Sanctification | Russian River Brewing Company

SanctificationSanctification
BA SCORE
96%
Liked This Beer
4.33 w/ 2,742 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:
#418
Reviews:
626
Ratings:
2,742
Liked:
2,632
Avg:
4.33/5
pDev:
8.78%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,186
Gots:
855
Trade:
54
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,742 |  Reviews: 626
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 731 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 2,263 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of ZEB89
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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!

 2,171 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 556 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 880 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden yellow color and a fluffy white head.

S: The nose was not quite as funky as I was expecting. That said, there was some nice lemony acidity and notes of green apples and perhaps grapes.

T: Again, not nearly as funky as I would have thought. Lots of fruit, but primarily green apples and maybe some green melon.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied, good carbonation with a dry finish.

D: A very good beer and one that I wish was more readily available. I'm new to the world of sours at this point, but I like where things are going.

 576 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 1,181 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev -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.

 583 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of jgunther71
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 898 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of stakem
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 1,124 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chippo33
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of BEER88
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96% out of 100 with 2,742 ratings
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