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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

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2,415 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,415
Reviews: 592
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 1,131
Gots: 766 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,415 | Reviews: 592
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light yellow color with a huge 4 inch white head that fades into a chunky small cap. Very distinct rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells funky/musty from the Brett with some sour fruit notes as well. Taste is somewhat fruity all around with green apples and sour citrus fruits in harmony with the funk from the Brett. A good level of carbonation but I was expecting much more after the 4 inch head on the initial pour. Beer is pretty crisp with each sip but leaves a stickiness in the mouth as well. Overall, this is a solid wild ale from RR but not as good as some of their others in my opinion.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002, acquired via trade with Vancer. Thanks Vance!

A cloudy yellow with a big white head and lots of rentention.

Smells very sour. Lots of fruit notes hit the nose, especially grapes. A strange almost midly spicy tone comes through too, I assume these are the Bretts.

Very sour. I guess that's the point, but I thought it still deserved mention. In the middle is what I thought was spicy in the aroma, but spicy is the wrong word. I assume this is the Bretts, but I could be wrong. It reminds me of a Braggot (if that is helpful to anymore, not sure it will be). Also lots of fruits are on the palate here, espcially grape. Other fruits come through, I seem to pick up a peachy flavor.

Fairly light body, very well carbonated.

The drinkability here is pretty good. Shared this bottle with a friend and he hated it, so I'm drinking the entire 750ml bottle.

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001

Pours to a grapefruit juice color with a thich white head. It leaves behind a nice amount of lacing and it has quite a bit of carbonation.

The arom is definetly brett, with the lambic-like qualities. It is citrusy and tart in the nose....lemons.

The flavor is a bit tart with the citrus--lemon flavors and the yeasty--horse blanket characteristics.

It is smooth and easy drinking, with a semi-sourness throughout.

A very nice brew.

Photo of Jonada
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of mrandypandy
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of tywhite
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Jesse13713
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch number 005 thanks to MadVermin out in California. Just one of the many Russian Rivers and great beers he sent in our trade together. Thanks again MadVermin!

Appearance - Poured into my Maudite tulip glass after popping the bottle. Two fingers of head are quick to disappear as I am left with a soapy, well carbonated film of head. The beer itself looks like a sour yellow/blonde color; just as this beer is described as. Slight hints of orange in certain light but mostly sour yellow. Once settled, it laces to the glass in clumps.

Smell - Smells of soured cider. So far, both the appearance and smell remind me of Damnation. Though of course you can obviously tell that this one is not brewed with Belgian yeast. Slight hints of citrus, brett and funk are also noticeable.

Taste - Much more sour than the smell lead me to believe. Reminds me of the Jolly Pumpkin's I have access to here in Ohio. A strong bretty sour apple taste that is carbonated and crisp throughout. There is definitely some noticeable lemon and lime on the tongue as well. Very funky and delicious. I don't get too much of the bread taste some others describe.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Sour on the tongue and back of my mouth while foamy with yeast on the roof. A medium bodied blonde ale that packs a sour punch. Easily drinkable and I really enjoyed this. Reminds me of eating a cut up apple soured with lemon juice.

Photo of BeerEngineer
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

General: I found this bottle at one of our local craft beer shops, they had it hidden in the back because they only got a 12 pack of it. Thankfully I know them well enough to get one of them! I poured this into a ballast point tulip glass. I left the bottom 1/4" or so in the bottle because of the bottle fermentation, managed to keep the majority of the brett in the bottle.

Appearance: Really nice blonde ale color, kind of a golden hue to it. there is minimal head but what is there is white and very thin. There is some slight lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a nice citrus hit with this beer but there is a slight underlying funk. The horse blanket isn't there in all honesty but the citrus nose is in full force. I detect just a touch of malt.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is pretty high, there is a drying effect with this beer. body is pretty light for a blonde ale but it's very refreshing!

Taste: Lots of citrus hits in here, that's the brett coming through full force. There isn't much of a blonde ale left anymore in all honesty. it's pretty much just a sour, not much malt to stand up to the citrus flavors in this. Refreshing is the best thing that I can think of, it's like a strange sort of lemonade or other citrus drink.

Overall: Pretty good sour. I like that this has the citrus flavors rather than the horse blanket flavor. I think that I would have this a little colder than I did on this one. It was only about 60F when I drank it, somewhere around 50F would be better for sure. For the price of this (this bottle was 12 oz and cost $18) isn't worth it unless you are really into sours. If you see it for a decent price it's not bad.

Photo of kudos200
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of jbwimer
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Banana, melon, lemon, that signature bretty character. Hints of citrus and some cracker. Nice tartness with a touch of funk.

Photo of quirkzoo
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch - 005

Pours a deep gold with 2 fingers of fizzy white head that quickly recede to a thin layer. The aroma is very tart up front, lots of sour green apples, slightly vinuous behind the tartness. As it opens up I get some wet hay funk. The taste is slightly puckering but not overwhelming. This is extremely well balanced between tart and funky.It is so well balanced that it is extremely drinkable, no problem finishing off the small bottle myself. A top notch American Wild, Russian River deserves their reputation and I will definitely pick this one up again.

Photo of rodkin
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden blonde. Almost no head, but some visible carbonation rising up.

Smells of not quite ripe green apple, yeast, some barn-like smells. Initially seems pretty tart, but it becomes pretty balanced and surprisingly not very sour in the nose.

Taste follows the nose. It's pretty nice and well balanced, some musty kind of flavors mixed with the green apple. I'm getting a strange aftertaste, I don't really know how to describe it... metallic, maybe? It's not very pleasant. It's not overpowering and I wouldn't say it ruins the beer, but it diminishes an otherwise very tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is great. Nice swisher, pretty full and well carbonated.

My first experience with a RR sour. It's good, but the aftertaste is a bit of a bummer. Didn't quite live up to what I was hoping. Hopefully beatification will be more rewarding!

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 5....375 ml bottle generously provided by Alex. Thanks buddy!

Pours the color of pineapple juice and just as murky/cloudy. Some clumpy lacing grabs at the edges and holds tight.

Smells of a funky lemon wearing his best Brett laden cloak. A man around town he'd be.

Mildly puckering and sour. Opens lime and green apple peel and then transitions to a dusty middle with a touch of rubber. It doesn't necessarily detract, but it is slightly distracting. Finish is cracker and funk with a tart dryness.

Mouthfeel is snappy and carries the flavors quite well.

Overall, it's not the Brettiest, tartest, our sourest beer on the block, but it's comfortable in it's own skin and ain't that what's it's all about?

Photo of paytoplay
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brett bomb. Yeast, bready a bit. A little tart and would be a treat to find this beer properly stored 5 years down the road. sampled from keg at o'briens 15th annv. Complex mid palate, aroma was just funk and brett. Creamy though. A treat to try this brew.

Photo of birchstick
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005 by way of KevSal...thanks man!

A - pours a nice straw color with a creamy whit head that retains quite well

S - smell opens up with huge hits of Brett that give a musty, earthy funkiness with a bit of mushroom underneath it. Second to the Brett character is some lemon, pear, and tart green apple.

T - opens up with with sour pear and apple...the malt underbase isn't detectable. In the middle of the palate is some funky must but is quickly overwhelmed by lemon and sour, tart green apple. Hanging over all of this is a delicate touch of mushroom and some earth and must tones. Really Nice stuff!

M - A little thin but pretty smooth with moderate carbonation. A little above average

D - This is a pretty solid wild ale here. Not as in your face sour as others I have tried, but this makes Sanctification that much easier and enjoyable to drink. Pretty solid stuff and has me very intrigued to try more RR barrel beers.

Photo of ptykozoon
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Champagne yellow, thin cap, very bubbly.

Lemon lime, yeast. Subdued.

Nice level of sour. Mmmm this is good. Very refined and balanced. Grapefruit, oak, some earthy undertones with a tart lemon finish.

Carbonation makes this very drinkable. Alcohol undetectable.

I could drink this all day.

Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this. Poured into snifter.

Pours a light layer of white head. Color is a bright golden prairie straw. Good retention.

Aroma: Very golden ale like. Some herbal flavors with some floral notes. It is funky and has a decent amount of brett. It has some lemon citrus and a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. More brett here. Lemon citrus and sweetness. It has herbal and floral notes with a touch of spice. Again, very golden ale like with Belgian yeast. Has a grape/wine like flavor with some oak. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Pretty clean. Lighter bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, a really nice sour beer for RR. It was different from their others, but still good. Pretty drinkable. I was a fan of this one.

Photo of black13
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005

Heard a nice pop when I popped the cork, which was a great relief to know my first Sanctification would not be a flat one. Poured a golden hue of yellow into my HotD tulip glass giving a nice full inch of fluffy head. The head did dissipate leaving a nice splattering of lace and a good ring of bubbles on the edge.

Being a newb to the world of wilds, this one seems pretty mellow, but not in a bad way. I pick up some acidity and some lemony citrus aromas. There is also another aroma I pick up and I would guess that is the yeast as its almost bready to me.

Very crisp and refreshing. It starts off with what I would call a lemon apple zest, then finishes with a dry brett/bready maltiness. I look forward to trying more brett and getting a grasp for its full flavors.

Medium body with an almost champagnesque carbonation. After having a bottle of champagne the other night, I would say this is a champagne beer, and this is a good thing. Alcohol is not detectable.

Very drinkable. I still need more time with sours and wilds to get a feel for them, but this one was a nice introduction. I'm still not sure what barnyard funk and hay taste like, but someday I will get there. I will be enjoying many of these if the weather gets nice and hot.

Photo of Overlord
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden color, nice head and robust and lively carbonation. Mouthfeel is, as is normally the case with Russian River, quite good.

Tastes almost cider-ish, with a nice apple/pear/grapefruit bite. Delicious blonde ale, the yeast is chewy and delicious. Quite drinkable, with a bit of sour and zest

Might be a bit too much going on with this beer. The sour isn't really straightforward, and the yeast is a bit misplaced. The fruit component also seems to not be integrated all that well.

Photo of wd40
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is straw yellow with a very slight haze. Fair amount of lace on the glass. Smell very much reminds me of belgian pale ales and strong ales. A nice yeasty aroma. Hints of banana and bread. Lots of lemon in the taste. Mild/moderately sour. Bit of bitterness as the beer warms up. Soft carbonation provides a nice mouthfeel. Overall a very good, drinkable beer.

Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange. Fairly aromatic, not very funky, but full of papaya and lemon scents. Light doughy malt followed by an overwhelming sour assault. Notes of horseblanket, snake skin and sour lemons. Light and bubbly feel on the palate. It’s really funny that this beer is made in the middle of Sonoma County. I like it, a lot.

Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bright, deep gold, very big off-white head slowly shrinks to thin foamy top, and some nice lace.

Aroma is wonderful funky/barnyard rustic yeastiness with hint of vinegar, light fruits, herbs, wildflowers, some grain, hint of wine, bread, and sweetness. It is very nice.

Taste is crisp, light character, sour but not overly so, tart with hint of sweetness. It has sour lemon and tart fruits up front, with some peppery spice and herb, then biscuit and bread in the finish. It has a good, well-rounded but very light, somewhat thin character, a bit bland and “dry.” It’s very good and very drinkable, but lacks character.

Photo of SassyBootblack
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a small corked and caged bottle, poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Thin but persistant white head. Hazy orange color. I poured it carefully, I promise.

Smell: Tart and citrusy.

Taste: Mouth puckering sour, but not outrageously so, and some light malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and acidic.

Overall: A well made and straight forward sour beer. It cuts through fatty foods nicely, if you're looking for a pairing.

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of CraftFan5
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,415 ratings.