Russian River – Damnation


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Greetings once again faithful readers! Today we have an extra special brew. It’s my last beer from my California trade, and I write that with a heavy heart. I’m very happy to have experienced these brews, I haven’t had this one yet but the other two (Pliny and Simtra) were phenomenal IPAs. But I am a man of many tastes, so we have a Belgian Strong Pale Ale here today. I’m an advocate of Belgian styles and am excited to be reviewing one again. I’ve been leaning towards IPAs and Stouts lately and it’s nice to get back to the roots of my beer appreciation. Well the label looks cool, what about the wonderful liquid inside?

My word, what a beautiful golden pour we have here. It was like beams of golden light entering my glass as I poured this gorgeous beer out. The head was a bit lacking IMAO, especially for a Belgian style, but there is a thin rim left. Ah…I suppose we’ll let it slide this time, but next time I want some extra head from my Belgian…beer. It’s fairly opaque and a bit cloudy, but there was a healthy amount of yeast sediment in this bottle as any good Belgian beer should have. I probably let a little too much sediment slip past my watchful eye. Well enough looking, lets take a whiff!

Mmmm… there’s that spicy Belgian smell. It’s got a spice and sickly sweet smell, kind of like a farmyard. This is pretty common in the lighter Belgian styles. When I say light I mean in body, not in alcohol! This baby weighs in at deceiving 7.75%, my bet is that you can’t even taste it. You come to really enjoy this aroma, even though it does smell a bit like the sweetness of rotting garbage. Usually it leads to a very complex and balanced brew. The trick with Belgian style brews is to let the yeast flavor come out rather than subduing it like in lagers….but I didn’t come here to bore (that word still looks violent to me) you so lets raise this golden goddess to my lips.

Excellent beer right here, that’s the first thought in my mind. It’s incredibly light considering the alcoholic content. These beers can really creep up on you if you don’t check the alochol percentage. It’s kind of like the ninja of beer, you think everything is fine and then BAM your drunk and in the bushes. You must show discipline when imbibing these crafty beauties and so I shall! Let me take my time to thoroughly describe this taste.

First you get the sweetness from the barnyard like taste. Now keep in mind barnyard taste might sound horrible, but its lacking the disgusting parts, believe me! The swallow is a bit spicy with nice carbonation complemented by a wave of sweetness in the middle. Then this lovely lady finishes with an ever-so-slight bitterness to balance her light sweetness. Somehow this beer has a light yet rich body… I think my mind may be tricking me into thinking it’s lighter than it truly is due to the color. It’s definitely got this velvety smooth body to it, like some kind of sleek golden panther in the jungle stalking your taste buds.

Overall this beer is a class act. It’s not trying to be fancy, just a solid pale Belgian with a little extra kick. And that’s hows I likes em!
Until next beer this is Brian G signing out!

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Categories: Beer, Belgian Pale Ale | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Russian River – Damnation

  1. Damnation is one of my favorites from Russian River. A great strong blonde ale.

  2. I’ve got a Damnation 23 in the fridge. Interesting I read that this is a Belgian Pale, but the 23 is a Trippel. Trying to figure out how to pair it with food!

    • I don’t know much about pairings unless it suggests them on the bottle. I usually find good friends are the best pairing for beer though.

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