Kern River Brewing Company

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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #5
Ranked #51
4.61 | pDev: 8.89%
Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: A double IPA that is hazy pale in color with a strong pungent aroma that comes from large amounts of Citra hops.
Reviews: 414 | Ratings: 1,836 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mytone
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Medium opiate amber in color minimal head that hands on the glass.

S: Sweet fragrance of passion fruit and oranges.

T: Hoppy dank start, orange-grapefruit-apricots notes in the middle, then a hoppy sweet finish with a slight bitter ending. More danky than juicy.

F: Medium bodied with a dry finish

O: Hoppy west coast IPA, very different beer from what you smell vs what you taste. Like a sweeter Pliny the Elder.

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Photo of Sconimike
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked it off a menu at Stout in LA. What an amazing aroma and taste. Could tell the hops were citrus and could smell the pine. A nice orange amber color. Left me wanting to have another as soon asI can find it again.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great, old-school West Coast IPA with a strong malt backbone and a solid use of Citra hops. This was a game changer back in the day and still deserves its due respect.

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Photo of bret27
3.89/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Refrigerated can to glass. No canning date, but believe it to be about a month old.
Tan almost orange. Little cloudy. Minimal off white head. Nice lacing.
Citrus and pine on the nose.
Taste starts out sweet and citrusy, but then ends bitter with astringency.
Soapy aftertaste and burps. Slight booze presence.
I think Pliny has made me spoiled.

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Photo of stoumi
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Citra pours a beautiful amber orange with a soapy and loose, 2-finger, light yellow head that deposits some minimal lacing. The smell is resiny and dank with citrus fruits, a hint of floral and a slight malt sweetness. The taste is initially smooth and sweet over the palette with a dank, hop bitterness from the Citra, giving off flavors of grapefruit, pineapple and a hint of zest. Truly an outstanding DIPA, comparable, maybe better than Pliny the Elder for me. Took nearly 2 years to finally find a can up my way in NoCal and this is an impressive beer!

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Photo of Zaximus
3.05/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

From a can with a couple weeks on it into snifter. Pours copper in color. Somewhat muddy?

Piney. Resinous. Extremely hoppy but not well balanced with a malty backbone. Little alcohol burn but not overly flavorful. Astringent. Reminds me of the classic, overly hoppy west coast hop bombs but not as good.

I don’t know. Still really like a classic west coast IPA but this one just doesn’t do much for me. Glad I was finally able to try it even if it was ultimately disappointing.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.06/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi clear amber with fine head.

Smell is piney with notes of resin, grapefruit an grapefruit rind.

Taste is piney and citrus with a strong, resiny bitterness. There is a medicinal hint that hampers it somewhat and makes it a little bit astringent.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated.

Overall, a very nice west coast DIPA, shame about the medicinal thing.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/2/16; drank 12/5/16 @ the Palace.

Semi-opaque dull orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a huge off-white head; frothy lace.

Sweet orange citrus, grapefruit & cane sugar notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Orange citrus & cane sugar flavors up front; mild grapefruit bite on the finish. No booze heat.

A little too sweet, but overall an excellent DIPA!

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Photo of Zach_Attack
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

02/2015 - Pineapple and mango fosho with mild pine, dank aromas; fruity, juicy, nice hoppy tang, tropical fruits on the palate; sweet, wee bitter, clean finish though.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden, slightly hazy with no visible cardio and a finger of white head.

Smells of pineapple, citrus and a hint of pine. A Caramel malty backbone follows.

Tastes of perfection in balance. Fruity and floral almost like a rose, lily of the valley. Caramel sweetness with a hint of bitterness like grapefruit pith.

Medium body with a little spritzy carbonation. Covers the abv.

Having on tap at Liquid Gold, San Francisco, Dec 30th, 2018. Amazing brew. The feel is powdery and amazing, the taste so soft yet defined so that it finishes quickly on the palate, leaving you craving the next sip.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, here is it: other than Emily Didonato lying at the foot of my bed - this is my number 1 want: Kern River Citra.

As I sip I am jolted from a dream - is this real? Am I? First textures are lush and grassy like Warren Beatty trying to woo Natalie Wood. Unfortunately, what comes after it is not Disneyland every night at 9:30 PM - no fireworks. I’m missing that extra hoorah! I’m missing that extra zoom zoom in the boom boom! It’s nice and clean, but then like my 4th ex, it’s kind of one dimensional. It’s ok, but because of the hype going into it, I kind of haz a sad.

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Photo of gcasher
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden with white head. It glows.
Awesome citra smell and super choppy taste. Rivals the alchemists. Gets a bit bitter as I make my way through the glass. 16 oz draft.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.77/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Surprised by the haze, it's a nearly fully opaque orange-amber with a lighter gold around the bottom edge, topped with a large khaki foam that slowly settles to a thin film with a bubbly clinging collar.

Smell actually starts garlicky and biscuity, with some sharp yeast, orange zest and rind, lemon and pine.

Taste is tangy and almost spicy with a mix of allium and citrus, backed by a sting of pine and a biscuity rug with a Triple Sec finish.

This is definitely more old school, malty, bitter and pungent than the new haze class, but is also very citrusy and enjoyable. Body is moderately light with a bubbly light carbonation and a dry, prickly swallow.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.84/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-draught at Verdugo Bar, Los Angeles. I've waited a long time to try this one.

30cl for $8 USD. 8% ABV. Imperial IPA.

Pours a glowing orange body of average vibrance. No yeast or lees are visible. Head is white, coating, and thick. Head retention is good for the high ABV - ~8 minutes. Leaves scattered lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

AROMA: Orange creamsicle, fresh orange peel, fragrant citrus, a blip of rind, tangerine. Has concomitant bitterness but it's nevertheless well balanced. Suggests an imperial IPA with a well-disguised ABV, plenty of hop pungency, and good depth of flavour.

Aromatic intensity is average. I'm eager to try it. Very fresh and vivid.

TASTE: Undertones of orange creamsicle and candied citrus peel (orange, tangerine, maybe even mango) underscore this fresh citrusy brew. Juicy but adequately bitter, with pale malts keeping the hops in check, resulting in an impressively well balanced beer.

Good depth of flavour. Above average flavour duration and intensity.

I wouldn't say it's complex, but there is some intricate layering of citrusy flavours that amounts to a beer with a nice diversity of citrusy flavours. Exceeds the sum of its parts, but it's far from the most busy imperial IPA out there.

Nitpicking, it could be more vivid, fresh, and/or juicy, but it's very well-balanced as is.

MOUTHFEEL: Creamy, soft, medium to full-bodied, smooth, wet. Not oily, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. Well-carbonated.

OVERALL: Ludicrously drinkable for an 8% imperial IPA. Its balance really sets it apart. I can see why it's regarded as one of the very best in the style, and it showcases its hop selection extremely well. Up there with Alpine-brewed Alpine beers in my estimation, and very well executed, but I'd balk at the idea of waiting in line for it.

One of the best expressions of the style I've tried to date, but I can imagine it better. If orange creamsicle IIPAs are your bag but you want more bitterness and hop pungency than the hazy IPA fad offers without the yogurty tang of a Hill Farmstead expression of the style, this is the beer for you.

Really damn tasty.

B+ (3.84) / VERY GOOD

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Photo of BillRoth
4.42/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at KRBC. Unremarkable head at beginning...but stunning rich amber honey color... and outstanding lacing. Full hop aroma and a citrus bomb for flavor. So clean and drinkable. Reamarkabke easy for an 8% DIPA. Definitely built in the malts perfectly. Yep... lived up to the hype.

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Photo of remingtonsteele1987
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having on draft in a pint glass. Dark amber color with a slight haze and one finger head. Smells of burnt caramel and toasted orange rind. Totally full bodied with creamy carbonation texture. Flavors of roasted pineapple, peach with toasted orange rind bitterness. Long lasting fruit sweetness and bitterness.

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Photo of WhaleSlayer85
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a beautiful golden color. 2 fingers of foamy head with good retention.

S: Wonderful aroma of tropical fragrances, floral aromas, and just enough pine to let you know this is a West Coast style IPA.

T: A nice combination of fruity flavors with a delicious piney Hop residue on the back end.

F: Very smooth, easy drinking. High drinkability. Feel like you could crush this no problem.

O: This might be the best West Coast style IPA I've had. this has a lot more balance than many of the east coast style IPAs I've had. Bottom line, fantastic beer.

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Photo of fb4lfe
4.81/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Best IPA I've ever had. I waited years to finally get a case of Citra and the wait was worth it. Scary drive to the brewery to pick up the case, but it was a fantastic trip. Numerous great beers but Citra stood out. Actually, they had "Hazy Citra" on tap and it was wonderful. If you get a chance to try it, don't pass it up.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.81/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Teku goblet.

Look- A deep murky orange with a little over a finger of thick white head. A small amount of lacing down the glass.

Smell- Lots of strong citrus with an awesome touch of pineapple. Made me want to hurry for my first drink.

Taste- There was not as much fruit taste as the smell led me to believe. The hoppy taste really balanced everything and I tasted more malt around the middle of the pour. Absolutely delicious and extremely drinkable.

Feel- A full feel with little carbonation. Slightly dry but still very juicy.

Overall a phenomenal double IPA. Drinkable with just enough abv to keep it interesting.

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Photo of Hop_God
4.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: bright glowing orange. Slight haze. Thick eggshell white bubbles

S: citra galore. Resin. Citrus pith. Notes of pineapple and mango peel.

T: great balance of tropical fruits and citrus zest. Goes into resinous pine and a floral arrangement.

F: soft decent body. Finished dry and crisp.

O: very well done. I do think it is a bit overly rated relatives to it's comps but none the less fantastic.

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Photo of Burculian
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I traveled 2 hours to grab a case of this after I learned about it from a friend. I had to make an advanced purchase online to be eligible for picking it up directly from KRBC. While there I grabbed a couple of pints from the tap.

My first reaction: holy moley! Smooth and extremely drinkable without harsh bitterness despite the hoppiness. It is everything you want in a double IPA. My only regret is that I didn't buy 5 more cases of it. I guess i'll just need to count down to the next release.

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Photo of rifleman_zach
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My local dealer hooked me up with this one. I am no stranger to whales but i honestly had never heard of this brew before my buddy mentioned it.

Poured into a stien, has an off-white head about 1 inch thick. Color is golden/amber with a haze. I dont know about others but there is just something about hazy IPAs that I love.

The nose is filled with powerful citrus and pineapple flavors. Very smooth up front for a DIPA.

The middle is smooth with great fruit notes throughout. Nice light malt profile pulling everything together.

The finish is nice and bitter full of hoppiness. Very juicy and only slightly dry.

I will definitely be getting more of this. Solid double IPA, one of my top 10!

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Photo of raspy22
3.99/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was such a highly rated beer, with a previous lottery system, and I was excited to have finally gotten it. I liked it but was a bit disappointed. Look was dark and clear. Smell was pretty weak in comparison to the other strong citra-dominant beers that are out there now. The taste was a lot more balanced between the citra tropical juiciness and the sharper piney bitterness. Was expecting the citra to be more prominent. Mouthfeel was like any other regular IPA. Not bad, but not good. Overall, it was a good beer, but did not live up to my expectations, especially since there are so many newly-popular hazy citra bombs out there now. Worth having, but won't make the tough effort to have again.

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Photo of Futbolmanby
4.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: golden yellow light white head about .5 inches
Smell: tropical fruit, big bitter hops, light malt and ethanol... Citra hop bomb
Taste: same as nose just more bitter and less floral
Feel: super dry and bitter

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.21/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light orange color with a soapy head. Aroma is dank and tropical, with herb and fruity scents.

In the taste, strong citrus and pineapple flavors with some resin and bitterness backing it up. Mango, orange, pine, onion, and herb. Bitter finish with a light malt profile. Full bodied ale. Overall, this is a solid double IPA.

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Citra from Kern River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 1836 ratings