I can’t say I’ve had a lot of beer from Heavy Seas, nor do I quite understand their nautical theme fully, but from what I remember, I enjoyed their imperial stout Peg Leg, and their IPA, Loose Cannon has an A- on BeerAdvocate with over 1,000 votes, so it can’t be too bad either.
Grabbed this one in Decatur, as a beer off of the local liquor store’s (the one in town with the most craft beer) recently created mix-a-six rack. It’s a small liquor store that is making progress in terms of its selection, but let’s just say that the mix-a-six rack is still small enough today that I have a very difficult time picking out six beers from there that I want to drink, much less six beers that I’ve never had before. This imperial pilsner from Heavy Seas, however, is one of the rare offerings they stock that is indeed completely new to me.
Heavy Seas Small Craft Uber Pils
NOTES: 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip
APPEARANCE: Clear, golden into light orange.
NOSE: Not too strong, and I’m picking up more toasty malt than I am noble hops, which might be what one would expect. Minimal spicy hop character. It smells more like a maibock, which is weird, because on the label there’s text that says “bock lager” in the description, although it’s clearly supposed to be an imperial pilsner, and is listed that way on BeerAdvocate as well. Style confusion at work?
TASTE: Rounded layers of that very specific German maltiness run away with the beer before the hops catch up. Has the malty character of maerzan-type brew gone stronger—no nuttiness or roast of a bock. Mild-to-medium sweetness as well. I wish it were more dry and hoppy, if an imperial pilsner is indeed what it’s meant to be.
MOUTHFEEL: Fairly thin-bodied, tastes a bit lighter than its 7% abv.
DRINKABILITY: Not very high, for my sense of taste. Maibock is not my favorite style, and that’s what this beer reminds me most closely of. Malty German beer is fine with me, as long as the sweetness is restrained and the brew instead focuses on a toasted type of character. With this, I expected something more crisp and hoppy, even if it was an “imperial” pils.
SCORE: 2 hops. By no means an offensive beer, but not something I’ll be picking off the mix-a-six in the future.