Friday, December 20, 2013

Southern Tier Krampus (4/10)

Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, New York, makes this Imperial Helles Lager.  The name Krampus comes from the legend of a fanged, horned goat that punishes the naughty children while Santa’s out giving presents to the good ones. 

It pours something of an orange-looking cloudy brown color with a thick off-white head.

The aroma practically screams “hops” at the top of its lungs.

The flavor starts with a moderate to high amount of hops bitterness and pine-like flavor.  This hides a subtle caramel sweetness which is difficult to make out with the hops blasting at you.

The hop fanatics at Beer Advocate rate it 88-90 or very good to “outstanding”.  The Rate Beer crowd similarly adores it, giving it a 96 overall.  To me, this beer lives up to its namesake.  It’s a punishing, hoppy thing that I hope never visits me again.  There are many other Christmas and winter beers I’d drink first.  I’m giving it a 4/10.  If you’re an IPA fanatic, you’d probably rate this a 9/10.

I tried this on draft at The Daily Growler.  I’ve seen the bottled version at Giant Eagle Marketplace and other local retailers.

Flavor Profile:

Sweet, Malty, Dry, or Bitter: Bitter, bitter, bitter
Spice Level:  Non-existent
Hops Level:  According to Southern Tier, “our highest”
Dominant Flavors: Hops, Caramel
ABV: 9.0%
IBU:  Unknown, but probably in the 60+ range
My Rating: 4/10

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