Hotter Than Helles Lager | Cigar City Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
114 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Hotter Than Helles LagerHotter Than Helles Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Munich Lager is a nod to the thirst quenching lagers of Germany. Our Helles has a sweet malt expression that is balanced by floral bitterness from the use of German Hallertaur Mittelfruh hops. A very refreshing beer that will also entice you by its subtle complexity and drinkability.

Added by PorterLambic on 09-28-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
114
Ratings:
805
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
33.52%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
132
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 805
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very good lager, and Florida needs some craft lagers, so it works. A little more meat on this one than others, frothy and bigger in body, lots more grain base than some imports in the same style. Real low key aroma, attributable for me to a general lack of hops, which is fine, this is a session ale, consumed best in multiples. Holds a nice head and it's bubbles too, and warms up pretty well, which is a nice feature in the Florida sun. I like it feeling a little more substantial, but in terms of flavor it's very in line with style norms. Definitely not the most adventurous beer from these guys, but it serves it's purpose very well.

 640 characters

Photo of Hopfensaft
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: N/A. Drank straight from the can

Smell: Crisp, grainy sweet Pils malt. A hint of flowery noble hops

Taste: Clean and smooth. The graininess of the Pils malt is dominant but not overly so. Very little hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied

Overall: A near textbook Münchner Helles. Crisp, clean and easy drinking. Perfect for a hot day, or in my case, a -10C day! Very reminiscent of the fresh Helles lagers I had while I lived in Austria.

 459 characters

Photo of RyBrew54
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a 1 inch head that dissipates rather quickly, not much lace left over. Color is a golden yellow. Taste is remarkably smooth, very bready, with nice malt balance. I would take this when i'm outside on a hot summer day over any domestic. A very nice lager overall

 269 characters

Photo of Gajo74
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can and into a pilsner glass. A light golden and straw color, modest head. Lacing showed some retention but faded towards the end. I believe the power of suggestion played tricks on my senses. The title hotter than hells had me believing that there were some spices. Lo and behold I thought I smelled hot pepper. However, I then noticed on the bottom of the can that it said no pepper just puns; in other words the beer's title is a reference to drinking refreshing lager in hot weather and not spice. Of course as soon as I noticed this, the pepper smell disappeared. Oh well, so much for my sense of smell. What I did notice however, was a nice floral aroma and malt sweetness. Similarly the taste contained these tones. In addition, there were some fruity elements, kind of like a sweetened lemon or hints of orange. Also there was a good bready and malty backbone. Nice feel; crisp, refreshing and light bodied. (definitely a summer drink and quite drinkable). I would have perhaps liked a tad higher carbonation but maybe this would ruin the taste. A nice beer that I enjoyed in the winter. Next time, I will seek it out in the summer when it is truly hotter than hell and make it a session beer.

 1,215 characters

Photo of tempest
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a can at Astoria Bier and Cheese. I love a great lager and this delivers. It's a simple, but tasty style and Cigar City nails it. The malts are toasty and crisp with a sweet doughy bread and light caramel. There's a very subtle earthy hops note in the finish, but for the most part, this is a lovely example of pale malts. I'd like to try it side-by-side with Surly Hell and Weihenstephaner Original.

 408 characters

Photo of Das_Reh
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm usually not a lager fan, but CCB has me sold on their take of a Munich Helles. Smooth mouthfeel, complex for a lager with just the right amount of hop bite. I can see myself 'tubing with a six-pack on the creek in the summer. As is implied, this would be an excellent summer or beach beer.

 296 characters

Photo of denver10
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark yellow with a slight white head. Aroma is super bready as expected for the style but not too heavy, a touch of citrus peal, and grass. Flavor follows suit. Creamy, medium bodied active mouthfeel. Overall, a very nice helles lager here. Definite fan and would be happy to drink again.

My rating: 4

 308 characters

Photo of StevenMilligan
2.79/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lightly carbonated, this is a highly drinkable summer time lager. Though it had zero head retention nor lacing. Perhaps I got a lemon. Refreshing drink however, I was just expecting a little more.

 196 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

October 27, 2014

12 oz can, hotel water glass

A – Medium straw to pale gold, very high clarity. A half inch of bright white foam head, dissipates leaving a thin layer on top. Lots of effervescent bubbles.

S – Clean, uncooked white bread dough. Possibly some earthy, noble hops.

T – Again, a doughy, floury profile, part of a strong malt backing, moderate but relatively flavorful bitterness, just a touch of grainy, herbal noble hops.

M – Very clean, fresh, fairly thick on the palate, but the moderate carbonation is enough to cleanse the tongue. Somewhat juicy finish.

O – An excellent smooth lager, nothing bad to say about it. A solid lawnmower beer.

 675 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
2.3/5  rDev -36.8%

No peppers were added to this lager, just puns. From a 12 ounce can, on to the beer:

A very foamy beer from the opening of the can and the pour, it takes a long time for the head drop to even two finger's thickness. Slightly hazy bright yellow colored underneath the big head.The aroma is part helles and part infection; there's a slightly sweet grain and grassiness, annd also a cidery phenolic note.

The can is less than three months old, but it tastes older than that. With a part infection, the beer isn't completely spit-out bad, but make no mistake; this beer won't take you on a virtual trip to a Munich beer hall. A little sweet, dry, grassy, some sweet and sour cider. It's relatively soft in the mouth.

I'm thinking those peppers would have been a pleasant addition to disguise the off-flavors. It is drinkable to an extent, but I'm not thrilled.

 862 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent & slightly chill-hazed, hay colored with 3 fingers of pearl colored head. Faint head retention & better lacing

S: Much breadynesss, pears, some floral notes & grainyness

T: Bready, perfumy, a little bit of white grape & lemon up front. Pears, lemons, wet grains & dryness as this warms. Finishes fruitty, grainy & slightly sweet

MF: Light/medium bodied, delicate carbonation at first, but becomes pricklier as this warms

Easy to drink, but was hoping for more. They aren't gonna put any Bavarian brewery out of bussiness that's for sure, but would drink it again if my helles choices were limited

 623 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Why so punny? 'Helles' is reman for 'light colored.' Hotter Than Helles is more than just a (very) silly pun; it perfectly reflects the nature of this beer. A lager meant to be consumed when it's truly hotter than hellos outside. So there are no peppers or spices in this beer!" Brewed in the style of a Munich Helles Lager. Available as a year round release in 12 oz. can 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. can to a pint glass. Served above 56º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp sunny white head that retains below average over a pale golden amber body with specked sediment, moderate haze and plentiful vivacious carbonation. Retention is average at best and lacing is light and spotty. 3.25

(Smell) Light cracker malts with some faint german bready malt undertones. Grassy and floral hop notes create a modest hop bitterness. Some perceived graininess and moderate vinous character can be expected. Altogether a fairly clean and simple lager with a moderate potency. 3.5

(Taste) Cracker malts blend with a touch of german biscuit for some body. Grassy, lightly spicy hops yield a subtle bitterness and a touch of character. Largely clean, although the white grape character is difficult to overlook, some mild graininess is also perceptible at this point. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, a touch oily, mildly creamy. Carbonation is moderate, creating a respectable crispness for a fuzzy mouthfeel. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is even. Alcohol presence is light, off characters few. 3.5

(Overall) Not my favorite beer by Cigar City although I'm not the biggest fan of the style either, I suppose it does a decent job of keeping true to the roots of this often overlooked German style. As suggested by the brewery, it would make a nice session lager option for those looking for a bit more than macro beers have to offer. 3.5

Cigar City Brewing's
Hotter Than Helles Lager
3.49/5.00

 1,933 characters

Photo of PvtSnowball
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased from one of the local quick marts.

A: Clear straw gold with moderate head and retention.

S: Balanced malt and hop characteristics.

T: Same as the smell with a bit of sweetness.

M: Smooth and refreshing with decent carbonation.

O: An okay summer brew. Refreshing and balanced but not very complex.

 312 characters

Photo of tone77
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy, bright yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some sweetness to it. Taste is sweet, malty, very refreshing on a humid summer night. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall makes for a good session beer.

 353 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale yellow with thin layer of head that retains minimally. The nose features light grassy notes along with toasted grain, light caramel, and some light notes of citrus. Taste leans towards the sweet side for the style. Sweet grainy flavors up front with some hints of citrus and a light touch of grassy hops. It's not until the finish that there is a slight dryness. Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Overall, this drinks nicely but perhaps a touch too sweet for an easy drinking lager.

 499 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is straw yellow with a light haze and a small amount of tight white head. Nose is light grain, a bit of yeast, strong lemon notes. Taste is similar, a bit more grain bill to it, yeasty mid palate and lots of lemon in back. A bit of grassy herbal hops in the finish with virtually no bitterness. Body is light but a hint syrupy with moderate carb.

 351 characters

Photo of hopsputin
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

a: hazy bright golden yellow with a 3 finger marshmallow bright white head

s: sweet lemongrass grains, vanilla, lemon zest, real nice earthy aroma in here. very mellow tea leaf

t: sweet creamy grains, orang & lemon zest - definitely some sweet lemon as well. light caramel. ends biscuity & with something like water crackers. very refreshing, yet the body from the malt makes it satisfying as well

m: its on the heavier side of light - and definitely a bit creamy. carbonation is about normal, not extreme

o: yep, its a solid beer. refreshing, quenching, and satisfying. light and crisp. all the flavors are mellow and balanced. sweet & light. nice summer brew

 664 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canned 3/28/14.

Pours a hazy golden-yellow with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, white grape juice, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, grass, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop 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 tasty and easy to drink.

 538 characters

Photo of KFBR392
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: A finger and a half of clean white color. Bright active carbonation that is to be expected from the style. Straw yellow color with some accents of orange.

Smell: Bananas and straw mix with some light hops. Leafy greens, cloves, and bready yeast pick up on the body. Yeast is very potent on the back end and wins out overall.

Taste: Straw and some medium bodied tropical fruits on the front. The front falls of to a bready yeast backbone with accents of vegetal greens. The back end is a touch watery and forgettable.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation fits a helles lager but doesn't quite have the cleanliness one would expect.

Overall: A touch over okay overall. I love my helles lager and this one is a touch off. I wouldn't turn it down on a hot day but just okay in the end.

 788 characters

Photo of phideltashaggy
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into a tall pilsen glass. Canned on date was August 2013 (about 8 months ago), so I'm afraid it may be a bit old for a proper review.

Poured a beautiful straw yellow color with just a tiny bit of haze, Thick white head was beautiful and took a few minutes to dissipate.

The nose was very strong on fruit. Grapes and pear in particular.

Tastes similar to smell, lots of white fruit. A twinge of bitter in the back of the taste after swallowing fully. Reminds me of a cheap pinot grigio .

The mouthfeel is ok, some tingly bubbles, but not as much as I was expecting. The bitter aftertaste hangs out in the back corners of my mouth for a while.

Overall, not my favorite beer, but not bad for a rainy afternoon of vidya game playin'. Again, I think it may have skunked slightly, so take this review with a grain of salt.

 845 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the principal venues for scoring CANs to further The CANQuest (TM) is Pinocchio's Beer Garden in Media, PA. I was there last Friday and I found several new CANs to bring back with me. If you have never been, put it on your to-do list.

From the CAN: "No Peppers, Just Puns"; "Drink Fresh! Do not age! Pour gently into a glass."; "Why so punny? 'Helles' is German for 'light colored.' Hotter Than Helles is more than just a (very) silly pun: it perfectly reflects the nature of this beer. A lager meant to be [CAN]sumed when it's truly hotter than helles outside. So there are no peppers or spices in this beer!"

Hmm. I will make the jokes around here, thanks, plus it is misleading. The loud Crack! revealed a brimful craft CAN, but IAW The Old Lady's wishes and the directions on the CAN, the Glug was as gentle as could be. I still managed to create a finger of fizzy, bone-white head with limited retention. Color was a pale lemon-yellow (SRM = 2) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like German lager - a honey-like sweetness from the malts underlain by a grassiness from the hops. I prefer Czech-style lagers, but this will do. The CANQuest (TM) was built on a steady diet of AALs and I am very glad to have those days in the rear view mirror. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, more effervescent than I might have expected, and the taste was really sweet. In fact, it was too sweet for my taste. I would not have minded a pepper presence at all as opposed to this. Very honey-like, but I have some Blue Dog mead that will satisfy that craving when the time comes. Finish was likewise sweet and now I found myself looking forward to on of their many CANned IPAs to wash away the taste.

 1,696 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a medium sized Cigar City snifter glass.

Deep bright shining lemon and gold colored body. Very clear nearly bright crystal glowing. White fluffy head, a little bleached and shocking forms nicely and settles to a thick creamed bubbled collar.

Nose hints at doughy malts, but there's a macro like sweetness to this that begins to dominate. Sweet. Slightly sugary, hinting towards a fake honey sense a little.

Palate comes with a smooth controlled coating mouthfeel. But the sweetness pops out quite noticeably. Dough crisp a bit somewhat on the finish, hinting of baked bread slightly, but has a sweetness that takes over that sort of dominates. Very mild to no bitterness even for a Helles, with little spice character.

It's a fine drinkable brew, but it comes off almost like a Euro lager than a Helles.

 832 characters

Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned in May 13, so...

Pours a chill hazed golden straw with a frothy white head that leaves spotty lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Grain, cracker-like malt, and floral hops form the aroma. Smells like a pilsner, almost.

Flavor reveals slight sweetness, with a lightly bready malt backbone,a touch of citrus, finishing a bit sweet and even more bready. Malt definitely dominates, but it's fairly clean. Floral hops surface in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate, with slightly high carbonation. Finish is almost crisp.

Surprised this held up as well as it did. Solid offering on a fairly uncommon style. A hint of metallic character emerges late.

 649 characters

Photo of bsp77
2.66/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from can into glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, light straw color. Decent white head at first but mostly disappears.

Smell: Very fruity, mostly apple. Light hay and pepper. After a few minutes, it just mildly smells like apple juice.

Taste: Sweet apple mostly, and almost tastes like adjuncts are involved. Some straw, but the hops are minimal - just a hint of pepper. I know this is a Helles and not a Pilsner, but the almost complete lack of hops just means a lack of balance. Bad aftertaste that reminds me of macros.

Feel: Light body, but the lower carbonation and sweet finish means it is not crisp or refreshing.

Overall: I consider Cigar City to be the Surly of Minnesota, but this kinda sucks. Surly Hell or even Maui Bikini Blonde are much better Hells lagers. I'd rather have a Corona.

 823 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's funny how a beer can have very little complexity but truly taste really good. This is dead on the style with a smooth grain flavor, barley and bread, with a slight tinge of hops. This is light and so easy to drink that it can be easily deceptive. I don't expect a lot out of any lager but I find this to be one of my favorites as it has pronounced lager properties and easy lager drinkability.

 398 characters

Hotter Than Helles Lager from Cigar City Brewing
3.64 out of 5 based on 805 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!