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Helles Belles | Ninkasi Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
34 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
87
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
18.61%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
Helles BellesHelles Belles
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cbarrett4 on 08-28-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 87
Reviews by cbarrett4:
Photo of cbarrett4
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass during Portland Mighty Mites small beer festival~

Pours a pale straw hue with some gold highlights, good head that quickly dissipates to a decent lace.

Very clean, fresh, and fruity on the nose. Not terribly complex, but appealing nonetheless. More complex on the palate with a faint fruity pebbles like cocktail of fruit flavors, mildly bitter German hops, and a fresh grassy note.

Light body but with decent texture and good grip, lots of acidity to cut through the fruity flavors and refresh the palate. The German hops and yeast definitely take over on the finish.

Very clean, very refreshing, and pretty darn good. Beware the 5.1% abv, it doesn't seem like it!

 700 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of MattSlem
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I don't think this one gets the credit that it deserves. Fantastic representation of the style, eyes closed, I would have guessed that this was from an old world brewery. Ninkasi's lagers (Prismatic Series) are on point, hard. Damn. My only criticism is that I get a faint astringent alcohol note.

 299 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear, straw yellow in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is straw, grass, and faint honey. Nice light bodied sessionable lager. I have others I prefer in the style, but this is good.

 189 characters

Photo of Lagerdetoro
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Not to waste a lot of time: I cracked open a twelve ounce bottle, poured it into a pint glass, smelt it and sipped and drank- I finished it and cracked open a can of Rolling Rock- poured it into a fresh pint glass; smelt, sipped and drank. By Golly! The Rolling Rock looked and tasted better! At half the price. Surely, Ninkasi can do better that this.

 357 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle - wow, I just did a Jude-themed review, and now one that is an ode to AC/DC? You can't see me flippin' the horns right now, but you can imagine it!

This beer pours a clear, very pale golden straw colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly bone-white head, which leaves some white lightning flashing across the sky lace around the glass as it quickly abates.

It smells of bready and doughy pale malt, white saltine crackers, aged lemon flesh, a hint of earthy yeast, and grassy, herbal, and slightly skunky green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, dried white bread, muddled acrid citrus notes, some tame Euro gasohol, a still wayward son yeastiness, and more herbal, weedy, and yup, skanked-up hoppiness.

The bubbles are adequate in their lifting and parting frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and more or less smooth, the nature of the hops not of the douchey, interfering for no reason sort. It finishes off-dry, just, as the robust cereal malts keep parrying with the lingering tainted green hop astringencies.

Overall, this seems to be striving a bit too hard to attain a mixture of Continental pils/lager 'character'. The petrol, yeast, and skunkiness are certainly all familiar notes, but, c'mon, dial it back, because as it stands now, they're taking me down and dragging me around.

 1,364 characters

Photo of dertyd
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Fatehunter
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head on a clear golden body.
The aroma is straw, grain and a little metal.
The taste has mild bitterness, then a longer sweet finish.
The texture is crisp and fizzy.
A sweeter lager but good.

 204 characters

Photo of DOCRW
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of rfreed
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AdamSkylar
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tolnik
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very, very, very pale yellow in color with a white head.

S: Very light aroma, crisp with light bread notes, and some light straw.

T: Light and fruity, with citrus notes and a slight earthy flavor in the finish. Lightly bready. Nice.

M: Light, crisp, and somewhat dry. Carbonation is medium.

O: Overall a pretty decent beer.

 336 characters

Photo of hannaho
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

3/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

I will buy this again and again.

 828 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 577 characters

Photo of mikebu
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OregonGrown7
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kylemckinnis
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of GeorgeAKeim
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of grnmtnman
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RobertDBrase
4.01/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear golden color with a thin soapy white head that disappears quickly and a hell of a lot of carbonation.

Typical malty smell that has that bready odor and a faint smell of hops.

Taste follows the nose with some lightly sweet malt with some peppery beer playing across mid tongue. Just a hint of hops up front.

Mouth feel is light and has a very crisp finish.

First off the ABV is off on here because it is listed as 5.10% and on the bottle they list it as 5.3%. This however is a moot point. What we have here is a very light and crisp finishing beer that is full on flavor. This is my first beer in this style and I am very impressed. Being a pilsner lover this style is very similar if this beer is any indication of the style. Maybe minus some of that extra hoppiness of the pilsners.

 802 characters

Photo of primocarnerra
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bad boy tastes like a Budweiser. If I want a Bud, I will buy a Bud, and it will be cheaper than this lager monster.

Okay, I drank the second half of my beer, and then had another, and I have decided this is just a bit better than Bud, but not super significantly. What's the deal with lagers? There must be someone doing something micro special with lagers ------- something unique and Brooklydish, artisanal, vegan, Earl Grey lager with a hint of mustard seed and smells just like Alaska --- that sort of thing. Anyhow, anyhow, I am into my third Helles Belles, and I am going to finish this and go down to the 7-11 and get a six pack of Bud Light and watch some NCAA Basketball. The wife is away, so it is a good day. I will finish the expensive Ninkasi (what's up with that name?) when I am sober.

Oh yeah, this stuff is a nice pale yellow, with a good 2 fingers of head and delicate lacing. It smells of light hops and has certain sweetness to it. I sense a little unripe pear and overripe grapefruit. The malt is balanced out by the light bitter hops. The mouthfeel is TASTY TASTY!

 1,099 characters

Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Furious bubbles course up through an extremely pale, pallid, straw-gold limpidity. Good wet-straw, grain-husk, and yeast-fruit aromas. Big grassy taste; very soft lemon-sugar and grape-fruit pith, with good carbonic and super-extra-dry-malt bite. Bit of a sticky mouthfeel, but it's mild, and overall the textural impression is refreshing.

Very true-to-style—but maybe too much, to a certain extent, as it's very much just bubbly, grassy bite, mild malt, and thin thirst-quenching. Those descriptors don't sound bad, but I wanted just a little bit more from a Ninkasi product. Their Venn, for instance, is a bit better beer in a similar weight-class.

 659 characters

Photo of Justin-m
4.28/5  rDev +18.9%

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Helles Belles from Ninkasi Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.