poured a 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date,
though it was Batch 006. I got this bottle from a friend who picked it
up in Philadelphia for $18 ($1.42 per ounce)!
Appearance: Bright, almost glowing, banana-skin yellow hue. Very cloudy,
but translucent. Forms a small, bright white, soapy head which doesn’t
completely evaporate and leaves some nice lacing.
Smell: Strong sour aroma with farmhouse notes and tropical fruit.
Taste: Sour beers are all the rage these days, though I haven’t quite
jumped onto the bandwagon yet. While I enjoy the candy-like taste, many
sours tend to be one-dimensional and don’t have a well-brewed beer at
the core. Russian River Sanctification is a major exception to this rule
as it has strong (and delicious) sour character, but still has a solid
The first thing I notice about the palette is, not surprisingly, the
sourness. It’s sharp, almost piercing, and yet in no way annoying.
There’s a fantastic candy-like tartness, not unlike confections made
with malic acid. There’s a grapefruit-like taste as well, probably from
the use of West Coast hops (the description doesn’t say which are used).
The bitterness is there, but is hard to distinguish because the
sourness is so strong. It finishes with a taste of lemon flesh coupled
with honey or, strangely enough, maple syrup. It’s the base pale malt
showing through and it’s quite impressive. Some tartness lingers on the
tongue momentarily, but it quickly fades away. Overall, this is [one of]
the best American sours I’ve ever had.
Drinkability: While Russian River Sanctification may indeed be intense,
the actual drinking process is not challenging at all. The mouthfeel is
somewhat thin with fine micro carbonation - nothing spastic like
champagne. It can be sipped or gulped, though I took my time with this
as I really wanted to get my $18’s worth. It seems a little lighter in
body than its 6.75% ABV would otherwise indicate, but I would not
describe this beer as being "light" in any way.