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Hell | Surly Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
320 Reviews
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HellHell
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
surlybrewing.com

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Not unlike a Zwickel Bier from Germany, Hell is not filtered and fermented with lager yeast. American hops takes a back seat to the Pils malt sweetness and fresh bread aroma. The color is well... hell (Deutsch for light). It's fiendishly drinkable, and you don't have to sell your soul to get another.

Added by feloniousmonk on 08-26-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
320
Ratings:
1,101
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
20.16%
 
 
Wants:
127
Gots:
176
For Trade:
4
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 320 | Ratings: 1,101
Photo of Parmesan
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Pours a clear straw gold color with a large frothy head that dissipates slowly. No lacing left on the glass.

S: Crackers, white bread, some sweet honey from the malt. I don't get very much hop character in this beer.

T: Cracker, white bread, sweet honey and some other sweet malt. Very little hop bitterness.

F: Mouthfeel feels a little watery.

O: This is a pretty good lager, but there are better options out there, it is not mind blowing. The mouthfeel doesn't quite feel right for a lager.

 503 characters

Photo of Wiffler27
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of the more flavorable lagers out there.

i got this on draft a few times while in Minneapolis. light and easy to drink yet has a nice flavor. great on draft, worth trying for sure

 184 characters

Photo of irrevjim
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a can to a pilsner glass
look; slightly hazy bright golden, 1" fluffy head, not much retention or lacing
smell; honey, saltines, good lager smell
taste; sweet malt, honey, mild hops kiss, classic german lager
feel; smooth, hint of dry, moderate but not intrusive carbonation, very drinkable
overall; an excellent classic german lager

 338 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gold in color with a fairly hazy complexion. There's an inch of frothy and creamy off white head on top. I smell sourdough bread malt notes and faint German bittering hops. The taste is closely in line with the aroma. I'm getting that sourdough pretzel flavor along with Saaz bittering hops. The mouth is very smooth, light, and quaffable.

 345 characters

Photo of pweis909
4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This might be my favorite beer from Surly for its simple beery goodness. Beer doesn't need to be angry, it can just be enjoyed for the way it balances a cracker-like malt with a touch of mid palate sweetness and a lingering bitterness. The beer is transparent and golden with a good head and lacing on the glass etc. If you brought beer lovers from the last three generations together and you made them agree to drink just one beer for the rest of forever, this one would contend.

 480 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into Spiegelau glass canned on 5/26

A: body is a yellow gold in color with a small bubbled creamy looking white head beer has great clarity

S: corn, caramel, doughy breads slight hints of toasted bread as well

T: nice deep caramel sweetness with just slight traces of hop bitterness on the end, some corn, deep dough breadiness with almost a little bit of nuttiness

M: light to medium with a little slickness

O: This is an amazing beer its sweet light smooth good carbonation and bursts with caramel bready corn flavors with just a slight berry hints of hops in the background this is easy drinking.

 621 characters

Photo of HoppyBastard
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 ounce can into a Shaker pint glass, "canned on" date 4-14-16.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear, light golden color with less than one-finger white head that quickly dissipated until just a ring of small bubbles remained around the rim of glass, lighter than average carbonation, there is a small amount of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: initially sweet honey, bread and grassy, very pleasant for a lager.

TASTE: bread, honey, then a very nice hop bite, finishes clean.

PALATE: medium body and lighter than average carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a very good Helles Lager, I will buy this one again and would recommend to anyone who enjoys the style, this is a very flavorful beer and the 4.5% ABV means you can enjoy more than one.

 746 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Surly Hell, 4.5% ABV, 20 IBU, style is Munich Helles Lager. Pours thin and nice pale cloudy yellow, not much head, not much lacing. Served in an iced glass (yes, I know!) which at my core temperature was excellent, even if it may detract from the beer. Nose is...fresh. Taste is a bit yeast, slight bitterness, but very good. Mouthfeel is typical for a lager, and overall an excellent beer.

 395 characters

Photo of MACrist
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: A hazy golden/yellow. Chilled to the bone, so the head was just a small layer. Nice amount of small bubbles rising. Minor lacing.
AROMA: I get a nice grainy/grassy aroma. Lots of bready malt. Smells nice.
TASTE: Very clean tasting. Mild bitterness. Lots of bready sweet malt.
FEEL: Perfect level of carbonation...lots...for this style. Medium thin body, super refreshing. Dry overall.
OVERALL: Super refreshing, I chilled this way down to just above freezing. Perfect for a hot day.

 494 characters

Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Lovely pale straw; totally clear with a small but sturdy head.
S: Rich lager yeast, bready malt, a hint of sweetness
T: Great smooth and slightly sugary pale malt. The traditional hop bitterness is perfectly balanced with a little more honey than you usually find in a helles. Long finish for a light lager.
M: Silky smooth with a little flair from the carbonation and sticks on the tongue.
O: What a great lager. I wish we could get this more often; it would help convert more AB drinkers!

 493 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, my first Surly! (Had a chance to buy an oldish bootleg can of Furious a few years back for 6 bucks and reluctantly passed, but now the stuff is everywhere and at a more reasonable price.) A deep gold with a white one-finger had. Smell liike a pilsner, fair amount of noble hoppiness coming through. There is perhaps a little more of a malty body than a typical pilsner, but if this were a blind tasting I would certainly have guessed that style rather than Helles. In any event, this is clearly a good, solid beer with everything pleasantly balanced although nothing really seems outstanding about it. Finishes easy and will definitely be visited again, at which time maybe additional impressions will emerge.

 724 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Flight at MSP. Nice light bodied, slick helles. Light grain flavor, light corn, subdued grain aroma. Tasty lager, one of the best of the group, and a damn fine rendition of of a dortmunder.

 189 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lots of yellow, lots of clarity, good white head, soft, tiny bubbles. Aroma comes across bready, grassy and floral.

Enjoyable skunky lager, hoppy, highly carbonated. Flavorful lagers. Some flowery peppery stuff at times. Good for warmer weather.

 252 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light gold with a large dissipating head. The aromas are primarily bready,with some hints of dry caramel and black pepper. The flavor lead with the light bready notes, with the peppery spice coming in at the finish. There is also a slight hint of maplewood present. The mouthfeel is quite full for a lager. Overall this is one of the more flavorful, full-bodied lagers I have had.

 398 characters

Photo of maedhros09
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I think the surly description of this one says it pretty well. You get the full flavored bready malts with enough hops to provide just a bit of balance. Simple and tasty.

 170 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden appearance with a one-finger thick head.

Crisp smell with notes of cloves. I also detected what can best be described as grapes in the smell. Almost like someone hid a little bit of white wine in a can of beer.

The taste was surprisingly subtle for a Surly beer. Yes, it's a lager but I've been surprised by the attitude of pretty much every other Surly beer I've tried. Has a aftertaste of apple, and of malt - the later of which lingers for quite a while. I also picked up on quite a bit of sourness, which certainly did not work for me.

Carbonation is heavy to begin with, but dissipates quickly. Generally speaking, I enjoyed the feel of this much more than the subtle taste.

I probably won't return to this, but if I'm ever at the Surly Taproom and have to recommend a beer to someone who considers anything darker than Grain Belt an abomination - then this is the one. Otherwise, there are much better lagers from Minnesota.

 945 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours from a can into a Pilsener glass. L: Brilliant straw under a quickly receding 1” creamy white foam cap. S: Light grains with a faint hint of apple and sulfur. T: Light grainy sweetness, some spice, malty aftertaste, mild bitterness. F: Very crisp, light, above average carbonation. O: Refreshing, easy to drink.

 320 characters

Photo of MNJR
2.71/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Not great, and sold at a premium price - $10.99 for four pints. The math is not on their side considering the taste of this brew. Funky, sour, skunky, not clean and "bright" as the name would suggest. Actually, it is unfiltered and cloudy, so the name is totally misused. Thick, soupy feel, and a little flat. Flavors of wet cardboard and sour cream. Smells like a macro brew, PBR or equivalent. A very average beer from my standpoint. I think I had it one time before, and forgot not to buy it again. I will drink what's left, but not with much enjoyment.

 564 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance, body, and aroma aren't bad, but didn't care for flavor too much. The malt and hop combo clashed leaving me with off flavors. One time only for me.

 158 characters

Photo of KeithS
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good solid summer beer without all the gimmicks that come with summer beers. Nice and light but with enough flavor to make it interesting.

Good beer for me when my taste buds want something easier and less hoppy.

 213 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Milwaukee Burger Company, Franklin, WI:

Pours golden with a nice lasting head. Lacing sticks down the glass.

The smell is of grain with some nuts.

The taste is of some grain - sweet with some general (floral) bitter-ish hop balance.

Cream and crisp.

Easy enough to drink. Pretty much a standard lager.

 316 characters

Photo of ta_hagen
4.84/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very light tasting beer. Love this during summer time. Pours a clear golden color with white head. Cereal grains and floral notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes clean and crisp. This does not taste like a lager, but more like a light pale ale and dry finish. Thumbs up!

 287 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden color with white head. Cereal grains and floral notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes clean and crisp. Good summer beer.

 156 characters

Photo of tyleeis
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Helles is one of my fav euro styles and this is by far one of the best examples I've tried. A little more hoppy than I expected...similar to 3 Floyd's Gorch Fock, also an excellent twist on a Helles lager.

 205 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can poured into pint glass

A- pours a bright clear straw color with a small creamy white head that reduces to a thin film on top

S- bready and doughy Pilsner aroma with some grassy and spicy hop aroma

T- faint floral, grassy and spicy hops lead the way, bready toasted pilsener malt adds some crackery flavors before finishing clean and toasty

M- light-medium body with medium spritzy carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a clean crisp finish

O- a nice interpretation of the style

 501 characters

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Hell from Surly Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 1,101 ratings.
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