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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,218 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,218
Reviews: 1,071
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 353
Gots: 678 | 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: 3,218 | Reviews: 1,071 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drtth
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker/pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer has a hazed bright yellow/gold color with a finger width white head that recedes slowly leaving a small ring and some interesting lacing patterns.

Smell: The gentle fruity/floral aroma contains yeast, spices and citrus (lemon and orange zest). Not a trace of either the hops or the alcohol.

Taste: The flavor contains fruity notes followed by some spice and running through all are the sweetnesses of the candi sugar and the malt. Popping out once in a while are some traces of lemon and banana.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with some soft carbonation. The finish is medium in length and is soft and dry with the hop bitterness.

Drinkability: This is one very drinkable. The flavor and aroma are complex, well balanced, and invite further sipping and tasting. I could easily have a couple of these and still be ready for more.

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

Pale golden in color with a little haze. Pours with a lot of head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is sweet, spicy, and fruity with notes of pear. The taste brings on the same flavors as the smell. very smooth. Good balance. Nice smooth hop finish. It is light and very carbonated on the tongue. Overall Damnation has a great balance and I would definitely have another.

Photo of mjl21
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle brought into one of my favorite BYOB restaurants. This is from Batch 30 (bottled 10/19/07), so it has been aging for a year and a half. Poured into a cylinder glass. Comes in at 7.75%.

A-Greeted with a huge pop when I opened this one. It has been waiting a while to be opened. Pours a really nice clear golden color with tons of bubbles rising from the bottom. Has a large 2 finger head that slowly goes down into a nice fluffy layer.

S-Lots of Belgian notes, as expected, hit first. Picking up on the Trappist yeast used as well as some candy sugar. Definite fruit notes are abound, including orange and green apple. Also pick up on clove and other spices.

T-A lot like it smells. The yeast and candy sugar hit first. The fruit opens up mid-palate and the clove and other spices hit in the back of the mouth.

M-Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Has a very smooth finish and is reminiscent of champagne.

D-Had no problem drinking this. Not heavy and goes down way too easily. The 7.75% is well hidden.

Been drinking this one for years and this may have been the best bottle I have ever had. The year and a half being aged probably doesn't hurt. Will pick up a few more of these and continue to see how they age.

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

A - Hazy very light straw with minimal head and a speck of lacing

S - pear and spices (white pepper)

T - Very tasty beer! The pear flavors are a little more muted than expected. Spicy aftertaste but doesn't linger and doesn't tingle your nose like other Belgians I have had.

M - Very dry beer

D - I couldn't detect the 7.0 abv so this is dangerously drinkable.

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

Corked and caged 750 ml bottle with a slick looking wrap around black label that has a pitch fork with 3 small smiley faces at the tip of the spikes. Over the pitch fork in bold blood red letters is the name of the beer. To the left side of the bottle is where you'll find R.R's address and to right side is where you'll find everything you need to know about this beer. This is where they list the ABV%, Government warning, a phone number, a picture of the proper glassware, the definition of "Damnation," a lengthy description about the beer, and a batch number. My bottle was from batch #020.

Appearance: The proper glassware picture looked like a cross between a Snifter and a Tulip, so I decided to pour this beer into my Lion Brewery Tulip. The label stated that it was a Golden Ale, but from the looks of it, it wasn't. It was close to a golden color. The color was more of a hazy and pale lemon yellow. I held it up to the light to see if I could find any gold coloring, but it was just a waste of time. I found a small tint of orange, but no gold. Sitting on top of this lemon colored brew was a great 1 1/2 inch creamy pure white head of foam. This creamy head of foam had pretty good retention that left behind a milky white film and a streak or two of lace.

Smell: I guess it was just me, but I thought the aroma was lacking. The aroma was fruity and a little spicy with pear, a touch of green apple, a pinch of lemon peel, a subtle drop of tart grapefruit, and a dash of black pepper and allspice. Quickly following the fruit and spices was a whiff of dry yeast and a hint of floral hops. If the fruits would have came out more, then this would have been one top notch fruity/spicy aroma.

Taste: The taste had something in common with the aroma. They were both fruity and spicy, but the taste had more of a kick in it. The taste kicked off with the fruits first, green apples, green pears, a little lemon peel, and a subtle touch of banana. The spice of choice in the taste had too be the allspice. I could taste another spice trying to break through, but the taste was too small for my tastebuds to decifer. The kick that separated the taste from the aroma came at the end. That kick was the taste's dry bitter finish. This bitter finish was mostly citrus hops with a pinch of peppery hops to back it up.

Mouthfeel: I thought "Damnation" was going to be hell on my tastebuds, but it was more of a medium bodied beer with an easy going light aftertaste of yeast, pear, green apple, and allspice. I did receive a little alcohol warmth at the end of the mouthfeel, but it wasn't all that much.

Drinkability: I had to go easy on the drinkability score because "Damnation" was an easy drinking medium bodied Belgian style Ale that had some good flavors to it. If I ever saw this beer again, would I buy it? You know what, I probably would because I would like to see what a later batch would taste like.

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

Thanks again to Fetus for this one!

A - 1 finger of head with minimal lacing. Slightly hazy golden color a few carbonation bubbles rising to the surface.

S - My nose must not be working well because I'm not getting much from this one other than a faint fruit smell, with hint of malt.

T - Very crisp taste consisting of bananas, malt, and a little spice at the end. Overall Tasty stuff.

M - Perfect amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth as silk like most of the Belgain pales I've tried

D - It does taste great and goes down like a champ but after drinking one bottle i had enough.

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

A: Slightly hazy gold color. Poured a 3 finger rocky white head with excellent retention. Left big patches of lacing behind. Decanted throughout.

S: Lemon zest and light sweet fruits; pears adn apple. Faint hay and pale malts.

T: Fruits are very prominent up front and through the middle. Bready malts become more noticeable on the following drinks. Nice bitter to balance for a clean finish.

M: Light side of medium body. Carbonation is perfectly balanced. Smooth and warming.

D: Very flavorful and well balanced. Complex enough to be interesting without losing drinkability. ABV is well hidden. Finish is remarkable.

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

A - pours a golden yellow with lots of fluffy white foam and plenty of lacing

S - aroma of light fruit, breadiness and pepper

T - clean tasting, bananas, peaches and other light fruit, yeast, and a peppery finish

M/D - nice carbonation that helped make this one seem very light and refreshing, very drinkable with alot going on in flavor. I recommend it.

Photo of GJ40
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in a goblet from a 750ml bottle purchased at Pike Street Beer & Win in Seattle. Batch 043.

A - Straw colored with a slight haze and a thick white head. Lots of very fine bubbles. Very inviting.

S - Clean, crisp and spicy with clove, banana and some black pepper. Not especially strong but good.

T - Spicy and crisp with some banana and clove. A mild sweetness as well.

M - A moderate consistency with a moderate level of very fine bubbles.

D - A very enjoyable beer with a nice level of flavor and a very clean presentation. A solid American effort at the Belgian style.

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

On-tap @ Toronado S.F. 4/18/09

I didn't think I would like this beer because I've been pretty closed-minded toward belgian ales. Bartender poured it as a mistake so I figured what the heck a russian river beer for free? How could I turn that down!

Clear golden color. Thin head that dissipates into nothing. Fruity yeast smell-can make out some lemon and some banana? Tastes great, very smooth. Not what I was expecting (funky). Mouth feel-again smooth, nothing lingers. Drinkability is too high. I think I'm changing my mind on these Belgians.

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

I can't imagine they're drinking this down in hell. When you pick up a bottle with a black label with the words "Damnation" on it, you're expecting something strong, or narcotic, or sinful in some sort of way. It's a damn good beer, but this light, white wine-like ale is more something at a fashionable party, not something ingested on the road to ruin. But then "Golden Ale One Might Drink at a Fashionable Party" probably doesn't sell as many bottles. Well, on to the review.

I carefully poured the bottle into two tulip glasses, one for myself, and one for my wine-loving better half. I took care not to disturb the yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle. It fizzed up a slight white head, with a shiny, clear yellow liquid in the glass. I have a weak nose, but could pick up a little spicy yeastiness and fruity pear like aromas. The taste was an excellently balanced and blended mix of fruity pear with some toasty yeast toasty and slight spicey zip underneath. Had a white wine-like character to it, and full of subtlety and nuance. My wine-loving better half likes wine and pears more than I do, so she was loving it more than I. Mouth feel was pretty good, with the carbonation giving the right tingliness sensation on the tongue. Really refreshing and enjoyable to drink. Even warm, the flavors didn't go out of whack. Despite being a light, subtle brew, I didn't taste a drop of the nearly 8% alcohol listed on the bottle.

Schlitz Malt Liquor is more my idea of Damnation!

Review of Batch 044.

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

pour looks somewhat light in color. lighter than a saison almost. wit like. but not murky really. pilsner flavor hop... could be more musky... but a nice mellow sweet. palate is minty rosemary. light dusty walnut bread with a light sun tea sweet at the bottle of the bottle... lemon grass, not as sweet as la fin de mod but not as complex a hop character as i would like. quite crisp. light. great interpretation.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A ridiculously large and frothy white head stands at four fingers plus after just a small pour. TONs of beautiful lace sticks all around the edges of the tulip glass. The brew beneath is a lemon yellow with a touch of marigold highlights. Just beautiful.

S - Elegantly composed. There are starfruit, mango, peach, and bready notes. There is a hint of white pepper and funky brett too.

T - Spicy, semi-dank, and slightly fruity. I don't know if this is brewed with brett, but I would bet good money on it. This is spicy and funky like some really good mustard with a nice tang on the back end. The blend of funky, fruity, and spicy flavors is outstanding.

M - Medium bodied with silken carbonation and a nice dry finish like white wine. The unreal smoothness contrasts with the harsh funky and spicy flavors to make for a strange but likable experience.

D - This is damn good beer! This doesn't taste like a BSPA as I know them, but that doesn't matter. This is a dirty, nasty, funky, biatch. And I'm diggin' it!

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

Poured a yellow-gold with the amount of carbonation that makes this beer look refreshing. The head got retained in that stubbly sort of way leaving lace as it slowly dissapaited. The smell was very complex with a lot of different spices (pepper, cloves) mixing with some fruity notes. The taste was spicy with a dry bitter aftertaste. Appearance of refreshing held true as I really enjoyed this brew. It wasn't the most dense or complex beer but it was a perfect accent to a lazy Sunday afternoon where something more complex in taste might have offended. A really nice pale ale.

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

Batch #42. Popped the cork and shared the 750ml bottle with my roommate. Poured into New Belgium "Worthy Glass" at 45 degree angle first time and straight down the second time.

A- Beautiful and hazy between gold and yellow. Dramatically lighter when held to the light. My 45 degree pour did not yield as much head as some other reviewers said they were getting but the second pour, straight down, produced a good 2 fingers. Head retention is not great.

S- The Belgium yeast can be picked up through the nose and so can quite a bit of zest. Lemon peel and pears come through too.

T- The fruits really come through in the middle and the head adds just the right zesty kick. The finish is incredibly clean.

M- Between medium to light but it's perfectly carbonated. The beer is the farthest thing from heavy but has enough body to warrant complexity.

D- Move over blondes...I have a new summer ale. I can't imagine a more perfect beer on a hot day. The flavors aren't too overwhelming, it's great cold, it doesn't leave your mouth dry nor fill you up and the finish is remarkably clean.

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

Poured a hazy yellow amber into a goblet. Wonderful pillowy head that lasted forever.

Typical Belgian-style aromas of fruits and yeast.

Taste was also very typical Belgian-style ale. Bananas, yeast, sweet, slight bitterness on the finish.

Very nice mouthfeel. Thick and full bodied for a pale ale. The carbonation was just enought to lighten it up without taking away from the body.

Overall, this was a very nice ale and I would recommend it.

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

From batch 45. Just one away from 46, which is aged on oak. These must not be out yet.
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice x2.

A= Yellow-gold, effervescent, and maintained a rocky head leaving "belgian lace".

S= Spices such as cloves and pepper dominate. Some fruity-citrus notes. A lot more complex than my nose can handle in this allergy season.

T= Peppery and bitter. Dry bitter aftertaste.

M= Light and carbonated well.

D= Very drinkable if you're looking for a complex yet light beer. It is not completely in the "refreshing" category, but who needs that unless you're sitting around watching the game and munching on chips and guac.

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

The color when poured was light golden yellow with very little foam, but, a fair amount of lace on the side of the glass. The smell was sort of a sweet fruity aroma. The taste had a sweet/bitter carbonation on the palate with a good malt flavor with a hint of citrus. Not a lot of favor on the aftertaste, just the taste of bitterness at the finish!

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

Review #100!

750mL bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Golden-hued body with lively carbonation and a solid, three finger bone white head. Beautiful lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Aromatic with toast, an earthy funkiness, herbal hops.

T - Bready malt, lemon, orange zest, honey, rosemary, bay leaf.

M - Light body, soft, lively and effervescent.

D - Dangerously drinkable. Each sip demands another so I can see what comes next.

Photo of jacobseyb
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A=Golden slightly murky, 3 fingers of head

S=Sweet fruitiness, hints of orange,

T=Similar to smell, virtually no aftertaste

M=Nice carbonation some initial thickness, fluffy

D=Very drinkable, this may be come a favorite of mine, i really enjoyed it and the alcohol is not so prevalent to mask the other characteristics.

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

Bottle into chalice, batch 041.

Pours hazy gold, with a big, fluffy white head. Effervescent.

Nose is yeasty, a bit of pear and apricot, with a creamy sweetness underneath.

Flavor is front-loaded with a big yeast presence - tangy and a bit dry, banana comes through, with golden fruit notes coming out as well. Some candy sugar sweetness. Finish dries up a bit more, some more yeast, some alcohol esters as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, but with a bit of crispness, medium bodied. Really nice beer - one of those that gets better the farther into the bottle you get. Well rounded if not spectacular.

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

Mmmm, this beer is lovely. So soft and fluffy. Really nice balance of that Belgian sweetness and a nice, crisp golden ale. I think this beer is more of a borderline tripel, it has that nice body to it. A dry, herbal hop profile gives it that distinguishing uniqueness though. Still the pleasant sweetness is what dominates here. So much character, with out too many flavors in the way, really allows the Belgian yeast to do all the talking here. Sooo soft again on palate, so smooth. Supple.

Note: while this beer is listed at 7% on the website it says 7.75% right on the label...

Photo of IgnatiusReilly
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into snifter.

Clear golden color, some chill haze that clears up quickly, steady center bubble stream. Pure white head, 2 fingers thick that settles to a thin coat after a minute or two. Really good looking beer.

Slightly fruity aroma, some yeast, but mostly citrus, orange.

Smooth clean taste. Vanilla and pepper, some banana. Less sweet than I would have anticipated. And very dry, especially in the finish.

Very crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Easy to drink.

I think this beer is good, not great (except for its appearance). It's much more dry than I would have thought for a Belgian Strong Ale (maybe that's where the Pale part comes in). It's very smooth and easy to drink, but it doesn't have that pop I was hoping for.

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

Got one from batch 42, brewed in July/Aug of last year, per their site.

Poured at around fiddy-five degrees into Duvel glass. Huge 4 finger white head, with relatively clear, golden yellow color, and plenty of visible carbonation.

Smell was quite nice, with sweetness of ripe bananas, and a little pear n' pepper.

Smell blended nicely into the taste, with more of the pepper coming thru than the sweet fruit. As it warmed, it took on somewhat of a smokey quality, too.

Relatively crisp bite up front, and pretty smooth mouthfeel rounding things out.

I found it to be quite high on the drinkability meter. Sign me up for another! ... even if it is a $14 bottle around here.

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

Another gem from russian river...

Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a wonderful white head which takes a while to fade and leaves some nice lacing around my chimay goblet

Smell is sweet, malty, fruity and a bit funky

Taste is of cloves and banana a mixture of spices and some funk

Mouth is smooth and the head gives it a nice frothy feeling. nicely carbonated

Drink is pretty high. If given the chance i might pick up another bottle

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,218 ratings.