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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,674 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1674
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: 1,674 | Reviews: 561 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Tuilp glass]

The pour was a murky golden yellow with an average sized (1-2 finger) white frothy head that dissipated down to a thin film and had some fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was a bit musty with a light grain malt, some citrus hops and a funky scented yeast with notes of citrus (lemon), green apple and apricot.

The taste was a little sweet and acidic with notes of lemon and apricot in the beginning but became sour very quickly with a big note of green apple and being a bit acetic towards the end. The flavor lasted a good long time after the swallow with a strong sour fruity ending.

Mouthfeel was light in body and dry in texture with a nice prickly carbonation.

Overall a great sour Blonde Ale with a nice apple peel bite at the end...

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 18:48:41 | More by KajII
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Batch 005, 375

Appearance. Pours a nice yellow gold with a little haze and a finger+ of fluffy white head.

Smell. Light, funky-funk and a little sweet belgian yeast funk with a bit of sour green apple.

Taste. Nice dry sourness, some wood and pear. Clean finish.

Overall. Lovely, clean and sour.

Much too expensive at $12...

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 03:46:49 | More by Rutager
Photo of deebo


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

On tap at RR.

A-Cloudy and golden with a clinging white foam.

S-Not very aromatic, barley malt with a hint of hops with a faint Brettomyces funk.

T-Upfront is barley malt and taste typical of a flavorful golden ale. End note is hoppy then the Brett takes over.

M-Medium/light bodied with a slight puckering astringent end note.

O-This combo of golden ale + Brett gives a finished beer somewhat remniscent of a Belgian wit with lemon. Very unique and fun to try.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2012 00:18:17 | More by deebo
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 375ml bottle labeled with Batch 005.

A - A light golden (almost deep yellow) with a slight haze and a minimal white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Funk and tart with some fruit.

T - Firmly tart and sour without being overwhelming. Dry yet has a hint of perceived sweetness. Some fruits. The flavor lingers forever. Fantastic!

M - Lots of very fine bubbles that release upon impact.

O - A great beer with very interesting flavors. RR sure knows their stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 22:18:18 | More by GJ40
Photo of heelsn02

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005. 375ML bottle. Big thanks to ipa247 for the trade.

Unyielding cork. Once finally opened, pours a clear to ever-so-slightly cloudy haze of a beer into my trusty lil snifter... bright white 1.5 finger head. Definitely a Belgian blonde ale look to it. Ton of carbonation.

Smells very clean; some tart notes, not a lot of funk surprisingly. w/all that brett, I was expecting some Black Eyed Katy-like funk (that goes out to ASUGeog who popped my phish cherry a few years ago), but not so much. Light white wine smell almost. some apple cidery odors. Fruity, grassy, sweet.

this is a very refreshing beer – probably better for a hot summer day, not so much a middle of winter beer. Not super tart like a typical sour either. Really clean and crisp. Lemongrass components, pears, white grapes. Drinks pretty easy. A lot like drinking white wine.

Soft mouthfeel. Tart, but nice dry clean finish. Lots of carbonation.

I like it – not nearly as much as I like RR Supplication, but it’s still really solid. Jeff – thanks again buddy, really appreciate it.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 22:40:03 | More by heelsn02
Photo of kojevergas


3.1/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 22:29:01 | More by kojevergas
Photo of brystmar


4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 5. Kicking off our "week of the sours" the right way -- thanks Nate!

Pour is golden & cloudy with a finger of white head. Extremely active body, decent lace. Sharp aroma grabs me from across the room. Tons of citrus and yeast. Reminds me of an aggressive gueuze.

Sanctification is much more focused than its peers Consecration or Supplication. The base beer of each combined with its barrel-aged character really shines through, forming an extremely complex flavor profile. Sanctification is much more "simple" in comparison, focusing more on acidic, citrusy fruits. Nice tartness, not overpowering, though there's Bretty yeast at every turn.

My one gripe with this brew is its excessive carbonation. This is more of a personal preference, but it's hard for me to enjoy more than a few ounces of any highly carbonated beverage. And Sanctification is up there with the most active of champagnes. Would love a more mildly carbonated version.

All in all, another excellent sour from Vinnie & co. Remind me again why they don't distribute to NYC?

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 06:36:17 | More by brystmar
Photo of homebrew311


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

A: fizzy yellow appearance, nice clarity, white foamy head, great retention and heavy lace

S: white grapes are prominent with mild hints of funk, notes of cork and white oak come into play

T: lemon zest up front with citric notes, a quick dash of tartness on the palate, spicy finish

MF:high carbonation, light body

O: nice wild ale with moderate funk that pairs with a bit of acidity

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 09:13:23 | More by homebrew311
Photo of superspak


4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into tulip, batch 005. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Some soapy lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of huge lemon, grass, sour apple, pepper, hay, bread, yeast spices, and nice funkiness. Great aromas here with fantastic balance. Not overly funky or sour with a great mix of all aromas. Taste of big sour apple, tart lemon, grass, hay, pepper, spices, bread, yeast spices, and funkiness. Lingering notes of tart apple, lemon, pepper, bread, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Light acidity present on the finish as well, but is nicely balanced and not overpowering. Medium carbonation and body. Incredibly drinkable and smooth; great balance with the acidity. Incredibly crisp and clean body with a perfect amount of carbonation for the style. Alcohol is not noticed at all for 6.75% as expected. Overall this is a smooth and incredible wild ale. So much great complexity and balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 07:42:13 | More by superspak
Photo of eclipse54


4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 375 mL bottle from leschkie; thanks! Reviewed from notes taken 09/30/2011.

Opens with a loud pop, and pours a straw/yellow colored body with about an inch of white, foamy head. Body has a constant stream of bubbles from the base of the glass. Aroma is of tart pear, apple, and some peach. Wood, some funk, straw, and hay are also noticeable. It tastes of tart fruits (grape, peach, pear, and some apple), straw, hay, and faint oak and wine. Mouthfeel is crisp and light. It finishes clean and has plenty of carbonation. Overall, a great sour that is also very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 02:11:47 | More by eclipse54
Photo of jayhawk73


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

Bottle generously shared by Huhzubendah.... Thanks Matt!

Pours a golden yellow color, with an amazing two finger white head. Great lacing on my tulip glass. Very hazy in appearance. The nose is brett, apple, pear. Not overwhelming, just really nice and balanced Wild Ale. The taste is definitely a step up from the nose. Apple, pear, Brett... Really fantastic balance and flavor on this beer. It's not too overwhelmingly sour, just about perfect. None of the 6.75% abv is evident at all. Feel is medium full, with sourness, not tartness, and very smooth going down. Very refined and easy to drink. Overall, another World class beer from one of my favorite breweries. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 03:38:03 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

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

Got this from 2beerornot2beer in the Blind Beer Round 6 BIF.
375ml. bottle poured into my Bruery snifter:

A: Pours a wonderful cloudy gold with very little head. There is only a thin ring of pure white bubbles that lines the top of the beer, hugging the glass.

S: The smell is huge brett, some grape skin, lemon zest, and earthiness. It’s really crisp smelling.

T: The taste follows the nose, spot on. There are essences of light grape, citrus, grass, and grains. There is also a perfect amount of bretty funk. It’s fantastic.

M: Light bodied beer. The mouthfeel starts off a bit wet, and it finishes crisp and dry.

O: This is a great sour, and a great beer all the way around. I’m loving all of the big funk and puckering sour.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 12:50:49 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


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

Big thanks to Arbitrator for the bottle.

Appearance: Hazy straw. Head is bright-white. Thin cap at edges. Lively carbonation.

Smell: Brett funk. Hay and horse blanket. Citric, lemon flesh. Some zest and fruity sweetness. Some tropical aromas in the back, but it's a nice brett profile. Lots of depth. Slight funk layered over a solid tart note. Nice depth.

Taste: Mildly tart with a solid brett profile (duh). Funky with a nice compliment of grass, hay, and a touch of musty basement. Oak adds a nice woodiness that helps mute some of the citric tartness and some of the funkier brett flavors. A nice balance between tart, sour, and earthy funkiness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp slightly dry, and bubbly. Carbonation is lively and keep things interesting. Dryness on the sip keeps you coming back for more.

Overall: Russian River gets this whole sour/wild ale thing. Lots of depth without any overbearing flavor profiles. Easy to drink and sip at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 03:42:28 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a finger of light white head. Appears very carbonated and the retention is great.

S: Lots of tart white wine aroma with light brett funk in the way of wet hay. Obviously a very dry beer with quite a bit of citrus smells reminding me of a Berliner Weisse.

T: More sour than I would have guessed from the smell, but equally as dry. I get quite a bit of white wine, but again in a dry, tart way. Very clean flavor - pleasant but not particularly complex. I get a slight plastic flavor, particularly in the aftertaste.

M: Very light and highly carbonated.

O: A very clean American Wild Ale. Dry, tart, light to moderate sourness, with a mild white wine aroma. Good, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 01:09:46 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of DaveHack


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

Batch 5 Poured into Lost Abbey wine-style glass.

Pours a hazy, electric yellow with a fluffy white head that settles to a clean white ring with nice lacing.

Smells crisp and funky. Slight citrus aroma.

Taste is right on par with what I expect from the smell. Mild upfront funky taste, an earthy, dry white wineish taste. Then the back end hits....a solid sour funk on the swallow. Leaves a dry streak down my throat as it goes down. I'm loving this!!

It feels great in the mouth. As dry as I like without being ridiculous. Each sip leaves you begging for another.

This is another out of the park hit for Russian River....

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 01:54:03 | More by DaveHack
Photo of OWSLEY069


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

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, sour and a small, sweet yeast presence. In the taste, a small dryness, and sweet tarts, a nice lemon like citrus in there too. A sour bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a lightly dry lemon and tartness in the aftertaste. A small dryness, small yeast, small lemon like citrus, and a nice good sour all day long.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 16:41:27 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle from batch 005, thanks to nataku00. This one was poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Sanctification pours a crystal clear goldenrod, with nice lemon highlights shining through. There's about a finger and a half of of white head that lingers around for a minute or two before fading way. Not much is left in the way of lacing. The nose has a bit of light spiciness to it, but is largely dominated by earthy, wet hay brett funk. There's just a touch of cracker maltiness at the front of the flavor profile. Some definite lemon zestiness places off the spice notes from the nose, and the second half of the beer is 100% wild. It's mostly funky like the nose, but there is a slight tart edge to it. The body is dry, but not as bone dry as I might have expected. The carbonation is brisk and bubbly, lending some more excitement to the beer. Another great brew from the best wild ale producer in the country, and I look forward to having this beer again, maybe with a little more age to see what the brett can really do.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 06:18:56 | More by axeman9182
Photo of PittBeerGirl


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

Batch 006. 375 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Body is a beautiful uniformly translucent, very hazy straw yellow hue. With a gentle pour- 2-3 finger head with a great retention at 1 finger. Plenty of lacing left down the glass.

S- Awesome. Brett all over the place. Granny Smith Apple and yeasty funk with a hint of spice added. Lemon and grassy. A great balance of sour and funk.

T- Upfront is a lot of yeast funk. A hint of apple and lemon come though as well as the slightest bit of vinegar. The finish is apple cidar vinegar with some breadiness in the background-some tart sourness lingers as well as a hint of vinegar and a lot of funk.

M- medium carbonation and a lightweight but full slightly dry and slightly bready mouthfeel. One of the more complex feels that I have had.

D- Oh yeah. This is a much more funky than sour wild ale. Think a brett saison or something along those lines. Its pretty much a brett bomb. The difference between this and, say a saison with brett is that there is more acidic tartness as well as a presence of vinegar that makes this like a gueze/saison brett hybrid. Anyway. This beer is really good. I wish we got RR where I live-but we don't.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 04:15:21 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of NorCalYeti


4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- bittersweet fruit in the finish, minty notes mid palate, lemon zest, spice

color- lemon orange

clarity- pours cloudy

smell- sour/earthy aroma, candy sugar, bubble gum, synthetics, floral nose, flint, roasted meat

body- astringent, palate cleanser, mouth watering, slow rolling mouthfeel, sour flavors ending in a grapefruity finish, medium weight mouthfeel, effervescent

appearance- great carbonation thanks to the brett. thick white sugary ice cream head when first poured transitioning to a subdued spotty white foamy layer with considerable lacing on the glass

overall impression- great beer from rr and a must have on a warm spring day

notes and comments- batch 5 brewed 10/4/10 and bottled 12/1/10. "After this batch was bottled is was left to condition in the bottle for several months to allow not only the Brett to carbonate the beer, but, also the bacteria to do its work." - (comment from brewer)

beer spy- monument wines and spirits, concord ca, 2011, $8.99, 375mL

glassware: tulip

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 05:05:41 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of TMoney2591


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 00:45:52 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of tobelerone


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

Batch 005

A cloudy, pale-gold colored brew with a small, fast-falling head and slippery lace. A steady stream of tiny bubbles makes their way to the top of the glass as I drink. Aroma is lovely, tart, slightly funky with brett, lightly sweet, a hint of lemon.

Flavor is quite delicious, mildy funky from the brett but only just-so; tart, acidic, citric, lemony and quenching. A little grassy, traces of green apple, no hops to speak of. Very low bitterness overall.

Carbonation is quite lively. This is a super-refreshing, champagne-like beer I’d drink all the time if I could afford it. Medium light body with a crisp, clean, slightly puckering finish. Made for a great Thanksgiving morning treat while others enjoyed Prosecco with strawberries.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 17:42:49 | More by tobelerone
Photo of projectflam86


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

Got this thru a trade with trxxpaxxs. Cheers dude!

375ml corked and caged. Poured into a tulip. Batch 005

A- Pours a very light golden color with a thick white head that leaves good lacing.

S- Very tart citrus aromas with some lemon, barnyard, grass, and spice. Kind of smells like a sour saison.

T- Thankfully the flavor is very similar to the nose. A spicy saison-ish beer as the backbone with the brett souring this up nicely. Lemon tartness and some light funky notes throughout with a crisp finish.

M- Light bodied with very nice carbonation. Crisp and dry with a snappy finish.

O- Didn't expect anything but the best from Russian River and they delivered.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 23:32:11 | More by projectflam86
Photo of jbakajust1


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

2010 keg poured into 12oz Tear Drop @ Bier Stein

A - Pours a clear straw w/ 1 finger white head, lots of tiny bubbles, quick fades to a slick on top, leaves good lacing on the glass, and has lots of carbonation dancing.

S - Smells of hay and straw, pears, lemons, spices, pepper, white wine.

T - Tartness jumps off w/ lots of fruit, pear, apple, cherry, lemons, very dry. White wine.

M - Light body, bone dry finish, prickly carbonation, bitterness acentuated by the dryness.

O - Good beer, refreshing, tart and dry, big fruits, some hay, not a lot of funk for a 100% Brett beer, but still good.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2011 22:37:55 | More by jbakajust1
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 03:50:37 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of tjkinate


3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch# 006

I am new to the variety, so before reviewing I compared to 3 other highly reviewed brews.

A: A short lived, single fingered, white head topped this cloudy, golden bodied brew. The head dissipates to a white ring leaving behind some lacing.

S: Sour notes of cherries, pomegranate, and lemon.

T: Lemon tartness, grassy, funkiness follows conceding to lighter, sweeter lemon flavors.

M: Medium light, silky, good carbonation.

O: My first Wild Ale, think this variety takes some getting used to.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 18:19:11 | More by tjkinate
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,674 ratings.