1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

268 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 268
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 7.54%
Wants: 214
Gots: 16 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 268 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arfenhouse
4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden yellow with off white head. Good retention and some lacing.

S: Tangerines mainly. Pine and spicy hops with pineapple and a bit of mango. Some sweet malt in the back.

T: Grapefruit pineapple bite upfront. A very brief presentation of a sweet peach and malt flavor. Pine, spicy hop, and a touch of alcohol in the back end.

M: Medium bodied with medium-light carbonation. Carbonation is fine. Drying.

O: I'm pretty sure this beer is a bit older than I would like but it held up nicely.

arfenhouse, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of OlieIPA
4.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A little cloudy with a off-white colored head; clears up after a few minutes though.

S: Orange and tropical citrus are evident up front. Nothing other than that comes to fruition after that. Robust and slightly complex are the best descriptives for this brew.

T: The hop characteristics (orange and grapefruit flavors), not necessarily the bitterness, hit the palate first. The tail of the beer has a strong grainy quality that balances all the hop flavors that are abundant in this beer.

M: Medium body with a slight dry finish.

O: A very good DIPA. I'm a big fan of PtE and Alpine IPA's, and I truly feel this can compete on the same level. A must try! Cheers!

OlieIPA, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of OakedCanuck
4.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into pint.

A - Pours a nice deep orange with yellow highlighted edging. 1.5 fingers stark white head, medium lacing. Looks good

S - All citric fruits! Juicy lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lime, and so on, very nice

T - Incredible flavour. Lots of fruits, actually, almost all fruits. Oranges, grapefruit, madarins, lemon, and I think even some nectarines (maybe not ;). A slight hint of pepper on the back end but this is a juicy, tasty beer

M - Fairly light beer, slightly tacky, ABV not noticeable.

O - Very refreshing, excellent summer beer. I had this out on the patio after a hot day and man did it hit the spot. Fantastic beer.

OakedCanuck, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to glitchedmind for this one!

A: Pours a semi hazy orange color with a large, two finger white head on top, very thick foam with great retention and lacing all around.

S: Nice tropical fruit aromas, some grapefruit, pineapple, and citrus zest. A little bit of grainy malt as well. Thick and juicy, but not over the top.

T: Nice grapefruit up front with more zest/pithy flavor. Tropical fruits and some light bready malt. Very well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with no sign of 8% at all.

O: Another great IPA from Kern River. Hopefully they continue to make this one!

mdaschaf, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of iadler
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz poured into a tulip glass. Big thanks to DearthVader

A- Pours a hazy orange with a nice fluffy two finger head. Leaves thin lines of lacing.

S- Lot's of citrus upfront with some grapefruit and orange and some tropical notes including pineapple and mango with some pine and caramel malt as well

T- Citrus hops including mandarine, orange peel and grapefruit with pineapple, mango apricots, peach and melon. Hint of pine and floral hops with some nice caramel malt backbone.

M- Medium carbonation and body, Sticky and slightly dry finish. Very drinkable.

O- Another great IPA from Kern River. Great tropical and citrus notes with very little bitterness. Really excited to try the Citra when it comes out. Highly recommended.

Thanks again Brian!

iadler, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of MEsoJD
4.36/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

[Poured into a generic pint glass]

I: When I see a bottle from Kern, I usually pick one up without much thought taking into account that they are kind of a rare beer at the store. While I've never been impressed by their brews, I'm usually satisfied. Here's to hoping to be impressed by their Winter Ale. [Update]: I believe there was a labeling error(it has the Winter Rye Ale) and instead got the 5th anniversary winter ale. Appearance and taste do not reflect the label on my bottle based on other descriptions.

B: [8.00% ABV 1 Pint 6 FL OZ 2013 Bottle] This isn't the most attention grabbing bottle by them I've seen. That said, it has winter written all over it(snow and flakes). Label is missing that glossy feel that I've come across in previous brews. As for info, the label leaves much to be desired. No back story, abv, brief description other than winter ale, etc.. Overall it's not the shelf worthy at this point, unless it can amaze during my taste.

A: Orange transparent body with a bubbly white head that settles into a thin layer of cream(slow dissipation), and good lacing.

S: Orange citrus and cascade hops.

T: Loads a big spicy citrus(enhanced by carbonation as well) with slight creamy sweet malt, slight sour lemon zest,orange, and grapefruit.

M: slick/crisp finish, medium body, medium carbonation, and little apparent alcohol.

O: Very tasty and drinkable DIPA with great citrus presence. There's no going wrong with picking up a bottle of this stuff. While I'm confident that my bottle is the 5th Anniversary Winter Ale IPA, I can't be 100% sure do to a mislabel. Whatever it is, I could drink it all day. I would recommend and buy again.

MEsoJD, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a yellowish orange color with a 1/4 inch off white head and good retention with some spotty lacing

Smell: Copious amounts of tropical fruits

Taste: Based on the nose it is a bit of a let down. The flavors are of grapefruit and other tropical fruits but way muted based on the nose

Mouthfeel: Medium body and fair amount of carbonation

Overall: Not nearly as good as citra but still a damn fine DIPA

DarthKostrizer, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared at a tasting at MrHirschybar's place.

Pours a murky honey orange with a tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of lots of tropical fruit and citrus zest with a nice malt backbone. Taste is the same with a very delicious hop profile. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that reminds me of Citra (although I slightly prefer Citra). I am very happy I was able to try this beer after reading about how good it is.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of kawilliams81
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a dark golden with a 3" off-white thick head. Big rings and clumps of lacing cover the glass.

S- amazing! Honey, caramel, biscuit, huge pineapple and passion fruit along with more citrus and melon notes,.

T- sweet caramel, biscuit, pineapple and more citrus, some orange rind bitterness and some spices.

M- medium body and carbonation. Just a little thin but but is rather smooth.

O- very good dipa. Absolutely love the aroma and the flavors don't lack that far behind.

kawilliams81, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. This is a beer I have been looking forward to trying.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is awesome. I get a ton of tropical fruit notes with some bread from the malt. The fruit I get includes papaya and pineapple.

The flavor is also extremely fruity. I get a ton of papaya, mango and pineapple with some bread notes. There is some nice hop bitterness but the majority of the hop character comes through as fruit.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An awesome beer.

Mora2000, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Sideswipe
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking for this one for awhile without success so I was pretty happy to run across it by chance at my local bottle shop.

Bomber into my Hangar 24 snifter.

The beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with a couple of fingers of white foam. Nice lacing. The aroma hits me while I'm still pouring. A wave of citrusy, piney aroma graces my nostrils. This smells very good. Taste mirrors the nose. Big notes of grapefruit and orange with a piney bitterness that lingers on the palate. There's enough malt presence to keep things somewhat in check, but the emphasis here is clearly on the hop bill. The beer finishes bitter and dry, which I like in an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium with enough carbonation to lend a slight creaminess to the beer. Overall this is another solid offering from Kern River. It's darned good and I'd certainly have it again.

Note: I can't find an ABV percentage noted on the label and I'm wondering about the DIPA designation due to the 7% rating listed on BA. Curious...

Sideswipe, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a translucent orange with a firm two finger white head. Great lacing and head retention.

S: Nice tropicality, mango and pineapple. Tangerine and sweet orange. Very West Coast, the hops dominate.

T: Sweet pink grapefruit and mangoes, with some light malt character. Bitter melon rind on the back end, fresh and vibrant flavour.

M: Creamy and resiny, soft carbonation, not the longest aftertaste, but it's certainly fruitier than most DIPAs.

O: Kern River knows how to make good IPAs, first JO, then Citra, now this. Cheaper than most in it's style and better tasting than most in it's style, an easy pickup.

Halcyondays, May 24, 2011
Photo of CaptCleveland
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into DFH glass.

Light orange color, some sediment clinging to sides, huge head, copious Belgian lacing.

Wonderful grapefruit, orange, mango, lemon scents.

Hoppy bitterness balanced by citrus, sweet fruit. Expected more Citra, but the combination provides a nice profile.

Medium body, nice carbonation, bitterness wanes at back end.

A very nice IPA.

CaptCleveland, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of derkfromwi
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: One-inch just off-white head, light-golden color, decent carbonation, good lacing

S: Mango, citrus, straw, bit of orange peel, nice blend of hops

T: Hops and bitterness, grapefruit, malts are present and balance nicely

M: Smooth and oily, medium-bodied, dry towards finish and aftertaste

O: Good stuff, hope to drink again this year or next

derkfromwi, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

693rd Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
22oz Bottle

For those that know him, Stan is the man!! Thanks Stan!
5th Anniversary DIPA for my daughters 5th Birthday tonight

App- A generously deep golden orange with a very thick long lasting three finger head. Lines, legs, cling all over the glass on this one.

Smell- Right of the bat a very nice boquet opens up with some nice tamed hops, nice damp citrus and a little malt to even things out. More on the deeper orange
with a small bit of grapefruit note.

Taste- As soon as you bring the glass to mouth you're hit with flavors. Whether it be the scents of the hops and citrus that you just smelled or the residual flavors your mouth wants again. Even for a couple month old bottle, its a little tame with the citrus and hops still dancing to a balance. One of the best DIPA's I have had. Not super bright, not a punch in the face hop monster.

Mouth- A medium bodied DIPA with a paired almost high carbonation level. Lots of citrus, pine residual flavors linger on this one.

Drink- What else would you expect from the makers of Just Outstanding! I completely missed the boat on this when it was super fresh but this was Just FN Awesome (already applied for name change) Would love more of this.

FosterJM, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of willjschmidt
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a 20oz pub glass.

A: Pours a very cloudy and murky dark orange and apricot color. Great thick white head.

S: Loads of very pungent hops.

T: Very pungent hops. Lots of citrus in the from of pineapple, orange, and tangerine. Finish is bitter with a nice hop bite.

M: Slightly viscous, average carbonation.

O: A very good DIPA. Delicious and very easy to drink.

willjschmidt, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle received in the 2012 Birthday BIF from futhurgone; Thanks Rob! Big want of mine. Poured into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a murky brown-orange color with two fingers of fluffy, slightly off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for quite a long time, and leaves an inch throughout drinking it, and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, oranges, tropical fruits, fruity malts, grapefruits, and light pine hops. Tons of fresh oranges, citrus, and tropical fruits, I'm loving the nose.

t - Tastes of oranges, citrus hops, fruity malts, lemons, grapefruits, pine hops, light floral hops. Some bitterness in the taste but not too much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Light bitterness but actually pretty smooth and creamy body. Doesn't feel like 8%, a really nice body.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good DIPA. In the last week I've had some top notch IPA/DIPA's (Lunch, White Rajah, Hopslam, Bitter Valentine) and this ranks right up there with the best of them. I like it better then their Just Outstanding IPA and just reaffirms I need to get some of their Citra pronto. Tons of fresh hops and easy to drink, would love to have it again.

mdfb79, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Florida9
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rather hazy yellowish amber in color. Forms a beautiful, billowing rocky off-white head that has excellent retention and leaves a copious amount of lacing.

S: Aroma is heavy on the citrus hops, with orange, orange blossom, and tangerine.

T: Starts off with an appreciable sweetness, some light pale malt, and then more citrus. Again, primarily orange. There is a little caramel malt and just the slightest hint of toast and a slight bit of alcohol on the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with lower carbonation and a mild-to-moderate bitterness.

O: A very good, very easy drinking, citrus-hop forward DIPA. Wouldn't mind having better access to this beer, because it is very enjoyable.

Florida9, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to hamilton23 for sending this bottle my way.

22oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a cloudy orange with a two finger yellowish head. Good retention and lots of lacing left on the glass.

S - Lots of Pine and Pineapple.

T - Starts with a critrusy and tropical fruit and ends with pine and grassy flavors.

D - Average carbonation and medium body.

O - Yum! This one is a home run. Looking forward to Kern's other offerings.

HuskyinPDX, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
4.48/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky apricot, nice off white head leaves to ring. Lots of cling, some legs too!

S - Major pine hops, hint of citrus, lot of malt behind it.

T - Nice blend equally of pine and citrus, fat malt center.

M - Medium body, good carb, great balance.

D - A really good effort. Love it.

srandycarter, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of dogfishandi
4.49/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to APreacher for the bottle!

22 oz bottle pulled from the fridge and poured into a snifter. No freshness info. I too think there was some sort of labeling error as I at first thought this was the Winter (rye) Ale, but this is definatly an IPA.

Pours out a slightly hazy deep golden orange color with a very nice white head that shows some great retention and leaves quite a bit of sticky lace stuck to the glass.

Very nice aroma. Dank, pungent hops, smells like maybe some Nelson was used. Vegetal, juicy tropical fruits, candied citrus.

Loving this beer. Reminds me a little bit of Nelson from alpine and a little bit of nugget nectar. Juicy, dank, resinous. Juicy tropical fruits, a bit vegetal and onion, but totally in a good way, sweet citrus, a little pine needle, maybe some fresh sticky weed. Again, tastes just like Nelson hops were used with maybe a bit of citra? Malt isn't too noticeable, maybe just enough for the hops to play off of.

Finishes really clean and drink rather smoothly with a lot of bitterness that lingers. A bit sticky in the mouthfrom all the hops, medium bodied, almost feels a bit light and airy from a slightly higher than normal carbonation.

Im very impressed with this beer. Smells and tastes like a handful of fresh hop cones. If this was available to me, I'd come back to it again and again. Trade for this now!

dogfishandi, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Schlais, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Lofreqwave
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Lofreqwave, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery while watching Marquette lose to eventual Big East champion Louisville in what was a meaningless game pretty much. A light orange and yellow color, relatively impressive for such a hoppy beer head formation, around 1" in depth.

An aroma that was nice tangerine citrus aroma hoppiness, soft on the bitterness and alcohol, big on the fruity hop goodness, quite nice, seemingly they used citra and/or nelson in this, probably with a little simcoe and cascade too. Great at hiding the alcohol on it, very drinkable, three pints went down effortlessly, in fact, I was restraining myself as best I could. So impressed, I bought refill on the growler, and 12 bottles to share with friends, family & fellow beer lovers. I believe 72 hours later all but 2 are accounted for.

I think this is just as good, if not better than Citra. They are extremely similar if you ask me, but this was a little more pungent I thought.

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

stereosforgeeks, Jan 16, 2013
Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.