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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: 2,458
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.46%
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 Halcyondays
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at O'Brien's,

A: Pours a lightly hazy dark yellow with a mild white head.

S: Sour apples, light malt, similar to a gueuze, light funk to it.

T: Just a beautiful beer. Light fermented fruit plays with the acidity in a complex, great mix. Almost a champagne quality to it, reminded me a lot of Cantillon with the high acidity. If I tasted this blind I would have thought it a Belgian gueuze, no doubt about it.

M: Very sour, not as dry as I thought it would be, it has a light sweetness that carries it through. What I want in a mouthfeel for a wild ale.

D: This is really good. Had to almost chug my first one since I had to order 3 beers at a time and couldn't carry them all. The second time around I got to really get into the beer. This is my first time having this one, and it shows Vinnie really knows what he's doing. This with Supplication are my favourite RR sours. Edit 2/2010 - I just had some batch 2 of this that may be the best beer I've ever had, the complexity and flavour is incredible and delicious.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
2.95/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

375 mL bottle tried 20 Sep 2008.

Poured into a tulip glass. Very small white head, well carbonated. Slightly cloudy bright orange gold color. Smells quite tart, sour, with cherry pits and stone fruit. Good up to this point, then the wheels come off while tasting. Starts sour, the middle is tart and the finish is sour. This overwhelming sourness invades my mouth and beats my tastebuds senseless. Any remaining functioning tastebuds are mopped up by the long lingering sour aftertaste. All of my orifices are puckered by this assault. There are probably some other underlying flavors but they are lost to me.

I can see why some people might like this, and I respect that it's a difficult style to make, but holy cow...

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Photo of bcm119
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a tulip glass. Hazy straw color with some mottled white lace. Dry citrus aroma with yeasty funk. Starts off with a punch of tart unripe raspberry and citrus. It shows a lot of complexity mid-palate, with orange rind and tropical fruit unfolding into some barnyardy funk, and finishing musty with a touch of aged cheese. Dry throughout with lingering tartness.

The closest thing to a Belgian Gueze I've had from an American brewer. One of those beers that keeps you guessing, and sipping. Impressive complexity for the ABV. Although this may be one of the most impressive beers I've had in terms of brewing perfection, the price is tough to overlook. I'd sooner spend $24 on a good pinot or zin.

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

Batch 003 - 750ml

A - Cloudy yellow hazy pour. Lovely swirling sediment with a light head that dissipates rather quickly.

S - Funk, Brett, Barnyard, Lemons, Apples.

T - Funky in a good way. A bit like funky apple cider with lemons. Very subtle and enjoyable sweetness to balance the sour. Ends dry and tart. Slight hints of stinky tofu for those who have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of eating it.

M - Great carbonation and mouth feel from the bottle conditioning. Kinda champagne like without the intense carbonation.

D - RRBC makes great sours and this is no exception. Wish this were available all the time. Will I ever have a bad beer from them?

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'd had this beer before, and enjoyed it immensely, at two different GABF's. It was even better in the bottle - super sour, uncompromising, and delicious. Very gueuze-like, which is not such a stretch once you read the description of this beer.

It poured a hazy straw color with an exuberant head which stuck around forever. Aroma was very gueuze-like, and it was a touch champagne-like, but also rough, chalky, and very citrus-y. Not understated like Cantillon - this stuff is assertive, very sour, not overly sweet (like Berlinerweisse) with a very rough and chalky mouthfeel. If Cantillon was in Michigan rather than Brussels, then this is what gueuze would be known to taste like. In addition to rough-ness, mouthfeel is also very carbonated.

Flyer bought this in CA, and brought it over for a tasting at my house with SurlySober which also included Allagash Black, Gouden Carolous, and Westvleteren 12 (quite respectable, eh?).

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Photo of jwc215
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerB for this one!

750 ml cage-corked bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours hazed/clouded golden with a pillowy white head that thins and stays. Uneven rings of lacing stick.

The smell is of lemon, sour/tart with oak and some grassy notes.

The taste is of tart lemon, very funky, acidic and oaky - some vanilla. Bready with fruitiness that becomes peach-like, then orange (with some banana and coconut). Enough malt is there to balance things out. Complex with an underlying funky sourness that works very well!

There's an effervescence to it while maintaining a nice body.

Funky, complex, nicely done!

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

Purchased directly from RRBC. Batch 003. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my NBB snifter. I miss the older style 375ml bottles that they used to have for their sours but the extra size here more than makes up for that. The label has the usual RRBC on the back - wish more breweries took the time and care to do stuff like that. It was a hazy golden yellow color. It had tons of carbonation. No lacing. I poured slowly, as suggested on the label, so as not to disturb the yeast so the head was quite small. Fizzy, white and gone in a flash.

The aroma was FUNKY (oh yeah). Barnyard, wet horse blanket and lemon. I love sour beer aromas and this one was excellent. The taste was a sour bomb with a carb attack to boot. Mouth puckering sour from start to finish. Vinegary and funky. Ends very dry but then lets up right before being too dry. Mouthfeel is exceptional with great carbonation and acidic bite.

Overall, another classic from Russian River. I like Supplication and Temptation a tad better but this one is outstanding. Got another one that I'm going to age a bit and see how it tastes in about a year. Highly recommend. Wish I could get more of it.

**RE-SAMPLE** Had my aged one on 9/14/09. Poured into a Duvel tulip so even more carbonation this time. Head was larger and stuck around a bit longer. Aroma was still funky but was more classic brett with the lemon and barnyard toned down a little but still great. Taste was also still amazing. Would leave scores the same if re-reviewing.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.28/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375ml bottle from Capone's. My 100th rating of a beer brewed in California. Pours hazy straw yellow with no head. The aroma is an aggressive blend of citrus rind, hay or straw, funky cheese. The flavor is very tart and yogurt-ish. Just a little bit if malty sweetness left. Medium body with tons of carbonation and a bone dry finish.

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

Had the most recent bottling

A- golden full of carbonation.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of gameface23
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003 in a 750mL bottle. Poured a hazy yellow with a fizzy head. Smell was vinegar & citrus with slight barnyard funk. The taste was menacing: Wonderful bitterness the entire duration of the sip. Tastes of funk & sour lemon. Drinkability was very good. I love sours because you get vast amounts of flavor for low levels of alcohol.

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

750ml bottle (batch 003) poured into my Russian River "Barrel Aged Ales" goblet (pretty ugly design though). Beatification is a spritzy gold with a large white head that leaves scattered lace. A nice crackle to the head, even though it is pretty quick to dissipate, impressive for what essentially is a gueze.

Smell is very pithy and mineral laden, lemon tonic water, must and a touch of vinegar, very nice.

Taste is wild for sure, wow. I had batch 2 before and it really blew my mind, and this one really lives up to my high expectations. Very tart and complex, citrus and a bit of sugar, though the sweetness is quickly cut by the sour, dry finish.

Mouthfeel is spritzy and crisp, super dry, light body.

Drinkability is pretty high if your a fan of gueze, in that I wouldn't mind have this on a regular basis. Still, the extreme acidity makes it a very slow sipper and not something I want more then one bottle of in an sitting. Ever since I heard about their plans to make a 'sonambic', I knew I had to get my hands on some. While it's undoubtedly awesome, it's prohibitively expensive, which is really a shame, as it mean I'll have to really hoard my reaming bottles for special occasions, like another Christmas! This should age very well, if I can manage to hold onto it that is!!!

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I split this with my brother. We had to decant it before it started spraying. I'm glad we took that measure so that we did not lose any of this.

Pours a hazy light amber with a good head. Not much retention or lacing, but enough to get by. The smell is of tart fruit and just a general funky scent. Kind of like apple cider or some other cider. I actually do not have much experience with wild ales, but I really dig this. Some that I've smelled are a bit off-putting, but this one really smells good. The taste is really great. You could sort of describe it as sweet-tarts or pixie sticks. Also, there's a bit of a white wine kind of taste, white grapes and barrels. But there's a rush of sourness that is well-balanced with sweetness. There is a bit of a tart finish, but some brett beers are too tart. This one is just perfect. You get a good rush of carbonation along with the taste. I could really sip on this beer for hours and hours. The flavor is great, and the sourness will force you not to drink at a rate that will let the alcohol catch up to you.

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

Reviewed on 7/26/08. On tap at Blind Tiger. Pours a clear orange with no head. Aroma is sour and quite funky (barnhouse funk, horseblanket). Flavor of initial tartness, sweet tart candies. The flavor is less funky than the aroma. This is sour but not puckering sour, so it is quite drinkable for its style. Awesome sour that I can't believe I got the chance to try on tap!
8/4/8/4/17 (4.1/5)

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Photo of midaszero
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy straw body with no real head or no lacing

S - Mostly funky with some pleasant mild sour notes. Some small acidic notes.

T - Much more sour and funky than the nose would suggest. Acidic notes can be found and carries a wine flavor as well. Some citrus notes come

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Kind of a chalky moutfeel.

D - Pretty easy to drink and damn enjoyable. Some more age on it and it'll probably get much much better.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002

A - Pours a brilliantly clear golden yellow, orange with a small wisp of head that disappears immediately without any bubbles. The color is very strange and reminds me of Red Bull.

S - Tart, acidic and funky. Brett with horse blanket as it warms, tart white grapes, sour lemons.

T - Mouth puckering tartness, acidic, white grape, grapefruit, green apple and a lingering sour lemon flavor that stays on the tongue.

M - Light to medium body with very low carbonation. Biting acidity that clenses the palette.

D - Very tasty. Much more complex than just barnyard Brett.

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Photo of ggoss3
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

batch 003 750 ml bottle, bought nov 08, from city beer store, SF, CA...

a) golden rich color, with just a hint of a head when first poured into a duvel glass, even and consistent

s) alot of the brett pungent-ness on the nose. hints of citrus, wood.

t) a flavor explosion, the spontaneous fermentation allows for a different flavor in every sip. definite nuance of barrel, as well as orange, and lemon... obviously the puckered brett flavor, with very little sweetness

m) like i said before, it explodes in your palate... the finish leaves you with the sweaty sweet flavor in your mouth

d) the finish is very smooth, so despite being heavy on the brett sourness, you are ready for more immediately

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

Pours exquisitely into a Duvel glass. It looks like Duvel, actually--deep, dark sunshine golden with a wonderfully retentive soapy white head.

Smells potent, very tart. Redolent lemons, yeast, orange tic tacs, and pink starburst. Very intense, very sweet and sour.

Tastes even stronger than it smells. Jesus! The sourness is amazing, so strong it should be synthetic but also smooth enough to drink. Likening it to other flavors is sort of pointless, since it doesn't quite taste like anything I've ever come across before, not even very sour candies. It's just a hugely intense, unique sourness backed up by smooth, lightly spicy yeast.

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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 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 hero27
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked & caged 375ml bottle.
Batch 002
6% abv

Pours an opaque straw gold..small head of bright white foam doesn't stick around long.
yikes...absolute tart revelry..noxious fruit acidity hits the nostrils as soon as the cork pops off.. i'm in for a treat, i think..
Flavor is straight-up earthy malt sourness, with a definite funk, holy cow. Sourness is on full display, as the acidic citrus hits every tastebud and tells them exactly how it's going to be.
Ripe grapes & pungent lemon mixed with a light woody taste on the finish. Dry as dry.

This defines extreme beer, another good brew from Russian River.

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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 JoeMayo
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy blonde with absolutely no head.

S- Initially it smells very crisp and clean, but after a couple whiffs, a mild funky smell comes through. Tart grapes and brett along with earthy notes come through.

T- Sour lemon and brett with notes of white pepper. This one's pretty complex. Very crisp lemony finish.

M- Puckeringly sour with a crisp, dry finish.

D- In spite of how sour it was, this was extremely enjoyable. I can't wait to try it again!

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Photo of egajdzis
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[PH1] Poured a cloudy, yellow red color with a small white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of brett, lemon peel, sour grape, white pepper, vanilla, tropical fruits, honey dew, cherry, and strawberry. Taste of lacto, brett, vanilla, citrus, and green apple. Phenomenal beer!

[Batch 2] Poured a hazy golden color with a small, white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of brett, and that special Russian River funky blend, citrus fruits, wood, light vanilla, grapes, toffee, and lemongrass. Taste was sour, some citrus, green grapes, some apple, but damn that yeast Russian River uses really eats all the sugars, quite sour, like a fresh Cantillon or 3 Fonteinen.

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