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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,080 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,752
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 1,600
Gots: 1,628 | FT: 121
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: 1,080 | Hads: 4,752
Photo of Estocker
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark scarlet. Not much head but a thin lace shows up later.

Smells like a sour wine but made with currants. There is a bit of a grape aroma that I'm detecting as well, but it's mostly sour currants and I'm okay with that.

Tastes like a sour-lovers dream. One of the sourest beers I've ever had, tart currants and grape-skins invade the pallet and the wine barrels come through in the taste as well.

For 10%, this is one of the most drinkable beers I have come across, and I will continue to do whatever I can to get my hands on this even if I have to drive 300+ miles every month. (598 characters)

Photo of trodersark
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark amber color with a nice 3/4 inch light brown head.

S: RIght off the bat, I could smell a lot of funky Bretty smells. You can also smell a little but if the currant and fruityness that goes into the sour

T: Very effervescent, and extremely tangy and sour. You can definitely taste the sourness from the currents and the oaky flavor lingers as an aftertaste.

M: Medium body, yet very light, enjoyable, effervescent mouthfeel

D:10%??? Doesn't feel like 10% at all, extremely easy to drink! (507 characters)

Photo of Tawnos
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duvel Tulip glass. Batch 002x3

Pours a pleasing woody red/brown, 1 finger head quickly diminishes without lacing. Nothing out of the ordinary for a wild ale.

Smells amazing, black cherries and funky oak. It's highly reminiscent of a great Gueuze I sampled in Belgium - perfectly aged.

The taste is awesome. My girlfriend calls it a cross between sour gummy worms and red wine. I get what she means - there's a pleasant fruitiness, but it's not overly sour, more a tart sweetness, balanced with the minimal beer undertones. A wild that even the Belgians would drink proudly.

The slight bite on the mouthfeel is all that keeps this from a 5, there. It's well rounded with a puckering start that gives way to a mouthwateringly-sweet finish

I'd drink more if they weren't 20 each ;). This is a beer I cannot think of a food to pair with. It stands alone to be tasted, enjoyed on its own merits. (908 characters)

Photo of beerfan99
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2x1 - 750 ml bottle

A: Dark reddish brown in color and clear. Carbonated enough to create a small white head.

S: Very sour smell, typical for a Russian River sour. The currants and cabernet aromas come through loud and clear.

T: Excellent. Very tart and sour, but is palate pleasing. The fruit currants are definitely noticeable as is the flavor from the cabernet sauvignon oak barreling.

M: Feels bubbly feel and medium bodied.

O: Another great wild ale from Russian River. I have been lucky enough to have multiple vintages of Consecration. I am partial to the earlier batches of this beer, batches 1 and 2 being my favorites. Later batches are very similar, but don't seem to have the same levels of oak and fruit flavor. (735 characters)

Photo of boMD
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have had this many times on tap. Lets talk about a Saraveza pour. Ruby hue with a beige head. Tart, funky tones, with oak and yeast on the nose. Well carbonated which balanced the alcohol and tart, sour characteristics. I could feel the alcohol going down my esophagus which was pretty warming. Some flavors of oak and wild yeast which was noticeable but not as smooth and tart/sour as I would hope. And the currants were very subtle and in the background mostly and a little in the finish. (490 characters)

Photo of birdman200
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Ruby red and dark mahogany color. Head dissipates fast, with minimal lacing.
S: Huge red wine and rye smell, with dried fruits. Absolutely phenomenal smell, unlike anything I've ever had before.
T: Huge cabernet sauvignon taste, dry like wine with woody taste (from barrels).
M: Huge carbonation, plays well with other nuances of the beer.
D: AMAZING. By far best beer I have ever had. For $17 for a 375mL it was totally worth it. Thank you Russian River. (458 characters)

Photo of calir1
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is awsome. It has a base beer of its Salvation and aged in Silver Oak Cab barrels. It is not over the top sour, but just perfect. It does have a cab after taste and a wine like feel. The Salvation does not seem to come through too much or at all and is about a percent higher than it.

Wonderful beer and wish it was bottled (334 characters)

Photo of session1979
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this back at GABF so I decided to crack a bottle of this as a Valentines gift to myself. Offered some to the wifey but she isn't a big fan of sours.

A: After the CO2 bomb settled it poured a beautiful dark red with a bubbly light red colored head.

S: Smell was funky, sour, tanic and full of a sweet acidity. Very appealing, so much so that it was hard to let it warm for more than a few minutes before taking the first sip.

T: Big cherry fruit sourness hits the edges of your tongue. Then sweet notes follow and tame it ever so much. The finish was soooo long and dry and the taste turned to grape skins. One of the best finishes I have ever experienced.

M: Light body due to the massive carbonation. As it should be for this style.

D: Very, VERY drinkable. I shared it with two others but could easily enjoy the bottle all to myself despite the high ABV.

Overall: I have loved each of the RR sours for what they offer and amazingly they are all different. This one is a welcome introduction into the world of dark sours and I absolutely loved it. An ace. (1,069 characters)

Photo of IrieJackalope
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle of this on a recent trip out to the RR brewpub in Santa Rosa. $22/bottle, but after trying a few glasses of the stuff at the pub I knew it was well worth the price.
I poured it into my Russian River goblet and was greeted by the tangy smell of Brett and the other wild yeast that Russian river uses to make their sours pack the punch they do. The color is deep, deep red, almost purple. Aromas of sour fruit, currents mainly, waft from the glass. The taste is just as lively and tangy as the smell, perhaps even more so. There's also a good deal of wine flavors here, in addition to the yeast and fruit elements. Surprisingly drinkable for a ten percent beer. This was the beer that made me fall in love with sours, and every time I drink it the moth puckering sensation reminds me of why I will never look at beer the same way again. This is an absolute must for sour fans, and highly, highly recommended for adventurous souls looking to break away from the usual. (984 characters)

Photo of gawnphishin
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter, many thanks to augustgarage for my first Russian River brews. Batch 005X1F.

A- Pours a cloudy yellow brown with a small, quickly dissipating head.

S- Great aromas here. A mediocre amount of brett funk, and lost of red wine and oak. There is a very small presence of vinegar that is welcoming.

T- The brett really shines through in the taste. The perfect amount of tart and no alcohol at all. Hints of oak and red wine again.

M- Perfectly dry and full. Medium carbonation.

D- This is easily the most drinkable sour I have tried. There is no appearent alcohol and such wonderful flavor. (615 characters)

Photo of M-Fox24
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark amber, purplish ruby red color; reminiscent of a wine. Nice one finger slightly off-white head, which retains for several seconds or so.

S: Aromas are revealing a vinous, cabernet, wine ratio which is nicely supplemented by funky notes of figs, oak, cherry, plums, brown sugar, lemon, dark fruits and of course accompanied by sourness. The notes/intricacies on this guy are fantastic

T: Sour, tart, and funk are quite prevailing and pleasing. In keeping with the smell, the taste is that of a vinous, wine feel. Notes are that of grapes, raisins, lemon, cherry, slight vinegar, and a woody oak earthiness feel; very similar to the smell

M: Medium to Full body, medium carbonation, lots of sour funk, the presence of wine, and just an overall complex beer

O: Complex and incredible; being extremely well balanced and very smooth make this out to be a superbly refreshing beverage (899 characters)

Photo of mykie73
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at Saraveza.

EDIT: this was for batch 1; batch 2 and 3 are much better.

A dark reddish brown with no lacing. See-through, can not tell if there is a lot of carbonation from looking at glass.

S lots of tart cherries, wine funk and oak notes.

T Delicious. wine, citrus, and oak is present. very tart at first and then sour on finish. quite enjoyable.

M) Feels great can't complain on the feel of it. Consistent to what a sour should be. Sourness/puckering feeling is enjoyable.

D) I could drink a lot of this but due to how pricey it is I think I'll invest in bottling other sours. Glad I got a few bottles but glad I did not purchase an entire case. It will be very interesting to see how this one ages. A bit over hyped but quite delicious and an enjoyable experience. (781 characters)

Photo of Patrick2012
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark red amber with a quickly dissipating white head.
S: Red Wine, dark aroma. Very Sour smelling and intense.
T: Sour wine, cabernet sauvignon. Intense flavor. Very bitter.
M: Bitter aftertaste sits in your mouth for a while.
O: A delicious Sour Ale by Russian River. (272 characters)

Photo of demon
3.57/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle. Bottled on 08/11/14. Enjoyed 02/22/15. I had heard nothing besides greatness about the Russian River Brewing Company, and with an interest in sours, I knew I had to try Consecration. Ended up scouting this guy out and shelling over $16 for a 375 ml bottle! Damn! The most expensive beer I have ever purchased to date (by far!).

A: Murky/turbid due to being fermented in the bottle. Amber to slightly purple color. Very nicely carbonated. Poured pretty foamy, but the head died off rather quickly.

S: First impression was a very strong alcohol smell followed by wine/currants. Light Cabernet aroma. Surprisingly to me, this beer doesn't pack whole lot of aroma.

T: Currants, oak, and wine were the first flavors I distinguished. You can definitely tell that this is aged in Cabernet barrels. Not very sour compared to other sour beers I have had before. Not overpowering at all. Sweet, but not too much so. Dry funky flavors pull their way though--I'm thinking it's the Brettanomyces. Dry finish. Champagne-like effervescence. Tamarind notes found in the aftertaste.

M: Leaves the tongue with a tannic feel. Must be from the barrel.

O: Overall, this beer is very dry, very oaky, very wine-like, lightly acidic, with a strong alcohol taste. I hate to sound sacrilegious, but this beer really didn't do it for me. It just wasn't what I was looking for. If I really wanted all of those wine flavors, I might as well have gone with wine. I have found a few Belgian sours to be more pleasurable and interesting to me, but it is obvious that many people get very excited about this beer, so I couldn't not recommend it. At this price point though, I think I'll be holding off for a while before reevaluating this interesting creation. (1,747 characters)

Photo of Irie
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Like wine that's gone bad with butter..." according to a friend, but in a very delicious way.
Looks rich and red like wine, smells sweet and fruity like wine, and has a very mild mouthfeel (mainly from the casket I'm sure) but very smooth like wine, and tastes like a sweet wine that's been out a little while, all the while still being a 10% beer that dances on the line of what is considered beer.

That being said, this is an incredibly unique beer that explores the boundaries of what beer can be. I loved it and was very sad when I reached the bottom of my 6 oz pour. Will definitely drink again! (602 characters)

Photo of blincoln
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes -

Poured into a Russian River glass

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish chestnut brown with lots of carbonation coming from the bottom (almost looks like a sake soda). Almost no head, just a thin layer kept alive from the heavy flow of bubbles.

Aroma: Sour apple and berries, with a hint of sweet wine smell coming from the barrels.

Taste: Sour candy like taste similar to the smell, but making it hard to identify individual flavors. Sour grape, apples, berries, and a wine flavor leading into a sweet finish. The tartness subsides as Consecration warms.

Palette: Smooth, light bodied, and crisp - which is surprising given the amount of carbonation.

Overall: Not as sour or flavorful as New Belgium's La Folie, but better than most other sours I've had - especially given that it doesn't cost near as much as La Folie. A complex blend of fruity flavors but maybe a bit too sour as its a tad over powering. Definitely a contender for one of my favorites. (970 characters)

Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft, poured into a wine glass.

Appearance: ruby brown and clear, with a light tan head that fades quickly to a thin veil. Very small bubbles; spritzy. I know you can't judge a book by its cover, but this is a beer, and from this beer's appearance, I knew it would be good.

Aroma: stone fruit and sour.

Taste: nice and sour. Tart, but not mouth puckering so. Tartness is upfront, which fades to a dry finish at which point the Brett funk arrives. The Brett funk is subdued. I can't detect any of the currants. The beer is wonderfully smooth for being 10% ABV. No alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel: light-medium.

Overall: this is probably the highest rated beer I've tried. Honestly, I think this beer is overhyped. It is good - very good - but not deserving a BA score of 4.5/5.0. Of the sours I've tried recently, I prefer (in order) Crooked Stave Sentience, Trinity Red Swingline and Boulevard Love Child #3 (cellared 1 year). (929 characters)

Photo of notyourdadsbeer
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured froma 375ml bottle into a tulip at Euclid Hall.

A: Pours a rich dark brown similar to a dark scotch or whisky with no head whatsoever. Lacing is lean if at all. Reminds me of a glass filled with a spirit.

S: Intense tart and sour notes. Currents are dominate for main flavor but oak is present as well. Touch of sweetness similar to vanilla pop up here and there but overall this is a very sour beer.

T: Clean and balanced but still quite tart and sour. Big sour and tart notes hit the palate up front with current as the fruit. Current is very dominate but the entire flavor is clean and balanced with just a touch of oak and wood.

M: Full bodied and clings to the palate, front to back, from start to finish. There is zero carbonation, the bite from this beer comes from the sour affects of yeast and barrel aging.

D: This is an amazing sour. The barrel aging in Cabernet barrels with currents truly gives you a puckering affect that's sour and tart from start to finish. This isn't over done on sour instead is incredibly balanced for how intense and big this beer is. (1,084 characters)

Photo of Wreckoncile
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 006 Poured from 375ml into Chimay goblet

A - Poured like a cocacola at first; fizzy with a quickly appearing and quickly diminishing head leaving no lacing. Also similar in color, although hazy. At first, I was planning on rating the appearance much lower due to the lack of a stable foam, but what it revealed when it disappeared was the most active fluid surface I'd ever seen on a beer, bubbles wisping around and dancing carbonation on the surface that showed me an active beer. Makes me feel like I'm about to drink a living thing, which I really dig.

S - Strong upfront dark cherry tartness with a very muted malty note underneath that seems to tessellate perfectly in place with the tartness. An almost tannic like red wine aroma as well, that reveals a bit of sourness at the end of the tart.

T - Very wine-like in flavor, as could have been expected, with an extremely sour bite to finish it off. The sourness chased away the dark fruit notes I got in the nose, but that doesn't bother much, as the sourness accentuates the citrusy flavor of the hops. No hoppy bitterness, preserving the flavor of the hops, while allowing all the bitterness to flow from its sourness. Altogether solid flavor profile that beguiled me at first and commanded my full attention.

M - Crisp and effevescent, and yet somehow still managed to be silky... I'm really not sure how this overall texture was pulled off, but its one of a kind. Hides it's booziness well in the medium body.

O - This particular beer confused me more than anything. Granted, I've not had much experience with sours to date, but I still imagine this has greater depth than most. I'd say its sourness in taste overpowered some of the darker fruits that the scent gives off, and the final product ends up tasting a bit like a carbonated grapefruit juice without any sweetener. But there is much more here. As it warmed, I felt that the malt I detected in the nose came out a bit more, but the yeastiness was seemingly lost in the sour. I enjoyed this, and have a bottle in the cellar that I look forward to revisiting in a year's time to see how it changed. (2,129 characters)

Photo of liquidcraft
3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red and fizzy. This was sour, like a beer brewed with warhead candy. The taste crosses the line of tart to sour, its much like a white wine or champagne. It was hard to pick out much of the flavor over the sourness, but it was certainly different and enjoyable. I would love to drink this again, but not tonight. The flavor is intense, and while fun, does not promote drinking much of it. (388 characters)

Photo of localhost
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I lack the proper adjectives to describe the taste of this beer. I have had it both in a bottle and on top now, most recently on tap. It is extremely sour, yet has an amazing flavor.

Pours dark red with very little head, looks very inviting. Smells very sweet and sour. The taste is a complete explosion of fruity sourness and sweetness. I'm not sure what exactly i'm tasting, all i know is that it is strong and i like it. My mouth was a little dry afterward but not much more than other beers. Even though this beer is incredibly sour, i found myself ordering more than one in a row, so i would say the drinkability is pretty good. Definitely a sipping beer, but still amazing overall.

Long story short: buy it and drink it. (729 characters)

Photo of punkindrublic50
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the brewery, as well as in subsequent bottles. Absolutely lives up to the ratings. Pour is a dark amber with a rapidly thinning head, smell is complex and wonderful. Taste is phenomenal: not much of the currents that it is brewed with, but instead cherries and grapes, as well as a pleasant complex sour mouthful. Much more sour taste than funk. Completely drinkable, which you have to watch because at 10% alcohol this will knock you down quick. Can't taste the alcohol at all.

My favorite out of all the Russian River sours I've tried so far. (562 characters)

Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Poured a murky deep brown with exceptionally lively carbonation which left a tan/caramel colored soda-like head that came and went very fast. Carbonation ribbons did not cease until the end of the drink.

S- Intoxicating and complex. Seemingly imbibed with some sort of dark magick. Alcohol is present here but not overwhelming. Bites the nose with a tangy ripeness of dried fruit. Dates, raisins, currants, dark earth spice and black pepper. Smoke. Just a hint of sweet caramel appears when swirled. Truely complex. I don't think I am qualified to describe this in its fullest.

T- A fragile malt background wants to get through the sourness of this beer. Its there but is overpowered by sour grapes, cranberries, and apricot. Dried currants shine through here as well. This ale becomes more balanced and less aggressive to the senses as it warms up.

M- Light, active, cleansing. Seems to leave no part of the mouth unaffected.

D- Share this one with someone. An ale which needs to be experienced by many. This ale is definitely not for all but is an excellent example of true artistry at work. Beers (and breweries) like this give me hope for the industry and make me proud to say I am a beer drinker (and maker). Thumbs up for originality and passion. My hat is off to you Vinnie. (1,336 characters)

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

Pours a deep reddish brown color -- has some ruby highlights when held up to the light. Nice big light khaki head -- very nice carbonation. It's not a big mess of head, but a careful pour is necessary to keep this one in check.

Blown away by the amount of wine and grape in the nose. I wasn't expecting a big hit from the Cab Barrels, but it is there for sure, and it matches perfectly with the sour berry smells. The oak balances it out a little.

Taste is over the top -- perfect combination of sour bite and fruity, oaky smoothness. They don't seem like things that necessarily go together, but this one has it all. Aside from the chewy and viscous feel, you could have convinced me this had half the ABV it does -- so perfectly hidden away.

Could easily down this one quickly, but it would be such a shame to get to the end any faster than necessary. This is the type of beer that makes you want to go back and rethink some previous ratings -- completely redefined what the style can be. (994 characters)

Photo of Sandstone
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Russian River homerun.

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

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

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

"Wow, this is really good."

"Yeah, I know!"

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

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

This is going to be a tough beer to find, but trust me, the search will be worth it. This is one of those breakthrough beers that really pushes a new style to the forefront. (1,107 characters)

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.