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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,096 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,096
Hads: 4,850
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 20.18%
Wants: 1,626
Gots: 1,692 | FT: 125
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,096 | Hads: 4,850
Photo of popery
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of Sechavar
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of SidVicious619
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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Photo of JohnG190
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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Photo of alaimoa
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
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

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5



Outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous outrageous.

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Photo of ccrida
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from caged and corked 750 ML bottle(Batch 001X2) a clear amber brown with a very spritzy head of foam. When it's spritzy, I know it's not going to last very long and it didn't. The bubbles surfacing to the top are keeping a small island afloat, so to speak. Hehe..the foam reminds me of pixels on a computer screen...

The smell is just as I remember from the samples I had at last year's GABF...Cabernet Sauvignon notes dominate with big notes of vanilla and oak and fruit that *is* currants. I love red currants on buttered toast and the smell here totally reminds me of that.

The taste is deliciously both sweet and tart up front. Maybe a bit more intense than I remember from the 1 oz samples but hey, I love that it is and I love the fact that I now have 25.4 oz, give or take a few as I've just taken a few sips, to take my time with and savour. The foam is now gone but I can still see the lively carbonation throwing up....errr...tossing...err..the bubbles are still making their way to the top nearly smack damn in the center of the glass.
Back to the taste. I'm now getting a pretty big kick from the Brett(sorry, I have a hard time spelling it out) and I'd be amiss if I didn't say there's a fair amount of caramel malt here, hence my first sentance on taste. Gee wiz this is so damn tasty and there's so much going on with the flavours, I can't describe them all properly.

Medium mouthfeel and pretty high carbonation, a plus in my book, it finishes with big sour and Brett notes. Wonderful!

Drinkability? 10%abv and I cannot taste it or feel it during or after the swallow. No warming for me at all but I *know* that when I finish this big bottle, I'll feel that all is right with the world, if that makes any sense. ;^)

Bottom line: A superb! American Wild Ale that I fell in love with from my very first sip. A must try for anyone who favours the style!

Finally..a big Thank You goes out to The Wine Underground in Englewood CO for making this available online!

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Photo of CUBeerBuff
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11/22/13 bottle.

A: Dark reddish brown with thin active head and good amount of bubbles from carbonation.

S: Deep rich acidic aroma. Sharp with it hints of grapes.

T: Tangy and tart. Complex mix of wine, fruit, acid and wood. Whoa! The first few sips overwhelm your mouth until it adjusts. Hides the alcohol mostly, just a faint taste in the background.

M: A bit thinner than I expected but might feel lighter due to the pretty high initial carbonation. I assumed more body but was very satisfied with it when paired with the taste.

Overall, top notch example of a barrel aged sour. A bit immature so I will store the 2nd bottle for another year or so to compare.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Grabbed some bottles of this from my local supplier La Bodega. Thanks for carrying some sweet stuff in a beer wasteland such as Riverside.

Poured into my Russian River Barrel aged snifter. Pours a nice looking dark brown with a thick tan head that dissapated to about 1/4" and stayed there. Not alot of sticky lacing though.

Smells of alot of bret funk with tart cherries and some oak. Smells like this is gunna be awesome.

Taste is wonderful hands down best sour I have had so far. You can really taste the wine notes from the barrels and the oak and bret mixed with the malts is sublime. Wonderful

Mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. Couldn't ask for more.

Drinkability is high and usually I can't drink that many sours in a row but I could drink the entire 750 by myself but I'm being nice and sharing it with a buddy. Glad I bought a couple.

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Photo of peabody
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a dark reddish clear brown with one finger of white suds and lots of lacing.
Smell is just the best. Sour grape and cherry and dewberry and a slight lemon zest. Something in the back like a sweet soad pop. Grape?
Bubbley wine and vinegar sugar in a complex malt.
This one is over the top. Can't tell it's a
10%er. Burst of lemon and dry candy sour green apple candy and a very strong raspberry/grape sourness. The cab and the wood really come through.
Mouthfeel is just perfect. Clean enough and dirty at the last. The aftertaste lasts and lasts.
Drinkablilty is great here. I love this. Perfect.

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Photo of winningwes91
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a gorgeous dark ruby red color with a pinkish white head. Smells of sour cherries, vinegar, some oak, and some more overly ripe fruits. Wow. The taste opens up the palate with a smack of tartness that follows with sour apples, cherries and wine. Dryness throughout helps to balance out the sourness. Super dry finish. Wow. RR really killed it here. Probably my favorite sour to date. World-class stuff.

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Photo of rye726
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to our friends at Russian River for their amazing beers to Colorado.

Consecration pours a rich redwood color and holds a silky tan head. Excellent lace and retention.

The nose is quite complex with spicy alcohols, funky farmyard yeast, tart currants, oak, bourbon, vanilla, cabernet grapes, and musty soil.

The taste is a superbly balanced blend of cabernet, ripe grapes, sour currants, oak and an earthy funk.

Body is refreshing yet full and a crisp carbonation enhances the vast variety of flavors. Nice dry finish. I could enjoy this ale any time.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002 x 3 from the Northeast Craft Beer Outlet at a rediculously good price...

A- Dark brown with red highlights. Big, whispy carbonated head that dicipates quickly. Little to no lacing.

S- Red wine, oak, tobacco. Slight red wine vinegar acidity note. Slight dark fruit note as well. Amazing.

T- Amazingly complex belnd of sour yet subtle fruit, red wine and oak, hints of vanilla. Nice earthy notes. Slight acidity on the back end. Finishes with a nice red wine taste. Perfect.

M- Medium bodied, perfect carbonation level from the yeast. Excellent smooth, silky wine like finish and aftertaste.

D- Wow, if i was never allowed to drink red wine again and wanted to still experience many of the positives, i would reach for this. The ultimate American Wild Ale experience.

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Photo of themind
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you like Cabernet Sauvignon this beer is for you! Looks awesome period! mouth watering. The aroma is an amazing wine, sour mix. The taste is the best BA wine brew I have ever had. I truly feel this beer is incredible. It's like an awesome beer and wine were mixed perfectly. A top notch, World Class beer that the brewmasters at RR should be proud of. I would buy this again in a second. Just wow! awesome beer!

Bottom Line: Amazing beer period! the only bad part is I am an IPA fiend!

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Photo of Cmack15
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance: deep mahogany color

aroma: malty sweetness, yeasty, oak notes

taste: starts with the malty sweetness that fades into the sour but not funky clean and crisp, tart

mouthfeel: light carbonation and light body

wow just a superb beer one mof my all time faves. The 10% abv is well hidden I could see this being a session beer but it is not, because you need to savor it


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Photo of STEG
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to enelson for this one. Poured a plum mahogany color into a tulip, one finger khaki head that recedes quickly. Smell is currants and raisins up front with slight tobacco notes and some sour apple in there too really wonderful complex stuff. Taste is wonderful, sour, but not too sour it could be compared to sour plum juice with brett there really is too much complexity here to identify. Mouthfeel is light and slightly oily. Very little alcohol presence makes this extremely drinkable.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky, Hellish red colour, brown mostly but with an ominous red tinge. Modest beige head sinks to a rim at the top. Lace is fairly nice, sticky sheets but not very clingy. Bit of cloud in the body. Nice colour, otherwise fairly impressive.

Lots of character on the nose - mostly sweet, with lots of fruit, berries and currants on there. A very sweet, almost creamy character comes up behind, a bit of caramel sweetness, some light toffee and some light milk chocolate notes. Also on there is funk, a hint of leather, pongy brie, barnyard animal notes. Lots of oak as well, and even some vanilla. Funk is slight - just a nice whisper lingering at the back of the nose, which is not just very nice - it's divine in fact. Superbly complex but balanced, just gives a lot without demanding. Incredible.

Taste is sour all over that. Starts off quite acidic, with a sharp citric twang to it, and the flavour of that continues to the mid without ever going overboard and being puckering, or painful. It's almost like the mid is 'cut off' by the flavour of the currants, which comes through fairly late but just in time it seems to clip off the puckering sourness. Really impressive effect with tart, underripe berries on the front, really seems painful, then a sweet-but-tart currant character and plenty of rich, fruity flavours on the back - prunes and currants and a big brandy alcohol warmth. Hints of oregano and other mixed herbs as well complete a really excellent, interesting palate profile. It gives you all the power of the funk but without the intensity or harshness. A challenging brew, but very, very enjoyable.

Slick and dry on the feel, really. Lots of body but never thick or syrupy, goes down well and although the puckering flavour is so expertly cut off, the sensation is still there, and the mouth feels a little sucked dry at the end. Good for the style though.

An excellent, extremely thirst-quenching, interesting, pleasant, beer. I could go on. An excellent choice to be my #500 review.

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Photo of ralflord
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks Dyan

Oh my fucking god is this a great fucking beer!! Poured into a double bastard glass. The lacing was tight with a smallish head. Beautiful amber color, with a wonderful sour and wine smell.

The taste was amazing. The beer, sour and wine flowed together in perfect balance. I loved the sour aftertaste.

The drinkability was off the charts, even though this is a high alcoholic beer. I could drink this all night.

Amazing beer!

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Photo of trodersark
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark amber color with a nice 3/4 inch light brown head.

S: RIght off the bat, I could smell a lot of funky Bretty smells. You can also smell a little but if the currant and fruityness that goes into the sour

T: Very effervescent, and extremely tangy and sour. You can definitely taste the sourness from the currents and the oaky flavor lingers as an aftertaste.

M: Medium body, yet very light, enjoyable, effervescent mouthfeel

D:10%??? Doesn't feel like 10% at all, extremely easy to drink!

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Photo of jradka412
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Certainly has to be one of my favorite beers of all-time. Pours a dark orange hue. The heaviness of the beer is masked by the sour taste while at the same time, not taking away from the sour taste. If you should find yourself in the situation to buy one, DO IT. Thank you Monk's in Philadelphia.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,096 ratings.