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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Ratings: 571 |  Reviews: 242
Photo of aforbes10
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy but still glimmering orange brown (more orange, really) with an extremely well retained white pillowy head. Masterful appearance. Smells of spiced malt, bananas, oak and ethanol. Tangy, sweet mix of Belgian flavors. Yeasty, and some coriander/green hops. Ethanol strong and a little hot on the finish. I get the higher alcohol but the oak contribution is less obvious. Extra body is the real story here, which makes the beer much easier to drink and helps the flavors come together a lot more. Very smooth. This is more of a sipper than its regular incarnation, but that's a-ok with me.

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Photo of Lothore
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear golden yellow hue with a nice, white, frothy 2 finger head.

S- Smell is a tad tart, apple juice, belgian yeast, light fruits.

T- Taste is very full and oaky, hints of light fruits, belgian yeast, but at is core incredibly woody and bready.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- This one just seemed a lot more balanced than regular damnation. The wood characteristics really did it for me. I'm not the biggest belgian fan but found something great in this beer.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Paid $14.99 for a 750ml bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Batch 046. Poured into a thick chalice and shared with two friends.

A small moderately fizzy white head that has excellent retention. Good carbonation. Very cloudy and opaque gold color. Thick lacing that I think will be slowly fading down the glass.

Belgian spice and bready yeast. The smell of the oak chips and some fruity undertones come through more as it warms. Some hints of booze as well in the nose, but pretty well hidden for an 11%.

The taste of this one is much more surprising than the nose. Nice balance. Belgian spice and yeast are toned down much more than I expected from the nose. Light fruitiness, oaked wood and light malts back this Belgian Strong Pale Ale up quite nicely. All flavors are moderate, but in balance, they bring together a tasty brew. Alcohol warms slightly, but otherwise is very well hidden.

Mouth is excellent. Very thick and chewy. Smooth and velvety. Medium body. Light carbonation. The bottle conditioning and aging of this one really are evident in the mouthfeel, which is the beer's best quality.

Good representation of the style and one of the best in its class.

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

Bottle into Old Engine Oil chalice, batch 046. Thanks Henry (Bankhead) for the chance to try this one!

Pours orangey-gold, lightly hazy, into a chalice, with a huge creamy white head and beautiful walls of lacing. Great effervescence from the laser etching at the bottom. After a while, the dense head ends up as a nice, solid cap on the bottom.

Nose is smooth peppery yeast, very nice prominent vanilla note from the oak, some golden fruit.

Taste is sooo Smooth. big woody vanilla notes up front hang with the peppery yeast and the golden fruit underneath (apricot) to blend into a fantastic combination. Bit of a dry, peppery bite at the lightly bitter finish. Exhale is more oak, sweet vanilla - definitely not hidden in this one. Definitely get a rich apricot-and-cream feeling with this one alongside the peppery bite. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is beautiful - creamy and lush from the cap that never seems to go away, full without being heavy or syrupy. Active carbonation that's plenty lively without ever really biting back.

No problem finishing a bottle of this on my own. Pretty sure I could have started in on my next without much problem. Smooth all the way around. Nicely done.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big up to our homegirl out west.

A: Slightly hazy golden color with a finger of white head.

S: Nice mix of apples and oak. Really nice clean fruity nose.

T: Nice big oak taste right off the bat. Some lighter fruits right behind that with the slightest hints of booze. Some faded hops in the finish.

M: Prickly carbonation. Slightly heavy mouthfeel.

D: 100% better than regular damnation. The oak aging took an ok beer and made it world class. Only 23 more batches to go now....

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Photo of DIM
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch 46

a: This was a clear golden color with some peachy highlights. It poured with a huge, craggy white head that left plenty of lace in its wake.

s: Interesting! Oaky aromas of tobacco and apricots take center stage. Lurking in the backround are some warm, perfumed fruity esters that suggest pineapple, bananas, and raisins.

t: Nice balance between sweet, oaky tobacco and perfumed estery fruits. The finish is a long lasting tanic tartness.

m: Long lasting, creamy carbonation.

d: Big thanks to rallisonfor this one. I've never had anything like it. Absolutely fantastic and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer during the first go around and thought it was excellent then, the 2nd time around, just as good.

Pours a big white frothy head, a cloudy honey yellow. Honeycomb's big, yeah yeah yeah, it's not small, no no no.

Smells of citrus fruits, apples? earthy, woody, floral. A is for Apple, J is for Jacks, cinamony toasty apple jacks.

Citrus fruity esters, light and crisp, oak gives it a a very smooth woody finish. Perfection. Two scoops of Damnation in Kellog's Damnation 23.

Like Tony the Tiger, this beer's Grrreat!

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Photo of ccrida
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 46 bottle (10.75%) poured into my Damnation tulip, Damnation Batch 23 is a dark gold with a large white head that is pretty slow settling and leaves heavy lace, some big hunks of foam. Lots of numerology babble on the label reality checks me into what can happen from living on the west coast and reading to much Edgar Cayce! Drugs are bad, mmmm k?

Smell is awesome, bright and fruity, just a bit of wood. Really appetizing.

Taste is interesting. From the first sip I thought, well, they took a great beer and overdid it. But then as I worked though the bottle, I came to really enjoy it. The oak, and more so alcohol are both pretty strong, no question, with a particularly boozy after taste, but the fruity esters are strong and tasty. I still prefer regular Damnation, as what I like about this is basically in spite of the overdone ABV and oak. There might be some vanilla character from the chips that I'm perceiving as esters, but the oak strikes me mostly as a woody, and really isn't to strong. As I get used to the bruising ABV, I like it the beer more and more.

Mouthfeel is smooth, very creamy, light body.

Drinkability isn't to bad for such a strong beer. It took me a while to get used to it though. First glass washed down my chili nicely, and the rest was a nice digestife. Still, it's overkill.

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Photo of charlesw
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviews are a funny thing... Is it average or good? Well, it's average. The problem is that it's perfectly average. Normal. What you expect the beer to be. Ah. OK. Revising. There. Like that better?

Poured from a 750 into a snifter. The 750 has some annoying verbiage on it - numerology BS. I like their beer less in relationship to how much they believe in what they are writing on the bottle. Definite negative points for being wackos or appearing to be wackos.

Deep blonde/light amber. Small white head that lasts for a long time. Smells fruity and spicy. Tastes fruity and spicy. Really, IMO this is pretty much what the style is all about.

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Photo of drseamus
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Body is somewhere between amber and straw. Highly carbonated.

S: Tight nose. Some apples but not much.

T: Very intense. Good apple on pretty heavy oak. In spite of the thick oak though, it isn't too much.

M: Prickly on the tongue. Very active and carbonated.

D: Much better than regular Damnation. This is a great beer.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured cloudy amber with a minnsl white head that disapperas into lacing. Aeona of funk, grass and spice. Taste is similar, with coriander spiciness present throughout, combined with malty sweetness. Oak is present, but not dominant. Thick mouthfeel and medium-low carbonation. Hides it's alcohol exceptionally well.

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Photo of kasper
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #46

A: Pours a translucent orangish-yellow with a sizable yellow-tined white bubbly head with good retention, leaving thick sheets of lacing as it slowly recedes.

S: Aromas are subtle, grassy, and a tad spicy. More specifically, aromas of belgian yeast -- tad of banana and a little bit of the bubblegum going on. There's clove in there and very -- and i mean VERY -- subtle hints of vanilla and oak. If I didn't know this was aged on wood chips, I may have never picked that up.

T: Kind of like a super-malty, mildly-hopped belgian hefeweizen, if that makes any sense. Malts are thick and present, the clove spice is prominent and lingering, and there's a bit of numbing action going on from the alcohol which is masked extremely well. The oak aging is again barely detectable but the flavors all mingle nicely.

M: One of the best parts of this brew is the feel. This is a thick and heavy one, but incredibly smooth with mild carbonation. You get all those rich belgian flavors without the overcarbonation.

D: Belgian ales aren't one of my favorites but this is a well balance, smooth sipper. I would likely never drink more than half a bottle at one time, but that's just me. Good beer. Would drink again, but unsure if I would intentionally seek it out just do to my bias against spicy belgian ales.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle @ O'Brien's. Poured hazy gold with a thick, foamy white head. Some lacing on the goblet. Lovely sweet French oak barrel, Belgian yeast, cloves, and lots of lighter fruits (apples, grapes, peaches). Effervescent mouthfeel, very light. Compliments the flavor nicely. Sweet peaches and white grapes up front, even sweeter yeast and malt. Nive vanilla/clove spice combo, close to what you may find in a trippel. The oak gives this a flavor far different than the usual Damnation. It is still sweet, but the slight earthiness keeps this from being sickening. Dry finish. Great beer.

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Photo of mjl21
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked/caged bottle poured into a Chimay glass. This is Batch 046. According to the RR website, this was brewed on 12/2/08 and bottled on 1/7/09. I consumed it on 2/26/09. Comes in at 10.75%.

A-When poured, looks like semi-hazy apple juice. One finger white head dissolves quickly into a thin, puffy, layer. Lacing is left that looks like cresting waves about to break.

S-Belgian yeast hits when first opened. Musty wood (in this case oak), grapes, and some apple.

T-Candy sugar sweetness with a nice bitter hop feeling on the backend. Toasted oak is also apparent.

M-Creamy and well carbonated. Smooth on the tongue and a nice level of bitterness is left in the back of the mouth. Quite a crisp finish.

D-I am asking myself where is the alcohol? An extremely crisp and refreshing tripel.

I purchased a bottle of the original Batch 23 once when I was at the brewpub and did not take notes, but remember the beer being quite good and worth the extra cost. This new batch does not disappoint. The bottle says this can be aged for up to four years. I would love to sample this beer as it ages. I would also like to see MJ mentioned on the back of the bottle when mentioning all things 23.

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

Picked up a bottle from City Beer in SF. Opened it this week and wow! I tried the standard Damnation but the wood chips of the 23 really make this a unique and great tasting beer. On first sip there a strong and full hop flavor and after a few seconds that hop flavor gets overshadowed by a pleasing oaky flavor. The drinking experience of this beer is very unique and tasted refined. I would buy this beer again and would recommend it to anyone that likes pale ales as well as belgian ales. It strikes a inventive balance between brute force hop taste with the complex depth of some belgians.

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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 PeprSprYoFace
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found this at O'Brien's in SD.

Pours a nice light amber color. Like honey. No real head and minimal lacing.

No real smell. A little alcohol and Belgian yeast but not much else.

Taste is nothing like smell. You take a sip and the carbonation hits the top of your mouth. Then a slight bitterness hits the roof of your mouth and the sides of your tongue. Then a very nice malty oak flavour that is pretty sweet hits your tongue. It finishes with a bitter sweet aftertaste. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. No complaints.

Drinkabilitu is very high because if I had more bottles of this stuff I would hoard them and never share. Can't wait till they make another 23 batches

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

In a bottle from the Celebratorfest. And I forgot to try Consecration (grrr!!!)

A - Pours a straw yellow, with a little over 1 finger of white head, which dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing.

S - Oak, vanilla, cardamom, and a slight bit of spicy hops.

T - More oakiness present in the taste, with vanilla, cardamom, and a hint of citrus. Bittering hops are slightly spicy with subtle notes of citrus.

M - Well-balanced with a touch of creaminess, but the aftertaste is slightly dry.

D - Overall good. Will drink again.

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Photo of flexabull
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer in San Francisco. Pleasantly surprised to see this on tap, and in bottles on the shelves.

Pours a lightly clouded blonde color, with nice white head.

Aromas are of oak, some mixed spices, cream, and sugar.

Taste is of sharp hard candies and sugar. There are also some spice, cloves, oak, and light creams. Finish is crisp, with a hint of bright citrus hops on the finish. Well put together and tasty triple. (At least they said this was more like a triple...)

Mouthfeel is great. Very full, crisp, and thick.

Drinkability is quite good. I was shocked at how easily this went down. What a well put together and complex triple this one is. I think this is a beer that would benefit from some time too. It could smooth out even more, and be super. With that said, it's still an excellent beer.

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Photo of lhaqq
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light gold body with a sticky, lacy white head.
S: Pretty complex and good effervescence. Grainy, woody maltiness initially; sort of woody-chipish--like a cross between a hamster cage and walking into a brewery. Also some peanut butter and bubble gum.
T: The wood-chip oak begins the flavor, followed by a good dose of malts. Then some earthiness and vanilla. The bubble gum comes through too, though not too sweet.
M: Creamier than expected, but also good level of carbonation.
D: Mmm, I think it was pretty drinkable. Had just finished a tour of some Sonoma County wineries and could only do one. But I couldn't taste the alcohol and could definitely have more under other conditions.

Definitely my favorite of the style.

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

A - Straw yellow in color with quite a bit of effervescence and a minimal off white that leaves a bit of lacing.

S - Got some clove, oak and grain in the first whiff followed by some hops and yeast.

T - Flavor has a strong oak character that works well with the grain and spice flavors. Some citrus fruit is noticed, but only mildly.

M - Medium bodied and surprisingly drying.

D - I enjoyed this beer mainly because of the extra dimension the oak chips brought to the overall flavor. Not really my style, but still delicious.

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

Drank both batches of this side-by-side at 'Tion Night at the Toronado. Both are great, but the new batch struck me as being a little better, so I'll review that one.

A: 13 oz pour into a tulip glass. Golden and clear with only the slightest haze. A thin white cap is all that formed for a head, more a result of a gentle pour than a lack of carbonation.

S: Peppery yeast, soft oak, rich pale malts. Slight graininess and a touch of tropical fruit.

T&M: Malty sweetness hits the palate first, grainy and fruity. The oak is very well dialed in, not overbearing on the palate but present enough to add some pleasant notes of vanilla, earth and soft tannins. Medium-light in body, crisply carbonated; spot-on. Really dries out in the finish, becoming more peppery and crisp. I really enjoyed this one, it's got a very authentic Belgian tripel character that most American breweries fail to achieve.

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Photo of antilogic
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 5oz taster. I regret not getting more!

Really tastes like I expected. Color is on the darker side of straw/gold, with a small white head. Taste is light oak, Belgian yeast, fruits, earth. Vinne should brew this more often than once in 23 batches..

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Photo of paytoplay
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at O'Briens 15th annv. If I could get this damnation all the time I would. Oak gives that added texture, a little vanilla and superb body and length. Really a stand out beer for me. Vinnie noted it was batch 46, I guess it seeks oak every 23 batches. Would love to see this with 1 or 2 years of age. This was from Keg and outstanding.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium gold, clear, with 1/2 inch of white foam. Beautiful, slow paced carbonation fills the glass, with the bubbles almost suspended there elegantly. Light malt based nose with subtle coriander and flashes of floral spice. Not bad, but it really takes getting your nose in the glass to get a good whiff.

The taste is lightly sweet and very classic for the Tripel style with nice fruity complexities. The oak flavor doesn't appear too strong, but it definitely has its effect on mellowing things nicely. I find it hard to believe it is 11% ABV. The mouthfeel if very nice, smooth with a medium body. Not syrupy, carbonation is spot on.

Not sure what it is but I can always tell when I am drinking a Russian River beer. This one happens to be very well-rounded. You don't taste the heat, and it's quite drinkable...

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 571 ratings.
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