Karnival Kolsch - Stoudts Brewing Co.

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

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, yellow-hued body with a goodly-sized, fluffy, white head.

Smell: Subtle, refined scent of light pale malts along with notes of everything from flowers to wheat dough to lemon peels to wine.

Taste: Mild taste of pale German malts with a faint sweetness. The thin hint of a single, solitary Wheat Thins cracker. Fresh floral, grassy hop character with sufficient bitterness. Little gulp of white wine with a lemon twist. Dry on the back half with a subtle spiciness gliding into the crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-high carbonation, keeping things brisk and active.

Drinkability: Crisp, refreshing and light without being entirely devoid of flavor. Recommended for good ole Summertime drinking.

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

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, golden body. The head settles rapidly and leaves very nice lace.

S - An aroma of light, sweet malt and spicy, herbal European hops.

T - Sweet malt up front with some herbal hops and a touch of bitterness. Flavors of hay and honey in the middle with a bitter finish that is grassy, but balanced by a moderately strong malt flavor.

M - Slightly thick malt, moderate carbonatiion, and a lightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, it is a good example of the style and while it won't win any points for complexity it is very refreshing.

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 TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light malts, grain and some hops.

T: The taste is starts out bready with flavors of grain and a light but hearty malt character. Then a mild but notable hops presence comes in along with a touch of lemony citrus sweetness. Overall, it's pretty well-balanced. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is one of those good summer beers (a.k.a. "lawnmower beers") that is worth pounding down several of throughout a warm/hot day or evening.

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 jlindros
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first nice hot spring day, time to try a nice koslch.

A: Pours a huge fizzy 2.5 finger head that is full of large bubbles and pasty white colored, supplemented by many bubbles floating to the top. It's a brilliantly clear golden yellow color. The head leaves a very slight lacing on the sides.

N: A nice toasty slightly malty sweet lager aroma. Very much so lager, and nice smelling too. Some light wheat and even a touch of banana.

T: Starts with a really nice crisp lager taste. Some light toasty malts, slightly sweet lager malts and definite nice lager flavor. Light, crisp and refreshing. SOme light wheat, very light citrus and banana. A little juicy and fruity too. A nice fresh grassy and slight citrus fresh hop flavor and slight bitterness comes through. A nice one too.

M: Medium body and it feels like it has some viscosity to it. Good carbonation.

F: Semi crisp on the finish, not as much as I expected though. Slightly dry too, but not that much. A slight bitter hop presence comes through on the finish, a nice grassy spicy hop flavor. More lingering lager malts and slight fruit too. A nice long finish for being a crisp clean lager koslch.

Reminds me a lot of my fav lager, Pretty Thing's American Darling, just slightly less hoppy. I really liked this one and it would be delicious on a hot summer's day.

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

Nice production. Not too loud on the nose, but the flavor is pretty consistent and earthy. Gets inky on the end. I love how we're able to see these styles done so well nowadays out of the US. It's hard enough to get good ones out of Germany as it is. (And I mean that in that we don't get much variety distributed through the U.S.)

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

Thanks to mughugger for this bottle -12os poured fridge temp into my stange.

A - A clear golden straw w/ 2 fingers of soapy cap, confetti-like lace clings and the retention is good. The Kölsch has visible carbonation streaming upward steadily

S - A very malty nose w/ mild chalky note and slight hint of hops w/ mild german yeast which adds a light sulfur note to the aroma

M - The feel is light w/ high carbonation and slightly creamy malt texture as a result w/ a nice hop presence. The yeast gives a hint of spice to the fell in the finish w/ mineral-like effect but it doesn't usurp the malt and the sweetness is very mild throughout

T - A very toasty malt entry with a spicy yeast accent and nice mineral like flavors in the peripheral. The flavor has a mild creamy cereal-like maltiness. The taste is crisp like a pils w/ mild hopping which is more herbal and malt keeps pace w/ subtle nutty tinges and hints of sweetness. The hops give the Kölsch a spicy finish augmented by the mild sulfur note of the yeast

D - I was really impressed with this - what a quenching German Style ale -- crisp and refreshing, flavorful - a well brewed Kölsch
Kudos to Stoudts!

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

Nice example of a Kölsch. Rich flavor, perfumey, tangy mouthfeel. Light golden with a slight haze in the glass. Excellent sudsy head.

Resiny flavor is quite pervasive. Crisp and clean with a lager character. A hint of biscuits and yeast. Pleasant carbonation that lasts really well. Overall, a refreshing quaff.

From the 12 oz bottle purchased at the Foodery in Philadelphia.

Photo of Rifugium
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Poured a clear, light golden color, with a frothy white head that dissipated rather quickly to a thin layer. Aroma of light malts and hay. Similar taste, with lightly toasted malts, hay, grass, earth, just a hint of hops, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Very light profile, crisp, refreshing, and quite drinkable for a summer beer. I'm not a big fan of the style, but this was okay.

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 smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Minor head that leaves some streaky lace. Mild milky haze to an otherwise straw colored beer.

Malty with a touch of sourdough to the nose. Very light hop.

Light and refreshing, but not crisp like a lager. Stays true to its ale roots. There's light sourness that is similar to the smell. The aftertaste is tart. Full bodied for the style.

Photo of drabmuh
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer is yellow and crystal clear. Bright and clean. Huge white head, some lacing. Nice carbonation. 

Aroma is plain. A little sweet a little weak but good. 

Beer is wet and nice. It is clean and sweet up front. Nice crispness to the palate and the finish is great. I'd have this again. 

Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
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!

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 8/15/2012. Pours hazy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger dense bright white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, herbal, earth, grass, wheat, biscuit, and nuttiness. Very nice aromas with nice balance and complexity. Taste of lemon zest, herbal, wheat, grass, biscuit, and peppery spiciness. Lingering notes of citrus rind, pepper, grass, wheat, and biscuit on the finish for a bit. Nice balance for flavors; with no cloying at all after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very crisp and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Almost zero alcohol presence after the finish as expected for 4.8%. Overall this is a very nice kolsch style. Nice amount of flavor with good balance and complexity; very smooth and crisp to drink. Really enjoyable stuff.

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.

Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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

My heavy-handed pour resulted in a massive two-plus fingers of eggshell-white head with very good retention. Nose smelled very pleasantly of Noble hops, probably Saaz, and my mouth began to water.

I am a self-avowed hophead but it was not until my FerMentor, Lew Bryson, explained to me about certain types of lagers as being hops-forward that I had any truck with Kolsch. I still say that the best Kolsch I ever had was made by Bryan (DJ Lil Guy) Selders when he was still with Neversink B.C. in Reading, PA before becoming Sam Calagione's right-hand man.

Color was a beautiful pale lemon-yellow and if that makes me a sissy in Greg Koch's eyes, so be it. Mouthfeel was full, almost creamy and the soft grassy hops were delicious in the mouth. The finish was semi-dry and very refreshing. This would be a most welcome summer beer, especially after doing lawn work. Plus, the sticky lacing was beautiful.

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 BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- yellow golden, might as well be white gold, with a tight bright white head about a inch tall leaving shattered lace here and there. Not much retention, a small cap.

S- A grassy scent backed with sweet malt and a little citrus. It's a simple style and a simple smell.

T- Sweet malts in small bursts with a small toast backed by light grassy hops, and a touch of lemon. Some spiciness in spots from the yeast and wheat.

M- Dry and with a slight hop taste left on the tounge. The malts are light enough to call this thin bodied. A very lively carbed Kolsch.

D- Karnival has a good taste while not being overly huge. This beer is refreshing, i could drink alot of this just to quench my thrist. Easy dranking.

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

Karnival Kolsch pours a clear golden with fine clarity and some bone white fizzling head. Aroma of some hops and pale malts backing. In the flavor, nice crisp green hop presence, giving a nice herbal spiciness to the beer. Base beer is of crystal malts and a nice even grainyness. Grassy and slightly citric hops are there the whole way through. Mouthfeel is clean and light. Overall, a nice kolsch brewed to style. Refreshing and would be a good summer beer.

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 smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Gaffel Kolsch stange glass.

A lemony light color off the pour, creates a very nice solid white and foamy head that has some very solid staying power. Body color is a light to dull lemon yellow, some fast rising cola carbonation, cloudy and hazy. Some faint tiger stripe lacing is apparent after drinking a little bit.

Nose has a slight spritzy lemon, some very slight diacetyl that's light, a sense of crisp hop, and some dry white bread. Other than this minor diacetyl it's fairly solid.

Palate brings a noticeable muted hop and lemon brightness. Richly fills with sweet malts and crisp effervescence. Slight chew on the finish, a very good quenching punch.

Overall pretty darn good for another American producing Kolsch nose and appearances aside. Keepum coming!

Photo of corby112
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Kraftwork.

Pours a golden yellowish ripe banana color with lighter golden yellow hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy white head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves sheets of soapy lacing behind.

Pedestrian aroma with subtle hops and hints of peppery spice, light fruit and bready yeast.

Surprisingly chewy, full body with a nice crisp earthy hop presence up front along with some peppery spice that flows into a creamy mid palate with hints of grass, straw, light fruit notes and bready yeast. The dry hops linger throughout over the bready yeast, subtle malt and apple, banana and pear fruit notes into a dry finish. Much more complex and flavorful than expected. Quite a nice surprise. Recommended!

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light lemon zest and a subtle grassy hop.

The taste was well balanced with a soft malt and moderate noble hop.
The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a good kolsch.

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