1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

555 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 278
Gots: 157 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bosco7 on 07-07-2007

We turned our regular Damnation recipe into a Tripel. It is bittered with Tomahawk and has Sterling and Cascade in the mid-boil and finish. The beer was then aged on new American oak chips for two to three weeks.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 238
Reviews by cosmicevan:
Photo of cosmicevan
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened side-by-side with regular damnation (Batch 063). Thanks to 321Jeff for sending batch 23 my way. enjoyed in a unibroue la fin du monde tulip and the regular damnation in a russian river tulip.

a - the damnation 23 opened with a POP as soon as the cage was off. in the glass, the brew was lively and i could see almost an endless stream of bubbles jumping to the glass. the head was about half the glass and ended up heaping over the top of the glass and hung out for ages. the color was a bit darker and richer than that of regular damnation.

s - much like damnation, but with oak. bubblegum, bananas, clove, all the normal flavorings in a bspa, but a bit sweeter like a tripel.

t - the 23 definitely resembles a tripel more than the bspa of the regular damnation. much sweeter. a bit syrupy but really tasty.

m - much thicker than the original. a bit boozy, but the booziness comes across as sweetness.

o - overall the oak is an improvement on an already great beer. very happy with batch 23. love me a good tripel and this is a great take on the style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle at the brewery on July 25, 2007 into a thin chalice. I am immediately taken aback by how mellow the oak is. This isn’t an overwhelming bourbony oak by any means, just a light dusting of wood and vanilla. Body pours a brilliant and well carbonated gilded copper with a 2 inch off white head that dissipates quickly to a steady but thin lace. Loads of butter in the aroma like a California Chardonnay. Taste is sweet and boozey. Orange and sweet apples, tannins, vanilla, and a touch of spiciness. Chewy and very warming mouthfeel. Barleywine like. Fairly drinkable. I managed to finish the bottle, mostly by my self so it must be. Should improve with time. Plan on revisiting in a couple years.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 46. Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this California gem.

The beer pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a white head. The aroma is citrus (both lemon and orange) with some oaked character. The flavor is orange, oak, lemon and a nice dose of vanilla. The alcohol is very well hidden and unless you look at the label, you would have no idea this beer was 11 percent. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle @ O'Brien's. Poured hazy gold with a thick, foamy white head. Some lacing on the goblet. Lovely sweet French oak barrel, Belgian yeast, cloves, and lots of lighter fruits (apples, grapes, peaches). Effervescent mouthfeel, very light. Compliments the flavor nicely. Sweet peaches and white grapes up front, even sweeter yeast and malt. Nive vanilla/clove spice combo, close to what you may find in a trippel. The oak gives this a flavor far different than the usual Damnation. It is still sweet, but the slight earthiness keeps this from being sickening. Dry finish. Great beer.

Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle

Belgian Beer Festival 2011
Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

A slightly hazy, bright yellow golden ale with a relatively stiff and persistent white head. Coating lacing down the glass.

Bright aroma of citrus, particularly lemon, and some tangy but not overly powerful Belgian yeast character, perhaps a touch of oak, though this one smells far sweeter than the original.

Sweet citrus, Belgian yeast, mild oak character all come together very nicely. As with the nose, this version seems far sweeter than the original Damnation--the sweetness seems honey-like.

Medium to light mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation, a touch velvety, very nice.

A far sweeter, slightly more woody, version than the original Damnation. A different beer entirely, in my mind. I prefer the original Damnation.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.19/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Adam from Missouri brought this to March Madness. Drank another one this summer as well. Looks real nice, a tiny bit of haze throughout the golden liquid, pristine white head, about .75" to it, good lacing and retention. Aroma was heavy on the alcohol, sheesh, this is powerful. Alcohol overpowers every other olfactory attempt at semblance.

Taste, again, I'm getting a ton of alcohol. For being the same abv as Pliny the Younger, this one shows it infinitely more. You can pick up on the oak at least, unlike the aroma which was all alcohol. I'd be tempted to even say this was fusel alcohol had I not known that its 11% and probably just that massiveness that makes it so.

I can't pick up on much taste, the alcohol just destroyed me. Really a burn in the throat as I drink it. The oak is bright enough to make me wonder if it is a virgin barrel. I just can't endorse this one, its primary and final impression it left on me was "damn, that tastes like I'm drinking gin/vodka."

Photo of OStrungT
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy orange color, with a thick and fluffy white head, with a light yellow tint to it. The head fades very slowly, leaving a massive lace.

This beer has a very grainy aroma to it. Some funky, earthy yeast aroma as well. Spicy hops mix in, with a slight citrusy aroma. Also, I detect a very subtle banana aroma. Alcohol is well hidden in the aroma.

This beer tastes like it smells. Grainy up front, with some spicyhop flavor. I can taste a slight bubblegum flavor. Some banana flavor as well. As with the aroma, alcohol is well hidden.

This beer is full bodied. It is highly carbonated, well for the style. It leaves a grainy aftertaste. The alcohol warms slightly on the way down.

This beer might be a decent session beer. It is a little high in alcohol though. Flavor is mellow and good.

Overall: This is a good beer. I would expect nothing else from Vinnie.

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Joe - thanks!

Pours a clear lemon-yellow color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sugar-coated pears with solid amounts of sweet malts and milder amounts of earthiness, some from the oak and the rest from leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells although not quite as smooth. Sweet malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of fruits and spices - pears and cloves mostly with light amounts of green apple flavors. Midway through the sip the sweetness is tempered a bit by the oak and carries through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I didn't pick up on any huge differences between this and normal Damnation however the nose in this one was a bit more robust. Worth a shot.

Photo of Haightfulbrew
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 375 into a fat tulip.

Pour – Extremely pale gold turns out to be a hazy copper orange once it’s in the glass. Two fingers head of nice tight foam, clings to the edges and is slow to settle. Looks watery for a ten percenter.

Nose – Wheat, hickory, wet leaves. Big Belgian yeast. Oak and cloves as it warms. Candy canes and cantaloupe?

Taste: Immediately thicker and heavier than the regular Damnnation. Opens up with some tropical Belgian funk, tangerines and the like, then gets a bit boozy in the middle, finishes big but dry, lemon twang, light oak and a tiny bit hot. I know there’s a lot of booze in here, but it shows up only in the back of the throat.

Mouth: Deceptively heavy. Has pretty tight carbonation, but not enough to hold up all that weight. Very vinous and a bit sticky. The oak pins down the front of your tongue, even cold

Overall: A delicious beer for sure. Balanced and filling.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On Tap Toronado SF, had two 6oz $4 pours.

What a find and a gem. To start, I like Duvel better than Damnation hands down, no question...period. Enter batch 23 2009 drank today, 2/25/2011

No comparison. Batch 23 over Duvel anyday. Belgian yeast on steriods, bananas, cloves and oak. Smells creamy even. Taste and mouthfeel blew me away.

Creamy mouthfeel, unmatched. The Oak blended perfectly with the Belgian yeast, an almost perfect beer.

Don't hesitate if you see this on tap. It's a MUST HAVE. Home Run. Never experienced an American brewer nail a Belgian style like this before. Well Done.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bentwookie for this one!

A: Pours a hazy peach color with a massive white head, about three fingers in height. Great retention, slow dissipation to a thin layer of white on top. Spotty lacing remains on the glass.

S: Some apple, a little lemon and some orange, spicy yeast, some bready, and a good bit of grass. A bit more pronounced than regular Damnation.

T: Very fruity, some lemon, apple, and a little bit of pineapple and orange. This transitions to some spicy yeast and a little bit of buttery oak.

M: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Slightly creamy texture. There is a little bit of alcohol in the middle.

O: A pretty good beer. Nice fruit flavors and the oak brings a nice component as well. Not something I would go to all the time, but would certainly drink it again.

Photo of RomanW70
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured cloudy amber with a minnsl white head that disapperas into lacing. Aeona of funk, grass and spice. Taste is similar, with coriander spiciness present throughout, combined with malty sweetness. Oak is present, but not dominant. Thick mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation. Hides it's alcohol exceptionally well.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bottle at Stone Brewing Bistro and Gardens. Yeasty aroma mostly. Starts sweet and then finishes bitter. Funkier as it warms. Hits the style and also funkier than the style. Would be much better with food. 375 ml is sufficient without it. Enormous head.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. Batch 69. Corked and caged 375ml bottle poured into a Southampton oversize snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Gentle pour yields a gigantic 2 finger frothy, fluffy white head with great retention. Beer is a clear orange. Lacing is patchy and thick with little cling. Pretty.

Nose is coriander, orange peel, soap, and cane sugar. Real deep and robust but lively at the same time. Nice.

Opens clove, orange peel, coriander, citrus fruit, and Belgian yeastiness. Very sweet and herbal. More yeast towards the middle with some cane sugar further enhancing the malt body. End is sweet and yeasty with touches of citrus throughout. Aftertaste is of sweet orange and spices. Moderate complexity. Very enjoyable.

Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. Lively and bubbly in the mouth and crisp and aggressive going down. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. Decent.

For an 11% offering, this one hides its boozy side very very well. Otherwise, a very solid tripel though the barrel-aging barely shows up in the flavor profile.

Photo of mikey711
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly cloudy golden yellow. Pours a fluffy white head that holds for some time and ultimately leaves a quarter inch layer of foam throughout my enjoyment of the beer. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Initial smell is of booziness, beyond that there is some oak notes, sweet vanilla, candied sugar and some pepper and belgian yeast notes. The booziness is the overpowering scent though an tough to get around

T: The booze is much more subtle when tasting it. Mostly sweet candied sugar and vanilla. Some earthy tones like wood in the end, and a few nice esters thrown in there. And then at the end more of the booze comes in. There is also a soapy taste very present as well

M: Nice and creamy and like many other belgian style beers it has a bit lighter feel. Again there is some present fusal alcohol. Too its credit, it is not overly sweet which helps

D: This one fits the bill for a tripel and is a very enjoyable drink. It is deceptive in that it is not too heavy. In the end though this one is best enjoyed when aged for an extended period of time

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found this at O'Brien's in SD.

Pours a nice light amber color. Like honey. No real head and minimal lacing.

No real smell. A little alcohol and Belgian yeast but not much else.

Taste is nothing like smell. You take a sip and the carbonation hits the top of your mouth. Then a slight bitterness hits the roof of your mouth and the sides of your tongue. Then a very nice malty oak flavour that is pretty sweet hits your tongue. It finishes with a bitter sweet aftertaste. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. No complaints.

Drinkabilitu is very high because if I had more bottles of this stuff I would hoard them and never share. Can't wait till they make another 23 batches

Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to abecall98

pours a slightly dark dirty blonde with tons of head, big, fuzzy, fizzy, and cloudy.

a bit of funk up front, with a soft oak and strong booze.

a bit of fruit within the funk. bright and flavorful. the brett is very apparent in this. oak is hidden for the most part. touch of sweetness.

lots of bite through out. assists in lingering flavors.

decent, lacks some complexity though.

Photo of 20ozmonkey
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a bottle from Healthy Spirits. Poured into a tulip.

Damnation 23 is a hazy vibrant orange with a small layer of head that sticks around well.

Smells first and foremost of apricots with an earthiness coming from the oak chips. Definitely sweet, definitely fruity.

Complicated flavor. There is a sweet fruity apricot flavor and a flavor that I would say is coming from oak kind of clashing with each other. On the finish a cloying sweetness comes in and takes over. The mouthfeel is medium carbonation with a bit of viscosity.

Interesting beer. I was incredibly excited until I tasted it. The taste is alright, but not great.

Photo of zeeksterusa
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from City Beer in SF. Opened it this week and wow! I tried the standard Damnation but the wood chips of the 23 really make this a unique and great tasting beer. On first sip there a strong and full hop flavor and after a few seconds that hop flavor gets overshadowed by a pleasing oaky flavor. The drinking experience of this beer is very unique and tasted refined. I would buy this beer again and would recommend it to anyone that likes pale ales as well as belgian ales. It strikes a inventive balance between brute force hop taste with the complex depth of some belgians.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.41/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 69.

Appearance - Big white head after a very difficult cork removal. Thick collar. Wispy surface. Golden orange hazy body.

Smell - Bready and estery. A little phenolic. Kinda fruity. A little earthy. Quite oaky. Very odd.

Taste - Belgian sweetness and yeastiness. Extremely oaky. Sweet and estery up front. Doughy malts. Gets earthy and bitter in the back.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Bitter. Medium heavy.

Overall - An odd beer. A smell I can't quite place. The flavor is complex, but not really a tripel. Points for being interesting.

Photo of hdelavega
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a snifter.
Pours a hazy yellow straw colorwith a thin fizzy white head.
Aroma, big fruity nose, citrus, oak, and yeast.
Flavor is pretty sweet, peach, and apricote with a subtle citrus finish.
Pretty light body with moderately high carbonation.
Overall pretty nice, light and refreshing. Not that complex but drinkable.

Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to womencantsail for this tick in my quest to try all of the RR -tion brews! Batch #046! Served from bottle into a Firestone Walker sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, oak, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. It had a very different flavor than what I was thinking it would taste like. The flavors present were very nicely balanced and worked well together. The aroma was very nice as well. Very glad that I got the opportunity to try this. Thanks again Andrew!

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the RR brewpub. Pours a light gold/orange color with just a slight amount of head. The aroma is somewhat oakey with hints of lemon and citrus. The taste is nice and complex, with bubble-gum-like flavors and some spices, along with fruits like pears, apples, and pineapples. The oak complements it all nicely in the background. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, and a very smooth texture.

This is a great beer, and it hides the 11% ABV amazingly.

Photo of alleykatking
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thought this bottle got broken but luck me it was not. Got this in a early trade with Mike...aka mjl21. Thanks! Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice semi-hazed yellowish orange color. 1 1/2 finger off white head comes and goes rather quickly. Good sticky lacing left on the side of the glass.

S- Earthy (grassy) yeast smell right off the back. Some candy sugars in there to make a light sweet aroma. Almost no alcohol in the nose. Some clove and banana in there as well.

T- Nice tasting beer. The oak comes through more so at the end with a light bitter hopping and alcohol. The front of this is sweet with honey like qualities. Clove and banana stick out as well. Some light citrus tones as well although they seem a little faded.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is very good with the style. Very full bodied in the mouth and leaves nice clove and oaky tastes on the palate and in the aftertaste. Clean tasting for the most part. Light drying of the palate while drinking.

D- Drinkabillity is good with this beer. There is a sweetness that is a little annoying but you almost get used to it by the end of the beer. Very glad I got to try. Russian River makes amazing beers that I could drink over and over again.

Photo of Treyliff
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- pours a clear golden orange color with a small fizzy white head that reduces completely, leaving some lace behind 3.75

S- classic tripel aromas of banana, clove & light phenols. Spicy yeast & oak mixes with fruity esters, with an emphasis on citrus and cherry, slightly spicy

T- spicy & herbal up front with lots of fruity esters, notes of banana, clove and phenolic flavors. Notes of oak kick in before finishing with orange marmalade

M- medium body with moderate biting carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly warming finish

O- a different take on a tripel, it’s got the classic triple flavors, but enhanced by oak and los of fruity notes

to view more.
Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.