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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

4,339 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,339
Reviews: 1,057
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,449
Gots: 1,418 | FT: 104
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,339 | Reviews: 1,057 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RyanCrawford
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of potion
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of humanawho
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - nice deep red color with a very active head of cream and good lacing but dies away quickly

S - lots of fruit aromas including currents, grapes and some strawberries there is also a woody component that balances the sweet aroma of the fruit

T - again a lot of fruit with currents and strawberries and blueberries with a great but light sour component and again some clean woody, leathery flavors

M - a little thin on the mouth and somewhat weak carbonation

D - amazing drinkablity with just the touch of sour and no way to tell its high in alcohol

Photo of Tdizzle
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3

A- Poured into a Bruery tulip glass, Consecration pours a clear, deep reddish-brown color. A flash of hissing off-white foam quickly dissolves to a bubbly ring along the inside of the glass, leaving no lacing behind.

S- Acidic tartness is backed by pronounced notes of oak barrel and red wine. The black currants impart a nice dark fruit character to the aroma and the high alcohol content yields a touch of heat. There's a slightly vegetal, earthy quality to the smell that I can't quite pin down.

T- The taste is intensely sour, though it's more of a citrus fruit sourness accented by vinegar. Notes of oak barrel and earthy red wine break through the puckering tartness right before a lightly dry finish leaves flavors of ripe dark fruits on the palate. The initial sourness is far more intense than Supplication or Temptation, but this sourness tapers off quicker as the backing flavors take over. The 10% ABV is well-hidden.

M- The feel is full-bodied with a good amount of active carbonation bubbles.

D- The flavor is sublime, but Consecration lays a bit heavier on the stomach than Russian River's other sours due to the 10% ABV, the highly acidic sourness, and the richer dark fruit element. Still, I was easily able to navigate my way through two large pours of this complex beer.

Photo of Adamdc
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #004x4. Bottled on 3/25/09. Drank on 6/22/10. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Deep ruby body with quickly dissipating head. Very active carbonation. No lacing whatsoever.

S: Very woody, bretty aroma---the funk here is very nice! There's a pervading dark fruit aroma that must be from the currants---seems like raisins and cherries. There's a slight vinegar aroma lingering also.

T: There's a lot going on here and it's changing with each sip. There's no doubt about the barrel-aging here---lots of oak. The brett (again) is very nice and raisins, dates, cherries, plums and even a touch of lemon. Through all this I'm even getting some of the yeast. No perceived alcohol whatsoever.

M: I would say that the mouthfeel is thin to medium. The beer actually coats the palate somewhat but I wouldn't say that it's 'thick' by any means. Just right for the style.

D: Well, at 10% abv I'm not perceiving any alcohol and the 'sourness' is by no means 'over the top' so put me down for a few more. Very drinkable!

I haven't had alot of sours so I'm no expert but this was a very enjoyable glass of beer. The science behind these sour ales really amazes me. Thanks RR!

Photo of GScow
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CoolJosh
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Catalyst. Sampled a murky rust colored red with not much in the way of carbonation. Some ruby red hues around the edges of the glass. Some minor viscous notes that was a bit of a surprise.

The nose comes out more as it warms. Some nice subtle notes that blended very nicely with every component. There was a light fruity note, that came across more like a tart cherry aroma than anything else. Some underlining citrus notes adds to that depth. Some lighter funk notes with some horse blanket and subtle almost bretty aromas. A mostly acidic but some underlining vinegar notes. Some yeast aromas, but overall just a really good mix of fruit, funk and sour.

The taste is amazing. I try to be more descript but this is really good. And it gets better as it warms. To start out there is a light malt taste upfront but is quickly replaced with a mix of a tart earthy cherry, like a bing cherry, and a sweet fig, currant taste. There is a nice acidic flavor that comes out nicely but balances really well. As it warms and as you palate adjusts to the sour, more funk and malt notes comes out. Some lighter chocolate and an almost Special B like malt flavor come out, but its just so subtle to the taste. Some funk notes come out too, with a light barn yard and spicy undertones. Some yeast notes as well. The sourness retains through the full taste and even as it warms. A mild sweetness in the finish that really enhances the fruitiness for a cleaner taste.

The body is closer to moderate than dry. Extremely clean for being so much on the ABV side. Carbonation is low but ok as it really lets all the different flavors come out. Just really impressed with the balance between fruit, funk and sourness. Overall a fantastic beer being so fresh

Photo of psiweaver
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich brown/golden color. A thin head that pours off white and is very thing. very light carbonation.

S: sour funky smell with lots of apple and citrus and a somewhat funky brown ale smell.

T: rich and complex with loads of sourness and a sharp finish that lingers on the tongue. Very delicious and great sour character.

M: rich and smooth in the mouth with some bite and sourness.

D: Great to sip and enjoy, not one you are going to be pounding down but all in all very delicious and complex.

Fantastic beer very delicious one of my favorite sours. I can't wait to try some of the other sours from Russian River.

Photo of rkarimi
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of hitter114
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: No head at all glowing amber mahogany in color
S: Fresh and a bit funky (funky fresh) cherry
T: Fantastic Cab, Cherry taste... 7/10 sourness
M: Nice and grippy but also refreshing
O: really liked it, very unique but to the point, very good bench mark for sours from russian river

Tried one after a little bit of age, much more of the current taste cherry falls in the background, as it warms you taste that base beer more, most definitely a good ager

Photo of Forplay678
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of guityler83
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

bottled 11/22/13
A: Poured half the bottle into a teku glass, the darker off white head built a finger tall and quickly fizzed out to a small ring on the edge of the glass. The beer is a dark crimson red to an almost purple color (like the label). Moderatly clear on the first half of the bottle with a constant flow of bubbles from the bottom.

S: Sharp acidic vinegar (for lack of a better description) aroma, similar to a red wine. Sweet blackberry and dark cherry notes mixed with subtle bready character. As it opens up, the sharpness of the sour character mellows out and it becomes very pleasant. Almost like a cherry/berry pie.

T: Big tartness, not super acidic or harsh; but crisp. The fruit flavors blend with the tartness naturally and bring out flavors of raspberries, blackberries, currents, and pomegranate. The bready, toasty malt character gives it the same pie character as in the aroma. No hop flavor or bitterness, and the oak flavor is just a side note to the complex flavors from the wild yeast in this beer.

M: A very dry finish with a low tannic astringancy. Carbonation is medium with a puckering sensation from the tartness.

O: Fantastically sippable and enjoyable beer. My first Russian River Sour and definitely not my last. Complex, very tart and a nice berry flavor through out.

Photo of cavemanlawyer
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap today at Saraveza in Portland.

While I will state up front that I prefer Supplication, having this on tap was a real treat. It is my #2 Russian River sour.

On the initial whiff, you get light sour cherry / , currant-sweetness . It is surprising how sweet it smells compared to the taste. You can detect hints of the funk and sour to come, but it takes a moment to develop. Nice and musty, complex, and very pleasant aroma.

My only complaint is that it is a bit effervescent, at least straight from the tap, which affects the mouth feel and taste just a bit. I found that by holding it in my mouth and swirling a bit, it really reduces tha carbonation and brings out the flavor.

It is impossible to tell this is 10% just by drinking it. No alcohol hits the palate whatsover. Amazing drinkability on this one.

Love this and all of the RR sours. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up...

Photo of oline73
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at Capone's during the Russian River event. Poured into a goblet. This was Batch 1.

Appearance: Pours an opaque reddish brown color with a layer of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Sour fruity vinegar with a hint of sweetness. I'd say it is very wine like.

Taste: Just like the smell, I'm picking up sour fruit and vinegar notes, but much smoother here than in the smell. I can taste oak, and red wine. All the flavors are in perfect balance. The finish is warm from the alcohol, very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly mild carbonation. The finish is dry and woody.

Overall: I haven't found a sour beer that I like better than this one. The flavors are so well balanced, and the alcohol isn't anywhere to be found. Very smooth.

Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Notes: 4/19/09
Russian River Brewing Co.
Consecration 2008 Batch #001X3
10% Abv.
750ml into NB Snifter

Appearance=Poured a big 2 finger head, which quickly dissipated. Redish, black beer with a lot of carbonation.

Smell= Awesome! Oak, Cab, green apples, yeast.

Taste= Awesome! Sour, yet not overpowering. Very, very tasty!

Mouthfeel= Thin side, good carbonation and a lively mouthfeel. Almost perfect...

Drinkability= High. Extremely good. Alcohol is hidden nicely. Taste is awesome. Nose is awesome. What more could you want?

Photo of Jemonster
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Red-brown color. Fine carbonation. Like a light root beer color and slightly opaque. No head to speak of. Attractive.

S: Sour as expected with a currant scent. For someone who hasn't has currants, it's a sweet plum/fig/raisin smell. Very pleasant. With the wood scent, it can even be compared to sweet baked beans.

T: A sour smack in the face right from the start, which is great, since I like sour beers. This beer is sour, followed by tartness, followed by more puckering sourness. The currants can be tasted right as the beer passes my lips, but that is all. The yeast/bacteria combination delivers a crazy funkiness that tastes like nothing else I've ever had. There is barely any sweetness. I can't believe this is 10% ABV because I don't detect ANY alcohol.

M: Crisp and bubbly. I was expecting it to be heavier but it is fairly clean due to the acidity as well.

D: I would like to say I could drink these all day, but the acidity would probably wear out my tongue. Since I only have the privilege to drink one, I can only assume.

Photo of rand
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From tap to tulip glass

Poured at Blind Lady Ale House, San Diego

This was my conversion sour years ago and I've lost my review, so I figured I quickly reassess my opinion of one of the most coveted beers out there. After going through a couple sips, I think I may have actually underrated the beer. Thinking about all the other sour beers out there, this one is just different...slightly sweeter, oakier, more complex.

A: Cola-like in color with a red hue, the small head leaves sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: The huge bouquet yields notes of of grapes and cherries, oak and raspberries. White pepper and a touch of booze are also notes. Yeasty funk lingers around the edges of the bouquet.

T: The brew has a lot if vino descriptors, which I suspect was the intention. Berries and citrusy acid at the front of palate. Jammy, tart, a little boozy, with drying oak and vinous aspects. Plenty of malty sweetness in this one, carrying through a long and a long and balanced finish.

M: Light and refreshing on the palate, with a little more viscosity than your average wild ale.

Photo of bifrostguard
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Deep burgundy in color with almost no head or lacing to speak of. The light that did make it through highlighted the deep red color and made it interesting to look at.

S - Currants, cherries, mild funk, wood and awesome. I had a good feeling after smelling this one.

T - Yeah. It's good. Not really a big fan of sours but I thought Consecration was the best of the style I have had. Not overly sour or sweet. Currants keep the flavor in check on the fruity side allowing me to be able to pick out vinegar, brown sugar and wood flavors as well. Some notes of tobacco, leather and wine are noted as well.

M - Much like a good wine. Medium bodied and only slightly drying.

D - Effing awesome at the bar. I gave this a perfect as it made me think twice about getting another Younger, but it ultimately lost. I will have this every chance I get.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I was in the Bay Area over Christmas last year, I drank about half a gallon of this delicious beer in the space of a week. While I've had it out of the bottle a couple of times since (batch 1), I haven't reviewed it , and this review is for a bottle from batch 2. Thank you, Scott.

In my RR -tion tulip, this beer is absolutely gorgeous. Brilliantly clear carmine with a large light brown head that recedes to a disk rather quickly. Truly beautiful

The nose is as beautiful as I remember it being. Deep and rich with balsamic vinegar, unsweetened chocolate, and fruit with currants and berries. Like an old estate library, the smell of leather is noticeable. In fact, this is like having a little pipe tobacco and having the aromas of a rich, red wine waft into your nostrils as you sit in that library. The wine character is beautifully expressed, with the tannins adding depth. The combination and sheer balance of the flavors is testament to Vinnie's genius

Opening up sour , quite intensely so with a combination of lemon and vinegar, it makes the palate pucker. Behind the initial wave of sourness is a strong vinous character, with the cabernet sauvignon (OK, red wine) carrying a blend of flavors with chocolate, berries and tobacco. The currants add some tartness and a bite to the mid palate. Mildly leathery and earthy before a long finish that's tart, mildly sweet and mildly tannic.

Deceptively light on the palate, this beer has a smooth, medium-light body with a fairly high level of carbonation. With a fantastic, complex finish, this beer is fabulous

While a little more acetic than I remember it being, this is still one immensely drinkable beer. The alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden, and I anticipate having no issues finishing this bottle.

**Edit 15 October 2010**
A little more than a year later, I'm revisiting this. While I've had it a couple of times since my review, I haven't taken notes since. Batch 1 again.

No real head or retention this time round, this beer is loud and fizzy. The nose seems to have faded a touch. While vinegary and vinous in a pleasing way, the fine balance seems to have been lost a little bit. Definitely oaky and woody, this isn't particularly funky, mostly just sour and again, with cocoa, leather and a little vanilla. The currants seem to be left as a sharp, fruity character here.
The palate opens moderately sour with a blend of vinegar and lactic acid with some lemon rind on the finish, this beer is pretty awesome. Beautiful mid-palate with cocoa, leather and oak, this beer is dry and moderately sour on the finish. The sourness is actually mostly fruity, almost making me think that it's from the currants, as it is neither overtly lemony, acetic or lactic, Vinous mid-palate, this beer really shines as it warms up. Initially too cold, it's starting to resemble what I remember it being, this is wonderfully structured. 4.5/4.5/4.5

**Edit 20 Aug 2011**
Batch 004x4, this is probably the third bottle I've had in about 9 months? The fruits are particularly noticeable on the nose, with a definite currant aroma. However, behind it, there's a rich, deep, complex nose, with earth and leather. Fruity, pulpy lemon pith with a pleasant oak character. Palate opens hugely sour with a prominent lime-like acidity with a touch of red wine vinegar. Mild booze, remarkably bright. Moderate currant flavor on the finish. Brown sugar, vanilla on the mid-palate. Nice structure and flavors here, Solid all-round 4.5/4/4

**Edit 21 April 2012**
Batch 005x2E, received from giant24. Thanks, Matt.
This batch appears to be a little more acetic and plenty more fruity than the other batches, making me think the barrels used for this blend were fresh and quite wet. This really does smell like a nice cab, fruity and leathery. A nice blend of lactic and lemony sourness here. Very nice. 4/4.5/4

**Edit 21 june 2013**
Batch 1 again.

Despite my earlier misgivings, this is doing spectacularly well. Bright citrus and lactic acidity with gorgeous vinous notes, and a modest funk, this is excellent. The balance to tobacco, leather , both on the nose and palate is excellent. Juicy, okay vinous notes are present and the finish is excellently citrus, something I haven't wholly found in recent Russian River sours. Highly recommended. 4.5/4.5/4.5

**Edit 06 Apr 2014**

My last bottle of batch 2. Thank you, Scott.

Such a joy. Preserved lemons, red wine, leather, fruity red wine and just plain fuxking delicious. Moderately tannic. A fucking masterpiece on the nose. The palate is similarly deep, complex and very well balanced. The lemony sourness is a characteristic that is diminishing in the newer Russian River sours, a change I'm not a huge fan of, but this vintage is a clean, crisp sour one with a nice blend of lactic and citric. Wonderful wine and fruity notes, very Much so. Awesome awesome stuff. 4.75/4.5/4.5

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: medium brown reddish color with a light creamy colored head unfiltered and full bodied look.
S: so many aromas...black licorice, raspberry, currant, Belgian like yeast, and the sourness comes in the back of the nose.
T: a sour raspberry cocoa blend a bit of nuttiness and like banana at the end.
M/D: crisp and dry like a fine wine never had that from a beer. All this blends together well and creates one very drinkable beer.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes to wisconsinality for sharing this bottle with us.

Poured into my tulip the beer is a rusty brownish red with minimal head. Tiny flecks of soapy lace cling for dear life around the glass.

The aroma is mostly tart cherries. The wood is very pronounced with a good dose of booze that heats up my nostrils. Not much funk for a wild. The barrels must negate it.

The flavor is mostly tart cherry with a bit more funk than the nose. The alcohol is present in every sip but not so much that it offends. It has a very nice balance of sweet and sour.

Medium body with light carbonation. A touch dry in the finish.

Overall a bit more of a boozy kick is felt with this one compared to the other RR wilds. Still super drinkable and tasty.

Photo of jminsc76
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Daily Pint. Most likely the fourth batch. I can't believe it has taken me this long to review what is currently my favorite beer, but, better late than never.

A decent amount of carbonation sitting atop a deep ruby body, almost brownish in tinge. Very sexy legs as I tilt the glass.

Some sour tannic goodness as far as the aromas are concerned, with a nice light whiff yielding a perfume-y sensuousness to the bouquet. I smell something else in there, a richness I can't quite identify.

Ah, so tart and spicy and lactic-acidy and cabernet-sauvignon-y. Not as smooth as some of the older batches, but this remains so enough to warrant plenty of accolades. The peppery flavors from the currants really stands out, as does the rich sourness.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, but with the strength of the tartness I can't hold it enough for a thorough swishing (yeah, call me a wuss, go ahead).

Overall, this fourth batch could use some age, BUT, GDit Consecration is Consecration. And it feels like Consecration: raising me up to the heavens on a 10% ABV. God's work continues to be done.

Photo of imblane
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of dwagner003
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer on tap, out of bottles fresh and out of bottles with 8-10 months of aging. On tap, which is the basis for this rating, it was one of the most enjoyable beers I've ever had the pleasure of smelling/drinking.

It's a deep reddish-brown color with almost no head. As it sits, there are absolutely no bubbles on top. The smell hits you immediately and it's just unreal. It smells sour, but there is so much more in there. Wonderfully warming oaky notes with some sweetness in the background. You can smell it from across the table.

The initial taste is that of tartness, but just wait a few seconds. Your palate is bathed with this sweetness that is perfectly subtle. The oak erupts and you can taste all those years that these barrels were filled with Cabernet. I don't taste the currants exactly, but I am sure they are contributing to the subtle sweetness.

If it wasn't for my preference towards sweeter Belgian tripels, the taste would be a 5 as well. I cannot imagine many better Wild Ales than this.

This was FAR superior to the bottled versions. I'd buy bottles again, but I will always order it if it's available on tap.

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 4,339 ratings.