1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

555 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 275
Gots: 157 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bosco7 on 07-07-2007

We turned our regular Damnation recipe into a Tripel. It is bittered with Tomahawk and has Sterling and Cascade in the mid-boil and finish. The beer was then aged on new American oak chips for two to three weeks.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Mouthfeel is smooth, very creamy, light body.

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

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

Damnation Batch 46 into tulip. Side by side with batch 43

Pours 1 finger of creamy white head. Great retention. Thick lace. Active carbonation. Color is hazed burnt orange gold.

Aroma: Bananas, cloves, yeast, bready malts. Some dry spices show. Some light bubblegum. The oak shows, but faintly. A hint of vanilla.

Taste: A lot of yeast and bready malts, cloves, coriander, dry spice, vanilla, bananas, orange peel, pears, and dried red apples. The oak shows a little more hear, but not overly dominate.

Mouthfeel: Very dry and spiced with some bubbles rolling over the tongue. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry, pretty clean.

Overall, a pretty solid trippel. Not as oaky as I was expecting, but it didn't sit too long on the chips. It is pretty drinkable for the abv. I like it.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle poured into a darkness snifter sharred with a fellow BA.

Batch: 069

A- Really attractive beer, big foamy two/three finger off white head that dissipates slowly, nice bubbly lacing, cloudy attractive golden brown color, well carbonated.
S- Love the aroma, nice sweetness, banana, citrus, apple, pear, nice fruity notes, some spice, yeast, really refreshing aroma.
T- Really refreshing, light, banana, spice, citrus, wheat, floral, grassy, really interesting, unique bitterness comes out that I was not expecting, some clove as well.
M- Light mouthfeel, fizzy, really carbonated, clean finish.
O- I really enjoyed this beer, really surprised me, I was not expecting the fruity refreshing light characteristics that came out, the abv is really hidden for being 11%.

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

Batch 69. Been wanting to try this for quite some time now.

Pours with a four finger of fluffy white head. Somewhat hazy golden body. Good retention and lacing.

Smells of fruity esters, green apples, really complex and layered yeast, some biscuity notes.

The yeast notes are really prominent, layered and complex, sweet and malty, some white pepper, green apple, white grape, fairly spicy too.

Crisp, sharp, dry, really well carbonated, sweet, but dry on the finish.

Didn't really get too much oak, but lots of spice, and a great yeast presence.

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

A: Drunk following standard Damnation, and also nearly a year old. This poured a hazy gold with a little white head.
S: It smelled totally different, like shark American oak and strong apricots, with some lemon zest and honey malt and alcohol.
T: It also tasted different, like dried apricots and fresh oak, with some candi sugar and honey and sour yeast, and a little alcohol.
M: It was oily with a little carbonation. Very smooth.
D: This was much better than the standard Damnation. It had lots of rich complexity, but was still very delicate and refined. Fantastic to sip, with the only negative being that it's still a bit hot. Perhaps another year of age to perfect it?

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 Chico1985
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to cbutova for sharing this one, glad to have the opportunity to try it. I've always been intrigued by it. Batch 69.

Pours hazy pale orange, lots of carbonation bubbles, big ol white head retains as a thick ring.

Nice smell, classic tripel Americanized...big apple, Belgian yeast, bread, vanilla, peach, good balance of fruity and spicy. Great stuff.

Doesn't quite match the scent but good stuff. The American hoppage comes out more with citrus, lemon and peach. Pear/apple, yeast, spice. Not getting much of the oak though.

Good mouthfeel...drinks too easy for 11%.

Pretty awesome, a whole different beast from the regular Damnation.

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

Per usual, much thanks to leschkie! Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Batch 69.

A - Heavily carbonated, but light straw color with an orange tint. Bubbly white head that was big to begin with from the carbonation but fizzles down fairly quickly.

S - Belgian farmhouse funk with some vanilla oak notes giving it a slighter darker feel. Quite a tart nose with a citrus feel.

T - Crisp belgian flavors, little banana and clove, with that oak laying low in the back. The oak is most predominant in the the aftertaste lingering on the tongue. Quite complex as it goes from a bright, vibrant belgian tripel and transitions to a hint at some barrelroom in the backend with a little alcohol burn. That oak become more apparent as it warms.

M - Upfront, the mouthfeel is very carbonated, little too much I think. But the mouthfeel after a drink is quite silky and coating. Quite drinkable if you can get past the carbonation.

O - Good beer, has a sharp flavor with some added oak accents that bump it up. Well done, and refreshing for a slightly warm night. Will be interested to see how this ages, thanks for the extra bottle Kurtis!

Photo of chrisrose30
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damnnation is one of my favorite RR beers, so I was very happy to have the chance to taste this special batch. Poured from a 375ml bottle, batch #69. Thanks Chad!

Appearance: Pours a pale golden color with two fingers of foam with good retention.

Smell: Fruits, some hoppiness, a little yeast.

Taste: Definitely cinnamon, some spice, a stong citrusy taste, and the warmth of the alcohol. The flavors of this beer balance very well - there is nothing that is overdone here, which is characteristic of RR beers in general.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and well-balanced.

Overall: A very good Tripel. This is a better version of the original.

Photo of magictrokini
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle @ O'Brien's. Poured hazy gold with a thick, foamy white head. Some lacing on the goblet. Lovely sweet French oak barrel, Belgian yeast, cloves, and lots of lighter fruits (apples, grapes, peaches). Effervescent mouthfeel, very light. Compliments the flavor nicely. Sweet peaches and white grapes up front, even sweeter yeast and malt. Nive vanilla/clove spice combo, close to what you may find in a trippel. The oak gives this a flavor far different than the usual Damnation. It is still sweet, but the slight earthiness keeps this from being sickening. Dry finish. Great beer.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened side-by-side with regular damnation (Batch 063). Thanks to 321Jeff for sending batch 23 my way. enjoyed in a unibroue la fin du monde tulip and the regular damnation in a russian river tulip.

a - the damnation 23 opened with a POP as soon as the cage was off. in the glass, the brew was lively and i could see almost an endless stream of bubbles jumping to the glass. the head was about half the glass and ended up heaping over the top of the glass and hung out for ages. the color was a bit darker and richer than that of regular damnation.

s - much like damnation, but with oak. bubblegum, bananas, clove, all the normal flavorings in a bspa, but a bit sweeter like a tripel.

t - the 23 definitely resembles a tripel more than the bspa of the regular damnation. much sweeter. a bit syrupy but really tasty.

m - much thicker than the original. a bit boozy, but the booziness comes across as sweetness.

o - overall the oak is an improvement on an already great beer. very happy with batch 23. love me a good tripel and this is a great take on the style.

Photo of kevanb
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The story goes that every 23 batches of Damnation, Russian River makes a special batch aged with oak chips or in oak barrels. This Belgian style pours a really nice light amber honey color with a nice billowy head, at least 2 fingers. The head gives off a really pleasant aroma, strong grains complimented with ample soft oak notes and hints of honey and lemon. The flavor is really nice, oak bark is really strong with nice yeasty grains and lemon and even some hints of white peppercorns. It has a really smooth body that finishes with a punch of acidity and some boozy heat on the tongue.

Verdict: This is a really great beer. I like the Damnation as it is, but it’s not really one to blow me away. This batch with the oak flavors brings out some added complexity and really takes this beer to another level. I’ve had it now in a bottle and on draft and both are exemplary.

Photo of washburnkid
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

Photo of drseamus
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Body is somewhere between amber and straw. Highly carbonated.

S: Tight nose. Some apples but not much.

T: Very intense. Good apple on pretty heavy oak. In spite of the thick oak though, it isn't too much.

M: Prickly on the tongue. Very active and carbonated.

D: Much better than regular Damnation. This is a great beer.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of Altenor
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of AlexChillton
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Crazydaddyo
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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 sammo
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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

A big thanks to a few people for this beer; kingkong, cavery, and BdubleEdubleRUN. Cheers and thanks!

Batch 69.

Appearance – Pours into a snifter with an orange/amber hue. Massive (three+ fingers) of head is achieved with a careful pour that dissipates slowly leaving fat, chunky lacing.

Smell – Heavy fruit notes such as pineapple and apricot, slight barnyard funk, and oak.

Taste – Fruit funk, nice oak, a hint of sweetness. Slight tartness and cherries with a nice malty backbone.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, spritzy carbonation, finishes a hint dry.

Overall – Actually am enjoying this. Normally tripel’s are not my beer of choice but this one, with the classic RR twist on it is quite good. Glad I have a couple to cellar.

Photo of Devi0us
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of rumorsofsurf
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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 funhog
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

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