Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

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1,088 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,088
Hads: 4,802
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 1,611
Gots: 1,660 | 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
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Reviews: 1,088 | Hads: 4,802
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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Photo of Halfbrother83
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into Pipeworks snifter.

A: Pours deep brown with an off-white head that quickly fades. Brown leads to a gorgeous, deep ruby red when held to the light.

S: Deep, sour wine, tart currant, almost like Warhead candy, some funk, some sweetness, very nice.

T: Follows the nose, with intense red wine and tart red cherry flavors unveiling first, followed by some oak tannins, and a sour funk that lingers nicely on the finish. Superb!

M: Medium with high levels of dry carbonation. All in all, like an amped up, carbonated red wine.

O: Truly outstanding, and leaps above Damnation, which is the only other sour I've had from Russian River. The Cabernet barrels really shine through in the flavor, resulting in a one-of-a-kind taste profile.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 11/22/13.

Pours a translucent reddish dark brown. The 1/4 inch off-white head quickly disappears completely and leaves very faint spots of lace.

The smell is of barnyard funk, assorted dark fruits and faint alcohol.

The taste is of tart currant, dark grapes and unripe cherries.

The texture is medium bodied with high carbonation.

An amazing sour brown ale with delicious tart dark fruit aromas and flavors with Cabernet Sauvignon accents. World class.

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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 JulioH
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Where do you go from here? This beer is like a syrup, an essence. It has moved onto beer nirvana.

Pours a delicious dark reddish brown color. Smells pure of funky yeast. Taste very tart, maybe some blackcurrants, definitively some grapes from the barrels. Has high acidity. Has to be enjoyed little by little, if not it's too sour. Good work.

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Photo of Zach136
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/22/13. Reviewed 5/2/14, typed this from notes. Poured into RR -tion stemware.

A - Rusty brown, small off white collar.

S - Currant, licorice, sour grapes, and a bit of barnyard funk.

T - Cab barrels definitely shine through. Red wine with a big acidity and a medley of dark fruit notes in the back. I get some currant, raisin, and fig.

M - Dissipating, highly carbed and very refreshing.

O - Another amazing sour from RR. Murders other currant based sours I've had thus far.

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Photo of Tony49er
4.99/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type- Poured on tap at Russian River Brewery

Appearance- Dark ruby red color, two finger white head the goes away very quickly

Smell- Dark cherries, funk, sour, neutral oak, just an amazing sour smell

Taste- WOW, Dark cherries, funk, sour, neutral oak tannin in the back of the palate, the BEST sour I have ever had and using Cab Barrels for aging is genius and comes through in a vinnus character

Mouthfeel- Tart, sweet, dry

Overall- The BEST Sour I have ever had and one of the top 5 beers I have ever had

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Photo of macher0
4.85/5  rDev +10%
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.

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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 hillvt4me
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 7/18/13. Poured into Hill Farmstead tulip.

Appearance- is dark ruby to mahogany hue. Minimal head. Good lacing.

Smell- dark fruits, red wine, ripe berries and oak.

Taste- dark fruit, currants, red wine tannins, some tartness, some oak character.

Mouth feel is medium to light, dry finish like a wine. Moderate carbonation and excellent balance.

Overall spectacular wild ale; favorite to date. Russian River always has a flavor profile that is complex!

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Photo of dank203
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

moldy and vinegar aromas. flavor is way more sour than expected. a lot of grape, cranberry, currant, even some grapefruit sourness. starts off mellow in the sip. ends brutal, very tart. its complex though and each sip has a story to tell. still no supplication, to me anyway

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Photo of Resuin
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a stemmed glass. This is batch 8 which I believe was bottled early/mid 2012 so has a couple years on it.

Appearance: Pours a medium-dark red/brown and leaves a hint of off-white head that fizzles away in an instant, to nothing.

Smell: Big cabernet, oak, grapes, currants, vinegar, some funk, leather. Really big red wine influence here, but softer.

Taste: Leather, cabernet, oak, currants, sour cherries, grapes, lemon, vinegar. Finishes fairly dry. Very complex, and a really nice experience.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a medium, very wine-like body. Finishes a tad dry but the alcohol is really well masked for 10%. Really smooth.

Overall: Really well done beer, and the age has done wonders. Many cabernet qualities, but much softer and a little funk. Really an excellent drinking experience.

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Photo of vitALEity
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Nice head that quickly disappears. Small bubbles line the rim of the glass. Dark mahogany color.

S: Incredible. Ive had this many times and I look forward to the aroma just as much as the flavor. Its sour, tart, tangy, winey, dark grapes, cherries and berries.

T: This is a full-on pucker face sour bomb. Its red wine, cherries, oak and vanilla deliciousness.

M: Full, carbonated, tingly, explosive. Like pop rocks candy.

O: My favorite sour as the interplay between the intense tang/funk/fruit/oak is just perfect.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz cork and caged bottle poured into a Russian River goblet. Huge thanks to jbaker67 for the hookup! Printed date of 01/13/13.

Appearance: Poured down the side produced about a finger of think head that quickly fizzed away to some film and a ring. Reddish dark brown body the color of, well, currants. Lots of carbonation action.

Aroma: Wow! First thing is a huge, musky, barnyard funk. Tart and tangy lacto in the middle with some sweet stone fruit rounding it out. Almost reminds me of rotting, fermenting cherries.

Taste: Pucker inducing sour lacto/juicy stone fruit/lemon juice up front. Red wine soaked oak and vanilla in the middle with the sweet fruit note placating your pallet at the end. Leaves a lingering note of what to me tastes like sweet tarts.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full feel with lots of carbonation. No heat but very warming going down.

Overall: A surprising and exciting ale, even though I had an idea of what to expect going into it. Ridiculously funky in the nose with a leveling sour tang in the taste that is wrapped up nicely in a package by the wine barrel and some encouraging fruityness at the finish. The true story behind the name of this ale is that Jesus did not turn water into wine but water into beer, hence the name. Recommend consumption during worship services. Recommend pairing with dark chocolate with strawberry filling.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Takes a close second to Supplication in my book. The cab flavor comes through very well and gives this beer a sour, fruity, and crisp taste. So good!!!

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Photo of samtrillo
3.88/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Looks like blackberry soda.

S - Can definitely sense the currants and Cab barrels. Little worried it wont have a strong ale taste though.

T - Yeah, in my honest opinion it's a little lacking in the beer/ale flavor. It tastes like a dry soda. It's not bad, very drinkable, but I would love to try a stout aged in Cab barrels. I'm not a huge sour advocate, but if that is your thing, try this! You will like.

M - Very carbonated. Adds to the soda feel. No head. Reminds me of a Lindemans.

O - Obviously a very high quality offering but not for everyone. If you are into Lindemans or sours this is a must try.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

American wild ale
10% ABV

APPEARANCE: Gorgeous colors in this beer. Deep ruby mahogany, with a burnt orange rim variation. Little to no head with very light lacing.

AROMA: Nice and sour fruit right away. The Cabernet barrel explodes with notes of oak, currants, black cherry jam some barnyard funk rounds it out.

TASTE: Very tart lots of green apples which I didn't get on the nose. Fades rather quickly into the currant and cherries. Definitely getting that Cabernet flavors and nice oakiness.

MOUTHFEEL: Oddly enough without having a head on the beer there is a lot of prickly carbonation. Medium bodied slight oily feel maybe due to the Cabernet barrels.

OVERALL: Great, easily approachable sour. Wine drinkers will really appreciate the complex flavor profiles. Thoroughly enjoyed this, I think sharing the bottle was the way to go. The high ABV is hidden well and makes it almost to easy to drink.

RATING: 4/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the brewery. Poured to a Ynibroue tulip glass. This one pours dark reddish purple with a hint of brown and a one finger off white head that dissipates quickly in a fizzy furry.. Aroma is strong vinous cabernet notes, sour vinegar, black cherry and other fruits. Flavor is a beautiful medley of dark cherries and sour vinegar, some bold wine like notes, other fruits, and a bit of booze intermingled with oak on the back end. Super tart and sour with nearly spritzy high carbonation. Heavy bodied and a big beer that can probably sneak up on you. Good stuff.

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Well you cant knock color, red, light carbonation and clear.
S-clear brett and cranberry fruit smells
T- much more tart than I expected. The fruit balances nicely but it does seem a little harsh. The bacteria comes through but it com9letely covers up the belgian yeast strain it starts with.
O- A must have for a sour lover, not a great introductory sour. Ill take any bottle up for grabs, it sucks.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I had two bottles from batch 006, IIRC, I had them for 25 months. One bottle went to a share this past Saturday, one I enjoyed with my wife.

A- Reddish brown color with a fluffy head. The head is off-white with some red-wine staining. It fades quickly to a ring. Lots of bubbly carbonation, no lacing.

S- Cabernet wine, oak woodiness, leather, and earthiness.

T- Cabernet, sour yeast, spicy, dark fruit and earthiness.

M- Lots of full body masculinity. Very tart with tingly carbonation. Dry finish with lingering flavor.

O- This could be the beer that launches me into more and more sour drinking.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 07 18 13
Drank 01 24 14

Down the middle pour brings forth a thick off-white foam that quickly fizzles down to nothing. Deep burnt orange body when held to the light that is filled with carbonation zinging all around.

The aroma is full of the souring bacteria, gets a little funky, currant, and cherry. Comes off like an Oud Bruin.

Plenty of fruitiness comes off with currant, red grape, and tart apple. The oak from the Cabernet barrels comes out slightly. Nice little musty funk hangs out at the end. No hint of the 10%.

Fairly smooth medium body. Medium tartness on the palate. Finishes dry.

Nicely balanced for such a big sour beer. Really well done beer that has great Cab qualities imparted into it.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper color, white head.

S: Dark cab notes in the nose as well as some dark fruit.

T: Cabernet-like flavors of red grape, but sour, and heavy. It definitely picks up the wine profile form the barrels, but the dark fruit from the beer style shines through, along with oak and the combination is wonderful.

M: Medium-full bodied, light carbonation, but a bit astringent.

O: Pretty much what you'd expect given the style of the beer, the style of the wine barrels, the talent of the brewers and the addition of wild yeast. It's delicious.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/8/2012 - 12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass. Batch 8.

A: Slow pour to keep yeast sediment (not much was evident) in the bottle. A fizzy head forms, but quickly disappears and leaves no lacing. Beer is a pleasant cordovan color.

S: Cabernet and sour Brett. Just a hint of the currants.

T: Strong sour ale, but the Cabernet and Brett work really well together. Not picking up currants as I expected. High carbonation leads to dry finish. Amazingly, no alcohol heat despite 10.0% ABV

M: A bit champagne-like, thin and dry.

O: Nobody does sour ales like Russian River. Expected more fruit a la their Supplication sour cherry ale, but this is very good.

Aging another bottle for a year; we'll see what it's like then.

1/10/14 - Well, that time flew by...

A: Slow pour again due to possible yeast accumulation (none in evidence). Smaller head than before, also quickly disappears. Still plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles. Either same color or a tiny bit darker

S: Cabernet and sour Brett. Strongly recommend serving at cellar temp as opposed to refrigerator to let the currant notes, such as they are, come through.

T: Very strong sour at refrigerator temp, out of balance at that point. Almost overwhelming. Warming helps a little.

M: Seems a bit more full-bodied, still no alcohol burn, but does induce quick drying.

O: Aging did not seem to improve this at all.

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Photo of rudzud
3.96/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Recent batch (July). Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby garnet hue with a fizzy one finger head that fades nearly immediately. Hard swirls produce fleeting wisps.

S - Currants, vinegar, wine barrels, light funk, faint alcohol. Quite pleasant. Not too sour though.

T - Taste is considerably more sour than the nose. Powered smarties, currants, cherries, light leather. Oak tanins, a faint chocolate. The fruits almost come across as syrupy. The flavour is there, but...I just don't like it. I like black currants too so I'm kind of confused as to why I'm not digging the taste.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Nice and crisp, alcohol hidden quite nicely.

O - Overall, I'm not sure if its the syrup like flavour aspects of this or what but I'm just not digging it. I want to like it, hell, I want to love it. Unfortunately though, I do not.

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Photo of Dope
4.04/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 071813

A: Pours a beautiful dark ruby red. Tall and short lived fizzy tan head. Head fades out very quickly as mentioned, with nary a speck of lacing in sight. Decent retention at least, oddly enough.

S: Very fruity - berry-like mostly. Not very sour, just a little tart red wine and some leathery and oaky tannins. Currants are there but very subtle.

T: Okay, definitely more sour in the flavor. Lots of tart berries up front (presumably the currants). Not super vinegary but a very distinct underripe sour fruit flavor. Mild and tart red wine adds to the affect in the middle and also adds some complexity. Not a whole lot of oak, just a little bit of dryness in the aftertaste.

M: Surprisingly medium bodied, light and dry for 10% ABV.

O: Big sour fruits in this one. No major acetone, vinegar or even the typical citric acid. Just mouth puckering sour fruits. Very interesting. Big, sharp, bold flavors throughout. Almost no sweetness, all tartness with a drying aftertaste. Pretty unusual for a 10% ABV beer of any style. I'm not a huge fan of wine barrel beers but this is still a quality brew.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.