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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: 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: 540 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murchmac
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

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!

Murchmac, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of ccrida
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

ccrida, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of charlesw
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

charlesw, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of drseamus
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

drseamus, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of RomanW70
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

RomanW70, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of kasper
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

kasper, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

magictrokini, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

mjl21, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of zeeksterusa
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

zeeksterusa, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of Beerzebub
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

Beerzebub, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

Found this at O'Brien's in SD.

Pours a nice light amber color. Like honey. No real head and minimal lacing.

No real smell. A little alcohol and Belgian yeast but not much else.

Taste is nothing like smell. You take a sip and the carbonation hits the top of your mouth. Then a slight bitterness hits the roof of your mouth and the sides of your tongue. Then a very nice malty oak flavour that is pretty sweet hits your tongue. It finishes with a bitter sweet aftertaste. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. No complaints.

Drinkabilitu is very high because if I had more bottles of this stuff I would hoard them and never share. Can't wait till they make another 23 batches

PeprSprYoFace, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

In a bottle from the Celebratorfest. And I forgot to try Consecration (grrr!!!)

A - Pours a straw yellow, with a little over 1 finger of white head, which dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Oak, vanilla, cardamom, and a slight bit of spicy hops.

T - More oakiness present in the taste, with vanilla, cardamom, and a hint of citrus. Bittering hops are slightly spicy with subtle notes of citrus.

M - Well-balanced with a touch of creaminess, but the aftertaste is slightly dry.

D - Overall good. Will drink again.

MisterClean, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of flexabull
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%

On tap at City Beer in San Francisco. Pleasantly surprised to see this on tap, and in bottles on the shelves.

Pours a lightly clouded blonde color, with nice white head.

Aromas are of oak, some mixed spices, cream, and sugar.

Taste is of sharp hard candies and sugar. There are also some spice, cloves, oak, and light creams. Finish is crisp, with a hint of bright citrus hops on the finish. Well put together and tasty triple. (At least they said this was more like a triple...)

Mouthfeel is great. Very full, crisp, and thick.

Drinkability is quite good. I was shocked at how easily this went down. What a well put together and complex triple this one is. I think this is a beer that would benefit from some time too. It could smooth out even more, and be super. With that said, it's still an excellent beer.

flexabull, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of lhaqq
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%

A: Pours a light gold body with a sticky, lacy white head.
S: Pretty complex and good effervescence. Grainy, woody maltiness initially; sort of woody-chipish--like a cross between a hamster cage and walking into a brewery. Also some peanut butter and bubble gum.
T: The wood-chip oak begins the flavor, followed by a good dose of malts. Then some earthiness and vanilla. The bubble gum comes through too, though not too sweet.
M: Creamier than expected, but also good level of carbonation.
D: Mmm, I think it was pretty drinkable. Had just finished a tour of some Sonoma County wineries and could only do one. But I couldn't taste the alcohol and could definitely have more under other conditions.

Definitely my favorite of the style.

lhaqq, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of bifrostguard
4/5  rDev -6.3%

A - Straw yellow in color with quite a bit of effervescence and a minimal off white that leaves a bit of lacing.

S - Got some clove, oak and grain in the first whiff followed by some hops and yeast.

T - Flavor has a strong oak character that works well with the grain and spice flavors. Some citrus fruit is noticed, but only mildly.

M - Medium bodied and surprisingly drying.

D - I enjoyed this beer mainly because of the extra dimension the oak chips brought to the overall flavor. Not really my style, but still delicious.

bifrostguard, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%

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 antilogic
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 5oz taster. I regret not getting more!

Really tastes like I expected. Color is on the darker side of straw/gold, with a small white head. Taste is light oak, Belgian yeast, fruits, earth. Vinne should brew this more often than once in 23 batches..

antilogic, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of paytoplay
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%

Tap at O'Briens 15th annv. If I could get this damnation all the time I would. Oak gives that added texture, a little vanilla and superb body and length. Really a stand out beer for me. Vinnie noted it was batch 46, I guess it seeks oak every 23 batches. Would love to see this with 1 or 2 years of age. This was from Keg and outstanding.

paytoplay, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of bennetj17
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%

Medium gold, clear, with 1/2 inch of white foam. Beautiful, slow paced carbonation fills the glass, with the bubbles almost suspended there elegantly. Light malt based nose with subtle coriander and flashes of floral spice. Not bad, but it really takes getting your nose in the glass to get a good whiff.

The taste is lightly sweet and very classic for the Tripel style with nice fruity complexities. The oak flavor doesn't appear too strong, but it definitely has its effect on mellowing things nicely. I find it hard to believe it is 11% ABV. The mouthfeel if very nice, smooth with a medium body. Not syrupy, carbonation is spot on.

Not sure what it is but I can always tell when I am drinking a Russian River beer. This one happens to be very well-rounded. You don't taste the heat, and it's quite drinkable...

bennetj17, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for this one.

A - Hazy golden orange with 2 fingers of creamy white head.

S - Oak, slightly musty wood, tropical fruits, green apple, pear and spicy belgian yeast.

T - The oak is stronger than aroma. Wet musty oak, vanilla, sweet, tropical fruits, white grapes and a lingering spicy belgian yeast.

M - Medium mouthfeel, spritzy at first but settles to light carbonation making it a touch heavy/creamy.

D - Not sure if the age has added more oak aroma/flavor but I was a little disappointed in this one.

brewcrew76, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Thanks to IrishBoy for sharing this bottle at the RBSG 08 Grand Tasting. Poured into my La Chouffe goblet. Pale gold in color with a white head. The froth reduces to a halo, leaving sticky lace everywhere. Aroma is oak-forward, with banana esters providing sweetness. Flavor is very fruity, mostly banana with accents of tropical and stone fruits. Boozy mid-palate with an earthy oaky finish. Very smooth, classic RR mouthfeel.

illidurit, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%

Just another rarity miketd generously shared with us during the tasting. Thanks man!
Pours creamy and hazy gold. Smell is bright, fresh malt with a touch of yeast. Taste is sweet slightly lemony, belgian yeastiness and a noticeable oakiness at the end. Pretty tasty stuff and I liked this better than regular Damnation for sure.

JDV, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of Crosling
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%

Yellow gold in color with a full head. Unimpressive nose. Flavor seems to have a fairly agressive hop character, with some herbaceous and lemon notes. Also, it's sweet with some fruit-like flavors. The oak provides a fairly nice component, though clearly the oak influence would be more enjoyable, had it been aged in an actual barrel. Lots of heat and definately not a lot of subtlety. The finish could be longer as well, it fades quick. Just seems rough and unrefined, it lacks depth.

Crosling, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

SacoDeToro, May 23, 2008
Photo of blakesell
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a Belgian tulip. Stored at my house about a year. Many thanks to the customer who gave this to me when I worked at Belmont Party Supply.

Appearance- Beer pours cloudy and golden with a four finger head of froth across the top. Head is pillowy white/bone and clings to the sides on dissipation. Carbonation leaps to the top of the glass. Hazy yellow with a good wheat content.

Smell- Bubblegum, banana, apricot, pear, yeast phenols, mandrin orange, a bit of strawberry, catching little to no oak. Little to no hop. Plenty of yeasty phenolics.

Taste- Bubblegum, banana, clove, wheat, yeast, this is almost a stereotype Belgian wit. Now here's the oak and the big yeasty phenols. Banana-Strawberry Bubble Yum thick in the flavour.

Mouthfeel- Lightly sticky, creamy, lightly warming, medium-light bodied, and highly carbonated.

Drinkability- Warming, but deceptive. Oaky, but not over the top with wood. Sticky, but not gluey. I like it.

blakesell, Apr 24, 2008
Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.