Hells Lager
Camden Town Brewery

Hells LagerHells Lager
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Style:
Lager - Helles
Ranked #313
ABV:
4.8%
Score:
79
Ranked #46,349
Avg:
3.44 | pDev: 12.5%
Reviews:
28
Ratings:
102
From:
Camden Town Brewery
 
England, United Kingdom
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  1
Gots
  29
SCORE
79
Okay
Hells LagerHells Lager
Notes: What the hells? Thanks for asking.

Hells is the lovechild of our two favourite German beer styles - helles and pilsner. Clean, crisp and dry, it's the beer we always wanted to drink and the reason we started our brewery.
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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 102 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of xander10
xander10 from England

3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pale Straw with a lot of visible carbonation, decent white one finger head that does not last.
Smell: not a very strongly fragrant beer, but it does smell malty and slightly citrusy.
Taste: the sweet malt definitely helps bring forward the hints of lemon and general citrus vibes I have from this beer.
Feel: pretty light mouthfeel, properly carbonated though for the style.
Overall: its an alright lager, but by no means is it exceptional. Nice to see it in the pubs though rather than Peroni or Bud Light.

Thursday at 10:36 PM
Photo of Steve555
Steve555 from Wales

2.99/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden dark slightly murky colour, not like the helles I know. Small but persistent head with good lacing. Smell of hay, some grass and skunk. It's like a helles with a tiny bit of oomph. It is quite sweet and has some metallic off notes. Tried since before and after the takeover and to my mind it's definitely not as good now. Review based on post takeover. Not a beer worth seeking out.

Jul 07, 2020
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DoctorZombies from Florida

3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught. Pale gold, excellent clarity; thin white head; some cap retention; thin ring; soapy lacing. Lite floral hops nose; baked biscuits as it warms. Baked bread, biscuits, lite herbal bitterness, semi sweet grain base; no DMS. Lite body; grainy dry feel; moderately carbonation. Decent hop linger; poundable at 4.6%.

Jan 15, 2020
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BrewAskew from Oklahoma

4.05/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft in hotel restaurant @Heaththrow

Appearance
Pours to a two finger cap of foam that is slightly rocky and nearly permanent. Straw gold yellow, clear

Aroma
Clean, slightly sweet-smelling pilsner malt, mild grassy, herbal hop.

Flavor
Malt forward for sure. Strong, clean, crisp, ftrsh tasting pale malts balanced by a soft noble hop flavor and alpha acids. Balanced finish.

Mouthfeel
Light to medium, nominal co2 and a slight tannic roughness

Overall
Easy drinking, polished helles from a UK brewer. Hits the spot. Nuanced malt for maltheads. Keeper.

Jul 29, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, straw-yellow color with a small, off-white head of foam. It smelled of caramel, grains and hay. Sweet caramel with a subtle bitterness.

Apr 07, 2019
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niallac from Scotland

1.66/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Third or fourth time I have had this beer. Nice and bright on the eye, a bit too foamy in the mouth to get stuck into. Surprisingly little flavour for the strength. Hops are well mashed, malt is clean and unremarkable. Comparable to some of the better traditional domestic lagers, e.g. Schiehallion. Very, very generic lager. I would always seek out something nearer the 5% mark for a more authentic European lager experience.

Nov 30, 2018
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taxandbeerguy from Canada

3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. 330 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased and enjoyed while on vacation in the UK.

Appearance - Clear, pale golden color. Half finger of short lasting white head. Spotty lacing at best.

Smell - Clean aromas, grainy with a subtle offputting metallic note. A subtle bit of ash too. But mostly grainy.

Taste - Clean with corn sweetness and chalkier flavor as compared with many in the style. For some reason I liked it.

Mouthfeel - Clean and simple. good carbonation and light body. Not sense of chalkiness here.

Overall - A decent and middling Munich Helles lager.

Aug 01, 2017
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thommo_nk from Scotland

4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml can sered from the fridge into beer mug. Light straw colour, heavy carbonation. 1cm white head is retained. Looks good.

Mild hop bitterness, very clean tasting. Tastes like a very well made helles.

Definitely more of a helles than a pilsner in my opinion. The packaging states that this is a hybrid of both styles.

Super.

Jul 18, 2017
Photo of bark
bark from Sweden

3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is straw yellow, the liquid is clear. The two finger head is white and compact; it sinks down to a thin lid leaving no lacing.

The smell is stronger than expected with notes of farmhouse bread, dough, grains and dried flowers. Plus, a touch of wet paint.

The taste is mild and smooth with a fine clean bitterness, some fresh bread and floral notes. Light to medium body. The rather thin aftertaste got growing notes of pilsner malt, flowers and a touch of sweet dough. Toffee and bran in the short finish.

The carbonation is medium strong, the many mid-sized bubbles mild and long-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth.

A mild and clean beer with some unclean alcohol in the aftertaste. Almost bland.

Mar 10, 2017
Photo of Silke_Neryn
Silke_Neryn from Sweden

3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

More Pils than Helles, more carbonated grassy malt water than Pils.

Still, it's refreshing enough and I've had worse and I'm in a generous mood so let's be kind.

Mar 08, 2017
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis from England

2.46/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled
Now this ended up at the back of the refrigerator so may be over chilled
Slightly hazy bright yellow body with spotty white head
Unfortunately smells more like cheap lager
Even taking into account how could it is its still bland
Helles is my favourite lager
It would be a travesty if Camden reduced the style in this country to this paltry offering

Aug 04, 2016
Photo of Hanglow
Hanglow from Scotland

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours exceptionally light straw with nice head. Pin bright. 330ml bottle

Lager malt aroma, some spice. Flavour follows, decent bitterness and light dryness. Light bitterness lingers. . Good carb

A decent stab at a helles, good step up from mass market lagers but not quite top draw

May 09, 2016
Photo of jonb5
jonb5 from England

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint at sir Christopher Hatton

A: Pale colour, clear, small to medium head, moderate retention, left some lacing.

S: Toasted honey gave way to lots of red cabbage.

T: Basically following the nose, watery texture but quite refreshing.

M: Light, but a bit watery.

O: I wanted something light and refreshing, this fitted the bill pretty well, although there are much better Bavarian alternatives out there.

Apr 17, 2016
Photo of Spike
Spike from England

3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From 330ml can.

Dark gold, clear, with light carbonation (difficult to tell through the attractive condensation on the glass). Thin, foamy head with plenty of lacing. Looks like a pale lager, basically.

Smells of pilsner malt. Has a soft lemony note.

Medium sweet. A little bit of lemon rind. Sharp and clean tasting. Some minerality.

Mouthfeel is a little thin. Saved by some carbonation. Has a decent dry, bitter finish.

Overall, tastes like a premium version of a mass-produced European lager. Not bad (better than Meantime's London Lager) but nor is it a stand-out for me. ABV has been reduced slightly to 4.6%.

Dec 30, 2015
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ARoman from Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, poured into a sampler. The aroma, initially, has a light acetone note to it, but this is soon replaced by grains and pastry dough with undertones of mineral water and spice. The pour is a brilliant and oily clear light straw hue with an effervescent quality and a white, dense, dirty head that has mild retention and light lace. The taste is a medium light, near balanced, bittersweet. The texture is thin but oily with a slickness and a mild zippy carbonation. The light body is composed of flavors of citrus peel, spice, minerals, and banana bread. The finish is mostly citrus peel with a spice and the aftertaste is mostly clean with bitter lemon and mineral water.

Sep 14, 2015
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BeerDrinkersWorldTour from Northern Ireland

3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Crisp, clear, streaming, golden body with a big white foam head that has good retention.

Smell - Crisp kilned malts dominate the aroma profile of this beer giving it a straight up lager like aroma. There is good hop nip in the aroma here and over all good balance.

Taste - Bitter hoppy front which is well balanced by the mild malty middle to this one. The malt sweetness is mild but constant and again provides a good lager like flavour.

Mouth feel - Decent body to this beer and has a light astringency that leads into t cloying end.

Overall - Another well balanced beer that although not as good as some from the brewery is still a very fine beer.

Jun 22, 2015
Photo of aleigator
aleigator from Germany

4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Gavin for the bottle.

Pours a slightly hazed, pale yellow color, with a beautiful, froth head.

Offers an intense, dank grassiness, accompanied by soft, bready malts. Underneath, a layer of white lemon peel becomes detectable, adding to the clean and intriguing nose. The malts develop a certain sweetness while the beer warms up, accentuating the prickly lemon as its counterpart.

Has a higher, lively carbonation, showcasing the beers light and refreshing character, while displaying a certain softness, due to the malts.

Tastes of cakey malts, building the foundation of the beer, which blends into flowery, fruit topped hops, adding to the initial flavor profile. The sappy fruits, as well as the biscuity qualities vanish almost completely, as the hops turn bitter, triggered by the slightly metallic carbonation. Needs a short glance to adjust the palate actually, as the beer takes a huge turn, changing its flavor direction. Hops bring back the grass from the nose, together with lemon and wet earth, revealing a note of fudge during the finish, as well as a refreshing, long lasting dryness.

Offers up a fantastic variety of flavors, which turn out great, producing a convincing taste mixture, featuring an almost undoable twist.

Jun 12, 2015
Photo of LagerCognoscenti
LagerCognoscenti from England

3.75/5  rDev +9%

Good appearance with decent lacing.

The aroma is muted. Some hay, noble hops and grassiness.

The taste is mildly metallic - in a good way. With delicate noble hops and grainy tastes

There is a hint of honey and apple skin.

Overall, this is a perfectly acceptable lager but not better than macro brewed German pils such as Warsteiner or Krombacher nor Helles such as Lowenbrau.

A well made lager but not a memorable one and in no way superior to the better macro lagers.

75/100

Sep 11, 2014
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metter98 from New York

3.29/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On-tap at Against The Grain, Dublin, Ireland

A: The beer is crystal clear light yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head.
S: Light to moderate aromas of malts are perceptible in the nose and slight bits of corn seem to be detectable.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is rather malty and seems to be a little sweet. Once again, hints of corn seem to shine through among the malts.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is an easy drinking "lite" lager that goes down very easily.

Jun 23, 2014
Photo of dgilks
dgilks from Australia

3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear pale golden colour with a big, fluffy white head. Good head retention. Great lacing.

Classic German malt aroma. Lightly grainy. Straight forward. Clean. Very light, spicy noble hop aroma.

Crisp, clean pale malt flavour. Light bitterness. Light graininess. Light spicy hop flavour.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Solid.

A decent little lager. Good flavour and well drinkable.

Jun 01, 2014
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Jerseyislandbeer from Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear pale colour with medium carbonation & a small white head. Aromas of malt, grain, grass & hints of citrus. Taste of sweet malt, grain, lemon, citrus, straw, some bread and grassy hops leading to a sweet malt bitter finish.

Feb 01, 2014
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CrazyDavros from Australia

3.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours straw with a fading white head.
Nose shows spicy hops, cereal-like grain, some biscuity malt. Quite tempting.
Flavours include honey, grainy malt, spicy hops, cereal grains. Refreshing stuff.
Could use more carbonation.
Good work with an often-limited style.

Dec 02, 2013
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BlackHaddock from England

3.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

330ml Bottle (4.6% ABV): BBD 12 Feb 14, poured into a Veltins badged stemmed tulip on 13 Nov 13 during a random lager/pilsner tasting session with the wife.

Looked fine, pale golden with a white crown, unlike most beers of this style the head hung around and gave some lacing, so I was pleased with that.

The nose was light, grainy and slightly floral with a mild sweetness.

The taste was also light and delicate: more hop bitterness than malty sweetness but both could be found in the flavours. Citrus notes as it warmed a little, which I didn't take too, but otherwise a good brew and it scored a lot better than some we shared that night.

Nov 17, 2013
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wl0307 from England

3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

At 4.6%abv., coming in a 330ml slim brown bottle; BB 23/04/14, served chilled in a straight imperial pint glass. Notes: The ingredients include Pilsner malt, Perle & Hallertauer hops.

A: pours a clear, pale straw colour, coming with a thin but well lasting white foamy head, on top of rather moderate carbonation.
S: light savoury notes accompany the dusty, herbal and floral German hop aroma, against a background of very light grainy malts with just a whiff of doughy acidity. Smells like a classic Helles bier in a bottle, at best.
T: a lightly sweet, clean grainy maltiness paves the way for the lightly spicy and herbal hop flavour and bitterness to follow, finishing clean and crisp, but the acidity seems to dissipate altogether from the palate.
M&O: clean and lightly carbonated, the light body goes well with the moderate flavour profile, although all in all the flavour doesn’t seem to render enough weight or impact to be an interesting session beer.

Oct 26, 2013
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jazzyjeff13 from England

3.29/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2014. ABV is stated as 4.6%. Picked up recently from Waitrose as they have just started stocking it.

Poured into a stemmed pilsner glass. A clear pale gold hue with light carbonation. Yields a decent head of fluffy white foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of light malt with hints of stewed hops, grass/hay, mild overcooked veg and faint grain. Doesn't distinguish itself.

Tastes of light malt with a subtle, dry finish. Notes of stewed hops, overdone veg, grass, faint grain and mild earthy yeast. A slight, crisp bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with well-judged carbonation and good body for the style. Aftertaste of faint malt and stewed leaves.

So-so; this lager fits the style but underwhelms the senses. Looks alright, but the aroma and flavour are dull and possess some faint off-notes. Decent body. A reasonable effort but the result is a bit too close to macro for comfort. Where is the clean flavour and the depth of character? Nothing too special - no need to go out of you way for it.

Sep 29, 2013
Hells Lager from Camden Town Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 102 ratings