Damnation | Russian River Brewing Company

1,146 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 1,146 | Ratings: 3,801
Photo of MHurley
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love the over all look of this beer. With a corked top with the great Russian River twist cover. Thick neck and great art work. Pour a clear yellow with amazing head that give off a great aroma of peppery and fruit all in one. The taste though wasnt for me, kinda earthy but with some hop taste and booze. But a great beer to add to the collection! I love this bottle. Its like the ideal woman

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Photo of AnalogErik
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mouthfeel was flatter, smooth - the carb didn't get me, which is contrary to some reviews on here. The beer doesn't hide the booze too well, but the spices and malts come through well. Wasn't thrilled with this, but I can appreciate how well it represents the style.

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Photo of tigerbeer90
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden with lots of tiny bubbles forming a large white head
S: Mild, some spices and slight fruit
T: Belgian Pale. some lighter fruits. Some banana and pear
M: very light and dry with a lot of effervescence
O: This is my first Russian River beer. It was an excellent representation of the style, but not what I would say was spectacular. Don't get me wrong, it is probably a top 5 BPA, just not sure if I would pay to have another. Looking forward to trying more of theirs!

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Photo of Kinsman
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours as expected with a nice golden orange body and a big fluffy white head. Slightly fruity on the nose but not nearly as much of an esters note as some similar beers give off. Taste reveals a bit more of the peppery character of this yeast but it's well balanced overall. Not quite on the same level as Duvel or Delirium, but solid nonetheless.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at Monks Cafe in Philly. The beer had a murky, pale yellow appearance with visible carbonation and a good sized head that dissipated. I smelled a combination of fruity flavors, but especially a fruit like a pear, mixed with cloves and yeast. The beer tasted slightly hoppy with earthy wheats and that advertised banana flavor. But, the aftertaste had a bitter citrus and grape flavor that was a bit strong for my tastes. The body of the drink was airy with a light carbonation. Overall, the aftertaste was a bit much for me, but I liked the combination of flavors and the body of the drink.

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Photo of Johnct
3.32/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Eh... just a typical wheaty belgian ale. Don't shell out money for this. Probably the worst of the ---ation beers from RR. I'll have to try the higher-rated ones

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow with stream of carbonation

White foam ring, foamy lacings

Peppery aroma

Peppery spice taste , wine like taste ,Belgian qualities

Good beer

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Photo of KTCamm
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

7/26...on tap at Monks in Philly. Pale gold, heavy high white foam. Faint fruity nose. Gritty hop, and yeasty taste. Pears. Peppery. Simple blonde, yet hugely flavorful. Worthy of the setting.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It smells like fresh baked banana bread with a little earthy hay as well. Good carbonation on the mouthfeel. Flavor is nothing spectacular but very good as well. Reminiscent of a lot of Belgian pales, with notes of grassy yeast, light citrus and honey with some rye grain floating in the background as well. Good beer but not a flagbearer for the style.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden yellow in color with a tinge of orange. Cloudy in appearance. Light, Belgian flavors of banana and clove. Good carb level. Pleasant, easy drinking brew.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really impressed with this. This Belgian ale is unlike any other offering in the style. Usually Belgian goldens are too sweet for me, with too much banana and clove going on. Not damnation. Hops on the tongue balanced out by sweet malt and a bit of funky character. I'll be getting this again!

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Photo of bmeehan
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Damnation is a very good Belgian ale that leans a little on the stronger side. It's a beer that lends itself more to a slow sip than a big chug or gulp, but its still smooth enough to not bite back after swallowing.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours hazy straw to gold under a 1” clingy off white foam collar.
S: Ripe fruit, a hint of banana, fruit,
T: Bread, biscuit, fruit, citrus, pineapple, pear drops, some large pitted fruits lead to a mild bitter finish.
M: Very creamy, effervescent, above average carbonation and a medium to medium light body.
O: As good as any strong pale ale from Belgium.

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Photo of bigsteve45
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Perfect one finger head. Golden but leans towards yellow
Aroma: Belgian Yeast.Sweet and Savory
Taste: Sweet Banana, Lemongrass, Cloves. Beautiful Belgian flavor
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Smooth beer all in all.
Overall: A great Russian River offering. Not their best, but in the belgian strong ale category it sure does shine. SomethingI always pick up if I come across it.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.81/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cloudy dark yellow color with fizzy and foamy off white head that reduces down to a ring around the edge. Smells of tropical fruits and clove spices. Tastes of bananas and spices with some breaded malts mixed in too. Well carbonated with some bite when finishing. Really enjoyed this RR take on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale!

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Photo of KATCanada
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Apple juice color with beautiful white foam that subsides relatively fast. Some lacing. Carmel aroma at first. Very spicy taste, medium body with decent mouth feel. Cloves, banana. In my mind not up to par with other RR offerings but I would drink it for sure but unlikely to buy it.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 112614 at 40 degrees into hand washed and dried goblet
Aroma weak, fruity, with some spice overtones but nothing distinct
Head none, aggressive pour. While some froth occurs while pouring, it instantly disappears leaving a thin 1 mm ring and a tiny island of tiny bubbles
Lacing none
Body light yellow, cloudy (chill haze and sediment - bottle conditioned and I inadvertently stirred up the yeast)
Flavor of spices; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light to medium, dry, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.5. Slightly above average but not much. Better Belgian ales exist with better price points.

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Photo of DrChompy
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I picked this up at my local grocery store (~600 miles from the Brewery)! I couldn't believe they had it. I almost passed out. Grabbed a bottle, rushed home to taste it and it is amazing. Great Belgian strong!

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

Bottled 04/01/14.

Color: Nice pale gold, think Duvel without the prodigious head.

Nose: Smells like the hop profile of a German pilsner. Floral, a bit soapy, tiny bit earthy, spicy (mostly clover) and banana.

Taste: Rather sweet initially. Light malt, floral hops again, similar to Duvel but not fermented to the same dryness. Cannot tell it's almost 8%, drinks more like 5-6%.

Finish: Grainy, bitter, floral. Nice carbonation.

Pretty much seems like Duvel mini- almost as good, but not quite. As much as I want to say Damnation is in the shadow, it is a good beer in its own right.

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Photo of Dynobolt
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Really really enjoyed this beer.. Another great beer from Russian river, bought it at alpine liqour. Too bad I only bought one, will definitely get it again.

Retried this beer again: 8/15/15
Need to rescore it from my original 4.88
Taste similar to a duvel. Wasn't quite impressed like the first time I had but this time I bought two. Great beer to enjoy still but it was missing something.

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

Look: Pours a hazy yellow with a fluffy white head

Smell: Straw, yeast, wheat, lemon peel

Taste: Cloves, lemon peel, bready grain, yeast, pepper

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, good Belgian style carbonation

Overall: A pretty good brew, I enjoyed thoroughly

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Photo of breadwinner
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I understand this to be an ode to Duvel, but, honestly, I prefer this. I find it smoother, more fruit forward, better balanced than Duvel, the bottles of which I've had have generally been incredibly phenolic and aggressively carbonated. Damnation, meanwhile, pours like a dream, huge, pillowy head that never dissipates. Big banana/fruit/spice nose, even better on the palate where its soft body amplifies the rich fruitiness of the brew. Great stuff and sadly overlooked compared to RR's wild ales.

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split bottle w/my sis in law, who's a big Belgian Pale fan. One of the best American made I've had. just the right amount of sweetness, Belgian yeast, lemon, biscuit. great mouthfeel, carbonation

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Photo of Roguer
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful hazy golden ale, cloudy lemon-orange hue, topped with a fluffy snow-white head. Good retention, and individual lines of lacing.

Immediate strong Belgian pale aroma: straw and Belgian candi sugar, yeast, and wheat. Sharp citrus slices through.

Classic Belgian pale flavor, but really delicate and well integrated: cloves, bananas, sugar, light lemon; a hint of citric acid without cutting through the soft sweetness; chewy malt flavors.

Lively feel with noticeable foaming, but otherwise soft and sticky in the mouth. A delicate brew that somehow demands slow sips.

This is an exceptional Belgian strong pale ale. Similar brews: Duvel, NEBCO 668. This might be as perfectly put together as any in the style I've ever had. Truly exceptional balance and overall feel.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

From a bottle, into a tulip
A: cloudy pale gold, nice 1 finger head that then subsides.
S: coriander, lemon peel, grain and bread dough
T: follows the nose, but really progresses well. Starts with sweet kiss, then some peel and bitterness, and a little pepper, then some malty goodness, then a little more bitterness at the end.
M: Absolutely fantastic, on this front, and it progresses wonderfully, with each stage feeling a little different. Crisp, the flavors pop, then its creamy and smooth, then it ends a little dry, but not too much. Good carbonation. Fairly light bodied.

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Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 3,801 ratings.
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