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River Guide | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
123 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
123
Ratings:
232
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
13.23%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
River GuideRiver Guide
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Dark Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly River Ale

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-13-2002

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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 232
Photo of NEhophead
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle.
No best before date notched.

Pours a murky maple in color. Half-inch, creamy off-white head that lasts as a whispy sheet with pools of bubbles. Thin and spotted lacing with a decent hold.

Sweet caramel and toffee malts; hints of fruity esters: apple, lemon, and plum. Caramelized brown sugar.

Semi-sweet toasted malt character; big wheat and grain presence that is rather clean. A background of fresh fruit: apple, grape, cherry, plum; all of which aren't tart at all. Hints of alcohol lead to the aftertaste of semi-sweet brown sugar, fruit, and wheat.

Almost full in body; smooth, near creamy on the palate. A nice balance of malt and hops.

A pleasasnt offering with nice qualities, but rather reserved in terms of flavor and abv %, when I think of a 'Strong Ale'.

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Photo of albern
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a treat and one of the better offerings from Berkshire. The beer pours a clear copper mahogany color with a small but creamy off white head, decent retention, some lacing too. The nose is big malt palate in the pale malt variety, a deep caramel aroma, and a sweetish slightly fruitishness. It is primarily a big pale malt nose though, not overly aromatic, but good.

The taste is a deep caramel flavor, with a big malt palate, some roasted notes, and a sweetish almost candied butterscotch flavor maybe a tad brown sugary. The beer is not much carbonated, medium bodied, quite smooth, a slight hop presence more towards the finish, and maybe some warming ABV in the finish as well. For a 7% beer, this hides and masks the alcohol extremely well. This is a solid, big malty beer and is a nice treat. L'Chaim.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; deep amber in color; 1 finger moussy off white head that receded to a splotchy cap very nice lacing;

S: all malt - caramel, fresh wort, a little smoke, a little nutty;

T: all malt to the middle - caramel, nutty, a little dark fruit; mild bitterness with a sense of raw spice on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate creamy carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: I don't like the raw spice note that I got at the finish;

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Photo of Celtics76
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as a pre-dinner drink. Drank it while grilling a whisky-pepper pork tenderloin on the grill.

Pours a nice clear copper with a half inch of bubbly head that reduces quickly. Nice aroma here - sweet caramel. Quite tasty - caramel flavor hits the tongue and eventually gives way to a bready, crisp wheat finish with mild alcohol detection. Lightly carbonated with a good spicy, somewhat herbal kick. Perhaps due to the Willamette hops, as stated on the label. Overall a mild hop profile.

I've had this a few times and I must say it's one of the most unique brews I've had. Flavorful and highly drinkable. The only other American style dark wheat ale I've had was Mayflower's, and that one doesn't touch this.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown with a lot of light head. Smells wheaty and fairly nondescript. It's exactly as mild as I expected. Tastes sweet and malty. A nice wheat presence with some fruits of some sort. Raisins perhaps? Overall pretty good for what it is. Nothing crazy but solid

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Photo of ksimons
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a cloudy brown amber with a finger's worth of white fluffy head

S-sweet malts, wheat, caramel

T-much like the nose, sweet malts, bready wheat, caramel, and something a little fruity

M-medium body, medium amount of carbonation, smooth

D-a nice mellow dark wheat beer, very easy to drink

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Photo of Hibernator
4.4/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, unfiltered, unpasteurized, and best-by 4/8/08; brewed with a portion of wheat malt and sampled a month ago. It pours a deep crimson, with medium carbonation and two inches of tight, light tan head that recedes to a clingy collar. A bit of a wheat twang in the nose, along with grassy malts, caramel, molasses and some earthy, leafy/green hops. Very malty body, with flavors of caramel and earthy/grassy malts, hints of chocolate and toffee, tart wheat and a mild, clean bitterness. It has a medium, lightly-carbonated body that delivers a staying maltiness while becoming ever crisper and dryer. An interesting brew that is hard to define - wouldn't really peg it as a strong ale, but not really sure what else to call it. While not my favorite from BBC, it is fairly tasty and quite drinkable for a beer with an above-average ABV.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of match1112
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to davey101 for sending this to me! bomber pours into a mug a dark wheat bread color, weird huh. smells and tastes like warm bread from the oven. full wheat body with hints of yeast a little hops . some burnt sugar and alochol is also detectable. full body, good carbonation, smooth creamy body with a slight hop bite on the finish. really like this beer. after receiving this i realized i needed it to knock out the style and what a solid representation of the style it is.

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Photo of mschofield
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark leathery brown with orange highlights at the edges, topped with a four finger pillowy off-white head. Leaves thick puffy wide rings of lacing, comes close to a full sheet. This actually looks like some rivers around here.
Very malty aroma, lots of nuts, toffee, herbs and an earthy note.
Sweet tasting, nuts, fruits - strawberry?, dark bread, very small touch of butter.
Medium bodied, felt like a strong brown ale.

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Photo of KajII
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Dimpled mug]

Poured a cloudy medium brown with a large frothy off white head that was mostly diminishing and had excellent lacing.The aroma was heavy of roasted caramel malts, molasses with nice hints of an earthy yeast, toffee and raisons. It tasted sweetly smooth and mildly acidic in the beginning then progressed to a nice sweet malty flavor and had notes of caramel and dried fruit with the flavor lasting a nice while. Mouthfeel was medium in body and nice and creamy in texture with a nice mild carbonation. Overall a fantastic tasting Dark Wheat Ale, very drinkable.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a snifter glass, comes out brown with some ruby highlights, nice head leaves some lacing. Sweeter aroma, malts take front and center, some fruit here. Taste starts bready, bit of wheat tang, middle is sweet with some stone fruit. Finishes dry, slightly bitter, clean. Medium body, easy to drink the whole bottle but overall not what I was expecting. Was looking for those willamette hops but found none.

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Photo of beernut7
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have rarely been disappointed by a Berkshire brew and this ale is definitely not a downfall. Deep nut-brown pour with and impressive creamy head wafting the aromas of peach fruit and caramel malt. The smooth body supports the presence of an extremely well-balanced caramel malt and a mild rounded British hop spice. The smoothness of the entire brew gives a 22 oz. bomber the easy quick feel of a mere 12 ounces.

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Photo of jmz62565
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark mahogony with a medium head with no lacing. Not bad color,but the head is smallish and there's no lacing hurting the rating. The smell is abit weak with sweet malt and some "bisquity" aromas. The taste is all sweet malt and some carmel. the alcohol is very well hidden. It's a very sweet beer,it's good,but it's really nothing special. The m/f is medium with all flavors mixing OK. Not a bad beer,but you better like malt.

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Photo of snowmageddon
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%

Pours a foggy caramel color with a head that recedes quickly. Leaves nice lacing as it goes. On the nose, you can detect honey, biscuit, clove, hay. On my first sip, im hit with honey, toffee, caramel, straw, some banana, clove, raisins. The willamette hops provide a long, earthy hop finish. The mouthfeel is light, with moderate/low carbonation. This is very drinkable with some great notes perfect for a chilly fall day.

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Photo of sommersb
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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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Photo of ybnorml
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean light brown beer with amber highlights. Has a big beige head, mabye a little lace. The aroma is full of malt and a nut like sweetness. That nutty malt sweetness is carried through in the flavor with a light smooth hop finish to balance off the taste. Note: inexplicably this is my favorite Bershire brew. I just enjoy drinking it everytime I put it into a glass.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber in a pilsner glass.
served two months from best by date.

pours a translucent, dark amber tone while yielding a finger and a half of a creamy/foamy beige head. decent retention and lacing; overall a beautiful looking beer. nose is appetizing. very wheaty with a big sweet malty presence to it.

taste is exceeds the nose. bold notes of wheat, caramel, brown sugar, and a underlying fruitiness i can quite pin down. pretty damn fantastic. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, a real pleasant surprise. did not expect to enjoy this beer as much as i am. ordinarily not a style i seek out, but this is just really flavorful and tasty. hands down my favorite offering to date from berkshire, a somewhat under-the-radar local brewery that continues to impress me.

(originally reviewed: 07-19-2011)

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Photo of edchicma
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich chocolate with small head that is retained well. Smell islightly sweet with some hop undertones. Taste is rich, malty with just enough hopr presence to prevent cloying. Alcohol presence is there, but notoverpowering. Mouthfeel is rich, full-bodied, smooth. Very dinkable for a 7 abv. I wouldn't be against having a bit of chocolate cake with this offering.

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Photo of Stimack
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brew poured from a 22 oz (normal presentation from BBC) bomber to a deep brown color with a smallish head that has nice retention and left fair lacing through out the brew. The aroma of this brew seems to be sweet with highlights of alcohol and fruit. Nice smelling brew and it smells like it would be at 7%! The taste is very sweet and fruity up front, maybe a little too much? The middle has a bread/malt flavor that tries to balance it out. Also has a bit of a alcohol on the very end of the experience. Not a bad brew but once again it does not seem to be as rounded as their other offerings like the Coffee house, Imperial Stout or the Lost Sailor. (If you read my reviews you would see I really liked them!)

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Photo of geexploitation
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours relatively clear and dark brown, with a light head that leaves a ring of lace. The aroma is not terribly complex -- some nutty malts and spicy sweetness. It reminds me of a doppelbock, or maybe a weizenbock made with American yeast. On the palate, initial sweetness gives way to thick, molasses and savory spice flavors, with an increasingly nutty, very sweet finish. Mouthfeel is very thick and a bit viscous, with minimal carbonation. Overall, this beer is OK, but it doesn't have a hook -- there's no one thing that's special about this beer. Still, it's drinkable and tasty enough.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy deep orange color. Big puffy head. Minor spotty lace. Thin jetsam of carbonation.

The aroma is an inoffensive but weak ale smell. Ale yeast and malt, slightly pale. Some mild, almost pilsnery bitter hops.

The taste is almost like a lager: Crisp, bitterish light malt. Like a thick all-malt lager. Very nondescript but not bad.

The feel is thick and creamy...and very malty. A good, decent ale. Not a ton of flavor, but easy drinking.

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Photo of davey101
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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!!

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Photo of fitzy84
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber. The appearance is a dark brown-amber color with a thinned head and no real lacing. Aromas are thin but apparent with a slightly smoked malt aroma, sweet roasty caramel tones to it. Taste excels beyond what the aromas hinted at; strong sweetness of bready malts. Good mouthfeel helps smooth this drink out without hindering a solid carbonation. Overall, an excellent drink from BBC.

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River Guide from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.