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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

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3,344 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,344
Reviews: 1,088
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 368
Gots: 771 | FT: 52
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: 3,344 | Reviews: 1,088
Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
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

Photo of Jerico
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a bottle into a Westvleteren goblet.

A - pours light and airy and slightly cloudy, a bit of a golden/peachy color. Head is about 2 fingers, nice and puffy.

S - smell is light, fruity (banana and spice) and sweet. This one is hard to resist!

T/M/D - yum! Tastes like it smells - light and slightly fruity, and candy sugar sweet but not overly so. A bit of a malty taste up front, and delicate hoppy bitterness in the back. Fantastic. I'd write more but this one is calling for my attention!

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy honey color and a modest head that re-forms with a swirl and leaves nice swathes of lace

Smell: Banana and bubblegum, apple and pear, and a smidge of clove

Taste: Opens with banana and clove flavors, with the apple/pear underneath; white pepper arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, the clove and pepper join with some lemony hops to provide a balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Mediun to full body with buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and a spicy, hoppy example of the style; very nice

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this courtesy of route66pubs - thanks!

Pours a hazy yellow-orange color with a one-finger white head. The head slowly dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pears, citrus fruits, and light spices. There are hints of Belgian candi sugar that waft out every now and then as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The spices carry a bit more weight, though they still take a backseat to the fruit flavors. A mild candi sugar sweetness carries on until the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness and solid carbonation that make it go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished off what I had fairly quickly and could drink a lot of these outside on a summer day.

Overall this is certainly a very good staple of RR. Worth a shot.

Photo of Voonder
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy peachy yellow with huge white bubbly head. Very sticky, leaving lots of lacing. Smell - sweet and fruity, yeasty, slightly hoppy. Very nice. Taste - a bit wheaty upfont, followed by fruity sweetness, very rich maltiness, finishes a bit dry and bitter. Extremely balanced beer, very drinkable for ABV, rich and creamy. Very smooth. Very enjoyable.
Great stuff!

Photo of ThirdLap
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split with BA Macktbone and six others at an informal tasting at his place. Served in a Chimay goblet at about 55°F.

Damnation pours a murky slightly-dark yellow with a big off-white head. After receding, a chunky thin head remains, revealing lots of lacing. Some sediment noted.

The nose is citrus fruits, spices, bread, with a slight sour funk edge.

Taste is sweet... lighter fruits and vanilla, with a hint of spices. Nothing is too 'in-your-face', making for huge drinkability.

Carbonation is medium to high, with a velvety medium-bodied mouthfeel. The finish is clean and soft.

A solid example of the style.

Photo of Risser09
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008 bottling

Appearance: Pours a clear golden yellow with a 1" tall ivory head. Bubbles flow to the surface from the bottom. There is great retention and spidery lace. The pillowy head just won't dissipate.

Smell: Light, funky, airy, pale malt, yeast and faint hops. Slight sour apple mixes with pale malt and a mineral aroma slides in as well.

Taste: Light and airy funk from brett makes it's way into the beer. A slight wheat flavor that is kind of sweet. Slightly boozy. A little bit of wood tannin from the oak aging.

Mouthfeel: Light, airy, a bit boozy and lots of frothy carbonation. An excellent beer in the mouth.

Drinkability: Very nice. you could drink quite a few of the 750s alone. Russian River almost never disappoints. Not even close to a clunker in the bunch. Very good.

Photo of beertunes
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After years of hearing about RRs beers, we've recently started seeing them in stores up here in the Fourth Corner. Let's see if they live up to their reputation, shall we? Poured into chalice. Poured a clear, bright golden-yellow. Poured with about an inch of bright white head that quickly settled into a thin solid layer that stuck around for the duration. A moderate amount of lacing. A fairly high level of carbonation (which is apparently an issue with some RR brews). A nicely subtle spice and fruit aroma. The typical spicyness of this style is quick on the tongue, with a slight clove note on the finish. The body is light and refreshing as usual for the style. Nicely drinkable. While not on on the level of Chimay White or Duvel, this is an acceptable version of this style which I will probably try again. Overall an average example of this style.

Photo of JBogan
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear pale gold which looks like any American Macro. However, it has a nice thick white crown which remains forever and leaves a good thick sheet of lacing.

The aroma is quite fruity with a bit of grassiness. Lemon plays a large part.

Taste is a very pleasant mix of citrus and banana and spices. Really well balanced and fresh. Very impressive.

Mouthfeel was about as good as it gets. Medium body with a perfect smoothness along with just the right amount of carbonation. Well done.

Never had this before, but I knew this beer was supposed to be good when I bought it. it didn't disappoint. I'm a big Belgian fan, but pretty much every American beer I've ever had which attempted to be a Belgian style was just a pale imitation. Not this one. I'll certainly revisit it again. An excellent brew from our friends out West.

Photo of madtowndmb1
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brownish color with no head.

S: Not as much as I expected! Not alot of funk, more mellow than I wanted. Got alot herbs and lemon. Reminded me of a tea more than a wild ale.

T: Tasted like a little funky tea! There's a touch of a bit right away. The to a spice and lemon and fruit travel along the tongue.

M: Smooth and easy to drink. Not very thick at all.

D: I liked it but R.R. has better that you can get, but good!

Photo of Yetiman420
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second in a three course dinner paring lineup of Devotion Damnation, and Lost & Found.

Poured into the straighter variety of wine glass. Wonderful light appearance with thin white head.

Paired well with a salad of earthy and sharp greens and cheese plate.

Noticeable Belgian aroma coming off the Devotion. Distinct Belgian spiciness, excellent and excellent mouthfeel.

Photo of bbothen
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the pub. Summer 2008.

Pours a hazy straw yellow/golden with a fluffy 2 finger deep white head. Head has great retention throughout. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smells of peppery spice, yeast, clove, fruity, apple, pear. Nice.

Fruity complex taste of banana, pear, apple, spice, yeast, malt sweeteness, citrusy hop bitterness. Tasty & interesting.

Affervescent, medium bodied, tangy, clean.

Highly drinkable & something your non Beer Advocates friends may like.

Photo of charlzm
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 02/16/09.

Pours a slightly hazy urine yellow (sorry, but that's an apt color description). LOTS of suspended particulate matter in this beer. A fine, one-finger white head forms and turns to sticky lacing for the duration of the glass. Plenty of carbonation is visible.

Aroma is redolent of unfermented sugar, cloves and a powdery honeysuckle.

Flavor reflects the aroma with the addition of a white pepper bite and a lingering, strong bitterness. Strong anise flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is downright effervescent, almost champagne-like.

I shared the bottle with two friends and that seemed about the right amount of this hoppy California interpretation of the style.

Photo of jsanto
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

s - on tap at a local in phila.

a - golden light yellow/orange. slight white head.

s - citrus and extra lemon.

t - nice mellow front citrus flavor,and not much of a finish.

m - slight carbonation that faded and changed as it sat.

d - would only have one.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a just lightly hazy golden-orange color with slightly off-white film-like head that lasts a while.

Smell: Has a light fruity flavor of apples, pears, and bubble-gum. Not really too keen on that bubble-gum aroma...

Taste: Light (but not too light) flavor of hops and yeast. Very minimal hint of fruits. Has a bit of an earthy aftertaste, together with the yeasts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinks nicely without hints of alcohol. Enjoyable.

A nice beer, but it doesn't strike me with anything particular or fantastic. I'm glad that alcohol isn't present in the taste (like many American attempts at Belgian ales), but the balance between the fruity smell and yeasty taste doesn't really merge anywhere.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice light amber beer color, great frothy tight head about one finger width or so.

S- Light fruits, clove, honey, and very over all tasty.

T- The taste is very delicious. Herbal, yet smooth and not very yeasty as it is in the bottle. This has a nice herbal taste, with the clove and honey. Very nicely put together.

M- Very easy to drink and very nice on the palate.

D- Easy to drink, very tasty and amazing on tap.

Photo of HatTrick
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Was a pretty amber with a head that reduced quickly but left a nice bit of lacing on the chalice.

S: Smelled of sweet cinnamon, apples, pears, and flowers.

T: Nice smooth taste of fruits, mild hops, apples, and like it smelled, pears, cinnamon, mild mild cloves, flowers.

M: Had very nice mouthfeel. Was really nice going down. Smooth and nice bodied, not too full or light.

D: Was really nice to drink. Easy going down. Delicious!

Photo of Rayek
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy apple juice color with an orange tinged head. The soapy head has poor retention, but leaves spots of lace.

S: A nice balance of pepper, apples, coriander, lemon, orange and sourdough bread aromas was pleasing to my nose.

T: A spicy pepper and coriander bitterness is the most dominant aspect. The beer is fruity in the middle with orange, lemon and green grape flavors. Finishes tangy and tart with a flash of lemon.

M: Medium body is grainy and somewhat dry. Carbonation level feels about right.

D: Overall, this was a very nice beer. For some reason, I didn't enjoy it as much as my notes made it sound like I did. Perhaps I was just in a negative frame of mind. A solid offering nonetheless.

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden color with a one finger head that lasts a bit. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: malt sweetness, yeast, grass, and a bit of floral bitterness are detectable.

Taste: nice malt base with some yeast, pepper, green grapes, grass, and a nice bitterness make up a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout with a bit of dryness near the finish. Medium bodied. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger on the tongue.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this one. It is easy to have a few glasses of this in a session but alcohol will quietly sneak up on you.

Photo of PhxHorn
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I mail-ordered this one out of San Diego, and so maybe my hopes were disproportionally high. It pours a pale clear yellow with a nice fluffy head. Smells mildly of apples. The taste was a bit disappointing--a mild flavor of apples and pears, but on the weak side. Carbonation was a bit on the weak side--the mouthfeel was a bit watery. Drinkable and decent, but nothing special. I've still not had anything from RR that really impressed me.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this earlier this evening at Monk's Cafe in Philly. On tap review from notes.

A - poured a pale yellow, quite clear, with decent specks of lacing and a nice fluffy 1" white head that diminished shortly into a bubbly ring in a tulip.

S - Pilsener malts, a slight citrusy zest and a mild fruity hoppiness with acidic tones. A pinch of yeastiness/breadiness too. Alcohol is not apparent.

T - Tangy citrus up front, followed by a light malty sweetness and grain. Ends with a linger of hops and mildly warming alcohol spice.

M - light bodied and well carbonated. Very crisp and refreshing.

D - quite drinkable, probably the best aspect of the beer.

Overall - This is my first offering from Russian River and I was indeed pleased. I ordered this only knowing that it was from RR and nothing else. This reminds me a little bit of Duvel but toned down a notch. Could use a touch more in flavor but it paired nicely with a grilled chicken sandwich with cheese and portobello mushrooms.

Photo of specksnreds
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My first Rusian River offering. My expectations were high. Poured straw yellow with a very high level of small bubble carbonation. Black pepper spice in the nose with a wonderful green apple aroma lurking beneath the spice.

A modest, but pleasent weight on the tongue. Immediately recogmizable as "easy to drink" Spice disappears and is replaced by subtle hoppiness and a bit of yeast. Lovely Belgian flavor w/o the being too much.

Finishes dry ( I like dry) and clean.

After a quick round-about amongst some fellow brewers standing around the weekend's wort, it was decided the we liked this ber so much that we want to make it.

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML into a snifter/ Batch 022

P: Clear yellow from the bottle, sits an effervescent and brilliant sparkling honey gold in the glass. Big 2 fingered white head is fluffy & pillowy. Great retention, and left a layer of foam on top for a long while. Just a bit of lacing.

A: Smells of light fruits, like muted apples & pears. Also some soft malts, pepper, clove, some spiciness and considerable alcohol. After reading about this batch on the RR site, I knew it wouldn't be as fruity in the nose, but its still decent.

T: Apples & pears lay on top of the gentle malt bill, while the pepper weaves in and out behind the moderate alcohol. Hops are spicy, and have a muted floral vibe that stays in the background. A little clove and some great banana flavors come out of hiding on the back end to accompany the belgian yeast in the pleasantly dry finish. Nice aftertaste.

M & D: Medium-bodied, very crisp and dry, while aggressive carbonation pops on the tongue. Drinkability is good due to the tasty flavors and that dry finish that urges you to take another sip.

Notes: This is very good beer. It's complex, crisp, well-built, and very satisfying. A very good example of a BSPA. Tally up another winner for Russian River. Definitely recommended

Photo of 1000Bottles
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear deep golden color with a scant off-white head. Aroma is fruity sweet - somewhere between apricots and peaches, and slightly floral - like orange blossoms. Flavor is nicely balanced - good hop presence but not overpowering in the least. Sweet flavors of orange and honey, almost kind of herby - like savory. Finish is nice and lingering but not dry or sweet.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged & corked bottle pored into a sam adams pint glass twice. Batch 41.

A- With a loud pop after opening, Damnation pours a stram yellow to slighty golden color. Coming up the glass a nice looking 1 inch head arises eventually fading. into a thin film. A lot of bubbles are seen coming up the glass. Not much lacing Watch out on the end of the bottle as there is some yeasty gunk.

S- A nice assortment of fruits come forth such as banana and apple with a good amount of clove. Lemon scent also. Some yeast and a dash of malts are there.

T- Damnation comes through with a lot of banana and clove for me. The apple and pear taste is also present. The yeast and malts also pair up to add another layer of taste becoming bready at times. Some spices were obviously used in this brew as i'm getting some pepper. A bit of hops are detected throughout the bottle.

M- RRD has some slight carbonation with a thin to medium mouth feel. This really goes down smooth with some alcohol if you really search for it. A bit on the dry side probably increasing with age in the bottle.

D- A pleasure to drink and at 7% a 750ml bottle is the ideal size. A good representation of this Belgian style although the fruits are less present then in import styles. Good off the tap but better in the bottle as the ingredients get to know each other better. I need to save the rest of my bottles for the spring, summer as that time of year is more ideal for this style.

Now i need to trade for redemption to see what that has in store for me.

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,344 ratings.