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

Not Rated.
Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary AleWinter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 269
Avg: 4.45
pDev: 7.64%
Wants: 196
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:
Beer added by: soughtbygod on 05-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 269
Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #11 top American Double / Imperial IPA on the best of lists on beeradvocate.com. Ultimately an underwhelming IPA though.

Beer served in a Bruery tulip, generously shared by Thorpe429. Beer is yellow and hazy with a thin wispy head of small and tiny bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass, some carbonation.

Aroma is mildly earthy with some citrus and fruit hops.

The beer is thin and has a mild alcohol bite to it with only a moderately bitter finish and weak hop presence on the midpalate. The lead off is not sweet which is good, this beer failed to impress me though. Just another decent DIPA from Cali, nothing more, no need to search further.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to schmoopsbeer for getting this bottle out to me. Served in a Russian River "TION" glass.

Pours an apricot-orange color with a good white head and some nice spotty lacing on the way down. The nose carries a fairly-aggressive amount of tropical and citrus hops. Not much malt there at all, which is a good sign. The flavor is all hops with some citrus and then some additional tropical character. Not over the top hop character, but definitely quite nice. No noticeable malt, other than a bit in the feel. Medium body with good carbonation and a bitter finish. Really nice DIPA, though doesn't rise to the level of their Citra.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.85/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

Pours a light amber gold with three and a half fingers of white foam, nice tiny bubbles. Good lacing. Smells of citrus and tropical fruit (mango, fresh pineapple rind). Taste is similar, with a moderately bitter finish. Carbonation is too light, and so this lacks any crispness or bite. Something about the body lacks heft; maybe it's the absence of malt? In any case, this is pretty tasty, but the lack of carbonation takes away from my enjoyment.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.88/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Orangish colored beer with a decent white head that left some nice spots on the side.

S - Lots of tropical fruit with some bitterness, little bit of a sugar malt backbone. Has some green and earth notes that I didn't think were particularly good, although it wasn't bad.

T - Taste really about in line with the nose. Tropical fruits, some grass, and a little bitterness. Pretty solid.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - Good, but not great, DIPA. Enjoyed drinking it, but there's a lot of similarly solid, if not better, offerings out there.

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Photo of callmemickey
3.92/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-yellow body, larger white head caps it off, nice sudsy lacing left behind on the glass.

S: Bright citric and tropical fruits. Grapefruit, orange, tangerine.

T: Mostly a tangerine-like hop flavor. A bit "one note" as the bitterness that comes with this hop treatment is about all that is noticeable.

M: Medium bodied. Assertive carbonation. Bold bitterness throughout. Ju

O: A nice, big dIPA. However, I found it to be a bit one dimensional and not particularly interesting. Certainly not Kern River's Citra.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.97/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange with a small amount of head. Slightly cloudy apperance, minimal lacing left behind. The nose is chock full of hoppy goodess in the form of grapefruit, pine, citrus, and a dash of earthiness. The taste includes some honey and sweet malts to pair with the assertive hop profile that features citrus, pine, and resin. The taste becomes very bitter as it finishes. The body is somewhat big with medium carbonation. Overall, a very tasty DIPA, a little heavy for my liking but still very good.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, thanks to Gorefiendus!

A - Pours a copper rutsy color, white head, thin collar, whisps.

S - Bitter hops, sweet caramel malts, big tropical sweetness.

T - Hops, tropical citrus, dank sweetness, slight toasty malts.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - A solid DIPA but well have review again once the next batch comes out.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beige head. Color is a clear dark golden orange.

Aroma: Weedy and floral. Grassy. Bready malts. A lot of grapefruit.

Taste: Sticky, weedy hops. Hop resiny. Grapefruit. Some bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very sticky.

Overall, this was a good beer, but I don't see how this is top 100. Solid offering, but nothing earth shattering. Citra is a much better beer.

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Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden orange. Big white frothy foam head.

Smells overwhelmingly of bittering, pungent, almost floral/overwhelming grapefruit rind with a smidgen of generalized citrus and a hint of pine.

Taste is a blistering assault of pure grapefruit rind ... really no lush tropical or fruit flavors to found, just straight-forward bitter citrus with some pine. No malt content, at all. Kind of disappointed in that, as this beer needs some balance. If you're going to be this hop forward, at least a bit of complexity to the hops would be nice.

Okay. Drinkable.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle consumed at the brewpub because they didn't have anymore on draft.

A: The pour is a nice golden amber color with a rather large, fluffy whot head. Lots of sticky lacing to go with it.

S: Intense nose of pine, grapefruit, tangerine, and orange peels. Almost no malt character to it at all. There is a nice floral quality to it as well. Perhaps even a bit of perfume.

T: The bitterness almost dominates the flavor. There is a nice grapefruit flavor to it and plenty of pine, too. A decent enough citrus character and a light floral note.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation and a lingering bitterness.

O: This was slightly disappointing. It was certainly good, but it didn't blow me away.

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Photo of Bowman2001
4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a typical dipa color that you've read about many times--golden, mildly cloudy. It looks great.

I drank this directly after the Kern River Citra Dipa. Clearly not as citrusy as the Citra. That's not a bad thing, just a way to compare. I think my bottle is a few months old so I'm thinking the hop has faded. It smells mainly of malt with pine in the background.

Taste is a good, solid dipa. A good beer I could drink a lot of. Piney hops with a solid malt background. A mild sweetness in the background. Grassy and some faint lemon. More malt as it warms.

Overall: Certainly worth having but not something to drive many miles for or trade away favorites for. If you can get Hopslam each January, you're better off stocking up. Year old Hopslam is a better beverage than this one and reasonably well distributed.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.04/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a local beer store and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are extremely high given its current ratings, the hype, and the reputation of the brewery itself. No ABV is listed on the bottle. Label is okay.

Served chilled but not quite fridge cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with spicy noodles.

A: Pours a one finger white colour head - fairly thin - of some slight cream and of nice thickness. Retention is decent for the style (~2-3 minutes). Good sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Body colour is a fairly vibrant semitransparent copper. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Par for the style.

Sm: Appealing floral hops, wonderful pine character, clean malts, dominant oily nectary hop notes, grapefruit citrus esters, and citrus zest. The grapefruit isn't biting or overly sweet, and there is no detectable hop bitterness. Seems balanced and appealing. Fresh. I can't wait to try it. A moderate strength aroma. Fantastic for an IPA, but not ideal or perfect. No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

T: Nectary and wonderfully oily hops, with some balanced grapefruit of impressive depth of flavour. Some floral character complements. Pale malts form the simple unobtrusive yet well layered foundation. Lightly citrusy - just enough to refresh. Just a bit of hop bitterness on the finish, but it's well hidden for the most part - and completely concealed until that point. No hop bite or sharpness; it masters the key characteristic of a good IPA: balance. Refreshing and enjoyable. I'm digging it. I'm not blown away, but it's a damn good beer in the style. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Oily, smooth, and wet, with enough coarseness throughout to bring out the flavours. Near perfect thickness. Slightly overcarbonated, but it aids the assertive character of the hops. Feels tailored to the flavour profile. Very good execution. Refreshing, with excellent palate presence.

Dr: A highly drinkable Double IPA from Kern River - especially for its high ABV (which is well concealed). I could down this all night. That said, it's not amazingly holy-shit incredible - and in that respect it doesn't quite live up to its reputation. Still, I'd definitely have it again and it's a must try within the style. A great offering from Kern River. Met my high expectations. Worth seeing out. I'd recommend it to friends; in fact I got a second to send to one.


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Photo of Murrhey
4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. No bottled-by date readily apparent. Got this bottle up in Montana from my buddy Kojevergas. I confused it with the Winter Rye Ale.

A- Thick one-finger white head. Middling retention. Nice white lacing and orange body with high clarity.

S- Floral hops, orange blossom, rye and other floral notes.

T- Bitter-sweet. Well developed, floral and flighty. I enjoy this taste very much.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth and wet.

O- Well-received. I like this beer quite a bit. Extremely drinkable DIPA.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 22oz bomber to snifter on 2/4/12
*From notes

-- Thanks, Bill --

A: Glowing, unfiltered apricot in hue. A standard pour yields a one finger head, which evolves into a thick, white collar and minor lacing.

S: Top shelf. Juicy and ripe fruit, though it's not extreme or overly in your face. As it warms, a good amount of mandarin orange comes through.

T: Extremely crisp, and a bit lighter then originally expected. Nice, juicy hops run the gamut, though it doesn't smack the tounge with too much oil. The finish showcases a hint of white smoke.

M: Thinner then I would have liked. It makes it a bit easier to get down, but I like my DIPA's to be rich and decadent.

O: Kern's 5th Anniversary DIPA is another winner from one of Cali's top brew houses. It's not packing the kind of heat you'd expect, yet it's quaffable in ways many in-style are not. Easily recommended.

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Photo of oline73
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a golden hue. There is a finger of fluffy, off white head that fades to a layer on top of the pour. There is some mild lacing on the edge of the glass.

Smell: Lots of sweet citrus bitterness. A good amount of malt, but the thing that catches my attention is the citrus notes. It reminds me of tangerine and clementine. There is some warm alcohol in the mix as well.

Taste: Great balance of sweet malt and bitter hops, but the taste still manages to be light considering the abv. Citrus peel hop bitterness with some tangerine. The alcohol is still here, but not as prevalent as the smell.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly, delicate carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer, but I don't know that it lived up to the hype for me. I would have it again if they make it.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz, 2012 bottle, "Winter Ale". Big thanks to Rich for finding me a bottle.

Pours a golden copper orange, slightly hazed, with some small bubbles of carbonation supporting a thick creamy white head. Nose is pretty much purely hops, pine and sweet tropical fruit with a little lemon and grass keeping balance with some biscuit malt. Flavor is a little boozy and sweet; orange pulp, grapefruit resin, pineapple and a finish of earthy hops and pine. Medium thick, soft body, gentle carbonation and a slightly thin finish. Very good, but a little boozy and catty. Oh well, not every state can make IPAs like VT can. Maybe one day someone in CA will get it right.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kern 5th pours a light amber color with a big white foamy head. the smell is citrus and pine with a malty bread backbone. the taste follows through with big hop flavor and a maltiness that balances it out. the mouthfeel is a littl heavy for the style with high carbonation. overall this is a good ipa.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Thome50 for this bottle, shared with Dreadnaught33

A: Pours a slightly hazy light yellow/gold with a small white head and minimal lacing.

S: Alright, we are off to a good start here, smell is very nice, it's a nice mix of hops and citrus. It doesn't quite punch you in the face like some DIPAs, but I'm very impressed.

T: Taste is citrusy, hoppy and a little sweet. It's got nice balance, but this beer has no real hop bite to speak of. It's very easy to drink, but I want a little more hoppiness out of my DIPAs and this doesn't quite deliver.

M: Mouthfeel is light-to-medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: Another very good, but not incredible beer from Kern River here. I have to say that yet again (as I was with the Double Citra) I am a little disappointed in this beer. This one had a lot of the elements necessary to make a great DIPA, but just came up short on the bitter/hoppy side of things.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with starrdogg, thanks Matt. I think we both agreed this beer was good, but WAY overhyped.

A: Nice orange color with pretty good lacing and not much head, nice hazy look to it though.

S: Very juicy and full of citrus, the smell also combines some pine, tropical fruit and woodsy forest aromas. Some sugary fruits compliment nicely, overall a great IPA that I'm into.

T: Good overall, but does not match to complexity and density of the smell. A lot of bready malt to finish and nice citrus, tropical fruit pulp, and grass hops up front, overall theres a sugary sweetness that prevails in the flavor as well. A little overly sweet and fruity, but still nice.

M: Sweet and semi dry.

Overall good, but overhyped. Personally, if I'd trade for hops in CA it will be for Alpine all the way.

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Photo of HosP
4.17/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice cali dipa treat thanks to marisatheyounger.

Pours nice hazy Orange with large fluffy white head. Lots of lace left on the glass here. Nose has lots of hop aroma! Mostly grapefruit, citrus, and some floral hops at the end. Same in the taste. Grapefruit hops, some floral too. Piney bitterness towards the end. Some mild caramel malts too. Medium body with good carbonation. Very nicely done dipa. Hop heavy but like it that way. Thanks marisa for the brew!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Sean for sharing this one. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A voluminous white foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and spotty lacework. Murky peach flesh body.

S - Big tropical fruits, citrus, light dankness with a slight leafiness to it. Malt character is evocative of buttered biscuits. Surprisingly balanced, but I guess this is a DIPA rather than an IPA.

T - Again, it's a fairly balanced West Coast DIPA, with a hefty dose of lightly sweet and bready malts (is there pilsner malt in here?) mingling with citrus and tropical hop flavors. Surprisingly low bitterness, even after multiple pours.

M - Slightly prickly and zesty carbonation. Medium body, with a juicy and sticky quality to it. Could use a tad more dryness, but there's no perceptible alcohol at all.

D - To be honest I thought this was 6-7% in ABV and had multiple glasses. However, it was definitely a bit more balanced than I expected and lacked the dryness I really like from West Coast hoppy brews. Enjoyable stuff, but there are about 10 different Pizza Port beers I'd prefer over this one.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Cloudy yellow appearance, moderately lacy head that lingers.

A: Hoppy sweet, fruity, hints of banana & pine.

T: Punch of happiness with light lemon flavor, hoppy bitterness with some roasted malt coming through. Finish lingers a bit & stays dry.

M: Medium mouthfeel.

O: Overall tasty DIPA but nothing that separates from the pack.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.26/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DaveHack for opening this one!

This poured out as a really nice golden color, great clarity. The retention is pretty good, the lacing is decent too. The smell is lemony with some nice bright aromas. The taste is nice and hoppy, plenty of sweet citrus flavors. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a clean crisp finish and dry. Overall a very nice IPA worth trying for sure.

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Photo of beagle75
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with over one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intensely hoppy, featuring lush tropical fruit, pine, and mixed citrus. Substantial caramel malt is also present, completing the excellent smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with layered hop aromatics consisting of early citrus that transitions through tropical fruit. While the citrus flavors tend slightly toward the darker, they retain a sense of balance with the brighter elements not being trod upon too much. The later tropical fruit, which combine with distinctly peach-like esters, becomes pungent, encompassing the entire palate. Sweetness also peaks late, further accentuating the juicy, over-ripe stone fruit flavors. Both acidity and bitterness are kept restrained, with the former peaking early then vanishing, and the latter lingering harmoniously in the finish. Malt never steps to the fore, although a thread of refined toasted grain tries to evade detection throughout.

M: Medium viscosity, sticky and slightly syrupy on the palate showing an early acid bite followed by slow heat, with low carbonation.

D/O: With its blue-ribbon smell, this DIPA from Kern River further establishes the brewer as one of the top-tier hop-handlers in the state of California. It is worthy of mention alongside the beers of Russian River and Alpine because of the intensity of hops and other qualities that serve subordinately in the shadows of the hops. Flavors tend to get hung up on the peach-centric middle; while appealing, its complexity seems constrained somewhat by this quality. It remains a compellingly consumable member of its style, with minimal wear on the palate that is aided by the relatively low abv. It has been much more enjoyable than last year's Belgian pale anniversary ale.

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Photo of brystmar
4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 3/10/2012.

Orange-amber body yields plenty of fluffy white head. Good lace and retention. Bursting at the seams with fresh, juicy hop aroma. Did I just stick my face inside a grapefruit?

Tropical fruits bum-rush my palate, dancing in all directions with flavors of orange, mango, and citrus. No question this bottle is super fresh. The combination of fresh hops, creamy body, near-perfect carbonation, and high drinkability makes this one dangerously good DIPA. Need moar!

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Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.