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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,088 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,088
Hads: 4,799
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 20.18%
Wants: 1,609
Gots: 1,661 | 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
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Reviews: 1,088 | Hads: 4,799
Photo of craytonic
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a ruby-raisin with blood-amber highlights that grows darker towards the bottom of the bottle. Almost a gusher, huge head.

Smell: A definite tartness with raisins, dates, plums, prunes and lots of berries (blackberry, raspberry) and some black currants. Very jammy. The dark berries are the most dominant part. Also a wine cabernet sauvignon element with some oak undertones that gives off noticeable tannins.

Taste: The acidity hits with a serious punch, more so than any other sour I have had*. My tongue still feels the scorch of citric acid the next day. This is a very, very sour beer. The dark berries dominate (blackberry, raspberry) along with raisins, dark sour cherries, dates, plums, prunes, and black currants. The wine element is here as well, definitely cabernet sauvignon / merlot with oaky undertones and tannins. There is absolutely no vinegar element to this beer, and little funk to speak of - though I wish there was some of both. A bit of balsamic vinegar.

Mouthfeel: Light with a champagne-like carbonation.

This is a very good beer, but there is something holding it back from greatness.

Drinkability: The extreme sour does a good job balancing out the high level of dark fruits; I was shocked to see it is 10% as I felt it but didn't taste it.

*NB: Had the newest batch on 4/7/2011, either they grow much more sour with age or the newer bottles are much less sour and flavorful/bold.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's on 3/29/09.

A - Clear cola-colored, purple tinted body with one-finger off-white head that retained like a champ for quite a while, then reduced to a thin veil.

S - Nose suggests sour grapes, funky Brett notes, oak tannins, and an astringent, magic marker-esque aspect. Not as over-the-top as I was expecting.

T - Flavor is wine-like, with plenty of oaky/woody notes. While there is no noticeable hop presence, there is tons of funky Brett flavor and sour fruit notes.

M - Medium body with a dry mouthfeel and finish. Warm and slightly astringent on the palate with a mild alcohol sting.

D - Quite drinkable for one of the most coveted American-made sour ales in beer-lure. While this is a Brett-head's dream, I actually found it to be not as harsh as I was anticipating. Really glad to have had the opportunity to get this on tap outside of Cali.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 004x2

Poured a deep garnet with a quick, frothy head that fizzled in mere moments.

Smells of some dark berry juice, lemon spritzer and some fusel alcohol.

Immediate pucker inducing lemon tartness with big juicy berry (having never had a currant, I'll have to assume that is what it is). Quick burst of effervescent fizz that delivers the berry wallop. The tartness and berry break down leaving some soggy wood that is a bit unpleasant.

Overall this is a wonderful wild but I am still becoming familiar with the style. I'm not sure what is up with the finish but the rest of the beer is solid.

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Photo of FreightTrain
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours dark brown with a big, fizzy, tan head made up of large bubbles.

S- Delicious dark fruit, the currants are really noticeable. Tartness for sure. Grape as well, a definite wine smell.

T- Quite sour and lots of fruit at the beginning. Really delicious on the finish: the cabernet and brett meld to form a wonderful buttery tart taste.

M- Excellent soft mouthfeel with spritzy carbonation.

D- Drinkability is inhibited by the intensity of the acidity, which is really accentuated by the tartness of the currants. Of course its delicious, although not my favorite RR beer, but difficult to drink a whole bottle in one sitting.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear brown beer, short live head. Not much in the way of head retention or lacing.

Love the smell, must be currents eh?

Well its sour, hah. Not over powering though. Fruity...again currents?

Good mouthfeel, lotsa carbonation in the mouth!

Still having trouble putting sour reviews into words. I know I like em though! Very clean tasting. Yes!

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Photo of fatmusic14
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Its days like this that I wish I had a tulip glass.

Pours like a shaded version of burnt sienna. Head generated quickly resembles that of a Soda, and disappears just as fast. Zero Lacing

Smell blasts scents of pine and berries. Smells like a Spring morning.

Tastes tart, but no overpowering - with a really hard to define flavor profile (sour, bitter, hint of sweet). Aftertaste leaves something to be desired. Mouthfeel lacking.

Very good beer.

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Photo of tjkinate
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second Wild Ale, first being RR Sanctification, I enjoyed this brew more.

A: Small, bubbly head with little retention. Audible carbonation rose from this transparent redish brown body.

S: Sourness, cider, cherries, oak barrel notes, and that unmistakable funk.

T: Sourness dominates, variety of fruit flavors present. Oak and vanilla become more apparent as the brew warms, definitely a sipper.

M: Medium bodied, great carbonation, coats mouth thoroughly.

O: Better than my first Wild Ale, but I'm starting to think Wild Ale's aren't my thing.

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Photo of Randalld
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Rusty copper brown. Little pieces of sediment swirling around the glass. Tiny head that disspates quicky. Complex and interesting to look at honestly.

S-Vinegar, oak, sour apples, tart cherries.

T-Immediately sour, tangy, and out right funky. In a good way of course. Vinegar and sour apples show up again in the taste Along with some tart cherries and currants.

M-Medium mouthfeel with expected carbonation for the style, i think. carbonation is tingly and has a little sting to it. the finish is bitter and dry. I found it to be very refreshing.

D-I've only had a handfull of wild ales but this one i enjoyed the most. I could drink this all summer long if i had the access. I wish RR would put these in sixers and ship them over to the third coast.

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Photo of vacax
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 001x4. 750 mL bottle, cage and mushroom cork presentation. Dark brown with blood red highlights in color with a restrained creamy tan head. The head is an anomaly for a sour in my experience, which usually seem to be paltry or enormous, but this one just sits and retention is rock-like in longevity.

Aroma is tart with red and dark fruit - currants, cherries, prunes. An almost candy-like sweetness is there as well, along with wild critters providing some lacto, pedio notes plus a spot of musty funk to round it out. Taste has a nice fruit and malt sweetness with currants and some tart cherry coming out of the woodworks. In congruence with the sweet cherry pie is a load of pedio driven sourness that peaks on the midpalate. A slight funk has accented the dark fruits in this after being cellared a year, reminding me of a new world tip of the hat to old world Flemish red style ales. Tart fruit and earthy finish. Feel is medium with a very delicate and luscious carbonation that again reminds me of some greats such as Rodenbach Grand Cru.

What have I learned here tonight? Like all the other Russian River sours, this one just gets better with age. I have never been a big of a fan of Consecration as most beer geeks have seemed to be, but after tasting this batch 1 some time later I think I may be converted. Really tasty, recommended for cellaring.

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Photo of Luk13
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Fred82. Merci Fred! (batch 4x2) Brownish red pour with a ring of white foam around my tulip. Aroma is actually quite mild for the style, currants, subtle (winey) oak and sour aromas. Taste is this beer's strength, a well balanced mixture of sweet fruity flavors of the currants and the lemony tartness. Some oak flavor as well but nothing overpowering. Palate is smooth with a nice dry tart finish, I can also get a bit of alcohol heat, which I understand now that I've seen this beer's ABV. Not something I'm used to for the style but quite interesting.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft, poured into a wine glass.

Appearance: ruby brown and clear, with a light tan head that fades quickly to a thin veil. Very small bubbles; spritzy. I know you can't judge a book by its cover, but this is a beer, and from this beer's appearance, I knew it would be good.

Aroma: stone fruit and sour.

Taste: nice and sour. Tart, but not mouth puckering so. Tartness is upfront, which fades to a dry finish at which point the Brett funk arrives. The Brett funk is subdued. I can't detect any of the currants. The beer is wonderfully smooth for being 10% ABV. No alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel: light-medium.

Overall: this is probably the highest rated beer I've tried. Honestly, I think this beer is overhyped. It is good - very good - but not deserving a BA score of 4.5/5.0. Of the sours I've tried recently, I prefer (in order) Crooked Stave Sentience, Trinity Red Swingline and Boulevard Love Child #3 (cellared 1 year).

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours a dark clear ruby red with a head that quickly disappears, and no lacing.

Smell – Cabernet, oak, and a hint of sourness.

Taste – Sour, oakey cabernet. A little too much sour to properly complement the cabernet, in my opinion.

Mouthfeel – Tart, very lightly carbonated. I’m surprised this is 10% abv. Left a sour aftertaste.

Drinkability – An all around decent sour, but I drank it next to a Cuvee des Jacobins, which a lot of other reviewers did, and I think that was better side by side.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004x4

The cork pops and dispenses an auburn liquid into my duvel tulip.

Black cherry, cola, damp earth, sweet oak, and sour acidity.

Dark cherry cola kicks things off, then a wave of cigar box, leather and malic acid reminscent of granny smith apples. Oak and a puckering tartness linger on the palate.

This one of those rare sours that displays a substantial level of sourness while still retaining a great deal of complexity. It doesn't just taste like cider vinegar, their is a lot going on here.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into my Liefman's Goudenband glass, head quickly dwindles tan head forms thick but fleets me. The carbonation never quits moving, leading me to believe that this beer is still alive. Aromatics are so deep with vinous tones in this case it seems to be currants added to the mix for the super fruitiness. Batch # 004X3 weird stuff that keeps giving off a wonderful nose. Hints of sherry vinaigrette blowing off the rapid bubbling head, mild cider notes with wild funky tones that could only be dreamt about if your not drinking this wild ale...horse blanket barnyard doesn't even do it justice. Flavor hits you with a blast of oak with tart fruits galore seems like currants are the victim once again. This beer dares you to keep drinking it make sure your immune system is up to par it hit's with a very acidic tartness that's probably not healthy for your digestive tract unless your consuming this regularly. If Vinnie just all about vomit acid inducing sour ales I've gone too far, but so far his Damnation was the best American brewed Belgian anything that I've tried thus far. I guess it's a question of do you really like sours? I do...it's so different from your average brew out there this wild fermentation really peaks my interest even if it ends in a sour vinegar lactic pedio WTF?

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 006. Poured from a slightly chilled bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Very dark ruby-amber pour with low carbonation for a bottle conditioned beer. The head is thin and dissipates quickly. The nose is sharp with tart dark fruit notes like cherries and currants. There is also a grapey, wine-like tone to it.

The beer has a medium body, firm mouthfeel, and a strong sour character. Cherry and currant flavors provide a fleeting sweetness and are quickly overtaken by intense sour oaky flavors. The beer finishes dry and acidic, just like a wine, and leaves you salivating for another sip.

Like all of their sours, this gem from RR is worth seeking out. As good as it is, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Supplication, which for my palate has a nearly perfect balance between sweet and sour. This beer is probably more for fans of intensely sour beers.

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Photo of TKEAnimal
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first sour I have tasted and I was surprised with the taste. I bought this beer with huge expectations and I was not disappointed. When I poured into my glass it was a dark brown color with a very thin head, which I was not expecting. Since it is a sour I was expecting a lighter color, because I was picturing a lemon shot or something.

When I smelled this beer it smelled like a floral bouquet. I kept telling my wife to smell it because it smelled so good.

Then when I drank it felt like I was drinking wine and not beer. So I tried it again and I was shocked that this is called a beer.

Overall this is a good beer that s very drinkable even though it is at 10% ABV. If you have friends that are wine drinkers you need to have them try this, they will love it.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/4/10

Batch 002x1

Pours a murky shade of brown; it kind of looks like pond water. Once settled in the glass it's more of a ruby hue, similar to grape juice. I was able to get 1/4th inch of loose, bubbly foam. The head dissipated rapidly, eventually leaving a thin collar. No lace at all nor head retention by the end.

Smells plenty sour & very acidic; certainly lactic. Vinous aroma of Cabernet Sauvignon bleed & the currants. To that end there's a musty oak note, as well. A decent Brett funk is buried in the back. Mild overtones of alcohol heat. Warmth brings out the grimier, funky aromas.

A puckering, sour kick is the first flavor to drop; bleeding down the peripheries whilst a dirty, barnyard funk fills in the center. The funk & musty oak barrel flavors become more appreciable with warmth. Dark fruit ester overtones. It's pretty dry, especially toward the finish. The sourness does mellow a tad over time, though not by much.

Basically full bodied; maybe slightly toward toward medium on the overall spectrum. Carbonation is moderate; it's enough to keep things moving without overpowering the sourness. Musty oak & a slow, dry finish. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Drinkability is quite good; definitely an enjoyable sour. I like the progression as it warms with the emergence of more prominent funk notes. I like Supplication a little better, but I wouldn't have any qualms revisiting this one.

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Photo of Aenema
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4
Appearance - Pours a clear, dark cherry color. No head or lacing.
Smell - Lots of grape and funk.
Taste - Deep tart grape/currant flavor. Intense sourness, lacks some complexity.
Mouthfeel - Light medium-bodied with carbonation on the low end to perhaps medium. Fine bubbles. Very dry.
Drinkability - Quite drinkable and refreshing.
Overall - A very enjoyable sour, though I felt that this one could probably use some time in the bottle and the vinous notes were rather disappointing. I found Supplication to be markedly better,
though I'd like to try this one again with more patience and allow it to warm more (served at cellar temperature; did notice it improved as it warmed beyond that).

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Photo of emmasdad
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Ken for bringing this one to a recent tasting. Poured a clear copper color, topped with a light white head. Aromas of funk, plums, currants, and vinegar. On the palate, this one was light to medium bodied and tart, with flavors of red wine vinegar, currents and wine.

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Photo of sevopie
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Murky reddish-brown with a thick tan head.

Smell - Currant, vinegar, slight oak, a touch of brown sugar, and a bit of apricot or pear.

Taste - Very tart fruit flavors, namely the currants and apples with a bit of the apricot/pear again. Vinegary a bit, but all of it hides the alcohol fairly well. Very, very dry/astringent on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Thick and dry, a thin but plentiful carbonation.

Drinkability - I'm not a huge sour fan, but I had to try this one. Definitely a pleasant beer, though the tart can be a bit overwhelming at times. If it wasn't $20 a bottle I would probably revisit this.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brand new Russian River sour, and one that's high in alcohol. Had some on-tap at Verdugo Bar in Los Angeles. On to the beer:

Poured into a tulip, Consecration is a dark red-violet beer with little head retention, leaving no lacing on the glass, but the latter wasn't expected from much. The aroma is a beautiful thing. Sweet vinegar, akin to what you'd find in ketchup or barbecue sauce. Pickel juice. Notes of oak and barrel. Slight underlying sweetness underneath it.

My first impression of the taste was it was very intensely acidic upfront. But what sour isn't acidic? Bits of tartness show through, as do assorted, overripened fruits. There's a long lasting, pleasant aftertaste of vinegar on the palate. The high alcohol presents a faint, but noticable boozy aspect with a sharp pinch towards at the back of the line.

A good sour, but I'm not as big of a fan as everyone else seems to be. But I have had heard several accounts say the bottled version is ten times better than the draft version I sampled Maybe I need to sample the bottle someday for its optimal performance.

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Photo of JBogan
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Euel for picking this up while in Cali.

Pours a beautiful dark reddish color with a small tan head. The head soon turns into a thin film which leaves little if any lacing.

The aroma soon fills the air with a mix of musty currants and cherries. The oak also makes it's presence known. A very inviting bouquet to be sure.

Taste follows the smell very closely, however the mustiness somewhat dulls the sharpness of the aroma. Nicely balanced, but not nearly as tart/sour as I had expected. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

The mouthfeel was somewhat on the thin side, with minimal carbonation. Not the most exciting presence, but acceptable for a beer of this style.

This was one of the more enjoyable sour beers I've had in a while. The oak aging really makes this beer what it is. Worth a try if you can find it at a good price.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa way darker than I thought it would be... a ruddy cherrywood brown color with moderate tan head. I guess it makes sense since this is a kriek-esque brew, but it just surprised me. Smell is tart with some cherries, a bit of funk, some leather. Taste follows suit, a bit tart, but not as tart as some other RRs I've had, with nice cherry flavor that flirts with medicinal flavors (not overpowering thank God). Decent malt to it, a bit of an oak touch on the finish as well. MF was medium-light, dry finish, about normal for a sour. I was pretty surprised that this one was 10%, pretty easy drink. Worth a try, but at $17 a bottle, I find it hard to justify when I can get other fruit lambics that are almost just as good (or just as good) for half the price. Rose de Gambrinus, for example, (I know it's raspberries and not cherries) is every bit as good as this guy, in my opinion.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 06/19/2010
Batch: 03x2
Type: 750ml. Bottle
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a ruby red in color, w/ no head, only a few bubbles on the outer edge, that left no lacing. The nose was of tart cherries, currants, funk, spices, and oak. Taste was amazingly tart, w/ notes of sour cherries, black currants, and oak. Mouthfeel was thin, but lush due to great carbonation. Drinkability was tremendous as most wild ales are.

Nice movie beer that I will most likely be drinking again very soon.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.