Russian River Brewing Company

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Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Wild Ale
Ranked #8
Ranked #118
4.54 | pDev: 8.59%
Tuesday at 04:46 AM
Jan 25, 2006
This beer is very unique and inspired by breweries in the Lambic region of Belgium and, especially, our friends at Cantillon. It is 100% spontaneously fermented, meaning yeast is not added. Once the beer is brewed, it is transferred to a cool-ship or “horny” tank located in our barrel room at the pub. There it sits overnight and collects whatever funky wild yeast and bacteria may be living in the room. The next day it is transferred to oak wine barrels where it ferments wildly and ages for a few months. The end result is a wild, spontaneously fermented, sour, and tasty hand-crafted beer!
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Photo of gefinley
Rated by gefinley from California

4.21/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
375 mL bottle marked bottled 012522 poured into a Duvel tulip.
Tuesday at 04:46 AM
Photo of UWDAWG
Reviewed by UWDAWG from Washington

4.18/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a 375ml bottle dated 1-25-22 at 51 degrees into a teku glass.

Look- Pale gold, very mildly hazy, plentiful small visible particulate, minuscule white sudsy head, nonexistent head retention and lacing.

Smell- Oak, funk, chardonnay, between weak and medium strength of scent.

Taste- Oak, funk, chardonnay, grapefruit, lemon, highly sour especially at the finish, medium strength of flavor.

Feel- Between thin and medium body, below average carbonation, highly dry finish, highly sour, moderately acidic.

Overall- Appearance was as expected with the exception of nonexistent head retention or lacing. Bouquet was good, but much weaker than expected. Flavors were good, but the sourness was slightly to much for my palate. The body was between thin and medium, but the carbonation was very noticeable low. Overall this beer provided an enjoyable experience, but did not live up to expectations. I’m interested in having it again in the future so I can judge if this bottle was slightly off.
Jan 10, 2024
Photo of Holderness
Reviewed by Holderness from Massachusetts

2.85/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
Long, long time want of mine that I finally snagged in a beer store in Bend, Oregon during a recent trip. Bottled just about two years ago, which isn't too long in wild ale years, but I was surprised to find that whatever intended refermentation in the bottle didn't really seem to have worked out. The beer poured almost still with a distinct pee color. Barnyard-forward funky aromas -- hay, horse, must, herbal hop, and a bit of apricot. Taste has a good amount of that crushed aspirin bitterness alongside lemon, wheat, grapefruit juice, wildflower honey, and chardonnay grapes. Pleasant but fairly boilerplate spontaneous ale. Feel is not great due to the fermentation issues -- only the lightest of discernible effervescence. Overall a bit of a let down, but maybe it's just a bad bottle

< 60/100
Jan 06, 2024
Rated: 4.03 by Gagnonsux from Texas

Dec 31, 2023
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
Reviewed by Falcon91Wolvrn03 from California

4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look – Pours a nice clear golden color with a nice head and good lacing that quickly disappears.

Smell – Has a funky smell with citrus and oak. I found it quite nice.

Taste – Sour grapefruit, brett, barnyard funk, oak, and chardonnay.

Feel – Light, crisp, nicely carbonated, a bit sour.

Overall – This is a well above average sour beer.
Dec 28, 2023
Rated: 4.84 by Justinbshelton from Alabama

Nov 12, 2023
Rated: 4.49 by Taenim from Maine

Sep 10, 2023
Rated: 4.78 by Peter1977 from Massachusetts

Aug 27, 2023
Rated: 4.4 by AleManDan from California

Aug 02, 2023
Rated: 4.54 by kodt from Illinois

Jul 24, 2023
Photo of kemoarps
Reviewed by kemoarps from New York

4.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Sent my way as return fire by @Beersnake1 during NBS BIF#16.

Pours a pure golden yellow that's mostly clear, but I wouldn't describe as crisp. The colour, actually, isn't far off from a slightly lighter version of the label. Wet bubbles rise through the liquid, but there's no head, and thus nothing to retain nor leave lacing.

Nose is bright and inviting. Starts off much more on the fruity side rather than the truly funky side (we're getting there, though, don't worry!) with some apple, and like meyer lemon. The apple transitions to a mustiness that gives rise to thoughts of wood, and carries us over to the earthier funkier side with light elements of barnyard and just a kind of tart element.

Flavour is awash with an interesting lead in that I want to give credit again to that meyer lemon-type flavour, then bits of crabapple and wood giving way to the earthy funk again, which presents in a really interesting way that I can only think to describe as, 'open.' I don't know how that works, but where a lot of funky wild ales like this feel tight, compressed, bound up tartness, this feels like the pages spread wide and a more easygoing (but no less pronounced) welcoming earthy funk. The lemon and the funk kind of build together to a pinnacle about 2/3 of the way through that is more in the horse blanket realm and borders on harsh, though the rest of it feels aggressively tart, but in a welcoming manner. The back end takes elements from all of the above, along with a little bit of bleu cheese and faint honey to leave a tart dry finish.

Very fine carbonation sits atop a decidedly funky/tart beer, but one that I wouldn't describe as sharp.

I've had several in the -ation series, and they've all been top notch. This is no exception. Thanks, Tim for sending this along my direction!!
May 30, 2023
Photo of DoctorZombies
Reviewed by DoctorZombies from Florida

4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Bottled 4/3/20. Poured at 52°. Deep gold with excellent clarity; thin tight white head, poor cap retention leaves a small island of micro dots; brief thin ring, no lace. Mild funk, apples and oak nose. Tart green apple, pear; mild funky horse blanket; white grapes middle; oak; mild tart fruit on backend. Light body; moderate minus carbonation; crisp dry finish. Overall, the funk is mild; drinks like a lambic style minus the barnyard intensity; very approachable…a perfect gate-way beer for those not familiar with Belgian Lambics who want to dive in.
May 28, 2023
Photo of ZippyThePinhead
Reviewed by ZippyThePinhead from California

4.79/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Had this on draft at a place with one of the early RRBC accounts in my area. It brought me back to my first pilgrimage to RRBC in Santa Rosa at the 4th Street location. I thought I was there for the IPAs but a family member ran into someone they knew with a goblet of another RRBC barrel-aged product who said "I don't even like beer but I love this!" I ordered my own goblets and was introduced to the loveliness of Sanctification and Consecration.

So began my love affair with RRBC barrel-aged stuff. The 100th percentile score is well-earned. This is a delicious sour, which offers common ground to people who normally will not drink sours. The more sophisticated reviews for this will fill in all the notes of stonefruit and granny smith apple stuff that my review lacks; all I have to say is, in the same way that you could serve PtE to someone who would never touch a DIPA with a ten-foot pole, a goblet of this can evangelize regular folks with unsophisticated palates like mine to appreciate the wonder of wild ales and sours made by skilled people.
May 23, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by akopczyk from Ohio

May 23, 2023
Photo of cambabeer
Reviewed by cambabeer from New York

4.57/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Soapy white head that leaves a bit of lacing in a mostly ser throw straw yellow body. Funky, gristy, tart whiskey and oak nose. Taste is grains and sour earthen grassy Granny Smith apple, funky, sweet, vinous. Medium mouthfeel and champagne bubble effervescent. Wow
May 10, 2023
Rated: 4.69 by bowmanad3

May 09, 2023
Photo of folkstar
Rated by folkstar from Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bright citrus, delightfully tart …special and perfect . Doesn’t fatigue palate, earthy yeast is welcome
Apr 16, 2023
Photo of flagmantho
Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

4.21/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from 375mL bottle into my BeerAdvocate teku. Bottled 1/25/22, so it's got a solid year under its belt.

Appearance: lovely light-golden hue with a little tiny bit of haze and a finger of frothy white foam atop. Looks nice.

Smell: soft malt with a light sourness and just enough sweetness to give a light, candylike aroma. Enticing indeed.

Taste: tarter than the aroma would suggest, but with just enough sweetness to be balanced. The sour isn't super sharp, it has some softening around the edges. This is quite an enjoyable beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a decent carbonation and a nice creaminess. It has both more body and less carbonation than I usually expect from a bottle-conditioned beer.

Overall: this is certainly a very nice sour and I'm quite enjoying it. I'm glad to have finally tried it, and while my experience perhaps does not match the raves this beer receives on this site, I am in no way disappointed.
Mar 11, 2023
Rated: 4.74 by ArsMoriendiOU818 from Virginia

Mar 09, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by stmoorea from Illinois

Mar 08, 2023
Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 2917 ratings