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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 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 abfraser
3.8/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002

A: Hazy golden yellow/orange. Pours with virtually no head. Fairly active carbonation bubbling up to the top that quickly mellows

S: Tart green apples. Funky, a little musty.

T/M: Vert tart; probably the tartest beer I've had. Tastes like sour green apples. Earthy. Dry. Not as light bodied, carbonated and crisp as a Belgium gueuze. Interesting stuff.

D: Drinkable in the sense that it's low in abv. But unless you enjoy Warheads regularly you probably aren't going to consume more than a glass of this.

Of the RRBC sours, I put this one last. It's a little too tart for my tastes. But that doesn't mean it's not an interesting one.

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Photo of schinebd
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A hazy light gold beer. I'm surprised by the lack of head, as very little white fluff formed upon pouring, and what did form quickly disappeared.

S - Strong earth funkiness that complements some mild wood scent. Underneath is some apple and pear and lemon scent that really work with, but do not overpower, the earth funk, which is clearly the highlight.

T - Up front is the leather/dirt provided by the brett. The sheer strength of funk here makes me pucker a bit. As the first wave of flavor passes through, it opens up to strong notes of citrus and lemon. The sourness of the lemon carries through until the finish, where sour apples come in and transition from citrus sourness to sweet sourness.

M - Light bodied and very light carbonation on this one, which gives the beer a certain smoothness lacking from other examples in the style. It can get away with the light carbonation because the strength of the flavors prevent any risk of wateriness. Sour and dry on the finish.

D - Possibly the most drinkable beer I've ever had. The light body, coupled with the 5.5 % ABV and alluring flavor make this an easy one to enjoy in large quantities...if only I had enough to session with.

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Photo of shangwang
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the Russian River brewpub. Awesome timing, as I happend to be in NoCal on the weekend it was released. 375ml bottle poured into a goblet.
Poured with a finger of foamy white head. Cloudy straw-colored body, and the head dissipated quickly with no lacing on the glass. Smelled SOUR! Vinegery brett all throughout the intense aroma. Some citus as well. Tasted as I expected from the smell- citrusy sour and tangy. Excellent flavor that lingers for a while. Lots of zip in the mouthfeel, fairly lightweight, and very fitting for the taste. Overall, an excellent wild ale, but extremely sour, so definitely not for everyone. Gotta grab a few bottles to take home...

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Photo of SethB2
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 01. I have the PH too, to sample later.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Orangish, apricot color with a pilowy head that disipates fairly quickly. Well carbonated. Just a swirl of the glass with put more foam on top.

S - First, let me start by saying that I could smell this thing as soon as the cork popped from over two feet away. Smells of funky apples, almost ciderish, with subtle fruits in the background. The Bret is there too, bringing a vinegar quality to it as well. Great stuff.

T - Sour apples start, but very soon the earthy flavors push them out of the way. At the finish, this baby will make you pucker, while at the same time reminding you of a sweet Belgian. It is very difficult to describe and I'm not sure I've ever tasted anything like this. I like it a lot, however. Very unique.

M - Maybe a tad overcarbonated and a little thin, but I suppose that is OK for this wide-open style. As one would guess, this is a very dry beer, but in a good way.

D - Not a problem. I love it.

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hay, golden color. Almost completely clear. Oily looking head. Some champagne-like bubbles floating to the top. I like the color and clarity. Very warm color, like sun rays on a Sunday morning.

S: Citrus. Strong oak aroma. Barnyard funk. Sharp acidity, more on the lactic side. Yeast. Maybe some glue? Overall, it has a very Lambic-like profile. Superb.

T: Sourness in front of tongue. Even more midpalate. Same flavors as in aroma. Slightly bitter, dry aftertaste. Alcohol not found, thank god, because that is my main complaint about American sours (including most other RR's).

M: Carbonation is medium. Body is, of course, bone dry, but with plenty of acidity to balance.

O: Extremely drinkable. I compared this side-by-side with Sanctification and found it much more complex, sour, and balanced. Slightly disappointing, since I can find Sanctification much more easily. I guess you really need to let nature do its work without intervening to create a thing of beauty. Get it if and while you can.

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Photo of bcm119
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a tulip glass. Hazy straw color with some mottled white lace. Dry citrus aroma with yeasty funk. Starts off with a punch of tart unripe raspberry and citrus. It shows a lot of complexity mid-palate, with orange rind and tropical fruit unfolding into some barnyardy funk, and finishing musty with a touch of aged cheese. Dry throughout with lingering tartness.

The closest thing to a Belgian Gueze I've had from an American brewer. One of those beers that keeps you guessing, and sipping. Impressive complexity for the ABV. Although this may be one of the most impressive beers I've had in terms of brewing perfection, the price is tough to overlook. I'd sooner spend $24 on a good pinot or zin.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001 - PH1, 375ml bottle, caged & corked.

Pours a hazy copper color and makes a fizzy sizzling white head. Head is rather short and fades quickly into a thin ring of medium sized bubbles.

Aroma is tart with some big sour citrus, earthy barnyard funk and vinegar.

Flavor is moderately sour with a lemony citric bite, barnyard qualities carry well into the flavor, very earthy. All hop characteristics are hidden by sour/funk. Very nicely balanced, strong acidic intensity but not overbearing.

Crisp, light bodied, very carbonated, some astringency and a very dry finish.

Quite good!

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Photo of ikats
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am tasting a bottle from batch 002, so it's about 2.5 years old (treated well all this time). Pours gold in color, fairly light, with white head that barely exists. It is clear at first, but as I poured the rest of the bottle it became hazy. Aroma is wonderful. First thing that comes to mind - funk. Tartness is clearly there. Maybe a bit of barnyard notes, and there is definitely some light, fruity sweetness. The beer is tart, but not in extreme way (at least not for me), which makes it quite pleasant. I'm guessing in the past couple of years it mellowed out a bit. Tasting beer first I am hit with tartness, but sweetness is left in the aftertaste. It's very drinkable for the style, and has medium body. Not a lot in terms of carbonation.

I'll be honest, I am a big fan of Russian River (kind of makes it hard living in New York), and this bottle does not disappoint. I am enjoying it very much. And my bottle was signed by Vinnie at a fest some time ago (irrelevant for the taste, but still fun to mention).

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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.87/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Batch 002
Bottle Serving: 375 mL
%ABV: 6.00%

Poured into a Duvel glass this wild has a cloudy golden color with a frothy and retreating head that quickly dissapates to a few bubbles around the edge of the glass.

The Aromas are very crisp, refined, and citrusy. There is a ton of white vinegar in the nose along with dry tannins and light oak. I can definately smell the chardonay in this beer.

First taste is like an intense puckering tart candy. It's like a flavor explosion in the mouth. There is a ton of lemon, vinegar, and lime. This would be the perfect beer with fajitas and handmade corn tortillas.

Mouthfeel is extremely light and airy. There's a little carbonation on the tongue; just enough to increase the tartness of the beer.

Drinkabilty is a tough one to nail on this beer. I could drink one of these every year and be good so I can't say it's really all that drinkable. I don't want to break out the 750 in the cellar by any means. I do think the tastes, smells, and other components are great just not something I'd go back to repeatedly. I will try this again.

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Photo of Verecund
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 3 opened on May 4, 2011, to celebrate the end of 1L.

Golden yellow with nice clarity. A one-finger head recedes and the beer is perfectly still, waiting.

Huge lemon-lime acidity. White vinegar. Some mushroom funkiness, hay, and light must.

Vaguely reminiscent of a gueuze, albeit with an extra dose of citric acidity. A hint of oak lasts unattended for the first second, then a nice blend of lemon-juice acidity, green apple tang, and just a tiny bit of citrus (orange?) sweetness near the finish. Very acidic, very tart, very vinegary – if B2 is every more acidic, I’ll pass. There’s a discernible though almost overwhelmed oak tannic and mushroom earthiness throughout, most noticeable as a contrast to the sweeter notes. Mostly acidic though.

Medium, medium light and surprisingly slick, if not oily, the finish lingers on and on. Lower carbonation. When life gives you lemons –

One of the best wild ales out there, at least in my experience. The gueuze comparisons are inevitable, though this is less balanced and more overtly tart and less funky than befits that style. So clean and sharp, though not without its rawness. A treat, and one of the bars for the style.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Romulux at our recent Holiday tasting.

A: Light yellow with off-white bubbly head. Some lacing present.

S: SOUR FUNKINESS TO THE MAX! Lots of nosehair curling acidity.

T: The most mouth puckering sour I have had. Loved it. Like shocktarts in a glass.

M: Light and bubbly. Very refreshing.

O: So glad to have checked this one off. I will be glad to try this again when the new batch comes out.

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Photo of bret27
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of photomike

S: Bretty, tart, crisp

A: cloudy yellow

T: Lemon juice, sour all the way from start to finish, very dry in the finish.

M: Thin and extremely dry

D: very good. Dryness keeps you wanting more.

Overall: Maybe the most sour beer I've ever had. Though not super complex, the sour dryness keeps you coming back for more over and over, despite the need for TUMS.

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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 natasharai
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with 1 inch fluffy creamy white head that dissipated to a thin head over ~2 minutes leaving minimal lacing. The beer is a beautiful golden yellow that is very hazy.

Smell: Very fruity sour and tart, citrus and pears are the most obvious fruit smells.

Taste: WOW! very sour, a lemony sourness. This flavor does not match what I expected from the smell, I am very pleasantly surprised. This sourness all ends with a smoothed out malt flavor. After your palate gets used to the sourness some sweet berries start to pop out, like raspberries or strawberries.

Mouthfeel: Sour pucker initially. Huge tingle, leaves the mouth pretty dry.

Overall: Amazingly huge flavor, very intense. Once you get a little use to the sourness many other more subtle flavors begin to pop out and the beer becomes more drinkable.

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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 boomer31
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - nice golden haze
S - Funk and sour smell and a little citrus
T - Puckeringly sour. Get used to this after a few sips and the citrus comes through. Really impressive way to start my Sour/Wild ale tastings.
M - Thin but not too thin, really nice
D - Surprisingly drinkable, want more after just a few sips.

Overall a great great beer. A sour like you wouldn't think possible in a beer if you've never had a sour ale before (like myself). Impressive

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Photo of drewba
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 poured into a snifter.

A - Hazy yellow straw with hardly any head and just a bit of lacing. Looks somewhat boring after the initial pour.

S - The aroma on this sumbitch is colossal, you can smell it as soon as the bottle is opened and maintains for the entire pour. Super tarty and funky lemon with hints of funky hay and barnyard.

T - Incredible mouth-exploding lemon, lime and orange citrus birst. Holy shit, my taste buds are saturated with citrus, this is amazing. Vinegar, a noticeable barnyard funk and grapes work their way into the middle while that bright and bubbly citrus maintains through the finish. This is the ultra lemon-lime-soda beer.

M - medium body which completely immerses my mouth with low carbonation, but is just crisp enough to make it interesting.

D - The drinkability isn't that huge, because of the unrelenting citrus, vinegar and funk notes, but I just cannot stop drinking this. This beer was an experience for me and I cannot wait to try it again.

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Photo of JoeMayo
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy blonde with absolutely no head.

S- Initially it smells very crisp and clean, but after a couple whiffs, a mild funky smell comes through. Tart grapes and brett along with earthy notes come through.

T- Sour lemon and brett with notes of white pepper. This one's pretty complex. Very crisp lemony finish.

M- Puckeringly sour with a crisp, dry finish.

D- In spite of how sour it was, this was extremely enjoyable. I can't wait to try it again!

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours with a rich head, and also has a beautiful golden color

S: Rich sour notes with some lemon and grapefruit

T: Lots of grapefruit, lemon, and some sourdough bready notes

M: Nice carbonation with some nice richness

O: This is definitely one amazing beer! It is by far one of the best sours I have had so far.

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Photo of brydeen
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed as part of Blind BIF round 8

A: Pours a hazy golden color, with active bubbly carbonation.

S: Tart, citrusy, white wine. Lemon peel with a light earthy funk.

T: Mouth puckering sour. Sharp acidity, lemon juice, and white grapes. This is incredibly sour, but yet surprisingly drinkable.

M: Light, dry, tart with subtle but fizzy carbonation.

O: This might be the sourest beer I've ever had. It's still quite refreshing though. Another lovely sour brew to get me through these ridiculously 90+ temps.

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Photo of femALEist
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer week.
Beatification by RR is a wild ale that is 100% spontaneously fermented beer using the oldest barrels that no longer have any wine flavor or oak flavor left in them. 5.5% abv. It poured a cloudy sun yellow. It smelled of sour, oak and Brett. It tasted sour! Lemon, lemon, lemon sour, Brett and super dry. It is one tart beer! Reminiscent of Isabelle Proximus, a one note incredibly sour beer.

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Photo of Kaiser81
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to KBM for sharing this beer at his birthday. I believe it was a 750 mL of Batch 003.

A - Pale golden color with just milimeters worth of head. Minimal lacing left on the glass as well.

S - Smells sour...funky. there is lots of lemon and tartness in the smell.

T - Lots of lemon and tart with some funkiness in there.

M - Light body and minimal carbonation

D - it's good, but one glass is enough for me.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this and turning 50 seems to be a good enough reason. Bottled on 1/10/12.

A) Nice golden hue and the fizzy head quickly dissipates.

S) Mostly a nice tangy lemon.

T) I get lemon, grapes, orange peel which are all nicely tied together by the tartness. What a great taste. Can't get enough!

M) Again the tartness is outstanding, just bordering on being overly so but not crossing the line.

O) Outstanding!

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle into a goblet. Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with carbonation bubbles making their way through the clouds. A thick foamy white head tops this off. Very slight lacing along the glass. This is a good looking blonde.
S: A wonderfully pungent nose on this beer. A smell that first struck me as sour fruits along with a floral background. I could sit here and smell this beer solely for a couple minutes, it's that pleasant. Very invigorating and inviting scent that helps compliment the appearance in making this a beer one can't help but want to taste.
T: The taste does not disappoint from the build-up from the other senses. The blonde ale within this is built up with the sour and combined in a way that works perfectly. Slight hop taste in the back end, but the sourness persists throughout. Fruits and floral make for a great beer.
F: Very very smooth. The sour is just right to compliment the rest of the taste. This beer has plenty of carbonation that will make your mouth come alive.
D: This is a wonderful beer. I could drink this beer at almost any time of the year. It's a very lively beer that goes down smooth and tastes delicious.

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