Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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German Kölsch
Ranked #421
Ranked #46,480
3.44 | pDev: 17.44%
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Notes: Santo is a black Kölsch, which technically doesn’t exist as a style, but this is as close as we can come to describing it. Essentially it is brewed using a Kölsch recipe with the addition of Munich and black malt. It is light bodied and floral yet with a distinct dark malt flavor. Our goal was to create a dark yet refreshing beer that would pair perfectly with a plate of enchiladas.

The label artwork is by Houston artist Carlos Hernandez who is known for his Day of the Dead Rock Star series of paintings and prints.
Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 595 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lovetx
3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look dark brown with big head that dies quickly to almost nothing.
Smell caramel with hint of coffee
Taste. Caramel coffee and maybe a hint of chocolate.
Feel light easy drinking crisp like a Kölsch
Overall. Easy drinking beer with a strong caramel finish. Definitely would pair well with spicy food or burgers. Thinking shiner bock with a little more caramel coffee overtones.

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Lovetx from Pennsylvania, Jan 15, 2018
Photo of gvickery
1.48/5  rDev -57%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I really didn't like it. I know it's all subjective but my impression was not at all good. I couldn't finish the bottle. Down the sink. Thankfully I only bought one.

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Photo of dcotom
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce can into a cylindrical glass. Pours a deep chestnut brown with tan highlights. The spongy three-finger off-white head settled rather quickly, leaving minimal lacing. Aromas and flavors of dark bread, caramel, coffee, and dried fruit. Surprisingly light in body, with a long, spicy finish. Good food beer, but stands well on its own.

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dcotom from Iowa, Jun 28, 2017
Photo of BrewAskew
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oddball beer. It's like a schwarzbier was brewed with Kolsch yeast. Color is a deep brown , head is a bit thin. Aroma is clean and lager like with a hint of toasty grain. Flavor is much like a schwarzbier and Kolsch. A solid brew.

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BrewAskew from Oklahoma, Mar 24, 2017
Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I tried this on tap at the Airport cantina in Dallas served chilled in a pilsner glass.

The color is brown,dark brown with translucent clarity and thin tan head with fine bead - I understand it is purposely a 'dark' kolsch but just trying to follow the style standard. The smell has a nutty malt scent with light herbal hop aroma that is pleasant. The feel is good with crisp texture and light bitterness with semi dry finish and light toast texture.

The flavor matches the mouthfeel in that it has a mild dry nutty taste with slight herbal hop that is complimentary with a gentle yeast element in the taste with a crisp quality as it finishes with a lager-like dry essence. Overall this is a strange brew sort of like 'black ipa' in that the flavor fits the style but the dark malt color makes you think schwarzbier -worth a try

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Slatetank from Pennsylvania, Jul 27, 2016
Photo of sokol_1993
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat a water down-ed version of Guinness.
Dark-black color with little head.
Taste of roasted malt, a bit too watery, but it's meant for a summer session drinking.

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sokol_1993 from California, Jul 13, 2016
Photo of LMO1190
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It has a watered down coca cola look to it. Candy like sweetness to the nose. Very malty, caramel, and some coffee. It smells Like a MALTA!!! Taste is pretty much up there with the smell. Very easy to drink.

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LMO1190 from Florida, Jun 19, 2016
Photo of WoodBrew
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Trying the Saint Arnold Santos at the Ruby Tuesday's right inside security near E terminal at Bush in Houston. It poured a deep mahogany with thin white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent is burnt maize and rye. The taste is evenly balanced with bread and slight roast corn
The Mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's good and not bad for a darker kolsch.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.68/5  rDev +36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Different but interesting beer. On tap at the brewery. Black beer with intimate lacing. Smells.. kolschy.. grainy and muted. Taste is a little dark, some chocolate and dark malts, but refreshingly light bodied. Not bad. Pretty much like a dark Lawnmower. Wouldn't go out of my way to drink it in a six or anything, but it's pretty good.

Edit: This beer has grown on me quite a lot, love the malty character. So smooth.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark amber liquid with a fluffy off-white head, which maintains well and leaves behind a bit of lace.

Smell: Smells mostly of malts, with a hint of hops. Pretty good smell.

Taste: Smooth malts upon up and finish just a bit hoppy.

Feel: Feels pretty good. Real smooth and pretty darn easy to drink.

Overall: Sweet label work. Great impression of this beer that was brought up from Texas by family friends.

Served in a 16oz glass can.

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Harrison8 from Missouri, Dec 28, 2015
Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at 3rd Bar Eating House, Houston Intercontinental Airport (Terminal B), Houston, TX

A: The beer is clear brown in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose along with notes of green grapes.
T: The taste follows the smell, but isn't nearly as nutty and has stronger notes of green grapes in the background.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Hints of dryness are noticeable.
O: This is a totally different take on a kölsch—it looks like a brown ale, smells a little like one, but tastes like a hybrid between a brown ale and a kölsch.

Serving type; on-tap

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metter98 from New York, Dec 16, 2015
Photo of ritwingr
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice hickory color pour with an inch of head that retains decently enough.

Smell - what there us smells faintly of grass. Not much there though. Taste and feel is creamy...taste the malts, not the hops. I think the taste might open up a bit if you drink it on the warm side.

Ok. Wouldn't try it again. Not memorable

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Photo of puck1225
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not sure why this beer has such a low rating. It has a clean crisp taste with a bit of a caramel, spicy bite. Nice color. Draft pour into a pint. Not much head or lacing. Going great with fish tacos !

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Photo of spacecake9
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Always happy to try another Kolsch.
A - Pours a dark Amber brown with 2 fingers of head
S - Aroma is malty and not very strong.
T - Flavor is a little caramel, a little bready.
M - Mouth feel is a little thin but that might be typical for Kolsch.
O - In the land of giant flavors, it's hard to find a Kolsch that really stands out. This is a drinkable beer but nothing special.

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spacecake9 from Illinois, Oct 15, 2015
Photo of Icedog
2.65/5  rDev -23%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Slightly Sharp Hop, Offset with Hidden Maltlike Blend; bringing out the mystery of the Kolsch Variety.
Love my Kolsch Brews; this one
too toasty, but loved the tricks it
plays with my palet.

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Icedog from Texas, Sep 06, 2015
Photo of Beermanic
4.04/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Very light dark beer. I can see through the blackish color and a light creamy head.

S:Malty sweet, with a touch of toasty roast.

T: The flavor of the roast is subtle and folds into chocolate as the bready character shines through with a wonder full semi sweet finish.

M: Nice medium carbonation, with a dryish lager finish.

O: A nice black kolsch, I don't know what one is suppose to taste like but I enjoy this beer thoroughly and look forward to having many more.

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Beermanic from Louisiana, Aug 09, 2015
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saint Arnold Brewing Co. "Santo"
12 oz. brown glass bottle

Santo is a fairly dark beer in color, but not in flavor - or at least not in dark malt flavor. Think of it as a Vienna lager with additional color and maltiness. It has a bit of caramel to it, but also suggestions of cocoa, and even bittersweet chocolate. It's not roasty though, and it's quite smooth with a moderate bitterness. Worth trying.

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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania, Jul 06, 2015
Photo of HipCzech
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Saint Arnold Brewery, served in a shaker pint, following the Santo de Mayo 5K. Dark cola brown with a decent off white head. Mild, toasted malt aroma. Light, nutty and toasted malt taste. Slight yeast fruitiness and subtle hops in finish. Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Simple and straightforward; deceptively drinkable for its color. Not the most exciting, but great after a sunny 5K.

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Photo of Joe_Howard
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber color, with a light tan head. Theres a faint roasted malt smell. Tastes very similar to the lawnmower but with some roasted malt flavors. overall a good beer

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Photo of tone77
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of floral hops. Taste is a bit different for the style. Malts, bready, nutty, some hops are present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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tone77 from Pennsylvania, Jan 28, 2015
Photo of tkelley
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

12 oz bottle from beer of the every other month club poured into a shaker pint.

A - brown body with a nice white head. Body is very clear with pretty nice highlights.

N - toasty malts. Sweet smells.

T - very yummy malt flavor, almost between a brown ale and a porter.

M - creamy and effervescent.

O - much better than I anticipated. Good cold weather beer.


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tkelley from Massachusetts, Dec 02, 2014
Photo of FLima
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Drank it straight from the brewery taps.
Mahogany color with a thick thin head with decent retention.
Aroma of creamy chocolates and earthy hops.
Likewise nice creamy chocolate flavor, mild tangy fruitiness and earthy hops, and roasted malts.
Light body with medium carbonation.
This is definitely an improvement from the regular Kolsch version, more fun.
Ap.3,5 Ar.3,5 Sab.3,5 Sens.3,5 Cj.3,5

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FLima from Brazil, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of sjones5045
4.06/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Spent the past three weeks in Texas and I found that in general Texas beers tend to be mediocre at best. Was leaving Dallas and had a few St. Arnold's. The Santo stood out not just from the St. Arnold's I tried but from all the Texas beers. The color was a dark brown with an ok head but look like a nice nut brown ale color which I appreciate.

The smell was sweet and nutty. Smelled more like a nutty brown ale like the color.

The taste was very good, sweet yet the hops and malts brought the right balance to make this a little more than a sipper. Each sip remained consistent with that nutty flavor throughout.

The mouthfeel might have been a little thin and watery for my liking but overall it didn't drop the enjoyment of the beer.

Overall, I had one and enjoyed it. I went to put my score in and saw that this was not rated all that well. Went with an IPA next than came back for anther Santo to try confirm if I was off or the rating was. I really enjoyed the second as much as the first. Not sure why this beer gets a bad rap but I would surely buy it again if I see it on tap or in a store. Definitely recommend trying and keeping your mind open and not let the low scores sour your opinion.

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sjones5045 from Pennsylvania, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a stein.

A swift pour produces a monstrous, foamy head that persists well and retains a two-finger plateau. Beneath is a medium-brown body with blonde hues and visible, aggressive carbonation.

A sweet, floral and bready aroma touches the nose. There's something sticky about the aroma, it's quite pungently sweet. Maybe lightly molasses like. On second examination, the hops are very earthy too.

Roasted malt and a hint of smokiness punctuate this otherwise very light beer. Sweet floral hops are there to provide a balance and they too are subtle and light. You really have to pay attention as you drink this beer, because the flavors can go unnoticed as you throw it back easily.

This beer is impressively light considering the dark color suggests otherwise. There's light carbonation to tickle the tongue---I'd like more as it almost seems flat--- and enough thickness that it doesn't feel like drinking water.

This is what you'd call a lawnmower beer. A beach beer. BBQ beer. Wherever you need a light go-to, this qualifies. I'd prefer a can though.

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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of mjurney
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown color, looks clear. Lots of small bubbles rising to the top. Thin head.

Toasted malts, very clean.

Toasted malts, brown bread, nutty. Very mild hop bitterness towards the end. Finish is dry, crisp. Body is light, crisp, clean, refreshing, dry.

It's a good beer.

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mjurney from Texas, May 25, 2014
Santo from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 595 ratings