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Posts Tagged ‘helles lager’

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

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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 1 comment

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.

brewdog-b-side-helles-lager

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

Weihenstephaner Original Helles

February 25, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.95

My seventh beer from the Weihenstephan brewery now and the first helles lager from the brewery, although I have previously reviewed their Festbier/Oktoberfestbier märzen offering but didn’t enough it too much in truth. This is a beer that I managed to stumble upon in Brewdog’s Glasgow bar over the weekend and seeing as it comes from one of my favourite brewery’s, I made sure to order myself a pint of what was my first new Weihenstephan beer since reviewing their Korbinian doppelbock offering in January of last year; sadly I had been unable to find any new offerings from the brewery when in Germany last year.

Weihenstephaner Original Helles

Appearance (4/5): This one sits a very clear and quite light amber to pale straw colour in the glass and is topped with a half centimetre tall, foamy white head that holds fairly well. Clarity is good with this beer and it’s quite a still looking beer as it sits in the glass.
Aroma (7/10): The beer is a slightly subdued one on the nose initially, there is some nice corn and light malts coming through early on though and these are followed but some touches of citrus and a little spice. The beer seemed quite clean and balanced on the nose with a touch of sweetness and some bread notes towards the end; a simple but a well executed nose.
Taste (8/10): Starting with some nice lager malts and a couple of earthy hops, this one is again quite a simple beer that has some nice citrus touches in there along with a bit of sweetness. The bread malts from the nose make an appearance around the middle and there was some grassy flavours starting to dominate after that before some light bitterness and touches of spice seen things out.
Palate (4/5): This one was a very well-balanced and clean beer on the palate with quite a crisp feel to proceedings. The beer came through with a medium body and similar carbonation levels making it a very easy on to drink with some nice touches of bitterness and spice plus a light tang towards the end.

Overall (17/20): Another very nice beer from Weihenstephan, apparently it’s not only wheat beers that they know how to brew well. This one was a very well balance and easy-going beer that’s crowning glory was definitely how simple yet well done it was with everything going together well to make an excellent lager. There was a good balance between the sweet touches, grassy hops and the bitterness that ran through the beer with nothing seeming to dominate and everything going down easily; a classic helles beer and one that I’d definitely go for again.

Brewed In: Freising, Germany
Brewery: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
First Brewed: Brewery since 1040
Also Known As: Weihenstephaner Original Premium
Type: Munich Helles Lager
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Draught (Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.30

Bikini Blonde Lager (318 of 1001)

December 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

This one will be my fifth beer from the Hawaiian based Maui brewery with all four of their previous offerings being the only beers from the state that I’ve managed to try previously. This particular offering is one that features on the 1001 beers list and is a helles lager that I’ve been on the look out for since I first tried a can of CoCoNut Porter from the brewery in early 2012. Since then I’ve tried their Big Swell IPA, Mana Wheat and Lemongrass Saison offerings but when I spotted this in a local beer shop recently it was the first time I’d seen it so knew I’d need to grab a can. The beer is one of Maui’s flagship offerings, having been first brewed way back in 2006, a year after they opened their first brewpub. The beer is modestly hopped at 18 IBU’s and is a well-regarded one having won a silver medal at the 2008 World Beer Cup in the Cellar or Unfiltered category.

Bikini Blonde Lager

Appearance (4/5): A light amber colour with a pretty clear body and a thin, half-centimetre head that’s white and foamy looking. It’s a slightly thinner head around the middle and the beer has a few bubbles rising to the surface, there’s some touches of lace on the sides of the glass too with retention not too bad either.
Aroma (7/10): This one is quite a well-balanced beer on the nose with some bread malts and biscuit coming through early on alongside some nice German and Czech hops. There was a small amount of bitterness coming through alongside some light grassy notes and the fairly typical hay notes but the beer was definitely a clean one on the nose with a few floral notes to see things out.
Taste (7/10): This one follows on well from the nose with it coming through with a very clean and crisp taste that was kicked off by some grassy hops, light biscuit malts and fresh but subdued German style hops that had an earthy flavour. There was some light sweetness coming through with further earthy flavours, a bit of lemon and some light malts that came through with a moderate bitterness towards the end.
Palate (4/5): Quite a smooth and incredibly crisp beer that came through very clean and slightly dry with a moderate bitterness and fine carbonation. The beer was definitely an easy one to drink with a fresh feel and a very good balance.

Overall (16/20): This one was a very enjoyable lager that came through quite light, fresh and well-balanced with a clean and crisp feel that helped it down easy. It was well carbonated and the flavours were relatively light with a basic grassy hops and floral taste that had some lemon, biscuit and pale malts that worked very well together and made the beer what it was. A great take on the helles style of lager and a beer that I wouldn’t mind picking up again at some point.

Brewed In: Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, United States of America
Brewery: Maui Brewing Co.
First Brewed: 2006
Type: Helles Lager
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Wine & Beer
Price: £2.80