Russian River Brewing Company

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Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Wild Ale
4.2 | pDev: 10.95%
Dec 04, 2016
Jun 01, 2005
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by BEER88 from North Carolina

Dec 04, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by Mbrown44 from Delaware

Jun 02, 2014
Rated: 4 by baybum from Pennsylvania

Feb 27, 2014
Rated: 4 by Mike from New Hampshire

Feb 12, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by fbc24 from Pennsylvania

Oct 15, 2013
Rated: 4 by CityofBals from Illinois

Sep 12, 2013
Rated: 4 by Thorpe429 from Illinois

Jul 15, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by pisano from Massachusetts

May 24, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by DaSolomon from New York

Apr 26, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by joel66 from New York

Apr 25, 2013
Rated: 4 by GRG1313 from California

Jan 29, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by jbuddle from New York

Jan 14, 2013
Rated: 4 by Sean9689 from Illinois

Jan 14, 2013
Rated: 4 by MordorMongo from Indiana

Jan 13, 2013
Photo of SpeedwayJim
Reviewed by SpeedwayJim from New York

3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Thanks to Mike for this one. 2oz. pour into a Lost Abbey teku. Reviewed from notes 1/12/13.

Pours a thin, white head with no retention. Oily but thin legs. No lace. Beer is clear pale lemon. A bit uninspiring for the style.

Nose is lemon spritz, hay, pear, and some light sweetness. Pretty mellow and a touch dull the the pear is a nice touch.

Pear, lemon, hay, and wet wood. More sweet than tart. Dry, lemon and pear rind finish. More pale fruit in the aftertaste. Decent and again, displays some nice fruit notes I'm not used to in the style.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry in the mouth and spritzy, bubbly and lively going down. Dry finish with a mellow, slightly lingering aftertaste. Very solid considering the age.

A nice beer that really does remind me of the temptation base. That being said, this isn't appreciably better than the "base" beer and is getting a bit old at this point.
Jan 13, 2013
Rated: 4.5 by t0rin0 from California

Dec 26, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
Reviewed by cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.14/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
pour is transparent orange with a tight white head that dissipates immediately. The nose has some white grapes with some buttery notes and a bit astringent. The flavor is buttery and malty. Some sweet white grapes and barrel notes. A touch messy with a medium body, assertive carbonation and semi dry finish. never had fresh but a bit of a mess now and assuming its well past its prime.
Apr 10, 2012
Rated: 5 by spycow from Illinois

Dec 13, 2011
Rated: 3 by rab53 from Washington

Dec 05, 2011
Rated: 4.5 by brandoman63 from Illinois

Nov 18, 2011
Rated: 5 by whartontallboy from New York

Nov 14, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
Reviewed by AgentZero from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Got to knock off one of my bigger whales thanks to MasterSki at our 4th of July get together. This more than makes up for all the malt liquors I was fortunate enough to "enjoy" with him. Milestone review #1050. Thanks to nerd as well for hooking Alex up with this.

A - A cloudy, yellow beer with a very minimal white head. The head did not stick around for long and left the sides of the glass clean.

S - A nice tartness, although I'm suspecting it has mellowed a little bit with time. Some oak and a little bit of fruity sweetness, but the grapes are the thing that really stands out for me here. I'm assuming they are chardonnay grapes, or something else used in white wine.

T - Taste is surprisingly smooth, with an equally smooth white grape flavor. Some decent oak and barrel notes, and a good tartness although not as much as temptation. The grapes come through quite cleanly on the end and then get a little tart to finish things off.

M - Smooth, with some active but soft carbonation and a little bit lighter on the body.

O - Great beer, would have liked to have had one of these to pop open every year just to see how it progresses, but am truly happy to have tried it when I did.
Jul 08, 2011
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Reviewed by TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
I had this during a July 4th get-together in Chicago. I was pretty psyched to get a chance at this beer, thanks to the generosity of Alex (Masterski) made possible by the previous generosity of Mike (nerd). Thanks very much Alex!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. A clear bright copper color with a thin layer of foam, eventually a ring of suds after it settled. It smelled tart & acidic, lots of bret character with minimal grapes (easily detected as I was searching for them).

This tasted nice and sour, lactic and maybe a bit tannic, more grapes in flavor than aroma but still not the lead. Dry and crisp finish. I had a really nice pour (thanks again Alex) but I went through it very quickly, laughing at my luck to try this beer. Wish I could have had it fresher, but still a nice treat even with some age.
Jul 05, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
Reviewed by thagr81us from South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Review #900! And what a way to do it with another MASSIVE tick on my Russian River -tion Quest... Shared this bottle at one of our weekly tastings with beeruser, funkydelic, and mikesgroove! Batch 001! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a murky red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, funk, caramel, toffee, wood, subtle sour, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, BIG funk, wood, slight sour, toffee, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew was just plain excellent. Based on the past reviews from a few friends of mine I was concerned about bringing this one out to this tasting due to it being a complete 'gagger'. However, this one turned out to be quite excellent. In all honesty this brew is what I would think an excellent barrel aged Barleywine would taste like if it was infused with Brett. Just plain excellent notes of caramel and toffee to combine with the funkiness in this one. Really well done brew and it appears to have held up quite well in my cellar for some time. Glad I got to share this one with a group of great friends!
Jun 28, 2011
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Reviewed by mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
huge thanks to Calton for brining this one to our tasting last night. a long time want of mine i was thrilled to see it show up. poured into a snifter.

not at all what I expected as a nice brown colored liquid came chugging out of that bottle. small bubbles around the side and very hazy look to it. aroma is soo odd. lots of toffee, caramel, buttery notes that are layered on top of an odd sour note, but it really really works. flavor was more of the same, you can tell how sweet this was originally as it still maintains massive complexity and a wonderful smooth finish. such rich toffee and complex favor in the finish it was simply unlike anything i have had before.

overall just a superbly wonderful beer. enough good cannot be said of this.
Jun 25, 2011
Photo of craytonic
Reviewed by craytonic from District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Batch 001

Split with Dan at one of our dirty south mediocre tasting sessions. heh.

Appearance: Nearly clear, a straw-pale with some soda-like bubbles

Smell: Centrum vitamins, dissolved in water with chardonnay oak and light funk with a backdrop of artificial/bottled lemon sourness.

Taste: Incredibly dry, again with the vitamins. Certainly a chardonnay element, which is not one of my favorite grapes and the corresponding butter and oak notes. Might have been the quality of what they chose; doesn't seem to be on the upper end of the spectrum (think temptation with cheap chardonnay).

Mouthfeel: dry; medium-to-low carbonation, a bit thin

Drinkability; this was a good 375ml to split. If you have one drink it now.
Nov 18, 2010
Photo of kkipple
Reviewed by kkipple from South Carolina

3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Craytonic is a generous guy, never thought I'd see this one without a lot of effort on my part. But! lo and behold, here he is cracking it for our drinking pleasure. Consumed during a sour night in mid October. 375ml bottle.

A. Deep gold with minimal head and no lace. Clear, (I see some others report haze) and fairly standard. No active bubbles.

S. I expect good things... and find... Flintstones vitamins? Yes, in fact, the orange flavored ones that you gnawed on as a kid. Really, truly. Strong vitamin B nose at first that lessens with time, dry and oaky with a lush sourness through and through. Lemony, but not 'fresh' lemon. An unusual nose, and overall good, but not blowing me away.

T. Ahh, there's that dry white wine! A fine lemon-funk sour hits first with a touch of salt. Oaky Chardonnay is quite easy to pick out here and the oak is smooth and rounded. There's a definite old-hop cheesiness in the mix. Depuration is: complex, dry, lactic-sour and unusual. This is a sophisticated, erudite beer and one you should take your time on. (And yes, the vitamins make another appearance, albeit more reserved, in the flavor.)

M / D. Low carbonation, but okay. The finish is long and dry with more white grape and dry oak while the sour fades out with panache.

Depuration isn't the best beer I've had from Russian River, but that said this is still a step above 90% of the wild ales made in the US. My recommendation to those lucky to posses one: open Depuration as your first beer of the evening and take your time trying to figure this one out. Yabba-Dabba Do indeed!
Oct 29, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
Reviewed by Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Bottled acquired via trade. Thanks Brian! Shared at my tasting on August 7, 2010 alongside six other Russian River wild ales.

Depuration appears a slightly hazy yellow color. There is only a tiny head which leaves no discernible lacing.

The aroma is wonderful. Grapes and a general tannic quality along with hints of oak barrel.

I really enjoyed this. I only wish that there was more, as this was a 375mL bottle. I enjoyed the tannic or wine-like aspect of the beer very much. I definitely found a grape presence in there as well. Russian River wild ales are some of the best beers on earth, in my humble opinion. I feel very fortunate to have sampled this rare delicacy.

M: Very tannic, with a slight vinegar bite in the finish. Terrifically sour and wonderful.

D: Of course, I'd love to try this again. Sadly, there are no plans for a re-release. A great experience.
Aug 15, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
Reviewed by drabmuh from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Somehow I was at the right place at the right time and got to sample some of this bottle thanks to the other Matt. Thanks buddy. A very cool treat, very cool.

Beer poured into a snifter. Beer is yellow to amber in color. Forms nearly no head, no lacing and the carbonation level is low. There is a moderate haze to the beer overall. Looks OK for a sour.

The aroma is sour with a Brett funkiness to the whole thing, could be some stale wood I'm smelling from the wine barrel but overall its mostly lactic with a biting acetic tinge. Very nice.

Beer is quite sour but not tart. I'm not picking up much of the vinous properties I was expecting. This beer is medium to light in body and leads off with sour, follows up with more sour, and finishes mildly dry. I could definitely drink more of this stuff if that were possible. A rare treat for sure. Thanks Matt.
Aug 10, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
Reviewed by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Huge thanks to stowehop for this treat. Batch 001. Served in a Duvel tulip and shared with BeerTruth after a long adventurous drive from Maine, followed by a little bar-hopping in the 'Cuse.

A - Pours with a finger of foam that eventually settles to a thick ring and some haze. Not much in the way of lacing. Hazed apricot body that is quite pleasant to look at.

S - Sweet Jesus! Even though this is 3+ years old, it sizzles with the intensity of fresh white grapes, tropical brett notes, general funkiness, wine oak, and light acetic acid. I think the oak has dissipated some from the initial reviews, and revealed the rich, deep, complex web of flavors. It's got all the things I love about sours, working in wonderful harmony.

T - The taste is a little smoothed out, but only a bit. Wonderful forefront of sweet ripe grapes and funky fruity brett, and a finish of sourness and white wine tannins. You can perceive the relationship to Temptation.

M - Superb. Soft, but lively, carbonation that supports a body that is big enough for 7%, but light enough to be refreshing. No perceptible alcohol. Finishes dry, but never reaches parched proportions.

D - I didn't know this was made from Temptation when I drank it, but looking back that makes a lot of sense seeing how similarly I scored the two beers. Again, a dark horse beer emerges from a crowded field to be the highlight of a wonderful weekend.

Why is this not being made again? I will buy Russian River Muscat grapes if that's what it takes...
Jun 23, 2010
Photo of Douglas14
Reviewed by Douglas14 from California

5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Pours a nice golden color with an awesome head. Lots of sour in the nose with great brett character. Hints of raisins and peaches with lots of white wine grapes. Absolutely phenomenal. Lots of juiciness to it also. Finishes dry. I feel fortunate to have been able to drink this. Thanks, Travis!
Feb 15, 2010
Photo of vacax
Reviewed by vacax from California

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Depuration is a deep and dark cloudy golden color with a sparse head. Aromas of sweet grapes dominate the brew, with tart and acidic notes. The flavor is close to that of the regular sour blonde Temptation, with plenty of acid and sourness, but a vinous grape character indeed comes to control on the palate. There are some slight amounts of acetic acids as well. I was excited to try this one, but I think the reason this is no longer made is fairly straightforward... it isn't better than Temptation. Medium bodied with a tight medium carbonation. I was glad to try this, but its lack of presence today is not to be lamented harshly.
Feb 14, 2010
Photo of brokensail
Reviewed by brokensail from California

4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Huge thanks to Andy for bringing this one to the tasting yesterday. I'm very excited to be reviewing this one.

Review #400

A: The pour is a very hazy golden color with some small carbonation bubbles, but not too much in the way of head formation.

S: The grapes really stand out despite this bottle being about four years old. The fruit provides a very interesting combination of buttery sweetness and tartness which is very inviting. There is a bit of lemony lactic tartness to the nose as well.

T: The nose translates almost perfectly to the palate, with the flavor being a little bit better (though that's certainly hard to do). Again, the grapes really come through strongly and have such an amazing contrast. The front end features the sweetness of the grapes with the back end being tart, fruity, and dry.

M: The beer is smooth, and despite the low visual appearance of carbonation, there are a nice amount of bubbles on the tongue.

D: Easily one of my favorite beers I've had the pleasure of trying. It's too bad this one won't be made again and that it's so hard to come by.
Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Deuane
Reviewed by Deuane from Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
Let's see...I liked Temptation and this is Temptation WITH Chardonnay, well I think I am in love already!

Batch 001

A-Clear, deep golden yellow with a thin bright white head that left spotty lace.

S-Insane amount of buttery Chardonnay with a nice backing dose of oak and some grape tartness.

T-Big buttery oak flavour from the Chardonnay. Once this passes a healthy sourness kicks in. This is a seriously balanced and flavourful beverage!

M-Light bodied and VERY smooth with a dry oak finish and long lasting flavours.

D-This is simply spectacular to me. I am a big fan of buttery oak Chardonnays and of sours so to meld the two together in a near perfect balance, well! My favorite RR -tion beer I have had to date!
Sep 29, 2009
Photo of grub
Reviewed by grub from Canada (ON)

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
big thanks to oakbluff for sharing this rare treat. thanks scott!

375ml bottle, corked and caged. batch 001, bottled 2/14/2006. sampled july 30/09.

pours hazy and chunky dark yellow, just barely orange. a thin ring of fine white head forms, dropping quickly and leaving a few spots of lace as it falls.

aroma is funky. white grape. lemon. malt vinegar. bit of alcohol. horse blanket and leather. white bread and cracker. bit of vanilla and raw oak.

taste is good. less funky than i was expecting, but still pretty nice. light alcohol. white grape. light lemon and malt vinegar, but they seem to fade very fast and don't linger much. it's almost more like an acidic character than sourness. white bread. bit of cracker and grain. hints of vanilla and raw oak. nice light fruity character. light leather and horse blanket. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. nice light body with a bone dry finish. low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. the restrained acidity/sourness make it go down easily. big thanks to scott for sharing this rare bottle.
Sep 07, 2009
Photo of largadeer
Reviewed by largadeer from California

4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Thanks for sharing this one, Dyan.

A: Clear and golden, the wispy white head doesn't stick around too long.

S: Vinous, buttery Chardonnay up front, the grapes still dominate this one after several years in the bottle. Musty damp cellar, hay and lemons.

T/M: Light lactic sourness, buttery oak, white wine, green grapes. Spritzy, champagne-like carbonation. A bit musty and spicy with a dry, tannic finish. Pleasantly light-bodied and drinkable, but not as remarkably complex as Vinnie's other sours.
Aug 30, 2009
Photo of Viggo
Reviewed by Viggo from Canada (ON)

4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
375 ml corked and caged bottle, big thanks to oakbluff for pulling this one out of the stash! Batch 001.
Pours a slightly hazed orange amber, very thin white head forms, quickly fizzes down to a thin ring around the glass. Smell is great, grapes, honey, funky sourness, lemon acidity, wood, some light fruits, white cranberry juice, wine, more grapiness, real cool. Taste is great too, very sour and acidic up front, lemons and white grape juice, white cranberry juice, oak, touch of sweetness through the middle with a nicely sour finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, dry and acidic. Real nice beer, right amount of sourness and acidity. Very drinkable. Thanks Scotty!
Aug 07, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
Reviewed by DefenCorps from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Received a bottle of this in a trade with Faro. Thanks, Jeff! I shared this at the You Bring the Cheese tasting.

A: Light orange with a thin white head. Excellent clarity, and this beer had the best retention among the sours I drank that night. Left a neat layer of lace too.

S: Mildly sour, mildly musty, hugely vinous with buttery chardonnay on the nose. Great stuff. Plenty of vanilla in the back. Acidity is very low.

T: Opens up a little sour with a lot of grape character. Mildly harsh on the finish with a big grape character along with some sourness. Sourness is moderate, acidity is low, and there is a pleasing butteriness to the palate.

M: Light but enjoyable. High carbonation is present, and the drying finish is enjoyable

D: The 7% ABV is non-existent. Very enjoyable and very drinkable.
Jul 29, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
Reviewed by FtownThrowDown from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottle shared by Pwoods.

Pours a murky, hazy gold in color. There's a slight froth sitting atop the beer, but no real head to speak of. Smell is a light grape scent, some yeast and oak, and just the slightest note of sourness.
Taste is much along the lines of the smell. Actually we had to look at the bottle to see if it states whether or not it was brewed with Brett, lacto or something. The bottle stated it was, but it was not very present in the beer. I've never aged a Russian River beer,they never last that long in my possession), but I'm interested to know if those attributes get muted with aging. Still a very smooth, easy drinking beer. Nothing off putting or wrong with it at all, just a bit different than what I was expecting. Good beer.
May 18, 2009
Photo of akorsak
Reviewed by akorsak from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Thanks to mmtmatrix for this 375 mL corked and caged bottle of Batch 001.

A: The ale is an apricot brown, brightened by orange hues. The darkness is just enough to prevent a clear view of the other side of the glass. A lack of carbonation on pour was followed by a generally still beer in my snifter.

S: Sweet, juicy white grapes are strong from the first sniff. Apricot aromas, vanilla and oak are all evident before a light tartness bubbles to the surface. The tartness adds a minty finish.

T: How do they do it? How does Russian River make every sour taste so solid? Biscuity grains set a bready stage for sweet white charddonay grapes. The oak is robust, lending vanilla and boozy weight to the taste. The oak has also fostered a pleasant tartness, biting but not blindingly tart. A lemon zest emerges with the tartness, tempering it lightly.

M: The mouthfeel is pleasant, from the sweet charddonay up front to the lemony tartness in the finish. The ale is very dry.

D: The complexity is worth mentioning, with the grapes and oak and funk each adding a vibrant quality to the ale. A beautiful ale.
Mar 29, 2009
Depuration from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 73 ratings