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RATINGS: 662   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This Belgian style Strong Dark Ale has a tawny brown color and aromas of banana and spice that dominate the initial bouquet of the beer. Lean malt flavors blend perfectly with fruit driven characteristics created by the classic Belgian yeast which fermented this ale. The alcohol content is deceptively smooth just like its sister beer Damnation. Brewed just once a year for a release in January.


Feinschmecker's rating

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Feinschmecker (202) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 9, 2010
Dark amber color. fruity and raisiny yeasty nose. No hops here. Just a sophisticated amalgamation of roasted malt and banana-like yeast, although it lacks the depth of its Belgium equivalent. Besides the complex fruity esters, the body is too light and at the same time too heavy due to the excess sweetness.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sir__v (1070) - Lille, FRANCE - JUL 29, 2015
Bottle from Healthy Spirits - Castro, San Francisco - CA. Color: clear deep brown beer with no carbonation and small white/ivory foam. Smell: malt domination, sweet caramel and notes of grape fruits and red fruits. Taste: good malt taste, sweet and red fruits. Notes of red fruit as grapes and raspberry. Good finish. Really drinkable and amazing beer. Aftertaste: caramel and notes of malt. Fruity and sweet. Amazing beer !

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
SlovakSniper (3893) - Candiac, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 24, 2015
(37.5 cl. Bottled on : 10/10/14) Belle robe rougeâtre ou brunâtre, c’est selon. Tête mousseuse crémeuse qui accompagne la dégustation. Arômes de mélasse, de raisins, de chocolat, d’épices, de prunes, d’oranges. Profil vineux très intéressant. Que c’est agréable de renouer avec ce style! Mes papilles ne sont pas déçues. La richesse des arômes se reflète dans les saveurs. Tout y est pour le plaisir : fruits, malts, levures, alcool doux. En bouche, le corps de moyenne densité est surexcité par les bulles. Je peux cependant dire que cette action n’enlève rien au plaisir de la dégustation. Mon palais est bien nettoyé et c’est tant mieux. La finale est assez longue, modérément sèche, maltée et fruitée mais aussi piquante par le jeu de ses levures. Ça fait du bien de boire une bonne Belge.

3.5
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
King_Alex_II (624) - SWITZERLAND - JUL 23, 2015
Dark brown-blackish color with thin foam layer. Light fruity smell (dates). The taste is sweet, and fruity (dates & prunes) with decent chocolate notes, hints of licorice with a foamy carbonation and a dry and calm aftertaste.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
anstei (320) - Zurich, SWITZERLAND - JUL 20, 2015
Bottle at SinH4’s Goodbye Event. Malt nose, almost a bit roasty. Strong and sweet yet not too much, some matching booziness. To the point, but not exciting.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SinH4 (1066) - SWITZERLAND - JUL 20, 2015
Fruity, resinous, a bit sugary, some dark malts, plums, port, sweet cocoa, coconut. Good complexity, rich taste, quite delicate. Great balance.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
olr1984 (1324) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - JUL 16, 2015
375ml bottle pours a dark reddish brown with a thin off white head. caramel dark fruit and raisin taste

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Prufrockstar (1500) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 12, 2015
UPDATED: JUL 22, 2015 I was just looking up my review of this beer only to find I hadn’t entered it yet. No idea how long ago it was when I has this, but thankfully I took detailed notes (which follow): 375 ml bottle from APEX. The last of the widely-distributed "ations" for me.

Appearance: Pours with minimal head, the tiniest hint of a few bubbles but otherwise still. Beautiful deep, dark, ruby brown, clear. 4.5

Aroma: Beautiful raisins, plums simmering in brown sugar. Vanilla, port. Smells like a rich, decadent, boozy plum pie-like dessert. From the aroma, this is one I would definitely love to sip slowly like a fortified dessert wine. 9

Taste: Not nearly as sweet as the nose would suggest. Plenty sweet, sure, with loads of lush dark fruits. I’d say raisin, but raisins remind me of a fruit that’s over the hill, whereas this is in its prime. Somewhat dry finish. 8.5

Palate: Full body, slick, oily texture. Very soft carbonation -- not quite flat, but close. Still awfully fucking nice, though. 3

Overall: RR never disappoints. Never. Like Hemmingway. I sat in a lecture once with my Professor, in which he demonstrated that the boy in the Old Man and the Sea is an adult in his mid twenties, which both changes nothing and everything about the way it reads. Russian River creations are like that. The complexity lies hidden beneath the seeming simplicity. A beer you can enjoy without thinking about, but which rewards you for thinking about it. I expect I could return to this after decades of beer nerd-dom and still marvel how how they do what they do. [8.5/4.5/9/3/16=4.1]

Revisited 7/22/15, and don’t find the magic I did last time. Wouldn’t be inspired to spout Hemmingway at any rate. Body is a bit thin, flavors one-dimensional. Maybe it hurts that I was just typing up my Westy 12 review, but whatever it is I’d call this a 3.8 at best this time around. Adjusting down slightly.

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
IPagan5 (106) - San Marcos, California, USA - JUN 27, 2015
Reddish brown slight haze off white head. Aroma is 50/50 blend of malts and wonderful yeasty character. Taste powerful malt some candi sugar and silky smooth mouthfeel.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JefVerstraete (2084) - Ghent, BELGIUM - JUN 22, 2015
Bottle from a trade. Many thanks! Dark brown, beige foam. Medium carbonation. Sweet and fruity with notes of caramel and brown sugar. Good and well balanced.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bartzluke (329) - Oklahoma, USA - JUN 12, 2015
3 oz chilled pour from tap into cylindrical taster as part of Russian River’s “everything on tap” sampled (16 beers this time around) at the brewery itself. I realize that drinking 16 different 3 oz pours is not ideal for proper rating, but when will I ever have an opportunity like this again? Caramel color, fairly translucent.


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