1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,151 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,151
Reviews: 572
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 1,079
Gots: 656 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,151 | Reviews: 572 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of pmccallum86
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great straw yellow color, very good.

Smell is great, very funky and tart smelling.

Taste brings the funk, not very sour or tart, just straight up funky. Good beer but all funk and no sour.

Smooth, medium carbonation, and creamy mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, one of the most drinkable wilds out there.

pmccallum86, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of hooliganlife
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big ups to my homie Richard for getting this for me

batch 4 - poured into a RR belgian glass.

pours a bright straw yellow, crystal clear through. big fizzy head that linger for ever. thick lacing on walls of glass

lots of vinegar up front. slight lactic sourness with a hint of lemon and orange.

starts out a bit sour with hints of lemon and then quickly turns into funk and barnyard animal beds. upon turning funk, the sourness turns a bit vinegar like. lots of funk in the finish.

a bit over carbonated but nice body. nice puckering dryness through the finish.

overall, good. i had this on tap at RR and it was FAR better IMO. this seems to be lacking some of the complexity.

hooliganlife, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Verecund
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4, opened on December 29, 2010.

Pours a harvest gold with slow ascending lines of bubbles reaching to the surface. A nice, frothy one finger head settles atop the golden body, leaving rings of lacing.

Malic acid, reminiscent of tart green apples, freshly squeezed lemon juice, peach / tropical fruits, damp hay, and the slightest hint of musty funk meets the nose. After one tastes the beer, the bretty funkiness shines more strongly in the aroma, but before, I mostly pick up notes of citric and lactic acid. Great balance; an almost perfect floral and fruity bouquet. Taste is markedly different, though familial to the nose: a straw undercurrent, lemon tartness, a touch of white flesh stone fruits (e.g., apricot), and some complementary earthy funk.

Dry and effervescent, as befits this particular sour style.

I've had this once before and, though I didn't take notes, I think this has improved ever so slightly, souring up a bit. I anticipate my final bottle of this batch.

Verecund, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Batch 004. Poured into a tulip glass a cloudy orange straw color with a slight white head that collars around the glass. The nose is pretty Brett with a very floral type aroma but not overly so in a bad way. The taste is fairly smooth with a strong Brett floral flavor. Some white wine like notes. Light mouthfeel. The lemon and sweetness is really nice in this beer. The Brett flavors really do a nice job in this beer.

kbutler1, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this. Poured into snifter.

Pours a light layer of white head. Color is a bright golden prairie straw. Good retention.

Aroma: Very golden ale like. Some herbal flavors with some floral notes. It is funky and has a decent amount of brett. It has some lemon citrus and a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. More brett here. Lemon citrus and sweetness. It has herbal and floral notes with a touch of spice. Again, very golden ale like with Belgian yeast. Has a grape/wine like flavor with some oak. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Pretty clean. Lighter bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, a really nice sour beer for RR. It was different from their others, but still good. Pretty drinkable. I was a fan of this one.

mothman, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.8/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not my favorite offering from RR but still a good beer.

Delicate straw orange color with lots of lacing and a nice head. Semi clear, has some haze to it though.

The smell is of funky, barnyard yeast saison with notes of bright fruit, brett.

Nice classic funk in the taste with a lesser wheaty saison base. Lemongrass notes are prominent, but theres a metallic edge that isn't great to it. Sweet as well. The mouth is good overall, bright on the palate.

Dreadnaught33, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft last week at Russian River Brewing Co. listed on their board as "100% Brettanomyces, 6.25%ABV" for $4 -poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a fairly clean straw-like hue, with a constant light effervescence, and basically no head and not much lacing either.

S: Very mellow woodiness and light Brett funk, green apples and grain.

T: Very mellow and similar to the nose, light funk, mild sourness with a grainy/bready finish. This is an extremely friendly Wild Ale and would be a good starting point for someone who wants to get into these types of wild/sour ales.

M: Light-bodied and similar feel to a dry champagne - smooth, crisp and clean, mellow carbonation and a bit of lactic bitterness that lingers a while, but is not overaggressive by any means.

D: All day drinker, especially in the hot summer months.

DeanMoriarty, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Joe - much obliged! Batch 004.

Pours a hazy golden color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light malts and huge amounts of brett - funk, wet hay, and light citrus.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by large hits of brett. There's less funk than in the aroma and the wet hay and citrus hold more sway in the flavor profile. The lightly tart citrus flavors intensify through to the end of the sip before they fade out into a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have another.

Overall after my first sniff of the beer I knew this was the most brett-forward beer I've had from RR. After giving it a few sips I found it to be close to a drier and more brett-forward version of Temptation. A very good beer that's well worth a shot.

glid02, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at Plumpjack Wine Store in San Francisco. Batch 004.

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Lightly hazed, golden body with a very thin, white, sticky head. A sparse column of carbonation stems from the etched bottom. Good retention. Impressive lacing.

Smell: Whoa! I can't help but smile when smelling this. Brett, overripe banana, lemon, flowers, and leafy vegetation. Pungent, complex, balanced, and gorgeous. Can't get enough of this.

Taste: Brett, lemon peel, candy-like tartness (think Warheads), and lighter flowery and/or herbal flavors - awesome!

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium in body, moderate-to-high in carbonation, and very tart. There's a bit of creaminess to this one, and I dig it. Very nicely done.

Drinkability: Very sour, very complex, and very enjoyable. Get some!

ThreeWiseMen, Nov 05, 2010
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,151 ratings.