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Helles Belles - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Helles BellesHelles Belles

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

34 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.85%

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cbarrett4 on 08-28-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 15 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by N3rdM3t4l:
Photo of N3rdM3t4l


3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint. Served at 50 F. No freshness date

A: super clear straw yellow, like a helles should look. About an inch of white head that fell to a thin cap of small bubbles. Small streams of bubbles coming from the bottom. It looks like a lager that's for sure.

S: Hoppy on the nose with a touch of sweet pale malts. The hallertau hops in this brew have the distinct noble smell that is a tad spicy. Smells like a good beer.

T: SUPER MALTY. None of the sweetness from the nose though. The hops hit hard too with a little spice and a little resiny note. In true Ninkasi tradition the hops leave a pleasant bitter on the tongue. I like this a lot, I like malty beers.

M: Medium bodied with a hint of carbonation that just tickles the tongue a little. Good beer.

O: I like it, too bad it's limited, good thing I got a 6pack. Not amazing but a well made beer that doesn't fall short in any category but doesn't excel in any either. I would gladly drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 21:27:27 | More by N3rdM3t4l
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British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +11.7%

03-05-2014 04:45:02 | More by phys1028
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4/5  rDev +11.7%

01-26-2014 05:56:02 | More by DOCRW
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3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

07-20-2013 17:25:01 | More by Smurf2055
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3/5  rDev -16.2%

04-10-2013 03:43:28 | More by kurt65
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2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

02-21-2013 19:14:56 | More by chugamugofsud
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3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

02-19-2013 05:29:44 | More by leedorham
Photo of Murrhey


3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two-finger cream-colored head. Light brown color with high clarity. Nice retention.

S- Noble hops, some sweet malts and the strange smell of meat. Quite odd really. Wheat finishes the smell off.

T- Some slight bitter noble hops that die off with the very sweet malts. Crisp.

M- Some bite, but fairly light with a reasonably dry finish.

O- Decent beer with nice drinkability but otherwise no standout qualities.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 22:42:08 | More by Murrhey
Photo of adkieffer


3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

12-17-2012 23:35:10 | More by adkieffer
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3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

11-20-2012 22:26:40 | More by irishgreensoda
Photo of woemad


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Main Market Co-Op in Spokane for $1.49. According to the label (which sadly features no freshness date), this is part of Ninkasi’s “Prismatic lager series.” This beer is apparently named for (besides being a Helles Lager) the all-female Ac/Dc tribute band that always seems to be playing somewhere in the western U.S.

Pours a shade of gold just darker than straw with an inch of bone-white foam that didn’t stay long but didn’t entirely recede, either.

Mild floral hops first greet the schnozz, with a few peppery notes mixed in for good measure. Further back is a faint, biscuity malt scent.

The hops arrive first at the taste bud beachhead, but they are soft and restrained. The malts don’t dominate the flavor much aside from giving the beer some backbone. A very softly dry note makes up the fade-out of this beer.

Fairly light bodied for something over 5% alcohol, with a very clean finish.

This makes for an outstanding summer beer – easy to drink yet still possessing enough hop flavor to give it character. I would definitely drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 19:39:38 | More by woemad
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4/5  rDev +11.7%

09-17-2012 22:47:30 | More by Eagle
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3/5  rDev -16.2%

08-08-2012 06:04:41 | More by Rathakem
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4.75/5  rDev +32.7%

07-18-2012 15:27:08 | More by dunix
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2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

07-05-2012 03:12:48 | More by hophopandaway14
Photo of flagmantho


3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale golden hue with a light effervescence and a touch of haze. Head is a thin layer of frothy white foam. Not bad.

Smell: light malt aroma with a nice sweetness and a hint of sour graininess. Not too bad.

Taste: mild malt flavor with a nice sweetness and a light but present amount of spicy noble hops. Bitterness is light but balanced. To-style and quite tasty; that sour grain from the aroma is absent in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: light body with a surprising carbonation given the mild effervescence. Quite a bit of creaminess comes out of this beer -- great!

Overall: this beer is quite decent. I was wary at first, but it turned out to be flavorful and fulfilling. Good stuff, I would definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 22:01:34 | More by flagmantho
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a clear, light golden amber, Half finger fine white head with good retention due to active carbonation; lacing. Looks nice. Aroma of bready malt and yeast. Taste is nicely melded bisquit malt and light hops, a hint of citrus. Finishes a bit astringent and slightly sour, but with enough of the malt to pull it through. Light to medium bodied. This is one of my first Munich helles lagers, but if the idea was to give a bit of Czech hops kick to a nice malty lager, this is a nice job. Not too exciting, but seems to style and is enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 03:31:26 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of zagduck


3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: looks like a Helles lager. Yellow with a white head

Smell: light hop aroma not much of a malt smell

Taste: this is where this beer loses me. Good light hop taste but really out of the style of a Helles. I gave it a 3.5 because it's good but not great and not true to the style.

Overall: I liked it and would probably order it again but as Bavarian style Helles are one of my favorites i was a little disappointed

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2012 22:45:48 | More by zagduck
Photo of twelveinches


3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

05-15-2012 05:49:45 | More by twelveinches
Photo of Reidrover


2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz single from "Lifesource" Salem $1.89 Clear corn oil yellow beer with a goodly sized frothy white head. Buscuity,cardboard,wet grass aromas..rather like a typical macro. Taste is quite malty but has a astringency that seems out of place ( and cheap beerish) Mouthfeel is average at best. Not impressed.. there has been some good lager type beers coming out of the PNW recently this is not one

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 23:03:33 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Flightoficarus


3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You've got me ringin' Helles Belles!...ok, on to the review :)

A - Pours a rich, clear gold w/a decent, white, single-finger head. Lacing is excellent.

S - Smell is of bready caramel malts, yeast, and subtle hops.

T - Taste is of bready malts, and honey, with lots of mixed grains, and balanced just enough from a subtle, grassy hops.

M - Medium bodied (especially for a lager), medium carbonation. Very sessionable.

O - Overall, the flavors here are a bit stronger and maltier than what I'm used to in a helles lager, but make no mistake, it's a quality session lager I'd come back to.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 04:10:34 | More by Flightoficarus
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3/5  rDev -16.2%

05-10-2012 00:29:50 | More by TheFlern
Photo of djbreezy


3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - golden, with a nice frothy white head

smell - hints of wheat

taste - nice bright character of wheat, malt and hops

mouthfeel - medium/light body

overall - nice, refreshing flavor, good session beer, a nice change of pace from Ninkasi

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 17:47:39 | More by djbreezy
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4/5  rDev +11.7%

04-27-2012 23:15:48 | More by hannaho
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a couple 12oz'ers of this last night at the Boise COOP... Finally getting around to giving it a proper review...

Pours with a decent white head... 3/4"... okay lacing and retention.... the brew is very clear dark golden....

Nose is pretty damn malty... almost too much, and I love malty lagers.. slight background of some spicy hoppiness.

Bitterness backbones the entire palate... but doesn't seem as clean as I would expect... maybe some hints of sulfur.. a bit of DMS.. pale malts come out swinging later than expected... the bigger grassy hoppiness is nice but is definitely "American"..

For a "Helles", it is too malty... but I dig it... Nicely done and I hope PNW breweries start making more "every day" lagers. Looking forward to Ninkasi's coming lagers.


I will buy this again and again.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2012 06:31:26 | More by JohnGalt1
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Helles Belles from Ninkasi Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.