Row 2/Hill 56 - Russian River Brewing Company

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Row 2/Hill 56Row 2/Hill 56

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,093 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,093
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 270
Gots: 74 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: litheum94 on 01-22-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,093 | Reviews: 131
Photo of Gobzilla
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured a golden orange in color with yellow highlights and a nice finger of head that had great retention but left plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront there was plenty of pine hops that were noticeable, grassy notes, some citrus such as lemon and grapefruit but had a nice sweetness that wasn't overwhelming.

T: the hop profile was just expectional which brought piney, citrusy, grassy, earthy character alongside a well balanced malty sweetness and a touch of grapefruit bitterness.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with good amount of carbonation which had a hoppy, citrusy, earthy, mild sweet, oily and slight bitter finish.

O: this beer is at the top of its class even beating so called IPAs on the shelf. Really well balanced and great hop forward pale ale. I expected nothing less from RR.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour reveals a yellow and light orange liquid, amazing clarity, damn nice white head about 1" deep and pretty good retention. Aroma, beautiful simcoe aroma, whatever cat piss smells like, this is not it, a heavy dose of pine, skunky hops, mango, apple.

Taste continues in the Russian River vein, light body, alcohol nowhere to be found, flavor bursting with fresh hop flavor. No heft, amazingly light mouthfeel at times, then is just wonderfully lush with the hops and juicy tropical fruits. Imagine SNPA but with simcoe and less caramel.

If you've had plenty of Bling Pig and Pliny, this is in the same vein, but lower alcohol and higher simcoe content. Other than that, its just pretty much bread and butter Russian River world class pale ale hoppiness and cracker clean malt bill.

One of the best in the world. I've drank a little more than a gallon of this stuff the past week, between having it on tap, getting a growler of it and about a dozen bottles, and the coolest part about it is how sometimes the pineapple is just nuts, those are my favorite bottles.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh. A day off sitting at Russian River.

A - Served a slightly hazy light orange with a small off-white head. Lots o lacing on the glass as the head fades to a thin layer.

S - Very floral and grassy. Here is some citrusy tones as well.

T - Floral and grassy again, but heavier on the grass side.

D - A light body and perfect carbonation.

O - A nice fragrant and light IPA. Perfect way to start my day.

Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap, @ the brewery

Served in a pint - pretty excited to try this. An exceptional APA - grassy and fresh, bright citrus flavors, orange peel, lemon, nice malt balance. Juicy - 100% simcoe, true class. I'd likely pick this over Blind Pig any day of the week. Wish I had access.

Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Heretic Brewing shaker pint, Row 2 / Hill 56 is clear gold with a white head leaving light, sticky lace.

Smell is dank, over-ripe lemony hops. This is, as they state, "the story of simcoe". There's some skunky funk, and resin.

Taste follows the story. Great pale ale, really nice hop flavor, the full spectrum of this hop, with very little cracker malt to get in the way. Modest bitterness, lots of citrus, resin. Love the lemon.

Mouthfeel is slippery and light.

Drinkability is high. This is a fantastic pale ale. Wow. Love it!

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

I wanted this the minute I heard about it. A low ABV all Simcoe hop pale ale from Russian River? Yes please! Thank you, Chris.

Pouring the expected light amber with a dense off-white head with rather excellent retention and lacing, this is a gorgeous beer. Clarity is pretty high as well. The nose has the gorgeous Simcoe hop character, reminding me immediately of Pliny the Elder. Floral and fruity, there's plenty of tropical fruit here with mango and papaya. A delicate orange/citrus character, one I can only describe as pellucid is also present.

The beer really does shine on the palate. With a beautiful balance between a clean bitterness and plenty of hop flavor, this beer is excellent. Tropical fruit is present by the boatload, especially on the mid-palate, with mango and papaya and plenty of soft citrus notes. Ripe but not too sweet citrus fruits (navel oranges in particular come to mind). Drying and mildly bitter on the finish, with a mild herbal character, this beer is light in body, softly carbonated and a sublime drinker. Malt presence is faint, lending just a hint of cracker-like character to the mid-palate, but apart from that, this beer is a showcase for hops.

Maybe I'm imagining things, but the similarities of this beer with Elder are pretty strong, especially the water profile. I mention that in particular, because unlike Blind Pig which has plenty of bitterness and hop resin, this beer, along with Elder, is a lot less palate crushing (that term doesn't even apply here). This allows me to pick up just a faint bit of chalkiness on the palate, a characteristic I'm usually not a big fan of, but works. And as a final point of comparison, I would have to say this is #3 on my APA list, behind Hoppy Birthday and Parking Violation. Still, an excellent beer.

**Edit 2 hours later**
So I've split this one with my dad and am ruing my decision. I think the appropriate serving size for this beer is 2liters. As it warms up, it becomes increasingly juicy and delicious. The nose exudes a certain classiness and delicacy that really calls out for a slightly higher score. I want to up the scores, but I'm hesitant.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a toasty, dark orange with light murkiness. Head is thinner. Light lacing. The body is dark but it omits an eye-catching, dull glow.

S-This is why I will alway, always, ALWAYS trust a hoppy Russian River brew. The aroma is just a squishy, juicy cup of hop-juice. I found out this was 100% Simcoe and I as surprised. It is just so damn complex in the hoppy aromas it provides. I find a lot of Simcoe to be a bit too rough for me in certain brews. Row 2/Hill 56 is tropical and ripe and evolving. A very hop-stressed APA. There is some caramel and dough there. Great aroma.

T-Flavor is even better. The malt provides a semi-stable balance until the onslaught of tropical hop flavors arrive with full power. Russian River nails those tropical-hop flavors. Exotic pineapple and apricot with some underripe melon. Grass, grapefruit and oranges too. A tickle of pineapple as well! Excellent.

M-The body matches the ABV but the flavors would pair more with a DIPA. Bitter but nothing to brazen. I may have finished this glass the quickest of them all during my stay at the brewpub.

O/D-One of the best APAs I have had. Right there with Blind Pig and within shouting distance of Pliny the Elder. They all have similar flavor aspects. In conclusion: I could drink this forever and would never lose my shit-eating grin.

Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to BilbosNuts for this one! Served from bottle into a COAST Willi. Poured a nice golden yellow with slight orange hue with a two finger slightly off-white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, grapefruit, grapefruit hop, fruit, and very subtle pine. The flavor was of sweet malt, tropical fruit, citrus, citrus hop, grapefruit hop, fruit, and subtle grapefruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I was really intrigued by this one upon seeing its release from the brewery. I know RR is good at making IPA/IIPAs so I wanted to see what they could do with an APA. I can honestly say that they did quite a nice job on this one. The simcoe is a very nice hop and this brew definitely showcases this fact throughout each sip and especially in the aroma. This brew also brings a very nice balance of flavor and aroma with it as well to keep your palate intrigued throughout. Up there as one of the best APAs I’ve had, but not quite up to Zombie Dust standards as I would have LOVED to find.

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. pour is a clear golden orange with a creamy white head. Nose is tight with light malt caramel and some nice grainy malt. Good hop profile, notes of citrus and strong herbal presence. Taste is balanced, dry finish, tight balance, grain and faint sweet caramel with citrus and herbal hops.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle dated 6/26 so this was three weeks old when I drank it, perfect. Thanks to bugdoc for sending this to me, appreciate it man. Orange yellow appearance, good head and lacing. Smells like simcoes, hints of cat pee, delicious. Mouthfeel is thick. Flavor is delicious simcoes with a good maltiness. This is a great hoppy pale ale but not something I would probably drink a whole sixer (not that I could ever get one) because it was a little chewy. Very glad to have had a shot at this beer.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed on 7/12, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up from one of them mail order services. enjoyed from my russian river tulip.
bottled 6/26/2012 (2 weeks and 2 days ago)

a - brew poured a transparent orange with a finger of sudsy bubbly head that fizzled away to a thin skin of bubbles. visible carbonation could be seen casually climbing to the surface. lacing was streaky at best.

s - yum, smells like fresh hops with a nice malty backbone. the hops lead the way, but this isn't a pale ale that teases you into questioning if it is actually an ipa. some nice earthy pale ale notes.

t - just like the nose, there is little doubt that this is a pale ale and not an ipa. the earthy malt backbone is very present and balanced out by the hops, but the earthy malts dominate the flavor.

m - medium bodied, a bit chewy even.

o - overall, a pale ale for sure. i would like to see the hop profile in the nose to be a bit heavier on the flavor, but then again, this is a pale ale and not an ipa. enjoyable, but not mind blowing.

bottle

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a half-pint glass at the brewpub.

A: Tight head with great retention. Clear golden beer with some bubbles.

S: Strong hops (100% Simcoe, apparently). Some pine and some onion. Citrus. Touch of something more tropical.

T/M: Pretty tasty IPA. Gentle-bitter hops. Piny top notes complement a biscuity malt base. Hints of grapefruit are distinctly pleasant. Round and full-bodied. Easily the best Simcoe single-hop ale I've had.

O: Recommended if unremarkable. Would drink again as a tasty IPA.

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

I had a few pints at the brewpub. It pours a gorgeous shade of gold, relatively pale. Nice white head and lots of lacing. The aroma has a ton of flowery hop aroma. It's a mouth-watering mix of bright citrus, tangerine, lemon, some tropical fruit (pineapple/mango) and light spruce/pine. Just wonderful. Some light sugary caramel malt peeks through the hops. The beer is dry and light on the palate. There's a gentle caramel backbone with definite but light bitterness. It's very easy to drink. I keep using the word light but it's a very flavorful lightness. For my palate, it's perfectly balanced and as good of a session-ish IPA (not really sure what to call these APAs that are dry and hopped up like IPAs/DIPAs) as I've had. The finish is crisp with more marvelous floral hop character. It's an excellent beer. I still remember liking Hopfather a touch more, so I'll stick with 4.5s, but this is an absolutely worthy edition to RR's APA/IPA/DIPA lineup.

Photo of dar482
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a golden straw color.

The aroma is extremely hoppy with a really grainy biscuity malt along with grass, grapefruit and lemon.

The flavor follows with huge grapefruit, bright lemon, pine, and floral notes. it's very crisp with a gentle bitterness on the end.

This really pushes IPA and surely is a Russian River beer with huge amount of hops. It really has tons of flavor at this ABV.

Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1386th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
500ml

6/26/12
Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- More of a orange mixed with yellow and a bit clear. Good clarity in the bottle with a huge 2-1/2 finger white head. Nice bubble activity with a good amount of cling and sticky lace down the glass.

Smell- A bit of a damp citrus with some very earthy and grassy notes. Smells a bit like a small IPA mixed with some liquid simple syrup. A bit full on the nose with more orange and tangerine aromas.

Taste- For a APA its drinking very large. The flavors are well balanced between a damp citrus with a soft earthy flavor. A bit thick with a pine balance. Not over the top, not a 5 but for an APA its very good. The simcoe is only thing keeping it from a 5. Has a flavor I can't pin and that doesnt work for me.

Mouth- A larger medium body with a medium carbonation. A bit dry and sticky. Residual earthy citrus flavors.

Drink- Call it an APA its fine. Ill stick with a small IPA all day long. I'd like another bottle on a hot day but wont go crazy trying to find one.

Photo of Holland
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to CheapBeerBuzz for this tasty treat.

A: pale golden color with a decent sized white head that dissipates quickly to give way to a wavy, partially-covering white foam on top.

S: hoppy but not overpowering. Bready smell along with some fruity hops.

T: apricot is huge along with pineapple and some bitterness and malt.

M: medium body, medium-heavy carbonation

O: great beer overall. Well put together, and a really interesting hop flavor. Once it warms a bit mroe it has more smell.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Toronado, San Francisco.
Cherry gold with white film.
Deep blood orange rind nose plus lead, resin, dank and even a bit of smoke.
Jam and pomegranate up front then delicate but assertive pine, resin, lemon balm, orange rind, passionfruit hops.
Bright orange oil finish and clean rindy linger.
Medium, clingy, oily.

Incredibly layered. RR does balance of IBUs and aroma in a super light body better than anyone. Gets all the nuance out of Simcoe.

Mad skillz.

Photo of Rutager
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pretty amazing stuff, especially for all simcoe.

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

Growler filled from the brewery yesterday poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a deep golden color with a couple fingers of greasy off-white head that slowly faded into a wispy scum that left a crazy network of lace down the glass.
S: Huge fresh simcoe hop notes of clean citrus and pine resin. The nose is also very floral, and ‘green’ smelling. Hops smell extremely potent, fresh, sweet, and lightly bitter.
T: Follows the nose with clean floral and pine flavors. The citrus comes through nicely in the finish, and the aftertaste is lightly bitter and green tasting. I get just a touch of pale malts as well. Flavors are light, clean, and straightforward.
M: Very refreshing mouthfeel, clean all around, and very easy to drink. Body is medium-light and the carbonation is smooth and clean. Finish is lightly dry.
O: A very clean, refreshing and flavorful beer. Hops were fresh and easy to drink. Bitterness is mellow. I am having no problem finish this growler myself.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Ultraman9000 for providing this treat (growler) in a recent trade. Sitting with my second glass from the growler as I write this review. Very excited as this is a great beer in the spirit of Daisy Cutter. (which is a huge compliment as far as I’m concerned.
A finger of foamy bright white head settles fairly quickly and begins to deposit lace everywhere. 1/2 the glass is covered in a single/complete sheet of lace. The beer is a bright brass color with perfect clarity.

Aroma is just fantastic. Huge floral, perfume notes that contain a lot of grapefruit peel and other citrus notes including a sense of tropical fruit. There are some slight green resinous things happening, but very subtle.

Bright, fresh, clean and balanced. Just wonderful. The malt backbone is cracker like, slightly bready and nice. Just some light toasted notes. Over this is a lot of juicy hop flavor and some green hop notes and also a lot of grapefruit peel. Again, the tropical fruit is here, but not quite in your face.

The body is one of the main differences here vs. am IPA. Definitely lighter and almost refreshing.

Hugging the line between a hoppy APA and an IPA is a beautiful place. The lighter abv and body are a welcome treat. I realize at 5.8% this isn’t a traditional session beer, but man it’s close. I am hoping that other brewers realize this is a great space and continue to produce beers like this. Kudos Russian River. Well done.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Part of a sampler at the brewery. this one poured a clear light golden with a small white head. Not much aroma, which was unexpected. smell of light pine and a hint of citrus peel backed by some very lightly sweet malts. Simcoe grapefruit flavor dominates alongside some piney medium bitter on the tongue. Resinous yet dry finishing pine, medium plus carbonation, and super easy drinking. A really nice beer, but one that I was expecting more from. I will have to try and revisit this one.

Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz pour on tap at the Russian River Brewpub in Santa Rosa, CA.. going off notes from last week, 9/26/2013.

Straw-coloured, hay, even. Came with a lovely white head, probably around 1cm just barely staying under the rim. I appreciate the Russian River Brewpub's giving me the proper pour. I can tell this beer is going to be great. Lots and lots of lacing all over the place.

Smells so grassy and grapefruity.. with a little bit of lemon zest. Some bready malt presence that just barely balances out the hoppiness, which is typical of Russian River. I was already excited to try this one, but damn, this is such a pungent nose. Great combination.

This is where the money is. This beer is just awesome. Lots of bread, toffee mixed in with citrus and floral hoppiness.. the aftertaste is actually fairly bitter, like I was sucking on a fresh grapefruit. Incredible, and you tell me this is an APA? No shit?

Medium-full bodied, a bit thicker than the typical APA. Very creamy, well-carbonated on draft. I love how well this goes down. I don't like how quickly this disappears.. this is just simply well done. Not too dry, refreshing yet so hoppy and bitter. I love this.

This is probably one of the best APAs I've ever had. It showcases the simcoe hops extremely well in a full-bodied, incredibly drinkable APA. Its like how Zombie Dust showcases the Citra hops so well. Vinnie really should bottle more of this beer.

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear light orange, not much carbonation, two finger fluffy head that leaves behind nice lacing.

S-Floral hops, earthy/pine notes.

T-Balanced with nice floral, citrus and pine hops. Nice level of bitterness for an APA.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation and smooth.

O-A wonderful, refreshing and most of all balanced beer. RR really knows how to craft balanced hoppy brews.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at O'Brien's

A: Pours a glowing orange color with a thin white head and some spots of lace.

S: A pretty nice bouquet of citrus hops, tropical fruit and a touch of bready malt. The smell of the hops is outstanding.

T: A great blend of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, lemon and a touch of pine. A nice malt backbone with some notes of caramel and cracker hold the beer up nicely. Really good stuff.

Photo of Sean9689
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler, thanks to lazydeer & company...

A - Pours a bright golden yellow, white head, sticky lace.

S - Nice dose of hops, grass, pine, light onion, citrus. The malts are there, but super-subtle, but this beer isn't overly hopped, it's just right.

T - Lots of hops in the form of grass, grapefruit, citrus, and light tropical notes. Not dank or resiny at all, just clean and crisp hops. The bready malts and lightly toasted, but almost undetectable amongst the bouquet of hops.

M - Light, perfect carbonation, crisp & refreshing, clean finish.

O - Another amazing hoppy beer from RR, who continues to produce some of the best beers in the country. I would drink this all day/every day along some of the top APA's out there (Edward, Parking Violation, Hoppy Birthday, and What Is Enlightenment, to name a few).

Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 1,093 ratings.