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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

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Educational use only; do not reuse.

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
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Reviews: 1,088 | Hads: 4,802
Photo of humanawho
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - nice deep red color with a very active head of cream and good lacing but dies away quickly

S - lots of fruit aromas including currents, grapes and some strawberries there is also a woody component that balances the sweet aroma of the fruit

T - again a lot of fruit with currents and strawberries and blueberries with a great but light sour component and again some clean woody, leathery flavors

M - a little thin on the mouth and somewhat weak carbonation

D - amazing drinkablity with just the touch of sour and no way to tell its high in alcohol

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3

A- Poured into a Bruery tulip glass, Consecration pours a clear, deep reddish-brown color. A flash of hissing off-white foam quickly dissolves to a bubbly ring along the inside of the glass, leaving no lacing behind.

S- Acidic tartness is backed by pronounced notes of oak barrel and red wine. The black currants impart a nice dark fruit character to the aroma and the high alcohol content yields a touch of heat. There's a slightly vegetal, earthy quality to the smell that I can't quite pin down.

T- The taste is intensely sour, though it's more of a citrus fruit sourness accented by vinegar. Notes of oak barrel and earthy red wine break through the puckering tartness right before a lightly dry finish leaves flavors of ripe dark fruits on the palate. The initial sourness is far more intense than Supplication or Temptation, but this sourness tapers off quicker as the backing flavors take over. The 10% ABV is well-hidden.

M- The feel is full-bodied with a good amount of active carbonation bubbles.

D- The flavor is sublime, but Consecration lays a bit heavier on the stomach than Russian River's other sours due to the 10% ABV, the highly acidic sourness, and the richer dark fruit element. Still, I was easily able to navigate my way through two large pours of this complex beer.

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Photo of Adamdc
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #004x4. Bottled on 3/25/09. Drank on 6/22/10. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Deep ruby body with quickly dissipating head. Very active carbonation. No lacing whatsoever.

S: Very woody, bretty aroma---the funk here is very nice! There's a pervading dark fruit aroma that must be from the currants---seems like raisins and cherries. There's a slight vinegar aroma lingering also.

T: There's a lot going on here and it's changing with each sip. There's no doubt about the barrel-aging here---lots of oak. The brett (again) is very nice and raisins, dates, cherries, plums and even a touch of lemon. Through all this I'm even getting some of the yeast. No perceived alcohol whatsoever.

M: I would say that the mouthfeel is thin to medium. The beer actually coats the palate somewhat but I wouldn't say that it's 'thick' by any means. Just right for the style.

D: Well, at 10% abv I'm not perceiving any alcohol and the 'sourness' is by no means 'over the top' so put me down for a few more. Very drinkable!

I haven't had alot of sours so I'm no expert but this was a very enjoyable glass of beer. The science behind these sour ales really amazes me. Thanks RR!

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Bring! I loved this one so much, I traded with him a second time to get my hands on more of this beer!

Poured from a 750mL into a tulip. Gusher, very highly carbonated, incredibly foamy tarnished yellow coffee stained tooth head that is wildy active, at 2.5 fingers and comes to a standstill at a thin layer. Very dark and hazy muddy blood red.

Cabernet soaked grapes and lemons, slight bit of oak. Red grapes are fantastic and really come straight out of the glass alongside some sweet cherry, gotta really get your nose in the glass to pick up some vanilla, a lot of red wine characteristics.

Holy moly. The raspberry and tart black cherry is phenomenal, mouth puckering tartness, slight oak flavors but nothing too dry, brett comes out towards the end that blows my mind out of my skull. Really overcarbonated and tons of matured and aged red grapes are all of the place. Lemon sourness is superb.

Very full bodied, yet not over the top thickness works well with the high level of bubbles in this guy. Another awesome RR.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Catalyst. Sampled a murky rust colored red with not much in the way of carbonation. Some ruby red hues around the edges of the glass. Some minor viscous notes that was a bit of a surprise.

The nose comes out more as it warms. Some nice subtle notes that blended very nicely with every component. There was a light fruity note, that came across more like a tart cherry aroma than anything else. Some underlining citrus notes adds to that depth. Some lighter funk notes with some horse blanket and subtle almost bretty aromas. A mostly acidic but some underlining vinegar notes. Some yeast aromas, but overall just a really good mix of fruit, funk and sour.

The taste is amazing. I try to be more descript but this is really good. And it gets better as it warms. To start out there is a light malt taste upfront but is quickly replaced with a mix of a tart earthy cherry, like a bing cherry, and a sweet fig, currant taste. There is a nice acidic flavor that comes out nicely but balances really well. As it warms and as you palate adjusts to the sour, more funk and malt notes comes out. Some lighter chocolate and an almost Special B like malt flavor come out, but its just so subtle to the taste. Some funk notes come out too, with a light barn yard and spicy undertones. Some yeast notes as well. The sourness retains through the full taste and even as it warms. A mild sweetness in the finish that really enhances the fruitiness for a cleaner taste.

The body is closer to moderate than dry. Extremely clean for being so much on the ABV side. Carbonation is low but ok as it really lets all the different flavors come out. Just really impressed with the balance between fruit, funk and sourness. Overall a fantastic beer being so fresh

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There are few beers that served as 'eye-openers' for me, that is, they forever turned me on to the style and helped me realize what they were capable of being. Stone IPA, The Elder, and Stone IRS are all examples. Consecration joined this list several months ago, as it was the first wild ale that really caught my attention.

The color is deep ruby-red, with a short-lasting off-white head. I'm working from notes at the moment, but I'm inclined to say the Consecration I've had many times on tap appeared to be a deeper red, almost opaque. I only recently had the opportunity to try it from the bottle, and it appeared a bit more translucent than what I remember having on tap. No lacing remains as the Consecration quickly disappears.

The nose is tart berries, wine, and pure funk.

Consecration is a shock if you are new to the style, so don't try to win any craft beer converts with this one. Huge tartness from the currants are the first thing that hits you, followed by citrus, sweetness, and dark fruits, followed by a sour but clean finish.

Body is medium to full, with the on-draft variety seeming slightly fuller-bodied. Alcohol is present but very well muted for such a huge beer. Carbonation is well-balanced, and the finish is wonderfully clean. Drinkability is through the roof, especially if you're accustomed to the style.

At a recent tasting, I remember a friend's 60+ year-old father continually commenting 'this isn't what beer should taste like' after sampling Consecration for the first time. Not in a mean-spirited or angry manner, but in a rather shocked and confused way. It certainly is different, and far-removed from what most beer drinkers envision beer to be.

The best comparison I can think of is when a person tries something very sour for the first time, for example, a sour candy. Sweetness is expected, but this is the complete opposite! Shocked and slightly turned off, the candy is immediately removed from the mouth. Some time later you found that you actually enjoyed the variation in flavor and the effects it had on your tastebuds.

It's an oversimplification, but it illustrates how sours must be approached. There's a wealth of complexity hidden in them, one that you'll hopefully find just as exciting to explore as any other big beer.

Don't miss this one. As I've said before, Consecration is to wild ales what the Younger is to Imperial IPAs. If sours weren't so darn polarizing, this would undoubtedly be on the top 10.

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Photo of Sandstone
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Russian River homerun.

Having long been a lover of sours, I couldn't have been more excited to try this beer. Thankfully my girlfriend indulged me and we made the pilgrimage up to Toronado's for Russian River TION night.

The first sip of this beer, I knew I was in for something special. I've had beers that tried to toe the line between beer and wine before (Craftsman's Cabernale... I'm looking at you) but never have I had one that did it this successfully.

I took a sip and handed it to my girlfriend, the wine snob to my beer geek, and waited for her verdict.

"Wow, this is really good."

"Yeah, I know!"

Trying to describe this beer, it is just so difficult to do it justice. The flavors are many and layered. Probably one of the most complex beers I've ever had.

My attempt: Notes of black currant, sour cherry, oak, all with a perfect touch of acid and funk that compliments the beer, rather than defines it.

This is going to be a tough beer to find, but trust me, the search will be worth it. This is one of those breakthrough beers that really pushes a new style to the forefront.

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Photo of biggied
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a dark reddish shade of brown with a half finger head that fades nearly instantly. Some of the head sticks around on the top of the glass and around the edges...it just LOOKS evil, like some sort of witches brew...god its awesome, constantly bubbling.

S- strong cherries with a bit of a tartness to them. Getting some of an aroma of a wine type flavor as well. Great.

T- Awesome sour, tart, killer cherries. Its only mildly puckering...but I don't care. It kicks ass. The oak flavor seeps through a little bit too. Perfection.

M- well carbonated, great body. Balance is fantastic with the tartness.

D- the sourness could be a little too much for some...but not me. I love this. It packs a punch though, but you can't really taste the booze at all. First class sour from RR.

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Photo of DCon
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-tap @ Naja's Place in Redondo Beach, CA for $8. Tapped into a 12oz Wine Glass from the Another RR Cross Tap Handle but couldn't make out what colors it was or any description because it was so far down the line. This brew was also not on the "Tap List" Here! It was available in bottle so I just asked for the hell of it to see if it was a secret one as well, and it was!

Aroma- Starts off with an enormous wild and sour cherry aroma. Has the normal goaty/earthy hints and is blended well with the cherry. Very acidic and great to sniff at.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that dies quickly. Light amber/reddish color body that has great clarity. Effervescent and leaves good lacing.

Flavor- Strong cherry from the beginning of the drink. Extremely sour and acidic and just for what the style calls for! All the barnyard characteristics appropriate and has a light sweetness but is then forgotten because of the puckering finish.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, High tartness, and leaves sharp cherries on the tip of the tongue.

Overall Impression- A very straight forward Wild/Sour! Pleasant, nice cherry taste/aroma, and well balanced. I am excited I got to try these two RR brews @ Naja's and will be keeping my fingers crossed to enjoy many more in the future.

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Photo of nniicckkww
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 005x2F brewed 12/1/2009 bottled 10/17/2010

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a chalice. The corked came out easily with a nice 'pop.' Fizzy rusty head of about an inch quickly dissipated. Reddish, brown color with a slight cloudiness.

Aroma of red wine, musty wet wood and leather. Mouthwatering. Lively carbonation that leads into a fruity, tartness followed by leather and earth. Dark fruits. Finish is long and smooth, yet acidic at the same time. Perfectly balanced sourness. In a blind taste taste, I could not tell if this was 4% or 10% abv. Amazing.

A very complex beer.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks so much to Grant for sharing this wonderful growler with me, RustyDiamond, Brickstoredave, Ding, Atlantabeerdog, and SaintNathanial. Absolutely delicious and a great pleasure to drink this with friends. Poured a garnet tinged amber with a slight head. Beautiful color. Lovely aromas of cherries and ruby Port, with some astringency on the finish. Tastes tremendously complex with cherries, a little bit of funk, quite loamy and bitter- not horseblanket funk, but an earthier, forest funk. Quite astringent and a bit of sweet licorice on the finish. Dark and brooding with wildly interesting flavors. Quite intriguing. Smooth, tannic, and sour in the mouth. Utterly delicious and fascinating and extremely easy to drink despite the high abv.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was was SO SOUR, but SO DELICIOUS. It literally made my entire body pucker. The wine comes thorugh nicely and the mouthfeel is on point. I aged mine for about 1.5 years and it drank so smoothly after.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Also had this at Local 44 in West Philly during Philly Beer Week (3/15/09). Review from notes.

A - clear garnet brown with an off white head in a tulip. The head quickly receded to leave a thin white cap. Some spots of lace (but I attribute the lack of head to be the way they rinse the glasses).

S - earthy, sour, mild Belgian candi sweetness. Throw in some tart cherries and biscuity yeastiness and you've got yourself a lovely nose for this beer.

T - very acidic, sour, and vinegary green apples. Citrus (maybe of lime?) and some funky barnyard going on here. This is so good!

M - medium bodied and well carbonated. Quite smooth and gives a dry finish.

D - holy crap... this was my 2nd beer of the day this morning (the first was Pliny the Younger) and I can still drink more!

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Photo of bump8628
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

More amazing from the bottle than on-tap. Deep mahogany with a perfect dose of bone-colored foam on top. Sour certainly. But deep and complex. Cherry, plum, and toffee at the base with a nice spicy Brettanomyces note. Leather, shortbread, vanilla, and red wine vinegar as it warms. Great balance between fruit, sour, and malt. The price is steep, but the beer is nearly perfect. American craft beer at its finest. Oh, and the 10.5% ABV is silent.

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Photo of Bottlebomber
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imbibed from a Cabernet glass

A: a dark garnet red, no head whatsoever. No lacing on the glass. The bugs have decimated any head-forming proteins on this one. No flaws that I can think of considering the style.

S: Wow. Vanilla, oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, tobacco, cedar cigar box... Fruit. Prunes, plums, cherries. I could smell until it got warm trying to name all the smells coming off of this. Easily the most aromatic beer I have ever tried. More like wine than beer.

T: A sour for sour lovers. This is one of them tooth enamel grating beers. It takes a few sips to re-calibrate for this beer. My first reaction was not that it was delicious. It took me a full 3rd if the beer to get in the mood. And then, once my mouth became accustomed to the low PH, I started getting pulling out what this beer is famous for. Again the smell was so intoxicating that is is hard to tell where smells stop and flavors begin, but this beer has it all. Pie cherries dominant, balsamic vinegar, burnt sugar, stone fruit, dried cherries, currants( obviously), ever so faint of a biscuity malt character is the only indication that this is beer. It's almost overwhelming really. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum from Pliny. My only criticism - and this is a matter of personal preference - is that the beer could have been a couple of points sweeter. The bugs are going to do their worst and best to this so this is largely out of the brewers hands, and I know RR would never back sweeten, but I think just a touch more sweetness would have brought more out of the beer, and helped to moderate the sourness. No trace of ABV whatsoever, amazing considering 10%

M: Thin, dry, Puckery, but with a little silky smoothness.

O: This is not beer, it's wine. After I finished this I had to switch to wine for the night, there is no way to transition to an IPA or any kind of malt driven beverage after you have one of these. A masterpiece. Thank you.

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Photo of gdfan47
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
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

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Photo of kleffman
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First had this beer in Santa Rosa when I left a bar I was in telling my girlfriend I "had to go to the bathroom" but I really went down the street to Russian River. Incredible decision making.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with little head. Aromas of sour fruit, woody tannins and wine characters blend well with dark sour fruit flavors, oak and red wine. A drying, tart finish full of wonderfully balanced flavors rounds it out very well. High drinkability for a beer that is 10% alcohol. You would never know it. I could drink an awful lot of this beer, and thankfully have had it 3 times now. Fantastic.

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Photo of 3sheets2wind
4.81/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is a fantastic beer. I had a vertical tasting at toronado in San Diego in August 2012. That was an amazing experience. Served from a bottle aged 1 year in my refrigerator beer pours dark purplish brown with very little head but a lot of fizzy carbonation. The mouth feel is fizzy with a pleasant tart puckering. The taste is vinegar and very little malt and granny smith apple peel. In my top five sours of all time and proof that Russian River is one of the best breweries in America.

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Photo of wogreen
4.81/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 005X1E

A - reddish brown, 1st pour was very clear, though the bottom definitely had some murkiness

S - a very pungent sour smell

T - sour cherries, a hint of wine flavors. id note that i originally drank 1 from this same batch 1 year ago and the wine notes are much more pleasant and mellow than they i remember

M -tannin-like mouthfeel, tart though again mellower than i remember

O - a phenomenal sour if you like sours, a nice blend that blends the best of wines and beers

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Photo of Hendry
4.81/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was part of a tasting, and my friend who saved the bottle along with some Pliny, treated me to some of the finest beers I have ever tried.

Okay, this one was a bit over my head as it is true connoisseur Ale, but it was an amazing tasting. Deep ruby red color, strong aroma of stone fruits,nicely effervescent and really wakes up your palate with a tremendous currant flavor that is incredibly tasty, with a nice dry finish.
There is a delectable tartness that is unique to this Wild Ale.

Thanks to great beer friends that appreciate sharing with others!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

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4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazingly fast fading deep tan bubbles reach three fingers and then fade to nothing in just seconds. Body is a deep brown mahogany tone in color, really romantic. Nose is lovely with up front raspberries, so lush and slightly tart. Rich dark fruit tones come through with some oak and even a hint of sweet bourbon. With first sip you get some vanilla and oak then quickly comes the tannin based dark fruit sour feel that really embraces the tongue completely. Raisins, figs, blackberries and citrus rind all mark a wonderful tart fruit profile. The bold almost rich tannin feel really rounds out the taste perfectly. Superb balance and complexity make this beer a real standout. Mouthfeel is very red wine like, really making you want the next sip. Off the chart drinkability for a beer in this category.

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange with a reddish hue. Retention reduces to a ring. Good sticky lacing.

S - Much less sour in the nose. Definite cabernet sauvignon aroma, oak is quite pronounced as well. Smells like a slightly sour cabernet sauvignon.

T - Strong sour grape in the front, much like a wine with a lot of tannins. Lush dark fruits like cherry, residual sugars, oak comes through in the finish.

M/D - Smooth with a fair amount of carbonation. Great mouthfeel, the sour notes give it a nice pucker. Feels almost like a champage.

O - Fantastic beer. A+

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the first I've had of this style and I was surprised.
A - A beautiful dark hazy brown color. Great carbonation due to the refermenting in the bottle(kind of like a shampagne). Poured well with a nice white head that lasted for awhile.

S - It had an amazing sweet fruity aroma(very vinous).

T - The fruit smells come through in the taste. It's sweet, but not too sweet. And has some tartness on the backside.

M - Light, crisp, refreshing like a shampagne. Bubbly in your mouth.

D - Overall the beer looked great, smelled great and went down easy. The 10% alcohol was enjoyable as well. This would be a interesting beer to share with others.

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Photo of dar482
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color is a red brown bubbly beer. It almost looks like a dark Shirley Temple. Tons of big bubbles and carbonation.

The aroma has a sour funk, but there’s tons of wine tannins, lots of vinous, oak, a bit of dark fruit. However, the tartness does really stand out on this. It’s vinegar and Flanders sourness.

The flavor is vinegar tart, but then there’s tons of red wine and then some oak character. The tartness is actually hidden away as the beer warms up and blossoms to become a very red wine flavored beer. There really is not an alcohol flavor as it is like 10% ABV.

The mouthfeel on this is almost like a Coke-Cola. Tons of large bubbled carbonation that just rolls all over the tongue.

The huge wine flavors mean that you want to share this beer. I wouldn’t want 375ml myself. A good amount is to share it with someone.

This beer really stands out for me having had it next to Supplication. I preferred this actually. It’s so interesting because I’ve never had a beer that has had more red wine character in it that this. This for me is probably the best Wild Ales I have had. What a treat. It’s so different and amazing.

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