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
Reviews:
625
Ratings:
2,706
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
8.84%
 
 
Wants:
1,183
Gots:
857
For Trade:
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 625 | Ratings: 2,706
Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of batch 5 via trade with nickd717 thanks again nick!

A - Pours hazy golden yellow with a nice bubbly one finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving light webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lemon, tangerine, bretty earth, and some light funk. I really liked how much fruit came thru in this one. It still had plenty of funk to go around but it really played second fiddle to the fruit. Nice and subtle.

T - Starts off with a big dose of bretty funk giving way quickly to a nice mix of bright citrus fruit and strong puckering sourness. Finish is a mix of lingering sourness and light citric acidity. Nice light sour that was very easy to drink. It wore me down quick tho. Overall it was pretty good but it got to me over the course of the bottle. Much stronger than it feels.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. The funky feel is quite soft with plenty of it lingering for some time. It was quite easy to drink.

O - Very nice. I think I still prefer temptation overall but I really liked this one. Just a bit too strong on the funk at the moment. I could see this developing beautifully over the next year or so.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flared pokal.

Thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Batch 005. As Bob Hope would say, "That's wild!" Ahem. This stuff pours a hazy pale gold topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, ginger, sweet lemonade, and light coconut. The taste holds notes of light tart lemon zest, ginger, light nutmeg, Brett funk, and light lettuce. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry, lightly sticky finish. Overall, a very nice wild, one that certainly lives up to its reputation.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 02/20/11 notes. Batch 4, 750ml bottle.

a - Pours a murky orange yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of barnyard funk, sour fruits, grapes, brett, grass, earthy notes. Brett jumps out and smells great.

t - Tastes sour fruits, spice, brett, funk, grapes, citrus, grass.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I really liked this one and felt like I could drink a lot of it. Lots of funk and brett in the nose and taste; I loved it. Would love to get another bottle of this.

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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 Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh at my tasting on August 7, 2010. Thanks Matt! Served alongside six other Russian River wild ales.

Batch 003

A: Sanctification appears a really hazy yellow color. There is a white bubbly head that fades after a few moments, leaving very little lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is very prominent brettanomyces scents with some hints of oak. Very nice.

T: The beer tastes great. It is definitely sour, but not nearly as much as I was hoping or expecting. Perhaps a byproduct of this is that Sanctification isn't as bold and/or aggressive as the other sours in the lineup. Nonetheless, it is quite tasty. Again, brettanomyces is really present throughout. No surprise, since this is a 100% brett beer.

M: Really smooth and easy. No pucker factor from the wild yeast, just easy drinking.

D: Extremely drinkable, chuggable even. I'm glad I have more of this in the cellar.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Batch 005.

Appearance - Crystal clear yellow gold body with a small white head. The bubbles are big and the head isn't so pillowy. It was a bitch getting the cork out of this, too.

Smell - Bretty and a bit funky. Not overly tart or funky, though. Lemon smells and a very musty smell in the back.

Taste - A little funky at first and then some tartness. Hardly a lot; it's more of a must like I got in the smell. It finishes with a strange wet sock flavor (I may have just made that up, but it seems to fit what I'm tasting) and a hint of sweetness, which is unpleasant.

Mouthfeel - Mostly light and effervescent, except for that finish. The sweetness kills it for me. It reminds me of a not-so-good Oud Bruin.

Overall - Tasty, but not really complex or outstanding in any way. My first of the RR wilds. We'll see how the others go.

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Photo of stakem
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4, 750ml corked and caged bottle care of CaptinRedBeard. Thanks Corey for sharing this brew.

Poured into a 6oz snifter, Sanctification appears a light hazed yellow color with a white cap of foam that fades quickly leaving faint spots of lace along the glass.

The nose of this brew is bretty with some light fruit flavors minorly reminescent of lemon zest. The primary characteristic of this brew's aroma is the funky goodness imparted by the brett and a minor almost lactic quality.

The taste of this brew is just like the aroma led on, primarily influenced by brett with some wet leathery character that clings to the tongue. A slight lemony rind flavor is evident just like the nose suggested. Throughout the body are funky notes, earthy, lactic and a light suggestion of something I keep coming across that seems to me to be quite plastic-like. It isn't offputting in any way but just adds a unique character to the brew.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is super drinkable and has a minor puckering quality to the tongue that made me salivate in ancitipation of the next sip.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty even and smooth wild ale. Nothing really showy, but it's consistent and smooth. The brett is in no way obnoxious or outlandish. I have to say that this beer is in no way blowing me away. It's good, yeah. But there is no real outstanding character. Consistent, sure. Amazing? Not so much so.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at about 4 ounces batch 006 at Churchkey, much thanks to Ed!

Golden yellow appearance, with shades and hues throughout the glass looking at it in a tulip. Spider lacing crawls all over, with slow white carbonation on inspection. Great looking love this body color.

Nose hits with a wonderful mix of bret and sense of spice. In control, and tolerable without a huge funk. Faint light pepper, with a mild sense of juicy lemon. Really nice.

Palate hits with a nice rounding sense of acidity. Lambic like quality, another patron felt it tasted like a real good gueze, there is no sense of heat on this. Feel hits with a mellow yet tight carbonation.

Overall real solid as to be expected, I think I still might prefer consecration but nobody is complaining here.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001.
Cast in a hazed, ripe golden hue, topped with lush, white head, copious carbonation.
Deep, musty aroma, a touch sour, a little spice, hints of fruit below, overall appealing.
Bracingly sour attack at first sip, huge puckeration, a grip on the lips...oooo!
Light citric. lemon flavor lays a bit behind and can be appreciated after getting past the tartness. "A sour Belgian blonde ale"? Sounds about right.
Quite tasty, light bodied, with a lean, citric/sour finish. Tidy spice dances delicately on the palate.
More flavor would help push this one into higher hights, it's a bit tame in that regard.
Only my third beer from Russian River, can't wait to try more!

(much thanks to axisjones!)

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Photo of rab53
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 002 (2006).

Nice oak character. Light on brett, possibly due to age. Carbonation/head retention a little low, but overall still drinking great.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Adam (Nanoslug) for sending this directly from the source. Growler filled on the 4th of January and consumed exactly two weeks later while watching the Cardinals(!) make it to the Super Bowl with Dave & Randall.

A - I had a few glasses of this, and it looks way better in a flute or tulip - not so interesting in the oversized wine glass. Big foam that sticks around forever and leaves great lacing. Semi-transparent apricot color with a nice golden shimmer to it. A few bubbles lazily rise to the top.

S - Funk AND sour AND sweet - Brett (obviously), horse blanket, must, touch of vinegar, white wine, and a mix of fruits in the background (sour apple & cherry, sweet pears & citrus). One of the most complex bouquets I've gotten from a Wild Ale.

T - Starts out really tart, with some bite to it. It's hard to get a handle as every time I take a sip an different one of those aforementioned flavors pops out. The funkiness of the Brett is the main "flavor", but it never overpowers and always complements one of the secondary flavors. Kind of like a kaleidoscope - the elements remain the same but they always combine for different overall pictures.

M - Dry finish, doesn't leave too much candy aftertaste. Crisp and refreshing, albeit a little thin. Carbonation is well done - not overwhelming.

D - I think the funkiness and carbonation would prevent consumption of mass quantities. Each of us had two glasses, and no one was running to the fridge for more after that point. Otherwise it's easy drinking with its well hidden ABV and great taste.

I was really curious to see the results of 100% Brett, and in the hands of Russian River this is definitely impressive. Highly recommended to all lovers of sours.

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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 SadMachine
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes from 4/14

A- Pours a slightly less than clear pale hay color. It is capped with a finger of white bubbles that dissipates quickly to a collar that maintains well thanks to lots of lively carbonation. A little lacing is left on the glass.

S- The Primary Aroma is bubble gum and Belgian candi-sugar. Mild tartness, grapes, some dry white wine, and some tannins.

T- The flavor is bright and much more tart than expected from the nose. This actually reminds me a lot of an oak aged saison like Surette. White wine grapes, Belgian yeast, and a good bit of oakiness.

M- The mouth feel is a bit thin, but has great carbonation. It finishes extremely dry.

O- Overall this is a very good sour blonde, but nothing incredible. This would be a good intro to sour beers, especially for converting wine drinkers.

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Photo of Duff27
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short lived white head on a murky golden orange body. Leaves a collar throughout.

Slight tartness on the nose.

Very tame sourness, I'd give it a 2.5 on the sour scale. Pick up the Chardonnay barrel notes. Barely any alcohol hint.

Nicely carbonated. Medium mouthfeel.

A solid brew although I've had better from RR. Very tame, could be a beginner sour. Thanks stupac2!

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

Batch 3, served in a snifter. Beer is yellow and hazy, forms a thin head of small white bubbles that breaks and leaves very little lacing on the glass. Beer is moderately carbonated but doesn't seem to do much for the head. It looks fine.

Straight Brett b aroma, totally funky and oaky with mostly lactic acid in the nose followed by no acetic or hint of citric acid. Smells good though. 100% brett beers almost always smell good to me though.

Beer is medium to light in body and quite funky. Again leads with a minimal sweetness followed immediately by a lactic acid almost creaminess and a moderate leather flavor in the mid to late palate. Beer is not especially dry only moderately. I wish I could have tasted the other batches that were not 100% brett beers but as far as an "American Wild" goes, this one was quite good.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a murky apricot orange with pineapple yellow highlights that had a finger of white head that dissipated quite fast but it did leave some bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: a very nice bouquet of cirtus and oaky barrel funk from the brett pop out first on the nose with slight apples, vinegar, and acidic character which makes me think its gonna be nice and sour. It also has some vinous notes as well.

T: very tasty acidic citrus, vine grapes, and apple fruit mesh very well with corky barrel musty funk. You can definitely tell that it had brett but I also seemed to pick up apricot flavor and a touch of underlying spice.

M: the brew was medium in body with a perfect amount of prickly carbonation which had an acidic, fruity, bretty, slight spice, and tart finish.

D: it was drinking amazing and after every sip it I was fiending for more. Russian river really knows how to brew these wild ales and this one is definitely no exception. I'm really glad I was able to get my hands on one.

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

Picked up a bottle in Colorado Springs. Poured a slightly hazy golden with a tall white head. Heck of a beer. It tasted like a clean geueze. It was still wonderfully sour, with a fantastic Brett character, but it wasn't rough around the edges (for better and worse). There seems to bet a light toast in the background, from either the barrel or barley, that makes a tasty complement to the ripping citrus sour. Mmm. What a sour.

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Photo of aasher
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, Batch 005 courtesy of the immortal nickd717 awhile back. Thanks again Nick!

This one had a nice pop when I pulled the cork. It poured a nice moderately cloudy gold in color with a one and a half finger bright white head that just sits atop the beer for minutes on end. It resembles a quality berliner weiss. It smells of light citrus, light yeast, some hay, light grapefruit, is lighty acidic and has what I'd describe as tartness, not so much sour. The flavors consist of sour grapefruit, sour apples, brett, lemons, and it has a nice tart and dry finish. It drinks light and only moderately dry. I find it the most drinkable of the Russian River sours that I've tried thus far. It just has really nice balance. Overall I really like this one and prefer it to their other rotating sours.

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

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill

750ml Caged/Corked
Batch 002

Poured into a chalice a nice cloudy light golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger white creamy head which lasts a little while, then leaves some nice slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is of malts, beligium yeast, grapes, pears, and some spices. The taste is very nice, tangy/slightly sour, yeasty, slightly spicy. Medium body, highly carbonated. Very drinkable, really enjoying this one, another awesome brew from RR. Thanks again buddy.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the less mainstream of the Russian River sours, on-tap at Tustin Brewing Company. $8.50 for a tiny 8 ounce pour, on to the beer:

Dirty, cloudy wheat grain color with no head from the pour. A small trickle of lacing grasps onto the glass. The nose is little surprise to me, a big slap of sour lemon and lemonheads. Taste...no big surprise is the sour lemon aspect. In addition to that major flavor, there are subtle flavors of sourdough bread and vomit (in a good way). Moderately acidic for a sour; there's enough to make you sense that the enamel on your teeth is decaying. Good sour all around with an appetizing feel and approachable character.

I held the high expectation of being blown away, but I'll settle for a good sour anyday. Maybe this is a beer than loses some of its character in a keg or requires a larger sampling to better understand this beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

Batch 003. The beer pours a clear golden yellow color with a white head. The aroma is tart lemons with some malt notes. The flavor is tart lemons with some yeast and brett character. The beer is not too acidic and is very dry and drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Russian River
Sanctification

Pours a hazed straw yellow with a fizzy, champagne like decanting and modest retention. There's a lot of active, minute carbonation and I can already see this is going to be a drier beer.

The aroma on this is very funky. Big time Brettsnomyces notes that range from pineapple, sap, musty basement. Quite perfumy and ends up smelling straigh up sour. Has a sour, yet candy like smell.

In the taste, white grapes, Chardonnay, oak, but most of all a souring Brett note of apple cider and apple cider vinegar. Has that sweet and sour componant but this is finer and more complex than simply that. Juicy, slightly drying and oaky on the back end along with a hefty sourness.

The mouthfeel is light and airy, yet dry and sour. Tart Brett notes just ride out the finish in a vinegary, almost puckering haze.

What a beer this is. Patience is a virtue, and I believe this beer is over a year in the making from mash to bottling. A perfect example of craft beer being art, and brewers becoming legends.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Monk's Cafe for their 4th annual RR day.

Sanctification came in the glass looking like juice of sorts. A light gold with some yellow/orange resembling lemon juice. A nice whisp of foamy white head on top, some patches of stick on the upper reaches of the glass. Smell is pretty tame considering it's RR were dealing with. Pretty much a base blond beer with some brett scent and light fruits. Simple yet so nice. A very light sour, tastes of some Begian yeast (I believe Westmalle), earth, light biscuit, banana, semi tropics, sour brett which is more funky than all out sour at this point. Some nice lemon taste on the backend. I remember this being a bit more complex out of a batch 2 bottle so maybe Vinnie tweaked this some. Feel is light bodied and very refreshing. This is very drinkable beer but expensive for what it is so not one to have two or three of. This is something I would bring to a picnic with a girl on a nice sunny day.

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Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sanctification looks like it's been made holy, as if it had been touched by angels: it has a halo of pristine white foam and a body of bright yellow radiance (and no, unlike some, I don't consider Russian River's brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo a god, not the kind capable of this kind of luminosity, anyhow). Despite the light colour and bright tone, however, it's opaque.

The aroma smells like some kind of like a lemon vinaigrette, it mixes citrusy zest with the unusual impression of olive oil. Orchard fruit and floral overtones factor in as well, giving the bouquet a very airy and fresh essence... that is until a mustiness, something akin to a humid barnyard, sets in. Then, quite quickly, you start to make the connection to vinegar.

'Quality control' may sound like an oxymoron when it comes to bacteria and wild yeast fermented sour beer, but Russian River's is astounding. Most brewers wrestle with their wild beers, some struggling with exploding bottles while others can't seem to carbonate their beer at all. But this brewery rarely (if ever) seems to have problems. This has just the right amount of bubbles and a tartness that is assured but far from overwhelming.

This is batch 005 and I've previously sampled batches 001 and 002 and, somewhat astonishingly, all have been remarkably similar in character and quality. The beer has a vinegar-y acidity that cuts through notes of grass straw, oak wood, flower petal and apricot, resembling a sharp and refreshing white wine. I'm not sure why the wine community is so afraid of Brettanomyces - they make a wine-like beer that's actually better than a lot of wines.

Consistency is not an easy thing to ensure when you're gambling in mother nature's casino, but (knock on wood) I can't recall a single sample of Russian River beer that was tainted or spoiled in any way. If you're trying wild ales for the first time, start with one of the many "-tion" beers, any will do but Sanctification is a safe bet. It is not only among the most highest rated but is also probably the one likely to be most agreeable to an unfamiliar audience.

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 2,706 ratings.
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