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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: 2,461
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.46%
Wants: 3,163
Gots: 544 | 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: 2,461
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 BuckeyeNation
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001-PH1. Bright kumquat with Champagnesque carbonation. Too bad the foam cap is nothing to write home about. It fizzes away like soda and is nearly gone by the several minute mark. Needless to say, the glass is virtually spotless. Maybe all those bugs or the acidity is to blame. As with most gueuzes, the lack of a quality head and lace isn't a huge negative in a wild ale.

The aroma is dizzyingly complex and is a pleasure to sniff. Nothing is overdone and pretty much everything is done... exactly... right. Tart fruit vinegar is dominant, with a perfect amount of buggy funk. According to the brewery, the PH1 batch used the highest quality (that is, the most Acetobacter-heavy) La Folie barrels.

If I hadn't picked up that fun fact from the Russian River website, I could have figured it out from the first mouthful. Wow, this stuff is tangy-tart! It isn't so much funky (in a sweat sock or horse blanket kind of way), so it won't alienate those who have a low tolerance for such flavors.

Beatification has to be the most gueuze-like of all the RR wild ales. That will be a positive for some and a negative for others. My impression is that the big blast of acidic tartness overpowers what might have been a deeper, more complex, oak barrel-aged blonde ale. Others may (and probably will) respectfully disagree.

The beer is reminiscent of an extremely tart white wine in many respects. Yes, I would have thought that even without knowing that white wine yeast was used. Flavors include immensely sour fruit (white grapes, green apples, lemons), cider vinegar, tannic oak and a mild-moderate, bacteria-derived grunginess. Can a beer taste both clean and dirty at the same time? Dirty in a good way, of course.

The mouthfeel is good because it fits the gueuze... er, wild ale... style very well. It's light to light-medium and has a sneaky slickness that keeps the flavors from fading away until long after the swallow. In spite of the guillotined look, the carbonation is gently energetic. Actually, by the bottom of the bottle, things are pretty calm.

This buggier version of Beatification Batch 001 won't be everyone's cup of tea. It's pretty uncompromising in its tart acidity, which will tend to put some people off. I appreciate and respect the skill that went into its creation, but there are quite a few Russian River brews that I find to be superior.

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Photo of kleffman
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to drinking my bottle of batch #2 tonight. Poured the dregs into a sour beer I'm currently fermenting, maybe it'll add something positive to the mix.

Poured a very clear orange color with zero head and not a ton of carbonation. Enough, but I expected it to be more carbed.

Smell is pure tart grapefruit and funk. Pretty damn funked up.

Taste is basically the same, super funky, sour grapefruit and some tropical fruit flavors mixing into the lactic bite.

Light in body, and incredibly easy to drink for a spontaneously fermented beer. The lambics I've had previously are usually so puckering they take some work. This is clean, delicious sour beer. Did I just say clean? I mean filthy.

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

Split a 375ml bottle of Batch 002 with Mrs. ThirdLap tonight. Wild ales have become her favorite style in recent months, and because of this I've been able to try all sorts of new beers. Never thought in a million years that she would have turned ME on to a style.

Beatification pours a clear yellow, reminiscent of sparkling apple cider. No head after a vigorous pour, and bubbling subsides after a few minutes. Even gentle pouring resulted in the second glass having a large amount of sediment in it, resulting in a cloudier appearance.

Smell is best described as a tart citrus funk.

The taste is obviously very sour, and the closest experience I can compare it to is the initial overwhelming acidic blast you get when you stick a slice of lemon into your mouth. Complementing the citrus are hints of white wine and tart cherries. Every sip results in a huge mouth-watering response by the taste buds.

Body is right in the middle, and the finish is incredibly crisp and clean. Carbonation in this batch is low to medium. The 5% alcohol is nearly imperceptible.

Drinkability is excellent.

Very tasty. No one does sours like Russian River.

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

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

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

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

Just had a Batch 1...Yeah i said it.

It was on tap and feel in love with the sourness and the well balanced flavor. So my friend told me he had a surprise for me. he has a RR collection that would make anyone jealous.

I was sad that the sourness had mellowed out in the aging, but it was still a good brew.

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Photo of Damian
3.84/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 12.70 fl. oz. (375 ml) cork and caged bottle
Batch 002
Served in a tulip

Acquired in a trade with mikesgroove

The beer poured a hazy, golden yellow with no head but merely a thin layer of bubbly, bright white froth.

The aroma was super funky and tart. Sour to the max! Citric and acidic with intense lemon notes. Musty and dry. Hay and horse blanket came through strong. As the beer warmed, the mustiness really intensified.

The taste was outrageously sour. At first, this beer more closely resembled pure lemon juice than a "typical" beer. Extremely acidic. Earthy, musty, funky and barnyard-y.The dry, semi-tannic finish was oaky, funky and musty with an intense lemony tartness. Loads of woody earthiness carried into the lingering aftertaste. A surprising amount of hops were noticeable as well. Overall, the flavor profile was rather interesting and unique, yet it definitely was not as complex as I hoped it would be.

The mouthfeel was thinner bodied with a fine, champagne-like effervescence. Slightly watery. For some reason, the lively carbonation did not smooth out or fluff up the beer.

This beer was blindingly sour. In fact, I cannot think of another that is more tart. Even though I love most sour beers, I found this one to be rather overwhelming and somewhat lacking in a number of areas.

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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 genog
4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bright yellow, golden color with some strong white, billowing head at the top of the wine glass. Aroma was tart with citrus, and apple like aromas. Some spice, but mostly a lemon zest type aroma in a very smooth way. Taste was all tart, and sour that made me pucker. A slight smoothness lingers on the tongue after the initial assault. Mouth feel was crisp and carbonated like a beer champagne.

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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 br3wmeister
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Very hazy golden yellow beer that looks almost like honey. Off white silky head with lots of medium sized bubbles scattered around in it. Weak head retention with little lacing.

S- Light malty aroma with hints of caramel and some citrus hops. Some hints of lemon, lots of earthy and sour notes. Also a light green tee aroma is present after the beer warms. Very interesting smelling beer.

T- Super sour flavors up front. It seriously taste like biting into a lemon. Some light caramel maltiness and herbal earthy notes as well.

M- Medium bodied with a puckering sourness that drys out in the end leaving your palate some what clean.

Overall- This is a very sour and complex bee, I want more like it!

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber to a 20oz snifter.

A: Pours a glowing hazy light-orange with a small white head that fades quickly. Minimal lacing Head isn't amazing but the body is incredible.

S: Strong tart fruit, lemons, pears and what almost smells like bananas. Very bold and uniquely complex but in a way mellow.

T: Whoa! haha I did not expect such a bold flavor. Very tart lemon and malts with a little bit of bread in the middle. The complexity in the smell doesn't come out in the taste. Very dry finish.

M: It's fairly well carbonated and quite light but its almost hard to pick out physical feel over the tartness.

D: Very interesting and enjoyable but not splitting a bomber would be one hell of a challenge. Try this one for sure!

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Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured hazy yellow-gold with a ring of white bubbles and an oily film. Decent lacing. Bitter, bitter nose. Apricots, apples, sour peaches, white vinegar, and yeast. Taste is very bretty, sour to a cheesy/buttery flavor. A fair amount of citrus; lemon zest, pineapple, mango. Slight oakiness, similar to what one would find in a white wine. Lighter mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Delicious.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to BrewerB for this brew.

750ml
Caged/Corked
Batch 003

Poured into a tulip a cloudy pale yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, yeasty, citrus, slight spice. The taste is soury, malty/yeasty, with good citrus/spice notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to swnicholson for the opportunity to try this one! Batch 003.

A- Body is a very cloudy (nearly opaque) hazy straw yellow. Pours with a hefty 2 finger+ foamy white head (it did gush some upon opening). Head retention is great...eventually fading to 1 finger and keeping that the rest of the way down.

S- The first thing that hits the nose is a big whiff of tart lemon. Lemon all over the place. Behind this is a very noticeable oak presence.

T- Much more wonderful and complex than the smell. Very tart and slightly sweet lemon zest is definitely the main character here. The acidic tartness puckers the lips slightly but a slight bready sweetness balances it out. The oak is definitely detectable but hides deep in the background and comes through a little more for the finish but never overshadows the main characters. What also comes forward for the finish is a saltiness. It finishes rather abruptly and is very dry-esp for a brew with a lower ABV.

M- Great medium to high carbonation and a light body with a balance of breadiness and citrus.

D- This was an excellent brew and one I would definitely trade for again. It ended a gathering with a few other BAs that turned out to be a Russian River night. These 3 beers (this deviation, and the younger) were definitely my favorite by this brewing co. so far and I look forward to trying other brews they have to offer.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy light orange color with a small white head and good lacing.

Scent of tart citrus, green apples, yeast, and some grass with underlying oak and vanilla characters.

Taste of tart citrus, orange peel, green apples, a hint of grass, some oak. Very sour flavor with nice fruity tones balancing it out nicely.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and slick, goes down easy and leaves the mouth sticky.

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

Poured a 750ml Bottle into a Snifter.

Appearance - Pours a transparent honey gold into the glass. The head is minimal and leaves virtually no lacing behind as it dissipates. The head becomes a thin halo around the rim of the glass. The head retention is minimal - a swirl of the glass brings the head back for a moment, but then quickly dissipates once more.

Smell - The smell is pretty awesome. There is a large fruit component is this one. I detect green apple, green apple skins, sour grape, lemon and a small bit of cherry. The wild yeast makes a large appearance here, there is a lot of funk from the Brett and a large sour component as well. There is a slight oakiness as well.

Taste - The taste is very similar to the smell, but far more pronounced. Green apple, green apple skins, sour grapes, and lemon all make for the main fruit flavors. The sour comes through pretty strong. There is more sour in the flavor than in the scent, and vice versa for the funk. Light oakiness - not at all overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Man, this is really smooth for a sour. While the sour is powerful and you can feel it all over the inside of your mouth, it glides down the throat. Light/medium bodied.

Drinkability - Man this is a drinkable wild ale - the mark of a good one in my book. The flavors are melded perfectly. This beer is a work of art. Get some and horde it.

Thanks to midaszero for the bottle. Much appreciated sir.

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Photo of largadeer
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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

Big thanks to jac5084 for bringing this out. Just when I thought he was stingy, he pulls a stunt like this. Poured into to tulip glasses.

Batch 003

A: Pours a semi-hazy orange, yellow with a one finger spritzy white head; Looking at the bottle this one seemed more clear, but it looks like it got some chill haze perhaps. The look is almost glowing.

S: Tons of sweet and tartness rolled into one hell of a lemon, puckering scent. We had an Isabelle right before this, and although they are similar in smell, Beatification is much sweeter. Some oak and slight cherry scents pull through as well.

T: Get ready to pucker. This one is a sour ball in a glass. The good thing about this though is that the finish is rather sweet. Great lemon zest and orange bitter flavors shine through and it is rather complex with a solid oak element.

Overall, this was just fantastic. Of the wilds I have had, I would put Isabelle above this, but Beatification is way better than Temptation IMO.

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Photo of QuentinCompson
3.78/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12ozish bottle of Batch 002

Was dark, so really only got main taste notes, but looked nice enough.

S - Vinegar, sour apples

T-M - Nice champagney carbonation, sour brew, tastes like it smells; touch vinegary with sour citrus twists; lemony

D - Enjoyable, though I probably wouldnt have another right away. Though it's a nice wild brew

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Photo of rhinos00
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split this one with BA Pecorasc. Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a vibrant gold that just seems to illuminate. Definitely has some haze to it. Two fingers width of off-white head was formed.

S- Not as pungent as I expected. Had a mellow, earthy aroma. Also detected musty, oak scents as well.

T- As this beer progressed in warmth, the taste became more complex and enjoyable. In the later stages heavy notes of what seemed like citric rinds produced a sour explosion in the mouth. This was offset by a dominant oak flavor that complimented it rather nicely.

M- This thing was mouth puckering. After an initial sip, I could not keep my mouth from drooling due to the extreme sourness. Quite an experience.

D- This is definitely a slow drinker. Even splitting a 12.7 oz bottles two ways was enough for me.

Overall, quite a very unique and well-made beer. While the sourness was dominant, it was not overpowering and was wonderfully counterbalanced with oak flavors. A must try.

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Photo of jpiper
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange. Given the force which which it opened and gushed out of the bottle, minimal white head which rapidly dissipates into a ring around the edge and light dusting on top.

The smell fills the room - perhaps that's because of the half ounce which was spilled. But lifting it to the nose, sends a barrage of sour scents: sour apples, fresh lemons, a swirl brings out a funk with some earthy elements, but still warm. I could keep my nose buried in this.

Wow - that's nice. Clearly acidic and tart with sour apples and lemons again. But there's so much more to this beer. There is a sweetness, and I get oak notes - maybe similar a Chardonnay. The finish - well, a minute after the sip - there's a hint of bitterness. To minutes later, there are warm, earthy, woodsy flavors. As I move the air around my closed mouth, I get a distinct oak impression at he back of my palate - not sure if that's the taste or smell or the intersection of the two. Drinking this beer slowly allows the complexity of flavors to develop, rapid sips really build the lemon flavors in particular.

Palate cleansing, quite dry. Tiny bubbles and dryness are reminiscent of a champagne. Moderate level of carbonation.

I love a good sour like this as an aperitif, but a 750ml bottle is a bit excessive for this purpose. The acidity may be slowing, depending on what is paired with it or eaten before it. The low ABV and refreshing taste and palate are what caused me to think of this as a Super Bowl session beer. It fit the bill quite well, taking me from halftime through the end of the game, when it proved prophetic to have selected a sour given the outcome.

This is a fine beer. I probably wouldn't reach for it as much as some beers which are clearly lower rated and less fine examples of craftsmanship. But a lot of that is due to the price and the fact so few people I drink with enjoy sours.

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

This beer pours a very clear amber with tiny bubbles, a 1 fingered head and minimal lacing. The smell is of sour cherries. For being barrel aged so long you can barely taste that flavor because the sour flavor is so powerful, yet good, I really enjoy this bottle. A very slick mouthfeel and for a sour certainly one of the more drinkable beers I have had.

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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 csmiley
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a bright gold with medium intensity and just a touch of haze. An average pour provides no head to speak of. A thin layer of carbonation forms on the top of the brew a few minutes after the pour. Of course, with no head, no retention follows. It does seem to muster some lacing though.

S - Some sour / tart fruit comes through at first. Mostly green apple and lemon. Then it quickly turns to a musty aroma which is quite nice. Hay pops in to accompany the musty aromas. Finishes up with notes of ferrmenting fruit and wood.

T - Pow! Tart green apples and lemon burst onto the palate first. They really do a number on the taste buds. There is a huge amount of eathiness that follows and plays a wonderful companion to the fruitiness. Kind of reminds me of the forest after a nice hard rain. Wet leaves and wood come through first. The wood flavor starts to resemble oak at this point. Some hay and barnyard flavors bring up the rear. Splendid.

M - Medium bodied with minimal carbonation. Finish is tart, dry, sour, a little sweet...it really cover most of the bases and it hangs on for dear life as long as it can.

D - Drinkability is great. This brew really hits all the characteristics I would look for in a wild ale. The oak adds a nice touch that comes through just stong enough to compliment the other flavors. You would think the low alcohol would make this one really easy to put away but this is one that should be savored and enjoyed slowly. Another home run for Russian River.

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