Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
85
very good
590 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
hsbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by farHillsBrewer on 03-12-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
590
Ratings:
1,095
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
16.4%
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
109
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 590 | Ratings: 1,095
Photo of auroracrisis
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a Three Floyds pint glass, this is best before 11/2011

A clear golden straw hue with a small head that rests on top, then transitions into a collar of foam around the edges of the glass that further diminishes as the beverage is drank down. Lively carbonation can be seen as bubbles rapidly rise to the head.

Bitter hops with butterscotch sweetness. Some lightly toasted grains. Not much more beyond that initial hop bite and sweetness, to be honest. However, it isn't a dull smell but I guess it can be described as some what one dimensional.

That butterscotch sweetness up front with a touch of bitterness. Clean, crisp lighter toasted grain presence as well. Not much bitterness in this but a hint at it on the finish.

Sticky yet clean, medium body with active carbonation. Feels nice and full on the tongue.

A sweeter American imperial lager with emphasis on the butterscotch notes and grain flavors. Not a bad beer by any means and something I may revisit or recommend to someone. Glad I tried it.

 1,017 characters

Photo of Crossmd
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 45degrees into a shaker pint.

Pours a rich lucid gold with a hint of amber, an impressive 2.5 finger head is coaxed after a good pour

Smell is almost non existent. Some light breads though.

Taste is a smooth almost lush concoction of malts. Just a hit of hops try to clean it up, but they're overtaken by a long malty finish.
Not clean, crisp, but has a good sense of what it's trying to do.

Mouthfeel consists of an oily weight that is just slightly under-effervescent. Coats the mouth.

Overall, a round, fleshy offering with a defined personality in a style that is notably generic. More than a pilsner, at the cost of some drinkability, but with a substantial flavor profile not often found in American pilsners.

88.

 732 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear yellow pour with a big white head. Retention and lacing are very good.

S: Very hoppy for a pilsner, barley and the maltiness I would expect are present, but take a backseat to a nice hoppiness.

T: To me, this tastes like a mix between a pale ale and a pilsner. The hops take the front seat, but are nice and light. As with a pale ale, the maltiness comes in the background and hold the beer together, but here the malts are big and make their presence known. Seems to bring out the best of both worlds.

MF: Carbonated well, extremely drinkable, clean finish, smooth to drink.

O: Great beer to go with dinner or on a hot day. Drinkable, but with a nice ABV. A very nice offering.

 691 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is the #16 American Double / Imperial Pilsner on the best of styles list on beeradvocate.com served in a snifter.

Beer is amber and clear with a lazy white head of small bubbles. some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly malty, mildly yeasty.

Beer is medium bodied, sweet up front, nice finish, moderately dry but heavy, mild bitterness. I actually really like this beer and have had it on several occasions. I was honestly shocked that I had not reviewed it previously. One of the better heavy seas offerings I've had. I'd have it again.

 578 characters

Photo of cooncat
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured at fridge temp into a std. shaker pint glass. A hard pour brings the head to the top of the glass. Ivory in color, the head is not particularly long lasting, but does leave splotches of lacing around. The beer itself is way darker than a pilsner would be ... more of an old orange gold .. what you might expect the color of a pale ale to be.

The nose is quite unusual for a pilsner ... not classic at all. Actually smells like a pale ale. I guess the Amarillo hops will do that. There are supposed to be Saaz hops in here too, but they are buried by the Amarillo. Some hefty malt coming through the nose as well. Its more sweet and caramel like, unlike a pilsner, which would be more grainy.

Taste follows the nose, in that the Amarillo hops are to the fore. The caramel sweetness does a good job of balancing it out though. Still trying (and failing) to taste some Saaz hops in here. Mouthfeel is medium+, and while not quite chewy, it's substantial. Then again, when I think pilsner, I'm thinking light and crisp. This is definitely not light and crisp.

Overall, I do like the beer. Its just not anything like any pilsner I've ever had, and I've brewed some myself. The best 'imperial/double' pilsner I've ever had came from Sam Adams (Imperial Hallertau Pilsner), and compared to that standard, this would fail by a wide margin. Nevertheless, throwing away the style guidelines and just basing my liking of the beer by the way it tastes, I'd definitely give it 'two thumbs up', and recommend it. Just forget about the style and name, and enjoy the beer ... it is quite nice.

Na Zdravje!

 1,600 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass. Good to go till November 2011!

A very thick foamy head, white, with tiny bubbles for its shape. Very large cola like bubbles coming up from fourteen carat gold and crystal clear bubbles.

Nose is slight pepper, muted grass, and light pilsner like malt but also kind of alcohol sweet.

Taste is thick with some sweet like bread but also solvent like alcohol. Almost syrupy in texture and feel. Somewhat fusel like as well.

Overall it comes across as a bit of a boozy mess, without some crisp or more importantly fresh bread!!

 571 characters

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.

 876 characters

Photo of cneville
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a six pack, my second tried offering of the Heavy Seas.

Not going to spend a ton of time beating this beer to death--it's good, not great. The appearance is darker than I expected, with a quick falling 1 finger head. Taste--a little sweetness, some malt. Realyl just like a better pilsner. Tastes very light, especially for ABV, which is always a little dangerous.

I didn't love it. Would drink it if offered, but not one of my favorites. I'll stick to the Loose Cannon.

 479 characters

Photo of mocktm
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After being vastly disappointed by the first two offerings in the Heavy Seas variety pack, I'm on to the third of four beers. Hopefully this has a bit more "umph" to it.

Pours a dark, but transparent golden hue, a lot darker than other pilsners I've encountered, but I guess that's why this is a double. Little head from a moderate pour that fizzles down to nothing rapidly.

Nose is mostly grain and caramel malt with some faint citrus hop presence. I get a big whiff of alcohol as well. Better than most pilsners, although still kind of bland.

Flavors are clean, but just not that robust. The malts and floral hops mesh together well enough, but the end result isn't really all that spectacular. Slightly hoppy character with a very sweet caramel finish. Again, the alcohol content on this one is really apparent both in the nose and on the palate.

Pleasant mouthfeel, medium bodied with low carbonation. Maybe it was just this bottle, but its definitely a bit flat. Finishes semi-dry.

Overall, I didn't hate it, but I would never really be inclined to buy it ever again. Really disappointed in this variety pack.

 1,119 characters

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.

 292 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A- Poured a clear copper color with a two finger fluffy head with tons of visible streaming carbonation. Leaves lots of lacing.

S- Citrus, noble hops, caramel, and floral

T- Caramel, noble hops, spice, floral, and some citrus

M- Smooth, crisp, nice prickly carbonation, and refreshing

O- A very balanced beer, some bitterness and sweetness, nothing extreme.

 407 characters

Photo of zoso1967
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small Craft Warning pours a rich, deep golden color and is nice and clear. The head is beige colored and has great retention and nice lacing as well.

The aroma is a nice mix of pilsner malt, grassy, floral and slightly spicy hops and just a touch of caramel. Some alcohol is appreciated in the nose, especially as it moves closer to room temperature. It is far from hot smelling though.

The flavor is similar to the aroma except that, unfortunately, I lose some of the hops in the maltiness. Pale malt is the predominant flavor and it is a nice clean malt character at that. The hops, though not as up front, are pleasant with a grassy and floral character that fits well with the malt backbone. Near the end of the sips a slight Saaz spice comes into focus that makes the residual flavors after swallowing quite pleasant. The bitterness is just high enough to balance out the malt bill.

The body is pretty squarely medium and has a nice smoothness to it that I almost wish was a bit livelier for this style of beer. The finish is also a tad on the sweet size. Uber pils are bound to be a bit sweeter than a normal pils, but this one seems a bit high even given its higher gravity.

Overall this was a pretty run of the mill version of the style. It tastes good and drinks easily, but it is not as exciting as a lot of other big pilsners. Not one to seek out again, especially with Short’s recently releasing their Imperial Spruce Pilsner.

 1,445 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Imperial pilsner, eh? Yeah America!

A- Brilliantly clear golden color, maybe a slight copper tinge as well. Resilient white head composed of refined small bubbles as a fair amount of lacing can be seen against the glass.

S- Malt aroma is fairly high with spicy noble hops coming through as well. Slight grainy character noticeable through the malt, but the smell is mostly distributed between the malt and noble hops with an emphasis on the malt.

T- Malt sweetness comes through prominently at the beginning as it features a small amount of a toasted character. The middle of the beer progresses in hop character as a slight bitterness arrives as well as a floral hop flavor that is mostly likely the result of nobel hop additions. The hop bitterness and flavor linger into the finish as the bitterness continues into the aftertaste. The end of the beer also ushers in a noticeable alcohol taste although it isn't overpowering or overbearing, but still there.

M- Medium full body, bigger than I would expect in general.

O- Not a bad pilsner, especially with the 7+% alcohol bill. I do think it would help the overall profile to lower the strength of the beer slightly down to bring out more of the complexity, but that is just me.

 1,236 characters

Photo of Trambo
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into 12oz. pilsner glass, clear body and color is a deep golden, almost coppery color with a 1 finger tan/off-white head. Minimal lacing on glass as head quickly subsides to small ring.

S - Caramel, malty and a dank pils smell.

T - Initially a sweet malt breadiness, maybe a touch of honey, then the hops bite arrives. Finishes slightly sweet. No alcohol bite at all, I was expecting it with the ABV, but hides very well.

M - Very little carbonation, surprisingly delicate for a pils, but not watery at all.

O - Not bad. Clipper City generally makes beers that I enjoy, and this one doesn't disappoint. While I feel it strays a bit from the true pilsners in appearance & taste, it's a solid offering and pretty enjoyable.

 736 characters

Photo of Buggies
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear yellow with an orange hue. Very minimal head. Aromas of light grain and slight fruitiness.

This things tastes good to me. A little too high ABV for a session, so be careful you will get in trouble. Slightly sweet with light grains coming through. The subdued fruitiness is also there which I love. Also a slight bitter finish which cuts things off to a slightly dry finish.

I could sit and drink these all night.

 433 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer pops when opened with a large amount of CO2 fog rising over the lip of the bottle followed by just a minor gush of foam. This bottle is about 3 years old.
Appearance hurts a bit due to minor gushing.

The beer pours clear copper hue with fizzy eggshell white head that foams heavy out of the bottle but recedes gradually to a creamy layer of .5 cm that seems to stick around throughout sampling. Very tight and clingy lattice on the glass from start to finish on this tasting.
Aroma is grassy and earthy hops with just a bit of grainy malt a little subdued but decent enough on the nose, could have faded over time in the cellar.
First sip reveals a soft creamy texture with mild rolling carbonation. The flavor is grainy malt with a bit of earthy hops to balance. Not a hop bomb or super malty nicely balanced if a bit mild. Perhaps the flavor has faded a bit with time on this one? The beer is enjoyable and VERY drinkable, I dont find the alcohol anywhere as I drink and am glad I aged one of these bottles in the cellar. Almost tastes like a well crafted english mild with the extra time in the cellar. A tasty brew.

 1,185 characters

Photo of KingRamer
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interestingly strong yet easily drinkable, a nice style of Pilsner on the harder side, would go great with a burger and fries, most impressive characteristic is the ridiculously noticeable smell that came off slowly just after the pour with the carbonation, you could accidently loose track of how much you've had, lacked any other flavors other than the hops, could be just a matter of style preference

 403 characters

Photo of Rschis16
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange-yellow color with a nice white head and plenty of retention/lacing. Smells like some mild citrus hops and sweet pineapple maybe, or something else fruity. Flowery maybe?

Very interesting for a pilsner, or imperial pilsner rather, which is new to me. It's hoppy and on the bitter side for a pilsner but also light and sweet. Both ends of that spectrum play nicely off each other to create a fairly refreshing beer that's higher in alcohol. The 7.25 ABV is barely felt in the mouthfeel or taste, which I would imagine would be a tough thing to do in a pilsner. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean, but creamy and smooth too. This puts the drinkability through the roof.

It's a different variation a style that can actually be very complex when done the right way, even though it gets a bad rap for being an easy-to-drink style. Somewhat impressive and I'm glad I picked this up.

 887 characters

Photo of Shaw
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper in color with a big white head that reduces to a ring in my glass.

Malty and lightly fruity aroma with a tea-like hop note.

Sweet malt flavors are almost fruity, with a nice dry noble hop bitterness.

Nice glassy body, very smooth.

Overall this is a pretty good brew. I'd like a bit more hop presence, but that's just me.

 345 characters

Photo of bubseymour
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is spicy at the finish and the alcohol definitely is noticeable for a Pilsner. Its not bitter and actually an easy drinker. It has a pleasant fruity/hoppy smell similiar the their IPS3 but not as pronounced. This is the first imperial pils I've tried. I think I may prefer regular pils.

 296 characters

Photo of FattyJLE
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nearly clear amber color with a thin white head and minimal lacing.

S - Bready malts. Crisp with a touch of pepper and very slight hint of peeled white grapes.

T - Malty and clean with a slight sweetness up front, followed by a hard hitting earthy and spicy hop bitterness. The 7% alcohol is masked remarkably well but does come through pleasantly on the back end as the beer warms. This gives way to an earthy hop bitterness that only lingers for a moment.

M - Excellent body for a pils with moderate carbonation and a satisfying mouthfeel.

O - A quality pilsner that goes down smooth. Nothing extraordinary here, just a solid brew from the good people of Baltimore, Hon.

 728 characters

Photo of drtth
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear bright copper/bronze color with a ¼” ivory head that soon recedes leaving scattered areas of lacing.

Smell: The aroma has a nice combination of hops and malt with some grassy and citric notes and a touch of bready character.

Taste: The flavors are much as predicted from the nose, there is the bready malt and some citric and grassy/herbal hops but little or no alcohol showing.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the full-bodied side of medium with moderated carbonation. The finish is medium length, begins in light sweetness and tapers off into a dry bitterness that slowly fades.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I thought this was an enjoyable enough beer that I’d be happy to have again. Sipping my way through this was fine. That said I’ll not go out of my way to find this again nor will it go on my shopping list. There are other, regular pils style beers I enjoy more. My overall impression was that its well made but on the ordinary side and so nothing here to write home about.

 1,136 characters

Photo of Kromes
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear orange/yellow color with a nice white head.

S: The is a dank herbal hop smell coming off the beer, but it is not strong. That's about it.

T: A very sweet malt flavor with a good dose of herbal hop. A little alcohol burn and bitterness in the finish.

M: Heavy, smooth and thick with low carbonation.

O: Pretty good. Definitely a sipper. Might be a little too sweet, but that's what you would expect out of a double.

 435 characters

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.

 546 characters

Photo of DannyDan
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a golden orange with a thin white head that quickly disappears. It has little retention, not much lacing and not much carbonation. The smell is some citrus, sweet malts and a little biscuit. The taste starts out with some earthy hops followed by some citrus with a hint of honey and finishes off with some grassy hops. There also seems to be some sweet malts mixed in and the beer has a sweet taste to it. The alcohol seems to be well hidden as I can't even taste the alcohol. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth and very easy drinking. This is not a bad beer to drink whenever you feel like an easy drinking relaxing beer that tastes pretty good.

 657 characters

Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Über Pils) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.78 out of 5 based on 1,095 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe