Kolsch: what is it to you?

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iguenard
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Kolsch: what is it to you?

Postby iguenard » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:10 pm

So an interesting discussion came out of the LCBO forum I wanna try to give it some life over here since opinions are so diverse.

Whats a good Kolsch to you? And what beer is the best representative of the style to you?

Granted we havent all had the chance to walk around Cologne in our travels, but other styles have traveled well, but not the Kolsch for some reason (freshness?).

Beau's have been thrown out as a sample. So has Kruhnen's.

What makes a good kolsch, and what beer would you say most represents it.

For reference: http://www.ratebeer.com/beerstyles/kolsch/39/
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Postby cfrancis » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:29 am

The ratebeer list is skewed because of the vast majority of North Americans rating and the majority of them never having set foot in Cologne (Köln).

My tops are:

Früh
Reissdorf
Päffgen

Then for the North American versions:

Coast 32/50
Beau's Lug
Schlafly

I need to try the Kruhnen.
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Postby ercousin » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:28 am

BJCP is always a good resource for stylistic guidelines. http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style06.php#1c

Overall Impression: A clean, crisp, delicately balanced beer usually with very subtle fruit flavors and aromas. Subdued maltiness throughout leads to a pleasantly refreshing tang in the finish. To the untrained taster easily mistaken for a light lager, a somewhat subtle Pilsner, or perhaps a blonde ale.
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Postby GregClow » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:39 am

ercousin wrote:BJCP is always a good resource for stylistic guidelines. http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style06.php#1c

Overall Impression: A clean, crisp, delicately balanced beer usually with very subtle fruit flavors and aromas. Subdued maltiness throughout leads to a pleasantly refreshing tang in the finish.


That pretty much describes a really fresh Lug Tread, IMO.

I've had bottles less than a week old that have been fantastic. But it doesn't hold up to age well.
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Postby Belgian » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:07 pm

It's a good reason to go to Dortmund.

8)
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Postby S. St. Jeb » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:53 pm

I can't really contribute to this in a meaningful way, but thought I'd mention that I had Kolsch that Kilannan was selling at the end of June and really enjoyed it.
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Postby iguenard » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:11 pm

I really enjoyed the Stoudt's Karnival Kolsch that came out a few summers ago.
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Postby sprague11 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:17 am

I tend to order the Reissdorf a lot when I'm at the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth.
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Postby midlife crisis » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:59 pm

GregClow wrote:
ercousin wrote:BJCP is always a good resource for stylistic guidelines. http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style06.php#1c

Overall Impression: A clean, crisp, delicately balanced beer usually with very subtle fruit flavors and aromas. Subdued maltiness throughout leads to a pleasantly refreshing tang in the finish.


That pretty much describes a really fresh Lug Tread, IMO.

I've had bottles less than a week old that have been fantastic. But it doesn't hold up to age well.


Rebuttal, Beau's haters? For the record, I agree with Greg.
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Postby ercousin » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:47 pm

Once you start discussing whether or not a beer is to style you are in the domain of beer judging and BJCP.

When I'm judging a beer if it hits all the points within the range of the style with no flaws it usually falls somewhere in the 30's (out of 50). Then it you have the consider how well balanced all the components (bitterness vs residual sweetness), balance of fruit esters and malt flavours to push it up into the 40's. It takes a a perfect mix of refinement, beer condition, and some of that "je ne sais quoi/magic" to make a world class example (44+).

It might very well be the case that Beau's Lug Tread would score in the high 30's or low 40's when fresh but low 30's when not fresh. Beer condition plays a major role.
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Postby mintjellie » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:24 pm

midlife crisis wrote:
GregClow wrote:
ercousin wrote:BJCP is always a good resource for stylistic guidelines. http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style06.php#1c

Overall Impression: A clean, crisp, delicately balanced beer usually with very subtle fruit flavors and aromas. Subdued maltiness throughout leads to a pleasantly refreshing tang in the finish.


That pretty much describes a really fresh Lug Tread, IMO.

I've had bottles less than a week old that have been fantastic. But it doesn't hold up to age well.


Rebuttal, Beau's haters? For the record, I agree with Greg.


I have to confess, I just can't bring myself to try Lug Tread again. The first time I tried it I had a bad bottle. It was full of off-flavours. I wish I could pull up my BA review, but BA seems to be down at the moment.

I can't remember off the top of my head what was wrong with it, I just remember it being a very unpleasant experience I don't want to relive.
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Postby saints_gambit » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:26 am

Agreed with Greg. If you get Lug Tread right out of the gate, within a week or ten days, it's a great beer. Much after that and it's a bit middling.
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Postby Kel Varnsen » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:28 am

saints_gambit wrote:Agreed with Greg. If you get Lug Tread right out of the gate, within a week or ten days, it's a great beer. Much after that and it's a bit middling.


I live in Ottawa so I have had some great, really fresh lug tread. Although the last 4 pack I bought had too much sulphur flavour/aroma.
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Postby El Pinguino » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:44 pm

Haven't had a kolsch since a stopover at the airport in Frankfurt.
I'd have t osay my "idea" of a kolsch isn't a big differences from some pilsners, but perhaps a little heavier. Would be fun to do a kolsch "tasting" to appreciate them more.
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Postby Belgian » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:49 am

Kel Varnsen wrote:I live in Ottawa so I have had some great, really fresh lug tread. Although the last 4 pack I bought had too much sulphur flavour/aroma.

Michael Hancock says prominent sulfur can indicate very fresh beer so it might be worth giving it a gentle pour and let these VOCs blow off a few minutes. It's not a brewing flaw or damaged goods, just a by-product.
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