Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) | Russian River Brewing Company

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We turned our regular Damnation recipe into a Tripel. It is bittered with Tomahawk and has Sterling and Cascade in the mid-boil and finish. The beer was then aged on new American oak chips for two to three weeks.

Added by bosco7 on 07-07-2007

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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 570
Photo of ThaddeusGhostal
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a bottle at toronado, san diego. Not cheap. Every year Russian River does damnation aged and I figured I would try it out. The bottle says aged with oak chips. Definitely note of something a bit woody with a stronger mouthfeel than regular damnation. Goes down smooth with a bite at the beginning. Taste is similar to damnation with a distinct twist. The appearance is a perfect amber color with a little lace around the glass. It smells a good bit like hay. While I would prefer almost all of Russian Rivers beers over damnation, I do enjoy this beer. Was it worth the 20 dollars I spent on the bottle? Hell no. The idea of drinking a limited beer is nice but I would take most of their other brews over this one. Still very good as are all of their brews. This weekend I take on pliny the younger!

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Trade with Cloudskipper, thanks Chris!

Batch 46: Brewed 2 Dec 08/Bottled 7 Jan 09

A: incredible appearance, night light brown-amber color, great fluffy head, nice cascading bubbles
S: exactly what it states it is, earthy, yeasty
T: phenomenal for an American Belgian style beer, heady, raw, great carbonation, a bit acerbic, maybe a bit tinny but not anything to a detriment
M: surprisingly light and almost "fluffy" from carbonation, very unusual and great drinker
D: very, very drinkable, beware with the alcohol

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Photo of kaseydad
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 46 (bomber) - Bottled 1-09...drinking 12-31-13

Had this cellared for almost five years...New Year's Eve? Why not?

Pours a darn near clear amber color with a billowing bright white foamy head. Impressive after many years lying low. Decent lacing.

The smell is sublime. The oak chips shine through with a big banana aroma in the background. Light alcohol is present with slight burn on the nostrils if you breathe deep enough. Pears, raspberry and more oak as you whiff. Really good stuff.

The taste is a combo of sweet fruit, BIG oak, bananas and booze. Amazing how the oak really is still majorly present with this. If this was aged for only two or three weeks on oak chips, them oak chips were pretty strong in flavor. A kiss of hops on the finish and a slight spice as well. Juicy with a lingering aftertaste.

Silky and full-bodied mouthfeel.

Overall this session was amazing. I'll admit I was a little concerned with the amount of time this sat in the cellar and how it would age. Those concerns were unnecessary. This is an amazing brew and Vinnie knows exactly what he is/was doing. The oak chips brought out something special in this beer (not a huge fan of the Damnation) and it is not to be missed. Pricey? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mlaroche for bringing this over from Cali. Real glad this was added to our trade.

Pours a clear golden color with a sizeable head, fades at a good rate and leaves some decent lacing along the glass.

Smell has a nice aroma of malt and some fruitiness, oak presence is minimal but enhances, also some funk/tartness is lingering about.

Taste has a very nice balance between the malt, the sour/tart funkness, fruit and spices (especially coriander), and the oak aging, all of it works together and not one element takes the show, the strength is very well hidden and I found myself easily drinking the entire bottle (although you certainly feel it later).

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Photo of MrTopher
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Vintage 69 (newest batch 23rd)

A – Golden straw color with a nice haze/cloudiness, a nice thick off white head that has great retention.

S – Oak, farmhouse funk, mild malt, some tropical fruits (bananas, lemon) and some nice spice.

T – Nice blend of malt and funk, good sweetness from the malt. A good spice flavor, with farmhouse funk, some oak/earth notes, and some bananas and lemon. Perfectly combination of flavors.

M – Pretty light, but inviting. Good carbonation and on the lighter side of medium.

O – This is great, much better than the standard Damnation, would love to find more of this rare little gem. One of if not the best Triples I have had. And does not drink like an 11% beer.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 C&C Bottle. Batch 069. ABV is 10.75% in this batch. Served in a tulip.

Pours a hazy dim gold. Big three finger head of white foam. Stays pillowy for awhile. Big swaths of lacing.

A bright, sweet, Belgian-style aroma. Honey and floral notes. Earthy oak, and lots of orange/lemon peppery spice. Obvious high carbonation. Fantastic.

Initial flavor is sharp and medium sweet. Citrus and pepper kick in around the middle and then things get a lot sweeter through the finish. A pleasant tartness kicks in on the finish as well. A touch of booze in the aftertaste but overall it's well buried in the full flavor.

Body is medium-full with high carbonation. This beer really fills the mouth. Only complaint is that it gets a touch sticky.

The regular edition of Damnation is one of my favorite beers and no surprise, I absolutely love this spin on the recipe.

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Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy and unfiltered mango (meat) colored with a large white head thick and tightly carbonated. Great length and thick lacing behind. A fine looking specimen.

A nose full of delight. Belgian yeast and spices with a plethora tropical fruit esters and some stone fruit thrown in. Pear, peach, passion fruit, orange peel, mango, grilled pineapple and only the slightest hint of wood which may even be imaginary.

Christ this is fine. Full of bubble gum flavors. A good amount of peach, tangerine and pineapple in the middle and long finish. Creamy thick and rich with a satin silky smooth finish. Grilled fruits, hints of vanilla, passion fruit, butterscotch, bits of spice and earth and a orange zesty finish.

Very nice.

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Photo of drpimento
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Boy O Boy! Onto something here, mmm HM!! I let this warm up some out of the fridge to about perfect temp. Poured with a colossal, foamy, frothy, fluffy, sudsy, off-white head that soon settles down to some scud and some lace. Color is a clear amber with bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, hop, malt, oak, caramel, spice, bread dough and makes me want to quit screwing around and DRINK IT!!! Flavor doesn't let me down a bit - very similar to nose, but all have more impact, vineous, and flat out tasty. Very true to style. Body and carbonation is similarly true to style. Finish is like flavor and trends more towards vineous and has the slap happy boozieness. Wot a beer. Yessir.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: lovely amber glow with nice white fulffy head rentention

smell: vanilla, major oak, sweet mapley oatmeal

taste: the most oak flavored beer Ive had. amzing

mouthfeel: medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation

drinkability: a rare treat, Thanks Eddie!

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sugit for this one.

A: 1" white head that left a nice lacing and remained for a lengthy period of time over cloudy honey/amber liquid. Very appetizing looking.

S: Oak, sour funk and yeast.

T: Oak, sour funk, lemon citrus and clove floral hops and a honey/biscuit malt backbone.

M: Medium viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation. Some drying from the alcohol.

O: One of the best tripels I have ever had, although it could use more funk. If you like this one; seek out a similar one by A La Fut out of Quebec called Tripe à 3 Brett.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This would be a review of batch three or the illustrious batch 69:

A: This one is a foamer. The beer is bright light yellow/amber in color and is topped with a silly (4 inches in a Duvel glass or so) amount of barely off-white head. Rocky latte head hangs around for some time and leaves some pretty good lacing behind it.

S: Wowaeewa! This smells fantastic! Its difficult to place the plethora of aromas booming out of my glass, but here goes. Spicy earthy and flowery (think lavender) all at once. There is a presence of freshly cut and buttered firewood (you read right) as well. Pretty fantastic.

T: A rich and deeply flavored beer to say the least. All of the aforementioned aromas pummeled together with a mort and pestle and then carried onto the palate. There is a bit of diacetyl induced butter happening, which is the only negative thing I might suggest about this beer. That said, the butter adds in a way to the rich sweet quality of this brews opening. The finish ties everything together. As this warms it pronounces a slightly tart flavor of tangerine pulp. Starting rich and sweet this ends with just enough perceived dryness. Oaky, yeasty-spicy, and subdued tart astringent flavors meet in the on the end, and bang like Black Dynamite.

M: Fantastic. Rich and dry all at once. Long finishing. Everything one looks for.

O: This beer has pretty much blown me away. A fantastic beer which has great age potential. I'm thinking 3-6 years.

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Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderfully smooth, with any rough edges sanded down and given a light polish. Bright and lively, with sharp carbonation and a moderately fruity character that avoids straying into an excessively yeasty realm. ETOH is well integrated into the flavor, lending a bit of black pepper bite toward the end. A top-notch example of the style that can go toe-to-toe with anythign from Belgium.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured into a tulip glass to a slightly cloudy golden hue with a two finger dense white head with excellent retention and solid lacing
S: smells of fruity esters and spicy yeast with a bit of sweetness
T: very smooth flavors with some fruitiness, some sweetness, a bit of spice, and slight oakyness. Swallow is sweet, fruity and spicy
M: medium in the mouth with excellent carbonation and a drying finish
O: A fantastic beer that I've been sitting on for far too long. The alcohol is well hidden with just a hint of a warming sensation.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The long awaited Batch 069 has arrived. 375 bottle. ABV is 10.75%.

Body is a hazy, amber/gold. Poured into a Bruery tulip glass, easily produced a half inch foamy white head that dissipated fairly soon to a cap and ring. Some sticky lacing, but not a lot.

Smells of light malt, lemon, toffee, tropical fruit, a little metal, and spice--coriander and ginger, and some alcohol.

A good expression of the Belgian tripel style. A complex spiced tripel with rich malt taste, butter, toffee, metal, coriander. Starts on the sweet side, but finishes more dry, with a light bitterness and lingering light floral and grassy hops, metal, and pretty strong white pepper notes. Alcohol is not very evident in the taste despite the 10.75% ABV. Oak expression is more in the background, but gives this a noticeable vanilla taste. It's the Belgian yeast that is definitely taking the commanding role here.

Body is light and the carbonation is fizzy, giving this a scrubbing, refreshing mouthfeel. Has a spritz on the tongue like a dry ginger ale.

This is a tripel that is light in body yet complex in flavor. I wish Vinnie made this regularly, instead of making us wait through 23 batches of regular Damnation.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 046, poured in a big wine glass at 58 F/ 14 C.

Bright golden color, medium sized off-white head, beautifully patterned lace, like cave paintings.

Big aroma of sweet tart fruit, mainly peach and white grape, with honeysuckle, and something mineral like sea air. Lovely. The last glass (45 minutes into the bottle) is still mainly fruity, but complex and savory, very much like a chutney.

Massively fruity flavor, like the aroma. Peach, white grape, honey, dried apricot. Sweet, but bitterness gradually grows to a medium, moderate level, just enough to achieve great balance. Mild fresh floral and grassy hop flavor. Some mild oak, well integrated, with a creamy vanilla aspect. Some mild chalky minerality, mild astringency, mild acidity. Long finish of fruit and honey, with a touch of warming alcohol.

The last glass, hazy and 64 F, was certainly the most complex, and the oakiest. Fruity like chutney, and savory. Just as tasty, but in a different way.

Smooth creamy carbonation, mild chalkiness and astringency, and a bare touch of acidity, add up to a very enjoyable texture. A pleasure to drink, a hedonistic delight.

Great beer. Thanks to mom for getting and broski for sending.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks to Jason for opening this.

A: Hazed orange with a creamy white head. Fades to stray bubbles.

S: A light oak presence with bread and caramel. Faint oxidation and alcohol. Moderately sweet. Earthy hop profile.

T: Bread and caramel with a little sweetness and oak. Light booze. Alcohol is faint. No harsh notes. 

M: Upper light in body with lower moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy, sticky, and smooth.

Overall: A very nice beer. I've had this many times but am happy to finally review it.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. batch 23. traded to me from user mashmaster. thanks again! drank from the recommended russian river "tion" glass.

A- the beer pours out a hazy glowing orange colored body under a finger and a half of bright white head. the head lasts for quite some time, and leaves behind a solid wall of lacing. very nice.

S- very sweet smelling. lots of candi sugar and sweet fruits wafting from my glass. peach, apricot, white grape, pear, and a touch of banana. after that i pick up a little bit of vanilla from the oak. pepper and clove spiciness. earthy and spicy hops. the alcohol is apparent, but still well hidden.

T- the taste starts out with more of the malted wheat and pale malts that i could smell before quickly moving onto the sweet candi sugar and fruits. pears, white grapes, peach, and some light green apple tartness. moderately spicy with clove and white pepper. a touch of vanilla from the oak barrel it was aged in. earthy hops move in at the end. moderate alcohol throughout.

M- medium bodied with a nice and subdued level of carbonation. for an 11% ABV beer, the alcohol is remarkably well hidden. only a slight warming can be felt.

O- looking at the reviews, this beer is just over 4 years old. time has been very kind to it. id love to try a fresh bottle from the next batch and compare. i also wouldnt mind picking up another one from this batch. check this one out if you can. be warned though, the alcohol will sneak up on you.

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Photo of maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to lothore, who sent me this bottle about 15 months ago...yes, it's time for the periodic cleansing of the colonic cellar. I wasn't terribly impressed with the standard Damnation, so I'm hoping a bit of age & oak will improve my disposition towards it. Batch 46 split with my wife.

Only about 2/3 poured initially to keep the brew sediment-free. The same orangish color as regular Damnation but hazier, deeper. Nose is nice, terrific wine-like quality to it, dry, woody, spritzish.

Well, either my old review of Damnation was off-base or this is a much better beer. This comes off like alcohol-infused white grape juice, with a rollicking sweetness spark-arcing over the palate. Perhaps adding "big, sweet, candy" notes is redundant, but the sweetness actually underlies the grapeness; they're distinct. More puckering sugariness in the basket of fruits including pear, apples, & others. The yeast lends a spice kick towards the end, which leaves off dry. 0% humidity, take another drink to wet your whistle dry. 11%? You kidding me?

Excellent beer. If this isn't the best beer I've had from Russian River, it's only Pliny's fault.
Quaffable, original, tasty, gorgeous. Wonderful.

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Photo of patm1986
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes 10 Oct 2011
From the tap at RR Brewery

beautiful, bright gold shimmer underneath a thick, frothy, pillowy head. you can lay your dome down to rest on this head. awesome retention.

smells like boooze. strong oak scent: bourbon vanilla, spice, wood. strong aromas of honey and other stronger sugars, a little ginger bread man fell in the barrel, too. other spices noted: coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, a little clove, all very mild, but noticeable.

HELLO, FACE. that's big, man. sweet, sweet, funky, sweet, bourbon-y, a little bitter, sweet, and calming, mildly phenolic. that's a progression. it's bold, but it's also so balanced that i can't help but try to catch up to it and harness these flavors. really awesome tripel finish. the oak is not too much either.

thick, rich, creamy, smooth. very smooth. a soothing drink. great amount of sugar to coat your mouth.

this could've been crazy boozy and harsh, but why would you think so? this is a perfect finisher really. you can sit on this glass for a while, as it holds up to multiple, multiple swirls and a steady rise to nearly 70 degrees. it opens up brilliantly and isn't too much of anything in particular as many oak aged beers can exhibit. excellent.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to womencantsail for this tick in my quest to try all of the RR -tion brews! Batch #046! Served from bottle into a Firestone Walker sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, oak, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. It had a very different flavor than what I was thinking it would taste like. The flavors present were very nicely balanced and worked well together. The aroma was very nice as well. Very glad that I got the opportunity to try this. Thanks again Andrew!

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Photo of mkotsayfan
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the RR brewpub. Pours a light gold/orange color with just a slight amount of head. The aroma is somewhat oakey with hints of lemon and citrus. The taste is nice and complex, with bubble-gum-like flavors and some spices, along with fruits like pears, apples, and pineapples. The oak complements it all nicely in the background. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, and a very smooth texture.

This is a great beer, and it hides the 11% ABV amazingly.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is mix of strong Belgian yeast character with some coriander and pepper, with some light fruit, citrus zest, oak, bread, and a touch of booze.

T - Starts off with some pear and other light fruits with some citrus zest, coriander, and other Belgian yeast flavors. Through the middle, the oak comes through alongside some stronger yeast character with some pepper and some farmhouse flavors. The finish is a mix of citrus and light fruit flavors with some bready yeast, oak, vanilla, and some booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Excellent Tripel with great balance. The oak is a really nice touch that adds some great complexity as well.

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle bought at City Beer, SF. Shared with oakbluff and fisherman34, sampled from a snifter.

Big inch of head off a gentle pour, colour is a deep blood orange with lots of chunky sediment throughout. Great head retention and lacing. Aroma is oaky with hints of vanilla, red licorice, herbs. fruit: juicy apricots, peaches, plums, apples. Delicious.

Taste is extremely deep and comforting with tons of malt, oak, vanilla. Herbaceous and maybe a little medcinal. Fruity and spicy with some peppery notes. Orange, peach, tangerine, maybe a little tropical note. Lovely and complex, and as great as advertised. Soft and a little creamy in the mouth, but not too heavy duty in the body. Carbonation is zippy, but not obnoxious. Dries nicely. Overall this is an exceptional beer, superb balance and packed with flavour. I may never drink this again, so I'm going to savour the moment!

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by alexsdad06. Poured cloudy yellow color with a large frothy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Complex woody, citrus, earhty and yeast aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation and thin particles. Medium to heavy citrus balanced flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate duration with a small alcohol bite. This is a refreshing standout beer.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to James and Kevin for bottles. Cheers my friends!

Steady pour into an oversized snifter produces a massive white head. Four finger head slowly recedes leaving spotty chunks of lacing clinging to the walls of the glass. The body is a golden apricot colored body, fairly clear and free of haze.

Damnation 23 is much bigger in every aspect than Damnation. The nose is Damnation is pleasant and balanced but not overly assertive. Damnation 23 is rather balanced but much more intense. White cracker malt, bready yeast and fruit aromas permeate from the glass. The oak is a nice addition, really melds with the earthiness present in the beer.

Sweet fruit flavor up front. Pineapple, light citrus and maybe soft apple. Rather assertive apricot flavor develops with warmth. The midpalate is where the bulk of the flavor develops. Herbal and spicy ester flavors emerge. The general earthiness of this flavor contrasts the sweeter flavors up front rather well. The oak is a very interesting flavor in this beer. The woody flavor melds into the earthiness perfectly. There is a vanilla flavor that ebbs and flows on the palate. This is not a flavor I would normally expect but it provides a nice smoothness to the overall flavor.

Medium to full bodied beer. Carbonation level is high, very lively bubble lightens the beer on the tongue. The texture is nearly creamy on the back end. The finish leans towards the drier side.

Damnation 23 is a very good beer. I liked Damnation, I love Damnation 23. I love the bigger more intense flavor but I love the balance that is maintained more. The oak aging does wonders for the beer, really adds depth the moves this beer into a higher tier. The alcohol is very well masked making for an exceptionally drinkable beer. Pick up a bottle if you run into one, well worth your while.

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 570 ratings.
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