River Ale | Deschutes Brewery

33 Reviews
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River AleRiver 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 Seanibus on 05-08-2013

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 177
Photo of stevoj
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark golden body with thin off white head. Light aroma of malt, touch of hops. Taste is also light, malt, honey, hay. Short finish with dry malt palate. Expected better from Deschutes.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2/20...an absolute winner. Bright copper pour, darker on top. Fluffy descending white foamy cap. English pale nose, breads, fruits, toffee. Subtle sprucey pine. Loaded malty flavor, sneaky hidden bitter bite behind the toffee/caramel layers. Smooth and loaded with flavor. Hard down to gulp down. Delicious.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.02/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little darker than straw yellow, a little less than one inch of head on her. Absent aroma.

Taste was nothing to write home about, good or bad. Little bits of malt and hops, agreeable to most palates. Unadventurous to ours. Nothing flawed with the beer. Your buddy will prolly like it.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of bottle pours nice golden color. Nose is grass slight citrus hop aromas. Taste is crisp clean pilsner qualities with a nice pine finish. Not overly bitter, thin, or watery like most sessional beers.

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Photo of ARoman
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap, poured into a plastic cup at Deschutes Street Pub Chicago. The aroma is a muted caramel with a touch of citrus and a prevalent grassiness. By mid cup, the sweet citrus aroma strengthens. It pours a clear amber orange topped by a dense white foam that has a mild retention and lace, The taste is a nicely balanced medium light citrus and grain bittersweet. It's a watery thin texture with a fizzy carbonation and a light body. Flavors of bread and muted caramel are dominant with a citrus undertone. It finishes crisp with a citrus zest leaving an aftertaste of bread crust and caramel. It's lightly cloying and a bit sticky, but overall, a nice malt forward session ale

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Photo of jwc215
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 10/09/15:

Pours deep golden with a lasting creamy head. Lacing sticks down the glass.

The taste is of slight honey - some cracker - subtle floral touch.

The taste is of a hint of honey with a hint of orange in the finish. Rather bland, even for the style, though there is enough flavor that it grew on me a bit as it progressed. Keeping style in mind I bumped up the score I was going to give it.

:Light-bodied, smooth, crisp.

Easy to drink. Pretty much a run-of-the mill inoffensive blonde ale. It does have a nice, though short-lived, aftertaste.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from 12oz. bottle.

A: Pale golden amber, thin white head, very little carbonation and lacing.

S: Floral hops and hints of citrus come though an aggressive smell of cracker.

T: Much like the smell, a cracker like malt backbone with hints citrus. Very slight sweetness with a tiny bit of bitterness at the end.

M: Very light bodied, somewhat dry, goes down way to easy.

O: Not a bad beer by any means especially for a style I am not particularly fond of. Definitely drinkable but there is not much to it.

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Photo of Suds
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pale gold with a thin head and a slight haze. Restrained aroma....light background of hops. Crisp bitterness. Dry. Clean and drinkable with a firm mouthfeel. Respectable but not overly remarkable.

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down and left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of bready and cracker malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and is rather malty, without much in the way of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is a good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of JWU
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle poured into a tumber glass.

A- a pale amber/gold, with a nice white head, lacing could be better.

S- best part of the beer. some very light crackery malts paired with a floral hop with light citrus hints.

T- very light. Cracky malts, a very light hint of sweetness with a decent bitterness from the floral/earthy hops. Very slight citrus rind.

M- dryer that you would think. Light bodied, decent carbonation.

O- it's a summer session ale, in every sense.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The River Ale is decent....nice for a summer session. Having this one in Park City. The beer is well balance taste with typical golden ale like hops with some sweet malt base. The scent is carries hints of lactose and orange rinds. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid brew.

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.02/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A-dark gold color with a large white head that lingered and leave a nice lace
S-very little hops and a little malt aroma
T-hops is light and the malt is there but is not strong, and both stay with you til the finish
M-watery with low carbonation
O-this was an okay beer

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Photo of arizcards
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from Total Wine at the end of September for $1.49. Best by 10/28/13...oops.

Beer poured orange with a robust white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has hints of northwest hops.

Taste is pretty good for a small beer. Nice pale and caramel malts meld nicely with citrus and tropical hops. Nice light lingering of hop bitterness remains after each sip.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Overall this is very tasty for such a small beer. This should be reclassified to be an APA. A nice beer if you want to keep things in control!

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is bready, malty. Taste is refreshing, malts, some breadiness, a bit of lemon, a touch of hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer, probably best enjoyed on a hot day.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. The name is duly evocative of my experience rafting down the lulling river through Bend a few summers ago.

This beer pours a clear medium bronzed amber colour, with two skinny fingers of densely foamy, lazily bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some randomly archaic sea-plume lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of biscuity caramel malt, warming lemon pie, and peppy herbal, leafy, and grassy hops - simple, sure, but enticing all the same. The taste is semi-sweet pale grainy malt, with soft touches of caramel and toasted white bread, a bit of aged (read: forgotten in the vegetable crisper) lemon rind, and grassy, earthy, and wet hay hop esters.

The carbonation is rather sedate (and upon inspection, barely supportive, but what the hell, eh?), the body medium-light in weight, and generally quite smooth. It finishes pretty off-dry, the fruit-tinged bready malt really carrying on.

For this ultimately muddled style, Deschutes does very well by it - the balance of hops and game-worthy malt is more than I might expect for an average example therein. Maybe this is really an APA, maybe it isn't, but I'm sure all those Red Chair fans would throw a hissy fit if I more forcefully suggested the former. A pleasantly diverting session ale.

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Photo of confer
3.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Only my second Deschutes with the first being Mirror Pond
Pours a nice cloudy gold with a lot of froth hanging around.
Smell is really underwhelming , very faint citrusy hops.
Taste is good for a blonde, this one is probably really refreshing on a hot summer day.
I guess I was expecting more of a hop presence, but for the style it was pretty good.

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Photo of draheim
3.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz (best by 11/18/2013) into a tulip. Pours a clear copper color w/ a 1-finger white head that leaves behind some nice sticky lace.

Aroma is herbal and floral, slightly bready. Dried apricots. Muted.

Taste, likewise, is mild and light. Floral hops, dry bready malt.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and drinkable. Lacks body; bordering on watery. Vanishes off the palate. But this would be great on a hot summer day.

Overall this is not a beer I'd get very excited about. But it's a decent sessionable ale that certainly would taste great while rafting down a river.

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Photo of Walletsworth
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark gold with a finger of head and plenty of lacing that doesn't recede at all. Smells mostly of corn which threw me a little bit. Thought it'd be more hoppy. Tastes more grainy and has a lot of corn taste as well. Although there is a nice piney bite on the back end that I like.

Overall a decent beer that I would be happy to have again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pale copper color with a tightly beaded head that laces the glass proficiently.
Aroma of floral hops and a bit piney as well. In the taste, much like a pale ale with lemony citrus hops, also coming across tea like. Reminds me of a pale ale, which is essentially what it is. Medium bodied feel with a spot on medium-high carbonation. Overall this is a refreshing, easy drinking ale.

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Photo of budgood1
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

pours out a cloudy copper hue complimented by a thin off white head. wispy lace. light caramel maltiness with a lemony citrus aroma greets the nose. the taste profile is toasted malt and light citrusy hop notes. well balanced and refreshing. there is a bit of lingering bitterness but very appropriate for what they are trying to accomplish. it's simple, yet rewarding. light bodied with a delicate mouthfeel that throws down some hop coarseness as a bonus. as a session ale, this one is quite drinkable and quite quenchable.

overall this is a nice, low ABV blonde ale that spices up an otherwise boring style. definitley could be a warm weather slammer, or a picnic and lawn mower type of beer. for me it's an end of summer barbecue beer on Labor Day 2013. bought on clearance, it's a steal.

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Photo of LaneMeyer
2.7/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Picked up a 6er of this on sale at the local market. Thought you can't really go wrong with anything from Deschutes...
Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pale amber in color, 1/2 finger of off-white head.

S - Hay, lemon, earthy smell (kinda like dirt or mud), slight bready character, tangerine.

T - Sour lemon, hay, grass, dirt.

M - Nothing exceptional

O - Disappointed. I'm waiting for the "subtle pleasure to reveal," but it hasn't revealed itself yet...

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to whoever brought this to the March Madness tasting as a palate cleanser!

Pours a faint, similar to straw yellow with a 3/4" white head on it. Almost nothing to the aroma, completely neutral.

Taste, very neutral as well. Faint amont of malt and hops, lots of water. Easy drinking. Extremely soft impact on the palate. I guess leans malt over hops since it is smooth. Yeast offers nothing in terms of flavor addition to the beer. No off flavors though. There is nothing wrong with this beer, I get what they were going for, it has a place. Its just not, in the words of Homer Simpson "welcome to flavor country."

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huh? I've had over a case of this and ot reviewed it? Bottle, best by Sept 10, 2013.

A- it pours a clear gold with about an inch of foam(served cold). Good lacing.

S- the nose has some lemon citrus and notes of malt..thinking sweet, maybe some bread.

T- the taste has a nice bitter hoppy punch. Lots of lemon citrus on the front end with bready notes and mild sweetness on the back end. Very tasty for the given abv.

M- good solid body for such a low alcohol brew and perfect carbonation. Mouthfeel gets a yay from me.

O- such a drinking joy whenever I pop the cap on a bottle, it's the closest thing to a go to beer. I love it!

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Photo of soju6
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a nice golden color with a firm head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of Citrus and mild malt with a bit of fruit in the background.

T: Initial taste of citrus, with a mellow malt sweetness with fruit in the background. Nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly light body, crisp, smooth and refreshing. Lots a flavor compared to most Golden Ales. Very nicely balanced.

O: Beer is a good example of the style. It is very enjoyable and goes down way too easy. Good session beer.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A bit of orange tint to a tan base, mostly clear, head was ok, lacing wasn't much.

Aroma was light, a bit of nice graininess along with some citrus (oranges) and a little bit of biscuit.

Flavor is nice, it's a good summery beer. Grains are accented well with a fruity, orangey citrus flavor, along with a mild but tasty malt base, and maybe just a touch of hops.

It's on par with what a blonde ale should be, light, refreshing, easy to drink, and not intensely flavored. I think it's plenty drinkable too, good for barbecuing, lawn mowing, or if you're just generally procrastinating because it's too damn hot.

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River Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.56 out of 5 based on 177 ratings.
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