Class V Stout | Kern River Brewing Company

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Class V StoutClass V Stout
519 Ratings
Class V StoutClass V Stout

Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
River rapids are rated by a numeral system. Class V is the most difficult level rapid that can be negotiated.

This non-traditional beer is an Oatmeal Stout, Milk Stout and an Imperial Stout all in one. With a complex flavor profile ranging from coffee to chocolate, the sweetness is complemented with Chinook and Cascade hops to produce an extraordinary finish. But at 8.5% ABV, don't let the smooth taste fool you; this beer is like the Kern at high water - "Not for the Timid".

Added by mcallister on 03-01-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 519 |  Reviews: 201
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour tan head. Inviting aroma of chocolate and alcohol.

Whoa, there's lots of chocolate in this. And it never goes away, its there throughout the entire bottle and mouthfeel. Rich. Alcohol is not as strong as I thought it would be, melds nicely. No off flavors, mild hopping, but make no mistake, the chocolate is the top dawg on this one. And its lovely. If you like Rogue's Chocolate Stout, this is similar in the immensity of the chocolate, but has a thicker and chewier mouthfeel to it. Good amount of smooth and sweetness to it, this one really does push forward all the good things from a milk and oatmeal stout with the largeness of an imperial and of course, the chocolat!

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Photo of mjr2377
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of Satchboogie
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

A: Pours dark brown/black with nearly 3 fingers of tight mocha-brown head. Great head retention, leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Big coffee, robust roasted malts, bitter chocolate, toffee/light molasses.

T: As with the nose, there's a huge amount of medium roast coffee with a sugary/caramel sweetness, bakers chocolate, and maybe even a little licorice towards the finish. There's a little bit of wood/roast flavor and bitterness on the front end, though a portion of it may be coming from the hops. Earthy and slightly floral hops shine through the middle to finish complimenting the malt base very nicely. Lots of lingering roast/bitterness through the finish. Alcohol isn't really noticeable at all except for the tiniest of burn in the back of the threat.

M: Medium body, very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. About as sessionable as an Imperial Stout can be. That said, the body is a little on the thin side.

O: A good coffee forward stout that's easy drinking and fairly tasty.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of RichBeer
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of BierBliss
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of nicks6217
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of nightwing002
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Jstark5150
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Jeffo
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a recent trade with NewGeneric. Thanks for the brews man!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A thin, transparent, brown pour yields a three finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with great retention. Sienna pr bistre brown in color with higher levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a good, full cap and leaves sheets of lacing down the sides of the glass. Great lacing, but too light and thin a body, and the head needs to be darker for the style.

SMELL: Some roasted malt, cocoa powder notes, and very hoppy with plenty of floral notes. Roasted marshmallows come to mind as well.

TASTE: Bolder flavors than the nose, and quite interesting. Roasted malts, cocoa, and roasted marshmallows again, with a biscuit and hoppy, floral finish. Bolder and persistent aftertaste of cocoa powder, bitter, flowery hops and some sweet biscuit malt flavors. Good stuff.

PALATE: Medium-full body and very creamy on the palate. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Solid effort here.

OVERALL: Though the look was a little thin and unimpressive, the rest of the experience was pretty solid. This is a well made hop forward stout, and if you like this style, then this is a good choice. I generally like maltier, chocolate and molasses bombs a little more than hoppy stouts, but this was enjoyable non-the-less. Comparable to Black Bear Stout in quality and style, this is one worth picking up if you see it. Recommended. Thanks again for the trade NewGeneric.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass.

A: Pours dark coffee brown with two and a half fingers of dense, fluffy, light khaki/cream-colored head, which dissolves very slowly leaving a pretty lacing on the glass.

S: Roasted malt and dry wood (not oak), big fresh smell, opening up into soft cream and vanilla

T: Dark roast coffee and roasted malt, some burnt notes, woody, and some vanilla, finishing with smooth dark chocolate. Nice.

M: Very light carbonation and rich with full body. Quite hefty. Would be well served with more carbonation.

O: Solid, but could be better. I like that it's not one dimensional. Good everyday stout.

The Class X (bba version) was a little better, and the Class V on cask with cocoa nibs and vanilla was quite an improvement on this.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black as night with a beautiful 1 inch head and great retention with some nice lacing

Smell: Great roasted coffee and chocolate on the nose

Taste: Large amounts of roasted malt in the foreground that masks a lot of the other flavors of the beer. There are you typical coffee and chocolate notes but they are a bit muted by the roasted malt and ash notes

Mouthfeel: Full body and mild carbonation and maybe a touch dry

Overall: Real good beer and for $4.99 a bomber it's a great

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Photo of soughtbygod
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours dark black like most stouts but it has good head retention, nice 2 to 3 finger head. the smell is of vanilla and oak maybe some smoke. the thing i love most about this beer is that it drinks very well 40 to 55 degrees all the way through releasing different flavors and depths of complexity. probably one of my favorite stouts. the mouthfeel is smooth a little thin for a stout but i suppose that is why this is so drinkable. awesome beer.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle poured into a Bruery tulip glass. Served this one at cellar temperature. Review copied from tasting notes I took last night.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. A surprisingly expansive two to three finger head, that is light brown in color. I'm a bit surprised how light the head is to be honest. Good retention and plenty of carbonation.

Aroma: Big roasted coffee and coffee beans with some milk chocolate upfront. Spots of light caramel as well. Subdued but balanced.

Taste: More, big coffee and espresso notes in the taste. Almost drinks like it was brewed with coffee. Light cocoa and caramel notes interpaly as well. Touches of smoke and roast. The alcohol is hidden very well. This even feels a bit one dimensional to me.

Mouthfeel: Really thin for the style. Carbonation is spot on, but the lack of body is surprising.

Overall, a nice stout with some really nice coffee flavor. However, I am finding that I really want a bit more depth and complexity. I get a ton of coffee, a touch of secondary cocoa/caramel and not a whole lot else. I probably won't go out of my way to get again.

 1,137 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, shared at WLV Pig Roast.

A - Pours a darker brown color, tan frothy head, spotty lacing, thin cap.

S - Nice level of roast, chocolate, slight sugary sweetness, slight expresso bean note in there as well. Really enjoy the roast and light sweetness here, very solid.

T - Roast, dark chocolate, coffee, slight burnt sugars. Not quite as big as I'm used to my Imperial Stouts, but the roast and dark chocolate notes are really enjoyable. The alcohol is barley noticeable, if at all.

M - Medium to full (perhaps a bit too thin), good carbonation, smooth, creamy finish.

O - An excellent Imperial Stout that was so easy to drink. Had a couple of pours from the bottle and I think it was a hit with everyone. I have one bottle left that I will open soon, as good as it is drinking now. Recommend.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Black colored beer with a tan head that faded to a solid ring.

S - Chocolate, roast, a bit of coffee. It's a decently roasted smelling stout that I find appealing.

T - A lot of good flavors. Chocolate, some coffee, roast, bit of molasses are all in there. A good amount of flavor for the 8.5%. I'd like to see them pump it up a little more and throw it into a Rye barrel.

M - Medium bodied, carbonated, slightly thin.

O - Good stout, another quality beer by Kern. Only real complaint was the mouthfeel, if they could thicken it up a bit it'd be great.

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Photo of UnknownKoger
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Whole Foods and poured into a tulip. I'm familiar with a few Kern River beers, so I now it's going to be good.

Pour is good. Well carbonated. Appearance is dark with a slight hint of brown. Looks like coffee. Thin head quickly dissolves.

Smell gives away hints of coffee, semi-sweet chocolate. It tastes fantastic. This is definitely not your average imperial stout (reading that it's a blend of oatmeal and milk stouts makes more sense). The taste is mildly sweet. The chinook and cascade hops linger in the background to balance out the maltiness. The chocolate is there. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is great due to the carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer, even though the bottle warns it's not for the timid.

Overall, this is a fantastic brew from KRBC. I would absolutely buy this again.

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Photo of jeff1973
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Bruery tulip. Got from Farmer's Harvest (Huntington Beach, CA) for $4.89.

A - Black, opaque. Tan head leaves really good lacing.

S - Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, earthy, slight bit of cherries.

T - Smooooth!!! I know that is not a taste, but it is the first thing I noticed. Cherry Kool-aid (not sweet though and in a good way), bitter chocolate, then a nice bitter roasted malt and dries out nicely (I am assuming from the good amout of hops). Well balanced.

M - Medium carbonation. Medium low body. Creates a very smooth beer.

D - Medium high and dangerously so! Goes down way too easy for a 8.5%ABV beer.

Great beer. Great taste. Great drinkability. Great price!! My new "go to" stout.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Sideswipe I think...
Served in pint glasses at a byob Thai place I like.

This is a tasty stout. It really works well. The coffee and cocoa notes come through with a good roasty malt base holding things together. There is an interesting apricoty citrus hop quality on the back end. The beer is pretty light, which makes it slightly easier to drink.
This drinks quite nicely; the flavor is well-balanced and delicious.
The beer is dark, brown with red hues. Three fingers of awesome thick head. Nice retention.
Very nice beer.

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Photo of iadler
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a chalice

A- Pours a deep brown with a reddish hue. A two finger mocha head slowly dissipates leaving some webs of lacing behind

S- Baking chocolate, roasted malt, faint espresso beans. Simple but a very pleasant aroma.

T- Follows the aroma with baking chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. No sign of the hops, but this bottle is 8+ months old.

M- Low to medium carbonation and medium body. Slightly syrupy mouthfeel that finishes dry a bit bitter with chocolate and coffee beans. The 8.5% warms the throat, but is masked fairly well.

O- There wasn't anything that made this stand out, but it was a very well executed beer that was very smooth and easy to drink. First non-IPA I've from Kern and they continue to impress me.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Class V Stout is a molasses coffee black color with a creamy tan head. A little bit of lace is left and the head relaxes to a ring as the glass progresses.

Smell: Lots of dark chocolate and chocolate malt. Roasted malt comes in right behind. Very good, but very simple.

Taste: The flavor follows the nose. Tons of dark chocolate and chocolate malt. This creates a complexity in the chocolate flavor. Sweet, bitter, and smooth. A little bit of coffee comes in at the end.

Mouthfeel: A little bit of booze on the tongue. Mostly sticky and sweet, but there is an evening bitterness toward the end of each sip. Full bodied with tightly wound creamy carbonation.

Overall: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I really enjoyed this.

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Class V Stout from Kern River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 519 ratings