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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,080 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,749
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 1,600
Gots: 1,628 | FT: 121
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,749
Photo of JustinMatthew
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at the Russian River & Taco Bonanza into a little chalice.

Pours mahogany in color, barely opaque and no head. Smells delicious.. Slightly vinegar/ tart and sweet. taste is a blast of tart and and mild sweetness. A little vinegar, currants, and slight oak all balanced perfectly. After taste is all oak.. Some vanilla and currants very mild overall. This sour beer leaves me begging for another sip! (408 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2009/Batch 2)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

(Aged 2 years)

Dark cherry red and auburn, bordering on brown, with a thin khaki head. Spotted lacing down the glass.

An incredible array of aromas that come together magnificently: sweet cherries and currants provide the primary sweetness, tart, biting, stinging sour notes leap from the glass, all smoothed out by an inviting, welcoming aroma of rich wood, earth, and vanilla.

The taste is just as spectacular as the nose. I've had this beer a number of times, and this 2-year-old version has been by far the standout. The sourness is still there, biting and stinging, balanced with the rich, earthy, and sweet flavors from the fruit, all alongside the rich yet subtle notes from the barrel. There's an underlying sticky toffee sweetness coming through I don't remember in previous versions, and, as always, there isn't the slightest hint of a 10% ABV.

Smooth, light yet full, crisp, and refreshing.

An absolutely perfect, infinitely complex, sour ale. I'm happy Josh ordered this 2-year-old bottle, as I can never keep myself from opening the ones I buy for myself.

An all-time favorite of mine. (1,170 characters)

Photo of gyllstromk
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Nice but brief head with a dark, mahogany body. Smell is (unsurprisingly) currants and dark fruit. The taste is really where this beer shines. Wonderful currant with an extremely tart, dry bite and a pleasant champagne carbonation. One of my favorite beers after the first sip. I'm glad I don't live in the bay area because I'd go broke drinking this. (390 characters)

Photo of mwa423
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours the color of peach tea with a thin white head that quickly disappeared. Even in the first pour out of the bottle there is some sediment.

S - The aroma is that of the ultimate wild ale, a complex mixture of sourness, dried fruits, some wine like notes and certainly some oak as well. Not too sour in the smell but certainly inviting.

T - Wow. This beer is a flavor party in my mouth. There is some sourness, some sour grape notes that have mellowed, a strong sweetness and the currants in the aftertaste. An absolutely fantastic beer that every BA should try.

M/D - Mouthfeel is sharp from the sourness and has a bit of the feel of pop rocks. The flavor is so good that it's hard to keep it in the glass. This is exceedingly drinkable and overall an amazing beer. (775 characters)

Photo of vinny21bal
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The cats meow. I love Russian River Sours. They are second to non. Temptation is my favorite in the line of sours but this one is amazing as well. A little bit of the old world funk, and some nice barrel flavor as well. They have also mastered the perfect sour taste. Not like Love Child where it taste artificial and just pure sour. I recommend this beer to anyone. (366 characters)

Photo of Ambiorix
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375 ml bottle.

A: Brown pour, ruby highlights, thin, off-white to tan head faded pretty quick but left decent lace.

S: Funky, sour, lactic tang, dark fruit, black currant, cask wood. A huge nose with the promise of great things to taste.

T: Incredibly sour, tangy, oaky. Black currant, dark, bready malt, barnyard, brett bitterness, lacto tanginess, vinous, tobacco leaves.

M: Highly carbonated, satisfying. The carbonation balances the intense sourness well.

D: Incredible. Amazing. Easily rivals anything brewed in Belgium. Brewing brilliance at its finest. I wish it were more widely available. (602 characters)

Photo of gonzowestwood
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375 ml bottle, batch number 007

A- Dark cherry, deep amber with a small head that leaves quickly

S- Plum, raisin, oak, sour cherry and a touch of booze. Smells like an corked wine in a good way

T- The taste is jaw dropping. Dark fruits, Cherries, Plums, Currants, pipe tobacco, an nice oaky pinot noir with a touch of sour

M- Medium to full with lively carbonation

O- More of a wine then a beer. Must say i like this more then 'Supplication' the taste and smell will blow your hair back. (495 characters)

Photo of Gameover170
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My second sour, this is fantastic!

Smell of cherries, raspberries, currants and spice.

Taste is delicious, fruity, sour but yet can taste the cab in the back of throat.

Mouthful is medium, lightly carbonated.

Overall, really digging sours, and this is at the top of the list of must haves (296 characters)

Photo of IrieJackalope
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle of this on a recent trip out to the RR brewpub in Santa Rosa. $22/bottle, but after trying a few glasses of the stuff at the pub I knew it was well worth the price.
I poured it into my Russian River goblet and was greeted by the tangy smell of Brett and the other wild yeast that Russian river uses to make their sours pack the punch they do. The color is deep, deep red, almost purple. Aromas of sour fruit, currents mainly, waft from the glass. The taste is just as lively and tangy as the smell, perhaps even more so. There's also a good deal of wine flavors here, in addition to the yeast and fruit elements. Surprisingly drinkable for a ten percent beer. This was the beer that made me fall in love with sours, and every time I drink it the moth puckering sensation reminds me of why I will never look at beer the same way again. This is an absolute must for sour fans, and highly, highly recommended for adventurous souls looking to break away from the usual. (984 characters)

Photo of phishsihq
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 007...

Consecration is classified as an American Wild Ale, and the label gives hints of what awaits the lucky drinker. Words like Saccharomyces, Pediococcus, Brettanomyces, and Lactobacillus hover around the words Sour Ale, and the excitement begins to build. Add all that to the fact the beer is aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels and you realize you have something pretty special in your glass. Consecration pours a reddish-brown, yet near the edges appears very plum like, with a quickly disappearing head that fizzes almost like soda. Hugely vinous aromas greet the drinker, including notes of vanilla, oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, and earthy hop tones/funk. The pallet erupts in an orgy of flavors, with the initial sourness giving way to darker fruit, citrus, Cabernet notes as well as earthiness (horse blanket) from the Brettanomyces. The fizziness noticed in the pour sticks around for the entire brew, a sign of a huge amount of carbonation that is met with a medium body. (985 characters)

Photo of steadydose
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 001x2

Cork removed with a good pop, which let some mist out of the bottle along with scents of fruits.

A: Poured into an oversized tulip wine glass. Beer is amber/brown, with reddish highlights. High clarity. Khaki head dissipates quickly, no lacing stays on glass as beer disappears.

S: Initial smell was that of cherries. More sour than sweet most of the time. Lots of oak with just a touch of funk. As the beer opens up and warms 20 minutes later, more aromas of sweetness are present. My final glass from the bottle smelled even better with cabernet scents surfacing. Bottle says currants were used in this beer. I have never had currants knowingly, but I'm guessing there like cherries. Overall, impressive.

T: Sour cherries dominate, oak is present throughout. The cherries/ currants are sour most of the time, but the sweetness is almost there, almost noticeable, but never really makes its way completely. Beer is perfectly tart and acidic, Alcohol is hidden well. Long finish for a beer. Is this beer still?, or a beer wine hybrid. Lots of complexity and layers to this beer, which got better over the course of the bottle. Amazing.

M: High carbonation which contributed to a thicker body and mouthfeel. I enjoyed the amount of carbonation in this one. Clean finish.

D: Consecration is an amazing beer. Highly drinkable. I can not wait to have another bottle of this stuff, and see how it evolves with some cellaring. (1,439 characters)

Photo of tony223366
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From my beer journal. Reviewed on October 18, 2011.

A: Really dark brown amber body. Nice head at first, but it quickly went away. Gorgeous looking beer.

S: Really rich aroma. Cherries and dark fruits followed by the distinct tartness. Oak characters interplay throughout.

T: Rich malts turn quickly over to cherries then right to lactic sourness. Finishes earthy and tannic. Really long finish that just works.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation.

O: Infinitely drinkable. I have absolutely no idea where these ABVs are hiding. Looked down and it was already half gone. Wish it wasn't so expensive because this is one of my favorite beers of all time. (661 characters)

Photo of roadhouse
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thanks to route66pubs!) into a 22 oz. brandy snifter

Pours a deep ruby red color with a one inch off-white head. It falls down to a half inch cap which holds up very well. No lacing is left behind though.

Aroma is full of wonderful funk, sour like green apples, currants definitely come through but blend in with a general dark fruit character. Oak is also slightly noticeable.

Taste is sour from the start but there is actually a very slight sweetness in the back that plays very well with the sour. Lots of dark fruit character as well, currants come through again. Some funk and vinegar, but it's mostly pleasant sourness. Oak comes out in the finish. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is light in body due to a nice dryness. Silky going down with nice soft but effervescent carbonation. Very easy to drink.

By far the best sour that I've had the pleasure of drinking. Even better or equal to the Belgian sours. If you enjoy sours, then you absolutely must seek this one out. (985 characters)

Photo of botham
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

liter bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. pours a chestnut brown color with one finger of loose eggshell colored head. poor retention and no lacings.

aroma is mildly sour with dark fruits and notes of cherry, passionfruit and currants. the sour note is mildly vinous with a bit of funk mixed in. the fruit is subtle, but mixes in nicely with the overall profile. the sour character gets more pronounced as the beer warms.

taste is of a vinegar-like sourness with fruit close behind. raspberries, cherries, passionfruit and currants are all present. no alcohol shows, which is good for 10% APV. the brew is lightly effervescent, and just sour enough to sustain the fruit character.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and mildly tart in texture. the brew finishes on a tart ntote with residual berries and currants. nicely proportioned on the palate. the sourness is just strong enough to keep the palate honest.

drinkability is excellent. prefectly proportioned on the palate with a wonderful fruit bouquet and mildly vinous finish that works magic on the palate. this beer is phenomenal. it dances on the palate with a sour character that enhances the drinkability. cheers! (1,177 characters)

Photo of popery
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say? It's incredible. I'm going to strictly edit myself in this review, so I don't get too gushy. Giving two 4.5's feels wrong, and the five in flavor seems a bit low. At any rate, the beer pours a translucent auburn with nice lacing. There are notes of red wine, currants (of course), cherries, malt and a wonderful sour like an incredible vinegar. The flavor is similar. The sour bites nicely. There's actual malt presence behind all of the fruit and sourness. The fruit flavors are refined and elegant. The whole thing is a wonderful experience. I can't imagine how they could improve on this flavor profile. The sourness blends with the fruit and malt at just the right level. There's also a dry oak flavor that keeps any possible sweetness in check. It drinks like a beer with half as much alcohol content. Bravo to everyone at Russian River. (858 characters)

Photo of Sechavar
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a bottle of Batch 1 (involuntary response) from Hi Times in Costa Mesa, CA. Smelled like currant jam and a little bit of balsamic vinegar had been smeared right on my upper lip, and I eagerly awaited licking it off. Poured like juice, slightly viscous, thin syrup, like from canned fruit. Little to no head. Tastes like (involuntary response) currants picked at the peak of perfection, crushed by the feet of nubile virgins. And I was licking their feet, gratefully, smacking my lips, licking my lips, leaving it in my mouth just to tease to see how long I could go without swallowing it. When it was finished, I was a little tipsy and begging for more. (657 characters)

Photo of oldn00b
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks a little thinner than expected - light loose head forms and fades immediately.

Copper/Amber color, absolutely clear.

Nose is bright with deep aroma of currant and black cherry.

Sour is huge, lots of pucker and an extra bitter aspect comes through big. A lot of depth and character. Brilliant bright fruit mixed with dark ripe fruit. Sour, abrasive in some aspects and delicate in others.

This is a fantastic beer. (428 characters)

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

- Bottled on 11-Feb-14
- 375mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 23-Nov-14
Overall, this is the standard grape/wine brown sour that I gauge all others of similar type. This one's nearly flawless. So glad my taste developed the appreciation/love for this.
Love wine-influenced beers, especially sours. This one's perfect for the holidays.

- Batch unknown
- 375mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 13-Sep-12

- Batch #8
- 375mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 9-Jun-12
Definitely get the sour currants, the grapes from the Cab, the earthy wood element from the barrel. Med bodied with great carbonation. Some heat that's warming and inviting. Most expensive of the 4 RR sours I've tried, but definitely gonna get another bottle.

- Batch unknown
- 1oz. tasting pour off tap @ Hollingshead Deli on 7-Jul-10
This was my first sour experience and it tasted like liquid Warheads. Couldn't appreciate it. (931 characters)

Photo of SidVicious619
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a Tulip Glass that looked like Dark Raspbeery rust with an off white head lacing and some sticky foam. Big fruit nose you wouldn't believe from the currant. notes of tart cherries, esters and red wine. I'm a Gueuze fan so the Sourness hit the spot. Flavors of Sour Cherries, oak, funk and some dry hops is in the background. Feels like a lightly carbonated red wine which made every sip one to remember. Hats off to Russian River! (451 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date 07.18.13. Pours a ruby brown with a thin, quickly dissipating off white head. No lacing. Lots of dark stone fruit and vinegar on the nose with gobs of oak, vanilla and red wine, what an aroma! Incredibly complex. Sour on the tongue with lots of oak, vanilla, red wine and black cherry. Ends slightly bitter but doesn't last long. The complexity helps tame the 10% ABV. Medium bodied with silky mouthfeel. Carbonation is intense initially but overall rather light. Finishes dry. Overall, a beautifully crafted American Wild Ale that takes its place in the pantheon of great sours! (591 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a deep red with very little head that doesn't linger for more than a few seconds. Definitely has a unique smell of raisin, Cabernet wine, champagne and sour dark fruits like prunes or dates. Initial taste is one of a rolling bubble champagne but complex taste where I really got some of the red wine flavors. Overall very delicious and a fairly heavy hitter for a wild on the alcohol content. (398 characters)

Photo of eclaycamp
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had the opportunity to have this on three separate occasions. Once at GABF, and twice at home with some bottles I was able to find while out there. The beer at first is unassuming. It pours a cloudy, hazy, mahogany with a small, tiny head. Then you smell it. Smell is oaked funk. Very sour, with a sufficiently huge aroma. First taste is an explosion on the tongue, with a huge sour note exploding outwards midway through the first taste. Wow. That's really all I can say. Must be tasted to be believed. The standard bearer for sour beers. . Pliny gets all the press but this beer deserves all the accolades - and more. Most assuredly up there with my favorites of all time. (679 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 002x01

Appearance: Pours a tawny brown with, dare I say it, currant highlights; the beer opened with an explosive sound and, though I feared a gusher, it poured with a nice head that dissipated rather quickly, leaving the occasional splotch of lace

Smell: Sour balsamic vinegar, toned down with sweeter elements of cherries, currants and a massive quantity of oak and leather

Taste: Starts out sweet but puckery with developing sour fruit flavors of currants, figs, green apples and tart cherries as well as leather, cocoa and loads of horseblanket; after the swallow, the wood really comes through to complement the potpourri of flavor into the long, persistent finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, silky smooth, with a puckering mouthfeel but relatively low carbonation

Drinkability: A stunningly bold achievement; may be the best thing Russian River produces (868 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The cork comes off with a very small pop. I can smell the magic already as it is very pungent. Pours a lovely dark cranberry red, disappointingly however no head on this particular bottle.

Smell is strong, complex and inviting; wine, cherries & other fruits, a dessert sweetness and a touch of oak.

This is probably my favorite sour as of now and arguably my favorite beer. Im getting the aforementioned smells, which all work together just perfectly. Balance is immaculate, with the sweetness outweighing the sour by just a tad. Absolutely unbelievable taste, words can't do justice. Pricing is usually $12 for a small bottle which is quite a bit but I'd pay Vinnie whatever he asks of me. Taste is always the most important category to rate and this deserves no less than a perfect score.

Mouthfeel on this particular bottle is less than exceptional as the carbonation is lackluster, however I don't believe this to be the norm, as usually the corks explode rather nicely. Even without the added benefit of carbonation this brew still feels incredibly solid in the mouthfeel dept. It literally is the perfect density, not to light or to heavy. Aftertaste is godly; which is unbelievable for a sour, notorious to have you running for a glass of water.

Drinkability is off the charts, I'll drink this 10% beer all day anyday. Bravo. (1,337 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (batch 001X3) poured into my large St. Feullien goblet (I was gonna go with one of the Russian River glasses, but they're all pretty ugly and none of them have the nucleation etching like this one), Consecration is a brilliant ruby with an off-white head that is pretty quick to settle to a thick skim, leaving light lace.

Smell is vinous, tart dark berries, caramel, not overly rich, even at cellar temp, but very nice. The constant crackle keeps it lively and enticing without overwhelming.

Taste is very nice. Immediately it reminds me of Oerbier Special Reserve, probably my favorite beer of all time. Which makes it all the harder for me to overlook that fact that I buy that for few less dollars for an equal volume, and that it comes from drastically further distance from a brewery that ages it for at least an extra year or so before release. Still, value is not a factor in taste, and on that accord there are very few that pale. Like most Flanders style beers, especially the stronger ones, I really wish I'd had this with the massive rib eye au poivre I had earlier, rather then splitting the Shiraz with my wife. Consecration is more overtly fruity (then the De Dolle), and is not that funky, although it's obviously pretty young, but is nevertheless fantastic.

Mouthfeel is medium light, a crisp creamy carbontion, with just enough maltiness to keep it from being to thin. Very digestible, and the coating of the tannins on the mouth is pleasant and really ties in the wine barrel aging.

Drinkability is high, as this is about as good as it gets for me taste wise. My only ding is the cost, in that comparable beers in it's class (the aforementioned De Dolle, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien, etc...) are quite a bit less, and they all come from another continent, not a days drive south of me. Still, this is a masterful beer that I'm glad to see will be somewhat regularly available, demanding a high proportion of my beer budget until they ramp up and price down! In fact, the more I contemplate this beer, the more impressed I am, perhaps one of the best I've ever had - again, only the De Dolle being on par. Wow, this beer is just an incredible mind blower. As I worked though it, I had to bump it up to a 5, in spite of the price, because it was just so dang good, in spite of the young age!

Edit - I had to pop an 06 Oerbier Special Reserve to compare with the last glass of the Consecration, these notes are all from the perspective of the De Dolle:

a-much larger head, more lace, duller, murky body
s-much drier, more mineral, bright
t-less complexity, more (very clean) alcohol, less depth, more wood, less tannins. RR is fruitier, DD is earthier, and has less depth.
m-a bit less carbonation but still hanging strong, lighter, drier.
d-good, but I'm shocked to see I prefer the RR in the shootout. The oakiness is a bit much, it hasn't gotten overly funky like I'd hope with the age, and the depth doesn't match the RR. I like a sweeter beer, or more sour, but the aged DD reminds me of the disappointing 05 Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien I had on xmas eve, which was also over oaked and not that sour. (3,163 characters)

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.