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Class V Stout - Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Class V StoutClass V Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

427 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 427
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 91
Gots: 67 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
River rapids are rated by a numeral system. Class V is the most difficult level rapid that can be negotiated.

This non-traditional beer is an Oatmeal Stout, Milk Stout and an Imperial Stout all in one. With a complex flavor profile ranging from coffee to chocolate, the sweetness is complemented with Chinook and Cascade hops to produce an extraordinary finish. But at 8.5% ABV, don't let the smooth taste fool you; this beer is like the Kern at high water - "Not for the Timid".

(Beer added by: mcallister on 03-01-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Class V Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 427 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tasty, mostly chocolate 1.5x stout.Roastiness, though understated. Greeted by bittersweet chocolate and a very hoppy beer at 75 IBU of Cascade and Chinook. It all works. ABove average mouthfeel. Pitch black body, with a good amount of brown foam head.
Thanks Augustgarage.

Sammy, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

t0rin0, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.7%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque pitch black with a huge 3 inch chocolate milk colored head that fades to a small cap. Good latticed lacing on the drink down. Smells of espresso, cocoa powder, and some citrus zest hops. A very tasty beer with roasted coffee/espresso beans, semisweet chocolate, vanilla, and faint citrus hops. This beer is sweeter than I was expecting with the bitterness coming more from the coffee/espresso and hops tastes. Carbonation level is somewhat low which makes for a very creamy and thick feel in the mouth. Overall, this is an amazing stout that I have been sitting on in my fridge for months now. I am glad I finally cracked it open. The price of $4.99 for a bomber is sure to have me coming back time and again to this brew.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

djrn2, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.7%

zestar, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -1.7%

acurtis, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to overlord for this bottle.

A: Pours a near-black with an initially-large tan head. Settles down into a nice outer ring around the glass.

S: Dominated by chocolate and coffee, in that order, alongside a lighter presence of roasted malt.

T: An explosion compared to the nose. The chocolate, coffee, and roast are definitely there, as are molasses, brown sugar, and hints of vanilla. Extremely well done.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. A bit thinner than I'd like it to be.

D: Very nice. Intriguing flavors and fairly-low abv for the style. This was a nice treat and I'm very glad I got to try it. Thanks again, Mike.

Thorpe429, May 25, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Texasfan549, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -1.7%

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.7%

kjkinsey, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a viscous black with a thick, milkshake of a head that leaves a lot of lacing behind

Smell: The hops leaves an impression on the nose, though there is plenty of chocolate, licorice and molasses underneath

Taste: Chocolate flavors abound, up front, though the lactose and brown sugar create a very sweet character, in the middle; the hops balance the sweeter flavors out, after the swallow, but the overall impression is a tad sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; somewhat creamy; moderate carbonation

Overall: This bottle has been in my cellar for a couple of years, so the sweetness may be the result of the hops fading away; would like to try a fresher bottle on another occasion

Thanks to the unknown BA who sent this to me as an extra some time ago

brentk56, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black forest cake with wee glimmers of sepia along the bottom edges and a thick slice of caramel nougat colored cream occupying the upper fourth of the pint glass. Remarkable persistence, continued good looks during the descent, and a lovely array of sticky lace are highlights.

The aroma is incredibly aromatic and features the olfactory wonders of roasted-chocolate malt above all else. Bittersweet chocolate and black coffee are in the foreground, while citrus zesty hops (Chinook and Cascade) are in the background. Very good things are expected.

Kern River Class V Stout is a hoppier than usual American double stout (although right in line with many West Coast versions) that drinks lower than the 8.5% ABV would suggest. Unless the alcohol hits with monster truck force in a few more ounces, I'd have guessed no more than 7.0%.

Most malt lovers will probably complain about too much citrus juicy hop flavor intruding on the roasted coffee bean (espresso) and dark chocolate goodness that beer of this style usually delivers. And they would have a point, since malt power and depth of flavor is a little lacking. Hopheads, however, should be mighty pleased.

Mouthfeel is the biggest reason why CVS seems more like 1.5x stout rather than double stout. It isn't as meaty as it should be, and the carbonation is too subtle besides. More barley and better bubbles would have allowed an increase in each of the final three scores.

Kern River Just Outstanding IPA is incredible beer that fits my preferred American IPA profile to a 'T'. Class V Stout isn't that good, but it's still damn fine ale that is a malt infusion away from being amazing. Recommended if you love the lupulins.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A jet black pour with a small mocha colored head on top. There is very nice lacing on this one, which I wasn't necessarily expecting.

S: The smell is primarily dark roasted malts, but there are nice coffee and chocolate components to this as well.

T: The flavor is a bit more intense than the nose, which is a pleasant surprise. The flavors are fairly intense chocolate, roasted malt, and some mild coffee.

M: The body is a little thinner than I would have liked, but still nice. Carbonation is also quite low, but I like that in an imperial stout.

D: This is definitely not a "huge", chewy, thick beast of a beer. But, it's definitely a solid stout and I found it to be surprisingly drinkable.

womencantsail, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a thin, quickly dissipating off-white head.

Smell: Dark malt aroma with notes of chocolate, licorice, and roasted grains.

Taste: Dark maltiness with a high degree of roastiness and a solid semi-sweet chocolate flavor. Hint of licorice. Some earthy hop bitterness, but the roast really provides the balance to the medium sweetness. Touch of acidity. Dry finish with a lingering roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: While I wouldn't exactly say it's "the greatest beer I have ever tasted", it is quite a solid stout.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.7%

SocalKicks, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The better part of a bomber shared with Sandstone, I used the remaining 4 oz for ticking purposes. A hard pour leaves me with a near-lifeless midnight black body. This bottle appears to have some carbonation issues, though it's not completely flat. The aroma is excellent, rich dark chocolate and sweet espresso up front, with a light hoppiness taking backseat to the malt. It's chewy and viscous on the palate, initially sweet but more bitter and dry towards the finish. Dark chocolate is the dominant flavor, but it's balanced by a subtle earthiness, dark roasted coffee and a faint spicy hop presence. Pretty nice stuff, I'd love to try a fully carbonated bottle.

largadeer, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1.7%

JAHMUR, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left thin sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - Aroma is powered by molasses, chocolate and toffee. There are some subtle floral notes, too.

T - Great chocolate flavor with some burnt molasses flavors. It had a nice bitterness from the hops to balance things out.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. Medium to full bodied with a very clean, dry finish.

D - This is a really easy drinking Imperial Stout. The alcohol content is lighter than most and makes it a nice brew to drink.

zeff80, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured nearly pitch black into my new hand blown Dogfish Head glass, brownd ruby edges when held toward the light. Dark tan head forms nice and thick with chunky sporadic lacing forming nicely between sips and as it settles. Aromatics offer up dark chocolate and coffee roasts with hints of anise and herbal hops in the background. Flavor wise the chinooks were evident with a green spicy herbal leaf flavor amongst te dark creamy chocolate and coffee bursts. A very nice big American stout from the west coast, these Kern River beers are so drinkable this one has a big body but nothing about it hurts the drinkability. Carbonation is smooth and mellow slightly chewy with body being so big, but it never becomes cloying. A beer I will be on the look for if it every comes East or shows up in the Burgh.

WVbeergeek, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On nitro-tap @ Beachwood BBQ (Seal Beach, CA) on 3/20/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black in the glass, being topped with a finger of EXTREMELY smooth and creamy mocha colored head. Naturally, this stays rich from the nitro, just completely slathering the sides of the glass with rich lacing. The aroma is burnt roast and coffee, with thicker notes of chocolate and toffee giving this some sticky heft in the nose. Hops are present as well, with some earthy, herbal, and a touch fruity, character hanging around in the background. Maybe a touch muted here on nitro but not bad at all overall.

The taste is packed up front with fudgey chocolate character and sticky caramel notes. Dark roast and coffee rears its head a good bit, but the overall profile is leaning more towards those sweeter malts. There is a good bit of earthy hops and citrus towards the back of the flavor profile but the bitterness itself stays at a moderate level, allowing the more roasted aspects of this to do the work for it. Satisfying dry-roasted finish on this that keeps you coming back for the next sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with an amazingly smooth and creamy texture to the carbonation here on nitro. I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that this beer was 8.5% ABV based on how easy this drank. Just effortless!

Another awesomely well made brew here from Kern Valley. A Stout this rich, robust, and big shouldn't be able to be drank this easily. The nitro really gives this a killer drinkibility that could easily get you in trouble if you had a few too many.

Kegatron, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of oline73
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown color with a half finger of creamy light tan head. The head fades to a thick layer on top of the pour and leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smell: Smooth and roasty, not much bite to this one. In the background I'm getting some cocoa and dark fruit.

Taste: More roast then I got from the smell, but it is still rather smooth. Dark chocolate and some dark fruit. The finish isn't particularly sweet and is full of roast.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with very smooth, thick carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very well made stout. The balance was very nice. I would definitely have more in the future.

oline73, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer served in a tulip, beer is black and forms a thin brown head of tiny bubbles that breaks and gravitates toward the walls of the glass. Head leaves a lot of lacing.

The aroma is sweet and roasty with a hint of alcohol. Maybe some chocolate is in there as well.

Beer is slightly thinner than expect and has a nice sweetness and chocolate notes to it. Really nice. Second taste, the roast on this beer is overall mild and mostly shows up in the aftertaste, very smooth on the palate. I really like this stout. Top notch.

drabmuh, May 05, 2010
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Class V Stout from Kern River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 427 ratings.