Deschutes River Ale | Deschutes Brewery

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: 578
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 T100Mark
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Great butterscotch color. A little hazy. Good stickage. A very handsome beer.

Smell - A touch of citrus aroma. A whiff of malt. Faint pepper.

Taste - The citrus hop flavor and the moderate malt foundation make for a very pleasant and balanced ale . Slightly spicy. A bit tart. A little toasty. Nice.

Mouth - Fizzy. Oily.

Overall - Imagine a nice West Coast Pale Ale, only a little less so. Subtle yet tasty! At 4% abv, this ale is very chugable (I could knock down a few of these in quick succession). A very nice ale but I prefer the Deschutes Mirror Pond.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deschutes' blonde ale session offering pours a rather dark goldenrod-orange color with a fair amount of white froth. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is pale grains, lemon-lime citrus, pineapple, and floral roadside weed, along with a little diacetyl buttery sweetness. Taste largely follows the nose and is unassuming, mellow, and pleasant if uncomplicated and bucolic: Pale malt and hints of caramel and vanilla custard, lemongrass, citrus pith ... Cascade hops. A little diacetyl as suggested by the aroma. Moderately carbonated and body falls just short of semi-chewy, classic blonde ale when it comes to these parameters. Finish quite bitter, with slight mint/pine and grain husk astringency. Underwhelming compared to many of Deschutes' other brews but has enough hop aroma/flavor to keep my attention. Certainly far more subtle than Twilight summer ale, which takes the blonde ale blueprint but adds near-pale ale levels of hopping (see that review).

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this

Consumed 12/4/13

Appearance: A bit darker than I would have expected for a blonde, but I'll take it - mostly clear orange gold - some copper as well - small, white head, fades to borderline nothing, but leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Definitely mild, but some nice citrus and light malts - fleshy oranges, with a hint of grapefruit - some floral and lightly grassy notes - light, pale malts and a touch of caramel - light bread and some light crackers

Taste: About as mild as the aroma, with a lot of charm - floral citrus, with some light orange flesh and a hint of grapefruit - nice citrus flavors, virtually no bitterness - touch of mint - pale malts with some light caramel - lightly grainy - lightly bready with a side of crackers - nicely balanced, definitely drinkable

Mouthfeel: Light body, smooth, nicely carbonated, extremely drinkable

Overall: Best consumed while living in a van, down by the river!

<Obligatory Deschutes makes drinkable beers joke here.> This is not the best thing I've had from Deschutes, but it's still tasty. I could drink a few dozen.

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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 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 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 elNopalero
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a light toasted-brown golden color with gentle foaming.

It lacks a pronounced aroma although I caught some light lemony notes as it opened but nothing struck me.

There’s a light, lemony and toasted biscuit character to the flavor with a slight mineral note. Not hoppy in the least—a good gateway beer, perhaps? Terrifically refreshing.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Beautiful clear sunset gold with some white and light lacing.

S: Bready malts and light citrus character, some lemon and orange zest, faint caramel.

T: Matches the nose, bready and sweeter malt notes, hints of caramel, some earthy flavors and citrus zest, faint suggestion of spice.

MF: Pretty light and refreshing, very sessionable.

O: A decent blonde and a nice summer drinker.

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Photo of bump8628
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deschutes throws their hat in the ring with this new wave of American session beers. Slightly hazed orange-gold, surprisingly sturdy and frothy white head for the ABV. Nice array of hop flavors going on - grapefruit, dirty herbs, and lemon rind. Malt is minimal as expected given the session strength - simple light caramel sweetness and a faint cereal quality. Assertive but balanced flavor at 4%, goes down easy and that's not a problem since I could probably down a sixer of this with no ill effects. A great effort from Deschutes, I'm down with the new session craze and this falls right in line with that - plenty of flavor in a small package.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head which appears to have pretty good retention. The head is almost pure cotton white with the slightest hints of yellow while the body is a slightly hazy, light to medium amber which glows a light amber with lots of orange when held up to the light. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Fairly subdued but still inviting. Light citrus (tangerine first, then some orange) with hints of melon. Some honey and floral notes. The slightest hint of caramel emerges. There is complexity but also much subtlety.

Taste- The citrus notes of the nose appear first and are followed by lots of grain and biscuit. There is a slight bitterness that seems to come from the malt but nothing that I would necessarily describe a woody or piney. Citrus dominates the front of flavor profile as the dominant cereal begins to fade. While this beer is nothing special, it is a well balanced and very sessionable beverage. Some slight notes of pine and resin start to appear on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. A bit of smoothness as well.

Drinkability- Very easygoing with enough flavor to keep it interesting. Very sessionable.

Overall- Pretty good, above average beer. Definitely worth a try if you're looking for a sessionable summer beer. It's also a good representation of the style.

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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 flexabull
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a nice sturdy off white head.

Aromas are pleasant, notes of grass, lemon zest, and cream.

Taste is dry, and really bready. Pronounced notes of bread dough, spices, and creamy sweetness. Finish is lightly spicy, with some floral hoppiness. Pretty crisp as well.

Mouthfeel has pretty good body, not heavy, with good carbonation.

Overall, a pleasant surprise, a tasty and easy drinking sessionable ale. One of those beers that is better than the sums of it's parts, a nice warm weather offering from Deschutes.

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Photo of Oakenator
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a yellow amber color with ample head in the glass. Dissipates to almost nothing on consumption. Little lacing.

S: Flowery hops, garden spices.

T: Clean pale ale. Floral and spicy hopping with some malting.

M: Light yet has some body.

O: Good brew but have had better from Deschutes.

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Photo of wes123
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly cloudy light caramel color. Small head with sticky lacing on the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, a bit of caramelized sugar.

Nice bready flavor, sweet candy malt with a crisp bitterness on the back end.

Robust mouthfeel with small bubbles.

Overall for 4%abv, the beer has amazing body and complex flavors.

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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 mjurney
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep golden color, some amber highlight, clear. Lots of fine bubbles rising up. Thick rocky head.

Very clean and crisp, citrusy, fruity, bready.

Clean malts, white bread, cracker, biscuity. Hop bitterness is medium, mainly spicy-citrus. Some fruit, green apple. Finish is tart, very crisp. Body is light-medium, super clean, crisp, a little dry.

Excellent beer.

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Photo of Algebrew
4.44/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured a clear yellowish copper with a fluffy one finger head that moderately dissipated into a white crown.

Smell: A sweet citrus hop smell with a sturdy backing of malts.

Taste: The beginning, middle, and end give a crisp orange juice tone with a steady hop throughout.

Mouthfeel: A tad bit thicker than I was expecting, creamy.

Overall: A solid Deschutes brew, but it is light on the ABV.

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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 Goblinmunkey7
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Straight up gold. Slight chill haze drops and leaves a super clear beer. Head is bright-white and drops to a small clumpy cap and collar. Small spots of lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Pale toasted malts. Very bready. Solid leafy hop presence pushes grapefruit pith and juicy flesh. Very light and clean. Some underlying pale malt sweetness. Faintly tropical. Some tangerine. Balanced.

Taste: Crackers and fresh-baked white bread. Slightly toasted. A bit of a pithy almost earthy undertone. Small hints of grapefruit flesh and tangerine. Pale malts add a touch of sweetness. Faint esters. Some apple skin. Soft and clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with a moderate carbonation. Super clean. slightly crisp.

Overall: Deschutes: Champion of the session!

Like Mirror Pond, this isn't the best in it's style, but damn if I don't want to drink it in en masse. Light and refreshing with the standard Deschutes high drink and quaffability. Seriously everyone who distributes to MA, do this and you win.

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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 Siriusfisherman
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Hazy gold with carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass. Nice soapy head. Good lacing.

A: Nice floral/citric hop and biscuit malt nose, very rich for such a light brew. Some subtle fruity esters are detectable as well.

T/M: Smooth touch of bitterness upfront, moves into a floral grapefruit character with a great bisciut malt balance. Touch of herbal character, subtle fruity yeast and a clean, light bodied finish.

Overall, an epic summertime session brew! Perfect balance between hop and malt, nice complexity, and a clean finish. Not anything compared to the depth of flavor you can find in stronger brews, but it is nice to have such a well crafted light ale that, well, tastes like an ale.

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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 CookstLiquor
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 355ml bottle. Pours a Coppery orange/brownish amber colour. The nose is full of classic West Coast hop notes like pine, grapefruit and other citrus. The taste also has some good fresh hop notes with some crackery malt, as well. It's quite light bodied and quaffable but with lots of flavour. An excellent summertime session beer.

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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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Deschutes River Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 578 ratings.
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