Highland Brandon's Kölsch Style Ale | Highland Brewing

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Highland Brandon's Kölsch Style AleHighland Brandon's Kölsch Style Ale
Very Good
17 Ratings
Highland Brandon's Kölsch Style AleHighland Brandon's Kölsch Style Ale

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by atsprings on 08-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by silver0rlead:
Photo of silver0rlead
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been really enjoying Highland's special releases lately so I jumped at the chance to pick this up even though I'm not a huge kolsch guy. Pours a golden color with remarkable clarity, and a thin white head that doesn't retain very well. The aroma is very clean with notes of grass and fresh hay, along with green grapes, cane sugar, floral hops and a little yeastiness. The flavor is similar to the aroma with notes of grass and hay upfront, some green grape, champagne, floral and herbal hops, and a little biscuit. The mouthfeel is light and drinkability is very high. This is probably the best kolsch I've had, complex and exceptionally drinkable...overall a very pleasing attempt from Highland.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of whitekiboko
2/5  rDev -46.8%

Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a dark golden yellow with a half finger white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of malt, banana, and wheat. The flavor was of sweet malt, bananas, and subtle wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice Kölsch. One of the better ones I have tried in awhile honestly. Brandon Dana did a very nice job with this one without a doubt. Definitely a big thanks to Highland for sharing this one with others!

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Photo of akorsak
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to verecund for this bomber.

A: The ale is a pale straw color, still yellow but perilously close to being water and food coloring. A moderate-sized head, right around a finger, left a few patches of lace.

S: A sweet malty nose, biscuity with fruit aspects, leads off. Hops are crisp but fleeting, never hanging around for long.

T: Malty sweet, the ale offers pear and apple flavors alongside the mild biscuit malts. There isn't much in the way of hops, leaving the malts and yeast to carry the ale. Quite drinkable, even though it trends toward the sweet side.

M: The mouthfeel is very sweet, biscuity and fruity. The hop side is restrained.

D: I'm torn. The sweetness is nice but the hops are a crucial ingredient. Drinkable but not one that I'd necessarily return to.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yellow in color with a nice head of white on top that faded gently into a thin veil that left the top bare after just a few minutes. Light bready notes and some grains in the smell, a bit light for me, without that top notch banana aroma you would see in a really good version of the style. Smooth mellow flavor, albeit light. Even and well balaned with a light bready note and a touch of light grassy notes towards the end. Smooth and easy drinking as this one went down effortlessly into the night. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again any day

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Photo of blackie
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: tall lager glass, rich medium-golden in color, a steady stream of bubbles feeds a light head that fails to retain - leaving the surface still after a short while

s: grainly lager malts with an edge of light toast, white bread yeast, moderate sugars and an herbal hop aroma

m: carbonation just on the high side of medium, body riding the light-moderate line, a little slick towards the end

t: big flavors of grainy pils and lightly toasted german malts, rustic and husky, yeasted biscuit, papery herbal hops balance with a nice mild flavor and clean bitterness, starts sweet but dries well, lots going on here

d: really nice kolsch from Highland, easily drinkable

bomber from Bruisin' Ales

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly faded away leaving lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: There are light aromas of bready malts in the nose along with some notes of floral hops.
T: The overall taste has a slight amount of sweetness and flavors of biscuit malts along with some notes of fruit. No bitterness from the hops is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink but the sweetness prevents it from having refreshing qualities.

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Photo of FloppyDog
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured rather vigorously, but with only little head as a result. Head dissipates completely very quickly.

Appearance is a spot-on light hay yellow.

Aroma is faint earthy hops. Very subtle and clean. A little bit of the yeast fruitiness is present if you know what you are looking for.

Taste is where this blows me away. It is the perfect balance of malt and hops. A nice hoppy bitterness starts out the sip, followed by a smooth malty sweetness that mingles with the subtle fruitiness of the kolsch yeast. This sweetness is quickly neutralized by the hoppyness as it makes a resurgence through until the end. I can't emphasize enough how well balanced this kolsch is.

Mouthfeel is appropriately prickly. Just the right amount of carbonation for the style.

Kolsch is my favorite style light beer, and this beer will inevitably convert more people to kolsch fans! If it wasn't for the lack of head retention, this beer would have scored on up there with my top favorites of all time! Definitely something I could drink all day, everyday!

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Photo of baklo
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of SouthernBeerGuy
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a few of these in Charlotte a while back.

Poured into pilsner style glass with and it developed a small white head. Color is a light gold with a medium haze. Smells of sweet straw, almost reminds me of a gold Belgian. The malt notes are similar to fresh sweet biscuits, hops are low key. Very drinkable beer, will be sad to see it disappear from my collection.

Anyone who has extras and willing to trade, let me know.

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Photo of chumba526
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears clear yellow with a thin white head.

It has a pretty strong smell for a Kolsch. I get lemon and citrus type of a hop smell. I also get a bit of a

It tastes of lemon and citrus there is also a bit of a spicy fruity yeast flavor as well. The malty flavor is pretty dry and bread like. This is flavorful yet very light.

This is a light beer with a light and crisp mouthfeel.

Overall one of the best Kolschs I have had a great summer beer.

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Photo of farrago
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light bone white head, really too thin to call it a "head" per se, gone almost before it's poured, no lacing. Faint haze deepens the orange to worn gold color, very consistently hued throughout, no visible bubbles. The nose features air dried harvest apples, peaches, a splash of sour lemon and orange zest, sweet grains, then a pleasing floral breeze, no one element stands out above the rest, a nicely integrated presentation. Medium-bodied, given how it looks the carbonation chugs along nicely. Perhaps on the sweeter side of the style, juicy orange to lemon citrus, honeyed white bread, the apple, pear, grape, peach, banana fruit once more have that sweet, getting shriveled "stored in the cold basement for a couple of months" feel. Touch of malted milk balls, however, you don't get powerful caramel-like stuff, just a smooth, calming influence. Nothing herbaceous nor biting, no bumps in the road. Dry finish, maybe could use a little more punctuation. Glass gets empty real quick like.

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Photo of atsprings
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a DFH Signature glass pours a crisp bubbly light orange with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is slight crisp citrus hops and a trace of sweet malts. The taste is much more than the aroma, a very nice balance of sweet malts, crisp spicy earthy hops. The beer is quite light, crisp and refreshing, as the style should be. This is a very enjoyable Kölsch Style Ale, one I could certainly see having again.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to atsprings for another excellent trade! 22oz bomber into a Michelob pilsener glass.

Gotta love homebrew contests--especially when a brewery holds it and then produces the winning brew as a Pro-Am release. Even better when that beer is a kölsch. Brandon's version pours well, with a clear, macro-lager yellowness to its hue. Big-time carbonation rising up from the bottom forms a sizable tuft of creamy eggshell head. The aroma is mild, even for the style, with notes of grain husks, cereal, and dried grasses. Mineral water & a light sourness in the background.

Excellent flavor--very clean malt presence but has enough pale & pilsen malt sweetness to keep the palate entertained. Snappy hop presence in the finish with a clean, crisp note of mineral water. Notes of white grape juice and dried grass in the finish. Mouthfeel is a kölsch through-and-through, with a drying body and snappy carbonation level. Thin body, but far from watery. Overall, a delicious rendition of the style. Kudos to Highland (and you might want to consider offering this dude Brandon a job!)

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Photo of KajII
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Kölsch/Altbier glass]

Poured a cloudy light amber with a very, very small white fizzy head that dissapated in seconds and had no lacing to speak of. The aroma however was very enticing with the scent of flowery hops and a soapy yeast with nice notes of citrus. It tasted rather refreshingly sweet and mildly hoppy from the onset and then progressed into a slightly more biitter flavor with nice notes of wheat and citrus with the flavor resting on the tastebuds for a decent amout of time. Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and dry in texture with a nice lively carbonation. Overall a great tasting Kolsch, most definetly worth drinking a few!!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $4.00 at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, North Carolina.

Appearance: Pours a golden body with good clarity and a small, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Brandon's brewed offering offers up an aromatic mix of bready German malts, honey, and peppery, earthy hops.

Taste: Malts provide a taste of sliced, crispy-edged baguettes and a kiss of sweet wildflower honey and morningtime cereal. American-born Sterling hops provide a balancing bitterness and a lightly earthy, rustic spiciness. Gentle yeastiness. Trifling hint of sulphur character. One last blip of malts before the fast, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light-bodied. Moderate carbonation provides for a crackling mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Perhaps a bit on the sweeter end of the Kölsch spectrum, but, for me, it still ultimately dries out in the end. Overall, a pleasant, highly drinkable brew.

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Photo of AlexanderSelby
2.71/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Color is slightly hazy golden which is standard. The nose is a little sour, like cider. No hops on the nose to be found. As far as taste is concerned, there is a certain thickness in this brew that seems to work against it. It has some pleasant citrusy/lemony notes, but it is a little too buttery and syrupy to be as refreshing as I want it to be.

Congrats on the award winning brew, Brandon, and I apologize that I am harsh critic. No doubt this is a tasty and balanced beverage and I do not dislike it, but it has some thick and buttery aspects that seem out of place.

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Highland Brandon's Kölsch Style Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 17 ratings