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Beatification | Russian River Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 551 | Ratings: 2,565
Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cracked a long time want for Easter. Bottle date 09/11/13. Into a wine glass.

L: Had a great pop on opening nice initial carbonation fades fast. Nice opaque straw yellow. Little to no lacing.

S: Impressive. Heavy fruity peach notes with a lot of geueze character. Funky and lightly acidic. Doesn't get any better.

T: Strong but balanced sour. Good amount of peach character. Lemon acid character and horse blanket. Oakey but overall could be more complex.

F: Nice tart and dry. Very clean but not too puckering. Could be more full.

O: This met my expectations. I have to put ddg ahead of this just on complexity but this is a solid beer worth seeking out. I'd like to try this fresh but a little age has been solid. Russian River delivers again.

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Photo of dboon
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, batch 002. Clear piss yellow pour with a hint of white head. Enticing lemon zest and funk aromas. Tart, crisp, and clean with all kinds of lemon zest, sour vinous & grapefruit, barnyard, and funk notes. Absolutely freakin’ delicious...

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the last bottles shared at Hunahpu’s Day 2014, poured into souvenir taster. Hazy yellow with a white head that quickly disappears. No lacing to speak of. Aroma is basement must, citrus, especially lemon, tart sour grapes, vinegar, wood, and leather. Taste is a puckering sourness with citrus and vinegar notes, followed by some mellowing wood bitterness and earthy elements. A touch of citrus sweetness. Light-plus body, surprisingly creamy/thick but not overly so, just enough to coat the tongue, lively carbonation, long sour finish.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Slightly hazy golden body and white head which fizzles immediately down into a ring around the glass.

The aroma is heavy on the stone fruit aspect with peach and apricot. Pineapple with slight funk but more bright and fruity with some slight vanillin.

Really quite heavy on the sour and fruit on the flavor. Lemon, peach, apricot, pineapple, musty funk, and wood. Dry and light bodied.

Blew me away.

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Photo of Jonada
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 6. 6% ABV

375 ml bottled 9/11/2013. Poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden yellow with less than a finger of a fizzy white head that dissipates quickly to a thin collar. Body is mostly clear with hight visible carbonation.

Smell: Bright lemon, white grape, green apple, funk hay and oak.

Taste: Light barnyard, hay, green apple, lemon and other citrus with some mild neutral oak. High acidic sourness that borders on mouth puckering.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, and bit thin with medium lively carbonation. Finishes dry.

Overall: One of the best American spontaneously fermented beers I've had and probably the closest tasting to an actual lambic (though still not quite the same). Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of SweetChicken
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Poured to almost no head. Looks flat in carbonation. And golden yellow, kinda like - for lack of a better description - urine after taking too many vitamins. Dinged it for that... - 3.75

Smell - SOOOO much better. Certainly doesn't smell like urine. A nice fragrant sour bouquet. Nectarines, grapes, apple cider, some funk. Can't wait to dig in. - 4.5

Taste - T A R T!!! If your looking for a mellow, delicate, balanced sour (Fou Foune), this ain't you beer. It is amazingly tart. Taste follows the nose, but add in oak, hay. - 4.5

Mouthfeel - excellent. Dry, white wine finish. Nicely (surprisingly) carbonated - the most delicate part of this beer. - 4.5

Overall - So glad I traded for this. Not a daily drinker for me, but a nice occasional treat. - 4.5

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Photo of krustster
4.96/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had, without a doubt. Amazing how many different fruit and other aromas/flavors come out of this beer from the combination of bacteria and yeasts, without actually having any fruit. Pretty much every aspect of it was fantastic, down to the perfect mouth feel. It's not often outside of a big stout/barleywine that I say to myself "wow this beer has a great mouth feel!" but it was there, all right.

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Photo of almostjay
3.73/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sours are not my favorite. I almost feel unqualified to rate them, but to me this one fits right into the RR lineup. People hold it in higher regard for some reason that is beyond my palate, but it's absolutely worth drinking if you are into the style.

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Photo of Devman171
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle batch 5. Pours a hazy orange yellow with fizzy white head. Aroma is funky barn and grassy hops. Flavor is light tart and funky hay, dry finish, well done.

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Photo of macher0
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this was a treat.

A. Light straw color with shades of bright copper, great clarity, fine bubble egg shell head. High carbonation. Prolific effervescence.

S. Big tart nose, with notes of apple cider vinegar, granny smith apples, sour yeast, sour bacteria, and neutral oak.

T. Follows the nose to the tee. Big funk presence and the oak is very well balanced with the sour yeast. I would say this is very sour.

M. Very smooth, high carbonation, light body.

O. I could drink this all day long. It made me a little burpy but that goes with the territory. I'm a huge fan. This is very well balanced and benefits from a little age.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

B6 poured in December 2015. Crystal clear yellow color. The nose is a beautiful blend of sour, citrus, and funk. The taste is strongly funk with a good sour bite. Feel is a little harsher then I remember with a good bite but still fairly enjoyable. One of the top American Wild beers.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 6/10/14

Batch 05
A- Pours clear and golden with a half-finger of bright white tight foam. This recedes to a collar and leaves some lacing. Some nice alcohol legs are observed when swirled.

S- The aroma is very sour and there is a lot of Brett funk. Overripe apples, tart cherries, pineapple, and oak tannins. Some Granny Smith apple and lemony sourness. Very complex, refreshing, and inviting aroma!

T- Wow, this is warhead sour! Crazy amounts of cherry and lemon sourness. The oak tannins are the only thing restraining and mellowing the sourness. Very acidic and lactic. Refreshing, but bracingly sour!

M- The mouth feel is delicate, medium bodied, and lightly carbonated.

O- This is an excellent sour, though not for the uninitiated! Maybe lacking the complexity and subtleties needed to make it truly world class, but wonderful none-the-less!

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Photo of mattsdenney
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Unexpected gift from a friend in California. Bottle dated 9/11/13, a little over 10 months old.

Pours with very little head. Hazy, light yellow in color. Smells fresh and tart. Fruity, flowery, and hints of vanilla. Wow, this is sour. What I get after that initial pucker is fresh citrus, earthiness, and a smooth vanilla oak aftertaste. This is one of the most flavorful beers I've ever had. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly. The natural fermentation yields a perfect feel. Overall I'm really impressed with this beer and I'm not a huge fan of sours. This is one of the best I've ever had.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A clear pale yellow, pouring into the glass you can tell this thing is nose and tongue stingly tart. Tastes bright citrus- grapefruit and lemon with crisp clean acidity. Tastes like the sour candies of your childhood. So complex and tart and the body on it is great. Just enough to hold up the acidity. Right up there with the most sour beers I’ve ever had and definitely one of the best I’ve had.

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Photo of mlhyatt
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a tulip glass

A- a bright almost neon yellow with a thin head that never goes away.

S- lots of peaches and pinneapple. Smells extremely sour. Lots of spices as well. Hard to pick out though.

T- everything blends so well. The peaches and pinneapple and other tropical fruits come through very well. The sourness makes your cheeks pucker immediately and the acidity of the beer feels like its eating my teeth. There is a smoothness on the back end that really brings it together.

M- a full beer that puckers your cheeks and leaves a strong sourness in your mouth.

O- a very good sour. I find picking out flavors in sours are difficult but the taste and smell and everything about it are outstanding.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Single finger fizzy white head on a slightly hazy pale golden body. Aroma of Chardonnay, white grapes, lemon zest, funk, tropical fruit and nicely forbodes the level of tartness the taste has in store. The first sip has the salivary glands contracting and it's so tart initially it is almost bad but it's just enough to be perfect. As you get used to it the flavors pop with lemon, white wine, fruits, Chardonnay and Granny Smith sour apples. Oak is light. It's only knock for me is it lacks a little complexity likely because it is so tart the other flavors are lost. Crisp, light body with the sourness drying you out quite a bit. Another great sour from RR. Lives up to the hype and beyond.

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

Batch 6 Beatification, first time trying and super stoked! High expectations after trying other RR sours!

A: Pours a hazy opaque, yellow, slight orangish gold mix, the orangish gold mix is more of a hue as it closer resembles pineapple juice, nice and murky! No head when from the pour or after
This beer looks fantastic!

S: Sour! Earthy! Fruity! Sweet! Funky! So much complexity going on with this beer! I get some apples, pear, pineapple, straw, and all those lovely combinations of funky and sour bacteria! Perfection!

T: An immediate rush of tartness once it hits your palate, initial you get the tart, sour bacteria with a lovely, apple, pear, pineapple fruit combination, then it transitions to straw and funk, and finishes with a perfectly balanced combination of everything! The best part with this beer is it lingers and the flavor ever so slowly fades away, and when it's gone it leaves you begging for more! Absolutely stunning!

M: This category is perfectly executed as always with RR sours, slightly dry, light, hint oily, and incredibly crisp, and somewhat unexplainable on how good the mouthfeel really is for this style. Perfect!

O:Blown away, had high hopes for this beer, and it surpassed them by a mile! It is going to be hard to ever find a sour better than this! You must get this beer if you can!

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Photo of 01001111
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pineapple juice.

S: Lemons, grass, brett.

T: Quite tart, but not overpowering. Clean lemon juice and green apples with a slight touch of non-cloying, tropical sweetness; almost like the pineapple juice that's present in the appearance.

M: Pleasantly dry and puckering.

O: Outstanding. I braced myself against the hype, preparing for this to be underwhelming and was wrong. Beatification is every bit deserving of the hype.

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Photo of ADZA
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very big thanks to Mulder1010 for this and it pours a beautiful golden hazy hue with a one finger wispy head and a touch of lacing,the smell is so inviting its oak,green apples,musty funk and white grapes,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with spritzy carbonation and on taste it's just like a fine lambic you would find in Belgium with sour Granny Smith apples,oak,white grapes and finished with a nice sour tartness and overall it's a nice wild ale but Temptation is still my favourite cheers.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. Batch #6

A- Pours a deep chardonnay golden yellow color. Has a very high wine like clarity. Small fizzy head that dissipated quickly.

S- Lots of sour apple, some vinegar, some light vanilla, good amount of oak. some white wine character in there.

T- Similar to aroma but amplified to an insane degree. Lots of tart lemon, sour apple, and vinegar. Finishes with a dry yeasty note. Has that old barn cellar thing that sours usually have.

M- Medium-light the flavor makes this a sipper.

O- This is one of the most sour beers I've had and if you're looking for something that delivers in the pucker department seek this one out. It is also somewhat too sour for me in my tastes. It's missing a bit of the subtlety that I got from Supplication. Still an amazing beer and if you want to test the limits of sour seek it out.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Utopias sample glass. Acquired in a trade from hwy395.. thank you sir!

A- Pours a slighthly hazy, super carbonated, pineapple coloorred body with a fizzy white 2 finger head that reduces to a white ring. Leaves no lacing.

S- The first thing I notice upon popping the cork is a strong champagne-like aroma, grapes and white wine. After pouring it and letting it sit, strong lactic tartness, leather, lemon juice, citrus zest, and a distinct earthiness.

T- BOOM! The mouth puckering sourness that kept me seeking this beer out hits you the second it touches your tongue. Straight lemon juice, vinegar, sour apple hit you in face, followed by a earthy, leathery notes complimented by oak and subtle Belgian spice.

M- Crisp, refreshing, highly carbonated. Dry finish.

I've been waiting to try this beer for almost 2 years now. What differentiates it from other Wild Ales I've tried is the mouth puckering sourness that it delivers. As with other RR sours, it was very well balanced and complex. This one's a winner.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Clarity is off the charts, golden yellow color. Fuzzy white head that reduces to nothing, leaving it looking like a glass of sparkling white wine.

Acidic and vinous aromas, light wood, lemon, sour apple.

Mouth puckering and delightful. It's such a fun beer for those that enjoy sour. Lemon, acidic, wood, tart. Bursts with flavor.

Crisp and extremely sour on the palate. Abusive to the tongue. Sour like I'm going to get those little bumps on my tongue when I eat too many sour patch kids.

Love, love, love this beer. It's in the discussion for my favorite of all time.

Batch 6.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml, 9/11/13
Russian River tulip

A: Pours out very pale yellow color. You can almost see right through it. Thin layer and collar of bright white head. Lots of carbonation streaming from the middle of the bell of the glass.

S: Funk. Brett. Oak. Lemon. Dry. Horse blanket.

T: Up front you get that burst of sour funk. It attacks the tip of the tongue. Middle of the mouth it's more creamy than I was expecting. Getting some of the oak tannic character. Really like a Chardonnay mixed with the carbonation like a champagne. Finish is very dry and leaves you wanting another sip much like other sours.

M: Light bodied. Not as prickly on the tongue as I was expecting.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch #6 (I think) bottle from trade, dated 9/11/13. Pours to my tulip a light yellow golden color with a small fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Aroma is nice tart lemon, yeast funk, some pleasant citrus-like sweetness, light vinegar (very light on that note), apricots, lots of lacto acidity. Flavor is a nicely balanced sweet and sour lemon, lots of lactic tartness, dry oak, dry dusty Geuze-like qualities yet a nice sweet citrus character to balance. Some wine like qualities with Sauvignon blanc type of acidity. Light bodied with high carbonation and a crisp finish. This is really nice, but I can’t ever see paying $18 for a small bottle myself. Differentiating sour beers is tough I guess. With that said no doubt I would drink this again. Yum.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After finding no time to make it up to the brewery to buy some bottles of this last December, imagine my surprise when, during a family visit to the brewery, that they were still tapping this! Couldn't ask for a better turn of events - this has been one of my all-time wants since I ever started getting into sours and gueuze beers. Batch 6. Poured into a tulip tumbler glass at the brewery.

Pours a faded amber color with some straw hues, as well as a slight golden glimmer when held against the light. Cloudy, with some noticeable carbonation at first that dies down alongside its initially frothy white head. Not much lacing, and if it weren't for its cloudy appearance it would retain the same look of a low alcoholic white wine. Hmm, previous batch pours (mainly from bottles) definitely indicated that this was more vinous looking in the past, but I'm not too concerned. Sour beers are very different from the bottle than they are on tap, and hopefully I'll be able to try a bottle of this to compare notes to.

Yeah, the aroma nails it, however - this is as good of an interpretation on the style as any world class gueuze I have tried from Belgium, and if this isn't enough reassurance that perhaps knowing how to make wine (as Vinnie does) isn't perhaps the best path to take before committing to brewing wild ales, I don't know what is. Huge notes of musty peaches, apricots, white raisins, and, of course, yellow apples and pears. A big dank cellar aroma is predominant, with notes of old, cold stone (I'm thinking slate), damp hay, leather, and a damp cloth aroma. This is brief, however, and the finish is filled with nice notes of toasted tobacco, vanilla, toffee, and a little bit of something floral, maybe herbal, from the fresh hops. Crisp, warm, and inviting. An excellent effort.

Wow, one sip and I'm immediately assured that this is one of the most drinkable wild ales being made in this country. This is so fruity, funky, sour, and yet so refreshing and comfortable to drink! At first, there's the large apple and pear notes, followed by some white nectarines and a bit of orange melon (all soured or under-ripe, of course), with some brief peppery sensations, as well as nice white floral notes. Sour and acetic, but also a bit lactic from the barrel aging. The funk then takes over in the middle of the mouth, delivering grassy, wet hay flavors that are earthy and quite mineral, with a crisp and cooling sensation at the same time. The finish is more funky, but also melds with the toffee, vanilla, and leather profile quite gracefully and balanced. Extremely creamy and filling from the yeast, but also crisp, and palate-cleansing - the white vinegar finish definitely does its work well. In spite of its acidity, this is gentle on the senses, and makes a terrifically approachable. Delicious stuff!

I knew other sours made by RR were already world-class, but this really took it home for me. This is not an easy beer to make, and to produce something that is so complex and yet so brightly textured and balanced when working with wild bacterial strains is nothing short of magic. For those who have had any doubt on the direction that wild beers are taking in America, try this one and be astonished. This is by far the leader of many beautiful things to come. I hope to get a bottle soon and compare some notes, and see how this changes over time.

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