Hale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

BA SCORE
83
good
106 Ratings
Hale's Wee Heavy Winter AleHale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States
halesbrewery.com

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-22-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
106
Reviews:
71
Avg:
3.67
pDev:
11.17%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 106 |  Reviews: 71
Photo of unclederby
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a darkish amber with an off-tan one finger head that doesn't last. smells kind of sweet and medicinal, with notes of brown sugar and crystal malt. flavor is off-dry and plum-like with a hint of cherry and an extended if not slightly sour, slightly alcoholic finish. a bit more hop profile than i'm used to in a wee heavy (though my experience with them is limited). medium to full in the mouth with a creamy, resinous texture. i guess i'd have to rate it's drinkibility as relatively high as it doesn't seem to have too much of a kick, but it's not a beer i would choose to session because overall i'm not too crazy about it. though i'm not saying it's a bad beer, just alot of other ales out there i'd rather sip. the bittering effect on the finish is somewhat like the beer equivalent of a gin and tonic.

 816 characters

Photo of bodybyadam
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at DEC 06 Winter Fest. Poured from tap into 5oz sampler. This was the 06 brew but the 05 brew was there and I’m not quite sure which one was the more fair. This review will be of the younger.
A: A dark brown color translucent beer with no head to note.

S: The nose had some mild notes of possibly Cascade hops, yet no obvious malt notes came out.

T: At first taste a blast of sour apple came within a subtle malt. Maybe a caramel malt. The taste is definitely different. Later there were some phenol characters, and a finish of bubblegum. Yes I cleared my palette.

M: This had a thin to medium feel, that with the diverse flavor turned out a decent beer.

D: I thought this brew to be unique but to be a winter brew was kind of strange. I did prefer the aged one over the younger. The 05 carried many more malt characteristics.

 848 characters

Photo of oberon
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first "clunker" I have had from Hale's,poured adeep amber/brown with just a very thin wispy head that was gone in a blink it looked like flat pop really no lace just flatness.A flat lifeless mouthfeel no carbonation to speak of,decent flavors dark fruit like that of dried cherries and raisins intertwined with caramel and brown sugar notes.Damn I am not sure if I got a bad bottle or what but it was flat and lifeless,sure it has decent flavor but to many other things keep this beer down.

 494 characters

Photo of 1whiskey
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a molasses brown with some copper hues around the edges. Not too much of a head despite an aggressive pour, but this is still pretty cold, as it's right out of the fridge.

Smells of sweet malty goodness, with molasses accounted for in the nose and not just the eye. Distinguishing peat moss aromatics are welcome, it's been too long since I had a wee heavy.

Taste is typical burnt sugar/caramel taste, as well as some raisan and currant notes. Hop bitterness is a little too forward for the style, IMO, but are not too distracting. This does seem a little on the watery side for the style as well, but this is still rather enjoyable. Finishes with lingering hop resin aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is rather wet and slippery, and the body is a little thin, especially considering the style. Carbonation is adequate. As far as drinkability goes....as I said it seems a little thin. ABV is not listed but there is not the noticable alcohol warming normally assosciated with the style. So I guess that makes it very drinkable....if you want more.

Not my favorite wee heavy but it will do in a pinch.

 1,156 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a standard pint.

A: A 1/2 finger creamy ivory head on top of a murky ruby-brown pour. Almost still and with minimal lace, looks wike a typically rich wee heavy.

S: Faint sweet malts, with slight spices and sugariness. A floral perfume that's grassy & herbal.

T: Molasses, caramel & brown sugar with an overcoating of hops. A bit of metallic taste with hop bitterness. Perfumy, but has a decent complexity.

M: Slick, slightly oily, just a touch weak. Has a sticky residue with a medium mouthfeel.

D: Worthy of having again. Nothing spectacular, but has good balance and flavor. Give this one a try...

 646 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with orange highlights, topped by an off-white head that quickly recedes to a small halo. Nose of sweet dark malt, brown sugar, and a hint of smokiness. Palate is again sweet up front, with dark malt lending a deep brown sugary sweetness, along with some dark fruit. No discernible hop presence. A light alcohol warming sensation emerges on the finish. Body is a bit creamy, but leaves me wishing it were a littler thicker. Not a particularly interesting beer, but certainly passable.

 509 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This pours like a chunk of dusk. Not quite dark but certainly not light either. Almost zero head and no lacing. Nose is sugary and nothing else. The taste reminds me of a sugary sweet ale sans hops. Really nothing to get excited over. No real complexity to speak of. Mouth is nice and full though, probably the highlight of this beer. I'm glad I opted to buy a single of this rather than a sixer. It doesn't totally suck but then again the thought of having to drink 5 more kind of does.

 487 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is malty, sweet. Not much fermentation character (i.e. fruit or esters) There's a roasty quality in the background that's kind of nice.

Deep red with a nice lasting tan head. Head stays thick throughout the glass.

Taste is very frutiy from the malt. There's a pretty substantial hop bitterness (very out of place for a Scottish-style beer.) In fact, the initial sweetness is wiped clean by a lingering bitter finish. I get no peatiness which is often a hallmark of Scottish. I also don't get any estery undertones that a strong scottish should have.

Now to the good, I really like drinking this beer. If I were sitting at a judging and this were placed before me as a Wee Heavy, it would get trashed. But it's a really nice well made winter warmer type of beer. It's strong, but also refreshing and the hop/malt balance is really good.

Mouthfeel is nice and full bodied with subtle creamy carbonation.

I really like it, I'll probably buy it again and enjoy it. I'm not a style freak so I'm cutting the beer a lot of slack.

 1,043 characters

Photo of masikon
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent chestnut with a slight off-white head receding quickly leaving only a collar and a bit of swirling. Nose is strong with astringent qualities causing one to percieve a fairly high ABV, unlisted but perhaps 8ish percent? Taste is malty and sweet with cinnamon and raisins coming to mind, somewhat metallic mouthfeel with a definite pronounced alcoholic tingle. Finish is quite abrupt leaving me to wonder what happened after the swallow, not much to think about once this one goes down the hatch. Overall a fair beer, unremarkable but warming and pleasant on a rainy Washington night.

 602 characters

Photo of Cwrw
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Wee Heavy from Hale's poured a nice tawny chestnut red, with light purple hues. The beer appears quite clear. The head is dirty white, beige, and left thick screens of lace. The aroma is creamy malt with hints of vanilla and some solvent and spice notes. The aroma is not quite as sweet as I was expecting, and there seems a point where it just stops giving off any complexity. It is by no means an unpleasant smell though: soap and fresh grass, caramel, a dash of hops, candied apple, brown bread, definite apple peel, and a peculiar aroma I cannot describe, similar to soap, but with some astringency. Strong hints of dark roasted malt in the mouth, leaving a dry burnt toast feeling. Hints of brown sugar, butterscotch, and sweet fruits with a touch of metal. The hopping is hard to find in the finish, but it does come in the long run, leaving some dusty pollin bitterness, but only just. The beginning and middle is quite sweet, but the aftertaste is actually extremely dry, leaving the edges of your mouth without saliva. Grainy and medium-bodied, with fairly low carbonation.
I do not find it overly drinkable due to the dryness that just does not quite suit the style. This is definitely a beer I would drink again though. I just found it was not quite as sweet or full as I thought it might be.

 1,309 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer looks brown and big but the taste is a let down with very little big malt for this style. This is billed as the big winter beer but the flavours are too subdued and soft. Pump up the volume and make this a real winter warmer. The winter beer is the chance for the brewer to make a statement.

 300 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a red hued brown color wtih no head. The nose is sweet, with some tones of cherry and fig in there. It smells a little strong for what I want right now, but thats not the fault of the beer. The flavor is not as sweet as the nose would tell. There are sweet cherry and caramel notes, but also a rich roasted character as well. Not bad at all. The feel is a little weak, not quite thick enough to carry the flavor and nose. I like it, but its not something I would make a habit of drinking.

 504 characters

Photo of beerceller99
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from xmas 1997.
Poured a decent 1 finger head with a cloudy reddish brown color. Fairly strong aroma of orange peels and ginger. Complex, citrus-spice taste mixed nicely with caramel sweet malts. Full bodied, chewy mouthfeel.Finished slightly yeasty with a warming alcohol taste on the breath.

 309 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nce deep brown color, that is translucent at the bottom, but the thick brown liquid swallows up light at the top of the glass. Smells mostly of hops and floral aromas. Taste is really dominated by the strong alcohol content that I perceive it has (no listed ABV). Still has a nice hops finish, and a full creamy mouthfeel. I'd be willing to bet this is a one-at-a-time beer, no sessioning for me. Too strong and full-bodied for that.

 433 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured hazy dark amber brown with a decent head which fell quickly. No hop aroma, but a slight deep malt aroma with slight alcohol. Flavor is winey malt and slight chocolate with an alcohol burn. The finish is dry and bitter on the tongue and then fades into a burnt caramel aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thin.

12 ounce bottle, label says bottle conditioned.

 369 characters

Photo of ecoboy
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mahogany in hue, great lacing.

Malt and mild spice, with dark cake and raisins in the roof of the mouth. Caronation washes the tongue. Warm, not all that round (for a scotch style) mouthfeel only a tad bigger taht a British Brown. Nice use of restraint for the American Northwest.

Fairly average for a "wee heavy" which might offer more nuances and fuller presence.

 371 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Thick brown with a reddish hue. The head was decent and left a little lacing.

Smell – Light smoke character with a faint malt base. There’s not much to smell here.

Taste – The taste though is pretty good. The peat smoke flavor is clean and crisp, and there are just enough hops to balance things out. I can also pick up a small sugary sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied and somewhat dry. This one feels good and clean in the mouth.

Drinkability – This is an excellent winter session ale. It went down without a hitch and fit the style nicely. Great effort by this local brewery.

 611 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red color, small white foamy head, malty and smoky aroma. Very malty, smooth taste, some hoppyness, nice malt sweetness somewhat fruity with touches of smokeyness.. Nice balance of hops and malts. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty, no bitterness.

 265 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy deep-mahogany body is capped by a short lid of creamy light-tan foam. The head retention is limited and it drops shortly to just a thin collar. Oddly enough, however, it does leave some minor spotty lace about the glass. A gentle aroma of spiced cookies and some background smokiness welcome you to imbibe. The body is medium and works well with its very fine and moderate carbonation to leave it smooth and just-lightly creamy in the mouth. And a gentle mouthfeel is needed as spice (cinnamon, ginger?) immediately hits the tongue in the flavor - a higher level of carbonation would accentuate that spiciness, and it's pretty full as it is. Some moderate caramel follows as it warms across the tongue, backed by an additional touch of alcoholic "spice"; and finally a whisk of whirling bitterness that leads into a dry and spicy finish that's awash in drying alcohol. A really interesting and enjoyable beer that makes a great nightcap or after-dinner drink.

 975 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep copper to almost mahogany, the head modest in size and the texture frothy, with a decent covering of lace upon the glass. The aroma sweet malt, caramel, light hints of cinnamon, quite a nice nose, with the start sweet and malt laden, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish has a pleasant hop spicy bite and the carbonation moderate with a very dry lingering aftertaste.

 402 characters

Photo of Reidrover
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought in the 12 oz brown "stubbie" Bottle conditioned.
after a fairly vigourous pour i got a half inch off white head..but didn't last though a great lace was left all down my glass.The beer is a deep dark ruby red when held up to the light.
I loved the aroma in this brew..can smell all sorts of dark roasted malt accents..alcohol too is smellable( is that a word?)BUt theres a nice strong fruity aroma too sweet fruits like blackberry, cherries etc.
Lovelly tatseing brew at near room temperatures many different tastes come to light after a few deep sips..the sweetness of the roasted malts is first to appear..after a nice balanced hop bitterness ..in between cocoa, dark esspreso, blackberry, raisins..all come to mind..very well done.
Feels remarkably smooth over the palate.
Quite a drinkable "wee heavy" very well done.te but the taste buds are tingling!

 868 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is ruby brownish with no head, just some small bubbles that dissolved fast and has no real lacing effect. Faint, sweetly spiced malt aroma. Taste is subtle, kinda tangy with a slightly nutty but mostly malty sweet flavor. Feel is light bodied and on the oily/silky side with a good sweet tang on the tongue. Smooth easy drinker with a good sweet tang taste and feel. Not sure where the "wee heavy" comes from?

 415 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma starts off as a rich and pretty straight malt with slight roast and even less smokey scents, but as it warms it begins to take on some character, including a fruity (plum) quality that is quite appealing. Deep red amber, with a mahogany hue. Thin tan head that settles more, but remains paper thin and leaves some lacing. Clear. Nice rich malt flavor without becoming cloyingly sweet. Flavor remains consistent strart through the finish. That moves to a medium long lasting conclusion on the tongue with a slightly dry quality. Full yet soft carbonation feel. Medium body (probably not as heavy as it should be). Also, no alcohol noticable in flavor. Highly drinkable Wee Heavy. Enjoyable, somewhat hearty winter ale.

 723 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-brown color with a thick, tan head that leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt with a bit of graininess. There is also a bit of fruitiness in the aroma. The flavor up front is sweet malt, which flows to a bready, raisiny flavor. It finishes with a dry somewhat hoppy, metallic finish. It is a decent brew overall, but the metallic finish killed this one for me.

 379 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, fine tan head. Aroma is nutty, soft, creamy, and a little spicey. Very tasty texture, and sweet. Balance is in favor of malt here, with little evidence of hops. A great toffeish flavor comes through in the middle. Very candyish, but still hearty and satisfying. A smooth, delicious, and very welcome antidote to the bitter sting of winter cold.

 362 characters

Hale's Wee Heavy Winter Ale from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
3.67 out of 5 based on 106 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.

    Subscribe