Deschutes River Ale | Deschutes Brewery

very good
100 Reviews
Deschutes River AleDeschutes River Ale

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 02-27-2013

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Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 580
Photo of Jimmys
2.49/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into 0.3 L stange. best before 08/28/2013.

A: I wouldn't exactly call this blonde, more of a light copper hue. head is bright white. retention and lacing are minimal.

S: a bit of toffee. not getting any hop presence what-so-ever. mild diacetyl in there too.

T: a lot of caramel malt, a little bit of lemon zest. and definitely a whole lot of diacetyl on the back-end.

M: carb is moderate. on a light/medium body.

D: oh boy I really wanted this to be something besides this. I was hoping for a light hop presence and a highly drinkable summer brew. instread this is totally lacking in hop presence and is beat up with diacetyl.

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Photo of Kyle_Hanson
2.62/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I must've gotten a bad pint of this. Mine was served at the local Famous Dave's BBQ place, and was nothing like everybody is saying it is. I found it flavorless, thin, no mouthfeel, and under carbonated.

I will have to try this from the bottle, I know Deschutes wouldn't make a product this poor. However, I will adjust my review when that time comes, but not before.

I guess it had an excellent head and lacing. That's all the good I get from it.

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Photo of Foyle
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 2" off white fluffy head which leaves some light lacing behind. Color is a hazy rich gold with abundant streaming carbonation.

Aroma: Pine and citrus hops are quite present with a nice doughy malt behind them.

Mouthfeel: light and fluffy with a somewhat wet finish.

Flavor: lemon peel, some pine and grapefruit, an odd soapy flavor, in the background is some malty backbone of dinner rolls, with a hint of cinnamon and caramel.

Overall: I am hoping this beer will grow on me. I generally enjoy golden and blond ales, but this seems a little strange to me thus far. It is not bad, neither is it great. I was expecting more as I have always been pleased with Deschutes products. The beer just seems to lack a proper balance and is more hop forward while lacking in the sweetness I am accustomed to in this style.

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Photo of Shade1951
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm not a fan of the style, so it is difficult to provide a fair review.

No complaints about the look. Nice, slightly hazy gold color, not much of a head, some lacing (for those who care about lacing).

The smell is... mild. Faint hops. No unpleasant.

Taste is also mild, like the smell. Faint piney hops - nothing floral that I can detect. It's not bad, just not that memorable.

The feel is the worst attribute - to my taste buds. Watery. Mildly carbonated.

I guess this is what people would call a "session beer." It would take many people 3 or 4 of these to get a "buzz." Probably better consumed outside on a hot summer's day. The beer just doesn't have enough "substance" for me.

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Photo of harrymel
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Best by 13JUN13

Golden, clear, nice solid creamy foam. Smells floral, some grain, hint of hay. Taste is a little bitter, a little corn, a bit of herbal hops. Light bodied with lower carb and a semi dry finish. Meh, needs a little more oomph if you ask me.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was one of those palate cleansers that show up to the mega bottle share in March.

Pours a straw yellow, 7/8" head on it, pretty faint, a very neutral aroma, there isn't anything to really speak about, nothing off, nothing in your face.

Taste comes off minimal/neutral as well. Makes sense they call it River Ale, water is the most prevalent aspect of the beer. Softly hits the tongue. Carbonation high. No yeast esters. The beer has nothing wrong with it. It is a good beer to check out in between more flavorful beers or when you need to sober up, but not at as fast of a pace as if you were drinking str8 h20.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance has a orange hazy color with a thin dissipating head leaving spotting lace. Smell is refreshing with the sharp citrus hops balancing with the malt. Taste is kinda dissapointing with what tastes like having more bittering hops with the malt with not much flavoring. Mouthfeel is medium light with good carbonation.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.09/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mild yellow pour, seemed to have a little obscured haze throughout it instead of looking a little more professional.

Thanks to Reno Dave for bringing this to March Madness 2013, was a nice, simple palate cleanser, something so many neglected to account for. Aroma was negligible, if anything. Just sweet toasty malt in the smallest amount noticeable.

Taste, pretty marginal, some different yeast like ester flavor going on, also came across like there was a 10% wheat bill almost. Kind of a head scratcher. Stays away from the hops, but heck, even their inversion ipa seems to go that direction lately. Carbonation is substantially high. Some belgian hay in the mouthfeel.

I dunno, Deschutes used to be a brewery that was in my top 5 purchase history. Now, they seem to put all the hops into their bombers and kind of neglect the 6 packs. Heck, even Abyss is less bourbon barrelled than ever. This one wasn't bad, but it was just kind of there, to help wash away the mouth before the next beer.

A big no thanks to David Hurley of the El Dorado Casino sports bar area. Don't renege on promises made about our three days of bottle share half-way through. Integrity counts. Let us enjoy this beer next time instead of hassling your paying customers.

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Photo of Steve_Studnuts
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear, pale reddish color with quickly dissipating head. Smells pleasant enough, kind of sweet-scented, but its real faint. Taste is likewise pleasant but faint; somewhat yeasty and I believe I detect some raisin in there too. Mouth feel is _very_ light, almost watery. At the end of the day this is decent enough but, to compare it to another Oregon ale, this is like Dead Guy Ale's lightweight brother.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes exudes quality for me, so I was surprised to find a rather off-putting nose on this one, a touch vegetal, not quite textbook DMS, but something off to be sure. Palate improved things a touch, with a sort of light bittering hop note working alongside some crackery malt. Body is thin, which makes sense for the low ABV take on the style, I suppose, but still wasn't really endearing. I don't know...the whole time I just kept thinking, "Why bother with this -- just spend the extra .5 - 1% ABV and have a Mirror Pond or Twilight Ale."

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Photo of kojevergas
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 06/13/13. 4.0% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap and appealing simple label served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Purchased earlier tonight. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I love Deschutes.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of okay cream, decent thickness, and good (5+ minute) retention. Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. This is what a blonde should look like, but I'd like a bit more vibrance from the colour. Uneven light lacing as the head recedes.

Sm: Pale malts, caramalt. Grainy as hell. A bit grassy. Light floral hops. Somewhat bready. A hint of minty spice. Graininess dominates. A mild strength aroma. Brings a fair bit to the table for an otherwise simple style. I'm intrigued. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.

T: Pale malts and caramalt forms the unobtrusive backbone. Light floral hops. Dominant grainy and grassy character. Light bready/crackery character. A hint of minty spice adds a nice touch. All around a well balanced brew with a seeming simplicity that disguises impressive subtlety for such a straightforward style. It doesn't have a high depth of flavour, but it's a pleasant refreshing brew. Very enjoyable to drink.

Mf: Decent body. Smooth and wet. Refreshing. Slight overcarbonation. Emphasis is on drinkability in the texture. Complements the flavour profile well. Crisp.

Dr: Drinkability is high; that's the whole point. It's a quaffable brew that refreshes. Highly sessionable. This will be a good beer to lure macro lager drinkers into craft, but it doesn't offer much to impress those of us well acquainted with the style. It's a bit Kolsch-lite for my tastes. I see what Deschutes is doing, but they might have been better off brewing an approachable pale ale for this market. Like it, don't love it. I'd like to revisit it on-draught.

High C+

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Photo of gandres
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Sight: Amber, hazy small off white foam
Smell: Hoppy
Taste: medium bitterness
Feel: lively carbonation, sudden drop with long finish
Overall: very good lager, repeat: yes, look for: No
Drank: 10/21/2016 9:14 PM

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Photo of blakelive784
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a goblet, reviewed live:

A - Pours a semi-transparent copper color with barely any discernible head. Probably could have been poured a little more aggressively. Generic.

S - Lightly toasted malts, floral hops, and rich buttery caramel. Far from complex, but inviting. Moderate strength. A good start for a session beer.

T - Light toasted and crystal malts are countered simply by fresh citric and floral hops notes. As noted in the aroma, it's pretty simple, but I appreciate within the style. This would be good craft conversion beer.

M - Highly carbonated and crisp. Light bodied.

D - I like this one quite a bit. Given the style and objective, it's a success. I wish more breweries would start offering quality, sessionable beers.

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Photo of Bierwolf
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy medium gold. A finger of tan foam that leaves some okay lacing. Nice carbonation. For a blonde the tan foam was a surprise.

Aroma: Sweet, malty, floral.

Taste: Was sweet and malty but also there was a light but noticable metallic taste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a slick feel. Good carbonation here
Smooth finish.

Overall: Pretty good and easy to drink beer.

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Photo of vkv822
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz : tulip
best by: 06/18/13

Lightly hazy, golden orange with a foamy, off white head.

Toasty, pale malts, with faint grassy, floral hop notes.

Medium body, active, bubbly carbonation.

A well done blonde, easy drinking, mild but enjoyable flavor profile.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%

12 oz. bottle, with best before date of 09/20/2014. A new beer to me from Deschutes, acquired as part of their variety twelve pack.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a nice hazed golden orange colored body with lots of tiny sediment floating in the glass. Some thin wispy lacing on the glass, but none really sticks. Looks pretty nice. 4

S - The smell is pretty faint, but pleasant enough. Light florals, bready malts, and a subtle citrus note. 3

T - Taste follows the nose - bready, malty, floral, with a light citrus pith note. Very clean and refreshing. 3.5

M - The feel is crisp, smooth, and clean. This thing goes down wayyyy easy. Light-bodied with nice carbonation. Lightly bready on the finish, with no real lingering flavors of any kind. 4

Overall, a nice easy drinking sessionable beer from Deschutes. I could definitely put away a few of these on a hot summer day. I could see this pairing extremely well with some barbeque. Recommended.

Deschutes River Ale -----3.5/5

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Photo of losthusker
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What we've got here is a craft brew absolutely tailor made for the faint of heart. This particular brewery is highly respected and I think this beer is their attempt to appeal to the bud light drinking masses. As a former bud light drinker I can say this would have been a much better first foray into the craft world than the Sam Adams Rebel IPA that broke my craft beer cherry last year. Mildly hopped and low alcohol, my 80 year old mother could knock a couple of these back with no problem.

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Photo of mactrail
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More amber than blonde in color. Pleasant appearance with plenty of carbonation. A watery body with a hint of soda water in the flavors.

Taste of crackers and not much else to start. Definitely a Blonde Ale in that regard. Some slight fruitiness and a little sweet malt. No real hop flavor that I can find. Still, it's refreshing and drinkable, and it's hard to complain about the mild flavor given the 4% ABV. Maybe they're brewing this for the Utah supermarket trade. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in San Diego.

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Photo of RVerduin
3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I drank this beer from a standard pint glass. Looks are not too special. It has a golden color, is slightly hazy, and has a nice and firm white head.

The smell is not very strong, and dominated by fruity malts.

With just 4% ABV this is not a heavy beer. It drinks smoothly, is well carbonated and refreshing, but a bit too watery for my taste.

As the smell suggests, this beer is fruity. I tasted stone fruit, as well as citrusy hops. The aftertaste is pleasant.

Subtle, and easily drinkable, it makes a decent beer overall. With it being this fruity, I tried pairing it with a summer salad with nuts and strawberries, and this turned out to be a great idea.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz single from Trader Joes, Salem. $1.35 Deep golden coloured ale with a frothy,bubbly white head. Pleasant malty caramel and fruity aromas. Taste is well balanced, caramel, red apple,toast, and a little lemon. Nice Thin palate as expected but OK for what it is A good summer beer and low alcohol/calories is a plus. Put this in cans and this would be in my camping cooler this camping season.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Oh, so that's where the brewery got its name... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises lightly-buttered biscuit, mild grass, flowers, and a hint of powdered sugar. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a tiny kiss of orange peel in the background. Despite this new addition, the flowers keep their iron hold over the proceedings. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice enough blonde, fairly easy-going and drinkable.

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Photo of pallison123
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Style: Pale (Blonde) Ale

Pour: A feathery, fluffy inch that stood up for a few minutes and effervesced to a solid white cap that covered the beer for the duration. No legs or lacing evident on the sides of the first glass, but subsequent pours left nice foamy chunks reminiscent of Hokusai's 'Wave'.

Appearance: Golden, translucent. Ribbons of carbonation flow throughout. It's a 'clean' presentation for an ale.

Flavor: Floral nose. Forward crisp, cascade hoppiness followed by a biscuity malt finish. It's clean and dry - not unlike a hoppy pilsener in its mouthfeel and overall zest.

Session character: At 4.0 ABV this makes for nice, if not tame session beer.

Serving type: Bottle poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

This brew pours a hazy 70% opaque copper/straw color with a two finger foamy white head and good carbonation. Medium to heavy lacing, some of the head lasts until the end.

The smell is mostly sweet malts, straw, cracker, roasted malts and pine.

The taste follows the nose with sweet and roasted malts, maybe a hint of caramel, some roasted malts along with a slightly gritty grassy finish with some pine and hop oil remaining on the tongue after swallowing.
Overall this is just a little more complex than your average blonde ale, there is quite a bit going on in here and the piney hops give it a nice finish. Try it.

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Photo of denver10
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange with a yellowish hue and a slight white head. A couple effervescent bubbles rising to top for a little while following the pour. A balanced, low key but present aroma of some grainy breadiness paired with some orange and its rind as well as some florals. Flavor follows suit; grainy and bready along with some orange and a slightly bitter, grassiness. Aftertaste is what I have come to expect from blondes though with the cereal graininess. A crisp, active mouthfeel. Overall, a decent session ale. I wonder if they intend to keep Twighlight around now, because this as by far a better blond ale and I would never choose Twighlight when I could grab this instead.

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Photo of kitch
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 fl oz bottle with a best by date of 19th April 2016. Poured into a Moonzen teku glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear golden copper colour with a one finger slightly off white head that dissipates quickly leaving only a little lacing.

Aroma: Bready and biscuit malt with a hint of caramel, fruity pineapple and apricot.

Taste: A strong bready malt backbone with some nice light apricot, grapefruit, pine and grass.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: It’s easy to drink and nice and fruity. A decent beer but nothing spectacular.

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Deschutes River Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 580 ratings.
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