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Rejection - Russian River Brewing Company

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very good

169 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 169
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 19
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At Monk's Cafe. She loves you...

A: The dark ale looks more like a porter or black ale, coming out with a full body that comes close to blackness. A mocha head rests atop the beer.

S: Dark roasted, burnt with plenty of chocolate aromas. Darker fruits linger below the surface, sweetening the otherwise roasted body up nicely.

T: Very much a Belgian style porter, dark and well-roasted with toast and chocolate in spades. Darker sugars, including brown and candi sugars, linger with a sweet bitterness. It's bitter, heavy on the darker chocolate flavors, but the yeast saves the day, lightening it up. Hops aren't much of a factor, enjoy the burn though.

M: The porter-like Belgian ale surprised me, dark and forboding but quite drinkable. Plus, I'm never one to turn Russian River down.

Photo of Retsinis
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend who just got back from Napa Valley had visited "Russian River" Brewing Co (among others,) and brought back some beers to try. This was one of them, and of the three growlers he brought back (all from three different breweries) this one was the best in my humble opinion.

Poured from a Chilled Growler into a Bruery tulip glass

The beer pours a murky, hazy dark amber brown, almost black, but light does penetrate when you hold it up to the light. A nice and fluffy tan colored head rose about 2 inches on the initial pour, which retained a bit, then settled to just about a quarter inch of head. No notable lacing.

Diving in the glass, I get aroma's of smoke, brown sugar, coco and coffee. Some yeasty esters in there too, but just a bit.

The flavors in the taste have a nice earthiness, probably from the yeast. Notes of chocolate, roasted malts, toffee, caramel, and some smoke. These flavors are in proportion, and blend together well.

Mouth feel has a medium to high body with generous carbonation for the style that does not get in the way of the flavors. Easy flavors on the palette. Only 6.10% ABV, so you can have a few, though they could sneak up on you, since you can't really detect the alcohol.

The overall, and drinkability of Rejection is good. It has a fairly unique flavor profile. Not something I personally would crave, but I would not turn down another taste. Since it's a limited yearly release, it's worth a try though, and I was glad that I got the chance to taste this years.

Photo of benclimbs
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap @ RR brewery
This is a solid adaptation of a porter/black lager with belgian yeast.

pours black and beautiful with a slight head and a bit of lacing in the glass

spicey chocolatey off yeasty notes in the nose

taste is more chocolate, spice and light espresso

a very nice valentines day special beer from RR

Photo of impending
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the source. Poured an opaque black, minor head, great lacing.

Aroma is subdued yeast and dark bread lightly spiced.

Taste is roasted malts but not to the point of bitterness. Significant hop flavor. Hint of smoke in the finish. Medium bodied and creamy. Overall this brew has a quiet flavor. Warms well.

Photo of Overlord
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown. Smells faintly of spice and Belgian Yeast.

Tastes ... like belgian yeast, a hint of choclate-y malt, and a ... a sort of weird soury aftertaste.

One of the most disappointing beers I've had from Russian River. Really not sure what they were going for. I can't even say it's a misfire in terms of taste, as there really isn't much going on.

Bit watery. Forgettable.

Photo of femALEist
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Pi Bar at Russian River night during SF Beer week.
Rejection-Belgian inspired black beer brewed for Valentine's Day & 6.1%. It poured a cola brown. It smelled of malt, vanilla, caramel with some coffee notes. It tasted pretty much the same as the nose- vanilla, toffee, roasted malt and espresso. It was my friends' favorite beer of the evening- and he loves Pliny the Younger.

Photo of SShelly
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A cpl week old growler.

Dark dark brown pour with big off white head, excellent retention.

Very subdued aroma with a little coffe, and some dark graininess.

Flavor is light coffe upfront with some esters, slight phenolic finish, some astringency, leaves the mouth dry.

Pretty darn drinkable, a little thin and dry for my taste.

Photo of MisterClean
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pulled from RR. Thanks concours.

A - Pours brown with 2 fingers of mocha head. Dissipates moderately and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Chocolate, dark belgian candi sugars, medium roast coffee, and peppery esters.

T - Chocolate, dark belgian candi sugars, medium roast coffee, moderately btter hops, and peppery esters.

M - Moderate bodied, well-balanced, lightly sweet, and smooth tasting.

D - Very good overall.

Photo of berkey
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drove up to Santa Rosa and picked a growler from the brewery this morning. I have to admit the comedy of marketing a beer named Rejection as a Valentine's Day beer contributed to me purchasing this to a degree. Poured into a Russian River -tion glass.

Body appears completely black at first look but shows some hints of cola color when held to light. A very large khaki colored head forms but settles pretty quickly and leaves some very nice lacing as it goes.

Belgian-like yeasty quality on the nose is joined my some roasted malts and a faint chocolate character. There's also a good amount of grassy hop aroma in this beer.

The roasty and chocolate notes continue on the palate with the addition of a subdued fruit character. It bears repeating that the fruitiness is subdued, far less estery than just about any other beer I've tried in the style. The slight hop bitterness detected on the aroma is lingers on the finish.

Very drinkable beer, this growler went very quickly. Not extremely complex or intense but highly enjoyable. Another fine Russian River offering.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught at RR during the PtY release madness. Almost black with a small tan head. Lots of fruit in the nose, with what strikes me as their house yeast ester profile. Plenty of rich malt in the aroma as well, with chocolate and toast. Modest bitterness with just a touch of roast and mild apparent hops in the finish that bring a nice balance that barely leans on malty. Fruity with a definite yeasty touch, but also very clean. Nice chocolate malty flavors leading to a pleasant dryness. Pretty much a flavorful Belgian-style porter from what I taste. Very nice.

Photo of popery
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft, Russian River. Pliny the Younger 2010 release. Another semi-disappointment from this day. Rejection isn't bad, but my standard for RR is unbelievably high and this beer is fairly forgettable and outshone by almost all of the rest of the menu. It pours coffee black with a thin off-white head. There's a fair bit more candi sugar presence than expected. The flavor is mostly coffee/cocoa with some background malt fruitiness and a touch of Belgian yeast. I found the mouthfeel to be a bit grainy leading to a somewhat thin, watery finish. This wasn't great, but I certainly wouldn't turn down a glass, either. It's hard to tell how much the riches of SF Beer Week are effecting my relative rating scale.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at RR
A: Poured an dark brown color with good carbonation and a tan head.

S: Nose is toasted malt, chocolate, yeast and coffee.

T: Taste is chocolate, candy, fruits, yeast a little bit of booze. Pretty sweet sticky and hearty. Booze is just right and this beer is so tasty, probably my favorite beer behind Younger of course!

M: Medium body, well carbonated, tasty

O: This beer just struck a chord with me. Bravo. Another grest RR brew.

Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 2/5/10 at the brewpub.

A: The pour is an inviting dark brown/black color with a finger's worth of light tan foam.

S: The nose has quite a bit of roasted malt with a slight chocolate and caramel malty aroma. There is, of course, the usual fruity and spicy Belgian esters, but also a slight acidity.

T: The flavor follows the nose for the most part, but perhaps a bit on the bland side. I found the roast to be the predominant flavor, unfortunately, with only background notes of stone fruits and yeast.

M: The body seemed to be a bit on the thin side with a lively carbonation.

D: Another offering from Russian River that I've been looking forward to trying, but somewhat of a let down. Of course, I'm still glad to have been able to get a glass.

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

On-tap at the brewpub (2/4/10), served in a generic wide-mouth tulip. This was presented as a "Belgian Black" beer.

Turbid taupe (or maybe rose-taupe) muddy purple brown body. Spackled head recedes to nothing, but leaves behind nice lacing.

Dark bread, hot chocolate, black malt, and light caramel aromas.

Lemon0lime, slightly salty, dark malt, faintly roasty; mild yeast - almost like a Belgian version of an English Mild - rather strange. Light caramel mid-palate, sweet bready finish. Maybe a touch of rye/grain somewhere in there as well.

Smooth, a little light bodied, but with adequate carbonation.

Enjoyed this over conversation, but while not heartbroken, I was somewhat disappointed by it...

Photo of jdklks
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a Dark brown almost black color with a suprisingly light tan head that stick aroun for awhile and laces the glass nicely. Smell is a little disappointing insofar as it is not all that string or complex. Some chocolatey notes with a lot of Belgian yeast and a little dark fruit sweetness. Lots of spice.

The flavor, like the smell, is a little bland. Just about what you'd expect from the style, but not from a Russian River beer. Belgian yeast dominant all over. Lots of spices accompanied by some sweet fruits and a caramel/chocolate undertone. A funkiness in the finish and aftertaste. Decent but not great at all. By far my least favorite of the beers sampled today at the brewery.

Mouthfeel is a full medium with lots of carbonation and is one of the better parts of the beer. Drinkability=I would drink it if it was the only RR beer I could get, but there are just soooo many better choices.

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.71/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Pleasant burnt charcoal matches perfectly with nutmeg, licorice, ginger, and coffee. Awesome.

Taste: Extremely spicy top note with intense ginger and nutmeg notes are balanced by slightly dry, caramelized wood and some citrusy coffee in the mold of a yergicheffe that's at city roast levels. Ripe currants, molasses, and fruit skin bitterness with a hint of cider flavors emerge as it warms and opens up. Definitely not as roasty as one would expect from a Black ale. Finish is grassy and citrus bitterness, a little dry, quite spicy, a little yeasty with a touch of banana.

Notes: Awesome, amazingly drinkable and unique beer.

Photo of mjl21
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River. Poured into a Belgian goblet. Comes in at 6.30% and 27 IBUs.

A-Pours a dark brown with a half finger tan colored head that recedes to a decent ring that hugs the rim of the glass. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

S-The Belgian character is quite strong in the aroma. I get stone fruit, Belgian yeast, and some candy sugar. There are touches of roast malt but not as much as one would expect in a "black" ale.

T-Like the nose, the Belgian characteristics are quite strong at the start and dominate 75% of the flavor. I get plenty of Belgian yeast, stone fruit, banana, and some clove. The roast malt becomes distinguishable as it hits the back of my mouth. There is also a decent amount of candy sugar sweetness towards the finish. The roast character is prevalent in between sips and it picks up as the beer warms.

M-Medium bodied and it has some lively carbonation.

D-An interesting beer. I like how the Belgian flavors are more prevalent and the roast flavor kicks in to give this a unique flavor.

I missed this one last year and forgot how good this beer tastes. A nice seasonal beer that is unique and tasty.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured thick dark brown, quite opaque and a slight head. Little lacing.

S - mild earthiness, sweet caramel malts, light roastiness as well. Quite interesting!

T - sweet caramel malts, roasted barley, light coffee/carob also. Light alcoholic kick in the finish.

M - full bodied, very light carbonation, which worked well for its creaminess.

D - without a doubt, quite drinkable.

Thoughts - for a Belgian dark ale, I would not have expected any roasted barley/coffee flavors that I would expect from a porter. However, it worked very nicely with this brew and was indeed very tasty.

Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/20/09. Part of a full day of Russian River beers here. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours black with thin wispy brite-white head. Retains at just about the same level, staying sturdy and leaving some solid swathes of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet and toasty smelling with notes of roast, chocolate, and smoke, with accompanying notes of fruity citrus, floral hops, and a pervasive yeasty scent.

The taste is of chocolate, caramel, bisquits, and roasted malts, with a touch of fruity citrus character. Bittering hops sit in the back, as does a definite Belgian yeast feel that really comes out for me in the finish, mixing with lingering notes of bitterness. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied with a nicely effervescent and creamy feel that is fairly gentle in the mouth.

I liked this. Nice balance between the roasted and sweeter notes and the more yeasty esters knew their place in the profile. Plus there was a robust hoppy freshness about the whole thing that only Russian River can do. This drank nicely for an over 6% beer as well.

Photo of magictrokini
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap @ O'Briens TION night. Poured very dark brown, almost black, with a short, rapidly fading off-white head. Roasted malt and smoked aroma, some chocolate. Loose mouthfeel and felt kind of flat. Grainy and malty up front, but more earthy than roasted. It was hard to determine if the bitterness was from the chocolate flavors or brett; either way it was pleasantly unusual. Bits of coffee and dried fruits popped up here and there. Overall, the taste was muted; not necessarily watery, but weaker than wished for.

Photo of william5586
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Local 44 in Philly.

A- Dark, but not quite black. About a finger of off white head.

S- The first thing I picked up on was toasted/burnt malts and coffee. Some chocolate.

T- I found this beer to very complex. It seemed that every time I took a sip it tasted slightly different than the one before. There was a definite smokey flavor there. Burt malts. Coffee. Dark fruits. It also had a hint of sweetness to it at times.

M & D- Medium body with noticeable carbonation. I would love to try this again. A very interesting beer.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at local 44 in Philly. Into a Chimay glass.

A- Rejection looks just a touch lighter than black with a nice tan head on the top of this BDA. The head rejects itself after a few minutes. A good amount of foam on the glass but not coating.

S- This has a nice roasted malt base with some slight coffee and smoke. I'm smelling cocco and some fruit and brown sugar.

T- Getting roasted malts with a nice cocco backing. Also some coffee in the background with a smoky appeal in the finish. Toffee and caramel coming from the malt is easy to spot. A nice earthy taste to this in the long run.

M- This is a nice step down from medium bodied with nice carbonation. Goes down incredibly easy leaving it's ingredients on the palette for a bit before leaving.

D- Due to it's limited availability in my area I was glad to get it on tap once but I could have drank much more. A nice low abv belgian sytle that I could drink year round.

Photo of yeastsipper
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled up courtesy of Phil Kirk. Consumed immediately.

Beer pours a dark black with a rather large, fluffy off-white head. The intense carbonation and head surprised me (pleasantly) coming from a growler. The smell is 'dark' with roasted malt the primary scent, also some wood, licorice, and root. Taste is pretty much similar. There are some light chocolate and anis flavors, but the roasty, earthy taste is most noticeable. Beer goes down very easily and is much more sessionable than others from RR. This is a fine beer, but not terribly memorable, and not one of my favorite offerings from RR. Very glad to get a chance to try....

Photo of flexabull
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer in San Francisco. (the day after Valentine's Day)

Pours a very dark brown color with a nice bright egg shell colored head.

Aromas are of light chocolates, milky cream, and a bit of oak.

Taste is fairly light, but the flavors that are there are nice. Light cola, biscuit, and a little bit of bitter chocolates. Finish is crisp, with some mineral and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is good, and pretty full feel with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good. Solid dark Belgian beer. Not an earth shattering powerhouse of flavors, just a nice easy drinking beer that is very sessionable.

Photo of macktbone
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obviously enjoyed at the brewery. Along with many PTY's my review and taste buds could be slightly tainted by the wonders of the Younger and it's 10.5% following.

A- a Brown (dark)ale. Head looks like a solid Belgian.

S- Lots of funk, bright with a touch of chalkiness and cocoa.

T- very fresh. Has a slight "brett" taste with a sweet hoppy malt backbone.

M- Good solid creamy adventure of dark bliss

D- This could be a new favorite. "Rejection No More"... The afterglow of this beer could start a new following for Belgian darks.

A great beer that stands alone amongst many others there at RR.

Rejection from Russian River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.