1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SanctificationSanctification

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,298 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,298
Reviews: 575
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,095
Gots: 696 | FT: 49
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,298 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kyager2000
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Whole Foods in Berkeley, CA
Batch 006 (though not clear when this was bottled)
Poured into a standard US pint glass

The general impression I had of this beer was of a blonde ale blended with a mildly sour gueuze. While the sourness was balanced well, the pairing resulted in a beer that featured characters (noticeable malt, floral hops, some sourness) from both of these styles, but failed to stand out in any particular character or way. At times, I thought I was drinking a rather weak gueuze. At the price point of RR beers, I could have bought a similarly-sized bottle of Girardin and enjoyed its bacterial complexity much more. Given its limited distribution, not one I feel the need to necessarily revisit or seek out.

Pours a ~2cm head of off-white, medium-sized bubbles, that dissipates somewhat quickly to a thick ring around the glass and some islands of foam atop the body. Minimal to no lacing. The body itself is a pale yellow color, slightly hazy, with visible carbonation along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is a mixture of mild floral hops reminiscent of those in a pilsener, noticeable Brettanomyces/Lactobacillus (slightly musty, slight acetic acid sharpness), and slight biscuit malts. Not a bad aroma by any means, but not particularly distinctive or prominent.

Taste opens with some malt flavors and vaguely floral hop(?) presence. Sourness appears alongside these by late in the front palate. While sourness/tartness is there, and palatable, this isn't particularly sour/tart, compared to other wild ales, at least for me. Sourness proceeds through back of the palate through the finish, alongside lingering, mild malt and floral tastes. The blend is tasty, and certainly not off, but I'm not impressed by the resulting characters; neither of the two types of ale really seem to enhance or demonstrate characters of the other that weren't present individually.

Body is medium in heft, with prickly carbonation and a dry finish from some residual sugars. Carbonation feels right for the beer, avoiding having a somewhat acidic beer linger on the palate too long.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of strongaf
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of jstewart1130
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Florida9
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5

A: Clear pale yellow in color. Forms about a finger's worth of thick, creamy, white head that slowly reduces to a bubbly ring around the edges and a thin surface coating. Some light lacing.

S: Aroma is crisp and tart with notes of green apple, green grapes, grass and some very faint spice. Somewhat vinous.

T & M: First thing you notice is how crisp, tart, and stimulating to the tastebuds this beer is. Then lots of green flavors, mostly tart green apples, but green grapes and lemon as well. Finishes with a mild, yet tart, sweetness, much like a Granny Smith apple before fading away every so gently. Light bodied. Crisp. Virtually no bitterness and just a hint of yeasty funk in the background.

O: I'm admittedly not a huge fan of the sour beers and I was a bit intimidated before I opened this one. However, I ended up thoroughly enjoying it. The "sourness" is not at all aggressive and while it is present, it presents more like a "tart" than "sour," and even then it is balanced by a mild sweetness. A very nice beer.

Photo of markasparov
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of pavpav12
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of WeedKing4
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the brewpub. Pours a light, slightly hazy yellow. Tastes slightly sour, tart with some lemon and grass notes. Makes your mouth pucker in a nice way. very impressed with their wild ales. This brewery blows my mind, and attacks my taste buds beautifully.

Photo of AvgWhiteGuy
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of sjrosen
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

have been keen to try this one for a long time, 100% brett fermentation. finally splurged for 18 bucks at cheeky monk on colfax. pours an almost perfectly clear radiant gold nugget color with huge bubbles. looks lind of like apple juice. the last little bit i poured in has some serious sediment, i think i poured out just a tiny bit more than i was supposed to, but no harm done. small but lasting white head. smells fruity and sour, but not nearly as intense as the flavor, which is really puckery from the brettanomyces. some notes of dank oak come in, as does a white wine like dryness in the finish. this is a love it or hate it kind of beer, and i absolutely love it. the mouthfeel is amazing, majorly effervescent carbonation and a rather light body make it supremely drinkable. this is a very interesting and unique brew that has no equal in my mind. i cant wait to drink another one of these!

Photo of stxSS07
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mozim
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

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!

Photo of BeerForHokie
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Miamilice
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of dsuedbeck
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of zac16125
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.  

Photo of hayesjw
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of KalH
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
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.

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,298 ratings.