Sanctification | Russian River Brewing Company

SanctificationSanctification
BA SCORE
4.33/5
2,744 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:
627
Ratings:
2,744
pDev:
8.78%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,186
Gots:
856
Trade:
54
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,744 |  Reviews: 627
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The chalkboard described this as a 100% brett fermented Belgian pale.

Appearance - Perfectly clear gold, a shade or two darker than a lager. A gentle pour produces about 2 inches of white froth. Retention is very solid, especially coming from a growler.

Smell - Incredibly aromatic and complex. Lemon juice, barnyard funk, horseblanket and leather. Sweeter aromas of banana and honey reveal themselves as the beer approaches room temperature.

Taste & mouthfeel - Initially quite sour, with pronounced flavors of lemons, bananas and granny smith apples. A subtle malty sweetness slowly reveals itself, mixing with the puckering sourness to create a surprisingly balanced flavor. Light bodied, perhaps a bit thin on the palate. The sweeter flavors come out more and more in the finish, ultimately leaving a faint honey-like flavor on the palate. Acidity and bitterness are fairly low. Exceptional stuff.

 904 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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

375 ml bottle into tulip, batch 005. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Some soapy lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of huge lemon, grass, sour apple, pepper, hay, bread, yeast spices, and nice funkiness. Great aromas here with fantastic balance. Not overly funky or sour with a great mix of all aromas. Taste of big sour apple, tart lemon, grass, hay, pepper, spices, bread, yeast spices, and funkiness. Lingering notes of tart apple, lemon, pepper, bread, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Light acidity present on the finish as well, but is nicely balanced and not overpowering. Medium carbonation and body. Incredibly drinkable and smooth; great balance with the acidity. Incredibly crisp and clean body with a perfect amount of carbonation for the style. Alcohol is not noticed at all for 6.75% as expected. Overall this is a smooth and incredible wild ale. So much great complexity and balance.

 1,027 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this. Poured into snifter.

Pours a light layer of white head. Color is a bright golden prairie straw. Good retention.

Aroma: Very golden ale like. Some herbal flavors with some floral notes. It is funky and has a decent amount of brett. It has some lemon citrus and a bit of sweetness.

Taste: Very similar to the nose. More brett here. Lemon citrus and sweetness. It has herbal and floral notes with a touch of spice. Again, very golden ale like with Belgian yeast. Has a grape/wine like flavor with some oak. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. Pretty clean. Lighter bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, a really nice sour beer for RR. It was different from their others, but still good. Pretty drinkable. I was a fan of this one.

 798 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Russian River Brewing Co. "Sactification"

Look: Hazy yellow-gold body beneath a bright white head that displays good retention and average lacing.

Smell: Wet wood (cedar?) and straw, some mud, grass, slightly metallic, dried pine needles, and dried spice (coriander seed) that hints at barnyard.

Taste: Tart with citrus and other fruits. It's kind of non-descript but it suggests lemon and orange/tangerine with some cherry and pear and apple. It's dry and mineralish with some light chalkiness, similar to citrus pith in a way. It's also grassy and subtly herbal. It's only moderately bitter but the Brettanomyces character leads it to a dry finish.

Feel: Light-medium in body and gently zesty.

Overall: Refreshing, interesting, and quite pleasant. one of the original 100% Brettanomyces beers! Well worth seeking out.

 826 characters

Photo of chinchill
2.69/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle. Not counting a couple of collaboration beers, this is my first R. River - too bad it has to be a Brett beer. I have a very limited tolerance for Brett and even less for vinegar. With that in mind:

Pours light amber, hazy, with a small head. The aroma bodes poorly: Brett/wild ale with some vinegar. Intimidating. Given that, the taste was a bit better but still too funky. Nicely sour with a hint of old bread. Fine medium-light feel.

 449 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #6

A: Pours a lightly cloudy straw to pale golden yellow in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall bright white head that reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of funkiness - like an aromatic cheese or almost feet - along with a lighter amount of sourness. To me, this is a very inviting aroma.

T: Similar to the smell but the sourness (an acidic sourness) is much stronger in the taste than the smell. Light amounts of lemon citrus and just a hint of vinegar.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Prickly.

O: Delicious and complex, an amazing sipping beer and something I would be happy to have multiple times again in the future. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Thanks to my amazing wife for bringing this one home from a business trip to LA.

 976 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

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

Photo of nickfl
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with just over one finger of white foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The foam dissipates fairly quickly but leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - Soft, bready malt with notes of pear and pineapple as well as lighly funky brett and herbal hops in the background.

T - Rich malt with light, lemony sourness up front. Some more lemon peel and black pepper notes come out in the middle with more bread-like malt. The beer finishes with notes of pithy lemon, moderately bitter herbal hops and black pepper. Some light, herbal funk lingers on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Very nicely done, as expected. This is quite reminiscent of Orval, with a lighter malt body and more citrus character. The aroma has quite a bit of earthy funk, the element that brings Orval to mind, while the wild character comes out more as a lemony tartness in the flavor profile. Well balanced, relatively simple and absolutely brilliant. It certainly wasn't a cheap bottle, but this is one of those rare beers that is genuinely a bargain at any price.

 1,098 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 283 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Poured a hazy golden yellow with a nice finger of frothy head that retained well. Yeasty aroma, with lots of light fruits and some underlying spice. Yeasty and grassy to the taste, a sweet malty base, with sour notes of lemon zest, pear, apples, and white wine, and a tad of peppery spice in there somewhere. Crisp hop bitterness and general sourness gives a nice dry finish. Light-medium mouthfeel, and very nice to drink.

 464 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/20/09. Part of a full day of Russian River beers here. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a hazy orange gold with a thin brite-white head. Retains at just about the same level, leaving back a nice foamy cascade of lace. The aroma is quite refreshing and crisp smelling, with a fruity citric tartness to it, as well as a touch of funk and spice and some lightly sweet backing character.

The taste is fruity with lemon and green apple character which imparts a nice firm crisp tartness to the profile. What I really like about this, is that it starts tart and stays that way during the duration of the glass, never once coming off as souring at any time. Spiciness and some sugary sweet character punch up the background, nicely complimenting the fruit and Brett and giving the overall profile some nice polish. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied with a lower feeling carbonation at times. While this has a touch of a viscous feel (almost like it was barrel aged), it's definitely on the lighter side, enabling all of those crisp flavors to go down very easily.

What a great beer! The balance between the tartness of the citrus and Brett was fantastic, with both taking equal control of the profile, giving this an exquisitely fresh and crisp feel. Great drinkibility on this as well, I killed this glass in no time flat! Another really great tasting Wild Ale from Russian River!

 1,424 characters

Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of atrocity
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 2,744 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.