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

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94
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240 Reviews
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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
240
Ratings:
563
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
14.93%
 
 
Wants:
285
Gots:
155
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 563
Photo of Crosling
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Yellow gold in color with a full head. Unimpressive nose. Flavor seems to have a fairly agressive hop character, with some herbaceous and lemon notes. Also, it's sweet with some fruit-like flavors. The oak provides a fairly nice component, though clearly the oak influence would be more enjoyable, had it been aged in an actual barrel. Lots of heat and definately not a lot of subtlety. The finish could be longer as well, it fades quick. Just seems rough and unrefined, it lacks depth.

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Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Batch 69 (giggity)

A: Pours a very hazy orange. Tall fizzy off-white head that slowly fades away. Decent fluffy bits of lacing. Good head retention to boot.

S: Whoa. Loaded with dark fruits. Raisins stand out like a beacon of light. Very strong. Sweet caramel and bread with a little clove and banana backing it up. A little toffee and oak. Does not smell like any tripel I've ever smelled. It's 90% sweet raisins.

T: Huh. Very bready with some caramel. Loads of raisin and clove. Gets spicier in the middle and finish with LOADS of cloves and some minor grassiness I'd say. A little drying oak in the finish with more raisins. There's an odd, all-encompassing flavor that I can't quite place. It's almost like the funkiness/tartness of a saison but not quite. If I had to guess I'd say it's rotten pears. Strange.

M: Heavy and sweet. Lower carbonation.

O: Interesting tripel. Very unusual. Not much oakiness to this one. It's quite sweet and has an odd funkiness to it that I don't usually get. Lots of sweetbread and yeast at least. Didn't quite hit me right but it's not horrible - just not as good as I was expecting. Not a big fan, and tripels are usually my favorite belgians.

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Photo of bs870621345
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 69

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a HUGE white head and tiny bubbles. I did a very gentle pour into my Duvel glass and it still was a long time before I could attempt to drink it.

Smells like alcohol, fruity esters, and slightly herbal.

Taste is dominated by alcohol and apple for me. Its sweet and finishes dry, but it seems to be a mess for my palate.

Mouthfeel is thick, wish it was dryer.

Overall, its not that great. I liked damnation better and I don't need to seek that one out again either.

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Photo of mikey711
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly cloudy golden yellow. Pours a fluffy white head that holds for some time and ultimately leaves a quarter inch layer of foam throughout my enjoyment of the beer. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Initial smell is of booziness, beyond that there is some oak notes, sweet vanilla, candied sugar and some pepper and belgian yeast notes. The booziness is the overpowering scent though an tough to get around

T: The booze is much more subtle when tasting it. Mostly sweet candied sugar and vanilla. Some earthy tones like wood in the end, and a few nice esters thrown in there. And then at the end more of the booze comes in. There is also a soapy taste very present as well

M: Nice and creamy and like many other belgian style beers it has a bit lighter feel. Again there is some present fusal alcohol. Too its credit, it is not overly sweet which helps

D: This one fits the bill for a tripel and is a very enjoyable drink. It is deceptive in that it is not too heavy. In the end though this one is best enjoyed when aged for an extended period of time

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle at the brewery on July 25, 2007 into a thin chalice. I am immediately taken aback by how mellow the oak is. This isn’t an overwhelming bourbony oak by any means, just a light dusting of wood and vanilla. Body pours a brilliant and well carbonated gilded copper with a 2 inch off white head that dissipates quickly to a steady but thin lace. Loads of butter in the aroma like a California Chardonnay. Taste is sweet and boozey. Orange and sweet apples, tannins, vanilla, and a touch of spiciness. Chewy and very warming mouthfeel. Barleywine like. Fairly drinkable. I managed to finish the bottle, mostly by my self so it must be. Should improve with time. Plan on revisiting in a couple years.

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Photo of 20ozmonkey
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a bottle from Healthy Spirits. Poured into a tulip.

Damnation 23 is a hazy vibrant orange with a small layer of head that sticks around well.

Smells first and foremost of apricots with an earthiness coming from the oak chips. Definitely sweet, definitely fruity.

Complicated flavor. There is a sweet fruity apricot flavor and a flavor that I would say is coming from oak kind of clashing with each other. On the finish a cloying sweetness comes in and takes over. The mouthfeel is medium carbonation with a bit of viscosity.

Interesting beer. I was incredibly excited until I tasted it. The taste is alright, but not great.

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Photo of JDV
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just another rarity miketd generously shared with us during the tasting. Thanks man!
Pours creamy and hazy gold. Smell is bright, fresh malt with a touch of yeast. Taste is sweet slightly lemony, belgian yeastiness and a noticeable oakiness at the end. Pretty tasty stuff and I liked this better than regular Damnation for sure.

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Photo of DaveHack
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 69....Thanks to Cisco619 for this!

POP!! Its a gusher!

Once it settled down, it has a nice slightly cloudy, coppery hue. After the initial gush and explosion of foam, the head settles down to nice thin head. It is just enough to cover the top of the beer. Slight bit of lacing.

It smells a slight bit like Brett. The oak scent is faint, not overpowering...that is a good thing (for me anyway).

It hits with a bready, old banana, alcohol taste. Hmmmm..the taste is a little odd. I'm not a huge Tripel drinker, but this isn't like most Tripels I remember.

It's creamy and big. It feels like I need to chew before swallowing. There is a bit of alcohol as you swallow, but it is not like an 11%, that is hidden well.

Russian River is my favorite brewery, so I HAD to have this. I will say, its not something I need to seek out again, but I'm super happy to have tried it. Its certainly not bad by any means, just not smoething I need more of.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.68 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a translucent light orange with a full pillowy white head, good retention and nice lace.

S: Lots of spice, white pepper and orange peel. Nice citrus notes with a note of sugar cane.

T: Light oak with a lot of yeast esters. Spicy with some pear and bready malt. Fairly hoppy finish.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, long aftertaste, not a bashful beer.

O: A nice beer to try, I like it better than regular Damnation. Nothing to get to excited about though, overpriced, but not a bad effort in an of itself.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bottle at Stone Brewing Bistro and Gardens. Yeasty aroma mostly. Starts sweet and then finishes bitter. Funkier as it warms. Hits the style and also funkier than the style. Would be much better with food. 375 ml is sufficient without it. Enormous head.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on draught at Beachwood BBQ. This was batch #69 of damnation, so obviously the third iteration of batch 23. I was very excited because Russian River is me favourite US brewery, and I love the regular damnation.

A: Pours a half finger head of smooth slight cream, slight thickness, and bad retention. Colour is a nice hazy yellow gold; nontransparent.

Sm: Light orange esters. Some hops. Very light malt. Pleasant and appealing, but light.

T: A very complex build for a golden ale (or tripel). Pleasant orange esters, lightly toasted malt, and full barley. Layered and nice. Delicious. Balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch thick. Suits the flavour.

Dr: Very drinkable. Expensive, but quality. I'd have it again. It was a real treat to enjoy it on draught.

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Photo of aficionado
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel Tulip - Thanks Kyle2k10.

Hazy yellow straw body with a large fizzy white head and fine carb bubbles.

Smells like a true Belgian Tripel with notes of candi sugar, banana, spice, lemon, and hay.

More lemon on the palate along with wheat, unripe banana, and tame spices and oak. Dry and drinkable, but not as wowing as I had hoped. I think I'm just sick of Belgians at this point.

Mouthfeel is nice and to style. Russian River is a Master of hops and yeast, but the malt character of this particular beer just wasn't wowing me. The oak also brought very little to the party. Though I have to say I didn't sense the 11% abv in this beer at all. Props.

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Photo of teromous
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 375mL Belgian style corked and caged bottle, stamped with a Batch 69 on the side. Aged in a dark cool place as recommended on the bottle, and drinking it now 06 DEC 2012.

A: Lots and lots of carbonation, with an extremely transparent gold color, oodles of carbonation bubbles and a large fluffy white meringue head.

S: Popping the cork lets out a lot of scent. I get a lemon scent, some spicy scents...maybe coriander but very faint. I do pick up the alcohol when cupping over the glass. There is a bit of a barn-like saison smell to it as well.

T: I get a lot of grain flavor and some malty sweetness. There is some alcohol flavor in there. I get some flowery taste to it, and a distinct Belgian flavor if there was any other way to describe it. A light earthy quality in the aftertaste, which could be the hops but I'm guessing it's the oak. Some pear flavors in the beer.

M: Despite the ABV which would make me think this thing was dry as a rock, it is actually a bit sweet. The mouthfeel is light, and feels like a wash of foamy bubbles in the mouth.

O: Overall I thought the beer looked and smelled really good, but it was not quite as dry as I enjoy Tripels. The spicing seemed to be done very nicely, but I don't know how much oak aging this beer has actually made an influence on it. I could not know this...it could have a profound impact, but there really isn't much "oak" to it. I didn't get any alcohol burn although the flavors did come through a bit...most likely the aging has taken care of it. It's a good Tripel to try, but I wouldn't go out of the way to get it again.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch # 46 - shared with newtonty and DrewOSU. Thanks to newtonty for sharing (and RedwoodGeorge for the recent trade extra)!

Pops from the cork nicely. A nice creamy, white head sits atop a hazy orang-ish yellow beer. Nice to look at.

I can smell the oak on the nose up front. Moderately sour mix of oak and light citrus, like lemon or tangerine.

Taste carries over from the nose nicely. More oak and light citrus followed by mild Belgium candied sugars. Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation on the mouth. The 10.75% ABV is definitely noticeable in this one...

For my own mental notes: Blindfolded, I would guess this is Brooklyn Local One or a diluted Southern Tier's Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series). Nice, but I'm not very into this style..

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold with a thick, downy head that lingers beautifully, slowly coating the side of the glass as it gradually recedes.

Smells of heavy clove, light banana and lemon peel. Also, some faint bubble gum and straw underneath.

The mouthfeel shows the difference between pure feel and carbonation. The beer is full-bodied, bordering on thick, but there is still lively carbonation that keeps this from being a beer-shake.

Surprisingly sweet at the start, with honey, banana and citrus taking the lead. The finish cuts some of the sweetness with some light hop bitterness, a bit of alcohol and some light oak notes. I wish that the oak were a bit more noticeable and the sweetness gets a bit unruly at the beginning but, overall, this is a very interesting triple. Seems like aging might cause the flavors to blend more seamlessly.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. Batch 69. Corked and caged 375ml bottle poured into a Southampton oversize snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Gentle pour yields a gigantic 2 finger frothy, fluffy white head with great retention. Beer is a clear orange. Lacing is patchy and thick with little cling. Pretty.

Nose is coriander, orange peel, soap, and cane sugar. Real deep and robust but lively at the same time. Nice.

Opens clove, orange peel, coriander, citrus fruit, and Belgian yeastiness. Very sweet and herbal. More yeast towards the middle with some cane sugar further enhancing the malt body. End is sweet and yeasty with touches of citrus throughout. Aftertaste is of sweet orange and spices. Moderate complexity. Very enjoyable.

Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. Lively and bubbly in the mouth and crisp and aggressive going down. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. Decent.

For an 11% offering, this one hides its boozy side very very well. Otherwise, a very solid tripel though the barrel-aging barely shows up in the flavor profile.

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Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pizza Port OB.
This one pours a golden light orange with a solid white sticky head. Smells of lemon pepper, sweet fruits, orange and banana. The taste is similar with a tartness of citrus, tangarine, oak, and alcohol. It's medium to light bodied, well carbonated and not much heat from the amount of alcohol. To be honest I was I little dissapointed with this beer I think I had my hopes set a little too high its still a very good beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a cloudy, hazed orange with a frothy, white head.

Smell: Aroma of an oaken banana boat crossing your lake-going path, notes of sweet-scented, bready pale malted barley, phenolic spiciness, orchard fruits, and with a fleeting hint of lavender on the nose.

Taste: Moderately sweet in the fore with a taste of bready, candyish, honey-glazed pilsner malts. Small, quick dash of 99 Bananas for bit of sting over sliced pears and gala apples. Slight citrus. Very minute hop bitterness. Spicy, butter American oak character late and into the semi-dry, persistently fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. There's an ever so slight, tongue-coating creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Overall: A solid, oak-aged tripel. Yes, that's what we call it.

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Photo of Haightfulbrew
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 375 into a fat tulip.

Pour – Extremely pale gold turns out to be a hazy copper orange once it’s in the glass. Two fingers head of nice tight foam, clings to the edges and is slow to settle. Looks watery for a ten percenter.

Nose – Wheat, hickory, wet leaves. Big Belgian yeast. Oak and cloves as it warms. Candy canes and cantaloupe?

Taste: Immediately thicker and heavier than the regular Damnnation. Opens up with some tropical Belgian funk, tangerines and the like, then gets a bit boozy in the middle, finishes big but dry, lemon twang, light oak and a tiny bit hot. I know there’s a lot of booze in here, but it shows up only in the back of the throat.

Mouth: Deceptively heavy. Has pretty tight carbonation, but not enough to hold up all that weight. Very vinous and a bit sticky. The oak pins down the front of your tongue, even cold

Overall: A delicious beer for sure. Balanced and filling.

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Photo of emerge077
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 69, 12.7 oz. bottle, served in a wine glass.

Hazy pastel orange, champagne streams of carbonation. Creamy whipped meringue foam that lasts forever, leaving impressive irregular peaks and crags that rise above the rim of the glass.

Flowery aroma, lots of Belgian yeast esters.

Flavor is pretty wine-like, as if the barrel/chips were freshly soaked in chardonnay. Lots of fruity flavor, apple, white grape juice, and peach, coupled with white pepper and perfume. Estery and spicy, charged carbonation, full bodied with a hint of vinous alcohol. Oak character seems to get lost behind the wine and Belgian yeast flavors.

Honestly this batch wasn't all that tasty, but regardless of personal preference it's well put together. Had a batch 23 750mL of this years ago (thx Dave) and it wasn't really the same. This was much more estery and wine forward. edit: Sampled on tap next day at the brewpub also. Seemed a bit less yeasty and a touch more drinkable, but still had the same dominant white wine flavor.

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased somewhere online a while ago, just now getting to enjoy. Shared the 750ml with a friend. Batch 46

Cloudy blonde with good inch worth of head that dissipated to a ring for the rest of the glass. Some floaty particulate, looks like I stirred the sediment with my bad pour. Wheat/Heffe very prominent in the smell, some apple skin, candi sugar and a bit of oak follow. More wheat/heffe in the taste with a healthy dollop of oak, and some woodsy hops. The ABV is very deceptive, not very detectable in the taste. Bright clean finish, not much lingering aftertastes, good. Some mild carbonation, not effervescent as some. I'm glad Larry helped me with this one, it's not good to tackle this one solo. The ABV would sneak up on you and take you down like a skilled ninja.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to TurdFurgison, who decided to destroy quite a few of my wants last night. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a slightly-cloudy golden color with a large off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. The nose brings forward a bit of bready malt and then carries through with some oak. Beyond that, there's a good amount of yeast coming through with nice notes of banana, bubble gum, and some clove. Medium body. Light dryness from the oak. Light booze in the finish as well. Really nice beer that I was thrilled to finally try. Thanks again, Eric.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

Batch 69. I didn't even know they aged any of this on oak, let alone on regular intervals, until tonight. Right on. This stuff pours a clear pale gold topped by plenty o' cream-white foam. The nose comprises orange peel, bleached wheat, light soap, light balsa, and light banana peel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some light orange zest and some light Brett-like funk. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice bit o' brew, though I feel like the oak was far too subdued for everything's own good (yeah, I admit I was looking for some crispy oak notes in there...). Good times, nonetheless.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank.

Bartender poured into this into a tall tulip glass, revealing a slightly hazy golden hue. A finger-width's worth of creamy foam capped it off. The nose is sharp with Belgian yeast, lemon zest, faint tangerine. The mouthfeel was much smoother than anticipated, aided by the oak chips, no doubt. Light bubbly finish. Light hoppy flavors meld well with the yeast character, and then finishes with a mildly-tart citrus snap. Spicy lemons come to mind with this beer. I liked it quite a bit. RR has made another standout brew here. Glad I had the opportunity.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 023. Sunny daffodil yellow with multiple stately bubble streams wandering up to a wonderful looking crown of alabaster colored cream. Once the foam starts to melt, fine sheets of lace can be seen gracing the glass. A Belgian brewer would be proud.

The nose takes time (and warming) to open up... and still isn't that powerful. There's a bit of golden fruit, almost no spice, and little to no oak. In the end, the next highest score wasn't even considered.

Damnation Batch 23 is now slightly more than 3 years of age (bottled 6/4/07). According to the brewery, it can be aged 4 years. While it doesn't taste over the hill at this point in time, neither does it have much flavor boldness and complexity is lacking. The alcohol has mellowed nicely, however.

Flavors include pears macerated in Poire Williams, a Chardonnay grape vinousness, and a wee sprinkling of white pepper. Oak is still difficult to appreciate. I'm not sure what sort of yeast strain 'R.R. Wine 1' is, but it's doubtful that it's a Trappist ale yeast given the lack of the usual tripel/BSPA esteriness.

Reading the previous few paragraphs, one could be forgiven for thinking that Damnation Batch 23 is not good beer. Nothing could be further from the truth, it's just that it isn't up to Russian River's usual standards. This is one my five favorites breweries in the world if you want some idea of what I consider their 'usual standards' to be.

The mouthfeel is more American big beer than Belgianesque. It's roughly medium-full and feels sugary slick rather than airy and fluffy and expansive. Carbonation that is too laid back is the most likely culprit. At least it isn't a bottle-conditioned, overbubbled mess.

Russian River brews the single best beer in the known universe (Pliny The Younger) and plenty of others that are special as well. Damnation Batch 23 is solid, and has aged well, but it isn't the outstanding effort that I was hoping for.

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 240 ratings.
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