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:
567
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
15.68%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
154
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 567
Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.83/5  rDev -9%
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 -8.6%
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 -8.6%
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 -8.6%
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 -8.3%
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 -8.3%
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 -8.1%
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 -7.8%
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 -7.8%
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 -7.8%
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 -7.8%
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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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch #69, so the 3rd batch of batch #23, then, I think? Bottled in 2011, I think.

This one pours a darkish golden color, with a small head, and not much in the way of lacing.

Smells like musty cherries, oak, vanilla, pear, old tea, and gritty grain.

The oak aging and time in the bottle has made this one taste absolutely nothing like a tripel anymore. It's got a creamy mouthfeel, pretty thick, with oak, vanilla, cherry, and a decent level of oxidation. There's no real cardboard flavor, but there's definitely some flat, "dead" sherry notes that are fairly nice. There's a bit of pear and apple yeast flavors too, the only real indication that this is a tripel. There's no sign in the flavor that this is 11%.

There's a very low level of carbonation- it's still there, but barely holding on. There's a very creamy mouthfeel, but the low carb is tough.

I feel like this may be *slightly* over the hill, but not overwhelmingly so. It's an interesting effort nonetheless.

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

A - Murky straw, near white head, has staying power. Lots of cling.

S - Light and musky. Almost sea brine.

T - Bright and fresh, nice malt lines, a little barn and funk in there.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, fairly clean balance.

D - Very tasty. Surprised I have not had this one before.

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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 inlimbo77
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml, Batch 069
Deschutes tulip

A: Pours a deep golden color. Half finger of bright white head. Doesn't leave a lot of lacing.

S: I get a good amount of funk. Get that Belgian yeast funk. Lots of that coriander and clove that you'd expect from a Tripel.

T: Spicy yeast. Farmhouse funk. Maybe a touch of oak tanin character. Coriander and clove.

M: Medium

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, generously shared by Pwoods with RoyMunson and myself.
Pours a light, hazy gold in color. A bigger one inch head sits atop the beer. Smell is belgian candy sugar, some yeast and just a hint of oak. You really get more of the oak and just a bit of lemon in the flavor. The oak really smoothes this beer out. Incredibly creamy and velvety smooth in the mouthfeel. This is dangerously drinkable for the ABV. I think the oak aging takes away from my favorite characteristic of the regular Damnation, and that is it's carbonated mouthfeel. This beer was gone before I had a chance to realize it. Extremely drinkable, but be careful, at this ABV, one is more than enough.

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Photo of femALEist
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It poured a cloudy yellow and left a massive lace. It smelled like citrus, earthy, yeasty, some spicy hops mixed in with some banana and clove. It tasted a bit sweet at first with a little grainy with a spicy hop flavor, slightly bubblegum, banana, some light oak notes. The alcohol seemed to be pretty well hidden in this beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hannydawg for providing this one at a recent tasting.
Batch# 69

A: pours a hazy gold with 3 fingers of fluffy white head, loads of lacing on the glass

S: the smell features a touch of Belgian funk paired with lemon zest, oak provides a nice woodiness in the middle, the finish is yeasty

T: taste begins with lemon, the citrus character is very zesty as it rolls across the palate, sourdough bread comes in to pair with the lemon, the finish features slightly spicy Belgian yeast

MF: medium carbonation, smooth mouthfeel

O: nice balance, ABV is well integrated

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange color with a short fizzy white head.

Scent of citrus, soap, light sugars, light sweet oak, and a hint of vanilla. Not very complex, but balanced well.

Taste of citrus, apples, oak, some caramel, light sugar, and a touch of vanilla. Light considering the alcohol content. One of the better American Tripels I have had.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slight with a good amount of carbonation.

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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 beagle75
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a goblet.
Batch 069

A: Hazy, luminous golden color with two fingers of diminishing off-white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Bright, vinous, and biscuity, with an airy effervescent sourness of diluted acetic acid and evocative herbal spice. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with bright stone fruit and mild aromatic malt. Acidity is similarly bright, but not at all tart, posited against Brettanomyces metabolites that lend a rustic but metered pastoral funk. Green herbaceous bitterness is mild in the middle, tasting like an herbal tincture, with vinous qualities and brief peaks of sweetness also showing up. The finish is musty with restrained oak and fruity with apricot and fresh fig. Very pale aromatic malt lingers in an off-dry fashion.

M: Medium viscosity, soft yet lively on the palate in a pitch-perfect combination of restrained acidity and brisk carbonation.

D/O: In general, the wild ales of Russian River are a glorious expression of imperfection, possibly some of the most extreme, challenging, and coveted American-brewed beers. This wood-aged batch of Damnation is most of those things, yet it is less challenging and seems to be nearer to perfection. Appearing as much like an imperial Sanctification as a wild version of Damnation, it lacks the palate-scorching sourness which has come to define that other beer in recent times. It is beguiling and drinkable, not suggestive of the high (10+ percent) abv, thanks in large part to the rewarding textures it is imparted with.

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

Thanks to IrishBoy for sharing this bottle at the RBSG 08 Grand Tasting. Poured into my La Chouffe goblet. Pale gold in color with a white head. The froth reduces to a halo, leaving sticky lace everywhere. Aroma is oak-forward, with banana esters providing sweetness. Flavor is very fruity, mostly banana with accents of tropical and stone fruits. Boozy mid-palate with an earthy oaky finish. Very smooth, classic RR mouthfeel.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap, so of course I need to try it on the bottle version. Ya know?

This is an excellent tripel, though this particular batch is really striking me as a bit too hot. Maybe it needs some time to mellow out. That issue aside, this is still pretty good. Through the burn I am getting nice character and a good profile. Even though this might need to mellow a bit, it's still nice.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
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 ehammond1
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle

Belgian Beer Festival 2011
Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

A slightly hazy, bright yellow golden ale with a relatively stiff and persistent white head. Coating lacing down the glass.

Bright aroma of citrus, particularly lemon, and some tangy but not overly powerful Belgian yeast character, perhaps a touch of oak, though this one smells far sweeter than the original.

Sweet citrus, Belgian yeast, mild oak character all come together very nicely. As with the nose, this version seems far sweeter than the original Damnation--the sweetness seems honey-like.

Medium to light mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation, a touch velvety, very nice.

A far sweeter, slightly more woody, version than the original Damnation. A different beer entirely, in my mind. I prefer the original Damnation.

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Damnation Batch 23 (Oak Aged) from Russian River Brewing Company
4.21 out of 5 based on 567 ratings.
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