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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,675 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1675
Reviews: 561
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%

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: 1,675 | Reviews: 561 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WesM63


4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle (Batch 006) poured into RR ""TION" glass

A: Pours an amazing opaque blonde with a small 1finger near white head. Minor lacing and retention.

S: Funk! Tart and yeasty some lemons maybe a hint of clove.

T: Huge sour tart bite up front with more sourness and a slight lemon citrus dry finish.

M: Light body and carbonation.

O: My first sour. A interesting delicious brew!

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 19:51:31 | More by WesM63
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into a tulip
Batch 006

A: A gentle pour yields a hazy dark straw body with 1.5 fingers width of snow white colored head, which hangs around for a while then dissipates down to a thick film.  A good amount of lacing clings to the glass throughout the drink.  

S: Very aromatic with a big tart character of sour white grapes, sour apple, and some funky Brett.  Belgium influences noted as well with banana and some clove.  A hint of citrus too. I could smell this all day.

T: The initial sip is loaded with a great sour tart kick. Like the nose there are significant sour grape and sour apples notes, with banana on the back end.  Not much funk is present just a hint, but the big sour presence makes up for that.   A bit of spice is noted at one point.  Not as complex as some of the other RR sours, but very good nonetheless.  

M/D: Crisp bubbly mouth feel, on the light side of medium bodied, pretty refreshing with a high drinkability.  

O: Overall a really good beer.  It seems that RR hits a home run with every wild ale they produce.  This is probably my least favorite of the 4 I have tried (Supplication, Consecration, and Temptation being the others), but being the least favorite RR sour is like being the ugliest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model.  You just can't go wrong.  Another job well done RR.  

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 19:30:00 | More by zac16125
Photo of denver10


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark yellow with a white head and nice lacing. Tart aroma of grapes and apple with a touch of sweetness hiding in there and some controlled funk. Kinda wine like in flavor with the grapes and apples teaming up to give it some sweetness and a nice tartness bordering on sourness, a little wood in there as well and a wonderfully controlled funkiness. Medium bodied, not much carbonation. Overall, a nice enjoyable wild ale though maybe a touch too much wine-like for my personal tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2012 21:36:56 | More by denver10
Photo of 51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an Orval chalice (thought it was fitting). Batch 006.

A: Pours with good carbonation, not great head retention but a beautiful glowing straw body.

S: Extremely fruity and somewhat sour. Hints of bubble gum.

T: More bubble gum in the flavor up front, mixed with other fruit flavors. Sourness is spot on.

M: High carbonation, fits the style. Light and refreshing.

O: A great beer, and very interesting considering it is brett only.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 01:36:42 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, batch 005 opened on 4.15.12

A - Pours a light cloudy, pale orange with a small white head that fades to a few small white bubbles on the edges.

S - Lots of funk, lemons, wheat, and some oranges.

T - Sour oranges and lemons.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body.

O - Wonderful tartness and flavor. Making me wonder if I should fly to RR or not?!

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 03:56:45 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of smakawhat


4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at about 4 ounces batch 006 at Churchkey, much thanks to Ed!

Golden yellow appearance, with shades and hues throughout the glass looking at it in a tulip. Spider lacing crawls all over, with slow white carbonation on inspection. Great looking love this body color.

Nose hits with a wonderful mix of bret and sense of spice. In control, and tolerable without a huge funk. Faint light pepper, with a mild sense of juicy lemon. Really nice.

Palate hits with a nice rounding sense of acidity. Lambic like quality, another patron felt it tasted like a real good gueze, there is no sense of heat on this. Feel hits with a mellow yet tight carbonation.

Overall real solid as to be expected, I think I still might prefer consecration but nobody is complaining here.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 23:25:16 | More by smakawhat
Photo of natemort13


3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 006

Pours a murky pale gold with orange highlights. White fizzy head that fades into a puddly cap with a solid ring.

Nose is a citrusy sour with a hint of vinegar. Chalky and slightly medicinal. Tiny bit of barnyard funk.

Taste is very chalky and the sourness takes a back seat to that. Some smarties just before the clean chalky finish. Aspirin, sour green apple.

Mouthfeel has a smooth base offset by the effervescence of the carbonation. Medium bodied.

Overall I enjoyed this sour. Great sour presence that isn't overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 01:45:24 | More by natemort13
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 15/4/12 batch 005

A a little cloudy in bright golden yellow body, no carbonation issues that's for sure lots of pinprick bubbles popping up from everywhere and feeding a nice two finger bone white head that retains very well ending up as a little island leaving a few rings of lace as it falls

S pear and apple cider notes, heavy funk, and some vinous notes with a little vinegar, I'm liking this one, I want to say its simple and straightforward but that's not quite the case

T what I smell with more sour cider notes, not as funky as the nose but still very nice just not as strong as the smell,

M lots of pinprick bubbles leaves a tingle, quite alive in the mouth with a nice sour bite, a little funky lemon on the finish, somewhat clean actually aftertaste is faint

O well made beer for sure, smells and feels great and I'd use .25 if I could for taste, a nice sour blonde that I wish I could find in my part of the world

I could drink quite a bit of this stuff without getting board, my first RR sour and I'm very pleased I'm going to get to try 3 more in the near future thanks to the most awesome Rutager

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 16:24:23 | More by wordemupg
Photo of callmescraps


4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally? Not sure if I've had this before, definitely never had a bottle of it, and apparently my first review. Oddly after 3 years in LA I had to pick this up in Philly. Of course.

Appearance- Stark white head, over an inch on a steady pour. Golden body. Great lacing. A really nice looking beer.

Smell- Funky, bretty, a little horseblanket, but not too strong. Only a hint of cheese. Apple cidery?

Taste- Lovely, funky, brett. Definitely a little sour. I don't care what anyone says, this Brett beer has some sourness to it. Some fresh green apple for sure. The sour lingers. Very nice, tart and refreshing. A great beer.

Mouthfeel- Nice and crisp. Want just a touch more bubbly.

Overall- An excellent beer. One of my favorites from RR. It's sort of surprising because it's more "simple" than some of their others, but it's just fantastic. Wish I had more! I do miss Cali sometimes...

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 02:09:35 | More by callmescraps
Photo of pokesbeerdude


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into a NB Globe, purchased at Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins, CO. $11. Batch 005

A: Pours a clear gold with an enormous white head, a good two inches worth. Violent carbonation is moving through the glass. Excellent clarity. Awesome lacing is left behind as the head slowly fades away.

S: Incredibly funky, tons of barnyard and staank. Some definite sour lemons, and an interesting lemon/lime characteristic has started to emerge. Smells funky and sour and awesome.

T: This beer has gotten to be much more sour than I originally remember it. Huge barnyard funk and sour cherries and lemons find their way in there. Again this cool lemon/lime flavor is starting to show up in the beer, this is aging nicely. Nice oak barrel flavors.

M: Light, crisp, prickly carbonation and a dry finish. Puckering and a nice amount of lacto spit thickening going on too. Spot on.

O: My favorite sour from Russian River, really great stuff and it is aging wonderfully. Not much else to say other than this is killer stuff!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 00:15:06 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of raynmoon


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first brett beer and wow! I'm buying this again. It's taste and sweet like a nice White Wine up front but goes down smooth on the finish. It's almost like a nice sparkling wine, but more full bodied.

I'm excited to try the Damnation 23 and the Rejection in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 07:13:59 | More by raynmoon
Photo of Philousa


2.5/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Imbibed on tap at Harry's Hofbrau on 3/31/2012.

Looks like a wit. Cloudy, tawny, but with very little head. Lots of light malts in aroma, some whit bread characteristics, no sourness to speak of. Horse blanket comes as it warms (was served too cold imho). Taste starts out with light malt, coriander, follwed by tart, slightly sour taste. Bitter after flavor lingers in the back of the throat and mingles with tartness. Lots of brett, but not any of the other critters I enjoy so much. Pretty grainy mouthfeel, indicative of the cloudy look.

I was looking for something complex and this one just didn't deliver. Looking back, I know i had my expectations all wrong, but at the same time, you can make the base malt a little more interesting. There really wasn't much to this beer that I could isolate as interesting. I love the idea of just fermenting with a bacteria though. Gotta give it to them for doing something that no other brewery has tried (to my knowledge). I think a real problem with this was that I had it too cold and in the wrong glassware. The small serving glasses that Harry's serves is more like a tiny Pilsener glass, when something like this would be much better in a globe or tulip glass with something to keep head retention. In my opinion, most beer is served too cold, and I feel it really hurt this beer in particular. Would try it again if someone had it in a bottle or served it properly, but I'm not going out of my way to find it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2012 18:27:38 | More by Philousa
Photo of vicsju1991


4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass
A - nice golden amber colour, small white head that dissipates quickly, lots of carbonation
S - sour apples and cherries
T - very delicious, tart and sour,
M - crisp and carbonated and very easy to drink
O - my new favourite sour
additional info Batch 006

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 17:24:14 | More by vicsju1991
Photo of drtth


4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle is from batch 006.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a hazed dark lemon yellow with a 1/2” white creamy head that soon begins to recede to a ring and a 1/16” layer. Sipping creates sheets of foam that slide back down to the liquid on one side but on the other leave arches, legs and speckles of foam to show where the sip was taken. While the layer of foam thins over time the effects of taking a sip persist for most of the beer.

Smell: The pleasant gentle aroma is immediately detectable during the pour and it is clear that Brettanomyces yeast has been at work here. There is some musty funk mingled with lemon zest and traces of green apple. In the background there is a bit of malt but in a very muted supporting role.

Taste: The flavor is crisp, clean and refreshing with a nice dose of tartness from the lemon zest and the green apple. The malt and funk remain in the background, noticeable but in a supporting role. I can easily imagine that the funk will become more pronounced with more bottle age.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied, soft, slightly creamy with persistent gentle carbonation. The finish is on the long side o medium with the tartness and a touch of sweetness fading out into a nicely dry, slightly bitter finish.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I’ve quite enjoyed this beer and am looking forward to aging a couple of these to see how it changes over the next year or so. This is a well made version of the style and its very interesting to be able to explore the complexity contributed by the Brettanomyces as the primary ferementation yeast. My overall impression is that this is a very well made beer that can be summed up in two words, “complex” and “subtle.”

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 01:04:36 | More by drtth
Photo of UnknownKoger


4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been a while since I've had Sanctification. Time to give it a proper review. Batch 6 poured into Bruery tulip. Appearance is golden yellow. Good carbonation. Slightly vigorous pour yields a nice head which dies down to a nice ring with an island in the middle.

Smell is fantastic. The crisp, tart Brett is there. Smells of lemon zest and other citrus fruits. Some grapefruit. Taste is excellent. It's got a nice bit of sour funk to it. Very crisp and refreshing. This is outstanding. I forgot how good this beer is.

Mouthfeel is great due to the carbonation. Overall, you should expect nothing less from Russian River. It's outstanding. Buy as much as you can (afford)

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 19:23:46 | More by UnknownKoger
Photo of quirkzoo


4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch - 005

Pours a deep gold with 2 fingers of fizzy white head that quickly recede to a thin layer. The aroma is very tart up front, lots of sour green apples, slightly vinuous behind the tartness. As it opens up I get some wet hay funk. The taste is slightly puckering but not overwhelming. This is extremely well balanced between tart and funky.It is so well balanced that it is extremely drinkable, no problem finishing off the small bottle myself. A top notch American Wild, Russian River deserves their reputation and I will definitely pick this one up again.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 15:32:47 | More by quirkzoo
Photo of Bobheed


4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice hazy, pale yellow. Lots of carbonation with about a 1 and a half finger soapy white head that dissipates fairly quickly

S: Lots of funk and sourness immediately. Taking a closer smell, I get the scent of fresh picked flowers, sour yogurt, green apples

T: Quite tart, a bit venegar-y. Overall, probably the least "sour" of all of RR's sour ales, but balanced really well. Some of the funk I got on the nose, I feel, was lost here, but that may pick up more with more age on it

M: Very highly carbonated and dry. Drank, literally, like a champagne.

Overall, this was very nice. Have a few more bottles from this same batch to age and see the changes.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 02:22:33 | More by Bobheed
Photo of 01001111


4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pale, clear, almost fluorescent yellow.

S: Vinegar, green apples, dandelions.

T: Sublimely tart with a slight wash of caramel and a Pilsner-like floral quality.

M: Dry, crisp, and refreshing.

O: While not my favorite of Russian River's sour ales, this is absolutely a world class brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 03:11:58 | More by 01001111
Photo of mkotsayfan


4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle (batch 006) into a snifter. Pours a hazy light copper color with a nice foamy and inviting head. The aroma has nice brett funkiness along with some fruity tart flavors. The taste is dominated by the brett, but there are some fruit notes (apple/lemon) and hops mixed in. The mouthfeel is light bodied with good carbonation, with nice smoothness rounding out to a dry finish.

Overall, a nice sour from RR, but it's a notch below the likes of Supplication, Temptation, etc.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 01:18:37 | More by mkotsayfan
Photo of OlieIPA


4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 375 ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: A murky yellow body that supported a fruitful rocky white head. Anticipated more lacing and head retention throughout the beer, but settled out to normal level after few minutes.

S: A very "Barn-like" and farmhouse upfront with perhaps some sort of oak backing. A also detect a decent amount of tart-sweetness off the top as well. Extremely complex and delicate at the same time!

T: My first impression is combination of intrigue and WOW! 50% of the flavor profile really brings in that dirty blonde characteristic, while the other 50% really draws on that tart experience you tend to expect from something that has 100% Brett. Very impressed and quite possibly the most drinkable and well balanced flavor profile I've had within this style.

M: Light to medium body with just the right amount of carbonation; A bit dry at the tail end.

D: There really isn't enough to say about this beer. Russian River again showed why it dominates this style along with the guys from Lost Abbey. A must try beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 04:18:56 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of pigc


4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a light dirty blonde with three finger pure white head. Some lacing clings to side of glass.

S - Sour apple, pear, oak.

T - Tart apples, brett, oak.

M - Medium body with abundant carbonation.

O - Another great sour from RR. Not my favorite of the bunch but well done.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 04:02:21 | More by pigc
Photo of Giovacchini


4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- straw tellow with a thin head.

S- olives, funky funk, brett, spicy floral aromas.

T- vinegary goodness, brett, pale malt, spice, bubblegum, and grapes.

M- Sour! Nice carbonation and a nice pucker.

O- so far I seem to really enjoy sours. I brewed my own kombucha for a while and I like a beverage that makes me pucker.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 02:27:07 | More by Giovacchini
Photo of stealth


4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 006 in a tulip. Great looking golden pour with a thick foamy head. Great lacing and carbonation. Smell is pure brett funk. Love it. The aroma isn't super potent, but it leaves no doubt in your mind as to what it is going to taste like. Taste is pure brett barnyard funkiness. Dry, bitter, sour. Excellent. Puckering. Very refreshing.

This is a great, extremely drinkable/sessionable beer. If you want to try a no-frills brett beer, this is where to start.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 07:10:06 | More by stealth
Photo of hopfacebrew


3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to Duvel tulip (batch 006... I think, the label is rather worn, though I am fairly certain). The beer pours a hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger white bubbly head with some retention and some lacing. The nose is that of a faint biscuit malt base with lemony citrus, apple and fig fruit tones together with a hint of funk in the yeast. The flavor begins with an immediate acidic assault on the palette. The fruit found in the nose then rushes in and mellows the acid a bit. As the beer warms the sour character becomes more prevalent as does a green apple flavor. Mildly bitter with a faint hint of a biscuit base. The beer finishes with a linger sour apple character on the tongue. Lighter bodied and dry in nature and very carbonated. Overall, this is a good beer, not my favorite wild from RR but not bad. A little too acidic for my preference but I wouldn't refuse another.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 13:00:06 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of PerHops


4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 006, bottle and draft about two hours apart (yes we are spoiled here in SF).

A- Glorious golden straw color. Unbelievable sexy beer. Very little head, but fantastic lacing. Sticks all over the glass for the entirety of your session.

S- Slightly funky, sour apple, lemongrass, some spices I can't put my finger on.

T- Starts a little tart, than funk rolls in, followed by more sour moves into a dry herbal finish. This isn't a super sour beer, but the balance and nuances are superb. I am still a huge fan of this beer.

M- Starts creamy and finishes dry and carbonated. My favorite feature of this beer is its drinkability. I can't think of many other beer I'd rather have on a hot summer day.

O- Russian river makes beers that are more sour. They make beers that are more interesting and/or inventive. This, however, is just a supremely drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 02:48:45 | More by PerHops
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,675 ratings.