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Gaffel Kölsch | Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.

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Gaffel KölschGaffel Kölsch

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2002

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Reviews: 366 | Ratings: 826
Photo of HomerSimpson742
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never really had much interest in this style until I saw a travel channel special on Köln, featuring, of course—Kolsch. I saw Gaffel in my local beer store so I pick up two 20 oz bottles. After trying to decide whether I liked it, I had already finished half of the glass. The beer pours a beautiful golden yellow with a thick initial head. The flavor struck me as unusual at first as the beer was sweet, but with a distinctive, biting hops. The beer is crisp with a nice fruity, floral finish. This will never be my favorite style but this beer was a great compliment to the wood grilled haddock I prepared.

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Photo of therica
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap a year ago while spending a month in Koln. This review is based on a US-market bottle, with a USA flag on the cap. Much less impressive. The Koln-bottled version was great, maybe better than the on-tap that we had at the GaffelHaus. But this export version isn't nearly as impressive.

A= lighter yellow and only a distant cousin to the Gaffel Kölsch I had in Koln. Hardly any head, but what's there for a short time has huge bubbles.

S= reminds me more of some cheap cologne than Kölsch from Koln.

T= somewhat weak, predominantly a tinny metallic taste with some corn evidence. This USA version falls short of even the made-in-USA Kölsch imitations recently surfacing on the market.

M= watery, metallic.

D= too boring to keep my interest; very disappointing.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly clear yellow gold (I can watch TV through it) with a thick bright white head that fades to a tenacious dusting. Aromas of cooking grains and slight fruits; it's a slight aroma, but very enticing for the style. On the tongue, smooth at first, before yielding to sharp carbonation. Flavors are mostly not fermentation derived, but clean and crisp, with light malts leading the way, followed by a finish marked by snappy hops. Overall, this is a very good kolsch, with smooth flavors but a bit of depth in a style that usually doens't have a helluva lot of depth.

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Photo of JanM
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The varaiations between different varieties of kölsch is comparatively wide for such a limited range of brands. The good ones are refreshingly hoppy and citric while the bad ones are just watery and tasteless. Kölsch works best for me when it is served chilled. Gaffel definately belongs to the good ones and is my personal favorite. It pours with a nice golden color, fizzy and with good head. It smells flowery hops and citrus. The taste is bitter with a flash of apples and a citric bite at the end. In all I think it's a good beer but the style is a bit limited and does not quite measure up to Czech and German pils.

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Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First Kölsch but it's a good one. Clear straw yellow with a fizzy head, with a smell like German hops (excellent). The taste is similar, with a light vinous malt flavor and an herbal, grassy hop character that I really enjoy. Good beer, not amazing, but as far as what I'm led to believe a Kölsch should be, this stacks up very well.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale yellow body topped by a two centimeter snowwhite head. Good retention and quite a bit of spotty lace.

Aroma is spicy and noble hops, with a note of dried hay. Toasty and biscuity malt in the background.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and well carbonated.

Taste has a toasty and grainy malt presence that manages to be both biscuity and bready. Spicy and grassy hops provide a nice hops bitterness to balance. Crisp and refreshing.

An understated style that is very appropriate for warm weather. Refreshing and easy to drink, a classic example of the style.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Jever glass. Nice white head with minimal retention. Slight lace. Extremely clear golden yellow with a steady flow of bubbles rising from the bottom.
Malty and sweet on the nose. Rather grassy. Almost clover-like. Light hoppiness. Nice.
Crisp taste, slightly hoppy, crisp and dry. Floral and lightly spicy with a smattering of wild honey in the background to give some sweet maltyness. Tastes like it smells. That is definately a good thing. Light body with medium carbonation. Drinking this on July 3 after doing yardwork for a few hours, a 12 oz. "sample" definately wasn't enough. Very drinkable and enjoyable. A very nice example of the kolsch style.

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Photo of Phatz
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first experience with the Kölsch style; and I was surprisingly impressed. I am only a moderate fan of German Pilsners but that is what this was closest to in my experience; maybe a bit more vinous and dry though. Very easy drinking.

Appearance: Pours a clear pale yellow color, with a white head.

Smell: It has a musty light hop (distinctly German) aroma.

Taste: Light floral hop character that is crisp with a bit of fruit malts and a very dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and bubbly. Nice carbonation keeps it feeling refreshing.

Drinkability: This is certainly a sessionable beer and a good choice for a cookout or a party.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amazingly true-to-style beer. Quite complex and intellegent in its subtleties. Very lightly flavored, but the flavors range from green apples to kiwi, from pilsner malts to wheat, from tea-like to noble hops. The body is even smooth and with a light minty feel. Whisps away quickly and powdery. A sparkling clear straw with a fluffy withstanding head retention. Must be sampled with a very clean palate and an anylitical mindset to appreciate the brew. A very difficult brew to get right.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this at McMenamin’s

This beer came a bright golden straw color with little or no head.

Smelled of pasty lager yeasts with a slight metallic hop with a melon and celery veggie hiding in the background with a hint of lemon zest.

Tasted of dry oaky hops with a hint of sour red grapes and a slick white flour malt.

The mouth feel was light and smooth with a crisp carbonation.

I hesitate to use the word watery, but this beer seemed to have ample room to move around my mouth without leaving behind too much flavor. For the flavors that were present, this seemed to work quite well making this crisp and easy to drink.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Gaffel Kölsch is best served at cooler temperatures (40-50F) and enjoyed from a traditional Stangen (pole) or Reagenzglas (test tube). Gaffel pours up very regal with a light, spritzy carbonation that creates a pillowy white head atop a bright, hay/straw-golden body. The head dissapates rather quickly leaving a ring of Cölner lace in its wake. The somewhat fruity & definitely grainy aroma shows just a hint of esters (e.g. pear, peach pit) and the slightest touch of sulpher from the traditional fermentation process. The taste starts off with a nice, light graininess then gives into some bitterness which carries into a crisp, dry, slightly chalky finish. This light bodied, indeginous beer of Cologne is one of my favorite styles to enjoy...as it lends itself nicely to quaffing in mass quantities. This one was enjoyed while watching a 2006 World Cup match (Angola vs. Portugal) at Stadion Köln, but I certainly recommend this particular Kölsch anytime you find yourself thirsty for a fine beer.

PROST! Beertracker

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Photo of Goldorak
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Fabulous sunny yellow (I guess I've been drinking too many dark brews lately to find a Beer like this gorgeous), the head was thick, clingy and pearly white.

Smell: Lots of grain aromas, with a little lavender, but maybe a touch sulfuric as well. Maybe I should have left it to "breathe" a little.

Taste: The light carbonation makes it almost creamy on my palate. For the style, the body has quite a bit of legs to it, but with a dry, refreshing finish. Never had a real gravity-poured Kolsch in Koln, I bet it's better than this, but this Beer wasn't bad at all, especially on the patio on a warm Sunday afternoon.

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Photo of plaid75
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The smell was subtle. A bit of a grainy nose with a slight hop aroma.

The flavor was very light and crisp. An obvious grain presence cut with a decent hop spiciness. Overall, the flavor was muted. More crisp than flavorful.

The mouthfeel was very light and crisp. Excellent carbonation.

A very drinkable beer. While not the best kolsch I have had, certainly representative of the style.

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Photo of Drew966
2.41/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Gaffel Kolsch pours a golden yellow with a thick, fluffy, white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Not much aroma, perhaps a little citrus. Not exactly what I expected, having only had American versions of kolsch. Much more subdued citrus flavor than some micros I've tried. Perhaps a touch of lemon peel in the finish, but that's it. After a few minutes I'm definitely tasting citrus. I'm not sure I like this one, I don't really dislike it either. It's just kind of mediocre. Not worth seeking out, worth a try.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opening the bottle, one is greeted with a gasp of carbonation exhalation and a weakly bitter scent. Pouring produces a tall, fluffy, pure white head that quickly fades to a thing ring around the glass with a few large islands of foam. Fair amounts of lacing that slowly disintegrate into the pool of transparent, pale, golden lager-colored body.
The scent is citrusy with distinct lemon notes, a bit of musty socks, and malt sweetness. The flavors are rather faint all around: sketches of malt and hops; lager-like and slightly vinous. The finish consists mostly of sweet malt residues and a tinge of caramel flavor with some floral hops.
Medium-light body with a mild carbonation level endures this one in the mouth and is followed by a moderately dry finish. Gaffel's kölsch is a well-made brew that considers its ingredients with respect and does not overindulge in any of them. The low alcohol level and mild flavors make this a good session brew or a non-heavy, refreshing spring/summer beer.

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Photo of greenjeff4141
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fragrant hops on the nose. Taste, at first a little sweetness followed by the hops and alcohol follows behind. Has a clean yeasty taste and moderate carbonation with a slight bitterness at the end. I haven't had the pleasure of drinking many of this style, but I will again after trying this one. It is a very easy drinking beer, if it had just slightly less carbonation it would probably be perfect.

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Photo of drewmprs
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This kolsch is a hallmark of the style. Pours a pale gold yellow with a thick head that lasts till the end. Brought over from germany, this beer is oneof the finer kolschs i've had to date. Much better than BJ's. Slightly bitter with low hop levels. I could drink alot of these.

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Photo of MarineHokie
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden, slightly cloudy, one finger stark white head, good lacing.

S - Light floral hoppiness with some grain and faint lemon citrus aroma.

T - Crisp, light, grainy bitterness, finishes smooth.

M - Light body, crisp mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable, best Cologne Kölsch I've had in the US.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml Bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast

Poured a very light golden yellow colour... White head disappeared instantly...

Aroma - Earthy, woody, slight lemony notes, grassy, slight saltiness, some spiciness...

Taste – Light lemony flavours, quite sweet, vanilla afternotes, grassy...

Feel - Very slight sharpness and smooth after...

Overall - A pretty good Kolsch.... very drinkable. Worth a try...

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. with no freshness date - served chilled in a nonic. Pours a clear bright gold that is lively and has some carbonation streams coming to the top to the 2 finger white head that has minimal lace but leaves a thin blanket. It has a soft spicy/metallic/buttery aroma and a mild flavor that is crisp and refreshing like a lager. There are grainy and some toasted malts, a bit of a vinous character, and some grassy/spicy hops that seem metallic at times and leave a low level of bitterness. The body is medium, tingly on the tounge, yet quite smooth. This is good but would be better/more drinkable if it were less expensive.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Meh. This isn't as bad as Roemer, but that's not saying much. An absolutely run-of-the-mill Koelsch. Not really worth experimenting with, and this is when it's fresh! I can only imagine that the flavour goes further downhill when it has to cross the Atlantic.
Drink it if you want another notch on your belt, but that's about the only solid reason I can think of.

 364 characters

Photo of Daredevil
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Kölsch" is a somewhat funny beer type, looks like a Lager, but indeed is an filtered Ale ... the taste is somewhat between the Lager and Ale, from the latter it has it's fruitiness (top fermenting yeasts), but it is usually 'drier' than most Lagers ... this one is a particularly dry Kölsch, with a spicy and nutty taste and also a pleasant bitterness ...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunflower yellow with a smattering of fine, suspended yeast. Atop the beer is an eggshell colored head of creamy foam that is at three fingers after a vigorous pour. Although soapy splotches of lace are beginning to appear, their meltability factor looks to be on the high side.

The nose is more akin to a simple pale lager than a kolsch. The neck label states that this beer is brewed with "an ale yeast that is lagered", for whatever that's worth. It's a simple, clean scent of pale malt and lightly fruity, spicy noble hops. Nothing about it is earth-shattering, but it gets the job done.

Gaffel Kolsch is more dry and more hoppy than anticipated. I approve on both counts. While it isn't what I'd call abundant, the malt load is sufficient. I like the fact that the beer is hopcentric. In that sense, at least, it reminds me of a pilsener. In fact, I would have called it a pils rather than a Kolsch in a blind taste test.

The other defining characteristic is its dryness, which is near Saharan in scope. A mere absence of sweetness early turns into a puckery, mucus membrane sucking dessication by the finish. I enjoy the entire gamut from sweet to dry, depending on the beer, so I don't mind a bit. The light mouthfeel makes overtures toward medium and is just about perfect for the task at hand.

Gaffel Kolsch is an enjoyable beer. I like the fact that it isn't afraid to lay on the hops and lay off the sweetness. I've never tasted anything quite like it, so points must be assigned for originality. It would make a great summertime session beer as long as there was a lot of cold water handy to counter the impressive dryness.

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Photo of maxpower
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bright golden with a fluffy white head that leaves some lacing in my glass, bready and fruity aromas. Apple, lemon and bready flavors. Medium bodied with a crisp and carbonated mouthfeel, finishes clean and dry, this one really hits the spot on a hot day.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearence: Poured a clear gold with a nice, bubbly head with decent retention. Loads of carbonation.

Smell: Strong lager yeast smell. Hops seem noble, almost pils like in quality.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is much like a pilsener, only lighter and more bubbly and spritzy. The hops are nice, but the malts have kind of a cereal/bready quality to them that seems fake. The mouthfeel is light and carbonated.

Drinkability and Overall: My first stab at a true Kolsch, and it's not bad. I enjoy it, but there's not enough subtle complexity for me. The only thing I didn't particularly enjoy was that fake malt taste, and it's killing the drinkability for me. Other than that, not bad stuff at all.

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Gaffel Kölsch from Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.
3.65 out of 5 based on 826 ratings.
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