Heavy Seas - Yule Tide (2009) | Heavy Seas Beer

116 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Heavy Seas - Yule Tide (2009)Heavy Seas - Yule Tide (2009)

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by yourefragile on 11-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 168
Photo of Kromes
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured into a goblet, clear orange in color with a thin line of white bubbles on top.

S: A weird musky, grainy booze aroma with a little bit of tropical fruit and yeast that saves the aroma.

T: A musty fruit, sour, grain alcohol flavor that has somewhat of a tropical/mango flavor in the background.

M: Light body with OK carbonation and a somewhat bitter finish.

O: I'm a big fan of the tripel, so it's disappointing when I have one that I do not like. It seems as if this beer was crafted with high ABV as a first priority and flavor as a second.

 556 characters

Photo of evilkalla
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving: Bomber into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear copper. Practically no head to speak of. Carbonation appears to be on the low side. Somewhat flat and lifeless looking.

S: I don't really smell anything. Maybe a little candy sweetness but that's it.

T: High on sweetness. Maybe a little to much. A little spiciness in there but it's overwhelmed by the sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Feels okay. Could be a little bit more carbonated for the style, though.

O: Not my favorite. Not a drain pour but I would not buy this again.

 537 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
2.81/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured chilled in mini ale glass (multiple times)

A: good lacing; cloudy dark pale yellow; good carb
S: strong yeast, pear aroma; pear compote emerges as the glass warms
T: super strong pear cider flavor; it's a rather concentrated flavor, and not quite what I expect in a trippel--too much of the dark, candied fruits for my taste.

I can see why others like this beer, but it's not for me.

 392 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from a 22 ounce bottle, a honey golden body pretty clear, able to see through it. Big luscious off white head forms fine speckled lacing as it dwindles.

Aroma big juicy fruit layers of malts and tart apples, with candied sugars. Even a touch of alcohol in the nose with a bready nutty layer that seems to foreshadow each sip.

Flavor is harsh alcohol, tropical fruit, nothing smooth compared to most Belgian tripels. Spicy finish and alcohol burn is almost too much to even enjoy this young residual sugar burdened American version of a great Belgian style. This is not a good tripel, high alcohol volume bang for your buck yes.

Mouthfeel is harsh cloyingly sweet with a rough edge of grains and alcohol hitting the palate in the worst possible way, carbonation levels aren't my issues it's more the overall feel on the palate.

Overall quality is poor, a big beer 10% abv with too much fusel alcohol and rough flavors to cohesively recognize as a quality tripel.

 974 characters

Photo of dpasotti
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark golden color with a clear orange hue. Small off-white head fades appropriately for a beer of this ABV. Smells, well, like a tripel. Some spices and overripe bananas, but somewhat dull. Nothing really pulls me in to drink it.

Flavor is a nice blend of spices, malt sweetness, and a slight earthiness. Nothing really stands out, as is expected. Hop presence is a bit high for the style, but it works. Alcohol gives some puckering on the finish, but again appropriate.

The mouthfeel is my biggest beef. It is a little too heavy and sticky in my opinion. Carbonation could also be higher. A pretty good tripel that I would drink again (but only if it was free).

 664 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.89/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a rather tall white head. Smells strangely of grass and lemon zest. A bit tart, too. Is it supposed to be that way? Not much in the way of malt or sweetness like you'd expect from a tripel... The flavor is pure pineapple juice which is nice, but also not intended (at least, I'm fairly certain of that). There's a bit of acidity and tartness to it and a pretty obvious lack of maltiness/sweetness. Medium body with high carbonation.

 472 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, golden color w/ a sliver of a white head. The head quickly disappears into nothing. Average lacing on the snifter glass. The nose is strong- really heavy apricot, with maybe some cinnamon and other spices in there. Not very complex, smooth, or enjoyable. It's not disgusting though. Taste is a little better. You still get the fruit and spices, but there's a strong hop presence in there as well. Not great for the style, and fairly simple- but not horrible. Feel is way too thin and syrupy, and simple to compete w/ the best tripels in the world. Overall, this is a decent brew, but not a very good tripel. Definitely needs more malt, yeast, better taste and complexity to compete. If this was labeled a winter warmer, I'd be a little easier on the scores. Cheers.

 780 characters

Photo of Naugros
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the 2009 version of this beer that was bought at the brewery. They said it has improved with age and I'd hate to think what it was like before since I did not enjoy this beer. The look of it is fine, but no real head whatsoever. The smell is the best part with pineapple (maybe papaya) esters coming off of it and a bit of spice that makes me think of a rye beer. The taste is another story and it took all my will power to finish this beer. Overly sticky sweet, which means that the lees floating around in this beer failed to convert all the sugars to alcohol. It might say 10%, but it drank less than that.

Have you ever been at a buffet and grabbed a bunch of "fresh" pineapple, because you know it love it? And then you're not paying attention and put a piece of it in your mouth that was brown? It tastes slightly fermented and pretty awful. That's what this tasted like. Is it possible the beer turned? Yeah. And I rarely post a review on a beer that turned, but the staff at the brewery said it was at its peak. Who am I to argue? So I'm reviewing it as if it was at its peak

 1,093 characters

Photo of Aenema
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - Pours brownish orange with a small, off-white head.
Smell - Sweet, spicy.
Taste - Lots of sugary yeast followed by a mix of spices, but the sweetness returns with a vengeance and takes over.
Mouthfeel - Light-medium body, well balanced carbonation.
Drinkability - Too damn sweet. This beer is rather pleasant initially, but the sweetness overpowers everything else.

 378 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The 22-ounce bomber bottle with a jolly-looking Jolly Roger on the label pours orangey-gold with quite a bit of odd-looking sediment in suspension. A finger-thick cap of ivory foam slowly fades, leaving wispy lacing clinging to the sides of my flashy Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

The aroma is pungently perfume-sweet and a tad fruity with a dash of earthy spice. A splash of near-naked alcohol fails to disguise itself in a thinly-veiled masquerade of overripe plums and mushy red apples.

The taste is overpoweringly sweet and rife with the same notion of overripe apples and plums. A much-welcomed twist of tangy tangerine and a sprinkle of nutmeg and white pepper do what they can to knock down the cloying sugary factor... and fail. Alcohol warming is almost instantaneous upon Yule Tide's arrival in the belly. As the drink rises a few degrees toward room temperature, a floral drizzle of sourwood honey sprinkled with raw sugar drops onto the sweet-heap, exacerbating things further.

The drink is on the fullish side of medium-bodied with excellent carbonation. Too sweet for me, and I feel pretty certain I'll struggle to finish the whole bomber. But I will, nonetheless.

 1,175 characters

Photo of cnally
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up for...$2.99 a 22oz bomber!!! Seriously. In USD.

The appearance is a hazy golden orange, with a difficult to produce white head that laces a bit.

Highly yeasty and fermented aroma, apple cider of course. A little like honeycomb.

Flavor is pretty unbalanced, with a massive sour flavor and distracting sweetness. The finish does bring out a little mild bitterness from the hops but the majority of flavors are acidic and sweet.

A pretty syrupy brew, low carbonation and a heavy viscous feel.

Listen, the price was right for me. And the alcohol is very well hidden. So it is decently drinkable in spite of its uneven flavor and thick feel.

 656 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.1/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On cask at Mr. Goodbar. Yeasty aroma, cloudy grapefruit colour, with absolute minimal whitish Caesar head. The taste is yeasty, and then what follows is some nutmeg and cinammon, and a thickish cooking combination. Not very drinkable, and unfortunately not a great example of this normally fine Belgian style.

 309 characters

Photo of Jwaks
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle, drank from a goblet

The body shows a medium golden orange with very scant carbonation below a half finger white head fading to nothing leaving little to no lacing.

spicy yeast, white pepper, clove and pear dominate the nose with hints of orange zest, spring flowers and sweet apple

overripe pear and a bit of malt upfront is quickly overpowered by clove, white pepper and yeast in the mid palate, spiciness fades to a semi-dry finish showing overripe apple and pear leaving a lingering, cloying sweetness and a bit of acidic citrus fruit.

It's heavy handed, round, almost syrupy, cloyingly sweet and medium to heavy bodied for the style with little carbonation to keep it lively and interesting. Alcohol is nearly undetectable.

This is the second american brewed tripel, behind red hook tripel, with high alcohol, great weight and complexity that's nearly ruined by the total lack of carbonation and cloying sweetness. This great effort would be much improved with some austerity, fusel alcohol, band aid etc, lighter more acidc citrus fruit to balance it's sweetness, add carbonation and a respectable head and lacing found in well made Belgian tripels and it can stand against the best.

 1,207 characters

Photo of Ysgard
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I have always been a fan of the Clipper City Heavy Seas brews, and this is the first I've tried from a bomber.

This disappointed in so many ways.

Appearance - Too dark by half, the underlying issue with this beer shows itself early. Oddly, lace and head retention are an issue here, despite the "thick" pour it displays, a veritable syrup by the standard of Tripels.

Aroma - Alcohol, floral earthy hops, Belgian yeast, leaning towards spicy, with a bubble gum and bananas aroma. A very prominent alcohol aroma. Malt hangs around the back, another hint of the thug that is ruining the neighborhood.

Taste - Rumors confirmed. The thick sweet flavors of under-attenuation are present in force. This breaks all the rules of a tripel, probably because they shot too high as compared to their capabilities. The hop flavors and bitterness levels seem about right, but overwhelmed by the very apparent high final gravity. Almost a Tripel syrup. Everything promised by the aroma is present, gum spices and floral earthy hops.

Mouthfeel - Too thick to truly enjoy. Either there are too many infermentables, or the yeast rangers let the yeast fall asleep on the job. This fermentation tastes like it stalled 10 points too soon, becoming sticky and thick. Carbonation either is not high enough, or is overbalanced by the thickness.

Drinkability - Absent its declared style, I actually like this beer fine. But it's flaws are too apparent to forgive of the style. Too thick, too dark, too soon. As a home brewer, this beer feels like it had its fermentation rushed.

 1,561 characters

Photo of runner72
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served from a 22 oz bottle

A - pours a hazy orangish color. It hass a slight head and good amount of carbonation

S - phenolic, yeasty, some wheat. it has a hint or orange

T - Strong. You can taste alcohol. it burns the tongue. Aftertaste istays on the palate. It doesn't blend as well as I expect from a tripel

M - heavy in the mouth. high carbonation

D - It is a little too heavy and you can taste the alcohol too much to make rate it higher for drinkability.

 466 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Heavy Seas- Yule Tide

A- Bright hazy/ cloudy orangey yellow with a thick frothy white head. Good chunky lacing.
S- Sweet and tart fruits; orange, lemon, and grapefruit citrus with a wintery spice touch.
T- Incredibly sweet and tart. Thick sweet ripe fruits; citrusy lemon, orange, and grapefruit with hints of ripe cherry and grape. Sugary sweet with hints of nutmeg and clove spices.
M- Way too sweet and fruity tart. Fruit and sugar sweetness dominate.

Overall- Just too sweet.

 481 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, dark fruit and some dry candy sugar. In the taste, dry candy sugar, dark fruits and a small alcohol note in the end. Quite smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry dark fruit and boozy aftertaste. Interesting triple with a dark fruit presence.

 334 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.22/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a medium gold color with a 1/4 inch head that fades quickly to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and some sporadic lacing sticking above it.

S- Smells fumey with a Belgian yeast characteristic along with plenty of alcohol. Almost smells like white wine...

T- Wow, it actually kind of tastes like white wine, sparkling of course. Maybe prosecco? Very strange because the potent Belgian yeast fuses with the high alcohol and somehow results in a light flavor reminiscent of fermented white grape juice. Huh. The only thing that strays from this is the rich sweetness from the yeast and malts.

M- There's even a dry aftertaste with bitter tannins...like what you get with wine. This is crazy. Low-medium carbonation further reinforces the wine-like construct.

O- I honestly don't know what to think about this one. It's not bad but the white wine comparisons are uncanny. This seems to be a common trend for Heavy Seas' big bottle offerings. High alcohol that's followed through in a messy fashion leading to bizarre flavors. I'm probably just gonna stick to Loose Cannon and Dubbel Cannon from now on.

 1,188 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shiny kumquat with a swirling snowstorm of yeast that remains in suspended animation. Multiple streams of fine bubbles find their way to the underside of a thick slice of manila colored foam that is sticky enough to leave small sheets of suds as it shrinks.

The nose is redolent of golden fruit (light), alcohol (medium), and clove-like yeast esters (heavy). Not bad, but far from a world-beater. Warming probably won't change much... and doesn't.

Yule Tide Belgian Style Tripel Ale is not a very good effort at a Belgian-style tripel. All the necessary pieces are present (more or less) but they don't fit together as well as they might. Hard to tell where the blame lies, so let's dig deeper.

The malts taste mostly pale with a modest toasted-earthy undertow. Using Munich malt (strictly a guess) in beer of this style is a major no-no. Whatever hops were used don't contribute much bitterness or flavor. Which leaves us with Trappist ale yeast that isn't exactly setting the world ablaze. Good beer of this style shouldn't be that hard to get right.

Ground clove-dusted apricots macerated in Absolut is the sum total of the flavor profile (had to get that in there). The mouthfeel is American big beer cushy and slick, which is wonderful in a general sense, but light years away from the style's best.

On the whole, the Pyrate Fleet series from Clipper City Brewing is much better than the higher ABV Mutiny Fleet series. Yule Tide does absolutely nothing to change that. Why does a tripel get a Christmas-themed name and why is the Jolly Roger on the label wearing a Santa hat and sporting a mistletoe necklace?

 1,621 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a ever so slightly hazed, dark gold body with a foamy, barely off-white head.

Smell: Spicy, sweetish nose housing notes of Granny Smith apple slices, faux berries, gum, pineapple packed in heavy syrup, and a clearing shot of ethanol.

Taste: Sugar encrusted pale, grainy malts with a big splash of green apple cider. Then, a bit of strawberry gum, peppercorns, and a hit of fairly warming alcohol. Also, some pineapple along with a big rebound of sweetness. Slightly acidic throughout. Sweetish, warm, fruity finish with more of that chewing gum accent riding out leisurely into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Yule Tide falls somewhere between "acceptable" and "okay," which, to be honest, exceeded my expectations.

 869 characters

Photo of oberon
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a style I go to often,an American version even less,I took a flyer on this and got what I expected really.Poured into a large tulip glass a deep golden with a tinge of burnt orange,a thinner but well retained white head atop.Big funk and phenols in the nose,not much fruit character,the barnyard-like funk is the main component here.Flavors are phenolic and medicinal, two things I dont much care for really,there is some white grape skin and ginger that comes thru but the yeasty flavors are just to much for me.Not my thing,others may like it more but the yeasty flavors are a bit much for me.

 599 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into a tulip. Body is hazy light- orange with a small head that disappears quickly. No lacing.

S: Yeasty with generic spice and cloves. Fruity sweetness as well.

T: Follows the nose: fruity sweetness with spice (pepper?), cloves and yeast. Alcohol is not well-hidden.

M: Medium-to-full in heft. Feel is oily and slick. Lingering yeasty-ness and sweetness on the palate.

D: Not so good. Too sweet for my liking. Ended up "trading" about half of my glass to my friend who liked this one better than the Anderson Valley Brother David's Tripel, which he then handed over to me. He liked this one, I preferred that one. I wouldn't get this again.

 656 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a chalice. Pours a golden orangish color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is candied sugar, spices, fruity sweetness, yeast and some alcohol.

T- The taste is very sweet with a peppery spiciness and a warming finish from the alcohol. Overall the taste is pretty good but it can be a bit sweet and the alcohol can be a little hot at times.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a high level of carbonation.

D- Overall, this one isn't horrible but is a little too hot going down. Worth a shot.

 527 characters

Photo of blackie
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: st. bernie chalice, thin coating of white carbonation atop a golden, gently hazed tripel

s: heavy pale malts leave this one sweet and fruity with candi sugars, dried apricot, red apple, banana, and maybe some pineapple as well, just a dusting of yeasty aromas and some mild-moderate clove

m: slick and sugar-sticky body, lightly carbonated

t: sweet, fruity malt body, lots of pit fruit, pineapple, white raisin, banana, and concentrated apple juice, mild phenols, lingering sugar presence after the swallow, lightly hopped, a bit of a mess

d: limited with the heavy sweetness

bomber snagged from Whole Foods P Street, DC, paired with some butternut squash and chicken stew

 680 characters

Photo of jeffmart22
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear golden copper color. An aggressive pour yields a three finger head that dissipated, leaving a good amount of lacing behind. You can see some alcohol clinging to the glass.

A - Smells of sweet banana and sweet citrus. You can pick up the alcohol on the nose. A slight earthy and peppery aromas.

T - This one is on the sweet side. Actually it's really sweet. Has tastes of sweet or candied fruits. Alcohol is hidden by the sweetness but you can feel it warming you up.

M - Thin in body. Flavor duration is moderate.

O - Ok beer, but it is priced properly.

 575 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Heavy Seas - Yule Tide (2009) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.69 out of 5 based on 168 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.