Kipling | Thornbridge Brewery

very good
109 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by soulgrowl on 01-24-2010

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 261
Photo of phishgator
2/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had this with a hand drawn pump. The appearance was in an imperial pint glass with a slight hazy dull straw color, slight white head and low carbonation. The smell was a little band-aidy and funky. The beer had a slight sulfur aftertaste; almost like it was infected, but another person in my group said they thought it was just fine. I don't know that I would get it again.

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Photo of Pencible
2.45/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: This poured a clear straw with quickly dissipating white head and chunky sediment.
S: It smelled like skunky lager yeast and faint citrus hops.
T: It tasted like watery citrus and pine hops, with some skunky later yeast. It had a somewhat dirty bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thin with lots of carbonation. Very bubbly body.
D: This was a poor brew. The scent and taste and body were all far below average. It didn't even look good. Not very easy to drink either, almost a drain pour.

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Photo of dwren89
2.64/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: great clarity, pale gold color, frothy white head,

Aroma: Exploding citrus aroma of grapefruit, orange, and a tinge of kiwi, white wine like dry/citrus aroma (Nelson Sauvin hop), soft almost undetectable pilsner malt biscuitiness

Taste: Definite bitter finish and citrusy twinge of the grapefruit/orange/kiwi aroma, no real malt flavor comes through

Mouthfeel: light, crisp, moderately low carbonation, light body
Overall Impression: A nice beer to kick back and drink in the sun on a hot day, as it does quench thirst fairly well, but definitely lacking in body and overall “umph.” I was disappointed by the lack of taste after such a fantastic nose. Advertised as having “initial sweetness” and “medium body”, but I find it to be definitively lacking in both of those areas. It drinks very watery.

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Photo of crnipeter
2.82/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After reading several reviews I've got an impression I'm reviewing entirely different beer.

Pours somewhat dim gold with a finger of foamy white head that quickly sets.

Nelson Sauvin hops give it pronounced white wine aroma that overshadows anything else. Careful sniffing reveals ripe grapes and/or gooseberry.

It's often said Nelson Sauvin imparts tropical fruit flavors but I'm not getting any. The taste is massively grassy with dry finish having slightly harsh woodsy bitterness that lingers. It's light, crispy and palate cleansing. I miss the fruit character and the flavor seems to be deprived of malt-qualities, especially when considering Munich malt advertised as an ingredient.

In short,a decisevly bitter in balance ale with white wine aroma and grassy flavor (500 ml into pint, BB 04-08-2013).

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Photo of Rifugium
3.08/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: on cask at the Dandelion, Philadelphia, PA

Poured clear, yellow, with a nice white head that retained rather well throughout. Light, grassy, floral nose. Light taste, very smooth, with notes of grass and light fruits. Light mouthfeel, easily drinkable, but not extremely flavorful.

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Photo of cyrenaica
3.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle
5.2% ABV
Best Before: September 1, 2012

I tried this beer on May 30, 2012 after purchasing from the KIng and Spadina LCBO outlet in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a slightly hazed medium gold colour with a 1" snow white head, and plenty of effervescence. The aromas were grtass, citrusy hops, spices, and orange peel. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour was definitely on the bitter side with very little nsweetness brought on by any of the malt or fruit aromas. Generous amounts of orange and grapefruit and a sharp bitter end dominate the flavour. Would be a very sessionable beer had it not been for the bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.32/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle: slightly out of date when poured into an 'Old Speckled Hen' badged pint vase on 9th Dec 2012.

Pale yellow body with a slight haze to it: on top a rippling uneven head of white bubbles.

Tropical fruit aroma: the taste is simular but more citrusy with the dry citrusy bitterness getting stronger as the mouth loses the last drop of beer in each sip/gulp. This is a summers day brew, not a cold December evening one. Refreshing but not at all warming or cosy.

Well crafted but not a beer I'll be trying to find again: my taste buds prefer sweeter, maltier flavours.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

pours a bit darker than a straw yellow with a nice white head. good retentino and lacing. aroma is softly tropical fruit. taste follows suit with light tropical fruits. maybe an old bottle. and a slight bitterness on the finish. good carbonation.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head on a clear straw body.
The aroma is tropical fruits, nice.
The taste is a nice dry malt, moderate bitterness with tropical fruit sweetness.
The texture is soft with low carbonation.

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Photo of ssmack
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle.

A hazy straw brown colour. 2 inches of foamy head with a lunar landscape.

The aroma is musty yeast.

The taste of white bread. Mild malt. The hops taste is complex - oregano, citrus, lemon, grapefruit.

A light feel but a nice bite.

A refreshing, light, balanced ale but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml brown bottle. Pours out a cloudy straw hue with a frothy off-white head that slowly settles.

Sharp white grapefruit notes on the nose, some yeasty spice, backed up with some dry grains and very mild biscuity malt.

Juicy white grapefruit character up front in the flavour, dry spicy character in the middle, with grainy malt on the finish. Aftertaste contains a lingering of pepper and grapefruit pith.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, yet on the lighter end of that zone. Grainy, pin-prickly texture obtained from an assertive amount of carbonation.

A tasty, enjoyable English Pale Ale that gives a serious nod towards APA's. I'd reach for another of these for sure, and love the name's homage to one of my favourite writers.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Half on cask at Cask Beer Co, Covent Garden. Pours clear straw gold with small (cask pour) head dissipates quickly and leaves only spots. Nose is quite mild with just a little tropical fruit...a lot less than expected. Flavor is has an initial fruity sweetness, but is actually drier and turns to a slightly astringent bitterness on the back of the tongue during the finish. Certainly more bitter than the nose or initial taste indicated. Overall, I'm not too excited by this one. Nose is too light and flavor is unbalanced toward an astringent bitterness.
Not sure what this is labeled an English Pale Ale. It is almost certainly an American Pale Ale.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours gold with a fading head.
Nose shows passion-fruit, lychee, cookie dough-like malt, some grassy and spicy hops.
Very hoppy flavours, spicy and grassy notes along with a hint of pine. Not much malt underneath although there is a biscuity character.
Body feels a bit watery.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at cellar temp into goblet.
Aroma light hoppiness like flowers
Head small (2 cm), white, frothy, mostly lasting
Lacing OK, making thick rings as the level drops.
Body is light yellowish orange, hazy (chill haze?)
Taste begins slightly bitter with only a trace of diacetyl, no hint of malt, slight flowery hoppiness. Ends with only astringency.
Body is light and watery with lively carbonation.

Overall, an OK ale, looks pretty good in the glass, no overwhelming malt or hops, well-balanced. Not sure what makes this a "South Pacific style pale ale".

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Photo of stcules
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light amber, very clean, no bubbles. White foam, not too beautiful.
Smell: good! Hop, tropical fruit, light but pleasant, with pineapple, tangerine.
Good taste, too, smooth, with a good hop, malt, and again fruitiness, pineapple. Pleasant.
Definitely very drinkable, though not too watery.
To drink a lot, delicate, fruity notes, orange, tangerine, tropical fruit.
Average to light body, delicate aftertaste, fruity, with some background bitterness.

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Photo of Spike
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear, pale gold. Large head recedes rapidly. Some lacing. Could be mistaken for a lager if it wasn't for the low carbonation, which is present in the form of a single stream of tiny bubbles.

The label states this beer is made exclusively with Nelson Sauvin hop. Delicate (maybe too delicate?) cantaloupe and guava.

Refreshing. Very dry. Delicate once again, which is surprising given the presence of the NZ hop.

Thin mouthfeel. But the extreme dryness leaves a pleasant burn that lasts.

Did I expect more from this beer? Maybe. I read the Nelson Sauvin hop is considered overpowering by some, but Kipling feels a little underpowered to me. That said, it's refreshing and easy-drinking.

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Photo of Offa
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

This is a good, solid pale ale but a bit simple, unlike their complex Halcyon IPA.

Cloudy dark gold,faintly orange, it has a medium off-white head slowly shrinking to thin top, hint of lace.

Aroma is fresh grain, bread, wet grass, passionfruit, hint of sulphur.

Taste is juicy-zesty light bitterness that just dominates and lingers. It has light juicy sweetness, hint of mineral.

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Photo of haz77
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear straw with a finger of frothy white head. The quickly recedes but a swirl of the glass easily refreshes it. A couple of streamers are visible.

S - Biscuity malt, guava, passion fruit, pineapple, some grassy (?) hops buried behind all of this. Fairly tempting.

T - The start is all biscuity malt before the tropical fruit really moves forward in the middle. Guava and passion fruit in particular are prominent at the end along with bubblegum. A lightly dry bitter aftertaste lingers for some time. Very pleasantly and easily quaffable, if lacking some depth of interest.

M - Medium body with soft, persistent carbonation, which finally fades at the end of the drink, leaving the hop bitterness to cleanse the palate. Solid.

D - Well crafted, solid brew. An easy drinker with just enough punch to catch you out.

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

A 500 mL bottle from IM Wine.

A: The pale ale is light, a hybrid looker that seems to fall between an APWA and, well, a blonde ale. A finger and a half of white head, a luxurious quantity that leaves lacing behind.

S: The EPA has light tropical aromas, sweetness alongside the biscuity malts. Flowers, fresh cut grass and mild citrus fruits. A nice package.

T: The pale biscuity malts, a soft start, supports a surprising amount of hop flavor. The ale finishes very dry after the sweetness. Flowers and grass are sweet and lightly bitter; pineapple and onion grass add sweet zestiness. The entire flavor profile is mild even with the complex tropical flavors. Unmentioned until now, the yeast provides more fruity flavors, none of which are as strong as the hops.

M: A surprisingly quaffable ale, light but hopped to a tropical tune. A wide array of citric bitterness, sugary sweet at times, dominates the ale.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. The South Pacific is a new one for me, insofar as pale ales are concerned.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium apple juice yellow colour (decently pale), with a tall column of thick foamy white head, which leaves a combination of chunky and frilly lace on its slow slide to oblivion. It smells of pineapple citrus, musty straw, soft grain, and a weedy, grassy, teetering on skunky hoppiness. The taste is quite reminiscent of diving into a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - sharp, edgy, meaty tropical fruit, and tart, almost cat-piss-esque notes dominate; the malt is still underwhelming, of the mild crackery ilk, and the hops also seem weedy, funky, and musty. The carbonation is average, though a tad frothy, the body medium light in weight, and a bit too prickly to be considered all that smooth. It finishes just a wee bit off-dry, the grainy malt asserting itself somewhat, before a final blow of funky, fruity hops closes things out.

Well, the Nelson Sauvin hops do a damned fine job of furthering the terroir of New Zealand - so many strange flavours for a pale ale - a thought stolen from Old World white wine drinkers at some point, I would imagine. A little intense, and confounding, at first, but once settled in, I rather enjoyed this little antipodean experiment.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy straw color, with a thin white head.

Has a very European aroma to it; wet straw, almost skunky, with a mild malt aroma.

Starts with a mild toffee malt flavor that quickly melts into a very bitter, dry finish. Fairly peppery in the finish, but lacking any real hop taste. The skunkiness in the aroma is also slightly present in the taste.

This is light to mid-light bodied beer, with a soft feel but a bitter finish. The bitterness is a little out of place, at first, given how soft the water is that makes up this beer.

This ale certainly improved as it breathed, as it released a lot of the "skunkiness" that first presented in the smell and taste. The bitterness is classic Thornbridge; in fact, whichever hop was used to create the bitterness likely is the same one used in their Jaipur IPA. Not a bad English PA, though slightly more bitter than others I've had - something that works for me. Still, of the Jaipur, the Raven and the Kipling, the Kipling is my least favorite of the bunch.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear straw color - I can immediately tell this doesn't have much malt to it. The head is a frothy two finger white shade. The retention is solid and some decent (if inconsistent) lacing is left behind. Pretty good looking.

S: This does a good job of showing off Nelson hops, and it's not even uber fresh! Notes of pine, lemon, grape skin, and some tropical fruits come through quite well. Not much of a malt backbone comes through in the nose. Some slight soapiness detracts, but otherwise this is a solid hoppy aroma.

T: Hop flavor hits the palate immediately. Tropical fruit, some grapefruit, and slight herbal qualities are the main notes provided here. The finish isn't soapy at all, with only a mild, non-intrusive sweetness; actually, it's even a little juicy. The problem here isn't the's the lack of flavor. While it is VERY pleasant and VERY balanced (I'm impressed how they hid the bitterness with such a feeble malt backbone), it's sadly too unassuming for its own good. Actually, you know what, I don't care...this just gets better and better the more I drink it. It's delicate and subtle in all the right places.

M: This is so light and crisp its unbelievable. I'm just killing this like it's nothing. The soft yet impressive carbonation is definitely helping it here - and there's just enough of a dry finish to help it even further.

O: If the flavor was 'bigger' so to speak, it would kill many 'Murican-brewed pale ales stone dead. Still, this is more-or-less everything I want from the style. What a shame it's so expensive...

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Photo of bylerteck
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From old notes.

A - Poured with a light golden colour and a two finger fluffy white head. Bright. Very carbonation, good thick lace rings and a half finger of retention.

S - Light fruits, very tropical, mango, crackers.

T - Fruit juices, tropical fruit, some nice sugary fruit sweetness. Mango, grass, juicy sweet fruits up front then a deeper flavour in the back.

M - Decent bite in the finish, good carbonation but maybe a bit much, light to medium body.

O/D - Nice and fruity. Shows off Nelson well. Light and easy to drink, yet flavourful and complex.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a stemmed glass, nice golden color. nice fluffy white head, overally pretty solid.

musty yeast, slight grapefruit skin,definite "white wine fruitiness", slight bready note.

bready/biscuity malt upfront, semi dry, slight grapefruit note with a firm bitterness in the finish.

medium bodied, very drinkable. if this were reasonably priced i'd make this a go to session beer.

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Photo of iD9
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a 8 oz. cognac snifter.

Appearance: Bright straw-yellow color with a foamy head. Little retention, immediately boils down to a minimal lace. Notable carbonation in the glass. Brew is clear through-and-through. A slight golden tint through the body of the beer.

Smell: Slight earthy nose, and a touch of piney aroma. Ends with a mild fresh-hop finish. Aromatics are inoffensive and fit the style.

Taste: Dry throughout, with a hint of malt towards the back end. Finishes with a touch of hop bitterness but, again, very mild.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp. As the carbonation dies down some the body fills out a touch but is still notably effervescent.

Overall: Infinitely quaffable. Light, crisp characteristic with a mild aromatic profile and refreshing array of flavors make Thornbridge's Kipling and excellent summer beer. A definite improvement on many summer standards. I approve.

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Kipling from Thornbridge Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 261 ratings.
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