Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale - Kern River Brewing Company

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Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary AleWinter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

269 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 269
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 7.54%
Wants: 211
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: soughtbygod on 05-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of DoesntMatter46
4.72/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I heard about this one from the Kern River Brewing Facebook page, when they stated their Anniversary beer was to be released at their brewery on Friday May 13th and it was going to be an 8% ABV, 78 IBU DIPA using Facloner's Flight hops. And once I heard it was being bottled, I knew I had to get some bottles.

And today I did. No ABV stated on label, but I'd take their word that it is 8% and not the 7% as it is listed here on BA, thus putting it firmly in Double IPA territory.

But open the bottle to get a nose full of mango, peach, and grapefruit straight out of the bottle before I pour it into my tulip glass to see a slightly hazy gold-orange color with a tight foamy white head that clings to the glass as I drink it. I go in for another smell only to get hit with that incredible aroma for a second time, and it's incredible.

After drinking the first half of the bomber, and it's damn near perfect. Not a hint of alcohol heat, dry finish, smooth bitterness, the main flavor I keep getting is fresh sweet yellow peaches, but also mandarins, apricot, dare I say papaya, and Hawaiian sweet bread. I want to drink this in sunshine.

Pleasantly carbonated, nice smooth mouthfeel.

One of the best DIPA's I've ever had. I wish I could get more bottles, and/or that this gets brewed again. Really a special beer.

Photo of RCM505
4.72/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had to choose this as my first review. 22oz bottle poured into a Weyerbacher tulip

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a nice 2-3 fingers of cottonlike fluffy head that slowly recedes into a nice evenly distributed surface coating. A nice web of lacing on the glass as I continue to enjoy this brew.

Smell: Citrus and more citrus w/ possibly some pine.

Taste: Wow this beer is fresh as it was recently bottled. Citrus fruits being the dominant feature here. Mainly grapefruit with some traces of lemon and possibly orange. Finish is nice and piney. There is a nice hop bitterness throughout that is not too overwhelming. Nice balance here.

Mouthfeel: Moderate crisp carbonation and medium body. Very refreshing and enjoyable.

Overall: I loved this beer and I wish I traded for more than one bottle. I cannot wait to have their Citra.

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

Bottle graciously sent by smarcoly and marissatheyounger, so thank you both! 22 ounce capped bottle poured into a globe glass.

A: Hazy golden-orange colored body with a thick and creamy white head. Great sticky lacing covers the walls of the glass, as well as leaving a patchy tight bubbled retention cap and ring. Gorgeous looking beer although I'd like a bit less haze.

S: Huge tropical and citrus fruits along with some slight floral hop notes. Orange, mango, pink grapefruit and peach all pour out from the glass giving this a massive aroma. The bitterness of the hops come in for some nice diversity, but it's just a massive "west coast" style Double IPA.

T: Like the nose, citrus fruits are at the forefront with more orange, pink grapefruit, mango, papaya and peach. A sharp bitterness comes in towards the back end reminding you what you're drinking and giving a really nice cut to the citrus flavors. The malts give a nice balance too.

M: Well carbonated, smooth and medium-bodied. There's nothing off about this feel, it's creamy with just the right about of bubbles.

It's hard to say if I preferred this over Citra DIPA but these are honestly neck-in-neck with each other. Both exemplify exactly what I love about "west coast" IPAs in general with their big citrusy and juicy nature. Another astonishing beer from Kern River.

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

A - This beer pours a hazy light-golden color, a bit like a light raw honey--unfiltered, a bit cloudy--straw colored. It has a large, 3-finger, yellowish-white head that diminishes to a much smaller, thin head over time. The head is almost describable as neon in color--as if the amount of hops used in the beer gave the head a slightly neon yellow tinge. Very beautiful and different for a double IPA.

S - The smell is incredible! It is so fresh and pure (mind you, this bottle was consumed the day it was released). The hops are so apparent but rather hard to describe. I've read that they used Falconer's Flight and Citra hops. They are citrusy and floral yet herbacious. It is reminiscent of fresh springtime floral pastures, chamomile, and other herbs. The hops are definitely the shining star in the smell, but they take on many dimensions.

T - First taste is unbelievable! So fruity, fresh and delicious! Again the taste is rather hard to pinpoint, just as the smell. But it tastes of light honey, fruitiness from the hops, maybe pine and thyme in minimal quantities. The beer is best enjoyed cold, straight from the fridge. As it warms, the alcohol peers its head above the floral/fruity sweetness.

M - It is moderately carbonated with a medium thickness in the mouth. The sweetness sort of lingers at the beginning, and then your mouth is left a little dry--tasting the bitterness of the hops more.

O - This bottle was had on the day they released the new bottles of this stuff. The release party isn't until tomorrow. I feel so lucky to live so nearby a brewery that is producing some of the most amazing IPAs and DIPAs around (and by "around," I mean the entire country). The process in which they add hops and the types of hops used are distinctly different from other breweries. I would venture to say that this is the best beer I've had from KRBC, beating their Citra DIPA. But seriously, in order to get the real experience of their beers (particularly their DIPAs)...they must be consumed fresh!

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

3 bombers received in trade with soughtbygod, thanks much Thomas.

Poured into my dfh snifter glass. Pours a nice bright copper color with a big soapy head. Smell is excellent, plenty of tropical notes, lots of orange peel, mango and peach scents. Very nice tasting brew, very balanced attack on the taste buds. Tends to lean more towards the citrus side of things and its very enjoyable. Excellent mouthfeel. Overall this is an excellent example of the double ipa style. Very drinkable beer with no hint of abv at all. Kern river really makes some nice ipa's and I really enjoy their beers when I am able to obtain them through trade. Highly recommended.

Photo of DearthVader
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Mike over at Glendale Whole Foods hanging on to a few bottles for me since I was out of town when this arrived.

Pours a cloudy orange that turns to a florescent straw like yellow when I hold it up to the light. A semi aggressive pour left me a beautiful two finger egg shell head. The head sat around for quite a long time and then settled to a cap that stayed fairly thick around the edges. Left gobs of sticky lacing on my Duvel Green glass. Absolutely stunning.

Quite subtle in the aroma. Definite notes of sweet malts, tropical fruits, pineapple, orange peel, pine, and some floral notes. You really have to get into the glass to pick these up though.

For whatever the smell lacked, the taste made up for. Absolutely flawless taste in my opinion. Upfront with the sweet tropical fruit base, followed by a nice grapefruit and citrus centered. The taste is closed out by that beautiful piney, dry, and hoppy finish. Outstanding taste to this one.

Mouthfeel is somewhat scary. I was shooting a BM to LSUPT and poured this right before I started. I realized by the time I finished my first glass which was roughly 11 oz, I wasn't even halfway done with what I was writing. Probably took me 3 minutes to finish those 11 ounces. This is insanely drinkable. I pick up no alcohol, it is lightly carbonated, and medium bodied. Spot on for the style.

I beg you, Kern River, please make this a year round offering. If not that, at least a seasonal or surprise us with bottles from time to time. This was an outstanding beer and I really hope its not a one time thing.

Photo of rand
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a the brewpub during their January 14th release party, poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Orange-apricot in appearance, clear, and forms a wispy, fluffy head that never fully recedes. One of the "cleanest" DIPA's I've seen.

S: The brew gives off a big bouquet of wet floral hops and citrus notes, rind-like. Honey-sweet malts are right behind, joined by a touch of booze. The entire bouquet is enveloped in a freshly baked pastry overtone. Really clean and fresh.

T: The sharp, floral hops rush to the front of the palate, which are surprisingly vibrant and bitter. The citrus aspects remind of grapefruit and lemon zest, and are nicely matched by lightly sweet honey-malts. The 8% alcohol is nicely masked, although the fresh bitter hops carry through the sip a little more than other Kern River IPA's, giving the brew a relatively vinous aspect. They also join the malty notes to dry and give the brew a cracker-like bite. Still, the finish is a perfect balance of bitter and sweet, with little lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium-to-light bodied, and with the ample carbonation, the brew seems to bounce off the palate. I don't like overusing adjectives, but everything about this beer is "clean".

I had to really think about whether I liked this beer more than Citra, until I had them back to back, and the nod goes to Citra. But still, Kern River is putting out some of the best West Coast style IPA's in the business.

Photo of n2185
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a clear golden-yellow with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: loads of citrus here. Oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit dominate with notes of pineapple. There is some honey sweetness toward the end.

T: grapefruit and orange dominate the flavor with earthy pine flavors. Lightly bitter with just a hint of alcohol presence. Delicious.

M: medium body and carbonation, this beer is nicely carbonated and avoids being too sticky or watery.

O: a great DIPA overall. Delicious and aromatic. Fantastic.

Photo of LSUPT
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another great CA IPA and big want from Brian.
Bomber to Duvel Green Tulip
I was a bit aggressive with the pour and got a nice 3 finger eggshell white head that gradually dissipated leaving some random lacing. A wonderful, deep straw yellow-orange body through which you can just barely see when held to light.

Smell is nice, maybe milder than when closer to the bottle date but still good, pine, caramel, grapefruit and pineapple all present, very sweet smelling as well.

Taste is phenomenal. Pine up front, fruity and floral in the middle and a lingering grapefruit bitterness. Mango, pineapple, orange peel and the kind of complexity of flavor that you love to see in a DIPA, and very drinkable, hard to notice any alcohol.

Mouthfeel is solid, on the low end carbonation wise, but I like that in this style.

The best DIPA I have reviewed to date and up there with the best I have tried period. This beer was a real treat, and definitely one that they should brew again.

Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.