1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,814 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,814
Reviews: 1,057
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 325
Gots: 565 | FT: 44
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,814 | Reviews: 1,057 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CharlieMurphy

New York

3.2/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Looks like a dirty aquarium. Golden yeller with solid dark orange yeast spots immersed throughout and some clingy lacing tan... I mean tan lacing

S: Smells more wheat and white than pale. Some orange mint comes through.

T: More balanced, mellow pale ale characters combine with the apparent belgian whiteness of this beer. Thin - Alcohol is pretty non-existent, I was definitely not thinking this was 7.75%. No hop presence and virtually no carbonation tingle/bite.

M: Mild, carbonation is soft and paralyzed. its foamy in a kind of chewy way.

O: Very drinkable and a good beer, however not at all special. Corking this was wasteful.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 04:22:51 | More by CharlieMurphy
Photo of cetherid


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

poured into a tulip


Beer pours a golden straw color that is fairly clear. Nice bubbles floating from the bottom to the top. An attractive thick frothy white head leaves a a little foamy lacing around my glass as it dissipates to a thin ring after a minute or two.


Aromas of Belgian yeast, light bready malts and a little lemon and pears with just a tiny hint of alcohol. Very light aroma but works well for this golden ale.


Pale malts, a little Belgian spice with some subtle fruit notes. Flavors are relatively mild but perfectly balanced. It's a very refreshing and highly drinkable beer...for the style this is pretty damn good.


Light bodied with loads of carbonation that tickles the tongue with each drink. Maybe a little too much carb but still very crisp and refreshing going down.


Another solid showing by RR. Nose and taste is a little on the lighter side but everything is balanced and works well together. A great beer to drink on a hot day like today. For the style, I'd definitely recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 01:52:39 | More by cetherid
Photo of Bierlerner


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

A- Cloudy hazy golden straw color. 1 finger of creamy white head. A couple small patches of lacing when drank.

S- yeasty, citrusy, and biscuity. Very light and very pleasant. Little bit of spice and little bit of floral notes as well.

T- apple and citrus. Lots of spice and sweet maltiness. But there is a great peppery spice balance as well. Interesting.

M- Crispy and clean. Medium-light body with lots of bubbly. Finishes a bit bitter and dry.

O- Pretty good BSPA. The peppery presence kinda threw me off. It was a nice surprise. Another good beer by RR.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 14:59:27 | More by Bierlerner
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***Batch 044***

Thanks to MasterSki for this one. Shared with my wife.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle.

Appearance: A not quite clear honey-gold body that gets infinitely cloudier as the pour nears the end of the bottle. Foam lasts long @ 2 fingers with a nice thick lacing coating the glass.

Smell: Flowery, citrus and a host of other spices that my tired nose can't decipher. Shy at first but gets fairly heady as it warms.

Taste: Tropical and citrus fruit, lots of banana and some spices. Yeast character gets strong as it warms as does the light spice finish.

Mouthfeel: Light feel yet retains a full body. Really smooth though the finish is medium in range.

Overall: I enjoyed this brew. I would have liked the flavor to linger more between each sip yet this is still a fine ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 00:30:48 | More by papat444
Photo of oline73


4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden amber with a finger and a half of white head that leaves a layer and some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet and crisp malt with lots of Belgian spice.

Taste: As in the smell, there is a strong spice from the yeast. Mildly peppery with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit on the thin side. Fluffy carbonation with a mildly dry finish.

Overall: This is a really nice Belgian and quite mild given the abv. Quite well balanced and I'll have another when given the chance.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 16:33:21 | More by oline73
Photo of zaphodchak


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Yard House.

1 finger white head, hazy yellowish body. Laces elegantly but faintly.

Belgian yeast and lemon zest on the nose, along with some apple and faint plum as it warms.

Taste is complex: vegetal body with some faint peppery spice, a bit of woody undertone and a bit of fruit, dry apple. Exceptionally well-balanced and easy-drinking, would pair very well with food. bitter character comes to the foreground as it warms.

Mouthfeel is spot-on, smooth and creamy.

Overall a nice brew-- not extreme or off the wall, and would go great with pasta.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2011 01:57:46 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of whatthehull


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

Tasted June 23rd 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la chouffe tulip

A - a cloudy golden/orange, two and a half finger white fluffy head and little lacing

S - nice hops, very fruity, mulling type spices, yeasty, soil, grass and flowers

T - Really earthy up front, woods, spices and grassy notes. Lots of yeast. Nice subtle, yet nicely bitter hops, lots of citrus and tons of fruitiness, but surprisingly not very sweet

M - very carbonated, medium body, medium acidity and a very long finish

D - very nice ale. Bitter, fruity, great spring and early summer beer. If you like any craft ale, you would probably like this one

Final thought - at $4 a bottle and a nice 7%+ ABV. You have to try this one and maybe age another

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 16:49:11 | More by whatthehull
Photo of zrab11


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

A- Pours a nice golden yellow color with a thin white head

S- Has a nice aroma of vinegar and citrus. also picking up some lemon and yeast

T- Has a citrus lemon flavor up front followed by a yeasty flavor in the middle and ends with a nice little bite

M-Medium to light bodied with good carbonation

D-Overall this brew was good. very drinkable and the flavors came together nicely. RR has alot of other brews in this style i would pick before this one but can't complain its a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 18:36:11 | More by zrab11
Photo of GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

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

Pours a nice hazy golden-orange with lots of carbonation and wonderful lacing.

Smells of cinnamon apple, yeast, candy, pineapple, coriander, citrus and lots of herbs. Very complex, the alcohol is barely noticeable. Very enticing.

Tastes of apples upfront, some various spices, candy sugar, some mint and cinnamon, nutmeg, pineapple, and finishes with a grapefruit bitterness derived form the hops.

IMHO I like this better than Duvel. It goes down smoother and seems more complex. Well done, can't wait to try their other beers!

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 22:09:30 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of beerdedpunk


4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I popped the cork on Damnation and poured it into my glass and felt happy though being damned. I really liked the fuzzy golden color with two fingers of head, nice and pearly white. I first put it to my nose and inhaled, pleasantly surprised. Light and citrusy with a definite hint of banana, and just a speck of spice. Very pleasing. Upon tasting again was quite pleased. Has a very light feel in the mouth: mild carbonation, nice linger that gets all the taste to the senses. Doesn't coat the mouth heavily. The taste comes across like the smell, citrus notes, a hint of spice in the back. The taste is not overpowering but very good. Overall I really like Damnation and would definitely buy this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 22:17:13 | More by beerdedpunk
Photo of bld81


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Batch 059 poured into a Unibroue tulip:

A: tough cork today, easier to push it out rather than twisting, hazy/cloudy appearance with lots of active carbonation

S: bready and yeasty, mild floral funk

T: banana and pear, peppery with yeast

M: light, biting, crisp and dry, slight burn
been in the bottle for nearly a year, according to the RR website, really a nice treat, hope to find again

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 21:10:51 | More by bld81
Photo of Vancoubeer


4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Was bored last night so I went to Apex in Portland with 7 dollars in my pocket. Was more than surprised to see 12 oz pours for $3.50. Got two. I love this beer. If I was someone looking to start drinking Belgians, this is the best tasting around. I normally like bottle conditioned beers better but this was outstanding. It looked good from the start. It smelled great. Not too much funkiness and slight spice notes present. Really makes me want to drink instead of regret like some Belgians. The taste is amazing. Nice sweet tones with a touch of spice that is expected but not too strong. The good mouthfeel really helped this quench my thirst on a warm summer night. Amazing beer with the high abv. It is not present at all. It almost made me wonder if Russian River is accurate with their calculations. Nevertheless, this is a beer to have bottled or on draft and normally I designate one or the other but never both. Exceptional experience and most likely will go back for more this week.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 17:23:16 | More by Vancoubeer
Photo of AndyAvalanche


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

12.7 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Pours out a golden yellow color; very hazy. Has a white fizzy cap, but it's pretty thick and provides decent lacing.

Smell is also pretty good. The Belgian yeast stands out, but not that banana aroma (I tend to find that a bit overwhelming at times). After the dominant aromas of the yeast there's some citrus zest, primarily lemon.

Taste is also good. Pale malts and the classic Belgian style yeast are the key components that jump out at you. Citrus zest again with some very feint hints of tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel is very good. Light, crisp, and refreshing. For a hazy brew it actually felt a bit clean to me, not what I expected. Slight tartness that will make you pucker by your jaws a little similar to a fruitier white wine. Very drinkable and very good. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is nice on a summer day. It would make me a little more susceptible to trying more of this style.

Only my second beer from Russian River, liked them both so far.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 01:32:50 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of Franch

New York

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

this is RR's belgian offering. it's got that belgian flavor immediately. it's tripel-y, but not as cloyingly sweet as many tripels seem to be. the citrus probably helped knock that down a bit. it's certainly the best american belgian style i've had, beating Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde, which was not an easy feat! it was amazingly drinkable for its high ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2011 04:48:54 | More by Franch
Photo of beergod1


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

Murky straw colored pour with a pillowy white head that left spotty lacing. Aroma is yeasty, with banana, clove, and a light citrus nose. The flavor has quite a bit of lemon and citrus notes to it. The hops come through in the end of the taste and make it very refreshing. The beer is medium-to-high carbonation, which is what I expect with this style of beer. Very drinkable for a beer of this alcohol content. 7.75%....wow.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 00:02:26 | More by beergod1
Photo of Rifugium


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

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Poured a hazy but bright golden yellow with a fluffy white head. Light fruits in the aroma, bready, pale malts and subtle spice. Biscuity taste with a medley of fruit flavors: banana, peach, pear, citrus. Some light sugar and spice in the background. Dry finish with some hop bitterness coming in at the end. Light-medium mouthfeel, complex, and quite the pleasant quaff.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 17:34:23 | More by Rifugium
Photo of ehammond1

4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A bright yellow golden ale with a relatively stiff and persistent white head. Sheets of lacing down the glass. Very pretty!

Bright aroma of citrus, particularly lemon, and some tangy but not overly powerful Belgian yeast character.

Belgian yeast and citrus flavors come together for an easy-drinking, highly-delicious beer.

Medium to light mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation, a touch velvety.

An incredibly delicious and easy drinking Belgian strong pale. Wonderful!

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2011 03:48:09 | More by ehammond1
Photo of billab914


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

Batch 60 poured from a 375ml bottle into my Russian River glass. It poured a pale, golden yellow color with a dense, frothy white head filling the top half inch of the glass. The head faded some but still kept a very nice white covering over the beer well into drinking it. Thick sheets of lacing were also left on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a bright, zesty, citrusy flavor to it with some notes of lemon, coriander and orange coming through. The Belgian yeast gives it a nice bit of spice as well.

The taste also has a lot of zesty, citrusy flavors to it. I get the notes of Coriander and orange to it along with a little of the lemon up front. Towards the finish more of the Belgian yeast spice comes in along with some very nice bready, slightly sweet malts. Very flavorful and well balanced beer.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is pretty moderate for the style. Overall it was an excellent beer. Very nice flavors and also well balanced. Probably the best version of the style I've had from an American brewery. Very nice overall.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 23:49:35 | More by billab914
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Batch 063, 375 mL corked and caged bottle poured into my Allagash tulip. Served at room temperature.

Appearance: The cork was really stuck in this one. After a little while, this opened with a pop, and a bit of a gush. Definitely nothing too bad, but lost less than an ounce in the sink. Poures a nice two finger white and fluffy head. Golden yeloow and a bit hazy in color.

Aroma: Bananas, citrus, and a touch of earthy funk are all there. I am also getting some nice floral notes in there as well. Nicely balanced and very pleasant.

Taste: Banana notes are there again, highlighted with some citrus and some funk. The funk is not too heavy at this point, and the Belgian yeast notes are definitely the highlight. Some nice pale malt sweetness and a touch of oak round out the flavors nicely. The ABV is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied, with plenty of carbonation. Definitely refreshing.

Overall, a really nice and pleasant Belgian style golden ale. I would be interested to see how the funk develops over time, but it drinks well as a refreshing golden ale now. Balanced and suitably complex.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 21:44:45 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of tripelhops


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

Russian River Damnation Batch 63

A - poured from bottle into a tulip glass. Creamy white head fades quickly but leaves lacing. Color is a deep yellow, with a hint of orange and slighty cloudy

S - belgian yeast, bready, slightly spicy, did not pick up any hops

T - malts and some spiciness, belgian yeast, delicious & smooth, very easy to drink

M - well carbonated & full flavored

O - very tasty, hides the 7.75% alcholol well, it went down smooth and quickly

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 14:20:46 | More by tripelhops
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


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

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a snifter

A- Champaign appearance, one finger head, yellow straw appearance slight carbonation, head dissipates quickly.
S- Very fresh, floral aroma, spice is present, hints of banana, really refreshing aroma that is quick nice and unique.
T- The taste is very nice, really tasty, spicy, earthy, slight banana, herby, floral, slight breadiness too it.
M- Light mouth feel, very thin, low carbonation, very refreshing.
O- Very refreshing drinking experience, solid golden ale, very smooth, easy drinkability, just a solid example of a Belgium style beer. Nice and complex.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 05:40:23 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

shared with my wife. thanks to comfortablynumb1 and G311 for the excellent extra! opened batch 060.

a - a fizzy hazy straw yellow into a duvel taster tulip. thing fizzy and bubbly head, visible carbonation fiesta in a glass.

s - YUM...bubblegum saison. grass, clove, banana...a bit of spiciness, but mostly on the back.

t - very earthy and grassy at first. mild bitterness, a lot of the goodness of the smell is toned down in the flavor. could use a bit more of the sweetness in the smell or a bit of a hoppier bite.

m - the carbonation I saw was certainly in the mouth, maybe even a bit much so.

o - overall, a solid BSPA. a little sweeter would've made it perfect, but overall a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 21:43:42 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of shangwang


4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been aging this bottle for a few months and finally decided the time had come to drink it. From Batch 60. Poured into my DFH snifter.

Poured with lots of fluffy white head that reduced fairly quickly to a layer a little less than a finger. Great golden color and very cloudy. Several different smells in the bouquet- tropical fruit, spices, and yeast. Taste was similarly complex; hops, banana, wood, and citrus. Very dry finish with a little bitterness. Medium weight and slightly creamy mouthfeel with some decent carbonation.

The further I got into this beer, the more I enjoyed it. Very tasty and smooth with lots of complexity and balance. This was the first RR beer other than PtE that I've tried and it didn't let me down.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 17:41:23 | More by shangwang
Photo of claytong


4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another great tap from Mountain Sun. Happy to have a pint cheaper than the bottle. Genius.

golden color, medium size head, nothing spectacular.

Very complex, very subtle.

light pear, light honey, white grapes, slight hops and yeast.
For its style its pretty damn tops. I highly recommend this one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2011 21:31:26 | More by claytong
Photo of OttoPeeWee


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

Another legit US made Belgian beer. The look is golden with a soda pop head that slowly disappates to a quarter inch layer of head that retains through the whole drink. Lacing is very good. The smell is pleasantly yeasty. The taste is where this beer really shines with honey, mild lemon, vanilla, and bread - really drinkable. Damn, I wish they had this in Chicago...

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 18:24:35 | More by OttoPeeWee
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,814 ratings.