Death Valley
Brasseurs R.J.

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Brasseurs R.J.
Quebec, Canada
Belgian IPA
Ranked #72
Ranked #23,145
3.73 | pDev: 12.06%
May 08, 2022
Oct 20, 2012
Death ValleyDeath Valley
Notes: None
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Ratings by jrenihan:
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Reviewed by jrenihan from Canada (ON)

3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Bottle dated BB 090714

Beer is golden/amber in colour, with an enormous white head. Excellent retention- head just never goes away. Lots of lacing.

Smell is quite hoppy, with grass, light fruits and pine resin all present. Caramel malt and yeast are there as well. The scents all sort of mush up together, a bit messy.

Taste has lots of light fruits and notable hop bitterness. Pine resin and grassy flavours. Hops provide a bit of a spicy flavour. Yeast and some caramel malt. Booze is more noticeable than I would expect for an 8% brew. Not bad, but booze is too prominent and yeast flavours could be nicer.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Oily. Feels a bit limp.

Overall, not bad but not a beer I would seek out again.
Oct 20, 2012
More User Ratings:
Photo of Conrad
Reviewed by Conrad from Canada (ON)

4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I have not had many Quebec beers lately due to the travel restrictions of the pandemic. I have a lot of catching up to do. One great surprise was this wonderful beer. Brasseurs RJ have outdone themselves with this one. Yes, I would have another, especially if you're buying. This is another reason to visit Quebec. So much beer, so little time.
May 08, 2022
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
Reviewed by CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours cloudy brass with an everlasting, compact head. The aroma is of fruity Belgian yeast, cookie dough and herbal, lemongrass hops. Grapefruit, cotton candy, fresh bread and cotton candy in the taste. The mouthfeel is full bodied with prickly, high carbonation. Light bitterness and lingering spicy, fruity Belgian yeast esters in the finish.

A nice Belgian IPA. Very balanced with a nice Tripel like yeast profile. Worth a try.
Feb 26, 2020
Rated: 3.81 by Rukeli76 from Canada (ON)

Jan 11, 2020
Rated: 4.14 by Vyvyan from Illinois

Sep 30, 2019
Rated: 3.68 by jhodgert from Canada (QC)

Jan 20, 2019
Rated: 3.06 by BucBasil from Rwanda

Dec 31, 2018
Rated: 4.06 by bryanzk from Canada (ON)

Oct 13, 2018
Rated: 4.14 by babykaiju from Canada (ON)

Mar 11, 2018
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Reviewed by Poljazz22 from Canada (QC)

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Pours golden slightly opaque with a 2 in white head.Some lacing with a white ring after a few minutes.
Lots of hops and Belgian yeast.
Taste of floral and earthy hops with some malty sweetness.
Well balanced between the bitterness of the the hops and the malts. Some pepper some sweetness and some decent mouth feel.
I quite like this and it makes a change from your typical IPA.
Oct 25, 2017
Photo of GingerFan
Reviewed by GingerFan from Canada (QC)

3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Opaque beer with little bits of sediment, nice golden color. Nothing too special about the smell. Taste is malty and a bit sweet. Overall favorite beer from R.J. so far.
Oct 07, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by rugene from Canada (QC)

Jul 14, 2017
Rated: 4.05 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Jul 11, 2017
Photo of NeilW
Reviewed by NeilW from Canada (ON)

3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
This is a pretty decent beer and fairly typical of a lot of the Quebec Belgian style beers. I poured the first glass from the bottle after it had been stored on it's side - this caused a lot of the sediment to end up in the pour. The second glass was poured after the bottle had been stored for about half an hour upright in the fridge - and most of the sediment stayed in the bottom of the bottle.

The first pour, not surprisingly had a more yeasty taste - not overpowering nor unpleasent but it did change the character of the beer. The beer pours a somewhat cloudy copper colour. The nose has aromas of bread, some citrus, and malt. Despite its name it is not overly agressive in flavour. It has a decent amount of hops, and a sweet long finish. The carbonation is excellent with a nice mouthfeel. This is not an overy heavy beer, despite its higher alcohol content. The carbonation leaves the beer crisp and easy drinking.

Overall a decent beer.
Jan 29, 2017
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Reviewed by q33jeff from New Jersey

1.42/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5
Circa 2000
Bottle to pint glass.

Hazy yellow with an enormous amount of sediment.
Crazy pasty with belgian wang in the taste.

Not very enjoyable at all.

Dec 31, 2016
Rated: 3.5 by PJT from Canada (QC)

Dec 25, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by GoHabsGo from Canada (ON)

Dec 10, 2016
Rated: 4 by Jotora from Canada (ON)

Nov 20, 2016
Rated: 3.46 by nyrblue2 from New York

Oct 23, 2016
Rated: 3.66 by hotsudge from Canada (ON)

Oct 16, 2016
Rated: 4.19 by Boo-urns from Canada (ON)

Jul 24, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by hunterjames from Canada (ON)

Jul 16, 2016
Rated: 4 by Socialiste from Canada (QC)

Jul 06, 2016
Rated: 3.55 by byronic from Canada (ON)

Jun 29, 2016
Photo of TheDoctor
Reviewed by TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

1.99/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2
Serving: Bottle

Pours a coppery brown with a persistent khaki head that is pretty substantial, lots of scummy lace. The aroma is of a rusty puddle with some leaves in it. Flavor kicks it up a notch with a bizarre bready-sweet 'pop' that descends into dirty, woody hops with lots of spices, soap and an old rag thrown in for good measure. The flavor melds with the mouthfeel as it becomes increasingly astringent to the point of being unpleasant. There is active carbonation and it is medium bodied, but the main thing you feel is a bitter, acrid hum in your mouth that sticks around a while.

I would absolutely not have this again. It was flat out terrible. Ordinarily with a beer this bad I wouldn't even review it because it would be infected. This was not infected, it was just a mess of big flavors and feeling in a whirlpool of bitterness. No off flavors and I drank it with a friend who actually seemed to really like it.

All I can guess is that it was incredibly old (bought from a grocery store that doesn't care about beers and is a good spot to get "pre-aged" Sophie and Unibroue). HOWEVER, the best before date is in 2018! Seriously, Brasseurs RJ?!?

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
May 23, 2016
Rated: 3.97 by PSU_Mike from Pennsylvania

May 07, 2016
Photo of biegaman
Reviewed by biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Death Valley is too daunting a name for such a pleasant looking ale - surely this glowing, clear-ish liquid is nothing to fear!? Appropriate for its name, however, the beer's colour is indeed reminiscent of the scorched earth and sun-baked sand of the dessert. And its head is, ahem, a "low point of elevation".

For a beer that exclaims "hop lovers rejoice!" the aroma has a lot of biscuity malt - and an underwhelming amount of hops. They call this a "triple hop" beer, presumably because it uses three varietals (Bravo, Saaz and Amarillo) and not because it has three times more hoppiness. It doesn't.

Certainly not in the bouquet; the taste delivers a little more. Orange blossoms and lemon/lime bar mix play more prominently on the palate, though we're still in the shallow end as for as depth of hop flavour. Given the varietals listed it's a surprise there's not more grassy florals or tropical fruit notes.

Or perhaps not given the presence of malt and yeast. For a Belgian style beer with an American twist this has an awful lot of British character: dough, bread, and biscuits from the grain as well as marmalade- and apricot jelly-like esters from the yeast. It's alright, but not exactly what I was expecting.

That pretty much sums it up: Death Valley has a pleasing profile - one with both candied citrus rinds as well as sweetish, doughy malt - but it's not necessarily what I'd reach for when hankering for a Belgian IPA (or any kind of IPA for that matter). As is typical for an R.J. offering, this is pretty mediocre beer.
Apr 19, 2016
Rated: 3.65 by Simon212 from Canada (ON)

Dec 31, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by groleau from Canada (QC)

Dec 28, 2015
Rated: 4.1 by theDuck from Canada (QC)

Nov 25, 2015
Rated: 3.71 by Cycle69 from Canada (ON)

Oct 02, 2015
Rated: 3.91 by Supergenou from Canada (QC)

Sep 24, 2015
Rated: 3.93 by yancot from Canada (ON)

Sep 23, 2015
Rated: 4 by kwjd from Canada (ON)

Sep 12, 2015
Rated: 3.81 by CurtisD from Canada (NB)

Sep 04, 2015
Photo of kevofficiel
Reviewed by kevofficiel from Canada (QC)

3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Death Valley from les brasseur RJ. Got it on a 6 mix packs.

So the look of it: Orange with about 2 fingers of head.

The smell of it: Citrus, orange a touch of hops but very light.

The taste of it: Fruity with some citrus, orange. A touch of hops on the aftertaste but very light for an IPA. The mouthfeel is just a bit too much Alcohol burn to it. You feel it when it goes down. Nothing to offensive but just wanted to mention it.

So overall would I recommend it? For sure, this is a nice Belgian IPA. Les brasseurs RJ does make good Belgian Beer and this one is worth picking it up.
Aug 02, 2015
Rated: 4.15 by talbotjf99 from Canada (QC)

Jul 11, 2015
Rated: 3.99 by Wajohnst from Canada (ON)

Jul 06, 2015
Rated: 4.18 by BigGruntyThirst from Canada (ON)

Jun 28, 2015
Photo of thehyperduck
Reviewed by thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 mL corked and caged bottle from the LCBO; best before Mar 30 2017 and served slightly chilled (as suggested). Great price point on this one - it's rare to find a bomber for less than six dollars these days, let alone a full-sized 750 mL bottle.

Pours a hazy golden-amber colour, generating nearly a full inch of creamy, white froth at the surface. This one's head lacks the retention that the style is legendary for - it thins out over the next handful of minutes until only a wide, creamy collar is left, seguing seamlessly into the uninterrupted curtain of delicate lace that has been left pasted to the glass above it. Yeast is the most abundant force in the aroma, which includes notes of bubblegum, doughy malt, sugary sweetness, and some floral, spicy hops. It does smell vaguely funky, in a stinky-feet sort of way, and that is in no way a compliment. I did serve this a bit cold, but the nose does not open up significantly as the glass warms.

This tastes like a reasonably well-made example of the style, but there are a few facets to the flavour profile that bug me. Firstly, it is quite sweet - caramelized sugar and some grainy, doughy malt flavours come through initially, with the former providing a persistent, saccharine background throughout the profile. Notes of apricot, red apple, candied citrus and banana also show up, but things take a decidedly bitter turn toward the finish. Its exact nature is hard to pin down - a bit pithy, rather spicy, and somewhat floral - continuing on briefly into the aftertaste, where it is soon displaced by a noticeable (for 8%) boozy warmth. Medium in body, perhaps approaching the fuller side of that category, with zippy carbonation levels that provide a crisp bite and a frothy, smooth mouthfeel. A pretty good summer sipper.

Final Grade: 3.78, a worthy B+. Death Valley makes for quite the enjoyable quaff - though not one nearly as impressive or memorable as you'll get from the kingpins of this style. I do like this beer, but relatively speaking, there's nothing especially remarkable about it - that is, other than the price point, which is low enough to allow this bottle to remain very good value, whether you think it's a 'world-class Belgian IPA' or not. There's no reason whatsoever not to give this one a shot - and as for myself, I'll probably be buying at least one more bottle for short-term cellaring.
Jun 22, 2015
Death Valley from Brasseurs R.J.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 76 ratings