Posts Tagged ‘helles lager’

Cloudwater Helles Mandarina

June 13, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

A fourteenth beer from Cloudwater for me now, this one is hot on the heels of several offerings from the brewery, including their Chubbles double IPA that I reviewed here last and is a beer that I picked up online from the brewery’s store thanks to their free delivery promotion for May, otherwise it is a beer that I probably wouldn’t have ended up trying. It is one that I’ve spotted in a number of bottle shops of late though and from what I can tell online, it’s a beer that was initially in the first couple of months of the year so it will be interesting to see if it turns out to be a regular release from the brewery given the majority (if not all) of their beers are brewed once and then never seen again.

Appearance (4/5): Very clear amber in colour, this one had a tiny hint of golden straw showing and is topped with a foamy white head that starts about two and a half centimetres tall but looks quite thick, managing to hold quite well in the early going and leaving some touches of lacing on the sides too.
Aroma (7/10): This one opened with quite a standard helles nose initially, there was the usual lager malts and some grassy touches but there was some faint citrus and orange sitting in the background which was a nice addition. The beer had some floral hops towards the middle and these added a light bitterness but it stayed balanced and had some biscuit malts further on as well. A solid offering that was quite a pleasant helles but one that came with a hint of citrus for a nice twist.
Taste (7/10): Lager malts and some subtle orange touches kick things off here, there was definitely a little more showing that there was with the nose and there beer seemed a touch fresher as a result. It was still quite a light tasting beer with some biscuit malts and earthy touches a little further on before some grassy hops seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Fresh and quite light on the palate but coming through with some nice orange and citrus touches that gave the beer a subtle tang. It was an easy to drink offering with a subtle bitterness thanks to the floral hops but the balance was great throughout and it was quite refreshing too.

Overall (16/20): Excellent stuff as always from Cloudwater, this one was a beer that had initially confused me into thinking it was going to be a helles with a mandarin kick given the name but there was at least some touches of orange and citrus coming through on top of what was a very fresh and balanced lager. The beer was a pleasure to drink and went down very well with some nice floral hops and biscuit flavours further on as well as the usual lager malts and grassy hops; this one is up there with some the better German brewed helles that I’ve tried and is one that I’d happily have again.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Munich Helles Lager
Abv: 4.8%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Price: £4.00


Paulaner Original Münchner Hell

Rating: 3.75

My sixth Paulaner beer now and my first new one in a while too, this will be my first new offering from the German brewery since I had a bottle of their Weissbier Kristallklar back in 2014 but I’m still partial to their flagship Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrub anytime I see it available. This particular offering is one that I’ve seen on a few occasions on-tap in and around Glasgow but for whatever reason it’s not one that I had ever got around to trying before the weekend so I felt that was definitely somethings that I needed to correct.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a light golden colour that is very clear too, the beer had a large, foamy white head in the early going with it starting about three centimetres tall before fading to about half that. There was a lot of fine bubbles rising to the surface as the beer settled and it looked quite good for the style.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a light beer on the nose with some corn and faint citrus opening thing up and a few lager malts not too far behind. There was some hay and a little biscuit towards the middle as well as a touch of sweetness but it was a clean and fairly standard smelling lager in truth.
Taste (7/10): Slightly sweet tasting with some subtle citrus and corn as well as the biscuit from the nose then some grassy touches around the middle. Again it was quite a clean, basic lager with a few subtle malts in there as well but it was pleasant tasting and easy-going too.
Palate (4/5): Quite light and clean with a fresh feel throughout and a smooth body that went down easily. There was a subtle sweetness throughout and some faint citrus too but it was balanced and exactly what I’d expect from a good helles lager.

Overall (15/20): A very nice lager from Paulaner, this one was clean and balanced with an excellent mouthfeel despite it not being the most varied or exciting tasting beer; it was very well made though. Opening with a subtle sweetness and touches of biscuit, there was a hint of citrus in there too and everything worked well together to give a light but enjoyable tasting beer that went down very easily indeed.

Brewed In: Munich, Germany
Brewery: Paulaner Brauerei (Schörghuber)
First Brewed: Brewery from 1634
Also Known As: Paulaner Munich Lager / Original Munich Lager
Type: Munich Helles Lager
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Keg (Pint)
Purchased: Church on the Hill, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.80

Stiegl Goldbräu (356 of 1001)

August 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.4

A rare Austrian beer that I managed to try without travelling half way round Europe, this one is my ninth beer from the country and only my second from what is probably their biggest brewery, Stieglbrauerei. This one is a beer that I spotted was available in the Bavarian Brahaus in Glasgow as one of the pubs few non-German bottles and seeing that it also features in the 1001 beers list I quickly decided to make it my first beer of the evening on a recent visit. Having previously tried and enjoyed the brewery’s Weisse Naturtrüb when I sampled it in Slovenia a number of years ago, I was quietly looking forward to trying this one and checking another beer off of my list. Introduced in 1912, this one is the brewery’s flagship offering and is surprisingly not a beer that I’ve ever spotted out and about before, it’s a rarity to see any Austrian beers outside of mainland Europe though I guess. The beer itself is a premium lager in the helles style and also goes by the Stiegl Beer name , there was no mention of the Goldbräu part of the name on the bottle I sampled but it was definitely the same beer.

Appearance (2/5): Bright amber coloured with a clear body and not much in the way of a head sadly, there was some fine lacing around the edges but little else beyond that sadly.
Aroma (5/10): Quite a light beer on the nose with some mild hops and faint biscuit aromas to kick things off along with a few earthy malts. There was quite a lot of lager malts and hops coming through and making up most of the nose, I got some faint citrus a little further on though before some basic bitterness and spices rounded off a fairly ordinary smelling beer.
Taste (6/10): Opening in a similar fashion to the nose, this one kicks off with some pale malts and a few earthy flavours that came through semi-bitter and quite basic. There was a combination of cereal and faint spice towards the middle with subtle hops and grassy flavours following on behind. Thankfully there was no sign of any skunk showing and the beer was finished with a semi-sweet taste that was quite light.
Palate (2/5): Quite a light bodied offering, this one was very basic and perhaps edging towards medium bodied at times. There was some faint spice and a basic bitterness throughout the beer, I got a faint citrus tang around the middle too and thankfully no skunk showing but it wasn’t very impressive in truth.

Overall (10/20): Quite a disappointing and poor beer overall, this one was very basic from the start and beyond some light malts and subtle lager hops there wasn’t really much going on here. Some spices showed at times and a few hints of cereal and hay showed around the middle but it’s certainly not one I’d go for again.

Brewed In: Salzburg, Austria
Brewery: Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg
First Brewed: 1912
Also Known As: Stiegl Beer
Type: Munich Helles Lager/Premium Lager
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Bavaria Brauhaus, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £3.80

Bayreuther Hell

Rating: 2.35

The final beer of those that I managed to try when visiting Berlin over the Easter weekend in April of this year, it’s only taken me a month but I’ve finally gotten through my backlog of reviews to upload here and sadly this isn’t a case of saving the best to last. This one is a beer that I tried on my last morning in the city, having initially forgotten it was sitting in the hotel fridge the night before. The beer is one that I spotted in a number of shops over the course of the weekend and I knew I’d end up trying it at some point, especially considering it’s not one that I’ve seen available in the UK before either. Originally a 4.8% offering, the alcohol content of the beer has since been raised ever so slightly to the 4.9% abv. it was when I picked up a bottle near my hotel in the Alexanderplatz area of the city. Since this is the last of the German beers I have to review for the time being, I imagine this one will also be my last review of a helles style lager for a while but you never know I guess.

Appearance (3/5): A very clear looking, golden straw coloured beer with a thin, half centimetre tall head on top that was a foamy white that left the odd touch of lacing on the sides of the glass as the head disappeared to leave a thin surface lacing after the first minute or so.
Aroma (3/10): A terrible smelling beer in truth, this one smelt of cheap corn and basic adjuncts with a faint vegetable aroma to proceedings. There was some skunky notes around the middle but not a huge amount, the beer was fairly bland overall though with some lager malts and hay nearer the end; very poor stuff.
Taste (5/10): Corn and lager malts open things with the taste and there was some fairly light vegetable adjuncts with a touch of skunk imparted on proceedings as well. Around the middle a faint hint of citrus started to come through and I got the odd grassy hops too which was a slight improvement on the nose but overall it was quite cheap and basic tasting.
Palate (3/5): Thin and quite light on the palate, this one was a fairly skunky offering at times and came through as a bland, cheap tasting lager. There was some faint hops and a hint of sweetness around the middle but  with was lightly carbonated and not as crisp as I’d have liked. It was a smooth beer for the most part but it wasn’t particularly easy to drink or enjoyable sadly.

Overall (7/20): This one can only be classed as a terrible lager, the beer was cheap and bordered on nasty at times with only a faint touch of sweetness and basic hops hinting at anything in the way of flavours. There was some skunk and vegetable adjuncts at times which wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for going into this one and it was easily one of the worst beers I tried on my recent trip to German; a definite one to avoid for me.

Brewed In: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu
First Brewed: Brewery since 1857
Type: Helles Lager
ABV: 4.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
Price: €1.60 (approx. £1.36)

Grüner Vollbier Hell

April 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.3

The second review of a helles lager in quick succession here, this one following on from the bottle of Wulle Biere Vollbier Hell that I tried last and it is another that I picked up from a small shop near my hotel in Berlin earlier this month. Again this one is a beer from a brewery that I wasn’t aware of before my trip and as far as I can tell none of their beers appears to be readily available in the UK so it’s always nice to try ones like this when I’m out the country. To be honest, it wasn’t really a beer I was hoping for much from but since the shop didn’t appear to sell many beers that appeared in the 1001 beers list I instead opted for random bottles that I hadn’t seen before and this one definitely fitted the bill. It is a Bavarian brewed beer from the town of Fürth and I was actually surprised to find out that the same brewery also brews Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen which I’ve had reviewed here previously, way back in 2001 though, and that was one that I found to be a fairly good offering; sadly this particular beer was not though.

Appearance (3/5): This one was an incredibly clear golden colour that was much lighter than anticipated, even for a pale lager which made it seem watered down initially but the head wasn’t quite as bad. The beer was topped with a white, one and a half centimetre tall head that was foamy in texture and held well in the early going, losing only about a quarter of its height in total.
Aroma (4/10): The not most pleasant beer on the nose, there was a somewhat skunky aroma to it initially with some basic corn and adjuncts following on behind, I got a few touches of hay and a subtle, almost earthy bitterness nearer the middle with some bread and basic lager malts following on behind to give an aroma that was average at best but ultimately disappointing.
Taste (4/10): Much like the nose, this one was again a very skunky beer in the early going with quite a lot coming through before some cheap malts and corn followed it up. There was some vegetable adjuncts and bread malts nearer the middle with faint hay and maize at the end but it was one-dimensional and not very enjoyable either.
Palate (2/5): Quite a light bodied but fairly crisp beer but there was far too much skunk showing throughout which effectively ruined it for me before it really got started. The beer was also quite a basic offering with little variety and too many adjuncts showing as well.

Overall (10/20): Basic stuff from the start here, this one was full of cheap adjuncts and basic malts alongside what was quite a skunky and one-dimensional taste. There wasn’t really much going for this one and I found it a struggle to get through the body so it’s probably one to avoid.

Brewed In: Fürth, Bavaria, Germany
Brewery: Tucher Bräu Fürth
Type: Helles Lager
ABV: 4.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Berlin, Germany
Price: €1.60 (£1.36 approx.)

Wulle Biere Vollbier Hell

April 28, 2017 2 comments

Rating: 2.9

Another beer I managed to try earlier in the month in Berlin now, this one is a beer that I picked up at a local shop next to our hotel in the Alexanderplatz area of the city but whose name I didn’t manage to get; I did however pick up a number of beers in the place and reviews of most will follow this one. This is a beer that I picked up based on the name and the fact that I’d never heard of it before despite plenty of German beers being readily available in the UK. Labelled as a helles lager, the beer is brewed in Stuttgart that will go down as my 115th German beer reviewed on this site with quite a few more to follow in the coming days and weeks.

Appearance (3/5): A very light beer that has a clear, golden amber body and is topped with a foamy white head that sits about a centimetre tall before disappearing almost instantly to leave a tiny patch of lacing at one end of the surface; not a great start really.
Aroma (5/10): Definitely a basic lager on the nose, this one opens with a lot of cheap lager malts and adjuncts alongside a corn sweetness that isn’t exactly appealing. There was a clean feel to the beer with some grassy touches and light hay before some subtle bitterness seen things out.
Taste (6/10): Corn and lager malts kick the taste off in the same vein as the nose, there is again a faint sweetness too before the hay and grassy flavours start to come through around the middle. There is at least some citrus and lemon flavours that are an improvement on the nose but not by much. It’s again a basic and not a very complex beer with some bread malts seeing things out at the end.
Palate (3/5): Light bodied but not quite a thin beer, the feel was a clean and crisp one with some freshness but for the most part is was the subtle sweetness that grabbed your attention; there was also a faint bitterness at the end to see things out. Thankfully no skunk was showing and it was relatively easy to drink despite being so basic and unexciting.

Overall (12/20): Definitely a light and quite a cheap, basic lager that was far below what I’ve come to expect from random German lagers that I pick up, this one wasn’t much better than a standard, mass-market offering and was ultimately a very disappointing one. There was a few malts that were decent enough and some faint sweetness, whilst the fact that no skunk was showing was definitely a positive but for the most part it was bland and uninspiring; definitely not one to seek out.

Brewed In: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu
First Brewed: 2008
Type: Helles Lager
ABV: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Berlin, Germany
Price: €1.60 (approx. £1.36)

Brewdog B-Side Prototype Helles

September 16, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.8

The latest new offering from Brewdog that I’ve managed to get my hands on now, this one coming from their B-Side series of beers and one that was listed on the board behind the bar as being their Prototype Helles. The beer, as you might have guessed from the name, is a helles style lager that appears to have been first introduced at their UK bars in August of this year. There’s always a certain amount of luck with regards to how good one of these ‘prototype’ beers will be going in and I was quite surprised to see a lager style one on offer so soon after the brewery released their Kingpin lager recently but given it was the only beer under 9% abv. from the brewery that I hadn’t tried when I found this one on-tap, I opted to give it a go anyway and see how it compared to the countless other lagers the brewery has released over the years.


Appearance (4/5): Bright amber with a fairly clear body, this one was topped with a thin, white head that was slightly foamy and just about managed to cover the surface of the beer, leaving a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (6/10): Starting of with a semi-sweet aroma on the nose, this one was quite light overall and I struggled to detect too much really. There was some touches of corn and a few lager malts in the early going though, before some touches of citrus featured alongside a basic hay smell. Pretty average stuff really and not one I’ll remember much about to be honest.
Taste (5/10): Following on in a similar fashion to the nose, this one was really quite a light and basic offering; especially compared to some of the brewery’s much better beers I’ve tried before. There was some early sweetness and a light citrus flavour around the middle with the usual hay and grassy hops adding a tiny bit of bitterness before some lager malts and corn came through to settle things out; really disappointing stuff.
Palate (2/5): Medium bodied and quite smooth but with fairly light, soft carbonation that almost gave it a flat feel at times. There was none of the lively, crisp feel that I was after going into this one and it seemed bland and exceptionally one-dimensional too sadly; definitely not a beer to look out for I’m afraid.

Overall (10/20): This one was a very disappointing Brewdog beer on the whole, I know it was only a prototype offering and there is still a possibility the recipe could be tweaked come before being released again but I’d be very surprised to see this one again given just how average and plain it was. Beyond an initial hit of sweetness and some basic lager style malts, there wasn’t really much of anything featured here and I had a hard time detecting anything in truth. Poor stuff from the brewery I’m afraid and, in my opinion at least, one to avoid if you stumble across it in one of the brewery’s bars at any point.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Helles Lager
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Keg (Pint)
Purchased: BrewDog DogHouse (Glasgow)
Price: £4.42