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Beatification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BeatificationBeatification

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

538 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 538
Hads: 2,458
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.46%
Wants: 3,162
Gots: 543 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 01-25-2006

This beer is very unique and inspired by breweries in the Lambic region of Belgium and, especially, our friends at Cantillon. It is 100% spontaneously fermented, meaning yeast is not added. Once the beer is brewed, it is transferred to a cool-ship or “horny” tank located in our barrel room at the pub. There it sits overnight and collects whatever funky wild yeast and bacteria may be living in the room. The next day it is transferred to oak wine barrels where it ferments wildly and ages for a few months. The end result is a wild, spontaneously fermented, sour, and tasty hand-crafted beer!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 538 | Hads: 2,458
Photo of mentor
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle. Pours a cloudy pale straw with minimal whitish head. Smells mild. Horseblanket and wheat. Soured from brettanomyces. Sort of acetic, but mild overall. Pineapple, lemon zest, wet lemon oils.

Tastes soured brett. Puckering. Potent in the respect. Lactic and lemony. Like sucking on a fresh lemon wedge. Grapefruit and pineapple. Light crisp dry and clean. Great drinkability. Nice light summer quencher.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a batch 2 375ml bottle that i drank from Rochefort glass.

This beer pours a dark yellow that has a hint of orange in it, much much darker than tempation. The head and carbonation are both disappointing as I get NO HEAD AT ALL. There is no lacing either.

The aroma is all sour and funk but sadly there isn't much complexity or other aromas. You are just overwhelmed by sour.

The taste makes up for what is lacking in appearance and aroma. It is sweet to start then very tart, definetly a puckerer, the rest of the way but not so overwhelming you can't drink it.

The feel is tart and heavy and just coasts your tongue but crisp to drink and great drinkability for a sour beer.

Overall this wild ale is a good beer, partly just because I love sours. however, compared to other sours it is severly lacking in complexity and originality. Would I drink this beer again? Certainly. Would I go out of my to find it, trade something special to get it, or pay a lot at an auction site no.

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Photo of mattsdenney
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Unexpected gift from a friend in California. Bottle dated 9/11/13, a little over 10 months old.

Pours with very little head. Hazy, light yellow in color. Smells fresh and tart. Fruity, flowery, and hints of vanilla. Wow, this is sour. What I get after that initial pucker is fresh citrus, earthiness, and a smooth vanilla oak aftertaste. This is one of the most flavorful beers I've ever had. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly. The natural fermentation yields a perfect feel. Overall I'm really impressed with this beer and I'm not a huge fan of sours. This is one of the best I've ever had.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 011012

Very light yellow body. Large fine white head. Bit of lace.

Smells almost like farts. This is some serious funk.

Incredibly sour. One of the sourest beers I've ever had. Like, Rodenbach levels of sour. Kinda sticks with you like Warheads.

Pretty fine feel, but it's a bit sticky.

Really sour and good, maybe worth the effort to get it though.

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Photo of brdc
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002, small caorked and caged bottle. Courtesy of someone who I unfortunately lost track after my basement flooded.

It is a bright orange, somewhat hazy brew with a rather small white head that shows modest retention and lacing.
Aroma is dominated by tart, acidic notes; some of that expected leathery funkiness, but faint; oakiness is also subtle, although increases as it warms up.
This is dry, very tart and acidic, with little to no accompanying sweet notes. Fruity, citric notes come in, but the tartness just about overwhelms everything else.
Lacking complexity and balance to some extent, but still a very pleasant beer.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The label says bottled on 011012. Thanks a bunch to Bendurgin for sharing this tickalicious brew. The color is light golden. There is a small layer of bubbles on top.

The aroma has some nice tartness and lemongrass showing prominently. A hint of sweet-tart like candy could be perceived here.

The taste is full of lemon sourness in the front and the finish. I get a little more sweetness from the beer after several sips. Any oak or barrel notes are subtly placed in the finish. This is a very strong taste, suitable for slow sipping.

This is medium bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall, this is a real treat; one I'd love to have more of.

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Photo of BillyB
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared this brew with a couple of my non-BA friends at a party. They all said it tasted like champagne. It was a hit and a lot of them were amazed that it was actually a beer.

Poured a clear light amber color with a thick one inch white foamy head.

Aromas were out of this world. Incredible funky, earthy, horseblanket, wood aromas. Musty.

Tastes of lemon and other citrusy characteristics. Also moldy, musty, funky yeast and some light sweet maltiness.

Mouthfeel is incredibly light and has a nice tingly carbonation to it.

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Photo of elricorico
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002. Yellow gold in colour and fairly clear. A wisp of white head. Carbonation slowly rising.

Peach aroma, with a fairly strong sourness and a bit of oak. Nice to the nose.

Tastes of peach juice, funk, sourness, orange rind and oak. Quite a nice mix. Sourness strong but not the strongest I've had from this brewery.

Light bodied but not watery, though at moments it has a very wet feel to it. Fairly well carbonated.

A sipper, but not the slowest beer to drink. I must say I wasn't disappointed by the wild ales I've had from Russian River.

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Photo of Nick3
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3. Rather clear, golden colored beer with minimal head and retention. Carbonation is abundant. Bouquet has a mild funk and is dominated by hay and lemons. Can't wait to taste this one. Quite sour taste here induces some puckering, lemons and grapefruit hit you mid way and the sourness returns and lingers through the finish for quite some time. I prefer Consecreation and Temptation a bit more but this is still another great beer from RR which I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys the style.

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Photo of Bobbydigi
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002 375ml Poured into a tulip glass.

This is a very different beer from what I'm used to. I've had a few sours and this one was the most pronounced in every way. Poured a hazy yellow with about an inch of white head leaving little lacing. Big lemon and citrus smell, some earthy tones and some funk. You can tell this one is going to be sour. First taste was WOW that sour almost in a bad way, but after i keep sipping my taste buds start to get used to what they are sensing. Very tart (obviously), acidic and citrus. This is a very powerful tasting brew, I was thinking about reviewing another beer tonight but I don't know if my taste buds can adjust. Mouth feel is good, not too much carbonation at all. I have an 003 in the cellar I might have to bust it out soon and compare notes.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'd had this beer before, and enjoyed it immensely, at two different GABF's. It was even better in the bottle - super sour, uncompromising, and delicious. Very gueuze-like, which is not such a stretch once you read the description of this beer.

It poured a hazy straw color with an exuberant head which stuck around forever. Aroma was very gueuze-like, and it was a touch champagne-like, but also rough, chalky, and very citrus-y. Not understated like Cantillon - this stuff is assertive, very sour, not overly sweet (like Berlinerweisse) with a very rough and chalky mouthfeel. If Cantillon was in Michigan rather than Brussels, then this is what gueuze would be known to taste like. In addition to rough-ness, mouthfeel is also very carbonated.

Flyer bought this in CA, and brought it over for a tasting at my house with SurlySober which also included Allagash Black, Gouden Carolous, and Westvleteren 12 (quite respectable, eh?).

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Photo of craytonic
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours orange-gold with a nice head and decent lacing.

Smell: Vinegar, citrus, light fruits and buggy funk

Taste: Tart + funk with gueze characteristics. Sour apples, lemons, etc

Mouthfeel: Dry, tart, and medium-full

Drinkability: Medium, I just couldn't get in to this one. Didn't even bother taking good notes sadly.

*NB: Probably the bottom of the Russian River wild ale's, but still better than most.

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Photo of genog
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bright yellow, golden color with some strong white, billowing head at the top of the wine glass. Aroma was tart with citrus, and apple like aromas. Some spice, but mostly a lemon zest type aroma in a very smooth way. Taste was all tart, and sour that made me pucker. A slight smoothness lingers on the tongue after the initial assault. Mouth feel was crisp and carbonated like a beer champagne.

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Photo of Philousa
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imbibed from a bottle, as it was Batch 5 (no kegs of this one) at RRBC on 4/22/12.

Pours a clear gold, a little light. Not much head left after what looked like a typical amount of head from a Belgian yeast. Lots of citrus, peach, super sour. Hard to pick out the aromas in this one. Overall, flowery sweet with a heaping dose of tart. Speaking of which, the first thing you taste is a nearly overwhelming sourness, but it mellows fast. Lime is prevalent with a faint taste of sour cherry and strawberry. Winey aftertaste. White wine. Tartness comes after the wine, with very little hop aftertaste as well. Vinous hops. Very watery feel, but after sourness subsides, bitterness gives it some substance. Dry finish.

Beautiful. Complex. This has some flavors I've never had in a sour beer (cherry, strawberry) that I've enjoyed. I want to try it again and again to pick out the other flavors hidden inside.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed March 31, 2007. Pizza Port Belgian Beer Fest. Pour from a 375mL. Fresh Meyer lemon spritz sour tang, with salty honey-ginger crispness. Sweet and bright aroma. Lightly hazed thin, with soapy off-white rim. Flavor a perky, brightly sweetened brettesque. Passionfruit and almond skins, yielding to grapefruit juice tartness. Nice percolation and stunning lightly hoppy finish. A different batch carried a whole world of earthy spice and robustness that took it to another level of excellence. Outstanding.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bring or this one!

Pours an almost orange hue. Looks like it could have had some massive head but I poured it slowly as to not disturb the sediment layer.

Smells of sour apples, vinegar, funk. A tad muted compared to their other sours.

Taste is similar to scent. Very tasty, sour, funky.

Mouth is medium in body and medium to high in carbonation. I felt it could have been a little more bubbly.

Overall am east drinker and a great sour overall but my least favorite of Russian Rivers sour offerings.

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Photo of Jonada
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 6. 6% ABV

375 ml bottled 9/11/2013. Poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden yellow with less than a finger of a fizzy white head that dissipates quickly to a thin collar. Body is mostly clear with hight visible carbonation.

Smell: Bright lemon, white grape, green apple, funk hay and oak.

Taste: Light barnyard, hay, green apple, lemon and other citrus with some mild neutral oak. High acidic sourness that borders on mouth puckering.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, and bit thin with medium lively carbonation. Finishes dry.

Overall: One of the best American spontaneously fermented beers I've had and probably the closest tasting to an actual lambic (though still not quite the same). Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of hero27
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked & caged 375ml bottle.
Batch 002
6% abv

Pours an opaque straw gold..small head of bright white foam doesn't stick around long.
yikes...absolute tart revelry..noxious fruit acidity hits the nostrils as soon as the cork pops off.. i'm in for a treat, i think..
Flavor is straight-up earthy malt sourness, with a definite funk, holy cow. Sourness is on full display, as the acidic citrus hits every tastebud and tells them exactly how it's going to be.
Ripe grapes & pungent lemon mixed with a light woody taste on the finish. Dry as dry.

This defines extreme beer, another good brew from Russian River.

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Photo of biegaman
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"No rule exists for such compositions; they are at the mercy of the artist's genius"
- Grimod de la Reyniere

Over-ripened mango dotted with tiny flakes of salt. The carbonation must be extremely fine, if at all existent. The surface is left bare with only the faintest trim. Its complexion is sullied although clarity is left largely unhindered. The beer actually takes on a bright daisy yellow tone when exposed to the afternoon sunlight.

That the beer is aged in used wine barrels is not at all inconsequential. The brewery may insist they only use the "oldest barrels that no longer have any wine flavor or oak flavor left in them" but even sitting a full foot away I can smell something very similar to a dry white wine. Closer inspection with nostrils right up against the glass confirms, although more vinegary and tart notes also become apparent.

Having been to Belgium before and there having tried plenty of Lambics, I'm having deja vu. This beer (like all the barrel aged offerings from Russian River) were inspired by a trip to Belgium and are intended as interpretations of that country's spontaneously fermented ales. In this regard Russian River succeeds (better than anyone else, at any rate) in replicating the beers - but not of course duplicating them.

Beatification seems, on the whole, not quite as dry nor as tart as many Lambics. It does offer, however, plenty more funk. Acidic, vinegary notes of wilted citrus, wild honey and over-ripened orchard fruit abound as do the shared characteristics to a dry, sparkling white wine. According to the brewery's bottle log, this batch (#2) is considered "ultra funky". Indeed, it's probably one of the "funkiest" beers I can recall having.

The contents were put in bottle 29/02/08 but its two comprising batches were laying around in the barrels for some considerable time before that, 19 and 13 months respectively. Given the uniqueness of each batch, it's hard to say how this bottle, now at age one and a half, compares to fresher samples. That said, I see no reason to doubt the 4 hourglass lifespan Russian River labeled it with.

Fascinating a beer though Beatification may be, it is (admittedly) largely thanks to those few Belgian brewers who continue the tradition of spontaneously fermented ales that such knowledge and technique were handed down (and then west about 5500 miles) to one of North America's most innovative and talented brewmaster. No wonder it's called "Beatification", this beer sure makes me happy!

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Photo of joe1510
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml
$15
Russian River

Batch 002

Courtesy of errantnight, thanks Derek! Beatification pours a murky, pale straw yellow with a minimal head. The clean white head grew to a finger but fell rather quickly to a ring around the glass. Random carbonation bubbles rise here and there to the minimal head. I would have liked to see a better head on this beer. It's almost nonexistent after it settles and swirls won't even bring it forward.

The smell makes my mouth water immediately. A big hit of brett sourness right off the bat. Damp hay and earth are the first things I pick up, a bit of vinegar shows up half way through and becomes the dominant figure before being joined by a slight damp oakiness. Although the swirls don't produce any head they do release enough carbonation to bring forward a peppery peachiness that only stays for a short time. Good depth with a great tart note.

Beatification will make you pucker. The puckering tartness hits immediately but calms down mid-palate. As this beer warms the flavors really start coming together nicely. The sourness shows signs of vinegar throughout but there's a good deal of pepper and stone fruits. Not as much earthiness as the nose suggested but it is present. At first this was simply a decent beer, after more warming it becomes very tasty and much more flavor sneaks through the sourness.

The mouthfeel is a bit of a let down; I expected more carbonation and that light airy feel. The lack of carbonation leaves the mouthfeel a little heavier then expected. The body is medium and leaves a slight stick on the finish. Causes a nice pucker and makes my mouth water but I would like a bit more dryness. Just me being picky again I suppose.

Very easy drinking. The tartness leaves your mouth watering for another drink as soon as you swallow the last. It feels like I've been drinking this slowly but I look at my glass and it's about gone.

A solid beer from Russian River. Not one of my favorites but all the flavor is there. Seems to me like a better carbonated brew would take care of most problems. I can't wait to see what a couple years will do to these bottles
.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002. Hazy, yellow gold pour with a small short lived, fizzy, white head. Oaky funk aroma with notes of butterscotch, grass, herbs, bread and yeast. Immensly sour flavor upfront with some white grape hints, butterscotch, slight oak on the finish, lemon, grass, sipcy hops, apple and yeast. Medium body. Very dry finish and livlely carbonation.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001-PH1. Bright kumquat with Champagnesque carbonation. Too bad the foam cap is nothing to write home about. It fizzes away like soda and is nearly gone by the several minute mark. Needless to say, the glass is virtually spotless. Maybe all those bugs or the acidity is to blame. As with most gueuzes, the lack of a quality head and lace isn't a huge negative in a wild ale.

The aroma is dizzyingly complex and is a pleasure to sniff. Nothing is overdone and pretty much everything is done... exactly... right. Tart fruit vinegar is dominant, with a perfect amount of buggy funk. According to the brewery, the PH1 batch used the highest quality (that is, the most Acetobacter-heavy) La Folie barrels.

If I hadn't picked up that fun fact from the Russian River website, I could have figured it out from the first mouthful. Wow, this stuff is tangy-tart! It isn't so much funky (in a sweat sock or horse blanket kind of way), so it won't alienate those who have a low tolerance for such flavors.

Beatification has to be the most gueuze-like of all the RR wild ales. That will be a positive for some and a negative for others. My impression is that the big blast of acidic tartness overpowers what might have been a deeper, more complex, oak barrel-aged blonde ale. Others may (and probably will) respectfully disagree.

The beer is reminiscent of an extremely tart white wine in many respects. Yes, I would have thought that even without knowing that white wine yeast was used. Flavors include immensely sour fruit (white grapes, green apples, lemons), cider vinegar, tannic oak and a mild-moderate, bacteria-derived grunginess. Can a beer taste both clean and dirty at the same time? Dirty in a good way, of course.

The mouthfeel is good because it fits the gueuze... er, wild ale... style very well. It's light to light-medium and has a sneaky slickness that keeps the flavors from fading away until long after the swallow. In spite of the guillotined look, the carbonation is gently energetic. Actually, by the bottom of the bottle, things are pretty calm.

This buggier version of Beatification Batch 001 won't be everyone's cup of tea. It's pretty uncompromising in its tart acidity, which will tend to put some people off. I appreciate and respect the skill that went into its creation, but there are quite a few Russian River brews that I find to be superior.

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Photo of portia99
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (batch 3) received in trade from bryanbrick. Thanks Bryan! Poured into a Bruery goblet.

A - Bright, hazy yellow with a one finger cap of dense white foam. Head lasts a minute or two and finally recedes leaving a layer of bubbles and a thick collar. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Fruity, apples and horses. Strong barnyard funk...very interesting.

T - Very tart, lemony, apples, lots of brett character, a slight woodiness, tons of funk.

M - Light to medium body, smooth medium carbonation. Sourness pervades the entire mouth.

D - Not a starter sour, but really good. Lots of funk and fruity sourness. Pretty intense, but excellent sour.

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Photo of gford217
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375mL bottle, batch 2, poured into a tulip.

Pours an ever-so-slightly hazy golden orange with a creamy white head that settles in as a small cap fed by the bubbles continually streaming up from the bottom. Lacing is good.

The aroma is a great mixture of tart and sweet fruits with a hint of funk. The tartness comes from lemons up front before the sweetness of pears and maybe apples come in as well as a hint of light malts. The funk is present but very, very faint.

The taste turns the tartness and funk up a notch over the aroma. The initial blast on the tongue is a combination of tart lemons and vinegar acidity. The sweet fruits are there but it takes the beer warming up a bit before I can pick out the sweeter aspects with pears again coming through. The finish brings back the acidity and funk and leaves a puckering aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation and extremely crisp, clean and dry in the finish. Very white wine-like on the palate.

This is another great sour from Russian River and while I probably don't like it quite as much as some of their others, it's still a solid beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle (Batch 002) into a snifter.

Appears a cloudy golden yellow with a quarter inch white head that sinks down quickly to a skim. Doesn't leave much lacing at all.

Aroma is nice and sour. Fruity, with a dominant granny smith apple tartness, perhaps a bit of tropical fruit is actually present behind the tart.

Taste is very sour, almost to the point that not much else comes through. I'm getting more of the apple tartness but now lots of lemon.

Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation level is quite low but it is appropriate. Very soft on the palate.

Not as good as Supplication, perhaps a bit too sour almost, but it's still very tasty. I hope I get the chance to try some more RR sours sometime soon.

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Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 538 ratings.