Tognetta (951) - São Paulo, BRAZIL - OCT 7, 2016
Amarelo claro de leve turbidez, espuma branca de pouca formação quase sem persistência. Aroma de malte, centeio, cereais de pouca torrefação, nada muito diferenciado de outras puro malte. Paladar de leve amargor, dulçor ainda mais leve em segundo plano. Corpo e carbonatação leves. Final de pouca persistência, trás mais do cereal e malte do inicio. Esperava mais da marca. oldrtybastrd (5003) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 12, 2016
Pours a dark golden yellow color with a fizzy white head. Aromas of grains, grass, floral hops. Flavors of cheerios, with a nice hop finish. climberbob (467) - Virginia, USA - APR 5, 2016
Can into pint glass. Pale yellow w weak large bubble head that goes fast. Grassy citrus soda aroma. Malt forward mild hop easy drinking hot weather quaffing beer. Was expecting a bit more.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone Cristobal37 (1197) - Budapest, HUNGARY - MAR 18, 2016
Fizzy yella lager. Grassy and faint lemon. Cool and refreshing tastes like a quality German Helles should. There is a top of the mouth barley sweetness like apples. Comparable to kloster Andechs. Done right. ilovedarkbeer (2748) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - MAR 5, 2016
Pours a clear golden color with a large foamy white head. Notes of earth, honey, graham crackers, and fresh air. Nice and very quaffable.
aracauna (3651) - Georgia, USA - FEB 11, 2016
Pours a pale clear gold. The aroma is grains and a very light grassy hops. The flavor is lightly sweet with very little bitterness. Very drinkable beer. bu11zeye (13140) - 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. islay (2925) - 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. ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, 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.
Apprentice (1) - Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2016 does not count
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.
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.