Russian River Brewing has so many “-ation” offerings I sometimes get confused which style I’m getting when I order at a bar. Apparently this carries over to shopping the beer isle as well, as I picked up Russian River Redemption, their Belgian blonde ale, thinking it was one of their barrel-aged beers! Now that I’ve adjusted my expectations away from something sour, let’s pop the cork.
Russian River Redemption Blonde Ale poured heavily carbonated in the glass with a light, honey-yellow transparent body topped by a tiny, bubbly head and grounded with small amounts of yeast from the bottle conditioning. The nose was filled with banana, pepper, and clove.
Russian River Redemption Blonde Ale’s aggressive carbonation came through in the mouth-fell, opening with banana and lemon and a subtle note of iron. After briefly settling into an herbal, grassy middle the ale dried up surprisingly fast, bringing forward spicy pepper and clove that lingered in the fade.
Russian River Redemption Blonde Ale is an enjoyable, spicy take on a blonde ale. It is both lighter and yet more complex than the typical blonde… not an easy balancing act to pull off!