Winter Storm Imperial ESB | Heavy Seas Beer

Winter Storm Imperial ESBWinter Storm Imperial ESB
1,027 Ratings
Winter Storm Imperial ESBWinter Storm Imperial ESB

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:
Formerly Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale)

Added by stirgy on 02-17-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,027 |  Reviews: 523
Photo of everlong353
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of redmaw
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Garlicjosh
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of mcolmsted67
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Too bitter at the back of my palate. Not an ale for my taste. All other aspects were very good. The aroma of the freshly opened bottle was very hearty and pleasant. At first the taste was nutty like most ales but the overwhelming bitterness was too much. Might be an ale to be paired with food... Probably not buy this product again.

 333 characters

Photo of aminobutyricacid
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Jesse13713
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by date in February

Appearance - Pours a clear caramel with a red hue. Slight transparent with no head and poor lacing.

Smell - Slight chocolate notes covered by barley malts. Not very bitter or hoppy smelling. Slight grassy hints.

Taste - Tastes like ice was melted to make the water used in this beer. It tastes crisp and purified. Slightly bitter with spice notes. The flavor is slightly hard to describe here. Quite a bitter alcoholic swallow.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - A slight crisp hot that still tastes like the water was melted from ice. I liked this beer a little more than I anticipated.

 608 characters

Photo of Rudgers73
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I don't really agree with this beer's classification. I think of it as a strong winter warmer. It has all of the characteristics of a winter warmer, just a percent or two more alcohol by volume.

Deep ruby red color, milky tan head that subsides after a minute or two into a small, blotchy dusting. Slight carbonation. The aroma is slightly malty with an overriding dirty/spicy hop affect. Piny hop resin and a very hidden chocolate malt smell. Overall I didn't like the taste of this beer. Its all big hops with very little balance. It leaves a parched, bitter feeling and it accumulates throughout the drink. Not my kind of beer.

 634 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Look what I found buried in the fridge! 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear chestnut color. There's about two fingers worth of pale yellow head, featuring a soft texture and good retention. As it fades, some lacing is left behind.

S: It an ESB. The malt profile here is quite nutty, with just a hint of chocolate; and even for an old bottle, there is a bit of a hoppy kiss. Earthy hops, in this case. There's also something funky I can't put my finger on. It doesn't really excite me, even for an ESB.

T: At first, the malts come through with some nutty, fruity, and even (occasionally chocolaty) notes. The malt backbone works decently considering I don't like the maltiness of this style. Before I know it, a wave of generic hop bitterness closes this one. The only hop flavor I really note is a touch of ginger. I actually don't mind this one having generic bitterness, because ESB. It's the jarring transition between the malt and the hops that gets me.

M: Creamy and soft, yet dry on the back end. It's pleasantly carbonated, as well. No real trouble with the mouthfeel - it's more of the flavors that support the feel that raises my indifference.

O: It's nice to have your expectations met. Before reviewing this, I thought "meh, ESB"; and after finishing this, I thought "meh, ESB." I didn't particularly enjoy this one, but that's due to my dislike of the style.

 1,402 characters

Photo of fishguyac
2.89/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Way to hoppy of a winter ale for my taste.

42 characters

Photo of InkedinRi
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

 198 characters

Photo of nhindian
2.91/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Delirium Noel snifter.

A - Pours a robust mahogany, almost deep ruby color, crystal clear with some streams of carbonation. Only garners about a finger's worth of head with alright retention. Lots of lacing spackles the glass, however.

S - Smell is sweet and malty up front with some caramel to it. Slight traces of bittering hops, but altogether not very aromatic.

T - Taste is a bit underwhelming. Malts are bready yet shortlived and give way to the more noticeable English hops in the profile really shine. As in the nose it's a quick one-two punch of malts and hops and then... a relatively long, bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium with moderately low carbonation. Thus, it gains a bit of smoothness and cream texture, but the bitter finish is a stark contrast.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The flavors, while there, are decent, but disappear much too quickly in lieu of the bitterness and overall, I would best describe this beer as relatively bland.

 991 characters

Photo of gordavidson
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- An amber brown, slightly cloudy beer with a thin white head that leaves moderate lacing as it slides down the side of the glass.

S- Carmely, roasty, and a little earthy. The alcohol is definitely noticeable here.

T- Earthy malts and booze with some hops. Sweet with just a little hint of cinnamon flavor. I am not enjoying how prevalent the alcohol is here at all.

M- Clean, but a little metallic. The carbonation is good.

D- Boozy and not really all that interesting to me. This is kind of rich but not all that complex.

 528 characters

Photo of danlib21
2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A little bland but not terrible.

32 characters

Photo of peabody
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a nice clear dark reddish brown and the suds are white and one finger thick. No lacing to speak of.
I smell hops and sugar and berries. Caramel and malt.
Taste is hoppy to bland. Not much going on with the palate.
Mouthfeel is a bit dirty but so subtle on the hops that you wonder if this is an IPA.
drinkability would be higher if this were a better tasting brew.

 378 characters

Photo of Csikic93
2.99/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Better on tap than out of the bottle. Pours a pretty light brown

64 characters

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of brokentee
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of robgage
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of MonicaC
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of CuriousMonk
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into dimpled mug. Poured a transparent honey brown/amber pour with creamy bubbly off-white head with sticky lacing and soft carbonation. Very sweet and fresh earthy hop aroma. Flavor is of a slow starting, but ultimately potent grapefruit and pine hop finish; the alcohol is well hidden. Medium bodied on the palate with a nice bitter drag; soft with the decent amount of carbonation.

 408 characters

Photo of Metz
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of animal69
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep orange copper color with a thick off white/ slightly yellow head with a small amount of lacing. Smells of caramel malts and a little floral and bitter hops. Tastes much the same. Tons of bitterness from the hops and a slight sweetness from the malts. A little alcohol. The beer is medium bodied and has a small amount of carbonation. Somewhat easy to drink.

 376 characters

Winter Storm Imperial ESB from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 1,027 ratings
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