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Beatification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

521 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 521
Hads: 2,351
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.69%
Wants: 3,109
Gots: 521 | FT: 41
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
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Reviews: 521 | Hads: 2,351
Photo of waltonc
2.46/5  rDev -45%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Going to have to write a very bland review since my prior review was killed by the man.

A: hazy gold appearance with white head.

S: funky, musty and sour

T: Too sour. Mouth puckering, lemons, lots of funk. The sourness is unbalanced in my view and overwhelms the other flavors in this beer.

M: Mouth puckering.

D: I love most Russian River brews, and want to like this one, but I don't. Not very drinkable.

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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 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 MrVonzipper
3.01/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bright yellow with a short bubbly white head. Low to no retention. 

Big sour nose. A touch of sour apple. Funky. 

Very sour flavor. Lemon juice and rind. That's pretty much it. 

Mouth is light and crisp. High carb. 

Overall not a Lot of complexity IMO. Very one note sour. Sour lemony citrus. 

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Photo of Benway
3.02/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge fan of Russian River and tasted many of the 'ation' series years ago at Toronado. At that point it seemed that many of the barrel aged (chardonnay, pinot, etc) beers were clearly going to find a foothold. Thankfully for us, they have and are getting better and better.

My local shop has carried as many bottled 'ations' as he can get his hands on and I was happy to spend $12 for an 002 batch of Beatification. In the case of this one, it felt extremely sour for sour's sake. Each sip reminded me of biting in to a Zot in elementary school. So rough and so compelling at the same time, like staring at a car accident.

I'm happy to have had this experience and will enjoy watching others try it. I will probably wait for the next 'ation' though.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.04/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $13.99 for a 12.7 oz bottle from Monument Liquor in Concord, CA. Poured into the largest wine glass I have and shared with my girlfriend.

3/4 inch very fizzy white head. Heavily carbonated. A very cloudy yellowish gold color. Not too much head retention. Little lacing.

The wild yeast dominates the nose. Some grassier hops balance this one out. Carbonation present in the nose as well. Hints of dank bread - this would probably be a great pairing with good, fresh bread. Perhaps a bit of lemon in there as well - quite a complex offering. Not the most pleasant aroma, but certainly you have to give them credit for creating something this unique.

Taste is very sour. Very wild. Very different. Likeable? Not really, but it was fun to try. The taste is quite different than the smell - almost like sour candy. That sour taste lingers for a long time. Not as complex as the nose.

Very carbonated mouth. Light body. Definitely a sipper. Not sure of the occasion I would want to bust this one out for.

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Photo of aleigator
3.05/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beatification batch 5

Pours a filtered, light yellow color and a fizzy, bubbly head, immediately dissapearing into small sheets of lacing.

Lower carbonated, with a very refreshing mouthfeel to it, due to fresh lemons and a balancing, wooden oak infusion.

The aromas unfold just after popping open the bottle, filling the air in my room with a lovely, citrussy funkiness. Reveals even more ripe, juicy citrus when smelling at the actual beer, together with an immense tartness, bedded on glue, yogurt and old leather. Creates an interesting interplay between dough, soft old malts and prickly, crisp lemon, without becoming intriguingly complex.

The taste offers a good amount of lemon right from the very beginning, accompanied by easing, bready, musty malts and fermented wheat. Lemons get increasingly more body added, resulting in a very sour, funky tartness, almost numbing the front of my tongue during its peak. Finishes fruity, with fresh pressed lemons, revealing even lemon stones, as for how pronounced the fruit acidity gets, offering an acceptable dryness.

The balancing oaky barrel vanishes completely during the beers finish, opening the palate up to pure, sour fruit lemonade. Hammers a bit too hard on the palate, regarding its acidic sourness, preventing the beer from showcasing its other, more subdued flavors.

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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 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 maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to cloudskipper who sent me this bottle via the Secret Santa BIF almost a year ago. I've been saving it for the right time, &, well, that time is now. It's warm in Minnesota in late November, that's reason enough to celebrate!

Batch 3. Only 2/3 of the bottle poured between my wife & I initially to keep the sediment trapped in the big, cool bottle. Pours an almost radioactive yellow with evident carbonation but no head to speak of. Smell is sheer wild. Dry, cirtus, with a tangy undercurrent of champagne, which must be the yeast. Interesting.

Beatification is mouth-puckeringly dry. Even before the taste kicks in, this is the primary impression I come away with from the first sip. After I unpucker, I get the sour lemon, the brett, the wood drying out my mouth even more. I'm going to need to drink some liquid after I finish this. Drinkable? Even for a wild, this is down on the scale for me.

Good beer. Unfairly, I was expecting some kind of heavenly notes to sound when I opened the bottle, but this wasn't as good as some other sours I've had. Good, but simple.

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Photo of Tiklmelmo
3.3/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared a bomber with carps12 at a tasting this summer (2k9)

A - Pale yellow / straw colored, with a hint of orange. Very minimal head that dissipated almost immediatley.

S - Holy horse blanket. That descriptor didn't mean anything to me until I smelled this beer. This is the definition of "barnyard". Hints of lemony citrus as well.

T - SOUR SOUR SOUR. I'm a huge fan of geuze, lambic, flanders red, etc, but this one is puckeringly sour. Pushing the limits here for me, especially at first. Once the palate adjusts, it's not too bad, but up front it's pretty intense. Lots of sweaty lemon with some wood notes.

M - Not a huge amount of carbonation, but not flat. The acidity here overpowers my first impressions, but evens out a bit on the third sip and beyond.

D - Tough to drink at first, but after your palate adjusts it's actually pretty good. Still was tough to finish the bottle between two of us.

Overall, it's an interesting beer, but not terribly balanced, and missing the complexity imparted by the barrels of various other Russian River "sours". Worth trying if you have the chance, but it's not something I would go out of my way to try again.

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

A foggy pale yellow pour with just a squidge of lacing. Looks flat. Quick swirl and not much pops up.
Unripe fruit smell, green. A good sourness dominates, lemon and key lime. Some biscuit. Juicy.

Lemon sourness in the mouth. Tingles a bit and the biscuit comes out. Seems young. At this abv I shouldn't get much alcohol, but I think I get some. Not sure about this.
Good sour beer, would like to see more flavor. Just kinda bland, imho.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.48/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 4

A: Hazy yellow pour with a number of bubbles racing to the top of the beer. About a finger or two of white head sticks around for a good amount of time, and laces nicely.

S: It smells like sour tartness and not much else. Slight oaky and yeasty underneath.

T: Like the smell, I'm having difficulty describing the taste. It's basically just tart and sour with not much complexity. That's not to say I don't like it, I think it tastes very good, it just isn't much different than any American Wild Ale you could pick up off the shelf. The balance between tart and sweet is quite nice.

MF: Light and bubbly, the cork almost popped out of the bottle without any pulling. Very drinkable I would say.

O: For what this took to get I'm a bit disappointed. It just tasted a bit average for me. The aggressive sour is impressive, but the rest of the beer doesn't entirely back it up.

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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 OlieIPA
3.53/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Batch 3 - 750 mL bottle that was poured into tulip glass at approximately 48 degrees.

A: A crystal clear golden colored brew with nice head retention, reforming itself relatively quick after a vigorous swirl, and mild lacing.

S: Tart, earthy, and perhaps banana are the main aromas I pick up. Some oak qualities come out a bit more as the beer warms up, but doesn't seem to be the main focus of the smell.

T: A lot of citrus and sour tones, along with an extremely robust oak quality. Many times, I thought it came off too harsh and deterred me from taking additional sips.

M: Good amount carbonation, medium to light body, and slightly dry.

D: The alcohol is hidden extremely well, but the strong and harsh woody finish was hard to tolerate.

Overall: Had anticipated more out of this beer, but a decent beer for the style. Not sure I'll be seeking this one out again, but worth a try. Cheers!

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Photo of iadler
3.56/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 5. Thanks to exitmusic00 for cracking this open prior to our bcbs vertical tasting.

A- Pours a bright gold with a thin white head that leaves minimal lacing.

S- Plenty of lemon juice and peel as well as peach upfront, followed by lacto, horse blanket and vinegar.

T- Damn this is sour, just tons of lemon juice, lemon peel, lacto, horse blanket, vinegar and a hint of peach.

M- Fairly high carbonation and a light body with a long dry finish with the sourness lingering on.

O- This is quite sour, but that's pretty much it. Nothing too complex and am confused why this is considered a top wild from RR. Have had a few others from them and this just seems to lack any depth their other offerings had. Glad I got to finally try it, but wouldn't really seek it out.

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Photo of Lunch
3.61/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 750ml bottle at EBF 2010 in Boston, MA into a tasting glass at the appropriate temperature (02/20/10).

A: Really a unique and beautiful beer. Almost like a neon yellow with a slightly off-white head that quick dissolves in a skin.

S: Wow, this is going to be a sour beverage. I must say that I am just now diving in the world of sours and I can certainly appreciate the style, but I am developing a taste and smell for it as I go along. A good degree of funk of citrus, having a heard time with this one.

T: The smell was funky, but the taste is out of this world. Perhaps the most unique tasting beer I have ever tried. Seems very well-crafted, but it is so sour and funky. Lots of citrus going on as well as great tartness and no sense at all of vinegar which is good thing, for me at least. I feel fortunate to have be able to try this and certainly appreciate it, but I don't feel that my palate is developed enough to pull out all of its complexities.

M: Mouthfeel is quite nice and somewhat lively while being medium-bodied.

D: The extremely sourness is the only limiting factor.

Overall this beer was a true experience and a great leap for me into sours. Well-crafted from a unique brewery and certainly one I would like to revisit in the future.

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Photo of bobsy
3.69/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 3 courtesy of grub and batch 2 courtesy of biegaman, sampled on back-to-back nights. Thanks guys for this rare treat! My first wild ale.

Cloudy yellow pour with a tight white cap that dissipates to a ring and leaves a few spots of lace. HUGE sour aroma of lemons and green apples taht really leaps out at you. Mega-sour flavour, with strong lemon and citrus notes throughout. Odd hints of apple, and a touch of funk. Just impressively sour and overwhelming for me. Light body, with a crisp, dry finish.

I don't think sours are really my thing, whihc will save me a bundle in the long run. However, I'm quite impressed with this and I can see why some people have fallen in love with the style. A very well-constructed beer, but not one I'd look for any time soon.

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Photo of Derek
3.72/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 3.

A: Hazy straw, thin ring of retention leaves a little leg/lace.

S: Huge, overpowering apple tartness. Impressive.

T: A real mouth-puckering tartness, like an unblended lambic. The lactic acid reminds me of sour keys, with hints of underlying candied fruit. The subtleties are certainly lost on me.

M: Light to moderate body has a dry finish.

D: A little tart for my tastes.

Thanks Grub!

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Photo of almostjay
3.73/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sours are not my favorite. I almost feel unqualified to rate them, but to me this one fits right into the RR lineup. People hold it in higher regard for some reason that is beyond my palate, but it's absolutely worth drinking if you are into the style.

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Photo of Lothore
3.73/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #200
Batch 2

A- Pours a cloudy peach color with little to no head.

S- Mostly all brett, some funky sour tones along with some barnyard funk.

T- By far the most sour of the recently released RR sours. Starts of with a strong sourness which subsides and brings forth apples and citrus notes followed by a bit of grape.

M- Medium viscosity, not a lot of carbonation.

D- My least favorite of the RR sours but still a good beer thats worth trying.

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Photo of tewaris
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beatification Batch 3
Wild ale brewed in the Gueuze way if I am not mistaken.

750 ml cork and caged bottle enjoyed at Monk's Table. Split with a friend. Poured into a tall, flute like glass. Feels good to slay a whale!

Clear golden with a good white head. Very carbonated, almost fizzy. Aroma is funk, lactic acid and diaper. Tastes intensely and insanely sour with notably less funk compared to the aroma. Strong lemon, medium oak with a slightly tannic and bitter finish.

Very very crisp and bone dry, although the later part of the bottle drank slightly mellower. I like it by all means but I don't see the demand. It was worth the 50 dollars spent only because of its reputation. Assuming that it is fair to compare it to other Gueuze, it's not top shelf.

4, 4, 3.5, 4.5, 3.5

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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 nickd717
3.78/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this several times (batches 2 and 3), bottle and on tap, and while it's pretty good, I just can't understand the hype for this one.

A - Hazy golden color with a white head and good lacing. Some sediment present from the bottle.

S - Sour green apples, lemon, and funk. You can tell this is going to be a tart one.

T - Incredibly sour, lemony pale malt, lactic acid, and grapefruit. I know this is blasphemous, but this beer is too sour IMO. Really dominates the rest of the flavors.

M - Sharp and acidic with medium body. Pretty intense.

D - Not very drinkable. It's just too sour to have very much of. Would be quite a chore to take down an entire 750ml of this in one sitting, so it's good they bottle in 375ml too.

EDIT 2/2010: Had this a couple more times from the bottle and it grows on you a bit. Still a bit one-dimensional and overdone, but it is reasonably drinkable and can be tasty if you get the right batch. Raising it from a B- to a high B+. I like this beer now.

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Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.