Raven Cream Ale
R & B Brewing Co.

Raven Cream AleRaven Cream Ale
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American Cream Ale
Ranked #215
Ranked #42,236
3.49 | pDev: 16.33%
R & B Brewing Co.
British Columbia, Canada
Raven Cream AleRaven Cream Ale
Notes: R&B’s Raven Cream Ale is a dark, yet surprisingly light-bodied cream ale. Crystal, Whitbread Goldings, and Cascade hops are added to a carefully crafted blend of 2-Row, C-120, Roasted and Chocolate barley malts creating a truly drinkable beer with subtle nutty flavours and hints of chocolate. Raven Cream Ale is a two-time World Beer Cup medalist (silver and bronze), mellow enough for the casual beer drinker yet complex enough for the most discerning foodie.

18 IBU
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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 46 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TerryW
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Unexpectedly tart and dark (tea- or cola-like). Very malty, noticeable grain and hops. Caramel and coffee. But overall comes across as brittle or tentative somehow. Nonetheless, an interesting effort given all the stuff going on in the glass. The sort of thing that you need to drink 2 or 3 of in order for your palate to be able to sort it out. If you've only got the one bottle out of the sampler, approach it with an open mind and go slow.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%

341 ml bottle served cool into glassware. purchased for about $2.25 CDN.

Appearance - Semi Transparent cola brown color. Capped by a finger of tan head which didn't last too long. Red hues throughout. Some lacing left behind.

Smell - Roasty mild hops aroma. Some grassy aromas in there as well as some larger grain notes.

taste - Roasty grains with more of a tartness almost vinegar like. Thin tasting. There's some creamy flavor, but the thinness and the mild tartness is too much.

Mouthfeel - Thin feeling due to the watery flavor. Light bodied, despite the appearance. Mild carbonation.

Overall - A decent effort, but too thin to be a cream ale, and the tartness is strange. Quaffable, but better options abound.

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Photo of biegaman
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%

No need for the double-take - you've got the right bottle. This so-called 'Cream Ale' is indeed unusually (actually unheard of-ly) dark. Beer judges will surely condemn Raven Cream Ale for its pecan colour and dark complexion (not even a finger is visible on the other side). Probably (and fairly) the lack of head retention too.

Although both roasted and chocolate malts are used, the aroma is nothing close to that of a stout (nor, it must be mentioned, a typical cream ale). Stylistically I'd peg it as a dark English Mild, maybe even a Brown Ale; it has a light and faintly sweet aroma, with nuanced notes of nutty toffee and brittle. It smells only very lightly roasted.

Those dark malts have a slightly different influence on the taste; with the flavour rooted in a biscuity and doughy taste, they provide the thought of chocolate-chips to make for a cookie-like finish. I might entertain a faint note of raisin or fruit but the presence of esters is reasonably low.

The subtly sweet nuances notwithstanding, the ale is rather dry. It has the medium-low carbonation, medium-light body, low bitterness, and lightly roasted finish that equip it perfectly for the cask and an entire afternoon or evening of drinking in a cozy English pub. It won't excite New World consumers but it would more than appease traditional drinkers.

Raven Cream Ale is not a cream ale by anyone's definition except that of the R&B Brewing Co. Still, call it what you like, this light-flavored, malt-accented beer is wonderfully suited to drinking in quantity and, though it's not likely to make anyone else's boards, provides an agreeable option to those consumers just discovering darker beers.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

341 mL bottle, courtesy of a BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler. Served well-chilled.

This unusual cream ale pours a murky, brownish-amber colour, topped with one finger of light-tan coloured head. Decent retention; it takes more than a few minutes for the froth to wilt, leaving behind a thin cap and collar, but no lacing. The aroma is quite enticing, with notes of milk chocolate, toffee, molasses, toasted nuts, black cherry and lightly earthy hops. Well, I'm a happy camper so far.

An enjoyable session ale, with a bolder flavour than I tend to expect from this (often mundane) style. Bready malts, toasted nuts and molasses come through at first, with accents of black cherry and date. Some light cocoa/chocolate flavour can be found mid-sip, with a mild roasty, earthy bitterness rounding things out at the finish. Slightly floral, with a weird tartness in the aftertaste that vanishes instantaneously. This is a light-bodied ale, with fairly strong carbonation that gives this brew a crisp, biting mouthfeel. Not as smooth as it could be, but easy to knock back and certainly not tiresome to do so.

Final Grade: 3.77, just barely eking out a B+. R&B Brewing's Raven Cream Ale is a somewhat unique example of this style that should come off as quite approachable to both craft newbies and more experienced BAs. Nothing fancy here, although the addition of chocolate malts is quite welcome - this is a well-brewed session ale with no serious flaws for me to bitch about. Were it available in this province, I'd probably get it again - it's good for the style, but fairly forgettable in the grand scheme of things.

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Photo of hansonywu
3.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark chestnut color. Thick, creamy mouthfeel that ends surprisingly dry afterwards. I was pleasantly surprised at how this wasn't overly sweet, as is the case with so many dark cream ales. Tastes malty with some caramel tones, has a nutty taste similar to a mild winter ale. Refreshing overall and I quite enjoyed it.

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Photo of Morrow
3.02/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Nice full beer with a malty and chestnutty flavour. Has a nice white head that lasts throughout the entire 650ml and beautifully laces all down the glass. I would prefer this beer with less carbonation. I did enjoy it, but I would choose most R&B beers over this one.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Whip in Vancouver.

Pours a deep ruby red: brilliantly so, like blackberry juice. Head is a full, creamy off-white that sits solidly above the body. Some decent mild, patchy lace. Love the colour though. It's so vibrant and rich.

Nose is mild and smooth, and rather English in style. There's a touch of toasty malt along with a slight fizz of carbonic acid. Yeah, mild, but smooth sums it up. It's tasty as it is, without being revolutionary.

Taste is similar. Thin light body, with stacks of light creaminess in the feel. Surprising for the colour, there's not much in the way of roast or real malt character until the very end, where some grainy notes, some milt toasty characters and a touch of nuttiness come through. Feel is very, very smooth indeed.

Overall, this is a nice ale. Solid, firm and creamy, while maintaining a very English-like restraint. Good stuff.

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Photo of LaSalle
3.01/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving: 650ml Bottle in standard pint glass.

Pours a straight up brown with a couple of millimetres of latte-coloured head.

Subtle hints of vanilla, molasses, and a faint but notable hop presence.

Taste :
Not necessarily my favourite, though that’s more a comment on the style than this particular manifestation thereof. Reasonable hop presence in the front, though this fades considerably towards the end. Nice roasted malt underpinnings, although I do wish this particular characteristic played a more predominant role; but that, again, may be more of a criticism of Cream Ales than of the Raven specifically.

There aren’t too many brews (in my opinion) where mouthfeel figures as a particularly prominent characteristic (at least, not in a positive way), but I’d venture to suggest that this is a very solid aspect of the Raven. Effervescent without being “bubbly”, this ale has a very nice balance in this regard.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am transcribing this from notes that I took last summer. Poured on-tap at the Steamworks Brewing Pub in Vancouver, BC, it was served in a pint glass. The beer was a dark caramel brown when you look directly into it, but almost a golden color on the fringes with the light coming through it. It had a thin, white, foamy layer of head. Aromas are mild caramel and a nutty sweet characteristic. The flavors ride a smooth and round body, and include the nut and almost some toffee. The dark, sweet flavors travel through into an aftertaste, and the finish is a little long on the linger, but not unpleasant. Decent brew.

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Photo of elricorico
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Far darker than I expected, it is a deep brown, dark enough that it is tough to see through the middle. A finger of creamy head generated from a careful pour and seems to last for a while.

Nutty aroma, with a touch of herbal notes mixed in. Cola-like caramel. Smells fairly English. Nothing too exciting.

Nuts and cola to the tongue, with a bit of earthiness on the odd swallow. Hops provide a fairly even mix of herbal and citric finish.

Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, with medium carbonation. Works quite well for this beer and adds to the drinkability.

Certainly sessionable, not an amazingly deep or complex beer, but it is pleasant.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber, a new BC brewery available in my city...always a welcome thing.

This beer pours a clear, medium red-brick amber hue, with two fat fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which falls away at a leisurely pace, leaving a bit of sparse splattered lace scattered about the glass.

It smells of bready, biscuity malt, a bit of toffee/caramel sweetness, cocoa powder, and kind of musty citrus and leafy hops. The taste is toasted biscuit and toffee malt, a soft creamy and oily nuttiness, more understated, and yet bitter chocolate, a hint of wet ash, and generally indistinct earthy, musty hops.

The carbonation is on the softly prickly and frothy side, the body medium-light in weight, and duly smooth, with some minor creamy moments. It finishes fairly dry, with a toasted bread and weakly floral character.

An enjoyable enough, quite laid-back cream ale, simple, and balanced nicely amongst the roast, nuts, and subservient hops. With the sub-5 point ABV, this could easily be pegged as a pub sessioner - oops, I think I just did that.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into pint glass nov4 2010

A clear deep amber with lots of tiny bubbles feeding a beige head that retains fairly well and leaves lots of patches of lace

S some hard toffee and very mild chocolate

T what I smell but a little stronger with some darker bread and it's a little nutty

M at first it has a creamy feel from the bubbles but then it almost turns to foam in your mouth

D decent beer but I doubt I'll be drinking it again soon with all the new stuff coming to Alberta

try it if you see it but don't go looking for it

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Photo of andrenaline
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark brown with a rudy red hue, two thumbs of head which sat forever and left a nice amount of lacing.

S - Sweet malts consisting of toffee and caramel. A little bit metallic on the finish, but not a huge turnoff.

T - A very light nutty flavour with a bit of a cocoa on the finish.

M - Goes down very smooth, light carbonation and nicely balanced.

D - This is a very delicious brown ale. Wish I had access to this on a regular basis as this would be a perfect go-to beer, especially in the brown ale department.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.12/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle sample with many thanks to Gravelle. Deep chestnut with a frothy beige cap. Nose of toast, dark bread, earthy malts and a fair bit of fresh hops. Tastes semi sweet, of toasty malts, bread crust, quite earthy, with floral hops. FInish is slightly sweet with a hint of tin towards the end. Astringent and enjoyable. I liked it. Thanks Jon!

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Photo of lumikuuro
1.67/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Murky brown with amber hues. Thick, frothy beige head that lasts, leaving heavy lace.

Aroma: Slightly fruity and malty, but overwhelmed by a basic macro beery nose.

Taste: Some fruit, perhaps cherry. Soft dark malts, subtle hop bitterness. Dry finish, slightly sour. Would be average if it didn't taste so watered down and weak.

Mouthfeel: Thin and light bodied, building to medium bodied on the finish. But the damage had already been done.

Drinkability: This is a beer that promises a lot, but does not deliver. I actually enjoyed the glass of water at my table more afterwards. If it had more body and depth to the flavours, this could be good. As it is, don't part with your earnings.

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Photo of shivtim
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on tap in Vancouver, where it was a guest beer at Steamworks.

Served up in a pint glass. Deep dark root beer. Slight white/tan head. Nose is slightly spicy malts. Taste is gentle malts with a thin bit of hops. Mouthfeel is good and frothy. Overall a little bit boring but well done.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a bomber of this with a friend of mine. Decanted into a pint glass. Pours a clear ruby with a thick, foamy white head. Great retention. Flavors and aromas are pretty simple - nice malty backbone, a touch of hop bitterness. Balanced, but not exceptionally strong. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy - appropriate to the name. Overall, very drinkable. Not a strong beer at 6.8%, but a good example of the style.

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Photo of Graham5161986
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a clear, very dark brown with a massive tan head that hold up quite well. Good lacing and no rising carbonation bubbles.

S: Very nutty malts, and a touch of hoppy bitterness. I even get hints of coffee ice-cream!

T: nutty, earthy flavour with a very subtle hint of dates and ripe cherries nicely balanced with a pleasant roasted malt aftertaste

M: medium to heavy bodied and creamy - goes down silky smooth with a nice touch of carbonation.

D: Quite and enjoyable ale (even though it resembles a nut brown more than a cream). Nice complex flaours and very pleasant to drink. Its a tad heavy so I wouldn't have more than a couple at a time. Nevertheless, I consider this one a definite "buy again."

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a huge bubbly slightly off-white head with average retention. Aroma of sweet caramel malt is dominating. Taste is also quite sweet with a nice caramel presence and very subtle hops. Body is not full and this beer makes a nice session beer with more complexity then your average British ale.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't sure what to class this as, since the brewery calls it a cream ale but it resembles a brown ale more than anything.

Pours a good, solid brown that turns a slight ruby colour when held to the light. The smell, however, is not very strong. Malty, with a sort of breakfast cereal smell to it, similar to say, Rice Krispies. Hints of nuts, toffee and chocolate.

The taste, again, is more akin to a brown ale than a cream ale. Malts take precedence over hops, and there is a definite nutty flavour to it that I've experienced in other (especially Samuel Smith) brown ales.

Regardless, this has the mouthfeel of a cream ale. Very smooth drinking. The reasonably low ABV makes for good drinkability.

As a side note, this is by far the best beer from this brewery I've had. The past two (Red Devil and Auld Nick) have had a noticeable sourness that detracts from the beer as a whole. This sourness, thankfully, is not present in this beer.

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Raven Cream Ale from R & B Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 46 ratings