Samichlaus Bier Helles
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
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Style:
German Maibock
Ranked #21
ABV:
14%
Score:
86
Ranked #22,576
Avg:
3.82 | pDev: 15.18%
Reviews:
251
Ratings:
442
From:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
 
Austria
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Wants
  31
Gots
  67
SCORE
86
Very Good
Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
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Reviews: 251 | Ratings: 442 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by arkanu:
Photo of arkanu
4/5  rDev +4.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of bushbeer75
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
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 barczar
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

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 ryan1788a5
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
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 RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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 digitalflood
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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 woodychandler
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
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 brentk56
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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 GratefulBeerGuy
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
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 Kgoldsbe
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
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 Buck89
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
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 CoreyC
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
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 Smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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 Dinglehacker
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
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 JerryOdom
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As advertised on the bottle this guy is intense in it's sweetness. For me it was like an overly sweet candy so much so that it masked the alcohol you'd expect to experience in a 15% abv drink. I'd rate it lower if it weren't exactly what the brewer was aiming for but I can't be too generous because it's not for me. They really mean it when they say intense sweetness so if you're not a candy sort of person pass on this.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure if this is the right beer but I have a 14% abv. bottle that says Samichlaus on it. It is brewed only once a year on Dec. 6th after being aged for 10 months.

A-the beer pours a dark copper color with red edges. the head is tan colored but very thin and almost not existent dissipating immediately.

S-the nose is extremely sweet, tons of brown sugar and carmelized candy notes. hints of dark cherries and some ripe plum, notes of bourbon in the finish.

T-the taste is extremely sweet. carmelized brown sugar, tons of candied sugar, notes of caramel malt, some dark cherries, fig, and ripe plum and set underneath all of the sugar. this is huge flavor but so sweet.

M-extremely smooth and o so syrupy. this is full bodied, thick and viscous. a little low on carbonation to lack a strong finish and actually slightly astringent pucking the lips somewhat.

D-this is just too sweet to really enjoy. it has some nice flavors; but all of the sugar and sweetness in this make it almost difficult to drink. the huge abv is hidden very well, however.

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Photo of psychotia
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of BeerSingh
2.78/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A : Golden caramel coloured with no lacing, no head. Still life.

S : Toffee and boozey. Reminded me of a candy called Poppins.

T : Overwhelming alcoholic and toffee / candy / cognac mixture. Cutting and dominating. For this level of alcohol, the taste should have been subtle, but it was overly sweet.

M : Syrupy and quite cutting due to the carbonation

D : I guess i should have cellared it first, could finish with great difficulty

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Photo of dqrull
4.87/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage.

An immediate fluffy, creamy tan head, that quicly dissipates and leaves little to no lacing, a placid-looking beer, with a wonderful clear amber colour. Foams up a bit after a swirl, but the head disappears fast. The absence of head-retention makes it feel a bit inscrutable!

Whoa. The smell is phenomenal. Huuuuge malty sweetness, with some dried fruits in the back, a slight hint of grass is detectable also, along with a fudge-like sensatio. But this is a really awesomely complex malt-onslaught, beautifu.

Wow. Not nearly as prominent alcohol taste as I had anticipated, the viscosity isnt as thick as I was expecting either, but it sure is sweet. This is a really magnificient bouquet of tastes. The initial sweetness is the first thing that strikes you, but it is backed up by a slightly tart fruitness, some dried red berries, almost a bit of blueberry, some oaky tastes come through as well, with a hint of the usual suspect vanilla... all the while having a syrupy slightly clingy sweetness reminiscent of caramellized brown sugar. There isn't much else to this beer apart from the huge maltiness, but damn, this is SOME complex and interesting maltiness. The complexness here is very much of the same kind I might find in a glass of cognac, or even a non-smokey whiskey.
I'm really, really amazed that the alcohol is not more prominent in the taste here, but the body is so full, so bursting of sweetness and awesome flavours that the alcohol only lingers in the background all the while, contributing with a cozy warmth that complements the sweetness of the brew throughout, amazing.

Really syrupy thick, viscous mouthfeel, the carbonation is a little bit weak though, but that's pretty much expected from a beer like this.

I'm really eager to try the Samichlaus classic I have in the cellar, but damn, if that is only half as good as this, it will still be the second best doppelbock I've had.

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Photo of DNA
2.7/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. Quarter inch head that lasts only seconds. Very clear beer with a light copper/amber color. Aroma is a very sweet baked pineapple. No hop character in nose. This beer smells like a dessert and should probably be served as a dessert beer. The taste is overwhelmingly sweet and one dimensional. Whatever hops were used in this beer are long gone, leaving only a lingering bitterness that can't compete with the residual sugars. Even the high alcohol content can't cut through the cloying sweetness. The mouthfeel is more thick and chewy than expected even for such a high gravity beer...more like a liqueur. As far as drinkability goes, I can barely get through one bottle. Better to split a bottle with friends (or uninvited guests) in sherry glasses. Good luck!

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Photo of golf4collet
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2007. Opened 12/27/2014 Poured into a Bristol 20th anniversary snifter.

Pours with a fire-tinged sunburst orange body. Light hiss when popping the cap. Small ring of white tiny-bubble head around the edge of the glass.

Smells like toffee baking, butter and brown sugar glaze. A little swirl brings up golden raisins, and notes of stewed fig jam. Glazed cooked carrots come to mind.

The flavor is quite impressive. This is the cleanest 8 year old beer I have ever tasted. Notes of honey, dark candi sugar, molasses, and rum-mascerated fruit cake. Very little cardboard or other off flavors. A slight clinging bitterness that isn't a positive aspect. Overall, surprisingly simple.

No alcohol burn whatsoever, with an amazingly sweet and heavy body after 8 years on a store shelf.

Overall: Very tasty and interesting beer. I am still amazed at the clean and simple taste of this rather old lager. Well worth a try for me.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear crimson color, aggressive pour produced a very thin film of white head

Smell - cherry, brandy, alcohol, syrup

Taste - very sweet, reminiscent of a liqueur, cherry, brandy, caramel, malt, alcohol

Mouthfeel - thick, sticky, syrupy, very very sweet, good flavor in the aftertaste, low on the carbonation, burn of booze on the way down

Overall - Good beer, not as enjoyable as the Brown Label Samiclaus, worth a try

Price Point - $5.69/11.2 oz Bottle

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Photo of Stoutguy33
4.89/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hard to find beer. Had one from 2007 and it was absolutely amazing.

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Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 442 ratings