1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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: 275
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6/24/2011

Thanks to Jason for opening this.

A: Hazed orange with a creamy white head. Fades to stray bubbles.

S: A light oak presence with bread and caramel. Faint oxidation and alcohol. Moderately sweet. Earthy hop profile.

T: Bread and caramel with a little sweetness and oak. Light booze. Alcohol is faint. No harsh notes. 

M: Upper light in body with lower moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy, sticky, and smooth.

Overall: A very nice beer. I've had this many times but am happy to finally review it.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

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

Big thanks to Alex for the share. Been wanting to try this for quite some time. Batch 46.

A - It pours a glowing peach-goldenrod hue, and is capped with a moderately lasting white head, leaving clingy lace rings on the glass. First pours are fairly translucent, second ones are fairly hazed out.

S - The nose shows quite a bit of sweet alcohol, along with pear, apple, white grape, and some bready-doughy malt. The requisite clove-coriander-white pepper is muted by, or at least fused with, the oak treatment.

T - The taste is big and intense, revealing notes of bubblegum, banana, pear, and sweet-ish caramel malt. Oak is noted, but only very slightly, spiciness is relatively minimal for the style, and hops contribute an earthy tone. The caramel is throwing me off a bit here, because otherwise this is a phenomenal Tripel.

M - The feel is fantastic; it is big, silky and luscious with an expansive creaminess. Tremendously enhancing.

O - I wish this brew had more of a dry pale base, because the caramel notes are detrimental for me, to an otherwise fantastic beer.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
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

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

750mL bottle, corked and caged, batch 46. I recently received 2 of these bottles, one from ipa247 and one from westcoastbeerlvr (thanks Jeff & Craig!). Brought one to a tasting at Jackie O's, and it was VERY well received.

It poured a murky looking pale golden color, with some yeasty bits and a solid head of foam. I went back to the bottle for one of the last pours and it was darker, with more floaties in it.

This smells a lot better than the regular Damnation, the oak comes through strongly. Behind the oak this seems less "tripely" than the normal Damnation, although it still returns a strong Belgian character. It comes across more as an oak-aged Belgian Strong Pale than a tripel.

And same with the taste, light fruits like apples or pears, a very light malt character, and nice spicy oak. No real spices that I could taste, and very little hoppy spice, I think.

Low carbonation but adequate to the task, a soft or creamy mouthfeel, excellent. I liked this SO much better than I expected. I'm gonna save the other bottle for another 8 months or so, and see if the oak diminishes a little (even though it's delicious now).

Photo of Urbancaver
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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 brew3crew
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Party of our epic tasting at jackie o'swith brad and Co

A-golden yellow with white head that sticks around
S-very okay and a hint of vanilla. Really interesting
T-alot like it smells. Great finish. Heavy on the oak
M-medium body and smooth
O-very good. Wish I could get more

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter glass. Pours a hazy effervescent golden with a dense white head that retains throughout. Dry, fruity aroma with a mild vanilla oak presence. Some chalky Belgian dry phenols, dry doughy yeast, orange, sweet oak, and prunes. Complex aroma. Fluffy light body with a softly sweet flavor. The Belgian malts dry out leading to chalky phenols. Some sweet ciruses are present as well with mild vanilla from the oak. All the sweet notes are very soft and subtle with some peppery vegetal notes on the back. Dries out nicely. A nice U.S. version of a Belgian Tripel. Glad to had the Batch 23 and traded my last one for a bunch of 3f beers. Good times.

Photo of benclimbs
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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 nataku00
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 46 (oak chips) poured into a tulip. Cloudy yellow with a finger of frothy pure white head. Head dropped to half a finger, leaving a bit lacing on the glass. Some carbonation visible at the edge of the glass, but the beer is really cloudy.

Nose is very oaky, nectarines, coriander, and biscuit malts. The oak takes the spot light though.

Taste is dominated by the oak again. Beyond the oak, there is some fruitiness on the tip of the tongue, stone fruit like peaches and nectarines, but also the biscuit malts through the finish with a bit of pepper.

Medium bodied, silky, with medium levels of carbonation. Fairly easy to drink, but the oak is too overbearing for me.

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 womencantsail
4.27/5  rDev 0%
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.

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

Poured golden orange in color with yellow highlights that had a thin frothy head and left some good lacing sticking to the glass. I did detect the oay character upfront on the nose with citrus, booze, and faint belgian yeast notes. The belgian yeast character and dark fruits were more apparent on the palate with oaky and citrus accents but with slight tart notes. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a citrusy, mild fruity, oaky, and tart finish. I like the regular damnation but batch 23 is pretty intresting and drank good. I'm glad I've got to try it a fews times now.

Photo of StormKing47
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a nice Christmas Eve surprise by petesuphi. Can you argue with a nice meal of shrimp, prime rib, sugar cookies and ripping around on four wheelers before enjoying this one. Shared with petesuphi and Jwiss22 and it went like this...

A- Appears with a nice pale golden color with not much of a hue at all. It's simply a nice pale goldish color that has a very thin and lively white head. There's a faint haziness to it and seems to have some yeast suspended in it that the bubbles keep swirling around. Looks rather plain and similar to regular Damanation.

S- Pick up a rush of belgian spices that are popping out of this one. Nice cloves and bready aroma accompanied by a some bananas and belgian yeast spices. As it continues to warm I get the earth and woody aromas from the barrel with a nice, sweet vanilla undertone.

T- This one is definitely better than your normal Damnation. The yeast provides a great spicy character that is present throughout each sip. It also provides a little fruitiness to this one, I get a nice opening of bananas and some orange rind followed by cloves and the nice spiciness of the yeast. I also love how the oakiness and vanilla are entwined into each flavor from the first sip to the last. Very good stuff.

M- For a tripel it is right on, very nice spice, great and lively carb with a drying finish. Has a great medium body that coats the tongue and lets you taste all it has to offer. Almost a light champagne character with all of the prickle from the carb and smoothness of the barreling to subdue or tone down the carb so it is not overwhelming.

D- This is a very good tripel that has great elements throughout. The high abv is not even an issue and is well masked with carb, spice and taste. Seek it out.

Another great show of Vinnie's barreling skills. Love Russian River and they never let me down. Keep them coming!

Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of kbutler1
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Batch 46, courtesy of mothman. Pours a deeper hazed amber orange color than the regular Damnation. The head is a tiny bubbled small head of an offwhite color. Very good retention and lacing as it settles. The nose is more subdued than the regular version as well but it has notes of citrus, pineapple, pear, and oak. Some booze notes as well. Light/medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. The flavor to me is very strong apricot with mixes of oak. Nice hop notes as well. Ends dryly.

Photo of robbyc1
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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 craytonic
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 023.

Pour is a ruby-orange with a big off-white head that leaves serious lacing.

Smell: Not as forward as I would like. Some light spice, golden fruit, yeast and no oak.

Taste: A bit bland, lots of golden fruit (pears & apples) with some light spice and yeast and a some faint orange cream, not much else. No oak, not enough spice.

Mouthfeel: It does excel here, very creamy.

Drinkability: A bit lacking in flavor, although the high ABV is well hidden.

Photo of maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to lothore, who sent me this bottle about 15 months ago...yes, it's time for the periodic cleansing of the colonic cellar. I wasn't terribly impressed with the standard Damnation, so I'm hoping a bit of age & oak will improve my disposition towards it. Batch 46 split with my wife.

Only about 2/3 poured initially to keep the brew sediment-free. The same orangish color as regular Damnation but hazier, deeper. Nose is nice, terrific wine-like quality to it, dry, woody, spritzish.

Well, either my old review of Damnation was off-base or this is a much better beer. This comes off like alcohol-infused white grape juice, with a rollicking sweetness spark-arcing over the palate. Perhaps adding "big, sweet, candy" notes is redundant, but the sweetness actually underlies the grapeness; they're distinct. More puckering sugariness in the basket of fruits including pear, apples, & others. The yeast lends a spice kick towards the end, which leaves off dry. 0% humidity, take another drink to wet your whistle dry. 11%? You kidding me?

Excellent beer. If this isn't the best beer I've had from Russian River, it's only Pliny's fault.
Quaffable, original, tasty, gorgeous. Wonderful.

Photo of harpus
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev 0%
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.

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