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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,000 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,000
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,066
Gots: 622 | FT: 38
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: 2,000 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WanderingFool


4.2/5  rDev -3%

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.

07-29-2012 20:10:37 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of notchucknorris


4.2/5  rDev -3%

On tap at Toronados during Russian River night

A: Hazy straw color with absolutely no head. The beer looks like it's glowing in the glass.

S: A ton of brett. The beer smells earthy and pungent, with a lot of funk and some lemon-like sourness.

T: Brett ahoy! Super sour, as in punch in the mouth sour. There's a peppery bite that goes well with the sourness and as the beer warms, more flavors come out. Tart green apple and lemon add a nice element to this one. Another great sour from Russian River.

02-18-2011 18:26:07 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of herman77


4.2/5  rDev -3%

Batch 006

A: Golden straw color that is fairly hazy. Tight, small white head. Decent lacing.

S: Lots of tart green apples and green grapes. Decent amount of sweet sourness as well as some funkiness.

T: Not nearly as funky or sour on the palate. Pear juice, more tart apples and a white wine like characteristics. More tart than sour for sure.

M: Lighter body. Soft and lower carbonation. Lots of little carbonation bubbles.

O: Fairly good drinkability. Something I could have fairly often. Very well crafted.

07-19-2012 00:10:01 | More by herman77
Photo of david131


4.2/5  rDev -3%

A- Pours a hazy luminescent yellow-orange liquid with a thick and craggy white head that has astounding retention. As good as it gets.

S- Sour fruits and bread. Complex, aromatic, and inviting.

T- Sour fruits with some bready malt. A tad simple but very tasty and refreshing.

M- Smooth and creamy with light carbonation. The finish is clean and acidic.

O- A simple but well done take on the style. Drinks fantastically on a rainy summer night.

07-28-2011 04:08:37 | More by david131
Photo of adman08


4.2/5  rDev -3%

A-Pours with a small amount of head that stays in the glass to the end. Very pale, cloudy straw color.
S-Not as strong a smell as most sours. Still has the sour aroma but also a little hint of fruit.
T-True sour brett flavor. Very tart and dry with almost no fruit flavor. I also get a bit of a dry white wine flavor. A hint of vinegar or sherry as well.
M-Lots of bubbles, very dry.
Overall, another good sour ale from Russian River. If your a fan of the true sours, those without added fruit, this is a good beer to sample.

04-15-2011 23:01:41 | More by adman08
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.

04-18-2008 18:31:45 | More by sessycuban
Photo of Urbancaver


4.2/5  rDev -3%

Thanks Bill for bringing this by

Batch 4

Pours a nice clear yellow. Very pretty colour. Nice white frothy head. Smells sweet. Surprisingly sweet. Some light citrus on the nose. On the tongue its tart but pretty mild. Sour but enjoyable. Veery light and drinkable. I quite enjoy this

09-06-2011 22:47:53 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of mithrascruor


4.2/5  rDev -3%

On-tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a very cloudy pale wheat/apricot color with no head. Mild sour aroma. The taste is very tart. Sour, with some wheat and yeast. Fruity aromas come out after a while, particularly under-ripe apricot or peach. No citrus at all in the flavor, and not as yeasty as I imagined. Medium bodied, and generally smooth. A bit like a wit meets a sour, but it works well: flavorful yet compelling

01-30-2011 23:13:16 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of mikereaser


4.2/5  rDev -3%

A - Pours a hazy golden yellow with a short layer of white foam that quickly faded.

S - Nice light citrus aroma with a bit of an earthy undertone.

T - starts with a nice tart fruit taste up front then a more mild citrus taste reminds me of peach, lemon and grapefruit. There is a nice earthiness to the base of this beer and the slight tart sweetness comes out and makes this very enjoyable.

M - Light bodied with a nice carbonation.

D - The sweet tartness along with a nice dry finish helps to bring me back to this one again and again. Dare I say a summer beer? Too expensive for that but hey, on special occasions, like when I actually mow my lawn.


07-01-2011 03:37:28 | More by mikereaser
Photo of Gtreid


4.2/5  rDev -3%

Thanks to urwithdave for opening this one during out sour tasting last weekend. 750 ml bottle, poured into a tasting glass.

A: Slightly hazy, yellow color. The pour created a nice fluffy white head that lingered for a while and left some nice lacing.

A: White wine, white grapes, apples, lacto, small brett, and lemon. A slight bready character shows up then is dashed by the acidicness.

T: Not overly sour. The brett was still young in this one, and if given more time would have really created the nice barnyard flavors it is known for. As such, there is a small horseblanket flavor, but not too big. Notes of lemon, apples, and chardonay. Finishes dry and tart.

M: Smooth light to medium body, good levels of carbonation.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is pretty good here, not the sourest of sours, but pleasant. Overall, very good example. I just wish we had given it more time to fully develop. Skal.

07-27-2010 18:11:16 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Bobheed


4.2/5  rDev -3%

A: Pours a nice hazy, pale yellow. Lots of carbonation with about a 1 and a half finger soapy white head that dissipates fairly quickly

S: Lots of funk and sourness immediately. Taking a closer smell, I get the scent of fresh picked flowers, sour yogurt, green apples

T: Quite tart, a bit venegar-y. Overall, probably the least "sour" of all of RR's sour ales, but balanced really well. Some of the funk I got on the nose, I feel, was lost here, but that may pick up more with more age on it

M: Very highly carbonated and dry. Drank, literally, like a champagne.

Overall, this was very nice. Have a few more bottles from this same batch to age and see the changes.

04-04-2012 02:22:33 | More by Bobheed
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev -3%

375 mL bottle from batch 005, thanks to nataku00. This one was poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Sanctification pours a crystal clear goldenrod, with nice lemon highlights shining through. There's about a finger and a half of of white head that lingers around for a minute or two before fading way. Not much is left in the way of lacing. The nose has a bit of light spiciness to it, but is largely dominated by earthy, wet hay brett funk. There's just a touch of cracker maltiness at the front of the flavor profile. Some definite lemon zestiness places off the spice notes from the nose, and the second half of the beer is 100% wild. It's mostly funky like the nose, but there is a slight tart edge to it. The body is dry, but not as bone dry as I might have expected. The carbonation is brisk and bubbly, lending some more excitement to the beer. Another great brew from the best wild ale producer in the country, and I look forward to having this beer again, maybe with a little more age to see what the brett can really do.

12-31-2011 06:18:56 | More by axeman9182
Photo of kiddynamite920


4.2/5  rDev -3%

A: Batch 005. Pours a bright yellow with some dull orange color. A golden copper. Head is pearly white and is hanging around at about a half fingers thickness. Swirling the glass leaves some nice lacing.

S: Mild Brett presence, definitely there but it doesn't overwhelm the beer. Behind is some great tart fruits and some citrus rind. Mild funk sits on top of a surprising alcohol aroma. Has some nice pear and apple aroma, tossed in lemon juice. Simple complexity at its finest.

T: Has a great deal of sweet fruits and some dry, wine grape flavors. The Brett is present throughout, but again it is not overwhelming. The yeast lends more of a citrusy. bready flavor rather than the barnyard type of flavor. Finishes tart and dry with a great deal of lemon.

M: Good tartness that doesn't exactly make you pucker, good balance between the Brett and the base beer. Carbonation is pretty crisp and seems to only get crisper with the tart quality of the beer. Light and refreshing and definitely worth a try.

D: The beer is definitely refreshing and intriguing, so I prefer to take a bit of time to savor it. If you do have the financial means to stock your cooler with this, by all means...have a blast. Could see this being mighty good with a bit of chill on it during a warm spring day. Nice beer.

03-02-2011 04:37:54 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of wagenvolks


4.2/5  rDev -3%

750 ml bottle courtesy of stopbarking at the Austin BA tasting.

Releases a clear, golden-straw body with a surprisingly aggressive carbonation level that supplements a well-retained head of meringue bubbles. Amazingly sour nose, with notes of lemon zest, funky Brett, and toasted biscuit malts. Almost singes the nose hairs, but the sourness is delicately intoxicating.

On the other hand, the flavor is more on the punishing side, with a sour, lemon peel dryness balanced by lots of stinky funk. Imagine James Brown singing with a mouthful of Lemonheads...yeah, that's about right. Body is crisp and clean, with a puckering, dry finish of wild yeast. Although I'm still not sold on the whole "wild/sour" experience yet, I can appreciate the craft with which Sanctification was brewed. A must-try for any extreme beer lover.

04-06-2009 04:11:59 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of bulletrain76


4.2/5  rDev -3%

Draught at the brewpub, 5.67%abv. Light straw with a white head. The aroma is floral, and quite lemony-tart, with maybe a light acetic touch. The flavor is sour, and a little funky, with some lemon, leather, and light fruitiness. Light-to-medium bodied with crisp carbonation. After the last two all-brett beers I've had (proef and avery) I wasn't expecting that much acidity in this, but this guy is pretty damn sour, with great leathery, funky tastes going on.

05-11-2009 19:48:57 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of SadMachine

New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%

Reviewed from notes from 4/14

A- Pours a slightly less than clear pale hay color. It is capped with a finger of white bubbles that dissipates quickly to a collar that maintains well thanks to lots of lively carbonation. A little lacing is left on the glass.

S- The Primary Aroma is bubble gum and Belgian candi-sugar. Mild tartness, grapes, some dry white wine, and some tannins.

T- The flavor is bright and much more tart than expected from the nose. This actually reminds me a lot of an oak aged saison like Surette. White wine grapes, Belgian yeast, and a good bit of oakiness.

M- The mouth feel is a bit thin, but has great carbonation. It finishes extremely dry.

O- Overall this is a very good sour blonde, but nothing incredible. This would be a good intro to sour beers, especially for converting wine drinkers.

06-24-2014 04:13:03 | More by SadMachine
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.21/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

07-09-2013 23:41:51 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of bcm75


4.21/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

06-16-2013 22:11:27 | More by bcm75
Photo of fdig23


4.21/5  rDev -2.8%

From the bottle.

Appearance: Murky gold, big fluffy head.

Nose: Tons of big zesty sour lemon and bitter cherry. There's barnyard funk in the background and even a hint of bready malts.

Taste: More and more lemon zest. Funk comes through in the middle with a good bit of muddy hay and horse. Finishes with that typical American candied tartness.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Nice but not exciting.

Overall: A really interesting display of Brettanomyces. Displays the full capabilities of the yeast from start to finish. The cleanest expression of this bug that I've come across.

03-26-2013 20:23:22 | More by fdig23
Photo of BillyB

New Jersey

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.

03-10-2008 15:50:12 | More by BillyB
Photo of dbossman


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

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

06-04-2011 01:01:48 | More by dbossman
Photo of DaveHS


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

A-Pours hazy blonde with a thin eggshell white head and lots of sticky lacing.

S-Nose is funky and a little tart. Like a sharper, funkier version of Damnation. Lemon peel/grapefruit acidity.

T/M-Synchronicity is the word to describe this beer. Delicate tart acidity melds with earthy funk and light prickly carbonation. The finish is chewy, with a slick yeasty brett funkiness that lingers for quite a while.

D-Excellent stuff, but WAY overhyped. Calm down, nerds.

02-03-2011 03:56:07 | More by DaveHS
Photo of Rifugium


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

06-10-2011 18:48:15 | More by Rifugium
Photo of TMoney2591


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

Served in a flared pokal.

Thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Batch 005. As Bob Hope would say, "That's wild!" Ahem. This stuff pours a hazy pale gold topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, ginger, sweet lemonade, and light coconut. The taste holds notes of light tart lemon zest, ginger, light nutmeg, Brett funk, and light lettuce. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry, lightly sticky finish. Overall, a very nice wild, one that certainly lives up to its reputation.

11-29-2011 00:45:52 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of portia99


4.22/5  rDev -2.5%

750ml bottle (batch 4) purchased at the brewpub. Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a translucent, hazy pale golden orange color with a huge 2 fingers of fluffy white foam with excellent staying power. Tons of lacing left behind on the glass.

S - Very fruity on the nose...tons of apples, lemons, some tangerines, peaches. Lightly funky/farmhousey brett aromas.

T - Lightly tart, lots of brett funk - barnyardy for sure, some finishing bitterness. Fruity - lemony citrus with limes, oranges...very light and crisp - quite refreshing - great warm weather sour.

M - Thin in body with ample carbonation. Tart but not super sour...crisp flavors...excellent.

D - This is one exceptionally drinkable wild ale. Sourness/tartness is mild. Very fruity and complex. Very thirst quenching. Excellent overall. Highly recommended.

07-17-2010 20:14:04 | More by portia99
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,000 ratings.