Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Karlovacko | Karlovaċka Pivovara

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
71
okay
203 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
KarlovackoKarlovacko
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karlovaċka Pivovara
Croatia (Hrvatska)
karlovacka.com

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-09-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
203
Ratings:
389
Avg:
3.05
pDev:
23.28%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
51
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 389
Photo of tone77
3.38/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a green 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit on the skunky side. Taste is of malts, slightly sweet and finishing a bit bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this makes for a pretty good choice.

 281 characters

Photo of biegaman
2.51/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer is often a point of nationalistic pride. People will proclaim their local or national brand the best, which is why it's so ironic that, by and large, these beers are all virtually indistinguishable. One thing's for sure, they look identical. Croatia's national brand looks no different from Serbia's nor Bosnia's (nor anyone else's for that matter). It's clear, yellow, lightly bubbled, and has a fading fuzz over top.

The aroma smells, quite literally, like chicken feed: corn-y and foul. It less resembles "beer" than it does a "beer by-product" (whatever that could possibly be). It does not smell fit for human consumption. For one, there's little of anything that passes for barley or hops (and a nauseating amount of scents that could pass for less favorable, far less natural things). What the hell went wrong here?

Even chilled to low single digits, Karlovacko has a flavour that is borderline distasteful. Not entirely objectionable (for the style anyhow) but the quality of its ingredients, and the quantity of additives, is immediately drawn into question. It tastes of golden syrup, sweet with a strong chemically solvent-like mouthfeel. That latter feature is especially concerning; it does not come from water, yeast, malt or hops.

Bubbles kick in with the urgency of a mother rescuing her small child from a busy intersection. The cloying texture of corn syrup is a little slower to the scene, it sets in mostly on the finish where it unfortunately makes itself quite comfortable. This aftertaste is regrettable because the beer is relatively unoffensive until that point. The chemical-like note that caught my attention from the outset continues to grow. Could it be alcohol?

There's probably a reason this can of Karlovacko has "EXPORT ONLY" printed across its label: Croatians know better than to waste their money on it. Actually, in truth, the opposite is probably true. If I've taken anything away from this plain, adjunct-ridden lager it's that nationalism can delude people of anything, in particular that their beer is somehow superior. Croatians are free to enjoy this (if they can) but I'll pass.

 2,135 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half-liter bottle,

A: Pours yellow with a full, soapy white head, solid retention, some lace.

S: Smells of noble hops, grass, typical Euro lager bottle smell.

T: Malt is bready, light notes of pastry bread. Hops flavour is noble, a green flavour, grass and hay. Good balance.

M: Smooth, light-bodied, crisp, refreshing as a good pils should be.

D: A real nice suprise on the cheap out of Croatia. Went real nicely after a hour of shooting hoops.

 450 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden beer with fairly lively carbonation.

Smell is very fruity and a bit sour smelling like a glass of hard apple cider. There is also some grain, and dried hay smells in the background.

Taste is much different than the smell. Slightly tart with an assertive hops bitterness. There are fruity tastes here too and a solid grain flavor. A dry Pilsner with a different more complex flavor. I like it; it doesn't try to be "Just Like The Others."

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable, I will buy this again.

 528 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.21/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

33cl Bottle: BBD 27 Mar 2014, poured into a Konig Pilsner stemmed tulip three times on 12th Feb 2014. Obtained from Ambrosetti in Berlin and drank at home.

Huge white head on a bright golden body, clear and clean looking on each pour.

I so wanted this to be wonderful, my first ever beer from Croatia: actually it wasn't too bad. Usual Pilsner/Lager aroma, meaning almost odourless, this had a few hints of a grainy sweetness to be fair, but not enough to get excited about.

The taste was leaning towards a malty sweetness, but again nothing huge or exciting. This was another European Pilsner/Lager than doesn't try to upset anyone and could have been one of many such beers from anywhere around the world.

Just above average in it's style and class: a country tick, no more and no less.

 792 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.45/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500mL green bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: crystal clear straw-gold color with a nice two-finger crown of foam. Nice.

Smell: got a whiff of skunk when I first opened the bottle but it dissipated rapidly. The beer itself smells pretty good for a green-bottle import; not too grainy with a pretty nice malt aroma.

Taste: not bad; rather mild. Nice malt flavor but with relatively little in the way of hops. Somewhat dry finish which is nice.

Mouthfeel: Karlovačko has a relatively low level of carbonation; I prefer a little bit more bite in my Pilsner. Still, there is a medium-light body and overall it's not bad.

Drinkability: overall, not too bad. I think I'd prefer it outdoors in hotter climes or times, but it does OK even in the winter.

 771 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale golden, fizzy, and with a healthy head. In the nose, it's grainy and with a whiff of adjuncts. Tastes very light, grainy, and perhaps a bit corny. Very light hops. Not terrible, but not all that exciting. The mouthfeel is lightly grainy and soft. Overall this is okay in a pinch. If I were in the Balkans, I'd probably be fairly pleased to find this at a restaurant rather than some other terrible Euro-lager.

 420 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours light golden with a white high head that dissipates after a little while leaving a hint of lacings.

S: Not so strong smell, but there is malt mixed with hops - a nice blend.

T: Malt and some hops (but far to little hops to be a good czech pilsener), some sweetnes and fruit mixed with floral notes.

M: Carbonic acids, with small bubbles. Mediumbodied.

D: The first beer I had from the Balkans, but the Czechs make far better Czech Pilsener than the boys from Croatia. But this is not a bad beer, it just got some stiff competition in the style.

 559 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.59/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big 50cl can. All red with a "so-standard-I-could-cry" ellipsoid crest on the front, rather like a red version of Heineken that says "Karlovacko" instead of Heineken. displays medals it has won on the front, along with a proud "Product of Croatia" legend.

Now to the real stuff:

Pale gold body, with lots of carbonation, and a good rocky crown of white foam. Pretty good lacing too, and the retention is great.

Slightly sour, slightly tinny aroma. Some sweetness, some carbonic seltzer water flavour. Not entirely unpleasant, but to be honest it's pretty weak. Not a lot to it.

Taste is initially flat with a little sweetness. Late on the palate arrives a coppery bitterness and a residual husky, grain flavour. Mouthfeel is lightly spiky but otherwise dry. It's not as clean and smooth as some of the other easy-drinking Euro lagers, but it does have some character.

It's reasonably easy to drink, and reasonably unoffensive. It's not a great beer though, and I'd be loath to call it an above average pils-style lager. Don't count on winning too many more medals, guys.

 1,075 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
2.97/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear, pale copper-orange with a beautiful 2 finger frothy white head that had amazing retention while leaving a nice sheet lacing on the way down. Visible carbonation was almost non-detect.

S: neutral, light grains with no hopping. After a very good visible presentation, this sets it back.

T: honey, with a soft flowery hopping and some spiciness. A light toasted caramel adds some sweetness as well some buttered toast. The beer finishes with a decent spicy flowery hopping which may be its saving grace here.

M: light, a little thin, smooth, and slick.

D: Average drinkability, a nice start is hindered by a lack of aroma, but fairs better with the finish. Uneventful at times but still one that can be mindlessly put back on a Sunday afternoon.

 768 characters

Photo of spinrsx
2.62/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml Can - from the LCBO

Appearance – Mostly clear yellow colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average mount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 2 or 3 minutes and there were some very small particles floating around in the beer.

Smell - Grains, bread, corn, floral

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste malts mixed with light floral hops and some corn. There is also a bit of a harsh alcohol taste.. It ends with a corn syrup and floral slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall – When will I learn to stop buying these run of the mill euro-beers. I keep hoping that one day I'm going to find a diamond in the rough, but it never happens. I made it through the can, but I won't buy this one again.

 803 characters

Photo of pat61
3.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brilliant straw to gold with a 1” persistent dense white foam collar.
S: Perfumey, herbal nose with a light grain background.
T: Light pilsner malt flavors with a light bitter accent.
F: Crisp, light and smooth.
O: An easy to drink fairly typical Euro-lager with less character than many.

 297 characters

Photo of avalon07
2.95/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear texture. There was a big, creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A strong skunky quality is apparent the second you open the bottle, but there are traces of hops and malt mixed in. An uneven smell.

T: Tasted of light hops, light malt and the aforementioned skunkiness. Pilsner flavors typically aren't overly complex, but this one doesn't reach the heights of the best of the style. It isn't hops forward enough, nor does it have a strong citrus presence. Not awful, but could have been better.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a pretty standard mass produced pilsner. It seems to be designed less to impress the drinker and more to sell.

 784 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.83/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bright yellow with a full white head, nice active carbonation, and some sporadic lace. Grassy herbal hops dominate aroma with a touch of grainyness underneath. Balanced grain and hop flavors. Light bodied but not watery; fairly smooth and not overly bitter or dry.

Better than your average macro for sure but not quite up to the better Czech Pilsners...

Per label: "Est. 1854" & 5.4% ABV

(11.15 oz. / 330 ml)

 423 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.95/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle.

Poured a copper, slightly golden amber hue, very odd for any pilsner I've ever had. Some sparse lacing for a pilsner. The first smell to the old nostrils was bananas then cloves. But the aroma eventually went to a tainted water malt with a hint of copper pipe. Flavor was like a weizen, not at all like a pilsner. Lots of cloves with some tropicla flavors that I couldn't describe. But the vacation in my mouth quickly went sour. Well, more like metallic just like the smell. This was just a hint of metal though, not overpowering.
But the metaalic did affect the mouthfeel of this brew. The carbonation was not up to par for my pilsners. Not as crisp or refreshing.

 701 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with white head. Cereal grains on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with much of the same, simple lager, yet crisp and clean. Not bad at all.

 192 characters

Photo of bark
3.42/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is pale yellow; the two finger airy white head sinks slowly to a thin lid.

The smell is mild. Some buttery notes, some sweet malt and a very mild bitter hint.

The taste is mild and a quite buttery. Some light sweetness. It is fresh, balanced and very drinkable. The aftertaste is a bit bitter with some butter and minerals. The flavours are very clean.

The carbonation is average; the fresh bubbles are medium sized. The liquid is a bit smooth.

I found this one a typical central European lager with a Czech twist.

 531 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.13/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold, fluffy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving behind a smattering of lace. Grainy malt aroma with a bit of floral/spicy hops. Mild bitterness, balanced to the sweet side, with a hint of floral and citrus hops. Not much of a finish. Light bodied and dry. Thirst quenching and average.

 300 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
2.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

500mL bottle, code of "L3206" on label, unclear what that means.

clear golden color, big foamy bone-white head. great head retention. mild aroma of pale malt and grassy hops. taste is fairly similar. sweet grainy corn flavor and earthy mild hops. thin body, higher carbonation, but something actually feels sorta grainy on the tongue. weird.

overall - my first Croatian beer, but nothing special.

 400 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.12/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bottle came from a brew of the month club and is a bit old, but no sediment. Just saw online today that the brewery may be temporarily closed for possible improper hazzardous waste disposal. Anyway - this poured with a nice head that promptly settled down. No lace. Nice golden amber color. Aroma of grain, grass, light malt, mild spice and some hop. Flavor is distictly sweet. Decent body. Short finish. Drinkable beer.

 425 characters

Photo of Gusler
2.06/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The quintessential lager translucent golden yellow on the pour with the head large and spumescent, the color a bright white and the residual lace a sealing sheet to obscure the glass. Nose is citrus crisp, malt sweet, clean and pleasant with the start cloyingly sweet, modest malt profile and the top cadaverous. Finish is meekly acidic, the hops sparse and lacking any real bite, dry aftertaste.

 396 characters

Photo of mynie
3.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice pour. Deep red with a good haze and very nice head. Looks like a good APA.

Smells like caramel and overripe fruit. Maybe a little bit old, but still nice. It gets sweeter as it warms up.

Tastes like caramel and apricots. Caramel upfront, fruity in the back, ending on a dry citrus note that lingers on the tongue. The hops are few and far between, but what are there are good.

Pretty tasty, solid Czech pilsner. Probably be better fresh, but what am I going to do?

 478 characters

Photo of andrenaline
2.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a light golden colour, finger of head, some retention and no real lacing.

S - Mild on the nose, bready grains and sweet corn.

T - Mild flavoured, bready malts, grains, biscuit notes, toasted crackers and a grassy finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - A tasty lager, easily sessioned with no real aftertaste that leave you wondering if you've even drank a beer.

 383 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
2.66/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear straw-gold color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma has a faint hint of biscuity malt, but mostly it is of nothing. The taste is has little more of the biscuity malt than the aroma with the addition of some very mild noble hops. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer at best. It's not so bad that I can't finish one bottle, but it isn't good enough to rink again.

 490 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.38/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been interested in trying beers from as many different areas as I can. This was my first Croatian and I just found my notes. They're pretty recent anyway.

This brew is a pale yellowish golden color. The head poured to about three fingers and faded to a foam, though not as quickly as I was afraid it might, leaving a little lacing behind.
Aroma is predominantly grains with a fair balance of sweet malt and light hops. There's an initial funk on the nose that fortunately doesn't last.
A decent balance of hops and malt on the palate supports the stronger grains flavor. There's no funk in the flavor.
This wasn't as thin as I was afraid it might be. Body is light without being watery. It's also not as crisp as I thought it might be either.
This is worth trying and a pretty good offering.

 798 characters

Karlovacko from Karlovaċka Pivovara
3.05 out of 5 based on 389 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe