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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,213 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,213
Reviews: 1,071
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 353
Gots: 678 | FT: 49
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: 3,213 | Reviews: 1,071 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mwa423
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy light gold with a fluffy white head that quickly died away. Very similar to champagne.

S - Slightly wheaty and yeasty with a bit of malty sweetness and a slight hop bit.

T - Taste is exactly like the smell with very light yeasty and sweet notes. Slight hoppiness in the taste but very little stuck out in the flavor.

M/D - Mouthfeel is weak and light but not surprising for the style. This is a very easy to drink beer but it didn't have a lot that stuck out to me.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours well golden, with a little one finger white head, dense bubbles and fades to a thin white ring around my glass. Aroma is of fruity yeasty esters specifically apple, pear and apricot, and a little wet dog. Tastes crisp, clean, fruity, again green apple, pear and apricot. A little buttery. Kinda nice prickly carb, slides over the tongue. Nice drinker.

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

Gold color, not too much head wise. Nice aroma, pear, apple, and then some citrus. Didn't expect all that to come across.

Taste, just the right amount of hopping in this style to be in my comfort zone, you get the citrus without the bitterness or hop character as you would in an ipa. Similar to Duvel, more dry, more hops, more citrus.

The kind of beer you can appreciate more you have of it. At only $4.25 a bottle, was more than a worthy excursion into this style, very drinkable.

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

750ml bottle, batch 47. Pours a hazy golden color with a frothy, off-white head, good lacing. Aroma is pale malts, caramel, fruit, yeast, bread, and earthy hops. Flavor is caramel, pear, grapes, yeast, spices, and citrus hops. Mouthfeel is medium, sweet, bitter, and dry. Great beer.

Photo of hughesm4
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So imagine you are randomly driving around the coast of mid central Oregon, stopping at every place that sounds like it might sell good beer. I happen upon a place in Pacific City (or Cloverdale) as explained to me by the bar tender. My bartender happened to be Chenin Carlton, owner of the winery and sister of russian rivers brewmaster. Me and my wife had a terrific time tasting wines and beers for the better part of two hours. Chenin was extremely helpful in other local beer hot spots and wineries and we intend to try a few of them out in the upcoming days. If you are in the Portland/Central Oregon Coastal area look this place up.But to get to the beer review.
a-poured a very nice medium brown that had a nice amount of head and kept the bubbles up throughout the drink.
s- smelled just like a strong belgian is expected to; a variety of fruits along with a slight malty sweetness.
t-holy cow! my mouth is going crazy as write this review. This beer gives me all of the fruit and I love it. Every taste is a little different with some leading to citrus hops, some leading to banana and other fruits, and some leading to the sweet maltiness. both my wife and i loved this beer
m/d-very fulling in the mouth with the variety of fruit flavors. possible one of the smoothest drinkers that i have ever had, leaving me wishing that i could have another at some point. this was one of the best drinkers that i have ever had and I was very disappointed that i couldn't bring any home to my fellow beer lovers.

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

Batch 054 750ml corked. Pours a perfectly clear golden color (looks like champagne) with a beautiful white, frothy head. Scent is somewhat spicy with some highly detectable Belgian yeasts. A bit peppery with some sweet fruit aromas. A bit of a floral aroma as well. Wow, the taste is very divine. I've had this beer fresh, but this one's got a bit of time on it. The flavors are very complex with such subtleties that make it an awesome Belgian style ale. Initially, you get the crisp floral notes followed by a peppery/spice bite. There's a fruity sweetness that is in every moment of the sip as well. The mouthfeel as crisp and clean (like a triple). I'm really liking what a little age has done with this beer. Drinkability is EXTREMELY high with alcohol hidden perfectly.

Photo of vkv822
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into snifter.
batch 56

Pours a slightly cloudy golden color, with fair carbonation rising up to an extremely thick and bubbly white head. The head keeps great retention throughout the life of the beer.
Has a pleasant slightly herbal yeast aroma upfront, with good hints of fruit and floral hops.
Has a prominent herbal-Belgian-yeast flavor with a light backing of floral and fruit hops mixed with biscuit malt notes.
The mouthfeel is nice medium to light body, with fair carbonation.
I really enjoyed this beer, and am impressed with my first offering from Russian River. I will definitely be trying more from them!

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

Batch#44 poured into a large wine glass.
A hazy orange brew that produces a 1/2 inch head with very good retention, tipping the glass results in nice lacing.
Smells of earthy malts with overtones of crisp apples and coriander very clean smelling.
Initial taste is greeted with a nice bite from the delicate carbonation, then a smooth malt sweetness followed by the typical belgian yeast fruit shaded of ripe banana and spice.
There is a slight hop dryness in the finish.
A stellar brew, and another star from this incredible brewery.

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

On tap at RR

Pour was crisp bright blonde. The head fizzles away before it got to me.

Lots of funk on the nose. Hints of green apple and white grape. Lots of spice. Light banana and clove.

This is funky. Far funkier than the bottle version. Lots of banana and clove blend well with a nice yeasty flavor. This was all funk through out.

Nice and light, with a strong carbonation. Finish was dry.

Quite tasty although a bit funky for me. Funk heads would not be disappointed.

Photo of cbutova
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 053, was excited to finally try this one, reviewed from notes.

A- Murky golden yellow with a nice champagne-like fluffy head. Decent retention and big chunks of spotty lace. Nice cloud and frothy ring.

S- Classic Belgian notes. Some clove spice, fruit notes (both dark and light, tart) and some zest. A bit of banana esters and slight Euro hops.

T- Balanced, nice Belgian flavor. Clove/coriander spice is there but does not upset the balance. Citrus, dark fruit and raisin notes as well. Some bready yeast and even apples. Noble hop flavors in the very background.

MF- Smooth carbonation, very slight sting. Fairly creamy light body and low bitterness. Slightly warm. Just a bit thin.

DB- A nice balanced Belgian flavor. Not too spicy with a good fruit aspect and some hops. Hard to describe because it is really just another variation on the often unbalanced Belgian flavor set.

Photo of Chico1985
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

cbutova has been waiting a while to break this out and finally did so at our tasting last night. Thanks Cam! This was Batch 53, according to the RR website bottled 11-12-09.

Pours cloudy golden orange, lots of floaties. White head retains well and leaves a bit of lacing.

Scent is very lemony and spicy with some funk on the back end.

Taste is lots of spice and yeast, lemon, apple, some earthy hayness. Maybe some vanilla. There is some sort of off-taste I can't pinpoint. Well-carbonated.

I dunno, nothing really struck me as great for this one, a rarity for Russian River. Then again BSPA has never been my favorite style.

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

Appearance - Poured a hazed golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

Smell - Is of spice some funk and yeast

Taste - Follows the nose the spice is the dominate flavor with the funk and yeast finishing things off

Mouthfeel - This beer has a light body with high carbonation to it

Ddrinkablility - As with just about any other RR beer I've had this is top notch easy to drink maybe too easy with a good take on the style this is worth finding to try sometime

Photo of nataku00
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a 10 oz tulip glass in a local beer restaurant. A golden ale with an inch of beige head. Head retention is excellent, and laces nicely down the glass I drank from it.

Smells of wheat and grapefruit, but not very overpowering. A little fresh baked bread as well, likely from the yeast.

Tastes like it smells, lightly hopped on the finish, but is very clean. The tight carbonation did not decrease as I continued drinking it, and made for a pleasant release of flavor as it hits the tongue.

Pretty easy to have several of these and not notice that it's a fairly strong beer.

Photo of mfunk9786
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in the most amazing and shocking way possible. My local Wegmans, that offers $10.99 flat-rate make-your-own six packs, had this sitting on the singles shelf advertising the deal (along with stuff like Great Divide Hercules and Founders Cerise... not sure how they make money with this offer). I was thrilled to have the opportunity to pick this up for what amounted to less than $2!

A: At risk of sounding lewd: Do you like head? Because if you do, this beer will amaze you. Poured like a high school science project after a loud cork pop, bubbles fizzing in the liquid, leading up to a big, foamy head that kept rising and rising. Took me about 5 minutes and two hearty sips to manage to fill my 12 oz Unibroue Tulip with this 12-ish oz bottle. The head is fluffy and depletes in a very respectful and beautiful way, while leaving lacing all the way up the glass to the rim. Can't say enough about how lovely this beer is. The actual liquid portion of the beer is a cloudy dark yellow that begs to be sipped. Perfect.

S: Smells lovely (jeez, I just splashed myself with a bit of this enthusiastically reaching it back up to my nose for the 100th time...). Banana and clove is present, with candy-sweet Belgian yeast coming through strong. Slight citrusy scent, presumably from the hops.

T: This beer is every bit as delicious as Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde, and I hope it one day attains that beer's level of notoriety. The Belgian yeast plays bookends here, starting with a pleasant sweetness and finishing with a lovely tart sensation on the tongue. In-between are the flavors you've become accustomed to with this style: clove, banana, peppery spices, and a lovely fruity sourness (sort of a peach character, and I mean that in the best way as someone who runs and hides from the mere mention of peach flavor).

M: The sweet/sour tongue-assault of the yeast makes this one a surefire sipper, but there's hardly an alcohol presence here thanks to the sheer amount of flavor.

D: A sipper for sure, but you'll love it to the last drop. Such a beautiful beer.

This was my first Russian River, and now I'm more jazzed up to eventually try the Plinys than ever. I'm lucky enough to live in PA, where I get to at least try some of this brewery's offerings on the east coast, but I've still yet to find either the Elder or Younger. Maybe someday. This will certainly do in the meantime.

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

Poured a golden orange with yellow highlights with a half finger of head that left good blotchy lacing sticking to the glass. The aromas were wonderful which consisted of pears, apples, banana, slight spice, belgian yeast, and a good malt presence. The flavors on the palate were very similar to the nose but the fruit characters were a bit more potent which was a great thing for me. It was nicely balanced and had nice pear, apple, banana, and spice notes that really complimented each other. The malt was not as but did help out to stabilize the sweetness. The brew was medium body with a good amount of tingly carbonation that had a sweet fruity and slight crisp finish. It drank very well and was super tasty. I've had this on tap and in bottle and have to say I like it better out of the bottle. I'm glad I have access to this beer on a daily.

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

Batch 56x3, 375ml corked-and-caged, with Delirium snifter.

A - Slightly hazy golden orange with a large but short lived frothy white head. Very little lacing on the glass.

S - Malty sweet candy-like pilsner malts up front with the esters making a big entrance right behind. Huge pears and citrus with just a touch of banana. A light perfumy alcohol character sneeks up and is more evident as the beer warms. Light spicy hop aromas.

T/M - Pilsner malt sweetness followed by a clean, firmly bittered hoppy finish. Again, the esters are quite noticeable and are reminiscent of mostly apples and citrus. Light hoppy spiciness help with the clean finish. The aftertaste lingers for awhile with a slight solventy flavor. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Not slick but quite effervescent but could use just a little bit more flavor all-around.

D - Okay, but I think I would rather switch over to some of the drier and cleaner-finishing examples of the style (Duvel, Afflgem Blond) before having many of these in one night. Still a great beer, and a good example of a Belgian style beer that is made by one of the only breweries in America that can actually get these beer close-to-correct.

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

Never had Damnation, so when I received this one from ptykozoon as an extra in a recent package, I figured I'd toss it in the fridge and give it a shot. Batch 057x1 in a 375 ml bottle poured into my Dogfish Head signature glass. The beer itself is a dark cloudy straw color and produces a one finger cap of white foam, which is surprisingly sticky. It leaves a fair amount of lacing throughout the glass.

Pleasant combination of Belgian spices, clove, and banana. It also has a nice herbal / grassy smell to it. It smells fresh, clean, and dry. Not really sure what I was expecting from this, but I am more impressed than I anticipated. At the very end of a deep smell I pick up small amounts of citrus. As the beer warms the citrus becomes a bit more prevalent - orange and lemon.

The taste is very Belgian-y. Very spicy with a hint of coriander. Lots of yeastiness as well. A bitterish citrus taste rounds this one off, and I'm left with a spicy Belgian aftertaste. The taste is fairly mild - oh, and definite clove in there as well. Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

The Damnation is definitely a solid beer. I could easily put this one away in no time. It certainly is a testament to the quality of Russian River when I can say that the Damnation is probably my least favorite of theirs that I have had, yet I've quite enjoyed it. What do we have to do to get them to start distributing to Indiana?

Consumed: 8/8/2010

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

Poured from a 375 ml corked bottle into a brandy snifter.

The cork was eager to pop as soon as I removed the cage. I had to hold it back until I was ready. I let the cork ease out on its own. Loud pop but no overflow.

A - Hazy golden appearance, OK pale foamy head that didn't last very long with minimal lacing.

S - Sweet pleasant spiciness.

T - Begs to be sipped. True to the Belgian style. Very sweet, spicy, effervescent, light, belying the noble ABV.

M - The feel is very pleasant in the mouth and the aftertaste is very pleasant.

D - This is the quintessential sipping beer.

Poured the remaining beer into the snifter - yeast and all and enjoyed it to the last drop - and yeast cell. Nothing goes to waste.

Batch 056x2

Update 3/2/11
Batch 062 Better than I remember - acquired taste?
Updated score to reflect my more "mature" palate.

Photo of kimd03
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you're a member of the clergy, have small children around or generally abstain from cursing, I would steer clear of this beer. The moment you sip it, you will say OMFG out loud. Something about the Damnation label name and pitchfork will bring it out as guaranteed as the fact that this beer is brewed in Santa Rosa. After I had it, I had to buy the Damnation t-shirt at the brewery too. My parents hate it.

Onto the beer. It pours perfect with a nice thick white head. We drank a bottle while camping in the Redwood Forests with a pelt of rain coming down on our heads, but the taste just washed away all worries about wet clothes and catching pneumonia.

In the meantime, I want to find a way to bring this beer to Houston so I can offer it to Joel Osteen and put him on YouTube saying OMFG!

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

Huge thanks to colonelforbin for the extra! Batch 057X1. Poured into my cigar city snifter.

A- Pours hazy yellow in color. 3 fingers worth of head. Solid retention and some spotted lacing left.

A- Yeast up front. Fruits follow the yeast. There is banana, lemon, and apples. Some clove or clove like spice.

T- Banana and yeast dominate. There are hints of lemon and apples in play. Maybe a bit of pear present. There is a biscuit suggestion also present. The spice is clove and this leads to a slight peppery flavor. There is no sign of alcohol here.

M- Lighter side of medium, but oddly sort of creamy. Highly carbonated with a semi-dry finish.

D- Almost want to compare this to a heffe, not my favorite style, yet it's highly drinkable. Especially on a hot day.

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

P: 12.68 fl oz tall brown bottle. Batch 056X1. Poured into a sniffter.

A: three finger head that retains great. Head gets larger the longer it sits. Very carbonated! Orange in color. Some lacing.

S: Yeast, citris spices, hops, herbal. Very nice balance of smells.

T: Citris spices, hops, herbal.

M: Medium body, and lots of carbonation.

D: Great beer! Really loved this one. I would drink it all night if I could afford it! : ) can't wait to try this one again!

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

Thanks to my buddy Jeff for grabbing me two of these on a recent trip he took to Colorado. Review is from notes taken on 7/31/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a crisp golden straw color with a massive 4 finger soapy white head; body is hazy/cloudy and shows tons of quick carbonation; head was amazing retention; big foamy pillowy swaths of lacing are left behind as the head slowly dissipates to a full and radically uneven cap.

Smell: Very crisp dry graininess right up front; a definite presence of Belgian yeastiness and a peppery/spiciness; a light sweet perfumey smooth fruitiness (some essence of acidic apple or pear).

Taste: Super! Smooth and slightly acidic apple (but not overly "burny" from it); nice pepper and corriander spicing; slight toasty graininess and a bit of a bitter grassy hop presence.

Mouthfeel: Body is light to medium-light and has tons of soft and smooth/foamy carbonation; a semi-thick and semi-dry coating is left behind and the finish as a whole is quite dry with an aftertaste that holds all of the flavors; belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: Flat out solid -- great scents, flavors and a weight that won't bog you down; ABV may start to feel like a bit much though at nearly 8%, but I feel that if time is taken, this could be drank all night.

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

Had this on tap a whole bunch of times, finally reviewing it in the bottle.

Always a pale hazy yellow, light orange. Good white head and and lacing to follow.

Smells pretty belgian to me, coulda fooled me as well. Gentle spice, some tang of hops.

Taste is mildly sweet, pretty highly carbed but brewed to style. Tasty brew for sure.

Photo of Augustiner719
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml corked and caged bottle. Has a ridiculous head and a really nice honey yellow orange color going on. Smell is very fruity and has a touch of floral hop going on. Tastes very very nice. Has a fruity taste with sour peaches and nectarines. Slight hop profile to balance out the body of the beer. Really spectacular. Mouthfeel is nice also with that Belgian style floral hops going on. Drinkability is also high as this is really just delicious and balanced. My second Russian river beer and love it.

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

Batch 056X1, served from a 375mL bottle into an over-sized wine glass.

A- Golden & hazy, light apricot hue, vigorous bubbling, whipped white head that quickly fades to about a centimeter.

S- Sweet citrus, cedar/fresh cut lumber, malt, faint alcohol

T/M- Sweet, earthen, apricot, faint peach, very carbonated, light & creamy.

D- Different for the style, but I really like what Russian River has done with this. It is very earthy, smells strongly of cedar when cold, and as it warms, the fruit flavor and smell come out. I will be having this again when I can get my hands on it.

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,213 ratings.