Benediction | Russian River Brewing Company

very good
44 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by watermelonman on 01-04-2006

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 210
Photo of flagmantho
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer on-tap in a tulip at the brewery.

Appearance: rich dark amber with practically no haze. Head is a finger of creamy ivory foam. Great!

Smell: caramelly, bready and biscuity. About what I expect from the style.

Taste: biscuity and bready as a dubbel usually is. I mean, it's perfectly to style, but ... it's still a dubbel.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: it's good for a dubbel, but I'm still not totally on board.

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Photo of rand
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's TION weekend, poured into a little goblet.

A: Raisin-brown in color, almost no head or lacing.

S: Breasy, yeasty bouquet with strong notes of whole grain bread, allspice, coffee.

M: Medium body, light viscosity

T: Malt-forward, but grainy aspects are relatively dry. The coffee tone in the nose comes through here as well, which was kinda unexpected. There's a bit of caramelly sweetness at the back, along with some booze and bittering hops. Short finish for the style, dry.

Quaffable little Dubbel - not the most complex but smooth and tasty.

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Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA

A: The beer is clear and very dark red in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of earthy yeast are present in the nose along with faint hints of candi sugar.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but isn't nearly as earthy and has notes of dark fruits along with hints of candi sugars.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This isn't a bad representation of the style, but is a little too earthy for my likings. Nonetheless, it is very interesting and pleasant to sip.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of zander4dawin
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany beer with a thin head and rising bubbles. Nutty pecan and walnut flavors, pine, evergreen smell. Raisin, cranberry, fig tastes also. Great dubbel.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

benediction is an interesting beer, i was half expecting it to be sour based on the name, but its a thin belgian dubbel, but only loosely. its maple syrup colored and with an inch of off white head, almost nitro looking. the nose is not as belgian yeasty as anticipated, more of a slight banana fruit thing. there is more of a dried rasion thing and some abbey malt in here on the taste, its both sweet and dry, one than the other, but it seems watered down by normal standards for the style in both body and alcohol. its real drinkable, which is cool, but it is also unsatisfying for the same reason. i like to drink these slow and let them warm up and warm me up, this one is a little incapable of the latter. good beer, well made no doubt, but not really satisfying the elements of the style that make it special in my opinion.

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Photo of coriswrasse
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

nice abbey style with good yeast. color is true to fit. lacing is very nice. lacks a little on the flavor side but is well made and finishes good. probably would rather have a better beer but if you like belgian and it's around then go for it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the source.

Dark brown with a thin beige head. Nose is coffee, cocoa, dark caramel toffee, minimal yeast, earth, milk duds. Palate opens sweet with a bright brown and burnt sugar bitterness and sweetness. Moderately yeasty , moderately spicy. Mildly sweet on the finish. Solid stuff.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery. Brown color. Smells sort of yeast, sweet, Belgian. Flavor is a nice dubbel, sweet, yeasty, tasty. this wasn't my favorite at Russian river but I thought it was solid. Nice to be able to try this as I don't think this makes it out to Denver and it certainly isn't bottled.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasty though simple dubbel, enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. Poours Cola brown. Not so yeasty or too sweet. A nice mouthfeel. Characteristics of a dry stout, and featuring licorice. Medium bodied, a little sweetness and bitterness, malt, spice, and a tad fruity.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the source.

A: Pours a dark amberish brown with reddish highlights under a finely bubbled off-white almost tan 1/2" head which fades to the rim leaving rings and stringer of lace.

N: Nutty and yeasty. Perhaps too cold, but not alot going on here.

T: Mildly roasty with some cocoa and trace coffee. Some dark fruits and caramel.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth and simple.

O: Just O.K., there are other things you should be drinking here.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another big tick on my Russian River –tion Quest to try them all! Slowly but surely working my way through some of the stragglers. Big thanks goes out to BilbosNuts for this one! Served from growler into a Green Man snifter (I think I left my –tion glass in Florida at aasher’s wedding ). Opened with a HUGE pop! Poured a deep ruby red brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, smoke, bread, and spices. The flavor was of sweet malt, smoke, fruit, bread, dark fruit, subtle earth, and subtle spice. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. There was quite a bit going on in this one that definitely kept me guessing throughout each sip. I went into it based on the style knowing what to expect, but this one actually surprised me slightly. The smoke note carried on throughout the glass which was a very nice touch that brought another level of complexity to my palate that I always love to find. With a nice touch of roastiness going on with dark fruit profile this was definitely one that I’m glad I finally got the chance to try. Hopefully I will get to try the rest eventually. Get on brewing those up for me Russian River. I will be waiting…

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Photo of elNopalero
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’ll be upfront, dubbels just aren’t my favorite style.

This didn’t make me a convert but it wasn’t bad.

It poured a caramel amber color with a malty bubblegum banana aroma. Some raisins join the gang once tasted. And that cloying malty aftertaste, appropriate for the style yet … just not my thing.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a footed 'Belgian' glass at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 28 April 2012.

A: Mahogany-clear with a light head. Clear ruby in the light. Scattered lacing.

S: Hrm. Porterish. Flat, roasted malt.

T/M: AN excellent dubbel, but derivative and uninspired. Malt, light spice, and chocolate with a dry, chalky finish. Tobacco?

O: A worthy attempt, but -- while competent -- uninteresting. Perhaps a bit...stale? Flat? Dull? Anyway, I'd drink another, but probably not if I were paying for it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Russian River in Santa Rosa.

Pours a... amber hue, surprisingly light (the "..." illustrates how surprised I was at this colour), with very little haze. Body is full and firm, as is the head, which forms an off-white crest for the beer. Some partial lacing, and some slinky, hiding carbonation. Hmm...

Round on the nose, with a touch of spice and phenols. There's an earthy sweetness, almost like chocolate, but that's about all it gives up. It feels a little like it's going through the motions.

Light characters on the front of the palate, with a touch of nuttiness, before some smoother, boozier elements come through later. However, the booze rises up and mingles with some phenolics and spice to create a sense of harshness on the finish.

Feel is smooth, but light. Suitable.

Eh. Overall, I'm unimpressed. This is a dull example of a dubbel, and even taken on its own without the repertoire of the style to compare it to, it's not that interesting.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at RR.

A - Dark cola brown with a few little bubbles hanging around the edges.

S - I didn't get much. Some dark fruit and sweetness.

T - Sweet dark fruit and some maltiness.

D - Ok carbonation an a lighter body.

O - Sweet and dark. Not overly heavy. Enjoyable but not crazy good.

 295 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Imbibed on tap at RRBC on 4/22/12.

Pours a clear caramel color without much head. I had a couple tasters; I wouldn't expect much head on 2 ounces of any beer. caramel, spices, earthy Belgian malt in the aroma. Some banana and other light fruits. Taste starts with bitter caramel, light toffee, and a bit of cinnamon, turmeric, and other earthy spices.Bitter, tart, but light. Like a light roasted coffee. Well balanced with a dry aftertaste.

I don't normally like Dubbels, but I'm a fan of this one. Some good flavors with a bit of spices mixed in. A Belgian beer is brewed well by RRBC. The sun rises in the morning. I like beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler into snifter.

A: Pours a very dark raisin brown with a finger of soft, fuzzy, dark tan head that faded into a thin and fuzzy film leaving wispy lace.
S: Sweet and slightly smoky notes of dark fruits, Belgian yeast and spices, raisins, and hops.
T: Follows the nose. Not overly sweet, with lots of spices in the finish. I get hints of caramel, clove, orange zest and a good dose of leafy hops. I get a hint of cocoa in the aftertaste.
M: Medium-full body, drying mouth, very clean feeling, with bubbly soft carbonation.
O: Very good dubbel and better than I was expecting. Smooth too and not too sweet. Great spicy, hoppy and fruity flavors. Well done.

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Photo of mjyoung
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to scottfrie for sharing.

A: A dark amber-hued burgundy (Does that make sense? No... Deal with it) with a head that dissipates quite rapidly. Looks tasty, but nothing special.

S: For lack of a better adjective, dubbel-y.

T: Also dubbel-y, but with a bit more hop bite than I was expecting. Good.

M: This is where the beer shines for me. Good body, well carbonated, and goes down smooth.

O: Good, not that I would expect anything less from Russian River. However, it's not CRAZY good.

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Photo of impending
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


2nd review. 1st scored a C+ which I found altogether sadly disappointing which in turn warranted a second opinion.

At the source. Served a dull walnut, no head, no lacing.

Aroma is subdued, dark fruits, undefined in a way but interestingly also had similarities to Perdition in an earthy context.

Taste begins classic dubbel but includes both a dose of hops and a surprising note of smoked peat as if cousin to a scotch ale. Not particular sweet, not particularly bitter but a balanced measure of both. Aftertaste drifts pleasantly to a scotch ale. Thin dull mouthfeel.

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Photo of popery
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft, Russian River. Pliny the Younger 2010 release. This is a pretty good Belgian-style ale from RR, but it's a bit boring, particularly for the brewery. It's a orange-amber beer with a foamy white head. The malt flavors bring a lot of fruitiness to the beer. There are peaches, apricots, apples, dates and figs. However, despite all that, it has a relatively simple flavor and not enough earthiness or depth. A good beer but not something to go out of your way to try.

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

On tap at RR
A: Poured a cloudy brown with good carbonation and a dirty white head.

S: Nose smells brown sugar, candied sugar, yeast and perhaps dark cherry.

T: Taste follows nose prety close. It is sweet, syrupy, sugar, dark fruits.

M: Mouthfeel had a nice booze mix, flavors of sugar, fruits and a spice.

O: Very drinkable!

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Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewpub, 2/4/10. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip.

Ruby highlights glow ominously behind a very dark red body. Nice lacing, but no real head formation.

Faint red banana, brown bread, malt, and a touch of golden raisins in the nose.

Dusty grapes, light brown sugar, and faint cherry on the palate. Zesty, spicy hops appear soon thereafter and fade into the finish which suggests mildly fermented cherries again. Unlike many examples of the style, this isn't too sweet, though the hops make the origins of this ale crystal clear.

Average carbonation, a touch slick...

Not bad overall, though don't come looking for authenticity (or slavish adherence to tradition).

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Molasses, caramel, and citrus hops play a prominent role.

Taste: Slight sharp bitterness sets off quite sweet molasses and brown sugar flavors. Incredible ripe fruit flavors in the middle matches well with slightly grassy, fruit skin bitterness. Underlying pepper plus other phenolics add a lot of interest along with a touch of apple cider. Low carbonation. Finish is dry, peppery with some grape skin bitterness that blends into grassiness.

Notes: While the nose isn't the best, to me this beer is all about flavor and really good balance between sweetness, bitterness and spiciness.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'brien's tonight.

Pours a clear light brownish into the chimay goblet. Very nice fluffy finger thick head sits atop with some good staying power. Smell is mildly sweet, more on the sugary side than the fruity side as I've noticed in many other dubbels (ie grapes). The taste was a balance between bready and sweet, not too far off in one direction. Super easy to drink if not a taste bud blaster in any way. Mouthfeel was good. Medium or on the heavier side of light. Could drink this baby all night and not have a problem with it.

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Photo of berkey
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler picked up from the brewpub 01/16/10 and reviewed the same day. Poured into a Russian River -tion glass.

Body is a fairly clean but dark brown color. Forms a medium sized but well retained khaki colored head.

Nose is yeasty with hints of wood, subtle spices, faint fruity esters, and nuts. Very clean overall and not highly aromatic.

Flavor is very nutty, oaky, yeasty, and earthy. There are hints of cocoa and some of the spice from the aroma that lend it a dessert quality but I can't pin down what dessert I'm thinking of. Red apples, plums, and bananas are in there but this is not particularly fruity for a Dubbel, I find it cleaner and more crisp than some famous incarnations of the style.

Nicely carbonated, fairly light bodied, and a pleasure to drink. I love Belgian style beers in this ABV range since they afford me the opportunity to have several servings. Bottle it already.

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Benediction from Russian River Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 210 ratings.
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