Kölsch
64th highest rated style (of 102)
Highest RatedMornington Peninsula Sorachi Kolsch (83 / 100) Average score56 / 100 (OK)
Lowest RatedHunter Kolsch (19 / 100) Number Tried55
Espresso Martini Kolsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 07.07.17 on tap
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Brewed for GABS festival 2017. Tried at the festival in Melbourne.

Pours a darkish brown colour; fair enough for the espresso but a funny-lookin' kolsch. Head is beige, a little whispy but good crown retaining.

Chocolatey malt on the nose, but mostly coffee. Good spice character to it, with cinnamon and clove playing around the edges, but mostly coffee. Good coffee.

Taste is roasty from start to finish, with a big wave of espresso character in the middle. Some cinnamon character late-mid and the coffee notes that are good and spicy and full of character turn a bit sweet late. Not bad.

Full body, a little bit gluggy at times.

A kolsch?? Decent brew with nice coffee character, but it seems weird to call this a kolsch, given how it's come out. It may be brewed kolsch-style (whatever that is though, I mean, really... you can just put ale and lager yeasts in with a hail mary and say hey presto, a kolsch) but it's poor expectation-management given how thick and dark this is.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.75
Exquisite Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 04.10.15 in bottle
Overall:
44 / 100
(Not Great)
22oz brown bomber, complete with hessian wrap around the neck. Purchased from Whole Foods, Los Altos.

Pours a clear deep golden yellow colour, with a coarse film of large bubbles creating a minimal white head. Minor specks of lace. Body is fairly light and fluid, but the carbonation is powdery, and almost static when tilted, surprisingly. Looks decent enough.

Nose is very minimal. Faint, slightly grainy and empty—to be fair, in the general style of a Kölsch. There's a thin organic character that comes through as it warms, giving it a slightly dungy undertone. It's not around if you keep it cold though.

Taste is pretty similar. Clean light and inoffensive, but with a slight sheen of sweetness and graininess around the back to remind you it's something other than a plain ultra-filtered lager. Slight carbonic bite on the back adds some crispness to try to offset this, but doesn't entirely do the job.

Feel is light and empty. It works fine enough for the style.

To be honest, I don't like it much. But partially, that probably has to do with the style. There's something a bit pointless to a Kölsch—it takes the aim of doing something light and crisp like a pilsener, but then adds in unpleasant elements that do that aim no purpose. This isn't a bad Kölsch, but then maybe I hold a (not so) secret opinion that any Kölsch is a bad Kölsch.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.75
Spotlight Series: Rick And Robbie's Sprocket Bier
Reviewed by Jez on 05.05.14 in bottle
Overall:
81 / 100
(Excellent)
A "black rye kölsch". Sure, why not. 22oz bomber purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a rather surprisingly thick body. Head forms a very fine ring of beige, but little more. Even the initial pour only yielded a slight foaming. Minimal lace, and the carbonation is invisible in the darkness. Looks good even so.

Nose is very pleasant. Dark and spicy with a little toasty sweetness and rye bread. It doesn't go overboard on the roast though and get harsh or stout-like. There's a cleanness to it as well, and a bright, slightly fragrant farmyard note to it. Yeah, it's nice stuff.

Taste is also very good. It has a smoothness to it that cushions the lighter flavours, while allowing the spicy rye to roll around the tongue. Toastiness comes through again, but again the dark character is very well restrained: it never gets close to being roasty, or worse acrid. Indeed it feels very supple from start to finish. On the back, there's a linger of dark fruit which provides the punctuation you'd find from crispness otherwise.

Overall, really quite wonderful stuff. This is interesting and unusual, but done with such conviction and integration of flavours that it seems classic.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.25
Killer Python Kölsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.12.13 on tap
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a pale straw colour, bit of haze with white, foamy head, about a finger's thickness on a sampler. Excellent kolsch look.

Smells of... Killer Pythons, yeah. Apple/pear and pineapple are the closest things, but it's just fruit candy really. Could use more beeriness.

Taste is a little more beery, but not really to its credit. There's a hint of that fruit candy character on here but only around the midpoint and it ends up quite bready and yeasty, like a lot of kolsches I have. Not bad, but could have fused the killer python candy notes in better here, it's swung a bit too much the other way from the nose.

Body is thin, but has a light carbonation which goes well with the style.

Interesting take on a kolsch, but ultimately a little weird, and not quite fulfilling its promise.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Summertime
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 13.08.13 in bottle
Overall:
45 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a pale shiny gold. Steady bead. Head is white, creamy foam bubbles around the edge. Bit of lace sticks to the glass. Not terrible, but a bit bland and uninteresting.

Smells pretty beery. Herby, a bit grainy, with a touch of metal. Touch of medicine as well. Don't like it, though, much at all. Almost unpleasant, and largely bland.

Taste is pretty bland too. Grainy, sweet, pretty insipid. Gets even sweeter on the back with slight fruity note but lots of caramel, vanilla I guess, a bit of cereal, corn maybe and yeah a bit of that mediciney note. Mostly just a bit bland. Don't love it.

Not too bad a feel. Bit thick and stolid, not a lot of texture though.

Drinkable enough. Bit sweet, but nothing overall offensive. Finishes OK, but yeah, I don't love it.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Summertime
Reviewed by Jez on 03.08.13 in bottle
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
12oz bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a very clear, bright yellow hue, with a filmy and wistful head of white. Lace is streaky and a little soapy without any real persistence. Body is very light: suitable. I actually really like the colour: it's bright and vibrant, and the clarity is excellent.

Nose is light and a little dull, but pleasant. Faint hint of stonefruit characters come through, with some neutral grain notes and a dry light yeast character. The sweetness is mild, but it gives it a little interest to something that would otherwise probably be pretty dry and dull. Not bad.

Taste is also pretty good. Pleasant dry cleanness throughout, but with an uptilt in slight fruity sweetness towards the mid to back, which doesn't get too sickly, and which gracefully exits by the back, leaving it quite refreshing. No bitterness on the back, which is good: the fruit suggests there could be a commensurate harshness on the finish. Instead it finishes rounded and clean.

Feel is excellent: full enough to impart more flavours than I was expecting, but still light enough to make the beer refreshing and drinkable.

Overall, this is an extremely drinkable beer: clean and rounded and refreshing without requiring too much dryness on the back. This is certainly something I'd drink a lot of if I had it regularly here in Sydney.

appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Killer Python Kölsch
Reviewed by Jez on 13.06.13 on tap
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
A kölsch, brewed with 10 kilograms of Killer Pythons, those chewy, gelatinous, artificially flavoured giant snakes I remember so fondly from my childhood. Tried on-tap at the 2013 GABS festival in Melbourne.

Pours a hazy and very pale straw colour, with a light body and a white head that forms a firm ring. Stretchy rings of lace form as the beer goes down. Looks decent for a kölsch, but nothing out of the ordinary yet.

The aroma, though? Killer Pythons! Lots of artificial sweetness, lolly green and raspberry, above a grainy, slightly pilsnery basis. The Killer Pythons certainly give off their chemical, nostalgic aromas here.

Once I get over the nostalgia, though, it becomes quite clear what a bad idea this is. Light grain comes forward on the palate before a fruity sweetness builds up with clinging artificial flavours. This is then set upon by a musty wet grain character and a shot of yeast that makes a rather unpleasant mess. Finish is slightly cloying, with the artificial sweetness coming through attaching itself to the residual yeast flavours.

Feel is very light: wouldn't be so bad in a straight Kölsch, but it leaves some of the less successful characters bleakly exposed.

This was an extremely interesting experiment. Was it successful? I mean, it got me interested in this one-off beer for a festival, but it isn't something I'm that keen to try again. Sadly, I doubt that Killer Python Kölsch is likely to be a style we're going to see take off.

appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
Cali Cölsch
Reviewed by Jez on 12.05.13 in bottle
Overall:
75 / 100
(Excellent)
This appears to have been renamed "Cali Cöast". I'm not quite sure why. 22oz bomber purchased from Berkeley Bowl West, in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a champagne-clear bright golden colour, with a coarse-bubbled head that settles to a filmy ring with a steady bead. Lacing is fine and delicate. Overall, it looks pretty sophisticated.

Nose is clean and light, with a pleasant German grain character coming through and some faint, green organic hops. There's a dusty, floury yeast character which comes through as well: it's not unpleasant, and it fits with the style, but it somewhat dampens the rest of the aroma.

Taste is light and clean, with a very nice crisp, lagery freshness from start to finish. Some green hops lift the back, providing a punctuation to the mild, crisp grain character, and giving some dryness to the finish. Clean aftertaste gives a real refreshment. It's light, balanced, crisp and supremely drinkable.

Feel is pleasant and light.

Extremely drinkable, and extremely well-made. This is a very nice, easy drinking beer, perfect for a Californian summer. It's not wild, it's not bursting with amazing flavour combinations: it's just well-crafted beer of high quality. Love it.

appearance: 4.25 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Cat's Shank Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 12.04.13 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
345ml brown, sculpted bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria. I was yet to try any of Woolies' pseudo-craft range (whatever that means), so I picked this one somewhat at random.

Pours a middling golden colour, with a checkered, inconsistent head of white that eventually decays to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Carbonation is fine, and fleeting. Minimal lacing, very light body. Looks solid enough for what it is, even though that might happen to be pretty average.

Before swirling, there were some clean, slightly grassy volatile aromas much like you'd get in a lightstruck green bottle euro lager (a smell I actually find rather appealing), but once it's gone, it's gone, and there's very little else: just a mild floral perfumed overtone and some grainy porridge character. It's not unpleasant, but very light and quite bland.

Taste is similar. Faint grainy undertones, melding towards a yeasty, grain-bread note towards the back. Atop this is a clean, light and rather bland palate, with some very faint, slightly metallic twinges and a suggestion of orange peel. But these are very faint, leaving it mostly just crisp and light.

Feel is, indeed, crisp and light as well.

Overall, it's pretty bland, but it's really hard to fault it as a crisp, light easy drinking ale. There's a pleasant nothingness to it which makes it both easy to drink and easy to ignore. Not one of my favourite beers in the world, but it's certainly far from being awful.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
4 Pines Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 06.03.13 in bottle
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
The tail-end of Sydney's summer is wagging, so after a hot walk home this seemed like a sensible option. I've had it on tap here, there, and everywhere around the place but have never reviewed it, and I'm not sure I've ever had it from the bottle before either. This is a 330ml bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.

Looks good, like it should: perfectly clear pale golden colour, with a firm, slightly frothy but fine head of pure white. Minimal streaking lace, fine carbonation which is actually rather languid in the glass. Body looks pleasantly light, except for those bubbles which seem swamped in a much thicker, heavier beer. I started with "looks good", and I've seen nothing to change my mind.

Nose is fine. Crisp, light grainy malt characters, with a light cereal greenness. Hops are muted, but noticeable: they're enough to provide a little balance at least. Some faint floral overtones, and a suggestion of metal. It's crisp, light and calm. Perfectly acceptable.

Taste is also perfectly acceptable: clean light malt jangles with faint grain characters, crisp firm hop tones provide a direct but tamed vector down the centre of the palate. Crisp finish with some husky flavours rounding it out: it's pleasant. Feel is really quite smooth throughout, carbonation is reigned in nicely but provides a subtle lift to the flavours, and aids the crispness on the finish.

In terms of clean, drinkable beers, it's pretty hard to fault this. Some might pejoratively say this is a "lager-drinkers ale" (perhaps spitting on the ground as they do), but I like to think that it's an ale aspiring to the true greatness that only a lager can provide. It's a good alternative in any case, and I'm happy this is getting a wider distribution.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.25
Hauria
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 31.01.13 on tap
Overall:
34 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a pale straw colour, slight cloud to it, with a large-bubbled white head. Interesting head pattern actually, very very pale colour. Nice kolsch.

Smell is very, very light. Slight fruity hops upfront but bone dry otherwise. Hops are citric in character and could really take more of a front seat at least in aroma terms. Not bad for the style but I'd like more inviting characters.

Taste is also very dry, bit bitter throughout. Very yeasty on the back palate, with a kind of uncooked bread dough character. Gives me a bit of a premature headache as I drink. Just too dry, needs more body and flavour.

Thinnish body, bit of carb, but again, too dry.

No, bitterness is just unnuanced and it feels like the beer is singlehandedly getting me dehydrated. Not a fan.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.0
Hauria
Reviewed by Jez on 10.08.12 on tap
Overall:
49 / 100
(Not Great)
On-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney for the Italian SpecTapular.

Pours a mildly hazed pale yellow colour with a very light weight to the body. Head is white, filmy and spidery leaving some thin mild lace in its wake. Overall, yeah, not bad. Not great either.

Almost nothing on the nose. Mild light grain (perhaps) and a hint of lemon (that I'm probably imagining). Eh. Eh².

Taste is a little better, but still really quite dull. Light clean grain on the entry, with som mild sweet lemon characters that feel thin and watered down. Finish is relatively clean. At least the characters match up with what I thought may have been evanescent perceptions on my part on the nose.

Overall, it's bland, but it's OK. It's in style, mostly, and clean enough to drink without getting uncomfortable. No guarantees that you won't get bored, though.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Analogue 78 Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 05.08.12 in bottle
Overall:
53 / 100
(OK)
Bottle at Six Acres in Gastown, Vancouver.

Pours a clear, bland golden yellow colour, with a puffy but somewhat insubstantial head of white. Minimal lacing and very light body. Looks pretty standard.

Nose is light and flat, and pretty dull, all things considered. Some mild cerealy grain characters, and perhaps just enough organic crispness to pull it into line. But really, it's pretty dull stuff.

Palate is very similar, in fact, maybe slight worse. Here, what was a bland cereal character on the nose, has turned into a full-blown corny adjunct flavour, that leaves a slickness on the palate, and destroys any chance at crispness. It feels too thick as a result, while oddly maintining its dull thinness. Eh.

I mean, it's not a bad brew. It's clean and light and inoffensive, and it is drinkable in its way. But it's so boring... Yawn.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Wild River Harbor Lights Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 02.07.12 on tap
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
On-tap at the Wild River restaurant in Grants Pass, OR.

Pours a very pale yellow colour, with very little head. What's there is white, fine, bubbly and inconsistent. Lace forms in tiny vertical streaks. Fine bubbles of carbonation. It's OK, no better than that.

Nose is very light. Mild, with some lightly sweet grains, and a clean carbonation cutting through it slightly. It's light and clean, but quite dull.

Taste is sharper (in fact, my notes read "pointy"), with slightly biting German phenolics on the back. The brunt of it is a mild husky grain character, but mostly, it's just light and inoffensive. Feel is crisp, with some effervescence on the tongue.

It's not going to surprise you, but it's solid. Dull, unquestionably dull, but solid. On a hot day in Grants Pass, it went down nicely.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Drake's Blonde Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 13.10.11 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a slightly hazy bright yellow colour, wioth a frothy and fizzling head of white, initially, that dissipates quickly, leaving only a ring of bubbly mess around the edge of the glass. elatively fluid body, with a little weight behind it, and fine residual carbonation. Not bad.

Nose is crisp and slightly grainy, with a slightly green European hop character that reminds me of a Czech pilsener, as well as, truly a Kölsch. It's a bit mild and flat, but it's crisp and light as well. Not bad, again.

Taste is light with a mild fresh bitterness through the centre of the palate, and a crisp dry finish, giving off a little floury grain and a touch of light yeast. Feel is sparkling by the end, but surprisingly flat throughout the rest of the palate.

It's a very crisp, light and drinkable beer. No, it doesn't do anything extraordinary, but some days you just want a light, bright and quenching brew. This would be a cracker for such occasions.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.5
4 Pines Kolsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.10.11 on tap
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a pale straw colour, mild haze and light bead. Head is webbed out, pretty uneventful though; thin trail of lace. Pretty dull, really.

Smells fairly fresh and pleasant. Mild citric notes and some floral characters - grass and chamomile with notable cereal grain notes hiding behind as well. Not amazing but fairly fresh and enjoyable.

Taste is grainy for the most part, with plenty of cereal notes, oats and barley and a growing bitterness that starts midway and gets slightly more astringent towards the back. Fairly citric with lemon and grapfruit, developing a more phenolic, spicy bite on the finish. Hint of pepper to the very back. Decent, and intriguing, if not overly delicious.

Fairly light body lets the carbonation show through, not too severely though so it's OK.

Decent, interesting beer. Which is more than I can say for most Kölsches.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Colonial Kölsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 30.08.11 on tap
Overall:
58 / 100
(Decent)
Had on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.

Pours a pale golden colour with slow but steady bead. Head is white, tightly packed. Thin. OK.

Citrus on the nose, light and watery though, mostly, just a hint of some herb, bubblegum as well. Slight phenols at the back. Standard kölschy aroma, not very exciting.

Taste is slightly herbal and sour, light body with a hint of lemon thyme, blackberry and fresh cut grass. Finishes clean, bitter, with a slight vinous note giving me a hint of champagne towards the end, with a slight drying touch at the back. Not bad; have had better though.

Watery feel but a bit of carbonation bite to it.

I'm not really a fan of the style, as well documented in my previous reviews. This is drinkable and pleasant enough.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Kalifornia Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 16.05.11 on tap
Overall:
56 / 100
(OK)
On-tap at Magnolia, served in adorable little kölsch tubes.

Pours very clear, and very brigh and light. The apparent haze turned out to be condensation on the tube. Head is fine and thin.

Pours cleat, in a kolsch tube. Skiht haze, very light yellow. Head is fine and thin.

Nose is mild, with a light cheesy funk and some bright crisp pilsnery grain notes. Minimal hop character, and overall the deeper buttery notes tend to win out.

Taste is alternately buttery and crisp, but there's no true sharpness, or anything to give a point to the beer—it ends up mild and blandly lagery. Greenness is present, but very muted. Feel light.

Eh. I've had way better kölsches. This is a bland example that feels as though it exists only to have a lighter beer on their roster.

I also wonder if the examples I tried at Magnolia were a little old. Others speak of pleasant fresh characters which were noticeably absent in the beers I tried.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Mornington Peninsula Sorachi Kolsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.04.11 on tap
Overall:
79 / 100
(Excellent)
Pours a pale straw colour, light haze and steady bead. Head is white and dense and retaining a very nice crown with some sticky off-white lace. Lookin' good, there, Kölschy.

Smell is gawwwgeous. So light, floral and tangy. Lots of citrus with some apricot jam, orange sherbet and plum sauce for sweetness and richness. Rich and tangy like good barbecue sauce and yet light like a good champagne. Wonderful complexities, and the best kölsch I've smelled in a long time.

Taste is tangy from the get go with huge citric notes and pepperberry - orange and lemon flavours with a touch of lavender providing slight floral bitterness, plus some lemongrass and white peppercorns come through on the mid that last until the end. The characteristic kölschy dryness is distinct late-mid but it just adds to the weird, wonderful array of fruit and spice assaulting my palate. Bit of a chemical, soapy flavour on the back is the only dud note in an excellent palate. Front is just beautiful though.

Lots of carbonation is mostly padded by the decently full body, but it does border on harsh at times.

Excellent drop, great use of hops to carry a beer forward, nicely flavoured and rounded off and refreshing as a dip in the pool after several years in Hell.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Mornington Peninsula Sorachi Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 06.04.11 on tap
Overall:
83 / 100
(Exceptional)
Tried on tap at The Local Taphouse in Sydney.

I tried this one (which was labelled at the Taphouse as merely the "Mornington Peninsula Kölsch") without realising this is the one that prominently features Sorachi Ace. What a difference it makes, what a unique hop! It was clear from early on that this was a unique-flavoured beer.

Pours a hazed but translucent golden yellow colour. Head is fine and with, with sudsy lacing that doesn't stick quite as much as it could. Minimal carbonation, and what appears to be a light body, but amazingly, when swirled, it forms some good static bubbling. Overall, a good looking beer.

Nose is where you start to notice the uniqueness here. It's fresh and fruity; very sweet, with almost a raspberry character coming through (notes say "this isn't the Sorachi Ace one is it?"). But to balance the sweetness, there's a good dose of clean and crisp organics. Some hay aromas sharpen the sweetness. Lovely.

Taste is similar, with a raspberry leaf kind of sweet organic freshness. Clean light bitterness at the back which isn't overdone. The light body gives it that crisp lager style. Thoroughly enjoyable.

A very drinkable brew. So refreshing, and different enough to give it buckets of interest. Very unique, very different. It's a cracking brew, worthy of a place in the Australian Craft Brewing zeitgeist with the likes of Stone & Wood Pacific. Try it!

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 5.0
Sünner Kölsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 14.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a hazy pale golden colour with steady trails of bead feeding a snow-white head, dense and foamy but fizzling out slowly. Lace is mostly non-existent. Okay, it's non-existent. Not a bad-lookin' beer but not wonderful.

Smells quite grainy and earthy. Fair bready character with wheat and a pumpkin seed note. Fresh cut grass backing up and some rich earthy notes. Slight buttery malt hiding at the back. Overall decent. I generally associate Kölschen with "bubblegum" aroma which I hate, so its absence here is very welcome. Second to this, given the 'tradition' and history that this beer credits to itself, it leads me to believe that the bubblegum aroma is perhaps a mistake of other attempts at the style, and maybe this is just what a Kölsch is meant to smell like.

Taste is crisp and bitter throughout. Slight grainy notes on the front that return in small doses for the finish. Quite bready with mild rye and wheat sourness. Palate is overall bitter, largely herbal with a nod to phenolic, but largely crisp and clean with only a few duff notes here and there - a slight soapiness on the back and an aspirin astringency on the mid-palate. But apart from those this is a well-handled crisp beer - an 'ale' according to the bottle? Well, whatever. It's the lageriest ale I've ever drunk.

Has a body on the assault, but it disappears early on to leave a wafer-thin texture. Fairly poor.

Notwithstanding the texture or lack thereof, it does add to one's ability to just tip this crisp, refreshing drop right down. Great stuff.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Sünner Kölsch
Reviewed by Jez on 09.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)

Pours a clear and bright golden yellow colour, very light, but with a frothy and boisterous head of German-style foam. Lacing is spongey and good, sticking with good alacrity to the glass. Surprisingly good body to it, in fact it leaves a bit of static carbonation when swirled, which is very pleasant. It's a very good looking beer all up. Perfectly in style.

Nose is redolent with noble hop aromas and German yeast characteristics, giving it an earthy and organic hue. Crisp nuttiness and a sharpness that is subservient to the more round notes of earth and undergrowth. Quite fresh, and really very classically German. Decent.

Taste is very light, almost to the point of nothingness. Clear and light grain gruel flavours on the front, with a light smack of noble hop freshness, but very little else. To be honest, I'm not overly enamoured of it, and it really strikes home where the style can fall down into being rather bland and insipid. Feel is light and thin; it matches the flavours, but that's not much of an endorsement.

Not a great beer, but a light, clean and pretty drinkable one. I guess it's more the style itself that I have a problem with, but this does seem to be a below par example, even stylistically.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Pale Ale (Yellowtail)
Reviewed by Jez on 30.10.10 in bottle
Overall:
56 / 100
(Decent)

Very interesting. Of course a kölsch is a pale ale, technically, but one marketed as a pale ale in America seems like something of a misnaming. Anyway, let's see how it is.

Pours a very pale yellow colour, with a filmy but fine-bubbled head of white foam, that leaves some abstract lacing. Looks very lagery, which is stylistically true for a kölsch at least. But thin, but decent enough.

Nose is slightly grainy, with a sharp German hop profile. Hint of molasses or raw processed sugar, along with something slightly phenolic. It reminds me a lot of a Munich Helles. Less fruity and clean than I expect for a kölsch, but not bad.

Taste is similar. Some graininess on the back, fronted by a light sweetness and a sugary, slightly nutty aftertaste. There's something all a bit insipid about it, however, and the characters don't mesh together particularly well. Mouthfeel light, which is expected, but it doesn't add anything to the beer, which really needs a lift.

Eh, drinkable enough, but really, there's something unappealing about it. It's not so far as to be offensive, but there's so little to it, I wonder why they bother.

I'll stick to Sculpin, thanks.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Mountain Goat Two Champs Kolsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 01.09.10 on tap
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Pours a pale golden colour with healthy yeasty haze. Head is white, pretty nice, sinks leaving a thin crown. Lace is beautiful; thick webs of foam, pretty damned nice.

Smells pretty unimpressive. Slight sweet notes with some citrus and that kolsch bubblegum aroma and some grass as well. But yeah, very underwhelming and plain with not a lot on it at all.

Taste is fairly impactive, although there isn't a lot on the front. Slight citric rind, but not much else. Some honey and medicine phenols come through late-mid and lots of carbonation sizzle which is aided by a dryness on the back. Some hints of bubblegum sweetness, some wattle and grassy/herbal notes. Not bad for a kolsch but still pretty plain.

Decent drinking, doesn't overload on the kolschy notes I don't like and has plenty of the kolschy notes I do like... whatever they are.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Kölsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 28.06.10 on tap
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a pale amber colour, with small dense white head, quarter-inch thick and leaves some decent sticky lace around. Quick, steady stream of carbonation heads up the brew. Looks fairly average, beer-y.

Sweet and grainy nose with hints of honey and cereal malt. Minor hop notes on the back, slightly piney and light. Not a lot to this aroma but a fair balance, not overly sweet like so many kölsches I've had, the hops are welcome but not overly strong. Decent.

Taste is fairly clean; bitter throughout with notes of grassy hop starting quite early. Hints of barley and a mild citric note midway provide the majority of the flavour, but it mostly has a decent herbal bitterness and finishes clean with a mild acerbic character, maybe a hint of mint and a slight soapy character. Not unpleasant; in my view this is the best kölsch going. It's the only one I can stand, really. It's flavoursome enough but it's clean, bitter, beery. Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy but not overly so. Has a good body, and goes down easily as a session beer.

Good for an after-work thirst-quencher, really.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Eisenbahn Dourada (Kölsch)
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 13.05.10 in bottle
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a dull brassy golden hue, fair amount of bubbles when first poured, disappears. Modest snowy head when first poured, disappears. Thin trails of lace appear, stick around for a while! Fairly blah, flat.

Nose is kölschy, I'll give it that. Very sweet vanilla smell with banana phenols, bubblegum, some light hop resins, lots of caramel malt behind. Smells sweet, decent enough for the style, not very refreshing.

Taste is pretty sweet on the front, then gets a little bit floral on the mid with a fairly rough, sizzly texture, moderately coarse with a bit of a bite, gets smoother towards the back as the palate verges towards bitter. Some metallic hop notes and a hint of nutmeg, and really quite a refreshing, crisp lager character that is quite clean, and a lot more palatable than a lot of kölsches I've had.

Has a modest, sessionable palate profile and a good balance - has those kölsch characters but doesn't lean too heavily. Surprisingly enjoyable and drinkable.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Hunter Kolsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 12.04.10 on tap
Overall:
31 / 100
(Nasty)
Had on tap at Harts Pub.

Pours a pale golden colour with lots of bubbles. Head retains to half a finger, nicely dense and foamy on the top. Leaves some decent lace - looks fairly clean and refreshing.

Nose is sweet, very sweet, with some banana esters but mostly a huge bubble gum aroma. Taffy-esque, with yeah, an unmistakeably 'sugary' aroma. Maybe a slight green apple adds some tartness but I can't avoid thinking this is just oversweet.

Taste is pretty poor as well. A lot of grain on the front, puffed rice and a general cereal flavour, descends into a very bready affair with that slight bubble gum flavour permeating, mostly just a sweet dough character. Slight anise spice on the back but it's not enough to save this; it's a bland, bready affair. To be honest it kind of has that homebrewing "Let's add sugar to up the alcohol but not the flavour" kind of flavour. Not as downright offensive as they come, but bland and uninteresting.

A little harsh in the mouth, lots of fizz, yeah, fairly standard quaffing lager texture though, it only gets harsh if you swill it in the mouth, which admittedly you're not meant to.

Not enjoying this, but I think it's just indicative of a style I dislike. Maybe after a days's slaving away at the Steinbruch, this might be just what the Doktor ordered. Right here and now though, meh.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Red Hill Golden Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.08.09 on tap
Overall:
51 / 100
(OK)
Pours a cloudy, light amber colour, with quite a good head, white in hue, sticks around pretty well.

Light honey characters on the nose, gentle and sweet. Not much else though.

Taste is not so sweet, quite wheaty actually, or at least savoury. Mouthfeel quite dry, and a bit flat. Overall is a bit dull, but certainly quite drinkable.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Gilden Kölsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 17.07.09 in bottle
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Pours a light golden appearance, with light white head and mild carbonation. Not all that impressive, really.

Smells quite hoppy with very German, grassy hops being dominant if not powerful. Slightly herbal, maybe a hint of coriander but not that much. Fairly simple and underwhelming nose.

Taste is not bad, quite a bit of body, interesting palate profile, almost like a perfect bell curve. It ascends very steadily into a quite rich and nice bitter hoppy flavour. Fairly grassy with a strong malt profile underlying it, overall it's a fairly standard flavour, but its strength is in the way it's delivered. I'd say it's very drinkable, although its flavour is not incredible. Just pleasant.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Kamberra Kolsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 17.07.09 on tap
Overall:
46 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a light amber appearance, steady but mild carbonation. Head isn't very impressive, just thin with visible bubbles.

Light hoppy aroma with honey overtones, quite malty and pleasant really. Maybe a bit of tropical fruit but not much, sweet and light, maybe a bit too sweet. Not bad though.

Slight honey on the front palate descends into slightly off-tasting hops, a bit dank and tart. The light fizziness on the back palate saves this quite a bit from being too sweet and sickly. But yeah, after light front palate it's quite thick in flavour and more heavy-going, more of a German Pilsener malt profile than a Kölsch.

The flavours do show promise, but it's a bit imbalanced and not clean, smooth drinking which is what I'd expect from a Kölsch.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Zierholz German Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 16.07.09 on tap
Overall:
47 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a light buttermilky colour, slow carbonation - firm but disloyal head, looks alright.

A hint of sweet wheat character on the nose, and a slight resiny hoppiness, but very little else. Quite simple nose, but not bad.

Taste is very light and airy, but with a very strong and dominant bitter hopping throughout palate. A bit gritty and earthy, but for the most part tastes kind of light and sweet, almost like the bitterness is trying to be nullified by malt, but unsuccessfully.

Mouthfeel is lightly fizzy but not enough to make it interesting. Tastes a bit unbalanced but because of its light character is reasonably drinkable.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Hunter Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 02.10.06 on tap
Overall:
19 / 100
(Awful)

Tried on tap at the ABF at the Australian Hotel...

This definitely had an Aussie Lager look about it. Minimal head, pale clear yellow colour.

The nose is almost entirely made up of a yeasty apple aroma, like an infected batch of cider. The yeast is almost overpowering. So much so that it starts to smell like bread dough.

Taste isn't much better. Here the yeast is almost unbearable. There's almost nothing else that I could detect. No palate at all apart from the horrible yeast.

This was a weak, unappealing beer. I was not impressed at all with this, especially considering their previous offerings. Maybe they took the lager-inspiration of the Kölsch a little too far, and tried to churn out something akin to an Aussie Macro.

If someone told me they had switched the keg of Kölsch with a keg of Carlton Draught I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised.

appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.0
Reissdorf Kölsch
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.05.06 in bottle
Overall:
22 / 100
(Awful)
Appearance is very lagery, standard golden. Some early carbonation for an average sort of head that goes quickly. Unimpressed so far.

It's not very aromatic but there is an okay smell anyway. No fruit but curiously a nutty character. It's quite nice but it's nowhere near pungent enough to really wow me. Or even make me think it's horrible. Again, unimpressed.

Taste is also somewhat nutty. In fact it's odd, I mean I expected (not sure why) some sort of fruity characters, at least a hint, based on the appearance. But there's nothing, I mean it's the slightest bit hoppy and slightly beer-nutzy flavoured. But it's more watery than anything else. I have to say I'm disappointed. This is dull and flavourless.
appearance: 1.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Kamberra Kolsch
Reviewed by Jez on 20.02.06 on tap
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)

Light pale yellow, with a solid, but filmy white head and light carbonation.

Nose is very fruity, fropical fruits dominating, with citrus and syruped orange. Very pleasant, quite refreshing.

Taste is fruity sweet, morphing to a good fragrant mid palate. It finishes dry and refreshing. This is a really drinkable brew, sweet, but delicious and thirst quenching. Mouthfeel very robust.

This is a most enjoyable beer. I could very happily sink a few of these.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Red Hill Golden Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 20.02.06 on tap
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)

Clear golden body with a thick head which fizzles down to a light film. Some lacing, and a great deal of heavy carbonation. Looks quite good.

Very good hoppy fragrant nose. It's balanced with a good lingering sweetness. Hints of subtle malt, but the homegrown hops shine through. Well, why wouldn't you want to show them off, very pleasant.

Sweet fragrant palate. Malt at the start, with a nice bite of hoppiness, levelling out to a yeasty dry finish. Actually very tasty. I'm most impressed.

Mouthfeel is a little weak, a bit more zestiness could lift it a little. But that's really nitpicking what is a most enjoyable beer. If I could get my hands on more I would love to drink this on a regular basis.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.5