Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

3,811 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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Ratings: 3,811 |  Reviews: 1,148
Photo of IceAce
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden bronze with a full finger of dense egg-white foam and superb clarity. The nose reminds of an excellent pils with added banana...light-n-malty with just a hint of yeast.

Foretaste is whisper quiet leading to a nice earthen malty midtaste with hints of citrus. The finish is smooth with a nice crisp hop bite and an enjoyable dryness.

Seek one out today...

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Photo of lou91
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Never trust a book by its cover should be the mantra of BA and this is a classic example. Beautiful big brown bottle with champagne caged cork and batch 001. As I opened the bottle the cork was ready to fly off - nice pop and a beautiful looking pale golden cloudy brew. This is where the story takes a downturn. It doesn't exactly suck but not fit the style or presentation. Crisp, yeasty but imbalanced. I hope the brewers read this and retool for batch 002.

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

Had this at a wet hop tasting at RFD’s in Washington DC. This came out with a yellow body with good clarity and a slight topping of white foam. The aroma is a mix of fruits like apples and various spices. A doughy malt can be slightly detected in the background. Taste is similar with a spicy doughy malt before a bit of sweetness and more spice leads to the mildly bitter finish. Also there are plenty of fruit notes in the flavor as well. Body is about medium with a good carbonated feel to it. Pretty good drinkability as well. Pretty good offering from Russian River I am glad they brought this to the tasting.

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

Sampled on tap at Father's Office in Santa Monica. In the glass, this brew is a cloudy, but bright amber with a full & creamy white head. Nose is an enticing blend of apricot, herbal spices, sour apple, & coriander (although sampled in the same session as Horny Devil, the coriander in this brew seems almost non-existent). Enjoyable blend of sweet fruits and mild spicy hops. More subtle hints of sour apple throughout along with some drying woodiness. Medium-bodied brew with perfect carbonation & a gentle warming as it closes. Damn, I'd like to have this on tap nearby.

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

Batch 002, Sampled April 2005
As I pour this beer I get sharp fruity notes of pears and apples as well as a note that reminds me of wildflower nectar. The beer pours a lightly hazy gold color that is topped by a frothy three-finger thick pale head that is held aloft by a persistent carbonation. As I go in for a deeper smell of the aromatics I notice that the nectar quality of the aromatics has increased. There is also a light spicy quality to it that reminds me of orange peel, coriander, a hint of and ginger. The aroma is soft and floral yet has some astringent notes that one might pick up from a hearty flower on a weed.

As this beer hits my tongue for the first time it almost disappears because this beer is fairly soft and also because the carbonation causes it to foam up as it flows across my tongue. This beer is fairly dry with a hint of sweet grain character that rounds out the middle and finish of this beer. The taste is quite pleasing and quite quaffable, I get soft notes of lemons including a bit of acidity, some notes of pear, vanilla, chamomile, and soft ginger. There is a soft astringency in the finish that is a combination of hop bitterness and yeast derived characteristics. There is a definite soft herbal component to this beer, from the soft spicy overtones up front to the light astringency in the finish. It reminds me of the balance that a good fresh cut basil makes, though I do not pick up much in the way of basil actually in this beer.

Overall this beer is very soft, and oh so drinkable, which is certainly the definition of a Belgian Golden Ale. The flavors are really well integrated, and there is certainly a very good balance between the soft flavors of malt and fruit and the notes of spices, astringency and hop bitterness. The more I sit and sip this beer the more impressed with it that I become. At first I did not think that this beer had enough huza/ oomph to it, but in the end this lack of over-the-top flavors is what makes this beer so enjoyable. If one looks to the prototypical Duvel, it certainly does not bowl one over with flavor. Damnation is a wonderful interplay between the simple malt & hop notes and the soft, sometimes sharp, yeast fermentation characteristics. Vinnie this is a classic example of this style and it is done quite well, I am not sure which one I prefer Duvel or Damnation, I guess I will just have to do comparison.

Sampled June 2004
Pours a hazy deep straw color and is topped by a creamy off-white head. This has a spicy aroma that has notes of apple. The nose is both fruity and dry at the same time. Paradoxally the taste is dry but sweet in the finish (usually this is found in the reverse order in most beers). This has a very nice herbal character in the finish. The front and middle of this beer evokes notes of apple. This goes down quite well, with a bit of astringency in the finish that balances the fruitier components of this beer quite well.

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

Sampled on tap at O'Brien's. "1 year old"

This ale poured a cloudy, golden color with thin white foam that settled. The smell was modest: a slightly sweet, mellow, vinous aroma. The taste was lightly sweet with notes of sugar. There was a vinous quality to the malty taste. It was lightly fruity with mild hop presence in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth, fruity and lightly sweet, with medium body and low carbonation. This was a pleasant ale.

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

Draught @ O’Brien’s San Diego
A special treat as I had the current batch and the one year old batch, rare to get a two release sampling. The beer pours a clear gold to amber color with the head white and modest in size, the texture creamy with the resultant lace a slender skirt to seal of the glass. Nose is sweet and crisp with a bit of yeast, hints of coriander and peaches; nice blend of aromas, start is lightly sweet, nice grain profile with the top fair to middling in feel. Finish is stern in its acidity, the hops perfect, the ABV gives a snappy end to the beer, dry and lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of Dmann
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at O'Briens and what an amazing beer this was. It poured a nice medium gold color with a little lace that stuck to my glass all the way down. The smell was quite spicy with a clove scent as well. The taste was wonderful. Bananna, yeast and a slight peppery flavor were quite dominant. This beer reminded me of a very strong hefeweizen. Very drinkable indeed, try it if you see it.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This arrived with a plain but solid gold appearance. There was no head or lace worth mentioning.

The banana flavors come out strong in both the smell and taste. The smell is very nice and powerful. The taste is pretty good too. If there's any weakness, it's a fairly sharp and almost acidic mouthfeel. It still remains easy to drink, however.

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Photo of Mark
2.69/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm trying real hard guys, I really am. This belgian style ale was had at the fun Russian River pub. This beer poured a cloudy pale gold, head was pure white and retained well, lacing was good. Banana notes dominated the aroma and taste profiles, the usual yeasty characteristics were also present. This Belgian strong golden checks in at 7% I'm glad I tried it, upset I didn't like it. I would like nothing more to report one day that I had found one I do like. Suzanne liked it though! I almost fell off my stool. I'll bet most if not all lovers of Belgians will like it, seems well made.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium gold color. Small head. Aroma is malty and slightly yeasty. A medium bodied Belgian ale. Flavors are fruity, orange and citrus. Very clean. Hides the 8% alcohol very well. Yeasty, malty and citrusy. Very drinkable. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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