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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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3,267 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,267
Reviews: 1,079
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 356
Gots: 708 | FT: 48
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,267 | Reviews: 1,079 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a goblet. Batch 63.

Appearance - I don't think RR makes a beer that doesn't look spectacular. Hazy golden body with an ample head and eternal lacing. Sediment floats about the body, but I didn't quite catch all the yeast when I decanted.

Smell - Fruity and yeasty, with a touch of bread. Bananas in the nose as it warms. Not a complex aroma, but nice.

Taste - Again, a simple flavor profile. Fruity and sweet at the start with a yeasty and bready malt. It finishes dry and spicy. All the flavors are good, but it's really uninspiring. Nothing complex, just solid flavors.

Mouthfeel - The body is a little bit syrupy, but the finish is dry enough to make it feel lighter. Not as high of carbonation as I would have expected, but it doesn't need it.

Overall - I have yet to be disappointed by RR. This is no exception, but it's below their usual standards. I can't find any reason to say any category is less than "good," but I can't find a reason to say it's any better than "good."

Photo of bum732
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cduckett16.

S: Slight crabapples and some blackberries, lots of dried apriots.

L: Hazy dark orange, not much head.

T: Apricot like smei-sweet malt with a phenolic, spicy bitterness. Quite hoppy overall with a dried fruit like finish. Fairly dry finish.

M: Medium high carbonation, medium bodied.

Really enjoyed this, simple and delicate, but solid all around.

Photo of ikantspel
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12.68 oz bottle served into a tulip

Pours a citrus orange. Carbonated with a finger head.

Smells of fruits and candy. Yum

Wow. Knocked me off my feet. Very sweet with a carbonates mouthfeel. Sweet spices little clovey aftertaste. Not astringent in the least. Cannot belive this is damn near 8%. This slightly edges pranqster as the best american made bspa. Good job russian river

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

Russian River garners so much respect on this site, and for good reason. My experience so far has just been with Pliny the Elder, and, to me, it was the perfect DIPA, truly flawless. Let’s see if RR can hold their own with a much different brew: the Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Here’s hoping – it’s one of my favorite styles.

Bottled eight months before the date of this tasting (Batch 063, Abbey Ale Yeast and Champagne Yeast as primary and conditioning yeast, respectively). Many thanks to tripelhops, who absolutely wowed me with the greatness of beer he was able to pack into one box for me.

A: This one pours with an incredible gold shine – gorgeous. White, foamy silk makes up the head, which stays for a good two or three minutes before it smooths out to a thin, bubbly layer. Lacing is interspersed throughout, never in huge quantities, but never lacking in that lovely adhesive quality. Excellent presence.

S: Wow, these yeasts have a really nice aroma. They start off phenolic and estery, laced with a wild tang. Then they show some surprisingly full Belgian Dubbel/Tripel aromas, which darken up the nose considerably. It’s a battle of rich against crisp, and the only clear winner is me. There’s a hint of sweetness, too, that comes off in a remarkable way: though I’m getting a sizable helping of savory vanilla cream, fruit extract, and gum drop candy, these savory sugars are light enough not to offend. It’s a profile I’ve never come into contact with before, and it’s really quite extraordinary. Around comes a booze kick at the end, and we’re ready to go. Great stuff, here.

T: Excellent, excellent taste profile. The first thing you get is a dose of gummy fruit candy, sugar that’s not surprising when you consider the nose. Phenols combine with a slight metallic note to provide a sharp acidity to the flavors, while European-style hop bitters ride shotgun. The banana esters come out in force, too, but without the abbey flavors I found in the nose. As it warms, some spice comes out – clove, mostly. It has a dry yet lovably smooth finish, making it incredibly drinkable. Really. As far as Belgians go, this is Duvel drinkable.

M: Astringency’s a big player in the feel, as is the case with many BSPA’s. It’s noticeably alcoholic, carrying the slight warmth and tart dryness of a potent wine. Not too thin and not too thick; great texture on the body.

O: Belgian all the way – the best American attempt at this style I’ve ever had. Leave it to the farthest possible brewer to make the best Belgians…such is the beer world, though. I’m just glad I got to try this truly great beer.

Photo of Philousa
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy tan haze with little head and minuscule bubbles floating from beneath. I get bready, pungent odors in the nose, strong belgian yeast, banana, citrus, and spices. Pale malt hit the tongue first, fading to a tart yeast flavor then smooth alcohol mixed with savory fruit and a tiny bit of vanilla at the end once it warms up. This is highly carbonated, but the fine bubbles don't make it harsh on the tongue. This balances out the viscous mouthfeel well.

This is a sweet, yeasty treat. It's complex, but not annoyingly so. I'm a big fan of this Belgian yeast, unlike Unibroque's, so I'm inclined to think I'll like all RR's Belgians when I taste them. I'm not normally a big BSPA fan, but this is done very well and I would drink it when given the chance. Probably the best Belgian I've had so far that's made strictly in the states.

Photo of HoosierInOhio
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on my trip to Seattle. Consumed <1 month after returning

A - Gold or Dark Yellow, looks like lemon-aid, thin head, can see the carbonation

S - Fruity, lemon zest, something sour

T - Less Belgian-y than a Belgian, which is good for me. Fruity, some hops.

M- Crisp, makes you want to take another sip.

O - Glad I tried it, Belgian style isn't really my cup of tea, that said, this was pretty tasty.

Photo of xnicknj
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at pope in philly

Pours a brilliant golden color with a slight haze. Thin white head dissolves, leaving little retention or lacing on the glass.

Floral hops with spice in the nose. Touches of apricot and pear with faint sweetness. Nice yeasty funk, straw and biscuit malts. Very soft alcohol presence.

Slight bite of hops with floral and spicy tones. Very Belgian feel, some yeasty and funky qualities with a dash of clove. Decent fruit sweetness with apricot and pear. Slight bitterness and warmth during the finish.

Medium body, higher carbonation, dry and tingly on the tongue. Pretty drinkable, alcohol is masked well, nice balance with the fruit. No surprise, another fantastic beer from RR.

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

Served from batch 065.

A: Massive 2" white head that left a nice lacing in my Duvel tulip glass over cloudy golden straw liquid.

S: Yeast, apples, pears, and alcohol.

T: A somewhat bitter yeastiness and cedar taste up front which transitions to pear, pepper, citrus hops and some slightly funky earthiness that lingers.

M: Thick viscosity and a full level of carbonation.

O: A thick and drinkable Belgian Strong Pale Ale that gives representatives from the old country a run for their money.

Photo of Nashvillain
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear straw gold into the glass with a huge white pillow of a head. Amazing coloration with tons of bright carbonation.

Smell is a light tartness with some funk in the background. A little light for a beer that should be so funky.

Taste starts with big belgian fruit esters then slips into a dry, rustic taste with just a hint of buttery diacetyl, not really a flaw, I think it enhances the flavor. There's a dry funk that takes a spot in the secondary but as the beer warms it starts to shine.

A really great beer, it's hard to rate this as just "any other beer", there's a sour funk that's expected from Russian River that just doesn't come through on this. Almost like Sanctification's little brother, maybe with time more funk would come through. Tastes really good when you burp for sure...

Photo of MEsoJD
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden hazy/thick body with a large fluffy/creamy head that dissipates fast. Adequate lacing.

S: Earthy hops and yeasty malt dominate. Fruit smell is very faint. I would say slight lemon citrus.

T: The smell follows the taste with the earthy hops and yeasty malt mentioned. The lemon citrus is easier to detect. It's also a little sweet and tart.

M: Crisp, apparent alcohol, medium bodied, a little dry, and medium carbonation.

O: Good for the style, yet it doesn't stand out enough. Still very satisfactory. Defiantly worth a try.

Photo of homebrew311
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from batch 054.

A: appears a pale straw color,short white head, some retention and some lacing

S: notes of lemon zest dominate the front followed by notes of wheat, yeast, bread, and earthy notes. Lots of Belgian yeast character going on here, nice spiciness

T: taste starts with waves of malt and yeast, very spicy, dashes of citrus, finishes with a touch of tartness

MF: spritzy, high carbonation, light body

O: this is a nice, well balanced BSPA. Lots of flavor and nice representation of the style.

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

Poured from bottle into a tulip as directed by the bottle. Pours golden straw color with white foam that sticks around. Smells floral with light citrus. Very good mouthfeel with good carbonation but not fizzy. Taste is an elegant belgian ale. I am not a huge fan of Belgians but wanted to try a RRBC beer. This was the only one I could find I this area and it didn't disappoint.

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking orange color with a fluffy white head on top. The smell of wheat and some citrus flood the nose on the beer. The taste of the brew has some interesting floral and fruity flavors going on in it. The mouthfeel of the beer was smooth, silky and easy to drink. Overall I feel this brew it quite impressive, much like everything from Russian River. I like that this one isn't a sour because everyone just raves about their sours so much. This one is really good and it's something a little different from them.

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

Pours a bright gold color with a think fluffy head that refuses to go away, great lacing throughout the drink. Aroma of sweet malts and bitter hops that are both present but working together. Taste follows the nose makes for a refreshing, easy drinking brew. Tastes a lot like redemption but more full bodied and complex.

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

Batch 061

A: Beautiful hazy amber orange color. With a very pillowy pure white head.

S: Sweet with some nice citrus notes. There is a little bit of a clove note, and some bready aromas. Subtle but very pleasant.

T: Sweet with a nice slight tartness. There are some nice citrus flavors, and perhaps just a little bit of a wine or juice character. Slight clove flavor, and the finish has just a hint of tartness again.

M: Soft of the palate, light in body, and dry.

O: Overall very nice. A somewhat lighter flavor, but still quite interesting. Another beer that seems to come off as the easiest thing in the world. Like it just happened.

Photo of NickRivers
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A&S - Pours a hazy light gold with two fingers of bright white head. Smells mostly of clove, Belgian yeast, and sweet malt.

T&M - Hits light and crisp exploding with banana and clove, notes of peach, light fruit, Belgian sugars, then finishes with with Belgian yeast and a smooth alcohol burn. Very inviting medium bodied mouthfeel.

O - Overall a great brew, Not to heavy, not to light. I'm not really a big fan of Belgian beers however this might have been what I needed to go over the top. Can't wait to try RRBC's other Belgians. Stay thirsty my friends!

Photo of Wtbrooks
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle batch 063 into a tulip.
This has an amazing look to it. Nice golden color with one of the most fluffy looking heads I've seen. As the beer goes down the sides of the glass are coated with lacing.
For some reason I can't smell much here. Probably my fault though but some citrus and bread slight hop aroma.
Taste is yeasty with lemon and hops with a slight peppery flavor in the back.
I really like the carbonation in this one. Just thick enough with I wasn't expecting to like this beer but I'm really enjoying it. I won't go out looking for it, but if I found it in the fridge, I would be pleasantly surprised.

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

Poured from a 330ml into Chimay goblet

A - Pours a hazy golden straw color that starts with a finger of quick, almost fizzy head that disappears quickly leaving only a slight film of foam on the middle of the beer.

S - Sweet, bready malt character shines through, and leaves a note of peachiness, banana, and some slight spiciness from the yeast that follows.

T - An initial malty goodness, reminiscent of a sweet bread, with a bit of a spicy lighter fruit following and then a finish that is just ever so slightly soured.

M - A bit more bite than I'm accustomed to from the style, giving the illusion of having this be more carbonated than it is. There's a peppery note in the flavor that just makes it seem a bit more burny on the tounge, and I rather enjoy that.

O - Solid version of the classic Belgian pale where the pale malts really dominate, but the yeast adds just the right blend of authenticity and breadiness.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of t8s8l8
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of biglobo8971
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of MrOH
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,267 ratings.