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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,864 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,864
Reviews: 1,058
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 330
Gots: 578 | FT: 45
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: 2,864 | Reviews: 1,058 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jgasparine


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

Big thanks to the Cicerone at Brasserie Beck for this!

A- Poured from the bottle with a thick white head, which was well-retained and gave-way to some nice lacing down the sides of the glass. The body was a cloudy golden color, and exhibited some fair amounts of visible carbonation.

S- Smells like a classic Belgian Blonde ale, with a solid crackerlike malt backbone, some moderate Belgian yeast phenolics, and some nuances of light fruit ester. A reasonably rich nose overall.

T- A nice replicate of the nose here- crackerlike malt comingles with mild peppery Belgian yeast phenolics, and some very light fruit esters reminiscent of banana and lemon. The finish is dry and lingers nicely on the palate after each sip.

M- A medium to medium-plus body coupled with some wonderfully delicate carbonation from the bottle conditioning. No EtOH heat and extremely low astringency. There is a faint texture there too (unattenuated sugar?), which elevates the mouthfeel rating for me.

D- Incredibly smooth an quaffable. The alcohol is so well hidden, and the beer is just overall pleasant to consume. Wish we had more here on the East Coast!

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 20:08:34 | More by jgasparine
Photo of jboib82


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

Pours a beautiful golden color with a subtle orange tint and a couple fingers of light fluffy head. Smells of citrus and belgian yeast, both of which are prominent in the first (and every subsequent) taste. A medium bodied brew; fruity with little hop character but the powerful yeast is balanced nicely by a little note of alcohol at the end. Great lacing all the way down which would have been a nice sight at the end if it weren't for the empty glass. Highly drinkable, this would be an ideal session beer if it weren't for the price.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 13:02:03 | More by jboib82
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden yellow, tan with creamy 1/2 head

Smell - Belgium yeast, sugar and spices, fruits, corriander, grapes lemon.

Taste - More flavor heavy, sweeter and stronger then its lil sister redemption. Yeast isnt as overpowering, a different belgium yeast is used, the spices kick in better also. Seems better balanced also.

Mouthfeel - Thin and mildly bitter. Some sweetness comes though to pick tounge up some. Mouth will recover fast though.

Drinabilty - Much better then redemption but honesty still to mild. Very very drinkable and tasty still. Doesnt seem like its even close to 8% alcohol. Wish it had a malt presence to it to give it some kick. Not bad at all but cant touch duvel.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 07:36:07 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of nhindian


3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle poured into a Russian River '-tion' glass. Bottle and glass generously provided by thecarster1, thanks Carla!

Batch 058

A - Pours a very light golden color, a bit lighter than Temptation and similar to a saison. On top of the beer sits a snow white head, 1.5-fingers in height, with good retention. Creamy head texture with patches of bubbles infiltrating the surface. Lacing is great as well with curtains of lacing streaming down the glass.

S- This beer is loaded with banana aromas and quite a bit of spice in the form of coriander as well. Not getting as much of the bubblegum smell that some BSPA's are bursting with. Slight lemon zest without being juicy; on the contrary it even smells bone dry. Some fresh grass clippings as well. Very strong esters coming from the nose.

T- Honestly after trying my first sip I am immediately drawing strong comparisons to an especially dry saison here with a bit more banana and apple influence. I am getting the slight lemon and grass common to that style and an overall very earthy tone. The Belgian yeast does wonders in completing this image as it has just the right amount of funk. Alcohol is hidden well, perhaps just a bit of heat at the end. Finish is incredibly dry with a long lasting lemon, banana, and slightly bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderately carbonation. This is the aspect that most distinguishes itself from true Belgians in my opinion. The carbonation is quite low for the style compared to Duvel and Delirium Tremens.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. The flavors are addicting and mesh great, but I would've liked to see a bit more carbonation to help compensate for the bone dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 05:14:30 | More by nhindian
Photo of avaccani


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

Batch 059
Poured into a New Belgium Tulip

A - Hazy golden straw. Compact 1 finger white head that laced all the way down the glass. Bubbles rise from the bottom throughout the whole glass.

S - Nice spice. Not overpowering at all.

T - This is really nice. A good bit of the yeast funk pair with a crisp malt backbone. Dry and somewhat spicy finish lingers. Very enjoyable.

M - Carbonation is medium. Nothing wrong with it.

D - Like it's sister beer Redemption, this is one that could be drank all night. Another great brew from RR!

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 00:44:11 | More by avaccani
Photo of surlytheduff


3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 059, drank from large tulip. The beer poured a cloudy golden-straw color with a solid two fingers of whipped up and slightly off white head. The foam clung tightly from the glass, leaving a frothy lacing along the sides.

The beer smelled of clove, yeast, pepper, a little zest and a malty sweetness. The taste was clean and pleasantly spicy, citric and sweet, with a lightly hoppy bitter and resinous finish. It was edium mcarbonated, oily light and refreshingly easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 03:32:37 | More by surlytheduff
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle (batch 23) into snifter glass. Slightly hazy pale golden pour with a lasting, rocky white head. Aroma is a little funky, and musty, with lemon, banana, thyme, vinegar and spice. Flavor has the same funky, musty quality but the fruit notes aren't as prominent with the herbal, spicy notes standing out more and with hints of wood and sourness. Light, dry mouthfeel with plenty of soft carbonation and a lingering bitter, slightly sour finish. This is a particularly good Belgian style ale, very faithful to the style. Very easy to drink with restrained sweetness and no sign of the alcohol. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 01:36:27 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of russwbeck


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

A: Hazy yellow pour with a big thick white head. Very nice retention and lacing down the side of my Duvel Tulip.

S: Spicy smell, with coriander and orange peel. A hint of alcohol and a slight hoppiness.

T: Yeasty with some Belgian spices along with the orange and coriander. The spice and fruitiness come at the end with a nice dry finish.

MF: Light and extremely refreshing. The bite of carbonation is very nice.

D: This beer is so drinkable it's almost unsafe. The alcohol is completely non-existant, and the dry finish makes sure you keep coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 04:37:53 | More by russwbeck
Photo of kojevergas


4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Guinness pint glass in high altitude Denver, CO. No goblets were available, regrettably.

A: Pours a brilliant clear yellow-gold with a five finger head of excellent thickness and cream. Amazing retention.

Sm: Clean pleasant scent of barley, ester, spice, hops, citrus, malt, cedar, and pine, all of which are very subtle.

T: Just like the smell - delicious (<insert Chappelle's show joke here>). Excellent finish. The strength of this beer is its subtlety. It's complex but not overdone. Perfect for a golden ale.

Mf: Crisp and smooth, but golden ales require this smoothness. Beer Advocate's classification of this beer as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale is very wrong.

Dr: I'd definitely have it again, especially at its price and ABV. I find myself hitting the bottom of the bottle while it's upside down to make sure I get every drop. You'd never know it was 7.75%. It's pricey but worht it for celebration.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 14:52:21 | More by kojevergas
Photo of THECPJ


3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes: 1/24/2011

A: cloudy golden yellow, very minimal head, maybe 1/2 finger if that, no lacing

S: a slight spice scent and bready/yeasty

T: yeasty, slightly sour, drying

M: mild carbonation, smooth, dry finish

O: gives the appearance of champagne but the taste is much more sour


Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 04:05:33 | More by THECPJ
Photo of zeff80


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

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of grains, dried fruits and yeasty/estery notes.

T - Good spicy presence upfront. It had nice grainy flavor with caramel and dried fruits. Some sour notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a very tasty ale. No surprise that Russian River made another great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 03:15:46 | More by zeff80
Photo of Neffbeer


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes 1/16/2011

750ml bottle marked Batch 51. Into a tulip.

A: Pours a lovely straw/gold color with a nice size white head. The retention is moderate with a lot of lacing left behind.

S: Belgian yeast, coriander, pepper, clove, orange peel. There is also a vinous character to the brew with a hint of woodiness. I feel like I can detect the bittering hops even after a year and half in the bottle, maybe I am imagining things....

T: The fruitiness is up front (the yeast esters and some orange peel) with some spicy notes and that hint of wood. The coriander seems quite prominent with pepper not far behind. There is an herbal bitter kick at the finish that strongly suggests hops. It is also quite dry. Very good beer for my tastes.

M: It is full bodied and light on the tongue wich lends itslef ever so well to the dryness.

D: I have really enjoyed this stateside take on a classic Belgian style. Cheers to Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 15:08:09 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of mondegreen


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

375ml into a Duvel Tulip. Batch 062.

Pours a bright hazy orange with a relatively thin one finger head that dissipates in a letter of minutes. The etching on the glass keeps a small circle of foam in the middle of the beer.

Smell is lightly yeasty and somewhat fruity. Very appealing.

Taste is very refreshing. A healthy dose of yeast character, but not so much that it overpowers the beer. A very light citrus bitterness is a welcomed component in the flavor.

Mouth is medium and somewhat slick. This beer is so drinkable it's crazy. A very clean, refreshing take on the BSPA style.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 23:03:51 | More by mondegreen
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


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

I had this on tap at the Russian River Brewing Co. brewhouse.

Appearance: Light yellow. White wine texture. It pours a slight head with low retention.

Smell: Malty. Bready. High Alcohol smell. Slight hop backing.

Taste: Like it's namesake says: "beware." It's easily sippable and packs a strong ABV. It has a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Drinkability: The best Belgian I have had at the brewhouse tonight. I'd buy it again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2011 05:22:25 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of notchucknorris


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The head swells up like crazy the second the beer hits the glass. The beer itself is a pale golden hue and the head sticks around nicely.

S: The yeast is the star of the show here. Very strong without being too bready. Definitely makes me want to find out how it tastes.

T: Nice and crisp with the yeast again making up the body of the flavor. The only thing off for me in this beer was the carbonation. It felt like this beer was a little too flat for me. Still, a good beer and another achievement for Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 18:20:57 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of psuKinger


3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle dated as Batch #058. Website indicates this batch was bottled on 6/14/2010, meaning this beer is a little more than 8 months old. Corked and caged, to be poured into a standard curved-rim pint glass.

A: Pours a light yellow with a hint of gold, with a thick frothy lively head on top. Russian River brews always have impeccable head.

S: Yeasty and spicy, with perhaps a hint of apple.

T: Taste follows the nose. It starts smooth and yeasty, a touch of spice moves in towards the middle, and the spice grows and a hint of apple sneaks in towards the finish.

M: The yeasty bready flavors linger in the mouth after the swallow.

D: Reasonably good. I'm not an avid fan of this style, but this is a pretty good example. Well done by Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 00:32:17 | More by psuKinger
Photo of letsgopens


4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Last of my run of Russian River reviews. Pours fairly cloudy, pure golden maize with paler highlights. Soapy, effervescent cap of foam fades quickly and leaves walls of sturdy lacing.

Musty wet hay and tangy/sour grain character. Apricot, sour cherry, and papaya. Peppery booze and acidic yeast notes. Hints of honey and more dry, yeasty character round out the aroma.

Sweet and grainy then fading to yeasty wet hay and acidic fruit. Somewhat less fruit than the nose suggested but still hints of apricot and sour cherry and a lot of yeasty esters. Peppery greens and faint buttered popcorn. Lingering tartness is the final impression for me.

Crisp and bright up front but then quickly fading to matted, numbing tartness and chalky yeast on the palate. The fine bubbles then fizzle up a bit at the end and brighten up the lingering sourness. Characteristic of many RR brews, the mouthfeel really steals the show and makes all the difference in accentuating the best attributes of this brew. A balances, mellow yet complex beer makes for high drinkability in my book.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 17:43:56 | More by letsgopens
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I saw this beer as a solid homage to the likes of Duvel, pours a pale slightly clouded golden hue into a chalice...the bright white head layered up nicely forming fine Belgian style lacing that formed even layers as it dwindled. Aromatics provided a nice malt driven honey drizzled biscuit pale malt with hints of spice and dry yeast notes, tropical fruit with a spicy alcoholic tone as well. Finishes with herbal spiciness from both the hops and the yeast a bit of citrus as well. Flavor was actually not as complex as the smell, which I was surprised by. Expected a tropical fruit flavor also accompanied by pale malt breadiness with citric/herbal hops shining through, nice dry yeast finish with a touch of warming alcohol. Mouthfeel was perfect this is where must brewers screw up a Belgian style ale, this one hits it with a nice effervescent level of carbonation perfect for the style. Drinkability was effort lesst this is definitely textbook solid Belgian style ale everybody else take notes, because this is the training wheel level Belgian ale from Russian River once they start with wild yeasts and barrel aging things get even better. Thanks god this is a really great place to start, I want more.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 15:59:55 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of dvb


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

A graphic on the cork warns that you should drink from a snifter rather than from a pint glass. So I poured it right into my Dead Guy Ale pint glass. That's just how I roll.

This beer is exactly what you would expect from a Belgian-inspired beer made by the company that brews Pliny the Elder. All of the citrusy IPA hop presence is there, with sweetness more typical of a tripel.

Straw yellow color, big white head, a fair amount of lacing.

Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 04:57:44 | More by dvb
Photo of LiquidBread219


4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= Straw yellow a little hazy, nice small white head but disappears quickly, decent lacing.

S= Mainly I smell a little bit of lemons,yeast, and just fruit in general.

T= A nice sweet malt component with a predominant lemon taste. There is a hint of hops rounding out the profile. Overall it is less hoppy than another strong pale ale like duvel. The flavor is supported a malty lemon backbone.

M= Well Carbonated, pretty clean and crisp.

D= Very drinkable goes down very smooth wish I had a couple more.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 06:17:12 | More by LiquidBread219
Photo of Jemonster


4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: These Russian River beers are presented so well in their heavy, corked bottles, then poured into the glass, those shimmery, tiny bubbles get me everytime. Tight, dense white head that thins to a layer about 3 bubbles thick, yellow-orange opaque body that seems to glow, just perfect looking in every way.

S: Didn't get a whole lot here. I smell the usual woody notes and spices, and another smell that I always associate with canned peaches. Smells good, but you've really got to concentrate, aerate, and inhale deeply to identify specifics.

T: Absoloutely delicious. This is a fantastic tasting beer as expected by RR. It's easy to see that they really, really know what they are doing. I get a little bit of up front but light hops, tangerine-like tang, and malt. Not much sweetness going on, which I think I might have been looking for more of. Personally, I think a little more sugar would have made it a 5 for me. Given the style, I don't know if they really could have done much better.

M: All of RR's beers have a perfect mouthfeel. Their carbonation style is my favorite, and the viscosity is just right. Not too thin, but not too heavy. This is a hot day beer if you ask me.

D: As good as can be for a beer with 7.75% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 00:30:05 | More by Jemonster
Photo of KickInTheChalice


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

Poured from a 375 mL caged and corked bottle into an oversize wine glass. Batch 057X1.

Appearance: As recommended, I poured this slowly and let just the first hint of the yeast into the glass. The color is a slightly pale golden color with just a bit of haze in the middle. A white head bubbles up on top, slowly fading to a thin cap.

Smell: The aroma is pretty fantastic. White grape, crisp green apples, and sweet pears provide the fruit. Clove and some floral hop aroma on the back end.

Taste: From the aroma I was expecting sweeter, but this is a solid beer. A bit of light malt up front to bring in the fruity flavors. White grape and green apple are there, but the pear is more muted. Cloves and chamomile provide a nice segue, clearly some impact from a good yeast choice. The finish brings grassy and floral hops. Its biggest strength is the balance and complexity and its biggest weakness is strength.

Mouthfeel: The dryness is what I notice first about the mouthfeel, as per the style. Medium bodied, although high alcohol content, along with crisp, full carbonation are also
Belgian Strong Pale Ale characteristics that Damnation embodies. After each sip my tongue feels assaulted. Sticky, puckering, and saliva gland inducing, there is a lot going on here. I get just a faint hint of a dry Champagne feel as well.

Drinkability: This is probably the second best BSPA I have had. If only Duvel was not such a great beer, this could have a chance. Still, a great change of pace and a clearly well-crafted brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 04:35:44 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of mexikrainian


3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Samuel Smith tulip.

Appearance: golden straw with thick, white foamy head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: floral, pears, apple and spices.

Flavor: metallic, apples and pepper. not what i expected.

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall impression: excellent body and aroma for the style, but too metallic.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 07:06:03 | More by mexikrainian
Photo of dciBA


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

Light golden honey color from the 750 into my tulip. About a fingers worth of puffy white head forms and sticks around for the duration of each pour.

Smell is simple yet appetizing. Lots of fruit from the belgian yeast. Mostly lighter fruit, with some lemon zest as well. I'm picking up a little spiciness as well. Flavor is exactly what you'd expect. Some pear, some apple, and some lemon. The lemon comes through as well withou being bitter at all.

Carbonation is fairly high but right on for the style. Flavor coats your palate for quite a while without being too sweet. Very easy to drink considering the ABV. Glad I got a chance to enjoy this one. Big thanks to a non-BA friend in Philly for sending this gift along.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 21:02:22 | More by dciBA
Photo of ZeroSignal


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

Batch 60

A - Pours a hazy orange-yellow with a fluffy white head. Settles to a thin layer quickly but remains for the entirety of the drink with excellent lacing

S - Light fruity aromas with hints of clove and a light malt scent; very "clean" scent

T&M - Lighter bodied with an interesting peppery bite and subtle spiciness. Intermingling flavors of banana and clove with fruity phenols. Light malt flavors and a very clean finish.

D - Light, delicious and well balanced, what more needs to be said?

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 01:56:30 | More by ZeroSignal
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,864 ratings.