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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SanctificationSanctification

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,151
Reviews: 572
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 1,079
Gots: 656 | FT: 42
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: 2,151 | Reviews: 572 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

InspectorBob, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -7.4%

drewone, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 mL C&C bottle poured into a tulip. Batch 5

Color is a glowing straw golden, with a slight haze. Initially a large, foamy bone white head that quickly fades to a ring of bubbles with minimal lacing.

Aroma is dry, bretty and funky with a earthy, peppery finish. In between a fresh grassy aroma sits on top of a reluctant, mild tropical sweetness. More sour and funk than tart. Smooth and well balanced without being remotely offensive to even someone unfamiliar with the style.

Front of the palate picks up lemon zest and rind with a mild green apple sourness back across the palate. Brett is present throughout but the funk is not as strong as the nose and a green, grassy sourness dominates throughout. There is a strong biscuit like malt presence throughout with a latent juicy tropical fruit sweetness. If that sweetness would be more assertive I would put this up there with Supplication, Temptation, or Consecraction, but without it this a little to one dimensionally green and sour.

Mouthfeel is light with effervescent, champagne like carbonation. Finish is dry and puckering, exceptionally refreshing.

Not crazy about this batch, but a second tier Russian River is still a few miles ahead of most other American choices.

yourefragile, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to Mihir for bringing this to our sour tasting.

Ours a cloudy golden yellowish orange color and cometely opaque with a one finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of soapy lacing.

Dry musty barnyard funky brett aroma with lots of earthy horseblanlet notes and crisp light fruit. Bready yeast along with citrus peel and crisp apple and pear notes.

Slightly creamy lactic medium body with a lot of dry bretty funk. Tart and puckering without being acidic at all. Very dry with a champagne like efervescence in the finish. Very well balanced with a sweet crisp light fruit balancing out the dry tart funk. Lots of apple and pear. Slight vinous sweet aftertaste that lingers long into the finish, making me want to take another sip immediately. Highly recommended!

corby112, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of batch 5 via trade with nickd717 thanks again nick!

A - Pours hazy golden yellow with a nice bubbly one finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving light webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lemon, tangerine, bretty earth, and some light funk. I really liked how much fruit came thru in this one. It still had plenty of funk to go around but it really played second fiddle to the fruit. Nice and subtle.

T - Starts off with a big dose of bretty funk giving way quickly to a nice mix of bright citrus fruit and strong puckering sourness. Finish is a mix of lingering sourness and light citric acidity. Nice light sour that was very easy to drink. It wore me down quick tho. Overall it was pretty good but it got to me over the course of the bottle. Much stronger than it feels.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. The funky feel is quite soft with plenty of it lingering for some time. It was quite easy to drink.

O - Very nice. I think I still prefer temptation overall but I really liked this one. Just a bit too strong on the funk at the moment. I could see this developing beautifully over the next year or so.

orangesol, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to phnphilly for opening this at Phatz's sour beer tasting...
Batch # 3.
Appears a cloudy pale gold with a white head that fades into a thick cap with tons of lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of pils malt, brett abound, lemony zest, and oaky vanilla.
Taste is of the same but slightly weaker with soapy lemon and mild hints of coriander pulling through.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet-tart, soapy, oaky, and fizzy.

weeare138, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of stakem
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4, 750ml corked and caged bottle care of CaptinRedBeard. Thanks Corey for sharing this brew.

Poured into a 6oz snifter, Sanctification appears a light hazed yellow color with a white cap of foam that fades quickly leaving faint spots of lace along the glass.

The nose of this brew is bretty with some light fruit flavors minorly reminescent of lemon zest. The primary characteristic of this brew's aroma is the funky goodness imparted by the brett and a minor almost lactic quality.

The taste of this brew is just like the aroma led on, primarily influenced by brett with some wet leathery character that clings to the tongue. A slight lemony rind flavor is evident just like the nose suggested. Throughout the body are funky notes, earthy, lactic and a light suggestion of something I keep coming across that seems to me to be quite plastic-like. It isn't offputting in any way but just adds a unique character to the brew.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is super drinkable and has a minor puckering quality to the tongue that made me salivate in ancitipation of the next sip.

stakem, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, a Russian River sour. Always a great privilege to review a new one, although it does mean that there's one less still waiting for me out there. I think this indeed might be the last widely available example I've yet to try. How sad.

Pours a bright hazed yellow golden colour, with a frothy and relatively fine head of white, that leaves rigorous and webby lace down the inside of the glass. Looks the business.

Nose is fresh and redolent with tart citric fruit and a oak-fermented vanillin character that smooths this out. Under it all is a big earthy, funky depth that gives whiffs of organics and odour. It adds such an awesomely weird complexity to the nose. Love it.

Taste is tart and rich, with a clean feel and profile that allows the vinous acidity and smooth oak characters to meld into something that is funky and weird, but also remarkably crisp and drinkable. Green apple tinge, white grapes, earthy funk and pleasant dryness on the finish. Oh lovely.

Top-notch brew. It's remarkable how clean, drinkable and refreshing this is—usually the RR sours are about depth, complexity and mind-blowingness—this is perhaps the perfect summer drinking beer. Crisp, refreshing and biting. Lovely beer.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of wrightst
3.25/5  rDev -24.8%

wrightst, May 24, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #6

A: Pours a lightly cloudy straw to pale golden yellow in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall bright white head that reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of funkiness - like an aromatic cheese or almost feet - along with a lighter amount of sourness. To me, this is a very inviting aroma.

T: Similar to the smell but the sourness (an acidic sourness) is much stronger in the taste than the smell. Light amounts of lemon citrus and just a hint of vinegar.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Prickly.

O: Delicious and complex, an amazing sipping beer and something I would be happy to have multiple times again in the future. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Thanks to my amazing wife for bringing this one home from a business trip to LA.

dbrauneis, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

tempest, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy straw color with good carbonation and a nice white cap.

S: Funk. Sour notes, tart fruits, lemon and hay

T: Similiar to the smell but with a notable lemonish presnce, sour, tart fruits, hay. Much more flavor and booze kick from the bottle I thought

M: Light and easy to drink and the pucker factor is there.

D; This beer was good not very attractive. I found myself wanting to sip this down so I can move on

barleywinefiend, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this beer has either improved a good bit since I last reviewed it 3 years ago, or its better on draft. Had this at the RR pub. Pours a pale golden with a thin head that sticks around as a thin swirl. The smell is sour, but there are also notes of wintergreen, lactic aromas, some earthy hops and some slight barnyard, and some lemon. Tastes tangy and a bit sour, but with some distinct earthy hops and some funky barnyard. Tart and refreshing with some lingering bitterness from both the hops and the barrel.

Georgiabeer, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

duceswild, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of akorsak
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle of Batch 003. I've had this one for almost 2 years.

A: The ale pours with a pale peach color that exists somewhere between light brown and turbid yellow. The fullness is accentuated by sediment, yeast suspended mid-glass. Two fingers of head don't leave much lace in their wake.

S: The nose is rich, heavy with green grapes and apples. The tartness is profound, sour beyond description. The oak is evident, buttery with a strong vanilla presence. A very intriguing nose that doesn't hide what's in store.

T: The first sip reaffirms the delicious tartness, almost making me recoil at the strength. Behind, or perhaps mixed with, the bitterness, green fruits lurk with a sweet dryness. Seems like all possible sugars have been sucked out of this ale, it is bone-dry. The oak has left vanilla and boozy sweetness in its wake, flavors that struggle at first to emerge before blossoming later in the glass. As the ale warms, citrus flavors become more evident amongst the sourness, accentuating lemon and orange among others. Mid-sip, the tartness leaves a heat that lingers until the end of the sip. Even bready malts don't stand a chance against the tart and bold flavors. A standout sour ale.

M: I'd use the term vinous but it doesn't do justice as no wine has nearly this much going on. The sourness is mouth-numbing, challenging each sip with a tartness that leaves fresth citrus in its aftermath.

D: The sour, despite its boldness, is very approachable. The booze never asserts itself and the range of flavor that emerges from this simple ale is exemplary.

akorsak, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this. Poured into snifter.

Pours a light layer of white head. Color is a bright golden prairie straw. Good retention.

Aroma: Very golden ale like. Some herbal flavors with some floral notes. It is funky and has a decent amount of brett. It has some lemon citrus and a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. More brett here. Lemon citrus and sweetness. It has herbal and floral notes with a touch of spice. Again, very golden ale like with Belgian yeast. Has a grape/wine like flavor with some oak. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Pretty clean. Lighter bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, a really nice sour beer for RR. It was different from their others, but still good. Pretty drinkable. I was a fan of this one.

mothman, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

DoubleJ, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of superspak
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into tulip, batch 005. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Some soapy lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of huge lemon, grass, sour apple, pepper, hay, bread, yeast spices, and nice funkiness. Great aromas here with fantastic balance. Not overly funky or sour with a great mix of all aromas. Taste of big sour apple, tart lemon, grass, hay, pepper, spices, bread, yeast spices, and funkiness. Lingering notes of tart apple, lemon, pepper, bread, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Light acidity present on the finish as well, but is nicely balanced and not overpowering. Medium carbonation and body. Incredibly drinkable and smooth; great balance with the acidity. Incredibly crisp and clean body with a perfect amount of carbonation for the style. Alcohol is not noticed at all for 6.75% as expected. Overall this is a smooth and incredible wild ale. So much great complexity and balance.

superspak, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh at my tasting on August 7, 2010. Thanks Matt! Served alongside six other Russian River wild ales.

Batch 003

A: Sanctification appears a really hazy yellow color. There is a white bubbly head that fades after a few moments, leaving very little lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is very prominent brettanomyces scents with some hints of oak. Very nice.

T: The beer tastes great. It is definitely sour, but not nearly as much as I was hoping or expecting. Perhaps a byproduct of this is that Sanctification isn't as bold and/or aggressive as the other sours in the lineup. Nonetheless, it is quite tasty. Again, brettanomyces is really present throughout. No surprise, since this is a 100% brett beer.

M: Really smooth and easy. No pucker factor from the wild yeast, just easy drinking.

D: Extremely drinkable, chuggable even. I'm glad I have more of this in the cellar.

Huhzubendah, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

BARFLYB, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +10%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Russian River
Sanctification

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.

Stinkypuss, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Gonzoillini, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Mebuzzard, May 06, 2012
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill

750ml Caged/Corked
Batch 002

Poured into a chalice a nice cloudy light golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger white creamy head which lasts a little while, then leaves some nice slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is of malts, beligium yeast, grapes, pears, and some spices. The taste is very nice, tangy/slightly sour, yeasty, slightly spicy. Medium body, highly carbonated. Very drinkable, really enjoying this one, another awesome brew from RR. Thanks again buddy.

Wasatch, Mar 27, 2007
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,151 ratings.