Reading a US rating along the lines of “not a typical Kölsch” for this one really made my pedantic EU-terroir spine tingle…
Not to target admin decisions here, or to flog an already restabled horse, but just to riff on this a bit & ride my dada of a broader EU Kulturvergleich:
For me the difference with Taras Boulba is a categorical one. Moving Taras from Belgian Ale to Session IPA would be a matter of sheer marketing (cf Palm, De Koninck from spéciale belge to APA), regrettable though it might be: DLS has almost singlehandedly (well, along with De Ranke) reinstated the street credibility of drier, hoppier Belgian “simplex” ales in the wide new international playing field. Imho they do not need really the (Session) IPA moniker to thrive, even internationally. If anything, it’s a sign of provincialism to want to be part of a mroe faceless international movement that includes nations without a style pedigree.
De Ranke does not seem to explicitly market Simplex as a Kölsch, nor, technically, as a lager. They only refer to the drinkability/sessionability of long-gone, BE pilsners, part of their mission of reviving “olden days” bitter & lighter ales. I agree there is a similarity in terms of top-fermented & lagered…but much more discrepancies: filtration, malt and hop bills being the lesser ones.
Ergo: glad this revivalist Belgian beer has been technically reclaimed as a non-hybrid ale and is no longer forced to cross a EU national style border to prove a point (and make unsuspecting RB newbies land across the border in Cologne upon first encountering it).