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: 262
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 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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Fairly clear golden-straw colour with a semi-creamy two fingers worth of bubbly foam head. Good retention with spotty lacing.

S: Bold pine, big citrus (like an unripe sour grapefruit), tropical notes (sweet pineapple), and a buttered bread backbone. Very damp and woody. Well balanced and overall one of the best pale ale aromas I've experienced to date.

T: Very piney and bitter with more of a tart and tangy grapefruit element coming through. Pineapple as this warms a little. Buttered bread-like malt backbone is subtle enough without being too dominant. Detecting hints of caramel-butterscotch on the back end. Quite good.

M: Medium bodied with an appropriate carbonation. Relatively low oily character with a slight chewy texture.

D: Quite a good pale ale that I'd pick up again. Aroma was off the charts and the taste was pretty gosh-darn good too.

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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 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 tenesmus
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a straight pint glass.

A vivid golden beer with gentle, even effervesence and a snow white head of light foam that settles to form a dainty cover. The lacing is intricate.

The nose well, the first hit is incredibly evocative of homegrown green weed, thanks for that Thornbridge. The components come through, grapefruit, further citric notes, lemon and lime, resinous pine and some tropical fruits, passion fruit and pineapple among them.

Tasteing, the grapefruit and pine resin are very much in the front row but joined by the tropical passion fruit and kiwi. Something a little bit medicinal in there. Theres some noticable malt structure, but a puckering bitterness and an aftertaste of grapefruit pith.

Feel is light, alcohol and carbonation not really prevalent.

I like this a lot. I can't help hoping it'll be like some beer version of skunk after getting a whiff of it, but the taste belies the aroma. Its quite a soft beer despite the grapefruit - a gentler cousin to Halcyon and Jaipur.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Handpump halfpint at Craft Beer Co.

A: Clear pale amber body with a frothy white head. Ok retention, spotty lace.

S: Tropical to the max, with mango, pineapple, and tangerine. Some bready malt as well. Nice.

T: Opens with fruity hops - mango, melon, pineapple - and closes with clean maltiness. Bitter finish. Tasty.

M: Light, soft medium body; delicate carbonation. A bit weak, but ok.

O: It seems like every British brewer has some pale ale with NZ hops, and this one kind of blends in with all the rest. It's good, to be sure, but hardly distinctive.


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

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Nice clear golden-yellow pour with two finger pure white head with decent retention and nice lacing. The nose will absolutely blow you away. The Nelson Sauvin hops totally steal the show! Tons of that distinctive aroma full of grapefruit and tropical fruit, reminiscent of New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc wines. The taste is complex and also dominated by the Nelson Sauvin hops. Earthy, herbal, and citrusy at the same time. Hints of grapefruit, gooseberries, lemon, white grapes, pineapple, and an odd touch of green onion. The mouthfeel is oily and resiny with a light, crisp, and refreshing dry finish. Another awesome beer from Thornbridge!

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

Like a yellow wine gum for the colour of the body nice sudsy white head.

Rich and fruity on the nose, hints of pineapple and orchid with big hop hits waiting in the wings.

Bitterness comes through supreme on the taste making a tangy treat for the tongue full on hop hits, cones and all can see where the tropical references come from.

good solid mouthfeel slightly lively carbonation makes a tasty brew

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

Appearance - very pale gold with a persistent, fluffy white head.

Smell - a little bit of grain and a lot ot tropical fruit. Pineapple, citrus, and tangy kiwi with a fruity, white wine character.

Taste - Again, a bit of grain and a lot of tropical fruit, but the flavours do not come off as fruity, and certainly not sweet. The tropical fruits of the aroma are present in the flavour, but are accompanied by solid bitterness, and an interesting tar-like note.

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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 wordemupg
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into tulip 21/12/11

A clear bright yellow with plenty of bubbles feeding a large well retained bone white head that leaves several thick rings of lace that stick out off the glass, slowly falls to an island leaving lots of lace right down the glass

S quite tropical with pineapple sticking out, a little grassy and I can see how this hop got its name with a little vinous sauv notes, not quite cat pee but I see the similarities to the grape

T a little grainy with all the tropical fruit I could smell, slightly herbal and rather pleasant

M rather light and refreshing, some lemon rind on the aftertaste and perhaps just too many bubbles as its on the foamy side of creamy

O something different and I rather liked it, a nice mix of flavors and smell I just wish it was hot outside

I might be grabbing another one of these just to acquaint myself with the hop, I can't think of having this hop before and I'd like to have it again

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