tgrtnr (394) - Augsburg, Bavaria, GERMANY - JAN 1, 2018 TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 28, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Like altbier in Dusseldorf, kolsch is a special style of beer unique to Cologne, and different than most German beers in the fact that it is an ale, not a lager, though it is cold conditioned like a lager. Kolsch is a very delicate, golden ale, with light aromas and flavors of hops, crisp pale malt, and "jammy" fruit. It is a style that has been copied here in the United States by a number of brewpub/breweries, but one that is rarely done right. Precious few drops of real kolsch make it to the US market, as this beer is so delicate, and does not travel well. The most available exported version of kolsch to be found in the US is Reissdorf Kolsch, and I have also seen and enjoyed Gaffel Kolsch. Gaffel is a better example of the two available, but to really understand what kolsch is all about, a trip to Cologne is in order.
Again, like in Dusseldorf, the beer drinking traditions and culture of Cologne is alive and well. Cologne also have Kobes or waiters who will continue to pour you 0.25L glass after glass of kolsch poured by gravity vom fass. As you might already know from my reviews of altbier, that means it is coming from a freshly tapped wooden or metal barrel. The Kobes here wear white or blue jackets and aprons, and they are as impressive as the blue clad waiters of Dusseldorf. There is in fact a great rivalry that exists between these two cities when it comes to their local specialty beers. I’m happy to enjoy both, and kolsch is a beer you will want to try.
The glasses they pour kolsh in are interesting, they are long tube shaped glasses, that the Kobes serve from a tray that has cylinders like that of a revolver. It really is a site to see these guy serving up fresh, delicious kolsch, and it will amaze you how many glasses you will go through in a blink of an eye. Like in Dusseldorf, the Kobes will continue to tick off the number of beers you drink with a pencil on your coaster, and you might get a little shock when the bill comes. You will find literally dozens of places serving up kolsch, and Fruh is a bench mark example of the style. This beer has a wonderful balance of hop aroma, paired with nice pale malt and fruit character, and a nice dry finish.
Fruh Kolsch pours to a beautiful, bright, pale golden color with a tall white head, and a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful with pleasing aromas of light peppery and herbal hop aromas. This leads into a delicate malt palate with good pale malt flavor paired with light flavors of pear. Fruh Kolsch finishes with a slight herbal hop bitterness that rounds this beer out to perfection.
Many beer geeks just don’t get kolsch as a style. They find it too light and too delicate. The simplicity and delicate nature of this beer really is its soul. It is so fresh tasting and so, so drinkable, you literally inhale this beer, and you will be happy to have the Kobes fill your never ending glass of beer.
330 ml bottle. Pours light golden with decent foamy head. Grass, metal, hay. Medium to low bitterness. Light bodied, watery texture, dry metallic finish, lively carbonated. Easy going beer. jjsint (3604) - Leicester, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - DEC 28, 2017
Bottle from Brewhouse and Kitchen, Bedford. Light gold, extra clear. No head. Metallic and slightly ammonia-laden aroma. Much improved taste with a refreshing grainy sweetness followed by a restrained bitter hop. Not exciting but worth tasting. MartyW (412) - DENMARK - DEC 27, 2017
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2017 bottle. clear golden with a white head. Malt, yeasty, light banana, cloves? ArtificialCyst (1406) - Szczecin, POLAND - DEC 14, 2017
My first traditional kolsch ever. xD Aroma: Grains, pale malts, some light bread. Appearance: Straw with a mediocre head. Taste: Thin, some sweetish malty base, very low bitterness. Palate: Semi-sweet finish, medium carbonation, low body. OminouSC2 (966) - Mora, SWEDEN - DEC 12, 2017
Pale yellow color, small white head. Aromas of earth, malt and hay. Taste of bread, wheat, minerals and earth.
nudiebear (371) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - DEC 12, 2017
Bottle at hotel. Light yellow, standard head. Aromas of some grass, peach. Light bitterness, flat. Not exciting Turtles (3088) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - DEC 2, 2017
330ml bottle from Systembolaget. Clear golden, small white head, some lacing. Not too much going on in the aroma, grainy, sweet malty and slightly metallic. Crisp and light mouthfeel, soft carbonation. Biscuits malty taste, grainy, sweet stone fruit and metallic. Short grassy finish with mild bitterness. deepdrinker (364) - Leeds, ENGLAND - NOV 27, 2017
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2017 Golden in appearance, crisp refreshing taste and overall well balanced beer. cmacklin (1372) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - NOV 22, 2017
On tap. Pours a clear pale yellow with a medium, creamy, long lasting, white head that laces. Mild, sweet aroma of grainy malt. Sweet flavour of grainy malt, corn and grassy hops with a dry, bitter finish. Light body with a watery texture and average carbonation. An ok kolsch. omikr0n (974) - Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC - NOV 20, 2017
On tap at the brewpub. Pours clear light golden with nice white head. Aroma is crisp grassy hops and a bit of malt. Taste is sweet and bitter with malt, grassy hops, a hint of pine.