Karnival Kolsch - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Karnival KolschKarnival Kolsch

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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
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Reviews: 162 | Hads: 347
Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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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 smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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!

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

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Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap in a pint glass at the Bridge View Tavern in Sleepy Hollow.

Appearance: light golden hue with a good effervescence. Head is a thin layer of white foam. Looks good like a Kölsch should!

Smell: light, sweetish malt aroma with a hint of lagery yeastiness. Good but rather mild.

Taste: malty with a good yeast character. There is a light noble hop quality and moderate and balanced bitterness that works quite well. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a huge carbonation and absolutely bodacious creaminess. Ka-pow! Creamiest Kölsch I've ever had!

Overall: a very satisfying and refreshing example of the style. I really wish this were available in my area.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a two-finger head that fades easily, leaving some lacing on the glass. Nice presentation.

Aroma is full of lemon zest and bready malt. Two dominant aromas here. Slight hint of hops as well.

Taste is crisp and full of bready malt with a slight hint of butter. Hops add a bit more flavor in the form of a slight grassiness.

Carbonation is a bit high here and affects the mouthfeel. Goes down a bit rough at first. Otherwise, nothing offensive.

Very nice for the style. Not the best I've had but it's nailed the drinkability part and would make a good substitute for a cheap macro for a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from the IGA Potsdam NY for 1.89$

Appearance - Clear gold colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Corn, herbal/straw/grass, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and herbal/grassy notes. There is also some light lemon/grapefruit peel flavours and a bit of ginger. It ends with a herbal slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall - An above average Kölsch that is very drinkable especially on a hot day. Not something I'd go out of my way to have again, but well worth a try.

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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 DrDemento456
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up from the House of 1,000 beers mix and match price $1.65

A - Even though it's a touch old it still poured a clear, clean bright hay colored yellow with a 1/2 inch of rocky white head.

S - Smells of mild wheat, a touch of floral hops, and some dough.

T - It's a bit floral with some wheat and grass making way to the palate giving it a yeasty kind of lemon taste but the finish is clean.

M - Light to medium a good bodied summer beer.

Overall it's a good Kolsch but I can find more crisp and balanced versions of the style.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.17/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Rochefort glass...Pours a light cloudy straw with about one finger of decent head, not much retention, ok lacing....Medium aroma for a kolsch, light hops a little skunk to them, but tons of generic corn which is not good...Tatse is light but mostly skunk hops from start to finish, nothing too exciting here.

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Photo of avalon07
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a vividly clear consistency. There was a half inch of white, foamy/creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very underplayed aroma of bready malts and citrus.

T: Tasted of malts, with a hint of lemon. Not the most dynamic or powerful of kolsch flavors I've ever tried.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: Drinkable, in spite of its deficencies.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a single of this yesterday, the first time I'd seen it.

Pouring a light straw yellow with a dense, frothy, white head that lasts forever, leaving sheets of lace, this is near perfection for a Kolsch. The nose is excellent as well. Light and bready with a little cracker-like malt character, there's also a gentle, suffuse, hop character,lightly lemony. Not as grassy the way a pilsner is, this is a subtle classic. There's a touch of fruitiness as well. Ridiculously clean, this is a great lager.
The palate opens light with a little pils malt character and a very delicate hop character. Beautifully balanced, the light fruitiness marries perfectly with the hop and the malt character. Moderate lemon hop character is present, this beer dries out on the finish with an astounding finish, light, delicate and lingering. The last beer that impressed me this much was the Aktien Hell, this is a fabulously crafted beer

**Edit 23 April 2012**
I finally found this again. Best by July 2012. I only have to add that there's a faint sulfur note on the nose, and the lemon hop character on the nose comes into the palate as well. Excellent stuff, though I'm dropping my overall from 5 (I'd given it a 5 for drinkability) to 4.5

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a completely clear straw color. Body is light and glowing. Head is bright white and fizzes down to only a tiny skin above the body.

S-Quite bread and zesty. Smells quite clean and tight. A little floral a little citrusy. A bit of spice too.

T-What a crisp, clean flavor with an interesting finish. This beer starts off like a buttered biscuit then it morphs into some surprising grassy bitterness. A bit spicy and lemony. Great finish that is both drier and more bitter than I anticipated it to be. Tastes like animal crackers.

M-Light and super crisp. Far from watery however. Excellent carbonation. Superb feel.

O/D-A great beer from a style I am not very familiar with. I really enjoyed this. An awesome warm-weather beer. Light but boasts plenty of flavor. Cool, cool, cool.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong aroma is malty and yeasty with a hint of caramel. It pours a clear, wan yellow with a fluffy and not persistent white head. OK, what can I say - I prefer darker beers. Fortunately, appearance is this beer’s weakest point, as the malty flavor has firm yeasty and fruity notes, not complex but refreshing. Texture has good body and a fair amount of fizz. Overall, nothing to Tweet about but still OK.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served at 53 degrees in a stange. No freshness dating indicated. Poured a pale, translucent yellow with a loose, frothy, two inch bright white head that settles into a solid half inch cap. A thick band of lacing was revealed during the session. Excellent nose - Lemon zest upfront with a faint suggestion of wheat towards the back. Taste consistent with nose with a Noble hops presence coming out towards the back and expressing itself as a light, lingering earthy bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-bodied with a slightly prickly carbonation. I'm not a huge kolsch fan, but this is probably one of the better, style-consistent domestic offerings out there.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a a golden straw color with active, fluffy white head. Decent retention, some sticky lacing. Smell is of sweet biscuity malts with a noticeable lemony hop presence. Taste is slightly sweet, bready malts and faint lemony hops again - not really saying Kolsch to me. Almost medium bodied - again out of style, adequate carbonation. Ok beer, definitely not a Kolsch in scent, taste or body.

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