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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company


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1,663 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1663
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: 1,663 | Reviews: 561 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of M_C_Hampton


4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: served on tap into a goblet, hazy golden yellow with a short white head that lingers leaving some lacing, very cloudy

S: salty and sour, heavy on brett smells, funky

T: very sour up front, tart and tangy fruits, persimmon, nice hop bitterness on finish

M: light and fluffy, higher carbonation

O: fantastic sour wild ale, the yeast melds well with the flavors persent in this beer, reviewed from notes taken on 3/7/14

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2014 01:15:08 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of BMMillsy


4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on draft at the brewery. chalk board noted this was the 2013 batch, poured March 4, 2014. pours hazy yellow with white head. Sour apple aroma, vinegar, lots of Brett. Nice Brett on the flavor with sweet citrus fruits and lemon peel, some pears and green apples. Tart and lactic but not mouth puckering sour to deal with here. Very light and goes down easy with near spritzy carbonation. Really nice Brett beer that I would definitely have again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2014 05:29:38 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of dalahodson


4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2013 22:42:09 | More by dalahodson
Photo of jvillefan


4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The body is a pale hazy yellow with a pure white lacy one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Very mild, especially for a sour. I wish it was a little stronger. Estery with a hint of sour apple.

T: Sour apple is in the front. There is estery and oaky flavors running throughout.

M: Nice body and very sharp carbonation.

O: Great sour. Not the best at Russian River but worth trying none the less.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2013 18:14:12 | More by jvillefan
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 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 WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

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

Had this at the brewpub. Pours a light, slightly hazy yellow. Tastes slightly sour, tart with some lemon and grass notes. Makes your mouth pucker in a nice way. very impressed with their wild ales. This brewery blows my mind, and attacks my taste buds beautifully.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2012 15:13:48 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of denver10


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

Pours a dark yellow with a white head and nice lacing. Tart aroma of grapes and apple with a touch of sweetness hiding in there and some controlled funk. Kinda wine like in flavor with the grapes and apples teaming up to give it some sweetness and a nice tartness bordering on sourness, a little wood in there as well and a wonderfully controlled funkiness. Medium bodied, not much carbonation. Overall, a nice enjoyable wild ale though maybe a touch too much wine-like for my personal tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2012 21:36:56 | More by denver10
Photo of Philousa


2.5/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Imbibed on tap at Harry's Hofbrau on 3/31/2012.

Looks like a wit. Cloudy, tawny, but with very little head. Lots of light malts in aroma, some whit bread characteristics, no sourness to speak of. Horse blanket comes as it warms (was served too cold imho). Taste starts out with light malt, coriander, follwed by tart, slightly sour taste. Bitter after flavor lingers in the back of the throat and mingles with tartness. Lots of brett, but not any of the other critters I enjoy so much. Pretty grainy mouthfeel, indicative of the cloudy look.

I was looking for something complex and this one just didn't deliver. Looking back, I know i had my expectations all wrong, but at the same time, you can make the base malt a little more interesting. There really wasn't much to this beer that I could isolate as interesting. I love the idea of just fermenting with a bacteria though. Gotta give it to them for doing something that no other brewery has tried (to my knowledge). I think a real problem with this was that I had it too cold and in the wrong glassware. The small serving glasses that Harry's serves is more like a tiny Pilsener glass, when something like this would be much better in a globe or tulip glass with something to keep head retention. In my opinion, most beer is served too cold, and I feel it really hurt this beer in particular. Would try it again if someone had it in a bottle or served it properly, but I'm not going out of my way to find it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2012 18:27:38 | More by Philousa
Photo of deebo


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

On tap at RR.

A-Cloudy and golden with a clinging white foam.

S-Not very aromatic, barley malt with a hint of hops with a faint Brettomyces funk.

T-Upfront is barley malt and taste typical of a flavorful golden ale. End note is hoppy then the Brett takes over.

M-Medium/light bodied with a slight puckering astringent end note.

O-This combo of golden ale + Brett gives a finished beer somewhat remniscent of a Belgian wit with lemon. Very unique and fun to try.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2012 00:18:17 | More by deebo
Photo of kojevergas


3.1/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a sampler at Russian River's taproom in Santa Rosa during the Pliny the Younger release. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high because I love this brewery.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a cloudy lemon yellow. Murky.

Sm: Lemon and wheat. Quite lactic. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Pleasant.

T: Lactic, with sourness, lemon tart, and maybe yeast. Decently balanced, but a bit strange. Simple but enjoyable for the style. The simplicity does bother me; there's not a whole lot to say about it as a result.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Maybe a bit thin.

Dr: Drinkable for the style, but too simple and a bit too thin. I might have it again, but Russian River has far better brews.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 22:29:01 | More by kojevergas
Photo of jbakajust1


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

2010 keg poured into 12oz Tear Drop @ Bier Stein

A - Pours a clear straw w/ 1 finger white head, lots of tiny bubbles, quick fades to a slick on top, leaves good lacing on the glass, and has lots of carbonation dancing.

S - Smells of hay and straw, pears, lemons, spices, pepper, white wine.

T - Tartness jumps off w/ lots of fruit, pear, apple, cherry, lemons, very dry. White wine.

M - Light body, bone dry finish, prickly carbonation, bitterness acentuated by the dryness.

O - Good beer, refreshing, tart and dry, big fruits, some hay, not a lot of funk for a 100% Brett beer, but still good.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2011 22:37:55 | More by jbakajust1
Photo of ehammond1

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 21:39:11 | More by ehammond1
Photo of dgilks


4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy, pale straw colour with a small white head. Decent head retention for a sour. Nice lacing.

Light lactic and acetic tartness. A touch of crisp apple and pear aroma.

Nice lemony character with plenty of tartness. Hard apple and some berries. Well built.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A crisp, balanced and fruity sour ale which is nicely built and has a good mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 12:13:08 | More by dgilks
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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


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

On tap at resurrection ale house on younger morning. Big ups to Brendan and leigh for making this happen.

A- comes to me with a big finger of bright white head that settles rather quickly and leaves just a faint ring around the glass. Hazy straw yellow in color like the sun on a perfect spring day.

S- lemon zest and funky brett with a musty wet hay kick to it. Malts come off light and barely sweet.

T- tart and fruity up front with lots of lemons and a touch of other citrus then rolls slowly into the bretty funk that give a bit of barnyard twang and a vegetative hit. Powdery and dry malts provide a great platform for the rest of the flavor profile.

M- less then medium in body with a nice bright small bubbled carb that works just right. Great pucker for this one but not a monster butt hole ripper.

D- I've had this a few times in the last couple weeks and it just keeps getting better. One of the more quafable american wild ales out there. No surprise when its a rr brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2011 16:58:16 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of dirtyskunk


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

I went to The Kitchen on Pearl St. in Boulder for a taste of Pliny the Younger. There was a huge line outside, but we got a decent place and the waiter suggested that we would be served more quickly sitting at a table instead of crowding around the bar. Unfortunately, this didn't work out and the keg ran out just before we were served. The staff was very apologetic and gave us some glasses of Sanctification on the house.

Poured into an oversize wine glass, minimal head disappears quickly with very little lacing. The color is a very warm orange, murky with the appearance of a lot of sediment.

The smell is quite good, strong orange, citrus and floral notes. Also a little bit of a fresh-baked-bread smell, maybe with slight hints of gingerbread and spices.

The taste is surprising at first, given that this is my first encounter with a brett beer. Fairly acidic and slightly funky. With the strong lemon and orange flavors, the tartness reminds me of orange juice. It's very dry with that sort of dusty straw taste like a good wheat beer.

The mouthfeel is very nice. I can't quite describe it. It's not particularly carbonated, but for some reason it feels like champagne. Very smooth.

Not usually my style of beer, and the tangy funk is what people call "interesting" with a slight pause in their voice. Despite all this, the beer is quite drinkable and a real treat. I could easily drink a few more of these.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2011 02:21:12 | More by dirtyskunk
Photo of patm1986

New Jersey

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

thank you, hulmeville inn, for the great RR tappings on 1 march 2011

draft into 8oz goblet

a- pale, pale, cloudy yellow tint. bubbly from bottom to top. light ring of foam, but didn't pour with much of a head.

s- butterscotch, plantains, white grapes, sour apples. sour aroma is light but penetrating, like pinot grigo or chardonnay.

t- lemon juice, granny smith apples, chardonnay, a hit of clove spice at the very end. sour, sweet-tart-like. very crisp shot to the palate.

m- dry, dry, dry. bitter and metallic. pucker up a bit. very dry finish injects the sour right into the corners of your mouth.

d- excellent. this has such a light body and a cool, dry, crisp finish that it's very reminiscent of a cider or a pinot grigo/chardonnay.

this is a delicious drinker. even for a sour or something so dry, this is a beer i'd have several glasses of. the 5-6% abv keeps you honest, too

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2011 05:02:45 | More by patm1986
Photo of Domingo


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

Had this at the PtY tapping event at Freshcraft.
Arrives a slightly cloudy yellow color with a thin white head. Looks a little like an Orangina.
Starts of with lots of citrus zest, and the middle follows with a little bit of spicy pepper notes and malt. Finish is clean with just a little lingering sourness. It's almost like a lemon/pepper beer of sorts. Hop character doesn't come through much in the nose or flavor but seem to work as a managing agent for the sourness and slight sweetness. There's a distinct lack of harshness to the yeast, which I truly appreciate. Some wild ales have a nearly painful finish, but that's definitely no issue here.
Texture might be a hair thin, but it's not really much of an issue.
Like most RR beers you probably won't be drinking this by the gallon without going broke...but you'll wish you could.
This is a bit of an "old school" sour wild ale. No bells and whistles (or unusual barrels/fruits), just a good solid beer with pretty much no flaws.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2011 15:06:10 | More by Domingo
Photo of BARFLYB


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

On Tap at Monk's Cafe for their 4th annual RR day.

Sanctification came in the glass looking like juice of sorts. A light gold with some yellow/orange resembling lemon juice. A nice whisp of foamy white head on top, some patches of stick on the upper reaches of the glass. Smell is pretty tame considering it's RR were dealing with. Pretty much a base blond beer with some brett scent and light fruits. Simple yet so nice. A very light sour, tastes of some Begian yeast (I believe Westmalle), earth, light biscuit, banana, semi tropics, sour brett which is more funky than all out sour at this point. Some nice lemon taste on the backend. I remember this being a bit more complex out of a batch 2 bottle so maybe Vinnie tweaked this some. Feel is light bodied and very refreshing. This is very drinkable beer but expensive for what it is so not one to have two or three of. This is something I would bring to a picnic with a girl on a nice sunny day.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2011 11:29:02 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of DoubleJ


4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the less mainstream of the Russian River sours, on-tap at Tustin Brewing Company. $8.50 for a tiny 8 ounce pour, on to the beer:

Dirty, cloudy wheat grain color with no head from the pour. A small trickle of lacing grasps onto the glass. The nose is little surprise to me, a big slap of sour lemon and lemonheads. Taste...no big surprise is the sour lemon aspect. In addition to that major flavor, there are subtle flavors of sourdough bread and vomit (in a good way). Moderately acidic for a sour; there's enough to make you sense that the enamel on your teeth is decaying. Good sour all around with an appetizing feel and approachable character.

I held the high expectation of being blown away, but I'll settle for a good sour anyday. Maybe this is a beer than loses some of its character in a keg or requires a larger sampling to better understand this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2011 04:56:14 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the tap at the Russian River Brewing co. brewhouse.

Appearance: Cloudy golden yellow. Light head.

Smell: Bread. Smell of grapes and tannins. Light liquor smell.

Taste: Similiar to the smell but with some hop profile. Slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and easy to drink.

Drinkability: Good. I preferr this over the wine inflected belgians that russian river is offering. I wouldn't turn one down. Would make a great gift beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2011 05:36:48 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of notchucknorris


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

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


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

Had on tap at the PtY release up at the RR brewpub.

Appearance - Given to me in a generic RR tulip. Straw yellow in color, slight white quickly dissipating head that leaves slight lacing.

Smell - Some great barnyard funk followed by green apples, slight tropical fruit, and lemon. A hint of floral aroma wafts up toward me as I let the beer warm a bit.

Taste - Relatively similar to the nose. I get a bit more lemon zest than some of the other citrus aromas I smelled. A nice tart barnyard funk to the beer, grape/wine like notes, and a hint of oakyness.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied, relatively high carbonation, dry and crisp.

Drinkability - Different from some of the other RR staples (i.e. Temp, Cons, and Sup) but pretty drinkable nonetheless. Glad I picked up twelve of these suckers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 04:25:19 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of mithrascruor


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

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

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2011 23:13:16 | More by mithrascruor
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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,663 ratings.