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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

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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 MEsoJD
4.34/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of soughtbygod
4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing beer. It was just released yesterday. And it is by far one of the best DIPA's that I have ever had. It had a thick frothy slight off white foam that dissipates rather quickly, but leaves real nice lacing. It is Dark orange in color, and smells wonderful. It has plentiful hop character when you drink it but is nicely balance by the malt. I would recommend this beer to any IPA lover out there it is a winner.

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Photo of HopDiggityDawg
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over-sized Mother Earth Snifter

Slightly aggressive pour yielded a big soapy 3 or 4 finger head with a light and hazy light orange color. So far so good.

Smell - grapefruit, some pine so far so good

Taste - Yea Boy! citrus up front - grapefruit, orange rind, then a good West Coast dose of Pine and resin but not even close to overpowering the citrus - So far so GREAT

Mouthfeel - Worldclass-smooth, creamy, did I say smooth
Overall - Thank you sir may I have another! World class DIPA!

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Photo of Solomon420
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fresh January 2012 batch...in fact the place I drank this had received cases the day after bottling...
Wow, another very solid very drinkable beer from KRBC (all their beer is solid and drinkable). I only wish they brewed this as a regular offering. But what I hear from Kyle Smith is that they will brew a few more batches this month, so at least its going to be around a bit longer. This DIPA is different from Citra, but just as delicious. In fact, I personally may like this just a tad better than Citra, which is hard because thats one delicious beer. This beer is very close to Lawson's Double Sunshine (which by the way I also gave 5/5 rating). But Kyle likes his IPA/DIPA to have a light orange tint and a bit hazy, which makes it look so damn beautiful in a clear (non frosted mind you) pint glass catching the sunshine as it sets for the evening. I just cant wait to grab a few more this weekend at my favorite BBQ spot, Red House BBQ.
Well done guys!

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Photo of jamex
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Toronado, S.D. and had multiple bottles.

This is just an amazing beer. It looks, smells and tastes phenomenal. A lot of hops and citrus and tangerine - all with a subtle hop bite - my favorite style of IPA.

World class folks. Try and acquire this at all costs.

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Photo of OTB
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just picked up a couple of super fresh bottles today. My first time witht this brew.

Initial impact is the gorgeous sunset orange color topped with a creamy fluffy one head bright white head, absolutely beautiful looking beer.

Nose is outrageous ! Kern can really make some amazingly perfumed brews and this is no exception. My all time favorite nose would be their Citra and though different it's still as intense and magnificent as Citra. If the amps went to 11 on the taste amps then this is where I would score this brew. Crazy fresh orange, tangerines, sweet juicy red grapefruit and just enough bitter kick from the hops to create one of the best tasting beers I have ever had, bravo Kyle, you really know how to make DIPA's that are approachable and so refreshingly balanced. The mouth is crisp, bone dry and totally refreshing, it begs for more. I had high hopes for this brew having been very fortunate to get my fair share of all the Kern beers and it not only didn't disappoint it blew me away just as Citra did. Simply amazing craft beer, world class in every respect.

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Photo of Rampage1
4.77/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its enough when my favorite double IPA and overall beer is Kern's Citra but can lightning strike twice? Well I would think after drinking this beer that it can.

Appearance: This has a nice beautiful orange color with some slight haziness to it. It has a nice half inch white head to it that never goes away completely the whole time you are drinking this.

Smell: This is where Kern seems to really have it in spades. I won't say it smells as completely awesome as Kern Citra but its barely behind. Mostly a orange noise with a little mango and apricot. No real malt smell to it.

Taste: This is once again a great, balanced beer. Lots of citrus in the front of the palate -- mostly orange with a little bitter orange rind. I think this might be slightly less bitter than Citra and maybe a little more malt to it-- just barely. You get a little malt in the after taste to mellow out the hop bitterness but overall its one hell of a easy drinker.

Mouthfeel: Nice amount of carbonation that seems to balance out all the nice tropical citrus flavor along with the slight malt backbone this Double has.

Overall: Well I can now say that without a doubt Kern River by a decent margin is my favorite brewery when it comes to Double IPA's. Kyle really knows how to put a masterful, double IPA together. Wish I could get a recipe from Kyle for a double IPA. I didn't know what to expect with such high expectations after having Citra and Just Outstanding but I can say now that between Citra and 5th anniversary it does not get any better. I would put both of their double IPA's in my top 5 favorite Double IPA's. Probably actually in my top 3 favorite doubles. Way to go Kyle. Can't wait to come up and check out the brewery when the bottles of Citra are released. Wish someone would correct the alcohol percentage on this beer which is 8 percent not 7--yes I have sent in a correction change. Kern River is the epitome of what a small brewery can do -- deliver Big Flavor!

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Photo of DoesntMatter46
4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of bierfreundlich
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

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Photo of noahfree
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Rick at Old Town Liqour for stocking some great IPAs. Picked this up the other night and was down right impressed with it and felt it needed to be reviewed. An inch of head on an agressive pour into my Stone pint glass. Color is pretty much what you would expect from a DIPA. Smell of mango, pine and a little sweet butterscotch. Mouthfeel is amazing and the taste is ... Well its outstanding! Think of this beer like Port Brewery's Mongo meets Firestone's Double Jack. Easily competes with Pliny in my book, cant taste the alcohol and at 8% thats dangerous. I picked up 2 more bombers today cause I know they wont last long. Highly recommended!

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Photo of RCM505
4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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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 Sebowski
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks great. Thick full head. Sticks to the glass as it dissipates.
Smells fantastic. Fresh hops. Citrus, grapefruit.... (What? Grapefruit is a citrus?) Very inviting.
Tastes super fresh. Front is all fresh chewy floral hops. Finish is a good strong bitterness. Really wonderful. Going down way too easy.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Luscious enough to coat the cheeks with hoppiness and dry out with a good West Coast bitterness.
I can't believe how fast I crushed this bomber. Leaves me longing for more.

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Photo of StevenT562
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a cloudy orange/copper. It's a GREAT head that finally dissipates after a few minutes but leaves a sticky heavy lacing. Oily hops purely smell of CITRA that is what is EXPECTED from a CRAZY West Coast Imperial IPA. Very Hop Foward with a Great Malt back bone that gives a wonderful mouth feel. Couldn't get any better of a body with the Hops that have been used. Like I said, Very hoppy bitter taste, BUT! Enough body to give it a nice "swirl" around in the mouth without having it leave so fast. I LOVE THIS BEER. If KRBC's CITRA (which I never had, but WILL this year for sure since there bottling it) is even close to this, I could understand WHY they have such HIGH ratings! I LOVE THIS DIPA. I bought 2 bombers and went back for another 2 the next day at Liquor Mart Whittier. Come to find out they were already SOLD OUT! The finsih has a Nice long hoppy, oily ifinish of Citra hops and VERY FRUITY! A touch of Flowers but this is pure Citrus and Fruits! A+

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