I've had are a bit more heavy on the bitter than expected.

 1,028 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark hearty pour leads to a malty aroma. Tea leaf, sorghum, caramel malt, grains and barley.

The flavor is malty with a touch of spice. The malt is dry grains, dark fruits, barley, molasses and tea leaves. The spices are not overly pronounced and heard to differentiate. I think I get anise, caraway, and cinnamon.

The feel is a bit abrasive and bitter.

 356 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On cask at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Great well rounded flavor. A touch of the bitter but all in a great pour. As with most cask presented brews there is not much head or lacing, but the flavor is there. It is unquestoinably an ale so Hop heads take heed.

 248 characters

Photo of Bebum
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy, orange-brown color,
Full body, intense flavor, rich but not heavy mouthfeel, avg length.
Bitter, tart, background sweetness well in balance, bitter finish.
Fruity, orange juice-like,
Different, very interesting.

 222 characters

Photo of bmcmahon1024
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It starts off very pleasant with a malty taste that quickly goes into a caramel flavor. The aftertaste is very very bitter and keeping my liking of the beer at a minimum. That bitterness seems to last forever.

 210 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Toasted, burnt bread, biscuity, caramel, fruity, and earthy.

Taste: Definitely chewy malt forward with burnt toast flavor, bitterness, some citrus, caramel, and fruity notes.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, chewiness, dome bitterness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty spit on for the style. Sometime one is in the mood for chewiness and mild bitterness.

 586 characters

Photo of InkedinRi
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was not crazy about this beer. Poured a dark copper with what looked to be something like yeast floating as thick as a snow glob. Taste was watery with a alcohol after taste. Over all a poor beer.

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Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,020 ratings.
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