1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

955 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 955
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 79
Gots: 64 | FT: 0
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 955 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A quality Euro strong lager,a good example of that style, with significant hops. A little soapy head on orangey body, a good amount of lace. The hop aroma is there. Creamy mouthfeel, initially, and then more or less average mouthfeel. Not too drinkable, but drinkable bitterness.

Sammy, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.6%

t0rin0, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2.6%

djrn2, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.6%

spycow, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of an off white head. The nose brings some caramel, toffee, and toasted bread along with some hard to describe (earthy?) hop components. Taste brings a moderate hop dose along with some lightly roasted malt, caramel, and toffee. Good body and not much alcohol. Really nice and a solid imperial pils.

Thorpe429, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

acurtis, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy light yellowish amber in color and has a medium amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high head that quickly died down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are lots of malty aromas in the nose along with notes of citrus and pine resin hops along plus some hints of spices.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste is very malty and transitions to a moderate amount of bitter flavors from the hops (reminiscent of a Double IPA) in the finish, which also becomes spicy as the beer starts to warm up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink considering its alcohol content, provided that you can get through the amount of bitterness.

metter98, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Texasfan549, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"While St. Nick is busy delivering presents to good little boys and girls, Krampus hands out punishments to the bad. A fanged, goat-horned bully, the Christmas Devil uses sticks and chains to beat the naughty children."

--label

Dark apricot orange that becomes hazard cone orange when backlit with morning sunshine. The peanut shell colored cap is on the expansive side after a high-altitude pour and has a meringue-like texture that becomes milkshake-like as it melts. An abstract patterned array of lace only adds to the visual enjoyment.

What the hell is an Imperial helles lager? Has Southern Tier decided to Imperialize each and every style of beer from 'A' to 'Z'? Krampus smells like an Imperial American pale ale. It also smells good. It's sweet and pale malty, with less than an IPA's worth of fragrant hops that have a citrus zesty edge. Chinook was used in the kettles and Willamette for dry-hopping.

Against all odds, I like this big brew. Actually, Imperial pilsner isn't that far off the mark. Compared to the best I've ever had (Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner), this beer is sweeter and less explosively hoppy. Age is undoubtedly the reason. This is a Christmas seasonal after all.

I'm also reminded of a pale-malted barleywine. The malt backbone is as rock-ribbed as they come. Black malt is probably there for color only, since none of the darker flavors are noted. Munich and caramel malt add a slight toasted bread quality that is welcome.

This might have been the perfect time to crack the crown. Alcohol adds plenty of power without adding the least bit of heat... and the hops are still surprisingly boisterous. The grapefruit zest (and orange and pine) of Chinook comes through loud and clear.

The mouthfeel is the highlight of a beer that doesn't have any lowlights. It's medium-full, with a borderline sappy smoothness and just the right amount of bubbles. All those malt sugars positively pamper the mouth and tongue.

With the exception of Imperial Cherry Saison, and the possible exception of Creme Brulee, I've been either impressed or supremely impressed with every Southen Tier brew that has come down the pike. If Rudolph's nose ever goes on the blink, a bomber of this bad boy will allow Santa's nose to light the rest of the journey with no trouble at all. Bottom line: Krampus is an enjoyable sipper, whether early autumn morning or late winter night.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My taste buds get their feelings hurt when I read the terms "imperial" and "helles" in the same title. It's not clever, it's the flavor equivlent of using double negatives in fine literary works.

Krampus has a darker-than-expected golden color with mild haze. A froathy white head caps the beer and allows spotty lace with good retention.

Jumping out immediately is the high hopping rates that provide a sharply citric and spicy earth aroma, taste, and bitterness. Supportive malts seem deeply caramelized and give nearly as much Pale Ale character as that of Pilsner. Bread crust and light yeasty taste provide slight apple-like esters and sulfur character that adds a bit of zest to usher in a semi-dry malt finish with 9% warmth and a minty-cool taste and texture.

Where Imperialized Pilsners usually don't settle particularly well with me, the added caramel and bread crust flavor supports the assertive hop additions very well, allowing me to read the flavor and balance of IPAs moreso than a big Pilsner. Just don't make me read the self-promoted label again.

BEERchitect, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.6%

kjkinsey, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium orangey color lager with a large pure white frothy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma orange and dry European hops is quite enjoyable with some light phenols notes. Taste is a balance between some sweet malt with notes of fry European hops, light phenols and some orange notes - quite particular overall. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no signs of the alcohol. Interesting experiment overall thought not something I would drink every day.

Phyl21ca, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal copper color with a firm tan head.

Nose is wonderful fresh pineapple with a hint of carmel and spice/black pepper. Big, rich, creamy mouthfeel.

Aggressive ripe sweet peach front gives way to a grapefruit hop and nice pine resin finish. Complex, layered, rich and full with great balance and character.

A very good drinking beer.

GRG1313, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thrilled to see this one on tap at Barleys as I really had wanted to give it a try. Served in a pint glass, which I knew I was now in trouble! This one was consumed on 12/12/2009.
 
The pour was nice, darker then I would have expected with a nice cap of white hanging over the top of the glass. Nice rich looking head of foam on the top of the glass here now as well, nicely done I have to say. Aroma immediately is a bit boozy with hints of grass, touches of hops, and a light fruit note that seems to pick up the warmer it gets. Interesting flavor profile as well here. Not at all what I was expecting. Hints of grapefruit, a touch of herbal, floral notes and a really nice and well laid out malty background. Quite nicely done I have to admit. Warming seems to bring out touches of pear and apricot and a definite grape flavor finishes it off rather nicely.
 
Overall a very solid and very strong ale here. Light in body but it packed a wallop. Definitely a one and done for me.

mikesgroove, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -23.1%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.6%

jaydoc, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 3 finger frothy head with nice lacing on a clear 50/50 amber and golden body.

S: very malty and aromatous. Subtle sweet corn and earthy notes.

T: flavor is pretty boozy and sour. Malt and sweet corn in the background.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: The aroma is excellent. The boozy flavor is a little much but it mellows out as you drink it.

kylehay2004, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Krampus poured out as a golden color that seemed to be a little on the thick side. The smell has some earthy and spicey notes to it, not the most appealing smell in my opinion. The aromas were just a little too strange I think. The taste carried the same elements that the nose did. It's got some pine and a light Christmas berry flavor going on in there. The mouthfeel is a little thick, not really carbonated. I just wasn't feeling this beer too much. One of my least favorites from Southern Tier for sure.

Knapp85, May 31, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear, golden-amber body with a frothed, lasting, off-white head.

Smell: Toasted pale malts, a tad grainy, along with hoppy notes of musky lemons, fresh-cut grasses, and spice.

Taste: Pale malts and toasted grains with a medium-low caramel sweetness. Redolent hop addition that's at times citrusy, grassy, spicy, and earthy also delivers a medium-high bitterness. Some alcohol warmth enters the scene, as does a final taste of pale malts, before the citric, longly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is rather smooth.

Drinkability: It's a hoppy, imperialized helles alright. If that's your bag, then you might dig this one. Otherwise, if you go in with a little understanding, a little open-mindedness, you still just might like it.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass a slight hazed medium to full golden with a large foamy white head that took forever to settle.Love the aromas,full on citric and spicy chinook hops with a big caramel malt note.Flavors are big citric and herbal/spice up frotn with some big caramel sweetness with a touch of honey,as the beer warms the alcohol zing really comes thru more.Its a little heavy and the alcohol does creep but its tasty.

Totally not true to the style and although I liked this beer it just leaves me wondering why a beer of this style is made.

oberon, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.6%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/auburn color with a tan, foamy, bubbly, two finger head. It left thick sheets of foamy, sticky lace.

S - It smelled very fruity. Also strong notes of spice and clove. Some caramel aromas were detected, too. A slightly boozy smell, as well.

T - It was very spicy with a dried fruit flavor and a burnt toast maltiness. Good caramel flavor, too. Alcohol taste was noticeable.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - This is a fascinating beer. Like a Belgian mixed with a strong lager.

zeff80, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy deep copper. Full head of frothy yellowed-white foam. Very good to excellent head retention and lacing.

Aroma: Perfumey. Floral. Yeasty. Citrusy/spicy/piney. Yeasty fruitiness. Sweetish, grainy, biscuity malt. There's a note of alcohol that threads through it, combining the hops with the yeastiness in an odd-way. Too much yeast, too much alcohol.

Taste: The faults found in the nose carry over into the flavor. The sweetish caramel malt is nice, and the citrusy/piney/spicy/floral/grassy hop flavors are enticing, but the alcohol is a hint raspy, and the yeastiness lends it an almost homebrew-like tone. Otherwise, it's nicely balanced by a firm bitterness that flows steadily from the outset but fades going into the swallow, unfortunately leaving it a little sticky and sweet in the lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Decidedly medium-full with a dextrinous edge and median carbonation that becomes nicely creamy after tickling the tongue for a bit.

Drinkability: Although there's a lot of flavor there, and it's balanced, the yeastiness and alcohol cut down on its drinkability.

NeroFiddled, Mar 05, 2009
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 955 ratings.