I’m on the hunt for the perfect Belgian Dark Ale, I mean I’ve come damn close on a few occasions. In this category you have some of the best beers in the world hands down, Chimay Blue, Achel, Gouden Carolus Blue, Rochefort 6 and many others that are kings. So when I was able to get my hands on a bottle of Russian River Salvation in Philly two months ago I was eager to try it and see if one of the best American breweries can do what the Belgians have been doing for centuries.

To be honest this is almost my first Russian River beer so I expect nothing but angel dust and cherubs to fly out of the bottle when I pop that cork. I mean come on, whenever I open a bottle of Gouden Carolus Blue  God’s breath pops out of that bottle, so I expect nothing but the best.


I pop open the bottle and it felt as if I was popping champagne because that cork almost flew off, it was that carbonated. Ok so I pour it and I notice quickly a HUGE head is forming on this beer and I had to make some adjustments, I slowed down my pour and got about 3 inches of head, that’s some good head. Smelling the beer you get that typical dark fruit notes but this one has something else in there I can’t put my finger on so I’ll chalk it up to spices.

My first taste was a little less sweet than I was expecting but had the raisins, cherries and the dark fruits thing going but in a more mild way than one of the other beers I mentioned above. Its super carbonated and makes it light and fluffy like a souffle and went in big but fizzled out in my mouth. Interesting carbonation! It leaves this slightly tangy bitter metallic aftertaste which is not a bad thing except that its also a tad dry. I like my Belgian darks to coat my tongue like an electric blanket on a below freezing day and this did not do that.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. Was it worth the $6 I paid for a 12.6 ounce bottle, not really, I would much rather buy a sixer of Trois Pistoles or $10 on a bomber of Gouden Carolus Blue.This doesn’t meant this was a bad beer, I just feel for the money I can get a better value somewhere else.