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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

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ConsecrationConsecration

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

1,080 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,745
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 1,599
Gots: 1,630 | FT: 121
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,745
Photo of macktbone
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at the brewery on PTY release day 2-2-09.
Batch 2

A- Red hue with whiskey like body. Heaven help you if that's what you expect.

S- Sour grapes, lime, a touch of rum.

T- Tart cherries, sour patch kids, mold, oaky finish compared to batch 1.

M- Crisp and Clean.

D- IF you like sours this 10% beauty will bathe you in joy and happiness. It makes me smile.

Images of Friar Tuck and RobinHood flow from the glass. Just think of making a sour mead between battles with the sheriff of Nottingham. Arrows and barrels everywhere, the beer conjurs such strong emotion response.

Let us fight a revolution for the Hop Nation.

Keep in mind I wrote this at the brewery towards the end of a very long Russian River day. Thought I should re-write it a month later and laugh about it again. (788 characters)

Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours an amber with almost a purplish hue. Great head that stays. Pretty unique and looks awesome.

S- Dark Cherries, Sour Apple, Sweet brown sugar, and a whole lot more. This is getting exciting. Probably one of the best noses on a beer.

T- Exceptional, if all sours tasted like this I would be a happy man. Tastes of slightly tart green apples, dark fruits, sweet malt, and has a nice dry finish with the sourness shining through. Killer.

M-A little thick but should be expected in such a complex beer, great carbonation.

D- My favorite Sours and now one of my favorite beers hands down. (595 characters)

Photo of KBS
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The first few sips were not fantastic for me but thought it was a completely different experience as it opened up and warmed. Loved the 2nd half as the barrel came through. Very enjoyable. (188 characters)

Photo of jgap
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Henry for bringing this to our tasting. Pours a toffee brown with little head that quickly becomes a pleasant lacing. Smell is sophisticated currants and sour notes with brett. Taste is sticky fruit, woody oak, white grapes, and plumb. There are also deep sour currants. Finish is long and dry with a lingering sour and maybe even a little salt. Well blended brew. Very good. (389 characters)

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10oz poured into a large flute glass

A: Pours a deep brown with a cream/tan head that shrinks to a ring and leaves little to no lacing.

S: Smells funky, tart, sour, bit of freezer burnt ice cream, nail polish, lemons, and cat pee. (Not all bad smells)

T: The taste is incredibly tart and sour, lots of grapefruit and lemons with some funk. The more it warms, some bubblegum comes through.

M: The feel is creamy yet astringent.

D: Decent drinkability.

This was a really great beer. As a wild ale, I expected funk, but I never expected the amount of lemony sourness. I was expecting a more beer type sourness, like more funk to it. At times it was almost like drinking lemon juice with beer, and it was great. This was a great continuation of sour beers for me. I can't wait to crack open my others. (803 characters)

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

There are few beers that served as 'eye-openers' for me, that is, they forever turned me on to the style and helped me realize what they were capable of being. Stone IPA, The Elder, and Stone IRS are all examples. Consecration joined this list several months ago, as it was the first wild ale that really caught my attention.

The color is deep ruby-red, with a short-lasting off-white head. I'm working from notes at the moment, but I'm inclined to say the Consecration I've had many times on tap appeared to be a deeper red, almost opaque. I only recently had the opportunity to try it from the bottle, and it appeared a bit more translucent than what I remember having on tap. No lacing remains as the Consecration quickly disappears.

The nose is tart berries, wine, and pure funk.

Consecration is a shock if you are new to the style, so don't try to win any craft beer converts with this one. Huge tartness from the currants are the first thing that hits you, followed by citrus, sweetness, and dark fruits, followed by a sour but clean finish.

Body is medium to full, with the on-draft variety seeming slightly fuller-bodied. Alcohol is present but very well muted for such a huge beer. Carbonation is well-balanced, and the finish is wonderfully clean. Drinkability is through the roof, especially if you're accustomed to the style.

At a recent tasting, I remember a friend's 60+ year-old father continually commenting 'this isn't what beer should taste like' after sampling Consecration for the first time. Not in a mean-spirited or angry manner, but in a rather shocked and confused way. It certainly is different, and far-removed from what most beer drinkers envision beer to be.

The best comparison I can think of is when a person tries something very sour for the first time, for example, a sour candy. Sweetness is expected, but this is the complete opposite! Shocked and slightly turned off, the candy is immediately removed from the mouth. Some time later you found that you actually enjoyed the variation in flavor and the effects it had on your tastebuds.

It's an oversimplification, but it illustrates how sours must be approached. There's a wealth of complexity hidden in them, one that you'll hopefully find just as exciting to explore as any other big beer.

Don't miss this one. As I've said before, Consecration is to wild ales what the Younger is to Imperial IPAs. If sours weren't so darn polarizing, this would undoubtedly be on the top 10. (2,476 characters)

Photo of gtn80
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance is a great ruby red color, almost mahogany. Bit worried about the lack of head though, almost like the secondary fermentation in the bottle didn't happen. No head, no pop when cork came out of the bottle.

Smell is malt that gives way to sourness, bit of funk. Dark fruits.

Taste is sourness all over, tart fruit, bit of vinegar. Pretty heavy malts mixed in, but overpowered by the sour and fruits. Touch of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, not helped by the lack of carbonation.

Drinkability is great for such a big beer, and even despite the carbonation.

I feel bad because my only experience with this beer is with lack of carbonation, so I can't tell if it's the beer or just the bottle. (772 characters)

Photo of KidDoc
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

I was in San Diego for Beer Week and SD Taproom had a Russian River tasting. I was in pursuit of Pliny the Elder but got there too late. The only beer left was the Consecration. I am not generally a big fan of the sour beers but this was fantastic. The high alcohol was well-hidden under the many layers of flavor. One of the best beers I have ever had. I can't wait to get the chance to try other beers from this brewer (427 characters)

Photo of jsapunor
2.12/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured beautifully, an opaque red mellowing to a rose at the bottom of the tulip glass. Small head.

Smells lilke wine and vinegar.

A very strong and intense sour flavor even for a style where strong flavor is to be expected and valued. There is a high level of carbonation. Cough syrup start then finishes with hints of sour yogurt.Tastes like fizzy balsamic vinegar.
I have tried a number of these beers in the last year or two but this one is in a league of it's own. If you like sour, go for it but if you are not devoted to this style try something less intense. I couldn't finish it. (590 characters)

Photo of 3sheets2wind
4.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is a fantastic beer. I had a vertical tasting at toronado in San Diego in August 2012. That was an amazing experience. Served from a bottle aged 1 year in my refrigerator beer pours dark purplish brown with very little head but a lot of fizzy carbonation. The mouth feel is fizzy with a pleasant tart puckering. The taste is vinegar and very little malt and granny smith apple peel. In my top five sours of all time and proof that Russian River is one of the best breweries in America. (490 characters)

Photo of psiweaver
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich brown/golden color. A thin head that pours off white and is very thing. very light carbonation.

S: sour funky smell with lots of apple and citrus and a somewhat funky brown ale smell.

T: rich and complex with loads of sourness and a sharp finish that lingers on the tongue. Very delicious and great sour character.

M: rich and smooth in the mouth with some bite and sourness.

D: Great to sip and enjoy, not one you are going to be pounding down but all in all very delicious and complex.

Fantastic beer very delicious one of my favorite sours. I can't wait to try some of the other sours from Russian River. (624 characters)

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

On tap. deep dark red in color. First taste was a blast of sour cherry. Carbonation was a bit odd, kind of like a mellow champagne. citrus, lemon. This beer was just amazing as it warmed there was flavors of oak, rum, brandy. This beer is a real treat for the taste buds, sensations of all types. A slightly sour finish. My wife even liked this one and she hates beer! (368 characters)

Photo of jojox
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at RR but more recently on tap at Local 44.

a - reddish hue, not much head, whispy. It's not completely opaque but it is dark.

s - sour. The great type of sour from RR. A bit acid, a bit sulfur, a bit "hairy"

t - wow. It's sour, not hugely sour, but assertively sour. There are a lot of wine characteristics in this one, tannin, grape type flavors. It's delicously balanced and very enjoyable. It's not too sour to keep drinking.

m - pretty high carbonation, sour isn't quite puckering but it's close.

d - pretty high, I could drink several but acid reflux would probably kick in. It's a bit pricy to be very drinkable though ;) (644 characters)

Photo of JimsArcade
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful reddish-brown with little head. The smell is reminiscent of pure cranberry juice. Tart cherries and tannins dominate the palate with a medium body. It's akin to a dry Oud Bruin. It's a sipper for sure, meant to be savored not sessioned.

I have to admit, while I really like this beer, I can find similar Belgian offerings cheaper and more easily. It's worth drinking but it's not worth what you have to pay or go through to obtain. (450 characters)

Photo of hopoilcrazy
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle popped at Yazoo's Embrace the Funk Fest

Great Tawny Port color and nice lacing from a thin cap of head

The aroma of this sour is out of control: tobacco, catty, ashy, faint vanilla, dark fruit, red grape, apple skin, slightly buttery - every bacteria listed on the bottle is represented here.

The flavor is great and balanced with a surprisingly mild tang. I was expecting a wallop, but it is mild and restrained...even a little subtle. Cookie spiciness, leather, acetobacter?? Very dry finish with no residual sugar to fuck everything up

The mouthfeel is vibrant and lively carbonated. Feels great on the tongue.

Thanks to ETF Fest for this sample! (670 characters)

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

First had this beer in Santa Rosa when I left a bar I was in telling my girlfriend I "had to go to the bathroom" but I really went down the street to Russian River. Incredible decision making.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with little head. Aromas of sour fruit, woody tannins and wine characters blend well with dark sour fruit flavors, oak and red wine. A drying, tart finish full of wonderfully balanced flavors rounds it out very well. High drinkability for a beer that is 10% alcohol. You would never know it. I could drink an awful lot of this beer, and thankfully have had it 3 times now. Fantastic. (611 characters)

Photo of WilliamD
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label states batch 001X3.
Popped the cork and was greeted with a rush of foam. Ran it into the kitchen and set in the sink. Lost perhaps an eighth of the contents. Now that was rather disappointing.
After cleaning up the spillage, poured into a snifter. Attractive amber with a golden halo and a thin, fizzy head that eventually dissolves.
Smells tart with a fruitiness that I presume is the currants. Slight, earthy, oakiness as well.
Taste is tart and sour, with a definite presence of the wild yeast. Divine, oaky finish. Very delicious.
Mouthfeel is excellent as well- crisp, dry and tingly, like a fine champagne.
I can't believe this is 10% ABV. It is completely concealed. I would love to continue on to another bottle when I finish this one, but this is far too precious a beer to treat in such a frivolous manner. (822 characters)

Photo of ebin6
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003x1

A - Poured into my NB tulip glass. Dark amber/brown in color. The head fades quickly with a pool of carbonation forming in the center, bubbling for the duration of the drink

S - Sharp oak smell with hints of the currants present

T - A very sharp, sour initial taste. Currants, grapes, and oak taste on the back end once the sour fades.

M - Completely amazing. Resonates throughout the mouth, touching every spot long after swallowing. Your taste buds literally pulsate for a few seconds after a good swirl.

D - Better with every sip. For a sour it goes down well and does not fade, opening up as it gets warmer. (628 characters)

Photo of ekardz
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004x2

Aggressive pour leaves almost no head and little carbonation with a reddish amber color. Smells like a red wine, sour grapes, cherries, and smell the currants. Tastes like a sour red wine, picking up lots of tart flavors and light citrus. Light bodied with little carbonation and a dry finish. Very easy to drink, and @ 10% can sneak up on you quickly, just getting into sours, and this was a nice one to enjoy. (424 characters)

Photo of sessycuban
4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer is a deep red, much like a cab. Fantastic lacing, small head.
S - The beer smells of oak, cab, and butter. Nothing surprising here.
T - The beer has a balanced taste of cab, butter, grapes, and a bit of yeast. I'll admit, cab is the only style of wine that I abhor, but Vinnie really made this work.
M - The beer is quite dense, probably more so than any sour I've ever had. This is very unique.
D - It's very strong for a sour, but it works as a sipper. This was so tasty that I got a growler, despite the hefty price tag. Vinnie is still the king when it comes to sours. (585 characters)

Photo of SDDanC
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002 from 5L bottle

Pours an amber/ruby color with almost no head. just a tad lingered. Nose of wild cherry, wine vinegar, and vanilla. mouth feel is great, perfect amount of carb. taste of sour cherry and vanilla, almost a hint of white zinfandel in end to go along with the booze bite. i did not find this overly sour, it was balanced nicely with the wine/cherry/vanilla flavors (386 characters)

Photo of antilogic
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a Chimay Goblet, with Vinne himself.

Color was a dark burgundy red, aroma had wine and fruit notes. Taste was great. Not too sour, very drinkable, lots of wine characteristics, dark fruit, kurants or cherries. Medium in body, light, if any head, almost no alcohol noticeable for 10%, delicious! I'll be trying to get a few bottles of this one... (387 characters)

Photo of hughesm4
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting out of a bottle.
a-Pours a very dark brown/red color that is opaque. There is also quite a bit of sediment left floating around in the glass.
s-Very complex smell that has my noise spinning. A sweet oak smell with several berries odors, most noticeably raspberry and cherry.
t-There is a flavor explosion in my mouth. There is a sour taste up front followed by a oaked sweetness and a balance of fruits.
m/d-Very full bodied and extremely drinkable. Goes down really smooth and you could easily accidentally drink your whole glass in 3 minutes flat. (557 characters)

Photo of branimal9
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled 6/9/2010 at the Upstate BA Gathering at Barley's Greenville. Not sure who brought us this tasty brew, but thank you, generous soul!

Cloudy, murky brown in color, with ruby highlights. Aroma is sour, musty and woody. Flavor hits with sour cherry coupled with a nice oaky barrel flavor. Tart with a slightly dry finish. Haven't had many sours, but this one was quite a treat. (382 characters)

Photo of kbanks13
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Popkas for trading this one to me a little while ago.

Batch 002X003 poured into a Delirium snifter with a color of dark cherry wood with brighter shades of red when held to the light. Loose tan head that is gone in a flash with little lacing. Smells of yeast, must and horse blanket. Lots of wood, cherry and vinous aromas, too. Taste is a wonderful blend of oak and sweet fruits with a tart lemon flavor, like a good red wine but with a sour twist. Not anywhere near overly tart or overly sweet, the two are in perfect balance. Subtle grain characteristic in the background. Clean on the palate with no real lingering tastes. Medium carbonation with a light body that has a sweet flavor but a dry and puckering finish. Drinks surprisingly easy for a 10% ABV beer. I will have to trade for more of this and try it fresh too. (835 characters)

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