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Mortification - Russian River Brewing Company

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Mortification
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BA SCORE
89
very good

56 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 121
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 72
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: 121
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.37/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer appears a hazy shade of brown, with little activity in the way of carbonation. The head is undersized, thin, and wispy, generating virtually no lacing upon the tulip glass.

The aroma is of sweet malts, dark fruits, particularly raisins.

In both the nose and flavor, I find myself missing the yeasty, bready character associated with the style. The beer has a prominent raisin and sweetened malt taste, with additional notes of caramels soaked in alcohol.

The beer is pretty smooth, given the double digit abv. Carbonation wasn't an issue as I thought it would be, based on the appearance.

Underwhelming. A mediocre beer from what is possibly the best brewery in the country. Not nearly in the same league with the great Belgian quads like Rochefort, Chimay, Westvleteren, St. Bernardus Abt 12, etc. (856 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is another beer that I kept revisiting during my recent trips to Russian River. I am a firm believer that this is one of the top three American Quads in the U.S.

Served too cold and without any head, this still looked like a solid Quad. It has a caramel and brown sugar color to it that is solid throughout. Its not overly dark, actually more on the lighter side of the Quad spectrum.

Once this beer warms, which is key, it smells a bit like baking bread. It has a nice grainy smell paired with a clean Belgian yeast flavor. It is somewhat roasted with hints of sweet sugars.

Absolutely delicious. Its not Belgian, I drank this thinking that its a good American representation of the style. It has a great overall taste, very rounded. The grain bill is represented nicely and the yeast profile counteracts accordingly. Some raisin bread in there with a sweet caramel and toffee. I enjoyed this a great deal and was surprised to read the reviews of it.

A great solid mouthfeel that makes this drinkable at 10.5%. It has no noticeable alcohol notes in it other than a strong buzz in my head after drinking three glasses. It could do with a lighter carbonation, but criticisms about the sweetness are invalid in my mind. I thought this was a solid beer and would order anywhere available. (1,298 characters)

Photo of fezmeister
2.63/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Served as part of a full flight of tasters at Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa. Guessing it would be large, heavy, and malty, I left it until later in the flight to allow to warm a bit and open all the way. This may have been a mistake, my personal tastes considered. A rich dark mahogany color and nose full of cherries and malt led me to take in a hopeful, healthy mouthful. Unfortunately, that first sip was all I drank, as this beer was simply, well, mortifying to my palate. Big and fruity, but cavity-inducingly sweet, my word. This much sugar would need a truckload of hops to balance the flavor. As a result, the drinkability is dismal, suffering a terrible cloying factor. Worth trying, but I can't picture even a sweet beer afficionado getting all the way through a snifter of this.

On a positive note, nice mellow Belgian yeast flavor with no musty aftertaste. (876 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap poured into a goblet at the brew pub. Beer is a muddy brown, a bit of red highlights on the edges when held up to light, with no head. Swirling the beer in the glass force a half a finger's worth of off white foamy head but it quickly dissipates.

Nose is strong, but a bit one dimensional, just boozy dark fruits, rum soaked figs and raisins showing up.

Tastes follows the nose, lots of boozy dark fruits, that borders on unpleasant after a few sips.

Medium body with low carbonation levels makes the beer a bit slick on the tongue, finishing sweet and boozy on the tongue. Definitely a sipper, though the one dimension flavor profile is a bit disappointing. (671 characters)

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. (906 characters)

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

On-tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a very dark, yet clear, ruby-red color. Has a big light tan head with good retention. Aroma is light, but has hints of malt and some smokeyness. Nice malty flavor with hints of cherries (not sour), chocolate, and smoke. Smooth and medium-bodied. Strong ABV, but no real taste of alcohol. (326 characters)

Photo of impending
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A

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!
cheers
jd (726 characters)

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

12/04/2010

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.  (494 characters)

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. (974 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer from Russian River. Pours like an Amontillado in color, with a huge creamy head that fades to a thin cap and leaves some nice lacing. Impressive for a growler. Smells soft, vinous, of red fruit, and brambly; followed by the slightest hint of sour cherry. Tastes as fantastic as usual. Vinous, complex, tannic, brambly, smooth, and very well hidden alcohol. Delicious! (386 characters)

Photo of femALEist
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer Week
Mortification is a quadrupel and 11% abv. It poured a nice dark chocolate with some red highlights. It smelled of sour malt, toffee, cherry, dried plums and vanilla. It tasted like roasted malt, plums, cherries with a hint of sour funk. Pretty tasty. (298 characters)

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. (433 characters)

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. (694 characters)

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

On tap at Toronado, San Francisco, CA on 7/21/09.

A - Really pretty ruby/copper-colored body with burgundy and royal purple hues and a thin alabaster head that receded into a thin ring of retention, leaving attractive lacing around the glass. Head flared up with each swirl of the glass.

S - Dark fruit reminiscent of raisins, currants and plums with a prevalent boozy presence. Slight waft of magic marker. Pretty strong, pungent nose with slight sour and oaky notes around the edges.

T - Again, the flavor is heavy on dark fruit and alcohol, although the latter isn't too heavy for a Quad weighing in at 11%. An array of dark fruits akin to raisins, currants, prunes, dates and black cherries come to mind. A slight oaky, sour character emerges in the backend, followed by an earthy hop tinge in the finish. Overall, the dark fruit character dominates the flavor.

M - Medium to full bodied with a very thick, syrupy texture and bristly carbonation. Hint of sweetness with warm alcohol notes and just a tinge of sourness on the palate.

D - Glad to get another "tion" brew from Russian River under my belt, and a rare one to boot! While I don't have a whole lot of Quad experience, I found this one to be pretty damn good. (1,228 characters)

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. (1,075 characters)

Photo of mjl21
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River. Poured into their 14 ounce Belgian glass. Listed on the board as being 26 IBUs and 11%.

A-Pours a dark brown with a half finger off white head.

S-Smells sweet. Stone fruit, caramel malt, and candy sugar are predominant. Also getting a tad bit of funk on the nose.

T-It tastes of rum soaked fruit. Pick up on lots of dark stone fruit and pineapple. It reminds me in a lot of ways of a tropical drink. The candy sugar and caramel malt give it a nice sweetness, but it is by no means cloying. The hops stay in the background.

M-Super creamy mouthfeel. It is thicker with a soft level of carbonation.

D-The 11% is very well hidden. I had no problem drinking this one.

A deceptively drinkable 11% beer. I was surprised by how much pineapple flavor was in this one. The citrus gives it a uniqueness to most quads that are dominated by raisins and other dark stone fruits. (897 characters)

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 (548 characters)

Photo of Bubba83
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a 3oz sample at the 2009 Toronado Barleywine Festival. Even though this isn't a barleywine, it was still somehow in the competition? I'm not complaining.

Sort of a cola colored concoction, maybe a little darker, with some purple and dark reds. Thin rim of fairly vibrant white head with a tiny little bit of lacing.

Smells musty and a little bit cheesy at first, which seems odd. Plum is there too with some roastyness and smokeyness, but the whole thing seems like it has been barbecued, I'm confused, but it does smell nice.

It doesn't taste much like the smell. Starts of sweet and caramel-like, with some dark fruits driving in hard toward the center, then follows with some roasty malt and finally some alcohol and even feint apples int he finish. A little mustyness is present all the way through. Interesting is an understatement.

Mouthfeel is always at a very high standard with RR beers and this guy is no different. Pretty smooth, yet lively and not too heavy.

Outstanding drinkability. Pretty dang easy to quaff really. No alcohol heat is present at all, sort of just like liquid candy... At 11% that's no small feat. Nice all around Quad but a little odd... (1,178 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

250 ml serving in a Chimay goblet at the Pizza Port Belgian Beer Party on 3/29/09, reviewed from notes on my cell phone

A-Medium to dark brown color, 3/4 inch creamy off white head that stays around a few minutes, some lacing
S-Floral hops, caramel, nutmeg, cinnamon, toffee, roasted nuts, dark fruits, candied sugar, and red grapes
T-Starts off with a bitter hop welcome, some sweet malt in the middle that is mostly caramel, more sugar is present later on when it warms, finish is dry and bitter with hoppiness, nicely balanced, get a lot of raisins and toffee later on, also a little alcohol burn
M-Dry, sweet, nutty, and fruity mouthfeel, medium bodied, soft carbonation, taste lingered a long time
D-Could have drank another glass of this, strength is not very hidden, can also be filling, hops do help provide balance against all that sugar, malt, and fruit, decent drinkability

I was really hoping this would make it there and I am glad it did, it was actually the only Russian River brew on draft, got quite lucky with this one, would not quite call this quad, it reminded me more of a barleywine especially with its hop profile, I would like to have this again, recommended (1,185 characters)

Photo of JWD
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR

A- Golden with fairly high carb, this is a quad.

S- Yeasty, bready and very belgian, i was very interested to try this as it replaced the barleywine that i really like and i had heard that it was kind of a blend of the two, not the case this is a quad straight up.

T- outstanding, i would put this up with any other quad out there.

M- Good, nothing out of the ordinary here.

D- Very good, I could drink several of these but the ABV is dangerous to most.

Overall, i tried it because it was there, good but not something i will quest after but that is just my personal preferance. (597 characters)

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!! (892 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler courtesy of gford217 - thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy light brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates slowly into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sugar-coated dark fruits - plums and figs - with solid malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sugary malt flavors are joined shortly by dark fruits before ending with just a touch of sweetness. The booze is noticeable but not as strong as the ABV would indicate.

Mouthfeel is very nice. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass and could have a few more. This goes down very easily.

Overall this isn't as complex as some of the world-class quads, but the flavors all work very well together. Certainly worth a shot. (809 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to a very generous trader for this growler, shared with the usual suspects at the Brick Store.

Pours a deep, clear brownish amber with a big creamy beige head that sticks to the glass on the way down and remains a cap for the duration. The lacing is good and overall I was surprised at how light this one looked.

The aroma is fairly subdued but opens up a little more as it warms. Either way, it's on the sweeter side of things with lots of dark fruits and some caramel malts and candi sugar to compliment things.

The taste is a bigger version of the aroma with a huge fruity sweetness from figs, raisins and candi sugar. There is a sturdy caramel malt backbone that gives way to a slightly dry and wine-like finish that has a hint of alcohol burn as it goes down.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with lots of carbonation, especially from a growler.

This is one of the more drinkable quads I've tasted as it's on the lighter side of things and with a noticeably vinous quality to things. Another terrific brew from Russian River. (1,058 characters)

Photo of RomanW70
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/20 @ Russian River. Pours cloudy caramel with a small than head that quickly fades into lacing. Aroma of dark fruits, candied sugar, cocoa,and caramel. Taste is similar with a slight vineous quality. Vineous and caramel finish with some alcohol. Medium carbonation with a medium thick mothfeel. (296 characters)

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! (376 characters)

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