Over the years I have grown to love most beer styles but when I open my fridge it always seems I have a surplus of the same half dozen styles: sours, stout, barleywine, IPA, saison and pilsner. While I love a good Baltic porter or a smoky Rauchbier they just don’t make as many appearances in my fridge as they should. This is also reflected in the list of reviews I have churned out over the last few years. A never-ending sea of big barrel-aged beers. This changed when I opened up my last box of beers to discover a delicious sounding kölsch from Sixpoint mixed in with the adjunct laden stouts.
Kölsh is a style that I have had many times in the past but after putting some thought into it I realized, I could not remember the last time I enjoyed the style. This pushed me to head to the store to grab a few examples of the classic German style in the name of re-familiarizing myself with the style. This proved easier said than done. A visit to the local big box bottle shop only produced one can that was under a year old. A second trip to the local fancy grocery store produced a second example of the style and a trip to the actual bottle shop ended in failure. It was much harder than I thought to find a somewhat fresh kölsch but at least I was able to secure a couple of cans to get a refresher on the style before diving into this one.
The beer comes in the signature thin Sixpoint can and pours a hazy straw color which was a bit darker than I expected. A fluffy bright white head sticks around a while after the pour. My first whiff of the glass brings a pronounced hop character with a combination of earthy noble hop aromas and sweet melon. I get fresh light bread, honey and a floral note. All of the delicate aromas come together for a very pleasant and enticing bouquet.
I tilt the glass and take a sip and the first thing that stands out to me is the higher than expected level of bitterness. We are not talking IPA or even pale ale level bitterness but, compared to the pilsner I had a few hours ago, it is noticeably higher on the IBUs. According to sixpoint.com the beer is listed at 23 IBU which is just outside the style guidelines of 15-20. After the crisp bitterness I start to notice the grainy malt character, herbal and floral notes and a hint of sweet honey and corn. I don’t pick up any off flavors or flaws and overall the beer drinks really well.