Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Über Pils) | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Arguably our most well-balanced beer, Small Craft Warning seems at once hop-forward and malt-forward; our brewers debate over which flavor force prevails in the beer. Small Craft exemplifies a robust pilsner - it's crisp, well-carbonated, and slightly sweet. The beer is characterized by a firm malt backbone and a pronounced hop character. A fine aroma, from an array of hops, completes this quaffable beer.

Added by farHillsBrewer on 03-12-2004

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Reviews: 590 | Ratings: 1,096
Photo of Noah_
1.12/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I pulled this beer out of a cooler at a party a few weeks ago, and it was god awful. It smelled like a blend of herbal and red tea, and the taste... it was like drinking concentrated sugar water with an assortment of preteen girl perfumes dumped in, and the taste would NOT leave my mouth despite the fact that I immediately spat it out.

I assume that this was some kind of horrible factory error because nobody else is complaining about it, but I am leaving this review here for anyone else who has this horrible experience.

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Photo of philipquarles
2.09/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle. Pours a clear(ish) orangey-gold with a small white head. A bit of lacing left behind. Smells of pale pils malt, along with some sweet graininess reminiscent of a macro-lager. Hops are there for sure, but nothing remotely pronounced. Strong malty taste, both pale and caramel, with a slight bit of grassiness. Hard to pick anything good out of this one. Tastes like one of the macro-lagers on steroids--don't know how they pull this off without all of the adjuncts. Incredibly sweet. Full, syrupy body that doesn't come close to matching the style. This is fucking terrible. In making a "double pils" these guys have neglected everything that makes a pils good and paid strict attention to making it high ABV. Drain poured. I'd rather drink St Ides.

The fact that this is rated as highly as it is makes me lose faith in BA. Just more of the same.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.25/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, best by June 2010.

Pours pale golden amber with a very small fizzy white head that quickly turns to a small ring, but does manage to leave some spots of lacing.

Aroma is grassy, floral, a hint of orange or lemon peel, bread, yeast, takes some coaxing to get a lot out of the aroma on this one.

Flavor is a fair amount of caramel malt up front, somewhat sweet, some earthy, floral hops, and the alcohol is certainly there in force, the finish on this really bothered me, best I can equate it to is the cheap high-gravity stuff like Steel Reserve, etc, but with a bit more hops.

Mouthfeel is weird, starts off quite watery, but ends up finishing a little syrupy, medium carbonation.

No Sir, I don't like it.

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Photo of Cresant
2.26/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured this 12 oz. into a pilsner glass. Deep golden clear body. Two fingers of head faded rather quickly.

Smell was primarily of alcohol. Malty sweetness and mild graininess.

Taste was sweet as well. Where are the hops? Unbalanced and lacking any noble hops signature. Corn husks and caramel. Not crisp or refreshing. Not what I expected of a double pilsner.

Mouthfeel was syrupy and rather heavy.

I will not drink this one again.

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Photo of Dalem
2.36/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Colorwise it's a bit more orange than any other pilsner I've seen. Looks more like malt liquor (first time mentioned) actually. The slight head vanished fast and a very thin lacing that leaves from the side of the glass seconds after each tip. It smells of fresh mowed lawn and sugary malt. It's a smell that takes me back to my younger years of buying malt liquor (there it is again) 40's because they were more bang for the buck. The thing is though that while there is one day every summer where I go and visit my old friend Mickey Big Mouth I wasn't planning on today being that day. Maybe it's because of the higher alcohol content but the taste reminds me of malt liquor (3rd reference now) too more than it does of a proper pilsner. Metallic and too sweet like a corn syrup quality. It tastes like everything was overcooked turning the entire presentation into a flavor lacking mush. There is a bit of a hop flavor in the finish but the beer lacks complexities and particular characters to get excited about it.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.38/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours an amber color. The head is a one finger off-white shade with a nice, creamy texture. While the retention isn't the best, it does leave some lacing behind on the glass.

S: It's kind of hard to decide what's in the aroma. Okay, I pick up some floral hops, and maybe some herbs, as well. Oh, and some nondescript citrus tones. The malts in particular are too strange for me to like this aroma. A shame.

T: If the aroma was somewhat indecipherable, then the flavor is almost totally indecipherable. I get wisps of defined notes - herbs, grass, citrus, ginger, malt - in random places, but nothing that pops out. This beer is messy and, frankly, not very good. It's also metallic.

M: Full and creamy, yet not too sweet. Normally, I'd enjoy that, but since I don't like the flavor, it's hard to approve of the mouthfeel, either. Carbonation could be a little stronger.

O: Meh. Every once in a while sipping this, I'll think "hey, it's a decent brew", and then the next sip later, I go back to think "meh, don't like this very much". And there are even some sips where I consider a drainpour. Luckily, I toughed this one out - and I can safely say this is the only one I'll tough out.

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Photo of SierraFlight
2.42/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Purchase by December 2013. It's July of '14. Uh, oh. 12oz bottle poured into stange. Lovely auburn color with thin white head that quickly fades. No lacing. Aroma indicates oxidation, but caramel malt comes through. Flavor is pleasantly malty, however tinny oxidation is hard to get over. Medium body, creamy texture, lower carbonation, semi-dry finish. Drank a quarter and then drain poured, but would definitely give a fresh one a shot.

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Photo of nrpellegrini
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle poured to pint glass.

A: clear golden orange, 1 finger head
S: earthy, slightly hoppy
T: starts hoppy, sweetness follows, bitter earthy hoppy taste ends, and leaves sore aftertaste
M: bitter zing, but smooths out with bland aftertaste
D: Didn't want more than 1

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Photo of JDV
2.46/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

My apologies if I got this in trade, as I forgot it's source.
Pours rich golden white a medium sized whitish head. Smell is lemon, lager like malt and light alcohol. Together comes across fresh, bright and somewhat inviting. Taste is a bit dusty, chalky and lightly alcoholic without the burn, and with lager like malty characteristics and orange rind flavor. Flavorful with strong orange rind character and light malt. Very mild hop character. Citrusy, yet lager like. Definitely unique, but not particularly great, with some alcohol presence, which is a bit obtrusive at 7%.

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2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Friend gave me a mixed 12-pack for Christmas. Trying this Uber Pils first. Love pirate history so the label design is appealing. Light color, Pils smell, hoppish flavor hits the roof of your mouth. Nothing really interesting or remarkable here. Easy drinking! 7.0% ABV...enjoy!

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Photo of robertmarsh
2.62/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was my first Imperial Pilsner and I'm just not a fan of something this light. I keep trying different variations and nothing has jumped out at me yet. Nice aroma after the pour but thats where this beer loses me. The flavor isn't there for me. Need something thicker with more substance.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner glass.

Appearance: Deep straw color with a medium sized white head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves a one-finger lace.

Smell: Straw and grass, with corn aromas. Smells like an adjunct beer,actually.

Taste: Tastes of grassy hops and sweet alcohol. Not a whole lot to it.

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, with low carbonation and refreshing.

Drinkability: For the ABV, it's certainly drinkable, but there isn't much to set this apart from the macro beers. This one disappointed me.

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Photo of Lothar666
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy, semi-translucent golden yellow body atop which was set a foamy single finger bone white head. This took a minute or two to receed and left a sticky lacing on the rim of my pint glass.

S- When I first opened the bottle I could smell pungent malts and yeast from over a foot away. This became stronger as I poured the beer into a glass. Though very strong, the smell is not at all complex and is frighteningly reminiscent of a beefed up version of an American Macro-Lager.

T- A bit of barley malt, a tiny bit of hop bitterness in the finish, and little else. Again not overly complex, and the aftertaste was rather unpleasant. I dread to think what this would taste like if I allowed it to warm.

M- Dry, crisp, and very light bodied. Could be considered almost refreshing if not for the bland and unremarkable flavor.

D- Very easy to drink due to the light body, and the alcohol is admittedly disguised very well. I could easily drink several of these in a session if my only goal was to catch a buzz, though I couldn't see myself wanting to what with the mediocre flavor. For the same price point I would much prefer to grab a Dogfish Indian Brown Ale or 60 Minute IPA, or even a good old Sam Adams. I will not be getting this one again.

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Photo of seanwhite
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: golden color with a small head that fades to lacing.

S: Mild aroma of fresh grain with a bit of sweet/spice.

T: Nice malty sweetness with a subtle bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, smooth with a nice balance. The 7.25% ABV is well hidden

O: An easy drinker to kick back with. A good pilsner with a bit of a kick.

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Photo of shirfan
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark gold, little head to speak of.

Malty, slightly metallic aroma.

Taste is surprisingly off. Middle of the road dextrinous malt is supported by next to nothing. I was expecting a big, grassy, spicy saaz hoppy beer and got some mildly chewy, moderately alcoholic malt extract.

This is a "double" pilsner? Standard versions of Warsteiner or Pilsner Urquell have more flavor. A big let-down.

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Photo of Knockalara
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice golden-orange color with a very faint head and little to no lacing.

S: Not much here. Some alcohol, grass, and citrus.

T: A fine start, then there's a cloying malt and alcohol taste with some notes of honey. A decent light hop finish though.

M: Once I get over the sweetness of the middle, it finishes pretty dry. Could use some more carbonation though.

O: I believe this is my first imperial pilsner and I'm not impressed. I'll have to try a different one. Perhaps they're just not my thing.

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Photo of Twerknasty
2.74/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have to pull this one out of my ass, but the color looks EXACTLY like Bell's Oberon, not the label but their poster! Smells like pine resin, moldy wood, tuna (so true, you dingdongs) and a little bit of grapefruit. Well, as you can think this beer is going downhill, but the palate does fend a little better. Ill throw some good in, and follow it with some more atrocities. Good entry, showing some hops that aren't overpowering at all! A little bit of lemon peel, and a little orange. After that, it turns into a very wavy like palate of off flavors that don't belong in a beer. I like to find major flaws in beers, and i rarely do- yet this one flaws like a champion. A taste of old meat, what? You would think with very little hop/malt flavors that the alcohol would shine, yet I don't taste much alcohol what-so-ever. Doesn't that make you think a little as to why the hell don't i taste the alcohol with all these off flavors? TUNA

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

no bjcp for this style so im just going to shoot from my hip here.

smell is low floral hoppiness.

gold color. clear thin white head.

not alot of flavor, like at all. low malt flavor. low adjunct flavor. low hop flavor. and high alcohol flavor. im sorry but this be just reminds me of the stuff i used to drink out of a 40 oz bottle when i was 17. the flavor of the malts just do not hold up to the flavor of alcohol. in fact all the flavors combined do not balance out the flavor of alcohol.

medium low body. crisp finish, but the taste of adjunct lingers.

im not really sure what they were going for here. isnt "imperial pilsner" synonymous with "malt liquor?" in theory this beer should work, take twice as much pilsner malt for the same amount of water, add twice as much yeast, lager. but i dont know what went wrong for them. sorry. my judgement is pass on this one.

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Photo of jsdunlop
2.76/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Light amber with a full, frothy white head, good lacing.
S: Toasted grains and some light sweetness
T: Bit of alcohol to start out with, light malt with a toasted grain character gives way to a faint sweetness that is matched with grain husk and a bit of corn. Spicy hops finish up the sip which is washed down with a bit of a boozy alcohol burn and an adjunct-like sweetness.
M: Fairly light and dry, crisp and well carbonated
D: An easy drinker for such a high ABV, though this beer seems fairly plain and very out of touch with balance. Faint grains, adjunct sweetness and the boozy character just don't do it for me. Worth a try, but I won't be purchasing again.

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Photo of Hagbard
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in November 2005 (review was written in March '06), clearly labelled, nicely done. It pours a pale gold with good clarity and a fairly thick white head. A steady stream of carbonation makes its way to the top of the glass. The aroma is dominated by a maltiness with some grassy hops. The taste is dominated by a malt base and just has a touch of grassy hops. It has a sweetness to it that isn't balanced enough by a bitterness as a pilsner should. There is a very strange taste that asserts itself, but I can't tell if it's an odd hop flavor or if it's coming from the malt. Either way it obstructs the pilsner taste that should be there. The mouthfeel is a bit sticky and thick. The drinkability suffers due to the strange taste and a residual sweetness that builds up over the course of the glass. This was a pretty disappointing beer.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I poured this blah beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. This beer was just plain Jane. It was hoppy smelling and hoppy tasting. Way more than I like. To those that helped sample it they said it smelled like the ocean? The beer did pour a nice head I must admit but that was all that was nice. Beer also had a bit of a citrus note. I will not buy again.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.81/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle from beer of the month club. Pours deep clear orange with a small white head. Aroma is different. Some pale lager weirdness and a little bit of spiciness and fruit that I am not digging at all. Flavor is a bit fuller than a regular adjunct, dry corn and musty, dirty hay. Funky finish and a bit of light fruit. Light to medium mouthfeel and somewhat under-carbonated. Not my favorite, and I have yet to enjoy anything from Heavy Seas.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark, golden honey hue with a head just a touch off white. Full and creamy the head is a good half inch and holding strong.

S: Green grapes, fresh cut grass, white corn and a clean malty aroma.

T: Not as flavorfull as I thought it would be with the aroma it delivered. Very bland with a stark pilsner hop profile. Towards the end and aftertaste an alcoholic malt flavor surfaces, similar to a malt liquor. Metallic coin taste becomes displayed the warmer the beer gets.

M: Medium bodied with a decent carbonation but a tad prickly.

D: The aftertaste is sort of bugging me. I feel like it wasn't put together well, this isn't a flavor you strive for (in my opinion). I'll pass in the future.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
2.86/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy, golden color with small white head that sticks around. Decent lacing as well.

Some ripe, citrusy hop notes help break a relatively thick alcohol smell. Reminded me slightly of a Triple, of all things.

Bready / yeasty flavor greeted me upfront, and finished with what I can only describe as apricots soaked in a vodka. Also noticed black pepper as it warmed.

Had decent carbonation, and was fairly smooth. Alcohol left a film on the tongue though.

Didn't find this refreshing or very drinkable. I appreciate Clipper City going for a new angle here, but this seemed awfully far removed from the great pilsners of today.

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Photo of teromous
2.89/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Burnished gold color, thick and fluffy head with good retention and lacing. It is very transparent and good visible carbonation.

S: Not much smell, just a faint dank hop aroma and lager smell.

T: Very light in flavor, with sparse biscuit notes. Good bitterness, but underwhelming on flavor. Some yeast flavor.

M: Fairly clean. Light bitterness, and light bodied.

O: Overall I thought it was mediocre for an imperial pils. I would have liked a more pronounced malt character. The hops are spot on, and the appearance is nice. I guess I just expected more. I won't be drinking another, because I've had regular craft pilsners with better flavor.

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Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Über Pils) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,096 ratings.
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