Often times you read or hear so much about a beer before you taste it that there’s no way it can live up to the expectation. You’re only setting yourself up for failure, right? Wrong. At least that wasn’t the case with this beer.
First off, this is a 10.75% ABV brew. The description above is for the regular Damnation, or at least the ones that aren’t part of the “Batch 23” family.
From the bottle:
Russian River, Damnation, Batch 23, ale aged with oak chips, refermented in this bottle.
If you’re not familiar with the Damnation – Batch 23, it’s a special bottling to celebrate 23 bottled batches of Damnation. For the first two, (23 and 46), the website says it was 11% ABV aged on oak chips. I didn’t get a chance to try either of those batches, and didn’t pay much attention to the batch number of the Damnation that I had in the past because, well, I wasn’t blogging about beer at the time. But now I am, so I paid attention.
My bottle is stamped Batch 069, and isn’t listed on the Russian River Brewing Damnation bottle log page as of this post. (FYI: The bottle log shows how the recipe is tweaked from batch to batch, handy info for a beer geek like me.)
I popped the cork on this bad boy and it poured golden with a thick frothy head into the glass. It had a sweetness to the smell that told me it was a Belgian Style Ale even before I got it to my face. RR is calling this a Strong Golden Ale and that’s spot on for this one. It was all of those things; strong, golden, and well, of course an ale. I really enjoyed this one and am headed back to the store to grab another one to cellar. If you’re a fan of the Damnation then you owe it to yourself to grab a bottle of the Batch 23 version. This one scores 4 1/2 caps from me.
Beer Soaked Erik