Perdition | Russian River Brewing Company

very good
184 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mark on 05-09-2004

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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 618
Photo of DogFood11
4.86/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

**I have given this some leeway in the appearance category as it was transported by plane from SF to LA and lost most of its carbonation in transport. Still looks excellent besides the lack of life in the carbonation.**

Poured into a small tulip it is a ruby color with deeper copper towards the core. The aroma that is hitting my nose has me jacked up for this offering before I've even given it a whirl.

First drink was nothing short of superb and had me wondering if there was a beer that these guys make that I won't like?? A sturdy toasty malt backbone lives long after the side elements mix in. Fruity character is on the subdued side of the house but it makes an appearance. The best way to describe this in one word would be "Depth". It pulls you in alot of different directions but never gets jumbled and always has a theme. It gets sharp and tart towards the finish only to let go for the hops to dry it up a bit and complete this gem.

Notes: Probably the best Biere de Garde I've yet to get my hands on. My wife brought this back from the brewery and it lost its seal. Straight to the freezer and a half hour later this was near perfection and a great start to a Friday night. Thanks Vinnie.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.73/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another delicious Russian River beer.

This pours a light golden color with thin lacing, somewhat the color of apple juice.

There’s a slightly tart aroma on it, with some sweet notes.

Flavor is sweeter than I expected, with some malty roundness and a phenolic finish.

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Photo of carln26
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another beer I was fortunate enough to try recently at the source in Santa Rosa. It was called a Biere de Gard on their board, a Belgian Pale on this site. To me, it seemed a Saison. Who cares??? It’s a damn fine beer. It poured a deep cloudy amber, not much head, champagne carbonation. Fruity nose, pears, green apple. A bit of spice. Deep rich flavor, more pears, spice toffee sweetness. Thick mouth feel. Very drinkable.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Stone Bistro, poured a dark amber/brown with reddish tinge. Head was minimal as served to me, but left great lacing, and had a really nice clarity and reddish/brown hue to it. The smell was pretty subdued, light yeasty/earthiness, a slight bit of hops, and toasty malt.

The taste was excellent, lots of caramel especially towards the end of the glass. Belgian yeastiness was pretty low, almost hard to detect that it was a Belgian style beer. Mouthfeel was pretty good, though maybe tad too prickly with the carbonation, but this beer could be drank all day, absolutely glorious beer.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to todd1 for this bottle.

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a tulip. Batch 003.

Pours a stunning deep ruby with a rocky two finger off-white head that falls to a soft layer of bubbles. Sporadic lacing sticks to the sides of the glass with no intentions of letting go. Smell is much more than I was hoping for. Apples, grapes, and pears tickle the nose with an earthy undertone. Some caramel, freshly brewed lemon tea, and sweet honey. Very pleasant aroma, an absolute joy to sniff. Taste begins with more of the previous mentioned earthiness followed by sweet toffee and white grapes. Midway, more sweetness emerges with green apples and apricot followed by caramel and butterscotch. Aftertaste is slightly floral and fairly dry with a hint of cinnamon. The best part of the flavor (to me anyway) is the lack of Belgian yeast on the tongue. Medium body with a chewy and prickly feel from the high carbonation. Could be smoother, but still flows well between the cheeks. Scary thing, this is a borderline session beer to me. If I could get my hands on this on a regular basis it would be a constant in my fridge, perfect year round beer. Why this beer doesn't get more recognition is beyond me. I understand Russian River makes some of the best beers in the country, but this may be one of my favorites by Vinnie (next to Supplication). A permanent 'want' list brew for me.

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Photo of bosco7
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler filled at the brewpub 2 days before sampling. Usually I fill all my growlers with Pliny the Elder, but this has become one of my favorite RR brews and needed to bring some home to enjoy.

Heavenly appearance. Brilliant copper color topped with massive cream-like head that leaves a sea-foam-like lacing.

Freshly baked baguette, damp earth, pear, floral rose aromas, banana, soap, and cloves in the nose. Nice.

Delicate malt flavors to begin with; think biscuit, toast, and some light caramel. This leads into a subtle vinous character and some other estery flavors that include pear and black cherry. The beer finishes with clean spicy/floral and light pine hop flavors (Crystal hops?). Medium bitterness and dry finish.

Soft and smooth mouthfeel with medium-high carbonation that leaves the clean and refreshed. Balanced and delicious make this highly drinkable. Well worth sacrificing one growler fill of Pliny.

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Photo of Floydster
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a 12 ounce goblet at the Father's Office in Santa Monica this afternoon right when they opened

Color was an amber-like brown with a very soapy head, about 1/2 inch, left lacing most of the way through

Smell was very bready and full of different grains with a small hint of roasted malt, but not sweet in any sense, some hints of honey

Taste was almost perfect, just wished it did not fade so quickly, dry but smooth at the same time, taste has various nutty features with a perfect amount of mellow sweetness, cracked wheat hits the lips and the finish is filled with a grainy taste overpowered by a large amount o0f barely, tangy throughout the entire experience, one of the best tasting beers I have ever had, definitely one of RR's best

Feel honored to find this on tap somewhere because it is almost impossible to even find in bottles

Could drink this all day if it was not a ridiculous eight dollars per small pour

Russian River makes another fantastic brew and hopefully this is more widely distributed once the brewery expands

Highly recommended , A+ beer

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle was trade for a good while back. Been sitting on this one in my kitchen for several months just waiting for the right moment to break it open. Got tired of looking at it last night and I decided the time was right. Served in a Chimay chalice at cellar temp. Consumed 09/01/2008.

Poured a very nice, delicate ruby brown color. Rich with a good bit of haze and floating sediments throughout. Very nice color here. There was ample carbonation evident from the very beginning, with streams of bubbles rippling up to the surface throughout the glass. A nice even level of foam, perhaps two inches in height. Nice settle down to a respectable layer across the top which lasted throughout the session and gave off copious side glass lace.

The aroma was very nice. Rich notes of fruit, pears, apples, some tart cherries, but lots of caramel malt smell too. Its was like a cross between a brown ale and a farmhouse ale, very interesting indeed. Nice touches of grain and bready tones as well. The flavor was very nice. Rich notes of caramel malts wrapping around and mingling with sour fruits and touches of grain. Some nice fresh grass like hops playing around in here as well as the little bits of fruit just danced around in the back. Interesting feel, well carbonated and a cross between medium and light bodied. I was seriously impressed by the drinkability as it did not come across with the deep funk, letting you noticeably take bigger sips of it even on a hot day.

Overall this was very interesting and a very solid offering. I thought it was a wonderful addition to their lineup and really just a solid beer all around. I will be looking for this one again for sure!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color with a nice light tan head and decent carbonation. Nice spicy yeasty and spicy malt flavors. Bready and spicy malt flavors with some strawberry fruit character. Medium bodied with some lightly noticeable alcohol notes.

Very nice spicy Belgian.

Per Label: "Ale Refermented in this Bottle"

Per MJ notes and RR website: 6.1%ABV / 1.056 O.G / 25 BUs

Batch # 001 (first bottled batch exclusively for MJ Rare Beer Club)
Tasted: 03/17/07

(25.4 oz. / 750 ml tall straight brown wine-style bottle, corked, and caged)

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent beer. I've been wanting to try something from Russian River for quite some time. Thanks to Dogfooddog for the opportunity. The beer pours to a light amber, only slightly foggy. Nice white head forms with a stable retention. Lacing could be better.

The smell is good. Nice floral hops dominate the nose. Also a sweet barley malt accompanyied by some interesting sugars and spices. The taste is just as good, but the hops are accentuated and produce a nice crisp, dry, and deliciously bitter finish. Very drinkable. I really enjoyed this beer for what it is, but I still haven't fed my longing for the Pliny's or one of the sour beers.

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Photo of brdc
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large corked bottle, poured into a tulip. Courtesy of jhenry04, I think. Batch #2.

Light brown, golden highlights, with a nice fluffy white head that holds reasonably well, and leaves some lacing.
Interesting aroma, shows some earthiness and funkiness, but also deliver a nice fruity, grassy hoppiness.
Medium bodied, very easy to drink, with an interesting mix of a biere de garde and an IPA - I did not see the brown ale mentioned on the bottle.
A little funky, a little earthy, a little spicy, a little hoppy. Nothing explosive, but very well blended.
A nice and interesting beer, highly drinkable and a good food match. I would have a few more home if I could.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Light copper color with a white head.

S: Citrus, pine, and tropical fruit in the nose.

T: Notes of lemon, orange, pine, and general citrus.

M: Medium bodied, decent amount of carbonation.

O: This is another great beer. General rule of thumb: Russian River beers ending in "tion" are good.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on the eve of the August 27th JO's bottle release. Big thanks to Bill for bringing this. ~4 oz from a tasting snifter.

4.0 A: Orange amber color. One finger of white, frothy head. Decent retention and som lacing.

5.0 S: This is outstanding. Super herbalness with some flowers. Wild orchard funk and some hay and barn. Light peach fruitiness.

4.5 T: Great, though somewhat strange, mix of sourish tanginess and flowery herbalness. Light neutral sweetness with hints of light fruits.

4.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good creaminess given the body. Moderate carbonation, very nice for a growler.

4.0 D: Very tasty beer. Among the best I've had from RR. Solid all around. I wish they'd bottle this again.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on draft at Russian River Brewery back in February. This review is taken from my notes.

Beer was a clear copper or reddish orange color. Bar was pretty crowded and instead of pouring straight into the glass he angled it so there was no head. I am guessing he was in a hurry and didn't want to wait for the beer to settle.

Aroma is caramel, dried fruit and toasted grain. I really like the way this beer smells. Taste is similar and it has a nice creamy carbonation.

The thing that strikes me is that this beer has a really long finish. This is not the same as a really bitter beer where the bitterness sticks on your pallet. This beer has length and complexity in the same way a well made wine does. A really nice beer to sip and take your time with. The kicker is that this beer was $3.25 during happy hour. Can't beat that.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 3 received a while back from Asymon13... Andrew is a righteous trader and give him massive props for taking pity on an Idaho boy... thanks.

Poured into my New Belgium snifter.. 3 finger lite tan foamy head... very pretty.. took forever to die back.. left nice lace atop a crystal clear deep amber orange brew.

Aroma is toasty malts.. with waffs of caramel.. sorta musty and I guess you could call it funky.. a little biscuity.. and toasted bread.

Flavor begins with a nice unexpected bitter punch to the back of the palate... melts forward into the above mentioned toasty malts.. not as much caramel as I would have expected there either.. more of a nod toward caramel... a sorta nutty essence with a little bit of dried fruit.. some spiciness that is tough to put a finger on... reminds me of a saison with quite a bit of victory malt thrown in... finish though is fairly dry.. lingering hints of the previous sip hang out for quite a while.. body is lite/medium with smooth creamy carbonation.. drinkability is dangerous.

Andrew ... thanks again .... we must do another trade.. soon.


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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft last week at Russian River Brewing Co. listed on their board as "Perdition - Biere De Sonoma" for $4 -poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a fairly clean copper hue with a fluffy tan head that sticks around for a while, coating my glass with lace from start to finish.

S: Sweet malt, toasted grains, fresh baked bread with a noticeable hop presence.

T: Nice and fruity up front - plums, apples and raisins, followed by toasted malt - sweet, chocolate, carmel finishing grainy with a bit of an herbal hop presence with flavors of black tea in the mix as well. Really an amazing ale and perfect for late fall/early winter afternoons.

M: Medium-bodied, sticky, creamy and perfect carbonation for the style.

D: This was the last of four others I had in one sitting, but could easily drink a few in one sitting no problem.

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Photo of IceAce
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange topped with a sreamy tan ½ finger collar of foam. Nose is quite mild with notes of bubblegum rising past the malt and yeast aromas.

Silky smooth entry with an earthy maltiness which slowly builds to a crescendo thru the midtaste. The finish is signaled by a subdued hop bite followed by an alternating malt / yeast fade. Aftertaste is spicy sweet with residual sugar left on the lips.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ O’Brien’s San Diego
The beer pours golden amber with a semi-creamy white head that is moderate in size, a nice sheet of concealing lace seals off the glass. Nose is sweet malt, crisp and a bit spicy, nice yeast presence and the start continues the sweet malt with the top being a bit more than moderate in its feel to the palate. Pertinent acidity, the hops masterful in their spiciness, dry aftertaste, a real treat and a great example of the brewer’s art.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery in August 2009.

A: Pours an amber/red with a white head.

ST: Caramel malt with some candied sugars and some spicy Belgian yeast; a little bit of earthiness going on as well. Some floral hops.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Good amount of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable. A very interesting beer--big fan of this one, especially coming from a style I'm not always particularly fond of.

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Photo of Crotor
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly cherry-hued med-amber, like natural, earth-muffin style cranberry juice. One finger of white head, lowish retention. Up the pressure on those lines and pour into larger glasses!

Slight funk and hoppiness apparent in the aroma. Bit of caramel-type malt and yeasty bread. Overall very mild and subdued, but very nuanced...

In the mouth there's a significant impression of dryness, but nonetheless the beer also feels very bready and, well, chewy. Dry yet chewy? Big biscuit flavor. A yeasty, spicy, hoppy biscuit. The hopping is quite apparent, and works far better than I would have expected. Weird. But satisfying. Oh so satisfying. Bready yet crisp and dry. I wish such wonderful, fresh, Belgian-style session ales were more readily available. Probably my favorite of the 'Tions so far.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, how i love RR brews...and bier d'e Gardes! Put them together and you get the zen of beers. This low abv brew is a perfect pair to their pizzas, with layers of fruit and spice...subtle and never overpowering. A fairly dark amber with just a bit of haze. I'm guessing from other reviews that the bottled version has lots of suspended sediment. Not here.

Theres some funky belgian yeast in here, but not as pominent as other RR's. Spices and fruit (cardamon, carrot cake, pear, clove) are big. Light cookie-dough or pancake batter malt characteristics.

I downright love this style, which is hard to find but sooo good. This is one of the better!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing. Everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises and is already on the road to perdition."

--Carl Jung

Batch 002. Rusted orange rind with tangerines dipped in honey borders. In spite of little visible carbonation, the cinnamon-flecked oatmeal colored head looks magnificent. It's a gorgeous mass of sticky bubbles rather than richly creamy foam, and is beginning to blanket the glass with gobs of Belgian lace.

Russian River calls Perdition a 'Biere de Sonoma' because it can't be shoehorned into any one style. Rather, it's a mutt of an ale that is some combination of a pale, a brown and a biere de garde. I think it's great when a brewery creates anything they damn well please and calls it anything they like. Biere de Sonoma it is.

The aroma is oddly underpowered. About all that can be appreciated is a faint toasted maltiness and a Belgian yeastiness. The beer also smells faintly funky; something that wasn't expected. Here's hoping it opens up as the ounces pass.

Perdition isn't one of those beers that bowls its drinker over with huge amounts of flavor. Having said that, each mouthful is better than the one that preceded it. This eclectic ale has a sneaky complexity and is incredibly delicious. Russian River comes through once again.

The most amazing thing is that the beer tastes exactly like an amalgam of the several styles listed above. If I had to pick one style that captured it best, it would be 'Belgian brown ale'. With all the beers that I've reviewed over the years, I've never tasted anything quite like it.

The flavor profile includes toasted brown bread crust, sugar-crusted pecans, a veritable cornucopia of ripe fruit (bruised pear, apple, golden raisin), buttery caramel, vanilla and assorted bitter herbs. It sounds like that combination would clash, but everything comes together beautifully. Russian River shouldn't change a single thing.

Hop bitterness is surprisingly aggressive as well. Not bad for greater than one year in the bottle. The mouthfeel is the biggest surprise. Not that Vinnie isn't an absolute master, but this one is pure poetry in the mouth. It's as silkily creamy and as expansive as the best that Belgium has to offer. Perfection without a doubt.

I love the irony in choosing a name that means eternal damnation for a beer that is probably on-tap in heaven at this very moment. If it isn't, it should be. Perdition is a masterpiece that deserves to be brewed on a regular basis. Outstanding.

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Photo of shaebs99
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

growler received from ipa247. Thanks for the fantastic beer

Appearance: poured a nice copperish amber with a good amount of head (it varied depending on how poor i poured) that leaves some mild lacing (the trip cross country didn't hurt its carbonation, not flat in the least)

Smell: Light smell of spice, caramel malt, yeast

Taste: Sweet taste upfront. ends with some spicy and yeastyness (in a good way), pretty good balance

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with a medium to light body

Drinkability: the best things about this beer is the taste and how drinkable it is. i could drink this all day. I almost wish I didn't share it with my 3 friends

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Photo of flexabull
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brewery.

Yet another excellent offering from Russian River.

Beer is a dark amber / brown color with a nice head.

Aromas are faint, a bit of sweetness and spiciness noticed.

Flavors are subtle, but quite good. There is a creamy malt flavor that dominates, and there are also subtle hints of apples and smoke. Beer has a nice crisp and tart finish.

Mouthfeel is great, very full and well rounded.

A fine example of the style. Worth a try, very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of Derek
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy amber-brown, light tan head, good retention, great lace.

S: Spicy, nutty & biscuity with a variety of fruity aromas and a slight barnyard funk.

T: Slight spicy & leathery funk, nut bread, subtle flavours of dark & tropical fruits. A plethora of subtle complexities makes the flavour really interesting.

M: Moderate body is well-attenuated with a dry finish.

D: Very drinkable for its weight.

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Perdition from Russian River Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 618 ratings.
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