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Deschutes River Ale | Deschutes Brewery

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very good
99 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: 99 | Ratings: 574
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 6/18/13.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with some grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp but somewhat medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink, especially with the 4% ABV.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at an irish pub in park city, of all places. apparently a low abv selection made for the states with funny laws. I was impressed with this though, it pours a clear sunny color, with an inch of lasting rich fluff on top. the nose is mellow malt, light and crisp, crackery, with a honey sweetness, meadow springtime feeling beer. the taste matches the nose, crisp and clean, balanced, with a decent bit of bittering hops coming through the straw malt profile. very very drinkable at a low abv, fuller bodied too for its color, which I like a lot. this was an outstanding beer on a big hangover, just something to ease the headache away and reestablish myself. I always associate Deschutes with big bold beers, experimental stuff, and a penchant for creativity, but this simple everyday drinker is also something to behold in its own way. I really enjoyed it, and could easily drink pint after pint of this. everything a lighter beer should be. well done!

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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 chinchill
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%

12 oz bottle with a BB date of Sept. 2014. Purchased in Eugene and consumed on the banks of Oregon’s McKenzie River.
4.25 3.75 3.4 3.6
Appearance: clear deep amber with a semi-durable, sudsy bone-colored head. Excellent lacing.
Aroma: herbal/floral hops with a good bit of biscuit malts.
Flavor: Low-medium hop intensity in this ale is about that of a typical Pilsner. Mild+ bitterness.
Feel: Lively medium carbonation. Near medium body.
O: well crafted but unexceptional.

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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 Slatetank
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Monde, enjoyed chilled from the 12oz into a goblet chilled.

The color is a lightly hazed golden with thin off white cap with ultra fine bead head retention is good. The smell is fruity and has an herbal hop aroma with a slight citrus-lemon peel like scent. The feel is great, medium light body with medium carbonation with a milld bitterness and clean overall feel with a light yeast fruitiness.

The taste is great with herbal hops and has a slight malt presence up front with a mild lemon zest and yeast flavor. The yeast brings a slight fruitiness to the taste which blends well with the mild citrus in the taste. The overall drinkability is great, I enjoyed this and for a 4% beer it is not lacking in flavor at all.

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Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Bright golden hue, perfect clarity. A head that other beer are jealous about adorns the top. Very aromatic; crackers, faint citrus, herbal, slightly floral, hop spice and grassy. Very crisp with a lighter body, expected being only 4.0%. Bready with grassy undetones, even hop flavor throughout and the bitterness at 28 IBUs is at an ideal level for balance. Orange pith, faint mint and a bit herbal with a mildly biscuity drying finish

Extremely drinkable and more than enough flavor to go around for its size, well done Deschutes!

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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 WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It’s nice to see a golden ale with character, the Deschutes River Ale named for the Deschutes River which runs through Bend, OR. Big slightly hazed golden body with a billowing white head appears in my new Roundabout brewery imperial pint glass. Fine speckled lacing is left behind on the sides of the glass.

Aroma has citrus hops mellow but there, with a grassy hay fresh cut grass character as well. Nice full on lighter biscuit malts in there extremely limited simple ingredients can create a clean dead on sessional ale as proved with this is beer from Deschutes.

Flavor is liquid bread with some citrus earthy dank hops assertive bitterness mellows as the bread like malt sweetness arises on the sides of the palate to finish pretty clean, blind tasted you may think this was a lager. I love the low alcohol, 4% abv and packed with flavor we need more of this style.

Mouthfeel rich malt layers provided a nice body with some girth to it, mellow to moderate carbonation level goes down smooth nice crisp dry finish very much feels like a lager with more body.

Overall, incredibly impressive golden ale as they describe it on the label, I know I could drink this as a dessert island beer for sustainability.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Uh oh.. American Blonde.. but it's Deschutes! Let's see if there is hope.

This is quite dark for a blonde, sort of a pale amber with orange semi-clear body and some good fast rising carbonation in places. A nice reddish tint to this also. Head is fluffy and large settling at a big four fingers and a whipped up top. Pretty solid and impressive.

Very light toasty grains, a small sense of caramel sweetness to match with a light sugar presence. Hints of cinnamon and light toasty white bread. Quite good also. Hmm so far so good.

The palate brings the nice toast and white bread waffle sweetness on first sip, but it disappears very quickly under a somewhat wet body. Toasty finish at least, with a good mix of honey sweetness and mild caramel sense. Very clean. Really dig this kind of doughy sweet waffle like flavor.

Overall just wish there was a bit more depth, but this is real easy drinking and has a nice flavor palate compared to most blondes I've had.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at the COOP tonight.. Pours clear light orange... decent white head.. splotchy lacing.

Nose is malt centric with dry biscuity essence and some crisp pale malts... light floral hoppiness... maybe some background citrus hops.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a long finish for such a low ABV brew.. pale malts and dry toast carry the hops for a while...

Light body with a balanced carbonation.. very very drinkable and is going to be a fridge staple during the coming hot months.


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Photo of Halcyondays
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear goldenrod with a medium white head. Good retention with substantial lacing.

S: Bready notes, light green grape, fruity hop character, berry.

T: Sweet bready notes with light notes of citrus and melon. Light tartness in the finish; I like the notes of sugar cane.

M: Light-bodied, crisp, fairly clean, easy drinking.

O: The new one from Deschutes, quite a flavourful session beer. A good starter beer for the novice, but with enough flavour to interest the seasoned craft beer drinker looking for something lighter, light beer done right.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a dash of haze and a thin layer of frothy ivory foam. Pretty nice.

Smell: sweet malt with a lightly floral, lightly fruity hop aroma. A bit low in intensity, but enticing nonetheless.

Taste: floral and a little bit fruity with a slightly toasty malt base. Quite good for a session ale.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: this beer really is fantastic for such a low-ABV session ale. It's one of the most massively drinkable beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by June 13, 2013.

It pours a 24K gold with a 2 finger head of foam and is good with the lacing.

It smells earthy hoppy, grainy, light citrus.

It has a good malt vs hop taste. Citrus and earthy hops, sweetish taste from the malt, lighter with the grain than in the smell. Tasty.

Lightish bodied with god level of carbonation.

I like this session beer and I'll be buying more as there are literally no choices for low abv brews other than beers with the word "light" in them.

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Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had at the Bryant Lake bowl on tap.
A: Brilliant straw gold with a ½” creamy white foam collar that leaves thick lace.
S: Citrus and light grains
T: The palate starts with light fruit and light grains and then it dries out with a slight grapefruit rind bitterness, fairly light.
M: medium body and carbonation.
O: A refreshing, easy to drink beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - A bit deeper than a a typical bright yellow, some orange highlight. A 1/2 inch of head that settles to a thick lace ring.
S - Apple skins, mild hops and yeast, some fruity sweetness. Smell is overall light.
T - Has some easy drinking sweetness, mild hops, not bitterness or skunky flavor. Like an apple cider but sweeter. Not bad.
M - Light to medium, easy to drink, pint is gone before the review.

Overall not a bad blonde indeed but nothing I would seek out again.

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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 barnzy78
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best by 07/29/14
L - golden in color with an everlasting persistent off-white head
S - faint but fresh aroma of grass, citrus, biscuit
T - refreshing, biscuit, caramel, toasted grain, nice bright burst of juicy, orangy citrus at the end
F - lighter body, finishing very dry but fairly crisp
O - really good, but I'm not sure that I'd buy it again, hence the lower overall score.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear yellow, not much carbonation, or head.

S-Nice wheat and malt, some grassy notes and lemon. Mild hops.

T-Starts with a nice malt more hops than I was expecting from the the style and ends with grass and lemon.

M-Light, not much carbonation and a crisp finish.

O-One of the more enjoyable beers from the style, the kick of extra hop notes (without the bitterness) was nice.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a big billowy white head. The head fades rather fast, leaving a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is rather strong of a bready and yeasty smell mixed with a rather lighter citrus and apricot smell. Along with these aromas comes some lighter notes of a hay and grassy smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a slightly cracker like taste mixed with a bit of yeast. Right from the start there is also very light hay and grassy taste, which create a nice hop base for the taste for the brew. As the taste advances a lighter grapefruit and grassy hop as well as a little bit of a lemon taste come to the tongue. With a hint of pine at the very end, one is left with a somewhat drier cracker malt and lighter soured citrus taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather light and thin with a carbonation level that is on the higher side. For the lighter abv., the bit of sourness, and the drier tastes the feel is rather nice and makes for a more refreshing and crisp brew overall.

Overall- A rather easy drinking ale with a little bit of sourness and hop flavor, keeping it lively, but not overwhelming. Not a bad one to go to on a warm summer day as a nice session brew.

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Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, pale amber color with one finger of head that settled to a thin film. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Impressive aroma for a blond ale. I get tropical fruit, grain, and cut grass.

Packs a lot of hop flavor into a low ABV, and it is not that bitter. The hop reminds me of the one Deschutes uses in their Inversion IPA. I get some Juicy Fruit flavor that I find appealing. Which after reading the brewers description, shares only Cascade with Inversion. The malt adds a touch of sweetness and bready flavor. Nicely balanced.

Not the most spirited carbonated. I would of liked it to be more lively and make the beer more crisp and clean. Light body which is not surprising.

Very easy drinking beer with low ABV and nice hop flavor without a lot of bitterness.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured two fingers of head on a dark, clear golden colored body. Great head retention.
The aroma is a nice honey with a touch of bread.
The taste is smooth mild sweetness with a mild lemon bitter coming into play halfway through.
The texture is light and airy with moderate carbonation.
A nice blond with a little more bitterness than normal.

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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 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 beergoot
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep yet pale yellow body; two-finger white head, sticky and creamy. Light, grainy aroma with a wet grass undertone. Honey and cereal malt flavors; toasty sweet with a touch of hop bitterness. Light-bodied, soft and gentle on the palate with a crisp, dry finish.

This turns out to be a very flavorful light ale, loaded nice grain and malt complexity with a nice, low ABV; so very session-able. A nice, gentle warming delight on a late winter early evening...

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Deschutes River Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 574 ratings.
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