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Tuesday, April 11, 2006 

Russian River Salvation

85 /100

Thankfully, Russian River Brewing Company just recently bottled another one of its fine beers. Since RR bottle their phenomenal ales so infrequently, this is cause to rejoice. Sadly, the only RR bottle readily available at local liquor shops is Damnation. While Damnation is delicious, I really wish I could get their beers more frequently.

The only place I could find Salvation, and Redemption; their previous bottle release was from the Russian River website itself. The good news is that even with shipping the bottles came out to just over $11 for a 750 mL, money very well spent and the order came quickly.

Salvation, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, was refermented - a second yeast added, when bottled. When poured into the tulip glasses, it had a dark, almost mahogany color. A slight head topped the well laced medium bodied ale. The aroma was big – the yeast shined through with flavors of raisin, banana and clove with the malt background.

The taste has an earthiness to it: it starts fruity than the roasted malt coffee kicks in followed by the subtle oak flavors. It’s very well balanced. This could class with any of the better Belgian Strong Darks: Gulden Draak, Chimay Grand Reserve, etc – something few American made Belgian beers could do.

Russian River suggests, “All in all, this beer could use some bottle age to mellow out.“ I think this is quite delicious right now, but I do have one saved cellaring. Russian River never lead me wrong before.

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