Helles Kitchen
Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC)

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Smoked Beer
Ranked #59
Ranked #26,620
3.85 | pDev: 5.45%
Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC)
New York, United States
Very Good
Notes: Classic German-style Helles lager, with an added layer of beechwood smoked malt from the Franconian Jura Mountains. Subtle bonfire smoke, light herbal hops, crisp Alpine freshness, and a clean, dry finish. Approachable, food-friendly and supremely crushable.
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 15 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Gajo74 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the can, it pours a slightly cloudy, yellow color with visible carbonation. The head is moderate.

The aroma exudes smoky malts that evoke BBQ sauce, grilled meats and aged cheese. I also detect sweet grainy and honeyed notes of Pilsner malt.

Nice smoky flavors evoke both spicy and sweet BBQ notes to go along with the bready and sweet base Pilsner. Hops flavors provide bright citrus notes, earthy spices and balancing bitterness to compliment the peppery yeast notes. The finish is smoky and peppery dry. Medium bodied, crisp and lively carbonated.

Really enjoyable Helles Lager with wonderful smoky flavors. I would definitely drink again.

Jul 12, 2020
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can dated 04/09/20 into the test glass.
A - Beautiful clarity, lovely lazy lager carbonation cant hide. Starts with a thin and then dissapearing cap of white.
S - Sweet malt, a touch of smoked malt in there, equally a nice grassy hop aromatic, a kiss of lemon verbana.
T - Flavors center on the hops, again a hint of lemon verbana, smoked cheese, some biscuit and a lovely consistent malt thread.
M - Sweet start, a bit flabby for a sub 5%, the feel has some oily texture that makes me pause. A bit more carbonation maybe.
O - Glad to have tried this and will seek it out again.

Jun 21, 2020
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hops_for_thought from New York

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Friday night virtual tasting beer 4 - poured from a can (04/09) into a small plastic taster

L: slightly turbid yellow gold, medium/light white head no significant lacing

S: very nice smoky aroma, not as aggressive as I expected. Crisp, inviting

T: big change from the nose, much richer almost umami smoky flavor. Thinking nice smoked meat, smoky ramen (is that a thing?). Very refreshing, very full of flavor - want a plate of ribs or sausage asap

F: medium body, medium carbonation, slightly drying, again very refreshing

O: great smoked beer, nose a bit of a tease the taste is where this beer really shines. Would be amazing on a nice summer day, sitting outside with a plate of bbq

May 16, 2020
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at KCBC last year, as it ended up buried in my stash and out of order with the rest of their beers that I reviewed recently. Love the name and plays on words but this was more of a Rauchbier than a Munich Helles Lager. Sure, it was a bright lager but the taste of smoke and meat was present enough to nearly make this a meal unto itself!

Of course, this had a bright look to it as the pour was decent. A hazy, radiant gold filled my pint glass with plenty of head to top it off. Hardly any lacing was left behind as that settled down as the liquid was somewhat thin in consistency. Sausage, lemon, smoke, and bread filled the muted nose as this was quite light for a beer of this type. More smoky meat filled my palate as I sipped this with underlying hints of grease and biscuit in the taste. Somewhat full for a lager, this had just enough to proverbially chew on without feeling fake or contrived. A light carbonation with plenty of spicy bread in the lingering aftertaste and nose ensured that I'd enjoy this from start to finish.

Amazingly, the alcohol on this was so low that I would have reached for another, had there been another can of this here. This was a great take on the style that was the first Smoked Helles Lager that I ever had, as it left me wanting more. Heavier ales dominate current releases but a beer like this needs another go-around, just because of how clean and tasty it was without being the least bit heavy or overdone. Even though there wasn't a date to be seen on the bottom of the can, this was a nice tribute to a neighborhood that I'm familiar with via a style that I want to get to know better!

Jan 03, 2019
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metter98 from New York

3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that left a small patch of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of smoked malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has light to moderate flavors of smoked malts with underlying hints of bready malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The smoked malts in this Munich Helles Lager are much more subtle compared to a Rauchbier so it isn't overpowering if you're not a fan of smoky beers. It also has an interesting name - I'm thinking it's a play on words as a "smoky" version of a Helles, just like the gritty neighborhood in Manhattan next to the fumes of traffic from the Lincoln Tunnel and Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Serving type: can

Jun 03, 2018
Helles Kitchen from Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC)
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 15 ratings