Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

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SanctificationSanctification

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

593 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 593
Hads: 2,511
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 7.48%
Wants: 1,156
Gots: 796 | FT: 55
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
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Reviews: 593 | Hads: 2,511
Photo of ccrida
2.39/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 005 375ml bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip,
Sanctification is a murky piss yellow with a few big bubbles on the collar, a smattering of it sticking to the sides of the tulip as I drink it down.

Smell is musty, smells like vegetables that have gone bad. I love sours, all strains, single and combos, and this is the worst smelling in a hard to be able to even take another whiff way.

Taste is similar, a big vegetable taste that is rather unappealing. There some chalkiness, a little malt sweetness, but very little sourness, no horsehair,

Mouthfeel is watery, thin, a bit like a lambic, with a little acidic pucker.

Drinkability isn't that good, not digging this one at all. Russian River is pretty hit or miss with their sours, depending on where you drink them in their evolution, and judging by the high scores, I obviously should have given this brand new batch more time. The problem is, it's so bad, I'm not sure I want to buy another one just to see if it improves. Regardless, it's pretty bad right now, I want my $10 back! (1,060 characters)

Photo of Philousa
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Imbibed on tap at Harry's Hofbrau on 3/31/2012.

Looks like a wit. Cloudy, tawny, but with very little head. Lots of light malts in aroma, some whit bread characteristics, no sourness to speak of. Horse blanket comes as it warms (was served too cold imho). Taste starts out with light malt, coriander, follwed by tart, slightly sour taste. Bitter after flavor lingers in the back of the throat and mingles with tartness. Lots of brett, but not any of the other critters I enjoy so much. Pretty grainy mouthfeel, indicative of the cloudy look.

I was looking for something complex and this one just didn't deliver. Looking back, I know i had my expectations all wrong, but at the same time, you can make the base malt a little more interesting. There really wasn't much to this beer that I could isolate as interesting. I love the idea of just fermenting with a bacteria though. Gotta give it to them for doing something that no other brewery has tried (to my knowledge). I think a real problem with this was that I had it too cold and in the wrong glassware. The small serving glasses that Harry's serves is more like a tiny Pilsener glass, when something like this would be much better in a globe or tulip glass with something to keep head retention. In my opinion, most beer is served too cold, and I feel it really hurt this beer in particular. Would try it again if someone had it in a bottle or served it properly, but I'm not going out of my way to find it. (1,464 characters)

Photo of chinchill
2.69/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle. Not counting a couple of collaboration beers, this is my first R. River - too bad it has to be a Brett beer. I have a very limited tolerance for Brett and even less for vinegar. With that in mind:

Pours light amber, hazy, with a small head. The aroma bodes poorly: Brett/wild ale with some vinegar. Intimidating. Given that, the taste was a bit better but still too funky. Nicely sour with a hint of old bread. Fine medium-light feel. (449 characters)

Photo of jooler
2.86/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This is really interesting. This is my first sour ale ever. This smells like a sour shock top. The taste is like a really fermented and watered down shock top. Sours are not my thing (182 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a sampler at Russian River's taproom in Santa Rosa during the Pliny the Younger release. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high because I love this brewery.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a cloudy lemon yellow. Murky.

Sm: Lemon and wheat. Quite lactic. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Pleasant.

T: Lactic, with sourness, lemon tart, and maybe yeast. Decently balanced, but a bit strange. Simple but enjoyable for the style. The simplicity does bother me; there's not a whole lot to say about it as a result.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Maybe a bit thin.

Dr: Drinkable for the style, but too simple and a bit too thin. I might have it again, but Russian River has far better brews. (775 characters)

Photo of mtwentz
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured from a half liter growler into a goose island wine glass.

smells juicy, somewhat like white grape juice, but heavier. very slight must. poured high to revitalize carbonation. looks like pale and dirty blond and clouded gold. a nice glow to it. The taste is juicy and tangy, revealing a medium pucker of tartness. can't name the fruit, but there's this grape I keep leaning on....
Anyway, Thanks Parkway! (411 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at RRBC. Batch 4, released around June 2010.

A: Pours a hazy straw body with a finger of off-white foam. Great retention, and it leaves thick washes of lace down the snifter as I drink. Can't fault anything here; it's great to look at.

S: Lemon zest, with a tartness suggesting sourness. The brett imparts a nice horse blanket aroma, hay, a touch of spice, and something else fruity (I am labeling this apricot).

T: Tart lemon zest, but as I implied in the nose, no actual sourness. It's just a bretty funk that delivers flavors of horse blanket, hay, apricot. The finish is... well, the closest approximation I can make is earthy and metallic. It's bitter, but not quite in a hoppy way, and it's not exactly a standard brett flavor (at least, one that I recognize). It reminds me more of aspirin. I detected this in the bottle and it was off-putting. I taste it here again on tap, so it wasn't just the one bottle. If others are tasting the same thing, they're certainly not noting it. In any case, I consider it a distinct flaw.

M: It's dry, with a lingering aspirin-like finish (see above). Effervescent and properly carbed.

D: I've avoided reviewing Batch 4 because I'm just not a big fan of it. When it warms, the metallic taste fades and it becomes better, but it's never quite right to me. I don't care to drink this too much. (1,349 characters)

Photo of Brewbro000
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber/ golden color with no head or lacing apparent at all. Aroma is slightly tart but still a little to sweet it seems. Fruity with mild acidic character. Fruity and acidic but nothing to write home about. Finshes very clean. Within 30 seconds you don't remember what it tastes like. Hints of white wine but not tart it sour enough for me. Mouthfeel is nearly flat with minimal carbonation. I could drink a bunch of these but I wouldn't necessarily want to. (472 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.49/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft pour into a goblet at the Russian River pub in Santa Rosa.

A: Bright, rich golden color seems to shine with inner light, despite obvious haziness. Thin white foam head diminishes quickly to a residue around the edge. Minimal lacing remains.

S: Moderate lactic and acetic acidity blend together with faint bright fruit (green apple, lemon). These elements promise a dry and mouth-puckering taste to come.

T: Begins sour with brett complexity soon joining on the palate. The flavor profile is completed with the late emergence of snappy bitter hops, although this is not an unbounded bitterness by any means. The overall dryness of this beer prevents any flavor from lingering too long, save for the surprisingly dominant acidity.

M: Light/medium viscosity and a moderate amount satisfying carbonation enhance this beer.

D: This is wild ale without restraint; drinkable but challenging. After tasting the previous batch of this beer in 2009, it is apparent that the 2010 product is notably changed--it is far more sour than its predecessor. As I have had the opportunity to experience other American wild ales, those produced by Russian River are being pushed more to the fringe of what makes the style appealing--exactly the opposite of what has happened to their pale ales, in my estimation. (1,302 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle (batch #005) into a snifter glass. Pours nice golden orange color with small chunks of sediment noticeable, and a nice, sustaining thin white head and minimal lacing throughout the session. Aroma is sour but not as much as some of the other RR sours, and is more nuanced. Nose is also picking up a delicate blend of raw, funky brett, burlap, and barnyard hay with sour, acidic fruit notes of lemon peel, apricot, and peach with subtle notes of vanilla, white pepper, nutmeg, and belgian yeast. Flavor is some sour citrusy fruit tones that evolve as the beer warms, plenty of funk, woody, grassy, and somewhat cheesy. Medium bodied with a very dry finish. Sour, but not mouth puckeringly so like Supplication or Consecration. Flavor essentially mimics aroma with alot of sour fruit tones, but with a somewhat floral aspect after, to the dry finish. I am still not a big fan of sours, but this is obviously well-made from RR. (942 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I sampled this at the wet-hop tasting at RFD’s in Washington, D.C. This came out a slightly cloudy golden orange with a decent bit of head to it that left some lace. Aroma was fruity and had a little spice and sweetness to it. Taste was similar with various fruity flavors over a layer of sweetness and spiciness. There was a nice tartness to it as well. Mouthfeel was a bit light and drinkability was ok. Interesting take on the style that I would try again. (460 characters)

Photo of kraken6100
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL Batch 005 into a LaChouffe Tulip, slow pour, yeast left behind

A- Golden, strawlike hue. Good amount of egg-white colored head, dissipating a little hastily from the top of the glass.

S- I'm not quite yet the sour connoisseur, but I imagine this what has been pointed out to me as the Brettanomyces. Nice sour aromas there with some citrus, green apples, and peach.

T- Sour, but not as acute like the Drie Fonteinen or Brouwerij beers I've had. Pronounced lemon and lime citrus, indiscernible dry spice-like taste, and just a nice meld of those flavors. Some orange or red grapefruit kind of lingers in the dryness.

M- Effervescent, but not too much, actually very refreshing. Has a dry finish, and now I'm curious to try a few of the others I have that are aged in the wine barrels.

O- This was pretty solid, and perhaps a nice gateway beer to sours if you can get your hands on some of it. As I alluded to above, now I want to see what happens with the Supplication, Consecration, and Temptation as they sit in some wine barrels. Interesting stuff! (1,062 characters)

Photo of dciBA
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #5

Poured from the caged and corked small bottle into my usual tulip. A couple inches of foamy white head sits atop a very attractive golden yellow brew. Beer was decanted off the yeast, so it's hazy but not cloudy.

The smell of brett bursts out of the bottle when the cork is popped. In addition to all the brett there's a solid amount of sour/tart lemon. There's a nice malty smell underlying everything.

The flavor doesn't have quite the same impact as the smell which is a little disappointing. Plenty of funk with the sour lemon coming in as well. Taste is nice on the palate just a little boring.

Mouthfeel is nice. Perfect body and carbonation. Overall a good beer, just not too exciting. (706 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 005

A: Active, bubbly, yellow pour with a nice white head. Retention is great. The cork was really difficult to get out.

S: Smells a lot like a blonde ale, yeasty, light, fruits, with some Brett mixed in.

T: The taste is very sour, without much flavor to curb it. The typical hefeweizen-like flavors are there: yeast, banana, clove. But they are complimented with the sourness. Sort of an odd taste. A bit too sweet for my liking.

MF: Really carbonated, perhaps too much so. Light, but it has a strange aftertaste.

O: I was disappointed by this one. Just not enough flavor to hold it together. This was one odd sour. (627 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin layer of pinkish-white head over a cloudy dead straw liquid. Smells dank horseblanket with light bright cherry. Lemon, pineapple, and green grape.

Tastes woody drieness with cherry sweet pucker. Lemon, oranges, green apple, and dash of clovey phenol. Md-light mouthfeel with some silkiness. Medium carbonation and moderate drinkability. (350 characters)

Photo of heliosphann
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

64oz Growler. Shared and provided by my main man Infestaxion. Thanks Daive. Served in my Ithaca Tulip.

A: Bright golden pour with almost a two finger fluffy white head. Disappeared fairly quickly, but lacing is very nice. Looks as good as many other RR offerings I've had.

S: Slightly acidic sourness, with some sweet lemon. Small amount of barnyard funk and Brett. Kind of muted however.

T: Surprisingly almost no sourness whatsoever. There's some citrus and lemon paired with bready yeast. Bitter hops, Brett, and some barnyard funk provide a little tartness. Finally some spices and pepper kick in towards the finish.

M: Light to medium body. Very nice carbonation. Nice and dry on the end.

D: Not bad, but I'm still waiting for the sour and tartness that I felt should be there. It feels a little unbalanced to me.

I was to say the least, confused after drinking this. I was under the impression this was going to be a sour offering like many of the other -tion brews. It was very much more like a funky saison/farmhouse ale with Brett. A few days later trying this, I even had a friend sample it who's had Sanctification in a bottle. He thought it was very different and lacking the big sourness that's mentioned in many reviews. I wanted to get to the bottom of this, so I e-mailed Vinnie at RR. He awesomely responded within a few hours in response to my inquiry. Here is his response:

"Regarding the Sanctification, I am taking this beer in a different direction now days. What you tasted was the first or second batch where I switched strains of Brett and am using less Lacto and Pedio in the beer. This is what I always intended this beer to be, but, over the years it always went
to the sour side. The new strain of Brett is more to my liking and it worked better with less bacteria as well."

Thanks Vinnie. Still a very solid offering from Russian River. I actually enjoyed it more the 2nd time I had it when polishing off the Growler. (1,957 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

hazy lemon yellow with a bone white head, this one looks lemony tart, well see what comes next.
The aroma has moderate funk, nothing overpowering or super wild, along with a juicy belgian like yeasty quality, and some lemony fruits.
The flavors hit a soft tart lemon bite right up front but fades out quickly, doesn't finish super dry or at least as dry as the tart front makes you think it would, the funk comes through with the lemon in a damp straw manner. Enjoyable and very approachable.

Good beer i'd drink any single day,but i'm still in love with Suplication & Concecration though, those are RRs gems im my eyes. (621 characters)

Photo of Benish
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter glass. A couple inches of thick white head built up and it just remained there for quite a while. It's a good presentation. The beer had that bright hay color. Very, very opaque, yet it's not cloudy with yeast sediment.

Did not pick up much with aroma. There's definitely something funky and plenty of tartness but nothing too unique.

Taste-wise this is quite sour. It's really hard to expand from that. It does finish bitter like citrus zest. Eventually as the beer warmed up, there was definitely a ton of flavors of a grapefruit rind.

It has a light bodied mouthfeel. Quite acidic, gives that gritty feeling, likes after you brush your teeth.

This is only the 2nd of the sour beers I have tried from RR. The first was Supplication. Supplication was way better as there were more flavors coming from the fruits. However this is a good beer and I'm glad to try it. RR makes so many sours that I have to try others before trying this one again. (972 characters)

Photo of juhl31
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-started off great, yellowy, gold in color with some nice fogginess. not much head or any of the other good head characteristics

-it started off mostly bananas with me. as i progressed through it, some lemon came through. a bit, but not too much of the brett or sour smell

-definitely the least sour of the RR sours which is okay, just don't expect it to be when you try it. some lime/grapefruit style bitterness in the end. semi-closely resembles a corona with some salt and lime in it which is not necessarily a good thing as far as i'm concerned

-dry for the most part, but some oiliness tries to sneak in. tart in the mouth too for sure

-was an okay beer, but i don't think i would ever order again (considering all the other amazing things i can order at RR) (768 characters)

Photo of jminsc76
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Well, it definitively exhibits a golden body, with a white, thick foamy head forming upon the initial pour. Reemerges decently upon agitation, with the legs sliding down thick as I tilt. Very nice.

Aromas exhibit a mellow intensity of citrus (lemon and orange) and slight barnyard/horse blanket funk, the latter being mildly sharp. It’s pleasant, though I am wishing it would lift the nostrils just a bit higher.

Flavors threw me off at first, primarily because I found it fairly one-dimensional. As I continue sipping, however, a balanced blend of lemon and funk washes across the palate, signifying Sanctification’s rightful place as an unmistakable Russian River beer.

Mouthfeel is thinner, but the effervescence is perfect in creating a kind of snap, crackle, and pop on the palate. I like the dryness this exhibits as well.

Overall, I like it, though not amongst my favorites due to the fact that I have nary a preference for lemons. Sorry. If there were just a tab bit of sweetness, the taste preference would steer this in the A category. Plus it’s undoubtedly funky and smooth, though not necessarily complex. I would knock back a couple per serving, but should Supplication or Consecration or Temptation or Beautification be offered in its stead, this would be left to someone else. (1,328 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 004

Look: Golden yellow in color and a bit hazy with a fair head but little retention

Smell: Typical citrus lemony notes I associate with sours and quite a bit of Brett mixed in

Taste: Upfront the beer has quite a bit of sourness and then you get copious amounts of lemon zest

Mouthfeel: Medium to low body with ample carbonation

Overall: Glad I got the chance to try this one since I would never buy it for myself. Highly recommended if sours is your thing (468 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank at our Epic Chicago tasing, thanks to AgentZero. 750 ml bottle into my Narke glass...I was super excited to tick off the last Russian River top 100, but boy was I disappointed in this one...Pours light honey gold, white head, ok retention but pout lacing...The aroma is plain as day light sourness but that is it, no complexity here at all. The taste is the same, just lightly sour, a boring goldren bret is all this beer is. It might be a good representation of a plain bret, but that's not what you drink these beers for.

A totally overrated wild and with so many other Russian wilds to drink, this is not one worth pursuing. (635 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004, 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a golden yellow, white frothy head, nice lacing, thin cap on top, and a thick ring around the glass.

S - Very Brett-forward, some slight lemon zest, some sweet fruit. Lots of funk here with some sweetness, not that exciting, really.

T - Lots of Brett, slight sweet fruits, some oak, slight lemon zest/orange peel in there as well.

M - Light, crisp and smooth, frothy carbonation.

D - Not all that exciting. Basically, a funky beer that has a light sweetness to it. Some nice when you're looking for a light/funky beer, but I usually either/or, not both. (595 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This arrived in a unique orange and gold color, not looking like anything else I've seen of the style. The head and lacing are both pretty minimal.

The taste has some of the expected esters, but what's unique is the tangy citrus twist it has. Alcohol is somewhat apparent. Hop content is minimal. The front of the taste is dominated by the tangy esters and the finish lets some hops through.

I gather that this one was a bit of an experiment from the brewer. While not outstanding, I would say that the result was a pretty good beer. (539 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River on 6/30/09. Pours an almost opaque yellow, with beautiful frothy head. The sour lemon and grapefruit almost sting the nostrils, in a good way. This is straight up sour in it's cleanest form. The Brett certainly dominates and makes this a truly unique beer. However, beyond the great aromas and interesting sourness, there isn't a ton of complexity of flavors. Still a great beer that I am lucky to have tried. (433 characters)

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 593 ratings.