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Hell - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
HellHell

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

857 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 120
Gots: 75 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Not unlike a Zwickel Bier from Germany, Hell is not filtered and fermented with lager yeast. American hops takes a back seat to the Pils malt sweetness and fresh bread aroma. The color is well... hell (Deutsch for light). It's fiendishly drinkable, and you don't have to sell your soul to get another.

(Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 08-26-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasty stuff.Straw colour. Fresh, hopped light and tasty. Great drinkability, although so dainty that the carbonation, though not aggressive, is obtrusive.Moderate citrus.Thanks John for bringing back. Something that I can drink pint after pint of.Spot on.

Sammy, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +11%

t0rin0, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -21.7%

djrn2, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

zestar, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

acurtis, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge back in November 2009.

Pours a nice straw color with a bit of unfiltered haze. A nice finger-and-a-half of white head with nice legs as it retreats. Smell has a pilsner, grainy sweetness with an ever-so-slight hop presence. A bit grassy with hints of herbal earth. Taste is very similar with a tiny amount of spice thrown in there. Mouthfeel is light with a nice crispness. Very drinkable; reminds me yet again why I need to always have more Surly.

Thorpe429, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +4.4%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Texasfan549, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of grainy malts and earthy yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of yeast along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes somewhat like a pale lager but has a lot more flavors due to its unfiltered nature. It's relatively easy to drink.

metter98, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

GRG1313, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.4%

kjkinsey, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear golden color and a modest head that leaves the occasional splash

Smell: Crisp and grainy, with a hint of tart lemon

Taste: Opens bready with a quick detour to lemony herbaciousness; after the swallow, there is a lemon pound cake aspect that combines the sweet malt with the bitter lemon flavors

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: Who would have thought a light lager could pack this much flavor? Surly did.

brentk56, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ultra floral lager that shares a lot in common with zinfindale and honey suckle.

Hell pours with a bright straw, lightly golden color and with little fan fare. The beer releases its carbonation early on and the initial thin lace of foam disipates fairly quickly.

A perfumy boquet of floral hops, light fruits, and honey malts mix for a varying and inviting scent. Winey (fruit wine) aromas give the impressions of apples (cider), pears, and white grapes.

Where the aromas are fruity and winey, the flavors instead take on an expected part-grain, part-malt profile with a light cracker-like flavor and pronounced hop bitterness. Lightly grassy/flowery, the beer takes on a delicate herbal hop flavor. Acidic flavors and sulfur taste also contribute complexity and balance, but maybe a bit too much as the beer warms.

Light-moderate roundness lightens considerably as the hop dryness, alcohol, acidity, and sulfury textures ward off the malt creaminess for a crisp finish and long bitterness. Mildly astringent because of the grains, but these sensations work in conjuntion with the hop bitterness and graininess.

Hell is a very floral German-style lager, whose intense hop compounds seem ester-like at times. A supurbly balanced, complex, and delicate lager.

Thanks Shango42!

BEERchitect, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."

--Mark Twain

Kruggerand gold with bright lemon peel borders. Sparkling bubbles ascend to a two finger cap of alabaster colored creaminess that has loads of character. Lace that actually looks like lace puts the finishing touches on this lovely lager.

The aroma is simple and clean, but it too has plenty of character. White bread with a light muskiness and a hint of citrus is beginning to make my mouth water. Hard to believe that only 15 IBUs worth of Opal hops is making the beer smell this good. Maybe the German yeast strain is helping as well.

After watching beer exit can and giving it a few good sniffs, my expectations were on the high side for Hell. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite measure up. This would be better beer if it had a little more malt sweetness, a little more hop flavor and a little less hop bitterness. It's close to being good, though. Very close.

There simply aren't enough different flavors (and depth of flavor) to carry the day. The fresh grain and white breadiness that was expected never really materializes. The hops deliver a hint of lemon peel and white pepper... and slightly too much bitterness. Never have 15 IBUs been this biting. Must be a lack of malt sugars.

The mouthfeel flirted with the next lowest score for most of the can. In the end, however, it gains just enough 'oomph' for enjoyment to be had. The bubbles are sparkly early, pass through the ideal zone in the middle, and are lazy late.

Hell is neither eternal punishment nor eternal reward. It's much, much closer to the latter and might even get there with a few well-chosen changes. In the end, Surly Purgatory is probably a more appropriate name. I applaud Todd and Omar for 'going small', and hope they continue to do so... as long as the beers that made them famous continue to be brewed. Thanks to feloniousmonk for setting one aside for me.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

ygtbsm94, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would almost like to call this one a Macro done right! A very kind and courteous BA sent me a good bit of this one and I am very glad that he did. Served cold and poured into a pint glass.

The pour was the best I could see. Clear, rich golden amber in color with tons of carbonation bubbling up toward the surface. Massive looking I have to say. Aroma at first is dominated by notes of wheat and light earthy hops, but warming brings out much more complexity and in fact a good bit of richness. Hints of almost lavender and jasmine, more then likely not, but that same floral kind of aroma is there. Smooth, clean, crisp, and a bit heavier then I would have expected given the style. Rich flavor abounds here. Tons of malt up front but very nicely balanced against a big hop finish and a grainy and earthy aftertaste.

Overall a wonderful addition to their lineup. This is damn near a perfect summer brew, I could have drank ten of these without batting an eye, it was just that smooth. Go get this one.

mikesgroove, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to mikesgroove for sending me this beer. I was very pleasantly surprised to see this can in the box I received.

On to the beer!

A: Hell pours a clear, light golden color with a finger's worth of white foam and lots of tiny bubbles.

S: This is my first beer of this style, which always leads to a nice adventure. The aroma is sweet and somewhat malty, not much in the way of hops, but a mild hop spiciness and a faint skunk, which I usually expect from a lager.

T: I was a bit worried about this one from the nose, but the flavor is far better. Hell has a primarily malty and spicy flavor. There is a subtle earthiness on the finish.

M: The carbonation is moderate to high and gives the beer a nice light mouthfeel. In this case, light is not a bad thing.

D: The fairly mild and overall non-offensive flavors of this beer, combined with the light mouthfeel make it a very easy drinker. I'm generally not a big lager fan, and this beer certainly didn't change my mind. That said, it was pretty good and very nice to have tried.

womencantsail, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out looking like liquid gold, it was very nice looking. It was a very clear looking yellowish gold color with a nice solid white head on top. The retention and lacing on this beer was quite nice and rather impressive for a beer of this style. The smell of of the beer is a little on the yeast side with some subtle hops aromas and malt sweetness. The taste of the beer is malty with a strong hop bitter finish, some lighter notes of grain and bread in there. Not overly grassy which I was happy about. The mouthfeel is clean and crisp, it's sharp feeling too, good carbonation and body. Overall this is a good brew, not my favorite style but it goes down really easy and could be enjoyed anytime.

Knapp85, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +4.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

SocalKicks, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured into a pokal a clear somewhat dull lighter golden with a nice thick white crown atop.All malts in the nose with a tinge of iron,just a faint leafy hop aroma is detected.Smooth and drinkable with toasted malts standing out,went well with some pork shanks and kraut last night.

oberon, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A can of this crisp, refreshing lager beer was generously provided by bifrostguard. Thanks, mate.

It's clear and golden in my stein, topped by a thick white head that settles to a film with a thick ring around it. Lovely.

The aroma is honey-like and semi-sweet, hinting at cereal grains and apricots.

On the palate I get grain and fruit flavors and ample bitterness from hops and grain husk. It's light, clean, refreshing as hell (lmao) with a grainy, mildly bitter finish. Beyond a hint of initial sweetness up-front, this beer is quite dry and crisp. Another delicious canned offering from Surly; can this brewery do wrong? (The answer, FYI, is yes, they can, but not often).

largadeer, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Served from the can in a tumbler.

Another Surly first for me thanks to my main man Vdubb. This stuff pours a slightly hazy straw topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises light grass, mild biscuit, light dried honey, mild flowers, and the faintest notion of hard water. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger contingent of both grass and flowers. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this was an American take on a Czech pils, rather than a helles lager. Whatever. The body is fairly light, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, an enjoyable drink, no matter the style.

TMoney2591, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/18/13
Just arrived in Chicago this past week.

Straw gold with a pleasant unfiltered haze, topped with a finger of creamy foam that settles after a few minutes. Plenty of lacing in the glass.

Soft aroma of white bread, lager yeast, and subtle notes of grassy noble hops.

Clean and smooth, light apple and crackers, very mild grassy bitterness. Soft supple finish, clean and dry, well carbonated and not at all watery. This is a great Helles, very traditional and tasty when fresh, tailor made for warm weather in the Biergarten.

emerge077, Nov 24, 2013
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Hell from Surly Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.