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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,297 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,297
Reviews: 575
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,095
Gots: 695 | FT: 50
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: 2,297 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aasher
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, Batch 005 courtesy of the immortal nickd717 awhile back. Thanks again Nick!

This one had a nice pop when I pulled the cork. It poured a nice moderately cloudy gold in color with a one and a half finger bright white head that just sits atop the beer for minutes on end. It resembles a quality berliner weiss. It smells of light citrus, light yeast, some hay, light grapefruit, is lighty acidic and has what I'd describe as tartness, not so much sour. The flavors consist of sour grapefruit, sour apples, brett, lemons, and it has a nice tart and dry finish. It drinks light and only moderately dry. I find it the most drinkable of the Russian River sours that I've tried thus far. It just has really nice balance. Overall I really like this one and prefer it to their other rotating sours.

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

Batch 5, poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy light orange with a half finger thick white head.  Settles to thin film with big bubbles.

Smells very citrusy, mostly oranges, clementines, and maybe some lemon.  Pretty big gueuze-like sour nose.

Right up front it's sour and funky Brett.  Most of tartness reminds me of orange rind and zest, some white cherries.  Very slight peppery and dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with plentiful carbonation.  Prefect for the style.

Overall this was very enjoyable, it reminds me of Cantillon Gueuze, but not as balanced.

Photo of alenonbeeradv
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - hay blond yellow with a slight orange glow. hazy with a bubbly champagne like head half a finger thick with surprising retention.

s - funky.. slightly metallic. sour barnyard. very musky.

t - sour citrus peel. grape fruit. green apple.

m - again very champagne like. very zesty and alive. nice and crisp as well. very clean aftertaste for a sour.

o - great. love it. want it. age it. spread it. great go to sour as long as i got 10 bucks to throw down on a glass.

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

appearance - golden pale and clear and then i poured the bottom of the beer and it got cloudy like no ones business, opaque even

smell - a bit of ham, sour cherries, a bit of brett but nothing strong or offending

taste - im not crazy about wild ales that are too intense so this was really nice for me, dark cherries and some brett, minor sour

mouthfeel - smooth for a sour, love it, great carbonation like most of their beers

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

Batch 005 from a bottle. Pours a hazy golden yellow with a thin layer of head and a good amount of small fine bubbles (almost champagne like, I'd guess from the bottle conditioning). Smell is funky like a strong cheese with a hint of tartness. The initial taste is an oaky funky flavor but fades out and showcases a pale grain flavor. Mouthfeel is dry and the carbonation is enough to pop on the tongue.

Perhaps not as much going on flavor-wise as Consecration or Supplication but it's still a great beer and a mouth-puckering sour. Recommended for sure.

Photo of samie85
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes; originally 6/9/11.

A-Pours a hazy blonde color with two fingers of dense, cratery white head.

S-Leather and cherry pie notes with some light pale malt aromas.

T-Tart, refreshing cherries with leather and some earthy notes on the finish.

M-Light to medium bodied with a good amount of prickly carbonation and a dry feel.

D-Very palatable and refreshing beer that is wonderful after a full day of walking all over sunny San Francisco.

Photo of kbnooshay
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like chicha. Cloudy yellow hazy milky lookin masterpeice. Frothy creamy off white head. Smells like Sour apple. Mmmm. Amazing smell. Tastes super Sour and slightly puckering. This is funky from the Brett. Woohoo. This is so balanced and tasty. Tingly dry feel.

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

Pours a vibrant yellow with hues of orange. Has a small white head and is cloudy.

Smells sour and acidic. Not much distinction beyond that.

Tastes of pineapple and sour, tropical fruit. Has a nice level of sourness, something akin to the New Belgium sours. Hints of wheat as well.

It is highly carbonated from the bottle conditioning and is light and goes down easy.

This is a fantastic sour...lighter but with a distinct, fruit-like sourness that is completely pleasing. I want more of this.

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

Batch 5....375 ml bottle generously provided by Alex. Thanks buddy!

Pours the color of pineapple juice and just as murky/cloudy. Some clumpy lacing grabs at the edges and holds tight.

Smells of a funky lemon wearing his best Brett laden cloak. A man around town he'd be.

Mildly puckering and sour. Opens lime and green apple peel and then transitions to a dusty middle with a touch of rubber. It doesn't necessarily detract, but it is slightly distracting. Finish is cracker and funk with a tart dryness.

Mouthfeel is snappy and carries the flavors quite well.

Overall, it's not the Brettiest, tartest, our sourest beer on the block, but it's comfortable in it's own skin and ain't that what's it's all about?

Photo of black13
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005

Heard a nice pop when I popped the cork, which was a great relief to know my first Sanctification would not be a flat one. Poured a golden hue of yellow into my HotD tulip glass giving a nice full inch of fluffy head. The head did dissipate leaving a nice splattering of lace and a good ring of bubbles on the edge.

Being a newb to the world of wilds, this one seems pretty mellow, but not in a bad way. I pick up some acidity and some lemony citrus aromas. There is also another aroma I pick up and I would guess that is the yeast as its almost bready to me.

Very crisp and refreshing. It starts off with what I would call a lemon apple zest, then finishes with a dry brett/bready maltiness. I look forward to trying more brett and getting a grasp for its full flavors.

Medium body with an almost champagnesque carbonation. After having a bottle of champagne the other night, I would say this is a champagne beer, and this is a good thing. Alcohol is not detectable.

Very drinkable. I still need more time with sours and wilds to get a feel for them, but this one was a nice introduction. I'm still not sure what barnyard funk and hay taste like, but someday I will get there. I will be enjoying many of these if the weather gets nice and hot.

Photo of jwinship83
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and caged bottle acquired in a trade with azurescens. thanks dan! drank out of the appropriate russian river "tion" glass while coincidentally wearing my russian river t shirt.

A- the beer pours out of the bottle a glowing bright golden colored body with a haze to it. on top sits a bright white head that quickly fizzes away to become no more than a crown. thick rings of lacing are left on the sides of my glass. very nice.

S- strong odor of funky brett erupts from my glass. barnyards, wet hay, and wild cheese immediately come to mind. lemon zest and green apple skin also show up but are less pronounced. a spicy peppery thing going on towards the end.

T- the taste starts out with a bretty kick that was much weaker than the smell would have indicate. pepper, lemon zest, funky barnyard odors, green apple skins and maybe a hint of grapes. lightly puckering also.

M- the body is on the upper side of light. the carbonation is on the upper end of medium. sour without being over powerfully puckering. nice dry finish.

O- this was an enjoyable beer that went down very quickly. the alcohol is extremely well hidden. something id love to pick up again to drink as well as lay some down to age. russian river is the king of the american wild ale.

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 5

A- Pours a nice hazy golden yellow with nice 1 finger white head, dissapates quickly

S-Smells of tangerine and lemon and also some nice earthy tones, A nice refreshing aroma

T- Starts off with a little funk taste ten moves on to that nice citrus flavors. In the middle comes the sourness and then finishes with a walk through the cirtus garden. SUper refreshing

M- Medium to light bodied. Has nice carbonation and really has a good feel in the mouth

D- Overall this is an amazing sour by Russian River wish I could get them more often but I enjoy them while I have them.

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

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Poured a hazy golden yellow with a nice finger of frothy head that retained well. Yeasty aroma, with lots of light fruits and some underlying spice. Yeasty and grassy to the taste, a sweet malty base, with sour notes of lemon zest, pear, apples, and white wine, and a tad of peppery spice in there somewhere. Crisp hop bitterness and general sourness gives a nice dry finish. Light-medium mouthfeel, and very nice to drink.

Photo of josiahschlender
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had very few sour beers, so it's exciting for me to try one out. Picked this batch 005 bottle up at the local Trader Joe's of all places.

Definitely a fan of the cork and hefty bottle, very classy. This beer lives up to its blonde moniker on the label. It's pale golden in color with an ample head in my wine glass. The foam settles fairly soon and leaves just a little bit of lace.

I definitely smell bananas, along with a little bit of mustiness that I've heard about with brett beers. Maybe some faint spices like cloves. Not as intense as I expected, but pleasant.

Flavors pack much more wallop. Only a little of the light, fruity bananas, and intense puckery sour. Not quite the citric sourness of a lemon, but more like sour candy. Lots of complexity with this beer being very sour yet having balancing sweetness in the front and middle of my mouth, while finishing long and dry with sourness fading to something more herbal.

I'm a sucker for big, flavorful beers, and this one satisfies that in a new dimension differently than the big IPAs and stouts. Thanks Russian River for delivering us beers to expand our minds and tastes!

Photo of nickfl
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with just over one finger of white foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The foam dissipates fairly quickly but leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Soft, bready malt with notes of pear and pineapple as well as lighly funky brett and herbal hops in the background.

T - Rich malt with light, lemony sourness up front. Some more lemon peel and black pepper notes come out in the middle with more bread-like malt. The beer finishes with notes of pithy lemon, moderately bitter herbal hops and black pepper. Some light, herbal funk lingers on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Very nicely done, as expected. This is quite reminiscent of Orval, with a lighter malt body and more citrus character. The aroma has quite a bit of earthy funk, the element that brings Orval to mind, while the wild character comes out more as a lemony tartness in the flavor profile. Well balanced, relatively simple and absolutely brilliant. It certainly wasn't a cheap bottle, but this is one of those rare beers that is genuinely a bargain at any price.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a snifter

A- Attractive yellow straw appearance, one finger white foamy head dissipates slowly to ½ finger head, excellent lacing, nice carbonation, attractive yellow straw appearance.
S- Very refreshing, nice well sour aroma, brett, lemon, green grapes, sour apple, hints of spice, just an amazing aroma from this beer.
T- The taste is what makes this beer truly amazing, Sour funk, very refreshing, green grapes, sour apple, hints of lemon, very tasty brew with a clean finish.
M- Light mouth feel, low carbonation in the taste, clean finish, very refreshing.
O- I have heard so many good things about this beer, and I was not let down. Incredibly refreshing and delicious, excellent tasting sour, with an amazing drinkability.

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

A: Pale straw yellow with a huge frothy head that dissipates to a thin but steady layer; lacing is fair

S: Lots of tart fruits: lemon, apple, and pear with a touch of vinegar but mostly tart fruits; some grainy, grassy barnyard funk is prevalent as well

T: Dry and tart up front; nice tart fruits: Granny Smith apples, pears, and lemons; also a wonderful yeasty-brett bitterness and funk that mixes well with the dry fruits and subtle grassy and grainy malts

F: Bubbly up front--nearly zapping the tongue; it sits nicely on the back of the mouth; maybe a touch too thin

O: Such a nice, tart beer and so refreshing; a nice take on the blonde ale; not the most sour beer but a nice sour to get your mouth wet; good work as usual Russian River

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

Batch 005 375ml poured into my lost abbey stemware

Appearance- Pours a lemon and a shade darker yellowish/blonder color with a bit of haziness in it. Not the best looking RR sour out there, but an overall good looking beer.

Smell- Typical RR barnyard funk. Some sour apples, vinegar, and a nice round of typical citrusy fruits.

Taste- Great Brett funk to it. It carries over that great barnyard smell into the taste, wet horse, and fresh soil. It also has a nice lemony citrus to it with a bit of spice coming in the back end. As it is a sour blonde, it is light and refreshing on the pallate.

Mouthfeel- Great carbonation. It is nice and effervescent and has a medium body to it. Nothing super special going on here.

Overall- A great example of a RR sour. There are better, but I think this one is not as mouth puckeringly sour as some of the others. Maybe a better RR sour to start out on for the sour beginner or faint of heart.

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

Review #8
Batch 005 - 375ml

My first time trying this beer, picked up a bottle while passing through Denver.

A - Pours a hazy, straw-yellow with two-finger head.

S - Granny Smith apples, Brett, and lemons. Very pleasant on the nose.

T - Tart green apples and lemon, sour with nice funk from the Brett.

M - I found this to be quite crisp, nice carbonation. Mouth-puckering, but not overwhelming.

O - I really enjoyed this and will look to acquire more bottles whenever I can. Very refreshing.

Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005

Pours cloudy lemon gold with a large white four finger head with great retention and lacing. The aroma has Brett, barnyard funk, lemon, and pepper.

The flavor delivers what the aroma promised, and a little more. Brett, barnyard funk, lemon, green apples, and pepper. A very nice tart / sour beer.

Light to medium bodied with a good amount of tartness and lively carbonation. Finishes nice and dry, just the way it should. A very nice beer, which I will seek out again.

Photo of megahurts4
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Russian River Sanctification

Appearance: straw yellow, medium-large head, and a little lacing.

Smell: sour grain.

Taste: sourness, grains, and a nice barley flavor.

Mouthfeel: medium, carbonated, and slightly bitter.

This is an interesting sour. It starts off as a normal sour, but then turns into a blonde leaving the sourness as a recent memory.

Photo of
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5

a-pours a cloudy yellow with a big head that settles into a modest top that gives thin, but good lacing down the glass.

s-some sour, barn yard, lemons, apple. Smell gets better as the beer warms.

t-sour but not over the top. has a clean finish, but the taste takes a while to finish. Taste the Brett for sure, but it is undercontrol in this beer. Has some lemons and grassy notes for me as the beer warms.

m-coats the toung, but is clean in the end. Feel is just right, not too thin or thick.

o-impressed with this RR sour. I'll be buying more to out away. Think the beer is well balanced and the sour and barnyard is under control. Really pleased with this beer, just wish it was a 750ml not a 375ml!

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

Had a very fresh keg of this on-tap shortly after release, let's see how the bottle compares:

Batch 5, poured from a caged-and-corked 375mL bottle into my Drie Fonteinen tumbler.

Cloudy, glowing, stil de grain yellow liquid capped by a lasting lip of magnolia foam.

Bright yeasty, floral, citrusy aromatics bursting with tart funk. Lovely.

Cherry pits, lemon skin, lemongrass, horse sweat, peppercorn, and rich soil form the flavor profile. Very clean malt (with a tart almost wheat like character too) and citrus as well. Light and fresh, with good complexity.

Creamy, medium-bodied, effervescent, and very refreshing.

Very bright and flavorful - the Brett. seems more forward in the bottle vs. my memory of the on-tap version. While over-all I think I prefer Supplication, this is more refreshing. Russian River works their magic again.

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

To begin, it is incredible satisfying to uncork beer, it makes it seem very sophisticated.

The beer was marked batch 005.

A pleasant lemon grass sour smell dominated the beer but the barnyard smell of Brett was also there.

The beer poured a straw yellow and had an impressive level or carbonation that danced for the eyes and on the tongue

The beer tasted sour like lemonade and as it warmed started to taste more and more like barnyard.

Overall this was a very unique beer that was a great treat. I would never want to have one every day but it certainly spiced up my normal selection of brews.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light yellow color with a huge 4 inch white head that fades into a chunky small cap. Very distinct rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells funky/musty from the Brett with some sour fruit notes as well. Taste is somewhat fruity all around with green apples and sour citrus fruits in harmony with the funk from the Brett. A good level of carbonation but I was expecting much more after the 4 inch head on the initial pour. Beer is pretty crisp with each sip but leaves a stickiness in the mouth as well. Overall, this is a solid wild ale from RR but not as good as some of their others in my opinion.

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,297 ratings.