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Hoppin' Helles - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hoppin' HellesHoppin' Helles

Educational use only; do not reuse.

78 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 535
Avg: 3.26
pDev: 39.26%
Wants: 2
Gots: 108 | 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.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 535
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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Photo of Slatetank
3.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I picked this up at Wegman's poured chilled in a mug

The color is very pale golden with very gentle haziness and thick head of 3 fingersfrom a vigorous pour, the bead is average and retention is good. The smell has a noble hop scent, faint as it is but it provides a slight lemon zest odor with cereal type sweet malt accent. The feel is kind of bitter, but mostly sweet with moderately high carbonation and mildly metallic with a semi-dry finish.

The taste is sort of sweet but perhaps lightly buttery as if it has some diacetyl in there but not really corny it does have a slight tinge of hops in the flavor but a little overboard in the marketing considering I would expect hop flavor to dominate given the name. The taste fizzles when it increases in temp leaving more of a sweetish flavor lingering. Overall I would not buy this again...probably not buy any Leinenkugel beer for that matter since I did not like the last two I purchased and was kind of on the fence before that.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours golden-yellow color with a fizzy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving just a bit to float on the top

S- sweet bread malt with some skunk, there's some flowery and grassy hops, but mostly covered up by skunk

T- light sweet malt up front, some grassy hop notes kick in mid-palate, some light fruity characteristics lead to a dry finish with some hop linger

M- light-medium body, high carbonation leads to fizzy mouthfeel and a crisp and biting finish

O- It is what it says it is, a hopped up helles, It's certainly not bad, and is an easy drinking beer, but nothing more

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Photo of The-Sud-Truth
3.24/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured out of the bottle, it looks like any nondescript American brew - yellow gold. The mouth-feel and finish is the high point of this beverage; with its above average thickness and a crisp but lingering finish. There is nothing special about the aroma: A blend of malt that confronts their attempt at making this particular helles heavier than usual on the hops. The overall taste is a slightly (and properly) bitter beer. I'm not sure what the brewery is really attempting here - it comes off as an intriguing experiment with the style tweak, but results in a pretty average experience for the consumer ( similar to mixing Orange Crush soda with Sunkist - oh...it sounds so bold, but at the end of the day it's still orange soda). Let me be clear - I enjoy most of the beers that Leinenkugels offers (Red, Oktoberfest, the Shandy series, et al), but this one is sub-par by comparison. The Hoppin Helles is a good afternoon beer, but when you consider that you can get similar tasting run of the mill domestics (such as Michelob ) for less money, I don't know why you would opt for this more expensive one.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz bottle stamped on the neck with JAN 2014-D20010748. Sampled on November 1, 2013.

The pour is yellow to golden yellow with a quick burst of a white fizzy head that disappears entirely. Looks like a Helles to me.

They promised a hop-forward Helles and grassy hops are evident on the nose. There is also mildly roasted malts, grain, and a kind of tangy and tart nip.

The body is light to medium and basically pretty good for the style.

As it warms the roasted malts really introduce themselves on the first sip. But before and after I am getting grains, tangy citrus, lemon, grass, and a dry finish. Works for me.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Hoppin Helles

On tap at Monk's in the Wisconsin Dells. Served quite cold in a 22 oz mug.

A) This is a bright golden brew. It was quite clear. A little soapy head which dissolved quickly to a thin collar. No lacing...

S) Light malt, grain/grass, very distant citrus, and a little spiciness.

T) Light sweetness, slightly bitter, mainly a crisp grassy flavor. Interestingly, I found a little dash of pepper on the backend, which quickly faded for a clean finish.

M) Light bodied, with crisp refreshing carbonation. Easy to pound down. Nice enough aftertaste.

O) Not to shabby, but there is nothing Hoppin at all about this Helles. It was a better option than the macros on tap. Easy drinking, and inoffensive.

Paired with the monster burger and waffle fries.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Golden with just a bit of carbonation and a slightly flat layer of lacing.

Smell: Apple cider vinegar. A bit astringent, but there is a nice fall muskiness and there is definitely winey alcohol in this.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Flavor is lacking. Tastes like malty wet hay, so in that sense it screams "autumn," but it leaves character to be desired. Mouthfeel is clean overall, but also leaves a sour aftertaste.

Overall: Easy drinking, but nothing special.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.37/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear, yellow straw color with a slight, white head. The aroma is very grass and grain like. The texture is thin but there is a decent punch in the taste. There is a lot of grain and straw that gives it a very earthy taste. Fairly well made for a Leinenkugel’s product.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Servign Type - Bottle

Appearance - Light golden yellow with a 1/2 foamy head, some decent lacing.

Smell - Hops, caramel, yeasts, wheat, pale malts, grapes, a little grassy.

Taste - Starts off with some floral hops, a little lemon and banana mixed in with some citrus notes. Some caramel malts also along with some yeasts. Some lager flavors come out near the finish but are really light under the malts and hops.

Mouthfeel - The hops and yeasts coat the tongue. The palate gets more hops, along with some citric fruits, some lager malts. The aftertaste is a little weak and dry.

Overall - Not a bad beer at all. Really easy drink with a nice amount of hop bite. Its better then any bud or coors but still, its lacking the overall balance and flavor to become a great beer. Would be a nice summer beer or something to start a rookie out on.

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Photo of PieOhMy
3.24/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A. Yellow/gold. Thick white head. Transparent. Bubbly.

S. Yeast and malt. Nothing strong but for this style I didn't expect there to be.

T. Crisp. A little sweetness. Some clove and banana. Wheat and barley very much. The hops are missing. No hoppyness. Bummer.

M Light. Clean.

O. I don't know where to go with this. It wasn't bad. If say, it were a summer ale or kolsch, no prob. But they call it "Hoppin". There is no hint of hops anywhere. Whatever. If you want a smooth easy drinker; this is all right.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, BB date stamped 16 Dec. 2013 on neck, into a snifter.

Appearance – The beer pours a medium amber color with some visible carbonation. The head has weak retention and elaves minimal lacing.

Aroma: citrusy hops with some light bread and grassy and floral aspects.

Taste: Starts bready and turns more hoppy without adding much bitterness. Very mildly bitter; mild even for style.

Mouthfeel – Medium body; medium+ carbonation level; Crisp.

Overall: an Americanized Helles that addes more citrus tones but seems less integrated and refined than a good German Helles.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a solid golden color with a beautiful rocky white head that holds well. Lovely thick foamy lacing.

The aroma is clean and piney, with citrus hops coming through.

The taste is floral with citrus and pine coming through. Malts and sweetness are faint if there at all.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, really a fresh tasting beer. Lots of pine notes. Probably one of Leinenkugel's better brews.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.52/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Mixed and matched this brew from the House of 1,000. Into a pint glass.

A - Rockin full inch of head that sticks around for a while. Beer is a great bright yellow lager color with some bubbly carbonation at the base. Looks good so far.
S - Not much hops just some mild earthy pine mixed with some corn and sweeter malts. I dive in.
T - Pretty good it has some hop bite but really muted especially after drinking that Serria Nevada Red IPA. Mostly some corn and sweeter malts but it is rather crisp. Kind of boring though...
M - Worst part it comes off like a sparkling water with the carbonation you can feel how watery it is. I get that its a summer beer but damn.

Overall nothing I would seek out again and has more taste and body than most of the beers they put out. Still its a one note beer that would get passed over.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Leinenkugel’s Hoppin’ Helles has a medium, white head, and a clear, brilliant, deep gold appearance, with some bubble streams and lots of white flakes roiling around. Lacing is very thin. The aroma is of pungent, slightly lemony malt, with a bit of an oil smell. Taste is of medium-roasted malt, some sweetness, a pleasant hop bitterness, a touch of lemon, and an underlying olive oil note, which I sometimes pick up with Dortmunder-style lagers. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Leinenkugel’s Hoppin Helles finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, semi-dry, and easy drinking. Overall, this is quite enjoyable and obviously well crafted.


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Photo of TastyTaste
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

They're trying, I get it, and I love the concept. I don't pick up on the "hop forward" claim on the label, as this is an ok helles lager that has a slight waft of hops more than a standard beer in the style. I appreciate the 12'er gift I got from my neighbor, and there isn't much to complain about with this beer, it's just kind of...average. I had high hopes that Leinie's was going to try to get away from their usual modus operandi, but this beer isn't it.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.64/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Excited to see a light helles with more hops, but I understand it's brewed by Miller ultimately price per six a bit high 9.49 but it was on sale for 7.99. Pours light fizzy yellow but the difference here is the head along with some actual head retention, fine speckled lacing left behind. Aroma has a light citric hop nose with some cereal grains that can't rule out vegetal components of corn/rice. Pretty light on the nose let's see how it's tasting. Generic hop bitterness the label says 5 varieties but I truly can't hone in on one. Grassy herbal are some words with a hint of citrus but it's dumbed down, they are going for a light noble pils style. I can definitely tell you there are some noble hops in this brew. I'm all over it, as far as drinkability and accessibility goes. Mouthfeel is light as in helles light, a bit of fizzy un natural carbonation reminds you that your drinking a macro. Nothing to fault here hoppier than the norm easy to drink I could enjoy this watching a ball game. Not offensive at all, but at the same time there's many better lagers this will be reliable during this season.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a amber color with tons of small carbonation bubbles seen streaming up through the brew. Upon pouring there is a two finger foamy white head. The head has a decent level of retention, holding on for about 2 or 3 min before fading to leave some light foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a musty and stale grain smell mixed with some aromas of corn and a bit of a papery smell. Mixed with these, are some lighter notes of a grassy smell producing a rather adjunct like aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a smooth bready flavor with a light caramel sweetness. There is a little bit of a grassy taste upfront which grows stronger as the flavor advances on to the end. Along with the grass, some other flavors of an earthy and floral nature come to the tongue with the caramel fading ever so slightly, in the end, leaving a rather crisp taste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium to possibly slightly more creamy side with a carbonation level that on the slightly higher side. Overall it was a rather appropriate feel and was nice for the crisp taste and easy drinking flavors of the brew.

Overall – An easy drinker. Nothing exceptional, but nothing off putting either. Overall alright.

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Photo of steveh
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wanted to try this beer because the label suggests a stab at a style I'm both familiar with and enjoy immensely. Given that I'm hot and cold with Leinie's beers anymore, I never know what to expect.

A -- Clear, deep gold with a dense, long-lasting white head.

S -- Pretty much light DMS with a vague touch of resiny hops.

T -- Light, crackery malts up front, with resiny hops dominating the palate. As the beer warms, the crackery malts become more bready in character and the hops more spicy than resiny, this beer is rather Jekyll & Hyde. The finish is clean, but the aftertaste is lingering, resiny hops.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft to crisp with a light to medium-light body.

O -- This beer is very refreshing and drinkable... for an APA. As a Munich style Helles, the resiny American hops dominate too much to style. It's almost as if Leinie's is back-tracking on the IPL to a plain ol' PL/APA hybrid. I had no trouble drinking the sixpack I bought, but I was not expecting a Munich Helles after the first taste.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Antique gold in color, with a big cloud deck of white foam.
Aroma-Faint cracker malt
Taste-Pilsner malt, cracker,crisp, subtle earthy, herbal hops. light-to-medium bodied, faint hop bitterness in the finish. Refreshing and quaffable.

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Photo of herr_fish
2.69/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Saw the billboard for this beer and decided to give it a try, not sure what I was expecting, but it was a let down. I started on German bier, but have switched to an IPA preference as of late, but still love my roots. So a Munich Helles with an accented hop presence sounded like a winner.

App- has the clear yellow look of a helles, thinner than standard head when poured into glass, readily visible carbonation.
Aroma- Not much going on here.
Mouthfeel- Thin but appropriate for the style.
Taste-A hint of the promised hops, but just enough to be noticed, overall impression is that the malt is the dominant profile, and on of the macro variety. Not pleased, not a bad macro lager, but not what I was sold by the hoppin helles label.
Overall- Not by any means a bad beer, but not by any means what the marketing claims. A decent American lager, but doesn't live up to the billing. I think Leinie's tried to cash in on the hops craze but wound up disappointing here.

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Photo of Strix
3.24/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours gold with decent head.

Slight citrus hop note, backed by macro-type grain note.

Getting sort of a watered-down APA vibe, lacking any of the typical Helles notes, but a decent finish of American (not German) hops.

Mouthfeel fairly carbonated.

I think everyone who's tasted this would dispute that it's a Helles, but it's among the most decent of Leine's non-Big-Eddy offerings, so I feel compelled to rate it above their usual swill. I would pick it over about 10 of Leinie's other offering, but it's ridiculous to call it a Helles.

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Photo of MDT187
2.43/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I've been a fan of Leinie's forever. I do stay away from its flavored beers (with the exception of the Summer Shandy, which is good enough to swill), since I rarely like any brewery's flavored beers, and I especially like the original and the Sunset Wheat. But the Hoppin' Helles was pretty terrible. Maybe I had a bad six-pack, but the beer managed to blend together everything I dislike in palish beers. The Hoppin' Helles, first of all, has very little hops to it, but it somehow managed to capture the bitterness of hops but minus the tang that I like. To my tongue, it has a skunkiness of a Kolsch-style lager but without the complexity. And finally, it's rather bland like an American-style lager but somehow lacks the crispness and lightness that makes American lagers so drinkable. I forced the six-pack down and won't buy it again.

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Photo of budgood1
3.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

pours out a brilliant gold colour. very active carbonation producing a moderate ivory head. decent lace. looks the part. semi-sweet bready aroma with some too faint spicy and herbal hop aroma. the flavour department is a mish mash of some well attentuated, but faintly sweet sourdough like malts, strangely accented by a weird mix up of herbal, grassy and slightly spicy hop bill. not bad, but odd. there is a noticeable bitterness in the back end too, so the end result leaves me with the belief that leinies actually did throw a fair amount of hops into this brew, although they come off as strained and not well placed. medium bodied, with a slightly prickly mouthfeel due to the coarse hopping. drinkability is ok...

so this new concoction is an american interpretation of a german style using all american ingredients...or at least hops. it misses the mark on most counts, but still brings some attitude. a typical leinies brew....but yet a bit more....i really can't recommend it , but yet i can't say i wouldn't ever drink this again.

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Photo of Ri0
3.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

poured 12oz bottle into shaker pint.

A - Light and clear apple juice color with a bit 3 finger white head. Decent retention and no lacing.

S - Not much of an aroma. Everything is light, light malt, light floral hops, light grain.

T - Grains, bread, sweetness, and very mild earthy and floral hops. Not much else.

M - Light, watery, smooth and good carbonation.

O - It's not that it is bad, but in true Leine's fashion it is boring and lacking any real aroma or flavor. Picked it up because I was intrigued by the style I have yet to have. I'll find a better example.

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Photo of pweis909
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I find myself liking some aspects of this beer, and annoyed with others. There definitely are some elements that convey "maibock" to me:
- the color looks the part, gold with a fluffy white head. the head thins out pretty quickly.
-the malt is balanced somewhat towards sweetness, as might be expected in a bock, but with sufficient bitterness.

Unfortunately, the malty sweetness seems to float on the surface of a fairly basic American lager, possibly with 6-row graininess? I couldn't confirm that for a fact, as Leinie's website does not expound upon the malts used, other than they are pale, but the impressions of a merely sweetened (crystal malt?) American lager cannot be dismissed - there is something not quite right here. No strong malt aromas.

The alcohol level is below maibock strength, which I don't necessarily mind, but if you are going to lowball the gravity, the quality of the malt becomes more important, IMO. Also, the beer comes across as a little thin.

What about the hops? Obviously, this beer is trying to express more hop character than a traditional maibock, and American hop character to boot! I love me some Hallertau hops, but I also like citrusy American hops. In another hoppy maibock, I liked the American hops, and I don't hate them here. The beer is susrprisingly lacking on hop aroma, but they do come through in the taste. But check your expectations at the door, IPA fans.

I do seem to get a bit of a baking soda aftertaste in this beer - weird.

If I were given the choice of this or a regular Leinies, I'd go with this. If I were give a choice between this and several other maibocks, including the New Belgium Hoppy Bock and many other Wisconsin Maibocks, inlcuding Point's , Capitol, and New Glarus, I would not be choosing the Leinie's.

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Hoppin' Helles from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.