Samichlaus Bier Helles | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
BA SCORE
3.79/5
Very Good
435 Ratings
Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Austria
schloss-eggenberg.at

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikesgroove on 11-25-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#20,223
Reviews:
248
Ratings:
435
pDev:
15.3%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
66
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 435 |  Reviews: 248
Reviews by TastyAdventure:
Photo of TastyAdventure
5/5  rDev +31.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of bushbeer75
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a brilliantly clear slightly darkened orange in color with no head whatsoever due to the massive alcohol content. Sweet.

Smell - The first sense I get is of quality triple sec with a surprising absence of booze. I also am finding a rich but broken down malt base and some sound wood notes without that annoying vanilla fragrance. Nice again.

Taste - The booze comes through a little bit more at the taste as does the orange. The malt from the nose actually steps back a bit making this a big fruity booze-fest. The wood again is quite prominent and dominant.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied with no alcohol sting whatsoever, which is absolutely amazing. There is a fascinating malty bitterness at the very back of the tongue and of course no carbonation at all.

Drinkability - I enjoy the high-octane stuff as anyone who knows me can attest. This is probably the highest quality booze bier that I've ever had. It is incredibly smooth with no sense of alcohol. You wouldn't even know of its high ABV except halfway through the glass you start falling down a lot. Extremely well done - a class act for sure.

Update - I had a chance to review this again in 2010. This is really an incredible beer and worth of the highest regards. It is a masterful effort and incorporates well the record-setting high ABV in a tasty, flavorful beverage.

The flavor is doppelbockesque with a thick, rich, malt base that has a high-octane orange charge in it. What the brewer has mastered though is the blending of the big alcohol and the sweetish malts. It's like a liquid malt love of some kind. Either way it is an amazing production and as a helles DB in a class all by its lonesome self. This is actually one of my favorite beers of all time.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
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!

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Photo of imbibehour
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 1 pt. 9 fl oz. bottle into a Libbey style pilsner glass. Vintage 2012 marked on the bottle.

Light bodied amber, hints of copper and orange with a bit of chestnut brown, quite light in appearance than most doppels. Great and nice even streams of carbonation rising in the middle and on the edges. Head is very fleeting, tan in color, but with hardly and retention. Dissolves normally but leaves a finer lighter and whiter colored collar while sitting.

Real exquisite nose. Was concerned about heat and booze but it's anything but. Large toffee and gooey caramel thickness aromas, spicy clove and nutmeg with hints of light butterscotch to go with it. Smells like a sundae real inviting, and just a bit warm but not overly so.

Palate is really not what I expected. Huge amounts of sweetness, I am talking very sweet but at least tolerable. Fruity action of plum, raisin, even some cherry mixing with light toffee. Surprisingly not thick in the palate or syrupy as the nose might want to indicate. Finishes incredibly clean and soft malt caramel, almost like a nice glaze. So well hidden abv and not the slightest bit boozy.

This is a surprisingly well created brew that is just so well in control and complex. Not everyones cup a tea but this is extremely impressive beer.

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Photo of CoreyC
4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage
A - unique orange color with light white head that dissipates quickly
S - nice sweetness
T - similar sweetness of apricot and vinous sherry or port
M - slightly sticky
O - very good if you like a sweet beer - similar to an excellent aged old ale

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
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 & soufflés. 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.

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Photo of Buck89
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottling

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a modest cap that leaves a web of lace

Smell: Caramel and rum-soaked figs; rather boozy aroma

Taste: Caramel and fig, with a building alcohol flavor developing by mid-palate; sweet and fruity in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low to moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth in the gullet

Overall: Really rather sweet but I enjoyed the flavor profile

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

2007 vintage.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan 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. Tiny chunks of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, fruit, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a decent alcohol kick with each sip as well. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is super tasty but quite boozy and strong.

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Photo of barczar
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%

Bottled in 07, it pours with large floaties and a modest, foamy head that disappears. Prunes, plums, dates, and figs underlie rich, sweet treacley malt, with notes of toffee surfacing late. Flavor is very sweet, but there's a bitter, dry finish, and sherry notes present themselves in the aftertaste. Figs and plums underlie caramel malt. There's still some alcohol warmth. I was hoping for less sweetness and more complex esters, but still a nice brew.

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Photo of digitalflood
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

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Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this as a night cap last night and man did it help me sleep easy.Poured into a pokal a full rich clear golden with a minimal head wich was to be expected,whoo the sweet alcohol really hits in the nose with some caramel and grain but the alcohol shows itself in a huge way.A full bodied sweeter sipping brew,it has a big caramel and fruit flavor with sweet burning alcohol showing thru more as it warmed,in the finish a passing vegetal note comes thru.A decent brew but its made to be drank slow and easy.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 750ml bottle shared with my wife. It didn't look like a doppelbock, being a pretty light amber color with a small white head. Caramel malt and honey aroma. The alcohol hits you in the face when you take a sip, followed by a strong malt presence, and a pervasive incredible sweetness. This beer was way too sweet, and the alcohol was way too intrusive. I doubt I'll be drinking this beer again.

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Photo of merlin48
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 bottling with the red and silver label as pictured. Pours a clear pale yellow body with a skimpy white head that quickly falls into a film. Aroma is malty and bready with some phenolics that suggest a Dogfish Head 120. Some vague floral hops. Medium body with a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Malty and earthy taste with some floral hops. Warming alcohol is very whiskey like. A nice sipper on a winter night but I prefer the regular Samichlaus to this Helles. This one could use some more aging.

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Photo of tigg924
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Marius
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared thanks to deanso. Dark, hazy ruby with a thin tan head. Notes of dried fruit, brandy, caramel, macerated fruit. Medium body, low carbonation and a sticky sweet finish.

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Photo of kingcrowing
2.78/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz Bottled in 2007, poured in a snifter.

Very sweet, slightly alcoholic aroma, no hops, little malt. Small head dissipated very quickly. light carbonation.

Very sweet and somewhat hot. It as a quite full mouthfeel similar to a very sweet red wine, almost syrupy. It gives a good warming feeling.

Overall I'd say that for a beer brewed 3 years ago this is still very young, if you've got a cellar going toss this down there for a few more years and give it another go. I wouldn't drink this fresh again.

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is slightly hazy orange with a frothy white head that lingers for a moment then settles in a ring around the glass. Faint smells of bready malt with notes of cherries and raisins in the background. Noble hops finally appear as the beer warms up a bit. Tastes much more upfront with loads of bready malt blended with flowery noble hops. Medium to medium-full body balanced decently with moderate carbonation and you can definately detect that 14% ABV with a decent alcohol warmth as you swallow, but it's not a harsh finish at all. Overall a nicely balanced beer for such a high ABV and definately worth seeking out.

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Photo of pat61
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From taste notes. Appearance: Pours brilliant garnet, almost looks like a mix of a chardonnay and a red. Has legs. Smell: Smells more like a wine with perfumy notes than a beer. Taste: A touch of fruit in the taste suggesting cherry, a little sweet but a deft hop touch on the end provides balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel: Full body, very low carbonation, a little hot. Overall: Sweet and hot. Something you would reach for instead of a mixed drink or a port.

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Photo of HopsForBrains
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 435 ratings