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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,167 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,167
Reviews: 1,047
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,407
Gots: 1,309 | FT: 90
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,167 | Reviews: 1,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of localhost
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I lack the proper adjectives to describe the taste of this beer. I have had it both in a bottle and on top now, most recently on tap. It is extremely sour, yet has an amazing flavor.

Pours dark red with very little head, looks very inviting. Smells very sweet and sour. The taste is a complete explosion of fruity sourness and sweetness. I'm not sure what exactly i'm tasting, all i know is that it is strong and i like it. My mouth was a little dry afterward but not much more than other beers. Even though this beer is incredibly sour, i found myself ordering more than one in a row, so i would say the drinkability is pretty good. Definitely a sipping beer, but still amazing overall.

Long story short: buy it and drink it.

localhost, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.65/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, batch 004x4. Sent to me by boatshoes. I was totally stoked to see this one in there.

A- The color of this beer is basically the same color as the label. The carbonation fizzes up a head violently fast. It doesnt even get done gathering before its gone. No lacing, no head, not even any bubbles. Thats not always a bad thing when it comes to a sour though, I suppose.

S- This is a good smelling beer though. Very acidic. Lots of vinegar that stings the nostrils. A healthy dose of horsey funk. A nice woodiness is also apparent. Red wine, currants and glue come in subdominately.

T- Quite sour. The phrase "ass puckering" has been going around this site since Overlord coined it. Its beers like this that keep that phrase alive. Very acidic, one of the more acidic beers Ive tasted. Again, a considerable amount of funk. Lots of old, beat up oak barrel, and cellar door. Tartness that is akin to very under ripe berries. Wow this is strong on wood (to write in a very stream of conscience manner). Vinegar, unripe plum skin. Pretty aggressive.

M- Very biting. Very dry. It leaves a grape juice acidity in the mouth as it strips your palate bare.

D- Very aggressive. I think I feel it trying to upset my stomach. I like it nonetheless. This beer will let you know what it thinks of you, and it doesnt think to highly of your attitude.

This beer in one word: Rancorous.

MbpBugeye, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of jonvan04
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this as part of my own personal taste test. I had both Consecration and Supplication at the same time. This poured a dark brown with a white head, it was sampled out of a tulip glass. The aroma was intensely sour with a lot of dark fruits mixed in. The taste was just an outright assault of sourness which I enjoyed very much. It was very aggressive while still having a nice balance between the sourness and the acidity. The body was very light, this didn't taste like a 10%abv beer. However, I don't see myself being able to have more than 2 of these since sour beers can tear apart the stomach after having too many. I could see this being too aggressive for some, those people would probably enjoy Supplication more since that was the more mellow of the two.

jonvan04, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of newk340
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split in Delirium tulips w/ hu5om

A: a deep mahogany color, similar to a flat dr. pepper, no head w/ little-to-no lacing.

S: an extreme sour smell of dark fruits (figs, prunes).

T: bitter dark fruits, an explosion of various flavors with an inkling of dark chocolate, some woody tones.

MF/D: a sizzle of carbonation w/ a lingering heat and a quickly receding bitterness. like drinking a liquid warheads candy. certainly doesn't taste like 10%.

newk340, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of fcaf
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had two pours from the local Belgian pub and two bottles from the supermarket. Both showed a beautiful reddish-brown color with a small head. The taste was sour without being gaudy about it, with a balancing sweetness that covered the high ABV almost entirely.

fcaf, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to a generous BA that set me up with this. Right now I'm so excited to try this. I poured this into a tulip, just as Russian River instructs me to. The pours is lively! Fizzy and awesome with a small head the does quite the vanishing act. It's here then gone! The body looks stellar, a beautiful dark cherry red with lots of lively carbonation. Smells sour. I like it! It starts with a sour cherry with a bit of vinegar; oak aromas with nice earthiness. This smells a bit funky with a sweet finishing aroma. I'm down with this. Tart right out of the gate! This is great, oak and earthy flavors with tart and sweet cherries. This has some solid funkiness to it. This is really well balanced, it's not overly tart and the mild sweetness is a welcome finish. The mouthfeel is nice, a bit drying to the end but the light body and the carbonation makes this really enjoyable. I could drink this all the time. I get a bit of heat from alcohol but this is so good I don't even care. It's easy to drink and this glass is lasting me a while. This is a really nice sour and I will certainly be seeking out more.

Bendurgin, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of Randalld
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Rusty copper brown. Little pieces of sediment swirling around the glass. Tiny head that disspates quicky. Complex and interesting to look at honestly.

S-Vinegar, oak, sour apples, tart cherries.

T-Immediately sour, tangy, and out right funky. In a good way of course. Vinegar and sour apples show up again in the taste Along with some tart cherries and currants.

M-Medium mouthfeel with expected carbonation for the style, i think. carbonation is tingly and has a little sting to it. the finish is bitter and dry. I found it to be very refreshing.

D-I've only had a handfull of wild ales but this one i enjoyed the most. I could drink this all summer long if i had the access. I wish RR would put these in sixers and ship them over to the third coast.

Randalld, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of morimech
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004x1

Light brown color with a thin head that quickly disappears. Very little lacing is left on the glass. The appearance was not really a disappointment considering the style. Wonderful aroma of wild funkiness, leather, grapes, currants, and wine. The finest tasting sour/wild ale I have drunk. Plenty of lip puckering sourness but it does not interfere with the subtle fruit and malt notes. The currants are tasted but they definately play a supporting role. This beer seems to be perfectly blended and balanced. Light body with crisp carbonation that seems well suited to the flavor. With the ABV way up there, it limits drinkability but the 375ml bottle seemed like the perfect serving size.

morimech, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of crossovert
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.6 fl oz corked and caged brown bottle. Batch 004x4.

It pours with a super fizzy head that dissipates within a second and leaves no lacing. The beer is a hazy reddish plumb color with hints of brown.

It has a pungent smell. There is some red wine smell along with a huge whiff of oak. There is also some sour currant and caramel. It is very sour and oaky smelling.

The taste is very reminiscent to a dark red wine. It is very vinous and tannic. The oak is milder in the flavor than it was in the smell. There is a slight funk note but the yeast is mostly sour. Not asspuckeringly sour but pretty nicely sour. Underneath everything there are traces of malts including the smallest hint of toastiness. It finishes with a dry grapeskin/seed flavor. As you go the subtly sweet currant flavor can be tasted in the back of the mouth along with some oxidized apple.

The mouthfeel is pretty good for a sour. It is a tad thin but very dry and tannic in the finish. The alcohol surprisingly isn't totally hidden under the deep complexity though it never becomes overbearing.

Overall this is a nice sour. It is definitely one of the sourest beers I have had yet.

crossovert, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004X4 - Picked up at the Foodery in Philly

A. Pours with no head whatsoever. Pours a deep brown with amber/ruby when light shines through. Small occasional bubbles show that there is some carbonation in the beer, but very little.

S. Oak, sour, dark malt, some belgian candi sugar and yet a bit like a dry red wine.

T. Earthy leather and tobacco with fig. Funky sourness lies firmly on top of the flavor profile. Sour on swallow with a dry finish.

M. Medium body with little noticeable carbonation.

D. This drinks more like a red wine than a beer. While that is partly due to the low carbonation the flavor profile also seems to align more with wine than beer. The high alcohol is hidden well under the complex flavors, but you probably wouldn't consume more than a glass with or after dinner. I appreciate that this beer maintains complexity where so many sour beers are one dimensional.

I've got one more bottle of this; I'll update if that one is more carbonated.

BeerAndBourbon, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Between brown and black with ruby highlights around the edge where light catches it. No head retention, just a white ring around the side of the glass. Aroma is woody, earthy, with maltiness and a real dried fruit presence. Wine n grape notes really come through. This ones good but at 10% and barrel aged I think it needs time to mellow. Sour power up front and all the way through with a lingering finish that is funky n dry. Malty n fruity with flavors of deep toasty malt and dried fruit, leather and earthy. Pretty tasty and drinkable, but I always think that about sours. Nice mouthfeel, full and thick.

pmlondrigan, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

200 hundredth review!!!! Poured into my delirium tremens tulip in the new apt

A: A red brown body with a white head that dies withing the first minute.

S: Vinegar, Granny Smith apples, grapes, sour patch kids, very vivid.

T: So complex. Vinegar, apples, sour patch kids, grapes, champagne.

M: Carbonation is very high at first. Bottle pops like a cap gun. Dies down very quickly and mellows out.

D: Nobody does IPAs and sours like RR. Damn. This is sour to die for.

DNICE555, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of AaronHomoya
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought from a small beer store in Paulsbo, WA near Seattle. My first wild ale from Russian River, though I have been a fan of the sour wild ale style from Belgium for while. It's an attractive red, plum, amber color. Carbonation is fairly high and makes it looks just a bit like Dr. Pepper - but in a good way. The smell is really nice. Sour, cherries, alcohol, and a sweet/acid mix. The flavor is similar, but with more dark fruit, a bit of the cabernet and oak. I give it some minus-points because there is a bile-like quality as well that didn't sit well with me. Mouthfeel is nice and lively and it would be very drinkable for me if not for that bile-thing going on in the background.

AaronHomoya, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip from a 375ml bottle.

Pretty strong pop from this bottle. Pours a nice garnet color with active carbonation and a nice .25 inch head. The head is thin and recedes quickly down to a ring. The color is very attractive.

Tart cherry aroma with some slight vinous aroma and raisin characteristics. Slight syrup aroma as well with some medicinal esters. Nice vinous character with some good tart vinegar notes and mixed in some nice wood.

Intense cherry tartness to start off with some slight balsamic vinaigrette that moves in as well. The profile is very similar to the aroma. Slight phenols and a syrupy medicinal flavor. The beer is very complex even though it leans towards the sour side. A nice rich flavor with a present alcoholic warmth and sweetness that tries to offset the tartness. As the beer warms it becomes a bit sweeter with some nice berry flavors and eventually the woody flavors from the aging. I've just started to experiment with sour beers and I have to admit some I like better than others. This is a good example and not a bad one to get introduced to the different flavor spectrum.

Delicious tartness with some great slight fruit sweet notes. The high ABV is nice and warming and lends the brew a richer note.

JoEBoBpr, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of ridglens
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split with a couple BA buddies, Poured into three snifters.

Pours a thin head at first, which quickly dies to a creamy ring around the edge of the glass. appearance is pretty decent, beer looks very nice with some back lighting, a burnt brown glow. smell is not what i expected (having no idea what to expect), and is FULL of rich butterscotch, caramel, and toffee. dome darker fruits come out as well (can't place specifics, but very sweet), and a rush of sour apples. damn great smell. taste follows suit, very sweet caramel toffee with some sweet malt. the sourness is not as intense as other RR offerings (it is still the main theme though!), but it actually complements the sweetness very well and doesn't overpower the rich flavor profile. mouthfeel is where this one falls a little short for me. it's a little thin, especially for a richer tasting beer. the carbonation was just a hair much, though not distractingly so. the drinkability is good, balanced flavors and not tongue destroying sourness, and pretty light (see mouthfeel)

ridglens, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of mynie
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours like red sangria. Little bit a fizz on top.

It's tamer than I thought it would be. Maybe 2-3 years ago, before the sour thing took off and every other American brewer was trying to out shocktart Shock Tarts, this would have been shockingly sour. I was expecting something shockingly sour. But, really, that's my fault, not the beer's.

The sour isn't intense and the fruit isn't candied or Starbursty. But the sour is still there, and the fruitiness isn't like regular ripe fruit even though it's also not like any candied or synthetic fruit, nor even like any other wild ale I've ever had. It's vinous, with burny nodes of red wine barrels in the back end, but mostly it's just very delicately fruity and sour.

This is exquisitely brewed. This is the kind of beer that can (and did) help set off a national trend.

mynie, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of TCgoalie
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TCHopCraver (the supplier of this rare treat), BuckyFresh, and zoso1967 for the tasting party that included this brew. 8/21/10

The pour is a dark reddish hue mixed with a good deal of brown. The head appeared brownish then faded to white. Agitating this beer will manually create more head. When swirling the glass, splotchy bubbles gather across the glass and collect in mild lacing.

The smell yields a subdued cherry tartness, woody oak, caramel, banana, and lemon.

The taste is quite tart with lots of sour iron like feel. Further in the taste is more sour with a cigar/tobacco like aftertaste. There are also some spicy, peppery notes.

The mouthfeel is light and refreshing and certainly gets my saliva glands going. A nice drying finish concludes this rarity.

This is a solid drink. It is so sour that I want more to believe how sour it is.

TCgoalie, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of sk8man121
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bach 002x1 - this bottle has some time on it.

750 ml bottle obtained via trade with craytonic; thanks, Matt!

Poured into Allagash chalice.

A: Pours a deep russet-brown with a champagne-like head that dies down just as fast. Settles with no head whatsoever. Completely opaque and mysterious.

S: Smells just like I thought it would - vinegar, tart apples, a hint of red grape and oak. If the smell of a wild ale could ever truly be balanced, ever balanced, this would be it.

T: Beautiful. Sour upfront, yet the finish kicks in fast and mellows everything out. Flavor profile is so complex that I don't know where to start - vinegar, bright fruit, citrus, vanilla. This is beautiful.

M: Carbonation is medium-high, yet flattens quickly. Overall, this is a fairly toothsome beer that goes down like silk.

D: This is my first offering from Russian River, and I couldn't be more impressed. I could likely drink 2 bottles of this.

Looking forward to more Russian River after a splendid first experience.

sk8man121, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of xnicknj
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Monk's in philly. review from notes.

A - A lovely copper brown color with golden hues and barely any head or lacing.

S - Remarkably cherry and tart, along with some hints of alcohol and red wine.

T - Highly sour and acidic up front, but the sweeter currant flavors quickly balance the taste before an amazingly unique wine flavor starts to kick in. Smacking of dark fruit, oak, and red wine, the ale quickly warms you as the 10.5 abv is almost nonexistent until finally creeping in towards the finish, creating a rush of boozyness which isn't overwhelming.

M - Bubbly, sticky, tart, and dry.

D - Possibly one of the easiest drinking wild ales I've ever had, especially at 10.5%. You can sense the alcohol in the finish, but it's tough to only have one, especially on tap.

These are expensive, and worth every penny. Absolutely delicious, refreshing, vibrant, exciting, and pleasant to drink. I only wish we could get RR in NJ, but at least Philly is within striking distance.

xnicknj, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to largadeer for this bottle, with some age on it

Batch 2x2

A - this RR offering pours a dark ruby/crimson in color and wells up a medium brown short lived head, holding it up to light reveals moderate carbonation

S - cabernet grapes and currants are big at first, some sour grapes come in to finish the aroma

T - super red grapes/currents/raisins, and a note of sour grapeskins tempers the dark fruit sweetness

M&D - layered and beautifully complex, the age on it mustve added to it, id love to compare notes on a fresh one, RR is reason #137 to move California

sinstaineddemon, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 004X1

Appearance -- Pours garnet with amber highlights and minimal head. Just enough haze to catch light.

Smell -- Currant, tart berries, cider vinegar, vanilla, and canteloupe.

Taste -- Red wine vinegar, currant, and tart raspberry-like notes are most evident up front. Some cabernet is also noticable along with mixed berries, amber malt, and an earthy, vegetal bitterness. The oak barrel gives some woody astringency and vanilla flavor.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body with ample prickly carbonation and mild astringency. A bit frothy toward the back-end. Dry finish.

Drinkability -- It's good, but I'm not in love. Probably due to my mixed feelings toward currants. I really had to give this beer a chance, but toward the end of my glass I was feeling okay about it. Still, I won't be actively seeking this out any time soon.

yeahnatenelson, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of hu5om
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

batch 004x3, split in tremens tulips with newk340.

a - deep mahogany. flat cola in appearance. ominous.

s - SOUR! intense. curranys. painfully sour grape and i'm nervous.

t - not as sour as i feared. dark chocolate and wood acompany the currant and sweet/sour grape. not overly sour. tobacco? licorice? i'm outta my league here, but who cares? it's delicious. warhead candy vibe.

m - makes you pucker, but not too much. pretty damn pleasant.

d - mind=blown. this is going to be my gateway sour. i'll go back to this one as the one that converted me to the style. AndrewK, you sir are an enabler! thanks again.

hu5om, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of deapokid
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried on tap at Monk's "Speakeasy" on Wednesday 8/18. Review from notes.

This highly sought after sour pours a reddish brown with amber hues and an impossibly deep body. Carbonation is modest, as is the head and lacing. Takes on a bronzy red wine vibe when held to the light. It's incredibly attractive and arousing.

Aromas are a Sour Patch Kids fan's dream come true. Vinegar, tart berry, a blanket of musk and a whiff of a brown ale's buttery notes are equally on display. The whole package is striking, as is the profound blast of sour that stings the nose from first sniff.

Flavor is like biting into a Warhead hard candy (in the best way). Face puckering sour cherries, Belgian brown ale malt, an oakey wood barrel musk and the fruity sweetness of a Flanders Red all perfectly round out the flavor.

This is the best of the style (in my humble opinion) and I think the delicate balance is the reason. It moves so smoothly from tart blast to malt to musk without ever losing focus or leaning on the sourness as a crutch.

It's also criminally easy to drink for its bombastic 10%. It's even easier to consume on tap and (after trying it at a bar and from a bottle) it just feels so vibrant and flavorful right from the keg.

A must try!

deapokid, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of Verecund
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004x02. Consumed on 08/23/2010.

Pours a lusty and hazy ruby red with little to no head, though I poured it cold. Second pour yields a nice, short-lived three-quarter finger head.

Sweet and tangy berries, sour cherries, a muted oakiness, major vinous notes. Fresh and bright aroma. On the palate, Consecration starts with the taste that's left on your fingers after picking blackberries, which is overcome by leathery and funky brett. Nicely blended, wonderful currant presence, and the Cabernet notes come through beautifully, but this vintage is heavy on a tobacco character I find distracting on the finish.

Fairly light, with a dry finish. It's hard to think this is 10% ABV.

Verecund, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of stonelis
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap. deep dark red in color. First taste was a blast of sour cherry. Carbonation was a bit odd, kind of like a mellow champagne. citrus, lemon. This beer was just amazing as it warmed there was flavors of oak, rum, brandy. This beer is a real treat for the taste buds, sensations of all types. A slightly sour finish. My wife even liked this one and she hates beer!

stonelis, Aug 23, 2010
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,167 ratings.