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

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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.

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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 168
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.

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Photo of mendvicdog
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell is overwhelming banana orange. Did not like it.

Taste is slightly better, but can't overcome the smell.

Alcohol is hidden fairly well.

Would not recommend highly, but still a decent beer. This is one of Heavy Seas poorer offerings in my opinion though.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma is yeasty with fruity, floral and grassy undertones. It pours a pretty clear golden amber with a fluffy eggshell-white head that leaves some good lacing. Rich, fruity flavor has malty and grassy hints, and - WHOA, watch out for the alcohol bite! It has hints of caramel and butterscotch as well. Smooth, full-bodied texture has quite a bit of fizz to it, leaving a persistent tingle. Just what you need to get through the blooming holidays!

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a medium clear gold. The head was slightly creamy about one finger high. It dissipated fast and left very little lacing.
The smell is of pineapple, malt and little else.
Tasting the beer the pineapple is dominating the front, sweetness and malt being the middle. The end is a little burn from the alcohol. The beer has not much carbonation and almost looks flat. I expected more from this one and think it is just ok.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finger of mixed- consistency white head. Rich gold body and some lacing.

Nose is some Belgian funk, yeasty, sort of musty orange.

Taste is better-- intense caramel malt with some heavy funk. Somewhat woody as well. Some cinnamon-apple, other fruit character common to Belgian styles.

Mouthfeel is thick, a bit sticky.

The story I heard was that this was from last year's batch which wasn't deemed good enough to release at the time. It's pretty good, the flavor profile (and alcohol) are on the high side of tripel, and it drinks and tastes more like a barleywine in many ways, albeit with Belgian yeast.

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Photo of gestyr
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage purchased from brewery.
22Oz bomber poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy light orange with specks and lots of bubbles capped by a thick white long lasting head that sticks to the sides of the glass. More sheeting than lacing if that makes sense. :)

S: Bubblegum, pineapple, citrus, malt, alcohol, sweet, candy

T: Everything in the smell blended together in a complimentary way. Fruity, sweet, malty with a slight alcohol after-burn.

M: Medium body. No carbonation sting but you know it is there. Very smooth

O: A very good beer. Easy to drink, smooth and with an interesting blend of flavors.

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Photo of OregonHopmonster
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz Bottle from Bruisin Ales

Big pfft! when opened so I was surprised when, despite a vigorous pour, I could not get much of a head. The little white head I could get was composed of large bubbles that disappeared quickly.

The color was a fuller gold than I expected for the style and it contained quite a bit of haze. The aroma was primarily pineapple juice, with some apple, fruitcake and white rum, along a with a full maltiness.

Due to the aroma I expected a very estery, phenol-driven yeast character in the flavor. Instead it fell more in line with the aroma boasting pineapple once again, along with candied stone fruits and the same solid malt background.

The body is heavy for a tripel, but then again so is the 10% abv. The finish is somehow still surprisingly crisp however, with the pineapple taking over yet again deep into the finish.

This is well made and tasty for an over-sized American interpretation of a tripel, but not something I am likely to ever reach for again or recommend.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into pint glass. Clear golden body with a small creamy white head. Big spice and pale malt aroma with a touch of astringency. Sweet malty flavor, some toastiness with lots of spice and sugary caramel. Medium full body with moderately low carbonation. Just an ok tripel for the style. Expected more out of this munity fleet brew.

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Photo of cdbooth219
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into goblet. Vintage dated from 2009.

A: Pours a hazy orange with 1 finger of off white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing. Lots of carbonation

S: Smells like candy, light malt, a bit of bubble gum and clove, citrus, yeast, and booze.

T: Lots of yeast, followed by bubble gum and clove, then citrus. Finishes with sugar and yeast. Rather boozy as well.

M: Rather full-bodied and well carbonated, and slightly sticky.

D: Not bad for the high abv and sweetness. Definitely enjoyable.

Overall, this isn't the best Tripel I've ever tried, but its definitely an enjoyable beer. I personally enjoy the Mutiny series of beers from Heavy Seas in general.

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Photo of LuthersMug
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pleasant orange ambrosia look, cloudy with specks floating throughout. A bit of a pale yellow head, decent lacing.

S - Caramel and yeast were pleasing in the nose

T - Lots of sweet maltiness in this one. Caramel and apple cider excited the palate. Balanced pretty well.

M - Malts are the predominant feature of this brew. Creamy, bold, and delicious.

D - At 10% and easy to drink, this brew leaves you feeling good.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, this one I bought before Christmas 2009, but can't find a date on the bottle. So its a year old anyway-- another accidentally cellared beer.

Appearance: Its a clear dark orange. The head is respectable, but still below average retention for this style. Some lacing, but again, its no Belgian tripel.

Smell: Yeasty, sweet, boozy, clovey, and fruity. Did I say yeasty and boozy?

Taste: It tastes like several American attempts at tripels that don't quite get it. Too much hot alcohol, too much clove, a little too sticky sweet. The yeasty finish is overpowering. Its OK.

Mouthfeel: I actually think this part is well done, maybe too big even. Appropriately high carbonation. A little sticky, slightly syrupy.

Drinkability: I don't think I need to drink this one again.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from the tap a cloudy golden honey'd orange to a 10oz goblet with a hint of a head and minimal retention.

aroma of citrus, lemon rind and big belgian yeasts.

great big belgian yeasts up front with citrus following up. spicy.

big bodied, low carbonation, sweet.

drinkable - yep.

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Photo of Chaney
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this once last year, but I had had a few brews at that point, so I honestly have no memory of an facet of my session.

A: Honey-orange in color, with tons of Belgian yeasties floating around in the liquid of all shapes and sizes. The head was about two-three fingers thick that settled into a whipped cream topping.

S: Funky (almost rotten), Belgian orange, with tons of vanilla and ground up Flintstone vitamins. Weird.... but kind of interesting.

T: Geez... this was one of those rare brews that tasted different than it smelled. The intense sweetness and "aspriny" quality I got on the nose was gone. In its place, I got a semi-sweet, VERY yeasty Belgian concoction. The aftertaste had a nice refreshing filtered water quality accompanied by ripe plums, but also a fair amount of booze.

M: Pretty thick and creamy, and the sweetness did not linger. Unfortunately, the booze killed the fun. The carbonation was fine for this style.

D: A very unusual and complex beer for sure. The taste and nose don't match, but I think that is actually a cool thing. However, to be honest, I could only take this brew in small doses and it grated on me a bit. But of course, I'll try it again next year... and make sure I grab a bottle to age for a couple of year. This one is pretty cheap!

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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

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is light golden in color with a white head. Pretty good lacing. Nose is a good dose of spice with mild fruit and a bit of grain. Taste is light with some nice spicing. Feel is quite nice with a smooth character. Spicing is quite nice. Drinks very well and is a nice holiday spiced ale.

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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?

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Photo of devinoconnor
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For not being a major fan of Tripel brews, this one was fairly enjoyable.

From a cask, the color is a rich golden yellow.

Smell is intense, sweet with nectar flavors and candy sugar.

Taste is sugary, takes some getting used to.

Another good showing from Heavy Seas.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from Amity Wine & Spirits, New Haven CT, $5.99. No dating on the bottle. Served cold in a chilled tulip.

Bright semi-hazy brew is a brilliant golden color and generates a massive 3" of smooth stable light tan head. Very intense smell, a thick sweet and grainy light malt body, lactose, apricots, white grapes, a delightful old yeast funk, and spicy alcohol. The taste follows straight from the smell and it all blends seamlessly together, very smooth and lovely. The alcohol is apparent but not objectionable. Body is moderately thick but supple, carbonation is soft and appropriate. Alcohol adds some welcome spice without being boozy. Finish has some lingering yeast funk and alcohol.

I found this to be a highly enjoyable and well-balanced example of the style.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.68/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: pours pale golden orange with an off white finger and a half head.
S: spicy with yeast, with fruit and sweet malt
T: a sweet mix of malt, candied fruit, spices and a very light hop bitterness. it also hides its alcohol well
M: think and has low to medium carbonation.
D: very easy. almost too, flavors are balanced well. one of the best american triples i have had.

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Photo of JayQue
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice Tripel....surprisingly good for a non-Belgian brewery that is not Ommegang or Unibroue. Pours a very hazy orange with some sediment and a small, bubbly white head. Head retention is not great and lacing is minimal.

Smell is very good....heavy duty Belgian yeast and some spices. Taste is pretty good as well. Belgian yeasts very pronounced, spiciness and a little fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is very rich....there is more than a hint of alcohol which is often more well hidden in a Tripel.. Overall pretty good.

Drinkability is good for a beer of this strength. I stretched a bomber out over 7 innings of a Mets game (Mets -Yankees series). Another 6-8 ounces would have been great. This is a very pleasant take on a Belgian Tripel.

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Photo of bbeane
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into my DFH snifter... has a light fizzy head that appears and disappears relatively quickly leaving nothing behind. Beer is orangish in color with sediment and light activity

S- First wiff is a bit sour... after some swirls of the snifter, get a sweeter notes of belgian sugar and sweet malt mixed with booze

T- Not bad. Sweet belgian sugar and yeast, malts, some citrus comes out as it warms, and bit boozie in the finish

M- Smooth and watery... light body

D- Very drinkable in terms of taste, and price is decent... high abv will catch up with you little quicker though


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Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Starts with a moderate head, settles to a thin layer of fine bubbles. Leaves good lace. A minor chill haze to the otherwise deep gold/light amber color.

Strong smell of soured milk; no sweetness. Good Belgian yeast bite.

Strong citrus taste to the beer. There's also a sweetness that I could not detect in the smell. The body is rich from residual sugars. A touch of hop in the swallow, but the aftertaste is like clover honey with a touch of spruce.

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Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Ninety 9 Bottles in Norwalk, Ct. No freshness info to be had. Pours clouded, medium apricot amber, with a lot of yeasties floating around in the glass. Eggshell head of about 1/4 inch, stays, then goes to a thicker collar, leaving typical slippery sheeting and the medium spots of lace. Flowery nose with Belgian yeast notes and pepper. Densely flavorful tripel, notes of more Belgian yeast, dark fruit juice, sweet malts. Sweet being the operative word...not crazy about this one, lacks some sort of a hoppy presence to at least attempt to balance things out a bit...Heavy seas, not really hitting the note here with this one

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Photo of hackmann
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: the first 10 ounces looked clear and gold with no head - ok a few bubbles. The last 12 ounces poured out with all the sediment and that made for a little head (1/16 of an inch) and the color was an amber cloudy color.

Smell: Sweet malts, light floral and herbal along with yeast and light banana. The bubble gum nose brings the aroma down in points for me.

Taste: Well, yes it's sweet! But, then the coriander and other spices kick in. The rich malt sweetness has the sweet orange and bubble gum. I don't mind the orange but, forget the bubble gum style. Drop the bubble gum sweetness and a little kick of something from the hops and this would be better. A little light banana as well.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much - Sweet. A slight bitterness plays in the back of the palate. But, it is sweetness that you will lick off your teeth.

Drinkable: One 22 once and done when drinking only. If paired up with something to take the edge off the sweetness - then maybe 2.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased in Waldorf, MD for $6.99.

A: slight haze, light-brown color
S: typical, pronounced, banana-cloves, alcohol noticeable
T: definite alcohol presence, a bit of fiery hot in the back of the mouth, enjoyable but a bit "heavy" and/or cloying, nice attempt for an American brewer but a bit too sweet, needs a bit more attenuation, maybe a bit too much alcohol for style
M: a bit too sweet
D: decent, although if it was a bit drier this would be very good

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Heavy Seas - Yule Tide (2009) from Heavy Seas Beer
3.69 out of 5 based on 168 ratings.
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