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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,067 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,067
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,076
Gots: 630 | FT: 39
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-27-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,067 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by PWoods.
Pours a light gold in color that is see thru. Nice bubbly white head forming on top.
Smell is all glorious brett. Some nice spice and some light fruit.
Taste is even more of the light fruit. Nice. Some nice white grape like characteristics. This is a very good beer. Perfect carbonation and too easy drinking.
Excellent beer. It's too bad it's very hard to come by.

FtownThrowDown, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of Treebs
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Treebs, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of sliverX
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

sliverX, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split up into three sample glasses

Smell is sour, a little winey, very exciting. Taste is extremely sour, with a surprising bitterness to it. I get a tiny amount of grape, some grapefruit sourness.

Mouthfeel is dry and clean, very nice. Overall, good tasty beer.

snaotheus, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of MastaShonuf
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

MastaShonuf, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bizatch 002, about 1% lower alcohol also. 750ml

hazy almond color with orange highlights, this beer looks like a fruit-infused old lambic. it sits still with wispy flecks of white fluff here and there, disappearing quickly. looks like it belongs comfortably in the realm of sour beers and wild ales.

smells like a milder, even version of what you're used to expecting from a cantillon-strength wild ale. take that melange of acidity and even it out with some hints of baby power, violet, and grapefruit rind.. and you've got the brilliantly alive yet tame eau de sanctification.

first thing i notice on the first sip is the delicate mouthfeel. the carbonation, the mid-level gravity.. this beer feels perfect in my mouth. amazing. next comes the sourness.. still green, not at its cheek-puckering apex yet. the sourness present here is akin to diluted lemon juice. even and mild, yet perky, and definitely stimulating salivation. ends up with a bitter mouth resin that blends with a bit of buttery breadiness. in there, there are some notes of unripe berry that play very nicely with the sourness. the beer has a refreshing quality that is a badge of honor among beers in this category. i just can't stop imbibing.

other reviewers found this beer to be dry, i don't get that. its very juicy with very little dryness for what it is.

warmth changes this beer a bit.. it brings out a more complex element of sourness and adds some body odor funk to the aroma. perhaps those elements bring it closer to traditional. either way, this beer is really nice and a great summer release.

i plan to cellar a bottle also, hoping for the breadiness to even out and allow the brettanomyces to evolve to the next level. excellent work.

goodbyeohio, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of CGMLS3
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

CGMLS3, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of younger35
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank on 1/26/08, taken from notes.

Was lucky enough to try this delicious brew on a recent visit to Russian River. This was my first taste of anything from them and I'm glad I started with Sanctification. Drank from Russian River snifter.

Appearance- Pours a pale yellow with excellent clarity and about a two finger white foamy head. Excellent cap and collar is left for the duration of the beer along with some decent sticky lacing.
Smell- Plenty of dirty funk in this one! Wet dog and musty basement ooze out of the pores of this brew. Banana, sour apple and lemon zest add a bit of citrus fruitiness that is more than pleasing. The yeast dirtiness dominates though leaving a spicy lingering white pepper in the nostrils.
Taste- Starts off fairly normal with a soft banana like quality that quickly gets drowned out by the sour apples, lemon and hay like yeast. Sour but not to the point of puckering. Dirty in a most excellent way that seems to coat the mouth in this raw citrus like funk. Finishes with a lingering woodiness that is very dry and acidic.
Mouthfeel- Fairly thin but crisp and refreshing with fairly aggressive carbonation and a very dry finish.
Drinkability- Not being the biggest fan of Brettanomyces I was really surprised how much I liked this. It's not over the top sour but just enough that it's the centerpiece of the beer, not the whole beer. There's enough going on around it to keep everything in check. Great beer that drinks way to easy.

younger35, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of artoolemomo
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

artoolemomo, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of angrybabboon
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this 375mL

Review adapted from notes taken 11/13/11

Appearance: Pretty - a golden color with a nice white head to start, keeps a fizzy ring, nice carbonation

Smell: Sour, tart, but remarkably mellow - not a ton of funk, not a ton of barnyard, but there is some there - pretty clean, some lemon, pale malts, definitely complex

Taste: Really interesting - some hints of white wine, definitely a lot of brett, light fruits - nicely dry - decent pale malt backbone to hold things together - nicely tart, nicely sour, so good

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, nice and dry, nearly perfect for the style

Overall: Yet another great Russian River sour

The only problem I have with this beer is that it reminds me a lot of (Russian River) Temptation; just more mellow, and less woody. I'm sure someone will want to smack me for typing that, but it is my overall impression. If I had to choose between this and Temptation, I would just take both and run.

angrybabboon, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Zimm
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Zimm, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

GonzoHomebrewer, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

scott2269, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of phishbone23
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

phishbone23, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of Phillyz
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Phillyz, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of coldmeat23
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

coldmeat23, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of derkfromwi
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

derkfromwi, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of Domingo
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the PtY tapping event at Freshcraft.
Arrives a slightly cloudy yellow color with a thin white head. Looks a little like an Orangina.
Starts of with lots of citrus zest, and the middle follows with a little bit of spicy pepper notes and malt. Finish is clean with just a little lingering sourness. It's almost like a lemon/pepper beer of sorts. Hop character doesn't come through much in the nose or flavor but seem to work as a managing agent for the sourness and slight sweetness. There's a distinct lack of harshness to the yeast, which I truly appreciate. Some wild ales have a nearly painful finish, but that's definitely no issue here.
Texture might be a hair thin, but it's not really much of an issue.
Like most RR beers you probably won't be drinking this by the gallon without going broke...but you'll wish you could.
This is a bit of an "old school" sour wild ale. No bells and whistles (or unusual barrels/fruits), just a good solid beer with pretty much no flaws.

Domingo, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

jkball01, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel is snappy and carries the flavors quite well.

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

BarrytheBear, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of vinny21bal
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

vinny21bal, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of Docer
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml poured into a tulip.. batch 005 6.75% alc.

- Appearance: (4.5)
Pours an ever so slightly cloudy straw pale yellow, big fluffy white head.. sticks around a bit, leaves a steady 1/4" in the glass with lacing all about.

- Smell: (4.0)
Much like the Redemption in the background, but with a Brett twist. Grainy wet biscuit malt bad with a zest, twist of lemon, slight clove, and tart Brett character. Thinking this one would get much more crazy over time. Slight white grape character.

- Taste: (4.0)
Super zesty bright citrus tart sour goodness. Rather spicy in the finish. Light golden bready malts sit quietly in the background while a zesty and spicy lemon tart punch hits the palate with a surprise. Quite good, and quite different.

- Mouth Feel: (4.0)
Rather bubbly, and light. Leaves the mouth watering for more while leaving its dry character behind as a reminder. Very fine tuned.

- Overall: (4.0)
Very good, and full of zesty Brett goodness as this is a 100% Brett sour. Spicy and tongue grabbing it is. I would love to see what a bottle of this would turn out like in a 55 deg. F cooler after about 8 years. Super good, and a very unique sour.

Docer, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of erialbill
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

erialbill, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not my favorite offering from RR but still a good beer.

Delicate straw orange color with lots of lacing and a nice head. Semi clear, has some haze to it though.

The smell is of funky, barnyard yeast saison with notes of bright fruit, brett.

Nice classic funk in the taste with a lesser wheaty saison base. Lemongrass notes are prominent, but theres a metallic edge that isn't great to it. Sweet as well. The mouth is good overall, bright on the palate.

Dreadnaught33, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 005

A: Active, bubbly, yellow pour with a nice white head. Retention is great. The cork was really difficult to get out.

S: Smells a lot like a blonde ale, yeasty, light, fruits, with some Brett mixed in.

T: The taste is very sour, without much flavor to curb it. The typical hefeweizen-like flavors are there: yeast, banana, clove. But they are complimented with the sourness. Sort of an odd taste. A bit too sweet for my liking.

MF: Really carbonated, perhaps too much so. Light, but it has a strange aftertaste.

O: I was disappointed by this one. Just not enough flavor to hold it together. This was one odd sour.

russwbeck, Oct 11, 2011
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,067 ratings.