Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

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SanctificationSanctification

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

594 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 594
Hads: 2,517
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 7.48%
Wants: 1,155
Gots: 798 | 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: 594 | Hads: 2,517
Photo of Beerandboards
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cork and cage 375ml bottle

A - translucent golden color. Apricot in color is the best I can do to describe it. Very nice color. Any sort of aggressive pour produces a large amount of thick white head, retains for a very long time.

S - mild vinegar, sour grapes, apple cider, some warmer almost floral type notes.

T - best sour I've had to date. Pronounced sourness without any pucker, a champagne like dry grape flavor, funky earthy type notes going on in the background. Finishes super quick super dry. It's an interplay between beer, champagne and white wine in the best way possible. Very very good.

M - super high carbonation, really plays well with the flavor. Nice presentation.

O - like I said above, my favorite sour to date. Ultra balanced between the flavor profile, level of sourness and mouthfeel. Just an excellent beer, would buy this again and again. (870 characters)

Photo of hawks10
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Batch 005 - Bottled December 1st, 2010 - Poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

Pours a mostly clear dark straw yellow with one finger of bright white soapy head.

Nice light tart aromas up front mixed in with a more prominent spicy wet hay like funk. Smells light and inviting, like it's waiting for you, wanting to quench your thirst.

Taste closely matches the nose. Tart but not overwhelmingly so with a drying and slightly spiced finish. The funk is there but it is balanced very well with the tartness.

Medium bodied, a bit heavier than expected with a lively feel. A bit of a dry and spicy taste lingers.

Overall a very good beer. Easy to drink but not boring, nice layers of complex flavors make this one a top notch American Wild Ale. (750 characters)

Photo of steeb
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: hazy golden with a nice thick fluffy head

S: sour, slight funk, some fruit like peaches

T: about the same as the smell, slight tartness on the forefront and a slight funk on the end

M: medium bodied, with some lingering qualities

O: A decent Russian river beer. Nowhere near as bad as New Belgiam's Brett Beer. Very nice balance between funk and tart. (358 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very cool, unique beer here. This brew pours hazy, light amber with some sediment and a very thin head. Smell is mostly of yeast and bretts, with some grapefruit, pear and apple. You can smell just how tart this beer is, and the taste is there to match. Tons of citrus (predominantly lemon and lime), tart and crisp, very refreshing served very cold. Fairly dry, and not overly acidic. Very light with tons of carbonation. Stimulates every taste receptor in your mouth and makes you salivate. Super clean finish, just leaves you wanting more. A little pricey, but super drinkable... this is a new favorite. (606 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We crack the cage and cork on a bottle of Batch 005, and pour a brew the color of raw honey. It holds a two and a half finger tall head of creamy, off-white bubbles. These billow and fluff, leaving sheets of soapy lacing down the glass as the head eventually disappears into a hearty film. A thick haze permeates the clarity, with chunks of yeasty sediment bouncing around the base of the glass. Carbonation appears active. The nose sings with massive Bretty glory. This is sour, juicy, extremely tart, and metallic. The malts are soft, wheaty, and Belgian, with fruity esters and crisp citrus. This inherent spiciness is enhanced by sage, mold, and light piney earthiness. Finally, with warmth, comes a far off burnt rubber quality, adding a bittered, even tarter tail. Our first impression is that the flavoring is wildly tart, but kept nicely in check by sweetness at the back of the sip. As we sip, the juiciest Brett crashes the palate. This puckers, along with raw lemon flesh and rind, metallics, musk and mold, and crisp malty paleness. The malts actually maintain a nice backbone throughout, helping in their own right to cool the funk. The peak hits with more acidic qualities of vinegar, vinyl plastics, more chalk and bite to the yeast, fermented chokecherry bitterness, mineral, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Washing through the finish are sweetened floral notes, honeysuckle sugars, herbal bitterness, big muskiness, barley grassiness, coin, faint banana esters, and more of that big bad Brett. The aftertaste breathes with fermented vegetable rottenness (in a funky, good way), citrus, wet flour, cooked plastics, coating metallics, and watered down tropical fruitiness. The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is light to medium. There is nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop to each sip, as afforded by the ever present head. The mouth is left wet, salivating, and coated, with only slight pucker and astringency when it’s all said and done. The abv is easy, and the beer sips the night away.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the heavy tartness to the nose and flavoring, and the broad sweeping complexity of it. From the time you pop the bottle your nose fills with this juicy, insanely funky beast of an aroma, with crisp paler malts, and an accompaniment of yeast, fruits, and musky components. These translate well through the taste buds, with a massive bittering tartness from the first drop to the last. The nicely retained head affords soft creaminess to every sip, and helps Sanctification hold up proudly amongst its brothers and sisters in the series. (2,615 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The body is a pale hazy yellow with a pure white lacy one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Very mild, especially for a sour. I wish it was a little stronger. Estery with a hint of sour apple.

T: Sour apple is in the front. There is estery and oaky flavors running throughout.

M: Nice body and very sharp carbonation.

O: Great sour. Not the best at Russian River but worth trying none the less. (407 characters)

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottle to Ommegang flute

A:light golden yellow in color with a small white head. It is kind of cloudy but looks pretty clean despite that it is almost completely opaque which is what i expect from a blond.

S: well you can definitely smell that brett funk it smells like a barn, i am getting some of the "wet horse blanket" for sure but it is not overly pungent at all which i regard as a good thing. There isn't that much else there.

T: it has a nice sour flavor that is slightly tart with a little bit of sweetness to it in the finish. There is definitely some citrus in there especially lemon that goes along with the sourness and blond flavor. I can taste some of the hop and other flavors from a blond mixed in with the brett so it is definitely successful and to style.

M: The brett gives the beer a nice champagne crispness. It is also smooth, oily and goes down really easily which is helped by the carbonation. The great feel of wine champagne and beer blend together well here.

O: This beer is a great marriage of sour and blond the brett plays a great key role I throughly enjoyed this beer especially the taste and feel. It is not mind-blowing but it is a really solid sour and another impressive offering from RR i would recommend it if you can get your hands on it. (1,283 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 11/28/12
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours an extremely opaque, pale straw yellow, with a 2 fingers tall, pure white head which lasts a surprisingly long time for it's style. Leaves no lacing, as expected with barrel aged sour beers.

Aroma: Huge aromatics of funky, musty hay, pineapple juice, green pear skin, light granny smith apple, lemon juice and grape fruit rind. Hints of vanilla(from the oak barrel, I presume) and a very faint presence of cracker from the malt. Everything you'd expect and more from a 100% brett fermented beer.

Taste: The taste certainly follows the nose pretty well; starts off with suggestions of tart pineapple right away with a refreshing spritz of tangy lemon juice soon to follow. The beer closes with an assertive bitterness and a whisper of a soft cracker-malt base. Some lingering impressions of pear and grapefruit pith on the very dry, tart finish. There are some accompanying notes of vanilla, barnyard funk and some light tannins in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Overall: Definitely one of my favorite beers of all time. Complex, yet very thirst quenching and refreshing. The Brettanomyces really takes on a hugely tropical tone in this beer and makes the beer only slightly tart. This is a great beer for the both the sour novice and the seasoned "sour head" Highly recommended. (1,390 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours cloudy and is the color of hay. Head is tall and fluffy. Head pops away and leaves plenty of lacing. I see some light clouds of yeast-dust swirl around my glass.

S-The all-Brett yeast is surprisingly not as startling as I expected. There is plenty of tartness; but its clean. I really pick up some strong notes of wet hay. Tart pale-fleshed fruits. The Brett has been trained quite well; many a beer have I had where the Brett kinda gets a bit too zany.

T-Sour and tart and zesty. I find it to offer a bit less complexity than some of the other "-tion" brews by Russian River. There is the tart fruit, hay and even some lemon meringue, so there is clearly still a bunch going on it this one's defense.

M-Light and drinkable. The carbonation isn't too volatile. Tartness begins to permeate the skin on my lips and the enamel on my teeth.

O/D-Another well-trained stud from Russian River. Not my favorite "-tion" but its better than 80% of anything sour I have tried. Next time I have a chance I will gladly lay lip to this wacky, Bretty beast. (1,055 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes. Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip.

The pour is a light hazy straw color with a tight, but small creamy head.

The aroma has a nice lemon tartness to it, but the focus is on the funky Brett and hay notes. There is a bit of apricot behind it.

The flavor starts with a light pale malt sweetness, with a tartness that builds over the course of the sip. Lemon zest, hay, a bit of apricot, and a little vinegar. As the sip winds down, the lemon zest really takes over and steps up the sour flavor.

The body starts a little bit fuller than medium for the style, with a medium and slightly creamy carbonation. Toward the end it dries out a little bit.

This is very nice. Russian River has a good portfolio of great sours. (738 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle consumed 1-25-13. Batch 006

A: Pilsner type clear gold. Foam vanishes. Bubbles lift and push the liquid.

N: drying brettanomyces. Lemon and biscuit. Clementine orange. Some sourness is evident. Bleu cheese for sure.

T: Very dry and musty. Lemon juice, horse blanket, and tons of brett. Sour vinous chardonnay grapes. Very floral; hints of standing in a field. Oats and granola. This is extremely complex at this age - hits all parts of the tongue. Sulfuric acid/fatali peppers.

M: Crisp, dry and light, but it's not refreshing. No, no, definitely not the last part.

O: This is crazy infected and it adds brilliant character to the beer. Almost becomes too much, but I finished the entire bottle and wanted more. Get some. (739 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thanks to ablackshear for this extra from a trade!

batch 6. nice loud pop when cork came out of the bottle.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: opaque and hazy straw yellow bodied beer with big fluffy white head. Drops down slowely to a ring with clumpy lacing.

Smell: green apples, oaky, lemons, earthy with mild funk.

Taste: mild tartness in the for of citrus, but primarily lemons. Oaky and a touch of vinous. Really earthy and funky mostly musty and barnyard. Nice oak barrel notes as well with just a hint of white grapes.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Soft and gentle carbonation. Really easy drinking beer.

Overall: I think this is more brett forward sour than a tart sour beer. I really liked it and its just another wonderful offering for the sours line up at russian river. (818 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle poured into a tulip.
Batch 006, $14.99 in PA

Appearance
Pale gold with a short white head that dissipates quickly. It's extremely clear for a Wild Ale. Only a few drops of yeast swim around like jellyfish.

Nose
Pear, golden delicious apple, apple cider, white wine and a touch of vinegar. Smells very juicy.

Taste
Slight tartness on the front of the tongue with very juicy flavors. White grape, pear, apple cider, green apple and some lemon. Light notes of white wine vinegar. The back end gets extremely dry with leather and a musty funk. Tons of white oak in the finish.

Mouthfeel
Light bodied, crisp, dry and refreshing.

Overall
This is like drinking two different beers at the same time. The front end is incredibly juicy and fruity while the back end dries up quickly with oak and funk. Light tartness. Easy drinking and refreshing. Very nice! (866 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375 ml C&C bottle served in a Lost Abbey Teku. Batch 006.

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a pure white head forming on the pour. It recedes quickly to a think ring. Minimal splotchy lace.

S: Nice funk with some light lemon peel and white grape. Very light malt body with some grassy undertones.

T: Outlying funk, some oaky tannins with a little puckering. Not sour, but slightly acidic with some green apple and lemon peel. A little hay and some barnyard on the finish.

M: Spritzy, medium high carbonation with a slightly drying finish. Light bodied.

O: Very light on the acidity and sourness, but still very tasty with the funk and base blonde. (654 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Monks in Philly for the Zwanze 2012 celebration/release.

Pours a cloudy light golden color with a frothy white head that retains fairly well and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with some crackery pilsnery malt and some champagne-esqe vinous oak notes. As it warms I get some light citrus, funk, earth and doughy yeastiness with emerging green apple.

The tastes follow the nose with the clean pilsner, maybe some wheat maltiness and then the sour lemon, funk, oak and apple skin flavors come in. The backbone has a definitive Belgian Bretty yeast presence throughout.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average champagne-esqe effervescent carbonation. Finish is plesantly sour and dry but not overly so in either category.

Overall I enjoyed this very much for my first time sampling it. I was always hesitant because of the inflated price tage but for $5 on draft at a bar during Zwanze Day, why not give it a go (or 2). I enjoy this offering more than Supplication as I feel it is a bit more complex and the flavor profile pops just a bit more. (1,086 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6 bottle thanks to Gosox8787, poured into a HF stem.

Pour: Hazy yellow orange, with two fingers of fluffy, sticky white head. Leaves really awesome lacing, and the head hangs around for a while too. I love when beer looks like this.

Smell: Acetic pears and apples, with a nice honey/biscuit sweetness. Some oakiness flows through. Brett is there a little bit in the breadyness, but not much.

Taste: Clean tart peaches and granny smith apples. A light funk, but not a ton. A light white pepper, and a biscuity sweetness. Finishes with more acetic pears.

Mouthfeel: Pretty tart, but not quite sour. Definitely puckers the lips though. Really nice and drinkable at the same time.

Overall: My favorite sour from RR (haven't had Beat yet). Great stuff. (758 characters)

Photo of korguy123
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 006

Slightly hazy lemon yellow pour. Thin fizzy snow white head. Lacing covers the glass in sheets.

Lemons, hay, slight grass and barnyard funk. There is a little sweetness of sugar and a little vanilla. Oak is there in the back. Slightly tart, my mouth is watering.

Tart lemon, fresh grass and a little barnyard. The sweetness didn't translate into the taste but the oak definitely did. Slightly dry and has a slight white wine quality.

Light body, good carbonation. (477 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml, Batch 008 poured into Mikkeller tulip

A - Dark golden color with a slight haze to it. It poured a two finger rocky head that settled down to a layer of foam. Really a nice looking sour

S - Smells of lemon, hay, straw, barnyard funk, slight oak, and green apple. Strong nose that smells like a nice spring beer

T - Lemon zest, green apple, oak and vinegar are the first impressions. It then morphs into Bretty, funk and almost blue cheese that gives it that earthy farmhouse feel. The finish is lemon and vinegar that gives it a tart bite that lingers on

MF - Light carbonation that makes the beer bounce around in the mouth and goes well with the apple and lemon flavors. Finish leaves a slight tingle on the tongue.

O - Great beer from Russian River that reminds me of a tarter and more lively version of Orval. It has a nice mix between Brett funk and the tart sour flavors you come to expect from Russian River. Really was surprised by how good this on was. (973 characters)

Photo of auroracrisis
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml into a Russian River tulip, batch 6.

Pours a clear, pilsner color with a spotty head of various sized bubbles. Almost looks as if it were poured from a cask.

Lemons with a mixture of tiny vinous notes, more citrus, and tannin on the nose with a touch of funk.

Big lemon bite up front with less funk than the nose, tannin and barrel characteristics. Rounds off with a nice dry chardonnay flavor.

Drying with a medium-light body and low carbonation.

Great citrus flavor with nice barrel and vinous notes. An excellent example of a pale American wile ale. (563 characters)

Photo of davey101
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004, 750 ml, 2010 vintage - 04-14-2013 Just had a pour of this batch and it was phenomenal. Very funky and tart, taking on some gueuze like characteristics. 4.5/5

Batch 006, 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. 09-10-2012

A - The beer sat in a fridge all day but it was delivered the day before...soooo with that being said it pours a hazy and cloudy pale golden color with a frothy two finger high bone white head. Really nice lacing and retention.

S - Brettanomyces initially. Not sure how old batch 6 is, but its certainly starting to develop a great deal of funk. The bacteria is also very present is some stinging sourness. Lemons and apple juice with some grassy and earthier notes. Not as complex or developed as a gueuze, but it does share some of the aromas.

T - Mouth puckering lemon juice which leads into some bready malts and a faint Belgian yeast spice. Somewhat earthy and grassy. Not very complex or layered, but its damn sour and refreshing. Mouth feel is spritzy and light bodied. Finish is almost dry, but not quite.

O - One of the closer AWA's that I have tried to get the gueuze style. Really delicious and refreshing. Love that sour bite. (1,167 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-hazy golden color with a generous white head and good lacing

S-lemon zest, sour and earthy aromas

T-solid sour lemony flavor with a nice yeasty background, tart and yet well-balanced

F-medium body with a moderate, but prickly carbonation, tart and crisp

O-very enjoyable, simply well-crafted (297 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty even and smooth wild ale. Nothing really showy, but it's consistent and smooth. The brett is in no way obnoxious or outlandish. I have to say that this beer is in no way blowing me away. It's good, yeah. But there is no real outstanding character. Consistent, sure. Amazing? Not so much so. (307 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle thanks to dolfan54fl. Poured into a Founders snifter. Batch #6, C&C of course.

A- Pours a hazy golden slightly brownish orange. Slightly translucent, but can't see all the way through the glass. About 3/4 of a finger of white fluffy head that dissipates fairly slowly to leave only a thin layer of head and the sides of the glass covered in lacing. Nice amount of carbonation from the brett. Glass left in nice coated lacing.

S- Brett barnyard funk mixed with some light sour lemon. Barnyard smells of hay, some light funk smells of moldy basement, sweaty socks, not too intense definitely a little bit more barnyard. No where even close to the funk smell Beatification had.

T- Sour lemons, wet hay, some underlying blonde malts especially towards the bottom, maybe some underlying citrus hops, a little bit funky but not much, finishes with more lemons and a bit of hay. The tastes were fairly well balanced, the hay might have been a little bit too dominant for my liking, would have maybe liked a little bit more of the sour lemon to come through.

M- Light, nice carbonation, leaves a nice tingling feel on your tongue that places nicely with the funk, very drinkable.

O- This was kind of similar to a much less funky, more barnyard version of Beatification. There were definitely some nice things going on in this beer and it's definitely better then your average sour however I would take Beat any day over Sanctification. The souring did add a nice presence to the blonde ale, which you can still taste the presence of underneath. Overall I'd definitely recommend trying this beer, but can't recommend it over other offerings such as Beatification and Sanctification. (1,691 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikey for getting this one to me. 6 oz. poured into a Cantillon flute on August 5th, 2012.

A - Another soft yellow/peachy coloring, one finger of a light eggshell head. Great lacing,

S - Lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and a great balancing Brett character. Really no funk, shows more of fresh barnyard aroma.

T - Front-palate effervescence translates to semi-puckering bitterness at mid. Slight waves of lemon rind, grass, and very fresh hay. Relatively sour apple skin aftertaste.

M - Very high carbonation, light body. Semi-dry finish.

D - Very easy to crush this one. The sour elements are beyond accessible and it does the job in terms of avoiding funk while still giving off apparent Brett. Easy recommendation here. (738 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhhh yes. The rarity of a Russian River beer for me. So thankful whenever I get a chance to try

A- sanctification pours a golden yellow body with consistent carbonation racing to the top. Thin white ring of foam lifts itself on the edges while lacing runs pretty rampant on the glass

S- delicious Brett and lemony scents are crossed by the tart and sour scent of the brew. Very zesty and fresh for the scent

T- massive sour flavors blast the mouth and palate. The lemon and citrus properties really help sanctification make a puckered finish. Delicious

M- stinging waves of sour flavor which is really a tasteful after thought

O- RR is amazing. Sanctification is an excellent sour that I highly recommend seeking out. The usage of Brett in the brew is excellent (768 characters)

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 594 ratings.