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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
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 538
Hads: 2,458
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 9.17%
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 0110x011
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #002, poured into a RR chalice.

Pale straw color, slightly hazy. Half-finger snow white head has little staying power, fading into a thin cap and collar in seconds. Funk hits the nose as soon as the cork pops. Once it hits the glass, grapefruit, grass, herbs, spice and lemon come out. Lemony, acidic sour bite on the palate first. After a while more erth, grass, spice and funk come through. Pronounced oakiness as well. Mouthfeel is tart, light and refreshing. I could drink this stuff like water.

Not particularly good looking, but everything else about this beer is spectacular. Complex, yet crisp and refreshing; Highly recommended.

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Photo of tarheels86
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL b3 courtesy of joeneugs. This beer froze in the mail, nearly exploded and now trying it, somehow it hasn’t lost one bit of its spectacularity. The cork pops with good pressure, pours with good, spritzy carbonation leaving a small, white head that dissipates quickly. Looks cloudy, beautiful grapefruit juice in color like a top notch geuze. Aroma is similar to the best geuzes I’ve tried: lemon sorbet, fresh grapefruit juice, grapefruit rind, white pepper. Taste is bright, fresh grapefruit and lemon with quenching tartness. Not very funky or horsey- more fresh citrus. Some oak, sour peaches, and Granny Smith apples shine through. The definite hit of our tasting. Thanks Joe!

375mL b2 courtesy of MrChopin. I’ve been debating about upping the score from 4.3 to 4.4 seeing that I dream of this beer on an almost constant basis. This, my third time trying the beer, has confirmed that it is time. Beatification b2 is so drying and so wildy complex with spicy cedar, drying oak, lemon/lime/orange, leather, peaches, apricots...it is an all encompassing sour experience that is never acedic, never citric. Just spot on perfection. My notes for this say, "It’s like the world ended and I was resurrected in paradise." Later on into the night my notes will say "HOLY SHIT." 10/26/2010 9/4/9/5/18=4.5

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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 paytoplay
3.86/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sour Bomb! Add sour to sour and you get this beer. Newest batch, on tap at O'Briens SD for the 15th annv party. Not much of a nose, funk and brett a bit. Would go killer with food. Also very interested to see how this will age. Should the texture soften and the brett and other funk develope this could turn out to be something very special.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this up at RR about a month ago, finally getting around to drinking it.

Nice hazy golden color. Not much head, I get about one finger in my snifter but it fades quickly. Scent is sour with lemon and vinegar, and plenty of funk. Flavor is fantastic. Awesome sourness, again lemon and vinegar, but hints of other fruit jumped out as well. I noted peach and pear, if you can imagine what those would taste like long before they're ripe. Funk is prominent as well. Feel is medium bodied a somewhat syrupy. Carbonation is good, and a nice dry finish. A sipper but surprisingly easy to drink, really. Alcohol is subdued and doesn't carry much of a punch. Overall drinkability is quite high. I was worried that this would just be a sour bomb, but the flavor was really nice and complex. Maybe I'm just getting used to these sour beers...I dunno. I still liked Temptation more, but this is another fantastic effort from Vinny and the crew.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've hung on to this bottle for some time, and am quite suprised it has lasted this long in my fridge. My first Beatification experience. Batch 002 by the way.

A: Golden, honey-colored pour with champagne-like bubbles. Thin, effervescent head layer faded quickly to a clear orange glassful.
S: A light vineagar aroma. Sharp flora notes. Hints of pineapple and other sweet fruits.
T: Very sweet fruit flavors. Not so much citrus, but more tropical. Although, lighter grapefruitness is noticed.
M: Puckering, but nothing that bucks your head back. Very smooth and almost refreshing. I was shocked and thought I would find this barrel-aged sour a bit more of a mouthful. This was not a terrible suprise, but just unexpected.
D: Delightful. I would love to compare to a draft version and later an aged/cellar version. Very clean and sharp flavors and aroma. Refined recipe and unlike any other.

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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 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 drgonzo3705
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy yellow color with a thin white filmy head.

S: Vinegary lemon zest and tartness all going together nicely here.

T: Lemon tart are big here. Slight vinegar taste as well.

M: Medium body with little carbonation and hardly any hops.
D: For the ABV this is highly drinkable. I love the tartness balanced by the lemon zest. Definitely worth the drink.

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Photo of kasper
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002 compliments of swnicholson.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with almost now head at all -- a few bubbles and a slight swirl. Bits of overly moist, spotted lacing appear then disappear as I swirl.

S: Aromas of horse blanket, brett, grass, and some earthy funkiness, underlying hints of sour citrus like lemon, and something that smells similar to Playdough. Very similar to this years CL Cuvee de Castleton.

T: There's a lot going on here. Quite tart and liberally sour, slightly puckering so on the finish -- you can feel a slight sour burn if you breath out your nose immediately after you swallow -- though I've certainly had beers that pack a more sour punch like Cantillon Lou Pepe. I really can't pick out the base of this beer, but the overlaying flavors are lemony, slightly spicy, and positively funky.

M: Smooth and very slick, but still light to medium bodied. Much lower levels of carbonation than a champagne, though there are some tingly bubbles.

D: This is a really enjoyable wild ale, the mouthfeel is a bid lacking in my opinion but I'd often seek this beer out if I had ready access to it. Honestly though, if you're looking for sour, Cantillon's got this beat.

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