Isabella Blonde | Kern River Brewing Company

very good
121 Ratings
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Isabella BlondeIsabella Blonde

Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 03-01-2007

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 121 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of Bitterbill
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from HiTime Wines in Costa Mesa CA.

This pours a clear straw gold with about an inch of foam. Head retention and lacing both turned out to good.

The smell has a nice malty nose to it. I pick up some caramel for some sweetness and a bit of earthy hops.

The taste is malt dominated as well. Caramel malt, very light grain, some honey, and a bit of earthy hop semi bitterness and light tartness make this American Blonde quite tasty. The low abv is certainly a plus as this is going down very easy so I won't have to "pay" for it later.

The mouthfeel is on the high end of light, the carbonation is pretty light but fits nicely, and it finishes a little bit bitter, a little bit sweet. Right at the end it becomes slightly watery but no big deal.

Drinkability? The 4.5 says it should be very good. The taste says It *is* very good. Nothing boring about this ABA. I'm just checking my reviews of the style and there aren't many but I find Isabella ranks with the best I've tried.

I'm glad I found out about this brewery as I have a couple more styles of theirs to try. If the others are as well crafted as this one, I'm in for a real treat.(s)

Edit: second bottle tried and I'm even more impressed. Score adjusted accordingly.

 1,240 characters

Photo of Obsidian
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of cgentzkow
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of sirk0rebreg
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

had this on draft on 2 occasions while i was in kernville, once at "the broken oar" restaurant and once at the brewery itself...

pours a nice golden straw color, with a good 2 findger head...taste and mouthfeel is nice and smooth, with a hint of honey in the only 4.5% this is extremely drinkable and would make an excellent session beer!

cannot wait to get back to kernville for some rafting and good beer!

 429 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber

Here's another Kern River brew from the man himself, BitterBill, thank you Bill! Isabella is a bright golden beauty that shows a touch of haze and some straw golden highlights when backlit. Carbonation rises from random spots on the glass to the voluminous two finger linen white head. The foam settles lazily to a one finger cap with good staying power. This blonde is a knockout.

The nose is simple but clean and inviting. A semi-sweet graininess opens up a dusty grain aroma that fits incredibly well. A mild grassy hoppiness hits first and segues into a floral note that's very attractive. I don't know why but clean malty sweetness is incredibly inviting and almost comforting. It's tough to pull my nose from the glass.

The flavor mimics the nose fairly closely and manages to surpass it in the enjoyment category. The maltiness of this beer is so fresh and vibrant. That semi-sweet character gets things moving and eventually engulfs the tongue. Freshly husked grains and a drizzle of honey are what this beer tastes like in the most soothing of ways. The hops don't play much of a role but do manage to leave a whisper of floral notes behind. A touch of lemon is noticeable on the end too but I find myself reaching for it.

Isabella has one amazing mouthfeel! I couldn't imagine it being any better than what it is right now. She shows off a medium body and the carbonation is there but velvety soft. This brew rolls along my tongue like it was meant to be.

Drinkability is way up there with this fantastic blonde ale. I could honestly and easily drink this beer all day long without a care in the world. A beer this easy to drink is a rare find.

Isabella is the best blonde I'll I have ever encountered hands down. It's a true comfort beer for me and seems to fit perfectly as my idea of session ale. This beer actually blew me away which is something I never thought I would say when referring to a blonde ale. It's so simple, pure and clean it's hard not to love. Thanks for the treat Bill! Kern River seems to have a couple gems in their lineup.

 2,076 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.39/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to oglmcdgl for sharing the bottle brought back from cali.

A- Isabella has a mix of light gold with some orange built in to enhance the appearence. A one inch sturdy white head stood on top of the liquid for quite some time. Good lace patterns seen on the way down.

S- The smell on this is my favorite part of this beer, it's just so inviting. Big blasts of citrus scents with oranges and clemintines at the forefront. A nice hop base giving off floral qualities backed by some sweet malts. Smells delicious.

T- The huge citrus in the scent comes through in taste but it is not as pronounced as I thought it would be. I seem to get alot of oranges from this beer. In the middle some wheat and yeast present themselves with some hops built in. Finishes off rather floral and delicious.

M- A very small step up from light bodied while the carbonation was felt on the tounge. The carb is a touch high but still works well with this. Without it this would have been less interesting. The flavors invade the tastebuds.

D- I would of had no problem finishing off the bomber by myself. I look forward to more from this brewery. Hopefully one day they will find their way to store shelves in PA.

 1,200 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber consumed on 9/14/2009 and poured into my Moonlight pint glass. The beer is straw colored with a pretty great looking pillowy white head. It's about one inch with great retention and lacing.

The nose is bready and biscuity. The hops impart some grassiness and just a little citrus. The beer is well balanced but is slightly malt forward. Notes of corn are evident, as well as a hint of alcohol. The nose is subtle but really nice.

The flavor is of biscuity, bready malt and wheat with just a touch of lemon and orange. Bitterness is at a low level. Alcohol is nowhere in the flavor. Corn is noticeable. This is very well balanced. The finish is clean and dry.

The beer is light bodied with moderate carbonation. This is a perfect summer beer, and one that will slake your thirst. Very quenching. Requisite joke: I would session this blond with rock hard resolve.

 872 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes, drank about 2 months ago, cheers to BitterbBill for this one!

Pours an effervescent straw/blonde with a finger of pearl white head. Stays effervescent throughout & keeps ab amoeba like head structure. Average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy, bready & with hints of lemon

T: Dryness, lemony hops up front. Grainy bready as this warms, plus fruittyness & dryness.
Finishes with juicy grain, some grassyness & a touch of coriander???

MF: Medium bodied, smooth carbonation & great balance

Super sessionability that harkens back to many nice golden ales I drank in the 90s (many of these breweries are no more). Well done Kern River!

 656 characters

Photo of Nightrain87
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of tsailor
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of craft_shannie
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of srandycarter
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Slightly murky gold, nice white head that quickly leaves to disk. Some sudsy lace.

S - Biscuit, straw, lightly fruity. 'Fresh' smelling.

T - Even solid malty goodness. Not too sweet and bittered nicely.

M - Medium to light bodied, good carbonation and nice balance.

D - This taste and ABV is a winner for sessionabilty.

 327 characters

Photo of rand
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 22oz bottle to stein glass

A: The brew is straw-yellow in color, cloudy and effervescent, and forms a frothy, pillowy 2-inch head on a gentle poor. A good deal of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

S: The nose yields notes of honey-sweet pastries blended with earthy, floral hops, surrounded by a crisp, cracker-y overtone.

T: The malt-forward flavors follow the nose - a nice balance of slightly-sweet malts and floral hops. The brew has a well-rounded palate that finishes short and sweet.

M: Light and bubbly, with enough of an oily-slick mouthfeel to keep these tossing back.

I've been drinking Kern brew for awhile but never got around to trying this. Blondes are not my go-to style, and Kern's IPA's are so delicious and hard to get that I've never really seen the point in drinking this. But with hop-indulgence I've been doused myself in (thanks to the latest Citra release), this was surprisingly refreshing. A great beer for lunch or tailgating.

 966 characters

Photo of pmccallum86
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to soloman420 for throwing in this beer as an extra.

Pours a hazy yellow straw color with a light colored thin bubbly head that looks awfully inviting.

Smell is rich with citrus and spicy notes. Light aroma and a light hop aroma as well, smells a little like saaz hops but I am not sure.

My first thought upon tasting the beer is pear. Which seems to be common in blonde ales. Nice citrus and lemons notes as well with light bready malts in the finish.

Light body with a refreshing crisp carbonated finish. Very pleasant in this department, this beer would go great with an outdoor lunch on a sunny day.

Very drinkable, with the ABV this could be quite the session beer.

 683 characters

Photo of SupaCelt
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden blond colour with a big fluffy head to start with and massive lacing to hold on to.

The nose is light and mildly spicy with a twinge of breadiness and some pilsner corn tones. A faint grassy hop character mixed in for some nuance.

The taste is light and enjoyable. A perfect beer for a day like the one depicted on the label. Crisp and refreshing pilsner flavor coupled with the subtle and unimposing nature of whatever English hop variety is used within.

The mouthfeel is light and clean. Easy drinking.

This is a very pleasant ale and a great example of the style. This may not be everyone's cup of beer, but it accomplishes its ideal. Pefect for the patio in the summer or a day like the one depicted on the label. What a fox.

Thanks, Martin

 759 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the brewery in Kernville into a pint glass. The beer has a mustygolden color, with a slight film of bubbles over the top. The beer has a malty smell to the nose. Basic malt flavors with some bitter and sour notes typical of a Blonde. The beer has an extremely smooth finish, with little to no aftertaste. Extremely easy to drink, and would be a fantastic beer outside on a hot day.

 398 characters

Photo of BeerRunner
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Topher78
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of dirtyhalos
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mdlb44
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of jaredkc889
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of bpasquini
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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Isabella Blonde from Kern River Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 121 ratings.
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