Sanctification | Russian River Brewing Company

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 10-27-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,726
Reviews:
624
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
8.84%
 
 
Wants:
1,187
Gots:
857
For Trade:
55
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,726 |  Reviews: 624
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The chalkboard described this as a 100% brett fermented Belgian pale.

Appearance - Perfectly clear gold, a shade or two darker than a lager. A gentle pour produces about 2 inches of white froth. Retention is very solid, especially coming from a growler.

Smell - Incredibly aromatic and complex. Lemon juice, barnyard funk, horseblanket and leather. Sweeter aromas of banana and honey reveal themselves as the beer approaches room temperature.

Taste & mouthfeel - Initially quite sour, with pronounced flavors of lemons, bananas and granny smith apples. A subtle malty sweetness slowly reveals itself, mixing with the puckering sourness to create a surprisingly balanced flavor. Light bodied, perhaps a bit thin on the palate. The sweeter flavors come out more and more in the finish, ultimately leaving a faint honey-like flavor on the palate. Acidity and bitterness are fairly low. Exceptional stuff.

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Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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 olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

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

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this. Poured into snifter.

Pours a light layer of white head. Color is a bright golden prairie straw. Good retention.

Aroma: Very golden ale like. Some herbal flavors with some floral notes. It is funky and has a decent amount of brett. It has some lemon citrus and a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. More brett here. Lemon citrus and sweetness. It has herbal and floral notes with a touch of spice. Again, very golden ale like with Belgian yeast. Has a grape/wine like flavor with some oak. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Pretty clean. Lighter bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, a really nice sour beer for RR. It was different from their others, but still good. Pretty drinkable. I was a fan of this one.

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Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

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 nickfl
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with just over one finger of white foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The foam dissipates fairly quickly but leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Soft, bready malt with notes of pear and pineapple as well as lighly funky brett and herbal hops in the background.

T - Rich malt with light, lemony sourness up front. Some more lemon peel and black pepper notes come out in the middle with more bread-like malt. The beer finishes with notes of pithy lemon, moderately bitter herbal hops and black pepper. Some light, herbal funk lingers on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Very nicely done, as expected. This is quite reminiscent of Orval, with a lighter malt body and more citrus character. The aroma has quite a bit of earthy funk, the element that brings Orval to mind, while the wild character comes out more as a lemony tartness in the flavor profile. Well balanced, relatively simple and absolutely brilliant. It certainly wasn't a cheap bottle, but this is one of those rare beers that is genuinely a bargain at any price.

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Photo of chinchill
2.69/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle. Not counting a couple of collaboration beers, this is my first R. River - too bad it has to be a Brett beer. I have a very limited tolerance for Brett and even less for vinegar. With that in mind:

Pours light amber, hazy, with a small head. The aroma bodes poorly: Brett/wild ale with some vinegar. Intimidating. Given that, the taste was a bit better but still too funky. Nicely sour with a hint of old bread. Fine medium-light feel.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #6

A: Pours a lightly cloudy straw to pale golden yellow in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall bright white head that reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of funkiness - like an aromatic cheese or almost feet - along with a lighter amount of sourness. To me, this is a very inviting aroma.

T: Similar to the smell but the sourness (an acidic sourness) is much stronger in the taste than the smell. Light amounts of lemon citrus and just a hint of vinegar.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Prickly.

O: Delicious and complex, an amazing sipping beer and something I would be happy to have multiple times again in the future. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Thanks to my amazing wife for bringing this one home from a business trip to LA.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/20/09. Part of a full day of Russian River beers here. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a hazy orange gold with a thin brite-white head. Retains at just about the same level, leaving back a nice foamy cascade of lace. The aroma is quite refreshing and crisp smelling, with a fruity citric tartness to it, as well as a touch of funk and spice and some lightly sweet backing character.

The taste is fruity with lemon and green apple character which imparts a nice firm crisp tartness to the profile. What I really like about this, is that it starts tart and stays that way during the duration of the glass, never once coming off as souring at any time. Spiciness and some sugary sweet character punch up the background, nicely complimenting the fruit and Brett and giving the overall profile some nice polish. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied with a lower feeling carbonation at times. While this has a touch of a viscous feel (almost like it was barrel aged), it's definitely on the lighter side, enabling all of those crisp flavors to go down very easily.

What a great beer! The balance between the tartness of the citrus and Brett was fantastic, with both taking equal control of the profile, giving this an exquisitely fresh and crisp feel. Great drinkibility on this as well, I killed this glass in no time flat! Another really great tasting Wild Ale from Russian River!

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Poured a hazy golden yellow with a nice finger of frothy head that retained well. Yeasty aroma, with lots of light fruits and some underlying spice. Yeasty and grassy to the taste, a sweet malty base, with sour notes of lemon zest, pear, apples, and white wine, and a tad of peppery spice in there somewhere. Crisp hop bitterness and general sourness gives a nice dry finish. Light-medium mouthfeel, and very nice to drink.

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Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Funky wild yeast specific aroma. Taste is very balanced, sour but not quite in the lambic territory. Although there are no fruits added, it makes you think of white grapes, white gooseberries, white mirabelle plums. Overall this is an excellent sour, very balanced and easy drinking.

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Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Brightly buffed lemon with light showers of yeast and near Champagnesque carbonation. The upper third of the glass is occupied by a thick slice of alabaster colored foam that has good (not great) texture. More rockiness while melting would have helped. Small sheets of sudsy lace don't affect the appearance score in either direction.

From a Brettanomyces standpoint, the nose is neither subtle nor bombastic. Proportions of Belgian blonde and barnyard funk are juuust right. Each sniffs delivers lightly spiced golden fruit and the pungent horse blanket muskiness that lovers of this type of yeast... well... love. Mixed microorganisms (bacteria presumably) were used as well.

Sanctification is beautiful, beautiful beer. That's no surprise at all, considering the brewery and the brewer. Blonde ale is probably technically correct (I'll take Vinnie's word for it), but it tastes like more like a lemony, summertime saison. This American wild ale may not be the most complex ale on the planet, but it's as delicious as they come and is insanely drinkable.

Pale and/or pilsner malt provides no flavor and no appreciable sweetness. Contributors include yeast (and other assorted bugs) and hops. Specifics: lots o' lemon zest, snappy pears, white grapes, a wee splash of apple cider vinegar and bitter grasses. Maybe it's pretty complex beer after all.

The finish is downright Saharan and is pleasingly puckery. After each mouthful, it feels as though my mucous membranes are being drawn toward the center of my mouth as a screw in the center of my tongue is being tightened. Tart, tangy and terrific. Sauvignon Blanc is an apt comparison if you're an oenophile.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite have the expansive creaminess of a world-class Belgian ale. Even though that wouldn't necessarily match its flavor profile, the next highest score can't be granted without it. Kudos to Mr. Cilurzo for creating beer that is perfectly carbonated after having spent 2 years, 4 months and 28 days in the bottle.

Sanctify (verb): to entitle to reverence or respect. Sanctification and Russian River are worthy of both. This is a tremendous American wild ale that deserve to be brewed again and again. If you're cellaring a bottle, it's drinking great right now.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Morgan for sending this one my way!

A: Pours a hazy straw color with a slight orange hue to it. Solid 2 finger head on top with great retention, slowly dissolving to a nice white cap on top. Streaky lacing all around.

S: Rather bretty with a very faint tartness. There is some citrus fruit that comes forward, mostly lemon with a little bit of orange rind/zest.

T: For a change, this RR beer is tart but not really sour. Definitely a sweet flavor profile with some more citrus and grass flavors. Tart lemon and oranges for the most part.

O: Pretty good, but probably my least favorite RR wild thus far. Almost more like a slightly tart Belgian Ale. Still very tasty though and would certainly never pass on it.

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Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

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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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 2,726 ratings.
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