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

very good
521 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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Reviews: 521 | Ratings: 1,022
Photo of Onenote81
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep ruby with barely any amount of head. Little spotty lacing. Smells of citrus and malt. Some slight alcohol scent wafting out.

Taste of alcohol and some citrus notes. Deep bitter aftertaste. Some licorice and dark fruit flavors. Gets better as it warms. Not too bad. Moutfeel is nice and crisp due to a decent amount of carbonation. Not a bad ESB. But wouldn't drink a ton of these due to the ABV.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
3.14/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- pretty beer...dark orangish brown with some red mixed in. decently clear, fun to look at.

s- not much here. Some hops, some malt, but overall, nothing great with the smell

t- decent maltiness with a some hop finish. Heavier alcohol is definately noticeable with a slight metallic flavor

m- not bad, but not great either. A little thin for me, considering it's a winter beer

d- Easy to drink, with mellow flavors. This beer goes down easy, even though it may be lacking in some other catagories

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Photo of corby112
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, slightly hazy golden amber/chestnut brown color with a thin fizzy yellow head that quickly fades. Not much in the way of lacing.

Bland aroma with some slightly roasted malt notes, subtle hops and sweet alcohol.

Nicely balanced medium body with some caramel malt and hazelnut countering a bitter earthy hop presence. The hop bitterness is pretty tame and not too overpowering but lasts throughout. The ABV is pretty well masked with only some slight alcohol warmth.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Allagash chalice.
Its color is a golden amber with a thick white head. The head dissipates but does leave an nice lace on the glass as the glass empties.

The aroma is hard to place it is a mix of crystal malt and perhaps biscuit. The aroma together seems almost off for an ESB, not to say that it isn't pleasant a slight almost alcohol comes in the end.

The mouth begins with a large amount of carbonation on the tongue, and top of the mouth. Flavors of a caramel brown and a roasted porter come together to make this ESB. The end is dry and a slight alcohol finish mixed with a slight out of place hop bitter probably to make it more "American".

Overall not a bad ESB but definitely not the best. I bet most would like it but i like a little more of an English style

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Photo of RickS95
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Almost no head and what's there dissipates quickly. Dark amber in color, looks filtered, but a little cloudy at the same time.

Malt and hops in the nose. Almost creamy mouthfeel.

Taste wasn't that impressive...mostly hoppy bitter and alcohol, which warms you right up at 7.5%.

The finish is nothing but the warming alcohol. It gets my attention like I just took a shot of something harsh. Not the strongest in terms of alcohol I've ever had, but it tasted like it.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours burnt reddish-orange, nice foamy head that leaves a lacing.

Smells well balanced, some bready malt followed by a tad of piney hops. Very nice.

Taste follows, some very good balance to be found in this brew. The malt is good, caramel. A bit more wet than the smell would indicate, at least. Some sweetness, a little bit of a brown sugar twinge. The finish is hoppy, and a bit sticky.

Mouthfeel is good. It's medium-bodied, smooth finish, but decently thick. Very satisfying.

This is a pretty good brew, I'd recommend it for sure.

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Photo of RoBotGod
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
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 Coorskid33
3.19/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appears~ Pours an amber red with a slight orange to it. Small head with minimal retention and lacing. Clear and clean in appearance.

Smells~ Malty and hoppy. I didn't know this beer was on sterioids until I smelled it. Bottle read 7.5 %. It was pleasant overall.

Taste~ wow, alcohol and malt flavors are strong all the way through. Initial hops gives way to a bullish alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel~ Thin and smooth with good carbonation.

Drinkability~ Fair. I guess good for what it is, but not my idea of a good winter brew. Probably won't have another but worth the try and experience of having this type of beer.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Summer time winter storm? Pours a darker copper color with some minor haze but still clear. A good pour leaves ample head but does quickly dissipate over time. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is has more of a winter warmer aroma than an ESB. Some sweeter malty aromas up front with noticeable bready and caramel notes. There are some very noticeable spice notes as well, with a touch a cinnamon, pepper and figs. Some honey/molasses. Noticeable yeasty notes and some solvent character. Some herbal hop aroma with some minor oxidation.

The taste is similar. The malt comes out sweet with more caramel and spice notes. The some minor bready with a hint of metallic that is a bit off. Emphasis a more peppery taste. The hops are one dimensional with a strong bitterness with some bite. Leaves the beer too sweet. The alcohol is more noticeable as is the oxidation/card board notes. There is a light woody, vanilla in the end but hard to pick out from the sweetness.

The body is moderate full but hard to pick out from the sweet finish. Overall this is too much for an ESB and with the spice characteristics I can't see how this is an ESB.

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Photo of GrizzlyBrew
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - rich amber, brilliantly clear, a whitish head that disappeared almost immediately

S - metallic/minerally character (reminds me of Bombardier, but a little too prominent), some British yeast characters

T - low bitterness with a semi-sweet malt character coating the palate and then a sharp turn towards toffee at the end of the sip; an unexpected twist. That dark, dry caramelized finish is nice, but comes a little too late and fades too quickly. There is also a alcohol sweetness coming through (not heat, but sweet).

M - fine carbonation at a moderate level, but still extremely smooth overall

O - A little too disjointed for me. Some nice characteristics, but they fail to play nicely together and leave me searching too hard for the highlights.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was dark orange, and decent looking. Smelled like nothing and tasted weird. I guess I don’t understand the point of an imperial ESB, why not just make a good ESB? Why does everything have to be "Imperial"? It tasted alcoholic and sweet. This beer was not my bag.

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Photo of Philabeerphia
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The ESB is a style I appreciate but often overlook. Glad to have this in front of me. 12oz into a snifter. Hazed amber and ruby body, the khaki head looks painted on. I like my ESBs a shade darker and with a bit more action up top.

The Winter Storm gives up round malty notes of shortbread that elongates into some nuttiness and finally sharpens into a sugared grapefruit blend of caramel and hops.

Giving this a shot on the tongue. Sharp carbonation at the start is a plus...taste starts with a honey and caramel maltiness. Thin on the tongue... A citric acidity shows up at some point then goes back into hiding. A nice, slight touch of dark fruit appears towards the balance. Ends with a potent but long TOASTED CARAMEL note on the tongue... This is the dominant taste here overall. Hints of bitterness pool in the corners of my mouth. A bit of alcohol present at the top of the throat. This beer is too nondescript to really impress. A solid brew, but lacking bright or deep notes. One saving grace is the strong carbonation. The activity on the tongue enhances the beer's bitter character and impedes the toasted malts from becoming cloying. In light of this beers shortcomings, at 7.5% ABV, it is not a beer I would choose to drink often...

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Photo of chefhatt
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I forgot about this one, when I poured this beer it has a light reddish color body with a cc full 2"white head. The was of dark fruits and malt. The taste has some dark fruit notes and caramel to it. The malt comes in on the tail end. The mouthfeel is ok and overall it is ok beer, just not my style.

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Photo of JimKal
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. Pours a dark amber with a tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lacing behind. It is a bit on the boozy side for an ESB and has a strong caramel aftertaste that just doesn't work for me.

 251 characters

Photo of RobH
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle

I've taken to the ESB style lately so I went into this one with high anticipation.

It came up short for me compared with Anderson Valley ESB, Redhook ESB, and others.

In terms of delivering on aroma and taste this one seemed as though it is about 2/5 to 3/5 of the above mentioned beers.


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Photo of SilentSabre
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. Bottle part of the "Clipper City Sunken Sampler 12pk" $16,99
This looked fantastic, but everything else was rather average. Poured a brown chestnut colour with a nice looking soapy head with lots of froth and plenty of nice sticky lacing. Nice. I felt the smell was rather average, quite honestly. Well balanced with a malty presence, but dominated by hops. I would assume this to be a Winter Warmer, but it is indicated here as an ESB. I feel if this *is* in fact an ESB, they did a decent job at keeping with the style. Plenty of malt in the taste, but a nice, bitter, hoppy finish. Not an amazing concoction, but it certainly wasn't a bad ale.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a pleasant caramel amber pour, the thin head does well to maintain a solid but thin cover. Streaky columns of lace decorate one side of the glass.

Aroma - some light caramel and sweet malty notes, but on the lighter side as a whole.

Taste - nice biscuity/caramel maltiness up front, decent toastiness to the grain. The hops are piny, floral, and a touch soapy but it works quite well. The bitterest ESB I can recall, almost medicinal. Tastes more pale ale than ESB, but I like it whatever it is. The swallow and aftertaste go dry and grapefruity. Ends with a last hit of hops, slightly medicinal now.

Mouthfeel - smooth, good body, fairly crisp.

Drinkability - not quite as sessionable as I'd like. I could enjoy more but would prefer a less hoppy ESB for a session.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a brownish orange with medium off-white head and some lacing. Nose was very hard to detect and the mouthfeel was slightly on the thin side. Taste tried to bring out some caramel hints, as well as a touch of hoppy fruit, but didn't exceed well. At 7.3% abv, I would have expected either a whiff or taste of alcohol, but got neither. Not surprisingly, finish was somewhat on the short and watery side. Have realoly enjoyed the others I've had from Clipper City...this one just missed the mark slightly.

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Photo of binkman
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - I like head. This one had a decent quarter inch or so, but it didnt last. Hence the less than 4.0 rating. Otherwise, its a very attractive amber orange.

S - I have a cold. Not much came through it all. Not fair, I know. I'll update it later when the nose is working a little better.

T - So this might suffer from the cold, too. It tastes rather metallic, almost coppery. Coming through the metalness is a burnt kind of caramel. Very alcoholic. Really fits Baltimore pretty well.

M - Very carbonated but its not a bad thing, takes your mind off the metal. Finishes very clean and dry.

D - Don't drink it with anything salty, it tends to highlight the boozy character and undercut the more subtle hopsy flavor. That being said its just too metallic for more than a few. Luckily as an ESB you won't need more than a few.

Overall it's decent brew and I'll drink it again. ESBs aren't my favorite style but this one's decent. Nice company for a winter night.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The freshness date was not notched. Poured amber in color with a filmy head. Fairly high carbonation. The aroma is hops. The taste is strong in the hops, but brings to mind cleaning supplies. The mouthfeel is overly carbonated and the alcoho burn is almost uncomfortably high. I think after a couple of these beers my taste buds will be shot.

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Photo of Higravity
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice light orange amber color with a tight white head. Smells of pine and citrus with a underlying malt backbone. It is a touch more fruity than I would have thought from the smell and the alcohol jumps out more than I remember it. Still very piney and a decent balanced IPA. Good mouthfeel and a nice mix between a sipper and a pounder. There are better DIPA's out there like the Clipper City Loose Cannon.

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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.

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Photo of iceball585
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Reddish copper color, semi-clear, half finger thick fluffy head that lowered to a thin cover

S- Citrus (mostly lemons), pale malts, flowery hops, slightly sweet

T- Bitter hops, grapefruit, light malts, floral, honey, grass, earthy

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, bitter, oily finish

D- Worth trying

This is definatly not an instant classic in my eyes but still good none the less. The hops flavor is too overpowering, in fact thats about all you taste.

 464 characters

Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heavy Seas Category 5 Winter Storm
12 oz. brown bottle

Poured into a snifter. Pours a light mahogany color, with an off-white/slightly tan head, that leaves decent lacing. Sweet aroma of prunes, figs and molasses. Tons of flavor up front, sweet immediately then the hops take over for the finish. Tastes of dried fruits with a floral garden finish. Warm and thick mouthfeel, mild carbonation. Very smooth for a 7.5% imperial ESB.

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Photo of FireEmt37
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark amber color, little head, nice lacing

S-toasty and earthy aromas come through nicely

T- stong, bitter hop flavor, slight metallic taste also

M- smooth with a little carbonation, a little heavy

D- a decent beer if you like strong a strong malt/hop beer.

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Heavy Seas - Winter Storm ("Category 5" Ale) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,022 ratings.
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