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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 GarrettMD
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark red in color, 1 finger head at the pour but it is gone in an instant. Not even a lacing of bubbles in my glass.

S - Brett yeast is the predominant aroma. Not much else is coming through but the brett is so overpowering nothing should be able to come through. Smells exactly like Supplication, with a hint of currants in the background.

T - Once again, I haven't had many wild beers, so I can't place the tastes as well as most might be able to, but the sour flavor of the wild yeasts is predominant to me. Dark fruits, specifically the currant and some cherry which could be coming from the yeast.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation, both expected with this beer. Finish is dry and sour with some sweetness from the fruits.

D - Very drinkable, ABV doesn't seem like it's close to 10%. One of the most sour beers I have ever had, but still surprisingly easy to drink and go back for more.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002x3

Had a sample of this at Night of the Barrels and really liked it, so thanks to msulinski for sending me a bottle.

Pours a dark, red grape-skin color with an off-white head that slowly falls apart into a thin ring around the edges of the glass. Light lacing.

Grapes, vinegar and dark fruits make up the majority of the nose. Somewhat acidic with a light alcohol aroma. Little bit of funk.

The flavor consists of sharp, slightly acidic, tart red grapes, chewy currants, bits of raisin and vanilla. Some warming alcohol and woodiness from the barrels comes through a bit. Nice tartness mixed with a small amount of cherry and plum.

Mouthfeel is carbonated well, maybe a little more than I would like and leads to a little bit of foaminess. Warming alcohol and a bit of mouth puckering tartness.

Drinkability is pretty good. This is a big beer at 10% and with 1 year of cellaring it has some sharpness to it. Definitely a sipper, but decently complex and enjoyable to drink.

Overall, this is another winner from Russian River, but maybe not quite on par with Supplication. I remember the sample I had on tap being smoother and a bit fruitier, but that could be due to the fact that this bottle has been aging for about a year. All in all though, this is a tasty beer and one that I hope to have again in the future. Looking forward to trying more Russian River sours.

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

Dark caramel color with some red highlights when held to the light, a good inch of foam.

Brett and vinegar on the nose, sweet fruits like raisins, caramel malts, vine, a touch of alcohol, oak, some green apples, nectarine, currants, brown sugar. Quite complex. A slight herbal aroma too.

Big currant and grape flavor, leather, and oak. Quite tart and dry on the tongue. Lemon in the finish. A little better once it warms up. Some bitter citrus flavors in the end, a little nutty and toast in the aftertaste.

A bit thin in the middle, would benefit with some more malt dept.

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

A - A fluffy head with large bubbles fades quickly. Foggy crimson color with some darker highlights.

S - The aroma has all the complexity of a Belgian sour along with a decent malt nose. The cab sav and currants blend perfectly to add to the complexity.

T - Great interplay of sour and malt characteristics. Tart as a Rodenbach Grand Cru, but leaves you with a sweet aftertaste with still being dry somehow. Tartness and bubbly carbonation reminiscent of champagne. Subtle oak rounds out the flavor.

M/D - Dry and sticky. Fills out the mouth then washes it clean. Overall, an absolutely fantastic beer! Different aspects of this beer seem to contradict one another, but somehow combines to make one intricate beer.

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