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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.
very good

938 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 938
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 76
Gots: 57 | 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
Ratings: 938 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vineyard


4.47/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

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


4.28/5  rDev +9.7%

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!

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


4.43/5  rDev +13.6%

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.

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


3.68/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

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


3.85/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

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


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

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


4.2/5  rDev +7.7%

(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.

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


4/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

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

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

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

New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

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!

01-02-2011 23:16:16 | More by mbusster88
Photo of Duff27


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

A- Pours a clear copper with a one inch white head. Great lacing and decent head retention. Looks great.

S- Sweet, bready.

T- Delicious. Some citurs, danky(!) pungent hops.

M - Mouthfeel is medium for a lager.

D/O- GD, this is a great easy, yet imperial, drinker. Might be my favorite ST release thus far. After the first sips I didn't know what I had got myself into, but by the end it was my favorite new beer of the day.

01-02-2011 22:16:54 | More by Duff27
Photo of beersensei305


3.8/5  rDev -2.6%

A- Dark amber color, a little hazy, nice white head with good lacing

S- Malts and piney hops, a tad sweet

T- big hoppy and citrus flavor, very malty sweet, not biter from the hops, citrusy, and a tad piney

M- The taste lingers, syrupy, mdeium bodied

D- reminds me more of an IPA than a Pilsner with all the hops and citrus. a sipping beer. fairly complex.

01-02-2011 20:15:24 | More by beersensei305
Photo of AdamBear


4.25/5  rDev +9%

A-amber with a good cream colored head. lacing.

S-i smell berries and hops. quite a good balance. smells good but not entirely strong, smells a lot like an IPA.

T-its hits with an impressive amount of quality barley and hops...mostly hops though. it ends with a decent amount of bitterness with an after-taste of slightly aged hops and grains. it's a high quality flavor.

M-a good creamy carbonation with a dry finsh

D-this is a really good pilsner. one of the best out there. the taste itself is flawless. it isn't a long lasting experience, but it is awesome. the more i drink this, the more i like this. I'll always get at least one bottle during the season, most likely more!

12-31-2010 17:54:56 | More by AdamBear
Photo of cbak999


4.35/5  rDev +11.5%

This lager pours a very clear, bright, orange with a small head that dissipates very quickly. The smell on this one is a bit off; almost like dish water, with I attribute to the lager yeast. But the hop taste is right on. The 9% is well hidden by the hop balance. Sweet at first with a strong hop after taste. A very nice treat. I look forward to more of these in the future!

12-31-2010 02:34:30 | More by cbak999
Photo of TheBoss


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%

650ml bottled poured into pint glass.

Golden brown/caramel appearence, mild smooth rising carbination, solid sticky 2 finger head, clear site strait through the glass, lace stuck all the way to the bottom, color brings the word appetizing to mind.

Smells of strong malts and a sense of age.

Taste exactly like it smells, no surprises, deep flavors of black malts, taste lingers on the tongue and roof of mouth, definite winter warmer.

Drinks easy, but at the same time fills ya up, like a snack, the 9% is felt.

Finishing up the second pint, head and carbnation have decreased drastictly, but flavor and aroma are still well present.

12-30-2010 06:49:11 | More by TheBoss
Photo of JLeege


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

Appearance- On draft into a 12 oz flute. Pours a clear orangeish color with a creamy two finger head, good retention and lacing.

Smell- Pine hops all over the place.

Taste- Has an Imperial IPA flavor to it, balanced with some toasted and bready malts. A bit earthy and floral in the taste, but pine rises up above the rest. Not overley bitter, a slight alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation, incredibly smooth.

Overall- Very suprised by this one, in a great way! Imperial pilsners are usually not my thing, but this has a great hop presence, drinks like a big IPA. Seek this out!

12-30-2010 00:58:20 | More by JLeege
Photo of Thur123


3.53/5  rDev -9.5%

This brew pours a clear orange brown color with minimal white head. Slow and sparse carbonation. Smell is one note malt sweetness with a slight hop presence. 

Glug glug glug

The flavor is big bread malt with sweetness  a healthy noble hop edge comes through as well. A kind of veggie flavor comes through at the end. Overall a pretty good Brew but I'm not sure this style benefits from the Imperial treatment. Mouthfeel is a but thick and heavy and the drinkability is lacking as well. Not bad but I'm glad I didn't shell out the bucks for a bottle. 

12-30-2010 00:50:16 | More by Thur123
Photo of headbucket


4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

I had skipped over this beer the past few years but finally decided to pick one up this season, and was very glad that I did.

A: A nice reddish/orange color with a respectable head and some patchy lacing left on the glass.

S: Earthy/flowery hops and a sweet maltiness combine together to form a very attractive smell.

T: Medium/dark malts start off followed by a very pleasant earthy and pine hop flavor. Nice strong hop presence without really being too bitter.

M: medium bodied with a nice carbonation.

D: Great taste and smell makes me want to keep drinking. I really enjoy the hop flavor in that you have a strong hop presence without being overly bitter. Alcohol is present but doesn't detract too much and doesn't keep me from downing this beer very easily.

12-29-2010 03:42:50 | More by headbucket
Photo of steelerguy

New York

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%

A - Completely clear and bright. Moderate carbonation with a nice creamy white head that fades to a persistent covering while leaving a good deal of lacing.

S - Earthy hop, light caramel malts, and some toasted bread notes.

T - Very hop forward but in a balanced way, the bitterness persists throughout in a nice even manner to the finish. Very clean malt flavors, lots of malt depth and toastiness from the Munich malt. Finishes with some alcohol.

M - Moderate body, smooth feeling, some dextrins in there coat the mouth. Some alcohol warmth at the end.

D - Big beer, with smooth and balanced flavors. Drinks like an IPA in hopiness, but the malt character of a Maibock.

12-26-2010 22:38:19 | More by steelerguy
Photo of BurpingtonDC


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured this Imperial Hellas Lager from a 22 bottle into a Weizen glass.

A - Poured to a beautiful, crystal-clear, carmel/copper color, with a creamy tanish 2 fingered head.

S - Strong alcohol scent, citrusy and pine notes. Maybe some note of tropical fruit

T - Hoppy, burnt toast or rubbery bitter aftertaste, but not in an off-putting way. Malty taste, but it is tempered by a booziness that masks it a bit. Drinks like an IPA.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation, carmely. The hoppiness creates a bitter pervasiveness in the mouth that leads to the perception of a fuller body.

D - If you like a hoppy brew, and I do...this is a really fine tasting lager. It's not too light, and its clear, refreshing taste makes it a pleasant drink. It's 9% ABV makes it dangerous.

12-26-2010 20:48:30 | More by BurpingtonDC
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -20.5%

Clear, orange with a red tint topped by a light, white bubbles that do a speedy disappearing act. Light honey, corn, floral, rubber, and some grass in the nose. Corn, plastic, rubber, bitterness, dry metallic notes occupy the taste along with some booze. High carbonation and a slow sipper.

12-26-2010 00:48:12 | More by JRed
Photo of vandemonian


3.55/5  rDev -9%

I bought Southern Tier Krampus has a translucent, deep orange colour and a decent head that dies away to good lacing within about a minute. This beer smells yeasty and a little boring like most lagers. This beer has the crisp and slightly bitter flavour you expect from a lager. I let the beer wash around in my mouth and the hops really came out. Delicious. This beer has a decent, slightly foamy feeling in my mouth. Overall, this is a very nice lager but the bitterness does build as you drink it.

12-25-2010 22:53:07 | More by vandemonian
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +2.6%

The thing I love about Southern Tier is that they put all of their ingredients on the bottle so that those of use who aren't (yet) homebrewers have a fighting chance of educating ourselves about the brew and what goes into making a brew in general.

A: Crystal clear, ruby red color, with about a two finger head and very bubbly carbonation.

S: Pretty hoppy stuff. There was also quite a bit of wheaty fruitiness in there that reminded me a lot of the bottled version of DFH 90 Minute IPA, but not as citrusy.

T: Full-bodied, very sweet, but still very crisp. A dessert lager? I honestly think that is the best way to describe this.

M: A bit syrupy for sure, but the carbonation did a good job of cutting through it. The lacing was substantial, but my palate didn't care.

D: Best enjoyed in small doses. I tried this last year and didn't care for it. Man have my tastes changed!

12-25-2010 05:04:58 | More by Chaney
Photo of Jdmpolk


4.25/5  rDev +9%

A- Orange to golden brown in appearance that leaves a powdery lacing on the glass. Head is a light brownish white.

S- Incredibly hoppy. Spicy and piny mix with a grapefruit aroma. The alcohol makes itself known in the nose, and a hint of cherry is present.

T- Initially sweet, but the hops quickly break their way through it. Much of what was in the aroma is present in the taste, grapefruit and spice, with a pine sap flavor.

M A slight syrupy feel that covers the mouth, a little alcohol bur in the back of the throat.

D- This is a very drinkable and balanced beer. The hops are powerful, but the sweetness from the alcohol balances the bitterness very well. Overall a delicious beer.

12-25-2010 03:22:42 | More by Jdmpolk
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 938 ratings.