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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

927 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 927
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.05%
Wants: 71
Gots: 52 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) Alström Bros
Ratings: 927 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of krazyboi
krazyboi

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a 30 oz. glass mug.
A:Dark amber color and pours a nice thick head which dissipates relatively quickly.
S:Piney hop aroma, somewhere inbetween an APA and an IPA. A bit of caramel also if you try to smell beyond the hops.
T:Bitter and sweet taste up front. Grapefruit towards the end.
M:Feels thicker in the mouth than it would seem.
D:Not bad. Easy to drink. Probably could drink two bombers of this and feel really good afterwards...

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 20:28:18 | More by krazyboi
Photo of adam42381
adam42381

Florida

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

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours a medium caramel color with orange highlights and a 3 finger fluffy white head. Excellent lacing. Looks like a double IPA.

Smell: Floral, citrus and piney hops with pale malt. Smells like a blend of American Pale Ale and a mild IPA.

Taste: Pale malt and bitter citrus up front followed by caramel in the middle and a blast of grapefruit at the finish. The alcohol doesn't come through until you've already swallowed. There's definitely some warmth on the way down. Aftertaste is a mix of bready malt and bitter citrus. This is a very hoppy beer. I'm not really sure what an Imperial Helles Lager is supposed to taste like, but I like whatever this is.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of prickly carbonation. Fairly sticky.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. Goes down pretty easy for a beer with an ABV of 9%.

Overall: Good beer overall. I don't see this as an Imperial Pilsner, but I'm not sure what an Imperial Helles Lager is anyway. Whatever it is, it's a tasty brew that will hit the spot for most hop lovers. Give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 20:34:55 | More by adam42381
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

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

22oz bottle

A- Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is toasted malt and a good dose of hops. I was expecting a big malty beer but I am pleasantly surprised by the hops in the nose.

T- The taste like the aroma has some toasted malt up front with the bitterness from the hops quickly coming into play and lingering for quite a while into the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It was a very enjoyable beer that I will definitely purchase again. Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 04:05:10 | More by cjgator3
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

Southern Tier Krampus Imperial helles lager.

Npt a bad brew for Christmas Eve. Beware the switcher of bad children. I'd love to quote the label, but it is soooo long. In brief, it'll warm coldest hearts...Christmas Devil, sticks and chains....fanged, goat-horned bully...naughty or nice?....replace the cookies, lager yeast, aged cold, Merry Kramp-mas to all, and to all a good pint!
So there you have it!

9% above, 2-row pale malt, munich, caramel malt, chinook & willamette hops, cool place, snifter, best at 48, blahbetty blah...

Let's drink it, look at it, smell it, you know...

Clear, pale reddish hue, eh, more like amber, slim head, lace leaving, ...looking pretty nice. ( On further pours, it's bigger, taller, prouder.)

Aroma: malty, sharp, smooth, mild hops, somewhat sweet, ...but a little shy, not giving much else up.

Taste: grainy, malty, fierce, and hot. And yet smooth-...ish, despite the high alcohol.
Clean, and smooth, and pretty tasty. Sweet malt, delicious booze. Yum, me like.
I'm still not crazy about imperial lagers, still like ales better, when they're bigger. Just not enough flavor coming through...mmm, imperial lager, wait, what's happening to me?

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 07:16:26 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle into

Pours a clear golden orange with active rising carbonation and a thick foamy off-white head.

The aroma is of quite piney and spicy hop notes. Quite a bit more hops than I was expecting, but very pleasant. Some sweet malt backing.

The taste is of citric and piney hops upfront, much like an IPA, though as the flavors progress it blends into a floral spicy finish. There is a nice malty caramel backbone throughout that keeps this balanced. Really not much booziness from the high ABV.

Nice medium body with active carbonation that keeps it from being too heavy.

This is a very well done and easy drinking Imperial Pilsner especially when considering the high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 02:19:16 | More by vkv822
Photo of mahargcornsilk
mahargcornsilk

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice light amber color with a quickly dissipating head

smell is very piney, wasn't really expecting this from a lager but hell it's awesome

the taste hits with malt right away with those delicious piney hops following right behind

mouthfeel is pretty nice, a lot thicker than I would have expected from the color and from the helles lager on the bottle

I definitely couldn't chug this guy, but would gladly sip it regularly

I got this because Krampus is hilarious and badass and it totally didn't dissapoint, tastes nothing like helles but is so very delicious in it's own right, definitely a delicious winter beer which I would love to revisit

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 00:34:54 | More by mahargcornsilk
Photo of BigBlacke
BigBlacke

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Krampus light caramel haze color with a nice foamy .5 inch head that quickly dissipates to a thin off white film. Smells of sweet caramel with subtle pine hops. Krampus has the perfect amount of sweetness too it. Not overbearing. A nice piney hop presence is noted. Mouthfeel is stick and creamy. Drinkability is high for me. Very impressive and balanced beer. Ummm.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 23:52:20 | More by BigBlacke
Photo of daveytheformer
daveytheformer

Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce poured into a snifter.

Pours a clear golden amber with a nice thin white head that remains as the beer recedes in the glass.

Smells like pine and citrus with a floral sweetness.

Tastes smooth and clean with a little spicy kick. Seems kind of like a Belgian style IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium with great carbonation.

Overall is a great beer. I had no idea what to expect from this beer but was beyond pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 05:39:56 | More by daveytheformer
Photo of aepb1
aepb1

Florida

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

A- Translucent brown body with a huge off-white head and lots of lacing

S- Crazy hoppy! Grassy and piney hops are huge in the nose

T- A hint of malt up front immediately followed by the big piney hops and finishes with a spicey bite, a great ride

M- Light-bodied, oily, good carbonation

D- Very cool beer and will definitely revisit this one

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 16:29:03 | More by aepb1
Photo of PhillyStyle
PhillyStyle

Georgia

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

22oz bottle:

The beer poured a deep, dark clear amber color, with a very nice white head that was well retained that left behind some nice lacing.

The aroma was malty sweet with a hint of hops.

The taste was very good. Nice, bold malt flavor with some citrus hops to balance it really well. It also had a breadyness quality to it as well. It seemed as if the taste got better and better throughout the bottle.

Mouthfeel was good, medium body with the right carbonation. The beer was smooth and had a nice dry aftertaste. Overall, I was very surprised by this beer, I bought 2 bombers and have been wanting to go back and get some more.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 20:10:34 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange, two finger foamy white head settles to a quarter inch, leaving a ring of lace. Smell: pineapple, spruce (and a little oak?), sweet slightly melon-y backdrop. Taste: resiny with a bit of sugared pineapple, caramel, lightly toasted in the finish. There's a little bit of garlic in the finish, not enough to ding on flavor, but it builds over the course of the bottle. Nov (Dec here) 2010 release.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 05:28:43 | More by babaracas
Photo of belmont123
belmont123

New York

4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 22 oz. bottle a nice cigar CAO La Traviata the malt and hoppy character of this beer mixed with the leather spicy taste of the cigar perfectly played the late double at Penn National and good night. Life doesn't get any better than this Southern Tier has another winner.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 15:15:45 | More by belmont123
Photo of joshk
joshk

New York

4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Krampus: so good it's scary (so good I'll write something ridiculous to get the point across).

Looks: deep caramel color with a slightly off white poofy head that stuck around. Awesome.

Smells floral, hoppy, not harsh. Not a "citrus/pine" hop scent, but more like roses and flowers.

Taste: holy bajeez, sweet, sticky, and resinous. Hops are present but do not kill your tongue with bitterness. This beer has the perfect amount of hop character, I loved it. Pineapple, mild bitterness, roses, the characteristic "caramel" flavor of a good lager, and sugar. You taste everything you smell.

Mouth: Medium to heavy body, which works quite well for this beer.

Drink: No, you can't throw throw back like 4 of them, but I can't with any 9% beer. That's just me...

NOTES: It's like Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Boston Lager had a brilliant and beautiful child. I AM A BEER SNOB!

I split the bottle with my uncle over some pasta with mozzarella, garlic, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli and chicken sausage. I think that this is the best hoppy beer I've ever had, I'm surprised it's not rated higher.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 07:33:24 | More by joshk
Photo of edmonan
edmonan

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have never had a beer like this. I hope I can grab a couple more bombers before this seasonal disappears.

It pours a deep, clear, golden with a solid, foamy head that sticks around.

The aromas are are yeasty with papaya and rich decay notes.

The flavor is malty with a hoppy layer. More complexity as the flavors and aromas mix. This one needs a snifter/tulip/red wine glass - something you can stick your nose in.

It has a rich and creamy feel, that dances right up to the line of being heavy.

It's a slow-drinker, inspiring a great detail of attention.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 17:17:30 | More by edmonan
Photo of Vineyard
Vineyard

Vermont

4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Overall: Very tasty brew. I'm enjoying it with some high quality goat/cow bleu cheese and the two compliment each other very nicely. I would say that it is quite a departure from the style but as a hophead I really like it. So far I've tried it both out of a stein and a tulip.

Appearance: Beautiful color, 1 1/2 fingers of head that fades down nicely leaving some lacing.

Smell: Very piney. Some citrus notes.

Taste: Very very clean. Finishes dry, lots of beautiful hop notes especially towards the end. I agree with others that this could put many Double IPA's to shame.

Mouthfeel: Very nice feel, a lot of effervescence from the carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good. So far tonight I've had a 1-litre stein straight up and a tulip while snacking on some cheese and crackers. I wasn't sure about this beer to begin with but after trying it with the cheese I love it.

Serving type: growler

01-13-2011 22:59:36 | More by Vineyard
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was prepared to dislike this beer, as it is not always my favorite style, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice this beer was. Ocassionally I'm taken by the style (Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner comes to mind), and this one grabbed me too. Pours darker amber with a fair head that leaves some lacing and is fed by a constant small stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Smells bready without being grainy, and fruity and herbal. Lots of citrus juice, some mango and guava, and herbal with dill and epazote. Some tanginess there as well, a faint yogurt trace. The taste is similar, with less breadiness and more herbal and fruity bitterness with the same faint yogurt tanginess that mingles nicely with the citrus and bitterness on the end. I get pine in the bitter notes here as well- fairly heavily at that, along with that unmistakeable tangy skunkiness of summit hops. Very nice!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 20:48:39 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

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 nickfl
nickfl

Florida

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 damndirtyape
damndirtyape

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber with no best by date. Beer served in Tulip glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear copper color - well into the red/orange side of that color. Bubbles moving up slowly through the beer. Off-white 1/4" head initially that dies down to a ring around the edge and a thin film in the middle. Plenty of persistent lacing (sheets, strands) as I drank it down. A very good looking beer.

Smell: Grapefruit citrus mostly, with maybe something a little piney in the back. With a good swirl in the tulip I also get more pine and floral and less grapefruit.

Taste: Very much like a American double India pale ale (DIPA), except the grapefruit citrus is more blended with a rich malt that brings along some caramel and other sweetness to balance the citrusy hops. Alcohol is well hidden to non-existent in taste - a dangerous brew indeed. I think this beer could create the wicked rather than punish them.

Mouthfeel: Quite thick and smooth, but the hop oils stick a bit to the teeth. Carbonation is fleeting - it's on the tongue briefly and then gone.

Drinkability: If I had to make a recommendation, I think the hops need to be more German-like (crisper). I remember having this beer another time and it was more like a Helles Lager. This time it's more like a DIPA. So for the price I can't see myself getting it again, but I did enjoy it. Maybe with the right meal I'd enjoy it more. Plus I'm glad I split the beer - I can't see myself finishing a whole one by myself. Great looking beer though, so I'll give it that.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 23:34:04 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of nukem5
nukem5

Pennsylvania

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

A: Great copper pour with thin head sticky to glass.

S: Sweet malty goodness with copious amounts of fruity hops spicey as well.

T: Dark fruity spicy with a healthy dose of malty sweetness.

M: Medium bodied hardly any lacing very light traces of alchohol.

D: Very much so ,especially at the holidays and I just hope that Krampus doesnt realize I could be one of the naughty children...LOL

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 03:06:31 | More by nukem5
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with large amounts of citrus and herbal hops. Also present are very slight amounts of crisp lager yeast and slighter still amounts of green apple aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells although the hops aren't quite as robust. Crisp light malt flavors with a slight syrupy sweetness kick things off and are joined quickly by moderate amounts of citrus hops. Midway through the sip the citrus flavors turn more toward herbal with hints of tropical fruit. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was surprised by the high amount of hops in this beer but looking back I shouldn't be surprised by that in a beer put out by ST. Far from a traditional take on the beer but one that hopheads will appreciate. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2011 21:32:42 | More by glid02
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a slightly hazy aged copper body with lots of strands of tiny bubbles and a thick sticky head of antique white foam that last a good bit.
S- There is some caramel malt sweetness that soon gives way to a green pungent hop finish.
T- There is a mellow but rich caramel flavor that leads to a pungent hop bite that lingers just a moment after the finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz finish and no alcohol heat.
D- The rich caramel malt is well balanced by the full pungent hops. Full flavor but very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 04:25:37 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

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

Appearance -- Bright amber hue with a slim sudsy beige head and an abundance of lace.

Smell -- Quite hoppy with bright citrusy zest, leafy hops, hemp seed oil, caramel malt, and husky grain.

Taste -- Lots of hop character, and quite unique: citrus pith, leafy bitter vegetation, spearmint, and hemp. Biscuit and husky malt serve as the backbone. Still plenty of lager character, specifically plum-like esters and crisp finish. Hop bitterness is Lingering flavors of citrus rind and leafy hops.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with nicely active carbonation. Finish is crisp. Overall, pretty nice finish.

Drinkability -- This was a nice swap when the keg of Unearthly IPA went dry. Quite hoppy, would put many IIPA's to shame, but still has a decent amount of lager character, most notably in the fruity esters that wind up gelling with the citrusy/leafy hops quite well. I would've been happy to drink this all night.

Hopheads: consider this strongly.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 03:14:03 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this on tap in the past and it was always straight up onion/garlic hops to me. This year in the bottle it seems alot more palatable to me than straight onion/garlic. Imperial helles lager my ass, this is as pale/ipa/double pils as it comes flavorwise. Lager yeast maybe, lagering time yeah, but flavor wise blind folded it tastes like a hopped up ale. First of helles means light this is a copper amber colored beer. Crystal clear filtering, fine light off white head forms thick with speckled even lacing. Aroma really nails an imperial IPA nose with big layers of hops pine, citrus, hints of onion/vegetable greeness even spicy herbal qualities. Big malt layers are eclipsed in the nose, a touch of alcohol tickles your nares to let know to be ware. Flavor hits with an aggressive spicy oregano/greeness herbal/citrus/pine explosion almost feels like heat from a pepper in the back of your throat. Malts are caramelized enough to provided sugar coating amongst the hops but don't necessarily make the experience any sweeter. I could pair this with some Thai or Indian food because of the vegetal greeness/spiciness that the hops provide here. Mouthfeel can get a bit rough with residual sugars and hot alcohol, best advice is split it with a friend or someone who has been naughty this year. Drinkability is decent not a regular that I would pursue but seasonally once a year I could tolerate this. Truely unique and somewhat of a clusterfuck but at the end of the day I would say I actually enjoyed drinking it.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 02:58:28 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of mbusster88
mbusster88

New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bomber into pint glass.

A: Pours with huge head, medium bubbles and off white. Body is golden in color with a good amount of carbonation.

S: Huge west coast IPA notes of citrus, grapefruit and orange nominate.

T/M: Taste is mild and well balanced. The taste totally contradicts the smell. This is the only way I could tell it was a lager. Very nice malt balance gives the beer a good character. Good mouth feel that is easy to drink and well done.

D: Easy drinking beer that would be very sessionable. Would recommend this for new craft brew drinkers for sure!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 23:16:16 | More by mbusster88
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 927 ratings.