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: 623 | Ratings: 2,702
Photo of zeledonia
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 005, bottled 1 December 2010. Have another one sitting in the cellar, wanted to try this while it was still reasonably young.

Pours a pale golden yellow, slightly hazy. Small white head, a half-finger or so, that recedes pretty quickly. A little bit of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smells like sweet lemon sour candy. Interesting tart lemon, with a layer of sweetness underneath it, kinda sugary. Not a whole lot else there, though - it's gone quickly, leaving me wanting more from it.

Taste is all right in the front of the mouth. Citrus, potent sour lemon, some white grape lightness. The sour is quite strong and balanced well by the sweetness, but doesn't have the depth I want from it. Tasty, but not real complex, and not super interesting to me.

Fairly light-bodied, decent carbonation. Dry finish.

A decent sour ale, but I don't find anything remarkable about it. It's exactly what it says it is, a sour blonde ale, and it's good, but it's rather one-dimensional. Maybe my expectations of RR are too high, but I was hoping for more out of this beer.

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Photo of denver10
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark yellow with a white head and nice lacing. Tart aroma of grapes and apple with a touch of sweetness hiding in there and some controlled funk. Kinda wine like in flavor with the grapes and apples teaming up to give it some sweetness and a nice tartness bordering on sourness, a little wood in there as well and a wonderfully controlled funkiness. Medium bodied, not much carbonation. Overall, a nice enjoyable wild ale though maybe a touch too much wine-like for my personal tastes.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden glowing color with a smooth and creamy head that lasted a looong time. This beer has one of those perfect heads made up of even, small bubbles that lasts forever. This is beautiful beer to behold.

Smell: Nice malty aroma with a yeasty aroma mixed in. It is a little light in quantity of aroma though the quality is nice.

Taste: Sour up front, but not too tart, with a rich malty sweet ending. There is a refreshing citrus flavor that gives the beer a nice fruity character.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, subtle. There is a cleansing wateriness (in a good way) that comes up after the sourness. For a beer of decent strength like this it is remarkably refreshing and light.

Drinkability: A very good and drinkable beer that is welcome in my mouth anytime!

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Photo of Nashvillain
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, murky yellow with a thin, bubble lined head. Extensive lacing rings the glass. Color is a nice gold that looks very appealing in the light.

Had a hard time picking out too much smell on this one. Mostly get citrus and a sharp acidity with some funk in the background.

Taste is similar to the smell, a mid-level sourness on the front end with some considerable funk in the body of the beer and a nice, clean, dry finish. It's definitely well made, but in relation to their other offerings, the price, and reputation of the brewery this seems tame. I'll admit though, if it were cheap and available I'd drink the hell out of it, but that goes for a lot of others too.

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Photo of Auracom
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikey for getting this one to me. 6 oz. poured into a Cantillon flute on August 5th, 2012.

A - Another soft yellow/peachy coloring, one finger of a light eggshell head. Great lacing,

S - Lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and a great balancing Brett character. Really no funk, shows more of fresh barnyard aroma.

T - Front-palate effervescence translates to semi-puckering bitterness at mid. Slight waves of lemon rind, grass, and very fresh hay. Relatively sour apple skin aftertaste.

M - Very high carbonation, light body. Semi-dry finish.

D - Very easy to crush this one. The sour elements are beyond accessible and it does the job in terms of avoiding funk while still giving off apparent Brett. Easy recommendation here.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 375 mL bottle corked and caged. Batch 005, served chilled into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange color. There is almost no head here at all and also very little visible carbonation.

Aroma: Notes of green apple, lemon, and pinepple are all there in nice harmony. A whole bunch of brett funk as well gives it the horse blanket, barnyard note. Also, a slightly cheesy note is hidden in the background.

Taste: Citrus, lemon, green apple, and tropical fruit notes hit first. Very flavorful and fruity upfront. As this begins to open up, and the fruit lessens on the palate, the brett really starts to shine through. Tons of horse blanket and barnyard. Very light and balanced. Definitely more funk to this than sour.

Mouthfeel: A light body and not much carbonation, as the appearance would suggest.

Overall, a really nice, funk wild ale. My biggest gripe was teh lack of carbonation in my bottle. Some more would have really heightened this beer. I really did enjoy some of the flavors though. That said, this was probably my least favorite Russian River sour, but I would definitely revisit sometime.

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Photo of steeb
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: hazy golden with a nice thick fluffy head

S: sour, slight funk, some fruit like peaches

T: about the same as the smell, slight tartness on the forefront and a slight funk on the end

M: medium bodied, with some lingering qualities

O: A decent Russian river beer. Nowhere near as bad as New Belgiam's Brett Beer. Very nice balance between funk and tart.

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Photo of tjkinate
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch# 006

I am new to the variety, so before reviewing I compared to 3 other highly reviewed brews.

A: A short lived, single fingered, white head topped this cloudy, golden bodied brew. The head dissipates to a white ring leaving behind some lacing.

S: Sour notes of cherries, pomegranate, and lemon.

T: Lemon tartness, grassy, funkiness follows conceding to lighter, sweeter lemon flavors.

M: Medium light, silky, good carbonation.

O: My first Wild Ale, think this variety takes some getting used to.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to Duvel tulip (batch 006... I think, the label is rather worn, though I am fairly certain). The beer pours a hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger white bubbly head with some retention and some lacing. The nose is that of a faint biscuit malt base with lemony citrus, apple and fig fruit tones together with a hint of funk in the yeast. The flavor begins with an immediate acidic assault on the palette. The fruit found in the nose then rushes in and mellows the acid a bit. As the beer warms the sour character becomes more prevalent as does a green apple flavor. Mildly bitter with a faint hint of a biscuit base. The beer finishes with a linger sour apple character on the tongue. Lighter bodied and dry in nature and very carbonated. Overall, this is a good beer, not my favorite wild from RR but not bad. A little too acidic for my preference but I wouldn't refuse another.

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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 pmccallum86
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great straw yellow color, very good.

Smell is great, very funky and tart smelling.

Taste brings the funk, not very sour or tart, just straight up funky. Good beer but all funk and no sour.

Smooth, medium carbonation, and creamy mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, one of the most drinkable wilds out there.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared the bottle with my wife.

The beer pours a light yellow, golden straw with a light carbonation at the edge of my tulip glass.

The nose is sweet but mostly a Brett tart, apples hints of oak and a little vanilla.

The carbonation is upfront and reveals more tart apples, and Brett funk. The soundness lingers as the beer dries. There are also white wine note

Good beer but not russian rivers best

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Photo of mobius387
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into snifter, batch 112812

appearance: bright and light sunny yellow with a HUGE white foamy head with the pour that sticks around. its like whip cream on top of my beer. its awesome

aroma: stale wet woody/oaky nose, not much else. not very enjoyable

palate: light bodied, softly tart, not very acidic, not a big boozy presence. very well done

taste: lemon-grass, grapes, oak, some hops, brett, very robust

overall: not as tart as the other RR sours, not as powerful or as big bodied, but very nice, lots of unique flavors, scary drinkable, and overall a great beer.

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Photo of gandres
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Tap to glass @ Russian River Brewing tap room@ Santa Rosa,CA
A: pale, cloudy, hazy, minimal head, white foam, lacing
A: Fruity
T: heavily sour,
MF: fizzy
OA: Excellent beer for the style, not to repeat, look for- not my preferred style
Drank: April 14, 2016

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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 Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a slightly dirty bright yellow color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and some light lacing. Aroma of Brett is quite intense and dominates with light tart and dry notes also being noticeable. Taste is mostly dominated by dry and tart notes with some malt also perceptible. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though maybe a tad too one-dimensional with the Brett notes and not my favourite RR beer.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Russian River Sanctification

Appearance: straw yellow, medium-large head, and a little lacing.

Smell: sour grain.

Taste: sourness, grains, and a nice barley flavor.

Mouthfeel: medium, carbonated, and slightly bitter.

This is an interesting sour. It starts off as a normal sour, but then turns into a blonde leaving the sourness as a recent memory.

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

Big thanks to mikereaser for this thankyou for being a proxy. Batch 005

It pours a cloudy dark straw topped by a finger of pure white, then a lasting skim. Some nice gargoyle arms of lace paint the inner glass.

Light straw and funk front the bouquet, with sweet, green apple, a little hormonal scent, and a touch of mild tart in there. Less complex and strong than others of this style, yet quite good.

Tart green apple invites light barnyard along for a ride that finishes with some delicious tart and sweet rolling into a semi dry finish that lets the brett do the talking. Not as complex as others, but quite delicious.

Nicely low carb., but a bit thin for style, with a finish that could be a bit drier to really punch the flavors home.

This beer rocks, wish I could rate it higher, but there are too many of the finest Wild Ales ever made against which it competes. Highly recommended.

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

There are a lot of "wants" and not many "gots" for this one, so thank you Matt (aka. Huhzubenbuh) for bringing this brew to a recent tasting. What a treat!

A: Pours a semi-dark yellow, with milky type cloudiness, and a generous foamy white head that was obviously the product of bottle refermenting.

S: Wow, the bottle says that this was "Fermented with 100% Brettanomyces" and really, that trademark sourness is all I'm getting on the nose.

T: Not a sour as I was expecting. The intense yeast in the beer washes away a lot of the "Sour Patch Kid" quality, actually making the brew a bit more refreshing. The finish is somewhat dry.

M: The sour hits, but doesn't linger and the beer is not on the sweet side of the spectrum at all.

D: I wonder if I'll ever get to try this brew again? I'll sure I will at some point and I sure hope so. Look out winemakers....there's a new enemy in town - "Sanctification."

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a finger of light white head. Appears very carbonated and the retention is great.

S: Lots of tart white wine aroma with light brett funk in the way of wet hay. Obviously a very dry beer with quite a bit of citrus smells reminding me of a Berliner Weisse.

T: More sour than I would have guessed from the smell, but equally as dry. I get quite a bit of white wine, but again in a dry, tart way. Very clean flavor - pleasant but not particularly complex. I get a slight plastic flavor, particularly in the aftertaste.

M: Very light and highly carbonated.

O: A very clean American Wild Ale. Dry, tart, light to moderate sourness, with a mild white wine aroma. Good, but not great.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 01/28/14.

Pours translucent honey gold. The 1/4 inch white head quickly fades to a thin ring on top and leaves faint spots of lace. There are traces of floating sediment.

The smell is of apple cider, mild vinegar and saltine crackers.

The taste is of tart apple cider, vinegar and white grape skins.

The texture is light bodied with low carbonation.

Boldly tart up front, as your tastebuds adjust, the fruity elements begin to dominate the flavor. Light and refreshing, this is a solid sour offering.

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Photo of bashiba
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very cloudy almost white yellow color with a quickly disappearing fluffy white head.

Has a nice sour smell, lightly fruity and spicy with almost a touch of balsamic.

A very mild sour, just a touch of sour up front that is quickly taken over by a nice strong lemongrass and citrus quality. There is just enough bitterness in the finish from the hops to make it very balanced rounding off the beer nicely. The tartness intensifies a bit as it warms up, especially in the finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly crisp with the tartness with a nice light and carbonated body.

A pretty nice sour.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4 poured into a Stone Levitation flute. Review from notes.

4.0 A: Cloudy yellow medium-dark yellow color. Two fingers of frothy white head. Good retention and some lacing.

4.5 S: Apple cider. Loads of funkiness with lots of fruitiness as well. Barnyard, dank hay, wild apple, pear, and peach. Lots of spiciness too with clove and something similar to corriander.

4.0 T: Mildly acidic for just a touch of sourness. Fairly dry, but fruity with peach, pear, and wild apple again. Funky with horse blanket and muskiness. This didn't have a whole lot of flavor, especially for being all Brett. Good, not great.

3.5 M: Lighter body. Sour and dry finish. Good carbonation. Could be creamier.

3.5 D: Somewhat boring for a RR wild, but still solid.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank at our Epic Chicago Tasting (I'm like 200 reviews behind).

A - Light golden color with a bit of off-white head. Not much retention with a slight bit of random lacing that didn't look all that great.

S - Reminds me of a toned down version of Temptation with some brett funk in it. Solid.

T - It tastes pretty good actually, really does taste like Temptation with some brett funk. Decent amount of sourness, with a little bit of oak, brett kind of detracts in my opinion. Nice sour bite on the end.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied, appropriate carbonation.

D - I think this is getting the RR sour benefit here, it's good, but not nearly as good as some of their other offerings. I like Temptation much better.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06 alongside a temptation, supplication, and consecration.

batch 006

straw yellow, head is thin and bubbly and gone quickly. not the prettiest, but not bad looking. nose is sweet tart, apple, pear, not much of the funk but nice smelling. only a touch of funky mustiness. very tart taste. sweet. candy-like. again, the brett is not too present, but tehre is a hint of mustiness. tart is not mouth puckering, good feel. overall, it is good, but not great. certainly as advertised, a blonde sour...but i was a bit bummed that the brett was so in the background.

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 2,702 ratings.
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