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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,181 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,181
Reviews: 572
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,082
Gots: 664 | 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: 2,181 | Reviews: 572 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Danielr26
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Danielr26, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Bartos
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Bartos, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bizatch 002, about 1% lower alcohol also. 750ml

hazy almond color with orange highlights, this beer looks like a fruit-infused old lambic. it sits still with wispy flecks of white fluff here and there, disappearing quickly. looks like it belongs comfortably in the realm of sour beers and wild ales.

smells like a milder, even version of what you're used to expecting from a cantillon-strength wild ale. take that melange of acidity and even it out with some hints of baby power, violet, and grapefruit rind.. and you've got the brilliantly alive yet tame eau de sanctification.

first thing i notice on the first sip is the delicate mouthfeel. the carbonation, the mid-level gravity.. this beer feels perfect in my mouth. amazing. next comes the sourness.. still green, not at its cheek-puckering apex yet. the sourness present here is akin to diluted lemon juice. even and mild, yet perky, and definitely stimulating salivation. ends up with a bitter mouth resin that blends with a bit of buttery breadiness. in there, there are some notes of unripe berry that play very nicely with the sourness. the beer has a refreshing quality that is a badge of honor among beers in this category. i just can't stop imbibing.

other reviewers found this beer to be dry, i don't get that. its very juicy with very little dryness for what it is.

warmth changes this beer a bit.. it brings out a more complex element of sourness and adds some body odor funk to the aroma. perhaps those elements bring it closer to traditional. either way, this beer is really nice and a great summer release.

i plan to cellar a bottle also, hoping for the breadiness to even out and allow the brettanomyces to evolve to the next level. excellent work.

goodbyeohio, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft last week at Russian River Brewing Co. listed on their board as "100% Brettanomyces, 6.25%ABV" for $4 -poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a fairly clean straw-like hue, with a constant light effervescence, and basically no head and not much lacing either.

S: Very mellow woodiness and light Brett funk, green apples and grain.

T: Very mellow and similar to the nose, light funk, mild sourness with a grainy/bready finish. This is an extremely friendly Wild Ale and would be a good starting point for someone who wants to get into these types of wild/sour ales.

M: Light-bodied and similar feel to a dry champagne - smooth, crisp and clean, mellow carbonation and a bit of lactic bitterness that lingers a while, but is not overaggressive by any means.

D: All day drinker, especially in the hot summer months.

DeanMoriarty, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

GonzoHomebrewer, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of CGMLS3
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

CGMLS3, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of artoolemomo
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

artoolemomo, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of kbrown
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

kbrown, May 17, 2014
Photo of dertyd
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

dertyd, May 31, 2014
Photo of younger35
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank on 1/26/08, taken from notes.

Was lucky enough to try this delicious brew on a recent visit to Russian River. This was my first taste of anything from them and I'm glad I started with Sanctification. Drank from Russian River snifter.

Appearance- Pours a pale yellow with excellent clarity and about a two finger white foamy head. Excellent cap and collar is left for the duration of the beer along with some decent sticky lacing.
Smell- Plenty of dirty funk in this one! Wet dog and musty basement ooze out of the pores of this brew. Banana, sour apple and lemon zest add a bit of citrus fruitiness that is more than pleasing. The yeast dirtiness dominates though leaving a spicy lingering white pepper in the nostrils.
Taste- Starts off fairly normal with a soft banana like quality that quickly gets drowned out by the sour apples, lemon and hay like yeast. Sour but not to the point of puckering. Dirty in a most excellent way that seems to coat the mouth in this raw citrus like funk. Finishes with a lingering woodiness that is very dry and acidic.
Mouthfeel- Fairly thin but crisp and refreshing with fairly aggressive carbonation and a very dry finish.
Drinkability- Not being the biggest fan of Brettanomyces I was really surprised how much I liked this. It's not over the top sour but just enough that it's the centerpiece of the beer, not the whole beer. There's enough going on around it to keep everything in check. Great beer that drinks way to easy.

younger35, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of spoony
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 375 ml bottle (dated November 28, 2012) into a tulip.

A-This brew produces a healthy, three-finger head of shiny, soapy, off-white foam. The head hangs around for quite a while, which isn't surprising since carbonation is very visible in the beer. The brew is yellowish, gold in color and a touch murky.

S-The smell is a big dose of funk. There is a lot of brett here giving off that earthy, musty note that plays quite well against the slightly tart lemon, mandarin orange, and straw characters of the beer. The smell is complex and pleasing; I keep sticking my nose in to get another whiff.

T-The taste is also quite heavy on the brett. I taste a lactic, earthy tartness that combines nicely with lemon, mandarin orange, straw, candy sugar, and a touch of oaky vinegar. Again, pleasing and drinkable. The sour factor is low to medium, and fits well with rest of the brew.

M-The brew starts out with a wave of noticeable carbonation and finishes on the slick side. The heft is moderate and pairs nicely with the flavors.

O-This is another great Russian River wild/sour ale. Brewers can sometimes overplay their hand when it comes to brett beers, but this one manages to keep the smell and flavors that brett imparts without making brett the only thing going on. I'm not sure if this was the right beer to drink on a snowy March evening, but I will certainly search this out again in warmer seasons.

spoony, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of phishbone23
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

phishbone23, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of Phillyz
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Phillyz, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of coldmeat23
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

coldmeat23, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of AdamP
4.2/5  rDev -3%

AdamP, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

jkball01, Apr 10, 2014
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.

Domingo, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not my favorite offering from RR but still a good beer.

Delicate straw orange color with lots of lacing and a nice head. Semi clear, has some haze to it though.

The smell is of funky, barnyard yeast saison with notes of bright fruit, brett.

Nice classic funk in the taste with a lesser wheaty saison base. Lemongrass notes are prominent, but theres a metallic edge that isn't great to it. Sweet as well. The mouth is good overall, bright on the palate.

Dreadnaught33, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Kramerbarthomer, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of erialbill
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

erialbill, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of Docer
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml poured into a tulip.. batch 005 6.75% alc.

- Appearance: (4.5)
Pours an ever so slightly cloudy straw pale yellow, big fluffy white head.. sticks around a bit, leaves a steady 1/4" in the glass with lacing all about.

- Smell: (4.0)
Much like the Redemption in the background, but with a Brett twist. Grainy wet biscuit malt bad with a zest, twist of lemon, slight clove, and tart Brett character. Thinking this one would get much more crazy over time. Slight white grape character.

- Taste: (4.0)
Super zesty bright citrus tart sour goodness. Rather spicy in the finish. Light golden bready malts sit quietly in the background while a zesty and spicy lemon tart punch hits the palate with a surprise. Quite good, and quite different.

- Mouth Feel: (4.0)
Rather bubbly, and light. Leaves the mouth watering for more while leaving its dry character behind as a reminder. Very fine tuned.

- Overall: (4.0)
Very good, and full of zesty Brett goodness as this is a 100% Brett sour. Spicy and tongue grabbing it is. I would love to see what a bottle of this would turn out like in a 55 deg. F cooler after about 8 years. Super good, and a very unique sour.

Docer, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 005

A: Active, bubbly, yellow pour with a nice white head. Retention is great. The cork was really difficult to get out.

S: Smells a lot like a blonde ale, yeasty, light, fruits, with some Brett mixed in.

T: The taste is very sour, without much flavor to curb it. The typical hefeweizen-like flavors are there: yeast, banana, clove. But they are complimented with the sourness. Sort of an odd taste. A bit too sweet for my liking.

MF: Really carbonated, perhaps too much so. Light, but it has a strange aftertaste.

O: I was disappointed by this one. Just not enough flavor to hold it together. This was one odd sour.

russwbeck, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of _morandi_
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

_morandi_, Sep 10, 2014
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.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of BeerThursdays
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

BeerThursdays, Jan 20, 2013
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,181 ratings.