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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,311 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,311
Reviews: 1,085
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 363
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: 3,311 | Reviews: 1,085 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of irishgurl4
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a fan of RR I knew I had to try this when I saw it at Father's Office 2 a couple weeks ago. From notes on 2/18/2010.

A: A crisp golden color with a creamy white head.

S: Somewhat mild and yeasty.

T: Initial yeasty flavor with a slight hop and spice finish.

M: Smooth with a lingering hop taste.

D: Well balanced but thought it would have a little more flavor. Still, this one gets an overall "noms" from me.

Photo of BeerGodz
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap @ The Devil's Den

Look: Deep golden honey, slight haze, creamy head that dissipates quickly with nice lacing

Smell: Bready malts, Belgian yeast, faint citrus hop aroma, and a touch of banana

Taste: Up Front: Belgian yeast, bready malt. Finish: Booze, apple, citrus hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium/high carbonation, slightly sticky, with a dry finish

Drinkability: Well balanced and it goes down easy, despite the alcohol bite

Overall Impression: It smelled amazing, but the flavor did not meet expectations. I expected more from this Devilish brew. Still, it's a Hell of a good beer, and it's definitely worth trying.

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

A- Fairly clear golden color and a head that is big and frothy and is constantly fueled by the bubbles. Lacing looks to be pretty good.

S- Smell is of very fresh light fruit like bananas, tangerines, and a light hops.

T- Can definitely get a good dose of hops in this one. Also get the nose with the distinct Belgian yeast and the banana and light grapes. Citric flavors are fairly prevalent as well.

M- Goes down fairly dry and with a good bite. Leaves you wanting more.

D- At nearly 8% ABV its a good one. I have no issues putting a couple of these down. Light on the stomach and a great beer to drink with food or just to have after a long day.

Photo of MisterClean
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At Alembic in SF. Had this many times, rating for a first.

A - Pours copper-gold with 1 finger of white head. Dissipates fast and is well-carbed. Leaves little to no lacing.

S - Honey, caramel, lots of belgian light sugars, and light bittering hops.

T - Honey, with light belgian sugars, light spicy hops, and light bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, and smooth.

D - Great overall.

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

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Beer is yellow and hazy with moderate to high carbonation made up of tiny bubbles that rise through beer rather quickly. Forms a thick white head of small and medium bubbles that falls away leaving a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smells almost like a witbier, citrusy, brightly bitter in the nose.

Medium bodied, surprisingly low carbonation on the tongue. Beer is fuller than I thought it would be. There is some yeasty esters in there and a bitterness with a citrus / lemon like character to it. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is fine.

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber this beer was a hazy golden color with one finger of white head. The retention was as a collar and the lacing decent. The aroma was bright and appealing with Belgian yeast notes, bananas, lemon and spices. The flavors were equally enjoyable, a well-balanced blend of citrus hops, tangy yeast, toasted malt, pale malt, spices and a touch of grain. The alcohol was well folded into the brew and it had a nice arc of starting sweet and then heading towards bitter finishing on the yeast note. The mouthfeel was creamy and slightly slick, the body medium and the carbonation light. An excellent example of the style for this side of the pond but still not quite as complex as the real, Belgian article.

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

Bottle shared by friend at weekly "tasting".

Notes taken on phone and emailed to myself.

A: hazy golden yellow, yeasty sediment

S: yeasty, Belgian, fruity aroma.

T: very fruity and smooth. I enjoy the yeast flavors. Dark fruit really nice.

M: nicely carbed, bubbly and active

D: awesome Belgian American beer

Photo of hansgruber
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 49 served into my Hopleaf tulip.
From notes...

A- lots of carbonation with decent lacing and a layer of foam that lasted throughout. Pale golden color.

S- Up there with the best. Fruity, earthy, sweet sugary esters given off from the yeast and hops. Really good.

T- Hops are in there with some slight bitterness and nice flavor. Sugary sweet like in the nose. Get a little bit of everything as I drink and it all balances quite nicely. Some spiciness from the yeast as it warmed up blended in elegantly. Very good stuff here.

M & D- Nice carbonation didn't get in the way of the flavors. Very easy drinking beer.

Very good example of the style. If it were available around me I'd definitely buy it. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of tdawgydog
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heeding the advice on the back of the bottle, I poured this into my Unibroue Snifter. Wasn't quite sure what to expect. My only foray into Russian River has been PtE, which I am a huge fan of.

A - Poured a nice golden color, I could tell from the first pour that I was in for a treat.
S - A slight hint of alcohol but otherwise a nice pleasing scent with maybe a little fruitiness.
T - One of the better Belgian Ales that I have enjoyed. I was expecting Russian River to put their own twist on this but they went for the standard Belgian Ale and hit a HR.
D - Goes down nice and smooth, the bottle was gone before I could even begin to enjoy it and Russian River is not easy to get in NY;-)
M - Good body, a little more carbonation that I would have liked but I'm certainly not going to let that ruin what is otherwise an excellent beer.

Photo of rbridges01
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in a snifter from champane bottle

A - Nice golden colar with strong head

S - A bit of cherry and woody

T - Nice flavor...mild hops. The pilsner comes through and interesting yeast character

M - Very smooth to the palate

D - COuld drink a bottle on my own

Photo of blackc5
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap, served in a goblet.

A - A deep honey gold that is just ever so slightly hazy. Minimal head and little in the way of lacing.

S - Perhaps this beers strongest point - very strong aromas coming off of this. Lots of bready Belgian yeast, sweet honey, plus citrus hops and floral. Some banana as well. Quite nice.

T - Doesn't quite live up to the smell I am afraid. Overall, I would describe the taste as light (even edging towards bland), with the expected bready aspects finishing with a slight amount of apple bitter and citrusy hops. Some pineapple is there, just a touch of funk lingering in the background. Alcohol is prevalent in the taste as well, something I found a bit disappointing.

M - High carbonation, with a somewhat slick mouthfeel. Light to match the flavor.

D- Suffers from the noticeable alcohol in the taste, yet is balanced with the light on the palate flavors.

Not my favorite offering from RR and arguably quite overated IMHO, especially given it's premium price-point.

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

Batch 45, bought on a trip to Davis. Poured into a nice stemmed glass provided by my hotel room.

A - Barely cloudy - pale body with a soapy head and loads of lacing.

S - Citrus yeast, bordering on sour. Attractive, but it smells almost like a witbier or saison. Surprising.

T & M - I don't know too much about this style, but I expected a Strong Pale Ale named Damnation to taste a lot more bad-ass. It is very good, but this is a light, complex, tart, yeast-centric beer that I'd be glad to have with a light lunch. If only Russian River was easier to get... I definitely will be trying harder in the future. This is good!

D - Very well balanced. This 750 ml bottle and I will be just fine.

Photo of jrallen34
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a bright gold with a white head that rises about 2 fingers. The head is gone quicky leaving only a light soapy head. The retention is ok.

The aroma is super light displaying a little honey, hops and some flowers.

The taste is also pretty light to start but then brings a burst of flavor of a sweer floral arrangement and some hops. This makes it really easy to drink and pleasing.

The feel is on the watery side but the flavor is bubbly and lasting.

Overall, pretty decent and highly drinkabile tripel.

Photo of Minotaur
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Only slightly hazy if pouring from the top half the bottle; from the second half on down yeast sediment gives it a misty appearance. Low amount of carbonation once the beer begins to warm.

The head is slight, perhaps half a finger and fades quickly to just a skim, leaving a striated lacing along the glass edges.

The aroma is potent and pleasant: there is a strong, sour yeast smell plus a significant evergreen, pineapple sharpness complimented by some bready tones and honey-like malts. A hint of sweet apple is also present. There is a bit of wheat in there as well.

The flavor is actually less impressive than the nose but not bad. it is predominantly bitter in an almond kind of way. There is some green apple sourness with only a bit of sweetness. On the back of the tongue you can pick up some of the prune flavored sweetness coupled with a very slight breadiness which leaves the finish predominantly wine like and dry. The hops that present a strong citrus and pineapple nose don't come through as strongly in the finish. Some wheaty yeast and esters.
It is a good flavor, but actually not nearly so complex or layered as the aroma. The alcohol peeks through but does not come of too strongly.

The mouthfeel i slight which compliments the taste. It is fairly drinkable for its relatively high alcohol content.

This is a decent beer for an American Belgian-inspired. However it is not a superior example of the style lacking some complexity.

Photo of meeekyh
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Original review in December of '09, (new notes in parenthesis) -

Poured into a pilsner-style glass. (tried again in a Belgian-style beer glass) Beggars cannot be choosy. The head is very light and white and dissipates quickly leaving behind no lacing. (Same head, and lack of lacing, I would add that the color is a slightly-hazy, light golden-honey)

The nose is likewise subtle, citrus peel and bread predominate with strong notes of pineapple. (Yeah, what he said, add piney hops)

The pineapple comes through in the taste and the Belgian yeast is subdued but carries a bit of banana. It is not to say this is a tasteless beer but it has a balance that defies easy definition. (I am thinking liquid-bread, not the brewery in Kansas, also sweetness in and of itself)

It is light but has body and likley due to its balance is highly drinkable. (After a few more reviews I would put this in the medium-light pigeonhole for body, note its dry finish, and demote it for overall drinkability)

I would enjoy the chance to pair it with a mild curry and see what pops. (Or I will drink it again on the merit of the brewery itself, and be rather unimpressed for a second time, bummer)

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

wow! what a great beer. given to me by wcuberos...thanks!

beautiful golden color with a thick finger and a half head.

smell reminds me of a bavarian style hef. taste is much more complex than it looks. lots of things going on here.

citrusy, sour goodness with great staying power in the mouth. after a few sips i can taste the alcohol through the nose but it isn't a bad thing. a little sweetness at the back of the mouth too.

very drinkable. almost too drinkable noting the almost 8% alcohol.

overall, a fantastic beer!

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

A: Medium golden, with a huge white fluffy head.

S: Fruity belgian yeast--pear, peach, orange.

T: Tropical fruit, pineapple, bubblegum. Bright orange citrus at the end that fades into pale malt/wheat.

M: Medium-high carbonation, slick mouthfeel.

A great beer from Russian River--one with refreshing and pleasant fruity-yeast characteristics that don't get overwhelming as some do.

Photo of younger35
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this brew from my new main man Gibby (eat shit BeerTruth!). I actually bought 2 bottles of this from Russian River a few years back but somehow traded them both. Shame on me. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Batch 051

Appearance- Pours a light yellow with a nice two finger bright white head with a fairly aggressive pour. A beautiful cap and collar remain with a fair amount of blanketed lacing along the glass.
Smell- Ever so dainty and floral with a light lavender and plantain aspect. I expected more of a Belgium like nose but maybe the yeast is still a bit young? Slightly grainy with a touch of crisp malt but for the most part that's all of the nose.
Taste- Much of the same in the nose. I was expecting more of a true yeasty Belgium experience. The beer is lightly spicy with maybe a bit of coriander and white pepper. Candied orange peel, crystallized ginger and lavender all lend to a slightly fruity, slightly floral taste. A bit of grainy raw malt underneath everything but it's light and unassuming. I'm amazed by how subtle the beer is yet the 7.75% is hardly noticeable.
Mouthfeel- Light body with an aggressive carbonation for a super nice feel. Beautiful feel that is spot on.
Drinkability- First off, this beer was NOTHING like I expected. I thought it was a dark Belgium. Turns out it is not so. BUT, still a freaking tasty ass brew. My favorite Russian River brew is Redemption but this is still a super nice brew. Thanks much Jeff!

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

Great golden color when poured. The bitter flavor hits you at the back of the jaw and lasts throughout the drink. Pours well and looks great in the glass. Excellent smooth flavor and body that is really enjoyable. It's a classic golden ale that shouldn't be missed.

Photo of RonofPA
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this 750ml bottle as a gift.

Poured into a Chimay glass. Light honey color. Has a very thin head (in this respect my experience differs from other reviewers).Mild carbonation visible.

Nice yeasty nose. Wow, strong flavor. Taste of malt and citrusy flavors. Hops comes through-well balanced against other flavors. Overall complex and well balanced.

Carbonation 'bite' more than expected, based on visual clues.

Real nice mouthfeel with fairly long, slightly bitter finish.

Very enjoyable beer- a credit to RR.

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

Batch 013

A great looking golden ale. Nice tight one finger light coloured head. Left nice lacings.

Rich aroma of golden cake, dates, and some banana. Hint of clove and some pleasant woodiness also present. A hint of the alcohol also present.

Taste is much like the nose, finishes with the touch of woody character and some bitterness.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy in feel. Lightly and finely carbonated.

Quite tasty, the only thing reminding me to slow down is the slight taste and warmth from the alcohol. Highly recommended, and something i would love to try again. Thanks to raider for bringing this back and taking it out of his cellar.

Photo of BetterDarker
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into tulip glass, left sediment behind.

A - Poured a golden yellow color with a nice fluffy white head. Very good retention with decent lacing. Almost looks like a pils.

S - Great aromas with that classic Belgian malt and yeast nose with fruit and clove.

T - Very well balanced, subtle malt and bread, no alcohol, some spice with a nice dry finish. Nice earthy hop presence.

M - Medium body with solid carbonation

D - Highly drinkable, what I like about this beer is the great balance and subtle flavors that tend to be lost in a Belgian strong, especially stateside. Fantastic.

Photo of bort11
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Thin off white head stnads a half inch before falling down. Color is a mildly hazy golden yellow. Moderate carbonation activity.

Smell has that distinct Belgian yeast tart funkiness. It's dry with a hops bittering that compliments. Taste is also very dry. I get some tart green apples, and it's a little salty.

Mouthfeel is very crisp, and the carbonation has a tight effervescense. My only complaint is the yeast gives me a bit of heartburn.

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,311 ratings.