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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,417 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,417
Reviews: 1,067
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 1,482
Gots: 1,474 | FT: 110
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,417 | Reviews: 1,067 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SFLpunk
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to Millerbuffoon for this 375mL brown glass cork and caged number. Batch 004X3.

Pours a ruddy, reddish brown, mostly clear with very thin head. Nose smells sour right off the bar (yes, I know sour is not a smell). Wine barrels and red wine vinegar, plus raisins soaking in vodka come to mind, a hint of smooth leather and a suggestion of cranberry.

Palate is vinegar sour right off the bat. Flavors of leather, dried cranberry, used wine barrel, earthen clay and plum mix together. Good complexity, quite sour, long finish, but rather still (in terms of carbonation).

Not my favorite RR sour. Still love me that Temptation. I will say that the AVB is really well hidden... This is FFO Flemish reds.

Photo of dgilks
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bottle of batch 2X1. Thanks to the kind friends who brought it back from the US for me.

This pours a clear but dark brown colour with rich, ruby highlights. The light tan head dissipates quickly but still leaves a little ring of bubbles around the glass. About as much as can be hoped for in a sour beer with this level of alcohol.

Rich, sweet fruity aroma with those red currants really shining come through first. Next is a vinous, leathery, funky aroma with a lovely crispness to it. Good definition too.

The flavour is good but not spectacular. I get a nice balance of sweetness and sourness with the fruitiness really coming through. There's a bit of funk too. The main problem for me is the astringent, mild bitterness that comes through the finish. While I love the flavour this bitterness detracts for me.

There's a medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. This is good but the astringency also lets this down.

Overall, a very good beer. It looks great, smells great and tastes good with just a small astringency problem which comes from the use of barrels and bugs. A great effort by RR and I look forward to trying more of their sours if and when I make it to California.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005 (375ml). RR 'tion glass.

A: Dark reddish amber, almost brownish like you would expect with an aging wine. Only a ring of off white head. Not much retention, and no lacing.

S: Funky red wine and red currant and oak/cinnamon/spice from the barrel treatment. Black cherry in the secondary. Faint dark dried fruit as it warms up.

T: Currant, brett, spice (pepper, cinnamon), red wine. Tart but a grade below mouthpuckering. A touch of sweetness. Long finish.

M: Crisp. Carbonation is on the higher end. Medium bodied.

O: This is definitely my favorite of the easily available sour 'tion beers (Supplication, Sanctification, Temptation). A sour beer for red wine lovers.

Photo of Wreckoncile
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 006 Poured from 375ml into Chimay goblet

A - Poured like a cocacola at first; fizzy with a quickly appearing and quickly diminishing head leaving no lacing. Also similar in color, although hazy. At first, I was planning on rating the appearance much lower due to the lack of a stable foam, but what it revealed when it disappeared was the most active fluid surface I'd ever seen on a beer, bubbles wisping around and dancing carbonation on the surface that showed me an active beer. Makes me feel like I'm about to drink a living thing, which I really dig.

S - Strong upfront dark cherry tartness with a very muted malty note underneath that seems to tessellate perfectly in place with the tartness. An almost tannic like red wine aroma as well, that reveals a bit of sourness at the end of the tart.

T - Very wine-like in flavor, as could have been expected, with an extremely sour bite to finish it off. The sourness chased away the dark fruit notes I got in the nose, but that doesn't bother much, as the sourness accentuates the citrusy flavor of the hops. No hoppy bitterness, preserving the flavor of the hops, while allowing all the bitterness to flow from its sourness. Altogether solid flavor profile that beguiled me at first and commanded my full attention.

M - Crisp and effevescent, and yet somehow still managed to be silky... I'm really not sure how this overall texture was pulled off, but its one of a kind. Hides it's booziness well in the medium body.

O - This particular beer confused me more than anything. Granted, I've not had much experience with sours to date, but I still imagine this has greater depth than most. I'd say its sourness in taste overpowered some of the darker fruits that the scent gives off, and the final product ends up tasting a bit like a carbonated grapefruit juice without any sweetener. But there is much more here. As it warmed, I felt that the malt I detected in the nose came out a bit more, but the yeastiness was seemingly lost in the sour. I enjoyed this, and have a bottle in the cellar that I look forward to revisiting in a year's time to see how it changed.

Photo of Sideswipe
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a tulip. Batch 006

A- Deep mahogany color. Minimal head dissipates rapidly leaving a thin ring of tan bubbles hugging the outside of the glass.

S- Aroma of sweet dark berries and brett. Smells acidic and funky.

T- Starts out tart and sour with a nice flavor from the currants coming in mid palate. Notes of berry and oak from the cab barrels are present in abundance. Barnyard funk is present throughout, and the finish is semi dry with a lingering tartness.

M- Feel is medium with a nice prickly level of carbonation which works well with the tartness of the beer.

O- One of my favorite Russian River brews. The wonderful meritage of sour, tart currants coupled with the complexity of the oak and Cabernet make for a very enjoyable sour experience. Highly recommended!

Photo of kbnooshay
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a glorious garnet red color with no head at all. No lacing. Smells like a sweet red wine and fruit. Tastes like currants. The sweetness of the candy like currants balances well with the sour tart dryness. Tastes like cinnamon. Closest thing I've had to a sour red wine. Little carbonation. Medium feel. Brilliant.

Photo of nickfl
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
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
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
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
4.32/5  rDev -4%
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
4.32/5  rDev -4%
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
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
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
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
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
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
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
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
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
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
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
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
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
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
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
4.56/5  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
4.19/5  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
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
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
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
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
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
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
4.02/5  rDev -10.7%
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 -0.7%
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
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,417 ratings.