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Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)

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

885 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 885
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%

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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) Alström Bros
Ratings: 885 | Reviews: 405 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Has a fairly strong hoppy aroma with a hint of honey and just a touch of apple brandy. It pours a clear coppery orange with a thick, fairly persistent off-white head. Flavor is fairly hoppy, a bit woody, and rather bitter - not terrific, but still palatable. Texture is smooth and just a little fizzy, leaving a hoppy and woody finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 21:05:01 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a medium brown color and a clear texture. There was a big, foamy/creamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A sharp aroma of malt, hops, and caramel.

T: An interesting flavor for an Imperial Pilsner. Caramel malt, hops, a little tinge of grapefruit all make for a very balanced and focused flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick and oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Not classically an Imperial Pilsner, but extremely drinkable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 13:04:19 | More by avalon07
Photo of bluejacket74


4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pilsner glass, the beer pours a clear amber/orange color with about an inch frothy off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. The aroma is nice, it smells like pine and citrusy (grapefruit) hops with a bit of bready/biscuity malt too. The taste is similar to the aroma, but the malt comes out more in the taste than it does in the aroma (but the taste still has a good bit of hops in it). Some spicy hops, pepper and caramel are also noticable in the taste. Has a good sweet/bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and has decent carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth, has decent balance and the 9% ABV isn't noticable at all. Overall I'd say this is another very good Southern Tier brew, I'll definitely buy this again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 01:09:47 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of DrDemento456


4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks good pretty good. Head is minimal with a mild lace. Carbonation is good.

S - Wow I surprised to actually get pine and citrus hops on the nose from a Helles Lager! Mild bit of honey on the nose as well.

T - Quite smooth. The hops are pretty subdued but so is the grain by a mild honey sweetness. I detect no ABV burn at all which is a surprise for 9 percent. Sweet finish with very little hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied and very drinkable.

D - I am going to need to go to ST brewery to get me some cheap possible fresher bottle of this since I feel it is underrated maybe due to quality issues of freshness. Man they really need to add bottle or best by dates on this stuff. It was worth 8 dollars a bottle though.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 03:23:39 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of ZAP


3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Interesting brew...thought this would be a bit maltier and helles like but it is pretty hot and hopped up.

Perfumy aroma....vodka soaked spearmint leaves, some mild bready maltiness also evident...

Taste is big on the booze and the minty hop notes...really lacks a helles lager feel to it.

Syruppy mouthfeel....but not sweet or sticky...

Not a bad beer but nothing I would want again....

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 02:23:26 | More by ZAP
Photo of DefenCorps


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Sam Smith nonic glass. I will start off by saying that I absolutely detest the concept of this beer but am intrigued. Imperial pilseners are pushing the limit but an imperial helles is an oxymoron. Oh well - I'll go ahead and try reviewing this as an imperial India Pale Lager rather than a helles...

A: Pours a brilliantly clear amber with a gorgeous two-finger thick beige head that's frothy, textured and bubbles like a tar pit. As the head recedes, it leaves a good bit of lacework. Not much carbonation is visible, though, and not very helles like either but hey, this is a good looking beer. While I'm in half a mind to dock a point for the carbonation, the lace and head retention are spectacular

S: On the nose, there's a good bit of hops, leafy, earthy, spicy and pine-like. It _smells_ resiny. Some malt is apparent. Solid

T: Opens up with a pretty solid array of hop flavors. Pine, citrus, earthy spices, absolutely wonderful flavor. Bitterness is on the lower end of the moderate spectrum with a nice resiny juiciness. Malt flavors are rather muted and go well with the tame (and delightfully so) hops with biscuit and caramel present. Mildly hoppy on the finish with some resiny character.

M: Medium bodied and the low carbonation is bitched about goes well with the beer. A nice, soft, bitter finish

D: This 22oz is going down mighty easy, something I haven't experienced with a Southern Tier beer in a while!

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 01:16:01 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of scruffwhor


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Really like the artwork on this 22oz bomber.

Pours an IPAish rusty amber. Great puffy white head after a perfect pour. This recedes to a perfect film that remains throughout all 22 ounces. Helles lager like bubbling too, just looks more like an IPA in every other way. The immediate scent of fresh cut grass hits the nose first, just like a good Munich Helles. But this hoppy arom quickly turns to grapefruit and mint mixed with toasted biscuits. Crisp palate first, then dried pine needles sprinkled atop fresh biscuits. The palate is syrupy, yet lager crisp. This beer is great, but I don't think it is entirely true to style. It has undeniable lage qualities, but still tastes too much like an IPA.
I can't give it as great a score as it could, due to the style confusion. Still a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 04:46:04 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of flagmantho


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: deep, rich golden-orange hue with a crystal clear body and three fingers of rocky ivory head. Head leaves a nice lace as it slowly dissipates.

Smell: a basic malt aroma, but huge in volume! Sweet, with bits of caramel, and a little bit of earthy hop struggling to make its way through. I'm impressed; there is a strong ale or barleywine quantity of malt goodness here.

Taste: huge base malt with a bit of bitterness toward the end. I feel like there ought to be more in the way of hop character here, seeing as it is an imperial Pilsner; there's a bit, but not enough. However, with the malt, this beer captures the best of what I'd think an imperial-strength Pilsner should be: clean yet strong; dialed-in yet complex in flavor. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: sticky and syrupy in consistency with a pretty sizeable medium-thick body. Carbonation is pretty good and yields a pleasurable creaminess. Tasty.

Drinkability: dangerously drinkable. Flavor is good and compelling; it doesn't wear on the palate. Alcohol is high but not the focus, so for its ABV it is eminently quaffable. I'd definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 04:40:38 | More by flagmantho
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber. One finger head and nice lacing. An attractive pour. Aroma of strong hops and citrus. Nice rich malts and hops combination, citrus and pine. Start and middle are phenomenal, but somewhat dry and astringent in the hop finish. Points off for the astringency. This a refrigerated one year old bottle, but still tastes good. Will update after drinking a fresher one.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 19:48:37 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of cokes


2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 09:25:41 | More by cokes
Photo of nickfl


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a clear, copper-brown body. Good retention and decent lace.

S - PIne hops with some musty notes. There is also a bit of sweet, grainy malt in the background with a hint of honey.

T - LIght, bready malt up front with some strong hop bitterness and pithy, herbal flavor. There is some caramel and honey malt character in the middle with more of the same, sharp hop flavor. The beer finishes with a slightly buttery malt note and strong, musty bitterness that lingers on the palate.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Pretty drinkable. Imperial lagers rarely do anything for me but this one is not bad. The hop character is focused primarily on bitterness with some classic, noble hop flavor to back it up. The malt is strong, but not too sweet though it doesn't quite maintain the level of balance I would associate with a real helles. Worth a try, but I don't think I would seek this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 04:39:15 | More by nickfl
Photo of blackie


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: shaker pint serving, pale golden in color with a creamy, well retained white head, lots of lace

s: lots of honeyed biscuits and some light florals, rich but not terribly complex, pineapple, buttery sugar cookies, sweet grapefruits

m: full and smooth, a little syrupy

t: rich, a little more here than was picked up on the nose, lightly spiced sugar cookies and honeyed biscuits, tropical fruit cake, sugary but the citrusy hops provide a semblance of balance

d: no issues here

sampled at Galaxy Hut, Arlington

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2010 23:54:41 | More by blackie
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased for $7.99 in Columbus, cracked open immediately upon arrival at home. I was happy to see a new Southern Tier brew, and as a plus this is the first time I've seen an imperialized version of Munich Helles lager.

The beer is very clear, copper-red colored, with a 1-finger foam (much less than most helles lagers, but also this has 9% ABV which might have some effect). The smell was really odd, like a wickedly strong ESB, or maybe hoppier than that. Citrus and bitter floral aromas. The taste is strong with these hops along with significant malt and a touch of alcohol burn. Very thick body, a massive beer, this was delicious.

I love helles lagers, and I liked this beer too, but this really is no helles lager anymore. A completely different but tasty animal. Not sure this style needed imperializing, as it changed the beer completely.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2008 01:36:20 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper with a good sized off white head that sticks around for a while. Smells of citrus and floral hops, a bit of caramel malt, some alcohol and an almost Belgian yeast character in there too. Tastes more malt than the aroma would suggest. Caramel and spicy floral and citrus hops fight it out. A bit of mineral in there as well. Full bodied, crisp carbonation, creamy/syrupy mouthfeel. This is definitely another outside the box brew from southern tier, God I love them for that. This one reminds me of a barley wine at times. I need to procure another one for further evaluation.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 03:43:02 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of tpd975


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to SeaBass for bringing in a ST brew I had never had before.

A: Pours a brillant amber hue with a whispy head. Average retention with some spotty lace.

S: Very hop forward aroma. Lots of green grass and bold citrus. Nice sweet caramel malt does manage to poke its head up from beneath.

T: The hops come through in the flavor as well. Nice sweet malt up front backed by a rush of hops. Grapefruit and Orange up front. More grassy herbal hops in the finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth.

D: Good if you like a hopped to the max Helles, which I do.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 21:16:02 | More by tpd975
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a clear amber/orange with a small white head. Aroma of clove with a light floral hops background. Flavor is quite sharp, with an initial citrusy hop bite followed by a spicy, clove finish. An IPA/lager-ish blend is the best way I can describe it. It's an alright beer but I kinda wish it was just more like an IPA instead of being a blend. The combination didn't really make a more interesting or tasty beer, just a different beer.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 02:48:22 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ThirstyBird for his generosity. 22oz. bottle served in a pilsener glass. Poured a translucent copper with a half inch dense, off-white head embedded with copious ringlets. Multiple tiny specks of lace coated the glass throughout the course of the tasting. Nose is piney hops and peach. Taste reveals more piney hops, grapefruit, caramel and a light spicy quality (perhaps some mint in the mix). Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied with a consistent background carbonation and a slightly oily consistency at the finish. My first Helles. Reminded me of a DIPA in many ways. Another great offering from ST.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 01:33:44 | More by Jwale73
Photo of alexgash


4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle.

Clear, clean orange copper with a thick, creamy, dense, bright beige head. Great lacing up the sides of the tulip glass. Spicy, minty, herbal hop nose predominates. Fruit juice and sugar cookie malt aroma background.

Herbal, resinous, minty hop bitterness up front. Strong, raw, hop profile stays throughout, with additional flashes of pine, pine sap, and light citrus. Fruity malt backbone shows some sweetness, along with some caramel. Slightly warming finish with some fruity esters burrowed beneath lingering hop bitterness. The big noble hop presence reminds me of SA Imperial Pilsner. Very good. Medium-full body with a creamy feel. Interesting and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 01:32:15 | More by alexgash
Photo of AgentZero


3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice amber color with a slightly yellowed white head. Clear, very nice lacing and stick throughout the drink.

S - Hoppy, nice citrus smell in a malty backbone. Alcohol comes through quite strongly giving this one some edge.

T - Very good take on the style, I am not a fan of Southern Tier but this is a good brew. Spicy, hoppy, a touch bitter, nice alcohol burn. Great to drink when you're thirsty. Almost like a DIPA but not as bitter or hoppy.

M - Crisp, carbonated, lighter side of medium-bodied.

D - Lot of alcohol in this one had me buzzed after the bomber, doubtful I could do two, but a nice experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 22:06:46 | More by AgentZero
Photo of GClarkage


2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 14:57:13 | More by GClarkage
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper with a quarter inch of thin, foamy head that has decent retention. The nose is grassy and earthy with a strong lager yeast aroma. The taste is grassy up front with a very nice earthy hop character. The lager yeast also comes through here. The alcohol makes itself known in the taste. It's very warm and slightly boozy. This is a medium to full bodied beer with great carbonation.

This one's a little boozy, but it's good. The alcohol does not take away from the fact this is a solid German-style lager. It's very warm and full bodied for the style so it makes for a nice winter beer. If you're looking for a change of pace this winter try this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 15:25:45 | More by tdm168
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with an average dense head that settled into a sparse cap with some lacing on the glass. The aroma is a mix of sweet citrus hop and spicy Belgian like yeast. Quite interested what this is going to taste like. The taste has an overall sweetness with a kick of hoppy bitterness in the end. Krampus has a spicy yeast and hop profile that yields a tropical fruit and citrus flavor; it has a bready malt but nothing that would remind me of munich malt what so ever. The feel is nice and chewy with soft carbonation which leads to a silky feely; good balance between sweet and bitter. Ah, the new age old question, do you really need an imperial helles lager???? After this, I would say no. A helles lager is a fairly delicate style that can't handle the "imperial tag". IMHO a helles is like a Pils, in order to let the malt shine, which it is suppose to, you need to keep the abv in check. The sweet bready munich malt is no where to be found in this brew. While this brew is quite tasty, it does not resemble a munich helles lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 04:12:07 | More by Gmann
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - slightly hazed brassy color with a off-white head that left some lacing.

S - sweet malt, earthy yeast and a whole lot of hops.

T - starts off sweet and then the bitterness of the hops hit home, finishing dry.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D - goes down very easy for a 9% abv brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 23:41:47 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've enjoyed all the Southern Tier products I've tried, but this one just didn't do it for me. In my pilsener glass the beer was an amber color with a thick white head that quickly dissipated. The aroma confused me a little: malt, fruit, and spice that didn't go well together. Same thing with the taste. I thought the beer was overly spiced, and not terribly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 13:53:07 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of clayrock81


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A medium-dark brown that when served in a tulip glass had a one-finger head minor lacings. A herbal, tea-like (almost grainy, veggie like) hop burst. Not a strong smell but you can pick up lots of hops in the nose. The hops are plentiful in the mouth and lead to a fruitiness to the beer, most notably grapefruit along with hints of citricness. Medium-bodied and smooth but still contains a good, drying backbite as the hop bitterness really comes through in the end. Not sweet or anything but there are caramel and other sugary malts, more than any other malt, that push there way through while it passes the tongue. A great beer to relax with and I still don't believe it is almost 10% ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2009 14:53:12 | More by clayrock81
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.