Hotter Than Helles Lager (Cigar City Brewing Company)

Style: Munich-Style Helles Lager

5.0% ABV

From: Tampa, FL

Brewer’s Note: “Why so punny? ‘Helles’ is German for ‘light colored.’ Hotter Than Helles is more than just a (very) silly pun; it perfectly reflects the natures of this beer.  A lager meant to be consumed when it’s trulyhotter than helles outside./ So there are no peppers or spices in this beer!”


The beer’s label is cool.  I like how awesome the tentacles of the sun look, and I do like the red and yellow coloring.  This can is also rather simplistic, from the fonts to the amount of stuff on the label.  The font’s simplicity works nicely with the label.  This can is cool, but not quite up to my requirements for keeping a beer can.


The beer pours a straw yellow with a fizzy soap bubble head that goes away quickly and leaves a little scrim.  The beer’s body is quite clear with just a slight haze to it and a steady stream of lazy bubbles working to the top of the glass.  On the nose, the beer smells sweet and grassy, almost like a very dry strawberry smell with touches of bread.  The malt is super sweet and fruity on the nose but the grassy hop backing gives a balance to the smell and makes this beer more inviting to the nose.  On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet with a finish of smooth grassy bitter hops.  The flavors begin as sweet bready malt with a faint touch of fruity strawberry, this dries out slowly and becomes progressively bitterer grassy flavors with nuances of sweet malt and very slight green pepper notes.  The finish is creamy sweet bread malts that linger nicely into the aftertaste and slowly dissipate onto the palate leaving grassy bitter to tingle on the tongue.  In the can, the beer smells weak, with very little of its nuances escaping through the hole.  It tastes less sweet when sipped from the can with none of the fruity malts, but a nice bitter grassy hop’s kiss. It tastes slightly more refreshing from the can, but not as complex or nuanced.  In the mouth the beer feels slightly prickly in carbonation, which helps to balance out the sweetness of the beer.  The beer also feels medium thick in body.   The mouth is left clean but with a nice swath of saliva dribbling on the tongue.  Overall, I like this beer.  It is sweet, but balanced well with hops and carbonation, and it is refreshing and interesting on the palate.  A great sessionable sipper from Cigar City.



2 thoughts on “Hotter Than Helles Lager (Cigar City Brewing Company)

    1. Honestly, the only true Helles I have had was from Weihenstephaner, which is not a bad helles, but wasn’t really my favorite beer. In comparison to the Weihenstephaner, I really liked the Hotter Than Helles and found the sweet character within the beer to be much more in check and balanced with the other flavors.

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