Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,080 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,753
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 1,600
Gots: 1,629 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,753
Photo of Bitterbill
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
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! (1,989 characters)

Photo of CUBeerBuff
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (607 characters)

Photo of winningwes91
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (565 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (780 characters)

Photo of themind
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
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! (489 characters)

Photo of Cmack15
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
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

cheers (389 characters)

Photo of STEG
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (501 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
4.86/5  rDev +11%
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. (2,015 characters)

Photo of ralflord
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
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! (443 characters)

Photo of trodersark
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
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! (507 characters)

Photo of jradka412
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (295 characters)

Photo of Steban
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hands down one of the best sours I've ever had. Red Wine Barrel really compliments the taste. Very complex and worth every penny. I need more of this is my life. soooo good. (173 characters)

Photo of macher0
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a beast. Poured dark ruby with a 2 finger fine bubble head. The nose indicates this is going to be sour. Notes of sour yeast, neutral oak, and dried cherries. The taste is very similar to the nose. The taste is much the same. Excellent. Very smooth. High carbonation. This is an incredible sour. This is very rounded and consistent. Obviously drink this. (362 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brought back from California wrapped safely in my luggage, cracked open with my bro @LaitueGonflable to celebrate his 500th review on BeerAdvocate.

Pours a dark deep blood red colour, dark grape-juice with a filmy tan head that collapses very quickly. Lots of carbonation swirling up through the depths, which makes the beer look alive, with a nice bead. Looks very heavy in the glass as well, although the carbonation is large-bubbled. Looks very decent.

Big vinous notes on the nose - lots of tannic red wine, tobacco leaf, dark curranty fruits and a hint of musty oak. Slight funk coming off it as well - although the acidity isn't present here, there's a whiff of barnyard and ripe cheese on the nose. Altogether, it's a wonderfully refined nose, sweet subtlety bouncing off rambunctious wildness.

Extremely long and full palate, starting with vinous acidity backed with earthy oak and tannic tobacco leaf. Port like heat seems to well slightly as the palate continues, leaving a warm booze note. Just when you think that's the end, up comes the berry-like currant note flushing its sweet-sour finish like warmed Christmas pudding over the palate. It is ever threatening to burst to extremes, but everything holds everything else together and it just rampages down the middle ground, never veering too far one way or the other. Coupled with this is the complex mouthfeel, that lingers through crewy and ripe at the start, almost touching harsh heat as the alcohol note comes through, before finishing with a cleansing, slightly puckering note. I've possibly never had a beer with a longer and more expressive palate - the fact that long after the beer is gone, there is still a dance of different characters developing is absolutely sublime. The complexity is amazing - the way the palate develops after each sip is absolutely stunning.

This is an absolutely exceptional beer. There's no getting around it. This beer proves why American Wild Ale is a unique style, and why it is such a well-regarded one at that. It also cements in my mind Russian River as an exceptional brewery. The complexity is incredible - I can't believe how much there is going on. Let's just put it bluntly, this is a really, really, really good beer. (2,234 characters)

Photo of webmanspidey
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excited to finally try this one... I've had this aging for about a year.

This is a corked 750 mL bottle poured into a large snifter. A dark translucent ruby red color, initially very fizzy and well carbonated with around an inch of head. The head dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell is a sour and tart mix of cranberries, cherries, roses, and lemon.

A really powerful taste in this one. Cranberries and lemon are the dominant flavors to me, but also has some smoky flavors, rose petals, currants, wine, and vinegar-like acids. Alcohol blends in so well here it is very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is very fizzy and well carbonated. Awesome drinkability.

This had a lot of hype around it and lived up to my expectations. Delicious and interesting. (745 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River. Pours dark, but not cloudy, just shimmering and purple to deep red. Almost no head, just a ring of light purple bubbles. Smells of tart cherries, red wine esters, alcohol. Nose is rich and inviting. Taste is supremely delicious. Sour, wine-like fruit flavor...lots of tart cherries, lip smackin'! Chocolate malt lingers beneath, but the feature is the big sourness that's just everywhere. I also get some currants and raspberries in there too. Sourness doesn't decrease much as i drink more, which i've found to be the case with other sours, it just sticks around and makes every sip a great and interesting experience. Drinks like a dream...a fantastic and memorable beer. (698 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip from a 375ml bottle.

Pretty strong pop from this bottle. Pours a nice garnet color with active carbonation and a nice .25 inch head. The head is thin and recedes quickly down to a ring. The color is very attractive.

Tart cherry aroma with some slight vinous aroma and raisin characteristics. Slight syrup aroma as well with some medicinal esters. Nice vinous character with some good tart vinegar notes and mixed in some nice wood.

Intense cherry tartness to start off with some slight balsamic vinaigrette that moves in as well. The profile is very similar to the aroma. Slight phenols and a syrupy medicinal flavor. The beer is very complex even though it leans towards the sour side. A nice rich flavor with a present alcoholic warmth and sweetness that tries to offset the tartness. As the beer warms it becomes a bit sweeter with some nice berry flavors and eventually the woody flavors from the aging. I've just started to experiment with sour beers and I have to admit some I like better than others. This is a good example and not a bad one to get introduced to the different flavor spectrum.

Delicious tartness with some great slight fruit sweet notes. The high ABV is nice and warming and lends the brew a richer note. (1,255 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown with bright ruby red highlights when held up to light. Almost cola like in appearance. Big, bubbly light brown head and audible fizzing. Head does not last long but does leave pretty good lacing. Lots of bubbles quickly rising to the top.

S - Strong aroma of brandy soaked cherries and raisins. A nice light vinegar aroma lingers underneath as well. Hints of vanilla and oak as well.

T - An excellent array of tastes come at you and the balance is just amazing. Starts off with a nice sour fruitiness with cherries and raisins, much like the aroma. The sour tastes fade to a more vinegar based tartness later in the drink. Throughout there is a nice underlying oakiness with hints of vanilla that provide an excellent balance to the sour/tart tastes throughout. Just an excellent array of flavors that play off each other wonderfully. I'm still new to the world of American Wild's, but this has to be darn near perfection.

M/D - Full bodied with an incredibly lively carbonation. The beer tickles your mouth and throat the whole way down. Ridiculously easy drinking as well. (1,092 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here was the deal. Jac5084 and I bet that whoever won our last game of racquet ball would bring this beer out. I won so Josh brought this out. Little did we know that this beer would completely blow us into orbit. Poured into two unbranded tulip glasses.

A: This pours a hazy...very hazy...rusty/copper/ruby. This was a gusher. Serve cold or have a glass in hand. As this poured, a 1" bone colored head appeared. The head dropped faster than a girl's dress on prom night and left a thin skim of bone colored head. The carbonation in this beer is unreal, as the beads just flow up the glass.

S: Wowoweewah. The smell is exceptional. Not completely in-your-face, but all the necessary ingredients are there. Tons of Cabernet soaked lemons with a nice Brett and Oak undertone. Cabernet soaked white and red grapes also come through in the nose.

T: This is just unreal. I basically screamed "WOW" as this beer touched my lips. The sweet, Cabernet soaked lemons and ripe red grapes just exploded with juices and flavors. The strange thing about this beer is that it started sweet with sweet grapes and lemon, but then morphed into a dry, Brett-driven monster than finished it through. This beer was unreal and definitely one of the best sours I have ever had.

Overall, this beer was glorious. The mouthfeel was highly carbonated and perfect. The 10ABV was absolutely nowhere to be found. And I am glad I do not live on the West Coast for once, otherwise I would spend my whole life savings on this beer. (1,502 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml, corked and caged bottle, batch 1. Consumed 02/06/2009 at the city beer store PTY release. Thanks for sharing, madorb.

Dark raspberry rust with a nice off-white head of clingy foam that lasts and provides the viewer with legs and sheets of lace.

The aromas is somewhat similar to the toronado 20th, however, this is sharper with a definite big fruit nose up front from the currant. Also, the acidity is cleaner and less muddled than the 20th.

The taste is BIG and sour. When I found out that this was 10%abv, I was honestly shocked, as this drinks like a thirt quencher. The flavors are of big fruit, oak, and brett funk with a lovely mid palatte biscuit malt punch, and the faintest dead green dry hop in the background. This drinks like heavenly juice.

The mouthfeelis like lightly carbonated wine, when swished in the mouth extra carbonation is released smoothly hitting every single taste bud in your mouth, and making those buds sing with the joyous flavors of this nectar.

Drinkability is perfect. I can and will drink this one all day, thank god this is a somehwat bigger batch than we usually get for these RR wild ale releases. A few choice Bay Area retailers got up to 20 cases of this stuff, and even though the brewpub itself is almost sold out, there will be a second batch released in a few months....Also, this will be on tap at the Toronado on Tuesday night, and kegs may find their way to other sleect draft account in the bay area as well.

Another masterwork from Vinnie and Co.

Na Zdrowie. (1,521 characters)

Photo of deapokid
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried on tap at Monk's "Speakeasy" on Wednesday 8/18. Review from notes.

This highly sought after sour pours a reddish brown with amber hues and an impossibly deep body. Carbonation is modest, as is the head and lacing. Takes on a bronzy red wine vibe when held to the light. It's incredibly attractive and arousing.

Aromas are a Sour Patch Kids fan's dream come true. Vinegar, tart berry, a blanket of musk and a whiff of a brown ale's buttery notes are equally on display. The whole package is striking, as is the profound blast of sour that stings the nose from first sniff.

Flavor is like biting into a Warhead hard candy (in the best way). Face puckering sour cherries, Belgian brown ale malt, an oakey wood barrel musk and the fruity sweetness of a Flanders Red all perfectly round out the flavor.

This is the best of the style (in my humble opinion) and I think the delicate balance is the reason. It moves so smoothly from tart blast to malt to musk without ever losing focus or leaning on the sourness as a crutch.

It's also criminally easy to drink for its bombastic 10%. It's even easier to consume on tap and (after trying it at a bar and from a bottle) it just feels so vibrant and flavorful right from the keg.

A must try! (1,243 characters)

Photo of stonelis
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap. deep dark red in color. First taste was a blast of sour cherry. Carbonation was a bit odd, kind of like a mellow champagne. citrus, lemon. This beer was just amazing as it warmed there was flavors of oak, rum, brandy. This beer is a real treat for the taste buds, sensations of all types. A slightly sour finish. My wife even liked this one and she hates beer! (368 characters)

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