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Winter Storm Imperial ESB | Heavy Seas Beer

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Winter Storm Imperial ESBWinter Storm Imperial ESB
Very Good
1,038 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: 1,038 |  Reviews: 525
Photo of JoeLacy
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of moodyxc9
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Ngntjp
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of twenteone
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of stewart124
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a thin white head.

Earthy aromas and slight floral notes.

Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body. Lots of caramel sweetness with a pleasing touch of biscuity goodness. The hops add a nice amount of noble hops and a spicy bitterness.

The bottle says imperial esb and I believe it has the aftertaste of an imperial ale. There is a bigger warming feeling in the aftertaste and stronger finish. Slightly piney bitterness left on the tongue along with a bready character.

Good drinkability and a nice change for a winter warmer.

 542 characters

Photo of chilidog
4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I read some other reviews as to if this beer hits its proper style, perhaps not so much a bitter, but man does it hit the spot.

For me it poured a full bodied rusty/copper with an impressive tan head that maintained and laced real well.

The aroma of roasted malts, slight hop and alcohol.

The taste had alittle of everything I like in a craft beer. It start off alittle malty sweet from toasted malts that pick up a creamy caramel. Hops come next to balance well and crisp up the beer. At the finish a smooth alcohol makes itself known by a slight warming of the chest and mouthfeel.

For me, one of the best winter beers i've had this year. It has alittle of everything I like in a quality, full bodied beer. Great job!!

 735 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Fatheads...was suggested to me and I really enjoyed this beer!

A: Pours a ruby red/brown color with a one finger off white tan head.

S: Not as much initially. Some sweet malt, alcohol with a twinge of hops.

T: I was not overly impressed with the smell, but the taste more than made up for it. Starts off with a good amount of bready and caramel malts. Finishes with a floral hop taste.

M: A good amount of carbonation for this medium body beer.

D: I really enjoyed this ESB, but for me, this style of beer I cannot have more than 2 in a sitting It is one of my favorite ESB's though that I have tried, though I have not tried many but I will.

 664 characters

Photo of oelergud
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper hued body with a slightly off-white rocky head with good retention and lace. Rich carbonation.
Floral up front with strong undertones of dry hops, very inviting.
Very pleasant floral and hop flavors washing over the tongue leaving a slick hop oil coating. Sweet and subdued malts punches through shortly before the aftertaste kicks in with almost puckering hops and delicious bitterness.
Full and solid mouthfeel. slick coating, enduring aftertaste and an alcohol induced warmth makes this a great winter brew.


 533 characters

Photo of WhitmansNiece
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of BigRizz62
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of NumberNone
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Satsuma
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MiScusi
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A special thanks to markgugs for throwing this beer in as an extra in our trade.

This pours an almost clear reddish-orange with a dirty white frothy head. Lacing is very good. The smell at first is very similar to Sierra Nevada pale ale with some piny and earthy hops coming through. With more time you get a big pale and caramel malt presence. At the first sip the hops hit pretty hard- again, earthy and a bit citrusy, fading into a caramel or melanoidin sweetness at the end. That starts to dominate as you get a bit numb to the hops. The general feeling is that this is a very tasty and easy drinking ESB. I've never had an imperial ESB, but this kicks up both flavors- the hops and malt- to something a bit more intense but yet still balances them very nicely. Towards the end of the glass you pretty much enjoy a more malty beer as the hop presence has lessened. The mouthfeel is slightly slick. This is a type of beer I could find myself having a few of and not getting tired of it.

 990 characters

Photo of Skabiski
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Roberto11232
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of maddogruss
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this from my buddy.

A: Pours a dark amber body with a small, off-white head with pretty nice retention and lacing.

S: A sweet, grapefruit, malty smell with some bitterness to it and slight, alcohol undertones.

T: A fairly sweet, slightly dry and bitter grapefruit taste with a mellow, slightly, warming alcohol aftertaste. A fairly malty beer that seemed pretty balance. Pretty nice taste overall.

M: A fairly smooth mouthfeel that felt nice on the palette.

D: A nice mouthfeel and taste combination makes this one very drinkable. Alcohol was warming, but not overbearing on the taste. A nice drinking beer overall.

 636 characters

Photo of Beeradelphia
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, deep copper color with a tan head the falls to just about nothing. Thin Spotty lace.

Picking up sweet caramel malts in the nose backed by an herbal hop aroma.

Taste is similar with a noticeable caramel malt base flavored with bitter hops. Does a good job of hiding the alcohol.

The beer is much fuller in the mouth than the appearance would lead you to believe. Also a bit biting.

Not bad at all. Easy enough to drink, I'd say a good solid brew.

 464 characters

Photo of BHansen214
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of rapidsequence
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, last of my six pack. Bought at a Total Wine in NoVA.

Appearance: Despite all 6 attempts, I can't even rough pour a decent head into this beer. I get a thin rim that rapidly dissappears. The beer is not flat, but there's no head (this is not my glass, its happened six times to this beer, and none to any other beers). Interestingly, it laces pretty nicely. The color is a nice, clear, dark amber.

Smell: Mmmm. Pretty hoppy. Dry grassy hops and some citrusy notes too. There's a little sweetish caramelly toastiness too. Thats a good smelling ESB.

Taste: Hoppy upfront with grassy, earthiness and a little grapefruity bite for just second in the middle. The finish is sweet and toasty with a little hint of fruit. After you swallow, there's another touch of bitterness in the finish. This is tasty and nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Its about right. Carbonation is lowish, but not low. Good.

Drinkability: I'm glad I bought this beer. Its a tasty, well balanced, easy drinking beer with a sneaky 7.5% abv. Good stuff.

 1,032 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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 ithinkimasofa
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of ToddGingerich
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Winter Storm Imperial ESB from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 1,038 ratings
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