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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BA SCORE
95
world-class

548 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 548
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 266
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: 548 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paytoplay
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of bennetj17
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

Photo of brewcrew76
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Crosling
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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

Photo of blakesell
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the pour Blake.
Very cloudy gold with a tight white head that fades fairly quickly.
Smells of funky belgian yeast, lots of spice and massive fruits. The taste follows the nose really well, lots of spice up front in allspice, nutmeg, then comes the fruit in pineapple, grape, cherries, you name it, it's in there.
Very smooth and just slightly bubbly. Very easy to sip for a long time as it gets better as it warms a bit.

Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy and unfiltered mango (meat) colored with a large white head thick and tightly carbonated. Great length and thick lacing behind. A fine looking specimen.

A nose full of delight. Belgian yeast and spices with a plethora tropical fruit esters and some stone fruit thrown in. Pear, peach, passion fruit, orange peel, mango, grilled pineapple and only the slightest hint of wood which may even be imaginary.

Christ this is fine. Full of bubble gum flavors. A good amount of peach, tangerine and pineapple in the middle and long finish. Creamy thick and rich with a satin silky smooth finish. Grilled fruits, hints of vanilla, passion fruit, butterscotch, bits of spice and earth and a orange zesty finish.

Very nice.

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

Darker than normal Damnation gold with a rightly capped white head of billowing foam, that remains, but dies down and is revived with a swirl of the glass. Excellent lacing and head retention on this wild pup of a beer. Aromas of strong classic golden ale perfection, apple, a bit of spice from the yeast esthers, sweet biscuity malts, and slightly dead vegetal hops in the back. This version also has a big hot boozy oak note that dominates the front aroma quadrant. Taste si big with the oak and alcohol head, a bit hot at this point but will be oh, so, smooth in about 14 month time. Oak chips, mix with spicy yeast/hop notes with a metallic twinge of biscuit malt in the back palatte. Mouthfeel is smooth, but this is hot which hurts it's drinkability a bit. Still damn good. Was not rar at all when released but now impossible to find, which sucks. Should of picked up that case for $80 when it came out as this will be stellar in a few months....

Photo of trevorwideman
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle bought at City Beer, SF. Shared with oakbluff and fisherman34, sampled from a snifter.

Big inch of head off a gentle pour, colour is a deep blood orange with lots of chunky sediment throughout. Great head retention and lacing. Aroma is oaky with hints of vanilla, red licorice, herbs. fruit: juicy apricots, peaches, plums, apples. Delicious.

Taste is extremely deep and comforting with tons of malt, oak, vanilla. Herbaceous and maybe a little medcinal. Fruity and spicy with some peppery notes. Orange, peach, tangerine, maybe a little tropical note. Lovely and complex, and as great as advertised. Soft and a little creamy in the mouth, but not too heavy duty in the body. Carbonation is zippy, but not obnoxious. Dries nicely. Overall this is an exceptional beer, superb balance and packed with flavour. I may never drink this again, so I'm going to savour the moment!

Photo of Floydster
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with tevering99, thanks for giving me the chance to try this brew

Split with a buddy tonight, poured into my Duvel tulip glass, sipped on for over an hour

A-Golden orange, darker than the regular version, monsterous 1 1/2 inch soapy white head, lots of small bubbles stuck around for close to ten minutes, nice lacing all the way through

S-Complex fruit variety, bananas, apricot, tangerine, lemon, dried raisins, figs, then the good stuff from the barrel that consisted of strong oak aromas, some vanilla, and a hint of booze

T-Starts off with orange peel and lemon, then strong oak and mild vanilla flavors, dry finish with some wine-like tastes, as it warms it becomes more sweet and I taste other fruits like peaches, tangerines, and white grapes, not much hoppiness in this and has even less than normal Damnation, fruit and sweet malt is nicely balanced by the oak chip flavor, later on I tasted yogurt and milk, this beer seemed to be all over the place, but the taste was great overall

M-Medium body, lots of carbonation but not overly active after a minute or so, taste lasted a long time, creamy mouthfeel with sweetness and spice at different times

D-Could have drank this bottle and then some by myself, smooth and easy to drink, although it is eleven percent alcohol, hidden very well though, not too heavy on the stomach, kept me coming back for more, scary drinkable considering its style

Much better than standard Damnation in my opinion, idea of aging a pale Golden ale is interesting b ut it works, highly recommended if you can track down a bottle, hope Russian River will do this with another batch in the future

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.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another amazing beer provided by lou91. Thank you sir!

750 mL cork and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear light copper hue with a fluffy two finger bleach white head. Stickiness is all over and doesn't plan on letting go. Lots of tiny bubbles constantly racing to the top. Smell is of white grapes, fresh autumn apples, and sweet citrus. Spices and some pepper also emerge as well as a tingle of honey in the nose. A tiny hint of wood also mixes in throughout. After the first sip, the one thing that comes to mind is a sweet NY Riesling. Honey and pear up front with a spicey corriander tingle. Pleasant oak flavors with a honey and banana combination. The aftertaste is a bit boozey with some vanilla. Mouthfeel is pretty creamy with a medium body. Carbonation is very smooth, I really enjoy how this one feels in the mouth. I may be taking a different approach with Damnation by trying Batch 23 first, but hey, everyone is different. A non-oak aged version is in the fridge waiting as we speak, Batch 30 to be exact. Russian River continues to blow me away. Keep up the good work Vinnie!

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

I found Damnation (original) to be a decent easy drinking Belgian Pale Ale but with some of the other impressive beers from RR, this one is somewhat typical and not a favorite of mine. This beer, the Oak Aged Damnation Batch 23 was much better in my opinion. In this case the wood Oak aging worked terrifically. It adds a magnificent new dimension of depth and character that I enjoyed greatly.

JohnMichaelsen deserves a huge thanks. Bringing this beer back for CA and the willingness to share it at our tasting is very generous. Thanks friend!

Appearance: Pours hazy light yellow color with a soft white head and little lace on the walls of my tasting snifter.

Smell: Sweet apples and honey with wine like alcohol presence, beautiful vanilla oak and spices with a touch of citrus fruit. Very nice!

Taste: Vanilla and oak lay gently atop the sweet sugars and honey yeast flavors. There is a pleasant wine like flavor and a touch of sour apples and hint of cherry wood.

Mouthfeel: Very very soft, effervescent and then dry finish.

Drinkability: I found this to be a very tasty easy drinking Strong Belgian Ale. Very very nice.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of ppoitras
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle received via I Want That BIF from lou91. Corked and caged, Batch 023. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" beige head over the darkly golden brew. Super-dense head lasts and lasts, due to generous rejuvenation from the bottom constantly sending up more and more tiny bubbles. Lacing is plentiful and sticky.

Aroma is sweet, lightly spicy, with twinges of alcohol and oak coming out at the end. Taste follows the nose's guide, with the front being the sweet/spice area, and the latter half being oaky and alcohol focused. Halves meld together better as the brew warms. Mouthfeel and drinkability are very impressive. Except this is the only bottle I have, so I'll have to just remember this one, and keep an eye out in the meantime.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey and straw gold with a decent white head that quickly recedes to a ring. Aroma is sweet honey, soft vanilla, lemon, and some grassiness; a little agitation also produces some nice woody oakiness and some booziness. Nice soft sweetness cushions the palette up front before some lemon and citrus develops, a touch of tartness fights to surface but is held pretty much in check by the sweetness. Nice grassy and straw flavor towards the end mix well with a crisp effervescent bite on the tongue. Alcohol becomes evident mid taste thru the finish but is never overpowering in the taste. Oak flavor also comes in mid taste and pushes into a drying finish. Really wish I had another one of these as this seems that it will develop very nicely with a couple years in the cellar. Thanks to Tim for the chance to try this.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle at the brewery on July 25, 2007 into a thin chalice. I am immediately taken aback by how mellow the oak is. This isn’t an overwhelming bourbony oak by any means, just a light dusting of wood and vanilla. Body pours a brilliant and well carbonated gilded copper with a 2 inch off white head that dissipates quickly to a steady but thin lace. Loads of butter in the aroma like a California Chardonnay. Taste is sweet and boozey. Orange and sweet apples, tannins, vanilla, and a touch of spiciness. Chewy and very warming mouthfeel. Barleywine like. Fairly drinkable. I managed to finish the bottle, mostly by my self so it must be. Should improve with time. Plan on revisiting in a couple years.

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.

Photo of red80go
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a beautiful deep amber, with a decent head and lacing to the top of the riedel tumbler
s - citrus on the nose with a slight white wine smell (oak)
t- very smooth for the abv, but i guess that's why they aged in oak, (be careful), oak highlights throughout especially when warmed
m-rather thinker mouthful than the original damnation, not an overwhelming amount of alcohol taste, just the right carbonation but my mouth and lips feel a bit sticky
d-very dangerous beer to drink if you don't pay attention, obviously a definite sipper you should share with someone. A great beer to have as a Digestive after a great meal in SF.

Luckily I am able to get this beer easily from my favorite shop in SF, City Beer! I will lay down several bottles because this one will be a great beer if not already in a few years. I have sent(traded) at least a 6 back east and can't wait to see them review it.

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

A little something special for my 200th review. Had on-tap at the brewpub yesterday in Santa Rosa. The board said 10.5% abv, 56 IBUs, and described the beer as an oak-aged triple.

a - pours a golden amber color, slightly hazy, one-finger head with decent retention for the abv, and nice lacing

s - some lemon/citrus noticeable in the aroma, oak more evident as the beer warmed, apple and pear also detectable, alcohol hints with a little spice particularly clove

t - nice maltiness up front, big fruity flavors develop, pear and red apple most evident, nice oak accents, especially as the beer warms, some spice/clove along with a nice alcohol burn on the finish

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet but somewhat dry finish

d - somewhat limited due to the 10.5% abv, but a great beer to sip on , alcohol is there but not overwhelming in the taste, very complex flavor keeps you drinking

Quite a bit different from the regular Damnation. I like this a bit more than the regular because the flavor and aroma are more complex and rewarding. Great one-off beer by RRBC. Better get your hands on this while it lasts.

Photo of bosco7
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Russian River's Bottle Log :
"Special bottling to celebrate the 23rd bottled batch of Damnation. 11% ABV, different hop bill. Aged on new American oak chips."

I obtained this bottle from the brewpub 2 days ago.

Pours a golden orange color with a white fluffy head that quickly dissipates but leaves the sides of the snifter and the top of the brew pleasantly laced.

Huge banana aromas, some baked bread, sweet caramel, lemon rind, and clove in the nose. A lot more banana compared to the regular bottlings.

I am immediately aware of the increase in original gravity: thicker mouthfeel, higher alcohol flavors, and sweeter flavor. Wow, you can really taste the alcohol in this one. Lots of banana upon drinking, a lot more than its sister. Baked apple, cinnamon, clove, pepper, and lots of higher alcohol in the finish. Once the beer has warmed up oak/woody flavors are more apparent.

I really feel that the drinkabilty of this "batch" dropped with the increase in alcohol and body. Overall I feel that this is a very good beer however very different than past Damnations. Sip this one. Plan on laying a couple bottles down.

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.