1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,259 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,259
Reviews: 1,077
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 357
Gots: 707 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,259 | Reviews: 1,077 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 2nd RR brew. Thanks to koopa for trading for this one! I was actually more excited for this one than Pliny the Elder. Batch #41.

A- Nearly opaque bright golden yellow body that pours with a 1.5 finger foamy white head that fizzes away immediately. Cloudiness is thick and uniform.

S- Smell is heavenly. Sweet bready yeast, a Belgian sugary sweetness, tart citrus, maybe apples and pears and a nice floral hoppiness adds to it. Well balanced.

T-The fruity flavors (described above)come through the most upfront with a semi-tart background. A burst of floral hops add to the finish which is otherwise clean and dry. The slightest hint of alcohol warmth lingers.

M-Medium-to high carbonation and a lighter somewhatspritzy body.

D- This is another great BSPA. I really enjoyed this one a lot and am sad that I can't get this in my area (though there are examples I like better). Both RR brews I have had are in the top 5 for the style...for me and I am looking forward to trading for more!

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

Well, there are lots of reasons I'm excited to move to the west coast. One of those reasons is to finally get a crack at a Russian River offering. I've heard nothing but exemplary things, so I'm pretty excited about this one.

Appearance - Well, it's starting where it should. A nice hazy orange/gold color. A little head quickly moves out of the way. Little bubbles work their way up the sides.

Smell - Very nice. A little orange peel citrus, as well as a sweet candy smell, and just enough spice to give it some depth. Just a hint of Belgian funky gym sock (which is a personal favorite).

Taste - A little bready malt going on. Much more bread than expected. However it's balanced with some spice and that citrus action. I'd love a little more funkiness however. Of course that's a personal taste. It does have a little alcohol kick, but it hides the abv almost entirely.

Mouthfeel - Just a touch thin. A little more carbonation would go a long way. It sits on the palate, but doesn't camp out.

Drinkability - Really high marks for such an excellent brew. It goes down very smooth.

Overall this is a really good beer. This is one of my favorite styles, and this offering is just a step below the real standouts. I feel like it's a little too bready, and I could have gone for a little more booze. That said, I can't wait to try another RR bev.

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

A: Pours a murky yellow with big white head. Nice lacing down the glass

S: Esters, orange

T: Spicy, orange, boozy kick, bready malt undertones

M: Smooth, medium-bodied with a nice carbonation

D: Very drinkable despite a relatively high abv

Another stellar RRBC product. This one is an everyday drinker. Thankfully, the Bay Area has plenty of bars that stock it.

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 09/27/08. Batch 39. Bottle is corked and caged. Pretty cool label art.

Pours a bright golden orange color with about a finger of white head. The head quickly dropped to a thin layer. Aroma is of Belgian yeast, sweet malt and sugar, light citrus, spicy, and peppery.

Taste is similar to the aroma. The pepper and spice is a bit more pronounced, and the yeast and sugar flavors are not as prominent. Slight earthy hop flavor. The citrus flavor is still there, mostly lemon and some tangerine.

Feel is decent. Carbonation seems just a bit low for the style. The body is fairly full and it's on the heavy side. Finish is very dry. Drinkability is ok, hampered by the heaviness. Finishing the bottle won't be too hard, but I wouldn't want any more.

Pretty good, but seems like it's lacking in carbonation for a Belgian style ale. Worth a try.

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from Andysr15. Thanks Andy.

This beer pours a beautiful dark yellow/orange color with a decent sized head that dissipated quite quickly and left spotty lacing on my glass. I get a good dose of fruit in the nose including apples, pears, oranges, and some Belgian style yeast in the nose. The fruit is the most dominant flavor in the flavor profile with pears and apple being the main players, and there are also flavors of lemon, pepper, and a slight hint of banana as well. The mouthfeel has medium carbonation with a fairly dry finish with the alcohol only barely noticeable. The drinkability is quite nice even at 7.75%, and I would have never guessed it was that high if I didn't read it on the bottle.

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

Delicious, strong, well balanced and refreshing. Another great Russian River offering - long overdue here in the East Coast.

Pours bright golden with huge head and lots of carbonation from the bottom. The head lasts a long time and falls slowly to beautiful lacing.

The aroma is intense and spicy, with hints of coriander and carroway with a bit of lemony citrus.

The flavor is equally intense, spicy, and strong with a strong lemony bitterness. As it warms, lovely fruity esters come out - banana, pear, and apricot.

The mouthfeel is meaty, with a strong bite of carbonation that highlights the citrus-like bitterness.

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

A - Really straw yellow. Big bubbled white head. Carbonation in my Sam's glass is gorgeous. Very clear

S - sweet fresh smell. Apple maybe. has a crisp feel to it. Something a little sour too.

T - Sweet and juicy. Some sour and crisp taste. Maybe more sour than I'd want, tho its not a lot of sour. Some floral and lemon.

M - light mouth feel. good carbonation. not an alcohol feel. really crisp and refreshing like biting into an apple.

D - I'll easily enjoy this bomber myself. Don't think I could open another one in the same nite, but I would think to buy more

Photo of GoreStorm
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color with moderate head...

....i'll just cut the fat and say it tasted like a slightly watery version of duvel. dunno if it had been sitting for a while or what.

not what i was expecting though.

also, very ironic that salvation is dark and damnation is light. irony anyone?

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

750ml for lunch. So I'm a glutton.

Rather light in color. I think "Damnation" should have been reserved for something much darker. This is a unique shade of golden yellow. Steady parade of bubbles up to a snow white head. Gnarly black-widows web lacing.

I smell some fruits and some sour notes.

Tastes the same. Some fruites and some sour notes.

Good beer I guess. My expectations are too high these days. I want every beer to blow me away. What an insensitive jerk I am.

Overall: pretty good

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

Poured from a C&C 750 to a snifter glass the liquid is gold with a light yet expressive carbonation, The head is tall and light bodied, off white and leaves some lace.

The smell is very good light fruits, well seasoned grains and a hin of oak.

The taste is fantastic and I am not really big on this stlye. RR hit a home run on this brew, The taste is outstanding, so glad I got more then I wanted at first. The woodsy oak notes are what make it.

The mouthfeel is very good a nice better then medium body and a very nice carbonation.

The drinkability of this must try brew is outstanding, I look forward to hording this beer.

Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

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

Batch number 37

A - Crstal clear gold with 3 finger of fluffy white head

S - Pear, apply, orange, floral. belgian yeast

T - Lemon, crisp, a little bitter and a little bit of mint

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Pretty solid and enjoyable, not an all the time drinker but excellent for mixing things up and introducing people to craft belgian beer

Photo of erikm25
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deliciously rich yet light gold coloring. I also noticed a fluorescent orange hint with a strong creamy white three finger head. Very nice lacing, abundant sentiment, and great retention.

S: The fruity smell is balanced well with spices. The clean aroma of mango and the cutting smell of pepper or paprika immediately caught me off guard. There was also sharp honey that was both tangy and crisp. Overall the smell brought to mind any number of fresh cut fruits. The last hints I had were of ripe banana smoked with pine.

T: This definitely smells like it tastes. Cloves and honey are now recognizable. Also light fruits like bananas, pears, and apples come to mind. It is sweet but yet with a hoppy taste. As it reaches a warmer temperature it still retains a very crisp and clean taste. The sweetness definitely lingers which makes it all the more refreshing.

M: Medium carbonation, very smooth, and with a nice hop like finish.

D: This is very drinkable and while I had the intention of just giving it a try I know now I will have to remember to pick this up in the future. I figured Damnation would be appropriate on the eve of the Large Hadron Collider's debut and these crazy scientists trying to find the God Particle. If we do get sucked into a black hole all I know is there are a ton of beers these guys screwed me out off tasting. In the immortal words of the band Weedeater, God Luck and Good Speed.

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

7.75% says the label of this corked caged 750.

Pours a nice slightly hazy duvelish yellow gold/ maybe a touch darker orange. Big fluffy white head of foam. Nose is mostly spice, esters, yeast. Taste follows with estery belgian yeast action, some slight pear, a bit of spice, black pepper. Slightly weaker, mustier Duvelish beer. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, quite good all the same. Drikability is strong, but not quite top notch. Overall a very solid belgian golden from RR. This is not a mindblowing beer, but a solid tasty staple of the style, impressive for an american made belgian style. Good beer.

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

Poured from the corked 750ml bottle into a goblet. Body is a rich golden color, topped by a full, creamy white head that hangs around for a while before receding into a thick ring. Carbonation keeps flowing from the bottom of the glass for the duration.
Aroma of sweet pale malt, a touch of candi sugar and apple juice, and a hint of funky Belgian yeast. Palate is sweet and delicate up front, with a mild fruity character and a touch of candi sugar emerging before the swallow. Finish is mellow and warming, but doesn't linger too long.
Body is nice and carbonated, but not fizzy. Not exactly the most authentic American take on a Belgian ale, this is a thoroughly enjoyable ale.

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

A: Bright orange gold; hazy, but no floaters. The head pours clean white and substantial, with excellent retention and moderate lacing. A few streams of carbonation continue to appear as the beer warms.

S: Yeasty, with a citrusy tang. Tangerine and dried bananas are prominent, with a hint of fresh cut prairie grass. A little bit of what I imagine sunshine would smell like if it had a scent, and some spices as well.

T: Very bright, with lots of tanginess and a very prevalent taste of bananas. Spices are more discernable; cardamom, possibly. Hops come through as well, although not overpoweringly. A hint of sweetness, but mostly just very very dry.

M: Chewy and very bold, but with some carbonation still in the mix. Very sticky, and seems to coat the mouth, but not in an unpleasant way. Not sugary or cloying at all... really unique and enjoyable.

D: Definitely an easy drinker. A really excellent beer for this occasion (porch beer on a nice fall day). Refreshing.

Photo of nrbw23
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a light golden amber color with a white head and good lacing. Watch out when you pour this one your you will have a ton of floaters.

S- A quite bit of a yeast smell, spices and citrus.

T- Taste is dominated by the citrus. The spiciness is a bit more noticeable in the flavour also. There's a bit of a bitterness in the finish, as well as a bit of a drying effect. It was actually a little hard for me to finish this one.

M-Medium body and moderatly carbonated.

D- Little too fruity for me. Glad to I got to try this one and I'll probably give it another shot or two.

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

Thanks to a wonderful west coast BA for providing me with this one. 750 ml bottle corked and caged batch 30. Poured into a Duvel tulip glass the beer produced a good two fingers worth of white head that lasts. This is of course on top of a golden orange body brew.

Aromas of bananas and citrus fruits filled my nose. Along with the nice spice background note that was there.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with tons of carbonation for your tongue. Very refreshing flavors of fruit with a dry spicy finish splashed around in my mouth

"Dangerously drinkable for the ABV" that is well worth repeating, it will catch up on you. Damm LOL

Photo of pwoods
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged brown bottle, purchased from Joey on South Bay, poured into a Unibroue tulip. No dating.

A: Pours a heavily ripened banana yellow with perfect clarity. A large pearly white head forms and holds nicely. Good lacing throughout.

S: Lots of yummy, fruity, yeasty esters. Some spiciness on the nose with light clove and bubblegum notes. Dry pale malts, crisp and clean, round things out.

T/M: More of the same from the nose. The fruity esters are complimented nicely with a pleasant soft malt sweetness. A bit spicier than the nose but not overdone. Body is medium light with medium carbonation. Finishes a bit dry.

D: Tasty and drinkable. The bottle says 7.75%(not 7%) yet it drinks like 5%.

Photo of rye726
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vntage 750ml bottle.

Pour a beautifull clear golden color and has a silky tan head. The nose has a rich malt structure followed by candy, light hops and Blegian yeasts. The taste is very similar. Big sweet malts balanced by herbal yeasts and spicy hops. Perfect Belgianesque body and carbonation. Could enjoy this one anytime.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy golden-brown color with one finger white head. Slowly fades to a thin white layer. Sheets of lace slowly fade.

S - Aroma of pear, lemon, and tart apples. Also hints of spice, maybe corriander. Very well balanced aroma with many smells, none of which are overly dominant.

T - Tastes of lemon and somewhat tart apples. Hints of clove and corriander as well. Very well balanced tastes but none as strong as expected.

M/D - Full bodied and rather chewy. First few drinks were very carbonated as well but that seemed to fade rather fast. A damn fine Belgian Pale.

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

Batch 40 750ml bottle $4.99 (pretty sure I got a good deal). Nice golden yellow color with a white head. It smells like faint hints of banana, bubblegum, esters, belgian, very nice. Nice flavors that diverge from the nose but are hard to describe. A dryness that works well, easy to drink but I will still sip it because I want to savor the whole bottle. BSPA is not my favorite style but this is one of the better ones I've had. I'd still prefer a Salvation or Perdition but this was well worth the $5 per bottle. It will be interesting to taste this again in a year or two.

Photo of jamesm7485
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. 750 ml caged and corked bottle batch number 40 poured into a Lucifer goblet, a fairly aggresive pour yields a murky light gold straw color of a body with a thin ghost white head.

Smell: yay for allergies, from what my stuffy ass nose can tell i sense a hint of some orange and coriander, with your Belgian yeast strain smell.

Taste. Somewhat thin the taste is very similar to the smell, their is a very faint hop bitterness on the end.

Mouthfell, very thing a little lacking in body

Drinkability. A little higher on carbonation than i'm used to with belgians, really gets better as it gets to room temp.

You know to be honest considering the hype, I was expecting a tad more

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

Batch #39 poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Damnation is a clear bubbly gold with a tall, large bubbled white head that leaves lots of foamy lace.

Smell is slightly sweet, cereals, lime and overripe golden delicious apples, with and incense like spiciness, perhaps sandlewood? Great complexity.

Taste is fairly hoppy, minty and herbal, with a slightly sour citrus note and a spicy finish over a simple malt backbone that's not particularly grainy or sweet, but overall very clean. Jeez, this is just a damn good beer! In the last two weeks I've had both Lost Abby and Brooklyn's offerings of the style, and this is the only one that lives up to the hype.

Mouthfeel is incredibly carbonated, with a very bubbly effervescence yet still on the softer side, medium bodied with a dry, spicy finish, which is the only real indication of the alcohol.

Drinkablity is damn good! As much as I love Belgian Blondes, I'm frankly not a huge fan of these simpler, spicy, Duvel style BSPAs, but this one is probably my favorite, and has really won me over...only my 2nd Belgian style Russian River, and 4th of theirs over all, and I have to say, I'm a real believer!

Photo of IBUnit63
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clean, light honey color with HUGE meringue head with Florentine lacing. Sparse carbonation gets heavier with warmth.

Electricity of yeast, malt and sugar cane are all subtle yet profound. Mild backbone of grassy hops. Nice and crisp overall.

Luscious-oily sugar cane with yeast, malt and mild grassy hops. There's some coriander and hop bitterness in there-this has come together smashingly.

Pucker from grassy (maybe piney too) hops and carbonation gets tight on back of mouth in tandem with nice bitterness.

This one goes down easy and clean. Excellent offering.

Photo of cjgator3
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a large tulip glass.

A- Pours a golden orange color with a large creamy off-white head that possesses excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is apples and pears along with some spices and yeast.

T- The taste features much of the same fruit flavors that were present in the nose along with a dry finish. Very refreshing.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a lot of carbonation prickling the tongue.

D- Damnation is dangerously drinkable for the ABV, I could drink this stuff all night long.

Overall, this is the first RR beer that I have tried, and I am impressed. Damnation is a great BSPA that stands up to some of the better originals from Belgium. Recommended.

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,259 ratings.