Samichlaus Bier Helles | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

BA SCORE
85
very good
238 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Reviews:
238
Ratings:
414
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
15.43%
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
65
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 414
Photo of woodychandler
4.67/5  rDev +24.2%
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.

 4,298 characters

Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4.36/5  rDev +16%
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.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Dinglehacker
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 396 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 441 characters

Photo of KonigObHops
2.96/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

 693 characters

Photo of neenerzig
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
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

 1,020 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

 306 characters

Photo of CoreyC
4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
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

 259 characters

Photo of MJSFS
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 2015 bottle into a DFH snifter L: looks like apple juice, deep amber with no head or lacing S: sugary booze T: sugary booze F: thick flat syrup O: this doesn't bear resemblance to any beer I've ever had. I'm pretty sure if you did a blind taste of this, beer would be the last thing that came to your mind. Just an absolute sugar bomb that needs a salty meal to balance it out. Glad I only bought a single bottle.

 428 characters

Photo of gopens44
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've never expected a Samichlaus anything to have a wicked terrific head, but I did enjoy the color on this one at least. Smell and taste went hadn in hand with massive nougat sweetness, finished off by a bit of berry. A little more thin than I expected, but not as hot as I thought it would be either.

 304 characters

Photo of JSigsbach
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2014. Experienced Dec 2015. Direct pour into Belgian chalice. Really nice holiday offering.Highly drinkable but as a slow savor, not sipping, but definitely not "guzzling."
Appearance: Light caramel, rosy notes
Aroma: Boozy sweetishness, pleasant, inviting
Mouthfeel: Light but sturdy with body, hot, fizzy
Aftertaste: cherry, brandy, peppery on retro olfaction
Overall: Superb strong Helles (co labeled "Malt Liquor"); Brandy-like in overall experience; to me, best enjoyed by itself by the fire, but savored, and not too cold

 536 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lighter (?) version of their classic,with an amber body but all the kick of the sweet malt. ABV not really noticeable. Creamy head, nice lacing. Sweet malt aroma and taste., also on the finish. Alcohol sneaks up on you at the end.

 232 characters

Photo of stcules
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 2008.
Beautiful, clean, amber appearance. Just a trace of foam, but it is 14ABV, so.
In the smell the alcohol is present, yes, with a lot of maltiness. Hazelnut and vanilla.
Full, malty taste, almost liquorous. Sweet, but not too much.
Dry fruit. Veru clean taste.
Full body.
Hazelnut in the aftertaste.
A beer to sip slowly.

 335 characters

Photo of safaricook
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smells of dried apricot, also some alcohol obviously, a little grainy
Also apricot in the taste, sweetness from all this alcohol is as expected, continental spicy hops deliver a nice bitterness to avoid building sweetness.
This is really well done. It remains very drinkable in spite of the high alcohol and the exclusive use of pilsener malt. Still, I am not a big fan of the style.

 384 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

 1,302 characters

Photo of pat61
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

 460 characters

Photo of Marius
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

 181 characters

Photo of rangerred
2.74/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

Pours a hazy brownish red with nary a head. Some very splotchy lacing on the sides of the glass but that's it.

Aroma lets you know this one will be sweet. Fruitcake and prunes along with some caramelized sugar. Some touches of sherry. Actually pretty good.

The taste is a complete sugar bomb. Brown sugar and caramel sauce mixed with prune juice. There is not much oxidation but it is really hard to get past the sweetness. Booze galore letting you know this is a strong beer. Warmth and sweetness linger.

Overall, I figured this one would be very sweet and I was right. I really wanted to enjoy this one but it just isn't for me.

 680 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber orange glass doesn't hold a head, barely a halo of tiny white bubbles. Good clarity and a little leg.

Aroma: Sweet malty perfume, almost sickly sweet but cut with the alcohol and a hint of earthiness, almost a cellar dust.

Taste: A malt bomb to be sure, heavy sweet profile with a lot of subtle notes. Toffee, leather, peach skin, hint of barrel soaked alcohol, each sip packs a big punch.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, heavy body evaporates a bit in a cloud of boozy alcohol but leaves a residue of stickiness that triggers a bit of chew.

Overall: A great celebration beer; big bang in each taste, great mellowed alcohol, a Sugar Daddy like candy quality that can be a bit overwhelming and demands either sharing the bottle or taking the long, slow route with a water back. I'm going to enjoy this as a Christmas present from Illudium; Cheers!

 864 characters

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 938 characters

Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

APPEARANCE - Dark red-amber with a 1-finger head that lasts. Good lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Sweet, floral, herbaceous.

TASTE - Sweet, floral, herbaceous. Spices. Boozy. Lights you up immediately.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Gooey. Little carbonation.

VALUE - Reasonable.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - I did not like this beer. At best, sippable.

 339 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.8/5  rDev -25.5%

Brief write-up. This was a pretty significant step down next to the "original" Samichlaus for one simple reason: it's WAY TOO SWEET. Whereas Samichlaus manages to balance the sweet, dry, and alcohol qualities (albeit barely), this is just a sugary punch in the face. In a way, drinking this is like drinking a glass of pure buckwheat honey. On the plus side, the booze was concealed nicely - er, no, I should say it was completely suffocated by the cloying nature of this. This one needs about 5 years in the cellar...

2.8/5: Wilford Brimley, eat your heart out

 562 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.9/5  rDev +30.3%

Nice amber colored beer with a very sweet initial flavor followed by a strong alcohol bite. very little head. Overall an Outstanding beer, excellent as an after dinner follow up. Highly recommended.

 201 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2012. Pours fairly crystal clear golden orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with solid retention, that reduces to a ring of lace. Minimal lacing on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, honey, brown sugar, golden raisin, plum, fig, cherry, apple, lightly toasted bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste big of caramel, honey, brown sugar, golden raisin, plum, fig, cherry, apple, lightly toasted bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, honey, brown sugar, golden raisin, plum, fig, cherry, apple, lightly toasted bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth and fairly slick/syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small-moderate warming after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Helles doppelbock style. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on slowly for the huge ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,546 characters

Photo of barczar
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

 453 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.76 out of 5 based on 414 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe