River Driver Ale | Franconia Notch Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Franconia Notch Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 09-23-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by purplehops:
Photo of purplehops
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

River Driver poured a cloudy copper brown with a light tan head that left some lacing on the glass. The aroma was sweet and malty with notes of caramel and toffee. The taste starts with pleanty of malt sweetness up front and continues through to the finish. Hops are a very minor ingredient here. There are some subtle differences in flavors from all the different malts used. Flavors of crystal, pale, carapils, and biscuit malt surface from time to time but seem to lose out in the end to the over all sweetness. The aftertaste is the only time the hops are detected. Mouthfeel is medium with enough sweetness to give it some sticky chewiness.
Overall an interesting brew from Franconia Notch. Too sweet, for my personal taste, to have more than one week at the most. As their website says; "We've forgone the bitterness of hops to let the subtly sweet flavors of this beer's different types of malt shine through." Subtly? Nothing subtle about the sweetness here.
Perhaps on tap with CO2 the sweetness would be a bit less sticky and a bit more balanced than it was on cask.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Puddleglum
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In relative contrast to Franconia Notch's Grail Pale Ale, the River Driver Ale is almost completely absent of hops. The appearance is a beautiful translucent mahogony with a sweet aroma of malted barley. The taste is even sweeter than the aroma. The head leaves a lace down the side of the glass and the finish is wonderful. Bravo Franconia Notch! Yet another exceptional beer!

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Photo of ybnorml
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an unfiltered beer. So it is not clear nor is it cloudy just dense in color, which is a dark brown with amber highlights.The aroma is light with a nice sweet malty character. The flavor starts with a quick bit of that malt sweetness on the tip of your tongue. Followed by a nice bite of hops and a bittersweet hoppy finish with a hint of grapfruit.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on-tap at the Sunset.

This Amber Ale poured a clear, deep coppery, red, amber color with creamy, tan foam that persisted and clung to the glass. The smell was or roasty malty and perhaps a bit of yeast, and there was a touch of sweetness in the aroma as well. The taste was lightly sweet malt with a touch of roastiness. There was a bit of roasted malt as well, together with very light hoppiness and a hint of fruity (pear) esters. The mouthfeel was dry and malty with medium body and moderate carbonation. The aftertaste was a dry, roasted malty flavor. This was a very drinkable beer!

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River Driver Ale from Franconia Notch Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
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