Beatification | Russian River Brewing Company

BA SCORE
99
world-class
2,651 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BeatificationBeatification
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by hopsaplenty on 01-25-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,651
Reviews:
561
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
8.95%
 
 
Wants:
3,183
Gots:
567
For Trade:
45
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,651 |  Reviews: 561
Photo of pzymali
2.5/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of John_M
2.8/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Obviously, I do not understand sour beers (or the people who make them and drink them). I'm trying to learn to appreciate them, but a beer like this, it just defies imagination.

The beer pours a hazy, lemony honey color with decent head retention and lacing. The aroma of this beer is off the charts. I guess I get some lemon zest, but the beer is so tart smelling, and the barnyard funk so pronounced, I'm just amazed by what I smell. As odd as this beer smells, the flavors are just over the top. There is the lemon zest flavor, but I also get apple cider vinegar and just sour, sour, sour. Each sip has me grimacing in pain. The sour flavors aside, I will say the beer is pretty light on the palate with the abv. very well disguised. As for drinkability, the sour flavor is just overpowering and is nearly more then I can handle.

Shared this bottle with 4 other people thank God, including a guy at the table next to me (Belmont Station cafe) drinking some gueuze. He was quite grateful, noting the Beatification was much better then his gueuze. Perhaps. I just wish I had the capacity to appreciate it as much as he did.

 1,127 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
2.95/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

375 mL bottle tried 20 Sep 2008.

Poured into a tulip glass. Very small white head, well carbonated. Slightly cloudy bright orange gold color. Smells quite tart, sour, with cherry pits and stone fruit. Good up to this point, then the wheels come off while tasting. Starts sour, the middle is tart and the finish is sour. This overwhelming sourness invades my mouth and beats my tastebuds senseless. Any remaining functioning tastebuds are mopped up by the long lingering sour aftertaste. All of my orifices are puckered by this assault. There are probably some other underlying flavors but they are lost to me.

I can see why some people might like this, and I respect that it's a difficult style to make, but holy cow...

 721 characters

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of djcira
3/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of beerbtl
3/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of johnnye1981
3/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of haknort
3/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of UptheKriek
3/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of OldPenguinHunter
3/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.01/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bright yellow with a short bubbly white head. Low to no retention. 

Big sour nose. A touch of sour apple. Funky. 

Very sour flavor. Lemon juice and rind. That's pretty much it. 

Mouth is light and crisp. High carb. 

Overall not a Lot of complexity IMO. Very one note sour. Sour lemony citrus. 

 302 characters

Photo of Benway
3.02/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge fan of Russian River and tasted many of the 'ation' series years ago at Toronado. At that point it seemed that many of the barrel aged (chardonnay, pinot, etc) beers were clearly going to find a foothold. Thankfully for us, they have and are getting better and better.

My local shop has carried as many bottled 'ations' as he can get his hands on and I was happy to spend $12 for an 002 batch of Beatification. In the case of this one, it felt extremely sour for sour's sake. Each sip reminded me of biting in to a Zot in elementary school. So rough and so compelling at the same time, like staring at a car accident.

I'm happy to have had this experience and will enjoy watching others try it. I will probably wait for the next 'ation' though.

 751 characters

Photo of MLDucky
3.03/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Probably the only person here that doesn't care for it. Look is very still, gueuze like in appearance. Smell is very traditional, leather, some oak tannins, lemon zest, funk and tons of vinegar. Taste for me was overpoweringly vinegar and acidity and I couldn't get the other flavors to marry with the heavy vinegar. I'll revisit after 6 months to see how things are going.

 377 characters

Photo of ibbjamin
3.04/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $13.99 for a 12.7 oz bottle from Monument Liquor in Concord, CA. Poured into the largest wine glass I have and shared with my girlfriend.

3/4 inch very fizzy white head. Heavily carbonated. A very cloudy yellowish gold color. Not too much head retention. Little lacing.

The wild yeast dominates the nose. Some grassier hops balance this one out. Carbonation present in the nose as well. Hints of dank bread - this would probably be a great pairing with good, fresh bread. Perhaps a bit of lemon in there as well - quite a complex offering. Not the most pleasant aroma, but certainly you have to give them credit for creating something this unique.

Taste is very sour. Very wild. Very different. Likeable? Not really, but it was fun to try. The taste is quite different than the smell - almost like sour candy. That sour taste lingers for a long time. Not as complex as the nose.

Very carbonated mouth. Light body. Definitely a sipper. Not sure of the occasion I would want to bust this one out for.

 1,007 characters

Photo of aleigator
3.05/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beatification batch 5

Pours a filtered, light yellow color and a fizzy, bubbly head, immediately dissapearing into small sheets of lacing.

Lower carbonated, with a very refreshing mouthfeel to it, due to fresh lemons and a balancing, wooden oak infusion.

The aromas unfold just after popping open the bottle, filling the air in my room with a lovely, citrussy funkiness. Reveals even more ripe, juicy citrus when smelling at the actual beer, together with an immense tartness, bedded on glue, yogurt and old leather. Creates an interesting interplay between dough, soft old malts and prickly, crisp lemon, without becoming intriguingly complex.

The taste offers a good amount of lemon right from the very beginning, accompanied by easing, bready, musty malts and fermented wheat. Lemons get increasingly more body added, resulting in a very sour, funky tartness, almost numbing the front of my tongue during its peak. Finishes fruity, with fresh pressed lemons, revealing even lemon stones, as for how pronounced the fruit acidity gets, offering an acceptable dryness.

The balancing oaky barrel vanishes completely during the beers finish, opening the palate up to pure, sour fruit lemonade. Hammers a bit too hard on the palate, regarding its acidic sourness, preventing the beer from showcasing its other, more subdued flavors.

 1,336 characters

Photo of ZexyDestroyer
3.16/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.17/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12.7 oz. caged and corked > Stella glass
batch 002

Looks like clover honey with an orange glow. 1" white frothy foam crowns and falls pretty fast with plenty of stickiness left over.

Whoa, it's a nice, big aroma. I'm sitting at least two feet away from the glass and the breeze from outside is whaffing the aroma my way! Sweet and sour fruits, tangy grapes, mandarin oranges, sweet/tart candy, musty herbs.

First impression: CRINGE!!!! major bitter-face. Unlike Temptation and Supplication the flavor of this wild bad-boy is just too funked-up for me, but only because of it's intense, medicinal and metallic bitter flavor that kills everything else. Tart/metallic/bitter that's about all I'm getting. Dissapointing to say the least, I really enjoyed the Other wild ales from these guys.

The feel is light and crisp at first, then becomes much less lively pretty fast. Perhaps some oxidation has taken effect with this one?

 934 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.25/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of wrightst
3.25/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of phishbone23
3.25/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of mikehoffman02
3.25/5  rDev -27.3%

Photo of tjthresh
3.28/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375ml bottle from Capone's. My 100th rating of a beer brewed in California. Pours hazy straw yellow with no head. The aroma is an aggressive blend of citrus rind, hay or straw, funky cheese. The flavor is very tart and yogurt-ish. Just a little bit if malty sweetness left. Medium body with tons of carbonation and a bone dry finish.

 333 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to cloudskipper who sent me this bottle via the Secret Santa BIF almost a year ago. I've been saving it for the right time, &, well, that time is now. It's warm in Minnesota in late November, that's reason enough to celebrate!

Batch 3. Only 2/3 of the bottle poured between my wife & I initially to keep the sediment trapped in the big, cool bottle. Pours an almost radioactive yellow with evident carbonation but no head to speak of. Smell is sheer wild. Dry, cirtus, with a tangy undercurrent of champagne, which must be the yeast. Interesting.

Beatification is mouth-puckeringly dry. Even before the taste kicks in, this is the primary impression I come away with from the first sip. After I unpucker, I get the sour lemon, the brett, the wood drying out my mouth even more. I'm going to need to drink some liquid after I finish this. Drinkable? Even for a wild, this is down on the scale for me.

Good beer. Unfairly, I was expecting some kind of heavenly notes to sound when I opened the bottle, but this wasn't as good as some other sours I've had. Good, but simple.

 1,083 characters

Photo of Tiklmelmo
3.3/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared a bomber with carps12 at a tasting this summer (2k9)

A - Pale yellow / straw colored, with a hint of orange. Very minimal head that dissipated almost immediatley.

S - Holy horse blanket. That descriptor didn't mean anything to me until I smelled this beer. This is the definition of "barnyard". Hints of lemony citrus as well.

T - SOUR SOUR SOUR. I'm a huge fan of geuze, lambic, flanders red, etc, but this one is puckeringly sour. Pushing the limits here for me, especially at first. Once the palate adjusts, it's not too bad, but up front it's pretty intense. Lots of sweaty lemon with some wood notes.

M - Not a huge amount of carbonation, but not flat. The acidity here overpowers my first impressions, but evens out a bit on the third sip and beyond.

D - Tough to drink at first, but after your palate adjusts it's actually pretty good. Still was tough to finish the bottle between two of us.

Overall, it's an interesting beer, but not terribly balanced, and missing the complexity imparted by the barrels of various other Russian River "sours". Worth trying if you have the chance, but it's not something I would go out of my way to try again.

 1,163 characters

Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,651 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.