Isabella Blonde | Kern River Brewing Company

Isabella BlondeIsabella Blonde
121 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 121 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy gold with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some grassy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with malty and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has a nice hoppy presence in the smell and taste.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of kojevergas
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Samuel Smith's conical pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite high given the brewery.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of nice cream and thickness, and great retention. Colour is a pale lemon yellow when held in the light, but a dull copper out of the light. Transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Floral hops, lemon zest/esters, and pale malts. A simplistic aroma of average strength. It's generally appealing.

T: Lemon esters and zest. Pale malt foundation. Floral hops. It's a bit too lemon-y. Nicely fruity and refreshing. It's simple, but I like it. There's little to say about it in light of its simplicity. No yeast character comes through. No alcohol.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good carbonation and thickness. Complements the flavour profile well.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. I do like it, but I doubt I'd get it again. A good blonde from Kern River, but it won't impress.


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Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another extra from the elusive trader Solomon420. Been trying a bunch of the beers from Kern River thanks to Damian, and this is next on the list. Been a big fan of them so far.

A: Pours into my NERAX modified pint glass with lip for aroma savoring, with a semi decent 2 finger fluffy head that fades slowly. Very clear with a slight haze in the golden yellow straw colored liquid.

N: Toasty straw malts and some crystal malt. A slight fruity sweetness from the combination of yeast and malty goodness. A slight hop aroma, more towards the English style bitter hops, but pretty light. A slight grassy aroma as well.

T: Starts with an almost juicy malt flavor, but is still semi light. A slight toasty malt flavor, but not too much. An almost tangy sweetness but not very light. A slight bitter spicy grassy hop taste. Almost some banana and wheat flavors. Pretty clean and crisp as well.

M: Mild body with good carbonation.

F: Mildly bitter with a slight grassy lingering taste. Pretty dry but not overpowering. Clean finish, without much lingering flavors, except a little bitterness. A slight fruit flavor, more banana and orange and wheat grass blended seems to flair up just at the end of the taste, but fades quickly, like a lost memory of summer, just like this beer. It's a great summer beer and drinking it makes me miss summer quite.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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 womencantsail
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Kern River Brewing Company

A: The beer pours a clear golden straw color with a finger of white head.

S: Corn and pale malts make up the bulk of the aroma. Some light hoppy notes, mostly grass and straw with a little bit of a floral quality. Some light yeastiness, but fairly meh overall.

T: Like with the nose, pale malts, bread, and corn are the big players. A very light hoppiness in terms of the flavor, but a surprisingly strong bitterness. Again, a light yeasty quality to the beer exists.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Easily my least favorite Kern River beer. I wouldn't care to have this one again.

 656 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra in a recent trade.

This one pours a slightly hazy, mostly clear straw yellow, with a small quarter inch head, and a small amount of lacing.

This smells like tea, grassy hops, and pale crackery malts.

This is not one of my favorite styles, so I'll try to be unbiased. Even for a blonde ale, there doesn't seem like there's a whole lot here. There's some nice dry tea-like hop flavors, a little bit citrus, crackery malts, and a pretty watery finish. There's a decent yeastiness to this that's not super enjoyable.

This has a light, kind of watery body, with a crisp mouthfeel, a high drinkability, and a moderate level of carbonation.

Doesn't quite work here, unfortunately.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.07/5  rDev +10%
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 jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bitterbill for this 22 oz. bottle!

Pours almost all foam at first. It does settle pretty quickly though, revealing a slightly hazed golden yellow body with a spots of lacing.

The smell is grainy, slightly nutty/almondy with a hint of tea-like spicing.

The taste of mildly sweet grainy maltiness, with a hint of nut, blends with a touch of tea-like hops that give it a dry, thirst-quenching finish.

Carbonation is on the aggressive side, producing a rather foamy feel.

Not a bad thirst-quencher. Carbonation a but strong, but a refreshing brew overall with a nice balance to it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice hazy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, with some really nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some slight hop/yeast profile, and some spices. The taste is malty, sweet, yeasty/slight hop, and some spice notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew, glad to have had a chance to try it, thanks Bill.

 423 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally seeing some Kern River after an extended abscence. 22 ounce bottle here, and it's on to the beer:

Just as the name suggests, this is a darker blonde colored beer that flirts with goldenrod. The head retention is good, and splashes of lace ring around the glass. Earthy, biscuity, slightly hopped, and dry is the nose, providing good aromic power. Simple and refreshing to taste; a tiny bit of earth, modest biscuit note, a kiss of grassy hops, slightly metallic, balanced between the flavors. With a light and refreshing crisp body, this is one very easy drinking beer.

Isabella Blonde can stick its head over many of the blonde ales being produced by not only being refreshing, but also having some taste as well. Ideal as a starter, fishing at Lake Isabella, or just looking for that moment of refreshment.

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Photo of StoutSnob40
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
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 biegaman
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Isabella Blonde is touted as being 'great for those hot summer days' and, indeed, it looks like one! It has a radiant yellow body, chirpy bubbles and a creamy white lather like the one I need to splatter on my nose, neck and shoulders to keep them from burning after twenty minutes or so outdoors. The thick mist implies a more than ample malting.

The aroma is grainy but also bready-sweet with a trace leafy hoppiness. It confirms a more than ample amount of malt was used - don't let its bright, pale body mislead you, this is much denser than a typical lager of similar colour. It also lacks any of the unpleasant adjunct notes of those beers (although there is a slight corn grits air, on account of its graininess).

Flavours of corn kernel and grain husks instinctively make me feel as though I should chew before swallowing. Indeed, this resembles a hearty barley risotto in both flavour and starchy, dense mouthfeel (except of course for the earthy, herbal pungency experienced on the finish). I say again: this blonde ain't no anorexic twig, but a bootylicious, full-figured gal.

Kidding aside, 'voluptuous' isn't such an inappropriate word to describe this blonde ale. It is full of (and can be characterized by) its plump malty indulgence and, together with a well-rounded leafy hoppiness, it brings enjoyment and pleasure to the senses. If I were ever to describe a beer as 'bosomy' this would be the one. It's bigger than the 4.5% let's on.

My anaconda don't want none unless if you got buns, hun. And Isabella, although she is indeed a relatively lighter beer, sure has a real and busty maltiness that I would take eleven times out of ten to those ultra-thin, grossly artificial, purely aesthetic mainstream lagers. Take my word on it, this Californian blonde is definitely more fun. And it is definitely much better than the score I posted above would indicate. Thanks Martin!

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Isabella Blonde from Kern River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 121 ratings
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