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: 2,712
Photo of papat444
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy, light orange body. 3 fingers worth of head that recedes. Aroma and flavor are tart fruits, particularly apricots and assorted dried fruits. Very good stuff indeed.

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Photo of tigg924
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful funky beer. Appearance is hazy caution light yellow with 1/4 inch head and high carbonation. Taste is funky with white wine, oak, and funk in the taste. Body is light and bubbly. I prefer other Russian River beers better, but would not hesitate to pick this up again. Great beer.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a very exceptionally balanced sour blonde ale which could serve as an excellent introduction to those acquainting themselves with this style. Once you have tasted, it will be hard to turn back! :-)

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color. a finger and a half of a white head. strong retention and a strong streaky lacing left behind. hazy and opaque but lets some brightness through.

Smell: white wine, peppery, and bready aromas. funky, fruity aromas. some oak. underlying citrus throughout.

Taste: opens with white wine notes, quickly making way to peppery and bready tastes. a funkiness arises with notes of melon and earthiness, moderately strong acidity. citrus flavor pervades this one with lemon bread sweetness, lemon juice acidity and some citrus fruit.

Mouthfeel: moderately full body. funky and dry. moderately strong acidity. could use a bit more carbonation. sticky and lingering funkiness.

Overall: a very nice blonde sour. the earthiness comes through a bit strong for me. It just seems to be missing a little something, not sure if its more fruitiness or more funkiness.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Label says Bottled On: 053014.

A- Pours a medium golden color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small strip of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Bright aroma of tartness with some solid Brett character.

T- Nice soily flavor with some medium tartness and tropical fruit notes. The Brett funk is mild but apparent. Just well-rounded overall with lots of character and oh so drinkable.

M- Somewhat dry with medium carbonation and a light body.

O- A fantastic blonde sour that rides that perfect middle ground between tart and funky.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My good buddy Jon Passow, who as of a few months ago became the Manager of Barrel Room Operations at Anderson Valley, sent me this in a package from northern, CA recently. Bottled on 5/30/14. Poured out of a 12.68 oz bottle into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a somewhat cloudy/hazy, fairly pale golden color with several streams of little bubbles continuously rising to the top of the glass and a nice white head that is about an inch thick when first poured before settling to a solid 1/6 of an inch thick pretty quickly after being poured, so the head retention here does leave a bit to be desired. Head settles even further to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass along with some cluster swirls of surface foam film. Not much lacing though until the beer is pretty close to being done. Has a bready, yeasty funk aroma up front, followed by a definite lemony, citrusy zestyness and some white grape sour must. The taste is pretty much the same, with a bready yeasty funkyness that immediately gives way to a solid lemon zest. This is followed by hints of spiciness and is rounded out with some white grape sour tartness and some woodyness. Even a slight hint of saltyness at the end tastewise. An excellent mix of flavors and they all balance out nicely. Has a crisp and slightly prickly, yet also smooth and frothy, medium bodied mouthful with moderate carbonation. A very enjoyable beer all around here! Worth a try for sure if you can get your hands on it!


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Photo of LittleDon
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly clear and golden. Fruit and grain aroma. Starts mildly sour with a mild bitter finish. Finesse. A bit on the soft side for the style, but still a nice amount of carbonation. Lots of head and lace. Not sure how this could be made better or more interesting.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It's the end of Holy Week, so what better beer to pull out of the cellar than Sanctification!

Bottle from 11/28/2012. I had this beer on tap at Russian River in early 2013, but can't really remember to compare. I've been sitting on the bottles I bought there for a couple of years.

Sanctification is a great mild sour ale. It's got some fruit, a little sweetness, a little tart, and a little funk. It's crisp and refreshing and extremely drinkable (if you like a little tartness). Lovely stuff.

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Photo of dar482
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The aroma offers white grape, white wine, lemon.

The flavor hits of a touch of Warhead tartness along with the fruitiness of tart peach, apricot, candy peach rings and a drying finish.

An underrated one of the Russian River sours.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Monk's charity event on 3-2-15 in Philly. Tasty 8 oz. pour was very crisp and tart. One of the better "tion" ales I've back to the Younger.

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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 spinrsx
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle from Whole Foods San Jose CA for $12 or so

Appearance - Gold colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Breads/grains, lemons, peppery spice mix, citric, funk

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains and some tart lemons. There is also some white grape juice and some woody notes.

Overall - A simply fantastic beer. My bottle is from 2011 and it is holding up very well. Actually reminds me a bit of a Lost abbey cable car in some ways. World class stuff.

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Photo of thebarnesbomb
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Straw yellow in color, brilliant clarity, and a foamy white head that will leave little lacing in my Spieglau tulip glass.

N: Some brett funk up front, with a pronounced lemon zest and fruity white grape must

T: White wine sweetness with a flash of citrus tartness, followed by a lingering barnyard funk

M: Very effervescent

F: Crisp and dry with a lip-smacking tartness. Goes well with an aged sharp white cheddar.

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Photo of Buttermilk
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a ISO tasting glass from the "Vinnie" bottle - Aroma is funky. I let it warm and got some major barnyard and hay with some lemon in there. The flavor is crisp and lightly tart. It's just enough to make your mouth water a bit. I got light fruit notes at first, light apple, similar to a cider or white wine. This beer is so drinkable and shares similarities to a much lesser alcohol wild beer or geuze, it's surprising this is a nearly 7% beer.

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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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Photo of Kinsman
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fills the glass with a bright clear golden body and a bright white head. Notes of green apple and citrus upfront with a bit of musty funk to round it out.

Tart and fruity on the palate but not overly sour. Notes of lemon and grapefruit are balanced out by the Brett funk, but it's not in-your-face. A more subtle sour beer that can be enjoyed by anyone.

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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 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 aleigator
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Michael for the bottle.

Has a slightly clouded, sunny yellow-orange color, with a foamy head.

The nose is utmost tart, supported by leather and a huge load of lemon. Has an almost biting glue note to it, among slightly spiced yogurt. The aromas also provide a pleasant fruitiness, by revealing lots of sour lemons.

Begins with soft, slightly musty, earthy malts and a recognizable, lively carbonation. The carbonation unravels an acidic brett sourness, joined by a whole bunch of zingy lemons, while some barnyard funk and leather adding to the malts, providing an enjoyable balance. The sourness of this beer is incredibly citraic, with a metallic, fermented hint towards the finish, creating an unbelievable refreshing, complex beer. Creates a feeling, as if I am biting on a lemon stone, followed up by chewing on a chunk of its white peel, wrapped up by a pleasant earthiness. The supportive malts are recognizable at every stage, while it comes along with subtle spiciness, very soft on the palate.

The beer finishes with a distinct, acidic sourness, while a sweet malt note provides an impression of adding ripe lemons.

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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 jooler
2.86/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This is really interesting. This is my first sour ale ever. This smells like a sour shock top. The taste is like a really fermented and watered down shock top. Sours are not my thing

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Photo of CJNAPS
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had this on draft at the brewery and thought it was great . I have a bottle doing a little shelf time, I hope I can let it sit for awhile to see how it taste after some time. But changes are I drink that bad boy lol

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Photo of breadwinner
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A textbook Brett'd blonde ale. If you want to experience what Brett does to a beer without any barrel treatments/adjuncts added/etc., this is your brew. Quite drinkable though, balancing spicy phenols and a touch of earthy/barnyard notes with some hoppiness and just a touch of malt sneaking in. A brew to recline on the patio with.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.96/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This pours a hazy white good with cottony white foaming.
There's a lightly lemony note to the aroma with a slight wet hay character.
This light funk comes out further on the palate, with a Bretty lemony hay flavor that doesn't overpower in the least. Utterly fantastic. I had this on tap but would love to see what some age does to change it further.

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Photo of muchloveforhops3
4/5  rDev -7%

On tap @ Russian River; draft into chalice

P- gold w/ a 1f white head; a moderate amount of lacing left behind
N- medium; mainly fruity notes (apple, pear, and banana)
T- follows the nose, w/ moderate brett tartness; dry finish; delicious and well-balanced
MF- light-bodied, w/ medium-high carbonation; crisp/spritzy
O- another great wild from Russian River; medium-high drinkability; no complaints here

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 2,712 ratings.
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