Samuel Adams East-West Kölsch | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

312 Reviews
Samuel Adams East-West KölschSamuel Adams East-West Kölsch

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.01%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 03-10-2011

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Reviews: 312 | Ratings: 846
Photo of mdr4669
1/5  rDev -72.6%

App: Light yellow color with about a 1/2 finger of head and nice consistent lacing when I move the glass.

Smell: hoppy and floral reminds me slightly of fresh cut grass.

Taste: Follows the smell with hoppy, floral notes with a subtle notion for freshly trimmed grass clippings.

MF: Crisp and light but was expecting a bit more of a kick to the face.

OA: Very good beer, definitely the best offer in the 2011 Summer Sampler.

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Photo of JLeege
2.02/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On draft

Appearance- Pours a clear golden color with a nice fluffy white head. Good retention and a little lacing left behind. Looks good, but looks can be very deceiving.

Smell- Fairly grainy, a bit earthy, Petco rodent isle, and laundry detergent. I said it was lavender, put was later told it is brewed with jasmine.

Taste- Just like it smells, very herbal throughout, slightly bready, with overwhelming jasmine.

Mouthfeel- Light body with medium carbonation.

Overall- This beer was a complete train wreck for me. It brought back haunting memories of The Bruery’s Orchard White, another beer that less than agreed with me. I won’t be drinking this again, ever. Oh well, they all can't be winners.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
2.06/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Straw yellow and has a good amount of head, but fizzes out quick and leaves nothing else.

S: An extremely subtle aroma of hops and spice, but nothing else.

T/M: Tastes very bland, light with a tiny hop bite at the finish, but nothing else.

Honestly, this is one of the most bland beers I think I’ve ever had. I’m sorely disappointed. I think Sam Adams needs to take note from my kolsch brewing skills. Just let me know, Sam Adams, and I’ll see if I can find that brewkit recipe card for you.

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Photo of claspada
2.28/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a light, a golden pale color that is easily translucent. A small white head blankets the ale and quickly dissipates.
The aromas begin with biscuity malts; hops aren't a big factor. I was expecting a more floral, spice aroma thanks to that jasmine but it didn't really come through. Definitely does not smell like hops, more like potpourri which I am not really fond of.
The tastes begin smooth, lots of bready and biscuity malts. Floral sweetness is more apparent here, but not hop floral, weird herbal/spicy flavors. It takes over the pleasant breadiness which I was enjoying. Unfortunate.
The mouthfeel is fuller than I would like here. The carbonation is not high enough for my liking/this style. Finish isn't dry like I also enjoy in this style.
Overall this is a major miss for me and even on a nice hot night, was a drain pour because the flavor profile just didn't mesh for me.

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Photo of KajII
2.3/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a clear sparkling pale yellow with a large foamy head that had fair retention and fair lacing. The aroma was extremely light of grain malts, a flowery hop and a moldy yeast with a mild citrus note. It tasted very, very, light and airy with a hint of citrus in the beginning and finished a bit sour with a very light hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was very light in body and quite watery in texture with a lively carbonation. Overall a real disappointment for a Kölsch. The brew master in my opinion really dropped the ball on this one.

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Photo of yesyouam
2.32/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Samuel Adams East-West Kölsch is a crystal clear, pale golden ale with a thin white head that quickly vanishes, leaving a small white ring and nice lacing. It has an aroma of lemon and light grain. It's light bodied and very lively. It leaves the mouth slightly scratchy. There's not really much flavor here. It's a touch funky and slightly bitter. There's almost a touch of sweetness and something like herbal tea going on. Maybe that's the jasmine sambac. This is not really my thing, even after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of bobhits
2.36/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a touch of white head that is lingering and adding a bit of lacing. A first for this summer pack really. The beer is pale and straw colored as any though. No character or excitement to be seen in this one.

The aromas of sweet grain malt and a bit of citrus floral notes that they claim are coming from hops. I wouldn't place this has hops but i don't know the variety well enough to judge. it is a bit maltier than expected for the style.

I had this yesterday and was planning to comment on this being overly sweet, but perhaps I had something off before sampling or Sam Adams made an inconsistent beer? This actually has a nice dry finish, a hint of spice, a hint of hops, and a grainy and spicy malt finish. This is actually pretty refreshing though my expectation going in were beyond low. Don't expect much here, very mild in flavor, even for the style, but the flavors all work and the end product isn't bad.

A bit more carbonation that I'd like (read I'm burping from 2-3 drinks), but that seems to work well and is acceptable for the style. Clean and thin body as you'd expect.

I have no idea why this beer is so different from the one I had yesterday. Colder? That all said you don't be impressed by this. You don't fall in love, but on a hot enough day you might be pretty happy to have a glass or 3.

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Photo of adamette
2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Notes: My 1,100th review.

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I bought as a part of a Sam Adams "Summer Series" or something like that from Sam's Club a few weeks ago into a clean, clear glass. "Best by" date of Sep 2012 so I am good.

A Very boring appearance. I realize that it must be to style but really, this is boring. Translucent yellow body under a thin, brief white head. I admit that I have never really liked the "look" of a Kolsch. 2.0

S Light barley malt and muted hops typify this style. This version is not particularly fragrant or notable. 2.0

T The same forgettable taste of every Kolsch that I can recall tasting. My belief is that this style is made specifically for drinkability which leaves its taste lacking for me. 2.5

M Smooth feel contributes to its drinkability but really the feel is rather forgettable. 2.0

D/O Very very drinkable and overall this is an average Kolsch, a style that I do not find particularly to my liking. 3.0

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Photo of AdamBear
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-pale gold with a white head that thins quickly. lots of bubbles.

S-grassy, herbal, honey, malty. smells like it was brewed from Sam Adams. faint smelling.

T-comes in with a light taste of grass and transforms in to a smooth honey taste. it becomes bitter with herbs and has an after-taste of burnt corn. the tastes are light and not full flavored.

M-medium to high carbonation with a dry finish

O-this is an extremely boring and pointless attempt from Sam Adams. i'm thinking it was their goal to make a lawn mower beer. this might hit someone's soft spot on a hot summer day, but not mine. its just an average beer thats only slightly better than BMC beers.

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Photo of Kooz
2.52/5  rDev -31%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Yellow, little head, no lacing, boring.

Smells sweet and fruity, with some floral scents after. It's nice. But it's too much.

Not terribly impressed with the taste. Tastes like taking a bite out of a carnation. It is complex and somewhat layered (the carnation flavor sits atop an unfortunate, but intentional, sour bitterness), but it isn't good. Reviewers of beer are like reviewers of art--for many, it stops being about what tastes or looks good, and starts being about complexity and distinctiveness. I don't buy into that. This doesn't taste good, and none of the complexity saves that.

Mouthfeel is, as is standard for Sam Adams, terrific. It's rich and foamy; sharp without biting; overall just very nice. It's just a bit too sour in the aftertaste, but that's forgivable.

Overall, it's not as though I think this is terrible--I'd certainly drink it over many Big Brews. If it was lighter, it might be refreshing, but it isn't light. It's just not something that I would choose to drink over other Sam products.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.55/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass (my stange is out of commission ;) ). Good till Sept 2011, let's see if my Kolsch quest measures up.

A golden clear crystal body is presented with some large sticking rising bubbles. Some stick to the sides, what doesn't rises very quickly up top. After some examination some small rising little bubbles make their way continuously. Head is poured of a very simple white and some what foamy, but mostly it disappears really quickly. By the time I finish writing this paragraph it is nearly gone. Seems to maintain a thin puck going on as if to barely hang on.

Vegetative, grassy, a not very good smelling Kolsch let alone beer here. Faint hint of sweet grain on the nose, not even a sense of density or crispness.

So how does this taste? Missing a lot. Not a hint of bread, bubblegum sweet, I will give this beer some good mouthfeel cause it's got some body, but this is just borderline adjunct sweet tasting. Real bubblegum sweetness on the finish I just can't get past.

Wow this is the worst Kolsch I've had to date. Tastes nothing like it but an appeal to keep adjunct lager drinkers perhaps un-challenged without upseting them. Pass.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a stange glass. Served cool.

A-bright white cap, golden clear yellow body.

S-floral, jasmine is very strong, fresh unbaked bread

T-jasmine tea flavor, sweet malt, but one dimensional


D-I would rate this beer possibly a little higher if it were in the correct category. Its a nice "fruit/vegetable beer but not a very good kolsch. I prefer a little more bite from the hops and a touch bit more complexity in the malt department.

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Photo of jar2574
2.67/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale yellow color, what little head there is disappears quickly leaving nothing on top. Average carbonation. Unimpressed.

There just isn't much to the smell. Maybe a hint of malts. Again, unimpressed.

Taste is dry, crisp. It does seem to a have a touch of hop bitterness to it, and a touch of bready malts. But overall there isn't much flavor.

The crisp dryness makes the mouthfeel interesting, and it's probably the best part of this beer. It's pretty drinkable, but I wouldn't buy it again, so that hampers the overall rating.

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Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

SA E-W Kolsch 12oz into pint. Pours piss yellow, crystal clear, with a 1/4" white head. Smells weird, unlike any other Kolsch Ive ever had before. A weird floral, sweet note, almost like a apple jolly rancher sits in the background, along with the standard biscuit malts that I usually detect. No hops are present here. Taste is close to the nose, with the weird sweet character coming through. Overall I'm not a fan of this beer at all, and I probably will just save the other five from the few cases I have, and pass them out to family when they are over. I truly don't think this is a solid representation of the Kolsch style, but I guess a few out there could see this as a mediocre summer beer.

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Photo of Marty30
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass,at fridge temp. My first Kolsch.

A. Very clear straw yellow,looks crisp.A 1 finger white head leaves very quickly.Leaves very little lacing.

S. I'm getting a good earthy smell wheat maybe,and I'm guessing this is the jasmine,it's almost like a perfumey smell.

T. Similar to the smell pick up some of the spices right away,the jasmine and the floral notes are just not appealing to me.

M. Mouth is light and crisp,very clean except for the floral characters.good carbonation.slightly dry finish.

Overall maybe just not my thing.I have to try some more of this style.

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Photo of jimlin
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Been staying away from Sam Adams given the amount of better craft brews available in the Eastern MA area these days, but saw the new mix pack (Lager, Summer, Saison, Kolsch, Lattitude IPA) and thought I'd try it.

Never had a Kolsch, so it's possible this is a very good example of the style. I can only discuss my impressions as a beer... not specifically as a kolsch.

There's really nothing there. It could have be a miller or bud product. Golden, not as crisp and refreshing as I would like in an extra pale style. Poured nice, with decent head and lacing. No real hop presence (which again may be true to style).

The label mentions Alsation hops "imparts subtle citrus note. Jasmine Sambac, a night blooming Southeast Asian flower, adds a delicate floral aroma and flavor to this layered and refreshing brew." The hops are subtle for sure, and the floral aroma may be the one subtle flavor I find lingering (which I don't really care for).

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
2.81/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- clear and golden with a pillowy two fingers head, no lacing and next to no retention.

S- Even with my nose stuffed in it I am not picking up much. Slight spiciness and floral hop crackery malts.

T- slight spice and tad floral hop, somewhat one dimensional.

M- big bodied for a summer style.

D- wish there were more flavor going on, slightly subdued for my preference but still drinkable. Overall not something I would tell anyone about but it goes down easy enough.


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Photo of mothman
2.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a layer of white head. Color is a bright golden yellow.

Aroma: Herbal notes with some fruity citrus flavors. It is yeast and a bit bready. Not really too funky.

Taste: Lemon zest and spices. Coriander. Some crushed pepper. Yeasty and bready again. Light flavored.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, it was decent, but nothing style-breaking. I saw this on tap somewhere for $7 a pour and glad I passed and had a chance to grab a bottle for a lot less. Easy drinking, but lacking a little flavor.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
2.89/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden body with a nice white foamy head.

Not much of the way of smell at all, completely lacking.

I get grain, grass and buscuits. That's about it. Not good but not bad just kind of boring.

The mouth feel is pretty nice. Probably one of the only highlights of the beer. Light in body, smooth, crisp and easy to drink despite the boring taste, it is a total summer beer.

Overall, boring taste, okay looking but the feel is probably the best thing about the beer. I wouldn't seek this again.

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Photo of Gehrig
2.91/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden body topped by a finger of white froth; good lacing and duration. It is tough to get a sense of what this smells like. There is a whiff of light biscuit malt, some grassy notes, but at first pass, it was tough to pinpoint that this smelled like anything. A weak, undistinguished nose.

Decent taste, some lemon flavor, biscuit malt, light and easygoing. Not complex, but neither is the style typically. Effervescent, easy on the palate, smooth.

Although Kolsch is admittedly not my favorite style, I am not impressed with this. It lacks distinguishing characteristics, boldness, and zest. Not a bad beer to kick back with and quench a thirst, and surely fine as a session brew but, for a good bold beer, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Pretty pedestrian, and I'll pass on this next time.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Good standard golden color. Lacing and foam are ok, but carbonation is good.

Smell: Smell is also ok. Pretty neutral graininess.

Taste/Mouthfeel: More graininess in the flavor and feel. It's pretty forgettable. A bad sour and bitterness at the end.

Drinkability: Basically a step up from macros.

Overall: Not worth the extra $$$.

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Photo of Hershdawg
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle into DB glass

A: blond golden ale with light head that quickly dissipates.

S: light malt with a heavy jasmine smell completely dominating the beer. Jasmine would work in a heavier style but not a German blonde.

T: the jasmine dominates the flavor. Not a good balance. Good try though BBC. Good to experiment though not the right style for the spice.

M: light which is expected for a Kolsch.

O: Too much jasmine too little kolsch. I like out of the box beers but this one over did it on the spice. Good idea bad execution.

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Photo of tvazteca
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The east west Kolsch pours well, with a good head. It's color is golden amber, nice and clear, but the smell is lacking. The taste is very strait forward beer, in a good way. It's got a decent amount of hop with some toasted malt in it. Afterwards you can still taste the beer sticking to your teeth. This is the kind of beer I can imagine sitting on a porch and drinking in thousand degree summers listening to baseball games. Now, while watching Always Sunny in Philadelphia it works just as well. Very good taste.

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Photo of TheDeuce
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sam Adams East/West Kolsch….in a bottle….from the Summer Variety Pack

Appearance-very bright golden color in the glass, a frothy white head that rises and falls quickly.

Smell-grain and a couple of interesting spices round out the nose, interesting notes, a little alcohol otherwise

Taste/Mouthfeel-off the bat I’m hit with a citrus rush, followed by a light hoppy kick, layers move quickly. Light mouthfeel, grain backbone on the end. Finishes with a light bitterness but otherwise leaves quickly.

Overall-a style I’ve grown to love, this version is just ok. I had hoped for more. I continue to believe that due to the nature and lightness of the style Kolsch only truly shines in fresh draft form. This version is ok as an introduction to the style, but nothing more.

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Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: moderate carbonation, 1/2 inch head, gold in color, clear

Smell: caramel and slight florals

Taste: toasted malt, grain, with a floral hop end

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet with a slightly hoppy finish, low carbonation, light body

Overall: This to me is an average beer and of Sam Adams special offerings this is with the Coastal Wheat as the least impressive of the bunch. Not a bad beer, but not enough to jump out. Has the characteristics of Sam Adams beers. Crisp, but this is a miss for for me.

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Samuel Adams East-West Kölsch from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.65 out of 5 based on 846 ratings.
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