Beatification - Russian River Brewing Company

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520 Reviews
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Reviews: 520
Hads: 2,350
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 3,105
Gots: 516 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 520 | Hads: 2,350
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/26/08. On tap at Blind Tiger. Pours a clear orange with no head. Aroma is sour and quite funky (barnhouse funk, horseblanket). Flavor of initial tartness, sweet tart candies. The flavor is less funky than the aroma. This is sour but not puckering sour, so it is quite drinkable for its style. Awesome sour that I can't believe I got the chance to try on tap!
8/4/8/4/17 (4.1/5)

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Chilled 375mL bottle into a glass. Batch 002.

A: Cloudy blond/straw/gold color with active, fine Champagne-like effervescence. Marginal head during the pour, and it recedes to a collar that remains for the duration of the drink. No lacing to speak of.

S: Lemon peel, must and hay. Rotting mushrooms, earthy forest funk. Probably the closest gueuze-like aroma I've smelled in an American Wild Ale.

T: Sour, sour, sour! Mouth-puckering lemon juice and peel, followed hints of wood and earthiness. Very acidic, with a dry finish that brings some earthy and hoppy bitterness to the palate. Intensely sour, if I haven't said that already. It has some residual sweetness that initially counteracts the acidity, but even a small pour becomes a burning chore after a while.

M: Thin-medium with fine bubbles, though the carbonation has somewhat faded out. The finish is drying, though not fully dry. Some residual sugars contribute a nice contrasting sweetness to the otherwise acetic beer, though in larger quantities the beer simply becomes harsh.

D: I find batch 3 much more drinkable (and I should probably review it formally). Batch 2 is ok in small doses, but it strikes me as straight lemon juice.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 2, 375ml bottle purchased from Tom Peters' private stash at Monk's Cafe. I've also got a 750mL bottle of Batch 3 at home but wanted to try the batch 2 first.

The beer is golden orange colored and a little hazy with a very thin head. You know it's gonna be sour from the first sniff, acidic and "lambicy". The taste is intense lemon juice and funk, so acidic and tasty it's hard to differentiate from the wicked lambics I've had in Brussels and Brugge. Very dry aftertaste, and alum pucker that lasts and is reborn with each lick of the lips. This is the most sour wild ale I could imagine, very similar to my memory of Apfelwein in Frankfurt but with carbonation. Apfelwein is German apple cider and can be very sour (especially the Saurer Most version).

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bdige for providing this special treat in a recent trade. I’ve had this as two beer fests, but am excited to sit with a bottle.

Batch 002

Only a small amount of white head forms and immediately fades to a cap on about ½ of the surface. The beer is a bright brass color with the absolute slightest haze . No lacing to speak of.

Pungent with lactic notes, lots of earthy notes and some sharp funk. Very complex aroma. A sense of lemon.

Woow, sour to say the least. Some white wine notes, lemon peel, tart vinegar, A touch of granny smith apple and then some oak at the finish. Drinks a bit like a gueuze to be honest. The tart notes mingle with the oak at the end to produce an interesting finish. The real funky notes continue to emerge as it warms.

Very light and refreshing. A sense of delicateness here.

While this is very good, I still think Supplication is my favorite of their line-up.

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Photo of gyllstromk
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured Beatification into a snifter. It has the thick, velvety head that seem to crown every Russian River brew. It's quite cloudy, and glowing yellow.

Smells like champagne and Belgian yeast. Extremely tart!

Taste is unbelievably tart, like sweet tarts mixed with Granny smith apples. I can't penetrate the tartness to get a feel for the underlying complexity; I literally sweat at the temples when I drink this beer. I would say it's a taste you'll either love or hate, but I'm actually pretty on the fence about it.

The low ABV doesn't help drinkability much. The tartness is far too strong to make big swigs possible.

I'm glad I tried it. I have one aging (we'll revisit in a year) but I doubt I'll be laying down $23 for another bottle.

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Photo of BeerStine
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured (several times) into a large tulip glass. Batch 003.

Well, when I went to open the bottle the cork came off like a champagne bottle, hit my ceiling, then proceeded to foam over. Definately should have let it settle before I awoke the sleeping dragon. Just a disclaimer as it may have affected the review...

Pours a whitish orange. Almost looks like a wheat beer with a thin bright white head. Smells of citrus and earth. Definitely can smell the malts in this one. The smell is somewhat mild. Taste starts sweet and is followed up by an intense sour. There is a lot of citrus flavor in this beer (apples and grape flavors all add to the citrus flavor). Hops kick in after you swallow and leave a bittering aftertaste. Barrel aging comes through nicely too via the earthy taste. Mothfeel is light with just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkablilty is great. Obviously this wouldn't be a session beer. But I think I could have one of two of these after a meal.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.04/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle of batch 5

A - Slightly hazy golden yellow with a slight glow to it. Slight carbonation trailing upwards 4

S - Lemon, lactic acid, and white vinegar

T - Lemon and slight vinegar that reminds me of a warhead slightly. Light, slightly bitter lemon zest as well. Rather clean actually as only slight lemon remains in the finish

M - Lots of carbonation and a definite tartness to it that makes you almost pucker your lips. Dry finish

O - A really tart sour that closely resembles a Belgian gueuze. This one definitely goes to the sour side as it has minimal funk to it

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 5

A - Pours a clear yellowish orange, with a small head that quickly dissipates. Minimal lacing, but some visible carbonation in the glass.

S - Crisp and slightly tart with a funk. Hint of lemon zest and a sliced green apple.

T - This beer packs a very intense sour bite! There's a nice fruitiness (green apple in particular) too and a perceived sweetness though it's actually pretty dry.

M - the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a citrusy, slight fruity, acidic, sour, and dry finish.

O - Another great sour from Russian River. I prefer Supplication and Consecration over this one.

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Photo of quirkzoo
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brewstein77 for this one. Batch 5, about 9 months in the bottle at time of tasting.

Pours a very nice, brilliant gold with just a touch of orange. Thin wisp of head that quickly dissipates.

Smell is very citrusy. Lots of sour lemons, lactic acidity, limes, oranges. A touch of oak behind that and just a bit of funk behind that. As it warms I get a touch of acetic acid and a little bit of nail polish remover.

The taste is overwhelmingly sour, alcoholic, unsweetened lemonade. Nice bracing acidity, with just enough pucker factor.

The mouthfeel is very nice, very drinkable, but not too thin as some american wilds can be.

Overall, this is a very good beer however I think I enjoy the balance of the other RR sours to this one. I still have one for the cellar so I am hoping that the funk comes up a bit and gives it more balance.

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Photo of hillvt4me
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Split the bottle with my love. Pours a murky, hazy yellow. Minimal foam builds with pouring and tiny ring of bubbles. Minimal lacing.

S- sour lactic, salt, lemon and a bit of funk.

T- Sour, lemon citrus, white grapes and herbal notes. Some oak-funk.

M- Light bodied, dry with moderate carbonation and fizz; smooth and balanced.
Well done! Among my top three wilds to date.

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Photo of ADZA
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very big thanks to Mulder1010 for this and it pours a beautiful golden hazy hue with a one finger wispy head and a touch of lacing,the smell is so inviting its oak,green apples,musty funk and white grapes,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with spritzy carbonation and on taste it's just like a fine lambic you would find in Belgium with sour Granny Smith apples,oak,white grapes and finished with a nice sour tartness and overall it's a nice wild ale but Temptation is still my favourite cheers.

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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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Photo of Sean9689
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml batch 002 poured into mini chalice.

A - Pours a hazy golden color with a very slight fizzy white head which quickly vanishes. No head retention or lacing left behind. Not a whole lot to look at, really.

S - Fruity tart/sour notes up front. Sour apple quicky comes to mind. This has a medium funk compared to the other RR wilds I've had, which is nice for a change.

T - Sour apples, medium funk, tart citrus finish.

M - Very light with minimal carbonation. Not as dry of a finish as I was expecting.

D - Not my favorite wild from RR, but damn good anyway.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 002. Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Russian River chalice. Beer was a yellow straw color with a very small, quickly fading white head. No lacing and very light carbonation.

Aroma was vinegar along with notes of grapefruit and other citrus fruits.

Taste was pretty tart and funky. Heavy lemon and grapefruit with some acidic green apple notes.

Mouthfeel is very dry. Similar to a nice gueuze.

Great beer, especially for fans of wild ales. Highly recommended.

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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 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

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 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 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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Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.