Defenestration | Russian River Brewing Company

very good
69 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 340
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.

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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.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

407th review on BA
growler to chalice

Thanks to joeneugs for this one.

App- Out of the growler poured a very pretty clear yellow, a lot of bubbles, nice head to it, very white. Good cling.

Smell- A lot of Belgianness to this one, the yeast smells were quite aromatic and the hops produced a very nice pairing aroma as well.

Taste- For me this was very different. I am still on the fence for the Belgian IPA style. This leaned towards the better side with more of the yeast to balance out the hops.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a high carb level. A lot of bubbles on this one.

Drink- A very nice beer, I was thankful for this growler share. Its not as hoppy as I expected and this worked in its favor.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Tim.

A: The pour is a very clear golden straw color with a nice big white head and plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Quite the nose on this beer. Fruity and yeasty with plenty of citrus hops, giving a nice grapefruit note. A bit of weed and some regular grass, too. A little bit of unfermented wort smell right at the beginning, too.

T: More bitter than I was expecting, but it's welcomed. Grass, pine, and grapefruit peel seem an appropriate summary of the hop flavors that are present. A mild yeast driven fruitiness and spice. A solid bread base.

M: Medium in body with a surprisingly lively carbonation from the growler.

O: Not usually a big Belgian IPA fan, but this was much more IPA than it was Belgian. A great example of the style.

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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.

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Photo of dookiepower
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had Defenestration at the RR brewpup today after a magnificent CBC Sour Brown.

Appearance- Poured into a tulip glass from the tap with a 1/2 finger head that withered away rather quickly, left a nice amount of lacing, and had a great golden color to it. Not too much carbonation coming from the heart, but a nice looker.

Aroma- Mostly a Belgian yeast, hoppy aroma. It had a little bit of a cedar/pine nose to it, and also had a little bit of a lemon aroma as well. Aroma's weren't pouring out of the glass exactly the way I'd like, but it was a nice balance.

Taste- Defenestration had a great balance between a rather hoppy Belgian style pale ale and a very nice Belgian yeast flavor. It also had a bit of a pine flavor in line with the nose of the beer. Also had a bit of a fruity nuance with a nice lemon/apple pucker very faintly on the front palate. It was a very well put together beer that flowed nicely from start to finish. It had a great long finish that I could taste for 5+ minutes.

Mouthfeel- A nice dose of carbonation, with a medium hoppyness allowed the beer to flow over nicely, and it went down very easily. Would be a great beer for a humid day.

Overall- Defenestration was a really great beer, I liked it all the way through with little to no faults, if anything maybe a little bit more balance between yeasty doughy bread and hoppyness.

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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.

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Photo of sloejams
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap last week at Magnolia, San Francisco

In my quest to drink as many Belgian IPAs as I can, I was ecstatic to see that Magnolia had one of my favorite brewery's stab at it.

Pour a crisp pale yellow. Thick white finger head. Aroma is as I like - thick Belgian sugars and American hop bouquet. The yeasty sweetness of the Belgian yeast hits the palate first and moves on the hop sweetness to the biting bitter strength end toward the back of the mouth.

I love this style and this is a fine example of it.

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Photo of largadeer
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Russian River brewpub.

Appearance: Golden in color, clear with a slight haze. Arrives with an inch of pure white froth that leaves thick rings of lace.

Smell: Tons of hop character in the usual Russian River fashion, but with yeasty undertones of banana, ginger and graham cracker. The hop aroma seems to be a mix of noble and Northwestern hops, both floral and citric in character. No noticeable sweetness coming from the malt.

Taste & mouthfeel: Big floral hop notes with a complex backbone of spice, banana and cracker. The malt foundation is simple and dry, light in body, crisp. Drying in the finish, bitter enough to be an American IPA. I'm generally not a fan of this style, but Vinnie shows his talent for hoppy beers once again here. The yeast provides plenty of interesting fruit and spice flavor without overwhelming the hops, while the bone-dry malt base allows the hops to shine through in all their complexity. Beautifully done and incredibly drinkable.

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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.

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

11/03/08- Purchased at Russian River Brewery.

Presentation- Via the tap into a growler. Poured into my Russian River tulip.

Appearance- Medium to darker golden colored pour. Slow emerging head which reaches almost an inch. Slightly creamy and ultra white in color. Settles at a slight rim and leaves light spotty lace.

Smell- Scent of fruity, yet european style hops. Smells bready with a suprising toasted malty scent. Smells rather sweet as well.

Taste- Kind of like a Pliny that's laid back and using saaz or some kind of european hops. Very nice light caramel toasted malt background. About the right amount of sweetness. Lemon-orange citrus hop flavors abound, but are held in check by the malt.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation level. Short lasting hop aftertaste. Crisp and straight forward.

Drinkability- Glad I got to try this brew. Not my favorite per style, but it's quite good. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of popery
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Defenestration is an exceptional beer. It's an interesting and delicious shoehorning of RR's gigantic IPA style into a Belgian. I would love another glass of this beer because there was a lot going on that I didn't catch from my initial time with it. The beer pours a bright gold with a nice head. The smell was more of RR's west coast hoppiness than I was prepare for. It looks like a Belgian but smells strongly of pine, citrus and floral hops. The hops come through in the flavor as well but there are also some earthy notes and a complexity fruitiness that is difficult to describe. There was caramel and bread in the balancing malt. I really should have bought a growler of it. That big West coast hoppiness in a Belgian is a fine treat.

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Photo of waltonc
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap last week at CBS.

A: Hazy golden color with significant head.

S/T: These components are more subdued than the Pliny series. If I remember right, Craig at CBS explained that this beer is brewed with European hops, which are more earthy in character with less of the pine/citrus notes present in the Plinys. Definitely more drinkable than some of the west coast hop bombs.

My overall impression was that this beer is good, but nothing crazy delicious.

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Photo of BevMoPatrick1
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler from RRBC, appearance a cloudy, golden hue with nice lacing, smells like Pliny and tastes like it too, delicisous with nice citrus and pine notes with a smooth belgian yeasty finish. Amazing flavor and drinks like Pliny. Enjoy some if you can.

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Photo of abfraser
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden yellow/orange with a nice fat white head

S: Floral aromas from the hops, lavender, yeasty

T/M: Hops, but not super bitter, fruit and spice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable, very well balanced and relatively lower abv

An interesting IPA with the floral-ness from the hops. Definitely not a pine oil hop-bomb, but the hops are definitely still there. Overall pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Offa
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good, tasty, somewhat unusual beer. I don't really taste much of a "Belgian" character in it, though, as it seems more like a caramelly, less grapey, maibock mixed with a west coast IPA.

First, the name is rather interesting. From the Latin for "to go from or out of a window," in English it commonly means to be thrown out of a window and specifically for me conjures up various events in history when people were done away with by being defenestrated.

Anyway, this is amber with a small-medium, off-white head that shrinks quite slowly to a thin, lasting top and leaves pretty good lace.

The aroma is the weakest point. It's muted and a bit weak and mostly musty grapes with a bit of citrus.

The taste, though, is quite good. It's nice and bready with hint of toasted cracker, grapes, hints of raisin and buttery caramel, a hint of herbs and pine, plus citrus, mostly lemon and grapefruit. It starts sweetish then gradually morphs to a slightly bitter, mostly citrusy, finish. It's quite nice and holds up well.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler obtained from the brewery the same day.

Poured a light golden color, with a fairly stiff white head.

Smelled of clean pine like hops.

Taste was fairly unique with nut, and dry-hop flavors coming through. I did not get any spice/ sweetness that I was expecting from a Belgium IPA.

The beer was very drinkable, and went down very easy with a nice crisp hop finish.

Another recommended beer from a great brewery.

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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.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I put this one up on Beer Advocate as a Belgian IPA because this is what they call it. I brought it home Saturday (the 19th) in a growler and only got around to drinking it over the last couple nights (with some help of course). The color was a rich gold with a moderate white head and sticky lacing. Nose is very yeasty with banana, grapefruit, and there are hints of spices in there as well. Mouthfeel is excellent as are many RR brews, with moderate carbonation. Flavor is slightly sweet and as befits something called an IPA there is quite a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. Overall an interesting brew that was easy to drink, and I am glad I brought home a growler.

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Defenestration from Russian River Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 340 ratings.
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