Samichlaus Bier Helles
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
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Style:
Bock - Maibock
Ranked #28
ABV:
14%
Score:
86
Ranked #23,961
Avg:
3.84 | pDev: 15.36%
Reviews:
256
Ratings:
454
From:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
 
Austria
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  32
Gots
  67
SCORE
86
Very Good
Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
Notes: Brewed only once a year on December 6th, Samichlaus is aged for 10 months before bottling. Serve with hardy robust dishes and desserts, in particular with chocolate, or as an after drink by itself. Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops, hops extract.
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Reviews: 256 | Ratings: 454 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle. Best by date on label is 10:2024 (covered by importer label).
Mostly clear, deep gold colored body. Never a big head, but offers an active surface show from rising bubbles. No lacing.
Aroma is boozy, with raisin, caramel, and vanilla.
Taste is sweet and boozy. Raisin, pear, caramel, and vanilla. Lots of malt sweetness.
Medium mouth feel, with a little syrup. Carbonation is not very involved but adequate.
High test bock to be sure, but no burn. Knowing the high ABV%, really smooth and sweet. Sip slow and enjoy. This is a unique liquid beverage.

Jul 14, 2021
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2019 vintage; drank 7/8/21 @ the Yarchives.

See through orange rust appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small, noisy off-white head which quickly dissipated; no lace.

Strawberry, caramel & booze heat notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Strawberry & caramel flavors up front; refined booze heat notes on the finish.

Unlike any lager I've ever had; this was fruity and full of heft. I'd love to find an older vintage...

Jul 09, 2021
Photo of Qwiktruk
Qwiktruk from Iowa

5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, this is the best beer in the world. It has exclusivity, being brewed only one day a year; and it has the taste of a fine authentic German/Austrian beer. I only have it on special occasions (when I can find it).

Mar 23, 2021
Photo of lmaduells
lmaduells from Spain

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unbalanced mass in alcohol. It's a beer too special, but with too much graduation. It must be taken into account. A beer out of qualifiers that does not support labels. A beer to drink in traditional times, to taste it in Christmas moments

Jan 06, 2021
Photo of BKotch
BKotch from Texas

4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. I'm not sure of the vintage but I suspect it's a 2009 or thereabout. I have two Classic Samichlaus bottles from the same period that say 2009. Anyway, well-preserved. A beige head that quickly recedes. Aroma mainly boozy but some raisin sweetness. Same with flavor but more of it. Mouthfeel decent, but really good for a 10.5 year-old beer. Overall, I'm enjoying this. Bring on the Classics!

Jun 08, 2020
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

(330 ml bottle, 2015 vintage; purchased single off shelf... poured into a teku, somewhat similar to the glass suggested on their website)

L: crystal-clear, orange-amber liquid; active, loose-spongy foam on the pour, rapidly collapsing into a thin, spitty collar; clumped sediment left behind in the decant; no lace

S: unsurprisingly, bock-load of caramel dominant on the nose, maybe hints of vanilla and/or marzipan; mild cookie-like toasted grain edge; very little apparent booze

T: caramel, golden raisin, peach cobbler(?); very mild spice in the aftertaste, but toasty caramel not so mild, but not overly saccharine... malt at its most delectable plumpness, but altogether rather simplistic; little depth, little aromatic nuance

F: for a 4-5 year-old, 14% doppelbock, this couldn't be more smooth - viscosity and trailing warmth, both butter

O: direct flavors, sumptuous intensity, but really just tastes like a past-prime, extra-strength maibock... missing is some of the bite and strident booze from a recent Sami bottling (also, a snifter has been my fav glass with these)... this is currently 'not available', but now I'm rather curious to grab a recent classic Sami to confirm my boozy recollections, as well as a fresh 'un of this gold spin... maybe worth getting at the $5.89 price tag, but be prepared to maybe experiment with it, test some blends with other (hopefully) equally potent brews - any of FW's BA line might be an interesting co-mingler (1641)

Jan 16, 2020
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EmperorBevis from England

4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on bottle at the Beer Nouveau brewery tap at their Octoberfaust Alternative German Beer festival abd cellared since 2001
Poured a dark beer, possibly slight oxidation but that aging intensified raisin like flavours and sweetness

Oct 20, 2019
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter. No date, but this bottle has been cellared for at least 2.5 years.

A: Deep amber hue with a very mild haze. White head settles out after a minute of two. Little in the way of lacing.

S: Sweet bread dough. Raw honey. Mild toast. Traces of hay and earth. Walnut. Treacle. Golden raisin and bruised pear, also coming from the malt. Whiff of alcohol lets you know this is a big one.

T: Follows the nose to a T. Sweet the whole way through. Alcohol is actually very well hidden, though a soothing warmth does build.

M: Big body. Viscous and chewy, mildly coating. Fine carbonation has some soft scrubbing action. Big, soothing warmth.

O: Without a doubt the most gargantuan bock I've ever encountered. Think blonde barleywine, but in lager form. Clean and focused. Drinks like a cordial. Perfect dead of winter beer. It'll turn your cheeks red and warm you from the inside out.

Jun 11, 2018
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devilmakesthree from Oregon

1.86/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Deep Amber color, no head, smells of alcohol and molasses. All around, this beer was borderline undrinkable. It was cloyingly sweet and syrupy, which I personally find off-putting. A friend I was sharing it with came up with the idea to turn it into ice cream sauce, which to me seemed a better use for it than imbibing.

May 12, 2018
Photo of ajm5108
ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden brown, no head, champagne carbonation. Aroma was lots of sweet malt & nut, with some traces of raw alchohol that detract from the rest of the bouquet. Quasi malt liquor. Taste is sticky sweet - some toffee, caramel syrup, malt (that carries a cardboad / stale vibe) & nut - it oddly reminds me of an amaretto. Not a high-end one, because there is that lingering booziness / rough heat, but definite liqueur vibe from this beer. But you usually don't drink a full glass of liqueur, and this beer is treacly and cloyingly sweet to a fault.

Feb 02, 2018
Photo of Buck89
Buck89 from Tennessee

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2015, poured into a Pilsener glass. Nice-looking beer with an amber color and a modest white head that quickly dissipated. Crystal clear in the glass. A very sweet aroma at first with apples, pears, and honey. The aroma evolved to include some peppery and floral notes and a bit of smokiness at the end. The taste followed the nose closely. Very sweet through and through. Lots of honey flavor along with pear and some caramel. A slight peppery note on the back, although this could have been from the heat. No real signs of oxidation or soy sauce flavors. There was a gentle warming that I expected in a 14% beer, and this did not feel overly boozy. Full-bodied and very sweet with low-moderate carbonation. Overall this was nice but too sweet for my tastes. Curiosity satisfied.

Jan 28, 2018
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bushbeer75 from Michigan

4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz brown bottle - Red Label - not dated

Samichlaus Helles [red label] has a clear amber colored body. A 1-finger off-white head was produced with no lacing left behind. The nose was clean and sweet; of honey, light caramel, and light sugar with alcohol in the background. The taste matches the nose with a clean sweet flavor and light fruit added. There is just enough hops in the background to keep the Hells Bock from becoming too sweet. The mouth feel is smooth, medium bodied, has a light carbonation and is a little sticky and syrup like.

Samichlaus Helles is flavorful and so very easy drinking for such a high ABV. The ABV is the only thing that limits its drinkability but makes it an ideal nightcap.

Jan 23, 2018
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Kgoldsbe from Colorado

4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a lot like a mead. Honey overtones and sweet malt prevails. It does hide some of its 14% abv. I love the feel of this beer even if I can only have one.

Dec 09, 2017
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl. Oz. Bottle 2015 vintage.reviewed on 6/1/17

Poured out into a Brewery Ommegang tulip style glass

A jazzy, well carbonated pour, lots of crazy bubbles bouncing around the temporary foam cap. The foam fizzles out fast and is totally gone in seconds. The color has a light amber with golden hued appearance.

A classic Samichlaus aroma, very , very malty sweet. Wet cardboard, maple syrup, brown sugar, earthy-sour punch, dates and black pepper with some dank fruits mixed in.

Wickedly sweet malt bomb! Wild honey and brown sugar all over this heavy but delightful malt complexity. Reminds me very much of the sweetness of mead. Raw honey with some excellent, old-woody tones, even slightly smokey. Like honey smoked bbq suace. But somehow, some way remaining rather light textured. It does nit hit the palate as heavy or thick, the malty sweetness coats the palate but is not heavy. There is a wonderful, zippy, earthy, dry and very peppery effect thst really balances out the malt in both taste and mouthfeel. Zesty, earthy hops and yeast just explodes with complexity! A big dose of white pepper gives a righteous grounding effect. The complexity is out of this world !

Such a unique beer, this is not your standard Helles. More like an Imperial Helles.
The 14% abv. Is clearly achieved by a very active yeast and loads of sweet malt. The alcohol is pleasantly warming and adds an extra layer of complexity. A serious after dinner sipper worthy of the grandest occasion. Lay a few down for that special "wow" factor for any beer geek gathering!

Jun 01, 2017
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digitalflood from New York

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samichclaus Helles (2013) - Brewed and bottled once a year on December 6th. Aged 10 months. Then sent out. This is the peak of rare and the at the limits until very recently of ABV at 14%. Pours an amber hazy opaque with slight carbonation. A thin head that reduces to strong albeit thin laced lines. It smells of fruit cake, Slavic candy, and gelatin. A slight biscuit aroma every now and then. A little rum. On the nose it's all candy, gelatin, and fruit cake. Overwhelming doses of sugar and a some spice. Mid-palate is Swedish fish and bubble gum. A slight pop of rum and doughnuts. At the back rum, raisins, and candied yams. Some cookie dough. How can so much alcohol be so candy? It's mind boggling. So smooth. Hints of Russian hard candy, Polish jelly candy, and some lingering bubble gum. After taste of rum cake. Hints of rum. Your head gets warm. your mouth and throat gets warm. Slight alcohol sting. Again, not enough to reveal just how strong it is. A few sips though and the head warming grows. A subtle numbing in the mouth. A growing taste of rum and Western European sweets. It's bottled Christmas. Amazing. 4.5 out of 5.

Apr 22, 2017
Photo of beergoot
beergoot from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear, copper colored body; big fizzy head that rapidly fades to a faint wisp within a few seconds. Oak and caramel aroma. Big sweetness with some burnt sugar edges in the flavor; brown sugar; dried apricot and figs lurking deep within the taste; some alcohol presence. Very heavy body; chewy; warm and toasty.

This beer should be classified as a Euro Strong Lager as the color and ABV put this way out of the maibock classification it's listed under as of this review. This is a massive beer all around. The color shows a deep amber while the smell is rich and inviting. The taste showcases a lot of malt character and does an excellent job of balancing the high alcohol level. An intense yet approachable strong ale sipper.

Apr 10, 2017
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jkblr from Indiana

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

By far the oldest beer I've had. 11.2 oz bottled 2007. Bought this week unrefridgerated of a store shelf. The head didn't last long enough to catch in the photo. The beer pours brown with ruby highlights when held to light. The nose is mostly alcohol but smooth. Tastes more like a desert wine with hints of toffee and dark fruit. Mouthfeel is soft, hot, smooth and amazingly not overly sweet. Overall, fantastic, but I'm not sure this beer qualifies as a maibock fresh. Aged 10 years, definitely not.

Apr 09, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I remember when Samichlaus was the strongest beer available. I was an early US Navy retiree & a transfer sophomore at Pitt, living at the Centre Plaza Apartments, further from campus than I liked, but close to the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium in (ahem) Shadyside, really, Slibberty. Friday nights, I would take a seat at the left end of the bar, just inside the door, now reconfigured, and be joined by two other regulars. We would routinely split the bigger, more expensive bottles just so that we could say that we tried that beer. Samiclhlaus night saw me nearly freeze to death on the way home! Let us see if I fare any better today.

From the bottle: "The World's Most Extraordinary Beverage"; "Bottled in 2015"; "Samichlaus (R) is brewed only once a year on December 6, and is aged for 10 months before bottling. It is one of the rarest specialties in the world. Samichlaus (R) may be aged in the bottle for many years to come, as older vintages become more complex. Brilliant deep amber, complex dry toasted malt nose and huge intensely sweet palate."

Helles, who needs drugs?!? No, really, who needs drugs? I'm holding! F'rilz, though, this is clearly no playing around. I carefully tore off the scored part of the neck label to expose the cap & carefully prised that off & open. I am taking this one very seriously & slowly, so a gentle pour was in the offing. Once a sufficient amount had been decanted into the glass, I gave it an aggressive swirl, raising a VERY brief finger of foamy, tawny head that could not wait to fall back to wisps. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity.

Nose smelled EXACTLY like freshly-kneaded bread dough on the rise! I took Foods in HomeEc as a teenager & I loved baking. In fact, I was thinking of going to the Culinary Institute of America before I got sidetracked & went into the Navy, instead. I still like to bake more than any other type of cooking, so I know the smell well. I took just a small sip on my tongue and first sat bolt upright & then slumped down in my chair as the immensity of this beer hit me! Jeez-O, man. The fusel alcohol heat was enormous on my tongue, burning away all of those weak, dead, unsuspecting taste buds that had been lingering around since the last purge. Phew! My fellow monks used to refer to Hellesbocks/Doppelbocks as 'liquid bread" since one glass of this before sunrise would hold them over until after sunset during the fasting within the period of the Lenten season. I am less formal in my adherence, but I can see how this would get you where you are going & in one quick hurry! Wow!

There was an inherent honey-like sweetness from the malt that just intensified the breadiness, reminding me of my late-maternal grandmother's biscuits with honey, especially in the summer. She was the one who initially turned me onto baking & we became a pretty good team, with her oven churning out everything from breads, biscuits & cookies to casseroles & souffl├ęs. I know that some of it was new & foreign to her, but man, did we cook! I never mastered her prowess with Pot Roast & I prefer to do mine in a crock pot, but her recipe for meat loaf was spot on. I realize that I digress, but I am trying to kill some time with this beer as drinking it quickly would be a mistake.

Warming, the beer took on a thick, heavy mouthfeel so that each draught felt like a dollop of honey on my tongue. Or a drizzle. Maybe I should decant some into a bottle & let it drip into my mouth. Maybe I can talk Mayor Brie McCheese into doing this on her next visit. Jee-zus! If dynamite comes in small packages, then this must be C-4 in 11.2 fl. oz. form! It is a good thing that I do this for a living. This beer begs for an accompaniment, perhaps sharp cheese or cured meats or both. Warming, it takes on a slight perfumey/flowery aspect, like violets, especially in the summer. It has twice evoked summer, so if I ever get another bottle, I may save it for that season. Finish had a heat that I imagine would smooth over, given sufficient time in the bottle. My bottle was over a year old, hence my thinking that it was ready for consumption. Mais non! This could have easily gone another two years. Mmm. My lips are sticky, my mind is whacky & this review needs to be put in the books.

Mar 20, 2017
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Davedrinkinbeer from Indiana

4.36/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have been looking for beers from Samichlaus for awhile, but it seems that this is a hard to come by brand. I got lucky and went to a store that specializes in hard to find beers-- and sure enough they had these in 4-packs of 11.2oz bottles, so of course I had to pick these up.

Smell is very malty, and has bread to back it up. Taste is molasses up front, then malt, honey, and caramel. Beer feel is minimal carbonation, thick, with a moderate aftertaste-- 'syrup like' keeps coming to mind to best describe the overall feel. Alcohol warmth is present throughout the mouthful, but very well blended with the overall beer.

This is a very heavy feeling version of a doppelbock IMO. I haven't tried any other Samichlaus beer styles to compare it to, but the alcohol content (14%) combined with the overall sweet taste, and heavy feel make it more like a treat you sip and enjoy. This could also make a very good Winter beer too. I will get more of these, seeing as I know where to find them now.

Feb 21, 2017
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Dinglehacker from Oklahoma

4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into stem glass. No head to speak of. Bubbles, no lace. Amber color.

Tart nose, with bready malt undertones.

Again, some fruit flavors, plum & white grape, mixed with sourdough, honey, and a caramel sweet.

Low carb mouth, very smooth.

A lighter, less balanced version of the classic beer, albeit one that is still strong in flavor and ABV, and still more potent than most doppelbocks.

Feb 15, 2017
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on Valentines Day 2019. This vintage was bottled in 2015.
Very, very pretty Looking beer (I admit to being a sucker for ambers, and the deeper the better.)
Smells are first toasted malt, then honey, then raisins (or some other fruit that got damaged in transport) and, then, perhaps, alcohol (but if you get a whiff, ignore it and enjoy the ride.)
Tastes are totally integrated with aromas... nothing new introduced, except, of course, the buzz. Smooth, never syrupy.
My only regret is in the Feel; while delicious and full, I really wish I was young and could drink Samichlaus Helles all night.

Having had this masterwork at least three times, I went on their website. And while the photos showed a great brewery, I have to confess that I never found the English button. (And when German is involved and I have to read it, well.... it never ends well.) But, I've had 5 of their most commonly distributed beers in the U.S., and I'm satisfied that they are master brewers.

And by the way, if anyone finds the English button on Schloss Eggenberg's website... would you give me a clue where it is ? While the beautiful photos of nature and women enjoying the brewer's wares are more than intriguing, I still want to know more exactly what it is I am looking at.

Jan 05, 2017
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2013. Pours clear, dark tan in color, with minimal head. Smell is honey and alcohol...not really inviting. Taste is much much better. Taste is bready malt, port, apricot, and big honey. Heavy bodied and slick, medium-low carbonation, sweet but not overly so. Tasty and really different than regular Samichlaus. A true malt bomb. A sipper and definitely worth trying if you appreciate ports like I do. Well worth seeking out.

Jan 02, 2017
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KonigObHops from Ohio

2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a light copper color with an extremely thin white head.

The aroma was very sweet, sugary with a lot of alcohol, and maybe some pear... appropriate since the beer looks like juice.

The initial taste is very sweet and light, but the middle comes through quickly, and it is all alcohol. It finishes with a slight touch of pear.

The mouthfeel was crisp.

Honestly, other than a difference in mouthfeel and the fact that it is a bit lighter, I couldn't notice much difference between this and their Schwartzbier variety. The next time I buy one of these, I am going to let it age for about a year before drinking to see if the flavors can poke out from behind all that alcohol.

Jan 02, 2017
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neenerzig from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It is very nice being able to finally be able to buy beers like this in Ohio since the state's stupid 12% AVB limit finally ended about 4 months ago now. Poured out of an 11.2 oz. bottle into one of my mugs, this beer pours a clear, medium golden/copper color with lots of little bubbles continuously and fairly rapidly rising to the beer's surface along with a white head that's about an inch thick when first poured that fairly quickly settles to medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass along with a medium sized cluster swirl of a film layer of foam. Aromas of grassy, sweet caramel sweetness along with some darker fruit notes. Some fig perhaps? The taste is pretty much the same, with grassy, somewhat grainy, caramel malt sweetness, along with some fig like fruitiness, a bit of spice, and certainly a bit of booze. Has a fairly crisp, prickly, also smooth and slightly frothy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Dangerously drinkable for the 14% AVB. A pretty good beer here.

Eric

Dec 26, 2016
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Spikester from Oregon

4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold with one plus finger of white head that lasts about five minutes.
Smell is grassy and malty.
Taste is sweet malts with an aftertaste of light grassy hops.
Mouthfeel is heavy with good carbonation. Finish is sweet and lingering.
Overall a sweet and tasty beer. Alcohol is well hidden. Watch out!

Dec 01, 2016
Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 454 ratings