Idle Hands Craft Ales

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Lager - Helles
Ranked #31
Ranked #14,027
4.1 | pDev: 3.9%
Idle Hands Craft Ales
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by PhineasMcClintock:
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PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 17, 2017
More User Reviews:
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always good to have more Idle Hands-brewed German style lagers in mein bierglas. This one is IH's Helles lager. I first had this a couple years back when Ben Howe was brewing for them, so I'm interested to see if it's just as good. I find Idle Hands to be very solid in general, so I have no doubt they will handle this well. Them, Jack's Abby and Von Trapp make some of the best German beers in New England that I have access to, so let's see how this one in particular stacks up!

Pours a somewhat hazy light-medium golden-yellow with a pretty retentive head of pure white foam. Lace seems pretty sticky, with good legs and a consistently hazy surface. Moderate streams of carbonation rising from the surface, exacerbated and energized with each small pour of liquid into my glass. Seems very solid on the outset.

Nose is mostly floral Noble hops with crackery and lightly-toasty malt. Characterful wildflower honey and very light baking spice notes marry with fresh-baked bread and light mineral notes, maybe from the yeast. This is definitely an unfiltered beer, so it bears kind of a resemblance to their Adelais from initial notes. Unfiltered German pilsener and Helles lager are fairly similar categories, so that makes some sense, but this does distinguish itself by feeling a lot cleaner in the nose. There are less spicy/peppery/earthy notes compared to Adelais and no sulfuric yeasty component here.

Flavor is rich and bright for a beer under 5% ABV, with more floral elements, slight crackery malt and fresh-baked bread. No yeasty or chalky flavor to note on the tongue. A bit of honey and nutmeg to balance the grassier hop flavors. Refreshing and easily-drinkable with a thirst-quenching aspect. A great choice for a crushable Summer lager done very traditionally!

Feel is pretty spry and bright, as expected, with semi-aggressive carbonation and a medium body for the style. Finish leans a bit drier than expected, but it's pretty cleanly flavored and pleasant. Nothing mind-blowing here but German lagers don't really need to do anything other than be just about "on-point" to "exceed," as there are few enough of them made by modern breweries, at least when compared to their more historical counterparts.

Jun 03, 2017
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 6/25/17

A: Pale to medium gold with some straw around the edges - mostly clear - pours with a medium sized white head, fades to a small collar, leaves some streaks of lacing

S: Clean pilsner malts and bread - lightly sweet, lightly toasty - light bread, bread dough, biscuits, and a touch of pretzel - lager yeast - touch of honey and some light fruits, hints of lemon and apples - lightly grassy noble hops in the background

T: Decidedly bready with some bread, bread dough, toast, crackers, and biscuits - grains - soft pils malts - lightly sweet, with a hint of honey - lager yeast, touch of pepper and spice, but not much - minimal touches of grassy hops - touch of light fruit esters - finishes dry and clean

M: Light body, smooth and crisp, dry and refreshing finish

O: Well hello Heide

Ah, Helles. Somehow I missed out on this style until about a year or so ago. At some point in the future I will be directly comparing Heide to some of the actually-brewed-in-Germany classics, so my score may change. Until then, I would say that Idle Heide is awesome and at least as good as von Trapp Helles.

Jun 26, 2017
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Redstone.
Pours a lightly hazy light golden color with a decent sized but quickly dissipating white head. Big sweet bready pilsner maltiness on the nose with just a hint of skunk when first opened. Light floral hop barely balances the sweetness. Simple, tasty easy drinking lager I really enjoyed this!

Apr 27, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apr 11, 2015
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tzieser from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass. Can is dated 5/16/18

Heide pours gold in color with a very slight haze and a modest, fluffy white head. Malty aroma with lightly toasted grain, honey and some subtle herbal notes from the hops. Flavor is malt forward as any good helles should be. Sweet flavors of freshly baked bread and honey all balanced by noble hop bitterness adding some notes of freshly cut grass. Crisp, dry mouthfeel. Overall this is an outstanding take on a Helles. I’d compare this to Jack’s Abby House Lager, which is high praise indeed. Well done!

Jun 27, 2018
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trevorpost from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 05, 2017
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WhitmansNiece from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jun 30, 2018
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pour: semi cloudy light golden color in a Brooklyn Oktoberfest glass with a 4F head.

Very classic aroma, and taste: very much a lager.
Heavy Pilsner malt aroma, light fruit.
Quite dry and crisp , clean finish.

I was looking for a bit more fruit that is in the aroma/taste of other beers of the same style.
Even though the finish is quite dry and crisp- I like it. Different than other beers in the Bavarian style.

Overall. An excellent lager worth checking out.

Jun 11, 2017
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Prost76 from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jul 04, 2017
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toasted cereal grain, malt sweetness and subtle earthy noble hop bitterness. Clean. Medium bodied. Fairly dry finish. Pretty good, but feels slightly heavy for a Helles.

Jun 23, 2017
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PJK from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At brewery.

Jun 30, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. Golden body with a finger of tight white foam. Smell is mild: biscuit malts, slight honey and grassy hops that are surprisingly bitter. Taste balances out more, letting the bread shine more, good finish. Body does well to quickly move from full and bready to crisp and light.

Sep 19, 2015
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Kurmaraja from California

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 25, 2018
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Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jun 23, 2018
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MakeMineADoubleJack from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although, the bottle is labeled as "Heide".

May 29, 2015
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can dated 5/24/17

Pours hazy foggy straw yellow gold with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like rich biscuity bready honey malts, apple, pear, grape skin, some orange citrus, lemon, minty tobacco spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like rich biscuity bready honey malts, apple, pear, grape, some orange citrus, lemon, minty tobacco spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice Helles lager.

Jun 11, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug.
The appearance was a golden yellow color with a nice transparency about it. Light finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off fairly quick. Slight spider-web lace.
The aroma had some sweet biscuit to wafer maltiness rolling into subtle grassy hop tones.
The flavor pulled the sweet malts together and pushed back slightly the grassy hoppiness. Slight earth. Sly aftertaste of biscuit and wafer.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied, perhaps just a touch under. Good carbonation and ABV. Mild biscuity finish.
Overall, nice crisp clean Munich Helles lager well worthy of coming back to.

Jul 17, 2018
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smb71481 from Vermont

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jun 29, 2019
Heide from Idle Hands Craft Ales
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 19 ratings