Karnival Kolsch - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Karnival KolschKarnival Kolsch

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BA SCORE
85
very good

344 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 344
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 22
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bbeane on 02-27-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 162
Reviews by WesWes:
Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has everything a good pilsner has to offer; pilsner malts and Czech hops, except this beer has some mild Kolsch yeast esters. The taste is much the same. It's a little more bitter than most Kolschs' I've had in the past. It seems like it's modeled after a traditional Czech pilsner, but substituting the yeast strains. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer. It would be a hit with both ale and lager drinkers alike.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Trying back to back kolsch beers today,poured into a standard pint glass a light clear golden with a large fluffy white head that never fully settles,another spritzy lookin klosch,this head a great head to hit as well.Aromas are muted,only some light toasty grain,this is a crisp dry kolsch,spicy/herbal hop and toasted grain flavors mainly,I like the crispness of this beer.Now this a perfect warm weather brew that again isnt a throw back beer,I like this alot.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #88 (May 2014):

Bready, Dry, Clean, Yeast

Not surprising, Stoudts stays true to style. Brilliantly pale color, delicate but intensely flavorful maltiness and just enough hops to keep things even. This is a beautiful emulation of this lesser known German Ale style, one glass was not enough.

STYLE: Kölsch | ABV: 4.8% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass glass. The bottle has no mention of its abv% but it does have a "best by" date of 9/3/10.

Appearance: It has a bright clear yellow color with a tall bright white head on top. The body has some streams of visible carbonation rising up to the head which is creamy and hangs on well. It also makes some cool slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has a light pale biscuity malt undertone with a nice grassy/floral hop character with a twist of lemon zest on top.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor mirrors the aroma with light, mildly sweet malt balanced by mildly bitter grassy/floral hops. The palate is light with a soft yet still lively carbonated texture.

Notes: This is a style that is growing on me and this is one more beer that reminds me how good this styles simple yet well craft drinkability can be.

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow and crystal clear. Bright and fresh. Creamy thin effervescent head. Very little retention.

S: Very sweet pilsner malts. Hops aren't heavy. Light and crisp aroma.

T: Lager-esque. Quintessential Kolsch. Clean, bright and refreshing. Very light hop profile, but very well balanced. It's like a doughy biscuit in your mouth.

M: Very light and smooth on the tongue and palate. Refreshing and effervescent.

D: This is the perfect lager to throw down on a warm summer day. Concert tailgate anyone?

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixer of this stuff, definitely buy a sixer. The first glass is gone before you know it, designed for drinking in number under 5%. Forget strict definitions of a session beer, taste this it's a session beer. Pours a pale bright golden color beautiful appearance, bright thick white head dwindles down with large bubbles leaves behind a nice collar of lacing. Aroma is semi fruity, pale cereal malts light biscuit tones. Mineral water with herbal/grassy hop additions highlighted very close to a German Kolsch, probably better than half of the versions we get just due to the fact that this is so fresh. Best by 7/19/11 on the neck label it has to have been brewed recently. Flavor semi fruity notes amongst the cereal/grains herbal hops. Nothing complex but simplicity can rock your world especially in this type of style, I can't wait for Victory to bottle their Kolsch. These PA breweries do German styles so well. I gave a bottle to my cousin for helping me out with the little ones, I guess next time my local beer store opens up I'm going to have to grab another sixer. They only got one case in. If worse comes to worse I'll got to Vecenie's and grab a case of it at wholesale pricing. Mouthfeel is light bodied ample sturdy carbonation dead on nails the style. My kind of drinking beer, it gives you hop burps and feels as like it was brewed in Koln at a small local brewery.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Closed for Business in Charleston, SC.

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal parts robust light malts and grassy/leafy hops. As the beer warms the malt aromas gain hints of bread.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth light malt flavors that have just the right levels of sweetness kick things off. Midway through the sip leafy hop flavors make an appearance and carry through to a crisp and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this was a very well done example of the style, all the elements are there and in good working order. Well worth a shot.

Photo of Brenden
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours the pale white gold I expect, though with a leaning toward yellow. Dense, thick and frothy, the pure white head is a beauty and sticks around at about 2 fingers tall. It seems like it will never die, though it does fade to a pretty heavy foam that has great stick; lacing prevails.
The aroma is light, dry malts with a cracked wheat sense and tart green apple skin with a ghost of spiciness and some grass.
The flavor is tart and dry, lightly hopped, with the lightly grassy notes found in the aroma. The more vinous flavor I expect some out as it warms. This is excellent for the style and remains flavorful, foregoing a problem some brewers have when attempting lighter styles.
The fell is dry and crisp in a light to medium body. There's plenty of depth (and heft) to it considering the gentle body and low ABV, carbonation isn't overkill, and some creaminess pulls through without detracting from the crispness.
This is a great example of an under-appreciated style.

Photo of bobWFMU
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a great version of a hard to brew style. this one had a beautiful pale golden straw color and gorgeous thick bright white head. nice flowery hop aroma, crisp, light body -- though a bit heavier than most kölsch beers i've had. slightly grainy note, but finishes clean, with good hop bitterness -- a little more bitter than most other versions i've had. great light warm weather beer!

Photo of Sammy
2.67/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Cole's. Light colour, with carbonation bubbles. Neutral aroma, minimal head. This is a thirst quencher but the taste was rather minimal.Only the faintest drop of lemon or hops was I getting. Unoffensive but fairly plain, and so not that drinkable.

Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - bright yellow with a thin cap of pure white, foamy head that has decent retention

S - lemony, grassy, faint bread, some yeast

T - very bready, biscuity, doughy, lemon, faint apple, a hint of caramel, mild grass, very faint bitterness in the finish

M - light to medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated

This is a really nice beer. The taste may in fact deserve higher than 3.5. The initial taste is very bready and malty, but as the drink progresses it becomes more Kolsch-like with some lemony, grassy notes. This is a beer that I could sit down with and really work my way through. I wouldn't mind having some of these on hand for those high-volume nights.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lot of American breweries take "Kolsch" (Kölsch is actually a appellation restricted to the breweries in and around Cologne) too far, either using too much malt or too many hops, leaving a beer that's either just too big for the style, or out of balance in some way. Stoudt's is pretty much right on.

They've got the yellow-golden color right, along with the bright-white head; and the proper amount of malt, yeast fruitiness, and noble hops in the nose. That's probably the hardest part to achieve because you don't want too much malt, and certainly not too many hops, AND you've got to get that little bit of fruitiness in as well without letting it get too bright.

The flavor follow suit, and it's important that it's well rounded and balanced in the same way that the aroma is. The malt should be supple and slightly grainy-sweet, but attenuated; and the hops need to be judiciously used for both bitterness and flavor. Too much flavor throws off the balance, and too much bitterness takes it into another style.

In general it's on the mid-upper range of the style, but if they'd gone any lighter I'd imagine today's consumers would grumble, thinking it too light (don't let them know it has less alcohol than Bud). A touch more carbonation might help to give it a little more refreshing crispness, but it's still quite good as it is. Overall, they've done a very good job with a very specifically defined style (keeping it from becoming a Blonde ale or a fruity Euro "lager"). Best of all, it's probably fresh! Prost!

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at J. Ryan's in Syracuse. Appeared a brilliant gold color with a tall white head. This was a dry and hoppy Kolsch. As in there was less malt and ester than most Germans, but it was still within reason for the style and it was quite tasty. The hops were earthy and spicy like, good Euro hops, while there was a light bready malt undercurrant. No, it's not the best or most complex Kolsch (Summit's comes to mind), but it's a great hop-centric take on the style. Check it out.

Photo of nickd717
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle thanks to dashirey.

Nice appearance for the style - clear yellowish-golden with a well-formed white head sitting on top.

Aroma is decent. I'm not a huge fan of this style, but it's good for what it is. Bready pale malt and grain, subtle hops, and lemon peel.

Flavor is surprisingly enjoyable. Graininess and pale malt along with some spicy hop notes and tangy lemon/citrus.

Medium-light bodied and fairly clean and crisp. Mouthfeel about standard for the style.

As many have said, this is a good "lawnmower beer." It's light and refreshing without being too bland and flavorless. I don't mow lawns since I don't have a yard, but if I did, I'd imagine this would be enjoyable as I drunkenly careened around the yard, haphazardly plowing through hedges and fences as angry neighbors yelled at me.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener- pours a clear golden straw color with one inch of creamy white head; great retention and nice rows of beautiful lacing. Pours with more foam/retention the warmer it is.

Smell is nice and light- smells a little herby and a little grassy. Nice light German hops. Light earthy yeast scent as well.

Taste is consistent but more fleshed out- nice pale malt sweetness coupled with grassy hops, slightly dry finish.

Great mouthfeel- light bodied and well carbonated (I do love the prickly ones). Not a must have in my book but certainly a delicious and refreshing session beer.

Photo of Kegatron
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a stange.

Pours a clear gold, with 3 fingers of foamy bright-white head. This retains with rich cap of froth, which leaves behind a spotty cascade of lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is fresh in the nose, with a bright smelling pop of lemon zest, citrus peel, light spice, grassy hops, and some toasted malt sweetness underneath. Fruit and hops really push to the front of the nose here.

The taste is equal parts sweet grains and fruit, with some bitter citrus and lightly spicy hops giving this some zip on the tongue. Finishes bitter and dry with some lingering spiciness. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, with a mellow and soft creaminess to the carbonation, which keeps this very easygoing on the palate and very quaffable.

This was very good for the style, and while it maybe lacked some of the vinous and yeasty fruit character that I normally like in the nose, it more than made up for it with a surprisingly complex flavor profile and super easy drinkibility. Just really quaffable and tasty stuff here, just in time for the summer season.

Photo of Trambo
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from bottle into a fluted pils glass mostly clear, with a pale golden color & nice carbonation streams, building a lovely white head 1 finger deep. Head disappeared quickly leaving nice lacing on glass.

S - Caramel maltiness and a lovely citrus note. Very pleasant aromas urging the first taste.

T - Very slightly sweet maltiness with a light bread taste, followed by a slightly lemony delicate hops bite. Great balance.

M - Light to medium mouthfeel, goes down smooth with a smart, crisp finish, begging for the next swig.

Very drinkable, good hot weather beer that wants you to follow with another. Overall, I enjoyed this greatlky, and was very pleasantly surprised by this American crafted tribute to the Kölsch style. Will definitely recommend!

Photo of Gmann
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear straw color with a wispy white head that left some clingy lacing on the glass. The aroma is light. I pick up some grains and that is about it. The taste is sweet from the malt, some cereal flavors. Kind of has a pilsner malt flavor. There is a very light peppery and grassy hop bitterness in the end to balance out the brew. The feel is light with tingly carbonation; lightly sweet on the palate. An easy drinking brew for sure. Nice and refreshing and not very bitter. Good alternative for those who don't like pilsners or adjunct lagers.

Photo of bum732
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Spicy hops, slightly fruity with some apple cider notes. Just a touch of sulfur, very minor.

L: Crystal clear straw yellow, dusting of foam with some retention.

T: Pils malt sweetness with a firm spicy hoppiness. Medium spicy bitterness leads to a fairly clean finish. A nice noble hop bitterness persists throughout.

M: Medium light body, medium carbonation.

More pilsner than kolsch because of the excessive hoppiness, definitely an American interpretation. That said, i really enjoyed this beer, still had that recognizable Kolsch fruitiness.

Photo of KTCamm
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. Another mix a six pickup.

Pours a very clear golden color. See through. German pils-y smell. Firm. Taste is clean, flavorful, delicious. Mild hop runs throughout. Light lemony touch. Not much to describe, but perfect for the style.

Great summer beer.

Photo of tone77
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pale yellow color with a small head. Smell is mild, a bit of malts. Taste is crisp, malty and a tad sweet, fairly light. Feels light in the mouth and is highly drinkable. Overall this is a pretty good quality brew.

Photo of Neffbeer
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has long been a favorite summer beer of mine.
12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: The body of the beer is a light straw colored yellow with perfect clarity. There was bubbly two finger head that displayed moderate retention and left behind a great deal of lacing.

S: The nose is incredibly balanced with a toasted malt presence, some cracked wheat, and a healthy dose of Hallertau hops. The hops are very earthy and floral reminiscent of a wild meadow in full bloom.

T: The earthy aspects come rushing forth with dank floral and herbal notes, followed by a distinct mineral-like finish. The toasted malt and wheat subtly enter mid-palate and provide a delicate sweetness to support the hops . It finishes dry and herbal.

M: Light to medium with a pleasant effervescence that borders on creamy.

O: This is my go to American Kolsch and always makes me feel like the season is changing. Cheers!

Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A crystal clarity with a pale golden yellow coloring is topped off by a bubbly head that was spongy with a bright white shine. Short lived was the head leaving only a faint smidge of a reminder of its presence in the way of lace. A very light effervesce shows though the window clarity of the drink that was rapid in speed, moderately spaced but starts to whimper out after a short time like a weezing old man.

S: Pale grains and lemon cake appear for aroma. Bread with a bit of sour musky citrus. Not particularly as clean or refined as its German counterparts grain wise. Also the hopping is a bit assertive, good if you like the American bastardization take on foreign styles, not much so if you’re a purist. Mixed feelings here, brings something extra to the table but feel reluctant to rate per style so going midway in my rating here.

T: The flavor was pale lemon hops and pale grains, lightly dry with a soft flowery scent of noble hops with a finish of musky citrus and a bit of dry fruitiness. Again the hopping is a bit more assertive of style. There is a light bread notes, a bit of acidity with a show of some fruity nature. Crisp and clean flavor with a delicate dryness reaches just the right balance before a extra helping of hops move in for the kill and finish.

M: Light bodied, fit per style, with a smooth slippery texture and a good bubbly presence of carbonation. Dry lemon citrus flowers fade off the tongue upon the swallow with a bit of sour musky fruit.

O: Overall a decent flavor with an added measure of hops making for a light drinking affair, maybe not as clean malt wise or as crisp as its german counterparts, but again this a tough act to measure up to. I consumed this at 99F and found it refreshing, drinking almost like a pale ale at times.

Photo of philbe311
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers worth of tightly packed, crisp, slightly rocky pure white head... Excellent retention... The head turns slighter creamier as it settles... Loaded with gratuitous amounts of super fast carbonation rising throughout... A very pale yellow gold color... Completely translucent... Some foam clings to the sides of the glass...

S - Biscuity with an ever so slight spicy kick... Grassy and floral aromas intertwined... A touch of lemon zest...

T - As expected the bready biscuity malts dominate... A very modest touch of pepper... A modest European hop presence... A kiss of lemon on the finish that lingers...

M - The lush head touches the lips first... Medium bodied... Slight carbonation... A tad on the chewy slide... Sleek... Crisp... Clean... Refreshing... Slightly dry finish...

D - Insanely quaffable.... Insanely sessionable... Loaded with character and personality... Slightly assertive for the style... This Kolsch really delivers and doesn't pull any punches... Shouldn't be a huge surprise coming from Stoudt's but this is a truly outstanding beer... Wonderful balance... Nicely done...

Photo of Philabeerphia
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12oz bottle with a well done label (fun and fitting). Poured into an 8oz stange glass (okay, it's a 'rigged' stange if you will).

A beautiful clarity allows light to pass freely through the beer. No hues, no differentiation in coloring - this beer is a brilliant gold (slightly darker maybe than German variations?). The 2 finger head, bone in color and large in bubbling, has settled into a small foamy cap that sits put until the beer is gone.

The nose is dry - hints of earth & wheat and a light floral hoppiness give this a pleasing, subtle spread. I dig deeper and pick up some clean green grapes, or maybe even berries. A nice finish. Still very much on the 'refreshing' side of things.

In the mouth this is definitely true. Carbonation makes it's presence felt immediately, producing a soft roll on the tongue. Some lemon tartness emerges and zips quickly into high notes of bready malt and lower notes of sweet berries. It arcs then finishes with a quick turn, allowing a floral, piny hop to emerge. The finish is still full and not as dry as some other examples I've tried (unfortunately), but IMO it is a solid representation of the style and a great addition to the local beer scene this Spring. Overall the beer moves soft and quickly while still hitting high and low notes - telling a nice refreshing story for the drinker to imbibe.

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Karnival Kolsch from Stoudts Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.