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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 yeahnatenelson


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

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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 03:14:03 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of KJ2013


3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

10-05-2013 04:41:37 | More by KJ2013
Photo of Buebie


4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I'm one of the fortunate first page reviewies. Picked this up and its twin, thae last two bottles at the store on Thursday.

Poured from a 220z brown bomber at 45 degrees, into a snifter. Suggested serving temp of 48 degrees.

The color on this is a glowing transparent amber, with a 1 finger off white head. Leaving a thin layer of retention and a nice assortment of bubbles. Sticky clumps of lace and bubbles line the walls of my glass.

Wow, the aroma off this brew is fantastic! Sweet mouthwatering pine and grapefruity hops are the heavy hitters at the nose, buttery carmel corn. I do smell a cantelop aroma as described by a few others, thats gnarly. Wiffs of alcahol fumes off a good swirl.

The taste is not as hoppy at first sip, but through the swallow, hops rush in like a tidle wave. Grapefruity hops with a ginger like after taste and a slight spicieness.
Carbonation is medium adding a bit of cream to the body. This really does start off slow through the pallet, then picking up speed and flavors.
Malt is sweet with a carmelised suger flavor and burnt caramel. There is a nioe balance between hops and malt, its not overly dry like.

I really liked this one, its different. Wasnt expecting this type of flavor off a helles, but I'm not complaining.
Favorite line off the back reads, "Merry Kramp-mas to all, and to all a good pint!"

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 05:07:48 | More by Buebie
Photo of johntfox


4/5  rDev +2.6%

05-20-2013 22:17:54 | More by johntfox
Photo of vrbulldog22


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

06-08-2012 03:44:03 | More by vrbulldog22
Photo of PhillyStyle


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

22oz bottle:

The beer poured a deep, dark clear amber color, with a very nice white head that was well retained that left behind some nice lacing.

The aroma was malty sweet with a hint of hops.

The taste was very good. Nice, bold malt flavor with some citrus hops to balance it really well. It also had a breadyness quality to it as well. It seemed as if the taste got better and better throughout the bottle.

Mouthfeel was good, medium body with the right carbonation. The beer was smooth and had a nice dry aftertaste. Overall, I was very surprised by this beer, I bought 2 bombers and have been wanting to go back and get some more.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 20:10:34 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 10/23/13.

A: Pours a clear golden amber with a slightly yellowed head on top. Just a bit of visible carbonation in the body. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Pretty nice hop aroma coming across on this one. Fruity aspect adds a raisin or grape like quality. Can sniff out a touch of the booze in this imperial pilsner.

T: Interesting blend here, remains malt forward with a toasty lagery malt. Ample fruit backing and a big hop bitterness kicks in at the end. Some spiciness to it that rounds out the flavor. More hop bitterness than I remember.

M: Medium body with mild carbonation. Touch of stickiness but besides that a crisp finish. Booze isnt too hot with a bit of a warming feel.

Overall this is a hoppy beer when fresh that mellows out nicely. A real nice example of a properly done imperial lager. Hops add some great bitterness despite this remaining a malt forward beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 22:54:39 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

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

A: clear, deep amber ale with a few fingers of ivory foam in a pilsener glass; laces adorn the inner glass

S: deep rustic malt aromas and herbal and earthy hops; suggestions of dry grain and wet pine

T: earthy and husky in both malts and hops, but lightened with a smooth toastiness, and a dank bitterness. Comes off just a bit too sweet and wet to be called crisp, has a honeyed sweetness as the malt warms underneath some chewy pine resin hops.

M: smooth and bittering, slightly coating, medium body with moderate sensation of carbonation

O: somewhere between a pilsener and an IPA, Imperial strength. Quite a nice drink - very enjoyable, and as other reviewers have noted, the high abv is well-hidden.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 21:22:36 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of therica


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

A= nice clear copper, modest head when poured carefully, modest lacing.

S= hefty bready malts, yeast, floral hops.

T= bold massive malts ranging from dry and grassy to slightly caramel sweet and everything in between. Hops bitterness stops short of being into the pale ale or uber-hopped lager style but there's still enough bitters to make it a nice contribution. A very worthy offering.

M= light syrupy residuals, dry and grassy and caramel malts, mild bitters staying around long enough to savor for a few minutes.

D= very drinkable, unless someone has a very great dislike for the more hoppy bitter beers. Only the 9% ABV keep it from being a good candidate for sessioning.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 03:31:12 | More by therica
Photo of djre4orm


3/5  rDev -23.1%

06-13-2013 20:33:58 | More by djre4orm
Photo of williamherbert

New York

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

The appearance is hazy burnt orange with some clarity. Massive snow-white head. Still waters, sticky lace.

The initial smell is a blast of flowery hops. Shades of a spicy, pilsnery hop too. Pale malts. Citrus and pine. Hops evolve. Citrusy and incredible.

The taste is first a load of citrusy hops, with a base of pale malts and also some sweetly dark caramel. Really sticks on the palate: starts citrusy, spicy and hoppy; ends roasted and smooth. Ages a bit sour.

A little bite to go with a crisp, fizzy feel. Somewhat creamy. Great for style. I really like this beer. The hops are complex and great. The malts put out the fizzy fire.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 17:15:25 | More by williamherbert
Photo of scootny

New York

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

An exceptionally clear lightly red copper brew. It produces a two finger head of light tan frothy foam. Good retention and good lacing. A good covering on top of the brew. No carbonation evident.

Smell is piney with sweet caramel and malt.

Taste is a like very clean IPA. Hops hit first and with force, mostly pine. Sizable malt backbone swings the balance back toward Helles lager. Spicy notes of cinnamon and grapefruit in the middle. Finish is sharp and dry with a powdery hoppiness coating my mouth. Hops hide a faint fusel alcohol component. Malty scones linger with the hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium thick in weight. Carbonation is quite active lending to the quenching nature of the drinking experience. Silky as you swallow.

Drinkability is pretty good. Easy to kill a bomber but the abv will give you pause.

More like a "German DIPA" than a Imperial Helles to me but a nice beer nonetheless

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 04:17:32 | More by scootny
Photo of patm1986

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +28.2%

11-18-2011 02:57:33 | More by patm1986
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

4.51/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Helles, isn't that an oxymoron? In any case, Krampus appears a dark amber color with a nice cap of foam which clings to glass as the liquid interface falls. The aroma is a nice balance of caramel and lemony hops. The alcohol opens the senses. Surprisingly carbonated, almost prickly, on the palate. The malt notes (bread, biscuit, and dark fruit) are briskly swept away as the hops takes over. Resinous pine, grapefruit, old fashion bitterness and a wave of booze finish this off in a big dollop of hops. A nice brew that invites the drinker to have more. I don't know if I would call this a Helles, but it is good.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 01:09:59 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of JackieTH


3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Rob for the Christmas present. Pour is deep gold with a finger of tight foam that recedes slowly and leaves lots of lacing. Striking appearance with definite bonus points for the bottle label and story about "Krampus", Santa's evil side kick. Smell is thoroughly malty with hints of dry tea leaves, earth, and citric hop. Big malt on first sip although some crispness shows through. On further swallows the big caramelly malt flavor remains prominent but more noticeable is an orange-citric element, slightly astringent bitterness, and mellow yeast. Not noticed is the 9.0% ABV...at the moment. The body is medium and well crafted. Overall, this is a pretty darn good double pilsner-style beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 03:43:56 | More by JackieTH
Photo of BKBassist

New York

4.25/5  rDev +9%

11-23-2013 07:01:17 | More by BKBassist
Photo of ramrod666


4.25/5  rDev +9%

04-26-2014 19:24:19 | More by ramrod666
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 01:17:30 | More by NODAK
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flute glass.

Appearance: Not gold like most lagers, brownish gold with an off-white head and pretty damn thick coming off almost a full inch off the body.

Smell: Light hops, little more potent than your regular lager but nothing impressing.

Taste: Lightly bitter, roasted hops are pretty evident. The strength of hops and a lighter malt feel are way what is this brew boasts of.

Mouth: A crisp toasted bread feel that comes off dry but effectively compliments the after-taste. Smooth with medium carbonation that feels heavy at first gulp.

Overall: This in the end is a Vienna lager on roids, hearty and ridiculously full of flavor. It's not one of those complex brews because it comes at you straight forward. It is what is is really good beer. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 06:55:56 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of BrownAleMale


4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Kasteel chalice glass.

Appearance- An orangish color with a quarter inch of whispy white head that dissipates into a light layer on the surface. Some very very slight lacing.

Smell- At first a piney hops then a srtong bready malt aroma.

Taste- Wowza, what a malt bomb. Bread malts, biscuits,grains, and corn with a slight piney hop finish. Also, a slight roasy quality on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Thick mouthfeel. Almost like eating fresh bread. A meal in a bottle for sure. This is like doppelbock style.

Overall- Great beer that would be nice on a cold night with a slice of warm buttery bread. This sets the standard for lagers.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 03:40:29 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of HopDerek


3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear coppery amber with tall frothy off-white head. Good retention and nice clinging lacing. Smells of spicy hops, dry grass, pine, mint, citrus, grapes, caramel, and bread. Tastes big of spicy hops right off the bat, which sticks throughout. Pine resin, mint, and light citrus notes come through up front along with some grapes and maybe some apple. Backbone consists of candy, caramel, and some bread crust with a finish of more hop bitterness combined with some alcohol. Medium full in body with moderate carbonation. Bittering with some sweetness, smooth and crisp but also chewy. Not quite sure what to make of this, the hophead in me loves it, but for the style it hits far from the mark.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 01:04:10 | More by HopDerek
Photo of M1A2


3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

01-14-2012 17:37:31 | More by M1A2
Photo of danthehopslamman


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

08-15-2012 05:12:11 | More by danthehopslamman
Photo of MoreThanWine


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 2" head which took a long time dropping to 1/8". Yellowish amber color. Very hoppy smell and taste. Rich and fruity.

Let's be honest, this is hoppy like an upper end IPA, which is certainly good and high quality, but we really buy it for the fun bottle and the story of the Krampus whacking the bad kids while Santa Claus is out rewarding the good. A fun beer, but genius marketing.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 09:46:22 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of bnes09


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

04-30-2012 04:36:00 | More by bnes09
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 919 ratings.