Rejection | Russian River Brewing Company

very good
65 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 218
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.

 388 characters

Photo of femALEist
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Pi Bar at Russian River night during SF Beer week.
Rejection-Belgian inspired black beer brewed for Valentine's Day & 6.1%. It poured a cola brown. It smelled of malt, vanilla, caramel with some coffee notes. It tasted pretty much the same as the nose- vanilla, toffee, roasted malt and espresso. It was my friends' favorite beer of the evening- and he loves Pliny the Younger.

 396 characters

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.

 331 characters

Photo of MisterClean
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pulled from RR. Thanks concours.

A - Pours brown with 2 fingers of mocha head. Dissipates moderately and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Chocolate, dark belgian candi sugars, medium roast coffee, and peppery esters.

T - Chocolate, dark belgian candi sugars, medium roast coffee, moderately btter hops, and peppery esters.

M - Moderate bodied, well-balanced, lightly sweet, and smooth tasting.

D - Very good overall.

 417 characters

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

Drove up to Santa Rosa and picked a growler from the brewery this morning. I have to admit the comedy of marketing a beer named Rejection as a Valentine's Day beer contributed to me purchasing this to a degree. Poured into a Russian River -tion glass.

Body appears completely black at first look but shows some hints of cola color when held to light. A very large khaki colored head forms but settles pretty quickly and leaves some very nice lacing as it goes.

Belgian-like yeasty quality on the nose is joined my some roasted malts and a faint chocolate character. There's also a good amount of grassy hop aroma in this beer.

The roasty and chocolate notes continue on the palate with the addition of a subdued fruit character. It bears repeating that the fruitiness is subdued, far less estery than just about any other beer I've tried in the style. The slight hop bitterness detected on the aroma is lingers on the finish.

Very drinkable beer, this growler went very quickly. Not extremely complex or intense but highly enjoyable. Another fine Russian River offering.

 1,075 characters

Photo of bulletrain76
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught at RR during the PtY release madness. Almost black with a small tan head. Lots of fruit in the nose, with what strikes me as their house yeast ester profile. Plenty of rich malt in the aroma as well, with chocolate and toast. Modest bitterness with just a touch of roast and mild apparent hops in the finish that bring a nice balance that barely leans on malty. Fruity with a definite yeasty touch, but also very clean. Nice chocolate malty flavors leading to a pleasant dryness. Pretty much a flavorful Belgian-style porter from what I taste. Very nice.

 562 characters

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.

 709 characters

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.

 449 characters

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.

 757 characters

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...

 708 characters

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.

 904 characters

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.71/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Pleasant burnt charcoal matches perfectly with nutmeg, licorice, ginger, and coffee. Awesome.

Taste: Extremely spicy top note with intense ginger and nutmeg notes are balanced by slightly dry, caramelized wood and some citrusy coffee in the mold of a yergicheffe that's at city roast levels. Ripe currants, molasses, and fruit skin bitterness with a hint of cider flavors emerge as it warms and opens up. Definitely not as roasty as one would expect from a Black ale. Finish is grassy and citrus bitterness, a little dry, quite spicy, a little yeasty with a touch of banana.

Notes: Awesome, amazingly drinkable and unique beer.

 659 characters

Photo of mjl21
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River. Poured into a Belgian goblet. Comes in at 6.30% and 27 IBUs.

A-Pours a dark brown with a half finger tan colored head that recedes to a decent ring that hugs the rim of the glass. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

S-The Belgian character is quite strong in the aroma. I get stone fruit, Belgian yeast, and some candy sugar. There are touches of roast malt but not as much as one would expect in a "black" ale.

T-Like the nose, the Belgian characteristics are quite strong at the start and dominate 75% of the flavor. I get plenty of Belgian yeast, stone fruit, banana, and some clove. The roast malt becomes distinguishable as it hits the back of my mouth. There is also a decent amount of candy sugar sweetness towards the finish. The roast character is prevalent in between sips and it picks up as the beer warms.

M-Medium bodied and it has some lively carbonation.

D-An interesting beer. I like how the Belgian flavors are more prevalent and the roast flavor kicks in to give this a unique flavor.

I missed this one last year and forgot how good this beer tastes. A nice seasonal beer that is unique and tasty.

 1,143 characters

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.

 660 characters

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.

 1,101 characters

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.

 514 characters

Photo of william5586
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Local 44 in Philly.

A- Dark, but not quite black. About a finger of off white head.

S- The first thing I picked up on was toasted/burnt malts and coffee. Some chocolate.

T- I found this beer to very complex. It seemed that every time I took a sip it tasted slightly different than the one before. There was a definite smokey flavor there. Burt malts. Coffee. Dark fruits. It also had a hint of sweetness to it at times.

M & D- Medium body with noticeable carbonation. I would love to try this again. A very interesting beer.

 545 characters

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.

 932 characters

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....

 643 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer in San Francisco. (the day after Valentine's Day)

Pours a very dark brown color with a nice bright egg shell colored head.

Aromas are of light chocolates, milky cream, and a bit of oak.

Taste is fairly light, but the flavors that are there are nice. Light cola, biscuit, and a little bit of bitter chocolates. Finish is crisp, with some mineral and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is good, and pretty full feel with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good. Solid dark Belgian beer. Not an earth shattering powerhouse of flavors, just a nice easy drinking beer that is very sessionable.

 606 characters

Photo of macktbone
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obviously enjoyed at the brewery. Along with many PTY's my review and taste buds could be slightly tainted by the wonders of the Younger and it's 10.5% following.

A- a Brown (dark)ale. Head looks like a solid Belgian.

S- Lots of funk, bright with a touch of chalkiness and cocoa.

T- very fresh. Has a slight "brett" taste with a sweet hoppy malt backbone.

M- Good solid creamy adventure of dark bliss

D- This could be a new favorite. "Rejection No More"... The afterglow of this beer could start a new following for Belgian darks.

A great beer that stands alone amongst many others there at RR.

 600 characters

Photo of aforbes10
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the brewpub. Arrives in a stubby wine glass, the correct name for which is not in my vocabulary. Looks a nice dark brown with a quarter inch light brown head and good retention. Smells yeasty and biscuity with some vague fruit. Definitely smells like a Belgian style beer, but its not clear what style exactly. Flavor has definite fruit and yeasty veins. Strong malt undertone and a slight roasted note. Roasted flavor makes me think porter, but its not that by any means. A bit overly dry on the finish, where more fruit flavor would be welcome. Medium to full bodied with a creamy/frothy mouthfeel. A nice drinker, despite the dryness.

 647 characters

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.

 331 characters

Photo of xhcadamx
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - black in the center with brown edges and ruby highlights. A big pillowy head and a lot of sticky lacing.

S - Toasted / Burnt malt and a little yeast.

T - VERY complex. Never had a beer quite like this before. I am a noob to Belgians and there is so much going on it is hard to describe. A thinking man's stout?

M - Dry really dry.

D - If this beer wasn't so dry I would have quite a few more.

 401 characters

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...

 401 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Rejection from Russian River Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 218 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.