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: 625 | Ratings: 2,713
Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery in August 2009.

Pours a bright pale yellow with a nice pure-white head and good lacing. The smell brings out some funkiness and sweetness to alongside the abundant sourness. I picked up quite a bit of lemon in the nose, and it faded nicely into the taste. Not at all as sour as some of the other stuff we had at Russian River this night, but it helped to enhance the drinkability. The body was fairly light, and this combined with the less-than-total-mouth-sourness contributed to this brew's high enjoyability.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another bottle from Sideswipe. Thanks John!

375 ML, batch 5, served in my Captain Lawrence tulip.

A bright clear yellowy gold with a billowing white head. Nice retention. Minimal lacing, but that's ok.
Smells of light fruits like pears, green apples, white grapes, apricots... Some big funky notes of hay and horses.

Taste is very very dry. No malts even noticed. The flavor has light fruit notes I found in the nose plus the funk plus a great tasty tartness at the backend. Very very very dry. Incredibly drinkable. This is head and shoulders above temptation, and only just behind Brute in my opinion.
Very nice light body reminds me of a good white wine.

This is spectacular.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to G311 for this particular bottle.

Batch 005

A - It pours a radiant orange-apricot hue and has a rather stratospheric white head that collapses into a wispy film but deposits a bunch of chiffon lace.

S - The nose is heavy on wood, and offers some citric, floral and briny notes. The impressions range from Calabrese olives to lemon and kumquat to wet wood and hay.

T - Moderately tart and quite zesty, this brew is heavy on notes of band-aid, grapefruit rind, stinky papaya and unripe (green) orange. The more I drink of it, the more the funk stands out; this beer is heavy on *horseblanket* and *rotting fruit*, in a good way of course.

M - Feel is bright and body is light. Dry finish.

O - 005 is not the best Sanctification I've had, but it is certainly delicious, and is drinking much better than it was a month or two ago.

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Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into tulip, batch 005. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Some soapy lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of huge lemon, grass, sour apple, pepper, hay, bread, yeast spices, and nice funkiness. Great aromas here with fantastic balance. Not overly funky or sour with a great mix of all aromas. Taste of big sour apple, tart lemon, grass, hay, pepper, spices, bread, yeast spices, and funkiness. Lingering notes of tart apple, lemon, pepper, bread, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Light acidity present on the finish as well, but is nicely balanced and not overpowering. Medium carbonation and body. Incredibly drinkable and smooth; great balance with the acidity. Incredibly crisp and clean body with a perfect amount of carbonation for the style. Alcohol is not noticed at all for 6.75% as expected. Overall this is a smooth and incredible wild ale. So much great complexity and balance.

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Photo of phishsihq
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

We enjoyed the Batch 006 release.... Sanctification pours a hazy straw color, with a light rim of white head that provides lots of lacing. Brettanomyces funk is easily detectable in the nose, with hints of lemon grass, wheat, green apple and a slight lactic twinge. Light fruit notes including lemon fade mid-pallet as the funk and tartness take over and leave you puckering up for another sip. The brew is medium-light in body with tongue-prickling carbonation. Sweet yet tart, Sanctification is quenches your thirst and leaves you wanting more.


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Photo of WetCoaster
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slighty deeper-than-straw gold with a small, level white head. Not good, not bad, just correct. It's fine.

Smell: Crisp and tight at first, but as it unwinds, really quite remarkable. Brett off the bat and all that entails; sour milk, barnyard, cedar chips, moss... you get the idea. But beneath that, there is a definite fruit sweetness and a wave of tangy, ripe cheese funk breaks over this reef -- this is something else.

Taste: Whoa -- the palette version of being hit in the side of the head with a frying pan. Remember Pixie Stix? Here you go again. Bitter lemon, dry wood, sticky citric acid, just... if tang! were a flavor, this would be it. Meters-level funk. But at the base, the wonderful pineapple/apricot/peach fruit of the best Belgians fights to the surface. Wow. Mouthfeel is light and "spritzy," which I came up with from left field, but I see others have used as well, so it must bring the spritz.

Drinkability: An experience, really something that will take your palette to a new level. If you're ready to move into the double black diamond territory, this is epic, genius, just one step beyond. Best sour ale ever?

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Photo of sholland119
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 5, first batch available on the shelves in PA.

A-Hazy golden straw. Lots of frothy white head in the glass and some good stickiness.

S-Peppery, funky brettiness. Nice farmhouse earthy sourness.

T-Excellent. Nicely sour and funky. Not overdone at all, very well controlled funk and citrus.

M-Medium bodied, quite dry as expected, a bit puckery but again not overly so.

D-I could drink many of these.


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Photo of afksports
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

super sour, better than the latest batch, thitas was from a750. super sour and gokden and ezcellent balanced super sour. the latest baych is just too sweef not enoyhth sour

much more a betyer beer okder than new, a thermd I'm not surthe newer will age as well. might beer a different yeast

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml( room temp-Batch 002) a cloudy lightish gold with a huge head of foam that shrank slowly leaving lots of lacing and a solid layer for the entire session.

The smell is *all* spicy with notes of yeast, orange, corriander, and a whole lot of funk!

The taste is *hugely* sour up front. Almost to the point of knocking my socks off but there's also the yeast, orange, and corriander I mentioned in the smell and there's some peppery notes, hoppy bitterness, and even some malt sweetness .. man.. this one sure is complex as all hell and a literal delight to sip on. I'm glad I have another bottle and plan on cellaring it for a spell.

Bottom line: A superb American Wild Ale, in my book. My hat's off to Russian River for, once again, travelling down the off the beaten track!

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a teku.

Appearance - Clear golden hue.

Smell - Sour, citrus, very strong!

Taste - Tart yet smooth, sour citrus notes, delicious!

Mouthfeel - Medium body, medium carbonation, very nice!

Overall - Nice sour.

Grade (A-)

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice golden and yellow pour, some good haze to it, soft white 1/2" head on it. Aroma was bad ass, makes you salivate, lemon, gueuzy like aroma, oak. Just phenomenal brett and sour character to it.

Taste is light bodied, but powerfully lemony sour. Like Temptation without the white wine barrel notes. Brettier too.

I really can't think of an inappropriate time for this beer. Wish it was still $8 a bottle. . . sigh.

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Photo of bosco7
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003 obtained at the brewpub.

Golden beer top with a cream-like head that sticks around for awhile. Beautiful lacing.

Lemon zest, clove, horse and soured aromas . Smelling it makes my mouth water.

Pucker up this is quite sour. As soon as this hits your mouth a ton of tart lemon pulp flavors dominate. Musty barnyard flavors follow (sounds bad but is oh so tasty). The sourness makes this beer very thirst quenching. Bone dry finish.

Thin mouthfeel is expected from the high levels of attenuation that wild yeast bring to the table. Lots of carbonation. Very nice beer I would recommend this to any beer enthusiast.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 5/30/14:

Hazy golden pour with fluffy white head.

Aroma of lemon, citrus peel and white wine along with notes of hay, barnyard funk and light pepper.

Taste is of pale crackery malt, moderately tart lemon and sweet green apple with a bright citrus peel finish. The long finish is characterized by typical byproducts of brettanomyces fermentation - fruit, earth and barnyard notes followed by some moderate bitterness.

The mouthfeel is lively and effervescent with a creamy texture.

Overall, this is an outstanding beer. Russian River takes a brett fermented saison style beer to the next level with a delicious citrus zing and near perfect mouthfeel.

Minor update - bottle dated 6/15/15 and consumed June 2016 was just as amazing. One of my favorites.

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Photo of BetterWatching
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden with a quickly disappearing white head.

S- Funky evervescence with hints of pear and other sweets.

T- Before it hits your tongue the funkiness in the smell tells your senses this beer is sour, but the first thing you notice is a the blond ale characteristics. Different fruits; citrus, pear and others with a mild sweetness. They give way to the tart sourness my nose was expecting.

M- Crisp with medium to high carbonation.

O- Very excellent beer. When compared to the rest of the RR catalog I would consider this by far the most sessionable of all the sours. I could sip on this beer everyday after work.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6 bottle thanks to Gosox8787, poured into a HF stem.

Pour: Hazy yellow orange, with two fingers of fluffy, sticky white head. Leaves really awesome lacing, and the head hangs around for a while too. I love when beer looks like this.

Smell: Acetic pears and apples, with a nice honey/biscuit sweetness. Some oakiness flows through. Brett is there a little bit in the breadyness, but not much.

Taste: Clean tart peaches and granny smith apples. A light funk, but not a ton. A light white pepper, and a biscuity sweetness. Finishes with more acetic pears.

Mouthfeel: Pretty tart, but not quite sour. Definitely puckers the lips though. Really nice and drinkable at the same time.

Overall: My favorite sour from RR (haven't had Beat yet). Great stuff.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle dated 1/28/14 poured into a Teku glass
A: Hazy light orange with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Lemon, green apple, hints of malt and sour yeast
T: An initial hit of sour green apple is followed by lemon, lemongrass, some herbs/earth, a bit of brett funk then followed by a lengthy green apple finish
M: Fairly light bodied overall but a sour kick and long finish make for nice complexity
O: Complex and delicious, couldn't ask for much more

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Photo of ediaz
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into oversized wine glass. GO JAGS

A: cloudy orange with light fluffy white head. Leaves a thin bit of delicate white lace.

S: sweet tart nose with the signature Brett present. Perhaps a little apricot.

T: wow this is tasty. Bright tartness at first and finishes with bitter light apricot.

M: medium with high carbonation. The carbonation pairs extremely well with the taste, but it could be a little less.

O: a fantastic beer and I'm extremely happy with it. I would trade for it again, shutout to DovaliHops for the bottle!

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Photo of alexgash
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 375 ml bottle. Batch 006.

Pours a beautiful golden yellow with lemony edges. Tall, frothy, billowy, beige-white head with incredible lacing up the edge of the glass. Funky, wild nose. Horse blanket, very sharp cheese, lemon zest, grapefruit, and some old hay.

Very lively carbonation, tart acidity, and dryness combine to make this beer very quick on the palate! However, as it sits and settles, slower, more nuanced tasting can be achieved. Tart lemon acidity up front. Some grassy flavors and a hint of grainy malt as well. Overall, the tart, acidic citrus dominates. Musty, yeasty funk comes in mid-palate. Very dry finish, with some almost-pucker-inducing grapefruit. Lingering horse blanket. Delicious and quite drinkable for how "wild" it is. Another great RR sour!

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Photo of Blanco
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

cloudy and straw colored with a pure white, foamy head. little lacing. typical RR "wild" smell but tropical fruits are more prominent in this one. very puckering upfront in the taste as expected, but goes down smoother that the others. great mouthfeel, very lively like a nice champagne. Very drinkable, particularly for the style. This almost seems like a "beginner" version, but still has the punch that a more experience drinker would appreciate.

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Photo of dalahodson
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A classic sour from RR. A lazy straw yellow small cream head with lots of lace on the glass. Mouth feel is sour and dry. Flavors of tart apples with a slight sweet aftertaste. Some slight herb bitterness but not from the hops. Kind of like an apple sour candy on drugs.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C: Cloudy
H: Yellow (almost like urine)
N: Tart Lemons + Funk + Acid = AMAZINGNESS!

This beer is filled with super tart and sweet lemons. Very similar to a lemon Shock-Tart. This beer in fact brings me back to the day when I was a kid and I was searching for the most sour candy available. While I loved finding things that brought a tear to my eye, I would go back to shock tarts as my go-to candy for the time.
Like Shock-Tarts, Sanctification isn’t going to make you pucker your lips to the extent that you begin to cry, but it will make you a happy little person with the balance of tart and sweet.

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Photo of Vancer
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok – first wild ale, what a funk-a-ramma! You can really get a whiff of musty funk (none of that horse blanket crap, that’s just too nasty). Pour was lacking any head, but donno if that’s normal or not. Still had some sheet lacing.

What can you say? Sour, and tasty, like a lemon/orange that’s been sitting in the brew. Sharp and tangy, this is not for the faint of heart. Like a Lambic, it takes a bit to get used to. BUT, I recommend this one, IF you like Lambic. Don’t get it and say it’s drain pour ‘cause you’re not accustomed to it.

Thumbs up to this unique brew! Savoring this 750 bomber, got another for cellering.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip from a 750ml bottle.
Batch 004

A - Pours a gorgeous hazy straw golden color with some nice slight orange hints. There is a huge fluffy adn densly packed white head that is about 2 inches tall. The retention is ridiculus I dont know how im gonna get started.

S - Wow! Delicious fluffy yeast aroma comes through mixed in with some nice light malty grain notes. The funk is so well complemented with the tart notes. Some nice lemmon rind hints are present. Slight clove some ncie spicey notes mixed in with some great woody and barrel notes. The aroma to this beer is near perfection with the funk and yeast and malt notes working perfectly with the tart and vinous notes. There is also some slight fruit juice notes that are well received.

T & M - Starts off with a nice yeast funk that has the traditional husk/barnyard notes. This is well balanced with some great bread notes that are mixed in with some nice spice and slight clove like a more traditional Belgian Pale Ale. Then there is the nice tart notes with some slight vinous and champagne like notes, slight vinegar acidity mixed in with awesome lemony zest and clean tartness for the finish. There is a nice peppery hint around the finish to this beer that makes it very refreshing and drinkable and cuts the tartness to a level that makes it even more drinkable. The body is nice and light-medium with crisp flavors and refreshing vinous notes.

D - This beer is delicious and a good example of an AWA. Especially good for novices of the style. Awesome brew.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sanctification pours a cloudy, straw-golden color. It's topped by a white head that fades to a thin layer leaving good lace. The aroma is intensely and wonderfully fruity. There are notes of banana, tropical fruit, and a hint of Brettanomyces. Swirling brings out an earthy aroma, and a slight funkiness.

Upfront, this beer is fruity with banana and tropical fruit flavors. A moderate tartness appears early on and is present through to the finish, which has earthy and funky Brett flavors, and a leafy bitterness in the finish. Prickly carbonation gives way to a creamy mouthfeel.

I thought this beer had a nice interplay between the fruitiness and earthy Brettanomyces characters.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours Crystal clear golden blonde in color witha frothy white head that retains nicely. Smell has nice tart brett funk and semi sweet grainy malt with notes of white grape, lemon peel, hay and barnyard. Taste follows the nose with tart lemon crisp sour funk forward with a chalky sour citrus flavor. Barnyard straw and a sharp cheesy funky finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium in body with sticky sour acidic finish.

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 2,713 ratings.
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