Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,951 | Reviews: 1,062 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.18/5 rDev +1.5%
375ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch 71 (recent). Thanks to BA KevSal for including this generous extra in a recent trade!
Appearance: Careful pour yields a 2 inch fizzy white head that dissipates steadily, leaving a small splotch of lacing. Pours a murky yellow and leaves a few splotches and spots of lacing.
Smell: Belgian yeast, pear, apple, some bread underneath. Flowery and sugary sweet.
No unexpected aromas, but the story here is how potent and pleasant the aromas are. Very nice.
Taste: Follows the nose, with lots of pear-like esters, flowery hops, and assertive Belgian yeast up front, with an apple juicy finish and a banana aftertaste.
Also like the nose, this is very fresh and potent, if not complex or unique. Not as bready as suggested by smelling it, though some breadiness (and spice) emerge with time. Absolutely no solvent-like flavor. More bitterness than the average BSPA, which is fine with me as I have a rather bitter palate--could be a problem for other fans of the style though.
This is one of those rare beers with bold flavors that yet feels "subtle" in how finely balanced it is. It gets slightly more complex with warmth, but in the complexity development department, it's stasis by comparison to juggernauts like Duvel or the better Belgian quads or big American stouts.
Mouthfeel: Somewhere between light and medium bodied. A step or two above moderate carbonation. Pretty dry, but not overboard. Somewhat creamy feel.
This 5.0 is less perfection than it is "so many standout, flavor-benefiting elements that it stands out among beers in the style" (and it's close to perfection, anyway).
Overall: This beer would be a great introduction to BSPAs for hop heads who find Belgian ales too sweet. It's no Duvel, but it's substantially better than many other "authentic" BSPAs (e.g. Delirium Tremens, Lucifer, most widely available tripels).
To make a possibly stupid analogy, this isn't the artist whose work steals the show and towers above everyone, but rather the kind of thing you'd expect from any artist in a well-established, healthy, active culture of artists. It's a genre work that makes me think about what it would be like if all the people creating generic work were brilliantly talented. Hopefully this makes at least a little sense.
02-03-2012 04:53:54 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
4.25/5 rDev +3.2%
Batch #072.Poured into a tulip glass a hazy lemon yellow with a large blooming white head that settled slowly into a frothy mass,aromas of pithy lemon hops,alcohol,and light yeasty spice.Flavors are citric and somewhat medicinal hop flavors up front on the palate,light yeasty phenols actuall mix well with the hop profile wich makes for a well rounded palate.A great beer for the style wich I expected from RR,somewhat refreshing even with a higher ABV.
03-04-2012 23:55:18 | More by oberon
4.03/5 rDev -2.2%
Appearance The body of this beer belongs on an alien. Its a glowing neon orange in color and very hazy. The head was modest.
Smell The coriander is huge at the nose. The yeast is nice and malty. The spices are all over the map. Theres some light orange and tangerine along with some peach. The hops are ultra funky. In other words, a typical RR offering.
Taste The flavors are much smoother than the smell. There is some light alcohol that I didnt pick up in the nose, but otherwise it follows the bouquet as you drink it down.
Mouthfeel This one lacked the good carbonation of an authentic BSPA, but that may have just been the bottle. There was some noticeable dryness to this medium-bodied ale and the flavors really melded together as it warmed.
Drinkable This was a very drinkable BSPA that delivered on all the usual requirements.
07-09-2005 02:13:36 | More by RoyalT
4/5 rDev -2.9%
On tap at Lanesplitter in Berkeley CA. Very Reminiscent of La Chouffe.
Pours a hazed golden pineapple, rather far from limpid. Head is white, bubbly, and very Belgian. It rises and falls with each lift of the glass. Body bubbles aggressively, ebulliently even.
Aroma consists of ripe Jamaican sugar bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, Munich malts, and citric hops. Nose sharp and sweet.
Taste is spicy citrus hops, banana ice cream, bubblegum, and earth. Balance is decent but not flawless.
Mouthfeel is light and breakneck. Zesty and spicy, it hits your cheeks with a zinger of strength and sweet and sour fruit. Not bad.
Drinkability is decent. Finish is crisp, clean, and dry lending to higher drinkability.
06-13-2006 14:36:01 | More by DaPeculierDane
3.91/5 rDev -5.1%
Thanks for Kevin to bringing me a few of these on his recent West Coast trip. Dated September 2012, a few months away from it's first birthday. It pours a golden honeycomb color and is almost 100% opaque. It's got a big head, the whitest of the white with thin, fine bubbles; it's super creamy and conjures up even larger when the glass is agitated. Super solid looking for a Belgian pale.
Belgian yeast abound, wall to wall, erring towards the slightly sweet banana side of things, with lighter hints of clove and a soft underbelly full of bubblegum. It's pretty "spicy" on the nostrils, though, with some white pepper in the background and a bit of alcoholic phenol notes that show up every now and then. Some slightly tart pear enters during the outro as well - quite a nice display of Belgian yeast, especially for an American-crafted brew.
As the aroma would indicate, some slightly-rotten banana cream is abundant in the flavor from the very first sip. Each pile of banana is follow up quickly with a sharp hint of spices; coriander, clove, orange zest, white pepper; spicy overall, yet pretty mild and refined in the big picture. I'm now struggling to decide whether it's more sweet or more spicy, and perhaps that's because it's such a perfectly even split.
It's certainly a very yeasty brew, as most Belgian pales should be. The backdrop contains thick mounds of buttery bread covered in a layer of super-duper, cheesy and musty funk. The finish is very bready and cellar-y with a dry finishing funk that obliterates any sweetness that's made it this far on your palate. It's medium bodied, though it feels a bit thicker, possibly from the heavy yeast. Crispy, nearly bubbly carbonation.
The first of the "non-sour" ales that I've tried from Russian River's line of Belgian style beers, and I'm mildly impressed. There are certainly some better, authentic Belgian pales out there... Then again, I'd also choose Damnation over many other authentic Belgian pales, too. One of the best things about the brew is the somewhat low price point... 4-5$ a bottle isn't bad for this tasty brew.
07-06-2013 18:37:30 | More by tectactoe
4/5 rDev -2.9%
Reviewed from notes on 9-17-10. Many thanks to zoso1967 for schlepping the bottle back from PA many moons ago. I shared this bad boy with TCGoalie and his fiance.
A: The color is a pure golden-yellow, with a white, half finger head. This head retained on top of the beer body for the duration of my sipping.
S: Aromas of crisp Granny Smith apple, pear, peach, and a distinct funky Belgian yeast float from my oversized wine glass into my nostrils. I also smell some light clove and banana aromas.
T: A tasty clove spice is backed by sweet pear, Granny Smith apple, and honey flavors. That funky yeast complements all of these flavors well. A crisp, acidic, cidery bite ends each sip and dries off my palate.
M: Damnation has a sparkly tingle on my palate, with a light to medium bodied, spicy feel on my tongue.
D: This beer was nicely drinkable - very light, crisp, and refreshing. This is a perfect example of a straight up 4 beer. Good, but nothing about about it really stood out as remarkable.
10-05-2010 00:12:37 | More by TCHopCraver
4.47/5 rDev +8.5%
This was an incredible beer. It poured a pale orangy-golden color with little head. The smell was fantastic, a variety of fruity and yeasty odors, with strong citrus tones. The taste followed through on the smell, orange and banana comes to mind, although it was hard to pull out one specific taste- everything was well-balanced. If I had to pull a phrase out of my head really quickly to describe this beer, I'd have to say "juicy wheat." I guess by that I mean that the slight fruity taste adds a more robust flavor to its wheaty yeast taste, kind of like biting into an apple and getting that juicy, tart kick. It has a smooth mouthfeel and its drinkibility lends itself more to sipping than gulping. This is one to savor or to break out for tastings.
This beer also has serious dregs- the bottom was yeast city- a plus for dregheads!
06-28-2006 18:22:40 | More by StoutHearted
4.72/5 rDev +14.6%
Had this one on tap at O'Briens and what an amazing beer this was. It poured a nice medium gold color with a little lace that stuck to my glass all the way down. The smell was quite spicy with a clove scent as well. The taste was wonderful. Bananna, yeast and a slight peppery flavor were quite dominant. This beer reminded me of a very strong hefeweizen. Very drinkable indeed, try it if you see it.
06-04-2004 10:18:07 | More by Dmann
4.33/5 rDev +5.1%
A: an opaque golden yellow, with a thin head and visible carbonation.
S: hints of light fruits, bananas, apricots, wheat.
T: a tasteless sizzle until the swallow when hints of spices and wheat are evident, somewhat underwhelming.
MF/D: highly carbonated that quickly dissipates, could drink as a session beer... too bad its not available in the midwest. hard to believe its 7.75%.
09-14-2010 19:33:54 | More by newk340
4.28/5 rDev +3.9%
Got home from work and decided I might as well pop this one open. Batch 002. A nice loud pop with wisps of white smoke preempt the goldenrod yellow pour into my SN tulip that produces a light airy two finger head of bone white foam. Aromas of crisp grainy maltiness melds with banana bread, hints of clove and pepper. A bit of fresh apple and pear comes through as well with an underlying earthy, spicy yeast. Fresh and vibrant.
The initial sip brings a light lemony citrus pale malt background that dances across the palate. Fresh peeled bananas mesh with apples and pears...nice and fruity. Soft spicy background with hints of cloves and a dash of pepper. Creamy throughout and well balanced. Nothing seems out of place here..a harmonious balance of flavors. Finishes with earthy yeast spiciness to clean off the palate.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a well placed carbonation that does not overdo it. A truly satisfying, fruity Belgian golden ale. I'm glad this came in a 750ml bottle as I am struggling not to gulp it down. Another yummy creation from Russian River. Thanks to wezil for the opportunity...now I must go buy more!
08-06-2005 01:13:39 | More by orbitalr0x
4.38/5 rDev +6.3%
Courtesy of Chris at Ebenezer's Pub. This was a 750ml bottle, Batch 020, poured into a tulip glass. Gold color with a medium sized head and a little lacing. A fruity aroma, mainly banana. Much more interesting taste. Banana, pear, and a citrus tang with some warming spice coming in later. Fairly substantial for a 7% ABV. This is a very good beer.
04-29-2007 15:20:05 | More by lordofthewiens
4.5/5 rDev +9.2%
Poured from a 375 ml corked bottle into a brandy snifter.
The cork was eager to pop as soon as I removed the cage. I had to hold it back until I was ready. I let the cork ease out on its own. Loud pop but no overflow.
A - Hazy golden appearance, OK pale foamy head that didn't last very long with minimal lacing.
S - Sweet pleasant spiciness.
T - Begs to be sipped. True to the Belgian style. Very sweet, spicy, effervescent, light, belying the noble ABV.
M - The feel is very pleasant in the mouth and the aftertaste is very pleasant.
D - This is the quintessential sipping beer.
Poured the remaining beer into the snifter - yeast and all and enjoyed it to the last drop - and yeast cell. Nothing goes to waste.
Batch 062 Better than I remember - acquired taste?
Updated score to reflect my more "mature" palate.
08-08-2010 23:59:45 | More by NWer
3.85/5 rDev -6.6%
very light straw color with a good amount of visible carbonation. snow white head that settled quickly, but the bubbles are accumulating and hanging out around the edges.
I poured with reckless abandon, so the yeast is fully mixed in. Gonna be a farty morning.
Notes of pale malt, clove, wood, and banana on the nose. very nice.
Tasty. Much like the smell, it's a bundle of flavors. The cedar really stands out.
Crisp, astringent mouthfeel. slight lingering yeasty aftertaste. pretty easy drinking though. especially for 7.5% abv.
Not quite as good as consecration or temptation in my opinion, but still a tasty, interesting brew.
And I'll also add that while people seem to be going nuts over sofie and matilda from goose island, damnation has been around and is just as good of an example of the style.
06-24-2010 03:59:59 | More by andyfrancis
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,951 ratings.