Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kern River Brewing Company - Just Outstanding IPA

Naming a beer is always tough. Do you give your beer a huge name that will make people feel intimidated right off the bat (ie.Arrogant Bastard, B.O.R.I.S.-The Crusher, Knuckle Sandwich, Sea Monster)? Do you give your beer a name that's going to intrigue people (ie. Devotion, Blue Moon, Old Rasputin)? Do you give your beer the classic name that let's people know exactly what they're going to get (ie. Full Sail Pale Ale, Sam Adams Boston Lager)? Or do you do something different? Do you have the balls to tell people they're going to love your beer right off the bat? And what's more, do you have the beer that's going to back that statement up? That's a lot of questions, but Kern River must have gone through them before finally deciding on what to name their IPA- Just Outstanding. Let's find out if they were right.

Looks-wise, this beer gets off to a good start. The beer is a light coppery color with a thin off-white head and some fantastic lacing. The beer smells good, too, with some fresh floral hops jumping out right way along with some caramel malts, overripe mango and some pineapple. So far, so good. Now the most important part- the taste.

The beer starts with a pretty big hit of citrus hops, including a pretty juicy grapefruit flavor. The caramel malts hit late, but mellow out the hops enough that the beer isn't allowed to be too overpoweringly bitter. The finish has a good bitter twang and leaves a lot of citrus hop flavor on your tongue forever. I was skeptical, but it looks like Kern River pulled this one off. Bold, Kern River. Bold but successful.

Final Grade: A

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