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Redemption - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

556 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 556
Hads: 1,599
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 18.27%
Wants: 305
Gots: 332 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale | 5.15% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 05-09-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 556 | Hads: 1,599
Photo of BeerTruth
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle purchased at the brewery.

Poured into a tulip glass.

This one pours a murky bright straw-yellow hue with a two finger super pillowy ultra white head that slowly dies down to a nice layer. Stickiness is very good, holds on all over the sides. Smell is strong floral yeast notes with a powerful citrus aroma. Big lemongrass scent with a hint of white bread. Taste starts off with a nice citrus pine flavor of mainly grapefruit with a very mild bready tones. I expected much more in terms of yeast somewhere on the tongue. The aftertaste is even of hops but more in the pine department with a hint of sweet butter. I like this beer more because of the lack of yeast in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is a fluffy medium body with a good amount of carbonation. I was very surprised by this beer, in a good way. Seems like a pretty American-ized Belgian beer. Russian River once again proves they know what they're doing, even when it comes to a low abv. brew.

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Photo of gubbt
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 003

Top half of the bottle pours a very clear golden color with a thin white head.

Ooo, I love this smell. Mostly it is funky sourness with a little bit of bready malts.

There is some subtle fruit flavors up front, mainly pear, with a bit of bready quality that is followed by some subtle tartness and just a wee bit of alcohol warmth. Very dry and refreshing overall.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, just like it should be.

I really like this beer. Even though this beer won't "wow" you with big flavors or complexity, I really enjoyed it. I don't think I have enjoyed a beer this much that is this "small" and subtle in quite some time, as I tend to gravitate towards big beers. This one would be great in the summertime. Another winner from RR.

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Photo of Phatz
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to JohnMichaelsen for the opportunity to try this beer. It is extremely drinkable and refreshing.

Appearance: Pours a golden yellow color with a fluffy white and droopy lace.

Smell: I initially noticed a sour funk in the nose and was excited to see what the beer could deliver. It also had a touch of honey lemon vanilla and herbal grassy hops. It is a pleasant aroma; unique and sets up for the potential of a great beer.

Taste: It seemed quite a bit smaller than I had hoped from the aroma but it is smooth and tasty but lacks a certain excitement I hope from RR. This maybe a case of over expectation. It has a pleasant approachable flavor of fruity malty sweetness and and Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: It is very well carbonated and zesty with spices on the cheeks and bubble carbonation on the tongue.

Drinkability: The spices are gentle and the flavors approachable. I presume this will appeal to most people as there is little that could be perceived as cloying. It is refreshing and drinkable.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to John Michaelsen for sharing this at the Sept. Lbc meeting. Poured cool into a goblet.
A - A hazed golden w/ a thin white head.

S - A sweet pale malt odor w/ spicey and herbal notes.

M - Carbonated w/ a grainy semi-sweet spicy feel.

T - A taste of dry malt and light spiced flavor of yeast grabs your taste buds at first, then a nice herbal hop taste joins in. A slight vinous note w/ a faint honey-like sweetness, a vary tasty ale w/ practically no alcohol in the taste.

D - Such a great Bel Pale. I found it to be a great session strength Belgian w/ lots of flavor. There were plenty of citrus and light fruit notes. The taste is what makes this incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of John_M
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What I wouldn't give to have this beer around all the time. So much flavor with such a low abv. I picked up a bottle a few weeks back at the brewpub, but have not ever seen it on the East Coast.

The beer pours a light gold, almost lemony color. There is decent head retention and very good lacing. Pretty impressive looking for a Belgian Blond/Single (style). On the nose this beer is other wordly. Man, the cajones it takes to make a beer that smells like this. I get this incredible smell of honey and saurkraut, with enough funk in the nose to scare me (I'm not a fan of sour beers). However, there was nothing to fear, as this beer on the palate was moderately sweet and quite light on its feet. It's quite delicious and very refreshing. There are some sweet apple and cherry flavors, but they're not at all over done. There's just a hint of bitterness in the finish, and ultimately this is as drinkable a beer as I've ever encountered. A fine effort from Russian River brewing.

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Photo of Lothore
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear golden yellow with quite a bit of carbonation apparent. Very little head that fades with a small amount of lacing.

S- Smell is a bit sour, citrusy, with a hint of spiciness.

T- Tastes of belgian yeast, spices, slight sour notes, lemony citrus.

M- A bit thin but very crisp.

D- Delicious but a bit complex and not the most drinkable session brew but none the less it went down pretty easy.

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Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fantastic blonde ale. Pours with a nice one and a half finger head that dissipates to maybe half a finger in a few minutes, but lingers thereafter. Nice lacing and carbonation throughout.

Taste is belgian yeast, some light fruits, and a hint of lemon. Almost hefeweizenish. Delicious, drinkable, I want more.

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Photo of arizcards
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a 750ml bottle in early May at RRBC for $6.47. Part of Batch 002. 4.8% abv.

Beer poured a cloudy yellow with a white bubbly head that is leaving lacing in my Duvel glass. Nose is classic Belgian, spicy and citric-very nice, Taste has hints of sour apple and citrus with a bit of coriander. Finish is with a llight apple hop. Mouthfeel is very effervescent, light to medium bodied, Beer glides nicely across the palate. Drinkability is exceptional! This is definitely a world class blonde/pale ale!

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle while on a visit to San Francisco. . .

a- pours a cloudy golden hue with a small, white, creamy head that is mostly diminishing with fair lacing
s- very subdued aromas characterized by slight fruit tartness, and grainy malt
t- light and refreshing taste that is initially effervescent and finishes extremely dry, some light apple tones, \alcohol taste is mostly hidden
m- light-bodied with a crisp, quick smooth finish that is mostly dry, adequate carbonation
d- An interesting "belgian single" that is very drinkable, the 5.3%abv is very well-masked and this could well be a session beer if only there was a bit more complexity to the taste, would be nice on a hot summer day and could pair with a whole range of entrees (fish, chicken, etc).

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle received via I Want That BIF from flexabull. Corked and caged, Batch 002. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" white head over the slightly cloudy dark golden brew. Head actually grows initially for quite some time, due to bottom bubble generation, but eventually does slowly recede, leaving sporadic chunky lacing in its wake. Aroma is moderately of pale malt, spicing, and citric funk. Taste follows the nose, with all the mentioned components contributing reasonably equally. Mouthfeel and drinkability are quite nice as well. Not quite as exciting for me as batch 001, but still something I want to continue experiencing, for sure.

<edit - Funny, I thought I liked the first batch better, but reviewing my original review shows I rated it just the same. Interesting...>

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Photo of MiScusi
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Russian River pub. Poured a very light and clear gold, with a small foamy cap on top, lacing was ok. Any smell was hard to pick up at first but then very light amounts of belgian yeast mustiness and fruit come out. The taste was a very light balance of light malts and earth (not sure if from hops or yeast). Mouthfeel was light but a bit creamy.

A very light and drinkable belgian style pale ale. The type of beer you could have a few of and not get overloaded with aggressive flavors.

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Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 003. Got from my buddy who went to RR last month and got a bunch of RR's. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my NBB snifter. It was a hazy golden yellow color with some yeast bits. I poured it slowly as the bottle advised but still got a good sized head. It stuck around for the entire session. Tons of carb and good lacing. The aroma was really good. It was malty and piney with some hops in there. It also had a spiciness that reminded me of a saison. The taste was pretty good but it had a weird taste in the back that left an slightly unpleasant taste on the tongue. It got better at the end when warm but kept this from being great. Shame cause the aroma really had me psyched for this one. Mouthfeel was also hurt by the aftertaste. Overall, a good beer but it just missed the greatness mark for me. Will have to try again when I finally visit the brewery though. (3.5, RB, T, O)

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Photo of drseamus
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did a side by side tasting with this and Damnation. This one pours a light amber straw color with a bit of white head. It was slightly cloudy because some of the yeast got into the glass, but I like to drink the yeast anyway. The aroma isn't what I expected. It had a good malty body with some woodsy hop aroma. There is also an overall yeasty smell behind everything else. The flavor is fairly sweet but with some hop bitterness to balance. I can actually taste some hops as well. This is a good beer and I was pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this bottle in a trade with Bradford. Poured a golden yellow color with a nice smell of citrus and pine. It also had a faint hops smell. Poured a nice two finger head into an oversized tulip glass. The taste of this beer was nothing short of amazing. Light, crisp floral, fruity, hoppy and bubbly. This beer takes the best of any golden belgian ale I have consumed and morphed it into one amazing beer. The mouthfeel was complex and hit every tastebud with a different taste.

I would drink this every day if it were available.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed March 31. 2007. Pizza Port Belgian Beer Fest. On tap. Nose of light candied Belgian phenols, yeasty and bready alike. Clear gold pour, with soap in white. Rich, spicy peppery tooth with a hint of sweet lemon, rounding full grain flavor and a satisfying light malt body over an amazing drinkability. Lemon thyme crispness curls balance in the back end. A truly satisfying beer in every sense.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the corked and caged 500 ml bottle purchased from the brewpub this poured a cloudy yellow gold with a nice sized white head that left average lacing. Big nose of fruit, with banana first, but also touches of apple, pears, and apricot. Mouthfeel is rich and almost oily. Yeasty flavor and a dry finish. Nice Belgian Ale.

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Photo of malcontent
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brilliant pale gold body with the requisite huge, billowy Belgian head. Lacing is gorgeous. Looks like my beer came with a pillow...

Nose is a combination of musty basement (thank you, brett) and dry cider. Faint spiciness creeps up on the back waft.

Has a champagne dryness I adore; mineral up front with a soft pear/apple interplay on the finish. Ends crisp but with lingering woodiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and bone-dry. Wonderful. I can't imagine drinking this all night but this seems as though it's one of the few beers that would be right at home as a food accompaniment with a seven-course haute cuisine meal. Complex and self-assured. I don't know if Russian River is capable of making beer short of greatness.

Thanks to kmpitz2 for the generous sample.

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Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle graciously shared by kmpitz2...

Cork pops and the ale starts to rapidly foam into a nearby glass. The foam sparkles slightly, like dish soap almost. A good three fingers of foam rises to form irregular peaks and crags. Lacing galore. Tiny racing rivulets of carbonation make their speedy way to the surface. Liquid is a hazy golden tone.

Inital olfactory impression of wet stones, damp basement, with a healthy dose of Brett funkiness. Fairly subdued, it's merely present and not horsey or ripe.

Tart apple, vague lemon and spice, Brett again, with a fleeting earthiness. Mildly bitter hops. It hits the palate slightly prickly, then evaporates into sublime dryness. The effect is crisp and refreshing, with a champagne-like velvet character.

The 4.8% abv on the bottle isn't at all apparent, making for an exceptionally refreshing session ale. Now tracking down more is my new task...

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Photo of canucklehead
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that treads lightly both in colour and taste but don't get me wrong , the lightness is still complex and funky. Considering that this based on what the monks drink for lunch I took awhile to appreciate the underlying fruit notes and the yeasty complexity. The finish was a little short but I never lost interest in the beer.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 350ml bottle (batch #2) into a red wine glass. The bottle explains that this beer is a Belgian single. The monks drink this as their everyday beer. Half at lunch and the rest at dinner. Pretty cool.

A: A light golden color with a huge three inch pure-white head composed of thousands of very tiny bubbles. The constant rise of bubbles results in a persistent head and tons of lacing throughout.

S: Light ripe fruit: apples, pears and lemons. Yeast aroma also comes through.

T: A very mellow and subtle beer. The light ripe fruits come through in the taste as well as the yeast although it's very understated. It's light and airy yet flavorful enough that it's a very enjoyable beer. Lightly hopped and light spices also come through at the end.

M: Light bodied with tons of very fine carbonation.

D: A very easy drinking, smooth and enjoyable beer. The ABV makes it a definite candidate for a session beer. My first single and I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of illidurit
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Batch 002 poured from a 750 into a Duvel tulip. Body is golden with a solid three fingers of bright white fluffy foam on top. Absentmindedly I pour out every last drop of the bottle without looking at the yeast sediment, resulting in SHEETS of yeast floating around. Flat, 1 square inch yeast sheets cling to the beer/head division, and some of it sinks down to the carbonation nucleation point at the very bottom of the glass only to be shot back upwards by the column of bubbles! This beer all of a sudden looks like a lava lamp!

S: Overripe apples, pears, lemon, brett (not overpowering funk though).

T: Citrus, grain, yeast. A very mellow and subtle beer.

M/D: Light and airy without being thin-bodied (if that makes any sense). Goes down really smooth and could even be sessionable.

Another RR beer that doesn't disappoint.

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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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Redemption from Russian River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.