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

555 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 280
Gots: 156 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 238
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.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of lhaqq
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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..

Photo of paytoplay
4.4/5  rDev +3%
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
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
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
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
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
3.61/5  rDev -15.5%
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
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
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
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

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