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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,410 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,410
Reviews: 1,066
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 1,480
Gots: 1,470 | FT: 108
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,410 | Reviews: 1,066 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of BillRoth
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of HopHead84
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River. A silly bar pour leaves the beer nearly spilling out of the glass. No head. The beer is a dark, dark reddish purple.

The nose is of tart raspberries and plums with a touch of vinegar. The currants work very nicely in the beer. This is reminiscent of the Toronado 20th. There are faint alcohol notes, but it relatively well hidden for 10%. Much like the aroma, the flavor is of ripe, tart raspberries and those delicious currants again. There is a nice medium level of sourness to Consecration. The finish is dry and slightly puckering, with just a touch of alcohol.

This is a medium-full bodied sour with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is vinous. This is the closest thing I've had to Toronado. I'd love to do a side by side comparison of the two. The alcohol is well hidden, which leads to a damn drinkable strong sour. I'm glad I stocked up on this.

Photo of billab914
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware glass. It poured a brownish/deep red color with a very fizzy and active head to it. The head settled down very quickly, almost like a cola.

The aroma shows off an acidic sourness as well as some fruity notes to it. The currents give it a tart and dry fruitiness that is very nice. The sourness is sharp with moderate acidicness. Just a hint of the woody, barrel character comes through.

The taste starts off with a sharp acidic bite to it with more of the moderately sweet current fruitiness coming through. As you get closer to the finish more sour and tart flavors come through. The currents leave a grape/wine like dry, tartness on the palate. It's great in how the sweet and tart flavors both come through so well in it. It's definitely one of the more tart and sour beers of the style I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied overall, and more heavy then most I've had in the style. Carbonation is very high and sharp. Drinkability is good, it had some excellent flavors to it and some great complexity. As I said before I loved how it had both sweet and tart flavors at the same time. The currents were also excellently done. Very tart and sour too. Excellent beer overall.

Photo of biegaman
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of John_M
3.81/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Local 44 in Philly yesterday.

The beer pours a darkish brown color with minimal head retention and fair lacing. The nose on this beer is its best feature, IMHO, with a complex aroma of black currents, wine, vanilla and sour funk. On the palate... sigh... this beer is just over the top sour for me. I get a hint of wine and black currents, along with some light vanilla, but the overwhelming flavor component to this beer is sour funk. There is an intense vinegar/sour wine flavor to this beer, with a huge rush of sour in the finish. My tolerance and appreciation for sour beers has improved over the past year, but I just think the brett in this beer is over the top, with the sour overwhelming and dominating everything else. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a long finish, and the alcohol is very well hidden. However, the excessive sour component really wore me out in the end, and IMHO it really hurts this beer's drinkability.

Glad I had a chance to try this one, but once was enough for me.

Photo of Kelp
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked
Batch 001x3

This is my 1800th review, holy shit.

Poured into a chalice a nice ruby color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger fizzy off-white head, very minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty/yeasty, oak, cherries, currants. The taste is malty/yeasty, soury, slight oak, funky, cherries/currants. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, for some reason, I'm not really into the AWA as much as I use to be.

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Batch 006.

Appearance - Pours with a hint of a brown head that's gone in a flash. Nothing after that. Looks flat as hell. The body is a dark ruby red. Looks like a glass of cabernet.

Smell - Acidic and lactic sour aromas. Oak. Strong red wine presence. Distinctly cabernet, too. I'm amazed how well the wine comes through. Sour fruits round out the flavor. Cherries and I suppose currants, but hell if I've ever actually smelled currants.

Taste - Like the flavor, but with a more pronounced acidity. Sour at first. Not puckering, but it's sustained throughout the drink. Lots of sour fruits followed by a ton of cabernet. The finish of the beer is dry, but the wine character overwhelms the dryness leaving it with a vinous character in the end.

Mouthfeel - It's not a light sour by any means. In fact it gets kinda tough to drink after a while. Medium-low carbonation doesn't help. It feels like I'm drinking a sour glass of wine more than a beer.

Overall - Interesting flavors, but a huge sour ale that gets sluggish and repetitive as I drink it. Tasty, but not something I could drink all the time.

Photo of PEIhop
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, the beer pours a deep, dark amber color that appears to be clear, and starts with an inch of bubbly head that quickly vanishes down to nothing. The beer smell is an uncanny comparison to a light merlot. The currants are definitely apparent when you raise the glass to your nose. The beer has good carbonation throughout drinking, which helps to keep the heavy flavors light in mouth. The beer is sour on the tip of the tongue, and continues down the tongue, almost puckering at points. Dark fruit flavors abound throughout the mouth, with a slight peppery spice every once in a while. Very tasty, and again, the lightness and crispness provided by the steady carbonation make this a nice, smooth drink. The beer leaves a sour grape-type flavor in the mouth after each sip, but light. The sour aftertaste and the lingering finish pucker the mouth a bit, and it begs for another sip. Delicious!

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Still sipping on the 3767 ... entering this one in from a couple different paper notes ... both of these previous bottles came from Onecrazybreeze... Brianne is awesome.

Batch 001X2

Thin head with a deep brown brew that is pretty cloudy when held to a light.

Very rich aroma.. very fruity and only mildly funky... tart berries.. whaffs woodiness .. grape bubblegum or soda..

tannic berry skins and an abundant fruitiness... some black cherry essence... maybe even some black caps... more oak than the nose .. a little lactic ... some wet leather and wild strawberry essence shows as it warms ... fantastic body for a sour... carbonation seems abundant but helps balance the slightly heavier mouthfeel ...

I still have a few bottles ... but I think some age is going to do wonders... Thanks again Brianne... You are a peach.

3.5/4.5/4.5/5/4.5

Photo of Dicers
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of chippo33
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of DrJay
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 (002X3).
Clear chestnut brown with a fizzy/soapy, short-lived beige cap. It looked a lot like a glass of Coke, with not much head or lace to speak of. It was a light gusher too, so watch out. Aromas of tobacco leaf, cherries, berries, currants, earthy with a light funk, red wine, strawberry seeds, hint of cocoa. More earthiness as it warms. The flavour was a combination of fruity and earthy, chocolate covered raisins, berries/currants, a bit tart but very pleasant and non-aggressive in this character. Faint vinegar, light woody oak, green berries. Mild alcohol and warmth in the finish with a lingering berry sweetness. Medium bodied and off-dry, moderate carbonation after the initial loss of aggressive carbonation (it took about 20 minutes to clear from the bottle), a bit of woody astringency. I really liked this one. Nicely balanced with complex fruit flavours.

Photo of Lare453
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch #006. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Medium to dark brown with almost no light passing through aside from a slight glow around the edges. A small amount of cream coloured head formed and quickly receded to almost nothing.

S - A subtle hit of grapes intermingled with the expected funky/sour yeast notes. The sourness, although definitely a big part of the nose, doesn't dominate like it does in most American Wild Ales. A complex complimentary array or armoma, includes sour cherry, vinegar and oak.

T - Tart and tangy brett flavours dominate the palate up front but. The full spectrum of flavours shows up in the middle, with currants, sour cherry and oak all combining to create a complex flavour profile. The funky/sour flavours return in the finish and linger a little bit in the after taste.

M - Light body with light to moderate carbonation.

O - This is a style that I am still developing a taste for and this is the first one that I have truly enjoyed. I am very happy tha I took a chance on this one.

Photo of Derek
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002X3

Brewed: 6/18/2008
Bottled: 4/1/2009
Primary: Abbey Ale Yeast
Conditioning: Rockpile

A: Deep chestnut brown, very bubbly, tan head, no retention, only a hint of leg.

S: Nice sour aroma with plenty of dark fruit, brown sugar, a little brett & funk, fairly woody.

T: Plenty of dark fruit and currants, a pleasant sourness (a light mix of Brettanomyces, lactobacillus & other funk), hints of cocoa and dry-roasted nuts, wood.

M: Very dry, very bubbly, with only a slight acidity.

D: A remarkably good drinker.

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,410 ratings.