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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

540 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 259
Gots: 154 | 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: 540 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 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
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by TurdFurgison. Thanks! A Russian River beer I've never tried? Yes please. I'm a huge RR fan, this beer was served in a Bruery rastal glass.

Beer is golden with a white wispy head that sort of swirls with the beer, never really disappearing but rather late to the party for a head, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation, beer is really hazy too. Interesting, looks like beer.

Beer is a little oaky in the aroma, perhaps some sweetness in there too, slightly too sweet in the nose for a tripel but it smells nice, decent yeast esters on the nose. Smells nice.

I should look up to see if RR calls this a tripel or if this is some BA nerd that added this as a tripel. In my opinion it is too sweet and not dry enough to be a tripel. This is probably better called a strong pale or something in that family but I digress. Beer is medium to light in body, moderately carbonated on the palate. The beer leads off with this sweetness and the mid palate of the beer is quite fruity, like apples or white grapes. Some nice oak overall, a great beer. I really enjoyed it, not quite my favorite tripel or strong pale and not my favorite Russian river Belgian ale but this was really good and I'd have it again.

drabmuh, May 13, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

The beer pours a clear amber color with just a layer of off white head. I'm getting lots of Belgian yeast spice in the nose along with a sweetness. The taste is a bit more interesting. I'm still getting the Belgian spice along with a malt sweetness, but there is also an oaky note and a fruity note. I would say this is a well balanced beer. The head sticks around all the way through the pour.

oline73, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of mactrail
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fruity with a big pineapple flavor. Brewery says Tomahawk, Sterling, and Casacade hops in the mix, but it certainly isn't overly bitter. Aged in American oak but I don't taste much vanilla or woodiness. Rich flavors, sweet and sharp. Fragrant with caramel and flowers.

Hops are really fragrant but it's not a bitter beer. Hugely drinkable for a strong beer. Nice lacing and carbonation as well. On tap at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach.

mactrail, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Mora2000, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Actually batch 69. Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into my Lost Abbey glass since I don't own a Russian River glass yet.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent bright orange yellow color with two and a half fingers of fluffy off white head and high carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of Belgian style yeast, spices, citrus hops, oranges, floral hops, fruity malts, bananas, and cloves. Not getting any oak, seems very much like the normal Damnation in the nose to me.

t - Tastes of bananas, cloves, spices, pepper, Belgian yeast, citrus hops, floral hops, earthy notes, sweet fruit, a hint of wood or oak, and alcohol. Again, almost no oak. Tastes has more bananas and sweet fruit than the nose, and a tiny bit more alcohol.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Pretty smooth and just the right level of carbonation before it gets too much. Tiny bit of alcohol.

o - Overall I thought this was a good beer, but I don't think it was an improvement on the base beer. It's very similar and there is not much oak at all. I think the normal Damnation looks a little better so this rated slightly below it (4 vs. 4.03), but both are good beers. Interested to see what happens to it with some time on it as the alcohol was there in the taste.

mdfb79, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite oak-like in the aroma, but it is not overpowering & in fact took me a second to recognize. The beer is a brilliantly clear, copper tinged, gold color and is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. Aromatic notes of buttery oak, vanillin, orange zest, and a light, yet sharp, spicy oak character. The hints of vanilla and orange remind me a bit of an orange-cream candy, though the aroma is fairly dry smelling. Boozy notes of warm alcohol are present, especially if you linger too long over the nose. Slightly must, but overall the aroma is nice, but not all that striking. It actually might not be the alcohol alone that is noticeable, but really a lot of the spicy oak character that is accentuating a sharpness / hotness in the aromatic finish.

The taste is quite a bit sweeter than the aroma suggested, but it is well within line for a beer of this strength. The sweetness accentuates a note of orange / lemon zest. This beer is actually fairly dry over all & becomes lightly sweet as my palate adjusts to it. The beer finishes with a mix of hot, higher alcohols, bitter hops, some light phenolics & spicy oak character. The oak / barrel character is quite a bit more subtle than the aroma would have suggested, which in my opinion is a good thing. Oak notes of vanillin, spicy, woody oak and a touch of tannic astringency are all noticeable if you dig a bit, but really they contribute to the overall character of this beer. Really the oak, while not hugely apparent individually, does have a large effect on the flavor profile of this beer (from the vanilla notes, the spicy character, to the perception of bitterness, astringency & alcohol in the finish). Floral notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom and bird of paradise add an interesting component to the flavor profile. The residual sugars provide a nice, softly creamy, heft to this beer that makes this beer contemplative; it is nothing like a chewy, all malt beer (like a Barleywine), as it is fairly light for its strength. In fact, at times it is down right drinkable; I think a big part of this is that the carbonation helps to refresh and lighten up the overall perception of this beer.

This beer definitely is strong, while the 10.5% does not quite hit you over the head, it is still noticeable. I really am enjoying the soft, orange like flavors & aromas in this beer; these notes pair quite well with some of the oak components. I have a feeling this beer will age quite well for a long time. In fact, this beer really needs to age for quite some time as it is a bit too young right now; perhaps a year but maybe even three would do this beer wonders To tell you the truth, I wouldn't be surprised if this peaked at 5 or 10 years even. It is certainly not a bad tipple right now, it is just that I see this getting a lot better.

Gueuzedude, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.68 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a translucent light orange with a full pillowy white head, good retention and nice lace.

S: Lots of spice, white pepper and orange peel. Nice citrus notes with a note of sugar cane.

T: Light oak with a lot of yeast esters. Spicy with some pear and bready malt. Fairly hoppy finish.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, long aftertaste, not a bashful beer.

O: A nice beer to try, I like it better than regular Damnation. Nothing to get to excited about though, overpriced, but not a bad effort in an of itself.

Halcyondays, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -6.3%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on draught at Beachwood BBQ. This was batch #69 of damnation, so obviously the third iteration of batch 23. I was very excited because Russian River is me favourite US brewery, and I love the regular damnation.

A: Pours a half finger head of smooth slight cream, slight thickness, and bad retention. Colour is a nice hazy yellow gold; nontransparent.

Sm: Light orange esters. Some hops. Very light malt. Pleasant and appealing, but light.

T: A very complex build for a golden ale (or tripel). Pleasant orange esters, lightly toasted malt, and full barley. Layered and nice. Delicious. Balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch thick. Suits the flavour.

Dr: Very drinkable. Expensive, but quality. I'd have it again. It was a real treat to enjoy it on draught.

kojevergas, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

imperialking, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of corby112
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a two finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of soapy lacig left behind.

Sweet, slightly earthy aroma wih lots of estery light fruit notes, toasted oak, vanilla and earthy hops. Hints of apple and lead along with some pine and champagne yeast.

Medium bodied with some soft carbonation up frot along with a champagne like efervesence that gives off hints of bready yeast and light fruit esters. Lots of sweet apple and pear along with slight booze and spice but this is nicely mellowed out by the oak presence. Not overly dry or toasted with hints of coconut and vanilla that nicely masks the high ABV. Some virgin oak beers taste like charred tooth picks but here it is nicely integrated into the flavor of the base beer. Complex, flavorful and dangerously drinkable.

corby112, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 69 on draft at the brewpub.

Pours darker than regular Damnation; cloudy golden orange with a fluffy off white head with average retention and lacing. Sweet aroma of oak, honey, bready malt and fruit like mango, melon and citrus. Much less yeast and spice than regular Damnation and much more fruit and sweetness. Slightly fuller body with high carbonation and a dry finish with mild tart notes. A little more enjoyable fresh than the bottle of Batch 46 we tried a few months ago.

yourefragile, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of stakem
3.45/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both MexicanSkittel and BdubleEdubleRUN for the chance to try this one. Batch 69, 375ml bottle poured into a snifter. The cork removes with a loud pop and produces 4 fingers worth of white fluffy froth. The cap fades back to a thin lacing that is supported by constantly rising bubbles. The brew itself appears a hazed golden orange color that is slightly hazed. A light swirl effortless revives more than a finger of slightly off-white froth back to the surface.

The smell of this brew has a lot going on. First it reminds me of coriander with a hint of lemon and orange zest that is sweet and almost candied. More sniffs reveal a deep fruit inclusion with a bit of earth and mild oaked quality. A hint of sulfur and some spicy clove round it out with the alcohol becoming increasingly noticeable as it warms up.

The taste includes everything hinted in the aroma. Some peppery spice mixes with clove, coriander, lemon and orange pulp-like bitterness. Some tannic oak flavoring resides mid-palate bringing out a bit more focus on an earthy/herbal bitterness. The alcohol which was initially quite tamed really comes out with a warming factor as the brew warms up. The aftertaste is a little cheesy and quite earthy with a bit more pronounced oak flavoring that is raw.

This is a medium bodied brew that is very carbonated. It has a solid warming factor about it and a nice arrangement of flavor initially that sort of falls apart as it warms up and more sips are taken. I think the oak and hoppy bitterness clashes with the yeasty spices and it overall distracts from the experience instead of complimenting it. It lingers inside the mouth with almost an oily feel that mixes with a bit of astringency. It isn't a horrible brew by any stretch, it just isn't quite for me and what I expect from a tripel.

stakem, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, like all Russiaan River Belgian style beers, this was amazingly drinkable. I'm generally not a fan of beers that use oak chips as compared to full barrel ageing, but this one was restrained enough in the oak department to still be quite tasty. If wholee barreels had been used it probably would have been ethereal- especially ones that had been softened by long use. Poured very pale golden with an excellent head that faded tto a ring. Smelled sweet and oaky with some light notes of Belgian yeast. Tastes a bit sweet to start with more oakiness quickly following as well as some apple and pear flavors as well as a bit of straw. Crisp and refreshing with a just a bit of tannins on the end. Goes down very easily, even with the oak- shocking for its high abv. Not my absolute favorite beer from them, but very nice.

Georgiabeer, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

duceswild, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damnation Batch 46 into tulip. Side by side with batch 43

Pours 1 finger of creamy white head. Great retention. Thick lace. Active carbonation. Color is hazed burnt orange gold.

Aroma: Bananas, cloves, yeast, bready malts. Some dry spices show. Some light bubblegum. The oak shows, but faintly. A hint of vanilla.

Taste: A lot of yeast and bready malts, cloves, coriander, dry spice, vanilla, bananas, orange peel, pears, and dried red apples. The oak shows a little more hear, but not overly dominate.

Mouthfeel: Very dry and spiced with some bubbles rolling over the tongue. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry, pretty clean.

Overall, a pretty solid trippel. Not as oaky as I was expecting, but it didn't sit too long on the chips. It is pretty drinkable for the abv. I like it.

mothman, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

BARFLYB, May 26, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 069

The beer is transparent and golden hued, plentiful bubbles rapidly ascending to the surface. Even after a slow and careful pour, the head is a few inches thick, receding to a half inch and holding.

The aroma offers yeast, malt, citrus, spice, alcohol. Not picking up the oak characteristic I expected.

The oak comes through quite a bit in the flavor. A bit tart, with a nice blend of spice and floral notes. Lingering notes of wood in the finish. Well balanced and flavorful.

Alcohol content hidden pretty well. Warming finish. Medium-full bodied.

Overall, a really solid beer. Very glad to have this, as I missed batches 23 and 46.

Huhzubendah, Dec 11, 2011
Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.