Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

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ConsecrationConsecration

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1,076 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,076
Hads: 4,705
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 1,589
Gots: 1,594 | FT: 121
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,076 | Hads: 4,705
Photo of Deuane
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear, purplish-brown tinted copper with a thin off-white head that held on well till it finally reduced to a thin ring. Spotty flecking left behind.

S-Balsamic vinegar and sour grapes. Dry, woody, tart and musty notes swirl around too.

T-Tart, woody, dry red wine (duh) notes. Lots of astringency and a nice play as the dryness and tartness counterbalance each other.

M-Medium-light body with a tongue drying astringency without being overly puckering.

D-Superb, quite drinkable, well done sour with the tart and dry characteristics balancing each other very well. A totally enjoyable and refreshing brew. (615 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's on 3/29/09.

A - Clear cola-colored, purple tinted body with one-finger off-white head that retained like a champ for quite a while, then reduced to a thin veil.

S - Nose suggests sour grapes, funky Brett notes, oak tannins, and an astringent, magic marker-esque aspect. Not as over-the-top as I was expecting.

T - Flavor is wine-like, with plenty of oaky/woody notes. While there is no noticeable hop presence, there is tons of funky Brett flavor and sour fruit notes.

M - Medium body with a dry mouthfeel and finish. Warm and slightly astringent on the palate with a mild alcohol sting.

D - Quite drinkable for one of the most coveted American-made sour ales in beer-lure. While this is a Brett-head's dream, I actually found it to be not as harsh as I was anticipating. Really glad to have had the opportunity to get this on tap outside of Cali. (876 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.96/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a lovely cola brown that turns into a dark cherry when held to the light. The head is a narrow collar of white. This is really a lovely beer.

Smells of tart and sour funk with cranberry, currants and strawberry. There's a spicy, almost floral sting behind this too that seems a bit like alcohol, but it blends too closely to the tartness to tell. Deep beneath is a very mild prune and raisin which adds a lot of depth and balance.

Tastes dry and tart with a floral touch of cork and crisp dry green pepper that dries the tongue. There's a sweetness up front that delivers under-ripe strawberry and gooseberries. The carbonation seems to lift the dryness off the tongue with the sweet fruitiness seemingly hiding underneath. The CO2 sting almost makes this almost minty.

Feels quite frothy and wild, perhaps a little over done. The carbonation also seems to mess with the flavor in a distracting sort of way. I get the impression that I'm missing some of the flavor due to the wild carbonation.

Over all I thought this was quite tasty, but not as impressive than other wild ales, especially those offered by RR. The big downfall for me was the carbonation. Maybe I should just swirl my glass for a few minutes? (1,230 characters)

Photo of Wackyfoot
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub, shocked that I got a 16 oz pour when I was expecting a 10, but it was a bargain at 6.75. Dark cherry red pour with a hazy tan head that lingers. Very sour aroma of cherries and plums with a light vinous smell to it as well. The flavor is like a sour fruit explosion in your face: cherries, grapes, blackberries, and a nice wine thickness. Very nice carbonation in the mouth and a nice malt profile as well. Hopefully my future experiences with sours will match up to this one. (499 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dark mahogany body with a thinnish, beige-colored head.

Smell: Rich, expressive aroma smelling of macerated fruit, oak wood, red wine vinegar, lactic acid, tobacco, and even vanilla. Hubba-hubba!

Taste: Malts mingled with gooey black cherry fruit preserves and some prominent, vinous red wine qualities all with a bundle of lactic sourness to coat the tongue. Small pinch of vanilla sugar and fine aromatic tobacco. Non-obtrusive tannic oak component. Long finish with some lingering tart, earthy hints and final pops of acidity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high, lively carbonation.

Drinkability: It's hard not to gulp this one down like a madman. All in all, this is one excellent beer layered with rich complexities and one that I cheerfully recommend. (791 characters)

Photo of rowew
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 ml corked and caged, maroon label with a large knife on it. Barrel aged 6 months, 10 % ABV, batch 001X2.

Appearance: Pours dark red, with quite a bit of carbonation. Large head fades quickly to almost none.

Smell: Definitely sour, smells a bit like maraschino cherries (real ones, not the bright red sugar bombs). Dark fruit with just a hint of nuttiness.

Taste: It is always a bit of a challenge for me describing sour beers - but this has all the flavors I like to see. Definitely a bit puckering, plenty of sourness without being overpowering. Dark fruit flavors, mainly cherry.

Overall impression: Another great wild offering from Russian River. It is amazing that we can get these in Colorado now - the CO beer scene just keeps getting better! (771 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap @ O'Briens TION night. Was easily the best beer of the night. Poured deep mahogany with a thick, creamy off-white pillow for a head. Light lacing. Delicious tart cherries-and-red wine aroma blended with more currants, tobacco, and a nice funky wood. Smooth, slightly carbonated mouthfeel. The taste really follows through on the aroma. Vinuous, red-wine overtone with tart cherries and the funky yeast flow throughout the beer. Slight white wine vinegar with Granny Smith apples. A pleasant rich, oaky flavor in the finish gives the brett and cherry/currant flavors a subtle sweetness. Awesome beer. (603 characters)

Photo of klewis
4.51/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy mahogany with a moderate fizzy head. Little lacing.

S: A bit of funk mixed with vibrant, ripe currants and raisins. A light, stale cellar smell.

T: Very tart with an intense citrus zest flavor and funky acidity. A mild red wine taste. Big and complex.

M: Full-bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Lingering acidity and tartness.

D: Not my favorite RR wild ale, but still outstanding and worth the $25 price tag. (433 characters)

Photo of Domingo
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep burgundy color with a pretty large amount of head that laces about as well as you could ask for.
The smells are VERY intense! Lots of red wine and grapes mixed with sour citrus, spicy yeast. sweet red berries, oak, and a hint of smoke. Pretty much one of the best smelling beers of all time.
While the scent builds this one up, the taste luckily doesn't fall off much. Everything starts off sweet and fruity, but then the really sour flavors and spicy peppery yeast really kick in. The red wine flavors aren't as potent as the smell let on, but they're certainly still there. It's a sipper, but you'll want more and more.
I split a bottle and I wish I had more right away...however at $18 per bottle, this is a special occasion brew for the moment.
One of RR's best beers that's up there with their hop monsters.
If you like sours, have a passing interest in wine, or genuinely just want to try something unique - this is it. Funny, enough, the GABF samples of this beer were even better. I look forward to future batches.

EDIT: While the nose/taste seem to be the same, a recent bottle of this proved to be much lighter in color. While previous versions looked almost like a red wine, this one was a much paler beer with maroon highlighting things. Not really a problem, but just worth noting. (1,308 characters)

Photo of Nick3
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 001X1 750 ml bottle. Beer poured into a duvel tulip glass and forms a lovely 3 finger head. Frenzied carbonation feeds the head. Then a truly unique phenomenon begins to unveil itself . . . the beer begins to make crackling sounds just like a bowl of rice krispies! The head holds along with the crackling sounds for a couple of minutes but then quickly vanishes once I start drinking. The appearance and sounds of this beer was quite an amazing experience . . . never felt like a beer was as alive as this one. Beer is a gorgeous dark burgundy color as well. The color especially the crackle make this a 5 for me. Smell of dark fruit, cherries, apples, brett, and a little vinegar. Initial taste is sour and tart but then it is balanced out quickly by some malts. Beer is tremendously complex. The finish is long lasting and leaves you longing for more with the cabernet sauvignon grapes lingering . ..very nice. Moutfeel is tantalizing as the beer dances across your tongue and feels as alive as it did when it was first poured. I really enjoyed this beer but could probably handle no more than 2. A lot of hype with this beer and I'll say, for the most part, it lived up to it IMO. I'm aging a couple of other bottles and I imagine they will improve quite a bit. Will revisit in a couple years. (1,303 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a dark reddish clear brown with one finger of white suds and lots of lacing.
Smell is just the best. Sour grape and cherry and dewberry and a slight lemon zest. Something in the back like a sweet soad pop. Grape?
Bubbley wine and vinegar sugar in a complex malt.
This one is over the top. Can't tell it's a
10%er. Burst of lemon and dry candy sour green apple candy and a very strong raspberry/grape sourness. The cab and the wood really come through.
Mouthfeel is just perfect. Clean enough and dirty at the last. The aftertaste lasts and lasts.
Drinkablilty is great here. I love this. Perfect. (607 characters)

Photo of erikm25
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Popped a loud cap and poured a scorched mahogany with scarlet and ruby iced tinting. Bronzed amaranth highlights. Initially, the head jumped up a softened toffee coloring that quickly fizzled out like a sparkling wine.

S: Sharpened raspberry tipped fangs pierce the nostrils with smoked pungent flavors. Wild fruits and oak toasted grapes. Earth soaked berries drenched in a vanilla and cinnamon cranberry wine. Honey soured orange peels smoked with prunes.

T: This had an acidic fruit trifecta of tart, sweet, and sour tastes. Dipping your third eye into the spiked punch of the universe. Cherries drenched in acid and dipped in sour apple candies. Sugared lime licorice with raisin and resin. Vinegar laced grapes. Astringent and sharpened dry finish. The alcohol is subtle in taste only.

M: Full bodied with each sip sticking around the mouth. Great carbonation like champagne. Finish is incisive.

D: My 150th review on St. Patrick's Day with corned beef brisket and grilled vegetables. Sacrament or Sacrifice? Communion or Condemnation? This beer is truly unique . Drinks both steadily and dangerously. Settled into some Spirit Caravan and Metallica. (1,161 characters)

Photo of BZero007
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle of this the other night for a tasting. Pours a dark cola Burgundy into a Snifter, carbonation is clearly scene but not overwhelmingly. Minimal head retention with a small but nice amount of lace. The aromas coming form the beer are very complex, black currants, cherry's and Tobacco every so slightly. Was a mind opening taste for everyone at the tasting and actually for a couple people their first addiction. Taste is a sour that leaves your mouth a bit dry. Flavors of cherry's were dominate for me not others, with black currants and a hint of oak in the back ground. I am not a big fan of sours but this beer did well for being a sour and converted people in the tasting to sour lovers. Mouth feel is like drinking a very dry and tart wine and I wouldn't be surprised if some was used int he brewing. This type of beer is definitely a slow and sip drink, at least for me. It is a very interesting beer and would recomend anyone to give it a try at least once! (977 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark cola brown pour with 1/2" of khaki head on top. Lots of active carbonation in the glass. Aromas of dark Belgian malts exhibiting brown sugar and tobacco accents. Cabernet and black currants combine in a great unity. Woody barrel accents weave in and out as Brett funk kicks in with mild sourness and a puff of alcohol. Deeply complex.

First sip brings semi sweet dark malts with a hint of earthy tobacco moving to dark berry / black currant and lush Cabernet wine flavors. Quite woody overall with oak barrel tannins rushing through. Acidic tones move in with Brett funk as it flows down and puckers with sourness in the mouth. Lingering tones of red wine and currants. Wow, just wow. Simply divine.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with a crisp smoothness that runs throughout each sip. Good, steady carbonation throughout. A contemplative sipper of a beer...let it meander it's way across your palate with each sip to get as many as the nuances as possible. Complex, tasty and a masterpiece of the brewing and barrel aging art. Chalk this up to one of my favorite Russian River creations yet! (1,106 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught, Catalyst Coffee. Light brown color. Full, layered foam. Nose is perhaps the weakest point of the beer, but still hints of funk, wood, dark fruit. Flavor is amazing. Complex, integrated, beautifully balanced. Notes of cranberry, currant, blackberry and wood. A beauty and one to put away. (296 characters)

Photo of jojox
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at RR but more recently on tap at Local 44.

a - reddish hue, not much head, whispy. It's not completely opaque but it is dark.

s - sour. The great type of sour from RR. A bit acid, a bit sulfur, a bit "hairy"

t - wow. It's sour, not hugely sour, but assertively sour. There are a lot of wine characteristics in this one, tannin, grape type flavors. It's delicously balanced and very enjoyable. It's not too sour to keep drinking.

m - pretty high carbonation, sour isn't quite puckering but it's close.

d - pretty high, I could drink several but acid reflux would probably kick in. It's a bit pricy to be very drinkable though ;) (644 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.81/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Local 44 in Philly yesterday.

The beer pours a darkish brown color with minimal head retention and fair lacing. The nose on this beer is its best feature, IMHO, with a complex aroma of black currents, wine, vanilla and sour funk. On the palate... sigh... this beer is just over the top sour for me. I get a hint of wine and black currents, along with some light vanilla, but the overwhelming flavor component to this beer is sour funk. There is an intense vinegar/sour wine flavor to this beer, with a huge rush of sour in the finish. My tolerance and appreciation for sour beers has improved over the past year, but I just think the brett in this beer is over the top, with the sour overwhelming and dominating everything else. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a long finish, and the alcohol is very well hidden. However, the excessive sour component really wore me out in the end, and IMHO it really hurts this beer's drinkability.

Glad I had a chance to try this one, but once was enough for me. (1,013 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 on draft at Local 44's Russian River Philly Beer Week Event

A: Rich mahogany color body with a shimmering silkiness to it... solid khaki colored head, which receded to a nice cap which last throughout... some lacing lingers

S: Sweet, sour, tart. Its all there... Dried red fuits (think plums, grapes, various berries)... sour cherries... earthy leathery brett goodness

T: Cherries are the overwhelming characteristic. Nice sour and tart combinations of the fruits. Clearly aged in cabernet, there is a strong dense tannic characteristics and even a hint of pepper. Brett and bacteria are clearly present in a hearty but refined showing.

M: Almost like a sparkling juice that has sat out for an hour. Still some carbonation, but not out of control.

D: Super duper.

This remind me a lot of supplication with the most noticeable difference for me being the different wine barrels the two beers are aged in. I like what the cab does to amp this beer up. You know, I wish an east coast brewer made some sours of this caliber... that way I wouldn't have to either pay an arm and a leg or wait months to find them. (1,121 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Russian River- Consecration

A- Deep plum reddish purple with a good foamy head.
S- Sweet red grapes, plums, sour mix and scoops of sugar.
T- Sour red grapes, black currant, plums, and a sour citrus.
M- Very sour and dry. Sweet sugary fruit finish.

Overall- good sour dry feel with a nice black currant flavor. 1 or 2 would be good at dessert. (344 characters)

Photo of gdfan47
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a nice dark brown with not much head or lacing
S- like red wine, grapes, faint sugar, and a little bret notes
T- awesome, very dry, tasted like it was aged in wine barrels , it reminded me of a dryer less sweet version of Goudenband
M- nice, a little on the flat side, but it worked, def not skunky or at all out of date, refreshing
D- wow this one is ten percent... couldnt pick out the extra abv, i would have guessed like 6 %.. awesome

a def sipper, along with Ommegang Rouge the best interpretation of a Belgian "Sour" that I have had... just remarkable (568 characters)

Photo of jsapunor
2.12/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured beautifully, an opaque red mellowing to a rose at the bottom of the tulip glass. Small head.

Smells lilke wine and vinegar.

A very strong and intense sour flavor even for a style where strong flavor is to be expected and valued. There is a high level of carbonation. Cough syrup start then finishes with hints of sour yogurt.Tastes like fizzy balsamic vinegar.
I have tried a number of these beers in the last year or two but this one is in a league of it's own. If you like sour, go for it but if you are not devoted to this style try something less intense. I couldn't finish it. (590 characters)

Photo of flannelman808
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 update...

Only two years later this beer is no longer aged for 9 months and (try half the time) and also no longer has the depth of flavor and character I used to find in it. Still good but The spicy chocolate notes which I used to enjoy (in the background) no longer show up... It is now highly acidic (as it was) and not too much more...

03-15-2009...

Picked this one up without fully knowing what I was getting myself into. Im still not real sure what the story on the beer is but it is suffice to say that this is very rare. It better be at $20 for a 750ml.

This beer pours a deep cherrywood color, and has an offwhite colored head. It has tightly concentrated bubbles, and good head retention.

The aroma pours out of the nose of the bottle as soon as you pop the cork. Sour cherry, and red fruit overwhelm but some spice notes get through as well.

This stuff is very intense it has a very tightly concentrated sour flavor that will take you by surprise if your not ready for it. Very sour up front, and then the flavor spreads out a bit. The 10 ABV is completely hidden by red fruit and spice. After sipping it for a while, your mouth adjusts to the intensity and if you like sour style beers this will do the trick. I wonder how it will age, I feel that with some time the beer will mellow out some and perhaps be more approachable. All things considered, this one is very unique and worth the 20 bones. (1,420 characters)

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML into a tulip

P: Golden brown from the bottle, and sits a crimson-soaked plum in the glass. The tall head is light tan, loose and frothy with bubbles frolicking happily about for what seemed like an eternity! It finally sank to form a thick cap on the surface. Looks very good!

A: Deliciously powerful aroma that could clear even the most congested nasal passages. Cherries, cranberries, plums, and grapes are all here. Also, I can definitely smell the Cabernet in there along with that pungeant barnyard funk.

T: Wow! Tart cherries from the jump just explode onto the scene along with dried cranberries, juicy raspberries, and green apple skins that lend their sourness in tongue-puckering fashion. Plums and grapes lay underneath for some sweet fruitiness that provides a nice contrast to the sourness. That beautiful Brett funkiness hits hard in the middle, lending a flavor that reminds me of pungeant cheese. Alcohol is undetectable in ethanol form, but the cabernet flavors add to an already great profile. Awesome!

M & D: Consecration sports a medium-light body that feels like champagne. Nice prickly bubbles dance on the tongue from the rather high carbonation. Drinkability is good as I really enjoyed every drop of this bottle, but I couldn't have another. This one deserves to be savored!

Notes: Damn! This is one hell of a ride! Very fruity, very sour, very funky, very intoxicating, and very good. Another perfect example of why people go ape-shit over Vinnie's concoctions. If you love sours, you owe it to yourself to get a hold of this one! Highly recommended (1,588 characters)

Photo of paulxqx
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A loud pop when the cork popped.
Poured into a medium sized tulip glass.
Small head that disappeared quickly

The color was like a golden red, it looked heavenly.

The smell is remarkable! One of the most complex smells of any beer I have tried. It smelled like a fine cabernet sauvignon wine. Slightly sour, currants.

The flavor explodes the second it hits your lips! Such a remarkable complicated flavor,.. but in a good way. Tastes like a rich wed wine, sour, fruity, slight hints of vanilla.

Someone else reviewing this beer said that it has champagne like carbonation, I think that is pretty accurate. A little wetter though.

Extremely drinkable! I would not mind drinking on this year around. Every sip is fulfilling and rewarding. Complete perfection.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this you will not be dissapointed (842 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let the first Consecration experience begin.

Let it warm a little in the 750 ml and finally popped the top, went in for a sniff and was met by foam slowly pouring out and directly into the nostril and some on the floor. If I didn't have four more bottles I would have been pissed.

Pours a beautiful burgundy red and also a little brown with a nice small ring of foam around the snifter.

A slight vinegar aroma with whiffs of cherry as well. Currants are also present. Awesome!

Whoa! The taste is something I have never experienced before. Off the first sip I have a brain explosion of different things. There are so many things going on with this beer that it is hard to express. I taste subtle vinegar, cherries and a lil ol school funk. There is a slight acidity on the swallow but not unpleasant in the slightest. Very complex but amazing! It makes my mouth water at the finish...almost making me want to drink more to satisfy the craving. I oblige.

The drinkability for me is very high as the alcohol hides well in this beer for a 10%er.

Awesome, amazing beer that everyone should try at least once for the experience. This beer deserves the praises and ratings it has received. Very well done from one of my favorite Nor Cal breweries. (1,246 characters)

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,076 ratings.