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Hotter Than Helles Lager - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Hotter Than Helles LagerHotter Than Helles Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

108 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 108
Hads: 784
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 34.16%
Wants: 29
Gots: 128 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager | 5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PorterLambic on 09-28-2011

Our Munich Lager is a nod to the thirst quenching lagers of Germany. Our Helles has a sweet malt expression that is balanced by floral bitterness from the use of German Hallertaur Mittelfruh hops. A very refreshing beer that will also entice you by its subtle complexity and drinkability.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 108 | Hads: 784
Photo of jjamadorphd
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My second offering from Cigar City and it did not disappoint. It is, by far, the best lager I have had in quite some time, if not ever.

Although I wasn't much impressed by it's looks, other than the nice clear, golden color, it's head has little to no staying power even after a hard-pour. I noted a citrusy scent to the beer and it was very, very crisp, making it a drinkable beer in the heat. What most impressed me though was it's taste. To me, it was a wheat beer without the cloudiness. The crispness, the distant sweetness, and the easy "down-ability" of the beer is simply amazing. Another good one from Cigar City...

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Photo of delta490
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep clear gold with steady carbonation. There isn't much head and it doesn't leave any laci no. The aroma is biscuits and grass, not funky grass but a clean crisp aroma. The taste is stronger and malt-forward, with bread and a little lighter fruit sweetness. The body is lighter but not watery with a nice crisp finish.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gold in color with exceptional clarity. A faint wisp of off white is barely present on top. Faint odor of light bready malt is present. I taste light sourdough notes and just a hint of bittering hops in the fade. The body is very light, clean, and refreshing.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this one while touring the brewery in tampa. The name is dumb, no offense. It makes it seem like it's a pepper flavored beer. It's not. It's good, refreshing and has a nice German lager taste. I'd get this again as it's easy drinking.

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Photo of Jonboy418
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my go-to for beer at the beach. Comes in a can, check. Light and refreshing, check. Perfect session drinking, check.

This isn't going to be something you drink on a Saturday night at a bar, or pub, or even with a nice dinner (unless BBQ by the pool). This is a crisp, sweet, drinkable beer with enough of a grain flavor to keep your interest. But not overly complex to make you really think about this beer. Seriously, I'm at the beach and listening to the waves, not contemplating the aroma or look of this beer.

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Photo of Psytocrophic
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A great tradition helles, something most people on beer advocate know nothing about. It's a lighter profile than pils (baby pils) great for a hot summer day. I feel the bitterness is a little light and the malt character is also a tad on the lighter side for a helles. I feel this beer would benifit from a decoction to bring a more malty carmel profile without rasing the ABV and darken the beer to a more golden color. It poors a little light on color. A decoction and a little more assertive noble hop profile would make this a near perfect beer.

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Photo of Zonk
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow to gold. Drank from can so no clear head and aromas were muted. Had enough hop bite to be noticeable. Refreshing, clean and crisp. A decent lager.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really good lager. Has a good sweet and malty bite to it. I get some hops on the back of the tongue. Definitely one of the better lagers i have had.

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Photo of TH28
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Code date on can was illegible. Appearance: Light golden and clear, with a moderate white head. Aroma: Bready malt with faint spicy hop. Taste: Sweet, doughy malt with just enough hop bitterness to balance. Slight hint of some vegetal DMS on the backside. Mouthfeel: Light body with a crisp carbonation. Finish: Sweet maltiness lingers, while the bitterness quickly fades away. Overall: Really refreshing Helles. Malt character is bit more sweet than other versions of the style

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light orange, 1/2 inch white head that disasters quickly, no lacing

S: Malty, orange, slight hoppiness

T: Really malty, I get the orange flavor, floral hoppiness at the end

M: Light, crisp, dry

O: A good lager. Definitely a change up from the widely available American lagers. First I've had of this style and from a great brewery. I look forward to more from cigar city.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass, straw colored with a white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, clear

S: grassy, slight sweet grain, peppery hops

T: light flavors of sweet grains, pale malt is prevalent, slight spice of hops as the finish dries

M: light and crisp

O: good for hot summer, refreshing

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Photo of Jayroda82
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cigar city came highly recommended by a friend. Must say, I was slightly disappointed. Good beer...great at nothing. Glad i tried it, but will keep it moving.

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Photo of jkrich
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a freshness dated 12 oz. can: bright and clear with light golden hue with sustained foamy head.

This is a good representation of the style with perhaps a little to much fruity flavors for a lager. Very refreshing, lemony flavor with a hint of vanilla. No harsh metallic flavors sometimes found in attempts at this style.

Thirst quenching and quaffable for a hot day.

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Photo of saison19
4.92/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Slightly sweeter and lighter than most helles lagers i've had. I find it more session friendly. Taste is of fresh grain, with a slight and mellow hop bitterness. Somehow, the flavor and mouthfeel remind me of fresh coconut water, in the best possible way.

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Photo of Brad007
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a can of this as part of a limited release.

Pours a bright golden hue with a thin head into my glass. Looks like it hits the right notes there.

Sweet and grainy malt greet the nose. Simple and hopefully tasty.

Right on cue with the sweet and grainy malt.

Finishes clean with a flowery essence, despite the lack of actual spices.

Easy drinking beer that works, whether you're mowing lawns in FL or mowing lawns during Vermont's short, but sweet summer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale golden-yellow body, minimally hazed, with a thin, wispy, white head.

Smell: Pils malt, quickly toasted breadiness, cereal-hinted honeyish accent, a thin whiff of sulphur and a bit of herby hops.

Taste: Semi-sweet pilsner maltiness with a bit of deeper breadiness. Slight honeyish vibe. Lightly fruity. Soft herbal quality to the hops, subtly bitter. Remains slightly sweetish on the close.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Nicely refreshing option.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.29/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful white-gold flaxen color; furious columnar effervescence in the center of the Sierra Nevada tulip-pint; nice, dusty-ash white ring of foam forms the head; decently robust dry-malt, strawberry-&-banana, orange-flower, and yeast-fruit bouquet arises from deep inhalation; fairly crisp, very smooth, well-bodied and mild flavors of a wheaty-sweetness—almost creamy—with prevalent notes of grass producing an almost acrid, nonetheless pleasant light bitterness that lingers alongside the residual agua-miel characteristics that melt away. A definite thirst-quencher—along the lines of Ska's Mexican Logger—that would work quite well with hot foods or under hot suns. Not the most complex of lagers—nor, like many a lager, does it warm particularly well—but it very much seems to achieve Cigar City's stated goals: an effective nod and effectively refreshing and consumable.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Clear straw yellow beer with a white head that recedes to a fine film.

AROMA: Grains, pilsner malts, pungent noble hops, slight lemon, slight skunk, I am assuming Tettenager hops are used.

TASTE: Hoppier than a standard Helles lager, herb and citrus play with a grainy malt flavor. Husk, earthiness, bitterness and some lemon like notes. Pretty solid flavor.

FEEL: Light to medium bodied, but ample carbonation and firm crisp finish. Grain and hop oils linger on.

OVERALL: A pretty solid, crisp Helles Lager, reminds me more of a Pilsner due to the hop flavor. Drinkable and quenching, just don't pour it into a pint glass and leave it out in the Florida sun.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the can into a shaker pint at the FL condo. Clear yellow-gold body with a foamy white head. No lacing. Aroma is grain, grass, a bit of spice, and light malt. Taste is floral and grassy with a touch of noble hop spice. Some cereal sweetness to the backbone. Medium-light body, just barely creamy texture, above average carbonation, and a grassy bitter finish.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very good lager, and Florida needs some craft lagers, so it works. A little more meat on this one than others, frothy and bigger in body, lots more grain base than some imports in the same style. Real low key aroma, attributable for me to a general lack of hops, which is fine, this is a session ale, consumed best in multiples. Holds a nice head and it's bubbles too, and warms up pretty well, which is a nice feature in the Florida sun. I like it feeling a little more substantial, but in terms of flavor it's very in line with style norms. Definitely not the most adventurous beer from these guys, but it serves it's purpose very well.

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Photo of Hopfensaft
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: N/A. Drank straight from the can

Smell: Crisp, grainy sweet Pils malt. A hint of flowery noble hops

Taste: Clean and smooth. The graininess of the Pils malt is dominant but not overly so. Very little hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Overall: A near textbook Münchner Helles. Crisp, clean and easy drinking. Perfect for a hot day, or in my case, a -10C day! Very reminiscent of the fresh Helles lagers I had while I lived in Austria.

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Photo of RyBrew54
3.29/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a 1 inch head that dissipates rather quickly, not much lace left over. Color is a golden yellow. Taste is remarkably smooth, very bready, with nice malt balance. I would take this when i'm outside on a hot summer day over any domestic. A very nice lager overall

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Photo of Gajo74
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can and into a pilsner glass. A light golden and straw color, modest head. Lacing showed some retention but faded towards the end. I believe the power of suggestion played tricks on my senses. The title hotter than hells had me believing that there were some spices. Lo and behold I thought I smelled hot pepper. However, I then noticed on the bottom of the can that it said no pepper just puns; in other words the beer's title is a reference to drinking refreshing lager in hot weather and not spice. Of course as soon as I noticed this, the pepper smell disappeared. Oh well, so much for my sense of smell. What I did notice however, was a nice floral aroma and malt sweetness. Similarly the taste contained these tones. In addition, there were some fruity elements, kind of like a sweetened lemon or hints of orange. Also there was a good bready and malty backbone. Nice feel; crisp, refreshing and light bodied. (definitely a summer drink and quite drinkable). I would have perhaps liked a tad higher carbonation but maybe this would ruin the taste. A nice beer that I enjoyed in the winter. Next time, I will seek it out in the summer when it is truly hotter than hell and make it a session beer.

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Photo of tempest
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a can at Astoria Bier and Cheese. I love a great lager and this delivers. It's a simple, but tasty style and Cigar City nails it. The malts are toasty and crisp with a sweet doughy bread and light caramel. There's a very subtle earthy hops note in the finish, but for the most part, this is a lovely example of pale malts. I'd like to try it side-by-side with Surly Hell and Weihenstephaner Original.

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Photo of Das_Reh
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm usually not a lager fan, but CCB has me sold on their take of a Munich Helles. Smooth mouthfeel, complex for a lager with just the right amount of hop bite. I can see myself 'tubing with a six-pack on the creek in the summer. As is implied, this would be an excellent summer or beach beer.

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Hotter Than Helles Lager from Cigar City Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.