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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,096 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,096
Hads: 4,851
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 1,626
Gots: 1,694 | FT: 126
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: 1,096 | Hads: 4,851
Photo of corby112
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a deep ruby color with golden mahogany edges and a two finger frothy off-white head. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Funky, musty aroma with lots of earthy oak tannis, dry brett and vinous dark fruit. The barrel aging is very prominent in the nose with lots of red wine character. Hints of grape, currant, tart cherries and other dark berries as well as oak and subtle vanilla. This is complimented by the funky/barnyard/horsey notes.

Full bodied, intensely tart and puckering with slight acidity and some soft carbonation up front. Very funky with lots of musty, dry brett/bugs as well as a sour vinegar flavor that lingers over the barrel and vinous dark fruit notes into puckering dry finish that leaves me drooling for more. As in the aroma, the barrel character is prominent with earthy oak, slight vanilla and a prominent red wine/dark fruit flavor. Hints of grape, currant cherry, plum, raisin and other dark berries.

This beer has an incredible balance of tart, acidic, funky sourness and sweet, vinous dark fruit and it is the perfect blend of the wine and craft beer worlds.

 1,187 characters

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This was from batch 002X3.

Appearance: deep mahogany brown with reddish hints; two finger fizzy head which dissipated very quickly.

Smell: very interesting; there's a lot going on here. Right off the bat, it smells like wood; there is also the aroma of currant and raisin and tobacco. There is a distinct tartness which I'm sure is attributable to the bacteria. Overall, I like it, although it doesn't necessarily whet my appetite for beer.

Taste: tart, bright and sour. The subtleties of the aroma eventually come through, but off the bat it reminds me of eating super-sour candy as a kid. The other flavors are not particularly strong; I like the tartness but it is a bit extreme. As I consume more of it, I find it growing on me.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a nice carbonation. I quite like it.

Drinkability: this beer perplexes me a bit. Each time I take a sip, the sourness blows me back; soon, however, I am appreciating the undertones, and finally I find myself yearning for another sip. This is a truly interesting beer.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

375ML corked bottle poured into a snifter glass. 01/31/13 bottling date

Pours a gorgeous copper red color with a ton of bubbles, but the head is not out of control like you would expect from the amount of carbonation. Thousands of tiny white bubbles shoot from the bottom of the glass up towards the top, quite a sight to behold. Just about the perfect looking beer. Aroma is out of this world. Its got sweet cherries and grapes that you can smell from feet away. Taste is so tart, i love it! Sour raspberries, cherries, grapes dominate the palate here. I cannot believe this is 10%ABV, i'm blown away. A lingering tartness on the tongue after you swallow allows you to enjoy the flavor for quite some time. High carbonation, medium bodied. Goes down smooth and leaves you desiring to have another sip right away.

Overall we have a world class beer right here. Russian River really knows what theyre doing and may hold the top spot as best brewery in the world with so many quality offerings. I return to this beer again and again.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe this was batch 004, but I can’t be sure. Pours a reddish brown hued body, with almost no head, and no lacing at all. Looks more still, by far, than expected. Strange.

Aroma is packed with prominent oak, mustiness, funk, sweet currants and sour cherries, slight vinegar underneath. Taste has all this and more; it’s fruity, sour, a bit tart and oaky. Not an over-the-top sour warhead-type beer, just well integrated sourness with the oak and a touch of vinegar. The currants are fairly subtle, with more tart cherry flavor than anything else. Definite must and funk; vinous, slightly sweet, very complex.

Medium bodied with low carbonation; I would have preferred a crisper, livelier, and cleaner feel, although the finish is quite dry. Interesting beer to be sure, curious about the stillness of this particularly bottle. Very good, but not as appealing as Supplication, Sanctification, or Temptation for my money.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a muddy brown with a small head that vanishes quickly. A tiny bit of carbonation is visible. It sure isn't pretty!

S- Thank God the smell is a vast improvement over the look! Tons of sour and funky notes. Barnyard funk and hay are prevalent, with tart cherries coming through big as well. A good bit of granny smith apple, and a touch of dark fruits (figs/currants/raisins etc.). This smells like it will be a delicious tart monster!

T- Wow, this is crazy with tons of tartness and unexpected flavors! It's definitely more boozy than expected. White grapes and the cabernet barrel is definitely evident. The tart cherries and granny smith apples are there as well. The tart bite is a bit much and isn't balanced quite enough with other flavors. Don't get me wrong, I love mouth puckering sours, but this just is lacking that extra something to make it world class.

M- The mouthfeel is thicker than most sours, but w/ the high abv this is understandable. Decent carbonation and a distinct boozy finish round it out.

O- Overall this is a very good sour that could just use some refinement and balance.

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Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what style glass this was served in, it was kind of a cross between a flute and a tulip. Poured a reddish mahogany with about 1/2 inch of off-white head that had medium retention and light lacing.

Grapes and wine! That is what dominated the nose, and there were traces of malt, spice and yeast in the background. Oh yes, this is mouth-puckeringly sour brew. Tart, tangy and sour, they wine flavor wasn't as strong as the had led me to expect.

The body was good, although a bit thinner than I would have liked. Drinkability was very good for a sour and the beer stayed puckerific to the last drop.

Overall, a good beer, a must try if you see it.

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

Batch 002X3

Brewed: 6/18/2008
Bottled: 4/1/2009
Primary: Abbey Ale Yeast
Conditioning: Rockpile

A: Deep chestnut brown, very bubbly, tan head, no retention, only a hint of leg.

S: Nice sour aroma with plenty of dark fruit, brown sugar, a little brett & funk, fairly woody.

T: Plenty of dark fruit and currants, a pleasant sourness (a light mix of Brettanomyces, lactobacillus & other funk), hints of cocoa and dry-roasted nuts, wood.

M: Very dry, very bubbly, with only a slight acidity.

D: A remarkably good drinker.

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Photo of DrJay
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 (002X3).
Clear chestnut brown with a fizzy/soapy, short-lived beige cap. It looked a lot like a glass of Coke, with not much head or lace to speak of. It was a light gusher too, so watch out. Aromas of tobacco leaf, cherries, berries, currants, earthy with a light funk, red wine, strawberry seeds, hint of cocoa. More earthiness as it warms. The flavour was a combination of fruity and earthy, chocolate covered raisins, berries/currants, a bit tart but very pleasant and non-aggressive in this character. Faint vinegar, light woody oak, green berries. Mild alcohol and warmth in the finish with a lingering berry sweetness. Medium bodied and off-dry, moderate carbonation after the initial loss of aggressive carbonation (it took about 20 minutes to clear from the bottle), a bit of woody astringency. I really liked this one. Nicely balanced with complex fruit flavours.

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

Pours from caged and corked 750 ML bottle(Batch 001X2) a clear amber brown with a very spritzy head of foam. When it's spritzy, I know it's not going to last very long and it didn't. The bubbles surfacing to the top are keeping a small island afloat, so to speak. Hehe..the foam reminds me of pixels on a computer screen...

The smell is just as I remember from the samples I had at last year's GABF...Cabernet Sauvignon notes dominate with big notes of vanilla and oak and fruit that *is* currants. I love red currants on buttered toast and the smell here totally reminds me of that.

The taste is deliciously both sweet and tart up front. Maybe a bit more intense than I remember from the 1 oz samples but hey, I love that it is and I love the fact that I now have 25.4 oz, give or take a few as I've just taken a few sips, to take my time with and savour. The foam is now gone but I can still see the lively carbonation throwing up....errr...tossing...err..the bubbles are still making their way to the top nearly smack damn in the center of the glass.
Back to the taste. I'm now getting a pretty big kick from the Brett(sorry, I have a hard time spelling it out) and I'd be amiss if I didn't say there's a fair amount of caramel malt here, hence my first sentance on taste. Gee wiz this is so damn tasty and there's so much going on with the flavours, I can't describe them all properly.

Medium mouthfeel and pretty high carbonation, a plus in my book, it finishes with big sour and Brett notes. Wonderful!

Drinkability? 10%abv and I cannot taste it or feel it during or after the swallow. No warming for me at all but I *know* that when I finish this big bottle, I'll feel that all is right with the world, if that makes any sense. ;^)

Bottom line: A superb! American Wild Ale that I fell in love with from my very first sip. A must try for anyone who favours the style!

Finally..a big Thank You goes out to The Wine Underground in Englewood CO for making this available online!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 22/4/12 batch 006

A clear light ruby red when held to the light with just a thin film foe head that falls quickly and leaves zero lace, I like the color

S funky strawberry and cassis with some oaked vinous notes with some vinegar, smells pretty good and I'd never guess it's 10%

T I prefer the taste with more sour vinegar and the cassis is easier to pick up, more vinous notes leaves me wondering if there was still wine in the barrel, I pick up on the subtle barrel notes but its the liquid grape that I can taste

M sour and leaves my mouth tingling just a little, still no heat and a slickness left behind, pin prick bubbles work well

O perhaps I was a little hard on the smell, it may have been closer to great then good, I'm more impressed by how they made a 10% BA brew that has no booze anywhere

I see a trend developing with Russian River, great stuff being brewed!! yet another big thank you too Rutager for sending me this one along with many others

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Photo of rudzud
3.96/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Recent batch (July). Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby garnet hue with a fizzy one finger head that fades nearly immediately. Hard swirls produce fleeting wisps.

S - Currants, vinegar, wine barrels, light funk, faint alcohol. Quite pleasant. Not too sour though.

T - Taste is considerably more sour than the nose. Powered smarties, currants, cherries, light leather. Oak tanins, a faint chocolate. The fruits almost come across as syrupy. The flavour is there, but...I just don't like it. I like black currants too so I'm kind of confused as to why I'm not digging the taste.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Nice and crisp, alcohol hidden quite nicely.

O - Overall, I'm not sure if its the syrup like flavour aspects of this or what but I'm just not digging it. I want to like it, hell, I want to love it. Unfortunately though, I do not.

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

750 ml bottle, big thanks to Carlos and GregMcQ for both hooking me up with one of these.

Pours a clear dark reddish orange, some amber highlights, thin off white head forms, quickly drops to a thin ring around the glass before almost disappearing, some lace spots stick to the glass. Smell is real nice, currants and funk, sour fruity, cranberries, alcohol, candi sugar, grapes and oak, vanilla, very sour and acidic in the finish, nice complex tropical fruitiness, does remind me a bit of the Toronado 20th. Taste is similar, lemony up front, very sour and funky, acidic, caramel/honey sweetness, currants and grapes, sour fruit, oak and vanilla, very dry in the finish, tons of fruit, sourness is not overdone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth going down. Very nice sour, don't think I enjoyed this one as much as most of the other RR sours, but still pretty damn good. Thanks Carlos and Greg!

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Nose: dark dried fruit – figs and prunes, earthiness, slight funk, lemon.
Deep mahogany body with a slight chill haze.
Palate: tart, dark dried fruit some faint grape notes, cherry, currants, with some malt in the background.
Medium body and medium high fine, soft carbonation.
Tart fruit flavors linger long through the finish into the aftertaste.

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

375ml bottle poured into a HotD Tulip glass.
Batch 006.

A - Pours a cola brown with a lively, foamy tan head. Good retention.

S - Tart cherry, red wine, spices.

T - Woody, red wine, funky, tart.

D - Tons of carbonation, light to medium body, fizzy.

O - Looks like another winner from Russian River.

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

Came out brown with red hues to it. Minimal head to the beer. Aroma of funk, cranberry, cabernet, cherry and oak.

Taste, excellent, tart, yet substantial, tannins dry out the mouth, wood flavor melds with everything else. Slight cherry flavor. Even though very red and brown in appearance, comes off very dry. Currants, brown sugar.

Extremely drinkable, alcohol doesn't seem to be present at all. Couldn't give it a perfect 5, it is just too expensive to get a perfect score.

Loved having this in the bottle as well, the cork was all twisted to one side, so you knew there was lots of carbonation in there (not too much though).

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

This is a bottle of batch 2X1. Thanks to the kind friends who brought it back from the US for me.

This pours a clear but dark brown colour with rich, ruby highlights. The light tan head dissipates quickly but still leaves a little ring of bubbles around the glass. About as much as can be hoped for in a sour beer with this level of alcohol.

Rich, sweet fruity aroma with those red currants really shining come through first. Next is a vinous, leathery, funky aroma with a lovely crispness to it. Good definition too.

The flavour is good but not spectacular. I get a nice balance of sweetness and sourness with the fruitiness really coming through. There's a bit of funk too. The main problem for me is the astringent, mild bitterness that comes through the finish. While I love the flavour this bitterness detracts for me.

There's a medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. This is good but the astringency also lets this down.

Overall, a very good beer. It looks great, smells great and tastes good with just a small astringency problem which comes from the use of barrels and bugs. A great effort by RR and I look forward to trying more of their sours if and when I make it to California.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked and caged bottle split, poured into a tulip. Batch #002. Huge thanks to wisconsinality for sharing this!

(A)- Pours a deep and dark ruby red color. Produced an off-white head, but dissipated quickly down to nothing.

(S)- A light, but spicy red fruit aroma with a dry oakiness and a brief but present hay/straw/funk. Brief bits of vanilla and raisins here and there, but very subtle.

(T)- Pretty much just like the smell. Lively spicy red fruits with an oak dryness.

(M)- A big carbonation level with a good balance. Where is that big 10%ABV? Definitely integrated well. Spicy yet fruity at the same time.

(D)- Yet another great wild ale from Russian River! Stronger than the others, but still has that delicate yet pronounced funk and sourness. Great Stuff! The abv could really sneak up on you if you had a whole bottle of this to yourself.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 001X2 bottle, corked and caged, purchased from Monk's Cafe 4 months ago. The beer is hazy, dark reddish brown with a 1-finger off-white foam that quickly dissipated to a thin ring around the glass. Much darker than I initially expected. The aroma is sour and acidic with a strong raisin character. There's much more dark fruit than I normally get in a wild ale, I think I smell plums and a touch of alcohol also. I like everything about the aroma except the alcohol, maybe it can't be helped due to the high ABV. The taste is not as sour as feared or hoped, but crisply tart. Lots of raisins, plums, some sweet and tart cherries, very very good. More in-your-face than Belgian wild ales, this has more evident alcohol and bolder flavors overall. Medium body but the rich flavors and threat of 10% tempers the drinkability a bit.

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

Bottle courtesy of HimerMan. From the second bottling ever, LA website says 12/26/08. Let's see how it has matured.

Pours a dark red/amber color with an shade darker that totally white head. Pretty good soapy lacing.

Aromas begin with a good/deep sourness that is not at all overpowering; more of an inviting scent. Behind that, sweet and tart fruits. Not sure what a currant smells like but I am not getting much of an actual fruitiness beyond the sour aromas, but that is to be expected from a 3+ year old sour ale.

Flavors begin with an excellent level of sourness. A lot of complexity in the flavor. Lots of tartness paired with some citrus and sweet fruits. Some darker maltiness as it starts to warm, but the long drawn out sour flavor comes back and dries out the palate and really pushes the flavor to the next level. While I love the flavor it is still fairly one dimensional at this stage of it's lifespan.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with the perfect amount of sourness. Good carbonation but not overwhelming which can happen with certain sours overtime. Drink WAY WAY lighter than 10%, drinks like 6% max; this stuff is straight dangerous.

Overall this was a nice treat for me. I really loved the flavor profile despite it being fairly one noted. I would have liked to sample it fresher to see if I could have tasted more currants or some actual fruits beyond the sourness. Drinkability is off the charts expecially for how high the ABV is on this beast. A really solid sour and worth seeking out for fans of the style. Nothing mind-blowing, just super solid.

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Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Batch 001x4 at Naja's in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries and currants - though I'll be the first to admit the latter is noticed primarily from reading the bottle - with a solid funkiness and hints of oak. As it warms the oak flavors gain some steam but the tart fruit never wavers.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly sweet light to medium fruit flavors up front are overtaken quickly by tart fruit flavors that become more tart as the beer warms. There's a hint of raisins and other dark fruit in the taste that wasn't present in the aroma. Ending is solidly tart and mildly dry.

Mouthfeel is great. This is one of the best I can remember from an AWA, a very nice thickness with active and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished the bottle surprisingly quick and could easily have had another.

Overall this was a very good AWA and my first foray into RR sours. A good way to start.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice. Batch 03.

This pours a light clear brown, very clear in the light. The head is very small with no retention, light lacing.

The aroma is light but pretty complex, especially compared to temptation, which I tasted at the same time. The sour funk is there but there notes of sweet druit, alcohol and wood, which is very pleasant.

The taste is very strange and heavy handed in the beginning. Its like the tannins of a red wine. There are some notes of oak and alcohol. The taste is very sour on the end. **Upon re-review 8 months later, I like it a lot better. The wood really mellows out and starts to show off a little more sweetness in the red wine variety.

Mouthfeel is very heavy, but not entirely drinkable.

Overall, pretty damn good sour, but not world class as its rating and ranking suggest. Worth trying but don't overpay or trade for it.

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Photo of barczar
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lightly medicinal phenols and floral character in aroma. It's a bit funky.

Flavor is tart and sour, with a dry finish. The currants add citric acid complexity to the lactic already present. Belgian character is definitely dominated by the wild yeast.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared by Ben last night, thanks man. Batch 008, bottled in 2011. Sheeeeitttt.

This one pours a clear dark red, with a small head, and no lacing.

This one smells super tasty, cherries, currants, red wine vinegar, oak, and red wine.

This has clearly aged very nicely, it's nuts that it's 10% ABV, you wouldn't know. So much sour dark fruit here, lots of currants, and a nice sour cherry flavor as well. There's some dry mustiness, along with a pretty puckering sourness, about a 7/10 on the unofficial sour scale. So. Good.

This is light bodied, with a crisp, super tart, and very juicy mouthfeel, along with a moderate but lively level of carbonation.

Probably the best sour I've had from Russian River, it was just so enjoyable.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Transluent brown in color. Bubbly head quickly fizzes away and leaves remnants on the top of the brew.

S-Smells very tart. Strong vinegar whiffs. Sour fruits. Aged in Cab Sauv barrels and you can tell.

T-Delicious. I love this. Super-sour. Ultra tart cherry. Less vinegar than the nose. Hints of rich dark chocolate. Leaves the tongue scorched by the menacingly sour taste.

M-Very carbonated but fairly heavy on the body. Slick and memorable.

D-I only have one of these and I wish I had many, many more. Excellent. Alcohol is masked perfectly. The harsh taste leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 1/10/2011

A: sour cherries, very tart, semi-sweet

Ap: amber-red with a small white to off-white head (the top layer of the glass only) that dissipated very quickly. absolutely no lacing.

B/T: moderate carbonation, lots of tiny bubbles dancing on my tongue

Af: definitely sour! taste like tart cherries, a little bit of sweetness in the mix

O: sour cherry sippin' beer


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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,096 ratings.