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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

924 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 924
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 69
Gots: 50 | 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: 924 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

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

Picked this up at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley Md. Poured chilled into my lager mug.
A - A medium amber w/ golden highlights and 3 fingers of rocky cream from a semi-vigorous pour. The clarity is good, the lacing is thick and the bead is ultra fine.

S - A very hoppy nose on this "helles" Imperial or not, noble hop green and piney, but fragrant and sweet w/ woody undertones

M - Crisp, slightly acidic hoppiness and hints of toasted texture w/ mild sweetness in the finish

T- Just an incredibly tasty and 'balanced' tasting beer for a 9% lager. The hops are a standout and the alcohol is really restrained in the taste. The flavor is slightly floral/herbal w/ a nice subtle earthiness. The malt is not as upfront as I would expect, but the yeast and hops have a nice complimentary relationship and the malt has a dry cracker like taste which is supporting the taste well.

D - A tasty lager which was not at all what I'd expect, but very flavorful and drinkable just the same - especially for 9%. The went great with my no-filler crab cake.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 22:57:45 | More by Slatetank
Photo of lpayette
lpayette

Vermont

3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Happened to stumble upon this bottle while shopping at Half-Time in Poughkeepsie, NY. I thought this stuff would have been gone by now and I had missed the boat- well let's see what this beer has in store. First time I've heard of or tried a so-called "Imperial Helles Lager." Love this series from Southern Tier.

Appearance- Bright caramel color with a white sticky two finger head.

Smell- a surprisingly floral hop aroma. I say surprising, but this is basically a new style so I'm not quite sure what I expected. Suggestions of honey as well, but overall just very floral.

Taste and Mouthfeel- I think it gets better as it warms though the serving suggestion is 48 degrees F. At around 60 it seems to get creamier in the mouthfeel (weird for a lager- but this beer is huge). It's still got a nice clean lager taste to it, though the semi-strong alcohol presence is somewhat distracting. Pine, grapefruit, grapefruit rind, holiday spices?, caramel, citrusy alcohol- these all play a role in the taste. Interesting... not a great combination, but definitely unique from anything else I've had.

Drinkability- Southern Tier serves up another beer that pushes the boundaries of beer. Although this isn't my favorite release from them, it still has that really "clean" southern tier taste that I've come to admire and love. It's a really interesting beer that won't be to everybody's liking, but at least it's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 03:20:39 | More by lpayette
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 01:39:54 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into my Delirium snifter, served at cellar temp. Really love the label and whole story behind Krampus. Krampus is a clear bronzed orange with a large off-white head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell is very hoppy, IPA like grapefruit, some gingerbread and caramel malt. Wasn't expecting this being so hoppy, thought it would just a strong, syrupy yellow lager. Working through this I really came to enjoy the aroma, picking up more honey and tropical fruit then I did initially. Served at cellar temp, with the second half of the bottle chilled in the fridge while I'll sipped on the first.

Taste is also very DIPA like, which anyone would assume it was in a blind tasting. Fine by me! Very spicy and huge hop flavor, firm semi-sweet malt backbone, it's kind of like a amped up version of Sierra Nevada Celebration. Complex and enjoyable for sure, I really like red DIPAs, and this is just an extra smooth version of that thanks to the larger yeast and cold conditioning. I think it was released a few months ago, I can only imagine what the hops were like when fresh!

Mouthfeel is dry, chewy but not to heavy, some creamy carbonation

Drinkability is exception, this really hit the spot, especially because it's way better then I expected. Smooth and tasty, with the alcohol very well hidden, it went down with ease. Calling it a Helles larger though is pretty much ridiculous, but I didn't score it to style, because I don't know of one for strong, hoppy amber lagers! Another fantastic value and wildly successful experiment from the boys at Southern Tier!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 07:30:10 | More by ccrida
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

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

Poured from the bomber into a pint glass this brew is a clear copper color with a midland white head and nice lacing. The aroma is somewhat shocking. Like a tart savignon blanc, white grapes and a hint of light clovey bubblegum. Confusing. The taste is a unique blend of sweet clove and some double IPA type of maltiness with grapefruit hops. At first I recoil in confused infamiliarity. But this grows on you. After the initial white wine impressions I find that generous mouthfuls really help bring out the balance that smooths this odd brew into something pretty special. This seems like a combination of white wine and a mild DIPA. It brings some Belgian hints, so-so drinkability but not overly heavy, maybe what could be called a desert beer? This is something to surprise your fellow BA with, challenge those taste buds and celebrate the holidays with this unusual offering. A pleasurable experience, happy holidays from the venerable Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 06:51:37 | More by Durge
Photo of YesFest
YesFest

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

YUMMY...

Pours a heady white-over-bronze trophy, some modest lacing which arches around delightfully un-predictable shapes... I think I see a war-elephent trumpeting Hannibal's decent from the alps...

Smell was somewhat subdued, I didn't have any good glassware handy, I used a big wine glass. Smell was suggestive of good things to come, but nothing terribly fancy.

This is where the fun really starts. It tastes reminiscent to the strong Belgian/Quebecois tripples, but more crisp, less in-your-face, not as overpoweringly sweet. It has an awesome bite, just awesome. Nothing too bitter, just about perfect.

Mouthfeel is decent, leave's a beer-y aftertaste (my favorite kind!) moderate coating, taste stays in your mouth for just the right amount of time.

Very drinkable despite it's strength. I think I just drank most of a bomber while writing this, and I'm feeling a bit of panic that I only have one.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 22:37:51 | More by YesFest
Photo of ckeegan04
ckeegan04

Texas

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

A - Very clear orangish-brown color. Big, creamy light tan head with very good retention. Leave sonly moderate lacing though.

S - Big aroma of piney hops and a hint of mint. A light sweetness underneath, but big pine forest is the dominant aroma.

T - Light, honey sweetness initially. Then the big, sappy pine taste comes in. Excellent bitterness along with it. Ther sopmewhat perfumy, mint/spice taste lingers underneath but the big pine hops are the star. Light, toasted breainess underneath. Excelent all around taste profile.

M/D - Medium bodied and very sticky. The hops resins just coat the mouth. Alcohol is well masked as well but still provides a nice warmth.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 17:04:33 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of erikm25
erikm25

Washington

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

A: Pours a solid liquid gold coloring. Both light and bright copper with a tinting orange. Nice off white head. The retention is solid with some dripped lacing around the glass. This appears both heavy and crisp as it rests in the glass.

S: The aromas are massively perfumed and floral. I did not know what to expect from this style and from the initial smell I was blown away. (This review was interrupted when I knocked over my glass forcing me to run back down to the store to by another). Huge grapefruit hops with a caramel malt spine. Dash of clove with mint and cannabis like aromas. You can never go wrong with that hemp smell.

T: Balance between solid hops, pineapple, and sharpening sweetness. There is a dry bitter finish to each sip. While I like that aspect I am not sure if this is representative of the style. Crispy zest with a biscuit and bubblegum roundness. Grassy with flashes of spearmint. Very fresh and throws in a tangy citrus splash. Hints of iced honey and spiced apples. This feels like its a few percentage points higher than 9%.

M: Rather heavy with a chewy quality.

D: Despite having a crispness this beer packs a pretty filling punch. Plus the description of Krampus on the bottle was quite entertaining. Had this been available to me during Christmas I would have had this on Christmas morning. Regardless of what ST does their beers tend to be over the top and that makes them worth a try. I plan on using this beer while cooking with seafood. Plus, this calls for some deafening riffs.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 04:55:21 | More by erikm25
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

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

Reviewed from notes; consumed on Christmas Eve 2008 from a bottle purchased in Baltimore, MD around Thanksgiving.

A: Poured from the bomber into a pilsner glass. Body is coppery golden amber with slow-rising bubbles making it appear to be somewhat thick in body. Good lace.

S: Caramel malt sweetness and spicy, herbal hops.

T: First impression is of toasty malt with a florally and citrusy hop bitterness. As I continue drinking, I get more earthy, spicy hop flavors and a bit of a peppery bite to it at the finish.

M: Medium-bodied in heft with a slightly resiny feel to it.

D: Very good for a beer of this strength (9%ABV).

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2009 22:24:36 | More by Kendo
Photo of Wetpaperbag
Wetpaperbag

Washington

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

A- Looks a dark copper color. The head is very minimal, yet it is slightly retained.

S- Hops with that grapefruity smell. I'm getting a good amount of clove and banana too. Caramel malt smell is there. A very unique smell with the combination of the hop smell and the clove smell.

T- The taste is complex with the hop taste and the clove intermixing back and forth. The caramel malts are a sweet taste in the backdrop. From time to time there is the slightest hint of the lager yeast that was used, you know that lager yeast taste.

M- Feels good in the mouth, not too thick or thin with the right amount of carbination.

D- Easy to drink to say the least. Goes down smooth and isn't harsh.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 02:38:55 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of mnapier
mnapier

Washington

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

Serving Temperature, 50 degrees. Serving Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

I would like to first preface this as interesting in that an imperial helles is not all that common. With that said this beer pours orange and clear with an initial strong foamy head that dies out leaving a nice lining of lace throughout.
The nose is interesting with the intersect of tangerine citrus, and spicey notes, and some honey.
The mouth is medium with strong hop profile, with cinnamon, and honey, and the previously mention tangerine like ctirus.

Interesting to say the least but non one I would want to hadn to someone new to helles.

Cheers

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2009 04:35:07 | More by mnapier
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

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

It pours a clear and placid bug-in-resin amber, complete with dino-DNA, or not. A full finger of fluffy white head drops to frothy isles. Sheets of lacing bed the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, caramel malt is sweet and fruity, while the hops deliver dry citrus and an underlying broad bitterness. A light floral note softens a warm nip of alcohol.

Upon sipping, a syrupy malt sweetness kicks in candy sugar and earthy caramel. The hops take over with a progression of grapefruit, orange, and pine, all crisp and ensuingly dry and bitter. Alcohol runs through it, warm and strong. The grain replays with plenty of residual sugar as well as a baked dough crustiness in back. The finish is carried by a twist of sweetness and dry, lingering bitterness. It's a stylistic surprise in a good way.

Medium bodied, it sticks for licks and flows slow with a vapory kick and a crisp glow.

Whatever I was, or wasn't, expecting, what I got is a big, rich, sweet, and wonderfully hoppy blend of happy good stuff. The malt is more subtly edged than in most IPA's, but the hops would match well against most, leading to a curious and refreshing departure. The hefty ABV be damned, it drinks just fine. I think I'll take Krampus over St. Nick any day, thank you kindly.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 22:22:15 | More by Foxman
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

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 grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled jan 31/09.

pours a deep copper colour, almost taking on a brown hue when away from the light. a small but dense cream coloured head forms, dropping slowly and leaving plenty of lace behind.

aroma is good. there's definitely some hops in there. hints of pine and grapefruit and a big floral bouquet. caramel and toffee, and maybe a bit of honey. rye bread and cracker. alcohol.

taste is good. quite hoppy without being overly bitter. again, a big floral bouquet of hops with ripe grapefruit and a bit of pine. tangerine, caramel, and honey all lend a sweetness to this. rye bread and a bit of biscuit. low bitterness level. it's big and floral but i think the sweetness helps keep it from seeming too soapy or perfumey. bit of earthy and spicy character too.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is pretty good. the sweetness is maybe a touch on the high side to me. sure it has to balance the higher abv, but with the bitterness fairly low the tripod ends up cocked to one side. with a little less residual sweetness this would be a real winner.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 21:59:33 | More by grub
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle grabbed in Buffalo. Review # 1600!

Pours a clear coppery orange, very brilliant colour, thick white head forms, drops down to a solid ring around the glass, and leaves a pretty tight spiral of lace on the glass, great retention. Smell is neat, quite sweet, caramel and brown sugar, but very biscuity and very clean, some apricot and a sweet fruitiness, some floral hopping, orange peel, and some neat spiciness to it. Taste is very sweet and syrupy, lots of caramel and honey, brown sugar, clean bready malts, floral, grapefruit, wheat, some orange peel acidity, spicey, alcohol, lightly fruity, melons and sour grapes, dry hop tea finish, quite dry and alcoholic going down. Mouthfeel is full bodied, syrupy, with low to medium carbonation. A touch too sweet to be really drinkable to me, but it is a pretty neat take on the style. Very warming going down, alcohol is a little rough. Not a bad beer though.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 21:55:10 | More by Viggo
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear dark amber brew. Frothy head lasts well, with plenty of foamy lace. Aroma is spicy yeasts and piney hops. Taste is sweet upfront, quickly followed by assertive hops that pretty dominate the rest of the experience. Mouthfeel is smooth, but drinkability levaes a bit to be desired. The "imperial" part here has been given too much to the hops, which doesn't let of the other character through.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 00:17:09 | More by ppoitras
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

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

Krampus is a perfectly clear amber lager with a foamy off-white head that leaves thick, foamy lacing and has good retention. It has a strong aroma that's a touch sweet, juicy like orange juice, spicy like cinnamon and clove. There are notes of hay and spice cake. It is medium bodied, smooth and a bit bubbly. The finish is light and dry. Wow! The flavor is more complex than I expected. It is slightly sweet and quite bitter. It's a nice, wooden spice with notes of orange peel, clove, nutmeg and oak. It shows nice balance. This is some serious drinking here. I really didn't need the entire 22!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2009 23:31:43 | More by yesyouam
Photo of tburkhart
tburkhart

Ohio

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

Drank this with BA raznug the other day when we did our own little Southern Tier tasting while brewing a batch of our own beer.

Pours a dark golden with some red hues. Sticky head with mild carbonation.

Smells of hop spiciness. Not overwhelming, but nicely balanced with some malt undertones.

Tastes slightly of hops, slightly of malts. Bit sweet on the back palette.

Mouth feel was quite nice.

Not a beer I would drink all the time, but would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2009 16:08:32 | More by tburkhart
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

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
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty damn good looking beer. Creamy off white head... Perfect clarity and almost a perfect amber color.. very sporadic carbonation making its way to the surface. Very good retention on the head. Some clumpy lacing remains..

Aroma is very nice, quite hoppy and floral. A touch of ginger perhaps. Maybe another spice.. More citrus/lemon comes through as I work through the glass.

Pretty interesting flavor.. Certainly bigger than the style dictates, but it is called an Imperial Helles... So I have to give them some poetic license. Starts with a citrus flourish, then some spices which appear to come from the yeast strain...? A bit of sweetness in the middle and some lemon... Then a moment of tartness and some hop bitterness. In the background there is a subtle black pepper note. You do know it has 9% abv.. The alcohol is there all through the flavor... I think this would be a better beer at 7% with less of this...

Medium/light body, big on flavor...

Not sure I want to kill the entire bomber myself. This is perhaps one to share...

Interesting, not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 20:29:35 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of HopEnthusiast
HopEnthusiast

Massachusetts

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

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, very nice one-finger thick creamy off-white head, which leaves some very nice thick sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, citrus, and some pines. The taste is very nice, malty, slight hops, very nice chewy, citrus/pine notes. Medium body, slight bitter finish. Very drinkable, this is one tasty brew,

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2009 23:31:12 | More by HopEnthusiast
Photo of orsulacp
orsulacp

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear gold with a nice white head that went away quickly. The smell was fantastic, pine needles, grapefruit, sweet caramel, and some spicy pepper. The taste was equally as good; the piney hops balanced by the caramel maltiness with a hint of grapefruit. I really like the way all this stuff is balanced in here it makes the beer very drinkable, I didn't get any hint of the 9% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2009 16:38:59 | More by orsulacp
Photo of TMB0424
TMB0424

New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

from notes. poured into flute.

Pours a golden straw body with a tiny head that quickly disappeared. Good retention, however.

I don't know what they were going for with this, but it's not pleasant. Smells of pine - like straight up pine needles from a tree - and an odd, musk-like smell. Not much else here, and it's bad.

Taste is nothing like the smell, but it's not much better. The pine is translated into grapefruit, with that musky taste as well, with a little bit of caramel malts. It's bitter, yes. But hoppy? I don't know. It's very weird.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty crisp in the mouth. Dry finish. I'm glad we split a bottle of this, because there's no chance I would drink a bomber to myself. Between the pine tree smell and the "offness" of the taste... I just didn't enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 15:22:56 | More by TMB0424
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

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

Super clear, intensely bright body and medium copper in color with a huge dense capping of lightly yellowed foam. The foam slips down to a mocha whipped frosting and film on top and laces the glass with heavy and torn sheeting. A gorgeous glass of lager! If that is indeed what this is...(see below)

Very intense and interesting aroma of hay, spearmint, white grapefruit peels and a partial backing of biscuity crust and caramel.

Wasn't sure what to expect out of an Imperial Helles, but this wasn't quite it. Seemingly stands out much like/akin to a Belgian Pale ale with an overall yeasty set spice thats both hoppy and floral. Kind of like a good Saison without the maltier tone. It really holds some strange tangs of hop spices that render dull lemon rinds, chalk, dried flowers, spearmint, hay, and envelope glue. The biscuity malts add some quivering amounts of zest to the overall effect the hop spices dwell in. Stays mostly dry, starchy, and fluffed in hop dustings and yeasty effects.

Feel and body is favorably paled in carbontaion and keeps a dry and dusty notion of a medium body and finish. Uniquely spiced and evidently different from any Helles I've had.

Admitedly, I'm thrown for a bit of a loop on how to attribute numbers on this one. Again, Southern Tier goes stretching the boundries of labeling a style by really making one oddity of a lager that seems more like a Belgian pale ale.

Special note: I did like the little story on the side of Krampus and how he hands out punishments to all the bad children during X-mas, plus the little devil guy(Krampus) on the label is hilarious. He has a large broken stick of wood in one hand and what looks like a whip in the other. All the while his tongue is sticking out upwards in a curled snake-like shape. Maybe he had some of this beer and he's trying to cleanse his tongue of spicy hop dust?

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 01:19:33 | More by tavernjef
Photo of ballewblake
ballewblake

New Jersey

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

No head on this one, no visible carbonation, translucent amber body. Soapy lingering lacing. Floral nose, piney. Sweet and hoppy on the tongue, grapefruit, pines. Great hoppy beer, great drinkablity for a hop bomb. Thanks to beerdiablo for bringing this out.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 03:57:18 | More by ballewblake
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 924 ratings.