Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 938 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev +5.9%
Pours a perfectly clear amber with a thin creme head. Nose is an unusual mix of floral and piney hops. Nice perfume tones. The flavor on this is so dry that I feel like I should have a glass of water after taking a sip. Hoppy tones do reside, yes. Very sharp tones of citrus mixed with floral tones strike at the nose. It's distinct, and odd. Feel is sticky and slick on liquid with a low and biting carbonation. An interesting and good beer. An Imperial Helles? Sure. Okay.
11-21-2008 01:23:46 | More by RblWthACoz
3.58/5 rDev -8.2%
Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.
A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of hops, citrus, caramelized malts and lager yeast.
T: The taste hits with a strong hops bite up front and a slight alcohol sting. Then some bready flavors of lager yeast and a hearty malt character come in next. There are sweet flavors of citrus and caramel in the background. It doesn't seem to have quite the right harmonious balance right away, but it improves as it sits for a few minutes. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.
M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.
D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, this is one of those styles where if you try to go "imperial" with it, you lose the essence of the style in my opinion so I don't think it's the representation of the style. However, it's still a decent beer, just not one of the better beers I've had. I guess I was expecting a little more from Southern Tier on this one.
12-24-2008 22:27:24 | More by TheManiacalOne
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
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
4.03/5 rDev +3.3%
22oz brown bomber with no freshness date. Love the theme of having Santa's opposite, getting a lump of coal sounds good compared to what Krampus was capable of doing.
Dense two fingers of head leaves a nice rim of lace on the glass. Bright amber color. Big juicy aroma of pungent hops that run form wild flowers to grapefruit rind, some caramel maltiness make it to the nose as well. A think beer with a mild smoothness. Huge wad of hoppiness on the palate, not a bitter as I anticipated but certainly more than enough to overcome the brawny malt character. Hop flavor lends suggestions of hemp seed oil, grapefruit rind and spearmint. The alcohol is warming but does not flash 9.0% anywhere. Maltiness comes in first with a toasted, almost biscuit flavor then broadens to more of a caramel sweetness until the hops in the finish flatten most of that down. Finishes hoppy and a little sweet.
Its not the alcohol that makes this a sipper, its the sheer amount of hop flavor and a good amount of malt crammed into this beer. Your taste buds can only handle so much but I love that beers like this are pushing the limits.
01-09-2009 05:55:24 | More by Jason
3.85/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
02-21-2010 05:06:57 | More by MasterSki
3.75/5 rDev -3.8%
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?
01-23-2011 07:16:26 | More by feloniousmonk
3.35/5 rDev -14.1%
First off, the label of this beer is insane. Seriously insane. There is no born on date but it is recommended that I serve this beer at 48 degrees Fahrenheit, I'm pretty close to that. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is clear and reddish / brown, light in color. No head and therefore no lacing. Carbonation mild to moderate.
Lagerish in aroma, some sweetness, no bready or bitter notes, no yeast character at all, smooth and mild.
Medium bodied, interesting flavor. Overall good, decent. Some aftertaste, no bitterness really, some sweetness up front, an odd brew for sure. Second taste, I'm a little slow, this is my last beer for the night, some nutty character to it, and I can taste the alcohol, unfortunate. Drinkability moderate, mouthfeel is fine.
12-12-2009 06:33:52 | More by drabmuh
3.9/5 rDev 0%
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.
03-08-2009 22:57:45 | More by Slatetank
4.1/5 rDev +5.1%
The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a crisp and refreshing hop nose along with a well balanced malt aroma. The taste is good, although I'm not sure what an imperial helles is supposed to taste like. It's quite a bit heavier than a regular helles and the hop character is quite a bit more. That said, I like this beer. It's flavorful and easy drinking, even at 9%. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I can't wait to see what's brewing next.
12-14-2008 00:55:58 | More by WesWes
4/5 rDev +2.6%
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.
03-18-2010 05:17:15 | More by Mora2000
3.1/5 rDev -20.5%
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.
12-07-2008 01:17:48 | More by jwc215
3.45/5 rDev -11.5%
Modest off-white head that leaves spotty lace. Settles to a single layer of bubbles. Clear and amber colored.
Pleasant pine-hop smell with a solid malt base.
Lots of hops but without the biting bitterness. Dry and astringent. Full bodied with a low level. Outside of the bitter finish, this is a relatively mild flavored beer.
12-12-2008 02:41:06 | More by smcolw
4.05/5 rDev +3.8%
Appearance: clear brilliant orange color with a 1/2" head with some large bubbles. Some bit of lace develop.
Smell: malt sweetness, grass, and some floral hops are easily detectable.
Taste: nice malt profile with some green grapes, large amount of grassiness, and loads of bitterness. Alcohol provides some warming and is noticeable.
Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Medium bodied. Surprisingly short aftertaste despite the big flavors.
Drinkability: a slow sipping beer, but I found myself wanting to open up a second bottle after this emptied. Interesting beer that goes well in front of a fire on a cold winter evening.
12-14-2008 13:16:44 | More by Gavage
2.95/5 rDev -24.4%
09/07/09- Purchased at Buy-Rite Liquors in Plainfield, NJ.
Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Dark yellow colored appearance. Nice full one inch plus head. Some chunks and leftover lacing. Quality looking.
Smell- Lots of hops and lots of super bready malt. Over the top on both aspects.
Taste- Super hopped and super bready, just as the nose would detect. Way too much for me in both aspects. Really harsh and quite intense.
Mouthfeel- Mid to heavier carbonation level..super bitter aftertaste.
Drinkability- Might be someones cup of tea, but not mine. Don't think it was spoiled, just didn't care for it. And I usually like Double Pils. My first disappointment from Southern Tier.
09-09-2009 14:57:13 | More by GClarkage
4/5 rDev +2.6%
Pours a clean dark golden amber color with golden yellowish orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger foamy tan head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.
Nice smokey malt aroma with hints of caramel, nut, citrus hops, crisp light fruit and hazelnut.
Medium bodied with soft carbonation up front leading into a roasted nutty malt flavor. Hints of peppery spice along with some clove, light fruit and hazelnut. Bitter up front with a sweet malty center that continues into a dry, spicy and hoppy finish. Very quaffable with a nice alcohol warmth in the finish, but overall the ABV is well masked.
05-14-2010 06:32:57 | More by corby112
4.08/5 rDev +4.6%
Picked up a bomber at the Cellars in Woodbury for about $7. Poured a hazy yellow with a very short head. I'm really not sure this beer fits into any style. While it is light in color and presumably a lager, it bears little resemblance to a Munich helles lager. I'm not complaining, this is a big, and relatively drinkable hop-bomb. The Willamette dry hops give a light and juicy citrus start that rolls into woodsy herbs. Worth a try and tasty.
12-27-2008 23:19:27 | More by tempest
3.83/5 rDev -1.8%
A: Poured light copper body, rather ood for the style, had a small white cap
S: Grains, honey, light booze
T: A bready malt base with some grains, herbal notes, some honey, a bit slick and syrupy
M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.
O: A cut above average
12-23-2011 15:34:54 | More by barleywinefiend
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
3.95/5 rDev +1.3%
22 ouncer, w/o freshness/vintage/bottling info. Pours clear, very clear, cap of eggshell, frothy foam, dissolving to a collar and leaving fine, plentiful and scattered lace. Fresh minty nose, also hints of alcohol, perfume and more cool mint. Thick, thick stuff, with a nice velvety mouth feel. Flavors here are all over the place mint, perfume, alcohol, piney hops in full force and biting, I even get some mild hot sauce notes. I like just about every SN offering, and appreciate their adventurous attitude, but I doubt I would go for this one again real soon...
11-29-2008 00:30:18 | More by Billolick
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
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 938 ratings.