Class X (Bourbon Barrel Aged Class V) | Kern River Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 113
Photo of Sean9689
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, to a good friend in CA. Poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours basically flat, a bubble here and there, looks like motor oil.

S - Vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, and light booze. It's lacking at roast that I normally love in my BA stouts, but the base beer doesn't have much roast either. Very sweet and enjoyable.

T - Burnt sugars, chocolate brownies, smooth booze, light oak. Again, very sweet but still enjoyable...not sure if I like this more then the base beer, Class V.

M - Light body, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - A solid BA stout, but not as great as I was expecting. Would definitely have it again, if offered, but I wouldn't actually seek this one out again. Good, not great.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Far Bar in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, marshmallows, wood, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but the mouthfeel is pretty lacking in my opinion.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 06/04/11 notes. Big thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this rarity; thanks Mac. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Label says bottle #204, no idea how many were made.

a - Pours a dark brown color with no real carbonation evident and no head. Looks like it might be flat unfortunately.

s - Smells of bourbon, alcohol, chocolate, roasted malts, oak, and light, sweet caramel. Smell is really nice, though a bit strong on the booze. Personally I like that, but I think with some more time this could be even better.

t - Tastes of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, alcohol, light sweet fruit. Taste is great; while the bourbon is still strong, I love it in the taste and the vanilla helps a lot. Again, I really enjoy this but think with some more time it could be even better.

m - Medium to full body and no carbonation. Some alcohol warmth but pretty smooth. Would have liked some carbonation though.

o - Overall I think this was a good beer that could be great. Unfortunately there was no carbonation which hurt it, and while I think the nose and taste were both very good, I think it was still a little hot. With some more time on this bottle and some carbonation it could have been oustanding, but instead it was good.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronados

A: Black with a nice 1 finger light brown head.

S: Some nice hints of bourbon, dark chocolate, cocoa powder and some hints of black licorice.

T: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, some faint coffee, vanilla and some bourbon. To me it feels like it could use a bit more aging in the bourbon barrels. As is, I like the standard Class V better.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at the brewery in Kernville into a wide-mouthed goblet. The waitress informed us that they have placed a 20oz limit on the beer per customer in order to lengthen it's stay on tap. The beer is dark black with a thick, 2 inch cream colored head. Heavy bourbon and sweet smell on the nose. Initial tastes are heavy on the bourbon, with a sour mash initial flavor, followed by the sweetness of brown sugar. There are vanilla undertones present on the finish. The beer has a more rounded and full body than the Class V Stout. The beer is surprisingly smooth despite the heavy flavors. This is a very well balanced beer, taking into account the ABV, the strong flavors, and the body. This is an easy beer to drink for bourbon fans and beer fans alike!

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Photo of Cavery
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on nitro-tap yesterday at Blue Palms 3rd, was a good time!

Review from notes

A: Super dark brown, but I wouldn't quite call it black. There was just the slightest noticeable "off" color for it to feign blacks. Some really woody almost cinnamon stick brown bubbles. The beer is looking like a very thick glass of stained dark woods. A drinkable piece of fancy furniture. Light film layer remains on the top of the glass like a breakable crust.

S: Thick ingredient heavy dark chocolates in thick fluffy oatmeal. There's a little bit of crystallized sugar on cocoa nibs and some high quality toffee sweetness. This only barely hits the realm of dark fruits in form of figs, but really this nose is all about the deep woods -- lots of woody character that makes the bourbon more nutty than sweet. The wood is the nut shell on the nutty meats of bourbon.

T: Lots of fluffy toffee flavors that mixes chocolate shavings with almond frosted chocolate cakes. Bourbon hits more like a nutty chocolate ganache than boozy sweetness. The woodiness really orients the flavor; and perhaps even overwhelms alcohols. The bourbon flavor still comes through, but is quite augmented by the thickness of ingredients. I almost want to say there is a "whole wheat" like fullness to the flavor. I'd say it's unusually balanced for a BA beer.

M: A solid semi-dry mouth that exhibits a fullness from oat-heavy feels. Mildly astringent tannins without inhibiting the overall feel. Fluffy light on the tongue while still coming off full. This is chock full of ingredients, but having this on nitro makes for a bit of a head trip. It's a chewable cloud, wrap your head around that one.

O: This is really impressive, and I think this one will really age a long while. I think having this on nitro may have elevated the overall feel of this beer, and I'd wonder about it without the nitro. There is a little bit of ash-like tobacco that creeps in between the transition of oatmeal to bourbon, but other than that it's super solid. I'd be very curious to watch this one over time, as I think it has miles to go before the full flavor is mapped out. Kern really impressed me here, as this is something really great from them that isn't some sort of IPA madness. They can do it all! If you get the chance, give it a try and report your experience.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

785th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

Batch 1

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks to MikedashG for the pour!

App- This poured an inky dark brown with some scattered dark black notes indside. A little bit of 1/8-1/4” head which was a dark brown. A tiny bit of bubbles was there.

Smell- Supremely well balanced with a vanilla/chocolate nib battle raging. It's a little sweet with some burnt sugars and the bourbon is last note you get with a wofty booze note.

Taste- This was simply hands down one of the smoothest bourbon stouts I have had. Right up the BA Sexy. It was chocolatey, smooth, bourbon laden and just amazing balanced with some vanilla and some sweetness.

Mouth- Like a truffle in your mouth with a dripping chocolatey note. Medium bodied and a low carb feel.

Drink- This think was just almost perfect. Aged, boozy, chocolatey/vanilla and richly smooth. I hope to see another bottle of this again.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at tornado for sdbw

A-dark as night with no head and filled to the brim

S-very heavy in the Bourbon. Not really much else there

T-too cold it is too much Bourbon. Warmed up. It I'd a ssweet mellow bourbony stout with great vanills notes bourbin uo front, vanilla after

M-medium body and smooth

O-very good beer. Let it warms uo because the subtleness of ththe bourbin shines through

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour, mild beige head to it, but the minimal amount produced did have better than average retention. Nice barrel aroma, bourbon, chocolate, caramel, vanilla. I'm guessing Heaven Hill.

Really easy to drink, the same flavors in the nose on the tongue. You get the warming feel, but not really the taste of high alcohol. Barrel flavors didn't overwhelm the substantial chocolate mouthfeel of the base version of this beer, well done. Better than almost every other bourbon barrel stout out there.

If you have the opportunity, go get your yum on with this beer.

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Photo of juhl31
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks toronado SD!

-black like it should be. thin, light tan colored head

-great bourbon nose. wasn't sure if it was a BA beer at 1st, but you could definitely tell right away. some vanilla and caramel notes in there as well

-great whiskey flavor, yet not over the top. blended well. also, with some chocolate, vanilla and caramel.

-that nitro gives it a pleasant creaminess to it. it is a little bit warm but not to the point to take away from the beer much

-this is an exceptional beer. if they decide to bottle this on a limited scale, it could be the next big thing as far as stouts are concerned. i could very well see a "class X day"

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Smell: Oatmeal bourbon coffee and chocolate

Taste: Bourbon right up front almost to the point where it is too much but in the middle it mellows out perfectly and finishes with the perfect amount of oatmeal coffee bitter chocolate and vanilla. Great flavor

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and a chaulky feel to it

Overall: Amazing BA stout one of the best that I have had. Very highly recommended well done Kern River

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Its difficult to get a perfect 5 rating with stouts, half of them have the exact same SRM dark as fugggg color going for it. This one had amazing 1" of tan head though, and retention through the roof.

Great sweet bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and caramel, none of which are understated, they are all gargantuan competitors that somehow get along.

Taste was warming, bourbon, and chocolate in no small way. Quite drinkable too, not one of those big beers that is good in a 2oz pour, you can crush 20oz of this no problem.

Top notch, 1st tier bourbon barrel stout stuff.

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Photo of rand
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at obriens during San Diego Beer Week.

From tap to pint

A:  Jet black in appearance, almost no head, oily.

S:  Vibrant nose, plenty of spicy bourbon, joined by notes of wood, butter.   Ample alcohol in this one. 

T:  The bourbon is prominent, but the brew is well layered.  Chocolate, notes of licorice and burnt sugar are lightly detectable against the boozy profile.   Finishes buttery with a spicy alcohol warming.  

M:  Rich and creamy, but there's something about barrel-aging that breaks up the viscosity.   Highly drinkable complexion

Up there with the best of the barrel-aged stout.  Everything Kern River does is impressive, Class X is a must-try for any stout fan. 

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewery.

A- Pitch black with a lovely half inch cap of beige foam. The head sticks around for awhile finally diminishing to a creamy tan coaster. Great lacing.

S- Huge bourbon presence accompanied by coffee and chocolate notes. Wow! This stuff smells amazing!

T- Bourbon and sweet malt up front followed by coffee, chocolate and caramel. Alcohol is present but not overpowering. The finish is semi-dry and sweet with a lingering chocolaty aftertaste. In a word; phenomenal!

M- Thick and chewy befitting a beer of this ilk. Super low carbonation adds a silky smooth creaminess. Superb.

O- Hands down one of the best BA stouts I've had the pleasure of tasting. Like a chocolate, bourbon cake in a glass. So smooth going down. ABV deceptively hidden. Really enjoying this one. Highly recommended!

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Photo of rtaps
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had in nitro-tap at the citra DIPA release.

pitch black with a giant/thick tan head with great retention and lacing.

Has a very nice nose to it. coffee, chocolate. little of the bourbon.

Taste WOW huge flavors. the coffee is great accompanied with chocolate, nutty, brown sugar, bourbon(but not hot)

mouthfeel is great. EXTREMELY easy to drink. smooth,creamy. full bodied, viscous.

overall this beer is fantastic. so easy to drink. went up for the citra and didnt even end up ordering one on tap because of this.

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Photo of WortCraft
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Never had any previous batches, but I was blown away by this beer. I hope it makes it's way into bottles. Marshmallow, chocolate macaroon goodness! The mouthfeel is unreal on this one..

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with huge khaki foamy head. Crazy amounts of perfect layered lacing after the epic retention.

Huge robust nose bursting with notes of coffee, chocolate, molasses, oak and mild bourbon.

Huge amazing flavor! Just Bursting flavor and perfectly balanced. Amazing coffee, molasses, bourbon, brown sugar, chocolate, caramel and light bourbon make up the close to if not perfect range and depth of flavor.

Full bodied yet lightened from the nitro, silky and creamy luscious mouth and carbonation.

Overall this is just an amazing beer. I was so glad I had a couple at the Citra release today. If I could only have this and Citra for the rest of my life to drink. I'd be a happy man!

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Photo of heterotopia
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kern River Brewery Co.'s Class V Oatmeal Stout aged for 5 years in 12 year old bourbon barrels. It takes 10 minutes to pour this specialty beer at the brewery.

A: The head was thick, creamy and vanilla colored. The drink itself was espresso black. It looked beautiful in the goblet it was served in.

S: It smelled of melted bitter chocolate, oak, coffee bean and bourbon.

T: Once the drink warmed and the head settled, I drank it. Flavors of milk chocolate, dark roasted coffee, oak -- the accents of bourbon was very prominent. The ABV stands at a solid 10%, but was hardly noted. Classic malt profile nicely balanced with a bitter finish.

M: It's a medium to heavy full-bodied drink. Carbonation was virtually non-existent, but this is due to aging, which is a characteristic of any aged beer -- keep that in mind.

O: I'm not a fan of stouts, especially the oatmeal variety, but the brewery makes Bourbon Barrel Stout available only every couple of months and they run out of it quickly. It was required drinking, but I enjoyed it greatly. Not my favorite style of beer, but I can appreciate an amazingly well made representation of it.

A stout lover would cream over this drink.

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Class X (Bourbon Barrel Aged Class V) from Kern River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 113 ratings