Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

601 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 601
Hads: 2,569
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,170
Gots: 825 | FT: 59
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-27-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 601 | Hads: 2,569
Photo of Jonada
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle. Batch 11/28/2012

Appearance: Pours a dark yellow, almost golden color. Slightly hazy in the glass. A moderate pour yielded almost 4 fingers of an off white soapy head that dissipated reasonably quickly.

Smell: Lemon zest, citrus, apricot, white grape, bretty funk.

Taste: Sour grape, vinegar, tart green apples, some breadiness, Belgian yeast spiciness. Sourness is medium.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. The carbonation gives it a bit of a rough mouthfeel

Overall: Probably my least favorite of the RR sours I've tried, but still an excellent beer. Refreshing and pretty easy to drink. It tastes kind of like a sour saison. Definitely worth picking up a bottle.

 716 characters

Photo of mrandypandy
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked bottle brought back to me by a co-worker.

A - Pours a nice hazy straw/yellow, with a small white head.
S - Light funk and mild tartness. A citric fruitiness lingers on the nose.
T - Tart citrus fruits, but it's hard to put my finger on exactly which ones. Apricot, strawberry perhaps. Some funk. Tasty though.
M - Zesty, well carbonated and prickly on the tongue. A bit light in the body.
O - Well done. Not quite a good as some of the other RR offerings, but still very good. I would certainly get more given the chance.

 544 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #005

A - A fingers worth of loosely packed whimsical airy audibly fizzy pure white head... No retention at all to speak of leaving only a small splotch of lacing in the center of the glass and a very thin collar... The color is a pale amber... Some small bubble spry carbonation rises in the center of the glass...

S - Granny smith apples... Tart peaches... Some orange zest... Just a touch of funkiness from the brettanomyces... Light vinegar...

T - Orange zest... A bit of lemon... Peaches... Some grassy notes... Some bready notes... Light vinegar...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... This one gets the saliva glands working overtime... Briskly carbonated... A bit puckering...

D - A super solid sour... Excellent restraint as this one is far from overpowering... Nicely executed and rather enjoyable...

 831 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 4/23/12

Batch 005

Many thanks to jlb502

The color is a pretty golden yellow; it's quite clear. A fizzy head of white foam takes up about an inch and a half of space before dissipating to a much thinner film. Some dollops of lace remain up top and collect, shaping up to cover a large swath of glass.

The aroma doesn't strike me as being overloaded with brett, which seems to impart primarily a grassy dampness. Couple said dampness with tangy white grape notes and a hint or two of something floral, and it makes for an overall smell that makes me think of rain soaked vineyards.

I don't actually know what rain soaked vineyards smell like. Full disclosure and all.

Hmm. The palate is the primary focus of the brett, despite being so mild mannered in the aroma. A moderate tartness sets in immediately, bolstered by bright vinous tones. The latter half is where the brett takes hold, awash in mustiness and cobwebs. Very dry, snappy finish.

The feel is rather light and crisp. I seem to recall folks mentioning this batch was low on the carbonation (but I don't remember for certain); not so with this bottle. A rolling fizziness is well-match to the feel and tartness of the beer.

Overall impression - I enjoy the simplicity of Sanctification; it's an easy-sipping wild ale. I'm glad I have another bottle.

 1,356 characters

Photo of Rish907
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bubbly, champagne colored, pours a significant amount of head

S: Citrus, champagne, white wine, green grapes

T: Sour, fruity, green grapes

M: Dry, arid, similar to champagne

O: Being my first sour, I found this quite enjoyable. At first the sourness hits your palate pretty hard, but eases after it swooshed around a couple times. It is very carbonated and poured a thick head with lots of bubbles. The fruity and citrus taste is prevalent throughout. Overall, a very tasty quality sour.

 494 characters

Photo of heelsn02
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005. 375ML bottle. Big thanks to ipa247 for the trade.

Unyielding cork. Once finally opened, pours a clear to ever-so-slightly cloudy haze of a beer into my trusty lil snifter... bright white 1.5 finger head. Definitely a Belgian blonde ale look to it. Ton of carbonation.

Smells very clean; some tart notes, not a lot of funk surprisingly. w/all that brett, I was expecting some Black Eyed Katy-like funk (that goes out to ASUGeog who popped my phish cherry a few years ago), but not so much. Light white wine smell almost. some apple cidery odors. Fruity, grassy, sweet.

this is a very refreshing beer – probably better for a hot summer day, not so much a middle of winter beer. Not super tart like a typical sour either. Really clean and crisp. Lemongrass components, pears, white grapes. Drinks pretty easy. A lot like drinking white wine.

Soft mouthfeel. Tart, but nice dry clean finish. Lots of carbonation.

I like it – not nearly as much as I like RR Supplication, but it’s still really solid. Jeff – thanks again buddy, really appreciate it.

 1,068 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at O'Brien's,

A: Pours a hazy yellow, with a fizzy, hissing acidic head.

S: Light fruit notes, orange perhaps, acidity is prevalent.

T: Fermented and sour citrus fruit, with a lighter acidity than Beatification which I had before. Apricot for sure. A hard beer to get a hold of, has a lot of things going on. A beer I would like to try again.

M: Medium acidity for an RR sour, the acidity is quite smooth and makes for a damn drinkable sour brew. Closest thing to a session sour I've found.

D: A top 100 beer and I was anxious to try it. Didn't quite live up to the hype, but very tasty and worth the purchase. I hope to get a bottle someday and delve into it more.

 677 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005. 375ml Bottle. 6.75% ABV

No real surprises in the nose. Brett funk and light citrus zest. Flavor comes on nicely sour and quite dry. Tartness level suits the blonde ale, it isn't as strong as RR's barrel aged sours. Carbonation lends an overall dry white wine/champagne feel.

Damn, these smaller bottles are cool in some respects, but not when you run out of beer!

 376 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml Bottle into a Tulip Glass thanks to finewinemike

Batch 005

A- Pours a nice golden yellow with a small bright white 1 finger head that sticks around. Also has a good amount of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass and does not leave and lacing.

S- The aromas of the actual beer seem to dominate the nose. Getting notes of grains, lemon, tropical fruits, white grapes and earthy funk from the brett. Not as funky as I was expecting, it's sort of subtle but stands out and blends nicely with the overall aroma.

T- The nose was very deceiving. Tip of the tongue you are immediately hit with a earthy tart funk from the famous brett. After it goes down subtle notes of lemon, peaches, and white grapes come out with a slight graininess. Not to much going on here but enough flavors to keep my attention and keep me drinking.

M- Medium to lighter body with champagne like carbonation and a nice strong tart mouthfeel.


 950 characters

Photo of bifrostguard
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden yellow with minimal head that left no lacing.

S - Citrus, mainly oranges and lemons. A mild wheat smell followed.

T - Sour and tart. Lemons and oranges are the fruits of note in this one. Much less sour than expected, but still very enjoyable.

M - Dry and medium bodied.

D - Sours really aren't my thing so I'll usually call it a day at one, but could drink more if choices are limited.

 406 characters

Photo of Ready4aHeady
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Poured from 375ml bottle
Color is a pale straw yellow, slightly hazy
Nose is a fizzy lemon scent, with some funky brett and ginger
Taste is lemon, white grape, ginger, and doughy bread
Mouthfeel is oily, a lot of carbonation, sour, and dry
Overall, really refreshing and satisfying. Well-made.
Just figured out the aftertaste--pancetta!

 339 characters

Photo of MrFootstones
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004

Opens with a formidable pop. Pours brilliant gold with a finger of head which settles to a thin foam cap.

Aroma is hops and funk, pineapple, and huge amounts of tangy citrus

Taste is tart, citrusy, hoppy, very light funk, with that classic RR musty cellar Brett aftertaste. Lemony, grassy hay. Delicate malt comes forward as it warms, with a dry, crackery finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly slick with moderate carbonation.

This is an easy to drink beer, not wildly complex (yet, hopefully!), very delicious. Here's hoping it can develop in the bottle from a good beer to a great beer.

 595 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour out medium yellow/orange with a slight haze. Head is white and like a dense foam. Retention is substantial and lacing is abundant. In the nose you get peaches, sweet clove spice, floral undertones, and a lemon zest also picking up some vinegar in the background. Taste reminds me of straight up lemon juice with grass and tart peach. There something there that I can't describe that I think most people refer to as funk. Very unique. The mouth feel is so damn soft and smooth. Carbonation is great with lots of fine bubbles. This beer is just plain awesome. My first America wild ale and my first Russian River beer. So glad I got to try this one. I wasn't disappointed. Once again thanks to gkunkle.

 705 characters

Photo of muchloveforhops3
4/5  rDev -6.8%

On tap @ Russian River; draft into chalice

P- gold w/ a 1f white head; a moderate amount of lacing left behind
N- medium; mainly fruity notes (apple, pear, and banana)
T- follows the nose, w/ moderate brett tartness; dry finish; delicious and well-balanced
MF- light-bodied, w/ medium-high carbonation; crisp/spritzy
O- another great wild from Russian River; medium-high drinkability; no complaints here

 404 characters

Photo of DelMontiac
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005, 375ml bottle poured into a NB globe.

A gentle pour yields a golden yellow body with three fingers of white peaked froth which tapers off very slowly to a quarter inch leaving behind fairly course lacing.

Aroma is peachy-peary with some stable straw, sour grapes, lemon tart, and sir brett-funkadelic.

More sour than I expected. Slightly puckering as I am not well-versed in sour ales. Very tart with lemon/grape twist and funk of brettanomyces along with a wet straw and grain in a leaky hayloft type of thing that is off when too cold, but as it warms, turns enjoyable. There is also a metallic tinge if it's too cold. Let this warm for several minutes.

Feel is light to medium with ample carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. It didn't knock my socks off by any means, but I am also not the specialist on sour ales either.

 866 characters

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft last week at Russian River Brewing Co. listed on their board as "100% Brettanomyces, 6.25%ABV" for $4 -poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a fairly clean straw-like hue, with a constant light effervescence, and basically no head and not much lacing either.

S: Very mellow woodiness and light Brett funk, green apples and grain.

T: Very mellow and similar to the nose, light funk, mild sourness with a grainy/bready finish. This is an extremely friendly Wild Ale and would be a good starting point for someone who wants to get into these types of wild/sour ales.

M: Light-bodied and similar feel to a dry champagne - smooth, crisp and clean, mellow carbonation and a bit of lactic bitterness that lingers a while, but is not overaggressive by any means.

D: All day drinker, especially in the hot summer months.

 832 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle of batch 003 courtesy of Asymon13. Nice orange-yellow color and a funky smell. there was a hint of the perennial favorite barnyard, brett, brett, brett. The taste was a little sour with a bretty pineapple flavor that reminded me of DeProef La Deux Brasseur. Good beer, not as sour as I expected but easy drinking and delicious.

 340 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split up into three sample glasses

Smell is sour, a little winey, very exciting. Taste is extremely sour, with a surprising bitterness to it. I get a tiny amount of grape, some grapefruit sourness.

Mouthfeel is dry and clean, very nice. Overall, good tasty beer.

 276 characters

Photo of doughanson78
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Straw yellow. Real hazy. One finger bright white head. Very creamy head. Good retention, awesome lacing.

S: Very tart and lemony. A funkiness that is very pleasant. Slight wet straw aroma.

T: Very tart upfront with a nice sourness in the middle. Lemon, green apple, white grapes. Slightly grainy. Finishing with some sweet notes.

M: Light bodied, with a medium to high carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing.

O: A great sour. Not overpowering with any of it's qualities. Very drinkable.

 530 characters

Photo of dgilks
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy, pale straw colour with a small white head. Decent head retention for a sour. Nice lacing.

Light lactic and acetic tartness. A touch of crisp apple and pear aroma.

Nice lemony character with plenty of tartness. Hard apple and some berries. Well built.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A crisp, balanced and fruity sour ale which is nicely built and has a good mouthfeel.

 399 characters

Photo of OddNotion
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle recently received in a trade. Batch 5. This cork was a bitch to get out. Nice big pop once it does come out. Poured into my Russian River Belgian glass, actually kept all of the dregs in the bottle this time.

Appearance: Pours a nice light golden color with a two finger white head which keeps growing and growing, looks like starsan being pushed out of the neck of my carboy. Very active bubbling in the body of the beer. Very frothy head.

Smell: Hello Brettanomyces! Very funky, some sourness, good amount of fruitiness.

Taste: Gotta wait a long time before I get to this as the head refuses to recede. Sublte sourness, lemony, a little bit of funk. I catch some oxidized flavors, possibly because the beer is still on the colder side, let's hope that goes away. A little watery actually. While there are a bunch of flavors going on, I wish it was a little stronger, more depth. Metallic taste stays a tiny bit on the end of the sip but is much less noticable than earlier. As it warms, the sourness becomes more pronounced, and the bolder flavors I was looking for seem to come out.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side and very carbonated.

Overall: I now have had three of the four current RR sours. Will have the last of them tomorrow. This is my lowest ranked out of them thusfar. I am not one to eat food while drinking a beer in general, but I think this would be a great one to pair with a nice seafood dinner. Much much more subdued than the other sours, yet still very enjoyable.

 1,496 characters

Photo of IKR
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Straw-yellow color with 1+finger white head.

S: Belgian Funk with citrus fruit overtones.

T: Not so much sour to me as much as a nice level of tartness. Grapefruit taste presents itself with the Brett showing up as a restrained funk. Finishes dry without any sweetness.

M: Medium body with a lively carbonation.

D: Tart grapefruit taste with a lively carbonation. No alcohol presence as far as I'm concerned.

 415 characters

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - hay blond yellow with a slight orange glow. hazy with a bubbly champagne like head half a finger thick with surprising retention.

s - funky.. slightly metallic. sour barnyard. very musky.

t - sour citrus peel. grape fruit. green apple.

m - again very champagne like. very zesty and alive. nice and crisp as well. very clean aftertaste for a sour.

o - great. love it. want it. age it. spread it. great go to sour as long as i got 10 bucks to throw down on a glass.

 471 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Monk's Cafe for their 4th annual RR day.

Sanctification came in the glass looking like juice of sorts. A light gold with some yellow/orange resembling lemon juice. A nice whisp of foamy white head on top, some patches of stick on the upper reaches of the glass. Smell is pretty tame considering it's RR were dealing with. Pretty much a base blond beer with some brett scent and light fruits. Simple yet so nice. A very light sour, tastes of some Begian yeast (I believe Westmalle), earth, light biscuit, banana, semi tropics, sour brett which is more funky than all out sour at this point. Some nice lemon taste on the backend. I remember this being a bit more complex out of a batch 2 bottle so maybe Vinnie tweaked this some. Feel is light bodied and very refreshing. This is very drinkable beer but expensive for what it is so not one to have two or three of. This is something I would bring to a picnic with a girl on a nice sunny day.

 950 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very cloudy almost white yellow color with a quickly disappearing fluffy white head.

Has a nice sour smell, lightly fruity and spicy with almost a touch of balsamic.

A very mild sour, just a touch of sour up front that is quickly taken over by a nice strong lemongrass and citrus quality. There is just enough bitterness in the finish from the hops to make it very balanced rounding off the beer nicely. The tartness intensifies a bit as it warms up, especially in the finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly crisp with the tartness with a nice light and carbonated body.

A pretty nice sour.

 596 characters

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.