Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

1,146 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,800
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.

 253 characters

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.

 648 characters

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.

 537 characters

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.

 539 characters

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.

 458 characters

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

I have had this beer before out of a bottle, but this review is based on the tap taster at RRBC. Before I remembered this tasting very similar to that of duvel. This time, it was much more sweet than I remembered. Still a nice spicy Belgian yeast character. I even got a touch of oak and vanilla. Good stuff.

It got a 85/100.

 326 characters

Photo of Sandalwood
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016, pours a cloudy golden color with a huge white rocky head. There is quite a bit of soapy lacing. The odor for me is spicy, clove, pimento, banana, bread like, a little citrus peel, apricot, pineapple, slight cracker. The taste for me is crisp, spicy, clove, cardamom, pineapple, banana, bread like, herbal, slight lemon. Slight bitterness, dry aftertaste.

 364 characters

Photo of gandres
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap to glass @ Russian River Brewing tap room@ Santa Rosa,CA
A: Golden, clear, off white small head, slowly disappears
A: grains, woody
T: lightly bitter
MF: soft carbonation
OA: Very good beer for the style, ok to repeat, look for
Drank: April 14, 2016

 253 characters

Photo of Nin10dude64
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz shorty poured into a tulip

appearance is a splendid goldenrod, lightens up as it gets warmer. A two finger head forms but dissipates quickly. Hazy

alcohol is immediately present upon first whiff, banana, apricot or perhaps peach but it smells much like a hefeweizen

slightly bread taste, the alcohol warmth sits in the throat, again reminiscent of a hefe with lots of banana notes

creamy chewy and smooth, I greatly enjoyed this BPA. however it is likely that its age affected the beer, I had this a little over 6 months of the printed bottling date (6-23-15) but it had aged splendidly

 596 characters

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.

 605 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale golden color. Aroma is tart, yeasty and fermented. Flavor is crisp slightly tart and very clean. Has a solid body and overall is another solid beer from Russian River.

 180 characters

Photo of mac31
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Yeasty, fermented honey, stone fruit nose

Subtlety sweet grainy entry, yeasty esters, white pepper spiciness, hint of orange pith/citrus, fermented honey mid palate, subtle waves of stone fruit/ apricot. Soft but firm hoppy bitterness. Light floral and spice from the hops. Thin bodied, soft carbonation. I really enjoyed the the soft side this beer provided. Dry lingering finish that loosens up as you drink on. A touch of grains noted in the finish as well. Nice, solid brew. A little on the dry side for my palate, which takes the drinkability down a notch for me. If you buy this you won't regret the purchase.

 616 characters

Photo of unclekeith
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

6 weeks after bottling

L: Hazy straw color, bone minimal white head that has some staying power
S: Bread, Belgian esters, wheat
T: Nice citrus, true to style
F: Great carb, no heat
O: Great BSPA, infinitely crushable,

 218 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy golden yellow with little head.

Faint scent of banana candy.

Delicate flavors of spicy tang.

While these descriptors are what I came away with, it's more appropriate to say this beer is its own flavor--with profiles that are not easy to put one's finger on, a nice delicate brew with some decent complexity.

 317 characters

Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not the biggest fan of this mustard yellow look to the beer, not as gold as I hoped, but I'm just whining now.

Good lacing from an excellent carbonation underneath a tight head with oddly uniform suds.

Sweet yeasty citrus smell and a taste that adds in more vegetal freshness and peach/pear sweetness.

Good beer!

 316 characters

Photo of EMV
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

L: Pours a clear medium golden color. Thick creamy white head with fantastic retention and lacing.

S: Citrus and wheat... bread and yeast.

T/F: Absolutely delicious Belgian Strong Golden ale. Complex citrus notes... lemon and grapefruit mixed with Belgian yeasts. Hints of cloves and spice. Ample carbonation yet smooth.... and absolutely delicious.

O: Just a fantastic beer from Russian River. Would have again any time.

 474 characters

Photo of anon
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Billowing head supporting by excellent carbonation, bubble trails constantly rising to the top. Smells excellently spicy and fruity. Peach, banana, apple, bready.

What a treat for the taste buds. Picking up tons of fruity flavour; pear, banana, peach, white grape, slight citrus rind , orange peel. Some yeastiness makes way for the coriander and clove, even some light vanilla notes and bubblegum. Hops wash over at the end and balance this out really well. What a wonderful flavour bomb! Very complex.

Creamy and smooth. Drinks like a champ. I'm a little late to the Russian River boat, Damnation being my first go, but I'm thoroughly impressed and can see that this brewery lives up to the hype. Hopefully I can have more luck finding their other offerings in the near future.

 782 characters

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.

 206 characters

Photo of AppaZappa
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

05/2014 bottle poured into tulip glass. Pours rich golden yellow with some haze, generous head that fades after a few minutes. Smell is green apple, white grape, yeast, banana. Taste is sweet up front--grape, bit of citrus-- then ester, pepper, slight yeast and alcohol. Very nice finish that is very dry and comes back a bit sweet. Mouth is light and crisp, fairly effervescent.

This is a really nice beer. Trying to remember it fresh (bottle and tap), but this was great with a year and a half on it in the bottle. Great representation of the style.

 553 characters

Photo of Johnnyvelvet
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tap @ Toronado San Diego. Appearance extremely clear and gold. Medium lacing with light head. Citrus and fruity aroma with tastes of fruit, citrus, and a strong Belgium wheat beer. Very tasty and extremely well made!

 216 characters

Photo of Beerswag
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden straw color, clear, not much lacing, head is creamy then gone quick. Smell is banana, pear, plum, and a hint of dry hop floral essence. Taste is ripe banana throughout, bubblegum, and a slight dry hop floral essence on the finish. Pair with goat cheese, brie, or chicken.

 283 characters

Photo of Slack
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Straw to pale gold in color and clear. A lot of head that settles to about an 1/8 inch. Lacing present as it drinks down.

Floral, yeast, hops, and some mild fruit on the nose.

Taste is mildly sweet with hops, fruit, and yeast.

Mouthful is light to medium and smooth with medium to heavy carbonation. Finish is dry and lingering.

A solid drinkable beer with hidden alcohol. Very enjoyable.

 396 characters

Photo of wdberkley
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks gorgeous in a glass with bubbles dancing in a tornado to the top. Looks like a golden sunrise in a glass. Some fruit on the nose - banana, grape, little clove. Tastes similar, little sweet malt comes through, and the esters are defiantly forward. Almost finishes bitter, yet sweet. Great Belgian Pale.

 311 characters

Photo of Zonk
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No detailed notes but noticeable yeast esters, finsishes slightly sour. Light to medium body, green apple on the palate. This is a very good Belgian Pale

 156 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.
LOOK: Pours with a finger's worth of white foam that refuses to die. Lacing is thick and high.
SMELL: Mild aromas of sour yeast, green apples, pears, white grapes, bready malts, and cloves that entangle with subtle aromas of bananas and earthy yeast
TASTE: Initial taste is composed of mild flavors of bready malts, green apple, pear, white grape, and banana along with subtle flavors of sour yeast. Mild aromas of cloves, subtle flavors of earthy yeast, and the slightest hint of alcohol enter right after as all initial flavors persist.
FEEL: Light-bodied and highly carbonated. Goes down somewhat rough and finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: It was a great beer. No further comments.

 726 characters

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 3,800 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.