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

Appeared a rust color with a nice big head that left behind tremendous lacing. Translucent with a thin film covering the surface. Aromas of malt, dark fruit, heavy cream, and burnt wood. The taste was filled with juicy fruit flavors. Quite dry and yet slightly creamy in my mouth. Malt flavors seem to keep the hops in check throughout. Slightly sour finish. I liked this beer and I can see it pairing very nicely with an assortment of spice-filled dishes.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Father's Office in Santa Monica. Poured into a snifter-like glass. Taken from my notes with some add-ons:

Appearance: Pours a dark red cider amber. One-finger head that remains for some time. White cream lacing, mountainous and impressive. I was taken back by how long the head retained, and how long the lacing remained - when I had finished the glass, huge luges of lace streaked down the glass and back the up the other side. Great look.

Smell: Cider-like, peach, rhubarb, cobblerish, yeasty bordering on a farmhouse aroma, caramel notes, cherries. Had some interesting aromas, but I found it, perhaps, smelling and tasting a bit too astringent.

Taste: Apple juice, apple cider, slight nutmeg, apple pie, french bread, sourness, astringency.

Mouthfeel: Too carbonated and a little too dry.

Drinkability: Overall I found Perdition to hide its alcohol well and have some pleasing fruit-like complexity, along with some yeast-driven sourness which created a nice bready backbone. However, its astringency kept me from wanting to have more than a glass.

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

750ml brown bottle-Batch 001

The cork unseated with a resounding "POOF" and a release of gases. This Biere de Garde poured into the over-sized wine glass with a yeast rich cloud and a reddish-brown hue. When backlit the color became decidedly plum to garnet. The head was thick and somewhat creamy, a tan froth, if you will. The lace hung in thick patches.
The smell was sweet toasted malt, a down cellar mustiness, spices, faintly fruity, traditional yeast funk and light bubblegum phenolics.
The taste began with big bready yeast, lightly sweet fruity notes with spicy, almost peppery hops. There was also a distinct sourness and mild acidity with a drying finish.
The carbonation was fine, tight bubbles that were medium active and the body was medium light. The mouthfeel came across as light and crisp.
This was my first Biere de Garde. I found it to be similar to other styles I have had in the past. This was quite drinkable and I may need to venture further into the style.

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Photo of sfoley333
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Pizza Port Cbad 10/24/06...
I tried this beer before from a growler a friend brought back from the brewery last year. So was glad to try it again at the port.
It poured a copper color with a slight reddish hue and displayed moderate carbonation while retaining a nice head. With smells of a wonderful light hop aroma and a essence of spices. Taste is of gumball, bread, light spices. Not over done could drink this beer all night long.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Labeled as "Bière de Sonoma" on the blackboard at the pub.

Appearance: Dark reddish amber, just a thin ring of lace circling my glass.

Smell: Candi sugar sweetness in the nose, herbal, but not just in a hoppy way, it has a bit of rosemary. Some pine needles as well.

Taste: Easy to drink, even though it had some vineous character it was rather light bodied in mouthfeel but still tasted malty. Sounds vague, I know, but bières de garde are a little off the wall like this sometimes, especially this one who totally had a "west coast" feel to it. It had a pleasing citrusy finish though. Another winner for RR in my book, taking a hard style to pin down and giving it their own personnal touch.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark rootbeer with brown sugar highlights with a touch of haze. Quality, creamy whipped butter head.

S: Dried raisins, cloves, black pepper, bubble gum and fresh yeast.

T: Bubble gum mixed with boyzenberry. Doughy with solid dark biscuit characteristics. Some brown sugar, lightly bitter with just a touch of soy. Finishes with loads of dark fruit and more bubble gum.

M: Full, smooth and creamy.

D: Overall this beer is very nice. Lots of nice flavors mingling as one.

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Photo of Callenak
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass from a fresh growler.

This is the second time I had this beer. First time it was after consuming a lot of other beers so I wanted to try on a fresh palate before I tried it again.

Pours a dark, cherry/amber color. Earthy smells but nothing that really stands out.

Hint of cinnamon in the taste. Very smooth with a little spiciness to it, but all and all, a very plain beer for Russian River.

I'm a huge fan or Russian River, probably my favorite brewery. Maybe my expectations are to high, I'm not sure. This beer just seemed plain to me. It's well balanced and drinkable, but just doesn't stand out. Very forgettable.

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Photo of sloejams
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass at Father's Office in Santa Monica.

It's pours a dark copper color, opaque - a small head. Touching the glass, the beer seems a little bit too cold. The aroma is of spice: cinnamon and clove and some mustiness. Toasted malts come through on the palate followed by a strong yeast. It goes well with Father's Office's incredibly delicious sweet potato fries.

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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 Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful brown with a wispy white head that leaves a nice lacing.

Smell is of cloves, bananas, cereal grain, malt, and some dried fruit at the end.

Some roasted sour and bitter flavors up front. Some stewed fruit and a slight sweetness at the end.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel with the slightest bit of astringency on the finish.

Very smooth, and very easy to drink.

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Photo of clickpush
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour: draught to tulip glass. Dark amber beer with no head to speak of, just a thin white layer over the surface of the beer and a thicker halo around the edge. Hardly any bubble activity in the body.

Nose: Pine and cinnamon. Very faint.

Mouth: Chocolate, warm breath, cinnamon, candy like flavors, excellent mouthfeel. This is very easy to drink and I wish I could find it in San Francisco.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Would you say Hwy 101 is the “Road to Perdition??” Poured a cloudy-esk amber to liquid orange color. The head was rather limited but a foam ring held for the entire tasting.

The smell is not quite to style but not bad either. A spicy smell with some bready and cinnamon nose. Some malt and light Belgium yeast aromas on the back end. Some hinting of fruit flavors like banana and figs.

The taste has more of a malt flavor with some lighter biscuit notes. I wouldn’t call it quite bread as there is a dryness as well that leaves a wispy taste. The spice flavors comes out more with cinnamon and cloves. The yeast also comes out with more phenolic and ester blends that are somewhat of a deterrent. At the back end is a simple hop flavor that brings a earthy finish to the beer.

The body is more of a light feeling then mid. For style I would have liked more fruitiness and less yeasty aftertaste, but still and enjoyable taste.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 001, served at just over fridge temperature in a Duvel tulip. This is the July, 2006 selection from the Michael Jackson Rare Beer Tour... the Russian River brews are not available here in NJ (yet).

Appearance- Pours a toasted amber - just a bit hazy- supporting a resilient, three finger crown. The light tan head slowly recedes, leaving behind gobs of lacing.

Smell- Donuts and flower petals. Seriously, that is the first description that comes to mind! Subtle spices, a hint of pear, some mild phenolic notes too. Toasted malts linger within the glass, adding a nice depth to the beer's aroma.

Taste- Biere de Garde-type earthy Belgian hop profile... dry, mildly fruity, a little spicy, with a notably toasty finish. Interesting in that it doesn't seem to fit into a single style. A tangy bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue after the swallow.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Lightweight and foamy, a little too quick to settle and disperse in the mouth. Fortunately later in the tasting, the body improves and with the yeast addition it gets even better. Easy drinking, just not overly interesting.

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

Had on tap at the Russian River brewpub. The beer was copper colored with a thin head. I'm not good with biere de garde profiles, I've only had a few. Perdition's aroma was almost abbey-like, kind of thing. Sort of had the abbey ale yeast component, not much hops, some mild malt.

The flavor was mostly caramel and malt, the mouthfeel was good due to high carbonation. Strange that the head was thin with so much fizz.

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

From my notes on recent trip, poured into a sampling glass, arrived a nice copper color without a head, with bits of lacing here and there. Aroma is matly with grains and a spicy and yeasty presense too. Taste is like aroma, the malts up front and spices right behind, finishes pretty nice. A good beer and one for the growler.

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

on tap at the source

wisps of foam on the surface are ringed with a white collar (not sure the pour was great). labeled a "biere de Sonoma," it was sweeter than a saison, but still with a prickle from the carbonation

the aroma was funky and fruity all at once—very BdG (or BdS). peppery too
some nice hints of darker malts balance the lightness to the lemony zest and tartness. some bitterness

what a pilgrimage. i can only hope i make it back

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Recently sampled at the Russian River Brewing Company during a visit over the New Years Eve weekend.

Listed as:
6.1%ABV / 1.056 O.G / 25 BUs
Perdition: Copper in Color this Belgian style pale ale has aromas of spicy hop, cinnamon, and pear. The flavor starts out with an initial bready, light toasted malt flavor and finishes spicy and slightly yeasty. Silver Medal, 2004 World Beer Cup (Belgian /French Ale Category). Rotational release. Available on draft in the Brewpub and Northern California.

Appearance: Served in a Goblet. Amber body with a soft orange glow. Thick white head that rests easy and settles at ½” thick but stays there throughout. Excellent head retention and a higher than usual level of conditioning. Fizzling streamers.

Nose: I got a hoppy nose at first and a lighter funky bitter nose in subsequent samples. Problem was that the last time I had this it was a little Cathedral-chilly in the Russian River Brewery, a cold wet day outside and the Perdition was a little too chilled for my liking. As a result of that, and its damn fine tasty nature, well, the beer didn’t linger round long enough to warm up to release all of it aromas I suspect.

Taste: Mmmm. Sliced apple, spicy pears, sweet-ish malts and a yeasty middle. Breaded finish. Perry-like with a dry Champagne finish that has a lovely spiced hop death.

Mouthfeel: Prickly feel at first from the carbonation and this helps to break through the bakery section of this brew to lend a more aerated bready feel, as opposed to doughy, which adds lightness to the experience and a dangerous Drinkability too.

Drinkability: Saison like, with the associated thirst quenching quaffable aspects that the style usually benefits from.

Overall: I noted that on the Chalkboard behind the Bar at Russian River that this was listed as a “Bier de Sonoma”. Nice description.

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