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.

3,317 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,317
Reviews: 1,086
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 364
Gots: 743 | 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: 3,317 | Reviews: 1,086 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Buddy of mine brought back this bottle from CA for me when he came home for the holidays.

Batch 39. 750mL, corked and caged split a few ways into some wine-like glasses.

Pale Straw colored with a stark white head which rises quickly and forms a nice foam leaving some lacing.

Aromas of fruits and estery spiciness. I get a lot of berries... raspberries maybe? The same followed in the taste but with a peppery note. Overall fairly mild and approachable. Slight yeastiness with fruits but I could see this appealing to a fairly new craft beer drinker. Not my favorite style, but I could enjoy a bottle of this myself throughout the course of a nice meal.

After reading up about this beer, and its sister beer redemption, and trying them in the same night, I can't see wanting to reach for redemption.(although redemption is by no means a bad beer) To me, this is just a superior version of it. ( slightly more robust with more pronounced flavors and a slightly higher ABV.)

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

Served on-tap at Monk's Cafe, in Philadephia.

A- Pours beautiful clear golden color. The fluffy white head leaves a great lacing on the side of the glass.
S- Definate Belgian yeasty notes, but a bit mellow. Some peppery spices come through as well.
T- Like the aroma, slight fruitiness and spices. Mild yet tasty.
M- Smooth and lightly carbonated. Leans on the dry side (but not too much).
D- A very drinkable Belgian ale. It's not too strong and goes down very smoothly.

Overall, a great offering from Russian River and a fine Belgian ale. I look forward to trying the other beers in their lineup.

Photo of HoustonTX
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damnation - The state of being condemned to the eternal punishment of hell.

Sounds like my kind of beer.

This is batch 042.

Damnation pours beautifully and effortlessly. Golden yellow body, with hues of orange. Fluffy white head, and ample carbonation.

Taste has a nice malty crisp aroma, with fringes of yeast.

Damnation has a very nice peppery spiciness about it. Sweet lightly toasted bread, with assertive black pepper, citrus twang, and hoppy florals. Yeast notes permeate around all edges, along with a slight dry earthy body. Excellent balance, with the citrus and grassy hops going well against the rest of the flavors. Finishes clean, with nice tanginess.

An easy drinker, with some excellent flavors. Another solid beer from Russian River. Definitely give this one a try.

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

Got this one at the Foodery (N. Liberties) Philadelphia. Batch 041. This Golden Ale is golden in color. Poured a small white head and came down to barely nothing. The smell isn't too strong, but definitely pick up some of that yeast/clove aroma along with some pear. I really enjoyed the drinkability of this one. This is a well balanced, not too overpowering, Belgian ale.
I'd drink this one again, but I do prefer other Russian River beers over this one. For the price, I'd also pick something up over it too, but overall not bad.

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

A: Orange-yellow with a small white head. Not much retention.

S: Huge spiciness and estery in the nose. Complex and good.

T: Fruitiness and spicy notes. More citrusy than any other flavour. Tasted like a standard Belgian ale

M: Nice and aqueous.

D: Somewhat

Photo of shirfan
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass, pale gold with a very sticky and enduring white head. A few particles floating around.

I didn't get much of an aroma. Pale malt, maybe a little yeasty pear.

Flavor is smooth, dry, refined. Pear and plantain notes, simple pale malts, a touch of grain and some minor "funk" in the finish.
Soft carbonation and lack of any bold, unbalanced flavors makes for an exceptionally drinkable beer.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/30/08. Bottle, batch 41. Pours a cloudy deep orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet melon, light fruits, and prickly spices. Flavor of tart citrus, lemon, melon, and light bitter hops. Nice mouthfeel- not as astringent and harsh as some Belgians. Nice BSA.
7/4/8/4/15 (3.8/5)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #40

A - Remarkably clear pale golden with a few fingers of foamy white head that settles to a finger of foam with sticky lacing.

S - Pear, apple, hint of clove, light citrus and lemon, slight banana and some yeasty notes.

T - Fruity with apple, pear, lemon and a touch of citrus and banana. Hints of spice and bubblegum.

M - Fairly light with lively carbonation. There are still bubbles rising to the top as I get to the bottom of the glass.

D - Sweet but not cloying. Subtle but complex. Very tasty.

Photo of HalfFull
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a Chimay chalice. A deep golden in color with good clarity and a short lived head.

Sweet malts on the nose with clean apple and pear notes, along with light citrus. Good dose of yeast but not sour.

Taste is rich and sweet from start to a moderately lingering finish. Same apple and pear of the nose along with some banana and a bit of spice on the finish.

Feel is good initially but the carbonation releases prematurely yielding a somewhat slick finish that shows the alcohol. Rather drinkable nonetheless and probably not the best example of this beer as I think the keg may have been on its last legs.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - golden pale. big head that lingers around for a while.

Smell - Smells like fruit and alchohol. like a drk spice fruit punch.

Taste- very well balanced and has some linfering spices

Overall - It's pretty good, but a bit pricey. You get what you pay for, but there are other beers out there for $12. A nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

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

22 oz bottle from Batch 044 into Chimay chalice

A - Nice 2-finger-head, murky gold brew

S - Banana, pepper, candied apples, caramel, cotton candy, trappist yeast

T-M - Highly carbed malt intro into slight hoppy presence, but really the yeast is the flavor here & that's good; slight sweetness; peppery, possibly a tinge of coriander notes...

D - Excellent beer. I probably couldnt drink it all night, as it hits pretty hard, but I'd like to try sometime.

Photo of magictrokini
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright golden pour, with cloudy yeast and good carbonation. Yeast carries over in aroma, with some nutmeg and fruit. Taste is light for this kind of brew. Malt and banana, kind of like bread pudding, but with a crisp, a slightly hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was the star, very smooth and light.

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 11/5/08: Russian River Brewing Co.
Damnation Ale
Poured from a 750 bottle caged and corked. 7.75% abv. into my goblet

Appearance=Nice golden color, obviously. Mild sediment is noticed, maybe I should have left it in the bottle? Good looking beer w/ a creamy white 2 finger head.

Smell=mild bananas, mild hops and malt. Yeasty...


Mouth feel=great mouthfeel!! Creamy, yet slick.

Drinkability=Very drinkable, good tasting beer. Where's the hops??! J/K...haha

Photo of cbros
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type- 750 mL bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Had this beer back in October in Eugene, OR so I am going off my notes.

A- Pours a beautiful cloudy golden yellow with no activity in the glass. Medium lace that was present throughout the beer.

S- Strong spice smell, with hints of clover and banana.

T- Awesome balance of strength and flavor. The alcohol hits you first then mellows out with a flavor combination of fruits.

I tried this while in the Pac NW(namely the Bier Stein in Eugene) and I am really pissed that I can't get this beer out here in NC. I loved this brew and being a disciple of Duvel I had a hard time deciding which was better. The only thing I figured was that I need more real world data. After Duvel this is the best Belgian Strong Pale Ale that I have had and I need to get omre of this in NC.

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

A: Poured a light hazy golden-orange color with a 1 finger, white rocky head that was moderately lasting while leaving a fair streaky lacing.

S: fruity with some oranges and light bananas and apples.

T: The initial flavor was very yeasty with banana bread, oranges and pears for flavor. There palate was grainy with a light muskiness and spicy hoppiness brightening up. There was some dried honey, and citric tones as well detected. Finishes dry with a light peppery touch.

M: creamy and dry, with a bright carbonation.

D: Great drinkability and spicing, a great example, tasty sweet and spicy and a joy to consume.

Photo of GilGarp
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 040

Bottle states 7.75% ABV.

Pops quietly and pours into a globe glass. Nice amounts of fine head on top of a beautiful golden beer. Very nice clarity and good head retention with lacing as well.

Aroma is sweet and spicy with some fruity esters. Lots of character.

Flavor is equally enjoyable with more of the same fruits, especially citrus, light spiciness, and oak. Nice dry lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is good for the stlye in that it's not overly carbonated and it isn't too heavy.

Drinkability is fine as well but it helps to have something to eat along with it - maybe some cheese and crackers or an apple.

Overall very good American example of a Belgian style.

Photo of trekbiker3000
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

the beer was poured into a Chimay glass. Yellow in color, it only produced a coating of a head, with some lacing down the sides of the glass. The aromo was overwhelmingly sweet and malty. The flavor was very floral, with sweet malt flavors. A hint of alcohol does come through. In fact, I can still feel the slight alcohol burn long after the sip. The mouthfeel is full-bodied coating the entire palate. the carbonation leaves a bite on the tip of tongue. This is a grwat sipping beer.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only Russian River brew i've seen up here in oregon...and only in Portland.

Big ole 750ml bottle, caged and corked.

purs a hazy orange amber...not much haze, just a bit.

Great fruity aroma of pear, honey mead, spicy orange and clove and a slight alcohol bite. Nice sweet florals too.

In the taste you'll get sweet grain, spicy lemon, honeysuckle, and a slight vienous whitewine flavor. Mouthfeel is light to moderate, and is damn-near one of the most drinkable belgians i've had. The complexity makes this one enjoyable in large quanities...or atleast over a long time period. I stretched this 750ml out through a couple hours, and had left the bottle out after my second tulip glass. As it warmed it got tastier!

Photo of philbe311
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pale golden color with a slight copperish hue... Thin head... Solid lacing... Simple carbonation... Fairly still...

S - Spices and fruits... Pear... Apple... Also yeast and subtle hints of malts... Overall the aroma was subtle, but quite pleasant...

T - Pear... Raisin... Melon... Banana... Malt... Faint spiciness...

M - Incredibly smooth... Soft and delicate... Dry... Slight carbonation with each sip... Medium bodied...

D - A solid Belgian Pale Ale... I marvel at the way Russian River makes such complex beers simple and accessible, but still utterly enjoyable and able to stand up with the best in any style...

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

Appearance: 750ml caged and corked bottle purchased a while ago at the brewery for about 7 bucks. Bright gold in color with excellent clarity. A big fluffy white head forms from a gentle pour, good retention.

Smell: Fruity esters open this one up, pear/green apple come to mind. Pleasant floral hoppiness beneath that. Faintly yeasty, but clean for the style, not dissimilar to Duvel.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dry and grainy, floral hops, green apple, hints of lemon rind, pear and banana. High carbonation, very crisp on the tongue. Pleasantly bitter in the finish, and quite dry. I can understand why this is Russian River's flagship Belgian style beer, it's complex but very accessible and well balanced.

Photo of johnd513
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light golden color with a nice fluffy white head that quickly disappears and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Smells of yeast and fruit with alcohol at the end. Tastes of pears and other fruit flavors. This one finishes very dry. The mouthfeel is smooth and nicely carbonated. Drinkability is good, I had no problem finishing the bottle. Overall nothing spectacular but an enjoyable brew.

Photo of SShelly
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light gold with big fluffy white head, Tons of retention and lace, looks very effervescent.

Smells very lightly of yeast and fruit, very minimal aroma on this.

Flavor is light bitter fruit, very dry on the tongue, pretty lively in the mouth, light yeasty flavor as well, nice mix of flavors in the mouth, though a hint of astringency.

Probably not an everyday drinker for me but pretty tasty overall.

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

On-draft at Capone's, served in Chimay goblet.

A - Pale gold with half-finger white head. Heavy lacing left behind.

S - Not a very strong scent...standard Belgian-style smell. Hints of fruit, yeast, and a little bit of alcohol presence...

T - Pear, hops, other citrus...alcohol is minimally noticeable. Very complex and tasty.

M - Very, very smooth. Lightly carbonated. Leaves a light residue behind.

D - Amazingly quaffable (is that a word?). Great taste and light body makes it able to be had all night.

A very solid brew overall. Good first experience with RR.

Photo of corby112
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on-tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a hazy golden color with huge foamy white head. Aroma is of crisp fruits like apple, banana and pear as well as hops and alcohol. Very crisp quaffable beer. Lots of citrusy lemon and orange as wll as apple, pear and banana. Finish is slightly hoppy and dry. An amazingly smooth wonderful tasting beer!

Photo of matty
2.68/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale yellow colored beer with a quickly fading head that laces the glass.Aroma is spice.Taste is pretty gross mix of fruit,coriander and some other garbage spices.I would have been angry if I had spent two dollars on this but the fact that I spent 15.00 makes me feel like I was robbed.Total rubbish!!

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 3,317 ratings.