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Beatification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BeatificationBeatification

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,026 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,026
Reviews: 504
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 2,765
Gots: 444 | FT: 29
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 01-25-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,026 | Reviews: 504 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 2

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a very modest head that fades rather quickly, leaving only the vaguest splash of lace

Smell: After an initial whiff of oak and leather, the tartness is overwhelming, with a vinegar/citrus aspect

Taste: Starts out with a mouth puckering vinegary lemon pith tartness that just builds and builds, with a barely discernable oak undertone; after the swallow, the tartness dials back a notch to let the lemon pith through

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The tartness of this beer is over the edge for me, although I understand that we are in Geuze territory; I would have liked to see a bit more carbonation as well

brentk56, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been sitting on this Batch 003 since Clvand0 brought it back from the Land 'O Liberals, about two months ago. Might be the longest two months of my life. It's finally going down!

In stupid fashon, I pop the cork and take a second to examine the cork. Meanwhile the beer decides to leap out before I can get my chalice underneath. Ok, after trying to capture as much of the beer as I can, the session begins. A bright straw colored beer carries a ton of carbonation that continuously fuels the 1/4" persistent head and helps with a lot of eventual lacing. Mild haze which accumulates as each subsequent pours are made. The look reminds me of Duvel but without that rediculous head.

You don't even need to get your nose that close to begin the study of tart citrus fruits, funky mustiness, and acidity. Lemons, grapefruit, citrus rinds combine with cidery, vineous, and vinegar notes to give the impressions of white wine, wood aging, and grandma's basement. Maltiness takes a far back seat, but there is a detection of herbal and maybe citrus hops. With all the acidity and fruitiness, the beer's aroma remains clean and turns away from earthiness or dirt notes.

Flavors are a direct carryover from the nose except for the slight rise in malt pilsner malt flavor which provides a stable foundation for the crazy yeast. Flavors favor the lemons, citrus zest, and acidity while beginning to abandon the vinegar and cider taste. Rising notes of saltiness and sweat come in and give even more complexity to the beer's depth. Still clean, crisp, and refreshing taste.

The beer remains quite thin throughout, resting only on a timid pillow of pilsner malt to add a touch of creaminess and fullness. Otherwise, a mouth coating layer of tartness and acidity washes over and lingers for quite some time. While hop flavor went unnoticed, the bitterness of which melds nicely with the sourness of the citrus and bitterness of fruit rinds.

What is fantastic about this beer is the very clean sourness that avoids the cheesy, grassy, earthy flavors without loosing the complex Brett notes. Certainly not one-dimentional. But like most great sours, the astringency and sourness hurts a bit in texture and drinkability. Still I'll be hard pressed to ever have a better sour. If you had told me that this was a Berlinerweiss, I would have beleived you.

BEERchitect, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

kjkinsey, May 01, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a bright golden color ale with some white hue and a generous pure white bubbly head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of oak with some lactic sourness and some funky barnyard notes. Taste is quite complex with mix of sour lactic notes, some oak notes and some funky barnyard notes as well. I must admit that this is pretty close to some Lambic brewed in Belgium while lacking some complexity. Full body with great carbonation. I would love to have access to this on a regular basis.

Phyl21ca, May 22, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +9.6%

GRG1313, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, what can I say about this, I have been waiting to try this one for what seems like forever. Almost impossible to get a bottle of Batch 001, so I just waited it out and received my Batch 002 supply yesterday. Wasting no time at all I threw one in the fridge and let it chill down to a respectable temperature before pulling it out at about 9:00pm last night. The 375,l corked and caged bottle looked wonderful and I practically started drooling before I could even get it open. Needless to say I grabbed the closest snifter I could and found my new Belgium one and slowly poured the contents inside....

Appearance - A slow pour, being careful not to disturb the sediment left the most hazy golden, amber colored liquid imaginable. No head at all on this, well minimal at best with just a slight quarter inch layer of white coming across the top, good news was that it never did get any lower then that. Great side glass presentation on this one as nice silky smooth looking, cascading layers of white fizz, almost looking like sea spray just swirled around the sides of the glass. Some light carbonation could be seen coming up from the bottom throughout the session. As would be expected there was a bit of yeast sitting at the bottom of the glass after it settled. I was impressed but what would happen next would be off the chart....

Smell - The aroma was simply to die for. I love me some Brett, but this was literally taking it to a whole new level. I knew this would be nice, but my wife chuckled as I sat there for an hour sniffing this, as if...well you could imagine. Just the most grand, funkified, tart, sour, vinegar like smell you could come across, but in a good way. Rich and complex there seemed to literally be no end in sight for the depth of this one. Towards then end of the session, I may have just gotten used to the funky sour Brett, when I noticed some light fruit maybe coming into play, this was like a fine wine almost in aroma, I mean just insanely good. I am almost speechless, but I had to eventually stop smelling it and actually try it....

Taste - If I thought it smelled good, I do not even know how to put into words the flavor of this one. It was just wonderful. Started out with a full on assault of sour, Brett funk, that rolled through the mouth, sucking up and puckering anything that it came in contact with, but once it got past, it opened you up to a whole world of woody flavors that were hidden underneath. There was some light fruitiness of some sour, perhaps grapes, or green apples, that you could start to pick up as it rolled along, and there was a touch of sweetness there as well. This was not entirely unbalanced, far from it. In fact I think if you do not let this one warm up a bit, you are really cheating yourself out of how good it could be. It was remarkable in hour tart it was but just how well it blended. The finishing notes were really starting to show hints of the barrel aging, with nice wood notes coming through and it really getting a nice earthy feel to it.

Mouthfeel - Such a wonderfully rich and complex taste, would be nothing without the accompanying good feel. And, this one did not disappoint in any way. Nice medium bodied ale, there was more then adequate carbonation put through on this one. It never did get flat, or dull in any way, in fact it seemed to get better as the session wore on. Silky smooth in its consistency, I was in love with this one right away.

Drinkability - In a word it was outstanding, the flavors were so rich and complex that I literally could not stop sipping on this one if I tried. The feel so delicate and smooth that I literally just let it sit there and roll around to absorb the most out of it that I could. This was truly remarkable in every possible way.

Overall I was simply blown away by this one. It was easily the best sour ale I have ever had, and easily one of the best beers I have ever had hands down. I can now see why people rave about this one as much as they do, it really is that good. It has a light texture to it that is unmatched, and the Brett, is just perfect. Go out and get this if you are a fan of the style, if its not your thing, and you do not like the style, you are not going to like this, it's the epitome of the style. Simply astounding.

mikesgroove, May 05, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -12.3%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A bottle from Batch 002 opened up by Bobby yesterday during our tasting (you can never have too many Russian River wild ales).

A: A disappointingly quiet popping of the cork on this bottle. Despite that, the beer seems to still be fairly well carbonated. The pour itself is a hazy light golden color with a thin white head.

S: The nose is still very, very acidic. The lemony, lactic tartness is really the star of the show with some white grapes and green apple notes as well. There's really not much in the way of funk, but that's not really a problem for me.

T: The flavor picks up where the nose leaves off with a really intense lemon sourness. There are some flavors of green apple and white grape as the nose would indicate, but this bottle is not quite as puckering as others I've had.

M: The level of carbonation is just about perfect, with great effervescence really allowing the acid to really come through. The finish is very sour and dry, as you would expect.

D: I've always been a huge fan of the intense sourness that Beatification has, and this is no exception. I always enjoy the opportunity to open up a bottle.

womencantsail, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Single finger fizzy white head on a slightly hazy pale golden body. Aroma of Chardonnay, white grapes, lemon zest, funk, tropical fruit and nicely forbodes the level of tartness the taste has in store. The first sip has the salivary glands contracting and it's so tart initially it is almost bad but it's just enough to be perfect. As you get used to it the flavors pop with lemon, white wine, fruits, Chardonnay and Granny Smith sour apples. Oak is light. It's only knock for me is it lacks a little complexity likely because it is so tart the other flavors are lost. Crisp, light body with the sourness drying you out quite a bit. Another great sour from RR. Lives up to the hype and beyond.

kylehay2004, May 09, 2014
Photo of Knapp85
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to DaveHack for opening this one tonight.

This poure out as a hazy golden color with a pretty decent white hea on top. The lacing was thin but the retention held up pretty well. The smell is strong as hell, lots of powerful sour notes on top of some subtle vinegar. Very acidic aromas. The taste follows the nose. I nearly had tears in my eyes from how sour this was. The flavors of violent oak aging with Brett and vinegar all come together in this beer. The mouthfeel is light bodied, nicely carbonated and leaves me with a salavating pucker after each sip. Overall this is probably one of the most sour things I've ever had. It's brutal and not something I would ever drink a lot of. Still it fits the style and is sure to please anyone who seeks these type of beers.

Knapp85, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002.

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with, well, no head.

Smell: A sour-scented aroma smelling of sour ole lemons, white grapes, and grandpa's barnyard, all with a reasonably, understandably funky Brett component.

Taste: A sip of refreshing, oaky white wine and a bite of sharp cheese. Everpresent, underlying Bretty taste. Less a sour lemon taste and more of a taste of thick lemon rinds and a very puckering, almost grimacing wallop of acidity. Then a sip of a salty brine soak. Dry, sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. No real carbonation present.

Drinkability: Quite good, though I'd appreciate just a teensy bit of carbonation. I'd go so far as to say I'd cheerfully drink this each and every damn day. But sadly I don't have easy access to Russian River beers.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
5/5  rDev +9.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch PH1, 375ml bottle, shared with a few fellow BAs at Toronado last night.

Pours a beautifully crystal clear pale amber, a couple shades darker than later batches of Beatification. The head crackles away almost instantly in a champagne-like fashion. The nose is rather acetic with a surprising amount of sour fruit character (strawberries came to mind). Very Rodenbach-like, minus any sweetness. It's similar on the tongue, with much more acetic acid than the other batches, very Flemish, very sour and puckering. Big tropical fruit flavors. Crisp dry mouthfeel, light-bodied, highly carbonated. Nearly a perfect sour in my opinion. The acetic character isn't something I'm always fond of, but it works beautifully here.

largadeer, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

SocalKicks, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1500

Typically review "milestones" are meaningless, but right now 1500 seems like an awful lot of beers, endless hours spent tasting and transcribing. This calls for a special one to celebrate, and I have to thank Jason for his help in acquiring this one.

A mild *thwup* from the cork, and immediately wild farmhouse aromas waft out. Cheesy, musty horseblanket, damp straw and barn stalls. In the glass it's a more concentrated citrus, expressed as grapefruit, lemon, and orange peel. A bit of chalky, dry barrel must lingers behind the fruit. As it warms, a yogurty, lactic funkiness becomes apparent.

The frothy ring of bubbles laces nicely around the edges, with a thin wispy skim in the center. Glowing sunset orange color, with a slight natural haze.

Puckering lemony sourness, with the added dimension of grapefruit to take the edge off. Very crisp and finishing dry. Acidic and wine-like. As the palate acclimates to the sourness, more depth and complexity emerges, similar to a traditional lambic. Ripe fruit flesh, crabapple, lemon, and grapefruit blend in harmony. You can still feel the lemon pith sourness clinging in your teeth after it's gone. Very juicy at first, becoming puckering, with dry oak traces in the finish.

One of the closer American examples to traditional Lambic. There were some similarities here and there to Cantillon Classic Gueuze, another all time favorite of mine.

emerge077, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

finally! this is one beer i have wanted to try more than any other, it was my number one whale, and now it has been enjoyed. at long last, and it did not disappoint. hazy blonde in color without a ton of head, but some clearish white fizz holds on for a few minutes and the beer is visibly bubbly, even though not much head ever accumulates. looks like a gueuze. the nose is awesome, just awesome, not overly sour as say consecration, but it definitely brings a pucker for me. lots of musty wood too, wine citrus overtones and a vinegar hit on the back end. i taste grain first, which really surprises me, and its more musty than sour. sanctification has a certain acidity not found here, but the sour element is very similar. the finish is long, even though its really dry, i taste it for miles. furthermore, i get this harvest time straw or hay element, grassy, but not from hops, its wheated all the way through, and while being sour, is also so much more in terms of yeast. its beautiful beer really. bright carbonation and a body short of medium, it drinks really easy because its not so acidic. not as interesting or layered as some of the other sours, but a great example of a wild ale, one of the best i can remember. comes up just short of the hype, but thats still a remarkable achievement with this one.

StonedTrippin, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Jason, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

nickfl, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002. Corked & caged bottle 375 ml bottle into a Russian River Barrel-Aged Beer Tulip glass. A very classy presentation (as always) from Russian River.

Pours a hazy light orange (with almost a golden sheen to it)and a thin head of brite-white foam that left a smattering of lace behind. There is still a good bit of carbonation release well after the pour that keeps the retention firm for a good while, which is a credit to the conditioning of this. As a matter of fact, things don't slow down until about half way through the glass and then it went immediately still. It was a pretty cool to see the contrast in the body between when it was poured and when I finished the glass. The aroma is straight up fresh funky Brett, that gives off a tingling, pleasant pungency. There is also a fairly prominent sensation of sour fruits (like apples) behind all the funk.

The taste profile initially starts out with a fresh tasting crip blast of Brett tartness. What I love about this, is that never gets to the point of being sour. It takes things right to the threshold but brilliantly knows right when to pull back to keep things at a tart bite. And then what I REALLY love about this beer is that as it warms, the tartness melds with the sour fruit notes (that have been lingering in the background)to achieve a flavor not unlike a Sweet Tart of Sour Apple Jolly Ranger. Complete with an almost sugary sweetness that is felt in the finish along with a lingering tartness. The mouthfeel is fantastic, being medium bodied with a crisp feel yet dry finish and is smooth across the palette.

This Wild Ale really is out-freaking-standing and remains a spontaneously fermented work of art. Jammed packed with all the tartness and funk that you would expect from a beer like this but it is never overbearing and retains a fantastic drinkibility. God bless Vinnie and Russian River for beers like this!

Kegatron, May 22, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very slightly fogged gold with basically no head. Nose is citrus and sweet. The funk is there too. Flavor is, well... Flavor is holy ----! Sour to the core with evident citrus. Pretty amazing stuff. Feel has a light and smooth carbonation to it. Liquid is good. Lovers of sours unite! The American lambic lives!

RblWthACoz, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Slatetank, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to colonelforbin for this one!

Batch 003 opens with a slight pop, pours an effervescent golden honey color with a pinky of ivory colored head. Not much head retention or lacing

S: Sourness, hay & barnyard in this, just intensifies as this warms

T: Lemon tartness, green apple sourness & a bit of hay up front. Tartness, green apples oakyness & lemon & hay are all there as this warms. Finishes with puckery tartness, oaky dryness, a bit of balsamic vinegar acidity & sooo much sourness

MF: Light/medium bodied with slight carbonation & much dryness

Drinks very easy, always happy to try anything from these guys, I think I prefer these heavier & darker for optimal effect, none of the RR sours are slouches though. If you like big-time funk & sourness, this is your huckleberry...

russpowell, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 003 courtesy of the Nanoslugs - thanks so much guys! Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - A finger of white foam settles to pretty much nothing. Lightly hazed golden orange body.

S - Funk, stone fruits, oak, white wine vinegar, horse blanket, hay, and other farmy notes. Extremely gueuze-like.

T - That is also quite excellent, with plenty of tart and sour grapes, white wine, green apple, brash farmy funk, and a mildly acetic finish.

M - Medium-low carbonation, medium in body, super dry and tannic finish. Crisp and refreshing.

D - A great beer, although I think I prefer the increased acidity of Batch 002. Still, this is the most Belgian of the "easily" available American Wild Ales. When I shared it with a highly regarded brewer his first two guesses were beers from Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen. I'm not sure there's a greater compliment I could give.

Will add in my thoughts on Batch 002 when I get around to opening my last bottle. Highly recommended stuff - I'm anxiously looking forward to Batch 004. Wish this still came in 750mls.

MasterSki, Sep 19, 2011
Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 2,026 ratings.