Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

3,802 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.75%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 09-19-2003

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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,802
Photo of Boccu
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours holed with a big two finger white head. Head fades quickly with nice lacing. Aroma lemons and herbal tones. Taste honey, pear, lemon and herbal finish. Very nice Belgian. Not my style but tasty. Look forward to more from them.

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Photo of Amguerra305
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours clarion gold with a tinge of red. A 1/4 inch thick ring of head lingers on the beer. Tiny bubbles stick to the edge of the glass and make it look like there is something floating around in the liquid. Smell is fruity esters with a slight touch of funk. Taste is ridiculously bone dry. The esters are there but they kind of get lost from how dry the beer is. Pretty heavily carbonated with a medium light body. Overall this beer is a ridiculously dry slightly funky version of a Belgian tripel that is rather good.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into snifter; hazy (unfiltered) honey color. Nice carbonation leading to nice head. Herbal essence, lemon, straw notes to nose---leans to a saison. Honey, lemon, herds follow on palate with light carb bubbles dancing on the palate. A very refreshing beer!

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hazy golden blonde with film. 4
Hay, flowers, wax, and lemon. 4.25
Thread of wheat, lemon verbena, grass, spice, some fruity waxberry, and pear with a rindy finish. 4.25
Creamy, round, medium. 4

Wild flower honey! Verging on saison with some of these bright botanicals. Brings craft to a simple style. 4.25

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/5/15; drank 5/7/15 @ California Split.

Murky dandelion appearance.

Small white head; almost no lace.

Banana, black pepper & mild lemon notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Black pepper & mild citrus flavors; faint & boring. Not worth tracking down.

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Photo of blackmagik2272
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was the only Russian River I'm able to find in my area. Of course, you pay through the nose for it, but I didn't factor the price paid into my rating. It was every bit as delicious as my high expectations demanded. I'm not going to pay $130 for a case, but it was an excellent treat.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4


Bottle to goblet.

Look: thick golden color, lasting white head. Bubbles are small and numerous. Nose is fruity, yeast, orange, pineapple. Taste has some Belgian Wang, as expected, but not too much. Taste is refreshing, bread, orange, pineapple. Smooth finish. Beer is very bubbly all the way through. This is not my style of beer, but this is a very well crafted brew.
Bottle fermentation really keeps this fresh. Just as sparkly as I remember from tasting a younger bottle.


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Photo of ctylinebeer
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

375 ml cork and cage bottle poured into a tulip glass. Sold as single bottle. Brewed by the famous Russian River Brewing Company from Santa Rosa, CA known very well for Pliny the Elder. They make a line of Belgian style beers year round that are still quite rare. This Belgian style resembles Leffe Blonde.

L - bright amber color, super cloudy body, carbonation is very strong with a thick bubbly foam dome. Some bottle yeast floating around. Thick lacing on the glass

S - Belgian yeast mostly. Dried fruit and spices. Consistent similar beers but not too aromatic

T - potent Belgian malt with the yeast coming in on the finish. Notes of banana and spices

F - soft mouth feel like a wheat beer. Alcohol is prevalent but not strong. Quite stiff like an IPA.

O - Sometimes you might not even be looking for Russian River and you'll stumble on it at a bottle shop. Very nice beer that looks and smells pleasant but is quite stiff in taste. Not quite for the average beer drinker and certainly for the adventurous type. Cheers!

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Photo of neenerzig
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back a bottle of this with me when I came back from a 2 week trip to California in July of 2015 and was fortunate enough to visit the brewery on said trip with one of my best friends. Bottled on 4/30/15. Poured out of a 12.88 oz. corked bottle into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a slightly cloudy/hazy, but mostly clear, light to medium, bright golden color with lots of streams of little bubbles rapidly and continuously rising to the beer's surface. Had a nice white head that's about an inch thick when first poured that settles to a solid 2/3 inch thick with very good retention. Has good lacing here too. Aromas of pale Belgian malts and yeast, including some Brett, along with some apricot, clove, nutmeg, pear, and a hint of pineapple. Also a bit of Belgian candy sugars. The taste is very similar, with fairly sweet, pale Belgian malt and somewhat grainy flavor upfront that gives way to the aforementioned yeast flavors. This is followed by a hint of banana and clove, nutmeg, and a touch of peppercorn that's followed by pear, and pineapple that give this just the slightest tart hint. All of this is then rounded out with a bit more sweetness courtesy of the aforementioned Belgian candy sugars. There is a slight bitterness too. Has a mainly crisp, slightly prickly and gritty, yet smooth and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Another truly excellent beer from Russian River. I hope I have the opportunity to drink this again.


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Photo of snaotheus
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml corked/caged bottle split between a pair of snifters. I poured mine second, and I got a bunch of dregs. Bottled on 06/10/16.

The 1st pour was clear and golden; both have a nice, big, fluffy white head and a lot of active carbonation. Smell is yeasty/funky, maybe a hint of clove, grass, spice.

Taste is bready with a very funky bitter, lots of biscuit and grass flavor. I was expecting a little banana, but there's not much there unless I really look for it.

Mouthfeel is light and fluffy. Overall, very good Belgian Strong Pale.

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Photo of HopBomb515
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden straw color with a big head and great lacing. Aromas of funk, barnyard and Belgian ale yeast. Notes of lemon, grape skin, barnyard, straw and tannic qualities. Crisp, clean, light, and super dry. Nice example but not my style.

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

Has a clean golden color, 1/2" white head. Aroma drops the light skinned fruits and citrus is a mild way.

Taste is a well hopped belgian pale, more of that light skinned fruit stuff, mild bitterness, dry pale malt base. This is probably my favorite example of this style of beer. Funny it isn't appreciated more.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A bottle with a bottled on date of 4.15.16

L - Blonde and cloudy, with 2 fingers of head, and lots of lace left on top of the brew. Gorgeous beer!

S - Brett and spices. Amazing aroma too

T - Banana, began candy sugar, hidden ABV. Delicious

F - Well carbonated, medium body, oily slick, perfect

O - What can I say....Russian River kills it every time

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Photo of patre_tim
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Straw gold and relatively filtered, this brew has tons of carbonation. Its topped with 4 fingers of glassy white head.

Smells of pears, Belgian yeasts, phenols and pineapple candy.

Tastes of pears and phenols and pineapple candy. Light sweetness, and just a hint of lemon zest bitterness.

Medium, syrupy body, moderate, soft carbonation.

Got at Russian River a few days ago, drank Sept 19th, 2016 in Redding, CA. Really well done, soft, well rounded Belgian Strong Pale Ale. No rough or unpalatable qualities, making it very smooth to drink.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This, I swear, is quite an underrated brew when it comes to the rr catalogue. It looks gorgeous with a pillowy white head atop a hazy golden body. Smell and taste are full of fruit and spice with apricots, clove, nutmeg, pear, and a hint of candied pineapple. Do I detect some toasted coconut as well? Quite a delightfully complex brew I must say, worthy of contemplation, and quite honestly one of my favorite rr brews.

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Photo of BeerKnower
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I just had this beer on tap. Overall this beer is very good. There are no detectable Lance Armstrong - cheating - aspects about it. Rusian River makes some quality stuff. FYI, adding sugar is cheating when you enter your drink in the real beer category.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to get my hands on 2 bottles while visiting Pasadena.
A - Pours a hazy yellow with a 1 inch foamy head. Shrinks to a ring that never goes away.
S - Typical aroma of Belgian yeast.
T - Flavor is what I expected, some clove, banana and lemon. Very balanced.
M - Average mouth feel, slightly above average carbonation.
O - I'm a big fan of Belgians, and this is true to style. Love this beer, would keep a bottle or two in my fridge at all times if I could get it.

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Photo of Lappleby24
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to tulip. Lots of head with good retention followed by some serious lacing. Golden in color, slightly hazy. Overwhelmingly herbal/Belgian aroma with just a little floral hint. Flavor is true to the Belgian style - herbal and much like the aromas. Almost a seltzer-like carbonation. Not normally a Belgian lover, but this is true to the style yet very good.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 4-month-old bottle, pours a hazy orange gold. Huge 3 fingers of dense white foam produces scads of lacing. Both smell and taste are pretty classic Belgian: lemon, banana, clove, grass and some earthy funk. Feel is a solid and slightly coating medium. Damn good beer, appropriate to the style.

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Photo of Zythophile
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle Date: 4/15/16
Palate Contaminants: none

Appearance is a very nice slightly opaque light gold. Plenty of head that sticks around for a while and leaves some thick lacing.

Smell is honey and floral. It's not particularly strong or varied, but those few flavors have some pleasant depth to them. As it warms up, I catch some sweet zucchini bread or banana bread.

Taste is malty and moderately sweet. The banana hangs around, and there's ever so slight bitterness that fades away quickly. Some of the sweetness is a little like cornbread. It's not like there's anything unpleasant, it just doesn't stand out for me. Good, not great. Maybe it needs more than three months. If I could just slather some butter on it and stick it in the microwave for ten seconds...

Feel has moderate-heavy carbonation, and weight is medium-light, although the flavor is heavyish.

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

Hazy pale gold with two finger of thick and lasting white head with heavy lacing. Banana, Belgian yeast and pepper in the nose, leaves a fairly dry impression. Tastes similar with some clove and herbal notes. Very good, but nothing out of this world.

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Photo of Bulabeers
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a hazy gold with one and a half fingers of snow white head. Tiny bubbles stream up in the glass and the head remains as you drink. Lot's of lacing on the glass
S: Clove, sweet banana, Belgian yeast, herbal and spicy hops
T: Clove, pineapple, no banana, hop bitterness is strong but not overpowering
F: Crisp and refreshing. perfect carbonation
O: Russian River nailed it here. This one is easier to come by in stores than their other beers. Usually only costs 4 or 5 dollars a bottle in stores. It tastes better than many that go for twice that price. This beer has all the flavor of a 10% triple in a more affordable and drinkable format.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottled on 9/1/15.

Pale gold with a tall, fluffy white head. Hazy despite keeping the yeast in the bottle. Tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Aroma was surprisingly subtle, but did become more significant as the beer warmed. Light banana, apple, lemon, and peppery spice, all coming from the yeast. Taste is very well balanced with an exceptionally smooth finish. Slight spice kick at the end. No sign of the 7+ ABV at all.

Duvel may be the benchmark for the style, but Damnation is not far behind.

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Photo of nawpnawp
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a very light hazy yellow with several fingers of head. The smell is lemony zest. Very crisp and fresh. As the head dissipates, it leaves lacing on the glass. The taste is a lot more malty than I expected -- in a good way. It has a nice bitter bite to it on the back end. All of the lemon nose is well balanced by the hops and malt. There is a nice pepper/spice to the finish.

Overall, it is a very easy and relaxing drink. Although it isn't my favorite style, it is one that anyone who has an appreciation for beer can enjoy.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear golden color with a small carbonated head. Retention and lacing are both minimal. Has a Belgian yeast aroma with cedar, slight sweetness and some spicyness. Smooth taste. Strong Belgian yeast, somewhat spicy, cedar and some sweetness. A very, very slight citrus note in the aroma and taste. Coriander not as big as I would have thought but is there. Medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Very good beer. 2nd try from Russian River.

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 3,802 ratings.
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