Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

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DamnationDamnation
BA SCORE
4.12/5
Exceptional
3,875 Ratings
DamnationDamnation
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.75%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired pretty much by Duvel and other strong golden ales of Belgium. It is medium-bodied, has a fruity/banana bouquet, and a dry, spicy finish.
Availability

Pub draft and bottles, local distribution draft and bottles, some draft to some distributors, bottles to all distributors, year-round

Original Gravity: 1.056
Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Color: Golden
Bitterness: Mild

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,882
Reviews:
1,161
Ratings:
3,875
pDev:
9.95%
 
 
Wants:
426
Gots:
1,026
Trade:
51
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,875 |  Reviews: 1,161
Reviews by Mryup:
Photo of Mryup
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a golden/honey/orange with a nice white foamy head.

S: Citrus with hints of ceder. I'll admit I had to read the bottle to put my finger on the ceder smell.

T: Initially it tastes like the smell. An unidentifiable plethora of citroscity (yes, thats not really a word), then the ceder comes through and finally (so late you almost don't expect it) the dryness comes through. The hops and earthy spices are detectable throughout.

M: Very smooooth.

D: It's a sipper.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mlkluther
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most complex beers I have ever had. Truly outstanding. If I could get this in Canada I would drink this as often as possible. It is one of the best beers I have ever had the pleasure of drinking.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Guinness pint glass in high altitude Denver, CO. No goblets were available, regrettably.

A: Pours a brilliant clear yellow-gold with a five finger head of excellent thickness and cream. Amazing retention.

Sm: Clean pleasant scent of barley, ester, spice, hops, citrus, malt, cedar, and pine, all of which are very subtle.

T: Just like the smell - delicious (<insert Chappelle's show joke here>). Excellent finish. The strength of this beer is its subtlety. It's complex but not overdone. Perfect for a golden ale.

Mf: Crisp and smooth, but golden ales require this smoothness. Beer Advocate's classification of this beer as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale is very wrong.

Dr: I'd definitely have it again, especially at its price and ABV. I find myself hitting the bottom of the bottle while it's upside down to make sure I get every drop. You'd never know it was 7.75%. It's pricey but worht it for celebration.

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Photo of ccg
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw-colored with two inches of fluffy foam and tons of lacing. That foam sticks around for several minutes after the first pour. Great-looking beer.
Smells sour and a little citrusy, with some light yeast/bread notes.
Taste is smoother than I was expecting, given the slightly sour smell. A little bit of banana sweetness at first balanced by a hint of spiciness on the finish.
The carbonation gives it a nice, soft feel, but it is a little bit on the thin side.
Overall, it's a beautifully balanced and well-crafted brew, even for a sweet-stout drinker like me who is not generally a fan of this style.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Perfectly clear golden color. Creamy, fine-bub led white head retains well at a solid finger. Thick rings of lacing .

S: Sliced pear, and a very mild tropical spritz. Understated pepper, cinnamon, cedar, and vague spices. Clean malt aromas of freshly baked bread.

T: Sliced pear and orange peel. Soft pepper and coriander. Cedar. Mild spicy/herbal hops. Freshly baked bread. Yeasty.

M: Medium bodied and very creamy. Deep crispness from the aggressive carbination.

O: On point. This rivals the best of the style brewed in its country of origin.

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Photo of iguanodon
2.98/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

[Original rating 2014-12-31] My first taste of the legendary Russian River. 375 ml bottle from C-mini mart in Dublin, CA. Pours clear gold with a small white head. Aroma is a little fruity, pear / apple. Taste is also pear / apple with a little peppery spice in the finish, faint booze. A solid belgian strong but not quite as awesome as I was expecting.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass from the bottle.

Appearance: Very hazy gold color with light sediments to the body. Bubbles are medium at best with a white head which initially rose to about one finger's length.

Smell: Yeast scent with touch of floral feel.

Taste: Sweet feel but not sugary, citrus sweet with a touch of breast yeast and touch sour.

Mouth: Medium carbonation with a descent smoothness and overall sticky.

Overall: Good brew, I got hit in the head with it since the place I bought it at was definitely scalping it since it's super rare to find Russian River stuff out here in long island. Salud.

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Photo of Autumn_Lucia
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

med-high carbonation. Pretty light gold color and a sweet floral, musty scent. Taste is floral, sweet, fruity and yeasty. mildly bitter but not close to that of an IPA. Very refreshing, and the cork is always fun, isn’t it?

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Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #072.Poured into a tulip glass a hazy lemon yellow with a large blooming white head that settled slowly into a frothy mass,aromas of pithy lemon hops,alcohol,and light yeasty spice.Flavors are citric and somewhat medicinal hop flavors up front on the palate,light yeasty phenols actuall mix well with the hop profile wich makes for a well rounded palate.A great beer for the style wich I expected from RR,somewhat refreshing even with a higher ABV.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – The body of this beer belongs on an alien. It’s a glowing neon orange in color and very hazy. The head was modest.

Smell – The coriander is huge at the nose. The yeast is nice and malty. The spices are all over the map. There’s some light orange and tangerine along with some peach. The hops are ultra funky. In other words, a typical RR offering.

Taste – The flavors are much smoother than the smell. There is some light alcohol that I didn’t pick up in the nose, but otherwise it follows the bouquet as you drink it down.

Mouthfeel – This one lacked the good carbonation of an authentic BSPA, but that may have just been the bottle. There was some noticeable dryness to this medium-bodied ale and the flavors really melded together as it warmed.

Drinkable – This was a very drinkable BSPA that delivered on all the usual requirements.

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Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lanesplitter in Berkeley CA. Very Reminiscent of La Chouffe.

Pours a hazed golden pineapple, rather far from limpid. Head is white, bubbly, and very Belgian. It rises and falls with each lift of the glass. Body bubbles aggressively, ebulliently even.

Aroma consists of ripe Jamaican sugar bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, Munich malts, and citric hops. Nose sharp and sweet.

Taste is spicy citrus hops, banana ice cream, bubblegum, and earth. Balance is decent but not flawless.

Mouthfeel is light and breakneck. Zesty and spicy, it hits your cheeks with a zinger of strength and sweet and sour fruit. Not bad.

Drinkability is decent. Finish is crisp, clean, and dry lending to higher drinkability.

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Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Ness
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for Kevin to bringing me a few of these on his recent West Coast trip. Dated September 2012, a few months away from it's first birthday. It pours a golden honeycomb color and is almost 100% opaque. It's got a big head, the whitest of the white with thin, fine bubbles; it's super creamy and conjures up even larger when the glass is agitated. Super solid looking for a Belgian pale.

Belgian yeast abound, wall to wall, erring towards the slightly sweet banana side of things, with lighter hints of clove and a soft underbelly full of bubblegum. It's pretty "spicy" on the nostrils, though, with some white pepper in the background and a bit of alcoholic phenol notes that show up every now and then. Some slightly tart pear enters during the outro as well - quite a nice display of Belgian yeast, especially for an American-crafted brew.

As the aroma would indicate, some slightly-rotten banana cream is abundant in the flavor from the very first sip. Each pile of banana is follow up quickly with a sharp hint of spices; coriander, clove, orange zest, white pepper; spicy overall, yet pretty mild and refined in the big picture. I'm now struggling to decide whether it's more sweet or more spicy, and perhaps that's because it's such a perfectly even split.

It's certainly a very yeasty brew, as most Belgian pales should be. The backdrop contains thick mounds of buttery bread covered in a layer of super-duper, cheesy and musty funk. The finish is very bready and cellar-y with a dry finishing funk that obliterates any sweetness that's made it this far on your palate. It's medium bodied, though it feels a bit thicker, possibly from the heavy yeast. Crispy, nearly bubbly carbonation.

The first of the "non-sour" ales that I've tried from Russian River's line of Belgian style beers, and I'm mildly impressed. There are certainly some better, authentic Belgian pales out there... Then again, I'd also choose Damnation over many other authentic Belgian pales, too. One of the best things about the brew is the somewhat low price point... 4-5$ a bottle isn't bad for this tasty brew.

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Photo of DavyJones
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 9-17-10. Many thanks to zoso1967 for schlepping the bottle back from PA many moons ago. I shared this bad boy with TCGoalie and his fiance.

A: The color is a pure golden-yellow, with a white, half finger head. This head retained on top of the beer body for the duration of my sipping.

S: Aromas of crisp Granny Smith apple, pear, peach, and a distinct funky Belgian yeast float from my oversized wine glass into my nostrils. I also smell some light clove and banana aromas.

T: A tasty clove spice is backed by sweet pear, Granny Smith apple, and honey flavors. That funky yeast complements all of these flavors well. A crisp, acidic, cidery bite ends each sip and dries off my palate.

M: Damnation has a sparkly tingle on my palate, with a light to medium bodied, spicy feel on my tongue.

D: This beer was nicely drinkable - very light, crisp, and refreshing. This is a perfect example of a straight up 4 beer. Good, but nothing about about it really stood out as remarkable.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an incredible beer. It poured a pale orangy-golden color with little head. The smell was fantastic, a variety of fruity and yeasty odors, with strong citrus tones. The taste followed through on the smell, orange and banana comes to mind, although it was hard to pull out one specific taste- everything was well-balanced. If I had to pull a phrase out of my head really quickly to describe this beer, I'd have to say "juicy wheat." I guess by that I mean that the slight fruity taste adds a more robust flavor to its wheaty yeast taste, kind of like biting into an apple and getting that juicy, tart kick. It has a smooth mouthfeel and its drinkibility lends itself more to sipping than gulping. This is one to savor or to break out for tastings.
This beer also has serious dregs- the bottom was yeast city- a plus for dregheads!

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Photo of SRoseGR
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Tiernan
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ccapurso
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Dabeel
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 3,875 ratings