Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
3,824 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,824 |  Reviews: 1,151
Photo of spoony
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 375 ml bottle into a snifter.

A-This is a fine looking liquid. It is golden in color and foggy, but not cloudy (i.e., it was a consistently opaque color, not mixed dark and light, if that makes any sense). There wasn't much head to begin with, and what head there was quickly dissipated into a thin ring. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

S-It has a bright Belgian yeast note with hints of lemon, some hay, and grass. A touch of alcohol spice as the beer warms up.

T-I was a little disappointed by this one. There are some biscuit/cracker flavors, some oak, and a nice spicy alcohol kick on the finish, but I thought it was a little too refined for me. The smell had me hoping for a little bit more floral and citrus, but I didn't get it.

M-It was crisp and quite dry. There was a little prick of fine carbonation with each sip, which was well-matched for the mild flavor. This brew falls on the lighter side.

O-It is a pretty beer with a pleasing smell, but I felt a little let down by the taste. It came off a little too tepid for me.

 1,052 characters

Photo of mhurter
1/5  rDev -75.7%

Photo of wattoclone
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of TheRealBigC
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As per the instructions, I poured slowly to leave sediments in the bottle. The slow pour did not yield a thick head, but it did yield a really long-lasting one. Through the hazy yellow/orange body you could see tons of bubbles rushing up to support it. The appearance really was the best part of this beer. Not to say the rest was bad. In fact, it was rather great. Not too strong on the nose, but the beer was tasty, crisp, smooth, etc. I got some apple and pear in there which I enjoyed. The finish is dry but the beer leaves its mark in your mouth. Your mouth with beckon for another sip.

I mean, its not a true Belgian beer, obviously, but it hangs with the North American elites of Belgian styles such as Ommegang and Unibroue. From Russian River, I expect no less, though frankly it still surprises me how good all of their beers are.

 842 characters

Photo of huskermike12
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy light yellow in color. It poured with an eighth of a finger high white head that died down but never completely faded away, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There ar aromas of yeast in the nose along with some notes of orange citrus.
T: Like the smell, the yeast flavors really take center stage in the taste of this beer. There’s also a slight amount of sourness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It definitely coats your mouth.
O: This is a very interesting beer that has a complex taste. It’s a lot easier to drink compared to some of the other beers in the style, especially since there are no traces of alcohol in the taste.

 744 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy pale golden yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface. The beer has an eighth of a finger tall bright white head that reduces to a very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thin ring at thee edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of light fruits - pear, peach, lemon, and orange - as well as dominant yeast aromas. Very nicely balanced with a nice amount of complexity. As the beer warms, there is a light presence of grape and sourness.

T: Upfront there is a fair amount of sweetness from the lighter fruits (pear, peach, orange, and grape), then the yeastiness becomes apparent (both earthy and spicy), and a touch of floral/lemon hop bitterness in the finish which does not linger.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth, really coats the inside of your mouth, and light amounts of dryness.

O: This is a very good beer, great example of the style, and very enjoyable - though I honestly would expect nothing less from this brewer.

Thanks to my awesome wife for toting this one home from California on a business trip.

 1,208 characters

Photo of JasonSiedman
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of stillmoving
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of alecvdpoel
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of jurbanik
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of wildcats10
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of drjman
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of mschind
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 5-22-12

A- Great looking beer, poured into a snifter producing a fluffy white two finger head with excellent retentiion and nice lacing. A virtual storm of bubbles in the glass. Color is a slightly hazy medium gold.

S- Bananas and pepper with some distinctive Belgain yeast in the background.

T- Not quite enough sweetness to balance the dry finish. Maybe a bit too subtle for my palate but I was expecting something with more flavor and richness.

M- Carbonation is right for the style but it's still on the thin side.

O- A good effort but all things being equal, I'd rather have a Duvel.

 608 characters

Photo of e-MoNeY
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of pkalix
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

billowy white head with medium bubbles, dissipating with some fine lacing down the sides. definitely looks (and feels) like a heavier-bodied brew, but smells entirely like most of the unibroue offerings attempting to re-create a strong belgian ale. a bit more 'fruity' than i particularly like but for a 7.75% abv, this is an awesome achievement.
overall, it leaves a nice twang on the outsides of the tongue, is exactly what it tries to be, and is an excellent offering if strong, light belgian ales are what you crave. it just doesnt have that belgian signature and tastes so much like the unibroue ales... but very decent in its own right. and from california....

 667 characters

Photo of MrDanno96
3.41/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with 4 fingers of fluffy white head. So much head, in fact, that I couldn't get the whole bottle into my Delirium Tremens tulip glass. Lots of sticky lacing. A nice golden color, but cloudy from the yeast.

S: Lots of fruit on the nose. Oranges, lemons, applies, pears. Slight Belgian spiciness. A little more subdued than I would like.

T/M: Lots of sweet maltiness with notes of lemon and spice in the finish. Slight bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied with very subtle carbonation.

O: Just kind of "meh" for me, to be honest. I expect more from Russian River. Just a fair BSPA for me. Lots of better options from RR. Underwhelming nose and flavor profile.

 674 characters

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale, bright, hazy golden color with a creamy white head. According to the wife, the aroma reminds her of champagne - I have to assume that means yeast and candy sugar, and I'll toss in a bit of spice. One sip and...wow. This is awesome, awesome stuff. The best beer I've had in a long time. A perfect balance of biscuity malts and a crisp bite of hops, with a lingering slick mouthfeel. Notes of citrus and spice, too.

This is just...awesome. Perfectly balanced and excellent. It's been a while since I added a beer to my top five, but this one did it.

 563 characters

Photo of davey101
3.21/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 077, 375ml into a tulip glass.

A - Murky dark amber body. Massive fluffy off whit head. Great lacing and retention.

S - Massive vegetal notes. Coriander, lemons, hay, grass, spices, Belgian yeast then...BAM...celery or something. Just has a very soup like aroma.

T - Lemons, hay, and coriander spice with a large Belgian yeast spiciness. I'm still getting a large vegetal quality to it. Alcohol is noticeable. Mouth feel is spritzy and dry with a medium slightly coating mouth feel.

O - I think its just the freshness of this beer. I was getting more vegetal and hard spice notes than anything. Hopefully I can try an aged one at some point.

 651 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Braseltonage
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jaasen64
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, corked and caged. Thanks to stmgl01 for this one. Batch #77. Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours a hazy brownish golden with about a 2-3 finger white fluffy head that has great retention. Nice carbonation around the sides of the glass and lightly billowing groups carbonation coming up the middle of the glass. Leaves thick lacing coating the sides of the glass.

S- Lemony citrus hops mixed with honey and earthy grains/wheat, followed by light spices and some light malt.

T- Lemony citrusy hops mixed with some light sweet honey, light earthy grains and spices, with a very light malt background. Light citrusy malty aftertaste that lingers faintly for a little while.

M- Light, nice carbonation, slightly juicy, very drinkable, no abv burn.

O- I'd definitely have to say this is the best Belgian Pale Ale I think I've had. Everything in it was very well done from the appearance down to the mouthfeel. There were very nice well balanced flavors that provided for a very easy to drink and enjoyable beer. Not only that but beer felt very good on the palate and looked very good in the glass. I definitely enjoyed this beer, another great offering that I would highly recommend.

 1,200 characters

Photo of DioS
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 3,824 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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