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Kipling - Thornbridge Brewery

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104 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 248
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 35
Gots: 17 | 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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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 248
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.32/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle: slightly out of date when poured into an 'Old Speckled Hen' badged pint vase on 9th Dec 2012.

Pale yellow body with a slight haze to it: on top a rippling uneven head of white bubbles.

Tropical fruit aroma: the taste is simular but more citrusy with the dry citrusy bitterness getting stronger as the mouth loses the last drop of beer in each sip/gulp. This is a summers day brew, not a cold December evening one. Refreshing but not at all warming or cosy.

Well crafted but not a beer I'll be trying to find again: my taste buds prefer sweeter, maltier flavours. (579 characters)

Photo of BGDrock
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: white head, thick and bubbly; golden like a pineapple; clear

Aroma: pineapple and mango slap you in the face, with fresh hop bitterness balancing it out

Taste & Mouthfeel: medium-light body and silky smooth; mild sweetness is very different and balanced just right with bitterness - this ones is all about the hops; specific flavours don't play in taste as much as did in the aroma, but the fruit is definitely tropical

Overall: a great choice for summer with light, unusual flavours, and very easy-drinking (522 characters)

Photo of haz77
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear straw with a finger of frothy white head. The quickly recedes but a swirl of the glass easily refreshes it. A couple of streamers are visible.

S - Biscuity malt, guava, passion fruit, pineapple, some grassy (?) hops buried behind all of this. Fairly tempting.

T - The start is all biscuity malt before the tropical fruit really moves forward in the middle. Guava and passion fruit in particular are prominent at the end along with bubblegum. A lightly dry bitter aftertaste lingers for some time. Very pleasantly and easily quaffable, if lacking some depth of interest.

M - Medium body with soft, persistent carbonation, which finally fades at the end of the drink, leaving the hop bitterness to cleanse the palate. Solid.

D - Well crafted, solid brew. An easy drinker with just enough punch to catch you out. (831 characters)

Photo of crnipeter
2.82/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After reading several reviews I've got an impression I'm reviewing entirely different beer.

Pours somewhat dim gold with a finger of foamy white head that quickly sets.

Nelson Sauvin hops give it pronounced white wine aroma that overshadows anything else. Careful sniffing reveals ripe grapes and/or gooseberry.

It's often said Nelson Sauvin imparts tropical fruit flavors but I'm not getting any. The taste is massively grassy with dry finish having slightly harsh woodsy bitterness that lingers. It's light, crispy and palate cleansing. I miss the fruit character and the flavor seems to be deprived of malt-qualities, especially when considering Munich malt advertised as an ingredient.

In short,a decisevly bitter in balance ale with white wine aroma and grassy flavor (500 ml into pint, BB 04-08-2013). (814 characters)

Photo of seand
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent yellow light amber with a fair amount of fizzy white head. The foam dissipates to a thin layer quickly, but leaves reasonable lacing. Kind of looks a little like a crappy lager but the head has more resilience.

S: Really nice hops; subtle and complex and sweet and citrusy.

T: Mild, but there is some nice complexity here too. Starts sweet but leads into an airy hoppy finish. Nice.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, this is pretty great. I'd have this on tap all the time if it were common locally. Complex but subtle and without a huge ABV. (580 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass, served cold.

A: Hazy Butterscotch with a blizzard of carbonation. Scant lacing.

S: Citrusy lemon, fragrant floral hoppiness on a bed of malt.

Mouthfeel is soft with prickly carbonation

T: Bed of malt followed by a fragrant hoppiness and a peppery sting:

Notes: This is a tasty, fragrant, pleasing beer. Very nice. (365 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Against the Grain, Dublin.

Incredibly creamy steady off white cap of foam that leaves crusty rings over cloudy honey gold with some odd speckles. Sour lemon, mango and straight hop resin - fresh!
Lemon curd and mango then lots of grapefruit hops with some passionfruit.
Gooseberry and tangerine finish and dry nettle linger. Medium, some chew, round and smooth.

Tart and a bit dank up front, with the fruit underneath - there's kiwi and starfruit in there, too. Different with each sip, and the creamy body does wonders. Hops on parade but all without heavy IBUs.

Possibly the best showing for Nelson Sauvin ever. (630 characters)

Photo of fank2788
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle split in 2 pint glasses
Bright gold and mostly clear in the glass with a pure white head of fine bubbles which lace a bit. The smell is pretty incredible for an english pale ale. The hops give off a amazing variety of fruity aromas ranging from pineapple to citrus including grapefruits and lemons to mango. Beyond the hops there is a touch of caramel malt. The taste follows the smell but the fruit is toned down and the hops end up tasting more grassy and floral than fruity. Bitterness is fairly restrained as the hops are more flavorful than bitter, that moderate bitterness is balanced with a sweet bready maltiness. The mouthfeel of this beer is moderate with lively carbonation both of which are spot on for the style. The finish is just sweet enough and crisply bitter. Overall this is an incredibly flavorful, rather unique EPA that is a joy to drink. A world class example without question. (914 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this while recently visiting Ginger Man in New York. I took notes from my visit because they get beers that I can't find anywhere else. I recommend visiting that place... the beer selection is amazing and the food is limited, yet very tasty. On to the Kipling:

The coloring was very light/pale with one finger of head on a fluted glass. The smell reflected a decently sour nose along with some sweetness. Overall wholly unexceptional in the nose, which would be expected for an English Pale.

The flavor had a little unusual presence. I tasted some type of berry that really came through. There was even some bitterness from the hopping. I also got some grass and creaminess.

This beer was good but a little confusing. (726 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thornbridge Brewery
Style: English Pale Ale
ABV: 5.20 %

LOOK: Pours a pale yellow color, with a completely white soapy head. Leaves lace down the 20 oz glass, a reasonable presentation for an authentic English pale ale.

SMELL: Biscuity pale malts, some herbal and floral notes, and a small fruity sweetness.

TASTE: Upfront pale malt sweetness chiming in with flavors of fresh baked honey oat bread and a well placed hop bitterness. Nelson Sauvin hops were employed, and the hops really steal the show with a pleasant bitter with notes of herbs, grapefruit peel, rustic tea and pine. This tastes like a real deal, authentic as can be English Pale Ale. This is the kind of beer I wish was right down the street at the closest bar, because I can drink this all day. Resinous, almost sticky hops with a firm bitterness and bite.

FEEL: Light to medium bodied, crisp, and even slightly drying. A moreish bitter finish makes this for an easy quaffer.

OVERALL: A really impressive English pale ale. Easy drinking, great flavor, everything was spot on. If you get the chance to try this, don't pass it up. (1,109 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a lightly hazed orange/straw hybrid. Head is full and boastful. It refuses to die off. Laces efficiently.

S-Apparently this is all Nelson Sauvin hops. Boy does it smell so. The NS hops just wreak of eucalyptus, cucumber and other spiced vegetal notes. Very unique easy to identify. Malt adds a respectable balance, but those NS hops shine.

T-Yum. Spicy and vegetal with some rowdy citrus. The hops are really phenomenal here. Good malted balance too. The hops really give you those unique flavors of tea, eucalyptus, cucumber, fresh green grass etc.

M-Light and sessionable. Carbonation is flirty. Could drink this all night.

O/D-I am pretty much always disappointed with English hoppy beers. This honestly may be my favorite take on any such style that applies from the UK. Those hops are so damn cool and unusual. Great time in a glass. loved it. (860 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, straw color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of citrus hops, hint of sweet malt, hint of grass, slight floral hops, and slight spice. Fits the style of an English Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of slight earthy malt, floral hops, hint of citrus hops, slight grass, hint of alcohol, and a hint of pale malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and body. (459 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive English ale. Hop flavors are present in this beer vs. other English pale ales. Nose is citrus and definitely forward with grapefruit. Tongue is the same and has a deeper flavor profile than a lot of other English pale ales. One to remember for the next trip across the pond. (285 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a clear texture. There was an inch of creamy head that quickly dissipated. Very good lacing.

S: A very sweet, fruity, hoppy aroma. Extremely enticing.

T: Tasted of hops (a fair amount for an EPA), light malt, and lots of fruit (pineapple, grapefruit, lemon). A light, vibrant, sweet, likeable flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, silky finish. Light-bodied.

O: Not your typical English Pale Ale, but this isn't a bad thing. Extremely well made and drinkable. (545 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


I wasn't even aware of the Australasian-Style Pale Ale. Apparently this is one of them. Snifter.

A: Pale yellow gold with perfect clarity and a mountain of soapy white froth that lingers for many minutes before settling to a thin ring of foam. Excellent lacing.

S: The aroma is pretty awesome. Earthy and floral hops meld with soft apple and pear notes. There's a juicy fruit candy-like note in the distance and a bit of Chardonnay grape. There's a strong weed-like presence and some gooseberry. Malt profile is lightly toasted with some biscuit character. I love this aroma.

T: Assertive hop bitterness throughout with a very pleasant orchard fruit presence that brings to mind Granny Smith apple. There's a little orange and some toasted biscuit. Earth blends with lemon and a touch of passion fruit.

M: Upper light to lower medium body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, dry, crisp, and creamy.

Overall: I abandoned expectations heading into this and I was really surprised. This beer is delicious. (1,038 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am slowly emptying my reefer of bottles. It is not that I am totally averse to them, but I would prefer to be advancing The CANQuest (TM) instead.

From the bottle: "Thornbridge Brewery is a collaboration of innovation, passion and knowledge. Our brewers come with a variety of experience but all share the same desire to make great beers. Using the flavours of the land their aim is to put the art back into the science they were taught. Brewing has forever pushed the boundaries of technology. We found a way to use it to harness our passion for great flavoured beer. This means no pasteurisation or filtration. No stealing of delicate flavour and aroma molecules. This is Craft Beer as it should be. A complex combination of all that makes beer great. Kipling is a golden beer made exclusively with the fabulous Nelson Sauvin hop that imparts tropical fruit[-]like flavours. Thornbridge were [sic] the first UK brewery to use this hop. The beer's initial sweetness and medium body are balanced by a lasting bitter finish."; "Innovation-Passion-Knowledge".

Given all of the labeling as well as being able to see suspended particulate, I went with about as gentle a pour as I have ever employed. I still got a skim of bone-white foam that quickly became mere wisps, however. My second, lees-ridden, pour created a finger of rocky, off-white head with good retention. Lacing was prevalent throughout. Color was an ever-so-slightly-hazy sunshine yellow with lots of carbonation bubbles in evidence. Nose had an odd fruitiness, like grapefruit and pineapple together. Mouthfeel was very effervescent and it did, indeed, taste like a hybrid of a grapefruit and a pineapple. Finish was quite dry with the grapefruit taste simply lingering well after the swallow. I really must try more of Thornbridge's beers. (1,808 characters)

Photo of TerryW
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear golden yellow under a moderate white head that settles to a quarter inch cap. Good lacing.

Mmm. Great nose characterized by lots of fruity hops over top of sweet malt. Smells like it gonna be a treat.

And indeed it is a treat. This is a tasty beer, a very nicely done IPA. Very nice pine flavour, gentle but definitive citrus character. Great combination of flavours in just the right amounts. This is a very nice drinking beer. Just a little bit of sparkle from the carbonation.

Buy yourself more than one bottle of this. Very enjoyable. Recommended. (566 characters)

Photo of CanuckRover
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly bright gold. Nice white head bubbles up on the pour but settles to a film pretty quickly.

Winey fruit on the nose. Nelson Sauvin all the way. Grapefruit with a nice sweet backing.

Starts off pretty soft, with some mild English malt. Hops pick up pretty quickly. Big grapefruit flavours with a dusting of sugar and really aromatic floral notes. I find Nelson Sauvin accentuates any booziness in a beer and the same can be said for this one.

A really nice pale ale, characteristic of a lot of the pale ales coming out of the UK right now. (557 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before September 2012.

Pours a golden, modestly-foggy colour - perhaps with a slight tinge of amber, but in general this is quite a bit paler than your average pale ale (whether English or American). The brew itself is topped with slightly more than one finger of dense, creamy white head with solid retention - though it does eventually die down to a bumpy cap, leaving some modest lacing behind. Lots of juicy, fruity goodness in the nose - white wine definitely comes to mind, although there is plenty of grapefruit and other citrusy notes as well. It's fresh, floral, and definitely does its job - after a few sniffs I really want to take a sip of this stuff.

The nose does not lie; this is the good stuff. Fruity tropical hop flavours dominate the profile, ranging from citrusy grapefruit rind and lemon zest, to honeydew melon and pineapple, right down to basic floral, grassy dryness. The malt backbone is bready, with some light honey sweetness to balance out the astringency - still, the hop bill remains the more prominent facet of this brew's flavour. Slightly dry finish that lingers only briefly. On the light side of medium-bodied, with lively carbonation that keeps the brew crisp without becoming a distraction. This is a session brew par excellence.

This is a highly enjoyable brew, maintaining a reasonable semblance of balance as is common in the English style, but with plenty of juicy, tropical fruit hop flavours that remind me more of an American pale. Categorization aside, though - this is easily one of the best pale ales I've had in a long time, and believe me, I've tried plenty.

Final Grade: 4.31, an outstanding A grade. Thornbridge's Kipling claims to be a 'South Pacific Pale Ale', and its plethora of delicious, juicy hop aromatics and fruity flavours certainly do their part to evoke in my mind imagery reminiscent of that region. A superb brew, without any asterisks or caveats - just a fabulous pint all around. This should be on shelves year-round, but I'd settle for it being an annual LCBO import. (2,077 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Thirstybird (thanks Rian). 26.05.12 indicated on the bottle. Pours a straw gold with a rocky, half inch head embedded with tiny pinpricks - some particles are evident floating in solution. Great nose on this beer - mild tropical fruit notes, citrus and a light earthy character. Taste follows nose; however, light malts also manifest in the flavor profile, with an earthy presence through the middle and back, a slight buttery character and a mild, lingering earthy bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a pleasant, even carbonation and a light acidity that refreshes the palate. Overall, a very pleasant and easy drinking EPA (perhaps one of the best I've had to date). The Nelson-Sauvin hops add a really great character to this beer. Well worth trying if the opportunity presents itself. (836 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Best before 01/09/12 (September 1 I guess?).

Hazy orange with a couple fingers of white head. Good retention, patches of lace. Nose is sweet, spicey and piney. Tropical fruits and a sweet malt character. Nelson hops are certainly the feature. Taste exemplifies Nelson again, great tropical, light white wine and herbal/piney character. Good hop bitterness, and only a small bit of malt breadiness/sweetness. Medium body and carb - much improved than the disappointing experience I had with the Jaipur. A real solid Nelson pale ale. (574 characters)

Photo of decimator
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV marked as 5.2%.

A - Poured a deep gold with a slight haze to it. 1cm creamy head. Head reduced to a thin cap. Some lacing.

S - The fruity hops hit first with aromas of pineapples, apricots, and gooseberries. In the background I can pick up the sweetness of the malts. Overall it smells quite inviting.

T - Some sweetness with hints of caramel, fruity sourness such as grapefruit, a piney bitter finish.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, slick, crisp & dry finish.

O - Oh this is good stuff. Will definitely pick more up while it's still available. (598 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before 01.09.12. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium yellow with an orange tinge in the centre. One finger of bright white head with good retention.

S - Decent bitterness evident up front with citrus, pine and tropical fruit aromas. A slight malt sweetness in the background. Some lighter lemon aromas are present as well.

T - Moderate bitterness up front (about as expected for the style). Lemon, grapefruit and pine flavors from the hops. A very slight malt presence.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly over carbonated. (550 characters)

Photo of mintjellie
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale gold with slight haze, and a generous topping of pale white foam. Excellent retention and spotty lace. Aromatic notes of passionfruit, gooseberry, and dank skunk weed. The tropical fruit continues to come on strong in the mouth, with an assertive leafy bitterness appearing midpalate and lingering through the finish.

Light-bodied with moderate carbonation without feeling thin or watery. It feels slick. I love the deep tropical hop character this beer has. In my admittedly limited experience, this might be the best IPA I've ever tasted. (546 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very pale with a rocky white head - reminiscent of Duvel. Lace drapes the glass on the way down. Tropical fruit and perfumey hop oils fill the aroma. The taste is hoppy and very interesting due to the Nelson Sauvin hops. Melon, passion fruit, white grape hop flavors lie on top of a light biscuity malt base. The mouthfeel is light bodied and moderately carbonated. Bitterness lasts quite a while in the finish, as well as the nice fruity flavors of the hop used.

This is a very tasty, hoppy pale ale. Really showcases these delicious fruity hops well. A bit expensive, but worth it as a treat. (601 characters)

Kipling from Thornbridge Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.