Salvation | Russian River Brewing Company

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1,262 Ratings

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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,262 |  Reviews: 480
Reviews by Kemmerlin:
Photo of Kemmerlin
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark brown color like coca-cola with 1 finger width head that dissipates within seconds. No lacing down the glass.

S: Seriously it has Caribbean spices and roasted banana chips in the smell with slight caramel and brown sugar mixing with the alcohol.

T: Has a similar taste to a flat coca-cola with some spices and molasses. The slight taste of alcohol blends well with the spice tastes to enhance them adding a great taste to the beer.

M/D: Goes down really well and is very drinkable considering the alcohol level. Has some carbonation in there do to the bottle fermentation and be careful for the yeast cake at the bottom of the bottle it comes out quite easily.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one came out of the tap a dark, orangish-brown in color with a huge, retentive head.

Smell – The big dark Belgian yeast smelled delicious. I picked up what I thought were some light woody notes in here as well. The complexity of the malts was amazing. I found myself wishing I had a thesaurus to help describe these smells. Let’s just say it was a big, complex, malty BSDA.

Taste – The sharp toasty yeast was very doughy on the tongue. The malts themselves were, again, very thick and complex. I could pick up a hint of banana along with some alcohol notes that seemed just right for the size of the flavors.

Mouthfeel – This wasn’t full-bodied but was bigger than medium. There’s a light alcohol sting to this 9.4% batch and the ale was very creamy in the mouth. The carbonation was big and fluffy and seemed perfect for the style.

Drinkability – This one is closing on 10% ABV and it is smooth as smooth can be. What a great beer!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 shared during the 2006 World Cup Final

Appearance: Dark and ominous burnt chestnut with quickly diminishing almond froth that rests at a thin skim around the ring of the glass.

Aroma: Raisons and sweet malts, a touch of coffee, and kiwi and strawberries as it warms. Vinous dark fruits are present at room temp.

Taste: Sweet vinous qualities dominate the initial flavors but eventually make way for more complex subtleties. Hints of chocolate covered bananas and dates in the middle, then kiwi and strawberries, and finally alcohol and coffee like roastedness.

Mouthfeel: Front is crisp. Middle is mostly sweet, wet dark fruits with minimal under-ripened strawberry/kiwi tartness. Finish is dry with a coffee like sharpness. Body is on the light side of medium.

Drinkability: Above Average.

A solid beer, lighter in most aspects than many others in the style and more about subtlety than in your face bold complexity.

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Photo of DavyJones
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MadScientist
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very enthusiastic head with three finers of light tan foam from a gentle pour. The beer is a dark brown with garnet highlights and great clarity. The head is long lasting and leaves a thick sticky curtain of lacing on the glass.

S: A great balance of dark fruit and tart aroma being mostly plums, prunes and red current with some sour cherries. there is a a moderate malt aroma with a bit of caramel and some toasted grain aroma.

T: Dark fruit and spice with a light sour flavor blended in. Medium-high dark cherry and plum dominate the flavor. The Belgian yeast provides a moderate peppery spice and fruitiness. There is some malt sweetness with a bit of a chocolate flavor. The bitterness is low but there is a moderately-light sour tartness that increases the prescription that is is more bitter than it really is although the alcohol is also countering the malt. The balance is somewhat bitter and tart. the finish is off-dry and the aftertaste is of chocolate and spice.

M: This a creamy, medium-full bodied beer with moderately-strong carbonation. The alcohol brings a noticeable warmth.

O: A great Belgian Strong Dark that isn't very sweet, which I like and has a bit of a tartness which I really like.

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Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001.

Pours into my glass a dark cola brown with ruby accents. An inch of khaki foam on top with great retention. Lots of active carbonation as well. Aromas of chocolate malt upfront with a good blast of spice. Hints of banana and earthy Belgian yeast tones.

First sip brings more crisp chocolate malt upfront moving into a blend of spice and fruit flavors. Earthy yeast kicks in on the way down. Nice sweetness that is not overpowering and great balance overall. Raisin and toffee afterthoughts as it finishes a bit dry. Good, chocolaty stuff.

Smooth body with creaminess and perfect carbonation. A tasty treat that has aged quite beautifully in my opinion. I will have to seek this one out again and would love to try it on tap someday.

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Photo of Outchillen
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #10, picked up a 12 pack in philly, think it was a little overpriced out here at $90 a 12 pack

A: Loved the small belgian bottle, pouring with a nice off white head, looks like maybe refermented with champagne yeast, nice dark amber brown color

S: Smelled the belgian yeast right away, spicy, with a little banana and cloves

T/M: Starts off sweet and mildly malty, a little fruity, but finishes a little dry, nice creamy head that lasts

O: Was impressed but not blown away, waited a while to try a RR beer and it is good for the hype. A very nice Belgian beer, but not the best

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Photo of NWer
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 10
Poured rich thick brown into my Chimay chalice. Thick brown head lasts forever. Beautiful. Picture perfect.
Initial aroma hint - rootbeer? really? Not for long. Nice flow of flavors from the pop of the cork.
A sipper for sure. Complex, bold, thoroughly enjoyable. Quickly becoming a fan of the style.

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

Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of getinked
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of TimoP
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of tigg924
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay Chalice

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, cloudy, dark red/brown in color, some sediment, low carbonation

Smell: cherry, fig, oak, and brown sugar

Taste: cherry, figs, light caramel at the end—sourness throughout.

Mouthfeel: sweet start—big sour/bitter spike in the middle, very dry—light bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall: A very good and complex Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Not the best from Russian River I have had but one of the better in the style. Its dryness would only make me want one glass at a time though. This one has elements of a Flanders Oud Bruin which I enjoy. I will look for this the next time I am in the Philly area.

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

Murky brownish red color with a white head that has good retention and lacing. Smell is of dark fruit, clove, and pepper. Taste seems to remind me of Trois Pistole, in that it is a rather spicy Belgian Dark Strong Ale, and I also get the same clove and dark fruits in this. Light bodied with medium carbonation. Very well done, I'd like to give this another try.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the most recent Freetail bottle release party. Sorry for not remembering who provided it.

The beer pours a deep brown color with a tannish head. I get a lot of spice in the aroma with some dark fruit notes. A very enticing aroma that also has a nice Belgian yeast component to it.

The flavor is very similar. I get a wonderful mix of Belgian candy sugar and spice notes in the flavor. I also get some nice Belgian yeast notes as well as some raisins, cherries and other dark fruit. The alcohol is very well hidden and allows the complexity of the aroma and flavor to really come through.

The carbonation is perfect for the style and the beer is extremely drinkable. Proof that Russian River is one of the best breweries in America when it comes to brewing Belgian-style beers.

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Photo of Pliny_the_Self-righteous
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft @ City Beer Store on 1/19/15. Pours a dark brown/burgundy with minimal tan head. Aroma of malty, raisin sweetness with some banana, cola nut and spice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. Palate of dark fruit, malty sweet, cola and spice. Well balanced dark belgian with great aroma and flavor.

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Photo of JC333
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of chossboss
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of rob133
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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Salvation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 1,262 ratings