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Mortification - Russian River Brewing Company

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very good

56 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 122
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 16.42%
Wants: 73
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 02-11-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 122
Photo of impending
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


At the source. Crystal clear, rich deep red stained mahogany. Lighter in color than most quads. Served with minor head, nice lacing.

Aroma is unmistakable, thick and heavy. The dark fruits include a hint of black cherry and a touch of sour for good measure.

Taste is sweet, hint of a barleywine. Nice flavor evolution from tip of the tongue to the quietly lingering aftertaste, delicious. While the hop taste is significant for a quad it is relatively minor but of particular note for this style of brew. The alcohol is very restrained, I would not have minded it if it had been more forward. Mouthfeel is viscous without becoming cloying.

One of those brews that I really enjoy yet want to like it even more!

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Toronado's Barleywine Festival 2009.

A: Translucent amber. The head has very light retention, and it quickly settles to a ring. Some lacing down the glass.

S: Strong dark fruit aromas: fig, date, plums. Caramel malt, and a nice Belgian yeast nose.

T: The dark fruits dominate the taste, giving it an initial flavor of figs, dates, and plums. A little breadiness in the mid-taste, with caramel malt providing a strong, sweet backbone. The remarkable thing is that the finish is quite dry.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Well-masked ABV.

D: I'd like to have this again. I could definitely have a couple of pints.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Russian River.

A: Dark brown with a little lacing that stuck around the whole time

S: Belgain Candi sugar, plums, fig and some raisins. A very nice malt backbone to hold it all together.

T: Tasted almost exactly what I thought it might form the scent! It's a Quad!

M: Very nice, hard to pick-up the 11%!

D: For not being a style I like alot, I liked this beer!

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Photo of MoustacheHero
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beast of a beer from Russian River.

a: Brownish amber colour with a fragile, soft head.

s: A very strong aroma; sweet with fruity esters similar to dehydrated fruit.

t: Very strong alcohol flavor that is sweet with a dry finish. Lots of fruity esters present.

m: A very heavy mouth feel while still smooth. This is a mouth coating beer.

d: I want to drink this beer a lot, but one and I'm done!

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice pour from a growler thanks to onix1agr.

A- a nice hiss when the cap is popped, that's a good sign being that this was a hassle to finally get. A finger or so of tan head from an aggressive pour that held for a bit before settling and leaving a thin ring. Rather clear red brown in color with amber red highlights.

S- bready and sweet with a nice light spice to it. Some dark fruits, figs, raisins, bits of cherry.

T- soooo nice. Opens up with dark bread, brown sugar sweetness, dark fruits with dates and dried cherries. Background spices that lean towards the fall variety. Flavors are well balanced and very complimentary, they flow into each other super smoothly.

M- on the fuller side of medium but not heavy. There's a bit of slip to it. Carb was solid considering the long trip this took. Just about right for the style. Very smooth with almost no heat on the palate just a nice warming in the belly.

O- well rr never let's me down and I had reservation about this one from jump street. A nice quad and one that is super drinkable even fresh. I'd like to see what a bottle of this would do with some time down.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap Toronado SD, Lots of carbination with a swirl, all the way till the end. Great aroma, woody, some sweet raisiny-ness and with a nice finish, minerals and acidity keep it from being too sweet. Winter warmer great for a cold night, nice quad / barley wine and easy to drink for the style.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: amber color, little head, decent lacing
s: sweet -- dark fruits including raisins, sweet caramel and a hint of citrus and alcohol
t: a tame quad, definite malty sweet with raisin flavor but not overly sweet. first thought was not sweet enough, but actually a pretty decent balance with some slight alcohol in the finish
m: carbonation was just a bit on the low side, but nice heavy mouthfeel makes for a good drink
d: fairly easy to drink, didn't knock my socks off right away but i quickly grew into it comfortably; would buy if they bottled it

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another tick on the Russian River –tion Quest that I started quite awhile back! Big thanks goes out to estocker for sending me this one a LONG time back! Shared this one at aasher’s wedding reception with as many people in the wedding party as I could find! Served from growler into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a ruby red-brown with a two finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, bread, and banana. The flavor was of sweet mat, fruit, banana, bread, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. As far as quadruples go, this was a fairly solid one. All the proper flavors and aromas going on in all the right intensities. There was absolutely no sign of the alcohol in this one at all. This was definitely a scary aspect as I’m sure the right person could crush a 64 oz growler without a problem. I’m just glad I had help that all seemed to enjoy it as well. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance to do so.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Toronado. I believe this was 11% ABV, but may be wrong on that.

A: Side by side with Benediction, the dubbel. Surprisingly, this is the paler of the two, and also much clearer. Amber hued with brown highlights, dark but very clear. The half-inch of head settled fairly fast, eventually reducing to just a ring.

S: Fruity (fig and date) with a big malty backbone. Esters are present but on the reserved side. Little bit of roastiness and yeasty spice.

T&M: Huge maltiness but not overly sweet; Russian River brews their Belgians on the dry side, something that I really appreciate. Figgy fruit, notes of date, graham cracker and just a touch of licorice. Medium body. Finishes semi-dry, almost crisp. Deceptively drinkable, there's absolutely no trace of the high ABV.

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Photo of popery
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good, but a bit of a disappointment. Russian River makes a quad seems like some kind of dream beer description to me. Unfortunately, I found this beer good but disappointing as a quad and as a Russian River beer. It's still quite good, of course. Mortification pours a deep garnet with little head and a bit lacing. The aroma is fairly mild with some bananas, some plums, some spice and a whiff of sour cherries. The sour comes through a touch in the flavor, but it's almost as though the brewery saw a bit of cross-pollination from the sour barrels rather than they were really going for a lightly sour quad. It's fairly dry, especially for a quad. It actually reminds me of a dry barleywine mixed with a tripel, for some reason. The flavors don't punch as much as I would like, but then again, the dryness is a nice contrast to more normal pitfall of a cloyingly sweet quad. Another nice upside to the beer is that it hides the abv almost entirely. I'm pretty shocked to see it listed here as 11% abv. This was my second time tasting this beer and I'm still confused by it.

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Photo of litheum94
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at RR.

Dark brown with some garnet around the edges. Tan head leaves a tiny cover.

Belgian yeast and candi. Figs and some licorice. Very earthy and full of fruity esters.

Raspberry sweetness and Belgian candi. Bitter licorice root. Sweet, boozy tones, with flavors of toffee and figs.

A very good quad, though not as good as I remember the first batch being. Still, it's very tasty.

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Photo of ccrida
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at the Toranado, I thought this would be fitting for my first beer here. Served in a tulip, Mortification is a dark reddish brown with a small white collar, leaving no lace.

Smell is malty, raisin and caramel, Special B in the hizouse! Not much in the way of esters, just some light peppery spice. I kept waiting for it to open up, and it never really did much...on the other hand, I drank it fast, couldn't be helped!

Taste is really rich, woa! Raisin puree maybe, strong but clean alcohol, malty. While this is super smooth, it's pretty simple for the style. I'll take well made over kitchen sink any day though, and reckon a bottle of this would develop nicely....

Mouthfeel is really creamy, with a light body.

Drinkability is pretty dangerous, wow is this one smooth quad. While you can taste the booze, it's not relaly hot or anything, and overall, really dangerous!!

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Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub the other day.

The beer pours a fairly dark copper amber color with very good head retention and considerable lacing all around. The nose in this beer is pretty interesting, with an aroma profile of burnt toast, rootbeer, light sweet malt and underlying spice. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet, somewhat boozy/hot quad style beer. It's dominated by flavors of cherry and rootbeer, but again, there is also considerable, underlying spice as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly sweet, slightly hot, spice filled finish. Drinkability was OK, but the alcohol was pretty noticeable in this beer, which detracted just a bit.

A solid beer, but not one of the better efforts I've had from RR. That probably speaks more to my expectations when it comes to trying new RR beers, rather than any actual flaws in Mortification.

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bottleworks in Seattle. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear dark reddish brown, thick off white head forms, settles to a thin ring, lots of chunky lace sticks to the glass, looks nice. Smell is neat, a touch funky, sour fruit, cherries, wine, caramel, spice, very malty, wood, raisin, alcohol, pretty neat mix of quad fruitiness and some RR funk. Taste is similar, light chocolate and dark fruit, raisin, lightly sour, cherries, big alcohol, sherry, wood, more fruit, some candi sweetness, a touch astringent in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, some heat going down. Carbonation is a bit low for the style, and alcohol is in your face, but pretty cool stuff.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewery. Dark amber-brown with an off-white head. Rich caramel and nutty aromas. Malty flavor with caramel, nuts, an some spices that remind me of nutmeg. Starts with sweet maltiness, but actually ends dry and pretty bitter, though the hop aren't as apparent as many of their lighter ales. Medium-full body is nice and trim considering that this is eleven percent. Malty, yet with good balance and interesting flavors.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Pizza Port Strong Ale 2010

A:  Dark copper with a head. That's all you need know. 

S: Prunes, figs, plums, bready malt. Earthy hops. Belgian yeast. Quite Belgian in character when it warms, especially yeast-wise.

T: Prunes, figs, bready malt, Belgian yeast. Some alcohol flavor. Booze is a bit strong, but it's a high ABV so not out of place. 

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation and a sticky, dry mouthfeel with alcohol warming. 

Overall: Good quad. 

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Dark brown color with a thin tan head.

S: A nice, complex aroma. Some hints of dark fruit along with some dark caramel and a touch of light hops.

T: Dark fruits upfront with some bready malt, toasted rye and a touch of earthy hops on the finish. Maybe the best American quad I've had to date, but it has nothing on the complexities found in some of the better Belgian quads.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried on tap at Russian River, 26 Dec 2011. Served in a ~12 oz. tulip.

Small light brown head. Medium carbonation. Clear medium brown color. Aromas of vanilla, bubble gum, caramel, cola and ethanol. Starts a bit fruity, cherry mostly. Cola, ethanol and a mild cinnamon/nutmeg spiciness comes through in the middle. Also some molasses and caramel. A touch of yeast. Medium body, warming alcohol. Slightly medicinal, woody finish and aftertaste.

Insert something witty here. I got nothin.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of schmoopsbeer. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pour yields a mahogany-colored beer with a good off-white head and a bit of lacing as it goes down the sides of the glass. Not quite as much as I'd normally like to see from a quad, but given the fact that this is a quad from a growler, I'll give it a break there. The nose contains a good amount of dark fruits--mostly raisins and prunes--along with some caramel notes and some toasted bread. The flavor hits along the same lines, focusing on the dark fruits and mild bread character, and then finishes with a bit of dry bitterness. Pretty good, but not the sort of complexity I expect from a quad and, especially, from Russian River. Feel is medium with lower levels of carbonation and a dry finish, which I quite enjoyed. Definitely drinkable for the style--it blew me away when I found out this was 10.5%, though I suppose I should have suspected something in that range.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always welcome a new Russian River tick.

A: The pour is a bit light for a quad. It appears to be a dark amber sort of color with a creamy, off-white head.

S: It has the requisite sweetness to begin with. A nice caramel and brown sugar sort of aroma with a fair amount of yeastiness. A mild spice ester profile and maybe even a bit of grape must.

T: Starts out with dark fruit flavors such as plums, red grapes, and cherries. Some toffee, caramel, and molasses are present, which provide some sweetness. However, this has some different flavors that I wasn't quite anticipating. I pick up a fair amount of toasted malt flavor and a sourness that seems to pick up the more I drink.

M: The body is medium with the carbonation being middle of the road (usually I like my Quads a bit more effervescent).

D: This was quite different. I enjoyed it, but it's not exactly what I was anticipating. Still worth trying out, of course, and the complexity of it kept me interested.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at O'Brien's Pub in San Diego, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, and spices. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/05/11 notes. Thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one.

a - Pours a reddish, brown murky color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of raisins, bready malts, dark fruit, spices, and alcohol.

t - Tastes of raisins, bready malts, alcohol, spices, and figs.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink.

d - A pretty nice quad from Russian River. Lots of dark fruits and bready malts, and it had a great mouthfeel. Would have again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a stemgoblet at Russian River's taproom in Santa Rosa during their Pliny the Younger release event. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high due to the brewery - which is a favourite from the Americas, and the style - which is one of my favourites.

A: Pours a half finger head of good thickness, nice cream, and abysmal retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Candi sugar, vanilla, plums, chocolate, caramel, and toffee. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Plums, candi sugar, some vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Balanced and full bodied, with delightful complex layering. It's good, but far from the best quad I've had. Very well done for an American quad. Well built all around, and very nicely balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours quite well. Could use more cream. Neither too thick nor too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV. A lovely little quad, but not the best I've had - even amongst American quads.


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Photo of Retsinis
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fellow BA (thanks Skuter) brought a growler of this back from Russian River to share with a few friends.

A: Poured from the growler into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer is murky to semi clear amber brown, with a copper hue. A nice, bubbly and creamy head rose over a good inch, then settled slowly, leaving behind nice lacing.

S: I get whiffs of caramelized sugar, light Belgian yeast, toffee, caramel, some rye spice, and a mild bready or grainy malt.

T: Raisins, candied figs, some light spice. The yeast and wheat bread notes are subtle, and take a back seat to the upfront flavors. The alcohol comes through a bit as well.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Slick.

O: Good Quad, glad I got to try this one. Great way to start a tasting, but no more than one in a sitting, but for me that's not unusual for a Quad, as the candy sugar flavors are a bit much after 1 glass.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a sampling glass at the brewery.

A: Tranlucent red amber. Light head. Darkish.

S: Malty and vague Belgian yeast. Some spice.

T: Meh. I'm not huge on American quads and this is no exception. Sweet grape, faint cherry, malty sugars.

M: A touch thin.

O: Good beer, poor quad. Might have again.

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Mortification from Russian River Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.