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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,314 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,314
Reviews: 1,085
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 364
Gots: 745 | 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: 3,314 | Reviews: 1,085 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lnashsig
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a late Christmas present from my sister in Seattle, my first RR bottle re-fermentation experience. Poured slowly into my DFH snifter, pours a yellow-gold cloudy color. Smell- apple, butter, chardonnay, a hint of clove. Taste- apple cider flavors, belgian yeast is very present, nice refreshing carbonation. Some spices and there is that clove again. Mouthfeel- I love the big carbonation, this is a very smooth beer. Drinkability- I had to force myself to slow down on this and let it warm up. This is amazingly drinkable. Overall, I'm impressed. I also got Supplication and Temptation in this package, I can't wait to try those. How is it that the brewery that makes the best IPA on the planet is also capable of doing something this different and still have it be world-class? Its unfair that we cant get RR in Texas.

Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another tick on my RR -tion quest! Massive thanks goes out to Jerriko for sending me multiple bottles of this in a past trade! Batch 047 (so close!) Served from bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter (thanks for this glass Lunch!). Poured a slightly hazy straw yellow with a three finger pure white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, earthy, dark fruit, and very slight alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with low-mild carbonation. Overall this was a VERY nice brew. The flavors of this one were very close to the ones I picked up on when I tried a '23' while in Cali, but without the wood and everything in this one seemed muted in comparison. However, for a beer of this style it was quite excellent in both flavor and aroma. Very glad I got to enjoy this one!

Photo of ne0m00re
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/26/11- Had a 33 cL bottle of this one marked 056x1.
A: Pale golden with constant bubbles, big frothy head with a creamy sticky lacing.
S: Mild, pale malts, slight lemon, almost cake-like with very mild rustic notes and a very slight spicy cherry. Good.
T: Very nice, rustic twang and a slight apple with earthy woodsy character. Hops are a great mild citrus rind and earthy green and slightly floral. Well-balanced acidity and really overall.
M: Very nice, just frothy enough and then dry.
D: Good.

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

A cloudy straw with a slight orange hue. White, foamy head that lingers for a bit.

Smells of light malts, orange peel and floral notes.

There's not as much going on in this beer as the other Russian Rivers. Maybe it's the presence of the carbonation that is masking the flavors, but there's definitely some banana, bit of clove and that wheat taste to it.

Has a slight soda hit to it. The carbonation dances a bit. Very crisp though.

Definitely the lesser of the Russian River beers that I've had but not a bad one by any means. These guys really know what they're doing.

Photo of ChadQuest
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ok, i did it. i poured the yeast in. It is floating around like smoke on a still air. large cap that is staying put very well. so cool. very hazy but i caused that on purpose. such chunky lacing. I couldn't ask for anything to change in the look aspect.

The aromas is excellent with a spicy light white pepper and light fruits like pear, apple, and a really faint banana.

Has good flavors that er on the spicy side for sure, bitting up front, the pepper has been doubled and covers alot of the fainter fruits that were on the nose. Surprisingly dry, with a noble hop earthyness. An awesome tasting beer.

Photo of stingrayvr6
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Hazy golden yellow with a frothy head good retention and lacing. Smell very floral, fruity, banana and yeast. Taste light and dry floral body, mellow and sweet fruity notes, very earthy beer, medium carbonation, very smooth and drinkable, excellent beer.

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 059 poured into a Duvel goblet.

A: Hazy golden ale with a thin pale head, I probably poured it a little too timidly. Leaves some lacing down the glass. An appetizing looking ale, but it doesn't really wow me.

S: Pear, green apple, a little earthy mustiness. Very complex. Somehow, it's a very familiar and even comforting aroma.

T: The flavor does not quite live up to the nose. Lacks a little depth that I want for the style. Still damn good though, spicy more than fruity. White pepper in particular. Some steely/grassy bitterness from the hops and a little acidic bite on the finish.

M: For as dry and bitter as this finishes, it's got a wonderful amount of body to it. I actually wouldn't mind a touch more carbonation, but that's really being picky.

D: Not a hint of booziness, very smooth and light on the tongue. While it's a good beer, it's not great. That being said, it's probably one of the better American-made versions I've had.

Photo of velosuds
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a clear pint glass.

A-Pours a hazy golden hue with about a two finger head with good retention and lacing.

S-Nose is surprisingly unremarkable. Spicy yeast and fruitiness with some funk. I expected better.

T-Peppery spice from the yeast is the most prominent flavor noted. There is some mildly fruity twang with some graininess. Almost nondescript.

M-Lush, highly carbonated, and dry.

D-A good beer, but not Russian River's best production or interpretation of a beer style. I'll be damned; I have finally had a Russian River beer I won't care to have again.

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

Kind of a double review- had on tap last Saturday at RR and wrote some notes, and in bottle tonight. Pretty much the same though.

Golden straw below a pinky finger of beer that drops quickly but lingers on top of the beer for a good long bit.

Smells heavily of Belgian yeastiness, almost to the point of saison-like funkiness. Taste is overall pretty mellow. hopmalt balance is such that neither really make themselves particularly known. Just about what you would expect in terms of belgian ale taste (yeast spice), present but subdued. Not subdued in a weak way, but subdued in a way that shows that RR really knows what they are doing.

Not my favorite BSA, but it is definitely a beer that I can taste and appreciate.

Photo of VMWhelan
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Stella Artois chalice (the best I could do).

Pours a very hazy golden color with a nice white head with pretty good lacing.

Smells yeasty and fruity: some apricot, apple, banana, citrus, and a little bit of funk.

Tastes a bit sour and yeasty. Some of the apple and apricot come through in the taste, with some lemon zest and pepper as well. Alcohol not very noticeable.

Medium mouthfeel with very little carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty high. Overall it's tasty and not too agressive on the palate. As stated, alcohol is hardly noticeable.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass, per suggestions on the bottle. The beer poured a bright orange-yellow coloring, cloudy and vibrant. There was a thin, sparsely foamed head that dissipated quickly. There is a sour-cider/apple type smell, blended with malty notes. Bits of spice in the nose, also. The beer has a low-grade, light malt forward flavor, with some spice and citrus sweet offshoots. Very mild flavors, and not overspiced like some Belgians. Tasty. The spice sticks through to the aftertaste, and there is a smooth, slightly sour finish to the brew. Pretty tasty throughout, but a creepingly strong flavor that makes this a tough one to follow-up immediately with.

Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine goblet from the bottle. Decent pop from the cork, giving a small one finger sized head of good white foam bubbles. Deep gold buttery 24k yellow color with decent lacing and typical opaqueness. Lots of carbonation from the bottom. Great lacing.

Real simple nose but good. Not one scent overpowers the other but they are small, yeast first, then some bread, and then some sweet floralness

Taste is extrememely balance with a great mouthfeel. All notes of yeast and malt like qualities come through, like a Saison without all the bad sourness, and a faint citrus finish (orange). There is even some faint sting on the tongue which is a unique sensation. Even slightly crisp for such a high abv.

Because of the hard availability of this though I wouldn't be knocking down grandma to get it. It's good but I am not blown away by it at all.

Photo of The3rdbeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 60

A- Hazy gold yellow color with 2 finger head, lacing all the way down.

S- warm apple notes with apricots, spices are there along with yeast.

T- Very nice zing in the foreground, crisp pear, green apple, along with a creamy yeast flavor along with nice malt backing, banana and a hint of dried apricots in the finish. Lingering flavors of yeast and spice, hops lastly.

M- smooth, very creamy, coats your mouth lightly, perfect viscosity, hops leave my mouth parched after everything is gone.

D- Made me wish I had just bought another bottle of this instead of Angry Boy Brown Ale. Very Drinkable, amazing.. damn good damnation, one of the better Belgian Strong Pales I've had yet, not to be my last.

Photo of Verecund
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 062. Uncorked on 01.13.2010.

Pours an opaque, orange peel orange. Almost no head (just a ring about the glass), and the body looks a little thin, but there's nice lacing.

Typical BSPA nose. Green apple, yeasty phenols, some lemon and banana, and white pepper. Nice, but not mind-blowing.

Subtle spiciness. At first, Damnation is almost bland, featuring banana and clove. The apple, white-flesh-fruit fruitiness comes next complemented by a light earthy bitterness. Finally, there's a balancing clove and pepper finish, though a sweetness runs throughout the palate.

Light to medium-light bodied, just over medium carbonation.

Drinkable, but not as enjoyable to my palate as the more balanced, crisper Redemption, and maybe my least favorite Russian River to date. (Note: Least favorite RR is still winning.) Then again, BSPAs are not my favorite style, and I have a hard time immediately thinking of one I prefer.

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

375mL bottle poured into a tulip. This bottle is from batch 62 but there is no info for this batch on Russian River's website yet. Pours a cloudy, bright yellow with an inch of lumpy foam an lots of carbonation. But the foam quickly dissipates and there is no lacing. Spicy and sweet nose with classic Belgian notes of banana. Medium bodied with spot on carbonation. Rich and full on the palate. There is an earthy quality to it that is unique. It's not a roasted malt taste. I enjoy it. Honey and banana on the palate. The finish is long and sweet but not syrupy or resiny. Very pleasant. Even though it doesn't exit the palate cleanly, it is quite drinkable. I could drink a whole 750mL bottle to myself easily.

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

Pale hay color with a thin champagne-ish small bubble white head. Looks like a dignified beer. A classy beer for a classy guy like myself. No lace but consistent retention.

Aroma is floral and vibrant like the first day of Spring. Rosewater, corn (I get that from sugar adjuncts) and fruit fresh from the vine, stalk, bush, wherever. Taste follows up the fruity cornucopia beautifully - I pick up green apple, cantaloupe and fresh pear. Champagne-ish carbonation and delicate body. Fits the sinisterly sessionable character perfectly.

Photo of robwestcott
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 60. thanks to capra12 for this one.

poured cold from the bottle a sunlight gold to a dogfish head signature glass, the yeast having collected to the bottom of the bottle and swirled in to provide murkiness to what appeared at first somewhat translucent. nice long lasting foamy white head. nice retention and lacing after each sip.

great big aroma of mild belgian yeasts, pungent citrus, lemon rind, and a bit of funky, earthy hops in the wayback.

belgian taste explosion. sweet, dry, bananas, mild citrus / starfruit maybe. super toothy, big beer in a small bottle.

big bodied, smooth, super creamy, sweet with a super dry finish and some heat after.

drinkable - dangerously so.

Photo of dborginis
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 60. Appearance is clear golden with an almost vortex of turbidity in the center. Sweet standard belgian smell, very nice. A great taste, nicely sweet lingering bitterness then dry. A solid belgian style but for some reason more appealing (freshness?). I'd get it again but would be nice to find something more easily attainable with this taste. Will have to keep looking!

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden tan. Slightly hazy but pretty good complexion for a bottle conditioned beer. Great rising bubbles. Not that much head but lacing is nice.

Smells almost heffish or wheatish. A little fruity. Definite yeast. A bit earthy.

Taste EXPLOSION. Taste is more like a saison, with some heffe and a smidge of wheat beer character. Very delicious. Yeast and smooth light fruits, apricots, apples, banana and kiwis all come to mind. Just a touch of flavorful spices provides a final, delicious accent. Just a touch of cane sugar seems to be present.

Feels pretty thick and rich, much like a great saison. Bitterness is low and lingering fruit flavors are persistent.

Drinks off the charts. There's not much, including the 2012 end of the world event, that could ever make me not want another one of these wonderful brews. I know what I'm drinking come the end of the world. :)

Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a- I was a little turned off by the look of this beer. very mucky. almost like dirty dish water

s- really week, not being able to smell much. This one is starting to dissapoint.

T-woah is that good. Not a ton of bitterness but its there. The belgian funky yeast is prodominate. What great flavor. WOW

M- Perfect. The carbonation and the thickness of this beer are perfect. I need a good mouthfeel with my beer and this one hit it on the head.

D- I could drink this all day and night. I was worried about it but it ended up pulling through in the end. What a great beer. Russian River my hats off to you

Photo of rapidsequence
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 300th review.

Corked 375 ml bottle, from Tim. Batch 57, which according to the website was bottled 4/26/10 (why don't all breweries give this info?). The cage on mine fell apart and I had to use pliers to untwist it.

Appearance: Surprisingly cloudy dark yellow color poured in my Duvel tulip. I expect better clarity in this style. A big rocky head, but not the best retention. Good lacing, not the best. Clears up quite a bit over 30 minutes or so, but still with a little haze.

Smell: Ripe, but not overly sweet fruitiness with pear, apple, white grape, and a little banana. A leafy, slightly earthy hoppiness. Yeast aromas are spicy and a tiny bit musty. These really meld together well.

Taste: Very balanced flavor. Slightly sweet fruity esters and pale malt with a tart fruitiness and a bitter, earthy hops note. Finishes mostly clean with a little lingering spicy yeast flavor. Alcohol is nowhere to be found.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation but remains soft and never gets sharp. Smooth.

Drinkability: Going through this way too fast. Wish this was a 750.

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

A: Champagne colored, with two fingers of finely bubbled white head.

S: Fruity and lemony. This is the typical yeast signature of a Belgian pale.

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, and a bit crisp.

D: Very good. I could enjoy quite a few of these as they are among the better of the Belgian strong pales. A tasty citrus malty backbone makes it a refreshing drink for a warm day.

Photo of larryi86
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle Batch 060 poured into a tulip

A- A pale hazy golden color with a two finger white head

S- Nice yeast smell with hints of fruit, apples and maybe pears, and some spices

T- Very close to the smell. Getting some breadiness from the yeast, and hints of banana. Nice spices and hint of earthy pine hops in the finish.

M- Medium body, crisp, smooth, refreshing.

D- A great easy to drink Belgian style ale. Good complexity. I really wish I had more...

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Happy New Year and cheers to the 50 followers of this page.

Pours a cloudy, vibrant golden straw color. Heavily carbonated, and capped by a pleasing, tidal pool hat of persistent foam. Leaves nice, spidery lacing. Strong Belgian yeast aromas, a nice citrusy backbone, too. Like a lemon Italian Soda. A touch of sweet malt in there too, like candy sugar. Pretty cool and perfectly to style. Flavor is a nice, complex melding of a quick lemonade burst, morphing rapdily into a, effervescent interplay of yeast and malt - more to the yeast at first, then the malt kicks in and rounds out the middle. Finish is dry and lingering with a touch of bitterness. A minor, soapy character rears its unpleasant head here and there for a couple fleeting instants, but these are quickly quelled by the dominant malty/yeasty flavors. Pretty good beer. 7.75% ABV and about $4.99/375ml bottle, so fiarly higher priced than average.

What I like most: The complex flavor profile and nice, citrusy aroma.

What I like least: The price and soapy flavor components here and there.

Verdict: Good beer, worth trying for its complexity, but not elite.

Photo of jjanega08
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= Pours a golden yellow color with a nice thick off white head on it that holds steady retention and lacing. The head is just off white and rises to a nice two fingers with a gentle pour.

S= The smell is typical Belgian yeast smell coming from it with pears and green apples. There is a small hop character. Actually sort of a muted smell.

T= The taste is also unexpectedly muted in a way. The Belgian yeast flavors come through nicely for sure and the pears, green apples, and peppery spice you associate with belgian yeast comes through a little as well. A slight lemon zest comes through.

M= Great carbonation on it with a beautiful zip to it.

D= This is a very easy drinking beer for sure and a wonderful beverage but I expected a tad more from RR. Amazing to say the least but this is just a little let down.

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,314 ratings.