Ritzn (1709) - GERMANY - MAY 20, 2017
Clear golden with little white head. Aroma is straw citrus tobacco mouldy cucumber. Taste is stale bitter hops with strange musty sourness. Ugly. Alengrin (5639) - BELGIUM - MAY 12, 2017
"Münchener Helles", the ’commercial’ answer to the world’s oldest Lager style back in the 19th century, from a brewery situated in Maxlrain (and named after it as is custom in old German beer tradition), some thirty or forty miles to the southeast of Munich and allegedly this brewery’s flag ship Lager. From a sixpack with local Munich-area beers, big cheers to Glenn for bringing me this lovely box - amidst all that present-day craft beer violence, it still feels good to ’retreat’ into a completely traditional European beer like this one. If it is well-made, that is, so time to find out: medium thick, nicely ’continuously’ lacing, snow white head with very good retention, initially frothy and generous but ending in a firm moussy rim and a white veil in the middle only showing gaps very slowly; underneath shines a perfectly cristal clear, pure straw blonde beer with warmer golden hue and a couple of loose translucent yeast bits here and there - but just a couple really, as in any semi-’artisanal’ (or rather: not exaggeratedly industrial) pale lager. Classic Helles aroma of old dry cookies, damp cloth, sweetish white bread dough, white sweetclover flowers, something paper glue pen-like, wet straw, green apple peel, fresh lettuce hearts even - simple, but nothing really off-putting, industrial or otherwise. Pretty neutral start, malt sweetness apparent quite rapidly and spreading onwards towards the finish as a straightforward, cereally, vaguely sweetish background against which a few things happen: minerally, spritzy carbonation at first, laying fresh mineral water-like notes on the tongue without ever becoming overcarbonated or numbing; a lean, slick and eventually almost glue-ish mouthfeel; and, importantly, a grassy and floral hop accent in the end, hovering discretely above the malt sweet finish but still adding a subtle bitterness to it as well as a very faint floral aroma retronasally. This is a textbook example of a Helles: clean, clear, not overindustrialized, native to the region where the style originated, straightforwardly malty and in that sense sweetish with only the slightest noble hop accent in the tail to balance out the pale malt sweetness. Münchener (or other) Helles will never be the most exciting beer style, this is a style that was already restrained in the 19th century compared with the crispier, hoppier Pilsener style - likely the reason why it never achieved the same amount of fame, by far - but in this particularly simple and unambitious context, it all comes down to balance, accuracy and ’truthfulness’ and in that particular sense, this beer performs perfectly. This is all I would expect from a typical Helles, nothing more, nothing less - I had worse ones than this even from Germany. I can understand how this managed to earn a gold medal in its category multiple times - if you look at it from a traditionally European, classically (not to say 19th- and 20th-century) point of view. One I’d recommend as an introduction to people interested in getting to know classic German Lager styles. kto (1449) - SWITZERLAND - MAR 14, 2017
0.5l bottle from rewe in weil. pours a clear pale golden with a frothy white head. aroma of bread, grains, hay. flavour of sweetish malts, honey, bread, slight soap and spices. Maits (564) - ESTONIA - JAN 20, 2017
Yellow clear beer with nice medium white head which stayed. Aroma is sour sweet, refreshing. Taste is mild bitter, dry, grains, malty. Refreshing easy drinkable beer, short finish. Descent, but little bit boring maybe. Tjeerd (612) - GERMANY - SEP 27, 2016
Bottle. Pale golden beer. Normal aroma, normal taste, normal finish. And therefore not bad att all.
klukas (331) - Rijeka, CROATIA - SEP 11, 2016
Enjoyed: On tap.
Appearance: Clear golden colour, with medium white foam.
Aroma: A hint of grains.
Palate: Watery, light carbonation.
Taste: Light bitterness.
Overall impression: Drinkable but I expected more. eastroad (6) - FRANCE - JUL 31, 2016 does not count
One of the best tap beer i’ve tried. The bottled version is however quite disappointing. Fruity (citrus), malty, very well balanced with the perfect amount of hops to quench thirst! heavy (2890) - Split, CROATIA - JUN 10, 2016
Jan. ’16. A 0.5 l bottle shared with Marko and ogivlado. It poured a yellow to golden body with medium sized head. Weak lemony and chlorine watery aroma that might be also part of the Zagreb water. Flavor was lightly sweet grainy, hay and bready, lemon hop with a metallic off note. Medium body with longer sweetish grainy and a bit stale finish. Overall, okay after all said, but a bit boring. BlackHaddock (7585) - Shropshire, ENGLAND - JAN 29, 2016
500ml bottle in my Berlin hotel room late on 22nd Jan 2016. Basic lager/pilsner/helles based golden beer with the usual attributes: clean, clear and bright, fading white crown almost odourless and tasteless, but refreshing. This one has a slightly more malty feel than hoppy, a decent blend but nothing to make it stand out from a very large crowd of similar beers. ogivlado (7955) - Zagreb, CROATIA - JAN 18, 2016
Bottled 500ml. -Courtesy of heavy, shared with him and Marko. Yellow/golden coloured, medium sized white head, slightly grainy nose. Sweetish malty, dusty grainy, slightly herbal and whiff of corn with short finish. Usual and boring.