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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

103 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 746
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 28
Gots: 111 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

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: 103 | Hads: 746
Photo of saison19
4.92/5  rDev +34.4%
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. (257 characters)

Photo of tranehead
4.46/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can. Slightly acidic finish. Nice hops balance. I wish there was a little more maltiness. A little thin on the malt. Overall a GREAT can of beer. And considering I am only about 4 hours drive from there, it's pretty fresh (yeah its in a can but I get it closer than others..) I feel like that if there were a little more malt finish, the Helles style would be complete. It finishes a little thin for my idea of the style based on soem of the incredible import examples of the style. Maybe not a continental pilsner malt but a german or belgian one. (562 characters)

Photo of suspect
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a stemless snifter on vacation.

A: Hazy yet mostly clear. Aggressive pour leads to a one finger head that fades quickly. Lots of tiny bubbles. No lacing.

S: Full grain bill, full flavored nose. Lots going on from malts to bittered hops to lemon zest.

T: Big time flavors yet delicately dancing off the tongue thanks to the lifting bubbles. Same as the nose.

M: Wonderful mouthfeel. Bright, spritzy, airy and beautiful. Crisp, sharp finish leaves me sipping for more.

O: A GREAT beach, summertime brew. Perfect for the Tampa shores. (559 characters)

Photo of NoleDoc
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at the WoB in a tall pilsner glass.

Nice yellow color. Very balanced taste. You can totally taste the cracker. Beer feels very light and refreshing. Another addition to one of my faves or "go to" beers. ABV is about 5% and smooth. Very tastey. (261 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

single finger clear straw colored body some lacing. Aroma is grassy, grainy and light malts. The body is much fuller than I was expecting with high carbonation. Very refreshing and highly drinkable. Flavor of bitter hops like noble hops but mildly so with a nice malt profile and grassy notes. For my tastes one of the best mouthfeels and flavors of a Helles I have had. (370 characters)

Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
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. (892 characters)

Photo of wcintula
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a surprise in a glass! I'm a fan of the Helles, but didn't expect something so good. At Ginger Man, it was poured into an imperial pint, but again with the ABV! Listed as 7.5% yet it's listed here as 5%(see my last review, beer also had at Ginger Man).

A nice golden brew with a finger and a half head receded slowly. The smell is nice cereal grains with a touch of flora. Great bready, cracker-y taste with the slightest hint of hops, very refreshing, and extremely quaffable. (483 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thanks to dimenhetfield for tossing this one my way. enjoyed from my ccb snifter.

a - brew poured a clear and fizzy yellow. very fizzy head that fizzed away quick, but was quickly replaced by the bubbling in the glass racing to the surface.

s - lagery, but with some light fruity zest to it. crystalized malts. German.

t - wow, very nice. crisp german lager with a some toasted fruit and lemon.

m - super refreshing and soft.

o - extremely refreshing and super drinkable lager. has a nice soft fruity quality to it while still being very much a lager. would have again. (574 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this beer is #44 on the "Top Beers - Munich Helles Lager" list on beeradvocate.com. On tap at Hunahpu's day at CC, served in a plastic pint glass because it was the classiest serving vessel available.

Beer is yellow and clear with moderate carbonation a white head some lacing, looks good.

Aroma is a little weak but fine, a little yeasty grainy and lagery, I like the aroma a lot actually.

Beer is light and wet, good finish, clean and crisp, the yeast shows up in the late forward palate, a little thicker mouthfeel than I expected and a good finish on the end. I'd have this again (I had it twice while in FL). (644 characters)

Photo of IronLover
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale yellow in color with a deep haze. Poured with a foamy bright white head that reduced to a sticky dense cap. Biscuity sweet malt aroma with hints of floral hops and an earthy grass character. Aggressive, somewhat fizzy carbonation up front that turns buttery smooth through the middle. Biscuit malt and floral hop bitter flavors with a apple-like sweetness in the background. The hop flavors peak toward the end with a tangy twist of he taste buds. Finishes crisply with a slightly tart aftertaste. (502 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a clear glass in my hotel room in Tampa.

A: Poured crystal clear, wussy yellow, and with a slight bubble formation posing as a head.

S: A bit on the weak side but still nice. Fresh baked bread in spades.

T: There was an overall honey-like quality about this that I simply couldn't get enough of. Nice, crisp bitter slap on the finish.

M: Infinitely drinkable, especially on a 90+ degree day. No lacing and the palate came out clean.

O: This was a true "wow beer" in its style class. Bravo! (504 characters)

Photo of JizackFH
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 2/7/12.

Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a bright golden straw color that has nice clarity. there is about a finger of white head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves a nice bit of lace behind on the glass. The nose is of grainy malt sweetness. There is also some fruitiness, honey, spicy hops, and some earthy grassiness. The taste followed what the nose suggested. It started off with some grainy malt sweetness. There are some nice flavors of honey, fruit, and some earthiness. Also, there is an earthy spicy hop presence. The finish leaves some lingering earthiness, hop presence, and the sweet maltiness behind on the palate. This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down really easy, and it has a really smooth feel to it. There is some sweetness at first, and then a nice earthiness comes in and balances it out. Also, there is some spice and bitterness from the hops that is really nice. It has a nice refreshing quality to it. There is really good drinkability here. I could easily have a few pints of this in a night. It goes down really easy, has nice flavor, and is pretty refreshing. Overall, I think it is just a solid beer, and I recommend trying it out. I would buy this one again. I can see it being really nice on a hot summer day. I hope i run into it again. (1,369 characters)

Photo of Das_Reh
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (296 characters)

Photo of mattsdenney
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this one up while on vacation in Daytona Beach. Poured from 12 oz. can into a NB globe glass. Pours cloudy, light yellow in color, thin white bubbly head. Smells outstanding, thick bready malts, banana, citrus fruit, bubblegum. The taste is light, nice balance of malt with some floral hops in there as well. Slightly fruity, hints of lemon. Mouthfeel is thin, bubbly, carbonated. Refreshing, perfect for summer. Overall a great hot weather beer, flavorful, satisfying, delicious. This brewery never disappoints. (519 characters)

Photo of da_beers
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - pours a hazy golden yellow straw with almost no head to speak of. Decrypt carbonation coming up.

S - a faint citrus, fresh and crisp. Smell is definitely its low point.

T - yeasty, yet crisp. Has a faint citrus zesty news to it. Extremely refreshing. Summer lager that has great,freshess from the can.

M - light bodied, crisp and extremely drinkable. Finishes very clean.

O - I feel like I have been ruined on lagers because the budweisers of the world, but this was remarkably delicious. Restored my faith! (519 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a straw yellow with a fizzy soap bubble head that goes away quickly and leaves a little scrim. The beer’s body is quite clear with just a slight haze to it and a steady stream of lazy bubbles working to the top of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells sweet and grassy, almost like a very dry strawberry smell with touches of bread. The malt is super sweet and fruity on the nose but the grassy hop backing gives a balance to the smell and makes this beer more inviting to the nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet with a finish of smooth grassy bitter hops. The flavors begin as sweet bready malt with a faint touch of fruity strawberry, this dries out slowly and becomes progressively bitterer grassy flavors with nuances of sweet malt and very slight green pepper notes. The finish is creamy sweet bread malts that linger nicely into the aftertaste and slowly dissipate onto the palate leaving grassy bitter to tingle on the tongue. In the can, the beer smells weak, with very little of its nuances escaping through the hole. It tastes less sweet when sipped from the can with none of the fruity malts, but a nice bitter grassy hop’s kiss. It tastes slightly more refreshing from the can, but not as complex or nuanced. In the mouth the beer feels slightly prickly in carbonation, which helps to balance out the sweetness of the beer. The beer also feels medium thick in body. The mouth is left clean but with a nice swath of saliva dribbling on the tongue. Overall, I like this beer. It is sweet, but balanced well with hops and carbonation, and it is refreshing and interesting on the palate. A great sessionable sipper from Cigar City. (1,667 characters)

Photo of hopsputin
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

a: hazy bright golden yellow with a 3 finger marshmallow bright white head

s: sweet lemongrass grains, vanilla, lemon zest, real nice earthy aroma in here. very mellow tea leaf

t: sweet creamy grains, orang & lemon zest - definitely some sweet lemon as well. light caramel. ends biscuity & with something like water crackers. very refreshing, yet the body from the malt makes it satisfying as well

m: its on the heavier side of light - and definitely a bit creamy. carbonation is about normal, not extreme

o: yep, its a solid beer. refreshing, quenching, and satisfying. light and crisp. all the flavors are mellow and balanced. sweet & light. nice summer brew (664 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Very pale, crystal clear straw-colored body with just a hint of hazy sediment. Bubbly bone white head that fizzes and hangs around briefly.

S- Almost a spice-like aroma of noble hops, some sweet bread, grainy malt, a tiny lemony scent.

T- Bready and grainy, lots of malt sweetness with the noble hops adding a light herbal and citrus flavor.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very drinkable.

O- Great helles lager, very drinkable and very enjoyable. (460 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Hotter Than Helles Lager from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida.
Score: 89

Canned on 12/05/12. Served in a tulip-style wine glass and enjoyed on 01/21/13. Major thanks to Adam for the hook up!

Appearance: Pours a golden straw color that is between transparent and translucent. Thre is a mildly effervescent appearance to the brew, as a parade of bubbles float to the top when poured into the glass. A finger of white bubbly head settles completely. Poor lacing and retention. 3/5

Smell: Apple juice, malty grainy bready/cereal malt and a little lemon and white grape. A little yeast and mellow, grassy hops too. 4/5

Taste: The flavor is malty and juicy and refreshing. Sweet, but not tart, lemon, apple juice, peach and a little white grape. There is more lemon on the palate than there was in the nose. There's a faint, slightly stale grassy hops flavor in finish. The bready/cereal "graininess" from the nose is very faint in the taste, and mostly present in the aftertaste with some residual lemon as well. Very refreshing and easy drinking! 4/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation. Drinks like a juice, with a faint dryness on the finish. Slightly acidic. 4/5

Overall: This might be the perfect summer beer. It's light, refreshing, and flavorful!

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this out this summer and crack it on a 90+ degree day!

Pairings: Nutrigrain bars.

Cost: $8.99 for a six pack of cans. (1,439 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy lemon color with a 1.5 finger off white head that quickly dissipates. Nice soapy lacing persists.

S- Fruity citrus aroma. Lots of esters. Lemon zest or lemon grass, pineapple, range of tropical juices. Lager malts

T- Fruits indicated from the nose along with a touch of peppery spice up front. Slight grainy notes and buttery lager malts in the finish. Crackers. Smooth and well balanced.

M- Light to mid body. Crisp bite of carbonation. Moderate drinkability for the style. Very refreshing.

O- A wonderful example of the style with a fantastic spicy kick to it. Would love a case of this for floating the river during the summer.

Canned on 4/24/13
Consumed on 5/22/13

$7.49 for a 6 pk (708 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale, hazy gold. Very thin, very short-lived head.

Soft graininess, a little apple, soft touch of grassy, spicy hops.

Light, crisp. Crackers, grain, softest hint of fruit, perfect hop bite. Crisp finish. Refreshing.

Medium-light body, highly carbonated, moderate fizz.

Not a ton to it, but there doesn't need to be. Snappy, tasty, good for a hot day. (354 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (1,215 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is transparent and pale yellow with a half inch of white head. A fine appearance. The aroma is subtle, with notes of bread, grain, a touch of yeast. Smells good. The taste is more aggressive. Light and bready. Refreshing and crisp with appropriate carbonation. A solid example of the style. (330 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color in my Cigar City shaker pint glass with a tiny white head.

Nice mild aroma of hops and bread.

The taste is nice and clean, with a light hop bitterness and flavor (think grass or hay) balancing the classic lager malt flavors.

Body is creamy and also nice.

Overall this is a fine Munich lager, and a great hot weather beer.

On a side note, I think that Cigar City may need to re-name this beer. Being a beer geek, I never realized that the name makes people think the beer is spicy; but I've had people ask me if it's made with peppers. When you have to explain twice on the label that the beer doesn't have any hot peppers or spices in it, I think you have a problem. (698 characters)

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Hotter Than Helles Lager from Cigar City Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.