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Damnation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,102 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,102
Hads: 3,595
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 18.2%
Wants: 400
Gots: 906 | FT: 56
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,102 | Hads: 3,595
Photo of Bowers-Brew
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 05/29/13

A - Light orange, slightly cloudy even after being careful with the pour. Nice clean white head ~1.5" in height, fades fast.

S - Orange, spice, white wine, yeast.

T - Sour, oranges, bananas, spice, and alcohol.

M - Creamy with a nice tingle on the way down.

O - Ages better than I expected for such a low alcohol beer. However, I think I liked it a little better fresh. This Russian River take on the Belgian Strong Pale Ale is right there with Duvel and Ommegang. I have one more in the cellar to see if a longer wait brings anything different. Prost!

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Photo of s8bored
3.19/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured out of bottle into tulip.

This beer had decent nose with hints of papaya and pineapple. A bit of pepper.

Taste followed the nose with the tropics and then had a pepper bite ending with the hoppiness. A touch of malts are the backbone.

Overall I wasn't overly impressed with this beer but it fit the category quite well. I would take the peppery funkiness of a Saison over the peppery hoppiness of Damnation.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - 4.25 - golden amber color that's hazy with a white head on top that leaves nice lacing
S - 4.25 - banana, orange, pepper, mango, spices, breadiness in the background from the malts.
T - 4.25 - same as the nose, plus a hop bitterness that's nice. Banana, orange juice, papaya, wheat, toast, bread, pepper, spice. Almost a tart kind of a taste? There's something on the roof of the mouth that I can't quite pick out.
M - 4.25 - light medium mouth feel, alc covered, aftertaste is bread banana orange goodness.
O - 4.25 - not the best Belgian I've had but Damn good. Totally a keeper in my book + worth trying!

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Photo of BryanK
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/18/13. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip.

Pours out dark golden color, slight amber notes. About a quarter inch thick head, crystal white color. The lacing retains even after 10 minutes have past. This beer just looks impressive.

Smell is the weakest part of this beer. Not sure if its just the tulip glass or just me but not too much to scents I can pick out. Light belgian fruitiness, very bready (from what I can pick out). Cloves and pepper? Also a slight mango scent to finish.

The taste is surprisingly crisp and refreshing. Man I just wanna keep sipping this. Major banana and and massive breadiness. That belgian yeast is huge but not overpowering, brings pretty awesome balance to the beer. So many fruit flavors come into play as you continue to sip. Mangos, apricots, pears... The aftertaste is of pepper and cloves as well a good hop bitterness at the end without particular hop flavors. This is one complex belgian that packs so much flavor its almost hard to describe everything it brings to the table. Awesome stuff

Very crisp and a easy drinker. The alcohol isnt noticeable what so ever. A bit oily on the tongue. High carbonation and a very dry finish.

So in-depth and yet so drinkable. Its amazing how RR can craft beers like this. Simply an awesome beer and would recommend to anyone, even non craft drinkers.The fruitiness is insane and enjoyable for anyone. RR has mastered the sour game and is kicking ass in the belgian ales as well. Would love to try this years release a few years from now and see how it develops

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Photo of PhillyOGBeerNerd
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up two 12oz bottles this evening (one to rock, one to stock), poured the first one right away into a tulip glass...

A: Pours a slightly hazy deep gold with about a finger of white foam with lots of lacing

S: Spicy, fresh fruit aromas: lots of pear and grape, a good amount of cloves and pepper, and a little bit of banana

T: Very crisp with a little bitterness from the hops, very subtle malty cracker notes, slight alcohol on the back end

M: The body caught me by surprise: Lighter-bodied than expected considering the nose and the gravity: crisp and light up front from higher carbonation, somewhat rounded out and warmer on the back end from the alcohol

O: Beautifully spicy, fruity Belgian Ale really showcases the yeast. The bottle I got seemed a little bit overcarbonated. The body and taste improved the longer I left it in the glass. I'll definitely let the next one come up in temp a little more next time before I pop the cork.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on 12/18/13

A- Pours a hazy deep gold with a high white head that sticks around.

S- Lots of Belgian esters. Reminds me of many hefe-weizens more than most of the belgian goldens I've had. Slight pear, slight spice of clove, slight banana.

T- Similar to aroma with the slight fruits of unripe pear and banana as well as spices of clove. There is also a noticeable presence of hops. Some bitter lemon in here also. Finishes with some light bready malt.

M- Medium, pretty creamy from the level of carbonation.

O- This is billed as Russian River's version of a Duvel on their website but it reminds me more of a higher gravity hefe-weizen, similar to Bell's Wheat Love that I had a few months ago. A nice milder Belgian yeast character in this beer that makes it a pretty easy drinker.

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Photo of dank203
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12.68 oz for around $9. pours a hazy golden yellow. spicy grain on the aroma, lime earthy. really nice feel, coats the mouth, wet, grainy. big spice notes, citrus, cracker, lemon peel, big bitter finish, white grape as it warms. very nicely done beer but pricey and not available in NJ

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian strong pale ale
7.75 ABV

APPEARANCE: Poured a hazy golden straw color. Huge billowy head, with lots of lacing coating the glass.

AROMA: Very strong aromas of Belgian yeast. Grassy, bready and malty. Cloves and pepper in the mix, overripe bananas and pears rounded it out.

TASTE: Fruit and malts up front reminiscent of warm banana bread with fresh ground pepper. Light spiciness and alcohol come through on the aftertaste.

MOUTHFEEL: Very lively beer, medium plus body with high prickly carbonation. Great wet finish that quenches your thirst.

OVERALL: I'm usually not much of a Belgian drinker but this is a solid outing from Russian River. Flavors are unique and enjoyable. This would be so good with some pungent cheese and cured meats.

RATING: 4/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of Somebody_Else
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip as admonished countless times on the label and cork.

In general, I'm not a huge fan of the Belgian beers or their derivatives, but this is an exception to that.

Appearance: blah blah whatever... honey colored, fairly hazy. Almost zero head and almost zero lacing. Again: whatever...

Smell: a delightful fruit with notes of apple and wood.

Taste: YUMMY! A little cedar, apple and other fruits. And hops. Yes... they are there and they are good. No comparison to my normal hop-bombs, but good. The malt is there too, but lightly. This is a very treble flavor with minimal bass.

Mouthfeel: Champagne: light effervescent bubbling carbonation with a tingling sensation. This coupled with a lingering hop oiliness is an outstanding combination. This is dangerously drinkable and goes down like silk.

Overall: my mind has been changed and I will seek this again. Yes I will.

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Photo of Boto
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draught @ Monks: Mistake pour: ordered a Pliney the Elder and they mistakenly brought this. It was a good mistake. This one pours a fairly clear, golden color. There was some white head and some lacing. Good hop nose. Mainly pine and grapefruit. Some other lighter fruits and spices also. The taste is also good. It has a slightly lighter body than expected. A little bitter, somewhat dry finish. Malts, spices. Nice.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle poured into a Russian River Stemmed glass

A: Bright golden orange color, some lacing, not much head retention, hazy, cloudy, not seeing much carbonation.

A: Bananas, clove spice, some Belgian yeast characteristics, smells very straight forward.

T: Belgian yeast characteristics, some bananas, fruit flavors like pears and a slight peach flavor, some spice, clove, finishes dry, sweet and malty, very good.

M: Medium mouthfeel with average carbonation, dry finish.

O: Very nice, not overly carbonated like some other beers in the style I've tried, balanced, complex with depth, very enjoyable, definitely going to seek this one out again.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A- sudsy three finger head... Chewy-looking... Cloudy orange and gold liquid... Good carbonation

S- sweet yeast, grapes

T- sweet malt, yeast, wine-like grapes, slight funk

M- light and vinous, but with some aggressive carbonation... starts yeasty and finishes dry with a slight bitterness...

Tasty, excellent beer. Refreshing yet complex. I loved it.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: bright hazy golden yellow. almost murky (think butter beer) with a large 3 finger rocky off white head

s: clove, coriander, and pepper right away - spicy yeast for sure. sweet citrus, lemon zest, green apples and white wine grapes. finishes with a big biscuty aroma

t: spicy yeast right away, just like the nose indicates. coriander and pepper being the dominant. huge bready notes followed by the lemon zest and sweet clementines. there is a crisp malt sweetness in here as well - caramel more than toffee.

m: medium with a large amount of carbonation

o: good stuff.there is a nice balance here between spicy yeast and the sweetness from the citrus. its crisp and refreshing. nice flavors, but not so packed that it distracts you. thumbs up

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Photo of mattsdenney
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A surprise Christmas gift from a friend that lives in SF. Poured from 12.68 oz. bottle into tulip glass. Bottled on 11/05/13. My first beer of 2014.
Pours slightly cloudy, , rich gold in color with a thin bubbly head. Smells like fresh fruit, pears, citrus, golden raisins, with some mild grassy hoppiness. The typical Belgian yeast flavor is there but does not overpower the beer. The taste is slightly more spicy and earthy in flavor, slightly floral and a bit boozy. The mouthfeel is heavier than expected, full-bodied with a slightly dry finish. Overall, this is a tasty beer that is slightly less Belgian than expected. Drinkable and warming; glad I got the chance to have it.

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Photo of KTeamLSU
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Nice hazy straw color with a nice foaming half finger fluffy white head that lasted for most of the tasting.

S: Bready yeast up front made me guess saison in a blind test with a faint citrus smell...

T: Nice smooth malt with apples... more than that a mild apple cider flavor.. .was a nice brew

M; nice medium carbonation, and smooth going down

O: Solid beer from RR, very sessionable with a nice apple back. Would definitely buy again.

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

Pours translucent gold with 1/2 inch of off-white head that remains as a thick cap on top and leaves spotty lace.

Smell is of earthy yeast, faint apricot, pear and a hint of spice.

Taste is somewhat bready up front with a slightly fruity (pear and apricot) finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. A steady stream of tiny bubbles rises from the bottom throughout the drink down.

Crisp and refreshing with tasty faint fruit flavor. Solid across the board.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a rich silky yellow foam. High carbonation provides fast replenishment large of large bubbles while tiny sticky bubbles hung around a long time.

S: Heavy on yeast and a definite alcohol kick. Sweet with golden raisin. Banana. Dash of pineapple but not as sweet. Mild spice of nutmeg.

T: Sweetness starts with banana papaya and passion fruit. Sweetness mellows out with nutmeg, cloves, pistachio and yeasty alcohol. An aftertaste of rich and buttery zucchini, and banana bread and pie crust lingers finishing with a slightly dry saltiness.

M: Not overly viscous, but plenty of substance. Long oily and buttery aftertaste that lingers long reminiscent of fatty baked goods.

O: Awesome. Full flavor but smooth and mellow at the same time. The main thing I wanted out of this beer was just a little more sour on the finish. Just enough to finish off the full rich flavor a little cleaner. Despite that, still an amazingly well developed flavor profile.

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Photo of lordofstarside
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

23 version, 12oz to a snifter. Bottled 8/7/12

Pours a hazy and cloudy golden yellow with a finger of foam. Strong carbonation from the center with a few mild streams on the side of the glass. Retention isn't too high, already died down to a frothy ring. Lacing's thick though not the best

Smells of strong slightly tart funk, lemon grass, honey, apricot, and alcohol. Not too crazy complex, but enough going on to be interesting

Taste is somewhat with the nose- lemon grass, apricot, lots of yeasty funk and a sweet honey finish. Everything comes together really well, nothing particularly mind blowing that stands out though

Feel is pretty bitter and crisp with a light/medium body. Drink easy enough, alcohol's all ironed out

Overall not as enjoyable as many of Russian Rivers other beers, but solid none the less. Great buy for $4

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Photo of Erbayd
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 375 ml bottle from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, poured into a Duvel glass. It's my second time tasting this beer, the first time being at the brewery in Santa Rosa a while back.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with about an inch of off-white foam. I love the color of this beer, there's really no other way to describe it other than "liquid gold". Also there's way less head than you'd expect.

S: I could smell this beer as soon as I opened the bottle! Lots of belgian yeast along with honey, white wine, grassy, and banana bread notes as well.

T: rich malty sweetness followed by a slight hop bite. A bit of tartness towards the end. Finishes smooth and dry with a lingering sweetness. I could taste a bit of the cedar & earthy flavors, but they were extremely subtle. I'd like these flavors to stand out a bit more.

M: Moderately heavy, with rather intense carbonation. The carbonation along with the dry finish allow the beer to feel crisp despite the intense sweetness.

O: Complex, unique, and a damn good beer. I'm looking forward to reviewing more beers in the same style to see how it compares to others. It's been a while since I've had Duvel, Delirium Tremens (lulz), etc. but as far as I can tell this one puts up some good competition and has its own unique characteristics that make it stand out. It's also nice that it's one of the cheaper RR offerings, and I really appreciate it when brewers use these awesome 375 ml corked bottles, so bonus points for that.

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Photo of brewtus
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- poured into a tulip, pours slightly hazy dark yellow with a single finger white head
S- sweet dark fruit, as well as citrus fruit,belgian yeast, peppercorn, collection of spices
T- starts with a cedar taste as it says on the label, dark fruit and lemon and some banana, slight dark hop flavor, slightly sweet, nice spice flavors
M- fairly full bodied, not a ton of carbonation
O- very solid, a lot of the cedar flavor, pretty complex mixture of fruit, hops, grain, and spices. Not what I expected from a belgian golden ale, but better.

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Photo of BB1313
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 4/22/13. 375ML cork & caged bottle poured into a wine glass. Pours a light golden with amazing clarity; fluffy eggshell white head that slowly fades and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are full of sweet malts and yeast. There's also a nice amount of green apple and pear. Somewhat grainy. Flavors have subtle spice notes. There's a decent amount of citrus. I'm picking up some lemon zest. Solid earthiness with a very subtle hop bitterness. Hints of white grapes. More green apple and pear juice. Mouthfeel is wonderful. It feels like it's on the heavier side of medium-bodied; great active carbonation with a fluffy creaminess. Very smooth. Alcohol goes unnoticed. This is a pretty fun beer to drink.

The craftsmanship is what really sells this beer and takes it to the next level. Great stuff.

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Photo of MoorBeerPlz
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into my Ballast Point tulip...

Pours a hazy golden color with fine carbonation and about a 1 finger head that took its time receding. When it did recede, left thick foam lacing, a foam cap and lots of stick foam on the sides of the glass. Nice.

On the nose, yeast, hops, fruit, a floral scent. While not a spectacular description here, it's what comes to mind... I was too eager to move on to the tasting part I think.

A little hops, the yeast, a sour note, fruits (citrus, apricot) and some spice (pepper, coriander). Nicely balanced and no single taste/sensation overpowers another while drinking this. The first word that came to me while tasting was "wow!".

Smooth, medium mouthfeel. Dry finish with a combination of bittterness, sourness, spice. Nice amount of carbonation.

Overall a damn nice, drinkable beer that is real pleasure to drink. Totally understand how it achieved its rating and the comments I have read. Great job RR!


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Photo of ColdWaffles
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.68 oz bottle into... A Stella Artois glass at the Bottle Shop in Philadelphia. From notes about a month ago.

Pours slightly hazy gold color with a steady white head 4.5/5

Very yeasty scent with a nice hint of hops. 4.5/5

Not always a big white fan, but I really like this. Very well balanced yeasty, hoppy ale with a nice dash of spice. 4.75

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with substantial carbonation. 4.25

Overall, it's very deserving of its reputation. 4.5

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Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled poured into snifter glass. Pours a hazy lemony color with nice white head, quickly dissipated. Smells of Belgian yeast, fruit, pepper, spicy hops. Taste is wonderful. Lots of fruit, pear, apple, classic Belgian yeast taste, spice notes, and pepper. Mouthfeel was medium, nice creamy texture and the carbonation was decent. Overall, this is a great representation of the Belgian Strong Pale Ale style by an American brewery, very well done.

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Photo of tmm313
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Slightly hazy, light golden color. Nice streaming bubbles. 1 finger, super creamy head. It dissipated kind of quickly, but retained awesome lacing. It coated the entire side of the glass when agitated and held on tight.

Smell: Creamy yeast, pear, peach, apple, flowers, a little bit of caramel, and just a touch of pepper.

Taste: Each drink is a slightly different experience. Belgian yeast, pear, peach, apple, sweet flowers, and malty dark fruit all mingle around almost independently. The finish is both sweet and piney with coriander and a lingering soft peppery warmth. Slightly sour.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with medium body. Carbonation is light and almost effervescent - reminded me of champagne. Dry finish with nice warmth from pepper.

Overall: This is a really good beer. I like it more than Duvel and a little less than Delerium Tremens. Its definitely better as it warms. The flavors really begin to move and mix together wonderfully.

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,102 ratings.