Beatification | Russian River Brewing Company

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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:
2,613
Reviews:
556
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
9.17%
 
 
Wants:
3,184
Gots:
562
For Trade:
44
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,613 |  Reviews: 556
Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with bmanning at a tasting on 09.26.09.

A: Bright golden with a little bit of haze and a little bit of fizzininess on the head.

S: A little bit of lemon citrusness paired with some green apple sourness. A little bit of vinegary acidicness in the nose as well, but nothing too overpowering.

T: Nothing too overpowering here, but in a good way. Some oak flavor to go along with the citrus and acidicness. A little bit of funkiness as well.

M: Pretty dry and fairly light-bodied. Very refreshing to have a very nice sour without too much alcohol content.

D: Exceedingly drinkable. This one was fantastic and hopefuly I'll get another try some day.

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Photo of mothman
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002

Poured into La Trappe goblet.

Poured slowly producing a thin fizzy layer of white head. Fades quickly. No lace. Color is a bright golden orange sunset.

Aroma: Some vinegar, but has a big funky barnyard aroma going on. A ton of acidic citrus. Very sour of course. A different aroma from what I was expecting, but I like it.

Taste: Sour and tarty as hell, but has a sweet farmhouse funk to it. Hay and vinegar. Very acidic and funky. My mouth waters with every sip. Also has some oak to it.

Mouthfeel: This beer is super sour, maybe almost to sour, but I don't mind it. Light bodied with a high level of carbonation.

Overall, this is a sweet beer. I like the sourness, but it still has a sweet funky farmhouse taste. I can easily drink more of this.

 768 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had at the huge whale-ish tasting at Chris's. Thanks to ShogoKawada for this one, batch 3.

A light fizzy head that barely exists, slight hazy golden wheat color.

Nose has lots of sour tart, some barnyard funk, bready funk, light citrusy as well.

Taste has a weird banana like fruit at first, then tons of acidity, some sour malts, mouth puckering!, light bit of fruit, touch of creamy malts, little bready and a touch of light funk, then some oak rounding, but just long sour and tartness, gland bashing sour.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation and super sour.

Overall very sour and acidic, hard to drink but great flavors and light funk.

 655 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken 4-9-11 for review #100.
2 bottles shared during Adam's "toothed aquatic mammal" tasting.
Batch 002.

A: Pours a hazy, straw yellow with a faint white head which fades quickly.

N: Super funky and horse blanket, pungent musty hay.

T: Throat clenching sour, lemon, peaches, oak notes. Very tart.

M: Lip smacking sour. Bright, clean.

O: Just crazy good. This could be the best american wild. Gueuze-like. So pleased to have tried.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002. Corked & caged bottle 375 ml bottle into a Russian River Barrel-Aged Beer Tulip glass. A very classy presentation (as always) from Russian River.

Pours a hazy light orange (with almost a golden sheen to it)and a thin head of brite-white foam that left a smattering of lace behind. There is still a good bit of carbonation release well after the pour that keeps the retention firm for a good while, which is a credit to the conditioning of this. As a matter of fact, things don't slow down until about half way through the glass and then it went immediately still. It was a pretty cool to see the contrast in the body between when it was poured and when I finished the glass. The aroma is straight up fresh funky Brett, that gives off a tingling, pleasant pungency. There is also a fairly prominent sensation of sour fruits (like apples) behind all the funk.

The taste profile initially starts out with a fresh tasting crip blast of Brett tartness. What I love about this, is that never gets to the point of being sour. It takes things right to the threshold but brilliantly knows right when to pull back to keep things at a tart bite. And then what I REALLY love about this beer is that as it warms, the tartness melds with the sour fruit notes (that have been lingering in the background)to achieve a flavor not unlike a Sweet Tart of Sour Apple Jolly Ranger. Complete with an almost sugary sweetness that is felt in the finish along with a lingering tartness. The mouthfeel is fantastic, being medium bodied with a crisp feel yet dry finish and is smooth across the palette.

This Wild Ale really is out-freaking-standing and remains a spontaneously fermented work of art. Jammed packed with all the tartness and funk that you would expect from a beer like this but it is never overbearing and retains a fantastic drinkibility. God bless Vinnie and Russian River for beers like this!

 1,901 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Rifugium
3.89/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this before, but this review is for a recent tasting. I drank this alongside a Temptation and Supplication, as well as various ratio'd blends of the three with a pluot muddle to christen my vintage Temptation/Supplication/Beatification/Compunction glass.

Batch 5.

Slightly hazy golden-yellow pour, with a finger or so of white head that retained nicely and streaked the glass with thin lacing. Aroma was pretty intense: lactic, acetic, sour, green apple, citrus. More intense sourness/tartness in the taste...I was told this batch gets "sour in a bad way" with age. I didn't really think it was "in a bad way," but it wasn't exactly smooth. Flavors of green apple, crabapple, lemon, oak, brett, hay, vinegar, white grapes; lactic and tannic notes came out more as it warmed. Medium body, moderate carbonation, heartburn-inducing. Overall good, but probably one of the lower beers on the "-ation" totem poll for me.

Cutting this with Temptation and Supplication really took the edge off. And that's kind of scary.

 1,030 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002.

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with, well, no head.

Smell: A sour-scented aroma smelling of sour ole lemons, white grapes, and grandpa's barnyard, all with a reasonably, understandably funky Brett component.

Taste: A sip of refreshing, oaky white wine and a bite of sharp cheese. Everpresent, underlying Bretty taste. Less a sour lemon taste and more of a taste of thick lemon rinds and a very puckering, almost grimacing wallop of acidity. Then a sip of a salty brine soak. Dry, sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. No real carbonation present.

Drinkability: Quite good, though I'd appreciate just a teensy bit of carbonation. I'd go so far as to say I'd cheerfully drink this each and every damn day. But sadly I don't have easy access to Russian River beers.

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Photo of billab914
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3, poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a yellow gold color with a small white head that settled to a small ring around the glass.

Aroma has some apple and grape fruit flavors with a slight citrusness and sourness. Taste is very good. The sourness hits you first with the fruity apple and grape flavors coming through. The sourness reminds me a lot of sour candies maybe, sweet tarts. It finishes with the funky barnyard flavors that I have read about but not experienced for so long.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average carbonation. Drinkability is good, this is a very strong flavor but also very enjoyable.

Overall I am very impressed, I would consider this one of my first real sour beers and definitely my first American sour. I can definitely see why these RR sours are so sought after now. Excellent beer that I would definitely buy again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001-PH1. Bright kumquat with Champagnesque carbonation. Too bad the foam cap is nothing to write home about. It fizzes away like soda and is nearly gone by the several minute mark. Needless to say, the glass is virtually spotless. Maybe all those bugs or the acidity is to blame. As with most gueuzes, the lack of a quality head and lace isn't a huge negative in a wild ale.

The aroma is dizzyingly complex and is a pleasure to sniff. Nothing is overdone and pretty much everything is done... exactly... right. Tart fruit vinegar is dominant, with a perfect amount of buggy funk. According to the brewery, the PH1 batch used the highest quality (that is, the most Acetobacter-heavy) La Folie barrels.

If I hadn't picked up that fun fact from the Russian River website, I could have figured it out from the first mouthful. Wow, this stuff is tangy-tart! It isn't so much funky (in a sweat sock or horse blanket kind of way), so it won't alienate those who have a low tolerance for such flavors.

Beatification has to be the most gueuze-like of all the RR wild ales. That will be a positive for some and a negative for others. My impression is that the big blast of acidic tartness overpowers what might have been a deeper, more complex, oak barrel-aged blonde ale. Others may (and probably will) respectfully disagree.

The beer is reminiscent of an extremely tart white wine in many respects. Yes, I would have thought that even without knowing that white wine yeast was used. Flavors include immensely sour fruit (white grapes, green apples, lemons), cider vinegar, tannic oak and a mild-moderate, bacteria-derived grunginess. Can a beer taste both clean and dirty at the same time? Dirty in a good way, of course.

The mouthfeel is good because it fits the gueuze... er, wild ale... style very well. It's light to light-medium and has a sneaky slickness that keeps the flavors from fading away until long after the swallow. In spite of the guillotined look, the carbonation is gently energetic. Actually, by the bottom of the bottle, things are pretty calm.

This buggier version of Beatification Batch 001 won't be everyone's cup of tea. It's pretty uncompromising in its tart acidity, which will tend to put some people off. I appreciate and respect the skill that went into its creation, but there are quite a few Russian River brews that I find to be superior.

 2,374 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to colonelforbin for this one!

Batch 003 opens with a slight pop, pours an effervescent golden honey color with a pinky of ivory colored head. Not much head retention or lacing

S: Sourness, hay & barnyard in this, just intensifies as this warms

T: Lemon tartness, green apple sourness & a bit of hay up front. Tartness, green apples oakyness & lemon & hay are all there as this warms. Finishes with puckery tartness, oaky dryness, a bit of balsamic vinegar acidity & sooo much sourness

MF: Light/medium bodied with slight carbonation & much dryness

Drinks very easy, always happy to try anything from these guys, I think I prefer these heavier & darker for optimal effect, none of the RR sours are slouches though. If you like big-time funk & sourness, this is your huckleberry...

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Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Nanobrew and FosterJM for this one!

A: Slight pop when the cork came off. Pours a hazy golden orange with a nice white, fizzy head on top. Pretty good retention with sporadic lacing that doesn't last too long.

S: Fantastic tartness. Some peach, lemon, apricot, and white grapes. Nice citrus fruits and some nice barnyard funk that blends nicely with the fruit/tartness.

T: Has a very gueuze like flavor, lots of tart lemon and some apricot. Underneath there is some tart green apple and more white grapes. Very mouth puckering and it is amazing.

M: Medium bodied, great level of carbonation. Very tart/acidic, but I am really liking it.

O: Simply put, amazing. One of the best beers I have ever had hands down. Great flavor and extremely tart.

 766 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, what can I say about this, I have been waiting to try this one for what seems like forever. Almost impossible to get a bottle of Batch 001, so I just waited it out and received my Batch 002 supply yesterday. Wasting no time at all I threw one in the fridge and let it chill down to a respectable temperature before pulling it out at about 9:00pm last night. The 375,l corked and caged bottle looked wonderful and I practically started drooling before I could even get it open. Needless to say I grabbed the closest snifter I could and found my new Belgium one and slowly poured the contents inside....

Appearance - A slow pour, being careful not to disturb the sediment left the most hazy golden, amber colored liquid imaginable. No head at all on this, well minimal at best with just a slight quarter inch layer of white coming across the top, good news was that it never did get any lower then that. Great side glass presentation on this one as nice silky smooth looking, cascading layers of white fizz, almost looking like sea spray just swirled around the sides of the glass. Some light carbonation could be seen coming up from the bottom throughout the session. As would be expected there was a bit of yeast sitting at the bottom of the glass after it settled. I was impressed but what would happen next would be off the chart....

Smell - The aroma was simply to die for. I love me some Brett, but this was literally taking it to a whole new level. I knew this would be nice, but my wife chuckled as I sat there for an hour sniffing this, as if...well you could imagine. Just the most grand, funkified, tart, sour, vinegar like smell you could come across, but in a good way. Rich and complex there seemed to literally be no end in sight for the depth of this one. Towards then end of the session, I may have just gotten used to the funky sour Brett, when I noticed some light fruit maybe coming into play, this was like a fine wine almost in aroma, I mean just insanely good. I am almost speechless, but I had to eventually stop smelling it and actually try it....

Taste - If I thought it smelled good, I do not even know how to put into words the flavor of this one. It was just wonderful. Started out with a full on assault of sour, Brett funk, that rolled through the mouth, sucking up and puckering anything that it came in contact with, but once it got past, it opened you up to a whole world of woody flavors that were hidden underneath. There was some light fruitiness of some sour, perhaps grapes, or green apples, that you could start to pick up as it rolled along, and there was a touch of sweetness there as well. This was not entirely unbalanced, far from it. In fact I think if you do not let this one warm up a bit, you are really cheating yourself out of how good it could be. It was remarkable in hour tart it was but just how well it blended. The finishing notes were really starting to show hints of the barrel aging, with nice wood notes coming through and it really getting a nice earthy feel to it.

Mouthfeel - Such a wonderfully rich and complex taste, would be nothing without the accompanying good feel. And, this one did not disappoint in any way. Nice medium bodied ale, there was more then adequate carbonation put through on this one. It never did get flat, or dull in any way, in fact it seemed to get better as the session wore on. Silky smooth in its consistency, I was in love with this one right away.

Drinkability - In a word it was outstanding, the flavors were so rich and complex that I literally could not stop sipping on this one if I tried. The feel so delicate and smooth that I literally just let it sit there and roll around to absorb the most out of it that I could. This was truly remarkable in every possible way.

Overall I was simply blown away by this one. It was easily the best sour ale I have ever had, and easily one of the best beers I have ever had hands down. I can now see why people rave about this one as much as they do, it really is that good. It has a light texture to it that is unmatched, and the Brett, is just perfect. Go out and get this if you are a fan of the style, if its not your thing, and you do not like the style, you are not going to like this, it's the epitome of the style. Simply astounding.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I tried this on tap at Russian river

The color is golden with great clarity and thin white head that collapses. The smell is fainlty citrus with funky lemon lactic yet slight floral aroma with mild wood. The feel has a great balance of sourness with a light sweetness and dry quality in the finish.

The flavor is a mildly sour yet enjoyable lemony tart mixed with a woody tannic flavor and some malt toward the back. This was a great treat I can't wait to have this again.

 475 characters

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of atrocity
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,613 ratings.
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