Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

1,069 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,069
Reviews: 419
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 82
Gots: 106 | 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
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Ratings: 1,069 | Reviews: 419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMB0424
2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

from notes. poured into flute.

Pours a golden straw body with a tiny head that quickly disappeared. Good retention, however.

I don't know what they were going for with this, but it's not pleasant. Smells of pine - like straight up pine needles from a tree - and an odd, musk-like smell. Not much else here, and it's bad.

Taste is nothing like the smell, but it's not much better. The pine is translated into grapefruit, with that musky taste as well, with a little bit of caramel malts. It's bitter, yes. But hoppy? I don't know. It's very weird.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty crisp in the mouth. Dry finish. I'm glad we split a bottle of this, because there's no chance I would drink a bomber to myself. Between the pine tree smell and the "offness" of the taste... I just didn't enjoy it.

Photo of LittleBreeze
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber. Off white head. The citrus and piney hop smells are attractive. There is something else there...Mint? Grassy? Spices?

The taste is...not good. I described the taste as sort of skunked. I was assured that was on purpose. Okay...ick. Not my favorite style. Mouthfeel was rather nice. Not to much dancing on the tongue.

Photo of ScarletLady
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap.
A - amber in color nice head that left thin wisps of lacing
S - first a bit of hops followed by malt. had to really search for the aroma
T - hint of hop at first but mostly malt. sweet finish
M - slightly thick with almost no carbonation
D - just ok, wouldn't try it again

Overall a little disappointing and now the least favorite of my southern tier brews

Photo of DIM
2.9/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

a: This was a bright, clear copper color. It pours with a big, craggy white head that leaves lots of lace in it's wake.

s: I got a strange combination of fresh, piny hops and sugary cherries.

t: There is a clash of flavors here that doesn't work for me. Up front I got dry, tart, and flowery cherries that had an artificial quality. The finish adds a resiny, piny hop to the mix. Not horrible, just a juxtaposition of flavors that comes up short.

m: Good body and carbonation, but the lingering, slightly solventy, mix of cherry and pine are a distraction.

d: After the novelty wore off, this became difficult to finish.

Photo of Bighuge
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Crystal clear dark copper body. Thin off white head. Bubbly collar leaves nice rings of lace as I drink.

Aroma: Warm, biscuity malt aromas. Slight alcohol. Perfumey and scenty hop nuances.

Flavor: Not overly impressed with this one. This does not resemble a helles lager. The biscuit notes I got on the nose are nowhere to be seen on the palate. It resembles a high octane blend of spiked punch and spearmint hop accents. Very bitter. And lots of pine as well.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Very viscous feel to this. But it does have noticeable carbonation as well. Syrupy in a way. The alcoholic heat is obvious and actually just a little overboard. This is just kind of a boozy mishmash with a side of hops.

I was hoping this experiment would parallel Great Lakes 'Imperial Dortmunder' undertaking, but it pales in comparison. This one has very minimal traits of the original style.

Photo of cokes
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shiny bronze colored with a mountain of sticky off-white froth on top. Lacing comes in sliding sheets.
A bready whiff is shoved aside by the resiny, sprucy, pulpy hops, and the juniper/quinine/botanical/citric qualities of gin, complete with the booze hammer.
Again, it's thoroughly bready as it scampers across the tongue. There's a nice balance here, at least at first. Hops bring florals, evergreens, resin, and mint. Dankly and loudly. Alcohol rears up later, with a bitter-sourness, and explosions of heat.
Thickish mouthfeel, syrupy from the booze quotient. The carbonation gives it levity up front, but eventually dies off, leaving it with all the more sting and burn. There should be something delicate and soft and balanced here, despite the imperialness...and there isn't. Not at all.
This doesn't work, despite a glimmer of hope off the bat with its deep breadiness. The hopping is huge to the point of abrasiveness, and the alcohol is beyond even that...pushing obnoxious. The world honestly doesn't need an Imperial Helles. And this isn't one. Call it an Imperial India Pale Lager (semantics...I know), and my gripes are the same. Too big, too dumb, too base, too conflicted, too hot, too unwieldy, and too unmeshed.
Too bad.

Photo of GClarkage
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

09/07/09- Purchased at Buy-Rite Liquors in Plainfield, NJ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark yellow colored appearance. Nice full one inch plus head. Some chunks and leftover lacing. Quality looking.

Smell- Lots of hops and lots of super bready malt. Over the top on both aspects.

Taste- Super hopped and super bready, just as the nose would detect. Way too much for me in both aspects. Really harsh and quite intense.

Mouthfeel- Mid to heavier carbonation level..super bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Might be someones cup of tea, but not mine. Don't think it was spoiled, just didn't care for it. And I usually like Double Pils. My first disappointment from Southern Tier.

Photo of doughanson78
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. First Helles Lager.

A: A medium dark orange/copper. Super clear. One finger bright white head with amazing retention and sticky lacing.

S: Not a huge aroma. Piney and earthy hops. Grains, breads and grassy notes. Slight spice notes.

T: Slight caramel along with grains and bread. Pine and floral hops along with a biscuity malt flavor. Finishes very earthy and grassy with a grapefruit bitterness. Weird hop profile and the off putting grapefruit in the end just messes this taste up.

M: Medium light body. Higher carbonation. Slight creaminess. Pretty dry finish.

O: Kind of like a very hoppy lager. Don't know if it's the hop profile of this beer or if it just doesn't go with lagers, but this one isn't for me. Not totally bad.

Photo of javlin624
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Rborre321
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Lanstrum
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Luweezy
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of mfnmbvp
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle. Bottle reads "DOB 09/11/2012" so this beer is about 3 and a half months old chillin the bottle waiting for me to buy it and drink it.

A - Pours a clear copper honey looking color. Doesn't look like much action so far.

S - Smells like your typical boring lager. There is maybe the vaguest hint of unrecognizable spice buried in there, but for the most part this is a bland senseless experience.

T - The faint hint of spice gives this beer some character, but that is all this brew has going for it. Doesn't exactly taste like it's advertised 9% abv, but then again, it doesn't really taste like much of anything.

M - Murky, sticky mouthfeel. Not pleasant, but this is by no means a bad beer. It is surely a well-made lager.

Overall, Southern Tier isn't a bad brewery, but their beers seem to lean toward mediocre, although I do remember enjoying the Southern Tier 2X Stout quite a bit. I would drink it again if it was offered to me, but I won't go out of my way to try this one again. The homage it pays to the holiday character of the Krampus is probably the best part of the gimmick this brew has going on.

Southern Tier Krampus Imperial Helles Lager ---3/5.

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3/5  rDev -22.9%

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3/5  rDev -22.9%

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3/5  rDev -22.9%

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3/5  rDev -22.9%

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3/5  rDev -22.9%

Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.