1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,903 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,903
Reviews: 1,037
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 1,367
Gots: 1,222 | FT: 85
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:
Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Consecration Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,903 | Reviews: 1,037 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

RblWthACoz, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

Kegatron, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of russpowell
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Solomon420 helping get this one! Review based on notes

Batch 002X1 pours a hugely effervescent brown/chestnut with a rapidly falling tan head; a great beer to listen to...Nice viscosity to this, a touch of lacing & zero head retention

S: Much sourness, , leather, figs & candied cherries

T: Tartness, cherries, dryness; leather, raisins & figs up front, plus a touch of leafy hops. Oaky dryness & tart cherries dominate as this warms, & a bit of boozey figs, leather & more leafy hops as this warms. Finishes uber dry with leather. figs, vanilla & boozey cherries

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, became oily & sticky once warm

Drinks easy as a wild ale & the ABV, a touch too dry for me to be completely happy with it, another great sour from these guys!

russpowell, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

my most wonderful girlfriend hooked this up for me. it almost looks like a glass of rootbeer, brownish in color, lively carbonation, and a faint red glow. the head is excited but quickly receding. the smell is a dead giveaway that this is another russian river sour gem. notes of vinegar, decaying wood, dried plums, caramel corn, and cane sugar unite in an aromatic orgy. the taste is incredible, the currants are obvious up front, but the finish is what makes this beer. its so sour it hurts my jaw. sour more than brett too, its sort of like sucking on a lemon for as long as you can, puckery, funky, and delicious. its too complex to finger all the flavors here, but many many more of these need to be consumed to fully appreciate it fully. the mouthfeel is as perfect as it can be, medium body made light by the effervescent carbonation and tart bone dry finish that somehow makes my mouth water for another sip. how the hell is this 10% abv? it is not at all detectable in the flavor or the feel, and im just waiting on my buzz... overall this may surpass suplication as my favorite russian river brew. they do some incredible stuff out there, and this is the cream of the crop. if i play my cards right my girlfriend might get me another...

StonedTrippin, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

MasterSki, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a tulip at TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery's 7th Anniversary.

A deep crimson color with blood red/copper hues and light orange accent with good clarity for the style. The cap of beige appears when swirled in the tulip, the bead is ultrafine-pin sized bubbles with gentle spots of lace sticking.
The smell of currant and dark wine grapes is immediate when the glass nears my nostrils, there is a sublte sour scent which combines with spice and mild oak aspects but there is mild sweet odors adding to the complex sour aroma w/ mild currant/berry and grape aroms.

The feel is so highly acidic it seems astringent and sharp up front. The sour lingers and makes me pucker and then the acidity and slight alcohol move forward only after a spice tinge do you get any type of sweetness, the effervescence is moderately high. The flavor mirrors the nose and mouthfeel with sweet tarts and bitter grape flavors with a dash of currant sweetness and slight tannic fruit skin elements. The light sour apple flavor adds dimension to the depth of sour and acidic tastes going on here.

This is not a wild ale for the faint of heart, it is strong puckering and I consider it only above average drinkability-wise overall, just not something I could see have many back to back of, a good wild brew and I guess Vinnie has us spoiled because this is great, just not outstanding like his other American Wild ales.

Slatetank, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

feloniousmonk, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OOoooh yeah! I've been waiting to have some of this for a while now. I tried it a few times in the past and it's so delicious, but now I finally got to sit down, share the bottle with friends, and write a review. Batch #003, aged a bit, not sure exactly. Got this thanks to trades with Solomon420 and RaulMatisse.

A: Light fizzy head fades instantly over a semi clear rosy red mahogany colored beer.

N: Some nice sour fruits dominate. A little wild yeast is on the top with that, not funky barnyard wet horse Brett but more the sour fruit tangy delicious Brett, although there is just a touch of a barnyard aroma. A little oak at first, which seems to come out more as it warms. A little bit of a malty aroma, with slight sweetness. Just an overall great sour tangy fruit aroma.

T: WOw, so deliious. My mouth is watering from the first sip to half an hour after finishing it. Lots of sour fruits and deliciousness just pours out at first. A little tangy sour cherry fruit. The some malty flavors, a little sweet malt and toasty flavor. A slight wild yeast Bretty flavor, again more the sour fruit Brett than wild barnyard funk, but just a touch of the latter. The Brett overall is pretty mild. Some oak comes out as well, mostly in the background at first, but then starts to get a little more prevalent as it warms.

M: Trillions of bubbles, big carbonation, with a good body.

F: Dry finish, with some lingering mouthwatering goodness. It has a hint of sweetness but mostly dry, leaving the mouth ready for the next hit. Lots of lingering sour tangy fruit, a little sour cherry. A touch of wild Brett lingering on the finish, little funk even which seems to be a little more on the finish. Breaddy malts also come through. For being 10% there's no real booze, it drinks so well. This is a super delicious amazingly awesome sour. I wish so much we could get it around here, or even better if I could brew this myself. Sooo tasty.

jlindros, May 26, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

drabmuh, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of oline73
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at Capone's during the Russian River event. Poured into a goblet. This was Batch 1.

Appearance: Pours an opaque reddish brown color with a layer of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Sour fruity vinegar with a hint of sweetness. I'd say it is very wine like.

Taste: Just like the smell, I'm picking up sour fruit and vinegar notes, but much smoother here than in the smell. I can taste oak, and red wine. All the flavors are in perfect balance. The finish is warm from the alcohol, very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly mild carbonation. The finish is dry and woody.

Overall: I haven't found a sour beer that I like better than this one. The flavors are so well balanced, and the alcohol isn't anywhere to be found. Very smooth.

oline73, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

First had this in a 750ml bottle, but I have had it on tap as well. A tasty, dark, sour ale wood aged with black currants. After Pliny the Younger, this is my favorite RR brew.

Pours an attractive vermillion-mahogany color with a delicate beige head with some tinges of ruby here and there. Sour aroma, dark fruits, leather, and vinegar. Flavor starts out sweet almost like a kriek or framboise, with notes of cherry, blackcurrants. Soon turns more tart with the more sour qualities of cherries, red wine, and hints of vinegar coming through. In turn moves to more dried fruit--figs, prunes, dried cherries--soaked in wood-aged wine. Finishes acidic and bitter overall, yet still smooth. Medium body, complex, and very enjoyable.

Rifugium, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
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".

WesWes, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

mendvicdog, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Mora2000, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -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.

mdfb79, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of jwc215
4.22/5  rDev -6%
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.

jwc215, May 03, 2009
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

DrunkinYogi, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

MarkyMOD, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Gueuzedude, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

beernads, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

XmnwildX12, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml brown glass bottle with an intricate cork+steel wire cap served into a hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations were high as this is me second favourite brewery in the world and me favourite in the Americas.

A: Pours a three finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and poor retention. Colour is a dark copper with the potential for overcarbonation, judging by the bubbles. It's appealing in a generic sense.

Sm: Aroma consists of souring hops - which aren't overpowering like some lambics, wine, grapes, mild wood notes, and some lactic notes. Aroma is of moderate to mild strength.

T: A very complex taste, consisting primarily of souring hops but with a wine "shell" around it. Some cedar comes through, particularly from the midpoint through the climax. If berries are present, they're buried. The finish smacks of grapes, which closes out the flavour nicely. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Very smack your lips pleasant due to the grape finish - sort of a slight Welch's commercial effect. It's smooth and wet all around, but perchance a touch too thick. Overcarbonation is slight but existent.

Dr: It hides its ABV very well, and has some great complex flavours, but does suffer from some minor issues, namely overcarbonation. I could see this getting better with age, but it'd be very difficult to drink more than one. It's nice to kick back and enjoy after returning from work, but sippers only go so far. Excellent value in California.

kojevergas, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at O'Brien's,

A: Pours darker than a beet red, with a small cap of white foam.

S: Got some interesting cherry and wine notes, but wanted a bit more. Some chocolate in there too.

T: Heavy balsamic vinegar and wine character, almost had a rancid fruit characteristic, in a good way though. Fig and dark fruit notes. Not light on the funk. Sweetness comes out in the finish to the beer which I liked. Not the greatest flavour for me, but certainly interesting.

M: Upfront acidity, then the mouthfeel lightens up a bit, a little too thin at times.

D: An intriguing beer from Russian River. I don't think I liked it as much as everyone around me did, but I enjoyed trying it.

Edit - I've had this beer a few times since the original review, still not wowed, but I've found myself liking it more and more. Upping the taste score to a 4 (from 3.5).

Halcyondays, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Gavage, Jun 06, 2010
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,903 ratings.