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Perdition | Russian River Brewing Company

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 610
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very drinkable Belgian, wo knowswhat to expect from RR but it was easy drinking. Some sourness yes but I've had more sour from them. Spicy saison charcter. Medium brown with a big head and lacey. Great mouthfeel. Balanced malt and bitterness, the spice andthe sour element.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's Pub in San Diego, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, and spices. Taste is much the same with a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this is one of the better beers we had at russian river that isnt already famous. its sort of like a saison in its yeast complexion, but has a lot of body and isnt quite as dry. there is a really neat fruit aspect to this, mango and green grape characteristics that dont come from hops. i suspect a high level of wheat in the grain bill, there is some weight on the palate, but it drinks pretty easy and finishes a little long with a nice grassy hop presence. i wish for more carbonation, it seemed a little flat from the tap. not flat, but not excited either. its a rustic beer with a lot of layers, more complex than perhaps some of the other non sours at russian river. i liked this one a lot, although it seems more suitable for spring than fall.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA

A: The beer is hazy dark amber in color (dark reddish brown when viewed from afar) and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of earthy yeast are present in the nose along with some hints of grainy and caramel malts.
T: The taste has flavors of earthy yeast from start to finish along with a moderately strong malt backbone of grain. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather malty for the style but has nice aromas and flavors of earthy yeast.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of largadeer
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark chestnut color, hazy but clear. A gentle pour left me with 3 fingers of off-white head that retains well.

Smell: Spicy and floral to the extreme, this one has a huge nose. A little bit of sweet dates and toasted malt are present as well.

Taste & mouthfeel: Less intense than the nose suggests (probably a good thing). Fruity, spicy and toasty with an earthy backbone. Medium-bodied. The finish is earthy and dry with mild bitterness. Easy to put down, but not one of RR's more outstanding beers.

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a big head that settles to little more than a film but leaves a bunch of splashy lace

Smell: Toasty and spicy, with white pepper and cardamom, pears, green apples and grapefruit pith

Taste: Opens with a combination of pink grapefruit, pears, white pepper and toast and gets somewhat spicy and tart by mid-palate, without assaulting the palate; there is also a bit of toffee sweetness that appears later on and lingers after the swallow, providing a foil for the tart and spicy flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really unusual but very drinkable beer

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Photo of emerge077
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, review from written notes.

Bright copper, sharp clarity, frothy skim and sheets of lace stuck to the sides around the glass. Plenty of visible carbonation.

Softly earthy, nutty complex grains in the aroma, malt and yeast driven.

Nutty malty complexity, some specific walnut flavor, with a light bitterness stemming from a mild hop presence. Malt driven flavors, though hops do play a minor role. Creamy and mild feel, an easygoing session beer that's well put together, and not overdriven by hops. Didn't pick up on any "wild" characteristics from the yeast that some others did.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a goblet at Russian River in Santa Rosa. I was the designated driver, but I did get to sample this. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and bad retention. Colour is a dark auburn.

Sm: Amber hops is all me broken nose picks up. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Pleasant malts, very light hops, and some fruit esters. Light caramelized malt. Very refreshing, but a bit simple. Pleasant and tasty. Very well balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also crisp and refreshing. Very complementary of the flavours and style.

Dr: Quite drinkable, with no alcohol coming through. A quality brew held back by the simplicity of its flavour profile.

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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 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 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 womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Russian River

A: The pour is a heavily orange tinted amber color, perhaps we could call it copper, with a creamy off-white head.

S: The nose is full of yeasty esters. Lots of banana, apple, and pears. A slight spice component is there as well, which goes nicely with the sweet and bready malt.

T: Quite a sweet beer, but most Belgian styles are. Lots of caramel, brown sugar, bananas, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The bread flavor is a bit more in the background and allows the other flavors to shine.

M: The body is medium with a middle of the road carbonation.

D: I'm not always the biggest fan of Biere de Garde (some just seem to be very poorly done), but like most other Russian River beers, I liked this. Nice flavors and yeast notes, solid all around.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Dr. Humbard. Thanks Matt!

the beer is amber hued with a half inch + of off white head. The aroma brings bread, hops, funk, floral notes, yeast, hops, grass, lemon zest. Nice flavor, following the aroma. Nice blend of earth, hop, floral aspects. A solid beer. Russian River remains one of the best breweries in America.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewpub. Served in a tulip.

A - A finger of off-white foam with good retention that settles to a thick cap and leaves behind solid lacing. Medium-dark coppery color that is semi-transparent.

S - Spicy, earthy, bread, yeast, and grain. A little bit bland after Supplication but still pretty pleasant.

T - I like the taste a little bit more, but it's still quite high in the bready grain character. There's also some light toffee. Not getting much hop presence or mustiness, but it's still one of the better American takes on this style that doesn't involve barrel-aging or tons of wild yeast. Tastes exactly like the description on Russian River's website.

M - Smooth, bready, soft body, with soft carbonation, and a tiny bit of warmth in the finish. Pretty nice stuff.

D - This took me longer to work through than Supplication. It drank like a meal to some extent, and lacked sufficient depth to make me want more.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/06/05- Had on tap at the Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- From the tap into a oversized wine glass type chalice.

Appearance- Amber, cranberry juice colored pour. Champagne-esque inch head with light wisps of lacing.

Smell- Light barnyard funk with some spices and fruit. Overall nice scent.

Taste- I don't know what to make of this beer. It's good, but not sure what style to make of it. Has a light tart sour taste like a flanders, has a nice sweet and spicy taste like a wit, the barnyard scent like a sasion?!?! WTF? Very hoppy, which wasn't expected, but it worked in this case.

Mouthfeel- Champagne effervesence and well carbonated.

Drinkability- Tasty for sure and a easy drinker. Still trying to think of a good food pairing for this.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a amber brown with yellow highlights and a thin head that left good sticky lacing.

S: belgian yeast brown sugar and caramel aromas with a slight smokey character and a faint leather note.

T: pear fruit belgian yeast up front with caramel and brown sugar notes.

M: medium body with good amount of carbonation and a sweet and slight dry finish.

D: very drinkable bier de garde and made me want more after 5oz's of it. Good offering from RR.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Fathers Office in Santa Monica, CA on 7/10/11

A - Poured a medium amber colour with two fingers of off white head.

S - Bready malts, slight hop presence, some floral notes, belgian yeast and spice.

T - Floral hops with a decent but not dominant bitterness. Cloves, bready malts, some grassy/herbal notes and a slight spice taste.

M - Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2

The bottom line here is that this beer taste wonderful, but lacks sorely in carbonation. It just didn't have a crisp feel like other biere de gardes or any other pale Belgians for that matter. The flavor actually reminds me of Piraat with a sweet bready malt and herbal and subtle citrus rind hops.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Tustin Brewing Company in a 12 ounce chalice. On to the beer:

Pretty....this is an orange amber colored beer with good cream and lacing in the foam. Its aroma doesn't live up to the look. In fact, there's almost nothing to smell at first. Warming it up allows for some earth and dark fruit aromas to crawl out. The taste, like the aroma, is difficult to get at first. Taste is very dry throughout with very subtle fruit. This gets stronger as it warms. Some earth and red grape round it out, giving it a whisper of red wine character, especially in the aftertaste. Medium bodied wth gentle carbonation, this beer is very easy to drink.

While Perdition isn't a headline grabber like other beers in the -tion series, it is a relaxed beer good for any occasion.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Grey Lodge Pub in Philly. I got two 16oz pints from a freshly tapped keg.

A- RR Perdition pours out a dark amber/copper color bordering on mahogany. It had a 1 1/2 inch white head. It was dark in the bar so this could be off but not by much. Not much lacing.

S- I'm getting a lot of toasted malt and fruit (apple) aroma with spices such as cinnamon and clove. A nice hop aroma but not the main focus. A nice yeast presence and a very faint hint of funk.

T- A bunch of toasted malts in the flavor with spices as mentioned above along with the fruit's with more pear than apple. More bready qualities than in the nose while some dark raisins come up. The yeast used in this is noted and is probably the cause for the slighty bitter funk taste. Overall a great tasting biere de garde.

M- The carb in this gives off a slight sting in the initial stages but wares with time. Finishes quite dry with a medium feel to itself. Not overbearing in the slightest but a slight bitter sense that comes after the 1st 20oz.

D- A great take on the BDG style and i'm glad i found it on tap. I probably wont see this one back around this area for a while, but who knows. The 6.10% is slighty above sessionable but i would drink this till sunrise if it were available.

Thank you Grey Lodge for getting this and RR for sending it. Oh yeah and all the intermediates in between.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled March 2007 at Father's Office, Santa Monica CA
This beer sits in the tulip glass with a brilliantly clear, lightly burnt, reddish amber color (it is a bit dark for something associated with Pale Ale, but certainly no darker than many American Style Pale ales). The head starts out a good finger in height, and has an amber tinged, tan color to it and it lingers on for quite some time (a solid visual presentation from the tap). The aroma is a nice mix of spice and fruit character and this is certainly an enjoyable brew to linger over the nose for a while. I get aromatic notes of prunes, cloves and raisins.

The taste is quite nicely integrated. It is a mix of spicy hops, earthy-spice driven fermentation character as well as a nice fruitiness from both malt and fermentation. I get flavors of caramelized apples, pears and a touch of raisins. It is actually quite fruity at times as this is the most noticeable flavor contributor. The finish is dominated by an earthy spiciness that is reminiscent of an almost peaty-coriander character with a touch of clove. This is not really sweet, yet still manages to evoke an concentrated fruit character of figs, raisins, prunes and perhaps even some cherry notes. When coupled with a goat cheese gratinee, the beer actually picks up a bit of sweetness, which accentuates a still bright, yet sweeter fruitiness.

This is really the quintessential quaffing brew. I am really enjoying my glass of this brew and I am wishing that I had easy access to this on a regular basis. The stand out for me is how well integrated and layered the flavors are here; nothing screams at you here, but still it is a very interesting brew without taking away from this being such an easy drinking beer fit for a happy afternoon session among friends.

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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 biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Russian River, in Santa Rosa.

This mahogany beer offers clarity to the light and has a skim white head that can interfere with sipping. All its chestnut highlights make it look a little too cheery for something supposedly representing a state of eternal punishment and damnation (especially when being drank at the brewpub during happy hour, which is essentially to say in heaven).

Looking beyond the obvious mustiness, the beer smells cola-sweet with a lot of roasted nuttiness and some seriously over-ripened fruit, including hints of apple and plum. A lot of rich malty character perspires especially with warmth, as do the spices and esters of the yeast, but alcohol is notably absent at all times. This should be delicious.

Perdition has the rich, flavourful, 'not so much sweet but nutty' toast of a Vienna lager but with all the characteristic esters of a Belgian yeast strain. Those crystal malts carry a hint of oak and cherry as well as a plum fruitiness and roasted nuttiness. It tastes reminiscent of toasted hazelnuts, with bits of chocolate but dominated mostly by an attic mustiness.

You might ask yourself what makes this a "Biere de Sonoma"? Quite simple - it's brewed there. But it could just as well be the abundance of dank, earthy hop character that is more pronounced than in most European offerings. That said, the bitterness is not itself all that distracting, certainly not with so much basement mustiness and rich, nutty malts.

Vinnie Cilurzo - one of very few brewers whose name not only warrants being dropped in these reviews but is also one of the few that can be readily recognized by the average craft beer drinker - brews Belgian ales like he was born a Belgian himself (or, in this case, French). Perdition is not a bad beer to be stuck with forever - hell, I wish I had it on hand at all times.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL Batch #3 bottle shared with some friends.

Dark copper/amber color with a creamy off white head that has low retention and spotty lacing. Spicy, earthy, musty caramel malt aroma with some Belgian yeast. Body is very smooth, medium body, carbonation is on lighter side. Flavor is similar to aroma, and overall is a little sweeter than expected for a Biere de Garde (I guess that's why it's a "Biere de Sonoma"). Not bad, not exceptional, easy drinking and unique for the style.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at TBC,

A: Pours a deep amber with a medium white head. Good retention leaving lots of lace.

S: Toasted grain, biscuity malt, dark fruit.

T: Dominated by dark fruit (prune and raisin) and crystal malt character. Some pleasing upfront hoppiness is nice along with a very mild acidity.

M: Medium-bodied, brisk carbonation, light acidity, crisp, biting.

D: Solid biere de garde, not knowing the style, I thought it was some hybrid of a Belgian dark ale, but I get it now knowing the style. Well done.

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Perdition from Russian River Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 610 ratings.
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