Winter Storm Imperial ESB | Heavy Seas Beer

BA SCORE
86
very good
1,023 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:
1,023
Reviews:
522
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
11.98%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
98
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,023 |  Reviews: 522
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extra malted and hopped ESB that has aroma of alcohol along with a bit of hop and malt aroma, is a bit on thin of mouthfeel and has cloudy orangey colour, but taste pretty good. Very dry finish and aftertaste. Could pass as a bit of a strong ale,more so than an IPA. thanks Dr.Jay.

 281 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
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,

 393 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a nice looking amber color with a light cream colored head on top. The smell of the beer was malty, it didn't have much of a bitter aroma at all. The taste of the beer was interesting, I felt like I was getting hints of Pine in there. The mouthfeel of the beer was basically normal, not anything that really impressed me on that level. Overall this beer wasn't bad, I think it's one that I'd try again just to give it another go.

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Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high beige head that hardly died down and left a coating of bubbles down the side of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of citrusy hops in the nose along with some hints of fruity yeast. Malts become apparent as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has some flavors of citrus hops like the smell but is maltier with flavors of nuts, toast and sulfur along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a pretty good ESB on its own but the use of citrus hops makes it unique compared to other beers in the style.

 729 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 634 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 version

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark caramel color with a frothy head that leaves many shards of lacing

Smell: Malty aroma with a considerable earthy, piney element

Taste: Starts with an piney malty balanced flavor that becomes considerably bitter right before the swallow; the finish is a long, balanced melding of the two flavors that is earthy and complex; slightly metallic finish which is a demerit

Mouthfeel: Medium body (a touch too thin for an Imperial) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I like this version much better than last year's; the style has departed from the norm and this Imperial ESB concept is intriguing and enjoyable

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before April 2013. Pours slightly hazy ruby red color with a 1 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, pear, caramel, toast, brown bread, floral, light pepper, light toffee, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, pear, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, pepper, pine, light nuttiness, and earthy spiciness. Good amount of spicy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, pepper, pine, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity ester flavors; with a good hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a creamy and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial ESB style. Nice complexity of malt/fruity notes with hop balance; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,243 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Pours a moderate copper color with a white head and a dose of lacing. The nose is fairly hoppy with some floral and earthy notes. Nice caramel notes. The taste is pretty good with a mild hoppiness. Feel is light and a tad bit harsh. Drinks fairly well and is a nice concept.

 317 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first St. Patty's day beer of the day.Poured a rich deep copper with a tight 1/2 finger head that left a light sheet of lace behind as it settled,big dose of herbal hop in the nose somewhat grassy with a noticable caramel malt note underneath.Not a bitter double IPA by any means and well balanced piney and herbal hop notes over top a big sweet caramel malt base the alcohol seems to really come in play as it warms in the finish.This is not an in your face hopped up double IPA just a well balanced big hopped brew,I liked it.

 531 characters

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

Pours a decent fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades slowly, some lacing sticking to it, mostly clear ruby mahogany color.

Nose has some earthy slightly herbal hops, light fruitiness, sweet caramel reddish malts, little candy like malts, hint grassy hops.

Taste starts with sweetness, sweet malts, candy like slightly syrupy rich caramel reddish malts, little nutty even, although that quickly turns to bitterness, quite bitter with earth chewy hops, slightly herbal and very little grassy, hint of pine even, but mostly a chewy hop flavor with a light spiciness. Finish is a bit drier which helps since it was so sweet, long lingering earthy spicy chewy slightly herbal hop profile, hint of candied orange peel as well, and touch of candy malts.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb.

Overall OK, but not great. Not my fav style, although this shies away from the over herbal vegetal grassy hops I really don't like in most ESBs. It's quite bitter and a nice malty balance though, although it does get a bit too sweet. But overall done pretty well.

 1,053 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma of faint dark fruit, spice, earthy, oats, caramel malt. Taste malt, citrus, floral, pepper, toast, bittersweet finish. Nice!

130 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter Storm delivers a dark orange body beneath a frothy head of ivory foam that holds very well and leaves short walls of lace on the side of the glass. The nose displays clear, grapefruity and piney hops, but it's not overtly bold, and the flavor is very much the same way. Its lightly caramelish malt works in unison with its firm bitterness and floral/citrus/pine hop flavors to deliver a solid, well-rounded and well-balanced beer... but it doesn't hit you on the head. It does leave it quite drinkable, however, and the only thing lacking is enough complexity to keep you coming back again and again. Still, this is a solid IPA that probably deserves more attention than it gets.

 686 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear red-brown with a medium tan head. Head reduces quickly to a lasting top coat.

Attractive malty aroma with some light, unusual spicing. Likewise, the flavor has a solid malt backbone, with some pleasant, unobtrusive spicing. High ABV is a bit more obvious than ideal in mouth but not in the aroma.

M - good carbonation; medium body; less smooth than desired.

 420 characters

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

On-tap 2/27/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, a good amount of hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with a hearty malt character, a strong hops bitterness and background flavors of caramel and citrus. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it's a good beer to drink for a long time if you're in the mood for a slightly stronger beer in this style.

 718 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a clear dark garnet red in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some copper + cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy sudsy light tan head that quickly reduces to a medium sized mottled very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of citrus/orange rind hops, toasted nutty malts, and fruity yeast.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted malts with a light amount of nuttiness as well as a light amount of toffee sweetness. There is a slightly stronger than moderate amount of citrus/orange rind hops that contribute a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness. Hints of alcohol in the finish as well.

M: Medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: An interesting take on an ESB - much hoppier than any of the others that I have tried. Slightly too much alcohol and that alcohol is not well enough hidden for me. Probably would not grab another one of these but it can definitely be enjoyed.

 1,163 characters

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

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. It poured a dark amber, almost mahogany like color. The head started off full and frothy and lasted pretty well into drinking the beer. Some nice lacing was left as I drank it as well.

The aroma shows a good amount of caramel and malty flavors to it. An herbal hoppiness is there as well and adds some spicy notes to the aroma. Pretty nice balance to all the flavors going on in it.

The taste has a pretty big malty base to the beer with some caramel coming through in the sweetness. The hops add an earthy spice and some herbal qualities to it. The hops give it a nice spice on their own without having to actually add the "winter" spices so many others versions have.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. drinkability is decent, it was a nicely flavored winter seasonal. It was malty, hoppy and spicy and worked all of those flavors together nicely. Nice beer for the style and season.

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Winter Storm Imperial ESB from Heavy Seas Beer
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,023 ratings.
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