Southern Tier Imperial Krampus Helles Lager (2011)
Winter Seasonal (Limited Release)
22 fl. oz. / $7.29 / 9.0% ABV (Their website states 9/3%)
About: "Santa Claus is a magical figure, the bringer of gifts and an icon of holiday spirit. Forgotten by most is his evil side kick and enforcer of ‘the list’. European tradition says while St. Nick is busy delivering presents to good little boys and girls, Krampus hands out punishments to the bad. A fanged, goat-horned bully, the Christmas Devil uses sticks and chains to beat the naughty children. Dark malts and aromatic hops create the diabolical spirit of this brew. It is finished with lager yeast and aged cold for no less than 30 days. This Imperial Helles Lager will warm even the darkest hearts. This season, replace the cookies with a bottle of Krampus. If he happens to pay a visit, toast to him with this devilish brew. Merry Kramp-mas to all, and to all a good pint!"
Thoughts: Poured a dark hazy amber orange that ended up looking blood orange in the mug. The frosty head was like a cheesecake off-white.
Smells of sweet and spicy hops, and melted caramel.
Warm, malty caramel flows. Getting dark fruits like plum and a little blackberry mixed with dried sugared apricots. Pretty spicy with a zing of alcohol fume. There's some very slight piney hops coming through at the end and on the back of the tongue. The main way to describe this brew though? Sweet Sweet malts! Total liquid candy. How's it taste once it warms? I couldn't tell ya. I downed this like Krampus beats down an evil little girl: fast and with abusive glee.
Very tingly, frothy, thick and prickly. Coating, syrupy and not easily forgotten.
The great taste of this doesn't fade away man, it just stays with you for a while. That's one of the things I really like about Southern Tier, they coat the mouth and linger. Aftertaste is like a chocolate oatmeal. A little woodsy, and once the glass was empty I could really smell the hops. Oh, hi hops.