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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Southern Tier Krampus Imperial Helles Lager

Southern Tier KrampusSouthern Tier Krampus Imperial Helles Lager:

If the legend of Krampus is true, then all the "naughties" will catch a whippin' at the hands of this Christmas critter while the "nices" get presents from Saint Nick. Make no mistake, the Krampus is not a being to be trifled with. This Imperial Helles Lager is a bombastic and malt and hops attack on the senses.

While I'm normally partial to ales over lagers, this helles is brimming with character. With four different malts listed as ingredients, the character of Krampus is remarkable. Yet malty as it is, Krampus maintains a nice hoppy dryness to balance it out. Even though they're both ales and don't have exactly the same flavors, Krampus reminds me a bit of Green Flash Le Freak and North Coast Brother Thelonius in that they are deliciously complex. Beer's basic ingredients can be mixed in an infinite number of ways and can produce something as intriguing as Krampus or as dull as ... well, let's just say that Southern Tier is guaranteed to keep you on your toes.

The recommended serving vessel is a snifter (I guess a tulip or a thistle would work) and I concur. Let this beer open up a bit and sip it slowly, sticking your face all up in there to get the full aromatic effect. I got the 22 oz. bomber bottle and wouldn't mind sharing it with a friend. At 9% abv, I'm sure that by the time I've finished the bottle by myself I'll be having a conversation with someone, but I should have made better arrangements.

Krampus is like other holiday beers because it warms you up. And how.
It is unlike other holiday beers in most ways. No traditional Holiday spices to speak of. That is, until I try Samichlaus Helles. I have a feeling there may be some kinship there.

Southern Tier Krampus Imperial Helles Lager:

Representation: 1.0
Accessibility: .875
Style: 1.0
Personal Preference: .925

Total Score: 3.8 Flags

[Read other Christmas Beer Reviews]

1 comment:

Scott-TheBrewClub said...

Nice review. Krampus was actually one of the few Christmas beer I had this season, and I'm glad I did! Like you, I prefer ales, but this lager is like none I've ever tried before! Southern Tier delivers with this one.

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