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Beatification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
BeatificationBeatification

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

516 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 516
Hads: 2,317
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 3,084
Gots: 487 | FT: 29
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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 516 | Hads: 2,317
Photo of aasher
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one was sampled during the South Carolina tasting. This was courtesy of beermex2, thank you immensely Steve! Batch 3 750ml bottle.

This one pours a light to medium bodied melted butter in appearance with a light white lacing. It smells of light Granny Smith apples with some apricot and peaches. This is officially the first beer to make me pucker. Wow! This is mind blowingly sour. It is just so tart and you don't get killed with brett its really astonishing. What a sour! As far as sours go, this is a sipper, an utter palate destroyer. Phenomenal, phenomenal beer. (574 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to JealousChalice for sharing this at DarthKostrizer's tasting.

Bottled on 1/10/12.

Pours a slightly murky yellow with a beige head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, funky, earthy, and woody. Taste is the same with an awesome mouth puckering sourness. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an amazing beer with fantastic aromas and flavors. (479 characters)

Photo of anteater
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 375ml bottle

A: Slightly hazy yellow, some thin white bubbles on the surface

S: Very reminiscent of actual lambic - a very upfront brett funk, hay, wheat, I think I'm getting some of that infamous horse blanket. There's something in the funkiness aroma that you wouldn't expect to like but it is so intriguing and undeniably complex and enjoyable

T: Wow, a little more sour than your average sour. The mouth puckering aspect in the taste of this beer alone is a wild ride. Huge sour flavor with a big intensity at the very beginning that is felt by my tongue, cheeks and roof of my mouth. The intensity dies down but lingers in the background while you notice the sweet floral, hay like qualities of the malt balancing perfectly with the funk.

M: Just slightly dry, works with the flavors perfectly

O: I was not the least bit disapointed by this beer with the high hopes that I had for it. The sour aspect of this beer is very unique for an American beer. (974 characters)

Photo of Stigs
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

batch 2 - served in a small tulip/snifter hybrid. sent to me very generously by BA'er JRSD whom I met through my awesome Brother-in-Law. has been a huge want of mine for a long time. this one goes out to Jim, Mike, and Amy.

A - cork pulls out a bit easily with a subtle "pop". pour yeilds just a quick flash of loose white bubbles that vanish within a minute. left behind is a very thin white film and a few bubbles around the sides of the glass. the last few seconds or so brings some yeasty dregs into the glass. otherwise, the beer is clear, solid gold in color.

S - big and bright sourness, equally tart. some bits of grains, hay, yeasty funk, and basement must. nothing overpowers another, and balances wonderfully. flashes of lemon, sour green apples, and oaky vanilla sweetness creep in as it warms.

T - puckeringly sour, incredibly hidden from the nose. bright and acidic, vinegary, tart yet fruity, metallic in the right spots. this one is going to take awhile to decipher. funk flashes in and out alongside sweet vanilla and oak, and then the next sip brings in fresh grasses and fields. lemony sweetness abounds with crisp freshly picked granny smith apples. could go on and on here but i'm just going to stop and enjoy this. one of those outsanding and rare beers that can be directed to different areas of the mouth and tongue to yield different results. yummm - if I could give it a 5.5 I would.

M - medium body, with carbonation that at this point is just barely noticeable. somehow, this works wonderfully. so puckering and sour it almost makes the nose run and the glands in your mouth and throat go into overdrive out of fear.

D - a hardcore sipper: partially to blame is its incredible sourness, deliciousness, and complexity. one of those beers that just amazes me that naturally occurring things can cause flavors like this all on their own. sours/wilds really propelled me to the next level in beer advocacy and this point is one of its peaks. im running out of creative and artistic ways to describe this. simply amazing. (2,050 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

review #450 poured into a RR belgian glass

batch 3 (750ml)

pours a slight hazy yellow with a faint burnt orange. fizzy white head quickly dissipates leaving a light film over the top.

lemon and oak up front. light vinegar and white grape. nice sourness through out.

quite sour all the way through. starts off with a bit if sweetness and quickly becomes sour. mostly bitter lemon with a hint of lime. very citrus forward. a hint of funk and dry oak. very deep in flavor.

carbonation is quite mild but works out well. starts out rather flat and with a swirl quickly comes to life. lots of dry oak in the finish.

this is hands down the best american wild ale that resembles the belgian gueuze. amazing flavor and complexity. other sour brewers, take note. (760 characters)

Photo of jdklks
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very light golden with a tinge of amber and burnt orange. The head is off white, but doesn't stick around long enough to admire. The smell is great. Lots of citrusy fruits, mostly lemon. Some oakiness and even a little alcohol to complement the funky brett.

Wow! RR sours continue to absolutely blow me away. This may be the sourest one I've tried. This thing is like drinking straight grapefruit juice aged in oak barrels with lemon added along with dissolved sweet tarts and that ever so special brett element that gives a barnyard/earthy character.

The mouthfeel is also great. Very light, but always (with RR) well carbonated. Drinkability too, is as always, through the roof. (691 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a few bottles from the release a while back, big thanks to fartingdog and DrJay for facilitating it!

Pours an almost clear light amber, almost golden, thin bone white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around my new Bruery glass, drops some nice lace spots on the glass. Smell is badass, tons of oak and vinegar, lots of funky goodness, wine, vanilla, some honey and biscuity malty sweetness underneath the acidic lemons, almost a fresh floral character, kind of like a riesling, pretty awesome. Taste is intense, sweet and sour beginning when it kicks you in the tonge, more of a sweet wine, I get a lot of dry riesling character, fresh floral and honey notes, then the funky acidic character hits, like toasted lemons, vinegar, wood, very nice herbal sour finish, perfectly balance. Mouthfeel is light bodied, silky smooth, low carbonation, goes down insane easy for a sour. Not as much of a palate bruiser as I expected, just perfectly balanced sourness, tons of character, I could drink this stuff all day. (1,031 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to eyebereej for the trade. Poured from Batch 5 375 mL bottle into Peg's tulip glass.

A: Golden apricot color, fairly clear. No head to speak of, instead only a ring of bubbles. There is some visible carbonation.

S: Sour, vinegar, fruity (peach/apricot/lemon) with just a bit of barnyard. Really nice aroma here.

T: Fruity again (peach, apricot, lemon, pineapple, strawberry?). There isn't much wood character but it is there in the background. Sour but not overwhelmingly so.

M: Pleasantly light mouthfeel with dry finish and moderate carbonation.

O: Awesome. Given the PITA that this ended up being for me to acquire, my hopes had really been built up. But unlike so many previous experiences with a similar backstory, it lived up to my expectations easily. Bottles of Beat would absolutely be a permanent fixture in my fridge if that was possible! (862 characters)

Photo of animortician
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5

A: Hazy yellow to golden in color, light white head dissipating pretty quick. Ok lacing.

S: WOW, the smell along on the beer blows me away, SO MUCH FUNK. Very complex, goes from smelling really good first sniff to smelling like something rotten next sniff back to really good next sniff. So weird, so good!

T: Almost no funk at all in the flavor, has a very clean crisp sour flavor. Fruity, spicy and complex. Flavor is very light but also rich at the same time. amazing!

M: Light, smooth, good carbonation

O: This beer is like nothing else, the difference between the smell and the taste is something else. Would be interesting to drink a sanctification right next to it. Awesome beer but for $15 bucks a pop I'll be trading it more than drinking it. (764 characters)

Photo of rowew
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 375 ml corked and caged. Barrel aged 23 months. Batch 001 - PH1. Aged in La Folie barrels.

Appearance: Poured per bottles recommendations without the yeast. Pours orange with just a bit of haze, and a small head with good retention.

Smell: Mmmm.. sour and funky. Lots of brett aroma with fruity undertones.

Taste: Lots of nice tart sour brett flavors. The brett definitely dominates here - and its highly enjoyable. The base beer appears to be a solid blond, but the sour definitely steals the show.

Overall impression: Very nice sour beer - nice to see Russian River and New Belgium teaming up - this is a great example of an American brewer producing belgian styles. (695 characters)

Photo of Bobheed
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a very clear, very bright golden color with about a one and a half finger soapy white head. Lots of carbonation visible

S: Lots of lemon, lots of vinegar kind of smells, a very good amount of an herbal funkiness.

T: Taste follows the nose fairly well, lots of tartness mostly, the funk was a little lost here. It was still there, but not as much as the nose led me to believe. I'll have to see if that changes through aging though, which may be the case. Very sour with lots of lemon and vinegar though.

M: A bit thicker than I expected, but not a "thick beer" by any means. Extremely dry and it feels like the acid just ripped all the enamel off my teeth.

Overall this was pure awesomeness. My favorite sour from RR and one of my favorite beers overall. I can't to see what some more age does to these beasts. (823 characters)

Photo of Verecund
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

One of the best wild ales out there, at least in my experience. The gueuze comparisons are inevitable, though this is less balanced and more overtly tart and less funky than befits that style. So clean and sharp, though not without its rawness. A treat, and one of the bars for the style. (1,190 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. Batch 3. Thanks to readbaron and Dunt for bringing this to our WaLe tasting.

Appearance: This pours a dark, cloudy golden tangerine color with a small eggshell collar and no real lacing.

Smell: The aroma has some lactic and soft funky notes, but it is mostly sour. Lemon, peach, and grapefruit all provide the fruit tartness.

Taste: The flavor has an incredible sour flavor. It starts with lemon and grapefruit, with some peach, white grape, and a bit of cherry later on. Some grass and hay get lost with the light malt; if I really look for it I can get a little bit, but the tartness is overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation and body are standard for the style, with an absolutely incredible tartness. Some light oak tannins dry it out a bit, but the sour is so deep and full that my mouth is constantly watering while I work through my glass.

Overall: This is one of the most puckering and blistering sour wilds I have had - I absolutely love it. It reminds me of an incredibly tart gueuze. (1,044 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Batch 005, big, big thanks to Tim for pulling this one out of the cellar and sharing it. Definitely a nice surprise. Pours a somewhat dull, golden-yellow blend with a mild chill haze, leaving the beer translucent with very mild clarity. The small, eggshell colored head builds up to almost a half-inch before quickly fizzling away into thin air.

Just from the aroma, I can already tell that this is gonna be one tart and sour MF'er. I bring my nose to the glass and my nostrils are immediately assaulted by an army of acidic and tart aromas; pure lactic acid in a glass. I'm kidding... But, seriously. Green apples, grapes, cherries, tart vinegar, mild oak, and a light but noticeable funk in the background. Probably one of the most sour "smelling" beers I've had the pleasure of sniffing, so I can only imagine how this one is going to taste. It's already got my saliva glands bubbling.

The taste is a brilliant collaboration of everything picked up on the nose, only amplified about a hundred times - extremely fruity and zesty. It's super sour and extremely tart, right from the beginning. Definitely one of the biggest lip-smacking, puckering beers I've had. Juicy, sour apples, lemon juice, white grapes. Huge acidity with heaps of vinous and vinegar flavors. Every single nook and cranny of my mouth is coated with this incredibly sour flavor. It's got me salivating like Pavlov's fucking dog over here. Some light wood and oak comes into the beer near the end and into the aftertaste, along with a light bit of funk, yeast, and musk. Thin-medium bodied with a huge bout of carbonation.

Whew! Now that's a sour beer. Huge sour flavors - so incredibly tart and puckering. Suck a lemon or drink pure lactic acid and you're right on par with Beatification. Nice little addition of funky and Brett notes, too. Thanks again to Tim for breaking this one out, it was incredible.

EDIT: 5/12/2013

Had an earlier batch at Jeff's house (thanks, Jeff!) and this stuff was even better than I remembered. So impossibly sour and so incredibly drinkable. I've never been more sad to see an empty glass. (2,098 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a Dogfish snifter. Batch 5, bottled on 1/10/12

A- pours a slighty hazy yellowish/orange with a half finger pure white head. The head is completely solid, no bubbles getting through, perfect layer of lacing...gorgeous

S- slight aroma of lemons, with a nice bit of funk in there too. Good, but not overly fragrant

T- intensely sour. As in, I take a sip and I can feel it in my ears. Tons of citrus...grapefruit, lemon, and all-out funk.

M- the body on this sour is actually thicker than I have ever seen in a wild/lambic style. Carbonation level is good

O- this is one of the absolute best beers I've ever had, and completely worth the price tag and cost from shipping from Cali. If you're a fan of sours and you've never had this...well, what the hell are you waiting for?! (820 characters)

Photo of Callenak
4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tasted both the 001 and the PH1 side by side to see how they matched up together. The differences are subtle but they are there. If you were to taste them a couple weeks apart, you probably wouldn't be able to decipher any differences though.

001
Pours a nice golden color. A distinct murkiness to it. Beautiful white head on it that never goes away.

Not to much on the nose. Definitely get the tartness and the carbonation. Smells of oak and fruitiness.

Incredible tasting beer. Of course the tartness hits you first. But not overpowering. I've had a hand few sour beers, and the tartness on this one was by far the most balanced. Not like the Cuvee Rene that your puckering for 10 minutes after you drink it. Oak flavoring, but not to powerful either. A slight taste of cherries too.

PH1
Of course many similarities between the two. The major differences though, are it pours slightly darker than the 001. Side by side, you can tell. The PH1 seems to have more initial carbonation, but does not keep the head retention of the 001. Not much difference in the nose between the two. The PH1 has a more profound tartness to it. Stays on the tongue much longer than the 001. A longer, more sourer, aftertaste.

I may be in the minority on this, but I preferred the 001 over the PH1. They are both absolutely amazing beers, and I do enjoy sour beers. I just preferred the fact that sourness dissipated on the tongue quicker on the 001 than the PH1, allowing you to pull the other amazing flavors from the beer. I've had a pretty wide selection of Russian River beers, and besides the Pliny's, this has been by far my favorite to come from them. You'd do well to try and get some of these. (1,702 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a cloudy hazy wheat/yellow color with lots of bubbles in the drink and not in the head.
I smell cherry and oak and citrus. The yeast burns my nose.
Taste is sour/sweet at the same time. There is a darkness to the aftertaste. It is bitter sweet like a persimmon fruit.
Mouthfeel is so darn clean. Nothing is left in the palate. We had cheese and mushrooms, this cleaned the mouth right up. I wish it would be more redily available. Petrus rates way below this one. (473 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a slightly hazed golden color with a slight, fizzy eggshell colored head. The head dissipates almost immediately, but looking down into the glass, there's a steady stream of bubbles rising up from the bottom like a geyser.

S: A fantastic blast of citrus, lemon and funk right off the bat. Lemon zest, a touch of tropical fruit, maybe pineapple, dried apricot, vanilla and some spice mixed with earthy notes and good old horse blanket. Smells awesome.

T: Hits with a big tart, slightly acetic lemony twang that carries through all the way to mid-palate. Some underripe red cherry and lemon candy hit in the middle. Barnyard, wet hay, a touch of leather, vanilla and some oak. Sticks the finish. Intensely tart and lemony with a great lingering dryness. Like every RR sour I've had, the mouthfeel is impeccable. This is world class. (842 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Batch 003 750ml received as an extra in a trade with ipa247. Thanks a lot man! Your generosity knows no bounds.

Pours a dark hazy golden banana yellow color with golden yellow hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy white head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing behind.

Funky Brett aroma with hints of earthy oak, crisp light fruit, champagne yeast.

Medium bodied with a slightly puckering tart mouthfeel. Soft carbonation with some earthy oak notes as well as some puckering sour funk. The great thing about this beer is although it is sour and funky with dry bretty efervescence, it isn't acetic at all and is actually very well balanced by the citrus and light fruit notes. Hints of lemon peel as well as apple and pear. Complex and extremely complex with a nice tart finish. Each sip leaves me salivating for more. Get this beer!! (922 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From 04/14/12 notes. Thanks to everyone who brought this to our DC Sour Tasting; never had it and have wanted to for a while. Got to sample a near vertical, as we had batched 1, PH1, 2, 3, and 4 side by side. I found batches 1 and PH1 very different fro the rest, as they were much sweeter then the others, and found batch 2 to be the sourest, almost too sour. Batch 3 was amazing and my favorite, so the one I'm reviewing. My order went:

3, Ph1, 1, 2, 4

a - Pours a transparent golden color with one inch of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of tart cherries, sour fruits, citrus, lemon, oak, fruity malts, very acedic. Awesome nose, with just a ton of sour fruits.

t - Tastes of very sour cherries, sour dark fruits, and fruity malts, lemon, citrus, light funk, acedic, oak, vinegar. More sour dark fruit, especially cherries, in the taste, and a inty bit funky. Awesome, perfect tasting sour for me.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Acedic mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was an amazing sour; probably my favorite RR beer to date. All batches of this were very good, btu Batch 3 is unreal right now. Highly recommended, definitely looking for more bottles of this one. (1,221 characters)

Photo of badbeer
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001, not the PH1 though.

Poured out a yellow orange color with a white head that quickly dissipated, but left bits of lacing. Smell was sour and vinegar-like; it had barnyard funk as well, but not as powerful, full of pleasant sour aromas. The taste seems to have a bit of lemon and oak beneath the strong sour flavors. I'm not real experienced with Wild Ales, but this one just tasted awesome. It also had tastes of vinegar and ends up with a dry, sour finish. Lighter side of medium body with a dry finish; carbonation is rather high. This is definately one of the better beers I've had and has changed my mind on what sour beers can be. I would definitely drink this again, unfortunately I'll have to wait until the next batch comes out. (747 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into a tulip. 9/11/13 bottling date.

pours a murky pale yellow with a half inch white head that quickly dissipates. the smell is massively acidic and is just perfect. the taste starts out very sour and tart but then balances out so well with the funkiness and finishes so dry and awesome. an amazing sour beer...just about perfect in every way. carbonation and mouth feel are on point.

had a batch 3 just last week and it turned much sourer than this fresh batch. both versions extremely good. love it (516 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to trxxpaxxs for sharing!

375ml cork and caged bottle, fridge temp, batch 5, bottled on 01 10 12, poured into a snifter.

pours a very nice clear golden color, fairly retentive skim white head, no real lace to speak of.

lots of tart funky brett. tart cherries, sour lemon, a bit floral and lots of nice footy funk.

oh my sour! big tart lemon citrus, sour pie cherry, footy, bretty funk, a bit of green sour apple, and a hint floral. sweet tart like. very sour finish that lingers and definatly makes you pucker.

i love the sourness in this beer, its pretty intense. very tart with a very dry finish. fairly light in body.

this beer (as well as any other RR beer ive had) definatly lives up to all the hype. some very nice funk and intense sour citrus makes this a winner, right up there with cantillion IMO. (825 characters)

Photo of klikger
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200
375ml Batch 2 served in a tulip glass - thanks again for sharing, CaseyK!

A - Light gold and cloudy, hardly any head or lacing

S - Massive amounts of sour yeasts/bacteria, lot of lemon peel - I can't wait to dive into this!

T - Intensely sour from sip one, this is acidic, yeasty, and pungent --> barnyard funk, lemon juice, and brett --> intensely sour lemon and bacterial flavor on the finish, and this lingers for minutes

M - Good cabonation, acidic, lively, amazing

D - I'd drink all of this that I could - very drinkable for how mouth-puckeringly sour it is.

All in all, I'm amazed - what a beer! I love RR's regular sour offerings, but this takes the cake - only Sanctification comes close to the levels of funkiness in this. I hope to try every batch of this, but I'll always remember #2 fondly... (828 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I first had this beer on my first trip to CA, and my original review is below this one. It's been about 2 years (to my detriment) since I've had a bottle of this batch, and I'm kicking myself for it. In any case, here goes - happy birthday, me!

Served in the original RR -tion tulip (this glass is no longer made and is now a whale IMO), this beer is crystal clear, straw yellow and has a dense, frothy off-white head with excellent retention and minimal lacing. The nose makes me smile. Beautiful overripe lemons, an insane level of funk with cheese, sweaty feet and just an incredible explosion of fruit (unripe white peaches, ripe honeydew melons). The sourness is beautifully citric in nature with some lactic acid no acetic acid. In fact, I will go as far as say that this is an impeccable gueze, it really does remind me of the better batches of Girardin 1882, and my all time favorite, the 1999 Oude Gueuze. The only thing that sets it apart is a light sweetness that's present, very mildly corn-like, and this is not something I've found in a gueuze worth gushing about. Even a little bit of white grapes? As I let it breathe, I get an intense, salty, cheesey, funky aroma. I'm starting to see the beginnings of a musty, mushroomy, wet wood-like funk to the nose that I'm going to enjoy revisiting in a year or so.

Opening and closing with a palate crushing sourness that is remarkably clean in its blend of citric and lactic qualities, this is a remarkable beer. Again, there's plenty of unripe stone fruits, semi-raw grapes, mellow melons, all topped off with a dollop of soured yogurt, this some seriously intense and good stuff. In particular, the yogurty sourness is of note, as it exemplifies what happens when the citric and lactic sourness play off each other. The sourness does hide some of the funk here, not really allowing the wet hay and grass to come through( unlike batch 3, which is a better balanced beer IMO). Under all the sourness, a bit of cereal sweetness does come through, a little grainy and a little corn like. Sour with lemons and a brilliant lactic sourness (I can't think of too many better showcases for lactic acid), this beer finishes with some tannic character. Light in body, medium-high in carbonation, this beer is wonderfully carbonated and wonderfully executed.

This beer , and this batch in particular, is probably the best lambic-type beer brewed in the US. Yes, batch 3 is a better drinking sour, but this batch has a certain je ne sais quoi to it. Far better than Duck Duck Gooze, on par or slightly better than Isabelle IMO. I traded too many of these away, but at least I got to make some friends in the process. A remarkable beer that I'm going to be sad to see gone.

**Original review 05-24-2008 02:30:10**
Batch 2 4.5/4.5/4/4.5/4

A: Straw yellow with a frothy and lively off-white head. Lots of carbonation. Pretty!

S: Complex with notes of sour, vinegar, spice (black pepper), oak and a mild sweetness. There's an earthy slant to it. This is a great gueuze ! As it warms up, there's a hint of vanilla too, if you swirl hard enough.

T: Massive sourness with a lot of acidity. There's a hint of fruitiness that comes in - apple? The finish is dry and puckering tart. Definitely among the sourest beers i've tasted - it leaves my mouth watering

M: Lively carbonation on the tongue, sour and incredibly so with a dry finish.

D: I'll be honest - this is a new style to me and the acidity is in your face but i know this one's a gem as it keeps me coming back

These sours are growing on me and i'm glad i have a couple of bottles stashed away to come back to when i better appreciate the style

**Edit 12 May 2012**
I got a couple of these from Chebyshev. Thank you, Aaron! Batch 5 (aka 011012)

Pouring lighter than I remember it being, but still with excellent carbonation and head retention. The nose is a beautiful bright citrusy funk, with grass and hay. Combining the pure grassy funk of batch 3 with the bright acidity and melon and fruit notes of batch 2, this is a beautiful blend. A little bit of honey, graham crackers and a whiff of ethyl lactate (fruity, coconutty. No acetic acid is perceived, though the lactic acid esters do contribute a fruity sharpness.

Like batch 2, this is pretty hugely sour, but not as intensely so. Prominently lactic with some lime rind and citrusy acidity as well. Mild tannins and the lactic acid really brings to mind unripened stone fruit (yellow freestone peaches, nectarines). The funk level is tempered by the sourness, but grass, and straw are quite prominent. Mildly cheesy as well. Drying on the finish with lingering lactic acid, some oak tannins (that lend a chewiness), this beer is crisply carbonated. Highly sour, this is pretty excellent 4.5/4.5/4/4.5/4.5 (4,775 characters)

Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 516 ratings.