Rejection | Russian River Brewing Company

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

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2005

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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 212
Photo of Overlord
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown. Smells faintly of spice and Belgian Yeast.

Tastes ... like belgian yeast, a hint of choclate-y malt, and a ... a sort of weird soury aftertaste.

One of the most disappointing beers I've had from Russian River. Really not sure what they were going for. I can't even say it's a misfire in terms of taste, as there really isn't much going on.

Bit watery. Forgettable.

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Photo of antilogic
3.11/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 5oz taster.

I was looking forward to trying this new creatively named valentine's day beer. Color was black, taste was dry, bitter, and to me, burnt, with a thin mouthful. I did not like it at all, but maybe my palette was too sour'ed out by Vinne's other masterpieces. I'm looking forward to trying it again, maybe with food, and maybe I'll like it more...

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Photo of jdklks
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a Dark brown almost black color with a suprisingly light tan head that stick aroun for awhile and laces the glass nicely. Smell is a little disappointing insofar as it is not all that string or complex. Some chocolatey notes with a lot of Belgian yeast and a little dark fruit sweetness. Lots of spice.

The flavor, like the smell, is a little bland. Just about what you'd expect from the style, but not from a Russian River beer. Belgian yeast dominant all over. Lots of spices accompanied by some sweet fruits and a caramel/chocolate undertone. A funkiness in the finish and aftertaste. Decent but not great at all. By far my least favorite of the beers sampled today at the brewery.

Mouthfeel is a full medium with lots of carbonation and is one of the better parts of the beer. Drinkability=I would drink it if it was the only RR beer I could get, but there are just soooo many better choices.

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Photo of lhaqq
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Near black with a small tan head.
S: Not too much. Some roasted malts.
T: Kind of reminds me of a Sam Adams Black Lager, though this is less malty and sweet. That flavor, but considerably more earthy.
M: Smooth, a bit light.
D: Easy to drink, but would probably rank this amongst the few RR beers that I don't care for too much.

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Photo of deebo
3.32/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brew pub. Served in a goblet this beer had a thin topping of tan head that quickly receded. Black. Aromas of dark malts not picking up any yeast. Flavor is indeed malty. This beer tastes like a porter to me. Not sure what makes it Belgian inspired-maybe a hint of esters in there but it is weak. Well carbonated and medium bodied a flavorful beer that is average but solid.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a 2 oz sampler at Russian River's tap room in Santa Rosa during their Pliny The Younger release in 2012. Reviewed from notes. Note that the vessel was 2 oz, not necessarily the total amount ingested, as I ordered samplers repeatedly if I required more to review accurately.

A: Pours a half finger had of slight tan colour, pretty decent cream, good thickness, and awful retention. Colour is a dark caramel-brown.

Sm: Caramel, nuts, and smoke. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Some smoke - more as a tone than a flavour. Dark malts form the foundation. Some milk and cream. Some chocolate. Balanced and pleasant, if simple. Enjoyable. It could use some layering, but that would require more notes and depth of flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Could use more cream. Not too thick nor too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable, but simple. I'd have it again, but Russian River has far better brews.


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Photo of waltonc
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Russian River brewery today. Described on the chalk board as a Belgian Black Ale, or something like that. And black it is, with a nice tan head. Smell and taste are essentially dark roasted notes, a little coffee, but lighter than a stout by far. Pretty drinkable brew, but with so many other delicious options at the brewery, one is enough.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Belgian Beer Festival 2011
Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

Dark brown with dark ruby highlights. Thin light brown head. Specked lacing down the glass.

The aroma is a combination of sweet and roasted malts. Some dark fruits and perhaps chocolate make for a very inviting aroma.

The flavor is a bit simple and, in that respect, surprising: a mainly bitter flavor along with roasted malt, perhaps some dark fruit, but relatively simple and average. I hoped for more.

Thin to medium bodied. Easy drinking. Appropriate.

A relatively simple Belgian dark (porter?). Good, but not great. Glad I got the opportunity to try this on-tap only treat.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

01/16/06- On tap at Russian River Brewing Co.

Presentation- From the tap into a 14oz or so tulip.

Appearance- Super dark amber, or maybe a light brown/black with some red highlights? Odd coloring. Half inch fluffy head and light lacing.

Smell- Almost has some rauchbeir scents. Smelled lots of coffee grounds for sure, and also a good amount of smoke.

Taste- Hmmm, just a tad of the liquid smoke like taste. Full on burnt to a crisp coffee bean and dark choc taste. A bit cola like as well. Maybe even some light fruit taste in there too.

Mouthfeel- Pretty heavily carbonated, almost like cola as mentioned above.

Drinkability- Fairly odd tasting beer. Kinda like a swartzbier, except not a lager. Not as sweet in the malt as well. Just odd. Worth a try though.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Sampled at the 2006 - 12 Hour Belgian Beer Party - held at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

Simply listed under the “Draft Beer List” section of the Beer List at “#94 – Russian River Rejection”.

Appearance: Dark brown with some flashes of chestnut in the Carlsbad sun, yet under the sun canopy awning it looked jet black. Bubbly head when handed to me had all but disappeared by the time I made it back through the crowd to the BA table.

Nose: Warm pears baked in brown sugar with some toasted funk thrown in for good measure. A little strange, but nice enough nonetheless.

Taste: Hints of dark fruits teased, but seemed to be hidden behind a thin Schwarzbier-like brown sugar cloak which dominated. Warmed in the SoCal Sun some figs and prunes thicken the texture and tussle with the dark chocolate. Finish has a leaching effect like you get on the cheeks after a few cups of strong roasted coffee which also added a smoked feel in the after effects. Somewhat unique.

Mouthfeel: Average conditioning, served on-tap it seemed to give up its carbonation all too quickly. The body thickened as it warmed and beefed up the feel, however, this also brought out some more burnt sugar on the tongue which I didn’t care for.

Drinkability: A tad hard going I found. I paddled my way through this one, but I found the obliqueness in this Dark Ale seemed to have it off-kilter for my liking.

Overall: It’s a while since I had a dark brew from Russian River, but overall this one was not really to my palate to be honest. I made a point to try this one early on so I think I avoided the faded palate scenario. Not one of my favorites from Russian River, definitely unique, but I would give this one a whirl again if I get chance.

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Photo of impending
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the source. Poured an opaque black, minor head, great lacing.

Aroma is subdued yeast and dark bread lightly spiced.

Taste is roasted malts but not to the point of bitterness. Significant hop flavor. Hint of smoke in the finish. Medium bodied and creamy. Overall this brew has a quiet flavor. Warms well.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap @ O'Briens TION night. Poured very dark brown, almost black, with a short, rapidly fading off-white head. Roasted malt and smoked aroma, some chocolate. Loose mouthfeel and felt kind of flat. Grainy and malty up front, but more earthy than roasted. It was hard to determine if the bitterness was from the chocolate flavors or brett; either way it was pleasantly unusual. Bits of coffee and dried fruits popped up here and there. Overall, the taste was muted; not necessarily watery, but weaker than wished for.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 2/5/10 at the brewpub.

A: The pour is an inviting dark brown/black color with a finger's worth of light tan foam.

S: The nose has quite a bit of roasted malt with a slight chocolate and caramel malty aroma. There is, of course, the usual fruity and spicy Belgian esters, but also a slight acidity.

T: The flavor follows the nose for the most part, but perhaps a bit on the bland side. I found the roast to be the predominant flavor, unfortunately, with only background notes of stone fruits and yeast.

M: The body seemed to be a bit on the thin side with a lively carbonation.

D: Another offering from Russian River that I've been looking forward to trying, but somewhat of a let down. Of course, I'm still glad to have been able to get a glass.

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Photo of yeastsipper
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled up courtesy of Phil Kirk. Consumed immediately.

Beer pours a dark black with a rather large, fluffy off-white head. The intense carbonation and head surprised me (pleasantly) coming from a growler. The smell is 'dark' with roasted malt the primary scent, also some wood, licorice, and root. Taste is pretty much similar. There are some light chocolate and anis flavors, but the roasty, earthy taste is most noticeable. Beer goes down very easily and is much more sessionable than others from RR. This is a fine beer, but not terribly memorable, and not one of my favorite offerings from RR. Very glad to get a chance to try....

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Pretty much a black color with a 1/2 finger tan head. When held to light, it's really more of a dark maple syrup color.

S: Roasted malt and some coffee with some floral hops, a little Belgian yeast and a touch of dark fruit.

T: Floral hops upfront followed by some day old coffee and roasted malt. A hint of dark chocolate and anise as well. I didn't get much of a "Belgian" feel from this at all and I feel like a touch of Belgian yeast could have given this one a little more depth, which it needed.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler purchased at the brewery, poured into a snifter.

A: Pours near black with two fingers of dense and very creamy looking light tan head that slowly faded into a thick collar. Sheets of lace were left down the glass after every sip.
S: Fruits including raisins, red grapes, apples, and coriander, and Belgian yeast flavors cinnamon, nutmeg, with a hint of grass, leather and wood come through. Spicy and fruity overall.
T: Much more roasted than the nose suggested. I mostly get flavors of roasted malts, chocolate and wood, but in the finish I get a touch of sweet fruits and earthy hops. I even get a bit of banana and brown sugar. Good flavors, not too complex though. Maybe could use more strong of a flavor profile.
M: Clean medium body, soft carbonation that is a little fizzy, with a slightly sharp mouthfeel. Easy to drink overall though.
O: An easy drinking dark Belgian. Relatively low alcohol makes this quite quaffable. Not one of my favorite RR beers, but I’d never turn this down.

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Photo of popery
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft, Russian River. Pliny the Younger 2010 release. Another semi-disappointment from this day. Rejection isn't bad, but my standard for RR is unbelievably high and this beer is fairly forgettable and outshone by almost all of the rest of the menu. It pours coffee black with a thin off-white head. There's a fair bit more candi sugar presence than expected. The flavor is mostly coffee/cocoa with some background malt fruitiness and a touch of Belgian yeast. I found the mouthfeel to be a bit grainy leading to a somewhat thin, watery finish. This wasn't great, but I certainly wouldn't turn down a glass, either. It's hard to tell how much the riches of SF Beer Week are effecting my relative rating scale.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewpub (2/4/10), served in a generic wide-mouth tulip. This was presented as a "Belgian Black" beer.

Turbid taupe (or maybe rose-taupe) muddy purple brown body. Spackled head recedes to nothing, but leaves behind nice lacing.

Dark bread, hot chocolate, black malt, and light caramel aromas.

Lemon0lime, slightly salty, dark malt, faintly roasty; mild yeast - almost like a Belgian version of an English Mild - rather strange. Light caramel mid-palate, sweet bready finish. Maybe a touch of rye/grain somewhere in there as well.

Smooth, a little light bodied, but with adequate carbonation.

Enjoyed this over conversation, but while not heartbroken, I was somewhat disappointed by it...

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Photo of Retsinis
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend who just got back from Napa Valley had visited "Russian River" Brewing Co (among others,) and brought back some beers to try. This was one of them, and of the three growlers he brought back (all from three different breweries) this one was the best in my humble opinion.

Poured from a Chilled Growler into a Bruery tulip glass

The beer pours a murky, hazy dark amber brown, almost black, but light does penetrate when you hold it up to the light. A nice and fluffy tan colored head rose about 2 inches on the initial pour, which retained a bit, then settled to just about a quarter inch of head. No notable lacing.

Diving in the glass, I get aroma's of smoke, brown sugar, coco and coffee. Some yeasty esters in there too, but just a bit.

The flavors in the taste have a nice earthiness, probably from the yeast. Notes of chocolate, roasted malts, toffee, caramel, and some smoke. These flavors are in proportion, and blend together well.

Mouth feel has a medium to high body with generous carbonation for the style that does not get in the way of the flavors. Easy flavors on the palette. Only 6.10% ABV, so you can have a few, though they could sneak up on you, since you can't really detect the alcohol.

The overall, and drinkability of Rejection is good. It has a fairly unique flavor profile. Not something I personally would crave, but I would not turn down another taste. Since it's a limited yearly release, it's worth a try though, and I was glad that I got the chance to taste this years.

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Photo of dbONE
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is the color you see when you close your eyes, BLACK! The light tan head remains on the glass to make it seem you still have a full latte.

A sweet slight coffee aroma from the malt and caramel tones are played mildly, but a little smokey like a bon fire.

Some spice comes through on the aproach then it dives right into the caramel and sweet coffee leaving the same aftertaste.

Smooth and creamy, this is easy to drink if you know what you are getting into. Definatly not for those who just "like" beer.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From my notes on recent trip, poured into a sampling glass, arrived with no head, pretty dark brown in color. Aroma is a bit odd, definitely some toasted malt in there, but can't pin down the odd funk to it. Taste is again kind of funky, the malts roasty, some chocolate... and perhaps smoked? Not what I expected out of a Belgian Dark, though not actually all that bad. Just, well, rejected:) Body is above average, good consistency and after I got used to it, it wasn't all half that bad. One is all I need though.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Pours an almost opaque super brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some char aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild amount of roasty 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 is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Tried this one at the source. Pours brown pour with ruby edges and an off white to khaki creamy head on top. Low aromatics with some dark malts, a little roast, some yeast, chocolate, dark fruit. Very smooth velvety mouthfeel with low carbonation. Flavor is chocolate covered raisins, some yeast spice, very smooth, lightly sweet, no bitter. Pretty solid brew, and seems very similar to Salvation to me.

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Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Monk's Cafe.

Pours a deep dark brown color that's almost black with faint mahogany edges and a one finger light beige head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with faint spiciness and dark fruit notes. Slightly toasty with lots of dark chocolate along with hints of toffee and caramel.

Medium bodied with lots of roasted dark malt as well as some zesty spice and sweet dark fruit notes. Lots of dark chocolate malt flavor along with hints of toffee, coffee bean and caramel countered by peppery spice, candy sugar and dark fruit which provide subtle sweetness. Still the dark malts dominate the flavor, lingering into a dry finish.

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Photo of SShelly
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A cpl week old growler.

Dark dark brown pour with big off white head, excellent retention.

Very subdued aroma with a little coffe, and some dark graininess.

Flavor is light coffe upfront with some esters, slight phenolic finish, some astringency, leaves the mouth dry.

Pretty darn drinkable, a little thin and dry for my taste.

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Rejection from Russian River Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 212 ratings.
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