Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Karnival Kolsch - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Karnival KolschKarnival Kolsch

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

162 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 162
Hads: 346
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 22
Gots: 17 | 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
Reviews: 162 | Hads: 346
Photo of microbrewlover
3.01/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The brew pours a cloudy golden color, like straw, with a half-finger head, light lacing and medium carbonation.

The smell is of straw, possibly lemongrass, yeast and wet hay.

The taste is yeasty, slightly malty and there is a bite on the aftertaste which appears to be due to the carbonation. There is also a light dose of bitter hops. Light spice of type.

The mouthfeel is light thin and creamy.

Overall there is not much going on here but I guess this is the Kolsch style; this is similar to other Kolsch style beers I have had. It is not all bad the the addition of some fruit, more spice and hops would soup this up nicely. (631 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draft at paradise by the slice. It had a nice clear golden color body with a nice 2"foamy head that hung around a while. The smell was of lemony, grassy hops. The taste was nice and crisp, sweet grain and some bitter hops to finish it off. The mouth feel was great, nice and smooth and very tasty, good one to drink when it is warm out. (350 characters)

Photo of JWU
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- crystal clear straw yellow with a white, fizzy head. Little lacing.

S- clean grains and cereals with a bit of ale yeast and a hint of spicy hops

T- starts with a hint of bitterness, which transitions into a defined smoothness with the sweet grains and cereal base. A bit rough on the back end (aggressively crisp on the palette), likely due to the ale yeast.

M- Crisp, smooth, and slightly creamy. Almost too crisp on the finish.

O- Almost like their gold lager, made with ale yeast. A very refreshing spring/summer beer, and would be a great gateway beer for macro drinkers. (625 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of floral and spicy hops in the nose.
T: The overall taste is filled with flavors of biscuit malts and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The hops lend a moderate amount of dryness throughout the taste from start to finish.
O: Dryness, bitterness and maltiness seem to stand out in this beer, which is quite easy to drink given its low alcohol content. (769 characters)

Photo of Finn
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Karnival kolsch pours pale yellow and holds a modest, creamy head of foam. It has a crisp, clean aroma of grainy lemony grassiness. A subtle malt sweetness comes through behind subdued lemony hoppy notes. The mouthfeel is great: creamy and smooth with a little crisp bite from the moderate carbonation. Overall I like this one a lot and is a nice "light" craft beer for the warmer weather. (389 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: straw yellow body, trace white head,
fine lacing

S: sweet grain/malt, grassy

T: sweet grain, malt, grassy dry crisp finish

M: light/med body, dry/crisp mouth

O: Fine session brew, not my favorite style
but great for a summer day or BMC
friends.

GOOD, WORTH HAVING! (275 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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! (798 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (986 characters)

Photo of stewart124
3.17/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Faint golden yellow in color with little head to offer.

Nose has plenty of cereal graininess and some lemon.

Taste is subtle and fairly plain. Nothing really impressive but nothing wrong. This has a nice malt character and it really builds as you go through the beer.

Overall this nothing special but again there is nothing wrong here. Dry and assertive all the while adding some bready notes and fairly subtle lemon characters. (432 characters)

Photo of StaEva
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a tulip style glass. I like the light, straw color. The foam is thin with light carbonation.

Off the top I get some lemon and pilsner smell. There is just a little smell of malt.

This tastes very light with a little fruitiness. The pilsner flavors continue in the taste as well.

It is a good summer brew. This is my first kolsch in a couple years and it is nice to get back to this. (404 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of Jenkster4
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy pale yellow with about three fingers worth of head.
Nice carbonation, and overall not a bad looking brew.

Nose: Getting some herbal notes, hay, tad bit of spice, and a very slight hop presence.

Taste: Clean and refreshing. You get most of the the aspects that you pick off the nose. Nice lemon zing after it sets for a minute. Pretty good summer beer.

Mouth: Like I said before this is a clean and easy brew.

Overall: This one is not bad. Nice summer brew, nothing fancy but sometimes that is A-OK. I'd buy it again. (534 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice light hazy straw color, surprisingly thickish head for the SRM, leaves behind excellent lacing!

S - Lemony, slightly spicey, some floral hops and toasty malt

T - Like it smells, well balanced. very light and very earthy. Almost sour, dry finish.

M - Light bodied, super refreshing, appropriate carbonation.

O - Don't really care for Kolsch's but this is a good representation of the style. I could stand to drink a few of these in the right situation (471 characters)

Photo of Neffbeer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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! (903 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of KajII
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Kolsch glass]

Poured a slightly hazy pale yellow with a large white fizzy head that had good retention and produced excellent lacing. The aroma was of straw malts, a nice grassy hop and a soapy scented yeast with hints of citrus and maybe honey. It tasted rather bitter and mildly acidic with a nice citrus note at first with the flavor becoming just a bit sour with a nice hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was was light in body and watery in texture with a nice soft carbonation.Overall it was nice and flavorful, although nothing too special. (554 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (1,788 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
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! (339 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a really nice clarity, yellow body and a fizzy white head. The aroma is light, most has a nose of some malt and grains. Not really much hop aroma at all here. The taste is light all around. The flavor that it does have is pretty refreshing though. The mouthfeel is very light and very easy to drink. Overall not a bad Kolsch. (348 characters)

Photo of Trambo
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
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! (766 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-yellow color with tons of bubbling carbonation and a half finger of crisp white head. The head fades fairly quickly down to a tin layer leaving some nice lacing behind.

S - Aroma is a mix of some light sweet caramel malts and a bit of floral hops as well. There is also some light citrus and honey as well.

T - Starts off with some light sweet caramel malt and lemon flavors. Through the middle some floral hops and honey sweetness come through. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel and citrus that lingers nicely.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Very light and crisp without being watery. The sweetness and citrus flavor that lingers is really crisp.

D - Very drinkable. There is enough flavor and complexity to keep the beer interesting without every feeling watery or empty. The beer is super crisp and smooth and a nice balance of flavors. The light hop addition is really nice. (930 characters)

Photo of therica
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Flannery's, Mercersburg PA

For a true Kolsch I think this misses the mark by being too bold in flavor but on its own it has a lot of merits as a beer.

A= golden, with modest head.

S= some light malts, hops florals and hints of honey.

T= much bolder on the hops bitters than I'd expected, far beyond a true Koln Kolsch. Thick bready malts, again much more so than a true Koln Kolsch. But enjoyable.

M= lingering hops bitters and thick malts.

O= very decent beer but a far stretch to call it a Kolsch. (515 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow body, touch of haze, a few bits of carbonation streams, topped by a big snow white densely headxm of micro-micro-bubbles.

Light but enticing aroma of lemon and fresh hay.

Sweet but nowhere near cloying. Lemon follows. Then a crisp hop nip at the swallow. Light lemon/hop mix carries through a short aftertaste.

Good firm mouthfeel for a beer this light.

A nice tasty hot day beer, better than a lot of other summer kolschs out there. (450 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (597 characters)

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