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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.

385 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 385
Reviews: 187
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: 385 | Reviews: 187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zorro


3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear very dark brown colored ale with a tall brown head. This is the nearest thing to light proof you can see through.

Strong chocolate and patent malt, smells a bit like burned chocolate cake. Sweet smelling this is quite cake like in smell.

Starts out sweet and bitter with a strong charred malt taste. Sweet than it seems at first this is mostly char with hints of chocolate and caramel. Hops stay basically hidden here.

Full mouthfeel.

Do you like sweet and bitter beer with a lace of chocolate? The you will like this. I give this an OK+ rating.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 02:15:16 | More by Zorro
Photo of Bitterbill


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Hi-Times Wines.

This pours from 22oz bottle a near pitch black with a 1 finger head of tan foam.

The smell is of roasted malt, some notes of chocolate and sweet malt, maybe a touch of coffee. It doesn't really have a big and bold nose so it takes quite a few whiffs to draw out what's there.

The taste is more assertive. I get notes of coffee, chocolate, light caramel malt for some sweetness, and some coffee and hop bitterness that comes out near and through the finish. The alcohol is noticeable as I get some warming during and after the swallow but it isn't overpowering by any stretch of the imagination.

Medium bodied, I'd say for the most part, bordering on full at times and at others..almost light(weird?), with a lightish amount of carbonation.

Drinkability? Doing slow sips is the ticket for this one but that can be said for most of the Impy Stouts out there so no big deal. This is a very good all around example of the style.

Oh and lacing is not a strong point but the head retention is above average.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 23:33:31 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of rallison


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprised by this one.

Nice tan head that leaves some lacing against a rich but not super thick black body.

Chocolate and light roast in the nose. This leads into a smooth, deceptively easy to drink imperial stout. Lots of soft chocolate, light roast, smooth coffee notes in the taste. Oats help to give this a luscious body. Not very complex, but very nice. I want to see more imperial stouts use some oats to soften the body like you see here. Light hop presence.

All in all, nicely done. Not amazing, but very pleasant and definitely something I would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 06:45:07 | More by rallison


4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with the darkness of chocolate syrup only slightly less thick setting pitch black in the glass. Head reaches nearly two fingers of milk chocolate brown with very solid staying power. Nose really gets the mouth watering with a nice mix of robust coco and soft smokey feel. That balance follows nicely into the taste with first sip. Toasty chocolaty tones are full and all over the tongue. ice dryness teams with hints of vanilla, nuttiness and creamy caramelized malts. Mouthfeel is thick and shows some malty thickness with ending dryness. Super drinkable, big, bold yet approachable. Realy hard to classify, somewhat dry stout, a bit of sweet stout, maybe even American double stout. Either way, very good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 22:10:56 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of PhiloPsych


4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear (not hazy) cola brown/black in the bottle with a light, fluffy chocolate mousse head. Smell is classic stout--roasted malt, chocolate, sweet, good. Creamy mouthfeel and creamy taste, very nice. This is a good beer. This is the first beer from Kern River that I've tried, and it's a hit. There is a chocolate and blueberry finish that I really, really like. The aftertaste is real good, too. I've had some big stouts lately that are overdone in various ways--nothing is overdone here. A very well put together beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 05:44:12 | More by PhiloPsych
Photo of SkinnyElvis


4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to solomon for this brew in a trade. Cheers! Pours jet black and with a very thin head. Smells of malt & coffee. Taste is an enjoyable mix of roasted malt and coffee. Mouthfeel is very smooth. It takes a few sips to detect the etoh but it is in there. This is a very good American Stout.


Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 17:49:47 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for sending this want of mine.

Pours a dark dark brown/black color with a very thin wispy head.

Smell is predominately coffee and more coffee, bit of a dark chocolate aroma is present along with a good amount of roasted malt.

Taste is like bitter coffee right off the bat and as an aftertaste as well, any chocolate presence is minimal in the taste, certainly a pretty good coffee stout, so just go in expecting coffee, coffee and coffee.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2008 00:10:29 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of Overlord


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really reminds me of Great Divide's Yeti Stout.

Pours a dark brownish black with little to no off-white head. Smells roasty, with coffee and chocolate ... and roastiness.

Taste is primarily roasted malt, with a big hop kick that came out of nowhere. The chocolate is definitely muted, but it's there, along with bitter coffee and some sweet caramel/cocoa notes.

Surprisingly good. Thanks to Solomon for the extra, and I'll keep an eye out for this.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 07:38:34 | More by Overlord
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer


3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CentralCoastGuy for this one.

Served at cellar temp from a 22 oz bomber into a Boston lager glass.

First nose was a surprising hint of pilsner or other light grain, mixed with a bit of roastiness and some pungent hops.

Poured aggressively trying to build up some head, but didn't manage more than a 1/4" tan cap of fine bubbles which quickly dissipated. Left notable lacing all the way down the glass. Color is jet black and opaque, maybe a hint of dark chocolate brown at the edge.

As it warms up, chocolate, coffee and a touch of smoke layer with some west coast hops, but [too] subtle. No hint of alcohol in this one, and seems like a lot of the aroma got boiled off.

Flavor is chocolatey and sweet, reminding me of a strong milk stout. Also a hint of smoke or licorice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is slick, with somewhat thin body and modest carbonation. Moderately low bitterness. Well balanced.

Drinkability is good. I think it would do very well on a nitro tap. This went really well with dinner (hot dogs and spicy chips). Nice American stout from little Kern River Brewing, who claims their Class V Stout is not for the timid!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 01:54:36 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 21:05:24 | More by ChainGangGuy
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Class V Stout from Kern River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.