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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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3,309 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,309
Reviews: 1,084
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 361
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: 3,309 | Reviews: 1,084 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westweasel
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From my sister-in-law in CA.
Thanks Nor!!!

Poured from a 350ml bottle into a New Belgium goblet. The beer pours a hazy golden yellow with a large, bright white head. Oodles of carbonation bubbles are rising from the center of the glass.

The aroma is filled with a hay-like barnyard scent along with apples and pears.

The flavors in this beer start with bready, white dinner rolls and pears, followed by hay and a peppery spice and a dry, refreshing finish.

The mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation and that dry finish.

Especially with the soft, dry finish - this is one extremely drinkable beer.

Photo of Chizoad
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Trappist in Oakland.

Nearly no head, but a persistent lacing on top of the beer and on the glass. A clear, vibrant yellow color without much carbonation.

A nice aroma that reminds me of some other beers, like the Hennepin from Ommegang or the Delirium Tremens. Yeastiness? Probably some citrus too.

The taste evokes much of the same, although I picked up a not unpleasant metallic twang now and again. Only the faintest hops. There's some depth in it that is a little surprising, like it hinting at something great ... but never really gets there.

Low carbonation, fairly light in body, and thus pleasant enough to drink. I could definitely have more than one of these, although this time around it was only one.

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

Loud pop upon uncorking signaling a healthy amount of carbonation.

A beautifully clear, golden amber pour with two fingers worth of thick, fluffy head; not dense. The head also leaves behind plenty of sticky lace as the steady streams of tiny bubbles continue to ascend from the depths of the tulip glass.

Aroma is packed with tropical fruits and yeast spiciness. Funky and definitely musky/earthy, but in a good way. However the musk does blanket some of the less assertive aroma compounds.

Honeydew melon flavor hits right at the beginning of the sip. Oranges, sweet grain backbone, and a semi-dry finish with some earthy hop flavor, straw and subtle biscuit notes. The bitterness tingles on the tongue. Very crisp flavor with good balance.

Light bodied and acutely creamy while being mouth coating. Medium to high carbonation.

Flavors work well as none are competing with each other (good harmony). The tropical fruit flavor burst is delicious and the mouthfeel accentuates the taste. Highly drinkable and very well crafted.

Photo of LuckyBrewer
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Style: Belguim Strong Pale Ale
Brewery: Russian River Brewery Company
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Website: http://www.russianriverbrewering.com/
Serving Type: 750 mL
ABV: 7.74 ABV

Pour: Smooth pour with a thick head that shows even legs.

Smell: This beer has a great Belgium yeast smell to it, with a hint of clean crisp malt.

Taste: This an exceptional example of an American attempt at a Belgium golden ale. The taste is well balanced, most Belgium's are a little too sweet for my liking, but not this one. The taste was so well balance and dynamic that I feel they have out done themselves.

Drinkability: I usually can not drink this type of beer for more than one 750 mL bottle, however for this brew I could drink about two bombers.

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

A - Bright golden color, yellowish, nice retention on the white head that left a bit of lacing.

S - Malty, yeasty, some apple, banana, fruity, quite belgiany.

T - Pretty solid take on this style. No overpowering yeast or phenol notes, somewhat fruity but not too sweet. Bit of clove, some pear.

M - Slightly syrupy in a medium bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - Easy enough drinker, nice tasting, wouldn't mind this one again.

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

I've passed at least one hundred opportunties to buy and try Russian River's original flagship beer. Funny what a smaller 375 ml bottle does to me. On to the beer:

A perfect pour into my Stella Artois chalice yields a big, whipped head and a beautiful goldenrod color. It is sexy looking, yeah! Hoppy in the nose realtive to the overall picture. Also hints of Belgian candi sugar, bubblegum, and apricot as well.

First impression leads me to believe that this could be a Belgian IPA, but as I learn it isn't quite hoppy enough. Light waves of canided apricots hit the palate with earthy malt. Notes of aspirin. And yes, there are faded hops hitting. Squint your eyes (or in this case, your palate) and you'll find it. Damn, where's the alcohol? Finishes dry with a little yeast and hop bitterness leftover. Light and airy in the mouth, nailed it and then some.

Here's a "lighter" strong Belgian pale for you aficionados of Belgian-styled beer. Just be aware that the 375 ml bottle may not be enough for some.

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

Ive been holding on to this one for a little while and I decided to bust it open and christen my RR glass. This bottle is from batch 54.

Poured a glowing straw yellow color with tons of effervesence. A puffy white head of about 1 finger. Tremendous lacing on the glass.

Smell is typical Belgian all the way. Lots of yeast and clove and spice. Maybe a touch of lemon zest but not much else.

Taste is the same. Belgian yeast and clove.

Very carbonated but smooth and clean finishes. A nice tang at the end and the alcohol is completely hidden.

Overall this a a nice beer. It's a notch or 2 under Duvel for the style but very drinkable.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into Duvel.

A: Bright honey/gold/straw in color. Rocky three finger head. Effervescence comparable to a champagne. Head resides to one finger after a long time leaving evidence of lacing.

S: Some sweet malts, fruity esters (apple), some biscuits, and belgian yeast spiciness (cloves?).

T: Taste evokes biscuit/bread, clove like spice of belgian yeast, a bit of bitter resin, subtle fruity esters, slight phenols presence.

M: Pretty light bodied with tons of carbonation. Tiny slightly assertive bubbles. A bit creamy. Somewhat dry finish.

D: An easy drinker, but not something I want a bunch of in a night. Reminds me a lot of Duvel only with slightly less body.

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

a- piss yellow, looks like apple juice with a nice big ol' head, great carbonation and very nice lacing.

s- very bready, yeasty, wheats, grains, bananas, cinnamon, etc.

t&m- pretty plain and simple... lots of yeasty bready goodness, hints of some lemons and bananas, clove, brown sugar, a little bit sweet but not over the top. very good example of the style.

d- goes down easy, above average belgian style beer from a good brewery. recommended for sure.

Photo of hobojon
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Russian River globe from a 375ml bottle. Batch 055x2.

Aroma- pear, fruity, spicy ester, sweet malt. clean. subtle floral, spicy hops (styrian goldings?). powdery.

App- clear. big white foam dissipates to a 1/4'' layer. laces glass. good retention. golden straw.

Taste- fruity, spicy and pear. some limey citrus. peppery. subtle green apple. similar to Duvel but different in a pleasing way. some yeasty/bready undertones. some chalk/salt aftertaste. spicy lingering hop bitterness dries out the beer. mellow resin. nice finish.

Mouthfeel- creamy, full carb. dry and fluffy. really good mouthfeel.

Overall- great. will buy again. nice, balanced well done Belgian golden strong. not unique, but really well done.

Photo of emmasdad
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow body, with a thick white head. Light floral notes on the nose, along with Belgian yeast and maybe a hint of clove. On the palate: bready, malty, yeasty flavors cut with a hint of spice citrus. Easy to drink Belgian style golden ale. Nothing more, nothing less.

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

a - poured a bright straw golden color into my RRBC tulip glass. the head was a thick and dense off-white color that left thick sheeting and lacing throughout.
s - grainy and yeasty with a hint of grapefruit-like citrus.
t - dry and yeasty with a hint of bread.
m - medium mouthfeel with a clean finish.
d - excellent.

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

Thanks to daysofstatic for trading me this.

A: Pours a light golden color with about a fingers worth of head that subsides quickly.

S: Smells of yeast and fruit, a tad citrusy.

T: Bready yeast, citrus fruit (maybe lemon or pineapple). Taste is light and refreshing, and prickly on the tongue from the citrus and carbonation.

M: Bubbly carbonation on the tongue, lighter body.

D: High. Very easy to drink, the alcohol is well hidden, and does not taste like 7.75 abv.

Overall a very tasty beer. Would love to have it again.

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

A - thick fine-bubble foam, nearly all white. Yellow/pale orange.

S - very fruity and bready (pilsner malt). Phenolic and spicy.
Slightly earthy. Lemony.

T - bready malt, some citrus. Well balanced with hops. Not too sweet like many American examples. Delicious and really well done. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

M - Medium body, but not cloying. Fairly effervescent.

D - very drinkable. A beer I'd definitely go back to.

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

7% ABV

Described on menu as Belgian style strong golden ale. Banana, pear, malt and hop flavors.

A- golden yellow with nice 1 finger head that fades quickly.

S- aroma has banana hints and hops.

T- fruity flavor. can taste the hints of pear. Yeasty and hoppy.

M- nice for what it is. a bit thicker with good carbonation.

D- excellent.

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

Pours a pure Golden yellow, hazy at the end from the yeasty dregs. Billowing, white head receeds quickly to a white crown in the glass.

Aromas of wet earth, lemon peel and green, herbal notes are immediately present at the pop of the cork. Deepers dimensions of each emerge as it slips into the glass.

Bright lemon zest, faint clove, coriander, and a peppery spice greet the tongue. An herbal hoppy-ness is also present upon a layer clean pilsner-malt base. A tart character reminiscent of wheat also seems present, but maybe just be the yeast talking. Faint chalkiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry, begging another sip - or to be paired with just about any food. Need to try this next to a Saison, because this reminded me very much of Dupont, but perhaps lacking the, rustic barnyard-edge. An awesome Belgian-style beer that can stand with the best of them, imported or not.

Photo of Flashsp2
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Russian River Damnation 750mL into a snifter

A soft pour kicks up a big three finger fluffy/creamy bubble mix head of a slightly off-white color on top of the pale orange body of perfect clarity. Carbonation continually streams up throughout, keeping the head around for a good long bit (like the entire time). Big creamy spots of lacing on the way down. It certainly looks the part for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

A giant fruity aroma is evident upon the pour, even from a good distance. Bready sweet yeast, ripe peaches and apricots, spice, citrus, black pepper. The label says notes of cedar should be present. It's there, but you really have to dig for it. A little earthy/musty thing in there, most likely the hops that are being used.

The palette is soft and delicate, complex but very approachable. A soft yeast is present first, followed up by some bready malt qualities, cedar, peaches, tangerine, and a real light touch of grapefruit on the finish. Not a bitter finish, but the hops do make a cameo without overpowering in typical West Coast fashion. It has a nice dry finish that is actually quite clean without weighing heavily long after the first sip. The finish is there for a while, but it is very delicate, and very refined. As it warms it gets a bit tangy, which is a nice balance to the initial sweetness and draws into the dry finish nicely.

The body is a bit heavy for the style, but the high carbonation breaks it up without allowing the beer to feel syrupy or excessively heavy. The finish is nice and lush, and a bit creamy as well.

This is a dangerously drinkable beer. It's smooth and elegant, and complex enough to invite serious imbibing. The ~8% ABV doesn't make a real presence except for a very slight warmth once the beer reaches temperature. I find it hard to believe this beer only has an A- on beeradvocate.com. I give it a solid A. I would take this over La Fin Du Monde, and possibly even Duvel, depending on my mood. Well, I wouldn't take it over these, but it would work in rotation with these excellent beers.

Photo of AlexTheAleMan
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into at new Belgium snifter. Thin foamy head. Golden honey color, really bright. Very beautiful!

Has that typical Belgian sour apple smell, sweet and crisp. Buttery honey too.

The taste is very crisp too. The moment it touches your tongue its almost sweet, but then the yeast takes control of your mouth. The yeast is the star in this beer giving it a nice bitterness which turns into a long dry finish. It has a very light malt profile and a slightly nutty caramel finish.

Very carbonated, fills the whole mouth with flavor. Great mouth feel.

Drinkability is amazing, i could drink this stuff all night. I am definitely a fan!

Over all very reminiscent of the style, good job by russian river.

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

I had the pleasure of enjoying this beer on tap. The golden brew arrived in a snifter with a big lacy cap of foam over it. It was a sight to behold.

The aroma is very nice with hints of green apple, pear, yeasty bread, and spice from the hops. A very fresh flavor profile includes more orchard fruits and finishes with clean spices.

The mouth feel with light and carbonated.

This is a refreshing beer. Its lightness is deceptive, though. The 7.75% ABV will catch up to you quickly.

Photo of Docer
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally... after seeing this stuff around for a couple years, I get to cracking my bottle I bought a coupe months ago..

- Nice healthy pop, and out pours a very light thin straw colored yellow ale... nice growing fuzzy and fluffy head billows up and creates a nice landscape above the edge of my tumbler glass.

- Lightly sweet, tad bit of honey.. banana.. burnt malt, and floral spice... very pleasant, and refreshing. Smells like summer, and light... although a stronger ale I know.

- Very interesting brew... while trying not to get a foam mustache, a nice chug gives way to a wonderfully balanced honey and malt sweetness... some fig, little bit of funk and hay, zesty lemon, burnt grassy earth.. bready yeast..

- Overall rather light to medium bodied.. little sticky around the lips.. and slightly chewy.. great indeed for the style.

- Overall this is a fantastic, and unique golden Belgian ale that has a nice array of flavors, and hits the spot. A touch meaty, and earthy indeed.

Photo of VWBuggirl
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will start by saying that I am a fan of the Belgian style ales, so there may be some bias. I am doing my best to separate myself. This is a great golden yellow with tons of lacing. It has that nice bready smell that I love in a BSPA.

This tastes fantastic. I definitely get the standard bready taste, but also lots of hops and banana. There are layers to this ale. You get the sweet flavors at first and finish with the bitter flavors. Now, don't get me wrong. This isn't an extremely hoppy ale, but you do get it towards the end and makes it exciting to drink.

Photo of mdfb79
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ML corked and caged bottle into my Foothills glass.

a - Pours a pale golden color with about 2 fingers of white head. Moderate carbonation and great lacing.

s - Smells of yeast, citrus, hops, and a little spice. Hints of banana.

t - Tastes of yeast, hops, some bananas, apples, and a little citrus. Actually sweeter than I was expecting.

m - Light bodied and low carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

d - Overall I thought this was a very good Pale Ale. Looked great, and had a very nice light belgian taste. Didn't get much bitterness or alcohol taste to it like some people. Would definitely have again.

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

750 mL bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Corked and caged. Served 50-55F.
A: Hazy hazel brown. Holy head. Big thick frothy head. Highly effervescent. Large CO2 trails collects at Duvel D on bottom of glass. Retain large chunks of head. Leaves nice thick lace around tulip.
S: Bright citrus. Sweet malts.
T: Sweet lightly toasted malts sweep into bitter body. Light phenols and light waffle linger.
M: Light on tongue.
D: Very drinkable. Not much else to say.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a hazy golden yellow color with some bubbles in the center rising to the top. The head is pure white, thin and bubbly with some retention. The head sticks to the side of the glass and slowly pulls down following the rest of the center.

S-very sour with a lot of wild yeast. Lemon zest accompanies all the yeast, notes of pear, a light spicey clove compliments at the back.

T-follows the nose pretty much on spot, sour wild yeast seems to hold throughout. Golden fruits come in, lemon zest, pear, golden apples, with a quite spicy character, clove and a note of pepper. A light hop presence finishes off with a light note of citric hops and small amount of bitterness

M-this is very smooth with a lighter body and strong carbonated finish. It is crisp at the finish, very dry and a slightly astringent.

D-easy drinking, doesn't show any alcohol, pretty big flavors, ripe golden fruits and a notes of spice. Well done...again...

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

Clear golden body with a fluffy head. There was a constant stream of carbonation. No sediment from the tap.

The smell is tons of yeast, some banana, and clove.

Banana and funk flavors are backed by very light grassy hops in the middle. The aftertaste has a little bit of sugary mint, that reminded me of those chalky candy cigarettes. The finish is short.

Mouthfeel is crisp with heavy carbonation. The body is relatively light for a belgian strong p.a.

The alcohol is minimally detectable. This has good flavor and is one you can easily have a few of.

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,309 ratings.