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 Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good drinker, and good for its style, it pours lighter yellow with a lasting white soapy head. Mild wine aroma. Medium mouthfeel, carbonation right there, it is unique in a soft and flavourful hop, citrus.Nice coup for the LCBO getting Thornbridge.Nice sweet backing.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: The Nelson Sauvin hops impart interesting aromas of tropical fruits in the nose along with some notes of citrus.
T: The a light to moderate amount hop bitterness really stands out in this beer, which also has notes of gooseberries and grapefruit from the hops in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied, crisp and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink because it is well balanced. The Nelson Sauvin hops result in interesting aromas and flavors.

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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 Phyl21ca
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy yellowish color ale with a nice pure white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of fruity and floral hops with light grassy notes is very enticing. Taste is dominated by the grassy, fruity and floral notes form the hops with almost no bitterness notes and a solid malt backbone with well balanced sweetness that doesn’t detract from the hops. Body is quite full with great carbonation. Very well brewed with just the right amount of Nelson Sauvin hops to procure maximum enjoyment of this beer.

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Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Option, served in a fluted tulip glass.

Bright high clarity gold, other side of the glass is clearly visible. Soapy white foam on the surface that billows up to the rim at first, sticking to the sides on the way down. Drippy lacing left in it's wake. Retention is good, lasting for the entire glass.

Pale malt notes, sort of a grassy lager aroma. Ok, but nothing too different here.

Flavor is firmly bitter, plenty of grassy, lemony hop character. Dried citrus peel, hay, some vague weediness. Effervescent and medium bodied, exceptionally dry and crisp finish. Light and not too filling. Nicely drinkable, several would be easy to drink, if only it wasn't $9 for a small glass.

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Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of clean, white foam on top of a perfectly clear golden body with a shaft of bubbles rising up through the center. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Musty British hops and bright, clean red apple fruit from the yeast. Some biscuity malt in the background as well, perhaps a hint of toffee.

T - Fruity yeast notes of plum and red apple up front with a musty hop note for contrast. The hops become more pungent in the middle with some grassy character and bready malt. The beer finishes with a good shot of bitterness to counteract the bread and toffee of the malt as well as more grassy hop flavor, juicy red apple character, and oddly enough some grapefruit.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Excellent and very, very drinkable. The balance and selection of flavor in this beer is perfect for the style and it is a shockingly good English pale ale, especially considering that it came out of a bottle. I can't think of a beer available on my local beer store's shelves that expresses what is great about British beer better than this does. It has a perfect yeast character with the obligatory must hop bite and the malt is spot on, despite the fact that the beer is unusually light colored. My only complaint is that I can't stop thinking about how good it must be out of a cask!

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Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iam really diggin the Thornbridge stuff I gotta say.Poured into an imperial nonic a dull llemon yeallow with a thin quick to fade white head.Aromas of sweet biscuit malt and tropical fruit,fitting for a south Pacific pale ale.Flavors of sweetish biscuit dough mixed with overripe mango,pineapple,and some green apple,even a litle leafiness in the finish.An easy quaffer and a sold EPA at that,I would buy again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/19/2011 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, floral hops, chocolate and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste starts sweet with flavors of honey and citrus. Then a good hops presence for the style comes in. the malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to pound down for a while.

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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 dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy light yellow with a finger high white head and a moderate amount of visible carbonation. The head dissipated quickly but left a very thin layer of bubbles and a decent amount of lacing.

S: Aromas of tropical fruits and citrus that were primary due to the presence of Nelson Sauvin hops.

T: The flavor has a pleasant amount of hoppy bitterness followed up by hints of grapefruit. The flavors are well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a certain crispness/cleanness.

O: As someone that really enjoys the smell and taste of the Nelson Sauvin hops, I found this beer to be quite enjoyable and a good offering that highlights the hop. This beer is a real easy drinker and has a very nice balance to it.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am slowly emptying my reefer of bottles. It is not that I am totally averse to them, but I would prefer to be advancing The CANQuest (TM) instead.

From the bottle: "Thornbridge Brewery is a collaboration of innovation, passion and knowledge. Our brewers come with a variety of experience but all share the same desire to make great beers. Using the flavours of the land their aim is to put the art back into the science they were taught. Brewing has forever pushed the boundaries of technology. We found a way to use it to harness our passion for great flavoured beer. This means no pasteurisation or filtration. No stealing of delicate flavour and aroma molecules. This is Craft Beer as it should be. A complex combination of all that makes beer great. Kipling is a golden beer made exclusively with the fabulous Nelson Sauvin hop that imparts tropical fruit[-]like flavours. Thornbridge were [sic] the first UK brewery to use this hop. The beer's initial sweetness and medium body are balanced by a lasting bitter finish."; "Innovation-Passion-Knowledge".

Given all of the labeling as well as being able to see suspended particulate, I went with about as gentle a pour as I have ever employed. I still got a skim of bone-white foam that quickly became mere wisps, however. My second, lees-ridden, pour created a finger of rocky, off-white head with good retention. Lacing was prevalent throughout. Color was an ever-so-slightly-hazy sunshine yellow with lots of carbonation bubbles in evidence. Nose had an odd fruitiness, like grapefruit and pineapple together. Mouthfeel was very effervescent and it did, indeed, taste like a hybrid of a grapefruit and a pineapple. Finish was quite dry with the grapefruit taste simply lingering well after the swallow. I really must try more of Thornbridge's beers.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant golden pour on tap at Piper's Pub in Pittsburgh's Southside, it's a pale golden ale much like a hazed Czech or German pils in appearance. Light biscuit malts labeled as a South Pacific Pale Ale, recently showed up at my local in Ohio for 6.99 a 500 ml bottle. I hate to say it but I passed at those prices. I'm pretty sure I had an imperial pint for at or around 5 bucks at Piper's. Aroma has a citrus grapefruit esque earthy grassy hop profile about it. Very pleasant floral aspect as well, all those hops amongst a pale biscuit malt background a bit of fruity earthiness comes through from the yeast and English brewing traditions. Flavor was nice a really refreshing hoppy pale ale, English style not an Americanized pale not as aggressive but very well executed and flavors definitely blend together nicely. The pale biscuit malt sweetness with a mild fruitiness is the perfect back drop for the star of the show in this case Nelson Sauvin hops. Those hops bring the herbal grassiness with a nice persistent grapefruit pith bitterness. Mouthfeel was lighter bodied with moderate carbonation a really crsip nice drinking pale ale with great complexity for a beer so light in color. Overall impression is that it would be a great beer to attempt to drink in number, but the price point at 6.99 a bottle may stop me from drinking it indefinitely.

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Photo of Tone
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, straw color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of citrus hops, hint of sweet malt, hint of grass, slight floral hops, and slight spice. Fits the style of an English Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of slight earthy malt, floral hops, hint of citrus hops, slight grass, hint of alcohol, and a hint of pale malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, feel, and body.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before 01.09.12. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium yellow with an orange tinge in the centre. One finger of bright white head with good retention.

S - Decent bitterness evident up front with citrus, pine and tropical fruit aromas. A slight malt sweetness in the background. Some lighter lemon aromas are present as well.

T - Moderate bitterness up front (about as expected for the style). Lemon, grapefruit and pine flavors from the hops. A very slight malt presence.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly over carbonated.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hearing the words "Kipling" and "South Pacifc Style" conjures images of the British Empire reaching to that part of the world over a century ago. Today, the English brewer Thronbridge is taking hops from that part of the world and fusing them into a traditional English style of beer. Here comes 500 ml of anticipation. On to the beer:

At first glance, it looks more like a lager with its washed out godlenrod color. The head has thick, rocky formation on top, which leaves plenty of strings of lacing around the glass. There's fun in the nnose; it feautres aromas of grass, melon, kiwi, and tangerine. Man, do I love these New Zealand hops.

The flavor profile leans a little towards the English side. But make no mistake, those Nelson Sauvin hops do make more than a mere showing. The canvas feautres a pleasant, moderate amount of butteriness and hard water minerals. On the canvas, the hops paint subtle flavors of grass, melon, pineapple, and vague citrus. Minerals and grassiness linger in the aftertaste. The beer has a light body with a semi-crisp carbonation that is refreshing.

A unique hybrid of a relatively old beer style fused with a relatively new varierty of hop. More importanly is that the hybrid works. I'm be looking forward towards more Thornbridge in the future.

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Photo of liamt07
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Best before 01/09/12 (September 1 I guess?).

Hazy orange with a couple fingers of white head. Good retention, patches of lace. Nose is sweet, spicey and piney. Tropical fruits and a sweet malt character. Nelson hops are certainly the feature. Taste exemplifies Nelson again, great tropical, light white wine and herbal/piney character. Good hop bitterness, and only a small bit of malt breadiness/sweetness. Medium body and carb - much improved than the disappointing experience I had with the Jaipur. A real solid Nelson pale ale.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thornbridge Brewery
Style: English Pale Ale
ABV: 5.20 %

LOOK: Pours a pale yellow color, with a completely white soapy head. Leaves lace down the 20 oz glass, a reasonable presentation for an authentic English pale ale.

SMELL: Biscuity pale malts, some herbal and floral notes, and a small fruity sweetness.

TASTE: Upfront pale malt sweetness chiming in with flavors of fresh baked honey oat bread and a well placed hop bitterness. Nelson Sauvin hops were employed, and the hops really steal the show with a pleasant bitter with notes of herbs, grapefruit peel, rustic tea and pine. This tastes like a real deal, authentic as can be English Pale Ale. This is the kind of beer I wish was right down the street at the closest bar, because I can drink this all day. Resinous, almost sticky hops with a firm bitterness and bite.

FEEL: Light to medium bodied, crisp, and even slightly drying. A moreish bitter finish makes this for an easy quaffer.

OVERALL: A really impressive English pale ale. Easy drinking, great flavor, everything was spot on. If you get the chance to try this, don't pass it up.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is full of flavors that can only be grown in hot climates and, indeed, has a level of sunny brightness that is rarely enjoyed in the UK. This thing sure looks like it's from the South Pacific. And given the frothiness of its surface, you might think it just came off the boat - foam abounds like the bottle was recently agitated.

All this talk about Nelson Sauvin hops got me excited. What I hoped when first smelling the beer was for my head to kick back, my eyes to roll up into their sockets, and my mouth to drop and my tongue to hang out. That's pretty much what happened. This bitter bouquet reeks of grass clippings and citrus pith. This has been dry-hopped to the nines! It's lovely.

The flavor is so lemony-fresh you'd think it was scrubbed with Mr. Clean. Other tropical fruit flavors include pineapple, lychee, passionfruit and under-ripe mango - it tastes like they got everything from the Thai-food aisle. Aside from the fruit, it also feels like you're stuffing your face with flowers; the texture is grassy and weedy. I feel like a lawnmower.

All these hoppy flavors, however, translate to disproportionately little bitterness. Much of the credit is likely due to a biscuity pale malt profile that is in good abundance and laces the beer with soothing traces of honey. It's thick enough to be filling, though not heavy enough to rule out multiple rounds. A reminder of the talents of British brewers.

You'd be hard pressed to find a more stinky, grassy, and tropical pale ale anywhere, including southern California. It's hard to believe this beer comes from jolly-old England. Or, then again, when you consider just how approachable and balanced - "sessionable" dare I say - Thornbridge Kipling is, perhaps it shouldn't be such a shock. A fantastic offering.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a pale yellow, pilsner type colour, with a small to medium white head, leaving solid lace.

S: Grass, grapefruit, gooseberry, very interesting nose.

T: This simply reminds me a ton of New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc. The gooseberry flavour is distinct and there's no mistaking it. Grass, grapefruit, passion fruit and a light kiwi fruit play round out the tropical hop flavours. Very distinct.

M: Medium-bodied at best. Crisp, very clean, easy drinking for sure, something to go with spicy food as it's an excellent palate cleanser.

O: This was a fun beer to delve into. I drank this on-tap without knowing anything about it aside from the fact that it's English. Then I saw the label and it said South Pacific Pale Ale it made sense. If there's not Nelson Sauvin hops in this I would be shocked, shocked. Great EPA, like nothing I've ever had before.

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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 HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


I wasn't even aware of the Australasian-Style Pale Ale. Apparently this is one of them. Snifter.

A: Pale yellow gold with perfect clarity and a mountain of soapy white froth that lingers for many minutes before settling to a thin ring of foam. Excellent lacing.

S: The aroma is pretty awesome. Earthy and floral hops meld with soft apple and pear notes. There's a juicy fruit candy-like note in the distance and a bit of Chardonnay grape. There's a strong weed-like presence and some gooseberry. Malt profile is lightly toasted with some biscuit character. I love this aroma.

T: Assertive hop bitterness throughout with a very pleasant orchard fruit presence that brings to mind Granny Smith apple. There's a little orange and some toasted biscuit. Earth blends with lemon and a touch of passion fruit.

M: Upper light to lower medium body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth, dry, crisp, and creamy.

Overall: I abandoned expectations heading into this and I was really surprised. This beer is delicious.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. Drank with @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a brilliantly clear yellow colour, with a reasonably frothy head of pure white. This settles down to a film, taking on a slightly greyish tone as it does so. Lacing is tight. Looks very good. Love the clarity in the body.

Nose is also very good indeed. Big fresh, sweet, slightly tropical hop characters, which give off pineapple, papaya and guava, with a slightly crisper, greener tone as well—perhaps fresh squeezed lime. Under it is a grainy substrate, a fairly neutral but also fairly bland underpinning. But the hops win here.

On the palate is where the bland basis makes more of an impact. Light clean entry gives a pleasant echo of fruitiness, before the back empties out. This isn't entirely bad: it's light and crisp and exceptionally quaffable as a result. But there's certainly less flavour than there could have been, in the aftertaste are reminiscences of fruitiness, a slight candy tingle slightly fragrant with a vacant acidity. It's quite pleasant.

Feel is light and crisp: very well suited indeed to the beer as a whole.

Despite some choices made in its construction, this is a very good beer, and even a very enjoyable and interesting one. If I complain about it having less flavour than it should, then it's almost certainly just a reflection on me rather than the beer. This is expertly made, extremely well crafted, and just drinkable as hell. Good stuff.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- pours a cloudy colour of apricot, very small head of foam, doesn't leave much lacing.

S- aromas of tropical fruit, some sweetness and citrus.

T- tarts with tropical fruitiness and sweet malt and bread, gets a bitter mid palate and in the finish with some lemon and grapefruit. Pretty balanced and flavourful..yeah, I'm a fan of Nelson Suavin hops, and Thornbridge did a good job with them here.

M- medium bodied, rather light with the carbonation, good mouthfeel.

O- a tasty 5.2% abv brew that's easy drinking and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 5$

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, grains/corn

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and caramel. There is also a bit of grapefruit, corn/grains, and a touch of an apricot sweetness. It ends with a herbal yet fruity aftertaste and a bit of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - I really enjoyed this one.. it's almost like an east coast PA meets an west coast PA. It actually kind of reminded me of a beer I get locally called Crazy Canuck to some extent. The high price tag would be my only complaint with this one, but it's defiantly worth buying at least once.

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Photo of wl0307
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Waitrose supermarket, this ale is a new product there so offered at the introductory price, £1.60; coming in a slim 500ml brown bottle, BB 24/11/2011, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. NOTE: this beer uses Nelson Sauvin hop variety.

A: looking pale amber with great clarity, coming with a tight and thick off-white froth to last on top of constant streams of fine bubbles.
S: juicy tropical fruits and grapefruits spring to mind, on top of hop resins and a fine sheet of pale malts; the fruitiness contains white grapefruits, green guava, gooseberries, with a light tinge of salted star fruits in the background. Being fruit-dominated, the nose somehow allows a little room for the aroma of English malts to sneak through. Very enticing and hoppy.
T: a clean mouthfeel of citric fruitiness has immediate following of the body and aroma of quality English pale malts plus mineral-ish saltiness of yeasts, then a manifesting flow of assertive hop bitterness cuts through, leaving a rough & tangy mouthfeel and tannic aftertaste as of crushed citrus seeds at the rear of the palate. The complex fruitiness on the nose has dissolved into a happy mess on the palate, lending a mostly decorative effect on the overall balance.
M&D: the mouthfeel remains refreshing without going fizzy, the body is medium for the alc. level, and the flavour profile is evolving and showing a very very decent balance. I’ve tried this wonderful pale ale for many times now, on cask, and this bottled version really doesn’t disappoint at all. A delicious thirst-quencher.

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