1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Salvation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SalvationSalvation

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

964 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 964
Reviews: 450
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.02%
Wants: 329
Gots: 209 | FT: 7
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 964 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Peachy orange with some white head.Fruity yeasty aroma. Medium bodied, with good significant carbonation, and sour finish. After several samples, the sourness is comfortably contained in malt. Thanks to Nochum for bringing in.
Another bottle a year later and more mellow. with a big soapy white head and lots of lace.Winey.
A year later bottle just as good, more yeast in aroma and taste. Thanks Crushinat0r for that one.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 03:10:56 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 750ml at the brewery with dinner a couple weeks ago. I think I'd like to try this beer again when it's a little colder as this one was probably 50 or 55 degrees F. My only complaint is that alcohol became very present.

It poured a nice dark brown color with some redness showing through, relatively clear. The head was slightly offwhite and had a decent retention to it. The aroma was mostly of raisin and dark malts with some yeast smell. There was some slight spiciness underneath it all. The flavor was very complex. The dark malts, the fruit, and possibly some crystal malts were present. Unfortunately the alcohol came out fairly strong here. This is the reason I only gave the flavor a 4.

The body was medium/heavy which is what I would expect from a RR brew. There was some fizziness to it and some bite from the alcohol. Again, I think I would like to try it a few degrees cooler becuase that may squelch some of the alcohol presence. Other than that its a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 21:36:19 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dirty iced tea color with a 2 inch light tan head that fades to a small cap. Decent rings of lace that drizzle back down into the rest of the beer over time. Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian-type yeast, and oddly enough - rubber. The rubber scent I am getting is off-putting and detracts from the overall smell of the beer. Taste is of sweet dark fruits (plums/raisins), spices, and the typical Belgian yeast. Strong carbonation on the beer with a feel of thousands of tiny bubbles washing around in the mouth. A little bit of alcohol warming in the throat. Overall, this is a good beer but nothing too great in my opinion. I am glad I got to try this one as this is the first time I have seen this one in bottles in my area.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 01:40:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.2%

11-20-2011 22:03:08 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River in August 2009.

A: Pours a moderately-dark brown with some orangish hues. A good tan head.

S: Lots of dark fruits with some raisins, candied sugars, and Belgian yeast.

T: Lots of breadiness to go with the dark fruits and yeast.

M: Medium body and quite smooth.

D: Quite drinkable, and one of the most drinkable of this style that I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2009 17:00:01 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Batch 002. Dark tawny with bright orange accents. There are very few breweries outside of Belgium that can pull off a Belgian-quality head. Russian River seems to do it with ease. The expansive, golden beige crown possesses every positive quality you'd care to name. And a few more besides.

The nose is a fraction more sour than it should be. Having said that, it's still wonderful and makes me want to take that first big gulp. Bruised banana and fig are nicely complemented by English toffee and a warm clove spiciness.

It's probably being too nitpicky, but there's still too much sourness. Salvation tastes like a BSDA (70%) and a Flanders oud bruin (30%) hybrid. Although there's nothing inherently wrong with that, it isn't what I expected. I like my BSDAs to favor sweet over bitter over sour... assuming they're all present.

The flavor profile pretty much mirrors the nose (with the addition of Granny Smith apples and a hint of cocoa powder). Unfortunately, the depth and complexity that are usually a given in Russian River beer aren't present. Don't get me wrong, a less than stupendous beer from these guys is still better than most Belgian-style ale brewed by their American competition.

The mouthfeel is *merely* good. It doesn't have the creamy, silky expansiveness of the world's best BSDAs, but it's still pleasureable. Alcohol hasn't been mentioned yet because it's nowhere to be found.

I'm not sure if I caught Salvation too early or too late. This bottle is about 18 months old and the brewery says that it can go 4 years at least. Alternatively, maybe it was never destined to be one of Russian River's masterpieces.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 22:29:01 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very dark brown in color. It poured with a half finger high beige colored head that died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of dark malts and Belgian yeast in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits (such as prunes and plums), dark malts and Belgian yeast. The yeast is more promint than the fruits. Slight hints of spices also become detectable in the finish as the beer warms up. No sweetness is detectable, except for some faint hints in the initial taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a nice mix of dark fruits and yeasty flavors. No traces of alcohol are detectable.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 00:21:28 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.95/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 004

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark brown color with garnet highlights; nice head drops quickly to a murky film but leaves a dancing pattern of lacing

Smell: Crème Brulée, banana pudding, malted milk, rum raisin and some alcohol

Taste: Starts out with a milk chocolate and vanilla pudding aspect that grows spicy by mid-palate, with dark fruit and prickly cinnamon; after the swallow, the malted milk flavors make an appearance and are joined by banana, vanilla, and an earthy hop element that blends to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Truly extraordinary; why this isn't in the Top 100 is beyond me

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 01:42:35 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

11-26-2011 17:49:56 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one has been sitting around in the fridge for a couple months waiting for me to try it, so last night was the night as I was in the mood for something different. Poured a very deep dark and hazy brown with a huge tan head of gooey and foamy lace. Lots of visible carbonation throughout the session. A nice concentric ring of side lace was left throughout and some sediment was visible. The smell was interesting, lots of yeast and spice, but for some reason seemed muted, and at the same time kind of sweet. The taste was very full and robust. Lots of flavors with hints at dark fruits and a nice rounded earthy back. There was a slight tart like twang in the bite and a short finish that I thought could have been more drawn out.

Overall this was an odd one, there was nothing really bad at all about it, but it just did not really stand out to me as anything fantastic other the very smooth nature of it. Almost silk like it was solo smooth. This was definitely a nice triple, but to be honest I have had better. Thats ok though it is still a very good beer and something I would say you should definitely try if given the chance.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 00:42:13 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (Courtesy of Jimbowood): Poured a dark brown color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of spices with strong malt presence and funky yeast. Taste is at first dominated by some spices with some semi-sweet dry fruits. There is also some subtle sourness, which doesn’t dominate but is very enjoyable. Body is above average and alcohol is well hidden. Another winner from this great brewery who in my mind is probably currently doing the best Belgian in North America.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 17:21:31 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

01-15-2012 02:55:36 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Churchill's

A: The pour is dark brown with a fluffy off-white head, leaving some sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of sweet malts and dark fruits. I pick up notes of plums, raisins, and maybe dates as well. There is also a touch of roast and candi sugar, along with some yeast.

T: Following the nose, the flavor opens up with a bit of roast followed by some sweet sugar and malt. The fruit character is not quite as intense as in the nose. There's also a noticeable alcohol presence.

M: The body is medium to full bodied with an almost creamy level of carbonation.

D: One of the better Belgian styles from Russian River, but the alcohol presence in the flavor was a bit of a downer for me. Still a nice beer, however.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2010 18:27:18 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

11-15-2011 04:04:16 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

06-13-2013 20:38:40 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

01-05-2014 03:00:08 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger frothy head with excellent retention and nice lacing on a deep mahogany brown body. Beauitful beer.

S: chocolate, raisins, caramel, toffee and light strawberry.

T: palate follows the nose nicely, with sour dark fruit nicely integrated into a chocolate malt base with toffee and slight wood notes. Belgian yeast throughout.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: another nice beer from RR. The Belgian character is excellent and the malt base and dark fruits are well integrated.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 01:19:09 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.2%

12-13-2011 23:48:48 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

10-31-2013 14:55:11 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's Black Friday event. This poured out as a pretty nice looking dark reddish brown color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer wasn't funky at all which I was really happy about. The taste of the beer had some really nice dark fruity flavors with some vanilla in the mix. The flavors that this brew has are rather impressive. The mouthfeel of the beer is pretty thin a but not watered down at all. Overall this brew is great I think. One of the best from Russian River I think.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2011 07:30:50 | More by Knapp85
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004

Poured slowly into a Caracole tulip. Nice lacing, a good amount of tan foam. First impression is that it looks like a trappist ale. Deep mahoghany tone, ruddy brown.

Burnt caramel, molasses, nutmeg & other spice. Later has a solvent alcohol note at room temperature. Faint wildflower and mild citrus. Residual earth and bittersweet cocoa tones, very malty. Suggestion of raisin, or similar dried dark fruit. Complex, but not over the top. Very smooth and mellow. Good level of carbonation. Long aftertaste of caramel, banana, and possibly aged hops. Marshmallow softness.

The abv limits this to one bottle in a session, it's easily enjoyed though. It's good, but not as unique as RR's barrel-aged offerings. Still leaps and bounds over any other American BSDA.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 03:45:28 | More by emerge077
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

11-14-2011 17:51:41 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh from the brewery, half-gallon growler purchased for $13.

Appearance: Chestnut-colored, perfectly clear when held to the light. Pours with a big frothy tan head, nice retention and plenty of sticky lace.

Smell: Cocoa, roasted barley, a trace of alcohol. Lightly fruity and spicy. Less yeast character than the bottled version, but more roasted and bitter.

Taste & mouthfeel: An even mix of chocolate, dark fruit (figs and banana) and molasses. Heavier on the roast and bitterness than most dark Belgians. Medium-bodied, quite drinkable for the ABV and pleasantly dry in the finish, leaving a lingering note of bittersweet chocolate on the tongue.

Serving type: growler

11-29-2008 04:37:14 | More by largadeer
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -2.2%

04-29-2012 16:25:44 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy head of light tan rises steadily, and with presence, as you pour. It never fades, and rests gently in the glass that way for several ticking minutes, ever so slowly decreasing in size. Solid walls of lace are left behind. To have that kind of head retention in a beer of 9% alcohol is impressive. When held to the light, the body beneath is mostly clear with reddish chestnut highlights glowing inside its very dark, almost black robe.

Inside the nose, delicate notes of sugar and candy dance with wafts of banana and hints of dark fruit skins amidst a lightly chalky yeastiness before a background of shimmering cocoa powder. It's not bold, but it's certainly bright enough, and very enticing!

In the flavor there's a distinct note of chocolate at the first sip that's almost fudge like. It's not bitter or raspy, but also not sweet, although beyond that the beer is sweetish, fruity, and candyish. It's just that the chocolatey side doesn't seem so. Crossing the palate, the dark fruitiness appears next, and it's juicy, but it also displays some edgeiness. I'm thinking of black cherries, dried prunes, a bit of fig, and some dark-skinned bitterness. Some tropical fruit appears... mainly banana, but perhaps a hint of pineapple as well? A fair amount of yeast character is present, candyish and chalky with a light phenolic side that gives some spice (and the banana). It's overall a bit sweetish, but not lingering; and the bitterness is always right there, backing it stiffly... for all it's whimsy chocolate, candy and fruit, it's certainly well reigned in. The yeasty spiciness, and probably a bit more from the alcohol lend a hand, and it finishes dry, and lingering, with more dark-skinned fruit bitterness as the sweetish malt and yeasty fruit and candy quickly fade. A complete turn about! Very nice!

It's rich and enticing, involving you in each sip - but not so overly complex that you can't just enjoy it straight out. It's more of a sipper that you can enjoy slowly after a good meal. And I'd imagine it might be a good cigar beer, although I'm not sure. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 22:57:15 | More by NeroFiddled
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Salvation from Russian River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 964 ratings.