1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,236 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,236
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,428
Gots: 1,339 | FT: 95
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Consecration Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,236 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickfl
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours with a small white head on a clear, amber brown body. The head settles slowly and leaves surprisingly good lace on the glass.

S - A musty aroma of damp dirt and cobwebs with sweet fruity notes of dark cherry and (presumably) currants.

T - Tart cherries and sweet, dry caramel malt. Tartness creeps into the fruit character towards the finish and the acidity lingers on the palate.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - This is a fruity and tart wild ale, but with a lot of dry, thick malt and enough funk to keep it interesting.

Photo of amphion1065
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle into an oversized tulip. Batch 006.

Consecration pours a murky, blood red. There's a brown, sand-colored head that dissipates fairly quickly. A few legs on my glass. From appearances alone (minus the head, of course), this could pass for red wine.

A funky, deep, and complex nose. There's an almost pungent, abrasive sourness and funk at work. Underneath that funk is an aroma of currants and, to a lesser degree, cherries. I would almost describe the smell as vinegary.

Wonderful vinous sourness in the taste. The red wine characteristics of this beer shine beautifully. Again, I can pick up some currants and cherries. Even though this is a young bottle, the funk is quite strong. There's not even a slight hint of alcohol in the taste. With so many strong flavors competing for attention, the balance is spectacular.

So smooth, with perfect carbonation. I hate to keep referencing wine, but this is lush enough to merit that comparison. For such a sour beer, this is very easy to drink.

My favorite sour from RR's regular lineup. Big but not brash, simultaneously over-the-top in flavor yet somehow restrained, this is fantastic. I would love to see the funk develop in an older bottle, but alas, I'm an impatient man.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown with amber and pink hues. Quarter finger head.

S: More sweet than sour. Nice strawberry/cherry aroma.

T: Very tart. Jolly Rancher flavor almost. Red wine notes.

M: Mild bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Aroma and taste are matched incredibly well. No doubt that this beer genre is dominated by Russian River.

Photo of surlytheduff
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004x2. The cork opened with a solid pop, leaving a trailing wisp of water vapor rising slowly out of the neck of the bottle. A brisk pour into my Duvel tulip resulted in a bit under a half a finger of offwhite foam sitting atop an effervescent dark amber colored body. The head disappeared pretty quickly, but the there was a steady hiss of carbonation from the bubbles shooting up to the surface of the glass. Nose was light vinegar, tart cherries, brett, oaky and vineous.

Taste was dried fruit, like cherries and currents. Also got cranberry and red grape. The oak flavor that was so strong in the smell is much more subdued in the taste. There is a slight bit of alcohol warmth, but it is surprisingly not noticeable. Mouthfeel was medium, with a good amount of tingly carbonation and a dry finish. The beer was tart, but not over-puckeringly so.

Photo of rrski198
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown with a fizzy head that disapated quickly. Murky but I can see some bubbles. No head left at all and no lacing.

S: Dried dark fruit right up front. The sour scent reminds me of dried cherries. Behind this is the dry red wine scent.

T: The fruity sweetness is right up front followed closely by the sourness. The finish is of dry red wine. The alcohol is excelently hidden. Quite unique and quite nice. The sour compliments the initial dark fruit sweetness but doesn't take total control of the beer.

M: Fizzy, dry, obviously pretty sour. This beer is unique because you really feel all the different qualities of the beer on your tongue on different areas.

O: This is without a doubt one of the best "sours" i've had and really hit the mark with all the flavors. The most surprising thing is that the alcohol is almost totally undetectable. Great beer!

Photo of BeerLover99
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown body, trace head, very little lacing

S: oak, pinot noir, strong currant aroma, just incredible nose

T: sweet currants, pinot noir, slight smoky, tart cherry pucker
finish

M: med body, smooth, low carbonation, hint of dryness

O: What a fascinating brew! You want to gulp
it because the flavors are so interesting on your palate,
but also want to savour the aroma and experience

BEAUTIFUL, MUST TRY!

Photo of rummy666
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, clear, with a burgundy hue. A good head, not too big, that quickly dissolves into the beer.

S - Smells like no beer that you've ever tasted. More of a wine nose than a beer smell. Similar to a pinot noir. They say that there are currants in it, and you can for sure smell them.

T - Tastes like pinot noir, with a nice hint of carbonation. Beautiful taste of the currants, gives it a tart cherry flavor. 10%, but not boozy tasting at all.

M - Smooth and carbonated. Really has the more of the feel of champagne then beer.

O - Delicious. It's hard to really explain it since it doesn't taste much like a beer and more like champagne. Seriously, you have to try this one. Incredible.

Photo of DCon
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-tap @ Naja's Place in Redondo Beach, CA for $8. Tapped into a 12oz Wine Glass from the Another RR Cross Tap Handle but couldn't make out what colors it was or any description because it was so far down the line. This brew was also not on the "Tap List" Here! It was available in bottle so I just asked for the hell of it to see if it was a secret one as well, and it was!

Aroma- Starts off with an enormous wild and sour cherry aroma. Has the normal goaty/earthy hints and is blended well with the cherry. Very acidic and great to sniff at.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that dies quickly. Light amber/reddish color body that has great clarity. Effervescent and leaves good lacing.

Flavor- Strong cherry from the beginning of the drink. Extremely sour and acidic and just for what the style calls for! All the barnyard characteristics appropriate and has a light sweetness but is then forgotten because of the puckering finish.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, High tartness, and leaves sharp cherries on the tip of the tongue.

Overall Impression- A very straight forward Wild/Sour! Pleasant, nice cherry taste/aroma, and well balanced. I am excited I got to try these two RR brews @ Naja's and will be keeping my fingers crossed to enjoy many more in the future.

Photo of rvdoorn
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thnx to channan for the bottle. Opened together with papaeugene.
Look: the beer pours a brown-red color with a very small head.
Smell: malts, sour berries, wood, sour apples, grapes and citrus
Taste: Medium sourness, full of fruits like citrus, grapes and currants, oak. Finish is dry and tart
Mouthfeel: A bit too thin body with low-medium carbonation.
Overall: A very nice beer, bit high in the alcohol, but still dangerously drinkable. I prefer the puckering funky sourness of the Belgium wilds though.

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Ruby red, not much carbonation or head.

S-Grapes, oak, cherries and darker fruits

T-Very sweet and sout. Lots of cherry flavor with some oak. Not as balanced as Supplication. Alcohol can be noted as well.

M-Medium bodied, smooth but not much head.

O-Could be slightly more balanced but it is still a great beer. It was my first sour as a heads up. Looking forward to trying more.

Photo of biga7346
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Shimmering ruby-like color, very turbid, murky, rusted metal, apple cider.

N - Cider vinegar-like acidity, massive tart cherries, red wine vinegar and lots of winey notes folds into an almost clove-like suggestion, possibly whole nutmeg, green peppercorn, maybe figs or rose hips; the nose roams wildly and is pretty perfumy not like a Supplication which was more subtle. Wafting herbal aromas balanced with sour milk, wet and old hay, top soil.

T/M - Wow...teeth chattering tartness, cloying sour and irony mouthfeel; blackberries, raspberries, black peppercorn and figs; lemon skin, much more drying tannins in a lasting finish than the Supplication; leather strap, blackcurrants.

D - Not sure if I could drink more than one of those but this is definitely the most interesting sour beer I have had. I think I prefer the sessionable enjoyability of Supplication. We had both of these back-to-back in a recent sour tasting.

Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a slightly hazy reddish brown, actually reminds me a lot of Coca-Cola especially the way the off white head fizzes up and then dissipates. Aroma is amazing, very complex for any beer. It shares some aromas with Cabernet, which is not surprising given that this beer is aged in Cab barrels. Black currants, red fruit, vanilla, cola and tobacco all come to mind. This beer has a moderate sourness with a fairly dry finish and just a bit of bitterness, I read biegaman's review mentioning that he associated the bitterness with tomato and although I don't get that specifically I will say that it has a certain umami quality that is usually associated with tomatoes, so I could see the comparison. Overall this is a very good offering from one of my favorite breweries and I think it has amazing complexity that is best enjoyed over a long period of time, letting the beer warm a bit and change over and hour or two.

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All that time spent in the barrel has given the beer a murky prune juice complexion and off colour that resembles a raisin. That said, it does glows like pomegranate juice against the light. (Where would the beer reviewer be without fruits?) The extended slumber also killed off most head retention. Check that, all of it. It has ravished its once beautiful looks.

If you weren't aware that this was aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels you'd be astonished at how the beer smells so strikingly like the red wine, right down to the perfumed alcohol esters, oak wood and dusty tannins. There's also, of course, lots of dark berry fruit, enough to be unsure of how much can be attributed to the currants and how much to the barrel.

The bouquet really grew on me with warmth, and definitely matured into something that you could sit, sniff and deliberate about for hours. The flavour, however, was a little less dignified, notably because it reminded me so simply of a Cabernet Sauvignon - worse actually, a slightly watered down one with far more oak barrel and tobacco bitterness present.

That's not to imply, however, that it isn't still considerably flavourful. And it's unarguably unique. For one it shows virtually no indication of its strength and has a lot of wild berry fruitiness. The oak is concentrated, persistent and astonishingly nutty, with notes of Brazil nut and coconut shavings in time creeping out from all that toasty wood flavour.

Unlike other Russian River beers, however, I find this one to have a fairly shallow complexity; its tartness is obvious but diluted, the bitterness tasting like tomato or tobacco leaf and its acidity and phenols - because they're so pronounced in red wines - are dulled in the shadow of the Cabernet Sauvignon flavour. Unlike most sours, the finish is unexciting and fleeting.

Consecration is an artistic and innovative experiment... that for all its intricacies and inventiveness ends up tasting a lot like watered-down cab sauvignon. What to make of that? It blurs the lines not only of the beer/wine world, but of the perspectives of the reviewer too - $11 is a lot for a bottle of any beer, but at $23 this would make a reasonably priced bottle of wine. I suppose for me, personally, that makes it more a novelty thing than anything else.

Photo of jbakajust1
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005 Poured from 375ml bottle into a New Belgium Globe/Snifter

A - Deep red, dark w/ ruby highlights and a white head that quicly fades to a tight ring, no lacing.

S - Smells of cherries, dark fruits, earthy, tart w/ faint greek yogurt. Very fruity and tart.

T - Very dry, refreshing sour twang, very light alcohol warmth. Very wine like, light spicyness, sour cherry. Fruity and tart.

M - Coats the mouth, lively carbonation, light body with a slightly creamy feel, very dry.

O - Amazing beer, very complex. Sour, but not lose your lips puckering. Clean sourness. Lots of wine attributes. Would love to have another, especially with a lot more age on it.

Photo of Florida9
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Aged leather. Brownish with a reddish tint. Forms a thin head that quickly disappears to nothingness.

S: Smells like it looks. More leather. Some oak. Fruit: cherry, raisins, dark grapes. Lots of wood.

T: Starts off with a blend of tart cherries mixed with any earthy barnyard quality. Exceedingly complex. Notes of leather and tobacco mix with cherries and a tannic bitterness. A little oak. Slightly vinous.

M: On the thinner side of medium. Tart and lightly acidic with drying tannins.

O: Offering up a wonderful blend of flavors, I found this beer to be sour, tannic and complex. Very good.

Photo of mltobin
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From a 375 mL bottle.

Appearance is reddish brown with very little head. The nose has grapes, black currants, cherry and a tart quality. Its` taste is sour, red wine, lemon and is also sweet. A nice mix of different flavors are here. MF is medium with not very much carbonation. This is a nice wild/sour beer which lived up to its` solid reputation.

Photo of MONKandTUCK
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

such a fun and unique brew!

No, it's not a new top favorite, and I probably won't seek it out again. But this was a fun beer to drink, the consummate craft beer drinking experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the beer, and the creativity and craftsmanship involved in its creation.

A - Unimpressive. What is there to say about Brown? It's just blah. This beer has an especially fizzy cap and appears far lighter in body than I had expected.

A- Fun! There's a mild tinge of vinegar, some tobacco (kinda reminded me of dip... weird), and grapes. Very wine like.

T- if you told me it were wine I'd have never doubted you until the second sip. There's a real sour twist, but it's not unbecoming. It's enough to leave a real sense of satisfaction and cleanse the palate. More juicy than beer like.
Tastes of Yellow Tail wine, Lemon Heads and Pop Rocks, Fuji Apple peel, dingy earthiness.

The further it drinks (warms) the less like wine and the more like hard cider, this beer becomes. And then, as you go further still, the sourness becomes quite biting.

M- The effervescence of this beer pairs well with the tartness. It's light-bodied, crisp and for all the sweetness, it finishes dry. The flavor might overwhelm most, but all have to agree the body lends exceptional drinkability.

0_ I dunno which demographic they were trying to entice... grade school kids who like sour candies or wine drinkers... I think they'll attract both. It's a contradiction: it's both cutting-edge on the modern beer scene, but also employs throwback qualities, like souring and aging in wooden barrels. It's a spunky beer, that packs a lot of flavor and alcohol into a compact frame.
I actually had a sample of this on draught a while back and didn't like it, I'm glad I gave this bottle with its hefty price tag a chance!

Photo of Kshock
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep Brown color, but bright and clear. White lacing that subsides to a ring quickly. Very nice color.

S- Very nice sour tart up front with some citrus tagging along on the back end.

T- tart berries with some lactic pucker on the palate. REally nice balance of intense flavors. Very well put together., and dangerously drinkable for 10%

M- Light and soft with some sour pucker on the insides of your cheeks. Really nice feel.

O- Awesome sour, one of the best and certainly very consistent.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a cask at Belmont Station in Portland Oregon.

A: Mahogany coloured liquid with little carbonation.

S: Sour currants, funk, oak and some yeast.

T: Sour currants, oak, funk and some yeast. A very tart finish that has the presence of red wine.

M: There is a slight level of fine carbonation throughout.

O: A good American Wild Ale that is quite tart. I preferred Supplication, though.

Photo of Pahn
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

375ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch 004x4, so brewed 3/25/2009, bottled 2/5/2010. Thanks to BA msulinski, who included this as a very generous extra in a recent trade.

Appearance: Free pour yields a quarter inch fizzy white head that dissipates immediately. Pours a semi-translucent dark red orange and leaves occasional short lived spots of lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: Dark fruit, red wine, vinegar. Fruity. In the glass: Tons of oak at first. Dark fruit, red grapes. With warmth, chocolate and a faint mustiness come out. That deep grape/red wine/dark fruit almost mushroom-like note from the taste comes out with time as well.

All told, the smell doesn't "come together" as greatness, but it does enhance the flavor, and all its elements are very good.

Taste: Whoa, this beer delivers the sensory adventure you want from an expensive American wild ale.

First sip starts smooth and oaky, then yields a giant fruit and tobacco hit with a cutting acidity. Finishes boozy and oaky. Second sip starts out with deep, complicated and unique notes of grapes and currants, which last for a second or two before the giant acidity hits and the flavor opens up with chocolate, tobacco, cabernet sauvignon, oak; all robust and well balanced.

This is a hell of a beer. With warmth and time, lots of different flavors come out; a heavy molasses note, greater basement/dungeon depths, etc. I don't think you can seriously grade a beer like this below a 5... it's accomplishing exactly what the brewer intended, yielding a too-many-to-keep-track set of distinct flavors that are all bold and complimentary. Perhaps one could argue that it's too hot (or too acidic), but the flavors are bold enough to justify it and then some.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Very carbonated. Super acidic; almost too much so. Long finish.

Overall: My gut reaction was to give this a 5.0 for greatness. Then I thought, "well, there's other flavors, oak influences, etc in other beers that I prefer to this one..." Then the great, leathery, grape/currant/red wine flavors completely won me over.

Another classic from Russian River. Worth trading for or paying its hefty price tag. Excellent.

Photo of bum732
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3.

S: Vanilla oak barrel maltiness, moderate barnyard, dried fruit, cherries and currants mostly, moderate earthy cinnamon, some clove, almost gingerbread smelling believe it or not. If not for the moderate funky notes, would be very x-mas smelling, i get cherry fruit gummies as well.

L: Clear dark crimson brown with no head, light ring of foam with rabid bubbles rising to the surface creating some dusting.

T: Tart cherries up front with a semi-sweet caramel maltiness. Carbonated bite leads to some sour cherries and a very lactic sour bite (some red vinegar), drying the palate. Some wine like tannins in the finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium high carbonation. Alcohol slightly present.

Really enjoyed this beer, definitely on par with tempation and supplication, maybe a little behind. Definitely has a more tannin and red vinegar note. But great overall.

Photo of Cavery
3.55/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip, small bottle carefully poured. Shared last weekend with SundaySour.

Batch: shamefully I forgot to note; it's always important!

A: Light brown sugar with a filmy head and no lacing. A solution of brown sugar and maple syrup. Looks very scotch like! Soft dark reds and lighter shimmering shades dominate.

S: Up front cherry skins and dried gojji berries. Wood acidity is prominent, but not too invasive. Fresh split raisins in dark cane sugars, not too sweet, and featuring a rapid dryness.

T: Acidic woods, red wine vinegars, and sprits of lime juice. A light lingering lime salt flavor with white citrus connective tissues, but not quite rinds. The currents really tang the finish, and bitter in the mouth. Each sip relieves astringency with refreshing sweetness.

M: Light flat body that has all its sensations overwhelmed by tartness. Not much here, flavor sensations thwart subtle mouth feels. Fairly wet in the mouth, light aspirin comes very late; leaves a bit of a cotton mouth.

O: I've had this a few times, and this wasn't the strongest showing. I wish I had made note of the batch as it was really quite a bit more acidic than I ever had before. This was my first time out of the bottle, but even then the youth of the wood and harshness of young currents pillaged the palate. This beer is much better in different batches, but I would say that the taste character is fairly the same. There was a bit more lime/vinegar than I'd like, as the flavors are already acidic and bold enough. By no means a crap or unexciting beer, but I dreamed of acidic remedies after this one.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note's from Captain Lawrence Rosso Batch 3 release / tasting:

Batch 2 consectration: poured a somewhat clear, yet opaque brownish. No head to speak of (but a small pour), really nice sour smell. Very balanced sweet tart. This is a really appetizing beer on the nose. Taste follows the nose a bit more tart that I would’ve expected, but this is very nicely balanced and very well done. Mouth puckeringly sour, but quite tasty. Smooth as the day is long, but the puckering. Very good sour, the more Russian river I try, the more I understand their fantastic reputation.

*** ** * ** ***
enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06 alongside a sanctification, temptation, supplication, and consecration. my opinions were exactly what i felt on my first taste of this fine beer.

Photo of AdamBear
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark ruby brown with a light cream colored head. very pretty except the head quickly fades to nothing

S-a light scent of dark currants

T-hits the tongue with a stingingly tart taste of dark currants. its almost a bitter tartness. it transitions in to an oaked taste of burnt currants and vanilla.

M-medium to high carbonation with a dry finish

O-gets more complex as i drink this. its definitely a tasty and well balanced wild. its very easy drinking considering the high ABV. there is no warming which is nice. i could drink a lot of this.

Photo of rwmiscik
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer. Russian River proves to be the best American sour producer there is with ever sour they make. Consecration is an amazingly well crafted beer and Vinnie has one of the greatest palates ever to be able to taste this beer out of the barrel and know whether it is time to bottle it yet. Consecration blows my mind every time I drink a bottle.

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,236 ratings.