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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,095 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,095
Hads: 4,846
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 1,627
Gots: 1,690 | 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: 1,095 | Hads: 4,846
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 dirtylou
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, split and paired with some fetalicious

Batch 001x1

appearance: slightly alarming label - poured into a few new glarus flutes, dark garnet-mahogany body, active fizzy tan head that recedes to nothing very quickly. active carbonation present

smell: lovely - cranberry, tart cherry, oak, currants, vanilla, funky brett

taste: I was a big fan of this one on my SF trip this past winter and am glad to have another bottle downstairs after this one. Tart fruits dominate the palate - cranberry, black cherry. The cabernet barrels provide a really nice vinous body with highlights of sharp oak and vanilla throughout. Russian River is my favorite domestic brewery - that's for sure.

mouthfeel: tart and lively, vinous with active carbonation

drinkability: good

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Photo of tbeckett
3.75/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from strang. Batch 008. From notes.

A - Deep red colour, cloudy with one finger of light brown head that fizzled away fast. Quite effervescent. No lace, no retention.

S - Grapes, plums, Brett, some wood, lemon candy, mustiness.

T - Tart with grapes and not much else. Musty, tart, lemons, not much 'dark' to speak of, it's mostly just a Brett assault. Maybe a tiny bit of dark fruit was there. No alcohol.

M - Strong carbonation, medium to full body, puckering tart finish.

O/D - Enjoyed it. Too bad there couldn't be more malt complexity with the Brett dialed back. Carbonation was also a bit much and made tasting a bit difficult. Not bad for a wild ale though and was pleasant to drink, but didn't seem to break new ground for the style .

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Photo of ccrida
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (batch 001X3) poured into my large St. Feullien goblet (I was gonna go with one of the Russian River glasses, but they're all pretty ugly and none of them have the nucleation etching like this one), Consecration is a brilliant ruby with an off-white head that is pretty quick to settle to a thick skim, leaving light lace.

Smell is vinous, tart dark berries, caramel, not overly rich, even at cellar temp, but very nice. The constant crackle keeps it lively and enticing without overwhelming.

Taste is very nice. Immediately it reminds me of Oerbier Special Reserve, probably my favorite beer of all time. Which makes it all the harder for me to overlook that fact that I buy that for few less dollars for an equal volume, and that it comes from drastically further distance from a brewery that ages it for at least an extra year or so before release. Still, value is not a factor in taste, and on that accord there are very few that pale. Like most Flanders style beers, especially the stronger ones, I really wish I'd had this with the massive rib eye au poivre I had earlier, rather then splitting the Shiraz with my wife. Consecration is more overtly fruity (then the De Dolle), and is not that funky, although it's obviously pretty young, but is nevertheless fantastic.

Mouthfeel is medium light, a crisp creamy carbontion, with just enough maltiness to keep it from being to thin. Very digestible, and the coating of the tannins on the mouth is pleasant and really ties in the wine barrel aging.

Drinkability is high, as this is about as good as it gets for me taste wise. My only ding is the cost, in that comparable beers in it's class (the aforementioned De Dolle, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien, etc...) are quite a bit less, and they all come from another continent, not a days drive south of me. Still, this is a masterful beer that I'm glad to see will be somewhat regularly available, demanding a high proportion of my beer budget until they ramp up and price down! In fact, the more I contemplate this beer, the more impressed I am, perhaps one of the best I've ever had - again, only the De Dolle being on par. Wow, this beer is just an incredible mind blower. As I worked though it, I had to bump it up to a 5, in spite of the price, because it was just so dang good, in spite of the young age!

Edit - I had to pop an 06 Oerbier Special Reserve to compare with the last glass of the Consecration, these notes are all from the perspective of the De Dolle:

a-much larger head, more lace, duller, murky body
s-much drier, more mineral, bright
t-less complexity, more (very clean) alcohol, less depth, more wood, less tannins. RR is fruitier, DD is earthier, and has less depth.
m-a bit less carbonation but still hanging strong, lighter, drier.
d-good, but I'm shocked to see I prefer the RR in the shootout. The oakiness is a bit much, it hasn't gotten overly funky like I'd hope with the age, and the depth doesn't match the RR. I like a sweeter beer, or more sour, but the aged DD reminds me of the disappointing 05 Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien I had on xmas eve, which was also over oaked and not that sour.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 10% ABV, Serve in a tulip, Batch 003X1.

Thanks to Wisconsinality for bringing this one to the RR tasting!

A - Despite the tall pour, absolutely no head and no bubbles on top of the still slightly dirty brown amber color. Mahogany in the deep parts. The head could possibly be removed from the alcohol level.

S - Dark fruit holds up a lightly toasted amber malt aroma. The currants add a nice blend of fruitiness to the red wine hint that increases in strength as it warms up. The wine blends very well with the wild aroma of damp barrel and barnyard funk.

T - Very sour with a strong, almost overpowering tart funkiness. The cab barrel aging is almost overshadowed fully. Slightly fruitiness from the currants in the background blend well with the wine very nicely.

M - Medium-bodied with a strong sour-tart texture that's almost a bit too much. The lingering finish lasts forever and is fairly crisp with a harsh but complex kick.

D - This beer is fantastic but, damn, the sour finish and resulting sensation is harsh, even for a guy who loves sours. I'm thoroughly enjoying it but it is a a bit much to drink. Sharing the bottle is perfect.

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

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

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

on tap at Monk's in philly. review from notes.

A - A lovely copper brown color with golden hues and barely any head or lacing.

S - Remarkably cherry and tart, along with some hints of alcohol and red wine.

T - Highly sour and acidic up front, but the sweeter currant flavors quickly balance the taste before an amazingly unique wine flavor starts to kick in. Smacking of dark fruit, oak, and red wine, the ale quickly warms you as the 10.5 abv is almost nonexistent until finally creeping in towards the finish, creating a rush of boozyness which isn't overwhelming.

M - Bubbly, sticky, tart, and dry.

D - Possibly one of the easiest drinking wild ales I've ever had, especially at 10.5%. You can sense the alcohol in the finish, but it's tough to only have one, especially on tap.

These are expensive, and worth every penny. Absolutely delicious, refreshing, vibrant, exciting, and pleasant to drink. I only wish we could get RR in NJ, but at least Philly is within striking distance.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002 x 3 from the Northeast Craft Beer Outlet at a rediculously good price...

A- Dark brown with red highlights. Big, whispy carbonated head that dicipates quickly. Little to no lacing.

S- Red wine, oak, tobacco. Slight red wine vinegar acidity note. Slight dark fruit note as well. Amazing.

T- Amazingly complex belnd of sour yet subtle fruit, red wine and oak, hints of vanilla. Nice earthy notes. Slight acidity on the back end. Finishes with a nice red wine taste. Perfect.

M- Medium bodied, perfect carbonation level from the yeast. Excellent smooth, silky wine like finish and aftertaste.

D- Wow, if i was never allowed to drink red wine again and wanted to still experience many of the positives, i would reach for this. The ultimate American Wild Ale experience.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.19/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to GetMeAnIPA for this one... my first RR sour! Consecration pours a pretty damp and dreary copper-brown color with some very slight ruby-red highlights when held in front of a bright light. The head is a murky beige color, borderline light-tan, and dissipates quickly into thin air leaving behind only a little bit of wet legging. I'll tell you this, it's not much to look at really. Kind of dark and musty looking - I guess it fits the style. I was just expecting something a bit more vibrant. The aroma is heavy fruit; currants, grapes, cherries, mixed berries. Very tart on the nose alone. The aroma makes up for the vibrance that was lost on its appearance. Slight wet, woody smell trailing in the back somewhere, but not much (if any) funk or brett. Just straight up tart and sour fruits and vinegar.

Aaaaand the taste is an explosion on the tongue. It is the aroma in "taste" form. You get hit right up front with a strong acidity and balsamic-like vinegar character. Starts off just a bit sour, then quickly the tartness overcomes every corner of your mouth and becomes nearly pucker-inducing. Grapes, berries, plums, currants, cherries, and even a touch of apricot in the finish. Juicy, juicy, JUICY ass fruits; authentic, quenching, tart, and satisfying. I'm sure there are plenty of fruits and flavors I'm missing, as there are plenty of things I can't quite identify - but the harmony between them is pretty amazing.

About halfway through and even earlier when the beer gets warmer, the wood flavors come out - wet, damp, deep oak. Slightly musty and corky, but still, not much on the funky or barnyard side of the spectrum, which might be a good thing - I don't know if I'd want anything else distracting me from this delicious onslaught of gushing, sour fruits. Vinegar becomes even more prominent at the end in the fruity and sweet aftertaste. Alcohol? What alcohol? This beer is 10% ABV? Are you fucking kidding me? No idea how the alcohol is masked this well, but it is. Watch out, this beer will put you on your ass if you're not careful. Medium bodied, crispy and slightly dry with a heavy load of carbonation.

My first RR wild ale, and hopefully not my last. This was some seriously good shit. So satisfyingly tart, sour, and sweet with a perfect flavor profile of authentic fruits. Insanely drinkable for such a high ABV. Ridiculous.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a flute

Arrived at my table with an almost completely faded yellow head that fell to just a thin layer of foam and left some stray lines here and there. The body sat a translucent, dark mahogany and had streams of bubbles moving swiftly to the top of the glass.

The aroma is lacking a little punch. Oak and caramel with balsamic notes dominating. Some dark fruit skins are apparent, but lay low, along with some old leather.

The fruit comes out to play much more so on the flavor, balancing out the acidic, tart, balsamic flavor. Dark cherries, red and green grape skins along with oak woodiness and a finish of dry tobacco. The flavor profile reminds me a lot of red wine. Deep, vinous fruits, tart and a dry, tobacco/leather finish.

The alcohol is well buried here. Light to medium body with prickly carbonation and a light, crisp, dry finish. I liked how the finish was more fruit and leather than balsamic.

For the style, I found this to be amazingly drinkable. The tartness never overwhelmed, and the dark vinous qualities were able to shine through, bringing a welcome balance.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Monk's Cafe

A-pours a flat looking reddish copper color that is quite clear and has virtually no head.

S-the nose is very big, lots of vinous red wine characteristics with a faint earthy tone to it. very little oak with the sweet currant in the back. just a hint of acidity in the back but light.

T-nicely balance, sweet red wine, dark red grapes, nice sourness to it, hints of oak underneath. tart cherries and currants add sweetness to it with a light spice in the back.

M-this has a smooth and medium body with huge carbonation and a crisp dry finish. very nice feel to it!

D-awesome beer, great vinous characteristics with a light barrel aging and great balance of sweetness to sour. the spice adds some kick and this is a beautiful very wine like brew.

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Photo of dar482
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color is a red brown bubbly beer. It almost looks like a dark Shirley Temple. Tons of big bubbles and carbonation.

The aroma has a sour funk, but there’s tons of wine tannins, lots of vinous, oak, a bit of dark fruit. However, the tartness does really stand out on this. It’s vinegar and Flanders sourness.

The flavor is vinegar tart, but then there’s tons of red wine and then some oak character. The tartness is actually hidden away as the beer warms up and blossoms to become a very red wine flavored beer. There really is not an alcohol flavor as it is like 10% ABV.

The mouthfeel on this is almost like a Coke-Cola. Tons of large bubbled carbonation that just rolls all over the tongue.

The huge wine flavors mean that you want to share this beer. I wouldn’t want 375ml myself. A good amount is to share it with someone.

This beer really stands out for me having had it next to Supplication. I preferred this actually. It’s so interesting because I’ve never had a beer that has had more red wine character in it that this. This for me is probably the best Wild Ales I have had. What a treat. It’s so different and amazing.

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Photo of champ103
3.52/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to Dajtai007 for sharing this with me an several other BA's.

A: Pours a dark reddish/brown color. A small white head forms, and recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, and tart fruits. I don't get much else.
T: Very sweet and tart fruits. Kind of vinegary. Caramel apples. I enjoy the tartness, but overall there is not a lot here.
M/D: A medium body that is very crisp and perfectly carbonated. Not hard to drink, but not something I want to reach for again and again.

Not bad at all. I have had this many times, and it is about time to put my thoughts down. Very enjoyable, but Russian River have a lot better Wild Ales IMO. Still very much worth a try.

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Photo of drpimento
4.11/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sharing with sour beer fan friends Mike n Bryce (homebrewers). Poured with no head or lace. Color is a hazy/cloudy honey amber. Aroma is yeast, sour, oak, sherry, malt. Flavor's similar to taste but not as complex. Body and carbonation are perfect for style. Finish is like flavor, clean, balanced, and a nice alcohol prod. Very nice.

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Photo of mltobin
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From a 375 mL bottle.

Appearance is reddish brown with very little head. The nose has grapes, black currants, cherry and a tart quality. Its` taste is sour, red wine, lemon and is also sweet. A nice mix of different flavors are here. MF is medium with not very much carbonation. This is a nice wild/sour beer which lived up to its` solid reputation.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap (had bottled as well) served in nonucal glass

A - clouldy Garnett brown with one finger rose head with poor rentention and minimal lacing

S - Cab Sav. Currants, funky fruity yeast, cherries.

T - Drink a currant cherry lambic, a cabernet Sav, and a tastes if tobacco and you have got this gem. Sour and warming

M - med body, mod-high carbonation, sticky

O - Yum. A gentlemans beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says 091412.

A- Pours a rubyish light brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that doesn't retain long at all before fizzing away to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and extremely active patterns of surface foam. Minimal lacing.

S- Moderately sour, crisp aroma with some sweetness and a hint of spice. Mainly fruit notes like cherry, red grape and, of course, currant.

T- Strong tartness, but not too strong, with a decent amount of fruit such as plum, cherry and grape juice. There's a hint of rubbery solvent but it's actually quite complimentary. Also, I couldn't really tell that this is 10% what with the burst of other intense flavors.

M- Lots of pucker and dryness. Medium carbonation with a body on the full side for the style.

O- Yeah, I definitely dig the darker sours more than the lighter ones. Probably my favorite RR sour to date.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.88/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this beer on friday night. Sat down with several freind and tried all the RR sours! I am new to sours and willing to give them a chance. Why not start with some of the best?

reviewed from notes.

Appearance: light brown bodied beer with redish highlights. White whispy head with lots of small bubbles.

Smell: Cranberries, oak and wine.

Taste: Cranberries and currant. Tannins and oak. Moderate sour taste of vinegar takes over the taste and finish of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Prickly and clean mouthfeel.

Overall: Interesting sour beer. Not my favorite sour we had that night, but its decent!

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

Batch 6 375ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.
Pours maroon in color with a finger off white head. Left no lacing.

Strong oak, sweet currants and sour vinous notes in the nose.

Picking up tart dark cherry the currants again and a nice oaky flavor. This one also has a fair amount of sour funkiness.
Like every wine barrel aged beer I've had the wine tends to overwhelm. If it weren't carbonated I could probably trick my friends into thinking this was a cheap red wine.

Very nice light tingle from the carbonation. Mouthfeel finishes dry.

10% ABV is very well masked. If I had to guess I would have thought it was around 6%. Sour beers tend to really cover up any alcohol taste. Enjoyable but at $15 for a 375 its hard to justify the price. I can get a six pack of a very comparable sour for around the same price.

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

Served in a footed 'Belgian' glass at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 14 April 2012.

A: No head. Translucent brown; a glowing honey-amber.

S: Fruit and Brettanomyces. Winey/grapey. Not amazing.

T: Hmmm. Very puckery-tart, with a vinegary aftertaste, but there's some very nice fruit right in the middle. Deep, rewarding, wine-like flavours. Sparkly mouthfeel.

O: Good, but not great. I'm not sure I understand the fuss. Not worth the price, but worth drinking. Good wild ale!

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Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay Chalice

Appearance: minimal head, cloudy, chestnut brown in color, some sediment, low carbonation

Smell: cherry, sour mix, and vinegar

Taste: cherry, red wine grapes, sour mix, and vinegar

Mouthfeel: sour, light bodied, medium carbonation but very prickly..

Overall: A very good American Wild Ale worthy of a special occasion. I love the wine-like qualities in this one--although I do prefer Supplication. This one is a complex sipper that I would pick up in a heartbeat if I could find it.

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

I forget who brought this to the Toledo tasting(sorry guys), but so glad after I tried it the first time to get a hookup from a friend to have it again. Notes are pretty recent.

The color is beautiful, ruby-red verging on mahogany that shines in the light. A light brown head with good retention sits a little more than a finger high,leaving moderate lacing.
This one has the vinous and tart characters of a good red wine with lots of sour-sweet cherry(bing, if I had to describe it) and an oak character. It even seems like there are some tannins in here contributing a leathery character as in some red wines. I have to wonder how they do that. There a touch of balsam that leaves a vinegary reminiscence without going too far.
This is like tart, tannic sour cherries maturing in leather-lined oak barrels in my mouth. Clean, tart and dry. Acidic without melting my teeth and rounded out by a soft note of dark chocolate? This remains malty as well, somehow.
The feel is dry, but almost verging on semi-dry, likely from the malts that also add a touch of body, which is light to medium. The finish leaves a nice oak dryness.
This is as drinkable as an ABV of 10% or above could be.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to MCLK for this as an extra! Batch 003X3. Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a deep reddish brown with a two finger off white head that subsides to one quickly. Lots of carbonation rising to the top and makes a fizzing like a soda. Maintains decent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of yeast, bread, sour apple, and grapes. The flavor is of sour apple, grapes, very subtle alcohol, and citrus. It has a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was the first Wild Ale I had tried back at a tasting and it got me interested in the style. This is a very nice blend of flavors all in one package that makes my taste buds jump for joy after every sip. If you have not tried any Wild Ales, this might be a good place to start.

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Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to BZero007 for sending me this in an epic exchange of Top 100 brews. I hope he enjoyed his, now I'm going to tie into mine!

Batch #2. Pours thick, dark, cloudy red with a bubbly head that falls instantly to the barest of rings. Smells is all sour, funky cherry (or is that currants?).

Taste is like a sour slap upside the head. The sour funk runs up into my nasal passages & clears up the mild cold that started, as well as aiding my arthritis & cataracts. Yeesh! Sour dark fruits, funk, with a dry, tart finish contributed by the wood that sears the top of my mouth & back of my throat.

I think dry & tart covers the mouthfeel, with high carbonation. I can hear it bubbling. Drinkability is high/low. Low because I couldn't have more than half the bomber, high because it's unique & soothing on the tongue. As I move on even a half-bomber is a lot; eight ounces would have sufficed.

Very good beer. Can't say that I'm as enamored of it as the general BA population, but I understand the appeal. A wonderful once-in-a-while treat.

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Photo of popery
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say? It's incredible. I'm going to strictly edit myself in this review, so I don't get too gushy. Giving two 4.5's feels wrong, and the five in flavor seems a bit low. At any rate, the beer pours a translucent auburn with nice lacing. There are notes of red wine, currants (of course), cherries, malt and a wonderful sour like an incredible vinegar. The flavor is similar. The sour bites nicely. There's actual malt presence behind all of the fruit and sourness. The fruit flavors are refined and elegant. The whole thing is a wonderful experience. I can't imagine how they could improve on this flavor profile. The sourness blends with the fruit and malt at just the right level. There's also a dry oak flavor that keeps any possible sweetness in check. It drinks like a beer with half as much alcohol content. Bravo to everyone at Russian River.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,095 ratings.