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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,094 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,094
Hads: 4,845
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 20.18%
Wants: 1,627
Gots: 1,690 | FT: 125
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: 1,094 | Hads: 4,845
Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to BZero007 for sending me this in an epic exchange of Top 100 brews. I hope he enjoyed his, now I'm going to tie into mine!

Batch #2. Pours thick, dark, cloudy red with a bubbly head that falls instantly to the barest of rings. Smells is all sour, funky cherry (or is that currants?).

Taste is like a sour slap upside the head. The sour funk runs up into my nasal passages & clears up the mild cold that started, as well as aiding my arthritis & cataracts. Yeesh! Sour dark fruits, funk, with a dry, tart finish contributed by the wood that sears the top of my mouth & back of my throat.

I think dry & tart covers the mouthfeel, with high carbonation. I can hear it bubbling. Drinkability is high/low. Low because I couldn't have more than half the bomber, high because it's unique & soothing on the tongue. As I move on even a half-bomber is a lot; eight ounces would have sufficed.

Very good beer. Can't say that I'm as enamored of it as the general BA population, but I understand the appeal. A wonderful once-in-a-while treat.

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Photo of wd40
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark, deep burgundy hue in glass. Has a sweet fruitiness of raspberries and currants balanced by sour tartness. Consecration is aged in wine barrels and there is definitely a hint of red wine in the aftertaste. Although it's sour, it's so delicious I found myself almost gulping it down.
What makes this beer work so well is the balance between dark/sweet flavors, and bright/sour flavors. The dark/sweet flavors coming from the fact that the baseline beer for this brew is a Belgian style dark ale with currants added, that has been aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
The yeast used, Bretanomyces, also adds some earthy flavors to the mix. This is then counterbalanced by the bright sourness produced by the bacterias: Lactobacilius and Pediococcus. FWIW, that kind of sourness I can only relate to candy like sour patch kids, but the sourness has a lot of flavors competing for attention. This brew has some real complexity and depth of flavor. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Llewellyn9
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance was definitely intriguing. Poured a foamy tan head that quickly dissipated. The color was amazing, an almost plum purple.

Smell was acidic yet sweet, berries and red wine break through the vinegar. No hops, but who needs 'em when you got brett?

Taste and mouthfeel were no doubt puckering, but this was an extremely well balanced ale. Beautiful red wine and berry notes are perfectly complemented by the acidity. No alcohol present whatsoever. An expertly done ale. I have to say this beer makes me reconsider my previous ratings.

This beer is complex and intriguing, I could probably finish off a bottle of this by my self, but maybe not much more.

Loved it...

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

On-Tap @ Belmont Station poured into Tulip glass.

Pours a rich plum color with some glowing red hues and a light, fluffy tan colored head that quickly burns out into a nice thin wispy ring around the glass. The aroma is filled with tart berries, touches of oak and just a plain overall sour aroma. The flavor is very much the same with tart berries being the first thing you taste and eventually allows for some oak and touches of earthy hops to shine through and finishes very dry. Its a very effervescent beer and is light bodied. This is quite a tasty beer. It has very nice sourness which doesn't blast you away but definitely makes you pucker. The alcohol is very well hidden and will sneak up on you if you aren't careful as this is an easy drinker. Lovely, delicious stuff.

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

Got in a trade with mjl21...thanks for everything like usual Mike!

A- Pours a darker brown color with red highlights to it when held up to the light. Had a nice two finger head that went away rather quickly leaving little lacing on the sides that slide down the glass.

S- This has a very wine vinegar smell to it. I like it a lot from first smell. Cherry and maybe a touch of apple keep popping up with hints of oak from time to time. This is a damn fine smelling beer. The currants in it bring up the backbone of this beer for sure.

T- Wow....this is what I've been waiting for?? Well worth it! Sour upfront with currants and cherries blasting through. The middle has a oaky and slight apple tinge to it with the ending being a vinegary sourness to it that comes through more at the end then at the front of the beer. I can't get enough of this taste...so good!

M- This is a medium-light mouthfeel I think. The carbonation is lacking a little but still amazing to say the least. It rest in your mouth but the sourness to it pushes it through to the back of your throat. Aftertaste is like a wine (merlot or cab. sauv).

D- I am always down for a wild ale but the guys I spilt it with were not fans of wild ales and wanted me to crack open another one....if only I had another I would have. Good job Russian River and great job Mike for getting this wonderful beer to me!

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Toronodo, served in a tulip glass. This thing is wild.

The appearance was a darker brown with a lighter consistency. It was thinner than I would have expected. It also came with a dark dark purple tint, and no head. It left no lacing and left a light alcoholic residue on the glass promising it was 10% ABV.

The smell was interesting. It smelled of dark bitter fruits. It had a light hop bitterness also but overall this thing had a fermented wine smell. I also got heavy acidic smells as well as cherry?

The taste was something different. It was like a sweet wine, with dark pomegranate. Had the craziest mouthfeel. It was a bit overly carbonated and fruity. The alcoholic taste was covered well, but I can also take the booziness in good stride. My palate does not pick that aspect up as much as others. The fruit was intense. It was not even like drinking a beer, it was like a wine-fruit-coca cola- brew extravaganza. The most overwhelming characteristic was the bitter fruit and carbonation.

The drinkability was good, but I would of not drank a whole bottle of this. It is boozy and when you stand up after a full glass you can tell. I think it was an interesting brew that I would love to revisit sometime down the road, but not an everyday repeat.


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Photo of Docer
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally cracked into my batch #2 bottle... sat in 9 deg. C for a little over a month, popped in the freezer for about 30 min., opened, and let it sit for over an hour to warm up. Poured into a tumbler..

- Looks like a glass of coke without ice. Bubbles like a cider... quick head to quick no head! Sparkling like a wine.. cola colored, clear...

- Bright currants hit the nose with a slight vinegar scent.. little bit of pickled olive.. slight alcohol... sweet cola.. grape.. fig.. spice.. hint of oak character.. sparkling vineyard.

- Crystal clear waters with tart cherry but more so black currants and blueberry... very tart... only a slight bit of acid and vinegar.. with a very complex barrel oakiness to it... little bit of grape...

- Light on the tongue, leaves only a slight bit of tartness, or early picked sweet currants.. blackberry, grape sitting on the tonque... not even very dry..

- Quite drinkable.. but fizzes up a lot on the tongue.. I guess the way it's produced.. like a sparkling wine.. will do that, and is normal... but this is a sipper! Very drinkable, and as I am not a huge fan of the style, I am further understanding it... and I must say, with this one I am truly floored at how well put together and complex it is. A great sour wild ale from Russian River.

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

A: Opaque, dark brown with a very noticeable reddish tint.

S: The nose is sour in general, but specifically sour cherries. The oak barrel also really comes through.

T: Again, lots of sour cherries. Quite tart. Maybe also some grapes and you definitely get the currants. The combination of the Brett, barrel, and fruit give the beer a very dry and tannic character..

M: The body is rather full with a high level of carbonation and a very dry finish.

D: Incredible. You would never know the ABV strength of this beer as the alcohol is completely covered by the wonderful taste.

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Photo of clvand0
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a medium head that falls quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is sour with a vinous and vinegar thing going on (in a good way). Also has notes of cherries/currants, grapes, and wood. The flavor is like a great mix of sour cherries and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Very complex and thoroughly enjoyable. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is quite good.

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Photo of SPRichard
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this at the Memphis Taproom over the 4th of July weekend...this is my first attempt at an American Wild Ale

served in a tulip glass...reddish/brown body...not much of a head on this one...no signs of lace at all

sour/tart cherries...biscuity yeast...some Belgian candy sweetness

sour cherries/green apples was all i could think of after each sip....really could feel it in my cheeks

despite the sour/tart flavors this was very smooth to drink...nice medium bodied...dry finish...not overly carbonated

this style is way out there for me...like i stated earlier this is my first time trying an American Wild Ale...took me a while to drink it, but made my way through it with no problems...taking a few sips of ice water between sips of beer made it a bit more bearable...i'm always willing to try anything from Russian River so I couldn't pass this one up....would I go back to it again if I found it, probably not but that doesn't mean it's a bad beer in my eyes...when i become more familiar with this style i may have it again and re-review it

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Photo of froghop
4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with a ruby tint when held to the light, a small khaki head that dissipates quickly, and some lacing.

smell is sour, dark fruits, and wood.

taste is tart, sour malt, and dark fruit, end is nicely tart.

overall a very good sour ale.

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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 br3wmeister
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Large foamy off white head with moderate retention and ok lacing. Nice orange red color.

S- Earthy and woody aroma with hints of cedar and oak. Nice big tartness in the aroma as well.

T- Strawberries, cherries, some oak, grassy bitterness and large tartness that I have come to expect form American Wilds. Also some really nice sweetness, caramel and vanilla. Very tasty beer.

M- medium bodied beer with waves of sweet oiliness balanced by dry bitterness and puckering sour.

So far this is one of my favorite wild ales, it is very sour but yet still has nice sweetness and great complexity. I can't wait to try more wilds from Russian River!

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

Poured from a 750mL corked and caged bottle (Batch 001X2) into a snifter.

A: Dark amber with one and a half fingers of tan head. Dissipates into a small ring.

S: Tart cherries, vinegar, oak.

T: Oak and tannins like a cabernet with the added punch of brett.

MF: Medium bodied, but VERY tart!

D: Slow drinking due to the mouth-puckering tartness. Still managed to finish the whole bottle over the course of an evening though. Very tasty!

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at deep ellum during the cantillon/de la senne event on april 24, 2009, week's end of the craft brewers conference.

served in orval chalice

dark ruby red w brown tint. creamy, tan, faintly pink head. fades to creamy wisps and ring. lacing doesn't stick.

aroma: richer brett funkiness than the bottle i had from batch 1. same with the vinous and cider vinegar notes - like the bottle, but just more robust. tart, but with fresh fruit tones of grapes and currants. wood and leather hints with trace of oaky vanilla. fresh cranberry, red wine, cherries and possibly more currants show up again in the back.

taste is similar both to the aroma and overall to the bottled batch 1, but richer - even though here the draught lines are serving the beer at much colder temps. tart and dry with a lovely tannic finish, totally reminiscent of cabernet. full of flavors (wood, leather, farmhouse funk, fruit, hay, etc.)

medium body, nice and tart. acidic and astringent with tannins for structure and texture. cleaned up by both the acidity itself, but also the prickly yet fine and delicate carbonation.

whoa - where can i get more of this stuff?! i pray that the bottle sitting in my cellar will age into something like this...

thanks again to max and vinnie for making this happen!

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Photo of imblane
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings about plunking down $22 for a 750ml bottle, but I wisely listened to a friend who said it was more than worth it. Batch #002x1.

A - Initial carbonation was high with a 2-3 finger head that dissapated quickly. Nice and dark like a fine brandy.

S - Funky and sour! Hard to believe there aren't any cherries in this one. I get a red wine vinegar, green apple, oak and sour grapes. This is gonna be good!!

T - Wow! Just like it smells, sour green apples, a hint of red wine vinegar and dark bitter cherries. I tried like hell but could not pick up the vanilla mentioned by other reviewers. Un-Godly well balanced!

M - Carbonation seemed high when I popped the cork, but was perfect on my palate. Dry and oh so tart with just the perfect acidity.

D - This is actually very scary. I did not even get a hint of alcohol here. 10%? It could be 2% and I would not have noticed. Yet even with alcohol taking a backseat, it was so satisfying that I wanted to prolong drinking this like no other.

Overall, I don't see many sours coming close to this. Vinnie hits it on the head once again. May be arguably the best to come out of Santa Rosa ever.

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Photo of duncan9idaho
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is dark amber with small lacing. Head was think on pour. Nose has barnyard, coffee, fruit, and a hint of perfume. Taste was strong sour with hay and fruit flavor finishing with a hint of tannin and bread. Not the most drinkable beer but a 10 ounce pour will do the trick. Excellent!

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Photo of SpruceFish
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured in to a snifter bottle from batch 2

A- dark crimson darkest sour i have yet to see an i love it of white head yet does not stick around

S- sour grapes, currants, cranberries the brett starts seeping though super funky (barnyard wet hey) and a little oak

T- freaking amazing just like the smell sour grapes, currants, ect funk and oak one of the most complex sours i have had and very balanced

M- carbonation great and really dry

D- perfect i would not know this had a 10% ABV

overall one of the best beers i have ever had russian river really knows what they are doing when it comes to sours i cant wait to try the rest of them

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

A - Dark bourbon color, not much head, leaves fast to ring. Big pop when opening. Small tight bubbled lacing.

S - Tart cherries, crisp, some yeast and fading malt tones.

T - Taste replicates smell to a tee.

M - Well carbed, tartness fades and dry finish. Quality stuff.

D - ABV well hidden. Tartness does not tire easily. Think I am getting used to fine sours.

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Photo of Irie
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Like wine that's gone bad with butter..." according to a friend, but in a very delicious way.
Looks rich and red like wine, smells sweet and fruity like wine, and has a very mild mouthfeel (mainly from the casket I'm sure) but very smooth like wine, and tastes like a sweet wine that's been out a little while, all the while still being a 10% beer that dances on the line of what is considered beer.

That being said, this is an incredibly unique beer that explores the boundaries of what beer can be. I loved it and was very sad when I reached the bottom of my 6 oz pour. Will definitely drink again!

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Photo of rayjay
3.97/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original bottling bought at Ledger's right from Ed. Poured into a small (12 oz) stemmed goblet.

Pours a fairly brite clarity with a deep wooden brown color. A big head rises up and disappears completely in a hurry, leaving absolutely no lace at all. It self-poured a bit of itself out of the bottle when the cork was removed.

Aroma has much depth and complexity and includes rich black currants (like preserves), green apple candy, sour cherries, vinegar, dark tobacco, sweet malts, and red wine.

Flavor is more of the same, with a strong medicinal note and a gentle tart blanket draped over everything else. Similar to a Flemish Sour Red with the malt bill but also has it's own thing going on. Alcohol is COMPLETELY disguised, no easy feat at 10-some-odd-% abv. No heat or esters either, no sign of stressed yeast. Lacto and pedio are the main contributors to the funk, and brett is certainly in there too. Finishes dry and similar to red wine. Some tannins.

Mouthfeel is gentle and friendly, no stickyness or chewyness, and a gentle fine carbonation.

Drinkable which is dangerous since the strength is cleverly hidden. Not extremely delicious so I'm not clammoring for the next sip, but certainly not bad at all.

I liked this beer very much, but to me Compunction, Supplication, and Toronado are far superior. You can't go wrong, but for the heafty price tag I'd rather drink a Rodenbach Red. Cheers!

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few times now. Took formal notes from the 6.13 Epic tasting. Batch 1x4.

Deep dark ruby red/brown with a nice light brown/red foam forming to top off this brew. Aromas of berries- the currants are there for sure. Cherries, a peppery spiciness with a prickly carbonation. Complex funk mixes with vinous red wine grape characteristics. Another winner from Russian River- it'll be great for years to come. Very slight alcohol burn from the high ABV but it is not distracting from the brilliant marriage of tart, funk and fruit that take place in this beer. Chris- how the FUCK do you not like this?

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks going out to rye726 for the opportunity to try this one.

Pours a clear translucent brown color with a full finger fizzy light tan head that is gone in a blink. No Belgian lacing afterward. The smell is great; sweet apple over a wine vinegar. Full flavored, the taste and nose are mirror images. Granny Smith Apple Ale flavor and tartness with a light body over an effervescent mouth feel that dries up quickly while leaving the fruity earthy notes and hint of a dark fruit linger nicely. A way too easy drinker...the 10% ABV provides a notch of warmth with the first mouthful, but is quite well integrated. I will savor this one as long as I can. Highly recommended.

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Photo of everetends
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle sent to me by the great rhinos00. This was actually the beer I was most excited about that he sent me in the Gentleman's Club BIF. This beer is special to me because it is the official beer that is helping me celebrate this Pen's Cup victory tonight. Big night for a big beer. Served up in a tulip, lets do this shit. Batch #1

A: Pours a dark brown in color. It actually does have some varied colors in here with an almost red/ruby/plum color coming across. I think a nice plum hue is the best way to describe the look, nice! Kinda a hint of dark red wine. The beer is pretty opaque, not seeing any light come through and I can't see through it for sure. The head was huge and when I popped the cork, there was a good amount of overflow coming out of the bottle. The head is almost a light brown in color and is about two fingers in height. Sadly, it falters quickly and I am getting no lace on the glas. Ah well, still a good looking brew.

S: Smell is nice for sure. Getting the Cab wine barrel aging for sure. Nice dark grape presence with a nice robust aroma. Then the sour kicks in. Getting some nice sour granny smith apples and some tart dark cherries coming across. A nice touch of some red wine vinegar in here bringing even more tart qualities. The oak is there with a slight sweetness coming from a touch of vanilla along with that nice wood. Very nice and absolutely appetizing. Well played, sir.

T: Nice red wine vinegar up front, bringing the sour and tart first and foremost. Slapping you across the face with sour flavors. The fruits are some really tart green apples, dark ass cherries, and touch of sour and grainy pear. Really nice cab flavor comes across with dark grape acidity and a touch of the tannins. The grapes are dark and heavy but they still have a sweetness to them. Yet again you get that slight hint of oak, but the wine and grape translates a lot more. Just the slight sweetness from the vanilla from the oak creeps in. That sour really translates and the brett makes its presence known for sure with a slight touch of funk. Maybe just a touch of tobacco on the back end that brings that rich and dark earthiness. SOOOO, nice.

M: Medium in body that has a really nice carbonation (maybe a bit of a suprise). Actually pretty damn crisp and thirst quenching. Has a nice drying quality to it that is just enough to keep you pulling from the glass. The feel is tart and puckering but never gets unpleasant. ABV is nicely hidden where the drying quality is the most prevelant quality. Not really getting much warmth out of this beer from the ABV. The aftertaste is all the tart and sour flavors just mingling pleasantly on the palate. Awesome here.

D: Not a problem to drink at all. Sometimes I have a problem with some sours and wilds, but this one is easy to take care of. Actually refreshing as hell and has a nice and light drinkable quality. never have a problem taking another pull. A well crafted beer from start to finish. Sure I could use a bit more head and lace but screw it, the flavor, aroma and feel more than make up for that lack. Drink it if you got it. Great beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thanks to route66pubs!) into a 22 oz. brandy snifter

Pours a deep ruby red color with a one inch off-white head. It falls down to a half inch cap which holds up very well. No lacing is left behind though.

Aroma is full of wonderful funk, sour like green apples, currants definitely come through but blend in with a general dark fruit character. Oak is also slightly noticeable.

Taste is sour from the start but there is actually a very slight sweetness in the back that plays very well with the sour. Lots of dark fruit character as well, currants come through again. Some funk and vinegar, but it's mostly pleasant sourness. Oak comes out in the finish. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is light in body due to a nice dryness. Silky going down with nice soft but effervescent carbonation. Very easy to drink.

By far the best sour that I've had the pleasure of drinking. Even better or equal to the Belgian sours. If you enjoy sours, then you absolutely must seek this one out.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,094 ratings.