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Row 2/Hill 56 | Russian River Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
140 Reviews
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Row 2/Hill 56Row 2/Hill 56
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by litheum94 on 01-22-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
140
Ratings:
1,218
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
277
Gots:
93
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 1,218
Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a few pints at the brewpub. It pours a gorgeous shade of gold, relatively pale. Nice white head and lots of lacing. The aroma has a ton of flowery hop aroma. It's a mouth-watering mix of bright citrus, tangerine, lemon, some tropical fruit (pineapple/mango) and light spruce/pine. Just wonderful. Some light sugary caramel malt peeks through the hops. The beer is dry and light on the palate. There's a gentle caramel backbone with definite but light bitterness. It's very easy to drink. I keep using the word light but it's a very flavorful lightness. For my palate, it's perfectly balanced and as good of a session-ish IPA (not really sure what to call these APAs that are dry and hopped up like IPAs/DIPAs) as I've had. The finish is crisp with more marvelous floral hop character. It's an excellent beer. I still remember liking Hopfather a touch more, so I'll stick with 4.5s, but this is an absolutely worthy edition to RR's APA/IPA/DIPA lineup.

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR Brewpub.

Simcoe is very evident from the outset, almost to the point of smelling it before the glass officially hits the table. Great malt balance as well, not just one dimensional. Really nice beer, would love to have this as a regular in the midwest.

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Photo of aasher
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was courtesy of BrewerB in a recent box. Thanks Brian!

Bottle date is 6/26. This one pours a light bodied unpolished gold in clor with a very soapy two finger head. The nose is fresh and like sticking your face in a bucket of Smcoe. It's light and floral and the malt certainly takes a backseat. I do appreciate how pale the malt is, allowing the hops to shine. The flavors too are hoppy, clean, and floral. There is also a perfumey essence. I love how straightforward it is. Simcoe isn't my favorite hop varietal but that doesn't phase me from cherishing this beer. It would be fun to see what other hop varietals could do with this recipe. It drinks light and is very smooth. Overall this is a great pale. I would place it behind Zombie Dust and the Hill Farmsteads but that already puts it in an elite class.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at O'Brien's

A: Pours a glowing orange color with a thin white head and some spots of lace.

S: A pretty nice bouquet of citrus hops, tropical fruit and a touch of bready malt. The smell of the hops is outstanding.

T: A great blend of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, lemon and a touch of pine. A nice malt backbone with some notes of caramel and cracker hold the beer up nicely. Really good stuff.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler

Thanks, NoSignsOfPain!

Clear, bright, golden orange with a moderately sized near-white head that lasts for a while. This leaves the glass messy with spiderwebs of lace. Perfect.

An incredibly clean, vibrant, wonderful aroma of decidedly fresh hops: floral, citrus, and pine character combine tremendously well. This aroma is nearly as good as Zombie Dust's.

Moderately bitter, floral and citrus hops, slight pine, balanced and completed nicely by enough bready malts to make this incredibly drinkable and distinctly a pale ale.

Medium bodied with high carbonation. Crisp, refreshing, delicious, and incredibly drinkable.

Simply awesome, though I do believe Humulus Wet, Zombie Dust, and Hoppy Birthday are just slightly better.

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Photo of rand
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler at the Beatification release, poured into a pint glass

As I popped the nicely fit, flip-top growler, reams of pine and grapefruit aromas flood the nose, presumably due to simcoe hops. The bouquet pops with pine and citrus tones, backed by gritty resin and honey-sweet pastries. As it pours it appears orange-tan, clear and bubbly - the festive appearance supports the huge bouquet.

The flavors follow, with resin-y pine and citrus-tropical flavors coating the palate. The hops turn floral as they're met by toffee-sweet malts, while subtle earthy tones and notes of lemon are detected. The flavors are big, but they dry toward the finish and leave little aftertaste.

The beer is like an IPA up front, but feels lighter and finishes without a lot of sticky residue. This actually has a really similar flavor profile as Pliny the Elder...just turned down a notch. It's like PtE's little bro. Could it be the most session-able pale I've encountered? Right up there. Hope to have this again.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's

Looks a lot better on draft. Great head and lacing, almost crystal clear toasted straw.
Yep, smells like hops. Citrusy piney delicious.
Flavor follows nose. Crisp, dry and refreshing. Great carbonation.
Fuckin eh, another homerun for Russian River.

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Photo of dar482
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a golden straw color.

The aroma is extremely hoppy with a really grainy biscuity malt along with grass, grapefruit and lemon.

The flavor follows with huge grapefruit, bright lemon, pine, and floral notes. it's very crisp with a gentle bitterness on the end.

This really pushes IPA and surely is a Russian River beer with huge amount of hops. It really has tons of flavor at this ABV.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour reveals a yellow and light orange liquid, amazing clarity, damn nice white head about 1" deep and pretty good retention. Aroma, beautiful simcoe aroma, whatever cat piss smells like, this is not it, a heavy dose of pine, skunky hops, mango, apple.

Taste continues in the Russian River vein, light body, alcohol nowhere to be found, flavor bursting with fresh hop flavor. No heft, amazingly light mouthfeel at times, then is just wonderfully lush with the hops and juicy tropical fruits. Imagine SNPA but with simcoe and less caramel.

If you've had plenty of Bling Pig and Pliny, this is in the same vein, but lower alcohol and higher simcoe content. Other than that, its just pretty much bread and butter Russian River world class pale ale hoppiness and cracker clean malt bill.

One of the best in the world. I've drank a little more than a gallon of this stuff the past week, between having it on tap, getting a growler of it and about a dozen bottles, and the coolest part about it is how sometimes the pineapple is just nuts, those are my favorite bottles.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light orange and yellow, clarity for days, full inch of small bubbled, virgin white head almost exceeding the one inch range. Aroma was soft simcoe, lots of pine.

You've been here before, a dry light, barely toasted pale malt body, enormous flavorful hops, light mouthfeel, crisp finish, easy to drink, little to no sign of alcohol anywhere. Fruity, pineapple, apple, and pine. A treat for sure.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured a golden orange in color with yellow highlights and a nice finger of head that had great retention but left plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront there was plenty of pine hops that were noticeable, grassy notes, some citrus such as lemon and grapefruit but had a nice sweetness that wasn't overwhelming.

T: the hop profile was just expectional which brought piney, citrusy, grassy, earthy character alongside a well balanced malty sweetness and a touch of grapefruit bitterness.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with good amount of carbonation which had a hoppy, citrusy, earthy, mild sweet, oily and slight bitter finish.

O: this beer is at the top of its class even beating so called IPAs on the shelf. Really well balanced and great hop forward pale ale. I expected nothing less from RR.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler courtesy of largadeer and Nanoslug. Served in an Alchemist pint glass.

A - Three fingers of creamy white foam slowly settle to a thick, chunky cap, leaving stray splotches of lace behind. Transparent golden body, with a plethora of tiny bubbles rising up the middle of the glass.

S - All Simcoe, all the time, as far as the hops go. Tropical fruits, citrus, touch of dank and onion. A bit of doughy malt shows through. Smell is a tad muted initially although it intensifies as the beer warms up - initially a 4.0 but eventually a 4.5.

T - Peach and tropical fruit juice, some late tangerine, a bit of pine and dankness, and extremely mild sugary malt character. Low-to-moderate bitterness that does grow a touch over the course of a glass.

M - Surprisingly active carbonation considering this growler was filled over two weeks ago. Silky smooth medium-light body, with plenty of mouth-coating hop oils in the finish. Quite refreshing.

D - This is ridiculous. Could substitute for water. I'm kind of hoping none of my friends stop by to try this, as I could easily put away the entire 2L. I'm actually a tad surprised this is almost 6% - other than a slow-growing buzz there's nothing to suggest any alcohol content at all. Gee, who would have guessed that Russian River could make (another) world-class hoppy pale ale? Not quite as good as Hoppy Birthday, but pretty excellent nonetheless.

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Photo of WesM63
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz bottled into a tulip.

A: Pours a nice golden straw with a beautiful 2finger white head. A fair amount of retention and plenty of lacing.

S: Smells of citrus (mango, pineapple) and some pine/resin.

T: Hops, pine/resin, citrus in the middle and just fades off with citrus and some light bitterness.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation. At first I thought it was a bitter watery at the end, but it's not, the flavor just fades out as it should.

O: Overall, excellent. Big citrus and pine, although not as profound as say an IPA or IIPA but the citrus and pine are profound above anything else. Delicious and session-able. A real winner here.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Arbitrator. Huge thanks my friend!

A vigorous pour results in three fingers of rocky white foam. As the head recedes it leaves intricate lacing along the sides of the glass. The beer is a deep amber color. The scent of oranges mingled with pine resin fills the air as I pour. This smells more like an IPA than a Pale Ale, and I must say that it smells great. Taste opens with huge citrus flavors. Orange, tangerine and mango intermingle with hoppy bitterness. A sugar cookie malt backbone imparts a bit of sweetness which plays nicely against the hops. The beer finishes semi-dry with a very subtle aftertaste. The beer is medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. This brew is yet another masterpiece from Russian River. The malt melds seamlessly with the hop profile providing an incredibly balanced brew. Fruity, piney, and mildly bitter, the beer is insanely drinkable and very tasty. Well done Mr. Cilurzo. Keep up the good work!

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Photo of Giovacchini
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went and got a growler of this today at the RR brewpub.

A- clear amber color with a thick head that dissipates.

S- AMAZING smell. HOPS, Guava, pineapple, grapefruit, honey

T- Guava, pineapple, grapefruit, not overly bitter. The hops aren't to overpowering. Nicely balanced.. Zombie dust.

M- little carbonation with a nice bitter finish.

O- This is a great beer. I want this to be sold in bottles immediately. It's great. It very much reminds me of zombie dust and that is a really good thing. RR is awesome. Bottle it please!

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Photo of dubinsky
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a growler while at the PtY release on Friday, consumed the Monday after. Served in a snifter

A – The beer pours a crystal clear orange with a fairly light head that dissipated quickly leaving some large bubbles clinging to the edges of the glass.

S – This is one of the best smelling beers I’ve had in a really long time. This is a HOP bomb from the aroma. This was entirely brewed with Simcoe hops, and from the smell of it I would gather that Russian River is alone responsible for the worldwide shortage of Simcoe. Good work RR, I hope it drinks as well as it smells. Grapefruit, honey, pineapple, yada yada….

T – Starts off with nice bitter hop presence, followed by pineapple, and grapefruit. The finish on this has a slight biscuit and malt presence, kind of like what I really enjoy in prima pils. The balance on this is off the charts. Very clean tasting, and very refreshing.

M – Slightly lower carbonation than I like in a Pale Ale, but perhaps this is cause its from a growler. Fairly medium/thick mouthfeel. Very smooth and clean.

O – I’m really happy to see a beer like this from RR. They were missing this from their line-up. This would easily become my go to pale ale if it was bottled. Its not exactly a “session beer” but at 5.8% abv its damn close. PLEASE BOTTLE THIS!

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Photo of Koufax21
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beerandraiderfan for picking this one up for me, and thanks to greenkrusty form making me dumpster dive to get it!!!

Poured from the bottle into a taster glass. A good 1" of thin white head sits on top of a light yellow body. The aroma is huge grapefruit. Not like this surprises me. Aroma on Russian River beers always seem to smack you in the face. Taste is nice and clean. Great balance. I'm not to sure if I can recall another single hopped pale ale, but I know that from now on this will be at the top of the list when anybody asks me if I'd had one. I could drink this beer all day. Super sessionable.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Ultraman9000 for providing this treat (growler) in a recent trade. Sitting with my second glass from the growler as I write this review. Very excited as this is a great beer in the spirit of Daisy Cutter. (which is a huge compliment as far as I’m concerned.
A finger of foamy bright white head settles fairly quickly and begins to deposit lace everywhere. 1/2 the glass is covered in a single/complete sheet of lace. The beer is a bright brass color with perfect clarity.

Aroma is just fantastic. Huge floral, perfume notes that contain a lot of grapefruit peel and other citrus notes including a sense of tropical fruit. There are some slight green resinous things happening, but very subtle.

Bright, fresh, clean and balanced. Just wonderful. The malt backbone is cracker like, slightly bready and nice. Just some light toasted notes. Over this is a lot of juicy hop flavor and some green hop notes and also a lot of grapefruit peel. Again, the tropical fruit is here, but not quite in your face.

The body is one of the main differences here vs. am IPA. Definitely lighter and almost refreshing.

Hugging the line between a hoppy APA and an IPA is a beautiful place. The lighter abv and body are a welcome treat. I realize at 5.8% this isn’t a traditional session beer, but man it’s close. I am hoping that other brewers realize this is a great space and continue to produce beers like this. Kudos Russian River. Well done.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Growler courtesy of Beerdy-- thanks brother!
Poured in my imperial nonic pint.

Very clear and bright looking golden body with a big 3 finger head of sticky slightly off-white foam. Tons of lacing form huge curtains around the glass and the head retention is spectacular.

I always feel obliged to mention this anytime I review a particularly good (or bad) American Pale Ale: This is handsdown my favorite style.... With that said, I feel comfortable proclaiming that this beer is outright delicious.
Some bready toast malt notes are overwhelmed by huge notes of tropical citrus hops with a piney/resin bite. Good strong bitterness lingers firm on a nice dry finish. Very good.

The body is medium-full with much oily quality to it. Decent carbonation.

Overall-- I continue to be impressed by the hoppy beers coming out of Russian River... Maybe someday I'll be able to make the Younger release (or maybe Vinnie would allow some one a growler fill if I begged him hard enough!)

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a toasty, dark orange with light murkiness. Head is thinner. Light lacing. The body is dark but it omits an eye-catching, dull glow.

S-This is why I will alway, always, ALWAYS trust a hoppy Russian River brew. The aroma is just a squishy, juicy cup of hop-juice. I found out this was 100% Simcoe and I as surprised. It is just so damn complex in the hoppy aromas it provides. I find a lot of Simcoe to be a bit too rough for me in certain brews. Row 2/Hill 56 is tropical and ripe and evolving. A very hop-stressed APA. There is some caramel and dough there. Great aroma.

T-Flavor is even better. The malt provides a semi-stable balance until the onslaught of tropical hop flavors arrive with full power. Russian River nails those tropical-hop flavors. Exotic pineapple and apricot with some underripe melon. Grass, grapefruit and oranges too. A tickle of pineapple as well! Excellent.

M-The body matches the ABV but the flavors would pair more with a DIPA. Bitter but nothing to brazen. I may have finished this glass the quickest of them all during my stay at the brewpub.

O/D-One of the best APAs I have had. Right there with Blind Pig and within shouting distance of Pliny the Elder. They all have similar flavor aspects. In conclusion: I could drink this forever and would never lose my shit-eating grin.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Growler drank one day after poured. Would have drank sooner but after Younger all day yesterday, thought I'd need a day to recover.

If Blind Pig is a Pliny lite, this beer is a HopFather lite. Best and most drinkable Pale Ale ever. So much hop flavor and nose, cat piss simcoe dank, oranges, peach and mangos. Over ripe banana. Grassy pine signature house RRBC profile finish which is second to none.

Only thing lacking especially for the Pale Ale style was a malt backbone. Almost none to speack of. Just enough there to showcase the citrus hops upfront first and for most. Never had a more citrus forward pale although Zombie Dust just landed on my doorstep (thanks rfragga77) today and I'm currently in Tahoe. Only complaint for the style is that it should have a wee bit more malt but still, if this is a Pale, give me this all day.

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Photo of largadeer
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draft at the brewpub. An all simcoe pale ale from Russian River? Yes please.

A beautiful pale gold body on this one. Brilliantly clear, and very pale, bordering on a blond ale appearance. The head is about a finger high, and leaves rings of lacing following each sip.

The nose is hugely hoppy, without entirely overwhelming the doughy malt. There's plenty of signature simcoe citrus and tropical fruit on display here, predominantly grapefruit, orange and pineapple, with lesser notes of marijuana and evergreen. This smells fantastic, it even held its own side-by-side with Younger.

Bright citrus flavors wash the palate with each sip. Orange, grapefruit, lemon, and more tropical notes of pineapple and guava. The balance is so impeccable that I have to give this a perfect 5 on mouthfeel. It's light-bodied but not thin, and just malty enough to avoid tasting like hop water. Bitterness is reserved, just firm enough to dry out the palate and linger for a moment before fading into lingering tropical fruit goodness.

It's hard to find fault in this beer. I've got a soft spot for low ABV hop bombs, and this beer delivers. The only reason it's not a perfect 5.0 for me is because Alpine's Hoppy Birthday exists, but this is pretty damn close.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a a golden-orange color that is fairly clear with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some nice lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - The aroma is full of lots of pine and citrus hops smells. There is some nice grapefruit and topical fruits as well as some floral elements.

T - The flavor starts off with lots of fresh piney and tropical hop flavor with some mellow bitterness that starts to grow on the tongue. Bit of grapefruit as well. Through the middle, the grapefruit, orange, and pineapple hop flavors get quite a bit stronger with some stronger bitterness coming through as well. There is just enough sweet toasted malts to keep a nice balance as well. The finish is full of pine resin and citrus hops with some more bitterness and some light sweet malts.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a really nice dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. The hop flavor and aroma is just fantastic on this beer. It is so fresh and strong from start to end without being overpowering. The beer also stays quite sessionable.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2/11/2012

Growler from largadeer, thanks! Snifter.

A: Burnished yellow gold body with perfect clarity. The head forms two fingers of cratered sea foam. Very good retention and Brussels lace.

S: Signature Simcoe nose: spicy grapefruit with orange and a dash of mango. Dank pine resin accompanies pineapple, papaya, lemon, guava, and crackery malt. This is bright, vibrant, and intensely aromatic. I detect floral notes and a little herbal character.

T: Smooth moderate bitterness with some cracker and doughy malt. This is bursting with fruit: guava, pineapple, papaya, spicy grapefruit, orange, mango, apricot, and tangerine. Pine is notable. This is very hoppy but the malt is influential in providing balance, though not much in the flavor department.

M: Upper light to lower medium body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry, crisp, and sticky.

Overall: It's a crime that this went under the radar while Younger was pouring. This is an incredible Pale Ale. Move aside, Parking Violation.

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Photo of Gastone
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Had on draft two successive days on a visit to CA. The first time I tried it I didn't know the ABV and guessed that it was around 7%, not because you could taste alcohol, but because there was so much flavor. Hop forward with plenty of citrus, missing some of the pineyness that I expect from west coast ales and substituting tropical and earth notes, riding a sufficient and perfectly complimentary malt backbone. I find single hop beers to have more personality than usual, and not always in a good way, but here RR nails it. I've almost stopped drinking pale ales because they are less interesting to me than IPAs, but this is one I sorely wish was available locally.

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Row 2/Hill 56 from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.
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