Clipper City Pale Ale | Heavy Seas Beer

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Clipper City Pale AleClipper City Pale Ale
76 Ratings
Clipper City Pale AleClipper City Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Name changed to "Heavy Seas Pale Ale".

Added by stirgy on 10-11-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 63
Reviews by xenolithic:
Photo of xenolithic
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark clover honey color into my unfortunately slightly-large-for-this-small-of-a-serving beer mug with a 1 finger white head that very quickly dissipates into a fine layer of large bubbles on the top of the brew.

Smell is hoppy and floral, a sort of springtime freshness you smell from walking around in the woods. I'd also submit that I get a hint of some variant of pine.

Taste is very well balanced. A little hoppy in the beginning with a bitter hoppy finish that stays in the mouth. The beer is inviting sip after sip. More piney and floral notes in the taste, but nothing is out of whack on the balance.

Mouthfeel is true to style, slightly oily with tannins that stick to the tongue on each swallow.

The drinkability on this is superb, it's not at all overwhelming, though I would drink it more with a meal than simply alone. Some days I just feel like a pale ale, and this is something you can reach for without regret.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of steelerguy
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, gold, nice carbonation, decent head that faded to a covering pretty quickly.

S - A little sweet malt, just a touch of hops.

T - Simple and clean malt profile, a little lit on the hops but it balanced the malt good enough. One dimensional but that dimension tastes good.

M - Light and easy drinking, finishes clean.

D - Goes down easy with a good taste. Does not really stand out so although it is refreshing, it just kind of goes down.

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Photo of iemailjack
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz. amber bottle with 4/03 stamped as "best buy" date. Included in the Clipper City "Chesapake Sampler".

Appearance: Clear and sunny bright gold color. Lots of carbonation. Head is crystal-white but didn't last very long and lacked "covering power" of the glass.

Aroma: Hoppy-citrus dominates.

Taste: Crisp and clean describe this beer. The hops clearly assert themselves, yet the malt flavor can be detected if looked for. Finishes with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nothing to get excited about. Crisp and dry.

Drinkability: Above average, but I have had better APA's.

Not up to scratch with some of my favorite APA's like Sierra Nevada or Anchor Liberty.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a copper amber tone with a decent thicket of caramel colored cream head, leaving specks of lace as it dwindles decent appearance here. Aroma: Sharp predominantly piney citrus tone smells sorta like pine sol here no real malt backbone smells like it could clean floors though. Tase: Much more balanced than the aroma, I did enjoy the scent I just couldn't stop comparing it to the cleaning product called Pine Sol flavor is a nice full decently sweetened bit of hop bitterness blends well not juicy but it's there. Mouthfeel: Not much in the way of texture a bit thin but does the trick of carrying out actual flavor. Drinkability: Solid little pale definitely hard to come by for me, but suprisingly better than I was expecting from it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its clear copper body displays streams of tiny, steadily rising bubbles beneath a head of white foam that holds fairly well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. The nose is bright with floral, piney and lightly citrusy hops that beckon to you to partake of the deep amber nectar beyond; leading to a flavor that melds its citrusy and pine-like hops with a biscuity malt that's drizzled with caramel and balanced by a solid bitterness. It finishes dry with some residual bitterness, citrusy/piney hops, and biscuity malts. Clean and nicely balanced.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of MiScusi
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle notched to purchase before July '08.

A- pours a really clear and vibrant golden orange with a fluffy white head that builds up very easily and generously. Lots of lacing left on the glass just adds to it.

S- Bready mostly with some faint earthy and peppery hops.

T- Lots of caramel malt in this but very nicely balanced with a little hop zing. The hops surely aren't forefront like a SNPA, Stone Pale Ale, or Firestone Pale Ale that I'm use to out here but it works nicely anyway.

M- The beer is really pretty lively. Carbonation is just enough for the light body.

D- Usually I prefer a hop-centric pale ale but this is so good, and pair perfectly with a sausage & pepperoni pizza. A balanced yet sweeter pale ale. I like it.

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Photo of hdofu
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not really an APA fan, but of all the ones I've had (not including specials from Sierra Nevada) this is probably the best one I've had in this category. Not too bitter, not to sweet, a little tart. Smell is hoppy, crisp, pleasant. Taste is hoppy, mouthfeel is bubbly. Beer is copper in color with a white topper. In my opinion, this is a good transition beer for people who drink miller or bud, but want to try something better while not being to far out from what they think beer should taste like.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Deep honey amber hue with a light tan and tall foamy head that slowly settles to a thick pillowy cap. Some thick and sticky lacing along the glass.

The aroma is light biscuity malts, some buttery aromas, and some light hop aromas.

The flavor seems to mirror the aroma pretty well, with some bready malts and mild but flavorful hops. Light bodied with some high carbonation, giving a fizzy feel that's a bit much. A little bit of toastiness comes in around the middle. Some diacetyl is detected as well. The finish is the lingering grain.

This isn't a bad English Pale Ale. It's well balanced, and not sharply hopped like the American version. I found the amount of carbonation a little harsh, and it lowered the drinkability a little (although it's still pretty high). If you're in Baltimore and this is on tap, it makes a great session beer. Recommended.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorge
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep gold color in the glass with soft carbonation and quite a bit of foam that disappeared quickly. A touch of sweet caramel in the nose, and in the initial taste, with a nice (Clipper City trademark) hops bitterness int he aftertaste. Definitely something worth trying. If you can, check out the Clipper City Brewery tour too. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And the libations are great too.

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Photo of thekanna
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice transparent dark gold with about one finger of head.

S: Somewhat yeasty, with a good amount of floral hops and some pine freshness.

T: Great tropical fruit and pine-infused hoppiness at the outset which somewhat devolves into an unappealing malty wateriness.

M: Lightly carbonated. Body is a little too watery.

D: Nice at the outset, but the hop flavors that were enjoyable to begin with are subdued with more sips and the thinness pokes through, making it less drinkable.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange-copper color with a small white head. Aroma is decent, malty, but with a definite floral hops scent as well. Taste is simple and balanced, tasting of both caramel malts and floral hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and a nice hops taste lingers after a sip. I used to think that I preferred the Gold Ale over this one, but after retasting them both, I think this is the superior beer. As with a lot of Clipper City brews, this is a damn solid beer, nothing to get excited about, but very drinkable and a great way to support the local economy.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color with a simple white head. Spotted carbonation coming up the sides and the middle. Smells very sweet and malty. At first it tastes very sweet and malty, slowly finishing into a nice hop aftertaste. It's missing something though, and I can't put a finger on what it is. It's pretty light in the mouth leaving you asking for more. But as far as drinkability, this would make a fabulous session beer. Very easy on the belly, and very nicely priced as well. All in all a good solid APA, nothing special, but nothing bad either. Try it sometime if you can find it.

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Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A crystal clear copper color on the pour, the head is impressive in size, frothy in its texture, the color a beauteous light tan and as it evanesces, it leaves behinds a fine covering of lace. Sweet malt nose, fresh and crisp and a real pleasant sniff, start also quite sweet, and the top skimpy in its feel on the palate. Light carbonation, the hops delicate and the aftertaste dry and long lasting, quite drinkable and would make a great session beer.

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in the BotM shipment. Labeled Heavy Seas Pale Ale, which I'll assume is the same.

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a pale golden color with one finger of head.

S: Mild hops here - a little earthy and floral. More malt smell than I am accustomed to in a pale ale.

T: Nice crisp English pale ale. A decent hop bitterness with a smooth malt in the finish. Nothing notable, but drinkable.

M: Moderate carbonation and a little creamy.

D: Easy drinker here. Wouldn't buy this, but will gladly drink my three.

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Photo of CHickman
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Came with the Beer of the Month Club. Pours clear copper orange in color with a 1/4 inch creamy beige head; OK lacing that leaves a little residue. Smells of malt and light hops, with some citrus mixed in.

Tastes of sweet malt, light caramel, citrus hops, faint floral hops, grains and a little lemon or grapefruit. The flavor is malty overall with biscuit and grains on the back end and a slight sweetness with the bitter finish. Flavor is not very exciting, but it's a drinkable beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy and crisp with medium to light carbonation and a medium body. Easy drinking and quite smooth, just not very exciting flavor. Could drink these all night as it was enjoyable.

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Photo of marc77
2.81/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brilliantly clear copper hue. Creamy, persistent off white head yields frothy, dogged lace. Mild citrusy and woody hops combined with burnt biscuit and dryish, husky grain in aroma. Tepid light caramel note. A trace metallic tinge surfaces as the beer warms. Underwhelming aromawise. Brusque flash of buttery sweetness upfront in flavor yields to slightly astringent combination of pith like hop bitterness and a hint of grain tannin. Initally subdued caramel malt sweetness augments mid palate, and agreeably tapers the barbed bitter edges. Hop flavor is of a gentle underripe orange nature. Stately, persistent biscuit malt presence adds a bready depth without adding sweetness. Lightly bodied, with an overly fluid mouthfeel that could use greater viscosity.. Finishes clean, a touch watery, with a fading impression of dilute sweetened grapefruit juice. Not quite a balanced pale ale. Somewhat roughly bittered considering the lack of malt girth. Unimpressive, but certainly passably drinkable.

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Photo of sweethome
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours golden in color with a generous head of large bubbles. Sweet malty nose with medium hop. A medium mouthfeel of maltiness, balanced very well with hop bittering. Flavor hops a bit subdued. Finish has a sweetness that stays in and wins out over the hop bittering. Very drinkable. Seems to hit the English pale style quite well. A bitter beer but with enough malt charachter to satisfy. A fine session beer, although not a memorable drink.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another quality Clipper City offering was sampled last evening in a pint glass at the Club Charles (just $1.75 for glasses and $3 for all pints...)

Pours an orange gold with an average white head. Stickly lacing left behind.

Sweet floral notes on the nose.

This beer has a nice, simple taste and I feel is a very good representation of the style. The hops are here, but are counterbalanced nicely with the malts. The malts themselves are caramel in nature, giving the beer a very creamy texture. The drinkability is very smooth and clear, making it an excellent session beer. Unlike many of its brethren out there, the hops in this beer do not smack you in the face and overwhelm you with their bitterness when you drink it. Although you get a dry lingering aftertaste, it isn’t overpowering and in need of a wash out. This would be an excellent session beer that would go nicely with just about any foods, save the overly spicy ones.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thin milky head on top of a dull copper color. Later oon the lacing is truly impressive in its own right. Nose is medium strength hops against a malt backdrop. More balanced than most pale ales.

Each sip begins with a bold rush of initial hops but than changes ccourse for a tasty, mellow finish. Mouthfeel is round and full but would benefit from less carbonation.

This one grew on me with each sip. Let it warm for a few minutes.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a BotM Club.

Poured into a tulip pint: Attractive medium amber, clear, with two fingers' sudsy head. A few streams of tiny, slow bubbles. Spots of tenacious foam stick to the side, but no significant lacing.

Smells of restrained, peppery hops, orange & lemon peel. Kind of grassy, earthy.

Taste has semisweet tea-like character up front, followed by some of the pepper & citrus found in the smell. Finishes a little flinty, with a lingering "green" bitterness in the aftertaste.

Light-bodied, crisp with just a real subtle stickiness that hangs around.

Not bad. Like Clipper City's Gold, a very clean, crisp ale suitable for summer porch-sitting. Can't say I'd rush out & look for it, but I wouldn't be unhappy having this as utilitarian fridge-stock.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nice looking copper, but not not able to create much of a head on this one.
the aroma is biscuity with some tinny herbal hops. gets a little floral with warmth.
biscuity caramel up front in the taste. herbal hop bitterness, with some floral aspects intertwined with the caramel in back.
medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
good drinkability, this is a nice simple american pale ale.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.82/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright gold in color with a nice full cream colored head. Very nice citrusy hop aroma and taste. Great balance with moderate bitterness and superb hoppiness. Light to Medium body leaning towards Med.and creamy.

Put this one up there on my list with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.12/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a medium, slightly off-white head, leaving some lace. Medium carbonation. Deep amber color. Hoppy nose; crisp, hoppy start and a hoppy but not overpowering finish. Part of the monthly care package and not the style that I would be buying. The ABV is 5%.

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Clipper City Pale Ale from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 76 ratings