Russian River Brewing Company

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Brett Beer
Ranked #2
Ranked #588
4.34 | pDev: 8.76%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: Who’s afraid of the "big bad BRETT?" We’ll tell you who: winemakers! Because of our close proximity to several hundred wineries, we often get winemakers visiting our brewery. (After all, it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!) Because we use 100% Brettanomyces yeast to ferment Sanctification, most winemakers will only smell the glass, and only a very few will venture to taste the beer. They think the Brettanomyces will attach to their clothing and end up in their winery. A simple solution was offered: keep a smudge pot burning at the door of our brewery so they can burn their clothes when exiting, but even that was not enough. After giving it more thought, we concluded that winemakers think Brettanomyces might scar their taste buds and possible even permeate their skin? Either way, Sanctification is one of the most unique beers you will ever taste! It was fermented with 100% Brettanomyces, rather than the traditional Saccharomyces.
Reviews: 657 | Ratings: 2,836 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by npolachek:
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npolachek from New York

4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very crisp beer. A terrific combination of sour and crisp / almost like an apple cider. Smells of Brett with terrific balance. Shame the bottles are so small - could have used a bomber of this!

Aug 14, 2019
More User Reviews:
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Magery from Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Nov 20, 2011
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ewright from North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 corked/caged bottle, batch 005, poured into a Brasserie d'Achouffe tulip glass. A fat finger of white foam sits on top of a bright yellow gold base. A lot of champagne-like effervescence rises from the bottom of the glass. Nice lacing as the head dissipates.

A lot of funk on the nose, very reminiscent of Orval. Faint lemon zest notes and a hint of pepper. First sip is surprisingly sour given the low level of citrus in the aroma. Lemon and unripe grapefruit dominate up front. By law, there are some hops in this brew, but they are not readily apparent anywhere in the flavor profile.

Finish is remarkably dry and crisp. High carbonation gives a mouthfeel very similar to dry champagnes. I'm really enjoying this for now, but I'm glad it is a small format bottle. 750 ml would be too much for me by myself, sour newbie that I am.

Apr 15, 2011
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strangebrew321 from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Jun 07, 2014
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ShemRahBoo from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 18, 2015
Photo of largefarva
largefarva from California

4/5  rDev -7.8%

Jan 13, 2012
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Zaphog from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Apr 06, 2012
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HopsintheSack from California

3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Aug 25, 2012
Photo of Obsidian
Obsidian from California

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Feb 22, 2013
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ACB from California

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Aug 14, 2013
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BarrelAgedG from California

4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 04, 2015
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Namtracxtra from California

5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

May 28, 2015
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BigBry from Canada (AB)

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 03, 2015
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twelveinches from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Dec 10, 2011
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flagmantho from Washington

4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375mL corked bottle into a tulip. This is labeled as batch 005.

Appearance: slightly hazy light yellow body with a ton of effervescence and a thick finger of pillowy white foam. An attractive beer!

Smell: a dry, bright, tart aroma reminiscent of champagne. There are some light peppery notes here which I find quite alluring, but otherwise it's not notably complex. Still, it's rather nice.

Taste: huge tartness with a light candy sweetness. There are some orchard flavors here which come through at the end -- a nice dynamic quality to the flavor experience. Maltiness is blown away by the tart flavor up front but eventually develops into a nice sweet malt flavor of its own. Quite tasty indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a great big huge carbonation and lots of creaminess. A little too astringent for perfection, but damn nice.

Overall: this is just a really good beer. I don't know if it lives up to the high, high bar set by its Russian River brethren, but I find it delicious and refreshing and definitely worth having at least once.

Jul 08, 2011
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Bmoyer0301 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +15.2%

Dec 01, 2011
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tobelerone from New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 005

A cloudy, pale-gold colored brew with a small, fast-falling head and slippery lace. A steady stream of tiny bubbles makes their way to the top of the glass as I drink. Aroma is lovely, tart, slightly funky with brett, lightly sweet, a hint of lemon.

Flavor is quite delicious, mildy funky from the brett but only just-so; tart, acidic, citric, lemony and quenching. A little grassy, traces of green apple, no hops to speak of. Very low bitterness overall.

Carbonation is quite lively. This is a super-refreshing, champagne-like beer I’d drink all the time if I could afford it. Medium light body with a crisp, clean, slightly puckering finish. Made for a great Thanksgiving morning treat while others enjoyed Prosecco with strawberries.

Nov 28, 2011
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nosavingsaccount from Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -36.6%

Jun 06, 2012
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Rado from California

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Mar 13, 2014
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eddie5721 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Oct 30, 2014
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jbwimer from Kansas

4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Banana, melon, lemon, that signature bretty character. Hints of citrus and some cracker. Nice tartness with a touch of funk.

Jan 17, 2015
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CSO from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Jun 10, 2014
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BabaBeer from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 18, 2015
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ummswimmin from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 02, 2019
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victory4me from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Paired with Danish bleu cheese.

Pours a very clear pale-golden almost pilsner-like. The look is saved by a nice effervescent head that dissipates to a lovely coating of bubbles hovering over the liquid. I smell tons and tons of brett. Aroma is just fantastic and on par with many world-class gueuze. Lots of funkiness, just as you feel the aroma will knock you over, it comes up just short enough to allow you to compose and ready yourself to drink.

Lots flavor going on here. Brett, lemon, and an underlying spiciness. The flavors are coming though in layers upon layers of depth and character. A wonderfully dry finish keeps you reaching for the glass. Tongue is overwhelmed by the prickly carbonation coupled with the aggressive tartness.

Another exceptional sour by Russian River. An extremely well-crafted beer that I would put in the same league as Consecration.

Highly recommended.

Apr 09, 2011
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 2836 ratings