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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company


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1,661 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1661
Reviews: 561
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-27-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,661 | Reviews: 561 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of harrymel


3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005: 100% fermented with Brettanomyces

A: pours a blonde ale with excellent clarity and three fingers of eggshell which slowly falls to a sheet of the same. Spotty lacing.

S: Lemon, hay, slight grain. Definitely smells sour. The brett is fairly earthy (for lack of a better term in my lexicon). As I take slower and longer pulls, I get some tropical fruits: pineapple and mango, weird.

T: Slight lemony tartness I associate often with gueuze's comes up front, then disappears nearly as quickly. then I get the bitter, baking soda flavor I normally feel from Brett. Deceptively easy to quaff. I'm using my limited experience with Orval to generalize here, but I don't think I normally like Brett and yet this one is pretty good. Some nice bitterness from, something. Theres a slight vegetal flavor on the finish.

M: Light with hi carb - matches the beer well. Semi dry finish has me coming back for more.

O: I'm taken by this beer. I am not in love by any means, but I'm certainly happy with the acquisition. I have an additional bottle, and will let it age until I trade it, unless I get a hankering for it prior to that time. This is solid, and would be great for a blazing hot day, ice cold. Great substitute for a shandy IMO.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 05:24:44 | More by harrymel
Photo of Bendurgin


3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andy for sharing this one. Poured into a chalice. Pours a slightly hazy golden color a finger of fluffy white head that settles leavin some sticky lace. Lots of visible carbonation.

Lots of brett in the aroma, Hints of garden vegatable in the aroma with a good funky aroma. Slight hints of berries in the aroma. Funky brett on the pallet. A little bit of a band-aid (or adhesive strip) flavor with a touch of sourness on the finish.

The body is nice a light but the carbonation is a little bit high. I kind of just expands in your mouth. Overall this one is nice and funky. Pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 05:19:41 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of jmarsh123


3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy gold with a 2 finger creamy white head retaining 1 finger and leaving excellent lacing down the glass.

Not much to the aroma. Tart green apples, brett and some wheat malt, but pretty subdued.

A mild tartness starts out the palate. Some funky pilsner or wheat with some brett in the middle. Very misty with hay tones. Finishes fairly dry.

Creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

Not a bad beer, but my least favorite of the -tions. There is a pleasant tartness, but I could use more lacto and a little less brett as the mustiness got overpowering at times. Still will go back, but not as often as the others.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 21:02:32 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of airohead2001


3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part II of epic RR tasting including Tempt, Sancti, Beati, Suppl, and Consec. Thanks to glazeman for contributing this one, as well as the other two rarities in the bunch. Split this one with glazeman and z-pack while we watched some hillbilly show about hunting for gold; the protagonists spoke with a southern drawl and frequented phrases such as "frick" and "god-dangit."

Appearance is run of the mill for a RR sour - one finger head with decent retention, no lacing, and hazy yellow. This smells more like a saison and less like a sour - some banana, funk, and nutmeg. The taste is all about balance - not nearly as sour as I was expecting, which for the style, is not exactly what I'm looking for. Theres some lemon, but also some banana and clove. As was said by another BA during the tasting, this one sort of tastes like a saison as well. I don't feel that there is much depth to this - the drinkability is somewhat limited by the one dimensionality of this brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 01:18:15 | More by airohead2001
Photo of beerandcycling88


3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005, poured into a snifter from a 350ml bottle.

A Pours a pale golden color with a nice white head on top.

S lots of citrus especially lemon with a bit of barnyard funk from the brett.

T the taste follows the nose with lots of sour lemon citrus flavor, I can't seem to get more out of it then that.

M nice light mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall this is a very good sour that I would recommend to anyone new to the style. Its not overwhelming in the slightest which combined with the light body makes it pretty easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 01:36:40 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of falloutsnow


3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Whole Foods in Berkeley, CA
Batch 006 (though not clear when this was bottled)
Poured into a standard US pint glass

The general impression I had of this beer was of a blonde ale blended with a mildly sour gueuze. While the sourness was balanced well, the pairing resulted in a beer that featured characters (noticeable malt, floral hops, some sourness) from both of these styles, but failed to stand out in any particular character or way. At times, I thought I was drinking a rather weak gueuze. At the price point of RR beers, I could have bought a similarly-sized bottle of Girardin and enjoyed its bacterial complexity much more. Given its limited distribution, not one I feel the need to necessarily revisit or seek out.

Pours a ~2cm head of off-white, medium-sized bubbles, that dissipates somewhat quickly to a thick ring around the glass and some islands of foam atop the body. Minimal to no lacing. The body itself is a pale yellow color, slightly hazy, with visible carbonation along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is a mixture of mild floral hops reminiscent of those in a pilsener, noticeable Brettanomyces/Lactobacillus (slightly musty, slight acetic acid sharpness), and slight biscuit malts. Not a bad aroma by any means, but not particularly distinctive or prominent.

Taste opens with some malt flavors and vaguely floral hop(?) presence. Sourness appears alongside these by late in the front palate. While sourness/tartness is there, and palatable, this isn't particularly sour/tart, compared to other wild ales, at least for me. Sourness proceeds through back of the palate through the finish, alongside lingering, mild malt and floral tastes. The blend is tasty, and certainly not off, but I'm not impressed by the resulting characters; neither of the two types of ale really seem to enhance or demonstrate characters of the other that weren't present individually.

Body is medium in heft, with prickly carbonation and a dry finish from some residual sugars. Carbonation feels right for the beer, avoiding having a somewhat acidic beer linger on the palate too long.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 00:08:18 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit barnyard and yeast aroma. A Good wild ale, it's so great sourness in your face initially,I detect the wild yeast, then you get used to it, in a lemon yeasty haze. Good lacing and head. Satisfying aftertaste.Great with supper. Thanks Solomon420.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 02:02:16 | More by Sammy
Photo of Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not my favorite offering from RR but still a good beer.

Delicate straw orange color with lots of lacing and a nice head. Semi clear, has some haze to it though.

The smell is of funky, barnyard yeast saison with notes of bright fruit, brett.

Nice classic funk in the taste with a lesser wheaty saison base. Lemongrass notes are prominent, but theres a metallic edge that isn't great to it. Sweet as well. The mouth is good overall, bright on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 14:22:18 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of ghetto90007


3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Disclaimer: I'll be reviewing again after I try to age a couple bottles at some higher temperatures. Some of the feedback I've gotten suggests that my bottle needed a little more time.

I'm fairly unexperienced in the sour business. I've had a couple sours before and at least a couple that were unintended sours (ruined batches). I'm not sure if I'm going to become a fan of the style or not, but I do respect the style as a great example of the beer-making craft.

My bottle was from Batch 005, poured into a wine glass because my tulip was in the dishwasher and I don't know what my wife did with those champagne flutes I was planning to use. I think the glass worked out fine for serving.

A - I was scanning through a few reviews the other day as I was planning to crack this open this weekend and there were mentions of "pillowy" white heads and lacing. None of this seemed present in this batch. There were a few bubbles, but really no head. As I noticed this when I started pouring I tried to step the pace and slosh it in there a little but not much reaction.

Color is like cloudy Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Juice. It's as close of a representation to urine, in terms of color and opacity, as I can think of in the malted beverage milieu.

S - Being new to sours I was a little put off by the smell until the beer aerated a little. There were some sulfurs up front, but I'm assuming those compounds must have broken down with exposure to oxygen because that went away. There was definite funk and a tart sour smell like a really dry chardonnay.

T - Sour and funky. Then a little bit of the dry white wine character comes through. Honestly a bit vinegary.

M - Not completely flat - there is a bit of a carbonated bite to it, but the carbonation is not incredibly active or heady. Medium bodied.

Drinkability - It was decently refreshing for me, but I need some more exploration in the sours department. One at a time seems good.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 01:40:19 | More by ghetto90007
Photo of silentjay


3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a slightly hazy golden with a smallish, yet fluffy pure white head that settles at a good couple of cms, and sticks to the glass well.

very yeasty, and slightly funky aroma not too far from a saison with lemon pepper, herbs, and must.

much more tart, up front, than the aroma. with some funk and spice and acidic citrus. finishes tart again on the swallow, with a bit more lemony acidic citrus.

effervescent and dryingly tart on a light/medium bodied brew.

overall, its decent, but not what id be seeking out from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 01:18:19 | More by silentjay
Photo of TheGordianKnot


3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass...

A- Looks like a hazy canary yellow. Pours a low head that settles gently to a small layer of foam.

S- Very light tartness- lemony all sound. Acidulated aroma provides great twang. Funky and also grainy. Very well rounded and complex.

T/M- Sour, but slightly more funky. The sourness is very citrusy with a touch of light fruits in there as well. Nice crisp acidic flavor that is quickly followed up by a horsey, rubbery funk. Ending flavor is very warming and reminds me of an old persons medicine cabinet- yet it works well... Very light and crisp on the tongue. Lively liquid that is incredibly refreshing.

O- Awesome beer, but not as sour as I had hoped for. I was looking for a Supplication type beer here, but it was more of a funky sour. Still great and would, love to have again!

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 02:59:38 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of rtepiak


3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

and thanks a ton for sharing some philippe... our inaugural brew for the evening.

all i really knew about this one is that it was fermented only with brett. a blonde. not a hot blonde but a pretty good looking one for a sour. about 2 fingers on a golden clear. nose was lemon grass and zest a hint of citronella. the palate had more of this citronella quality with a interesting creaminess that gave it the quality of lemon pulp. a bit dry, but more acidic... very subtle grain. reminders of kombucha i've brewed.

i could say this was a learning experience. sours are well rated on BA. it seems they fulfill the other side of the heavy handed craft spectrum. its sledge hammer hoppy... or its sour. either way its bombastic. like american merlots. some are rich in flavor and some have holes but that magnitude of the process is undeniable. and i drink this feeling that that is what's most important. its sour... its not a lambic. period.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 05:30:05 | More by rtepiak
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Tuilp glass]

The pour was a murky golden yellow with an average sized (1-2 finger) white frothy head that dissipated down to a thin film and had some fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was a bit musty with a light grain malt, some citrus hops and a funky scented yeast with notes of citrus (lemon), green apple and apricot.

The taste was a little sweet and acidic with notes of lemon and apricot in the beginning but became sour very quickly with a big note of green apple and being a bit acetic towards the end. The flavor lasted a good long time after the swallow with a strong sour fruity ending.

Mouthfeel was light in body and dry in texture with a nice prickly carbonation.

Overall a great sour Blonde Ale with a nice apple peel bite at the end...

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 18:48:41 | More by KajII
Photo of leschkie


3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 005. 375 mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a mostly-transparent gold with a very frothy head that reminded me of whipped creme fraiche. Very nice lace left behind as the head dissipated.

Smell: Aromas reminded me of a Belgian pale (funky yeast, hay, lemon) with a slight hint of tartness, leather, coconut. First impressions is that this one will be a very mellow sour...

Taste: ...and I was right. The sour tartness is very subdued, perhaps a little too much. The tartness tastes something like a lemonhead that started to dissolve as a result of getting wet. But the Belgian profile unfortunately dominates the taste buds. Nothing too complex going on here.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied like a Belgian pale with a substantial amount of carbination, as expected with this style. The mouthfeel is very pleasant as a matter of fact.

Overall: Eh. Refreshing, but nothing to get too excited about. Honestly, I'd have to say that I think this one is a little overrated, just like Supplication. When I see sour written on the label, I expect to taste sour but this simply wasn't the case here. Consecration still tops my list among the RR sours.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 16:23:29 | More by leschkie
Photo of tjkinate


3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch# 006

I am new to the variety, so before reviewing I compared to 3 other highly reviewed brews.

A: A short lived, single fingered, white head topped this cloudy, golden bodied brew. The head dissipates to a white ring leaving behind some lacing.

S: Sour notes of cherries, pomegranate, and lemon.

T: Lemon tartness, grassy, funkiness follows conceding to lighter, sweeter lemon flavors.

M: Medium light, silky, good carbonation.

O: My first Wild Ale, think this variety takes some getting used to.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 18:19:11 | More by tjkinate
Photo of JDV


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle shared at tasting. Thanks!
Pours a semi cloudy yellowish orange color with a very short lived head. Smell is tame, lightly bretty, oaky and well rounded. Taste is oaky, dry, tart, and a light but sharp and pleasant funkiness to the malt. Very drinkable and remarkable smooth, I thought. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 19:02:16 | More by JDV
Photo of tjthresh


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002. 750ml bottle provided by csbosox. Pours a murky (gusher) straw yellow with a big white head. Funky, hourse blanket, sweet socks, yadda yadda yadda, with some citrus also. frizzzzle's SweetTarts analogy was pretty good. Really fruity and tart. Dry finish with high CO2. Really love these Russian River beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 13:28:56 | More by tjthresh
Photo of jneiswender


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer in a 2oz sample glass at the brewery as part of a sampler.

A-almost skim milk color, one of the whitest beers I have ever seen.

S-lemon smell,

T-tastes like a lemon smoothie

M-medium somewhat slick

D-Odd tasting at first but when you get used to it the "smoothie" flavor, its not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2009 22:01:33 | More by jneiswender
Photo of ffejherb


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River on 7/17/09.

A - Cloudy pale golden body with half inch of bright white fluffy head that settled into a patchy film and deposited some intricate lace around the glass.

S - Sweet candi sugar with only a hint of sourness and Brett character, surprisingly. Aroma was not as sour as I was anticipating. A slight lemony character also emerged as it warmed up a bit.

T - Slight boozy character akin to a strong white wine with mild sour fruity notes reminiscent of green apple or tart grapes. Mild spicy notes also emerge with hints of pepper.

M - Light to medium bodied with a slight syrupy texture and only a hint of carbonation. Dry finish with a subtle tart, sour tingle on the palate.

D - This was definitely not as sour as I was expecting, especially given the "100% Brett" slogal associated with this wild ale. However, I found this to be quite drinkable and not too over-the-top, as some other heavily Brett-ed brews. Too bad there were no bottles available.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2009 23:40:47 | More by ffejherb
Photo of pmccallum86


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great straw yellow color, very good.

Smell is great, very funky and tart smelling.

Taste brings the funk, not very sour or tart, just straight up funky. Good beer but all funk and no sour.

Smooth, medium carbonation, and creamy mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, one of the most drinkable wilds out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 07:23:51 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of THECPJ


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes: 2/20/2011

A: golden yellow to orange with a 1/2 finger head, leaves decent lacing on the glass

S: very slight sourness and a hint of sweetness, citrusy (mostly lemons), and a speck of apples

T: very dry, tart, citrusy, and that hint of apples found in the smell, has a slight sourness, but finishes sweet

M: moderate carbonation, crisp, refreshing

O: can imagine sitting on the deck on a hot summer day throwing one of these babies back without a care in the world


Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 03:59:57 | More by THECPJ
Photo of zeledonia


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 005, bottled 1 December 2010. Have another one sitting in the cellar, wanted to try this while it was still reasonably young.

Pours a pale golden yellow, slightly hazy. Small white head, a half-finger or so, that recedes pretty quickly. A little bit of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smells like sweet lemon sour candy. Interesting tart lemon, with a layer of sweetness underneath it, kinda sugary. Not a whole lot else there, though - it's gone quickly, leaving me wanting more from it.

Taste is all right in the front of the mouth. Citrus, potent sour lemon, some white grape lightness. The sour is quite strong and balanced well by the sweetness, but doesn't have the depth I want from it. Tasty, but not real complex, and not super interesting to me.

Fairly light-bodied, decent carbonation. Dry finish.

A decent sour ale, but I don't find anything remarkable about it. It's exactly what it says it is, a sour blonde ale, and it's good, but it's rather one-dimensional. Maybe my expectations of RR are too high, but I was hoping for more out of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 16:14:42 | More by zeledonia
Photo of jbakajust1


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 keg poured into 12oz Tear Drop @ Bier Stein

A - Pours a clear straw w/ 1 finger white head, lots of tiny bubbles, quick fades to a slick on top, leaves good lacing on the glass, and has lots of carbonation dancing.

S - Smells of hay and straw, pears, lemons, spices, pepper, white wine.

T - Tartness jumps off w/ lots of fruit, pear, apple, cherry, lemons, very dry. White wine.

M - Light body, bone dry finish, prickly carbonation, bitterness acentuated by the dryness.

O - Good beer, refreshing, tart and dry, big fruits, some hay, not a lot of funk for a 100% Brett beer, but still good.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2011 22:37:55 | More by jbakajust1
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a finger of light white head. Appears very carbonated and the retention is great.

S: Lots of tart white wine aroma with light brett funk in the way of wet hay. Obviously a very dry beer with quite a bit of citrus smells reminding me of a Berliner Weisse.

T: More sour than I would have guessed from the smell, but equally as dry. I get quite a bit of white wine, but again in a dry, tart way. Very clean flavor - pleasant but not particularly complex. I get a slight plastic flavor, particularly in the aftertaste.

M: Very light and highly carbonated.

O: A very clean American Wild Ale. Dry, tart, light to moderate sourness, with a mild white wine aroma. Good, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 01:09:46 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of homebrew311


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: fizzy yellow appearance, nice clarity, white foamy head, great retention and heavy lace

S: white grapes are prominent with mild hints of funk, notes of cork and white oak come into play

T: lemon zest up front with citric notes, a quick dash of tartness on the palate, spicy finish

MF:high carbonation, light body

O: nice wild ale with moderate funk that pairs with a bit of acidity

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 09:13:23 | More by homebrew311
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,661 ratings.