Sunday, September 6, 2009

Russian River Brewing Co: Redemption

I'll first start off by offering an apology to Russian River Brewing Co. I most recently purchased their Redemption Blonde Ale, one of the Belgian style brews that this Santa Rosa company creates. Printed on the back of the bottle is a nice picture of a classic conic pint glass with a big fatty 'X' over the image. As I mentioned in my last Russian River post, this brewery is located up in California wine country and has a viticulture tradition. Thus, Russian River Brew Co wants their customers to enjoy their European ales and their barrel aged craft the way they are meant to be sipped: from a goblet. As you can see from the photo, instead of going with the chalice I poured into a tradition pint glass.

Even though I apologized, I don't think RRBC will be that upset with me. Redemption is a little different than most Russian River brews. It's a lighter ale with a off-yellow coloring and only weighs in at 5.65% alcohol by volume. Most beer created by Russian River hovers around 7% and has a darker hue from aging in wine casks and barrels. Thus I felt didn't need to search for the appropriate glassware to open up hidden flavors and went straight to drinking. The initial smell and taste reminds me of a classic Belgian style beer with strong yeast aromas. The brew is quite tart with an citrus flavor that is more orangey than lemony. The finish is a little bitter and very dry. So dry that it raises the tastes buds on the tongue and drys out the mouth a little. The opposite of an American 'thirst quencher'. The mouth feel is pretty light and there is plenty of carbonation. Combined with the average avb is quite drinkable and I easily plowed through this 750ml bottle.

If you are looking for a Belgian style beer that lacks the punch of some traditional abbey based brews this is a good foray into the genre. Redemption has many of the same flavors but is light enough to provide the opportunity to easily try a whole bottle. Overall its a tasty American version of a Belgium beer that would be great in any drinking session. Even if you don't have proper glassware. Cheers.


Kevin LaMar said...

Any way I could make a guest post sometime? I think I probably met you guys at some point along the way. I'm friends with Mike Maxwell from childhood and work with him too! Beer is my biggest hobby and I take pictures of everything new I try, as well as review the good ones at BeerAdvocate.

Mattie said...


Thanks for your interest.
I don't see why we couldn't bend the rules a little for a fellow beer lover.
What I'll suggest is plan a time to hang with Maxwell and either drink the same beer and compare your reviews or each try a different beer from the same brewery. And then have Maxwell post both his and your review under the same post as a double review. Cheers.

Kevin LaMar said...

Sounds good. Actually, this weekend is perfect for this since Maxwell and I are driving down to L.A. with some other friends for the Giants @ Dodgers game on Saturday. I plan to bring a few interesting beers to share while we're down there.