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Cigar City Hotter Than Helles Lager

overall
70
99
style
Serve in Lager glass

bottled
common

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 346   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.31/5   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Why so punny? “Helles” is German for “light colored.” Hotter Than Helles is more than just a (very) silly pun; it perfectly reflects the nature of this beer. A lager meant to be consumed when it’s truly hotter than helles outside. So there are no peppers or spices in this beer!


3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bu11zeye (12400) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 5, 2016
(Draught) Pours a clear yellow body with a spare white head. Aroma of toasted grain, straw, and citrus. Flavor of grass, grain, citrus, and biscuit.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
islay (1853) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 5, 2016
12 oz. can, consumed on 1-5-16. Pours a clear, pale bronze to straw color. Large bubbles gather at the bottom of the glass. Moderate amount of short-lasting, cream-colored head. Nothing wrong with the appearance but nothing special about it either. Scents of cream, butter, flower petals, Chardonnay, and champagne. Quite pleasant, fresh aroma. Good, German-like, helles aroma. Very nice, golden raisin to green grape taste. Chardonnay (buttery white wine). The flavor matches the aroma. Light body. Lively, smooth, and frothy while still crisp. Good lager palate effects. Really nice helles overall. It’s a subtle style that is hard to stand out in this sort of rating system, but it is good. I’m sure it would be even better on a hot summer day instead of the cold winter day in which I’m drinking it.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1538) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2016
If a beer isn’t reflective of its marketed style, but still tastes pretty good – can you really fault it? That’s the case with Cigar City Hotter Than Helles Lager as it really isn’t “to spec” as far as traditional guidelines go, however, it does the job it’s supposed to. This is indeed a clean, refreshing, drinker-friendly lager than pairs with warm weather perfectly. That’s not something I get to say about a beer reviewed in January until I moved to Florida.

I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass. It was canned on 10/22/15 and a six-pack cost $8.99 ($1.50 per can or $0.12 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale, lemony yellow hue with a slightly cloudy body. Initially pours to a large, white, soapy head but it fizzles away quickly and completely leaving no lacing.

Smell: Pretty standard lager aroma with a hint of lemon, though very mild overall. Nothing off-putting at all.

Taste: I’d imagine if this beer were judged against other Dortmunders and Helles brews it probably wouldn’t fair well as it’s missing that distinct pilsner grain and spicy noble hop character. However, as a generic pale lager it works quite well. I have a feeling they’re using American hops in here since there’s a noticeably citrusy taste, especially of lemon and maybe grapefruit. There’s even a faint trace of tartness to be found, in fact it might even be lacto. That being said, I don’t find it distracting as it complements the citrusy components just fine. This would be a great transition brew for macro drinkers.

Drinkability: Considering that Cigar City is a Florida-based brewery and the majority of their market is in warm-weather climates, it makes sense that Hotter Than Helles would be marketed as a liquid refresher. And it definitely works as such: the mouthfeel is thin and crisp, but quite refreshing across the tongue. It finishes completely clean. At 5% ABV it’s arguably sessionable, especially considering it’s affordably priced and comes in cans. I found it difficult to drink just one.

RATING: 7/10

0.7
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 1/20
Apprentice (1) - Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2016 does not count
If you think a Helles Lager should be hazy, with a head that vanishes in 10 seconds, and tastes like squeezed sour grapefruit, then this "beer" is for you. And, if you are an alcoholic, this beverage is your cure. On the other hand, if you have tasted really great helles lager in Prague or Munich, you will be very disappointed with this beverage. It is rather apparent Cigar City used lactic acid to ramp down the pH as the tart notes are clearly there. I suspect the step mashing on this beverage eliminated the proteins needed to form a good retaining head. No surprise Cigar City’s site indicates it is not in production (my sample was canned on 12/02/15). I suspect they knew it was a lousy beverage and decided they had to cut and run. But not until they put this awful thing on the market instead of sending it to the vinegar factory.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DandyWolfFloyd (849) - Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 6, 2015
Aroma - grassy, fruity, with some grainy malts Appearance - clean yellow with a small white head Taste - sweet malt with a grain flavor light hops and some Saaz like hops. Palate - thin body, texture thin, carbonation soft. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
decaturstevo (5696) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - NOV 28, 2015
Paul yellow pour with little or no head. Aroma is corn and floral hops. Flavor is light sweet corn like notes. A floral bitter finish. Light bodied with good carbonation.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
TychoJames (804) - Örebro, SWEDEN - NOV 5, 2015
Burk gatukiosk, nyc. Guldig vätska. Sötmaltig doft med en lätt bördighet. I smak känns ljust bröd, majs och säd.

2.3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
HuskerTan (1271) - Kearney, Nebraska, USA - NOV 2, 2015
Can. A- Corn, bland, straw. A- Yellow color, clear liquid, white head. T- Corn, slightly sweet, grains, subtle hay. P- Light body, average texture, average carbonation, bland finish. O- It is what it is. It smells like a lager, tastes like a lager, looks like a lager. If I said this was far and away the best thing I’ve had I’d be lying. It’s okay. Throw a lime in it and I’ll drink it otherwise, give me something else.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
evergreen0199 (2667) - Northwood, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 22, 2015
Can from Total Wine, North Miami, Florida, USA. A dark golden coloured pour with a thin white head on top. Sweet, fruity, yeasty aroma. Tastes similar, sweet, fruity, yeasty. OK for this style which I rarely drink.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Niko100 (2447) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 18, 2015
Hazy straw/gold color; Medium body: Aroma of malt, hay/grain, and some hops; Flavor of sweet malt, some honey, grain/hops, and citrus; Crisp finish; Decent.


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