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Redemption | Russian River Brewing Company

560 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.15%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 05-09-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 560 | Ratings: 1,619
Photo of drewbage
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a batch 2 bottle hand delivered by the incomparable Jonny L for my birthday.

Poured into my Duvel chalice, cause hey, why not!

Pale blond with a white crispy head driven by a a strong carbonation.

Aroma of pale crispy biscuity malt with a light grassy hop and faint tropical fruit notes.

Flavor is bright, crispy toasted malt and a co2 enhanced hop bite that wakes up and makes you sing.

Overall a dry refreshing beer with a definate Belgian character. Eminently drinkable

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Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #2 - Bottle purchased at the brewery.

Beer pours a bright clear gold color with a big head. Lots of carbonation visible.

Aromas of spice, banana, and lemon.

Flavors are light, but quite pleasant. Beer has a nice well rounded mouthfeel that is noticed on the first sip. There is a creamy and sweet malt character, somewhat sour with a bit of lemon zest, coriander, and other spices on the finish.

Mouthfeel as mentioned is very nice. The carbonation is great. Russian River makes great beers, and they all seem to have excellent mouthfeel.

Drinkability is excellent. This is a nice easy drinking Belgian Pale Ale. It is simple, but tasty.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001. Bright, lemony gold with an amount of carbonation that would make champagne blush. A second pour adds a blizzard of yeast that increases the beer's attractiveness quite a bit. The alabaster crown isn't as wonderful as what one might see on most good Belgian beer. It's stiff, yet sticky, and leaves a surprising amount of lace that looks like aerosol snow.

Brettanomyces is easily noted in the nose. In fact, as is usually the case, it's the master of all it surveys. Cruising along beneath all the glorious funk is a golden fruitiness reminiscent of lightly spiced apples and pears. That description might not sound like much, but that's due more to my incompetence than the nose's. It's an exotic, tremendously appealing aroma.

Russian River should be commended for yet another outstanding beer. Redemption is easily the best Begian single ale that I've ever imbibed (let's throw Belgian pale ales in there as well, since BA doesn't recognize the Belgian single style). If I remember correctly, the others were simple fare at best. This beer is anything but simple.

Even without the Brett, this would still be an excellent ale. The orchard fruitiness is at once sweet, tart and bitter, and is a tremendous foil for the wackiness of the yeast. Lemony and grassy notes are present as well. I'm happy to report that, as the nose indicated, the yeast doesn't obliterate everything in its path. Rather, it complements the base beer in the best possible way. Vinnie is an absolute magician. I'd say that even if he wasn't responsible for the best beer on the planet (Pliny The Younger).

I'm trying to factor out the still crazed carbonation from my assessment of the mouthfeel. I'm trying to wait out the bubbles, but the beer is so damn delicious that I can't stop drinking. By the bottom of the bottle, the silky, lightly slick nature of the mouthfeel is noted and allows me to feel confident in the score granted.

For my money, Allagash and Russian River are the only two American craft breweries that consistently release world-class Belgian-style ales. Energetic mouthfeel or not, Redemption has no need to seek redemption from me. It's an outstanding version of an often overlooked style that is improved immeasureably by the inspired use of Brettanomyces. I'm a Russian River fan for life.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, corked/caged. Uncorks with a massive "pop" followed by a bit of foam overflowing. Pours out leaving a massive 3-finger head that settles some but leaves behind an abundance of lingering white foam. The colour is a sunny yellow with mild haziness. The aroma is lightly spicy, with a yeasty nose of lemon, coriander, and maybe a hint of brett sourness.

The taste is only lightly tart, with some lemon/melon/citrus flavor up front followed by a finish that's bready and drying with a hint of earthy nut character. Light in body but the excess foam creates a creamy mouthfeel that is very enjoyable.

This beer was amazingly drinkable. You don't normally get so much flavor and complexity out of a beer just under 5% ABV. I could see making this my go-to session beer, if I only had more than this one bottle... Thanks to BeerBeing for shipping this all the way out to the west, it has traveled cross-country and back, and it is just fine...

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1 vintage, stored on it's side, and served at cellar temperature.

Poured quickly and carefully as previous bottle had gushed.
Massive 3" head of pure, fluffy white atop a pale, gold, clear body.
After about 10 minutes the mattress of dense foam subsided, leaving magnificent lacework and a thick coating.
A steady stream of fine effervescence from the Duvel glass keeps a swell in the middle of the glass.
Aromatics are lightly funky and citrusy.
Lemon zest, grapefruit pith, white pepper, wet hay, and spearmint are easily detectable in the nose.
Very light alcohol note with continued hints of green apple peel, cumin seeds, and dandilion stems.
Body is light, creamy, and refreshing. Quenching and lightly tart.
Pallet is complex and unique.
Brett is dominant, but not overpowering, and hopping is subdued.
Mild spice notes from the fermentation are balancing, and keeps the brew easily drinkable.
Lemony and spritzy, with traces of bitter orange zest and quite earthy.
Finishes bone dry, with a smooth bitterness and slightly tart.
Vinnies Orval?

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Photo of loren01
2.6/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Beer exploded all over the place upon popping the cork on this one. Poured a cloudy yellow color, huge head, good lacing down the glass.
S: Slight alcohol scent, also slight herbal maybe chamomile scent, not very fragrant.
T: Doesn't taste like much of anything really, slight yeastiness and thats about it.
M: Light smooth beer, goes down easily
D: Strange brew indeed, I was expecting much more from this one. Awesome in the apperance and mouthfeel catergories however was extremely lacking in the others. Would be interested to have this from the source to see if it was more flavorfull. Thanks to GClarkage for bringing this one up to MT this past summer.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first near-death experience opening a beer. About 5 seconds after removing the wire cage, the cork released itself with an explosion of froth, sending the cork riccocheting across my living room, damn near taking my head off.

Pale, hazed yellow with a billowy white cap that has average retention and no lace.

Aroma is musky fruit and biscuitty malt, traces of lemon, light minerality, and a whisper of banana and belgian yeast.

Flavor is exactly the same. Refreshing and crisp, not very complex with just a touch of Bretty funk. Nice dry, peppery finish.

Body is fairly light, but very airey and fluffy in texture. Awesome mouthfeel, and easy to drink.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed several samples of this tasty brew at the Bluezapalooza beer fest @ Mammoth Mtn, in the Sierra, reviewed from notes (yeah I was that guy at the fest taking notes.) Poured cloudy light yellowy amber, with a wispy, fine, active near white head, and leaving plenty of fine lacing. Spicy nose and flavor notes, yeast, coriander and tasty Belgian spice. Love the style, so it was a treat to try this highly drinkable brew fresh on tap and have a chance to chat with some of the friendly RR servers. Highly recommended.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001. I'm always excited to have a new Russian River brew sitting before me. Here we have the Redemption Blonde Ale in a 750ml bottle, refermented with brettanomyces. Cork explodes out somewhat violently and almost takes my head off! No wonder Vinnie said to keep this in the fridge. It slowly pours into my tulip glass a crystalline sunshine gold with a huge head of bubbly, sticky white foam. Lots of active cabonation rising from the bottom. Aroma is very vibrant with a sweet sun dried grain backdrop along with a wonderful fruity aspect featuring lemon zest and citrus. Yeast is there with a definite underlying brett twang and floral notes. Really enjoyable, reminds me of a warm summer morning.

First sip brings a crisp, light sun kissed pale grain maltiness that's accentuated by a mix of light fruit flavors and lemon zest. Spicy yeast tones work in followed by a trail of brett. Mellow vinegar and musty hints, the brett shines through nicely without becoming overpowering. I get somewhat of a grape flavor throughout as well. Finishes with a touch of sourness. Everything ends up so well integrated, this is a tasty brew without a doubt.

Mouthfeel is smooth, crisp and dry with plenty of carbonation as well. Goes down easily and is quite refreshing. I could easily see myself drinking mass quantities of this brew if it was readily available. The low abv combined with the wonderful flavor makes it a no brainer. Another solid brew from Russian River. Thanks to Callenak for sending this one my way!

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml brown bottle, batch 001

Shiny, shimmering 14K gold. Huge, glass-filling tightly bubbled head of fine lemon-pith tinged eggshell white bubbles. Settles as if time means nothing. Sheets of thick lace grace the glass. The bottle itself slowly oozes more fine bubbles. There are furious carbonation streams that calm down to a handful of slow, sporadic trails. Aromas of lemon peel, pineapple, bright, sharp crispness, a modest amount of Brett funk, and some earthy yeastiness. Lemon pith and woody tones mesh with a nice Brett driven funk. The woodiness and Brett lasts long into the finish. There is a crunchy sweetness that plays nicely against the light tartness. With more warmth, the Brett character really stands out nicely. Beautiful, light body with fine, tingly carbonation, the mouth is left clean and slightly dry. Compelling and highly drinkable, the low alcohol makes this easily sessionable, but is perhaps best enjoyed slowly and savored.

Thanks to Stonecrusher for clearing this one out of the cellar.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001.

Slightly hazed lemon yellow. Big frothy snocone cap of white goodness. Carbonation exhibits violent small beaded action. The nose is a melange of nice activiity. A little lemon. A little tartness. A little acidity. A little woodiness. A little pineapple. A little candy. A LOT of character. Carbonation is lively on the tongue. Light body. Flavor has nice depth. Kind of a bready, toasty maltiness. Quite subdued and blended. Spices add a level with corriander and white pepper. Maybe a little lavender. Pineapple. And the slight sweetness of cotton candy. Brett character is relatively low. Quite interesting and quite enjoyable.

Thanks to the King of Bums for some more RRBC.

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Photo of klewis
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at RRBC 6/9/06

A: Served in a tulip. Poured a hazy golden with a thick creamy head. Left lots of lacing on the glass.

S: Smells similar to a Belgian white with aromas of citrus and spice

T: Smooth and full-flavored with notes of citrus and coriander.

M: Smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

D: Very good. Go get some.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle (Courtesy of Jimbowood): Poured slightly hazy yellowish ale with a super huge foamy head with great retention. Perfect aroma of Brett is very nice with dry hops and some floral malt. Taste is mildly sour at first with some nice floral peak and ends with a dry finish. Body is quite full which kind of surprise me because of the low ABV I was expecting some light beer. Overall, this is a truly wonderful beer and I very much appreciated the fact that even though the alcohol is low enough the taste and body are reasonably strong.

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Photo of carln26
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Light gold in color and very hazy, topped by a big chunky egg-white head. The nose has biscuit and bread dough, a light lemon citrus, mildly spicy, white pepper. The flavor is builds. Biscuit bread up front followed by the citrus. The citrus has a bit more orange than lemon in the flavor. The finish has a tartness that is difficult to place. It’s really a mild astringency, mildly tart. I love the carbonation in the Russian River beers. They are full, yet refreshing. Very drinkable. It’s great to see an American brewer succeed with this style.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, batch 001. This beer poured a nice golden color with an immense fizzy and fluffy head. It took quite awhile for the head to disapate but once it did I got a nose of spice and yeast and a bit of hops. All very pleasing. The taste was equally pleasing. The initial taste was a bit of corriander and other spices, herbal and also yeasty with a good backbone of hops to round things out. After a few more sips I picked up some nice fruit notes which also helped to make this beer very well balanced and drinkable. Another winner from Vinnie. Can't wait to open a few more bottles of this...they are lingering in my basement.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

*Caged and corked 750 ml
*Batch 001

There is nothing more exciting than seeing a new RR beer turn up on the shelf. I've really been looking forward to this guy too; a Belgian single. How cool is this?

Appearance: Move over Duvel, there's a new champ. The most mammoth head I have ever seen. Period. Massive, billowing berg of whipped cream foam -- there's even a head IN the bottle! Eternal retention; you could probably go on vacation and return to an inch of froth. Clear, pale gold and obviously well carbonated.

Smell: Basically BSPA light, sweet pale malts, citrus and yeast, just very mild. Nice, but won't change your life.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very, very good. Tangy orange citrus flavor with bitter, herby, woody bite from the bretts. Yeast spice is there, followed by a drying, lemony aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light and quite crisp; it simply dissolves on your tongue.

Drinkability: A miracle of flavor and low abv; you'll want to drink this all night and guess what? You can! Too bad it's not more widely available, because this could be a wildly popular beer if it were. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of Crotor
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gushed upon opening - don't know whether to blame the FedEx guy or the brettanomyces...

Pours a slightly cloudy light gold, one finger of frothy, sticky, white head...

For the aroma, there's pear and apple esters with a twinge of brett-funk and some metal.

Light and lively in the mouth. Easy drinkin' at 4.8 %... Prickley bits all over the mouth. Malt's all been eaten up by the brett... Overall, I'm surprised by how estery this one is. Most other singles I've tried have had a bit more malt (bready) and some hop presence. I'm not arguing with Vinnie's interpretation, I just didn't expect it.

Overall, a solid beer, but not the greatest of the "tions," and one that might benefit from some age - let that brett come out a bit more.

---Revised 7/12/06---

After several months, the brett character has come out more strongly in this batch, and I'm much pleased by that. A little more brett was all this beer needed to move from "okay" to "pretty damned good..."

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

batch 001 750 corked and caged bottle of redemption. label says 4.8% abv.

sunny orange hue with a white head that faded pretty fast.

aroma is tangerine, lime, mint, perfume, vegetable and earth.

taste is light on the tongue, dry, very subtle. tangy and zesty, hints of duvel-like yeast character. brett funk comes through in the aftertaste especially as it warms, with slight barnyard characteristic and a touch medicinal/band-aid quality, but nothing over the top. creates great complexity while keeping the beer drinkable.

despite it's light flavor this paired well with a pan-seared NY strip steak, broiled asparagus, shallot/butter/lemon pan sauce and french bread. the dryness and earthy undertones with bright flavors on top provided a good backbone and contrast.

overall an amazingly good drinking beer. dry, light, complex and delicious.

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Photo of Crosling
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, thanks Ernest. Light blonde color. Medium-sized white head, which lasts well. Lovely pineapple and mango brett infused aromas, with hints of lemon, as well as a hint of toast. Really nicely balanced and it certainly achieves a lot from a little. It has a lot of full fledged fruit flavors, that are not typical in any beers out there. I suppose this is great, considering the style and a.b.v., but truthfully, I don’t find it all that exciting.

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Photo of sloejams
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL ordered directly from Russian River, Batch 001 refermented with Brettanomyces

This pours a murky straw blond with a thick cloud head. The aroma is yeasty – most notably the Brettanomyces, with some citrus and coriander. Vanilla comes through in the taste with the yeast flavors. It’s light and refreshing with a surprisingly big Belgian taste for a beer under 5% ABV.

Russian River never disappoints.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle from batch 001. Quick erupting big white bubbly head over a cloudy golden orange color body. Good sticky lace was left coating the glass. Light yeasty funkiness with a good spiciness filled the nose. A bit of citric scents as well as some sweetness from light fruit notes. Light fruity notes with some of the expected funky yeast notes. Light peppery spice over some fruit. A bit bready and herbal peak through towards the end. A milder flavor but still packed with plenty of taste. Lighter and crisp in the mouth this seems like a perfect fit for a lighter beer like this. Extremely easy drinking stuff too boot.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I ordered this beer direct from the brewery. It is batch 001, and is presented in a corked and caged 750ml bottle that states that the beer is "refermented in the bottle with Brettanomyces"

Explosively carbonated with a thick white head that fills up half of my snifter. The head sits atop a golden colored ale reminiscent of a slightly cloudy Duvel. Aroma is sour and funky and earthy with some peppery notes as well. Taste is sour and dry and a tiny bit sweet. Light bodied with a lot of very fine carbonation.

This is an amazingly complex beer for only 4.8%. I would drink this all the time if I could - it is the perfect "session" Belgian style. I can't wait to try the Damnation.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cmaruschak for the sample.

Batch 001

Appearance: A cloudy straw colored pour with a sudsy white cap.

Smell: Cloves, a light yeasty aroma, crackers, and orange zest.

Taste: Strong yeast (makes sense since the label said they did a Brett yeast addition to the bottle). I can't get past the clovey, yeasty taste. It's good but fatiguing to the palate.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and highly carbonated.

Drinkability: Easy drinking but the yeast is off putting after a while. Pretty one dimensional but well crafted.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muchas gracias to cmaruschak for sharing. Batch 001: Cloudy pale golden color with a medium off-white and foamy/fizzy head that dissipates steadily. Spotty lacing does not stick too much. Sweet aroma of cloves, hay and yeast. Light-bodied and soft on the palate with flavors of tropical fruit and sweet spices, along with touches of earthy malt. Citrus zest is apparent at times too. The finish is dry and zesty at first, and leaves a lingering yeast flavor. Straightforward and clean, it’s not the most complex RR beer I have tried but works well for what it is.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, Batch 001, Sampled January 2006
This beer is already explosively carbonated; I turned my eyes for a split second after popping the cork and the bottle foamed up and disgorged about a third of its contents onto my counter & floor (oh well the dogs enjoyed the mess). The beer pours a hazy gold color (with a definite contribution from the sediment kicked up from the bottom of the bottle) and is topped by a quickly disappearing, initially four-finger thick, pale white head. The Brettanomyces has already set in to the aromatics as well; musty notes are mixed with a sharp light acidity and some notes of urea even. It is almost like a musty cotton ball, or at least what I would imagine one smelling like. I get some notes of lemon zest, hints of ginger and something like the aroma of grains of paradise. The Brett has really added quit a bit to the nose. I really like the nose on this one.

The beer is sharp, which is a combination of the prickly carbonation and a light lemon like acidity. The Brettanomyces character, while definitely evident, is not as pronounced as it is in the nose. The Brett adds some light mustiness; it almost evokes a bit of cotton mouth astringency. The beer is quite light, but has oodles of character. The light palate in combination with the lemon-like notes almost make this refreshing, and definitely so for a beer.

I am a sucker for these light, yet full flavored, Belgian-inspired beers. Especially with a touch of Brett; in fact the Brett really makes this beer. I don't need all that boozy alcohol, and in your face malt and hops, give me complexity and flavor in a light refreshing tipple and I will be a happy man. I am a bit afraid that these are not going to last long, they are already incredibly carbonated, much more of it and the bottles are going to start exploding (though I did serve this on the warm side, about 58°F). I will definitely cold store these from here on out, hopefully I can eke out a couple months more of age.

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Redemption from Russian River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.