Russian River IPA - Russian River Brewing Company

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Russian River IPA
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326 Ratings
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Ratings: 326
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 62
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 06-02-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 157
Reviews by flayedandskinned:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This AIPA has a nice, deep orange color to it. It has a good head that showed some decent retention.

Smell – The light, easy citrus notes lacked the big punch of the Hop 2 It but I thought mated better with the balancing malts and light caramel notes.

Taste – Ka-bham! Talk about getting caught with your pants down. I thought this was the moderate runt of the Russian River IPA litter, but this guy will set your taste buds back. It really is a shock based on the nose and appearance.

The hops are huge here and very complex, although orange and citrus flavors dominate. I can find some light grain here for balance but this one is all about the hops.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied and bone dry. All 100+ IBUs will have you gasping for a drink of water.

Drinkability – If you feel like an ass-kicking order an imperial pint of this brew. Call me masochistic, but I loved being led through the dance that this Russian River ale offered.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on the wife and my recent SD hop tour, at O'Brians. Arrived cloudy, yellowy amber with a noticeable greenish hue. Nutmeg/grapefruit nose. Fresh HOPS o’pleanty, medium grapefruit blast. Another great west coast style hoppy brew. Cant miss, give it a try

Photo of ironlung
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Again mucho respect for the "real" pint. RR is classy!

A. Slightly hazy deep orange. Thin head that exited stage left as soon as the bartender set it in front of me.

S. Smells Sweet. Biscut malt is all over the nose, backed by pine needle hops.

T. Oily hops and a faint sweetness make this IPA stand out. These guys are making some avant garde beers up he in the cow pastures! I think Vinnie's got the Midas' touch.

M: Smooth&clean. Enough hop "snap" to keep the action alive.

D: A pure pleasure to drink. I tried this in a vertical with pTe and pTy last year@hollingsheads. I forgot how great it was, since it was the first in that line-up. It's too-bad their not bottling this gem!

Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

San Diego, CA

A clear golden orange and yellow. Moderate head. Decent lacing. Pretty.

Simple, hoppy, grapefruit aromas.

Citrus along with some forward bitterness. Well balanced. Some floral notes as well.

Medium bodied. Ample carbonation.

A tasty American IPA, though Blind Pig is far its superior.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light bodied gold appearance, amazing clarity, soft virgin white head, about 1/3" deep.

Aroma is plenty hoppy in the Russian River vein: dank, fruity, pine and bitter.

Taste is heavenly. Super light malt bill that stays out of the way of the hops, probably uses a little sugar in it to stay so light. Really amps up the pine flavors. Extremely bitter and enjoyable. Almost too bitter in the mouthfeel. Still very good, but, dang man. The super dry and grassy malt just allows the massive hopping to thrash your palate with wave after wave of what I suspect to be a lot of simcoe, amarillo, chinook, columbus and cascade hops. Big carbonation. So carbonated and bitter that you'll hallucinate and think there is pepper in here.

Being the only guy to review Russian River IPA 100, I figured I should probably review this one, since I've had it more times. Funny how this can be below average for Russian River, and yet still better than 95% of ipas out there.

Photo of williamjbauer
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap served in a pint glass

A - Clear golden with 1.5 fingers white head with moderate retention and good lacing.

S - Floral and citrus hops

T - Much like the Blind Pig IPA with amazing hop bouquet nice citrus, spice, pepper, with a side plate sour finish and a dry bitter but not quite as bitter as Blind.

M - Full body, moderate carbonation, a bit creamy in texture.

O - Love it, Russian Rivers IPAs are all money!

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado San Diego.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of grainy pale malts with good amounts of floral, earthy, and slightly citrus hops. As the beer warms the citrus aromas intensify just a bit.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy and somewhat dry pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of earthy and citrus hops. The hops fade a bit midway through the sip, allowing the malt to come back out and the flavor profile to sweeten before a solidly bitter ending cuts things off.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this my least favorite IPA/DIPA I've had from RR and it's still delicious. It's lacking the in-your-face hops of Blind Pig and the Pliny's but it's a nice, milder version of the style, maybe even a big APA. Well worth a shot.

Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap@Russian River Brewpub. Pretty decent IPA, lots of hops, citrusy, grainy, piney, pretty bitter to finish, not bad. Russian River was one of my favourite Californian Brewpubs and this beer was a near favourite of mine of which Russian River Brewed, just a nice hoppy IPA.

Photo of watermelonman
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This arrived as a bright gold and orange without much head. There was some lacing but nothing special.

The smell is full and snappy. The taste and mouthfeel are a bit much for me. I think it could really use a little bit more balance. There's definitely an interesting blend of hops, though.

This is pretty refreshing, and a good IPA overall.

Photo of ggaughan
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a Tria Fermentation School event in Philly. Although this is draft only, the beer was bottled for this event and I assume brought from RR. The beer poured a clear golden color with a virbrant but thin white head. The aroma was a nice piney, citrus hop nose but I compared it next to the Elder and Younger and I would say that this is their little brother, in aroma and taste as well. The taste is very hoppy and probably more so than most you could find out there but for a RR beer it was tame but stil very enjoyable. It had some nice piney, citrus notes, a touch of pinnapple. Just overall an enjoyable and drinkable IPA.

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Stone World Bistro & Gardens. Orange colour, great looks. Orange and tangerine taste, syrupy, a palate erase, a sipper. Well crafted IPA, but also very bitter and grassy. Not that complex. I prefer the Blind Pig myself but glad I had it. Was better cold.

Photo of augustgarage
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Their first Russian River offering (finally, after being open for 18 months!). Served in a nonic.

Tangerine body with yellow/amber highlights. Small yet persistent ivory head. Average lacing, no legs.

Fresh pine and light citrus (lemon and kumquat) along with mild papaya notes form the nose.

Strong pine and grapefruit notes characterize this as a NorCal IPA (more so than any of their other IPAs). Lightly spicy (pepper) with a strong malt backbone. Bitter but with an underlying candy sweetness as well. Woody, forest-floor finish.

Almost medium-bodied and well carbonated.

Very high drinkability - an unassuming beer that disappears quickly.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I almost made the mistake of reviewing this beer only thinking about RR's other IPA's, but when thinking of other breweries IPA's, this one is still better than most.

Pours a hazy yellowish orange with a nice sticky thin head that left a good amount of lacing down the glass.

Smells of slight hoppyness. It's for sure not as aromatic as some other IPA's. Especially RR's other offerings. In fact I can't smell much at all in this beer.

Taste is great. I could session this IPA for sure because it goes down smooth and isn't heavy or it doesn't wreck the palate. Nice citrus flavor hops with a nice bitterness with a well balanced malt profile. It could be a little sweeter IMO but it's still great.

Mouthfeel is great. No complaints. Good carb, good malt backbone.

Overall it's a great IPA. I would try it for sure if you see it but I wouldn't say you need to go somewhere just to try it like I did today for Younger.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian river

Pours a orangish yellow like all RR IPAs. Nice sticky head leaves great lacing.

Lots of citrus and pine with earthy resin like scents.

This was a pine bomb. Lots of bitter earthy resin pine hops. Faint citrus and floral. More malty than other IPAs from RR. Flavors really stay solid and the same through out.

Very sticky with a moderate carbonation.

This was good but my least favorite IPA from RR. More bitter centered but still quite good.

Photo of MiScusi
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Stone World Bistro. Poured a dark golden, reddish color with minimal head fairly good lacing. The smell was quite pungent. Hops burst out in in piney and resiny aroma. The taste carried quite a bit of hops, and a lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel was good. As far as an IPA this one delivers big time with the hops but not the full bodied fill-you-up type of mouthfeel. Its pretty crisp and refershing, yet bitter. A very nice IPA, more towards the piney/citrus side of the spectrum.
5 / 4.5 / 4 / 4 / 4

On tap at Hollingshead's Deli, Served in a 20oz or so mug, and probably at 5 degrees or so warmer than when I had it at Stone. Liked it even more this time around. The appearance was cloudy, as opposed to the first time. Poured with a big frothy head that stuck around a bit.
Ratings updated to 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4 / 4.5

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

Served on tap in a pint glass. Pours a nice orange amber and offers decent head retention and lacing.

Aroma is very floral and the floral scents only give up upon some strong swirling once half way through the glass. Slight pine and oily hemp briefly emerge at that point, quickly returning to a floral and slightly citrus nose.

Taste was initially a bit thin but quickly became more robust. I think the beer was served a bit too cold. Once warmed a touch it offered a rather crisp hop flavor, devoid of the often found earthy musky tones. Nice smooth feel with the floral bouquet lasting to the end. Easy drinking without any real bitterness in the finish. And at 'only' 6.5%, a very drinkable IPA.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a pint glass at O'Brien's during the recent BA gathering, Russian River's IPA had a clear amber color, rather large individual clumps of carbonation and a sticky white head that left nice sheet lace behind.
The nose possessed all that's good with an IPA; a nice malty base that took a backseat to a hearty citrus first, pine second hops aroma. The taste began with a brief flirtation with a sweet malt flavor and a light dose of caramel. Then the flavors of grapefruit rinds and pine needles rocked the palate, easily supplanting the malt base and leaving a long-lasting hops bitterness on the tongue. If anything, the hoppiness came off as a bit raw and grating. The feel was medium-bodied with a drying finish.
Not a bad IPA, especially if you like 'em so well hopped as to be scathing on the tongue. For me, I like a little more balance.

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hollingshead Deli, 2/20/06. $5.00 "plus something for the Governor" for approximately 0.5 liter pull.

A moderately deep golden, darker than some IPAs but much lighter than others. The tap makes for a nice white frothy head. Very pleasant looking beer.

Aroma is definitely hops. Oily, piney, grapefruity hops. We are talking a West Coast IPA, and is smells just like it should for the style.

Flavor follows through, lush and rich. Not trying to compare, but I have to, since I am a huge fan of Russian River's Pliny the Elder- this is the little brother to that incredible beer. Good, but overshadowed by it. The flavors aren't as intense, but they also aren't as well balanced. Not as smooth. That sounds bad, but it's not meant to be that way. This is a well crafted beer, and a very tasty IPA. High marks, recommended.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thank you nick for this one!

The pour was great. Rich and very cloudy with a murky dark amber color, almost light brown as it clears up a touch. Some light sediment in the bottom of the glass as well. Rich head of off white comes up over the top to a height of around two inches before settling back down, but not without dropping tons of lace. Nice aroma, lots of pine here, with hints of bready notes underneath and a nice prickly spiceness. The flavor was very smooth, mellow pine hops, not too harsh or terribly pungent, very nicely balanced indeed. Medium bodied with a very nicely done carbonation level which never for one moment was dull. A bit up there for a single IPA at near 7 percent but it drank very very well.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked up a growler of this at Russian River.

Appearance- golden color, nice thick head, nice lacing

Smell- hops

Taste- hops

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, dry

Drinkability- Excellent. I really enjoyed this beer. Very good IPA, I will definitely pick up more when I get the growler refilled next time I go to Russian River.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

At the hipster Joint - Haven, in the Circle in Orange, CA.

You know when you're chillin' and you feelin' it like, "Yeah, here come Raul..." Yep! Russian River IPA got me lifted!

RR IPA just don't hold back. It done gone full throttle like the Three Chipmunks that Stole Christmas. I mean, this thang get you so hard up for another taste, that J-Lo could be next to Raul asking him to get her wedgie out of her her boom boom with his teeth n Raul would be like, "Nah baby, I bizzy wit dis."

So, bottom line: if something better than a J-Lo wedgie, yep! Get on it!

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper-colored, slightly hazy, with a quarter-inch of white foam. Nose is dominated by resiny hops with very little malt presence. Very pungent and aromatic. The taste is similarly dominated by hops, hinting at flavors of grapefruit and lemon rind with a very dry and subtle malt profile. Body is about medium and carbonation is crisp. Bittering hops coat the tongue in the finish, leaving a resiny aftertaste. This is very nice stuff, but having had it following a pint of Blind Pig I have to say that it's an inferior brew. Still a cut above just about every other IPA out there though.

Photo of ThirstyBoy
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I know its out of the general perception of this beer, and almost blasphemy to say about a RR beer - but this beer was really quite bad.

It looked and smelled like a typical IPA - bright and well presented with a moderate piney/fruity aroma. But when i tasted it... all there really is is bitterness, so much bitterness that everything else is beaten mercilessly into the background. Its one of the most spectacularly unbalanced beers that I have ever tried and one of the few that was not actually "faulty" that I have been unable to finish. With Blind Pig and Pliny on the menu, I have no idea what the purpose of this beer is, other than to prove that if you try you can make a be so bitter that only the profoundly masochistic would try top drink a second glass.

Sorry RR

Photo of Gusler
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ O’Brien’s San Diego
The beer as it spills from the tap a slightly hazy amber with a modest and frothy light tan head, the lace a thick and concealing sheet. Nose is hop floral with sweet malt under layment, crisp and clean to the senses, start is nicely malted, sweet with the top moderate in its feel. Hops are forceful, but not detrimental to the taste buds, acidic, quite dry and lingering after taste, a real fine IPA that I can only dream will appear in Arizona one day.

Photo of errantnight
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was a little disappointed... I stopped off at PP Carlsbad just to try this....

Pours a rich, deep gold.

Aroma is rich and floral. Flavor is big on grapefruit, with a very mild malt character. Astringent, crisp, brisk bitterness. VERY dry, and very clean. As it warms I really expected the malt to come out more.... but that really seemed to be this beer. Which would be great, if the hops were coming through a bit more, particularly in the nose.

I haven't had an entire Blind Pig to review, but from the samples I've had that had a much more assertive hop character with a similar bracing, assaulting bitterness.

I really appreciate the dry IPA take, but I think it's interesting that a brewery that brews such an incredible hop bomb as Pliny the Elder without making the bitterness as sharp, that it's so pronounced here. I really look forward to trying this closer to the source... or perhaps they'll get around to bottling it when they expand their facilities...

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Russian River IPA from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.