Winter (Rye) Ale | Kern River Brewing Company

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63 Ratings

Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
As the Kernville temps dip our spicy rye Winter Ale warms up the taps. It gets its kick from rye but has plenty of hops to balance out the malt.

Added by rand on 01-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Dark brown in color though truly a very dark chestnut or ruby. Large light khaki colored head that billows up initially and is quite persistent. Big bubbles, thick lines, and sheets of lace cover the glass.

Floral and earthy hop components along with some aromas of sweet caramel, toffee, and baking bread. Appropriate for a big amber, but I should have cracked this when it was more fresh.

Sweet toffee and caramel flavors lead the way, along with floral, earthy, and mild pine characteristics from the hops. A touch of alcohol is evident when the beer warms some.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Appropriate.

Good, but I did myself a disservice by forgetting this one in the back of the refrigerator.

 735 characters

Photo of Varkias41
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Sisky
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing this to assist it get a grade.

Pours a crystal clear copper with red tint and a nice off white head. Nice to look at.

Nose is really full, rich and assertive with fresh spiced pineapple and pears and unertones of spice. Smells appealing and inviting. Mouthfeel is rich, full, creamy and really well balanced. You want more.

Flavor profile follows nose and mouth with a big, assertive creamy almost sweet front palate with toast and malt that gives way to a rich bitter grapefruit hop mid palate and rich pine bitter finish.

I don't get that much of a "winter ale" as much as I get the flavor profile of an imperial IPA. Rich, good, bold and what we've come to expect from Kern!

 695 characters

Photo of jamex
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Via iPhone.

I am a huge Kern River fan but this was a let down. Too bitter for a winter ale and not enough substance. It looks nice, even has a decent smell, but the flavor of the beer is lacking. Tastes kinda "cheap." Maybe a bad bottle? I would live to think so.

 266 characters

Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of nataku00
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of BBrewington
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of jmarsh123
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep red almost brown in color with a 2 finger sticky off white head with spotty lacing.

Aroma is lots of caramel malts with an underlying citrus/floral hoppiness to it with a touch of rye. Almost smells like a malt forward DIPA.

Bright citrus hops start out the taste. A little bit of sweet caramel with a touch of rye spiciness before finishes slightly earthy bitter and dry.

Medium mouthfeel and carb.

Obviously this is a style blurrer. Kind of weird they call it a Winter Ale, but whatever it is, it's a nice hoppy red beer which I have a soft spot for. The hops are bright without being overly bitter and overpowering.

 640 characters

Photo of 1424IpA
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of WeisGuy
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Dark brown with red highlights and a 2 inch head and great retention with some circular lacing

Nose: Tropical fruits some piney hops and a caramel backbone. I could go on and on about Kern River and the way their beers smell. I truly believe they produce the best smelling beers but with that being said they all have the same characteristics.

Taste: Wow a bit lack luster in the flavor department. The beer has some caramel and toffee notes and a floral hop finish. Not at all what I expected from the nose

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: Not a bad beer but just a bit of a let down flavor wise

 628 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of SageO
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of rand
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From tap to pint glass, served at the brew pub

A: Ruby-red in color, clear and pretty. A 1-inch head recedes fairly quickly, leaving a fair amount of lacing around the glass.

S: Wet floral hops up front, strong and crisp. I didn't have any expectations for this beer and the citrusy bouquet was surprising. Plenty of grainy-sweet malts linger, along with notes of wood, oak.

T: Hops dominate as in the nose, citrusy and sharp (although not as bitter as you'd expect). Grainy malts balance and add complexity, the rye is detectable. Alcohol adds a nice bite and adds to the refreshing aspects.

M: Medium-to- light bodied, effervescent. Carbontion nicely scrubs the palate.

I think the name threw me off as I was expecting the big sweet warming aspects typical of winter ales. But this is completely appropriate for a brewery that's become a master of heavily-hopped ales. This is one of the best rye ales I've come across, completely delicious.

 962 characters

Photo of Piddmeista
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Nugganooch
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber with a 10oz taster flute
Notes from 03/08/12

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown with some much lighter golden edges to it. Actual good clarity. Awesome four fingers of thick creamy beige head that displays great staying power. Recedes to a cap but never fully dissipates leaving rings of lace with each sip.

S: Smell is super piney at first waft. Pungent and stinging with undercurrents of citrus zest. Nutty carmelized malts. Some warmth brings out a bit of chocolatey dried fruit notes. But overall a real hoppy nose to it.

T: Taste is all hoppy IPA up front. Citrus flesh-tangerines, pines, and earthy hemp with a resinous upper-mod bitterness that gives a light pucker. Burnt caramel sugars are abundent and providing a bit of toffee sweetness throughout. Touch of acrid roast coffee. Chocolate covered rasins. Some alcohol notes. Really alot going on here. Comes together like chocolate cake at times but also has a bit of a tart and astringent char off aftertaste. All considered I am liking this.

M: Mouthfeel is rather creamy and frothy in texture with a light to medium body. Real dry and resinous finish.

D: Interesting brew that gets a little busy at times. I really did not know what to expect with this one and ended up rather enjoying this minus the slightly offensive aftertaste. I assume this came out a few months ago and hops are still going strong. I didn't really pick up on the spicy Rye flavs others have noted but maybe the use of some Chocolate Rye if anything.

I would sum this up as an Imperial Brown Ale or maybe even pass it off as an American Strong. Heck let's just call it a Winter Warmer.
Would have again.

 1,649 characters

Photo of ber12
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of nkeckhar
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma of flowery hops, like Cascades, greets the nose. Color in the globe glass is a washed out amberish, reddish. But the suds on tops and lacing along the glass is quite nice. It just plain tastes like an IPA, whatever they call it. Fairly malty, but a light, nearly watery body, thought it's enlivened by the carbonation. Rather spicy-- brewery says the recipe includes rye.

Not much like any winter beer, where you might expect a little roasted barley and some mellow malt. But it has a big, tangy hoppy flavor which should appeal to the IPA fans. Lots of resins, just a touch of sweetness, and that racy rye flavor. Quite bitter in the long aftertaste.

22 oz bottle from Best Damn in San Diego.

 702 characters

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of StubFaceJoe
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Gtg642
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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Winter (Rye) Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 63 ratings