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Karnival Kolsch - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Karnival KolschKarnival Kolsch

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

162 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 162
Hads: 347
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 18.75%
Wants: 22
Gots: 16 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Karnival Kolsch Alström Bros
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Reviews: 162 | Hads: 347
Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.71/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

An extremely transluscent pale straw color brew serves prelude to the light and crisp flavors of tart granny smith apple, sun-roasted grass, spicy hops, thyme and wild herb presence, honey, and pear sweetness. Spicy and bitter on the nose with citric acidity. Comes together nicely, well-attenuated and reminds me of the new wave of hoppier, drier ciders. Chewier than ciders with a notable maltiness lending a comforting caramel aspect compliments a relatively high bitterness.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$1.89 for a 12oz bottle at BevCo. 22 IBU, 4.8% ABV, Bittering and aroma hops=Hallertauer. Includes Red Wheat...interesting.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear pale straw golden, forming a tall bone white beautiful and creamy head. Excellent retention and lacing. Appears filtered. Medium crisp carbonation, ~2.5 carbs. The aroma is as a Kolsch should be...clean Kolsch yeast profile with a hint of sulfur, freshly mown hay, delicate hops and no flaws. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a light body. The taste is wonderful...delicate pilsner malt, freshly mown hay, with a hint of saltine cracker. Pleasantly firm well balanced bitterness. No off-flavors. Dry clean finish.

A perfectly brewed Kolsch. One of the very best I've had. An exceptional beer. I will be going back to the store and getting a few 6'ers of this for sure. Highly recommended.

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Photo of StaEva
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Kolsch-style beer.

Crystal clear pale yellow color, two fingers of meringue-looking head. slight lacing leaving rings on the way down.

Smelled of creamy yeast, slightly peach-like grains, and clean grassy hops.

Taste is very close to the nose, but less peach, good crisp hop finish, and incredible drinkability. Slightly sweeter malt profile than most traditional Kolsches I've had.

Full carbonation made the mouth feel incredibly clean and well refreshed. Light, delicious, and beautiful.

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Photo of FatSean
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice golden-yellow into a shaker pint. The brew was quite clear with about 1/2" white head.

Smells of biscuity malts and a note of sweet fruit.

Tastes of those lovely Stoudts malts with just a touch of hoppiness throughout.

Great mouthfeel, perhaps a bit too carbonated for the style? The text on the bottle seems to insinuate that they weren't going for a perfect copy.

Exceptionally drinkable. The only problem is that my local store wants $11.99 for a six pact when the lager and pils are $9.99. Still, you should definitely try this one.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

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Photo of BeefyMee
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Decent color but not very good head. Could do better in the looks department. Intriguing aroma of muted orange and heather. Light bready taste with some of that faint citrus coming through in the background. A nice level of sweetness pervades, and a slightly acrid but not unpleasant characteristic begins to develop in the aftertaste. Goes down like a dream and begs you to pop another top. A great kolsch.

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Photo of Morey
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This hard to find and somewhat rare style of an ale poured pale yellow in color with brilliant clarity with lots of bubbles floating up towards a fairly thin white head. Some lace is sticking to the glass, but it's minimal.

Smell is clean crisp and fresh. Nothing in your face, but nice.

Taste...this has to be one of the most refreshing beers that I've ever had. There's a nice bitey hop-carbonation combo that greets you at the door which mellows quickly for a clean smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is thin and slick with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is top notch. I can't think of many better session/summer brews than this one right here.

Morey's Bottom Line: A great beer from a great brewery. Perfect for summer BBQ'S.

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Photo of WVRadar
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear, sparkling straw to pale gold body, capped by a thin fizzy white head. Lots of bubbles racing to the surface. Moderate lacing. Pleasant malty aroma with a hint of fresh bread. Very tasty, sweet, crisp and smooth. Did not detect much of a hops presence. Mouthfeel is light, oily and soft. Certainly an upgrade over the everyday American lager, I really like this beer.

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Photo of Brenden
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of joepais
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dim for this one.
Bottle poured into a pint glass produced a nice white head that lasted and had a great lacing. The body was a clear straw colored yellow.

The aroma was nice and bready in my nose . The flavor was light and crisp with a light feel in my mouth.

This was a perfect Kolsch
Easy to drink light in the mouth. This is a perfect brew to drink mass quantities of great job guys

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a style that does not get enough respect. Amongst all the barrel aged imperial stouts, it's hard for the subtle refreshing flavor of a nice Kolsch to shine through. Despite the fact that each beer is supposed to be scored based on the style, there is certainly a bias towards bigger/more bold beers. As much as I enjoy each of those bold styles, I do love a crisp and refreshing Kolsch. I saw this on the shelf and had to grab one to see if I enjoyed this version. Not only did this not disappoint, I think I am going to make this my spring beer of choice. This is the type that I keep a six pack in the fridge for neighbors and the wife.

The beer poured with a fluffy/light white head that showed nice retention. Copious amounts of lacing cling to the inside of the glass. The beer is a nice bright straw color with some gold tones. Some light visible carbonation.

Aroma is nice and reveals a higher hop presence than I imagined. Plenty of bread dough aroma along with some light grain and a whiff of floral hops.

Excellent balance here and a great combination of fresh bready flavor along with a nice hop bitterness. Continue to taste some bread dough and a light biscuity malt. The subtle sweetness is balanced perfectly with a nice hop bitterness. Great session beer in the making.

Carbonation is light and mouth feel is very smooth. Crisp finish due to the nice hop bitterness and the wonderful bread like flavor.

This is a very nice beer and one the fits the style spot on, in my opinion. As mentioned above, I'll have a six pack in the fridge for the next several months.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of redzone3120
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear golden yellow with a slight shade of amber. Very clear with a good amount of carbonation visible. Has a white head, about 1 finger high that dissipates to a light ring around the edge.

S - Great smell, I cannot put my finger on the aromas but its not too bitter and not fruity like other summer styles. Glad it kept the Kolsch style!

T - Great taste, just like it smells. Not bitter at all and doesn't have any odd extras like lemon and stuff. Just a true to form, great tasting beer.

M - Good mounthfeel, the bubble dissipate quickly but it washes down with little aftertaste.

D - Totally drinkable, could have more than one in a sitting. Would go great with a lot of foods and isn't too heavy. Great summer time brew.

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Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear golden yellow in color with a thick and fluffy 3" head. Moderate lacing paints the glass.

Smell: light malt sweetness and a bit of lemon zest create a faint but nice aroma.

Taste: mild malt base is nicely muted with lemon zest, dry grass, green grapes, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: light in body. Crisp and dry throughout. Refreshingly clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: this is a clear session beer for me. For the style this one hits the mark.

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Photo of fx20736
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsener glass. Pour yields a snow white 3/4 head which recedes slowly and leaves a shroud of white lace down the entire side of the glass. Beer is a pure gold with steady tiny bubbles. Aroma is muted, some maltiness and a touch of fruit. Mouthfeel is silky smooth. Taste is a restrained duet of hoppiness and pale mailtiness in perfect harmony. Finish is clean with a slight bitterness.

Great drinking experience. TBH, it doesn't seem too different from a lager, sort of like a dry Pilsener but more subdued and less grassy. It seems like balance and restraint are real hallmarks of this beer and I applaud Stoudts for making a fine version of a lesser known and hard to imitate style.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Hard pour yields a finger and a half white pillowy head. Extremely clear with lots of bubbles rushing to the top. Straw yellow in color. Head has good retention and nice lacing left behind.

Smells of perfume-y floral hop scent. Grainy bread.

Taste is light with subtle sweet malts. Grain and bread. Floral hops, some resin bitterness.

Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, light bodied with a crisp hop bite at the end.

Such a perfect session beer. Light and subtle. Easy to drink.

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Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a creamy white head that leaves small sheets of lacing down the glass.

The smell is floral/grassy with grainy, slightly almondy notes.

The taste is sweet grain, almond, a touch of lemon, with a dry, grassy finish.

It has a crisp, light body. Smooth.

This is a great Kolsch! Nicely balanced...a great "sessionable" brew!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a stange-type glass.

L - clear golden yellow color with a fluffy white head that left good lacing.
S - grassy hops smell is very much like a German pilsner.
T - very good balance of bitter hops and sweet malt with a slightly sweet yet dry finish.
F - lighter bodied, crisp and refreshing.
D - goes down very easy.

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Photo of bbeane
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a snifter... starts with a decent white head, maybe 1/4" thick that eventually disappears leaving a tiny bit of lacing. Beer is crisp golden straw color with medium activity

S- Smells nice. Citrus, maybe a hint of banana, blended with bread and grains

T- The medium bitterness mixes with some sweet cirtusy notes to create a very nicely balanced and delicious beer

M- Light/medium body with medium carbonation... leaves a hint of bitter aftertaste

D- Very. A great session beer IMO. This might be my new favorite from Stoudts excluding the BIG BEERS


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Photo of drtth
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a bright clear golden yellow color with a ½" fluffy white head that recedes to lave a ring, some sheets of foam on the glass and a thin layer of foam on the surface. Sipping leaves foam sticking to the glass and lots of fine speckles of lacing, some of which cling and some of which slide back into the liquid. Throughout most of the beer there is still a very thin layer of foam and sipping leaves scattered patterns of speckles with rings and patches of foam clinging to the glass.

Smell: The aroma is filled with bisquity malt combined with floral grassy hops.

Taste: The flavor is clean and fresh and a nicely balanced combination of the bisquity malt, the floral grassy hops, and a touch of citrus. The sweetness and bitterness balance each other nicely so that neither dominates the flavor but both are present.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with just enough prickly carbonation to give it a smooth silky feeling. The finish is medium to long in length and begins in the malt and floral grassy character of the beer but then fades into a clean dry slightly citric slightly bittered ending.

Drinkability: This is a definite plus for drinkability. Not only does each sip follow naturally after then other, but even before finishing the beer I'm thinking about opening a second and I'd have no trouble at all spending an entire evening with multiple bottles of this beer. No question I'll be having this one again.

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Photo of erosier
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a nice clear golden yellow color with a medium sized and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts, hints of lemony citrus and a nice citrus-y and grassy hop characteristic at the end of the nose.
T: Tastes of a nice blend of lightly toasted malts, nice lemony citrus flavors mixed with citrus-y hops and grassy earthy hops.
M: Very crisp, fresh, refreshing, perfect amount of carbonation, lighter bodied but certainly not lacking on anything.
D: Very drinkable, this has extremely sessionable qualities and a really nice feel to it.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure the date said to enjoy by july, but now I can't find it.

A - brilliant yellow golden body with a decent white head.

S - zesty and spicy lemon, pale malt.

T - Crisp and clean with a lightly bitter bite. Nice malt finish, very refreshing.

M - light, but not thin, lively carbonation.

O (D) - a fine summer beer for sure!

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stoudts Karnival Kolsch has a very thick, white head and a clear, bubbly, straw appearance, with a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sugary sweetness, grass, and lightly toasted barley malt. Taste is of sweet, light barley and pale cracker, with a nice hop bitterness in the middle-to-end of the sip. Mouthfeel is light, watery, and lager-like, and Stoudts Karnival Kolsch finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, dry, and highly drinkable. I rate this one excellent. Get some!


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Karnival Kolsch from Stoudts Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.