Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

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3,843 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
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Ratings: 3,843 |  Reviews: 1,155
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged.. Batch 003

cork explodes with passion, lots of bubbles visible in bottle.. that's new... and no fizzing. hmm.. pours a brilliantly clear golden color with steady streams of carbonation throughout the transparent, champagne-like body. 7-finger head is monstrous, dissipates over a few minutes of admiration to a healthy, craterific one finger soapy mess. lacing is left high and low.

aroma is perfumey and perfect.. textbook orange peel and coriander.. yeast is pronounced but carries more fruit than say, la fin du monde. slightest hint of butter here, barely noticeable. something funky and botanical about the aromatic hops.. leaning towards the green fresh aroma of la chouffe. yum!

taste is immaculately rewarding.. at once refreshing and flavorful.. raspberry aftertaste with a substantial body and a welcome, dry, alcohol presence. hoppy and crisp. some orange and sweet, underdeveloped malty sugars... this beer is fun to appreciate while looking at it, smelling it, AND tasting it with few flaws. like your duvel or la fin du monde, this beer provides style comfort and signs of expert craftsmanship.

sure, its not bleeding with smokiness or plum rinds, but it is pretty much flawless in its presentation of a fabled, old style. i personally prefer the wild ales and experimental stuff from russian river, but there is no way to avoid giving this cool daddy his due.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This 750 ml. was carried with love by UncleFlip from Vintage Cellar in Virginia. And for that act of kindness, words can’t do justice.

The bottle was capped with a cork and a wire cage, which came off easily enough, thanks to the now trusty heavy duty cork puller. As the beer was poured into a tulip, a golden clear body with rolling carbonation, and a foamy white head were evident.

The aroma was signature Belgian, with an earthy yeast, orange peel, coriander, and perfumey alcohol. The taste was sweet-sour-tart, and darn near perfect. Seemingly simple and approachable with a pale malt sweetness and airy carbonation at first, the beer exploded on the tongue mid palette with citric sourness with a banana oil tropical touch. Faintly grassy hop bitterness momentarily poked out its head, but was buried in the apricot, and raspberry flavors in short order. All this flavor switching went on without the beer ever losing its drinkability.

This was my first Russian River, and if I can help it, it won’t be the last.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Would like to give my sincere thanks for Donnebaby for bringing this beer all the way to Japan.

A - Yellow hazy body with whte head
S - Fresh tree sap and honey with nice yeast
T - Honey, no bitterness. Slightly sweet with a bit of spice and peaches.
M - Creamy mouthfeel and medium body
D - This is a pleasant and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got home from work and decided I might as well pop this one open. Batch 002. A nice loud pop with wisps of white smoke preempt the goldenrod yellow pour into my SN tulip that produces a light airy two finger head of bone white foam. Aromas of crisp grainy maltiness melds with banana bread, hints of clove and pepper. A bit of fresh apple and pear comes through as well with an underlying earthy, spicy yeast. Fresh and vibrant.

The initial sip brings a light lemony citrus pale malt background that dances across the palate. Fresh peeled bananas mesh with apples and pears...nice and fruity. Soft spicy background with hints of cloves and a dash of pepper. Creamy throughout and well balanced. Nothing seems out of place here..a harmonious balance of flavors. Finishes with earthy yeast spiciness to clean off the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a well placed carbonation that does not overdo it. A truly satisfying, fruity Belgian golden ale. I'm glad this came in a 750ml bottle as I am struggling not to gulp it down. Another yummy creation from Russian River. Thanks to wezil for the opportunity...now I must go buy more!

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

Had the pleasure of having this at the Toronado in a nice Belgian Damnation goblet.

Appearance: little head; nice golden color; lace for a time.

Taste: strong golden ale with some funk at the end. Quite enjoyable.

Drinkablility: slight funkiness has you coming back for more.

A very approachable beer. A lot like their Redemption except with some more bitterness in it.

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Photo of baiser
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, pale straw colour, with a fluffy white head, great retention. Thick, syrupy and sweet. Some pineapple, lemon and zest in the aroma. Taste was very sweet, fruity and floral. Somewhat tangy and spicy. Medium bodied and great drinkability. Finishes a tad bitter and dry. Wonderful beer. Russian River can do no wrong.

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

.750ml Corked and caged bottle labeled Batch 003. Poured into a tulip.

The liquid is a clear, bright, honey gold. There is a 1" white cloud of foam that has good retention. Slippery lacing.

There is a light yeast aroma and just a small hint of clove. As it warms I could pick up some lemon, pear scents. Some hops detectable way off in the shadows. Nice overall aroma.

The flavor is spicy, some banana, lemon meringue. Good malt character. Some black pepper in there as well. Little bit of sourness towards the end.

Damnation has a creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation, very lively. Nice malty finish. HIh drinkability, refreshing and complex. This is my first Russian River brew and I am looking forward to acquiring more.

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

APP: Golden clear with a fluffy white head. Good lacing

Smell: Phenolic and yeasty. Pear, bananas with some spice. Orange and peel and coriander.

Taste: There's an alcohol undertone thorughout. Sarts off a bit citrusy. fades to spicy and finishes dry and clean with a touch of hop bitterness and alcohol.

Mouth: Nice and smooth. Carb high but works well.

Drink: Good

Overall: Very solid brew here and well executed within the style.

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

I have yet to be disappointed by Russian River. They bring it every time.

Scored this bottle from Vinnie Cilurzo at American Beer Fest. We rapped for a little bit, dropped some knowledge, then he left me with these bottles.

My sample poured with a massive, pillowy white head of various sized bubbles.

Awesome aroma of phenolics, spice, clove, and some banana. A classic Belgian yeast strain.

The taste was more malt than hops, but with a delicate maltiness. Perhaps a bit of pils malt, Vinnie? Or maybe a soft English pale malt too.

High carbonation lends to this beer's drinkability. Nothing too bold or amazing, just a typically fine-crafted brew from one of the world's best.

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

I got this bomber at Union Jack's on the Manatawny

Pours a slightly hazy, but beautiful gold with a 1 finger head of white foam that drops to islands and a ring. Good carbonation evident. Some lacing observed.

Aroma is very fruity, bananas, white pepper, maybe clove, bubble gum, very spicy, like a Belgian Strong should be. Hints of yeast as well.

Good flavors of bananas, pears, pepper, bubble gum, yeast, lemony tart. A nice level of hop bitterness. Spicy, bright flavors. Balanced very well. A long, spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is tart, effervescent carbonation on the tongue. Lip smacking sweetness, but this beer is not sweet. Feels full in your mouth.

This is a very good Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Bright flavors, tart, tingly, yeasty, spicy, this has alot going on.

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

750ml bottle. Batch 003.

Pours a delicate-looking bright golden-caramel in color. Tight layer of white head perched atop. Nice lacing of the glass. Aromas are yeasty/doughy, along with bannanas, clove, and peppery spice. Flavor is lighter than expected, but still good. More of the bready yeast flavors soaked in estery fruit juice. Balanced nicely by a snappy hop-bitterness at the end. Very clean finish on the palate, with no lingering aftertaste. Well-hidden ABV only adds to the enjoyment. A very nice first try of the much-hyped (and well deserved) RRBC. More of this will be purchased.

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Photo of rkhaze
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pors a slightly hazy golden color with a big, dense, tiny bubbled head. Carbonation that champagne would covet.

Sweet pale malt smells with candied tropical fruit aromas and a fresh lemony yeasy smell at the end.

Taste is more subtle than the aromas. Lighter in flavor than expected. Pale malt, pineapple and citrus fruit. Finishes dry with a refreshing tart yeast flavor and an annoying, albeit light, alcohol bitterness.. Not a lot of complexity but good nonetheless.

Light bodied with a full creamy mouthfeel. Crisp, refreshing finish and tongue tingling carbonation.

Decent flavors but filling and highly carbonated.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.32/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with an active stream of carbonation in my Duvel glass that feeds a nice white cover over the beer, keeping that damned beer in the glass.

Aroma is not strong even in a big tulip- surprising. Slight spiciness, slight fruit, slight sweetness. But not interesting at all.

Flavor dominated by sharp, slightly bitter spiciness. Some fruitiness (tart lime?), but strongly overcome by the sharp tones. Nothing interesting to me.

Moutfeel on the thin side of moderate. Not something that I care for.

EDIT: How's this for weird- I burped later on, and guess what I tasted? Banana. Sure didn't taste it going down!

SECOND EDIT: Two days later, I had left about 1/3 of the 750 sitting in my fridge- not sure why, I didn't really want to finish it, but I didn't want to be unnecessarily harsh in my review either. So I poured the rest in a glass, yeast and all, and tried again. Now that it has "aged" a bit, and it includes the yeast, I get a solid banana-pineapple-clove nose, and the peppery-dry sharpness has mellowed a bit, but it still dominates. Still not something I am real excited about, but I did up the ratings somewhat.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice bright and hazy straw color with a 2 finger head that falls back to a finger leaving sticky tendrils of lace on the glass. Nose is really nice. Lots of lemony zest upfront, but also with an almost black peppery spice as well. With a very big inhale, I find the last 0.75 of the inhale to change character and give me light alcohol-innoculated banana. Very nice. The flavor is not as complex as the aroma. It starts with a crisp lemon, slightly spicey follows finishing with a light sweetness, but very dry. It really hits me on the back of the tongue with the dryness. The feel is moderate with a light carbonation. No real hint of the alcohol except when I take the deep breath. Good beer. A treat for my senses.

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Photo of clvand0
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason Alstrom for this bottle. Shared with fellow BAs Sheepnutz and kmpitz2. Pours a cloudy yellow/golden color with a tall head that falls at a medium rate and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of lemony-citrus stuff going on with some spicing, some corriander and maybe a hint of funk. That funk is present in the flavor, almost has a musty funk going on - but in a very good way. Citrus and spice and some earthy hops. I really like the flavor, but it's different than most Belgian Pales. Mouthfeel is slightly thick and the drinkability is very good.

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

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a slightly hazy medium gold color with three fingers of head. There is a decent amount of lacing. The smell is fruity and sweet, with lots of pepper and citrus aromas. A very pleasant aroma. The taste is tart at first, with some sweet and sour flavors. It's slightly bready and spicy as well. The finish has some hop bitterness, brilliant. The mouthfeel is decently thick and smooth. The drinkability is great, since it's fairly low in alcohol for a Belgian Strong Pale. Hats off to Chris for sharing this beer, what a good lad!

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle technically courtesy of Skyhand, but since I paid for it, it's mine ;)

Pours a nice hazy golden color with a pretty nice and dense pure white head. Lacing is nice, but retention is a bit iffy.
Smell is coriander, definitely musty yeast, some hops, and a bit of citric funk. Fruitiness is pretty well there, but the other smells of spices and yeast seem to overshadow any fruitiness in the aroma.
Taste is a bit malty, some fruit is definitely present as well (grapes, golden apples, etc). Spice comes next, coriander is abundant and kind of washes into a really strong spicy hop flavor that I think kind of detracts from the rest of the flavor in this one, but that's only if I have to give fault to this beer. Alcohol makes itself known in the finish, and it warms slightly as it slides down the gullet.
Mouthfeel is a little off, it's not quite as dry as I like my belgians and certainly not as fruity. Still pretty darn good though.
Overall, a good offering in every sense of the word. It's not amazing, but I could see myself downing a chalice or two were I ever in CA. That said, I can't wait until I get to the other two RR beers I have hidden.

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Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml. This is the most authentic Belgian golden that you can possibly find in the USA made by a USA brewery. Sparkling yellow, with a nice white head. Aroma of banana and clove, along with the pale malts. Flaors are malty, with the dominance of pale malts and a pleasant fruity palate. Fruity finish. Light and enjoyable, perhaps the best Belgian golden that I have had...

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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 GCBrewingCo
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear pale straw but not quite golden with a white frothy head which rose tall and then fell back to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity and interesting with some spicy orange citrus notes coupled with light yeast spice or coriander. The aroma contained a nice maltiness and sweetness and some slight peppery notes.

The flavor was very nice with pepper being the most dominant spice. The first flavor on the palate was spice followed by a nice malty backbone and earthy bittering component. The flavor contained just the slightest amount of alcohol which added complexity and did not detract.

The finish was dry with lasting spiciness of pepper and slight coriander/belgian yeast spice with some malt impression long into the aftertaste. The body was just medium and well done. The beer was infinitely drinkable. I cannot imagine a beer going down more smoothly. I may be in the minority with my review, but this beer was very good, find a bottle...better yet, find two!

750 ml bottle, corked and bailed. $9.29 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA (thanks Mike W). The most appropriate beer for today since the H392 got set aside today in NC and will not be looked at for awhile longer. Damnation!

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

Thanks for Starchild for this beauty received in B&G BIF

Pours the color of 14K gold. Big, white formay ahead sits atop the golden yellow nectar.
Aroma has hints of orange and lemon citrus, some white pepper, a bit of coriander and candi sugar. Bit of grass and hay also emerge.
Flavor has a fresh sort of Grains of Paradise hint with some dough-like malt flavors and a hint of pale malt and simple sugar.
Mouthfeel is lighter side of medium bodied. Great and appropriate carbonation make the malt and spices play on the palate and a very lively beer is enjoyed. A bit of dryness invades the finish but is just short enough to not take away from the cornucopia of flavors which emerge.
Drinkability is extremely high. Really a thirst quenching lighter Belgian and amazingly crafted for sure.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a caged and corked 750ml bottle I spotted in a small corner packie whilst out beer-prowling. Cost: $8.99 for the 750ml. Label stated this particular bottle is from batch #003. Poured, per the label directions, into my Duvel tulip glass.
Appearance: clear golden yellow color with vibrant carbonation and a modest white head that rather quickly fell apart and imploded into a thin skim. No lace.
Smell: ooh, that's nice! Fragrances of coriander, hints of cloves and pepper, pears, and pale malts stewed spiced apples. Very floral and on the lines of a witbier.
Taste: wow, is that good! Spiced pears right off the bat. Some light bubblegum and slightly un-ripe banana. Fruity esters wane mid-palate as spicy hops and alcohol begin battle for supremacy. Coriander and white pepper eke out a narrow victory as each pull slides off the tongue and head down the throat. The one constant throughout is the solid yeasty, dusty malt platform.
Feel: medium bodied, abundant carbonation gives it a velvety feel as it scours the tongue.
Drinkability: uh, yeah, it's damnably drinkable! I gotta say, I could drink this all night, given the opportunity. Russian River scores again with Damnation. Well worth whatever it takes to get a bottle.

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

This golden brew has slight chill haze. A big crop of cotton white head is formed on top. Retention is very good. And lace is better than average. This is my kind of aroma. Yeasty doughiness mingles with banana esters and yellow cake dough. Mmmm. Smells damn good. This beer is quite the easy drinker. And very tasty. Bananas and pears mingle with that doughy breadiness on the palate. There's some bright citric tones as well. Very refreshing and very nice. The carbonation is fine and well placed. Body is about light-medium. Very solid for my first RR experience.

Thanks go out to THE longbeachbum for the sample.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle review from 28JUN05...
Sampled this bottle (which somehow fell into my hands at the end of the ABF) last Wednesday night...relaxing outside on warm Summer night....

Pours into the goblet a bright golden, with a slight haze. Fluffy, stark white head tops things, rising to an inch then holding steady at 1/2". Fine, steady and incessant stream of bubbles rises within. Nice lacework clings to the gob...

Nose is dryish and slightly spicy, with tropical fruit action and a touch of breadiness. Almost hefeweizen-like. Medium bodied, the Damnation is, but with lots of carbo. Makes for a foamy/bubbly feel, but not really rough at all on the tongue.

Light bready malt hits the palate first, followed shortly by lots of fruit: pear, banana, mango-like tropical notes. A light spiciness enters the fray, a bit on the peppery side actually. Quite dry in the finish, with light floral hoppiness rounding things out. Refreshingly lovely! Prosit!!

overall: 4.25
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5

On-tap review from 02JUN05...
Sampled vom Faß at Zeitgeist.... Poured a crystal clear golden color, with a thin, wispy white head but lots of lacework. Nose was both a touch bready and toasty, with a yeasty, Belgian lean to it. Good body, all-in-all, and fairly smooth to boot. Nice flavor! Bready again, with a smidge of tropical fruit. Belgian qualities, yeasty, dry, fairly strong, a hint of spiciness.... A solid Russian River brew. (Noticed LOTS of people drinking this when I visited the Russian River Pub the next day). (4.0/3.5/4.5/4.0/4.5 - 4.15)



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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003.
Clear golden with mucho carbonation. Topped by a thick, sticky, beaten egg-white like head, which eventually falls to just a swirl and leaves tons of lacing behind.
Smells of funky Belgian yeast first, then grassy, apples, mango and passion fruit, some white grape. Can't wait to drink it.
Tastes of sour fruits and citrus fruits like mango and passion fruit. Nicely spicy too. A touch of bitterness in the finish, as well as some lingering ripe pineapple and sometimes bubblegum. Yummy.
Tons of sharp bubbles attack the tongue at first yet it remains very smooth in the mouth... medium-bodied. Nice.
This is enjoyable, highly drinkable stuff.

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 3,843 ratings