Hoppin' Helles - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Hoppin' HellesHoppin' Helles

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77 Reviews
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Reviews: 77
Hads: 534
Avg: 3.26
pDev: 39.57%
Wants: 2
Gots: 105 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: StoutHunter on 08-17-2013

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 77 | Hads: 534
Photo of Hergestridge
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Used to Love Leinenkugel Beer... Then they became popular in the Midwest.. And then they released Summer Shandy.. Now, I don't really love them so much.. This effort of an (IPA) or maybe and ASPCA??? It's just a half hearted effort... And it is a bit sad, because their Oktoberfest is special. .. Sunset Wheat.. Awesome.. Hoppin' Helles.. more like Hopping Toad.. Jake you still rock, but please don't turn into an adjunct swill tender... For all that is pure and perfect.. revisit Great-granddad's (or older) recipes and kick some ass, like the Wisconsin Badgers can do ... on occasion...
Definitely NOT impressed with this entry, my cousin to the North...
~Carry on Citizens!!!~

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.84/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in a tall tapered pilsner glass.

A- Crystal clear golden color, bright and clean. Big billowy 2-plus finger head, pure white, does a slow fade to a lasting film. Plenty of sticky lacing on the glass.

S- Mild flowery and fruit hop aroma. Some dry bready malt behind the hops. Very clean and pleasant. Not a hint of anything AAL.

T-Light dry bready malt, biscuit, with some spicy hops.

M- at 27 ibu, there's no hop bitterness, but it has bite and spicy tang. The pale malt, dryness, and hops give it a biting finish.

O- I like the style and very much like this take on it. Winner.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best by date of March 04, 2014 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Leinenkugel's, acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. Expectations are average based on the style and the brewery.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a nice golden orange colored body with some nice clarity to it. A little over a finger of sudsy white foam for a head. A little bit of thick scattered lacing. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is actually quite pleasant, but there isn't a whole lot going on. Some yeast mustiness, green apples, some creaminess, soggy grain. Lightly grassy, fruity, and floral. Not bad.

T - Taste follows the nose - green apple skin, yeast must, and lots of earthy graininess. Lightly papery. What's here isn't bad, but it falls a bit short on the flavor profile.

M - Feel is mostly crisp and clean, with some light graininess and stick green apple on the finish. Pleasant enough. Finishes mildly dry.

Overall, it's a well-enough offering for what it is, especially from Leinenkugel's, I was pleasantly surprised. This would be a likely contender for summer drinking, but it definitely isn't something I would deliberately seek out.

Leinenkugel's Hoppin' Helles ---3.5/5

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Photo of plaid75
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear light brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light herbal hop and round malt.

The taste consisted of a pale sweetness with a touch of herbal hop. A bit muddled however.

The mouthfeel lacked the cleanliness typical of the style.

Overall a decent helles lager. Not all that authentic however.

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Photo of Michael_Squires
3.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is nice as it is a very light, golden color, and that was probably my favorite thing about the beer.

Smell was nothing special, taste was bitter but not unbearably so.

Overall, I would recommend it to those who prefer hoppy beers. I do not mind hoppy beers, but I did not find this taste particularly enjoyable for me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leinenkugel's Hoppin' Helles
12 oz. brown bottle, dated "APR0714 D200i1455"

NOTES: Pleasant beer. Probably one of Leinenkugel's best. Clearly made to market to the "hop" niche - "Hoppin' Helles". Surprisingly hoppy in both the aroma and flavor though. Bright with resinous, citrusy, and grassy hops in the nose. Crystal clear deep gold body beneath a two-fingered head of rocky white froth that holds really well. Eventually over time, about a half a glass in, it completely settles but maintains an almost full surface coating. Good to very-good lacing. Medium-light body with a gently crisp carbonation. The flavor is balanced, displaying the hops foremost, but backing it with a solid amount of malt. Balancing, very firm bitterness. It finishes dry with some added herbal character. "Helles" is certainly not the style designation for this beer (resinous and citrusy hops and "helles" just don't go together), it's more of a pils, or even a pale ale - regardless of whether it's lagered or not. Regardless, it's well-done, and drinkable. If the malt were of a better quality this could be a great beer, but as it stands it seems to be simply lack-luster American 6-row. Shame.

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Photo of JerUrbans
3.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Sparking honey yellow with big fluffy 1" head that last and last. Tons of carbonation making the beer sparkle. Smell is fresh hops and grain. Taste is light sweetness of honey with malt, and a subtle hop flavor. Very refreshing. Light mouthfeel that has a very clean feeling.

Overall not a bad beer. Love that Leinenkugels is bringing some new beers to the party. I probably wouldn't seek this one out, but I also wouldn't turn one down. My suggestion is give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of silverking
3.41/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- golden, crystal clear. Surprisingly fluffy head with excellent retention and decent lacing.

S- herbal, grassy hops. watery, really light malt aromas.

T- herbal, like the aroma. The malt comes through a little more than in the aroma. No finish.

M- light bodied, light carbonation. It finishes bright and clean. Very refreshing.

O- it was alright.

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Photo of jwc215
3.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours golden with a creamy white head that leaves lacing.

The smell is not much. Grain. That's about it. Not "offensive", just lackluster.

The taste is of sweet grain balanced by bittering hops in the finish. Clean.

It is light-bodied and crisp without being fizzy. Smooth enough.

Not much of a helles. Not that hoppin' either. Easy enough to drink though. Just bland.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.61/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint amber highlights. The beer has a three finger tall pillowy foamy white head that reduces to a mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly sweet malts with a touch of honey as well as a light to moderate amount of yeast. Hints of spicy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of grainy malts with a light hint of honey sweetness which also has a light to moderate flavor of yeast. There is a light amount of spicy and earthy hops in the finish which imparts a light amount of bitterness which lingers slightly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront and smooth/clean through the finish.

O: Matched really well with some spicy sausages - easy to drink, crisp, and refreshing. Alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick, dense, white head that has great retention. Soft, grassy hop aroma. Radiant, clear gold color. A crisp, grassy-citrus hop bitterness hits in the front, then it moves into smooth malt. Builds into a full, biscuit flavor. The hops come back in the finish to add a slightly grassy and citric note to the biscuit. Typically smooth lager mouthfeel.

You know what? This is surprisingly good. I know it's easy to hate on Leinie's, but having this one and their Kölsch, it seems that when they want to, they CAN make quite a solid brew. If I were picking up a 6 or 12 pack, and the craft pickings were slim, I could get this and easily feel happy about that.

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Photo of Redrover
3.49/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz longneck poured into my SA perfect pint. The beer is a clear gold with a fairly thick bone white head.

Aroma of biscuits/crackers, a bit of grass and some floral hops.

The taste tracks the smell. It is Slightly sweet, clean with some floral hop notes. It is more hopped than standard Leines, would like to see them add in a bit more as this beer shows some promise.

The mouth is decent and it is an easy beer to pair with stuff like wings and chili. For what it is worth, I brought a case of this a football party on New Year’s Day and it was all drank. Some of the folks there were beer people, so I would say the hit the drinkability & approachability goals!

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Photo of tigg924
3.42/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: high carbonation, 1 inch head, clear, gold in color

Smell: wheat, grass, and light earthy hops

Taste: grain, grass, light caramel and citrus hops

Mouthfeel: slightly bitter, light body, high carbonation

Overall: A nice, sessionable, and clean helles lager. Nothing over the top, but still a beer I could put away several of.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.15/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

"Hop forward Helles style brewed with five American hops." Brewed in the style of a Munich Helles Lager, released initially in 2013 as a fall seasonal brew. Available in 6 packs, 12 packs and in the Fall Variety 12 pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Leinenkugel Pint Glass. Served north of 58º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp frothed copper-white head over a translucent amber body. Carbonation is plentiful and ambitious. Retention is average at best, lacing is light and speckled to none. 3.25

(Smell) Light cracker malts with a mildly toasted caramel body, some mild acidity, and an earthy and floral mild hop bouquet with a moderate bitterness to match. Potency is mild-medium. 3.25

(Taste) The malt body is noticeably sweeter and a touch amplified in body over the aroma. Somewhat clean, mildly grainy caramel malt body with some mild cracker and biscuit malts to back up, light syrupy texture with some evident roughness around the edges. Acidity is still very bold, mildly cider-like. The hop presence is very mild in comparison with some faded grassy hop notes, a pinch of floral and herbaceous hop bitterness, but less flavor than expected. Drinkable, certainly but not very impressive overall. 3

(Mouthfeel) Smooth, slick, slightly chewy with a light syrup body. Carbonation keeps things simple with a touch of froth and little crispness. Body is medium for the style, light/medium overall. Alcohol presence is mild. Balance is sweet over acidic over bitter, with very little hop flavor and participation to really do it justice. 3.25

(Overall) This is a fairly unimpressive beer in Leinenkugel's lineup. Especially with a name of "Hoppin'", you'd have expected a bit more hop action, flavor and bitterness, but hops take a back seat to a simple yet edgy malt profile. I'm not expecting this to find love within the craft beer drinker's community nor the crossover crowd, as it has a more confused build than anything going for it. 3.25

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company's
Leinenkugel's Hoppin' Helles

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Photo of maxcoinage
2.94/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle (best by 2/2014) into imperial pint glass with a big 2 in fluffy white head, clear light golden, left some good lacing on the glass

Aroma had some barely noticeable hops but it almost reminded me of an AAL

Taste - biscuit, malty, some honey, slight hops

Mouthfeel - light body, stronger carb, smooth drinking

Overall - It was ok, something I picked up in the Leine's sampler, and would probably not purchase this in a sixer.

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.12/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

They ruined what might have been a pretty good Munich Helles.

Pours out to a nice golden color, brilliantly clear and a decent head with moderate lacing. Aroma is definitely hoppier than a true helles, with cat pee, pine, mint, dill and citrus and other American aromas. Flavor is a nice crisp lager that is overpowered by the trendy hop mania. Mouthfeel is good. Overall, this is offending me as I would like a good helles, not a jacked up trendy brew.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
3.81/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought a case of this on off the sale rack for 15 bucks. Had been wanting to try it but never got around to it until I saw an offer I could not refuse so I rolled the dice. Overall I give leiny credit on this one. It is a helles lager, biscuityalty malty sweet goodness with a overdose of hops for the style...FOR THE STYLE.. Do not expect an dipa, ipa, apa... Or any kind of...a. But it is a good departure for those who like malty beers but let curiosity get the best of them and buy a beer with hop in the name. Maybe this will be my gateway to hoppier beers?

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Photo of barnzy78
3.32/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, date stamped JAN 06 14
A - golden body topped with a persistent creamy eggshell colored head
S - grassy aroma with biscuity grain, faintly nutty and toasty
T - hop forward as the label indicates with grassy hops, toasty grain, honey, citric lemon, faint mint and white pepper
M - thinner body, sharp and semi-bitter finish
O - I don't know what to say. I know this was not intended to be a true to style helles lager. It wasn't IPA hoppy but definitely hoppier than your standard German brewed Helles lager. With that said, I did enjoy this one as it had some nice American hop characteristics. Style guidelines are definitely disappearing in the US. Not sure what to think of that. Read BA magazine issues 81 & 82. The Bros touch on this topic...

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Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was during my first visit to Wisco, specifically, Mad City, to visit my Navy buddy, Hoos Warner, that I was exposed to Leinie. I love their beers and now thanks to their improved accessibility, I am drinking them at Chez Woody in Lancaster, PA.

From the bottle: "Hop-forward Helles-style beer brewed with five American hops."; "Brewed With Pride by the Leinenkugel family since 1867."; "The Pride of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin since 1867."; "Carefully Brewed by the Leinenkugel Family for Five Generations".

I do not know how to precisely quantify this, but upon removing the cap, it smelled like beer! My excitedly aggro pour created two fingers of puffy, bone white head that resembled to top of a vanilla ice cream cone. The nose was both grassy from the hops and biscuity from the malt and it put me in mind of some of my earliest beer drinking. Color was a gorgeous golden-yellow (SRM = 4) with NE-quality clarity. The unholy trio of Mammon, King Midas and Croesus were suddenly in front of me, clamoring for a sip, but that privilege was mine, all mine! Mouthfeel was soft and it makes me wonder about their water in Wisco. Their beers all have that same softness, which I really like. It makes for great "drinkability" and I wish that they would put more of the Leinie line in CANs. The taste was grassy, minty, definitely hoppy, but not confrontationally hopped. This was more like maintenance drinking for this self-avowed hophead. Finish was semi-dry and very satisfying. What a great recent find in one of my local bottle shops!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle from the winter mix pack pours a clear, light gold color with a thin white head. Poor retention and no lace.

Nose is light graininess with some floral hop presence. Not that I expected a hop bomb here, but thought the hops would at least be on an even plane with the malt. Not too bad overall though, fresh and clean with a little lager yeast sulfur.

Malts and hops can generously be described as light. It is clean at least...just not a whole lot there. The hop blend seems like it would be pretty decent if you used more...a lot more. Meh, certainly wouldn't go looking for, but I won't have much problem finishing the 3 bottles in the pack.

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Photo of Khad
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a tough one. PLEASE READ FULL REVIEW! I thought this was going to be a "HOPPY" beer, but it is not. I always say take things into perspective and having said that, I'd say this is a very worthy beer of a session but miles and miles short of the hoppy Eutopia you might be inclined to believe from the name.

To the nose I only picked up some malt, but it certainly isn't unpleasant but rather unfulfilling. The mouth-feel is...oaky... but as I said, if you're looking for a "hoppy" PA or IPA it will be disappointing. The only thing that saves this beer from an F is in-fact that it is claimed to be a "lager". If you judge this beer as and American Adjunct Lager", then it is quite good. However, Leinenkugal claims this brew to be of hoppy origin, hence the name which is a mistake. The mouth feel is fine and I don't mean FINE. It is what it is. If I could rate this as an American Adjunct, well then this would get some really nice marks, however Leinenkugal is claiming a hoppy complex "specialty" and this beer is far from. If it's cheap enough and you need some relief, this is a good sessional brew...PLEASE DO NOT OVERPAY

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours translucent golden with a small white head. Smells of sweet syrup with slight earthiness. Tastes of spice with a little bit of earthy hops. Beer is carbonated heavily with light body goes down great. Overall an above average beer.

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Photo of henrichsj
3.21/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - Golden in color, fizzy white foamy head that doesn't last long

S - Hop-forward smell, kind of grassy, yeasty

T - Not a lot of character, the attempt is a mix of malt and hops, kind of bitter but not necessarily in an enjoyable way, flowery and fruity in a way, dry

M - Bitter, tart, dry

O - I tend to favor a lot of Leinenkugels stuff but wasn't overly impressed with this one. Kind of a weak, flavorless version of a good style of beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 11/20/2013 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a tapered mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains lager yeast, light caramelized malts, some honey and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mild honey and caramel sweetness follows. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not to filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer to pound down for a while.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.51/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Best before: Dec 09 13. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with a bright green label and a branded twist-off pressure cap acquired at Whole Foods HQ and served into a Spaten stangenglas in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the brewery. No ABV is listed on the label.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a three finger wide white colour head. Fairly thin. Lacks creaminess and frothiness. Kind of weak-looking. Poor consistency and complexion. Webby spotty inconsistenct lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is a clear translucent yellow-copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks like a pretty standard unremarkable helles. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws. I'm not all that excited to try it, but I'm optimistic. Leinenkugel's has surprised me before.

Sm: Floral hopping comes on a bit strong considering it's a helles. It doesn't seem traditional. Honey. Pilsner malts. Plenty of malty sweetness for the style. Sticky and nectary. Buttery. Kind of grassy. Has a bit of caramalt. There's some graininess. On the sweeter end. As atypical as the fairly aggressive hopping is for the style, I like how it comes off here. I just hope it delivers in the flavour profile as well.

No yeast character, spices, or alcohol is detectable. A clean pleasant aroma of average strength. Not unique or special. No off-notes are detectable.

If you handed it to me blind I'd know it wasn't a traditional example of the style, but the aroma isn't a bad one per se. Has macrolager leanings.

T: Nectary. Honey. Plenty of malty sweetness here - too much. Pils malts. Munich malts. Some caramalt. Quite clean. Floral hop character is a but too abundant for the style, but it helps overcome the macro-like graininess present throughout. A bit grassy. Has some artificial lemon. Has just a touch of that German breadiness present in good traditional examples of the style. I do pick up hints of adjunct and malt extract.

No yeast character, spices, or alcohol come through.

A very simple take on the helles lager style. Shallow depth of flavour. Low duration of flavour; it's quite brief on the palate. One-dimensional. Lacks nuance, intricacy, subtlety, adn complexity. Average intensity of flavour. A pretty underwhelming build. Not gestalt, but generally cohesive. Okay balance. It's just artificial across the board, which really holds it back.

Mf: Sticky, smooth, wet, light, thin, unrefreshing, a biteen syrupy from the artificial malts/extract, and weak. Poor body. Suits the flavour profile okay. It isn't overcarbonated, which is surprising.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, boozy, hot, or rough.

Dr: Another mediocre brew from Leinenkugel's. Hopefully this will start more consumers down the path to craft/micro beer. I certainly wouldn't get it again or recommend it to friends. By no means a good beer in the style. Is it drinkable? Sure. But it'd get sickening after a few bottles. I can only handle so much artificial crap before I have to switch to something else. At least most macro adjunct lagers are watery and arguably refreshing.


12.31.14: Brief impressions:

Pours a healthy white head which takes up 90% of the glass but recedes fully within 4-5 minutes. Body is a clear yellow. Not as weak looking as I expected.

Aroma isn't as grain-dominant as it should be given this is a helles lager, but the floral hopping is nice - though not at all to style. Fragrant and inviting, if simplistic.

Has a syrupy stick texture and a painfully simple taste, neither of which fit the style. Taste evokes malt extract and cheap malt syrup, with some generic floral hopping sprucing it up a bit. Middling balance; underwhelming build.

Certainly drinkable, but ultimately a cheap tasting macro helles lager with nothing to offer the discerning drinker. Better than I remembered it.

Low C-

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Hoppin' Helles from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.