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Saint Arnold Santo - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold SantoSaint Arnold Santo

Educational use only; do not reuse.

76 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 76
Hads: 509
Avg: 3.44
pDev: 46.51%
Wants: 12
Gots: 128 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: zander4dawin on 09-28-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 76 | Hads: 509
Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with pretty standard label art and a branded pressure cap acquired as part of a mixed 6 pack at Whole Foods and served into a Spaten stangenglas in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given its current ratings. I'm not certain this is actually a kolsch as currently classified, though Saint Arnold's website calls it a "black Kolsch" - which sounds pretty B.S. Reviewed as a schwarzbier.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a three finger wide head of beige colour. Has a nice soft fluffy complexion. No real lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3-4 minutes.

Body colour is a transparent translucent clear dark amber-brown. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks pretty generic for a schwarzbier.

Sm: Roasted barley, dark malts, hints of coffee, and kilned barley. Any hopping is so minimal it's not discernable. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

A poor aroma of mild strength. If this is supposed to be a kolsch, it's absolutely terrible. For a schwarzbier, it's okay. Not looking forward to trying this.

T: Dark malts, pilsner malts, clean barley, a dab of roast, and a fleeting hint of crisp clean munich malts - which reminds the drinker of what this beer actually should be. If they were going for a kolsch, they really missed the mark. And it doesn't commit enough to its dark malts/roasted character to really hit the schwarzbier style. No hop character, yeast character, or alcohol comes through. As it warms, I get some cocoa powder and a bit of earthiness.

Troublesome imbalance. Not gestalt; lacks cohesion and focus. Shallow depth of flavour. Limited duration and intensity of flavour.

There are no off flavours here.

Mf: Nicely clean and crisp. Smooth and wet. A biteen overcarbonated. Okay presence on the palate. Nice body. It suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it. Kind of refreshing.

Dr: Drinkable, sure, but I wouldn't want to get this again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Hides its ABV decently, but I'd probably guess it was higher than 4.70% if I tried it blind. A swing and a miss from Saint Arnold. I hate the premise, and the execution isn't much better. Kolsch is one traditional style that doesn't need yanks tinkering with it.


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Photo of bmwats
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stange.

A: Medium-dark brown. Pours a 2 finger, bubbly, brown white head. Settles pretty quickly, but not completely; leaving a little residue behind as it does. Plenty of beer ring lacing.

S: Lightly roasted malt, light hints of butterscotch and pecan.

T: Roasted malt, and a little peat, pecan shells, and butterscotch.

M: All components are light. Slightly sweet aftertaste.

D: Session.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, thick bubbly head, and some nice lacing. Nose is roasty, with sweet and nutty components. Lightly roasted malt, nuts, and sweetness. All components lightly applied. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.32/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't sure how to review this. It is very obviously not a kolsh, at least based on appearance. Maybe a dark kolsch?

That said I liked it. Dark brown (very slightly hazy) with a white head.

Nice toasty aroma.

Flavor is nice and dry. Lots of malt but balanced by a good amount of hops.

Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of Premo88
4.2/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into craft beer glass (wide-mouthed stick)

L: brown with amber highlights ... black-brown unless you hold up to light; only 1/4-inch head of creamy tan foam -- didn't pour it hard enough; it's produced much bigger heads on harder pours (and without losing carbonation); light lacing at best; the amber sometimes looks like orange; it's crystal clear

S: lots of grain swirled into a good malt presence; malt is the lighter, sweet biscuits/bread kind, very nice; the malt gets just dark enough to conjure up raisin bread -- not the full-on raisin force of a belgian strong dark. for someone who doesn't like raisins, it's very pleasant.

T: malt. nutty, sweet malt to the point that if you'd have told me i was drinking an English brown ale, i would've believed 100%. man, does thing have some good taste ... follows the nose with a bit of grain but mostly sweet biscuits/nuts from a wonderful toasted barley. hops are present enough to add a bit of spice through the swallow, not necessarily up front with the bite -- just enough to remind you it's beer.

F: light to medium weight, not watery, solid carbonation. looks dark but drinks like a kolsch in the mouthfeel ...

O: a very easy beer to get behind; loads of malty goodness and at just 4.7% ABV, it's damn near heaven-sent for those of us looking for an American-made brew that mimics the lighter malty brews of England (pale ale, IPA, brown ale, bitter) and is sessionable. it's simple in the nose, taste, feel -- good beer; but it's complex in that it's a kolsch, a "black" kolsch, that may or may not be a style ... frankly, i don't care.

a fantastic break from the hop-bomb craze. i hope SA keeps making this year-round ... a perfect option when i want a lighter malt malt-bomb.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark amber color - cloudy and almost brown really. A brown finger width foamy head that quickly dissipates. There is a small amount of lacing that quickly recedes after swirling. It does not persist on the glass. There is a sour, bready and almost fruity aroma. Almost roasted malty taste up front with a very slight bitterness, followed by a very mild sweetness at the end. As a "black kolsch", it is definitely a unique beer. I have had it before and will most likely drink it if available again. It is one of my wife's favorite beers, otherwise, I probably wouldn't stock it in the fridge that often.

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Photo of Lee17
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A great black lager. Very full taste, hearty without a strong bite. Slight roasty flavor, yet surprisingly smooth and easy to drink. A great beer to have with chips and guacamole, or while barbequing steaks out back. I will buy this again to enjoy on a Friday or Saturday night.

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Photo of bens0n
2.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark brown amber color, fairly clear, not murky or cloudy at all. Very minimal amount of foamy head.

Smell wise this beer is not very aromatic, it has a subtle malt that pulls through the mild spiciness, nothing special here.

Flavor wise there is a nice blend of spicy and coffee notes, nothing really stands out though, its well blended but not really smooth.

It was on the watery side and not really easy to put down especially with the meager 4.7 abv it puts out. Its in the moderate sipper category for me and I didn't even bother finishing it. If it had more carbonation, maybe some crispness or a more characteristic finish I would have probably enjoyed it more but its just one of those beers that in a hit or miss game, is a miss. Sip after sip I was hoping it was going to get better as it warmed up but I was really disappointed.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber leaning towards mahogany.

Smells of malt, nuts, & spicy hops.

Spicy hops up front with a mild tartness, followed by a roasted malt nut flavor. I am trying this while visiting family in La.
This is a very interesting beer that is easy drinking and enjoyable.

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Photo of doubledteague
2.64/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a frosty pint glass.

A- Dark redish brown, nice brownish white head, dissipates rather quickly but leaves some very nice lacing.

S- Not much of an aroma to this one, slighlty malty, maybe just a very slight hint of caramel.

T- Same can be said for taste as for smell, not much taste to it. Again little malty, i missed the caramel though. This beer tasted like a very very weak bock.

M- Light bodied, medium carbonation, dont get any kind of suttle hints of the abv in this either.

O- This beer is not bad, but far from great also. I could see having several of these in a sitting with a meal, however this is not a full flavored beer, or something I would highly recommend to the beer connoisseur. A good start though for someone who is used to the typical big brewery beers and looking to try something new.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to one of my co-workers for bringing me this one to tick! Served from bottle into a Mother Earth strange. Poured a deep ruby red dark brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, spice, grain, dark chocolate, and toasted malt. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, wheat, grain, toasted malt, and cream. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. I honestly went into this one not expecting very much. What I found was actually quite nice and well balanced. There was a nice roastiness/toastiness going on in this one that really added a nice touch to this brew and was definitely different for the style. This was a welcomed change in the way that they executed it. Really glad I got the chance to try this one and suggest you do the same if you get the opportunity!

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Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What is this, a new style-- Black Kölsch? Well, anyway it's a lot darker, a dark amber, than any Kölsch I've seen.

I just had the Fancy Lawnmower Kölsch, forgetting this one is also from Saint Arnold. Fairly malty and much richer. A distinct taste of roasted malt. Sort of an amber ale but without much in the way of hops. There are some hoppy aromatics, but mostly it's about the toasty barley and without the distinctive perfumey notes. A decent quaff and not a bad entry in the lower-alcohol sweepstakes. Not particularly distinctive but goes down easy and mixes well with a hoppier brew.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Leonard's Market in Lubbock.

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Photo of Ford
4.2/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Gordon Street Tavern in Alvin, Texas (also most Buffalo Wild Wings in Houston)

Love this beer.

Plenty of caramelness in there. Not really any bitterness. To me Saint Arnold makes flavorful easy to drink beers and Santo is right up there with their best.

Being in Houston, this beer is easy to find even in those establishments that just tend to serve the big, bad, American beers. I'll take a Santo over those any day.

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Photo of acevenom
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours clear dark brown with a biege head that dissipates moderately fast. The appearance of this beer is almost like a dunkel. There are plentiful tiny bubbles in the beer. There are hints of chocolate and coffee with the dark roasted malt. The aromas are pretty subtle. The taste follows the nose. The beer is chocolately and a the malt profile really comes across like a good dunkel. The hop bitterness is low to non-existant. The body is light with moderate carbonation. The finish is clean and the drinkability is high. This beer drinks like a dunkel, but is labeled a Kölsch. This is a very good beer, but ultimately loses some points for being something it shouldn't.

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Photo of VaterRoss
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into shaker, bottled 4/5/12

Pours a clear, dark brown with a small off white head that does stick around for long, very little lacing. Smell is of slightly fruity lager yeast with just a hint of chocolate coming from the malt. The taste is a subdued chocolately roasted malt with the lager yeast coming on pretty strong, perfect amount of mild hop bite to finish. Mouthfeel is medium weight and carb.

This aint no Kölsch, more like a Münchner Dunkel. Way too heavy and toasted and lagery to be a Kölsch, despite that this is a pretty good beer with light dark lager taste and body, pretty refreshing. I have reviewed this as a dark lager, as a Kölsch it is closer to a 2.

Perhaps this beer in its age lost some of the delicacies of the Kölsch and gained a toasted malt profile? /s

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saint Arnold Santo has a medium, off-white head and a dark copper, yet clear and bubbly appearance. There is a decent amount of lacing left behind. Aroma is of mildly sweet and spicy brown bread, and the flavor is of dark-roasted malt and coffee, plus some very slight chocolate. I detect no bitterness, but there may be some spice from the yeast. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Saint Arnold Santo finishes dry, mild, and highly drinkable. Overall, this is a pretty plain and dull beer. It’s worth trying, though.


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Photo of hmph
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Graciously received in a trade with Tofuspeedstar , love some Texas beers!

A - pours a light brown with a copper hue which I think is due in part to the transparency, very minimal head

S - smells like a Kolsch! medium dark sweet malt smell with a slight hop touch

T - Clean, clear and tasty, there is a nice bit of carbonation and bitterness upfront that leads to the medium roasted choclate toffee taste, it finishes dry with a hint of bitterness lingering

O - Not a huge fan of the Kolsch style itself so went in trying to be objective, but really enjoyed it as a beer itself and possibly my favorite among the style that I have tried. Well done Saint Arnolds and thanks again Neemesh for sending some my way!

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Photo of emerge077
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Chris for sharing this beer today!
Live review, served in a tulip glass.

Earthy husky grain aroma. Bright caramel color, thin string of bubbles on the surface. Spotty lacing left behind. Crystal clear with a jewel tone clarity.

Tastes caramel sweet, dry and smooth. Clean and flavorful. Bready, tasty. Something that could be sessioned, an easy drinking beer.

Wouldn't consider this a traditional Kölsch, more of a Maerzen or ESB in character, though they do use a Kölsch yeast. American-Style Dark Lager is the category it won bronze in the World Beer Cup.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.92/5  rDev +43%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a pleasant surprise. I had no idea it was out till I was at the Rammstein concert at Toyota center in Houston and saw it was available. I have been drinking it every day since I found it!

This beer pours a dark brown with amber highlights (when held up to the light). The head is a frothy white that has staying power and leaves rather elegant lacing down the sides of the glass.

The nose is sweet malt, coffee floral hops and a tinge of citrus. All I can say is WOW!
The taste is just as complex as the nose with a very noticeable blend of coffee and dark chocolate mixed with sweet malty tones that are perfectly blended with eh hops winding through the flavors giving it a complexity that is mysterious and elegant. This beer has real panache and the flavors are just something to be savored.

I absolutely love this one and I now have a new local favorite from the master brewers at Saint Arnolds. These guys have pulled off a masterful brew.

I don’t recommend this beer; I declare it a mandatory beer. A recommendation is just not good enough. Any serious hop head should absolutely consider it mandatory to taste this wonderfully crafted beer.

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Photo of angelmonster
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown body with a frothy cream colored head. Lacing and head retention are good.

Smell is of fresh baked biscuits, slightly burned. Also getting faint coffee and chocolate. No hops or alcohol.

Taste is of crisp pale, straw malts but nicely contrasted with chalky, roasted, biscuity malts. Alcohol is undetected, hops are very light, good flavors for such a light beer.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing, as you'd expect from a kolsch. Where this beer is different is in the chalky aftertaste that you get from some dry porters. Beer is well carbonated, head added a small amount of body.

Overall this is a good, highly sessionable beer. Similar in body to saint arnolds lawnmower beer but with a deeper flavor profile. Too bad it's not available in Colorado, another reason for me to take more trips to Texas.

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Photo of match1112
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

deep dark brown body with a three finger head that unfortunatly settled rather quickly. smell and taste mirror one another. pick up on grassy earth tones at first with some biscuit and cracker and roasted grains. some toffee, caramel and chocolate are also noticable. there is almost a smoke quality on the finish that is not expected. a thin mouthfeel but easy drinkin. i like it. thanks again UHCougar12!

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Photo of chocosushi
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Melbourne Bros.
Described as a "Black Koelsch"
A ~ Black-Brown w/ an off white head. Slight lace.

S ~ Spicy greens, crackers, toasted white breads. . . bit of caramel. Smells a lot like Weedwacker, one of my favorite Sessions!

T ~ Toast following through w/ steamed greens, grains, wheat, & a light sweetness with a bready dry finish.

M ~ Great flavors with a meaty Robust feel on a palette. Nice finish with a slight metallic note.

D ~ Would gladly drink again. I like Saint Arnold A LOT! Great American expressions of German styles. This is not a traditional Koelsch by any means, but it's still pretty tasty. Thanks brad!

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Photo of Pegasus
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep reddish amber when eld to light, with a moderate, persistent, coarse tan head, fine scattered lacing, like some lost ancient writings. The carbonation is slight and slow-rising.

Aroma; Citrus hops, bordering on orange dominate the aroma, as well as roasted and caramel malt, as the taste progresses, the roasted malt flavor intensifies, although pleasantly. Towards the latter part of the taste, there is a moderate cold coffee note. Finishes with lingering roasted malt and a faint herbal hop flavor.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, a bit thin, but still pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Very pleasant and drinkable.

Presentation: Packaged in a short twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide chalice, this is a very dark beer with a head that fades away pretty quickly. Nice aroma, though: light coffee roast, perhaps a faint hint of smokiness. It's a solid dark malt. I'm not sure why this is classified as a Kolsch: it clearly doesn't fit the style at all. The flavor resembles the nose mostly, but adds a touch of cocoa. A moderate amount of bitterness dries things out, but I don't get any hop flavor. Again, I get a hint of smokiness that adds a nice dimension. Clean flavor yeast-wise, with a lingering maltiness.

I'd call it a schwarz myself. In any case, it's pretty drinkable. The low strength makes for a nice session beer as well.

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Photo of DavidST
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well at least the bottle looks pretty cool. Anyways poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, bottled on 12/21/11. This pours a dark brown with a short lived lace leaving off white head. The smells have a biscuit hint along with mild hops but a little mild, a little dark malts. The feel is medium to light. The taste is light also, some biscuit malts, a little coco a hint of hop bite, okay but not great.

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Photo of imasloth
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Poured from bottle into pint glass. Beer is a dark amber colour with medium carbonation. An almost white head that lingers thinly across the top of the beer. liquid is clear when held to light.

S- Chocolate malt. Some light smokiness.

T- Smoky but smooth, with just a slight hint of bitterness.

M- Left my mouth a bit dry after swallowing. Medium-bodied.

O- Fairly average beer. I'm not a fan of smoky-flavoured beers so this one wasn't for me.

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Saint Arnold Santo from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.