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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

239 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 559
Avg: 4.22
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 284
Gots: 155 | FT: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 559
Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle courtesy of jleblanc - many thanks! Batch #23 (Batch 1?) poured in to an Aventinus weizenbock glass on New Years Eve!

Appearance: Pours an at-first surprisingly light, gold, crisp-looking bodied ale, nearly entirely transparent, though the way the shape of the glass treats this one causes it to appear crystalline at the bottom but a little cloudier and orange near the top. The head is creamy, dense, about one-finger high and has surprisingly good retention, leaving a persistently thick sheen and a foamy collar. The lacing is amazing for a Belgian ale of this alcohol level, thin but uniform, leaving sprawling fingers and splashes of lacing all over the sip-side of this one. The carbonation is plentiful, fast, dense, and of an average size, racing to the top of this beer about as fast as you can imagine. All in all, it's an attractive brew, very inviting, traditional yet near-perfect in all aspects.

Aroma: Huge tropical fruits - pineapple, oranges, sweetly sticky and robust - mingle with caramelized barrel malts and Candi sugar.

Taste: The most interesting aspect of the taste of this beer is its most noticeable, at least to me - the interplay between the light, crisp, moderately well-attenuated sugars of a Belgian pale golden/tripel and the heartier, heavier, moderately roasted, earthy sugars attributed by the oak chipping. The base beer here is solid, definitely different from the original Damnation - it's crisp, cleansing, rife with phenols, mint, cloves, Candi sugar, light tropical fruit, white pepper, faint cinnamon, banana, and a handful of spicy green, hay-like hop notes. The oaking adds a green, woody note, light and earthy, both complementing and diversifying the flavor portfolio here, as well as adding a few vanilla notes (and the aforementioned roasted sugars).

Mouthfeel: A beer that starts out a little creamier and more even than it ends up, though it is by and large a very smooth beer, surprising because of the amount of carbonation present in this one. It becomes less even as it warms, but then finally a little more still as the carbonation finally escapes.

Drinkability: A cornucopia of flavors and aromas, this one's truly inspiring. At 11.0%, it's not what anyone could really call "drinkable," though it was definitely a New Years Eve beer if there ever was one - light, crisp, varied, and terribly complex, a perfect harbinger for what is hopefully a light, crisp, varied, and terribly complex 2010. Wait. Something like that at least.

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Photo of Deuane
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a batch 2 (Batch 46) of Batch 23!

A-Copper kissed golden yellow with a medium white head that that reduced slowly to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Sharp oak and spice with a nice touch of mellowing fruit of apple and banana.

T-Biting oak dryness and a spicy zing with an underlying fruitiness. Apple, pear and mild banana. Bit of alcohol burn in the background.

M-Medium-light bodied, sharp, crisp and dry. Long lingering spiciness.

D-Heck yeah....a more aggressive, spicier and drier version of "regular" Damnation. This is a mighty fine brew.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by alexsdad06. Poured cloudy yellow color with a large frothy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Complex woody, citrus, earhty and yeast aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation and thin particles. Medium to heavy citrus balanced flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate duration with a small alcohol bite. This is a refreshing standout beer.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy orange color, with a thick and fluffy white head, with a light yellow tint to it. The head fades very slowly, leaving a massive lace.

This beer has a very grainy aroma to it. Some funky, earthy yeast aroma as well. Spicy hops mix in, with a slight citrusy aroma. Also, I detect a very subtle banana aroma. Alcohol is well hidden in the aroma.

This beer tastes like it smells. Grainy up front, with some spicyhop flavor. I can taste a slight bubblegum flavor. Some banana flavor as well. As with the aroma, alcohol is well hidden.

This beer is full bodied. It is highly carbonated, well for the style. It leaves a grainy aftertaste. The alcohol warms slightly on the way down.

This beer might be a decent session beer. It is a little high in alcohol though. Flavor is mellow and good.

Overall: This is a good beer. I would expect nothing else from Vinnie.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold with a thick, downy head that lingers beautifully, slowly coating the side of the glass as it gradually recedes.

Smells of heavy clove, light banana and lemon peel. Also, some faint bubble gum and straw underneath.

The mouthfeel shows the difference between pure feel and carbonation. The beer is full-bodied, bordering on thick, but there is still lively carbonation that keeps this from being a beer-shake.

Surprisingly sweet at the start, with honey, banana and citrus taking the lead. The finish cuts some of the sweetness with some light hop bitterness, a bit of alcohol and some light oak notes. I wish that the oak were a bit more noticeable and the sweetness gets a bit unruly at the beginning but, overall, this is a very interesting triple. Seems like aging might cause the flavors to blend more seamlessly.

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Photo of koopa
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml (batch 46) caged and corked bottle.

Appearance: A touch more amber/dirty than the normal Damnation blond. 2 finger white crown that rapidly dissipates but shows some lace.

Smell: Loads of banana and bubblegum phenols along with a touch of oak, spice, and alcohol.

Taste: Loads of alcohol soaked oak chips in the flavor along with a nice belgian tripel meets bavarian hefe flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally well done for a brew with an abv about ten. Creamy, medium bodied and a touch chewy.

Drinkability: The abv holds this one back but not the flavor profile!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special Thanks to Cloudskipper for providing this in a trade this past May. Just getting around to enjoying this gem today.

Pours with a fluffy white head that fades rather quickly. The beer is a slightly cloudy honey amber color with some orange/copper tones. The inside of the glass is one big sheet of lacing...

Aroma is fantastic. Bright, fresh, peach, strawberry, a hint of sweetness along with a hint of alcohol. As it continues to warm some more yeast aroma comes to the forefront.

The Oak chips are immediately noticeable in the flavor. The wood brings a dryness to the finish and a depth to the flavor. Peach, white grape, green apple, and some coconut. Some candy sugar with a yeasty notes. The oak notes really shine through towards the finish and meld nicely with the hop bitterness that makes itself known at this point. The lingering finish is a combo of hop bitterness and the oak notes. Some nice layers of malt sweetness in the background. Light bread tones as well. You do get a sense of the alcohol near the finish as well. Not too hot, but definitely present,

Mouth feel is delicate and light yet substantial. The body itself seems sort of light, but the flavor makes this a bigger beer in your mouth.

Very interesting beer and one to enjoy with a friend or over a long afternoon.

Very glad I had the opportunity to try this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting a long time to try this one and decided to grab it out of the fridge last night and go for it. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 07/28/2009.

Appearance - The pour was magnificent. Huge white foamy head crowns over the top of the glass, easily coating the sides with thick globs of foam. Hazy and bright golden in color. Really something to behold I have to say. After a few moments it settles down, but still it was a really well done example of the style.

Smell - Aroma is bright, really nicely done again here. Hints of light woody notes lay upon a touch of funk and light notes of grassy hops and grains. A touch of light fruit now coming forward as well.

Taste - The flavor was light at first, but it built up considerably over time. Light banana and clove at first gave way to a smooth and comforting sour toasted that rolled into a nice blend of earthy oak notes and hints of grassy flavor. Rich and very subtle at the same time. What actually impressed me the most was the lack of high abv in the flavor. Really well done here and I have to say, quite nicely blended.

Feel - Near perfect carbonation kept this one from being too heavy while at the same time, thick enough so that the profile was easily distinguished. Nice balance with a frothy feel towards the end letting me know this one was alive to the last drop.

Drinkability - For as big as this was, wow. I never would have been able to tell. It was impressive to say the least that it was as drinkable as it was. Very smooth and the flavor far overpowered any boozy quality it may have had,

Overall - Very nice, and a quite a bit different then the regular version. I would have no issue at all with having this again and I could see easily why people rave about this as much as they do. Very well put together and really a very nice offering from them. Look forward to trying another.

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased somewhere online a while ago, just now getting to enjoy. Shared the 750ml with a friend. Batch 46

Cloudy blonde with good inch worth of head that dissipated to a ring for the rest of the glass. Some floaty particulate, looks like I stirred the sediment with my bad pour. Wheat/Heffe very prominent in the smell, some apple skin, candi sugar and a bit of oak follow. More wheat/heffe in the taste with a healthy dollop of oak, and some woodsy hops. The ABV is very deceptive, not very detectable in the taste. Bright clean finish, not much lingering aftertastes, good. Some mild carbonation, not effervescent as some. I'm glad Larry helped me with this one, it's not good to tackle this one solo. The ABV would sneak up on you and take you down like a skilled ninja.

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Photo of berkey
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of GJ40
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.6/5  rDev +9%
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).

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of DrewOSU
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
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..

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Photo of aforbes10
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of Lothore
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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....

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Photo of DIM
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.