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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SanctificationSanctification

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,039 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,039
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,066
Gots: 627 | FT: 37
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: 2,039 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

Huge thanks to Adam (Nanoslug) for sending this directly from the source. Growler filled on the 4th of January and consumed exactly two weeks later while watching the Cardinals(!) make it to the Super Bowl with Dave & Randall.

A - I had a few glasses of this, and it looks way better in a flute or tulip - not so interesting in the oversized wine glass. Big foam that sticks around forever and leaves great lacing. Semi-transparent apricot color with a nice golden shimmer to it. A few bubbles lazily rise to the top.

S - Funk AND sour AND sweet - Brett (obviously), horse blanket, must, touch of vinegar, white wine, and a mix of fruits in the background (sour apple & cherry, sweet pears & citrus). One of the most complex bouquets I've gotten from a Wild Ale.

T - Starts out really tart, with some bite to it. It's hard to get a handle as every time I take a sip an different one of those aforementioned flavors pops out. The funkiness of the Brett is the main "flavor", but it never overpowers and always complements one of the secondary flavors. Kind of like a kaleidoscope - the elements remain the same but they always combine for different overall pictures.

M - Dry finish, doesn't leave too much candy aftertaste. Crisp and refreshing, albeit a little thin. Carbonation is well done - not overwhelming.

D - I think the funkiness and carbonation would prevent consumption of mass quantities. Each of us had two glasses, and no one was running to the fridge for more after that point. Otherwise it's easy drinking with its well hidden ABV and great taste.

I was really curious to see the results of 100% Brett, and in the hands of Russian River this is definitely impressive. Highly recommended to all lovers of sours.

MasterSki, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of RodBurg
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%

Two of my good friends came down from Santa Rosa to celebrate New Years and were gracious enough to bring me a growler. Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a small white head and Spotty lacing.

Nose is all funk. Lots of bretty barnyard with lighter notes of sour lemon and citrus.

Lemony funk dominates the taste. Less carbonation than I expected. Ends with a dry and crisp citrus flavor. Not too sour, but still a tad puckering.

Another great wild/sour from RR. Flavorful, crisp and refreshing. Supposedly this one is all brett and it really shows.

RodBurg, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of LilMatrix
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

I'm fortunate and lucky enough to have visited Santa Rosa and picked up a growler to bring home. I must also add that the RRBC growler is one sexy beast.

A - Pours semi-cloudy, a beautiful golden color with a orange tint. Little head and lacing, this could be due to having this from a growler however. Looks like apple juice.

S - DA FUNK BOYEEE! Brett hits the nose hard along with some barnyard, fruit, and vinegar.

T - Lemons, grapes, apples, grassy. Pleasing tart crisp finish. Love da funk. A bit lip puckering (>,<)

M -Light, crisp, and goes down smooth and easy. Medium to light carbonation, this again could be attributed to the growler.

D - Big surprise huh? Another wonderfully delicious beer from Russian River? I love the sours from Russian River and this one is very drinkable. I'll be sad when the growler is empty =(

LilMatrix, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of OStrungT
4.93/5  rDev +13.9%

This beer pours a slightly cloudy golden color, with a fluffy, white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice sized lacing.

This beer has a very mild tart aroma. It has an earthy yeast aroma as well. It has some grainy notes to it. Also, is has some citrusy lemon aroma. This is one of the more complex wild ales I have sampled.

This beer tastes like it smells. Complex. Sour, tart, fruity, grainy, and yeasty all at the same time. Very nice.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a tart citrusy aftertaste. Carbonation is good after 24 hours in my unopened growler.

This beer would make a good session beer. It tastes great, and it is not overly high in alcohol.

Overall: I had this one on tap after the Consecration yesterday, and that was a mistake. The Consecration affected my pallette, and I couldnt fully appreciate this one. My wife insisted on a growler, and now I have come to see this beers subtle charm. This one is a winner. Not as sour as I expected, but very complex.

OStrungT, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of grub
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 1: Sour/Wild Ales. Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. batch 003. sampled nov 27/08.

pours hazy orangey gold with a big fluffy white head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is great. nice bright citrus character - lemon, orange peel, bit of tangerine. light alcohol. white bread and crackers. hint of vinegar. bit of grain. touch of perfumey floral character.

taste is good. lemony. leather. horse blanket. light grapefruit. tangerine. bit of alcohol. touch of vinegar. white bread and crackers. the acid/vinegar component is restrained, coming across more funky than sour.

mouthfeel is great. medium-high silky smooth carbonation. light body with a nice dry finish.

drinkability is great. the acidity and sourness is restrained, not dominating the nice funky component or taking away from the drinkability. great balance overall. tasty stuff.

grub, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of DrJay
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%

Big thanks to Viggo for cracking this one open. Day 1 of the 2008 Biergotter Tasting.
Cloudy straw yellow with a big, fluffy white head. Good retention, some clumpy lacing. The aroma was heavy on brett earthiness, with some wet straw, grass, and funk leading the way. It also smelled of a sharp tartness that had an edge of vinegar and lemon. Flavour was tart too, light vinegar character and a bit of saltiness. It was juicy too, with a fair bit of berry flavour. Nicely balanced overall, with the sourness kept from overpowering the beer. Light bodied with slightly spritzy carbonation, surprisingly smooth texture. Really quite tasty and balanced for a sour beer, likely due to the brett playing nice with us.

DrJay, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev 0%

Big thanks to HopHobo for sending this my way in a trade. Day 1 of insane DrJay visit epic tasting.

Pours a cloudy golden, big thick pillowy off white head forms, drops some nice lacing, settles to a thin layer, great retention, looks nice. Smell is neat, brett funkiness, some acidity, lemon and orange zest, wood, leather, honey, vanilla, barnyardiness, straw, pretty nice. Taste is acidic to begin, oak, quite tannic, lemon juice, funky, grapefruits, very juicy, nice and sour in the finish, vinegary, pretty kickass. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation, very drinkable sour, sourness is well balanced, very nice. I dig this one a lot, lots of character but not over the top. Thanks a ton Matt!

Viggo, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of bifrostguard
4/5  rDev -7.6%

A - Hazy golden yellow with minimal head that left no lacing.

S - Citrus, mainly oranges and lemons. A mild wheat smell followed.

T - Sour and tart. Lemons and oranges are the fruits of note in this one. Much less sour than expected, but still very enjoyable.

M - Dry and medium bodied.

D - Sours really aren't my thing so I'll usually call it a day at one, but could drink more if choices are limited.

bifrostguard, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of egajdzis
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%

Batch 001... Poured a hazy, yellow orange color with a small, white head that left no lacing on the glass. Aroma of leather, horseblanket, dank cobwebs, citrus fruits as well. Taste of brett, orange, citrus peels, white grapes, and sour lemons. Really nice beer.

egajdzis, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%

A: An opaque light golden body with a white head.
S: Couldn't smell a whole lot; mainly could pick up wheat and maybe some fruit.
T: Sour oranges and wheat with a bitter wheat-like finish.
M: Smooth, round, good amount of carbonation.
D: Not as outstanding or intense as their Consecration and, as such, much easier to drink.

lhaqq, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of abfraser
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%

On tap at CBS in San Francisco. Heard they weren't bottling this batch, so very happy to get the chance to get some.

A: Straw yellow to yellow, hazy, with a minimal head. Looks like pretty active carbonation

S: Brett sour, with tart lemon and citrus, pear. Some muskiness and earthiness.

T/M: Excellent. Exactly like the aromas and then some. Brett sour nicely balanced with a tart citrus and subtle muskiness. Mouthfeel is light bodied, dry as hell, with nice active carbonation. This is the RR sour that most closely resembles a Belgian gueuze.

D: Exceptionally drinkable. Perfect balance, low-ish abv. Refreshing. I could drink this all night

This is my favorite RRBC sour beer, perhaps because its not over the top mouth-puckering, but more subdued. Awesome stuff. If you like sours, seeks this out.

abfraser, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -7.6%

750ml bottle of batch 003 courtesy of Asymon13. Nice orange-yellow color and a funky smell. there was a hint of the perennial favorite barnyard, brett, brett, brett. The taste was a little sour with a bretty pineapple flavor that reminded me of DeProef La Deux Brasseur. Good beer, not as sour as I expected but easy drinking and delicious.

ArrogantB, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of jojox
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%

Batch 003.

a - cloudy gold. Thin head. Holding well. Never went away, actually.

s - Nice and sour. What are the words? Citrus, acid, vinegar?

t - sour for sure, but not hugely. Balanced by a saison-style background. Mild, really, but the sour is of the type of delicious sour like Cantillon. I need to isolate the different strains and flavors, so I can describe these more appropriately.

m - super CO2, like mouse. Not puckering sour, but sour nonetheless

d - Really good. Could drink for a long time!

jojox, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%

Batch 003
Fermented with 100% Brett

A - Bright golden with 1 finger of bubbly white head. It looked lively in the bottle so I poured slowly.

S - Very strong funky Brett aroma, slightly tart with a hint of lemon and citrus. Some barnyard aromas appear and then disappear. They seem to only be present after a fresh pour from the bottle. Tart apples and pears mixed with sweet tart candy as it warms.

T - Funky Brett yeast, crisp tart green apples, sour grapes, lemon and citrus, sweet tart candy like, and a touch of pale malt.

M - Light and airy, somewhat dry with crisp carbonation.

D - Fresh pours create a funky Brett beer that reminded me of the Flemish Primitive series but disappeared into a much more complex beer as it warmed. Very nice without being a lot of barnyard found in other Brett beers.

brewcrew76, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of mentor
3.6/5  rDev -16.9%

Pours a thin layer of pinkish-white head over a cloudy dead straw liquid. Smells dank horseblanket with light bright cherry. Lemon, pineapple, and green grape.

Tastes woody drieness with cherry sweet pucker. Lemon, oranges, green apple, and dash of clovey phenol. Md-light mouthfeel with some silkiness. Medium carbonation and moderate drinkability.

mentor, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Just as I had to give this a perfect 5 when I first experienced it (and then over and over) at the Russian River brewpub in the August of '07, I have to do the same for this bottle, Bactch 003 that I brought back from that same trip. This bottle poured a beautiful clear golden with a generous white head. The smell is just sour. Also a bit funky/earthy as it warms up, but not overwhelming. The taste I can't really describe as anything other than sour but it's just so good to me. This is my favorite sour beer of all time, at least so far.

MiScusi, May 13, 2008
Photo of DIM
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%

batch 003

a: This was a mostly clear, pale, golden yellow color. It poured with a large frothy white head that lasted a long time and stuck nicely to the side of the glass.

s: This has a surprisingly gentle, yet still enticing nose. Sour is of course the dominant characteristic. Apple cider vinegar comes to mind. I also detected some funky, semi-rotten grains, honey suckle, and just a touch of alcohol. I feel like there is more here beyond my ability to describe.

t: As with the smell, there are layers here that I just do not have words for. Adjectives like sour and funky come to mind of course, but there is more. Musty, grainy, apple cider flavors with some vinegar dominate. The finish is dry, peppery, and a bit floral. Upon further consideration, there are some apricot and peach flavors as well.

m: Most sour beers I've tried have had very lively, aggressive carbonation. This one though is gentle and almost creamy. So with this one, the sour assault on the tongue is blunted somewhat by the lack of peppery carbonation. The sour dryness lingers for quite a while after the last sip.

t: I've wanted to try a RR wild ale since I first logged on to BA. Big, big thanks to JohnGalt1 for the chance. The gentle carbonation makes 750ml relativley easy to drink. I hope I get the chance to try more from RR, as this was outstanding.

DIM, May 12, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

batch 002 - thanks to whoever sent me this

appearance: poured from the corked/caged 750ml bottle into a bells tulip...active and lively bubbles, huge foamy crest, bright golden body, very clear but full of distortion

smell: if an aroma can be bright, this would meet that characteristic...sour and tart lemon and citrus, explosions of active yeast, cider vinegar

taste: funky brett yeast all over the place, apple vinegar, tart-sour cherry/lemon/orange citrus, refreshing hop presence, bready, high complexity. its a belgian pale with tart/yeasty interminglings throughout - quite enjoyable

mouthfeel: light and full of life

drinkability: easy street

dirtylou, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%

Thanks to Tip Top for this one.

Batch 002.

Pours a slightly dull apricot gold color with a rocky head which leaves some lacing as it settles.

A big yeasty aroma is the first thing I detect with a mixture of peaches, apricots, orange and cherries right behind the malt. There's are a spicy aroma and hints of wheat that remind me of a Belgian wit. Some sweet lemon is hiding in the back with the spices.
Sweet bread and honey make up the malt in this beer.

Tart fruit and sea salt is what I get at first contact. Not as fruity as I though it would be but there is some bitter nectarine, lemon, and un-sweetened peach. There's a good dose of funk and tartness which makes this a sipper. The mouth-feel is also a thin enough to make this a good candidate for the summer days.

My least favorite wild ale from Russian River so far but that isn't necessarily a bad thing to say, this is a very well done funky beer.

seaoflament, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of sessycuban
4.2/5  rDev -3%

Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco.

A - The beer pours a misty yellow with a foamy head.

S - The smell is a bit sour, but not overpowering. Lot's of sweet fruits, honey to be specific. Lots of spices as well.

T - To echo the sentiments of another reviewer, this beer, to me, tastes very much like a braggot. It could be the yeast strain, as I doubt Vinnie used honey in this brew, but it tastes like a braggot, a very good one at that.

M - Thin to medium body, well carbonated.

D - If it wasn't so hard to find, I could drink this beer very often. Again, I think it tastes like a braggot. For those interested, you might want to compare this brew with Rabbit's Foot Meadery Biere de Miele.

sessycuban, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%

Batch 002, acquired via trade with Vancer. Thanks Vance!

A cloudy yellow with a big white head and lots of rentention.

Smells very sour. Lots of fruit notes hit the nose, especially grapes. A strange almost midly spicy tone comes through too, I assume these are the Bretts.

Very sour. I guess that's the point, but I thought it still deserved mention. In the middle is what I thought was spicy in the aroma, but spicy is the wrong word. I assume this is the Bretts, but I could be wrong. It reminds me of a Braggot (if that is helpful to anymore, not sure it will be). Also lots of fruits are on the palate here, espcially grape. Other fruits come through, I seem to pick up a peachy flavor.

Fairly light body, very well carbonated.

The drinkability here is pretty good. Shared this bottle with a friend and he hated it, so I'm drinking the entire 750ml bottle.

Hojaminbag, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%

So here it is, Review #900. Been a long road to here, but just keep on truckin'! I decided to go with something a little special. Had a bottle of Sanctification batch #03 sitting in the fridge and figured this would fit the bill just about right.

The pour was very nice, a rich hazy and cloudy bright golden yellow with a ton of carbonation riddled throughout it. Very nice three finger high head of white foam appeared over the top and stayed around for a good few minutes before settling down to a one finger high pillow that lasted throughout the entire session. Very nice thick side glass lace throughout the entire session and there was a good little bit of sedimentation present on the bottom of the glass. Very nice look and I was morethen excited to dive into this one.

The aroma was strong, pungent and very sour. Ahh the lovely aroma of Brett in full force here. Pungent aromas of grapes just all over this one. A nice fruity vibe as it warms, with hints of peaches, and apples, light fruit in general were all lying deep underneath, however the real story was the gorgeous amounts of sour notes that were all over this one. Really quite beautiful. The flavor followed along perfectly. With a light airy body, this was an ideal beer for the evening. Lots of carbonation and an increasingly complex profile just really lit it up. There was the undeniable taste of Bret rippling through it, providing me with the great sour taste, but below that lots of peach and pear flavors were increasingly poking their heads around, letting you know there were there as well. A nice light grain flavor made up the base and kept things from getting out of control. There was an nicel ong drawn out finish that really tightened things up nicely and left a good fresh grass and sour grape flavor in your mouth for a good long time. The drinkability on this one was superb, with a deep flavor profile, that was just light enough to be enjoyed all night.

Overall I thought this one was excellent and more then deserving of the rep that it has. Really a tight ale here that I would love to try again any day. Absolutly superb in everyway, this was just pure quality. Great job!

mikesgroove, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%

bottle shared at tasting. Thanks!
Pours a semi cloudy yellowish orange color with a very short lived head. Smell is tame, lightly bretty, oaky and well rounded. Taste is oaky, dry, tart, and a light but sharp and pleasant funkiness to the malt. Very drinkable and remarkable smooth, I thought. Great beer.

JDV, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

Don't remember who sent it but got this one for winning one of the BA Fantasy Football Leagues. This beer alone made winning soooo awesome.

A: Pours a beautiful clear pale yellow hue with a nice thick white foamy head. A nice head is left sitting atop the brew right down to the last gulp. Nice lacing was noted all the way down the glass.

S: God I am in love. Tons of Brett in this one. This is gonna be one funky brew. Below the funk lies beautiful aromas of green apple and lemon zest. Tinges of banana and wet hay finish it out.

T: Lots of funk right up front. This baby has tons of Brett and it really comes thru. Nice touches of sour apple cut thru the yeast as does touches of banana. Citrus comes in the middle, more bitter and bitter with very little sweetness. Touches of pepper can be noted in the finish along with the lingering funk. I really like it.

M: Nice light and bubbly. The finish is fairly dry.

D: Good, I enjoyed this one thoroughly.

Overall: This is one nicely balanced funky brew. It is not over the top like some wild ales I have tried. There is a perfect amount of funk, sourness, and fruit in this one. The carbonation is perfect and oh the Brett. I loved it. If I could have only one wild ale I believe this just may be the one.

tpd975, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of BillyB
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

Tried this one at the bar at the Spinnerstown Hotel in PA.

Poured a burnt golden with a thick, rocky white head. Some sediment settles at the bottom after floating a bit.

Aroma was overwhelmingly tart and sour. Smelled sour apples, lemon, wood and hay as well.

Tastes were similar to aroma. Strong sourness, apples, maybe a hint of citrus fruit. Lemon, wood, wet hay and a hint of grass.

Mouthfeel was very crisp and refreshing. Light bodied and highly carbonated with an acidic, dry finish.

BillyB, Mar 10, 2008
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,039 ratings.