Kipling | Thornbridge Brewery

very good
262 Ratings
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 262 |  Reviews: 109
Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev 0%

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

Pours clear golden yellow under a moderate white head that settles to a quarter inch cap. Good lacing.

Mmm. Great nose characterized by lots of fruity hops over top of sweet malt. Smells like it gonna be a treat.

And indeed it is a treat. This is a tasty beer, a very nicely done IPA. Very nice pine flavour, gentle but definitive citrus character. Great combination of flavours in just the right amounts. This is a very nice drinking beer. Just a little bit of sparkle from the carbonation.

Buy yourself more than one bottle of this. Very enjoyable. Recommended.

 566 characters

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of CanuckRover
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly bright gold. Nice white head bubbles up on the pour but settles to a film pretty quickly.

Winey fruit on the nose. Nelson Sauvin all the way. Grapefruit with a nice sweet backing.

Starts off pretty soft, with some mild English malt. Hops pick up pretty quickly. Big grapefruit flavours with a dusting of sugar and really aromatic floral notes. I find Nelson Sauvin accentuates any booziness in a beer and the same can be said for this one.

A really nice pale ale, characteristic of a lot of the pale ales coming out of the UK right now.

 557 characters

Photo of ThinkAgain
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of thehyperduck
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before September 2012.

Pours a golden, modestly-foggy colour - perhaps with a slight tinge of amber, but in general this is quite a bit paler than your average pale ale (whether English or American). The brew itself is topped with slightly more than one finger of dense, creamy white head with solid retention - though it does eventually die down to a bumpy cap, leaving some modest lacing behind. Lots of juicy, fruity goodness in the nose - white wine definitely comes to mind, although there is plenty of grapefruit and other citrusy notes as well. It's fresh, floral, and definitely does its job - after a few sniffs I really want to take a sip of this stuff.

The nose does not lie; this is the good stuff. Fruity tropical hop flavours dominate the profile, ranging from citrusy grapefruit rind and lemon zest, to honeydew melon and pineapple, right down to basic floral, grassy dryness. The malt backbone is bready, with some light honey sweetness to balance out the astringency - still, the hop bill remains the more prominent facet of this brew's flavour. Slightly dry finish that lingers only briefly. On the light side of medium-bodied, with lively carbonation that keeps the brew crisp without becoming a distraction. This is a session brew par excellence.

This is a highly enjoyable brew, maintaining a reasonable semblance of balance as is common in the English style, but with plenty of juicy, tropical fruit hop flavours that remind me more of an American pale. Categorization aside, though - this is easily one of the best pale ales I've had in a long time, and believe me, I've tried plenty.

Final Grade: 4.31, an outstanding A grade. Thornbridge's Kipling claims to be a 'South Pacific Pale Ale', and its plethora of delicious, juicy hop aromatics and fruity flavours certainly do their part to evoke in my mind imagery reminiscent of that region. A superb brew, without any asterisks or caveats - just a fabulous pint all around. This should be on shelves year-round, but I'd settle for it being an annual LCBO import.

 2,077 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Thirstybird (thanks Rian). 26.05.12 indicated on the bottle. Pours a straw gold with a rocky, half inch head embedded with tiny pinpricks - some particles are evident floating in solution. Great nose on this beer - mild tropical fruit notes, citrus and a light earthy character. Taste follows nose; however, light malts also manifest in the flavor profile, with an earthy presence through the middle and back, a slight buttery character and a mild, lingering earthy bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a pleasant, even carbonation and a light acidity that refreshes the palate. Overall, a very pleasant and easy drinking EPA (perhaps one of the best I've had to date). The Nelson-Sauvin hops add a really great character to this beer. Well worth trying if the opportunity presents itself.

 836 characters

Photo of askeladden
4/5  rDev 0%

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.

 574 characters

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

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV marked as 5.2%.

A - Poured a deep gold with a slight haze to it. 1cm creamy head. Head reduced to a thin cap. Some lacing.

S - The fruity hops hit first with aromas of pineapples, apricots, and gooseberries. In the background I can pick up the sweetness of the malts. Overall it smells quite inviting.

T - Some sweetness with hints of caramel, fruity sourness such as grapefruit, a piney bitter finish.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, slick, crisp & dry finish.

O - Oh this is good stuff. Will definitely pick more up while it's still available.

 598 characters

Photo of bryehn
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

 550 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of mintjellie
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale gold with slight haze, and a generous topping of pale white foam. Excellent retention and spotty lace. Aromatic notes of passionfruit, gooseberry, and dank skunk weed. The tropical fruit continues to come on strong in the mouth, with an assertive leafy bitterness appearing midpalate and lingering through the finish.

Light-bodied with moderate carbonation without feeling thin or watery. It feels slick. I love the deep tropical hop character this beer has. In my admittedly limited experience, this might be the best IPA I've ever tasted.

 546 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very pale with a rocky white head - reminiscent of Duvel. Lace drapes the glass on the way down. Tropical fruit and perfumey hop oils fill the aroma. The taste is hoppy and very interesting due to the Nelson Sauvin hops. Melon, passion fruit, white grape hop flavors lie on top of a light biscuity malt base. The mouthfeel is light bodied and moderately carbonated. Bitterness lasts quite a while in the finish, as well as the nice fruity flavors of the hop used.

This is a very tasty, hoppy pale ale. Really showcases these delicious fruity hops well. A bit expensive, but worth it as a treat.

 601 characters

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.

 269 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was very impressed with Thornbridge's Jaipur IPA, so I was excited to see another of their offerings, especially one boasting some Nelson Sauvin hoppage.

Poured into a nonic. Bright golden in colour, and with a fluffy head of about an inch that recedes into a thin ring. Some flecks of lacing.

Nose is a delectable fruit treat - mango, grapefruit, pineapple, orange - some leafy bitterness and bread as well.

Similar tasting notes as in the nose, and boy am I digging the NZ hops. Love the big mango and grapefruit blast here, which is kept in check by a lingering bitterness and mild earthy quality. It was all I could do to drink this beer with the pace and contemplation it deserves, because it was terrific.

Lighter bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly oily.

Great brew - I'll be drinking Jaipur and Kipling all summer if I can swing it. A great display of these wonderful hops.

 895 characters

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.

 683 characters

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

Part of the summer LCBO seasonal offering...

A - Pours a pale golden colour with a thumb of fine bubbled head with solid retention and some nice sheeting lacing.

S - Scent is quite floral with a sour citrus scent dominating, grapefruit, lemon and lime with an earthy and leafy green finish.

T - Again, the grapefruit citrus hop notes dominate leaving a pleasant lingering bitterness. The earthiness complements the floral hop notes while a touch of bready caramel sneaks in on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - A very tasty pale ale, serving up a solid dose of citrus hops which would please any critics. Definitely worthy of grabbing a few more bottles before they disappear.

 727 characters

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

BB September 1, 2012

Beer is golden in colour with a large and thick white head. Decent retention and good lacing.

Scent is hop-focused. Bright tropical fruits come through nicely- pineapple, mango, lemon. I don't get much in the way of malt, just a nice fresh hop scent. A good way to experience the Nelson Sauvin hop.

Taste has the same tropical fruits as the nose, with lemon a bit stronger than pineapple or mango. Seems to be a bit of green apple as well. A bit soapy. Well balanced- a slightly bitter beer but not aggressively. Like the nose, I don't get much of a malt presence.

Medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation.

Overall, very nice. A very flavourful and enjoyable pale ale.

 699 characters

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.

 861 characters

Photo of Orbex
4/5  rDev 0%

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

Pours a hazy pale blonde colour, one finger fluffy white head, some lacing at the top of the glass. Smell is incredibly hoppy, lots of tropical and citrus fruits going on, orange, mango, grapefruit, a slight sweetness with some malt but this is a full on fruity hop nose all the way. Taste is dry and hoppy followed by a more pronounced malt bill, some earthy hop bitterness with some tropical fruit flavours coming in mid palate towards the finish, light sweetness in finish and aftertaste. Medium crisp carbonation, med body, some oily points and quite dry feeling. This was a very impressive pale ale, very easy drinking and something I would welcome many times over.

 670 characters

Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev 0%

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.