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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,847 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,847
Reviews: 1,058
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 326
Gots: 573 | 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
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Ratings: 2,847 | Reviews: 1,058 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


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

7.75% says the label of this corked caged 750.

Pours a nice slightly hazy duvelish yellow gold/ maybe a touch darker orange. Big fluffy white head of foam. Nose is mostly spice, esters, yeast. Taste follows with estery belgian yeast action, some slight pear, a bit of spice, black pepper. Slightly weaker, mustier Duvelish beer. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, quite good all the same. Drikability is strong, but not quite top notch. Overall a very solid belgian golden from RR. This is not a mindblowing beer, but a solid tasty staple of the style, impressive for an american made belgian style. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 02:00:53 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of ElGordo


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

Poured from the corked 750ml bottle into a goblet. Body is a rich golden color, topped by a full, creamy white head that hangs around for a while before receding into a thick ring. Carbonation keeps flowing from the bottom of the glass for the duration.
Aroma of sweet pale malt, a touch of candi sugar and apple juice, and a hint of funky Belgian yeast. Palate is sweet and delicate up front, with a mild fruity character and a touch of candi sugar emerging before the swallow. Finish is mellow and warming, but doesn't linger too long.
Body is nice and carbonated, but not fizzy. Not exactly the most authentic American take on a Belgian ale, this is a thoroughly enjoyable ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 05:21:20 | More by ElGordo
Photo of jenitivecase


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

A: Bright orange gold; hazy, but no floaters. The head pours clean white and substantial, with excellent retention and moderate lacing. A few streams of carbonation continue to appear as the beer warms.

S: Yeasty, with a citrusy tang. Tangerine and dried bananas are prominent, with a hint of fresh cut prairie grass. A little bit of what I imagine sunshine would smell like if it had a scent, and some spices as well.

T: Very bright, with lots of tanginess and a very prevalent taste of bananas. Spices are more discernable; cardamom, possibly. Hops come through as well, although not overpoweringly. A hint of sweetness, but mostly just very very dry.

M: Chewy and very bold, but with some carbonation still in the mix. Very sticky, and seems to coat the mouth, but not in an unpleasant way. Not sugary or cloying at all... really unique and enjoyable.

D: Definitely an easy drinker. A really excellent beer for this occasion (porch beer on a nice fall day). Refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 20:42:09 | More by jenitivecase
Photo of nrbw23


3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a light golden amber color with a white head and good lacing. Watch out when you pour this one your you will have a ton of floaters.

S- A quite bit of a yeast smell, spices and citrus.

T- Taste is dominated by the citrus. The spiciness is a bit more noticeable in the flavour also. There's a bit of a bitterness in the finish, as well as a bit of a drying effect. It was actually a little hard for me to finish this one.

M-Medium body and moderatly carbonated.

D- Little too fruity for me. Glad to I got to try this one and I'll probably give it another shot or two.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 18:50:51 | More by nrbw23
Photo of joepais


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

Thanks to a wonderful west coast BA for providing me with this one. 750 ml bottle corked and caged batch 30. Poured into a Duvel tulip glass the beer produced a good two fingers worth of white head that lasts. This is of course on top of a golden orange body brew.

Aromas of bananas and citrus fruits filled my nose. Along with the nice spice background note that was there.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with tons of carbonation for your tongue. Very refreshing flavors of fruit with a dry spicy finish splashed around in my mouth

"Dangerously drinkable for the ABV" that is well worth repeating, it will catch up on you. Damm LOL

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 23:47:17 | More by joepais
Photo of pwoods


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

750ml corked and caged brown bottle, purchased from Joey on South Bay, poured into a Unibroue tulip. No dating.

A: Pours a heavily ripened banana yellow with perfect clarity. A large pearly white head forms and holds nicely. Good lacing throughout.

S: Lots of yummy, fruity, yeasty esters. Some spiciness on the nose with light clove and bubblegum notes. Dry pale malts, crisp and clean, round things out.

T/M: More of the same from the nose. The fruity esters are complimented nicely with a pleasant soft malt sweetness. A bit spicier than the nose but not overdone. Body is medium light with medium carbonation. Finishes a bit dry.

D: Tasty and drinkable. The bottle says 7.75%(not 7%) yet it drinks like 5%.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2008 04:37:51 | More by pwoods
Photo of rye726


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

2008 Vntage 750ml bottle.

Pour a beautifull clear golden color and has a silky tan head. The nose has a rich malt structure followed by candy, light hops and Blegian yeasts. The taste is very similar. Big sweet malts balanced by herbal yeasts and spicy hops. Perfect Belgianesque body and carbonation. Could enjoy this one anytime.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 03:46:36 | More by rye726
Photo of ckeegan04


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

A - Hazy golden-brown color with one finger white head. Slowly fades to a thin white layer. Sheets of lace slowly fade.

S - Aroma of pear, lemon, and tart apples. Also hints of spice, maybe corriander. Very well balanced aroma with many smells, none of which are overly dominant.

T - Tastes of lemon and somewhat tart apples. Hints of clove and corriander as well. Very well balanced tastes but none as strong as expected.

M/D - Full bodied and rather chewy. First few drinks were very carbonated as well but that seemed to fade rather fast. A damn fine Belgian Pale.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 01:06:53 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of ArrogantB


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

Batch 40 750ml bottle $4.99 (pretty sure I got a good deal). Nice golden yellow color with a white head. It smells like faint hints of banana, bubblegum, esters, belgian, very nice. Nice flavors that diverge from the nose but are hard to describe. A dryness that works well, easy to drink but I will still sip it because I want to savor the whole bottle. BSPA is not my favorite style but this is one of the better ones I've had. I'd still prefer a Salvation or Perdition but this was well worth the $5 per bottle. It will be interesting to taste this again in a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 00:38:21 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of jamesm7485


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

Appearance. 750 ml caged and corked bottle batch number 40 poured into a Lucifer goblet, a fairly aggresive pour yields a murky light gold straw color of a body with a thin ghost white head.

Smell: yay for allergies, from what my stuffy ass nose can tell i sense a hint of some orange and coriander, with your Belgian yeast strain smell.

Taste. Somewhat thin the taste is very similar to the smell, their is a very faint hop bitterness on the end.

Mouthfell, very thing a little lacking in body

Drinkability. A little higher on carbonation than i'm used to with belgians, really gets better as it gets to room temp.

You know to be honest considering the hype, I was expecting a tad more

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2008 03:38:51 | More by jamesm7485
Photo of ccrida


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

Batch #39 poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Damnation is a clear bubbly gold with a tall, large bubbled white head that leaves lots of foamy lace.

Smell is slightly sweet, cereals, lime and overripe golden delicious apples, with and incense like spiciness, perhaps sandlewood? Great complexity.

Taste is fairly hoppy, minty and herbal, with a slightly sour citrus note and a spicy finish over a simple malt backbone that's not particularly grainy or sweet, but overall very clean. Jeez, this is just a damn good beer! In the last two weeks I've had both Lost Abby and Brooklyn's offerings of the style, and this is the only one that lives up to the hype.

Mouthfeel is incredibly carbonated, with a very bubbly effervescence yet still on the softer side, medium bodied with a dry, spicy finish, which is the only real indication of the alcohol.

Drinkablity is damn good! As much as I love Belgian Blondes, I'm frankly not a huge fan of these simpler, spicy, Duvel style BSPAs, but this one is probably my favorite, and has really won me over...only my 2nd Belgian style Russian River, and 4th of theirs over all, and I have to say, I'm a real believer!

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 02:59:50 | More by ccrida
Photo of IBUnit63


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

Clean, light honey color with HUGE meringue head with Florentine lacing. Sparse carbonation gets heavier with warmth.

Electricity of yeast, malt and sugar cane are all subtle yet profound. Mild backbone of grassy hops. Nice and crisp overall.

Luscious-oily sugar cane with yeast, malt and mild grassy hops. There's some coriander and hop bitterness in there-this has come together smashingly.

Pucker from grassy (maybe piney too) hops and carbonation gets tight on back of mouth in tandem with nice bitterness.

This one goes down easy and clean. Excellent offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 19:59:45 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of cjgator3


4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a large tulip glass.

A- Pours a golden orange color with a large creamy off-white head that possesses excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is apples and pears along with some spices and yeast.

T- The taste features much of the same fruit flavors that were present in the nose along with a dry finish. Very refreshing.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a lot of carbonation prickling the tongue.

D- Damnation is dangerously drinkable for the ABV, I could drink this stuff all night long.

Overall, this is the first RR beer that I have tried, and I am impressed. Damnation is a great BSPA that stands up to some of the better originals from Belgium. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 04:25:53 | More by cjgator3
Photo of DrDogbeer


3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared at a tasting I had last week.
Poured into a tulip, pale yellow with a decent white, quickly dissapating head. No lacing. Smells lightly of yeast, some earthiness- not much in this department, though.
Taste is pretty light. Some belgian yeast, some butter and a bit of citrus, but it is pretty muted. I don't get a heck of alot from this beer. Slightly fizzy mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable, though I dont think I would search it out to do it again. I did have this beer right after I had a Saison AtheneI(which was incredible and very full-flavored) so it may be a bit unfair.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 18:35:07 | More by DrDogbeer
Photo of Damian


2.85/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Drank on-tap at Toronado, San Francisco, CA
Served in a tulip

It was rather fitting that Damnation happened to be review #333 for me (half way to the Number of the Beast). Quite ironic.

Poured a crystal clear, pale straw yellow with a one-finger, bright white head that quickly faded to a lasting ring. Disappointing head retention (particularly for the style) and no lacing whatsoever.

The aroma was practically non-discernible initially and came out only slightly toward the drink's end. Slightly musty (from the yeast) with semi-sweet, honey-ish notes lingering in the background.

The taste seemed to be a very watered down interpretation of a Belgian strong pale ale. Crisp, citric and tart with some spicy, slight musty notes. Hoppy throughout (piney, dry, citrusy hops) with an especially hoppy finish that was super dry, bitter and rather tannic. The beer left my palate feeling like a piece of sandpaper.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a very fine and mild carbonation. Toward the drink's end, the liquid turned completely flat. Once again, off for the style.

The folks at Russian River definitely tried to put an American twist on a Belgian style ale and they did it very poorly. This beer lacked severely in almost all categories. Definitely one of the most disappointing brews I have tried in a while.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2008 20:35:33 | More by Damian
Photo of sholland119


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

FWIW, our bottle noted ABV as 7.75%.

A-Pours a hazy orange with a substantial white head and nice retention.

S-Peaches and pears with some Belgian yeast and some spiciness. Very nice.

T-Moderate sweetness in the front, mostly peaches and maybe pineapple, with some spices and moderate hops in the finish. Quite tasty.

M-Rather light with medium carbonation.

D-Very drinkable. Nicely balanced flavors and complexity.

The last of our case of Damnation, the only RR I have ever seen in a PA store. A very, very good Belgian ale.


Serving type: bottle

07-30-2008 16:45:42 | More by sholland119
Photo of orcasteve

North Carolina

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

a nice sour flavor with much complexity, its like liquid bred, poured into a wine glass (only thing avalable at my cousens house) a two fingered head formed and slowley disapated the beer was a rich popcorn kernal yellow with much sedement floating around in this one. this one hides the aolchol well. i like golden monkey better but this one is good. i have to thank WasTrinkenSie for hooking me up with this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 19:53:12 | More by orcasteve
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

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

Appearance: Poured from the 750mL corked and caged bottle into a large snifter. The beer is a crystal clear orangey red color, but more red (suggesting the "hellish" nature of the brew). Head grew to a full four fingers thick, and was pure white. The label states that this is from Batch 38.

Smell: Light fruits dominate, but this has a very distinct, almost champagne-like aroma. Citrus (grapefruit mainly) is also plentiful, as is clove and other spices. Alcohol is evident underneath it all.

Taste: The first sip is brutally bitter, though each sip gets sweeter as the tastebuds get used to this complex brew. Eventually the light citrus notes start peeking out, along with white grape and crisp pear. Honey darts in and out, smoothing over the hops and spice that are ever present under the whole thing. Finishes dry, alcoholic, and yeasty.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing with its high carbonation. Tingling sensation in the mouth after swallowing.

Drinkability: Got through the whole bottle there, and it was very good. The effect this had on my palate was similar to the effect that Stone's Ruination had... that is to say, made everything taste a little more bland right after drinking it, making me mutter to myself "Damn..." in a good way.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 06:09:34 | More by BucBasil
Photo of Halcyondays


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

25.4 oz. bottle, from the Huntington Beach BevMo,

A: Pours a translucent orange with a full rocky white head, good retention, some lacing.

S: Very yeasty, orange, coriander spice, pepper.

T: Yeast esters dominate, sugary pear and Granny Smith apple. Spicy as well, coriander figures heavily, light earthy hops at the end.

M: Carbonation is a little too heavy at times, lightly alcoholic, phenolic.

D: A good BSPA, but the amount yeast character can get in the way at times, it's kind of the Allagash White of this style. Still it's a good version, and quite cheap compared to Belgian versions at the store.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 01:34:27 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of BrewerB


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma had a great complexity to the ester profile. Sweet and spicy with hints of pears. Very mild caramel aroma. Some alcohol mingled with floral hops.

Appearance was golden, with good clarity. Formed a rocky, thick white head. Unfortunately, the head retention wasn't quite what I expected (aka Duvel). Docking some points as a result.

Flavor is loaded with fruity, spicy goodness. The esters are most reminiscent of a Bartlett Pear and the spiciness, a bit pepper-like. Finishes very pleasingly dry with lingering sweetness. A Moderate amount of bitterness. Exceptional balance of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied. Very well carbonated. Smooth, effervescent, and spot on for a Belgian Golden Strong Ale.

Kudos to Vinnie Cilurzo and the RR gang for brewing some of the greatest tasting beers around. Aside from sheer alcoholic strength, this is very easy to drink thanks to fantastic balance and a superbly dry finish. Sweet malts, spicy phenols, and fruity esters marry together perfectly. Perhaps a tad more bitterness would push this to an A+?

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2008 16:09:36 | More by BrewerB
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Well this is the first beer that almost took my head off by just touching the cork. The cork shot off as soon as the cage was removed.

This to me is a beer in two parts. The initial first smell was West Coast hops and the taste reflected a hoppy presence. As the beer warmed up and opened up the Belgian notes came to the front and the hops seemed to drop off. The beer is very smooth and full of lots of complex flavours including citrus, dried fruit and yeast. Very well made and unlike any other example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2008 00:13:09 | More by canucklehead
Photo of CrellMoset


3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasting on 06/25 w/ fellow BAer Proteus93, who provided this one. Thanks Proteus! Poured into a tasting glass from a .750 L magnum.

Appearance: Huge-floaty alert!! A gi-normous foamy, rocky head, great lacing, but, damn, tons of sediment. Very authentic looking.

Aroma: Lots of good stuff. It's pretty mild, with good fruity esters - grape tannins, white wine-esque in many ways - and yeast notes dominating, coriander, cloves, some other spices, and good ol' fashioned funk.

Taste: Very fruity, lots of juice flavors, with pear, white grape, and apples coming through. Mild hop spiciness, and those same good yeasty notes - funk, earthy spices, faint banana esters. Belgian with a fruity kick.

Mouthfeel: Good finish, thin-to-medium bodied, and with enough carbonation but perhaps less than is typical for the style. Creamy and even.

Drinkability: Alcohol is moderate and slightly noticeable, but everything else is solid and tasty. A gentle, easy-going beer.

Perhaps not as good as I was expecting, given the fantastic things I've heard about Russian River, but that's an expectations problem, not a beer problem. This is a very drinkable Belgian PA, which is always a style I enjoy seeing domestic breweries pull off, and this one is pulled off well. If you see it, pick it up. If you see any Russian River, pick it up.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 15:23:21 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of lapbplayr


4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer!
A: it is a light colored beer, very American domestic in color.

S: The smell is a bit fruity, with note of malt in it, and every once in a while you will get slights hints of bubblegum

T: This was the fun part! It is light tasting but the mouth feel weighs it down in your mouth, you know it is a heavy beer but it does not taste that way. There is a very strong wet straw taste that is sweet when you first taste it.

M: heavy but the carbonation makes it feel lighter. Since this beer is 7.75% ABV the color misleads you, but the mouth feel is evident to it's gravity.

D: This is a highly drinkable beer and goes well with fowl and game. Again since it is high ABV it will put you on your bottom after one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 15:06:55 | More by lapbplayr
Photo of bakerslp


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

From a caged/corked 750, Batch 36. Just an absolutely beautiful beer. Deep golden and somewhat cloudy. A tremendous head that takes awhile to dissapate and as it does it leaves beautiful chunky lacing all over the inside of my glass. Smell is of Belgian spices and some pears and light hops too. Taste is follows up the smells with more yeasty Belgian spice up front followed by some ripe green apples and pears. On the finish a nice bittering hop flavor pokes through. Mouthfeel is pretty full bodied, more so than other BSPA's, perhaps, with a very creamy feel to it. Maybe a little less carbonation than Duvel or Delirium Tremens. Very drinkable - cleans off the palate well. Nothing out of balance to slow you down. Right up there with Duvel and better than Delirium Tremens.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 01:38:36 | More by bakerslp
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

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

Golden in color with excellent clarity. The thing that makes this beer is the head. Best head on a beer I've ever seen. Rises a good 4 fingers high with a very slow pour. Rises about an inch above the rim of the glass with out ever spilling over. Looks like icing on the cake or the top of an icecream float. Wow!!
Pleasent aroma of bannana, clove and other spices. It also has that Belgian funk that's typical for the style.
Lot's of fresh juice flavors in this one. Pear, Grannysmith apple, and white grape juice flavors.
Belgian spiciness. And the alcohol is detectable but not overbearing. The alcohol adds a bit of warmth and depth in the finish.
Mouthfeel is good and the carbonation is balanced. I'd actually call this one medium bodied.
I'm not a big fan of the Belgian PA style but I enjoyed this beer a lot. Very drinkable because of the excellent balance of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2008 01:04:01 | More by wcudwight
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,847 ratings.