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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 TMoney2591
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a stemless globe.

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

Would Ron endorse? Discuss. Meanwhile, this stuff pours a clear garnet topped by a finger of off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises toasted caramel, light chocolate powder, and lighter orange peel. The taste, being insanely conformist and uninteresting, brings in more of the same. Straight up. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, an okay beer, but nothing I would ever consider a kolsch. I'm thinking this must be miscategorized or something. Either way, it's alright, but nothing close to special or memorable.

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

This is a dark kolsh? I gave it a vigorous pour and got a good couple of fingers of foam. It’s a dark ruby-cola color in the glass. Slight biscuity aroma, but very light. Tastes of light roast and some honeyed sweetness rounding it out. To be honest I haven’t heard anyone speak highly of this so I’m going to stick my neck out and say it: for what it is, it ain’t half bad.

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

A reddish-brown color and a good sized (more than two-inch) head. Very clear and plenty of sticky lace.

The aroma is that of a very dark roast iced coffee with a hint of cocoa.

Light and crisp. Very refreshing. The dark roasted flavors are not as pronounced as the aroma led me to expect. There really isn't much flavor up front, but plenty of roasted flavors toward the end. Rather one dimensional but refreshing and tasty.

This beer is somewhat unique in texture and flavor. It's a very good beer for a hot day when you want something light but with more flavor than a light pilsner or koelsch. Otherwise, it's not outstanding.

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Photo of CEversole
2.96/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown almost black color, with a half finger white head that dissapates to almost non-existant. Hardly any lacing at all. Very low retention.

S: Not very aromatic at all. Bready and malty. The usual I guess.

T: I can definately taste some heavy malt, as well as some sugar agents. Maybe a small hint of coffee but not really sure. The background flavors are hard to place. I get some nuttiness in the background as well.

M: Great mouthfeel. I think the carbonation is just right. Very clean and crisp, as it should be.

O: I wouldn't say I'm dissapointed by any means, however there are much better examples of the style out there. This is a great average beer for an average (not to over the top) beer drinker. This would be good for intro. to people who are new to the hobby. About what I expected from saint arnold.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle into nonic

A: Cola brown, fairly thin looking body, good carbonation but low retention

S: crisp cracker with a hint of carob, maybe a bit of green apple, heaving co2

T: almost pear-like quality, a bit of toastiness but not much, somewhat chalky/malted milk-like in the finish

M: Very bright, effervescent, final finish is quite dry but clean, good.

O: It's an OK beer. It isn't big enough in any direction to really define its style. I did enjoy the mouthfeel and clean finish.

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Photo of Vashtar
3.86/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance was good

The smell was clean. It was too exotic to just be caramel. I'm not sure what it was. The scent stops short, though.

The taste was good for a dark beer.

I took notes on my phone, so I'm not writing this as I drink it.

There was a bit of slime in the mouthfeel but no after-slime.

Overall, it was pretty good for such a dark beer.

I took notes on my phone so I'm not writing this as I drink it.

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Photo of specksnreds
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like a pretty root beer without the head. Smells like not-much-to-right-home-about. Some sweetness on the sniffer, but it's a hunting expedition in the Amazon to find it. Bubbly on the tongue, more so than I expected due to the lack of foamy head. It doesn't taste like much at all. It's soooo subtle with a bit of toasted Grape Nuts in the finish. Hops weren't invented when this beer was brewed. That's the only reason I can think of for there not being any. A black lager/Kolsch (I guess) that needs more flava-flave.

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Photo of vande
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - black and flat, like a couple of day old cola... strange for a kolsch, but a black kolsch - eh, something new...

s - roasted/bready malt...nothing crazy though.

t - watery, roasted flavor...some breadiness...but this one didn't do a whole lot for me unfortunately.

m - somewhat thin, like a kolsch should be I spose, but a bit watery...

o - eh... glad i tried, wouldn't necessarily seek out again though.. i like S.A. other brews I've been lucky enough to have...maybe kolsch not my style...

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

Thanks to texasfan549, pours deep black with a 2" white head, nice lacing. The aroma has roasted notes, chocolate notes. The first sip has nice roasted and chocolate notes, then it faded a bit. It finishes light. The body is too thin, good carbonation. Black kolsch, maybe not the best idea. Not sure this is the proper style.

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Photo of oline73
2.66/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear dark amber/brown with quite a bit of red in it. There is a small layer of off white head that leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very mild, the only thing I'm really picking up is slightly sweet bready malt.

Taste: Tastes like an average brown ale. Mildly sweet malt, a bit nutty/roasty, but not much else.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Really boring and I'm not sure the style is correct. Not again.

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Photo of turfy
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a SN pint glass.

A - Nice appearance. A medium brown color and nice retentive head with decent lacing.

S - Slight roasted malt/ corn/grain aroma . Nothing earth shattering.

T - Slightly underwhelming. A lightly roasted or burnt grain taste with a hint of coffee.

M - It's just kind of 'there'. Carbonation is on the lighter side and body is medium.

O - I was hoping for something better. It can be interesting in a way but overall it's a 'meh' kind of beer.

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Photo of kyleelton
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look is very brown in the pour. Have to hold it to the light to get any amber, at all. This is darker than I thought it would be.

Bready smell. Very much like a Kölsch.

Much breadier taste than the Lawnmower. Crisp taste and finish with a lot more malt flavor than a regular Kölsch. Aftertaste sticks around for a bit and mouthfeel is a bit chewy and thick, as compared to your typical Kölsch.

Overall, an interesting diversion from the normal. Very drinkable and safe, but also different.

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Photo of 2xHops
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What is this beer?

I didn't realize it was dark, and that is certainly not what I expected when I ordered this beer at Flying Saucer.

It looked good and appetizing. It is dark, but not as dark as you'd see in black lagers or stouts.

it didn't taste as interesting or even good as I thought it might would. There is a slight roasted flavor (I mean, very slight) to the beer, and it was slightly bland.

I don't know if I'd order this beer again. It's hard to say if it's a good representation, because it's not a typical kolsch I thought it would be.

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Photo of SkipWeathers
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crisp, black, malty and clean taste. Mild chalky bitterness lingering. No oil or fruit present. This was kind of a mystery beer to me because of the cool art on the label (also, bottlecap is nice design too) and the lack of any description of the brew. As I understand it's a "black kolsch." Seems to fit Texas to a "T." Burnt roast mild coffee-like flavor with refreshing light brew. Kind of a nice mix.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up at the "new" Spec's on 1960 and Cutten road. I am always behind the curve on the new Saint Arnold offerings out there and picked this up before I even realized that it was from SA. It is an unusual goal, to produce a black Koelsch, but I commend the innovation nonetheless. Let's review this one properly:

Appearance: Poured into my glass stein a clear brownish color with a small creamy head of light tan bubbles. Earlier bottles had a lasting head, but this one faded to a small ring within about 30 seconds. There is a little bit of lacing left on the glass after drinking the beer. I am going to score it a little higher on the appearance as other beers in this six-pack were notable on how long they held the head.

Aroma: The aroma reminds me of brown malt in that it is a little chocolaty with some earthy notes mixed in. I am getting some sweet toasty notes in here that seem Munich derived, and maybe there a little bit of dark Munich in here too? The yeast is muted as it should be for the style, but the Koelsch fruity characteristics are getting buried in the malts, so you could call this a "black Pilsner" for all I care and it would still fit the bill. The aroma is moving slightly toward Coffee as it warms a bit and there are no hops really noticeable at all except as a very subtle floral component.

Taste: There is a little bit of the subtle fruit in the flavor that would kick it out of the lager category. The overall presentation is a little thin like you would expect from a Koelsch, but the dark malts are adding a bit of acidity that sets in on the back of the throat and is playing with the carbonation and light hops to dry out the finish quite a bit. There is no alcohol noticeable anywhere in here.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty decent beer. It has enough character that it sets itself apart a bit in the craft-beer market so that it might lead a Lawnmower drinker to try different beers. That said, the beer lacks the complexity that I would like to put it in the outstanding category. Even a black Koelsch should showcase some of the fruity aspects of the yeast while still having good head retention and more of a sweet aspect to the dark malts, so maybe this would have just necessitated taking out the very dark malts for some dark crystal and fermenting it a tad warmer. This may have brought it a little closer in, but regardless, it is a pretty good attempt at something that doesn't exist.

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Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Richmond Arms in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights throughout. A two finger light beige head forms with good retention initially. After a few minutes that recedes to a small ring with light lace.
S: Dry toasted malts and grain up front and center. Bread and biscuit. Not much else.
T: Again, toasted almost burnt grains, bread, and biscuit dominate. Not feeling this one.
M/D: A medium body that is very crisp, dry, and effervescent. Not hard to put back a few if in the mood.

This did not really excite me. Besides some toasted and burnt grains, just kind of ho hum and average.

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Photo of jamescain
2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to texasclimber for sharing this one with me, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with reddish hues, almost black, topped off with a thin off white head that quickly fades to a thin lacing.

Aroma: Slight roasted character and a touch of fruit, but nothing much else.

Taste: Again, roasted characteristics and mild fruitiness, plan and somewhat boring.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with medium-high carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I'm glad I was allowed to taste this beer before I decided to invest in a 6 pack. I did not like it and to this day have only actually enjoyed a few St. Arnolds beers.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Color is deep mahogany. Looks blood red when held to the light. The head is tan and has decent retention. No lacing. The best part of the appearance is definitely the color.

S - Smells like lightly toasted grains, metal, and corn nuts. Original flavor. That's what I get.

T - Toasted grains initially. Then you get a little cocoa. Then a low frequency finish. Pretty single digit. Nothing special.

M - Medium bodied with a soda pop like carbonation. Enough said.

O - Another mediocre Saint Arnold beer. Just an average unremarkable beer. Not bad, but not worthy of a second purchase.

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Photo of diamondc
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$7.99 a sixer. Bottled on 10/14/11. Cool bottle art.

A: I'm really surprised the amount of head on this beer. Almost every Saint Arnolds year round beer I've had had poor head retention. The head is a tan shade, the actual beer is dark brown. Looks good.

S: Caramel, popcorn, hot nuts. Just a tad chocolate.

T: A big roast flavor on the first sip. Subtle mocha, coffee, dark chocolate in the middle. And then it just disappears.

M: A bit fizzy, could have used a bit more body, but since this is a Black Kolsch (ha ha...), this might be to style.

O: Nothing memorable about this beer. Easy drinking though.

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Photo of heimbrauer
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pub glass.

A: Pours dark brown from the bottle. About a finger tan head that actually lasted quite a bit.

S: The smell is a little metallic. Not much in the hop or malt department. Though a little breadiness comes through. Could be the munich malt.

T: Almost identical to lawnmower. I thought the different malt bill would have changed the profile completely. No hop bitterness (as expected with a Kolsch), but no truly pronounced dark malt character either. A little in the beginning, but disappears rather quickly.

M: Thin with medium carbonation.

This is an average beer. I was expecting a little more dark malt character. If you are a lawnmower fan, then you will enjoy this. Otherwise, if you are looking for something more complex, look elsewhere.

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Photo of gtermi
3.07/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is a nice dark brown with a thin head.

S: The smell is very nice with a good amount of roastedness.

T: The taste is a hufe let down. It has a little bit of roastedness, but also is pretty bland.

M: The beer is pretty average, it has a decent amount of carbonation.

O: I was pretty disappointed with this beer. Saint Arnold makes good beers, but this is by far the worst one by them I have had.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint glass...

Appearance-Brown, pretty dark, some red hues. Head was about a finger of tannish bubble head that lasted for a bit.

Smell-Had that typical St Arnolds aroma. Earthy and Floral. Some subtle Chocolate Malts as well.

Taste-Definitely reminds me of Lawnmower w/ some added chocolate malts. It's subtle, and not very chocolatey, but it's there. Very clean.

Mouthfeel-Clean and Refreshing, Light bodied w/ medium carbonation. I could suck down a few of these.

Overall-Only had one, but could definitely drink plenty of these. Glad this beer is in the rotation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of lnashsig
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A new offering from my local Houston brewery Saint Arnolds...here we go. A "Black Kolsch"- basically Lawnmower with roasted malts, right?

Poured from bottle into DFH snifter. Pours a murky brown/black color, reminiscent of brown tea as it leaves the bottle. Dark in color as it gets into the glass, but light gets through. Smell- roasted malt, tea leaves, a little bit of coffee and mocha. reminds me of a dobblebock in appearance and smell. Taste- tea leaves, a faint bitterness, maybe some coffee flavors again. Overall, not much here. A little bland and boring. Really rich carbonation here too. A realize that they are trying to make a session beer here, but I don't see ever making a session out of this. A little blah on this beer.

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Photo of kcbearkat
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Saint Arnold Spring Bock pint glass.

A: Pours dark brown from the bottle. It appears to be like dark maple syrup when help up to light and is accompanied by a thin tan head.

S: The smell is kind of basic. Roasted dark malts with a slight bit of floral. Not bad by any means, but average.

T: Dark malts, slightly burnt sugar. Flavor disappears rather quickly, just like a Kolsch. It's refreshing.

M: This has a medium carbonation with a thin mouthfeel.

This is a completely average dark beer with the plus that the flavor doesn't linger very long. It's not mind blowing but I'm not sure it was really trying to be either. A very drinkable beer from Brock at SA.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is a mix of toffee and toasted malt, with some earthy hops. There is also a little bit of chocolate in the aroma. The flavor is somewhat strange. I get some toffee and roasted malt, but there is also some earthy and grass notes. The finish is pretty clean like you would expect from a kolsch, but other than that this tastes more like a standard dunkel lager or something similar. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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