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Beatification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

528 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 528
Hads: 2,401
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.46%
Wants: 3,128
Gots: 538 | FT: 38
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

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 528 | Hads: 2,401
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at Beachwood, consumed on the premises.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy but brilliant (read: bright) lemon gold color. Head is fizzy and appropriate for its funky goodness, but settles quickly into a thin whisper of what it once was. Lacing is similarly fizzy and lively, but has better retention than the head. I love these beers for how lively their heads/lacing can be.

Smell: Chardonnay-type white grape vinousity, brett, lacto, and other various wild yeasts I'm not even familiar with. Lots of "spicy"-type aromas, including what I decided was white pepper. Apricot, moldy mustiness, mango on the back end. What can you say? These RR Wild Ales go on for days. It's difficult to discern all the aromas and flavors in one sitting.

Taste: Cork wood, champagne-like vinousity, brett and other wild yeasts, apricot, peach, pear. A little less complex than the nose, and the wild yeasts are far more assertive here, to the point that they begin to drown out other flavors. Still, pretty amazing.

Mouthfeel: IT'S ALIVE.

Drinkability: Went down surprisingly well. This was most comparable to Temptation for me, which I think I still prefer slightly, but still, very drinkable. More so than Supplicaton.

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Photo of Hesscabob
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My own personal white whale that I finally was able to come across from the latest release. Bought 6 and plan on opening up a bottle every year to see the change it goes through.

A - Golden, head sort of quickly disappates which I was surprised with but fine by me.
S - Major funk going on and really can smell a barrel presence. Smells immensely citrusy and earthy.
T - Follows the nose and man, this is DAMN delicious. My mouth was watering the entire time and the only thing to quench was more of this beauty.
M - Quite carbonated even though the head disappeared quickly. Lasting carbonation that I would imagine will fade in time but will allow other flavor aspects to come through moreso.
Overall was extremely happy to pop this open via Facetime with my buddy who waited in line for me to acquire them. Is it the best Lambic I've ever had? Absofriekenlutely.

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Photo of bhalter8
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #002 courtesy of, and a huge thanks to drseamus, unbelievable extra to help me enter the world of Wild Ales. Pours a flat looking head, crazy really, as moments later the carbonization builds up and a thin, striking white head appears. This head then slowly dissipates into a white ring, but the end result as you drink is some thin, but dense lacing. It almost looks like an arnold palmer (half lemonade and half iced tea), by that I mean a yellowish tan, but rather light/clear. A potent sour smell up front, mellows a bit to an earthy undertone. This is the sour I have been waiting to try, it is a super crisp lemony sour, with a sweet ting at the end. I must admit, I am a novice when it comes to Wild Ales, with some having that barn/leathery taste that I do not care for. This is thing is a pure crisp sourness, really none of the earthy smell comes through in the taste. Obviously, very tart in your mouth, and as you drink it will hit the back of tongue hard too. In the end, an amazing beer from a pure, crisp sour standpoint. I'll need to try more to compare my tastes now...

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Photo of Genghis22
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 3, consumed 2/11/11 (review from notes)

Chilled and poured into a tulip

A - Golden honey color. A little cloudy, with very visible carbonation. Tight white head that hung around and provided nice lacing.

S - Bring the funk! Horse blanket, hay, very funky, a touch of sulphur. Very inviting. Light and clean.

T - Fantastic. Sweet funk quickly leads to a puckering lemon sourness. It attacks the back sid of your tongue and washes all over your mouth. Very exciting to taste this beer, it totally shocks your whole mouth. Musty, dank funkiness. A touch of sulphur comes through in the taste as well, but works well with all the other things going on.

M - Medium body, very nice, tight carbonation. The finish is dry and crisp. Leaves you wanting to take another sip.

D - Man on man, why didn't I buy more of this? Easily one of the best wild ales I've ever had. Just fantastic. I can't wait for another batch!

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

Batch 5 poured into a tulip.

A- Golden murky appearance with a thin white head.

S- sour, lemon zest, floral and grassy, and a nice funkiness.

T- fruitiness, bitter lemon, funk, oak, rose pedals, and black pepper.

M- prickly carbonation, sourness lingers on palate and makes my mouth water. Alcohol not present.

O- I drank my second of my six bottles I acquired yesterday at RR. All I have to say is that I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and plan on getting it as often as I can.

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Photo of krustster
4.96/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had, without a doubt. Amazing how many different fruit and other aromas/flavors come out of this beer from the combination of bacteria and yeasts, without actually having any fruit. Pretty much every aspect of it was fantastic, down to the perfect mouth feel. It's not often outside of a big stout/barleywine that I say to myself "wow this beer has a great mouth feel!" but it was there, all right.

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Photo of hayesez
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of a trade with colonelforbin...thanks for the hook-up, Mike!

After a good night of Euchre and some beers, Kate and I stayed late to work on the Beatification. I give Kate some props for hanging late when she was faced with the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam in a few hours. This should get her primed!

Poured into my Portsmouth snifter, the Beatification looks a hazy tawny yellow. Very cloudy with swirls of suspension sticking around. A small white head leaves quickly and places no head on the glass. A decent looking beer, but nothing exceptional.

Smells zesty. Some grassy, wet, slightly funky smell stands out. Maybe a bit of lemon with only a slight amount of funk. It's there, but the barnyard is in the background.

Tart. Very tart. One of the most tart wilds I've ever had. I remember trying the Temptation for the first time and thinking it was very tart. Well, tonight I had them back to back and the Beatification holds Temptation's head under the water. This is tart, gland hitting stuff. I really enjoy the taste / mouthfeel. It is light bodied and not highly carbonated, but I love the way it feels. Great stuff. I get the tart before I even let the beer drop down over my tongue...it's obvious. There is a bit more of the funky barnyardness in the taste as compared to the aroma, but definitely not overwhelming.

This is one of those weird beers. It's not going to rank as one of my tops on BA, but it is definitely one that I would prefer to drink above many that "rank" higher. I love the taste - again, it won't rank as high as something like Supplication, but it is something I would pick first. One of the best beers RR makes.

Consumed - 4/16/2010

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

Batch 003. Poured into a goblet. Has a beautiful golden color with a slight haze. A fizzy white head forms and dissipates rather quickly.

Incredibly funky smell. Sour lemon and citrus, horsey funk and barnyard, acetic acid.

Very sour on the palate. Funky barnyard, lemon, and vinegar. Lots of prickly carbonation.

Great beer. This was worth the wait to try. Hopefully I can manage to stay away from my other bottle for a few years and let it age.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy straw color. No head.

S - Wet dog in a phone booth. Acidic presence with a hint of lemon rind.

T - Like biting into a whole lemon. Very sour and funky. Has a the complexity of a wine with fruit and straw notes. Dry oak finishes.

M - Acidicm body with light carbonation. Finishes very dry on the pallet.

O - Amazing. Perfect. Wish I had someone to share this with.

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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 CaptinRedBeard
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #2 375ml bottle. A longtime want. A huge thanks to pittsburghkid66 for this one.

A: Poured into my Russian River "tion" glass. Pours a bright yellow/orange color. Very little head and no lacing whatsoever.

S: A strong aroma, consisting of green apples, lemons and brett funk. You can tell this is going to be pretty sour, just from the nose alone.

T:One of the most complex "sours" that I've ever tried. It's a real lemon bomb up front though. That follows up with a strong tart apple flavor. Along with some hints of barnyard funk and a slight mustiness. There are a lot of flavors going on here that my palate simply has trouble picking out.

M: Very smooth, and very dry. It could probably use a touch more carbonation for my taste.

D: I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to try this beer. I will certainly be looking to get more when the next batch is released. But this is some pretty strong stuff, flavor wise. One glass in a sitting was more than enough for me.

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Photo of davod23
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is not screwing around. Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Clear, bright, golden blonde pour. Seems light in body. The snow-white head fizzes up but terminates almost immediately. A vigorous swirl brings the bubbles back, but only for a few instants. It's only average-looking as far as American Wilds go, but I have a feeling things are going to get better.

And they do. This slaps you in the face with buggy funk. Lemons, a hint of grapefruit citrus, oak, white wine (chardonnay? I dunno, I'm not a oenophile). Very nice.

Taste follows the nose pretty readily, although the citrus component seems to get drowned out in the intense sourness and lemon flavors. Damn, this is really sour. I love it.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium-bodied, ample carbonation is a little harsh (but only a little). Sharp, dry (dryyy) finish.

Drinkability is excellent for the style. I cannot give it a perfect score simply because the sourness is so intense that drinking a lot of it would probably grow taxing, but my 375ml bottle went down without a fight.

Russian River has my undying respect. I cannot get over how unfreakingbelievable their sours are. Also have a signature to them, which I enjoy - I feel like a new RR sour could come out tomorrow and you could blindfold me, stick it under my nose, and I would recognize it immediately.

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Photo of abecall98
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My roomate shared the bottled I gave him for his Birthday. Poured the 750ml into 2 identical Bruery Tulip Glasses

A - bright hazy orange. A light white thin head grabs the edge of the glass. Dissipates quickly, as I wish the head would retain.

S - Starts funky with the smell of bready brett, and some sour fruit notes hit the nasal area. Smell of citrus pleases me as a beer drinker as the aroma fades....

T - Where to start? The very first taste is a sour bite. It grabs your cheeks and forces them inward. The puckering sourness of this beer is so good. Right after that, the funk kicks in and dies down the pucking sour. Tastes of spices from the funk come in. After the funk, the taste of sour lemon is left behind. It is like eating the peel. A very overpowing combination of citrus and sour.

M - Dry. Hits your mouth and leaves. This is how a sour should behave. It is not sweet and clinging. It hits the mouth, and leaves behind the puckering effects of the sour. Damn good.

D - This beer is drinkable for how sour it is. It is not an unpleasing sour, and allows for the drinker to desire more. I would not have more than 1 glass of this though, but I still love the one I am having!

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Photo of organicbrewer
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #2

Poured into a generic Tulip

A-Deep gold. Brilliantly clear. Low eggshell head.

S-Straw, horseblanket. A ton of barnyard funkyness. Old oak. Like the best lambic. This beer reminds me of the barrel room at cantilion.

T-FUNK!!! Super sour. Mouthpuckeringly so. Some old wood but not too much. Some bile... in a good way. More barnyard. Nothing in the way of hops.

M-Pretty dry. Enough carbonation to keep it lively but much less then your average american beer. No alcohol noticable.

D- I could do this all night. Super sour though so if you're not into that then you might have a problem. ISO:

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Photo of marksto
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tasted towards the end of the Tampa BA gathering 5/3/08 - what a wonderful way to cleanse the palate from an afternoon of good beer...

Pours a cloudly yellow with a small head that drops quickly. Aroma is of sourness, sour fruit, dirty diaper, even light ammonia. Flavor offers a very sour but complex profile - hard to seperate it from mouthfeel. Elements of grapefuit and lemon show among the funk. Tart, acidic, cleansing, but flavorful.

Overall, an excellent sour ale, a must-try for those who really like this style. Not something I'd want to drink everyday but it offers a textbook example of the unique complexity to be had form these barrel-aged sour beers.

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

Thanks to Deepsouth! No seriously, great trade!!!

Hazy orange-straw colored with a cardboard thin head that fades completely.

Farm fresh funk with a oaky nose normally found in cabernets. Smells much like a gueze but more earthy.

OMG->Tart and sour like a sour patch kid but with an underlining sweetness. There is a hint of fruit somewhere in here but I can't place it. Damn this is good!

Sour with a carbonated dry finish that leaves the palate begging for more!

This is one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had! I wish I had a case of this stuff. I'd spend the weekend taunting my friends with it.

Russian River knows how to sour a beer just right! A+

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. I didn't know what to expect going into this experience, but this definitely blew me away on all fronts. Good Lord, what an eye-opener. Pours a hazy orange and very murky champagne-esque consistency. Nice two-finger head quickly dissipates leaving an intriguing beer. Dare I venture any closer?

As soon as the cork was popped the bretts and wildness of this beer jumped out at me. I absolutely love this smell - acidic, vinegary, EXTREMELY green apples freshly cut, and yes, now I know what the hell "horse-blanket" means. Man, I'm terrified in the most wonderful wonderful way.

First taste - grapefruit, lemon, citrus, citrus, citrus. Extremely tart and acidic. But something happens at the end - something very earthy. If you can imagine eating dirt as a good experience, then that's what it tastes like. These beer tastes like it's been around since the beginning of brewing. I really love it.

I am very happy that I got a chance to try this. I would love to see what it's like on tap. Right now I must say thanks and give credit to Healthy Spirits in SF for having the only bottle in the whole area (I looked) at the time that I was visiting.

This whole experience reminded me of the first time that I was in Toronado SF and someone handed the bartender a tulip of sour beer. It may have been Beatification, and, upon drinking it, he made the face that people in middle school used to make when eating sour "Warheads." Afterwards, he put the glass down and said, "That's my favorite beer." I think I understand that experience a little better now.

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Photo of airohead2001
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Part III of epic RR tasting including Tempt, Sancti, Beati, Suppl, and Consec. Thanks to glazeman for contributing this one, as well as the other two rarities in the bunch. Since I first signed up for BeerAdvocate, Beatification has been on my radar. I've been waiting for this one for a long time.

The appearance is a thick, murky, orange with no head. It doesn't look pretty, but in all honesty it reminds me of Raspberry Eisbock - flat, thick, and old looking. The smell is about as interesting as it gets for any beer - the most complex and outright strange beer I've ever smelled - I get musty basement, barn, horse, smelly feet, aged white cheddar, energy drink (such as Monster or Red Bull), with a touch of lemon and white grapes in the finish. Wow. The taste is SOUR. The most sour beer I've ever had - the sourness hurts my epiglottis, puckers my posterior pharynx, makes my face warm, and causes me to tear up. The drinkability on this beer is almost zero, but the taste and smell of it is so unique that this beer truly does live up to the hype. This is the best beer I've had tonight thus far. As someone who loves midwestern stouts and IPAs, I've always been a big basher of west coat sours. However, Beatification is as good as it gets. Touche.

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Photo of dill
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into a RR tulip.

A - golden and dense, a bit like honey. a bit of bubbles form at the top once it's poured but there is really not much of a head to speak of.

S - lots of vinegar and oak.

T - not as sour as i expected, but it's got a wonderful flavor. the brett is predominant and you can definitely taste the oak. not much in the way of fruit in this one, but you can taste some of the alcohol at the end.

M - champagne-like tight carbonation.

D - a very nice beer to enjoy, one bottle at a time. i really like this stuff.

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Photo of JWD
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had the most recent bottling

A- golden full of carbonation.

S- this is going to be sour, you know what to expect when you smell this brew.

T- just as suspected pucker up this is sour, but also great, this is my favorite of all RR barrel sours.

M- very carbonated and full of long lasting flavor, atomic warhead sour!!

D- ok, it is very sour and i can see why some of the reviews say it is too sour but i feel this is exactly what it is suposed to be, a sour wild ale, this ids the style, great brew

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Photo of tprokop7
4.19/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours golden with no head at all. A little cloudy. Smell is earthy and finishes sour. Tastes like tart cherries and maybe even some lemon in the finish. Does not taste as earthy as it smells. Drinkablity is only hurt by the acidic feel as it enters the stomach.

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

Thanks to my friends Dan & Joelle (Dewbrewer) for sharing this one. Batch 001. 375 ml. Bottle.
Pours a murky light orange color with a small white head and slippery lacing.

Floral, citrus/fruit, and sour in the nose.

Great balance between malt, wood, and brettanomyces sour/barn yard flavors. Acidic and creamy at the same time.

A beer that is beer well done.

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Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MrFootStones for this bottle. Made me happy plus 2 others.

Batch 3

poured into goblet

Color: Golden to blonde with a few orange highlights. A thin white bubbly head appears but quickly reduces to a white ring around the glass. Leaves behind some head retention, but no lace.

Nose: Extreme and complex. Sourness, barnyard textures, funk, lemon scent, and mellow grassy notes.

Palate: Like heaven on the tongue. Extremely drinkable for how sour it is. The carbonation is perfect, no trace of alcohol and its tingles your taste buds. As this beer sits in your mouth waves of sour lemon and oak coat the tongue , later the grassy notes appear in soft gentle way. Truly well crafted.

Finish: Long and dry with plenty of layers. Tart and funky, sour and lightly fruity, and yea very drinkable till the last drop. A masterful sour!

Rating: 97/100

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Photo of larsenju
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 3 consumed 4-30-11, Thanks to the ever generous darklordlager.

I am going to break from my usual review format for this unusual beer.

The aroma hits very sour with a healthy dose of strong funk, it is really a lot to take in, but given some time you can peel back the layers and start to pick out some grapefruit and some very light grain. I was getting a little bit of vinegar quality, but it was overwhelmingly lactic with that dirty sour that I find to have a little more depth. The flavor is much the same, but the acidity steps up a notch again. I found it to be less fruity than Belgian examples I have had, but there was still a little grapefruit. Again, primarily I was getting dirty musty funk and really very sharp acids. The longer I sipped the deeper it got, I started to get more summery fruits and the finish even got slightly peppery. The feel was so acidic little cuts on my lip started to sting, very dry and very carbonated. I want to be careful about comparing this beer to Lambic, but the similarities are there and voiced by the brewer, and it really does live up. Given the opportunity I would pick this over several imported varieties.

I think the beauty of this beer is really in the details. Tasting a Lambic style beer known to be fermented and conditioned with yeast and bacteria native to a region other than the Senne valley that is so complex and delicious is inspiring. The impact of this beer is an illustration that although a true Lambic cannot be produced elsewhere, a complex, balanced, and truly interesting top shelf product can be made in other regions, and shows the true potential of the American Wild movement. I believe that an increased interest in this beer could be a key contributor to the increased legitimacy of beer as a gourmet product. Nice work Russian River, keep doing more of the same.

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Photo of jammalamma
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is a merky golden, little to no laceing.

Nose is sweet little citrus/floral with frut like pineapple, tart apple and bananna- also has a light perfect farmyness.

Taste is sour and tart, strong lemon, with a light airy body that washes clean quickly.

Drinkabiliy is superb, I'm now a big fan! I love sours / wilds and this one is great!!

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Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.