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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,000 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,000
Reviews: 1,043
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,382
Gots: 1,261 | FT: 88
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,000 | Reviews: 1,043 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nkersten
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle batch 004x02 poured into Oerbier tulip. A hazy dried blood redish brown with an off white fizzy head that disappears quickly. Not an attractive beer. Smell is sour fruit, cherry pits, sugary sour candy, a hint of wine oakiness and funk. Taste is not nearly as complex as the smell - sour grapes at first, followed by a hint of alcohol and some wet oak. Mouthfeel is puckering at first, light body with prickly carbonation and a dry finish. Pretty drinkable, though not the best batch of consecration I have had.

nkersten, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of boomer31
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Loved batch 2 but didn't review it. Review taken from batch 4

A - Transparent ruby red with a white ring around the glass.

S - That funk nose of brett and slight vinegar.

T - Right away this is more fruity than I recall. Currants, maybe but the citrus really stands out. Wood and dry tartness in the back. At 10% you don't get any of the ABV.

M - Highly carbed, light on the palate but dry and tart.

D - Fruity but tart. A very solid Wild, one of the best I've had. Sharing a bottle is probably a very good idea.

I'm still trying to get my palate for wilds but this one is right up there all the other wilds I've had, tart, dry and fruity.

boomer31, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of brendan13
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a tulip glass a very dark copper/amber colour with a thin beige head that falls away almost immediately.
S - Light balsamic vinegar, horsey/barnyard funk, lots of dark fruit aroma, light vanilla oakiness.
T - Much the same as the taste really. An amazing blend of flavours.
M - You can feel the prickling acidity on your tongue - wow. Takes the award for the lightest body beer with the highest flavour I've ever had.
D - 10% is hardly noticeable. While the flavour is amazing I couldn't drink, or afford, much of it. A rare treat & very happy I bought 2 bottles.

brendan13, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of dragonWhale
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How I love the Eastside..

8 oz into a snifter. This is a medley of the gods. Yes, there are currants here, but there is so much more, and it is hardly about the fruit so much as about the magnificence of of the blend. Sharply sour, there is a slight fruit funk to it but blending in well with the minimal malt presence.
The clear amber looks absolutely glorious in the glass, sturdy and lovingly giving its all to you, astute beer drinker. Smells and tastes sharp and slightly fruity, currants. An absolute treasure, a pleasure. It rips its flavor into your throat, forcing you to appreciate or die trying. The alcohol comes out a bit but the sour dominates the profile. This is a magical beast, worthy of all praise.

dragonWhale, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of kbanks13
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Popkas for trading this one to me a little while ago.

Batch 002X003 poured into a Delirium snifter with a color of dark cherry wood with brighter shades of red when held to the light. Loose tan head that is gone in a flash with little lacing. Smells of yeast, must and horse blanket. Lots of wood, cherry and vinous aromas, too. Taste is a wonderful blend of oak and sweet fruits with a tart lemon flavor, like a good red wine but with a sour twist. Not anywhere near overly tart or overly sweet, the two are in perfect balance. Subtle grain characteristic in the background. Clean on the palate with no real lingering tastes. Medium carbonation with a light body that has a sweet flavor but a dry and puckering finish. Drinks surprisingly easy for a 10% ABV beer. I will have to trade for more of this and try it fresh too.

kbanks13, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of boMD
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have had this many times on tap. Lets talk about a Saraveza pour. Ruby hue with a beige head. Tart, funky tones, with oak and yeast on the nose. Well carbonated which balanced the alcohol and tart, sour characteristics. I could feel the alcohol going down my esophagus which was pretty warming. Some flavors of oak and wild yeast which was noticeable but not as smooth and tart/sour as I would hope. And the currants were very subtle and in the background mostly and a little in the finish.

boMD, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of oregone
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rockin good.
First beer that I'd serve in a proper (read: good) wine glass. And that's how I do.
Just all around excellent with pronounced vinous qualities and aggressive but evolving and complex character. Not as seductive as the Temptation, nor as drinkable, but certainly better than the Supplication which lacks the charm of the former and the strength of this.
Ruby crimson appearance with very active effervescence. Small bubbles.
Smells of hide and the barrels it was aged in. Oak, Northern California Cabernet. New shoes and old cars. Dried tart cherries. Pedro Ximenez sherry.
Feels very crisp in the mouth, which suits this as it could become too intense without the refreshment. I've heard this element of this beer criticized, but I think that it is a good fit here. Refreshing. Pierces the cheeks and a hint of sharpness on the tongue.
Taste is extravagant. Fruit up front, with cherry and currant being predominant. Grapey on the back palate. Earthiness and woodiness weave through.
Very drinkable. Can and have sipped this for hours. The effervescence and tartness pace the consumption, and the quality keeps you coming back for more.

oregone, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of SiepJones
3.9/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Tulip

A: A dark brown with little clarity (same color as the bottle its sold in). There is a half inch ring of head with around the outer ring of my glass and some whispy trails of bubbles through the middle. The Duvel D at the bottom of my glass is creating a swirl of carbonation in the middle that makes the bubbles look like clouds of a hurricane.

S: Acidic sour, some cherry "tang", as well as some earthy oak notes.

D: Sour vinegar with a hint of tartness, slight earthy flavor on the finish. Like the Cabernet barrels the beer is aged in it has a similar finish, earthy and puckering. Sour not dry.

M: Slick, lightly carbonated mouth.

D: I enjoyed this beer and the fact that it really resembled a wine, minus the carbonation. I would gladly have another but for the ABV which at 10 is very high. While I don't notice the alcohol presence in the taste or scent I am sure I will feel it after my first glass.

SiepJones, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Brenden
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I forget who brought this to the Toledo tasting(sorry guys), but so glad after I tried it the first time to get a hookup from a friend to have it again. Notes are pretty recent.

The color is beautiful, ruby-red verging on mahogany that shines in the light. A light brown head with good retention sits a little more than a finger high,leaving moderate lacing.
This one has the vinous and tart characters of a good red wine with lots of sour-sweet cherry(bing, if I had to describe it) and an oak character. It even seems like there are some tannins in here contributing a leathery character as in some red wines. I have to wonder how they do that. There a touch of balsam that leaves a vinegary reminiscence without going too far.
This is like tart, tannic sour cherries maturing in leather-lined oak barrels in my mouth. Clean, tart and dry. Acidic without melting my teeth and rounded out by a soft note of dark chocolate? This remains malty as well, somehow.
The feel is dry, but almost verging on semi-dry, likely from the malts that also add a touch of body, which is light to medium. The finish leaves a nice oak dryness.
This is as drinkable as an ABV of 10% or above could be.

Brenden, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of Pipmeister
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap here at Tustin Brew Co for Russian River week.

A- Nice bronze/cherry hue, very clear with pretty much no head which is expected. Very good looking brew.

S- Very sour smelling with a faint hint of fruitiness. Hard to pick out one exact smell though, pretty much just smells like sourness, crisp.

T- Pucker up, this one packs a punch that rivals warhead sour gum. Good clean dry finish, very crisp with some pommegranite lightly in the background.

M- Once again, very clean and dry. Similar to champagne with dryness.

Overall it's an excellent beer that provides that perfect sourness.

Pipmeister, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of movingtrain
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.68 ounce caged and corked bottle. Batch 004X4.

Pours a reddish-brown color with little to no head, but very active carbonation throughout.

The smell is overwhelming, right out of the bottle. Hints of tart dried fruit, cranberry, oak, vanilla, clove, hazelnut, cinnamon, and some funk. There is so much going on in the aroma here...

This is a sour beer...very sour...but perfectly so. The dominating flavors are of a cranberry tartness and and an oaky vanilla. There is a dryness to it, with some good, balanced alcohol burn. Everything seems well-balanced in this beer. There are also hints of clove, cinnamon, dry white wine, candy sugar, plums, and cider.

Overall, this is one of the best tasting, balanced sours I have ever had. The aging in Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels, coupled with the addition of currants (and perhaps lactic acid or Brett) makes this a beautifully crafted beer.

movingtrain, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of glazeman
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber, corked and caged, into a snifter. Split with airohead2001, many thanks buddy!

A: Medium brown with ruby red. one finger off white head that fades supper fast into nothingness. No lacing.

S: There's a lot of sweet fruit smells in this beer. It is intense smelling, pleasant, and complex. There's tart cherry smell, a little cinnamon, some alcohol at the finish. To me this smells a lot like Wisconsin Belgian Red actually, but with a little bit more funk perhaps. I don't get much oak for this being oak aged.

T: Unfortunately this beer smells much better than it tastes. It's pretty one-dimensional in terms of the sweet fruits. Also, I feel that the high level of carbonation masks the flavors

M: This beer has a very high level of carbonation and is definitely on the thin side. Both of which are appropriate for the style, but also large in part define the beer. Nice aftertaste.

D: For a 10% ABV beer, the ABV is undetectable and the beer goes down easy. The drinkability is somewhat limited by the high carbonation in my opinion, as I feel that if I drank this too fast or in too high of quantity I would get the hiccoughs or an upset stomach. Overall, an interesting beer though, that I am glad I got the opportunity to try. If I was blind folded though, you'd be hard pressed to convince me this wasn't champagne.

glazeman, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of hwwty4
3.38/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRC1313 for leaving this at my house after a pretty profound Saison tasting.

Poured a new 375ml into my Dogfish Head snifter. Fairly positive its the first batch in the new 375's but I have already recycled the bottle without looking at it. This beer pours a prune brown with just a hint of a tan head that leaves no lacing. Very little carbonation leaving no bubbles. The aroma is extremely fruity. Tart organic cherry juice with prunes and dates mixed with just a hint of fresh oak. It terms of tartness, most of it seems to coming from a lactic twang. The flavor is much the same. Sour cherry juice dominates the flavor profile. Hints of fig and date come thorough behind the cherry. Oak comes through at the very tail of the profile. Major lactic acid presence. It really feels one dimensional. This is really one of those beers that no matter how dirty your teeth are, they come out feeling clean. The mouthfeel is very full for a sour. Really enjoyable. It really feels full on the palate and finishes extremely dry. Great. I've been lucky enough to have every batch of Consecration. While it is a good beer, I dont think its in the realm of Russian Rivers other sours or in the top echelons of American Wilds.

hwwty4, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of jgasparine
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap at Kraftwork in Philly on 9/3/2010 with virtually no head no lacing. A completely still garnet colored body... optically clear... virtually no carbonation.

S- The nose is laced with aromas of cherry and a heavy musty phenolic. The nose is somewhat simple until the beer warms... where a number of malty, vinous and dark fruit esters emerge.

T- In the mouth it's a complete rollercoaster. It starts out with some sweet crystal malts, which are met with some dark fruit esters. On the mid-palate, some mild hop bitterness is met with a moderate lactic, slightly acetic sourness, which builds tremendously with a kick of savory melanoidin and an echo of oak in the finish. Lingers incredibly on the tongue. The dynamic range of this beer is incredible!

M- Medium body accentuated by a very soft, delicate carbonation. There's a mild to moderate astringency there, that works well for the style. A little slick oily texture there. Wonderful.

D- So incredibly dynamic. And the EtOH is SOOO well-hidden, it's amazing!

jgasparine, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
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?

WVbeergeek, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Axic10
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1 on-tap at Teresa's Next Door.

Appearance: Dark brown with a thin ring of head, much dark than the batch 3 which a friend was drinking.

Smell: Funk, pinot noir, strong wine aroma.

Taste: Holy sour. Tart cherries, strong bitter sour flavor with a slightly subdued Brett character coming through.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Drinkability: One of the readily available (seasonal or when they release it at least) Russian River sours. I really enjoy this beer and get it whenever I see it on tap.

Axic10, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of megahurts4
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Russian River Consecration

served on tap at Monk's Belgian Cafe in Philadelphia, PA

Appearance: Dark brown, small head, and good lacing.

Smell: Whoa! Cabernet wine and oak

Taste: Like wine- grape, sweet-tart, and a sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium

Sour beers aren't really my forté, but this tasted like wine and sweet-tarts. It was odd and flavorful. It was also a tad too sweet for my taste.

megahurts4, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of kazmaniac
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Poured slowly into an oversized red wine glass to keep the extra yeast in the bottle. The head was extremely alive during the pour (think alka-seltzer) then quickly dissipated to nothing. Color is a cloudy mahogany.

Smell - Dark fruit and slightly jammy sour red wine.

Taste - Initially tastes like sour fruit which moves on to dry champagne and has a lasting crisp tart finish. Farther into the glass, the taste adds some raspberry qualities. Alcohol is hidden and unobtrusive. Has more depth than the other Russian River sours.

Mouthfeel - Has a light champagne tingly mouthfeel.

Drinkability - A good sipping ale but hard to put down. Has a funky wine vibe going on.

kazmaniac, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001 X4 - 750ml corked and caged bottle, served in a small tulip

A - short lived half inch of loose bubbly, tan colored foam which settles to a thin film and ring within a minute or so. the beer is very dark amber, almost purple in color.

S - slightly vinegar-like sourness, strong scent of oak, vanilla, and ripe berries for sweetness. finishes up with some dark fruit, light spice, and basement mustiness.

T - begins with a flash of sweetness: berries, cherries, oak and vanilla before a massive sourness kicks in. slightly vinegary, very acidic and a bit vinous - reminiscent of purple sweet tarts. finishes with some lightly toasted nuts, oak, and just a tiny bit of funky yeast.

M - medium bodied for the style, with just about perfect lively prickly carbonation. very dry, in a pleasant sort of way which works very well with the ample sourness. mouth is left feeling a bit sticky and hairy, with lingering oak and sour fruits.

D - well, it certainly hides its very dangerous ABV quite well. also, this will be the third 750 i've polished off on my own, so i cant complain about the drinkability. where it lacks in subtlety it makes up for it with a clean and sharp mouthfeel and an old fashioned sour beatdown. was fortunate to pickup a case of this awhile ago - they will find a good home.

Stigs, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of Onibubba
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the latest small bottle offering of this outstanding beer. Light brown / auburn pour with a very short lived white head. No lacing. God awful funk smell, reminicent of rotten berries and old fruit - but in a good way. Taste is a lingering sour tart funkiness, mouth coating and pervasive. Very nice carbonation, which once settled, lends itself to a smooth sipping pleasure. Alcohol only becomes appearant toward the end. Drinkability in this portion is fine, but a large bottle would approach Cantillon level difficulties. This is a grand beer, meant to be shared or greedily hoarded. Entirely your decision. I wish I lived in CA.

Onibubba, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of fastpass17
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork and Caged bomber bottle.

A: Strong vibrant carbonation, head clings to the glass, crimson in color.

S: Oak, tart, strong raison presence, vanilla, slight mustiness in the end.

T: Begins with a warming nuttiness, oak, cream and cherry comes through in the middle, sour completes the drink.

M: At first taste it stings slightly, then warms the palate, the alcohol is there yet it is muted.

D: When in the mood for a sour I would enjoy a big bottle or two, it is delicious.

fastpass17, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of hopjuicer
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of the bottles I brought back from my honeymoon in Portland.

750 ml bottle poured in a tulip.

Pours a dark brown/amber. Nice and foamy thick head, about two inches. Cork popped pretty hard when I opened it. Could see a little bit of moisture around the cork, I think it must have vented just a little.

Smell is heavenly. Very tart and sweet, floral, hints of oak and cherries.

Taste is all sour to begin, but is quickly followed by sweet fruit flavors, cherries, currants, grapefruit, and apples.

Excellent beer. Wish it was readily available in Illinois.

hopjuicer, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Walken
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Russian River: Consecration (Batch 004X4, Bottled 02/05/10)
375 ml. cork & cage, poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Bottle opens with a pop, pours out hazy dark and amber with a fizzy off-white head of foam that quickly dies down into a solid ring of lace around the edge of the glass.
Odor: Currants show a nice varied aroma, throwing fresh, sweet cherry, tart wine grape aromas. Nose is full, luscious and hints at an aggressive, sour beer.
Consistency: Tart, juicy, solid, highish carbonation takes the edge off the sourness ever so slightly. Pucker up.
Taste: The nose, once again, knows. Incredibly complex set of well-layered flavors going on here. Tart/sour lactic currant with an earthy underbelly of funk. Barrel, hints of dark malt and residual wine flavors derived from the barrel show up to the party. Finish shows more tart juiciness, some fruity alcohol shows its weight and warms the cheeks a bit.

Believe it.

Walken, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
4.13/5  rDev -8%
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.

Ryan011235, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of Chaney
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Matt (aka. Huhzubendah) for bringing this brew that I have been wanting to try since the dawn of man to a recent tasting.

A: Pours a very dark purple with ruby highlights and a small fuzzy head they managed to stay put for most of the session.

S: Cherry "Sour Patch Kids" with a refreshing filtered water scent.

T: Matt warmed me that my jaw would lock then retract upon first sip and he wasn't kidding....that is a large part of the beer's charm! I got some of the same flavors that were in the nose, along with an awesome yeasty aspirin or sour "Flintstone vitamin" quality. Complex!

M: The pucker factor is with this one, but only for a brief moment at the beginning before the lucious fruitiness takes over. As with most sours, the AVB detectability is nill IMO.

D: Very drinkable, but best enjoyed in small doses and I'm glad Matt was there to share it with me.

Chaney, Oct 05, 2010
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 4,000 ratings.