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Ross Valley Kölsch

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Ross Valley Kölsch
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RATINGS: 8   MEAN: 3.2/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.12   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A particular German golden ale brewed in Cologne, lightly hopped with a distinctive yeast character and very refreshing. Brewmeisters favorite.


Flipbrewer's rating

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Flipbrewer (33) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 24, 2004
Bottled Sparklingly clear pale gold color. Poured a small creamy white head that diminished after 2 minutes to a thin, fairly long lasting layer with very little lacing. Light malt aroma layered with a fairly present citrusy hop nose and a subtle vinous acidity. Flavor had an assertive hop bitterness start to finish. Started with a crisp and malty off dry character, which followed through to mid-palate where a subtly vinous acidity emerged. Finish was dry with lingering hop bitterness. Palate was light bodied and crisp with a lively carbonation. Crisply refreshing session brew with an assertive bitterness that holds your palate’s attention. Perfect for warm and sultry summer days when your palate may crave something easier and less complex.


2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
mjg74 (2492) - La Mesa, California, USA - NOV 18, 2004
Pours a hazy golden color with a tinge of orange. Lots of sediment in the bottle. Aroma is a little grainy. Very little carbonation. Tastes like an american wheat with not much flavor.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - OCT 25, 2004
(22 oz bottles) This is a very interesting little experiment I'm doing here. I visited the Ross Valley brewery a few months ago, and I was honored to have a private tasting with the head brewer, Melissa. When I told her I bought a bottle of the Kölsch Golden Ale at BevMo in San Diego, she was shocked because the beer wasn't supposed to be distributed that far, and was worried about proper handling. She gave me a bottle from her storeroom and asked me to do a direct comparison with the bottle I bought at BevMo, so here goes.

First off, I'm not a big Kölsch fan, we should probably get that out of the way right first off. Anyway, the two bottles are extraordinarily different. The BevMo bottle is a very boring and lifeless beer. It pours with almost no head, and though there is some sediment in the bottle, it still pours quite clear. The beer basically has no aroma, it has a faint smell of "beer" and that's it. The flavor is very thin with almost no maltiness to speak of, and even the hops seems very mild with only a gentle bitterness. And the palate is very thin and watery. In a nutshell, it tastes like a light beer.

Now then, onto the bottle Melissa gave to me. Holy shit, what a difference! First off, there is a LOT of chunky sediment in the bottom of the bottle, much more than the BevMo bottle, and I don't remember ever having a Kölsch with sediment in the bottle before. While this Kölsch is not as crisp as the style usually is, the flavor is quite interesting. It has a lightly sweet and bready maltiness that is totally absent in the BevMo bottle, a fair amount of citrus flavor, and is mildly bitter. It seems quite a bit less hoppy than the style dictates, but still significantly moreso than the BevMo bottle. I usually don't detect salty flavors in beers, but the saltiness in this one seems to stand out to me. It has a heavier mouthfeel than is typical for the style with some lingering sweetness rather than crisp acidity. The nose is very bready and lemony. On the first pour, it's pale yellow in color and fairly cloudy from the sediment, but when finish the first glass and empty the bottle in the glass on that second pour, the sediment is so dense, the color of the beer is now a dark golden. Very carbonated pour produces a huge snow white head that is comprised mostly of large bubbles. The large head dissipates quickly, but once settled, maintains a half-inch layer until there is no more beer left. Some patchy globs of lacing are left behind.

So then, what accounts for the huge difference between these two bottles? Freshness? Proper storage? All the extra sediment? Whatever the reason, if you have this Kölsch and don't like it, perhaps you should make the hike out to the brewery (kind of tough to find) and get a bottle from the brewery. And seek out Melissa, she's awesome!

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 24, 2004
The after its emancipation from the 22 ounce brown bottle pours a smoggy light lemon yellow color with a modest bright white head that dissipates rather quickly leaving behind a thin coating of lace to obscure the glass. Nose is citrus like in its crispness, sweet malt dominates, fresh and pleasing to the senses, start is lightly sweet with a decent malt profile, and the top is light. Finish is propitious in its acidity, the hops congenial in their spiciness, droughty aftertaste, a light and drinkable beer for the desert summer as it’s a bit of a cold spell here its down to a 104 degrees.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerguy101 (5285) - Newark, California, USA - APR 7, 2004
UPDATED: APR 30, 2004 Light orange gold color, slightly hazy. Small sized white foamy head. Aroma is very mild, but bready, hoppy and fruity. A medium bodied Kolsch. Malts are fruity and sweet. Slightly spicy hops. Somewhat hoppy for a Kolsch. Light and refreshing. Nice citrus and fruit flavors. There is a bunch of sand like sediments in the bottom of the glass, it could be an old bottle, but it doesn’t seem to affect the flavor any. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

3.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DCopperfields (145) - Alabama, USA - FEB 6, 2004
Tall brown Bomber with a picture of a grey locomotive on a brown label. Pours a hazy, lemon yellow. So murky you really can't see anything through it. Head is minimal, and then, its gone. Aroma of fresh bread, right from the oven, lightly. This comingles with a lemony, citrous not which is refreshing to the nostrils. Mouthfeel is kind of big for a Kolsch, but the tangy citrousy flavor is tart, yet clean and refreshing. An unusual take on a Kolsch, but a tasty brew nonethesless.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
DC (14) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 22, 2003
Tall brown Bomber with a picture of a grey locomotive on a brown label. Pours a hazy, lemon yellow. So murky you really can't see anything through it. Head is minimal, and then, its gone. Aroma of fresh bread, right from the oven, lightly. This comingles with a lemony, citrous not which is refreshing to the nostrils. Mouthfeel is kind of big for a Kolsch, but the tangy citrousy flavor is tart, yet clean and refreshing. An unusual take on a Kolsch, but a tasty brew nonethesless.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
joet (2172) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - AUG 13, 2001
This very pale summertime beer has a dry hoppy aroma, a semi-dry and full hop flavor with a clean finish.


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