Defenestration - Russian River Brewing Company

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very good

251 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 251
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 32
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rkuhnel on 09-25-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 251 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

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4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of popery
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Defenestration is an exceptional beer. It's an interesting and delicious shoehorning of RR's gigantic IPA style into a Belgian. I would love another glass of this beer because there was a lot going on that I didn't catch from my initial time with it. The beer pours a bright gold with a nice head. The smell was more of RR's west coast hoppiness than I was prepare for. It looks like a Belgian but smells strongly of pine, citrus and floral hops. The hops come through in the flavor as well but there are also some earthy notes and a complexity fruitiness that is difficult to describe. There was caramel and bread in the balancing malt. I really should have bought a growler of it. That big West coast hoppiness in a Belgian is a fine treat.

Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Spaz7
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of bkrueger
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery 11/15 served into a tulip. Notes written on a coaster.

Appearance - Beautiful hazy golden with very little head.

Smell - Hoppy and yeasty banana with some cloves. It's up on the blackboard as a hoppy belgian blonde. Smells like one!

Taste - Bitter hops melt away to smooth orange peels and lemon citrus zest. Grain and bread also gets mixed in with lots of great hoppy carbonated bubbles. Grapefruit like citrus and sourness as if you have freshly squeezed ruby red and yellow grapefruits in your mouth.

Mouthfeel - Slightly bitter, like a combination of Damnation and a less sour Temptation.

Overall - Delicious. I love when this is on tap here. It's also hard to beat the name.

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy dark golden color.

S: Tropical fruit, particularly papaya and passionfruit in the nose.

T: The same tropical fruits, orange and mango.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: Delicious and well worth a try if you can find it.

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fresh Growler less than a day old.
Poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

Appearance: (4)
Pours a hazy, straw gold with honey esque, orange highlights. A pure white, 2.5 finger tall head sprouts as soon as the beer hits the glass. Good head retention and the head leaves some spotty lacing down the sides of the tulip.

Aroma: (4.5)
Big, fruity Belgian yeast phenols erupt out of the glass; banana, red apple flesh, and a hint of spicy close. There is a burst of orange blossom and a whisper of lemon, as well as some grassiness from the hops. A strong biscuity malt presence rounds off the very floral, sweet nose. Light tropical notes appear as the beer warms.

Taste: (4.5)
Juicy notes of orange, lemon and light grass hit your palate right away, with a huge yeasty middle in tow; The yeast is very fruit forward and slightly musty(definitely seems to be a Biere De Garde yeast); banana, pear, and apple flesh, much like the nose. Some sweet biscuit malt helps round out the flavor profile before the abrasively dry, bitter finish. Notes of apple, banana, tart apricot and juicy orange from the hops are left dancing on your palate.

Mouthfeel: (4.25) Full Bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Very, very dry. Never had a beer quite like this, it starts drying out your tongue before you even swallow it.

Overall: (4.25) A Belgian IPA, done the Vinnie Cilurzo way. Vinnie seems to have taken the Belgian IPA style and put his own twist on it. He has done away with the super citrus-y, piney and tropical American hops in conjunction with Belgian yeast. Which to me, is a really good call because when the high alpha American hops are used in tandem with the naturally very fruity, estery Belgian yeast, is an absolute train wreck in flavor; The yeast and hops just fight each other too much and the beer tends to get this weird peanut butter flavor as the hops start to oxidize. Defenestration does not suffer from these qualms at all; the yeast esters and floral hops really marry well together and they coalesce beautifully in the incredibly dry finish. Russian River does an incredible job as usual with this beer!

Photo of biegaman
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Russian River, in Santa Rosa.

This bubbly, glossy golden beer is far too pretty to be named after such a violent thing (defenestration is the act of throwing someone out of a window, and apparently there have been some pretty gruesome instances of it in history). Although it shines like sunrise against the light, it has an icy complexion (and, indeed, its lace appears frozen to the glass).

Something like this is a fairytale aroma for beer geeks; it's what I romantically fantasize the whole of Belgium to smell like (except for the parts that smell like cheese and chocolate, that is). And given the tremendous presence of flowers and grasses and tree fruits (apple, pear, peach) it's bound to be true of at least one farm or orchard, somewhere in the country.

Not only could I describe the flavour using one word, I could do you one better - I'll describe it using just one letter: M. As in: 'mmm' to an exponent of three. It tastes like rustic country baked bread, with a mellow honey sweetness and toffee crumble, and lots of green hoppy notes that resemble chamomile leaves, grapefruit, and orange marmalade.

This is likely the best 'Belgian yeast meets American hops' fusions I've had simply for the way it simultaneously highlights and balances both of those elements. There's not so much yeast that it clouds the hops, there's not so many hops that they monopolize the flavour and there's certainly no alcohol to get in the way, still plenty of malt to be appreciated and even the phenols are on good behavior! It drinks lighter than most 7.25%/55 IBU beers I know.

It is a fact that Vinni Cilurzo is among the best brewers when it comes to both Belgian-inspired and hopped-up American beers. (Argue with me on that and you're arguing against many thousands of others too.) He's one of the few American brewers who could go to Belgium and explain to the islanders how to cast their nets and he's also responsible for the highest rated hop bombs. Is it any surprise that a combination of the two would be among the best?

Photo of dookiepower
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had Defenestration at the RR brewpup today after a magnificent CBC Sour Brown.

Appearance- Poured into a tulip glass from the tap with a 1/2 finger head that withered away rather quickly, left a nice amount of lacing, and had a great golden color to it. Not too much carbonation coming from the heart, but a nice looker.

Aroma- Mostly a Belgian yeast, hoppy aroma. It had a little bit of a cedar/pine nose to it, and also had a little bit of a lemon aroma as well. Aroma's weren't pouring out of the glass exactly the way I'd like, but it was a nice balance.

Taste- Defenestration had a great balance between a rather hoppy Belgian style pale ale and a very nice Belgian yeast flavor. It also had a bit of a pine flavor in line with the nose of the beer. Also had a bit of a fruity nuance with a nice lemon/apple pucker very faintly on the front palate. It was a very well put together beer that flowed nicely from start to finish. It had a great long finish that I could taste for 5+ minutes.

Mouthfeel- A nice dose of carbonation, with a medium hoppyness allowed the beer to flow over nicely, and it went down very easily. Would be a great beer for a humid day.

Overall- Defenestration was a really great beer, I liked it all the way through with little to no faults, if anything maybe a little bit more balance between yeasty doughy bread and hoppyness.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served a hazy golden-orange color with a thin finger of frothy white head. The head faded down slowly leaving behind some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - The aroma is a nice mix of citrus hops and orange aromas with a bit of yeast, spices, and grassy hops. There is also a bit of sweet caramel malts.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet caramel malts and some citrus hops and orange. Through the middle, a bit of hop bitterness comes through with some yeast and banana flavor and just a bit of spices. The finish is a mix of sweet malts with some light spices and some hops and bitterness that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and crisp. Overall, fairly dry with a nice lingering finish from the bitterness and yeast.

D - Very drinkable. The balance of the Belgian and American elements here is really spot on a present a nice hybrid beer.

Photo of patm1986
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes. From Monk's Cafe. Stuff-If-Ication dinner 7 June 2011.

This was a personal favorite of the food courses: sweetbread stuffed quail with smokehouse bacon and jus-ation.

poured a light brown, tannish. pretty decent head, about a thumb nail's worth. looked more like a lighter brown ale than an ipa. head kept its body well. really good pour considering it was from a pitcher.

smelled of sweet belgian sugars, grassy hops, and sweet malts, caramel mostly. not too much hop aroma, earthy mostly, but a nice balance, because it wasn't overly yeasty.

it's very mild. very mild, which, with so much richness in this course, was extremely welcoming to mouth. present are flavors of buttered sweet rolls, a bit of grassy bitterness, caramel, some brett funk, and some light brown sugar. there is not much of a single dominant flavor.

really light. i could see this being labeled more a blonde ale. holds a creamy body and carbonation nicely in the mouth. very smooth and rich.

maybe something with a more dominant bitterness or intensity really would've made the dish more palatable, but the essence of the pairing was that the ale wasn't going to cut into the fatty richness but compliment it, so, in that regard, it was very successful and delicious.
sometimes you just gotta throw someone through a window.

Photo of treyrab
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Landed in San Francisco International Airport, and immediately rented a convertible to drive up Highway 101 to the Russian River brew pub. After a leisurely drive with clear blue skies, I ordered this:

A: Defenestration pours a nice golden copper with a bellowing white head. This really looks like Damnation. However, Defenestration is a touch hazier and softer looking. The head is nice and creamy white and laces pretty well (most likely due to the additional sticky hops added to this brew).

S: Smells like Damnation on hops. Tons of banana and Belgian yeast esters, coriander, pepper, and dried orange peel. Blended with that comes the citrus and grapefruit elements of the hops. I would guess one, two, or three of the CCC hops. Smells great, and very spicy.

T: Similar to the scent, this has a very spicy Belgian yeast kick to it. Pepper and coriander come to mind. But those blend well with the spiciness of the hops and citrus elements. Orange and mango predominantly.

Overall, this was a nice brew. The spice character really took control in this one (like a nice authentic Belgian Pale Ale), and the hops were second in line, but still very noticeable. Well done.

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Defenestration from Russian River Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 251 ratings.