Rejection | Russian River Brewing Company

very good
65 Reviews
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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: 218
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 StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a very tasty belgian style ale, nothing sour or funky about it, just a true belgian, as much a dubbel in its appearance and grain complexion as anything else, and really nicely done overall, if lacking some of the "oh my gosh" elements that make many of their other beers so highly regarded. its got a nice rich frothing head, deep amber to chocolate brown color, crimson in the right light, and pretty lacing as i sip on my tulip. raisin, fig, brandy, plum, molasses and butter cream all come to mind after a deep sniff on this one, what really doesnt jump out at me much is the yeast, its pretty subtle for a belgian strain. lots of caramelization in the flavor, the wort has likely endured and developed a lot during a rather long boil. honey and brown sugar, dried apple, faint cocoa powder, and some strange altbier elements from the grain all creep in. the yeast remains quite mild, although its not bland, it is interesting, just not striding way out in front of the grain base. the lesser alcohol presence is nice too, it tastes bigger than it is, not because its boozy though, but because its densely packed with old world flavor. very enjoyable drink.

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Photo of brentk56
4.54/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark chocolate brown body, a frothy tan head and splashy lace

Smell: Campfire aroma with light smoky tones; toasted caramel and biscuit

Taste: Toasted caramel opening, but not sweet; woody flavors arrive mid-palate; slight bitter finish, but dry

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Terrific aroma, subtle flavors with a nice, woody finish

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black with an off-white head that retained nicely.

Smell: Cocoa, toffee, dried fruit - this essentially smells like a dark Belgian ale with a nice helping of roasted malt.

Taste/mouthfeel: Chocolate-covered fruit; fresh figs, dates, strawberries. The fruity Belgian yeast profile blends perfectly with flavors of charred malt and cocoa. The body is surprisingly light; this stuff goes down easy enough to session. The mouthfeel dries up a bit in the finish, though a trace of lingering sweetness remains.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable stuff despite being my last beer of the day. Vinnie has a nice touch with these Belgian-style brews.

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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 Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/20/09. Part of a full day of Russian River beers here. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours black with thin wispy brite-white head. Retains at just about the same level, staying sturdy and leaving some solid swathes of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet and toasty smelling with notes of roast, chocolate, and smoke, with accompanying notes of fruity citrus, floral hops, and a pervasive yeasty scent.

The taste is of chocolate, caramel, bisquits, and roasted malts, with a touch of fruity citrus character. Bittering hops sit in the back, as does a definite Belgian yeast feel that really comes out for me in the finish, mixing with lingering notes of bitterness. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied with a nicely effervescent and creamy feel that is fairly gentle in the mouth.

I liked this. Nice balance between the roasted and sweeter notes and the more yeasty esters knew their place in the profile. Plus there was a robust hoppy freshness about the whole thing that only Russian River can do. This drank nicely for an over 6% beer as well.

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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 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 aasher
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wedding beer courtesy of thagr81us. Thanks Calton!

This one gushed a bit out of the growler. It pours a medium bodied cola brown in color with a two finger, creamy beige head. The nose is smooth and creamy with dry dark malt character and a touch of Belgian yeast. It's light and dry, somewhere between a Belgian Brune and an Irish Dry Stout. It's pretty mellow yet sessionable. It's a nice Belgian dark ale, just nothing crazy.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at local 44 in Philly. Into a Chimay glass.

A- Rejection looks just a touch lighter than black with a nice tan head on the top of this BDA. The head rejects itself after a few minutes. A good amount of foam on the glass but not coating.

S- This has a nice roasted malt base with some slight coffee and smoke. I'm smelling cocco and some fruit and brown sugar.

T- Getting roasted malts with a nice cocco backing. Also some coffee in the background with a smoky appeal in the finish. Toffee and caramel coming from the malt is easy to spot. A nice earthy taste to this in the long run.

M- This is a nice step down from medium bodied with nice carbonation. Goes down incredibly easy leaving it's ingredients on the palette for a bit before leaving.

D- Due to it's limited availability in my area I was glad to get it on tap once but I could have drank much more. A nice low abv belgian sytle that I could drink year round.

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Photo of John_M
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub in Santa Rosa.

The beer pours an impressive black brown color with excellent head retention and sticky lacing all around. I don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light roasted malt and licorise. On the palate this beer is very complex, with an interesting, long, dry finish. There is something of a burnt toast taste, interlaced with quite a bit of licorise. The beer is very much on the light side, and you can tell the abv. is pretty low. The beer has an intriguing sweet licorise, dry stout sort of flavor, with a hint of hoppiness on the finish. The finish is quite dry and there are light nuances of both sweet and sour going on through out. Mouthfeel is pretty light and drinkability is good.

Not my favorite beer from RR, but certainly not a bad beer. Glad I had a chance to try this one.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip at the brewpub in Santa Rosa.

A: Black, however not a sludgy thick black like a RIS. Thin, mocha colored head with little retention. Not much light getting through
S: Different. Very smokey, toasted malt, a little coffee. Very pleasant.
T: A smokey, roasted flavor, slight chocolate and coffee. Slight hop bitterness. Kinda hard to nail this down as a part of anyone still. Was confused by first few drinks but then got used to this and enjoyed it.
M: High carbonation, a nice maltier belgian, medium bodied, very creamy and smooth.
D: Great, I could drink a lot of these at 6% abv and they are very enjoyable. Obviously not as much flavor or punch as a RISs, but still a lot going on and an interesting beer (though I'm still not sure what beers to compare it to)

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Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


On tap for O'Brien's TION weekend.

A: Near black with some crimson near the edges.

S: Roast blends with chocolate. Pine accompanies earth, floral notes, and a faint fruitiness. There's a light spiciness.

T: Roasted grains with notes of dark fruit and some chocolate. Upper low earthy bitterness with a restrained spiciness.

M: Medium body with upper low carbonation.

Overall: Another pretty good TION beer, but not a terribly interesting style. I'm not sure of the style of this one, but it seems like a Belgian Black Ale

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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 barleywinefiend
4.8/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at RR
A: Poured an dark brown color with good carbonation and a tan head.

S: Nose is toasted malt, chocolate, yeast and coffee.

T: Taste is chocolate, candy, fruits, yeast a little bit of booze. Pretty sweet sticky and hearty. Booze is just right and this beer is so tasty, probably my favorite beer behind Younger of course!

M: Medium body, well carbonated, tasty

O: This beer just struck a chord with me. Bravo. Another grest RR brew.

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Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At Monk's Cafe. She loves you...

A: The dark ale looks more like a porter or black ale, coming out with a full body that comes close to blackness. A mocha head rests atop the beer.

S: Dark roasted, burnt with plenty of chocolate aromas. Darker fruits linger below the surface, sweetening the otherwise roasted body up nicely.

T: Very much a Belgian style porter, dark and well-roasted with toast and chocolate in spades. Darker sugars, including brown and candi sugars, linger with a sweet bitterness. It's bitter, heavy on the darker chocolate flavors, but the yeast saves the day, lightening it up. Hops aren't much of a factor, enjoy the burn though.

M: The porter-like Belgian ale surprised me, dark and forboding but quite drinkable. Plus, I'm never one to turn Russian River down.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Russian River in Santa Rosa. Brown color, dark looking. Aroma was sweet, chocolate, nice. Flavor was quite good, chocolate, malts, yeast, really a solid offering. I also liked teh bottle cap with the broken heart. Nice stuff and a shame I can't drink this on tap in Denver though I should just be happy to see any Russian River at all.

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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 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 thagr81us
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another tick on the Russian River –tion Quest that I started quite awhile back! Big thanks goes out to estocker for sending me this one a LONG time back! Shared this one the day after aasher’s wedding while the entire wedding party was hanging out by the pool in the Destin, FL sun! A growler gusher!?!? Served from growler into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a two finger light khaki colored head that subsided to a half finger extremely slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, roasted malt, bread, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, banana, fruit, and bread. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I was really surprised that this one held up as well as it did after over a year of being stored in my fridge. Surprisingly there were quite a few non-craft beer enthusiasts at this pool party and a lot of them really liked this brew upon sampling it. This was a good thing as it would have been hard for aasher and I to pound the entire 64 oz growler. There were lots of nice notes going on here that kept your palate guessing on each sip which was a nice aspect. It was also refreshing making it easy to drink out in the extremely hot weather. Definitely a must try.

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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 illidurit
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub for RR's 4th anniversary.

Pours an opaque, dark brown color with a tan frothy head that reduces rather quickly. Aroma is toasty malt and coffee with a touch of fleshy fruit. Flavor is of those See's coffee flavored candies with some roasty bitterness and smoke. Chewy and sticky. Really smooth and drinkable.

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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 DmanGTR
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Local 44 during Philly Beer Week. Review from notes.

A - poured thick dark brown, quite opaque and a slight head. Little lacing.

S - mild earthiness, sweet caramel malts, light roastiness as well. Quite interesting!

T - sweet caramel malts, roasted barley, light coffee/carob also. Light alcoholic kick in the finish.

M - full bodied, very light carbonation, which worked well for its creaminess.

D - without a doubt, quite drinkable.

Thoughts - for a Belgian dark ale, I would not have expected any roasted barley/coffee flavors that I would expect from a porter. However, it worked very nicely with this brew and was indeed very tasty.

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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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Rejection from Russian River Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 218 ratings.
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