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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,025 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,025
Reviews: 1,065
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 341
Gots: 622 | 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: 3,025 | Reviews: 1,065 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%

Into the tulip.

Possibly mislabeled. I think the ABV is higher.

A - Hazy light honey with very white sudsy thick head that reduces to 1/4 pretty quickly. Lacing also 'soap like' sudsy.

S- Caramelized sugar, pear, orange and bread. Spicy note mixed in.

T - Bittersweet with pear, and a little sour with that Belgian feel in regards to malt and hops. Carbonation perhaps a little too turbid, effecting the body overall.

After Note: The taste and viscosity improved upon warming up. Dark fruits and a thicker feel came into play.

D - Not my favorite, but it is much better after it warms up some. I had to edit my original review as I like it much better on the second half.

srandycarter, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%

Pours a hazy yellow color with a big yeasty white head. Aromas of a dry fruitiness, pears, apples, and hints of pinneapple, and a Belgian candy sugar. In the taste, yeasty and a sour fruity, and hints of a dry alcohol. A smooth, dry mouthfeel and a dry citrus and yeasty aftertaste. Fantastic representation of style, if not better than a Belgian.

OWSLEY069, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Lothore
3.83/5  rDev -7%

A- Pours a very clear, deep, orange, with a large uniform head. There was quite a bit of carbonation apparent.

S- Smells sweet, citrusey, and distinctive of mixed fruits.

T- Taste spicy with a full bready body leading to darker fruit tones and a bit of hop bitterness.

M- Very carbonated, medium viscosity.

D- Fairly drinkable brew that tastes quite a bit better when it warms up. I made the mistake of starting off with it fairly cold and was disappointed but as it warmed I liked it more and more.

Lothore, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of number1bum
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%

Part of NEPA BC split #2. Been in the cellar for a bit.

Poured into a tulip glass it's a vibrant golden color with a billowing nearly pure white head. Head fills nearly half the tulip glass, and recedes pretty slowly maintaining a nice lace. Very pretty beer.

Smell is quite fruity, with citrus zest noticeable, in particular. It smells a bit spicy and sweet, as well, and there's some yeast in the nose, too.

Even though there was some malt sweetness in the nose, not so in the taste. It's quite dry and slightly bitter. Citrus zest flavor, again, and some herbal, bitter hops are very apparent. It becomes quite spicy, white pepper especially, through the finish and finishes very dry. Mouthfeel is very slick, with a crisp carbonation, and a nearly full body. Nevertheless the dryness makes it feel lighter on the palate than it really is.

This is my first Russian River brew, and needless to say I'm impressed and desiring more. My only complaint is that I wish there were just a touch of sweetness to it like the nose suggests. Nevertheless, very good brew that I'd be glad to have again.

number1bum, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of rallison
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

Batch 25.

Pours a hazy golden color with a 1 finger white head that sticks around pretty well and leaves a nice bit of lacing.

Smell is of slightly funky white grapes and bananas. Lovely.

Taste is quite dry, with a nice tartness. Flavors remind me of white grapes, pineapple and banana. Belgian yeast, with a slight farmhouse funky quality. Definitely a dry beer, with a nice refreshing finish.

Mouthfeel, as stated, is quite dry. Drinkability I have to say is very good.

Russian River seems to have trouble putting out a bad beer. While this is about as common as Russian River beers get, it is still a world class beer. Recommended.

rallison, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of tonistruth
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

A- huge 3 finger white head holds strongly above an unfiltered golden straw brew, beer leaves behind a white film

S- wheat, hints of a mild citrus, sour and goady

T- sour wheat, grainy malt, citrus flavors most reminiscent of lemon, dominant flavors wheat and grain, nice sour touch

M- coarse medium body, sticky in after

D- not a harsh brew, tasty, interesting and delicious describe this beer best, definitely recommended

tonistruth, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of timtim
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%

poured from a 750ml bottle batch number 012. golden, slightly hazy (just slightly) with a big fluffy white head that leaves a decent lace. smells wonderful with scents of candi sugar, pears, melon, a little banana some spice and some sweet biscuity malt that comes out a bit as it warms up. taste is beautiful too. the pear/melon taste in this one is like nothing else i've ever tried. almost like the taste of fruit in a really great sweet reisling. i'm really enjoying it. not quite as carbonated as other i've had in the style, which seems to give it a little fuller body than expected. still a real treat for me. too drinkable. i could sip on this beer day in and day out. thanks russian river. you are the cream of the crop.

timtim, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of gwood
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%

Currently listed at 7% abv...bottle states 7.75, not sure if that matters. Bottle is labeled as batch 021.

I love the sound of a corked beer...pop!

Pours a nice light honey with amber orange accents in lower light. The head is ever so off-white, yet still very bright and slightly uneven. Retention is good with some slight lacing on the sides of my tulip. The nose is very much the same as the other beers I've had of this style but I'll admit to only having about five or six offerings within this group. Candied citrus and pears along with the ever present banana. Grains come through as well.

Sweet malts hit first and mellow into the meat of the taste. The finish is spiced with notes of nutmeg ending with peppered hops that linger and dry the finish even more with the extended stay.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and creamy, very nice sip over sip. The carbonation stays quite well. A very drinkable beer for the style.

gwood, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of jerrymiller
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Batch 024 served from a 22 oz. bottle with a champagne cork. (the cork had glassware preference icons printed on it—so I split the bottle with my wife on my son's 6th birthday last night for dinner.

It pours slightly hazed gold with a bright white head. Completely clear and golden.

Yeasty nose - smelled of light fruit.

Flavor is malty and somewhat sweet. Honey, apricot, pear and malt flavors. Pretty complex.

Tiny carbonation bubbles make for a subtle mouthfeel.

Dry finish leaves you wanting another.

A great beer!

jerrymiller, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of Mryup
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%

A: Pours a golden/honey/orange with a nice white foamy head.

S: Citrus with hints of ceder. I'll admit I had to read the bottle to put my finger on the ceder smell.

T: Initially it tastes like the smell. An unidentifiable plethora of citroscity (yes, thats not really a word), then the ceder comes through and finally (so late you almost don't expect it) the dryness comes through. The hops and earthy spices are detectable throughout.

M: Very smooooth.

D: It's a sipper.

Mryup, Sep 25, 2007
Photo of SilentSabre
4/5  rDev -2.9%

4's across this board for this one. Got this on a trade with NeedBeerNow; thanks, Josh.
Cork came out with a nice, solid 'pop'. Poured a slightly cloudy orange gold with a pretty big, white, foamy head. Looks nice in my goblet. Smell is sweet and mildly peppery with notes of sliced peaches, pears, and a touch of black pepper. Taste isn't as sweet, and actually, has some bitterness to it and is rather dry on the finish. This is a very good American attempt at this style. Were it available here, I'd certainly buy it.

SilentSabre, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of Overlord
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

For such a good tasting beer, it's strangely unappealing in appearance. It's pale, yellow with no real depth. Good head, though.

Smell is nothing to write home about either. Some wisps of grapefruit/lemon/citrus. Taste is delicious, mostly lemon, with some more sweet citrus balancing it out, a nice honey/lime aftertaste, and excellent mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overlord, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Had this beer at the RR brewpub the other night.

The beer pours a bright honey gold color, with good lacing and fair head retention. On the nose one gets an impressive array of sweet honey, banana and bubblegum. The beer smells very attractive. The flavors for the most part replicate the nose, and I'd almost call this an American made version of the Delirium Tremens. The beer is fairly sweet, but not overly so. The beer has a nice mouthfeel and is not the least bit heavy. The beer finishes well, with the abv. quite well disguised.

Very nice beer from RR.

John_M, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of arizcards
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Picked up a 750 ml bottle from Batch 020 in early May from RRBC for $6,47. 7.75 abv.

Beer poured a golden color with a very strong fluffy white head that has sustained fairly well in my Duvel glass. Nose is very pleasant, of pears and apples. Taste is of sweet malts, hints of apple and pear, with a slightly peppery dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and extremely creamy. Overall drinkability is near perfect. The abv is well masked. This beer is right up there with Duvel!

arizcards, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%

Got from my buddy who shipped it back from the brewery. Batch 21. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my NBB snifter. It opened with a very loud pop. It was a clear golden color with a small carb fountain in the center. It had a good sized white head that settled into a constant thin film. The aroma was heavy on spices with fruit and malt in the back. Really liked the smell on this one. The spices reminded me of a saison. The taste was pretty good and had a good spicy bite but the alcohol was just a little too prevalent. Figured the spices would mask it more but was there in the aftertaste. Didn't kill it but kept the score down a .5 pt for me. Mouthfeel was good with right amount of carb. Overall, a rather enjoyable beer that I was glad I got to try. The BSPA style for me for now is one that I really have to be in the mood for to enjoy as opposed to a drink it anytime style. With that said, I wouldn't mind trying this one every so often. (3.5, RB-OAY, Y, O)

TexIndy, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from a 750ml bottle (batch #18) into my Russian River Damnation glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color. A big, thick, white head forms leaving behind clumpy lacing. Nice layer remains throughout.

S: Lots of fruit in the aroma; banana and pears. Quite a bit of yeast and some pale malts as well.

T: The fruit shows up here as well along with some light earthy spices. Not as much depth or complexity as appears in the top Belgian pale ales. A dry finish with some light hops.

M: Very unusual mouthfeel. Lots of very light carbonation. Just ever so slightly thick-bodied but not as much as most Belgians.

D: Very drinkable. It's smooth and crisp. The alcohol is not present in the taste nor in the aroma. A good attempt at the style but falls short of the best, although it's obviously going up against some very stiff competition.

willjschmidt, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4/5  rDev -2.9%

I did a side by side tasting with this and Damnation. They both had the same amber straw colored body with a bit of white head. The aroma on the Damnation has a bit more hop profile than the Redemption. There is also a good malt profile and a slight yeast funk. It has a good malty slightly sweet taste with good hop bitterness and some flavor as well. Perhaps slighly sweeter than the Redemption. Both are good beers though and I can't choose a favorite.

drseamus, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of bgraney
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%

Golden, very active carbonation, huge white meringue head.
Sweet aroma but also yeasty/bready, like biscuits. Some citrus notes in the background.
Surprisingly strong alcohol hit followed by the citrus flavor, orange rather than grapefruit.
Medium mouthfeel leaves behind a lot of citrus pop after the alcohol burn off.
Drinkability is high for the style. The alcohol factor is there but it doesn't make it hard to envision the further exploration of the lively flavors.

bgraney, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%

Unknown vintage, served in a tulip glass at Toronado, 3 July 2007.

A: Short head of creamy white atop a clear honey/golden-colored ale. Very active carbonation rising in abundance, extremely clear - a lovely beer with very nice sticking lace rings as well.

S: Plenty of fruit, spice and the familiar 'Belgian yeast' aroma. Fruit is banana, applesauce and ripe pear, with other tropical influences like papaya and mango. Meadow-like hop aroma. Very nice.

T: An excellent flavor, again with loads of fruit and spice, some cloves, some mint and a beautiful backing of bittering hops for a dry, lightly peppered finish. Terrific balance.

M: Creaminess gives a richness in the mouth - medium-full, velvety, smooth. A light to moderate carbonation level roils the spices, sweet malts and yeast and blankets the tongue until a dry bittering takes control. Beautiful, evolving mouthfeel.

D: Yes, an 'exceptional' version of a very likable style. A spot-on version of the best of the Belgians of thhis style, perfectly balancing malt, spice and dry hoppiness. I could drink this regularly. An excellent way to end a visit to the famed Toronado.

msubulldog25, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

Russian River- Damnation

Purchased at Vidalia's- Lansdale, PA.
$10 for a 750ml bottle.

Appearance- Golden orange with a light hint of red. Big soft fluffy head.
Smell- Strong fruit, orange, tangerine, & pear come to mind. Spicey pepper and alcohol come through.
Taste- Big sweet fruit hits you. Pinapple, orange, cherry, with spices. Pepper and vanila come through with a dose of alcohol in the end.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and smooth. Soft texture on the tongue with an alcohol and carbonation kick in the end.

Overall- I think it lives up to the hype! Definitely find this and spend an evening drinking it.

NJpadreFan, Jul 03, 2007
Photo of JayTheFinn
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

Overall I was letdown, but only because I'd heard raves about this one. It's really quite good, if not out of this world.

A - A slight orange tint to a yellow hazy body.
S - Earthy, banana hop scent.
T - Spicy hop flavor with banana backing and some decent citrus mixed with bready malts.
M - Light and bubbly. Good amount of carbonation.
D - Very drinkable. Very tasty.

JayTheFinn, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%

*Batch 021*

750 mL caged & corked bottle opened with a fresh pop! Pours into a tulip of apricot hued brew full of an army of bubbles rising to a two inch ivory frothy pillowy head cap that was rock solid and not going anywhere for ten minutes. Careful pour so as not to disturb the yeasty bottom. Residual frothy lace is an impressive pillowy cling in the glass.

Spicy nose of coriander, clove and lemon zest. Full aroma of spices that rounds over to a nutmeg and doughy scent.

First swigs: Lemon lime soda initial front with a lemony zest bitter dry finish. Complex sipper that offers a spectrum of flavors with vanilla hints. A tad oaky,

Feel is a crisp zesty medium bodied style with a quick finish.

Last swigs: Reminds me a little of Orval with less leathery funk. Excellent drinker that is supreme with virtually any food. Less peppery than a Duvel.

blitheringidiot, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

Batch 020

Pours a high-clarity orange tone, with streams of rapid carbonation, into an Oerbier tulip glass. Foam settles to a skim, leaving minute spots of lacing. Lively and effervescent.

Earthy hop impression leads off the nose. Aroma of malt, cookies, fruity pear and banana. Mineral water too.

Prickly carbonation hits first, with a bouquet of sweetish malt, fruit, and a light alcohol presence. Bone dry aftertaste, various fruit essences remain, with the
lingering earthiness of aged hops.

Very lively carbonation, champagne-like at times, super dry finish. Mild astringency. Rivals it's Belgian doppelganger, Duvel.

Very drinkable, in sips or gulps. A 750 was no problem in one sitting, it allowed more time to contemplate it's nuances.

Thanks to drseamus for the trade!

emerge077, Jun 23, 2007
Photo of mynie
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%

750 ml bomber.

Absolutely georgeous pour, comparable to Duvel. Shimmery dark jewler's cloth gold with a GIANT white head that stuck around until I wasn't looking and my goddamn cat licked her way through it.

Compared to a Belgian Beligan, this smells a lot less alchoyeasty and a lot more spicy. This is overall a good thing, with big banana and white pepper dominating the nose without being hindered by burniness.

The spice still dominates when tasted. The white pepper is HUGE, bigger than any other beer I've ever had, and it's backed up by a sweet, weedy, slightly lemony malt that's almost like a good all malt lager. Strange combination, I know, but it works. Spiced like a Belgian pale, malted like an all malt, and little yeast flavor and very little hop flavor to mussy things up.

It may not quite be up to snuff with Bos Keun or Duvel, but this here's a fine beer that deserves plenty of kudos. Probably the best American attempt at the style that I've ever had.

mynie, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of orsulacp
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

Batch 012. It poured a hazy gold with orange highlights. The head was white, with a nice size until my hotel glass killed it. Yeasty bready smell with hints of orange peel and a little pepper spiciness. The taste starts out doughy with hints of pepper, lemon, and orange. The carbonation is perfect it really lets the flavors linger and mix on my tougue and then gives a dry refreshing finish. It is very drinkable, the driness makes me want more.

orsulacp, Jun 15, 2007
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,025 ratings.