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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,000 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,000
Reviews: 1,043
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,382
Gots: 1,261 | FT: 88
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: 4,000 | Reviews: 1,043 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xnicknj
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

M - Bubbly, sticky, tart, and dry.

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

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

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

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

Batch 2x2

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

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

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

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

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

Batch 004X1

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

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

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

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

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

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

batch 004x3, split in tremens tulips with newk340.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A must try!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

stonelis, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of tim9887
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small corked & caged bottle, poured into a glass. Pours a deep, dark reddish amber with off-white head that subsides almost immediately. Vinegar, booze, and fruit are evident in aroma. Vinegary flavor combines with a sharp lemony acidity. Dry fruity finish. Light on the palate and has an almost champagne-like carbonation. Very tart, sour, complex. Drinkable for an ale of this strength. VERY enjoyable!!!

tim9887, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of degerbah
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy ruddy brown. Very similar to muddy water. The aroma is very acidic with just a small hint of berry flavored. There was almost no head at all. The taste is tart and sweet, but not overly so in either category. The drinkability is absolutely tremendous for any alcohol level. To have a beer at 10% that goes down like fruit juice is an awesome feat of brewing.

degerbah, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of hughesm4
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

hughesm4, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of mwa423
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours the color of peach tea with a thin white head that quickly disappeared. Even in the first pour out of the bottle there is some sediment.

S - The aroma is that of the ultimate wild ale, a complex mixture of sourness, dried fruits, some wine like notes and certainly some oak as well. Not too sour in the smell but certainly inviting.

T - Wow. This beer is a flavor party in my mouth. There is some sourness, some sour grape notes that have mellowed, a strong sweetness and the currants in the aftertaste. An absolutely fantastic beer that every BA should try.

M/D - Mouthfeel is sharp from the sourness and has a bit of the feel of pop rocks. The flavor is so good that it's hard to keep it in the glass. This is exceedingly drinkable and overall an amazing beer.

mwa423, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004x4

The cork pops and dispenses an auburn liquid into my duvel tulip.

Black cherry, cola, damp earth, sweet oak, and sour acidity.

Dark cherry cola kicks things off, then a wave of cigar box, leather and malic acid reminscent of granny smith apples. Oak and a puckering tartness linger on the palate.

This one of those rare sours that displays a substantial level of sourness while still retaining a great deal of complexity. It doesn't just taste like cider vinegar, their is a lot going on here.

BradLikesBrew, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of SummitVA
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004X4

A - Bottle opens with a dull pop. Pours beautiful ruby brown, but very little carbonation apparent and no head.

S - Bigger barrel character than I've ever noticed on this beer. Stone fruits, a bit of alcohol heat, and, I swear, some diacetyl. Comes across almost as butterscotch when taken in with the barrel character, but there is butter there.

T - Tartness is most apparent, but not hugely sour. This is balanced by a complex sweetness including malt and stone fruits. Buttery character that I feared in the nose is found in the taste, as well. Leaves this bottling tasting sweeter than others I've had. No doubt the Brett needs to dry it up a bit and clean up the diacetyl thrown out by the Pedio.

M - Big and round. The alcohol is there in the finish, but is certainly not overpowering.

D - For a 10% beer, I've always found this to be almost quaffable. Consecration has gotten me into trouble in the past, and if I had another 375 on hand, that would likely be the case again tonight.

Overall: Wish I would have sat on this bottle for another 6 months, but if I had ordered this at a bar, I'd certainly consider ordering a second. Doesn't have the "jfc" factor of other versions I've had, but it's still a beautiful beer.

SummitVA, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Batch 1 x 3. Differing finishing yeast than the current iteration. Pours a dark rust colored brown that starts with a nice head that quickly dissapates. Funky sour aroma with hints of fruit and a slight oakiness. The initial taste is not quite as sour as I would have expected but still has some sourness notes. I'm told new bottles are more sour than this batch. Slight sweet taste followed by funk then sour.
Light mouthfeel.

kbutler1, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of ptykozoon
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The cork comes off with a very small pop. I can smell the magic already as it is very pungent. Pours a lovely dark cranberry red, disappointingly however no head on this particular bottle.

Smell is strong, complex and inviting; wine, cherries & other fruits, a dessert sweetness and a touch of oak.

This is probably my favorite sour as of now and arguably my favorite beer. Im getting the aforementioned smells, which all work together just perfectly. Balance is immaculate, with the sweetness outweighing the sour by just a tad. Absolutely unbelievable taste, words can't do justice. Pricing is usually $12 for a small bottle which is quite a bit but I'd pay Vinnie whatever he asks of me. Taste is always the most important category to rate and this deserves no less than a perfect score.

Mouthfeel on this particular bottle is less than exceptional as the carbonation is lackluster, however I don't believe this to be the norm, as usually the corks explode rather nicely. Even without the added benefit of carbonation this brew still feels incredibly solid in the mouthfeel dept. It literally is the perfect density, not to light or to heavy. Aftertaste is godly; which is unbelievable for a sour, notorious to have you running for a glass of water.

Drinkability is off the charts, I'll drink this 10% beer all day anyday. Bravo.

ptykozoon, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of BigMike
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003x1

Poured into my Russian River Goblet. Reddish caramel color. Pretty clear with tons of effervesence. 1 finger of thin soapy looking head that disappears rather quickly.
A bit of dried fruit and vinegar with lots of wine characteristics. A small touch of alcohol on the nose with a real pleasant amount of funk.
An initial touch of sweetness on the tongue gives way almost instantly to a mouth Pickering sourness. Lots of dark dried sticky fruit, leather, and funk. The wine barrel flavor definitely comes through as well.
Mouthfeel is a bit acidic and very carbonated.
One of the best wild ales around. The new 375ml bottle size
is awesome.

*From notes taken on 6-22-10

BigMike, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
3.9/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at RR

Pour was a deep ruby with bright amber orange. Little to no head.

Lots of currants up front. Nice sourness really blends well with the currants. Light oak and dark grape really blend well. There was. A strong vanilla presence that really irked me. I have had consecration many times, every batch, and this is the first time I have tasted this. Not sure if it is a tap thing. I was not digging it.

Lots of carbonation with a very dry feeling.

This was my first time having this on tap. Id hate to score this low if it is a one off because it destroys from the bottle.

hooliganlife, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Delirium Tremens glass. Batch 3x1.

A: Pours a dark, clear ruby-red color with lively fizzy carbonation that formed a short lived light brown wood colored head that quickly faded away into nothingness. No lace.
S: Wonderful smelling! Complex notes of black currants and tart black cherries mixed with a very vinous red wine like smell and musty oak and woody notes. Not much cheesy horse blanket to the nose, but there are a few hints of bacteria to let you know this beer is about to get exciting. Fruity sweet yet lightly sour smelling at the same time.
T: Oh yeah. Very complex, fruity, woody and funky flavors. This brew hits your mouth with sweet black cherries and currants and then light sour and funky notes take over until the finish. The aftertaste is full of oak tannins and earthy wine barrel flavors. Not a very sour beer at all but there are definitely some acidic notes in the finish. The sourness blends well with the sweet fruit and dry tannin flavors.
M: Super dry wine-like tannins stick to your mouth as the medium-light body of this beer quenches your thirst as it washes down your throat. Very delicious and refreshing, and amazing for such high alcohol. Could use a little bit more carbonation though. After the pour this beer falls a bit flat.
D: Super easy to drink. Very surprising for a sour ale and a beer with double digit alcohol. The light tartness, the sweet fruits, and refreshing mouth, most everything about this beer works. I was worried it might be too much, but I'm glad I have this whole bottle to myself.

scottfrie, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of SeasonalBrew
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004x5

A: Poured into my La Fin Du Monde tulip. The color is a deep brown with mahogany hues when held up to the light. The half inch of white head I got faded just as quickly as it built.

S: Wow, it packs a tart punch. I can pick up tart cherries and grapes paired with some funk and a definite oak backbone. Really intriguing.

T: Follows the nose almost exactly. Immediate sour and tart cherry notes. Funky Brett and oak follow, but don't completely take over. It all blends together pretty well. A definite bite from the alcohol is present in the finish, which is still just as tart as the start.

M: Loads of carbonation and a light body. Finishes like a dry wine.

D: Fairly drinkable. Still a lot to handle alone. I am new to the sour dept, but this one still leaves me wanting to try more, so that's good. I was a bit worried.

SeasonalBrew, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of hoppymcgee
3.78/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this beer. Poured from a Batch 1 750ml corked & caged bottle into a Liefmans lambic glass.

A: "Mahogandy" (red/brown/burgundy) color with a fizzy head that dies down to nothing.

S: Currants and oak - exactly how the beer was meant to smell.

T: Currants and oak - exactly how this beer was meant to taste. I thought this was a little too sweet, a little sour, and a little medicinal.

M: Dry, vinous, and lots of carbonation.

D: Between the acetic value and ABV, I thought this was a little tough to get through by myself.

Overall, the Americans just can't keep up with the European lambic brewers.

hoppymcgee, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of biggied
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

biggied, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of Mavajo
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brown/magonnay color with a moderate cream head. Nose and aroma are layered with currants, funk, sourness and brett. Every flavor here has its moment, but they're all interwoven with the brett - it rarely takes a back seat. The vinegar:sour ratio is superb - it blasts you with sourness without causing you to wrinkle your nose from too much vinegar flavor. The alcohol blends in well - it's not absent, but it's also not hot or burning. It's woven perfectly into the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is great - no problems there.

This isn't the most sour beer I've ever had, and it isn't necessarily the tastiest either...but it blends the two masterfully. This is a phenomenal beer. The high ABV turns this into a perfect beer to sip over an evening. I only wish it was easier to obtain.

Absolutely a world class brew and one of the finest American wilds ever made.

Mavajo, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of Aenema
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4
Appearance - Pours a clear, dark cherry color. No head or lacing.
Smell - Lots of grape and funk.
Taste - Deep tart grape/currant flavor. Intense sourness, lacks some complexity.
Mouthfeel - Light medium-bodied with carbonation on the low end to perhaps medium. Fine bubbles. Very dry.
Drinkability - Quite drinkable and refreshing.
Overall - A very enjoyable sour, though I felt that this one could probably use some time in the bottle and the vinous notes were rather disappointing. I found Supplication to be markedly better,
though I'd like to try this one again with more patience and allow it to warm more (served at cellar temperature; did notice it improved as it warmed beyond that).

Aenema, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of coldmeat23
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Lindemans Flute
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees, fridge chilled for approx 15 minutes
Corked & Caged 375ml bottle BATCH: 004X1

This one is a crystal clear, medium shade of amber, with a light hint of pink tinting. An easy pour produces a massive head, not unlike you'd expect from champagne. It recedes fairly quickly, but not TOO quickly. No lacing to speak of. This is all according to style though, so let's carry on!

The scent of the currants comes through nicely. A touch of sweetness that blends with the otherwise tart scents that are dominating this nose.Nice hints of funky yeast notes. Wet hay and a touch of horse sweat. Dry oak notes.
The character of the Cab Sauv barrels seems to shine through, quite nicely.

Big notes of tart cherries and a hint of currants blast your palate. The barnyard funk, combined with the oak, tend to dry things out a touch and keep the tartness from becoming too sour. There is a light touch of sweetness in the middle, but then it ends with a little sour touch again. A very good showing of lactic acid runs through the whole profile.
This is an extremely well done sour/wild.

Light-to-medium bodied with a high carbonation level. This allows it to be extremely crisp, smooth and refreshing.

The acidity would keep me from downing a ton of these in a single session. The flavor would make me want to try to though. The 10.00%abv is absolutely nowhere to be found within this brew, by the way.

coldmeat23, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Transluent brown in color. Bubbly head quickly fizzes away and leaves remnants on the top of the brew.

S-Smells very tart. Strong vinegar whiffs. Sour fruits. Aged in Cab Sauv barrels and you can tell.

T-Delicious. I love this. Super-sour. Ultra tart cherry. Less vinegar than the nose. Hints of rich dark chocolate. Leaves the tongue scorched by the menacingly sour taste.

M-Very carbonated but fairly heavy on the body. Slick and memorable.

D-I only have one of these and I wish I had many, many more. Excellent. Alcohol is masked perfectly. The harsh taste leaves you wanting more.

VelvetExtract, Aug 12, 2010
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 4,000 ratings.