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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.

553 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 269
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
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Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WillCarrera
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle, batch number 069, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy apricot color with a big fluffy 2" head, good lacing.

S- Lots of tart and yeasty aromas, some spice, crisp apple/pear fruitiness and oak.

T- Big phenolic spices are prominent here, lots of clove and coriander, some orange and pear as well as a lot of earthy yeast. Some sweetness from candy flavors and alcohol.

M- Medium-bodied, heavily carbonated, has a very crisp feel with lots of prickly carbonation, finish is a bit dry.

O- A pretty good tripel, lots of complex flavors, drinkability is very high (I'm actually surprised at the alcohol content), Russian River never disappoints.

Photo of robbyc1
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap in San Diego, what a find!

Hazy off yellow with an intriguing look. Tight white head that lasted a bit.

Deep malty nose, never had a triple before that was oak aged, it really smells like a good bit of wood and maltiness. Well balanced and knowing I'm gonna like the taste.

Better than expected taste, the oak washes throughout, giving it sophistication, and the subtle nose gives way to Belgian malt and esters beautifully. A deep and safisfying taste for a triple. Quite dry at the end, more from the oak than hops. A bit of funkiness as well.

Full and medium heavy in the mouth, this felt like a heavier brew than it should but quite nice. Hides the alcohol quite well.

Very drinkable, though I split a glass with my brother, should have had my own. Top notch, well worth it if you can find it.

Photo of bosco7
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Russian River's Bottle Log :
"Special bottling to celebrate the 23rd bottled batch of Damnation. 11% ABV, different hop bill. Aged on new American oak chips."

I obtained this bottle from the brewpub 2 days ago.

Pours a golden orange color with a white fluffy head that quickly dissipates but leaves the sides of the snifter and the top of the brew pleasantly laced.

Huge banana aromas, some baked bread, sweet caramel, lemon rind, and clove in the nose. A lot more banana compared to the regular bottlings.

I am immediately aware of the increase in original gravity: thicker mouthfeel, higher alcohol flavors, and sweeter flavor. Wow, you can really taste the alcohol in this one. Lots of banana upon drinking, a lot more than its sister. Baked apple, cinnamon, clove, pepper, and lots of higher alcohol in the finish. Once the beer has warmed up oak/woody flavors are more apparent.

I really feel that the drinkabilty of this "batch" dropped with the increase in alcohol and body. Overall I feel that this is a very good beer however very different than past Damnations. Sip this one. Plan on laying a couple bottles down.

Photo of Cavery
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to my brother for providing the beer, compliments of the FFAC release. I gifted a bottle to a local homebrewer on his birthday, so I figured it only proper that I tried it so I can talk about it if he mentions it. Happy-Bday Jose, hope you cracked it already!

A: Light semi-transparent body with some nano-fiber egg shell foams that refuse to go away. swirls of silty thin formations in the middle of the beer are a bit confusing. Could be a yeast thing, but otherwise the beer has a very nice light honey color. Looking at the glass for prolonged periods of time make me think this would pair well with lobster, as it nearly looks like that translucent melted butter -- minus the foams.

S: Big french bread out of the oven, some sweet breads that make me think brioche. Alcohol that seems to be on the sweeter side of triple sec and natural orange-esque peels. The orange note is slighter, think kumquat and clementines. Really like the subtlety, frutti-tutti yeast that doesn't bludgeon you on the head with esters, it's more or less a phantom or suggestion. Complex in the nose, I could sit with it for a while and give a lecture on it. Subtle and not simple.

T: Somewhere between deliciously fresh pretzel breads, brioche, and oven fresh french bread crusts is this flavor. The lightly musky orange spritz on the overall flavor of the yeast breadiness is a whole grain malt note that pops with authenticity. The alcohol gives a smoothness to all the flavors and creates an overlap between kumquat rinds and breadiness that I'm a fan of. There's an illusion of drinkability that makes this beer scary. Overly ripe fruit in the end is a nice finisher.

M: Medium full bodied with a soothing silky feel of alcohol throughout. The beer quickly disappears down the throat, It's hard to gauge the feel as you really are compelled to swallow. Has a bit wetter alcohol finish, but it allows the mild clementine, mandarin, and kumquat flavors to do their thing.

O: This beer is really good, but I have to admit I know very little next to nothing about tripels stylistically. The yeast wasn't exactly estery, but the breadiness of malt married suggestions of light citrus to perfection. The mouth had this spritzy effervescence that makes me think this is something to consume fresh. There's a great deal to appreciate in this beer, and I can see a lot of non-beer drinkers picking this out as a favorite in a tasting. Definitely give batch 23 a swirl sometime, I think it's Russian River doing what they do best. Scary drinkable for the alcohol.

Photo of Deuane
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a batch 2 (Batch 46) of Batch 23!

A-Copper kissed golden yellow with a medium white head that that reduced slowly to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Sharp oak and spice with a nice touch of mellowing fruit of apple and banana.

T-Biting oak dryness and a spicy zing with an underlying fruitiness. Apple, pear and mild banana. Bit of alcohol burn in the background.

M-Medium-light bodied, sharp, crisp and dry. Long lingering spiciness.

D-Heck yeah....a more aggressive, spicier and drier version of "regular" Damnation. This is a mighty fine brew.

Photo of GJ40
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a standard pint glass. Batch 046.

A - Golden and clear with a moderate beige head. Some lacing as the glass empties. Some serious yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

S - Slightly sweet with moderate spices.

T - Starts dry with a spiciness that increases as you swallow. Finishes spicy and moderately bitter. Not a huge oak flavor but it certainly contributes to the experience. When the yeast joins in at the end of the bottle, it mellows out the flavors and little bit and provides a whole new, yet pleasant, experience.

M - A moderate consistency but with a very light and airy feel due to the high carbonation of very fine bubbles.

D - A very nice beer with lots of flavor and a great balance. It's been a while since I've had the regular Damnation so I can't really say how this differs but it's a very good beer.

Photo of Urbancaver
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice crisp yellowish orange with a nice amount of head. Smells oaky and yeasty. Lots of floral aromas and yeast but the oak is most present. Tastes oaky. Oak oak and more oak. Very nice yeasty profile. Nice light fruity flavours. Incredibly drinkable and very smooth. So so much better than damnation.

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Toronado 20th Anniversary.

The beer poured a deep golden with a dense merengue-like white head.

The aroma of the beer was of sweet malt, fruity yeast esters, some faint spice, but with a huge oaken vanilla note.

The flavor of the beer was of sweet biscuity malt with a big vanilla note from the oak. The hops were there with a mild floral character in the flavor. Plenty of light fruit flavors, such as white grapes to go around.

The mouthfeel was medium and the body was full. This beer was a touch heavy, but the spritzy carbonation and high alcohol helped break things up a little.

Overall this was a wonderful beer a huge vanilla oak bomb that I loved. The flavors are incredibly rich, which, sadly, hampers its drinkability slightly. But it's not as if I'll be pounding pints of any 11% beer.

Photo of dbmernin83
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 69.
Pours a golden orange with a big soapy head that dissipates quickly
Big fruity nose. Not much else.
Fruity, a touch of wood, funk, and yeast. A very light bitter finish. The booze is well hidden.
Soft yet abundant carbonation lightens the mouth.
This, in my opinion is an improvement on normal Damnation. Not amazing, but tasty.

Photo of axeman9182
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL cork and cage bottle of batch 69, thanks to nataku00 for the hookup. This one was poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Damnation Batch 23 (69) pours what vacillates between a hazy goldenrod and lemon yellow, depending on the degree of backlighting. The creamy white froth that forms at the top of the glass reaches just short of three fingers in height. Head retention is very good, but lacing is nonexistent (as surprising as it is disappointing). The first whiff is all juicy pale fruits, gobs of granny smith apples and pears. In time a rounded oak-y aroma melds nicely with some light phenolic notes to play against the fruitiness. It would be nice if they were a bit more apparent though. The flavor is a little less one dimensional, as while the fruits still take center stage, everything else jumps out a bit more. Specifically, there's a bit of hoppy bitterness, as well as a slightly more pronounced clove and pepper yeast presence. Woody influence from the oak is a bit more subdued here than in the nose, and there's a light warming sensation from the alcohol. For some reason, my immediate reaction on the first sip was that the beer is overcarbonated, but that's definitely not the case. What is the case is that the body is absurdly light and dry for an 11% beer. The carbonation is creamy and lively, just about spot on. Batch 23 is a bigger, badder version of regular Damnation (a fantastic brew in its own right), and one I'll have to look into getting some more of. Another fantastic beer from Russian River.

Photo of phichifiji00
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy, golden color, pours 2+ inches of thick white head that fades very slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Citrus, earty, barnyard funk, cherries, tart fruit, kumquat, spicy, acidic, oak.

Taste: Citrus, barnyard funk, cherries, tart fruit, acidic, spicy, oak, malty in the middle.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, lots of carbonation, crisp, semi dry finish, the alcohol is completely hidden.

Overall: A very drinkable transitional sour. Very complex flavors/aromas, well carbonated. I'm excited to see how this one ages.

Photo of berkey
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle.

Pours a massive foamy white head in my large Triple Karmeleit glass. Retention is a little above average but lacing is amazing. Body is a slighly hazy pale blonde with orange notes.

Aromas are of sweet citrus fruits, yeast, and alcohol at first sniff while deeper persual brings out sugar and the earthy oak aromas.

Time to check out the flavors...whoah! While the aroma was fairly conventional for the style the oak really comes through more than I expected here, especially in the aftertaste. The woody tannins and the high alcohol team up to create this perfumy character that kind of stomps on the other flavors at first . Once the palate adapts the yeast and other flavors are identifiable once again though. Really impressive and unique!

Mouthfeel has the same great balanced carbonation of other RR Belgian style ales along with the pleasant oak tannins adding some subtle dry bitterness. Drinkable for the ABV but the 750ml is probaly best shared with a friend.

Another amazing Russian River beer. I didn't expect this to be such a big departure from the regular Damnation but this knocked me on me heels. I'll keep my eyes open for this one in the future.

Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus chalices. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere and brokenleadedcask for both trading me bottles of this. Not sure who's bottle this was so props to you both!

Batch 046

A: Pours a perfectly hazy and unfiltered, bright glowing peach color with an impossibly creamy, just off-white head that left a huge surplus of sticky lace in the glass!

S: Aromas of apples and peach coupled with toasted malt, caramel, banana, spices, and earthy oaken goodness. Heather picked out cardamom and orange peel.

T: See above. Extremely well balanced with notes of citrus, banana, and maybe a touch of candi sugar. The spices and oak help to keep everything from being too sweet and add a hint of white pepper.

M: A near perfect balance of dry, spicy, and sticky. Tantilizingly spicy oak notes that do a great job of keeping the fruity sweetness reigned in.

D: The alcohol only began to rear its' head at the end of the glass. Up until then, however, this was a completely charming beer.

Photo of toppoop
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ikantspel
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

sometimes you get lucky and find one of these at your local liquor store (8

375ml served into a russian river chalice

numbered batch of 69

pours a golden hue with a monster 3 finger head.

bready yeast followed by herbal spices in the nose. then some funky wooden smell

oak, pineapple citrus, butter, then some hoppy bitterness for good measure.

hits kinda crisp then thickens into sweet nectar.

paid 10.99 for the bottle. wish it wasnt the last one

Photo of williamjbauer
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zeeksterusa
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
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 largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank both batches of this side-by-side at 'Tion Night at the Toronado. Both are great, but the new batch struck me as being a little better, so I'll review that one.

A: 13 oz pour into a tulip glass. Golden and clear with only the slightest haze. A thin white cap is all that formed for a head, more a result of a gentle pour than a lack of carbonation.

S: Peppery yeast, soft oak, rich pale malts. Slight graininess and a touch of tropical fruit.

T&M: Malty sweetness hits the palate first, grainy and fruity. The oak is very well dialed in, not overbearing on the palate but present enough to add some pleasant notes of vanilla, earth and soft tannins. Medium-light in body, crisply carbonated; spot-on. Really dries out in the finish, becoming more peppery and crisp. I really enjoyed this one, it's got a very authentic Belgian tripel character that most American breweries fail to achieve.

Photo of DrewOSU
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #46

Shared by Newtonty. Thanks Man!

A: Pours a yellow orange to a light tan, with a 1/8 inch, bright white head.

S: Oak and candied sweet malts on the nose with a tangy citrus under tone.

M/T: Light and syrupy on the tongue, bite of the APV is apparent right away. The oak flavor melds with the candied malts nicely. Slight tartness and citrus on the after taste, however finishes very dry.

D: Very high APV. I tried this on a clean pallet and the first couple of sips were intense, but after a few more became very drinkable.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly hazy amber with no head or lacing. The nose is an incredible orange rind bitter-sweetness with pungent alcohol. The taste is light and sweet with a subtle touch of oak. The aftertaste is a honey sweetness followed by some wood, but it's hard to recognize. The aftertaste is just as light and refreshing. Honestly, this beer was way better than expected with big citrus notes from the tripel followed by an interesting wood infusion. Very drinkable beer, possibly the best BA tripel I've had... although I still have my bottle of Allagash to try next.

Photo of drseamus
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Body is somewhere between amber and straw. Highly carbonated.

S: Tight nose. Some apples but not much.

T: Very intense. Good apple on pretty heavy oak. In spite of the thick oak though, it isn't too much.

M: Prickly on the tongue. Very active and carbonated.

D: Much better than regular Damnation. This is a great beer.

Photo of JimmyTango
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright yellow, kinda cloudy with a gigantic head.

S: Orange juice, sweet, and spicy like black pepper. Smells exactly as I expected from a barrel aged trippel.

T: Tastes like orange cake... orange pound cake with orange butter-cream frosting. Enough bittering hops to clean up your palate but they don't sit around. I really like the level of bitterness. The oak is there, but so subtly I might not have picked it up if I hadn't read the label. I'm gonna say the butter in the butter-cream frosting impression stated earlier is thanks to the oak. Otherwise lots of tasty orange zest and a well balanced sweetness.

M: Bright, acidic, chewey, and clean.

O: Verrry nice, but how can you go wrong with this style from RR? Really good, maybe even great, but not mind-blowing.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey and straw gold with a decent white head that quickly recedes to a ring. Aroma is sweet honey, soft vanilla, lemon, and some grassiness; a little agitation also produces some nice woody oakiness and some booziness. Nice soft sweetness cushions the palette up front before some lemon and citrus develops, a touch of tartness fights to surface but is held pretty much in check by the sweetness. Nice grassy and straw flavor towards the end mix well with a crisp effervescent bite on the tongue. Alcohol becomes evident mid taste thru the finish but is never overpowering in the taste. Oak flavor also comes in mid taste and pushes into a drying finish. Really wish I had another one of these as this seems that it will develop very nicely with a couple years in the cellar. Thanks to Tim for the chance to try this.

Photo of Altenor
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of magictrokini
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.