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Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,063 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,063
Reviews: 419
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 81
Gots: 103 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 07-15-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,063 | Reviews: 419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Loaf31
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of OneTrickPony
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of Billz187
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of madtappers
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a imperial glass.

Nice dark brown color, with a white head. Aroma was hoppy, not sure if it was really a piney or citrus smell, just a nice clean hop smell.

First drink was pure bliss, has a taste of a smooth barley wine with a perfect mix of both hops and malt back. Very drinkable for a 8% beer.

I will drink this one again next Christmas season!!!!

Photo of RichH55
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of Joshc
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of rhinos00
4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A- Clear amber. Nice off white 2 finger thick head. Reduced to a nice thin layer and provided beautiful lacework as the beer was consumed.

S- Smelled like a bouquet of flowers. Detected a hint of sweetness in the background.

T- Amazing. Fresh hops are the first thing to hit the palate. This was followed by a distinct, yet subtle sweetness as the beer was consumed. Perfect.

M- Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Coated the tongue and palate very nicely.

D- The alcohol content was virtually undectable. I could proabably drink a 6-pack and not think anything of it.

Overall, very impressed. ST should make this a traditional christmas brew as I would make sure to stock up on this every year. After I finished off this bomber, I felt like Krampus gave me a few good whacks on the head with his wooden stick. Mass respect for ST on coming out with this quality brew.

Photo of ifixufly
4.71/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of cdizinno
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz brown bomber, as shown, with no freshness date.

A: Bright amber orange color. Completely clear with a minimal off-white head after a vigorous pour. Nice lacing.

S: Nice hop aroma with wild flowers to citrus undertones and a nice balance of malt sweetness.

T&M: Heavy bodied thick beer. Nice hoppy lager. Smooth with minimal bitterness. Maltiness comes in first with a toasty, caramel sweetness until the hops finish flattens most of that down.

This is definitely a great holiday brew, especially if you don't want all the spices!!!

Photo of N8rock
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted at our beer tasting group. We poured a bomber out into four glasses. It produced a barely off-white head that held well and left lots of lacing in the glass. The color was amber with stunning clarity. The nose was very pronounced with hops of citrus, pine, and floral characteristics. The sappy nose carried over to the palate where is was met with a lightly sweet bready malt and yeast flavor. The beer had some lasting complexity on the finish with a great backbone of bitterness. I couldn't believe I was drinking a lager!

This beer went down very easy for me (being a hop head), and I could have been very satisfied with having the full 22oz to myself. Next time I buy one, I won't be sharing it.

Photo of anotherpg
4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Here's an exceptional challenge to Stone's AB: a chewy, hoppy, high ABV double which finishes smooth without feeling like you need to brush your teeth after.

This pours a clean amber with a large, 1-2 finger head, drinks easy but with a full taste of hops. The ABV didn't show as I was drinking it-- it didn't taste hot or out of balance. The smell was of hops, but the taste was very well-balanced and it was juicy, almost buttery, as I drank it. The ABV and hops meant it slowed me down a bit from drinking more than one, but for a 22oz bomber, this was a great find and I'd gladly drink it again.

Photo of kenpo23
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

just put it aside for a year.... amazing. i may be biased because i do love a helles lager but as usual...Souther Tier does it right. no need for more explanation...just trust me. if i'm wrong...and you live in the area i have no problem meeting up with you at Bukowski Tavern in boston and trying what you would think is better.

Photo of beckje01
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Light amber color white head thin but very nice lacing.

S- Nose full of green hops just smells like I stuck my face in the vines.

T- Super hop taste but not in a bitter way. Tastes almost sweet very tasty. Easy on the pallet.

M- Great thickness feels nice and smooth.

D- Very drinkable, this beer does a great job of stepping outside of the Helles style to bring it to something else. Imperial Helles Lager fits well.

Photo of Co365030
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of allergictomacros
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Clear amber/red with a dense head of foam.

S - Nose is hoppy, fruity and boozy. Citrus, pine, apple, and mango.

T - Sweet and intensely hoppy. There's a bare hint of caramel, but is quickly overwhelmed by a resinous pine hop. Sweet fruitiness and apple comes through as well. Finish is a moderately bitter and very clean and smooth.

M - Moderate body and carbonation. Again, smooth but not oily or heavy in any way.

D - Very drinkable. Tasty, and a bit different from a DIPA.

Photo of cnally
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another day, another beer influenced by devils. Is this all my life has become? Worshipping the evil snifter filled with hell's drink? Not a bad way to live, if you ask me.

The appearance is a fiery amber color in the body, transparent for the most part, with a confident white head that sticks nicely to the glass.

Aromas of a heavy dose of malt, pumpkin, aging white grape, and a flicker of piney hops.

An amazing convocation of initially heavy piney hop flavor and a sweetness from a caramel malt in the middle, with a distinct phenolic quality. The hop fades from the starter burst, and the beer finishes with a spicy orange peel and malt.

The mouthfeel comes off a little ragged, sticky and over thick, but still highly respectable.

An excellent beer, any way you slice it. Refreshing, filling and really tasty with layers. I couldn't imagine a beer achieving much more than this beer, especially within the confines of an imperial pilsner.

Photo of ccrida
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into my Delirium snifter, served at cellar temp. Really love the label and whole story behind Krampus. Krampus is a clear bronzed orange with a large off-white head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is very hoppy, IPA like grapefruit, some gingerbread and caramel malt. Wasn't expecting this being so hoppy, thought it would just a strong, syrupy yellow lager. Working through this I really came to enjoy the aroma, picking up more honey and tropical fruit then I did initially. Served at cellar temp, with the second half of the bottle chilled in the fridge while I'll sipped on the first.

Taste is also very DIPA like, which anyone would assume it was in a blind tasting. Fine by me! Very spicy and huge hop flavor, firm semi-sweet malt backbone, it's kind of like a amped up version of Sierra Nevada Celebration. Complex and enjoyable for sure, I really like red DIPAs, and this is just an extra smooth version of that thanks to the larger yeast and cold conditioning. I think it was released a few months ago, I can only imagine what the hops were like when fresh!

Mouthfeel is dry, chewy but not to heavy, some creamy carbonation

Drinkability is exception, this really hit the spot, especially because it's way better then I expected. Smooth and tasty, with the alcohol very well hidden, it went down with ease. Calling it a Helles larger though is pretty much ridiculous, but I didn't score it to style, because I don't know of one for strong, hoppy amber lagers! Another fantastic value and wildly successful experiment from the boys at Southern Tier!

Photo of Mitchster
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle for $7.69 @ Bevco. 9.0% abv. * 20º plato. Brewed with 2-row pale, debittered black malt, munich malt, and caramel malt. Chinook kettle hops, and Willamette dry hops. Lagered for at least 30 days.

Pours out to a clear medium amber, forming a large sticky light yellow head with excellent retention and one big solid sheet of lace with a medium-light carbonation. Nice looking. The aroma is very nice....pineapple, mango and grapefruit for the citric hop nose, balanced by a large sticky amber malt body, akin to Arrogant Bastard, with apples, honey and cherries in there as well. Mouthfeel is very soft and very smooth with a dense, rich syrupy body. The taste is a recap of the aroma with lots of malts nicely balanced by the assertive hop flavor with an overall mild bitterness. Lingering sweetness in the aftertaste with freshly milled grain husk and toast hanging on the tongue. No perceptable off flavors or aromas. Excellent drinkability despite it's strength, but you might want to share it with someone. It's a meal unto itself.

This reminds me of what I would like Arrogant Bastard to taste like...sweeter, less bitter, and exceptionally smooth. Akin to an Olde Ale, I would gladly buy this again. Highly recommended!

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of YesFest
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

YUMMY...

Pours a heady white-over-bronze trophy, some modest lacing which arches around delightfully un-predictable shapes... I think I see a war-elephent trumpeting Hannibal's decent from the alps...

Smell was somewhat subdued, I didn't have any good glassware handy, I used a big wine glass. Smell was suggestive of good things to come, but nothing terribly fancy.

This is where the fun really starts. It tastes reminiscent to the strong Belgian/Quebecois tripples, but more crisp, less in-your-face, not as overpoweringly sweet. It has an awesome bite, just awesome. Nothing too bitter, just about perfect.

Mouthfeel is decent, leave's a beer-y aftertaste (my favorite kind!) moderate coating, taste stays in your mouth for just the right amount of time.

Very drinkable despite it's strength. I think I just drank most of a bomber while writing this, and I'm feeling a bit of panic that I only have one.

Photo of Celt44
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a beautiful dark amber hue with a frothy head..with lacing that lasts througout..

Aroma - Strait up Southern Tier - strong floral hops...followed by a malty, biscuty blast...some fruitiness, as always, mixed in.

Tate - A perfect balance, IMHO, of malts and hops STBC has ever done. Bitter hops up front with sugary malts to follow. Hard to say, but, this beer is basically...hops and malts....period.

Mouthfeel - Beautiful and patient..

Overll another excellent selection from STBC. Absolutely delicious...

Photo of corey0212
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear coppery/amber color, decent sized tan head fades slowly, and leaves rings of lacing on the way down. Tons and tons and tons of piney aromas, some candy-sweet malt lingers in the background, but this is one piney smelling brew! Taste definitely delivers on the pine promise, but the malty flavors are actually pretty rich, some nice caramel flavors, and a faint alcohol hotness. Really clean mouthfeel, lots of lingering spice/hops...yeah, Southern Tier does it again. Love this.

Photo of dick783
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a copper color with a fine white head.

S - Smells of sweet toasted malt with some grassy hop notes come through. Has a great aroma with nothing overpowering the nose.

T - Fantastic. The flavors almost work their way down the tongue, starting sweet at the front and finishing with a light bitterness from the hops at the back. Clean taste, its almost like an ESB but with a cleaner finish.

M - Its got body, but its a body with a clean crisp edge. Good carbonation that cleans the pallet well after each sip.

D - Fantastic drinkability. You could tell me this was a 4% session beer and I'd believe it. And with the crip clean finish it doesn't grow old, you could drink these as long as you can see straight and never get tired of it. An excellent winter beer, Ill be having more for sure.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.51/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Helles, isn't that an oxymoron? In any case, Krampus appears a dark amber color with a nice cap of foam which clings to glass as the liquid interface falls. The aroma is a nice balance of caramel and lemony hops. The alcohol opens the senses. Surprisingly carbonated, almost prickly, on the palate. The malt notes (bread, biscuit, and dark fruit) are briskly swept away as the hops takes over. Resinous pine, grapefruit, old fashion bitterness and a wave of booze finish this off in a big dollop of hops. A nice brew that invites the drinker to have more. I don't know if I would call this a Helles, but it is good.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an inch-thick creamy head, a bit rocky and made of various-sized bubbles. Liquid is burnt orange sunset moving toward the brown part of the spectrum (so not all that "helles" really). Glassy clarity with copious bubbles moving neither fast nor slow through the liquid. Looks like quality so far.

Super-clean and breezy hop-centric nose. Very much west coast in essence, and the lack of malty sweetness or toastiness in the nose makes it smell like a crazy-ass hop bomb. And it's a lager to boot. I'm intrigued...

Krampus is possibly the most hop-laden, hop-tastic, hop-thusiastic lager I've ever had. It's like a west coast hop bomb that accidentally was fermented with a lager yeast at a cold temperature. A "my chocolate in your peanut butter" kinda beer. And, best thing about it, it doesn't taste like a train wreck. There's clear definition here. First taste is, surprise surprise, a (green) flash of bright, fresh, citrus hops, with a little mint coming in behind. Then a toasted malt essence that leans on the sweeter side, caramel/toffee are present, and there's a pretty strong herbal tea vibe that sits squarely between that malt and hop characteristics of this beer. Resin-like, citrus rind bitter quality to the finish, and here is where I get the most pilsner-ish vibe in the taste, as there's also some sulfur-like flavor that comes with it. There's a lot to say about this taste, and a lot to enjoy about it, yet it's not the most complex imperialized beast of all time, nor is it even close to a mess. Very direct, very good, very clean.

Certainly the helles lager personality comes through strongest in the feel, having an active, crisp bubble feel, a lighter lager-like glide on the tongue...yet, yet, there's an ale-like sort of stick and/or heft to the texture that reminds you this is an imperialized, Americanized, proudly bastardized version of a German lager style. So be it.

So glad to have finally gotten a hold of the elusive Krampus (like Choklat, one of few Southern Tier beers that never seems to make it down to Virginia), and I thank my longtime pal Heath for this bottle. As Borat might say: great success!

Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,063 ratings.