Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

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3,223 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,223
Reviews: 1,072
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 352
Gots: 677 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beerguy101 on 09-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,223 | Reviews: 1,072 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chincino
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on-tap at the Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, CA in August 2010 as part of a sampler of the beers they had on-tap that day and I also had this beer in a pint glass.

The beer poured a hazy yellow color. It had an aroma of fruit and spice predominantly a lemon smell.

The beer was light to medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

This beer was unique and had a slight bitter aftertaste.

I enjoyed this beer and would recommend it although it was not my favorite of the beers I tried that day at Russian River Brewing Company.

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

Poured into a snifter. Batch 056x1. Plenty of carbonation going on here. The cork was far too eager to come out. First pour gave four plus fingers of head.

4.0 A: Hazed orange brownish color. Big moderately dense white froth with good retention and tons of lacing.

4.5 S: Almost saison like due to the big presence of fruit and spices. Pear, peach, lemon, and wild apple fruitiness. Herbal spiciness with a touch of corriander and clove. Small touch of vegetal herbalness as well. Fairly strong yeastiness.

4.0 T: The taste is more lemony that the nose and less of the other fruits. Some banana in there as well. Grassy and herbal hops. Corriander is fairly strong in the taste, but the clove is more subdued like in the nose. Not really strong flavors, but good enough and they seem to work pretty well together.

4.5 M: Medium body. Higher carbonation that comes off as spritzy and works pretty well. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

4.0 D: Definitely a good beer. A bit pricey, but a good treat every now and then. Solid throughout.

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

Damnation Batch 43 into chalice. Side by side with batch 23 (46)

Pours over 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Good head retention with some thick lace. Active carbonation. Color is a slight hazed dark golden orange.

Aroma: Pineapple juice up front with some bananas following quickly. A fruit cocktail. Pears as well. Some coriander and spice. Belgian yeast.

Taste: Very dry here. Coriander, spice, and yeast all show. Bready malts here. Pears, dried apples, and some orange peel show. Has some earthy, grassy hops. Not as sweet as the nose.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp/bubbly. Medium bodied with a ton of carbonation. Ends extremely dry.

Overall, a decent Belgian, but the taste alters a bit too much from the nose in an unwilling favor. Nice mouthfeel, but ends too dry for me. Decent drinkability.

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

Wasn't particularly sure if this would be sour or not (it wasn't), but it was a really good brew, in my opinion. Light, zesty, refreshing, it reminds me of a spring beer--actually in the same vein as Fantome Printemps, though not as good. Light bodied, well carbonated, great drinkability. Lemons, some grassiness, and light malt/yeast notes are the big players here.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To be honest I wasnt sure what to expect out of this beer and I bought it mainly just to try another Russian River.

Great head and leaves nice lacing.

A golden yellow color with lots of bubbles.

The smell is of grass and lemons, this would be a great summer brew.

The taste is lemon, alcohol, and slight biscuit. The alcohol is definitely but almost in a good way and is covered pretty well for the most part.

Photo of hardy008
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 059

Hazy lemon color with a 2 finger white head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has lemon, spices, green apple,and yeast.

The beer tastes just like it smells with lemon, spices, green apple, and yeast. Some light sweetness, balanced by bitter lemon citrus.

Light to medium bodied, finishes dry and somewhat bitter. Well carbonated. Another great beer from Russian River.

Photo of kbutler1
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Batch 43, thanks to mothman. Poured into a tulip glass a slightly hazed orange amber color with a big pillowy bone white head of 2 fingers. Nice lace left on the glass as it settles. Really citric nose with pineapple, orange, and pear. Nice light mouthfeel with good carbonation. The sip yields a nice flavor of fruit cocktail with the aformentioned fruit but without too much sweetness. Some alcohol notes. Some bitterness kicks in in the middle and stays arond until the end. Drinks fairly dry. Ends nicely with a subtle warming effect. I went into this beer without expectations and I find this is quite a nice drinking beer without being overly cloying or boozy.

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

This brew pours a golden straw hue with nice carbonation that leaves behind a creamy whipped three finger head and heaps of lacing everywhere,the smell is mainly banannas and belgian yeast mixed with tropical punch,it has a medium bodied mouthfeel with yeasty bread the first flavour i get followed with a bananna/coconut/paw paw hit very tropical flavours and is rounded out with a barley sugar sweetness right at the end,overall not bad but to be honest i was expecting a little more but glad ive tried it.

Photo of porcelli426
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tumbler

A: Fuzzy golden with little head retention

S: Bland, a little bread yeast-like smell

T: yeasty and malty. Some fruit

M: Not bad, medium mouth-feel

D: Very drinkable. Could easily drink another if it had a little more flavor

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

750mL bottle into Duvel Tulip

A: Golden/Almost straw color with 3" thick, white whipped-cream like foam

S: Mango! Tropical fruit. Smell of a very "sticky" and sweet fruit. Once the foam dissipated, I can smell some "yogurty" Belgian yeast.

T: Low-medium, maltiness with some husky (tannin) character upfront. This tannin may be due to the presence of wheat... Some hop bitterness is felt after this maltiness. Noticed a very clean Belgian yeast flavor after my palate got used to the beer. Finishes dry, with accompanied by a warmth from alcohol.

M: Very smooth. There's some tannin twang which is very pleasant.

D: highly drinkable. This one does not exhaust your palate after a sip.

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

I got this bottle as a very generous extra from Dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!

A: Poured a beautiful, cloudy, apricot orange color, with with a huge VERY white 2 + inch head that lingered throughout the session.

S: Fresh yeast, pears, mandarin oranges, and an awesome filtered water quality. Zesty and funky!

T: To describe the taste would be to describe the taste profile of Russian River in general: Belgian funky yeast, combined with ground up aspirin, citrus fruit, and very minimal spices.

M: No booze detected, and when I finished the session, my glass came out clean as a whistle. In general, this was thick enough without being too.

D: I tend to think of this brew as the baseline brew for RR's sour beer offerings (eg. Supplication, Temptation, Consecration, etc.). Don't expect a jaw-locking sour experience here, and if one were to do a RR sour beer tasting, I would recommend to start with this one. I honestly couldn't image a more refreshing craft drinker.

Photo of beagle75
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The label reads batch 060.

A: Slightly hazy, bright golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Juicy, bright fruit (pear, apple, apricot, lemon) is most pronounced throughout, with funky saison-character yeast detectable initially but dissipating over time. Other scents detected include cloves and vinous fermented grain.

T: Begins dry, acidic, then quickly turning bitter. Delicate bright fruit and toasted grain briefly emerge in the middle. The finish is short and remarkably clean, ending as dry as this beer began.

M: Medium viscosity with moderate carbonation. This beer is very pleasantly wet, effervescent, and refreshing.

D: This beer is a faithful but characteristically American interpretation of the style that's delicious and continually invigorating on the palate. The alcohol is felt before it is tasted, in line with other Belgian-style strong pale ales of quality. Capable of taking the place of a dry white wine in pairings, the presence of too many heavy savory flavors would bury the delicate nuances found here.

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

Poured into my favorite glass, a Duvel Tulip.

A: A hazy golden copper color meets the eyes. An immense head develops and settles into a permanent one finger height.

S: Smells strongly of fruit and yeasty esters. I'm especially getting apricots in the nose. Plenty of spice in there as well. Cloves and citrus are a consistent backdrop.

T: Plenty of spice and alcohol up front. A balanced level of fruit and earthy hops are there as well. The fruit and alcohol linger to the very end, where the yeast notes come to the fore.

M: Smooth and silky on the tongue. This is an excellent brew. Comes to a dry finish.

O: A definite sipper, this one definitely drinks like a Strong Pale Ale.

Photo of jneiswender
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into a tasting glass. Served cool.

A-gold body and a fluffy white head

S-yeasty, clove and minty

T-nice yeasty bread, clove and some fruit

M-light, slowly trying finish

D-Delightful. Just a great beer. Highly drinkable and I would have this again.

Photo of SirRuss
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - I 've grown wary of examples of belgian goldens and tripels that exhibit strong accents of orange, and as such this brew's marigold complexion immediately waves little red flags at me. Coloration concerns aside, the dense sedimentary haze offers convincing reassurance, and the pearly white head erupts with a respectable firmness.

S - Masses of mandarin race to the nose, with a decent amount of spice - particularly clove - and yeasty esters hot on its heels. Lighter floral notes float on the sides more like spectators than competitors in what turns out to be a fairly eclectic contest.

T - The little red flags were right: The mandarin dominance spins the beer off balance. The hops take on a zesty character, and the clove is lost somewhere in the shadow. In its favor, a nice level of earthiness is achieved, and a raw honey quality provides some relief from the orange obesity.

M - Not bad. The carbonation is fairly well integrated, and the malt and alcohol balance well. I can't help but feel slightly disappointed that it doesn't offer a little more weight all round, and in this respect it comes-off a little thin.

D - There's no reason why you can't sip on this stuff indfinitely. The carbonation creates an agreeable crispness that can handle the sugar content, and the zestiness makes it fairly cleansing. It's only enemy is perhaps boredom, and the need for something a little more complex/interesting.

Overall this is a pretty inoffensive example of a belgian golden ale, but there are too many outstanding alternatives out there to convince me to revisit this one.

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

Huge thanks to Derek for this bad boy! You are the man! Batch 59 poured into my snifter.

A- Bright yellow candy to tangerine orange body with huge amounts of carbonation. Ridiculous amounts. Pure white wedding lace collar lasts and lasts. Big puffy bubbles all across the glass. The lacing spreads evenly across the glass with very little breaks in the curtain.

S- Crisp fruity notes. Candied belgian sugars common to this style come forward. Slight floral funk to the edging. Almost tea-like in its herbal nature.

T- Bright is the first word that comes to mind. Its very funk forward with a sweetened regular tea quality to it. It blends onward to be unsettling in how its sugar quality presents, artificial. It saturates the receptors leaving the bitterness and hops to come forward. Quickly it fades out and leaves a relatively clean finish.

M- Creamy, very carbonated but bordering awful, and nice flavor presentation on the palate and soft palate. It comes across smoother and more viscous than I was expecting by far. Stacked a bit harder than some stouts even.

D- Awesome. I wasn't as impressed with this one as I was expecting, but still a solid showing. Clean, sweet, and only a few flaws. Above average by far. I'd love a few more of these just to enjoy while playing some LoL.

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

Poured into a St. Louis Gueuze tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy light gold color with three fingers of stark white rocky head. About half an inch of head remains after a few minutes.

Aromas of malt, hard candy. No hops to speak of. Some figs and golden raisins are also there, towards the back, as the poured brew warms.

First sip is of a slight citrus fruitiness, mainly lemony, with some candy sweetness, and a touch of an alcohol bite. Very much like a lower alcohol version of Duvel. Some yeasty phenolics as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and toward the dry side, very mouth coating. A slight burn from the alcohol.

Very drinkable, and dangerously sessionable.

Photo of tigg924
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, gold in color, high carbonation

Smell: citrus, fruit, and light floral hops

Taste: lemon, orange, lime, light hops at the end

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation,sweet and smooth with the hops being prickly and their presence felt at the end.

Drinkability: A wonderful and delicate beer that gets the flavor out. One of the most pleasant citrus beers I have had. This might be my favorite in the style. I do want this again.

Photo of pburland23
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a caged and corked bottle (batch #58) into a Hoegaarden Grand Cru tulip.

Beer pours an light, but hazy straw color with an enormous, lingering head. The smell is intensely fruity. I pick some bananas and a few other fruit scents that I can't quite identify.

The taste is off malts and then some very dry hop bitterness at the back end. The carbonation is sublime as it stays sharp through the entire glass. Altogether, it's a very smooth drinking beer with a delightful dry finish.

An enjoyable Belgian Strong Pale Ale. I could go for one or two more in a sitting.

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

A - Poured into a large tulip. Golden in color with a perfectly sized white head. Had no problem with the head getting too big while pouring.

S - About what you would expect in the way of fruit, citrus, floral, and yeast.

T - I quite enjoyed this one. Lovely rich flavors that aren't overdone or overpowering. Completely pleasant with enough body. Balanced.

M - Lovely mouthfeel. Refreshing carbonation with nice body to it.

D - Just the right amount of drinkability for me. Enjoyable and easy to keep drinking, but rich enough to make you savor the flavor.

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

A: Light golden (surprise!) with large creamy mousse, active and continuing bubbles throughout consumption.
S: Yeasty bready aromas with some light fruit and spice esters (banana, clove, etc). Like a banana oat muffin.
T: Rich flavors, some more of that banana oat muffin. Yeast flavors very present as expected from the nose. Shy acididty which makes the richness apparent.
M: Heavy liquid refreshed by the frizzante. Distinctly rich across the tongue with the carbonation hitting the sides of the mouth.
D: Excellent drinkability. Strong enough to encourage sipping and enjoying, crisp and delicious enough to encourage having another.

I have never been an outspoken fan of this beer, but rating it's components, I keep coming back to them all being very good. Strange. I suppose that as a whole it just doesn't make that much of an impression on me while still being a superbly well crafted brew. Mind you, I do enjoy this with some regularity.

Photo of brendan13
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy dark golden with 2cm of dense white head that slowly falls away leaving rings of lacing down the glass.
S - Honey like sweetness with peach & pear fruity esters & spicy phenolic character.
T - Taste is exquisete. A wonderful balance of pale malt sweetness without being cloying along with the frutity peach character & spicy phenolic notes.
M - Medium bodied with a light acidic touch. Moderate carbonation.
D - A delightful beer. Something I'd buy again if it wasn't such a rare find here.

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

14th review on BA
Bottle poured into snifter
Corked and Caged 375 ML, Batch #59

Being the 3rd RR I've had but the first sour, I am extremely excited. While its not the best belgian style i've had its certainly up there with the best.

App- I didn't get the giant head that some people got off of theres but it could be it was a smaller bottle but I got a hazy, cloudy orange. Very thin head only about 1/4" and white. Great lacing and very carbonated.

Smell- Very citrus with orange mostly. Got a lot of floral in the nose as well. Has that lush and full belgian style nose I love.

Taste- Not at all what I was expecting. Bubbles away on each sip. Not the big scary beer I was hoping for but more a delicate and intricate balance of all flavors. For a medium 7% ABV. Doesnt feel like it

Mouth- Like a belgian champagne with the dry feel and with all the bubbles and complex flavors working together. I enjoyed it very much.

Drink- I'm sure it's not an everyday beer. However, it was a good beer and for what it is a great example of what RR can do with a beer. I don't think I could handle more than 1 or else a second would sneak up on you and make you forget a section of time.

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

Super high head so watch your pour and be careful. It has a light orange, hazy body and leaves lace all down the glass.

The smell is orange (again) with pear or apple esters, biscuity malts and a little mustiness. It smells a lot like Orval.

The taste is very musty in the wet hay sense. It attacks the upper corners of your mouth and overshadows many of the other flavors which are superb once you find them. There's a pithy orange and a sweet bread malt under it all. But the mouthfeel and taste is dominated by the mustiness which detracts from everything else, although it does hide the alcohol. This does diminish as the beer warms and the background flavors become easier to pick out. The pithy orange becomes more like a blood orange flavor in the process.

Despite the mouthfeel you continue to drink to try to discern and enjoy the underlying flavors.

Photo of hophead247
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a heady golden color. Lots of lingering frothy goodness. Aroma is sweet, earthy, flowery and spicy. Flavor is very much the same with notes of banana clove and some spice followed by bready malts. A real nice balance to this beer. Not my favorite style, but a damn good example.

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,223 ratings.