Russian River Brewing Company

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Belgian Pale Ale
Ranked #6
Ranked #5,006
4.04 | pDev: 10.64%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Reviews: 570 | Ratings: 1,693 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of RaulMondesi
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is spot on like that Budweiser dog with the ring around his eye. Like Philip Marlowe interrogating a witness, it’s just all kinds of clean and smooth. And like Bogart when he doesn’t get his vitamin b shots, it’s not exactly overpowering. No waboom! I’m here like Robert Mitchem cold clocking a perp. No sir! This one is just kinda here, existing to be. And you know what? Raul is ok with that.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

July 27th, 2015 - A lighter looking beer like the redemption is a bit of a whiplash after just having tried the stout, but I can still smell the sharp lemon-line scent on the nose. But the palate is a bit flat, with some cracker notes. More like a blonde ale, it has a hard time shining through after some of the beers here that have richer more nuanced character.

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Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw with tons of carbonation and 3 fingers of white head.

Smells of Belgian yeasts, phenols, coriander and light malts.

The taste follows the nose to perfection for the style.

Light body with moderate carbonation.

I got this in San Fran, and am drinking it in Redding, Feb 3rd, 2019. Excellent rep of the style.

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Photo of Buck89
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle poured into a snifter. A slightly hazy pale straw color with a thick white head. Crisp doughy and citrus aroma, that followed on the palate. White bread, dough, cracker, and citrus notes. Clean and dry on the finish. Lively carbonation per the style. Outstanding.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Russian River Brewing Co. "Redemption"

Look: Hazy yellow body beneath a bright white head that displays very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Chalky citrus peel and lemon.

Taste: A dollop of sugar, some acidity but not tart, and lightly spicy. Some mineral character like crushed granite. Fruity with notes of apple, pear, citrus, banana. Very dry finish due to a solid bitterness and complete attenuation. A touch of herbal hops linger in the finish.

Feel: Medium-light in body, perhaps light-medium. Gently zesty, effervescent, very-fine bubbled carbonation.

Overall: Understated in a way, but still complex. Refreshing, interesting, and remarkably drinkable.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3


Bottle to snifter.

LOOK: cloudy yellow, small head. Some lacing.
AROMA: strong yeast, some citrus,
TASTE: Belgian yeast, wheat, touch of lemon, baking powder.
FEEL: strong carbonation as expected, a little pasty, but not too bad.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracking open my last Russian River bottle, brought to me by my dad from a recent trip to S.F.
Pours a hazy golden straw color with a thumbnail length size fluffy head/cap that looks like a mushroom; solid, simple, and neat in its simplicity. What amazing retention this one has! Even when the cap recedes, a foamy thick film remains, as well as a sudsy lace that trickles down the glass. Beautiful looking brew in an elegant and understated way.
Before drinking, I took a long time to savor the nose. A cornucopia of fruity Esters hit me and reminded me of citrus fruit, banana, melon and honeydew. What is most interesting, however, is how once I started drinking, the various phases of the flavor aligned so well with the ever changing aromas. Truly dynamic! See below:
The first few sips are fruity and sweet alongside a firm Pilsner/Pale malt backbone. Yet there is a hint earthiness and a chalky dryness, in the finish, that is a portent of things to come. Soon enough, the rustic and peppery flavors are unlocked and totally change the complexion of things. Indeed, these flavors are mirrored by the aroma that suddenly takes on a spicy and even farmhouse aroma. In addition, a moderately hopped flavor brings forth a grassy bitterness. This is fleeting, as soon some of the sweet cereal grains re-emerge in both flavor and aroma. In the final phase, the taste brings on a clean mineral quality, increasing lemon zest in flavor and aroma, and increasingly dry finish.
Overall I would describe the mouthfeel as a combination of clean, dry, yet full of dynamic complexity. The moderate carbonation adds a refreshing and crisp tingle. The body is medium to light. I found it to be super drinkable and could have had a few more.
I thought this was a wonderful brew and I am surprised it's ratings, although good, aren't higher. If there is a better brewery out there than Russian River, I haven't heard of it yet. An elegant and somewhat understated masterpiece!

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Photo of pajfuwen
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz draft in a shaker glass. $4!

Medium gold and very slightly hazy. A finger of white froth that quickly dissipated to a ring. No lacing.

Aromas of earthy hops, citrus and a little sweet malt.

Excellent Belgian yeast flavour, bananas and clove-like phenolics predominate. A little spicy hops and just enough bitterness to balance the bready malt. Well attenuated.

Highly carbonated. Finishes crisp and dry.

Very refreshing.

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Photo of rypkr
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L - Pours a murky golden hued with large bubbled carbonation

S -smells acidic and metallic. Sour granny smith apples and yeasty phenols.

T - Dry cloves, earthy dirt, lemongrass, faint licorice.

M - absurdly creamy. The beer erupts in volume on your palate without any harsh carbonation.

Overall - pretty damn good. I love a lower abv offering that drinks bigger than it is. This I'd probably drink again.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottle dated 1/9/17 poured into Teku glass. 2F head poor retention, almost no lacing, no cap and ring. Beer is a clear pale gold. Nose of yeast, pear and apple, and malts. Taste follows nose with lots of deciduous fruit and Belgian malts. Light body, pretty strong carbonation that is almost unbalancing. A very nice blond ale that could use just a tad less carbonation.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into snifter

Yellow liquid pours a one finger white foam cap, nice lacings

Smells like a Belgian, good yeast aroma

Nice light Belgian white taste, not overpowering, good for a summer day

light mouthfeel

Nice beer

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Photo of Wolberjs
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Found this in the cellar. Evidently I've let it age 5 and a half years on accident. Batch 9.

Cloudy straw color without much carbonation left. Not really surprising. No hop character left. Smells like a barleywine and Belgian yeast. Taste follows the nose with some straw flavor on the finish with a watery mouth feel. Still not bad overall, but obviously past its prime.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good yellow appearance with a full on 1" of fluffy white head on the top. She's a looker. Aroma was pretty light, a little bit of lemon, mild belgian spice rack with clove, otherwise relatively clean.

Very refreshing, lightly hopped blonde/pale ale here. Keeps the spice rack minimized, very lightly toasted pale malts and high carbonation keep this a good summertime option. Mild bitterness well placed. Soft white grape like notes, lemon. Always crisp. Its not the most exciting beer or style, but it is completely dependable and really hits those 1st or 2nd beer of the afternoon spots come summertime around the pool.

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Photo of gandres
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap to glass @ Russian River Brewing tap [email protected] Santa Rosa,CA
A: Yellow cloudy, hazy, big off white head that last long
A: oats
T: lightly bitter, tart
MF: medium body, average carbonation, abrupt finish
OA: Very good beer for the style, not to repeat
Drank: April 14, 2016

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Photo of MusicaleMike
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on March 21, 2014.

Vibrant gold body with a definite chill haze going on. The head is white and fluffy, and leaves a thick collar of lacing around the top of this glass.

The aroma shows a little age. Subtle fruitiness, like apple, pear, white grape juice. Yeast has a definite presence here, giving off hints of herbal spices, doughy bread, and pink peppercorn.

Belgian yeast gives this a dry, lighter body. Notes of chardonnay, pears, soft herbal quality.

I need to try this fresh. Two years in the bottle did not do this beer many favors. It wasn't really oxidized at all, but time did fade this beer. Maybe some cardboard-like qualities starting to develop.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brought back a bottle of this with me when I came back from a 2 week trip to California in July of last year. Bottled on 6/12/15. Had this sitting in my cellar until tonight. Poured out of a 12.88 oz. corked bottle into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a fairly cloudy/hazy light to medium golden with a good number of little streams of little bubbles fairly rapidly rising to the beer's surface. Has a fluffy, creamy looking white head that's about an inch thick when first poured that settles to a solid 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick with good retention. Pretty nice lacing too. Aromas of crisp, grainy, bready malts along with banana, citrus, and clove. The taste is pretty much the same, with a crisp, bready, grainy, somewhat sweet, slight caramel, malt flavor upfront that nicely gives way to a hint of yeasty funk along with banana sweetness and a bit of a bite from some definite clove spice. Not really any discernible hop presence here. Has a crisp, yet smooth, frothy, and even a bit of a creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Finishes clean. Extremely easy to drink for all the right reasons. A very good take on this style from Russian River!


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Photo of frasergrove
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour a very hazy straw yellow (oN draft), whispy foam head. Aroma is a mixture of pepper, Belgian yeast esters, maize, and light toasty malt. Smooth body, good sweet level, some bitterness at the end. Well rounded and complex. An underrated RR beer (if possible) for sure.

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4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottled 3/21/14 a nice pale cloudy yellow with an orange hue with a very thin head that disappears quickly. The carbonation in this beer was wonderful adding another dimension to a Belgian blonde that is a style I typically do not go for but this was lovely and crisp. Great beer.

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Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle was poured into a tulip glass. Batch 9.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a slightly hazy pale yellow color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Red wine barrel, wheaty, bready, vanilla, and yeasty.

Taste: Very traditional blond ale flavor. A bit chewy, wine barrel flavor, yeasty, a little twang, and a little funk.

Mouthfeel: Light, a bit chewy, medium carbonation, yeasty, and light wine funk.

Overall: Very traditional blond ale with some wine barrel flavor. I'll look forward to this one again whenever I come across it in my travels.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a tasty pale ale. Tastes great in the winter, but I really need to revisit this one in the summer as I think it would make for an awesome warm weather beer. Russian River can do no wrong

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice cloudy gold that smells like banana bread, yeast and cloves. Tastes like it smells with a nice bitterness and a bit of tartness. Tastes like a typical Belgian style beer but a good one.

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Photo of Myotus
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 375ml bottle (bottled on 12Jun15) into a tulip.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of white foam (I wasn't expecting a big head because I had to pour it gently as to not disturb the yeast settlement at the bottom of the bottle) that cuts down to a line after 30 seconds. Rising bubbles are small and subtle. Pale yellow in color with an extreme amount of cloudiness. Lacing is thin and subtle, but stays on the glass.
SMELL: Has mild aromas of bananas, pears, white grapes, lemon zest, and cloves that meet with subtle pale malt aromas and hints of sour yeast.
TASTE: Strong lemon zest flavors and mild pear and white grape enter initially and are immediately followed by subtle banana and clove flavors. Mild sour yeast continue the taste symphony as banana and clove flavors fade to subtle. Finally, mild spicy hops (weren't detected in the aroma) and hints of pale malts enter as all previous flavors decrease a notch in strength.
FEEL: Light-bodied and highly carbonated. Goes down a little rough due to the carbonation. Finishes with a beautiful crispness.
NOTE: A elegantly complex brew. I loved it.

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Photo of LouAleHead
3.44/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My First Russian River brew, and yes, it lived up to the hype. Beer ours a nice golden color, nice head that has some lacing, the aroma intensified the drinking experience, as you smell some funkiness and spice, and the taste is a nice sour spicy taste with no acidity. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and I wish Russian River distributed here in Texas.

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Photo of jooler
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look is great with great lacing. Smell is a little funky with some citrus notes. Taste is initially mild sweet with a citrus funk aftertaste. One of the best belgium pale ales I have tasted so far.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up at the brewery this week, bottled on 06/12/15.
Pours nicely into the tulip, with a golden straw colored body and a beautiful dense white head. A very impressive look overall. Initial aromas show a strong yeasty character with notes of banana and citrus fruit. A bready malt undertone as well. Taste follows up with a great balance of fruity esters and a peppery spice note. On the sweeter side overall, but very refreshing as well.

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Redemption from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1693 ratings