Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clipper City Heavy Seas Winter Storm "Category 5" Ale

Didn't know much about the Clipper City brewery out of Baltimore, Maryland, until a fellow trader threw in this Winter seasonal, Heavy Seas Winter Storm "Category 5" Ale, as an extra. The brewery classifies it as an Imperial ESB and this is the only beer of that kind I've ever seen.

The aroma starts very similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, with piny and earthy hops coming through pretty big, but there's also a combo of lots of pale and caramel malt behind it. The taste starts off with a hop blast but then fades into a caramel sweetness (or maybe melanoidin since it's reminiscent of that oktoberfest sweetness) . As I drink it more and more I get a lot more of the malt making this a really tasty winter-warmer type of beer at 7.5% ABV. I'd have to say this was probably one of the most "drinkable" beers I've had in a while. I could see myself ponying up to a bar and having a few of these throughout the night and enjoying it immensely. 4.35 / A

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