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Mortification - Russian River Brewing Company

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very good

56 Reviews
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Reviews: 56
Hads: 121
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
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 Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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 oglmcdgl
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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 belgbeerdrinker
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
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 DovaliHops
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a hint of red, almost a purple color with a tiny white head. Scent is heavy with dark fruits. Biscuits and caramel malt are present as well. A little bit of candied sugar and prunes. Taste is initially sweet malt flavors, immediately followed by dark fruits and Belgian yeast flavors. A little bit of bread-like flavors with just a hint of booze. Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy-smooth. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is a fantastic Quad. I love it, and if not for the high ABV, I could have a few of these in one sitting.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
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 monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark amber/ruby with a half finger off white head. Decent lacing.

S: Candied sugar, brandy, sweet cherry.

T: Starts off sweet. Some dark fruit (figs, cherries). Malts & bready belgian yeast. slightly burnt sugar a touch of hops in the finish to balance it out.

M: Smooth with medium carbonation and a warming mild alcohol burn.

O: A top notch quad. Up near my favorite quads (Westvleteren 12 & De Struise St. Amatus 12). They should start bottling this one.

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Photo of impending
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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 deebo
2.53/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at RR. 1 of my favorite styles so of course had to save room for a full pour of this one.

A-Lacks the thick tan head of most quads. This 1 is much weaker with a foam that quickly breaks down. Color is dark brown but transparent.

S-Weak notes of sweet malts, not nearly as complex as the good Belgians.

T-Definitely a subdued quad. Notes of raisin and other sweet malts. Not much else really there. Missing the yeast fruity esters here.

M-Alcohol is a little more evident than the greats. Fairly thin body.

O-A decent quad but is missing the complexity of my Belgian favorites like St. Bernardus and the alcohol is clearly present. Yet to find a good American version of this style.

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Photo of nataku00
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

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Photo of litheum94
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
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 mithrascruor
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Toronado in the City.

A - Dark amber pour with maybe one finger of head mahogany-white head, that dissipates quickly, leaving a small amount of lacing.

S/T - Dark fruit, brown sugar, dark belgian sugars, oak, and slight grapefruit.

M - Well balanced, with a full mouthfeel, but slightly malt dominated of course. Slightly dry finish, with a light amount of alcohol.

D - This was excellent. Rarely disappointed from RRs offerings.

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Photo of rand
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes, 01/29/11

From Tap to chimay chalice at o'brien's russian river weekend

Pours a dark ruby-red in color, forming a foamy one-inch head in the Chimay glass. The head's trail completely covers the glass is completely covered.

Smells of toasted bread, sweet, suggesting toffee. Candied fruit, figs, along with strong alcohol volatiles round the nose.

The taste follows with sweet malty notes up front, raisins and buttery figs. Really bready. Slightly bitter hops join alcohol spice (although subdued for 11%). Just a touch of grape-like tart toward the finish. Long sweet finish.

Oily slick, mouthfeel, full bodied and rich but never wee sticky. I'm drinking this way too fast for the alcohol, the beer is amazingly balanced. This is crafted as well as any Belgian quad.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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 NWer
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the brewery during the PtY frenzy. Growler to go gave me the opportunity to enjoy it in a more subdued setting - like at home under dreary Seattle skies that refuse to go away. A CofC nightmare.
Pours dark tastes smooth masking the alcohol content. Unlike many reviewers, I thoroughly enjoy this beer.
Difficult to pick out individual flavors but suffice it to say it is delicately balanced with no cloy. Totally drinkable considering the ABV.
Can't wait until next year to repeat the cycle but now I have my own RR growler to refill.

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Photo of mjl21
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
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 Jmoore50
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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 Bubba83
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
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...

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Photo of femALEist
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
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 Jemonster
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A deep root beer color and opacity. Thin white head. S: Rich toffee, hops, coffee and sugar. T: Toffee, raisin, some sourness and hops. It's on the sweeter side. M: Full and round, smooth. O: Pretty awesome beer on tap at Russian River. High ABV makes it hard to drink more than one.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.15/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Toronados

A - Dark copper with minimal head that quickly recedes to a thin film which does however leave some lacing to be seen.

S - Raisins, Plums and light citrus character. Very big caramel maltiness in the nose. Alcohol smell dominates.

T - Is it a barleywine or is it a quad? Vinnie says both. I can see the where you could get that, it does have the fruit and light bitterness that comes with the quad, however I get the great amount of sweetness that comes with a BW. The is a fine tasting hybrid. Raisins, figs and oakiness.

M - Carbonation is just right here, very crisp however it coats the mouth well. Leaves the palate yearning for another baptism.

D - Very much so, but what from Russian River isn't?

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