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:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 05-09-2004

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Reviews: 471 | Ratings: 1,222
Photo of q33jeff
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75


Bottle to snifter.

LOOK: dark dark brown. Small eggshell head.
AROMA: raisin, cherry,yeast, touch of cola.
TASTE: cola, touch of banana, brown bread.
FEEL: medium body, great Bottle fermented carbonation.

Good beer.


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Photo of drtth
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out into a snifter glass a slightly hazy dark brown color with some dark reddish highlights and a 1" light tan head that slowly recedes to thin layer on the surface while leaving a few patches and bits of some leggy lacing on the sides. Sipping creates lots of scattered patches of lacing on the sides but by midway through the beer the foam has become a ring around the glass and a thin irregular island of foam on the surface.

The aromas are from the dark malts and the Belgian yeast so there is dark fruit up front with chocolate from the malt and a hint spice in the background along with what may be a touch of alcohol.

The flavors, as expected from the nose, show the dark fruits (raisins, plums) along with a rich chocolaty sweetness. In the background there's a bit of spiciness and just a hint of earthy bitterness. The alcohol is well concealed.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly prickly from the moderate, persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the dark fruit and the chocolate sweetness fade away leaving the light spiciness and some earthy, dry bitterness to close out the show with a very long ending in the back of the palate.

This is a very well made and enjoyable beer and I’d be happy to have another. This beer would be among my top five or six choices for a Russian River beer to be able to buy again. This is definitely a sipping beer and one to savor while just relaxing or while enjoying a good book. Is it as good as or better than the Belgian imports? Hard to say for sure without a blind side by side tasting.

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Photo of PlinyMeNow
4.51/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was $15 for a 12.7-oz bottle at our local specialty market in LA. I therefore split it with someone and poured even shares into 8-oz drinking glasses.
Wow, what was this delicious rich dark smooth ale that had me savoring every sip and lamenting its ending? I can't give a full review because I tried other beers afterward, but this was the standout tonight. I remember a beautiful dark brown ale with a creamy head, rich mouth feel, smooth all the way down with lots of notes in the flavor to think about without being overly complex. However, it will be a while before I fork over another $15 for a single 12.7-oz bottle!

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Photo of Tucquan
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2017-03-04 in Norristown, PA at Capone's on tap

Dark brown with great lace. Mild smell. Full duble flavor with fruit. Light chocolate. Enjoyable.

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Photo of richdeneault
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle: dark brown ale in color with notes of fruit and spice in both the aroma and flavor. It is refermented in the bottle to create a fine carbonation.

I think it is a 95 score beer at the brewery, but I like it a bit less in the bottle (say 85).

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color, but highlighted by deep red when held to light, and a nice, big, fluffy, off white head that sticks and stays on the surface. Lots of suspended particles floating around. Smells a lot like Unibrou's Trader Joe's Vintage ales... Musty, woody, spicy and a hint of acidic vinegary goodness. Tastes similar, but a bit muddled. A touch of fig, especially as it warms. Unfortunately, the acidity is missing in the flavor. Mostly earthy, and woody. Seems a bit off. Feels highly carbonated, and extremely dry. Honestly, this is my least favorite of the corked RR beers I've had. I am concerned I may have gotten a bad bottle. Not a bad beer by any means, but not one I'd seek out again. All well....Cheers!

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Photo of Flieshbeer
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark brown opaque color with a generous head with initial pour.
S: Fruity but not citrus-like. More like plums and raisins.
T: Bitter at first, but mellows out quite nicely.
F: Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. No negative lingering after taste.
O: Not my favorite Russian River beer, but definitely more enjoyable than I was anticipating.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle poured into a tulip, big pop on the opening, lots of carbonation

A: Pours a dark brown cola color with a big frothy head that lasted a few minutes, lots of carbonation streaming up the glass's side, light does come through when held up, very nice.

A: Lots of dark fruits like figs, plums, raisins, sweet burnt caramel and toffee, Belgian yeast notes, nice aromas.

T: Not as sweet on the taste, more toasted caramel and toffee, slight bitterness in the middle, finish has some sweet and slight dark fruits, Belgian yeast notes as well, complex and balance.

M: Medium bodied with a semi-dry finish and lots of carbonation.

O: Another solid Belgian inspired beer from Russian River, good amount of flavor, very drinkable, complex, and balanced. There is more bitterness than I expected but very enjoyable.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 10.

This one pours a dark, slightly murky brown, with a creamy looking white head, and not much in the way of lacing.

Smells like dark fruit, raisins, prunes, etc, with some port-soaked black bread, chocolate, and lots of caramel.

This is one of the better American-made BSDA's that I've had, it was really quite wonderful. It has a really rich and deep malt complexity, reminiscent of port wine. It's pretty bready, so it's reminiscent of pumpernickel soaked in port. There's chocolate, and lots of bittersweet caramel, and a whole slew of semi-sweet dried dark fruit. I love it.

This is medium bodied, pretty rich and creamy, with the typical level of carbonation for this style.

This is was a real treat to drink. It's aged very well, so there's no alcohol presence at all. Get some!

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

Appearance - The beer was a murky brown color with some carbonation

Smell - There was a slight sour nose to the beer.

Taste - The beer started slightly sour. Notes of dark fruit, raisins, currants, and a slight coffee presence. The chocolate notes become more evident as the beer warms. There is a slight metallic presence. Slightly sour chocolate notes finish the beer.

Mouthfeel - The presence of lactose quality presents a stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall - Not one of my favorite Russian River offerings.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - pours a silky creamy caramel color. Very fine-bubbled head gives it an uplifting aura. Salvation, indeed.

S - smells of dark fruits and raisins. Molasses and chocolate. Sweet caramel. They guy who said apple skin is dead on. Great nose.

T - extremely full-flavored with plums, raisins, and a mild hop bite toward the end. Has an oh-so-subtle Flanders red feel to it. Slight brown ale characteristics with a metallic tartness. Sweet syrupy maple... or that's what it feels like it should be. Interesting.

F - incredibly smooth, but will foam vigorously if jostled. Makes it feel like the volume of beer is expanding in my mouth. Bonus!

O - finely crafted dark ale. Not the best of the -tion series, but strong nonetheless. Decadent and smooth for 9.5% ABV. You could get into trouble with this one.

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Photo of gandres
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap to glass @ Russian River Brewing tap room@ Santa Rosa,CA
A: Brown, big tan head, tan foam, minimal lacing
A: fruity, alcohol is the dominant smell
T: low bitterrness with sweetness that last long
MF: balance
OA: Excellent beer for the style, ok to repeat, look for
Drank: April 14, 2016

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Photo of Raj
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date: 10/10/14

Pours dark brown with red highlights, Off white head with good retention. Nose is caramel, chocolate roast and red apple skin. Taste follows with prominent porter-like chocolate and roast, plum, raisin, dark fruit notes,. Nicely balanced, very mild tartness. Finish is spicy with peppercorn and clove, slightly astringent. Not much barrel character. Very smooth with no alcohol burn.

This toed the line between a oud bruin and a Belgian strong dark ale. Not my favorite beer from the RR sour program, but a good entry nonetheless.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big dark bready style of pour, aroma was much the same way. Lots of prune in it.

Taste, reminiscient of those shitty fruitcakes your aunt would bring to the holidays. Lots of spice rack and clove here, dark fruit notes all over it, rye bread.

I'm glad they like it, but I just can't get into this style of beer.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 11, whenever that was (bottle bought at brewery about three years ago), poured into a wine glass.

Salvation starts out with a big foamy head that lasts, and lots of lacing. It's dark amber, but not inky black like some stouts. The aroma is mild, but my sniffer is never the best, so discount that.

The taste is the thing here: this beer is chocolatey and raisins, not too sweet, maybe just a little tart or a little bit of Belgian funk slipping in there. The ABV is hardly noticeable. It's a terrific beer to drink, or maybe sip, certainly not to guzzle. Did I mention how incredibly smooth this beer is? Medium carbonation.

I've got to get back to Santa Rosa to pick up some more!!!

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Photo of neenerzig
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My good buddy Jon Passow, who as of a few months ago became the Manager of Barrel Room Operations at Anderson Valley, sent me this in a package from northern, CA recently. Poured out of a 12.68 oz bottle into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a very dark brown color with a slight hint of deep ruby high lights when held to the light. Has a slightly tan, very creamy/froth looking head that is about a good solid inch when first poured with excellent retention. Some pretty good lacing too, but man this head just does not want to quit! Aromas of dark fruit such as plums, raisins, dates, and perhaps hint of apple along with a hint of spice and some dark sugar. The taste pretty much follows suit, with a slight malt caramel sweetness upfront that gives way to big dark fruit flavors of the aforementioned plum, raisins, dates, and a hint of red apple followed by brown sugar and nice spices. I think I detect some Belgian candy sugars and peppercorn. Just a phenomenal flavor profile! Has a slightly crisp, but mainly smooth, creamy, and frothy, just slightly prickly, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a slightly dry after taste and man does that sweetness really linger! You really just want to keep drinking the hell out of this and you wish that your glass was never ending. WOW!!!


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Photo of sgameroz
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If you're into Belgian beers, this hits the mark. It's not my preferred style, but tasty nonetheless. Roasty, toasty malts and some sweetness from the sugars and yeast make this a decent beer. I'd stick to the RR sours though if I had a choice.

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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 CJNAPS
4.79/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was surprised how dark this poured a nice dark brown. The flavor was really nice the hops and malts were perfect together. I'm glad i have another one of these to enjoy.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Russian River

A: Pours dark brown with a light tan head that settles and laces very well.

S: Very slight tartness, dark fruit, some spice, and dark sugar sweetness.

T: Roasted malt, a touch of light coffee, dark fruit, plumb and cherry, nice spice, and toffee sweetness. Hides it's % very well.

M: Towards the heavier end of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 6 bottled January 2008 and consumed a few days short of seven years later. This one is aging wonderfully. Dark fruits, brown sugar, yeast. Solid brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%

Very winey nose with some tartness and fruit.
Pours opaque brown with a 1” off-white foam cap that quickly dissipates to a thin film.
Exceptionally creamy, fruity, malty palate that leads to a mild hop bitterness on the finish. A light tart touch suggestive of tart cherries balances the rich malt. Very complex yet well balanced between the malt, hop and tart.
Very fine soft carbonation and big flavors hide the alcohol very well.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

bottled 4.18.12

a - poured a 1/2 finger thick tan head into a tulip glass. the body was dark brown with red edges.
s - dark fruits like figs and plums.
t - dark fruits like figs and plums with some caramel sweetness.
m - bubbly and lively carbonation.
o - another complex winner from RRB.

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Photo of WesM63
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 10. Poured into a Cantillon wine glass.

A: Pours a dark brown with a small head and lacing around the edges.

S: Faint but smells of figs, raisins and dates and dark roasted malts. Some biscuit notes as well.

T: Close to the nose with some toffee/caramel added. A medicinal astringency peaks through and warms as it goes down.

M: Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Just a hint of warming.

O: Overall, excellent beer. Very smooth, refined and slightly dry. This isn't as thick as other top and readily available beers in this category, but it does drink VERY well. Will drink again when the opportunity arises.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring cellar temp bottle into a snifter, the bottle says Batch 005. The beer pours a dark chocolate brown color with creamy beige head of 1 cm after a gentle pour. Head remains as a sturdy tightly packed edge layer for the entire sampling. Nice lacing on each sip.
The aroma is rich and malty with some chocolate powder and dark fruit. I get red grape and raisins with some brown sugar and a little booze.
First sip reveals an average body with smooth gentle carbonation. Easy drinking smooth and gentle on my palate.
Flavor is rich and malty with brown sugar and raisins dominant throughout the tasting. Some chocolate powder and a bit of bready yeast come through on the finish.
The booze is pretty well hidden with just a little warmth on the swallow.
Very well crafted and a big malty brew, I dont get any hop presence anywhere.
This is enjoyable and drinks very easy, could sneak up on me by the end of the bottle.

Worth a purchase if you see it.

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Salvation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,222 ratings.
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