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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,102 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,102
Hads: 3,595
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 18.2%
Wants: 400
Gots: 906 | FT: 56
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,102 | Hads: 3,595
Photo of mntlover
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle is from Batch 003

Pours a clear nice golden color with a white head that falls to ringed scum that is feed by sparce rising bubbles.

Aroma is creamy malt light fruit banana, melons and orange hints. Nice spice also pepper mingled within grassy hops.

Taste is wow crisp light malt then the fruit hits banana, orange flavors jump right into the spice orange peel leads to coriander that finishes peppery/clovey with grass like bitterness added from the hops. 2nd Pour sediment included this time yes baby the grassy/earthy flavors increase along with the bitterness nice improvement.

Mouthfeel is almost mediumish nice body for a pale, nice earthy dirt like texture in the finish, nice.

Drinkability is good a nice brew, not my favorite style but enjoyed this one. Probably wouldn't have again due to the cost but it is good.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is spot on. Large fluffy head (not quite Duvelesque, but what is?) on a hazy yellow beer. Smell is very fruity and sweet. Some spiciness in there as well as a subtle metallic aroma. Taste is more spicy than it seems. Very reminiscent of wheat beer clovey spiciness, and the banana does show up as well. Also some cantaloupe sweetness which is very tasty - a little bubble gummy as well. Very complex without being overbearing or particularly "strong" tasting, which I like. The metal doesn't show up in the taste thankfully. Mouthfeel is very light and very spritzy. I had to make myself slow down drinking this one. Went very well with Mexican food. Now if only I could get another bottle...

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Photo of NolanGTI
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first beer from Russian river that I haven't fallen in lust with, but still a real nice example of the style.

It was a pale golden haze with little carbonation and a head that quickly faded from sight. Smelled of a nice mellon, slight hop profile. A bit sweet at the begining but quickly settles into a nice balance of flavors with a slight spiciness on the way down.

It just couldn't fully win me over. Solid, be glad to have another and probably will.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Drank on tap at Naja's in Redondo Beach, served in pint glass.

Appearance: Looks like a pilsner, bright clear yellow with thin but lasting white head.

Smell: A little fruity, a little floral.

Taste: Definitely some floral flavor, not unlike Tripel Karmeliet at first taste. But much more bitter and tart feeling. Not really a tripel flavor, more like a Duvel follower.

Notes: Not bad, but too bitter for me.

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

Pours from a 750 ml bottle:

Pours a very light, golden, yellow into my St. Bernardus goblet. I very nice white, 2 inch foamy head gives way to densly, wispy last goblet.

Smell: Hints of spice, fresh cut grass, very herbal and floral. A very aromatic beer.

Taste: Starts with a very nice, spicy beginning, that give way to a floral middle. Finishes with a light, hop finish. Leaves the mouth dry, craving more. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp, with a fairly high carbonation level.

Overall: Belgian Strong Pale Ale's are one of my favorites. Damnation doesn't disappoint. An extremely drinkable and thirst quenching. 7% abv will creep up very fast. A fine representation. Go out and seek and enjoy. One I will buy again with pleasure.

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

batch 001 bottle Poured into a Tulip

It was a little cold but a beautiful frothy white head atop a slightly hazey golden ale (chill haze ) that cleared as the brew warmed.

Aroma:Cardaman type spiciness with yeasty earthiness that later warms to fruity (pear ,vanilla , banana)

Taste: sweet malt dryed by spicy hops with a earthy yeasty bite .Smooth mouthfeel with plenty of alcohol and a soft carbonation makes this a great belgian strong

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Photo of Beertracker
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the label...Damnation [Dam.Na.tion], n. condemnation to endless punishment, as in Hell.

Damnation pours up light & lacy with a white head that dissipates quickly under the pale straw-light golden body. This one's best served cool at cellar temperatures (45-55F) from a tulip or pear shaped glass. The aroma is light & spritzy with a nice intermingling of earthy, fruity (banana, lemony (lemon zest), pear) & peppery notes from the hops. There's just a hint of sweet graininess and yeasty bread in the nose. The flavor starts off slightly bready and somewhat sweet, but then a nice earthy spiciness takes over to carry along the graininess to a very clean & crispy finish which is dotted with some alcoholic warmth. Medium-light body with a very nice creaminess. This is real treat for Belgian beer lovers who like the devilish classics like Duvel, Lucifer and Satan. Try this one paired with some antipasto and/or Mediterranean bread.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Corked and caged 750 ml
*Batch #005

Appearance: A somewhat cloudy apricot gold with a dense, tall, pure white head -- looks right at home in a Duvel glass. Great retention; eventually loosens up to a cratered moonscape. Puffy bergs of lace cling to the glasswall as steady plumes of bubbles race to the surface.

Smell: A bit of the musty rainwater/barnyard scent many Belgians are known for, with a big, smooth sweetness. There's a broad, spicy cookie dough, but there is a mild sharpness as well, vaguely pineapple, perhaps orangeade? Very nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow, quite balanced, this. Allspice, citrus rind, pineapple, mango and sweet orange juice. Finishes with a strong blend of white pepper and rind. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, with just enough carbonation to keep it real. Word.

Drinkability: As good -- if not better -- than the benchmark Duvel. About as good as a BSPA gets, wonderful. This is the first of RR's bottled products I've tried and, if this is any indication, I think their future looks very bright indeed.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another strong golden Belgian-style ale, whose name is spun from the best known and original, Duvel. Beyond that, hopes are high, as I've not yet had a Russian River that failed to impress. Uncage, uncork, into the St. Bernardus goblet and away we go...

Hazed, bright yellow coloring, shortish white head, though it lingers long enough...good, good...

Lovely aroma. Yeast, light spices, lemon and other citrus fruits, orange, pear, ...very nice.

Taste/texture: a blast of sour at the front, then smooth and slides down with ease. Peppery spice slide in and ride sidecar all the way through. Fruit and hot spice maintain dominance in the flavor, body is a light/ medium, finish is soft, but leaves a fuzzy, and bold texture on the palate. Abv is light for the style, but peeks through and squeaks a bit, but is no bludgeon.

Very tasty, and I'm more impressed as I get further in, for it's a subtle, sophisticated ale, not a head-banger, no wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. But zesty, and rewarding, with a unique character.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged.. Batch 003

cork explodes with passion, lots of bubbles visible in bottle.. that's new... and no fizzing. hmm.. pours a brilliantly clear golden color with steady streams of carbonation throughout the transparent, champagne-like body. 7-finger head is monstrous, dissipates over a few minutes of admiration to a healthy, craterific one finger soapy mess. lacing is left high and low.

aroma is perfumey and perfect.. textbook orange peel and coriander.. yeast is pronounced but carries more fruit than say, la fin du monde. slightest hint of butter here, barely noticeable. something funky and botanical about the aromatic hops.. leaning towards the green fresh aroma of la chouffe. yum!

taste is immaculately rewarding.. at once refreshing and flavorful.. raspberry aftertaste with a substantial body and a welcome, dry, alcohol presence. hoppy and crisp. some orange and sweet, underdeveloped malty sugars... this beer is fun to appreciate while looking at it, smelling it, AND tasting it with few flaws. like your duvel or la fin du monde, this beer provides style comfort and signs of expert craftsmanship.

sure, its not bleeding with smokiness or plum rinds, but it is pretty much flawless in its presentation of a fabled, old style. i personally prefer the wild ales and experimental stuff from russian river, but there is no way to avoid giving this cool daddy his due.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This 750 ml. was carried with love by UncleFlip from Vintage Cellar in Virginia. And for that act of kindness, words can’t do justice.

The bottle was capped with a cork and a wire cage, which came off easily enough, thanks to the now trusty heavy duty cork puller. As the beer was poured into a tulip, a golden clear body with rolling carbonation, and a foamy white head were evident.

The aroma was signature Belgian, with an earthy yeast, orange peel, coriander, and perfumey alcohol. The taste was sweet-sour-tart, and darn near perfect. Seemingly simple and approachable with a pale malt sweetness and airy carbonation at first, the beer exploded on the tongue mid palette with citric sourness with a banana oil tropical touch. Faintly grassy hop bitterness momentarily poked out its head, but was buried in the apricot, and raspberry flavors in short order. All this flavor switching went on without the beer ever losing its drinkability.

This was my first Russian River, and if I can help it, it won’t be the last.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Would like to give my sincere thanks for Donnebaby for bringing this beer all the way to Japan.

A - Yellow hazy body with whte head
S - Fresh tree sap and honey with nice yeast
T - Honey, no bitterness. Slightly sweet with a bit of spice and peaches.
M - Creamy mouthfeel and medium body
D - This is a pleasant and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of having this at the Toronado in a nice Belgian Damnation goblet.

Appearance: little head; nice golden color; lace for a time.

Taste: strong golden ale with some funk at the end. Quite enjoyable.

Drinkablility: slight funkiness has you coming back for more.

A very approachable beer. A lot like their Redemption except with some more bitterness in it.

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Photo of baiser
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, pale straw colour, with a fluffy white head, great retention. Thick, syrupy and sweet. Some pineapple, lemon and zest in the aroma. Taste was very sweet, fruity and floral. Somewhat tangy and spicy. Medium bodied and great drinkability. Finishes a tad bitter and dry. Wonderful beer. Russian River can do no wrong.

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

.750ml Corked and caged bottle labeled Batch 003. Poured into a tulip.

The liquid is a clear, bright, honey gold. There is a 1" white cloud of foam that has good retention. Slippery lacing.

There is a light yeast aroma and just a small hint of clove. As it warms I could pick up some lemon, pear scents. Some hops detectable way off in the shadows. Nice overall aroma.

The flavor is spicy, some banana, lemon meringue. Good malt character. Some black pepper in there as well. Little bit of sourness towards the end.

Damnation has a creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation, very lively. Nice malty finish. HIh drinkability, refreshing and complex. This is my first Russian River brew and I am looking forward to acquiring more.

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

APP: Golden clear with a fluffy white head. Good lacing

Smell: Phenolic and yeasty. Pear, bananas with some spice. Orange and peel and coriander.

Taste: There's an alcohol undertone thorughout. Sarts off a bit citrusy. fades to spicy and finishes dry and clean with a touch of hop bitterness and alcohol.

Mouth: Nice and smooth. Carb high but works well.

Drink: Good

Overall: Very solid brew here and well executed within the style.

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

I have yet to be disappointed by Russian River. They bring it every time.

Scored this bottle from Vinnie Cilurzo at American Beer Fest. We rapped for a little bit, dropped some knowledge, then he left me with these bottles.

My sample poured with a massive, pillowy white head of various sized bubbles.

Awesome aroma of phenolics, spice, clove, and some banana. A classic Belgian yeast strain.

The taste was more malt than hops, but with a delicate maltiness. Perhaps a bit of pils malt, Vinnie? Or maybe a soft English pale malt too.

High carbonation lends to this beer's drinkability. Nothing too bold or amazing, just a typically fine-crafted brew from one of the world's best.

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

I got this bomber at Union Jack's on the Manatawny

Pours a slightly hazy, but beautiful gold with a 1 finger head of white foam that drops to islands and a ring. Good carbonation evident. Some lacing observed.

Aroma is very fruity, bananas, white pepper, maybe clove, bubble gum, very spicy, like a Belgian Strong should be. Hints of yeast as well.

Good flavors of bananas, pears, pepper, bubble gum, yeast, lemony tart. A nice level of hop bitterness. Spicy, bright flavors. Balanced very well. A long, spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is tart, effervescent carbonation on the tongue. Lip smacking sweetness, but this beer is not sweet. Feels full in your mouth.

This is a very good Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Bright flavors, tart, tingly, yeasty, spicy, this has alot going on.

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

750ml bottle. Batch 003.

Pours a delicate-looking bright golden-caramel in color. Tight layer of white head perched atop. Nice lacing of the glass. Aromas are yeasty/doughy, along with bannanas, clove, and peppery spice. Flavor is lighter than expected, but still good. More of the bready yeast flavors soaked in estery fruit juice. Balanced nicely by a snappy hop-bitterness at the end. Very clean finish on the palate, with no lingering aftertaste. Well-hidden ABV only adds to the enjoyment. A very nice first try of the much-hyped (and well deserved) RRBC. More of this will be purchased.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pors a slightly hazy golden color with a big, dense, tiny bubbled head. Carbonation that champagne would covet.

Sweet pale malt smells with candied tropical fruit aromas and a fresh lemony yeasy smell at the end.

Taste is more subtle than the aromas. Lighter in flavor than expected. Pale malt, pineapple and citrus fruit. Finishes dry with a refreshing tart yeast flavor and an annoying, albeit light, alcohol bitterness.. Not a lot of complexity but good nonetheless.

Light bodied with a full creamy mouthfeel. Crisp, refreshing finish and tongue tingling carbonation.

Decent flavors but filling and highly carbonated.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.32/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with an active stream of carbonation in my Duvel glass that feeds a nice white cover over the beer, keeping that damned beer in the glass.

Aroma is not strong even in a big tulip- surprising. Slight spiciness, slight fruit, slight sweetness. But not interesting at all.

Flavor dominated by sharp, slightly bitter spiciness. Some fruitiness (tart lime?), but strongly overcome by the sharp tones. Nothing interesting to me.

Moutfeel on the thin side of moderate. Not something that I care for.

EDIT: How's this for weird- I burped later on, and guess what I tasted? Banana. Sure didn't taste it going down!

SECOND EDIT: Two days later, I had left about 1/3 of the 750 sitting in my fridge- not sure why, I didn't really want to finish it, but I didn't want to be unnecessarily harsh in my review either. So I poured the rest in a glass, yeast and all, and tried again. Now that it has "aged" a bit, and it includes the yeast, I get a solid banana-pineapple-clove nose, and the peppery-dry sharpness has mellowed a bit, but it still dominates. Still not something I am real excited about, but I did up the ratings somewhat.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice bright and hazy straw color with a 2 finger head that falls back to a finger leaving sticky tendrils of lace on the glass. Nose is really nice. Lots of lemony zest upfront, but also with an almost black peppery spice as well. With a very big inhale, I find the last 0.75 of the inhale to change character and give me light alcohol-innoculated banana. Very nice. The flavor is not as complex as the aroma. It starts with a crisp lemon, slightly spicey follows finishing with a light sweetness, but very dry. It really hits me on the back of the tongue with the dryness. The feel is moderate with a light carbonation. No real hint of the alcohol except when I take the deep breath. Good beer. A treat for my senses.

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Photo of clvand0
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason Alstrom for this bottle. Shared with fellow BAs Sheepnutz and kmpitz2. Pours a cloudy yellow/golden color with a tall head that falls at a medium rate and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of lemony-citrus stuff going on with some spicing, some corriander and maybe a hint of funk. That funk is present in the flavor, almost has a musty funk going on - but in a very good way. Citrus and spice and some earthy hops. I really like the flavor, but it's different than most Belgian Pales. Mouthfeel is slightly thick and the drinkability is very good.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a slightly hazy medium gold color with three fingers of head. There is a decent amount of lacing. The smell is fruity and sweet, with lots of pepper and citrus aromas. A very pleasant aroma. The taste is tart at first, with some sweet and sour flavors. It's slightly bready and spicy as well. The finish has some hop bitterness, brilliant. The mouthfeel is decently thick and smooth. The drinkability is great, since it's fairly low in alcohol for a Belgian Strong Pale. Hats off to Chris for sharing this beer, what a good lad!

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.