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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,236 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,236
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,428
Gots: 1,339 | FT: 95
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: 4,236 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jgasparine
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap at Kraftwork in Philly on 9/3/2010 with virtually no head no lacing. A completely still garnet colored body... optically clear... virtually no carbonation.

S- The nose is laced with aromas of cherry and a heavy musty phenolic. The nose is somewhat simple until the beer warms... where a number of malty, vinous and dark fruit esters emerge.

T- In the mouth it's a complete rollercoaster. It starts out with some sweet crystal malts, which are met with some dark fruit esters. On the mid-palate, some mild hop bitterness is met with a moderate lactic, slightly acetic sourness, which builds tremendously with a kick of savory melanoidin and an echo of oak in the finish. Lingers incredibly on the tongue. The dynamic range of this beer is incredible!

M- Medium body accentuated by a very soft, delicate carbonation. There's a mild to moderate astringency there, that works well for the style. A little slick oily texture there. Wonderful.

D- So incredibly dynamic. And the EtOH is SOOO well-hidden, it's amazing!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into my Liefman's Goudenband glass, head quickly dwindles tan head forms thick but fleets me. The carbonation never quits moving, leading me to believe that this beer is still alive. Aromatics are so deep with vinous tones in this case it seems to be currants added to the mix for the super fruitiness. Batch # 004X3 weird stuff that keeps giving off a wonderful nose. Hints of sherry vinaigrette blowing off the rapid bubbling head, mild cider notes with wild funky tones that could only be dreamt about if your not drinking this wild ale...horse blanket barnyard doesn't even do it justice. Flavor hits you with a blast of oak with tart fruits galore seems like currants are the victim once again. This beer dares you to keep drinking it make sure your immune system is up to par it hit's with a very acidic tartness that's probably not healthy for your digestive tract unless your consuming this regularly. If Vinnie just all about vomit acid inducing sour ales I've gone too far, but so far his Damnation was the best American brewed Belgian anything that I've tried thus far. I guess it's a question of do you really like sours? I do...it's so different from your average brew out there this wild fermentation really peaks my interest even if it ends in a sour vinegar lactic pedio WTF?

Photo of Axic10
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1 on-tap at Teresa's Next Door.

Appearance: Dark brown with a thin ring of head, much dark than the batch 3 which a friend was drinking.

Smell: Funk, pinot noir, strong wine aroma.

Taste: Holy sour. Tart cherries, strong bitter sour flavor with a slightly subdued Brett character coming through.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Drinkability: One of the readily available (seasonal or when they release it at least) Russian River sours. I really enjoy this beer and get it whenever I see it on tap.

Photo of megahurts4
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Russian River Consecration

served on tap at Monk's Belgian Cafe in Philadelphia, PA

Appearance: Dark brown, small head, and good lacing.

Smell: Whoa! Cabernet wine and oak

Taste: Like wine- grape, sweet-tart, and a sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium

Sour beers aren't really my forté, but this tasted like wine and sweet-tarts. It was odd and flavorful. It was also a tad too sweet for my taste.

Photo of kazmaniac
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Poured slowly into an oversized red wine glass to keep the extra yeast in the bottle. The head was extremely alive during the pour (think alka-seltzer) then quickly dissipated to nothing. Color is a cloudy mahogany.

Smell - Dark fruit and slightly jammy sour red wine.

Taste - Initially tastes like sour fruit which moves on to dry champagne and has a lasting crisp tart finish. Farther into the glass, the taste adds some raspberry qualities. Alcohol is hidden and unobtrusive. Has more depth than the other Russian River sours.

Mouthfeel - Has a light champagne tingly mouthfeel.

Drinkability - A good sipping ale but hard to put down. Has a funky wine vibe going on.

Photo of Stigs
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001 X4 - 750ml corked and caged bottle, served in a small tulip

A - short lived half inch of loose bubbly, tan colored foam which settles to a thin film and ring within a minute or so. the beer is very dark amber, almost purple in color.

S - slightly vinegar-like sourness, strong scent of oak, vanilla, and ripe berries for sweetness. finishes up with some dark fruit, light spice, and basement mustiness.

T - begins with a flash of sweetness: berries, cherries, oak and vanilla before a massive sourness kicks in. slightly vinegary, very acidic and a bit vinous - reminiscent of purple sweet tarts. finishes with some lightly toasted nuts, oak, and just a tiny bit of funky yeast.

M - medium bodied for the style, with just about perfect lively prickly carbonation. very dry, in a pleasant sort of way which works very well with the ample sourness. mouth is left feeling a bit sticky and hairy, with lingering oak and sour fruits.

D - well, it certainly hides its very dangerous ABV quite well. also, this will be the third 750 i've polished off on my own, so i cant complain about the drinkability. where it lacks in subtlety it makes up for it with a clean and sharp mouthfeel and an old fashioned sour beatdown. was fortunate to pickup a case of this awhile ago - they will find a good home.

Photo of Onibubba
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the latest small bottle offering of this outstanding beer. Light brown / auburn pour with a very short lived white head. No lacing. God awful funk smell, reminicent of rotten berries and old fruit - but in a good way. Taste is a lingering sour tart funkiness, mouth coating and pervasive. Very nice carbonation, which once settled, lends itself to a smooth sipping pleasure. Alcohol only becomes appearant toward the end. Drinkability in this portion is fine, but a large bottle would approach Cantillon level difficulties. This is a grand beer, meant to be shared or greedily hoarded. Entirely your decision. I wish I lived in CA.

Photo of fastpass17
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork and Caged bomber bottle.

A: Strong vibrant carbonation, head clings to the glass, crimson in color.

S: Oak, tart, strong raison presence, vanilla, slight mustiness in the end.

T: Begins with a warming nuttiness, oak, cream and cherry comes through in the middle, sour completes the drink.

M: At first taste it stings slightly, then warms the palate, the alcohol is there yet it is muted.

D: When in the mood for a sour I would enjoy a big bottle or two, it is delicious.

Photo of hopjuicer
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of the bottles I brought back from my honeymoon in Portland.

750 ml bottle poured in a tulip.

Pours a dark brown/amber. Nice and foamy thick head, about two inches. Cork popped pretty hard when I opened it. Could see a little bit of moisture around the cork, I think it must have vented just a little.

Smell is heavenly. Very tart and sweet, floral, hints of oak and cherries.

Taste is all sour to begin, but is quickly followed by sweet fruit flavors, cherries, currants, grapefruit, and apples.

Excellent beer. Wish it was readily available in Illinois.

Photo of Walken
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Russian River: Consecration (Batch 004X4, Bottled 02/05/10)
375 ml. cork & cage, poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Bottle opens with a pop, pours out hazy dark and amber with a fizzy off-white head of foam that quickly dies down into a solid ring of lace around the edge of the glass.
Odor: Currants show a nice varied aroma, throwing fresh, sweet cherry, tart wine grape aromas. Nose is full, luscious and hints at an aggressive, sour beer.
Consistency: Tart, juicy, solid, highish carbonation takes the edge off the sourness ever so slightly. Pucker up.
Taste: The nose, once again, knows. Incredibly complex set of well-layered flavors going on here. Tart/sour lactic currant with an earthy underbelly of funk. Barrel, hints of dark malt and residual wine flavors derived from the barrel show up to the party. Finish shows more tart juiciness, some fruity alcohol shows its weight and warms the cheeks a bit.

Believe it.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/4/10

Batch 002x1

Pours a murky shade of brown; it kind of looks like pond water. Once settled in the glass it's more of a ruby hue, similar to grape juice. I was able to get 1/4th inch of loose, bubbly foam. The head dissipated rapidly, eventually leaving a thin collar. No lace at all nor head retention by the end.

Smells plenty sour & very acidic; certainly lactic. Vinous aroma of Cabernet Sauvignon bleed & the currants. To that end there's a musty oak note, as well. A decent Brett funk is buried in the back. Mild overtones of alcohol heat. Warmth brings out the grimier, funky aromas.

A puckering, sour kick is the first flavor to drop; bleeding down the peripheries whilst a dirty, barnyard funk fills in the center. The funk & musty oak barrel flavors become more appreciable with warmth. Dark fruit ester overtones. It's pretty dry, especially toward the finish. The sourness does mellow a tad over time, though not by much.

Basically full bodied; maybe slightly toward toward medium on the overall spectrum. Carbonation is moderate; it's enough to keep things moving without overpowering the sourness. Musty oak & a slow, dry finish. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Drinkability is quite good; definitely an enjoyable sour. I like the progression as it warms with the emergence of more prominent funk notes. I like Supplication a little better, but I wouldn't have any qualms revisiting this one.

Photo of Chaney
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Matt (aka. Huhzubendah) for bringing this brew that I have been wanting to try since the dawn of man to a recent tasting.

A: Pours a very dark purple with ruby highlights and a small fuzzy head they managed to stay put for most of the session.

S: Cherry "Sour Patch Kids" with a refreshing filtered water scent.

T: Matt warmed me that my jaw would lock then retract upon first sip and he wasn't kidding....that is a large part of the beer's charm! I got some of the same flavors that were in the nose, along with an awesome yeasty aspirin or sour "Flintstone vitamin" quality. Complex!

M: The pucker factor is with this one, but only for a brief moment at the beginning before the lucious fruitiness takes over. As with most sours, the AVB detectability is nill IMO.

D: Very drinkable, but best enjoyed in small doses and I'm glad Matt was there to share it with me.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to IdrinkGas for the chance to try this. Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a snifter. Batch 004X4.

Appearance: Dark brown with a reddish hue. No head whatsoever on the pour. Lots of carbonation on the pour.

Aroma: Lots of barnyard funk right off the bat. The sour element is defintiely there, but it is balanced nicely by some fruitiness.

Taste: The sour hits hard upfront. Currants and grapes add the fruit element here. Everything is in really good balance with the barnyard notes from the yeast. Nice, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavy carbonation that becomes less as this sits. Light body, with a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: At 10% ABV and with all the flavors in here, this is definitely a sipper. For a sipping beer though, I could enjoy sipping on this all night.

Overall, a really great wild ale and one that deserves all its recognition. Highly recommended.

Photo of zimmerbloke
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From Blind Bomber BIF (Thanks to Hophead101!):

A: Pours ruby red with a strong, if quick fading, head. Very bright colored and transluscent when held up to light. Appears very carbonated.

S: Very strong tart nose at first. Some oak and a fairly dry, tannic fruit character. Some sweetness, more fruit than malt, but primarily sour.

T: Quite sour with some tart fruit sweetness. Mild oaky flavors, very light malt and hop contributions. Moderately dry and strongly tannic. Very well balanced.

M: Vibrantly carbonated and mouth-puckeringly sour. Very nice.

D: Moderately high. The beer is very enjoyable, but is sour and acidic enough to make drinking too much an unwelcome proposition.

I've had this once before and I think I enjoyed it just as much blind. I guess that's the mark of a good beer!

Photo of geryeb624
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle courtesy of Elendinn. Thanks man!

A- Red wine in color with a fizzy white head. This dissipates pretty quickly however.

S- Sour, with substantial Brett funk. Again, wine comes to mind, as the nose is fruity and acidic.

T- Sour and funky up front with nice fruitiness. Admittedly, I'm not familiar with currants, so I can't pick out specifics, but the fruit comes through nicely. Finishes with an interesting buttery vanilla sweetness that really pulls everything together.

M/D- Nice, champagne-like carbonation and very well-hidden alcohol make this pretty drinkable for the style.

A very nice wild ale. I think I prefer Supplication, but this is also very good.

Photo of meatyard
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle, batch 004x3
Batch# Brew Date Bottle Date
004x3 3/25/2009 2/4/2010

Pours a hazy, dark, ruby without any head or lace but there is noticeable carbonation. There are a few dark yeast particles sitting at the bottom of the glass.

The smell is a pleasant, cider vinegar aroma. Also, a red wine/grape element.

The taste is very acidic at first bite. Next I get oak, then a vinous quality and a light bit of funk. It has an enjoyable complexity in the taste and that lingers in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is medium thin.

Drinkability: The alcohol content shows itself pretty quickly yet you barely notice it. It's a very tasty, serious drinking beer that I like to drink slowly to savor the taste. I've had this many times on draft and can find bottles without a great deal of trouble when released. Philly has a good beer thing going.

Photo of BuckyFresh
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with TCGoalie, zoso1967, and TCHopCraver. We split a 750ml bottle between the four of us. Thanks to TCHopCraver for supplying the beer.

Appearance: Poured into a large wine glass. Color is an amber/straw with a one-finger head and minimal lacing. Quite a bit of carbonation is visible in the glass. Retention is not stupendous, but agitating the glass easily stirs up bubbles again. Yeasty chunks collect at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: A sour cherry smell dominates the nose, with a tinge of yeast and mustiness also present. There is also a bit of an acidic/mineral quality (almost like well water with too much iron). Other aromas are citrus, banana, and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Sour bomb. Cabernet shines through and acidity abounds. The iron character I detected in the smell is there in the taste as well. Picking up a lot of tannins from the wine, which certainly adds to the mouth-puckering intensity of this beer. Given the aroma, I thought there would be more sweetness, but I think whatever sweetness there is has been lost amongst the sea of tartness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, mouth-puckering tartness, and a dry finish. Clean and invigorating for the senses.

Drinkability: Probably a one-glass brew, but I will definitely revisit this one, as the experience is incredibly unique.

Photo of Chico1985
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of two 375ml's purchased in Philly last week. The other one is staying in the cellar for a couple years. Batch 004x1, which according to Russian River's website, means this was brewed 3/25/09, and bottled 2/2/10.

Pours a see-through brown, an off-white head quickly fizzles away to a thin ring. Some sediment floating about. No lacing.

Big amount of sweaty funky aromas, cherry and red wine notes, green apple.

Lots of red wine and barrel tastes, sour red grapes. Very prominent oak/wood tastes, funk and barnyard. The fruit is stronger as it warms. Some alcohol here and there. I wasn't very impressed at first but it grew on me enough to give it a 4 for taste about halfway through.

Carbonation is on the high side, feels a bit thin and boozy. A long, dry, sour finish.

Pretty good but underwhelming, definitely not in the league of Supplication or Temptation in my opinion.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 8-21-10. Split 750 mL 4 ways with TCGoalie, zoso1967, and BuckyFresh.

A: Pours a ruby-raspberry red with a white to khaki hued, one finger head. The lacing is excellent, highlighted by clumpy chunks of foamy head. A very sizzling effervescence from the carbonation is pleasing to my eye. A surprised face is staring at me from the good head retention.

S: A sour, yeasty, and cherry aroma combination greets my nostrils. Some hints of banana bread and lemon zest are also evident. This is not a huge aroma, but the Cabernet Sauvignon oak barrel aging is more and more apparent with deeper inhales, and even more so as the beer warms.

T: As soon as Consecration hits my lips, the tartness of the beer explodes onto my palate. So very sour... but an iron and earthy bitterness is ever present, as well. The cherry and cabernet tastes are well blended with the wild yeasts to create a huge and explosive flavor. Every time I take a sip, my eyes just fly open from the tartness of this brew.

M: The sides of my palate are just bombarded with a puckering sourness that quickly spreads to the rest of my mouth. This is a phenomenal, wild, tart attack on my mouth - I love it. A nicely dry finish leaves my palate quite clean.

D: I will certainly seek this out again and be very excited to imbibe it. I did split this four ways, though, and that is about all that my mouth could handle in a sitting. Russian River, wow. Another great brew.

Photo of localhost
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I lack the proper adjectives to describe the taste of this beer. I have had it both in a bottle and on top now, most recently on tap. It is extremely sour, yet has an amazing flavor.

Pours dark red with very little head, looks very inviting. Smells very sweet and sour. The taste is a complete explosion of fruity sourness and sweetness. I'm not sure what exactly i'm tasting, all i know is that it is strong and i like it. My mouth was a little dry afterward but not much more than other beers. Even though this beer is incredibly sour, i found myself ordering more than one in a row, so i would say the drinkability is pretty good. Definitely a sipping beer, but still amazing overall.

Long story short: buy it and drink it.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.65/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, batch 004x4. Sent to me by boatshoes. I was totally stoked to see this one in there.

A- The color of this beer is basically the same color as the label. The carbonation fizzes up a head violently fast. It doesnt even get done gathering before its gone. No lacing, no head, not even any bubbles. Thats not always a bad thing when it comes to a sour though, I suppose.

S- This is a good smelling beer though. Very acidic. Lots of vinegar that stings the nostrils. A healthy dose of horsey funk. A nice woodiness is also apparent. Red wine, currants and glue come in subdominately.

T- Quite sour. The phrase "ass puckering" has been going around this site since Overlord coined it. Its beers like this that keep that phrase alive. Very acidic, one of the more acidic beers Ive tasted. Again, a considerable amount of funk. Lots of old, beat up oak barrel, and cellar door. Tartness that is akin to very under ripe berries. Wow this is strong on wood (to write in a very stream of conscience manner). Vinegar, unripe plum skin. Pretty aggressive.

M- Very biting. Very dry. It leaves a grape juice acidity in the mouth as it strips your palate bare.

D- Very aggressive. I think I feel it trying to upset my stomach. I like it nonetheless. This beer will let you know what it thinks of you, and it doesnt think to highly of your attitude.

This beer in one word: Rancorous.

Photo of jonvan04
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this as part of my own personal taste test. I had both Consecration and Supplication at the same time. This poured a dark brown with a white head, it was sampled out of a tulip glass. The aroma was intensely sour with a lot of dark fruits mixed in. The taste was just an outright assault of sourness which I enjoyed very much. It was very aggressive while still having a nice balance between the sourness and the acidity. The body was very light, this didn't taste like a 10%abv beer. However, I don't see myself being able to have more than 2 of these since sour beers can tear apart the stomach after having too many. I could see this being too aggressive for some, those people would probably enjoy Supplication more since that was the more mellow of the two.

Photo of newk340
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split in Delirium tulips w/ hu5om

A: a deep mahogany color, similar to a flat dr. pepper, no head w/ little-to-no lacing.

S: an extreme sour smell of dark fruits (figs, prunes).

T: bitter dark fruits, an explosion of various flavors with an inkling of dark chocolate, some woody tones.

MF/D: a sizzle of carbonation w/ a lingering heat and a quickly receding bitterness. like drinking a liquid warheads candy. certainly doesn't taste like 10%.

Photo of fcaf
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had two pours from the local Belgian pub and two bottles from the supermarket. Both showed a beautiful reddish-brown color with a small head. The taste was sour without being gaudy about it, with a balancing sweetness that covered the high ABV almost entirely.

Photo of Bendurgin
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,236 ratings.