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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) - Russian River Brewing Company

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)

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555 Ratings
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Ratings: 555
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 277
Gots: 156 | 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: 555 | Reviews: 238
Photo of berkey
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
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 washburnkid
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good friend cracked this one open to share with friends. Enjoyed in a tulip.

This batch of Damnation pours a gorgeous dark golden. A small head leaves a bit of lace clinging to the glass. Aromas are rich with spice and fruit. Flavors are similar, with dark ripe fruits and spices offered through a huge presence of oak. This is the flavor that really dominates this beer. The body is medium and pleasant on the palate. 23 is pleasant to sip on, and the alcohol hides very well.

Photo of GJ40
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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 deltatauhobbit
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
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).

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

taste- sweet malt, earth, fruits, pear, tobacco

color- light orange

clarity- clear

smell- cake icing, wood, bacon, coffee, banana, cloves

body- smooth and soft, almost creamy, slight hop bite, medium-long dry finish

appearance- active carbonation, nice white creamy head

overall impression- great beer, aromatics didn't come through as i expected, felt slightly flat...was expecting a "bomb"

notes and comments- label said beer will age 'til 2013. every 23rd bottling of damnation russian river makes a special batch, a triple aged in oak chips.

Photo of GbVDave
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
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 DrewOSU
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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 FtownThrowDown
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, generously shared by Pwoods with RoyMunson and myself.
Pours a light, hazy gold in color. A bigger one inch head sits atop the beer. Smell is belgian candy sugar, some yeast and just a hint of oak. You really get more of the oak and just a bit of lemon in the flavor. The oak really smoothes this beer out. Incredibly creamy and velvety smooth in the mouthfeel. This is dangerously drinkable for the ABV. I think the oak aging takes away from my favorite characteristic of the regular Damnation, and that is it's carbonated mouthfeel. This beer was gone before I had a chance to realize it. Extremely drinkable, but be careful, at this ABV, one is more than enough.

Photo of beachbum1975
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch # 46 - shared with newtonty and DrewOSU. Thanks to newtonty for sharing (and RedwoodGeorge for the recent trade extra)!

Pops from the cork nicely. A nice creamy, white head sits atop a hazy orang-ish yellow beer. Nice to look at.

I can smell the oak on the nose up front. Moderately sour mix of oak and light citrus, like lemon or tangerine.

Taste carries over from the nose nicely. More oak and light citrus followed by mild Belgium candied sugars. Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation on the mouth. The 10.75% ABV is definitely noticeable in this one...

For my own mental notes: Blindfolded, I would guess this is Brooklyn Local One or a diluted Southern Tier's Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series). Nice, but I'm not very into this style..

Photo of aforbes10
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy but still glimmering orange brown (more orange, really) with an extremely well retained white pillowy head. Masterful appearance. Smells of spiced malt, bananas, oak and ethanol. Tangy, sweet mix of Belgian flavors. Yeasty, and some coriander/green hops. Ethanol strong and a little hot on the finish. I get the higher alcohol but the oak contribution is less obvious. Extra body is the real story here, which makes the beer much easier to drink and helps the flavors come together a lot more. Very smooth. This is more of a sipper than its regular incarnation, but that's a-ok with me.

Photo of Lothore
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear golden yellow hue with a nice, white, frothy 2 finger head.

S- Smell is a tad tart, apple juice, belgian yeast, light fruits.

T- Taste is very full and oaky, hints of light fruits, belgian yeast, but at is core incredibly woody and bready.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- This one just seemed a lot more balanced than regular damnation. The wood characteristics really did it for me. I'm not the biggest belgian fan but found something great in this beer.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Paid $14.99 for a 750ml bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Batch 046. Poured into a thick chalice and shared with two friends.

A small moderately fizzy white head that has excellent retention. Good carbonation. Very cloudy and opaque gold color. Thick lacing that I think will be slowly fading down the glass.

Belgian spice and bready yeast. The smell of the oak chips and some fruity undertones come through more as it warms. Some hints of booze as well in the nose, but pretty well hidden for an 11%.

The taste of this one is much more surprising than the nose. Nice balance. Belgian spice and yeast are toned down much more than I expected from the nose. Light fruitiness, oaked wood and light malts back this Belgian Strong Pale Ale up quite nicely. All flavors are moderate, but in balance, they bring together a tasty brew. Alcohol warms slightly, but otherwise is very well hidden.

Mouth is excellent. Very thick and chewy. Smooth and velvety. Medium body. Light carbonation. The bottle conditioning and aging of this one really are evident in the mouthfeel, which is the beer's best quality.

Good representation of the style and one of the best in its class.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Old Engine Oil chalice, batch 046. Thanks Henry (Bankhead) for the chance to try this one!

Pours orangey-gold, lightly hazy, into a chalice, with a huge creamy white head and beautiful walls of lacing. Great effervescence from the laser etching at the bottom. After a while, the dense head ends up as a nice, solid cap on the bottom.

Nose is smooth peppery yeast, very nice prominent vanilla note from the oak, some golden fruit.

Taste is sooo Smooth. big woody vanilla notes up front hang with the peppery yeast and the golden fruit underneath (apricot) to blend into a fantastic combination. Bit of a dry, peppery bite at the lightly bitter finish. Exhale is more oak, sweet vanilla - definitely not hidden in this one. Definitely get a rich apricot-and-cream feeling with this one alongside the peppery bite. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is beautiful - creamy and lush from the cap that never seems to go away, full without being heavy or syrupy. Active carbonation that's plenty lively without ever really biting back.

No problem finishing a bottle of this on my own. Pretty sure I could have started in on my next without much problem. Smooth all the way around. Nicely done.

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

Big up to our homegirl out west.

A: Slightly hazy golden color with a finger of white head.

S: Nice mix of apples and oak. Really nice clean fruity nose.

T: Nice big oak taste right off the bat. Some lighter fruits right behind that with the slightest hints of booze. Some faded hops in the finish.

M: Prickly carbonation. Slightly heavy mouthfeel.

D: 100% better than regular damnation. The oak aging took an ok beer and made it world class. Only 23 more batches to go now....

Photo of DIM
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch 46

a: This was a clear golden color with some peachy highlights. It poured with a huge, craggy white head that left plenty of lace in its wake.

s: Interesting! Oaky aromas of tobacco and apricots take center stage. Lurking in the backround are some warm, perfumed fruity esters that suggest pineapple, bananas, and raisins.

t: Nice balance between sweet, oaky tobacco and perfumed estery fruits. The finish is a long lasting tanic tartness.

m: Long lasting, creamy carbonation.

d: Big thanks to rallisonfor this one. I've never had anything like it. Absolutely fantastic and well worth seeking out.

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

Had this beer during the first go around and thought it was excellent then, the 2nd time around, just as good.

Pours a big white frothy head, a cloudy honey yellow. Honeycomb's big, yeah yeah yeah, it's not small, no no no.

Smells of citrus fruits, apples? earthy, woody, floral. A is for Apple, J is for Jacks, cinamony toasty apple jacks.

Citrus fruity esters, light and crisp, oak gives it a a very smooth woody finish. Perfection. Two scoops of Damnation in Kellog's Damnation 23.

Like Tony the Tiger, this beer's Grrreat!

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

Batch 46 bottle (10.75%) poured into my Damnation tulip, Damnation Batch 23 is a dark gold with a large white head that is pretty slow settling and leaves heavy lace, some big hunks of foam. Lots of numerology babble on the label reality checks me into what can happen from living on the west coast and reading to much Edgar Cayce! Drugs are bad, mmmm k?

Smell is awesome, bright and fruity, just a bit of wood. Really appetizing.

Taste is interesting. From the first sip I thought, well, they took a great beer and overdid it. But then as I worked though the bottle, I came to really enjoy it. The oak, and more so alcohol are both pretty strong, no question, with a particularly boozy after taste, but the fruity esters are strong and tasty. I still prefer regular Damnation, as what I like about this is basically in spite of the overdone ABV and oak. There might be some vanilla character from the chips that I'm perceiving as esters, but the oak strikes me mostly as a woody, and really isn't to strong. As I get used to the bruising ABV, I like it the beer more and more.

Mouthfeel is smooth, very creamy, light body.

Drinkability isn't to bad for such a strong beer. It took me a while to get used to it though. First glass washed down my chili nicely, and the rest was a nice digestife. Still, it's overkill.

Photo of charlesw
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviews are a funny thing... Is it average or good? Well, it's average. The problem is that it's perfectly average. Normal. What you expect the beer to be. Ah. OK. Revising. There. Like that better?

Poured from a 750 into a snifter. The 750 has some annoying verbiage on it - numerology BS. I like their beer less in relationship to how much they believe in what they are writing on the bottle. Definite negative points for being wackos or appearing to be wackos.

Deep blonde/light amber. Small white head that lasts for a long time. Smells fruity and spicy. Tastes fruity and spicy. Really, IMO this is pretty much what the style is all about.

Photo of drseamus
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
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 RomanW70
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured cloudy amber with a minnsl white head that disapperas into lacing. Aeona of funk, grass and spice. Taste is similar, with coriander spiciness present throughout, combined with malty sweetness. Oak is present, but not dominant. Thick mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation. Hides it's alcohol exceptionally well.

Photo of kasper
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #46

A: Pours a translucent orangish-yellow with a sizable yellow-tined white bubbly head with good retention, leaving thick sheets of lacing as it slowly recedes.

S: Aromas are subtle, grassy, and a tad spicy. More specifically, aromas of belgian yeast -- tad of banana and a little bit of the bubblegum going on. There's clove in there and very -- and i mean VERY -- subtle hints of vanilla and oak. If I didn't know this was aged on wood chips, I may have never picked that up.

T: Kind of like a super-malty, mildly-hopped belgian hefeweizen, if that makes any sense. Malts are thick and present, the clove spice is prominent and lingering, and there's a bit of numbing action going on from the alcohol which is masked extremely well. The oak aging is again barely detectable but the flavors all mingle nicely.

M: One of the best parts of this brew is the feel. This is a thick and heavy one, but incredibly smooth with mild carbonation. You get all those rich belgian flavors without the overcarbonation.

D: Belgian ales aren't one of my favorites but this is a well balance, smooth sipper. I would likely never drink more than half a bottle at one time, but that's just me. Good beer. Would drink again, but unsure if I would intentionally seek it out just do to my bias against spicy belgian ales.

Photo of magictrokini
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of mjl21
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked/caged bottle poured into a Chimay glass. This is Batch 046. According to the RR website, this was brewed on 12/2/08 and bottled on 1/7/09. I consumed it on 2/26/09. Comes in at 10.75%.

A-When poured, looks like semi-hazy apple juice. One finger white head dissolves quickly into a thin, puffy, layer. Lacing is left that looks like cresting waves about to break.

S-Belgian yeast hits when first opened. Musty wood (in this case oak), grapes, and some apple.

T-Candy sugar sweetness with a nice bitter hop feeling on the backend. Toasted oak is also apparent.

M-Creamy and well carbonated. Smooth on the tongue and a nice level of bitterness is left in the back of the mouth. Quite a crisp finish.

D-I am asking myself where is the alcohol? An extremely crisp and refreshing tripel.

I purchased a bottle of the original Batch 23 once when I was at the brewpub and did not take notes, but remember the beer being quite good and worth the extra cost. This new batch does not disappoint. The bottle says this can be aged for up to four years. I would love to sample this beer as it ages. I would also like to see MJ mentioned on the back of the bottle when mentioning all things 23.

Photo of zeeksterusa
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Beerzebub
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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
95 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.