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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

601 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 601
Hads: 2,569
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,170
Gots: 825 | FT: 59
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 601 | Hads: 2,569
Photo of Auraan
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice cloudy gold with a one finger white head that grew to a two finger white head and stayed around as a ring of white as the glass was emptied, leaving some thin lacing. Abundant bubbles flowed up the side of the glass. Quite beautiful. Scents of brett, barnyard funk, white grape skin, white wine, overripe fruit, green apple, slight pineapple, and the slightest hints of vanilla and candi sugar. A very good aroma, complex with the usually sour, fruity, white wine notes and some more common Belgian notes beneath. Flavor is sour upfront, with that musky brett funk, white grapes, tart green apple, lemon juice, sourdough bread undertones, some oak, some slight medicinal bitterness, finishes bitter with a bit of a citrus rind flavor and aftertaste as well as a dry finish. A very sour flavor, with all sorts of sour fruit and sour funk flavors. Very nice with some complexity brought in by the sourdough bread and oak. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation and a nice refreshing feel with a drying finish. Nice and drinkable, on point for a sour, very good. Overall this is a very good sour. The 100% brett gives it that incredibly sour flavor but it manages a bit of complexity in spite of it, that gives it a fine flavor profile. Very good, and I wish I could get it easier.

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Photo of pkalix
4.79/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

hmm, follow a Temptation with a Sanctification.... in what universe is that a good day? where can you FIND two kinds of Russian River in one store on any given day? especially down here in orange county?
pours hazy golden, some sediment sitting heavily embedded as if in jello (just like the Temptation had!). too hazy to see, but an ear to the top of the tulip glass provides the 'popping' you can hear from the carbonation....
smells kind of 'neutral. bretts(?) are here, but not as fruity as the temptation I just had.
taste is way more rounder, much more sour-er, less fruity than the Temptation. more of a kind of 'champagne' kind of brew but very good indeed! definitely less fruit, but wholesome and obviously takes you in the direction they want you to go in. you KNOW it's meant to be a bit tart. definitely more of a 'sour' than the Temptation, and definitely another great brew from Russian River!!!
I think my next one HAS to be The Bruery's Tart of Darkness, just to keep the trend going....

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Photo of Benish
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter glass. A couple inches of thick white head built up and it just remained there for quite a while. It's a good presentation. The beer had that bright hay color. Very, very opaque, yet it's not cloudy with yeast sediment.

Did not pick up much with aroma. There's definitely something funky and plenty of tartness but nothing too unique.

Taste-wise this is quite sour. It's really hard to expand from that. It does finish bitter like citrus zest. Eventually as the beer warmed up, there was definitely a ton of flavors of a grapefruit rind.

It has a light bodied mouthfeel. Quite acidic, gives that gritty feeling, likes after you brush your teeth.

This is only the 2nd of the sour beers I have tried from RR. The first was Supplication. Supplication was way better as there were more flavors coming from the fruits. However this is a good beer and I'm glad to try it. RR makes so many sours that I have to try others before trying this one again.

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Photo of Zach136
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 1/28/14, enjoyed 3/8/15

Appearance: Hazy gold, think head, good lacing.

Aroma: Citric acid and stone fruit,

Flavor: Mild citrus tartness, some bread grain character.

Mouthfeel: Bone dry light and refreshing

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Photo of mobius387
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into snifter, batch 112812

appearance: bright and light sunny yellow with a HUGE white foamy head with the pour that sticks around. its like whip cream on top of my beer. its awesome

aroma: stale wet woody/oaky nose, not much else. not very enjoyable

palate: light bodied, softly tart, not very acidic, not a big boozy presence. very well done

taste: lemon-grass, grapes, oak, some hops, brett, very robust

overall: not as tart as the other RR sours, not as powerful or as big bodied, but very nice, lots of unique flavors, scary drinkable, and overall a great beer.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared the bottle with my wife.

The beer pours a light yellow, golden straw with a light carbonation at the edge of my tulip glass.

The nose is sweet but mostly a Brett tart, apples hints of oak and a little vanilla.

The carbonation is upfront and reveals more tart apples, and Brett funk. The soundness lingers as the beer dries. There are also white wine note

Good beer but not russian rivers best

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Photo of dalahodson
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A classic sour from RR. A lazy straw yellow small cream head with lots of lace on the glass. Mouth feel is sour and dry. Flavors of tart apples with a slight sweet aftertaste. Some slight herb bitterness but not from the hops. Kind of like an apple sour candy on drugs.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Russian River

Pours a hazed straw yellow with a fizzy, champagne like decanting and modest retention. There's a lot of active, minute carbonation and I can already see this is going to be a drier beer.

The aroma on this is very funky. Big time Brettsnomyces notes that range from pineapple, sap, musty basement. Quite perfumy and ends up smelling straigh up sour. Has a sour, yet candy like smell.

In the taste, white grapes, Chardonnay, oak, but most of all a souring Brett note of apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Has that sweet and sour componant but this is finer and more complex than simply that. Juicy, slightly drying and oaky on the back end along with a hefty sourness.

The mouthfeel is light and airy, yet dry and sour. Tart Brett notes just ride out the finish in a vinegary, almost puckering haze.

What a beer this is. Patience is a virtue, and I believe this beer is over a year in the making from mash to bottling. A perfect example of craft beer being art, and brewers becoming legends.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005 (I think) of a 12.68oz. bottle poured into an over sized wine glass. Nice and golden in color. Color a bit like a pinnaple/mango juice mix. Not much of a head, but during the pour there were small bubbles. Goes away fairly quickly, but leaves a ring around the edges. Not much in the way of lacing.

Smell is good, a little funky and a natural tartness that tickles your nose. There's a bit of the classic Belgian sugar and yeast and a nice fruitiness. The fruit is of pineapple, pears and probably crisp (fresh) apples, and a hint of white grapes. Good, but could be a bit stronger.

Taste is really good, better than the smell. Same pinapple, mango, pear, apple, and white grape flavors as well as a not quite ripe tangerine. There's a natural tart and funk as well (my guess would be from the brett. Some natural sweetness, Belgian style candied sugar and a bit bready as well. Very good overall all together, not experienced with sour styles, but I like this and can see why people enjoy them.

Mouthfeel is good, starts off pretty medium. Overall very smooth and perfectly carbonated. Consistent most of the way with a nice dry and tart finish, almost makes you pucker, pretty much have to force yourself not to smile. Really drinkable, a nice sipper for my taste, I like it a lot. I'm starting to understand all the hype around Russian River.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 112812. Poured from a 375 ml cork n cage bottle into a tulip.

Pours a hazy dark lemon with a 2" white head. Random trails and blotches of lacing.

Tart lemons, oranges, oak, some funk

Light sweet malts, lemon ans citrus, some tart and sourness with light spices.

Nices sour, tart citrus and some sweetness. 6/10 sourness, medium high carb with semi dry finish.

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Photo of Rish907
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bubbly, champagne colored, pours a significant amount of head

S: Citrus, champagne, white wine, green grapes

T: Sour, fruity, green grapes

M: Dry, arid, similar to champagne

O: Being my first sour, I found this quite enjoyable. At first the sourness hits your palate pretty hard, but eases after it swooshed around a couple times. It is very carbonated and poured a thick head with lots of bubbles. The fruity and citrus taste is prevalent throughout. Overall, a very tasty quality sour.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a brown 375 mL C&C bottle with a bottling date of 11/28/12. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack edition tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a cloudy yellow the color of egg yolk with darker orangish highlights as well. Foam is about a finger-and-a-half of ivory microbubbles that is so fine it appears like a layer of thick fog atop the body. After dissipating to a half finger of head pretty quickly (30 secs), it remains throughout leaving silky slick light lacing.

Smell - The Brett really dominates the lighter blonde base beer, pushing the other flavors to the side. Funky and tart with some hints of starfruit and lemonade.

Taste - Wonderfully tart at first, but fades back quickly to reveal sourdough complexity and citrus rind and fruity spice. Again the Brett provides a barnyard element that balances well with this otherwise delicate beer.

Mouthfeel - Effervescent and yet creamy at the same time. Light bodied with high levels of carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall a fantastically balanced sour and one I could see being a gateway for people looking to get into sour ales. Tart but not overpowering and highly drinkable.

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Photo of garuda
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Batch 006
A - Brilliant gold, mostly clear with suspended yeast sediments. White cap has good retention and lace.

S/T - Sour notes with green grapes, wood, hay, grass, with an earthy yeast funk underlying throughout the profile. Fruity, almost cherry-like sweetness, finishes sour.

M - Light body, excessively high carbonation. Mostly smooth though, finishes crisp with lasting sourness.

O - Great smell, good flavor; however, compared to the rest of the field of American Wilds, doesn't have quite the depth and complexity of others.

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Photo of bcm75
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - pale yellow. Fairly opaque.

S - quite a bit of barnyard funk and some sour fruit. Apples and a touch of cherry.

T - similar to the aroma, but getting some mild tropical notes. More funk than sourness.

M - pleasant and moderately light. Nicely carbonated.

O - a more complex and subdued sour than I expected. Still wonderful, but not my favorite of RR sours.

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Photo of cvm4
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a golden honey blonde in color with an eggshell head. Slightly opaque.

S - Pears and green apple. Light touches of leather, oak and malt.

T - Starts off with a lemon sour quality that flows into white grapes. Secondary flavors are oak and light malts. Brett is doing wonders to this beer.

M - Light and drinks like a dry wine. Very effervescent but not over carbed by any means.

O - Not a funky beer per the "fermented with 100% Brett" on the bottle. But, it's a sour fruity beer lovers dream!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: honey-blonde... big off-white head, no last or lace, though it keeps a pad of misty foam and collar.... looked like it was pouring clean and clear out of the bottle yet it's heavily cloudy and a few specks did end up sneaking in

S: beauteous, lambic-like aroma (dare I say similar to something like Cantillon?)... little-to-no booze, but some nice mild pale malt comes out... not discernibly fruity (estery), perhaps champagne-like... later though I could say I'm getting almost banana pudding and grapefruit skin elements

T: initially, it seems like a sour peach/pear sparkling wine.... a lemon-citrus pith bitter-/tartness lingers long on the tongue.... not terribly tart, but a bit salty?!.... no depth, but that's part of its design.... some band-aid phenolics?.... little-to-no malt flavor

M: pretty dang light and dry, aside from a brief flash of body up front.... really, dry as hell.... bitter/tart buzz up front.... tiny bit of a mucky/slimy coating left in the mouth

O: pretty interesting.... can't remember ever having a domestic 100% Brett beer before.... one of if not the driest beer I've ever had.... when it warms, it's pretty damn drinkable

13 Dec 2014 snifter tasting notes: sweat, earthy citrus peel, hop- and flower stem-like bitterness, granola malt tones... jade/goldenrod color... 'seashell' overtones?... aromas of ornamental flowers (potpourri?) and drying, overripe orange skin... grapefruit in the finish, but not really fruity or acidic...

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Photo of joefuzz
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks dagsy for the awesome hookup

Pours a hazy yellow with a white head. Like fresh cut grass, a little funk and some belgian malts with a little bit of lemon. Taste starts off with a tart bite that's almost like sucking on a lemon, then moves onto a horseblanket funkyness. Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is high. Overall pretty dam good beer.

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Photo of kevanb
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle, dated 11/28/12, poured into a Russian River Stemmed "-tion" glass.

The beer pours a golden straw color, slight hazy, although quite clear for the style, many bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A nice 2 fingers of soft, white, fizzy head rises from the glass that dissipates quickly, leaving a nice layer of soapy film atop the beer but yields no lace. The aroma is of bright citrus, lemongrass, green apple, white grape with some musty straw and light funk with some pale grain at the tail end. Lots of fruit on the tongue, white grape, lemon, crisp granny smith apple with some nice bretty funk, pale grain and light musty character. The body is very lively, lots of crisp carbonation without being harsh or overly abrasive that finishes with a nice creamy texture.

Verdict: A wonderful Wile Ale from Russian River, not that it's a surprise. Despite the lack of wood aging and bugs, this beer is still quite balanced and amply complex. A definite must try for anyone who likes sours.

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Photo of cooler4life
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/13

A: Poured a bright but cloudy golden wheat yellow with a one finger fluffy off-white head. Lacing and glass retention are slight. No floaties can be seen (I was expecting some!).

S: Fresh white grapes, golden fruits, green apple with a strong melon backbone. The smell does not have much of a barnyard funk, very straightforward.

T: Begins with VERY strong tartness then evolves to multiple layers or flavor. Oak, lemon, white wine, dry crackers, and honeydew. The Brett provides a wonderful level of funk that ends with a touch of rum soaked banana.

M: Leaves an oily dry finish with a great level of carbonation given the age of the bottle. Crisp and refreshing, I couldn't ask for more.

O: I had the pleasure of picking this up at RR earlier this year, and let's just say the trip was definitely worth it!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a nice looking golden color with a bubbly white head on top. The lacing and retention was both very thin. The smell of the beer gives off a sour note as well as a nice subtle malt essence in there also. The taste of the beer is really well balanced between the sour elements and the beer itself. It's got a very good 1 - 2 punch going from sour to malty. The mouthfeel is light bodied and very drinkable, this is also on the refreshing side. Overall this Russian River brew hits many of the high notes it should and it worth checking out. Glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of GuzzLah
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - pours a hazy blonde with a standard head that disappears and forms a ring. No lace. A few bubbles.

S - relatively mild aroma. Leather, white grape, pineapple, green apple and oak.

T - is similar to the aroma. White grape, green apple with a lemony and soft oaky finish.

M - light-medium body. Creamy. Nicely tart and somewhat astringent, but not quite sour.

O - despite being fermented with 100% Brett, I wouldn't call this a funky ale. It's more fruity and tart than funky. That's fine. It's a tasty beer, but it's my least favorite RR sour.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml c&c dated 11/27/2012, poured into a Russian River stemmed snifter and quaffed today on a 80 degree afternoon in Wisconsin, 5/18/2013. Cork popped hard, forboding great things for this beer.

Aroma: I get tons of Brett funk along with very tart cherry and vinegar. Tons and tons of it all. It reminds me of a funky chardonnay- its got that sweet tartness along with that earthy funk. A bit one-dimensional but definitely brings its game. (4)

Colour: Pours a hazy straw blonde colour with a ton of head- even as I pour slowly it throws up a massive >3cm head that slowly recedes into a supremely thick white film that is about half a cm. And stays that way. The lacing is spectacular on this Russian River glass. Absolutely amazing and appetizing blonde. (5)

Flavour: Woo! Lots of sour funk up front that makes me pucker up a bit, followed by a more subdued tartness reminding me of cherry and grapes along with a sweet breadiness ending in a vinegary and lemony funk. Very unique flavour profile that I cannot help but savor. Delicious combination of Brett funk, tart vinegar and malt backbone. I've never tasted anything quite like this and I'm very impressed. If this kind of beer was its own category rather than an AWA, I can't imagine anything being much better. I actually would like a bit more tartness on top of the funkiness, but honestly it's world class. (4.75)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale with incredible carbonation that isn't too over the top. A bit dry but stings the palate everywhere it comes into contact with a nice tart funkiness that lingers as the aftertaste briefly. It's very quaffable and refreshing- perfect for a 80 degree day in May. (4.25)

Overall: Russian River does it again. I feel they pretty much own the AWA category at this point in my young sour appreciating life. Very quaffable, full of complex flavours that satisfy my palate without overloading it while not being too heavy on any one particular characteristic. I am a big fan and will continue to seek out the Russian River offerings whenever I can get them. And you should too. (4.25)

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Photo of chinchill
2.69/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle. Not counting a couple of collaboration beers, this is my first R. River - too bad it has to be a Brett beer. I have a very limited tolerance for Brett and even less for vinegar. With that in mind:

Pours light amber, hazy, with a small head. The aroma bodes poorly: Brett/wild ale with some vinegar. Intimidating. Given that, the taste was a bit better but still too funky. Nicely sour with a hint of old bread. Fine medium-light feel.

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Photo of hopoilcrazy
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to JustXBeer for setting me up with this bottle. From notes.

A - Billowing head and carbonation. Retention is perfect. Hazy gold. Spotty, but voluminous lacing.

S - The aroma is perceptible from feet away. Preserved lemons, saline, acrid, coriander.

T - The best way for me to describe the taste is flouride-y funk. Zesty tang. Great brett profile. Rummy bananas in the finish with a very faint boozy trace.

M - Chewy body akin to a Weihenstephaner. Slight tingle

Awesome, I want to drink these all summer but I can't because I live in TN...occasionally I must though.

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Photo of JimTeal
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I do love a good unique beer and Russian River has certainly come up with one with this. What the heck is a sour blond? Well, unless you find one of these you may never know, it is that unique. It is really sour, almost as if they dosed it with lemon zest, and the result is a treasure. It is not the most beautiful beer I've ever seen, the head is average, the ABV is average but when this brew hits your palate you'll know what a sour blond is, it only takes a moment. WOW! OK, I admit that a trip to the RR Brewery helped, so I waited to review a bottle. The small taster at the home pub at RR was not enough to judge, but now that I have opened a bottle I am convinced that this is a world class "occasional" beer. Unlike those great IPAs, drinkable by the gallon, this one requires a bit of time to enjoy and savor in it's uniqueness. Lest it be confused, this is not a hop beer, it is a blond that happens to pucker, have I mentioned unique, yes try and you'll be aware that a real style can deliver. I have no idea, but I guess the brewmaster had a demonic possession and he just broke out of hell with Santification. Try it but be prepared to pucker and enjoy.

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.