Deschutes River Ale - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Deschutes River AleDeschutes River Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

497 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 497
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 30
Gots: 97 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 497 | Reviews: 88
Reviews by olfolxholme:
Photo of olfolxholme
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into Spaten Optimator dimpled mug... After experimenting with a few other bottles, I decided to let this one sit out for 15 minutes before pouring

A - Big white head atop beautiful golden beer. Good retention, some lacing.

S - Nice blast of aroma as soon as you open the bottle. From the glass, wafts of sweet golden malts and classic northwest hops.

T - Mild flavors that resemble the aroma. A nice bitter finish that lingers. Drink it even colder and you get a lot of bitterness - more than I'm looking for in this beer, but I know some folks who would love that.

M - Appropriate to style, which is on the thin side. That said, it is refreshing and has a pleasant amount of carbonation. The bitter aftertaste creates a nice dryness that is fun to fix with another sip.

O - This beer is complex and flavorful enough and has no offensive flavors. I think this beer is going to be very popular and that Deschutes did a great job. Get a six pack, try it at a few different temperatures... have a few. It's only 4%, you'll be ok. Among other things, this will be a great beer to share with your less beery friends that you will not mind drinking.


More User Reviews:
Photo of secondtooth
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

Photo of Shade1951
2.86/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Bright golden hue, perfect clarity. A head that other beer are jealous about adorns the top. Very aromatic; crackers, faint citrus, herbal, slightly floral, hop spice and grassy. Very crisp with a lighter body, expected being only 4.0%. Bready with grassy undetones, even hop flavor throughout and the bitterness at 28 IBUs is at an ideal level for balance. Orange pith, faint mint and a bit herbal with a mildly biscuity drying finish

Extremely drinkable and more than enough flavor to go around for its size, well done Deschutes!

Photo of bsp77
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Bright gold with foamy white head that is fairly persistent with some nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet citrus, biscuit and toast, light spiciness. Aromatic at first but fades.

Taste: Very delicate malt backbone of toast and biscuit. Nice hop balance, which includes notes of citrus, tropical fruits and even berry. I am surprised at the traditional hop makeup of this, I would have guessed new hops such as mosaic. Slightly spicy on the finish, but not bitter at all. Just balanced and easy drinking.

Feel: Smooth and creamy light body with low carbonation. Crisp, dry and a little tingly.

Overall: Both subtle and complex, which is not each to do. Supremely drinkable.

Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.09/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mild yellow pour, seemed to have a little obscured haze throughout it instead of looking a little more professional.

Thanks to Reno Dave for bringing this to March Madness 2013, was a nice, simple palate cleanser, something so many neglected to account for. Aroma was negligible, if anything. Just sweet toasty malt in the smallest amount noticeable.

Taste, pretty marginal, some different yeast like ester flavor going on, also came across like there was a 10% wheat bill almost. Kind of a head scratcher. Stays away from the hops, but heck, even their inversion ipa seems to go that direction lately. Carbonation is substantially high. Some belgian hay in the mouthfeel.

I dunno, Deschutes used to be a brewery that was in my top 5 purchase history. Now, they seem to put all the hops into their bombers and kind of neglect the 6 packs. Heck, even Abyss is less bourbon barrelled than ever. This one wasn't bad, but it was just kind of there, to help wash away the mouth before the next beer.

A big no thanks to David Hurley of the El Dorado Casino sports bar area. Don't renege on promises made about our three days of bottle share half-way through. Integrity counts. Let us enjoy this beer next time instead of hassling your paying customers.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It’s nice to see a golden ale with character, the Deschutes River Ale named for the Deschutes River which runs through Bend, OR. Big slightly hazed golden body with a billowing white head appears in my new Roundabout brewery imperial pint glass. Fine speckled lacing is left behind on the sides of the glass.

Aroma has citrus hops mellow but there, with a grassy hay fresh cut grass character as well. Nice full on lighter biscuit malts in there extremely limited simple ingredients can create a clean dead on sessional ale as proved with this is beer from Deschutes.

Flavor is liquid bread with some citrus earthy dank hops assertive bitterness mellows as the bread like malt sweetness arises on the sides of the palate to finish pretty clean, blind tasted you may think this was a lager. I love the low alcohol, 4% abv and packed with flavor we need more of this style.

Mouthfeel rich malt layers provided a nice body with some girth to it, mellow to moderate carbonation level goes down smooth nice crisp dry finish very much feels like a lager with more body.

Overall, incredibly impressive golden ale as they describe it on the label, I know I could drink this as a dessert island beer for sustainability.

Photo of chinchill
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%

12 oz bottle with a BB date of Sept. 2014. Purchased in Eugene and consumed on the banks of Oregon’s McKenzie River.
4.25 3.75 3.4 3.6
Appearance: clear deep amber with a semi-durable, sudsy bone-colored head. Excellent lacing.
Aroma: herbal/floral hops with a good bit of biscuit malts.
Flavor: Low-medium hop intensity in this ale is about that of a typical Pilsner. Mild+ bitterness.
Feel: Lively medium carbonation. Near medium body.
O: well crafted but unexceptional.

Photo of losthusker
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear golden orange with an off-white, half finger head. Fair retention. An island of microbubbles forms in the middle, while more clings to on the edge. Lacing is small and spotty, with fair stick.

Smell - Lightly toasted breadiness, with citric and slightly floral hop aroma. Touches on fruity esters.

Taste - Bread and grain with light caramel notes upfront before the hops come into play. Not bitter, but bright. Mostly citrus (orange and lemon) with touches of floral and grassy character as it rounds into the finish. Apple undertone. Nice, subtle lemon zest quality lingers gently well after.

Mouthfeel - Very light and refreshing, without feeling watery. Moderate, lively carbonation pops in the mouth, without being too bitey. Coats the tongue well, then goes down with phenomenal smoothness.

Overall - A light, (relatively) flavorful blonde with refreshing qualities. Not especially fond of blondes, but this one may be the occasional buy once the weather turns a bit warmer. Summer BBQ's, here this comes. Much better than their Twilight summer offering.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured two fingers of head on a dark, clear golden colored body. Great head retention.
The aroma is a nice honey with a touch of bread.
The taste is smooth mild sweetness with a mild lemon bitter coming into play halfway through.
The texture is light and airy with moderate carbonation.
A nice blond with a little more bitterness than normal.

Photo of Joshuafzylatra
4.54/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

great beer. just a overall wonderful taste..crisp with the right amount of hop notes. served from a bottle poured into a pint glass

Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, pale amber color with one finger of head that settled to a thin film. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Impressive aroma for a blond ale. I get tropical fruit, grain, and cut grass.

Packs a lot of hop flavor into a low ABV, and it is not that bitter. The hop reminds me of the one Deschutes uses in their Inversion IPA. I get some Juicy Fruit flavor that I find appealing. Which after reading the brewers description, shares only Cascade with Inversion. The malt adds a touch of sweetness and bready flavor. Nicely balanced.

Not the most spirited carbonated. I would of liked it to be more lively and make the beer more crisp and clean. Light body which is not surprising.

Very easy drinking beer with low ABV and nice hop flavor without a lot of bitterness.

Photo of bwood06
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%

A -Slight haze to the beer. Could be Chill Haze. Golden amber in color. Light 2 finger head that dissipates slowly. Moderate carbonation. 3.75/5

S - Pine and Citrus notes. Somewhat subdued. Caramel. Yeasty. Slight pepperiness. 3.5/5

T - Malty, white bread. Grassiness at the end. Slight pine note. Not incredibly flavorful. Slight pepperiness. 3.75/5

M - Medium light body. Moderate carbonation. Somewhat chewy, mainly up front. Finishes on the dry end. 3.75/5

O - Refreshing and fairly light. Works well as a session beer. Not incredibly flavorful but flavors that are present work well. 3.75/5

Photo of bum732
4.36/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Very melon and gooseberry smelling. Some apple blossoms along with some grape leaves.

L: Light burnt orange, creamy white head that dissipates. Ok lacing.

T: Light malt with some soft melon and gooseberry. Medium low fruity bitterness with a very husk grain taste in the finish. Finishes grainy and semi dry. Some fruit in the finish.

M: Medium light body, medium carbonation. Fairly refreshing.

Delicious, could've sworn there were "new world" hops in this beer. One of the best sub 5% beers i've had. Wouldn't expect anything less from Deschutes.

Photo of wes123
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly cloudy light caramel color. Small head with sticky lacing on the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, a bit of caramelized sugar.

Nice bready flavor, sweet candy malt with a crisp bitterness on the back end.

Robust mouthfeel with small bubbles.

Overall for 4%abv, the beer has amazing body and complex flavors.

Photo of Docer
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: (3.5)
- Clear, simple, and pretty basic looking. Light copper to straw yellow, but not as yellow as I would expect from a golden ale. This looks more like an IPA in appearance. Bubbly carbonation leaves a spotty thin layer of foam resting above.

Smell: (3.25)
- Certainly some bready malty esters going on. Almost as if a touch of Belgian yeast was used. Light fruity aromas mix with a very bready and lightly sweet grain. Perhaps a touch of herbal and grassy hops show.

Taste: (4.5)
- Wonderfully clean and drinkable session ale for sure. Light bready and biscuity grain with only a touch of sweetness. Hops? Perhaps the hops were used really to finely balance this beer. Because it is balanced. Almost a zesty citrus and spice. I kind of was seeking more of a dry-hopped flavor in the finish, but that would change the entire beer overall which I don't think is necessary.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- There is actually some body to this light sessionable number. Medium body with the perfect drinking carbonation. It's a touch chewy even and a touch dry in the finish which must be from the bittering.

Overall: (4.25)
- One of the better 4.0% ABV session ales I have had. Perfect for the daytime, and perfect for avoiding the side effects of stronger beers. It is mighty well balanced, and is clean and crisp. It has flavors and body of a stronger beers as well.

Photo of Spikester
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear gold with one finger of white head. Some lacings remain as the head recedes.
Smell is quite pronounced for the style. Floral hops and fresh grainy malts.
Taste is citrus hops with just enough malts to lend this an IPA like flavor profile. As in IPA light. Mouthfeel is lighter than most of Deschutes ales but still quite good for the 4% abv.
Overall a fine summer beer for times when you need less alcohol. Quite well done actually. I will be consuming more of these this summer.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden color with a tight, white head that leaves little to no lacing.

Smells of earthy hops and grainy malt.

Tastes of the grainy malt with some hop backing. Malts lead off with a grainy sweetness along with bread notes. Not particularly sweet. Leads into a slightly hoppy backend with herbal and faint citrus notes. As it warms, more earthy and spicy notes come through. Ends with a little hit from the bready malts.

Mouthfeel is light with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this accomplishes its goal quite well, a fairly tasty beer you would drink down by the river and be able to drive home after a few but still remains tasty. This is also definitely a beer that could be used for future "conversions".

Photo of drunklewddude
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Uh oh.. American Blonde.. but it's Deschutes! Let's see if there is hope.

This is quite dark for a blonde, sort of a pale amber with orange semi-clear body and some good fast rising carbonation in places. A nice reddish tint to this also. Head is fluffy and large settling at a big four fingers and a whipped up top. Pretty solid and impressive.

Very light toasty grains, a small sense of caramel sweetness to match with a light sugar presence. Hints of cinnamon and light toasty white bread. Quite good also. Hmm so far so good.

The palate brings the nice toast and white bread waffle sweetness on first sip, but it disappears very quickly under a somewhat wet body. Toasty finish at least, with a good mix of honey sweetness and mild caramel sense. Very clean. Really dig this kind of doughy sweet waffle like flavor.

Overall just wish there was a bit more depth, but this is real easy drinking and has a nice flavor palate compared to most blondes I've had.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at the COOP tonight.. Pours clear light orange... decent white head.. splotchy lacing.

Nose is malt centric with dry biscuity essence and some crisp pale malts... light floral hoppiness... maybe some background citrus hops.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a long finish for such a low ABV brew.. pale malts and dry toast carry the hops for a while...

Light body with a balanced carbonation.. very very drinkable and is going to be a fridge staple during the coming hot months.


Photo of matjack85
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making this single bottle $1.67. A best before date of 07/29/14 is stamped on the side of the label.

The beer poured a clear goldenrod color and made a 1-finger white head that lasted about 2 minutes before settling down to a thin rim. Lacing was good.

The beer smelled like a can of fruit cocktail with the addition of oranges.

There's lots of juicy fruit flavors in here - predominately pineapple and orange. There's also some mild orange peel bitterness. Crackery malt and grassy hops make up the rest of the flavors. Well balanced and delicious.

Very light bodied and refreshing with medium carbonation.

I liked this one a lot, but then again there's nothing that Deschuttes makes that I don't like. Another winner from this highly rated Oregon brewery.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this

Consumed 12/4/13

Appearance: A bit darker than I would have expected for a blonde, but I'll take it - mostly clear orange gold - some copper as well - small, white head, fades to borderline nothing, but leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Definitely mild, but some nice citrus and light malts - fleshy oranges, with a hint of grapefruit - some floral and lightly grassy notes - light, pale malts and a touch of caramel - light bread and some light crackers

Taste: About as mild as the aroma, with a lot of charm - floral citrus, with some light orange flesh and a hint of grapefruit - nice citrus flavors, virtually no bitterness - touch of mint - pale malts with some light caramel - lightly grainy - lightly bready with a side of crackers - nicely balanced, definitely drinkable

Mouthfeel: Light body, smooth, nicely carbonated, extremely drinkable

Overall: Best consumed while living in a van, down by the river!

<Obligatory Deschutes makes drinkable beers joke here.> This is not the best thing I've had from Deschutes, but it's still tasty. I could drink a few dozen.

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Deschutes River Ale from Deschutes Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 497 ratings.