Hell Lager | Surly Brewing Company

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Hell LagerHell Lager
BA SCORE
3.82/5
Very Good
1,185 Ratings
Hell LagerHell Lager
BEER INFO

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

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

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
Ranking:
#15,154
Reviews:
342
Ratings:
1,185
pDev:
10.99%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
131
Gots:
215
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,185 |  Reviews: 342
Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasty stuff.Straw colour. Fresh, hopped light and tasty. Great drinkability, although so dainty that the carbonation, though not aggressive, is obtrusive.Moderate citrus.Thanks John for bringing back. Something that I can drink pint after pint of.Spot on.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

a very good lager from surly, pale and bright in color with a dish soap frothy looking head, but this may be best consumed right from the can. nose of german pilsener malts and light vegetal hops, more czech in aroma than german or american, but its tough to tell through the cereal heavy smell of it all. tough to pick out lager yeast too, as even in taste this is not as clean as more traditional versions. bready pils malt up front in taste, dense and hearty yet i find this impossibly easy to drink. hops just bitter, very little real flavor coming from them, but their contribution is critical. i almost get some oats or something slightly sweeter and fuller bodied here. the body on this is large and the carbonation gives it a pillowy mouthfeel not usually associated with this style. it really makes it for me, luxurious and creamy are not lager words, so props to surly for making that association for the first time for me. not their most epic work, but a darn good daily drink here.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out looking like liquid gold, it was very nice looking. It was a very clear looking yellowish gold color with a nice solid white head on top. The retention and lacing on this beer was quite nice and rather impressive for a beer of this style. The smell of of the beer is a little on the yeast side with some subtle hops aromas and malt sweetness. The taste of the beer is malty with a strong hop bitter finish, some lighter notes of grain and bread in there. Not overly grassy which I was happy about. The mouthfeel is clean and crisp, it's sharp feeling too, good carbonation and body. Overall this is a good brew, not my favorite style but it goes down really easy and could be enjoyed anytime.

 708 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of grainy malts and earthy yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of yeast along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes somewhat like a pale lager but has a lot more flavors due to its unfiltered nature. It's relatively easy to drink.

 663 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ultra floral lager that shares a lot in common with zinfindale and honey suckle.

Hell pours with a bright straw, lightly golden color and with little fan fare. The beer releases its carbonation early on and the initial thin lace of foam disipates fairly quickly.

A perfumy boquet of floral hops, light fruits, and honey malts mix for a varying and inviting scent. Winey (fruit wine) aromas give the impressions of apples (cider), pears, and white grapes.

Where the aromas are fruity and winey, the flavors instead take on an expected part-grain, part-malt profile with a light cracker-like flavor and pronounced hop bitterness. Lightly grassy/flowery, the beer takes on a delicate herbal hop flavor. Acidic flavors and sulfur taste also contribute complexity and balance, but maybe a bit too much as the beer warms.

Light-moderate roundness lightens considerably as the hop dryness, alcohol, acidity, and sulfury textures ward off the malt creaminess for a crisp finish and long bitterness. Mildly astringent because of the grains, but these sensations work in conjuntion with the hop bitterness and graininess.

Hell is a very floral German-style lager, whose intense hop compounds seem ester-like at times. A supurbly balanced, complex, and delicate lager.

Thanks Shango42!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16 fl oz aluminum can served into a Dick's Last Resort pilsner glass at me sister's gaff in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery. Thanks to me sister for purchasing the can for me.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream and thickness, and good retention. Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pale malts mainly. Cream. Full barley. Pleasant but simple. Appropriate for the style. Maybe a vague hint of lemon.

T: Pale malt body with full-bodied barley and minimal hopping. Traces of lemon citrus. Balanced but simple and pleasant. An effective Helles. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Balanced and enjoyable. There's nothing special or unique here, though.

Mf: Coarse and wet. A bit too thick. Good carbonation. Suits the flavours alright, and the style fairly well.

Dr: One of Surly's weaker beers, but nevertheless quite drinkable. It's certainly a tasty beer for the style; it's just not one I'd have again. A bit mundane, but worth trying.

C+

***
08.31.17 impression from a can:

Flirts with soapiness but remains safely floral in terms of hops. Pale malts and 2 row lend this its balancing sweetness.

C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

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Photo of oline73
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the Twin's stadium. Served in a big plastic cup.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden amber color with a layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: A mild malt sweetness with some fruity notes. Nothing particularly special.

Taste: A touch of sweet pils like malt. Mild fruit and grain. The finish reminds me of a pilsner, just a touch herbal.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with just enough carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I don't think this beer stands out like several of Surly's other offerings. I'm glad I tried it, but I'd probably pass in the future.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/18/13
Just arrived in Chicago this past week.

Straw gold with a pleasant unfiltered haze, topped with a finger of creamy foam that settles after a few minutes. Plenty of lacing in the glass.

Soft aroma of white bread, lager yeast, and subtle notes of grassy noble hops.

Clean and smooth, light apple and crackers, very mild grassy bitterness. Soft supple finish, clean and dry, well carbonated and not at all watery. This is a great Helles, very traditional and tasty when fresh, tailor made for warm weather in the Biergarten.

 540 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with The-Adjunct-Hippie. 16 ounce can into lager glass, canned on 6/21/2016. Pours lightly hazy medium golden yellow color with a small dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness, lightly increasing through the glass. Fairly clean on lager flavors; some light yeast fruitiness present, but not overwhelming. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, moderately creamy/grainy, and fairly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a great kellerbier style. All around great robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light fruity yeast flavors; very smooth, crisp, clean, and refreshing to drink. Just a touch too fruity from the yeast; but spot on for the style otherwise. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,699 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a cloudy, golden yellow color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel and floral notes.

T - Sweet caramel, toffee and grains. Some nice spicy bitterness adds perfect balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied lager.

O - This is a really good lager. Well done by Surly!

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear golden color and a modest head that leaves the occasional splash

Smell: Crisp and grainy, with a hint of tart lemon

Taste: Opens bready with a quick detour to lemony herbaciousness; after the swallow, there is a lemon pound cake aspect that combines the sweet malt with the bitter lemon flavors

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: Who would have thought a light lager could pack this much flavor? Surly did.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

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Hell Lager from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 1,185 ratings