Kipling | Thornbridge Brewery

very good
262 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 262 |  Reviews: 109
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).

 814 characters

Photo of trevorpost
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of seand
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent yellow light amber with a fair amount of fizzy white head. The foam dissipates to a thin layer quickly, but leaves reasonable lacing. Kind of looks a little like a crappy lager but the head has more resilience.

S: Really nice hops; subtle and complex and sweet and citrusy.

T: Mild, but there is some nice complexity here too. Starts sweet but leads into an airy hoppy finish. Nice.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, this is pretty great. I'd have this on tap all the time if it were common locally. Complex but subtle and without a huge ABV.

 580 characters

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of fionn13
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of fx20736
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass, served cold.

A: Hazy Butterscotch with a blizzard of carbonation. Scant lacing.

S: Citrusy lemon, fragrant floral hoppiness on a bed of malt.

Mouthfeel is soft with prickly carbonation

T: Bed of malt followed by a fragrant hoppiness and a peppery sting:

Notes: This is a tasty, fragrant, pleasing beer. Very nice.

 365 characters

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

On cask at Against the Grain, Dublin.

Incredibly creamy steady off white cap of foam that leaves crusty rings over cloudy honey gold with some odd speckles. Sour lemon, mango and straight hop resin - fresh!
Lemon curd and mango then lots of grapefruit hops with some passionfruit.
Gooseberry and tangerine finish and dry nettle linger. Medium, some chew, round and smooth.

Tart and a bit dank up front, with the fruit underneath - there's kiwi and starfruit in there, too. Different with each sip, and the creamy body does wonders. Hops on parade but all without heavy IBUs.

Possibly the best showing for Nelson Sauvin ever.

 630 characters

Photo of fank2788
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle split in 2 pint glasses
Bright gold and mostly clear in the glass with a pure white head of fine bubbles which lace a bit. The smell is pretty incredible for an english pale ale. The hops give off a amazing variety of fruity aromas ranging from pineapple to citrus including grapefruits and lemons to mango. Beyond the hops there is a touch of caramel malt. The taste follows the smell but the fruit is toned down and the hops end up tasting more grassy and floral than fruity. Bitterness is fairly restrained as the hops are more flavorful than bitter, that moderate bitterness is balanced with a sweet bready maltiness. The mouthfeel of this beer is moderate with lively carbonation both of which are spot on for the style. The finish is just sweet enough and crisply bitter. Overall this is an incredibly flavorful, rather unique EPA that is a joy to drink. A world class example without question.

 914 characters

Photo of ReeseMax3
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of ummswimmin
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this while recently visiting Ginger Man in New York. I took notes from my visit because they get beers that I can't find anywhere else. I recommend visiting that place... the beer selection is amazing and the food is limited, yet very tasty. On to the Kipling:

The coloring was very light/pale with one finger of head on a fluted glass. The smell reflected a decently sour nose along with some sweetness. Overall wholly unexceptional in the nose, which would be expected for an English Pale.

The flavor had a little unusual presence. I tasted some type of berry that really came through. There was even some bitterness from the hopping. I also got some grass and creaminess.

This beer was good but a little confusing.

 726 characters

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.

 1,109 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a lightly hazed orange/straw hybrid. Head is full and boastful. It refuses to die off. Laces efficiently.

S-Apparently this is all Nelson Sauvin hops. Boy does it smell so. The NS hops just wreak of eucalyptus, cucumber and other spiced vegetal notes. Very unique easy to identify. Malt adds a respectable balance, but those NS hops shine.

T-Yum. Spicy and vegetal with some rowdy citrus. The hops are really phenomenal here. Good malted balance too. The hops really give you those unique flavors of tea, eucalyptus, cucumber, fresh green grass etc.

M-Light and sessionable. Carbonation is flirty. Could drink this all night.

O/D-I am pretty much always disappointed with English hoppy beers. This honestly may be my favorite take on any such style that applies from the UK. Those hops are so damn cool and unusual. Great time in a glass. loved it.

 860 characters

Photo of PeteRiz
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of spry
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

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.

 459 characters

Photo of Oakenator
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive English ale. Hop flavors are present in this beer vs. other English pale ales. Nose is citrus and definitely forward with grapefruit. Tongue is the same and has a deeper flavor profile than a lot of other English pale ales. One to remember for the next trip across the pond.

 285 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a clear texture. There was an inch of creamy head that quickly dissipated. Very good lacing.

S: A very sweet, fruity, hoppy aroma. Extremely enticing.

T: Tasted of hops (a fair amount for an EPA), light malt, and lots of fruit (pineapple, grapefruit, lemon). A light, vibrant, sweet, likeable flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, silky finish. Light-bodied.

O: Not your typical English Pale Ale, but this isn't a bad thing. Extremely well made and drinkable.

 545 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

 1,038 characters

Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

 1,808 characters

Photo of Dizbro21
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MattPS
4/5  rDev 0%

Kipling from Thornbridge Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 262 ratings.
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