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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,235 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,235
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,427
Gots: 1,338 | 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: 4,235 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morimech
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004x1

Light brown color with a thin head that quickly disappears. Very little lacing is left on the glass. The appearance was not really a disappointment considering the style. Wonderful aroma of wild funkiness, leather, grapes, currants, and wine. The finest tasting sour/wild ale I have drunk. Plenty of lip puckering sourness but it does not interfere with the subtle fruit and malt notes. The currants are tasted but they definately play a supporting role. This beer seems to be perfectly blended and balanced. Light body with crisp carbonation that seems well suited to the flavor. With the ABV way up there, it limits drinkability but the 375ml bottle seemed like the perfect serving size.

Photo of crossovert
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.6 fl oz corked and caged brown bottle. Batch 004x4.

It pours with a super fizzy head that dissipates within a second and leaves no lacing. The beer is a hazy reddish plumb color with hints of brown.

It has a pungent smell. There is some red wine smell along with a huge whiff of oak. There is also some sour currant and caramel. It is very sour and oaky smelling.

The taste is very reminiscent to a dark red wine. It is very vinous and tannic. The oak is milder in the flavor than it was in the smell. There is a slight funk note but the yeast is mostly sour. Not asspuckeringly sour but pretty nicely sour. Underneath everything there are traces of malts including the smallest hint of toastiness. It finishes with a dry grapeskin/seed flavor. As you go the subtly sweet currant flavor can be tasted in the back of the mouth along with some oxidized apple.

The mouthfeel is pretty good for a sour. It is a tad thin but very dry and tannic in the finish. The alcohol surprisingly isn't totally hidden under the deep complexity though it never becomes overbearing.

Overall this is a nice sour. It is definitely one of the sourest beers I have had yet.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 004X4 - Picked up at the Foodery in Philly

A. Pours with no head whatsoever. Pours a deep brown with amber/ruby when light shines through. Small occasional bubbles show that there is some carbonation in the beer, but very little.

S. Oak, sour, dark malt, some belgian candi sugar and yet a bit like a dry red wine.

T. Earthy leather and tobacco with fig. Funky sourness lies firmly on top of the flavor profile. Sour on swallow with a dry finish.

M. Medium body with little noticeable carbonation.

D. This drinks more like a red wine than a beer. While that is partly due to the low carbonation the flavor profile also seems to align more with wine than beer. The high alcohol is hidden well under the complex flavors, but you probably wouldn't consume more than a glass with or after dinner. I appreciate that this beer maintains complexity where so many sour beers are one dimensional.

I've got one more bottle of this; I'll update if that one is more carbonated.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Between brown and black with ruby highlights around the edge where light catches it. No head retention, just a white ring around the side of the glass. Aroma is woody, earthy, with maltiness and a real dried fruit presence. Wine n grape notes really come through. This ones good but at 10% and barrel aged I think it needs time to mellow. Sour power up front and all the way through with a lingering finish that is funky n dry. Malty n fruity with flavors of deep toasty malt and dried fruit, leather and earthy. Pretty tasty and drinkable, but I always think that about sours. Nice mouthfeel, full and thick.

Photo of DNICE555
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

200 hundredth review!!!! Poured into my delirium tremens tulip in the new apt

A: A red brown body with a white head that dies withing the first minute.

S: Vinegar, Granny Smith apples, grapes, sour patch kids, very vivid.

T: So complex. Vinegar, apples, sour patch kids, grapes, champagne.

M: Carbonation is very high at first. Bottle pops like a cap gun. Dies down very quickly and mellows out.

D: Nobody does IPAs and sours like RR. Damn. This is sour to die for.

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought from a small beer store in Paulsbo, WA near Seattle. My first wild ale from Russian River, though I have been a fan of the sour wild ale style from Belgium for while. It's an attractive red, plum, amber color. Carbonation is fairly high and makes it looks just a bit like Dr. Pepper - but in a good way. The smell is really nice. Sour, cherries, alcohol, and a sweet/acid mix. The flavor is similar, but with more dark fruit, a bit of the cabernet and oak. I give it some minus-points because there is a bile-like quality as well that didn't sit well with me. Mouthfeel is nice and lively and it would be very drinkable for me if not for that bile-thing going on in the background.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip from a 375ml bottle.

Pretty strong pop from this bottle. Pours a nice garnet color with active carbonation and a nice .25 inch head. The head is thin and recedes quickly down to a ring. The color is very attractive.

Tart cherry aroma with some slight vinous aroma and raisin characteristics. Slight syrup aroma as well with some medicinal esters. Nice vinous character with some good tart vinegar notes and mixed in some nice wood.

Intense cherry tartness to start off with some slight balsamic vinaigrette that moves in as well. The profile is very similar to the aroma. Slight phenols and a syrupy medicinal flavor. The beer is very complex even though it leans towards the sour side. A nice rich flavor with a present alcoholic warmth and sweetness that tries to offset the tartness. As the beer warms it becomes a bit sweeter with some nice berry flavors and eventually the woody flavors from the aging. I've just started to experiment with sour beers and I have to admit some I like better than others. This is a good example and not a bad one to get introduced to the different flavor spectrum.

Delicious tartness with some great slight fruit sweet notes. The high ABV is nice and warming and lends the brew a richer note.

Photo of ridglens
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split with a couple BA buddies, Poured into three snifters.

Pours a thin head at first, which quickly dies to a creamy ring around the edge of the glass. appearance is pretty decent, beer looks very nice with some back lighting, a burnt brown glow. smell is not what i expected (having no idea what to expect), and is FULL of rich butterscotch, caramel, and toffee. dome darker fruits come out as well (can't place specifics, but very sweet), and a rush of sour apples. damn great smell. taste follows suit, very sweet caramel toffee with some sweet malt. the sourness is not as intense as other RR offerings (it is still the main theme though!), but it actually complements the sweetness very well and doesn't overpower the rich flavor profile. mouthfeel is where this one falls a little short for me. it's a little thin, especially for a richer tasting beer. the carbonation was just a hair much, though not distractingly so. the drinkability is good, balanced flavors and not tongue destroying sourness, and pretty light (see mouthfeel)

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

Pours like red sangria. Little bit a fizz on top.

It's tamer than I thought it would be. Maybe 2-3 years ago, before the sour thing took off and every other American brewer was trying to out shocktart Shock Tarts, this would have been shockingly sour. I was expecting something shockingly sour. But, really, that's my fault, not the beer's.

The sour isn't intense and the fruit isn't candied or Starbursty. But the sour is still there, and the fruitiness isn't like regular ripe fruit even though it's also not like any candied or synthetic fruit, nor even like any other wild ale I've ever had. It's vinous, with burny nodes of red wine barrels in the back end, but mostly it's just very delicately fruity and sour.

This is exquisitely brewed. This is the kind of beer that can (and did) help set off a national trend.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TCHopCraver (the supplier of this rare treat), BuckyFresh, and zoso1967 for the tasting party that included this brew. 8/21/10

The pour is a dark reddish hue mixed with a good deal of brown. The head appeared brownish then faded to white. Agitating this beer will manually create more head. When swirling the glass, splotchy bubbles gather across the glass and collect in mild lacing.

The smell yields a subdued cherry tartness, woody oak, caramel, banana, and lemon.

The taste is quite tart with lots of sour iron like feel. Further in the taste is more sour with a cigar/tobacco like aftertaste. There are also some spicy, peppery notes.

The mouthfeel is light and refreshing and certainly gets my saliva glands going. A nice drying finish concludes this rarity.

This is a solid drink. It is so sour that I want more to believe how sour it is.

Photo of sk8man121
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bach 002x1 - this bottle has some time on it.

750 ml bottle obtained via trade with craytonic; thanks, Matt!

Poured into Allagash chalice.

A: Pours a deep russet-brown with a champagne-like head that dies down just as fast. Settles with no head whatsoever. Completely opaque and mysterious.

S: Smells just like I thought it would - vinegar, tart apples, a hint of red grape and oak. If the smell of a wild ale could ever truly be balanced, ever balanced, this would be it.

T: Beautiful. Sour upfront, yet the finish kicks in fast and mellows everything out. Flavor profile is so complex that I don't know where to start - vinegar, bright fruit, citrus, vanilla. This is beautiful.

M: Carbonation is medium-high, yet flattens quickly. Overall, this is a fairly toothsome beer that goes down like silk.

D: This is my first offering from Russian River, and I couldn't be more impressed. I could likely drink 2 bottles of this.

Looking forward to more Russian River after a splendid first experience.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,235 ratings.