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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

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2,349 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,349
Reviews: 583
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 1,104
Gots: 735 | FT: 56
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:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-27-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,349 | Reviews: 583 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Alex (Masterski) for providing this treat. THis arrived in March, but I waited until now since I saw some notes that said this batch could use some cellaring. Batch 005

Fluffy whipped egg white head that is truly bright white in color. Nice retention with some clinging thick lace. Bright gold color with nice clarity.

Aroma is of white wine, white grape, green apple and with a touch of tartness in the finish

I really like this one. Not sure what the 7 months in the cellar did, since this is my first one, but it taste wonderful. Light malt, some earthy notes, light tart flavors mix with green apple and even a bit of pear. A moment of roasted nut. Slightly acidic and tart finish. Some earth notes come back towards the end again.

Very light and delicate. Very tiny carbonation that brings brightness. Slightly acidic, not overly so.

Really nice and refreshing. Wasn’t sure what the first beer of the night would be and this was a fantastic choice

Another well done Russian River item.

Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bright, deep gold, very big off-white head slowly shrinks to thin foamy top, and some nice lace.

Aroma is wonderful funky/barnyard rustic yeastiness with hint of vinegar, light fruits, herbs, wildflowers, some grain, hint of wine, bread, and sweetness. It is very nice.

Taste is crisp, light character, sour but not overly so, tart with hint of sweetness. It has sour lemon and tart fruits up front, with some peppery spice and herb, then biscuit and bread in the finish. It has a good, well-rounded but very light, somewhat thin character, a bit bland and “dry.” It’s very good and very drinkable, but lacks character.

Photo of ehammond1
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A clear shimmering golden ale with beautiful carbonation and an appropriate thin white cap atop its head. Love it!

A biting and bright aroma consisting of tart fruitiness (lemon), Brett funk, and a bit of spicy black pepper.

Supremely sour yet also plenty of bright fruit sweetness as well: lots of lemon, a bit of apple, earth, grass. Balanced nicely; a complete sour.

Thin to medium mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation--a delight to drink.

Just about a perfect American wild. This beer's greatness lies in it's perfected simplicity. The flavors are clean, bright, and powerful. This is a world-class sour.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Batch 005.

Appearance - Crystal clear yellow gold body with a small white head. The bubbles are big and the head isn't so pillowy. It was a bitch getting the cork out of this, too.

Smell - Bretty and a bit funky. Not overly tart or funky, though. Lemon smells and a very musty smell in the back.

Taste - A little funky at first and then some tartness. Hardly a lot; it's more of a must like I got in the smell. It finishes with a strange wet sock flavor (I may have just made that up, but it seems to fit what I'm tasting) and a hint of sweetness, which is unpleasant.

Mouthfeel - Mostly light and effervescent, except for that finish. The sweetness kills it for me. It reminds me of a not-so-good Oud Bruin.

Overall - Tasty, but not really complex or outstanding in any way. My first of the RR wilds. We'll see how the others go.

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005, poured into a snifter from a 350ml bottle.

A Pours a pale golden color with a nice white head on top.

S lots of citrus especially lemon with a bit of barnyard funk from the brett.

T the taste follows the nose with lots of sour lemon citrus flavor, I can't seem to get more out of it then that.

M nice light mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall this is a very good sour that I would recommend to anyone new to the style. Its not overwhelming in the slightest which combined with the light body makes it pretty easy to drink.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 375 mL bottle corked and caged. Batch 005, served chilled into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange color. There is almost no head here at all and also very little visible carbonation.

Aroma: Notes of green apple, lemon, and pinepple are all there in nice harmony. A whole bunch of brett funk as well gives it the horse blanket, barnyard note. Also, a slightly cheesy note is hidden in the background.

Taste: Citrus, lemon, green apple, and tropical fruit notes hit first. Very flavorful and fruity upfront. As this begins to open up, and the fruit lessens on the palate, the brett really starts to shine through. Tons of horse blanket and barnyard. Very light and balanced. Definitely more funk to this than sour.

Mouthfeel: A light body and not much carbonation, as the appearance would suggest.

Overall, a really nice, funk wild ale. My biggest gripe was teh lack of carbonation in my bottle. Some more would have really heightened this beer. I really did enjoy some of the flavors though. That said, this was probably my least favorite Russian River sour, but I would definitely revisit sometime.

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

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.

Photo of GilGarp
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of depechemode1983
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of DelMontiac
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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

Photo of FosterJM
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of emerge077
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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!

Photo of dogfishandi
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of philbe311
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of camil1mj
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of Nashvillain
3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of biglobo8971
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.82/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of dgilks
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,349 ratings.