Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Beatification | Russian River Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
551 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 551 | Ratings: 2,565
Photo of natasharai
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with 1 inch fluffy creamy white head that dissipated to a thin head over ~2 minutes leaving minimal lacing. The beer is a beautiful golden yellow that is very hazy.

Smell: Very fruity sour and tart, citrus and pears are the most obvious fruit smells.

Taste: WOW! very sour, a lemony sourness. This flavor does not match what I expected from the smell, I am very pleasantly surprised. This sourness all ends with a smoothed out malt flavor. After your palate gets used to the sourness some sweet berries start to pop out, like raspberries or strawberries.

Mouthfeel: Sour pucker initially. Huge tingle, leaves the mouth pretty dry.

Overall: Amazingly huge flavor, very intense. Once you get a little use to the sourness many other more subtle flavors begin to pop out and the beer becomes more drinkable.

 830 characters

Photo of quirkzoo
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brewstein77 for this one. Batch 5, about 9 months in the bottle at time of tasting.

Pours a very nice, brilliant gold with just a touch of orange. Thin wisp of head that quickly dissipates.

Smell is very citrusy. Lots of sour lemons, lactic acidity, limes, oranges. A touch of oak behind that and just a bit of funk behind that. As it warms I get a touch of acetic acid and a little bit of nail polish remover.

The taste is overwhelmingly sour, alcoholic, unsweetened lemonade. Nice bracing acidity, with just enough pucker factor.

The mouthfeel is very nice, very drinkable, but not too thin as some american wilds can be.

Overall, this is a very good beer however I think I enjoy the balance of the other RR sours to this one. I still have one for the cellar so I am hoping that the funk comes up a bit and gives it more balance.

 846 characters

Photo of boomer31
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - nice golden haze
S - Funk and sour smell and a little citrus
T - Puckeringly sour. Get used to this after a few sips and the citrus comes through. Really impressive way to start my Sour/Wild ale tastings.
M - Thin but not too thin, really nice
D - Surprisingly drinkable, want more after just a few sips.

Overall a great great beer. A sour like you wouldn't think possible in a beer if you've never had a sour ale before (like myself). Impressive

 452 characters

Photo of drewba
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 poured into a snifter.

A - Hazy yellow straw with hardly any head and just a bit of lacing. Looks somewhat boring after the initial pour.

S - The aroma on this sumbitch is colossal, you can smell it as soon as the bottle is opened and maintains for the entire pour. Super tarty and funky lemon with hints of funky hay and barnyard.

T - Incredible mouth-exploding lemon, lime and orange citrus birst. Holy shit, my taste buds are saturated with citrus, this is amazing. Vinegar, a noticeable barnyard funk and grapes work their way into the middle while that bright and bubbly citrus maintains through the finish. This is the ultra lemon-lime-soda beer.

M - medium body which completely immerses my mouth with low carbonation, but is just crisp enough to make it interesting.

D - The drinkability isn't that huge, because of the unrelenting citrus, vinegar and funk notes, but I just cannot stop drinking this. This beer was an experience for me and I cannot wait to try it again.

 993 characters

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

A- Pours a hazy blonde with absolutely no head.

S- Initially it smells very crisp and clean, but after a couple whiffs, a mild funky smell comes through. Tart grapes and brett along with earthy notes come through.

T- Sour lemon and brett with notes of white pepper. This one's pretty complex. Very crisp lemony finish.

M- Puckeringly sour with a crisp, dry finish.

D- In spite of how sour it was, this was extremely enjoyable. I can't wait to try it again!

 460 characters

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours with a rich head, and also has a beautiful golden color

S: Rich sour notes with some lemon and grapefruit

T: Lots of grapefruit, lemon, and some sourdough bready notes

M: Nice carbonation with some nice richness

O: This is definitely one amazing beer! It is by far one of the best sours I have had so far.

 319 characters

Photo of brydeen
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed as part of Blind BIF round 8

A: Pours a hazy golden color, with active bubbly carbonation.

S: Tart, citrusy, white wine. Lemon peel with a light earthy funk.

T: Mouth puckering sour. Sharp acidity, lemon juice, and white grapes. This is incredibly sour, but yet surprisingly drinkable.

M: Light, dry, tart with subtle but fizzy carbonation.

O: This might be the sourest beer I've ever had. It's still quite refreshing though. Another lovely sour brew to get me through these ridiculously 90+ temps.

 516 characters

Photo of femALEist
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer week.
Beatification by RR is a wild ale that is 100% spontaneously fermented beer using the oldest barrels that no longer have any wine flavor or oak flavor left in them. 5.5% abv. It poured a cloudy sun yellow. It smelled of sour, oak and Brett. It tasted sour! Lemon, lemon, lemon sour, Brett and super dry. It is one tart beer! Reminiscent of Isabelle Proximus, a one note incredibly sour beer.

 440 characters

Photo of Hesscabob
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My own personal white whale that I finally was able to come across from the latest release. Bought 6 and plan on opening up a bottle every year to see the change it goes through.

A - Golden, head sort of quickly disappates which I was surprised with but fine by me.
S - Major funk going on and really can smell a barrel presence. Smells immensely citrusy and earthy.
T - Follows the nose and man, this is DAMN delicious. My mouth was watering the entire time and the only thing to quench was more of this beauty.
M - Quite carbonated even though the head disappeared quickly. Lasting carbonation that I would imagine will fade in time but will allow other flavor aspects to come through moreso.
Overall was extremely happy to pop this open via Facetime with my buddy who waited in line for me to acquire them. Is it the best Lambic I've ever had? Absofriekenlutely.

 866 characters

Photo of Kaiser81
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to KBM for sharing this beer at his birthday. I believe it was a 750 mL of Batch 003.

A - Pale golden color with just milimeters worth of head. Minimal lacing left on the glass as well.

S - Smells sour...funky. there is lots of lemon and tartness in the smell.

T - Lots of lemon and tart with some funkiness in there.

M - Light body and minimal carbonation

D - it's good, but one glass is enough for me.

 419 characters

Photo of jimmy82063
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this and turning 50 seems to be a good enough reason. Bottled on 1/10/12.

A) Nice golden hue and the fizzy head quickly dissipates.

S) Mostly a nice tangy lemon.

T) I get lemon, grapes, orange peel which are all nicely tied together by the tartness. What a great taste. Can't get enough!

M) Again the tartness is outstanding, just bordering on being overly so but not crossing the line.

O) Outstanding!

 427 characters

Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle into a goblet. Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with carbonation bubbles making their way through the clouds. A thick foamy white head tops this off. Very slight lacing along the glass. This is a good looking blonde.
S: A wonderfully pungent nose on this beer. A smell that first struck me as sour fruits along with a floral background. I could sit here and smell this beer solely for a couple minutes, it's that pleasant. Very invigorating and inviting scent that helps compliment the appearance in making this a beer one can't help but want to taste.
T: The taste does not disappoint from the build-up from the other senses. The blonde ale within this is built up with the sour and combined in a way that works perfectly. Slight hop taste in the back end, but the sourness persists throughout. Fruits and floral make for a great beer.
F: Very very smooth. The sour is just right to compliment the rest of the taste. This beer has plenty of carbonation that will make your mouth come alive.
D: This is a wonderful beer. I could drink this beer at almost any time of the year. It's a very lively beer that goes down smooth and tastes delicious.

 1,164 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #002, poured into a RR chalice.

Pale straw color, slightly hazy. Half-finger snow white head has little staying power, fading into a thin cap and collar in seconds. Funk hits the nose as soon as the cork pops. Once it hits the glass, grapefruit, grass, herbs, spice and lemon come out. Lemony, acidic sour bite on the palate first. After a while more erth, grass, spice and funk come through. Pronounced oakiness as well. Mouthfeel is tart, light and refreshing. I could drink this stuff like water.

Not particularly good looking, but everything else about this beer is spectacular. Complex, yet crisp and refreshing; Highly recommended.

 645 characters

Photo of tarheels86
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL b3 courtesy of joeneugs. This beer froze in the mail, nearly exploded and now trying it, somehow it hasn’t lost one bit of its spectacularity. The cork pops with good pressure, pours with good, spritzy carbonation leaving a small, white head that dissipates quickly. Looks cloudy, beautiful grapefruit juice in color like a top notch geuze. Aroma is similar to the best geuzes I’ve tried: lemon sorbet, fresh grapefruit juice, grapefruit rind, white pepper. Taste is bright, fresh grapefruit and lemon with quenching tartness. Not very funky or horsey- more fresh citrus. Some oak, sour peaches, and Granny Smith apples shine through. The definite hit of our tasting. Thanks Joe!

375mL b2 courtesy of MrChopin. I’ve been debating about upping the score from 4.3 to 4.4 seeing that I dream of this beer on an almost constant basis. This, my third time trying the beer, has confirmed that it is time. Beatification b2 is so drying and so wildy complex with spicy cedar, drying oak, lemon/lime/orange, leather, peaches, apricots...it is an all encompassing sour experience that is never acedic, never citric. Just spot on perfection. My notes for this say, "It’s like the world ended and I was resurrected in paradise." Later on into the night my notes will say "HOLY SHIT." 10/26/2010 9/4/9/5/18=4.5

 1,312 characters

Photo of paytoplay
3.86/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sour Bomb! Add sour to sour and you get this beer. Newest batch, on tap at O'Briens SD for the 15th annv party. Not much of a nose, funk and brett a bit. Would go killer with food. Also very interested to see how this will age. Should the texture soften and the brett and other funk develope this could turn out to be something very special.

 341 characters

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this up at RR about a month ago, finally getting around to drinking it.

Nice hazy golden color. Not much head, I get about one finger in my snifter but it fades quickly. Scent is sour with lemon and vinegar, and plenty of funk. Flavor is fantastic. Awesome sourness, again lemon and vinegar, but hints of other fruit jumped out as well. I noted peach and pear, if you can imagine what those would taste like long before they're ripe. Funk is prominent as well. Feel is medium bodied a somewhat syrupy. Carbonation is good, and a nice dry finish. A sipper but surprisingly easy to drink, really. Alcohol is subdued and doesn't carry much of a punch. Overall drinkability is quite high. I was worried that this would just be a sour bomb, but the flavor was really nice and complex. Maybe I'm just getting used to these sour beers...I dunno. I still liked Temptation more, but this is another fantastic effort from Vinny and the crew.

 937 characters

Photo of d0ggnate
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've hung on to this bottle for some time, and am quite suprised it has lasted this long in my fridge. My first Beatification experience. Batch 002 by the way.

A: Golden, honey-colored pour with champagne-like bubbles. Thin, effervescent head layer faded quickly to a clear orange glassful.
S: A light vineagar aroma. Sharp flora notes. Hints of pineapple and other sweet fruits.
T: Very sweet fruit flavors. Not so much citrus, but more tropical. Although, lighter grapefruitness is noticed.
M: Puckering, but nothing that bucks your head back. Very smooth and almost refreshing. I was shocked and thought I would find this barrel-aged sour a bit more of a mouthful. This was not a terrible suprise, but just unexpected.
D: Delightful. I would love to compare to a draft version and later an aged/cellar version. Very clean and sharp flavors and aroma. Refined recipe and unlike any other.

 893 characters

Photo of gyllstromk
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured Beatification into a snifter. It has the thick, velvety head that seem to crown every Russian River brew. It's quite cloudy, and glowing yellow.

Smells like champagne and Belgian yeast. Extremely tart!

Taste is unbelievably tart, like sweet tarts mixed with Granny smith apples. I can't penetrate the tartness to get a feel for the underlying complexity; I literally sweat at the temples when I drink this beer. I would say it's a taste you'll either love or hate, but I'm actually pretty on the fence about it.

The low ABV doesn't help drinkability much. The tartness is far too strong to make big swigs possible.

I'm glad I tried it. I have one aging (we'll revisit in a year) but I doubt I'll be laying down $23 for another bottle.

 747 characters

Photo of hillvt4me
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Split the bottle with my love. Pours a murky, hazy yellow. Minimal foam builds with pouring and tiny ring of bubbles. Minimal lacing.

S- sour lactic, salt, lemon and a bit of funk.

T- Sour, lemon citrus, white grapes and herbal notes. Some oak-funk.

M- Light bodied, dry with moderate carbonation and fizz; smooth and balanced.
Well done! Among my top three wilds to date.

 378 characters

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy yellow color with a thin white filmy head.

S: Vinegary lemon zest and tartness all going together nicely here.

T: Lemon tart are big here. Slight vinegar taste as well.

M: Medium body with little carbonation and hardly any hops.
D: For the ABV this is highly drinkable. I love the tartness balanced by the lemon zest. Definitely worth the drink.

 368 characters

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

Batch 002 compliments of swnicholson.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with almost now head at all -- a few bubbles and a slight swirl. Bits of overly moist, spotted lacing appear then disappear as I swirl.

S: Aromas of horse blanket, brett, grass, and some earthy funkiness, underlying hints of sour citrus like lemon, and something that smells similar to Playdough. Very similar to this years CL Cuvee de Castleton.

T: There's a lot going on here. Quite tart and liberally sour, slightly puckering so on the finish -- you can feel a slight sour burn if you breath out your nose immediately after you swallow -- though I've certainly had beers that pack a more sour punch like Cantillon Lou Pepe. I really can't pick out the base of this beer, but the overlaying flavors are lemony, slightly spicy, and positively funky.

M: Smooth and very slick, but still light to medium bodied. Much lower levels of carbonation than a champagne, though there are some tingly bubbles.

D: This is a really enjoyable wild ale, the mouthfeel is a bid lacking in my opinion but I'd often seek this beer out if I had ready access to it. Honestly though, if you're looking for sour, Cantillon's got this beat.

 1,203 characters

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at Beachwood, consumed on the premises.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy but brilliant (read: bright) lemon gold color. Head is fizzy and appropriate for its funky goodness, but settles quickly into a thin whisper of what it once was. Lacing is similarly fizzy and lively, but has better retention than the head. I love these beers for how lively their heads/lacing can be.

Smell: Chardonnay-type white grape vinousity, brett, lacto, and other various wild yeasts I'm not even familiar with. Lots of "spicy"-type aromas, including what I decided was white pepper. Apricot, moldy mustiness, mango on the back end. What can you say? These RR Wild Ales go on for days. It's difficult to discern all the aromas and flavors in one sitting.

Taste: Cork wood, champagne-like vinousity, brett and other wild yeasts, apricot, peach, pear. A little less complex than the nose, and the wild yeasts are far more assertive here, to the point that they begin to drown out other flavors. Still, pretty amazing.

Mouthfeel: IT'S ALIVE.

Drinkability: Went down surprisingly well. This was most comparable to Temptation for me, which I think I still prefer slightly, but still, very drinkable. More so than Supplicaton.

 1,223 characters

Photo of bhalter8
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #002 courtesy of, and a huge thanks to drseamus, unbelievable extra to help me enter the world of Wild Ales. Pours a flat looking head, crazy really, as moments later the carbonization builds up and a thin, striking white head appears. This head then slowly dissipates into a white ring, but the end result as you drink is some thin, but dense lacing. It almost looks like an arnold palmer (half lemonade and half iced tea), by that I mean a yellowish tan, but rather light/clear. A potent sour smell up front, mellows a bit to an earthy undertone. This is the sour I have been waiting to try, it is a super crisp lemony sour, with a sweet ting at the end. I must admit, I am a novice when it comes to Wild Ales, with some having that barn/leathery taste that I do not care for. This is thing is a pure crisp sourness, really none of the earthy smell comes through in the taste. Obviously, very tart in your mouth, and as you drink it will hit the back of tongue hard too. In the end, an amazing beer from a pure, crisp sour standpoint. I'll need to try more to compare my tastes now...

 1,092 characters

Photo of Genghis22
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 3, consumed 2/11/11 (review from notes)

Chilled and poured into a tulip

A - Golden honey color. A little cloudy, with very visible carbonation. Tight white head that hung around and provided nice lacing.

S - Bring the funk! Horse blanket, hay, very funky, a touch of sulphur. Very inviting. Light and clean.

T - Fantastic. Sweet funk quickly leads to a puckering lemon sourness. It attacks the back sid of your tongue and washes all over your mouth. Very exciting to taste this beer, it totally shocks your whole mouth. Musty, dank funkiness. A touch of sulphur comes through in the taste as well, but works well with all the other things going on.

M - Medium body, very nice, tight carbonation. The finish is dry and crisp. Leaves you wanting to take another sip.

D - Man on man, why didn't I buy more of this? Easily one of the best wild ales I've ever had. Just fantastic. I can't wait for another batch!

 919 characters

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

Batch 5 poured into a tulip.

A- Golden murky appearance with a thin white head.

S- sour, lemon zest, floral and grassy, and a nice funkiness.

T- fruitiness, bitter lemon, funk, oak, rose pedals, and black pepper.

M- prickly carbonation, sourness lingers on palate and makes my mouth water. Alcohol not present.

O- I drank my second of my six bottles I acquired yesterday at RR. All I have to say is that I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and plan on getting it as often as I can.

 481 characters

Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,565 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!