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River Ale | Deschutes Brewery

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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 177
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 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 russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

BBD 07/02/13

Pours amber with 2 fingers of eggshell colored head. Very nice head retention & lacing

S: Pears & a touch of hay

T: Follows the nose, some grassy & lemony notes mix with bready sweetness up front. Pears, a bit of Golden Delicious apple, hay & peppery hops along some dryness as this warms. Finishes fruitty with hay & a kiss of lemony hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, crisp carbonation, nice balance, would've preferred a slightly heavier hand with the hops

Highly drinkable old-school blonde. I will buy more of this as the mercury climbs, not a lief-changing beer, but super solid

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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 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 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 Wasatch
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best By: 6/18/13

Pours a nice slightly cloudy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, with a one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, a slight yeast note, with some hop notes. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly hoppy. Medium body, with a nice little bitter/dry finish. Overall a tasty summer brew, will go great on HOT days. Surprised me that I saw this in the local Smith's.

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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 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 beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bryan C. for this one. Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a lightly hazy light honey gold color with under 1/4 inch of white head that quickly dissipated and left no lace.

The aroma had a very light grain base with some very light floral hops on the edges. The flavor profile was pretty much the same, just a light brighter and more well defined. The grain gave a nice earthy base, and the hops showed a slight fruitiness.

The body was good, full without being heavy, smooth and with a slightly sticky finish. Drinkability was good, the beer went down smooth and easy. Overall, a nice little brew that would make a good match for various outdoor activities. Worth grabbing a few.

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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 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 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 champ103
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Downhouse in Houston.

A: Pours a reddish/orange color with a touch of haze. A one finger white head forms, and recedes after a few minutes. Light lace is left behind.
S: Fairly neutral in the nose. Grains, toasted malt. A bit of sweetness. Light grassy hops. Though not very aromatic.
T: Toasted grains, caramel and crystal malts. A light sweetness. A touch of grassy hops. Nothing lingers. Inoffensive and enjoyable.
M/D: A light to medium body. Moderate carbonation, and pretty clean. Just a tad watery though. Easy to drink. All day with this. "Poundable" as they say.

A nice little session beer. Very enjoyable, and I will be sure to pick up a few six packs. Not the best session beer I have had, but no bother. Something to drink when you don't want to contemplate the beer. Basically, Deschutes made exactly what they wanted.

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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 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 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 micromaniac129
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright golden sunshine with lots o'carbonation. A fluffy white head sits atop this brew.
The aroma has a biscuit malt smell with some hoppy spiciness.
Taste is quite good really, but I noticed a heavy bit of cloying. Biscuit malts and some hops are in the taste.
Refreshing brew that drinks oh so easy, my only problem was the cloying.

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Photo of Omnium
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours gold yellow, 1 finger white sudsy head, little lacing.
S - Baking flour and wheat is pretty much all i smell, maybe a hint of faint spice.
T - Follows the taste pretty close, large floury type taste, and a little of bitter tang at the end.
M - A tart bitterness hangs on to your palate, nothing really great.
O - I just flat out do not like this beer, the aroma is very off putting to me. Taste comes through in the same way.

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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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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 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 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 Seanibus
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A servicable session ale, with a flavor and mouthfeel that exceeds its modest ABV. Pours a sunny orange with a decent head that falls away quickly. The aroma is grainy with some overripe flower, orange, and apricot. The flavor is a little thin, but has a pleasant apricot and a reasonable bitterness. The mouthfeel is stronger than one might suspect from the ABV - a little prickly and viscous. The main downside is that the beer tends to fall away rather quickly after swallowing. But a worthy summer session.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The River Ale is a clear golden brew. It poured in to a shaker with very little foam head and little lacing. The smell is clean and unassuming. You get all malt in the nose. The taste is malty and crisp with very faint to no hop aroma or flavor in the taste. It is very soft on the palate and is a lawnmower type of beer. You could probably suck down a half rack in short order due to the qualities of this one. Not too bad of a beer but one which my wife would definitely like more.

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