olafurson (3) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - NOV 5, 2010 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
I missed this beer when it went off local shelves last year due to poor sales. I had originally lumped it into the same categories as Spaten’s Oktoberfest and Beck’s Oktoberfest for their same malt-heavy seasonality, but now realize the "Category 5 ale" needs to stand out on its own. Brew on, Clipper City!
DocLock (7198) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 17, 2005
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow, I expected this to be a run-of-the-mill winter ale. What I got was one of the best beers I’ve quaffed all year. The pour was deep copper with a 2-finger off-white head. The aroma is bready caramel malts, huge resiny hops, honeydew, tangerine, and spices. The flavor was caramel malty with gigantic hops and some mid-palate brown sugary citrus, including grapefruit, tangerine, and pineapple. Very complex, dense palate. This one is absolutely delicious. You need this!
noelcb (271) - Toledo, Ohio, USA - NOV 23, 2005
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured coppery chestnut brown, creamy tan head with staying power and nice lace. Aromas of alcohol, herbal hops, malt and metal. Wonderful full-bodied taste, heavy on malt and hops, with alcohol showing through. Great mouthfeel. Reminded me why they make IPAs.
rangerred (784) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - DEC 24, 2011
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Had on cask at Nicholson’s in Cincinnati.
Arrived a clear ruby with a small head. Excellent lacing.
The smell was full of floral/citrus hops. Some caramel malt as well.
The flavor is very hop forward. Wonderful citrusy hops dominate throughout with a quite assertive bitterness. Malt notes come in at the end and linger.
This is a great beer and one that I am thrilled I got to try on cask. Will definitely seek out again.
unclemattie (3905) - Georgia, USA - OCT 22, 2006
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled this at the Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival. Imperial ESB, what a great concept! Medium amber in color. Malt aromas. Rich bitter finish. Great house beer that needs to be casked!!
HighlanderOne (934) - Bergen County, New Jersey, USA - DEC 18, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Actually smells a bit like the ocean at first, before settling into an oaky, malty aroma. Hop, malt, alcohol and nut flavor. Clean hop aftertaste also reminds me of the sea (probably just me), with a slight alcohol kick. Lacing is present. Excellent hop flavor which intensifies a bit as you finish. A real nice find.
Trooper11 (468) - Suffolk, Virginia, USA - DEC 4, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours reddish-orange with a bitter orange zest aroma, serious hops are apparent. Wow, wet, refreshing hops. a mouthful of bitterness. ESB in this bottle means Extremely Severe Bitter! Nice warming burn all the way down. Slight sweet malt taste with notes of caramel and a wee bit heavy. Clipper City hits the mark again.
malrubius (1511) - Willowick, Ohio, USA - NOV 3, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 ounce bottle in pint glass. Reddish amber color with lasting light brown head and lace. Hoppy yeasty winey aroma. Mild malty caramel flavor with well-balanced hop finish, both bitter and flavorful. Lingering hop flavor. Medium body and carbonation. Pretty darn excellent. Too bad its not available year round. Could be a regular.
yesyouam (1016) - Fairport, New York, USA - DEC 13, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Heavy Seas Winter Storm Category 5 Ale is a crystal clear and very sparkling copper ale with a huge, foamy, off white head that has outstanding retention. A sweet grainy bready raisin aroma is kind if muffled by the head. The soft, smooth, full body has a bone dry finish. It’s creamy. A spicy bitterness is at the front, first like juniper and then like wood resin. There’s a slight baklava sweetness lingering, but the bitterness keeps it opressed. This is a big burly beer. Good stuff.
RedHaze (371) - Where the hell am I?, Nebraska, USA - FEB 19, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown with amber highlight. The head is about a 1/4 inch in height, an fades quickly to a thin cap and ring, leaving behind a nice webbing of lace.
Smell; very nice spicy and citric hops are very dominant, but this also has a nice biscuity malt aroma in the background.
Taste; citric and floral hops are upfront, but do not come off as overpowering. The toasted/biscuity malts do a very good job of balancing out the hop bitterness. Very nice, this is a beer that is good to savor, but would also be good to have a few of in a night.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability; mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation, and a great drinkability. If this were available near me, I would make it a regular in the beer fridge for the winter months.