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

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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:
242
Ratings:
566
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
15.68%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
154
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 566
Photo of 20ozmonkey
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
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 -12.1%
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 mikey711
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
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 bs870621345
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
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 Dope
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
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 Crosling
3.61/5  rDev -14.3%
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 brewcrew76
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GrandCruDrew for this one.

A - Hazy golden orange with 2 fingers of creamy white head.

S - Oak, slightly musty wood, tropical fruits, green apple, pear and spicy belgian yeast.

T - The oak is stronger than aroma. Wet musty oak, vanilla, sweet, tropical fruits, white grapes and a lingering spicy belgian yeast.

M - Medium mouthfeel, spritzy at first but settles to light carbonation making it a touch heavy/creamy.

D - Not sure if the age has added more oak aroma/flavor but I was a little disappointed in this one.

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Photo of craytonic
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 023.

Pour is a ruby-orange with a big off-white head that leaves serious lacing.

Smell: Not as forward as I would like. Some light spice, golden fruit, yeast and no oak.

Taste: A bit bland, lots of golden fruit (pears & apples) with some light spice and yeast and a some faint orange cream, not much else. No oak, not enough spice.

Mouthfeel: It does excel here, very creamy.

Drinkability: A bit lacking in flavor, although the high ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both MexicanSkittel and BdubleEdubleRUN for the chance to try this one. Batch 69, 375ml bottle poured into a snifter. The cork removes with a loud pop and produces 4 fingers worth of white fluffy froth. The cap fades back to a thin lacing that is supported by constantly rising bubbles. The brew itself appears a hazed golden orange color that is slightly hazed. A light swirl effortless revives more than a finger of slightly off-white froth back to the surface.

The smell of this brew has a lot going on. First it reminds me of coriander with a hint of lemon and orange zest that is sweet and almost candied. More sniffs reveal a deep fruit inclusion with a bit of earth and mild oaked quality. A hint of sulfur and some spicy clove round it out with the alcohol becoming increasingly noticeable as it warms up.

The taste includes everything hinted in the aroma. Some peppery spice mixes with clove, coriander, lemon and orange pulp-like bitterness. Some tannic oak flavoring resides mid-palate bringing out a bit more focus on an earthy/herbal bitterness. The alcohol which was initially quite tamed really comes out with a warming factor as the brew warms up. The aftertaste is a little cheesy and quite earthy with a bit more pronounced oak flavoring that is raw.

This is a medium bodied brew that is very carbonated. It has a solid warming factor about it and a nice arrangement of flavor initially that sort of falls apart as it warms up and more sips are taken. I think the oak and hoppy bitterness clashes with the yeasty spices and it overall distracts from the experience instead of complimenting it. It lingers inside the mouth with almost an oily feel that mixes with a bit of astringency. It isn't a horrible brew by any stretch, it just isn't quite for me and what I expect from a tripel.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. This is batch 69, purchased at the brewery.

A: Pours a clear, golden body capped with 4-5 fingers of off-white head that completely fills the glass off of a small pour. The dense bubbles recede evenly, leaving streaks of lace down the glass as they go.

S: Stone fruit (pears, apricot), substantial yeasty mustiness, oak, vanilla, clove.

T: Fairly sweet on the initial taste, manifesting as stone fruit flavors and a touch of orange zest, but it's sloppily covered up by prickly, astringent oak and musty yeast that overwhelm the palate. Clove follows almost as an afterthought well into the finish.

M: This is a rough beer on the palate; the flavor doesn't flow smoothly, and the components aren't well-integrated. Age MAY do this some good, but the equivalent of an $18 (?) 750mL bottle should be ready to go right away.

O: The original Batch 23 aged into a beautiful, mellow, buttery-oak beer. Obviously, there will be recipe variation and other factors, but I don't see how batches 46 and 69 will get there. The oak presence in the latter two batches has been more prickly, spicy, and astringent. The overall execution of this beer is disappointing. At the current price point ($9?), I don't think I'll load up on the next one.

Incidentally, I've had a handful of different bottles, and there may be some settling / variation issues with this beer. I had one that was dominated by orange zest and others that were dominated by yeast. I'm reviewing the yeast-heavy one, but I'd give the better bottles of this a B+ or so.

~~~

Original review of batch 46, purchased in Feb '09 and consumed in Jun '10. 3.28 / 5

A: Pours a brilliant, clear amber with two fingers of long-lasting, fluffy off-white head. The dense bubbles give a creamy appearance, and they leave substantial lace down the sides of the glass. Exquisite.

S: Vanilla, pears, apricots, orange peel, oak, clove, and yeast.

T: Wow, much sweeter than expected. Vanilla and orange-peel create a candy-like flavor that is initially cloying, but gets to be more tolerable (though never great) as the beer warms. The finish brings out buttery (but bitter, astringent) oak, pear, clove, and yeast flavors.

M: It feels quite creamy, but maybe that's the visuals of the carbonation -- which is quite fine -- playing tricks on me. The sugars are tasted, which is a disappointment; I'd like a drier beer for the style. The alcohol is quite well suppressed, but then the beer is 1.5 years old at this point.

D: Eh.... I hate to say Vinnie makes a bad beer, but if he does, this is probably it. I won't pay $12 for this again.

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Photo of Overlord
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a golden yellow. Big white foam head.

Smells like some funky, oak-y grass/hay/wheat/flowers. I was expecting something sweeter. Interesting.

Taste is all over the place. Some sweet malt, some candi, some weird oak-y funk/grass elements. Hmm. Really kind of muddled if you ask me. Nice bubbly mouthfeel.

Thanks to Chris for giving me a chance to try this.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.41/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 69.

Appearance - Big white head after a very difficult cork removal. Thick collar. Wispy surface. Golden orange hazy body.

Smell - Bready and estery. A little phenolic. Kinda fruity. A little earthy. Quite oaky. Very odd.

Taste - Belgian sweetness and yeastiness. Extremely oaky. Sweet and estery up front. Doughy malts. Gets earthy and bitter in the back.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Bitter. Medium heavy.

Overall - An odd beer. A smell I can't quite place. The flavor is complex, but not really a tripel. Points for being interesting.

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Photo of mwa423
3.39/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Expecting an oak aged tripel, it's certainly a west coast sour take on an tripel. What this isn't: yeasty and belgian. What this is: Light, heavily carbonated and slightly sour. The appearance is perfect, slightly hazy and a great head and lacing when poured carefully. The smell is light, slightly sweet and sour. Taste starts yeasty and quickly breezes by some malt and it's on to a sour aftertaste. The beer is in your mouth and down your throat faster than you would believe. Mouthfeel is light and heavily carbonated, not what I usually expect from the style.

Overall, very different. If you like this type of different, you'll enjoy it.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.32/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've always been put off by the cultish behavior of RR zealots, but my first RR beer, Supplication, really made me see the light. Here goes #2.

After corking, the pour. Let's not blow smoke up asses here, Damnation 23 looks like any other tripel/pale. Slightly wood grain gold, not a lot of head.

It has that standard Tripel smell, fruity, yeast, cloves, some funky bitterness in the background.

The taste has me wondering, where the F the oak is? I get a little bit of bizarro RR funk, but not much to distinguish it from a commodity tripel.

Mouthfeel is more like a saison. Long on carbonation, doesn't sit particularly well in mouth.

This is an OK beer at best and to be honest, at the price Russian River asks for it, Damnation 23 is flat-out unacceptable. I really have to wonder what the grades would be for this beer if it didn't say Russian River on the label.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.19/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Adam from Missouri brought this to March Madness. Drank another one this summer as well. Looks real nice, a tiny bit of haze throughout the golden liquid, pristine white head, about .75" to it, good lacing and retention. Aroma was heavy on the alcohol, sheesh, this is powerful. Alcohol overpowers every other olfactory attempt at semblance.

Taste, again, I'm getting a ton of alcohol. For being the same abv as Pliny the Younger, this one shows it infinitely more. You can pick up on the oak at least, unlike the aroma which was all alcohol. I'd be tempted to even say this was fusel alcohol had I not known that its 11% and probably just that massiveness that makes it so.

I can't pick up on much taste, the alcohol just destroyed me. Really a burn in the throat as I drink it. The oak is bright enough to make me wonder if it is a virgin barrel. I just can't endorse this one, its primary and final impression it left on me was "damn, that tastes like I'm drinking gin/vodka."

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.05/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Golden color, decent clarity white head, looks the part for a tripel. Aroma was hot alcohol, lots of oak surface area.

Taste was mainly alcohol heat, a pungent yeast presence that is super estery. Alcohol burn and oak the most prevalent things going on here for me. Don't really get it, normal Damnation, vastly superior.

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Photo of cscrowley37
1/5  rDev -76.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Batch 069.

Opened with anticipation. It's been 5 years.

Uncaged...twisting...no pop?

It's flat. Sigh.

Tastes like cloves, day-old grass clippings and melted caramel frappucino.

Bummer

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.
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