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 tburkhart
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this with BA raznug the other day when we did our own little Southern Tier tasting while brewing a batch of our own beer.

Pours a dark golden with some red hues. Sticky head with mild carbonation.

Smells of hop spiciness. Not overwhelming, but nicely balanced with some malt undertones.

Tastes slightly of hops, slightly of malts. Bit sweet on the back palette.

Mouth feel was quite nice.

Not a beer I would drink all the time, but would drink again.

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Photo of THORN
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. poured into Duvel snifter. Served 45-50 F.
A: Reddish brown and pink around the edges. Small single bubbles of CO2 release from bottom of snifter. Retains 1/4 inch of vanilla colored head. Nice sticky lacing left around snifter.
S: Fruity hops and light malts. Smell can be picked up multiple feet from snifter.
T: Resiny and floral hops are accompanied by toasted nutty malts.
M: Very slight warming.
D: Hop-malt balance is a little off. Alcohol is well covered.

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Photo of mbusster88
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bomber into pint glass.

A: Pours with huge head, medium bubbles and off white. Body is golden in color with a good amount of carbonation.

S: Huge west coast IPA notes of citrus, grapefruit and orange nominate.

T/M: Taste is mild and well balanced. The taste totally contradicts the smell. This is the only way I could tell it was a lager. Very nice malt balance gives the beer a good character. Good mouth feel that is easy to drink and well done.

D: Easy drinking beer that would be very sessionable. Would recommend this for new craft brew drinkers for sure!

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

I picked up a 22oz bottle, poured into a snifter glass. Pours an amber/dark orange sort of color with thick head. Leaves lots of bubbly on the side of the glass. My initial reaction to the aroma was "WHOA!" Real sharp aroma, full of hops and pine. I smell a bit of citrus in there as well. Smooth mouthfeel without a lot of fizz. Mild stickiness. Smells sharper than it tastes. The taste is real hoppy at first, but settles down into sweet malt and bitterness. I can't really taste the alcohol, but I drink this having just run five miles and I definitely feel the alcohol. Overall, I like this a lot. This is the first beer of this style that I have ever tried, so I don't really have anything to compare it to. It's an enjoyable beer to drink though and I will be buying more.

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Photo of cbak999
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This lager pours a very clear, bright, orange with a small head that dissipates very quickly. The smell on this one is a bit off; almost like dish water, with I attribute to the lager yeast. But the hop taste is right on. The 9% is well hidden by the hop balance. Sweet at first with a strong hop after taste. A very nice treat. I look forward to more of these in the future!

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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.

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Photo of HopEnthusiast
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, very nice one-finger thick creamy off-white head, which leaves some very nice thick sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, citrus, and some pines. The taste is very nice, malty, slight hops, very nice chewy, citrus/pine notes. Medium body, slight bitter finish. Very drinkable, this is one tasty brew,

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Photo of Tbn2
4.86/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap at Blue Tusk in Syracuse.

Pours a clear amber/cooper body with no head present.

The smell is full of hop aromas. A big evergreen presence from the hops; almost smells like throwing a bunch of pine needles on a fire. The grains have add a good toasted smell, but are hardly noticeable with the big hop flavor.

Taste is just what you would expect from the smell. Hops have a very clean, bright, and fresh taste to them. The malts comes in a the end of the to give it a little bit of sweetness and add that roasted flavor. Only complaint: Carbonation was a little light for my taste.

This is a great one from one of my favorite NY breweries.

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

I had skipped over this beer the past few years but finally decided to pick one up this season, and was very glad that I did.

A: A nice reddish/orange color with a respectable head and some patchy lacing left on the glass.

S: Earthy/flowery hops and a sweet maltiness combine together to form a very attractive smell.

T: Medium/dark malts start off followed by a very pleasant earthy and pine hop flavor. Nice strong hop presence without really being too bitter.

M: medium bodied with a nice carbonation.

D: Great taste and smell makes me want to keep drinking. I really enjoy the hop flavor in that you have a strong hop presence without being overly bitter. Alcohol is present but doesn't detract too much and doesn't keep me from downing this beer very easily.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last year, before I cared to review beers. Got another one remembering that I enjoyed it before. 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Amber colored body with a thick 2+ finger head. Maybe got a little too excited with this pour, because it foamed over. Impressive nonetheless. Ample retention, minimal lacing.

Smell: Big hops, some citrus, some sweet apple aroma. A bit grassy. Come caramel malt comes out, but just faintly at the beginning. Nothing bitter or yeasty so I contend to those that don't think this was lagered that I indeed feel it was. Very smooth.

Taste: Some cracker malt flavors, a bit of caramel sweetness, but all this is disguised for the most part by the hop presence. A bit of bitterness, citrus, grapefruit, grass all come through. More hops than I expected even for an imperial lager.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with an easy finish. Not bitter, not bubbly, this is where it proves its really a lager. Alcohol come through a touch, but the overall flavor profile was still delightful.

Drinkability: Medium bodied but still quite drinkable. Alcohol will catch up with you but a whole bomber is certainly not out of the question.

A very odd but interesting brew. Fit's Southern Tier's MO quite nicely. I enjoyed this one, but the price deters me from enjoying too many of these.

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Photo of atremains
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, decent head that leaves good lacing. Solid looking beer. Smell is big on the hops, with some bready notes going on and some sweetness. Taste is big on the hops with a very faint alcohol bite. Fresh doughlike flavor strikes me. Citrus and piney hops with some good malt backbone. Pretty mellow for the amount going on here. Mouthfeel is relatively thin but has a good relaxing feel to it. A good solid beer though not what I expected.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this Imperial Hellas Lager from a 22 bottle into a Weizen glass.

A - Poured to a beautiful, crystal-clear, carmel/copper color, with a creamy tanish 2 fingered head.

S - Strong alcohol scent, citrusy and pine notes. Maybe some note of tropical fruit

T - Hoppy, burnt toast or rubbery bitter aftertaste, but not in an off-putting way. Malty taste, but it is tempered by a booziness that masks it a bit. Drinks like an IPA.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation, carmely. The hoppiness creates a bitter pervasiveness in the mouth that leads to the perception of a fuller body.

D - If you like a hoppy brew, and I do...this is a really fine tasting lager. It's not too light, and its clear, refreshing taste makes it a pleasant drink. It's 9% ABV makes it dangerous.

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Photo of Thingus
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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 FatSean
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this in bombers at my favorite beer store. Bought a few to give as gifts and one for myself.

I'm a big fan of the Helles lager so of course an imperial version had to be tasted. Imperial lagers rarely keep the character of the regular style as well as Imperial ales do. This beer was no exception. The hops walked all over the wonderful bready malt flavors I love in a Helles. The sweetness was there, but over all the beer just seemed disjointed.

Worth a shot, I might try it again next year myself.

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Photo of madtappers
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a imperial glass.

Nice dark brown color, with a white head. Aroma was hoppy, not sure if it was really a piney or citrus smell, just a nice clean hop smell.

First drink was pure bliss, has a taste of a smooth barley wine with a perfect mix of both hops and malt back. Very drinkable for a 8% beer.

I will drink this one again next Christmas season!!!!

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Photo of vapodge
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber poured into a pilsener glass

A - dark golden; quite a bit of carbonation gives it a considerable head; good lacing

S - flowery and hoppy, little bit of malt in the nose

T - hoppy and sweet malt -- lot of both, alcohol is there

M - coats the tongue with sweetness, but is dry nonetheless

D - smooth, but a huge amount of flavor so is not one to drink quickly

Yet another solid beer from Southern Tier -- these guys are pretty good.

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Photo of Tifore
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a orange gold that is crystal clear and looks refreshing after hauling the christmas tree up the stairs into our apartment. Pours a nice white fluffy head that is about 1 finger tall and deflates quickly but leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S - HOPS!!!! A great citrus smell hits your nose quickly as well as lots of sweetness. Slight yeast and malts in the background.

T - Taste is of hops and malts. Lots of grapefruits and of carmel. Bittersweet exactly pegs the taste. Finishes bitter and clean. No lingering after taste.

M - Mouthfeel is medium and holds up to the flavor profiles. Pretty good carbonation and bubbles attack the tounge.

D - Drinkability is good but I wouldn't want to drink the whole bomber to myself or drink this all night.

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Photo of HopNelius
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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 jsp2
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a smooth and balanced blend of alcohol, hops, and malts. This is a terrific flavor. The alcohol is quite present but not in a harsh way at all. Dangerously drinkable as well. There was a decent head on the pour into the pint glass that subsided somewhat quickly. What a ridiculous lager.

At $6.99 for a 22oz bottle this is pricey for a lager, albeit a strong one. I probably will not buy it regularly but will definitely keep it in the repetiore when a strong lager is called for.

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

22oz bottle into ST 2XIPA glass.

A- Brilliant copper color. Foamy head that reduces way down with good lacing on the glass.

S- huge citrus hop aroma and a little sweetness.

T- Huge on hops and huge on malt sweetness....tons of flavor here. Each sip finished sweet and clean, dry finish.

M- Medium bodied and medium carbonation, but enough to support the flavor.

D- This beer definitely assaults the palate it in a good way, but I do not think I could drink this all night long.

A damn good beer. I like the hop forward character of this beer better than alot of ST's other beers that come off very sweet (Unearthly, Mokah, etc.)

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Photo of BigBlacke
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Krampus light caramel haze color with a nice foamy .5 inch head that quickly dissipates to a thin off white film. Smells of sweet caramel with subtle pine hops. Krampus has the perfect amount of sweetness too it. Not overbearing. A nice piney hop presence is noted. Mouthfeel is stick and creamy. Drinkability is high for me. Very impressive and balanced beer. Ummm.

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Photo of WindUpBird
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber with a thin head. Smells of pine and tropical fruit.
The taste is sweet, spicy and boozy with a perfect balance of bitterness. Very nice

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Photo of Norica
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received from Orcasteve's GB Packer LIF. Thanks Jeff!

Pours a nice copper color with great retention and lacing. Aroma is of nice pine and a little citrus. Not too much burn for a 9.0% lager with an above average mouthfeel which is nice. This beer goes down much easier than it should for such high abv. Paired this with some monterrey jack cheese but am thinking would be perfect with some Christmas sugar cookies. A great beer to share with some friends and family over the holidays.

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Photo of cwps48
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange amberish in color. Transparent. Small head, sticks around for a bit. Leaves a good amount of lacing when cold, not so much when warms. Surface looks like the basolateral PM of a COS7 cell...

S: Floral hops. A bit of citrus smell. Not much going on beyond the hops, though as it warms, the sweetness of the caramel malts comes out.

T: Hoppy. Floral. Rather bitter. Some caramel malt coming through. Tastes more like a DIPA than an imperial pilsner (makes sense, no Saaz hops apparently).

M: Decent carbonation. Nice wet finish.

D: Smooth. Each sip leaves me wanting some more; wouldn't want a second, but the one was nice.

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Photo of Dhren1979
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage: 2010

Serving type: 22 oz Bomber poured into a Tulip glass:

A: Pours a amber color with dense, 1" head. The head holds its own and doesn't look to leave anytime soon. Clody & hazy!

S: A surprising hoppy presence. Sweet malty aroma as expected. All of the aromas are somewhat muted.

T: A malty begining which gradually develops into a bitterness hoppy finish.

M: One of the 1st craft beers that I can say is on the lighter side of mouthfeel. Kind of refreshing to be lighter and not as complex.

D: A good session beer for the winter. Would I want to buy a whole case of this? No. But a good beer to have a few around to sit back and read a book.

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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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