Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sam Adams' East West Kolsch

The East West Kolsch is available in the Summer Styles variety pack along with Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light, Rustic Saison, Sam Adams Summer Ale, and Latitude 48 IPA.  This sampler will be available until July.

This is the first time I've experienced a Kolsch.  What is a Kolsch you may ask?  The Kolsch style is basically Germany's answer to the British pale ale.  It is a specialty brew which is traditionally brewed in Cologne, Germany.  Kolsch is a pale ale with very little malt character and mild hop flavor and aroma.  So now that the introductions are out of the way, on to the tasting.

The East West Kolsch poured with a big fluffy head.  It had very light and clean aroma with traces of lemon.  The taste was extremely mild, almost to the point of tasting like one of the massed produced light lagers we all have become familiar with.  This is pretty interesting considering the brew is fermented with ale yeast.  There is a slight taste of citrus with a mild floral finish.  I was unable to place the finish at first but after reading the bottle I realized it was a floral finish.  Initially this is a very underwhelming brew, but it kind of grows on you as you drink it.

I read the Sam Adams bottle and it states the beer is brewed with Alsation hop and Jasmine Sambac flowers.  With this in mind I checked the guidelines for a Kolsch beer and it didn't mention anything about using flowers in an authentic style Kolsch.  So this is Sam Adams take on a Kolsch and is not actually a traditional Kolsch recipe. 

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