Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,256 Ratings
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
southerntierbrewing.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 07-15-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,256
Reviews:
454
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
11.99%
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
204
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,256 |  Reviews: 454
Photo of aarunt1
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of BrutusOrca
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of NvMyBeer
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of Honest_Beer_Drinker
1.73/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

I was really excited to try this. The label says Imperial Helles lager. Which made me interested since it is supposedly lager.
It's not. It's an extra bitter IPA. The label says Pine notes. That's understatement. It smells like pine cleaner and taste like terpentine with bittering agent added to it. the 22oz. bottle was a chore to drink down and was like a visit from Krampus himself in his full anger and wrath.

This is one of those "cool guy" hipster bitter as hell beers that people drink because it's so awful they feel "cultured and defined" drinking it while pretending it taste good. In reality it taste like piss. Kinda smells like piss but if you bottled it with pine cones. It literally had me reaching for my sisters Keystone Ice ( blech) to wash the awful taste of Pine-sol and aspirin out of my mouth. It also gave me and the other person drinking it an awful hops headache.

Have a British guy eat Christmas tree needles for a week and have him urinate in a bucket and you have Southern Tiers Krampus. Again, it literally taste like urine with a pine note and aftertaste.

This beer is a shame on the name Krampus. For starters it taste terrible. Second, it's a British style bitter beer, not a lager by any real definition. Three, Krampus being a Bavarian, Austrian, Alpine character you would think it would be some sort of German style, it's not at all. It's an overly hopped IPA. It's disgusting and I can't stress that enough.

The look, pour, and color are all fantastic. The smell and taste is a big FAIL.

 1,561 characters

Photo of kkesty
1.96/5  rDev -50%

Photo of greenhorn
2/5  rDev -49%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -49%

Photo of Achoo_Bacca
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

Photo of kwm5067
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

Photo of kelseyr713
2.26/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Photo of padan7
2.4/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Being only 1 hour to the source we consider ourselves very lucky. We bought 2 fresh bottles.

The beer looks quite nice bright & deep golden.

Smells of yummy hops get the taste buds anticipating.

Taste is really a bummer. Munich helles lager? No it isn't. Nor is it delicious or even desirable. Bitter not as in nice but as in nasty.

Mouthfeel & drinkability are overshadowed by dissapointment.

We truly enjoy Hoppe & Oat & Unearthly & Java.

This was not even close to fun. We couldn't wait to get home to try it. That was 2 weeks ago. What are we going to do with the other bottle?

Hey if you want to trade...have at it.

 628 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
2.47/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A hazy orange body, topped by a slab atleast four fingers thick of off-white micro-bubbles. Very good lacing.

A quick burst of pine aroma when the bottle first opens, disappears oddly quick, and leaves a perfume note that while not repulsive is not especially inviting or enticing.

Taste begins with a quick sweet note down the middle of the tongue before bitter and flowery hops overrun everything. The odd perfume/floral aroma trait shows up in the finish and refuses to go away quietly. Its almost orangy citrus but takes a bad wrong turn.

Nice full mouthfeel. Off putting finsih kills drinkability.

I first thought an imperial helles would be bock-like, but this is nowhere near there. This is an imperial pilsner trying to be softer, but the hops just didn't cooperate. Love Southern Tier, but this will be a pass if re-released in the future.

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Photo of jjanega08
2.48/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A= pours a golden amber color with a thin half finger head that has some pretty decent retention and some great lacing for how thin the head is. Really sticky on my glass.

S= Almost overly sweet. Good hop character to it. Nice pine and citrus smells come from it but then there is a cloyingly sweetness to it that I smell. Syrupy in the smell if that even makes sense.

T= Much much better than the smell. Good hop character in it. Hops up front and in the middle of the pallet. The sweetness that I smelled is gone and instead is more of a metallic or glass sort of flavor... Really interesting. Not a huge fan of this metal or old glass that I taste. The bottle I got was fresh from the box at the store so I know it isn't old. This really really tastes like glass. I love the hops at the front but this taste is off.

M= thick and syrupy. Overly sticky on my lips. Heavy and I really really hate the metal/ glass aftertaste that lingers in my mouth.

D= This beer I will for sure not buy again. Really a disappointment. I expect more from ST.

 1,048 characters

Photo of timahood32
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of mwbrady12
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of Matt_Rodgers
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of denver10
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of Fettpopps
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of clfrost
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of jfcaa193
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of kojevergas
2.52/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

BOTTLE: 650 ml. Brown glass. Black & grey branded pry-off pressure cap. Purchased at an Austin, TX bottle shop.

Reviewed live as an imperial helles lager per the label. 8.20% ABV. Expectations are above average given the brewery. Served cold into a snifter. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: A weak floater ring of off-white colour is all that manifests. The ring lasts about forty seconds. No lacing is left on the sides of the glass. Pretty pathetic...

BODY: Translucent semitransparent copper with orange hues. Average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Overall, it looks more like a pale ale than a helles lager. I can't say the appearance has me dying to try it.

AROMA: Overhopped for a helles lager. Mild piney hop character, floral notes, a kiss of evergreen, and some resins. Pale malts. Clean barley.

It's quite clean and ester-free in classic lager fashion, but aside from that it's really more of a pale lager.

Timid and light in intensity, but pleasant. Not a great aroma for any beer, and not to style by any means. Evokes a weak pale ale, if anything.

TASTE: Caramalt. Some bready malts. Clean lager yeast. Munich malts. It's overhopped, with way too much piney and floral character for a helles lager. A kiss of sour apple. Some light zest. Pale malts. Light spruce.

This is a chaotic mess of a build regardless of style, and a poor stab at a helles lager - imperialized or not. The beer has no focus or direction, and lacks basic cohesion. It's a hodgepodge of eclectic notes. Pleasant enough, but imbalanced as hell and poorly built overall.

It's complicated for a helles lager; I'm all for complexity but this is unnecessary and unsatisfying. Befuddlingly eclectic and diverse, with no clear aim and no unifying notes.

Alcohol is poorly disguised. There are no egregious off-notes.

True to the label, pine dominates.

Do I like it? It's not bad...definitely too sweet, overhopped though it may be.

Shallow depth of flavour. Average flavour duration. High flavour intensity (for a purported helles lager). Lacks any notable subtlety or nuance.

No yeast character comes through.

TEXTURE: Overcarbonated almost to the point of it being biting. Smooth, wet, overly full-bodied...it's just too hefty, heavy, and thick on the palate for a helles lager, and isn't in any way a refreshing brew. Not sure what they're going for with this one.

This texture is as unfocused as the taste. There's some rather unfortunate alcohol warmth - and this is a helles lager?

It's not gushed, astringent, harsh, or scratchy.

OVERALL: It's not an awful beer, but it doesn't really feel like a deliberate one either. It's as though a homebrewer just bought a bunch of ingredients at random and threw them in the brew kettle without any regard for a style...that could work, but it doesn't work here. A mess of a brew which is ultimately quite pedestrian and certainly below average. I'm all for experimentation, but this is quite a failure. Wouldn't recommend it to friends, wouldn't buy it again. Not the quality I hope for when I buy a beer with Southern Tier's name on the label.

Low C-

 3,248 characters

Photo of TMB0424
2.74/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

from notes. poured into flute.

Pours a golden straw body with a tiny head that quickly disappeared. Good retention, however.

I don't know what they were going for with this, but it's not pleasant. Smells of pine - like straight up pine needles from a tree - and an odd, musk-like smell. Not much else here, and it's bad.

Taste is nothing like the smell, but it's not much better. The pine is translated into grapefruit, with that musky taste as well, with a little bit of caramel malts. It's bitter, yes. But hoppy? I don't know. It's very weird.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty crisp in the mouth. Dry finish. I'm glad we split a bottle of this, because there's no chance I would drink a bomber to myself. Between the pine tree smell and the "offness" of the taste... I just didn't enjoy it.

 799 characters

Photo of beaulabauve
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks orange when poured. Tastes way too sweet.

48 characters

Photo of icehawk
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

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Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,256 ratings.
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