JulienHuxley (4649) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 23, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Winooski beverage warehouse. Clear gold pour with small fizzy white head, not the best appearance. Aroma is really grainy, nice full grainy aroma, crisp bready/biscuity notes, very light caramel. Taste is lightly sweet, good husky grainy flavor, bordering on acrid bitter, but always inside the line, fresh bread, very light leafy finish. Palate is light-med bodied with good carbonation, dry and superbly drinkable. A fine helles and another great lager from Victory.
solidfunk (5996) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - JUN 16, 2015
2.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Not a lot going on here. Some crisp malt, paper aroma. Golden pour. Just what you would expect it to be. Bottle pour sampled at whole foods.
Cakes (401) - New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 8, 2015
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
12 oz. bottle.
, A little sweeter than other helles, but very nice. A little more hops as well. Better than the famous Yueling Lager I think.
superspak (3753) - Michigan, USA - JUN 7, 2015
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 8/3/2015. Pours crystal clear bright golden yellow color with a small dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of light lemon, cracker, biscuit, herbal, straw, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of light lemon, cracker, biscuit, herbal, straw, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of cracker, biscuit, herbal, straw, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance and solid robustness of pale malt and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. A good amount of dryness present as well. Very clean on lager flavors with zero yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a nice Helles style. All around good balance and solid robustness of pale malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.
Bork (452) - Rosewood, Georgia, USA - JUN 3, 2015
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Light and quite watery brew with an out of place honey aroma and flavor that turns into very little about midway.
Onslow (1301) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - MAY 22, 2015
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pour from a 12oz bottle. Clear golden brew, one finger of fizzy head that quickly dissipates to virtually nothing. Aroma of malt, some grass. Taste is luscious sweet light malt at the start with a mild grassy finish. A few notches above macro lagers but not the best exemplar of the style.
Vestlake (254) - Birmingham, Alabama, USA - APR 30, 2015
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pour with a half a finger head. This tastes every bit as good as the imported Dortmunder/Helles I’ve had. Great taste, will buy again.
Atom (1915) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 7, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle pours a clear straw/golden with a medium white head. Aroma of lager yeast, mild malt, and slight grassy hops. Taste of lightly bready lager yeast and malt with light hop and a touch of bitterness. A drinkable Helles.
3fourths (8811) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 7, 2015
2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle best by July 2015. Clear gold with no head. Simple aroma of honey-ish malt and yeast that smells like vitamins and cosmetics, and DMS shows as corn and concrete, more so in the mouth than the nose. Light bodied, moderately sweet with low bitterness and low acidity. Syrupy and flabby approach, coarse starchy finish, low carbonation. All around terrible lager, smells foul and looks bad.
Chad9976 (1506) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 22, 2015
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
I’m not sure how it happened, but it seems like Munich Helles Lager (BJCP Style 1D) is suddenly a hip lager style among American breweries. Some brew it traditionally, others change it up a bit. Victory Helles Lager claims to be among the traditional camp – which it may very well be as far as recipe goes – however, it’s lacking a lot of the distinct qualities found in the style. This drinks more like a generic pale lager than any kind of niche style. It’s not flawed, and I can honestly recommend it, but it needs some improvement.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass. A six-pack cost $9.99 ($1.67 per bottle or $0.14 per ounce).
Appearance: Straw pale gold color over a crystal clear body. Carbonation is consistent. Pours to a small, bright white, soapy head that never completely dissipates but leaves no little lacing.
Smell: Pure pilsner malt. Clean, but mild. No hops.
Taste: Going by the deScription on the brewery’s website, it seems that this beer is brewed simply with German two-row pilsner malt. That’s fine, but there’s nothing memorable or exciting about the malt base. It definitely has the classic lager/pilsner taste of pale malt, but that’s about it. It’s clean – no DMS or diacetyl – which is also fine, but having something for the taste buds to latch onto would be nice. This is brewed with whole flower German hops, which is a vague deScription and an odd choice. There isn’t much in the way of perceived bitterness and just the faintest trace of Noble hop spice somewhere in the backend. That being said, there’s absolutely nothing off-putting about this palette other than its mildness.
Drinkability: When I first started drinking my glass I took a very long pull as it was remarkably refreshing and easily quaffable. At only 4.8% ABV, Victory Helles Lager has the light, sessionable body you want in a brew of this style. It’s crisp and clean with no aftertaste. There probably should be a bit more body for the weight, though. A good introductory craft lager – now only if it were available in cans instead of bottles.