2015 Advent Beer Calendar: Deschutes River Ale

Author: Jason Harris
December 8, 2015

Editor’s note: This is the tenth in the Beer Advent Calendar 2015 series. Likewise, I’m going to be posting a beer review each day. Some will be Christmas or Winter ales and other selections will be beers I’ve been wanting to review for some time.

Deschutes River Ale, from Deschutes Brewing, is a session ale, which is an easy drinking brewing style.

According to Beeradvocate, their definition is:

Any beer that contains no higher than 5 percent ABV, featuring a balance between malt and hop characters (ingredients) and, typically, a clean finish – a combination of which creates a beer with high drinkability. The purpose of a session beer is to allow a beer drinker to have multiple beers, within a reasonable time period or session, without overwhelming the senses or reaching inappropriate levels of intoxication.

From my experience, session ales are super flavorful and not as strong in alcohol. One of my favorites is Full Sail’s Session Black IPA.

River Ale

What does it taste like?

This particular beer, Deschutes River Ale, pours golden and clear. the aroma isn’t overpowering but is complex and pleasing with hints of orange, lemon and herbal essences. The brew tastes of slightly toasted malt with hints if citrus, orangey hops. There’s hardly any bitterness, but someone who’s used to Coors Light would notice it.

Deschutes River Ale is floral and a little bit fruity but it has enough malty influence that makes for a balanced, good drinking ale.

Should I buy it?

As a beer lover, I’d actually recommend Session Ale from Full Sail as a first session ale. But for mainstream beer drinkers who are new to craft beer, Deschutes River Ale is a perfect entry point.

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