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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,842 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,842
Reviews: 1,035
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 1,358
Gots: 1,199 | FT: 84
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: 3,842 | Reviews: 1,035 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rfgetz
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%

Batch 002 x 3 from the Northeast Craft Beer Outlet at a rediculously good price...

A- Dark brown with red highlights. Big, whispy carbonated head that dicipates quickly. Little to no lacing.

S- Red wine, oak, tobacco. Slight red wine vinegar acidity note. Slight dark fruit note as well. Amazing.

T- Amazingly complex belnd of sour yet subtle fruit, red wine and oak, hints of vanilla. Nice earthy notes. Slight acidity on the back end. Finishes with a nice red wine taste. Perfect.

M- Medium bodied, perfect carbonation level from the yeast. Excellent smooth, silky wine like finish and aftertaste.

D- Wow, if i was never allowed to drink red wine again and wanted to still experience many of the positives, i would reach for this. The ultimate American Wild Ale experience.

rfgetz, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.5/5  rDev -22%

Thanks for the trade Christian

Pours a very dark shade of brown, looks black in low light. A solid two fingers of very lively head rises up but falls quickly, leaving a thick persistent collar around my 25 oz. snifter. Smell is very mild funkiness, tart apples, caramel, grapes, a hint of oak barrel as well.

Taste is a mouth puckering mash of grapes, apple skin, strong oak presence, vinegar, caramel, and dirt. Very complex but the oak comes through a tad too much leaving a dryness on the palate that I don't care for. Medium bodied and like I said very dry. This is a very impressive beer but not really my cup of tea quite yet (still so/so about sours).

I will revisit this again next year and see if my opinion has changed.

alcstradamus, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of Westsidebuddha
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

Bought at 7-11 in Highland Park, Calif. Batch 002X1.

Pop open the bottle and notice the scent of cherries. A very good smell. Poured a dark red color into a glass. Slight head on top with lots of tiny bubbles bursting on top. A very nice sour taste on the first sip. Not overwhelming with a nice sour back end.

I been hearing how good this beer is and I'm glad I tried it. Also glad the price I paid for wasn't wasted (It's a wee bit up there). Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice sour taste. The carbonation is caused by the refermenting in the bottle and it definitely shows in the glass and the way it pops in your mouth. I could drink another one easily but I'm gonna have to break my piggy bank for that. Wow, look at the fizz of that second pour and the smell. This is good!

Westsidebuddha, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
4/5  rDev -10.9%

I bought this dousy at the Hulmeville Inn in PA. Poured a very deep ruby red with a brown touch.Kind of hazy thick light brown heading that looks like coca cola coming in fizzy and leaving flat.A constant flow of bubbles form in my tulip that come from the bottom and raise to the surface of the glass like a fountain.

Smell is very tart at first but are taken over by fine sour wine with and old wood barrel kick.

Taste is ridiculously sour that makes my face squishy like I ate a dozen sour warheads(love those thing's) at once. A kind of gritty souriness gets up in the gums and tickles the teeth.

Mouth again ridiculously sour that sticks to the palate and does let go for the rest of the tasting. Fuller then full bodied,amazing carbonation. If this were flat this would be an amzing wine (Don't know if that's a good thing.)

Drink is mostly a sipper and a taster. I really couldn't see anyone having a session with this beer it is way too sour but definetly a good drink to try.

I would like to thank alot of the people on BA who pretty much told me it was a good deal to get this. Otherwise I might have forgotten about it. Thankyou.

TheFightfan1, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
3.95/5  rDev -12%

Enormous thanks to msubulldog25 for his generosity on this one. This was basically a gift, in that I didn't trade for it, and he simply offered it. Wotta guy.

Poured a fluffy, audibly crackly head. Color borders on black, but is more of a very, very dark brown.

Aroma is mostly wood and extremely young grapes. Has a generally vinous, weedy, unripe and exotic smell. You know you're in for something unique just by smelling it.

Flavor is exceedingly vinous and acidic. Lots of young dark fruit, mostly berry. Wood is present but subtle and supportive only. Tartness in both flavor and feel (makes the mouth pucker). Quite dry and spritzy, like champagne. Lightly pasty like an intense red wine, but that could just be the tartness talking. The feel is something to get used to, but if reviewing to style, it's wonderful.

I have to be in the mood for this sort of beer (which has a lot in common with an Oud Bruin), and it's generally not the sort of thing I'd reach for if given many other choices, but the quality and character is clearly on a high level. Very glad to have tried it.

Metalmonk, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of juhl31
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%

this beer was chilled in a hotel bag of ice in a trash bin and poured into a 10 oz. plastic cup.

-dark amber color with a light brown head

-SOUR got some malts in there for sure and seems to be biscuity malts

-SOUR some cherry, some lemon. pretty warming on the way down. can feel it in the belly.

-SOUR champagnesque. bubbles on the tongue pretty good

-really gotta be in the mood to drink a sour. if i was in the mood for a beer i would never go for a sour. it is good for the style, but that i think will always be the case

juhl31, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

Honestly it looks like cheap american Cabernet Sauvignon slightly oxidized. Bricking maroon with some purple hints. Really nice looking with a spritzy brown head that faded into nothing nearly instantly.

Black currant, black cherry, black raspberry galore, hints of tart funky brettanomyces. Wood shows well. Slight bit of oxidation, leather, barn yard.

Just a fabulous outrageously tart acidic wild ale. Black fruit dominates obviously driven by the black currant with full bodied berry, tart cherry, black raspberry and plum. Thickly tart with brett and a bit tannic from the oak. Mouthfeel is a blast of spritzy carbonation and acidity. Brett shows well throughout and keeps things fresh. Wish I could afford more of these.

mcallister, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of FreightTrain
4.13/5  rDev -8%

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.

FreightTrain, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.58/5  rDev +2%

750ml single from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, around $23. Batch #002X2.

A: Dark purple, plum colored, with a cream fading towards pink head, about half an inch on the first pour, bubbles are loosely forming, looks more like soap bubbles than beer. Pretty fiar head retention. Fairly cloudy, and pretty sticky lacing. Nice looking beer. Not to mention loud! Holy hell the bubbles are loud in this one.

S: Sour barnyard stanky funk, horse blanket, and a little bit like feet, slight woodyness from the barrel aging and also quite fruity, definitely can tell there are currents in this beer. Smells quite tasty.

T: SOUR! Wow, lots of sour funk, quite medicinal, has a fairly pronounced hop biterness as well. Currants are strong and make this even more intensely sour. A few little woody hints come out here and there, but they can't even begin to compare with the sourness and fruitiness of the beer. Slight boozy hint, but falls in the mix nicely with the rest of the beer. The sourness really lingers in my mouth on this one, definitely a lactic acid sourness. Quite acidic, and quite delicious, I'm not disappointed at all!

M: Puckering sour, extremely dry, and hugely acidic in the mouth, makes my saliva really really thick. Did I mention this beer is dry, wow! Also a slight bit of alcohol heat in here. Excellent.

D: One of the easiest drinking sours I've ever had, this is impressive. My girlfriend was not impressed, so I won't have any difficulty drinking here share of the bottle. Excellent beer, and now I understand why the RR sours are so sought after. I can only imagine what the others taste like. Exceptional!

M:

pokesbeerdude, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.85/5  rDev +8%

Amazingly fast fading deep tan bubbles reach three fingers and then fade to nothing in just seconds. Body is a deep brown mahogany tone in color, really romantic. Nose is lovely with up front raspberries, so lush and slightly tart. Rich dark fruit tones come through with some oak and even a hint of sweet bourbon. With first sip you get some vanilla and oak then quickly comes the tannin based dark fruit sour feel that really embraces the tongue completely. Raisins, figs, blackberries and citrus rind all mark a wonderful tart fruit profile. The bold almost rich tannin feel really rounds out the taste perfectly. Superb balance and complexity make this beer a real standout. Mouthfeel is very red wine like, really making you want the next sip. Off the chart drinkability for a beer in this category.

SPLITGRIN, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of drumrboy22
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%

Poured from 750mL bottle into a Russian River chalice. Beer was a dark cherry color, with a small creamy tan head.

Aroma was tart fruits, vinegar, red wine and oak. Smells fantastic.

Taste was tart cherries, green apples, light oak and vanilla. Acidic and dry.

Very enjoyable beer that gets better as it warms. Another RR winner.

drumrboy22, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%

Had this for tahlstro's birthday today, happy 22 my man. Here's to another year of great beer and deliciousness. Poured from a Batch 2 bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Much, much more carbonated than the Cuvee de Tomme, with a lot of bubbles and a nice solid pop when opened. Heavy tiny bubbles lace and bubble much like a soda, and looks kind of coke-esque. Laces very nicely and eventually mellows out to a golden brown hue. Very pleasing.

Smell: It's a like a red-wine beer which hey, it kind of is. The CabSauv smell is definitely apparent, as are the slight hops and the raisin / current esters. Slight tobacco-y spice to it as well, with just a hint of oak. Opens up nicely and very, very pleasant.

Taste: Not as sour as I (or my puckering palate) was expecting, but definitely tart and sweet. Currant and red wine are upfront, with a sweeter hint of grape-y, soda-y taste on the back-end. Really very nice, and while not incredibly complex, the flavors are consistently excellent.

Mouthfeel: Heavily carbonated and very, very dry. Finishes like a champagne, with bubbly texture and brut finish. Tartness lingers slightly, but overall not too syrupy and if anything, almost too carbonated (which, after having disappointingly flat brews, is a good problem to have if you have to pick which side to fall on).

Drinkability: For a 10%, it's excellent. Could drink it all night. Definitely warms you up quickly however, and would be tough to drink the whole thing on my lonesome ABV wise eventually. Thoroughly enjoyable, and Wild Ales are quickly becoming my new favorite style. While expensive, it's certainly worthy and fantastic, and more than just an enjoyable brew but an excellent one.

nomomentwasted, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of portia99
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

750ml bottle poured from into a Portsmouth goblet. Batch 001x0, received in a trade with Bryanbrick...thanks Bryan!!

A - Pours a deep ruby, brown color. I slightly thin, bordering on soda-like. A steady and vibrant stream of never-ending bubbles rises and keeps a constant head in the glass.

S - Tart sourness, some fruitiness from the currants. Very nice, but not as complex as I expected. Just finished sampling an Ithaca Brute, and not getting as much aroma from this one. Maybe the Brute was just so good...

T - Tart, sour, fruity...somewhat grape and red wine-like in flavor. Sour, but not overwhelminglhy sour. Pretty smooth. Elements of raisins, sour cherries there too.

M - Light bodied, lots of carbonation. Very nice.

D - Quite nice...and very drinkable. Going well with pizza. Definitely could have more of this...very good.

portia99, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of Proteus93
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%

Batch number 001X1.... not too sure what it means, but shared by Joe at a tasting along with a number of sours. Thanks!

A: An iced tea brown with a golden sugary tone in there. Head forms quickly, but breaks down fairly quickly. It continues to bubble up and create new life that almost spontaneously breaks down again.. intriguing.

S: Rich malts, plenty of funky aromas, and a beautiful oakiness. All the scents blend together almost magically. This is amazingly pleasant. The currants are not really noted, unless I give it a swirl, and still they are quite modest.

T: Tart and woody, with a mix of yeast flavours all over the place... funky, peppery - a nice, warm alcohol.

M + D: Starts quite carbonated - though this calms the more I swirl it, naturally. The flavours hold on for quite a while, and the warming on the way down makes for a pleasant sipper. A great beer, with plenty of complexity to keep the nose and palate busy.

Proteus93, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of bennetj17
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%

Batch 001x4

Deep ruby in color, with a brownish tint. Slightly hazy. The carbonation looks pretty lively, keeping the frothy tan foam at more than just a ring. Tart vinegar aroma, with cherry fruit, much like like an Oud Bruin really. Nothing too funky, just straight forward sour brown smell.

I wouldn't call the taste sour as much as just very tangy. It hits you with cherry and vinous fruit character up front, and those flavors linger strongly. Not until the beer warms a bit do you actually detect some sweetness of malt with some raisiny caramel notes. The finish has a bit of astringence, but not too much alcohol heat to detract. The wood presence seems more in the background unfortunately, perhaps some more time in the barrel would have helped that.

I was glad to see in the appearance that the carbonation looked intense. However, I would say it came off as a little too much at first, quite sharp on the tongue, although it settles down after sitting a few minutes in the glass. Light to medium thick body.

When you let this beer warm a bit, and allow the carbonation to settle down, it turns out to be pretty good in terms of drinkability. I wasn't as amazed as I expected to be considering the hype, but I did like it. I'm not sure it is worth the price tag, but I would be interested in trying different batches to see any differences...

bennetj17, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of glid02
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Bottle from Batch 001x4 at Naja's in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries and currants - though I'll be the first to admit the latter is noticed primarily from reading the bottle - with a solid funkiness and hints of oak. As it warms the oak flavors gain some steam but the tart fruit never wavers.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly sweet light to medium fruit flavors up front are overtaken quickly by tart fruit flavors that become more tart as the beer warms. There's a hint of raisins and other dark fruit in the taste that wasn't present in the aroma. Ending is solidly tart and mildly dry.

Mouthfeel is great. This is one of the best I can remember from an AWA, a very nice thickness with active and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished the bottle surprisingly quick and could easily have had another.

Overall this was a very good AWA and my first foray into RR sours. A good way to start.

glid02, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%

Been saving this for a special occasion. That occasion is getting rid of some lingering house guests. It's a wheels up party!

Appearance - Darker than expected. Brown. Fairly clear. It's almost a nice ruby when held up to the light. Lots of toffee colored head dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell - You can definitely smell those currants. Almost a hint of raisin. Oh, did I say stinky wet horse blanket? I meant to. Because there's a lot of it. A musty barn. Lots of subtle flavors I'm struggling to place.

Taste - Wow. Just a ton going on. Mouth puckering sour. Those currants are in effect. Some real vinegar action, but in a nice way. Ripe berries. There is a subtle wine thing going on. Sour cherries for sure. Some grape, and you can definitely taste the oak. Very sweet, and tart as hell. It's like sweet tart beer (this is a good thing). Chocolate at the end?

Mouthfeel - Tons of prickly carbonation. Nice and crisp. I really like it.

Drinkability - Very good. A little tricky because of all the sour and craziness.

This is a hell of an interesting thing. The lady friend was startled. She had no idea beer could taste like this. I am really enjoying it. Just a funky, weird, crazy thing going on.

callmescraps, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass.

Opens with a nice big pop. Batch 002X1

Pours only a thin layer of tan head. Decent retention. Color is a dark dark cherry-hued brown. It is a clear bee but you can't see all the way through it.

Aroma: I can smell the wine from the barrels that it was aged in. A nice wood/oak smell. Grapes. I am guessing this is the currants, which I am liking. A very complex flavor. A nice sour/wild smell if that makes sense. Makes the mouth water.

Taste: Very sour and amazing. I am digging the currants. A lot of fresh ripe berries. Nice barrel-aged taste going on her. It is very tart. Has some grapes here as well. Damn, this tastes good. Stunning. Next up is the tart cherries with a little bready malts to balance out things. I am very impressed.

Mouthfeel: Sour, tart, and puckering. I love it. Medium bodied with a perfect level or carbonation. This beer is just flowing right now. Leaves a nice tart aftertaste. Damn RR did an amazing job here. Very clean.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. I am trying not to drink this treat fast, but it that isn't happening very well. Very drinkable and I want more. One of my favorite beers I have had yet!

mothman, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of jbsteiny
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%

On tap at the Toronado in a tiny little glass (6 oz?). I love sours and having missed Stone's Sour Fest, I had to try this.

Dark maroon -- light barely broke through, revealing some rubies in there. No head, but that could be the pour (again, tiny glass) as there was fine carbonation.

MMM.. vinous, vinegar, currant (or is that association from the description on the tap?), oak for sure. Sour cherries? Funky in the nose. Yet I was a little disappointed with the flavor -- felt it was over-dominated by the oak so the sour fruit flavors didn't have enough room to be fully appreciated.

A little fizzy, but i like how the tartness puckers and dries you up. Goes down way too easy for 10%. Maybe the batch I got was over-oaked. Would definitely love to split a 750mL of this sometime...

jbsteiny, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of waltonc
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%

Split a bottle with abfraser last night at Cheeky Monk in Denver. (by the way, great price for a bar - $26). This is my third time drinking Consecration now and I love it. Dark brown with a red tinge, I assume from the currants it's brewed with. Plenty 'o head. Crisp, tart smell. A very dry beer (though not as dry as I remember batch 1 being, but maybe I just forgot), tart, but not crazy sour like an Isabelle Proximus or Beatification. Nor is there a great deal of funk. Plenty of fruit flavors as well. So this is a very refreshing beer and was perfect for a hot summer night sitting out on the sidewalk. I'm grateful that RR is now distributed in Colorado.

waltonc, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of supercolter
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%

So I had batch 1 and 2 side by side.(I know, I am a jerk) 1x3 and 2x1
Here is my conglamerate review.
Appearance is very similar between the two, dark black cherry color with small head and some lacing.
Smell was very distinct- batch 1 had a deep dark fruit nose- currant and fig... whereas batch 2 was very similar to a Cabernet Saugvinon wine- drier, tobaccoy, with some grapes and prunes.
Taste was out of this world, more of the same but just full flavor and perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel was very good, thick but nicely carbonated.
Drinkability was great.

supercolter, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the trade and hook-up!

Batch 001 x 4

A: Pours a dark brown/rusty red color with a smallish, off-white head that leaves no lace behind. Carbonation is pretty active.

S: Aromas of sour grapes, oak, and some dark fruit. Heather felt it smelled very "winey". Incredible is how it smelled!

T: Tangy grape, sodden oak, carmelized brown sugar, and a boatload of both sweet and tart dark fruit. More complex wine flavors.

M: Tart and quite tangy. Really puckery at first, but becomes sweeter and mellower as it warms. Exquisite balance.

D: Virtually invisible alcohol content. Characteristically awesome. Thanks Joe!

GbVDave, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -14.3%

Thanks to BZero007 for sending me this in an epic exchange of Top 100 brews. I hope he enjoyed his, now I'm going to tie into mine!

Batch #2. Pours thick, dark, cloudy red with a bubbly head that falls instantly to the barest of rings. Smells is all sour, funky cherry (or is that currants?).

Taste is like a sour slap upside the head. The sour funk runs up into my nasal passages & clears up the mild cold that started, as well as aiding my arthritis & cataracts. Yeesh! Sour dark fruits, funk, with a dry, tart finish contributed by the wood that sears the top of my mouth & back of my throat.

I think dry & tart covers the mouthfeel, with high carbonation. I can hear it bubbling. Drinkability is high/low. Low because I couldn't have more than half the bomber, high because it's unique & soothing on the tongue. As I move on even a half-bomber is a lot; eight ounces would have sufficed.

Very good beer. Can't say that I'm as enamored of it as the general BA population, but I understand the appeal. A wonderful once-in-a-while treat.

maximum12, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of wd40
4.58/5  rDev +2%

Very dark, deep burgundy hue in glass. Has a sweet fruitiness of raspberries and currants balanced by sour tartness. Consecration is aged in wine barrels and there is definitely a hint of red wine in the aftertaste. Although it's sour, it's so delicious I found myself almost gulping it down.
What makes this beer work so well is the balance between dark/sweet flavors, and bright/sour flavors. The dark/sweet flavors coming from the fact that the baseline beer for this brew is a Belgian style dark ale with currants added, that has been aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
The yeast used, Bretanomyces, also adds some earthy flavors to the mix. This is then counterbalanced by the bright sourness produced by the bacterias: Lactobacilius and Pediococcus. FWIW, that kind of sourness I can only relate to candy like sour patch kids, but the sourness has a lot of flavors competing for attention. This brew has some real complexity and depth of flavor. Highly recommended.

wd40, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of Llewellyn9
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%

The appearance was definitely intriguing. Poured a foamy tan head that quickly dissipated. The color was amazing, an almost plum purple.

Smell was acidic yet sweet, berries and red wine break through the vinegar. No hops, but who needs 'em when you got brett?

Taste and mouthfeel were no doubt puckering, but this was an extremely well balanced ale. Beautiful red wine and berry notes are perfectly complemented by the acidity. No alcohol present whatsoever. An expertly done ale. I have to say this beer makes me reconsider my previous ratings.

This beer is complex and intriguing, I could probably finish off a bottle of this by my self, but maybe not much more.

Loved it...

Llewellyn9, Jul 16, 2009
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,842 ratings.