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Kipling - Thornbridge Brewery

Not Rated.

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236 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 236
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 30
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: soulgrowl on 01-24-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 236 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of traumaqueen
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is full of flavors that can only be grown in hot climates and, indeed, has a level of sunny brightness that is rarely enjoyed in the UK. This thing sure looks like it's from the South Pacific. And given the frothiness of its surface, you might think it just came off the boat - foam abounds like the bottle was recently agitated.

All this talk about Nelson Sauvin hops got me excited. What I hoped when first smelling the beer was for my head to kick back, my eyes to roll up into their sockets, and my mouth to drop and my tongue to hang out. That's pretty much what happened. This bitter bouquet reeks of grass clippings and citrus pith. This has been dry-hopped to the nines! It's lovely.

The flavor is so lemony-fresh you'd think it was scrubbed with Mr. Clean. Other tropical fruit flavors include pineapple, lychee, passionfruit and under-ripe mango - it tastes like they got everything from the Thai-food aisle. Aside from the fruit, it also feels like you're stuffing your face with flowers; the texture is grassy and weedy. I feel like a lawnmower.

All these hoppy flavors, however, translate to disproportionately little bitterness. Much of the credit is likely due to a biscuity pale malt profile that is in good abundance and laces the beer with soothing traces of honey. It's thick enough to be filling, though not heavy enough to rule out multiple rounds. A reminder of the talents of British brewers.

You'd be hard pressed to find a more stinky, grassy, and tropical pale ale anywhere, including southern California. It's hard to believe this beer comes from jolly-old England. Or, then again, when you consider just how approachable and balanced - "sessionable" dare I say - Thornbridge Kipling is, perhaps it shouldn't be such a shock. A fantastic offering.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy yellowish color ale with a nice pure white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of fruity and floral hops with light grassy notes is very enticing. Taste is dominated by the grassy, fruity and floral notes form the hops with almost no bitterness notes and a solid malt backbone with well balanced sweetness that doesn’t detract from the hops. Body is quite full with great carbonation. Very well brewed with just the right amount of Nelson Sauvin hops to procure maximum enjoyment of this beer.

Photo of tenesmus
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a straight pint glass.

A vivid golden beer with gentle, even effervesence and a snow white head of light foam that settles to form a dainty cover. The lacing is intricate.

The nose well, the first hit is incredibly evocative of homegrown green weed, thanks for that Thornbridge. The components come through, grapefruit, further citric notes, lemon and lime, resinous pine and some tropical fruits, passion fruit and pineapple among them.

Tasteing, the grapefruit and pine resin are very much in the front row but joined by the tropical passion fruit and kiwi. Something a little bit medicinal in there. Theres some noticable malt structure, but a puckering bitterness and an aftertaste of grapefruit pith.

Feel is light, alcohol and carbonation not really prevalent.

I like this a lot. I can't help hoping it'll be like some beer version of skunk after getting a whiff of it, but the taste belies the aroma. Its quite a soft beer despite the grapefruit - a gentler cousin to Halcyon and Jaipur.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of HamJam
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of woosterbill
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Handpump halfpint at Craft Beer Co.

A: Clear pale amber body with a frothy white head. Ok retention, spotty lace.

S: Tropical to the max, with mango, pineapple, and tangerine. Some bready malt as well. Nice.

T: Opens with fruity hops - mango, melon, pineapple - and closes with clean maltiness. Bitter finish. Tasty.

M: Light, soft medium body; delicate carbonation. A bit weak, but ok.

O: It seems like every British brewer has some pale ale with NZ hops, and this one kind of blends in with all the rest. It's good, to be sure, but hardly distinctive.


Photo of jaidenjb
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of beerdrifter
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Nice clear golden-yellow pour with two finger pure white head with decent retention and nice lacing. The nose will absolutely blow you away. The Nelson Sauvin hops totally steal the show! Tons of that distinctive aroma full of grapefruit and tropical fruit, reminiscent of New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc wines. The taste is complex and also dominated by the Nelson Sauvin hops. Earthy, herbal, and citrusy at the same time. Hints of grapefruit, gooseberries, lemon, white grapes, pineapple, and an odd touch of green onion. The mouthfeel is oily and resiny with a light, crisp, and refreshing dry finish. Another awesome beer from Thornbridge!

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like a yellow wine gum for the colour of the body nice sudsy white head.

Rich and fruity on the nose, hints of pineapple and orchid with big hop hits waiting in the wings.

Bitterness comes through supreme on the taste making a tangy treat for the tongue full on hop hits, cones and all can see where the tropical references come from.

good solid mouthfeel slightly lively carbonation makes a tasty brew

Photo of DiscGolfRobot
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy light yellow with a finger high white head and a moderate amount of visible carbonation. The head dissipated quickly but left a very thin layer of bubbles and a decent amount of lacing.

S: Aromas of tropical fruits and citrus that were primary due to the presence of Nelson Sauvin hops.

T: The flavor has a pleasant amount of hoppy bitterness followed up by hints of grapefruit. The flavors are well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a certain crispness/cleanness.

O: As someone that really enjoys the smell and taste of the Nelson Sauvin hops, I found this beer to be quite enjoyable and a good offering that highlights the hop. This beer is a real easy drinker and has a very nice balance to it.

Photo of
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - very pale gold with a persistent, fluffy white head.

Smell - a little bit of grain and a lot ot tropical fruit. Pineapple, citrus, and tangy kiwi with a fruity, white wine character.

Taste - Again, a bit of grain and a lot of tropical fruit, but the flavours do not come off as fruity, and certainly not sweet. The tropical fruits of the aroma are present in the flavour, but are accompanied by solid bitterness, and an interesting tar-like note.

Photo of windypete
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The Nelson Sauvin hops impart interesting aromas of tropical fruits in the nose along with some notes of citrus.
T: The a light to moderate amount hop bitterness really stands out in this beer, which also has notes of gooseberries and grapefruit from the hops in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied, crisp and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink because it is well balanced. The Nelson Sauvin hops result in interesting aromas and flavors.

Photo of berley31
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of wordemupg
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into tulip 21/12/11

A clear bright yellow with plenty of bubbles feeding a large well retained bone white head that leaves several thick rings of lace that stick out off the glass, slowly falls to an island leaving lots of lace right down the glass

S quite tropical with pineapple sticking out, a little grassy and I can see how this hop got its name with a little vinous sauv notes, not quite cat pee but I see the similarities to the grape

T a little grainy with all the tropical fruit I could smell, slightly herbal and rather pleasant

M rather light and refreshing, some lemon rind on the aftertaste and perhaps just too many bubbles as its on the foamy side of creamy

O something different and I rather liked it, a nice mix of flavors and smell I just wish it was hot outside

I might be grabbing another one of these just to acquaint myself with the hop, I can't think of having this hop before and I'd like to have it again

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hearing the words "Kipling" and "South Pacifc Style" conjures images of the British Empire reaching to that part of the world over a century ago. Today, the English brewer Thronbridge is taking hops from that part of the world and fusing them into a traditional English style of beer. Here comes 500 ml of anticipation. On to the beer:

At first glance, it looks more like a lager with its washed out godlenrod color. The head has thick, rocky formation on top, which leaves plenty of strings of lacing around the glass. There's fun in the nnose; it feautres aromas of grass, melon, kiwi, and tangerine. Man, do I love these New Zealand hops.

The flavor profile leans a little towards the English side. But make no mistake, those Nelson Sauvin hops do make more than a mere showing. The canvas feautres a pleasant, moderate amount of butteriness and hard water minerals. On the canvas, the hops paint subtle flavors of grass, melon, pineapple, and vague citrus. Minerals and grassiness linger in the aftertaste. The beer has a light body with a semi-crisp carbonation that is refreshing.

A unique hybrid of a relatively old beer style fused with a relatively new varierty of hop. More importanly is that the hybrid works. I'm be looking forward towards more Thornbridge in the future.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml brown bottle. Pours out a cloudy straw hue with a frothy off-white head that slowly settles.

Sharp white grapefruit notes on the nose, some yeasty spice, backed up with some dry grains and very mild biscuity malt.

Juicy white grapefruit character up front in the flavour, dry spicy character in the middle, with grainy malt on the finish. Aftertaste contains a lingering of pepper and grapefruit pith.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, yet on the lighter end of that zone. Grainy, pin-prickly texture obtained from an assertive amount of carbonation.

A tasty, enjoyable English Pale Ale that gives a serious nod towards APA's. I'd reach for another of these for sure, and love the name's homage to one of my favourite writers.

Photo of PthPndr
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. The South Pacific is a new one for me, insofar as pale ales are concerned.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium apple juice yellow colour (decently pale), with a tall column of thick foamy white head, which leaves a combination of chunky and frilly lace on its slow slide to oblivion. It smells of pineapple citrus, musty straw, soft grain, and a weedy, grassy, teetering on skunky hoppiness. The taste is quite reminiscent of diving into a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - sharp, edgy, meaty tropical fruit, and tart, almost cat-piss-esque notes dominate; the malt is still underwhelming, of the mild crackery ilk, and the hops also seem weedy, funky, and musty. The carbonation is average, though a tad frothy, the body medium light in weight, and a bit too prickly to be considered all that smooth. It finishes just a wee bit off-dry, the grainy malt asserting itself somewhat, before a final blow of funky, fruity hops closes things out.

Well, the Nelson Sauvin hops do a damned fine job of furthering the terroir of New Zealand - so many strange flavours for a pale ale - a thought stolen from Old World white wine drinkers at some point, I would imagine. A little intense, and confounding, at first, but once settled in, I rather enjoyed this little antipodean experiment.

Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Daniellobo
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Kipling from Thornbridge Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.