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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,974 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,974
Reviews: 1,062
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 335
Gots: 599 | FT: 47
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: 2,974 | Reviews: 1,062 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FreshHawk


3.83/5  rDev -7%

A - Somewhat cloudy straw gold color with an average sized, smooth, creamy white head. Decent retention leaving a nice ring of lace.

S - Sweet pale malt is pretty strong. Nice apple, pear, and orchard fruit. A fair amount of Belgian yeast and subtle spiciness with clove and pepper being strongest. Subtle banana and other fruitiness.

T - Like the nose, the flavor is dominated by the sweet pale malt and bready flavors. Accompanying that is the orchard fruit. Slight zest and spice flavors in the background. The yeast isn't as strong on the taste and the other fruitiness isn't as present either.

M - Medium body with above average carbonation. Fairly spritzy and lively feel.

D - Easy to drink but I found it to be a touch bland for what the style can provide.

Notes: A little too strong on the bready, malty flavor compared to the fruity and yeasty flavors. It's a good and tasty beer but not a go to beer for either the style or the brewery.

08-27-2011 11:33:10 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of t8s8l8


4.18/5  rDev +1.5%

Look- a beautiful clarity right away. a golden tinted glass of water similar to a very light apple juice. a billowy head that falls slowly but shows its lasting power through its Belgian lacing that seems to stay intake. The appearance is very similar to champagne as well. (pours after the first became less clear and slightly darker)

Smell- fruity, peaches, apples, a slight wheat scent, mouthwatering aroma slight kick of alcohol, and some sprouts of tea (Chamomile) as well.

Taste- medium mouth feel, some lemon. a crisp to smooth taste that also has an astringent bitter bite in the back. definably dry in the back but the polar opposite in the front. taste stronger than it is.

Overall Experience- with so many other golden ales to grab I am not sure this would be my go to golden ale. I did however enjoy the bitter dryness that it possessed. a west coast hop character that fits well, and a mouth feel that would throw anyone for a loop. These characteristics however make it very enjoyable. and a great dinner with friends bottle of beer.

08-27-2011 05:08:59 | More by t8s8l8
Photo of biglobo8971


3.75/5  rDev -9%

poured from bottle into RR tulip. The color is a faint yellow with a slight orange tinge, with just a faint head with faint lacing. Very effervescent and bubbly. Faint taste of tobacco, with a nice tartness, taste of green apple. Crisp and clean taste. Not my favorite "tion" but glad to try it. Lacks a little bit of "oomph" for my taste. Solid beer, will not seek out.

08-26-2011 00:26:39 | More by biglobo8971
Photo of dgilks


3.63/5  rDev -11.9%

Clear pale straw colour with a small white head. Good head retention.

Banana, clove and higher alcohol notes of the nose. This is good but doesn't live up to the highs of some other RRBC beers.

Mildy herbal bitterness with very soft malt. Some clove spice. Mild banana and some fusel alcohol.

Medium light body with moderately high carbonation. Good.

A crisp Belgian Golden Ale but for me the bitterness cuts through just a bit too much for the style.

08-25-2011 11:26:53 | More by dgilks
Photo of Badbobx


4.38/5  rDev +6.3%

A nice pour into a pint glass.
The beer was a hazy yellow with a small head. Some lacing was left during the session.
The aroma was strongly Belgian with fruit and esters.
The flavor was spicy with a bit of pepper and clove. The malt flavor was evident.
The mouthfeel was light and bubbly, very refreshing.
A very pleasant beer. This is my introduction to tasting Russian River and I hope it is not the last. They have a flair for Belgians.

08-20-2011 02:35:33 | More by Badbobx
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.4/5  rDev -17.5%

Poured from a draft into a pint glass. Color was light, crisp, pale yellow with maybe some light orange. No head, slight lacing and no film on the glass.

Smelled lots like a Saison with lots of flavors. Apple dominates.

Really an awkward taste, which is awkward to write. Sweet and slightly bitter.

High carbonation. Pretty crisp and clean, though.

I was pretty disappointed with this beer from what I’ve heard of it. I tried it as my second beer of the night and I just thought it was good, but nothing special. Ehh.

08-18-2011 07:38:32 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of MrOH


4.53/5  rDev +10%

Batch 63

Hazy deep yellow with a single finger of white head. Lace with every sip.

Perry and cider, bready malts, earthy spice. Absolutely love the pome-fruit fermentation character.

Earthy, deep. Bready and light. Finishes with the cider character. A great mix of flavors.

Light bodied, lots of fine carbonation.

I definitely prefer this to the Belgian originals.

08-18-2011 01:55:55 | More by MrOH
Photo of MrDonQuixote


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from 12 Ounce Bottle into a wine glass

A- Light gold color with a thick white head

S- Smells of fruit, mostly sour apple; also there is some yeast and malt aromas as well

T- Extremely mild taste, with a strong flavor coming in near the end. The taste is at first fruity, similar to green apples, and then comes the spice and hops. Not too bitter, but it is still hoppy. Quite unique; Never tasted a beer quite like it

M- Extremely smooth; nice carbonation.

O- Not sure if it lives up to the hype, but it is really good, and more then anything EXTREMELY unique. I just don't think my palate was ready for all that flavor. Will definitely revisit this in a few months

08-16-2011 00:34:16 | More by MrDonQuixote
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

drank this beer friday night with friends during RR tasting night!

Review from notes.

Appearance: Yellow bodied beer with egg shell white head.

Smell: Sour apples, lemons, and fruity. yeasty and bready malts. Spicy and peppery. Quite the nose on this beer.

Taste: Mild and pleasant spiciness. lemons, pepper, green apple, bready and yeasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied beer with moderate to high levels of carbonation. Very crisp, clean, and refreshing finish to this beer. Prickly carbonation.

Overall: really enjyed this beer from russian river. Its delicate and complex.

08-15-2011 20:16:31 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of jtingue

New York

4.38/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured into a snifter. Batch 60

Appearance. Beautiful golden color with a finger of pure white head. Small amount of bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass to maintain a very slight head on top of the beer.

Smell. Very fruity up front with some sour apple in there. After the initial burst of fruityness yeast esters become detectable.

Taste. Starts out quite dry similar to a brut champagne. After a second of lingering dryness there is a burst of fruity sweetness and bitterness. The sweetness is somewhere between sour apple and green grape. Along with the sweetness comes a nice underlying spice, similar to coriander or nutmeg. The bitterness is actually more reminiscent of what might be found in a pilsner, or any beer with noble hops. It is a pleasant bitterness which balances the beer well. The finish is dry with a bit of the bitterness lingering.

Mouthfeel. Light in body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Yet another great belgian style ale by Russian River.

08-14-2011 22:53:44 | More by jtingue
Photo of dtivp


3.98/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured a hazy straw gold with one and a half finger white head that fades slowly into a cap with light lacing.

Aroma of lemon, yeast and strong spices.

Taste of apple, sweet malts balanced with lemon, spice, pepper and hints of bready yeast.

Mouth Feel was medium leaning light body with moderate carbonation, very crisp, dry with a slight bitterness.

Over all a very nice middle of the road Belgian Ale.

08-13-2011 21:17:56 | More by dtivp
Photo of MDDMD


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

A-golden slightly cloudy color with an off-white head

S-fruity, yeast and malty aromas with a hint of sweetness

T-friut and citrus with just a little bitterness and sweet

F-crisp, clean light to medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a well-balanced beer, a good accompaniement to food

08-13-2011 20:18:08 | More by MDDMD
Photo of curasowa

New York

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Appearance: clear, golden yellow color with one finger of head that fades to a ring and a steady stream of carbonation rising to the surface.

Aroma: Pale malt, yeast, slightly fruity, mostly a faint lemon aroma and just a touch medicinal.

Taste: Syrupy sweet initially, than a big wash of carbonation livens it up and really dances on the tongue leading to some mild, spicy bitterness over some pale malt on the back end and then finishing fairly clean.

The Rest: Great balance and an awesome mouthfeel make this a really enjoyable beer. Other than a slight medicinal note in the nose, it's not hot at all for being almost 8%. Another winner from Russian River!

08-13-2011 02:21:10 | More by curasowa
Photo of Arenbeer


4/5  rDev -2.9%

12.68oz bottle thanks to darkmonk

Poured into a Duvel snifter

A- Pours a hazy bright yellow with 2 fingers of fluffy bright white head. Tons of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass, looks like smoke coming from the center of the bottom.

S- Up front I get really nice notes from the Belgian yeast, green bananas and clove. As well as a nice bread notes in there. Not much from the hops, the yeast and spices dominate.

T- Very crisp and clean. Bready malts with a nice fruity background and slight spice after it goes down. So simple and delicious. Alcohol is non-existent.

M- Medium creamy body with moderate carbonation and a nice wet finish.

Overall a really great simple beer that is perfect for any occasion.


08-08-2011 00:09:53 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of OhSoHoppy


4.08/5  rDev -1%

From Bottle to glass

A- Light golden color with light to medium cloudy haze to it. head is quite white, one finger and fairly bubbly.

S- light citrus and fruitiness, Underlying spice but still some how vaguely sweet.

T- kinda sweet and spicy, some kind of wood flavors maybe very very light sourness at times.

M- Crispy and clean. Medium to light body with decent carbonation. Finishes a bit bitter and dry.

O- good beer, would definitely have again, Not as intense as some of it's other (ation) brethren form Russian river

08-05-2011 04:06:46 | More by OhSoHoppy
Photo of jar2574


3.73/5  rDev -9.5%

A nice pour, a good two-finger white bubbly head over golden beer of that isn't see-through but isn't cloudy either. No lacing on the way down though.

Smells of sharp Belgian yeasts, earth, and a little funkiness.

Dominant taste is earthiness, followed by Belgian yeast. Plenty of malts, it seems, because it's pretty balanced and not that hoppy. The mouthfeel is quite carbonated. I liked it better as it got warmer - I could taste the Belgian yeasts more.

Overall, a decent beer, but I've had better from this style.

08-04-2011 01:09:55 | More by jar2574
Photo of amphion1065


3.98/5  rDev -3.4%

375mL into a tulip. Batch number isn't completely clear (looks to be an "06_"), but I imagine it's fairly new.

Damnation pours beautifully. Murky banana body, with gold highlights and an orange tint. A one-finger white head stays never quite recedes. There are thick waves of cascading, soapy lacing all around my glass. It looks phenomenal.

Very yeasty smell, with many clearly defined classic flavors. I can pick up cloves, a hint of banana, and a touch of bubblegum.

The taste is quite banana-forward. There are some other fruits at work here - a little bit of apple, some citric notes - but overall the banana takes center stage. I can detect some unidentifiable spices: I initially just wrote them off as "cloves," but after making my way through this bottle I realized that I could never quite adequately describe the spices in this beer. A touch of bitterness in the finish.

Carbonation is lively, perhaps overly so. Toning it down a little bit wouldn't kill this beer. Mouthfeel does seem a little thin.

I suppose it's only natural that I compare this to Duvel, as it's an archetype of the style (and, well, I drank this from a Duvel tulip). On the basis of that comparison, this falls short, but overall this is a fine if unspectacular Russian River offering.

08-03-2011 01:59:58 | More by amphion1065
Photo of BeerLover99


3.5/5  rDev -15%

A: golden/clear body, trace head, light lacing

S: belgian yeast, coriander, lemon zest/peel, slight sugar,
light banana

T: sweet banana, citrus, belgian yeast/bready spicy pucker finish

M: light/med body, semi-dry mouth

O: Of the -ation RR offerings this was solid, just
nothing outstanding about it. Love their drive
for creativity, but nothing about this was
world class. Good beer for reluctant newbie
or date.


08-02-2011 20:25:02 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of projectflam86


4.47/5  rDev +8.5%

375ml batch 059

A- Pours a golden color with a thick white foam that leaves some lace. Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles stream up the glass.

S- Nice fruity Belgian yeast aroma with some spice and sweet malt. Maybe a touch of clove and honey.

T- Nice malty sweetness initially with a really tasty peppery spice in the finish. Some light citrus flavors are apparent throughout with pear and lemon leading the way. Some floral hops are present as well.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. A touch dry in the finish that sort of resembles a white wine.

O- Overall this is a very tasty brew that can hold its own against any other BSPA.

07-31-2011 22:13:09 | More by projectflam86
Photo of Spider889


4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

Wow, when I showed up at Komondor's place for our tasting yesterday afternoon and saw a RR growler (which is bad ass looking in and of itself) I was psyched. Courtesy of nrbw23, thanks Brad!

Pours a nice golden yellow with excellent clarity. The head isn't as strong as I remember in the bottle.

Very clean smelling with a little more spice and faint grassy hop kick in this fresh growler. Otherwise it's all very true to style yeasty aromas of spice and clove with some doughiness in the middle.

The taste was great fresh on this one. Again, all I can really say is how crisp and clean this is. Never a favorite style of mine, Damnation is certainly a favorite within the style. So cool to have tried this fresh... I really want one of those growlers now!

07-31-2011 21:31:00 | More by Spider889
Photo of jsanford


3.58/5  rDev -13.1%

375ml C&C bottle poured into a Russian River Stemmed Glass. Batch #059.

A - Pours a clear, glowing gold with a creamy white head that settles to a chunky ring and haze, leaving spotty lacing as it recedes.
S - Aromas of bread dough, candi sugar, lemon zest, coriander, and banana-like Belgian yeast. Nice and balanced between the spicy and the sweet.
T - Sweet flavors of bready malt, honey, and banana are backed up nicely by the spicy coriander and Belgian yeast. Definitely sweeter then I'd expected, it almost has a "sugary" quality to it. Not bad, and the sweetness helps to differentiate it from other BSPAs I've had.
M - Slightly crisp, with a medium-full mouth-feel, crisp carbonation, and a nice, dry finish.
O - Quality brew from RR, but far from my favorite offering.

07-31-2011 01:13:13 | More by jsanford
Photo of BeerAmbassador


4.47/5  rDev +8.5%

Beer pours a hazy yellow with a fluffy white two finger head. Retention is good, and it leaves a touch of lacing on the glass as it dissipates. Floral aroma with some estery notes from the yeast. Earthy hops and a bit of spice as well. Light to medium bodied with a very nice balance between acidity and sweetness. In fact that balance to me is what makes this beer a success. Some beers of this style can get a bit sweet. Also there might be a bit more hops than you would find in a traditional Belgian beer, but that's just fine by me. Overall this beer is very refreshing and one that I would drink on a regular basis if I had more access to it.

07-27-2011 02:11:46 | More by BeerAmbassador
Photo of Scotchboy


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

375ml corked & caged bottle from FosterJM in a semi-recent trade. Poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Delicious sunrise orange, with a tinge of cloudiness and some nice effervescence; soapy white head which despite my assumptions retained well and clung to glass in patches.

S: Belgian yeast esters; white and green fruit skins, lemongrass, pale malt breadiness. Pleasant although moderately 'boring' for a Belgian pale.

T: Right in line with the nose, this beer hits the tongue with light crispness. The fruit and phenolic characters are the most prominent, with hints of white wine and pear, and finishing with spices and earthy hops; each flavor is light and refreshing.

MF: Crisp (as stated), with a lighter body and relatively soft carbonation considering. The hops finish a touch dry, cleansing the palette in a way and making this beer very refreshing.

O: A good, 'typical' Belgian pale that is quite refreshing and does what (I believe) it was intended to do. Great drinkability, and overall a great summer beer in my opinion.

07-27-2011 00:16:42 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Stinkypuss


4/5  rDev -2.9%

Russian River : Damnation

Pours a clear golden color, off white fizzy head retains very well and lacing is evident on the glass. Aroma of sweet Belgian yeast, citrus, candy sugar, mild floral notes. In the flavor, a nice balance of yeast fruityness, bubblegum, citrus hops and pale malts. Alittle Belgian yeast spiciness lingers on the palate. Hint of apple skin. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spritzy carbonation and a semi-dry finish. A "damn" fine Belgian Pale Ale, almost bordering into tripel territory. In either case, a nice belgian golden ale.

07-26-2011 04:55:06 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of TMoney2591


3.5/5  rDev -15%

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to AleWatcher for sharing this bottle!

Batch #054. Another unnecessary, though greatly appreciated, extra bottle at the tasting. Right on. It pours a cloudy straw topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises wheat, light lemon zest, light coriander, and a tough of Belgian yeast. The taste holds notes of wheat, lemon zest, orange rind, lime zest, and a very light touch of caramel. The body straddles the border between hefty light and light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a fairly solid BSPA, but a bit on the boring side. It's good, but it doesn't bring anything special to the table. Bit of a disappointment, if you ask me (and clearly you did).

07-25-2011 22:24:57 | More by TMoney2591
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,974 ratings.