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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
DamnationDamnation

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,113 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,113
Hads: 3,646
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 18.2%
Wants: 406
Gots: 934 | FT: 55
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 1,113 | Hads: 3,646
Photo of sacfly
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Brickskeller in DC
batch 003

Poured a hazy yellow with a thick everlasting head. You could see chunks of yeast/protein in suspension. Smell was rather metallic and light… in a good way? Spicy… light pepper.

Taste is a very complex blend of light sweet fruit, pepper, honey, an almost tea like quality. All blended into a tight, light package.

Great Mouthfeel and drinkability. My first RR product and most certainly not my last!

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

Starts with a violent BANG of an uncorking. Some brewers use heavy corked bottles for their marketing effect, but here the explosive charge clearly needs reinforced containment. Advice #1: don’t let that cork get away from you. It will cause serious damage to eyeballs, light bulbs, AMWAY salesmen.

All that volatile carbonation produces an exuberant surge of light airy foam. I got five full inches of it in a seven-inch glass. Advice #2: to avoid a cumbersome head, serve in a wide mouthed glass such as a chalice.

Damnation shows fine particulate matter suspended in a piss yellow brew. The crisp Belgian aroma is earthen, peppery, and defining, with a bit of hay bale in the mix. Big clumpy lace adorns the glass. The taste is smooth and graceful with a gentle, rustic bite towards the finish. Damnation’s temperament is not altogether distinct and conveys a sense of tradition moreso than innovation. Still, its drinkability is inviting and intact. A refined and respectable tribute to the style.

Batch 004. Special thanks to Brewbacca for the trade.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged. Batch 006. Pours a pale golden color, slightly cloudy. High amount of carbonation. Thick, fluffy egg-white like head. Good head retention. Aroma of apples, pears, and some spices. A very nice fruity aroma. Pale malt flavor, followed by fruit flavor and ending with a good amount of earthy, Belgian-like hop flavor. Bitterness is not overwhelming, but certainly present. Higher carbonation makes this pretty refreshing. Alcohol is not very noticable. Thank you to EyeChartBrew for bringing this one to me.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice 2cm cover of pure white lace, regular bubbles covering a cloudy pale gold pour. Spicy and slightly phenolic nose has a mild hay-like propensy, its dry yeastiness offering plenty of tea-like tannins and candied fruits (pineapple, sprucey orange skins etc.), like a less nutty chardonnay. Even for a belgian ale, it is pretty spicy, though balanced and you’d have a hard time picking dominant tastes. Certainly herbal, honey geared malts, tannic and yeasty. Medium carbonation, medium bodied, slight astringency. Quality, friendly and accurate artisanal farmy belgian ale, if not managing the extra steps to scar our imaginary world.

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

This beer pours a golden yellow with a thick fluffy white head. The head fades very slowly leaving a lot of thick laces. Lots of tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Looks quite carbonated. It smells citrusy. I can detect slight spicy aroma, and a slight hop aroma. The alcohol is not too noticable in the aroma. This beer also has a yeasty aroma. This beer has a spicy, peppery taste. It tastes slightly fruity. Maybe plumbs or pears. I can taste a small hop presence. I can not detect the alcohol in the flavoe. I really like how this beer hides the alcohol. This beer is quite carbonated. The carbonation does not detract from the beer at all. This beer leaves a spicy, citrusy aftertaste. It goes down smooth. I think that this beer might make a good session beer, but you would do well to be carefull because it is a little high in alcohol. I highly recomend this beer.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Yellow and opaque, with not much head on it.

Smell: Pepper, an old, dusty attic, but not in a Lambic, horseblanket kind of way. Like they used spent hops, not wild yeast. It does smell quite yesty, but it also had this strange smell that reminded me of sunscreen! Aloe and a bit oily.

Taste: Citrus and a whole slew of yeast flavors that ranged from cloves to banana and from nutmeg to all-spice. And plenty of booze.

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

On tap at the Blind Tiger for their tribute to belgium thang.
This tasted like what I thought Duvel would taste like (and what I think Duvel should taste like).
Poured a golden cloudy color into a tulip... think along the lines of a saison or tripel. Had quite a few flavor and scent characteristics of those as well.
A bit of lemon citrus to it, light mouthfeel... yeasty goodness and well balanced.
This was served a bit too cold so I'm sure some things were muted but at times it was hard not to guzzle this. Tasty and enjoyable all around.
A good example of the style and a very good American rendition.
Props go out to the Blind Tiger for getting some on this here coast.

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Photo of pjwilson
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: between yellow and orange. nice head but leaves a little fast
Smell: this beer reminds me of tripel karmeliet...only not as complex. pear and plums come imediatly to mind..also has to the same spicyness and alcohol. quite good
taste: very good...but too subtle. now, not every beer needs to be attention stealing....but you expect it in a beer like this. had i had this on tap in a crowded place like brewpub...perhaps i would be less crital. anyways pears, plums and spicyness continue. agian karmeliet comes too mind. has similar malt flavors as temptaion only withput the funk and chardinay flavors...a strange bitterness is there as feel. almost like taking medicine.. on the final pour there is alot of yeast which adds funkyness
Mouthfeel: soft carbination...pleastant like champange
drinkablily: could have been better...

notes: well it certainly was pretty good...but i wasn't bowled over.. It's just that tripel karmeliet blows this away, they are both very similar
anyways i still love Russian River, my favorite localish brewery. i'm just telling you, that i'm saving my money for their other brews...or a karmeliet

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

Split a bottle of this (Batch 004) with a dear friend at Monk's.

Pours out a murky bright golden yellow with a thick head of white meringue. Lots of columns of carbonation rising up through it. Nice to look at.

Smell is full of fruity esters, particularly banana and peach. A bit of spice (cloves maybe?) sneak in as well. Little bits of yeast and pear fill things out nicely.

Flavor is pretty great for a Belgian strong pale. A big hit of the banana, peach, pear, and citrus flavors grab the tongue, and there's a nice little hoppiness to bitter things nicely. Finishes nice and dry.

Overall: My first taste of the "-tion" Russian River beers, and definitely a keeper. I'm not sure I'd say it's worth the high sticker price when there are tons of good beers in this style for much less money, but it's worth trying.

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Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle, batch 003. Pours into a goblet a slightly hazed, canary yellow body with a healthy, snowwhite head that retains well and drapes some sheet lacing down the goblet.

Aroma has banana, apricot, and canned pear fruitiness, earthy grassy hops, wet blanket yeasty funk, and some coriander spiciness.

Mouthfeel has a solid medium body and effervescent carbonation.

Taste is excellent, with soft fruity apricots, caramelized sugars, pale malts, a hint of clove and orangepeel, wool blanket yeastiness, and a solid hops bitterness that is grassy and earthy. Tasty and well balanced, with a clean finish that kicks up the drinkability score.

This is a very engaging Belgian Golden Ale that is masterfully constructed. No hint of the 7% abv to be found. Very drinkable and highly recommended.

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

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a towering white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent along with a earthy, yet fruity yeast aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth pale malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes earthy with a slight lemony zest. This is quite dry on the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn fine Belgian style brew. It has a smooth and tastey flavor; a good drinker.

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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.
Wicked.

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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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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,113 ratings.