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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,314 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,314
Reviews: 1,085
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 364
Gots: 745 | FT: 48
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:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 09-19-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,314 | Reviews: 1,085 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow with a little head. Lace. Yeasty aroma, not substantive. Aggressive carbonation. Taste is delicate zesty yeasty, tad of grain, crisp, and satisfying.Moderate bitter aftertaste. No sign of alcohol. 6 ounces at Mondial 2006. Had a bottle brought by Dr.Jay six months later.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium dark honey color with a thick white head. Lovely citrus and peach nose. Flavors are well integrated fruits and hop. This is a very well balanced beer with fully layered but integrated flavors. A very pleasant drink with a medium hop and medium long finish. This is one of those "all around good beers." It becomes a bit soft and almost elegant as you drink it. This beer goes with almost all food and is pretty universally good.

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River in August 2009.

A: Pours a cloudy straw-yellow with a nice white head and plenty of carbonation; good lacing as it goes down.

S: Quite a bit of pale malt lines up behind Belgian yeast with a little bit of spice. Also present is some pepper and a little bit of fruity sweetness.

T: A little bit of sweet grain flavor comes in underneath some spicy yeast with a little bit of hop character.

M: Medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable, but a little off for being a go-to beer. Not one of my favorites from Russian River, but a good beer nonetheless.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy light yellow in color. It poured with an eighth of a finger high white head that died down but never completely faded away, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There ar aromas of yeast in the nose along with some notes of orange citrus.
T: Like the smell, the yeast flavors really take center stage in the taste of this beer. There’s also a slight amount of sourness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It definitely coats your mouth.
O: This is a very interesting beer that has a complex taste. It’s a lot easier to drink compared to some of the other beers in the style, especially since there are no traces of alcohol in the taste.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: two finger white head with some retention on a hazy golden with crimson hues body. Excellent lacing

S: pineapple and orange peel citrus, honey, light musty Belgian yeast and clove.

T: very nice yeasty character throughout with lemon, banana and orange citrus up front moving to clove, black pepper, additional apices and nice bittering hops in the mid and finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonmation. moister finish than a typical Belgian which I actually like.

Overall: The smell is really about a 4.25 so I rounded up. I love just how "Belgian" this one is. I always have high expectations from Russian River and they are always met. This is usually a bad thing to have but I am not disappointed with this one.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy honey color and a modest head that re-forms with a swirl and leaves nice swathes of lace

Smell: Banana and bubblegum, apple and pear, and a smidge of clove

Taste: Opens with banana and clove flavors, with the apple/pear underneath; white pepper arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, the clove and pepper join with some lemony hops to provide a balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Mediun to full body with buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and a spicy, hoppy example of the style; very nice

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damnation. The name basically sums it all up. This beer has all of the Duvel and Leffe components, but in a much more aggresively malted, hopped, and fermented way. It's basically amped up Pale Belgian. The difference here is that the balance remains firm and unwaivering. A very tart Belgian berry-like vineous (chardonay) flavor is balanced with big perfumy hop additions and a soft nectar-like quality-- kinda like you'd expect to find in a Mead. Then throw in some peppery spices, basic pilsner maltiness, and fresh tropical fruits (pineapples, apricots, mangos) and folks, we have a super complex beer. Quite dry and warm in the finish with a lingering numbing effect. Not that it's better than those beers metioned before, but it's a good choice if you want more strength with a similar profile, but don't want to sacrifice unnecessay fusals or phenols.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Moejuck: Poured a deep yellow/whitish color ale with a big foamy head with some great retention and some lacing. Aroma of pear is quite intense with some light spices and light candy – definitely not what I was expecting but very interesting and particular. Taste is dominated by the pear and even peach like taste with some subtle spice in the background and nice creamy texture. Body is above average with some low filtration and some adequate carbonation. A bit too much sweetness overall for my own taste but quite enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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

Batch 003. Ripe lemon chock full of fine particulates and multiple streams of languidly rising bubbles. The head is a thing of near unrivaled beauty. At least half the glass in size, polished alabaster in color, lovely moonscape surface of glittering, diamond-like bubbles. The foam is also impressively sticky, depositing thick patches of abstract-patterned Belgian lace all over the upper reaches of the glass.

The nose is excellent and contains all of the requisite elements of the style. The most striking thing is how well-balanced it is. Nothing is permitted to overplay its hand. The centerpiece is golden fruit (pear and green apple especially) with a complementary amount of warm, spicy clove and cardamom. It's also reminiscent of white wine.

Damnation is a good version of the style that doesn't quite deliver the everlasting depth of flavor that the best 'bona fide' Belgian ales do. That's not to say that it's anything other than wonderful beer, just that it has some seriously tough competition. The fruit is less prominent than the nose suggested and the spice is a little more prominent (white pepper especially). The beer is also much more dry than anticipated.

The white wine character isn't so much Chardonnay (no oakiness) as it is Sauvignon Blanc (acidic, crisp, tongue-tweaking). I'm sure the bitterness of the hops is contributing mightily to the anti-sweet nature of the beer; it's a saliva sucker of the highest order. Great use of floral, grassy noble hops. Gotta be Saaz.

The mouthfeel suggests that the beer contains a pretty fair amount of malt, which makes the lack of sweetness all the more surprising. This may be the most lush, mouthcoatingly sticky, dry-bitter beer that I've ever had. The finish is anything but clean, a characteristic that I think makes for a much better mouthfeel. The amount of carbonation is on the high end, in accordance with the style.

This is unquestionably good beer from what is clearly a world-class brewer. I can't wait to try whatever other Russian River offerings I can lay my hands on. Damnation's only 'fault' is that it doesn't fit my preferred profile for a BSPA. Make no mistake, though, it's a very nice domestic version of a sometimes hard to duplicate style. Authentic and enjoyable.

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking orange color with a fluffy white head on top. The smell of wheat and some citrus flood the nose on the beer. The taste of the brew has some interesting floral and fruity flavors going on in it. The mouthfeel of the beer was smooth, silky and easy to drink. Overall I feel this brew it quite impressive, much like everything from Russian River. I like that this one isn't a sour because everyone just raves about their sours so much. This one is really good and it's something a little different from them.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -9%

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

750ml Corked and Caged bottle poured into several Snifters

A – Poured a very hazy and cloudy, and very bright yellowish-amber with a large three to four finger high head of white frothy foam. This settled down, somewhat reluctantly to just a thing layer across the top of foamy white lace. Very nice side glass presentation and more then adequate carbonation yielded a very lively looking brew that kept itself afloat from start to finish.

A – The smell here was very bright and alive. A very dominant yeast presence was accented perfectly by very bright hop notes in the back. A nice range of fruit from peaches, to pears, to even a hint of lemon all presented itself rather nicely and gave a very nice uniformly light feel to the smell. As it warmed some more subtle hints of grapes started to come through and gave it the slightest note of possibly being a bit sour.

T – The flavor was great, extremely big frothy yeast filled goodness would be adequate. Now let’s elaborate. First thing I noticed was a profound hoppiness which seemed to poke its head up in the beginning, settle down and then dry out the finish very nicely. This was a very fresh and light, almost lemon sort of hoppiness, very west coast, and very nice. The middle of it was comprised primarily of light fruity yeast flavors, with lots of hints at pears and apples with a little bit of peach added in. Some light earthy, cereal grains were making up the back and added some balance to it. Overall a quite complex and yet light flavor. This was definitely very interesting.

M – Very nice, I had thought it might end up being a touch on the thick side, but the nice carbonation help to alleviate this thought. A nice light to medium body yielded just the right amount of creaminess to allow the flavor to roll over the tongue and really create a nice finish.

D – A wonderful sipper this really was a nice light goodie that I thoroughly enjoyed. The flavor was crisp, the ABV low enough to not be a factor and the feel full enough to make it a fine bottle.

Overall I thought this was really fantastic. My first real goodie from Russian River in a long time I can see why people pine over these the way they do, (well Pliny showed me that anyway) this was a fine example of both the brewery and the style. I would not hesitate to turn this one down if it were offered.

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,314 ratings.