Sanctification | Russian River Brewing Company

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SanctificationSanctification
BA SCORE
4.33/5
Outstanding
2,749 Ratings
SanctificationSanctification
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Bierman9 on 10-27-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#410
Reviews:
629
Ratings:
2,749
pDev:
8.78%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,182
Gots:
855
Trade:
54
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,749 |  Reviews: 629
Photo of readbaron
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5

Pours a delightful hazy golden yellow. Bright yellow with a hint of orange.

Smells sour - lemon with a hint of vinegar and quite a bit of earthy funky yeast. Complex.

Taste is delightful - like effervescent lemonade. There are other fruity notes as well - some sour apple. Occasional barnyard yeasty flavors, but sour citrus is dominant.

highly effervescent - crisp, light bodied, reminiscent of champagne - a bit more viscous - sometimes almost creamy, yet still very crisp.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the label...Sanctification [sanc.ti.fi.ca.tion], n. 1. to set apart for sacred use; consecrate. 2. to make holy; purity. 3. to give religious sanction to, as with an oath or vow.

Sanctification pours up effervescent with a cascading white head which dissipates rather quickly revealing a slightly hazy straw golden body. The moderately acidic aroma is surprisingly complex with a nice intermingling of Brett character (earthy barnyard, horse blanket, etc...) & citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, tangerine) with some mild toasted oak & warm vanilla wafer notes. The flavor starts off slightly grainy with some earthy hop spiciness that carries into a tart, yeasty, zesty finish. This light to medium-light bodied sour blonde ale is refreshing and surprisingly complex. Russian River's Sanctification is truly a wild ale that will have the sour beer fans rejoicing at its wonderous pucker power. "Who's afraid of the "Big Bad BRETT?" Certainly not me!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So here it is, Review #900. Been a long road to here, but just keep on truckin'! I decided to go with something a little special. Had a bottle of Sanctification batch #03 sitting in the fridge and figured this would fit the bill just about right.

The pour was very nice, a rich hazy and cloudy bright golden yellow with a ton of carbonation riddled throughout it. Very nice three finger high head of white foam appeared over the top and stayed around for a good few minutes before settling down to a one finger high pillow that lasted throughout the entire session. Very nice thick side glass lace throughout the entire session and there was a good little bit of sedimentation present on the bottom of the glass. Very nice look and I was morethen excited to dive into this one.

The aroma was strong, pungent and very sour. Ahh the lovely aroma of Brett in full force here. Pungent aromas of grapes just all over this one. A nice fruity vibe as it warms, with hints of peaches, and apples, light fruit in general were all lying deep underneath, however the real story was the gorgeous amounts of sour notes that were all over this one. Really quite beautiful. The flavor followed along perfectly. With a light airy body, this was an ideal beer for the evening. Lots of carbonation and an increasingly complex profile just really lit it up. There was the undeniable taste of Bret rippling through it, providing me with the great sour taste, but below that lots of peach and pear flavors were increasingly poking their heads around, letting you know there were there as well. A nice light grain flavor made up the base and kept things from getting out of control. There was an nicel ong drawn out finish that really tightened things up nicely and left a good fresh grass and sour grape flavor in your mouth for a good long time. The drinkability on this one was superb, with a deep flavor profile, that was just light enough to be enjoyed all night.

Overall I thought this one was excellent and more then deserving of the rep that it has. Really a tight ale here that I would love to try again any day. Absolutly superb in everyway, this was just pure quality. Great job!

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Photo of Xul
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mjl21 for hooking this up in a trade.

A: Pours a hazy golden with amber highlights, capped by two fingers of fluffy white head. Retention is good and some light lacing is left down the glass.

S: Juicy, slightly sweet lemon is strong up front, followed by some lacto character mingling with pears, green apples, and a light white wine character. Funk comes in at a moderate level mid-sniff, with barnyard and musty notes.

T: Strong, slightly tart lemon with a very minor sweetness up front, which gives way to a small burst of lactic acid. Fruit comes on strong mid-palate with green apples, white grapes, pear, and some very light peach. Funk comes in late and produced a horse blanket finish, although some lemon juice comes back up to prevent the funk from being too dominant.

M: Medium body with high carbonation, excellent mix of smoothness with some light prickly feel.

D: I had to keep forcing myself to put the glass down, the combination of refreshing feel and great enjoyment is a dangerous one. Glad I've got another bottle, I'm very interested to see where this is in six months to a year.

 1,115 characters

Photo of ChaseTheAce
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GJ40
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 375ml bottle labeled with Batch 005.

A - A light golden (almost deep yellow) with a slight haze and a minimal white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Funk and tart with some fruit.

T - Firmly tart and sour without being overwhelming. Dry yet has a hint of perceived sweetness. Some fruits. The flavor lingers forever. Fantastic!

M - Lots of very fine bubbles that release upon impact.

O - A great beer with very interesting flavors. RR sure knows their stuff.

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Photo of korguy123
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 006

Slightly hazy lemon yellow pour. Thin fizzy snow white head. Lacing covers the glass in sheets.

Lemons, hay, slight grass and barnyard funk. There is a little sweetness of sugar and a little vanilla. Oak is there in the back. Slightly tart, my mouth is watering.

Tart lemon, fresh grass and a little barnyard. The sweetness didn't translate into the taste but the oak definitely did. Slightly dry and has a slight white wine quality.

Light body, good carbonation.

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Photo of spointon
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Sampled on 6/10/13.

375 mL bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. Bottled 11/28/12.

A - Good pop when I pull the cork. Bright golden in color with one finger of bright white, dense foam. Great retention.

S - Tropical, Lemon juice, funky barnyard, coriander

T - Tart lemon-lime, straw, granny smith apple

M - Effervescent, light bodied, dry finish, flattened with time

O - The best sour I have ever had. Tart and clean.

*I wish I had made more notes, but that is all I have. I will seek this one out in the future*

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Photo of Ssippisam
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of kristinc
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Shane_Gr
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great smell and pretty sour. I liked it.

40 characters

Photo of Bellybuttonjam
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Felix_TKO
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of patre_tim
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden with huge barrage of really tiny bubbles, a hint of haze and a finger of off white head.

Smells of Brett right off the bat. Apple cider, apple sauce, hints of pear and Belgian pale ale qualities, and even perhaps a hint of candy sugar.

Wow, I am loving this brew. It has this amazing balance of sweet and sour, Brett as the main star, then light, fruity pear and apples, and hints of orchard flowers all dancing the finale. Jam and jello in there too.

Light and and spritz like carbonation, light body, and a balance of buoyancy.

Got at Russian River in Santa Rosa a couple months ago, drinking in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Dec 3rd, 2016. Amazing brew. Really, really is, and must be tried if you ever have a chance.

 728 characters

Photo of grimey68
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle.

A: Fragrant with citrus, slightly floral and candied pineapple.

A: Bright golden color, almost totally clear, with a moderate white uniform head that has adequate retention.

T: Flavors of pineapple, funk, light citrus, mildly tart with a dry finish.

M: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Awesome; the beer has a super fragrant and inviting aroma. The beer also has a great balance of flavors and doesnt finish ridiculously bone dry like some brett beers. Very enjoyable to drink!

 510 characters

Photo of PugsandBeer
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of miggy_smalls
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Blue Dog of Lansdale, taken to go and poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Refrigerated and set to warm until about 55 degrees F. Batch 5 (Not yet described on the RR website.)

Appearance- Very bright yellow color... just a tad darker than the bright yellow label. Opaque and cloudy. Thick layer of Brettanomyces on the bottom of the bottle. Little head. Presented in very nice Russian River corked + caged bottle.

Smell- Sweet, yeasty, citrus. Nice and sour with a little funk!

Taste- Very nice and sour. Malts shine through a little bread. Very bright and almost "lemony."

Mouthfeel- Perfect carbonation and little/no negative aftertaste other than the beautiful sour notes.

Drinkability- My wife who does not like beer tried this and felt as if it was a general exception to her usual rules. I would drink this every day if it were an option!

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had very few sour beers, so it's exciting for me to try one out. Picked this batch 005 bottle up at the local Trader Joe's of all places.

Definitely a fan of the cork and hefty bottle, very classy. This beer lives up to its blonde moniker on the label. It's pale golden in color with an ample head in my wine glass. The foam settles fairly soon and leaves just a little bit of lace.

I definitely smell bananas, along with a little bit of mustiness that I've heard about with brett beers. Maybe some faint spices like cloves. Not as intense as I expected, but pleasant.

Flavors pack much more wallop. Only a little of the light, fruity bananas, and intense puckery sour. Not quite the citric sourness of a lemon, but more like sour candy. Lots of complexity with this beer being very sour yet having balancing sweetness in the front and middle of my mouth, while finishing long and dry with sourness fading to something more herbal.

I'm a sucker for big, flavorful beers, and this one satisfies that in a new dimension differently than the big IPAs and stouts. Thanks Russian River for delivering us beers to expand our minds and tastes!

 1,145 characters

Photo of hayesez
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to dabecassis for sending me a couple of these. Been waiting for this to be released to give it a shot. I sure appreciate the generosity, Dave!

Pours a vibrant laser lemon that is very murky and cloudy. A fluffy white head just sits there. As I tip my glass from side to side the head does everything it can to hold onto the side of the glass, stretching as the froth tries to pull away. In time, this leaves impressively sticky blotchy lacing - so far so good!

The nose on this one has a faint funky Belgiany spice that I wasn't expecting (I guess I should have). That "this-is-going-to-be-tart" smell is definitely in there as well. The tartness appears to come from lemons and perhaps unripe green apples. It is a bit tamer than I anticipated, but still quite impressive.

Ah, a very subtle flavor...this is good stuff. Tart, but very smooth and clean. A good kind of tart as well - gets the glands going, but isn't overpowering. Tart apples, pears, and lemon. One of our friends stopped by and took a smell and thought it smelled like wine. Not a horrible assessment, frankly, as there is that white wine taste in there too. Finishes with the slightest tart-bitterness, but also leaves you a tad puckered. A fairly light-beer; I was hoping it would be just a bit thicker and slightly toned down on the carbonation. Minor gripes, mind you...I'm very impressed with the Sanctification.

Easily drinkable...we split this one up three ways and all had trouble slowing down enough to fully appreciate everything going on in there. Sanctification is yet another in a long line of Russian River beers that never disappoint me. I've gotta get up there and visit the brewery one of these days. Great stuff!

Consumed; 8/12/2010

 1,736 characters

Photo of Derek
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice head, not much retention. Wonderful aroma of leather and tropical fruit. Similar flav, a bit of straw, modest bitterness, with a light tartness and a crisp finish.

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Photo of TampaRainman
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 2,749 ratings
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