Depuration | Russian River Brewing Company

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73 Ratings

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 06-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 |  Reviews: 54
Photo of Douglas14
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden color with an awesome head. Lots of sour in the nose with great brett character. Hints of raisins and peaches with lots of white wine grapes. Absolutely phenomenal. Lots of juiciness to it also. Finishes dry. I feel fortunate to have been able to drink this. Thanks, Travis!

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Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of francisweizen
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Please note: this review is of a barrel sample of this beer. It was not cask conditioned in any way, just served from a cask completely un-conditioned. This is the closest serving type I could think of to use though.

Tulip glass sampled right from the barrel (chardonnay/french oak/about 8 years old) at Russian River. Thanks Vinnie! This is a nice looking brew. Hazy golden yellow with a small loose head of white which is expected as this brew was still in the cask, and has not been bottled, or properly carbonated for serving via cask or draught. The aromas are very similar to that of the temptation ale. This one has Brett, lacto, and pedio i'm pretty sure so the funk is definately there. This brew also had a bunch of grapes (muscat I think) added right into the barrel. This makes the aroma even more acidic and sour, and makes it sort of like a Vigneronne sort of thing. The taste is funky, lactic, acidic, sour, fruity, and wine-like. Mind-blowing, to put it another way. Mouthfeel is slick and sticky, but smooth and the drinkability is insanely good. i can't wait until this is bottled or another batch is made ready for draught. I really want to get back out to RR, and Cali in general and i'm soooo glad the bottles Vinnie is relasing are making their way to the philly area in abundance! We are lucky. If you see this brew, try it!

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Photo of Mudpuppet
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to JeffKrenner for the chance to try this incredible beer.

A- Poured from a 375ml bottle from Batch 1. Poured into a Reidel snifter. Poured a hazy orange that is hazy. No head to speak of.

S- Sour and funk for sure. Orange, lemon, sour cherry. No crazy Brett funk in the nose of this one though. I say that but then I get a little barnyard through the citrus and fruits. This is a very complex nose. One of the best I have smelled.

T- Sour notes at first which gives way to lemons and bright funk if that is even a flavor. The sour notes really bring out the fruit notes and flavors. I get some slight pale malts in the aftertaste. I really love this beer.

M- A thin beer on the tongue. Medium to light carbonation obviously from refermentation similar to a champagne.

D- Man I might move to the Russian River valley just to be close to this brewery. I cannot wait to try the other Russian River brews. Vinnie you are a genius!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled acquired via trade. Thanks Brian! Shared at my tasting on August 7, 2010 alongside six other Russian River wild ales.

Depuration appears a slightly hazy yellow color. There is only a tiny head which leaves no discernible lacing.

The aroma is wonderful. Grapes and a general tannic quality along with hints of oak barrel.

I really enjoyed this. I only wish that there was more, as this was a 375mL bottle. I enjoyed the tannic or wine-like aspect of the beer very much. I definitely found a grape presence in there as well. Russian River wild ales are some of the best beers on earth, in my humble opinion. I feel very fortunate to have sampled this rare delicacy.

M: Very tannic, with a slight vinegar bite in the finish. Terrifically sour and wonderful.

D: Of course, I'd love to try this again. Sadly, there are no plans for a re-release. A great experience.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Andy for bringing this one to the tasting yesterday. I'm very excited to be reviewing this one.

Review #400

A: The pour is a very hazy golden color with some small carbonation bubbles, but not too much in the way of head formation.

S: The grapes really stand out despite this bottle being about four years old. The fruit provides a very interesting combination of buttery sweetness and tartness which is very inviting. There is a bit of lemony lactic tartness to the nose as well.

T: The nose translates almost perfectly to the palate, with the flavor being a little bit better (though that's certainly hard to do). Again, the grapes really come through strongly and have such an amazing contrast. The front end features the sweetness of the grapes with the back end being tart, fruity, and dry.

M: The beer is smooth, and despite the low visual appearance of carbonation, there are a nice amount of bubbles on the tongue.

D: Easily one of my favorite beers I've had the pleasure of trying. It's too bad this one won't be made again and that it's so hard to come by.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to stowehop for this treat. Batch 001. Served in a Duvel tulip and shared with BeerTruth after a long adventurous drive from Maine, followed by a little bar-hopping in the 'Cuse.

A - Pours with a finger of foam that eventually settles to a thick ring and some haze. Not much in the way of lacing. Hazed apricot body that is quite pleasant to look at.

S - Sweet Jesus! Even though this is 3+ years old, it sizzles with the intensity of fresh white grapes, tropical brett notes, general funkiness, wine oak, and light acetic acid. I think the oak has dissipated some from the initial reviews, and revealed the rich, deep, complex web of flavors. It's got all the things I love about sours, working in wonderful harmony.

T - The taste is a little smoothed out, but only a bit. Wonderful forefront of sweet ripe grapes and funky fruity brett, and a finish of sourness and white wine tannins. You can perceive the relationship to Temptation.

M - Superb. Soft, but lively, carbonation that supports a body that is big enough for 7%, but light enough to be refreshing. No perceptible alcohol. Finishes dry, but never reaches parched proportions.

D - I didn't know this was made from Temptation when I drank it, but looking back that makes a lot of sense seeing how similarly I scored the two beers. Again, a dark horse beer emerges from a crowded field to be the highlight of a wonderful weekend.

Why is this not being made again? I will buy Russian River Muscat grapes if that's what it takes...

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Is there a reason why everyone is sleeping on this beer?

Before I go on any RANTS here, when a neo-con defenestrates...

First, I must give props to my man James Bonomo for procuring this rare and precious brew. Well done ole chap.

Appearance - brilliant piercing liquid gold.

Smell - quite subdued, slight lactic sourness, mild honey malt aroma.

Taste - mind-blowing. Like a chilled Riesling and your favorite Pilsner beer with a crisp tartness. Slight tannin from the barrel aging. A gem.

Mouthfeel - out of this world crispness, dry as a bone, but not astringent.

Drinkability - the most perfect beer I've had to date on a hot muggy day in NYC.

Bravo, Vinnie. You've outdone yourself.

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Photo of Deuane
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Let's see...I liked Temptation and this is Temptation WITH Chardonnay, well I think I am in love already!

Batch 001

A-Clear, deep golden yellow with a thin bright white head that left spotty lace.

S-Insane amount of buttery Chardonnay with a nice backing dose of oak and some grape tartness.

T-Big buttery oak flavour from the Chardonnay. Once this passes a healthy sourness kicks in. This is a seriously balanced and flavourful beverage!

M-Light bodied and VERY smooth with a dry oak finish and long lasting flavours.

D-This is simply spectacular to me. I am a big fan of buttery oak Chardonnays and of sours so to meld the two together in a near perfect balance, well! My favorite RR -tion beer I have had to date!

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Photo of illidurit
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Appearance is a dark peach color with a hint of pink, very interesting. 2 finger white head of champagney bubbles. No retention or lace, appropriate for the wininess of this beer.

Nice champagne scent. Tart grapes, vague vinegar, brett.

Excellent tart taste, a beautifully sour, reminiscent of champagne. Barnyardy, bandaidy, all the crazy brett tastes that make RR beers so unique. Delicious.

Despite the fizzy head, the carbonation isn't disruptive at all, in fact it's pretty perfect. Medium alcohol level, refreshingly tart. Smooth and pleasant.

This beer's rarity isn't the only reason I wish I had more. It's a great concoction by the RR guys.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #900! And what a way to do it with another MASSIVE tick on my Russian River -tion Quest... Shared this bottle at one of our weekly tastings with beeruser, funkydelic, and mikesgroove! Batch 001! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a murky red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, funk, caramel, toffee, wood, subtle sour, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, BIG funk, wood, slight sour, toffee, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew was just plain excellent. Based on the past reviews from a few friends of mine I was concerned about bringing this one out to this tasting due to it being a complete 'gagger'. However, this one turned out to be quite excellent. In all honesty this brew is what I would think an excellent barrel aged Barleywine would taste like if it was infused with Brett. Just plain excellent notes of caramel and toffee to combine with the funkiness in this one. Really well done brew and it appears to have held up quite well in my cellar for some time. Glad I got to share this one with a group of great friends!

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Photo of Floydster
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle acquired in a trade with Faro, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this brew

Batch 001, bottle says it can be aged for up to three years, split with my girlfriend last night, poured into my Duvel tulip glass

A-Deep orange color with strong pink highlights, 1/2 off white bubbly head, lots of tiny bubbles, settled almost immediately, some lacing at the beginning

S-Grapes, oranges, lemons, sugar, faint cherries, vanilla, oak, sourness, green apple, vinegar, and a little brettanomyces

T-Pretty sour when it was chilled, lots of grapes and cherries, then the oak accents shined through once it warmed a little, a few other fruity flavors including cherries and sour apples, not much of a malt or hop profile, just funky tartiness most of the way through, mild vinegar taste, dry like a chardonnay in the finish

M-Tarty but subtle mouthfeel, tons of carbonation, taste lingered for a long time, crisp and dry, medium body

D-Could have drank a few more of this easily, light on the stomach, taste keeps you coming back, alcohol is hidden very well even though it is seven percent

Sadly this will not be brewed again, with white grapes at least, you do not hear much about this beer but it deserves some serious recognition, one of Russian River's better wild ales, would love to try again someday but the chances of that are pretty slim, highly recommended

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001. Sunny tangerine with multiple fine bubbles buffeting a light shower of falling yeast as they rise, eventually plinking into the bottom of a barely beige crown. The foam is crackly and unsticky. It doesn't look very attractive as a result and is leaving the glass untouched. Not an auspicious start.

The nose gets things back on track in a major way. Who would have ever imagined that microorganisms and beer would be such a wonderful combination? Depuration uses two different yeast (wine and Brettanomyces) and two different bacteria (Lactobacillus and Pediococcus). That's both ironic and amusing in an ale whose name means 'to cleanse or purify or to become cleansed or purified'.

Simply put, the aroma is an olfactory symphony. The critters add a stunning amount of funky complexity to a base beer that would have probably have been just as aromatic and just as delicious on its own. The fruitiness of the Chardonnay grapes is easily appreciated, as is the buttery oakiness imparted by the barrels.

It would have been almost impossible for RR Depuration to taste as fantastic as it smells. Vinnie has given it a good shot, though. If you like sour funk, seek this one out as soon as possible. Some might think the combination of Brett, Lacto and Pedio is over the top. They would be wrong. Just be aware what you're in for before you pull the cork.

White wine comparisons cannot be ignored. No surprise given that 60 lbs of Chardonnay grapes were used per barrel. The beer has a tart fruitiness and an underlying sweetness that marries perfectly with the more esoteric flavors that are zinging this way and that each time the glass is upended. What a treat for the tongue!

Batch 001 is approximately 2.5 years into its recommended 3 year lifespan for aging. The flavor has probably never been better, but the mouthfeel is showing signs of wear. It's a little light and the carbonation is on the harsh and fizzy side (better later in the bottle). Bottle conditioning can be hit or miss... and this one is more hit than miss.

Depuration is yet another outstanding American wild-sour ale from one of the planet's master brewers. It's too bad that Russian River no longer ships their beer across the entire country. Hopefully, those days will return. This lip smacking, puckery, funktastic masterpiece is worth whatever shipping charges are required.

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Photo of fbc24
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of flexabull
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large Spiegelau wine glass.

Beer is a bright gold color, slightly hazy, and with a small white head.

Aromas are wild and funky. There are notes of white wine, vinegar, and straw. Very pungent smelling beer.

Taste is much more subtle than I expected. There is a very bright, crisp, and dry white wine like character, with subtle fruit flavors and an underlying slightly sweet maltiness and a touch of oak. The finish is sour and tart, not overly sour like some of the other Russian River Wild Ales, but it matches well with the subtle characteristics of this one.

Mouthfeel is nice. I have mentioned this before, Russian River always has very nice mouthfeel in their beers.

Drinkability is very good. A nice subtle yet interesting beer. Not quite as good as some of the other Wild Ales from RR... but still an excellent and pleasant one to drink.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bitterbill for this brew

Batch 001

Awesome pop/smoke when opened. Poured into a chalice a nice slightly cloudy golden orange color, tons of carbonation, nice little fizzy white head which dissappears quickly, no lacing. The nose is malty, tangy, citrus, grapes, some spices, slight oak, maybe some caramel thrown in. The taste is malty, tangy, nice touch of grapes, citrus, and a nice touch of oak. Medium body. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from RR, highly recommended.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to Calton for brining this one to our tasting last night. a long time want of mine i was thrilled to see it show up. poured into a snifter.

not at all what I expected as a nice brown colored liquid came chugging out of that bottle. small bubbles around the side and very hazy look to it. aroma is soo odd. lots of toffee, caramel, buttery notes that are layered on top of an odd sour note, but it really really works. flavor was more of the same, you can tell how sweet this was originally as it still maintains massive complexity and a wonderful smooth finish. such rich toffee and complex favor in the finish it was simply unlike anything i have had before.

overall just a superbly wonderful beer. enough good cannot be said of this.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to knock off one of my bigger whales thanks to MasterSki at our 4th of July get together. This more than makes up for all the malt liquors I was fortunate enough to "enjoy" with him. Milestone review #1050. Thanks to nerd as well for hooking Alex up with this.

A - A cloudy, yellow beer with a very minimal white head. The head did not stick around for long and left the sides of the glass clean.

S - A nice tartness, although I'm suspecting it has mellowed a little bit with time. Some oak and a little bit of fruity sweetness, but the grapes are the thing that really stands out for me here. I'm assuming they are chardonnay grapes, or something else used in white wine.

T - Taste is surprisingly smooth, with an equally smooth white grape flavor. Some decent oak and barrel notes, and a good tartness although not as much as temptation. The grapes come through quite cleanly on the end and then get a little tart to finish things off.

M - Smooth, with some active but soft carbonation and a little bit lighter on the body.

O - Great beer, would have liked to have had one of these to pop open every year just to see how it progresses, but am truly happy to have tried it when I did.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1

Pours clear copper with an orange tinge. A veil of white yeast slowly waved through the glass at the end of the pour. A few particulates of sediment, but this was from a 100% dispense, so very nice. The pour was a bit of a stretch, and allowed an inch-plus head of white to rise. Retention was short-lived and receded to a placid surface with no lacing.

Aromatics are bone-dry, vineous, musty, and brett-laden.
Green apple skins, grapefruit pith, white grape tannins, lemon-spritzed hay, pineapple rind, wet sock, and cider vinegar.
The brett has really stepped forward since it was "fresh".

Thinnish mouthfeel, with some fine but subtle carbonation. Drying and tart.

A myriad of tannic citrus flows on the pallet.
The funk is somewhat less than what is promised by the nose, which allows for a great balance with the grapes.
Lemon zest, grass-rubbed grapefruit, grape skins, crushed orange seeds, dried pineapple, and green apple pulp.
Tart, dry and citrus-laden with barely a trace of malt. Bitterness is nill, as is all other hopping.

Finishes with lingering dryness, tannic fruit pith, and incredibly quenching.

Very Gueze like in many ways, and I believe
this beer is going to evolve for many years to come.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001

A - Pours a hazy yellow with little head.

S - Sweet white grapes are the dominant aroma followed by a touch of brett sour funkiness.

T - Similar to the aroma. White grape juice, chardonay, a hint of hay and spice in the middle with some tart/sour brett in the finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. Crisp and tart.

D - Very wine/grape like with atouch of brett character. The brett character is what makes this one enjoyable. The RR website says batch 001 will be the only one with white grapes. I am interested in trying a future batch. I have edited my review because this one has gotten much better since August. Currently 12/19/07

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Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somehow I was at the right place at the right time and got to sample some of this bottle thanks to the other Matt. Thanks buddy. A very cool treat, very cool.

Beer poured into a snifter. Beer is yellow to amber in color. Forms nearly no head, no lacing and the carbonation level is low. There is a moderate haze to the beer overall. Looks OK for a sour.

The aroma is sour with a Brett funkiness to the whole thing, could be some stale wood I'm smelling from the wine barrel but overall its mostly lactic with a biting acetic tinge. Very nice.

Beer is quite sour but not tart. I'm not picking up much of the vinous properties I was expecting. This beer is medium to light in body and leads off with sour, follows up with more sour, and finishes mildly dry. I could definitely drink more of this stuff if that were possible. A rare treat for sure. Thanks Matt.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TipTop(JeffK.) for this great beer.

Batch 001

Pours a lively orange color with a fizzy head that quickly scatters and leaves a tiny ring around the glass.

Aromas of pale malt, slight caramel, apricots, white grapes, white wine, and lemons. Not as funky as I thought it would be but it has a good tartness on the nose. Cherries and strawberries begin to come through as well as some oak. Orange lies just in the background but with a strong enough presence to sneak up for a few seconds and then fade back. As it warms up there are more tart cherry aromas and grapes, reminds me of a fruit roll-up.

First sip has some grape and wine characteristics upfront and the pale, slightly toasted, malt following close by. The acidity comes in the end near the finish and actually is part of the finish along with pears, apples and grapes. Not as tart as I would have liked but a slight tartness in the end with a good dry finish on the tongue. Very good taste. The grape taste combines very well with the oak aging and combines well with the other fruit flavors (mostly pear and apples). The beer also has some orange flavors, or maybe tangerine, that sneak up.

Mouth-feel is crisp and refreshing and leaves a mostly clean and dry finish so almost immediately after swallowing you are ready for the next sip.

This beer is easy to drink and would love to get more.

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Depuration from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 73 ratings