Beatification | Russian River Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
99
world-class
550 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BeatificationBeatification
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
550
Ratings:
2,556
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
9.17%
 
 
Wants:
3,173
Gots:
561
For Trade:
43
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 550 | Ratings: 2,556
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to BrewerB for this brew.

750ml
Caged/Corked
Batch 003

Poured into a tulip a cloudy pale yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, yeasty, citrus, slight spice. The taste is soury, malty/yeasty, with good citrus/spice notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew.

 350 characters

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

Thanks to swnicholson for the opportunity to try this one! Batch 003.

A- Body is a very cloudy (nearly opaque) hazy straw yellow. Pours with a hefty 2 finger+ foamy white head (it did gush some upon opening). Head retention is great...eventually fading to 1 finger and keeping that the rest of the way down.

S- The first thing that hits the nose is a big whiff of tart lemon. Lemon all over the place. Behind this is a very noticeable oak presence.

T- Much more wonderful and complex than the smell. Very tart and slightly sweet lemon zest is definitely the main character here. The acidic tartness puckers the lips slightly but a slight bready sweetness balances it out. The oak is definitely detectable but hides deep in the background and comes through a little more for the finish but never overshadows the main characters. What also comes forward for the finish is a saltiness. It finishes rather abruptly and is very dry-esp for a brew with a lower ABV.

M- Great medium to high carbonation and a light body with a balance of breadiness and citrus.

D- This was an excellent brew and one I would definitely trade for again. It ended a gathering with a few other BAs that turned out to be a Russian River night. These 3 beers (this deviation, and the younger) were definitely my favorite by this brewing co. so far and I look forward to trying other brews they have to offer.

 1,383 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy light orange color with a small white head and good lacing.

Scent of tart citrus, green apples, yeast, and some grass with underlying oak and vanilla characters.

Taste of tart citrus, orange peel, green apples, a hint of grass, some oak. Very sour flavor with nice fruity tones balancing it out nicely.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and slick, goes down easy and leaves the mouth sticky.

 401 characters

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 750ml Bottle into a Snifter.

Appearance - Pours a transparent honey gold into the glass. The head is minimal and leaves virtually no lacing behind as it dissipates. The head becomes a thin halo around the rim of the glass. The head retention is minimal - a swirl of the glass brings the head back for a moment, but then quickly dissipates once more.

Smell - The smell is pretty awesome. There is a large fruit component is this one. I detect green apple, green apple skins, sour grape, lemon and a small bit of cherry. The wild yeast makes a large appearance here, there is a lot of funk from the Brett and a large sour component as well. There is a slight oakiness as well.

Taste - The taste is very similar to the smell, but far more pronounced. Green apple, green apple skins, sour grapes, and lemon all make for the main fruit flavors. The sour comes through pretty strong. There is more sour in the flavor than in the scent, and vice versa for the funk. Light oakiness - not at all overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Man, this is really smooth for a sour. While the sour is powerful and you can feel it all over the inside of your mouth, it glides down the throat. Light/medium bodied.

Drinkability - Man this is a drinkable wild ale - the mark of a good one in my book. The flavors are melded perfectly. This beer is a work of art. Get some and horde it.

Thanks to midaszero for the bottle. Much appreciated sir.

 1,426 characters

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

Batch PH1, 375ml bottle, shared with a few fellow BAs at Toronado last night.

Pours a beautifully crystal clear pale amber, a couple shades darker than later batches of Beatification. The head crackles away almost instantly in a champagne-like fashion. The nose is rather acetic with a surprising amount of sour fruit character (strawberries came to mind). Very Rodenbach-like, minus any sweetness. It's similar on the tongue, with much more acetic acid than the other batches, very Flemish, very sour and puckering. Big tropical fruit flavors. Crisp dry mouthfeel, light-bodied, highly carbonated. Nearly a perfect sour in my opinion. The acetic character isn't something I'm always fond of, but it works beautifully here.

 724 characters

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

Big thanks to jac5084 for bringing this out. Just when I thought he was stingy, he pulls a stunt like this. Poured into to tulip glasses.

Batch 003

A: Pours a semi-hazy orange, yellow with a one finger spritzy white head; Looking at the bottle this one seemed more clear, but it looks like it got some chill haze perhaps. The look is almost glowing.

S: Tons of sweet and tartness rolled into one hell of a lemon, puckering scent. We had an Isabelle right before this, and although they are similar in smell, Beatification is much sweeter. Some oak and slight cherry scents pull through as well.

T: Get ready to pucker. This one is a sour ball in a glass. The good thing about this though is that the finish is rather sweet. Great lemon zest and orange bitter flavors shine through and it is rather complex with a solid oak element.

Overall, this was just fantastic. Of the wilds I have had, I would put Isabelle above this, but Beatification is way better than Temptation IMO.

 981 characters

Photo of QuentinCompson
3.78/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12ozish bottle of Batch 002

Was dark, so really only got main taste notes, but looked nice enough.

S - Vinegar, sour apples

T-M - Nice champagney carbonation, sour brew, tastes like it smells; touch vinegary with sour citrus twists; lemony

D - Enjoyable, though I probably wouldnt have another right away. Though it's a nice wild brew

 338 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split this one with BA Pecorasc. Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a vibrant gold that just seems to illuminate. Definitely has some haze to it. Two fingers width of off-white head was formed.

S- Not as pungent as I expected. Had a mellow, earthy aroma. Also detected musty, oak scents as well.

T- As this beer progressed in warmth, the taste became more complex and enjoyable. In the later stages heavy notes of what seemed like citric rinds produced a sour explosion in the mouth. This was offset by a dominant oak flavor that complimented it rather nicely.

M- This thing was mouth puckering. After an initial sip, I could not keep my mouth from drooling due to the extreme sourness. Quite an experience.

D- This is definitely a slow drinker. Even splitting a 12.7 oz bottles two ways was enough for me.

Overall, quite a very unique and well-made beer. While the sourness was dominant, it was not overpowering and was wonderfully counterbalanced with oak flavors. A must try.

 1,008 characters

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

Pours a hazy light orange. Given the force which which it opened and gushed out of the bottle, minimal white head which rapidly dissipates into a ring around the edge and light dusting on top.

The smell fills the room - perhaps that's because of the half ounce which was spilled. But lifting it to the nose, sends a barrage of sour scents: sour apples, fresh lemons, a swirl brings out a funk with some earthy elements, but still warm. I could keep my nose buried in this.

Wow - that's nice. Clearly acidic and tart with sour apples and lemons again. But there's so much more to this beer. There is a sweetness, and I get oak notes - maybe similar a Chardonnay. The finish - well, a minute after the sip - there's a hint of bitterness. To minutes later, there are warm, earthy, woodsy flavors. As I move the air around my closed mouth, I get a distinct oak impression at he back of my palate - not sure if that's the taste or smell or the intersection of the two. Drinking this beer slowly allows the complexity of flavors to develop, rapid sips really build the lemon flavors in particular.

Palate cleansing, quite dry. Tiny bubbles and dryness are reminiscent of a champagne. Moderate level of carbonation.

I love a good sour like this as an aperitif, but a 750ml bottle is a bit excessive for this purpose. The acidity may be slowing, depending on what is paired with it or eaten before it. The low ABV and refreshing taste and palate are what caused me to think of this as a Super Bowl session beer. It fit the bill quite well, taking me from halftime through the end of the game, when it proved prophetic to have selected a sour given the outcome.

This is a fine beer. I probably wouldn't reach for it as much as some beers which are clearly lower rated and less fine examples of craftsmanship. But a lot of that is due to the price and the fact so few people I drink with enjoy sours.

 1,895 characters

Photo of Biggness
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very clear amber with tiny bubbles, a 1 fingered head and minimal lacing. The smell is of sour cherries. For being barrel aged so long you can barely taste that flavor because the sour flavor is so powerful, yet good, I really enjoy this bottle. A very slick mouthfeel and for a sour certainly one of the more drinkable beers I have had.

 355 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 csmiley
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a bright gold with medium intensity and just a touch of haze. An average pour provides no head to speak of. A thin layer of carbonation forms on the top of the brew a few minutes after the pour. Of course, with no head, no retention follows. It does seem to muster some lacing though.

S - Some sour / tart fruit comes through at first. Mostly green apple and lemon. Then it quickly turns to a musty aroma which is quite nice. Hay pops in to accompany the musty aromas. Finishes up with notes of ferrmenting fruit and wood.

T - Pow! Tart green apples and lemon burst onto the palate first. They really do a number on the taste buds. There is a huge amount of eathiness that follows and plays a wonderful companion to the fruitiness. Kind of reminds me of the forest after a nice hard rain. Wet leaves and wood come through first. The wood flavor starts to resemble oak at this point. Some hay and barnyard flavors bring up the rear. Splendid.

M - Medium bodied with minimal carbonation. Finish is tart, dry, sour, a little sweet...it really cover most of the bases and it hangs on for dear life as long as it can.

D - Drinkability is great. This brew really hits all the characteristics I would look for in a wild ale. The oak adds a nice touch that comes through just stong enough to compliment the other flavors. You would think the low alcohol would make this one really easy to put away but this is one that should be savored and enjoyed slowly. Another home run for Russian River.

 1,501 characters

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

On-tap at O'Brien's,

A: Pours a lightly hazy dark yellow with a mild white head.

S: Sour apples, light malt, similar to a gueuze, light funk to it.

T: Just a beautiful beer. Light fermented fruit plays with the acidity in a complex, great mix. Almost a champagne quality to it, reminded me a lot of Cantillon with the high acidity. If I tasted this blind I would have thought it a Belgian gueuze, no doubt about it.

M: Very sour, not as dry as I thought it would be, it has a light sweetness that carries it through. What I want in a mouthfeel for a wild ale.

D: This is really good. Had to almost chug my first one since I had to order 3 beers at a time and couldn't carry them all. The second time around I got to really get into the beer. This is my first time having this one, and it shows Vinnie really knows what he's doing. This with Supplication are my favourite RR sours. Edit 2/2010 - I just had some batch 2 of this that may be the best beer I've ever had, the complexity and flavour is incredible and delicious.

 1,028 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 bcm119
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into a tulip glass. Hazy straw color with some mottled white lace. Dry citrus aroma with yeasty funk. Starts off with a punch of tart unripe raspberry and citrus. It shows a lot of complexity mid-palate, with orange rind and tropical fruit unfolding into some barnyardy funk, and finishing musty with a touch of aged cheese. Dry throughout with lingering tartness.

The closest thing to a Belgian Gueze I've had from an American brewer. One of those beers that keeps you guessing, and sipping. Impressive complexity for the ABV. Although this may be one of the most impressive beers I've had in terms of brewing perfection, the price is tough to overlook. I'd sooner spend $24 on a good pinot or zin.

 718 characters

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

Batch 003 - 750ml

A - Cloudy yellow hazy pour. Lovely swirling sediment with a light head that dissipates rather quickly.

S - Funk, Brett, Barnyard, Lemons, Apples.

T - Funky in a good way. A bit like funky apple cider with lemons. Very subtle and enjoyable sweetness to balance the sour. Ends dry and tart. Slight hints of stinky tofu for those who have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of eating it.

M - Great carbonation and mouth feel from the bottle conditioning. Kinda champagne like without the intense carbonation.

D - RRBC makes great sours and this is no exception. Wish this were available all the time. Will I ever have a bad beer from them?

 659 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'd had this beer before, and enjoyed it immensely, at two different GABF's. It was even better in the bottle - super sour, uncompromising, and delicious. Very gueuze-like, which is not such a stretch once you read the description of this beer.

It poured a hazy straw color with an exuberant head which stuck around forever. Aroma was very gueuze-like, and it was a touch champagne-like, but also rough, chalky, and very citrus-y. Not understated like Cantillon - this stuff is assertive, very sour, not overly sweet (like Berlinerweisse) with a very rough and chalky mouthfeel. If Cantillon was in Michigan rather than Brussels, then this is what gueuze would be known to taste like. In addition to rough-ness, mouthfeel is also very carbonated.

Flyer bought this in CA, and brought it over for a tasting at my house with SurlySober which also included Allagash Black, Gouden Carolous, and Westvleteren 12 (quite respectable, eh?).

 935 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerB for this one!

750 ml cage-corked bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours hazed/clouded golden with a pillowy white head that thins and stays. Uneven rings of lacing stick.

The smell is of lemon, sour/tart with oak and some grassy notes.

The taste is of tart lemon, very funky, acidic and oaky - some vanilla. Bready with fruitiness that becomes peach-like, then orange (with some banana and coconut). Enough malt is there to balance things out. Complex with an underlying funky sourness that works very well!

There's an effervescence to it while maintaining a nice body.

Funky, complex, nicely done!

 624 characters

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

Purchased directly from RRBC. Batch 003. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my NBB snifter. I miss the older style 375ml bottles that they used to have for their sours but the extra size here more than makes up for that. The label has the usual RRBC on the back - wish more breweries took the time and care to do stuff like that. It was a hazy golden yellow color. It had tons of carbonation. No lacing. I poured slowly, as suggested on the label, so as not to disturb the yeast so the head was quite small. Fizzy, white and gone in a flash.

The aroma was FUNKY (oh yeah). Barnyard, wet horse blanket and lemon. I love sour beer aromas and this one was excellent. The taste was a sour bomb with a carb attack to boot. Mouth puckering sour from start to finish. Vinegary and funky. Ends very dry but then lets up right before being too dry. Mouthfeel is exceptional with great carbonation and acidic bite.

Overall, another classic from Russian River. I like Supplication and Temptation a tad better but this one is outstanding. Got another one that I'm going to age a bit and see how it tastes in about a year. Highly recommend. Wish I could get more of it.

**RE-SAMPLE** Had my aged one on 9/14/09. Poured into a Duvel tulip so even more carbonation this time. Head was larger and stuck around a bit longer. Aroma was still funky but was more classic brett with the lemon and barnyard toned down a little but still great. Taste was also still amazing. Would leave scores the same if re-reviewing.

 1,514 characters

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 DwnTwnBwn
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy straw color. No head.

S - Wet dog in a phone booth. Acidic presence with a hint of lemon rind.

T - Like biting into a whole lemon. Very sour and funky. Has a the complexity of a wine with fruit and straw notes. Dry oak finishes.

M - Acidicm body with light carbonation. Finishes very dry on the pallet.

O - Amazing. Perfect. Wish I had someone to share this with.

 380 characters

Photo of JWD
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had the most recent bottling

A- golden full of carbonation.

S- this is going to be sour, you know what to expect when you smell this brew.

T- just as suspected pucker up this is sour, but also great, this is my favorite of all RR barrel sours.

M- very carbonated and full of long lasting flavor, atomic warhead sour!!

D- ok, it is very sour and i can see why some of the reviews say it is too sour but i feel this is exactly what it is suposed to be, a sour wild ale, this ids the style, great brew

 504 characters

Photo of gameface23
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003 in a 750mL bottle. Poured a hazy yellow with a fizzy head. Smell was vinegar & citrus with slight barnyard funk. The taste was menacing: Wonderful bitterness the entire duration of the sip. Tastes of funk & sour lemon. Drinkability was very good. I love sours because you get vast amounts of flavor for low levels of alcohol.

 335 characters

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

Batch 003. Poured into a goblet. Has a beautiful golden color with a slight haze. A fizzy white head forms and dissipates rather quickly.

Incredibly funky smell. Sour lemon and citrus, horsey funk and barnyard, acetic acid.

Very sour on the palate. Funky barnyard, lemon, and vinegar. Lots of prickly carbonation.

Great beer. This was worth the wait to try. Hopefully I can manage to stay away from my other bottle for a few years and let it age.

 450 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (batch 003) poured into my Russian River "Barrel Aged Ales" goblet (pretty ugly design though). Beatification is a spritzy gold with a large white head that leaves scattered lace. A nice crackle to the head, even though it is pretty quick to dissipate, impressive for what essentially is a gueze.

Smell is very pithy and mineral laden, lemon tonic water, must and a touch of vinegar, very nice.

Taste is wild for sure, wow. I had batch 2 before and it really blew my mind, and this one really lives up to my high expectations. Very tart and complex, citrus and a bit of sugar, though the sweetness is quickly cut by the sour, dry finish.

Mouthfeel is spritzy and crisp, super dry, light body.

Drinkability is pretty high if your a fan of gueze, in that I wouldn't mind have this on a regular basis. Still, the extreme acidity makes it a very slow sipper and not something I want more then one bottle of in an sitting. Ever since I heard about their plans to make a 'sonambic', I knew I had to get my hands on some. While it's undoubtedly awesome, it's prohibitively expensive, which is really a shame, as it mean I'll have to really hoard my reaming bottles for special occasions, like another Christmas! This should age very well, if I can manage to hold onto it that is!!!

 1,295 characters

Beatification from Russian River Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,556 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!