Aquilo (622) - Berkeley, California, USA - FEB 12, 2007
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Batch 003. Lovely chestnut brown with a frothy head. Smell and taste are rather subtle. There is definitely spice; perhaps cardamom. Iím not sure that I taste the banana that the brewery describes, but there is a rather mild fruity flavor that is hard to describe. The best thing about this is how wonderfully smooth it is going down. It is like liquid velvet.
Bartzilla (620) - La Mesa, California, USA - FEB 11, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle @ Hamiltons. Deceptively smooth. Almost goes down like a spicier dubbel. Looks, smells, tastes like a delicious Belgian ale. A great prelude to the Beatification and Supplication that followed. Solid ale. Iíd definitely have this again. And again.
Brigadier (3535) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - FEB 4, 2007
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bottle
Thanks to CharlesDarwin for bringing this to a tasting that he came to while in town a few weeks ago. I was suprised at how íbadí this beer was compared to my expectations. While it was above average, my expectations were pretty high based on the previous beers Iíve been able to sample. Having said that, it is still well made and very enjoyable. I just would not turn it down but at the same time I am unlikely to place an order with the brewery for more.
Aroma / Appearance - A creamy clear lacing coats the sides of the glass from the pour until the time it is empty. The head is a disappointing thin offwhite mess that tapers away to almost nothing. Fortunately the body isnít bad - a tempting caramelly color that filters out much of the light. The nose is typical Russian River with a hint of brett alongside vanilla and a nutty backbone. Otherwise it was a little thinner than I was expecting.
Flavor / Palate - The oaky vanilla opening paves the way for a pleasureable experience which is a union of Sour patch kid residue and cocoa powder. Watermelon and cookie dough come towards the middle of the glass. The finish is dry, nutty and a little bretty. While still solid this does not have the íwow factorí of some of the other releases.
shigadeyo (3635) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 31, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
My first Russian River beer. I have to admit that before this beer I was virgin to the excellent brews produced by Russian River. Unfortunately their beer is just not available in Ohio. However, I managed to get some of their beers (including the Salvation) through a trade with, uh, crap! I forgot who it was. I think it was somebody in NC with the name of Ralph? Roger? Russ? Wait, thatís it - Russ! Thanks Russ! Iíve been waiting to get my hands on a bottle - any bottle - of Russian River beer for quite some time! Thanks!
My friend Rob and I got together on 1/30/2007 for a "Salvation" tasting that included Avery Salvation, Russian River Salvation, and Avery (/Russian River) Collaboration Not Litigation. We really wanted to try all three of these beers together so that we could compare. Needless to say, this was a really nice tasting that really helped redeem us from the sins of drinking bad beer during the less fortunate times in the past. The Russian River Salavation followed the Avery Salavation in the tasting line-up...
Russian River Salvation pours a murky dull dark brown color with a large, dense, creamy tan head (good retention too). The aroma is mildly sweet and contains malt, caramel corn, and some dark fruit as well. The flavor also has a rich maltiness, some darker fruit/spice combination that I really canít put my finger on, and some sneaky caramel/chocolate characteristic. The alcohol is extremely hidden unless this beer gets warmer than intedended. In that case, the finish seems to be a bit more dry and some additional alcohol is detectable. However, this is such a great beer that the alcohol adds to the overall flavor and experience with its gentle warming presence. I would say that this beer has nearly a full body and is also soft and smooth on the palate. Overall I think this was my favorite of the three beers we tasted (Avery Salvation, RR Salvation, Avery[/RR] Collaboration...). Russian River Salvation is an excellent dark Belgian Stong Ale that will be hard to beat! Even though this beer and the Avery one have the same name and alcohol content, they are two distinct and different beers in all other ways!
750 mL bottle (Batch 003).
Oh crap... I think this stuff was actually sent to me by rOss. It was! How could I forget that?! Iím glad I finally looked at my trading records. Sorry about that Ross. I nearly forgot who the benefactor was for this momentous occasion... Although, you know Iím just messing with you. Thank you so much for sending this bottle (and others). I really appreciate your kindness and generosity (even if you are a pain in the ass to deal with - just kidding)!
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - JAN 27, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Batch 002. Faint wisp of salty malt aroma. Nice clean amber pour, shroued with off-white rim. Flavor is a quite sour malty flavor, with some cherry. thai lemongrass and galangal, but itís not particularly nuanced or distinctive. Composed with some long caramels and a bit of sour oat saltiness. Ebbs lemon tangy on the backend and this joins some bland grape skins. Bite of almond. Not cloying. Yeast begins to dominate. Crisp lemon leaf hop finish. I was looking for more. Thanks Andy!
mkgrenwel (606) - North Shore, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 25, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Rich caramel, but very much mostly tart sour fruit flavors. Plum and grapeskin. Sweetness and sourness are balanced carefully. I was afraid of chimay-like overcarbonation issues when I saw the large head with tiny bibbles, but this is soft and smooth. This could compare favorably to Trois Pistoles. Probably my least favorite RR beer, but looking at the score, itís pretty obvious how I feel about their beers in general.
hezron (614) - Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 25, 2007
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
750 of batch 002 shared by CharlesDarwin, thanks for sharing! Very faint aroma, hint of minerals and caramel and a touch of chocolate? Iím really grasping here... Dark ruby-amber with a thick and creamy off-white head. Fairly interesting flavor with some simple dark fruits (raisins), a hint of minerals and some caramel malts. Fairly fruity, but grows more simple as you drink. Hmm..
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 24, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dessert beer at Monkís cafe RR dinner last night. Brown amber color. Complex aroma, with notes of fruit, anise, and vanilla. Big flavor as well, again with fruit and anise, along with spice. Matched well with Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
Ungstrup (34332) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JAN 21, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. A hazy amber beer with a thick light orange head. The aroma is sweet and very spicy with especially cinnamon coming thru, while the flavor is sweet malty again with a strong spicy note, but here cloves are the strongest component. The end is dry with a spicy note still lingering around.
kepano (261) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 21, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Clear but deep in color, Salvation pours with a nearly purple hue and a beautiful fluffy cream that laces in thick rings. Its aroma is very obviously vinous, with the depth of Cabernet and the light sourness of Champagne. Apple cider vinegar appears prominently alongside oak, vanilla and custard, while hints of cinnamon, anise, fig, caramel and Gouda provide ample complexity. The nose is quite light for such a dark looking beer, but decidedly unique. With such a graceful invitation, the flavor is rather shocking, melding dry coffee, smoke and Roquefort. Raisins and Champagne don a subtle sourness to which perfumy herbal connotations are added reminiscent of lavender and rosemary. Texturally, the fine carbonation and smooth mouthfeel fit the vinous character, while a finishing dryness promotes the coffee and oak flavors of the aftertaste. An intriguing effort that seems to close the gap between wine and beer.