Hale's Kölsch | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

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Hale's KölschHale's Kölsch
79 Ratings
Hale's KölschHale's Kölsch

Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RedDiamond on 06-14-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 43
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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Very light yellow and cloudy with a nice, white head that showed terrific retention. It certainly looks the part.

Smell – All the classic Kölsch smells are present. The malt is subtle, the light fruits abundant and complex (some apple, unripe pear, strawberry hints, etc), and the Pilsner-like hops round things out.

Taste – This one hit the nail on the head. It compares favorably with the Kölsch that I’ve had in Köln. The fruits are dry with little sugary sweetness (none, really), the malt is in the backbone and light, and the hops right on target.

Mouthfeel – Light-bodied and crisp with a touch of dryness at the end. The carbonation is light and playful as it should be.

Drinkability – I can hardly believe that an American brewery, Hale’s Ales of all places, came up with a “genuine Kölsch" but, yes, ladies and gentleman, here it is.

Update – I was so looking forward to this beer in 2005 as I enjoyed the ’04 vintage last year. It seems to be a little off from last year. There’s a dead spot in the flavor profile that’s very bitter. I guess it was too good to be true. I’m dropping the last three categories down a bit.

 1,176 characters

Photo of Lazaro
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of sourdog
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HoppySeb
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of WonderfulSam
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Watery, pale yellow color with a nice, lingering bright white head. Pleasant, fresh smell including slightly fruity malt with crisp, citrusy notes. Taste is similar fruity malt, but with some less appreciated metallic and grainy notes that seem really misplaced. The flavors just didn't mesh right together. This is particularly notable in the aftertastes. Light, sort of creamy mouthfeel, but the metallic twinge and the strange aftertastes give it an odd finish. Easy enough to drink, but it's not overly inspiring.

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Photo of appenzeller
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light gold with low clarity, substantial and thick head. Smell is of honey and grass, the taste is similar, a nice sweet maltiness and moderate hops. This beer is thick and substantial for the style, too much really to fit the "kolsch" style. Very refreshing, though, as a kolsch should be.

I'd prefer Hale's just market this as a spring ale or something like that--kolsch really isn't the right designation. Nonetheless, this one's a keeper.

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Photo of hreb
2.76/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz can of Hale's "Rhein Bier Style" Kolsch (no umlaut any more). Served in pint glass. Beer pours bright yellow in color with lots of carbonation and a medium white head. Flavor is gently of caramel with a bit of a toasted grain note. A mix of crisp and cloying. There's some bitterness in the center of the palate, but the finish is most definitely not dry. Overall this is not really what I want in a Kölsch bier. Kölsch should be crisp and light, well attenuated, with a distinctive yeast profile, but this beer is more like an adjunct lager. Disappointing.

I picked up a variety pack case of Hale's and I have to say I think it's not lived up to my expectation's from Hale's. Not to bash cans generally, but I wonder if the Hale's quality control on their canning line matches their bottled and keg distribution.

 831 characters

Photo of ElGordo
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the12oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is pretty cloudy with a nice, golden straw color. Aroma of light pale malt, a touch of wheat, dry yeast, and a mildly fruity character that has a hint of white grapes.
Palate is a blend of pale malt and fruity hops. Notes of white grapes, cereal grains, and a very dry yeast quality. Body is a touch thin, even for a thin style, but still carries the flavor alright. A refreshing option on a hot summer night - fairly authentic for the style from an American brewery.

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Photo of jmccraney
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes

Pours an effervescent & chill hazed gold with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Super head retention & lacing

S: Perfumy hops & lemon

T: Honey malt, with breadyness, grainyness, lemons & pear fruittyness up front. More grainyness, fruittyness, & lemons as this warms. Finishes with great hop crispness & grainyness

MF: Medium bodied, crisp, effervescent, with great balance

Great take on the style, I could happily session on this on a warm day. Easily the best beer I've have from Hale's

 509 characters

Photo of rfreed
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Padron4KM
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz brown bottle, no freshness date noted.

Hazy pale yellow with a thin white head. Light to moderate carbonation, low for this style.

Aroma is lightly malty with some grassy hops.

Flavor is a touch grainy with a mild bitter finish.

Decent refreshing sesion beer

 277 characters

Photo of evilkorova
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of krberg
4.54/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the single palest beer I have ever seen that isn't a wheat beer.

Smells nice and clean and fruity; very Kolsch-like.

There is a slight metallic taste, but aside from that this is a perfect kolsch. It tastes exactly like every German example I have ever had. I have tried other US versions in an attempt to get a fresh sample of the style, but none have tasted "right." Lager smooth, but ale fruity and sweet. Goddamn, is this just an amazing style of beer!

Light with a great CO2 bite. Dead-on for style.

On a summer day I could drink this beer forever!

Hale's Kolsch has to be the best American example of a European style I have ever tried. F-ing perfect, but retired !?! I hope to hell Hale's brings this beer back.

 741 characters

Photo of dukew456
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Lazy Magnolia glass

Pours a clear, bright straw color with a decent head that leaves a little bit of lacing down the glass. The head doesn't stick around for very long, and is very dispersed, but it's a pretty acceptable look.

Smell is pretty one dimensional, with a grainy, corn husk malt scent hitting heavy and a slight sour, metallic finish. This is kind of odd

The taste of this has a sort of pilsner-style bread thing going on, but without the clean finish. Also, there's a weird kind of fruit thing going on here, not what I expect out of most kolsch-style stuff. Mouthfeel, however, is about what I expected, with a medium body.

I could see myself drinking a few of these in the summer, but for the price one can do much better.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the Coop on Saturday for about $1.50... poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

foamy/big bubble head left in no time.. good collar and spotty lacing atop a very light straw gold brew..

Aroma is clean pale malts with a good dose of wheat malt.. lite fruitiness..

Flavor is pale malts with a dry wheat finish.. but there is a subtle yeasty twist in the middle. slightly above average hoppy bite for the style.. but I am liking it.

Good body.. and carbonation.. very very drinkable..

Overall, I am glad that Hale's put this into 12'ers recently.. I had more than my fair share of the 22's about a year ago.. but I give this a big thumbs up for an American stab at a pretty hard style to do right.


 734 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sester stange. Pours a light straw amber with a fine two finger white head with great retention and lacing. Nice wheat aroma with hints of bready malt and yeast. Flavor is wheat with biscuit malt, finishing with good dry wheat and a hint of hops. Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. A nice domestic version of this style that hits all the style points, may be a bit fuller bodied than a traditional Kosch, but is still light and refreshing to drink on a warm day.

 487 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy light golden straw hue, not far from white grapefruit pulp in color. A stunning billowy bleached-white head has impressive retention before leaving some nice lacing.

aroma is a bit citrusy - lemons and oranges, a bit fruity with some pear and apple, and a touch of light crisp malt.

Taste follows aroma with some nice pilsner-esque malting accentuated by some sweetness from a touch of fruit esters, a bit of tartness from citrus notes, and just a hint of clean pine hops at the finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. a touch vinous (green grape skins?) and fairly drying, but overall full and crisp with impressive carbonation.

The interesting complexity of flavors, the slightly drying notes, and the full carbonation prevent this one from being incredibly sessionable, although I could see going through a few glasses. Crisp and refreshing with just enough going on to keep everything interesting. A great example of a kölsch, and definitely one to add to the list of regular rotation brews.

 1,012 characters

Photo of Eighty
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of GTJayG
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon its release from the 22 ounce bottle, it sets in the glass a translucent straw color, the head a brilliant creamy white that is perfect in size, as it dissolves, the lace forms a delicate curtain. Nose is has a sweet malt aroma with a lime like tone, sparking wine like crispness. Start is lightly sweet, decent malt profile, with the top light to medium in feel. The finish has a good refreshing acidity, the hops subdued but pleasing to the taste buds, very dry lingering aftertaste. A darn good change of pace from the “Bad To The Bone” beers I normally drink.

 570 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this one courtesy of fthomasl and a recent Beervana vacation, thanks Frank! 12 oz bottle without a freshness date pours a surprisingly clear and dark gold color. Head is fairly dense and lasts for a good while. Lacing is great.

Nose has a very nice, distinctive kolsch yeast aroma. It's a bit on the sweet side, but it is one of the more powerful smelling versions of the style I have had. Sweet cream and green peppercorns come to mind.

Certainly one of the more interesting interpretations of the style, it is pretty much bursting with flavor and the body is big, bold and creamy. Kolsch yeast is very assertive and has a zesty, spicy floral feel to it. Malts are grainy and sweet and are balanced by a strong hop bite on the finish that lingers a good while. Sometimes a thirst-quenching, simple smooth kolsch is what you want....for the rest of the time, try this one. I like it, I think it works, especially in a style that has traditionally been pretty narrow as far as flavor profiles.

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Photo of jnoelani
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A great Beer.

A great color with a little haze to it that makes it appear more malty than it tastes.

Smells good, a little hint of citrus hops and just makes you want to drink it.

Tastes great, exactly how I imagine a Kolsch should taste in Germany. Light re-freshing yet full of flavor.

Awesome mouthfeel, smooth yet still some substance that goes down easy.

Highly drinkable, may be my new go to beer for relaxing during the summer.

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Hale's Kölsch from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 79 ratings