Karnival Kolsch - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Karnival KolschKarnival Kolsch

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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: 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 162 | Hads: 346
Photo of Chaney
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up some of these because it is currently #7 on BA for the style. Here goes...

A: Poured a fizzy yellow color, with tons of bubbles shooting up from the bottom. After a very assertive pour, I managed to summon up a pretty substantial 1 - 1.5 finger cloud white head. Tons of lacing stuck to the side of the glass, even as I siphoned down the brew.

S: Faint, yet still present scent of sweet bread and German malt... alongside a nice fruity, hop presence.

T: Remarkably sweet, crisp, malty taste, with a mild bitter hop character that I totally wasn't expecting. The dry finish doesn't linger. Satisfying and refreshing!

M: Medium bodied, with prickly carbonation that I felt was perfect and allowed me to experience more of the complex sweetness. I was pleasantly surprised that this didn't turn out to be the bubble fest that I thought it might have been upon first pour.

O: Highly drinkable for sure. I could see myself popping a few of these around the pool in the summertime. Hey, that's what this was created for right? (1,037 characters)

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

A: half finger of white head on top of a light straw body.

S: smells clean with a floral hop and a bit of other hop aroma.

T: surprisingly similar to the aroma but with a bitter backing and a nice dry finish. Just a tiny bit of madly flavor loners on the palette.

M: thin body with slightly lower carbonation than desired.

D: rather drinkable but could use a tiny bit more carbonation. A pretty solid beer over all. (419 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think I could drink about 20 of these. They taste good and they are extremely drinkable. I rated it as if the old drinkability were in place of "overall." This shines in drinkability as this style should.

It is perhaps a bit too light, as the style should be. The smell is good - again, a bit lighter than my preference. But it's a well made beer and one you could drink again and again. (390 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Karnival Kolsch has a bright, clear, yellow body with a lot of carbonation bubbles. The head is soapy yet sturdy looking, and both lacing and retention are quite good.

The aroma has earthy, grassy, and lemon flavors from the hops, along with a lightly toasted, slightly sweet, grainy pale malt character.

I love a good Kolsch, and this one is no exception. Although Karnival Kolsch is on the hoppy side, the malt profile is much more complex. Lots of hops bring earthy, grassy bitterness with a touch of citrus. A hint of fruity yeast pokes its head up in the middle of the beer, but only for a second, then its gone. The malt has flavors of lightly toasted pale malt, crackers, light sweetness, and grainy cereal. The finish has a bit more bitterness from the hops.

Really light body with a ton of carbonation. Good feel.

This Kolsch was just what I was looking for from the style. A really easy drinker that manages a good deal of complexity and enough hops to satisfy a hophead. (985 characters)

Photo of Khazadum
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Get to use my stange for the first time! This is so exciting... Can't wait :D

A- Clear pale yellow body like a well hydrated urine. Tons of carbonation, many many streams and individual explosions of carbon dioxide. Generates a tightly packed styrofoam-esque cap and mini bubble collection of pure white. No discoloration or support from the beverage. Pretty lacing. Definitely didn't expect the numerous layers to develop like it did.

S- Clean, fresh, and sharp. The hops are spicy. Very refreshing nose on this one. The malt is very faint coming off of it. Some... mild biscuit? Definitely this grape character that starts to come out with warming. Love it.

T- Opens very malty. Throughout it has that biscuit, bread power. Some spiciness of the hops on the late stages, but this one is just clean malt power through and through. Finishes up faint soft, spongy bread center.

Some changes as it got warmer. I feel like there is a fantastic sweet flavor that bursts in the middle. Caramel maybe... Its transient and short-lived. Not there on every drink, but it definitely gives a wine-like power when it exists. Wish it happened on every drink and the score would have been much better.

M- Nice mild body, refreshing feeling. The carbonation is light and tingly rather than a burning passion. Minor stickiness. Like this one. Great beer to start my evening.

I think I'm a fan. Nothing amazing, but surely a beer I need to work into my rotation somehow in the future. Cleans up and delivers a good amount of flavor without being overbearing. Truly easy to drink like it should be. I want to say Kolsch but it seems too simple to be that... the Stange and then it to be kolsch screams too easy to guess. Ahh, hell. I don't know for sure. Pilsner?! Nah... (1,761 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
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! (1,531 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour was about what I would expect from the style. A nice even colored light amber, bordering on a golden color. A nice sized head of white foam then rose up over the top to take a hold on the glass, reaching a height of around two inches and then settled back down to leave a bare top with minimal lacing. No real side glass presence was noticed, though there was some nice carbonation.

The aroma was rather light, touches of caramel malts, light bready tones and a hint of banana were all that were readily noticeable, not bad really, would have liked a bit more of a pop in it though if I am being honest. The flavor was very nice though. Rich notes of biscuit and bready malts, layered on top of a light fruity spike of flavor. Some nice touches of grain coming through mid palate before dropping back into a smooth, and subtle feel. Crisp and clean finish left only the lightest bit of caramel flavor on the tongue before fading into the back and leaving me ready for the next sip. Nice, smooth, easy carbonation was an ease to drink, and I would have no issue with putting down multiples of this one. (1,111 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, best-by date of 7/19/11. Poured into a Peters Kolsch stange. Its light golden colored with a little over 2 fingers of foam, effervescent looking. Proper.

But the aroma is just a little off, kind of skunked. It wouldn't seem possible as the best-by date is so far off, but I guess a fragile style like Kolsch can't be pushed too far as it can't hide flaws. It tastes OK except for the mild case of light damage, neutral flavors beneath the skunk. Pleasant malty aftertaste, marred as it is.

Light bodied and poundable, I'd love to try it on tap. (559 characters)

Photo of jkot79
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent example of the style. Nice head when poured from the growler. Nice lacing left in the glass. Not overly bitter with a nice crystal malt undertone. This is a most drinkable beer especially with the weather turning warmer. Highly recommended. (250 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (459 characters)

Photo of JunkYardJake
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pilsner glass.
Pours a crystal clear pale straw color. White fluffy head lasts a long time and laced well. Smell is grainy and yeasty with a a bit of lemon. Palate is clean and balanced. Cracker malts and bready yeast are balanced with a touch of floral hops. Mild bitterness with a spot-on dry mouthfeel. Very easy drinking and true to form kolsch. (364 characters)

Photo of victory4me
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard shaker.

Pours a clear straw yellow with a two finger head which dissipates quickly. Floral aroma of noble hops, hints of lemon and a slightly metallic characteristic. Very typical of the style.

Washes over the tastebuds very nicely. A subtle, hop presence that is just strong enough to make itself known. Citrusy and light. Extremely refreshing and easy to drink. A nice prickly mouthfeel from the carbonation and the hops. I could drink many of these in a sitting and wouldn't have to think very hard about it.

A really nice surprise from Stoudts. A great intro beer for your BMC friends. Very refreshing and enjoyable. A perfect representation of the style. (685 characters)

Photo of Buggies
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a straw yellow. Crystal clear too. Quite pretty to look at. Aroma is quite nice also. Sweet malt aroma with citrus. Little bit of corn and straw there too.

Tastes great. Citrus mostly. Slight sweetness in the background. Nice crispness from the carbonation. Bitterness is spot on I think. It rides through the finish cutting away some of the sweet citrus notes.

I'm a big fan of Stoudts. So, to me this is another example of a good beer from a great brewery. (466 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle received from hopead101 in the Blind Beers BIF. This one was poured into a tulip.

It's a beautiful bright dandelion yellow with the slightest hint haziness amidst moderate effervescence. A bubbly one-finger head of pure white fizzles away rapidly, leaving a small ring.

Subtle aroma. Saltines, a tiny bit of sourdough, some apples and a hint of spicy German hops.

The flavor mimics the aroma: cracker-like malt balanced by a very mild fruit sweetness and spicy hops. The finish is crisp, dry and refreshing. The absence of flavor between sips encourages me to go back for another.

Light-bodied, yet full of perky carbonation that prickles the tongue and causes the beer to foam up as it moves about.

This was a refreshing change of pace from the heavier stuff I've been drinking lately. A solid, drinkable kolsch, perfect for knocking back several of during a day at the course. (909 characters)

Photo of foogerd
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Kolsch!

A- Pale yellow with a slightly hazy body, some white head that left over some lacing.

S- Sweet honeyed malts, some spicy hops.

T- Malty metal like breads, odd but the metal doesnt seem to bother me at all. Nice bitter oily hoppy finish.

M- Highly carbonated.

D- Perfect full flavored beer to session, real solid brew to quaff. (349 characters)

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a Sebago pint glass at MiKro in Hamden, Conn.

A: Very pale, yellow color with a chilled haze and a thin, creamy head of stark white foam. Carbonation is ample and there is minimal lacing left on the glass.

S: Bright, zesty hop and grain aroma with hints of butter, marmalade and rolling metal.

T: Light, dry cracker up front followed by a white wine skin and herbal hop flavor. Some metallic, milled grains roll through mid palate before washing down assertively bitter and dry.

M: Light, crisp, bracing even, and refreshing for the most part. Very dry finish.

D: I don't know why I keep trying Kolsch despite disliking it as a style in general. Not a lot here for me, but if you like a very dry, light malt and grainy hop style of German brewing, this Stoudts offering isn't a bad choice. One and done for me though. (839 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
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. (1,391 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Galaxy Hut this past weekend. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear yellow-gold with a two-finger white head appearing after a few good swirls. A bit of lacing, though not too much. The nose was a bit of light pilsner grain plus some very mild fruit. A touch of floral hops as well. The taste was along the same lines. Nothing too complex, though no clear flaws either. I don't think anything will ever live up to the COAST 32/50, the beer by which I will measure all beers in this style (at least until I finally make it to Germany). Light and refreshing, this was crisp and I downed my glass pretty easily. (619 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left."

--Victor Hugo

Haystack yellow with corn silk edges and a crown of sheep's wool white. Lots of farm references there. The head has a cottony texture that looks good as it fades, all the while leaving small chunklets of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma has the musky, grassy, spicy quality of German nobles. Probably Saaz and at least one or two others. Malt makes very little olfactory impact, which is par for the style course. Hints of skunk (which is odd given the brown glass bottle) aren't too much of a negative.

If Karnival Kolsch is truly a spring seasonal then this bottle has held up remarkably well. It's still pretty hoppy and the finish is crisp and tight. Tastes like it was brewed no more than a few months ago.

The flavor profile is fairly simple, as expected, but that doesn't make it bad beer. On the contrary. There's a pleasant backdrop of cereal grains and bread crusts, then come top notes of bitter grasses and a wee twist of lemon peel. If this bottle is 8-10 months old then Stoudts has made a brewing deal with the devil.

The mouthfeel is quality through and through. Plenty of size for the ABV, good lift and creaminess, dialed-in carbonation. Check, check... and check.

Stoudts Karnival Kolsch is an outstanding lawnmower-type ale. It has an abundance of flavor and isn't as simple as it first appears. The brewery should seriously think about a year-round release. Hey, those of us in the Midwest need snowblower beers too. (1,541 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 4/22/2010. Bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a thick white head. Aroma of sweet fruits, cereal grain, honey, sweet malt. Flavor is sweet upfront with a malty, bready finish. Easy drinking, tasty Kolsch. Slightly on the sweet side but that's it's only flaw. (268 characters)

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pinocchio's in Media, PA in the summer.

A Pale gold one finger white head, stays well.

S Grassy, biscuity.

T Grassy, light cirtus, bitter, slight pine, slighty sweet.

M Light, bit creamy, good carbonation.

D Easy, light, but not perfect. (252 characters)

Photo of smokeypeat
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Light golden color with relatively small head, and a small amount of lace. Aroma has some lemon, touch of honey, light pepper. Nice smooth easy drinking beer. Light hop presence up front, but it's absolutely dominated by a clean crisp finish. One of my new go-to beers on grass cutting day. (304 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Longneck
A) Pours with a big head then settles leaving big bubbled lacing at the edge of the glass. Slight chill haze. Gold in color.
S) The aroma is faint but there are notes of heather, grain and caramel.
T) fruity tones up front - apple, orange. Light caramel maltyness. Finishes with a noticeable hop bite.
M) Creamy. Light bodied.
D) A decent brew. I might considered drinking two in a row. (403 characters)

Photo of redzone3120
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (733 characters)

Photo of Morey
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (729 characters)

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