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

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged)
571 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 571 |  Reviews: 242
Photo of fox227
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't drink too many corked beers, but this the first one that blew its wad like a bottle of champagne, and left a bit of a mess on the floor.

A: Massive four fingered head (probably because of the above problem,) dark gold and unfiltered, tremendous head retention and impeccable lacing.

S: I get bananas, fruity esters from the yeast, sourish pear notes, and tart granny smith apples.

T: More bananas, and the taste follows the nose all the way. The high alcohol content is well concealed by the flavors of candied sugar and a touch of pumpkin pie spice. What is nice is that this beer never comes off as very sweet, but simply harmoniously complex. Outstanding!

M: Medium carbonation, medium bodied, not too thick; I get a numbing effect on the tongue, and the finish is moderately dry.

O: I've not much experience with Belgian style beers, tripels, but I feel that this review will stand: an amazing beer!

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Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fruity with a big pineapple flavor. Brewery says Tomahawk, Sterling, and Casacade hops in the mix, but it certainly isn't overly bitter. Aged in American oak but I don't taste much vanilla or woodiness. Rich flavors, sweet and sharp. Fragrant with caramel and flowers.

Hops are really fragrant but it's not a bitter beer. Hugely drinkable for a strong beer. Nice lacing and carbonation as well. On tap at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of OhSoHoppy
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle to an over sized wine glass

A Pours a light, golden yellow with a huge foamy, near-white head. Good retention and lacing. Left over lacing on the glass.

S better than the regular Damnation, the oak comes through Significantly.f light malt, lemon, toffee, some kind of tropical fruit, spice and ginger.

T Initial flavor is sharp and medium sweet. Citrus and light pepper in around the middle and then things gets progressively sweeter until the finish. Mild tartness on the finish . A hint of alcohol in the aftertaste but is masked fairly well in the full flavor.

M Fairly light, good low carbonation, very fitting of this beer. Finishes Great.

O Very enjoyable, worth the purchase and I would probably get it again for friend to try.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 11.07.11 from a brown, corked shorty poured into a D'Achouffe glass ever so gently.

A: Pours a yellow-orange with a pillowy head on top. Very appealing indeed.

S: Sweeter than the base Damnation, with a sweet candy & citrus nose.

T&M - Really nice combo of rich, yeast in conjunction with oak, candy sugar, and slight citrus profile. Well-balanced. Really a wonderful taste, much better than the base Damnation. Very crisp and refreshing. Delightful. I nearly forgot the ABV was so high - not really a trace of esters present.

D - Very nice. Very drinkable. Appropriately-priced (albeit pricey in comparison).

Overall, a great representation of the style. Kudos again, RR.

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Photo of JimmyTango
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright yellow, kinda cloudy with a gigantic head.

S: Orange juice, sweet, and spicy like black pepper. Smells exactly as I expected from a barrel aged trippel.

T: Tastes like orange cake... orange pound cake with orange butter-cream frosting. Enough bittering hops to clean up your palate but they don't sit around. I really like the level of bitterness. The oak is there, but so subtly I might not have picked it up if I hadn't read the label. I'm gonna say the butter in the butter-cream frosting impression stated earlier is thanks to the oak. Otherwise lots of tasty orange zest and a well balanced sweetness.

M: Bright, acidic, chewey, and clean.

O: Verrry nice, but how can you go wrong with this style from RR? Really good, maybe even great, but not mind-blowing.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
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 musicforairports
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is Batch 69.

Golden and clear. Big, bubbly head goes quick and leaves little lacing.

Smell is rich with banana, vanilla, and citrus notes.

Taste is fruity and thick. Much like the nose, a lot of banana, with a lot of lemon notes as well, especially in the finish. Somewhat fruitier than the usual tripel, and with a dose of vanilla, which I'm assuming comes from the oak. I hardly taste the ABV here, which is crazy for how high it is. Serious props for that.

Mouthfeel is full but clean, carbonated decently, but not too much.

I've never had regular Damnation, but this is a great take on a tripel. Very robust in flavor. I rarely enjoy beers above 10 percent ABV because I don't like the boozy flavor, but it's not present here.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review #200. Batch 69. 375ml served at 50 degrees into a tulip, a careful pour provided a nice three finger widths of bright white soapy head. Pillowy top that raised straight out the top of the glass, but it's not too dry and stiff. The body is a mid-orange hued hazy sunset color. The head settles down to about a finger width over 5 minutes and retains and laces very well.

Big aroma wafts out of the glass, huge apricot notes and other stone fruits. A nice hit of lemon and banana is here too, quite a complex fruity aroma indeed. On the tail end there's some earthy yeasty bits and some black peppery spicy notes. Some oaky notes in there too all the way through in the background. Brilliant.

First impression is that this beer's flavor is coming almost entirely from the yeast, it's nearly all I get so far. The yeast character is very nice though. Lots of barnyard funkyness up front and hay bail. The fruits are here too, though much more pronounced while inhaling through the nose. A decent hop bitterness at the back of the tongue and the oak lingers a little on the tongue. I'm not getting much malt here at all.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice. It's a super dry beer, tickles the tongue while drinking and almost gives a little bit of dry mouth. Consistency is on the money and carbonation level feels right.

The way this beer hides it's alcohol content is pretty insane, I sense black magic here from Vinnie. I always enjoy the every 23rd batch of Damnation, certainly more than the original Damnation. Still, Russian River makes other beers similar to this one that I feel are more focused in their approach and are considerably better, despite this, it's still a very good beer.

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Photo of kevanb
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The story goes that every 23 batches of Damnation, Russian River makes a special batch aged with oak chips or in oak barrels. This Belgian style pours a really nice light amber honey color with a nice billowy head, at least 2 fingers. The head gives off a really pleasant aroma, strong grains complimented with ample soft oak notes and hints of honey and lemon. The flavor is really nice, oak bark is really strong with nice yeasty grains and lemon and even some hints of white peppercorns. It has a really smooth body that finishes with a punch of acidity and some boozy heat on the tongue.

Verdict: This is a really great beer. I like the Damnation as it is, but it’s not really one to blow me away. This batch with the oak flavors brings out some added complexity and really takes this beer to another level. I’ve had it now in a bottle and on draft and both are exemplary.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to abecall98

pours a slightly dark dirty blonde with tons of head, big, fuzzy, fizzy, and cloudy.

a bit of funk up front, with a soft oak and strong booze.

a bit of fruit within the funk. bright and flavorful. the brett is very apparent in this. oak is hidden for the most part. touch of sweetness.

lots of bite through out. assists in lingering flavors.

decent, lacks some complexity though.

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Photo of patm1986
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 bs870621345
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
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 mithrascruor
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy apricot/orange color. Great thick & foamy white head with excellent retention.

Smell: Great fruity aroma with orange, cherries, and kiwi-fruit. Just a hint of yeast.

Taste: A rather bitter citrus flavor overall. Some tartness, and some underlying yeast flavors. The finish and aftertaste are mostly bitter orange, though the oak does come through, along with some cherries.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied and generally smooth, with very airy carbonation.

Drinkability: Strong alcohol-wise, but it isn't apparent in the flavor.

Perhaps a bit unbalanced towards the bitterness, but otherwise this is a very enjoyable beer.

How appropriate that Damnation 23 is my 666th review!

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy, golden color, pours 2+ inches of thick white head that fades very slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Citrus, earty, barnyard funk, cherries, tart fruit, kumquat, spicy, acidic, oak.

Taste: Citrus, barnyard funk, cherries, tart fruit, acidic, spicy, oak, malty in the middle.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, lots of carbonation, crisp, semi dry finish, the alcohol is completely hidden.

Overall: A very drinkable transitional sour. Very complex flavors/aromas, well carbonated. I'm excited to see how this one ages.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a 375ml bottle of batch 69 with an abv of 10.75%.

The cork came out easily, a huge pop ensued.

Pouring slowly, I got about half the bottle in my glass; there's SO much foam! And it rises to the top of my glass. It's a light golden coloured brew and..I'll check on the lacing when the foam settles a bit. If it ever does. Okay, it did and there's some nice lacing.

It smells kind of funky and yeasty with a nice helping of tart that I guess comes from the oak.

The taste is of yeast, tart fruit, especially when I swish the beer in my mouth, light bitterness, and an almost taste of funk; not quite there with that but I don't know if it was meant to be there at all. Very tasty.

I poured the rest of the beer from the bottle to get the spent yeast in there.(again, a massive head of foam forms) Sometimes, that's the best part of a brew. ;^)

Very close to if not full bodied with a delicate level of carbonation, the mouthfeel is outstanding! With all the pluses I'm getting from it, the alcohol is almost barely noticeable. I'm digging Batch 23 big time!

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Photo of Cavery
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to my brother for providing the beer, compliments of the FFAC release. I gifted a bottle to a local homebrewer on his birthday, so I figured it only proper that I tried it so I can talk about it if he mentions it. Happy-Bday Jose, hope you cracked it already!

A: Light semi-transparent body with some nano-fiber egg shell foams that refuse to go away. swirls of silty thin formations in the middle of the beer are a bit confusing. Could be a yeast thing, but otherwise the beer has a very nice light honey color. Looking at the glass for prolonged periods of time make me think this would pair well with lobster, as it nearly looks like that translucent melted butter -- minus the foams.

S: Big french bread out of the oven, some sweet breads that make me think brioche. Alcohol that seems to be on the sweeter side of triple sec and natural orange-esque peels. The orange note is slighter, think kumquat and clementines. Really like the subtlety, frutti-tutti yeast that doesn't bludgeon you on the head with esters, it's more or less a phantom or suggestion. Complex in the nose, I could sit with it for a while and give a lecture on it. Subtle and not simple.

T: Somewhere between deliciously fresh pretzel breads, brioche, and oven fresh french bread crusts is this flavor. The lightly musky orange spritz on the overall flavor of the yeast breadiness is a whole grain malt note that pops with authenticity. The alcohol gives a smoothness to all the flavors and creates an overlap between kumquat rinds and breadiness that I'm a fan of. There's an illusion of drinkability that makes this beer scary. Overly ripe fruit in the end is a nice finisher.

M: Medium full bodied with a soothing silky feel of alcohol throughout. The beer quickly disappears down the throat, It's hard to gauge the feel as you really are compelled to swallow. Has a bit wetter alcohol finish, but it allows the mild clementine, mandarin, and kumquat flavors to do their thing.

O: This beer is really good, but I have to admit I know very little next to nothing about tripels stylistically. The yeast wasn't exactly estery, but the breadiness of malt married suggestions of light citrus to perfection. The mouth had this spritzy effervescence that makes me think this is something to consume fresh. There's a great deal to appreciate in this beer, and I can see a lot of non-beer drinkers picking this out as a favorite in a tasting. Definitely give batch 23 a swirl sometime, I think it's Russian River doing what they do best. Scary drinkable for the alcohol.

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Photo of UnknownKoger
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased 10/25/11. Poured into Bruery tulip. A slow pour still yields a good head and some very pleasant carbonation. Interestingly, it smells sweet and dry...almost bretty. Color is golden. This looks and smells delicious

Pretty complex flavors. There's the spiciness typical of Belgian tripel, a little bit of fruitiness on the tongue and just a hint of oakiness. Suffice to say, this isn't the standard Damnation. It's quite good.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent. Tons of carbonation make this an easy sipper...even at 11%

I'd be interested to see how this develops with age. Cheers!

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Photo of mkotsayfan
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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 SDDanC
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into duvel tulip. Easy pour yielded a sizable head, about 2.5 fingers thick. Not very stable, it settled quickly. Soft white with residual bubbles. Nose is complex. Yeasty esters take front, white pepper, sesame, evergreen trees and wood. Taste is noticeably deviant, pretty dry, yeasty, a lot more wood, as it warms its even a very very small bit tart in the back. Not my particular style preferred, but it is strangely alluring. I enjoyed it much. Lots of carbonation on this one early on, but mellows out nicely. No lacing to be found. Nice treat, glad I came across it (without having to go to the brewery at that).

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Photo of roodie
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow random pickup at Whole Foods in Huntington Beach. Serendipity I guess. Batch 69

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip

A: pours a golden honey hue with nice head that retains and moderate lacing left behind

S: hints of apple and lemon with the oaky vanilla shining through at the end

T: cider and lemon precede the yeasty vanilla body at the end of the sip

M: crisp and subtle citrusy tart linger

O: great great beer. On par with Bruery Premiere for me

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Photo of Kshock
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- hazy yellow color with a long standing white head that leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. Looks fantastic.

S- white grapes, bubblegum, banana. Very floral as well. Really nice nose. Reminds of westmalle triple.

T- great bubblegum banana sweetness; dries out really nicely leaving a great finish. Very well balanced beer. Tastes incredible.

M- light and fluffy, dries out on the backend.

O- very well excited beer, very true to the style. Nice treat from RR.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 69. Been wanting to try this for quite some time now.

Pours with a four finger of fluffy white head. Somewhat hazy golden body. Good retention and lacing.

Smells of fruity esters, green apples, really complex and layered yeast, some biscuity notes.

The yeast notes are really prominent, layered and complex, sweet and malty, some white pepper, green apple, white grape, fairly spicy too.

Crisp, sharp, dry, really well carbonated, sweet, but dry on the finish.

Didn't really get too much oak, but lots of spice, and a great yeast presence.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Bruery Tulip. Thanks for the bottle jodan.
Batch 69

A - Pours a light, hazy orange with a huge cream-colored head. Good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Green grapes, belgian yeast, spices.

T - Tart grapes, yeast, slight woodiness in the back.

D - Tons of carbonation and a lighter body.

O - Nice and funky, but light and refreshing.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
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 +5.6%
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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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 571 ratings
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