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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

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

3,855 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,855
Reviews: 1,035
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 1,360
Gots: 1,199 | FT: 84
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: 3,855 | Reviews: 1,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.22/5  rDev -6%
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.

HuskyinPDX, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of dbmernin83
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Number 5 in my RR -tion quest.

Batch 006

Pours a very deep, dark burgundy with an off white head that lasts for maybe 2 minutes.
Sour cherries, red wine on the nose. This is gonna be a tart one.
The first two sips are extremely tart. Sour cherry is all I taste. Then I settle into the beauty. The tartness yields red wine, oak. Tannic.
Carbonation is on, this is the thickest of the sours by RR and the only evidence that it is the highest in alcohol.
In terms of drinkability and personal taste, I prefer the more delicate Temptation and Sanctification. With that said, this is still a phenomenal brew.

dbmernin83, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of tony223366
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From my beer journal. Reviewed on October 18, 2011.

A: Really dark brown amber body. Nice head at first, but it quickly went away. Gorgeous looking beer.

S: Really rich aroma. Cherries and dark fruits followed by the distinct tartness. Oak characters interplay throughout.

T: Rich malts turn quickly over to cherries then right to lactic sourness. Finishes earthy and tannic. Really long finish that just works.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation.

O: Infinitely drinkable. I have absolutely no idea where these ABVs are hiding. Looked down and it was already half gone. Wish it wasn't so expensive because this is one of my favorite beers of all time.

tony223366, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of mooseo
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.68oz bottle poured into tulip. Batch 006.

A - Dark maroon in color with a small, tan head.

S - Dark fruits (plum and cherry) mixed with a strong oak characteristic. Very earthy, with a hint of alcohol coming through as well.

T - A complex flavor of black cherries and grapes immediately hit, followed by a mild sourness and tartness. Very sweet and fruity. Hints of oak and other earthy spices come out on the backend. The sourness tends to linger on the tongue.

M - Medium bodied, with a prickly, mild carbonation. Finishes dry.

D - I'm new to sours and this was the first one that I actually enjoyed. It has a wonderful array of flavors backed by a nice sour funkiness. The high alcohol content is hardly noticeable, making this a very drinkable brew. The taste seems to only get better as it warms. Overall, an excellent offering from Russian River and so far, my favorite sour.

mooseo, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of b3shine
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to tulip. Smells good; like a strong ale should. Tastes Fantastic! I LOVE the Cabernet influence! Does wonders for the flavor. Complex, but not in a " I taste plums, cherries, and earthiness, etc." kind of way like you'd get from wine snobs. Just. Good. Beer. Mouthfeel is great; what looks to be relatively low-carbonated is actually deceptively carbonated, just as a sour should be. Overall, a great beer that I'll definitely be seeking out again!

b3shine, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of IdrinkGas
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 6 375ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.
Pours maroon in color with a finger off white head. Left no lacing.

Strong oak, sweet currants and sour vinous notes in the nose.

Picking up tart dark cherry the currants again and a nice oaky flavor. This one also has a fair amount of sour funkiness.
Like every wine barrel aged beer I've had the wine tends to overwhelm. If it weren't carbonated I could probably trick my friends into thinking this was a cheap red wine.

Very nice light tingle from the carbonation. Mouthfeel finishes dry.

10% ABV is very well masked. If I had to guess I would have thought it was around 6%. Sour beers tend to really cover up any alcohol taste. Enjoyable but at $15 for a 375 its hard to justify the price. I can get a six pack of a very comparable sour for around the same price.

IdrinkGas, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of Labonix
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice deep amber/red color. The aroma is a tarty fruit with a little bit of funk. This beer has an amazing taste to it. It has a sweet and tarty fruit taste to it. I think its more tart than sour and I could easily drink a whole 750 bottle to myself.

Labonix, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of JonathanG
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a sample of this at Hops & Pie, in a Great Divide tulip. Thanks Leah!

A: reddish brown, with a light sheet of head.
S: a little barnyard, along with currants, and oak.
T: currants, integrated oak, and again a bit of barnyard.
M: nice and sour, with good acidity. An excellent food beer.
O: Reminds me of wine, and that's a good thing. Very food-friendly, and nuanced similarly to a Cabernet with a bit of age on it.

I have only tried a few of the Russian River offerings, to-date, but would definitely seek this out again. Fantastic stuff!

JonathanG, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of Philousa
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep purple with little head. Light, fruity aromas fill the glass. I get grape, current (of course), cherry and some wine aromas. A bit of sour twinge in the nose as well. The alcohol is all but completely hidden. The taste is bold and fruity. Strawberry, plum, cherry flavors with a sour bite. It fades to currant and bitter black cherries, and the sour taste lingers for a bit. The carbonation in this beer is delicate and you wouldn't notice it if you didn't wonder how the beer is so smooth.

This is a wonderful sour. I tried it first at RR's brewery and it was too much for a first timer. After some Oude Bruins the sour flavor has grown on me and now I can fully appreciate the more potent sours. This is flavorful and complex. The sourness is in perfect equilibrium with the amount of flavor in this beer. All that in a 10% beer that doesn't taste alcoholic at all. A must try, but don't dive into this expensive treat until you've tried a couple other sours, because some context really makes you appreciate it better.

Philousa, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of blincoln
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes -

Poured into a Russian River glass

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish chestnut brown with lots of carbonation coming from the bottom (almost looks like a sake soda). Almost no head, just a thin layer kept alive from the heavy flow of bubbles.

Aroma: Sour apple and berries, with a hint of sweet wine smell coming from the barrels.

Taste: Sour candy like taste similar to the smell, but making it hard to identify individual flavors. Sour grape, apples, berries, and a wine flavor leading into a sweet finish. The tartness subsides as Consecration warms.

Palette: Smooth, light bodied, and crisp - which is surprising given the amount of carbonation.

Overall: Not as sour or flavorful as New Belgium's La Folie, but better than most other sours I've had - especially given that it doesn't cost near as much as La Folie. A complex blend of fruity flavors but maybe a bit too sour as its a tad over powering. Definitely a contender for one of my favorites.

blincoln, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of harrymattcody
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle received in a trade.

A murky brown with shades of red results from he pour. Nothing too crazy forms on top and the result is no lace to speak of. Not a problem, though, with barrel aging and so forth. Aromas of tobacco, leather anwood dominate with maybe a hint of fruit. Taste is a pretty spot on regarding the nose and that's where it loses me. Consecration is definitely a quality brew but those tastes just aren't for me. A nice feel in the mouth with just enough carbonation to keep it lively.

Probably not something I'll come back to in the near future, but I can see the appeal and appreciate the quality that Russian River puts out.

harrymattcody, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of CaptainTripps
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip

A: If you look at the label on the bottle, that is damn near close to what the body of this beer looks like. Dark-amber brown body with slight velvet hues on the edges that you would see in a Cabernet. Small off white head is produced. Little head retention and no lacing.

S: Sweet currents paired with sour red grapes, apples with hints of cherry, oak and Brett. The Cabernet Sauvignon is really coming through nicely paring well with the currents. You can smell a slight tartness.

T: Pretty fantastic array of flavors that hit your tongue from beginning to end. Sweet fruity tastes paired with a decent amount of tartness. Cherry and grape are the stand outs along with Cabernet and hints of oak.

M: Light to medium bodied with a great amount of carbonation. Smooth, very smooth.

O: A fantastic beer that I can't believe I have left sitting on the shelves all these times. I have always been skeptical of the price for these but now i know they are the real deal. Will be coming back multiple times for this.

CaptainTripps, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of depechemode1983
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a clear deep mahogany color with blood red hues. Head is off-white and has little retention. No lacing on this one. Beautiful color though.

S - Sour funkiness hits your upfront comprised of sour grape and green apple. Also noticeable are oak and vinegar.

T - Lots of sour dark fruits. Lots of vinegar. Very red wine like. The oak come through very nicely with a touch of funk in the finish that sorta lingers for a bit.

M - Medium bodied and very bubbly. Goes perfect with everything thats going on. Like a red wine spritzer.

O - Completely awesome. I love how the wine barrel aging really played a part.

depechemode1983, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.68oz bottle served in a snifter.
batch 005

review #400

pours a deep amber / borderline chestnut tone with ruby highlights while yielding a very short-lived 1/4" tan head. no lacing.

bold nose opens with a blast of currants. sour / tart with notes of cherry, vinegar, and maybe a touch of oak.

wow, flavor really impresses, following, even exceeding the aroma. wild ales have never appealed to me on the whole, but this beer demonstrates what one can be if done right. leave it to russian river to accomplish that feat: just very impressively crafted. sour to the point of puckering but not overdone. virtually no trace of the 10% ABV. medium bodied with lively carbonation.

overall, a hell of a sour. of the few dozen or so different wild ales i've sampled, this is on a very short list for overall best. neck and neck with temptation.

perrymarcus, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 006

Pours a dark ruby red color w/ a sliver of a head on it. It looks very similar to a glass of wine, or a port. Head is gone within 10 seconds. Small amount of lacing on my glass, not much there at all. Nose is wonderfully complex. Wine, port, berries, funk, sweetness, some yeast all in there. Really opens up as it warms and airs out. Zero alcohol in the nose. I have a feeling I'm really going to like this one. Taste is equally good. Sour, but not overly so. All the smells really come out, and the flavor just blows my taste buds out of the water. cherries and some oak come out as the beer opens up. This is a very tasty Wild Ale, and I can't believe that it's 10% ABV. Mouthfeel is medium, w/ good carbonation and a dry finish. Almost a wine-like dry aftertaste. Overall this is a fantastic beer, and I would buy this one again in a heartbeat. Cheers!

jayhawk73, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of justintcoons
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 006

A: Pours a reddish/chestnut brown with mahogany highlights. Very thin head that dissipates quickly. Thin lacing and low carbonation.

N: Apple juice, red grapes, maybe blackberries, oak, vanilla and a hint of Brett. You can also smell the Cabernet Sauvignon aromas left over from the barrel aging.

T: Very big tartness upfront which makes it hard to identify what I'm tasting. Possibly a mix between vinegar, red wine and lactic acid. This is followed by a sharp acidic fruitiness of apple cider, red grapes/wine and what could only be the Currants. There is also some raspberry going on. Wood/barrel/saw dust becomes apparent in the finish along with some tobacco that seems to balance everything out in the end.

M: Light-medium bodied, tart, sour, clean and very dry.

O: Complex, but I feel my sour taste buds just haven't developed as of yet. Comes off a little bit harsh and is focused more on red wine flavors. I do enjoy some of the flavors though especially the woodiness and the tobacco in the finish. The nose smells absolutely phenomenal. I will respect it for what it is.

justintcoons, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to the Central PA tasting group for passing this one along our way.

A: pours a deep reddish brown, somewhat murky, not much head retention, decent lacing

S: things starts of acidic with notes of vinegar pairs with cherry, oak and vanilla. Varying levels of fruitiness and acidity come through making for a complex nose.

T: lactic acid and tartness up front, big time puckering, followed by a sweeter and fruitier middle, this is followed up by a considerable amount of oak with a touch of funk, and the tartness returns on the finish.

MF: high carbonation, refreshing mouthfeel

O: this is a delicious and well balanced Wild Ale. The 10% is very well hidden and the range of flavors is vast. Definitely worth a try.

homebrew311, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange with a reddish hue. Retention reduces to a ring. Good sticky lacing.

S - Much less sour in the nose. Definite cabernet sauvignon aroma, oak is quite pronounced as well. Smells like a slightly sour cabernet sauvignon.

T - Strong sour grape in the front, much like a wine with a lot of tannins. Lush dark fruits like cherry, residual sugars, oak comes through in the finish.

M/D - Smooth with a fair amount of carbonation. Great mouthfeel, the sour notes give it a nice pucker. Feels almost like a champage.

O - Fantastic beer. A+

StarshipPoopers, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4x4 poured into my Hill Farmstead glass from their Saison fest.

A- Pours a hazy deep red with lighter hazy pink on the outside. Smaller white head goes away quickly. Body looks beautiful

S- nice tart funk with some acidity and sweet dark fruit.

T- Nice upfront tart with sweeter fruit shortly after. Darker musky earth tastes follow up in the rear. Nice complexity and multiple flavors.

M- Light mouthfeel with heavy carbonation. Dry crisp finish that has a tart lingering. very nice.

O- Really nice all over, looks and tastes great. Wish this was on shelves around here

Gushue3, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of jmadrigal2
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this out of the bottle.

The appearance was brown/red color with little head.

Smelled of cherry, hint of alcohol and a hint of tamarind

Taste is similar to the smell. Sweet fruity taste at the start but quickly turns tart. The tartness does not linger long and ends mildly sweet.

I like this beer a lot and always pick up a bottle to enjoy whenever I can.

jmadrigal2, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of BBP
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- cherry brown. Slight head. Slight lacing as well.

S- Aroma is a little soft and doesn't capture the intensity. It is smooth and nice though.

T- cherry and grape. Slight blueberry and pomegranate. A decent amount of the cabernet sauvignon. Very wine-like. Sour in a tannin way. Incredible character though.

M- medium full. Moderately dry finish.

D- Very sour to the point where it compromises drinkability. That being said, it's got a ton of character. I'm curious to see how age affects this.

BBP, Sep 11, 2011
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 Tucquan
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful, dark, clear, tawny red with a few bubbles.

S - Sweet, delicate floral notes that is missing from the bottle. Also a lovely, sour component.

T - Currant flavor is more fresh than the raisin-like flavor it has in the bottle. Sourness and yeast of course. The tannin's aren't as pronounced. Finshes dry.

M - Light=medium body and light carbonation. Smooth, mildly crisp and refreshing.

D - Really excellent. I like it even better than when I first had it on-tap at the RR brew pub as I've learned to better-appreciate this style.

Tucquan, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of BeerTwins
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We really enjoyed this ale. The label does not mention that is a sour. But it turned out to be an excellent example of the style. Poured a rich burgundy color with a faint aroma of currants. The sourness is very refreshing. Currents and rich cabernet wine flavor is evident from the start. The flavor grows more complex as the beer warms adding hints of tobacco and figs.

BeerTwins, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of beerfan99
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2x1 - 750 ml bottle

A: Dark reddish brown in color and clear. Carbonated enough to create a small white head.

S: Very sour smell, typical for a Russian River sour. The currants and cabernet aromas come through loud and clear.

T: Excellent. Very tart and sour, but is palate pleasing. The fruit currants are definitely noticeable as is the flavor from the cabernet sauvignon oak barreling.

M: Feels bubbly feel and medium bodied.

O: Another great wild ale from Russian River. I have been lucky enough to have multiple vintages of Consecration. I am partial to the earlier batches of this beer, batches 1 and 2 being my favorites. Later batches are very similar, but don't seem to have the same levels of oak and fruit flavor.

beerfan99, Sep 04, 2011
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,855 ratings.