Salvation | Russian River Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 480 | Ratings: 1,265
Reviews by JRod1969:
Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of CanadaBlue
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of SpdKilz
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at my local shop. Batch 010 375ml Bottle.

Appearance - Poured appropriately into my Russian River Tulip. The color is a dark chocolate brown when held up to the fading sun. Loads of slight off head that sticks around for a good 10 minutes, until I lose my patience waiting for it to go away and began to drink the beer. Great lacing left on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Lots of dark fruits, yeast, caramel, lots of spices, nuttiness, and dark roasted malts.

Taste - Similar to the aroma, though more nuttiness and also roasted malts than I was expecting. The dark fruits were not as prevalent as I expected, though I will say that is not a bad thing. I actually enjoyed the flavor more than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lots of carbonation.

Overall - Pretty impressed with this beer. No alcohol noticeable in the flavor or throat. Can't wait to sit on a few of these for a few years and try them with some age on them.

 952 characters

Photo of heysuz
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of stogirelli
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Spreetaper
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of prototypic
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #005 - Bottled on Nov. 16, 2007

Thanks to beertruth for sending me this bottle a long, long time ago.

Salvation pours a darker, nut brown color. Haze is minimal. Backlighting gives it really nice crimson highlights. The head is off-white and is rather short. It rose to just under a finger before falling quickly. Lacing is light and somewhat spotty.

The nose is impressive. It kicks off with a nice dark fruit aroma. It's mostly fig mixed with light raisin and plum. Nice start. A little spiciness creeps in. Clove is the most notable, but there's a little pepper and perhaps a few others I can't identify. Banana is also in the mix. It's light, but is noted. Belgian yeast is strong in the mix and smells delicious. Alcohol is noted, but isn't overly strong.

The flavor kicks off with dark fruit. Fig, plum, and raisin flavors flood the palate. They blend well with a light spicy mix of clove and pepper. There is a little banana, and it works extremely well with the clove. It is subtle, but I am glad it's here. There is a cocoa-ish chocolate malt flavor throughout. Belgian yeast is extremely flavorful and is in no short supply. Excellent! Light cherry and bubblegum emerge late. Alcohol is blended pretty well. It is noted in flavor, but isn't warm or hot at all. Finishes with a tangy dark fruit flavor with a touch of spiciness.

Salvation has a body that's on the light side of medium. Carbonation is active, but not overbearing. Ultimately, it is smooth and goes down easy. Not bad at all for the style. Drinkability is good. This is a tasty BSDA that is quite enjoyable. I'm splitting the 750, but would've gladly tackled it alone.

It's hard to find fault with Russian River Brewing Company beer. Salvation is simply another fine beer in its roster. This bottle is approaching three years old and it's held up very well. I don't have any experience with a fresh one to compare it to. Personally, I think it has a tad too much of a tangy dark fruit presence, but that's about the only complaint I have. Pretty impressive stuff all-around.

 2,062 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch #010. Poured into a clean snifter.

A finger of buttery beige head crowns the beer. The liquid has some good opacity to it. A near-solid dark garnet/mahogany color.

A big pumpernickel toast bread note, upfront. Mild cinnamon and dry prune notes. Other dark fruits, including raisin and black currant, with a hint of underlying maple. It's unorthodox, at least now, at this age.

Medicinal phenols, brown bread toast, powdered clove, cinnamon, prune, raisin, oxidized apple, and bitter cocoa. I can't tell if it's past its prime or not, but the malts are a little thin, and Salvation is very dry. The dark breadiness is intense, however, in a really good way. Almost a sensible rye-like spice.

It's lighter-bodied for the style, but the carbonation is vigorous. Makes for an interesting mouthfeel.

Not a favorite of mine because I like, either, more sweetness or more richness. Or both. The spice elements are nice. But, I'm a little disappointed in Russian River right now.

 982 characters

Photo of crobinso
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SDG1070
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of costanzo_mike
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml, batch 001. This batch is even more delicious after some aging. Pours a murky copper brown with a moderately large fine grained head that retains very well and leaves some sloppy lacing. Beautiful aromas coming out of the chalice, including plums, sweet and sour fruit, some cinnamony esters, and a pronounced sourness reminiscent of a flanders red- this scent does not come through in the flavor. The flavor itself is wonderful, however. Very creamy, with a taste as of plum and cherries marinated in balsamic vinegar, water, and honey. Rich darker fruit follows with some immediate bitterness and then a long creamy sweet finish that is divine. Really a work of art and a little more fully integrated and creamy after some extra time in the bottle. The sourness seems a little more interesting as well. The mouthfeelis phenomenal- light and airy, it seems to float on the palate, and with a wonderful creaminess. Tremendously drinkable, the abv seems to just not be a factor.

 984 characters

Photo of RichBeer
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bubbawilly88
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of abfraser
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown, almost black, with a big frothy cream-colored head. Nice lacing.

S: Phenol, Belgian yeast, spice

T/M: Excellent. Belgian spice. Dark fruits. Hop bitterness on the finish. Good creamy mouthfeel with a nice carbonation.

D: Very smooth and well-balanced. Hides it's 9% abv very well, making it great drinker.

 340 characters

Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on April 18, 2012.

Beer is dark brown with reddish hints. Moderately-sized off-white head. Very good retention- head sticks around.

Dark fruit in the nose, plum, prune and raisin. Bready. Brown sugar. A bit drier than the style often is. A bit of spice.

Taste is like the nose. Dark fruit, plum and fig, but fairly dry. Pepper and other spices. A bit of chocolate and candy sugar. Alcohol is noticeable but not overly so.

Full bodied, moderate to high carbonation. A bit bready.

Overall, quite good. Not amazing, but very tasty.

 545 characters

Photo of BeerNW
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Eman17
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of demcorhip
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002

Thanks again to raider for bringing out this treat. Nice looking mahogany coloured dark ale. A half finger of tight tan head was present and formed thin sheets of lace which gradually dispersed into an intricate webbing.

Toffee with touches of banana and clove. Some fruity estery notes as well, perhaps cassis, as well as some earthy leafy hops.

No real surprises in the taste, much like the nose revealed. But it did segue into a mildly tart funk at the finish.

Great balance, nice presence, and interesting touch of tart.

Very drinkable, rich, yet tart, with a touch of horse blanket funk. HIghly recommended, and something i would love to drink again.

 670 characters

Photo of ineva
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of MattXT
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Wildepi
4.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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Salvation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 1,265 ratings