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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: 4,841
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 1,627
Gots: 1,685 | 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: 4,841
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 humanawho
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
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

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Photo of Bubba83
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is good. It's not the most appealing color, sort of a murky brown cola color with hints of red. When held to the light it looks like dark cranberry juice. Head was quite lively on the pour into my snifter. I got about 4 finger widths somewhat on accident. I let it mellow down and it smoothed out into smaller bubbles, a thin rim hangs around, off white in color. Some trails of lacing here and there but usually dissolves off after some time.

The aroma is the highlight for me. Lots of dark fruits including cherries, raspberries, red grapes, and some balsamic vinegar. Plenty of depth here.

It's always weird having the first few sips of a new sour not knowing what to expect. I haven't had a sour in almost a year, so it really made my mouth pucker bigtime. After the initial shock wears off and the bubbles thin out a bit, it becomes a lot easier to enjoy. I actually thought I was going to give taste like a 3.5 until I became more used to it and the flavor profile started opening up beyond the sourness/acidity.

Beginning of the sip tastes like grape juice, sweet and fairly wet, then quickly turns into cranberry followed by cherries and raspberries. The acidity follows, stemming from the cranberries and finally hitting a background chocolate note that is behind balsamic vinegar. This part of the sip takes the most getting used to for this Flanders Reddish type of style. Finishes up dry and sour with some red wine tones.

Drinks well for 10%, can't taste the alcohol, too much else going on. Doesn't really warm on the way down either. It's very sour though so it demands drinking it pretty slow. Really enjoyable though to sip on all night. The warmer it gets and the more acclimated your tongue gets, the more enjoyable it becomes.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at R.R. I've never given out a perfect score till now!

A: A great cross between a wine and a beer. It's a ruby red like a Cab but has the transparency of a beer. No head

S: Tart cherries, oak and Wine. I thought it was just oak-aged but the brewery says aged in Cabrenet barrels. You can tell and I loved it!

T: From the first sip I feel in love with this beer. The tartness of the cherries reminds me of the Belgian Red from N.G. but that's where it ends. Then it transitions to an interesting wild ale taste that totally works. I get a lot of wine sharpness in the finish and man it's fantastic!

The mouthfeel and drinkability speak for themselves. I would happily drink these till I couldn't see anymore and damn near did! This was there best beer in my opinion! Other than the price there is nothinhg wrong with this beer in my opinion! One of the best beers (better than Abyss and KBS) I've ever had!

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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 mykie73
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at Saraveza.

EDIT: this was for batch 1; batch 2 and 3 are much better.

A dark reddish brown with no lacing. See-through, can not tell if there is a lot of carbonation from looking at glass.

S lots of tart cherries, wine funk and oak notes.

T Delicious. wine, citrus, and oak is present. very tart at first and then sour on finish. quite enjoyable.

M) Feels great can't complain on the feel of it. Consistent to what a sour should be. Sourness/puckering feeling is enjoyable.

D) I could drink a lot of this but due to how pricey it is I think I'll invest in bottling other sours. Glad I got a few bottles but glad I did not purchase an entire case. It will be very interesting to see how this one ages. A bit over hyped but quite delicious and an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of jgap
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Henry for bringing this to our tasting. Pours a toffee brown with little head that quickly becomes a pleasant lacing. Smell is sophisticated currants and sour notes with brett. Taste is sticky fruit, woody oak, white grapes, and plumb. There are also deep sour currants. Finish is long and dry with a lingering sour and maybe even a little salt. Well blended brew. Very good.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The latest from Russian River showed up in Portland this week; as far as I know, Saraveza was the first to tap their 1/6 barrel. Got an 8 oz. pour (into a regal PBR goblet!) this evening after work..."only" $5!

A: Arrives at the table a still-looking ruddy brown, a barely sudsy ring of white clinging around the edges. I suspect there's etching in the glass causing this effect, but a surprisingly cool/mesmerizing swirl in the gauzy head forms a 'cloverleaf' shape to appear. Lace is creamy, but too slippery to stick for more than a couple seconds, leaving a scattershot array of speckles.

S: Has a familiar 'funky' tartness, but doesn't strike mme as terribly strong. Vinous fruit (vaguely 'grape' or crab apple), light oak, citrus rind and fleeting candy sweetness. A light vinegar, sweet and malty, makes me ponder what Consecration would be like over fish & chips.

T: Woody tang covers a notably tart fruit, the tannic currant represents well. Has an earthen berry flavor throughout, a musty fruit punch. A little cider like, akin to apple mash, with a twist of zesty citrus: lime? As it warms, becomes a bit sweeter: doughy malt and a pinch of brown sugar.

M: Luscious medium-full thickness. Not as acidic as it could be, but has a modest enamel-scraping potency. Curls the tongue and seems to linger in odd places, between the cheek and gums in particular. Low alcohol warmth, pretty smooth for the style.

D: Not gonna say this is the greatest thing I've ever had, but it's tasty. Damn tasty. Surprisingly easy to drink, with a nice level of tart/sweet 'refreshment'. Complex enough to sit and savor, enjoyable enough to have another, even two (if it weren't 10%). Glad to have tried this on draught, will age a bottle or two to see what develops.

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Photo of tjthresh
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Bobby91w at the Sexual Chocolate 09 release party. Pours dark red-brown with not much head to speak of. Really nice nose of oak, and dark berries. Huge tannins sour bomb. Nice fruit flavor. Med syrup body. Dry finish. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.58/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

8 oz pour served on tap in a chalice at Saraveza.

Not much to look at. Barely any bubbles at all, let alone head. Dark reddish amber, almost brown see-through body. Zero lacing.

Things get more interesting right away with the first sniff. Massive tart/sour fruit- cherry, fermenting wine- and vinegar smells up front. Once it warms up, small hints of other aromas appear: oak, some sweetness and a teaser of the brett to come. Quite interesting.

In the mouth, the sour flavors once again dominate at first, but things develop quickly as the beer warms up. Some of these things are more pleasant than others. Sour cherryish flavors on the edges of the tongue, overwhelming nasty brett funkiness up the middle as I swallow (I have cultivated an appreciation for milder funkiness that complements the other flavors in a beer, but the brett is simply too strong here for my taste). Hints of sweet currant and oak all around. Sour lingering aftertaste. The brett basically ruins this beer for me.

The moderate-light carbonation is certainly more than I would have thought based on the looks of it. Really makes all that sourness tingle all over the tongue. Dry and sour finish leaves me wanting a sip of water after every swallow. Probably would have rated the feel a lot higher if the brett didn't linger all over the palate threatening to activate my gag reflex.

Drinkability is not good. I like the sourness, but the overpowering brett nastiness severely limits extended enjoyment for me.

Overall impression: Definitely doesn't live up to the hype for me. Hopefully the Supplication and Temptation I recently traded for are better. This much brett has no place in beer! (at least not the beer going into this mouth)

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Grabbed some bottles of this from my local supplier La Bodega. Thanks for carrying some sweet stuff in a beer wasteland such as Riverside.

Poured into my Russian River Barrel aged snifter. Pours a nice looking dark brown with a thick tan head that dissapated to about 1/4" and stayed there. Not alot of sticky lacing though.

Smells of alot of bret funk with tart cherries and some oak. Smells like this is gunna be awesome.

Taste is wonderful hands down best sour I have had so far. You can really taste the wine notes from the barrels and the oak and bret mixed with the malts is sublime. Wonderful

Mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. Couldn't ask for more.

Drinkability is high and usually I can't drink that many sours in a row but I could drink the entire 750 by myself but I'm being nice and sharing it with a buddy. Glad I bought a couple.

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Photo of kleffman
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First had this beer in Santa Rosa when I left a bar I was in telling my girlfriend I "had to go to the bathroom" but I really went down the street to Russian River. Incredible decision making.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with little head. Aromas of sour fruit, woody tannins and wine characters blend well with dark sour fruit flavors, oak and red wine. A drying, tart finish full of wonderfully balanced flavors rounds it out very well. High drinkability for a beer that is 10% alcohol. You would never know it. I could drink an awful lot of this beer, and thankfully have had it 3 times now. Fantastic.

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

Huge thanks to swnicholson for the chance to try this gem. Poured into a tulip. Pours a murky brown with a very active, but thin head. Smell is of ripe fruits- I get prunes, rasberry, and the like. Some sugary alcohol and vinegar as well. Taste is not as sour as I had imagined. Really smooth flavor, actually. Again, some dark fruits, and smooth rich wine flavor. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Some active carbonation in the mouth, but overall very smooth and rich. Not my fave RR, but very good.

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Photo of Sandstone
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Russian River homerun.

Having long been a lover of sours, I couldn't have been more excited to try this beer. Thankfully my girlfriend indulged me and we made the pilgrimage up to Toronado's for Russian River TION night.

The first sip of this beer, I knew I was in for something special. I've had beers that tried to toe the line between beer and wine before (Craftsman's Cabernale... I'm looking at you) but never have I had one that did it this successfully.

I took a sip and handed it to my girlfriend, the wine snob to my beer geek, and waited for her verdict.

"Wow, this is really good."

"Yeah, I know!"

Trying to describe this beer, it is just so difficult to do it justice. The flavors are many and layered. Probably one of the most complex beers I've ever had.

My attempt: Notes of black currant, sour cherry, oak, all with a perfect touch of acid and funk that compliments the beer, rather than defines it.

This is going to be a tough beer to find, but trust me, the search will be worth it. This is one of those breakthrough beers that really pushes a new style to the forefront.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River. A silly bar pour leaves the beer nearly spilling out of the glass. No head. The beer is a dark, dark reddish purple.

The nose is of tart raspberries and plums with a touch of vinegar. The currants work very nicely in the beer. This is reminiscent of the Toronado 20th. There are faint alcohol notes, but it relatively well hidden for 10%. Much like the aroma, the flavor is of ripe, tart raspberries and those delicious currants again. There is a nice medium level of sourness to Consecration. The finish is dry and slightly puckering, with just a touch of alcohol.

This is a medium-full bodied sour with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is vinous. This is the closest thing I've had to Toronado. I'd love to do a side by side comparison of the two. The alcohol is well hidden, which leads to a damn drinkable strong sour. I'm glad I stocked up on this.

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Photo of session1979
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this back at GABF so I decided to crack a bottle of this as a Valentines gift to myself. Offered some to the wifey but she isn't a big fan of sours.

A: After the CO2 bomb settled it poured a beautiful dark red with a bubbly light red colored head.

S: Smell was funky, sour, tanic and full of a sweet acidity. Very appealing, so much so that it was hard to let it warm for more than a few minutes before taking the first sip.

T: Big cherry fruit sourness hits the edges of your tongue. Then sweet notes follow and tame it ever so much. The finish was soooo long and dry and the taste turned to grape skins. One of the best finishes I have ever experienced.

M: Light body due to the massive carbonation. As it should be for this style.

D: Very, VERY drinkable. I shared it with two others but could easily enjoy the bottle all to myself despite the high ABV.

Overall: I have loved each of the RR sours for what they offer and amazingly they are all different. This one is a welcome introduction into the world of dark sours and I absolutely loved it. An ace.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- A malted straw color, with a minimal head that disipates very quickly because of the high acidity of this brew!

s- Like saltwater taffey, which sounds weird, maybe it is because i was staring at some when i was smelling it (at verdugo bar, ca). very very weird and cool smell. insane funk, and barnyard!

T- Lemon grass, citrus (beyond lemon...like afterthought of grapefruit)...and maybe even a little cranberry tart to it as well. so deep. it lingers like nobodys mom.

M- tangy, medium bodied, full of flavor, and as mentioned before, lingering! Very acidic and leaves a buttery film on your teef.

D- I could drink this all day, except for the fact that it will give you a headache from the acid...or at least me haha.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 750ml corked and caged bottle, batch 001x4, into a Russian River 'Tion tulip. Pours a beautifully clear chestnut amber with crimson highlights. Incredible color on this stuff, especially when held to the light. The head rises high but is short lived, receding to a ring rather quickly.

Smell: Vinous and chocolatey, big fruit overtones and woody tannins. Restrained funkiness; rather clean actually. Hints of spiciness and alcohol. A touch of raspberry and vanilla sweetness appears at warmer temperatures.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tart fruitiness quickly followed by woody tannins, earth and dry red wine. Hints of chocolate and caramel are present beneath it all, the last remnants of Salvation, perhaps? This all leads into a tart, dry and juicy finish with a blast of black currant. Consecration has nailed the beer/wine hybrid more than any other Russian River beer. While it's good stuff, I do find it a bit overwhelming. 9 times out of 10 I'd rather drink Supplication or Temptation.

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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 JWD
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked these up on the Consecration/ PTY release day.

A- Outstanding ruby reddish dark brown color with a frothy tan head on it.

S- i think i am wine tasting, very strong red wine hint here, little funky and definently going to make you pucker!!

T- Great, I have had all but the ultra rare RR sours and this is my favorite right there with beatifacation, This offering bring so much more to the table, Starts sweet fruit wine and leaves you sour and dry, tons of changes here.

M- High carb and all else it what is to be expected.

D- Love it, i could have 2 750s easy, great sipper that improve as it warms.

Overall, great RR offering that i will be stocked up on for a while if i can resist the temptation to drink, so far i am not doing good and at $25 a bottle i cannot afford any more!!

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Photo of m1ked
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked a bottle from South Bay Drug....top notch spot.

A- A near gusher once uncorked. Pours with the appearance of coke-a-cola with a monster 2 inch tan foamy head that hangs around for a while. No lacing observed. Small tan ring left behind. When held up to the light, a clear rusty garnet color. A couple lone streamers noted.

S- The obvious upfront vinegary sour tang with an appreciable presence of sour fruit and raspberries. Subtle woodiness, cinnamon. Mmm smells yum.

T- Once again....Tangy vinegar, sour cherry raspberry...I guess that must be the currants. Sour apple, with longstanding tangy sour. Subtle wood that gives off some phenolic hints.

M- Smooth mild body with great carbonation that continues to bubble until it is all gone. Leaves your mouth dry but your salivary glands working overtime.

D- Another great tasting sour from RR. You have to be able to appreciate sours to appreciate this excellant sour. I have only recently started venturing into the wonderful world of sours. I am glad to have had this opportunity.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chimay chalice at Hollingshead's Deli.

There is nothing glamorous about this beer's appearance. It's murky maroon'ish brown looking but there's nothing really off putting about it either, hence it's fine. What my nose and tongue pick up is a very sour cherry-like presence. This is followed by a dry tannic finish, very woody. The high alcohol is not really noticeable and the mouthfeel is a pretty light consistency. This beer is so easy to drink it's dangerous at 10%.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River. Pours dark, but not cloudy, just shimmering and purple to deep red. Almost no head, just a ring of light purple bubbles. Smells of tart cherries, red wine esters, alcohol. Nose is rich and inviting. Taste is supremely delicious. Sour, wine-like fruit flavor...lots of tart cherries, lip smackin'! Chocolate malt lingers beneath, but the feature is the big sourness that's just everywhere. I also get some currants and raspberries in there too. Sourness doesn't decrease much as i drink more, which i've found to be the case with other sours, it just sticks around and makes every sip a great and interesting experience. Drinks like a dream...a fantastic and memorable beer.

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


Pours a clean amberish brown that glistens with a wicked orange tint when held to light. Tight frothy white head belies the brew's color.

Smell is heavy on the funk, acidic fruit, and oak. The taste is just heavenly. So smooth, so dangerously drinkable. Crazy oak, just the right amount of funk, a definite acidic sourness that's offset by the light sweet notes of barely-ripe-currants and vinegary citrus. There's a real vinous/wine undercurrent that provides an interesting base. Touching off the wine base is a cherry/raspberry (is that what currants taste like?) bite.

Just fantastic. Great champagne-esque bubbly mouthfeel. Russian River has hit the perfect blend of sour and sweet fruit.

**As I continue to drink this, the theme of this beer is "balance." Just perfectly in harmony.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml, corked and caged bottle, batch 1. Consumed 02/06/2009 at the city beer store PTY release. Thanks for sharing, madorb.

Dark raspberry rust with a nice off-white head of clingy foam that lasts and provides the viewer with legs and sheets of lace.

The aromas is somewhat similar to the toronado 20th, however, this is sharper with a definite big fruit nose up front from the currant. Also, the acidity is cleaner and less muddled than the 20th.

The taste is BIG and sour. When I found out that this was 10%abv, I was honestly shocked, as this drinks like a thirt quencher. The flavors are of big fruit, oak, and brett funk with a lovely mid palatte biscuit malt punch, and the faintest dead green dry hop in the background. This drinks like heavenly juice.

The mouthfeelis like lightly carbonated wine, when swished in the mouth extra carbonation is released smoothly hitting every single taste bud in your mouth, and making those buds sing with the joyous flavors of this nectar.

Drinkability is perfect. I can and will drink this one all day, thank god this is a somehwat bigger batch than we usually get for these RR wild ale releases. A few choice Bay Area retailers got up to 20 cases of this stuff, and even though the brewpub itself is almost sold out, there will be a second batch released in a few months....Also, this will be on tap at the Toronado on Tuesday night, and kegs may find their way to other sleect draft account in the bay area as well.

Another masterwork from Vinnie and Co.

Na Zdrowie.

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