Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
454 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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Reviews: 454 | Ratings: 1,254
Photo of selecter70
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My heart leapt when I saw a Southern Tier offering at Christmas-time named after the Krampus Fest! However such joyous anticipation soon became confusion, as my expectations of a heavier Christmas-style/Winter ale were challenged. The pour was brighter than expected, an orangey-light glow to yellow with a 2" fizzy white head and trace lacing. Clean, smooth and light with a malt lager taste and orange-lemon hop. A nice summery lager...drinkable...maybe a prank on us by Krampus?

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Photo of ballewblake
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

No head on this one, no visible carbonation, translucent amber body. Soapy lingering lacing. Floral nose, piney. Sweet and hoppy on the tongue, grapefruit, pines. Great hoppy beer, great drinkablity for a hop bomb. Thanks to beerdiablo for bringing this out.

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Photo of JasonA
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seems to pour a bit thick. Solid 2 head, maybe a bit dark for style though.

Smells an ABV lager. Perfect I think. Quite hoppy for a lager. Doesnt smell exactly like German hops I think. Though tough to keep track with ABV.

Hoppy ABV lager. There is something very nice in there, unlike a standard imperial pilsner. Very nice.

Might be a just bit thick. Almost syrupy. Carbonation is swell. Nice after taste.

I definately want more.

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Photo of dickieb
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber in color with a 1 1/2 finger head and some above average lacing. The smell is dominated by fresh hops and some sweet spiced malts. The taste is bulit around a german hop profile with rather light malt flavorings and a lingering yeast flavor. Their are also some hints of lemon and almost Belgian spices. The mouthfell is of a larger beer, but not to thick and its a pretty drinkable brew. I have no Idea what other Helles Lager's taste like but this is very good, especially for a christmas beer.

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Photo of mjryan
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier, sometimes they hit, sometimes they miss, but they are always interesting. Krampus hit the bullseye for me! Smells like flowers and pinecones. The aroma reminds me of cutting open the little bag of pellet hops and stinking my nose in their on brew day. There is also a bit of bready malt character in the aroma as well. The colour is a clean golden. Big, white head with good retention and moderate lace. Flavour is very hoppy, and tastes very much like it smells. The malt character is simple and bready, much like a helles should be. Bitterness is present but not intense. Very light bodied and dry for such a huge beer. The 9% abv is totally masked. Overall this beer is fantastic! Its more akin to a DIPA than a Helles lager...but the lager character is still present. Nicely done and highly recommended.

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Photo of Vierenner
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A quality beer from a quality brewery! I've had this several times before but never submitted a review. Pours a nice, clear, copper color with a decent foam head which recedes to a persistent layer of thin foam. Smell is mildly aromatic. Taste is quite satisfying, although more hoppy than one might expect from a lager. Overall a very delicious beer.

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Photo of Genuine
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad I was able to find this at a local package I enjoy seasonals.

Poured from the bomber into a clean pint glass. Poured a very nice dark amber but becomes a very nice copper when light is passed through it. A bit cloudy.

Smell - the nose on this one is just smells like Christmas in a bottle. Very fresh, piney and citrus notes come across the nose first, along with a hint of spices and the malts sing through as well.

Taste - I was hoping that this beer would not disappoint, and it doesn't! Very nice malts at first with crisp hops for the finish...the spices are not noticed till the beer has time to warm up. Liquid Christmas in a bottle.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation, this brew could not have been any more perfect.

Drinkability - this is a perfect sipper for a cold winter night, while counting down the nights till Christmas. Very nice to have around for family party's and get togethers. At 9%, it'll be sure to warm you up on the coldest of nights.

Had it again the other night.

New Notes:

Taste: found this one to be a bit sweet on the finish. Hops are present but not as much as I originally thought. Very citrus/fruity.

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Photo of danadeny
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a rich copper orange clear body and average head. carbonation is average. the smell is mostly hoppy, citrussy grapefruit. the hops overpower all other smells except a little alcohol. flavor is dominated by hopps. tangy citrus hops. soo much hops that i wouldnt be able to tell you this is a helles style to start with. it tastes like a rich american pale ale or ipa. the alcohol is the only other flavor that is not drowned out by the hopps, and a fruity finish is nice. mouthfeel is oily and slick. drinkability is averiage, although for being 9% i find it's pretty smooth. overall this is an imperial style for sure. but a hells is so delicate in the first place that adding a bunch of hopps just drowns out all the other characteristics that make it a helles. this beer is more like a rich ipa.

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Photo of brian44556
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this beer during the holiday season. Didn't see a freshness date. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

Pours a very dark orange, amber color. Reminds me of a DIPA. Has a thick, two-finger off-white head with nice lacing. Smells of butterscotch, banana, and clove. Has a great taste of hop bitterness, caramel, with a malty backbone. This beer is very carbonated and has a great thick mouthful. Overall a good beer. I haven't had much experience with the Helles Lager style, but after drinking this I'm a fan. This will be on my radar every holiday season.

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Photo of mnapier
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Temperature, 50 degrees. Serving Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

I would like to first preface this as interesting in that an imperial helles is not all that common. With that said this beer pours orange and clear with an initial strong foamy head that dies out leaving a nice lining of lace throughout.
The nose is interesting with the intersect of tangerine citrus, and spicey notes, and some honey.
The mouth is medium with strong hop profile, with cinnamon, and honey, and the previously mention tangerine like ctirus.

Interesting to say the least but non one I would want to hadn to someone new to helles.


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Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber picked up at Bowery Beer Room at Whole Foods in NYC. Aroma is a lot like a bock, with a bigger hop presence; pine, some citrus, really interesting. Taste is sort of surprising, really DIPA-y, but with a lot of herbal notes. Citrus as well. At first the hops are pretty aggressive but it mellows pretty quickly. Reminds me of the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner quite a bit, but I think it has more to say for itself. Happily it's not overbearing at all, really well balanced with a nice smooth mouthfeel. Excellent drinkability, alcohol is well hidden. Really original, another great, unique beer from Southern Tier.

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Photo of pershan
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a deep honey-amber with a thin white head into a pint glass. The aroma was of fresh, piney hops - very nice. The flavor was an appealing combination of caramel malt in the forefront, with a smooth hop flavor and fairly significant hop bitterness at the finish. A bigger, more bitter version of your standard German helles, but a good fit for the high ABV. Very drinkable.

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Photo of shaebs99
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into my hennepin glass with minimal head, but leaves nice lacing on the sides as I drink it

aroma is mostly of fruity and floral hops

taste is of the floral and citrus hops, but the aftertaste is reminiscent of a helles lager. Maybe I am thinking that because I just read it on the bottle. Besides the slight indescribable aftertaste there is no connection to a helles. Either way it is still enjoyable

Very smooth beer. I couldn't really pick too much up on the alcohol in this beer so I would give it a nice mark for drinkability. Even if this no longer resembles a helles lager I still approve and will get some more to drink. A nice hoppy lager that finishes dry and a surprising drinkability

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Photo of jhammel01
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color thats very clear with a whitish head that starts great but fades fast.

Smells great. Not what I'd expect...its very piney with hops. Its a very good smell just not what I was expecting. Plenty of orange peel, pine and oily hops.

Tastes of heavy hops like an IPA with plenty of bready finish that really, really seems more like an ale than and Helles lager. I think the title of an imperial pilsner does fit it more. A very clean tasting beer that doesnt taste that alcoholic.

A good body...again, reminds me of an IPA in body taste and smell! Its a thicker, medium bodied beer. Almost milky in a sense...Very nice.

An awesome beer. It may not be Christmas anymore but this a great beer for a cold night. Its 20 degrees out here in NJ.

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Photo of bminor7
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 from Hoosick in Troy.

A - chestnut brown. light lacing.

S - very sweet hops smell. very inviting.

T - one of the sweetest beers i've ever tasted. close to cloying but delicately avoids it. can't say that i've had many examples of the style but this is very good. complex malt interwoven with knockout hops presence.

M - excellent thickness and carbonation. gave this a 5 here.

D - good. Southern Tier recommends rather cool temperatures for serving their beer; this is no exception at 48 F. I think this is too cold to really respect the abundance of flavor in this beer.

overall, has a strong character very fitting of the christmas motif. wish it was available all the time - get it if you can!

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Photo of begforme4484
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange and amber color. Not a lot of off white head but it laces the glass very well.

The nose is very hop focused. Floral and piney, very aromatic. Sweet breadiness in there as well.

Very bittersweet. Earthy and grassy hops, that are pretty bitter. The malt sweetness is masked by the hops and they blend together for a pretty nice flavor. 9% is hidden well, can't sense much alcohol notes, but the warming is very obvious, and nice.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy with moderate carbonation. It's dry and lingering.

Drinkabilty is definitely a sipper and the warming and 9% creeps up on you. Nice to have a cold December night.

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Photo of jfmorey
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass:

A - Clear amber with a good head that reduced slowly to good lacing

T- Enough complexity to balance the alcohol: sweet, citrus, pine, bitter.

M - Full, very good for a lager

D - Can a 9% be "drinkable" ? Yes

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Photo of beersensei305
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber color, a little hazy, nice white head with good lacing

S- Malts and piney hops, a tad sweet

T- big hoppy and citrus flavor, very malty sweet, not biter from the hops, citrusy, and a tad piney

M- The taste lingers, syrupy, mdeium bodied

D- reminds me more of an IPA than a Pilsner with all the hops and citrus. a sipping beer. fairly complex.

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Photo of LI_PO12
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Tulip

Appearance- Copper, white head, clear

Aroma- Bready buscuity malts, lemon, minty herbal hops, gets better as it warms

Flavor- deep bready malts, slightly toasted, herbal lemon hops notes, up front bitterness, followed up with a sweetness, and finishes dry with some alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel- medium, moderate carbonation, some alcohol warmth

Overall- This is a great beer, its an interesting style to imperialize, but its def pulled off here. I wish this was year round, but Ill drink it up while I can each winter.

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Photo of LittleBreeze
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber. Off white head. The citrus and piney hop smells are attractive. There is something else there...Mint? Grassy? Spices?

The taste is...not good. I described the taste as sort of skunked. I was assured that was on purpose. Okay...ick. Not my favorite style. Mouthfeel was rather nice. Not to much dancing on the tongue.

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Photo of negroobserver
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hard to believe that this is technically a lager. Its appearance is that of an ale. Color is a nice golden brown color. Pours with about a 1/4 inch of white head which lingers for a bit and leaves light lacing on the glass.

Smells sweet, a bit hoppy/grassy.

Tastes a little sweet with the hoppy bitterness and sweet maltiness in the middle. It's very nicely balanced and flavorfull. LIght to moderate bitterness at the back end, which transitions into a largely clean finish.

The weight of the beer is nice. It's not too dense or light. It has body and weight without being the dominant characteristic and also without making you feel like something is missing. Very Good.

Overall, I find that the beer is smooth and easy to drink. Not sure what the ABV on this is, but I'd have to guess that it's closer to 8+%. The remarkable thing is that the alcohol doesn't show up in the aroma. No phenols that I can identify. VERY GOOD.

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Photo of kkosmoski
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. Appears a very rich copper color with a fair amount of thick off-white head. Very clear in the glass, but much darker than I was expecting. Kind of a weird floral or fruity aroma up front with some toffee tones. Blurred malt flavors trying to jump out and shine but are mostly held back and muddled together. Light caramel, toast and slight roast mixed into one mono-toned flavor - I don't find it very pleasing. Some lemony bitterness comes into play at the end. Heavy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. This is not very drinkable in my opinion. It is heavy, the malt flavors are not crisp and defined, and I'm picking up on some sort of a weird off-aroma. Not one of my favorites from Southern Tier by any means. I was looking for a completely different beer here - its a miss for me.

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Photo of seedsofchaos
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A bottle is popped and the scent of fresh hops fills the vicinity. Strange.. Pacific Northwest hops in a Helles Lager. Pours a golden apricot. Excellent clarity. Beautiful head. A good one inch white and billowing head makes this very nice to look at. I haven't really been disappointed with Southern Tier's larger format bottle of any variety quite yet. Once in my pint glass the aroma is significantly different. Bready and sweet definitely but there is a hint of spice in there as well. The spice plays in the back of my nostrils much like a cold chai latte. Perhaps there's a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg in there. Can't grasp it long enough to make a solid correlation.

The flavor hits one first more like a pale ale. It's a touch medicinal with a full mouthfeel. Wow, this thing spiderwebs like crazy and that lacing doesn't seem to be going anywhere. A little bit of that signature lager yeast funk comes in but doesn't take away from the rest of the beer. A bit astringent and a bit of cardboard comes through. This bottle is a bit old... Found it on clearance at my local. Figured I'd still give it a whirl. The wonderful florals that come through in the aroma don't really carry over into the taste so whether or not this is due to design or age I can't really be sure.

This isn't a bad beer. This isn't a great beer. This sample probably was a bit too old of a beer though. Definitely filling and full-bodied but, still, this brew doesn't really do it for me personally. I think, as far as style goes, it's a fairly decent offering that's just had too many months on it. A seasonal for Christmas... drank in February...

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Photo of mikeborglum
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bottle... Poured a nice clear amber color with a small, creamy, off-white head - nice lacing. Aroma is musky, earthy, pine and resin with a touch of citrus, grapefruit. A full bodied brew with modest carbonation. Very malty and sweet, but good balance with generous bitter hops. Bittersweet finish that dries out and long lasting. Nice and creamy on the palate. Very drinkable!

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Photo of Celt44
4.54/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a beautiful dark amber hue with a frothy head..with lacing that lasts througout..

Aroma - Strait up Southern Tier - strong floral hops...followed by a malty, biscuty blast...some fruitiness, as always, mixed in.

Tate - A perfect balance, IMHO, of malts and hops STBC has ever done. Bitter hops up front with sugary malts to follow. Hard to say, but, this beer is basically...hops and malts....period.

Mouthfeel - Beautiful and patient..

Overll another excellent selection from STBC. Absolutely delicious...

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Krampus (Imperial Helles Lager) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,254 ratings.
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