Karlovacko | Karlovaċka Pivovara

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402 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
402
Reviews:
207
Avg:
3.06
pDev:
16.67%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
56
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 402 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Liquid brass sits in my glass. (Let's hear some snapping from the peanut gallery for my poetry slap. Yeah, I said it.) The only reason I can distinguish between this brew and, say, a French horn, besides the clear sonic advantage favoring the latter, is the stiff quaff of white foam before me. Once this is dissipated, a steady stream of bubbly goodness rises from the base. A deep sniff makes me question why I even continue sampling the pilsners and AALs of the world, as they all seem to smell the same to me: some corn syrup, some toasted rice, and a bit of wheat. Nothing offensive, nothing impressive. The tastes are also very similar (though the pilses are indeed distinguishable from the AALs), with a firm backbone of wheaty rice propping up a vaguely bitter body. What makes me less derisive toward this particular brew is the lack of a sharp tinniness that tends to pervade other pilsners. Still nothing Earth-shattering, but definitely not as negative as the rest of its ilk. Though that bubbly jet stream continues to rise like one of those bubble walls we all used to marvel at while visited Sharper Image as children, the carbonation is not overtly active, not overly fizzy, allowing the fairly light body glide sleekly over the tongue and down the gullet. Though it has not converted me into a smiling clear lager drinker, it has shown me that I oughtn't necessarily judge every one as boring before I try it, and that Croatia is coming along in terms of beer production.

 1,518 characters

Photo of ZEB89
2.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My sis brought this beer back from the last family rebellion. It poured a clear golden with white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent is grainy. The taste is nicely balanced and easy to drink. It's a solid standard euro pils. The Mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a good beer and worth a try.

 333 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.31/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.15/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear gold that holds almost no head after a few seconds. Nose is slightly cereal sweet. Bitter acrid tone to it. Slight fruity tone to it. Man. This tastes...funny. I want to say it almost tastes like apple juice beer. Which is interesting on the first sip. Then the whole flavor profile just jumps off the edge of the cliff. Turns bitter and metallic and has no good quality to it really. Feel is standard with minimal carbonation. I doubt I am going to get through this whole thing. So bland. So...just...so...not that worth drinking. Oh well. Add another country to the list.

 587 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours what looked crystal clear as it was being poured to turn out to be light golden yellow. A white fizzy head forms, but disappears. Despite lacking of retention, some lacing amazingly sticks (not much though).

The smell is of light "Euro-Pale" character and some caramel. I was surprised to see this is listed under "Czech Pils" - I thought I was smelling a decent Euro Pale Lager.

The taste is of some caramel, light standard Euro-Pale character and some grassy notes. There's a vague oxidation/"wet cardboard". It is sweet-ish turning to a dry-ish finish.

I was thinking that this isn't a bad standard-ish EPL. As a pils, it's lacking, but still not bad. I'll say it lands between the styles. In any case, it has a bit of character, though it's a bit too sweetish and bland overall. Nothing special, but inoffensive.

 826 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.59/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear yellow in color, with a proud, fluffy, white head. Unfortunately, the aroma department yields up nothing. Dry, slightly vegetal, nothing else. Body is light, texture has some small graininess in it, and a truly cloying sweetness pervades the lasting finish. Ultimately, a lack of flavor and overwhelming blandness is the hallmark of this lager. I'm still searching for the great beer of Croatia...sigh...

 410 characters

Photo of BeerOps
2.54/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

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

Photo of aasher
2.06/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This one pours a watery bright gold with a one finger head. It smells of old stale pale malts. No crispness, a severe lack of anything hop related. It's blase. The taste is infinitely boring. It doesn't feature any complexity. It's old pale malts and that's it. It's somewhat stale and is very watery. It just isn't good in any aspect and doesn't feature anything new or refreshing. Noble Pils kills this beer in a head to head. It isn't worth the $3.

 451 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
2.76/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a fizzy half finger white head that dissipates quickly to patches with little lacing. Massive skunking on opening the bottle. Aroma of sweet bready malt, light grassy hops, skunk. Flavor is sweet bready malt with some light biscuit, light grassy hops, finishes drier with a lingering mildly astringent hop bitterness. Light bodied with active carbonation. One of the most skunked beers I've ever had, so trying to evaluate the base beer underneath. The initial taste is pleasant light bready malt with a little graininess and biscuit, but not strong enough to support what's left of the hops which seem to be just bitter with little herbal nature. Skunky and fizzy, there does seem to be a light, pleasant pilsener in there somewhere. Meh. As my first Croatian beer, I hoped it would a better introduction.

 893 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first beer from Croatia and it was very mediocre. Poured a golden yellow color with a medium sized head that quickly disappeared. The aroma was bitter with some strong grassy notes. The flavor was average. This pilsner is crisp but unrefreshing. It has a sharp bitterness and slightly thicker-body on the tongue. The bitterness last long into the aftertaste.

 361 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.51/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle brought back for me from Croatia. Clear golden color with silky head. Nice malty flavor, hints of caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is creamy. This is a surprise. Truly delicious!

 182 characters

Photo of tone77
3.38/5  rDev +10.5%
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 tempest
2.96/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a 500ml bottle for about $2 at the Best Yet grocery in Astoria. After the initial skunk aroma wafts away (thanks green bottle), I'm left a with a plan, slightly sweet lager with a vague hint of herbal hops and toasted barley. Sure it's bland, but there's nothing offensive here. Probably a decent beer when fresh.

 323 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A beer from Croatia? Gotta give it a try:

Eye catching gold in color, but the head is lackluster. This is a pretty standard pilsner. Sort of sweet, broken by the hops and hay flavors. Good crisp feel on the tongue. Drinkablilty is okay, as it sometimes tasted rusty. Worth sampling once or twice; I already have.

 313 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3/5  rDev -2%
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 flagmantho
3.45/5  rDev +12.7%
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 biegaman
2.51/5  rDev -18%
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 Zorro
4.15/5  rDev +35.6%
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 Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev +21.9%
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 KAF
2.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.21/5  rDev +4.9%
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 Latarnik
3/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
2.58/5  rDev -15.7%
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

Karlovacko from Karlovaċka Pivovara
3.06 out of 5 based on 402 ratings.
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