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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,111 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,111
Reviews: 1,067
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 350
Gots: 646 | FT: 46
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: 3,111 | Reviews: 1,067 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of k3n
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, Batch 17. Poured into a Delirium tulip.

A: Clear, deep orange-gold color. Fabulously tiny carbonation bubbles and a two-finger head that fades down to rocky islands, leaving sticky lacing everywhere. Every beer should look this good.

S: Funky Belgian aromas. Citrus. Cloves.

T: I can't do it. It tastes great, but I can't pick out the individual flavors. There's an underlying hop bitterness from beginning to end that keeps it from getting away with itself.

M: Perfect. Rich, full, creamy, and enough carbonation to hold everything in check.

D: Great.

k3n, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of 1759Girl
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Toronado last night for the first time. Well, first time's a charm.
Appearance: clear honey color (looks a lot like a glass of mead) with light carbonation, a small head and lots of lacing.
Smell: yeasty, estery, honey notes.
Taste: Marvelously Belgian. It was sweet, full hoppy taste, and a resiny 'AHhhh' finish that was very clean.
Mouf: The mouthfeel was also true to style, full bodied with the tiniest of bubbles. Excellent.
Drinkability: dangerously drinkable. I ended up having two more immediately after tasting this one.

1759Girl, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 009

Pours a slightly hazed gold with a white head. Yeasty nose - like a beautiful Belgian Pale is supposed to smell. Flavor is mild and smooth. Starts off mellow and sweet with a different than usual alcohol flavor to it. On the end I get an earthy flavor - no doubt from the yeast. Feel is slightly bubbly. Extremely drinkable.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of DIPA
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Pours a very light yellow with slight orange hues with a large head of tight white foam. Head had good staying power.

S – Mellow fruits, spices in style with slight resonance of hops.

T – Nice spicey hops in first and the finish. Clean fruits; pears, apples, bannanas.

M – Very creamy with a lot of carbonation livelyness. Fills mouth but leaves very light

D – Would very easily become a staple in the cellar if easier to obtain.

DIPA, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle tonight at Wally's Wine and couldn't resist cracking it open to see what the deal was all about.

A: Typical Belgian presentation with cork and cage in a 750 ml bottle. Not dating, but claims to be from batch 28. The bottle instructed me to not use a pint glass so thankfully my tulip was clean. Pours a hazy light orange with a bit of sediment. Big fluffy thick white head and lots of retention.

S: Pleasent fruity smells waft from the glass. Closer inspection reveals pear, apple mild bananas, cloves perhaps, and plenty of other spices.

T: Strong, sweet beginning with the same pear/apple/banana feel, followed by a small hop middle and spicy, almost biting and dry finish. A hint of malt in the flavor but the ester/fruit and spice are most prominent.

MF: Full bodied but not thick or syrupy. The carbonation adds to the bite of the spices, and again, the finish is quite dry.

O: I think this may be the best Belgian style beer I've had. Certainly right up there with the Chimay Grand Reserve. The flavor is complex but easy to drink. The dryness leaves you wanted more. And for such strong flavor, the alcohol is really very reasonable. Lives up to expectations, a really good beer.

rxdrewthejew, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of aforbes10
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Toronado, in San Francisco. Golden straw colored, compact tight head with weepy lacing. Smells of pears, bananas, soft alcohol odor, wet straw. Flavor of dry pear juice, white grapes, dry animal hair, mild ethanol. Banana flavor grows as it warms. Sour cucumbery bite. Medium bodied. An excellent, exciting and ever-changing beer experience. RR can do nothing wrong in their wild ale lineup. So much delicacy in this beer. Room for error, but no error evident.

aforbes10, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of stemcell001
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750ml bottle, split for two people. Poured with a very nice fluffy white head. Smelled some good fruity esters when I brought the glass to my nose. The ale tasted much drier than I had expected, but the malts left a creamy feel on my palate with subtle hop notes the entire time. The drinkability of this beer is very high as my friend and I ordered two more during the night. Overall: very smooth and rich, an excellent brew.

stemcell001, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Corked and Caged bottle poured into several Snifters

A – Poured a very hazy and cloudy, and very bright yellowish-amber with a large three to four finger high head of white frothy foam. This settled down, somewhat reluctantly to just a thing layer across the top of foamy white lace. Very nice side glass presentation and more then adequate carbonation yielded a very lively looking brew that kept itself afloat from start to finish.

A – The smell here was very bright and alive. A very dominant yeast presence was accented perfectly by very bright hop notes in the back. A nice range of fruit from peaches, to pears, to even a hint of lemon all presented itself rather nicely and gave a very nice uniformly light feel to the smell. As it warmed some more subtle hints of grapes started to come through and gave it the slightest note of possibly being a bit sour.

T – The flavor was great, extremely big frothy yeast filled goodness would be adequate. Now let’s elaborate. First thing I noticed was a profound hoppiness which seemed to poke its head up in the beginning, settle down and then dry out the finish very nicely. This was a very fresh and light, almost lemon sort of hoppiness, very west coast, and very nice. The middle of it was comprised primarily of light fruity yeast flavors, with lots of hints at pears and apples with a little bit of peach added in. Some light earthy, cereal grains were making up the back and added some balance to it. Overall a quite complex and yet light flavor. This was definitely very interesting.

M – Very nice, I had thought it might end up being a touch on the thick side, but the nice carbonation help to alleviate this thought. A nice light to medium body yielded just the right amount of creaminess to allow the flavor to roll over the tongue and really create a nice finish.

D – A wonderful sipper this really was a nice light goodie that I thoroughly enjoyed. The flavor was crisp, the ABV low enough to not be a factor and the feel full enough to make it a fine bottle.

Overall I thought this was really fantastic. My first real goodie from Russian River in a long time I can see why people pine over these the way they do, (well Pliny showed me that anyway) this was a fine example of both the brewery and the style. I would not hesitate to turn this one down if it were offered.

mikesgroove, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of nahthan
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awesome yeast-driven esters. Nice alcohol bite. Subtle background british/czech hop flavors. Extra-fermentable turbinado sugar kick helps give this a very dry finish. Best commercial example of a Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale brewed in the US. An excellent beer.

nahthan, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of ByTor2112
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this metalmonk, and thanks to my rep John in CA for this one. Batch 010, aged about 4 months from receiving.
Poured between a Chimay goblet and my Bamberger mini glass.
Very nice straw-yellow color with a big fluffy white head.
Aroma-sweet, yeasty, grassy, some light spicy aromas
Mouthfeel- very nice carbonation, a bit champagne like. This tastes very good, almost like a nice farmhouse ale. Sweet with some earthy hop flavors. This is one of the better Belgians I have had in a while. This is also my first beer from Russian River.
This Belgian finishes clean. This is almost sessionable, very light but flavorful body. At 7%, the alcohol is not overly present in any way. Cheers to Vinnie for this wonderful brew!

ByTor2112, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of crookedhalo
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml cork and caged bottle, Batch 016. Pours a hazy, lemony-orange color with a fluffy white head. Darkens somewhat with addition of the yeast. Good stickage and retention. Pear-like in aroma with notes of hops and pale candi sugar. Light fruitiness and moderate sweetness followed up with a clean, dry finish. Excellent carbonation keeps it light and spritzy. The addition of the yeast provides a smoothing agent to the overall character of the beer. A stellar interpretation of the Belgian style.

crookedhalo, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 02, 2007
Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,111 ratings.