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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.

105 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 769
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 34.44%
Wants: 28
Gots: 117 | FT: 9
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 105 | Hads: 769
Photo of xnicknj
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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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Photo of tectactoe
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a moderate golden-yellow color, mostly hazy and translucent in the middle with a fluffy white head that looks as though it might last, but is reduced to a thin skin atop the beer within a couple of minutes. It's got a clean, lager-yeast aroma; crispy and fresh with a mild graininess to it. Heavy bouts of lemon zest and citrus peel add a nice sharpness and refreshment. The carbonation bubbles on this one tickle the nostrils as I lean in for each whiff. There seems to be a light spice hiding in the background as well, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Very light hop presence on the nose - a little grassy and musky.

The taste begins with a helping of that lemon zest and lemon grass right along with the semi-bitter citrus peel. The hops are more alive on the tongue than in the nose, imparting a bit of a musty presence; grassy and a bit floral even. The lager yeast is definitely noticeable, handing off that crispy and slightly bready feel - very mild "cheesy" notes are present, too, which is also most likely from the yeast. The body on this one is medium, actually a bit heavier than I had originally anticipated, with a high amount of carbonation. The aftertaste hold on to some of that musty hop bitterness along with a mild, buttery yeast flavor, fading to the tune of a nice, crisp, semi-dry finish.

I haven't really been disappointed by anything from Cigar City, and this is no exception, especially considering I really wasn't expecting much from it at all. Very clean and refreshing with some mild citrus and hop flavors, along with a clean lager profile. Certainly something nice to enjoy on a hot day.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is straw yellow with a light haze and a small amount of tight white head. Nose is light grain, a bit of yeast, strong lemon notes. Taste is similar, a bit more grain bill to it, yeasty mid palate and lots of lemon in back. A bit of grassy herbal hops in the finish with virtually no bitterness. Body is light but a hint syrupy with moderate carb.

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Photo of drpimento
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good beer. Poured at a good temperature with a nice size, foamy, off-white head that didn't last and no lace. Color is a slightly hazy yellow amber. Aroma is a bit faint, but has malt, hop,grain, spice. Flavor's like nose, carbonic tang in front, then malt, hop, hint of sweet. Body is good, carbonation a tad sharp. Finish is like flavor, a little short, and very drinkable.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can courtesy of tugg407 pours a lightly hazed lemon color with a surprisingly small cap of white head. Not much for retention and just a wisp or two of lace.

Nose is very light...malt is crisp and grainy with a touch of lemony hops.

Mmm, graininess really shines like a Munich helles, very well done indeed. Hops are light and add just enough grassy hop dryness on the finish. Old world hallertau hops are definitely evident. Mouthfeel is a little richer than the imports and has less carbonation. Overall, a pretty nice take on the style and one of the more authentic versions brewed in America.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Elysian Brewing Co. pint glass. Bottom of can says Canned On May 2 2013.

A- Pours a semi-hazy straw color with a 1/2 inch fizzy white head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves an incomplete thin ring behind.

S- Crisp aroma of husky grain and alcohol.

T- Somewhat bittersweet flavor as the kiss of hops plays off the light grainy malts. Goes down super easy as expected but there's enough beery flavor to keep things interesting. Has a soft tanginess to it that's neither pleasant nor detrimental.

M- Thin, but not necessarily watery. Medium carbonation and a light body.

O- When you're dealing with a brewery as extreme as CCB, Helles lagers are the last thing you expect or want to find but this one does well as far as easy drinking summer beers go.

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

A - Yellow looking beer with a thin white head that didn't leave much.

S - Grassy smelling beer with a small bit of citrus and some sweet grains. Decent lager aroma.

T - Somewhat grainy, with a little bit of spice and some grass. There's a bit of honey in there as well which distinguishes this from a lot of other things.

M - Lighter bodied, with decent carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, good lager taste with some distinctive honey sweetness. Worth trying.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.16/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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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 rlee1390
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Cloudy bright yellow, some carbonation, one finger light fluffy head.

S-Bread, lemon, wheat and grass.

T-Light and crisp. Nice balance of bread, wheat, lemon, slight grass and no bitterness.

M-Light some carbonation, crisp and dry.

O-A great beer on a hot day. Crisp, easy drinking and refreshing. That being said it doesn't over come the lawnmower status.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a hotel glass, Nov 2013

Pours dirty gold/yellow, touches of white foam atop. Light lemon nose. Very faint. Bright chalky citrus flavor. Clean finish, light hop. Smooth. Slight helles flavor holds. Good Florida beer, good option for a trip to the beach

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Photo of homebrew311
3.51/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale yellow with thin layer of head that retains minimally. The nose features light grassy notes along with toasted grain, light caramel, and some light notes of citrus. Taste leans towards the sweet side for the style. Sweet grainy flavors up front with some hints of citrus and a light touch of grassy hops. It's not until the finish that there is a slight dryness. Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Overall, this drinks nicely but perhaps a touch too sweet for an easy drinking lager.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's funny how a beer can have very little complexity but truly taste really good. This is dead on the style with a smooth grain flavor, barley and bread, with a slight tinge of hops. This is light and so easy to drink that it can be easily deceptive. I don't expect a lot out of any lager but I find this to be one of my favorites as it has pronounced lager properties and easy lager drinkability.

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Photo of Chaney
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
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!

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrives a bright and shiny yellow with a small head of white. A film, really. Not expecting any lace. Didn't get any either.
Smell is malt and hops with hints of vanilla and citrus.
Taste is malt, corn tortillas, hops, with mild citrus and vanilla notes as well. Good balance. Decent complexity.
Mediim-bodied maybe leaning fuller, good effervescence with a nice tanginess on the tongue.Some white grape and corn notes throughout he aftertaste to keep the malt company. For a first or second lager ever, this is pretty good. Mind, I'm not a lager person.

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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 stephenjmoore
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- pours a hazy pale golden-yellow color with a small fizzy white head that reduces quickly, leaving no fizz or lace behind.

S- sweet and bready malt with some lemony-citrus zest, subdued floral hop notes and some candy-like sugar

T-malty sweetness up front gives some grainy flavors, followed by lemon and coriander. Floral hop notes are noticeable in the back end that transitions into a lightly sweet malty finish

M- medium body and carbonation produces a foamy mouthfeel that finishes crisp, very drinkable

O- a grat option on a hot summer day. It's very refreshing and drinkable, while not sacrificing taste

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Photo of jegross2
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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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 HalfFull
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. single can poured into a pint glass from the ABC store. Shows a moderate gold in color with a touch of haze and half an inch of white foam. Retention and lace are decent yet might leave a bit to be desired.

Offers a funky yeast aroma couple with some lemony hops. A strange yeast aroma that I liked, then didn't, then did again. In the end the fact that it kept me curious makes it a winner. Bit funky and earthy with a touch of wheaty sourness though I'm not quite sure it was intentional.

Lightly bready on the palate, simple and straightforward with a tart lemon character on the finish. Warming raises the apparent sweetness of the beer a bit more than I'd like but the odd tartness keeps things somewhat in balance.

Soft in feel with a quickly exiting carbonation, leaving things a bit viscous on the finish. Overall intriguing given the funkiness but likely prefer a cleaner Continental variant of the style as for a regular quaff.

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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 Phelps
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy, pale straw yellow with a sparse white head and sub-par retention, leaving behind a flat, smooth surface.

Smell - Bright, lemon and lime. Lemongrass. Faint grain.

Taste - Follows the nose. Fair amounts of sweet and sour from the lemon-lime character, followed by lesser notes of grass and subtle grain flavor to bring a well balanced finish.

Mouthfeel - Light with moderate carbonation, yet manages a crisp, dry finish. Smooth.

Overall - A nice, enjoyable Munich Helles from Cigar City. Does well to rival many of the German offerings, some of which are considered the best lagers on the planet. Great summer beer, as recommended on the can! Helles means bright in German - this beer exudes brightness.

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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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Hotter Than Helles Lager from Cigar City Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.