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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

89 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 269
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 4.05%
Wants: 198
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 89 | Hads: 269
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours burnt orange along with a big white head. Beautiful lacing that lasted throughout. Aromas of sweet and floral hops along with malts. Flavors of smooth and riseny hops. Slightly bitter backfinish. Meidum mouthfeel and decent carbonation. I quite enjoyed this DIPA from Kern River. Happy 5th Birthday! (350 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty clear amber gold. Pours easily to a half inch head. White foamy head with lots of lacing.

Smells of light malt, hay, and orangy hops.

Tastes of light malt, mainly orange citrus hops, nicely balanced, light and fresh. Slight hop zing on the tongue, and a slightly bitter finish.

Body is light and the carbonation is crisp, giving this a nice refreshingly spritzy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is the west coast IPA style I prefer (think CITRA). Light body and refreshingly hoppy, restrained and tasteful. This is a very drinkable and tasty beer. (554 characters)

Photo of slayer3604
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All around one of the best DIPA's I've had the honor of putting in my mouff...

A)Peachy gold, with a nice head, good lacing, and retention like a mofo...

S) Citric fruit, sweet almost candy-like malt, and an all-around balance that surpasses the bitter in-your-face hop bomb DIPA's on the market right now.

T- Crisp, fruity, sweet, and hoppy. Wow, there is a lot going on, but it is not overwelming whatsoever. Hides the alcohol very well, and doesn't sacrifice any body!

M- Exceptional balance, and a clean lasting finish. Lemme stress clean...clean...Mr. Clean...

O- Very good DIPA. Can't put my finger on a single thing I'd change on it :D.

Cheers, Kern! (663 characters)

Photo of jpmclaug
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. An unexpected treat from DearthVader.

A - Orange body with a big eggshell colored head. Lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. That is a nice looking beer

S - Nice mango and other tropical fruit notes, a little bit of citrus like aroma and a hint of sweetness

T - Boy am I glad I got to try this. The flavor follows in the footsteps of the aroma. Nice fruity notes, almost like drinking a smoothie. mango with a little orange rind. A pale malt backbone that just sticks a nice light grain flavor in at the finish. Not really bitter but not sweet either this thing is the epitome of balance. After reading up about the Falconer's Flight hops used in this you can really see how they all add something to this especially the Citra and Sorachi Ace. I think the Sorachi Ace really peeks through in the finish mingling with the malt to give you a nice grainy taste.

M - medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation. About what you'd expect in the beer.

O - What a fantastic beer. I would love to have this one again. I know this is an Anniversary beer but I really think Kern River should revisit this brew again. (1,156 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. Thanks, John!

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange body with a finger of short-lived off-white head. Not much lace to speak of, but there is a nice cap on top of the beer.

S: Tropical nose out the wazoo: peach, mango, passionfruit, cantaloupe. Good lord. This is precisely the hop profile that I love. It doesn't have any malt nose (a little would be nice).

T: This pulls all the elements of earlier Citra batches that I loved. It's a straight fruit flavor with no malt presence whatsoever. The tropical profile is absurd: peach, mango, cantaloupe, passionfruit, apricot, even a small lime finish. There is a small bitterness contributed by grassy hops.

M: Light-medium bodied. As usual per Kern's approach, this one isn't hefty or high in ABV. It's tasty nonetheless. I'd actually go easier on this category if they simply classified it as an IPA (which is a better descriptor for a 7% beer, IMO).

D: Please make more of this! Too bad they don't distribute. And I can understand why: it maintains freshness. But damn, I want more bottles. (1,070 characters)

Photo of snpub540
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up today because I love Just Outstanding so I knew they would be doing great things with their anniversary brew.

Poured a nice slightly hazy copper hue with a tight one finger head that left some nice sheets of lace on my Duvel tulip.

Aroma was super potent with pineapple, peach, mango aromas all being present as well as a grassy hop aroma present in the back.

Taste was totally a tropical fruit hop medley. Mango, papaya, and pineapple round out the hoppy flavors while a nice caramel malt backbone even things out.

There is no harshness from either hops or alcohol and this is the perfect summer beer. Kern River continues to crank out awesome beers from a small space and I will continue to buy everything they put out. (740 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass poured from a growler. Pours a dark amber with a nice head, about 1 finger, that dissipates into lace around the glass. The aroma has a lot of citrus mixed with pine. It is medium bodied and highly drinkable. Feels good going down. A really good DIPA that hides the alcohol content well. (311 characters)

Photo of HopDiggityDawg
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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! (505 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler

Kern River Brewing Company
Kernville, CA

Dark, clear amber. Thick, off-white, soapy head. Regular lacing down the glass.

Pungent and tropical aromas galore: pineapple, orange, and mango aromas from the hops are explosive as well as floral highlights. There's a touch of bready caramel and some slight pine--but this is certainly a showcase of hops. Wow!

This is hugely bitter, which I don't at all mind, but it almost seems to get in the way of the juicy, delicate, citrusy hop notes, at least at first. That being said, once past the bitterness, there's plenty of grapefruit/orange/melon flavor to fawn over.

Exceptionally full yet disappearing mouthfeel. Incredibly drinkable.

Incredible DIPA, but not quite as good as Citra. (743 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A long time want by me and generously given to me as an extra by cocoapuph. A little over two months old at this point.

Appearance – Pours into a Captain Lawrence pint glass with a hazy dark golden color and about a finger of slight of white head that dissipates leaving nice lacing.

Smell – Lots of tropical fruits such as tangerine, orange, and grapefruit give a wonderful citrus aroma. Slight floral hops with a bit of sticky pine resin at the tail end. The end gives off just a little toffee/caramel backbone.

Taste – Wow. So much tropical fruits. I love…LOVE tropical fruits in DIPA’s. I swear, this tastes like the first batch of The Oracle by bells with a couple months on it. Still a nice hoppy bite at the end, but first and foremost there is sweet (but not malty sweet) tropical fruit flavors up front (heavy mango and tangerine which then finishes with ripe orange juice). I’m sure this has become just a bit sweeter with those few months of age on it, but this is honestly how I love my DIPA’s. Slight floral and bitter hops mixed in with a heavy dose of sweet tropical fruit flavor, and just a bit of a caramel backbone. As stated, the sweetness is not cloying like I get in 90min from the malts, but is instead from “fruits”.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, chewy, oily, lower carbonation than thought, finishes not dry but almost there.

Overall – One of the most drinkable DIPA’s I’ve encountered. Huge tropical notes yet still a nice bitterness mixed in. Kern freaking makes some amazing D/IPA’s. Will seek out come next release. (1,582 characters)

Photo of LSUPT
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (976 characters)

Photo of DearthVader
4.61/5  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. (1,580 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/2/2012

I've had two more batches of this beer and it's awesome. I think I had just gotten over a cold when I initially reviewed it and that most likely affected my senses. Huge tropical aroma with a delicious juicy flavor. Really a stellar Double IPA. Light malt body but with just enough sweetness to fend off palate obliteration. Fantastic. Changing this from a 4.0 to a 4.6.

5/28/2011

When I heard that Kern River was releasing a beer for their fifth anniversary I was interested. When I heard they'd be doing a Double IPA specifically, my reaction was "I'd like to try that." So here I find myself at my desk typing this review, with a Lost Abbey snifter full of Kern River's Fifth Anniversary Double IPA, and now I'm thinking "this beer is far too cold, I wish I'd taken it out of the refrigerator twenty minutes ago because now I want to drink it. I should have timed this better." These are the idle musings of a man about to imbibe a fine beverage while waiting for dinner to be ready.

A: The beer is a burnished dark orange in the snifter. It's neither opaque nor transparent, but it's hazy enough to distort the scenery behind it. Perhaps it's some sort of chill haze, but I can't say for certain that I know what that means. The massive white head is bubbly and exhibits great retention. Hey, not bad. It invites me to take a drink.

S: Orange flesh, tangerine, melon, and stone fruit. Restrained tropical notes, mostly mango. Not exceptionally aromatic, but still pretty nice. No evident alcohol. Lightly sweet, but I can't pinpoint distinct malt aromas.

T: An abundance of hop flavor with a lower moderate level of bitterness. The hops are reminiscent of orange flesh, peach, mango, tangerine, and grapefruit. There's a hint of pine. Malt is subdued but it's there, though I can't pick out any distinct flavor that it imparts. On the whole, this is pretty mellow and enjoyable. Alcohol is well hidden. Very tame for a Double IPA.

M: Smooth and sticky. Lower medium in body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: I enjoyed this. It's not going to blow you away, but it's enjoyable and well made. Though, it's very mellow and at only 7% I'm not sure why they called this a Double IPA. It doesn't really do the beer credit. I think this probably deserve a 4.25 in a couple areas, but that's not an option. (2,322 characters)

Photo of cradke
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden orange with some haze. Pours a thinner head than most DIPA's.

Smell: Wow. I literally caught a whiff of it within seconds of cracking the bottle. Lots and lots of pine. Really smells like I went skiing and crashed into an evergreen tree and I love it. Some citrus notes but lots of good clean non-bitter pine.

Taste: The first thing that comes to my mind is incredibly hoppy but done incredibly well with the perfect hop to malt balance. I'm not a huge fan of grapefruit bombs (ithica flower power ect.) and this was right up my alley. Some nice sweetness comes through. I get some nice Orange notes.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than most DIPA's, a good amount of carbonation. The feel is really nice and it does a great job of moving the flavors around.

Overall: A fantastic beer. One of the best,DIPA's. There is a fantastic amount of pine without the bitter grapefruit. There is a nice sweetness and orange to the beer that pairs really well with the pine. It's remarkably well put together and balanced. (1,023 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a tasting glass. It poured a bright orange/amber color with a thin, bubbly white head scattered across the to of the beer. Great color to it.

The aroma is extremely juicy and hoppy with lots of orange, peach and pineapple jumping out at me. It reminds me a lot of the Hawaiian punch fruit drink. Really loved the aroma, the tropical fruit flavors in it were fantastic.

The taste is also very juicy with more of the pineapple, peach and mango flavors throughout. I got a little more of a bitter citrus rind flavor coming out in the finish. It has a nice balance between the sweeter, tropical fruit, juicy flavors and the bitter, citrus rind flavors. Again, I'm loving the tropical, fruit punch flavors in it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a great beer and definitely right up there with my favorites of the style. I loved the fruit punch, tropical hoppiness to it and the citrus rind bitterness really balanced it out and gave it a very smooth and easy drinking quality. Awesome beer overall. (1,079 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Kern 5th Anniversary pours a dark faded golden yellow color with a long-standing white head.

The aroma is quite floral with a strong lilac or lily presence. A grapefruit, lemon, and apricot hop aroma adds a strong citrusy hop aroma to a biscuity malt base.

Each sip starts out with a biscuit and honey sweetness that is light and somewhat dry. As the flavor progresses, a juicy grapefruit flavor comes in with a hoppy vengenace. Apricot and some lemon zest provide some further depth to the strong hoppiness.

Bubbly carbonation also has a creamy quality to it, giving off the perception that this is a light, easy drinking beer. The 8% ABV is deceptive for sure.

Overall this is an extremely enjoyable beer out of Kern River. (784 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

golden amber color being presented to me right away. There was some haze and cloudiness to it, There was a nice three finger high head of white foam that capped the top of it,

a barrage of citrus hops right off the top. Nice bready and sugary tones were out first, but then quickly replaced by a piney hop sensation, which itself was replaced in turn by a slightly more acidic grapefruit like aroma. Very floral, I was really liking what I was seeing here. floral hops almost all at once. Nice rich pine flavors coming into play, but nothing really becoming detrimental to my palate here, this was remarkably well blended. Nice orange like hints working through with hints of grass and grain all around them. A strong finish capped it off with more then adequate drying and a sticky pine like flavor that lasted well into the net sip. (836 characters)

Photo of n2185
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of gibby
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (655 characters)

Photo of DoesntMatter46
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,318 characters)

Photo of rand
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,448 characters)

Photo of RCM505
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (1,341 characters)

Photo of bierfreundlich
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
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! (2,016 characters)

Photo of t420o
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Aggressive pour produces a 1-1/2 finger white head that recedes rather quick and leaves some pretty nice lacing. Beer is golden in color

S- The hops are definitely the showcase here. This smells excellent. One of the best smelling beers I've ever had the joy of smelling. Citrus, pine, slight sweetness. Very fresh hop smell.

T- Slight bitterness upfront is greeted by almost like a candied hop taste in the middle and finishes slightly bitter in the end. What a great beer! There are hints of pine, tangerine, orange zest, grapefruit, and a little sweetness from the malt in their balancing the whole thing out. The malt is in perfect balance, not overused as to take away from this excellent hop profile, and not underused either. No alcohol taste whatsoever. Great Job Kern! I wish I could have one of these everyday!

M- Nice carbonation and velvety texture. Good weight to it

O- Great beer. Highly drinkable at 8%. Every sip leaves you wanting more. I've been spoiled in the last week with the DIPA's I've had. This and Abrasive are the top of their class. (1,067 characters)

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