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RATINGS: 552   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.49/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
Our "winter warmer" ale, brewed with copious helpings of English malts and US and English hops, a ruddy hued "Imperial ESB" in style. Full malty flavors dancing with powerful hop aromas and a lingering, firm hop bitterness. Seasonally available from mid October to February.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (1504) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 22, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It had a best before date of March 2014 and cost $2.89 ($0.24 per ounce).

Appearance: Dull copper hue with some visible carbonation. Pours to a large, white, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Virtually odorless. Hint of sweet malt. Thatís about it.

Taste: Heavy Seas Winter Storm is described as an "Imperial ESB," which would seem to be a contradiction in terms. While I donít claim to be an expert on the style, I do know what it should taste like and I donít think this is it. The beer is a strange concoction of malt flavor and strong hop presence. Itís not that the flavors are bad, itís just that they donít seem to match up.

Much like the aroma, the malt presence here is quite faint. Slightly rustic, slightly spicy character with a hint of cinnamon, some confectionery notes and a touch of dark fruit. While thatís somewhat enjoyable, thereís a strong hoppy character that overshadows it. Dank, earthy, spicy hops are strong from beginning to end. They donít seem to have genuine flavor, but are just there for spice. The problem is there isnít enough base beer to support this much hop character. At no point is it off-putting, but at no point is it particularly enjoyable.

Drinkability: I was surprised by the low drinkability of this beer. While Heavy Seas Winter Storm is not all that complex, itís definitely robust as the bitterness (and some alcohol) really make themselves known. I found myself drinking it in short sips. The mouthfeel is medium, and not all that smooth. It leaves a dry, bitter aftertaste. At 7.5% ABV there should be much more flavor here than there is. Thankfully, that alcohol is not too intense, though there is minor warmth to be felt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tillmac62 (512) - Gaffney, South Carolina, USA - DEC 10, 2013
Pours a nice medium amber with red hue that has a nice head that laces and retains well. Nice light nose of biscuit malt with a touch of hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A nice balanced flavor of caramel malt sweetness and bitterness against a mild hop flavor, which I believe is East Kent Goldings. Finishes clean with malt sweetness followed by the bitters. My first sampling of Heavy Seas products, and this one outstanding. A nice change of pace for winter warmers that is expertly done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beergeek23322 (2602) - Chesapeake, Virginia, USA - NOV 25, 2013
12/1/2009. From bottle labeled as Category 5. Pours red-brown to copper color with a tan head. Big malty aromas with hints of caramel and hops. Earthy flavors with caramel and hops.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Maxbier (714) - Maryland, USA - NOV 23, 2013
Deep oaky color, creamy tan head, aroma if oats, alcohol, raisin, smoke. Creamy mouth feel, apples and barley. Small hops flavor with bitter finish. Finish is similar to grapefruit juice; lingers a few minutes.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
robgibbens (424) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - NOV 23, 2013
Draft at Gillyís in Rockville, MD. Decent dark amber color with an OK foam. Good bitter flavor. Finishes a bit chalky for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dliberto (216) - Hampstead, Maryland, USA - NOV 17, 2013
On tap at the Padonia Ale House. Pours a real dark brown. Small tan head. Nice hop taste while not being the main focus of this brew. The malts take over to give a nice smooth finish. A little bitter. Real good beer

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Goblincat (398) - Petersburg, Michigan, USA - NOV 10, 2013
UPDATED: JUL 18, 2015 Nice looking and nice tasting. I like the mix of hint of hops and grain, flowing with smooth malt. Very good balance of flavors, this is one I will buy again soon.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Caytinator (1005) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 28, 2013
Fantastic bitter beer, one of those thatís better than the beer itís based on. Malty but balanced, it definitely seems more and more drinkable as temperatures cool.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DCLawyer (1969) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - OCT 12, 2013
Bottle->SA. Bright amber with medium offwhite head. A: caramel malt, nuts, earth. T: same, with toffee, bittersweet aftertaste. Pretty good.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Selene6 (21) - - AUG 4, 2013
Butter aftertaste, but deep and interesting. Can imagine drinking this during a winter storm

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