Defenestration - Russian River Brewing Company

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very good

56 Reviews
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Reviews: 56
Hads: 277
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 32
Gots: 16 | 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:
Beer added by: rkuhnel on 09-25-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 277
Photo of elNopalero
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a light gold with thin foam. There’s a light aroma with a hoppy presence and some floral characteristics when sipped. It takes on an overly estery/ ‘belgo’ flavor as it opens up, slightly offkilter and unbalanced. But if you like a strong estery presence this might do it for you.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the source. 7.25%

Pale yellow with a dense, white head that falls off to a ring leaving little lacing. The nose is super bubblegum heavy with clove, juice, honey , way too sweet. Palate is similar. Sweet bubblegum. Way too much. Meh. Honey, caramel, toffee, clove, pepper.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery in Santa Rosa. Yellow color, looked hazy but it was dark in there. Aroma was yeasty and fruity, nice. Flavor was yeasty, fruity, clean, and delicious. I really enjoyed this, shame they don;t send kegs of this to Denver but I guess they have to keep some things to themselves. Great beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured at RR Brewing. Pours bubbly and clear light golden, with - long retention on the creamy white head. Aroma of pears, yeast, banana, some hay. Flavor is grassy hops, sweet banana and pear background, a little honey, with a nicely crisp dry finish. Light body, medium plus carbonation and goes down pretty easy. Not bad.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of Philousa
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, sunny yellow with a billowy white head that has great retention and laces moderately. Lots of allspice and clove up front with some citrus backing the nose. The spices carry through to the flavor, with a grassy bitterness and lemon rind. The bitterness turns more intense and lingers. The typical nectar flavor is still there, but only slightly. The hops are very noticeably west coast driven.The feel tends towards viscous and finish is decidedly dry, but a little less dry than a typical one for the style. The good qualities definitely deteriorated quickly over the course of the growler.

This is definitely an interesting beer, and the hops compliment the style as well as they can, but it kind of just makes me want a BPA or Belgian Golden Strong.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
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!

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in sample glass at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 14 April 2012.

A: Pale, clear gold. Light head and no lacing.

S: Some soft fruits. Peaches?

T: Interesting. Light but bitter hops. Dry and yeasty. Some floral spice (like chewing on flowers, with a similar herbal bitterness). Thinish, with a fruity aftertaste.

O: Great beer! Definitely recommended. Would have again.

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Photo of litheum94
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River.

Slightly cloudy, opaque golden orange. Presented with no head save for a white ring around the glass.

Earthy and spicy Belgian yeast with leafy, woody hops. Lemon citrus and a slight sourness on the nose.

Aromas follow through on the palate. Dry and earthy Belgian yeast flavors. Spicy midpalate with lemon citrus twange. Good dose of hops, leafy and piney.

The hop profile makes this a unique beer and a very tasty one at that. Refreshing and rewarding.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's RR TION Weekend. Chalice.

A: Medium gold, thin white head. Not much retention and no lacing.

S: Some banana, clove, spice, pale malt. Not much hops.

T: Similar, with bready malt, some apple, and decent sweetness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Feels a little flabby, but maybe all blonde ales are.

O: Not really getting much hops for a "hoppy blonde ale". I would peg this as a bit above average.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


On tap for O'Brien's TION weekend.

A: Translucent gold with a small white head.

S: Fruity eaters remind me of lemon, apple, and pear. A light pepper-like spiciness is evident. Lemongrass accompanies earth and mineral.

T: Grassy with a lower moderate bitterness. Lemongrass blends with light pepper notes. I get some apple and pear.

M: Upper light body with lower medium carbonation.

Overall: A solid Belgian Pale. This great name should be used for a beer more worthy of it.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the brewpub.

Pours a clear gold straw color with a large white head and a sticky collar of lacing throughout. Strong yeast and hop aroma; earthy and musty, sweet and bitter. Flavor is abrasively bitter throughout, clashing with the sweet Belgian yeast and ester notes. Very green, herbal and earthy which doesn't mesh very well with the traditional Belgian flavors. I generally don't care for Belgian IPAs and I care for this one less than usual.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Russian River.

A - Served a cloudy light yellow with a white creamy head. Good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Very sweet. Corn maybe and some hoppiness.

T - Corn for sure, sweet, hop bite.

D - Nice carbonation and a light body. A bit sweet here.

O - I liked it, not loved.

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Photo of jkanavel
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the taproom in Santa Rosa. I had a flight, and a pizza.

A: Pale golden to rusty, nice lacing in the teeny tiny glass it came in.

S: Really special. The nose has much more in common with a torrantes than with the average beer. Very floral, citrus notes, a little grass, very pronounced acid profile on the nose, almost like sniffing a very mild cider vinegar.

T: Here is my gripe. It tastes like NyQuil. No other way around it. GRANTED I had murdered two pints of Blind Pig already, and the rest of the flight, and a few slices of pizza. This was introduced to me as a new offering, and as such I saved it for last. As soon as it hit my palate I thought of NyQuil.
Oddly enough, NOT so with the other -ation brews I tried. I don't know if what I tasted was a characteristic of Brettanomyces or not, but the "bugs" in the rest of their beers certainly didn't bother me the same way this one did.

M: Crisp on the front of the palate, smooth on the back, very well executed.

O: I would love to give this one another try. Its a pretty beer, an aromatic beer, certainly a beer worth talking about. But that night, the beer I tried really rubbed me the wrong way.

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Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Murky straw,nice large white head, slow to leave to disk. Some cling lace.

S - Malty. Grassy. Pleasant and mild.

T - Sweet malt center. Hops and belgian yeast gently cradle and finish it off.

M - Medium body, good carbonation nice balance.

D - A very pleasant drinkable beer.

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Photo of bkrueger
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the RR brewpub.

A: Pours light and golden in color; medium white head, decent lace.

S: Belgian yeast, fruit, bready, plenty of hops.

T: Strongly bitter hops, a touch of spices, complex Belgian yeast. Finishes dry with lingering bitterness. More interesting than I expected; I enjoyed this one, even despite it not being a style I typically love.

M: light to medium body, nicely carbonated.

D: Hoppy profile detracts from drinkability for me, still a brew I'd happily enjoy on occasion.

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Photo of patm1986
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub.

A: Pours a slightly hazy lightly golden color. There is a small white foam head with moderate retention. There is some moderate lacing.

S: Lots of floral hops hit the nose first. There is some mild malt character undertones as well, some biscuit.

T: Starts off with a nice blend of earthy and floral hops with a mild undertone of biscuits. In the middle there is more of the same, but the malt flavor comes out a little more providing a nice balance. The finish is much of the same.

M: A nice light to medium bodied beer. Surprisingly clean yet slick.

O: A nice Belgian offering from RR. Quite balanced as the hops are really held in check by the creamy malt undertones. Would certainly drink this again.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed as a "Hoppy Belgian Blonde" at the brewpub. Review from written notes.

Bright gold with sharp clarity, sheets of white lace around the sides that eventually break into concentric rings as the glass is drained. Long lasting head, and the skim never breaks either, displaying fine retention.

Mellow aroma, some earthy herbal hops, peppery and fruity Belgian yeast strain.

Clean flavor, lightly fruity pear esters, mild malt backbone, lingering hop bitterness that's also a bit mild. A clean an crisp Belgian Pale, easy to session. Hoppy doesn't always equal IPA, in this case the beer seems to be mislabeled here as a Belgian IPA.

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

On tap the brewpub the other day.

Defenestration pours a solid gold color with good head retention and considerable lacing. I don't get a whole lot on the nose, just sort of a light honey and sandlewood aroma... maybe some light clove as well. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, though there's a bit more to it. Also, although the mouthfeel is fairly light, the beer finishes well, with a light, sort of peppery wash. There's some noticeable hoppy goodness in this beer, but this is not a hugely hoppy IPA. Otherwise, the beer is lightly sweet, with enough hoppy bitterness to balance that sweetness and not much more. Mouthfeel is otherwise a bit thin, and the alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile.

A decent enough beer, but not exactly a huge success for a brewery like RR.

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Photo of nataku00
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a goblet. Beer was a dark golden yellow, mostly clear with a slight chill haze. Minimal off white soapy head, barely a film of white and a small collar of bubbles, but left some decent lacing as you drink from the glass. Some small bubble carbonation visible through the beer.

Nose was herbal, grassy and pine hops, with some light Belgian style yeast contributions of fruity esters, clove. Biscuit malts come through more as the beer warmed more.

Decent bitterness upfront, plenty of aged herbal and pine hops, like they were dried and then rehydrated in the beer. Plenty of yeast in the flavor, fruity esters to taste a little like over ripe peach, clove and a touch of white pepper. The mediocre hop flavor made this a bit of a disappointment though.

Light bodied with a lively carbonation that didn't attack your tongue, nice and refreshing for a warm sunny day outside the brew pub today. Would have liked fresher tasting hops on the beer though.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is a hazy golden yellow. Arrived with a half inch head with good retention and lacing.

Smells very floral and green vegetal hops.

Tastes of light malt and green vegetal hops. Has a hop flavor similar to Duvel Tripel Hop. Has a dry and bitter finish.

Body is light with spritzy carbonation, giving this a lively mouthfeel.

A decent version of a Belgian IPA, although it tastes to me a bit too vegetal.

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Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice Belgian Pale Ale with some extra hops thrown in. They seem to be noble hops as opposed to American. It's not especially over the top from a hops perspective. The hops add another component to the beer but it still maintains its Belgian characteristics. It's interesting but very drinkable. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Photo of dgilks
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Straw colour with a small, white head. Fair head retention and nice lacing.

Light, citrussy Belgian yeast aroma with a touch of tart malt and some American hops. Good.

Really nicely balanced fruit character with a hint of spice and raisin. Mild bitterness.

A touch astringent with a medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Fine.

A decent beer with a nice aroma with the mouthfeel lets it down.

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Defenestration from Russian River Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.