Defenestration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Defenestration
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BA SCORE
87
very good

251 Ratings
THE BROS
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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:
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler courtesy of daysinthewake. Served in a Russian River "TION" goblet.

Pours a clear golden-yellow color with a two-finger white head and some spotty lacing on the way down, along with a thin collar throughout. The nose carries a bit of Belgian yeast and hops. Contrary to many Belgian IPAs, it seems more like this has Belgian hops in it. Based on my limited experience, it seems close to Styrian Goldings, though I could be way off. Hops don't quite complement the yeast as much as I'd like. Medium body with good carbonation. Decent, but not Russian River caliber.

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Tim.

A: The pour is a very clear golden straw color with a nice big white head and plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Quite the nose on this beer. Fruity and yeasty with plenty of citrus hops, giving a nice grapefruit note. A bit of weed and some regular grass, too. A little bit of unfermented wort smell right at the beginning, too.

T: More bitter than I was expecting, but it's welcomed. Grass, pine, and grapefruit peel seem an appropriate summary of the hop flavors that are present. A mild yeast driven fruitiness and spice. A solid bread base.

M: Medium in body with a surprisingly lively carbonation from the growler.

O: Not usually a big Belgian IPA fan, but this was much more IPA than it was Belgian. A great example of the style.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Russian River brewpub.

Appearance: Golden in color, clear with a slight haze. Arrives with an inch of pure white froth that leaves thick rings of lace.

Smell: Tons of hop character in the usual Russian River fashion, but with yeasty undertones of banana, ginger and graham cracker. The hop aroma seems to be a mix of noble and Northwestern hops, both floral and citric in character. No noticeable sweetness coming from the malt.

Taste & mouthfeel: Big floral hop notes with a complex backbone of spice, banana and cracker. The malt foundation is simple and dry, light in body, crisp. Drying in the finish, bitter enough to be an American IPA. I'm generally not a fan of this style, but Vinnie shows his talent for hoppy beers once again here. The yeast provides plenty of interesting fruit and spice flavor without overwhelming the hops, while the bone-dry malt base allows the hops to shine through in all their complexity. Beautifully done and incredibly drinkable.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Thorpe for sharing some of the growler of this with me, at the time of this review this is the #30 Belgian IPA on the best of styles lists on beeradvocate.com. Served in a Russian River -tion glass because I can. How many characters is that? Need a few more? OK.

Beer is amber and clear with mild carbonation, a thin white head, breaks, wispy, minimal lacing, looks fine.

The aroma is mildly malty, minimal yeast with minor esters and a noble-ish earthy hop aroma.

Beer is medium to light in body, dry on the finish, the bitterness is pretty strong but probably exaggerated by the dry finish. The hop flavors throughout and earthy and not very appealing.

This is the problem. A "Belgian IPA" can be one of two things, one being far superior IMO, it can either be a hopped up Belgian ale style (in this case I'd consider this beer a hopped up tripel of sorts) or it can be an American IPA wort fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. The second I find more appealing and "better" than the first, easily. This beer should have been Blind Pig with the Damnation yeast. Oh well, onward and upward. They all can't be winners, not even from Russian River.

Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of GClarkage
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/03/08- Purchased at Russian River Brewery.

Presentation- Via the tap into a growler. Poured into my Russian River tulip.

Appearance- Medium to darker golden colored pour. Slow emerging head which reaches almost an inch. Slightly creamy and ultra white in color. Settles at a slight rim and leaves light spotty lace.

Smell- Scent of fruity, yet european style hops. Smells bready with a suprising toasted malty scent. Smells rather sweet as well.

Taste- Kind of like a Pliny that's laid back and using saaz or some kind of european hops. Very nice light caramel toasted malt background. About the right amount of sweetness. Lemon-orange citrus hop flavors abound, but are held in check by the malt.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation level. Short lasting hop aftertaste. Crisp and straight forward.

Drinkability- Glad I got to try this brew. Not my favorite per style, but it's quite good. Worth a try for sure.

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of yourefragile
3.6/5  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.

Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Monk's Cafe.

Pours a slightly hazy, dark golden orange color with pale golden peach edges and a 1.5 finger white foam head that slow fades into a lasting cap/ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.  

Spicy hop aroma with a estery yeast and light fruit notes.  Earthy hops with some pine and citrus as well as some sweet alcohol and crisp light fruits, notably apple and pear.  

Medium bodied with dry, earthy hops up front which are countered by pale malt, phenol alcohol and esters/yeast that give of hints of light fruit.  Earthy and slightly grassy followed by sweet light fruit notes and subtle spice.  Hints of apple and pale as well as some grapefruit and orange peel.  Well balanced but just a touch too much alcohol toward the dry finish.  

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer is golden hued and mostly clear, with only a slight haze. The white head displays lasting retention and leaves some decent lacing in its wake. The aroma brings yeast, malt, hops, spice. Decent flavor, with everything in the aroma balanced equitably. The beer is slightly sweet, and could stand more hop flavor and bitterness. Coriander comes through quite a bit. Not as dry as I would like. Overall, a decent brew, but not the customary excellence one comes to expect from Russian River.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Monk's Cafe for beer week, what a place.

A- Defenestration comes looking pretty pale in the glass, a faded gold color and some yellow background, A nice looking head of whiteness, semi stick, ok retention.

S- Grassy hops and a nice floral setup, leading into light crisp fruit scent. Bready yeast, banana. The Belgian yeast strain ain't the showstopper here, this is a nice mix of grassy hops and sweet malt, yet it is not a mess.

T- Very nicely hopped with earth, no pine, grass and the yeast comes out a bit more. Floral and bready. The fruit comes in the middle and finishes pretty dry.

M- I found the feel to be a bit lighter than your average IPA, It's kinda on the pale side to me, kinda dull and lighter than usual per style. The yeast does not make much magic and it does not stick. Less than medium in build.

O- Not what I was expecting, not that I did not enjoy this, it was different. A lighter Belgian IPA if you will almost like a bigger redemption.

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imagine walking into a bar, anywhere other than Santa Rosa, and seeing 4 Russian River beers on tap. How awesome? Very awesome. Janlud to my right.

A: The Belgian IPA is a golden color, bright and clear. The only haze is the condensation on the outside of the glass. A white head, less than a finger, came with the pour.

S: The nose is earthy Noble hops, plenty of 'em, along with the sweet fruitiness of candi sugars. Very earthy with that awkward transition from bitter to sweet (I love that stumble in the middle of a Belgian IPA).

T: The hops, earthy, have a floral and herbal presence that doesn't skimp on the bitterness. The dirty hops are paired nicely with the tripel flavors. Fruits and pepper, candi sugars and booze all come together quite nicely with a twangy bite throughout. The abundant noble hops really make the ale work. I enjoyed sipping my way through the glass. A Belgian IPA's Belgian IPA.

M: Bitter and sweet, sharp and well-rounded. This Belgian IPA is a conundrum of flavors. I was enamored from the first sip, a luscious beer.

O: Possibly my favorite beer of the day, bitter and spicy. Quite good.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev 0%
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.

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?

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