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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,392 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,392
Reviews: 589
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 1,125
Gots: 752 | 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: 2,392 | Reviews: 589 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Kaydogg
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of hannydawg
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of shuajw
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

- Bottled 28-Jan-14
- 375mL bottle poured into Anchorage Teku on 21-Nov-14
Been awhile since I revisited the sour that got me into sours. Still the solid beer I remember it to be. I think I enjoy this as much as Beat, which is all good cause it's cheaper and easier to get.

- Batch #6
- 375mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 08-Apr-12
Crisp, clean, and very refreshing. Notes of apples, pears, and Vinegaryness and funk level reminds me of Cantillion classic. Touch of tartness. This is the sour that got me into sours. A classic.

- Tapped at Hollingshead Deli (Orange, CA)
- 10 oz. pour into tulip glass on 21-Feb-11

Photo of BrianTheBrewer30
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of n2185
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy straw yellow with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin cap with good lacing.

S: Light aromas of Belgian spices, candy sugar, sweet breads, a hint of bubblegum, tart cherries, lemons, and hay.

T: Lemony sourness and tart fruit flavors dominate with some musty barnyard flavors and hints of the Belgian spices and candy sugar. The finish is clean and lightly tart.

M: Light body with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being watery or overly carbonated.

O: A great beer overall without being overwhelmingly tart or sour and is super drinkable.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.67/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 004

Look: Golden yellow in color and a bit hazy with a fair head but little retention

Smell: Typical citrus lemony notes I associate with sours and quite a bit of Brett mixed in

Taste: Upfront the beer has quite a bit of sourness and then you get copious amounts of lemon zest

Mouthfeel: Medium to low body with ample carbonation

Overall: Glad I got the chance to try this one since I would never buy it for myself. Highly recommended if sours is your thing

Photo of Bendurgin
3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andy for sharing this one. Poured into a chalice. Pours a slightly hazy golden color a finger of fluffy white head that settles leavin some sticky lace. Lots of visible carbonation.

Lots of brett in the aroma, Hints of garden vegatable in the aroma with a good funky aroma. Slight hints of berries in the aroma. Funky brett on the pallet. A little bit of a band-aid (or adhesive strip) flavor with a touch of sourness on the finish.

The body is nice a light but the carbonation is a little bit high. I kind of just expands in your mouth. Overall this one is nice and funky. Pretty enjoyable.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AshleyMiller for this one. Batch 3x005 Poured into a chalice with a large white head. There is a bit of haze in this light golden color.

The aroma is full of earthy brett with a light hint of lemongrass. There is some malt sweetness with some biscuity aroma.

The taste starts out with some tartness that turns into some sweet maltyness with some earthy funk, finishing with the same tartness that started.

The body is light to medium with some soft to medium carbonation.

I'm a fan of this. This has some nice brett characteristics with a touch of tartness.

Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle in Colorado Springs. Poured a slightly hazy golden with a tall white head. Heck of a beer. It tasted like a clean geueze. It was still wonderfully sour, with a fantastic Brett character, but it wasn't rough around the edges (for better and worse). There seems to bet a light toast in the background, from either the barrel or barley, that makes a tasty complement to the ripping citrus sour. Mmm. What a sour.

Photo of oline73
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass. This bottle is from batch 6.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden with an orange hue. There is a finger of bubbly, off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very tart and lemony with some funk in there as well. There is also a mild herbal smell that works well with everything else.

Taste: Starts out very tart and funky. The herbal notes are more in the background than they were in the smell. The further you get into the sip, the more tart this beer gets.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer. I would have liked the herbal notes to be a little bit more pronounced in the taste, but that's just nitpicking.

Photo of PhatAtUT
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from the corked and caged bottle into a duvel tulip.

A: solid light orange/golden. not the least bit translucent. about an inch of thick white foam that holds together for several minutes before beginning to slowly dissipate.

S: musty. not an overpowering scent. kind of bready and yeasty with a faint sweetness. not getting a ton here, but my sense of smell isnt the sharpest.

T: sharp tartness at the start. mellows quickly to a slightly sour orange and grapefruit taste and then kind of a zesty orange-ish finish. i can taste a little hop bitterness, but every converges and the overall impression is well balanced.

M: well carbonated but incredibly smooth. its got the mouthfeel of a creamy champagne. perfect.

overall this is a very well crafted, impressive beer. it didnt blow me away and i wouldnt regularly seek it out (if it was available where i live), but im glad i got to try it, enjoyed drinking it, and hope to enjoy it again in the future.

Photo of russwbeck
3.55/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 005

A: Active, bubbly, yellow pour with a nice white head. Retention is great. The cork was really difficult to get out.

S: Smells a lot like a blonde ale, yeasty, light, fruits, with some Brett mixed in.

T: The taste is very sour, without much flavor to curb it. The typical hefeweizen-like flavors are there: yeast, banana, clove. But they are complimented with the sourness. Sort of an odd taste. A bit too sweet for my liking.

MF: Really carbonated, perhaps too much so. Light, but it has a strange aftertaste.

O: I was disappointed by this one. Just not enough flavor to hold it together. This was one odd sour.

Photo of Damian
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12.86 fl. oz./375 ml corked and caged bottle
Batch 005
Served in a tulip
Acquired in a trade with Douglasjamjak

The beer poured a crystal clear, golden yellow color with a bubbly, bright white, one-finger head of foam. Thick sheets of Brussels lacing cascaded down the glass with every sip. The beer bore a striking resemblance to Duvel.

The nose was a bit more subtle than I anticipated. Slightly musty and damp, yet also crisp and lemony with a dry, powdery yeastiness. The tart lemon/citrus character came out even more as beer warmed. Lots of oak and wood as well.

The taste was extraordinarily crisp and dry. At first, the beer reminded me a lot of a Champagne. Quite bright and lemony. Peppery and moderately tart. Musty on the back end. The finish was super oaky and surprisingly hoppy. The hops were likely of the Saaz variety and they lent the beer a grassy, slightly earthy bitterness. Overall, very clean and refreshing. I was hoping for a bit more tartness and funk however. With time, the flavor profile became ever more oaky and dry. While I initially thought of comparing this beer to a Champagne, it later reminded me more of a dry Sauvignon Blanc.

The mouthfeel was foamy and creamy. Remarkably smooth. Medium bodied with a fine, lively effervescence. Very Champagne-like.

Although I really enjoyed this beer, it was not as interesting as I anticipated it would be. Perhaps the decision to use Brettanomyces as the only means of fermentation accounted for the lack of complexity.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to millerbuffoon for this awesome hook-up. 375mL brown glass cork and caged bottle. Batch 005. All Brett baby!

Pours a golden yellow, somewhat hazy/cloudy with thin bright white head that stays despite being thin. Nose is lovely and fruity. Like lemons and clover and honeysuckle and cotton and lavender and lemongrass and bee balm. Could go on and on about this nose! Just perfect.

Palate is bitingly sour for being all brett. Lemon balm and lemon grass are the forerunners for taste. Mouthfeel is medium-light-bodied, but there's this almost waxy texture (not in a bad way). Ethereal after a sip or two, the aromas mentioned above come out on the palate, but it's still dominate by lemongrass. Excellent balance provides for a very pleasant drinking experience. Long, spritely finish.

Notes: Amazing. Simply perfect.

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

375ml bottle
Batch 005

This brew pours a translucent golden hay color and settles a slightly hazy hay color. Some sporadic lacing lingers around the glass.

The nose is full of vinegar, sour apple, earthy moss, and it's getting me excited for a sour trip.

The taste is much the same as them nose, but with extras. A bit of citrus-like lemon-lime\ is initially tasted, followed quickly by some granny smith apples and vinegar. Tart, dry, sour, and mighty fucking tasty.

The mouthfeel is light and effervescent with a crisp and dry finish that creates your mouth to beg for more.

Overall, this brew is amazing in all aspects and showcases how the Westcoast can undertake such an awesome style and take over.

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.

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,392 ratings.