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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,902 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,902
Reviews: 570
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,042
Gots: 598 | FT: 35
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: 1,902 | Reviews: 570 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flipper2gv

Quebec (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a ton to nickd717 for this brew!

Shared with Robert that came all the way from New York to share a couple of beers and to do a massive trade. Fantastic BA!

A: Really pale yellow color, hazy. The head was correct and pure white, retention was good and lacing was correct.

S: This is nowhere as acid smelling than Supplication. There is a definitive grainy aspect to the smell of this beer. Good amount of lemon juice and zest. A little bit of hay. Light vanilla and wood tannins from the aging. Not much funkiness or barnyard. Subtle, makes me more think of a bretty saison than a wild ale.

T: Again, sour, but not in an almost exaggerated fashion as in Supplication. Also, this really does feel more like a bretty saison than your typical sour. Definitive grainy character to the beer. Lemon juice and lemon zest are more than evident. Some musky notes, but like I said, they are pretty light. Light vanilla and wood tannins at the very end.

M: Superbly light, with high carbonation. That was expected with the 100% brett. It really delivered on that part.

O: This was a really good beer. Thing is, at this price, I'd think you'd be much better off with any other of the RR sours. Unless you want something subtler, I don't see why you'd pick this one up. Even then, there are much better alternatives for less money. Still, this is a very solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 06:34:22 | More by flipper2gv
Photo of palma

New York

4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow with a white fluffy head. hearty lace stays throughout the session.

Aroma: Very saison like. Hay, wheat, grass. Farmhouse. Maybe some nutmeg.

Taste: less fruit than the other Russian river sours. Musty, zesty. White wine. Some lemon in the finish. Semi dry.

Mouthfeel is sharp, crisp and airy.

A great beer that I would drink more of if I could get my hands on it. I do like some of the other Russian River sour beers much better (supplication, compunction, consecration). Sanctification is not as complex as the these in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 04:20:58 | More by palma
Photo of godfathermg57


4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005 poured from a 375ml into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours golden with good carbonation.

S: Definite brett, but it doesn't overpower with its farmhouse smell. There's subtlety here and it smells like a great beer.

T: Tart more than sour. Citrus notes, but dry in a champagne sort of way. Great taste and very drinkable.

M: A bit light and with good carbonation

O: Great sour from RR and definitely very drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 23:54:07 | More by godfathermg57
Photo of kevinv


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

375ml Batch 005 poured into a flute.

A - Nice pop with a little bit of smoke upon releasing the cork. Now this is a beautiful beer. It pours a very bright and vibrant lemon color with a slight haze. Light fizzy head which quickly settles to a thin layer of tiny bubbles.

S - Fresh and energetic scents of lemon and green apples with a light acidic twinge.

T - Light and airy. Wonderful notes of lemon and other citrus. Slightly funky and acidic, but not overly so - very easy drinking. A green apple sweetness comes through more as the beer warms. Nice dry finish.

M - Perfectly carbonated. Medium mouthfeel, but still feels very light and open.

D - Great example of the style. My expectations were definitely exceeded after finishing this one. Wonderful job, RR.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 11:59:42 | More by kevinv
Photo of dbmernin83


4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Number 2 in the -ation series from Russian River.

Pours a bright hazy straw yellow with a white, small bubbled head.

Smells of sweet citrusy fruits, light grassy notes.

Tart citrus balanced with light sweet fruits. Tartness slightly dominates but is never overpowering. Long crisp dry finish. Medium sour.

Carbonation is sharp and and clean and compliments the tartness and the dry finish.

An excellent offering from the brewing artists at RR. This is more than a beer, this is an amazing beverage.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 08:09:24 | More by dbmernin83
Photo of teamizm


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

I really don't understand why i don't just stock up on the baby bottles every time I see them in stores.

A - nice beautiful fluffy head that dissipates into a 1 inch head. Golden color with small bubbles that rise to the top

S - tangerines, peaches, grass,

T - citrus and peach notes with a sourness coming in a bit later. You can taste the funk a bit too. Delicious.

M - light to medium body with excellent carbonation. The bubbles lightly dance on the tounge.

D - very refreshing and extremely drinkable.

O - love this sour. Very balanced and a great food pairing beer. Not too sour, not too grassy, not too oaky, and not too fruity. It's just right.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 04:47:45 | More by teamizm
Photo of zrab11


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

Batch #005

A- Pours a nice hazy golden yellow with nice 1 finger white head, dissapates quickly

S-Smells of tangerine and lemon and also some nice earthy tones, A nice refreshing aroma

T- Starts off with a little funk taste ten moves on to that nice citrus flavors. In the middle comes the sourness and then finishes with a walk through the cirtus garden. SUper refreshing

M- Medium to light bodied. Has nice carbonation and really has a good feel in the mouth

D- Overall this is an amazing sour. Think i might have ruined the next few sours i try by trying such a top notch one first. But seriously i want to buy like a whole case so i can enjoy 1 of these a week! a great beer

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 02:10:57 | More by zrab11
Photo of Axic10

New Jersey

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

Batch 005. Poured from 375ml bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden with a thumb width of fluffy white head that takes its time settling down.

Smell: Sour apple and lemon zest, funk from the Brett, some hints of yeast and some pepper even making it in the nose.

Taste: Sour apple, pear and tart lemon. Barnyard funk from the Brett and some yeast as well. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: A little bit more than light bodied and dry.

Overall: Another great sour from Russian River (surprise, surprise). I'm glad this made it's way to Philly and I'm definitely going to get as much as I can next time.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 00:07:38 | More by Axic10
Photo of ktrillionaire


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

Thanks to G311 for this particular bottle.

Batch 005

A - It pours a radiant orange-apricot hue and has a rather stratospheric white head that collapses into a wispy film but deposits a bunch of chiffon lace.

S - The nose is heavy on wood, and offers some citric, floral and briny notes. The impressions range from Calabrese olives to lemon and kumquat to wet wood and hay.

T - Moderately tart and quite zesty, this brew is heavy on notes of band-aid, grapefruit rind, stinky papaya and unripe (green) orange. The more I drink of it, the more the funk stands out; this beer is heavy on *horseblanket* and *rotting fruit*, in a good way of course.

M - Feel is bright and body is light. Dry finish.

O - 005 is not the best Sanctification I've had, but it is certainly delicious, and is drinking much better than it was a month or two ago.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 22:04:48 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed ppale straw color, as expected a rush of bubbles forms a pillowy head, diminishes quickly but leaves sticky rings around the glass. Scent is all about the sour and funk... while being 100% brett, I would expect the funk to dominate, but it is there in perfect amounts while letting other components come through, the tart and sourness is welcome considering the yeast used. Hints of musty grain complete the profile. First sip is whats expected from the scent, great blend of tart and sour flavors with barnyard funk, musty wet straw and a kiss of riper watery fruit. Medium bodied, bubbly carbonation, dry and slightly puckering. A nice simply constructed beer that shows the quality of ingredients and crafstmenship are what makes a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 13:19:43 | More by rfgetz
Photo of adman08


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

A-Pours with a small amount of head that stays in the glass to the end. Very pale, cloudy straw color.
S-Not as strong a smell as most sours. Still has the sour aroma but also a little hint of fruit.
T-True sour brett flavor. Very tart and dry with almost no fruit flavor. I also get a bit of a dry white wine flavor. A hint of vinegar or sherry as well.
M-Lots of bubbles, very dry.
Overall, another good sour ale from Russian River. If your a fan of the true sours, those without added fruit, this is a good beer to sample.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 23:01:41 | More by adman08
Photo of ewright

North Carolina

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

375 corked/caged bottle, batch 005, poured into a Brasserie d'Achouffe tulip glass. A fat finger of white foam sits on top of a bright yellow gold base. A lot of champagne-like effervescence rises from the bottom of the glass. Nice lacing as the head dissipates.

A lot of funk on the nose, very reminiscent of Orval. Faint lemon zest notes and a hint of pepper. First sip is surprisingly sour given the low level of citrus in the aroma. Lemon and unripe grapefruit dominate up front. By law, there are some hops in this brew, but they are not readily apparent anywhere in the flavor profile.

Finish is remarkably dry and crisp. High carbonation gives a mouthfeel very similar to dry champagnes. I'm really enjoying this for now, but I'm glad it is a small format bottle. 750 ml would be too much for me by myself, sour newbie that I am.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 01:57:28 | More by ewright
Photo of silentjay


3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a slightly hazy golden with a smallish, yet fluffy pure white head that settles at a good couple of cms, and sticks to the glass well.

very yeasty, and slightly funky aroma not too far from a saison with lemon pepper, herbs, and must.

much more tart, up front, than the aroma. with some funk and spice and acidic citrus. finishes tart again on the swallow, with a bit more lemony acidic citrus.

effervescent and dryingly tart on a light/medium bodied brew.

overall, its decent, but not what id be seeking out from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 01:18:19 | More by silentjay
Photo of Neffbeer


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

Batch 005 375 ml bottled poured into a Cantillon tumbler.

A: It pours an astonishingly golden yellow color with perfect clarity. There is a two finger white head that hangs on for awhile and leaves behind some sticky lacing.

S: Musty barnyard, freshly baled hay, and leather boots rise to the foreground, brett at its best. There are some fruit notes behind that, white grapes, lemon peel, apples, and pears. Along with the fruit there is a bunch of sour goodness wafting from the glass. It smells incredibly inviting.

T: The first sip yields a leathery, musty, sour twang that I detected on the nose, not overly sour though. The sourness is pithy like a lemon peel with a dash of salt. The fruit shines mid palate and really brings to mind white grapes and apples, almost like a chardonnay. The oak barrels are creeping in at the edges, very subtle. It finishes quite dry and the toasty grain makes an appearance.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

O: Overall this is an excellent example of an American Wild Ale, not to mention an all Brettanomyces version. It is extremely well balanced with an array of nuances. Great beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 01:05:12 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of jminsc76


3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Well, it definitively exhibits a golden body, with a white, thick foamy head forming upon the initial pour. Reemerges decently upon agitation, with the legs sliding down thick as I tilt. Very nice.

Aromas exhibit a mellow intensity of citrus (lemon and orange) and slight barnyard/horse blanket funk, the latter being mildly sharp. It’s pleasant, though I am wishing it would lift the nostrils just a bit higher.

Flavors threw me off at first, primarily because I found it fairly one-dimensional. As I continue sipping, however, a balanced blend of lemon and funk washes across the palate, signifying Sanctification’s rightful place as an unmistakable Russian River beer.

Mouthfeel is thinner, but the effervescence is perfect in creating a kind of snap, crackle, and pop on the palate. I like the dryness this exhibits as well.

Overall, I like it, though not amongst my favorites due to the fact that I have nary a preference for lemons. Sorry. If there were just a tab bit of sweetness, the taste preference would steer this in the A category. Plus it’s undoubtedly funky and smooth, though not necessarily complex. I would knock back a couple per serving, but should Supplication or Consecration or Temptation or Beautification be offered in its stead, this would be left to someone else.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 20:35:39 | More by jminsc76
Photo of Pencible


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

A: This poured a hazy light gold with a little white head.
S: It smelled like super tart green apple and white grapes, with a little grassy hops and lemon zest.
T: It tasted dry and tart and funky. Green apple was the dominant flavor, along with super tart white grapes and persimmons. It had a dry and very tart aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation. Nice and bubbly.
D: This was a great wild ale with lots of dry tartness and and sourness. Not much funk, bitterness, or sweetness. The body was fitting and made it easier to drink. (Any flatter and the sourness would have lasted too long in the finish). This really pushes the tart envelope. Very enjoyable if you're into wild ales. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 20:04:08 | More by Pencible
Photo of birchstick


4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005 by way of KevSal...thanks man!

A - pours a nice straw color with a creamy whit head that retains quite well

S - smell opens up with huge hits of Brett that give a musty, earthy funkiness with a bit of mushroom underneath it. Second to the Brett character is some lemon, pear, and tart green apple.

T - opens up with with sour pear and apple...the malt underbase isn't detectable. In the middle of the palate is some funky must but is quickly overwhelmed by lemon and sour, tart green apple. Hanging over all of this is a delicate touch of mushroom and some earth and must tones. Really Nice stuff!

M - A little thin but pretty smooth with moderate carbonation. A little above average

D - This is a pretty solid wild ale here. Not as in your face sour as others I have tried, but this makes Sanctification that much easier and enjoyable to drink. Pretty solid stuff and has me very intrigued to try more RR barrel beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 02:46:52 | More by birchstick
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 23:10:08 | More by snaotheus
Photo of orangesol


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of batch 5 via trade with nickd717 thanks again nick!

A - Pours hazy golden yellow with a nice bubbly one finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving light webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lemon, tangerine, bretty earth, and some light funk. I really liked how much fruit came thru in this one. It still had plenty of funk to go around but it really played second fiddle to the fruit. Nice and subtle.

T - Starts off with a big dose of bretty funk giving way quickly to a nice mix of bright citrus fruit and strong puckering sourness. Finish is a mix of lingering sourness and light citric acidity. Nice light sour that was very easy to drink. It wore me down quick tho. Overall it was pretty good but it got to me over the course of the bottle. Much stronger than it feels.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. The funky feel is quite soft with plenty of it lingering for some time. It was quite easy to drink.

O - Very nice. I think I still prefer temptation overall but I really liked this one. Just a bit too strong on the funk at the moment. I could see this developing beautifully over the next year or so.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 03:37:48 | More by orangesol
Photo of AleWatcher


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

Another bottle from Sideswipe. Thanks John!

375 ML, batch 5, served in my Captain Lawrence tulip.

A bright clear yellowy gold with a billowing white head. Nice retention. Minimal lacing, but that's ok.
Smells of light fruits like pears, green apples, white grapes, apricots... Some big funky notes of hay and horses.

Taste is very very dry. No malts even noticed. The flavor has light fruit notes I found in the nose plus the funk plus a great tasty tartness at the backend. Very very very dry. Incredibly drinkable. This is head and shoulders above temptation, and only just behind Brute in my opinion.
Very nice light body reminds me of a good white wine.

This is spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 22:38:08 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of victory4me


4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Paired with Danish bleu cheese.

Pours a very clear pale-golden almost pilsner-like. The look is saved by a nice effervescent head that dissipates to a lovely coating of bubbles hovering over the liquid. I smell tons and tons of brett. Aroma is just fantastic and on par with many world-class gueuze. Lots of funkiness, just as you feel the aroma will knock you over, it comes up just short enough to allow you to compose and ready yourself to drink.

Lots flavor going on here. Brett, lemon, and an underlying spiciness. The flavors are coming though in layers upon layers of depth and character. A wonderfully dry finish keeps you reaching for the glass. Tongue is overwhelmed by the prickly carbonation coupled with the aggressive tartness.

Another exceptional sour by Russian River. An extremely well-crafted beer that I would put in the same league as Consecration.

Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 03:25:52 | More by victory4me
Photo of larryi86


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you atxdelivery for this one
375 mL bottle batch 5 poured into a tulip

A- A hazy pale yellow with a small white head

S- Some funk, some citrus, some earthy notes, beardy malts.

T- Sour and tart lemons up, beardy malts in the middle, and a funky finish.

M- Light, crisp, smooth, a ton of carbonation.

O- Overall this is a nice sour, but not at the same level of the other Russian River sours I have had. Reminded me of a solid Gueuze. I would get this again if I had the chance, but would not actively seek it out. I am very happy that I got a chance to try this.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 02:29:59 | More by larryi86
Photo of ibbjamin


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

Paid around $12 for this 375ml corked and caged bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. I poured into my Lost Abbey tulip to review, but I've had and loved this many times before. This is a bottle which could be aged, but I am drinking fresh. Batch 5.

The cork pops with a pleasant welcoming of carbonation. Light, loosely packed white head of about a 1/3" that dissipates slowly leaving a nice layer of retention. Very cloudy yet the carbonation is still visually evident. The beer is a faded corn yellow color. Nice sheets of lacing line the inside of the tulip.

The brett funk aroma fills the area before I even begin to pour. Tons of wild and funky brett giving it a very musky character of barnyard and horseblanket. Lemon, lime, white grape and citrusy hops as well in the mix.

Certainly a sour, but not as ass puckeringly sour as others I've had from them or other breweries such as Cantillon. This one seems more subtle and balanced, a nice change of pace.

Quite dry and somewhat astringent. Vinious qualities, but the carbonation and crisp mouthfeel certainly separate this one from being in the "wine-esque beer" category for me.

All in all, a great beer that I will buy everytime I see it on the shelves. These Russian River sours really have grown on me over the years; I need to go back and re-review all of them as their gradings surely will have improved.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 02:06:58 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of OakedCanuck


3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml into tulip. Batch 005.

A - A golden yellow. Bubbly one finger head. Slight haze and some yeast floaties (probably due to the pour though, my bad)

S - Tart, funky, musty, bready malts

T - Sour lemons, tart granny smith apples, some pepper. The Brettanomyces gives it a funky zing. Bready malts flavour is in there but is mainly overshadowed by the sourness.

M - Crisp, light, puckering! Well carbonated.

D - Good wild offering. Quite tart so it took me a while to get through, which I didn't mind.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 16:51:41 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of trappistlover


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

(375ml bottle courtesy of zestar!!). Pours cloudy bright yellow with white head. Realy beautiful. Aroma is funky, lemony, and maybe a little grassy. Taste is tart. Thin to medium bodied with a dry finish. This is just a solid offering from Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 05:52:19 | More by trappistlover
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,902 ratings.