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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

954 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 954
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.31%
Wants: 77
Gots: 64 | 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: 954 | Reviews: 405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adam42381
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours a medium caramel color with orange highlights and a 3 finger fluffy white head. Excellent lacing. Looks like a double IPA.

Smell: Floral, citrus and piney hops with pale malt. Smells like a blend of American Pale Ale and a mild IPA.

Taste: Pale malt and bitter citrus up front followed by caramel in the middle and a blast of grapefruit at the finish. The alcohol doesn't come through until you've already swallowed. There's definitely some warmth on the way down. Aftertaste is a mix of bready malt and bitter citrus. This is a very hoppy beer. I'm not really sure what an Imperial Helles Lager is supposed to taste like, but I like whatever this is.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of prickly carbonation. Fairly sticky.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. Goes down pretty easy for a beer with an ABV of 9%.

Overall: Good beer overall. I don't see this as an Imperial Pilsner, but I'm not sure what an Imperial Helles Lager is anyway. Whatever it is, it's a tasty brew that will hit the spot for most hop lovers. Give it a shot.

adam42381, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of CWhite
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

CWhite, Nov 26, 2012
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.

yeahnatenelson, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of GuttaMane138
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

GuttaMane138, May 28, 2013
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!"

Buebie, Nov 16, 2008
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.

PhillyStyle, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +2.6%

megamass, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of abcdefghijkyle
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

abcdefghijkyle, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of DrMindbender
4/5  rDev +2.6%

DrMindbender, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of Lanstrum
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Lanstrum, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of bernat1971
3/5  rDev -23.1%

bernat1971, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of sparx1100
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

sparx1100, Feb 12, 2013
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.

therica, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of Roguer
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Roguer, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of CloudStrife
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.

CloudStrife, Nov 10, 2013
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.

JackieTH, Dec 29, 2011
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.

BrownAleMale, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
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!

BlurryVisi0n, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of Knoxrb12
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Knoxrb12, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of utopiajane
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours with brilliant clarity and s small stream of bubbles rising up to meet a thick head of off white foam from a vigorous pour that fell slow enough and left reasonable lace. Nose is at first bright with citrus peel and caramel malt. Then as it warms a mineral or metallic smell starts to evolve and a yeasty twang like in a traditional lager. The hops are floral and the malt is caramel instead of bread and I find that it smells a lot like a DIPA one minute and then a little bit like a lager the next. Orange peel. The taste is somewhat flat and muddled. I would even call it stagnant mid palate. The beer has a tremendous citrus but it isn't crisp it's just tart. The yeast trying to be a lager yeast adds a bit of sour twang and the metallic taste doesn't go well with that. The malt is sweet and caramel but bread would be enough. There's a bit of spice and a bit of alcohol on the palate.

This finishes with not only a hop bitter but a metallic aftertaste and a sour off flavor. It also finishes slick and with some hop oil. As this drinks it becomes more pleasant. Lemon takes over in the finish.

utopiajane, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of djre4orm
3/5  rDev -23.1%

djre4orm, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of jarrgal
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

jarrgal, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of williamherbert
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.

williamherbert, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of BeardedBoffin
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.

BeardedBoffin, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of patm1986
5/5  rDev +28.2%

patm1986, Nov 18, 2011
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 954 ratings.