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River Ale - Deschutes Brewery

River AleRiver Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

98 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 11.45%

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Seanibus on 05-08-2013)
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of a0lbudman


3.01/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A-dark gold color with a large white head that lingered and leave a nice lace
S-very little hops and a little malt aroma
T-hops is light and the malt is there but is not strong, and both stay with you til the finish
M-watery with low carbonation
O-this was an okay beer

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 01:09:11 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of arizcards


3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from Total Wine at the end of September for $1.49. Best by 10/28/13...oops.

Beer poured orange with a robust white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has hints of northwest hops.

Taste is pretty good for a small beer. Nice pale and caramel malts meld nicely with citrus and tropical hops. Nice light lingering of hop bitterness remains after each sip.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Overall this is very tasty for such a small beer. This should be reclassified to be an APA. A nice beer if you want to keep things in control!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 00:10:27 | More by arizcards
Photo of tone77


3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is bready, malty. Taste is refreshing, malts, some breadiness, a bit of lemon, a touch of hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer, probably best enjoyed on a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 12:13:06 | More by tone77
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. The name is duly evocative of my experience rafting down the lulling river through Bend a few summers ago.

This beer pours a clear medium bronzed amber colour, with two skinny fingers of densely foamy, lazily bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some randomly archaic sea-plume lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of biscuity caramel malt, warming lemon pie, and peppy herbal, leafy, and grassy hops - simple, sure, but enticing all the same. The taste is semi-sweet pale grainy malt, with soft touches of caramel and toasted white bread, a bit of aged (read: forgotten in the vegetable crisper) lemon rind, and grassy, earthy, and wet hay hop esters.

The carbonation is rather sedate (and upon inspection, barely supportive, but what the hell, eh?), the body medium-light in weight, and generally quite smooth. It finishes pretty off-dry, the fruit-tinged bready malt really carrying on.

For this ultimately muddled style, Deschutes does very well by it - the balance of hops and game-worthy malt is more than I might expect for an average example therein. Maybe this is really an APA, maybe it isn't, but I'm sure all those Red Chair fans would throw a hissy fit if I more forcefully suggested the former. A pleasantly diverting session ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 03:36:15 | More by biboergosum
Photo of confer


3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Only my second Deschutes with the first being Mirror Pond
Pours a nice cloudy gold with a lot of froth hanging around.
Smell is really underwhelming , very faint citrusy hops.
Taste is good for a blonde, this one is probably really refreshing on a hot summer day.
I guess I was expecting more of a hop presence, but for the style it was pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 02:38:14 | More by confer
Photo of draheim


3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz (best by 11/18/2013) into a tulip. Pours a clear copper color w/ a 1-finger white head that leaves behind some nice sticky lace.

Aroma is herbal and floral, slightly bready. Dried apricots. Muted.

Taste, likewise, is mild and light. Floral hops, dry bready malt.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and drinkable. Lacks body; bordering on watery. Vanishes off the palate. But this would be great on a hot summer day.

Overall this is not a beer I'd get very excited about. But it's a decent sessionable ale that certainly would taste great while rafting down a river.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 05:25:17 | More by draheim
Photo of Walletsworth

North Dakota

3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark gold with a finger of head and plenty of lacing that doesn't recede at all. Smells mostly of corn which threw me a little bit. Thought it'd be more hoppy. Tastes more grainy and has a lot of corn taste as well. Although there is a nice piney bite on the back end that I like.

Overall a decent beer that I would be happy to have again.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 01:29:16 | More by Walletsworth
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pale copper color with a tightly beaded head that laces the glass proficiently.
Aroma of floral hops and a bit piney as well. In the taste, much like a pale ale with lemony citrus hops, also coming across tea like. Reminds me of a pale ale, which is essentially what it is. Medium bodied feel with a spot on medium-high carbonation. Overall this is a refreshing, easy drinking ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 19:16:59 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of budgood1


3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

pours out a cloudy copper hue complimented by a thin off white head. wispy lace. light caramel maltiness with a lemony citrus aroma greets the nose. the taste profile is toasted malt and light citrusy hop notes. well balanced and refreshing. there is a bit of lingering bitterness but very appropriate for what they are trying to accomplish. it's simple, yet rewarding. light bodied with a delicate mouthfeel that throws down some hop coarseness as a bonus. as a session ale, this one is quite drinkable and quite quenchable.

overall this is a nice, low ABV blonde ale that spices up an otherwise boring style. definitley could be a warm weather slammer, or a picnic and lawn mower type of beer. for me it's an end of summer barbecue beer on Labor Day 2013. bought on clearance, it's a steal.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 21:43:34 | More by budgood1
Photo of LaneMeyer


2.71/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Picked up a 6er of this on sale at the local market. Thought you can't really go wrong with anything from Deschutes...
Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pale amber in color, 1/2 finger of off-white head.

S - Hay, lemon, earthy smell (kinda like dirt or mud), slight bready character, tangerine.

T - Sour lemon, hay, grass, dirt.

M - Nothing exceptional

O - Disappointed. I'm waiting for the "subtle pleasure to reveal," but it hasn't revealed itself yet...

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 04:17:13 | More by LaneMeyer
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to whoever brought this to the March Madness tasting as a palate cleanser!

Pours a faint, similar to straw yellow with a 3/4" white head on it. Almost nothing to the aroma, completely neutral.

Taste, very neutral as well. Faint amont of malt and hops, lots of water. Easy drinking. Extremely soft impact on the palate. I guess leans malt over hops since it is smooth. Yeast offers nothing in terms of flavor addition to the beer. No off flavors though. There is nothing wrong with this beer, I get what they were going for, it has a place. Its just not, in the words of Homer Simpson "welcome to flavor country."

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 16:12:14 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bitterbill


4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huh? I've had over a case of this and ot reviewed it? Bottle, best by Sept 10, 2013.

A- it pours a clear gold with about an inch of foam(served cold). Good lacing.

S- the nose has some lemon citrus and notes of malt..thinking sweet, maybe some bread.

T- the taste has a nice bitter hoppy punch. Lots of lemon citrus on the front end with bready notes and mild sweetness on the back end. Very tasty for the given abv.

M- good solid body for such a low alcohol brew and perfect carbonation. Mouthfeel gets a yay from me.

O- such a drinking joy whenever I pop the cap on a bottle, it's the closest thing to a go to beer. I love it!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 12:19:50 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of soju6


3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a nice golden color with a firm head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of Citrus and mild malt with a bit of fruit in the background.

T: Initial taste of citrus, with a mellow malt sweetness with fruit in the background. Nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly light body, crisp, smooth and refreshing. Lots a flavor compared to most Golden Ales. Very nicely balanced.

O: Beer is a good example of the style. It is very enjoyable and goes down way too easy. Good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 15:17:44 | More by soju6
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A bit of orange tint to a tan base, mostly clear, head was ok, lacing wasn't much.

Aroma was light, a bit of nice graininess along with some citrus (oranges) and a little bit of biscuit.

Flavor is nice, it's a good summery beer. Grains are accented well with a fruity, orangey citrus flavor, along with a mild but tasty malt base, and maybe just a touch of hops.

It's on par with what a blonde ale should be, light, refreshing, easy to drink, and not intensely flavored. I think it's plenty drinkable too, good for barbecuing, lawn mowing, or if you're just generally procrastinating because it's too damn hot.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 23:17:47 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of beertunes


3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bryan C. for this one. Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a lightly hazy light honey gold color with under 1/4 inch of white head that quickly dissipated and left no lace.

The aroma had a very light grain base with some very light floral hops on the edges. The flavor profile was pretty much the same, just a light brighter and more well defined. The grain gave a nice earthy base, and the hops showed a slight fruitiness.

The body was good, full without being heavy, smooth and with a slightly sticky finish. Drinkability was good, the beer went down smooth and easy. Overall, a nice little brew that would make a good match for various outdoor activities. Worth grabbing a few.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 17:34:16 | More by beertunes
Photo of micromaniac129


3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright golden sunshine with lots o'carbonation. A fluffy white head sits atop this brew.
The aroma has a biscuit malt smell with some hoppy spiciness.
Taste is quite good really, but I noticed a heavy bit of cloying. Biscuit malts and some hops are in the taste.
Refreshing brew that drinks oh so easy, my only problem was the cloying.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 10:57:13 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Omnium


3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours gold yellow, 1 finger white sudsy head, little lacing.
S - Baking flour and wheat is pretty much all i smell, maybe a hint of faint spice.
T - Follows the taste pretty close, large floury type taste, and a little of bitter tang at the end.
M - A tart bitterness hangs on to your palate, nothing really great.
O - I just flat out do not like this beer, the aroma is very off putting to me. Taste comes through in the same way.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 23:21:29 | More by Omnium
Photo of cswhitehorse


3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The River Ale is a clear golden brew. It poured in to a shaker with very little foam head and little lacing. The smell is clean and unassuming. You get all malt in the nose. The taste is malty and crisp with very faint to no hop aroma or flavor in the taste. It is very soft on the palate and is a lawnmower type of beer. You could probably suck down a half rack in short order due to the qualities of this one. Not too bad of a beer but one which my wife would definitely like more.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 00:55:32 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of champ103


3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Downhouse in Houston.

A: Pours a reddish/orange color with a touch of haze. A one finger white head forms, and recedes after a few minutes. Light lace is left behind.
S: Fairly neutral in the nose. Grains, toasted malt. A bit of sweetness. Light grassy hops. Though not very aromatic.
T: Toasted grains, caramel and crystal malts. A light sweetness. A touch of grassy hops. Nothing lingers. Inoffensive and enjoyable.
M/D: A light to medium body. Moderate carbonation, and pretty clean. Just a tad watery though. Easy to drink. All day with this. "Poundable" as they say.

A nice little session beer. Very enjoyable, and I will be sure to pick up a few six packs. Not the best session beer I have had, but no bother. Something to drink when you don't want to contemplate the beer. Basically, Deschutes made exactly what they wanted.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2013 00:22:15 | More by champ103
Photo of russpowell


3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

BBD 07/02/13

Pours amber with 2 fingers of eggshell colored head. Very nice head retention & lacing

S: Pears & a touch of hay

T: Follows the nose, some grassy & lemony notes mix with bready sweetness up front. Pears, a bit of Golden Delicious apple, hay & peppery hops along some dryness as this warms. Finishes fruitty with hay & a kiss of lemony hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, crisp carbonation, nice balance, would've preferred a slightly heavier hand with the hops

Highly drinkable old-school blonde. I will buy more of this as the mercury climbs, not a lief-changing beer, but super solid

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 02:20:58 | More by russpowell
Photo of Wasatch


3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best By: 6/18/13

Pours a nice slightly cloudy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, a slight yeast note, with some hop notes. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly hoppy. Medium body, with a nice little bitter/dry finish. Overall a tasty summer brew, will go great on HOT days. Surprised me that I saw this in the local Smith's.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 18:33:28 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Seanibus


3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A servicable session ale, with a flavor and mouthfeel that exceeds its modest ABV. Pours a sunny orange with a decent head that falls away quickly. The aroma is grainy with some overripe flower, orange, and apricot. The flavor is a little thin, but has a pleasant apricot and a reasonable bitterness. The mouthfeel is stronger than one might suspect from the ABV - a little prickly and viscous. The main downside is that the beer tends to fall away rather quickly after swallowing. But a worthy summer session.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 23:33:48 | More by Seanibus
River Ale from Deschutes Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.