Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Sanctification | Russian River Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
SanctificationSanctification
BA SCORE
4.33/5
Outstanding
2,748 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:
#415
Reviews:
628
Ratings:
2,748
pDev:
8.78%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,185
Gots:
855
Trade:
54
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,748 |  Reviews: 628
Photo of kplooki
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Russian River Sanctification Batch 006 in 375ml bottle into Duvel tulip on July 22, 2012.

Appearance: 4
Golden yellow with slight hazy. Pours with ½ white head that fades to thin covering. Good lacing.

Smell: 4
Soft yeasty and spiciness with notes of lemon and mild biscuit malt, which offers slight sweetness. Reminiscence of both Duvel and Saison Dupoint. But then on top of all of this is a notable sour funk with notes of lemon and slight candy tart. Very close to taste and overall, nice profile.

Taste: 5
Initially get a sour, slightly lemon flavor that is sharp across the palate; with notes of slight spicy and Belgian yeast faintly in the background. A mild hops presence is increasingly detectable midway through offering a mild bitterness and light spicy hops flavor. Then after the initial sourness, the underlying base of the Belgian-style blonde comes through, with soft malt presence (slight notes of biscuit, bready, and a very small touch of honey) that gives a nice balancing sweetness. This malt presence peaks in that late-taste and lingers, but with decreased intensity in the finish. Overall, the beer has great flavor profile that is both clean and refreshing, yet still manages to have depth.

Mouthfeel: 4.5
Nice sourness that is moderate, with good coating of the palate. Semi-sweet profile with a drier finish. Moderate carbonation that is enjoyable and accents refreshing aspect of beer.

Overall: 4.5
An above-average beer that shows you that beer doesn’t have to be overly blold or complex to be great. The use of Brett takes the beer to a whole another level. There is the juxtaposition of simple elements that combine for great balance and depth. Nice element of refreshing, and appropriate alcohol content. Definitely would have again.
Recommend.

 1,786 characters

Photo of udubdawg
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of wellsnb
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Blanco
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

cloudy and straw colored with a pure white, foamy head. little lacing. typical RR "wild" smell but tropical fruits are more prominent in this one. very puckering upfront in the taste as expected, but goes down smoother that the others. great mouthfeel, very lively like a nice champagne. Very drinkable, particularly for the style. This almost seems like a "beginner" version, but still has the punch that a more experience drinker would appreciate.

 449 characters

Photo of dalahodson
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A classic sour from RR. A lazy straw yellow small cream head with lots of lace on the glass. Mouth feel is sour and dry. Flavors of tart apples with a slight sweet aftertaste. Some slight herb bitterness but not from the hops. Kind of like an apple sour candy on drugs.

 270 characters

Photo of DosBeerigos
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C: Cloudy
H: Yellow (almost like urine)
N: Tart Lemons + Funk + Acid = AMAZINGNESS!

This beer is filled with super tart and sweet lemons. Very similar to a lemon Shock-Tart. This beer in fact brings me back to the day when I was a kid and I was searching for the most sour candy available. While I loved finding things that brought a tear to my eye, I would go back to shock tarts as my go-to candy for the time.
Like Shock-Tarts, Sanctification isn’t going to make you pucker your lips to the extent that you begin to cry, but it will make you a happy little person with the balance of tart and sweet.
VERY GOOD BEER!

 621 characters

Photo of Vancer
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok – first wild ale, what a funk-a-ramma! You can really get a whiff of musty funk (none of that horse blanket crap, that’s just too nasty). Pour was lacking any head, but donno if that’s normal or not. Still had some sheet lacing.

What can you say? Sour, and tasty, like a lemon/orange that’s been sitting in the brew. Sharp and tangy, this is not for the faint of heart. Like a Lambic, it takes a bit to get used to. BUT, I recommend this one, IF you like Lambic. Don’t get it and say it’s drain pour ‘cause you’re not accustomed to it.

Thumbs up to this unique brew! Savoring this 750 bomber, got another for cellering.

 636 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip from a 750ml bottle.
Batch 004

A - Pours a gorgeous hazy straw golden color with some nice slight orange hints. There is a huge fluffy adn densly packed white head that is about 2 inches tall. The retention is ridiculus I dont know how im gonna get started.

S - Wow! Delicious fluffy yeast aroma comes through mixed in with some nice light malty grain notes. The funk is so well complemented with the tart notes. Some nice lemmon rind hints are present. Slight clove some ncie spicey notes mixed in with some great woody and barrel notes. The aroma to this beer is near perfection with the funk and yeast and malt notes working perfectly with the tart and vinous notes. There is also some slight fruit juice notes that are well received.

T & M - Starts off with a nice yeast funk that has the traditional husk/barnyard notes. This is well balanced with some great bread notes that are mixed in with some nice spice and slight clove like a more traditional Belgian Pale Ale. Then there is the nice tart notes with some slight vinous and champagne like notes, slight vinegar acidity mixed in with awesome lemony zest and clean tartness for the finish. There is a nice peppery hint around the finish to this beer that makes it very refreshing and drinkable and cuts the tartness to a level that makes it even more drinkable. The body is nice and light-medium with crisp flavors and refreshing vinous notes.

D - This beer is delicious and a good example of an AWA. Especially good for novices of the style. Awesome brew.

 1,542 characters

Photo of EPICAC
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sanctification pours a cloudy, straw-golden color. It's topped by a white head that fades to a thin layer leaving good lace. The aroma is intensely and wonderfully fruity. There are notes of banana, tropical fruit, and a hint of Brettanomyces. Swirling brings out an earthy aroma, and a slight funkiness.

Upfront, this beer is fruity with banana and tropical fruit flavors. A moderate tartness appears early on and is present through to the finish, which has earthy and funky Brett flavors, and a leafy bitterness in the finish. Prickly carbonation gives way to a creamy mouthfeel.

I thought this beer had a nice interplay between the fruitiness and earthy Brettanomyces characters.

 684 characters

Photo of Fcolle2
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 416 characters

Photo of cubbyZilla
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice golden and yellow pour, some good haze to it, soft white 1/2" head on it. Aroma was bad ass, makes you salivate, lemon, gueuzy like aroma, oak. Just phenomenal brett and sour character to it.

Taste is light bodied, but powerfully lemony sour. Like Temptation without the white wine barrel notes. Brettier too.

I really can't think of an inappropriate time for this beer. Wish it was still $8 a bottle. . . sigh.

 427 characters

Photo of bosco7
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003 obtained at the brewpub.

Golden beer top with a cream-like head that sticks around for awhile. Beautiful lacing.

Lemon zest, clove, horse and soured aromas . Smelling it makes my mouth water.

Pucker up this is quite sour. As soon as this hits your mouth a ton of tart lemon pulp flavors dominate. Musty barnyard flavors follow (sounds bad but is oh so tasty). The sourness makes this beer very thirst quenching. Bone dry finish.

Thin mouthfeel is expected from the high levels of attenuation that wild yeast bring to the table. Lots of carbonation. Very nice beer I would recommend this to any beer enthusiast.

 636 characters

Photo of brianmandell
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

 771 characters

Photo of BetterWatching
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden with a quickly disappearing white head.

S- Funky evervescence with hints of pear and other sweets.

T- Before it hits your tongue the funkiness in the smell tells your senses this beer is sour, but the first thing you notice is a the blond ale characteristics. Different fruits; citrus, pear and others with a mild sweetness. They give way to the tart sourness my nose was expecting.

M- Crisp with medium to high carbonation.

O- Very excellent beer. When compared to the rest of the RR catalog I would consider this by far the most sessionable of all the sours. I could sip on this beer everyday after work.

 623 characters

Photo of cfrances33
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6 bottle thanks to Gosox8787, poured into a HF stem.

Pour: Hazy yellow orange, with two fingers of fluffy, sticky white head. Leaves really awesome lacing, and the head hangs around for a while too. I love when beer looks like this.

Smell: Acetic pears and apples, with a nice honey/biscuit sweetness. Some oakiness flows through. Brett is there a little bit in the breadyness, but not much.

Taste: Clean tart peaches and granny smith apples. A light funk, but not a ton. A light white pepper, and a biscuity sweetness. Finishes with more acetic pears.

Mouthfeel: Pretty tart, but not quite sour. Definitely puckers the lips though. Really nice and drinkable at the same time.

Overall: My favorite sour from RR (haven't had Beat yet). Great stuff.

 758 characters

Photo of ONUMello
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
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

 464 characters

Photo of ediaz
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into oversized wine glass. GO JAGS

A: cloudy orange with light fluffy white head. Leaves a thin bit of delicate white lace.

S: sweet tart nose with the signature Brett present. Perhaps a little apricot.

T: wow this is tasty. Bright tartness at first and finishes with bitter light apricot.

M: medium with high carbonation. The carbonation pairs extremely well with the taste, but it could be a little less.

O: a fantastic beer and I'm extremely happy with it. I would trade for it again, shutout to DovaliHops for the bottle!

 538 characters

Photo of dogleg_left
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of alexgash
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 375 ml bottle. Batch 006.

Pours a beautiful golden yellow with lemony edges. Tall, frothy, billowy, beige-white head with incredible lacing up the edge of the glass. Funky, wild nose. Horse blanket, very sharp cheese, lemon zest, grapefruit, and some old hay.

Very lively carbonation, tart acidity, and dryness combine to make this beer very quick on the palate! However, as it sits and settles, slower, more nuanced tasting can be achieved. Tart lemon acidity up front. Some grassy flavors and a hint of grainy malt as well. Overall, the tart, acidic citrus dominates. Musty, yeasty funk comes in mid-palate. Very dry finish, with some almost-pucker-inducing grapefruit. Lingering horse blanket. Delicious and quite drinkable for how "wild" it is. Another great RR sour!

 791 characters

Photo of KidSalami
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 7Sport
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #3.... I've been sitting on these for too long.. shared with the best beer buddies on Friday... mine was poured into MNFG.

perfectly clear.. straw gold.. big white head .... nice lace and fantastic carbonation.

Nose is so much better than my last bottle a long while ago... very funky and plenty of lemon and horsey notes.

Big and bretty.. of course.. funk with dry leather.. reminds me of a super funky saison.. sour remnants are more from the lemon elements.. no where nearly as sour as any other RR American Wild.. as it warms.. so does the funk.. some "cheese" develops.. sorta moldy.. vineous without any wood.. grape skins..

I needed to keep grounded on this one and remember that no wood touched this beer.. purely stainless. It is a science experiment that I am damn glad that I had numerous opportunities to enjoy.

The brett funk is going to continue to develop long after Vinnie says on the label... I may try and trade my last bottle, but seriously.. I doubt it .. I will be happy to do a tasting with my homies in another coupla years...

 1,061 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 543 characters

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 2,748 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.