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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.

393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 85
Gots: 62 | FT: 4
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
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Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vande


4.35/5  rDev +6.6%

a - thick, frothy, chocolate powedery looking head... deep, dark pour... still..silent..

s - oats, coco nibs, slight hint of coffee...some sugary sweet hints of pleasantness..

t - Very delightful. Hints of chocolate, slight appearance of coffee, sweet sugar, bit of malt..hops are hidden, but just evident.. Very nice!

m - smooth and creamy - almost silk like. Very pleasant.

o - I really enjoyed this beer and would take more if it came way!

03-31-2012 02:41:51 | More by vande
Photo of Rau71


3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

03-30-2012 03:02:06 | More by Rau71
Photo of areich6


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

03-24-2012 16:52:15 | More by areich6
Photo of Ultraman9000


4/5  rDev -2%

03-22-2012 04:08:53 | More by Ultraman9000
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.55/5  rDev -13%

Review from 4/2011 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark red brown, nearly black. Thin head and light lacing. Aroma of dark and roasted malts, hint of coffee. Medium dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate. Light to medium bodied. Lightly bitter finish with pleasant dark malt aftertaste. A pleasant, light bodied, but not outstanding stout.

03-22-2012 03:46:40 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of portia99


3.28/5  rDev -19.6%

22oz bottle picked up on a recent trip to San Diego poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark near black color. Four huge fingers of fluffy, milkshake-like foam rises above the beer...excellent staying power - really hangs on for several minutes, slowly bubbling away leaving behind a completely covered glass with frothy lace.

S - Lots of dark roasted malts up front. Chocolately, grainy, some dark fruit. Lots of fermentation esters. Very mild coffee hints. Grassy hops on the fringes, not much for hop bitterness. Smells good, but not really impressive.

T - Chocolatey, combination of milk and dark chocolates. Lots of hops, bitterness, grassiness. Roasty and earthy grains, dark fruity, estery. Can't place it exactly, but something is missing here...not really something wrong, but just not very satisfying flavor. Just ok for me.

M - Thick, creamy, frothy...quite full bodied, but soft on the tongue. Carbonation is a bit low probably giving more creamy feeling to this. This is really thick, almost like sipping on half & half in consistency...c'mon, we've all done that at some time.

O - Overall, just an ok imperial stout for me. Appearance is great and mouth feel is just behind that. However the aroma is lacking in intensity and complexity and the flavor is just, well, ho-hum. Had high expectations for this one, but was let down a bit.

03-20-2012 22:58:15 | More by portia99
Photo of azdback


4/5  rDev -2%

Poured into a Firestone Walker Proprietor's Series Glass. A very black and almost all light sucking color. Not much to say for highlights either. Head was a small two fingers light tan colored. The head has a frothy look but recedes quickly. Lace is very adequate.

Smell is of dark roasts. Dark chocolate covered coffee beans and some smoke or char. Not a hint of alcohol or hops. Quite nice though.

Taste is much better than the smell. The flavors are quite similar to the nose but much more subtle and blended. The chocolate and coffee aren't as prevalent but in a good way and the smoke or char is completely gone all together. There is some spice here too. I get just a hint of alcohol burn late but all in all it is quite nice.

Mouth and carbonation are both creamy. The consistency is more on the velvety side. Body is balanced and the finish is long and wet.

Overall I have wanted to try this for awhile and I wasn't let down. The deep roasted flavors of the smell end up being somewhat subdued in the taste and it wasn't a bad thing. Thanks to oya1time for the chance to try this one.

03-14-2012 05:08:58 | More by azdback
Photo of ngeunit1


4.48/5  rDev +9.8%

A - Pours a very dark black with just a hint of brown and a half-finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades fairly quickly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of roasted chocolate and some coffee with some earthy hops and a touch of citrus with a touch of sweetness.

T - Starts off with some roasted lightly bitter chocolate malts with some coffee and a touch of earthy hop. Through the middle, some sweeter milk chocolate comes through with a touch of citrus hop flavor. The finish is a mix of chocolate malts, some coffee, a bit of sweetness, and a touch of earthy hops that linger together.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth with a dry roasted finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really excellent balance of stout flavors. The chocolate is nice and rich but not overpowering and the body is spot on.

03-06-2012 07:56:44 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of FalconA


4/5  rDev -2%

03-05-2012 20:23:33 | More by FalconA
Photo of alwaysplayin


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

02-27-2012 19:19:35 | More by alwaysplayin
Photo of Topher78


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

02-26-2012 21:23:28 | More by Topher78
Photo of EricCioe


4/5  rDev -2%

02-26-2012 07:48:08 | More by EricCioe
Photo of surfotog


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

02-20-2012 00:22:48 | More by surfotog
Photo of Swervine44


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

02-14-2012 23:52:40 | More by Swervine44
Photo of AwYeh


3.15/5  rDev -22.8%

On-tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City for Kern River Brewing night as part of SF Beer Week.

A: This has the standard stout appearance: an opaque dark brown that's closer to black, with an initial finger of tan head, a light tan edge that hangs around for a while, and some lacing.

S: Very unique, enjoyable smell; I'm getting the frequently seen but rarely done so well coffee/chocolate/roasted malts combination. What sets this one over the top is an unusual woody smell– a lot like new lumber. It lends the beer a "full" character, like it should be taken as a meal.

T Huge roasted malts and burnt coffee combo- big and bitter even without an obvious hop presence making it so. A little sweetness or less acrid coffee flavors might have been appreciated; the roasted flavors build to an extreme as the beer goes on, and I definitely didn't see any of the sweetness I would expect from a beer that was described as part milk stout. Dark chocolate flavors are mostly peripheral, although they do show up as an enjoyable aftertaste once a bit of the roastiness subsides. I am really liking a slightly tangy, oatmeal flavor, which is providing some greatly appreciated balance.

M: Thin and fairly watery for the style; there's not much to latch onto here which results. I'm wondering what could have been if it was just a bit stickier to keep more flavors around for the finish. Low carbonation, but the beer's bitterness counteracts that to keep it from going down too quick.

O: The mouthfeel holds this one back a bit. I started out really enjoying my glass, but was considerably less excited when I got down to the bottom few inches. Probably worth a try if you see it considering Kern River's reputation and its other good reviews, but if you're making a difficult choice between this and another uncommon beer, the burnt flavors/light body of this one might tip the balance in the other one's favor.

02-14-2012 23:49:54 | More by AwYeh
Photo of jmarsh123


3.4/5  rDev -16.7%

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a finger of tan head. Decent head retention.

Smells of bitter chocolate, roasted malts and coffee.

Taste falls a bit short. Some more stone fruit comes through and much sweeter than the smell would indicate. The coffee and chocolate come through, but an almost rum cake flavor invades.

Pretty silky and oily with lowish carbonation.

Not horrible, but not to the standard of other Kern River offerings I've had. The sweetness can get overwhelming at times.

02-14-2012 00:10:42 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of ColonelW


4/5  rDev -2%

02-13-2012 11:41:32 | More by ColonelW
Photo of Dan25D


5/5  rDev +22.5%

02-11-2012 18:22:46 | More by Dan25D
Photo of nevins


3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

02-09-2012 15:56:49 | More by nevins
Photo of Texasfan549


4/5  rDev -2%

02-01-2012 18:48:27 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of kjkinsey


4/5  rDev -2%

02-01-2012 17:48:30 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of largefarva


4/5  rDev -2%

02-01-2012 16:53:22 | More by largefarva
Photo of Murrhey


3.73/5  rDev -8.6%

Had on tap at Hollingshead's Deli. I got the first pint from the tapped keg. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger and a half khaki head. Decent retention. Black in color.

S- Roast malts and chocolate scents.

T- Bitter and chocolately. Sweetness very present as well. Milky finish.

M- Surprisingly light bodied. Bitter finish and linger. Decent carbonation.

O- Good stout. Bitter and sweet but I have had better from Cali breweries.

01-31-2012 02:28:22 | More by Murrhey
Photo of Drinkerofales


3.88/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours black with no light penetration. There are hints of brown on the edges. A huge fluffy mocha head leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is roasted malt, chocolate, hint of coffee, booze, and dark fruit. I would say this smells like a brilliant chocolate black cherry rum mocha cake.

Taste falls short of the smell, bummer. There are hints of coffe and roasted malt, along with some dark fruit, but not near the aspect of the smell.

The feel of the beer hangs around, yet somehow is thinner than I am looking for.

The beer advertises two different hops, yet I get none in my experience. I truly wish the taste was as big as the smell, which would have put this beer over the top.


01-30-2012 05:33:57 | More by Drinkerofales
Photo of rtaps


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%

Pours pitch black into the glass, with about a 2 finger khaki head that has great retention leaving plenty of lacing around the glass

This smells great, a nice bland of rich chocolate and coffee beans, it's also a little sweet

taste is good too, sweet up front then you get the cascade hops used(just enough to notice their presents) it finishes with rich chocolate and roasted coffee.

pretty light bodied medium-high carbonation leaving the mouth watery and wanting more.

overall it a very nice always brewed stout. easy to enjoy. i like that it's sweet and you cant notice the hops.

01-26-2012 22:06:57 | More by rtaps
Class V Stout from Kern River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.