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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,096 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,096
Hads: 4,850
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 20.18%
Wants: 1,626
Gots: 1,692 | FT: 125
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,096 | Hads: 4,850
Photo of JoeMayo
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark brown, almost black. When held to the light, it was brown and light amber and surprisingly clear. A fluffy 1-finger head formed, but quickly dissipated to a thin ring around the glass.

S- Very complex aroma. The first things that hit the nose are sweet, dark fruits and notes of ester. Belgian yeast and breadyness comes through followed by funky sour tones. Hints of cherries or currants come through clearly. Slight hints of vanilla and a wine-like aroma come through as well.

T- Very sour upfront, but the sourness isn't so overpowering that it masks the complexities of the beer. Sour cherries and currants come through immediately in the flavor. The sourness melds with the fruit well, but there is still the slight funky flavor associated with brett. The finish is very clean and wine-like with a lingering sour aftertaste. The esters of the "base" beer before it hit the barrels come through very clearly.

M- The body is somewhat thin and its slightly over-carbonated, but the absolutely amazing clean and crisp finish make up for it.

D- I split a 750mL bottle with two friends and I wanted more after 1/3 of the bottle. Overall, extremely well-rounded. One of the few American Wilds that I've had that's not sour for the sake of being sour, but sour to impart flavor to the rest of the beer...Another excellent brew by RR.

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Photo of Lothore
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep crimson color with a fizzy, off white head that fades fairly quickly.

S- Smells of dark fruit, plums, raisins, currants, figs, with a hint of sourness.

T- Tastes of currants, slight oaky cherry flavor and a nice funky brett flavor to round it out.

M- A little overcarbonated, semi viscous and fairly creamy.

D- This one was very drinkable. It definitely wasn't a standout for me as far as russian rivers lineup goes, i'd much rather grab a temptation. At 22 dollars a bottle id venture to guess this will be the last bottle i'll buy for a while.

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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 hophead247
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first crack at a wild or sour beer, but it was a great new experience..The pour yields a cloudy, glowing, rusty sienna colored body with a lasting, pillowy, cream colored head. Minimal, spotty lacing shows on the glass. Aromas include a dark, fruity malt base rich with currants and some sour cherry. Dry cocoa adds a hint of sweetness, while soft, oaky vanilla lends a perfumy, lightly woody overtone. Traces of bretty funk add an earthy character. Flavors show more dark fruits, primarily tart dark cherry, fig, and currant, mild sourness being tempered by the soft, oaky carress. The body is substantial and semi-dry, perfectly carbonated. I think I may have another style of beer to add to my list

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.8/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Paid $23.99 for a 750ml bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Batch 001X3. Poured into a large wine glass.

Upon cracking the cage n corked bottle, the beer spilled rather quickly out of the top of the bottle. Beware to have a glass ready with this one! Perhaps it was shaken a bit as upon pouring as the head is quite small actually. Quite fizzy, this off white head dissipates to almost nothing very quickly. Carbonation is quite tricky/deceiving. Color is deep ruby red. Its darkness leads to this being nearly opaque. No retention.

Smells of wild yeast funk and very fine tart cherries. Also a grape complexity added a la aging in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. Mildly sweet, yet certainly much more on the sour side. Even some breadiness from the yeast.

Sour to the taste buds resulting in strong astringency. Funk, sour cherries, some grape. Not as complex as the nose. A bit too sour for my liking.

Very dry mouth, astringent. Light to medium bodied. Light carbonation. As dry as some champagne I've had, which for me, is not a positive quality I'm looking for in a beer.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Trouble's afoot, no doubt about it. The dark ruby is evidence. Perfect clarity and little head, but what becaps the brew remains throughout. Not really an eerie feeling, but a restlessness, as a cloudy, windy, brooding day is apt to be - one can tell it's not right. There's a dark shape. They must not catch up.
The aroma of lambic, lambic sour. Each individual one is there, showcased, though the mighty brett overrides at long last. The pediococcus adds an extra twist to the otherwise normal blend of saccharomyces and brett. And the rest of the mix too, the basket-full, the nuts, bread, figs, dried apricots, grapefruit peel.
Ride North! They are coming for us!
Brandishing but a pike, the tastebuds assaulted by a complex sweet and sour: a light bready/date-like sweetness, destroyed in short order (not so soon... why? Where's the plot?) by the immense sourness that leaves the rest of the mouth frozen.
At least it isn't raining. We may make the range before dark. At least it's dry. Intensely dry. Stifling. Astringent. Drier than anything from Belgium, save a 10-year old of some sort.
Make for the hills. Ride. Do not look back at the looming thunderstorms, they are not there. Ride. Your freedom is at stake, your entire world. You must not let them catch you. Ride for your life.

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Photo of WilliamD
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label states batch 001X3.
Popped the cork and was greeted with a rush of foam. Ran it into the kitchen and set in the sink. Lost perhaps an eighth of the contents. Now that was rather disappointing.
After cleaning up the spillage, poured into a snifter. Attractive amber with a golden halo and a thin, fizzy head that eventually dissolves.
Smells tart with a fruitiness that I presume is the currants. Slight, earthy, oakiness as well.
Taste is tart and sour, with a definite presence of the wild yeast. Divine, oaky finish. Very delicious.
Mouthfeel is excellent as well- crisp, dry and tingly, like a fine champagne.
I can't believe this is 10% ABV. It is completely concealed. I would love to continue on to another bottle when I finish this one, but this is far too precious a beer to treat in such a frivolous manner.

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Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle of Batch 001-3. I received several in recent trades, so thanks to beerbeagle, jw347 and ralflord.

A: The ale is a dark crimson red that has a full wooden brown appearance from afar. A loud pop didn't conjure up as much head as I wanted, nor did what popped up linger for long.

S: The ale has a vinous aroma, the long barrel-aging stint put to good use. The wine is red and very full-bodied. Tartness is behind the red wine but not as strong as I've experienced in other RR wild ales.

T: The currants are strong up front, sweet and juicy. As the currants fade, red wine and oaky tartness come through. The red wine is cabarnet, full and rich. The barrel has added a subtle tartness that goes well with the wine. The tartness is citric, very acidic. The bite is nice, a natural flow from the fullness of the red wine.

M: The currant/red wine/oak barrel interplay is interesting. Tartness follows full barrel and sweet berries. The currants are a nice deviation from grapes.

D: The 10% alcohol never rears its head. The ale is very approachable with a pleasant tartness that never makes me pucker too much.

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Photo of Cedromar
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with my lady. Batch 1x003.

Pour gives a lovely ruddy ruby color with mild bubbles that don't stick around, I guess they were feeling shy.

Smell of a nice sour Cabernet.

The taste is wonderful, sour, funky, fruity. Currants up front then the sour acidity followed by the leathery brett.

Mouthfeel is again wonderful, good carbonation.

I could drink this again and again and again. However, this ranks behind Supplication and Beatification for me.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Served in a tulip Glass at the pub. Dark and slightly cloudy. Extremely fine bubbles sliding up the glass.

S - It smelled of oak (and a little bourbon) with a hints of a wet dog. (Very promising smell)

T - Notes of Jams and Currents. A perfect funky flavor. A tart berry flavor moves from start to finish with the tart ending at the end of the experience.

M - It was very warm and acidic with a nice dry finish.

O - Best wild ale yet.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from an excellent trader Dajtai007. Was able to bring this and spread the love to the April BA Gathering and Beer Share at Goose Island - Clybourn.

A: Pours dark brown with very little khaki colored bubbles around the edge, possibly due to a careful pour.

S: Smells sour/wild fruit, specifically like funky apple cider, yeasty

T: Similar to the smell, very much like funky apple cider with some yeasty flavors and a sour bite, very tart

M: full and highly carbed

D: At this point, one 12oz bottle would be more than enough for me until I got into the style.

I think at some point I will be able to appreciate this style, but it's too radical to me right now to feel comfortable with it. I can totally see how people enjoy this beer a lot though, but I think it's an acquired taste that I just haven't acquired yet.

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Photo of mdm46410
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottle (Batch 001x4) and served in a snifter. Generously provided by doubleo. Thanks Kyle! This beer poured a mahognay brown with some ruby highlights and a fizzy, highly carbonated two-finger thick head of tan foam that quickly settled into a lasting cap. Some slippery lacing. The aroma included strong oak, vinous dark fruits, and lightly sweetened tart currants. Some lightly sour notes. Definately a strong wine character. Nice mix of sweet and sour. The flavor displayed a fairly intense oaky, wine barrel character. Tart currants followed by a mellow acidity. A lingering woody, cherry pit note was left on the tongue. The 10% ABV was undetected. Finished mostly dry, but there was still some unexpected sweetness lingering. Medium-bodied with crisp, aggressive carbonation. Very well done. Quite a bit more tart, and not nearly as sour as expected, but it works. A wonderful beer!

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Photo of mikereaser
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear reddish brown with with a tiny bit of tan foam that stuck around for awhile

S - the aroma is dark cherries, raisins and grapes with a hint of the sour to come

T - nice tart flavor of the cherries and and a dryness that reminds me of wine

M/D - overall, I think this is an amazing brew. I'm just getting into liking sours and this one is a hit for me.

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

On tap at O'Briens (San Diego, CA) on 3/20/09. Part of a full day of Russian River beers here. Served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby amber color with a ½ finger of creamy beige colored head. Thin wispy retention that flares up nicely into a frothy cascade of rich lacing that clings to the sides of the glass. Just a beautiful looking beer here. The aroma is quite dense smelling with oaky tannins, and a light vinegar sourness. Underneath of that emerges dark cherries, hints of vanilla, and a nice bit of candied sugary sweetness. Light warth invades the profile as well, giving off just the slightest feel of a fume to the bouquet.

The taste is souring acidic oak and black currants up front that really stand out and add a certain amount of denseness to the profile. Vanilla creeps in before a blast of tartness from the wild yeasties makes itself known. The overall profile is a touch souring at first but then lessens into a more tart feel as this warms. Very nice. I'm also getting some underlying sugary notes, that when mixed with the tartness in the profile, gives this that pleasant Sweetart taste that I like so much in these Russian River Sours. Dry tartness lingers lovingly on the palate. Nice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lower carbonation and overall slick feel to it but the little bit of creaminess that does reside in the body is pleasant, intermingling with the more viscous character and moving all of those big flavors nicely. Oh, and 10% on this? I would have never guessed. We actually had to check a case of this that was sitting near our table for the ABV and couldn't believe it!

Another Wild work of art here. The melding of the oak, cherries, and wild yeasts in this was just fantastic and the drinkibility was quite good for a beer of this size. Awesome.

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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 zeff80
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled of oak (and a little bourbon) with a strong yeasty aroma. Light caramel notes, too.

T - Great sour bite grabs you at first sip. It tasted spicy and yeasty, too. Almost like a brown ale with brett. A nice funky flavor.

M - This was very smooth and soft with a nice dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a really good wild yeast ale. The aging served it well.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.87/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Capone's. Pours dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of sweettart candies, oaky notes, and lots of sweet notes. Flavor is very tart and acidic with Brett, light pale malts, a touch of yogurt, and wine-like notes (red grapes). Very flavorful but the palate is a bit wearing over time. Not my favorite type of sour but this was quite good.
9/4/8/3/15 (3.9/5)

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at RR - still have two bottles aging at home. Looking forward to that opening ceremony.

Appearance - Reddish brown, mahogany, with a minor off white head - very little retention or lacing, but the brew itself looks mighty inviting.

Smell - Ripe cherries, dark wine, strong fruit smells with a little bit of sparkling wine.

Taste - Very dark ale with champagne aftertaste - cherry, lambic sourness, but not overpowering because it is balanced well by cabernet highlights.

Mouthfeel - Slight carbonation tingle but still retains the attractive dark ale smoothness.

Drinkability - More of a treat than a session beer, but don't pass this one up if you can get it on tap, or aged for 1+ years.

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Photo of ahpark
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle, batch 001X4, into a tulip. Poured almost like cola, a nice dark fizzy reddish brown. Head is almost nonexistent, as it really just fizzed out relatively quickly. Carbonation is insane; even with no head I can actually hear it fizzing away in the tulip glass.

Smells how it looks, of dark cherries, raisins, and other sour dark reddish colored fruits. An afterscent of champagne or sparkling wine is unsurprisingly evident.

Taste is very very tart. I knew this was a sour, but did not know it would be quite this pronounced. The dark black cherry taste definitely shines through, with an aftertaste of dates or figs. Reminiscent of a dry sparkling cabernet.

Mouthfeel is pretty awesome; the bottle-conditioned carbonation definitely lends the beer a light body with a nice astringency at the end.

Drinkability is definitely there. It's so similar to sparkling wine or champagne, it's a sipper for sure. The tartness really is a curveball, and I'm not quite sure how much of this I could drink without my tastebuds shriveling up and dying on me, but it's definitely refreshing. At 10%ABV though, I can't see myself drinking too much of this without having a wicked headache later in the night or the next morning.

Overall, definitely an amazing brew that everyone should try. Not something I can see myself drinking regularly, but more like a celebration brew to break out on special occasions. I'm definitely interested in cellaring this and trying it a couple years down the line.

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

I had this on tap today at Capones. It pours a deep ruby red with a thin head. The aroma is full of cherrys, and red wine. The flavor is a bit sour, but full of cherry, currants and a dry red wine. The brew is full bodied and very dry, possibly from the tannins in the wine barrels. The beer is a definit sipper, but I am very suprised about the 10% abv. This is the best sour i have had and I consider myself fortunate for being able to try it.

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Photo of Deuane
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear, purplish-brown tinted copper with a thin off-white head that held on well till it finally reduced to a thin ring. Spotty flecking left behind.

S-Balsamic vinegar and sour grapes. Dry, woody, tart and musty notes swirl around too.

T-Tart, woody, dry red wine (duh) notes. Lots of astringency and a nice play as the dryness and tartness counterbalance each other.

M-Medium-light body with a tongue drying astringency without being overly puckering.

D-Superb, quite drinkable, well done sour with the tart and dry characteristics balancing each other very well. A totally enjoyable and refreshing brew.

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

On tap at Capone's on 3/29/09.

A - Clear cola-colored, purple tinted body with one-finger off-white head that retained like a champ for quite a while, then reduced to a thin veil.

S - Nose suggests sour grapes, funky Brett notes, oak tannins, and an astringent, magic marker-esque aspect. Not as over-the-top as I was expecting.

T - Flavor is wine-like, with plenty of oaky/woody notes. While there is no noticeable hop presence, there is tons of funky Brett flavor and sour fruit notes.

M - Medium body with a dry mouthfeel and finish. Warm and slightly astringent on the palate with a mild alcohol sting.

D - Quite drinkable for one of the most coveted American-made sour ales in beer-lure. While this is a Brett-head's dream, I actually found it to be not as harsh as I was anticipating. Really glad to have had the opportunity to get this on tap outside of Cali.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.96/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a lovely cola brown that turns into a dark cherry when held to the light. The head is a narrow collar of white. This is really a lovely beer.

Smells of tart and sour funk with cranberry, currants and strawberry. There's a spicy, almost floral sting behind this too that seems a bit like alcohol, but it blends too closely to the tartness to tell. Deep beneath is a very mild prune and raisin which adds a lot of depth and balance.

Tastes dry and tart with a floral touch of cork and crisp dry green pepper that dries the tongue. There's a sweetness up front that delivers under-ripe strawberry and gooseberries. The carbonation seems to lift the dryness off the tongue with the sweet fruitiness seemingly hiding underneath. The CO2 sting almost makes this almost minty.

Feels quite frothy and wild, perhaps a little over done. The carbonation also seems to mess with the flavor in a distracting sort of way. I get the impression that I'm missing some of the flavor due to the wild carbonation.

Over all I thought this was quite tasty, but not as impressive than other wild ales, especially those offered by RR. The big downfall for me was the carbonation. Maybe I should just swirl my glass for a few minutes?

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub, shocked that I got a 16 oz pour when I was expecting a 10, but it was a bargain at 6.75. Dark cherry red pour with a hazy tan head that lingers. Very sour aroma of cherries and plums with a light vinous smell to it as well. The flavor is like a sour fruit explosion in your face: cherries, grapes, blackberries, and a nice wine thickness. Very nice carbonation in the mouth and a nice malt profile as well. Hopefully my future experiences with sours will match up to this one.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dark mahogany body with a thinnish, beige-colored head.

Smell: Rich, expressive aroma smelling of macerated fruit, oak wood, red wine vinegar, lactic acid, tobacco, and even vanilla. Hubba-hubba!

Taste: Malts mingled with gooey black cherry fruit preserves and some prominent, vinous red wine qualities all with a bundle of lactic sourness to coat the tongue. Small pinch of vanilla sugar and fine aromatic tobacco. Non-obtrusive tannic oak component. Long finish with some lingering tart, earthy hints and final pops of acidity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high, lively carbonation.

Drinkability: It's hard not to gulp this one down like a madman. All in all, this is one excellent beer layered with rich complexities and one that I cheerfully recommend.

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