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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

546 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 546
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 265
Gots: 155 | 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:
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 added by: bosco7 on 07-07-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 546 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Sammy, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

t0rin0, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 069.

10.75% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky honey orange with a 3 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots and streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of Belgian yeast, spices, grain, and some light fruity aromas. Taste is pretty much exactly the same with a slight woody flavor on the finish. There is a slight astringent bitterness and a bit of alcohol warmth in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a very crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good tripel and another great beer from Russian River. I am very happy I was able to find one of these.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.3%

djrn2, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +17.1%

spycow, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

zestar, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to TurdFurgison, who decided to destroy quite a few of my wants last night. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a slightly-cloudy golden color with a large off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. The nose brings forward a bit of bready malt and then carries through with some oak. Beyond that, there's a good amount of yeast coming through with nice notes of banana, bubble gum, and some clove. Medium body. Light dryness from the oak. Light booze in the finish as well. Really nice beer that I was thrilled to finally try. Thanks again, Eric.

Thorpe429, May 13, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Texasfan549, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a peach-colored liquid that is capped by an inch or so of foam; plenty of speckles remain on the tulip as the liquid is consumed

Smell: The vanilla and oak is clearly discernible; underneath, there is a range of fruit - pineapple and melon, with a hint of mango

Taste: Spicy and herbal, with fruit and grain flavors underneath; the pineapple, melon and mango arrive prior to the swallow, but the oak and vanilla arrive in the back; all of the flavors linger in the aftertaste for quite some time

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with prickly carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I am impressed by this beer but all things being equal, I think I would prefer to drink the regular Damnation; somehow the oak and the extra alcohol are not adding to my enjoyment the way I though they would

Thanks, madtowndmb1, for the opportunity

brentk56, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 023. Sunny daffodil yellow with multiple stately bubble streams wandering up to a wonderful looking crown of alabaster colored cream. Once the foam starts to melt, fine sheets of lace can be seen gracing the glass. A Belgian brewer would be proud.

The nose takes time (and warming) to open up... and still isn't that powerful. There's a bit of golden fruit, almost no spice, and little to no oak. In the end, the next highest score wasn't even considered.

Damnation Batch 23 is now slightly more than 3 years of age (bottled 6/4/07). According to the brewery, it can be aged 4 years. While it doesn't taste over the hill at this point in time, neither does it have much flavor boldness and complexity is lacking. The alcohol has mellowed nicely, however.

Flavors include pears macerated in Poire Williams, a Chardonnay grape vinousness, and a wee sprinkling of white pepper. Oak is still difficult to appreciate. I'm not sure what sort of yeast strain 'R.R. Wine 1' is, but it's doubtful that it's a Trappist ale yeast given the lack of the usual tripel/BSPA esteriness.

Reading the previous few paragraphs, one could be forgiven for thinking that Damnation Batch 23 is not good beer. Nothing could be further from the truth, it's just that it isn't up to Russian River's usual standards. This is one my five favorites breweries in the world if you want some idea of what I consider their 'usual standards' to be.

The mouthfeel is more American big beer than Belgianesque. It's roughly medium-full and feels sugary slick rather than airy and fluffy and expansive. Carbonation that is too laid back is the most likely culprit. At least it isn't a bottle-conditioned, overbubbled mess.

Russian River brews the single best beer in the known universe (Pliny The Younger) and plenty of others that are special as well. Damnation Batch 23 is solid, and has aged well, but it isn't the outstanding effort that I was hoping for.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.3%

kjkinsey, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy bright golden color ale with a super huge foamy had with excellent retention and some very good lacing. Aroma which consists of citrus and floral hops are well balanced against the sweet notes of the malt bill. Taste is a great mix between some citrus and floral hoppy notes and some semi—sweet malt notes. Oak is very subtle but seems to bring a rounder taste at the end. Yeast strain a somewhat fruity and can be detected. Body is full with great conditioning and some excellent carbonation with no apparent alcohol. This is a great improvement IMO over the regular version which is just too fruity.

Phyl21ca, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

GRG1313, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting a long time to try this one and decided to grab it out of the fridge last night and go for it. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 07/28/2009.

Appearance - The pour was magnificent. Huge white foamy head crowns over the top of the glass, easily coating the sides with thick globs of foam. Hazy and bright golden in color. Really something to behold I have to say. After a few moments it settles down, but still it was a really well done example of the style.

Smell - Aroma is bright, really nicely done again here. Hints of light woody notes lay upon a touch of funk and light notes of grassy hops and grains. A touch of light fruit now coming forward as well.

Taste - The flavor was light at first, but it built up considerably over time. Light banana and clove at first gave way to a smooth and comforting sour toasted that rolled into a nice blend of earthy oak notes and hints of grassy flavor. Rich and very subtle at the same time. What actually impressed me the most was the lack of high abv in the flavor. Really well done here and I have to say, quite nicely blended.

Feel - Near perfect carbonation kept this one from being too heavy while at the same time, thick enough so that the profile was easily distinguished. Nice balance with a frothy feel towards the end letting me know this one was alive to the last drop.

Drinkability - For as big as this was, wow. I never would have been able to tell. It was impressive to say the least that it was as drinkable as it was. Very smooth and the flavor far overpowered any boozy quality it may have had,

Overall - Very nice, and a quite a bit different then the regular version. I would have no issue at all with having this again and I could see easily why people rave about this as much as they do. Very well put together and really a very nice offering from them. Look forward to trying another.

mikesgroove, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -29.7%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for sending me this one quite some time ago.

A: The pour is a cloudy orange color with a fluffy and somewhat soapy white head. A bit of white head.

S: Some slightly tart fruits like apples and lemons, maybe a bit of grapes as well. Some nice oak aromas, sweet bready malts, honey, and some undertones of alcohol.

T: Lots of great fruit flavors along with a bit of warming alcohol. Sweet apples, pears, and some citrus zest. Honey, and some floral notes to it, and maybe a slight spice ester character. Nowhere near as much as the usual Damnation.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high carbonation and a slightly drying.

D: Very different from regular Damnation, and probably for the best. I really enjoyed this beer. Would love to have it again.

womencantsail, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Knapp85, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a cloudy, hazed orange with a frothy, white head.

Smell: Aroma of an oaken banana boat crossing your lake-going path, notes of sweet-scented, bready pale malted barley, phenolic spiciness, orchard fruits, and with a fleeting hint of lavender on the nose.

Taste: Moderately sweet in the fore with a taste of bready, candyish, honey-glazed pilsner malts. Small, quick dash of 99 Bananas for bit of sting over sliced pears and gala apples. Slight citrus. Very minute hop bitterness. Spicy, butter American oak character late and into the semi-dry, persistently fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. There's an ever so slight, tongue-coating creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Overall: A solid, oak-aged tripel. Yes, that's what we call it.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
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.

largadeer, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

SocalKicks, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

Batch 69. I didn't even know they aged any of this on oak, let alone on regular intervals, until tonight. Right on. This stuff pours a clear pale gold topped by plenty o' cream-white foam. The nose comprises orange peel, bleached wheat, light soap, light balsa, and light banana peel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some light orange zest and some light Brett-like funk. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice bit o' brew, though I feel like the oak was far too subdued for everything's own good (yeah, I admit I was looking for some crispy oak notes in there...). Good times, nonetheless.

TMoney2591, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 69, 12.7 oz. bottle, served in a wine glass.

Hazy pastel orange, champagne streams of carbonation. Creamy whipped meringue foam that lasts forever, leaving impressive irregular peaks and crags that rise above the rim of the glass.

Flowery aroma, lots of Belgian yeast esters.

Flavor is pretty wine-like, as if the barrel/chips were freshly soaked in chardonnay. Lots of fruity flavor, apple, white grape juice, and peach, coupled with white pepper and perfume. Estery and spicy, charged carbonation, full bodied with a hint of vinous alcohol. Oak character seems to get lost behind the wine and Belgian yeast flavors.

Honestly this batch wasn't all that tasty, but regardless of personal preference it's well put together. Had a batch 23 750mL of this years ago (thx Dave) and it wasn't really the same. This was much more estery and wine forward. edit: Sampled on tap next day at the brewpub also. Seemed a bit less yeasty and a touch more drinkable, but still had the same dominant white wine flavor.

emerge077, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap, so of course I need to try it on the bottle version. Ya know?

This is an excellent tripel, though this particular batch is really striking me as a bit too hot. Maybe it needs some time to mellow out. That issue aside, this is still pretty good. Through the burn I am getting nice character and a good profile. Even though this might need to mellow a bit, it's still nice.

RblWthACoz, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Nanoslug for sending me this one. This was the second release - Batch 46. Served in a Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that settles to a thick ring and a near-complete cap. Splotchy fingers of lace slowly slide down the sides of the glass. Body is a murky peach-apricot color. As I got near the end of the bottle, big chunks of yeasty sediment slopped into my glass - yummy.

S - This is a sweeter tripel, with less grains of paradise and coriander than many I've tried. Instead, it's very fruity, with plenty of pear, banana, and starfruit mixed with a mild estery yeast character. The oak comes out a bit as it warms up and lends a spicy wood flavor, along with some vanilla.

T - Taste is more caramel malt, fruits, and vanilla. Alcohol is relatively well-hidden, considering the beer's high ABV. Closer to 4.25 for me.

M - Very soft and smooth body, a touch a of heat, lower but preset carbonation that keeps it from getting cloying.

D - Shared a 750ml bottle and that was a good serving size, although I could have gone for a little more.

MasterSki, Jul 10, 2010
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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.