1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

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

3,840 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,840
Reviews: 1,035
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 1,357
Gots: 1,196 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Consecration Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,840 | Reviews: 1,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bobbak
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

Bobbak, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of Tedm9991
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

Tedm9991, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of Halcyondays
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

On-tap at O'Brien's,

A: Pours darker than a beet red, with a small cap of white foam.

S: Got some interesting cherry and wine notes, but wanted a bit more. Some chocolate in there too.

T: Heavy balsamic vinegar and wine character, almost had a rancid fruit characteristic, in a good way though. Fig and dark fruit notes. Not light on the funk. Sweetness comes out in the finish to the beer which I liked. Not the greatest flavour for me, but certainly interesting.

M: Upfront acidity, then the mouthfeel lightens up a bit, a little too thin at times.

D: An intriguing beer from Russian River. I don't think I liked it as much as everyone around me did, but I enjoyed trying it.

Edit - I've had this beer a few times since the original review, still not wowed, but I've found myself liking it more and more. Upping the taste score to a 4 (from 3.5).

Halcyondays, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of bikesnbeerFtc
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

bikesnbeerFtc, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of djjolt
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

djjolt, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of chefbrew211
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

chefbrew211, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of ajs4bd
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

ajs4bd, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of GAMB1T
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

GAMB1T, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of AbeFroman
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

AbeFroman, May 11, 2012
Photo of dknight75
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

dknight75, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of schnarr84
3.75/5  rDev -16.5%

schnarr84, May 25, 2013
Photo of tbeckett
3.74/5  rDev -16.7%

Bottle from strang. Batch 008. From notes.

A - Deep red colour, cloudy with one finger of light brown head that fizzled away fast. Quite effervescent. No lace, no retention.

S - Grapes, plums, Brett, some wood, lemon candy, mustiness.

T - Tart with grapes and not much else. Musty, tart, lemons, not much 'dark' to speak of, it's mostly just a Brett assault. Maybe a tiny bit of dark fruit was there. No alcohol.

M - Strong carbonation, medium to full body, puckering tart finish.

O/D - Enjoyed it. Too bad there couldn't be more malt complexity with the Brett dialed back. Carbonation was also a bit much and made tasting a bit difficult. Not bad for a wild ale though and was pleasant to drink, but didn't seem to break new ground for the style .

tbeckett, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of HosP
3.7/5  rDev -17.6%

Shared a 750ml bottle at DLD with friends. Opened up a 375ml since I vaguely remember it before.

A- Pours brown in color, maybe hints of red almost ruby depending on the light. Very little head to speak of though.

S- Very strong notes of vinegar, tartness. Tough to get much else through it. Maybe hints of cherry, but very little.

T- Follows the nose pretty close. Lots of tart, brett, sourness up front and throughout. There is maybe some fruit, cherry taste sprinkled in. The tartness dominates the other flavors though.

M- Medium body, low carbonation. Very acidic and works over your throat.

O- Lots of sourness. The one I had a DLD didn't seem to be as sour, but has some age on it. Wouldn't be able to drink another bottle of this in the same night. Always fascinated with sours like this, try to pull out more flavors, this one was tough to do though.

HosP, May 23, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.7/5  rDev -17.6%

Poured from bottle (batch005X2F) into snifter glass. Pours a deep reddish-orange-brown color with a small off-white head that dissipates, although there is some visible carbonation throughout. Aroma of sour lemon, tart cherries and other dark fruits (must be the currants), oak, vanilla, and some funk. Flavor of tart cherries and currants, sour lemon, tart apples, oak, vanilla, funk, and a hint of vinegar. The ABV is well masked here. Medium-bodied, with a sour mouthfeel and mellow carbonation. Complex, well-balanced, and interesting. I am not a big fan of sours, but am glad to have tried this one as well as the other RR sours!

CuriousMonk, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.7/5  rDev -17.6%

Batch 003x001

Pours an amber/brown but when held up to the light comes across as rose.

The smell is very complex with many wine like qualities. Smells sour, raisny, oak, and a slight chocolate background.

The taste is also pretty sour . Oak and age smooth the alcohol out very nicely and make it easy to sip.

This isnt a beer youd want to drink too fast, more so to just enjoy it through out a night and good dinner. I probably wouldnt buy this beer again though due to the high price but Im glad I got to try it once.

Eriktheipaman, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of natemort13
3.65/5  rDev -18.7%

Batch 007

Pours a dark ruby bordering on maroon. What little head there was dissipates right away. Not super inviting but I'm not at all familiar with sours.

Smell is very pleasing if you like wine. Smells much smoother than a mediocre bottle of cab (I'm talking cheap mediocre...not sommelier mediocre). I get a lot of oak and spicy notes. Dark fruit and funkiness.

Sourness is present right away and lingers well into the finish. In between there's bright and tart cherry. As it warms there are very nice oak notes that come out. Some tobacco.

Mouthfeel...The RR website tells me its full bodied but I would call it medium. The sourness may be throwing off my perception but that's how it seems to me.

Overall...Not my cup of tea. The beer might've been too young, and I don't know anything about aging sours or the style in general. It's not too harsh or intense. Just not pleasant to me. Gonna stick to PtE for now, but I'm glad I tried it. Any insight to sours is welcome through beermail.

natemort13, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.65/5  rDev -18.7%

375ml bottle, batch 004x4. Sent to me by boatshoes. I was totally stoked to see this one in there.

A- The color of this beer is basically the same color as the label. The carbonation fizzes up a head violently fast. It doesnt even get done gathering before its gone. No lacing, no head, not even any bubbles. Thats not always a bad thing when it comes to a sour though, I suppose.

S- This is a good smelling beer though. Very acidic. Lots of vinegar that stings the nostrils. A healthy dose of horsey funk. A nice woodiness is also apparent. Red wine, currants and glue come in subdominately.

T- Quite sour. The phrase "ass puckering" has been going around this site since Overlord coined it. Its beers like this that keep that phrase alive. Very acidic, one of the more acidic beers Ive tasted. Again, a considerable amount of funk. Lots of old, beat up oak barrel, and cellar door. Tartness that is akin to very under ripe berries. Wow this is strong on wood (to write in a very stream of conscience manner). Vinegar, unripe plum skin. Pretty aggressive.

M- Very biting. Very dry. It leaves a grape juice acidity in the mouth as it strips your palate bare.

D- Very aggressive. I think I feel it trying to upset my stomach. I like it nonetheless. This beer will let you know what it thinks of you, and it doesnt think to highly of your attitude.

This beer in one word: Rancorous.

MbpBugeye, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of ghostwalker
3.63/5  rDev -19.2%

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 AgentZero
3.63/5  rDev -19.2%

From the 03 batch

A - Very brown, small head with quick dissipation and no lacing. Slightly red, can see through, nice minimal bubble streams add a classy look to this one.

S - Currants, sweet, can defiantely smell the alcohol, almost phenolish. Deep oak on the end.

T - Currants on the front, goes very tart and just doesn't quit. Very dry.

M - Medium light, no carbonation, very dry.

D - Too tart and too much phenol like taste to drink a lot of. In all fairness this might be a better beer than I'm going to end up rating, but it was following two sweeter beers that were both amazing (NG Raspberry Tart and RR Temptation).

AgentZero, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
3.63/5  rDev -19.2%

Chilled bottle into a glass.

I've had every single batch of this beer, multiple times. I am reviewing the latest batch (#5) here, but I will include a summary of all at the end.

A: Pours a clear maroon body with generous light beige head. It fills the glass and leaves some sticky rings of lace down the sides.

S: A good balance of cabernet barrels and currants. The bugs have done their work: funk is represented in a combination of leather and hay; the sourness is primarily lactic, though there is an afterthough of acetic acid. My main request here would be to bump up the brettanomyces presence. The sourness could (and probably will) develop with time, but the funk hasn't hit my desired level.

T: Cabernet grapes, a darker currant presence, and tannins. There's a mild undercurrent of earth and leather. It's also quite sour, with a dominant lactic presence and a touch of vinegar in the finish. This isn't as aggressively sour as batch 4; it has found a better balance. I can't say it's perfect, but to my palate, it is upper-tier.

M: A bit boozy, but that's accentuated by the vinegary finish (and it becomes especially prominent toward the end of the bottle). Unlike the last batch, this one doesn't produce a constant, undrinkable burn.

O: Batch 5 is an improvement over batch 4. I still think this beer is oscillating, and it peaked with batch 3, but this is a strong showing. I wish the bottles didn't have that slight price increase when they shrank sizes, but oh well. I've had a couple of bottles of this iteration, but I'll probably wait to see if the next one (or, judging by the pattern, batch 7) improves upon it.

Batch #1: by far the most vinegary. This was great in my early days; Consecration was my first sour and it was an immediate love affair. My tastes have changed since then; I don't think I'd like an acetic interpretation anymore. (4.9)

Batch #2: less sour than batch 1. The emphasis was on wine barrel, with a tannic and earthy flavor dominating. I was less enthused about this batch. (4.6)

Batch #3: this tastes like it was made for my palate. Lactic sourness with just a touch of acetic burn in the finish. Good balance of wine barrel to the fruit. Just lovely. (5.0)

Batch #4: really lactic, with initially a mild acetic burn, but it gets pronounced and overpowering by the end of a 375mL. Difficult to finish for one person. Wine-barrel heavy, with tannic, leathery, and earthy flavors coming out. Reminds me of a more sour batch #2. (3.6)

Batch #5: this is on the return path to greatness, though not quite there. Mild lactic sourness, a presence of acetic burn in the finish. Good, but not overpowering, incorporation of wine barrels. Currants are distinct. (3.9)

Batch #6: I lost my notes from when I had this.

Batch #7: This tastes like he's starting to dial in the recipe; it is similar to batch 5, but with less acetic burn. It has a dominant lactic sourness (though it is not palate-destroying or stomach-churning) with a huge buildup of tannic currant and grape skin in the finish. The barrel is really prominent here; the cabernet sauvignon is unmistakable, making the beer taste like a slightly soured wine. Good, not great. (3.63)

Arbitrator, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.6/5  rDev -19.8%

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 Jesse13713
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%

A huge thanks goes out to MadVermin who sent this as part of our trade! Seems a little short filled unfortunately.

Appearance - Much darker than the other Russian Rivers I've had. No head or froth upon pouring at all. The carbonation is hard to judge on this. Overall, an opaque deep red and brown color. Looks quite sweet and honestly a little flat.

Smell - A little sweeter side to the traditional sour smell of Russian River beers. Some light cherry and perhaps some other fruits as well. Light lemon in the distance. Definitely a heavy oak flavor all-throughout.

Taste - Sour and tart on the front. I immediately notice the translation of light cherries from nose to mouth. A fairly heavy lemon zest throughout; while retaining a certain amount of sweet fruit.The power of the lemon, ethanol, and carbonation are perhaps a little to much and cause some sort of upset in my throat. I very oddly taste chocolate in my mouth after the finish.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - My initial response after my first drink was that this was a heavy-bodied beer. But it soon mellowed out to be pretty average-medium bodied. Sour and tart with a hint of sweetness. Heavy carbonation becomes clear upon my first drink. Slight sourness left on the lips. Nice to sip and enjoy. Ethanol is hidden quite well but stands out at times. I think I would prefer sanctification over this one.

Jesse13713, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of harrymattcody
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%

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 Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%

This pours out as a pretty nice wine like Amber Red color. The head vanishes quickly after the pour and just leaves a thing white film on top of the beer. The smell is super tart smelling, very acidic like vinegar. The taste is of sour cherry and stomach acid similar to a Geuze Lambic. The after taste leaves a dry mouthfeel in the back of your tongue. It makes you want another sip but since I'm not into this style too much it's almost unwanted. The mouthfeel is similar to a red wine in my opinion. It's an awesome beer for those who like the Wild Sour Ales but it's just not for me.

Knapp85, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of tewaris
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%

375 ml Batch III poured into a snifter. "Consecration is a dark Belgian style ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. Not only do we use Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, & Pediococcus, we also add currants to beer while it is aging in the barrels"

Appearance: Clear and deep rust brown with a small, dark, "soda" head that fizzed away rather early and left no lacing whatsoever. 3/5

Aroma: Fruity with strongest notes of cherries and some currants with warmth. But the aroma, in my opinion, was eclipsed by intense, one-dimensional sourness. Decidedly funky nonetheless. 3.5/5

Taste: A clean and intensely sour beer, with minor hints of the base beer. Unfortunate, in my opinion. Wood is felt, but mostly mouth puckering sour, and that's it. Well, the funk is unmistakable, but for a sour brownish ale, Supplication was definitely better. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Like its other brethren, medium bodied, yet quite clean with a long, oaky finish. 4.5/5

Overall, my least favorite among the bunch and only because the base beer, and fruit, seem to have lost to sourness & funk. Did too many cooks (bugs) ruin the broth? 3.5/5

tewaris, Jun 28, 2011
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,840 ratings.