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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,094 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,094
Hads: 4,845
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 20.18%
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: 1,094 | Hads: 4,845
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into my Liefman's Goudenband glass, head quickly dwindles tan head forms thick but fleets me. The carbonation never quits moving, leading me to believe that this beer is still alive. Aromatics are so deep with vinous tones in this case it seems to be currants added to the mix for the super fruitiness. Batch # 004X3 weird stuff that keeps giving off a wonderful nose. Hints of sherry vinaigrette blowing off the rapid bubbling head, mild cider notes with wild funky tones that could only be dreamt about if your not drinking this wild ale...horse blanket barnyard doesn't even do it justice. Flavor hits you with a blast of oak with tart fruits galore seems like currants are the victim once again. This beer dares you to keep drinking it make sure your immune system is up to par it hit's with a very acidic tartness that's probably not healthy for your digestive tract unless your consuming this regularly. If Vinnie just all about vomit acid inducing sour ales I've gone too far, but so far his Damnation was the best American brewed Belgian anything that I've tried thus far. I guess it's a question of do you really like sours? I do...it's so different from your average brew out there this wild fermentation really peaks my interest even if it ends in a sour vinegar lactic pedio WTF?

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Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 4/25/10 notes. Poured from a 750 ML bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark amber color with one finger of white head. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of red wine, sour dark fruits, some sweet fruits, funk, and oak.

t - Tastes of sour fruits, wine, sweet malts, and some funk. A little disappointing from the smell.

m - High carbonation and medium body.

d - Pretty good and better than temptation, but not as good as supplication. Worth checking out and I would have again. Thought it smelled a little better than the taste.

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

I've been waiting on this one for a while. From the same BA trade that got me the Lost Abbey Witches Wit, as well as the Lost Abbey Cuvee De Tomme that I'm sitting on even longer. It's been sitting in the fridge for about six weeks, and I can't wait any longer. Away we go!

Dark plum-red coloration, with no head at all, starts slightly fizzy, then quits quickly.

Aroma: ah, that's the stuff, there's the brett, that funky wild wicked twisted sour and sassy wine-ish nose. Currants are doing plenty of work here, too, it's fresh with the fruit. Lovely, lovely stuff.

Tasting it: Whoa! Grabs the tongue and pins it down. Puckeration all the way, in this. Does not relent with the intense tartness. Fruit flavor gives some relief, squeezing in between the huge tart bite.

Another sip, another gulp, and in rushes cherries, blackberries, grapes, some sweet, and then sour. grips the tongue, spanks it a bit, slathers it up and down with funk and sour. Luxurious, relaxing, lush and wonderful.

Halfway in, it's getting deep, plummier, richer...moreover. I'm more impressed-er, for sure. Deeee-licious. Mmmm. Mmm. Mm. M.

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Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap into a mini pint at TJ's 7th Anny. Party. Number one of three in my Russian River flight. An amazing party with amazing beers.

A - Pours deep amber with a thin film of white head that leaves minimal lacing down the glass.

S - Strong tartness up front, strongest of the three. Hints of spices, berries, and oak. Aroma's don't linger for long but they leave a lasting impression.

T - Not the first time I have had this one. Starts with a bit of spice from the currents quickly giving way to a blast of strong tartness. Finish is a lingering funk with a bright acidic note. I prefer the other two, supplication and temptation, but I still like this one a lot. Still one of my favorite wild's.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Tart finish lingers but not for too long. It wears you down after a full glass.

D - Fairly high. I really like this one but when you put all three of these together you really see how different they really are. I would rank this one last out of the three but it is still so good that you can not go wrong. Glad I have a few bottle of this in the cellar.

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

Review #250 - Big thanks to Dave (d0b) for sharing one of these on New Beer Sunday. Batch 001X3 served in a Hopleaf tulip glass.

A - One finger of fairly quick-dissolving tan foam, that doesn't leave a ton of lacing, but settles into a nice ring that lingers throughout the drinking experience. Medium brown color, with firey red highlights at the edges of the glass and lots of tiny bubbles racing upwards. I know that it's possible to do better, even within the constraints of the style and ABV - see my description of Toronado 20th .

S - Lots of bretty funk, tart and sour currants, tobacco, sweet caramel malts, and wood. The mix of Belgian dark and wild ale is reminiscent of the T20th, but this is quite as nice, particularly the wood smell initially gave off a slightly plastic kind of smell before the brew warmed up.

T - The taste is a bit of a revelation, with lovely tartness, no discernible alcohol, a lovely red wine/Cabernet acidity, oak barrel, currants, and sweet caramel malts. There's significantly more sour and less funk here, and the flavors come together in a much more satisfying way. Since so much of this review is going to be ultimately very T20th influenced I'll mention that the oakiness and lacto-sour elements are much milder here, although I'm wondering if that is because of the age or the recipe itself...

M - Sticky, but with a dry finish, moderate carbonation, minimal alcohol heat, and medium body. Some cotton mouth but not where near as extreme as the Lou Pepe Framboise we had. Right on for the style.

D - Shockingly drinkable for a 10% wild ale. Great aftertaste and negligible carbonation burn or bloat. Other than the (slight) problem of getting stupidly drunk from a 750ml bottle this is terrific stuff.

A couple thoughts...
This is a superb substitute for Toronado 20th. While clearly a different beer it does a lot of the same things very well - blending two classic Belgian styles (quad/dark ale with gueuze/lambic), hiding a ridiculously 10%, and marrying a whole host of wonderful and seemingly incongruous flavors. The only place is comes up short is in the appearance, and that doesn't really influence my drinking enjoyment all that much. And when one factors in the huge price differential...

Batch variation seems to be pretty obvious. I didn't get that vague plastic smell from the batch 001x4 bottles I've sampled. I'll comment further when I open up my own bottle at some point. I'm also looking forward to batch 002.

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Photo of jwc215
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Batch 001X2, cage-corked bottle.

Pours hazed deep mahogany with a styro-foamish head that thins.

The smell is of red grape - vinuous with currants and oak. Some tart black cherry as well.

The taste is of tart black cherries with black currents. Some and sour, funky with some wood. A firm darkish maltiness supports it. It has a vinuous, dry finish.

It is effervescent. Alcohol there, but reasonably well-hidden.

In some ways wine-like, but with a funky, malty character. Well-balanced - sweet and sour but not too much in one direction. An interesting, delicious, unique, sipper.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a relatively clear crimson red in color with some heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger and a half tall fizzy yet creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to heavy aromas of tartness/sourness with dark fruit (cherries and currants) and heavier smells of red wine and oak.

T: Moderately tart upfront with some vinous notes, hints of balsamic vinegar, and a moderate amount of sour cherries. Light to moderate flavors of oak and red wine along with some dark fruits (currant). Moderately tart which lingers in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Relatively dry in the finish with a heavy amount of acidic prickliness.

O: Reminds me more of drinking a slightly tart red wine than a beer (so to speak) but it is definitely an enjoyable experience. Due to the tartness, it was one that I needed to enjoy by sipping rather slowly but it is definitely a phenomenal beer. Nice job of balancing the sourness with the red wine flavors.

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

An impromptu Consecration vertical broke out at a recent tasting, we were able to sample batch 1, 2, and 3 side by side. I am happy to report that they are very similar.

Batch 001 - Beer is brown and clear, there is no head and only slight carbonation. The aroma is a mixture of sweet and sour (but not of the Chinese food variety). Really great sour / tart flavor with a hint of malt in there, really shocking. Beer finishes slightly dry overall. There is also a hint of oak and funk at the end, very slight.

Batch 002 - Again, it is clear and brown but this time the carbonation a lot higher. Large bubbles rise through the beer quickly, still no head. The aroma is slightly sweeter but is still very sour. The beer has the same sour notes at the batch 001, in fact they are pretty much the exact same flavor but this one has a slight bitterness to it. I think the bitterness helps accent the oak flavors in the back.

Batch 003 - This one appears slightly lighter than the other two, but just slightly. Still brown and clear. Not as bitter as the Batch 002 but just as sour. Some oak notes in the back.

Overall this is a top notch sour, one of my favorites by a lot. All three were great and I would have them again.

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

Review from notes 1/22/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing.

A: Dark red in color with a 1/2 finger head that forms during the pour, but dissipates very quickly. No lacing at all.

S: Tart cherries, cinnamon, a little oak and vanilla. Has a slight funky aroma as well.

T: Quite sour at first, a good bit of sour/tart cherry flavor. A nice oaky flavor in the background.

M/D: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a dry finish. Overall extremely drinkable, does not feel like 10% at all. Look forward to drinking this one again. Had it at the end of a night, so might amend this review later.

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

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass.

Opens with a nice big pop. Batch 002X1

Pours only a thin layer of tan head. Decent retention. Color is a dark dark cherry-hued brown. It is a clear bee but you can't see all the way through it.

Aroma: I can smell the wine from the barrels that it was aged in. A nice wood/oak smell. Grapes. I am guessing this is the currants, which I am liking. A very complex flavor. A nice sour/wild smell if that makes sense. Makes the mouth water.

Taste: Very sour and amazing. I am digging the currants. A lot of fresh ripe berries. Nice barrel-aged taste going on her. It is very tart. Has some grapes here as well. Damn, this tastes good. Stunning. Next up is the tart cherries with a little bready malts to balance out things. I am very impressed.

Mouthfeel: Sour, tart, and puckering. I love it. Medium bodied with a perfect level or carbonation. This beer is just flowing right now. Leaves a nice tart aftertaste. Damn RR did an amazing job here. Very clean.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. I am trying not to drink this treat fast, but it that isn't happening very well. Very drinkable and I want more. One of my favorite beers I have had yet!

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Photo of stakem
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark amber color with some redness and brown hues about it. Served with no head present and minimal amount of faint spotty lacing. Nose is funky with oak and woodsy characteristics. Alcohol and Brett are apparent. Dry fruit smells riddled with alcohol. Taste is puckering with sourness and alcohol right upfront playing a lead role. Quite drying and tart. Flavors of dark skinned fruit come through as it warms...and warms it does as the alcohol in this beer is there in both warmth and taste. The woodsy flavors mesh favorably with the alcohol. Lingering tartness is left in the mouth that is puckering enough to make you go back in for continuous repetitive sips. Light feel and highly carbed this was one very enjoyable experience.

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Photo of tdm168
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for hooking me up with a bottle of this.

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip. Pours a dark ruby, amber color with a thin layer of fizzy, white head that quickly fizzles away. The nose has notes of grapes, alcohol, and currants. The smell is quite spicy and fruity with a significant amount of the alcohol coming through. The flavor is very tart and sour. It makes my cheeks pucker immediately. The currants come through as do some fruits like red grapes and maybe raspberries. There is a juice or wine characteristic to it. The alcohol really isn't too noticeable. It adds some warmth as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit viscous, smooth, and has a bubbly carbonation.

This is my first Wild Ale. I'm impressed. It's complex, drinkable, smooth, refreshing, but a sipper. If RR was available around NC I would have this more often for sure.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002X3

Purchased at the brewery in Fall, 2009 and consumed while playing original Nintendo on July 12, 2010. Decadence.

A: A thin and flat appearance, ruby-tinged brown hued with very little head and virtually no retention or lacing. Upon the second pour, the head is very fizzy and fades almost instantly with a hissing sound.

S: Cherries, oud bruin, wild yeast, wood. This beer smells very complex.

T: A lot of flavors going on here. Everything I named in the aroma, plus a funky tartness that makes my lips pucker and my throat tingle. Really profound and complex, this beer is very intriguing and enjoyable. Many sours in the 10% or above abv range are considerably harsher than this.

M: Acetic, vinegar finish that grows stronger over time. Puckering finish that makes the cheeks (on your face) pucker and cringe (in a good way).

D: I'm taking on the whole 750mL tonight, but this is certainly a good candidate for splitting amongst a few friends.

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

The beer pours a nice amber color with a 1/2" off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild sourness in the nose along with a nice barrel aged aroma. The crystal malts seem to mellow the overall sourness. The taste is more laid back as well. It's easy drinking. I cannot believe this is a 10% abv. beer. I could drink this all night. It has a more moderate sourness than Beatification. It's also a darker beer with some crystal malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is very drinkable. It's tasty and not overly "wild".

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Photo of billab914
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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

11/15/08- Had on tap at the Bistro Barrel Aged fest in Hayward, CA.

Presentation- Via the tap into small taster size glasses.

Appearance- Auburn colored pour, slightly murky but ultra fine yeast sightings if any. No real head and slight lace remnents.

Smell- Large amount of sour berries and lots of brett sourness and barnyard notes.

Taste- Unlike other supperb Wild Ales by RR, this one has some serious depth. Or at least thickness and a more fruity base other than just sourness. Cherry, raspberry, blackberry...can't really tell what berry (although I think it's cherry). Very sour with sharp acidic flavor. Winelike taste due to the cab barrels used for aging. Almost seems like some mild sweetness trys to creep in, but can't get it's head through the door.

Mouthfeel- Very full mouthfeel for a Wild Ale. Sharp and ultra clean with a medium crisp carbonation level.

Drinkability- Right up there with all the other Wild Ales Vinnie brews, one of my new favorites. Winner of the fest IMO.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this bottle.

Batch 001x1, sampled June 19, 2010.

The beer pours a clear dark red color with a white head. The aroma is awesome. I get lots of brown sugar, oak, vanilla and a low amount of tartness. The flavor is brown sugar, medium tartness, dark fruits, vanilla and oak. Medium carbonation and medium mouthfeel. This beer matured into a wonderful drink. It was tried alongside Sanctification, Temptation, Supplication and Beatification and I think this beer was easily the star of the show.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch 004X1. Thank you slentz for the trade!

No head off the slow pour, what little there was, was a light tan brown that quickly faded and left the smallest of all collars. Body color is a gorgeous dark red and brown cherry, very wine like looking.

A nice simple tartyness that isn't overpoweringly sour. Cherry like fruit sensation. Not even any heat really coming off for this high abv. Standard funky barnyard to go with it, musty and dank, slightly dry. No sense of oak from this at all.

Classic tart and viscous sour, but sort of boring. Sour cherries also. Almost red wine vinegar but not quite. Sort of one dimensional. Fairly alright for mouthfeel light bodied, warming in the stomach, and coating snap feeling mid palate with some spice. Strangely I get a feeling for summer sausage when having this beer. I want paprika with this.

Overall alright but sort of pedestrian. Feels like a food beer than for casual drinking for me. It will do.

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Photo of Billolick
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Caged and corked Belgian style bottle, pours a regal tone of soft brown, under a lighter mocha head. The nose on this one is infused with wood and hints of maple. On the tongue instantly noticable are notes of soft vermouth, ripe fruit, light pepper, complexity extending light funk and echos of yeast coursing through, simply delicious in every way. Smooth, soft, flavorful and yummy in a dark and wet Belgium filtered through sunny California sort of way. Please consider distributing this to my local bars and stores sometime soon...

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Photo of Gavage
4.02/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark amber in color with a short 1/4" head that falls to some thick surface bubbles.

Smell: yeast, sour fruits, and some woodiness makes up a pleasant but different aroma.

Taste: yeast, red wine, woodiness, tart cherries, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is mildly noticable. Sourness is strong here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout with some significant dryness at the finish.

Drinkability: slow sipping beer and the sourness is a bit strong so one will not look for more than a glass in a session.

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

Batch 001X2 750ml bottle into a big tulip twice watching the Breaking Bad premiere. Bottle date is 12/26/08 so this is at about 15 months in the bottle. Review #600. I reviewed this off tap but wanted to get a bottle version in.

Dark dried blood brown out of the bottle, once layered in the glass, Consecration casts a deep dark mahagony brown and appears ruby red mixed with iced tea brown. Champagne like medium tan loose bubbled foam rose up buzzing with vigor yet it dwindles quickly with the same amount of vigor. No lacing from this, which I always get off the tap.

The smell on this is heaven, 15 months worked out the kinks and this is exibiting true integration with the fruit, yeast, malt and wild bug additions. The currants while faded are still a pleasure to sniff while it's backed by some Belgian abbey yeast. Chocolate from the malts which are just coming out and a certain kind of funkiness on the light side.

Bang, zoom, to the moon, this is where it's at. Up front sqeezed currant juice mixed in with some sweet malt and accidity on the tounge. Tastes of chocolate, figs, tobacco and some wild yeaat playing nice with with the Sauvignon taste, which is marvelous and my second favorite wine barrel beer behind Temptation. The wine influence just builds with time and with the 15 months on this bottle, the wine has taken front stage with the currants fading. A funky Wine beer with fruit influence in the back, I like it.

Pretty tame on the mouth when cold out of the bottle or tap for that matter but overall this is acidic, funky, mildly tart and fruity. A nice step above medium with perfect carb thats crisp at times, non existant at times, and a beast at times with sharp pricks to the tounge depending on temp and what portion of the bottle your drinking. At times my mouth got hot for a few seconds but that's it. Towards the end of the bottle the dregs kind of muted the acidic nature of Conse. A lot of variations on feel of this beer and I think Batch one is perfect, or near perfect.

Try to drink a aged bottle of this to yourself sometime, it's a treat and goes through many changes over three hours. The wine is huge, the funk is light, the fruit is fading but still large. This got me a pretty tipsy. I'm feeling this 10 percent, this is drinkable, but it will do damage, I can't wait for the smaller bottles. I plan to drink the rest of my batch 1 bottles in another 15 to see where this goes.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled Falling Rock, GABF week 2008
I was able to sneak into a spot at the bar and got one of the first glasses of this, the first keg blew in 5 minutes (before Chris even had a chance to announce it was on tap) and the second only lasted an additional 15 minutes; I was definitely quite lucky to get two glasses of this beer. The beer arrives with quite a clear appearance, it is the hue of a raisin with a rich concentrated color and shows a deep red hue when held up to the light. It is topped by a pale, ring of a head that after a bit forms a brown tinged, full tan colored head that just covers the beer. The aroma definitely has a tartness to it, but also has a rich, thick fruitiness to it that reminds me of a mix of concentrated tamarind, syrupy-fruity balsamic vinegar and rich raisins.

As the beer first hits my tongue it is chewy and rich; a sour beer with a substantial texture (at the time I didn't realize how strong this beer was, but in hindsight the richness makes a lot of sense). Tannins coat my teeth and there is a soft, yet noticeable barrel character in the finish that adds a spicy oak bite. Rich raisin flavors, a substantial berry-like wine note, as well as some rich dried fig and prune flavors all combine to provide a big, fruit-driven backbone that anchors the flavor of this beer. The rich fruit and oak flavors is tempered by a mouth puckering, somehow rich, sourness that is mostly lactic in character but sees to have some acetic overtones to it that reminds me of some sort of berry vinegar as well as hints of a rich, grape balsamic notes. The beer almost develops a raspberry flavor at times, and this actually is pretty nice (says someone who generally shies away from raspberry flavors in beer). As I contemplate my second glass of this beer I start to notice more of the oak flavors coming to the fore with flavors of vanilla, light coconut that is sort of Bourbon-like somehow as well as a structured wine character and a definite berry note that seems like a wine signature.

I haven't said this yet, but this beer is just fantastic. It has an incredible balance of tartness to rich fruit and light, though structured oak character. The flavor is just so well integrated, everything just seems to work together to carry this beer up to another level of complexity and interest. The oak really does add lots of structure, which goes a long way towards helping the overall balance of this beer. I like that the incredibly rich fruit character never gets overwhelming (back to that balance again). This is an awesome beer, whose enjoyment I am sure was magnified by the setting as well as the prior afternoon session of the GABF.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brand new Russian River sour, and one that's high in alcohol. Had some on-tap at Verdugo Bar in Los Angeles. On to the beer:

Poured into a tulip, Consecration is a dark red-violet beer with little head retention, leaving no lacing on the glass, but the latter wasn't expected from much. The aroma is a beautiful thing. Sweet vinegar, akin to what you'd find in ketchup or barbecue sauce. Pickel juice. Notes of oak and barrel. Slight underlying sweetness underneath it.

My first impression of the taste was it was very intensely acidic upfront. But what sour isn't acidic? Bits of tartness show through, as do assorted, overripened fruits. There's a long lasting, pleasant aftertaste of vinegar on the palate. The high alcohol presents a faint, but noticable boozy aspect with a sharp pinch towards at the back of the line.

A good sour, but I'm not as big of a fan as everyone else seems to be. But I have had heard several accounts say the bottled version is ten times better than the draft version I sampled Maybe I need to sample the bottle someday for its optimal performance.

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at a Portland co-op, because that's the sort of town Portland is. Anyways, I split the bottle with a couple friends and was worried the sour and funky flavors, but they actually mild compared to some of the guezes I've tried. Instead of being a big, beat you over the head sour beer, the tang compliments the fruit, estery yeast, and mellow dark malts. I should also say that for 10%, this is as drinkable as any good beer is going to be.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,094 ratings.