Samuel Adams Fresh As Helles Lager: I Don’t Get The Skull

Posted in Eat & Drink
Wed, Mar 15 - 11:54 am EDT | 4 months ago by
Comments: 0
Be Sociable, Share!
    • Tweet
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    Samuel Adams Fresh As Helles Lager

    It’s true… I don’t get the skull. It’s a lovely image though. All in all, the label is bright. Bright as the beer, as we can observe from the image above and featuring – in addition to the skull – bright orange slices, a vanilla flower and some other feather looking leaves. However what the skull has to do with beer, springtime or even Hell, as referenced by “Fresh as Helles” name, I have no idea.

    But all the same, as part of Samuel Adams redesigning of their aesthetic it looks quite nice and as we know, it’s ultimately irrelevant as it’s what’s inside that counts. Who knew that this childhood lesson would ultimately be about beer? I’ll give you a clue – I did.

    So what have we here, really? Firstly and foremost this is a Helles style lager. This style is often what I refer to as what Budweiser or Coors would be if Budweiser and Coors cared about what they were making. Yellow, fizzy, bubbly, light and with a crispness that insists upon chilling, this Helles style has itself offered the extra added twist of orange peel, as evidenced by the slices over the eyes of the skull.

    As we’ve covered, the presentation is that of your “ordinary” beer. Bright and bubbly it offers to the casual drinker the exact appearance they expect, hence being the first reason I often like to suggest such styles for those looking for a craft style to share with a casual drinking friend. Moving on to the nose then, we find yet another light and unintimidating presence of normality with the light scent of lager yeast and a hint of malt suggesting an altogether ordinary beer.

    It is however in the sip where we get our first peek of how this beer stands out. Still providing the crisp, light texture that lagers are most typically known for, there lingers in the flavor itself a definite hint of orange zest, which folds beautifully into the nicely balanced flavors of the almost citrusy lager yeast and the even subtle hints of malt. It is to be honest, a very spring-like beer in both presentation and flavor, as well as being something that is entirely approachable with a respectable 5.4% ABV, craft and casual drinkers alike should not be disappointed.

    Here I feel we have yet another example of how Samuel Adams remains, in spite of its size and market presence, a brewery that is well in tune with what the craft market desires. In general ‘Sam’ is regarded by most beer enthusiasts as an acceptable commercial brand beer that is preferable to most others when no craft is available. To me however they stand out as a big and friendly dog in the dog park that is the beer world in general.

    It has even been said in conversations with other New England brewers that those who seek to open and launch their own brewery in the area enjoy a standing invitation from brewmaster Jim Koch to bring their beer to the Samuel Adams headquarters and get the big man’s opinion and advice on how to make their brewing dreams become the reality they desire.

    So to Samuel Adams, to the inexplicable skull on this label (I still don’t get it) and of course to you, I say as always…


    While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.

    Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.

    Read more beer reviews from Goroff by clicking through the gallery below.

    Innis & Gunn Original

    The general impression of this oak-aged brew is one of curious contradiction.

    A Big Bottle of WTF

    Why would someone create a lemon donut-flavored beer?

    Samuel Smith Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout

    You might be surprised how much you like this oatmeal stout.

    Braggot Rights

    The beer offers a pleasant sort of strangeness.

    Samuel Adams Double Bock

    In malt, we find a profound form of flavor. In gravity, naturally we find a pleasure. In the Samuel Adams Double Bock we find both these characteristics in fine balance.

    Shipyard Imperial Pilsner

    This brew is a surprising summer sipper that you should enjoy this season.

    Brooklyn Black Ops

    Inky and opaque, the Brooklyn Black Ops is a brew of profound and exotic luxury.

    Oh What A Pig’s Ear This Is

    This dark brown beer has an unusual name, but how does it taste?

    It's No Sweat, Right?

    The jalapeno flavor in Throwback Spicy Bohemian is more intense than you might expect.

    Living Up to Its Rep

    Stoneface IPA stands out from the pack.

    It's All About Gravity

    Check out Parabola -- an annual imperial stout from Firestone.

    Founders Centennial IPA

    If you are looking for an honest, flavorful beer, give Founders Centennial IPA a try.

    Three-Eyed Raven

    This dark saison is the latest offering from Ommergang's Game of Thrones series.

    Milly's Oatmeal Stout

    Though likely a difficult brew to obtain for those outside of New Hampshire or New England, Milly’s Oatmeal Stout is certainly a beer worth seeking out.

    Sixpoint Abigale Abbey Style Ale

    The packaging is unique, but how does the Sixpoint Abigale taste?

    Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

    A great beer occasionally does come from a can. Read the review of Ten Fidy Imperial Stout.

    Devastatingly Dank

    No, you don't have to be stoned to enjoy Stone's Enjoy By 04.20.15 IPA.

    Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve (2013)

    Find out if the bourbon barrel aged Old Stock Ale is worth the $25-a-bottle price tag.
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    Be Sociable, Share!
      • Tweet

      Related Posts