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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

3,865 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,865
Reviews: 1,036
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 1,362
Gots: 1,202 | FT: 85
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: 3,865 | Reviews: 1,036 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of natelocc787
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Imagine a sparkling, top notch, complex Cabernet as it comes in and as it goes down you taste outstanding, complex craft ale in the finish.

The color is a nice burgundy brown and the pour builds a nice foamy head that dissipates very quickly as it bubbles, pops and fizzes like the crown of a cola.

The smell is of currants, plums, fig newton insides, cabernet sauvignon and lemonheads.

Tastes of currants, ripe plum, leather and oak and a surprising hit of sparkling ocean spray sour cranberry. Cabernet is there with a nice tart lemony acetic backbone. Malt and hop is there if you look but this beer is wild and has much more complex flavors up front. A slight alcohol punch rounds out the finish.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, not heavy, not light. Very bubbly and dry. Very tarty as well and it leaves a sour finish in your mouth that is very welcome. In my book this beer offers the definition of a quality finish, which is one that lasts and lasts and lasts on your palate.

As I haven't gotten into Cabernet wines yet, this would be an ideal replacement to enjoy with a fine steak and potato dinner.

Had this again batch 4 fresh on 4/20/2010 and it's very, very well done, a currant bomb.

natelocc787, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of EliottJW
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had a fair amount of this stuff by this point, so I think it's time to buck up and write a review!

I think the weakest part of this brew is it's appearance. It pours an almost root beer brown and it's head leaves a bit to be desired. while it's plenty carbonated, the bubbles are a bit large, almost soapy in nature. as this one goes down, the lace left is a bit runny. It's still an attractive beer though, so the fact that this is it's weakest point really speaks to it's strength overall.

The nose is sweet and tart together. sour cherries poke their head out first and give way to a sweet and mild bubblegum.

This is a complex beer to say the least... flavors of those sour cherries come out right at the front, giving way to red grape tannins and then grapefruit. There's a real bite to it, both of the grapefruit and warhead variety... it really is wonderful and ends up sweetening substantially as it warms and the cabernet shines through.

overall, I'd say this is an extremely light, very drinkable beer... almost indescribably so considering it's heavy hitting ABV... you wouldn't know it was 10%.

EliottJW, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of bosco7
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with reddish hues. The head is fizzy and lasts a bit.

Smell is amazing. It has rich sugary notes and figs with this punch of acetic acid. Lemon and dark fruits as well.

Starts with a little sugary sweetness then immediately moves into sour fruity flavors. Sour cherries and lemon come to mind. The finish is what I love about this beer, it's spicy, mineraly, crisp, and kind of reminds me of sweet tarts.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, the sourness is not so insane that it ruins your palate. I can drink this all night long. What a treat. I still have not met a Russian River beer that hasn't amazed me. Highly recommended.

bosco7, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Russian River, Toronado, and City Beer, and also bottles from Russian River, City Beer, Ledger's, and K&L Redwood City. Batches 1 and 2. So I've gotten to know this beer fairly well. It's one of my favorite sours out there.

A - Dark burgundy color with a substantial off-white head.

S - Fruity with red berries and a sour, funky bite.

T - Tartness well-balanced with some sweet malt, currants, sour cherries, vinous notes, oak, and barnyard funk. Not too sour. Incredibly complex.

M - Smooth palate, fairly full, with tartness lingering on the palate. Really nice, sharp and a little dry on the finish with noticeable acidity.

D - Really drinkable for the style and ABV. You would never guess it's a 10-percenter.

nickd717, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of PartyHatjo
2.38/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Purchased a 750 ml bottle at the Cheeky Monk, shared with a friend.

Appearance: Poured into a chalice, dark brown in color with some red overtones. Clarity is poor, small head that dissipates rapidly.

Aroma: Very prominent oak, getting lots of winelike character (from the cabernet barrels). Some burnt sugar character as well as dried fruits. Some horsey brett character also coming through.

Taste: Very acidic up front, like getting punched in the face. There is some complexity of flavor early on, but as you go through the glass, it just becomes more and more like drinking a carbonated cabernet sauvignon.

Mouthfeel: More body than most sours. The wine-like character seems to create massive palate fatigue, coats the tongue

Drinkability: very poor, got through the glass, but could not make a session of this brew.

Overall, not impressed with this beer for the price we paid. Vinny could stand to take some lessons from Peter or make a return trip to Belgium and learn from the masters

PartyHatjo, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of kingcrowing
3.98/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked & caged bottle poured into a sampling glass. Batch 2, version 2. Thanks to imagineiii for sharing!

Pours a deep dark amber with a small head with almost no lacing. Very carbonated which makes it look really nice. Very funky and sour, there's some cider and vinegar to it. Very sharp on the tongue, it gets a bit better as it warms up. Really cool and worth trying.

kingcrowing, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of brownbeer
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glowing purple red with a thin layer of light brown head.

The nose gives vanilla,oak,cherries with a slight vinegar smell and a vinous syrah like character.

The taste reveals plums,dried fruit,cranberry,blackberry,a mild alcohol presence and a quick flash of sour.

The carbonation is lively on the tongue and the finish is dry with dark fruit character. Great head retention and nice lacing. THE BURGUNDY OF BEER.

brownbeer, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of benclimbs
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served In a small tulip at toronado, nice redish head and pours dark amber lacing was solid

Smell is a lot of dark fruit mixed with the typical lemony, citrus characters of a sour ale - smells very unique and rich

Taste is so wine like it's amazing it's like a sour ale combined with a lighter, bubbly sour Bordeaux!, wow, big fruit, leather, spice... Very earthy and interesting

Notes - such a crazy brew, some beers can e likened to muscat grapes, this one is more like French red wine

benclimbs, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of ghostwalker
3.63/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby and brown body. Thin white head. Low carb.

Nose is bitter, smoky, fruity. I can smell that it has a high ABV.

Taste is boozy, bitter, tangy, fruity and complex. Interesting and somewhat woody.

Mouthfeel is dry and tart. Slightly astringent.

Drinkability is moderate, slightly drying. The bitterness limits drinkability somewhat.

ghostwalker, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of LittleDon
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A healthy 10 oz served in a wine glass (closer to 12 or 14 oz). Brownish red in color, with very little head. It is oily, with the existant lace sticking and sliding down the glass. Clear, mostly opaque and with medium carbonation. Berries and bananas in the aroma, it reminds me of a Belgian. None of the banana characteristics are present in the taste, however. Sour, but not over the top, with very noticeable ketone/aldehyde characteristics. Hints of bourbon in the flavor and a bite to the tounge. Light mouthfeel. Surprisingly bitter finish. As a lambic, a nice balance between the sourness and malt. Worthy of a second tasting.

LittleDon, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of WCBCFrank
2.28/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Russian River's Consecration Ale pours a deep, ruby red in a goblet or Chardonnay glass. Good carbonation and massive Beethoven's 5th notes of very ripe fruit and dark cherries. Lots of wine like qualities - more like Muscat-beer like qualities. Good amount of sourness and kinda like a blended cocktail of Muscat, sherry, Belgian dubbel, and a lambic. One of the few beers that is STRICLY an after-dinner thought.

For the novice: You probably won't like it.

Personally: Up front, I am not a fan of the oak barrel infused types of beer that tastes like wine or whiskeys. Consecration is in this category. Although, I can see drinking this over Temptation Blonde, that's not saying much. Not worth the price, I rather just buy a Flemish Sour.

WCBCFrank, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy burgundy color with a large bubbly off white head.

Scent is cinnamon, dark sour fruit, oak and tobacco. Nice complexity and depth here.

Taste of oak, tobacco, earth, sugars, dark sour fruit, and a hint of alcohol. The alcohol is nearly unnoticeable, but it gives the flavor a little extra bite, which is nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation.

paco1029384756, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks JMBSH for this sought after. A different sour, the sour did hit the palate, and I am feeling it 10 hours later. The Brett and other enzymes are interesting and adding to the palate message. Yet overall the taste is not that outstanding. Carbonation was above average, and this beverage did work with supper. An experience. Really good looking orangey off-white bubbly head, though a piece of black sediment rolled into the initial pour. Vinegar aroma which I am two minds about, one being the anticipation of a hard rocking palate cleanser, giving it the benefit of the doubt.
About a year later on tap at the brewpub. Just as good.

Sammy, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of Tawnos
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duvel Tulip glass. Batch 002x3

Pours a pleasing woody red/brown, 1 finger head quickly diminishes without lacing. Nothing out of the ordinary for a wild ale.

Smells amazing, black cherries and funky oak. It's highly reminiscent of a great Gueuze I sampled in Belgium - perfectly aged.

The taste is awesome. My girlfriend calls it a cross between sour gummy worms and red wine. I get what she means - there's a pleasant fruitiness, but it's not overly sour, more a tart sweetness, balanced with the minimal beer undertones. A wild that even the Belgians would drink proudly.

The slight bite on the mouthfeel is all that keeps this from a 5, there. It's well rounded with a puckering start that gives way to a mouthwateringly-sweet finish

I'd drink more if they weren't 20 each ;). This is a beer I cannot think of a food to pair with. It stands alone to be tasted, enjoyed on its own merits.

Tawnos, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of CoolJosh
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Bring! I loved this one so much, I traded with him a second time to get my hands on more of this beer!

Poured from a 750mL into a tulip. Gusher, very highly carbonated, incredibly foamy tarnished yellow coffee stained tooth head that is wildy active, at 2.5 fingers and comes to a standstill at a thin layer. Very dark and hazy muddy blood red.

Cabernet soaked grapes and lemons, slight bit of oak. Red grapes are fantastic and really come straight out of the glass alongside some sweet cherry, gotta really get your nose in the glass to pick up some vanilla, a lot of red wine characteristics.

Holy moly. The raspberry and tart black cherry is phenomenal, mouth puckering tartness, slight oak flavors but nothing too dry, brett comes out towards the end that blows my mind out of my skull. Really overcarbonated and tons of matured and aged red grapes are all of the place. Lemon sourness is superb.

Very full bodied, yet not over the top thickness works well with the high level of bubbles in this guy. Another awesome RR.

CoolJosh, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to ipa247 for this one. Hell of a fine trader.

batch #1. 750ml. Cork, cage, etc.

Cork pops out with a huge dupontesque BOOF! Pours a nice clear red ruby brownish color with a nice fizzy light tan head that actually retains well, by style standards. After a couple minutes it reduces to only a skim over the surface with a pretty good size ring around the edges of the glass. Leaves little lacing, but a good amount for the style.

Nose has subtle black currant and a lot of flemishy lacto tartness and funk. Oak is also apparent in the nose as is a cherry type of sweetness, likely from the currants.

Hmmm. Not as wildly sour as I was expecting, thats for sure, but certainly a tart beer. Really this is like a beefed up flemish ale, without heavy vinegar as is often found, although it is there. The currants are actually pretty noticeable in the flavor, as the sourness is not overbearing or terribly palate raping. The finish is brutally dry, but the sweetness of the added fruit does balance it out. This really is seemingly a nice cross between flemish styles and real american wild ale. Excellent balance. The oak does definitely make its presence known, especially right before the finish as well as in the aftertaste. Aftertaste lingers with slight vinegar, currant, and lacto mouth pucker.

Mouthfeel is right where it oughta be. Hard to argue any point of this really. There could be a tiny touch more carbonation, that is really my only qualm.

Drinkability is simply outstanding, both for the style and for the abv. It could be improved upon, but not a hell of alot.

Overall a fine beer, and a really interesting (at least IMO) melding of styles. I like the flemish lick that the addition of currants and barrel aging provide, and the fact that it doesn't get too flemish on us and forgoes having too much vinegar barf flavor. An impressive and incredibly complex and educational beverage. One i will be sure to cellar, and enjoy again in the future. Excited to see how this batch 2 is...Great beer.

AKBelgianBeast, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.6/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to treyrab and cooljosh for breaking this out at the tasting on night number two of the beer extravaganza weekend. This one was from Batch 2.

A: Deep clear and crisp ruby color, very dark. Thin small wisps of bubbles move upwards for a long time, popping as soon as they hit the surface, leaving no sign that they were ever there.

S: Sour and funky, but to my utmost disappointment, I can't make out a single note, no matter how subtle, of the red wine or the currants. Chocolatey in the in the background, but I can't get past the lack of fruits, dark or otherwise, in the flavor.

T: The taste starts off as tart which then gives in to a bitter dark chocolate character. The two flavor sensations seem to clash a bit, the sour and the bitter just don't jive to well on my pallet. Currants finally manifest themselves in the aftertaste, but it seems like too little too late. There is also a touch of alcohol warmth in the finish.

M/D: Highly carbonated, this beer tickles the tongue and presents a medium thicker texture than the lighter colored wilds. The alcohol can be felt somewhat, but the sourness is very good. I just wish there wasn't that chocolatey bitterness...it seems to take away from the funky sourness of the yeast strain. The beer is a bit too heavy for my wild taste, too.

BATCH 1: 10/2/10
4.5/4/4.5/4.5/4.5
Deep brown highlighted by mahogany and garnet. Creamy and foamy head with great retention. Lacing is impressive and full.

Very potent aroma of signature RR funk, a balanced pedio sourness, and a base of currants and dark fruits. On the palate, the funk is more pronounced, and the currants really shine. Hints of bitter dark chocolate also come through. This was much better than the mess of Batch1 that I tasted from the keg about a month ago.

Sourness puckers the tongue initially, but otherwise, it is smooth and silky, leaving a syrupy funky taste on the palate. Probably the best batch of Consecration that I have had.

NittanyBeerFan, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of kimcgolf
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR in Santa Rosa. Poured in a short glass to a cloudy brownish-ornage with medium thick off-white head that lingers well and leaves okay lacing. Nose is sour red fruit and hops, mouthfeel thick and tangy-sweet and the taste a perrfect follow to the scents in the nose, with some alcohol added in at mid-glass. Like a good Flemish Sour, the finish was long and a rush of tangy fruit, quickly followed by a warming sugar sweetness.

Not quite the Duchesse, but a damn good Sour.

kimcgolf, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of fiver29
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by miketd. Thanks Mike! Pours dark brown with off white head. Has acid and tart cherry aromas. Flavor is tart cherry, dark fruit, wood, and some wine notes. Finishes with a super pucker mouth watering sourness that is great. Medium light mouthfeel. Overall a great brew and one I really liked.

fiver29, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of squaremile
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station and Bailey's Taproom in Portland. Pours a hazy ruby/plum with a small head. Aroma is red wine, cherries, and oak. The taste is more of the same but with a strong sourness that reminds me at times of some of my favorite sour candies. But it isn't that simple since the barrel creates a nice complexity and keeps me going back for more. I'm not a sour beer expert but I really liked this.

squaremile, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of botham
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

liter bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. pours a chestnut brown color with one finger of loose eggshell colored head. poor retention and no lacings.

aroma is mildly sour with dark fruits and notes of cherry, passionfruit and currants. the sour note is mildly vinous with a bit of funk mixed in. the fruit is subtle, but mixes in nicely with the overall profile. the sour character gets more pronounced as the beer warms.

taste is of a vinegar-like sourness with fruit close behind. raspberries, cherries, passionfruit and currants are all present. no alcohol shows, which is good for 10% APV. the brew is lightly effervescent, and just sour enough to sustain the fruit character.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and mildly tart in texture. the brew finishes on a tart ntote with residual berries and currants. nicely proportioned on the palate. the sourness is just strong enough to keep the palate honest.

drinkability is excellent. prefectly proportioned on the palate with a wonderful fruit bouquet and mildly vinous finish that works magic on the palate. this beer is phenomenal. it dances on the palate with a sour character that enhances the drinkability. cheers!

botham, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of Bierguy5
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 10% ABV. Pours a very cloudy dark brown color, leaning towards mahogany. Tan, wispy head disappears after a minute, leaving no lace.

Sour cherry in the nose at first, a bit leathery, followed by some blackberry. Aroma is quite complex, and melds together very well. No heat from the alcohol noticed here.

Very tart up front, nearly puckering. Some berry flavors, and a good amount of earthy tones. Again, a bit leathery, and funky. Long lingering earthy finish.

Light body, and carbonation. Good amount of acidity. Some alcohol warmth, but not as much as you would expect for a beer of this size. Very complex, and delicious.

Bierguy5, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber colour with large bubbles at first that could have easily fooled me for being a Belgian import. Nose has a pleasant sour cherry component, with light vinegar, and fig newton snacks. Just as I'm starting to enjoy it the brett funk kicks in and the fair reviewer side of me reminds me that barnyard is supposed to be good here. The sourness dominates on the palate, with cherry taking some background to the fig newtons and vinegar. Finish is long and vinegary, and really smacks you in the face with the flavors. Even if you like the style it is still hardly something that anyone should describe as having high drinkability.

yemenmocha, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002 x 3 from the Northeast Craft Beer Outlet at a rediculously good price...

A- Dark brown with red highlights. Big, whispy carbonated head that dicipates quickly. Little to no lacing.

S- Red wine, oak, tobacco. Slight red wine vinegar acidity note. Slight dark fruit note as well. Amazing.

T- Amazingly complex belnd of sour yet subtle fruit, red wine and oak, hints of vanilla. Nice earthy notes. Slight acidity on the back end. Finishes with a nice red wine taste. Perfect.

M- Medium bodied, perfect carbonation level from the yeast. Excellent smooth, silky wine like finish and aftertaste.

D- Wow, if i was never allowed to drink red wine again and wanted to still experience many of the positives, i would reach for this. The ultimate American Wild Ale experience.

rfgetz, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.5/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for the trade Christian

Pours a very dark shade of brown, looks black in low light. A solid two fingers of very lively head rises up but falls quickly, leaving a thick persistent collar around my 25 oz. snifter. Smell is very mild funkiness, tart apples, caramel, grapes, a hint of oak barrel as well.

Taste is a mouth puckering mash of grapes, apple skin, strong oak presence, vinegar, caramel, and dirt. Very complex but the oak comes through a tad too much leaving a dryness on the palate that I don't care for. Medium bodied and like I said very dry. This is a very impressive beer but not really my cup of tea quite yet (still so/so about sours).

I will revisit this again next year and see if my opinion has changed.

alcstradamus, Aug 17, 2009
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,865 ratings.