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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SanctificationSanctification

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

596 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 596
Hads: 2,532
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 3.5%
Wants: 1,157
Gots: 811 | FT: 56
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: 596 | Hads: 2,532
Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
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. (250 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 5; Feb. 2011 release;

Pours a hazy orange with a nice white head that fades a bit quickly.

Nose is light orange fruit with a pleasant brett character. Not your typical brett funkiness but a bright pleasant "citrus-funk" character.

Mouthfeel is bold and bright, rich and filling, tart with good carbonation.

Flavors are orange/tangerine citrus front to a nice citric herb mid palate with hints of bret that goes to a brett/wild ale funk herb/spice orange finish. Lightly sour all around with layers of orange/tangerine and herb flavors.

This could be a "go to" beer if available year round. Really nice effort. (625 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color. It poured with a thin off white head that consistently left a very thin head covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of sourness in the nose.
T: Very strong sour flavors are present in the taste—this is quite pungent—almost like an aromatic cheese plate. There is also some acidity in the taste.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Even though this beer has a ton of sour flavors (like a gueuze), it isn’t that difficult to drink.

Note: Batch #6 (568 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery in August 2009.

Pours a bright pale yellow with a nice pure-white head and good lacing. The smell brings out some funkiness and sweetness to alongside the abundant sourness. I picked up quite a bit of lemon in the nose, and it faded nicely into the taste. Not at all as sour as some of the other stuff we had at Russian River this night, but it helped to enhance the drinkability. The body was fairly light, and this combined with the less-than-total-mouth-sourness contributed to this brew's high enjoyability. (543 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

have been keen to try this one for a long time, 100% brett fermentation. finally splurged for 18 bucks at cheeky monk on colfax. pours an almost perfectly clear radiant gold nugget color with huge bubbles. looks lind of like apple juice. the last little bit i poured in has some serious sediment, i think i poured out just a tiny bit more than i was supposed to, but no harm done. small but lasting white head. smells fruity and sour, but not nearly as intense as the flavor, which is really puckery from the brettanomyces. some notes of dank oak come in, as does a white wine like dryness in the finish. this is a love it or hate it kind of beer, and i absolutely love it. the mouthfeel is amazing, majorly effervescent carbonation and a rather light body make it supremely drinkable. this is a very interesting and unique brew that has no equal in my mind. i cant wait to drink another one of these! (901 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 003

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a frothy head that retains fairly well and leaves shards of lace

Smell: Immediate whiff of Brett, with undertones of funk, lemon and pepper

Taste: Initial light fruit flavor becomes increasingly tart by mid-palate, with plenty of sour elements; interesting undertones of other fruit such as green apple, banana and melon appear underneath; after the swallow, the sourness abates but leaves a lingering tartness that allows the other fruit flavors to play a more significant role

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly and effervescent carbonation

Drinkability: Sour beers are always a challenge for me and I like this one better than most as it has a lot going on in addition to the sourness

Thanks, BeerTruth for the opportunity (787 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a nice looking golden color with a bubbly white head on top. The lacing and retention was both very thin. The smell of the beer gives off a sour note as well as a nice subtle malt essence in there also. The taste of the beer is really well balanced between the sour elements and the beer itself. It's got a very good 1 - 2 punch going from sour to malty. The mouthfeel is light bodied and very drinkable, this is also on the refreshing side. Overall this Russian River brew hits many of the high notes it should and it worth checking out. Glad I finally got to try it. (587 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delicious and savory Sour Ale that puts on a tart and fruity display without challenging the palate too much.

The beer pours a glowing and cloudy light gold color. A dainty but creamy head forms on the beer, retains well, and laces remarkably. A fantastic appearance overall.

Sharp tartness of under-rippened fruits of peaches and berries accompany green apples, lemons, and a light spicy/grassy note, presumably from hops. Lightly must and dusty, stopping just shy of horse-y or barnyard aromas.

Medium lemon flavors take precidence early on in flavor, but flavors of peach, crab apple, berries, and white grapes rise to give complexity and roundness to the initial tartness. Cracker-like maltiness provides just enough of a buffer to protect the palate from the onslaught of the sourness, still a far cry from an attempt to balance. Hop flavor gives an earthy, spicy, and maybe even citrus flavor that rides just behind the wild yeast tartness.

Modestly creamy early, the beer makes a quick transition to crispness, cleaness, and ultimate refreshing nature. The sourness strips the thirst from the palate with ease, making this beer much more drinkable than it should be. Bitterness weaves in and out of a mild astringent character and blurs the lines between the two.

Delicious and with very high drinkability, this Sour Blonde seems to have a softer base beer than many others and makes it effortless to taste. The Brett character is young, yet to allow the more complex aromas and flavors of deep must, decaying oak, and even horse blanked notes to develop- but they will given proper cellaring. Regardless, this beer is an absolute joy to drink- consistent from the pour to finish.

Thanks Auroracrisis! (1,716 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a slightly dirty bright yellow color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and some light lacing. Aroma of Brett is quite intense and dominates with light tart and dry notes also being noticeable. Taste is mostly dominated by dry and tart notes with some malt also perceptible. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though maybe a tad too one-dimensional with the Brett notes and not my favourite RR beer. (474 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The chalkboard described this as a 100% brett fermented Belgian pale.

Appearance - Perfectly clear gold, a shade or two darker than a lager. A gentle pour produces about 2 inches of white froth. Retention is very solid, especially coming from a growler.

Smell - Incredibly aromatic and complex. Lemon juice, barnyard funk, horseblanket and leather. Sweeter aromas of banana and honey reveal themselves as the beer approaches room temperature.

Taste & mouthfeel - Initially quite sour, with pronounced flavors of lemons, bananas and granny smith apples. A subtle malty sweetness slowly reveals itself, mixing with the puckering sourness to create a surprisingly balanced flavor. Light bodied, perhaps a bit thin on the palate. The sweeter flavors come out more and more in the finish, ultimately leaving a faint honey-like flavor on the palate. Acidity and bitterness are fairly low. Exceptional stuff. (904 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Chris for sharing!

Deep saturated orange, soft haze. Drippy asymmetrical lacing, finely textured foam on the surface. Nice retention, long lasting head.

Minerally upfront with an odd musty note of wet dishrag at first, then stonefruit as it warms. Wet hay Brett nuance floats in also.

Apricot, tart apple, clean and dry finish. Effervescent, ethereal, well developed and complex. Woody, clean, traces of white wine. Soft aftertaste of clover honey and mild oak. Lightly puckering. A refined Brett focused wild ale... delicious stuff. (547 characters)

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

Batch 003. Brightly buffed lemon with light showers of yeast and near Champagnesque carbonation. The upper third of the glass is occupied by a thick slice of alabaster colored foam that has good (not great) texture. More rockiness while melting would have helped. Small sheets of sudsy lace don't affect the appearance score in either direction.

From a Brettanomyces standpoint, the nose is neither subtle nor bombastic. Proportions of Belgian blonde and barnyard funk are juuust right. Each sniffs delivers lightly spiced golden fruit and the pungent horse blanket muskiness that lovers of this type of yeast... well... love. Mixed microorganisms (bacteria presumably) were used as well.

Sanctification is beautiful, beautiful beer. That's no surprise at all, considering the brewery and the brewer. Blonde ale is probably technically correct (I'll take Vinnie's word for it), but it tastes like more like a lemony, summertime saison. This American wild ale may not be the most complex ale on the planet, but it's as delicious as they come and is insanely drinkable.

Pale and/or pilsner malt provides no flavor and no appreciable sweetness. Contributors include yeast (and other assorted bugs) and hops. Specifics: lots o' lemon zest, snappy pears, white grapes, a wee splash of apple cider vinegar and bitter grasses. Maybe it's pretty complex beer after all.

The finish is downright Saharan and is pleasingly puckery. After each mouthful, it feels as though my mucous membranes are being drawn toward the center of my mouth as a screw in the center of my tongue is being tightened. Tart, tangy and terrific. Sauvignon Blanc is an apt comparison if you're an oenophile.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite have the expansive creaminess of a world-class Belgian ale. Even though that wouldn't necessarily match its flavor profile, the next highest score can't be granted without it. Kudos to Mr. Cilurzo for creating beer that is perfectly carbonated after having spent 2 years, 4 months and 28 days in the bottle.

Sanctify (verb): to entitle to reverence or respect. Sanctification and Russian River are worthy of both. This is a tremendous American wild ale that deserve to be brewed again and again. If you're cellaring a bottle, it's drinking great right now. (2,263 characters)

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

So here it is, Review #900. Been a long road to here, but just keep on truckin'! I decided to go with something a little special. Had a bottle of Sanctification batch #03 sitting in the fridge and figured this would fit the bill just about right.

The pour was very nice, a rich hazy and cloudy bright golden yellow with a ton of carbonation riddled throughout it. Very nice three finger high head of white foam appeared over the top and stayed around for a good few minutes before settling down to a one finger high pillow that lasted throughout the entire session. Very nice thick side glass lace throughout the entire session and there was a good little bit of sedimentation present on the bottom of the glass. Very nice look and I was morethen excited to dive into this one.

The aroma was strong, pungent and very sour. Ahh the lovely aroma of Brett in full force here. Pungent aromas of grapes just all over this one. A nice fruity vibe as it warms, with hints of peaches, and apples, light fruit in general were all lying deep underneath, however the real story was the gorgeous amounts of sour notes that were all over this one. Really quite beautiful. The flavor followed along perfectly. With a light airy body, this was an ideal beer for the evening. Lots of carbonation and an increasingly complex profile just really lit it up. There was the undeniable taste of Bret rippling through it, providing me with the great sour taste, but below that lots of peach and pear flavors were increasingly poking their heads around, letting you know there were there as well. A nice light grain flavor made up the base and kept things from getting out of control. There was an nicel ong drawn out finish that really tightened things up nicely and left a good fresh grass and sour grape flavor in your mouth for a good long time. The drinkability on this one was superb, with a deep flavor profile, that was just light enough to be enjoyed all night.

Overall I thought this one was excellent and more then deserving of the rep that it has. Really a tight ale here that I would love to try again any day. Absolutly superb in everyway, this was just pure quality. Great job! (2,171 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden yellow color and a fluffy white head.

S: The nose was not quite as funky as I was expecting. That said, there was some nice lemony acidity and notes of green apples and perhaps grapes.

T: Again, not nearly as funky as I would have thought. Lots of fruit, but primarily green apples and maybe some green melon.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied, good carbonation with a dry finish.

D: A very good beer and one that I wish was more readily available. I'm new to the world of sours at this point, but I like where things are going. (576 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with just over one finger of white foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The foam dissipates fairly quickly but leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Soft, bready malt with notes of pear and pineapple as well as lighly funky brett and herbal hops in the background.

T - Rich malt with light, lemony sourness up front. Some more lemon peel and black pepper notes come out in the middle with more bread-like malt. The beer finishes with notes of pithy lemon, moderately bitter herbal hops and black pepper. Some light, herbal funk lingers on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Very nicely done, as expected. This is quite reminiscent of Orval, with a lighter malt body and more citrus character. The aroma has quite a bit of earthy funk, the element that brings Orval to mind, while the wild character comes out more as a lemony tartness in the flavor profile. Well balanced, relatively simple and absolutely brilliant. It certainly wasn't a cheap bottle, but this is one of those rare beers that is genuinely a bargain at any price. (1,098 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Batch 005. As Bob Hope would say, "That's wild!" Ahem. This stuff pours a hazy pale gold topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, ginger, sweet lemonade, and light coconut. The taste holds notes of light tart lemon zest, ginger, light nutmeg, Brett funk, and light lettuce. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry, lightly sticky finish. Overall, a very nice wild, one that certainly lives up to its reputation. (583 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass. This bottle is from batch 6.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden with an orange hue. There is a finger of bubbly, off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very tart and lemony with some funk in there as well. There is also a mild herbal smell that works well with everything else.

Taste: Starts out very tart and funky. The herbal notes are more in the background than they were in the smell. The further you get into the sip, the more tart this beer gets.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer. I would have liked the herbal notes to be a little bit more pronounced in the taste, but that's just nitpicking. (771 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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! (1,424 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 Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Poured a hazy golden yellow with a nice finger of frothy head that retained well. Yeasty aroma, with lots of light fruits and some underlying spice. Yeasty and grassy to the taste, a sweet malty base, with sour notes of lemon zest, pear, apples, and white wine, and a tad of peppery spice in there somewhere. Crisp hop bitterness and general sourness gives a nice dry finish. Light-medium mouthfeel, and very nice to drink. (464 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a sampler at Russian River's taproom in Santa Rosa during the Pliny the Younger release. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high because I love this brewery.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a cloudy lemon yellow. Murky.

Sm: Lemon and wheat. Quite lactic. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Pleasant.

T: Lactic, with sourness, lemon tart, and maybe yeast. Decently balanced, but a bit strange. Simple but enjoyable for the style. The simplicity does bother me; there's not a whole lot to say about it as a result.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Maybe a bit thin.

Dr: Drinkable for the style, but too simple and a bit too thin. I might have it again, but Russian River has far better brews. (775 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (1,731 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001.
Cast in a hazed, ripe golden hue, topped with lush, white head, copious carbonation.
Deep, musty aroma, a touch sour, a little spice, hints of fruit below, overall appealing.
Bracingly sour attack at first sip, huge puckeration, a grip on the lips...oooo!
Light citric. lemon flavor lays a bit behind and can be appreciated after getting past the tartness. "A sour Belgian blonde ale"? Sounds about right.
Quite tasty, light bodied, with a lean, citric/sour finish. Tidy spice dances delicately on the palate.
More flavor would help push this one into higher hights, it's a bit tame in that regard.
Only my third beer from Russian River, can't wait to try more!

(much thanks to axisjones!) (711 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 02/20/11 notes. Batch 4, 750ml bottle.

a - Pours a murky orange yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of barnyard funk, sour fruits, grapes, brett, grass, earthy notes. Brett jumps out and smells great.

t - Tastes sour fruits, spice, brett, funk, grapes, citrus, grass.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I really liked this one and felt like I could drink a lot of it. Lots of funk and brett in the nose and taste; I loved it. Would love to get another bottle of this. (556 characters)

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.