Winter Ale (5th Anniversary Ale) | Kern River Brewing Company

BA SCORE
97
world-class
101 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Winter Ale (5th Anniversary Ale)Winter Ale (5th Anniversary Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States
kernriverbrewing.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with Nugget, Falconer's flight, Simcoe, and Citra.

Added by soughtbygod on 05-14-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
101
Ratings:
359
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
8.14%
 
 
Wants:
207
Gots:
26
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 359
Photo of beagle75
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with over one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intensely hoppy, featuring lush tropical fruit, pine, and mixed citrus. Substantial caramel malt is also present, completing the excellent smell.

T: Begins off-dry, with layered hop aromatics consisting of early citrus that transitions through tropical fruit. While the citrus flavors tend slightly toward the darker, they retain a sense of balance with the brighter elements not being trod upon too much. The later tropical fruit, which combine with distinctly peach-like esters, becomes pungent, encompassing the entire palate. Sweetness also peaks late, further accentuating the juicy, over-ripe stone fruit flavors. Both acidity and bitterness are kept restrained, with the former peaking early then vanishing, and the latter lingering harmoniously in the finish. Malt never steps to the fore, although a thread of refined toasted grain tries to evade detection throughout.

M: Medium viscosity, sticky and slightly syrupy on the palate showing an early acid bite followed by slow heat, with low carbonation.

D/O: With its blue-ribbon smell, this DIPA from Kern River further establishes the brewer as one of the top-tier hop-handlers in the state of California. It is worthy of mention alongside the beers of Russian River and Alpine because of the intensity of hops and other qualities that serve subordinately in the shadows of the hops. Flavors tend to get hung up on the peach-centric middle; while appealing, its complexity seems constrained somewhat by this quality. It remains a compellingly consumable member of its style, with minimal wear on the palate that is aided by the relatively low abv. It has been much more enjoyable than last year's Belgian pale anniversary ale.

 1,859 characters

Photo of callmemickey
3.92/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-yellow body, larger white head caps it off, nice sudsy lacing left behind on the glass.

S: Bright citric and tropical fruits. Grapefruit, orange, tangerine.

T: Mostly a tangerine-like hop flavor. A bit "one note" as the bitterness that comes with this hop treatment is about all that is noticeable.

M: Medium bodied. Assertive carbonation. Bold bitterness throughout. Ju

O: A nice, big dIPA. However, I found it to be a bit one dimensional and not particularly interesting. Certainly not Kern River's Citra.

 522 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with starrdogg, thanks Matt. I think we both agreed this beer was good, but WAY overhyped.

A: Nice orange color with pretty good lacing and not much head, nice hazy look to it though.

S: Very juicy and full of citrus, the smell also combines some pine, tropical fruit and woodsy forest aromas. Some sugary fruits compliment nicely, overall a great IPA that I'm into.

T: Good overall, but does not match to complexity and density of the smell. A lot of bready malt to finish and nice citrus, tropical fruit pulp, and grass hops up front, overall theres a sugary sweetness that prevails in the flavor as well. A little overly sweet and fruity, but still nice.

M: Sweet and semi dry.

Overall good, but overhyped. Personally, if I'd trade for hops in CA it will be for Alpine all the way.

 804 characters

Photo of Hendry
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep apricot colored pour with a creamy finger of khaki head, lacing on the spotty side.

Aroma is piney and malty in the same note,not much in the way of tropical fruit, touch of alcohol detectable.

Taste is an improvement over the aroma, the formidable malt bill is met by mass quantities of Simcoe hops that even things out and leave a pleasant bitterness on the back end. Flavors of dank pine with some mild orange rind mixing in as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is on the hearty side of medium, definitely a sipper, well carbonated.

Enjoying this bottle on the first day of Spring seems appropriate given the frigid temperatures. I've enjoyed all the Kern offerings so far,Winter Ale being on that list. These bottles are not easy to get a hold of, but if you get the chance to grab one you should do so. Thanks Paul!

 818 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kern 5th pours a light amber color with a big white foamy head. the smell is citrus and pine with a malty bread backbone. the taste follows through with big hop flavor and a maltiness that balances it out. the mouthfeel is a littl heavy for the style with high carbonation. overall this is a good ipa.

 301 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Kern 5th Anniversary pours a dark faded golden yellow color with a long-standing white head.

The aroma is quite floral with a strong lilac or lily presence. A grapefruit, lemon, and apricot hop aroma adds a strong citrusy hop aroma to a biscuity malt base.

Each sip starts out with a biscuit and honey sweetness that is light and somewhat dry. As the flavor progresses, a juicy grapefruit flavor comes in with a hoppy vengenace. Apricot and some lemon zest provide some further depth to the strong hoppiness.

Bubbly carbonation also has a creamy quality to it, giving off the perception that this is a light, easy drinking beer. The 8% ABV is deceptive for sure.

Overall this is an extremely enjoyable beer out of Kern River.

 784 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kern River strikes again! If you were a fan of the collab with Knee Deep (Deep Rivers), this is right there. Outstanding fruity and juicy aromas and flavors, easy to drink, clean and delicious. Cheers!

 204 characters

Photo of rand
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the brewpub during their January 14th release party, poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Orange-apricot in appearance, clear, and forms a wispy, fluffy head that never fully recedes. One of the "cleanest" DIPA's I've seen.

S: The brew gives off a big bouquet of wet floral hops and citrus notes, rind-like. Honey-sweet malts are right behind, joined by a touch of booze. The entire bouquet is enveloped in a freshly baked pastry overtone. Really clean and fresh.

T: The sharp, floral hops rush to the front of the palate, which are surprisingly vibrant and bitter. The citrus aspects remind of grapefruit and lemon zest, and are nicely matched by lightly sweet honey-malts. The 8% alcohol is nicely masked, although the fresh bitter hops carry through the sip a little more than other Kern River IPA's, giving the brew a relatively vinous aspect. They also join the malty notes to dry and give the brew a cracker-like bite. Still, the finish is a perfect balance of bitter and sweet, with little lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium-to-light bodied, and with the ample carbonation, the brew seems to bounce off the palate. I don't like overusing adjectives, but everything about this beer is "clean".

I had to really think about whether I liked this beer more than Citra, until I had them back to back, and the nod goes to Citra. But still, Kern River is putting out some of the best West Coast style IPA's in the business.

 1,449 characters

Photo of Murrhey
4.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. No bottled-by date readily apparent. Got this bottle up in Montana from my buddy Kojevergas. I confused it with the Winter Rye Ale.

A- Thick one-finger white head. Middling retention. Nice white lacing and orange body with high clarity.

S- Floral hops, orange blossom, rye and other floral notes.

T- Bitter-sweet. Well developed, floral and flighty. I enjoy this taste very much.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth and wet.

O- Well-received. I like this beer quite a bit. Extremely drinkable DIPA.

 580 characters

Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slightly disappointed in this one. I guess I was expecting it to be as good as their Citra IPA. It's still very good, and muy hoppy (and I love the look of both this and Citra), but probably nothing I'd go out of my way to pick up again.

 239 characters

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to have a friend I trade with send me some of this. While it was a nice crisp hoppy IPA as most Kern River hops is....it wasn't anything crazy different. Worth drinking but not going to any trouble to track down

 230 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy amber color with a solid 1+cm head with excellent retention and lacing. 

Bright, fresh, Lovely nose full of tropical fruit,citrus and pineapple. 

Flavor follows the nose quite well but evenbetter. Just amazing. Bright, fresh and wonderful citrus, tropical fruit with pineapple with just a touch of sweetness to balance it all out, but not a typical malt sweetness. More of a natural fruit, sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Fresh and crisp with med-high carb. 

This is an amazing beer. Such a great representation of the style and the amazing ipas we have here in Cali. Not quite as good as Citra, but I'd drink this every day if I could!

 674 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty clear amber gold. Pours easily to a half inch head. White foamy head with lots of lacing.

Smells of light malt, hay, and orangy hops.

Tastes of light malt, mainly orange citrus hops, nicely balanced, light and fresh. Slight hop zing on the tongue, and a slightly bitter finish.

Body is light and the carbonation is crisp, giving this a nice refreshingly spritzy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is the west coast IPA style I prefer (think CITRA). Light body and refreshingly hoppy, restrained and tasteful. This is a very drinkable and tasty beer.

 554 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a shaker pint. Pours a hazy orange almost hay color. Very nice sticky white head with tons of lacing.

Aroma is so hoppy citrus. Not the most aromatic I've had but very nice. Slight sweet aroma.

Taste is amazing. One of the best I've had and the best I've had is heady topper. Smooth dry and slightly sweet in the finish but with a super nice hop taste that is citrucy and a bit piny. I'm gunna need to find more of this before I can't any more.

Mouthfeel is nice and dry with a slight maltyness. Has that distinct hoppy beer mouthfeel that I love.

Another great IPA from Kern River. Still need to try Citra but Just Outstanding is good. Get it and try it. You won't be disappointed.

 698 characters

Photo of willjschmidt
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a 20oz pub glass.

A: Pours a very cloudy and murky dark orange and apricot color. Great thick white head.

S: Loads of very pungent hops.

T: Very pungent hops. Lots of citrus in the from of pineapple, orange, and tangerine. Finish is bitter with a nice hop bite.

M: Slightly viscous, average carbonation.

O: A very good DIPA. Delicious and very easy to drink.

 396 characters

Photo of Fireman_RK
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Light pumpkin, apricot, and honey hues with a thick white head and ample lacing
S: Pine, grapefruit, and oranges
T: Classic West Coast pine-forward brew with sappy resin upfront and a supporting cast of tangerines, grapefruit, and crackers finished with a slight spicy rye kick
F: A bit creamy and very softly carbonated
O: This was very much a departure from the NE hazy brews I typically seek out, but Winter Ale holds its own in my eyes. As the beer warmed in my glass the flavor developed into a complex, citrusy, and spicy winter warmer/IPA combo. Very unique and enjoyable brew that is perfect for this time of year.

 625 characters

Photo of LSUPT
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another great CA IPA and big want from Brian.
Bomber to Duvel Green Tulip
I was a bit aggressive with the pour and got a nice 3 finger eggshell white head that gradually dissipated leaving some random lacing. A wonderful, deep straw yellow-orange body through which you can just barely see when held to light.

Smell is nice, maybe milder than when closer to the bottle date but still good, pine, caramel, grapefruit and pineapple all present, very sweet smelling as well.

Taste is phenomenal. Pine up front, fruity and floral in the middle and a lingering grapefruit bitterness. Mango, pineapple, orange peel and the kind of complexity of flavor that you love to see in a DIPA, and very drinkable, hard to notice any alcohol.

Mouthfeel is solid, on the low end carbonation wise, but I like that in this style.

The best DIPA I have reviewed to date and up there with the best I have tried period. This beer was a real treat, and definitely one that they should brew again.

 976 characters

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into DFH glass.

Light orange color, some sediment clinging to sides, huge head, copious Belgian lacing.

Wonderful grapefruit, orange, mango, lemon scents.

Hoppy bitterness balanced by citrus, sweet fruit. Expected more Citra, but the combination provides a nice profile.

Medium body, nice carbonation, bitterness wanes at back end.

A very nice IPA.

 372 characters

Photo of jpmclaug
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. An unexpected treat from DearthVader.

A - Orange body with a big eggshell colored head. Lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. That is a nice looking beer

S - Nice mango and other tropical fruit notes, a little bit of citrus like aroma and a hint of sweetness

T - Boy am I glad I got to try this. The flavor follows in the footsteps of the aroma. Nice fruity notes, almost like drinking a smoothie. mango with a little orange rind. A pale malt backbone that just sticks a nice light grain flavor in at the finish. Not really bitter but not sweet either this thing is the epitome of balance. After reading up about the Falconer's Flight hops used in this you can really see how they all add something to this especially the Citra and Sorachi Ace. I think the Sorachi Ace really peeks through in the finish mingling with the malt to give you a nice grainy taste.

M - medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation. About what you'd expect in the beer.

O - What a fantastic beer. I would love to have this one again. I know this is an Anniversary beer but I really think Kern River should revisit this brew again.

 1,156 characters

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into pint.

A - Pours a nice deep orange with yellow highlighted edging. 1.5 fingers stark white head, medium lacing. Looks good

S - All citric fruits! Juicy lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lime, and so on, very nice

T - Incredible flavour. Lots of fruits, actually, almost all fruits. Oranges, grapefruit, madarins, lemon, and I think even some nectarines (maybe not ;). A slight hint of pepper on the back end but this is a juicy, tasty beer

M - Fairly light beer, slightly tacky, ABV not noticeable.

O - Very refreshing, excellent summer beer. I had this out on the patio after a hot day and man did it hit the spot. Fantastic beer.

 658 characters

Photo of flannelman808
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off this particular batch I believe to be 8% not 7% abv as listed.

A: Pours a pale coppery yellow hue with the orange copper around the rim. Just a little bit of haze in the color. A powerful just off white sea foam head forms and fizzles down to just above the top of the liquid. Serious spiderwebs of lace are left behind.

S: Grapefruit zest and tangerine with just hints of pine and white peach. Smells fantastic.

T: Pale malt and bitter citrus meet. Hard to follow up that aroma, but the flavors are pretty good too. Soft Red and Yellow fruity notes as well as tongue numbing bitterness on the tongue is a welcomed effect. Light to medium body.

M: Tongue numbing, but a bit watery.

O: Quite good and reasonably priced. Absolutely worth $6.99 a bottle!

 766 characters

Photo of dmsohyea
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Bruery 3rd Anniversary fest. I had to go back for at least 5 or 6 tasters of it because it was so good.

Pours dark yellow with two finger off white head. Huge lacing all the way to the bottom and great head retention.

Smells like peach, apricot, grapefruit, and a touch of grass. Great aromatic use of Amarillo. So perfect on the nose. Rivals Pliny and other world class IPA's.

Tastes bitter up front, light citrus flavors in the middle. Aprocot is strong as are peach and grapefruit. Finishes dry and warming. The small amount of grassy hops used also contribute to a complex hop profile. There is hardly any malt to be tasted, which is exactly how I like my IPA's: dry and bitter.

Carbonation and body are medium. Mouthfeel is almost creamy. This one is a huge winner.

Overall, I would drink this any day it was available. Unfortunately I probably won't get my hands on it to try again. Sigh. Cheers to Kern, while I'm not a huge fan of Just Outstanding, this beer lives up to that name.

Edit 3/3/12. Changed smell and overall to five. This is my favorite beer.

 1,083 characters

Photo of HosP
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice cali dipa treat thanks to marisatheyounger.

Pours nice hazy Orange with large fluffy white head. Lots of lace left on the glass here. Nose has lots of hop aroma! Mostly grapefruit, citrus, and some floral hops at the end. Same in the taste. Grapefruit hops, some floral too. Piney bitterness towards the end. Some mild caramel malts too. Medium body with good carbonation. Very nicely done dipa. Hop heavy but like it that way. Thanks marisa for the brew!

 462 characters

Photo of iadler
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz poured into a tulip glass. Big thanks to DearthVader

A- Pours a hazy orange with a nice fluffy two finger head. Leaves thin lines of lacing.

S- Lot's of citrus upfront with some grapefruit and orange and some tropical notes including pineapple and mango with some pine and caramel malt as well

T- Citrus hops including mandarine, orange peel and grapefruit with pineapple, mango apricots, peach and melon. Hint of pine and floral hops with some nice caramel malt backbone.

M- Medium carbonation and body, Sticky and slightly dry finish. Very drinkable.

O- Another great IPA from Kern River. Great tropical and citrus notes with very little bitterness. Really excited to try the Citra when it comes out. Highly recommended.

Thanks again Brian!

 757 characters

Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking for this one for awhile without success so I was pretty happy to run across it by chance at my local bottle shop.

Bomber into my Hangar 24 snifter.

The beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with a couple of fingers of white foam. Nice lacing. The aroma hits me while I'm still pouring. A wave of citrusy, piney aroma graces my nostrils. This smells very good. Taste mirrors the nose. Big notes of grapefruit and orange with a piney bitterness that lingers on the palate. There's enough malt presence to keep things somewhat in check, but the emphasis here is clearly on the hop bill. The beer finishes bitter and dry, which I like in an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium with enough carbonation to lend a slight creaminess to the beer. Overall this is another solid offering from Kern River. It's darned good and I'd certainly have it again.

Note: I can't find an ABV percentage noted on the label and I'm wondering about the DIPA designation due to the 7% rating listed on BA. Curious...

 999 characters

Winter Ale (5th Anniversary Ale) from Kern River Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 359 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe