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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

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ConsecrationConsecration

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,080 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,749
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 1,600
Gots: 1,628 | 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: 4,749
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)

Photo of tjk135
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aromas of tart cherries and sour fruit. The taste follows the nose, very tart but not overpowering. In fact the tartness is perfect for my taste. One of my favorite wild ales. (178 characters)

Photo of Doc_Hops
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Consecration pours a gorgeous, deep, ruby red. The head is a slightly tan color but it goes away just as quickly as its poured.

S- Just like its counterpart, Supplication, the wine barrel aging plays a big roll in the smell. Dark, rich, wine notes come through first giving way to the currents added to the mix.

T- Wow. Incredibly sour yet a bit of sweet mellowing on the back end. What a dry taste as well. Cherries, currents, and event an interesting malty sweetness going on.

M- Absolutely no head yet an interesting, effervescent feel to it. Fuller bodied than Supplication yet just as easily drinkable. Still can't get over how dry it is as well. It's in perfect balance.

O- Wonderful beer. Incredibly complex and balanced. So much going on here and yet so simple. Hard to describe but very easy to enjoy...and has an incredible kick at 10.00%... For a wild, I'll take it!.

Serving Type- 12oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. Thanks for reading. (974 characters)

Photo of Wackyfoot
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub, shocked that I got a 16 oz pour when I was expecting a 10, but it was a bargain at 6.75. Dark cherry red pour with a hazy tan head that lingers. Very sour aroma of cherries and plums with a light vinous smell to it as well. The flavor is like a sour fruit explosion in your face: cherries, grapes, blackberries, and a nice wine thickness. Very nice carbonation in the mouth and a nice malt profile as well. Hopefully my future experiences with sours will match up to this one. (499 characters)

Photo of SiphonKing
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazing barrel-aged sour beer from Russian River. Thanks Cole for having this brought in from the West Coast for some Midwest beeries. Lots of sour and delicious puckery taste to this beer. The currants add a rasiny almost fruity aftertaste to the palate. The Cab. barrel must have had a hand in adding some sort of tannic quality to the beer but it is not overpowering. The sour really shines through. Excellent time in the barrel and very delicious. A true sipping beer and a worthy treat! (491 characters)

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

Batch 3

Aroma: A reasonably light aroma of sour ripe cherries and green apple skin. Little to no hop aroma. Slight hint of alcohol spice.

Appearance. Light mahogany brown with excellent clarity. Thin but lasting off white head holds a light lacing along the side of the glass.

Flavor: A sharp bite of green sour apple skin hits your tongue and cheeks with next to puckering sourness. As an ale brewed with Brettanomyces this is highly expected and enjoyed. The malt profile is hidden in the background until your tongue recovers from the sour bite, then there are complexities of bitter cherry and faint oak in the finish. This beer finishes extremely dry with another bite of sourness left on the lips as reminder.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with effervesant carbonation. There is a puckering sensation from the Brett but again this is expected and done well to enjoyment. Finishes crisp and very dry.

O: This beer is not for the weak of heart or mind. Among the sours Consecration Batch 3 is demonstrating the finer points of this brewing art. The sourness hits you on the tongue and in the jaw muscles like a sour apple with each refreshing sip. (1,149 characters)

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