ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - DEC 18, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2009 bomber from grape and gourmet. pours a bright, clear amber with a two finger white head leaving solid lacing. aroma is something very special with big time hops, pine, nutmeg, figs, citrus, and winter spices. flavor is quite unique and certainly tasty. huge hops up front with citrusy notes giving it a slightly tart flavor, hints of cinnamon and spice, caramel malt in the background adding some sweetness, and finishing with a lasting bitterness. mouthfeel is clean, slightly oily, and nicely carbonated. easily the best "lager" i’ve tried and much more akin to a winter IPA. easy to see why this brew disappeared from GandG once word got out.
tgncc (2879) - Bellmore, New York, USA - DEC 18, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2009 The aroma is strong earthy and spicy hops, some piney hops thrown in, some caramel. The appearance is amber, clear, off-white head, some lacing evident. The mouthfeel is a little on the thick side, and oily. The flavor is significant pine hops, molasses, caramel malts. A lot going on in the flavor. It gets a little bread-like toward the middle. The finish is citrusy hops. Very pleasant. Nice bitter, lingering finish. Excellent overall. A little dark in color to be a helles. A little too hoppy as well for a Helles. Excellent beer though.
Hank1980 (945) - Athens, Georgia, USA - DEC 18, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared. Pours crystal clear amber orange with a white head. Aroma is really nice. Lots of piney hops and spice, with some malt. Taste is similar, with the malt profile and spice keeping this from being a IIPA. Really, a nice beer. Finish is bitter. Mouth is sticky and body is pretty full. Overall, a very enjoyable and unique winter offering.
tennisjoel (1182) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - DEC 17, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Active bubbling with a brown body. Creamy head. The hop variety here is very pronounced and exceptional (Chinook or Hallertau?). Piney hop forward brew with a peppery finish which I enjoyed quite a bit. Not sure if it fits in the imperial helles category as the description suggests. That does not matter, an excellent beer from Southern Tier, which is somewhat of a hit or miss brewery for me.
haddon90 (1490) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 17, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a clear orange color with a nice frothy head. Strong, citrusy hops in the aroma. I can sense some grapefruit in there as well. Very chewy, with a strong sense of hops and citrus. The alcohol is masked. You definitely sense the potency of this beer.
Kinz (3362) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - DEC 16, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Awesome beer. At some point, the hop head will realize that one of the best ways to truly showcase hop profiles is to brew a high gravity lager and hop the bejesus out of it. The pils malts do not get in the way of the hops at all, adding just enough sweetness to balance without adding much flavor, and the lager yeast is perfectly clean. Hops just shine. In any case, light amber, clear, lasting white head. Aroma is a big shot of floral and somewhat piney hops. Flavor is a matching smack of hops with enough sweetness to balance. Clean. Great stuff.
Tmoney99 (11063) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 16, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured amber color with an average frothy white head that was lasting and produced good lacing. Good moderate to heavy hoppy and malt aroma. Medium body with a smooth sticky texture. Moderate to heavy bittersweet flavor with with a moderate bittersweet finish of moderate duration.
eaglefan538 (2911) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - DEC 15, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from SL. Nice full amber color, thin white head with good thin retention, nice lacing. The aroma was strong Pac-NW hops, despite this thing being a Euro-style. The flavor was strong Pac-NW hops, pine and grapefruit, finishing with a bittering hop element that was firm, grass-like, and more Euro-like than the rest that I was picking up in the aroma. The mouthfeel was full, carbonated, semi-dry for these malt/abv levels. A neat brew, much like a dIPA, though with the hops selection.
Trev (1960) - Lakeville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured an amber colour with a tight medium head.
Aroma was a lot like an IIPA, caramel maltiness under a strong piney hop.
Flavour was very hop forward, citrus and herbal pine backed by a sweet toasty maltiness.
Not your usual Helles, but very very tasty.
fiver29 (1036) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 14, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle pours dark amber with a thick off white head. Aroma is a IIPA like hop blast with pine and citrus. Has a medium light body. Flavor is more like a IPA than a helles. Don*t get me wrong this is a good brew. Just not a Helles.