Samichlaus Bier Helles | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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very good
228 Reviews
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Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
Austria | website

Style: Doppelbock

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:
228
Ratings:
398
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
20.53%
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
63
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 228 | Ratings: 398
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Even a rough pour will bring up only a diminutive head on Samiclaus Helles. That's understandable in that it's 14% alcohol, but surely the extra body should make up for it. Not the case. It's amber body appears deeper, almost copperish, in the glass, but when held to the light it reveals sparkling golden highlights. A fair amount of very tiny bubbles climb steadily upward, indicating that there's a fair amount of carbonation to it; and what delicate cottony head was initially formed benefits from it. Alas, it fades quickly, and beyond that only tiny spots of lacing are left about the glass.

The aroma is clean and malty. It's mainly grainy, but there's also a hint of fruitiness in its sweetness.

In the mouth it's full bodied, but not over-done, and silky smooth - far from syrupy... of course, the alcohol is helping to cut the sugars as well. The delicate carbonation is just enough to lend a gentle caress to the palate.

The flavor is, not surprisingly, very rich. Also, probably not surprisingly, it's not really that complex. This is the blonde version, so of course it's going to be more straightforward in character. It offers a healthy dose of grainy malt, a flicker of hot alcohol (but not too much), and a moderately fruity sweetness in the finish. There are some hops present as well, but they can't compete with the (almost candyish) sweetish malt up-front, and tend to make themselves known only across the middle and into the finish. They're herbal, and mildly spicy (or is that the alcohol that's spicy?).

Overall, it's remarkably well done. The alcohol is kept in check, and it's balanced. The flavor is rich and satiating, but not cloying. (This is truly "liquid bread"). The appearance is great, but the head could be much better; and the aroma is right on. Worth trying! I could even see using this as a cordial at a Christmas dinner. Very nice.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a golden orange color with a very thin white head that quickly disappears. The aroma features some malt, a touch of caramel and a good whiff of alcohol. The taste to no surprise starts out smooth and malty and finishes with a warming alcohol punch. I am not a huge fan of this offering, it is just not my thing.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red label Samichlaus Helles was picked up in a 12 oz., brown bottle, and poured into a goblet. The beer came out fizzy and developed almost no head, but the body was a crystal clear, pale gold. The smell was quite a fruity and alcoholic treat. Lots of pears, apples, and grapes on the nose, soaked in cognac. The taste was warm, sweet, and ... well it was hard to get past the sweet. The spices (anise and pepper), vanilla, and fruits were all drizzled in lots of powdered sugar. Some might find this level of sweetness cloying, but I found the strong countering by the drying alcohol a sufficiently palatable combination. As I got further along, some hop bitterness showed up as well. Very richly textured, and oh so warming. Some might consider this a good fireside sipper, but I'd be beware of igniting the vapors. Fits all the classic definitions of a cellarable a beer, and I sure will be stashing away some for a decade or more to get it to peak.

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Photo of brantadid
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, light amber color. A 1 1/2 inch white head formed and diminished quickly. Small bubbles occassionly rose to the surface. Looked very viscous.

Smelled very sweet and floral. Lots of alcohol in the nose. Almost overpowering.

Tasted very malty and sweet, like honey. Some dryness on the back palate which is quickly replaced by a warming alcohol. Ridiculously long finish. It seems like the flavor never ends.

Inspite of what looks like a beer with low carbonation, it has a really nice fizziness on the tongue. The carbonation really helps to cut the sweetness. Alcohol doesn't present until the far back palate.

Very drinkable for a 14% abv beer

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Photo of tempest
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 2007

Looks a clear gold, without much head retention. The aroma is of white grape and sweet, bready malt. The flavor and mouthfeel is rough to say the least. There's a strong, dry alcohol flavor, in line with watered-down vodka. The malt just comes off like a very concentrated light lager with caramel malt ad a touch of grassy hops. It's not all-out offensive, but I won't be finishing this one. I'll return to this one after I let a bottle mellow for a year or two.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a smallish 11.2 oz bottle to a beer glass, the liquid is a nice clear gold with soso carbonation. The head is small and leaves very little lace.

The smell is alcohol socked bread.

The taste follows a very nice bready big brew. And bam lots of alcohol too. Taste complexities include, pear, peach and cherries. But it seems the huge 14% ABV will chase most.

The mouthfeel is huge full body, subdued carbonation and a bit of burn.

The drinkability... Well ha this brew is a sipper to be sure. Take it easy kids.

Prosit Und Zum Wohl, MK

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

What's this!?! Another version of one of the best beers ever brewed?! I must try it...

Pretty similar, really. Syrupy, heavy sweetness with a rich, fruity raisin character. The alcohol is pronounced, but somewhat milder than one might expect. The drinkability is a bit limited, but the flavors a remarkably smooth, given their overall intensity.

Now, there isn't an assertive toffee character here like there is with the regular Samicluas, but it's still very similar. Now, I should have had more patience and aged it for a few years before reviewing it, but I can tell this one would be superb after sitting in my cellar for a while.

Highly recommended...

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Photo of Vancer
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Helles, eh? Well, sure poured a golden amber, thin head tried to bubble up, but the 14% suppressed it. Surprising aroma of the euro skunk, not heavy, but noticeable - along with some spicey malts.

Tasty brew of sweet cinnamon candied apples, dunked into a malty bin for a year. All the alcohol brings along a fairly sweet quaff, but it does finish sharp and crisp.

Very nice brew, easy to drink even with the booze wallop - but the $17 for a 4-pack of 11.2ozs puts a hurt on the wallet.

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Photo of Domingo
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saw this next to the normal 2007 Samichlaus and the store owner said it was the first batch of it they've gotten.
Pours a nice golden color, but with almost no head. It's certainly not flat, as it's pretty typical for anything non-Belgian that's this strong. The color looks like a maibock or a czech pils...but obviously with a lot less foam.
Smells like a maibock. For something this strong, it actually still has some hop character to it. It doesn't smell as boozy as it actually is, which is pretty surprising.
When you taste it your immediate reaction is "this is a helles or helles bock." The malt taste and hops are there, it just feels a little bit more sticky. That's the instant you taste it. About a milisecond later you're hit with a huge wave over overpowering sweetness that carries over into the finish. It's almost like taking a sip of a beer that's been layered on top of brandy.
Honestly, I liked it at first, but that sweetness and kick is just too much.
For a 12oz bottle, this is a splitter. Pour this into 2 or 3 brandy snifters and split it with some friends. It's a little too sticky and potent for more than one bottle...at least for me.
If you like maibocks or brandy, this might be up your alley. I really wish it wasn't as boozy as it is. If this were about 9-10% I bet it would be wonderful. The hops are there in the smell and even in the up-front taste. It's just too bad they can't hold up.
Pretty good in small doses, but know what you're getting.

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Photo of SaintsFan
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very crisp orange...absolutely no head, though. Really kind of unremarkable.

S: Very sweet and malty...plenty of fruit in the nose (pear, green apple, etc), as well. Definitely a blast of alcohol in there too.

T: About as subtle as a sledgehammer...alcohol is definitely present, but this is a 14% abv beer here. Some citrus-like sweetness...further sips seem to highlight the alcohol even more. Definitely a warmer.

M: Rather thick and syrupy, but not in a bad way. Suits the high ABV.

Drinkability: For this much booze, not too bad...but it is REALLY hot.

Overall: An interesting experience...but really makes you appreciate some high ABV beers that do a better job of hiding it. This definitely needs some time in the bottle.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage. 11.2 oz bottle served in a brandy snifter. Poured a clear pale gold. Thin white head that dissipated quickly. Boozy aroma with a little fruit. Very full bodied almost syrup. Lots of malt sweetness with some caramel. There is a little bit of hop bitter. Warming but not hot considering the ABV.
A nice beer to sip on a cold evening. For malt lovers only!

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Photo of theformula
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #21 in my 366 Days of Beer Quest, tasted on 1/22. "First bottling since 1986".

A: Pours a golden yellow body into a snifter; very pilsner-like. This is Samichlaus?! A tiny white head forms but dissipates instantly. Clarity is great w/ small bubbles rising.

S: The 14% ABV is integrated really well into this Helles version, this has very German pilsner-like qualities. Light cereal grains and hay are first picked out with the sharp, fusel alcohol note making a statement. A balancing sweetness of raw honey and something like white grapes and peaches as well.

M: Med. body with low-med. carbonation. The M.F. is pretty slick and gelatinous almost, coating.

T: Samichlaus always was to be respected, as this Helles demands as well. Sweet and syrupy like brandy, with light grains and hay balancing it with a big alchohol presence to make it warming.

D: A great beer, yet I like the doppelbock version a bit more. The alcohol is certainly there but it's not overpowering, strangely enough. This is like a beer-brandy. Great nightcap.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from City Wide in South Bend. Pours golden orange to yellow. Soda like bubbles ringing the outside. Laces like a scotch. Odor is fruity, clean. hints of teak, apples, mild cherry, brandy. Taste is burning, warming alcohol, grapes, raspberry and sweet toffee. Alcohol is almost a flavor in itself. Sweet malt backbone. The whole thing seems understated, but at the same time huge and demanding. Mouthfeel is syrupy and thick, like congealing Jell-O. Overall its a sipper, a beer liquor. Warming a smooth and pretty impressive.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Bright white head that disapears immediatley. The color is that of a sprakling aple cider. So a nice amber color. Very inviting.
S: I am picking up just a hint of burnt nuts. Just a touch of peach
T: A delcious creamy vanillasweetness is the biggest thing immediately. The nuttiness from the smell sitcks around on the back.
M: Big warm creaminess for a big full roundness for a very pleasant mouthfeel
D:Great considering it was 14% alcohol. It did not taste hot at all. Definitely something that can get me in trouble.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle from Bella Vino.

Pours honey colored and very clear. Hardly any head. Smell is a fruity/floral mix with nothing really sticking out, and a ton of booze.

Taste is similar to the original Samichlaus is some respects, but with a more pronounced bubble gum and vanilla flavor. Also some honey adding to the overdone sweetness. Cloying sweet, doesn't finish nearly as nicely as the original. Alcohol is more prevalent and more burning as well.

Still good, but I'd take the original over this one any day. Also, in a blind test, doppelbock would not come to mind. More like an old ale (but obviously it isn't an ale).

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Photo of merlin48
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
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 vtfan77
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light gold with a decent head, considering the beer's 14% alcohol content (and that's per volume!).

S- Some grainy malts and a sweet bread-like smell start things off. The alcohol is actually quite subdued. It comes through more as a peppery spiciness than full-blown alcohol fumes. Overall the smell is pretty weak at first, but it strengthens as the beer warms. It's still pretty subtle, though.

T- The taste begins with a nice honey sweetness. More bread-like malt and even some spicy hops are in there too. The alcohol hits hard, but it's not overwhelming. It just adds a nice kick to the beer.

M- Smoooth. A medium-full body is accented by just the right amount of carbonation, and the beer is like velvet on the tongue. Plus, there's that nice tingly sensation you get after a mouthful thanks to the alcohol.

D- Actually pretty good. A small bottle is plenty, but it's very good for 14%. It went down much quicker than I thought it would.

This is definitely a good beer, although I don't see how it's all that much different from the regular Samichlaus (besides the color). I guess I'll have to force myself to do a side-by-side at some point. Nonetheless, this is a good beer to end an evening and a must-try for lovers of strong beers. Recommended.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2-oz bottle poured into a white wine glass.

A = Beautiful clear amber, very little carbonation. Coats glass when swirled. Looks like a white port inthe glass.

S = White pepper, wet grains, yeast, sunflower pollen. Very complex yet understated smell. The alcohol definitely make an appearance, too.

T = Smooth lagered taste, but lots of force. The alcohol hits as soon as the liquid hits mid-palate. The taste is mostly simply that of malted grains, but there are spicy peppery hints and a certain amount of unused yeast still in the mix (surprising given how high the yeast already pushed the ABV). Helles is good but a little uneven, not as good as the standard Samichlaus in my opinion. May mellow with age though.

M = Thick bodied, low but noticable carbonation, good mouth coating.

D = Depends what you want. This is clearly a good beer, but it is very strong. I think it needs some time to age before drinking, right now (1 year old) it is too sharp, but next year I wll happily try this again (and put next year batch down to rest).

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Photo of irishevans
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am by NO means a Helles Bock expert, so this is my mucho ignorant review. a transparent gold/amber color, no head just a haze here and there. smells very sweet borderline barley wine smell. tastes like a weak barley wine sweet, tangy, but not a "whoa" neck-twisting finish. the mouth-feel is kind of tart, a nice kind of tart though, and a bit crisp as well. as for drinkability it's not such a quick drinker, or a multiple bottle in a night kind of beer. i will drink this again, but in about 5 to 10 years, once it has had time to mature.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is helles good!

Pours a thin clear lager yellow with little to no head. nose is of an intense lager. The taste is very very interesting. It is very thin up front but quickly turns to some dark fruit taste (didnt expect that) This is very tasty and has almost a barleywine sugar taste to it. The mouthfeel is nice and thick and the aftertaste lingers forever!! I actually occasionally prefer this to samichlaus. Good brew, should do great in my cellar.

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Photo of ntillemans
4.83/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this one out into a snifter from an 11.2 oz bottle.

A - Very little head, which quickly vanished entirely. Golden and clear.

S - Strong alcohol smell, some fruitiness and caramel...very malty.

T - Caramel sweet and alcohol... very intense, reminds me of bourbon whiskey.

M - Very smooth creamy taste, with a bite in the back of the throat

D - For the high alcohol content, this was a smooth drink...but dangerous.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Light honey/ gold color with virtually no head and little carbonation. The aroma was that of sweet malt and alcohol. My girlfriend (the veterinary technician) claimed she smelled male rat musk. Hmm. Serious rubbing alcohol flavor bringing up secondary aromas of new band-aids. As the beer warmed up there was a more pronounced flavor of honey/ mead, and then aroma turned into an urban alley frequented by beer drinking bladder relievers. There was good and bad in this. I don't think it wise for a beer with so much alcohol to be attempted with such lighter malts, as all manner of trouble shows through.

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Photo of kwakwhore
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a Samichlaus aficionado, I was extremely curious to try this one.
Light orange gold pour with a small white head. Beautiful clarity to the brew.
Bit of sweet malt in the aroma along with some alcohol.
Lots of sweet malt mixed with alcohol in the flavor. A bit of candied fruit with a small amount of hop bitterness in the finish.
A little bit syrupy in the mouthfeel. Alcohol warms all the way down the throat. One usually thinks of a helles as something to drink in the summer, but this is a fine winter beer.
I couldn't drink more than two of these in an evening, but for its strength it's an easy beer to drink. Urbock 23 on steroids. I hope that Eggenberg keeps making this one.

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Photo of beerking1
4.52/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium gold, very clear, and with a medium but quickly fading head. Aroma is almost pure malt, very little hops, but some. Alcohol does come through, although very cleanly, in the aroma. Palate is full, and appropriate. Flavor is a wonderful malty, alcoholic and very clean beer. Uber-maibock anyone?

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Photo of CWiggins
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The events as they unfolded:
1. Read about Samichlaus beer in BeerAdvocate.
2. Saw it in North Carolina less than two weeks later, first at Brawley's (Charlotte) and then Sam's Quik Stop (Durham). Picked up a four pack immediately! (I still have one bottle of that pack.)
3. Walked into Sam's just two evenings ago and encountered two--not just one, but two--different case stacks of Samichlaus beer, one of a new variety. Both species retail at $16.99 a four-pack, and I couldn't resist picking up a single bottle of the Helles Lager to try. There's not too much of a hurry to pick up the Doppelbock; Sam's still has some left over from last season!

I agree with the previous reviewer that perhaps this is the wrong style category for this beer. Almost none of the traditional Doppelbock characteristics are present here, with the sole exception of ABV strength. Helles Bock may be a better choice, but Samichlaus Helles Lager certainly reminds me of the many Imperial Pilseners I've enjoyed recently. Hmmm.

It pours a dark yellow into my pint glass; the near-white head is not substantial and isn't sustained for very long. The liquid is nearly transparent, and bubbles continue to rise from the depths of the glass to the surface. It's quite a beauty to hold up to the light and watch for a bit.

There's so much going on in the smell: there are elements of heavy yeasts and malts combined with floral esters, all backed up with the scent of warm alcohol. One barely needs to proceed further.

The body is nearly chewy, and the feel of alcohol on the tongue is noticably strong. Lighter flavors of grain and hops are married to the heavier floral and sweet flavors. It's refreshing, and yet, as the same time, a serious undertaking. I wanted to guzzle it like some thirst-quenching soda or fruit-flavored water, but the heaviness keeps it more at bay. One is all I can handle!

Quite an interesting brew, and one I'll certain to keep around for winter and spring.

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Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
85 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.
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