Friday, January 1, 2016

Cigar City Hotter Than Helles Lager

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20Chad9976 (1530) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 1, 2016
If a beer isn’t reflective of its marketed style, but still tastes pretty good – can you really fault it? That’s the case with Cigar City Hotter Than Helles Lager as it really isn’t “to spec” as far as traditional guidelines go, however, it does the job it’s supposed to. This is indeed a clean, refreshing, drinker-friendly lager than pairs with warm weather perfectly. That’s not something I get to say about a beer reviewed in January until I moved to Florida. 

I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass. It was canned on 10/22/15 and a six-pack cost $8.99 ($1.50 per can or $0.12 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale, lemony yellow hue with a slightly cloudy body. Initially pours to a large, white, soapy head but it fizzles away quickly and completely leaving no lacing.

Smell: Pretty standard lager aroma with a hint of lemon, though very mild overall. Nothing off-putting at all.

Taste: I’d imagine if this beer were judged against other Dortmunders and Helles brews it probably wouldn’t fair well as it’s missing that distinct pilsner grain and spicy noble hop character. However, as a generic pale lager it works quite well. I have a feeling they’re using American hops in here since there’s a noticeably citrusy taste, especially of lemon and maybe grapefruit. There’s even a faint trace of tartness to be found, in fact it might even be lacto. That being said, I don’t find it distracting as it complements the citrusy components just fine. This would be a great transition brew for macro drinkers.

Drinkability: Considering that Cigar City is a Florida-based brewery and the majority of their market is in warm-weather climates, it makes sense that Hotter Than Helles would be marketed as a liquid refresher. And it definitely works as such: the mouthfeel is thin and crisp, but quite refreshing across the tongue. It finishes completely clean. At 5% ABV it’s arguably sessionable, especially considering it’s affordably priced and comes in cans. I found it difficult to drink just one.

RATING: 7/10

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