Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

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600 Reviews
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Reviews: 600
Hads: 2,551
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,164
Gots: 822 | FT: 60
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: 600 | Hads: 2,551
Photo of muchloveforhops3
4/5  rDev -6.8%

On tap @ Russian River; draft into chalice

P- gold w/ a 1f white head; a moderate amount of lacing left behind
N- medium; mainly fruity notes (apple, pear, and banana)
T- follows the nose, w/ moderate brett tartness; dry finish; delicious and well-balanced
MF- light-bodied, w/ medium-high carbonation; crisp/spritzy
O- another great wild from Russian River; medium-high drinkability; no complaints here

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Poured from 375ml bottle
Color is a pale straw yellow, slightly hazy
Nose is a fizzy lemon scent, with some funky brett and ginger
Taste is lemon, white grape, ginger, and doughy bread
Mouthfeel is oily, a lot of carbonation, sour, and dry
Overall, really refreshing and satisfying. Well-made.
Just figured out the aftertaste--pancetta!

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Photo of JohnG190
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Pours a hazy straw with a thick white head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Bread and Brett on the nose, with hints of lemon and fresh-cut grass. Sour on the palate with green apple and lemon notes. Dry finish. Light bodied with effervescent carbonation. Overall, a well crafted sour.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Funky wild yeast specific aroma. Taste is very balanced, sour but not quite in the lambic territory. Although there are no fruits added, it makes you think of white grapes, white gooseberries, white mirabelle plums. Overall this is an excellent sour, very balanced and easy drinking.

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Photo of slackattack
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours golden blonde, short head dissipates quickly, minimal lacing. Sour cherry, "clean" malt in the nose. Taste is of sour cherry, green apple, some Brett funk. Mouthfeel consists of medium body, good carbonation, and a pretty dry and long finish. Overall another solid RR sour/wild beer. A must try in my opinion.

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Photo of Ian_B
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pale wheat / yellow-gold and hazy in colour with a billowy head that doesn't hold long.

Smells slightly sour, and this is the first beer I've really got a sense of bubblegum from, although the yeasty scents are more mild than expected. There are some notes of white grapes and green apple. Pretty tart smelling.

Tastes pretty similar to the scent, although much more forward with the sourness. Again white grapes and green apple with some musty and wheaty undertones.

Mouthfeel is pretty spot on. Slightly spritzy but smooth with a very pleasantly dry finish.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes from 4/14

A- Pours a slightly less than clear pale hay color. It is capped with a finger of white bubbles that dissipates quickly to a collar that maintains well thanks to lots of lively carbonation. A little lacing is left on the glass.

S- The Primary Aroma is bubble gum and Belgian candi-sugar. Mild tartness, grapes, some dry white wine, and some tannins.

T- The flavor is bright and much more tart than expected from the nose. This actually reminds me a lot of an oak aged saison like Surette. White wine grapes, Belgian yeast, and a good bit of oakiness.

M- The mouth feel is a bit thin, but has great carbonation. It finishes extremely dry.

O- Overall this is a very good sour blonde, but nothing incredible. This would be a good intro to sour beers, especially for converting wine drinkers.

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Photo of hillvt4me
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy golden-yellow hue with minimal white head. Moderate bubbles of carbonation.

S: Aromas of white wine, oak, green apple, lemon and some funk on the tail.

T: Tart oak, pear, lemon and white wine notes; perhaps Sauvignon Blanc. The sour Brett taste comes at the beginning, is muted in the middle and reemerges in the aftertaste.

M: Thin bodied with a vinous feel which finishes dry respectively.

O: Refreshingly drinkable, with a profile that has some nice tart and wine properties. Not as complex as some other wild and sour ales likely in part to bring a 100% Brett beer.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 01/28/14.

Pours translucent honey gold. The 1/4 inch white head quickly fades to a thin ring on top and leaves faint spots of lace. There are traces of floating sediment.

The smell is of apple cider, mild vinegar and saltine crackers.

The taste is of tart apple cider, vinegar and white grape skins.

The texture is light bodied with low carbonation.

Boldly tart up front, as your tastebuds adjust, the fruity elements begin to dominate the flavor. Light and refreshing, this is a solid sour offering.

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Photo of BeerEngineer
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL (12.68 oz.) bottle purchased at 1 West Dupont in NW D.C., bottle date 01/28/2014, poured into my small Tired Hands glass and drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - golden-yellow coloration, moderate clarity for style (but could not read or see through), initial 1 finger soapy white head settles into a subtle glass lacing, moderate carbonation with tight white bubbles arising from the bottom of the glass, moderate alcohol legs

S: 10/12 - big admixture of citrus fruit - lemon peel, key lime, and apricot - and sour - acetic, barnyard and tart - notes; no detectable hops, malts, or flaws

T: 18/20 - on first sip, there 's an intense tart/funk with complex fruit flavors in the background - lemon, lime, ripe pear; in the middle of the mouth, some of the oak and starts to pop; there's a barely detectable malt character; little detectable hops or alcohol; finishes dry

M: 4/5 - high carbonation, high drinkability (as expected for the low alcohol), just a little thin, which is why I detracted a point

T: 9/10 - another winning RR sour; although expensive, $30/bottle in the greater Washington D.C. area, this is definitely worth your investment for now and later as it will probably only develop more tartness with time

TOTAL - 44/50

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours gold with a one finger head, but not for long. Smell is very mellow. Slightly tart, with some fruity qualities, and a Brett smell, as well. Picking up some green apple and grapes. Getting a lot of these flavors in the taste. Not too sour, slightly tart with some apple, peach, grape flavors up front and some nice carbonation to make it tingle on the tongue. A little bit of Brett and funk but mostly dominated by fruit flavors. An amazing balance, really. Also some hay/grass flavor mixed in around all the other flavors. My second RR sour and, once again, I've very impressed.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 4.25 - nice golden amber color with a white head that dissipates down pretty quickly. Hazy but probably because I poured the entire thing aggressively into the glass.
S - 4.5 - Green apple, sour lemon, barnyard flavors from the brett. Hay, bread, wheat.
T - 4.75 - Great sour beer. Sour green apple, lemon, white wine, bready yeast, barnyard flavors lingering in the background. White grape.
M - 4.5 - Sour, but not as sour as some other beers. It still allows you to taste some of the citrus and barnyard flavors. light-medium mouthfeel. alc covered. Aftertaste is bready/wheaty and still a little tart.
O - 4.5 - Good beer. Not that much alcohol flavor. Sessionable. Expensive and not available in most places though.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden body with 1 finger white head that sticks around forever. High levels of carbonation.

S: Very vinous. Tart green apple, lemon, and a bit of tropical fruit. Brett funk in the background. Could almost pass as a fruit forward white wine.

T: Tart peach and juicy pear initially, followed by more white wine. Meyer lemons and mango. Only minor funk from the Brett, as expected in a 100% Brett fermentation. Beautifully tart and fruit forward, could literally drink this all day.

M: Thin bodied and effervescent. Finishes dry and slightly tannic, further emphasizing the white wine characteristics.

O: Just a beautiful beer. Refreshingly tart and drinkable, yet provides a solid array of flavors and aromas. Not as complex as its bacteria inoculated cousins for obvious reasons, but is a fantastically balanced example of a 100% Brett beer. Right on Vinnie!

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Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Nov 2012

A: poured into a snifter to a clear light orange with a half finger of soapy white head that is slow to fade
S: smells of funk and lemony tartness
T: Taste is surprisingly tart with citric acidity, funk, and a bit of barnyard. Swallow is more tartness and some more funk
M: light body with effervescent carbonation and a drying finish
O: This is a phenomenal beer fresh and on tap. After a year it gets a lot more tartness going on but it still drinks fantastically.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: served on tap into a goblet, hazy golden yellow with a short white head that lingers leaving some lacing, very cloudy

S: salty and sour, heavy on brett smells, funky

T: very sour up front, tart and tangy fruits, persimmon, nice hop bitterness on finish

M: light and fluffy, higher carbonation

O: fantastic sour wild ale, the yeast melds well with the flavors persent in this beer, reviewed from notes taken on 3/7/14

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My least favorite of the RR sours but still is top notch. This is the most mellow of the sours but still has good flavor and a smooth finish. I wouldn't turn this down in any way if presented, but would just prefer supp, con, beat, or tempt.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on draft at the brewery. chalk board noted this was the 2013 batch, poured March 4, 2014. pours hazy yellow with white head. Sour apple aroma, vinegar, lots of Brett. Nice Brett on the flavor with sweet citrus fruits and lemon peel, some pears and green apples. Tart and lactic but not mouth puckering sour to deal with here. Very light and goes down easy with near spritzy carbonation. Really nice Brett beer that I would definitely have again.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Light golden yellow color, a bit hazy, with a white head.

S: Orange, mango, and a touch of lemon.

T: Sour lemon, chardonnay, and a general citrus flavor.

M: Medium bodied, a bit astringent as most sours are.

O: A great sour from Russian River, but not nearly the best. Worth a try, as are all their sours.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Sampled on 6/10/13.

375 mL bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. Bottled 11/28/12.

A - Good pop when I pull the cork. Bright golden in color with one finger of bright white, dense foam. Great retention.

S - Tropical, Lemon juice, funky barnyard, coriander

T - Tart lemon-lime, straw, granny smith apple

M - Effervescent, light bodied, dry finish, flattened with time

O - The best sour I have ever had. Tart and clean.

*I wish I had made more notes, but that is all I have. I will seek this one out in the future*

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Photo of Treyliff
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review #500.
Bottled on 11/28/12
Poured into a RR snifter
Cork exploded out of the bottle and bounced off the ceiling

A- Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a huge fluffy, pillowy and creamy white head that seems to retain forever. Huge patches of lace stick to the glass as it slowly settles. Pretty sure you could float a bottle cap 5 minutes after the pour

S- a little bit of yeasty barnyard funk brings some nice fruity esters of green apple, pear, peach, grape skin and lemon peel. Very similar to chardonnay aromas

T- tart and juicy ripe fruit flavors of lemon, candied grapefruit peel, and pear. A bit of barnyard funk kicks in mid-palate with light cheesy/sourdough notes, tart finish with some woodsy notes and more fruit

M- light and crisp, foamy mouthfeel with biting carbonation, leading to a puckering dry finish

O- So many fruity notes throughout with white-wine-like aromas, with just enough funk snuck in there, sour but not completely puckering, this one is way to easy to drink, very nice

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Photo of thecheapies
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch #005.

Pours a beautiful golden yellow color with unreal clarity from the first-half pour. Fluffy head owes the lacing that it produces. Looks marvelous.

Lemon peel, old lemon peel, white wine, oak, tart peach, maybe apricot, and bright tartness. Balanced and fruity, all the while, a tart Russian River sour.

White wine, tart peach, sour orange, flooded basement, lemon pulp, oaky woodiness, tropical fruit, Brett mushroom funk, and parmesan. The mushroom and cheese really answers in the finish. Bottom of the bottle is offering up some serious funk and cheese. This is effing delicious.

Nicely effervescent with a peppery carbonation. Wet-bodied with some chewiness, whilst medium. Great feel.

Awesome wild ale from Russian River. Better than this is definitely hard to come by.

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Photo of kylegillick
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dated 11/28/12.

A: clouldy yellow orange with small fizzy head.

S: funk and fruit. a bit like chardonnay

T: Very light and crisp.beautifully balanced and fulfilling. fruits and citrus with a bit of a bite, but not overbearing.

M: Higher carbonation. Decent medium body. pretty dry

O: Great sour, i could drink it forever. Does not overpower you. just delightful.

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Photo of Dope
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dated 11/28/12.

A: A very, very cloudy pale orange. Lots of fine sediment. Tall frothy and fizzy white head. Head sticks around for quite a long time. Big fluffy rings of lacing.

S: Lightly tart and fruity aroma. Citrusy with some pear perhaps? Citrus rind and funk when swirled.

T: Tart citrus and lots of it. Not quite full-on sour but close. Very lemony but maybe some orange peel in there too. A bit funky in the middle. Very light and crisp bready/cracker malt in the finish. Mild, drying citrus peel aftertaste.

M: Higher carbonation. Decent medium body.

O: Ahh, one of the best sours I've had. Had temptation last night but this is way better. Not as sour, not as wine-y. Very crisp and refreshing. Not as complex but it works well. Nice refreshing tartness. Really ups the drinkability. Not overpowering either; well-balanced. Really well made.

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Photo of Auraan
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice cloudy gold with a one finger white head that grew to a two finger white head and stayed around as a ring of white as the glass was emptied, leaving some thin lacing. Abundant bubbles flowed up the side of the glass. Quite beautiful. Scents of brett, barnyard funk, white grape skin, white wine, overripe fruit, green apple, slight pineapple, and the slightest hints of vanilla and candi sugar. A very good aroma, complex with the usually sour, fruity, white wine notes and some more common Belgian notes beneath. Flavor is sour upfront, with that musky brett funk, white grapes, tart green apple, lemon juice, sourdough bread undertones, some oak, some slight medicinal bitterness, finishes bitter with a bit of a citrus rind flavor and aftertaste as well as a dry finish. A very sour flavor, with all sorts of sour fruit and sour funk flavors. Very nice with some complexity brought in by the sourdough bread and oak. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation and a nice refreshing feel with a drying finish. Nice and drinkable, on point for a sour, very good. Overall this is a very good sour. The 100% brett gives it that incredibly sour flavor but it manages a bit of complexity in spite of it, that gives it a fine flavor profile. Very good, and I wish I could get it easier.

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.