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

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94 Reviews
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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:
94
Ratings:
320
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
13.74%
 
 
Wants:
208
Gots:
25
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 320
Photo of MEsoJD
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

[Poured into a generic pint glass]

I: When I see a bottle from Kern, I usually pick one up without much thought taking into account that they are kind of a rare beer at the store. While I've never been impressed by their brews, I'm usually satisfied. Here's to hoping to be impressed by their Winter Ale. [Update]: I believe there was a labeling error(it has the Winter Rye Ale) and instead got the 5th anniversary winter ale. Appearance and taste do not reflect the label on my bottle based on other descriptions.

B: [8.00% ABV 1 Pint 6 FL OZ 2013 Bottle] This isn't the most attention grabbing bottle by them I've seen. That said, it has winter written all over it(snow and flakes). Label is missing that glossy feel that I've come across in previous brews. As for info, the label leaves much to be desired. No back story, abv, brief description other than winter ale, etc.. Overall it's not the shelf worthy at this point, unless it can amaze during my taste.

A: Orange transparent body with a bubbly white head that settles into a thin layer of cream(slow dissipation), and good lacing.

S: Orange citrus and cascade hops.

T: Loads a big spicy citrus(enhanced by carbonation as well) with slight creamy sweet malt, slight sour lemon zest,orange, and grapefruit.

M: slick/crisp finish, medium body, medium carbonation, and little apparent alcohol.

O: Very tasty and drinkable DIPA with great citrus presence. There's no going wrong with picking up a bottle of this stuff. While I'm confident that my bottle is the 5th Anniversary Winter Ale IPA, I can't be 100% sure do to a mislabel. Whatever it is, I could drink it all day. I would recommend and buy again.

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Photo of n2185
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a clear golden-yellow with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: loads of citrus here. Oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit dominate with notes of pineapple. There is some honey sweetness toward the end.

T: grapefruit and orange dominate the flavor with earthy pine flavors. Lightly bitter with just a hint of alcohol presence. Delicious.

M: medium body and carbonation, this beer is nicely carbonated and avoids being too sticky or watery.

O: a great DIPA overall. Delicious and aromatic. Fantastic.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.04/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a local beer store and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are extremely high given its current ratings, the hype, and the reputation of the brewery itself. No ABV is listed on the bottle. Label is okay.

Served chilled but not quite fridge cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with spicy noodles.

A: Pours a one finger white colour head - fairly thin - of some slight cream and of nice thickness. Retention is decent for the style (~2-3 minutes). Good sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Body colour is a fairly vibrant semitransparent copper. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Par for the style.

Sm: Appealing floral hops, wonderful pine character, clean malts, dominant oily nectary hop notes, grapefruit citrus esters, and citrus zest. The grapefruit isn't biting or overly sweet, and there is no detectable hop bitterness. Seems balanced and appealing. Fresh. I can't wait to try it. A moderate strength aroma. Fantastic for an IPA, but not ideal or perfect. No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

T: Nectary and wonderfully oily hops, with some balanced grapefruit of impressive depth of flavour. Some floral character complements. Pale malts form the simple unobtrusive yet well layered foundation. Lightly citrusy - just enough to refresh. Just a bit of hop bitterness on the finish, but it's well hidden for the most part - and completely concealed until that point. No hop bite or sharpness; it masters the key characteristic of a good IPA: balance. Refreshing and enjoyable. I'm digging it. I'm not blown away, but it's a damn good beer in the style. No alcohol or yeast comes through.

Mf: Oily, smooth, and wet, with enough coarseness throughout to bring out the flavours. Near perfect thickness. Slightly overcarbonated, but it aids the assertive character of the hops. Feels tailored to the flavour profile. Very good execution. Refreshing, with excellent palate presence.

Dr: A highly drinkable Double IPA from Kern River - especially for its high ABV (which is well concealed). I could down this all night. That said, it's not amazingly holy-shit incredible - and in that respect it doesn't quite live up to its reputation. Still, I'd definitely have it again and it's a must try within the style. A great offering from Kern River. Met my high expectations. Worth seeing out. I'd recommend it to friends; in fact I got a second to send to one.

A-

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Photo of Knapp85
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DaveHack for opening this one!

This poured out as a really nice golden color, great clarity. The retention is pretty good, the lacing is decent too. The smell is lemony with some nice bright aromas. The taste is nice and hoppy, plenty of sweet citrus flavors. The mouthfeel is light bodied with a clean crisp finish and dry. Overall a very nice IPA worth trying for sure.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz, 2012 bottle, "Winter Ale". Big thanks to Rich for finding me a bottle.

Pours a golden copper orange, slightly hazed, with some small bubbles of carbonation supporting a thick creamy white head. Nose is pretty much purely hops, pine and sweet tropical fruit with a little lemon and grass keeping balance with some biscuit malt. Flavor is a little boozy and sweet; orange pulp, grapefruit resin, pineapple and a finish of earthy hops and pine. Medium thick, soft body, gentle carbonation and a slightly thin finish. Very good, but a little boozy and catty. Oh well, not every state can make IPAs like VT can. Maybe one day someone in CA will get it right.

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Photo of brystmar
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 3/10/2012.

Orange-amber body yields plenty of fluffy white head. Good lace and retention. Bursting at the seams with fresh, juicy hop aroma. Did I just stick my face inside a grapefruit?

Tropical fruits bum-rush my palate, dancing in all directions with flavors of orange, mango, and citrus. No question this bottle is super fresh. The combination of fresh hops, creamy body, near-perfect carbonation, and high drinkability makes this one dangerously good DIPA. Need moar!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to glitchedmind for this one!

A: Pours a semi hazy orange color with a large, two finger white head on top, very thick foam with great retention and lacing all around.

S: Nice tropical fruit aromas, some grapefruit, pineapple, and citrus zest. A little bit of grainy malt as well. Thick and juicy, but not over the top.

T: Nice grapefruit up front with more zest/pithy flavor. Tropical fruits and some light bready malt. Very well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with no sign of 8% at all.

O: Another great IPA from Kern River. Hopefully they continue to make this one!

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beige head. Color is a clear dark golden orange.

Aroma: Weedy and floral. Grassy. Bready malts. A lot of grapefruit.

Taste: Sticky, weedy hops. Hop resiny. Grapefruit. Some bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very sticky.

Overall, this was a good beer, but I don't see how this is top 100. Solid offering, but nothing earth shattering. Citra is a much better beer.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A long time want by me and generously given to me as an extra by cocoapuph. A little over two months old at this point.

Appearance – Pours into a Captain Lawrence pint glass with a hazy dark golden color and about a finger of slight of white head that dissipates leaving nice lacing.

Smell – Lots of tropical fruits such as tangerine, orange, and grapefruit give a wonderful citrus aroma. Slight floral hops with a bit of sticky pine resin at the tail end. The end gives off just a little toffee/caramel backbone.

Taste – Wow. So much tropical fruits. I love…LOVE tropical fruits in DIPA’s. I swear, this tastes like the first batch of The Oracle by bells with a couple months on it. Still a nice hoppy bite at the end, but first and foremost there is sweet (but not malty sweet) tropical fruit flavors up front (heavy mango and tangerine which then finishes with ripe orange juice). I’m sure this has become just a bit sweeter with those few months of age on it, but this is honestly how I love my DIPA’s. Slight floral and bitter hops mixed in with a heavy dose of sweet tropical fruit flavor, and just a bit of a caramel backbone. As stated, the sweetness is not cloying like I get in 90min from the malts, but is instead from “fruits”.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, chewy, oily, lower carbonation than thought, finishes not dry but almost there.

Overall – One of the most drinkable DIPA’s I’ve encountered. Huge tropical notes yet still a nice bitterness mixed in. Kern freaking makes some amazing D/IPA’s. Will seek out come next release.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Cloudy yellow appearance, moderately lacy head that lingers.

A: Hoppy sweet, fruity, hints of banana & pine.

T: Punch of happiness with light lemon flavor, hoppy bitterness with some roasted malt coming through. Finish lingers a bit & stays dry.

M: Medium mouthfeel.

O: Overall tasty DIPA but nothing that separates from the pack.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.97/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange with a small amount of head. Slightly cloudy apperance, minimal lacing left behind. The nose is chock full of hoppy goodess in the form of grapefruit, pine, citrus, and a dash of earthiness. The taste includes some honey and sweet malts to pair with the assertive hop profile that features citrus, pine, and resin. The taste becomes very bitter as it finishes. The body is somewhat big with medium carbonation. Overall, a very tasty DIPA, a little heavy for my liking but still very good.

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: One-inch just off-white head, light-golden color, decent carbonation, good lacing

S: Mango, citrus, straw, bit of orange peel, nice blend of hops

T: Hops and bitterness, grapefruit, malts are present and balance nicely

M: Smooth and oily, medium-bodied, dry towards finish and aftertaste

O: Good stuff, hope to drink again this year or next

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Photo of HosP
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
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!

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Photo of Florida9
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rather hazy yellowish amber in color. Forms a beautiful, billowing rocky off-white head that has excellent retention and leaves a copious amount of lacing.

S: Aroma is heavy on the citrus hops, with orange, orange blossom, and tangerine.

T: Starts off with an appreciable sweetness, some light pale malt, and then more citrus. Again, primarily orange. There is a little caramel malt and just the slightest hint of toast and a slight bit of alcohol on the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with lower carbonation and a mild-to-moderate bitterness.

O: A very good, very easy drinking, citrus-hop forward DIPA. Wouldn't mind having better access to this beer, because it is very enjoyable.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle graciously sent by smarcoly and marissatheyounger, so thank you both! 22 ounce capped bottle poured into a globe glass.

A: Hazy golden-orange colored body with a thick and creamy white head. Great sticky lacing covers the walls of the glass, as well as leaving a patchy tight bubbled retention cap and ring. Gorgeous looking beer although I'd like a bit less haze.

S: Huge tropical and citrus fruits along with some slight floral hop notes. Orange, mango, pink grapefruit and peach all pour out from the glass giving this a massive aroma. The bitterness of the hops come in for some nice diversity, but it's just a massive "west coast" style Double IPA.

T: Like the nose, citrus fruits are at the forefront with more orange, pink grapefruit, mango, papaya and peach. A sharp bitterness comes in towards the back end reminding you what you're drinking and giving a really nice cut to the citrus flavors. The malts give a nice balance too.

M: Well carbonated, smooth and medium-bodied. There's nothing off about this feel, it's creamy with just the right about of bubbles.

It's hard to say if I preferred this over Citra DIPA but these are honestly neck-in-neck with each other. Both exemplify exactly what I love about "west coast" IPAs in general with their big citrusy and juicy nature. Another astonishing beer from Kern River.

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Photo of oline73
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a golden hue. There is a finger of fluffy, off white head that fades to a layer on top of the pour. There is some mild lacing on the edge of the glass.

Smell: Lots of sweet citrus bitterness. A good amount of malt, but the thing that catches my attention is the citrus notes. It reminds me of tangerine and clementine. There is some warm alcohol in the mix as well.

Taste: Great balance of sweet malt and bitter hops, but the taste still manages to be light considering the abv. Citrus peel hop bitterness with some tangerine. The alcohol is still here, but not as prevalent as the smell.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly, delicate carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer, but I don't know that it lived up to the hype for me. I would have it again if they make it.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at GHS.

Hazy amber body with a tall lasting head, a few shades darker than Citra. A lot of tangerine and orange on the nose, very citrus forward with floral undertones. Little malt character to the aroma. The palate has a bigger malt foundation, though it's by no means sweet. Orange, tangerine and perfumey floral notes provide most of the flavor. Beneath that there's a light backbone of bread crust and caramel malt. The finish exhibits a lower-moderate level of bitterness that never wears down the palate. Overall, this is another exceptionally good beer from Kern River, who are fast becoming one of my favorite breweries in California.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery while watching Marquette lose to eventual Big East champion Louisville in what was a meaningless game pretty much. A light orange and yellow color, relatively impressive for such a hoppy beer head formation, around 1" in depth.

An aroma that was nice tangerine citrus aroma hoppiness, soft on the bitterness and alcohol, big on the fruity hop goodness, quite nice, seemingly they used citra and/or nelson in this, probably with a little simcoe and cascade too. Great at hiding the alcohol on it, very drinkable, three pints went down effortlessly, in fact, I was restraining myself as best I could. So impressed, I bought refill on the growler, and 12 bottles to share with friends, family & fellow beer lovers. I believe 72 hours later all but 2 are accounted for.

I think this is just as good, if not better than Citra. They are extremely similar if you ask me, but this was a little more pungent I thought.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky apricot, nice off white head leaves to ring. Lots of cling, some legs too!

S - Major pine hops, hint of citrus, lot of malt behind it.

T - Nice blend equally of pine and citrus, fat malt center.

M - Medium body, good carb, great balance.

D - A really good effort. Love it.

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Photo of jamex
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Toronado, S.D. and had multiple bottles.

This is just an amazing beer. It looks, smells and tastes phenomenal. A lot of hops and citrus and tangerine - all with a subtle hop bite - my favorite style of IPA.

World class folks. Try and acquire this at all costs.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronados

A: Pours a beautiful and slightly hazy golden color with a 1/2 finger bone white head.

S: Full of fantastic citrus hop aromas. Big mango and grapefruit with some candied orange and a bit of an earthiness to it.

T: Loaded with grapefruit an grapefruit pith with a good amount of honey malt and mango to balance it out. Incredibly smooth. I could drink this forever. Another fantastic beer from Kern River.

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Photo of rand
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Winter Ale (5th Anniversary Ale) from Kern River Brewing Company
4.44 out of 5 based on 320 ratings.
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