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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

948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 948
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 73
Gots: 62 | 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: 948 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wmickdds32
3/5  rDev -23.1%

wmickdds32, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -23.1%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of djre4orm
3/5  rDev -23.1%

djre4orm, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of herrburgess
3/5  rDev -23.1%

herrburgess, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of brentblack1
3/5  rDev -23.1%

brentblack1, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of Woppy5
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Woppy5, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of chevre
3/5  rDev -23.1%

chevre, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of Bakker
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Bakker, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Scientifichuck
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Scientifichuck, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of mattparsons
3/5  rDev -23.1%

mattparsons, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of CSpoons
3/5  rDev -23.1%

CSpoons, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of PBoegel
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is flat out incorrectly categorized and off base.

It has no major brewing flaws or nasty foul tastes it simply is nothing close to Helles, Lager or anything of the sort, its "imperial" label not withstanding.

I really enjoy Southern Tier beers, and this beer is enjoyable but it simply is an ale with a big hop profile of woody and citrus character. It is certainly not a double or imperial pilsner nor a helles as the bottle states.

PBoegel, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of NODAK
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful, clear amber color in my glass. I don't hesitate to say this is the best part of the beer.

Has a pretty clean, grassy hop aroma to it. There are some bready grains there as well but it isn't a powerful smelling one.

The taste begins out with a malted grain, bready note that one would expect from a European style lager. After that though, there is quite the astringent, grassy hop, aspirin-like bitterness that ends the beer on a puckering note and lingers a fair while into the aftertaste. Wow, didn't see that coming!!

In the end, it's pretty average to me. Honestly, the bitterness ruled the day a bit much here and was sometimes too astringent for me.

NODAK, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of morimech
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Krampus is an Imperial Helles Lager that does not look like a Helles, does not smell like a Helles, and it definately does not drink like a Helles.

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a small white head that has good retention. Large amounts of spotty lacing is left behind.

Well hopped up aroma. Pine and floral hop aroma with a little medicinal qualities sums things up.

The hops dominate the flavor as well. Resinous and medicinal qualities with very little malt profile makes this extremely unbalanced. Extreme bitterness like that is found in a DIPA. The alcohol is well masked.

Has a medium body which is needed to carry all the hops and alcohol. Low carbonation lends a nice texture without letting the flavors being cloying.

Another beer I don't get. Does not have any characteristic of a Helles Lager where everything is in balance. The American hop bill does not make me think of Munich. Tone the hops down a bit and allow the malt to come out and you might be onto something. Maybe use Mt. Hood hops instead of Willamette as well. I found it difficult to drink this 650ml bottle.

morimech, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of kkosmoski
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. Appears a very rich copper color with a fair amount of thick off-white head. Very clear in the glass, but much darker than I was expecting. Kind of a weird floral or fruity aroma up front with some toffee tones. Blurred malt flavors trying to jump out and shine but are mostly held back and muddled together. Light caramel, toast and slight roast mixed into one mono-toned flavor - I don't find it very pleasing. Some lemony bitterness comes into play at the end. Heavy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. This is not very drinkable in my opinion. It is heavy, the malt flavors are not crisp and defined, and I'm picking up on some sort of a weird off-aroma. Not one of my favorites from Southern Tier by any means. I was looking for a completely different beer here - its a miss for me.

kkosmoski, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of ZAP
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

ZAP, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of jmalex
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The latest from Southern Tier is the latest in my glass. Imperial Christmas lager? Sounds crazy.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker a crystal clear, golden copper-orange. The head is a dark beige and holds pretty steady until finally dropping to a hearty collar with patchy bubbles all over the surface.

SMELL: Bready malts and spicy hops come through all at once. The hops are quite forward an seem a bit aggressive, but they allow the malt base to come through well. It's all finished off with a clean lager yeast.

TASTE: Definitely a huge beer. The bready malts from the aroma are here in massive proportions. It'd be extremely cloying if not for the significant hopping this beer has. It's a sturdy bitterness with spicy and piny elements in the flavor. The bitterness lasts long through the finish and lingers almost forever.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full bodied with a decent slickness to it. The carbonation was maybe a little on the low end, but well within range.

DRINKABILITY: There's a lot going on here and a lot of it. I'm not so sure a Helles works being ramped up the high. But considering the huge amount of malt in here, it's decently balanced. And the 9% ABV isn't detectable at all.

Eh, not what I'm looking for in a lager and not what I'm looking for in an imperial-strength beer. But I'm glad I tried it.

jmalex, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden with a wisp rather than a head, though the wisp endurance a good part of the way.

The smell is of pine - like a Christmas tree - with perfume.

The taste is perfumy, and more grapefruity than piney, and sweetness. Hoppy, but in an "odd" way. I like "hoppy" and can appreciate "odd", but there is a perfumy quality to the pine (and some resin) that makes it more of an "artificial" pine than a "hoppy" one.

It's sticky - like pine sap - with abv showing. A very odd beer. I can see the Christmas connection, but too sweet, despite the hop-like pine-ness and perfumy for me to really enjoy much. Also, I don't understand the connection with Imperial Helles Lager here.

jwc215, Dec 07, 2008
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.

Minkybut, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of JRed
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

JRed, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of Jesse13713
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Looks like a slightly darker pale ale. Pours yellow and orange. A nice white, well distributed head.

Smell - Reeks of pine and burnt oak. At times, it honestly smells like cat urine. It isn't a very pleasant smell.

Taste - Very frothy at first, then slightly bitter; but it then smooths out. Quite piney with a chocolatey finish. The alcohol is hidden quite well. I taste some sort of different hop I havnt had before.

Mouthfeel - Not a very pleasant taste. Entirely too piney. However, quite smooth with bitter bites here and there.

Drinkability - Bitter on my tongue but sweet on the roof of my mouth. Definitely a sipping beer.

Verdict - I had this beer bottled a couple of months ago and absolutely hated it. I was quite surprised when I had it on tap tonight, however.

Jesse13713, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Krampus poured out as a golden color that seemed to be a little on the thick side. The smell has some earthy and spicey notes to it, not the most appealing smell in my opinion. The aromas were just a little too strange I think. The taste carried the same elements that the nose did. It's got some pine and a light Christmas berry flavor going on in there. The mouthfeel is a little thick, not really carbonated. I just wasn't feeling this beer too much. One of my least favorites from Southern Tier for sure.

Knapp85, May 31, 2011
Photo of Onenote81
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."

Onenote81, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

Cyberkedi, May 31, 2010
Photo of RyFikes
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

RyFikes, Apr 08, 2013
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 948 ratings.