Benediction - Russian River Brewing Company

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very good

178 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 36
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  6.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: watermelonman on 01-04-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by Furlinator:
More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

benediction is an interesting beer, i was half expecting it to be sour based on the name, but its a thin belgian dubbel, but only loosely. its maple syrup colored and with an inch of off white head, almost nitro looking. the nose is not as belgian yeasty as anticipated, more of a slight banana fruit thing. there is more of a dried rasion thing and some abbey malt in here on the taste, its both sweet and dry, one than the other, but it seems watered down by normal standards for the style in both body and alcohol. its real drinkable, which is cool, but it is also unsatisfying for the same reason. i like to drink these slow and let them warm up and warm me up, this one is a little incapable of the latter. good beer, well made no doubt, but not really satisfying the elements of the style that make it special in my opinion.

Photo of magictrokini
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

O'Briens TION night. Pours murky brown with lots of carbonation and a thick off-white head. Good lacing. Beautiful sweet brown sugar, candied sugar, and yeast aroma with a subtle fruity background. Very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Lighter tasting than expected; nice change from the typical syrupy sweet and thick dubbels. Sugared fruit flavors; dates, plums, apples. Solid helping of spice, nutmeg and clove taking the forefront. Big yeasty finish. Tastes almost like a strong dunkelweizen with Belgian characteristics.

Photo of OStrungT
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a reddish, brown color witha thin, light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a great lace.

This beer has a strong date like aroma. It smells of earthy yeast. Also, it has a pleasent spicy aroma of coriander and cloves. A slight floral hop aroma is also present.

This beer tastes like it smells, but is also has a slight cola and black liccorice flavor. Dates and spices mix in.

This beer is low in carbonation. It goes down smooth, leaving a liccorice aftertaste.

This beer would make a decent session beer. The date and liccorice flavors might become cloying after a time.

overall: This is a great beer by one of the best breweries in the country. they never let me down, and this beer kept with my high expectations. Great job.

Photo of watermelonman
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived as a fairly clear light brown with just a ring of head, and it left no lace.

The smell had a ton of banana flavor with some malt sweetness. The taste followed that up with solid malt content, esters, and a light hop touch in the finish. The mouthfeel was light but nice, while drinkability is very high.

Photo of ggaughan
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Drafting Room.

The beer was presented in a pint glass, not in a chalis or tulip but this just meant that I got to have more Benediction to sample. Lucky me.

The color of the beer was a nice bright orange/amber color with a thin white head and slight lacing.

The aroma of this is excellent. From the first wiff you get the fruit tones as noted below, including banana and some plum and a bit of spice. It is worth taking in the aroma for awhile before you taste the beer.

The taste is even more impressive than the aroma. I get the banana and clove taste that others have stated they get. This is such a good dubbel that I had to have a few more. It is very drinkable as the sweetness and some hoppy backnotes mix well in your mouth and may for a very enjoyable drinking experience. Well done Russian River, well done.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasty though simple dubbel, enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. Poours Cola brown. Not so yeasty or too sweet. A nice mouthfeel. Characteristics of a dry stout, and featuring licorice. Medium bodied, a little sweetness and bitterness, malt, spice, and a tad fruity.

Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewpub, 2/4/10. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip.

Ruby highlights glow ominously behind a very dark red body. Nice lacing, but no real head formation.

Faint red banana, brown bread, malt, and a touch of golden raisins in the nose.

Dusty grapes, light brown sugar, and faint cherry on the palate. Zesty, spicy hops appear soon thereafter and fade into the finish which suggests mildly fermented cherries again. Unlike many examples of the style, this isn't too sweet, though the hops make the origins of this ale crystal clear.

Average carbonation, a touch slick...

Not bad overall, though don't come looking for authenticity (or slavish adherence to tradition).

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado SD.

Apearance is a medium brown with a nice head that stayed the whole time. Lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is not much. Some lightly toasted malt and light spicy hops.

Taste is pretty good. My favorite is Rochefort 6 but this one is good. Not as much malty character but some god spice flavor. Not that good of an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good as most beer from Russian river seem to be perfect in the mothfeel. Nice balance in carbonation for the style.

Drinkability: I will drink this again for sure but I would rather have a rochefort 6.

Photo of MiScusi
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'brien's tonight.

Pours a clear light brownish into the chimay goblet. Very nice fluffy finger thick head sits atop with some good staying power. Smell is mildly sweet, more on the sugary side than the fruity side as I've noticed in many other dubbels (ie grapes). The taste was a balance between bready and sweet, not too far off in one direction. Super easy to drink if not a taste bud blaster in any way. Mouthfeel was good. Medium or on the heavier side of light. Could drink this baby all night and not have a problem with it.

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/15/09. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a deep, clear amber with a 1/4 finger of of creamy off-white head. This stays frothy with a rich flareup, leaving a massive creamy cascade of moderate spotty lacing behind. The aroma is fruity and sweet with notes of bread and sugar, spices, and floral hops. Light yeast and a touch of warmth weave their way in between the other accents.

The taste is bready malts, candied sugars, and spices, with a touch of fruit character, and a fairly firm hop profile in the back that's a touch drying. A yeasty feel is felt throughout (especially in the finish) but it isn't overdone. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an excellent creamy and easy feel in the mouth. Damn, this is smooth for the ABV! I'm getting maybe just some light warmth on the breath and that's it.

A really solid Dubbel here that was much more hopped-up for the style than I'm used to (but hey, it's Russian River!). The feel and drinkibility are what really made this for me though. Nice stuff!

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another big tick on my Russian River –tion Quest to try them all! Slowly but surely working my way through some of the stragglers. Big thanks goes out to BilbosNuts for this one! Served from growler into a Green Man snifter (I think I left my –tion glass in Florida at aasher’s wedding ). Opened with a HUGE pop! Poured a deep ruby red brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, smoke, bread, and spices. The flavor was of sweet malt, smoke, fruit, bread, dark fruit, subtle earth, and subtle spice. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. There was quite a bit going on in this one that definitely kept me guessing throughout each sip. I went into it based on the style knowing what to expect, but this one actually surprised me slightly. The smoke note carried on throughout the glass which was a very nice touch that brought another level of complexity to my palate that I always love to find. With a nice touch of roastiness going on with dark fruit profile this was definitely one that I’m glad I finally got the chance to try. Hopefully I will get to try the rest eventually. Get on brewing those up for me Russian River. I will be waiting…

Photo of berkey
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler picked up from the brewpub 01/16/10 and reviewed the same day. Poured into a Russian River -tion glass.

Body is a fairly clean but dark brown color. Forms a medium sized but well retained khaki colored head.

Nose is yeasty with hints of wood, subtle spices, faint fruity esters, and nuts. Very clean overall and not highly aromatic.

Flavor is very nutty, oaky, yeasty, and earthy. There are hints of cocoa and some of the spice from the aroma that lend it a dessert quality but I can't pin down what dessert I'm thinking of. Red apples, plums, and bananas are in there but this is not particularly fruity for a Dubbel, I find it cleaner and more crisp than some famous incarnations of the style.

Nicely carbonated, fairly light bodied, and a pleasure to drink. I love Belgian style beers in this ABV range since they afford me the opportunity to have several servings. Bottle it already.

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Toronado during the appropriately named 'Tion Night.

Appearance: Murky brown, pretty turbid, with a half-inch of head. Next to Mortification, this one wasn't especially impressive.

Smell: Graham crackers and...popcorn? Grainy, semi-sweet, little bit of estery fruit and spice.

Taste & mouthfeel: Malt forward without being terribly sweet. Detracting and somewhat astringent husky grain flavor that really doesn't fit the style. Yeasty, nice mix of fruit and spice in the background. Dry finish. Not bad, a little underwhelming.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the source.

A: Pours a dark amberish brown with reddish highlights under a finely bubbled off-white almost tan 1/2" head which fades to the rim leaving rings and stringer of lace.

N: Nutty and yeasty. Perhaps too cold, but not alot going on here.

T: Mildly roasty with some cocoa and trace coffee. Some dark fruits and caramel.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth and simple.

O: Just O.K., there are other things you should be drinking here.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From my notes on recent trip: poured into a sampling glass, arrived a brownish amber with minimal head. Actually looks flat and dead. Aroma is completely different! Bananas and clove and spices and plum(?) and what a rush. Taste is just as good. Damn I love Dubbels. Again with the clove and banana and plum and malts and just delicious. Smooth mouthfeel yet a little springy on the tongue actually. Would love to drink this all night long, though ya'd get trashed pretty quick, and wouldn't even realize it. Good brew!

Photo of flexabull
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Toronado in SF.

Pours a bright and dark amber color, clear, and with a nice off white head.

Aromas are light but pleasant, light apples, spices, and mineral like hops.

Taste is of light apples, with a bit of a cider like quality. Some really light dark vinegar, creamy malts, spices, and a mineral hop bite on the finish. The hops do seem a little too strong for the style.

Mouthfeel is very good. As I have said many times in my reveiws, Russian River seems to always have beers with excellent mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good. A pretty nice Dubbel, but this one didn't quite meet the high expectations that it seems to come with every Russian River beer. Still, definitely a solid beverage, that I am not at all upset that I got to try.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at RR.

A - Dark cola brown with a few little bubbles hanging around the edges.

S - I didn't get much. Some dark fruit and sweetness.

T - Sweet dark fruit and some maltiness.

D - Ok carbonation an a lighter body.

O - Sweet and dark. Not overly heavy. Enjoyable but not crazy good.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the source.

Dark brown with a thin beige head. Nose is coffee, cocoa, dark caramel toffee, minimal yeast, earth, milk duds. Palate opens sweet with a bright brown and burnt sugar bitterness and sweetness. Moderately yeasty , moderately spicy. Mildly sweet on the finish. Solid stuff.

Photo of scottfrie
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler into snifter.

A: Pours a very dark raisin brown with a finger of soft, fuzzy, dark tan head that faded into a thin and fuzzy film leaving wispy lace.
S: Sweet and slightly smoky notes of dark fruits, Belgian yeast and spices, raisins, and hops.
T: Follows the nose. Not overly sweet, with lots of spices in the finish. I get hints of caramel, clove, orange zest and a good dose of leafy hops. I get a hint of cocoa in the aftertaste.
M: Medium-full body, drying mouth, very clean feeling, with bubbly soft carbonation.
O: Very good dubbel and better than I was expecting. Smooth too and not too sweet. Great spicy, hoppy and fruity flavors. Well done.

Photo of MickeyHops
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

3/6/09 Chimay glass at O'Briens

Appearance is a very dark amber with little head.

Smell is light Belgian yeast, malt and hops.

Taste and mouthfeel are surprising light but still full-bodied as one would expect for a dubble. Enough maltiness and hopiness to satisfy the palate while still remaining quite drinkable. Belgian yeast is there but not overwhelming. Very well balanced.

Overall, a very drinkable brew and excellent example of an American dubble.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Recently sampled at the Russian River Brewing Company during a visit over the New Years Eve weekend.

Listed as:
6.75%ABV / 1.068 O.G / 23 BUs
Benediction: Abbey Ale – Belgian Style Double

Appearance: Served in a Goblet. Faded Chestnut brown. Well carbonated, but as soon as it was served the Benediction had a patchy broken off-white head that formed a network of glassy looking smooth open-water-beer pools. Minimal lacing, in fact almost negligible I noted.

Nose: Wow!! Where the appearance suffered a little the nose excelled and impressed. Lots of Banana, clove, malts and flashes of hops in the finish.

Taste: Soft start, Banana toffee, cloves and dark fruits, some plum in the finish. Hops rise in the end also. As it warms the front becomes a little sweeter and the yeasts pull through.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, even creamy but overall the feel is lightweight. However, as it was allowed to warm up to room temperature (it was served rather chilled on a cold wet day) the sweet malts bolstered the body. Better towards the cellar-room temperature range than below.

Drinkability: Yet again this is one of those brews from Russian River that never fails to be anything less than “drinkable” in the classic context of the meaning.

Overall: A nicely done Dubbel. Not quite as complex as some, but immensely drinkable with a fantastic nose. I enjoyed it more the second time around when I tried it on New Years Day in the company of BA’s Rapapoda, Watermelonman and his Girlfriend Stacy. Nicely done!

Photo of 4000qtrap
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Molasses, caramel, and citrus hops play a prominent role.

Taste: Slight sharp bitterness sets off quite sweet molasses and brown sugar flavors. Incredible ripe fruit flavors in the middle matches well with slightly grassy, fruit skin bitterness. Underlying pepper plus other phenolics add a lot of interest along with a touch of apple cider. Low carbonation. Finish is dry, peppery with some grape skin bitterness that blends into grassiness.

Notes: While the nose isn't the best, to me this beer is all about flavor and really good balance between sweetness, bitterness and spiciness.

Photo of GClarkage
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/16/06- On tap at the Russian River Brewing Co.

Presentation- From the tap into a chalice like or goblet glass.

Appearance- Light brown, off amber in color. Very small 1/4 head if that and very slim lacing. Looks a tad flat?

Smell- Oh wow! This smells superb. Weizen like banana scent as well as dark plum like scents and buckets of clove.

Taste- Taste is just as good as the scent. I love the huge clove taste that is in this beer. There is banana and some plum and date like flavors, but the clove just overtakes everything. So flavorful.

Mouthfeel- Unlike the appearance, this beer is active and has a nice carbonation level to it. Fairly creamy as well. Higher mouthfeel for such a low abv beer.

Drinkability- Best Dubbel I have had hands down. Best scent and best tasting. Incredible how all those flavors get in there.

Photo of tgbljb
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Union Jack on the Manatawny. Served in a snifter glass. Presented as a medium amber colored beverage with moderate light brown puffy head. Smell was extremely pleasant, being a nice fruity mixture of bananas and dark fruit with a hint of spiciness. The taste surpassed the smell with the cloviness and the malts being extraordinarily pleasurable. A bit of hoppiness also present. Finishes as smooth as silk with a nice creaminess that is the pwerfect ending to the beer. Very drinkable and very enjoyable.

Photo of revwib
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Monk's in Phila, PA. Served in a pint glass, which I was later told was the incorrect glass. Looked ok, with a nice head.

Smell was fantastic, with an overpowering hint of banana.

Taste: Very tasty, but not as good as I've had from this style. Could have been better.

Mouthfeel: a bit watery.

Drinkability: pretty tasty

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Benediction from Russian River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.