Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Defenestration | Russian River Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
60 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rkuhnel on 09-25-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
60
Ratings:
306
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
23.47%
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
18
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 306
Photo of DefenCorps
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the source. 7.25%

Pale yellow with a dense, white head that falls off to a ring leaving little lacing. The nose is super bubblegum heavy with clove, juice, honey , way too sweet. Palate is similar. Sweet bubblegum. Way too much. Meh. Honey, caramel, toffee, clove, pepper.

 285 characters

Photo of jkanavel
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the taproom in Santa Rosa. I had a flight, and a pizza.

A: Pale golden to rusty, nice lacing in the teeny tiny glass it came in.

S: Really special. The nose has much more in common with a torrantes than with the average beer. Very floral, citrus notes, a little grass, very pronounced acid profile on the nose, almost like sniffing a very mild cider vinegar.

T: Here is my gripe. It tastes like NyQuil. No other way around it. GRANTED I had murdered two pints of Blind Pig already, and the rest of the flight, and a few slices of pizza. This was introduced to me as a new offering, and as such I saved it for last. As soon as it hit my palate I thought of NyQuil.
Oddly enough, NOT so with the other -ation brews I tried. I don't know if what I tasted was a characteristic of Brettanomyces or not, but the "bugs" in the rest of their beers certainly didn't bother me the same way this one did.

M: Crisp on the front of the palate, smooth on the back, very well executed.

O: I would love to give this one another try. Its a pretty beer, an aromatic beer, certainly a beer worth talking about. But that night, the beer I tried really rubbed me the wrong way.

 1,178 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, sunny yellow with a billowy white head that has great retention and laces moderately. Lots of allspice and clove up front with some citrus backing the nose. The spices carry through to the flavor, with a grassy bitterness and lemon rind. The bitterness turns more intense and lingers. The typical nectar flavor is still there, but only slightly. The hops are very noticeably west coast driven.The feel tends towards viscous and finish is decidedly dry, but a little less dry than a typical one for the style. The good qualities definitely deteriorated quickly over the course of the growler.

This is definitely an interesting beer, and the hops compliment the style as well as they can, but it kind of just makes me want a BPA or Belgian Golden Strong.

 767 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1/28/2012

On tap for O'Brien's TION weekend.

A: Translucent gold with a small white head.

S: Fruity eaters remind me of lemon, apple, and pear. A light pepper-like spiciness is evident. Lemongrass accompanies earth and mineral.

T: Grassy with a lower moderate bitterness. Lemongrass blends with light pepper notes. I get some apple and pear.

M: Upper light body with lower medium carbonation.

Overall: A solid Belgian Pale. This great name should be used for a beer more worthy of it.

 491 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's RR TION Weekend. Chalice.

A: Medium gold, thin white head. Not much retention and no lacing.

S: Some banana, clove, spice, pale malt. Not much hops.

T: Similar, with bready malt, some apple, and decent sweetness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Feels a little flabby, but maybe all blonde ales are.

O: Not really getting much hops for a "hoppy blonde ale". I would peg this as a bit above average.

 426 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Might as well go ahead and write review #1500 up in here with something I really looked forward to.

Cloudy yellow pour, super big haze, soft white head. Super belgianesque yeast aroma, this one leans way over the pond for its aroma, don't get the typical Russian River hop aromas in this ipa, its belgo + sugar all over.

The yeast keeps dominating the flavor profile. So dominated by everything about it, coriander, clove, mild banana, even a wheat kind of flavor. Nowhere typical rr hopping.

Really wasn't my thing, even if I can tell it is still very well made.

 567 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler courtesy of daysinthewake. Served in a Russian River "TION" goblet.

Pours a clear golden-yellow color with a two-finger white head and some spotty lacing on the way down, along with a thin collar throughout. The nose carries a bit of Belgian yeast and hops. Contrary to many Belgian IPAs, it seems more like this has Belgian hops in it. Based on my limited experience, it seems close to Styrian Goldings, though I could be way off. Hops don't quite complement the yeast as much as I'd like. Medium body with good carbonation. Decent, but not Russian River caliber.

 573 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Thorpe for sharing some of the growler of this with me, at the time of this review this is the #30 Belgian IPA on the best of styles lists on beeradvocate.com. Served in a Russian River -tion glass because I can. How many characters is that? Need a few more? OK.

Beer is amber and clear with mild carbonation, a thin white head, breaks, wispy, minimal lacing, looks fine.

The aroma is mildly malty, minimal yeast with minor esters and a noble-ish earthy hop aroma.

Beer is medium to light in body, dry on the finish, the bitterness is pretty strong but probably exaggerated by the dry finish. The hop flavors throughout and earthy and not very appealing.

This is the problem. A "Belgian IPA" can be one of two things, one being far superior IMO, it can either be a hopped up Belgian ale style (in this case I'd consider this beer a hopped up tripel of sorts) or it can be an American IPA wort fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. The second I find more appealing and "better" than the first, easily. This beer should have been Blind Pig with the Damnation yeast. Oh well, onward and upward. They all can't be winners, not even from Russian River.

 1,166 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler poured into Delirium tremens snifter.

A: Pours a dark amber-golden with a bubbly bright white head that slowly faded into a thin collar leaving streaks of soapy lacing down the glass.
S: Not getting a whole lot here but I can definitely smell some Belgian style yeast and light hops.
T: Notes of lightly bitter grassy hops a touch of bubblegum yeast. I get notes of banana and lightly toasted malt as well. The finish is dry and not overly sweet.
M: Slick mouthfeel over a medium body. Dryness is refreshing and the carbonation is smooth and easy.
O: Super easy to drink and well rounded. Not the greatest of the style but I would definitely have this again.

 669 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of haze in this yellow pour, is this a biere de garde? All kinds of belgian notes in the nose, yeast derived. The usual belgo yeast spice rack phenolic stuff.

The yeast continues to push its weight around on the tongue. Coriander and clove are immense. Some breadiness, wheat. Hops in what is classified as a pale ale (even if Belgian) are totally subdued by the yeast bullying everything else around.

 414 characters

Photo of mjyoung
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler, thanks to scottfrie for sharing. Drank 4/4/2011

A: A mildly clear honey color w/ a frothy (~2 finger) head and some ballin' lacing.

S: Hints of hops & Belgian yeast but overall very mild. There's the slightest hint of cat urine, which doesn't endear t to me entirely...

T: Grassy hops, but extremely mild. Still a hint of Belgian yeast, but that's all it is, a hint. Underneath it all there is an undercurrent of bubblegum, but that's a subtle flavor.

M: Very smooth, but a delightfully syrupy finish.

O: 'Twould be easy to drink. A LOT. Very smooth, and quite tasty. I approve, but it isn't the best I've had of this style.

 640 characters

Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Monk's Cafe.

Pours a slightly hazy, dark golden orange color with pale golden peach edges and a 1.5 finger white foam head that slow fades into a lasting cap/ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.  

Spicy hop aroma with a estery yeast and light fruit notes.  Earthy hops with some pine and citrus as well as some sweet alcohol and crisp light fruits, notably apple and pear.  

Medium bodied with dry, earthy hops up front which are countered by pale malt, phenol alcohol and esters/yeast that give of hints of light fruit.  Earthy and slightly grassy followed by sweet light fruit notes and subtle spice.  Hints of apple and pale as well as some grapefruit and orange peel.  Well balanced but just a touch too much alcohol toward the dry finish.  

 762 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the brewpub.

Pours a clear gold straw color with a large white head and a sticky collar of lacing throughout. Strong yeast and hop aroma; earthy and musty, sweet and bitter. Flavor is abrasively bitter throughout, clashing with the sweet Belgian yeast and ester notes. Very green, herbal and earthy which doesn't mesh very well with the traditional Belgian flavors. I generally don't care for Belgian IPAs and I care for this one less than usual.

 460 characters

Photo of lhaqq
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light gold body, not much head when served, but off-white.
S: Not very effervescent; some sweet grains.
T: Floral hops with a noticeably bitter finish.
M: Not a ton of carbonation--a little too flat I think.
D: Fine in terms of drinkability. Probably won't get it again, though, only because of the myriad of other great beers to get at RR.

 343 characters

Photo of nataku00
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a goblet. Beer was a dark golden yellow, mostly clear with a slight chill haze. Minimal off white soapy head, barely a film of white and a small collar of bubbles, but left some decent lacing as you drink from the glass. Some small bubble carbonation visible through the beer.

Nose was herbal, grassy and pine hops, with some light Belgian style yeast contributions of fruity esters, clove. Biscuit malts come through more as the beer warmed more.

Decent bitterness upfront, plenty of aged herbal and pine hops, like they were dried and then rehydrated in the beer. Plenty of yeast in the flavor, fruity esters to taste a little like over ripe peach, clove and a touch of white pepper. The mediocre hop flavor made this a bit of a disappointment though.

Light bodied with a lively carbonation that didn't attack your tongue, nice and refreshing for a warm sunny day outside the brew pub today. Would have liked fresher tasting hops on the beer though.

 976 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured at RR Brewing. Pours bubbly and clear light golden, with - long retention on the creamy white head. Aroma of pears, yeast, banana, some hay. Flavor is grassy hops, sweet banana and pear background, a little honey, with a nicely crisp dry finish. Light body, medium plus carbonation and goes down pretty easy. Not bad.

 324 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Russian River.

A - Served a cloudy light yellow with a white creamy head. Good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Very sweet. Corn maybe and some hoppiness.

T - Corn for sure, sweet, hop bite.

D - Nice carbonation and a light body. A bit sweet here.

O - I liked it, not loved.

 305 characters

Photo of marcpal
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap a couple days back at Magnolia in San Francisco.

A: Well done pour producing a nice Belgian gold color. Thin filmy head with strong lacing.

S: Not too much smell, there are hops but not anything distinctively Russian River. Definitely more Belgian and spicy than Americanized.

T: More bitter than the aroma. Grassy notes tied in smoothly and adequately for the provided sweentess. Something fruity in the flavor with the spices. Sometimes lemony citrus, sometimes more banana. Would have preferred to have more of one or the other.

M: Very thin and very light. Would have liked more chew to the texture.

D: Surely worth a try. Went down easy and paired great with the super spicy sausage platter at Magnolia. Not a favorite but would have if it were distributed.

 783 characters

Photo of litheum94
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River.

Slightly cloudy, opaque golden orange. Presented with no head save for a white ring around the glass.

Earthy and spicy Belgian yeast with leafy, woody hops. Lemon citrus and a slight sourness on the nose.

Aromas follow through on the palate. Dry and earthy Belgian yeast flavors. Spicy midpalate with lemon citrus twange. Good dose of hops, leafy and piney.

The hop profile makes this a unique beer and a very tasty one at that. Refreshing and rewarding.

 487 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the RR brewpub.

A: Pours light and golden in color; medium white head, decent lace.

S: Belgian yeast, fruit, bready, plenty of hops.

T: Strongly bitter hops, a touch of spices, complex Belgian yeast. Finishes dry with lingering bitterness. More interesting than I expected; I enjoyed this one, even despite it not being a style I typically love.

M: light to medium body, nicely carbonated.

D: Hoppy profile detracts from drinkability for me, still a brew I'd happily enjoy on occasion.

 502 characters

Photo of paytoplay
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cool aroma, some citrus, slight hop, and a bright fresh light golden aroma. Very drinkable, some wheat flavor. No Alc noticable. Sampled from a growler brought to the 07 Speedway BA Release. Got to sample a couple times. Refreshing brew ment for a hot day. Very drinkable, thanks for the sample for the beer knowledgeable guy who brought this.

 343 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Monk's Cafe for beer week, what a place.

A- Defenestration comes looking pretty pale in the glass, a faded gold color and some yellow background, A nice looking head of whiteness, semi stick, ok retention.

S- Grassy hops and a nice floral setup, leading into light crisp fruit scent. Bready yeast, banana. The Belgian yeast strain ain't the showstopper here, this is a nice mix of grassy hops and sweet malt, yet it is not a mess.

T- Very nicely hopped with earth, no pine, grass and the yeast comes out a bit more. Floral and bready. The fruit comes in the middle and finishes pretty dry.

M- I found the feel to be a bit lighter than your average IPA, It's kinda on the pale side to me, kinda dull and lighter than usual per style. The yeast does not make much magic and it does not stick. Less than medium in build.

O- Not what I was expecting, not that I did not enjoy this, it was different. A lighter Belgian IPA if you will almost like a bigger redemption.

 977 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Straw colour with a small, white head. Fair head retention and nice lacing.

Light, citrussy Belgian yeast aroma with a touch of tart malt and some American hops. Good.

Really nicely balanced fruit character with a hint of spice and raisin. Mild bitterness.

A touch astringent with a medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Fine.

A decent beer with a nice aroma with the mouthfeel lets it down.

 403 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a light gold with thin foam. There’s a light aroma with a hoppy presence and some floral characteristics when sipped. It takes on an overly estery/ ‘belgo’ flavor as it opens up, slightly offkilter and unbalanced. But if you like a strong estery presence this might do it for you.

 297 characters

Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the brewpub the other day.

Defenestration pours a solid gold color with good head retention and considerable lacing. I don't get a whole lot on the nose, just sort of a light honey and sandlewood aroma... maybe some light clove as well. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, though there's a bit more to it. Also, although the mouthfeel is fairly light, the beer finishes well, with a light, sort of peppery wash. There's some noticeable hoppy goodness in this beer, but this is not a hugely hoppy IPA. Otherwise, the beer is lightly sweet, with enough hoppy bitterness to balance that sweetness and not much more. Mouthfeel is otherwise a bit thin, and the alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile.

A decent enough beer, but not exactly a huge success for a brewery like RR.

 806 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Defenestration from Russian River Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 60 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe