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River Ale - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Not Rated.
River AleRiver Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

215 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 215
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 51
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Dark Wheat Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-13-2002)
View: Beers (39) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 215 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lkokot
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of jfink603
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of GWaters
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on Tap
Mohawk Park in Charlemont, MA

If you love sweet malty ales, this is a must! Truly Exceptional.

Pour: Pours the color of dark gingerbread with a slight head, but ample lacing. Sticks to the glass like a thin liqueur.

Smell: Sweet, sweet buttery malt with lower notes of caramel and moss. Heavenly, and very inviting.

Taste: A sweet roasted malt throughout. Smooth layers of caramel and cashew are mixed in. Hops punch through the buttery sweetness in spots. Darn near perfect for the style.

Mouthfeel: Opens with a soft coating of some sweet nectar to coat the mouth. Thins out quickly and rolls of the tongue seductively to leave a smooth happiness behind.

Drinkability: Rarely do I lose track of the number of beers I have in a pub, but I can't tell you how many I had one night. I can tell you this beer will let yo uknow the next day. It is a very easy to drink beer, and will invite you to another everytime.

Photo of BeerTick
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of shigg85
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of hopley
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of dbalsock
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

App: Pours a great dark amber hue with an off white head. There's good head retention, minimal lacing.

Smell: Cramel with bready notes. It's a very malty beer, but everything balances well with no harsh dark malts. There's a low hop aroma.

Taste: Molasses comes out on the tounge with a a subtle hop aftertaste that mixes with the essence of alcohol well. Other flavors are biscuit and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, sweet and medium bodied. The most important part is the crisp for me. Because it's a very malty beer, the crispness gives an incredible balance to it.

Drinkability: This is the best strong ale I've had yet, largely due to the lack of over powering bittering hops and dark malts.

Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to ppotrias for this one!

Pours a semi-hazed orange/caramel with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Caramel & biscutty malt

T: Caramel, herbal & lemon hops, plus biscuitty malt up front. Nice fruittyness (plums, figs, cherries & other dark fruit) & intense cakeyness with Christmas pudding notes, plus toffee once warm. Finishes with some vanilla, some dryness, & loads more dark fruit & a touch of leafy hops

MF: Chewy with low, but useful carbonation. Superior balance. with a great malt backbone

Despite the heft, this dangerously drinkable. Don't cross the river if you cant swim the tide! Luckily I'm an alright swimmer, stellar strong ale!

Photo of bbeerman
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A..Nice amber hue on the pour. Decent head.

S..Above average malt notes.

T..Malty. Syrupy caramel flavors. Slight chocolate, though faint. Almost a smoked flavor near the end (but only on some sips I found). Quite tasty.

M..Medium bodied despite the 7% ABV.

O..Very excellent beer overall. Really enjoyed this much more than I was expecting and look forward to getting another round of bombers in the near future.

Photo of OBIrish24
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of David_C
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of jilly425
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of abgba121
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light brown with about an inch of white head that recedes slowly and leaves a light lacing over the top of the entire brew.

S: wheat and sweet, reminds of toffee

T: A sweet beer, but well balanced with the hop additions, which leave a good crisp finish. Very tasty.

M: Medium body and good carbonation, easy to drink.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this dark wheat, a great job by BBC and at a great price of 3.99 a bomber. I will surely have more of these.

Photo of durkle
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of rhabdovirus
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a very, very thin head if any. Aroma is nice and malty upfront. Taste is much of the same except there's a nice raisin/currant taste upfront. A second sip confirms a bold maltiness that dances on the tongue (fancy words but it's true). Aftertaste has a lot of raisin and malt and not a lot of bitterness to be found.

It's definitely strong but not in the sense that I expected. It reminds me of Arrogant Bastard but with the exception that there's a different character to it. The alcohol is never too overwhelming and allows the other flavors to come through.

Photo of doctorjack
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of jwps214
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of PatGreer
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of indiapaleale
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BBC's River Ale has always sort of confused me as to which style it is but now I see it falls into that rather ambiguos "American Strong Ale" category...

Pours a very nice dark auburn with a nice, tight creamy white head that clings to the glass very well.

Smell is sweet caramel, honey, lots o malt, bread dough and a bit of alcohol. Lots of good smells drawing me in...

Tastes extremely toasty, roasty, biscuity, malty, caramely and delicious! Lots of sweet honey and brown sugar combine well with that hint of alcohol warming. Such a great beer that is very straightforward and simple.

Super smooth and easy drinking, wow I am easily going to polish off this bomber myself...especially since they don't sell this any other way.

Photo of davey101
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a tall pilsner glass. Never heard of this beer style before, and I was a bit shocked to see that it was the #1 beer under the style. It says its similar to a dunkel weisse, I'm soldl!

A - Deep brownish red. A good sized white head formed that is still sitting high ten minutes later. This beer looks perfect in this glass.

S - Sweet malts and a certain honey/candy quality. There is a bit of faint hops in there as well. Really great aromas.

T - Sweet malts. I hate to copy the aroma, but there is just this great honey sweetness to it. The hops leave a nice little bitterness in the end that balances out the sweetness. Smooth carbonation and medium mouth feel. 7% abv? Ya right!

O - This is my first american dark wheat ale and I'm in love. I was gonna either grab this or the coffee house porter which I've had numerous times. I made the right decision. BBC is a real gem of a brewery. Always amazingly fresh and well crafted beers, and I can find bombers everywhere for under $4. Seek this out!!

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a slightly hazy brown color with a two finger off white head. The head had great retention, but eventually faded to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a sweet wheat smell. The wheat is of a bready nature with the sweet being of caramel and some dark fruits. Mixed with these aromas are some lighter notes of a roasted malt and a very light citrus nature. Overall quite nice.

Taste – The taste begins sweet and roasty with a nice wheat flavor mixed within. The sweet at the front is of a caramel nature, but as the taste goes on some brown sugar and a very light citrus hop come to the tongue. As the taste advances further a subtle boozy flavor comes to the tongue. It overall creates a very nice slightly warming sweet bready aftertaste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the medium to just above medium side with the carbonation level being on the average side. The body is very nice for the sweeter bready flavors and really allows the boozy flavors to warm the mouth.

Overall – A great sweeter brew. Wonderful flavors and a great warming feel. Fantastic!!

Photo of Hibernator
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Berkshire Brewing Company River Ale
22 oz brown bottle
The freshness date is not notched on the side label
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a hazy and murky brown with orange highlights on the bottom of the glass. Decent head on top, but the sticky, webbed lacings are worth noting.

Pleasant aroma of caramel malts and fruity pear notes. Mild hop whiffs with a touch of butter cream.

This is a very tasty brew and better than one might expect. Sweet brown sugar, caramel malts and toasted grain flavor. Slight orange fruitiness on the finish. The mouthfeel is incredibly soft and round. The drinkability level is exceptional. Nicely balanced and the carbonation level is modest. This beer goes down so easy and it's very deceiving at 7.0%. I have yet to be let down by a BBC product.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a well-blended combination of creamy chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt and a good amount of hops.

T: The malty taste starts out with the same creamy chocolate flavor that you get in the smell, but it’s not overdone. Following up are light but complimentary flavors of dark fruit, some spice and a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet. Despite being an ale, this one tastes a lot like a Dopplebock.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, slightly filling but there’s no trace of the 7.00% ABV. I had wanted to try this beer for a while and then had it at a tasting about a month ago. Even after the tasting, I wasn’t quite sure how much I would like it, but I gave BBC the benefit of the doubt because they haven’t steered me wrong yet. It was a wise decision, because I liked this beer a lot.

Photo of sommersb
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 01-31-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Weizen glass
Purchased: Received in a trade

Reviewing my first in this rare style...

Pours with a huge off-white head, showing excellent lacing and very good head retention. Beer is mostly clear and dark amber in color.

Aromas are very pleasing, with a malty, sweet start, plus typical wheat yeast smells of cloves and bananas. Also has a bready and caramel character from the malts.

The taste is in line with the nose -- sweet and malty with caramel, fruit and spicy flavors. The earthy hops lend a low bitterness. Also has some nutty tastes.

Mouthfeel has a medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is smooth, malty and sweet, but in balance.

Overall, this is an exceptional beer that I'm glad I had the opportunity to try. Highly recommended

Thanks to davey101 for this one!

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River Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.