Deschutes River Ale - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Deschutes River AleDeschutes River Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

86 Reviews

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Reviews: 86
Hads: 507
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 31
Gots: 102 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 02-27-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 86 | Hads: 507
Photo of breadwinner
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes exudes quality for me, so I was surprised to find a rather off-putting nose on this one, a touch vegetal, not quite textbook DMS, but something off to be sure. Palate improved things a touch, with a sort of light bittering hop note working alongside some crackery malt. Body is thin, which makes sense for the low ABV take on the style, I suppose, but still wasn't really endearing. I don't know...the whole time I just kept thinking, "Why bother with this -- just spend the extra .5 - 1% ABV and have a Mirror Pond or Twilight Ale." (543 characters)

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

This is a style that is hard for me to get excited about, but this particular one is an excellent example.

It's dark yellow with a bit of fizz. The aroma is fresh yet slightly hops and yeast skunky and skanky. Just slightly, not blonde slut level. A complex odor.

The taste is characteristically mild yet interesting. It does bitter and malt all balanced together. Nice.

The aftertaste is mostly sweet, with less bitter. This is a well endowed blonde. (454 characters)

Photo of iCica
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a few of these and went to the river with a some friends. It was a great session, everyone enjoyed the beer, with a modest 4.0% abv it was perfect for the setting. The taste is very mild, delicate almost in a floral kind of way. There wasn't anything too exciting going on with it it, just pleasant to drink without leaving much of an aftertaste. (353 characters)

Photo of drunklewddude
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a light head and finishes with a very light lacing. The smell is very mild herb, pine and is pleasant. Taste is very clean pine, floral and malt. It is a prefect beer for sipping on a hot summer day. (220 characters)

Photo of maedhros09
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty nice session ale - with the level of flavor it's hard to tell it from something like mirror pond, which has a higher ABV. A light west coast style pale ale. (165 characters)

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

A - Bright yellow-orange ale, transparent, and bright white, full, tight head, which persists. Not much lacing, but very pretty.

S - Pine and a touch of floral notes, a bit of citric acid, and a hint of honey sweetness.

T - A very nicely balanced brew, with a strong malt backbone and a bright hop note of pine and resin, a smidge of lemon and zest, and a clean close.

M - Brisk carbonation, bright, with a quick, easy close.

O - A beer that is pleasant and easy, a drinker of the first order. Not incredibly exciting, just a very well executed ale for a summer day. (572 characters)

Photo of Steve_Studnuts
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear, pale reddish color with quickly dissipating head. Smells pleasant enough, kind of sweet-scented, but its real faint. Taste is likewise pleasant but faint; somewhat yeasty and I believe I detect some raisin in there too. Mouth feel is _very_ light, almost watery. At the end of the day this is decent enough but, to compare it to another Oregon ale, this is like Dead Guy Ale's lightweight brother. (417 characters)

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - golden color with slight head and good lacing
Smell - slight yeast smell
Taste - solid ale. Slight toasty with some yeast.
Fell - medium body and carb
Overall - pretty good ale (184 characters)

Photo of losthusker
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What we've got here is a craft brew absolutely tailor made for the faint of heart. This particular brewery is highly respected and I think this beer is their attempt to appeal to the bud light drinking masses. As a former bud light drinker I can say this would have been a much better first foray into the craft world than the Sam Adams Rebel IPA that broke my craft beer cherry last year. Mildly hopped and low alcohol, my 80 year old mother could knock a couple of these back with no problem. (494 characters)

Photo of Briancaldel
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(Stay a little longer)
Golden straw color with thin white head. Smell of hops and light floral. Light carbonation, balanced beer with malt taste and a bitter finish. (167 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at the Bryant Lake bowl on tap.
A: Brilliant straw gold with a ½” creamy white foam collar that leaves thick lace.
S: Citrus and light grains
T: The palate starts with light fruit and light grains and then it dries out with a slight grapefruit rind bitterness, fairly light.
M: medium body and carbonation.
O: A refreshing, easy to drink beer. (355 characters)

Photo of Austinkrat
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Refreshing, light beer. Enjoyed the mild hops and liked that carbonation. Not big on mouth feel, but didn't expect it from this type of ale. Would definitely buy again if on sale for a lawnmower beer or grilling beer. And the bottles are great to save for home brewing. (270 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich amber with luxurious head of off-white suds. Lovely lace on my Sierra Nevada pint glass.

Aroma: Malty — I get a tasty, toasty bread character right off the bat. Nice and light.

Taste: Toasty and sweetly malty, light in hop character and body but well tasty and enjoyable. River Ale may not be flashy, big, or bold, but it remains a flavorful and well-done session ale that I would gladly enjoy time and again. Prost! (437 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

It looks : yellow Amber colored body, a loose knit 2 fingered head leaving webs of lacing as it gradually recedes.

It smells : a woody pine note dominates; honey, grapefruit, and white raisin; slight clean antiseptic.

It tastes : the bitterness is subdued, but present; the hop is piney, but largely of grapefruit; some blonde style malts, with a little yeast and barley.

It feels : very creamy, easy drinking, bordering on medium bodied, ends clean and fresh.

Overall : it's a nicely crafted ale with an emphasis on the hop and yeast. The hop is subdued enough to make it enjoyable and pairs well with the yeast. Not something I'd drink over and over, but this beer is definitely respectable. (699 characters)

Photo of curmudgeon236
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light, refreshing, inoffensive brew. Sessionable, not too hoppy, nor too malty, yet not bland by any means. One of the most quaffable beers I've ever had.
Well done, Deschutes! (176 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass; my local store had a sample pack that included this bottle which is just a week past its 1/30/15 best-by date
A: Clear light orange with a one-finger head
S: Apple, some florals/grain, a bit sweet
T: Grain, nice floral notes, a bit of citrus/grass from malt
M: Light-bodied, crisp, a bit herbal
O: This would make a great session beer - light, complex enough to make you take notice while straightforward enough you don't have to give it your full attention (495 characters)

Photo of Bierwolf
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy medium gold. A finger of tan foam that leaves some okay lacing. Nice carbonation. For a blonde the tan foam was a surprise.

Aroma: Sweet, malty, floral.

Taste: Was sweet and malty but also there was a light but noticable metallic taste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a slick feel. Good carbonation here
Smooth finish.

Overall: Pretty good and easy to drink beer. (410 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a deep gold with two fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - toasted grains, slight grassy malts, noble hops, hint of citrus peel.

Taste - Starts off with the toasted grains then goes into the grassy malts, noble hops, and citrus peel.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with a pleasant malty finish.

Overall - A refreshing and sessionable blonde. This would be perfect for the hot "dog days" of summer. (466 characters)

Photo of Shade1951
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm not a fan of the style, so it is difficult to provide a fair review.

No complaints about the look. Nice, slightly hazy gold color, not much of a head, some lacing (for those who care about lacing).

The smell is... mild. Faint hops. No unpleasant.

Taste is also mild, like the smell. Faint piney hops - nothing floral that I can detect. It's not bad, just not that memorable.

The feel is the worst attribute - to my taste buds. Watery. Mildly carbonated.

I guess this is what people would call a "session beer." It would take many people 3 or 4 of these to get a "buzz." Probably better consumed outside on a hot summer's day. The beer just doesn't have enough "substance" for me. (688 characters)

Photo of HoppyBastard
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass.

APPEARANCE: pours a somewhat hazy copper color with fine particles suspended throughout, one-finger white head that quickly dissipated to a thin broken layer of small bubbles, there was significant lacing on the glass, medium carbonation.

SMELL: the nose is sweet with a pleasant floral note and bread.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet and bready, then a very mild hop profile, everything is subtle and understated.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a good beer but not great, it's inoffensive and could be enjoyed by anyone who likes beer, the low alcohol 4% ABV was very welcome, allows you to enjoy a few, this is a good beer you could enjoy throughout the night. (770 characters)

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

Pretty head, tight gripping lace, dark orange hue

Smells of floral notes, grassy notes and citrus-y ones, yeast from the bottle conditioning (which is lovely)

Tastes of very smooth biscuit malt, citrus, caramel, and the slightest of funks

Solid beer, drinkable and smooth, well rounded flavor. (296 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

This brew pours a hazy 70% opaque copper/straw color with a two finger foamy white head and good carbonation. Medium to heavy lacing, some of the head lasts until the end.

The smell is mostly sweet malts, straw, cracker, roasted malts and pine.

The taste follows the nose with sweet and roasted malts, maybe a hint of caramel, some roasted malts along with a slightly gritty grassy finish with some pine and hop oil remaining on the tongue after swallowing.
Overall this is just a little more complex than your average blonde ale, there is quite a bit going on in here and the piney hops give it a nice finish. Try it. (621 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%

Appearance (4.25): Hazy orange golden color with a finger or two of off white head

Smell (4): A bit more pungent than most blondes i come across; Apricot, lemongrass, bready malt, light spices

Taste (4) Clean bready malts, lemongrass, mild spices

Mouthfeel (4): Heavy light body; Very easy drinking with slight bitterness.

Overall (4.02): This puts some pizzazz into the average, boring blonde ale. The flavors are exceptionally clean and i could put back a ton of these without getting tiired of it. Deschutes really does specialize in easy drinking yet tasty beers! (572 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

A: Copper, slight haze, lots of fine bubbled carbonation, a finger of yellowish foamy head.

S: Orange candy, berries, strawberries, blueberries, pine, taffy.

T: Bergamot, berries, orange, cinnamon, dried cloves,

M: Medium light body, medium foamy, powdery carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Pleasantly surprised. A very well done beer. Dry, spicy, with west coast hop character. Bought in Chiang Mai, drank Oct 10th, 2014. (427 characters)

Photo of dcscientist
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%

I got this on tap toward the end of the summer, but it wasn't my favorite Deschutes brew. Just didn't quite stack up to some of their other offerings. Almost a witbier or Belgian white as compared to the blonde that it's classified as here. Decent, but probably wouldn't pick that one if other Deschutes products were available. (331 characters)

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Deschutes River Ale from Deschutes Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.