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Consecration | Russian River Brewing Company

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1,125 Reviews
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ConsecrationConsecration
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.

Added by Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,125
Ratings:
5,081
Avg:
4.41
pDev:
19.95%
 
 
Wants:
1,643
Gots:
1,833
For Trade:
142
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,125 | Ratings: 5,081
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.19/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Coppery dark brown with a minuscule ring of foam. Smells like new Sharpie. Unmistakably like Sharpie marker. Maybe "musty" if I have to use beer lingo? I like Sharpie smell. Tastes like tart red wine, bitter bakers chocolate, nutmeg and a fuzzy back end.

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Photo of Givemebeer
4.19/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a snifter. Man am I excited for this one

A: Amber colored is the best way to describe it. A tiny bit of lacing. Poured with a loose head that dissipates. Pretty beer.

S: light fruits. Definitely smells of apple and pear and smells sour.

T: The sourness on this is perfect. It's delicious and not overdone. Congrats to them for not having a contest on making the most sour beer. Anyway, also taste of apple and some plum. Delicious.

M: Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Can't believe its 10%. The layered flavors mesh well at the end and make this a real treat.

O: Being that I live on the east coast it's a bit of a bummer I won't be able to try this again soon. I very much enjoyed it and would be happy to have it again.

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Photo of biegaman
4.19/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All that time spent in the barrel has given the beer a murky prune juice complexion and off colour that resembles a raisin. That said, it does glows like pomegranate juice against the light. (Where would the beer reviewer be without fruits?) The extended slumber also killed off most head retention. Check that, all of it. It has ravished its once beautiful looks.

If you weren't aware that this was aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels you'd be astonished at how the beer smells so strikingly like the red wine, right down to the perfumed alcohol esters, oak wood and dusty tannins. There's also, of course, lots of dark berry fruit, enough to be unsure of how much can be attributed to the currants and how much to the barrel.

The bouquet really grew on me with warmth, and definitely matured into something that you could sit, sniff and deliberate about for hours. The flavour, however, was a little less dignified, notably because it reminded me so simply of a Cabernet Sauvignon - worse actually, a slightly watered down one with far more oak barrel and tobacco bitterness present.

That's not to imply, however, that it isn't still considerably flavourful. And it's unarguably unique. For one it shows virtually no indication of its strength and has a lot of wild berry fruitiness. The oak is concentrated, persistent and astonishingly nutty, with notes of Brazil nut and coconut shavings in time creeping out from all that toasty wood flavour.

Unlike other Russian River beers, however, I find this one to have a fairly shallow complexity; its tartness is obvious but diluted, the bitterness tasting like tomato or tobacco leaf and its acidity and phenols - because they're so pronounced in red wines - are dulled in the shadow of the Cabernet Sauvignon flavour. Unlike most sours, the finish is unexciting and fleeting.

Consecration is an artistic and innovative experiment... that for all its intricacies and inventiveness ends up tasting a lot like watered-down cab sauvignon. What to make of that? It blurs the lines not only of the beer/wine world, but of the perspectives of the reviewer too - $11 is a lot for a bottle of any beer, but at $23 this would make a reasonably priced bottle of wine. I suppose for me, personally, that makes it more a novelty thing than anything else.

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Photo of Soonami
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml Russian River Consecration Batch 004X1, served at cellar temps, poured into a 500ml Mother Earth tulip.

This is a beautiful beer. It's a deep garnet red with just a wisp of head that quickly dissipates like soda bubbles. The effervescence carries a lot wine notes: black peppery, damp oak, crushed and blackberries, with just a whiff of earthy funk. The acid and alcohol and definitely present in the nose and on the palette. The wine notes dominate, with big fruitiness, leather, tobacco, and a dry tannic oak finish . The currants add a bit of jammy, creamy fruit. The finish is boozy with just a slightly tart and minerally finish. There is a bit of lingering funk that coats your tongue. Very tasty and complex. Great beer. Thanks Vinnie for making this.

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Photo of levifunk
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - light brown pour. clean clear pour. little head.

s - oak, tart cherry, some booze....but its 10%.

t - tart cherries, tons of oak. More booze than I would like in a Wild, but still very nice.

m - lighter body. very nice carbonation...especially given the high abv.

overall - its not my fav. RR, but its very nice. I just don't think it needs such a high abv. it is very drinkable for a 10% beer though!

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 30 April 2011
Glass: Standard snifter
Type: 12fl oz corked and caged....batch 5? can't remember

Beer flight, taken from notes:

Appearance: Slightly cloudy cooper-brown, no head, no lacing

Smell: Touch of oak, (maybe cedar, don't know my woods super well), SOUR currants, spice

Taste: Not overly sour currant, some oak

Mouthfeel: Oak makes a great combo with the wild yeasts

Overall: Anyone could drink this forever. Excellent beer, great sourness.

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Photo of boomer31
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Loved batch 2 but didn't review it. Review taken from batch 4

A - Transparent ruby red with a white ring around the glass.

S - That funk nose of brett and slight vinegar.

T - Right away this is more fruity than I recall. Currants, maybe but the citrus really stands out. Wood and dry tartness in the back. At 10% you don't get any of the ABV.

M - Highly carbed, light on the palate but dry and tart.

D - Fruity but tart. A very solid Wild, one of the best I've had. Sharing a bottle is probably a very good idea.

I'm still trying to get my palate for wilds but this one is right up there all the other wilds I've had, tart, dry and fruity.

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Photo of SPRichard
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this at the Memphis Taproom over the 4th of July weekend...this is my first attempt at an American Wild Ale

served in a tulip glass...reddish/brown body...not much of a head on this one...no signs of lace at all

sour/tart cherries...biscuity yeast...some Belgian candy sweetness

sour cherries/green apples was all i could think of after each sip....really could feel it in my cheeks

despite the sour/tart flavors this was very smooth to drink...nice medium bodied...dry finish...not overly carbonated

this style is way out there for me...like i stated earlier this is my first time trying an American Wild Ale...took me a while to drink it, but made my way through it with no problems...taking a few sips of ice water between sips of beer made it a bit more bearable...i'm always willing to try anything from Russian River so I couldn't pass this one up....would I go back to it again if I found it, probably not but that doesn't mean it's a bad beer in my eyes...when i become more familiar with this style i may have it again and re-review it

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Photo of Zilaniz
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice from a 1.5 year old bottle. Smelled very "champagney" and tasted the same. I was expecting it to be a bit more tart and sour but it wasn't. It was almost too balanced which unfortunately I do not like as much with wild ales. Still was outstanding though just not what I thought it was going to be.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Too much Cabernet. Barrel character DEF comes out strong. Maybe time will do justice. But, no heat:l Very cab forward sour worthy of the claim. not my kind of sour though. Regardless, def worth the try. Cheers!

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a clear deep mahogany color with blood red hues. Head is off-white and has little retention. No lacing on this one. Beautiful color though.

S - Sour funkiness hits your upfront comprised of sour grape and green apple. Also noticeable are oak and vinegar.

T - Lots of sour dark fruits. Lots of vinegar. Very red wine like. The oak come through very nicely with a touch of funk in the finish that sorta lingers for a bit.

M - Medium bodied and very bubbly. Goes perfect with everything thats going on. Like a red wine spritzer.

O - Completely awesome. I love how the wine barrel aging really played a part.

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Photo of thain709
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 004X4 graciously shared by Deuane

A - Dark brown body with some ruby highlights...it's alive...the carbonation is crazy in this one...some sediment is suspended and floating around...the head was small and white and didn't stick around for long...with a swirl it comes back but vanishes just as quickly...all that's left is a small bead around the top

S - You can smell that this one is going to be tart...it's very fruity with tart cherries, grapes, raisins, and currants...the grapes bring out a very pronounced winey characteristics...not many woody aromas

T - There's the tartness I was waiting for...full on tart and sourness that makes you pucker up nicely...the currants really blend in nicely (I actually tried a dried currant along side the beer because I did not know what they tasted like)...again the tartness comes back...the finish is wine like and flavored with currants

M - Medium bodied...tart with dark fruits (currants, grapes)...nice carbonation

D - I was happy to finally try a beer from Russian River...and I'm starting to get used to trying wild ales...the tartness level in this one was apparent from the first sniff and very apparent as you swallow...I liked trying a dried currant along side because it really helped me pinpoint the currant flavor in the beer...again, a big thanks to Deuane for sharing this one with me

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Photo of jackorain
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Capone's during the Sunday morning event that occurred on March 29th 2008.

The color was purplish brown in color with a copper hue when held up to the light. The liquid was all but crystal clear. The head was a thin and tan. What head was present hung around for most the time I spent consuming my Pliny the Younger. When it finally did recede it left a very thin tan collar. After each sip a few tight tan bubbles would cling randomly to the side of the glass.

Full Disclosure Note: Before proceeding with the rest of my review I must come clean and state that this is my first sour beer review. Not a bad one to start with, I guess.

The initial aroma was a huge hit of sour. My first impression of this aroma was red wine vinegar. After taking several more deep breaths over the liquid, I began to become accustomed to the sour notes and began to pick up several more complexities in the aroma. Grapes and sour cherries came through next. A musty, funkiness characteristic came through on the finish.

I must admit, as with the nose, I did not appreciate my initial taste. Very strong acidic nature, more like balsamic vinegar that the red wine vinegar from the nose. I said to those at the table with me, that this would go well with some olive oil and garlic and would make a nice salad dressing (quite honestly, this may be true, albeit it a waste). After growing accustomed to the sourness, as with the nose, I become to pick out quite a bit more complexity. There were some woodsy, oaky notes, as well as the grapes and sour cherries from the nose. The funkiness is prevalent middle to end. There is no hops to be found here. The finish is sour and dry.

This beverage has a medium body and a light but tingly effervescence for carbonation. Overall, it is very dry and astringent. The finish leaves the pallet dry and jowls drawn in from the astringency.

I would have to say that sour beers are an acquired taste and I have not yet fully acquired it. This was drinkable, I suppose. If it wasn't kicked in 70 minutes, I might have ordered another to assist my palate in the acquisition.

Thanks for Reading

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Photo of Krevee
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on 04/29/10
Poured from 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip

A - The beer pour a dark red. Looks similar to a red wine. Has very minimal white head that faded away rather quickly. Virtually no lacing while drinking.

S - The smell is very interesting with lots of unique flavor profiles. I can smell the wine barrels that it was aged in. It has hints of oak and a stronger alcohol as well such and bourbon maybe. It has a very tart smell to it as well with dark sweet fruits in the mix.

T - I had one half glass with dinner and enjoyed it but it didn't seem that sour/tart to me from what I had read about this beer, but when I poured myself a full glass later in the evening the second glass seemed much more tart/sour. I can definitely taste the red wine from the barrel aging along with some oak. Has sweet fruit tastes to it as well. I can't distinguish the individual fruits though. I can also taste the current in the beer. The beer is very tart and dry on the back half. It is quite tasty but is definitely a sipping beer.

M - Mouthfeel is medium to high amounts of carbonation with a lighter body to the beer. Good for the style but you can't take very large sips of it.

D - This beer hides its ABV well, but is not something that I can drink a lot of in a sitting. Because it is so tart it much be sipped and savored so I don't think I would have more than a glass or two at a time. Its refreshing for the first glass but after that the ABV starts to hit you. Good beer overall and for the style.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Victor!

A: Poured a reddish-brown hue (similar to prune juice) with a big white head that dissipated rather quickly.

S: Currents, cherry and perhaps grapes.

T: Tart right off the bat, which is then slowly balanced out by the cheery/raspberry like flavor profile. Very sugary in the sense, almost like a sour sweet tart, that could also be best compared to a good champage or carbonated wine.

M: A nice medium-body beer that is nicely carbonated.

D: One of the best sours I've had the chance to try, with the alcohol nearly invisible.

Overall: A great beer! The sour and fruity notes are very nicely balanced, and the smell was impressive as well. I can't wait to cellar one of these and try it again. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of Jwale73
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for the opportunity. Batch 004X2 served in my CL tulip at 53 degrees. Pours a translucent reddish-brown with a loose, quarter inch off-white head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders leaving a broken, sudsy skim across the surface. No lacing on this one. Fantastic nose - oak, buttery notes, currants and a vinous quality all interwoven into a complex palate of aromas. Taste follows nose - no real surprises here. The flavors are refreshingly tart and the alcohol seems non-existent, despite the 10% abv indicated on the label. Mouthfeel is light in body with a carbonation that falls just short of lively. The tartness lightly stimulates the salivary glands along the sides of the cheeks and there is also a slight acidic burn that lingers on the lips between quaffs. Not much more to say - a solid American wild with a great deal of complexity. Another impressive beer from this brewer.

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Photo of KI9A
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep ruby red, smooth head.

S: Sweet-tart candy, more on the tart side. Cherries.

T: Sour cherry candy. That is the foremost thing that popped out to me. Some citrusy, woodyness appears at the back.

M: Vinegary aftertaste, but not really objectionable. Lip piucker sourness.

D: Wierd, but the sourness makes you want to go back for more. Certianally interesting, and, even refreshing. Need have a cold water after this, but, nice, in a wierd way.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a medium amber color with about a finger of off-white head forms that has pretty average retention and minimal lacing. Some carbonation is present, but not a whole lot.

Smell: Funk and mustiness are present, but not real strongly. A bit of sourness as well, and quite a bit of oak, along with some darker fruit character; possibly plum and/or currant.

Taste: The plums and currants come out first, followed by strong mustiness and acidity. Out of Temptation, Supplication and Consecration, this beer is assuredly the most sour. A definite lactic sourness noted that is biting, and combines with the oak character very nicely. This is absolutely the highlight of this beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer is definitely medium bodied, but is lacking a bit of carbonation for my taste. Fairly low for the style, but still good. Overall, a good wild ale that really satisfies if you're looking for something sour. I wish the other aspects of this beer were as good as the taste, because it is good.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Tanish brown, 1/2 head with some lacing.

SMell - Cherries, oak whiskey. Yeast and alcohol

Taste - Sour cherry, thin and dry. This really reminds me of a table wine. The oaked whiskey and yeast sour this even more.

Mouthfeel - Its thin, dry, and sour. Whole mouth is soured. Palette gets numbed from the alcohol, better eat and have water after this one.

Drinkabilty - The alcohol is masked good, this is a session beer, and quite good for a sour ale. I could drink this again, its not the sour monster then supplication is. Wine drinker would enjoy this for sure.

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Photo of APetitfils
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light, almost Red-copper, lightens up to a more golden brown when in direct light. Tried in a snifter

S: Initial sour tones. Replaced with definite oaky wine signatures. Fruity smells interlaced as well. After opening up the richness of the oaky-wine and fruit aromas become more prevalent, blends with the alcohol

T: Sour-sweetness overrides all first flavors and sensations. As is opens up the oak and cabernet remnants become nicely apparent and equalize the sour beginning.
NOTE: Truly my initial impression was shock. The sourness was so strong that I almost fell aghast. Yet, with patience its true oak and cabernet personality began to show itself. Sweeter taste after breathing

Mouthfeel: The lack of strong carbonation is taken over by the sourness and tannins from the oak conditioning. Again, after opening up the richness becomes more apparent, but never surpasses the sour blast. The alcohol did not produce strong warmth

Drinkability: This beer was my first funky American Wild Ale that was conditioned in cabernet oak casks. The sourness was honestly overpowering at first, both through the smell and taste (more so with the taste). However, as the beer opened up the aromas firstly became very exciting and did the beer's conditioning absolute justice. The taste took longer to come around, but as I began to realize the complexity I wanted nothing but more.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to ipa247 for this one. Hell of a fine trader.

batch #1. 750ml. Cork, cage, etc.

Cork pops out with a huge dupontesque BOOF! Pours a nice clear red ruby brownish color with a nice fizzy light tan head that actually retains well, by style standards. After a couple minutes it reduces to only a skim over the surface with a pretty good size ring around the edges of the glass. Leaves little lacing, but a good amount for the style.

Nose has subtle black currant and a lot of flemishy lacto tartness and funk. Oak is also apparent in the nose as is a cherry type of sweetness, likely from the currants.

Hmmm. Not as wildly sour as I was expecting, thats for sure, but certainly a tart beer. Really this is like a beefed up flemish ale, without heavy vinegar as is often found, although it is there. The currants are actually pretty noticeable in the flavor, as the sourness is not overbearing or terribly palate raping. The finish is brutally dry, but the sweetness of the added fruit does balance it out. This really is seemingly a nice cross between flemish styles and real american wild ale. Excellent balance. The oak does definitely make its presence known, especially right before the finish as well as in the aftertaste. Aftertaste lingers with slight vinegar, currant, and lacto mouth pucker.

Mouthfeel is right where it oughta be. Hard to argue any point of this really. There could be a tiny touch more carbonation, that is really my only qualm.

Drinkability is simply outstanding, both for the style and for the abv. It could be improved upon, but not a hell of alot.

Overall a fine beer, and a really interesting (at least IMO) melding of styles. I like the flemish lick that the addition of currants and barrel aging provide, and the fact that it doesn't get too flemish on us and forgoes having too much vinegar barf flavor. An impressive and incredibly complex and educational beverage. One i will be sure to cellar, and enjoy again in the future. Excited to see how this batch 2 is...Great beer.

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Photo of Beejay
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE Thanks to DmanGTR for this. Been dying to try some RR stuff!!

A: Pretty clear considering, and a beautiful deep copper amber. The head consists of larger white bubbles, which soon dissipate to a ring of white bubbles.

S: Sweet and fruity with sour backing it up. With a hint of caramel. There is a slightly syrupy smell mixed in with a lovely sour scent.

T: The first sip is a sour punch in the face. There is a nice fruit flavor in the finish that I rather enjoy.

M: Medium thin body, very high carbonation, and puckering. The finish is fairly dry.

D: Very nice indeed. This beer could define the category.

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Photo of biga7346
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Shimmering ruby-like color, very turbid, murky, rusted metal, apple cider.

N - Cider vinegar-like acidity, massive tart cherries, red wine vinegar and lots of winey notes folds into an almost clove-like suggestion, possibly whole nutmeg, green peppercorn, maybe figs or rose hips; the nose roams wildly and is pretty perfumy not like a Supplication which was more subtle. Wafting herbal aromas balanced with sour milk, wet and old hay, top soil.

T/M - Wow...teeth chattering tartness, cloying sour and irony mouthfeel; blackberries, raspberries, black peppercorn and figs; lemon skin, much more drying tannins in a lasting finish than the Supplication; leather strap, blackcurrants.

D - Not sure if I could drink more than one of those but this is definitely the most interesting sour beer I have had. I think I prefer the sessionable enjoyability of Supplication. We had both of these back-to-back in a recent sour tasting.

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Photo of Wreckoncile
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 006 Poured from 375ml into Chimay goblet

A - Poured like a cocacola at first; fizzy with a quickly appearing and quickly diminishing head leaving no lacing. Also similar in color, although hazy. At first, I was planning on rating the appearance much lower due to the lack of a stable foam, but what it revealed when it disappeared was the most active fluid surface I'd ever seen on a beer, bubbles wisping around and dancing carbonation on the surface that showed me an active beer. Makes me feel like I'm about to drink a living thing, which I really dig.

S - Strong upfront dark cherry tartness with a very muted malty note underneath that seems to tessellate perfectly in place with the tartness. An almost tannic like red wine aroma as well, that reveals a bit of sourness at the end of the tart.

T - Very wine-like in flavor, as could have been expected, with an extremely sour bite to finish it off. The sourness chased away the dark fruit notes I got in the nose, but that doesn't bother much, as the sourness accentuates the citrusy flavor of the hops. No hoppy bitterness, preserving the flavor of the hops, while allowing all the bitterness to flow from its sourness. Altogether solid flavor profile that beguiled me at first and commanded my full attention.

M - Crisp and effevescent, and yet somehow still managed to be silky... I'm really not sure how this overall texture was pulled off, but its one of a kind. Hides it's booziness well in the medium body.

O - This particular beer confused me more than anything. Granted, I've not had much experience with sours to date, but I still imagine this has greater depth than most. I'd say its sourness in taste overpowered some of the darker fruits that the scent gives off, and the final product ends up tasting a bit like a carbonated grapefruit juice without any sweetener. But there is much more here. As it warmed, I felt that the malt I detected in the nose came out a bit more, but the yeastiness was seemingly lost in the sour. I enjoyed this, and have a bottle in the cellar that I look forward to revisiting in a year's time to see how it changed.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at Toronado's in San Fransico. Served in a wine glass cool.

A-Garnet body and a white wisp of a head.

S-Sour fruit smell, fruit stone

T-Sour, fruit stone and quite dry

M-Light

D-Good. Nice representation of the style. I would drink this again.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,125 ratings.