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Sanctification | Russian River Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
95
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619 Reviews
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SanctificationSanctification
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
619
Ratings:
2,667
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
18.6%
 
 
Wants:
1,179
Gots:
859
For Trade:
57
User Reviews
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Reviews: 619 | Ratings: 2,667
Photo of Beertracker
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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 +6.3%
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 +6.3%
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.

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Photo of GJ40
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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 +6.3%
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 NoLeafClover44
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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 orbitalr0x
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Batch 002. 100% Brettanomyces fermented.

Pours into my tulip glass a beautifully vibrant clear golden orange that reminds me of a fall harvest. Two fingers of creamy white foam sits atop the brew and the plentiful active carbonation makes it linger on. Can't ask for much more looks wise, downright enticing. Aromas start with fresh pale malts showing a bit of sweet grain scents. Fruit, lemon and honey come through with a bit of a floral accent. Tartness and a barnyard hay backbone emerge with the Brett. Lovely.

First sip brings wonderful sweet and tart malt upfront with a mix of fruit flavors including peach and lemon. Barnyard funk, honey and hay flavors roll through with a bracing tartness that engulfs the mouth. Woody oak tones along with a bit of dryness. The flavor lingers on after each sip of this tasty Brett enhanced golden ale.

Mouthfeel is smooth, velvety and effortless with an effervescent carbonation throughout. This beer is simply amazingly crafted and downright delicious. I would drink this constantly if it was more available. A tart, funky, beauty in a bottle. Russian River knocks it way out of the park once again.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003
Fermented with 100% Brett

A - Bright golden with 1 finger of bubbly white head. It looked lively in the bottle so I poured slowly.

S - Very strong funky Brett aroma, slightly tart with a hint of lemon and citrus. Some barnyard aromas appear and then disappear. They seem to only be present after a fresh pour from the bottle. Tart apples and pears mixed with sweet tart candy as it warms.

T - Funky Brett yeast, crisp tart green apples, sour grapes, lemon and citrus, sweet tart candy like, and a touch of pale malt.

M - Light and airy, somewhat dry with crisp carbonation.

D - Fresh pours create a funky Brett beer that reminded me of the Flemish Primitive series but disappeared into a much more complex beer as it warmed. Very nice without being a lot of barnyard found in other Brett beers.

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Photo of readbaron
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
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 Beerandraiderfan
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a fuzzy and inviting yellow haze. Aroma is salivation inducing, tart, slightly lemony, just perfect.

Taste is great, straightforward sour, similar to temptation in many ways, although a little less complex. Gets the salivary glands working overtime, small amount of white wine residual to it. Very easy to drink. Seems to go good before or after any beer. Light in body, relatively high in sourness. No real discernable fruit feel to it, other than maybe the aforementioned lemon.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL (12.68 oz.) bottle purchased at 1 West Dupont in NW D.C., bottle date 01/28/2014, poured into my small Tired Hands glass and drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - golden-yellow coloration, moderate clarity for style (but could not read or see through), initial 1 finger soapy white head settles into a subtle glass lacing, moderate carbonation with tight white bubbles arising from the bottom of the glass, moderate alcohol legs

S: 10/12 - big admixture of citrus fruit - lemon peel, key lime, and apricot - and sour - acetic, barnyard and tart - notes; no detectable hops, malts, or flaws

T: 18/20 - on first sip, there 's an intense tart/funk with complex fruit flavors in the background - lemon, lime, ripe pear; in the middle of the mouth, some of the oak and starts to pop; there's a barely detectable malt character; little detectable hops or alcohol; finishes dry

M: 4/5 - high carbonation, high drinkability (as expected for the low alcohol), just a little thin, which is why I detracted a point

T: 9/10 - another winning RR sour; although expensive, $30/bottle in the greater Washington D.C. area, this is definitely worth your investment for now and later as it will probably only develop more tartness with time

TOTAL - 44/50

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Photo of ISmith87
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - 4.25 - nice golden amber color with a white head that dissipates down pretty quickly. Hazy but probably because I poured the entire thing aggressively into the glass.
S - 4.5 - Green apple, sour lemon, barnyard flavors from the brett. Hay, bread, wheat.
T - 4.75 - Great sour beer. Sour green apple, lemon, white wine, bready yeast, barnyard flavors lingering in the background. White grape.
M - 4.5 - Sour, but not as sour as some other beers. It still allows you to taste some of the citrus and barnyard flavors. light-medium mouthfeel. alc covered. Aftertaste is bready/wheaty and still a little tart.
O - 4.5 - Good beer. Not that much alcohol flavor. Sessionable. Expensive and not available in most places though.

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Photo of imblane
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Earthy sour Brett Funk with just a hint of grainy sweetness that is quickly overwhelmed by the lactic character.

Appearance - Pale straw and extremely hazy, big white puffy head with low retention due to high acidity.

Flavor - Tart cherries and an earthy umami like character that somehow mellows and begs for another sip. Brett character is medium and adds complexity, not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is high and very effervescent. Finish is bone dry and very pleasing, no astringency or other unpleasant sensations.

Drinkability/Overall - A complex, pleasantly sour example of a fairly rare style. A moderate strength(6.75%) soured Blond that finishes bone dry and begs for another sip.

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Photo of yeastsipper
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Toronado

Beer is a bright yet deep yellow with a head that disappears quickly. Nice looking stuff. Smell is really nice. Sour funk really slaps you in the face at first and there are very definable smells or lemon zest, other citrus, green apple. Taste is out of this world. Very tart with heavy citrus/acidic quality. Sweet and sour up front, the beer finishes with a full-bodied almost barrel aged quality despite the fact that it is not barrel aged.

A fantastic brew and one of my favorites from my favorite brewery. Seek this one out....

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Photo of JimTeal
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I do love a good unique beer and Russian River has certainly come up with one with this. What the heck is a sour blond? Well, unless you find one of these you may never know, it is that unique. It is really sour, almost as if they dosed it with lemon zest, and the result is a treasure. It is not the most beautiful beer I've ever seen, the head is average, the ABV is average but when this brew hits your palate you'll know what a sour blond is, it only takes a moment. WOW! OK, I admit that a trip to the RR Brewery helped, so I waited to review a bottle. The small taster at the home pub at RR was not enough to judge, but now that I have opened a bottle I am convinced that this is a world class "occasional" beer. Unlike those great IPAs, drinkable by the gallon, this one requires a bit of time to enjoy and savor in it's uniqueness. Lest it be confused, this is not a hop beer, it is a blond that happens to pucker, have I mentioned unique, yes try and you'll be aware that a real style can deliver. I have no idea, but I guess the brewmaster had a demonic possession and he just broke out of hell with Santification. Try it but be prepared to pucker and enjoy.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Jeff

Pours a golden yellow color with two fingers of fluffy head. The aroma is citrus-forward with notes of lemon, kiwi, pear, and pineapple. Not huge, but very bright and extremely appealing.

The flavor is very very tasty. Lemon zest and pear up front with a note of brett-y mustiness in the finish. Not hugely complex, but what is here is highly refreshing. After a bit of warming, some band-aid and leather start becoming more prominent, but until the last drop they remain dominated by the bright citrus.

The body and carbonation levels are normal (good) for the style. Drinkability is high here...this is just so damn refreshing. Price/availability be damned, I wish I could drink this all the time!

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Photo of tobelerone
4.6/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pours a light clear golden color with a very nice head and medium lacing.

Smell – A very nice brett scent, without being overly sour or over ‘flavored’.

Taste – A very, very nice bretty taste. Perhaps an overly simple description, but it’s really good!

Mouthfeel – Nice carbonation, crisp, dry, and just slightly sour. Well done!

Drinkability – Although sours aren’t my favorite style, this is one of my favorite sours.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River. The beer is effervescent pale golden with a one inch, fluffy head. Really nice lacing is everywhere once the head finally recedes.

Brettanomyces are very strong in the nose. The aroma is nice and tart with some spiciness, lemon notes, and horse blanket funkiness. The flavor is very sour with some barnyard funk from the Brett and light citrus. This is quite tart. Delicious! The finish is very dry with a long lingering tartness. I recall the last batch I had was a bit more sour, but this is fantastic.

Light bodied, very dry, and great carbonation. This is an extremely drinkable sour. I drank a growler of this the weekend afterward and enjoyed every sip.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 375 ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: A murky yellow body that supported a fruitful rocky white head. Anticipated more lacing and head retention throughout the beer, but settled out to normal level after few minutes.

S: A very "Barn-like" and farmhouse upfront with perhaps some sort of oak backing. A also detect a decent amount of tart-sweetness off the top as well. Extremely complex and delicate at the same time!

T: My first impression is combination of intrigue and WOW! 50% of the flavor profile really brings in that dirty blonde characteristic, while the other 50% really draws on that tart experience you tend to expect from something that has 100% Brett. Very impressed and quite possibly the most drinkable and well balanced flavor profile I've had within this style.

M: Light to medium body with just the right amount of carbonation; A bit dry at the tail end.

D: There really isn't enough to say about this beer. Russian River again showed why it dominates this style along with the guys from Lost Abbey. A must try beer. Cheers!

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Photo of GabrielM
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

A - beautiful cloudy golden color with a 1/2-inch of bright white head on top.

S - fresh funk, earthiness, summer grass, bread, and oak.

T - same as nose but with some citrus and extra funk. Surprisingly awesome!

M - the first sip, as always, is SOUR! It bites my tongue and cheeks with a crisp, cool sting that quickly fades away. I love it!

D - non-stop.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Batch 005.

Semi-hazy golden body with a huge fluffy white head. Fat chunks of lacing left behind.

Smells of dry bretty barnyard funk up front. Some pineapple, and also a touch of rustic bread.

Tastes of a touch of pineapple up front, rustic bread, some hay, a bit of barnyard funk, just a tiny bit of oaky tanins, and then slightly acidic/citrusy tartness.

Very light bodied with spritzy carbonation. Refreshing.

A very pleasant and tasty beer.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one is light orange in color with a beautiful white, puffy head that was just enchanting. I just couldn’t stop staring at this ale.

Smell – The wonderful Belgian yeast was dynamic. I can’t tell you how excited I get when I find a true, authentic yeast smell in an American effort at this style. There’s a rich sourness there too that’s way off from a Flanders Ale but big nevertheless.

Taste – The yeast is terrific at the taste, and the sourness is similar to what you’d find in an Unblended Lambic. It’s not overpowering and comes on more complimentary. The hops give a light tartness to the ale. The flavors work together in perfect harmony.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied with a light tartness and very pleasant sourness that is mixed with some lively carbonation.

Drinkability – If there’s such a thing as a session Belgian Ale than this is it. I could have drank this one all night.

Comments – I was in town one week early for the release of the next batch (last batch was out) but Vinnie the brewmaster was nice enough to bring some out from the back room. What a treat it was drinking this incredible ale with the brewer, my wife, and rapopoda who was also in town for barrel tasting weekend.

Vinnie described it as a “sour blonde Belgian ale”. It is primarily fermented with 100% Brettanomyces and bottle conditioned to create lush carbonation. It may not fall perfectly into a BJCP Guideline (other than Belgian specialty, of course) but this is one of the most drinkable ales on the planet. I kind of see it as an American made Belgian equivalent to a German Berliner Weisse, but that’s just my own take on it. Whatever you call it, this ale is good good good.

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Photo of Auraan
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice cloudy gold with a one finger white head that grew to a two finger white head and stayed around as a ring of white as the glass was emptied, leaving some thin lacing. Abundant bubbles flowed up the side of the glass. Quite beautiful. Scents of brett, barnyard funk, white grape skin, white wine, overripe fruit, green apple, slight pineapple, and the slightest hints of vanilla and candi sugar. A very good aroma, complex with the usually sour, fruity, white wine notes and some more common Belgian notes beneath. Flavor is sour upfront, with that musky brett funk, white grapes, tart green apple, lemon juice, sourdough bread undertones, some oak, some slight medicinal bitterness, finishes bitter with a bit of a citrus rind flavor and aftertaste as well as a dry finish. A very sour flavor, with all sorts of sour fruit and sour funk flavors. Very nice with some complexity brought in by the sourdough bread and oak. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation and a nice refreshing feel with a drying finish. Nice and drinkable, on point for a sour, very good. Overall this is a very good sour. The 100% brett gives it that incredibly sour flavor but it manages a bit of complexity in spite of it, that gives it a fine flavor profile. Very good, and I wish I could get it easier.

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Photo of CruisaC
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Urbancaver for saving a couple bottles of this for me.

pours a pretty golden color with 1 inch of white head which settles nicely along the sides of my New Belgium glass as the head fades.

Smell is a perfect balance of funk and lemony tart, very refreshing.

Wow. I am fairly new to the world of sours. I have had several that I was pleased with so far: 3F Oude Gueuze, Cantillon classic, Consecration, but this was the best of the lot. Tart, just enough funk to let you know what you're dealing with, with a nice slightly sweet ending that adds to the overall drinkability

Nicely carbonated, just dry enough to make you raise your glass all the sooner for another sip

Truly exceptional; I'm glad I've got another which I may have to save for a warm evening...hopefully those are coming soon

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 619 ratings.
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