Sanctification | Russian River Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 10-27-2004

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Reviews: 620 | Ratings: 2,682
Photo of black13
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005

Heard a nice pop when I popped the cork, which was a great relief to know my first Sanctification would not be a flat one. Poured a golden hue of yellow into my HotD tulip glass giving a nice full inch of fluffy head. The head did dissipate leaving a nice splattering of lace and a good ring of bubbles on the edge.

Being a newb to the world of wilds, this one seems pretty mellow, but not in a bad way. I pick up some acidity and some lemony citrus aromas. There is also another aroma I pick up and I would guess that is the yeast as its almost bready to me.

Very crisp and refreshing. It starts off with what I would call a lemon apple zest, then finishes with a dry brett/bready maltiness. I look forward to trying more brett and getting a grasp for its full flavors.

Medium body with an almost champagnesque carbonation. After having a bottle of champagne the other night, I would say this is a champagne beer, and this is a good thing. Alcohol is not detectable.

Very drinkable. I still need more time with sours and wilds to get a feel for them, but this one was a nice introduction. I'm still not sure what barnyard funk and hay taste like, but someday I will get there. I will be enjoying many of these if the weather gets nice and hot.

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Photo of Overlord
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden color, nice head and robust and lively carbonation. Mouthfeel is, as is normally the case with Russian River, quite good.

Tastes almost cider-ish, with a nice apple/pear/grapefruit bite. Delicious blonde ale, the yeast is chewy and delicious. Quite drinkable, with a bit of sour and zest

Might be a bit too much going on with this beer. The sour isn't really straightforward, and the yeast is a bit misplaced. The fruit component also seems to not be integrated all that well.

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Photo of wd40
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is straw yellow with a very slight haze. Fair amount of lace on the glass. Smell very much reminds me of belgian pale ales and strong ales. A nice yeasty aroma. Hints of banana and bread. Lots of lemon in the taste. Mild/moderately sour. Bit of bitterness as the beer warms up. Soft carbonation provides a nice mouthfeel. Overall a very good, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange. Fairly aromatic, not very funky, but full of papaya and lemon scents. Light doughy malt followed by an overwhelming sour assault. Notes of horseblanket, snake skin and sour lemons. Light and bubbly feel on the palate. It’s really funny that this beer is made in the middle of Sonoma County. I like it, a lot.

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Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bright, deep gold, very big off-white head slowly shrinks to thin foamy top, and some nice lace.

Aroma is wonderful funky/barnyard rustic yeastiness with hint of vinegar, light fruits, herbs, wildflowers, some grain, hint of wine, bread, and sweetness. It is very nice.

Taste is crisp, light character, sour but not overly so, tart with hint of sweetness. It has sour lemon and tart fruits up front, with some peppery spice and herb, then biscuit and bread in the finish. It has a good, well-rounded but very light, somewhat thin character, a bit bland and “dry.” It’s very good and very drinkable, but lacks character.

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Photo of SassyBootblack
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a small corked and caged bottle, poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Thin but persistant white head. Hazy orange color. I poured it carefully, I promise.

Smell: Tart and citrusy.

Taste: Mouth puckering sour, but not outrageously so, and some light malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and acidic.

Overall: A well made and straight forward sour beer. It cuts through fatty foods nicely, if you're looking for a pairing.

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Photo of Jesse13713
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch number 005 thanks to MadVermin out in California. Just one of the many Russian Rivers and great beers he sent in our trade together. Thanks again MadVermin!

Appearance - Poured into my Maudite tulip glass after popping the bottle. Two fingers of head are quick to disappear as I am left with a soapy, well carbonated film of head. The beer itself looks like a sour yellow/blonde color; just as this beer is described as. Slight hints of orange in certain light but mostly sour yellow. Once settled, it laces to the glass in clumps.

Smell - Smells of soured cider. So far, both the appearance and smell remind me of Damnation. Though of course you can obviously tell that this one is not brewed with Belgian yeast. Slight hints of citrus, brett and funk are also noticeable.

Taste - Much more sour than the smell lead me to believe. Reminds me of the Jolly Pumpkin's I have access to here in Ohio. A strong bretty sour apple taste that is carbonated and crisp throughout. There is definitely some noticeable lemon and lime on the tongue as well. Very funky and delicious. I don't get too much of the bread taste some others describe.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Sour on the tongue and back of my mouth while foamy with yeast on the roof. A medium bodied blonde ale that packs a sour punch. Easily drinkable and I really enjoyed this. Reminds me of eating a cut up apple soured with lemon juice.

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Photo of BeerEngineer
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

General: I found this bottle at one of our local craft beer shops, they had it hidden in the back because they only got a 12 pack of it. Thankfully I know them well enough to get one of them! I poured this into a ballast point tulip glass. I left the bottom 1/4" or so in the bottle because of the bottle fermentation, managed to keep the majority of the brett in the bottle.

Appearance: Really nice blonde ale color, kind of a golden hue to it. there is minimal head but what is there is white and very thin. There is some slight lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a nice citrus hit with this beer but there is a slight underlying funk. The horse blanket isn't there in all honesty but the citrus nose is in full force. I detect just a touch of malt.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is pretty high, there is a drying effect with this beer. body is pretty light for a blonde ale but it's very refreshing!

Taste: Lots of citrus hits in here, that's the brett coming through full force. There isn't much of a blonde ale left anymore in all honesty. it's pretty much just a sour, not much malt to stand up to the citrus flavors in this. Refreshing is the best thing that I can think of, it's like a strange sort of lemonade or other citrus drink.

Overall: Pretty good sour. I like that this has the citrus flavors rather than the horse blanket flavor. I think that I would have this a little colder than I did on this one. It was only about 60F when I drank it, somewhere around 50F would be better for sure. For the price of this (this bottle was 12 oz and cost $18) isn't worth it unless you are really into sours. If you see it for a decent price it's not bad.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big ups to my homie Richard for getting this for me

batch 4 - poured into a RR belgian glass.

pours a bright straw yellow, crystal clear through. big fizzy head that linger for ever. thick lacing on walls of glass

lots of vinegar up front. slight lactic sourness with a hint of lemon and orange.

starts out a bit sour with hints of lemon and then quickly turns into funk and barnyard animal beds. upon turning funk, the sourness turns a bit vinegar like. lots of funk in the finish.

a bit over carbonated but nice body. nice puckering dryness through the finish.

overall, good. i had this on tap at RR and it was FAR better IMO. this seems to be lacking some of the complexity.

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Photo of Docer
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml poured into a tulip.. batch 005 6.75% alc.

- Appearance: (4.5)
Pours an ever so slightly cloudy straw pale yellow, big fluffy white head.. sticks around a bit, leaves a steady 1/4" in the glass with lacing all about.

- Smell: (4.0)
Much like the Redemption in the background, but with a Brett twist. Grainy wet biscuit malt bad with a zest, twist of lemon, slight clove, and tart Brett character. Thinking this one would get much more crazy over time. Slight white grape character.

- Taste: (4.0)
Super zesty bright citrus tart sour goodness. Rather spicy in the finish. Light golden bready malts sit quietly in the background while a zesty and spicy lemon tart punch hits the palate with a surprise. Quite good, and quite different.

- Mouth Feel: (4.0)
Rather bubbly, and light. Leaves the mouth watering for more while leaving its dry character behind as a reminder. Very fine tuned.

- Overall: (4.0)
Very good, and full of zesty Brett goodness as this is a 100% Brett sour. Spicy and tongue grabbing it is. I would love to see what a bottle of this would turn out like in a 55 deg. F cooler after about 8 years. Super good, and a very unique sour.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 5 received in a trade. Served chilled into my Bruery snifter.

A: Beautiful golden hue with 2 finger, fizzy white head. Good lacing.

S: Crisp and sour tartness.

T: Dry, tart and sour all at the same time giving way to apple and citrus fruit tones.

M: Light body with lots of carbonation.

O: I would say this us a great intro into the realm of wilds. Great flavors paired with sour undertones. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into glass tulip.

A: Cloudy straw body topped with a big, fluffy off-white head of moderate retention that leaves behind a thin bubbly cover and ample lace.

S: Distinct brett aroma that always strikes me as banana and citrus. Really bright and enjoyable.

T: Tart and fruity up front giving way to a graininess on the back end. Very light sweetness and very little bitterness.

M: Light carbonic bite and moderate sour astringency. Light to moderate body with a crisp finish.

O: Very refreshing due to the body and tart crispness. More potent than one would expect. I wouldn't drink several bottles, but I would buy this selection several times. Very solid beer, and an excellent first impression.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- bittersweet fruit in the finish, minty notes mid palate, lemon zest, spice

color- lemon orange

clarity- pours cloudy

smell- sour/earthy aroma, candy sugar, bubble gum, synthetics, floral nose, flint, roasted meat

body- astringent, palate cleanser, mouth watering, slow rolling mouthfeel, sour flavors ending in a grapefruity finish, medium weight mouthfeel, effervescent

appearance- great carbonation thanks to the brett. thick white sugary ice cream head when first poured transitioning to a subdued spotty white foamy layer with considerable lacing on the glass

overall impression- great beer from rr and a must have on a warm spring day

notes and comments- batch 5 brewed 10/4/10 and bottled 12/1/10. "After this batch was bottled is was left to condition in the bottle for several months to allow not only the Brett to carbonate the beer, but, also the bacteria to do its work." - (comment from brewer)

beer spy- monument wines and spirits, concord ca, 2011, $8.99, 375mL

glassware: tulip

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Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5/28/05- Purchased at Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, CA

Presentation- 24oz bottle with batch #001. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Golden color, a bit cloudy. Frothy and creamy looking white head. Fair lacing throughout.

Smell- Heavy yeast and a nice hefty sour note. Saison?

Taste- Kinda like a saison and flanders mixed together. There is however a nice powdered sugar taste in the finish. A bit hoppy as well. Damn refreshing.

Mouthfeel- Higher carbonation here.

Drinkability- Summer brew all the way. Put this in six packs and I'm there. Teriffic poolside brew.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light yellow color with a huge 4 inch white head that fades into a chunky small cap. Very distinct rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells funky/musty from the Brett with some sour fruit notes as well. Taste is somewhat fruity all around with green apples and sour citrus fruits in harmony with the funk from the Brett. A good level of carbonation but I was expecting much more after the 4 inch head on the initial pour. Beer is pretty crisp with each sip but leaves a stickiness in the mouth as well. Overall, this is a solid wild ale from RR but not as good as some of their others in my opinion.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002, acquired via trade with Vancer. Thanks Vance!

A cloudy yellow with a big white head and lots of rentention.

Smells very sour. Lots of fruit notes hit the nose, especially grapes. A strange almost midly spicy tone comes through too, I assume these are the Bretts.

Very sour. I guess that's the point, but I thought it still deserved mention. In the middle is what I thought was spicy in the aroma, but spicy is the wrong word. I assume this is the Bretts, but I could be wrong. It reminds me of a Braggot (if that is helpful to anymore, not sure it will be). Also lots of fruits are on the palate here, espcially grape. Other fruits come through, I seem to pick up a peachy flavor.

Fairly light body, very well carbonated.

The drinkability here is pretty good. Shared this bottle with a friend and he hated it, so I'm drinking the entire 750ml bottle.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001

Pours to a grapefruit juice color with a thich white head. It leaves behind a nice amount of lacing and it has quite a bit of carbonation.

The arom is definetly brett, with the lambic-like qualities. It is citrusy and tart in the nose....lemons.

The flavor is a bit tart with the citrus--lemon flavors and the yeasty--horse blanket characteristics.

It is smooth and easy drinking, with a semi-sourness throughout.

A very nice brew.

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Photo of Jonada
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle. Batch 11/28/2012

Appearance: Pours a dark yellow, almost golden color. Slightly hazy in the glass. A moderate pour yielded almost 4 fingers of an off white soapy head that dissipated reasonably quickly.

Smell: Lemon zest, citrus, apricot, white grape, bretty funk.

Taste: Sour grape, vinegar, tart green apples, some breadiness, Belgian yeast spiciness. Sourness is medium.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. The carbonation gives it a bit of a rough mouthfeel

Overall: Probably my least favorite of the RR sours I've tried, but still an excellent beer. Refreshing and pretty easy to drink. It tastes kind of like a sour saison. Definitely worth picking up a bottle.

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Photo of mrandypandy
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked bottle brought back to me by a co-worker.

A - Pours a nice hazy straw/yellow, with a small white head.
S - Light funk and mild tartness. A citric fruitiness lingers on the nose.
T - Tart citrus fruits, but it's hard to put my finger on exactly which ones. Apricot, strawberry perhaps. Some funk. Tasty though.
M - Zesty, well carbonated and prickly on the tongue. A bit light in the body.
O - Well done. Not quite a good as some of the other RR offerings, but still very good. I would certainly get more given the chance.

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Photo of philbe311
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #005

A - A fingers worth of loosely packed whimsical airy audibly fizzy pure white head... No retention at all to speak of leaving only a small splotch of lacing in the center of the glass and a very thin collar... The color is a pale amber... Some small bubble spry carbonation rises in the center of the glass...

S - Granny smith apples... Tart peaches... Some orange zest... Just a touch of funkiness from the brettanomyces... Light vinegar...

T - Orange zest... A bit of lemon... Peaches... Some grassy notes... Some bready notes... Light vinegar...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... This one gets the saliva glands working overtime... Briskly carbonated... A bit puckering...

D - A super solid sour... Excellent restraint as this one is far from overpowering... Nicely executed and rather enjoyable...

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 4/23/12

Batch 005

Many thanks to jlb502

The color is a pretty golden yellow; it's quite clear. A fizzy head of white foam takes up about an inch and a half of space before dissipating to a much thinner film. Some dollops of lace remain up top and collect, shaping up to cover a large swath of glass.

The aroma doesn't strike me as being overloaded with brett, which seems to impart primarily a grassy dampness. Couple said dampness with tangy white grape notes and a hint or two of something floral, and it makes for an overall smell that makes me think of rain soaked vineyards.

I don't actually know what rain soaked vineyards smell like. Full disclosure and all.

Hmm. The palate is the primary focus of the brett, despite being so mild mannered in the aroma. A moderate tartness sets in immediately, bolstered by bright vinous tones. The latter half is where the brett takes hold, awash in mustiness and cobwebs. Very dry, snappy finish.

The feel is rather light and crisp. I seem to recall folks mentioning this batch was low on the carbonation (but I don't remember for certain); not so with this bottle. A rolling fizziness is well-match to the feel and tartness of the beer.

Overall impression - I enjoy the simplicity of Sanctification; it's an easy-sipping wild ale. I'm glad I have another bottle.

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Photo of Rish907
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bubbly, champagne colored, pours a significant amount of head

S: Citrus, champagne, white wine, green grapes

T: Sour, fruity, green grapes

M: Dry, arid, similar to champagne

O: Being my first sour, I found this quite enjoyable. At first the sourness hits your palate pretty hard, but eases after it swooshed around a couple times. It is very carbonated and poured a thick head with lots of bubbles. The fruity and citrus taste is prevalent throughout. Overall, a very tasty quality sour.

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Photo of heelsn02
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005. 375ML bottle. Big thanks to ipa247 for the trade.

Unyielding cork. Once finally opened, pours a clear to ever-so-slightly cloudy haze of a beer into my trusty lil snifter... bright white 1.5 finger head. Definitely a Belgian blonde ale look to it. Ton of carbonation.

Smells very clean; some tart notes, not a lot of funk surprisingly. w/all that brett, I was expecting some Black Eyed Katy-like funk (that goes out to ASUGeog who popped my phish cherry a few years ago), but not so much. Light white wine smell almost. some apple cidery odors. Fruity, grassy, sweet.

this is a very refreshing beer – probably better for a hot summer day, not so much a middle of winter beer. Not super tart like a typical sour either. Really clean and crisp. Lemongrass components, pears, white grapes. Drinks pretty easy. A lot like drinking white wine.

Soft mouthfeel. Tart, but nice dry clean finish. Lots of carbonation.

I like it – not nearly as much as I like RR Supplication, but it’s still really solid. Jeff – thanks again buddy, really appreciate it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at O'Brien's,

A: Pours a hazy yellow, with a fizzy, hissing acidic head.

S: Light fruit notes, orange perhaps, acidity is prevalent.

T: Fermented and sour citrus fruit, with a lighter acidity than Beatification which I had before. Apricot for sure. A hard beer to get a hold of, has a lot of things going on. A beer I would like to try again.

M: Medium acidity for an RR sour, the acidity is quite smooth and makes for a damn drinkable sour brew. Closest thing to a session sour I've found.

D: A top 100 beer and I was anxious to try it. Didn't quite live up to the hype, but very tasty and worth the purchase. I hope to get a bottle someday and delve into it more.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005. 375ml Bottle. 6.75% ABV

No real surprises in the nose. Brett funk and light citrus zest. Flavor comes on nicely sour and quite dry. Tartness level suits the blonde ale, it isn't as strong as RR's barrel aged sours. Carbonation lends an overall dry white wine/champagne feel.

Damn, these smaller bottles are cool in some respects, but not when you run out of beer!

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 2,682 ratings.
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