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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,850 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,850
Reviews: 1,035
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 1,359
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: 3,850 | Reviews: 1,035 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of DiabolikDUB
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

On-Tap @ Belmont Station poured into Tulip glass.

Pours a rich plum color with some glowing red hues and a light, fluffy tan colored head that quickly burns out into a nice thin wispy ring around the glass. The aroma is filled with tart berries, touches of oak and just a plain overall sour aroma. The flavor is very much the same with tart berries being the first thing you taste and eventually allows for some oak and touches of earthy hops to shine through and finishes very dry. Its a very effervescent beer and is light bodied. This is quite a tasty beer. It has very nice sourness which doesn't blast you away but definitely makes you pucker. The alcohol is very well hidden and will sneak up on you if you aren't careful as this is an easy drinker. Lovely, delicious stuff.

DiabolikDUB, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

Got in a trade with mjl21...thanks for everything like usual Mike!

A- Pours a darker brown color with red highlights to it when held up to the light. Had a nice two finger head that went away rather quickly leaving little lacing on the sides that slide down the glass.

S- This has a very wine vinegar smell to it. I like it a lot from first smell. Cherry and maybe a touch of apple keep popping up with hints of oak from time to time. This is a damn fine smelling beer. The currants in it bring up the backbone of this beer for sure.

T- Wow....this is what I've been waiting for?? Well worth it! Sour upfront with currants and cherries blasting through. The middle has a oaky and slight apple tinge to it with the ending being a vinegary sourness to it that comes through more at the end then at the front of the beer. I can't get enough of this taste...so good!

M- This is a medium-light mouthfeel I think. The carbonation is lacking a little but still amazing to say the least. It rest in your mouth but the sourness to it pushes it through to the back of your throat. Aftertaste is like a wine (merlot or cab. sauv).

D- I am always down for a wild ale but the guys I spilt it with were not fans of wild ales and wanted me to crack open another one....if only I had another I would have. Good job Russian River and great job Mike for getting this wonderful beer to me!

alleykatking, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of Jmoore50
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%

Had this on tap at the Toronodo, served in a tulip glass. This thing is wild.

The appearance was a darker brown with a lighter consistency. It was thinner than I would have expected. It also came with a dark dark purple tint, and no head. It left no lacing and left a light alcoholic residue on the glass promising it was 10% ABV.

The smell was interesting. It smelled of dark bitter fruits. It had a light hop bitterness also but overall this thing had a fermented wine smell. I also got heavy acidic smells as well as cherry?

The taste was something different. It was like a sweet wine, with dark pomegranate. Had the craziest mouthfeel. It was a bit overly carbonated and fruity. The alcoholic taste was covered well, but I can also take the booziness in good stride. My palate does not pick that aspect up as much as others. The fruit was intense. It was not even like drinking a beer, it was like a wine-fruit-coca cola- brew extravaganza. The most overwhelming characteristic was the bitter fruit and carbonation.

The drinkability was good, but I would of not drank a whole bottle of this. It is boozy and when you stand up after a full glass you can tell. I think it was an interesting brew that I would love to revisit sometime down the road, but not an everyday repeat.


Jmoore50, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of Docer
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%

Finally cracked into my batch #2 bottle... sat in 9 deg. C for a little over a month, popped in the freezer for about 30 min., opened, and let it sit for over an hour to warm up. Poured into a tumbler..

- Looks like a glass of coke without ice. Bubbles like a cider... quick head to quick no head! Sparkling like a wine.. cola colored, clear...

- Bright currants hit the nose with a slight vinegar scent.. little bit of pickled olive.. slight alcohol... sweet cola.. grape.. fig.. spice.. hint of oak character.. sparkling vineyard.

- Crystal clear waters with tart cherry but more so black currants and blueberry... very tart... only a slight bit of acid and vinegar.. with a very complex barrel oakiness to it... little bit of grape...

- Light on the tongue, leaves only a slight bit of tartness, or early picked sweet currants.. blackberry, grape sitting on the tonque... not even very dry..

- Quite drinkable.. but fizzes up a lot on the tongue.. I guess the way it's produced.. like a sparkling wine.. will do that, and is normal... but this is a sipper! Very drinkable, and as I am not a huge fan of the style, I am further understanding it... and I must say, with this one I am truly floored at how well put together and complex it is. A great sour wild ale from Russian River.

Docer, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%

A: Opaque, dark brown with a very noticeable reddish tint.

S: The nose is sour in general, but specifically sour cherries. The oak barrel also really comes through.

T: Again, lots of sour cherries. Quite tart. Maybe also some grapes and you definitely get the currants. The combination of the Brett, barrel, and fruit give the beer a very dry and tannic character..

M: The body is rather full with a high level of carbonation and a very dry finish.

D: Incredible. You would never know the ABV strength of this beer as the alcohol is completely covered by the wonderful taste.

womencantsail, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of clvand0
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours an amber color with a medium head that falls quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is sour with a vinous and vinegar thing going on (in a good way). Also has notes of cherries/currants, grapes, and wood. The flavor is like a great mix of sour cherries and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Very complex and thoroughly enjoyable. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is quite good.

clvand0, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of SPRichard
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%

had this at the Memphis Taproom over the 4th of July weekend...this is my first attempt at an American Wild Ale

served in a tulip glass...reddish/brown body...not much of a head on this one...no signs of lace at all

sour/tart cherries...biscuity yeast...some Belgian candy sweetness

sour cherries/green apples was all i could think of after each sip....really could feel it in my cheeks

despite the sour/tart flavors this was very smooth to drink...nice medium bodied...dry finish...not overly carbonated

this style is way out there for me...like i stated earlier this is my first time trying an American Wild Ale...took me a while to drink it, but made my way through it with no problems...taking a few sips of ice water between sips of beer made it a bit more bearable...i'm always willing to try anything from Russian River so I couldn't pass this one up....would I go back to it again if I found it, probably not but that doesn't mean it's a bad beer in my eyes...when i become more familiar with this style i may have it again and re-review it

SPRichard, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of froghop
4.13/5  rDev -8%

pours a dark brown with a ruby tint when held to the light, a small khaki head that dissipates quickly, and some lacing.

smell is sour, dark fruits, and wood.

taste is tart, sour malt, and dark fruit, end is nicely tart.

overall a very good sour ale.

froghop, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%

Batch 001X2 bottle, corked and caged, purchased from Monk's Cafe 4 months ago. The beer is hazy, dark reddish brown with a 1-finger off-white foam that quickly dissipated to a thin ring around the glass. Much darker than I initially expected. The aroma is sour and acidic with a strong raisin character. There's much more dark fruit than I normally get in a wild ale, I think I smell plums and a touch of alcohol also. I like everything about the aroma except the alcohol, maybe it can't be helped due to the high ABV. The taste is not as sour as feared or hoped, but crisply tart. Lots of raisins, plums, some sweet and tart cherries, very very good. More in-your-face than Belgian wild ales, this has more evident alcohol and bolder flavors overall. Medium body but the rich flavors and threat of 10% tempers the drinkability a bit.

TurdFurgison, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of br3wmeister
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%

A- Large foamy off white head with moderate retention and ok lacing. Nice orange red color.

S- Earthy and woody aroma with hints of cedar and oak. Nice big tartness in the aroma as well.

T- Strawberries, cherries, some oak, grassy bitterness and large tartness that I have come to expect form American Wilds. Also some really nice sweetness, caramel and vanilla. Very tasty beer.

M- medium bodied beer with waves of sweet oiliness balanced by dry bitterness and puckering sour.

So far this is one of my favorite wild ales, it is very sour but yet still has nice sweetness and great complexity. I can't wait to try more wilds from Russian River!

br3wmeister, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of srroos
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured from a 750mL corked and caged bottle (Batch 001X2) into a snifter.

A: Dark amber with one and a half fingers of tan head. Dissipates into a small ring.

S: Tart cherries, vinegar, oak.

T: Oak and tannins like a cabernet with the added punch of brett.

MF: Medium bodied, but VERY tart!

D: Slow drinking due to the mouth-puckering tartness. Still managed to finish the whole bottle over the course of an evening though. Very tasty!

srroos, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

on-tap at deep ellum during the cantillon/de la senne event on april 24, 2009, week's end of the craft brewers conference.

served in orval chalice

dark ruby red w brown tint. creamy, tan, faintly pink head. fades to creamy wisps and ring. lacing doesn't stick.

aroma: richer brett funkiness than the bottle i had from batch 1. same with the vinous and cider vinegar notes - like the bottle, but just more robust. tart, but with fresh fruit tones of grapes and currants. wood and leather hints with trace of oaky vanilla. fresh cranberry, red wine, cherries and possibly more currants show up again in the back.

taste is similar both to the aroma and overall to the bottled batch 1, but richer - even though here the draught lines are serving the beer at much colder temps. tart and dry with a lovely tannic finish, totally reminiscent of cabernet. full of flavors (wood, leather, farmhouse funk, fruit, hay, etc.)

medium body, nice and tart. acidic and astringent with tannins for structure and texture. cleaned up by both the acidity itself, but also the prickly yet fine and delicate carbonation.

whoa - where can i get more of this stuff?! i pray that the bottle sitting in my cellar will age into something like this...

thanks again to max and vinnie for making this happen!

tai4ji2x, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of imblane
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings about plunking down $22 for a 750ml bottle, but I wisely listened to a friend who said it was more than worth it. Batch #002x1.

A - Initial carbonation was high with a 2-3 finger head that dissapated quickly. Nice and dark like a fine brandy.

S - Funky and sour! Hard to believe there aren't any cherries in this one. I get a red wine vinegar, green apple, oak and sour grapes. This is gonna be good!!

T - Wow! Just like it smells, sour green apples, a hint of red wine vinegar and dark bitter cherries. I tried like hell but could not pick up the vanilla mentioned by other reviewers. Un-Godly well balanced!

M - Carbonation seemed high when I popped the cork, but was perfect on my palate. Dry and oh so tart with just the perfect acidity.

D - This is actually very scary. I did not even get a hint of alcohol here. 10%? It could be 2% and I would not have noticed. Yet even with alcohol taking a backseat, it was so satisfying that I wanted to prolong drinking this like no other.

Overall, I don't see many sours coming close to this. Vinnie hits it on the head once again. May be arguably the best to come out of Santa Rosa ever.

imblane, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of duncan9idaho
4.4/5  rDev -2%

Color is dark amber with small lacing. Head was think on pour. Nose has barnyard, coffee, fruit, and a hint of perfume. Taste was strong sour with hay and fruit flavor finishing with a hint of tannin and bread. Not the most drinkable beer but a 10 ounce pour will do the trick. Excellent!

duncan9idaho, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of SpruceFish
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

poured in to a snifter bottle from batch 2

A- dark crimson darkest sour i have yet to see an i love it of white head yet does not stick around

S- sour grapes, currants, cranberries the brett starts seeping though super funky (barnyard wet hey) and a little oak

T- freaking amazing just like the smell sour grapes, currants, ect funk and oak one of the most complex sours i have had and very balanced

M- carbonation great and really dry

D- perfect i would not know this had a 10% ABV

overall one of the best beers i have ever had russian river really knows what they are doing when it comes to sours i cant wait to try the rest of them

SpruceFish, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4.22/5  rDev -6%

A - Dark bourbon color, not much head, leaves fast to ring. Big pop when opening. Small tight bubbled lacing.

S - Tart cherries, crisp, some yeast and fading malt tones.

T - Taste replicates smell to a tee.

M - Well carbed, tartness fades and dry finish. Quality stuff.

D - ABV well hidden. Tartness does not tire easily. Think I am getting used to fine sours.

srandycarter, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of Irie
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%

"Like wine that's gone bad with butter..." according to a friend, but in a very delicious way.
Looks rich and red like wine, smells sweet and fruity like wine, and has a very mild mouthfeel (mainly from the casket I'm sure) but very smooth like wine, and tastes like a sweet wine that's been out a little while, all the while still being a 10% beer that dances on the line of what is considered beer.

That being said, this is an incredibly unique beer that explores the boundaries of what beer can be. I loved it and was very sad when I reached the bottom of my 6 oz pour. Will definitely drink again!

Irie, Jun 21, 2009
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,850 ratings.