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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

ConsecrationConsecration

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,148 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3148
Reviews: 1003
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 10.07%


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: 3,148 | Reviews: 1,003 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002X3

Purchased at the brewery in Fall, 2009 and consumed while playing original Nintendo on July 12, 2010. Decadence.

A: A thin and flat appearance, ruby-tinged brown hued with very little head and virtually no retention or lacing. Upon the second pour, the head is very fizzy and fades almost instantly with a hissing sound.

S: Cherries, oud bruin, wild yeast, wood. This beer smells very complex.

T: A lot of flavors going on here. Everything I named in the aroma, plus a funky tartness that makes my lips pucker and my throat tingle. Really profound and complex, this beer is very intriguing and enjoyable. Many sours in the 10% or above abv range are considerably harsher than this.

M: Acetic, vinegar finish that grows stronger over time. Puckering finish that makes the cheeks (on your face) pucker and cringe (in a good way).

D: I'm taking on the whole 750mL tonight, but this is certainly a good candidate for splitting amongst a few friends.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 01:52:22 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a tulip at TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery's 7th Anniversary.

A deep crimson color with blood red/copper hues and light orange accent with good clarity for the style. The cap of beige appears when swirled in the tulip, the bead is ultrafine-pin sized bubbles with gentle spots of lace sticking.
The smell of currant and dark wine grapes is immediate when the glass nears my nostrils, there is a sublte sour scent which combines with spice and mild oak aspects but there is mild sweet odors adding to the complex sour aroma w/ mild currant/berry and grape aroms.

The feel is so highly acidic it seems astringent and sharp up front. The sour lingers and makes me pucker and then the acidity and slight alcohol move forward only after a spice tinge do you get any type of sweetness, the effervescence is moderately high. The flavor mirrors the nose and mouthfeel with sweet tarts and bitter grape flavors with a dash of currant sweetness and slight tannic fruit skin elements. The light sour apple flavor adds dimension to the depth of sour and acidic tastes going on here.

This is not a wild ale for the faint of heart, it is strong puckering and I consider it only above average drinkability-wise overall, just not something I could see have many back to back of, a good wild brew and I guess Vinnie has us spoiled because this is great, just not outstanding like his other American Wild ales.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2010 17:27:25 | More by Slatetank
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Still sipping on the 3767 ... entering this one in from a couple different paper notes ... both of these previous bottles came from Onecrazybreeze... Brianne is awesome.

Batch 001X2

Thin head with a deep brown brew that is pretty cloudy when held to a light.

Very rich aroma.. very fruity and only mildly funky... tart berries.. whaffs woodiness .. grape bubblegum or soda..

tannic berry skins and an abundant fruitiness... some black cherry essence... maybe even some black caps... more oak than the nose .. a little lactic ... some wet leather and wild strawberry essence shows as it warms ... fantastic body for a sour... carbonation seems abundant but helps balance the slightly heavier mouthfeel ...

I still have a few bottles ... but I think some age is going to do wonders... Thanks again Brianne... You are a peach.

3.5/4.5/4.5/5/4.5

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 08:26:32 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch 004X1. Thank you slentz for the trade!

No head off the slow pour, what little there was, was a light tan brown that quickly faded and left the smallest of all collars. Body color is a gorgeous dark red and brown cherry, very wine like looking.

A nice simple tartyness that isn't overpoweringly sour. Cherry like fruit sensation. Not even any heat really coming off for this high abv. Standard funky barnyard to go with it, musty and dank, slightly dry. No sense of oak from this at all.

Classic tart and viscous sour, but sort of boring. Sour cherries also. Almost red wine vinegar but not quite. Sort of one dimensional. Fairly alright for mouthfeel light bodied, warming in the stomach, and coating snap feeling mid palate with some spice. Strangely I get a feeling for summer sausage when having this beer. I want paprika with this.

Overall alright but sort of pedestrian. Feels like a food beer than for casual drinking for me. It will do.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 23:53:54 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Serving type: growler

01-25-2009 02:26:58 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River. A silly bar pour leaves the beer nearly spilling out of the glass. No head. The beer is a dark, dark reddish purple.

The nose is of tart raspberries and plums with a touch of vinegar. The currants work very nicely in the beer. This is reminiscent of the Toronado 20th. There are faint alcohol notes, but it relatively well hidden for 10%. Much like the aroma, the flavor is of ripe, tart raspberries and those delicious currants again. There is a nice medium level of sourness to Consecration. The finish is dry and slightly puckering, with just a touch of alcohol.

This is a medium-full bodied sour with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is vinous. This is the closest thing I've had to Toronado. I'd love to do a side by side comparison of the two. The alcohol is well hidden, which leads to a damn drinkable strong sour. I'm glad I stocked up on this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2009 06:52:41 | More by HopHead84
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass.

Opens with a nice big pop. Batch 002X1

Pours only a thin layer of tan head. Decent retention. Color is a dark dark cherry-hued brown. It is a clear bee but you can't see all the way through it.

Aroma: I can smell the wine from the barrels that it was aged in. A nice wood/oak smell. Grapes. I am guessing this is the currants, which I am liking. A very complex flavor. A nice sour/wild smell if that makes sense. Makes the mouth water.

Taste: Very sour and amazing. I am digging the currants. A lot of fresh ripe berries. Nice barrel-aged taste going on her. It is very tart. Has some grapes here as well. Damn, this tastes good. Stunning. Next up is the tart cherries with a little bready malts to balance out things. I am very impressed.

Mouthfeel: Sour, tart, and puckering. I love it. Medium bodied with a perfect level or carbonation. This beer is just flowing right now. Leaves a nice tart aftertaste. Damn RR did an amazing job here. Very clean.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. I am trying not to drink this treat fast, but it that isn't happening very well. Very drinkable and I want more. One of my favorite beers I have had yet!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 02:03:22 | More by mothman
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a relatively clear crimson red in color with some heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger and a half tall fizzy yet creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to heavy aromas of tartness/sourness with dark fruit (cherries and currants) and heavier smells of red wine and oak.

T: Moderately tart upfront with some vinous notes, hints of balsamic vinegar, and a moderate amount of sour cherries. Light to moderate flavors of oak and red wine along with some dark fruits (currant). Moderately tart which lingers in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Relatively dry in the finish with a heavy amount of acidic prickliness.

O: Reminds me more of drinking a slightly tart red wine than a beer (so to speak) but it is definitely an enjoyable experience. Due to the tartness, it was one that I needed to enjoy by sipping rather slowly but it is definitely a phenomenal beer. Nice job of balancing the sourness with the red wine flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 17:58:34 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002X3

Brewed: 6/18/2008
Bottled: 4/1/2009
Primary: Abbey Ale Yeast
Conditioning: Rockpile

A: Deep chestnut brown, very bubbly, tan head, no retention, only a hint of leg.

S: Nice sour aroma with plenty of dark fruit, brown sugar, a little brett & funk, fairly woody.

T: Plenty of dark fruit and currants, a pleasant sourness (a light mix of Brettanomyces, lactobacillus & other funk), hints of cocoa and dry-roasted nuts, wood.

M: Very dry, very bubbly, with only a slight acidity.

D: A remarkably good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 03:25:27 | More by Derek
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 22/4/12 batch 006

A clear light ruby red when held to the light with just a thin film foe head that falls quickly and leaves zero lace, I like the color

S funky strawberry and cassis with some oaked vinous notes with some vinegar, smells pretty good and I'd never guess it's 10%

T I prefer the taste with more sour vinegar and the cassis is easier to pick up, more vinous notes leaves me wondering if there was still wine in the barrel, I pick up on the subtle barrel notes but its the liquid grape that I can taste

M sour and leaves my mouth tingling just a little, still no heat and a slickness left behind, pin prick bubbles work well

O perhaps I was a little hard on the smell, it may have been closer to great then good, I'm more impressed by how they made a 10% BA brew that has no booze anywhere

I see a trend developing with Russian River, great stuff being brewed!! yet another big thank you too Rutager for sending me this one along with many others

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 02:41:18 | More by wordemupg
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (batch 001X3) poured into my large St. Feullien goblet (I was gonna go with one of the Russian River glasses, but they're all pretty ugly and none of them have the nucleation etching like this one), Consecration is a brilliant ruby with an off-white head that is pretty quick to settle to a thick skim, leaving light lace.

Smell is vinous, tart dark berries, caramel, not overly rich, even at cellar temp, but very nice. The constant crackle keeps it lively and enticing without overwhelming.

Taste is very nice. Immediately it reminds me of Oerbier Special Reserve, probably my favorite beer of all time. Which makes it all the harder for me to overlook that fact that I buy that for few less dollars for an equal volume, and that it comes from drastically further distance from a brewery that ages it for at least an extra year or so before release. Still, value is not a factor in taste, and on that accord there are very few that pale. Like most Flanders style beers, especially the stronger ones, I really wish I'd had this with the massive rib eye au poivre I had earlier, rather then splitting the Shiraz with my wife. Consecration is more overtly fruity (then the De Dolle), and is not that funky, although it's obviously pretty young, but is nevertheless fantastic.

Mouthfeel is medium light, a crisp creamy carbontion, with just enough maltiness to keep it from being to thin. Very digestible, and the coating of the tannins on the mouth is pleasant and really ties in the wine barrel aging.

Drinkability is high, as this is about as good as it gets for me taste wise. My only ding is the cost, in that comparable beers in it's class (the aforementioned De Dolle, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien, etc...) are quite a bit less, and they all come from another continent, not a days drive south of me. Still, this is a masterful beer that I'm glad to see will be somewhat regularly available, demanding a high proportion of my beer budget until they ramp up and price down! In fact, the more I contemplate this beer, the more impressed I am, perhaps one of the best I've ever had - again, only the De Dolle being on par. Wow, this beer is just an incredible mind blower. As I worked though it, I had to bump it up to a 5, in spite of the price, because it was just so dang good, in spite of the young age!

Edit - I had to pop an 06 Oerbier Special Reserve to compare with the last glass of the Consecration, these notes are all from the perspective of the De Dolle:

a-much larger head, more lace, duller, murky body
s-much drier, more mineral, bright
t-less complexity, more (very clean) alcohol, less depth, more wood, less tannins. RR is fruitier, DD is earthier, and has less depth.
m-a bit less carbonation but still hanging strong, lighter, drier.
d-good, but I'm shocked to see I prefer the RR in the shootout. The oakiness is a bit much, it hasn't gotten overly funky like I'd hope with the age, and the depth doesn't match the RR. I like a sweeter beer, or more sour, but the aged DD reminds me of the disappointing 05 Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien I had on xmas eve, which was also over oaked and not that sour.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 08:18:34 | More by ccrida
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, split and paired with some fetalicious

Batch 001x1

appearance: slightly alarming label - poured into a few new glarus flutes, dark garnet-mahogany body, active fizzy tan head that recedes to nothing very quickly. active carbonation present

smell: lovely - cranberry, tart cherry, oak, currants, vanilla, funky brett

taste: I was a big fan of this one on my SF trip this past winter and am glad to have another bottle downstairs after this one. Tart fruits dominate the palate - cranberry, black cherry. The cabernet barrels provide a really nice vinous body with highlights of sharp oak and vanilla throughout. Russian River is my favorite domestic brewery - that's for sure.

mouthfeel: tart and lively, vinous with active carbonation

drinkability: good

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 14:10:54 | More by dirtylou
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what style glass this was served in, it was kind of a cross between a flute and a tulip. Poured a reddish mahogany with about 1/2 inch of off-white head that had medium retention and light lacing.

Grapes and wine! That is what dominated the nose, and there were traces of malt, spice and yeast in the background. Oh yes, this is mouth-puckeringly sour brew. Tart, tangy and sour, they wine flavor wasn't as strong as the had led me to expect.

The body was good, although a bit thinner than I would have liked. Drinkability was very good for a sour and the beer stayed puckerific to the last drop.

Overall, a good beer, a must try if you see it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2010 21:19:58 | More by beertunes
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to MCLK for this as an extra! Batch 003X3. Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a deep reddish brown with a two finger off white head that subsides to one quickly. Lots of carbonation rising to the top and makes a fizzing like a soda. Maintains decent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of yeast, bread, sour apple, and grapes. The flavor is of sour apple, grapes, very subtle alcohol, and citrus. It has a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was the first Wild Ale I had tried back at a tasting and it got me interested in the style. This is a very nice blend of flavors all in one package that makes my taste buds jump for joy after every sip. If you have not tried any Wild Ales, this might be a good place to start.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 22:05:57 | More by thagr81us
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown with amber and pink hues. Quarter finger head.

S: More sweet than sour. Nice strawberry/cherry aroma.

T: Very tart. Jolly Rancher flavor almost. Red wine notes.

M: Mild bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Aroma and taste are matched incredibly well. No doubt that this beer genre is dominated by Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2011 02:17:50 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish to brown in color with a small off white head. In the aroma, tart dark fruit and a note of licorice. In the taste, dark grapes, small tartness and small alcohol notes. A sour bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry grape and note of sourness in the aftertaste. A small tartness, nice alcohol note, and quite wine like.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 16:44:54 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from caged and corked 750 ML bottle(Batch 001X2) a clear amber brown with a very spritzy head of foam. When it's spritzy, I know it's not going to last very long and it didn't. The bubbles surfacing to the top are keeping a small island afloat, so to speak. Hehe..the foam reminds me of pixels on a computer screen...

The smell is just as I remember from the samples I had at last year's GABF...Cabernet Sauvignon notes dominate with big notes of vanilla and oak and fruit that *is* currants. I love red currants on buttered toast and the smell here totally reminds me of that.

The taste is deliciously both sweet and tart up front. Maybe a bit more intense than I remember from the 1 oz samples but hey, I love that it is and I love the fact that I now have 25.4 oz, give or take a few as I've just taken a few sips, to take my time with and savour. The foam is now gone but I can still see the lively carbonation throwing up....errr...tossing...err..the bubbles are still making their way to the top nearly smack damn in the center of the glass.
Back to the taste. I'm now getting a pretty big kick from the Brett(sorry, I have a hard time spelling it out) and I'd be amiss if I didn't say there's a fair amount of caramel malt here, hence my first sentance on taste. Gee wiz this is so damn tasty and there's so much going on with the flavours, I can't describe them all properly.

Medium mouthfeel and pretty high carbonation, a plus in my book, it finishes with big sour and Brett notes. Wonderful!

Drinkability? 10%abv and I cannot taste it or feel it during or after the swallow. No warming for me at all but I *know* that when I finish this big bottle, I'll feel that all is right with the world, if that makes any sense. ;^)

Bottom line: A superb! American Wild Ale that I fell in love with from my very first sip. A must try for anyone who favours the style!

Finally..a big Thank You goes out to The Wine Underground in Englewood CO for making this available online!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 18:12:02 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 750ml corked and caged bottle, batch 001x4, into a Russian River 'Tion tulip. Pours a beautifully clear chestnut amber with crimson highlights. Incredible color on this stuff, especially when held to the light. The head rises high but is short lived, receding to a ring rather quickly.

Smell: Vinous and chocolatey, big fruit overtones and woody tannins. Restrained funkiness; rather clean actually. Hints of spiciness and alcohol. A touch of raspberry and vanilla sweetness appears at warmer temperatures.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tart fruitiness quickly followed by woody tannins, earth and dry red wine. Hints of chocolate and caramel are present beneath it all, the last remnants of Salvation, perhaps? This all leads into a tart, dry and juicy finish with a blast of black currant. Consecration has nailed the beer/wine hybrid more than any other Russian River beer. While it's good stuff, I do find it a bit overwhelming. 9 times out of 10 I'd rather drink Supplication or Temptation.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 05:00:18 | More by largadeer
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 10% ABV, Serve in a tulip, Batch 003X1.

Thanks to Wisconsinality for bringing this one to the RR tasting!

A - Despite the tall pour, absolutely no head and no bubbles on top of the still slightly dirty brown amber color. Mahogany in the deep parts. The head could possibly be removed from the alcohol level.

S - Dark fruit holds up a lightly toasted amber malt aroma. The currants add a nice blend of fruitiness to the red wine hint that increases in strength as it warms up. The wine blends very well with the wild aroma of damp barrel and barnyard funk.

T - Very sour with a strong, almost overpowering tart funkiness. The cab barrel aging is almost overshadowed fully. Slightly fruitiness from the currants in the background blend well with the wine very nicely.

M - Medium-bodied with a strong sour-tart texture that's almost a bit too much. The lingering finish lasts forever and is fairly crisp with a harsh but complex kick.

D - This beer is fantastic but, damn, the sour finish and resulting sensation is harsh, even for a guy who loves sours. I'm thoroughly enjoying it but it is a a bit much to drink. Sharing the bottle is perfect.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 21:50:53 | More by BeerFMAndy
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GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, the beer pours a deep, dark amber color that appears to be clear, and starts with an inch of bubbly head that quickly vanishes down to nothing. The beer smell is an uncanny comparison to a light merlot. The currants are definitely apparent when you raise the glass to your nose. The beer has good carbonation throughout drinking, which helps to keep the heavy flavors light in mouth. The beer is sour on the tip of the tongue, and continues down the tongue, almost puckering at points. Dark fruit flavors abound throughout the mouth, with a slight peppery spice every once in a while. Very tasty, and again, the lightness and crispness provided by the steady carbonation make this a nice, smooth drink. The beer leaves a sour grape-type flavor in the mouth after each sip, but light. The sour aftertaste and the lingering finish pucker the mouth a bit, and it begs for another sip. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 01:56:31 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When I was in the Bay Area over Christmas last year, I drank about half a gallon of this delicious beer in the space of a week. While I've had it out of the bottle a couple of times since (batch 1), I haven't reviewed it , and this review is for a bottle from batch 2. Thank you, Scott.

In my RR -tion tulip, this beer is absolutely gorgeous. Brilliantly clear carmine with a large light brown head that recedes to a disk rather quickly. Truly beautiful

The nose is as beautiful as I remember it being. Deep and rich with balsamic vinegar, unsweetened chocolate, and fruit with currants and berries. Like an old estate library, the smell of leather is noticeable. In fact, this is like having a little pipe tobacco and having the aromas of a rich, red wine waft into your nostrils as you sit in that library. The wine character is beautifully expressed, with the tannins adding depth. The combination and sheer balance of the flavors is testament to Vinnie's genius

Opening up sour , quite intensely so with a combination of lemon and vinegar, it makes the palate pucker. Behind the initial wave of sourness is a strong vinous character, with the cabernet sauvignon (OK, red wine) carrying a blend of flavors with chocolate, berries and tobacco. The currants add some tartness and a bite to the mid palate. Mildly leathery and earthy before a long finish that's tart, mildly sweet and mildly tannic.

Deceptively light on the palate, this beer has a smooth, medium-light body with a fairly high level of carbonation. With a fantastic, complex finish, this beer is fabulous

While a little more acetic than I remember it being, this is still one immensely drinkable beer. The alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden, and I anticipate having no issues finishing this bottle.

**Edit 15 October 2010**
A little more than a year later, I'm revisiting this. While I've had it a couple of times since my review, I haven't taken notes since. Batch 1 again.

No real head or retention this time round, this beer is loud and fizzy. The nose seems to have faded a touch. While vinegary and vinous in a pleasing way, the fine balance seems to have been lost a little bit. Definitely oaky and woody, this isn't particularly funky, mostly just sour and again, with cocoa, leather and a little vanilla. The currants seem to be left as a sharp, fruity character here.
The palate opens moderately sour with a blend of vinegar and lactic acid with some lemon rind on the finish, this beer is pretty awesome. Beautiful mid-palate with cocoa, leather and oak, this beer is dry and moderately sour on the finish. The sourness is actually mostly fruity, almost making me think that it's from the currants, as it is neither overtly lemony, acetic or lactic, Vinous mid-palate, this beer really shines as it warms up. Initially too cold, it's starting to resemble what I remember it being, this is wonderfully structured. 4.5/4.5/4.5

**Edit 20 Aug 2011**
Batch 004x4, this is probably the third bottle I've had in about 9 months? The fruits are particularly noticeable on the nose, with a definite currant aroma. However, behind it, there's a rich, deep, complex nose, with earth and leather. Fruity, pulpy lemon pith with a pleasant oak character. Palate opens hugely sour with a prominent lime-like acidity with a touch of red wine vinegar. Mild booze, remarkably bright. Moderate currant flavor on the finish. Brown sugar, vanilla on the mid-palate. Nice structure and flavors here, Solid all-round 4.5/4/4

**Edit 21 April 2012**
Batch 005x2E, received from giant24. Thanks, Matt.
This batch appears to be a little more acetic and plenty more fruity than the other batches, making me think the barrels used for this blend were fresh and quite wet. This really does smell like a nice cab, fruity and leathery. A nice blend of lactic and lemony sourness here. Very nice. 4/4.5/4

**Edit 21 june 2013**
Batch 1 again.

Despite my earlier misgivings, this is doing spectacularly well. Bright citrus and lactic acidity with gorgeous vinous notes, and a modest funk, this is excellent. The balance to tobacco, leather , both on the nose and palate is excellent. Juicy, okay vinous notes are present and the finish is excellently citrus, something I haven't wholly found in recent Russian River sours. Highly recommended. 4.5/4.5/4.5

**Edit 06 Apr 2014**

My last bottle of batch 2. Thank you, Scott.

Such a joy. Preserved lemons, red wine, leather, fruity red wine and just plain fuxking delicious. Moderately tannic. A fucking masterpiece on the nose. The palate is similarly deep, complex and very well balanced. The lemony sourness is a characteristic that is diminishing in the newer Russian River sours, a change I'm not a huge fan of, but this vintage is a clean, crisp sour one with a nice blend of lactic and citric. Wonderful wine and fruity notes, very Much so. Awesome awesome stuff. 4.75/4.5/4.5

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2009 02:10:50 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of Strelnikov poured into a goblet.

Pours a deep, clear copper with a decent bubbly cream head that dissipated quickly to a thin collar.

The aroma is wonderfully complex with the slightly sharp currant sweetness on top of a sugary sweetness. The barrel characteristics are also present with hints of vanilla in the nose. The brett is there to lend an ever-so-slight sourness with a complementary earthy funk in the background.

The taste seems to be a more complex and balanced version of the nose. The sweetness hits up front with the light tartness of the currants balanced by the underlying sugars. The brett makes its presence felt but the finish is very vinous with the oak playing a role as well.

The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and very wine-like with a dry finish and bits of funk throughout.

This is a fantastic beer and one of the better sours I've had the opportunity to try. It's superbly well balanced and extraordinarily drinkable for the ABV. Highly recommended.

Serving type: growler

12-13-2008 03:53:23 | More by gford217
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This was from batch 002X3.

Appearance: deep mahogany brown with reddish hints; two finger fizzy head which dissipated very quickly.

Smell: very interesting; there's a lot going on here. Right off the bat, it smells like wood; there is also the aroma of currant and raisin and tobacco. There is a distinct tartness which I'm sure is attributable to the bacteria. Overall, I like it, although it doesn't necessarily whet my appetite for beer.

Taste: tart, bright and sour. The subtleties of the aroma eventually come through, but off the bat it reminds me of eating super-sour candy as a kid. The other flavors are not particularly strong; I like the tartness but it is a bit extreme. As I consume more of it, I find it growing on me.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a nice carbonation. I quite like it.

Drinkability: this beer perplexes me a bit. Each time I take a sip, the sourness blows me back; soon, however, I am appreciating the undertones, and finally I find myself yearning for another sip. This is a truly interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 23:09:34 | More by flagmantho
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice. Batch 03.

This pours a light clear brown, very clear in the light. The head is very small with no retention, light lacing.

The aroma is light but pretty complex, especially compared to temptation, which I tasted at the same time. The sour funk is there but there notes of sweet druit, alcohol and wood, which is very pleasant.

The taste is very strange and heavy handed in the beginning. Its like the tannins of a red wine. There are some notes of oak and alcohol. The taste is very sour on the end. **Upon re-review 8 months later, I like it a lot better. The wood really mellows out and starts to show off a little more sweetness in the red wine variety.

Mouthfeel is very heavy, but not entirely drinkable.

Overall, pretty damn good sour, but not world class as its rating and ranking suggest. Worth trying but don't overpay or trade for it.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 01:34:10 | More by jrallen34
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dgilks

Australia

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bottle of batch 2X1. Thanks to the kind friends who brought it back from the US for me.

This pours a clear but dark brown colour with rich, ruby highlights. The light tan head dissipates quickly but still leaves a little ring of bubbles around the glass. About as much as can be hoped for in a sour beer with this level of alcohol.

Rich, sweet fruity aroma with those red currants really shining come through first. Next is a vinous, leathery, funky aroma with a lovely crispness to it. Good definition too.

The flavour is good but not spectacular. I get a nice balance of sweetness and sourness with the fruitiness really coming through. There's a bit of funk too. The main problem for me is the astringent, mild bitterness that comes through the finish. While I love the flavour this bitterness detracts for me.

There's a medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. This is good but the astringency also lets this down.

Overall, a very good beer. It looks great, smells great and tastes good with just a small astringency problem which comes from the use of barrels and bugs. A great effort by RR and I look forward to trying more of their sours if and when I make it to California.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 08:23:46 | More by dgilks
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,148 ratings.