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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,672 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1672
Reviews: 561
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%

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: 1,672 | Reviews: 561 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours cloudy and is the color of hay. Head is tall and fluffy. Head pops away and leaves plenty of lacing. I see some light clouds of yeast-dust swirl around my glass.

S-The all-Brett yeast is surprisingly not as startling as I expected. There is plenty of tartness; but its clean. I really pick up some strong notes of wet hay. Tart pale-fleshed fruits. The Brett has been trained quite well; many a beer have I had where the Brett kinda gets a bit too zany.

T-Sour and tart and zesty. I find it to offer a bit less complexity than some of the other "-tion" brews by Russian River. There is the tart fruit, hay and even some lemon meringue, so there is clearly still a bunch going on it this one's defense.

M-Light and drinkable. The carbonation isn't too volatile. Tartness begins to permeate the skin on my lips and the enamel on my teeth.

O/D-Another well-trained stud from Russian River. Not my favorite "-tion" but its better than 80% of anything sour I have tried. Next time I have a chance I will gladly lay lip to this wacky, Bretty beast.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 04:12:16 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of KickInTheChalice


4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes. Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip.

The pour is a light hazy straw color with a tight, but small creamy head.

The aroma has a nice lemon tartness to it, but the focus is on the funky Brett and hay notes. There is a bit of apricot behind it.

The flavor starts with a light pale malt sweetness, with a tartness that builds over the course of the sip. Lemon zest, hay, a bit of apricot, and a little vinegar. As the sip winds down, the lemon zest really takes over and steps up the sour flavor.

The body starts a little bit fuller than medium for the style, with a medium and slightly creamy carbonation. Toward the end it dries out a little bit.

This is very nice. Russian River has a good portfolio of great sours.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 05:00:48 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of writerLJBerg


4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle consumed 1-25-13. Batch 006

A: Pilsner type clear gold. Foam vanishes. Bubbles lift and push the liquid.

N: drying brettanomyces. Lemon and biscuit. Clementine orange. Some sourness is evident. Bleu cheese for sure.

T: Very dry and musty. Lemon juice, horse blanket, and tons of brett. Sour vinous chardonnay grapes. Very floral; hints of standing in a field. Oats and granola. This is extremely complex at this age - hits all parts of the tongue. Sulfuric acid/fatali peppers.

M: Crisp, dry and light, but it's not refreshing. No, no, definitely not the last part.

O: This is crazy infected and it adds brilliant character to the beer. Almost becomes too much, but I finished the entire bottle and wanted more. Get some.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 23:30:45 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thanks to ablackshear for this extra from a trade!

batch 6. nice loud pop when cork came out of the bottle.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: opaque and hazy straw yellow bodied beer with big fluffy white head. Drops down slowely to a ring with clumpy lacing.

Smell: green apples, oaky, lemons, earthy with mild funk.

Taste: mild tartness in the for of citrus, but primarily lemons. Oaky and a touch of vinous. Really earthy and funky mostly musty and barnyard. Nice oak barrel notes as well with just a hint of white grapes.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Soft and gentle carbonation. Really easy drinking beer.

Overall: I think this is more brett forward sour than a tart sour beer. I really liked it and its just another wonderful offering for the sours line up at russian river.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 01:34:12 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of justintcoons


4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle poured into a tulip.
Batch 006, $14.99 in PA

Pale gold with a short white head that dissipates quickly. It's extremely clear for a Wild Ale. Only a few drops of yeast swim around like jellyfish.

Pear, golden delicious apple, apple cider, white wine and a touch of vinegar. Smells very juicy.

Slight tartness on the front of the tongue with very juicy flavors. White grape, pear, apple cider, green apple and some lemon. Light notes of white wine vinegar. The back end gets extremely dry with leather and a musty funk. Tons of white oak in the finish.

Light bodied, crisp, dry and refreshing.

This is like drinking two different beers at the same time. The front end is incredibly juicy and fruity while the back end dries up quickly with oak and funk. Light tartness. Easy drinking and refreshing. Very nice!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 20:02:04 | More by justintcoons
Photo of Treebs


4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375 ml C&C bottle served in a Lost Abbey Teku. Batch 006.

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a pure white head forming on the pour. It recedes quickly to a think ring. Minimal splotchy lace.

S: Nice funk with some light lemon peel and white grape. Very light malt body with some grassy undertones.

T: Outlying funk, some oaky tannins with a little puckering. Not sour, but slightly acidic with some green apple and lemon peel. A little hay and some barnyard on the finish.

M: Spritzy, medium high carbonation with a slightly drying finish. Light bodied.

O: Very light on the acidity and sourness, but still very tasty with the funk and base blonde.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 01:47:28 | More by Treebs
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Monks in Philly for the Zwanze 2012 celebration/release.

Pours a cloudy light golden color with a frothy white head that retains fairly well and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with some crackery pilsnery malt and some champagne-esqe vinous oak notes. As it warms I get some light citrus, funk, earth and doughy yeastiness with emerging green apple.

The tastes follow the nose with the clean pilsner, maybe some wheat maltiness and then the sour lemon, funk, oak and apple skin flavors come in. The backbone has a definitive Belgian Bretty yeast presence throughout.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average champagne-esqe effervescent carbonation. Finish is plesantly sour and dry but not overly so in either category.

Overall I enjoyed this very much for my first time sampling it. I was always hesitant because of the inflated price tage but for $5 on draft at a bar during Zwanze Day, why not give it a go (or 2). I enjoy this offering more than Supplication as I feel it is a bit more complex and the flavor profile pops just a bit more.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2012 20:38:34 | More by claspada
Photo of cfrances33


4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6 bottle thanks to Gosox8787, poured into a HF stem.

Pour: Hazy yellow orange, with two fingers of fluffy, sticky white head. Leaves really awesome lacing, and the head hangs around for a while too. I love when beer looks like this.

Smell: Acetic pears and apples, with a nice honey/biscuit sweetness. Some oakiness flows through. Brett is there a little bit in the breadyness, but not much.

Taste: Clean tart peaches and granny smith apples. A light funk, but not a ton. A light white pepper, and a biscuity sweetness. Finishes with more acetic pears.

Mouthfeel: Pretty tart, but not quite sour. Definitely puckers the lips though. Really nice and drinkable at the same time.

Overall: My favorite sour from RR (haven't had Beat yet). Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 17:52:30 | More by cfrances33
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 006

Slightly hazy lemon yellow pour. Thin fizzy snow white head. Lacing covers the glass in sheets.

Lemons, hay, slight grass and barnyard funk. There is a little sweetness of sugar and a little vanilla. Oak is there in the back. Slightly tart, my mouth is watering.

Tart lemon, fresh grass and a little barnyard. The sweetness didn't translate into the taste but the oak definitely did. Slightly dry and has a slight white wine quality.

Light body, good carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 02:13:22 | More by korguy123
Photo of jeonseh


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

375ml, Batch 008 poured into Mikkeller tulip

A - Dark golden color with a slight haze to it. It poured a two finger rocky head that settled down to a layer of foam. Really a nice looking sour

S - Smells of lemon, hay, straw, barnyard funk, slight oak, and green apple. Strong nose that smells like a nice spring beer

T - Lemon zest, green apple, oak and vinegar are the first impressions. It then morphs into Bretty, funk and almost blue cheese that gives it that earthy farmhouse feel. The finish is lemon and vinegar that gives it a tart bite that lingers on

MF - Light carbonation that makes the beer bounce around in the mouth and goes well with the apple and lemon flavors. Finish leaves a slight tingle on the tongue.

O - Great beer from Russian River that reminds me of a tarter and more lively version of Orval. It has a nice mix between Brett funk and the tart sour flavors you come to expect from Russian River. Really was surprised by how good this on was.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 22:49:56 | More by jeonseh
Photo of auroracrisis


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

375ml into a Russian River tulip, batch 6.

Pours a clear, pilsner color with a spotty head of various sized bubbles. Almost looks as if it were poured from a cask.

Lemons with a mixture of tiny vinous notes, more citrus, and tannin on the nose with a touch of funk.

Big lemon bite up front with less funk than the nose, tannin and barrel characteristics. Rounds off with a nice dry chardonnay flavor.

Drying with a medium-light body and low carbonation.

Great citrus flavor with nice barrel and vinous notes. An excellent example of a pale American wile ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 22:25:08 | More by auroracrisis
Photo of davey101


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

Batch 004, 750 ml, 2010 vintage - 04-14-2013 Just had a pour of this batch and it was phenomenal. Very funky and tart, taking on some gueuze like characteristics. 4.5/5

Batch 006, 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. 09-10-2012

A - The beer sat in a fridge all day but it was delivered the day before...soooo with that being said it pours a hazy and cloudy pale golden color with a frothy two finger high bone white head. Really nice lacing and retention.

S - Brettanomyces initially. Not sure how old batch 6 is, but its certainly starting to develop a great deal of funk. The bacteria is also very present is some stinging sourness. Lemons and apple juice with some grassy and earthier notes. Not as complex or developed as a gueuze, but it does share some of the aromas.

T - Mouth puckering lemon juice which leads into some bready malts and a faint Belgian yeast spice. Somewhat earthy and grassy. Not very complex or layered, but its damn sour and refreshing. Mouth feel is spritzy and light bodied. Finish is almost dry, but not quite.

O - One of the closer AWA's that I have tried to get the gueuze style. Really delicious and refreshing. Love that sour bite.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2012 03:24:40 | More by davey101
Photo of MDDMD


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

A-hazy golden color with a generous white head and good lacing

S-lemon zest, sour and earthy aromas

T-solid sour lemony flavor with a nice yeasty background, tart and yet well-balanced

F-medium body with a moderate, but prickly carbonation, tart and crisp

O-very enjoyable, simply well-crafted

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 16:32:02 | More by MDDMD
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty even and smooth wild ale. Nothing really showy, but it's consistent and smooth. The brett is in no way obnoxious or outlandish. I have to say that this beer is in no way blowing me away. It's good, yeah. But there is no real outstanding character. Consistent, sure. Amazing? Not so much so.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 13:45:05 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of jaasen64


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

375ml bottle thanks to dolfan54fl. Poured into a Founders snifter. Batch #6, C&C of course.

A- Pours a hazy golden slightly brownish orange. Slightly translucent, but can't see all the way through the glass. About 3/4 of a finger of white fluffy head that dissipates fairly slowly to leave only a thin layer of head and the sides of the glass covered in lacing. Nice amount of carbonation from the brett. Glass left in nice coated lacing.

S- Brett barnyard funk mixed with some light sour lemon. Barnyard smells of hay, some light funk smells of moldy basement, sweaty socks, not too intense definitely a little bit more barnyard. No where even close to the funk smell Beatification had.

T- Sour lemons, wet hay, some underlying blonde malts especially towards the bottom, maybe some underlying citrus hops, a little bit funky but not much, finishes with more lemons and a bit of hay. The tastes were fairly well balanced, the hay might have been a little bit too dominant for my liking, would have maybe liked a little bit more of the sour lemon to come through.

M- Light, nice carbonation, leaves a nice tingling feel on your tongue that places nicely with the funk, very drinkable.

O- This was kind of similar to a much less funky, more barnyard version of Beatification. There were definitely some nice things going on in this beer and it's definitely better then your average sour however I would take Beat any day over Sanctification. The souring did add a nice presence to the blonde ale, which you can still taste the presence of underneath. Overall I'd definitely recommend trying this beer, but can't recommend it over other offerings such as Beatification and Sanctification.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 00:11:12 | More by jaasen64
Photo of Auracom


3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikey for getting this one to me. 6 oz. poured into a Cantillon flute on August 5th, 2012.

A - Another soft yellow/peachy coloring, one finger of a light eggshell head. Great lacing,

S - Lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and a great balancing Brett character. Really no funk, shows more of fresh barnyard aroma.

T - Front-palate effervescence translates to semi-puckering bitterness at mid. Slight waves of lemon rind, grass, and very fresh hay. Relatively sour apple skin aftertaste.

M - Very high carbonation, light body. Semi-dry finish.

D - Very easy to crush this one. The sour elements are beyond accessible and it does the job in terms of avoiding funk while still giving off apparent Brett. Easy recommendation here.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 15:26:56 | More by Auracom
Photo of lovindahops

New York

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhhh yes. The rarity of a Russian River beer for me. So thankful whenever I get a chance to try

A- sanctification pours a golden yellow body with consistent carbonation racing to the top. Thin white ring of foam lifts itself on the edges while lacing runs pretty rampant on the glass

S- delicious Brett and lemony scents are crossed by the tart and sour scent of the brew. Very zesty and fresh for the scent

T- massive sour flavors blast the mouth and palate. The lemon and citrus properties really help sanctification make a puckered finish. Delicious

M- stinging waves of sour flavor which is really a tasteful after thought

O- RR is amazing. Sanctification is an excellent sour that I highly recommend seeking out. The usage of Brett in the brew is excellent

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 23:48:42 | More by lovindahops
Photo of sommersb


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

Tasted On: 08-19-2012
Freshness: Batch 006
Packaging: 375ml brown bottle, corked and caged
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Colorado Liquor Mart, Denver

The first pour yields a clear, golden color, with the 2nd pour adding some haziness. Head is white and a couple of fingers. Very nice lacing and good head retention.

Aromas are strong and wine-like, with grapes and a sour quality. Other aromas are fruity, with lemon/citrus notes.

The taste is dry, sour and tart, plus a lemon fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is prickly from the high carbonation, with a medium body. The finish is very dry, with sour/tart flavors.

Overall a very good blonde sour beer. I don't have much experience with wild ales, but this one is approachable and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 03:36:36 | More by sommersb
Photo of Duff27


3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short lived white head on a murky golden orange body. Leaves a collar throughout.

Slight tartness on the nose.

Very tame sourness, I'd give it a 2.5 on the sour scale. Pick up the Chardonnay barrel notes. Barely any alcohol hint.

Nicely carbonated. Medium mouthfeel.

A solid brew although I've had better from RR. Very tame, could be a beginner sour. Thanks stupac2!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 13:38:23 | More by Duff27
Photo of rfbenavi80


4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle picked up at the Brewery.
Batch 006. Poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow with 3 fingers of bright white frothy head that receded moderately slow to a cap on top leaving almost no lacing.

S- Smells of tart green apples and sour pears. Yeasty, Bretty, funky smells of wet hay on top of a biscuity malt follow the fruitiness.

T- Refreshing green apple tartness, followed by hints of sour lemon and earthy straw/grassy flavors. Finishes like a dry white wine.

M- Carbonation feels tingly and adds another refreshing quality to this beer. Flavors feel like they coat the palate, making you want another drink.

O- This is my last offering that was brought home from Russian River. I'm sad to see them all drank, but happy that I got to try them. Russian River truly brews wonderful, flavorful, and creative beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 04:09:25 | More by rfbenavi80
Photo of wd40

New York

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

Appearance is straw yellow with a very slight haze. Fair amount of lace on the glass. Smell very much reminds me of belgian pale ales and strong ales. A nice yeasty aroma. Hints of banana and bread. Lots of lemon in the taste. Mild/moderately sour. Bit of bitterness as the beer warms up. Soft carbonation provides a nice mouthfeel. Overall a very good, drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 22:05:16 | More by wd40
Photo of matttttYCE


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

Batch 006, poured into a Russian River stemmed glass. The head is slightly off white, about a finger high, and between foamy and creamy. Fades to a light cap and subtle ring. Decent lace. The beer itself is a clear and brilliant straw yellow/gold.

The aroma is lovely and inviting on a warm day like today. Brett and some funk, straw, a light tart sweetness, green apple, lemon zest, light biscuit malt notes, hints of strawberry, hints of yeast, spice, banana and clove almost like it's hinting at a hefe.

The taste is nice as well. Lighter acidic sourness, moderate tartness, sweet but dry, brett, green apple, lemon zest, white wine notes, strawberry or apricot maybe, bready biscuity malts, a bit of belgian yeast, some spice, a bit salty and again hints of clove and banana like it's a bit hefe. Really a pleasant taste.

Carbonation is medium round, with a light and dry consistency, medium (maybe low-medium) body, and a moderate length finish.

This is probably my favorite American Wild Ale yet. I like that it's lighter sour with a decent amount of tartness and it's basically just not too over the top of an Am. Wild Ale. Though I am sometimes in the mood for a mouthpuckeringly sour beer, this beer is nothing like that and I could probably have one of these just about any time. This could actually be a pretty good intro beer to those who haven't yet ventured into the world of sours/wild ales. Really good and quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 07:27:49 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of ediaz


4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into oversized wine glass. GO JAGS

A: cloudy orange with light fluffy white head. Leaves a thin bit of delicate white lace.

S: sweet tart nose with the signature Brett present. Perhaps a little apricot.

T: wow this is tasty. Bright tartness at first and finishes with bitter light apricot.

M: medium with high carbonation. The carbonation pairs extremely well with the taste, but it could be a little less.

O: a fantastic beer and I'm extremely happy with it. I would trade for it again, shutout to DovaliHops for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 02:14:13 | More by ediaz
Photo of AgentMunky


4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in sample glass at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 14 April 2012.

A: Pale straw milky gold. Translucent. Light head with some lacing.

S: Banana and spice...it smells like a hefeweizen. Funky.

T: Light and pleasant...sort of sour...then BAM! the Brett hits after several seconds in a wave of funky weirdness. Yeasty-spicy, acidic, but rather light in flavour.

M: Bright, interesting, and moreish.

O: Super-light, very drinkable, and quite tasty. Highly recommended. Will have again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2012 21:32:14 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of WanderingFool


4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sanctification pours a cloudy, straw yellow with a small, white creamy head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind some lines of lace.

The aroma is tart with notes of lemon, straw and green apple. A fair amount of funk.

Each sip of this light to medium bodied beer is soft on the palate with moderate carbonation. The flavor is tart with a touch of salt. Lemon citrus and green apple are blended with white wine and a touch of salt. It finishes dry. Once gone the lemon, salt and green apple linger on the palate.

This is a tasty beer that's not too funky and rather dry.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 20:10:37 | More by WanderingFool
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,672 ratings.