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: 1,610
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 Docer
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally cracked into my batch #2 bottle... sat in 9 deg. C for a little over a month, popped in the freezer for about 30 min., opened, and let it sit for over an hour to warm up. Poured into a tumbler..

- Looks like a glass of coke without ice. Bubbles like a cider... quick head to quick no head! Sparkling like a wine.. cola colored, clear...

- Bright currants hit the nose with a slight vinegar scent.. little bit of pickled olive.. slight alcohol... sweet cola.. grape.. fig.. spice.. hint of oak character.. sparkling vineyard.

- Crystal clear waters with tart cherry but more so black currants and blueberry... very tart... only a slight bit of acid and vinegar.. with a very complex barrel oakiness to it... little bit of grape...

- Light on the tongue, leaves only a slight bit of tartness, or early picked sweet currants.. blackberry, grape sitting on the tonque... not even very dry..

- Quite drinkable.. but fizzes up a lot on the tongue.. I guess the way it's produced.. like a sparkling wine.. will do that, and is normal... but this is a sipper! Very drinkable, and as I am not a huge fan of the style, I am further understanding it... and I must say, with this one I am truly floored at how well put together and complex it is. A great sour wild ale from Russian River.

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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 clvand0
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a medium head that falls quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is sour with a vinous and vinegar thing going on (in a good way). Also has notes of cherries/currants, grapes, and wood. The flavor is like a great mix of sour cherries and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Very complex and thoroughly enjoyable. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is quite good.

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Photo of SPRichard
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this at the Memphis Taproom over the 4th of July weekend...this is my first attempt at an American Wild Ale

served in a tulip glass...reddish/brown body...not much of a head on this signs of lace at all

sour/tart cherries...biscuity yeast...some Belgian candy sweetness

sour cherries/green apples was all i could think of after each sip....really could feel it in my cheeks

despite the sour/tart flavors this was very smooth to drink...nice medium bodied...dry finish...not overly carbonated

this style is way out there for i stated earlier this is my first time trying an American Wild Ale...took me a while to drink it, but made my way through it with no problems...taking a few sips of ice water between sips of beer made it a bit more bearable...i'm always willing to try anything from Russian River so I couldn't pass this one up....would I go back to it again if I found it, probably not but that doesn't mean it's a bad beer in my eyes...when i become more familiar with this style i may have it again and re-review it

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Photo of froghop
4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with a ruby tint when held to the light, a small khaki head that dissipates quickly, and some lacing.

smell is sour, dark fruits, and wood.

taste is tart, sour malt, and dark fruit, end is nicely tart.

overall a very good sour ale.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 001X2 bottle, corked and caged, purchased from Monk's Cafe 4 months ago. The beer is hazy, dark reddish brown with a 1-finger off-white foam that quickly dissipated to a thin ring around the glass. Much darker than I initially expected. The aroma is sour and acidic with a strong raisin character. There's much more dark fruit than I normally get in a wild ale, I think I smell plums and a touch of alcohol also. I like everything about the aroma except the alcohol, maybe it can't be helped due to the high ABV. The taste is not as sour as feared or hoped, but crisply tart. Lots of raisins, plums, some sweet and tart cherries, very very good. More in-your-face than Belgian wild ales, this has more evident alcohol and bolder flavors overall. Medium body but the rich flavors and threat of 10% tempers the drinkability a bit.

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Large foamy off white head with moderate retention and ok lacing. Nice orange red color.

S- Earthy and woody aroma with hints of cedar and oak. Nice big tartness in the aroma as well.

T- Strawberries, cherries, some oak, grassy bitterness and large tartness that I have come to expect form American Wilds. Also some really nice sweetness, caramel and vanilla. Very tasty beer.

M- medium bodied beer with waves of sweet oiliness balanced by dry bitterness and puckering sour.

So far this is one of my favorite wild ales, it is very sour but yet still has nice sweetness and great complexity. I can't wait to try more wilds from Russian River!

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Photo of srroos
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL corked and caged bottle (Batch 001X2) into a snifter.

A: Dark amber with one and a half fingers of tan head. Dissipates into a small ring.

S: Tart cherries, vinegar, oak.

T: Oak and tannins like a cabernet with the added punch of brett.

MF: Medium bodied, but VERY tart!

D: Slow drinking due to the mouth-puckering tartness. Still managed to finish the whole bottle over the course of an evening though. Very tasty!

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at deep ellum during the cantillon/de la senne event on april 24, 2009, week's end of the craft brewers conference.

served in orval chalice

dark ruby red w brown tint. creamy, tan, faintly pink head. fades to creamy wisps and ring. lacing doesn't stick.

aroma: richer brett funkiness than the bottle i had from batch 1. same with the vinous and cider vinegar notes - like the bottle, but just more robust. tart, but with fresh fruit tones of grapes and currants. wood and leather hints with trace of oaky vanilla. fresh cranberry, red wine, cherries and possibly more currants show up again in the back.

taste is similar both to the aroma and overall to the bottled batch 1, but richer - even though here the draught lines are serving the beer at much colder temps. tart and dry with a lovely tannic finish, totally reminiscent of cabernet. full of flavors (wood, leather, farmhouse funk, fruit, hay, etc.)

medium body, nice and tart. acidic and astringent with tannins for structure and texture. cleaned up by both the acidity itself, but also the prickly yet fine and delicate carbonation.

whoa - where can i get more of this stuff?! i pray that the bottle sitting in my cellar will age into something like this...

thanks again to max and vinnie for making this happen!

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Photo of imblane
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To be quite honest, I had mixed feelings about plunking down $22 for a 750ml bottle, but I wisely listened to a friend who said it was more than worth it. Batch #002x1.

A - Initial carbonation was high with a 2-3 finger head that dissapated quickly. Nice and dark like a fine brandy.

S - Funky and sour! Hard to believe there aren't any cherries in this one. I get a red wine vinegar, green apple, oak and sour grapes. This is gonna be good!!

T - Wow! Just like it smells, sour green apples, a hint of red wine vinegar and dark bitter cherries. I tried like hell but could not pick up the vanilla mentioned by other reviewers. Un-Godly well balanced!

M - Carbonation seemed high when I popped the cork, but was perfect on my palate. Dry and oh so tart with just the perfect acidity.

D - This is actually very scary. I did not even get a hint of alcohol here. 10%? It could be 2% and I would not have noticed. Yet even with alcohol taking a backseat, it was so satisfying that I wanted to prolong drinking this like no other.

Overall, I don't see many sours coming close to this. Vinnie hits it on the head once again. May be arguably the best to come out of Santa Rosa ever.

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Photo of duncan9idaho
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is dark amber with small lacing. Head was think on pour. Nose has barnyard, coffee, fruit, and a hint of perfume. Taste was strong sour with hay and fruit flavor finishing with a hint of tannin and bread. Not the most drinkable beer but a 10 ounce pour will do the trick. Excellent!

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Photo of SpruceFish
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured in to a snifter bottle from batch 2

A- dark crimson darkest sour i have yet to see an i love it of white head yet does not stick around

S- sour grapes, currants, cranberries the brett starts seeping though super funky (barnyard wet hey) and a little oak

T- freaking amazing just like the smell sour grapes, currants, ect funk and oak one of the most complex sours i have had and very balanced

M- carbonation great and really dry

D- perfect i would not know this had a 10% ABV

overall one of the best beers i have ever had russian river really knows what they are doing when it comes to sours i cant wait to try the rest of them

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Photo of srandycarter
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark bourbon color, not much head, leaves fast to ring. Big pop when opening. Small tight bubbled lacing.

S - Tart cherries, crisp, some yeast and fading malt tones.

T - Taste replicates smell to a tee.

M - Well carbed, tartness fades and dry finish. Quality stuff.

D - ABV well hidden. Tartness does not tire easily. Think I am getting used to fine sours.

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Photo of Irie
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Like wine that's gone bad with butter..." according to a friend, but in a very delicious way.
Looks rich and red like wine, smells sweet and fruity like wine, and has a very mild mouthfeel (mainly from the casket I'm sure) but very smooth like wine, and tastes like a sweet wine that's been out a little while, all the while still being a 10% beer that dances on the line of what is considered beer.

That being said, this is an incredibly unique beer that explores the boundaries of what beer can be. I loved it and was very sad when I reached the bottom of my 6 oz pour. Will definitely drink again!

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Photo of rayjay
3.97/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original bottling bought at Ledger's right from Ed. Poured into a small (12 oz) stemmed goblet.

Pours a fairly brite clarity with a deep wooden brown color. A big head rises up and disappears completely in a hurry, leaving absolutely no lace at all. It self-poured a bit of itself out of the bottle when the cork was removed.

Aroma has much depth and complexity and includes rich black currants (like preserves), green apple candy, sour cherries, vinegar, dark tobacco, sweet malts, and red wine.

Flavor is more of the same, with a strong medicinal note and a gentle tart blanket draped over everything else. Similar to a Flemish Sour Red with the malt bill but also has it's own thing going on. Alcohol is COMPLETELY disguised, no easy feat at 10-some-odd-% abv. No heat or esters either, no sign of stressed yeast. Lacto and pedio are the main contributors to the funk, and brett is certainly in there too. Finishes dry and similar to red wine. Some tannins.

Mouthfeel is gentle and friendly, no stickyness or chewyness, and a gentle fine carbonation.

Drinkable which is dangerous since the strength is cleverly hidden. Not extremely delicious so I'm not clammoring for the next sip, but certainly not bad at all.

I liked this beer very much, but to me Compunction, Supplication, and Toronado are far superior. You can't go wrong, but for the heafty price tag I'd rather drink a Rodenbach Red. Cheers!

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few times now. Took formal notes from the 6.13 Epic tasting. Batch 1x4.

Deep dark ruby red/brown with a nice light brown/red foam forming to top off this brew. Aromas of berries- the currants are there for sure. Cherries, a peppery spiciness with a prickly carbonation. Complex funk mixes with vinous red wine grape characteristics. Another winner from Russian River- it'll be great for years to come. Very slight alcohol burn from the high ABV but it is not distracting from the brilliant marriage of tart, funk and fruit that take place in this beer. Chris- how the FUCK do you not like this?

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks going out to rye726 for the opportunity to try this one.

Pours a clear translucent brown color with a full finger fizzy light tan head that is gone in a blink. No Belgian lacing afterward. The smell is great; sweet apple over a wine vinegar. Full flavored, the taste and nose are mirror images. Granny Smith Apple Ale flavor and tartness with a light body over an effervescent mouth feel that dries up quickly while leaving the fruity earthy notes and hint of a dark fruit linger nicely. A way too easy drinker...the 10% ABV provides a notch of warmth with the first mouthful, but is quite well integrated. I will savor this one as long as I can. Highly recommended.

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Photo of everetends
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle sent to me by the great rhinos00. This was actually the beer I was most excited about that he sent me in the Gentleman's Club BIF. This beer is special to me because it is the official beer that is helping me celebrate this Pen's Cup victory tonight. Big night for a big beer. Served up in a tulip, lets do this shit. Batch #1

A: Pours a dark brown in color. It actually does have some varied colors in here with an almost red/ruby/plum color coming across. I think a nice plum hue is the best way to describe the look, nice! Kinda a hint of dark red wine. The beer is pretty opaque, not seeing any light come through and I can't see through it for sure. The head was huge and when I popped the cork, there was a good amount of overflow coming out of the bottle. The head is almost a light brown in color and is about two fingers in height. Sadly, it falters quickly and I am getting no lace on the glas. Ah well, still a good looking brew.

S: Smell is nice for sure. Getting the Cab wine barrel aging for sure. Nice dark grape presence with a nice robust aroma. Then the sour kicks in. Getting some nice sour granny smith apples and some tart dark cherries coming across. A nice touch of some red wine vinegar in here bringing even more tart qualities. The oak is there with a slight sweetness coming from a touch of vanilla along with that nice wood. Very nice and absolutely appetizing. Well played, sir.

T: Nice red wine vinegar up front, bringing the sour and tart first and foremost. Slapping you across the face with sour flavors. The fruits are some really tart green apples, dark ass cherries, and touch of sour and grainy pear. Really nice cab flavor comes across with dark grape acidity and a touch of the tannins. The grapes are dark and heavy but they still have a sweetness to them. Yet again you get that slight hint of oak, but the wine and grape translates a lot more. Just the slight sweetness from the vanilla from the oak creeps in. That sour really translates and the brett makes its presence known for sure with a slight touch of funk. Maybe just a touch of tobacco on the back end that brings that rich and dark earthiness. SOOOO, nice.

M: Medium in body that has a really nice carbonation (maybe a bit of a suprise). Actually pretty damn crisp and thirst quenching. Has a nice drying quality to it that is just enough to keep you pulling from the glass. The feel is tart and puckering but never gets unpleasant. ABV is nicely hidden where the drying quality is the most prevelant quality. Not really getting much warmth out of this beer from the ABV. The aftertaste is all the tart and sour flavors just mingling pleasantly on the palate. Awesome here.

D: Not a problem to drink at all. Sometimes I have a problem with some sours and wilds, but this one is easy to take care of. Actually refreshing as hell and has a nice and light drinkable quality. never have a problem taking another pull. A well crafted beer from start to finish. Sure I could use a bit more head and lace but screw it, the flavor, aroma and feel more than make up for that lack. Drink it if you got it. Great beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thanks to route66pubs!) into a 22 oz. brandy snifter

Pours a deep ruby red color with a one inch off-white head. It falls down to a half inch cap which holds up very well. No lacing is left behind though.

Aroma is full of wonderful funk, sour like green apples, currants definitely come through but blend in with a general dark fruit character. Oak is also slightly noticeable.

Taste is sour from the start but there is actually a very slight sweetness in the back that plays very well with the sour. Lots of dark fruit character as well, currants come through again. Some funk and vinegar, but it's mostly pleasant sourness. Oak comes out in the finish. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is light in body due to a nice dryness. Silky going down with nice soft but effervescent carbonation. Very easy to drink.

By far the best sour that I've had the pleasure of drinking. Even better or equal to the Belgian sours. If you enjoy sours, then you absolutely must seek this one out.

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Photo of koopa
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased at liquidsolutions

Appearance: Nicy ruby to garnet body with a lovely silky frothy light mocha crown that pours large. Lots of retention and lacing with a silky slightly oily sheen!

Smell: This is one of the most intoxicating olfactory pleasures I've ever had. I'm really having a strong positive reaction to the nose. Nice amount of barnyard plus additional aromatics from the wild yeast come together with currants and other dark fruits. Nice oak notes dominate and create a wonderful musk. Leather and a light cigar note really round it out. Highbrow all the way.

Taste: First of the sourness is so well crafted. I can't believe I'm about to describe "sourness" as "velvety" but that is what I just did. The sourness is velvety smooth and lush. I'm getting a lemon/grape citric type note but I think that is coming from the wine barrel usage. The black currant mixes well and I feel like I'm getting other notes of black cherry.

Mouthfeel: Very lush and extremely carbonated.

Drinkability: I think this one will give me heartburn by the time I'm done but its damn tasty so its going down fast. :)

Batch 1 bottle consumed 6/4/10

Appearance: 4.0 the oily sheen is gone.

Smell: 4.0 Most of the intricate notes have faded and a general sweet malt plus vinous flavor profile has come to be.

Taste: 4.5 Sweet malt, vinous notes, and a nicely mellowed sour note. Very nice but not as good as it tastes fresh.

Mouthfeel: 4.0 The lushness and carbonation have mellowed a bit.

Drinkability: 4.5 still damn drinkable.

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Photo of popery
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say? It's incredible. I'm going to strictly edit myself in this review, so I don't get too gushy. Giving two 4.5's feels wrong, and the five in flavor seems a bit low. At any rate, the beer pours a translucent auburn with nice lacing. There are notes of red wine, currants (of course), cherries, malt and a wonderful sour like an incredible vinegar. The flavor is similar. The sour bites nicely. There's actual malt presence behind all of the fruit and sourness. The fruit flavors are refined and elegant. The whole thing is a wonderful experience. I can't imagine how they could improve on this flavor profile. The sourness blends with the fruit and malt at just the right level. There's also a dry oak flavor that keeps any possible sweetness in check. It drinks like a beer with half as much alcohol content. Bravo to everyone at Russian River.

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Photo of SidVicious619
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a Tulip Glass that looked like Dark Raspbeery rust with an off white head lacing and some sticky foam. Big fruit nose you wouldn't believe from the currant. notes of tart cherries, esters and red wine. I'm a Gueuze fan so the Sourness hit the spot. Flavors of Sour Cherries, oak, funk and some dry hops is in the background. Feels like a lightly carbonated red wine which made every sip one to remember. Hats off to Russian River!

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Photo of gyllstromk
4.94/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Nice but brief head with a dark, mahogany body. Smell is (unsurprisingly) currants and dark fruit. The taste is really where this beer shines. Wonderful currant with an extremely tart, dry bite and a pleasant champagne carbonation. One of my favorite beers after the first sip. I'm glad I don't live in the bay area because I'd go broke drinking this.

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a clear brown with a good off white fizzy head. The head leaves quickly. Reminds me of soda pop. Aroma is of dark fruit. Apples, cherries, and a touch of the oak. Has a good carbonation. The flavor is real good. A lot of sweetness but kicked up by a sour ending. Has a dry texture. This is a differnt style than I would normally drink but it is excellent. Has a great finish and the aftertaste stays with you for days. This is quite a tasty beer. Cost a little more than I spend but was worth it.

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Photo of LaPeste
4.97/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged bottle, $21.99 from Vendome in North Hollywood. Batch#002X1.

I have been looking for this beer for a while and it has been on the top of my list of beers wanted. I found it finally, secret stash at Vendome, not even on the shelves. Very sought after, hard to find beer.

Removing the cork comes a loud pop and the bubbles gradual pour over the bottle.

A: Poured into a tulip glass, pours a warm opaque cherry red/brown with a two finger head that rapidly dissipates. Minimal lacing.

S: Cherries, vinegar, red wine, oak

T: Oak, sour vinegar, cherries, ripe red fruit and vanilla- true to the style of the beer, but very well rounded and better than any of the oak barrel aged sours I've ever had.

M: Fills the whole tongue and the entire mouth and holds there. Pleasant sour lingers for a long, long time. What a great texture; very layered, very complex.

D: Easy to drink, slight alcohol burn (in a good way), pleasant pucker.

This is far and beyond my favorite beer to date. Too bad it's so hard to find. Would love to get my hands on a case of this and age it. This one is made to be shared. Just awesome. This is the reason I drink beer.

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