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Salvation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

982 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 982
Reviews: 451
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 340
Gots: 208 | FT: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 05-09-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 982 | Reviews: 451 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arash1000
1/5  rDev -75.6%

arash1000, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of wesbourne
1/5  rDev -75.6%

wesbourne, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of coleary
1.5/5  rDev -63.3%

coleary, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of cherche
2.25/5  rDev -45%

cherche, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of bobhits
2.33/5  rDev -43%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Holy Christ, a reasonable pour and my glass is nothing but head, barely even half an oz of beer at the bottom, and a glass of head. Deep dark amber (nearly black) in color that’s rather opaque…nearly impossible to see through to be honest. Though light shines through to give the deep amber color.

Dark spiced hef? Bananas, cloves, slight candied malt, with some slight molasses or just enough sweetness to avoid any sour or crisp notes often associated with a hef.

The only word I have to describe this beer is INTENSE. Caps are very much needed here. I would go back and age this if I could do it again, 3-4 years might mellow this. This beer brings out the intense flavors of an Eisen bock with the spices of a Belgian beer. Certainly has the bananas and cloves from the nose, but intense hops and a HUGE rum like alcohol flavor at the end.

Too thick, too alcoholic, too carbonated….I can’t think of anything good to say here.

9% abv shouldn’t be this harsh, intense, or any of this. If Russian Rivers wants me to wait a few years to drink this they should put a best after date to let me know not to open it. I think age will help this beer but this beer needs a LOT of help.

bobhits, May 28, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
2.78/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375mL brown glass cork and caged bottle. Batch # 010.

Pours a medium dark dark brown with some off-white head. Nice, but nothing special. Nose is fairly simple and smells like belgian yeast, cashews and dark malt grain. Palate is roasty in a weird way. Malt flavor is weird, like maybe the mash was burnt partially. Or maybe the yeast is just odd. There's an unpleasant flavor here. BSDA all the way, but adding this weird flavor makes this seem a little amateur.

As it warms up a bit, I think it's just a weird flavor interaction with the yeast (banana/clove and drying) and the malt (Belgian brown is really more accurate). Not a fan.

EDIT: After rating this one, I felt like maybe I was off-base a little...BUT then I read some of the other reviews below and people said things like "Not my favorite RR brew" and gave it a "B" so I think I'm on par here, maybe just being a little more "honest" with my rating.

SFLpunk, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of Crosling
2.93/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch 5. Very attractive dark mahogany colored ale, with an authentically Belgian looking head that lasts and laces well. Nose lacks depth and descriptive character. Has some nice elements of dark fruit and toffee, but it lacks intensity and complexity. Batch 5 seems like it's not a great batch.

Crosling, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of DavyJones
3/5  rDev -26.7%

DavyJones, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap@Russian River Brewpub. Heavy sweetness, lots of figgy caramel flavours, with some late acidity to balance it out, bit too sweet though. Some sweet vanilla and pear also noticed, but not quite my cup of tea in the end, will definitely try again one day though.

rastaman, Feb 02, 2005
Photo of Booman
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Booman, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Fitzpat4
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Fitzpat4, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of projhex
3/5  rDev -26.7%

projhex, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of APreacher
3/5  rDev -26.7%

APreacher, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of Jotora
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Jotora, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -26.7%

chippo33, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -26.7%

ejimhof, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of leftoverburrito
3/5  rDev -26.7%

leftoverburrito, May 09, 2013
Photo of gafferjohn
3/5  rDev -26.7%

gafferjohn, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
3.1/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a medium white head, which leaves pretty good lacing.

S: Smell was quite faint and hard to find at first. Peppery smell, molasses, bananas.

T: Strong taste of dark malt, light molasses and charcoal. Light bit of fruity ester, but doesn't have the overall complexity I like in the style.

M: Lighter on the body than I expected, feels more like a 5-6% beer, mild carbonation, relatively smooth.

D: An OK beer from Russian River, not one of their best IMO, but I'm glad I finally found it to try it, all right drinkable dark ale.

Halcyondays, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark beer, dark, ample head. Aroma was big and bready. Didn't pick up sweetness even though the aroma was singularly prune.

Taste, damn thick fruitcake like bread with dates in it. Turned me off, reminded me of that crappy stuff that gets put on the table to eat around the holidays. Clove sticks its head out. One aspect I was able to appreciate was the edge of cocao. Still can't overcome the date and plum dominance. One of my least favorite Russian River beers (drank this at the brewery). Come to think of it, this IS my least favorite.

Beerandraiderfan, May 05, 2011
Photo of Jredner
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The thing I like about RR’s belgian Beers is that they act Belgian. The aroma here is spicy with mild alcohol notes, mashed dark fruits, such as cherry and plum, nose tingling peppery notes and a sofy yeaty quality that underlies the whole affair. The body is a rich dark brown with hints of red...very masculine tone I wish i could find a lot of wood that color to build something out of....ugh!

The head is, like I said Belgian behaving in that it fluffs up easy and statys around a bit....though it’s not 100% Belgian...it has some reservations about totally flowing out of the glass.

Flavor...wow not so nice as Borat might say if he’d had this. It’s got a lot of tart and spicy notes with some hot alcohol and a lot of peppery zing, but the fruity notes from the aroma are gone daddy gone. Aggresive yeast? I don’t care. I paid money for this and unlike most RR beers this is very blaaah. Little flavor concnetration and little range.

Jredner, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of THECPJ
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with a reddish hue and a 2 finger off white head

smell: sour, sweet malts,

taste: slight sourness, sweet, dry finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: not one of my favorite Russian River brews but not the worst either.

The cpj

THECPJ, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of Mark
3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Compared to other Belgians my ranking of this one must appear pretty high. This 9% monster poured a nice copper color, off white head lasted long and left decent lace patterns. Aroma was of some banana and of course yeast. While taste profile was on the smooth side, there was noticible alcohol. Banana was on the mellow side and some bready yeast was detectable. A well made brew that once again just does not do it for me. I wish it did.

Mark, May 09, 2004
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This darn thing has a ton of foam in it. A 333ml bottle (or whatever....the small bottle, y'know) with about 10 gallons of foam. Looks nice when it calms down.

Dark brown, muddy purple, black body. The head is off white and somewhat dense. Just takes forever for it to reach drinkable level.

Aroma is over ripe apple and alcohol. Lightly toasted dark bread and yeast come through. Somewhat sour.

Taste is where this beer falls a bit. Nothing really stands out. Slight black plum and dark bread. Nothing pops. If the yeast didn't produce the breadiness I don't think this would have much. Alcohol comes through. Feels a bit syrupy with carbonation running wild.

Although not a bad beer, it seems to be a bit vacant.

Mebuzzard, May 04, 2011
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375ml bottle sent by the gracious newcomer to the trading world, Callmecoon (traders, check this guy out. He knows how its done.) Thanks a lot Steve!

Batch 010. Poured into an Ovila chalice.
Nice billowing, khaki colored head. I reigned it in at about 3 fingers. It fades to about a half finger in height and stays there. The retention and lacing are superb. I find it astonishing that there is such excellent retention in a big bowl of a glass like this, these wide mouthed chalices usually spread out the head making it fade quickly. The thick cake of floating foam is very frothy, appearing solid except for a rift of looser bubbles that flows through the center. Lacing is a solid sheet. The color of the beer dwells in the purple, red and plum hues. Its dark but when held to the light I can see that this beer has pretty good clarity.

Quite sweet smelling. Notes of sugar plum fairies dance about. A deeply rooted milk chocolate notion has me very interested. It holds company to fruity tobacco and leather. Lots of overripe fruits of many varieties, figs and plums, bananas, and raisins, all of which are sugar coated.

As I had feared after the sweetness of the aroma, this taste way too sweet. Granted, this is a sweet style of beer, but this sugar coated fruitiness is not kept in check. It bumrushes the palate and holds it in place while alcohol works the midsection. I cant say that this tastes terrible, there aren't any off flavors that I can detect, the sweetness and alcohol are just a bit of a mess. Lots of cherry, fig, plum, and rum.

Fluffy and dry. Lots of warming effects that are felt down in the gullet. The body is fairly full but finishes dry so it is perceived as thinner than I think it really is. A long lasting rum booze sweetness lingers and coats the molars and throat.

I'll say that this is one of the better American made BSDAs. It has the color, body and carbonation down pat. At this juncture, however, the beer is very sweet and brash. Its still gonna look nice along side all of my other -ation bottles.

MbpBugeye, Apr 15, 2011
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Salvation from Russian River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 982 ratings.