Clipper City McHenry Lager | Heavy Seas Beer

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Clipper City McHenry LagerClipper City McHenry Lager
61 Ratings
Clipper City McHenry LagerClipper City McHenry Lager

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: American Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
All malt.
Now called "Heavy Seas Classic Lager".

Added by stirgy on 07-28-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 46
Reviews by droomyster:
Photo of droomyster
3.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear gold with a tiny white head. The most striking thing about its appearance is that it is completely, totally still. Not one single bubble of carbonation floating upward. Kinda freaks me out. Another bizarre quality is the aroma: clover honey, and absolutely nothing else. It's good (be assured), but a one note wonder. Tastes like clover honey, light malts, with faint hops expressing themselves ever so subtlely right at the very end. Clipper City makes several interesting and tasty beers, but this one seems to intentionally aim to be ordinary. Their "Heavy Seas" series, for instance, kicks it up a notch in the artisanal department. McHenry is not bad, it's just unimaginative.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
2.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 bottle with an impressive looking label that proclaims this an "Old Baltimore Style Beer".
It pours a clear, light gold body with a shortlived white head. No lacing.
Mouthfeel has a light medium body with moderate carbonation. A sticky sweetness is left on the palate.
Taste fails to impress. Adjunct malt sweetness permeates the character from start to finish. Hop bitterness is vague and subdued, and struggles to balance the adjuncty sweetness.
The label led me to believe that this one was a special rendition of a quality, historical ale. Very disappointed to read the reviews that confirmed my appraisal of this one as an adjunct lager. I would much rather have a Yuengling.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.53/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another sampler pack offering from the Clipper City Brewery. Unfortunately, a rather boring and uninspired ale.

Pours a clear amber color with a thick off-white head that laced the glass. Noticeable carbonation with malty aroma conveying a distict sweet smell. The flavor just wasn't there. Nothing to remember this beer by. I was hoping for more from this beer, but it simply fails to impress.

Don't rush out to buy a case of this.

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Photo of hreb
2.59/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Cold 12oz bottle poured into US size pint glass. Best before Dec 07. Beer pours pale yellow gold with a medium off-white head and lots of big bubbles. Not an impressive appearance; it looks pretty weak. Aroma is pretty mild and generally lagery, with definite but non-descript hops.

The first sip is crisp and refreshing. The cold works well for the beer. It's fizzy and without body to speak of. The mild lager aroma matches the bland taste of the beer. A refreshing lawnmower type beer maybe, but this is actually disappointing even based on the underwhelming appearance out of the bottle. About the only nice thing I can say about it is that it's not offensive in any way. It's a hot late summer noontime and I could probably drink quite a few of these, but why would I bother?

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.26/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A crystal clear, deep gold body is capped by a good-sized head of white foam. The retention is good and it leaves some nice lace as it slowly drops to a wide creamy collar and whispy surface covering. The nose is clean with a combination of lightly grainy malt, yeasty sulphur (as expected from a lager) and some slight hops. It's light bodied and crisp in the mouth, adding to it's refreshing nature. More hops come through in the flavor (although they're certainly far too low key to determine their variety - this is still intended as a mainstream beer); it's malt is more solid than might be expected; and it's got a fair amount of bitterness to it. It might compare to a Munich helles if the malt was richer; and although it doesn't have the strength or hop flavor required, it's reminiscent of a Dortmunder. Not a bad beer, although it leaves some dull, residual malt in the mouth that cuts down on its drinkability.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of bconsidine
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of HalfFull
3.03/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I review this as a mystery beer of sorts. Had a beer called Obrycki's Amber Lager in Terminal B at BWI the other day. The bartender assured me that this was brewed by Clipper City and I assumed it was the 'Phillips' Amber Ale, which, apparently, is a bit of a mystery in and of itself.

Anyway, this beer pours a clear golden straw in color with a thin and fleeting head into a chilled glass. The nose gives hints of yeasts typical of a good Euro. lager, yet I'm picking up Saaz, or other Noble hops as well, pointing me in the German Pils direction.

Malt structure is well represented, solid body and offering a good feel and drinkability.

Gold doesn't fit, nor does Pale Ale. Small Craft Warning might, but I wouldn't expect to see that at the airport. Bottom line, how do I review this and why would a brewery disguise things to such an extent that I could never effectively give them future business? Rather confusing I must say.

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Photo of bashiba
3.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is about 3 months past the best drink by date.
Poured a very golden Yellow with some sediment particles swirling about with a thick Pillowy head that lingered forever. Carbonation continues to run through the beer all the way to the bottom.

Smells very good, a nice sweet citrusy odor with a little yeastiness to it.

Flavor is a little on the light side, a slight sweet honey malt flavor followed by just a touch of grassy hops. Not to bad, but a little underwhelming. Taste like a watered down belgian Golden style ale.

Mouthfeel is has a nice carbonation taste along with some decent creamyness, much more full than the taste would indicate.

Drinkability is pretty solid for this beer, would make a nice refreshing summertime session option. Goes down quick and easy, very thirstquenching.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.56/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was impressed.
Clipper City Brewing of Baltimore is a small young brewery that has won some local awards. McHenry is their newest beer.

Mchenry pours a crystal clear (very impressive) golden color. A thin, rapidly vanishing head reveal an unimpressive smell.
Don't let this fool you!
Underneath is a decently crafted golden lager with a touch of hops on a balanced and sweet malt profile. Just the right amount of carbonation gives a pleasant feel.
This one is very drinkable. Tasty without being overpowering. A perfect compliment to a full plate of blue crabs.

Add this one to your "to do" list next time your in Maryland.

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Photo of tone77
3.28/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very mild, some malts. Taste is crisp. primarily malts with some hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this makes for a pretty good beer.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.03/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Clear light golden hue with a one finger white head that slowly settles to a thin cap.

Light biscuity grains in the aroma with a bit of a sweet sugary smell.

Very plain flavor, with malts that carry a light sweetness. No hops to speak of.

An okay beer, somewhat plain though, even for the style.

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

Photo of gdogalishus
3.3/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Poured a very clear straw color with mild white head. Low head retention as it dissolved after every swallow. The aroma was clean and mild. Malty flavor with very little hop bitterness. Rating these types of beers is difficult for me. Do I rate it based on the characteristics of the style or do I rate it versus all other beers?? If it's by style, then this is very underrated. It has a stronger malt backbone than any of your BMCs, if's it is versus all other beers than the rating I gave are too high by far.

If you like light lagers and want to try something with a little more malty sweetness to it, then this is a good choice. If you a hophead or love your imperial stouts... stay far far away from this.

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Photo of cubedbee
2.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light straw color with a very thin head. Smell is faint, a little malt, a little adjunct. The taste is all malts--can't detect any hops at all. The mouthfeel is the best thing this beer has going for it, as it is nicely carbonated and very smooth. As far as adjuncts go, this is better than any of the macros, so this would be a good beer to introduce somebody too. However, its by far Clipper City's weakest offering, and I won't be buying again.

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

The beer pours a nice limpid amber gold color, the head off white in color, modest in size, frothy in texture, with pleasing sheets of fine lace to cover the glass. Malt makes the nose for the most part, hints of citrus, clean and crisp, altogether quite pleasant. Starts a bit malt sweet with a middling top. Finish has a pertinent acidic bite, the hops sparse, the aftertaste dry. Drinkable beer, but pretty much an average beer overall.

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Photo of Phatz
3.43/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Best before April 07

Appearance: a hard pour yields a very small quick fading white head a top a crystal clear pale golden yellow body of beer.

Smell: What smell? The aroma took me a few tries to locate. It is very clean with just a wisp of grain after burying my nose so deep in the beer it almost came up my nostrils, I found some baked barley and bread in there as well.

Taste: This is a simple malt lager built for dinking more than analyzing. It is crisp and clean with barley malty sweetness and a light but adequate hop presence. Mainstream and approachable but done with a nice quality.

Mouthfeel: It is light and dry around the edges with a hint of gassy hops left in the dry aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is the epitome of session beer. It is the kind of beer you choose over Bud to take to a fraternity party. At the same time I would drink it while eat hot wings and playing pool at a bar in Baltimore (drink local).

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of CHickman
3.48/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap last weekend down in MD. Pours clear gold in color with a small white head; decent to weak lacing that went down pretty fast. Smells malty with some citrus and light hops. Tastes of sweet malt, apricot, citrus hops, light caramel and orange or lemon zest; pretty tasty beer. Mouthfeel is very light and crisp, and it was almost watery. Very high drinkabilty, this went down very easy, but was a little too basic (aka dull) in flavor.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

To start, this is Clipper City's beer for the masses. It is now popping up at bars all over the area after getting mad props by the macro lovers at various festivals. It's decent for the style, which isn't my cup of tea.

Pours clear gold and a pretty white head. Had excellent retention and some decent lacing around the edge of the pint glass

Mostly grains on the nose, with some light sulphur from the yeast and just a smidgeon of hops.

Heavy, grainy malt that is accented by more hops than the nose would have you to believe. Had the lightest body of the Clipper City brews.

Overall: Mouthfeel and drinkability show that it is more than a macro clone.This is perfect on tap for washing down a few dozen crabs.

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Photo of daliandragon
2.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I realize this is an American macro lager but that is still a remarkably pale and clear ginger ale type hue with zero head or indication of life. The nose is purely malt with some sweet graininess but not bad.

Wow, that's almost overwhelmingly sweet in the first taste... No hops or yeast, just a malt onslaught. Texture is weak and watery. The aftertaste saves this one a little but its still pretty far gone. When the best you can say about a beer is that it's better than BMC, well, that still sucks. I won't look for this again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a thin disappearing head.

The smell is of a hint of grain - clean overall.

The taste is of sweet grain, balancing touch of hop bitterness. Clean, crisp finish.

A standard lager. Better than the macros - nothing special for macros. I understand that there are some "cross-over" beers - for that - not bad, but even doesn't do much to add flavor to macro-drinkers lives. Still pretty bland, though a bit above average for style.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.48/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, bright goldenrod color with some visible carbonation. The head is medium sized and foamy, with solid retention and some decent lacing.

S: Some standard pale malt aroma, along with a nice dose of hops for the style. It comes across as rather German in profile, rather herbal and grassy, with hints of yeast.

T: Malt is fairly robust for the style, grainy and rather substantial. An herbal hop bite that definitely goes beyond the standard macro lager profile, although it's still pretty laid-back. I'd compare this to a tamed down American version of a German Helles lager. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something just seems oddly similar.

M: Fuller in body than many lagers of this style, although it's a touch undercarbonated. Livelier carbonation would really perk this beer up and make it more refreshing, although as it stands it's definitely solid.

D: It's nothing to get real excited about, but it does do its job really well. A no-frills, above average American lager. Kudos to Clipper City for taking a shot at it, as it doesn't seem to be a style that many would clamor for.

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Photo of garthwaite
2.23/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a perfectly clear straw yellow with little to no head. I'm not picking up much aroma - a little bit of spice, bready malt, & something metallic. Flavor is both inoffensive & unimpressive - subtle & sweet. Very light and thin, almost watery, in the mouth with active carbonation. Some mild hints of caramel & real light hopping thoughout. Finishes clean, malty, & uneventful. Pass.

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Photo of dugly2ugly
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of bigred89
2/5  rDev -35.7%

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Clipper City McHenry Lager from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.11 out of 5 with 61 ratings