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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

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1,088 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,088
Hads: 4,802
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 1,612
Gots: 1,660 | FT: 125
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,088 | Hads: 4,802
Photo of hu5om
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of flexabull
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hopefully a fitting beer for my birthday, (3-3-09... a square root day!) I am thinking this will be a good one to finish off the day.

Pours a dark and bright amber/brown color with a nice solid off white head.

Aromas are of very bright fruits, almost a cranberry like character, sour, tart, and with a faint hint of vinegar. A little lighter than other Russian River sours I have tried, but still quite pleasant.

Taste and character come off on first sip as SUPER dry. Beer then settles into some bright fruit flavors, cherries, currants, and cranberries. Finish is very tart, crisp, and with a light wine like bite, and some nice cider vinegar sourness. The sourness is very nice, I really like how the fruit flavors dominate more than the sourness, which is more like an interesting backdrop. Dang... another top notch tasting sour from Russian River.

Wonderful mouthfeel, maybe a touch to dry. But still has a great full feel.

Drinkability is exceptional. If I didn't notice the bottle, I would have never guessed this beer pushes 10% ABV. It drinks more like a 6% or 7% beer. This is more of a refined sour, not like the big blast of sour you get from something like the Supplication and Beautification. It's like this one is better "put together". Wow... yet another super offering from Vinnie and crew. It's currently my #2 sour from them, Sanctification still wins by a nose though.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml. bottle. Batch 003x3. No bottling date listed on the label. Thanks to 7ways for the trade on this one! Poured into a Russian River Belgian style glass.

A: Deep crimson hue with a thick off-white head that settles rather quickly. Lacing and head retention are minimal, as expected, but carbonation is fierce.

S: Barnyardy funk shows up first, but it's soon overtaken with some sour currant, caramel malt, and toasted oak. Hops are almost non-exixtent here.

T: Much like the aroma, but more. Hints of cherry, cassis, and spice dominate, while caramel-like malt lies behind. The brett adds earthiness, along with some funk. It's what I would call "terroir driven." Finish is quite tart, dry, and the influence of cabernet can be noticed.

M: Rather full-bodied for the style. However, one wouldn't notice it's strength just by sipping it. Flavors are complex, and the finish lasts a lifetime.

D: I could drink this one everyday if I had access to it. It's probably in my top five brews of all time. If beers were to be classified like wines, this would truly be be at the top tier. Russian River is the Domaine Leroy or DRC of beer.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All around, all good things. Like at my cousin Gesamina's wedding, there is nothing but glorious Cabernet Sauvignon flavors poppin' everywhere. My sweet hell...like if Mount Pompeii erupted this goodness instead of lava, this dang sucker is on full blast like roar.

No more, just get this, my peeps.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Opaque brown/reddish draft pour with off white foam. Sour cherry nose. Red wine and sour cherries with a little funk from yeast. Medium mouthfeel, tongue is bathed in tart funky fruit. This is simply terrific.

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Well you cant knock color, red, light carbonation and clear.
S-clear brett and cranberry fruit smells
T- much more tart than I expected. The fruit balances nicely but it does seem a little harsh. The bacteria comes through but it com9letely covers up the belgian yeast strain it starts with.
O- A must have for a sour lover, not a great introductory sour. Ill take any bottle up for grabs, it sucks.

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Photo of spointon
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 750ml brown bottle into a stemmed goblet. This bottle was from "Batch 3", sent to me by the great BA Schmittymack.

A= Poured a very clear deep reddish brown color with a short lived 1/2" off-white head. There was a ton of active carbonation release...a constant stream of gas rising out of this brew.

S= A heady, complex array of malt, lactic sourness, brett funk, fruity sweetness, wood, red wine, and hints of chocolate and tobacco. Entirely captivating.

T= Every bit as good as the smell if not better. The acidic sourness was there throughout, but was never overpowering. Lots of malt sweetness and what I believe was a bit of candi sugar made it through to the taste buds. Complex fruity/tart notes of currants & cherries. The wild yeast components gave flavors of light vinegar and a refreshing edge. I was particularly happy with the hints of oak and red wine still lingering in the taste. Subtle yet delicious. Finished dry, tart, and crisp.

MF= Medium bodied with a very active and crisp carbonation. Entirely refreshing to the mouth.

D= This was balanced, complex, and extremely refreshing. Dangerously drinkable for the ABV. A world class beer for sure!

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Photo of bmeehan
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the best sour I've ever had. I joked that it tasted more like red wine than beer after each sip, but it really does combine the best of both very effectively. It's sweet and it's sour and it's easy to smell all the complex goings-on from the currants fermenting in the oak barrels. I'd drink this again and again.

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Photo of deebo
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR.

A-Fairly clear dark amber with a white head clinging to glass.

S-Subdued funky Brett, Tart cherries, currants, and chocolate aroma.

T-Dark fruits, hints of tobacco with and ending with sourness and funky earthy yeast. Can tell this was aged in a cab barrel.

M-Fairly smooth, alcohol extremely well hidden for a 10% beer.

O-A very complex beer combining flavors found in guezue, cabernet, and a dark ale. The most complex sour I've tasted from US. Easy to drink with something new to discover in every sip.

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Photo of hughesm4
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting out of a bottle.
a-Pours a very dark brown/red color that is opaque. There is also quite a bit of sediment left floating around in the glass.
s-Very complex smell that has my noise spinning. A sweet oak smell with several berries odors, most noticeably raspberry and cherry.
t-There is a flavor explosion in my mouth. There is a sour taste up front followed by a oaked sweetness and a balance of fruits.
m/d-Very full bodied and extremely drinkable. Goes down really smooth and you could easily accidentally drink your whole glass in 3 minutes flat.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle shared by Ben last night, thanks man. Batch 008, bottled in 2011. Sheeeeitttt.

This one pours a clear dark red, with a small head, and no lacing.

This one smells super tasty, cherries, currants, red wine vinegar, oak, and red wine.

This has clearly aged very nicely, it's nuts that it's 10% ABV, you wouldn't know. So much sour dark fruit here, lots of currants, and a nice sour cherry flavor as well. There's some dry mustiness, along with a pretty puckering sourness, about a 7/10 on the unofficial sour scale. So. Good.

This is light bodied, with a crisp, super tart, and very juicy mouthfeel, along with a moderate but lively level of carbonation.

Probably the best sour I've had from Russian River, it was just so enjoyable.

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Photo of supercolter
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I had batch 1 and 2 side by side.(I know, I am a jerk) 1x3 and 2x1
Here is my conglamerate review.
Appearance is very similar between the two, dark black cherry color with small head and some lacing.
Smell was very distinct- batch 1 had a deep dark fruit nose- currant and fig... whereas batch 2 was very similar to a Cabernet Saugvinon wine- drier, tobaccoy, with some grapes and prunes.
Taste was out of this world, more of the same but just full flavor and perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel was very good, thick but nicely carbonated.
Drinkability was great.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Belmont Station into snifter ~ comparison tasting with Consecration, Supplication, and Temptation.

This was my personal favorite of the trio. This is one strong mother! Absolutely amazing.

The appearance is lovely with a dark, deep hue and decent carbonation for a barrel aged sour/brett beer.

Nice aromas of currants, oak, spice, and red fruit delightfully frame the funky brettanomyces core.

The palate is lovely and takes the drinker through a magical land of red fruits, tart cherries, fig, and yeast. Lots of complexity and many layers of flavor evolve and change as the beer slightly warms towards room temperature.

The beer has a lovely medium body, with just a slight overbearing kick of alcohol (hence the 4.5 not 5.0 for mouthfeel). A little more body or slightly less alcohol perhaps? Nonetheless, near perfection here.

So delicious and packed with flavor that you can't put the glass down! And I recommend that you NOT put your glass down if you won't want to share! (as I found out)

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite possibly my favorite Russian River beer. I absolutely love this one.
Pours a dark reddish brown in color. A very nice inch and a half of off white head forms on the pour. Smell is sour/tart and has a very nice vinous note as well.
Taste is off the charts incredible. This second batch bottle is more tart and sour than all the first batch bottles I have drank. I'm actually digging it more. Even with the more pronounced sour and tartness this beer is still every bit as drinkable as it always has been. The currants give a very nice vinous quality in the flavor.
Full, with perfect carbonation this is a pleasure to drink. One of my favorite beers of all time.
Well done and keep up the great work Vinnie!

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Photo of BeerTwins
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We really enjoyed this ale. The label does not mention that is a sour. But it turned out to be an excellent example of the style. Poured a rich burgundy color with a faint aroma of currants. The sourness is very refreshing. Currents and rich cabernet wine flavor is evident from the start. The flavor grows more complex as the beer warms adding hints of tobacco and figs.

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Photo of silentdonkey
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Beachwood BBQs cellar. Consecration #2. Bottle 2x1.

A: Beautiful deep cabernet reddish brown with a nice one finger head upon pouring that diminishes almost immediately. Leaves little to no lacing as you drink it down.

S: Unbelievable nose of oak, currants, leather, dark fruits, slight brett funk, and vinegar.

T: Exactly what I was hoping for! It follows in the footsteps of the nose but is so much more complex. It starts off with a nice tart and vinegar sourness with a hint of leather that mellows into plum, currant, chocolate, truffle earthiness, cherries, and cranberry. It finishes with a little tinge of oak and red wine. There is a nice warming effect mid taste from the alcohol that does not burn or linger. Just enough to let you know its 10% abv.

M: Medium-full body with the perfect amount of carbonation. Coats your tongue and pallet perfectly so you can pick up on all of the nuances.

O: Such a fantastic beer. I'm glad I had one of the older batches that has had time to develop. I could see this beer having a more upfront sourness and vinegar taste. Since it had time to mellow out a bit the sourness is quite faint and upfront. It allows the flavors of the dark fruits, chocolate, and oak to really shine in the finish!

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Photo of Rifugium
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

First had this in a 750ml bottle, but I have had it on tap as well. A tasty, dark, sour ale wood aged with black currants. After Pliny the Younger, this is my favorite RR brew.

Pours an attractive vermillion-mahogany color with a delicate beige head with some tinges of ruby here and there. Sour aroma, dark fruits, leather, and vinegar. Flavor starts out sweet almost like a kriek or framboise, with notes of cherry, blackcurrants. Soon turns more tart with the more sour qualities of cherries, red wine, and hints of vinegar coming through. In turn moves to more dried fruit--figs, prunes, dried cherries--soaked in wood-aged wine. Finishes acidic and bitter overall, yet still smooth. Medium body, complex, and very enjoyable.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am by no means a sour aficionado; rather, label me a neophyte at best. I AM, however, a big wine lover (cabs especially) and the cab barrel influence in this beer really strikes me, as do the currants. The ABV is hidden very well. This is one of the better dark sour ales I've ever had. Seek and enjoy!

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Photo of Nachojon
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful beer. The deep brown, like a Koa wood color aged in the cab barrels gives this one an amazing color gradient. Light this head offsets this color. Stunning in a white wine glass.

S- Funky prune or fig juice is the standout aroma here. Pomegranate and some oak.

T- I love the flavor profile here. Starting off with some of that rich fruit figs, cranberries, prune before leading into that tart raspberry and even some strawberry. Then it's the pomegranate smoothness and some real oak dry finish. Immaculate.

M- So nice. Puckering, with the juice there in the middle and the dry finish.

O- Russian River is out of hand. Love it.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at the Russian River Brewpub into a snifter

A- Poured an opaque dark brown with ruby highlights with no head, but tiny carbonation bubbles around the top.

S- The aroma was very strong of a cabernet, it was pretty surprising at first, I did not expect the cabernet aroma to be some prominent. Also a nice sweet cherry aroma

T- Strong cabernet taste, strong very sour cherry taste, and dark fruit, and vinegar acidic notes

M- High acidity and very high carbonation, my tongue was in heaven

O- This beer is unlike anything I have had before. The wine characteristics were so prominent and the sourness and acidity of the beer made this a very tasty and memorable beer. This is the first beer my wife has ever enjoyed too, so I was pretty impressed.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002x3

Consecration has a deep ruby-colored body that appears to be brown in the absence of light. The tan head is very fizzy, appearing and disappearing more quickly than head on a soda would.

The aroma has a lot going on, with all kinds of wild yeast providing musty and sour notes, a little bit of sweet malts, some wood and a dose of currants.

Two distinct flavors that I notice right away are the piquant sourness of the lacto, and the musty, horsey flavor from the brett. Between the two, the sourness from the lacto is definitely more powerful, as the brett lingers in the background, adding complexity. Next I notice a little bit of oak and a good currant flavor that I would guess has faded over the couple of years since this beer was brewed. A little bit more sourness comes next, but it is more acidic and a little less sharp than what I encountered in the beginning. A bit of moderately dark sweet malt pops up, but only for a second before the finish is big and dry, with notes of dry red wine in it.

The carbonation is fairly high and almost champagne-like when it first hits your mouth.

Having bought this bottle in PA, I paid quite a bit for it. Looking back, I wish I had bought a whole case of the stuff. It certainly isn't the type of beer you could drink a few of in a night, but it is the type of beer you could drink one of all night. 10% ABV? I would have believed it was 6% if someone had told me, the alcohol is nowhere to be found amidst the layers of yeast, barrel character and malt.

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Photo of sk8man121
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip

A: If you look at the label on the bottle, that is damn near close to what the body of this beer looks like. Dark-amber brown body with slight velvet hues on the edges that you would see in a Cabernet. Small off white head is produced. Little head retention and no lacing.

S: Sweet currents paired with sour red grapes, apples with hints of cherry, oak and Brett. The Cabernet Sauvignon is really coming through nicely paring well with the currents. You can smell a slight tartness.

T: Pretty fantastic array of flavors that hit your tongue from beginning to end. Sweet fruity tastes paired with a decent amount of tartness. Cherry and grape are the stand outs along with Cabernet and hints of oak.

M: Light to medium bodied with a great amount of carbonation. Smooth, very smooth.

O: A fantastic beer that I can't believe I have left sitting on the shelves all these times. I have always been skeptical of the price for these but now i know they are the real deal. Will be coming back multiple times for this.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.