Alright, I went through the top 50, retired some and changed the styles on some coffee, tea and fruit flavored ones. One other Köln Kölsch (Braustelle Helios) popped up.
And, honestly, the “India pale kölsch” “kölsch-inspired” beers, apart from the top 2, aren’t that prevalent. Maybe a third at best, and I might be overexaggerating. Most seem to be more or less honest takes at the base style, largely brewed in US and Canada.
What could cause that? Well, Kölsch is delicate as fuck. Not all Köln Kölsches are that good perhaps - and some don’t travel well, and when a lot of ratings for those will be for old bottles/cans/whatever, you can’t expect a high score.
Also, Kölsch is by default a much more bland style than most (nearly all) - any tweak towards the modern, if made fairly well, will be seen by the modern palate as “more interesting” and even “better” - while, ofc, most traditional ones just wouldn’t do that, limiting themselves to a very strict definition of the style.
Another aspect might be the inherently more generous ratings (won’t say just of local beers) by the American raters than the European ones. Also, same as for lager styles (like CZ pilsners), a kölsch take that may be middling in the traditional sense may seem world class if there’s no reference and/or the competition is worse. For example, many times I’ve heard that an extremely highly scored US pils is “almost as good as Pilsner Urquell”, and very few beer geek locals would say that PU is the best CZ pils in CZ (apart from the cellar version) - those that are better, however, end up scoring less - less generous locals (or Euro raters), less ratings, tourists running into a slightly sub par batch and 200 other possibilities.
There’s many potential variables that result in this.