Helles Belles | Ninkasi Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
118 Ratings
THE BROS
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Helles BellesHelles Belles
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
ninkasibrewing.com

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cbarrett4 on 08-28-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
118
Reviews:
41
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
11.02%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
20
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 41
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5.3% ABV per the label.

Pours a hazy lazy yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of grain, earth, grass, hay, and slight skunk aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, cracker, and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is smells decent, but the taste on this one is slightly better.

Serving type: bottle.

 595 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a short bright white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of grassy hops are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of grassy hops along with hints of bready malts. There is a light amount of bitterness and the grassy flavors linger into the finish.
M: It feels light to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has a nice amount of grassiness in both the smell and taste. However, the taste reminds me more like a pilsener than a helles lager.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of biboergosum
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle - wow, I just did a Jude-themed review, and now one that is an ode to AC/DC? You can't see me flippin' the horns right now, but you can imagine it!

This beer pours a clear, very pale golden straw colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly bone-white head, which leaves some white lightning flashing across the sky lace around the glass as it quickly abates.

It smells of bready and doughy pale malt, white saltine crackers, aged lemon flesh, a hint of earthy yeast, and grassy, herbal, and slightly skunky green hop bitters. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, dried white bread, muddled acrid citrus notes, some tame Euro gasohol, a still wayward son yeastiness, and more herbal, weedy, and yup, skanked-up hoppiness.

The bubbles are adequate in their lifting and parting frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and more or less smooth, the nature of the hops not of the douchey, interfering for no reason sort. It finishes off-dry, just, as the robust cereal malts continue to parry the lingering tainted green hop astringencies.

Overall, this seems to be striving a bit too hard to attain a mixture of Continental pils/lager 'character'. The petrol, yeast, and skunkiness are certainly all familiar notes, but, c'mon, dial it back, because as it stands now, they're taking me down and dragging me around.

 1,363 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Boone757
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nickfl
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mactrail
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear, bright pale golden with a modest foam in the Affligem chalice. Pleasant aroma of honey and the pollen smell of fruit trees blooming. Fragrant with soe kind of European hop that is perfumey with just the slight hint of a skunk. Tangy and spritzy on the tongue. One gulp invites another.

The honey taste is distinct to me. There's just a whiff of the Kölsch style of perfumey hops. I didn't have a cheap lager to compare this too, but the Ninkasi tastes both crisp and complex. The lingering honey malt flavor reminds me of a Blonde Ale, but the crisp lager taste makes this better. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at the Community Co-op in Bellingham.

 659 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Clear, pale yellow body with a small white head. Rain, German lager aroma. Classic flavor. Thin body, with a hint of tangy hops. Easy drinking, though not on par with the standard German examples.

 196 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle:

Pours dull, hazed, yellow with a thin head that becomes a wisp. Minimal carbonated bubbles rise to the top. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of yeast, hay, some lemon. (Too yeasty).

The taste is of yeast - sweetened lemongrass. A bit of a chalky dryness in the finish.

It's pretty smooth and appriopriately light-bodied.

In the end, it's not "bad" - but it's too yeasty for what it is. It has potential - but needs better filtering (IMO).

 465 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a clear, light golden amber, Half finger fine white head with good retention due to active carbonation; lacing. Looks nice. Aroma of bready malt and yeast. Taste is nicely melded bisquit malt and light hops, a hint of citrus. Finishes a bit astringent and slightly sour, but with enough of the malt to pull it through. Light to medium bodied. This is one of my first Munich helles lagers, but if the idea was to give a bit of Czech hops kick to a nice malty lager, this is a nice job. Not too exciting, but seems to style and is enjoyable.

 577 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice clean/clear golden yellow color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger white head, which also leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, grassy/wheaty. The taste is malty, grassy/wheaty, nice little sweetness. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

 332 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.01/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from the Co-op. Incredibly dull pour, absolutely lifeless. Light grain aroma, hoping this gets better. Taste picks up a bit, mildly tangy mouthfeel and finish. Body is OK, but overall ruined by the initial presentation (aroma and look).

 244 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale golden hue with a light effervescence and a touch of haze. Head is a thin layer of frothy white foam. Not bad.

Smell: light malt aroma with a nice sweetness and a hint of sour graininess. Not too bad.

Taste: mild malt flavor with a nice sweetness and a light but present amount of spicy noble hops. Bitterness is light but balanced. To-style and quite tasty; that sour grain from the aroma is absent in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: light body with a surprising carbonation given the mild effervescence. Quite a bit of creaminess comes out of this beer -- great!

Overall: this beer is quite decent. I was wary at first, but it turned out to be flavorful and fulfilling. Good stuff, I would definitely have this again.

 775 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a couple 12oz'ers of this last night at the Boise COOP... Finally getting around to giving it a proper review...

Pours with a decent white head... 3/4"... okay lacing and retention.... the brew is very clear dark golden....

Nose is pretty damn malty... almost too much, and I love malty lagers.. slight background of some spicy hoppiness.

Bitterness backbones the entire palate... but doesn't seem as clean as I would expect... maybe some hints of sulfur.. a bit of DMS.. pale malts come out swinging later than expected... the bigger grassy hoppiness is nice but is definitely "American"..

For a "Helles", it is too malty... but I dig it... Nicely done and I hope PNW breweries start making more "every day" lagers. Looking forward to Ninkasi's coming lagers.

3/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

I will buy this again and again.

 828 characters

Photo of NickThePyro
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Haybeerman
4.31/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured a straw color with good carbonation and a nice white cap. This was a lively beer throwing off lots of bubbles and it looked very appealing

S: Some light fruit, grass, grains

T: A hint at grass, grains, lighter floral notes.

M: A medium body Lager which pretty coating, tasty

O: Clean, tasty and refreshing

 322 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear, straw yellow in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is straw, grass, and faint honey. Nice light bodied sessionable lager. I have others I prefer in the style, but this is good.

 189 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear light golden color with white head. Cereal grains, bread, and some hay on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes pretty crisp and clean. Nice summer beer.

 187 characters

Photo of Donkster46
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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Helles Belles from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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