Tasting: June 13, 2014
Style: Stout (Imperial)
Beer #: 547
Class V Stout
Rapids have a classification ranging from class I to class VI. Since class VI refer to unnavigable waterways, a class V would be the ultimate adventure river. This level of whitewater requires expertise and failure to execute perfectly may result in serious injury or death. Since Kern River is the name of the brewery – you’d assume that there is a river and that the river has class V rapids – and that assumption is correct.
The brewery’s website describes this 8.5% alcohol by volume stout as a non-traditional beer in that it is an oatmeal stout, milk stout and an imperial Stout all in one. They purport the flavors to range from coffee to chocolate and the sweetness is compliments by some brawny northwestern US hops. They finish with a warning that this beer is like the Kern at high water – “Not for the Timid”.
First impressions – Class V Stout delivers a smooth sweetness – chocolate dominant, sweet and creamy. While I can see the comparison to a hybrid of oatmeal (smooth) and milk stout (sweet), I don’t get the imperial comparison. It isn’t until a few ounces in that the hops start to shine through and ultimately they take over the experience. They really are complimentary. I don’t get the coffee but rather a demure roasted grain.
This is a nice stout – I’ll put Class V Stout at 89 points.