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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,599 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2599
Reviews: 1048
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.75% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beerguy101 on 09-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,599 | Reviews: 1,048 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Boto


3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draught @ Monks: Mistake pour: ordered a Pliney the Elder and they mistakenly brought this. It was a good mistake. This one pours a fairly clear, golden color. There was some white head and some lacing. Good hop nose. Mainly pine and grapefruit. Some other lighter fruits and spices also. The taste is also good. It has a slightly lighter body than expected. A little bitter, somewhat dry finish. Malts, spices. Nice.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2014 21:13:31 | More by Boto
Photo of BWED


4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into what looked like a hybrid between a teku and a tulip glass, at Strangelove's, Philly.

A- Pale golden yellow haze of a body, with a light, nearly wispy, white head. Well retained. Beautifully showcased in the glass.

S- Yeasty up front. A bit of booze aroma, but the distinct Belgian spiciness and subtle citrus notes overcome.

T- A light sweetness comes out with yeast and spice. Tangy light fruit character as well.

M- Light body, with a tangy crisp finish. Pleasant.

O- This is a good beer. It's got great characteristics, but as far as Russian River goes for me so far, nothing has stuck out much. The big rare brews they have aren't common in my area, so maybe that's why I'm missing the hype of RR.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2013 02:35:03 | More by BWED
Photo of clayrock81


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a pale gold with good looking head on top an of aroma that has typical light Belgian charateristics such as touches of funk, some spices and yeast as well as touches of tropical fruit or at least apples and pears and there is a candi-sugar type sweetness underneath it all. Light-bodied, easy to drink, goes down realy easy and enjoyable and finishes with crisp hop bite that isn't cutting or bitter but a good balance of hops and sweetness so you keep wanting more. Overall, the beer is well-balanced and while drinking it I was not only getting some hoppiness but fruit notes from orangey, citric (banana), to spicy clove as well as some sweet fruits and a little bit of sweet malt. Great beer and did not realize how high in alcohol because it does not bleed into the beer at all and this is a must for any beer "snob".

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2013 14:35:46 | More by clayrock81
Photo of Stevedore


4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Context: On tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly with another beer appreciating friend on 4/5/13. First of the night before I hit up two consecutive pints of Pliny the Elder.

Aroma: Banana, pear, Belgian yeast. It's got that light fruit flavour that I associate with pears- not too sweet, not too overwhelming, but definitely unmistakably fruity. There's something else, I want to call it funk but I'm not quite sure- I wrote down "funk??" on my napkin and can't recall what that was about. Nevertheless, it's a very nice smelling brew with a definite nose presence (4)

Colour: Hazy yellow/gold body, 1cm white head that dissipates quickly leaving a white collar that persists and contributes to a beautiful looking lacing. Looks very nice. (4)

Flavour: Love it! This tastes of pear in the very beginning but as it warms up, I get bananas and more Belgian yeast flavour. Even a bit of sweetness to go along with it, could be from the pear. And as it gets closer to room temp, I taste this unnameable flavour that I smelled before. I want to call it funk but I'm not 100% sure that's what it is- its a bit more subtle. Still, a delicious combination that I really enjoyed. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lots of carbonation, aftertaste is of bananas and spice. Really goes down smoothly and quenches the thirst I had coming into Monk's. Easy to drink, and if this is a good representation of the Belgian Strong Pale, I think I'll have to get into Belgian styles after I get bored with porters and stouts. (4)

Overall: Anyway, I enjoyed this offering quite a bit more than the Redemption, which I had later that night. It's a pretty sessionable Belgian pale ale that doesn't come across as too rich or strong, but remains incredibly tasty and thirst-quenching without filling you up too quickly. (4)

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2013 03:47:41 | More by Stevedore
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap in a goblet.

A-Pure liquid golden color, one-finger white head, rings of lacing. Lively carbonated, clean and clear.

S-Light fruits, pear and banana. Grassy and yeasty. Very fresh with just a hint of alcohol.

T-Citrus hoppy and Belgian yeast. Some light frutiness.

M-Lots of smooth body, lots of carbonation. Very easy drinking with a crisp dry lingering hop finish. The abv takes a low profile.

O- A great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2013 11:19:52 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of brodericksloth


4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

fruity funkiness from bottle refermentation; well integrated yeasts

first sip is really different than most beers; makes you wonder what the flavors are. fruits and spice with Pineapple, apples, peaches, grapes, cloves pears

murky golden amber color; on tap is clearer than bottled. one finger head; good lacing

nice duvel like qualities: but more flavorful. mild bitterness, spice, medium weight; non filling, creamy. true belgian

nicely carbonated and clean; alcohols well hidden. big mouthfeel as it warms.

not much nose but a nice sipping beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2013 23:05:57 | More by brodericksloth
Photo of KDawg


4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from tap. Pours a clear gold color with a nice head.

Nicely balanced with aromas of creams, spices, some citrus and a touch of cloves.

The fuller bodies feel is really nice and smooth with good depth. Balanced with noted of creams, citrus and spices.

A really nice Belgian strong pale. Very balanced with a creaminess to it on both the aromas and feel.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2013 20:27:09 | More by KDawg
Photo of JimTeal


4.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Despite being abused with poor storage in a non-climate controlled garage for 4 years, this fine beer survived shockingly well. We prepared for the worse, but were delighted when the nose and mouth confirmed that this beer withstood years of poor treatment and thrived. Given the mildness of the taste, Russian River made a fine brew and deserves acolades. The finish is remarkable, just right for a rainy afternoon, dry and hints of citrus waiting in the background. I would suggest this beer to anyone who is impressed with the finished product of the best ingredients.

I just returned from a day, April 2013, at the Russian River Pub where I was delighted to experience a fresh Damnation draft. Forger everything I said before, the fresh draft is nothing short of wonderful and a real flavor experience. So I bought a case of mixed bottles including Damnation (of course a few Pliny Elder to share with friends), but the fresh bottled Damnation is splendid. My regret, why didn't I buy 2 cases?

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2013 00:15:53 | More by JimTeal
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip at falling rock, denver.
Pours a crisp golden with a small bit of head. Great belgian meets german hefe aroma of banana and clove. Taste is superb belgian pale, slight hop and spice with a smooooth and refreshing finish. Such a great brew and shouldn't be passed up.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2012 21:47:46 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of elNopalero


4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear golden colored brew with some foam and a wonderfully big aroma. Light, floral, and estery notes on the nose. Floral and estery flavor, with some sweetness as it warms. Deceptively strong, although it masks the alcohol well. Dry finish wins out. This is a classic.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2012 08:34:25 | More by elNopalero
Photo of cfrances33


3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Monks Cafe in Philly on 7/13/12. Served in a pint glass.

Pour: Mostly clear straw with two fingers of white fluffy head that hangs around very well.

Smell: Bananas, Belgian yeast, clove

Taste: Follows the nose with Belgian yeast being predominant. Banana and clove spice. Some green apple mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Heavier than the color suggests. Has a doughy texture to it.

Overall: Great for the style, but the style isn't suited for my tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 16:05:19 | More by cfrances33
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the brewery

A. Clear pale gold with 2 finger fluffy white head with excellent retention and great lacing.

S. spice, pepper, green apple, bananas, clove

T. Wheat with all the notes of the nose, a complex, low bitter and low hops profile with interesting ebbs and flows of Belgium classic notes.

M. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Smooth, a Touch of warming etoh but not much.

O. Classic us Belgian strong ale. A nice fall time brew.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2012 09:36:49 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of tobelerone


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty much a classic by now. Pours light gold; slightly hazy; big fluffy white head that has strong retention.

Lots of complexity in both flavor and aroma; both slightly sweet and slightly spicy, but quite dry in the finish. Low in overall bitterness and hop presence as befitting the style. Fruity yeast esters; hints of banana and citrus. Black pepper, apple, pear, cloves.

Medium to slightly light bodied; good carbonation that's quite crisp and makes this a clean drinker when combined with the overall dryness. Booze is well hidden until you feel it upon finishing the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2012 02:44:49 | More by tobelerone
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A nice latticework of lace forms down the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain, spices, yeast, and citrus aromas. Taste is of malt/grain, citrus zest, and some spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is quite tasty and super easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2012 03:15:22 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of captaincoffee


4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank from the horse's mouth at Russian River Brewery during NoCal mircobrew vacation in Jul 2011.

Lighter-yellow coloring than expected.
Sweet, malty, yeasty nose.
Flavor matched nose well with excellent mouthfeel.

Great match to style...if you don't know what to expect from a strong Belgian and just order this because of the cool name and t-shirt, it may be too much (like my favorite at the brewery--Pliny the Elder). Not the type of beer I could have several glasses of in a sitting, but a treat nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2012 09:39:13 | More by captaincoffee
Photo of WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this at the brewpub. Pours a slightly dark, golden colour. You can taste the Belgian characteristics in this one. Grainy and slightly hoppy. Drinks down very smooth and the alcohol is well masked. I'd like a chance to have this before I had their sours and ipas first. Safe to say my palate was effected.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2012 15:07:22 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of ONUMello


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip straight from the brewpub tap
A: A light orange color with a one-finger head
S: Nice mix of fruit, spice and grain
T: Fruity but a nice sweet malt backbone and a bit of spice
M: Medium-bodied, fairly sweet but creamy, pleasant overall
O: Of the three beers I had tonight on tap at the brewpub this was my least favorite, but was still well made and enjoyable to drink

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2012 03:15:53 | More by ONUMello
Photo of NWFLyer


4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in tap at Eulogy in Philadelphia.
A - Dark straw yellow, modest head, decent lacing.
N - Clean, with minimal fragrance.
T - Excellent representation of style, could easily have been brewed in Belgium.
M- Very nice, though nothing outstanding, just good for this style.
Overall - if you enjoy the Begian Golden Ale style, you should enjoy this offering from Russian River. I don't think I have ever tasted anything below average from this brewery!

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2012 01:33:11 | More by NWFLyer
Photo of Holland


3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: light golden color with a bright, bubbly head and lots of carbonation. Minimal lacing.

S: spicy belgian yeast smells, fruity esters

T: spicey/peppery with a great bread-like finish and some bitterness

M: heavy carbonation, medium-light body, dry, fresh, and crisp

O: solid, drinkable, though not up to par with some of RR's other beers. This isn't quite my style, but I like it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 18:48:17 | More by Holland
Photo of denver10


3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a nice thumbs width head. A mild but smooth aroma of some yeast, pepper, maybe a little floral and fruity. Flavor is pretty subdued as well. A little bready, some pepper, some fruit and a hint of hops. You kind of have to look for the flavor, it definitely doesn't jump out at you. It works, though, because its nice and balanced. Light to medium body, some carbonation, a nice feel to this. Overall, pretty good beer that I would like to give another round or two as I think there is more to discover with this one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2012 01:20:27 | More by denver10
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the brewpub.

Pours a cloudy straw golden color with a dense white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is heavy on Belgian yeast, spice, pepper, and mild fruit sweetness. Sweet and malty up front with spicy Belgian yeast throughout the palate. Mildly hoppy in the finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation and a dry finish. A nice, if mildly boring, golden Belgian.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2011 18:49:26 | More by yourefragile
Photo of MsRif


4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA...as well as many other locations. Poured a clear golden color with a thin white head that retained well, leaving sticky lacing. Had an aroma of yeast, spices and various fruits (banana, cherries, plums, citrus). Tasted of spices, same various fruits from the nose, yeast and sweet malts. Very complex and well-balanced.

Medium bodied, smooth and moderately carbonated. This is my favorite Russian River brew. Great for any session!

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2011 00:27:14 | More by MsRif
Photo of yesyouam

New York

4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Russian River Damnation is a very clear, golden beer with a creamy, white head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It smells like banana bread and clove. It has a smooth, medium body and a dry finish. It tastes like cloves and must, almost like gewerztraminer. It's sweet and fruity toward the end with a note of pear. The aftertaste is musty and phenolic. This is a solid and well done beer. It's very spicy.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2011 20:15:19 | More by yesyouam
Photo of lukester


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a $7 pint of this today at lunch on recommendation from a friend. RR has really risen to an elite status as a brewer of big beers. I'm more of a hop head Pliney type and not a huge fan of Belgian's but this is still a very nice beer.

Nice light copper color with a fairly minor head and distinctive Belgian aroma. Very nice carbonation with a decent (but never enough) hop profile. Big beers are not the best choice when you have to return to work though!

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2011 04:16:38 | More by lukester
Photo of Tucquan


4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-10-16 at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA

A - Clear gold with a 2-finger bubbly-white head and mild lacing.

S - Tart apples, spice, yeast. Very fresh smelling but not a strong aroma.

T - Tart apples, mild spice, yeast and mildly sweet malt. Finishes dry. Very, very fresh tasting. Good balance.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. It has a really rich feel without being heavy.

O - Just a real nice, refreshing and well-balanced beer with a good mouthfeel. Nothing that knocks you over-the-head but everything is so nicely proportioned. I liked it better here on-tap than when I had it in the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2011 19:16:13 | More by Tucquan
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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,599 ratings.