Karnival Kolsch | Stoudts Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
86
very good
359 Ratings
Karnival KolschKarnival Kolsch
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
stoudtsbeer.com

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bbeane on 02-27-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
359
Reviews:
167
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
12.79%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
18
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 |  Reviews: 167
Photo of Sammy
2.67/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Cole's. Light colour, with carbonation bubbles. Neutral aroma, minimal head. This is a thirst quencher but the taste was rather minimal.Only the faintest drop of lemon or hops was I getting. Unoffensive but fairly plain, and so not that drinkable.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: half finger bright white head on a cloudypale golden body. Thick lacing.

S: musty malt, lemon custard, a touch spicey

T: very clean tasting with pale malts grains and a nice yeast character. The sweetness is again lemon custard late into the finish.

M: light body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: A very nice Kolsch. Flavorful, no off putting notes and nice body to this one.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a fine draft pint here, nothing particularly remarkable about it, but true enough to style and one of those beers that when its ice cold and fresh, its a four or five sip pint, max. for me, this is a big gulp, drink now, think never, kind of beer, refreshing and it tastes like beer, without a lot of body, a crisp lagered characteristic that i like in the style, just a little bit of crackery dry malt to let me know its a real beer, and a zippy carbonation despite it not having much of a head. an easy drinker, hot weather refresher that warrants little additional consideration. beers like this are great in the middle of a session of more bold and complex beers, not quite a palate cleanser, it does have some merit on its own, but just a simple and light beer that works in a number of contexts and is more or less agreeable to anyone who likes beer. i have not had much from these guys, and dont hear much about them out in colorado, but it was cool to taste this one while back east in PA. seems like a fairly common offering there. this is good enough to have me wanting to try their more ambitious offerings...

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Photo of Knapp85
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a really nice clarity, yellow body and a fizzy white head. The aroma is light, most has a nose of some malt and grains. Not really much hop aroma at all here. The taste is light all around. The flavor that it does have is pretty refreshing though. The mouthfeel is very light and very easy to drink. Overall not a bad Kolsch.

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Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of floral and spicy hops in the nose.
T: The overall taste is filled with flavors of biscuit malts and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The hops lend a moderate amount of dryness throughout the taste from start to finish.
O: Dryness, bitterness and maltiness seem to stand out in this beer, which is quite easy to drink given its low alcohol content.

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Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The bottle pours a clear straw color, capped by a modest snow-white head; just a few clumps of foam cling to the pint glass

Smell: Clean aromatics of pilsener malt, with a hint of lemon

Taste: Clean and bready, up front, with a bit of lemon and grassy hops in the mid-palate; dry finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with reasonably crisp carbonation

Overall: A refreshing example of the style - not unexpected from this brewery with a knack for the Germanic

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 8/15/2012. Pours hazy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger dense bright white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, herbal, earth, grass, wheat, biscuit, and nuttiness. Very nice aromas with nice balance and complexity. Taste of lemon zest, herbal, wheat, grass, biscuit, and peppery spiciness. Lingering notes of citrus rind, pepper, grass, wheat, and biscuit on the finish for a bit. Nice balance for flavors; with no cloying at all after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very crisp and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Almost zero alcohol presence after the finish as expected for 4.8%. Overall this is a very nice kolsch style. Nice amount of flavor with good balance and complexity; very smooth and crisp to drink. Really enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Galaxy Hut this past weekend. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear yellow-gold with a two-finger white head appearing after a few good swirls. A bit of lacing, though not too much. The nose was a bit of light pilsner grain plus some very mild fruit. A touch of floral hops as well. The taste was along the same lines. Nothing too complex, though no clear flaws either. I don't think anything will ever live up to the COAST 32/50, the beer by which I will measure all beers in this style (at least until I finally make it to Germany). Light and refreshing, this was crisp and I downed my glass pretty easily.

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Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, golden body. The head settles rapidly and leaves very nice lace.

S - An aroma of light, sweet malt and spicy, herbal European hops.

T - Sweet malt up front with some herbal hops and a touch of bitterness. Flavors of hay and honey in the middle with a bitter finish that is grassy, but balanced by a moderately strong malt flavor.

M - Slightly thick malt, moderate carbonatiion, and a lightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, it is a good example of the style and while it won't win any points for complexity it is very refreshing.

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Photo of oberon
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Trying back to back kolsch beers today,poured into a standard pint glass a light clear golden with a large fluffy white head that never fully settles,another spritzy lookin klosch,this head a great head to hit as well.Aromas are muted,only some light toasty grain,this is a crisp dry kolsch,spicy/herbal hop and toasted grain flavors mainly,I like the crispness of this beer.Now this a perfect warm weather brew that again isnt a throw back beer,I like this alot.

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Photo of jlindros
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first nice hot spring day, time to try a nice koslch.

A: Pours a huge fizzy 2.5 finger head that is full of large bubbles and pasty white colored, supplemented by many bubbles floating to the top. It's a brilliantly clear golden yellow color. The head leaves a very slight lacing on the sides.

N: A nice toasty slightly malty sweet lager aroma. Very much so lager, and nice smelling too. Some light wheat and even a touch of banana.

T: Starts with a really nice crisp lager taste. Some light toasty malts, slightly sweet lager malts and definite nice lager flavor. Light, crisp and refreshing. SOme light wheat, very light citrus and banana. A little juicy and fruity too. A nice fresh grassy and slight citrus fresh hop flavor and slight bitterness comes through. A nice one too.

M: Medium body and it feels like it has some viscosity to it. Good carbonation.

F: Semi crisp on the finish, not as much as I expected though. Slightly dry too, but not that much. A slight bitter hop presence comes through on the finish, a nice grassy spicy hop flavor. More lingering lager malts and slight fruit too. A nice long finish for being a crisp clean lager koslch.

Reminds me a lot of my fav lager, Pretty Thing's American Darling, just slightly less hoppy. I really liked this one and it would be delicious on a hot summer's day.

 1,333 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lot of American breweries take "Kolsch" (Kölsch is actually a appellation restricted to the breweries in and around Cologne) too far, either using too much malt or too many hops, leaving a beer that's either just too big for the style, or out of balance in some way. Stoudt's is pretty much right on.

They've got the yellow-golden color right, along with the bright-white head; and the proper amount of malt, yeast fruitiness, and noble hops in the nose. That's probably the hardest part to achieve because you don't want too much malt, and certainly not too many hops, AND you've got to get that little bit of fruitiness in as well without letting it get too bright.

The flavor follow suit, and it's important that it's well rounded and balanced in the same way that the aroma is. The malt should be supple and slightly grainy-sweet, but attenuated; and the hops need to be judiciously used for both bitterness and flavor. Too much flavor throws off the balance, and too much bitterness takes it into another style.

In general it's on the mid-upper range of the style, but if they'd gone any lighter I'd imagine today's consumers would grumble, thinking it too light (don't let them know it has less alcohol than Bud). A touch more carbonation might help to give it a little more refreshing crispness, but it's still quite good as it is. Overall, they've done a very good job with a very specifically defined style (keeping it from becoming a Blonde ale or a fruity Euro "lager"). Best of all, it's probably fresh! Prost!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light malts, grain and some hops.

T: The taste is starts out bready with flavors of grain and a light but hearty malt character. Then a mild but notable hops presence comes in along with a touch of lemony citrus sweetness. Overall, it's pretty well-balanced. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is one of those good summer beers (a.k.a. "lawnmower beers") that is worth pounding down several of throughout a warm/hot day or evening.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a stange.

Pours a clear gold, with 3 fingers of foamy bright-white head. This retains with rich cap of froth, which leaves behind a spotty cascade of lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is fresh in the nose, with a bright smelling pop of lemon zest, citrus peel, light spice, grassy hops, and some toasted malt sweetness underneath. Fruit and hops really push to the front of the nose here.

The taste is equal parts sweet grains and fruit, with some bitter citrus and lightly spicy hops giving this some zip on the tongue. Finishes bitter and dry with some lingering spiciness. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, with a mellow and soft creaminess to the carbonation, which keeps this very easygoing on the palate and very quaffable.

This was very good for the style, and while it maybe lacked some of the vinous and yeasty fruit character that I normally like in the nose, it more than made up for it with a surprisingly complex flavor profile and super easy drinkibility. Just really quaffable and tasty stuff here, just in time for the summer season.

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Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice example of a Kölsch. Rich flavor, perfumey, tangy mouthfeel. Light golden with a slight haze in the glass. Excellent sudsy head.

Resiny flavor is quite pervasive. Crisp and clean with a lager character. A hint of biscuits and yeast. Pleasant carbonation that lasts really well. Overall, a refreshing quaff.

From the 12 oz bottle purchased at the Foodery in Philadelphia.

 379 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Poured a clear, light golden color, with a frothy white head that dissipated rather quickly to a thin layer. Aroma of light malts and hay. Similar taste, with lightly toasted malts, hay, grass, earth, just a hint of hops, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Very light profile, crisp, refreshing, and quite drinkable for a summer beer. I'm not a big fan of the style, but this was okay.

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Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, yellow-hued body with a goodly-sized, fluffy, white head.

Smell: Subtle, refined scent of light pale malts along with notes of everything from flowers to wheat dough to lemon peels to wine.

Taste: Mild taste of pale German malts with a faint sweetness. The thin hint of a single, solitary Wheat Thins cracker. Fresh floral, grassy hop character with sufficient bitterness. Little gulp of white wine with a lemon twist. Dry on the back half with a subtle spiciness gliding into the crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-high carbonation, keeping things brisk and active.

Drinkability: Crisp, refreshing and light without being entirely devoid of flavor. Recommended for good ole Summertime drinking.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left."

--Victor Hugo

Haystack yellow with corn silk edges and a crown of sheep's wool white. Lots of farm references there. The head has a cottony texture that looks good as it fades, all the while leaving small chunklets of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma has the musky, grassy, spicy quality of German nobles. Probably Saaz and at least one or two others. Malt makes very little olfactory impact, which is par for the style course. Hints of skunk (which is odd given the brown glass bottle) aren't too much of a negative.

If Karnival Kolsch is truly a spring seasonal then this bottle has held up remarkably well. It's still pretty hoppy and the finish is crisp and tight. Tastes like it was brewed no more than a few months ago.

The flavor profile is fairly simple, as expected, but that doesn't make it bad beer. On the contrary. There's a pleasant backdrop of cereal grains and bread crusts, then come top notes of bitter grasses and a wee twist of lemon peel. If this bottle is 8-10 months old then Stoudts has made a brewing deal with the devil.

The mouthfeel is quality through and through. Plenty of size for the ABV, good lift and creaminess, dialed-in carbonation. Check, check... and check.

Stoudts Karnival Kolsch is an outstanding lawnmower-type ale. It has an abundance of flavor and isn't as simple as it first appears. The brewery should seriously think about a year-round release. Hey, those of us in the Midwest need snowblower beers too.

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Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Minor head that leaves some streaky lace. Mild milky haze to an otherwise straw colored beer.

Malty with a touch of sourdough to the nose. Very light hop.

Light and refreshing, but not crisp like a lager. Stays true to its ale roots. There's light sourness that is similar to the smell. The aftertaste is tart. Full bodied for the style.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour was about what I would expect from the style. A nice even colored light amber, bordering on a golden color. A nice sized head of white foam then rose up over the top to take a hold on the glass, reaching a height of around two inches and then settled back down to leave a bare top with minimal lacing. No real side glass presence was noticed, though there was some nice carbonation.

The aroma was rather light, touches of caramel malts, light bready tones and a hint of banana were all that were readily noticeable, not bad really, would have liked a bit more of a pop in it though if I am being honest. The flavor was very nice though. Rich notes of biscuit and bready malts, layered on top of a light fruity spike of flavor. Some nice touches of grain coming through mid palate before dropping back into a smooth, and subtle feel. Crisp and clean finish left only the lightest bit of caramel flavor on the tongue before fading into the back and leaving me ready for the next sip. Nice, smooth, easy carbonation was an ease to drink, and I would have no issue with putting down multiples of this one.

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Karnival Kolsch from Stoudts Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 359 ratings.
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