Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heavy Seas Hang Ten

I remember stopping by a brewpub called Sisson's in the historic Federal Hill section of Baltimore back around 1994.  Sisson's was opened by Al Sisson in 1989 and it was Maryland's first brewpub since Prohibition.  The brewpub served Creole fare, which was very good, but it was the beer that really stood out.  The head brewer at the time was Al Sisson's son, Hugh Sisson.  Hugh had an ownership share in the restaurant, which he sold when we started his own brewery, Clipper City Brewing Company.  Hugh later developed a series of beers, called Heavy Seas, which he brews with Ernesto Igot, the former brewer at the San Miguel Brewery in the Phillippines.  The Heavy Seas features a series of high-powered beers, such as the Hang Ten.

The Hang Ten is a German-styled weizen doppelbock or weizen bock.  This style of beer features a high percentage of malted wheat (at least 50%), along with barley malts.  One of the oldest weizen bocks has been produced by Aventinus since 1907.

While Hugh Sisson has not been making this bock beer as long as Aventinus, he certainly has brewed a great example of the style.  The beer pours a darker brown, and you can definitely smell the alcohol in the beer.  After all, it is 10% ABV.  The alcohol can also be tasted in the beer, but that is also be expected given the ABV.  But the beer is very smooth, coating the tongue with a warming sensation, along with a taste of vanilla, banana, and clove.

According to the Heavy Seas website, this beer can be aged for two years.  Something I might try to do, especially given the price of the beer is $5.99 for a 22 ounce bottle and is available at most stores. I would definitely recommend this beer.


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