Velas Helles | Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant

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Velas HellesVelas Helles
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
Tennessee, United States | website

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
89
Avg:
3.18
pDev:
30.5%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 89
Reviews by chiefydawg:
Photo of chiefydawg
4.28/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again skully...
This seems to be the same beer as the Calhoun, which strangely has a higher average. A C+ for a GABF gold? Let's see...

Very clear yellowish-gold with thin white head. Decent carbonation to style. Some lacing. Admittedly, I poured it like a sissy; but nothing too impressive to look at. However, it is light, clear, and with white head at least.

Fragrant Graininess. Malty cereal sweetness. Underlying German hoppiness. Clean and elegant in it's light malty simplicity. Love the scent of this beer first to last sip! It is how I imagine Germany's best would be on their home turf or if the elements that be did not skunk the stuff sent to the states. Technically, it smells like a Bock yeast.

Crisp yet malty. Fresh raw pretzel dough. Some spicy, woodsy hop spiciness. Tastes hoppier than the malty smell (which keeps inviting me for another drink). Some lightly fruity honey. Malty without being sweet sticking to the breadiness. Warm sourdough biscuit center Pils with some balancing, spicy tang keeping it all in check.

Overall, this is one hell of a balanced, clean, grainy, hop-appropriated Helles. Some stickiness to the very end; but like the Pils (which I recall has a lot in common with this) it is a pleasant aftertaste. Should it cleanse the palate totally? I don't know because I have never been to a Deuschland Biergarten drinking the Bavarian greats, but I like the un-American-light-lager-residual. This would go nicely in one of my Corny kegs!

 1,487 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of markallmon
4/5  rDev +25.8%

Photo of nem2006
3.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Came out a clear, pale yellow with a slight head and medium carbonation visible.

The nose was sweet with floral notes. You can definitely catch the hops.

The taste was smooth and sweet. It almost tastes like a white grape juice, in my opinion. For a lighter beer I would say it was quite flavorful. I would take this over any main stream light beer any day.

 359 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.56/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap Knoxville location. Pours clear, bright yellow in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is honey and grass. Makes for a light bodied, high carbonation, sweet lager. Refreshing and malty, I could do several on a hot day.

 228 characters

Photo of Hugh37
3/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of elBecko
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of PUbeer
4.1/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dragon17
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of freewill35
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sunstealer
2.25/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of GeoCait
3.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of austinhensley
3.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Almost inch thick creamy like head. Tastes very similar to the German style beers that it is modeled after. Great lacing, looked like spider webs down the sides of the glass. Appearance was golden yellow. Didn't bother to smell it. Mouthfeel is how I believe a beer should be. Very drinkable, let's just say I had more than one. The bartender gave me a shot of Cherokee Red after I told him how bad it was when I tryed it, still tasted like shit.

 446 characters

Photo of Segelstrom
2.75/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of LJWalker
2.98/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of mikesgroove
3.2/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Brewgrass festival in Asheville, North Carolina. Consumed on 09/20/2008 and reviewed from notes taken at the time.

The pour was ok, a light straw colored lager was the first thing noticed. Very clear with a nice amount of carbonation. This converged into a decent sized head of white that faded nearly immediately upon forming.

The aroma was light, very light, to be honest almost non existent at times. After warming it came around a little showing some decent grain and bread like malt tones and a touch of some light earthy hops. The flavor was more of the same, with the key word here being very light in the profile especially. Decent body on top of a mostly grain profile, with more then adequate carbonation making up the bulk of this. Easy to drink I will have to admit, though the flavor was a bit too thin for me at times, it was still more then decent overall.

Overall not a bad little lager, though the subtleties were severely lacking it was still fairly decent. I would see no issue with throwing this down on a hot day, though I am sure there are much better lagers out there for sure. I am not really sure what to take away from this one as it is a hard style to really having any different in but I still feel even given that this is barely above average in any regard.

 1,312 characters

Photo of wcudwight
2.07/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours the color of any BMC. Might as well be Bud, Coors, Miller, PBR, or the Beast in my glass. No head, no lacing.
Smells of buttery corn
I really don't see how you could call this any other style, other than American Marco Lager. It's your pretty much run of the mill BMC beer. Taste is of corn and rice.
Very light bodied and watery.
So far this is the worst that I have tried from Smokey Mountain Brewery. It could be a lawn mower beer. But, if that's what you want why not go to the local grocery and get the cheapest Macro in cans.

 541 characters

Photo of witster18
2.18/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First know that my previous review was extremely positive...B+ I think.

I had to come back and review this beer because SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED....either I got a bad keg or this one has really gone downhill in that past 2 years.... one or the other...

unlike the last growler this was VERY flat....
the last one had less of a copper hue...
this one was VERY winey and overly sweet
the last one was crisp and refreshing and virtually no strong alcohol bite to the flavor..
the last one was one of the better Hellas styles I'd ever had....
this one was flat out TERRIBLE!

NOw...I would have dismissed it and not written another review if it weren't for the fact that I filled this sucker AT THE BREWERY!!! OUT OF THE BAR KEG!!! so there were NO excuses!

Next time I go back I'll revisit a pint just to see if it was a bad keg or if this thing has truly fallen off the 'good beer' map....

note to brewer
Marty,
I always enjoyed my trips to Gatlinburg... Playing a game of Adam's Family Pinball and picking up a growler of your Hellas were two of the biggest reasons...
take it from someone who's drank alot of your beer.... the last growler was embarassing.
Before I buy another I'll have to taste it first. Here's to hoping something just 'went wrong'.

 1,256 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.6/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad tasting brew at all here. It purs a Heineken-esque golden colour with a frothy head. The appearance wasn't what I expected and needless to say, was average at best.

The smell was slightly sweet and hoppy but had some grass notes to it as well. Again, pretty basic stuff here.

The flavour is very much in line with the smell, but more pronounced and enjoyable: hop, grass and some juiciness intermingle nicely throughout. The mouthfeel was right on with carbonation levels as they should be.

This one was fairly enjoyable, though not great, overall. Fix the appearance and smell a bit first (i.e. make them bolder) and they may be on to something here.

 670 characters

Photo of metter98
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Brent
3.36/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Perhaps the least personality of the beers I've had from this brewery. Very mild, with some malt caramel flavors. Hopping was modest, but the overall flavor profile was fresh and clean. Nothing wrong with this beer, it just really does not distinguish itself in any way.

 270 characters

Photo of elkinbrown
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of barleyroad
2.24/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light gold in appearance, very clear. The Smell lacks in any detectable aromas. The mouthfeel is crisp on the way in and then it is done. Taste is very uneventful and lacks any true charateristic, disappointing. Overall we have found this lacking in any real beer flavor.

 271 characters

Photo of Volsdawg10
2/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of lwcreasy
2.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Decent looking- gold and bright. Not much on the nose; some malt. Lacks malt flavor, a little too hop-balanced for a Munich Helles. Vegetal and slightly astringent in the aftertaste. Somewhat refreshing and drinkable.

 217 characters

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Velas Helles from Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
3.18 out of 5 based on 89 ratings.
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