Hotter Than Helles Lager - Cigar City Brewing

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Hotter Than Helles LagerHotter Than Helles Lager

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103 Reviews
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Reviews: 103
Hads: 755
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 34.44%
Wants: 28
Gots: 114 | FT: 10
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: 755
Photo of Swim424
1.9/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Got this on tap at a cask ale night at proof in tallahassee (was not the cask ale).

It poured a bright cloudy thick yellow with a small head. wasn't much to the smell, maybe because I was in a bar. Tasted like a buttery beer. I couldn't get past that. It wasn't very good. It was fairly thick and creamy, and honestly felt, and tasted like a pilsner mixed with melted butter. I did not enjoy this and was very disappointed. I love the brewery and everything I have had by them until this one.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.3/5  rDev -36.6%

No peppers were added to this lager, just puns. From a 12 ounce can, on to the beer:

A very foamy beer from the opening of the can and the pour, it takes a long time for the head drop to even two finger's thickness. Slightly hazy bright yellow colored underneath the big head.The aroma is part helles and part infection; there's a slightly sweet grain and grassiness, annd also a cidery phenolic note.

The can is less than three months old, but it tastes older than that. With a part infection, the beer isn't completely spit-out bad, but make no mistake; this beer won't take you on a virtual trip to a Munich beer hall. A little sweet, dry, grassy, some sweet and sour cider. It's relatively soft in the mouth.

I'm thinking those peppers would have been a pleasant addition to disguise the off-flavors. It is drinkable to an extent, but I'm not thrilled.

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Photo of bsp77
2.66/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, light straw color. Decent white head at first but mostly disappears.

Smell: Very fruity, mostly apple. Light hay and pepper. After a few minutes, it just mildly smells like apple juice.

Taste: Sweet apple mostly, and almost tastes like adjuncts are involved. Some straw, but the hops are minimal - just a hint of pepper. I know this is a Helles and not a Pilsner, but the almost complete lack of hops just means a lack of balance. Bad aftertaste that reminds me of macros.

Feel: Light body, but the lower carbonation and sweet finish means it is not crisp or refreshing.

Overall: I consider Cigar City to be the Surly of Minnesota, but this kinda sucks. Surly Hell or even Maui Bikini Blonde are much better Hells lagers. I'd rather have a Corona.

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Photo of StevenMilligan
2.79/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lightly carbonated, this is a highly drinkable summer time lager. Though it had zero head retention nor lacing. Perhaps I got a lemon. Refreshing drink however, I was just expecting a little more.

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Photo of otterbearfla
2.8/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

One finger head

Appearance: lemon yellow and slightly cloudy

Smell : Very little aroma, citrusy

Taste: Almost absent of taste, lightly lemon

Mouthfeel: Watery with little body

This beer might be better on tap or in a bottle. I have generally like Cigar City beers so this is may least favorite.

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Photo of phideltashaggy
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a tall pilsen glass. Canned on date was August 2013 (about 8 months ago), so I'm afraid it may be a bit old for a proper review.

Poured a beautiful straw yellow color with just a tiny bit of haze, Thick white head was beautiful and took a few minutes to dissipate.

The nose was very strong on fruit. Grapes and pear in particular.

Tastes similar to smell, lots of white fruit. A twinge of bitter in the back of the taste after swallowing fully. Reminds me of a cheap pinot grigio .

The mouthfeel is ok, some tingly bubbles, but not as much as I was expecting. The bitter aftertaste hangs out in the back corners of my mouth for a while.

Overall, not my favorite beer, but not bad for a rainy afternoon of vidya game playin'. Again, I think it may have skunked slightly, so take this review with a grain of salt.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
2.94/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Thanks to shan8454 for this one in trade.

Appearance: Light cloudy amber color.

Smell: Very mild, grassy hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth light bodied. Taste grassy and watered down.

Overall: Not a bad brew, glad I tried it, But I will not have this one again.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Jan 29 on can poured on Mar 6. Pours a light golden from the can into a pint glass. Not much head or retention. Smells of light fruit with a standard lager aroma. Light mouthfeel with low carbonation. Sweet light fruit and not much to get excited about. Par for the style and easy summer drinking. Just can’t get into the style all that much.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at CCB tasting room. Reviewed from notes.

A: A light yellow in color, almost reminds me of weak lemonade. A nice white one-finger head.

S: Aroma is primarily lager yeast breadiness, with one part lemon-y fruit.

T: Bready yeast. Just a hint of the hops. Still seems a little fruity here too, but subdued.

M: Light but smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol flavor nearly non-existent.

O: OK to good for a lager, just not my preference. I don't think I'll get again.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can. Pours pale straw with long lasting, white head and lively carbonation. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Taste is of bready malt and herbal hops. Finish is medium lasting
and slightly bitter. I could drink this brew a lot during summer time.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Single can from spring break 2013.

A very bubbly golden body, excellent clarity, topped by a finger or two of white bubbles of varying sizes.

Hay/grass aroma, has a slight harsh edge.

Sweet beginning. Mild bitter noble hop nip. Clean finish.

Light but solid mouthfeel.

Good try, but could use some more work to really nail the style.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap at Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting in a pint glass.

Hotter than Helles pours out a very bright golden yellowish color with a clear body, not any haze in the way. A nice bright white cap on top with some legs but no stick. Good retention. Bubbles. Smell is pretty pale malted up with some underlining spicy hop notes. I get some fruity scents, but that may be from the previous beer on tap. Taste is helles, than I get the fruity flavor as well, which kinda kills it for me. Rich German hop flavor and malt mixes well with a light enough body but I am unsure of the semi fruit flavor I am getting. Feel is on point, light and spritzy carb, a nice hop bite towards the end. I was hoping for more, perhaps I am spoiled by all the great German style offerings local to us in SEPA, but Hotter than Helles was a dud.

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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 PvtSnowball
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased from one of the local quick marts.

A: Clear straw gold with moderate head and retention.

S: Balanced malt and hop characteristics.

T: Same as the smell with a bit of sweetness.

M: Smooth and refreshing with decent carbonation.

O: An okay summer brew. Refreshing and balanced but not very complex.

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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 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 TheChef18
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- Hazy yellow typical of the style

S- mainly just citrus

T- Floral and lemony

M- light with less carbonation than I expected

O- CCBs super drinkable beer if you aren't a Jai Alai fan like me. just too delicate and mundane in my opinion, but if this is your style than definitely worth a try

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Photo of woodychandler
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the principal venues for scoring CANs to further The CANQuest (TM) is Pinocchio's Beer Garden in Media, PA. I was there last Friday and I found several new CANs to bring back with me. If you have never been, put it on your to-do list.

From the CAN: "No Peppers, Just Puns"; "Drink Fresh! Do not age! Pour gently into a glass."; "Why so punny? 'Helles' is German for 'light colored.' Hotter Than Helles is more than just a (very) silly pun: it perfectly reflects the nature of this beer. A lager meant to be [CAN]sumed when it's truly hotter than helles outside. So there are no peppers or spices in this beer!"

Hmm. I will make the jokes around here, thanks, plus it is misleading. The loud Crack! revealed a brimful craft CAN, but IAW The Old Lady's wishes and the directions on the CAN, the Glug was as gentle as could be. I still managed to create a finger of fizzy, bone-white head with limited retention. Color was a pale lemon-yellow (SRM = 2) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like German lager - a honey-like sweetness from the malts underlain by a grassiness from the hops. I prefer Czech-style lagers, but this will do. The CANQuest (TM) was built on a steady diet of AALs and I am very glad to have those days in the rear view mirror. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, more effervescent than I might have expected, and the taste was really sweet. In fact, it was too sweet for my taste. I would not have minded a pepper presence at all as opposed to this. Very honey-like, but I have some Blue Dog mead that will satisfy that craving when the time comes. Finish was likewise sweet and now I found myself looking forward to on of their many CANned IPAs to wash away the taste.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: A finger and a half of clean white color. Bright active carbonation that is to be expected from the style. Straw yellow color with some accents of orange.

Smell: Bananas and straw mix with some light hops. Leafy greens, cloves, and bready yeast pick up on the body. Yeast is very potent on the back end and wins out overall.

Taste: Straw and some medium bodied tropical fruits on the front. The front falls of to a bready yeast backbone with accents of vegetal greens. The back end is a touch watery and forgettable.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation fits a helles lager but doesn't quite have the cleanliness one would expect.

Overall: A touch over okay overall. I love my helles lager and this one is a touch off. I wouldn't turn it down on a hot day but just okay in the end.

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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 tone77
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy, bright yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some sweetness to it. Taste is sweet, malty, very refreshing on a humid summer night. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall makes for a good session beer.

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Photo of fitrock2112
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured the Hotter than Helles into a pint glass.

A - Pours a cloudy yellow with a finger of white head.

S - Faint malts, and some bitter hops

T - A beer that lacks the flavor of a good Helles. Just a little bread flavor, not much else sadly.

M - Smooth medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

O - A little disappointed with this offering from Cigar City, better options out there for the style.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

growler was filled at a new place called The Growler Station NYC

A - clear deep yellow almost golden copper tone. slight amount of head which quickly diminished into a small bubbly rim around the glass

S - wheat malt, bittering hops, floral hints

T - a nice kick to it.. somewehre between a pils and a lager, definitely a strong amount of bavarian wheat taste in this

M - a very easy flowing beer, perfect for hot summer weather (too bad it's february!), slightly bitter aftertaste

O - overall this isn't a bad beer. i was expecting a little bit more from cigar city after trying their jai alai, but for a helles lager (which usually don't have much as far as flavor), this is damn delicious.

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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 Gtreid
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly orangish yellow color. The pour dropped a fizzy finger of white head that faded imeadiately and left no lace.

A: Not much going on in the nose. I get woodsy, sweet malt undertones with a touch of honey. A touch of grassy hops, but really pretty underwhelming.

T: for the style there's nothing wrong with it. Pretty much on par with notes of grain, honey, and a touch of grassiness. It finishes crisp and clean with no hint of the abv.

M: Light body, good levels of carbonation. Again, for the style it is on par.

O: As far as a helles bock is concerned, this is good, but for my tastes, it falls a bit short. the head retention and the aroma were way off, but the flavor and mouthfeel are on par. Good beer for a hot summer afternoon, or a tailgate party, but i prefer a bit more complexity.

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