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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

1,007 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,007
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 82
Gots: 76 | 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: 1,007 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JMS1512
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

JMS1512, Jul 06, 2014
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.

meatyard, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of touchmeimsac
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

touchmeimsac, May 15, 2013
Photo of doughanson78
2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. First Helles Lager.

A: A medium dark orange/copper. Super clear. One finger bright white head with amazing retention and sticky lacing.

S: Not a huge aroma. Piney and earthy hops. Grains, breads and grassy notes. Slight spice notes.

T: Slight caramel along with grains and bread. Pine and floral hops along with a biscuity malt flavor. Finishes very earthy and grassy with a grapefruit bitterness. Weird hop profile and the off putting grapefruit in the end just messes this taste up.

M: Medium light body. Higher carbonation. Slight creaminess. Pretty dry finish.

O: Kind of like a very hoppy lager. Don't know if it's the hop profile of this beer or if it just doesn't go with lagers, but this one isn't for me. Not totally bad.

doughanson78, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of aforbes10
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sent to me by kkulacki as part of an awesome beer package just before Christmas. Pours a nice orange brown, very clear with a thin off white head. Nice level of obvious carbonation. Smells of light pilsner malt, fruity ethanol, grassy to spicy hops. Flavor is interesting...sharp, almost puckering bitterness with suggestions of grapefruit, but this sits nicely on the high alcohol and large malt presence...its even almost balanced! Breakfast citrus flavor sticks around and works well. Medium bodied with a bit of syrupy character, but not too much. Drinks well, but the big alcohol goes to the head fast. On the better side of the Southern Tier scale of beers.

aforbes10, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of NYR_Rob
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

NYR_Rob, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Lemke10
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a hazy, dark amber color with an average, beige head. The aroma is a mixture of sweet malts, hops, and some citrus. The taste is sweet, slightly fruity, and pleasant. There is a slight bitter finish. I agree with the people that say this is more of a Pale Ale/IPA than a Pilsner. Certainly unique, can’t say I’ve had anything quite like it.

Lemke10, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of TXhomebrewer
4.25/5  rDev +9%

TXhomebrewer, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
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.

Greywulfken, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear and vibrant deep orange color with a super sticky 2 finger off white head. Sweet subtle caramel malt on the nose with hints of biscuit and grain. Some earthy hops hidden underneath it all.

Medium in body with good carbonation. Strange front of the tongue bitterness. Very subdued flavor with a weaker malt profile than expected. Some toasty butteryness but not much with grassy bitter hops. Drinks like a somewhat more bitter hellos lager but the strangest part about this beer is that for such modest flavor the alcohol content is nowhere to be found.

Good beer but I expected a bit more from southern tier.

jtierney89, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of KeefD
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with yellow highlights around the edges, a huge, pillowy off-white head that left some very nice lacing down the pilsner glass. A thick cap sticks around throughout. This is one of the best smelling lagers I've come across - Enormous amounts of hops, plenty of pine, light citrus, sweet, and lightly floral. I'm so glad they used American hops rather than the Nobles, which would have been the norm for this style. This is much better. Taste is bitter up front, plenty of oily hop resins, backed up by some toasty malt, sweet honey, and hints of smokiness in there somewhere. Very tasty! Creamy mouthfeel, smooth and crisp. Definitely some lager characteristics here, but this tastes like an DIPA. Maybe we should call this an Imperial India Pale Lager?

Oh so good. I didn't know a Helles lager could be this dark, but I'll bite. After all, this is ST. They do things differently, and I'm glad they do. Forget Santa Claus, this Krampus guy brings the real gifts! Excellent.

KeefD, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of HappyHourHero
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glowing, haze free, deep copper colored beer with a short oatmeal colored head that leaves a few strands of lace. American hop aroma of citrus dominates the aroma. Maybe a bit of sweet caramel flavored malt. Full body really holds the grainy/biscuity malt flavor to your tongue. A faint alcohol flavor is hidden by the mildly bitter grapefruit hop flavor. It takes a lot of malt to hold up to this amount of hops, but I'd say it's balanced in a drawn out sumo match kind of way. There's a lingering bitterness along with flavors left on my tongue. It's quite tasty, and I could probably drink another bottle if I had one.

I might be impossible to brew, but I was expecting a lighter body. I was also expecting German hop flavors and aromas. Not to be the style police, but it really comes off as more of a hoppy American style Barleywine than an Imperial Helles. I guess I was expecting something like Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner, but with a bit of Munich/Vienna malt. If you really concentrate and can manage to block out the hops there might be a helles in there.

HappyHourHero, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of bort11
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a pokel glass. Huge chunks of sticky head stands over two inches. Great retention leaves cotton balls of lace on the glass. Body color is a coppery amber. Great clarity here.

This is a lager for hop-heads. The smell is a smack of leafy hops. A blend of citrusy grapefruit comes in around the edges. There is a hint of bready malt sweetness that is overpowered by the hops. The taste of the first sip is an assault of hops. Incredible noble hops bitterness. I still get a green leafiness more than a standard hops pine needle flavor. As my mouth adjusts, more citrus flavors come into play. Mostly grapefruit, with a hint of spearmint. All though the hops a bold malt backbone keeps things together. It has a dry breadiness quality, the sweet keeps the hops in check.

Mouthfeel is a lot heavier than most lagers. The heavy malt bill creates a chewy quality. The 9% ABV does not even play a factor when put up against the massive hops flavor. An absolute slow sipper. Unless you were naughty, which in that case be prepared for a Krampus Holiday beating.

bort11, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of larryi86
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a snifter

A- A nice hazy amber with a tint of orange and a two finger head.

S- Sweet malt with hints of oranges, caramel, and hops.

T- Caramel malt hits right away with hints of citrus that finishes smoothly with a hoppy bitter bit. The downfall of the taste is the 9% ABV is not hidden, but not overwhelming.

M- Smooth, a little on the trick side and a little sticky.

D- This is good and easy to drink. It is worth picking up a bottle and giving it a try, definitely if you enjoy Barelywines.

larryi86, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of ChrisMon02
4/5  rDev +2.6%

ChrisMon02, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of Proclarush
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Proclarush, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of Zetcha7x
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Zetcha7x, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of BMoney575
3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 3-28-10

Pours a clear amber color with a thick head that leaves big, craggy lacing.

Smell is earthy hops, quite tame, with a slightly sweet malt backing. A little spicy, and maybe a hint of adjunct.

Taste is very bitter, very earthy, and that's about it. The bitterness is in-your-face, drowning out and subtle flavors that might be there.

Mouthfeel is decent, but a little thin with strong carbonation that adds to the bitterness.

Drinkability is also decent, at least the alcohol is well masked.

Overall, not my thing, but try it.

BMoney575, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of victory4me
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

victory4me, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of StephRai
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

StephRai, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of IBUnit63
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. into Duvel tulip...

Beautiful, ginger-colored, 2-finger head that's very chewy and bready. Beautiful bonze/copper body with moderate carbonation and nice lacing. head has moderate staying power.

Awesome oily, floral hops...the dry-hopping yielded great results. Excellent grapefruit citrus tones backed by light-roasted malt backbone with good raw grain character. Light but full nose.

Straight-ahead citrus up front with lightly-stewed malt...a little light spice, too (ginger, cinnamon). Roast of various malts emerges with warmth. Not as forceful as on the nose but still extremely pleasant.

Definitely a citrus hop bomb with a creamy/oily malt backbone. A little biting but finish is full and bright...oily, oily, oily...

Methinks the excess citrus/rind bite precludes extreme drinkability but make no mistake...this is extremely well-done.

IBUnit63, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of JamesStreet
4/5  rDev +2.6%

JamesStreet, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of jimmah120
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

bomber with no date into duvel

look is a deep aber brown with a rocky, khaki head. smells piney and bitter at first, with a lot of bubblegum, peppermint, and plastic coming in later. Taste is much better, grainy booze, hint of peppermint, drying grassy hops, and a lot of semi-sweet toffee malt. the flavors jive very well together. slickly bitter, slightly syrupy feel. lingering peppery bitterness.

one of the only holiday brews i've thoroughly enjoyed. ST didn't overdo the holiday spice and brought the hops, what else can i ask for?

jimmah120, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of wonothesane42
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

wonothesane42, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of bnes09
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

bnes09, Apr 30, 2012
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,007 ratings.