1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Salvation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,083 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,083
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 346
Gots: 249 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,083 | Reviews: 459
Reviews by meathookjones:
Photo of meathookjones
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from Batch 001. Deep dark amber brown colored body with a nice foamy light tan head. Some light lacing was left on the glass. Aroma of ripe fruits with caramel is strong. Some light spices and yeast notes round it out. Taste starts off a bit sugary with some more sweetness from some figs and raisons. Light spiciness cuts through the sweetness. Mild roasted notes towards the end where it finishes up with more fruits. Solid body that’s well carbonated and carries the flavor well. An easy drinker for the strength. Another solid offering from Russian River.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one came out of the tap a dark, orangish-brown in color with a huge, retentive head.

Smell – The big dark Belgian yeast smelled delicious. I picked up what I thought were some light woody notes in here as well. The complexity of the malts was amazing. I found myself wishing I had a thesaurus to help describe these smells. Let’s just say it was a big, complex, malty BSDA.

Taste – The sharp toasty yeast was very doughy on the tongue. The malts themselves were, again, very thick and complex. I could pick up a hint of banana along with some alcohol notes that seemed just right for the size of the flavors.

Mouthfeel – This wasn’t full-bodied but was bigger than medium. There’s a light alcohol sting to this 9.4% batch and the ale was very creamy in the mouth. The carbonation was big and fluffy and seemed perfect for the style.

Drinkability – This one is closing on 10% ABV and it is smooth as smooth can be. What a great beer!

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 shared during the 2006 World Cup Final

Appearance: Dark and ominous burnt chestnut with quickly diminishing almond froth that rests at a thin skim around the ring of the glass.

Aroma: Raisons and sweet malts, a touch of coffee, and kiwi and strawberries as it warms. Vinous dark fruits are present at room temp.

Taste: Sweet vinous qualities dominate the initial flavors but eventually make way for more complex subtleties. Hints of chocolate covered bananas and dates in the middle, then kiwi and strawberries, and finally alcohol and coffee like roastedness.

Mouthfeel: Front is crisp. Middle is mostly sweet, wet dark fruits with minimal under-ripened strawberry/kiwi tartness. Finish is dry with a coffee like sharpness. Body is on the light side of medium.

Drinkability: Above Average.

A solid beer, lighter in most aspects than many others in the style and more about subtlety than in your face bold complexity.

Photo of DavyJones
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of MadScientist
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very enthusiastic head with three finers of light tan foam from a gentle pour. The beer is a dark brown with garnet highlights and great clarity. The head is long lasting and leaves a thick sticky curtain of lacing on the glass.

S: A great balance of dark fruit and tart aroma being mostly plums, prunes and red current with some sour cherries. there is a a moderate malt aroma with a bit of caramel and some toasted grain aroma.

T: Dark fruit and spice with a light sour flavor blended in. Medium-high dark cherry and plum dominate the flavor. The Belgian yeast provides a moderate peppery spice and fruitiness. There is some malt sweetness with a bit of a chocolate flavor. The bitterness is low but there is a moderately-light sour tartness that increases the prescription that is is more bitter than it really is although the alcohol is also countering the malt. The balance is somewhat bitter and tart. the finish is off-dry and the aftertaste is of chocolate and spice.

M: This a creamy, medium-full bodied beer with moderately-strong carbonation. The alcohol brings a noticeable warmth.

O: A great Belgian Strong Dark that isn't very sweet, which I like and has a bit of a tartness which I really like.

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001.

Pours into my glass a dark cola brown with ruby accents. An inch of khaki foam on top with great retention. Lots of active carbonation as well. Aromas of chocolate malt upfront with a good blast of spice. Hints of banana and earthy Belgian yeast tones.

First sip brings more crisp chocolate malt upfront moving into a blend of spice and fruit flavors. Earthy yeast kicks in on the way down. Nice sweetness that is not overpowering and great balance overall. Raisin and toffee afterthoughts as it finishes a bit dry. Good, chocolaty stuff.

Smooth body with creaminess and perfect carbonation. A tasty treat that has aged quite beautifully in my opinion. I will have to seek this one out again and would love to try it on tap someday.

Photo of Outchillen
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #10, picked up a 12 pack in philly, think it was a little overpriced out here at $90 a 12 pack

A: Loved the small belgian bottle, pouring with a nice off white head, looks like maybe refermented with champagne yeast, nice dark amber brown color

S: Smelled the belgian yeast right away, spicy, with a little banana and cloves

T/M: Starts off sweet and mildly malty, a little fruity, but finishes a little dry, nice creamy head that lasts

O: Was impressed but not blown away, waited a while to try a RR beer and it is good for the hype. A very nice Belgian beer, but not the best

Photo of NWer
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 10
Poured rich thick brown into my Chimay chalice. Thick brown head lasts forever. Beautiful. Picture perfect.
Initial aroma hint - rootbeer? really? Not for long. Nice flow of flavors from the pop of the cork.
A sipper for sure. Complex, bold, thoroughly enjoyable. Quickly becoming a fan of the style.

Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of getinked
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of TimoP
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of tigg924
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay Chalice

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, cloudy, dark red/brown in color, some sediment, low carbonation

Smell: cherry, fig, oak, and brown sugar

Taste: cherry, figs, light caramel at the end—sourness throughout.

Mouthfeel: sweet start—big sour/bitter spike in the middle, very dry—light bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall: A very good and complex Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Not the best from Russian River I have had but one of the better in the style. Its dryness would only make me want one glass at a time though. This one has elements of a Flanders Oud Bruin which I enjoy. I will look for this the next time I am in the Philly area.

Photo of badbeer
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Murky brownish red color with a white head that has good retention and lacing. Smell is of dark fruit, clove, and pepper. Taste seems to remind me of Trois Pistole, in that it is a rather spicy Belgian Dark Strong Ale, and I also get the same clove and dark fruits in this. Light bodied with medium carbonation. Very well done, I'd like to give this another try.

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the most recent Freetail bottle release party. Sorry for not remembering who provided it.

The beer pours a deep brown color with a tannish head. I get a lot of spice in the aroma with some dark fruit notes. A very enticing aroma that also has a nice Belgian yeast component to it.

The flavor is very similar. I get a wonderful mix of Belgian candy sugar and spice notes in the flavor. I also get some nice Belgian yeast notes as well as some raisins, cherries and other dark fruit. The alcohol is very well hidden and allows the complexity of the aroma and flavor to really come through.

The carbonation is perfect for the style and the beer is extremely drinkable. Proof that Russian River is one of the best breweries in America when it comes to brewing Belgian-style beers.

Photo of Pliny_the_Self-righteous
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft @ City Beer Store on 1/19/15. Pours a dark brown/burgundy with minimal tan head. Aroma of malty, raisin sweetness with some banana, cola nut and spice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. Palate of dark fruit, malty sweet, cola and spice. Well balanced dark belgian with great aroma and flavor.

Photo of rob133
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear brown with an off-white head. Rich, dense aroma of brown sugar, corainder, clove, and a bunch of sweet malt. The flavors follow through without being heavy-handed or syrupy in the mouthfeel. Malt, caramel, figs, yeast, banana, cinnamon, and even some hops all shine. Very, very, good beer.

Photo of deebo
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery this beer is served in a goblet with a thin skimmed layer of tan head. Clear and garnet. Aromas of rich toasted malt and hints of estery banana belgian yeast. Taste is decidedly Belgian. Rich malt backbone with a sturdy enough yeast character to carry the flavors thru. The malt is s bit heavy on the dark barley malt which has plenty of roast and slight chocolate flavors. Smooth in body with the alcohol well hidden into the finish of this brew. A nice beer. Better than many of RR other ventures into the world of yeasty Belgian beers this beer has some character and decently complex flavors.

Photo of Swonkie
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of pat61
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%

Very winey nose with some tartness and fruit.
Pours opaque brown with a 1” off-white foam cap that quickly dissipates to a thin film.
Exceptionally creamy, fruity, malty palate that leads to a mild hop bitterness on the finish. A light tart touch suggestive of tart cherries balances the rich malt. Very complex yet well balanced between the malt, hop and tart.
Very fine soft carbonation and big flavors hide the alcohol very well.

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -2.2%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Salvation from Russian River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,083 ratings.