Killer Light

Brewery: Zilker Brewing Co
Style: Kolsch (5B)
Package: 12oz Can
Purchased: Tech Ridge HEB, June, 2019
Canned Date: May 2, 2019
Consumed Date: July 24, 2019

Details From the Brewer

ABV: 5.0%

A simple, clean German-style Kolsch that’s ready to throwback. True to style with Pilsner malt and yeast sourced from Koln.


Aroma – 7/12

A grain husk note hits the nose first.  Slight touch of honey and cracker with a low sweetness.   Low amounts of apple and pear esters from fermentation peak through.  There’s a feint floral hop character.

Appearance – 3/3

Pours a deep straw liquid, bordering on golden.  Clarity is excellent, with no obstruction.  Small pure white bubbles make up a dense inch-high head that lasts with average retention.

Flavor – 16/20

Malt is the primary flavor with crackery pilsner character at a medium low intensity mixing a low bread crust.  A low level of sweetness comes out towards the midtaste.  This carries with it a light red-apple ester.  A low bitterness comes out towards the finish and persists through the aftertaste.  The malt character fades quickly as the liquid leaves the mouth.  The finish is crisp with a slight chalkiness.  As it warms, there’s a touch of papery oxidation.  Balance is a bit towards sweet, with malt being the primary flavor driver. 

Mouthfeel – 3/5

Medium carbonation prickles the tongue. Medium bodied.   Low levels of alcohol barely warm the checks.  Low-moderate grain astringency on the finish.

Overall Impression – 7/10

This does a good job of hitting most of the marks for a Kolsch.  It’s nice to see a good pilsner malt character present.  The fermentation esters are a bit suppressed, and could be incrementally stronger.  The astringency left in my mouth on the finish is really distracting though, and takes away from the drinking experience.    That’s really the only glaring mistake on this, other than brightening the malt character, which would push this up to the next level.

Rating – 36/50

I always like seeing breweries attempting difficult classic styles.  Similar to light lagers, there’s not much to hide behind here.  Plus you’re going for a subtle, yet present fermentation character, rather than a blank, crisp canvas.  This is one of the better Kolsch to come out of Austin, but with a recent onslaught of new ones becoming available, we’ll have to see how it stacks up in future reviews.