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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,993 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,993
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,063
Gots: 620 | FT: 38
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: 1,993 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdense


4.47/5  rDev +3.2%

375 corked and caged bottle shared with beer homeboy, poured into wine tumblers 9.19.11.

One finger white head relative quick dissipation on top of clear golden body, multiple streams of carbonation, need to be careful to keep yeast in bottle or body gets murky. Lemony esters, a bit of light barnyard funk, hay, in the nose, grassy and floral hops. Taste replicates nose, light sourness balanced by tartness. Mouthfeel is just on the light side of medium, good effervescence. IMHO this is a great entry sour/American Wild, quite tasty (the base blonde helps) not overbearing and very drinkable. Well made.

09-20-2011 21:25:06 | More by jdense
Photo of GilGarp


4.33/5  rDev 0%

Batch 005 served slightly chilled into a goblet.

A slow gentle pour produces cascading bubbles rising rapidly to the top. Sanctification is a pale golden yellow color with good clarity. The head is thick and leaves some spotty lacing as it slowly settles.

Aroma is evident as soon as the cork is popped. Sweet, floral, and sour almost in equal measure. It's difficult to tell at this point just how sour it will taste. A very pleasant and balanced nose though.

The flavor turns out to be nicely tart and sour without puckering. The malt base is sweet and mild allowing the wild yeast to shine. The same floral quality from the aroma comes through in the taste as well as sour cherries and tart grapes. Tannins on the finish make it seem very dry.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Fairly well balanced and drinkable for a wild ale.

Overall a really nice wild ale. Maybe a good place to start if you're just getting into the style. At the same time, interesting and enjoyable enough for the more experienced.

09-19-2011 23:48:02 | More by GilGarp
Photo of draheim


4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

375mL bottle (batch 005) poured into a snifter. Clear, pale golden color with zero head but vigorous carbonation that sustains a thin white layer of foam on the surface.

Aroma is sharp, tart, and funky. Brett is unmistakable. Green apples and Sweet Tarts.

Taste is very tart - reminds me a lot of Smarties. Love it. White wine and oak. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry. Another outstanding brew from Russian River.

What I love about sours is that if you drink them only occasionally, you can use them to reset your palate. Suddenly my taste buds have been jarred from the typical diet of IPAs and stouts - and invariably after having one of these I enjoy all beers a little bit more.

09-18-2011 06:16:39 | More by draheim
Photo of depechemode1983


4/5  rDev -7.6%

Pour out medium yellow/orange with a slight haze. Head is white and like a dense foam. Retention is substantial and lacing is abundant. In the nose you get peaches, sweet clove spice, floral undertones, and a lemon zest also picking up some vinegar in the background. Taste reminds me of straight up lemon juice with grass and tart peach. There something there that I can't describe that I think most people refer to as funk. Very unique. The mouth feel is so damn soft and smooth. Carbonation is great with lots of fine bubbles. This beer is just plain awesome. My first America wild ale and my first Russian River beer. So glad I got to try this one. I wasn't disappointed. Once again thanks to gkunkle.

09-17-2011 04:42:46 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of Phocion


4.15/5  rDev -4.2%

Batch 005

375 ml corked bottle poured into a Surly Darkness tulip. Hazy but bubbly golden body covered by a thick, frothy white head that takes its sweet time dissipating. Thick globs of lacing throughout, and I can watch the sediment slowly sinking to the bottom of the glass. Wow, this thing is gorgeous.

Aroma has clear tones of brett, along with definite hints of sour grape. As it warms, I'm slowly picking up all kinds of fruits typical in a Belgian pale; peaches, apricot, apples, etc. Slight touch of spiciness in the background as well, which only multiplies as it warms more. Actually, the more it warms, the more the sourness compliments rather than overpowers the aroma as it did at first.

Smelling this thing as I let it warm up led me to quite a shock with the first taste... nope, it's still sour. Very sour. Sour lemon/lime flavors completely dominate. It's a shame the complexity of the aroma wasn't duplicated in the taste. It's still good, just much more straight-forward.

Very smooth and warm mouthfeel. Medium-bodied and decently carbonated. Somewhat acidic but not overpowering.

Overall, I wish this could be as complex when drinking it as it was when smelling it. Still, a great sour and if it wasn't so hard to find and $11.99 for a 375ml, I'd probably buy it again.

09-15-2011 19:15:11 | More by Phocion
Photo of DelMontiac


4/5  rDev -7.6%

Batch 005, 375ml bottle poured into a NB globe.

A gentle pour yields a golden yellow body with three fingers of white peaked froth which tapers off very slowly to a quarter inch leaving behind fairly course lacing.

Aroma is peachy-peary with some stable straw, sour grapes, lemon tart, and sir brett-funkadelic.

More sour than I expected. Slightly puckering as I am not well-versed in sour ales. Very tart with lemon/grape twist and funk of brettanomyces along with a wet straw and grain in a leaky hayloft type of thing that is off when too cold, but as it warms, turns enjoyable. There is also a metallic tinge if it's too cold. Let this warm for several minutes.

Feel is light to medium with ample carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. It didn't knock my socks off by any means, but I am also not the specialist on sour ales either.

09-11-2011 00:50:41 | More by DelMontiac
Photo of ColdPoncho


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Thanks Bill
From notes, 9-6-2011

A - clouded yellow body, big white head.

S - beautiful light tartness, pronounced blue cheesy funk. Really great nose

T - Nice light tartness, some cherry. Some funk. Nice balance.

M - Medium body, drying, and something illegible. pleasant and lightish.

O - Nice beer.

09-07-2011 16:11:52 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of Urbancaver


4.2/5  rDev -3%

Thanks Bill for bringing this by

Batch 4

Pours a nice clear yellow. Very pretty colour. Nice white frothy head. Smells sweet. Surprisingly sweet. Some light citrus on the nose. On the tongue its tart but pretty mild. Sour but enjoyable. Veery light and drinkable. I quite enjoy this

09-06-2011 22:47:53 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of FosterJM


4.28/5  rDev -1.2%

797th Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
Batch 005

App- A golden light yellow with some deeper yellows intermixed. A two finger head that fell at a medium pace. A excellent cling with sticky legs. Quite a beautiful beer.

Smell- From the looks I had very high hopes but this proved to be just a tad to light on the smell and aromatics. A nice brett note with some tart notes and a decent amount of lemon with just a touch of hay to it.

Taste- The yeast that Vinnie uses is amazing. Such a unique character and flavor. A nice slightly sour beer with a barnyard funk and some white and orange fruit essence. Peaches and oranges.

Mouth- Light to medium bodied with a medium/high carbonation level. Bubbly tart and tangy acid.

Drink- This has to be the best RR sour I have had. It was balanced and light and not over done and didnt need the essence of the barrels to impart other flavors to an already good beer.

09-05-2011 02:37:53 | More by FosterJM
Photo of emerge077


4.2/5  rDev -3%

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.

09-05-2011 02:10:49 | More by emerge077
Photo of DenverLogan


4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

Batch 2...yellow gold, small lingering head. Slight sour fruit and funk aroma. Rich flavors of citrus, horse saddle, kiwi, sour orange, lime. Refreshing and tasty. Shared with 10 others and I wish I'd had a larger pour, meaning a tasty brew overall!

09-05-2011 00:53:00 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

batch # 4. 750ml. cork and caged bottle shared at a tasting with some lacal BA's. poured into a new belgium snifter. all brett you say?...yes please.

pours out a lemonade like hazt yellow color with a nice pure white head. decent lace and retention.

very tart, very funky. lots of musty, barnyard brett and tart lemony citrus.

wow, loving it. very tart, citrus of all kinds, mostly lemon juice, with some grapefruit, orange. very tasty barnyard funk, musty, but definatly not overdone. very sour finish.

light mouthfeel with the perfect feeling, perfect amount of fizzy carbonation, compliments the taste nicely.

overall, one of the most memorable beers of the day which included lots of sought after beers. an ideal wild, one of the most tastiest expieriences ive ever had with brett. this is something i will seek out again.

09-04-2011 18:01:59 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of philbe311


4.03/5  rDev -6.9%

Batch #005

A - A fingers worth of loosely packed whimsical airy audibly fizzy pure white head... No retention at all to speak of leaving only a small splotch of lacing in the center of the glass and a very thin collar... The color is a pale amber... Some small bubble spry carbonation rises in the center of the glass...

S - Granny smith apples... Tart peaches... Some orange zest... Just a touch of funkiness from the brettanomyces... Light vinegar...

T - Orange zest... A bit of lemon... Peaches... Some grassy notes... Some bready notes... Light vinegar...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... This one gets the saliva glands working overtime... Briskly carbonated... A bit puckering...

D - A super solid sour... Excellent restraint as this one is far from overpowering... Nicely executed and rather enjoyable...

09-02-2011 00:58:43 | More by philbe311
Photo of camil1mj


4.03/5  rDev -6.9%

Batch 5 received in a trade. Served chilled into my Bruery snifter.

A: Beautiful golden hue with 2 finger, fizzy white head. Good lacing.

S: Crisp and sour tartness.

T: Dry, tart and sour all at the same time giving way to apple and citrus fruit tones.

M: Light body with lots of carbonation.

O: I would say this us a great intro into the realm of wilds. Great flavors paired with sour undertones. Glad I got to try it.

08-29-2011 23:50:13 | More by camil1mj
Photo of Beejay


4.47/5  rDev +3.2%

Batch 005

A: A hazy yellow pear color, the head is a nice white color. Looks good!

S: Strong acidic aroma, vinegar is pretty strong in there as well. There is almost a light citrus thing going on that is nice.

T: A tart punch hits right away, after the sour fades, there is a slight touch of some funkiness, the finish has a very nice floral note with hints of lemon. Very nice.

M: Light on the tongue, tons of carbonation which is mostly comprised of small bubbles.

O: Overall quite lovely, not so burn you tongue sour that you can't taste the base beer. There is something so simple, so brilliant about this. It is a quite complex beer, but seems to be so without really trying.

08-28-2011 02:54:59 | More by Beejay
Photo of Nashvillain


3.93/5  rDev -9.2%

Pours a hazy, murky yellow with a thin, bubble lined head. Extensive lacing rings the glass. Color is a nice gold that looks very appealing in the light.

Had a hard time picking out too much smell on this one. Mostly get citrus and a sharp acidity with some funk in the background.

Taste is similar to the smell, a mid-level sourness on the front end with some considerable funk in the body of the beer and a nice, clean, dry finish. It's definitely well made, but in relation to their other offerings, the price, and reputation of the brewery this seems tame. I'll admit though, if it were cheap and available I'd drink the hell out of it, but that goes for a lot of others too.

08-27-2011 06:13:18 | More by Nashvillain
Photo of biglobo8971


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

poured from bottle into RR tulip. The color is a rich yellow with golden orange hue. The smell is very inviting, hint of citrus and a touch of sweet. Faint 1/4 inch head, with very little lacing. The taste is of citrus sour, with a tiny bit of malt sweetness. The sourness makes you go back for more. The tartness resonates on the pallet once it is gone from the mouth. Very easy to drink. I like this beer a lot, will continue to seek this one out.

08-26-2011 01:11:02 | More by biglobo8971
Photo of TheGordianKnot


3.8/5  rDev -12.2%

Poured into tulip glass...

A- Looks like a hazy canary yellow. Pours a low head that settles gently to a small layer of foam.

S- Very light tartness- lemony all sound. Acidulated aroma provides great twang. Funky and also grainy. Very well rounded and complex.

T/M- Sour, but slightly more funky. The sourness is very citrusy with a touch of light fruits in there as well. Nice crisp acidic flavor that is quickly followed up by a horsey, rubbery funk. Ending flavor is very warming and reminds me of an old persons medicine cabinet- yet it works well... Very light and crisp on the tongue. Lively liquid that is incredibly refreshing.

O- Awesome beer, but not as sour as I had hoped for. I was looking for a Supplication type beer here, but it was more of a funky sour. Still great and would, love to have again!

08-25-2011 02:59:38 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of dgilks


4/5  rDev -7.6%

Cloudy, pale straw colour with a small white head. Decent head retention for a sour. Nice lacing.

Light lactic and acetic tartness. A touch of crisp apple and pear aroma.

Nice lemony character with plenty of tartness. Hard apple and some berries. Well built.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A crisp, balanced and fruity sour ale which is nicely built and has a good mouthfeel.

08-24-2011 12:13:08 | More by dgilks
Photo of Arenbeer


4/5  rDev -7.6%

375ml Bottle into a Tulip Glass thanks to finewinemike

Batch 005

A- Pours a nice golden yellow with a small bright white 1 finger head that sticks around. Also has a good amount of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass and does not leave and lacing.

S- The aromas of the actual beer seem to dominate the nose. Getting notes of grains, lemon, tropical fruits, white grapes and earthy funk from the brett. Not as funky as I was expecting, it's sort of subtle but stands out and blends nicely with the overall aroma.

T- The nose was very deceiving. Tip of the tongue you are immediately hit with a earthy tart funk from the famous brett. After it goes down subtle notes of lemon, peaches, and white grapes come out with a slight graininess. Not to much going on here but enough flavors to keep my attention and keep me drinking.

M- Medium to lighter body with champagne like carbonation and a nice strong tart mouthfeel.


08-21-2011 04:20:07 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of harrymel


3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Batch 005: 100% fermented with Brettanomyces

A: pours a blonde ale with excellent clarity and three fingers of eggshell which slowly falls to a sheet of the same. Spotty lacing.

S: Lemon, hay, slight grain. Definitely smells sour. The brett is fairly earthy (for lack of a better term in my lexicon). As I take slower and longer pulls, I get some tropical fruits: pineapple and mango, weird.

T: Slight lemony tartness I associate often with gueuze's comes up front, then disappears nearly as quickly. then I get the bitter, baking soda flavor I normally feel from Brett. Deceptively easy to quaff. I'm using my limited experience with Orval to generalize here, but I don't think I normally like Brett and yet this one is pretty good. Some nice bitterness from, something. Theres a slight vegetal flavor on the finish.

M: Light with hi carb - matches the beer well. Semi dry finish has me coming back for more.

O: I'm taken by this beer. I am not in love by any means, but I'm certainly happy with the acquisition. I have an additional bottle, and will let it age until I trade it, unless I get a hankering for it prior to that time. This is solid, and would be great for a blazing hot day, ice cold. Great substitute for a shandy IMO.

08-16-2011 05:24:44 | More by harrymel
Photo of nhindian


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

375ml bottle poured into a Russian River '-tion' glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by mikeraser in the 'Hype Train' BIF, thanks Mike!

Batch 005

A - Pours an unassuming light straw yellow that is easily seen through. A few good streams of carbonation can be seen in the middle of the glass, rising to meet the 2-finger, ivory-colored head. The head has much more retention than the other Russian River sours I've had, and actually leaves behind a cap when it's gone. However, the lacing is probably the most lacking of the sours, with conspicuously bare areas of glass that seem to repel the lace.

S - The nose on this beer screams rural farmland. Earthy funkiness, sour acidity, with a nice amount of fruits and spice. Tart lemons, ripe grapes, peaches, and some peppery spices. Everything seems dripping wet and musty, which brings everything together nicely.

T - It's been a while since I've had a Russian River sour (or any beer from them, really), and this surprises me with their signature sourness. It's definitely a shocker at first but gives it an awesome edge as I grow acclimated to it. It starts with a good amount of malts, but quickly shifts to the fruits and spices. The Brett is present throughout, boosting the flavors of the lemons and grapes. Wet hay, grass, peppercorn serve to cut the acidity and bring back the funk. Finishes with the lemon and grass lasting for ages.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with high carbonation. Definitely a bubbly beer once it hits the mouth and the sourness only serves to exacerbate that feeling. Finishes with a dry bite that I love. The puckering feeling remains in my cheeks long after I am done with my sips (which are more like generous mouthfuls).

D - Drinkability is high. This probably takes the cake for my favorite Russian River sour I've had so far. The flavors are complex and the Brett just adds that much more depth to it. Combine that with a great mouthfeel and you have a recipe for success. I'd love to get a few 750's of this to lay down for special occasions.

08-16-2011 02:36:24 | More by nhindian
Photo of cosmonick


4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

Appearance: Light yellow with a very thin white bubly head.

Aroma: This beer has a distinct sour "earthy" smell with lemmon grass and pepper.

Taste: I taste star fruit, lime, and freezer burned ice in this sour ale. Long after the sour aftertaste has faded, there is a slight spiciness. It's almost like an earthy, dry Sour Patch Kid.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery with tight carbonation.

Overall: While this isn't something that I'd drink on a regular basis, that really has more to do with the tartness of the style as the sourness goes a long way. Still, I definitely look forward to having it again.

Thanks to Barfwin for sharing this intersting and complex ale!

Eis Igian,

08-16-2011 02:03:21 | More by cosmonick
Photo of zeledonia


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%

Batch 005, bottled 1 December 2010. Have another one sitting in the cellar, wanted to try this while it was still reasonably young.

Pours a pale golden yellow, slightly hazy. Small white head, a half-finger or so, that recedes pretty quickly. A little bit of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smells like sweet lemon sour candy. Interesting tart lemon, with a layer of sweetness underneath it, kinda sugary. Not a whole lot else there, though - it's gone quickly, leaving me wanting more from it.

Taste is all right in the front of the mouth. Citrus, potent sour lemon, some white grape lightness. The sour is quite strong and balanced well by the sweetness, but doesn't have the depth I want from it. Tasty, but not real complex, and not super interesting to me.

Fairly light-bodied, decent carbonation. Dry finish.

A decent sour ale, but I don't find anything remarkable about it. It's exactly what it says it is, a sour blonde ale, and it's good, but it's rather one-dimensional. Maybe my expectations of RR are too high, but I was hoping for more out of this beer.

08-14-2011 16:14:42 | More by zeledonia
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.98/5  rDev -8.1%

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06 alongside a temptation, supplication, and consecration.

batch 006

straw yellow, head is thin and bubbly and gone quickly. not the prettiest, but not bad looking. nose is sweet tart, apple, pear, not much of the funk but nice smelling. only a touch of funky mustiness. very tart taste. sweet. candy-like. again, the brett is not too present, but tehre is a hint of mustiness. tart is not mouth puckering, good feel. overall, it is good, but not great. certainly as advertised, a blonde sour...but i was a bit bummed that the brett was so in the background.

08-08-2011 02:44:45 | More by cosmicevan
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,993 ratings.