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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.

239 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 559
Avg: 4.22
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 285
Gots: 155 | FT: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 559
Photo of Offa
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is simply outstanding and one of the best Russian River beers in my book, which is saying a lot. Apparently, it is based on the regular Damnation but in the end this is a very different beer and much stronger in alcohol as well as character.

Deep gold, it has a very big off-white head steadily shrinking to foamy ring, a little lace.

Aroma is strong fruity grain, canned pears, hints of clove, herbs, white wine, and dry fields damp with fog. It is excellent.

Taste is outstanding full bodied as the aroma, with all of those elements, zesty but slightly oily, lightly spicy, faintly sweet, tingly and engaging.

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Photo of animortician
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been eyeing this on the coming soon list for ever. One of the few RR beers I haven't been able to try yet.

A: Rich Golden color. One finger head that dissipated quickly. Great clarity and appearance overall.

S:Spicy and peppery. Hint of Coriander. If I didn't know what this beer was my first guess from the smell would be a Tripel.

T:AMAZING, How is 10.5% hidden so well in this.? Amazingly drinkable. Very well balanced Tripel, not to sweet not to boosey. Malty and almost tart at the same time.

M: Smooth and Buttery.

O: Well Done Vinne! This beer lived up to my expectations even though I've been waiting for a few years to try it. Carbonation, Malt, Alcohol, and flavor all balanced very well!

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Photo of fox227
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't drink too many corked beers, but this the first one that blew its wad like a bottle of champagne, and left a bit of a mess on the floor.

A: Massive four fingered head (probably because of the above problem,) dark gold and unfiltered, tremendous head retention and impeccable lacing.

S: I get bananas, fruity esters from the yeast, sourish pear notes, and tart granny smith apples.

T: More bananas, and the taste follows the nose all the way. The high alcohol content is well concealed by the flavors of candied sugar and a touch of pumpkin pie spice. What is nice is that this beer never comes off as very sweet, but simply harmoniously complex. Outstanding!

M: Medium carbonation, medium bodied, not too thick; I get a numbing effect on the tongue, and the finish is moderately dry.

O: I've not much experience with Belgian style beers, tripels, but I feel that this review will stand: an amazing beer!

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Photo of harpus
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was out in Santa Rosa, I went out to Russian River. While I was their, I bought a bottle of the Damnation Batch 23. I took this to a Free the Hops meeting. I watched as everyone a round the room poured a sample and tasted with a happy face. When I tried the beet it was about straw in color, it had a thin head. The smell was fantastic sweet with hints of coriander. The taste was of carmel malt and vanilla. This was a great beer, wish I had bought more then just one bottle.

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Photo of abrethanson
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Pizza Port in Solana Beach. Fantastic complement to their tasty pizza.

Look - pours a clear copper with a 1 finger head.

Smell - belgium breadiness, with a hint of pine sneaking through.

Taste - The nose is a light apple sour balanced with bread and vanilla. The body is very complex with maltiness, strong floral notes, and cherry cough syrup. The citrus hops provide the beer's backbone and pull through at the end and do a nice job of masking the booziness. Also a little funkiness hiding around.

Mouth feel - tart and lightly carbonated.

Overall - loved it. The complexity and balanced between Belgium yeast, hops, tartness, and richness was splendid.

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Photo of david131
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy yellow-orange liquid with a thin but creamy white head that is a bit dimpled but has nice retention.

S- Light fruits, some pepper, bubble gum, white bread, a bit of a Belgian kick, and some oak. Very complex and inviting.

T- Absolutely delicious and complex. The same aspects I picked up in the aroma are noticed with an emphasis on the bubble gum. It is clear a lot of care was taken in the construction of this beer.

M- Abundant carbonation, but the bubbles are small. Creamy and smooth otherwise with just the slightest bit of alcohol warmth.

O- Very tasty and eerily drinkable for the style and alcohol content. The quality is tip notch. Highly recommended.

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Photo of sespourteille
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden, full bodied, aftertaste that only gets better, the damnation batch 23 is a tribute to the name and embodies the perfection of Russian River at its best. Not much more to say about this beer other than Grade: A and you have to try it. If you find this beer buy it.

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Photo of lhaqq
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light gold body with a sticky, lacy white head.
S: Pretty complex and good effervescence. Grainy, woody maltiness initially; sort of woody-chipish--like a cross between a hamster cage and walking into a brewery. Also some peanut butter and bubble gum.
T: The wood-chip oak begins the flavor, followed by a good dose of malts. Then some earthiness and vanilla. The bubble gum comes through too, though not too sweet.
M: Creamier than expected, but also good level of carbonation.
D: Mmm, I think it was pretty drinkable. Had just finished a tour of some Sonoma County wineries and could only do one. But I couldn't taste the alcohol and could definitely have more under other conditions.

Definitely my favorite of the style.

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Photo of Kshock
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- hazy yellow color with a long standing white head that leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. Looks fantastic.

S- white grapes, bubblegum, banana. Very floral as well. Really nice nose. Reminds of westmalle triple.

T- great bubblegum banana sweetness; dries out really nicely leaving a great finish. Very well balanced beer. Tastes incredible.

M- light and fluffy, dries out on the backend.

O- very well excited beer, very true to the style. Nice treat from RR.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours blonde, off-opaque with no head or lacing - not surprising at this ABV

Smell is wonderful, malty, bready with big persimon character along with more fruity, yeasty, earthy and woody goodness - mmm mmm.

taste is simply amazing, it has a spice/fruit mixture that is almost like apple cidre, with plenty of vanilla, oak character and a clean, not quite bitter but not sweet finish - totally unique, and totally amazing.

Feel is good, normal for this kind of a beer, not overly slick at all.

Drinkability is gorgeous - I really think this is perhaps the most drinkable 11% beer i've had thus far, the style comes through, and it maintains all the spice and dryness a triple should have.

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Photo of ThaddeusGhostal
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a bottle at toronado, san diego. Not cheap. Every year Russian River does damnation aged and I figured I would try it out. The bottle says aged with oak chips. Definitely note of something a bit woody with a stronger mouthfeel than regular damnation. Goes down smooth with a bite at the beginning. Taste is similar to damnation with a distinct twist. The appearance is a perfect amber color with a little lace around the glass. It smells a good bit like hay. While I would prefer almost all of Russian Rivers beers over damnation, I do enjoy this beer. Was it worth the 20 dollars I spent on the bottle? Hell no. The idea of drinking a limited beer is nice but I would take most of their other brews over this one. Still very good as are all of their brews. This weekend I take on pliny the younger!

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Trade with Cloudskipper, thanks Chris!

Batch 46: Brewed 2 Dec 08/Bottled 7 Jan 09

A: incredible appearance, night light brown-amber color, great fluffy head, nice cascading bubbles
S: exactly what it states it is, earthy, yeasty
T: phenomenal for an American Belgian style beer, heady, raw, great carbonation, a bit acerbic, maybe a bit tinny but not anything to a detriment
M: surprisingly light and almost "fluffy" from carbonation, very unusual and great drinker
D: very, very drinkable, beware with the alcohol

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Photo of kaseydad
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 46 (bomber) - Bottled 1-09...drinking 12-31-13

Had this cellared for almost five years...New Year's Eve? Why not?

Pours a darn near clear amber color with a billowing bright white foamy head. Impressive after many years lying low. Decent lacing.

The smell is sublime. The oak chips shine through with a big banana aroma in the background. Light alcohol is present with slight burn on the nostrils if you breathe deep enough. Pears, raspberry and more oak as you whiff. Really good stuff.

The taste is a combo of sweet fruit, BIG oak, bananas and booze. Amazing how the oak really is still majorly present with this. If this was aged for only two or three weeks on oak chips, them oak chips were pretty strong in flavor. A kiss of hops on the finish and a slight spice as well. Juicy with a lingering aftertaste.

Silky and full-bodied mouthfeel.

Overall this session was amazing. I'll admit I was a little concerned with the amount of time this sat in the cellar and how it would age. Those concerns were unnecessary. This is an amazing brew and Vinnie knows exactly what he is/was doing. The oak chips brought out something special in this beer (not a huge fan of the Damnation) and it is not to be missed. Pricey? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mlaroche for bringing this over from Cali. Real glad this was added to our trade.

Pours a clear golden color with a sizeable head, fades at a good rate and leaves some decent lacing along the glass.

Smell has a nice aroma of malt and some fruitiness, oak presence is minimal but enhances, also some funk/tartness is lingering about.

Taste has a very nice balance between the malt, the sour/tart funkness, fruit and spices (especially coriander), and the oak aging, all of it works together and not one element takes the show, the strength is very well hidden and I found myself easily drinking the entire bottle (although you certainly feel it later).

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Photo of MrTopher
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Vintage 69 (newest batch 23rd)

A – Golden straw color with a nice haze/cloudiness, a nice thick off white head that has great retention.

S – Oak, farmhouse funk, mild malt, some tropical fruits (bananas, lemon) and some nice spice.

T – Nice blend of malt and funk, good sweetness from the malt. A good spice flavor, with farmhouse funk, some oak/earth notes, and some bananas and lemon. Perfectly combination of flavors.

M – Pretty light, but inviting. Good carbonation and on the lighter side of medium.

O – This is great, much better than the standard Damnation, would love to find more of this rare little gem. One of if not the best Triples I have had. And does not drink like an 11% beer.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 C&C Bottle. Batch 069. ABV is 10.75% in this batch. Served in a tulip.

Pours a hazy dim gold. Big three finger head of white foam. Stays pillowy for awhile. Big swaths of lacing.

A bright, sweet, Belgian-style aroma. Honey and floral notes. Earthy oak, and lots of orange/lemon peppery spice. Obvious high carbonation. Fantastic.

Initial flavor is sharp and medium sweet. Citrus and pepper kick in around the middle and then things get a lot sweeter through the finish. A pleasant tartness kicks in on the finish as well. A touch of booze in the aftertaste but overall it's well buried in the full flavor.

Body is medium-full with high carbonation. This beer really fills the mouth. Only complaint is that it gets a touch sticky.

The regular edition of Damnation is one of my favorite beers and no surprise, I absolutely love this spin on the recipe.

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Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy and unfiltered mango (meat) colored with a large white head thick and tightly carbonated. Great length and thick lacing behind. A fine looking specimen.

A nose full of delight. Belgian yeast and spices with a plethora tropical fruit esters and some stone fruit thrown in. Pear, peach, passion fruit, orange peel, mango, grilled pineapple and only the slightest hint of wood which may even be imaginary.

Christ this is fine. Full of bubble gum flavors. A good amount of peach, tangerine and pineapple in the middle and long finish. Creamy thick and rich with a satin silky smooth finish. Grilled fruits, hints of vanilla, passion fruit, butterscotch, bits of spice and earth and a orange zesty finish.

Very nice.

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Photo of drpimento
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Boy O Boy! Onto something here, mmm HM!! I let this warm up some out of the fridge to about perfect temp. Poured with a colossal, foamy, frothy, fluffy, sudsy, off-white head that soon settles down to some scud and some lace. Color is a clear amber with bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, hop, malt, oak, caramel, spice, bread dough and makes me want to quit screwing around and DRINK IT!!! Flavor doesn't let me down a bit - very similar to nose, but all have more impact, vineous, and flat out tasty. Very true to style. Body and carbonation is similarly true to style. Finish is like flavor and trends more towards vineous and has the slap happy boozieness. Wot a beer. Yessir.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: lovely amber glow with nice white fulffy head rentention

smell: vanilla, major oak, sweet mapley oatmeal

taste: the most oak flavored beer Ive had. amzing

mouthfeel: medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation

drinkability: a rare treat, Thanks Eddie!

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sugit for this one.

A: 1" white head that left a nice lacing and remained for a lengthy period of time over cloudy honey/amber liquid. Very appetizing looking.

S: Oak, sour funk and yeast.

T: Oak, sour funk, lemon citrus and clove floral hops and a honey/biscuit malt backbone.

M: Medium viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation. Some drying from the alcohol.

O: One of the best tripels I have ever had, although it could use more funk. If you like this one; seek out a similar one by A La Fut out of Quebec called Tripe à 3 Brett.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This would be a review of batch three or the illustrious batch 69:

A: This one is a foamer. The beer is bright light yellow/amber in color and is topped with a silly (4 inches in a Duvel glass or so) amount of barely off-white head. Rocky latte head hangs around for some time and leaves some pretty good lacing behind it.

S: Wowaeewa! This smells fantastic! Its difficult to place the plethora of aromas booming out of my glass, but here goes. Spicy earthy and flowery (think lavender) all at once. There is a presence of freshly cut and buttered firewood (you read right) as well. Pretty fantastic.

T: A rich and deeply flavored beer to say the least. All of the aforementioned aromas pummeled together with a mort and pestle and then carried onto the palate. There is a bit of diacetyl induced butter happening, which is the only negative thing I might suggest about this beer. That said, the butter adds in a way to the rich sweet quality of this brews opening. The finish ties everything together. As this warms it pronounces a slightly tart flavor of tangerine pulp. Starting rich and sweet this ends with just enough perceived dryness. Oaky, yeasty-spicy, and subdued tart astringent flavors meet in the on the end, and bang like Black Dynamite.

M: Fantastic. Rich and dry all at once. Long finishing. Everything one looks for.

O: This beer has pretty much blown me away. A fantastic beer which has great age potential. I'm thinking 3-6 years.

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

Wonderfully smooth, with any rough edges sanded down and given a light polish. Bright and lively, with sharp carbonation and a moderately fruity character that avoids straying into an excessively yeasty realm. ETOH is well integrated into the flavor, lending a bit of black pepper bite toward the end. A top-notch example of the style that can go toe-to-toe with anythign from Belgium.

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

A: poured into a tulip glass to a slightly cloudy golden hue with a two finger dense white head with excellent retention and solid lacing
S: smells of fruity esters and spicy yeast with a bit of sweetness
T: very smooth flavors with some fruitiness, some sweetness, a bit of spice, and slight oakyness. Swallow is sweet, fruity and spicy
M: medium in the mouth with excellent carbonation and a drying finish
O: A fantastic beer that I've been sitting on for far too long. The alcohol is well hidden with just a hint of a warming sensation.

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

The long awaited Batch 069 has arrived. 375 bottle. ABV is 10.75%.

Body is a hazy, amber/gold. Poured into a Bruery tulip glass, easily produced a half inch foamy white head that dissipated fairly soon to a cap and ring. Some sticky lacing, but not a lot.

Smells of light malt, lemon, toffee, tropical fruit, a little metal, and spice--coriander and ginger, and some alcohol.

A good expression of the Belgian tripel style. A complex spiced tripel with rich malt taste, butter, toffee, metal, coriander. Starts on the sweet side, but finishes more dry, with a light bitterness and lingering light floral and grassy hops, metal, and pretty strong white pepper notes. Alcohol is not very evident in the taste despite the 10.75% ABV. Oak expression is more in the background, but gives this a noticeable vanilla taste. It's the Belgian yeast that is definitely taking the commanding role here.

Body is light and the carbonation is fizzy, giving this a scrubbing, refreshing mouthfeel. Has a spritz on the tongue like a dry ginger ale.

This is a tripel that is light in body yet complex in flavor. I wish Vinnie made this regularly, instead of making us wait through 23 batches of regular Damnation.

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

Batch 046, poured in a big wine glass at 58 F/ 14 C.

Bright golden color, medium sized off-white head, beautifully patterned lace, like cave paintings.

Big aroma of sweet tart fruit, mainly peach and white grape, with honeysuckle, and something mineral like sea air. Lovely. The last glass (45 minutes into the bottle) is still mainly fruity, but complex and savory, very much like a chutney.

Massively fruity flavor, like the aroma. Peach, white grape, honey, dried apricot. Sweet, but bitterness gradually grows to a medium, moderate level, just enough to achieve great balance. Mild fresh floral and grassy hop flavor. Some mild oak, well integrated, with a creamy vanilla aspect. Some mild chalky minerality, mild astringency, mild acidity. Long finish of fruit and honey, with a touch of warming alcohol.

The last glass, hazy and 64 F, was certainly the most complex, and the oakiest. Fruity like chutney, and savory. Just as tasty, but in a different way.

Smooth creamy carbonation, mild chalkiness and astringency, and a bare touch of acidity, add up to a very enjoyable texture. A pleasure to drink, a hedonistic delight.

Great beer. Thanks to mom for getting and broski for sending.

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.