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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

607 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 607
Hads: 2,598
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 18.6%
Wants: 1,181
Gots: 841 | FT: 59
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 607 | Hads: 2,598
Photo of brdc
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sykdoc for sharing this one. Poured from a growler into a tulip.

Golden color, no haziness to be mentioned, small white head that goes away quickly, with little lacing.
Aroma is delicate but pleasant, sour and tart, acidic, with fruity notes.
Medium bodied, holding carbonation nicely for a growler, quite refreshing. Again delicate, but has fruity notes, white grapes and lemon, sour and acidic components, but not very tart. I prefer added punch with more acidity and/or tartness, but this is still a very refreshing beer.
Cannot argue with the high drinkability having downed a growler.
Another solid Russian River.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this originally from the tap at the brewery and then purchased a growler and brought it back to Wisconsin, fortunately getting to share it with brdc.

Poured from the growler into a tulip and a goblet. It pours a nice golden color and is clear with a <1/4 inch white head that reduces to minimal lacing. Carbonation is noticeable.

The aroma is primarily a sour/tart cocktail that includes some notes of lemon and a spicey/herbal component. Minimal acidity.

The taste is quite sour and tart. This is remniscent of lemon rind. There is a mildly sweet/fruity component and almost like a good white wine.

The mouthfeel sealed it for me because it combined with the taste very well. Light/medium bodied with a mouth puckering sour. A significant dryness lingers and the carbonation highlights the flavor.

I was not expecting to be floored by this beer. The initial drink sent me for a loop but as I drank a little bit more, the complexities and pleasantness of the taste definitely came out. This is a very easy beer to drink once you get started and will continue throughout.

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Photo of mjl21
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a RR Belgian glass. This version comes in at 5.67%.

A-A beautiful gold color and is very clear. Has a one finger head that reduces in half and results in a really nice foamy ring. Lots of lace is left on this one.

S-Tart and sour thanks to the brett. Funk and notes of lemon are present.

T-Sour and tart, but not so much that it wrecks the palate. Has definite notes of lemon and funk. There is a sharp citrus aftertaste that reminds me a lot of a well aged bleu cheese.

M-Medium bodied, smooth, and very dry. As previously mentioned, it is sour and tart, but not overwhelming in either category.

D-About as refreshing as possible from a sour. Tasted great on a beautiful 80 degrees day.

One of the more accessible sours that is out there. A great beer that I would like to see reappear in bottles.

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Draught at the brewpub, 5.67%abv. Light straw with a white head. The aroma is floral, and quite lemony-tart, with maybe a light acetic touch. The flavor is sour, and a little funky, with some lemon, leather, and light fruitiness. Light-to-medium bodied with crisp carbonation. After the last two all-brett beers I've had (proef and avery) I wasn't expecting that much acidity in this, but this guy is pretty damn sour, with great leathery, funky tastes going on.

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Photo of treyrab
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to the one and only Dyan for this gem. Long story short, I should have tried this before, but never did, so I'm glad I finally got to try this one!

A: Pours a hazy glowing orange/yellow with a nice white head. For a blonde ale turned Bretted ale this sure looks fantastic! Ample carbonation!

S: Wow, not incredibly complex, but for a blond ale spiked with Brett, this really shows how Russian River mastered the style. Nice dry white grapes and chardonnay followed by a nice lemony funk.

T: Very refreshing and tart with lemon juice, yeast funkiness, white grapes and chardonnay. Not the most complex, but incredibly flavorful.

Overall, easily one of the best wild ales I have had. Incredibly drinkable and flavorful!

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at RR

A - cloudy honey with a bubbly head and surprisingly leaves some lace

S - Sour (brett) lemons and a bit of spice. mainly pepper.

T - A very tart beer indeed. An array of sweet / tart fruit flavors.

M - carbonated well with a dry finish

D - sours are a "one and done" beer for me. Very tart. I will get this beer as my first beer from now on.

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Photo of FirstMan
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At Russian River Brewing. Oh yes.

Beautiful golden wheat color. Clear. Really surprising that such a lovely beer could live behind such a plain cover.

Smell is sour mash. Bright with slight molassas elements.

Tartness of sour pears presents itself up front, then lingers on the tongue for an eterinity. Very little hop character or malt. Sweetness like a cider, without the fruitiness.

Crisp, light.

I could drink this all day.


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Photo of wagenvolks
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle courtesy of stopbarking at the Austin BA tasting.

Releases a clear, golden-straw body with a surprisingly aggressive carbonation level that supplements a well-retained head of meringue bubbles. Amazingly sour nose, with notes of lemon zest, funky Brett, and toasted biscuit malts. Almost singes the nose hairs, but the sourness is delicately intoxicating.

On the other hand, the flavor is more on the punishing side, with a sour, lemon peel dryness balanced by lots of stinky funk. Imagine James Brown singing with a mouthful of Lemonheads...yeah, that's about right. Body is crisp and clean, with a puckering, dry finish of wild yeast. Although I'm still not sold on the whole "wild/sour" experience yet, I can appreciate the craft with which Sanctification was brewed. A must-try for any extreme beer lover.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/20/09. Part of a full day of Russian River beers here. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a hazy orange gold with a thin brite-white head. Retains at just about the same level, leaving back a nice foamy cascade of lace. The aroma is quite refreshing and crisp smelling, with a fruity citric tartness to it, as well as a touch of funk and spice and some lightly sweet backing character.

The taste is fruity with lemon and green apple character which imparts a nice firm crisp tartness to the profile. What I really like about this, is that it starts tart and stays that way during the duration of the glass, never once coming off as souring at any time. Spiciness and some sugary sweet character punch up the background, nicely complimenting the fruit and Brett and giving the overall profile some nice polish. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied with a lower feeling carbonation at times. While this has a touch of a viscous feel (almost like it was barrel aged), it's definitely on the lighter side, enabling all of those crisp flavors to go down very easily.

What a great beer! The balance between the tartness of the citrus and Brett was fantastic, with both taking equal control of the profile, giving this an exquisitely fresh and crisp feel. Great drinkibility on this as well, I killed this glass in no time flat! Another really great tasting Wild Ale from Russian River!

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Photo of yeastsipper
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Toronado

Beer is a bright yet deep yellow with a head that disappears quickly. Nice looking stuff. Smell is really nice. Sour funk really slaps you in the face at first and there are very definable smells or lemon zest, other citrus, green apple. Taste is out of this world. Very tart with heavy citrus/acidic quality. Sweet and sour up front, the beer finishes with a full-bodied almost barrel aged quality despite the fact that it is not barrel aged.

A fantastic brew and one of my favorites from my favorite brewery. Seek this one out....

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Russian River

A: poured a cloudy straw color with a frothy white head.

S: Wow, Brett. It has the trademark funk scent, along with tart green apples.

T: One of the best Brett beers I've ever had. The apple tartness is right up front, then moves to the middle of your tongue and the funk takes over! Seduces you right in for your next sip. Fabulous

M: The beers made your taste-buds almost dance next time you were about to take a sip.

D: I could drink this beer for days on end and not get sick of it. It was one of two at R.R. that did that but the other was 10%. This was great!

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Photo of magictrokini
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle @ Hamiltion's. Poured a hazy bright yellow-gold with a billowy white head. Thick lacing. Funky straw and citrus. Lots of lemon and sugar, kind of like Lemonhead candy. A fruit basket of other aromas; apple, peaches, pineapple, its all there. Taste is a sweeter sour. Very bretty, but it accents the peaches and pears instead of overruning them. Wheaty/bready flavors in the background enhance the tartness. Its unbelieveably easy to drink. Higher carbonation gives a pop in the finish. Just wish it wasn't so freaking expensive.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River. The beer is effervescent pale golden with a one inch, fluffy head. Really nice lacing is everywhere once the head finally recedes.

Brettanomyces are very strong in the nose. The aroma is nice and tart with some spiciness, lemon notes, and horse blanket funkiness. The flavor is very sour with some barnyard funk from the Brett and light citrus. This is quite tart. Delicious! The finish is very dry with a long lingering tartness. I recall the last batch I had was a bit more sour, but this is fantastic.

Light bodied, very dry, and great carbonation. This is an extremely drinkable sour. I drank a growler of this the weekend afterward and enjoyed every sip.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of antilogic
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 13oz Chimay.

Less sour than I expected (next to beatification, etc). Straw colored, Like a saison meets sour, medium bodied, almost no head, aroma of funk and sours. Some tastes of fruits, apricot maybe, dry finish, but crisp. I'd love to get my hands on more of this.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A special beer for review #300. On tap at Vinny's.

A - Pours a light blonde, with 1 fingered head. Dissipates fast.

S - Bretty, fruity: maybe peaches and nectarines, and slight caramel.

T - Pretty much matches the smell. Very consistent beer.

M - Holy crap. Has full mouthfeel and great viscousness for a lightly colored beer.

D - So good, probably could not drink more than a snifter at a time.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Adam (Nanoslug) for sending this directly from the source. Growler filled on the 4th of January and consumed exactly two weeks later while watching the Cardinals(!) make it to the Super Bowl with Dave & Randall.

A - I had a few glasses of this, and it looks way better in a flute or tulip - not so interesting in the oversized wine glass. Big foam that sticks around forever and leaves great lacing. Semi-transparent apricot color with a nice golden shimmer to it. A few bubbles lazily rise to the top.

S - Funk AND sour AND sweet - Brett (obviously), horse blanket, must, touch of vinegar, white wine, and a mix of fruits in the background (sour apple & cherry, sweet pears & citrus). One of the most complex bouquets I've gotten from a Wild Ale.

T - Starts out really tart, with some bite to it. It's hard to get a handle as every time I take a sip an different one of those aforementioned flavors pops out. The funkiness of the Brett is the main "flavor", but it never overpowers and always complements one of the secondary flavors. Kind of like a kaleidoscope - the elements remain the same but they always combine for different overall pictures.

M - Dry finish, doesn't leave too much candy aftertaste. Crisp and refreshing, albeit a little thin. Carbonation is well done - not overwhelming.

D - I think the funkiness and carbonation would prevent consumption of mass quantities. Each of us had two glasses, and no one was running to the fridge for more after that point. Otherwise it's easy drinking with its well hidden ABV and great taste.

I was really curious to see the results of 100% Brett, and in the hands of Russian River this is definitely impressive. Highly recommended to all lovers of sours.

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Photo of RodBurg
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two of my good friends came down from Santa Rosa to celebrate New Years and were gracious enough to bring me a growler. Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a small white head and Spotty lacing.

Nose is all funk. Lots of bretty barnyard with lighter notes of sour lemon and citrus.

Lemony funk dominates the taste. Less carbonation than I expected. Ends with a dry and crisp citrus flavor. Not too sour, but still a tad puckering.

Another great wild/sour from RR. Flavorful, crisp and refreshing. Supposedly this one is all brett and it really shows.

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Photo of LilMatrix
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm fortunate and lucky enough to have visited Santa Rosa and picked up a growler to bring home. I must also add that the RRBC growler is one sexy beast.

A - Pours semi-cloudy, a beautiful golden color with a orange tint. Little head and lacing, this could be due to having this from a growler however. Looks like apple juice.

S - DA FUNK BOYEEE! Brett hits the nose hard along with some barnyard, fruit, and vinegar.

T - Lemons, grapes, apples, grassy. Pleasing tart crisp finish. Love da funk. A bit lip puckering (>,<)

M -Light, crisp, and goes down smooth and easy. Medium to light carbonation, this again could be attributed to the growler.

D - Big surprise huh? Another wonderfully delicious beer from Russian River? I love the sours from Russian River and this one is very drinkable. I'll be sad when the growler is empty =(

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Photo of OStrungT
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a slightly cloudy golden color, with a fluffy, white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice sized lacing.

This beer has a very mild tart aroma. It has an earthy yeast aroma as well. It has some grainy notes to it. Also, is has some citrusy lemon aroma. This is one of the more complex wild ales I have sampled.

This beer tastes like it smells. Complex. Sour, tart, fruity, grainy, and yeasty all at the same time. Very nice.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a tart citrusy aftertaste. Carbonation is good after 24 hours in my unopened growler.

This beer would make a good session beer. It tastes great, and it is not overly high in alcohol.

Overall: I had this one on tap after the Consecration yesterday, and that was a mistake. The Consecration affected my pallette, and I couldnt fully appreciate this one. My wife insisted on a growler, and now I have come to see this beers subtle charm. This one is a winner. Not as sour as I expected, but very complex.

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 1: Sour/Wild Ales. Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. batch 003. sampled nov 27/08.

pours hazy orangey gold with a big fluffy white head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is great. nice bright citrus character - lemon, orange peel, bit of tangerine. light alcohol. white bread and crackers. hint of vinegar. bit of grain. touch of perfumey floral character.

taste is good. lemony. leather. horse blanket. light grapefruit. tangerine. bit of alcohol. touch of vinegar. white bread and crackers. the acid/vinegar component is restrained, coming across more funky than sour.

mouthfeel is great. medium-high silky smooth carbonation. light body with a nice dry finish.

drinkability is great. the acidity and sourness is restrained, not dominating the nice funky component or taking away from the drinkability. great balance overall. tasty stuff.

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Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Viggo for cracking this one open. Day 1 of the 2008 Biergotter Tasting.
Cloudy straw yellow with a big, fluffy white head. Good retention, some clumpy lacing. The aroma was heavy on brett earthiness, with some wet straw, grass, and funk leading the way. It also smelled of a sharp tartness that had an edge of vinegar and lemon. Flavour was tart too, light vinegar character and a bit of saltiness. It was juicy too, with a fair bit of berry flavour. Nicely balanced overall, with the sourness kept from overpowering the beer. Light bodied with slightly spritzy carbonation, surprisingly smooth texture. Really quite tasty and balanced for a sour beer, likely due to the brett playing nice with us.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to HopHobo for sending this my way in a trade. Day 1 of insane DrJay visit epic tasting.

Pours a cloudy golden, big thick pillowy off white head forms, drops some nice lacing, settles to a thin layer, great retention, looks nice. Smell is neat, brett funkiness, some acidity, lemon and orange zest, wood, leather, honey, vanilla, barnyardiness, straw, pretty nice. Taste is acidic to begin, oak, quite tannic, lemon juice, funky, grapefruits, very juicy, nice and sour in the finish, vinegary, pretty kickass. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation, very drinkable sour, sourness is well balanced, very nice. I dig this one a lot, lots of character but not over the top. Thanks a ton Matt!

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 607 ratings.