Passion of the Kolsch

Illinois
United States
Passion of the Kolsch, Church Street Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
89
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20
Description 

A medium light bodied Kolsch with an addition of Passion Fruit puree.

Profile

ABV: 
5.5%
IBUs: 
16
Served at: 
45º F
Hops: 
Crystal, Tetnanger
Malts: 
Pilsner
Judges Review 
Jason Johnson's picture
Judges Rating:
89
Aroma:
21 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

This beer ended up being judged against category 29A: Fruit Beer for Obvious reasons. The base beer is Kolsch style ale (Category 5B). We can expect this beer to be clean, crisp, and well balanced with hopefully a hint of tropical passion fruit.

In the aroma I get a light hint of cracker-like malt. The passion fruit is very evident and is tropical and distinct. It does cover up any initial light hop aromas that may be present. But as the beer warms you do get a little bit of spicy hop character. The passion fruit is the dominant player in the aroma for me, but that's not to be unexpected in a lighter delicate style.The color is pale yellow and very clear, it's a beautiful looking beer. What stands out to me is the head, in both color and retention. It's a foamy white head that persists for a long time for this style. Typically the head dissipates fairly quickly but this one sticks around long enough to enjoy it. Moving into the flavor you do get a lot of tart and tropical passion fruit. It's fairly assertive but also pleasant in this beer. I think the passion fruit plays well off of the light sweet pils malt. The malt profile is a bit lost as it is so delicate so you really need to pay attention to it to find it. The hop bitterness is certainly there and helps cut a bit of the tartness and sweetness from the fruit. The hop bitterness and spicy hop flavor are the most traditional beer-like quality of this offering. The balance of the overall beer leans pretty heavy on the fruit addition and I do think that's a bit of the focus anyway. You can tell the beer is well attenuated because if it wasn't it would be coming across sweet and less tart than it is. Moving into the mouthfeel the beer is lively and pops with enough carbonation to scrub the palate and leaves you ready for more. It's medium-light in body and has a good tactile feel in the mouth, not watery at all. There is no alcohol warmth or astringency. I do not know offhand if passion fruit pith is bitter or can  provide any negative contribution to mouthfeel, but it can I don't detect anything negative. 

All in all I could drink a lot of this beer as it's tart, fruity, and not sweet or sticky. The base beer hides a bit behind the fruit but it's a delicate style to begin with. But the crisp malt profile, the moderately assertive bitterness, and dry characteristic of the beer does pair well with the passion fruit. I obviously wish the fruit was more a compliment than the star, but I do feel that they did want the passion fruit to shine a bit once I was told the name of the beer.