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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: 1,691 | 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 Grabbin2nd
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Notes: 4/19/09
Russian River Brewing Co.
Consecration 2008 Batch #001X3
10% Abv.
750ml into NB Snifter

Appearance=Poured a big 2 finger head, which quickly dissipated. Redish, black beer with a lot of carbonation.

Smell= Awesome! Oak, Cab, green apples, yeast.

Taste= Awesome! Sour, yet not overpowering. Very, very tasty!

Mouthfeel= Thin side, good carbonation and a lively mouthfeel. Almost perfect...

Drinkability= High. Extremely good. Alcohol is hidden nicely. Taste is awesome. Nose is awesome. What more could you want?

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Photo of Jemonster
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Red-brown color. Fine carbonation. Like a light root beer color and slightly opaque. No head to speak of. Attractive.

S: Sour as expected with a currant scent. For someone who hasn't has currants, it's a sweet plum/fig/raisin smell. Very pleasant. With the wood scent, it can even be compared to sweet baked beans.

T: A sour smack in the face right from the start, which is great, since I like sour beers. This beer is sour, followed by tartness, followed by more puckering sourness. The currants can be tasted right as the beer passes my lips, but that is all. The yeast/bacteria combination delivers a crazy funkiness that tastes like nothing else I've ever had. There is barely any sweetness. I can't believe this is 10% ABV because I don't detect ANY alcohol.

M: Crisp and bubbly. I was expecting it to be heavier but it is fairly clean due to the acidity as well.

D: I would like to say I could drink these all day, but the acidity would probably wear out my tongue. Since I only have the privilege to drink one, I can only assume.

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Photo of rand
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From tap to tulip glass

Poured at Blind Lady Ale House, San Diego

This was my conversion sour years ago and I've lost my review, so I figured I quickly reassess my opinion of one of the most coveted beers out there. After going through a couple sips, I think I may have actually underrated the beer. Thinking about all the other sour beers out there, this one is just different...slightly sweeter, oakier, more complex.

A: Cola-like in color with a red hue, the small head leaves sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: The huge bouquet yields notes of of grapes and cherries, oak and raspberries. White pepper and a touch of booze are also notes. Yeasty funk lingers around the edges of the bouquet.

T: The brew has a lot if vino descriptors, which I suspect was the intention. Berries and citrusy acid at the front of palate. Jammy, tart, a little boozy, with drying oak and vinous aspects. Plenty of malty sweetness in this one, carrying through a long and a long and balanced finish.

M: Light and refreshing on the palate, with a little more viscosity than your average wild ale.

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Photo of bifrostguard
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Deep burgundy in color with almost no head or lacing to speak of. The light that did make it through highlighted the deep red color and made it interesting to look at.

S - Currants, cherries, mild funk, wood and awesome. I had a good feeling after smelling this one.

T - Yeah. It's good. Not really a big fan of sours but I thought Consecration was the best of the style I have had. Not overly sour or sweet. Currants keep the flavor in check on the fruity side allowing me to be able to pick out vinegar, brown sugar and wood flavors as well. Some notes of tobacco, leather and wine are noted as well.

M - Much like a good wine. Medium bodied and only slightly drying.

D - Effing awesome at the bar. I gave this a perfect as it made me think twice about getting another Younger, but it ultimately lost. I will have this every chance I get.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I was in the Bay Area over Christmas last year, I drank about half a gallon of this delicious beer in the space of a week. While I've had it out of the bottle a couple of times since (batch 1), I haven't reviewed it , and this review is for a bottle from batch 2. Thank you, Scott.

In my RR -tion tulip, this beer is absolutely gorgeous. Brilliantly clear carmine with a large light brown head that recedes to a disk rather quickly. Truly beautiful

The nose is as beautiful as I remember it being. Deep and rich with balsamic vinegar, unsweetened chocolate, and fruit with currants and berries. Like an old estate library, the smell of leather is noticeable. In fact, this is like having a little pipe tobacco and having the aromas of a rich, red wine waft into your nostrils as you sit in that library. The wine character is beautifully expressed, with the tannins adding depth. The combination and sheer balance of the flavors is testament to Vinnie's genius

Opening up sour , quite intensely so with a combination of lemon and vinegar, it makes the palate pucker. Behind the initial wave of sourness is a strong vinous character, with the cabernet sauvignon (OK, red wine) carrying a blend of flavors with chocolate, berries and tobacco. The currants add some tartness and a bite to the mid palate. Mildly leathery and earthy before a long finish that's tart, mildly sweet and mildly tannic.

Deceptively light on the palate, this beer has a smooth, medium-light body with a fairly high level of carbonation. With a fantastic, complex finish, this beer is fabulous

While a little more acetic than I remember it being, this is still one immensely drinkable beer. The alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden, and I anticipate having no issues finishing this bottle.

**Edit 15 October 2010**
A little more than a year later, I'm revisiting this. While I've had it a couple of times since my review, I haven't taken notes since. Batch 1 again.

No real head or retention this time round, this beer is loud and fizzy. The nose seems to have faded a touch. While vinegary and vinous in a pleasing way, the fine balance seems to have been lost a little bit. Definitely oaky and woody, this isn't particularly funky, mostly just sour and again, with cocoa, leather and a little vanilla. The currants seem to be left as a sharp, fruity character here.
The palate opens moderately sour with a blend of vinegar and lactic acid with some lemon rind on the finish, this beer is pretty awesome. Beautiful mid-palate with cocoa, leather and oak, this beer is dry and moderately sour on the finish. The sourness is actually mostly fruity, almost making me think that it's from the currants, as it is neither overtly lemony, acetic or lactic, Vinous mid-palate, this beer really shines as it warms up. Initially too cold, it's starting to resemble what I remember it being, this is wonderfully structured. 4.5/4.5/4.5

**Edit 20 Aug 2011**
Batch 004x4, this is probably the third bottle I've had in about 9 months? The fruits are particularly noticeable on the nose, with a definite currant aroma. However, behind it, there's a rich, deep, complex nose, with earth and leather. Fruity, pulpy lemon pith with a pleasant oak character. Palate opens hugely sour with a prominent lime-like acidity with a touch of red wine vinegar. Mild booze, remarkably bright. Moderate currant flavor on the finish. Brown sugar, vanilla on the mid-palate. Nice structure and flavors here, Solid all-round 4.5/4/4

**Edit 21 April 2012**
Batch 005x2E, received from giant24. Thanks, Matt.
This batch appears to be a little more acetic and plenty more fruity than the other batches, making me think the barrels used for this blend were fresh and quite wet. This really does smell like a nice cab, fruity and leathery. A nice blend of lactic and lemony sourness here. Very nice. 4/4.5/4

**Edit 21 june 2013**
Batch 1 again.

Despite my earlier misgivings, this is doing spectacularly well. Bright citrus and lactic acidity with gorgeous vinous notes, and a modest funk, this is excellent. The balance to tobacco, leather , both on the nose and palate is excellent. Juicy, okay vinous notes are present and the finish is excellently citrus, something I haven't wholly found in recent Russian River sours. Highly recommended. 4.5/4.5/4.5

**Edit 06 Apr 2014**

My last bottle of batch 2. Thank you, Scott.

Such a joy. Preserved lemons, red wine, leather, fruity red wine and just plain fuxking delicious. Moderately tannic. A fucking masterpiece on the nose. The palate is similarly deep, complex and very well balanced. The lemony sourness is a characteristic that is diminishing in the newer Russian River sours, a change I'm not a huge fan of, but this vintage is a clean, crisp sour one with a nice blend of lactic and citric. Wonderful wine and fruity notes, very Much so. Awesome awesome stuff. 4.75/4.5/4.5

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: medium brown reddish color with a light creamy colored head unfiltered and full bodied look.
S: so many aromas...black licorice, raspberry, currant, Belgian like yeast, and the sourness comes in the back of the nose.
T: a sour raspberry cocoa blend a bit of nuttiness and like banana at the end.
M/D: crisp and dry like a fine wine never had that from a beer. All this blends together well and creates one very drinkable beer.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes to wisconsinality for sharing this bottle with us.

Poured into my tulip the beer is a rusty brownish red with minimal head. Tiny flecks of soapy lace cling for dear life around the glass.

The aroma is mostly tart cherries. The wood is very pronounced with a good dose of booze that heats up my nostrils. Not much funk for a wild. The barrels must negate it.

The flavor is mostly tart cherry with a bit more funk than the nose. The alcohol is present in every sip but not so much that it offends. It has a very nice balance of sweet and sour.

Medium body with light carbonation. A touch dry in the finish.

Overall a bit more of a boozy kick is felt with this one compared to the other RR wilds. Still super drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Daily Pint. Most likely the fourth batch. I can't believe it has taken me this long to review what is currently my favorite beer, but, better late than never.

A decent amount of carbonation sitting atop a deep ruby body, almost brownish in tinge. Very sexy legs as I tilt the glass.

Some sour tannic goodness as far as the aromas are concerned, with a nice light whiff yielding a perfume-y sensuousness to the bouquet. I smell something else in there, a richness I can't quite identify.

Ah, so tart and spicy and lactic-acidy and cabernet-sauvignon-y. Not as smooth as some of the older batches, but this remains so enough to warrant plenty of accolades. The peppery flavors from the currants really stands out, as does the rich sourness.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, but with the strength of the tartness I can't hold it enough for a thorough swishing (yeah, call me a wuss, go ahead).

Overall, this fourth batch could use some age, BUT, GDit Consecration is Consecration. And it feels like Consecration: raising me up to the heavens on a 10% ABV. God's work continues to be done.

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Photo of imblane
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings about plunking down $22 for a 750ml bottle, but I wisely listened to a friend who said it was more than worth it. Batch #002x1.

A - Initial carbonation was high with a 2-3 finger head that dissapated quickly. Nice and dark like a fine brandy.

S - Funky and sour! Hard to believe there aren't any cherries in this one. I get a red wine vinegar, green apple, oak and sour grapes. This is gonna be good!!

T - Wow! Just like it smells, sour green apples, a hint of red wine vinegar and dark bitter cherries. I tried like hell but could not pick up the vanilla mentioned by other reviewers. Un-Godly well balanced!

M - Carbonation seemed high when I popped the cork, but was perfect on my palate. Dry and oh so tart with just the perfect acidity.

D - This is actually very scary. I did not even get a hint of alcohol here. 10%? It could be 2% and I would not have noticed. Yet even with alcohol taking a backseat, it was so satisfying that I wanted to prolong drinking this like no other.

Overall, I don't see many sours coming close to this. Vinnie hits it on the head once again. May be arguably the best to come out of Santa Rosa ever.

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Photo of dwagner003
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer on tap, out of bottles fresh and out of bottles with 8-10 months of aging. On tap, which is the basis for this rating, it was one of the most enjoyable beers I've ever had the pleasure of smelling/drinking.

It's a deep reddish-brown color with almost no head. As it sits, there are absolutely no bubbles on top. The smell hits you immediately and it's just unreal. It smells sour, but there is so much more in there. Wonderfully warming oaky notes with some sweetness in the background. You can smell it from across the table.

The initial taste is that of tartness, but just wait a few seconds. Your palate is bathed with this sweetness that is perfectly subtle. The oak erupts and you can taste all those years that these barrels were filled with Cabernet. I don't taste the currants exactly, but I am sure they are contributing to the subtle sweetness.

If it wasn't for my preference towards sweeter Belgian tripels, the taste would be a 5 as well. I cannot imagine many better Wild Ales than this.

This was FAR superior to the bottled versions. I'd buy bottles again, but I will always order it if it's available on tap.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 7 poured into a Great Lakes Christmas Ale snifter. thanks bubica!

body is a cloudy reddish orange. Head was soda pop fizzy. Like a dark gueuze.

Acidic sourness initially. All the lovely Brett smells come into play nicely. Light red wine (maybe thats the Cabernet barrels) is hidden underneath all of it.

Nice gueuze-like sourness, but its balanced by a wine like smoothness. What separates Consecration from other gueuzes is the sweetness. Its light, and sits light. The initial gueuze sourness hits you in the mouth, then fades with a wave subtle sweetness that leaves your mouth coated with that sweetness. As I work my way through the beer, it has wine-like qualities that make it even better. The booze is felt with a tingle on the tongue. a 10% Wild?!

Its not as sour as Belgians, but the overall balance is very refreshing.

I love the way this thing feels. Its not Belgian, but its damn close!

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Photo of 0110x011
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #100 - and a damn fine choice if I do say so myself.

A - Pours a deep, dark ruby red. Virtually opaque. Dark like Chimay Blue is dark. Beautiful garnet highlights. Light tan head is two fingers tall and big bubbled. Not a lot of staying power on the head, and little lacing to speak of.

S - The fruit makes its presence known immediately. Both dark (raisin & plum) and red (cherry & raspberry) fruit pay a role. The barrel influence is a big part, giving solid red wine and vanilla overtones. The wild yeast adds an earthy, horsey funk. A bit of booze tops it all off. this is the kind of beer that gives you something new with every whiff. Incredible depth.

T - Again, the fruit hits first.The dark/red emphasis seems to shift from sip to sip, sometimes giving more plum, sometimes more raspberry and cherry. I imagine I'm tasting currant at times, but I usually don't eat currants, so its hard to have a real basis for comparison. The Cab flavors play a part in the front as well, imparting their own unique fruitiness. The oaky, vanilla flavors come in the middle and on the sides, where the musty earth of the brett makes its presence known. The sour aspect hits with a bang toward the end which, along with the oak and wine tannin, makes for a super clean finish.

M - Medium-full body, but the carbonation is a bit coarse, which along with the acidity and tannin, makes for a very snappy feel.

D - I could drink this stuff all night. I'm actually having to tell myself to drink it slowly in order to savor it. the 10% abv is barely noticeable.

This is a top ten beer for me, no doubt. Delicious and creative, worthy of the awe it inspires.

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Photo of younger35
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received this brew from 110x0110 (not right) in a recent trade. I've been hella excited to try this brew for quite some time and considering I just got a new job, today is the day. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Batch 001X4

A- Pours a dark reddish brown that is sort of mahogany in color with a fairly prominent one finger foamy head. It dissipates really quickly and doesn't leave a cap or collar but I'm biased. Half point higher because I'm so pumped.
S- Slightly woody and tart with a semi vinous red grape dimension. Earthy and clean at the same time with some apple cider vinegar and raisin bran. Light cherry with a sort of minor musky funk and Brett backdrop. The 10% is no where to be found in the nose.
T- Starts with a lightly tart/sour kick that is amazingly smooth and pleasant. Mushroom and ham (yes ham) add a very earthy funk component that is sort of salty and sweet. Tobacco, leather, teriyaki beef jerky and compost add even more earthy goodness before the Cabernet sets in. Red grapes, prunes and figs are somewhat fruity and raw. The beer hasn't reached totally puckering sour yet but it will eventually. As of now it's just slightly sour and awesome. Finishes with some vanilla and oak and lots of thick black fruity goodness.
M- Medium to light body with a sharp carbonation and pleasant feel. Again, 10% my ass...
D- Wow... This brew is amazing. So earthy and drinkable with a fantastic fruity quality that isn't sweet or bitter. Unlike anything I've tasted to this point. I was expecting a straight up sour with a slight fruity dimension but not so. Awesome stuff, thanks Matt!

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Photo of WMEugene
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 007

A - Pours a dark red/ruby color with a nice head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring and some lacing.

S - Tart and sour. Definitely pick up on the funkiness of the yeast. Dark fruits. Currants are the most noticeable fruit here. A very nice and strong smell.

T - Great sour notes...I definitely pick up apple and currant notes. Some cherry as well. A little bit of funkyness from the brett too. Very nice and complex. The Cabernet Sauvignon barrels add a nice touch and refined wine characteristic. This is the ideal sour beer - marvelous.

M - Medium bodied, it starts really sour and tart but a note of sweetness is present on the finish. For 10%, this drinks really nicely.

O - Consecration is one of the best sours I have ever had. It's extremely well done and inviting. I would love to have this again!

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Photo of psiweaver
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich brown/golden color. A thin head that pours off white and is very thing. very light carbonation.

S: sour funky smell with lots of apple and citrus and a somewhat funky brown ale smell.

T: rich and complex with loads of sourness and a sharp finish that lingers on the tongue. Very delicious and great sour character.

M: rich and smooth in the mouth with some bite and sourness.

D: Great to sip and enjoy, not one you are going to be pounding down but all in all very delicious and complex.

Fantastic beer very delicious one of my favorite sours. I can't wait to try some of the other sours from Russian River.

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Photo of hitter114
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: No head at all glowing amber mahogany in color
S: Fresh and a bit funky (funky fresh) cherry
T: Fantastic Cab, Cherry taste... 7/10 sourness
M: Nice and grippy but also refreshing
O: really liked it, very unique but to the point, very good bench mark for sours from russian river

Tried one after a little bit of age, much more of the current taste cherry falls in the background, as it warms you taste that base beer more, most definitely a good ager

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Photo of guityler83
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

bottled 11/22/13
A: Poured half the bottle into a teku glass, the darker off white head built a finger tall and quickly fizzed out to a small ring on the edge of the glass. The beer is a dark crimson red to an almost purple color (like the label). Moderatly clear on the first half of the bottle with a constant flow of bubbles from the bottom.

S: Sharp acidic vinegar (for lack of a better description) aroma, similar to a red wine. Sweet blackberry and dark cherry notes mixed with subtle bready character. As it opens up, the sharpness of the sour character mellows out and it becomes very pleasant. Almost like a cherry/berry pie.

T: Big tartness, not super acidic or harsh; but crisp. The fruit flavors blend with the tartness naturally and bring out flavors of raspberries, blackberries, currents, and pomegranate. The bready, toasty malt character gives it the same pie character as in the aroma. No hop flavor or bitterness, and the oak flavor is just a side note to the complex flavors from the wild yeast in this beer.

M: A very dry finish with a low tannic astringancy. Carbonation is medium with a puckering sensation from the tartness.

O: Fantastically sippable and enjoyable beer. My first Russian River Sour and definitely not my last. Complex, very tart and a nice berry flavor through out.

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Photo of humanawho
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - nice deep red color with a very active head of cream and good lacing but dies away quickly

S - lots of fruit aromas including currents, grapes and some strawberries there is also a woody component that balances the sweet aroma of the fruit

T - again a lot of fruit with currents and strawberries and blueberries with a great but light sour component and again some clean woody, leathery flavors

M - a little thin on the mouth and somewhat weak carbonation

D - amazing drinkablity with just the touch of sour and no way to tell its high in alcohol

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3

A- Poured into a Bruery tulip glass, Consecration pours a clear, deep reddish-brown color. A flash of hissing off-white foam quickly dissolves to a bubbly ring along the inside of the glass, leaving no lacing behind.

S- Acidic tartness is backed by pronounced notes of oak barrel and red wine. The black currants impart a nice dark fruit character to the aroma and the high alcohol content yields a touch of heat. There's a slightly vegetal, earthy quality to the smell that I can't quite pin down.

T- The taste is intensely sour, though it's more of a citrus fruit sourness accented by vinegar. Notes of oak barrel and earthy red wine break through the puckering tartness right before a lightly dry finish leaves flavors of ripe dark fruits on the palate. The initial sourness is far more intense than Supplication or Temptation, but this sourness tapers off quicker as the backing flavors take over. The 10% ABV is well-hidden.

M- The feel is full-bodied with a good amount of active carbonation bubbles.

D- The flavor is sublime, but Consecration lays a bit heavier on the stomach than Russian River's other sours due to the 10% ABV, the highly acidic sourness, and the richer dark fruit element. Still, I was easily able to navigate my way through two large pours of this complex beer.

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Photo of Adamdc
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #004x4. Bottled on 3/25/09. Drank on 6/22/10. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Deep ruby body with quickly dissipating head. Very active carbonation. No lacing whatsoever.

S: Very woody, bretty aroma---the funk here is very nice! There's a pervading dark fruit aroma that must be from the currants---seems like raisins and cherries. There's a slight vinegar aroma lingering also.

T: There's a lot going on here and it's changing with each sip. There's no doubt about the barrel-aging here---lots of oak. The brett (again) is very nice and raisins, dates, cherries, plums and even a touch of lemon. Through all this I'm even getting some of the yeast. No perceived alcohol whatsoever.

M: I would say that the mouthfeel is thin to medium. The beer actually coats the palate somewhat but I wouldn't say that it's 'thick' by any means. Just right for the style.

D: Well, at 10% abv I'm not perceiving any alcohol and the 'sourness' is by no means 'over the top' so put me down for a few more. Very drinkable!

I haven't had alot of sours so I'm no expert but this was a very enjoyable glass of beer. The science behind these sour ales really amazes me. Thanks RR!

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Bring! I loved this one so much, I traded with him a second time to get my hands on more of this beer!

Poured from a 750mL into a tulip. Gusher, very highly carbonated, incredibly foamy tarnished yellow coffee stained tooth head that is wildy active, at 2.5 fingers and comes to a standstill at a thin layer. Very dark and hazy muddy blood red.

Cabernet soaked grapes and lemons, slight bit of oak. Red grapes are fantastic and really come straight out of the glass alongside some sweet cherry, gotta really get your nose in the glass to pick up some vanilla, a lot of red wine characteristics.

Holy moly. The raspberry and tart black cherry is phenomenal, mouth puckering tartness, slight oak flavors but nothing too dry, brett comes out towards the end that blows my mind out of my skull. Really overcarbonated and tons of matured and aged red grapes are all of the place. Lemon sourness is superb.

Very full bodied, yet not over the top thickness works well with the high level of bubbles in this guy. Another awesome RR.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Catalyst. Sampled a murky rust colored red with not much in the way of carbonation. Some ruby red hues around the edges of the glass. Some minor viscous notes that was a bit of a surprise.

The nose comes out more as it warms. Some nice subtle notes that blended very nicely with every component. There was a light fruity note, that came across more like a tart cherry aroma than anything else. Some underlining citrus notes adds to that depth. Some lighter funk notes with some horse blanket and subtle almost bretty aromas. A mostly acidic but some underlining vinegar notes. Some yeast aromas, but overall just a really good mix of fruit, funk and sour.

The taste is amazing. I try to be more descript but this is really good. And it gets better as it warms. To start out there is a light malt taste upfront but is quickly replaced with a mix of a tart earthy cherry, like a bing cherry, and a sweet fig, currant taste. There is a nice acidic flavor that comes out nicely but balances really well. As it warms and as you palate adjusts to the sour, more funk and malt notes comes out. Some lighter chocolate and an almost Special B like malt flavor come out, but its just so subtle to the taste. Some funk notes come out too, with a light barn yard and spicy undertones. Some yeast notes as well. The sourness retains through the full taste and even as it warms. A mild sweetness in the finish that really enhances the fruitiness for a cleaner taste.

The body is closer to moderate than dry. Extremely clean for being so much on the ABV side. Carbonation is low but ok as it really lets all the different flavors come out. Just really impressed with the balance between fruit, funk and sourness. Overall a fantastic beer being so fresh

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There are few beers that served as 'eye-openers' for me, that is, they forever turned me on to the style and helped me realize what they were capable of being. Stone IPA, The Elder, and Stone IRS are all examples. Consecration joined this list several months ago, as it was the first wild ale that really caught my attention.

The color is deep ruby-red, with a short-lasting off-white head. I'm working from notes at the moment, but I'm inclined to say the Consecration I've had many times on tap appeared to be a deeper red, almost opaque. I only recently had the opportunity to try it from the bottle, and it appeared a bit more translucent than what I remember having on tap. No lacing remains as the Consecration quickly disappears.

The nose is tart berries, wine, and pure funk.

Consecration is a shock if you are new to the style, so don't try to win any craft beer converts with this one. Huge tartness from the currants are the first thing that hits you, followed by citrus, sweetness, and dark fruits, followed by a sour but clean finish.

Body is medium to full, with the on-draft variety seeming slightly fuller-bodied. Alcohol is present but very well muted for such a huge beer. Carbonation is well-balanced, and the finish is wonderfully clean. Drinkability is through the roof, especially if you're accustomed to the style.

At a recent tasting, I remember a friend's 60+ year-old father continually commenting 'this isn't what beer should taste like' after sampling Consecration for the first time. Not in a mean-spirited or angry manner, but in a rather shocked and confused way. It certainly is different, and far-removed from what most beer drinkers envision beer to be.

The best comparison I can think of is when a person tries something very sour for the first time, for example, a sour candy. Sweetness is expected, but this is the complete opposite! Shocked and slightly turned off, the candy is immediately removed from the mouth. Some time later you found that you actually enjoyed the variation in flavor and the effects it had on your tastebuds.

It's an oversimplification, but it illustrates how sours must be approached. There's a wealth of complexity hidden in them, one that you'll hopefully find just as exciting to explore as any other big beer.

Don't miss this one. As I've said before, Consecration is to wild ales what the Younger is to Imperial IPAs. If sours weren't so darn polarizing, this would undoubtedly be on the top 10.

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Photo of Sandstone
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Russian River homerun.

Having long been a lover of sours, I couldn't have been more excited to try this beer. Thankfully my girlfriend indulged me and we made the pilgrimage up to Toronado's for Russian River TION night.

The first sip of this beer, I knew I was in for something special. I've had beers that tried to toe the line between beer and wine before (Craftsman's Cabernale... I'm looking at you) but never have I had one that did it this successfully.

I took a sip and handed it to my girlfriend, the wine snob to my beer geek, and waited for her verdict.

"Wow, this is really good."

"Yeah, I know!"

Trying to describe this beer, it is just so difficult to do it justice. The flavors are many and layered. Probably one of the most complex beers I've ever had.

My attempt: Notes of black currant, sour cherry, oak, all with a perfect touch of acid and funk that compliments the beer, rather than defines it.

This is going to be a tough beer to find, but trust me, the search will be worth it. This is one of those breakthrough beers that really pushes a new style to the forefront.

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Photo of biggied
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a dark reddish shade of brown with a half finger head that fades nearly instantly. Some of the head sticks around on the top of the glass and around the edges...it just LOOKS evil, like some sort of witches brew...god its awesome, constantly bubbling.

S- strong cherries with a bit of a tartness to them. Getting some of an aroma of a wine type flavor as well. Great.

T- Awesome sour, tart, killer cherries. Its only mildly puckering...but I don't care. It kicks ass. The oak flavor seeps through a little bit too. Perfection.

M- well carbonated, great body. Balance is fantastic with the tartness.

D- the sourness could be a little too much for some...but not me. I love this. It packs a punch though, but you can't really taste the booze at all. First class sour from RR.

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