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:
2,651
Reviews:
561
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
8.95%
 
 
Wants:
3,183
Gots:
567
For Trade:
45
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,651 |  Reviews: 561
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of outoffocus
5/5  rDev +11.9%

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

The beer pours a pale gold color with a 1/2" white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is outstanding. It has a light, pale and wheat malt scent with a mild sourness; very well done. The taste is awesome as hell. Wow, what a great sour flavor. It's light and easy drinking with a mouth-puckering sourness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a damn fine wild ale. It's no secret why this one is in the top 100.

 462 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.84/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of dar482
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a hazy bright golden yellow color.

The aroma is straight lemon juice. Extremely tart. A bit of funk as well.

The flavor follows of that tartness in the front. It's quite aggressive and then moves onto a light wheat and biscuity malt hits in the middle as there is a second wave of aggressive tartness of lemon and pineapple juice. There's hints of funk throughout.

A well made beer but the tartness for me was a bit too aggressive. However, recently have Batch 5, I much preferred the restrained manner and less tart qualities in the beer.

 560 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

Batch 003. The beer pours a hazy gold color with a white head. The aroma is much more funky than the other Russian River sours I have rated. I get some cheesy funk, a little tartness and some oak and vanilla. The flavor is more of the cheesy funk with some tart lemons and oak character. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 372 characters

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

Decided to crack open a bottle of Beatification, batch 002 for my 900th review. Pours straw colored, slightly hazy, and with no head. The smell is quite funky with lots of lemon sourness and great barnyard aromas. The taste is super tart up front, followed by a splendid funkiness with loads of horseblanket character as well as a dose of minerality. Ripe soft cheese and lemon on the finish. Smooth, tart, refreshing in the mouth. Delicious and the real deal. I shared a bottle of this with brickstoredave, and his comment was "Wow, an American brewer made this beer?". My thoughts exactly. What an accomplishment and one more reason Russian River is my favorite American brewery.

 681 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Derek
3.72/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 3.

A: Hazy straw, thin ring of retention leaves a little leg/lace.

S: Huge, overpowering apple tartness. Impressive.

T: A real mouth-puckering tartness, like an unblended lambic. The lactic acid reminds me of sour keys, with hints of underlying candied fruit. The subtleties are certainly lost on me.

M: Light to moderate body has a dry finish.

D: A little tart for my tastes.

Thanks Grub!

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Photo of Eziel
4.99/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of dwagner003
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Arbitrator for the assist, batch 3, poured into Duvel snifters for best effect.

A- Beatification is quite beasutiful. A hazy mix of yellow and orange giving off a glowing look when up towards light. The head was not high, probably like a 1/2 inch of semi loose white foam. Lacing is not great, but this one is still quite a looker.

S- This smells great. A big blast of sourness with a backdrop of citrus consisting of lemons. Not very funky, more tart like. This wild is very closely resembling a gueuze. The smell just lingers from the glass, drawing you in.

T- Oh my, a sour tart punch straight to the tastebuds. This one woke me up. With the up front citrus the squeezed lemon is there plus some minimal grapefruit. There is some funk going on but I would not call it funky, maybe that's just in this newer batch. Quite acidic and delicious. Some oak and more funk come out with warming.

M- Puckering to say the least, let this one roll around in your mouth for some time and it will open you up. Tart, fruity and refreshing. Finishes dry with perfect carbonation giving off a spritzy feel when the drink is colder. The body is in between light and medium and is again perfect for this style.

D- A low ABV like this would grant a whole bottle to the head, but all the bugs in my system afterwards is not a good look and would eat my skinny ass up. When I gain 100 pounds or so I will attempt to drink a 750 of this, for now sharing is fine with me. The drinkability on this is insane, I drank my glass in no time, and now im looking for more.

 1,569 characters

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

"No rule exists for such compositions; they are at the mercy of the artist's genius"
- Grimod de la Reyniere

Over-ripened mango dotted with tiny flakes of salt. The carbonation must be extremely fine, if at all existent. The surface is left bare with only the faintest trim. Its complexion is sullied although clarity is left largely unhindered. The beer actually takes on a bright daisy yellow tone when exposed to the afternoon sunlight.

That the beer is aged in used wine barrels is not at all inconsequential. The brewery may insist they only use the "oldest barrels that no longer have any wine flavor or oak flavor left in them" but even sitting a full foot away I can smell something very similar to a dry white wine. Closer inspection with nostrils right up against the glass confirms, although more vinegary and tart notes also become apparent.

Having been to Belgium before and there having tried plenty of Lambics, I'm having deja vu. This beer (like all the barrel aged offerings from Russian River) were inspired by a trip to Belgium and are intended as interpretations of that country's spontaneously fermented ales. In this regard Russian River succeeds (better than anyone else, at any rate) in replicating the beers - but not of course duplicating them.

Beatification seems, on the whole, not quite as dry nor as tart as many Lambics. It does offer, however, plenty more funk. Acidic, vinegary notes of wilted citrus, wild honey and over-ripened orchard fruit abound as do the shared characteristics to a dry, sparkling white wine. According to the brewery's bottle log, this batch (#2) is considered "ultra funky". Indeed, it's probably one of the "funkiest" beers I can recall having.

The contents were put in bottle 29/02/08 but its two comprising batches were laying around in the barrels for some considerable time before that, 19 and 13 months respectively. Given the uniqueness of each batch, it's hard to say how this bottle, now at age one and a half, compares to fresher samples. That said, I see no reason to doubt the 4 hourglass lifespan Russian River labeled it with.

Fascinating a beer though Beatification may be, it is (admittedly) largely thanks to those few Belgian brewers who continue the tradition of spontaneously fermented ales that such knowledge and technique were handed down (and then west about 5500 miles) to one of North America's most innovative and talented brewmaster. No wonder it's called "Beatification", this beer sure makes me happy!

 2,500 characters

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 Gueuzedude
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 001, Sampled July 2006
Pours with an orangish, hazy (got a bit more sediment than I thought on that pour), gold color. It is topped by a frothy, pale tan colored head that disappears fairly quickly. It is pretty well carbonated, but seems to be a bit more subdued than the PH1. As soon as I pour this beer it is apparent to my nose that this is a sour beer; tart acidic notes reach my nostrils. A lactic sourness seems to dominate, almost has that fresh grapefruit aroma that some straight Lambics pick up. Does not have much in the way of Brettanomyces character; there does seem to be a touch of musty Brett funk and perhaps a hint of urea, but that is fairly subdued. When digging around in the nose there is a dry, malty, toasted grain note almost like crackers. This does not have the funk in the aroma, or the woody notes that the batch-001 PH1 had, it is still quite nice though and reminds me of the aromatics on a batch of Girardin straight Lambic I once had in Beersel Belgium.

Dry, tart and lactic from the get go, this is actually a bit harder in its perceived acidity than the PH1. I say perceived because this beer does not have as many of the balancing notes (wood and funk come to mind), that the other batch did, so it may just seem more tart. It does remind me some of a very tart grapefruit, sour yet with a bit of fruity complexity that a lemon does not have. Hints of green apples (in fact even something that reminds of a green apple jolly rancher) and a touch of unripe pear. The finish is at first dominated by the sourness (like the rest of the beer), but picks up a touch of astringency, perhaps some tannins, a dry sort of lingering, biscuit like maltiness and even a note that reminds me of Curacao orange peel. Wonderfully easy drinking, and light on the palate, while at the same time having a sort of creamy mouthfeel to it.

While it is not as challenging or complex, I really like it for its aggressive straight forward tartness. The dominant tartness is joined by a touch of malt character, some austere fruit notes and perhaps a wisp of funk. Another characterful brew from what is fast becoming one of my absolute favorite breweries.

 2,181 characters

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

Bit of funkiness on the nose. Picking up some fruit, citrus like flavors, lemonade. Almost tastes like it's aged on apricots. Very balanced white wine with sour tart flavors. Big sour punch up front that mellows out to a medium, dry finish. Level of sweetness is perfect. Pretty delicious.

 289 characters

Photo of wrightst
3.25/5  rDev -27.3%

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.

 289 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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 KAF
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

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

A - Pours a hazy light orange color and a thin white lacing ring, no carbonation.

S - Pears, white grapes, sour apple, lots of wet earthiness, acidic, and assertively tart.

T - Follows the nose with pears, sour apples, white sour grapes, acidic tartness, light oak tannin, lots of funk.

M - A wet finish with so much sourness that it angrily sucks the spit off your tongue. (Literally!) Medium body with gentle cask-like feel.

O - Probably one of the most pungent and interesting sours that I've had to date.

 512 characters

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