Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

3,811 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,811 |  Reviews: 1,148
Photo of xnicknj
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at pope in philly

Pours a brilliant golden color with a slight haze. Thin white head dissolves, leaving little retention or lacing on the glass.

Floral hops with spice in the nose. Touches of apricot and pear with faint sweetness. Nice yeasty funk, straw and biscuit malts. Very soft alcohol presence.

Slight bite of hops with floral and spicy tones. Very Belgian feel, some yeasty and funky qualities with a dash of clove. Decent fruit sweetness with apricot and pear. Slight bitterness and warmth during the finish.

Medium body, higher carbonation, dry and tingly on the tongue. Pretty drinkable, alcohol is masked well, nice balance with the fruit. No surprise, another fantastic beer from RR.

 710 characters

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

Served from batch 065.

A: Massive 2" white head that left a nice lacing in my Duvel tulip glass over cloudy golden straw liquid.

S: Yeast, apples, pears, and alcohol.

T: A somewhat bitter yeastiness and cedar taste up front which transitions to pear, pepper, citrus hops and some slightly funky earthiness that lingers.

M: Thick viscosity and a full level of carbonation.

O: A thick and drinkable Belgian Strong Pale Ale that gives representatives from the old country a run for their money.

 496 characters

Photo of Nashvillain
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear straw gold into the glass with a huge white pillow of a head. Amazing coloration with tons of bright carbonation.

Smell is a light tartness with some funk in the background. A little light for a beer that should be so funky.

Taste starts with big belgian fruit esters then slips into a dry, rustic taste with just a hint of buttery diacetyl, not really a flaw, I think it enhances the flavor. There's a dry funk that takes a spot in the secondary but as the beer warms it starts to shine.

A really great beer, it's hard to rate this as just "any other beer", there's a sour funk that's expected from Russian River that just doesn't come through on this. Almost like Sanctification's little brother, maybe with time more funk would come through. Tastes really good when you burp for sure...

 814 characters

Photo of MEsoJD
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden hazy/thick body with a large fluffy/creamy head that dissipates fast. Adequate lacing.

S: Earthy hops and yeasty malt dominate. Fruit smell is very faint. I would say slight lemon citrus.

T: The smell follows the taste with the earthy hops and yeasty malt mentioned. The lemon citrus is easier to detect. It's also a little sweet and tart.

M: Crisp, apparent alcohol, medium bodied, a little dry, and medium carbonation.

O: Good for the style, yet it doesn't stand out enough. Still very satisfactory. Defiantly worth a try.

 542 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from batch 054.

A: appears a pale straw color,short white head, some retention and some lacing

S: notes of lemon zest dominate the front followed by notes of wheat, yeast, bread, and earthy notes. Lots of Belgian yeast character going on here, nice spiciness

T: taste starts with waves of malt and yeast, very spicy, dashes of citrus, finishes with a touch of tartness

MF: spritzy, high carbonation, light body

O: this is a nice, well balanced BSPA. Lots of flavor and nice representation of the style.

 514 characters

Photo of Coplains
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a tulip as directed by the bottle. Pours golden straw color with white foam that sticks around. Smells floral with light citrus. Very good mouthfeel with good carbonation but not fizzy. Taste is an elegant belgian ale. I am not a huge fan of Belgians but wanted to try a RRBC beer. This was the only one I could find I this area and it didn't disappoint.

 378 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice looking orange color with a fluffy white head on top. The smell of wheat and some citrus flood the nose on the beer. The taste of the brew has some interesting floral and fruity flavors going on in it. The mouthfeel of the beer was smooth, silky and easy to drink. Overall I feel this brew it quite impressive, much like everything from Russian River. I like that this one isn't a sour because everyone just raves about their sours so much. This one is really good and it's something a little different from them.

 544 characters

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

Pours a bright gold color with a think fluffy head that refuses to go away, great lacing throughout the drink. Aroma of sweet malts and bitter hops that are both present but working together. Taste follows the nose makes for a refreshing, easy drinking brew. Tastes a lot like redemption but more full bodied and complex.

 321 characters

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

Batch 061

A: Beautiful hazy amber orange color. With a very pillowy pure white head.

S: Sweet with some nice citrus notes. There is a little bit of a clove note, and some bready aromas. Subtle but very pleasant.

T: Sweet with a nice slight tartness. There are some nice citrus flavors, and perhaps just a little bit of a wine or juice character. Slight clove flavor, and the finish has just a hint of tartness again.

M: Soft of the palate, light in body, and dry.

O: Overall very nice. A somewhat lighter flavor, but still quite interesting. Another beer that seems to come off as the easiest thing in the world. Like it just happened.

 642 characters

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

A&S - Pours a hazy light gold with two fingers of bright white head. Smells mostly of clove, Belgian yeast, and sweet malt.

T&M - Hits light and crisp exploding with banana and clove, notes of peach, light fruit, Belgian sugars, then finishes with with Belgian yeast and a smooth alcohol burn. Very inviting medium bodied mouthfeel.

O - Overall a great brew, Not to heavy, not to light. I'm not really a big fan of Belgian beers however this might have been what I needed to go over the top. Can't wait to try RRBC's other Belgians. Stay thirsty my friends!

 559 characters

Photo of Wtbrooks
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle batch 063 into a tulip.
This has an amazing look to it. Nice golden color with one of the most fluffy looking heads I've seen. As the beer goes down the sides of the glass are coated with lacing.
For some reason I can't smell much here. Probably my fault though but some citrus and bread slight hop aroma.
Taste is yeasty with lemon and hops with a slight peppery flavor in the back.
I really like the carbonation in this one. Just thick enough with I wasn't expecting to like this beer but I'm really enjoying it. I won't go out looking for it, but if I found it in the fridge, I would be pleasantly surprised.

 629 characters

Photo of Wreckoncile
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml into Chimay goblet

A - Pours a hazy golden straw color that starts with a finger of quick, almost fizzy head that disappears quickly leaving only a slight film of foam on the middle of the beer.

S - Sweet, bready malt character shines through, and leaves a note of peachiness, banana, and some slight spiciness from the yeast that follows.

T - An initial malty goodness, reminiscent of a sweet bread, with a bit of a spicy lighter fruit following and then a finish that is just ever so slightly soured.

M - A bit more bite than I'm accustomed to from the style, giving the illusion of having this be more carbonated than it is. There's a peppery note in the flavor that just makes it seem a bit more burny on the tounge, and I rather enjoy that.

O - Solid version of the classic Belgian pale where the pale malts really dominate, but the yeast adds just the right blend of authenticity and breadiness.

 930 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Somewhat cloudy straw gold color with an average sized, smooth, creamy white head. Decent retention leaving a nice ring of lace.

S - Sweet pale malt is pretty strong. Nice apple, pear, and orchard fruit. A fair amount of Belgian yeast and subtle spiciness with clove and pepper being strongest. Subtle banana and other fruitiness.

T - Like the nose, the flavor is dominated by the sweet pale malt and bready flavors. Accompanying that is the orchard fruit. Slight zest and spice flavors in the background. The yeast isn't as strong on the taste and the other fruitiness isn't as present either.

M - Medium body with above average carbonation. Fairly spritzy and lively feel.

D - Easy to drink but I found it to be a touch bland for what the style can provide.

Notes: A little too strong on the bready, malty flavor compared to the fruity and yeasty flavors. It's a good and tasty beer but not a go to beer for either the style or the brewery.

 951 characters

Photo of t8s8l8
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look- a beautiful clarity right away. a golden tinted glass of water similar to a very light apple juice. a billowy head that falls slowly but shows its lasting power through its Belgian lacing that seems to stay intake. The appearance is very similar to champagne as well. (pours after the first became less clear and slightly darker)

Smell- fruity, peaches, apples, a slight wheat scent, mouthwatering aroma slight kick of alcohol, and some sprouts of tea (Chamomile) as well.

Taste- medium mouth feel, some lemon. a crisp to smooth taste that also has an astringent bitter bite in the back. definably dry in the back but the polar opposite in the front. taste stronger than it is.

Overall Experience- with so many other golden ales to grab I am not sure this would be my go to golden ale. I did however enjoy the bitter dryness that it possessed. a west coast hop character that fits well, and a mouth feel that would throw anyone for a loop. These characteristics however make it very enjoyable. and a great dinner with friends bottle of beer.

 1,051 characters

Photo of biglobo8971
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into RR tulip. The color is a faint yellow with a slight orange tinge, with just a faint head with faint lacing. Very effervescent and bubbly. Faint taste of tobacco, with a nice tartness, taste of green apple. Crisp and clean taste. Not my favorite "tion" but glad to try it. Lacks a little bit of "oomph" for my taste. Solid beer, will not seek out.

 370 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale straw colour with a small white head. Good head retention.

Banana, clove and higher alcohol notes of the nose. This is good but doesn't live up to the highs of some other RRBC beers.

Mildy herbal bitterness with very soft malt. Some clove spice. Mild banana and some fusel alcohol.

Medium light body with moderately high carbonation. Good.

A crisp Belgian Golden Ale but for me the bitterness cuts through just a bit too much for the style.

 455 characters

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

A nice pour into a pint glass.
The beer was a hazy yellow with a small head. Some lacing was left during the session.
The aroma was strongly Belgian with fruit and esters.
The flavor was spicy with a bit of pepper and clove. The malt flavor was evident.
The mouthfeel was light and bubbly, very refreshing.
A very pleasant beer. This is my introduction to tasting Russian River and I hope it is not the last. They have a flair for Belgians.

 441 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a draft into a pint glass. Color was light, crisp, pale yellow with maybe some light orange. No head, slight lacing and no film on the glass.

Smelled lots like a Saison with lots of flavors. Apple dominates.

Really an awkward taste, which is awkward to write. Sweet and slightly bitter.

High carbonation. Pretty crisp and clean, though.

I was pretty disappointed with this beer from what I’ve heard of it. I tried it as my second beer of the night and I just thought it was good, but nothing special. Ehh.

 524 characters

Photo of MrOH
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 63

Hazy deep yellow with a single finger of white head. Lace with every sip.

Perry and cider, bready malts, earthy spice. Absolutely love the pome-fruit fermentation character.

Earthy, deep. Bready and light. Finishes with the cider character. A great mix of flavors.

Light bodied, lots of fine carbonation.

I definitely prefer this to the Belgian originals.

 370 characters

Photo of MrDonQuixote
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 Ounce Bottle into a wine glass

A- Light gold color with a thick white head

S- Smells of fruit, mostly sour apple; also there is some yeast and malt aromas as well

T- Extremely mild taste, with a strong flavor coming in near the end. The taste is at first fruity, similar to green apples, and then comes the spice and hops. Not too bitter, but it is still hoppy. Quite unique; Never tasted a beer quite like it

M- Extremely smooth; nice carbonation.

O- Not sure if it lives up to the hype, but it is really good, and more then anything EXTREMELY unique. I just don't think my palate was ready for all that flavor. Will definitely revisit this in a few months

 679 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank this beer friday night with friends during RR tasting night!

Review from notes.

Appearance: Yellow bodied beer with egg shell white head.

Smell: Sour apples, lemons, and fruity. yeasty and bready malts. Spicy and peppery. Quite the nose on this beer.

Taste: Mild and pleasant spiciness. lemons, pepper, green apple, bready and yeasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied beer with moderate to high levels of carbonation. Very crisp, clean, and refreshing finish to this beer. Prickly carbonation.

Overall: really enjyed this beer from russian river. Its delicate and complex.

 581 characters

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

Poured into a snifter. Batch 60

Appearance. Beautiful golden color with a finger of pure white head. Small amount of bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass to maintain a very slight head on top of the beer.

Smell. Very fruity up front with some sour apple in there. After the initial burst of fruityness yeast esters become detectable.

Taste. Starts out quite dry similar to a brut champagne. After a second of lingering dryness there is a burst of fruity sweetness and bitterness. The sweetness is somewhere between sour apple and green grape. Along with the sweetness comes a nice underlying spice, similar to coriander or nutmeg. The bitterness is actually more reminiscent of what might be found in a pilsner, or any beer with noble hops. It is a pleasant bitterness which balances the beer well. The finish is dry with a bit of the bitterness lingering.

Mouthfeel. Light in body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Yet another great belgian style ale by Russian River.

 987 characters

Photo of dtivp
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy straw gold with one and a half finger white head that fades slowly into a cap with light lacing.

Aroma of lemon, yeast and strong spices.

Taste of apple, sweet malts balanced with lemon, spice, pepper and hints of bready yeast.

Mouth Feel was medium leaning light body with moderate carbonation, very crisp, dry with a slight bitterness.

Over all a very nice middle of the road Belgian Ale.

 408 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-golden slightly cloudy color with an off-white head

S-fruity, yeast and malty aromas with a hint of sweetness

T-friut and citrus with just a little bitterness and sweet

F-crisp, clean light to medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a well-balanced beer, a good accompaniement to food

 290 characters

Photo of curasowa
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, golden yellow color with one finger of head that fades to a ring and a steady stream of carbonation rising to the surface.

Aroma: Pale malt, yeast, slightly fruity, mostly a faint lemon aroma and just a touch medicinal.

Taste: Syrupy sweet initially, than a big wash of carbonation livens it up and really dances on the tongue leading to some mild, spicy bitterness over some pale malt on the back end and then finishing fairly clean.

The Rest: Great balance and an awesome mouthfeel make this a really enjoyable beer. Other than a slight medicinal note in the nose, it's not hot at all for being almost 8%. Another winner from Russian River!

 664 characters

Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 3,811 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.