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Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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very good
445 Reviews
Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager)

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

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 445 | Ratings: 1,222
Photo of stephenjmoore
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber colored body with a sticky beige head. A little darker than most helles with a ton of good lacing.

S- Biscuity malts, caramel malt, piney hops, lager yeast, some fruity aromas.

T- Sweet malt dominates the flavor with a nice bitter hop flavor in the back, along with some fruity flavors. Dried fruit comes in at the end along with a bitter hop finish.

M- Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. A slight crisp bite at the end.

O- A pretty unique offering, especially for the holidays. Good mix of traditional lager flavors, with a great hop punch and well hidden abv.

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Photo of Geegmasta
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance- The body is a deep amber color with a white head that remains for quite awhile. The head is bubbly and about 0.5'' thick.

Smell- Hoppy with coriander and grassy. Has a slight fruity undertone.

Taste- A mild hop taste but semi-sweet then you get bombarded with a nice citrus/orange aftertaste with a slight bit of oregano. No hint of the 9% ABV.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with little carbonation. No real effects other than a standard liquid in your mouth.

Overall- Not a bad beer, I really thought I wasn't going to enjoy it from the smell but it turned out to taste much better than it smelled. It's just not a good beer though. I feel like nothing really blends well with this and is a bit bland in the beginning of the taste. I am likely not to buy this again.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Kasteel chalice glass.

Appearance- An orangish color with a quarter inch of whispy white head that dissipates into a light layer on the surface. Some very very slight lacing.

Smell- At first a piney hops then a srtong bready malt aroma.

Taste- Wowza, what a malt bomb. Bread malts, biscuits,grains, and corn with a slight piney hop finish. Also, a slight roasy quality on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Thick mouthfeel. Almost like eating fresh bread. A meal in a bottle for sure. This is like doppelbock style.

Overall- Great beer that would be nice on a cold night with a slice of warm buttery bread. This sets the standard for lagers.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flute glass.

Appearance: Not gold like most lagers, brownish gold with an off-white head and pretty damn thick coming off almost a full inch off the body.

Smell: Light hops, little more potent than your regular lager but nothing impressing.

Taste: Lightly bitter, roasted hops are pretty evident. The strength of hops and a lighter malt feel are way what is this brew boasts of.

Mouth: A crisp toasted bread feel that comes off dry but effectively compliments the after-taste. Smooth with medium carbonation that feels heavy at first gulp.

Overall: This in the end is a Vienna lager on roids, hearty and ridiculously full of flavor. It's not one of those complex brews because it comes at you straight forward. It is what is is really good beer. Salud!

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip; clear orange, visible rising bubbles with a huge fluffy white head that fades slow leaving chunky lacing.
Smell is floral hops as well as more bitter earthy ones, along with lager yeast and darker breadiness.
Taste is slightly dark bready malt, bitter floral hops and earthy notes, along with a slight puff of alcohol heat. A very hoppy lager, delicious.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-light bodied and well-carbonated.
Overall, another beer I'm glad I picked up to give a full review. I forgot how good it was. It's a great hoppy strong lager, and I also enjoy the fact that they didn't feel the need to call it "India" something just because it's well-hopped. Another great beer from ST.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very piney and citrusy on the nose. Not at all what I was expecting from a Helles, but then again, this is Southern Tier. No grain at all, but a sweet almost syrup characteristic on the tail end of the aroma.

Beautiful honey-like gradient, white head, clear liquor, and nice lacing.

Krampus has a deep, sweet caramel, honey, and molasses-like character to it. It's bitter, but only enough to take some of that sweetness away. This beer is pretty sweet having said that. It's almost cloyingly sweet. It is beyond full-bodied, it's sticky, smooth, has low carbonation, and dangerously easy to drink.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - 4.5 - Nice orange amber. Great, textured, cream-colored head. I want this kind of head on every beer. Very active carbonation.

S - 4.0 - Floral, sweet. I wouldn't have been able to isolate citrus but someone else mentioned it and I can see that. The aroma is so rich that I wanted to call it something else.

T - 3.75 - Bready malt, caramel, leaving behind a mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - 4.0 - Medium body, nicely smooth

O - 3.75 - Here's a lager with some welcome substance. Reminds me a bit of a DIPA.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Stellar appearance. Deep, dark golden bronze body. Crazy lace and retention on a bone white head.

S - Dusty floral hop. Earthy barn notes.

T - Smooth, creamy toffee ramps into a wet hay and horse blanket hop. Residual bitters balance a earthy caramel finish. Exceptional malt character.

M - Incredibly smooth with a well balanced full body.

O - A brilliant beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber. One finger head and nice lacing. An attractive pour. Aroma of strong hops and citrus. Nice rich malts and hops combination, citrus and pine. Start and middle are phenomenal, but somewhat dry and astringent in the hop finish. Points off for the astringency. This a refrigerated one year old bottle, but still tastes good. Will update after drinking a fresher one.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into snifter

Appearance – Poured a lightly hazy orange/amber color with a one finger white head. The head fades rather quickly to leave a fair amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is largely of citrus as well as a nice floral/herbal aroma. Mixed with this is a light funky aroma as well as some hints of alcohol.

Taste- The taste begins bready and malty with some citrus and yeast flavors. The citrus develops more toward the middle with it being largely of a more bitter grapefruit At the end an alcohol taste as well as a strong presence of some earthy and grassy flavors come to the tongue leaving a rather interesting slightly off flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The beer had a nice creamy body with a low level of carbonation. Good for the malty and floral hop flavors.

Overall – It was a tasty brew, but nothing that was really worth going out of the way for.

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Photo of wcintula
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I get nostalgic drinking beers like this. I saved this one from Christmas '11. Poured into a half-liter pokal, it's a gorgeous amber color with a big ole ecru colored head that sticks all over the place. Big hop smell, fantastic caramel/honey, alcohol esters invite you into a nice warming brew that's not so boozy, but it let's you know it's a strong one. Not what I expected with 'helles' on the label, but certainly satisfying.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

extremely clear deep orange pour with about half inch of head that remained throughout the whole glass. smells of rich grains, yeast, bready. tastes bitter up front with a sweet backbone of caramel/brown sugar, tastes of pilsner and wheat malts. refreshing, crisp, medium bodied but has the refreshing sensation of a light bodied beer. this is perfect for the style of beer that it is. i generally don't like lagers/pilsners, but this one changes the game.. give it a shot!

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Photo of Kromes
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A clear copper color with a thin off-white head that laces the glass.

S: Toasted malt and a crisp, grassy hop aroma.

T: More of the same from the aroma. Starts with a good toasted malt base and then the hops kick in. There are also some fruity esters that show up maybe peach and citrus. The grassy hop flavor is good and I was hoping it would finish clean, but it finished a little bitter and with a bit of alcohol flavor and burn.

M: Medium body with good carbonation and a bitter burn in the finish.

O: Pretty good. Not something I would go seek out, but for an imperial pilsner it is good.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber into tulip. DOB 12/05/11.

A: clear. bright orange. off-white head is very frothy and has good retention and lacing. lacing is very sticky. a bit dark, but this is an Imp. version so slightly expected.

S: boatloads of smooth malt sweetness. caramel. a very dense bready-ness. reminds me of banana bread without the banana aroma.

T: an underlying bitterness remains throughout a sweet, tangy malty body. a little bit of alcohol, but just the smallest touch. drinks clean with a dry finish.

M: moderate amount of carbonation on a very full body.

D: this is a big lager. i would actually recommend splitting this bottle between friends. overall i would say this drinks closer to an american strong (minus an intense hop character), than an imperial helles, but i still respect the effort.

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Photo of budgood1
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber.

pours out a clear perfect bronze colour with a light tan head leaving some chunky lace. first thing to assault the nose is some aggressive floral and spicy hopping. mostly of the noble variety if i'm accurate. a bit of candy like dark maltiness struggles to keep up with the hop nose...smells nice for a big lager such as this. the huge malt profile regains the upper hand in the taste profile, it's huge and sturdy showing off a blend of pale and dark malts with an underlying boozy kick. hop profile is all aggressive spice, providing a dazzling array of bitterness that lingers long in the finish. big, bold and brash best describes both the body and mouthfeel on this one. i wouldn't describe this as overly drinkable...nothing i want to chug too fast. double and imperial pils and the offspring they produce are still something i'm getting used to.

overall this is a pretty decent offering considering the difficulty in producing beers of this nature and making them approachable. on the other hand, it makes for a treat during bock season, which this brew so closely resembles. recommended.

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Photo of 57md
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden with a reasonable layer of head that dissipated quickly. The nose is of hops and apples (oddly enough). There is a mild malt flavor that is a bit thin. The hop finish was pretty strong for a helles.

I'd say - it's overwhelmingly ok.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 3 finger frothy head with nice lacing on a clear 50/50 amber and golden body.

S: very malty and aromatous. Subtle sweet corn and earthy notes.

T: flavor is pretty boozy and sour. Malt and sweet corn in the background.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: The aroma is excellent. The boozy flavor is a little much but it mellows out as you drink it.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber with no freshness dating that pours a light amber colored body that is mostly clear. Two-finger off-white head that has good retention and good lacing.

The aroma is very IPA-like with a citrusy orange note coming out of the gate first. A little bready and sweet malt in the background but not much else.

Well, the flavor is not what I expected from the aroma. The hops are still dominant but lean more toward a pine and grassy flavor than the citrus that I picked up in the aroma. There is clearly still some citrus to be had, but it comes in secondary. The other flavors that I expected to get from a helles lager are much more muted.

Medium texture in the mouthfeel and just an interesting combination of ingredients overall that I like fairly well. If you like something a little different, give it I try.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear and vibrant deep orange color with a super sticky 2 finger off white head. Sweet subtle caramel malt on the nose with hints of biscuit and grain. Some earthy hops hidden underneath it all.

Medium in body with good carbonation. Strange front of the tongue bitterness. Very subdued flavor with a weaker malt profile than expected. Some toasty butteryness but not much with grassy bitter hops. Drinks like a somewhat more bitter hellos lager but the strangest part about this beer is that for such modest flavor the alcohol content is nowhere to be found.

Good beer but I expected a bit more from southern tier.

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Photo of woodsyy
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into pint glass

a: pours a dark copper, very golden, good visibility throughout

s: the smell was very average to me, I was kind of disappointed. very small hoppy smell, slighty floral

t: very crisp tasting beer, most of the flavor I'm getting is hops.

m: bitterness, smooth, medium-to-light body

o: I want to preface this saying that I'm not a big lager drinker, overall the beer was just slightly above average to me - this just being that is probably one of the better lagers I've tried.

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Photo of Thingus
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live tasting, bottle into Duvel Tulip

Appearance; pours a clear copper, with roughly two fingers of foamy straw colored head that quickly dissipates leaving a thin film of head with good lacing on the glass.

Smell; right out of the gate, Krampus hit me with a pretty wild fresh baked cherry almond bread kind of aroma... Wonderful, hoping it holds through to the flavor, as that is an incredible smell.

Taste; definitely yeasty and bready with some cherry or cranberry or other kind of red fruit esters creeping in at times... Missing is the almond and toast that I detected in the nose... A slight bit of alcohol astringency and hop bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel; slightly dry on the finish, that ties in well with the astringent alcohol notes in the beer, a little hop bite toward the end, with some residual bitterness...

Overall; I don't have a whole lot of experience with, or knowledge of this style, but I do know that I enjoyed the beer. I went into it with an open mind and a clean palate, while not an exceptional beer i do feel like it is a solid beer and I feel like this would be a good beer to drink in a liter mug!

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Photo of HopNelius
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served out of a bomber into an Irish Pint glass.
Appearance-amber with medium carbonation, some lacing.
Smell-crisp, like a lager but with some citrus hop notes coming through.
Taste-bread taste with some notes of citrus hops coming through, dark fruit notes but very light.
Mouthfeel-pleasant and refreshing, very drinkable.
Overall-not a bad beer, I have not had a lager in a long time when I tasted this however. I would try this again, it is good for what it is, which would be one of the better lagers I have had.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pilsner glass.

A- Pours clear orange with a little quarter finger head, dissapates rather quickly as you would probably expect.
S- A really nice smelling beer. I get a nice hop aroma up front, seems very fresh. The hops smells are very itrusy in this one so grapefruit and some other dark fruits. A hint of brown sugar.
T- A truly unique tasting beer. This is somewhere inbetween an IPA and an Imperial Pislner. A good citrusy hop flavor and some dark fruit as well. The hop bitterness seems to overpower the feel of malts but there are malts back there. The malts are somewhat butter biscuit esque.
M- This is one bitter and dry pislner. It has the bitterness of an IPA and the dry feel of a pilsner which makes for a truly unique feel.
O- This is a pretty good beer and certainly a unique one but not one I will likely buy again... Well I may wait til next years release.

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Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Krampus opens with a yeasty, hoppy, bready nose, each of these existing in good balance with each other. The hops bring a bright citrus aroma, full of lemon, pink grapefruit, and eucalyptus, while the malts add yeasty, floury rising wheat bread dough, French baguettes, and touches of brown sugar and caramel. The aromas are potent when the bottle opens, but do fade as the beer is left out, and after only a minute or two have lost much of their potency. Still, the aromas are tempting, if light.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a hoppy shock that would not go amiss in an Imperial IPA. Huge citrusy lemon, grapefruit rind, pine, and eucalyptus notes are present here, as well as a touch of dandelion stem and mint. The beer is also white pepper spicy. Malts are somewhat difficult to locate against the hop slam, but there are good toast crust and biscuit notes, as well as floury French baguette crusts. Some brown sugars help temper the brew. The aftertaste is mainly hops, with lingering floury breads. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, while I liked the hop flavors in here, I thought they overpowered the brew, making the malts difficult to locate. The beer as a whole feels unbalanced because of this, and the lemony hops combine with the floury baguette flavors to give the beer a lemon-lime soda undertone that seemed strange. The brew isn't bad, of course, and hopheads will find it lovely, but I thought a few more sugars and a better caramel-vanilla base would have helped.

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Photo of match1112
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: nice clear dark copper body with two fingers of thick creamy white head. excellent retention and lacing.

s: very malty with caramel standing out the most. piney hops.

t: sweet and malty with a strong pine hop presence.

m: thick and oily. good carbonation, a resiney taste is left on the tongue. a long dry bitter finish.

o: meh, dont hate it, but wont buy it again.

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Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 1,222 ratings.
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