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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,234 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,234
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,427
Gots: 1,338 | FT: 95
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,234 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa way darker than I thought it would be... a ruddy cherrywood brown color with moderate tan head. I guess it makes sense since this is a kriek-esque brew, but it just surprised me. Smell is tart with some cherries, a bit of funk, some leather. Taste follows suit, a bit tart, but not as tart as some other RRs I've had, with nice cherry flavor that flirts with medicinal flavors (not overpowering thank God). Decent malt to it, a bit of an oak touch on the finish as well. MF was medium-light, dry finish, about normal for a sour. I was pretty surprised that this one was 10%, pretty easy drink. Worth a try, but at $17 a bottle, I find it hard to justify when I can get other fruit lambics that are almost just as good (or just as good) for half the price. Rose de Gambrinus, for example, (I know it's raspberries and not cherries) is every bit as good as this guy, in my opinion.

Photo of gtn80
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance is a great ruby red color, almost mahogany. Bit worried about the lack of head though, almost like the secondary fermentation in the bottle didn't happen. No head, no pop when cork came out of the bottle.

Smell is malt that gives way to sourness, bit of funk. Dark fruits.

Taste is sourness all over, tart fruit, bit of vinegar. Pretty heavy malts mixed in, but overpowered by the sour and fruits. Touch of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, not helped by the lack of carbonation.

Drinkability is great for such a big beer, and even despite the carbonation.

I feel bad because my only experience with this beer is with lack of carbonation, so I can't tell if it's the beer or just the bottle.

Photo of sitarist
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks thedindaniel.

Batch 004X2.

Pours the color of cherry stained wood...A half an inch of head falls to hardly a ring...Spots of lacing slide back into the liquid. As I pour this beer tart aromas fill the room, and you can hear the carbonation fizzing away.

It is vinous...I smell sour cherry, leather, oak, and farm yard scents...Just like Temptation, I smell a faint hint of pickles...It reminds me of a good balsamic salad dressing. As it warms more of the farm funk comes out.

Red wine vinegar leads the way with hints of sour cherry and currant jelly...the flavors are pleasant and well balanced...sour but not too sour.

A mild citric acid bite...a fizzy carbonation that reminds me of pop-rocks...it has a medium body, and dry finish.

A dam good, well crafted beer. I could only drink one or two in a sitting, but I sure would like to have a cellar full of this treat. Another beer that will remain on my wants list.

Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what style glass this was served in, it was kind of a cross between a flute and a tulip. Poured a reddish mahogany with about 1/2 inch of off-white head that had medium retention and light lacing.

Grapes and wine! That is what dominated the nose, and there were traces of malt, spice and yeast in the background. Oh yes, this is mouth-puckeringly sour brew. Tart, tangy and sour, they wine flavor wasn't as strong as the had led me to expect.

The body was good, although a bit thinner than I would have liked. Drinkability was very good for a sour and the beer stayed puckerific to the last drop.

Overall, a good beer, a must try if you see it.

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

Batch 004x5. Poured a muddy ruby-mahogany into a tulip with a thin finger of off-white, quick-receding head. Vivid aroma of tart cherry, apple, funk, peppery spice, and a bit of oak.

Moderate carbonation and a dry, prickly, slick mouthfeel. Sour up front with cranberry and balsamic notes, apple, leather, and a hint of vanilla and tobacco on the finish before returning to a lingering, puckering cherry tartness. Alcohol is almost completely masked.

Temptation is probably my all-around favorite from Russian River, but this and Supplication are right up there as well. A wonderful treat to savor slowly!

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

Have had this on many occasions, and it is a classic. Every time on-tap though, and like Temptation, I suspect it's better in the bottle with a little age on it.

Small bit of foam but rapidly dissipates, leaving no lacing. Very pretty, clear brown beer with edges having a light amber hue.

Heavenly smell that hints at wine, salt, sourness, oak, slight malt. The taste is nearly identical, and has depth to it that makes you want to take more and more sips. Not overwhelmingly sour either which keeps the mouthfeel well balanced. Perfect carbonation.

Highly drinkable. I would give this a 5 but it can get sour and a little cloying after a while.

Photo of stimulus
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a tulip. Batch 004, bottling #4.

A: Pours a clear amber with virtually no head.
S: Funk from the Brett, and sourness from dark fruits.
T: Sour currants with funkiness from the brettanomyces and a smooth oak finish.
M: Light body with a medium carbonation.
D: Very drinkable. Sour, but no trace of alcohol. Pretty good.

Photo of Tilley4
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to screamforme for sending this one east to me.. Thanks, Mark!

Poured into a Duvel tulip... A fairly clear soft brownish amber with a short lived head that fades to a ring...

Really loving the aromas here... A slightly tart vinous aspect... Some straight out funk... I think maybe even some green apple and hints of chocolate? Whatever, it smells terrific... Very intriguing...lots of leather and earthiness as well..

Bracingly sour at first but quickly into a medley of leather, tart green apples, hints of chocolate, barnyard funk, and vinousness... Carbonation level is perfect for this beer... Crisp and sharp with a dry finish... I'm not an expert on sours or anything but this is amazing... There's quite a bit going on behind the curtain of sourness present and it changes all the time.. Very very nice...

I really loved this brew a lot... If this was available here, I'd always have some for sure... Its all I was hoping it would be... Better than Supplication which is the only other RR sour that ibe had... Was sad to see this 375ml bottle go... Could easily drink another one if the ABV didn't get me...

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

12.68 fl oz bottle, 04x04.

Poured into an Urthel tulip glass. A deep red in color, not quite as dark as but definitely resembling a nice red wine. The smell is intensely winey and funky, the wild yeasts not being concealed in the slightest. The taste acidic, sour and funky, with the currants coming through. Very carbonated, fairly light mouthfeel considering the 10% ABV. I can easily put back more than a few of these, and have done so in the past.

Overall, this is one of my favorite beers and definitely my favorite sour ale. It's a little pricey here in Philadelphia, but it's worth every penny.

Photo of bamadog
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I received this particular bottle (004x002) in a trade some time ago, and I had been waiting for a good enough reason to drink it... I figured that celebrating a night when I knew I could sleep in until 9:00 AM the next day was worth drinking it for. Review is from notes taken on 11/4/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: This beer opens to a huge pop -- pours a coppery/mahogany color and starts with a one finger, off-white head that fades quickly to nothing other than a few thin wisps that seem to slither around the surface, caused by the carbonation bubbling up from beneath; body is quite clear and shows plenty of carbonation; a couple of lone spots of strands of lacing are left behind along with an oily residue.

Smell: Wonderfully tart and sweet at the same time - smell is reminiscent of cherry, but also has some of the label-mentioned currants as well; bit of a sour, brett funkiness; slight hint of oaky vanilla in the back as well; the sourness becomes much more present as it continues to warm.

Taste: Wow. This beer is pretty amazing; lots of very tart fruity aspects that make me pucker immediately, yet soothes very quickly; a smooth oakiness with a sweet lingering hint of vanilla to it lies underneath; the funk present in the nose is not especially perceptible in the mouth; this beer is reminiscent of red wine in the finish with a bit of a lingering sour aftertaste; for being 10%, the alcohol is really undetectable.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight and it is slick and oily on the palette; leaves a thick, sticky coating on the roof that is counteracted by a strong mouthwatering sensation caused by the sourness and carbonation -- really quite excellent; belly is left warm from the ABV and acidic sourness.

Drinkability: Definitely a bit of a rare treat here -- glad I've got a 750 mL bottle stashed away still for another special occasion; amazing beer, but at 10% and a higher acidity, I do feel it is good in drinkability, but not great.

Photo of nkersten
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle batch 004x02 poured into Oerbier tulip. A hazy dried blood redish brown with an off white fizzy head that disappears quickly. Not an attractive beer. Smell is sour fruit, cherry pits, sugary sour candy, a hint of wine oakiness and funk. Taste is not nearly as complex as the smell - sour grapes at first, followed by a hint of alcohol and some wet oak. Mouthfeel is puckering at first, light body with prickly carbonation and a dry finish. Pretty drinkable, though not the best batch of consecration I have had.

Photo of boomer31
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Loved batch 2 but didn't review it. Review taken from batch 4

A - Transparent ruby red with a white ring around the glass.

S - That funk nose of brett and slight vinegar.

T - Right away this is more fruity than I recall. Currants, maybe but the citrus really stands out. Wood and dry tartness in the back. At 10% you don't get any of the ABV.

M - Highly carbed, light on the palate but dry and tart.

D - Fruity but tart. A very solid Wild, one of the best I've had. Sharing a bottle is probably a very good idea.

I'm still trying to get my palate for wilds but this one is right up there all the other wilds I've had, tart, dry and fruity.

Photo of brendan13
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a tulip glass a very dark copper/amber colour with a thin beige head that falls away almost immediately.
S - Light balsamic vinegar, horsey/barnyard funk, lots of dark fruit aroma, light vanilla oakiness.
T - Much the same as the taste really. An amazing blend of flavours.
M - You can feel the prickling acidity on your tongue - wow. Takes the award for the lightest body beer with the highest flavour I've ever had.
D - 10% is hardly noticeable. While the flavour is amazing I couldn't drink, or afford, much of it. A rare treat & very happy I bought 2 bottles.

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

How I love the Eastside..

8 oz into a snifter. This is a medley of the gods. Yes, there are currants here, but there is so much more, and it is hardly about the fruit so much as about the magnificence of of the blend. Sharply sour, there is a slight fruit funk to it but blending in well with the minimal malt presence.
The clear amber looks absolutely glorious in the glass, sturdy and lovingly giving its all to you, astute beer drinker. Smells and tastes sharp and slightly fruity, currants. An absolute treasure, a pleasure. It rips its flavor into your throat, forcing you to appreciate or die trying. The alcohol comes out a bit but the sour dominates the profile. This is a magical beast, worthy of all praise.

Photo of kbanks13
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Popkas for trading this one to me a little while ago.

Batch 002X003 poured into a Delirium snifter with a color of dark cherry wood with brighter shades of red when held to the light. Loose tan head that is gone in a flash with little lacing. Smells of yeast, must and horse blanket. Lots of wood, cherry and vinous aromas, too. Taste is a wonderful blend of oak and sweet fruits with a tart lemon flavor, like a good red wine but with a sour twist. Not anywhere near overly tart or overly sweet, the two are in perfect balance. Subtle grain characteristic in the background. Clean on the palate with no real lingering tastes. Medium carbonation with a light body that has a sweet flavor but a dry and puckering finish. Drinks surprisingly easy for a 10% ABV beer. I will have to trade for more of this and try it fresh too.

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

Have had this many times on tap. Lets talk about a Saraveza pour. Ruby hue with a beige head. Tart, funky tones, with oak and yeast on the nose. Well carbonated which balanced the alcohol and tart, sour characteristics. I could feel the alcohol going down my esophagus which was pretty warming. Some flavors of oak and wild yeast which was noticeable but not as smooth and tart/sour as I would hope. And the currants were very subtle and in the background mostly and a little in the finish.

Photo of oregone
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rockin good.
First beer that I'd serve in a proper (read: good) wine glass. And that's how I do.
Just all around excellent with pronounced vinous qualities and aggressive but evolving and complex character. Not as seductive as the Temptation, nor as drinkable, but certainly better than the Supplication which lacks the charm of the former and the strength of this.
Ruby crimson appearance with very active effervescence. Small bubbles.
Smells of hide and the barrels it was aged in. Oak, Northern California Cabernet. New shoes and old cars. Dried tart cherries. Pedro Ximenez sherry.
Feels very crisp in the mouth, which suits this as it could become too intense without the refreshment. I've heard this element of this beer criticized, but I think that it is a good fit here. Refreshing. Pierces the cheeks and a hint of sharpness on the tongue.
Taste is extravagant. Fruit up front, with cherry and currant being predominant. Grapey on the back palate. Earthiness and woodiness weave through.
Very drinkable. Can and have sipped this for hours. The effervescence and tartness pace the consumption, and the quality keeps you coming back for more.

Photo of SiepJones
3.9/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Tulip

A: A dark brown with little clarity (same color as the bottle its sold in). There is a half inch ring of head with around the outer ring of my glass and some whispy trails of bubbles through the middle. The Duvel D at the bottom of my glass is creating a swirl of carbonation in the middle that makes the bubbles look like clouds of a hurricane.

S: Acidic sour, some cherry "tang", as well as some earthy oak notes.

D: Sour vinegar with a hint of tartness, slight earthy flavor on the finish. Like the Cabernet barrels the beer is aged in it has a similar finish, earthy and puckering. Sour not dry.

M: Slick, lightly carbonated mouth.

D: I enjoyed this beer and the fact that it really resembled a wine, minus the carbonation. I would gladly have another but for the ABV which at 10 is very high. While I don't notice the alcohol presence in the taste or scent I am sure I will feel it after my first glass.

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

I forget who brought this to the Toledo tasting(sorry guys), but so glad after I tried it the first time to get a hookup from a friend to have it again. Notes are pretty recent.

The color is beautiful, ruby-red verging on mahogany that shines in the light. A light brown head with good retention sits a little more than a finger high,leaving moderate lacing.
This one has the vinous and tart characters of a good red wine with lots of sour-sweet cherry(bing, if I had to describe it) and an oak character. It even seems like there are some tannins in here contributing a leathery character as in some red wines. I have to wonder how they do that. There a touch of balsam that leaves a vinegary reminiscence without going too far.
This is like tart, tannic sour cherries maturing in leather-lined oak barrels in my mouth. Clean, tart and dry. Acidic without melting my teeth and rounded out by a soft note of dark chocolate? This remains malty as well, somehow.
The feel is dry, but almost verging on semi-dry, likely from the malts that also add a touch of body, which is light to medium. The finish leaves a nice oak dryness.
This is as drinkable as an ABV of 10% or above could be.

Photo of Pipmeister
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap here at Tustin Brew Co for Russian River week.

A- Nice bronze/cherry hue, very clear with pretty much no head which is expected. Very good looking brew.

S- Very sour smelling with a faint hint of fruitiness. Hard to pick out one exact smell though, pretty much just smells like sourness, crisp.

T- Pucker up, this one packs a punch that rivals warhead sour gum. Good clean dry finish, very crisp with some pommegranite lightly in the background.

M- Once again, very clean and dry. Similar to champagne with dryness.

Overall it's an excellent beer that provides that perfect sourness.

Photo of movingtrain
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.68 ounce caged and corked bottle. Batch 004X4.

Pours a reddish-brown color with little to no head, but very active carbonation throughout.

The smell is overwhelming, right out of the bottle. Hints of tart dried fruit, cranberry, oak, vanilla, clove, hazelnut, cinnamon, and some funk. There is so much going on in the aroma here...

This is a sour beer...very sour...but perfectly so. The dominating flavors are of a cranberry tartness and and an oaky vanilla. There is a dryness to it, with some good, balanced alcohol burn. Everything seems well-balanced in this beer. There are also hints of clove, cinnamon, dry white wine, candy sugar, plums, and cider.

Overall, this is one of the best tasting, balanced sours I have ever had. The aging in Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrels, coupled with the addition of currants (and perhaps lactic acid or Brett) makes this a beautifully crafted beer.

Photo of glazeman
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber, corked and caged, into a snifter. Split with airohead2001, many thanks buddy!

A: Medium brown with ruby red. one finger off white head that fades supper fast into nothingness. No lacing.

S: There's a lot of sweet fruit smells in this beer. It is intense smelling, pleasant, and complex. There's tart cherry smell, a little cinnamon, some alcohol at the finish. To me this smells a lot like Wisconsin Belgian Red actually, but with a little bit more funk perhaps. I don't get much oak for this being oak aged.

T: Unfortunately this beer smells much better than it tastes. It's pretty one-dimensional in terms of the sweet fruits. Also, I feel that the high level of carbonation masks the flavors

M: This beer has a very high level of carbonation and is definitely on the thin side. Both of which are appropriate for the style, but also large in part define the beer. Nice aftertaste.

D: For a 10% ABV beer, the ABV is undetectable and the beer goes down easy. The drinkability is somewhat limited by the high carbonation in my opinion, as I feel that if I drank this too fast or in too high of quantity I would get the hiccoughs or an upset stomach. Overall, an interesting beer though, that I am glad I got the opportunity to try. If I was blind folded though, you'd be hard pressed to convince me this wasn't champagne.

Photo of hwwty4
3.38/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRC1313 for leaving this at my house after a pretty profound Saison tasting.

Poured a new 375ml into my Dogfish Head snifter. Fairly positive its the first batch in the new 375's but I have already recycled the bottle without looking at it. This beer pours a prune brown with just a hint of a tan head that leaves no lacing. Very little carbonation leaving no bubbles. The aroma is extremely fruity. Tart organic cherry juice with prunes and dates mixed with just a hint of fresh oak. It terms of tartness, most of it seems to coming from a lactic twang. The flavor is much the same. Sour cherry juice dominates the flavor profile. Hints of fig and date come thorough behind the cherry. Oak comes through at the very tail of the profile. Major lactic acid presence. It really feels one dimensional. This is really one of those beers that no matter how dirty your teeth are, they come out feeling clean. The mouthfeel is very full for a sour. Really enjoyable. It really feels full on the palate and finishes extremely dry. Great. I've been lucky enough to have every batch of Consecration. While it is a good beer, I dont think its in the realm of Russian Rivers other sours or in the top echelons of American Wilds.

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

A- Poured from the tap at Kraftwork in Philly on 9/3/2010 with virtually no head no lacing. A completely still garnet colored body... optically clear... virtually no carbonation.

S- The nose is laced with aromas of cherry and a heavy musty phenolic. The nose is somewhat simple until the beer warms... where a number of malty, vinous and dark fruit esters emerge.

T- In the mouth it's a complete rollercoaster. It starts out with some sweet crystal malts, which are met with some dark fruit esters. On the mid-palate, some mild hop bitterness is met with a moderate lactic, slightly acetic sourness, which builds tremendously with a kick of savory melanoidin and an echo of oak in the finish. Lingers incredibly on the tongue. The dynamic range of this beer is incredible!

M- Medium body accentuated by a very soft, delicate carbonation. There's a mild to moderate astringency there, that works well for the style. A little slick oily texture there. Wonderful.

D- So incredibly dynamic. And the EtOH is SOOO well-hidden, it's amazing!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into my Liefman's Goudenband glass, head quickly dwindles tan head forms thick but fleets me. The carbonation never quits moving, leading me to believe that this beer is still alive. Aromatics are so deep with vinous tones in this case it seems to be currants added to the mix for the super fruitiness. Batch # 004X3 weird stuff that keeps giving off a wonderful nose. Hints of sherry vinaigrette blowing off the rapid bubbling head, mild cider notes with wild funky tones that could only be dreamt about if your not drinking this wild ale...horse blanket barnyard doesn't even do it justice. Flavor hits you with a blast of oak with tart fruits galore seems like currants are the victim once again. This beer dares you to keep drinking it make sure your immune system is up to par it hit's with a very acidic tartness that's probably not healthy for your digestive tract unless your consuming this regularly. If Vinnie just all about vomit acid inducing sour ales I've gone too far, but so far his Damnation was the best American brewed Belgian anything that I've tried thus far. I guess it's a question of do you really like sours? I do...it's so different from your average brew out there this wild fermentation really peaks my interest even if it ends in a sour vinegar lactic pedio WTF?

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,234 ratings.