Russian River Brewing Company

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Belgian Dubbel
Ranked #41
Ranked #17,584
3.86 | pDev: 10.36%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Notes: Brown in color, Benediction has notes aromas and flavors of chocolate, tobacco, and spice. The finish is mildly malty with just enough bitterness from the hops.

Original Gravity: 1.060
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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 235
Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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 +3.6%
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 +3.9%
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 +6.2%
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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Photo of bulletrain76
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewery. Dark amber with a white head. Lightly yeasty aroma with caramel, and light bubble-gum going on as well. The flavor has a lightly sweet caramel and bready crust malt profile, with light yeasty flavors and a spicy, hoppy, bitter finish. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The malt, yeast and hop mix is pretty tasty.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Rose & Crown in Palo Alto (10oz pour).

A: Has a mahogany-colored body that lightens toward red when held to the light. Was skillfully poured with an inch of head that dissolves slowly into a light film on the brew, with lacing left behind.

S: Lots of dates, figs, plums, floral hops, and earthy yeast. Could stand to be a stronger aroma, though; it wasn't very pungent. Took a lot of swirling and sniffing to get all this out.

T: An initially sweet backbone of bready malt and candied sugar. It blossomed into a nice smorgasbord of dark fruit flavors, with dates, figs, and plums rounding it out. They faded slightly into the end, which saw a strong character of floral hops and earthy yeast battling it out. Ultimately a dry finish with a little yeast in there. Not too sticky though.

M: Medium bodied, but manages to be creamy with its medium carbonation. No warming effect from the alcohol.

D: Goes down really nicely and smoothly. I'd like to have this again.

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Photo of Offa
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent, characterful dubbel with nice complexity and well-rounded character.

Deep ruby red, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a wispy top and foamy ring with some lace but not in the nice, even rings common with many Russian River beers.

The aroma is sweet and fruity with ripe plums and dried figs, stewed pears, some toasty grain. It's good but a bit muted.

The taste is excellent, fairly assertive yet restrained, well-rounded, balanced, and fairly complex. It is raisiny with stewed caramelised pears, a hint of dried fig, fruity grain, toastiness, a little light red wine, raisiny spiciness and hint of pepper. It has a consistent sweetness balanced with light bitterness and spicey warmth. It has an aftertaste of caramelised toast and fresh plums. The elements are well-integrated and well-rounded, and overall it is smooth and very drinkable.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a reddish, brown color witha thin, light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a great lace.

This beer has a strong date like aroma. It smells of earthy yeast. Also, it has a pleasent spicy aroma of coriander and cloves. A slight floral hop aroma is also present.

This beer tastes like it smells, but is also has a slight cola and black liccorice flavor. Dates and spices mix in.

This beer is low in carbonation. It goes down smooth, leaving a liccorice aftertaste.

This beer would make a decent session beer. The date and liccorice flavors might become cloying after a time.

overall: This is a great beer by one of the best breweries in the country. they never let me down, and this beer kept with my high expectations. Great job.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/15/09. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a deep, clear amber with a 1/4 finger of of creamy off-white head. This stays frothy with a rich flareup, leaving a massive creamy cascade of moderate spotty lacing behind. The aroma is fruity and sweet with notes of bread and sugar, spices, and floral hops. Light yeast and a touch of warmth weave their way in between the other accents.

The taste is bready malts, candied sugars, and spices, with a touch of fruit character, and a fairly firm hop profile in the back that's a touch drying. A yeasty feel is felt throughout (especially in the finish) but it isn't overdone. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an excellent creamy and easy feel in the mouth. Damn, this is smooth for the ABV! I'm getting maybe just some light warmth on the breath and that's it.

A really solid Dubbel here that was much more hopped-up for the style than I'm used to (but hey, it's Russian River!). The feel and drinkibility are what really made this for me though. Nice stuff!

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Photo of magictrokini
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

O'Briens TION night. Pours murky brown with lots of carbonation and a thick off-white head. Good lacing. Beautiful sweet brown sugar, candied sugar, and yeast aroma with a subtle fruity background. Very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Lighter tasting than expected; nice change from the typical syrupy sweet and thick dubbels. Sugared fruit flavors; dates, plums, apples. Solid helping of spice, nutmeg and clove taking the forefront. Big yeasty finish. Tastes almost like a strong dunkelweizen with Belgian characteristics.

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Photo of mjl21
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into their 14 ounce Belgian glass. Comes in at 6.75% and 23 IBUs.

A-Pours a really nice copper with a 1/2 finger white head. Leaves somes nice lace behind.

S-Not a huge aroma. Candy sugar, abbey yeast, and subtle tones of dark stone fruit.

T-A pleasant level of sweetness. Tastes of abbey yeast and dark stone fruits. Nice hop bite at the end

M-Medium bodied and has a nice creamy carbonation feel on the palate. Leaves a sticky coating on the lips.

D-Goes down easy. According to the bartender, this is supposed to be in between Perdition and Salavation.

A good drinking beer. Have liked it more than most Dubbels that I have tried.

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Photo of MickeyHops
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

3/6/09 Chimay glass at O'Briens

Appearance is a very dark amber with little head.

Smell is light Belgian yeast, malt and hops.

Taste and mouthfeel are surprising light but still full-bodied as one would expect for a dubble. Enough maltiness and hopiness to satisfy the palate while still remaining quite drinkable. Belgian yeast is there but not overwhelming. Very well balanced.

Overall, a very drinkable brew and excellent example of an American dubble.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Toronado SD.

Apearance is a medium brown with a nice head that stayed the whole time. Lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is not much. Some lightly toasted malt and light spicy hops.

Taste is pretty good. My favorite is Rochefort 6 but this one is good. Not as much malty character but some god spice flavor. Not that good of an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good as most beer from Russian river seem to be perfect in the mothfeel. Nice balance in carbonation for the style.

Drinkability: I will drink this again for sure but I would rather have a rochefort 6.

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Photo of flexabull
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Toronado in SF.

Pours a bright and dark amber color, clear, and with a nice off white head.

Aromas are light but pleasant, light apples, spices, and mineral like hops.

Taste is of light apples, with a bit of a cider like quality. Some really light dark vinegar, creamy malts, spices, and a mineral hop bite on the finish. The hops do seem a little too strong for the style.

Mouthfeel is very good. As I have said many times in my reveiws, Russian River seems to always have beers with excellent mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good. A pretty nice Dubbel, but this one didn't quite meet the high expectations that it seems to come with every Russian River beer. Still, definitely a solid beverage, that I am not at all upset that I got to try.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Toronado during the appropriately named 'Tion Night.

Appearance: Murky brown, pretty turbid, with a half-inch of head. Next to Mortification, this one wasn't especially impressive.

Smell: Graham crackers and...popcorn? Grainy, semi-sweet, little bit of estery fruit and spice.

Taste & mouthfeel: Malt forward without being terribly sweet. Detracting and somewhat astringent husky grain flavor that really doesn't fit the style. Yeasty, nice mix of fruit and spice in the background. Dry finish. Not bad, a little underwhelming.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber brown with a small tan head of foam. Aromas of plums, dark candi sugar, various other dark fruits, british christmas cake, and clove, spices, and various yeast tinged esthers of goodness. This is pretty much the best American Dubbel ever made, in fact it may even be THE best dubbel ever made. Taste follows through big time with a blast of yeast flavor, and a great malty roastiness going on in the back that just mixed fantastically with all of the spicy/sweet notes that are dominating the front pallate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with very refined carbonation. Drinkability remains phenomenal. Totally killer, I wish they actually brought this one out more often though.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From my notes on recent trip: poured into a sampling glass, arrived a brownish amber with minimal head. Actually looks flat and dead. Aroma is completely different! Bananas and clove and spices and plum(?) and what a rush. Taste is just as good. Damn I love Dubbels. Again with the clove and banana and plum and malts and just delicious. Smooth mouthfeel yet a little springy on the tongue actually. Would love to drink this all night long, though ya'd get trashed pretty quick, and wouldn't even realize it. Good brew!

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Photo of revwib
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Monk's in Phila, PA. Served in a pint glass, which I was later told was the incorrect glass. Looked ok, with a nice head.

Smell was fantastic, with an overpowering hint of banana.

Taste: Very tasty, but not as good as I've had from this style. Could have been better.

Mouthfeel: a bit watery.

Drinkability: pretty tasty

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Photo of tgbljb
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Union Jack on the Manatawny. Served in a snifter glass. Presented as a medium amber colored beverage with moderate light brown puffy head. Smell was extremely pleasant, being a nice fruity mixture of bananas and dark fruit with a hint of spiciness. The taste surpassed the smell with the cloviness and the malts being extraordinarily pleasurable. A bit of hoppiness also present. Finishes as smooth as silk with a nice creaminess that is the pwerfect ending to the beer. Very drinkable and very enjoyable.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Drafting Room.

The beer was presented in a pint glass, not in a chalis or tulip but this just meant that I got to have more Benediction to sample. Lucky me.

The color of the beer was a nice bright orange/amber color with a thin white head and slight lacing.

The aroma of this is excellent. From the first wiff you get the fruit tones as noted below, including banana and some plum and a bit of spice. It is worth taking in the aroma for awhile before you taste the beer.

The taste is even more impressive than the aroma. I get the banana and clove taste that others have stated they get. This is such a good dubbel that I had to have a few more. It is very drinkable as the sweetness and some hoppy backnotes mix well in your mouth and may for a very enjoyable drinking experience. Well done Russian River, well done.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.73/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Presentation- From the tap into a chalice like or goblet glass.

Appearance- Light brown, off amber in color. Very small 1/4 head if that and very slim lacing. Looks a tad flat?

Smell- Oh wow! This smells superb. Weizen like banana scent as well as dark plum like scents and buckets of clove.

Taste- Taste is just as good as the scent. I love the huge clove taste that is in this beer. There is banana and some plum and date like flavors, but the clove just overtakes everything. So flavorful.

Mouthfeel- Unlike the appearance, this beer is active and has a nice carbonation level to it. Fairly creamy as well. Higher mouthfeel for such a low abv beer.

Drinkability- Best Dubbel I have had hands down. Best scent and best tasting. Incredible how all those flavors get in there.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Recently sampled at the Russian River Brewing Company during a visit over the New Years Eve weekend.

Listed as:
6.75%ABV / 1.068 O.G / 23 BUs
Benediction: Abbey Ale – Belgian Style Double

Appearance: Served in a Goblet. Faded Chestnut brown. Well carbonated, but as soon as it was served the Benediction had a patchy broken off-white head that formed a network of glassy looking smooth open-water-beer pools. Minimal lacing, in fact almost negligible I noted.

Nose: Wow!! Where the appearance suffered a little the nose excelled and impressed. Lots of Banana, clove, malts and flashes of hops in the finish.

Taste: Soft start, Banana toffee, cloves and dark fruits, some plum in the finish. Hops rise in the end also. As it warms the front becomes a little sweeter and the yeasts pull through.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, even creamy but overall the feel is lightweight. However, as it was allowed to warm up to room temperature (it was served rather chilled on a cold wet day) the sweet malts bolstered the body. Better towards the cellar-room temperature range than below.

Drinkability: Yet again this is one of those brews from Russian River that never fails to be anything less than “drinkable” in the classic context of the meaning.

Overall: A nicely done Dubbel. Not quite as complex as some, but immensely drinkable with a fantastic nose. I enjoyed it more the second time around when I tried it on New Years Day in the company of BA’s Rapapoda, Watermelonman and his Girlfriend Stacy. Nicely done!

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Photo of watermelonman
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived as a fairly clear light brown with just a ring of head, and it left no lace.

The smell had a ton of banana flavor with some malt sweetness. The taste followed that up with solid malt content, esters, and a light hop touch in the finish. The mouthfeel was light but nice, while drinkability is very high.

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Benediction from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 235 ratings