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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,160 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,160
Reviews: 572
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 1,079
Gots: 661 | FT: 42
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: 2,160 | Reviews: 572 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRG1313
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 5; Feb. 2011 release;

Pours a hazy orange with a nice white head that fades a bit quickly.

Nose is light orange fruit with a pleasant brett character. Not your typical brett funkiness but a bright pleasant "citrus-funk" character.

Mouthfeel is bold and bright, rich and filling, tart with good carbonation.

Flavors are orange/tangerine citrus front to a nice citric herb mid palate with hints of bret that goes to a brett/wild ale funk herb/spice orange finish. Lightly sour all around with layers of orange/tangerine and herb flavors.

This could be a "go to" beer if available year round. Really nice effort.

GRG1313, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


375mL bottle poured into wine glass. Batch 5

Pours a clouded straw yellow with some lighter golden tones. Soft fluffed white head dissolves into spots and wisps of film with plenty of spots along the glass.

Strong scents of bretty funk with Belgian yeast. A bit of straw and grain along with soft fruit sweetness. Zesty tart as well.

Bitter and tart up front with pronounced brett character. Some cracker and light graininess underneath continuing sour tones. Juicy citrus zest with lemon and orange, lightly sweet and a touch of acidity. More dry sourness throughout the finish.

Lighter medium body, tingly carbonation, dry and refreshing on the tongue. Super drinkable, nice level of sourness but not really lactic or overly acidic. I finished my glass and was ready for another right afterward. Another incredible wild ale from RR.

xnicknj, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of imblane
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Earthy sour Brett Funk with just a hint of grainy sweetness that is quickly overwhelmed by the lactic character.

Appearance - Pale straw and extremely hazy, big white puffy head with low retention due to high acidity.

Flavor - Tart cherries and an earthy umami like character that somehow mellows and begs for another sip. Brett character is medium and adds complexity, not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is high and very effervescent. Finish is bone dry and very pleasing, no astringency or other unpleasant sensations.

Drinkability/Overall - A complex, pleasantly sour example of a fairly rare style. A moderate strength(6.75%) soured Blond that finishes bone dry and begs for another sip.

imblane, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the tap at the Russian River Brewing co. brewhouse.

Appearance: Cloudy golden yellow. Light head.

Smell: Bread. Smell of grapes and tannins. Light liquor smell.

Taste: Similiar to the smell but with some hop profile. Slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and easy to drink.

Drinkability: Good. I preferr this over the wine inflected belgians that russian river is offering. I wouldn't turn one down. Would make a great gift beer.

BerkeleyBeerMan, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 mL C&C bottle poured into a tulip. Batch 5

Color is a glowing straw golden, with a slight haze. Initially a large, foamy bone white head that quickly fades to a ring of bubbles with minimal lacing.

Aroma is dry, bretty and funky with a earthy, peppery finish. In between a fresh grassy aroma sits on top of a reluctant, mild tropical sweetness. More sour and funk than tart. Smooth and well balanced without being remotely offensive to even someone unfamiliar with the style.

Front of the palate picks up lemon zest and rind with a mild green apple sourness back across the palate. Brett is present throughout but the funk is not as strong as the nose and a green, grassy sourness dominates throughout. There is a strong biscuit like malt presence throughout with a latent juicy tropical fruit sweetness. If that sweetness would be more assertive I would put this up there with Supplication, Temptation, or Consecraction, but without it this a little to one dimensionally green and sour.

Mouthfeel is light with effervescent, champagne like carbonation. Finish is dry and puckering, exceptionally refreshing.

Not crazy about this batch, but a second tier Russian River is still a few miles ahead of most other American choices.

yourefragile, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of GabrielM
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

A - beautiful cloudy golden color with a 1/2-inch of bright white head on top.

S - fresh funk, earthiness, summer grass, bread, and oak.

T - same as nose but with some citrus and extra funk. Surprisingly awesome!

M - the first sip, as always, is SOUR! It bites my tongue and cheeks with a crisp, cool sting that quickly fades away. I love it!

D - non-stop.

GabrielM, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of Lazerlobe
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL b5

A: After popping the cork, a plume of creeps up the bottle neck, stopping just short of of overflowing. Pours a hazy tangerine with spray on white foam.

S: Lot of funky horseblanket, principally then dust and must. A little orange rind and lemon zest permeating the nose with an imparted dry sweetness.

T: Dang brett, you crazy! Wildly tart without being puckering, huge funk, bitter grasses, quick metallic note, peppery dry and subtle grains.

M: Nice bubbly tingle, drying on the tongue but a sweeter finish.

D: In your face with brett, but the fruity citrus corrals this funk and plays off it nicely.

Lazerlobe, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of notchucknorris
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronados during Russian River night

A: Hazy straw color with absolutely no head. The beer looks like it's glowing in the glass.

S: A ton of brett. The beer smells earthy and pungent, with a lot of funk and some lemon-like sourness.

T: Brett ahoy! Super sour, as in punch in the mouth sour. There's a peppery bite that goes well with the sourness and as the beer warms, more flavors come out. Tart green apple and lemon add a nice element to this one. Another great sour from Russian River.

notchucknorris, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice Golden Yellow with some yeast sediment. Head is White with small bubbles that faded quickly though easy to bring back with a few quick swirls.

S - Sour, Barnyard Funk, Green Apple, Citrus Fruit, Oak, Citrus Flowers, Bread, Minerals, and Spices.

T - Sour, Green Apple, Lemon, Powdered Candy(without the sweetness), Grapefruit, Oak, and Yeast.

M - Good Carbonation, slight Sweetness, and Acidic. Sourness starts slowly and hit the back of the mouth only a half second after the front.

D - I think this is very drinkable for those who like sours. This is quite a complex beer for how simple it is. I'm glad I bought many of these. Although I'm not a huge sour fan yet, I think this is a good starter because it isn't as sour as some of their other offerings.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375mL into a snifter. Pours a hazy golden blonde with a half in of head that leaves small dots of lace behind.
The smell starts with sour funk, bread, dried pear, some herbs and a slight hint of citrus. Mmmm.(On rereview some bready notes were noticed.)
The taste follows suit. The first sip is the worst, but once you have the sour started it mellows out and pushes out the complexities. (Upon rereview I wasn't as shocked by the first sip. This is also a slightly older bottle. For a non-barrel aged Wild, this is pretty unique.)
The mouth is smooth with light champagne carbonation, perfect dry finish.
I shared this and already want to pop the one I'm about to cellar. Grrr, I'll have to find more. Top shelf brew. (P.S. I found plenty more and am happily going through my third bottle in a month. Very good and cheaper than their barrel aged (but just as good or better) American Wilds.)

OBeerMeGreatOne, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Caveat-just got this beer in the mail and couldn't wait so it was a bit cloudy. Otherwise its a great straw color under a small white loose head that leaves only faint lacing. The aroma is soft and subtle bringing some citrus pith, lemon, horse blanket, wet hay and fresh cut grass. Even though I know this is 100% Brett I taste some coriander and citrus peel, but initially it is all sour lemon and light funky goodness. As I drink on I find tropical fruit notes, like pinapple hanging around. Back end is earthy and filled with grass clippings. Dry, dry, dry. Too much to polish off a 750, luckly this is a 375! I have brewed a 100% Brett beer, it ain't easy and Russian River makes it taste like a walk in the park.

pmlondrigan, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The '10-'11 Cleveland Cavaliers are really making me try special beers, as this time I am so thoroughly disgusting at the beating they are taking at home from the 0-25-on-the-road Washington Wizards that I decided to bust this guy out.

Vintage: Batch 005

Pours a brilliant gold, with a murky, translucent interior, which is topped by a fat cap of finely foamy pure white head. This reminded me a lot of the look of La Fin du Monde by Unibroue. Lacing was decent, with just a bit of lace remaining til the end.

Aroma is very nice, with nicely tart apple/pear combining with lots of funky Brett to enhance one another. A sharp lemon perks you up as well.

Taste is awesome, as it moves from green apple to Brett funk to woody flavor to a hint of lemon. The Brett really steals the show, as it hovers throughout the sip, sometimes coming to the foreground, but sharing the stage a decent amount as well. You always know where it is though. A pleasant earthy yeast finishes it with a very chalky texture.

Mouthfeel is fantastic, as it blends smoothness, finely creamy carbonation, that chalky finish, and juiciness uncommon in beer. The feeling I can most relate this to is when you eat an apple, and you get the tartness, watery refreshing feeling, juiciness, and if you chew the seeds/stalk by mistake, that chalky feeling. A unique beer in this regard. Drinkability is not as good as with some of their other sours, but it is still remarkably good for the style and considering the amount of flavor packed into each sip. Abv of 6.75% is very reasonable as well, making this a sipper deep into the night (if you have enough bottles for that). Russian River has not disappointed with any of their sours yet.

Note: When I opened this bottle, the cavs promptly cut a 25 point deficit to 12...but eventually lost by 15. There is only so much you can do Russian River.

madvermin, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of andyfrancis
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cloudy straw with a pretty white head, nice clumping and lacing. A little lighter in color than I expected.

Smells yummy. Some fruity esters, with a hint of the sour funk.

Sour/fruity eruption blossoming on my tongue. Tart all the way through.

Carbonation starts with a low rumble, peaking in a sharp bite on the tip of your tongue. Crisp, fairly clean finishing.

Almost sessionable. I like it a lot. Not quite as much character as some of the other 'tions but very good and highly recommended.

andyfrancis, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of nataku00
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a wine glass. Beer was a light yellow with a bit of yeast haze to it. Some yeast particles floating in the beer is visible. Half a finger of large bubble head dissipated fairly quickly after the pour and after swirling, leaving a thin collar of white head on the surface. Some carbonation visible through the surface, but not as vigorous as expected.

Nose a earthy, tart lemon fruit, lemongrass freshness. Very fragrant and inviting.

Taste does not disappoint. Lots of lemon tartness upfront, earthy and grassy notes as well, and finishing with a fresh spring day on your tongue. Wet grass, lemon citrus finish lingers for a long time, reminding you of spring in a lemon orchard.

Light body with a soft carbonation that helps lighten the beer even more. Very refreshing and drinkable. Would be enjoyable to drink any time of year, either to quench thirst or to remind you of better times when in the cold of winter.

nataku00, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the PtY release up at the RR brewpub.

Appearance - Given to me in a generic RR tulip. Straw yellow in color, slight white quickly dissipating head that leaves slight lacing.

Smell - Some great barnyard funk followed by green apples, slight tropical fruit, and lemon. A hint of floral aroma wafts up toward me as I let the beer warm a bit.

Taste - Relatively similar to the nose. I get a bit more lemon zest than some of the other citrus aromas I smelled. A nice tart barnyard funk to the beer, grape/wine like notes, and a hint of oakyness.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied, relatively high carbonation, dry and crisp.

Drinkability - Different from some of the other RR staples (i.e. Temp, Cons, and Sup) but pretty drinkable nonetheless. Glad I picked up twelve of these suckers.

SpdKilz, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to thunderroad12 for this necessary tick on my RR -tion Quest and also a big thanks to Huhzubendah for letting me try one of his bottles at Sexual Chocolate '11! Batch 004! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a hazy golden yellow-orange with a two finger bone white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, tart, sour apple, and funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour apple, tart, subtle fruit, and a dry funkiness on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this brew was nothing short of excellent. Everything in this one seemed to be spot-on for what they were aiming for here in all aspects. Had an awesomely balanced flavor and great aroma going on here. I have yet to try a bad Russian River brew as of now and this one is no exception... This is an absolute must try for any sour-head out there and is definitely worth the time/effort of tracking down!

thagr81us, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of brotherloco
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005. 375ml Bottle. 6.75% ABV

No real surprises in the nose. Brett funk and light citrus zest. Flavor comes on nicely sour and quite dry. Tartness level suits the blonde ale, it isn't as strong as RR's barrel aged sours. Carbonation lends an overall dry white wine/champagne feel.

Damn, these smaller bottles are cool in some respects, but not when you run out of beer!

brotherloco, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of DaveHS
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours hazy blonde with a thin eggshell white head and lots of sticky lacing.

S-Nose is funky and a little tart. Like a sharper, funkier version of Damnation. Lemon peel/grapefruit acidity.

T/M-Synchronicity is the word to describe this beer. Delicate tart acidity melds with earthy funk and light prickly carbonation. The finish is chewy, with a slick yeasty brett funkiness that lingers for quite a while.

D-Excellent stuff, but WAY overhyped. Calm down, nerds.

DaveHS, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split and poured into a tulip. 6.75% ABV, Batch 004, "Serve in a tulip". Label complete with classic, hideous, Comic Sans font.

Thanks to "King of Beers" sweemzander for #2 of the epic sour night!

A - Very lightly hazy golden yellow in color with a well-formed, two-finger head. Nice retention and some lace left on the glass but nothing screaming "sexy".

S - Mildly sweet pale malts balance the lemon-lime citrus hops. Big barnyard wild funk is awesome in the nose. A swirl really brings out tart, sharply funk sweat socks. Damp straw and horse-blanket cover the back end.

T - The wild side of this brew sticks to the aroma predominantly. A lot of citrusy, floral hops in the flavor with the Brett funk coming through after. Barnyard aplenty, it's backed very well by pale malt.

M - Deliciously tart but not outrageous, this lighter-bodied wild has a sharp and crisp carbonation finish that's great on the tongue.

D - A nice drinking wild with subtle complexities, easy drinking and flavorful, this goes down well and pairs nicely with a host of cheese!

BeerFMAndy, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of airohead2001
3.78/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part II of epic RR tasting including Tempt, Sancti, Beati, Suppl, and Consec. Thanks to glazeman for contributing this one, as well as the other two rarities in the bunch. Split this one with glazeman and z-pack while we watched some hillbilly show about hunting for gold; the protagonists spoke with a southern drawl and frequented phrases such as "frick" and "god-dangit."

Appearance is run of the mill for a RR sour - one finger head with decent retention, no lacing, and hazy yellow. This smells more like a saison and less like a sour - some banana, funk, and nutmeg. The taste is all about balance - not nearly as sour as I was expecting, which for the style, is not exactly what I'm looking for. Theres some lemon, but also some banana and clove. As was said by another BA during the tasting, this one sort of tastes like a saison as well. I don't feel that there is much depth to this - the drinkability is somewhat limited by the one dimensionality of this brew.

airohead2001, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of glazeman
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4

A: The color of this is a light orange color and is hazy. There is a ½ finger white head that has moderate retention, but not much lacing.

S: There's a lot of orange/lemon zest in the smell and not all that much sour acidity. Lastly, there's a tad of apple cider on the nose.

T: The first thing that struck me about this beer is that it was a lot yeastier than I expected, and less sour than I expected. There's a little bit of grapes. As it warmed though, I felt the beer became more balanced and the sourness became more pronounced. There's a lot of lemon in the flavor and a smidgeon of orange. In the finish there's a bit of nutmeg/peppercorn.

M: This beer had a great viscosity, not too light, and not too heavy. It was slightly lower on the spectrum of carbonation, but pretty good feel overall. Nice, balanced aftertaste.

D: Overall, I though this beer was excellent. I would definitely like to have it again someday.

glazeman, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of mithrascruor
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a very cloudy pale wheat/apricot color with no head. Mild sour aroma. The taste is very tart. Sour, with some wheat and yeast. Fruity aromas come out after a while, particularly under-ripe apricot or peach. No citrus at all in the flavor, and not as yeasty as I imagined. Medium bodied, and generally smooth. A bit like a wit meets a sour, but it works well: flavorful yet compelling

mithrascruor, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of kwjd
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewpub in Santa Rosa. Pours a straw yellow colour with thin white head. Nice head retention and lacing around the glass. Smells of sour grapefruit, grapes and lemon with something funky (I think this is brett, though I am not sure if I actually can identify this flavour or not). Quite a sour flavour, very dry, though it isn't as sour as some beers. Very unique flavour too. I really enjoyed this beer, I'd love to have it again.

kwjd, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of sweemzander
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Batch 004. Thanks to wunderbeer for this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy golden yellow color. Produced a good frothy white head that dissipated to froth. Plenty of lacing left behind.

(S)- Dry, with lots of Brett in this one! A bit of an earthy oakiness meshed in with the Brett character. A nice light fruity aroma of lemon peel, white grape, lime, and maybe even kiwi or pineapple. A delicate acidity and mild funk outside what the Brett puts out there, but a dynamic aroma for sure.

(T)- Very much dry Brett up front. Its actually quite dry with some subtle tart lemon-like fruits and an oaky earthiness. Some sour grapefruit pokes through at the end.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. The Brett addition definitely takes center stage, but does allow some tart and sour fruits and funky earth through.

(D)- Another world class sour from Russian River. Heavy on the Brett, but it is pulled off rather well. Definitely one of their more unique offerings. Definitely worth seeking out.

sweemzander, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. Batch 003. Shared at a tasting 1/8/11. 5oz. pour from a 750ml. corked and caged bottle into a Founder's snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a .5 finger white head with outstanding retention that sticks around for the entire session. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Lacing is web-like and layered with good stick.

S: Nose is musty cobweb funkiness. Crushed pineapple, mango, papaya, and apricot. Brett funkiness apparent in the background. Sweet and enticing overall but not the most aromatic.

T: Pineapple, papaya, and mango. Very tropical opening and middle. Brett funk. Slight light tartness in the back. Lemon and citrus. Cobweb and oakiness in the finish with no aftertaste.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly abrasive but rather oily overall in the mouth. Smooth with a some bubbles going down. Slightly messy finish with no aftertaste.

D: Compared to batch 004, Brett funk is not nearly as in-your-face in this one. Very balanced. Sweeter and fruitier than many of Russian River's other Wild Ales. Slight tartness but not sour due to the 100% Brett fermentation. This is definitely solid and worth a try but its a different animal than the batch 004 that's now out there.

SpeedwayJim, Jan 09, 2011
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,160 ratings.