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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

919 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 919
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 69
Gots: 48 | 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: 919 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Tone


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, slight hop, yeast, slight wheat, and slight dark citrus. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Pilsner. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, slight dark citrus, hint of hop, and slight earthy malt. Overall, a good body, blend, and aroma.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2010 22:54:38 | More by Tone
Photo of claminat420


4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured a nice amber color with the slightest off white tan colored head. thick/heavy lacing

S- just some aggressive grapefruit piney hops backed up with some light caramel malt.

T- well really bitter. almost an imperial ipa but seems lighter bodied. you can notice the abv ever so slightly.

M- medium/light bodied. good carbonation.

D- i'm glad my store stocked up on this before it went out.

Overall- one of the most unique styles i've seen. like i said almost an imperial ipa and me being a hop head this one is truely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 06:07:54 | More by claminat420
Photo of selecter70


3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My heart leapt when I saw a Southern Tier offering at Christmas-time named after the Krampus Fest! However such joyous anticipation soon became confusion, as my expectations of a heavier Christmas-style/Winter ale were challenged. The pour was brighter than expected, an orangey-light glow to yellow with a 2" fizzy white head and trace lacing. Clean, smooth and light with a malt lager taste and orange-lemon hop. A nice summery lager...drinkable...maybe a prank on us by Krampus?

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 20:19:49 | More by selecter70
Photo of Mora2000


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

Thanks to jwc215 for sending me this beer.

Pours an orangish-brown color with a white head. The aroma is grapefruit with some other citrus and a little bit of malt. The flavor is grapefruit hops with medium to high bitterness. Medium to high carbonation and a medium mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 05:17:15 | More by Mora2000
Photo of thain709


4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear, copper body with some carbonation bubbles rising...a creamy, off white head stood about 1.5 fingers above the body...great retention and some decent lacing

S - The nose is full of citrus hops...I'm getting some grapefruit, orange, and lemon...there is a bit of pine resin as well...a great sweet malt characteristic is there as well to balance out the nose

T - The nose continues into the flavor of the beer...the sweet caramel malts are now up front...they aren't too sweet because the hops are bitter...but they really balance each other out...there is a touch of grain in the middle of the beer that I didn't care for...but the finish of this beer is crisp and bitter

M - Medium bodied...creamy and bitter...that felling lingers for a long time

D - A 22 oz. bottle was enough for me...the 9% ABV was too noticeable...a great nose, well balanced flavors, and a strong finish...another solid brew from Southern Tier

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 22:10:16 | More by thain709
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 02:36:41 | More by GRG1313
Photo of meatyard


3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour shows a crystal clear, amber color with streams of carbonation. The fluffy, off-white head has good retention and leaves pretty good lacing. This is a great looking beer
The smell is light citrus hops and a strong malt aroma.
The taste is mild hops followed by a very dry bitterness and then rounds out with some lightly sweet malt and a spicy finish that continues on in the aftertaste. There is a hint of the alcohol as well.
Mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation, pretty smooth & a little dry.
Drinkability: This is not like other, tamer lagers but is interesting. I like the SA Hallertau more in this style which I'd like to try more of the better ones. Worth your effort here though.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 01:48:08 | More by meatyard
Photo of MasterSki


3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jw347 for this extra. Served in a pilsener glass.

A - Pours with about two fingers of off-white foam that dissipates to a thin cap. Excellent lacing that coats the sides of the glass. Transparent golden orange color with the occasional slow moving bubble. A very handsome brew.

S - Very hoppy, although you can tell it has faded a bit since it was fresh. That said, the hops are very spicy and floral, with notes of citrus zest as well. Bready caramel malt backbone. Maybe a touch of estery alcohol in there as well. Not what I was expecting, but quite nice.

T - Taste is not as nice - very bitter, with spicy hops, and light fusel alcohol. The malt backbone is very bready. Could use a little more sweetness to balance things out. Nice, but a little dull and boozy.

M - Very stick and resinous, active but soft carbonation, medium body, with some mild alcohol heat to it. Quite pleasant - one of the best features of this brew.

D - I don't think I could drink 22oz of this myself, but it's certainly quite nice for 8oz or so. An above-average texture makes it very easy to sip but the alcohol get to me after a while.

If hoppy imperial pilseners are your thing then this is worth trying. I'd rather have a glass of Humulus Lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 05:06:57 | More by MasterSki
Photo of mjaskula

New York

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

Served in a pilsner glass. This beer looks really great, effervescent like champaign. Color is a nice clear amber, the off white head is dense and thick, leaving considerable lacing and many tiers.

Aroma is thick and sweet, with plenty of floral hop aroma. Flavor is very reminiscent of a DIPA, but a little cleaner. Hop flavor is bold, and balanced with a strong malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, but dries up nicely. As drinkable as any DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 04:30:11 | More by mjaskula
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle received from MeanGene in a recent trade. Thanks, Eugene!

Poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a dark ruby/amber with a big sticky off-white head on top. Excellent retention; left tons of sticky lace. Scents of sharp hops, pine, citrus, etc. Absent of some of the more commone pilsner scents. This smells more like an Amber ale.

The mouth is moderately crisp, but the alcohol slicks this one up a bit. Very boozy in the flavor. Lots of ethanol. Bitter with lots of hop presence. Finish is slightly boozy as well. I normally like this style, but as I've said with others, I'm not sure this style needs to be "imperial-ized."

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 16:48:10 | More by Onenote81
Photo of Aenema


3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Bright, clear amber with a soapy, two-finger off-white head. Leaves behind splotchy lacing.
Smell - Sweet malts and spicy hops with a note of pepper.
Taste - Caramel malts and toffee transition to spicy, peppery hops.
Mouthfeel - Smooth, creamy feel with a thickish medium-body and a dry finish.
Drinkability - Very enjoyable beer, but one is plenty.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 22:13:11 | More by Aenema
Photo of Lunch


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

Served from a 22oz. bottle generously gifted to me into my Rogue Morimoto glass at an appropriate temperature (01/26/10). Was not sure what to expect from this beer, but being a fan of Southern Tier, I expected it to be nice and it blew me away.

A: Pours beautiful shade of dark, golden copper with an excellent 3 finger head with nice retention leaving wonderful rings of lace.

S: Toasted malt jumps out first with a nice tones of bitter, citrus hops, toffee, and caramel.

T: The palate is greeted with toasted malt, toffee, caramel, and hints of bitter citrus hops. I am not doing justice at all with my description, but this is a tasty beer.

M: Great mouthfeel that is on the fuller side of medium-bodied with a slick characteristic and creamy carbonation.

D: Drinkability is only suffered by the high abv. even though it is hidden quite well and the some sweet charter of the beer.

Overall I find this to be an excellent beer and a strong effort from Southern Tier. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 22:00:45 | More by Lunch
Photo of bminor7

New York

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

22 from Hoosick in Troy.

A - chestnut brown. light lacing.

S - very sweet hops smell. very inviting.

T - one of the sweetest beers i've ever tasted. close to cloying but delicately avoids it. can't say that i've had many examples of the style but this is very good. complex malt interwoven with knockout hops presence.

M - excellent thickness and carbonation. gave this a 5 here.

D - good. Southern Tier recommends rather cool temperatures for serving their beer; this is no exception at 48 F. I think this is too cold to really respect the abundance of flavor in this beer.

overall, has a strong character very fitting of the christmas motif. wish it was available all the time - get it if you can!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 03:26:35 | More by bminor7
Photo of NittanyBeerFan


4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to treyrab for this one. I know it's a little delayed, but I am finally drinking this. It was well worth the wait. Bottle that I rec'd 11/2008.

A: Pours a murky and hazy peach-hued copper color. Not exactly what I expected, but this looks very inviting. Mounds of thick and creamy foam form thick gobs of foam on top of the beer, as well as an incredibly complex and thick laced pattern.

S: Even after letting this sit around for over a year, this beer still provides a bouquet of floral hops as well as the traditional grassy hops that one would expect from a pils.

T: Delicious and satisfying. Taste is again floral and grassy hops melded together perfectly. Neither taste is too dominant. Alcohol is muted and completely imperceptible. Malts are bready, almost like sourdough. Also some hints of stonefruit, peach and apricot.

M/D: Smooth and satisfying. Crisp and not too heavy. I wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 03:51:35 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of froghop


3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear orange with a medium size off-white head, and some lacing.

smell is faint, caramel, and some malt.

taste is somewhat watery, hops, caramel, nuts, and earth, ends somewhat dry and slightly bitter.

overall more of an IPA than a helles.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 21:07:47 | More by froghop
Photo of jhammel01

New Jersey

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

Pours a copper color thats very clear with a whitish head that starts great but fades fast.

Smells great. Not what I'd expect...its very piney with hops. Its a very good smell just not what I was expecting. Plenty of orange peel, pine and oily hops.

Tastes of heavy hops like an IPA with plenty of bready finish that really, really seems more like an ale than and Helles lager. I think the title of an imperial pilsner does fit it more. A very clean tasting beer that doesnt taste that alcoholic.

A good body...again, reminds me of an IPA in body taste and smell! Its a thicker, medium bodied beer. Almost milky in a sense...Very nice.

An awesome beer. It may not be Christmas anymore but this a great beer for a cold night. Its 20 degrees out here in NJ.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 03:41:51 | More by jhammel01
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

An eclectic oddball indeed. Basically an American Strong Ale with lager yeast?

A: Copper-bronze with an off-white head, good retention & lacing.

S: Toffee, pine, grass, tangerine & rind.

T: The piny resin from the chinook is unmistakable, toffee, bread, apricot, woodsy spicing, grapefruit rind, plenty of bitterness, alcohol is suprisingly well-hidden.

M: Moderate body is very smooth with an off-dry finish. Well-crafted for a brew this size.

D: If you like chinook, it's fairly drinkable for its weight.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 23:10:29 | More by Derek
Photo of madtappers


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

Poured from a bottle into a imperial glass.

Nice dark brown color, with a white head. Aroma was hoppy, not sure if it was really a piney or citrus smell, just a nice clean hop smell.

First drink was pure bliss, has a taste of a smooth barley wine with a perfect mix of both hops and malt back. Very drinkable for a 8% beer.

I will drink this one again next Christmas season!!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 00:15:59 | More by madtappers
Photo of Minkybut


3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees the beer was a amber color that had a big caramel smell. The beer was a little bitter but really what stood out was the hot alcohol after burn. It just blew any taste away. The beer had decent lacing but whoop di doo. I will not buy again. Cool label.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 18:52:14 | More by Minkybut
Photo of albern


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

An Imperial pilsner, I'm sure the Czechs never envisioned a 9% ABV brew. It is a strong, but very good beer. It looks quite good with a nice creamy white head that retains well and laces. The beer has a nice amber color from dark malts. The beer is quite thick but has that lagery feel to it, although it is easy to mistake this for an ale. The nose is grapefruity acerbic hop, maybe a touch of minty hop as well. There is a little bit of ABV coming through the nose on top of some bready aromas.

The taste is quite pungent. The consistency is quite medium bodied, a tad syrupy. The beer is loaded with leafy hops and plenty of minty hops as well. The beer has been dry hopped and has the aroma and the overall hop presence that is quite capacious in character. The bready caramel flavors underneath balance well. The beer has some warming alcohol notes that play off nicely with the leafy bitterness, and the minty hop aromas. There is a definite sweetness to the beer from the caramels, and this is well balanced against the prodigious bittering hop flavors. The aftertaste does not have any throatiness, despite the high ABV. This is a nice beer well worth seeking out. It has a full palate of flavors, lots of bittering hops, lots of malty character, and plenty of warming ABV. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 23:37:22 | More by albern
Photo of JoEBoBpr


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

Poured into a pilsner glass from a 22oz. bomber.

A - Pours a nice strong copper color with some haze to it and a nice dense off-white head. As it recedes to a nice mat you can see a nice sticky lacing marking where the head used to be. Very nice.

S - Very strong, grainy, malt and earthy smell. Some sweet honey hints as well very nice. At the end there is also a very nice piney hop aroma that balances out well.

T - It starts with some citric hop character. Ruby red grapefruit sweetness is also present. After this, the punch of grain is felt with some nice bready malt flavors. Earthy and grassy tones. The flavors are all very sharp and distinct in this beer. Nice.

M - Light bodied with nice CO2 content. Very well balanced.

D - Refreshing and with a slightly higher ABV, it still is drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 00:08:07 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of TheTrevor

New York

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a copper color with a two-finger head that didn't last long. The smell is a mix of some sweet bready smells with a big punch of hops. This beer definitely has a lot of flavor, sweet toffee malt that gives way to some citrusy and slightly piney hops. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some moderate carbonation. This beer is definitely tasty, but the hops hit a little hard and hurt the drinkability a bit.

Serving type: growler

01-19-2010 05:09:18 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of rrheisler


3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Bright" (what the term "helles" means in German) was not the first word that came to mind as I poured Krampus into a flute glass. It was actually much darker than I was expecting, but because of my lack of familiarity with the style, I don't know what I should have expected. A mixture of caramel and orange in the color. Perhaps more akin to a medium-bodied Belgian? But once I got past the color, the scent took over. A huge blast of citrus smacks your senses around, and then the roasted malt backs it up. Definitely a huge kick in the teeth for my non-hophead parents, but was a shot of adrenaline in my beer geek side.

The taste was almost a hybrid of a healthy West Coast IPA and a traditional, malty English ale. The first things on your tongue are the hops. Oh, the hops! But it wasn't overwhelmingly bitter; instead, they opened your mouth up ready for the malts that brought you through the finish. I got a hint of dry biscuits with a hint of smokiness in the malt. Unfortunately, though, I was a bit distracted by the slightly thin and watery mouth, which didn't seem to correspond with the flavor profile of the beer (bier?). However, it is a tad more accurate of the style than a thicker mouth that I feel would have been more satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 04:09:08 | More by rrheisler
Photo of Florida9


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

A: Very clear copper in color. Pours with a nice, tight bubbled, ecru colored head. About a 1/2" of head. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Sweet maltiness is immediately noticeable mixed with some fragrant citrus and caramel.

T: Sweet caramel malt with a mild bitter hop finish. Again, some citrus, but the sweet malt is the predominant flavor here.

M: Medium in body with medium carbonation level. There is a slight spicy bite to this beer.

D: Overall, very good, very easy to drink, with a nice balance of flavors. Reminds me of a malt-centric pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 02:14:09 | More by Florida9
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 919 ratings.