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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,235 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,235
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,427
Gots: 1,338 | FT: 95
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
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Ratings: 4,235 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brought back from California wrapped safely in my luggage, cracked open with my bro @LaitueGonflable to celebrate his 500th review on BeerAdvocate.

Pours a dark deep blood red colour, dark grape-juice with a filmy tan head that collapses very quickly. Lots of carbonation swirling up through the depths, which makes the beer look alive, with a nice bead. Looks very heavy in the glass as well, although the carbonation is large-bubbled. Looks very decent.

Big vinous notes on the nose - lots of tannic red wine, tobacco leaf, dark curranty fruits and a hint of musty oak. Slight funk coming off it as well - although the acidity isn't present here, there's a whiff of barnyard and ripe cheese on the nose. Altogether, it's a wonderfully refined nose, sweet subtlety bouncing off rambunctious wildness.

Extremely long and full palate, starting with vinous acidity backed with earthy oak and tannic tobacco leaf. Port like heat seems to well slightly as the palate continues, leaving a warm booze note. Just when you think that's the end, up comes the berry-like currant note flushing its sweet-sour finish like warmed Christmas pudding over the palate. It is ever threatening to burst to extremes, but everything holds everything else together and it just rampages down the middle ground, never veering too far one way or the other. Coupled with this is the complex mouthfeel, that lingers through crewy and ripe at the start, almost touching harsh heat as the alcohol note comes through, before finishing with a cleansing, slightly puckering note. I've possibly never had a beer with a longer and more expressive palate - the fact that long after the beer is gone, there is still a dance of different characters developing is absolutely sublime. The complexity is amazing - the way the palate develops after each sip is absolutely stunning.

This is an absolutely exceptional beer. There's no getting around it. This beer proves why American Wild Ale is a unique style, and why it is such a well-regarded one at that. It also cements in my mind Russian River as an exceptional brewery. The complexity is incredible - I can't believe how much there is going on. Let's just put it bluntly, this is a really, really, really good beer.

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks so much to Grant for sharing this wonderful growler with me, RustyDiamond, Brickstoredave, Ding, Atlantabeerdog, and SaintNathanial. Absolutely delicious and a great pleasure to drink this with friends. Poured a garnet tinged amber with a slight head. Beautiful color. Lovely aromas of cherries and ruby Port, with some astringency on the finish. Tastes tremendously complex with cherries, a little bit of funk, quite loamy and bitter- not horseblanket funk, but an earthier, forest funk. Quite astringent and a bit of sweet licorice on the finish. Dark and brooding with wildly interesting flavors. Quite intriguing. Smooth, tannic, and sour in the mouth. Utterly delicious and fascinating and extremely easy to drink despite the high abv.

Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
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!

Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR
Poured a burgundy color with red hues and a nice white head. Nose is tart berries, oak and just a plain overall sour aroma. Taste followed the nose ery much the same with tart berries being the first thing you taste and then oak, booze and earthiness. This is my favorite RR sour. Very tasty, big, and awesome. Alcohol is noticable but the flavor just tends to bury it. Very damn good.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle of Batch 001-3. I received several in recent trades, so thanks to beerbeagle, jw347 and ralflord.

A: The ale is a dark crimson red that has a full wooden brown appearance from afar. A loud pop didn't conjure up as much head as I wanted, nor did what popped up linger for long.

S: The ale has a vinous aroma, the long barrel-aging stint put to good use. The wine is red and very full-bodied. Tartness is behind the red wine but not as strong as I've experienced in other RR wild ales.

T: The currants are strong up front, sweet and juicy. As the currants fade, red wine and oaky tartness come through. The red wine is cabarnet, full and rich. The barrel has added a subtle tartness that goes well with the wine. The tartness is citric, very acidic. The bite is nice, a natural flow from the fullness of the red wine.

M: The currant/red wine/oak barrel interplay is interesting. Tartness follows full barrel and sweet berries. The currants are a nice deviation from grapes.

D: The 10% alcohol never rears its head. The ale is very approachable with a pleasant tartness that never makes me pucker too much.

Photo of afsdan
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Russian River : Consecration

12 oz corked and caged bottle. Pours a rich mahogony/ruby color, more or less clear and a small fizzy head forms and crackles away. Aroma is big and wine like, alittle alcohol peaks through, and then theres the funk which all make for a complex nose. In the taste, almost sweet and sour with grape notes, oaky tannins, bitter brett offering a strong sour, and alcohol is almost un-noticed. Malt body is more or less overrun by these strong flavors, but there is a light touch of caramel. Its all about the lovely sour in this beer though, and the delicate flavor of currents. The feel is medium bodied and semi dry. Overall, this is one hell of a beer and I wish I could get it all the time with a reasonable price tag. Mighty fine.

Photo of smakawhat
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of BillRoth
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of brandoman63
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked
Batch 001x3

This is my 1800th review, holy shit.

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

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All that time spent in the barrel has given the beer a murky prune juice complexion and off colour that resembles a raisin. That said, it does glows like pomegranate juice against the light. (Where would the beer reviewer be without fruits?) The extended slumber also killed off most head retention. Check that, all of it. It has ravished its once beautiful looks.

If you weren't aware that this was aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels you'd be astonished at how the beer smells so strikingly like the red wine, right down to the perfumed alcohol esters, oak wood and dusty tannins. There's also, of course, lots of dark berry fruit, enough to be unsure of how much can be attributed to the currants and how much to the barrel.

The bouquet really grew on me with warmth, and definitely matured into something that you could sit, sniff and deliberate about for hours. The flavour, however, was a little less dignified, notably because it reminded me so simply of a Cabernet Sauvignon - worse actually, a slightly watered down one with far more oak barrel and tobacco bitterness present.

That's not to imply, however, that it isn't still considerably flavourful. And it's unarguably unique. For one it shows virtually no indication of its strength and has a lot of wild berry fruitiness. The oak is concentrated, persistent and astonishingly nutty, with notes of Brazil nut and coconut shavings in time creeping out from all that toasty wood flavour.

Unlike other Russian River beers, however, I find this one to have a fairly shallow complexity; its tartness is obvious but diluted, the bitterness tasting like tomato or tobacco leaf and its acidity and phenols - because they're so pronounced in red wines - are dulled in the shadow of the Cabernet Sauvignon flavour. Unlike most sours, the finish is unexciting and fleeting.

Consecration is an artistic and innovative experiment... that for all its intricacies and inventiveness ends up tasting a lot like watered-down cab sauvignon. What to make of that? It blurs the lines not only of the beer/wine world, but of the perspectives of the reviewer too - $11 is a lot for a bottle of any beer, but at $23 this would make a reasonably priced bottle of wine. I suppose for me, personally, that makes it more a novelty thing than anything else.

Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Local 44 in Philly yesterday.

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

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

Photo of tdm168
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,235 ratings.