Samichlaus Bier Helles | Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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Samichlaus Bier HellesSamichlaus Bier Helles

Brewed by:
Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg

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

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Reviews: 241 | Ratings: 417
Photo of russpowell
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I sat on this one a few months to cellar, but now I can't wait any more! Here goes:

Pours a noisy & effervescent golden honey with 2 fingers of beige head. No head & a bit of lacing

S: Fruitty & bready & clean booze & fussell alcohol, slight smokeyness

T: Some honey, dates, apricot & nice breadyness up front. More honey, grainyness, pineapple & passion fruit all show as this warms. Finishes with loads of honey, tropical fruit,& booze

MF: Chewy with vigirous carbonation, a little too much, some syruppy notes, great warming sensations, reminds me of a young mead in many respects

Drinkability is fantastic for the ABV & pretty good for the style, nice digestive/nightcap dopple, not one to trifle with or to attempt to session on! Next time I see it I will buy more & hide them from myself & see how the aging improves or doesn't this fine dopple

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Photo of Zorro
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and golden colored Bock with but slight head formation, probably the high alcohol content.

Smell is very fruity with lots of esters from the fermentation. Little bit of grain scent, smells like a Rye Whiskey in this respect. Little bit of Nobel hop spice in here as well.

The taste starts out sweet and fruit with just a mild bitterness. VERY fruity aftertaste here. Good amount of grain flavor but this is a fruity bock beer. Hop is doing nothing here except sweetness cleanup.

Mouthfeel is light, got to be the alcohol diluting out the carbohydrates.

Definitely a sipper of a beer, strong Juju Magic here. This is OK but at $8 for the bottle, I will be drinking Firestone Union Jack a lot more than this one.

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Photo of JayQue
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottling. Poured into a tulip glass (actually a cruise ship mixed drink glass). Copper color while sitting on the table, same color and clarity as apple juice. When you hold it to the light it is Hefe dull gold. Head is better than advertised. Small, carbonated, and hangs in there for a few. Leaves a thin ring after it fades. No lacing. Smell is fairly mild, some fruit (apples? pears?) and caramel maltiness.

Tastes good. The alcohol balances the caramel sweetness perfectly. This is a slow sipper and sweet but not cloying or over the top sweetness. The mouthfeel is rich and carbonated. Drinkability is good for such an abv powerhouse. Over a long evening, I would welcome 2 of them but probably regret it later. In all, a very tasty beer, ideal for a nightcap or winter warmer.

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Photo of Gmann
2.77/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From a 750ml swing top bottle. Pours a clear pale amber color with minimal head/lacing/cap. The aroma is somewhat faint, notes of juicy fruit and white wine. The taste is sugary sweet, some honey and a bit of berry fruit but really just a sugary alcohol bomb. The feel is light and quite fizzy, very slick and sticky, finishes very sweet and suprisingly astringent. The drinkability is very limited with this one. If you are looking for an after dinner brew, maybe 6oz this might be a fine selection but other than that this is almost undrinkable. Very sweet and the alcohol is not hidden, no malt or hops to help mask the booze. Not all that good. Not sure how dopplebock was decided upon, maybe the first uber imperial helles lager??

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's hard to beleive that the last year this beer was available, I was in diapers. Distinctive red labeling allows this beer to stand out on shelves better, and one I've been wanting to try after enjoying its darker sibling. On to the beer:

The body is deep filtered gold, topped by a short head that goes away quickly. There's some pale malt and lightly perceived alcohol in the nose, surprisingly light on the nose given its strength. It also tasted lighter than expected too, but wow, 14% ABV has never been so easy to drink! Sugary sweet with intense vanilla, doses of pale malts, and alcohol. Not as complex as one might hope, but the brewers did an excellent job mixing the alcohol into the overal flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth and moderate, "lightly syurpy", and not over the top.

While it isn't as interesting as the darker stuff, this bright beer is a lethal alcohol delivery system thanks to its incredible drinkability. Treat this bottle with respect and enjoy!

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Photo of JonathanL7890
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.
Aroma is honey , spicy like a trappist ale.
Taste is sweet, no spice notes like in the aroma, a bit boozy, very warming on the way down. Mouthfeel was thick, comfortable.

This is a sipper. I shared this with 3 people. Don't know if I would be able to down an entire bottle myself

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Photo of jwc215
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 vintage:

Pours golden with a thin head that becomes a patch - decent head retention for the abv.

The smell is of sweet grain, alcohol and some fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet grain - Helles-style, boozy alcohol, grapey and some caramel. Finishes sweet.

Syrupy, though not too sticky.

A slow, slow sipper. A bit raw, maybe aging would mellow the sharpness of it. Interesting to a degree, though not in a complex way. I didn't enjoy this as much as the other Samichlaus.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle, bottled 2007

A: Deep clear golden under a decent but short lived white head. No retention or lace, as expected.

S: Much more boozy then it's counterpart. The sweetness (caramel, fruit) is here, but the booze is bigger.

T: Sweetness shines through more here. Still boozy (this is big beer afterall). Not quite as warming as the other.

M/D: Medium bodied, semi-high carbonation, alcohol is there obviously. Drinkability is fair. Not as good as the other Samichlaus dopplebock.

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Photo of Neilbeermaster
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish gold, very attractive.

Head is a tiny ring around the outside.

Nose is very malty sweet, candy sugar sweet as well.

Very crisp on the front, clean. Sweet on the back, burns the sides of my tongue just a bit. Crisp on the finish at first, but the sweetness comes back.

Alcohol comes late, and lingers very warm.

Overall, a very pleasant beer. Definitely an easy way to get drunk.

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Photo of sholland119
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear honeyed amber with no discernible head. Some nice stickiness.

S-Lots of honey sweetness with some malt and hints of alcohol.

T-Very smooth and sweet. Lots of malt and caramel, no discernible hops and a warming alcohol finish. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden for a 14% ABV.

M-Using a derivate of "honey" for the third time in this review, it has a viscous honey feel on the tongue. Rather thick and viscous but still quite pleasant.

D-A long sipper. I do not mind that when the bottle, like this, is 11.2 oz. I can't stand a bomber that drinks this way as I rarely have 4 hours to spend on a beer.

I am sure there is a technical reason this is classified as a dopplebock but it sure does not drink like one. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this given the very high ABV but the alcohol is well hidden (relatively speaking).


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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, honey-colored body with a tiny white head.

Smell: Sweetish, candylike aroma with notes of peach schnapps, sugar-coated matls, and booze.

Taste: Sugary sweet malts with a taste of dark fruits soaked in alcohol. The beer gives you a sly wink then pours some grain alcohol down your gullet. Slight peppery hint. Sweetness of the finish doesn't disguise its harshness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness.

Drinkability: Many of these high ABV beers are a joy to drink and deftly hide their alchol amidst a truly succulent taste. The Samichlaus Helles is neither of those! As with its darker brother, hopefully some time locked away will bring some sense to it.

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Photo of Gavage
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear orange in color with a 1/2" head that falls to a spotty surface foam. A few carbonatin bubbles slowly rise fro the bottom of the glass.

Smell: sweet fruits and honey are easily detectable. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Taste: big malt base with caramel, honey, green grapes, and pears provide the sweetness and there is a mild bitterness that tries to balance it out. Alcohol is strong and imparts a strong warming feeling.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Syrupy and smooth throughout. Super long aftertaste as the sweetness and alcohol seem to last for minutes after swallowing.

Drinkability: a malty high alcohol beer that is a very slow sipper. One is enough in any session.

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Photo of avalon07
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had an amber color and a somewhat thin texture. Not much head or lacing to speak of.

The malt came through the most in the smell. Very sharp an tangy.

This is where it gets interesting. When you first take a sip of this, you'll get the malt. When it finishes you get a big dose of the alcohol. It was very strong and pungent.

Nicely carbonated, but, as I said, the finish is a bit on the harsh side. A decent mouthfeel.

Overall, this is not a beer I'd pursue ever again. Yes, it's undeniably complex, but the taste is a little on the tough side.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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 -24.4%
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 +12.7%
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 +2.7%
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 -21.8%
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 +11.9%
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 +1.3%
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 +1.1%
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 -5.3%
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 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 -3.4%
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 +8.8%
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 +2.7%
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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Samichlaus Bier Helles from Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg
3.77 out of 5 based on 417 ratings.
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