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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

601 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 601
Hads: 2,569
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 1,171
Gots: 825 | FT: 59
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-27-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 601 | Hads: 2,569
Photo of GimmeGumballHead
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

got a couple of these bottles out of a recent trade, love russian river sours. so much.

A - hazy, pretty pale, but very pretty. minimal head.

S - kind of intense, but not really for a sour, very sweet, the bret is present and AWESOME.

T - can't even think of a reason to complain about the taste of this beer. such quality.


O - get some of this beer as soon as you can, I generally use sours for pallet cleansers, but this beer as well as many other russian river sours might slip into my regular rotations.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 006, poured into a Russian River stemmed glass. The head is slightly off white, about a finger high, and between foamy and creamy. Fades to a light cap and subtle ring. Decent lace. The beer itself is a clear and brilliant straw yellow/gold.

The aroma is lovely and inviting on a warm day like today. Brett and some funk, straw, a light tart sweetness, green apple, lemon zest, light biscuit malt notes, hints of strawberry, hints of yeast, spice, banana and clove almost like it's hinting at a hefe.

The taste is nice as well. Lighter acidic sourness, moderate tartness, sweet but dry, brett, green apple, lemon zest, white wine notes, strawberry or apricot maybe, bready biscuity malts, a bit of belgian yeast, some spice, a bit salty and again hints of clove and banana like it's a bit hefe. Really a pleasant taste.

Carbonation is medium round, with a light and dry consistency, medium (maybe low-medium) body, and a moderate length finish.

This is probably my favorite American Wild Ale yet. I like that it's lighter sour with a decent amount of tartness and it's basically just not too over the top of an Am. Wild Ale. Though I am sometimes in the mood for a mouthpuckeringly sour beer, this beer is nothing like that and I could probably have one of these just about any time. This could actually be a pretty good intro beer to those who haven't yet ventured into the world of sours/wild ales. Really good and quite drinkable.

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001! How special do I feel?

Shimmers as it pours into my glass, a golden vision with carefully designed bubbles lacing the sides of the brew.

Aroma is pure Brett, brett, brett. Funk, sweet pure, clean malt washes and weaves through too. The beer is able to improvise and funkify out there, but such things are kept in respectable check. Think a jazz festival sponsored by your local savings bank. Will the musicians show off some chops? Sure. Will they blow your mind with "out-there" variations, recollections of past snippets of great works, and cliff-drop modulations? Probably not. This brew's aroma is the bank festival. Orval is that unmarked door downtown, where they keep the music cookin' till the sun comes up. Ya dig what I'm saying?

Taste evens up the same, lemony hops covered in powdered sugar and a little quinine. Noble hops all the way, this is a pure tribute brew. Laces out, through the uprights, this knows the path and follows it handsomely. Nice work.

Mouthfeel is bubbly, bright, and keeps things ever effervescent, without ever being sharp.

Drinkability is fantastic. I could easily see a summer night with a few bottles of this being passed around the table.

A nice brew -- classic, sparkling, summer in a bottle, with enough funk and farmhouse to let you know it's there...but not enough to scare away the casual belgie fan. Solid stuff. Thanks to the fellas who know who they are that treated me to this at UJs. Glad I had it.

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Photo of lou91
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fantastic beer from the pop of the cork, the beautiful golden hazy pour and the pure white rich head to the wonderful smells of that funky lambic smells. The taste was so good with a long lasting aftertaste of limes honey and kiwi. This would be great with some spicy curry or pad thai.

This is a review of batch 2:
Very excited to try this after hearing about the recipe change. Poured an opaque orange yellow with an unmistakable funk. The taste is oh so good- the funk grabs you initially then allows the pleasant and subtle honey, green apples and dry crackers. This is a good intro to the wild ales or iambics since you get a good sense of the flavor but nothing overpowering.

The abv is now 6.25.

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Photo of abfraser
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at CBS in San Francisco. Heard they weren't bottling this batch, so very happy to get the chance to get some.

A: Straw yellow to yellow, hazy, with a minimal head. Looks like pretty active carbonation

S: Brett sour, with tart lemon and citrus, pear. Some muskiness and earthiness.

T/M: Excellent. Exactly like the aromas and then some. Brett sour nicely balanced with a tart citrus and subtle muskiness. Mouthfeel is light bodied, dry as hell, with nice active carbonation. This is the RR sour that most closely resembles a Belgian gueuze.

D: Exceptionally drinkable. Perfect balance, low-ish abv. Refreshing. I could drink this all night

This is my favorite RRBC sour beer, perhaps because its not over the top mouth-puckering, but more subdued. Awesome stuff. If you like sours, seeks this out.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.92/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one of the first few "wild ales" I have enjoyed. I think this beer completely changed my interest and like of wild ales to a love of wild ales. Bottom line, this beer is awesome. Can't wait to try some of the other RR wilds.

A: Pours a nice golden yellow with a big foamy head. Some yeast and other floaters enjoying the ride in the beer...

S: Spectrum of orange fruits and citrus..nice and fruity with bitter and sour notes intertwined...

T: Crisp, sour (but not overpowering) and nice and clean!

O: This beer really good...borderline heavenly! I wish I lived on the west coast so I could have regular access to it!

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured In: Snifter
Attained through a trade (Thanks Adam!)
Batch 005.
Corked and caged.

Appearance: After uncorking the bottle there was a slight gush of head. The pour is cloudy gold and saffron color with a finger of head. The beer looks quite effervescent. There's just a few streaks of foamy lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: The blonde ale definitely shines through on the nose. Grains and cereal come out with some grassy notes as well. The nose is dry. The brett isn't overpowering, but is easily found. It adds a very nice funk to the beer, including some sweat and barnyard. Lemon and white grapes add a nice touch.

Taste: The tasting starts out sour with the lemon, white grapes, vinegar and barnyard. The flavor then switches to the blonde ale side of the beer; the cereal and grain flavors start to come out with the beer not coming out sweet at all which I absolutely love. The finish is dry.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation holds the beer up with a medium body; as the carbonation dies down the beer gets more thin.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable beer, unfortunately the price tag would hurt it in this category. This was a really well put together beer though, and I'm glad I traded for more than one bottle.

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Photo of ottovon
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

opened with whiterascal. poured into our Russian River belgian glasses.

A: pours out a straw yellow with a foamy, white head that faded quickly. leaves a film of head over the top.

S: has a nice, light aroma. lots of lemon zest, with some straw, a bit of brett funk. some musk, earthiness, and some sweetness as well. i get hints of pepper and cinnamon as well.

T: it has a nice lemony flavor. i get some straw, bread, and a nice brett funk. there is earthiness, and musk. a touch of oak and peppery spiciness. it also has some nice acidity to it.

M: this is has a nice light mouthfeel. good carbonation for the beer. it is quite high on the carbonation, but goes really well it.

D: this is a very drinkable beer. I would have no trouble drinking a few of these.

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Photo of Verecund
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4, opened on December 29, 2010.

Pours a harvest gold with slow ascending lines of bubbles reaching to the surface. A nice, frothy one finger head settles atop the golden body, leaving rings of lacing.

Malic acid, reminiscent of tart green apples, freshly squeezed lemon juice, peach / tropical fruits, damp hay, and the slightest hint of musty funk meets the nose. After one tastes the beer, the bretty funkiness shines more strongly in the aroma, but before, I mostly pick up notes of citric and lactic acid. Great balance; an almost perfect floral and fruity bouquet. Taste is markedly different, though familial to the nose: a straw undercurrent, lemon tartness, a touch of white flesh stone fruits (e.g., apricot), and some complementary earthy funk.

Dry and effervescent, as befits this particular sour style.

I've had this once before and, though I didn't take notes, I think this has improved ever so slightly, souring up a bit. I anticipate my final bottle of this batch.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 5 received in a trade. Served chilled into my Bruery snifter.

A: Beautiful golden hue with 2 finger, fizzy white head. Good lacing.

S: Crisp and sour tartness.

T: Dry, tart and sour all at the same time giving way to apple and citrus fruit tones.

M: Light body with lots of carbonation.

O: I would say this us a great intro into the realm of wilds. Great flavors paired with sour undertones. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of hophead247
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy yellow gold body under a carefully managed one finger fizzy white head. Moderate visible carbonation. The nose is just full-on bretty goodness. Soft maltiness, and some fruity notes. Quite beautiful in its simplicity. Unique slightly biting acidity over a very soft doughy light malt. Finishes with some lemon zest, pineapple, and lots of cellar funk. A little bit of lingering pixie stick. Mouthfeel is light and airy with engaging pinpiont bursts of carbonation. A really great beer, and a nice showcase for all that is great about Brettanomyces...

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Photo of quirkzoo
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch - 005

Pours a deep gold with 2 fingers of fizzy white head that quickly recede to a thin layer. The aroma is very tart up front, lots of sour green apples, slightly vinuous behind the tartness. As it opens up I get some wet hay funk. The taste is slightly puckering but not overwhelming. This is extremely well balanced between tart and funky.It is so well balanced that it is extremely drinkable, no problem finishing off the small bottle myself. A top notch American Wild, Russian River deserves their reputation and I will definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of jcartamdg
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped open a 375, pours a 2 finger head that stays, golden and hazy in appearance. Aromas of brett right away, apples and funk. The taste follows the nose to a tee only strengthened. It's dry but not too dry, just keeps you coming back for more. Russian river knows sours and this is one of the best!

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Photo of adman08
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours with a small amount of head that stays in the glass to the end. Very pale, cloudy straw color.
S-Not as strong a smell as most sours. Still has the sour aroma but also a little hint of fruit.
T-True sour brett flavor. Very tart and dry with almost no fruit flavor. I also get a bit of a dry white wine flavor. A hint of vinegar or sherry as well.
M-Lots of bubbles, very dry.
Overall, another good sour ale from Russian River. If your a fan of the true sours, those without added fruit, this is a good beer to sample.

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Photo of busterthecat
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle batch 005, poured into wine glass

A- Pours a light hay blond. Some soft foamy head develops. Very light lacing from the thin rim of foam.

S- A clean sour followed by musk and some barnyard funk. Medium robustness. Fresh and inviting.

T- A mild tart & sour, like a lemon skittle. The body is round and has as light earthiness to it. The sour lingers well. The barnyard is gentle but last well in finish.

M- A light refreshing body. Medium in size. Tingles the palate. Not over powering at all. A mild sour.

O/D- A really great beer. This is perfect for a light meal or relaxing on a nice warm day. Well done again RR.

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Photo of UnknownKoger
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been a while since I've had Sanctification. Time to give it a proper review. Batch 6 poured into Bruery tulip. Appearance is golden yellow. Good carbonation. Slightly vigorous pour yields a nice head which dies down to a nice ring with an island in the middle.

Smell is fantastic. The crisp, tart Brett is there. Smells of lemon zest and other citrus fruits. Some grapefruit. Taste is excellent. It's got a nice bit of sour funk to it. Very crisp and refreshing. This is outstanding. I forgot how good this beer is.

Mouthfeel is great due to the carbonation. Overall, you should expect nothing less from Russian River. It's outstanding. Buy as much as you can (afford)

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Photo of peacebone116
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 375-mL bottle (Batch 005) into Delirium snifter.

A: Cloudy bright pale straw color. No head, but lacing on sides and a wispy spiral (again, reminds me of a swirling galaxy) at center of glass.

N: Tart Meyer lemon rind and musk.

T/M: Lemony sourness creeps through my mouth and causes my jaw to clench! The prickly carbonation provides a good backdrop to the tartness. There is a slight vinegar note to the beer, reminiscent to that of Kombucha. The hops' bitterness and spice bridges the transition of initial malty sweetness (which hits with a quick flash) into the tartness.

Overall, this is a tasty beer, but it is not my favorite of the RR sours. It is crisp, refreshing, and jaw-breakingly sour, which I like, but there is a lack of depth to this, as compared to the other sours in the flight.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Russian River. Nice medium golden color with about a finger of head. Smells lightly of citrus, heavy Brett, some tree fruit like apple and pear. Nice fruity flavors, dry. Great sour bite without ripping my face off. Nice mouthfilling small bubbles. Dangerously drinkable. One of my favorite sours ever.

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Photo of DearthVader
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a beautiful hazy yellow body with a bright orange glow around the edges. Atop sits a 1" white head that quickly fades to a nice crown.

Smell is mostly of tart citrus fruits. Orange, lemon, and grass. Slight hues of vinegar, but not much.

Outstanding taste. Follows the smell with upfront orange fading into the tart lemon and grass. Not overpowering on the sourness. Very well balanced and enjoyable.

Opened this up at 2 PM while its 90+ degrees outside. Incredible refreshing. The sourness doesn't stick around for long. It starts smooth, moves to the sourness, then finishes dry. Fantastic brew.

I'm new to sours, but this could be the one that makes me a believer. Yet again, a very enjoyable brew by Russian River.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Number 2 in the -ation series from Russian River.

Pours a bright hazy straw yellow with a white, small bubbled head.

Smells of sweet citrusy fruits, light grassy notes.

Tart citrus balanced with light sweet fruits. Tartness slightly dominates but is never overpowering. Long crisp dry finish. Medium sour.

Carbonation is sharp and and clean and compliments the tartness and the dry finish.

An excellent offering from the brewing artists at RR. This is more than a beer, this is an amazing beverage.

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Poured from 375ml bottle
Color is a pale straw yellow, slightly hazy
Nose is a fizzy lemon scent, with some funky brett and ginger
Taste is lemon, white grape, ginger, and doughy bread
Mouthfeel is oily, a lot of carbonation, sour, and dry
Overall, really refreshing and satisfying. Well-made.
Just figured out the aftertaste--pancetta!

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Photo of 0110x011
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - pours a slightly hazy gold with a fluffy two-finger head. Not much staying power, but some very nice lace is left behind.

S - lemony citrus first, with some bready yeast and mushroom. Barnyard funk for sure, but more in the style of a Brett-spiked saison than a sour. Big yeast in the aroma, but not in the expected lacto sour way.

T - lemon first, followed by the same bready/earthy/funky yeast flavors. Some peachy stone fruit comes through, but the flavor stays in the more saison area, with a light dash of tartness. Sour would be an incredible overstatement.

M - soft and creamy. Light bodied, with a crisp, clean finish.

D - very, very high. This would be a great intro to this style of beers, before moving to more extremes in sourness.

Quite unlike the other RR sours. Not nearly as tart, with more earth and bready components. Infinitely drinkable, a fine beer, even if it doesn't rely compare with it's brethren.

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Photo of cooler4life
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/13

A: Poured a bright but cloudy golden wheat yellow with a one finger fluffy off-white head. Lacing and glass retention are slight. No floaties can be seen (I was expecting some!).

S: Fresh white grapes, golden fruits, green apple with a strong melon backbone. The smell does not have much of a barnyard funk, very straightforward.

T: Begins with VERY strong tartness then evolves to multiple layers or flavor. Oak, lemon, white wine, dry crackers, and honeydew. The Brett provides a wonderful level of funk that ends with a touch of rum soaked banana.

M: Leaves an oily dry finish with a great level of carbonation given the age of the bottle. Crisp and refreshing, I couldn't ask for more.

O: I had the pleasure of picking this up at RR earlier this year, and let's just say the trip was definitely worth it!

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Photo of paytoplay
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brett bomb. Yeast, bready a bit. A little tart and would be a treat to find this beer properly stored 5 years down the road. sampled from keg at o'briens 15th annv. Complex mid palate, aroma was just funk and brett. Creamy though. A treat to try this brew.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cracked open during an all day tailgate affair at the Penn State Michigan game last weekend. First, mighty props to ipa247 for sending a bottle of Sanctification my way. Jeff is a first team all BA pro; thanks Jeff.

A - Poured from a chilled bottle into an awaiting snifter. Pours a nice yellow with a white pillowy head. Pretty much what I expected.

S/T - Pretty much what has been written by the masses here. Smell is brett and citrus, with lemon seeming to rule the road. Taste is magnificent. I think I actually prefer this to the other RR beers that I have had including Temp, Supp, Damn, and Consecration. Tart but not overly sour, with a pleasing lemon citrus taste balancing out the brett. I would say that this is damn near sessionable.

M - Pretty nice along the lines expected. Tart, crisp, and refreshing.

D - Really nice as said above, I could knock back a lot more of this than I had.

Thanks again Jeff. Always appreciate your generosity.

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Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.