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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: 768
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 34.44%
Wants: 28
Gots: 118 | 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: 768
Photo of Shaw
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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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 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 hdelavega
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a pint glass.
Pours a golden honey color with very little head that disappears pretty quickly.
Sweet malt, a little citrus. I observed in the previous review corn tortilla chips and am totally picking up on it.
Nice first sip, a little bitterness, some sweet malty notes, again some corn flavors, and a bit of spice.
Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, full carbonation, medium light body. Super drinkable, cigar city please consider canning this guy.

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Photo of adam42381
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 10/30/11.

Poured on draft into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a medium straw gold with a 1 finger foamy snow white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, citrus and a touch of hops. Very light aroma.

Taste: Sweet malt and earthy hops with a touch of citrus. Aftertaste is bittersweet and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: High drinkability. Quite smooth.

Overall: Good beer overall. Worth a shot if you see it on draft.

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Photo of denver10
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark yellow with a slight white head. Aroma is super bready as expected for the style but not too heavy, a touch of citrus peal, and grass. Flavor follows suit. Creamy, medium bodied active mouthfeel. Overall, a very nice helles lager here. Definite fan and would be happy to drink again.

My rating: 4

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Photo of JohnQVD
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium straw color, with a thin head that disappears quickly and leaves little behind on the glass. Smell is melon with a touch of banana. Taste is mild malt with a touch of pepper and a bready aftertaste. Feel is light to medium heaviness, and a little fizzy at first, but the carbonation drops off a touch after a couple of minutes. Overall this is drinkable and refreshing. It's not particularly complex, just enough to be interesting. This is not one of my favorite styles, but this is done well and is quite good for a nice warm day.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a 12 oz can into a pint glass.

A – Hazy yellow pour that produced about 1 finger of clean white head that quickly dissipated. Tiny bit of lacing left on the glass.

S – Fairly light aroma with some yeast, corn and bread. Pleasant.

T – Touch of fruitiness/citrus. Very nice sweet malt taste with a bit of grainy feel. Just a bit of hops in there.

M – Seriously refreshing brew. Light and crisp on the palate. Nice carbonation.

O – Very nice drinking brew here. Light and tasty. Great beer for a hot summer day.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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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 mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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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 corby112
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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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 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 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 JayS2629
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange/amber with a thick white head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing.

The aroma is of honey, toasted nuts, and spicy hops.

The flavor follows the nose with oney on a nutty background, some spicy notes and a good herbal hoppy balance. Slightly too hoppy for the style.

Creamy and smooth

Overall, an ok version of the style. A little off.

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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 infinitebruner
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

October 27, 2014

12 oz can, hotel water glass

A – Medium straw to pale gold, very high clarity. A half inch of bright white foam head, dissipates leaving a thin layer on top. Lots of effervescent bubbles.

S – Clean, uncooked white bread dough. Possibly some earthy, noble hops.

T – Again, a doughy, floury profile, part of a strong malt backing, moderate but relatively flavorful bitterness, just a touch of grainy, herbal noble hops.

M – Very clean, fresh, fairly thick on the palate, but the moderate carbonation is enough to cleanse the tongue. Somewhat juicy finish.

O – An excellent smooth lager, nothing bad to say about it. A solid lawnmower beer.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cigar City Hotter Than Helles Lager

Poured from a 12 oz can into a shaker pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Golden brew, that I found slightly hazy. Over a finger of white foam, which quickly settled to a collar. No lacing to speak of...

S) Grainy, grassy, with a light fruit zest.

T) Nice and malty. Bready and a little sweet, balanced with enough hop bitterness. Grass and a hint of lemon zest.

M) Fairly light, but very smooth, and definitely refreshing. Finishes clean with a nice aftertaste.

O) The one thing I have locally is plenty of well crafted lagers, so this not being available here, is no big deal. Having said that, it's a nice beer, and the folks in Florida looking for a lager, should drink it up.

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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 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 JackMcAwesome
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the can into a mug.

Look: There wasn't much here. The can asked me to pour gently, so I wasn't that aggressive at all. The result was a thin head, almost no lacing, with a standard light gold look. The lack of lacing makes me the most sad.

Smell: A mild floral note, but a strong citrus smell, mainly oranges. I'm picking up a bit of hops which is pleasant.

Taste: It starts with a strong citrus touch, but the back end is a bit of the sweet malts. Nothing too prominent. As it goes on, it gets less citrus-y and most sweet. Definitely interesting to me.

Feel: A very light feel, medium carbonation, and great on a warm afternoon.

Overall: Having easy access to this one, I'll probably revisit from time to time, and this is a great summer beer for myself. I think it has enough going on in the taste where I'll discover more and more after each one.

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