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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: 2,456
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.46%
Wants: 3,162
Gots: 544 | FT: 40
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: 2,456
Photo of John_M
2.8/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Obviously, I do not understand sour beers (or the people who make them and drink them). I'm trying to learn to appreciate them, but a beer like this, it just defies imagination.

The beer pours a hazy, lemony honey color with decent head retention and lacing. The aroma of this beer is off the charts. I guess I get some lemon zest, but the beer is so tart smelling, and the barnyard funk so pronounced, I'm just amazed by what I smell. As odd as this beer smells, the flavors are just over the top. There is the lemon zest flavor, but I also get apple cider vinegar and just sour, sour, sour. Each sip has me grimacing in pain. The sour flavors aside, I will say the beer is pretty light on the palate with the abv. very well disguised. As for drinkability, the sour flavor is just overpowering and is nearly more then I can handle.

Shared this bottle with 4 other people thank God, including a guy at the table next to me (Belmont Station cafe) drinking some gueuze. He was quite grateful, noting the Beatification was much better then his gueuze. Perhaps. I just wish I had the capacity to appreciate it as much as he did.

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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 RblWthACoz
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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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 GratefulBeerGuy
3.17/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12.7 oz. caged and corked > Stella glass
batch 002

Looks like clover honey with an orange glow. 1" white frothy foam crowns and falls pretty fast with plenty of stickiness left over.

Whoa, it's a nice, big aroma. I'm sitting at least two feet away from the glass and the breeze from outside is whaffing the aroma my way! Sweet and sour fruits, tangy grapes, mandarin oranges, sweet/tart candy, musty herbs.

First impression: CRINGE!!!! major bitter-face. Unlike Temptation and Supplication the flavor of this wild bad-boy is just too funked-up for me, but only because of it's intense, medicinal and metallic bitter flavor that kills everything else. Tart/metallic/bitter that's about all I'm getting. Dissapointing to say the least, I really enjoyed the Other wild ales from these guys.

The feel is light and crisp at first, then becomes much less lively pretty fast. Perhaps some oxidation has taken effect with this one?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of DIM
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 002

a: This was a very pale, straw colored yellow. It pours with a thin, soapy, white head that quickly fades to a ring around the glass. I was surprised by how still this is.

s: Powerfull aromas of damp earth, very green apples, pungent flowers, and prickly yeasts. Wow.

t: Damn this is acidic! Huge flavors of vinegary, young, green apples. Earthy, peppery yeast flavors as well. There are some faint oak flavors hiding in backround too. The finish is quite dry. This is the most viscous sour I've tried yet; very gueuze like.

m: My only gripe with this beer is a minor one. I wish it was more heavily carbonated.

d: Huge thanks to barleywinebrewer for the chance to try this one! I look forward to the chance to try more RR sours.

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Photo of mentor
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle. Pours a cloudy pale straw with minimal whitish head. Smells mild. Horseblanket and wheat. Soured from brettanomyces. Sort of acetic, but mild overall. Pineapple, lemon zest, wet lemon oils.

Tastes soured brett. Puckering. Potent in the respect. Lactic and lemony. Like sucking on a fresh lemon wedge. Grapefruit and pineapple. Light crisp dry and clean. Great drinkability. Nice light summer quencher.

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Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

6% abv batch 002. Thanks Todd1. This little masterpiece reminds me of a wild and also a geuze. Musty aroma, that at the end smells like a basement not aired. The taste, cradles the tongue, there is a fizz, and it becomes more and more..lemon. Amazing sediment in the last once of the bottle. Custard appearance.

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

A corked and caged 375 mL bottle of Batch 002.

A: The ale has a hazy wheat ale color, more yellow than brown and resembling a still tea. There is little carbonation and no head save for a thin white band at the edge of the glass.

S: Mind-blowingly tart, this ale causes you to pucker up from the aroma only. Bright citrus and flowers emerge from the mix, as does an strong barnyard presence. The draw is so strong that despite the intensity, I can't take my nose out of the glass.

T: This beer is as gueuzey as it gets, thick with tart astringent flavors. Citrus flavors are quick to emerge from the tartness, with orange rind and grapefruit featured prominently. Sour apples run throughout as well. For the strength of the tartness, the body underlying it is quite delicate. The tartness last on the lips and palate for quite a while.

M: Fruit and horseblanket funkiness leave a lasting impression on the palate. This ale is as close to an authentic Belgian gueuze that I've ever come across.

D: At 5.5%, the ale is low key and light but the blast of flavor could impair your tastebuds. The ale is wonderful, great innovation from Russian River.

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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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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.97/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to lagadeer for this one!

This beer pours a lemony gold color in to my tulip. A column of micro-bubbles rise up from the dimple in the bottom. Be careful on the pour. One glass got a little of the dregs in it and it looked a lot more dull.

Smells of raspberries, red grapefruit and a touch of banana with a strong emphasis on the tart aspects of these beers. There's a pleasant wild funk that permeates the entire nose. In the distance there's a clover honey and some wild flowers.

The flavor is predominantly funky tartness that reminds me of eating under-ripe crabapples as a kid. It picks up a flash of black pepper too along with ultra tart cherry and orange. It's hard to really articulate just how funky the funk is, but this one seemed to be a little more "in your face" and unbalanced that other Russian River beers.

Feels dense, but mysteriously vacant with only the slightest hint of tiny carbonation. This really helps the mouth deal with the funk.

A tasty wild ale, but not one of RR's best.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.37/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: This brew poured a yellow/golden color with virtually no head.

S: The aroma was sour and wine like.

T: Help! My tastebuds were just ambushed! This is a sour/wine like brew. Sour apples are definitely apparent. I think I'm tasting brett in the finish.

M: Thin and remarkably dry.

D: While this is an interesting beer, I'm not totally in tune with the style yet....but I'm trying (I kept style in mind while rating).

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

Decided to crack open a bottle of Beatification, batch 002 for my 900th review. Pours straw colored, slightly hazy, and with no head. The smell is quite funky with lots of lemon sourness and great barnyard aromas. The taste is super tart up front, followed by a splendid funkiness with loads of horseblanket character as well as a dose of minerality. Ripe soft cheese and lemon on the finish. Smooth, tart, refreshing in the mouth. Delicious and the real deal. I shared a bottle of this with brickstoredave, and his comment was "Wow, an American brewer made this beer?". My thoughts exactly. What an accomplishment and one more reason Russian River is my favorite American brewery.

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

375 ml bottle. Batch 002.

Hazy pale lemon yellow edges around a golden center. Small, tight, off-white head. Decent lacing. Nose is tart with plenty of acidity. Citrus (grapefruit, lemon), hay, horse blanket, some powdered sugar sweetness, and a bit of wood. Great complexity.

Starts off refreshingly tart. Grapefruit and lemon citrus flavors flesh out the palate. Very acidic and dry. Earthy, musty edge to all the fruity sourness. Hints of hay and oak. Finish is incredibly dry with lingering grapefruit sourness. Moderate body with an almost sticky feel. Deliciously tart and earthy and refreshing!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle obtained via ???? BIF from rsyberg01. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged, Batch 002.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/4" bright white head over the totally cloudy golden brew. Head recedes to an uneven layer of bubbles, with ample small-bubbled lace. Aroma is tart bubblegum. Taste starts with a moderate tartness throughout the mouth, coupled with a light sweetness. Then the real character appears, piercing citric character, which rounds out at the close. Mouthfeel is silky soft and dry, and drinkability is impressive. A refreshing on a warm evening, for sure.

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Photo of
3.53/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle, acquired in San Francisco.

Slightly hazy, dark yellow-light golden color. Modest, white head. No legs, some lacing. Cork eased out of the bottle with a gentle phht!

Scent was sour! Touch of vinegar. Fruit -- sour apples, vitamin C. Some funkiness/earthiness. Cellar smell.

Taste was SOUR. Acetic acid, vitamin C again. Grapefruit juice comes to mind, lingers in a big way. Lemon juice.

Light to medium body. Low carbonation, expected higher. Very dry, approaching puckering.

Alas, if this is one of the best of the bunch for sours, I'm probably never going to be a big fan. Enjoyed Temptation and Supplication much more. I must say that it nails the description on the bottle and for the style.

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

Pours a hazy gold with 1 finger of bubbly white head into a tulip glass. Head doesn't last very long, and leaves little lacing behind. Smells of Brett, green apples, lemon zest, cantaloupe, and vinegar. Taste starts out good and tart with plenty of green apples, lemon, and vinegar. Brett funk makes itself known as does notes of vanilla, but it never gets the sourness of some of the other RR Wild Ales, remaining tart and funky. Light in body with good fizzy champagne-like carbonation and lots of tartness and funk. Another extraordinary -ication from Russian River that is light, lower in alcohol, and packed with unique flavors.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002
A- Rich golden, clear, no head builds up at all.

S- Very sour. You know it will be puckering by the aroma.

T- Intensely sour. We had this right after Temptation, Sanctification, and Supplication and all got blown out of the water by Beatification's sourness. Trying to search deeper is hard (for me) but maybe that pear/apricot type fruit taste (light a faint, light mellow sugar).

M/D- starts off pretty spritzy but the carbonation is worked out of the beer pretty fast. Comparing this to Cantillon Gueuze I would have to say Beatification is a bit more sour and overall slightly more interesting.
___

5/25/09
Definitely more earthy now.

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Photo of prototypic
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 002

Appearance: It's hazy and a very light straw color. Maybe a touch of orange to it. Minute amount of sediment can be seen lurking around. Head is foamy white and a modest one finger. It receded quicly and left a very light lacing on the glass.

Smell: No doubt this is a very tart smelling beer. I can almost taste the sourness already. Due to the use of Brett, it certainly has a bit of barnyard funkiness going on. But, it's a little subdued and nicely done. There's a very light fruity aroma that smells mostly of grape. It's a little earthy and grainy. Nice and complex.

Taste: The flavor really delivers when comes to being tart and sour. The nose was a spot-on representation of the taste. It's not so aggressive that it's mouth puckering, but it's very tart and sour. It certainly has a citrusy aspect. Lemon and grapefruit flavors are sweet and really contribute to the strong tart taste. There's a nice grainy flavor and a wood-like taste that appear toward the finish. I can only surmise the wood flavor is attributable to the barrel aging. Finishes sour and very, very dry.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and very dry. It's really drying out my palate. Carbonation is lighter than expected, but well done. It's got an incredibly smooth feel and is very drinkable. At 5.5%, abv is very modest and if you're into sours, this could be consumed in mass quantities.

I've been waiting to try Beatification for a while and it truly delivers. I don't really know how to characterize this beer. It's art in a bottle. Everything about it is just so artfully crafted. I can't constructively criticize any aspect of this beer. I'm not convinced it can be any more well done than this. Coming from one who's not the biggest of sour fans, that's a huge compliment. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002, 3375ml bottle.

It pours a nice pale blonde color with very little head despite a fairly aggressive pour. There is some suspended yeast, as it is not perfectly clear, and the limited carbonation rising up is made up of very tiny bubbles. The aroma is far smoother than I expected it to be. There is the brett funkiness and tartness there, but it isn't as powerful as the other RR sours. There are some light fruity undertones of grapes, melon, and definitely some green apple. The malts are not easy to identify, but there is some light breadiness.

Upon the first sip, I realized that the aroma was misleading. It is very sour. The brett did it's job giving it that distinct sourness it loves to provide us with. Once the sourness subdues, there are definitely those fruity notes, giving it very much a wine-like quality. The green apple really shines along with some melon. The finish is sweeter than I expected it to be and lingers on nicely. As it warms the sourness subsides and the fruitiness comes out more, along with hints of bready malts and oak. it's very nice how this one transforms. The mouthfeel is light and with just a little carbonation. Overall, this is one excellent wild ale. Probably the best I've had.

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Photo of joe1510
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml
$15
Russian River

Batch 002

Courtesy of errantnight, thanks Derek! Beatification pours a murky, pale straw yellow with a minimal head. The clean white head grew to a finger but fell rather quickly to a ring around the glass. Random carbonation bubbles rise here and there to the minimal head. I would have liked to see a better head on this beer. It's almost nonexistent after it settles and swirls won't even bring it forward.

The smell makes my mouth water immediately. A big hit of brett sourness right off the bat. Damp hay and earth are the first things I pick up, a bit of vinegar shows up half way through and becomes the dominant figure before being joined by a slight damp oakiness. Although the swirls don't produce any head they do release enough carbonation to bring forward a peppery peachiness that only stays for a short time. Good depth with a great tart note.

Beatification will make you pucker. The puckering tartness hits immediately but calms down mid-palate. As this beer warms the flavors really start coming together nicely. The sourness shows signs of vinegar throughout but there's a good deal of pepper and stone fruits. Not as much earthiness as the nose suggested but it is present. At first this was simply a decent beer, after more warming it becomes very tasty and much more flavor sneaks through the sourness.

The mouthfeel is a bit of a let down; I expected more carbonation and that light airy feel. The lack of carbonation leaves the mouthfeel a little heavier then expected. The body is medium and leaves a slight stick on the finish. Causes a nice pucker and makes my mouth water but I would like a bit more dryness. Just me being picky again I suppose.

Very easy drinking. The tartness leaves your mouth watering for another drink as soon as you swallow the last. It feels like I've been drinking this slowly but I look at my glass and it's about gone.

A solid beer from Russian River. Not one of my favorites but all the flavor is there. Seems to me like a better carbonated brew would take care of most problems. I can't wait to see what a couple years will do to these bottles
.

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Photo of AndySR15
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a hazy straw color with a thin bubbly head into a Duvel glass.

S - Intense, you can smell it the minute you open the bottle. Very funky up fromt with nice earthy/wood nites in the back and a bit a citrus as well.

T - Very funky and tart. Strated out with citrus and ends with the sour funk.

M - Very tart at first and leaves you mouth puckering and very dry. Deffinately makes you want to go back for more.

D - Excellent, if you know what you are about to get yourself into. An extremely intense beer but an awesome wild ale.

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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 Goliath
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From swnicholson, thanks dude.

Batch 002

Pours a slightly hazed golden/blond color with no real head.

The aroma has some barnyard funk and citrus. Makes the mouth water.

Taste is great. A sharp sourness makes the cheeks pucker. Citrus notes with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied and gently carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. The beer is sessionable, and flavor is great, but the sourness may overwhelm with time. A 375ml bottle is perfect.

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