Hotter Than Helles Lager - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Hotter Than Helles LagerHotter Than Helles Lager

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BA SCORE
81
good

728 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 728
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 28
Gots: 100 | FT: 8
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 728 | Reviews: 105
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed at the CC Tasting Room. Light yellow with a large retained head. Tasty, it yields both sweet and sour interplay. Like a dirty yeasty blonde flvour, with a chile pepper finish. Yet no spices were included? Good that CC is doing these beers. A good late day beer. OK drinkability.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned 3/28/14.

Pours a hazy golden-yellow with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, white grape juice, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, grass, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rattle ‘n Hum, New York, NY

A: The beer is relatively clear straw yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin yet dense white head that gradually died down but never completely faded away.
S: There is a definite smell of Hallertau hops in the nose, which impart grassy and spicy aromas.
T: The taste is very malty and is also accompanied by flavors of grassy and spicy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied, very smooth and even a bit creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this beer and it reminded me of drinking a helles under the chestnut trees in a Munich biergarten.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

A - Poured a clear, golden-yellow color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of floral notes with some grassy hops.

T - It tasted floral and spicy with a nice backbone of sweet caramel and grains.

M - A medium bodied lager with a sharp, crisp finish. Clean and snappy.

O - This is a pretty tasty lager. I was glad to try a fairly rare Cigar City brew at Tap 42.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.84/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Thanks to johnyb for this can!

I can't imagine Helles being all that hot... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear straw topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises wheat, sweet flowers, and a kiss of grass. The taste brings in more of the same, though with a bit more of both the flowers and the grass. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this is a nice little helles, nothing earth-shattering, but it's not meant to be. It's a pleasant session beer, perfect for those who need a lighter option when the weather turns all Floridian and whatnot.

Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Capone’s (Norristown, PA) on 11/11/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear paler gold, with a thin fizzy head of bright-white froth. This retains with a foamy ring around the edges of the rim, leaving back a smattering of lace that slowly drips down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy and spicy up front, followed by lighter notes of bitter fruit and sweet bready grains. There’s a touch of a musty lager yeast character to this along the back. This is nice but doesn’t really have a whole lot of power in the nose.

The taste is firm throughout, with a crisp bitterness that is set against sweet grains that are more than up for the task. There is definitely a flavorful citric fruitiness here that comes out across the back and mingles with the malt. There is a bit of a leafy spiciness present as well, which mostly lingers with some leftover bitter citrus in the dry feeling finish on this. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with an overall crisp and refreshing feel that keeps this quite easy drinking. This is pretty spot on for the style.

Despite the nose not giving up a whole lot, I thought that this was quite a solid take on a Helles, with a flavorful and well balanced crispness that was very accessible and inviting on the palate. This one is worth a look.

Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent & slightly chill-hazed, hay colored with 3 fingers of pearl colored head. Faint head retention & better lacing

S: Much breadynesss, pears, some floral notes & grainyness

T: Bready, perfumy, a little bit of white grape & lemon up front. Pears, lemons, wet grains & dryness as this warms. Finishes fruitty, grainy & slightly sweet

MF: Light/medium bodied, delicate carbonation at first, but becomes pricklier as this warms

Easy to drink, but was hoping for more. They aren't gonna put any Bavarian brewery out of bussiness that's for sure, but would drink it again if my helles choices were limited

Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 02/18/12 notes. Had on tap at Rattle N Hum in NYC. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a clear, transparent yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, light fruity malts, citrus, grains, honey, and some bread. Nice citrus and fruit, and a little sweet which I like.

t - Tastes of wheat, grains, bready malts, spices, light sweet fruit but less then the nose. A slight step down as a tiny bit blander.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and super easy to drink.

o - Overall I liked this one. I thought it was a very easy to drink lager, and is pretty light and refreshing. Nose is pretty nice, while the taste has more grains and wheat. Would have it again, could be a good spring/summer beer.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
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).

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.23/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
2.3/5  rDev -35.9%

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.

Photo of tempest
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a medium sized Cigar City snifter glass.

Deep bright shining lemon and gold colored body. Very clear nearly bright crystal glowing. White fluffy head, a little bleached and shocking forms nicely and settles to a thick creamed bubbled collar.

Nose hints at doughy malts, but there's a macro like sweetness to this that begins to dominate. Sweet. Slightly sugary, hinting towards a fake honey sense a little.

Palate comes with a smooth controlled coating mouthfeel. But the sweetness pops out quite noticeably. Dough crisp a bit somewhat on the finish, hinting of baked bread slightly, but has a sweetness that takes over that sort of dominates. Very mild to no bitterness even for a Helles, with little spice character.

It's a fine drinkable brew, but it comes off almost like a Euro lager than a Helles.

Photo of corby112
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Peg's Cantina.

Pours pale golden yellow color that's very faint and watery.  Looks kind of like coors light actually with a 1.5 finger frothy headthat slowly settles into a lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with sheets of soapy lace.  The color of this beer isn't very appealing but the head has good retention and ample lacing.

Sweet yet slightly earthy aroma with hints of light fruit, straw, grass and pale malt.  Subtle bready presence with hits of apple and pear as well as some spicy, grassy hops.

Medium bodied but fuller than expected especially considering the appearance.  Light crisp hops followed by some earthy grass/straw character as well as some bready yeast and light fruit.  Some apple and pear provided sweetness that counters the earthy hop character.  Well balanced, light and very easy to drink.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can shared by Eric, thanks for the opportunity.
Sweet pilsner maltiness, light floral spicy hops. I didn't realize CC made a lager, I'm glad they do.

Photo of tone77
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of Brad007
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can from Total Wine Tampa FL for 2$

Appearance - Slightly hazy gold colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint acing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, lemons, corn

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste corn mixed with some bread and grains. There is also some light hops and some lemons. It ends with a lemony/grainy aftertaste.

Overall - A great beer for camping trips or tailgating for sure. It`s very refreshing and goes down fast. Not sure how true to style it is, but it`s still a tasty beer worth trying.

Photo of xnicknj
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den in philly - review from notes

Hazed pour with a super pale yellow color and a crop of white head sitting on top. Dissolves into a layer of film with a few spots of lacing around the glass.

Grainy and grassy in the nose. Hints of citrus and lemon followed by faint biscuit notes and some light earthiness.

A bit juicy and hoppy up front with grassy and citrus notes. Lemon and orange peel followed by earthy and biscuit malts. Grainy cracker notes towards the finish, which is a little sweet and dry.

Lighter body, higher carbonation, clean and crisp on the tongue, really refreshing. A nice lager enhanced by a blast of citrus.

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Hotter Than Helles Lager from Cigar City Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 728 ratings.