RATINGS: 688   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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.

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SinH4 (3703) - Garching b. Mnchen, GERMANY - JUL 20, 2015
Fruity, resinous, a bit sugary, some dark malts, plums, port, sweet cocoa, coconut. Good complexity, rich taste, quite delicate. Great balance.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
olr1984 (1500) - 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

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Prufrockstar (2039) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 12, 2015
UPDATED: JUL 22, 2015 I was just looking up my review of this beer only to find I hadnt 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. Id say raisin, but raisins remind me of a fruit thats 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 dont find the magic I did last time. Wouldnt 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 Id call this a 3.8 at best this time around. Adjusting down slightly.

   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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JefVerstraete (3061) - Oosterzele, 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bartzluke (598) - Oklahoma, USA - JUN 12, 2015
3 oz chilled pour from tap into cylindrical taster as part of Russian Rivers 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
andrewje41 (3277) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - JUN 8, 2015
375 mL bottle, corked, poured. Bottled on 10/10/14. Pours dark with a high active fizz head. Malt forward aroma with some dark fruit. Dusty dry raisin flavor with a slight toasty finish. Late spice comes through, and a little oaky. Fun beer to try. I think I missed the appropriate season though. Still an awesome beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tcon25 (730) - Duvall, Washington, USA - JUN 8, 2015
Bottle pour split, thanks Andrew for sharing this one. Always love having some Russian River. Very dark brown pour, thin head. 10-10-14 batch/Bottle date. Kind of coffee and caramel aroma for me, bitter hop taste, dark roast, very nice beer here.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
commonshawn (1108) - Minnesota, USA - MAY 22, 2015
Tap at brewery with commonmac and rosskyle and wildcard. Nearly black with foamy white head. Subtle sweet roast aroma. Dark fruit, some funk, sweet and roasted malty. Very smooth. Tastes better ad it slightly warms. The full body is amazing. Great texture. Terrific.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
commonmac (1111) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAY 22, 2015
Tap at the brewery with commonshawn, rosskyle, and wildcard. Goblet. Dark copper almost brown in color. Tannish head. Roasted malts on the nose with spice and dark fruit. Taste is quite nearly perfect with a moments of dark plum and raisins, bitterness, funky yeast, and sugars. All blending to produce an amazingly satisfying drinking experience. Mouthfeel is super soft and smooth. I want more of this almost immediately after the sip finishes. Outstanding.

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