Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beer Review: Stoudts Karnival Kolsch

Stoudt's Brewing Company Karnival Kolsch Ale

This Cologne style used to be more obscure and is thankfully making a solid comeback in America. This is also a tough one to describe. Similar to a pilsner in ingredients with a twist on the fermentation process. The warm fermenting estery, fruity kolsch yeast really adds some depth to what would typically be a simple session beer. The kolsch pours a light golden color with a rich and foamy white head. Aroma isn't too strong, nothing too different from a standard pilsner or helles lager.

The most surprising thing about this beer after the first sip is the amount of hop flavor present. This is just way too assertive. Typically the hops are in balance with the malt in this style. This balance is critical to give the beer its needed depth. I just don't get much more than a hoppy pilsner. Slight malt sweetness and an aggressive grassy hop flavor. A little boring.

This is a decent beer but it really leaves me wanting a more traditional kolsch. If I went into this craving a pilsner I would be satisfied. The Karnival just doesn't provide that Kolschy flavor that I so rarely find. The hoppiness is way too strong. It drowns out any of the subtleties of the yeast.

Final Score: 69% (Fine Taste. Not A Kolsch.)

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