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Salvation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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1,069 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,069
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 349
Gots: 245 | 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
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Ratings: 1,069 | Reviews: 458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of t0rin0
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.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
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.

Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of brentk56
4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
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

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.17/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

more affordable than some of the othe beers in this series, unless i got lucky. paid just under 7 bucks for a 12.7oz. pours dark brown, thin looking, with a big bubble white head on top with pretty good retention. the nose is like coffee cake or fruit bread or something. lots of interestign spice and fruit from the yeast, which seems to be the dominant smell, in front of a nice chocolatey malt body. the flavor is equally yeast forward, not quite as spicy as the nose, but there is a lot going on here. also quite a bit of sweetness from the malts, roasty and dark, molasses, booze. the mouthfeel is lovely. very active carbonation makes it feel lighter than it is, and the fuller body does not prevent drinkability. i also love the aftertaste on this. overall another real solid russian river brew, but not my favorite from this line.

Photo of largadeer
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.

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Salvation from Russian River Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.