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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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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 567
Photo of maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to lothore, who sent me this bottle about 15 months ago...yes, it's time for the periodic cleansing of the colonic cellar. I wasn't terribly impressed with the standard Damnation, so I'm hoping a bit of age & oak will improve my disposition towards it. Batch 46 split with my wife.

Only about 2/3 poured initially to keep the brew sediment-free. The same orangish color as regular Damnation but hazier, deeper. Nose is nice, terrific wine-like quality to it, dry, woody, spritzish.

Well, either my old review of Damnation was off-base or this is a much better beer. This comes off like alcohol-infused white grape juice, with a rollicking sweetness spark-arcing over the palate. Perhaps adding "big, sweet, candy" notes is redundant, but the sweetness actually underlies the grapeness; they're distinct. More puckering sugariness in the basket of fruits including pear, apples, & others. The yeast lends a spice kick towards the end, which leaves off dry. 0% humidity, take another drink to wet your whistle dry. 11%? You kidding me?

Excellent beer. If this isn't the best beer I've had from Russian River, it's only Pliny's fault.
Quaffable, original, tasty, gorgeous. Wonderful.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy orange/yellow with a two finger head that leaves behind some lacing.

S-Lemon, yeast, some wood and spices.

T-Lots of lemon, spices, wood is present and there is a noticeable amount of bitterness.

M-Light, fully carbonated.

O-Like the regular Damnation a fine brew. The wood flavors creep in ever so slightly and once again there is a solid hop backbone in the finish.

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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 ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle of batch 69 that I shared with a friend. Golden yellow color, decent head. Smells estery and a whole lot like Damnation to me. The flavor was a bit of pear, belgian yeast, maybe I haven't had Damnation in a while but this tastes a whole lot like what I remember. I did not taste any oak whatsoever. I will say that the alcohol was imperceptible which is pretty amazing given it was listed at like 10.8% or something. Nice beer but nothing to go crazy for.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sarah for sharing this one!

A-pours a bright golden orangish color with a creamy bubbly white head that lingers for a little leaving a nice thick lace

S-the nose is pretty big with lots of nice oak aromas and some sweet vanilla up front. sparkling white grapes with notes of sweet sugar and some soft golden fruits hold strong in the nose with a touch more oak and note of booze in the back.

T-this is delicious, hints of spicy phenols right up front. soft golden fruits take over, pear and some peach with some light sour apple underneath. the back adds a touch of ginger with some spiciness lingering throughout the finish.

M-this has a medium to light body and is very soft and smooth on the palate. the carbonation is lower and not biting at all giving it a still crisp clean finish.

D-this is tasty, lighter, and soft on the palate. fantastic beer and quite easy and pleasant to drink. the oak falls off a little in the taste but was still a great brew!

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

A: Drunk following standard Damnation, and also nearly a year old. This poured a hazy gold with a little white head.
S: It smelled totally different, like shark American oak and strong apricots, with some lemon zest and honey malt and alcohol.
T: It also tasted different, like dried apricots and fresh oak, with some candi sugar and honey and sour yeast, and a little alcohol.
M: It was oily with a little carbonation. Very smooth.
D: This was much better than the standard Damnation. It had lots of rich complexity, but was still very delicate and refined. Fantastic to sip, with the only negative being that it's still a bit hot. Perhaps another year of age to perfect it?

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

Opened side-by-side with regular damnation (Batch 063). Thanks to 321Jeff for sending batch 23 my way. enjoyed in a unibroue la fin du monde tulip and the regular damnation in a russian river tulip.

a - the damnation 23 opened with a POP as soon as the cage was off. in the glass, the brew was lively and i could see almost an endless stream of bubbles jumping to the glass. the head was about half the glass and ended up heaping over the top of the glass and hung out for ages. the color was a bit darker and richer than that of regular damnation.

s - much like damnation, but with oak. bubblegum, bananas, clove, all the normal flavorings in a bspa, but a bit sweeter like a tripel.

t - the 23 definitely resembles a tripel more than the bspa of the regular damnation. much sweeter. a bit syrupy but really tasty.

m - much thicker than the original. a bit boozy, but the booziness comes across as sweetness.

o - overall the oak is an improvement on an already great beer. very happy with batch 23. love me a good tripel and this is a great take on the style.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to womencantsail for this tick in my quest to try all of the RR -tion brews! Batch #046! Served from bottle into a Firestone Walker sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, oak, and dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. It had a very different flavor than what I was thinking it would taste like. The flavors present were very nicely balanced and worked well together. The aroma was very nice as well. Very glad that I got the opportunity to try this. Thanks again Andrew!

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

On-tap at the brewery. Third brewing, meaning batch 69.

A: Served a cloudy golden apple juice color with a thin what film that quickly faded into a lasting collar.
S: Sweet golden fruits, white wine, peppery spices, and golden raisins.
T: Similar to regular Damnation but with more alcohol and fruit and a bit of a barrel quality reminiscent to white wine. There is a honey sweetness in the finish as well as a splash of apple juice. The beer is also very spicy overall, with notes of pepper, yeast, and coriander.
M: Thickish body, dry viscous mouthfeel and creamy carbonation. This was wonderful to drink, and I could not detect the double digit alcohol at all.
O: Really fruity and flavorful with a great mouthfeel. Can’t wait to see how it is out of the bottle.

5/18/11: Batch 23, thanks Mike.
This has held amazingly. Ultra smooth and integrated. No alcohol flavor. The fruit has really blossomed. Drink 'em if you got 'em!

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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 gford217
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle courtesy of MakeItaBanquet poured into a tulip.

Pours bright golden orange with the slightest haze and a huge creamy white head that recedes to a thick cap and some delicate lacing.

The aroma is really nice and very sweet with caramelized green apples and apricots alongside some more citrusy pineapples. Hints of spicy yeast with vanilla and oak as well.

The taste is also sweet with apples, pears and candi sugar. But, it does seem a little spicier than the aroma with the Belgian yeast coming out as well as a heavier dose of the oak character, wood and vanilla in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation and pretty stick and less dry than many tripels.

I love this beer and it's ridiculous that an 11% ABV beer is this drinkable. Sweeter than most tripels but balanced by the oak - a wonderful beer.

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

Poured into a snifter. Batch 69. Big thanks to Bilbosnuts for this.

4.5 A: Hazed dark orange brown color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Retention is very good and lots of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Nice sugary, spicy tripel. Lots of pepper. Hay and bready malts with peach and apple fruitiness. Oaky underneath with a mild vanilla.

4.0 T: Loads of pepper and maybe a touch of clove underneath. Big fruitiness with peach and apple showcased and a hint of banana. Oaky with a mild vanilla and note of supple tannins. Quite tasty.

4.0 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Plenty of spritzy carbonation, maybe a bit too much. Nice creaminess and super smooth.

4.5 D: Definitely a solid tripel. Not the most complex, but great flavors that come together well.

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

Darker than normal Damnation gold with a rightly capped white head of billowing foam, that remains, but dies down and is revived with a swirl of the glass. Excellent lacing and head retention on this wild pup of a beer. Aromas of strong classic golden ale perfection, apple, a bit of spice from the yeast esthers, sweet biscuity malts, and slightly dead vegetal hops in the back. This version also has a big hot boozy oak note that dominates the front aroma quadrant. Taste si big with the oak and alcohol head, a bit hot at this point but will be oh, so, smooth in about 14 month time. Oak chips, mix with spicy yeast/hop notes with a metallic twinge of biscuit malt in the back palatte. Mouthfeel is smooth, but this is hot which hurts it's drinkability a bit. Still damn good. Was not rar at all when released but now impossible to find, which sucks. Should of picked up that case for $80 when it came out as this will be stellar in a few months....

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Photo of birchstick
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to KevSal for this one!

A - pours an orange color with a 1/8" soft white head that retains well and leaves a really nice lacing down the side of the glass

S - sweet fruits - apples and pears are first to the nose; sitting above the fruity aromas is a fog of musty brett funk

T - citric flavors are upfront on the tongue. These move on to some of the fruity tripel flavors - the pears, apples. Next, a little bit of bubblegum yeast is in the mix...these flavors take the beer on the rest of its journey down my palate, with a bit of oak thrown in at the end, but it is pretty subtle.

M - creamy, watery, and full

D - this is a good take on the regular version. I didn't realize this was a triple and not a blonde ale, but given the change up in styles I still really enjoyed this one. Another winner from RR!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special Thanks to Cloudskipper for providing this in a trade this past May. Just getting around to enjoying this gem today.

Pours with a fluffy white head that fades rather quickly. The beer is a slightly cloudy honey amber color with some orange/copper tones. The inside of the glass is one big sheet of lacing...

Aroma is fantastic. Bright, fresh, peach, strawberry, a hint of sweetness along with a hint of alcohol. As it continues to warm some more yeast aroma comes to the forefront.

The Oak chips are immediately noticeable in the flavor. The wood brings a dryness to the finish and a depth to the flavor. Peach, white grape, green apple, and some coconut. Some candy sugar with a yeasty notes. The oak notes really shine through towards the finish and meld nicely with the hop bitterness that makes itself known at this point. The lingering finish is a combo of hop bitterness and the oak notes. Some nice layers of malt sweetness in the background. Light bread tones as well. You do get a sense of the alcohol near the finish as well. Not too hot, but definitely present,

Mouth feel is delicate and light yet substantial. The body itself seems sort of light, but the flavor makes this a bigger beer in your mouth.

Very interesting beer and one to enjoy with a friend or over a long afternoon.

Very glad I had the opportunity to try this one.

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

791st Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet
750ML C/C

@Woodshop Classix

Thanks Greg for sharing this one!!

App- I got a hazy, cloudy orange. Very thin head only about 1/8" and perfect white. Great lacing and very carbonated.

Smell- Deep citrus with oranges and lemons. Huge twist with the oak behind it, in turn it became floral in the nose as well. Has that lush and full Belgian style nose I love.

Taste- Not at all what I was expecting. It added some many dimensions to the flavor of an already great beer that I liked a lot when I 1st had it. This was still floral and citrusy but became more assertive and complex with a little spices/vanilla .

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation in tune with the layers here. It still is a bit dry but becomes a bit damp and a lot of residual bubbles.

Drink- Well Greg I can't say thanks to you enough. Never thought I would see a bottle of this and you pull out likes it nothing. Till 46 comes along I wait with bated breath.

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Photo of arizcards
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 375 ml bottle from the LaJolla Whole Foods in mid February for $10.99. Lets see how good the splurge is...

Beer poured golden orange with a nice whte head that is long lasting.

Nose is apples and pears initially, with a nice funk touch as the brew warms.

Taste pretty much follows the nose pattern; apples and pears with light funk, coriander, pepper, and lemon zest dominate the finish.

Mouthfeel is very light and smooth, fits the style very well.

Overall this is a well crafted brew. I am not much of a funk fan but this is done very well. I marked the taste and overall score down as the coriander and lemon zest is a bit too dominating in the finish.

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Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
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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Photo of Florida9
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear light yellow. Forms a large white head that quickly reduces down to a thick surface coating. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the way down.

S: Smells of wood, light lemon, hay, grains, and the heavy carbonation.

T: Light lemon sweetness, hay, lightly toasted grains, grassy hops, and wood. Sort of a dirty barnyard flavor on the finish.

M: Light body with heavier carbonation and a mild bitterness.

O: Good and easily drinkable, though I've got to admit this one was quite a bit more subdued than I was expecting it to be.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- pours a clear golden orange color with a small fizzy white head that reduces completely, leaving some lace behind 3.75

S- classic tripel aromas of banana, clove & light phenols. Spicy yeast & oak mixes with fruity esters, with an emphasis on citrus and cherry, slightly spicy

T- spicy & herbal up front with lots of fruity esters, notes of banana, clove and phenolic flavors. Notes of oak kick in before finishing with orange marmalade

M- medium body with moderate biting carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly warming finish

O- a different take on a tripel, it’s got the classic triple flavors, but enhanced by oak and los of fruity notes

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

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a batch 2 (Batch 46) of Batch 23!

A-Copper kissed golden yellow with a medium white head that that reduced slowly to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Sharp oak and spice with a nice touch of mellowing fruit of apple and banana.

T-Biting oak dryness and a spicy zing with an underlying fruitiness. Apple, pear and mild banana. Bit of alcohol burn in the background.

M-Medium-light bodied, sharp, crisp and dry. Long lingering spiciness.

D-Heck yeah....a more aggressive, spicier and drier version of "regular" Damnation. This is a mighty fine brew.

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

Got this in a trade awhile Damnation 23 (46)!

A-Bottle makes a HUGE champagne popping sound when cork is removed. Body is a crystal clear pale amber hue. Pours with a 1 finger white fizzy head that fades to a thick collar pretty quickly and little to no lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is quite interesting. It contains dry, dusty oak, a hint of acidic tartness, vinegar, a slight sugary sweetness, some funky yeast, and a hint of apple.

T- Flavor contains a hint of smoke initially and dry woody oak. Background contains a good amount of spicy belgian yeast. The finish is actually very spicy with the spicy yeast increasing and what seems to be a ginger hotness. A moderate amount of spicy heat lingers on for awhile.

M- Light body with soft carbonation. Relatively smooth and yeasty.

D- Overall this beer is kinda quirky-but awesome. I love the complexity and the spicy heat that the flavor profile provides. Not really what I was expecting at all as this is completely different from regular damnation-but still great brew by RR.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened this bottle late (after 10pm) on 5/20 (my 41st birthday), only after my wife said: 'do you realize you haven't had a beer yet today?' And so I hadn't...

375ml bottle (Batch 069 - hello!), with a slightly lower 10.75% ABV shown on the label. Thanks to our friend, Bryce, who brought this gift back from his visit to Santa Rosa last December. Shared in two tulip glasses.

A: Thick pile of white foam (2+ fingers) sits atop a hazy golden/honey ambrosia. Carbonation is modest (a slight surprise) and the head fizzles away too quickly. Lace is spotty/fractured. Skim holds steadfastly and forms a clinging ring.

S: After 15-20 minutes of warming post-pour, there's a very starchy 'applesauce' aroma here. It's moderate spicy (dash of nutmeg? allspice?). Woody notes develop, mild vanilla.

T: Phenomenal flavor: big spice, a tangy and zesty pepper-sprinkled fruitiness. It's pears, apples and flowers, honey and wood, all rolling around in the mouth. Hints of green grape and even some green herbs. A subtle vinous/woody char barely reveals the oak barrel. A little chalkier and drier in the finish. After some warming, a little 'cedar' creeps in. Came close to a '5' for me.

M: Maybe Sliiightly too 'warm'... I suppose aging even longer could have helped, but there's not much you can do with 11-ish%, I suppose. Ample fizz upfront, although surprisingly mellow/smooth in the finish - velvety, actually.

O: 'Regular' Damnation is quite possibly my wife's favorite beer and is quite delicious in my book, too - so an oak-aged/stronger version of it? Hell, yes! This did not disappoint at all - so flavorful and mellow, with barrel-aging complementing wonderfully. At 12.7 oz split two ways, it disappeared far too quickly. Would love to have this again - it was a great night cap to an excellent birthday.

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