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Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)

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very good

1,052 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,052
Reviews: 416
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 80
Gots: 100 | FT: 1
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,052 | Reviews: 416 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TXhomebrewer
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Photo of KeefD
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of HappyHourHero
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of bort11
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of bnes09
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of BMoney575
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of Burkbom23
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of GuttaMane138
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of StephRai
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jimmah120
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
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?

Photo of IBUnit63
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of bernat1971
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Gatch
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/17/13

A: Clear, unfiltered, and light copper in color. Off white, yellowish, fizzy head with good lace and retention.

S: Lots of fragrant, roasted malt and a fantastic hop presence without being overly hoppy. Fruit, bread, and a bit of booze. Exactly as I expected an Imperial Helles to smell.

T: Malt shines here. Booze complements it. Slightly fruity with a tasty hoppy finish.

M: Super smooth, a bit of pleasant sweetness and booze, and the proper carbonation and body.

O: Unique style with what seems to be an accurate representation. I love Helles Lager and this truly is an imperial. A great sipper with massive lager qualities and flavor. Well done!

Photo of utopiajane
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

Photo of Stigs
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber poured into a pilsner glass...

A - pours an obscene amount of tight, frothy head thats sticking around for awhile. lacing all the way down the glass. the beer is a slighty hazy bright amber, with a ton of carbonation.

S - slightly muddled piney hops, matched evenly by some caramel sweetness. very faint notes of mint, fresh herbs (basil, thyme), and some soapiness. a decent amount of alcohol also present. a little off-putting.

T - really interesting, waves of the hops (piney, grassy) and malts (mostly bread/biscuity, caramel). small explosions of more floral hops and some citrus. odd, but good.

M - a lot thicker than expected, nice syrupy kind of feel really lets all the different flavors play around in your mouth. spot on carbonation.

D - an excellent sipper for the style...enough going on to keep it interesting. wish i had this a little fresher as i think some of the hops have died, but doesn't prevent this from being an excellent beer.

Photo of Lanstrum
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of M1A2
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Wayne17
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of bmjivi221
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of abcdefghijkyle
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of ChugginOil
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Founders pint glass.

Pours a translucent dark amber color. There is 2 fingers of cream colored head with nice retention. Lots of sticky lacing.

The nose has a good amount of citrus hops along with a stong smelling lager yeast. Sweet bready malt is also present.

The taste hoppy as hell with a nice bitterness to it. The citrus zest is nicely balanced with a sweet malt akin to biscuit. Alcohol is nearly non existent as there is no heat.

The mouthfeel is a lot thicker than expected. Medium-heavy body with a semi-dry finish.

Overall, this is a nice reresentation of this style with good balance.

Photo of StArnoldFan
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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

Photo of BrownAleMale
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,052 ratings.