With most of what Sam Adams produces, I’m left with the same kind of response: it’s a good beer, made for a wide audience and could drink more than one. But overall: not incredibly impressed. I don’t fault Sam Adams for this. Their job is to make beers that would be good to everyone and could be had more than one in a sitting. Mission accomplished there. I’m just picky, I suppose.
That’s not to say I didn’t care for the East-West Kolsch. On a whole, I’m usually very cautious with my European-inspired beers. Typically, I don’t care for Americanized versions but really like the beer from the home country. This beer falls somewhere between the two camps. I really liked how this kolsch was ultimately more than just an easy-drinking session-style beer.
There was more complexity on the nose than I expected, with my first impression of fruit, but not exactly knowing what it was. I guess it could’ve been pineapple. Definitely some kind of citrus. Maybe some floral? This is all strange because given the beer style, the overall smell is much more driven by the malt and not the hops.
But the funny thing is, the smell was much more adventurous than the taste. This is where, I suppose, the “macro” production comes into play. The beer is certainly sweet and very crisp. It actually reminds me of a more drinkable Bud Light Platinum. Take that for what you will. Whereas Platinum is very sweet up front and then turns into crappy Bud Light flavor, this keeps a sweetness throughout and, well, isn’t terrible.
All that said, I’d still prefer a kolsch from Germany but this beer will do in a pinch. As with any Sam Adams offering, it’s a quality beer that won’t offend, but shouldn’t blow you away either. It’s perfect if you’re hanging out with others and blowing through one of their seasonal 12-packs.
Hit the jump for my “Rate That Beer” sheet.