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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,088 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,088
Hads: 4,797
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 1,610
Gots: 1,661 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,088 | Hads: 4,797
Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with ruby highlights that had a half finger head and very little lacing left on the glass. I love beers that have a nose like this one which consisted of oak funk, wine vinous characters, acidic sour notes, apples, and currants. You can definitely tell its gonna have some sour tartness. Sour vinegar currants strike first on the palate with oaky traits from the barrel, citric lemons, and cherry accents; nice sourness. The beer was medium body with a good amount of carbonation with a sweet sour and dry finish. It drank very well and is very tasty but for some reason everytime I drink a consecration I get a hangover. I guess I have overlooked the 10ABV and I always seem to drink a 750ml bottle to the neck..

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Photo of tobelerone
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe this was batch 004, but I can’t be sure. Pours a reddish brown hued body, with almost no head, and no lacing at all. Looks more still, by far, than expected. Strange.

Aroma is packed with prominent oak, mustiness, funk, sweet currants and sour cherries, slight vinegar underneath. Taste has all this and more; it’s fruity, sour, a bit tart and oaky. Not an over-the-top sour warhead-type beer, just well integrated sourness with the oak and a touch of vinegar. The currants are fairly subtle, with more tart cherry flavor than anything else. Definite must and funk; vinous, slightly sweet, very complex.

Medium bodied with low carbonation; I would have preferred a crisper, livelier, and cleaner feel, although the finish is quite dry. Interesting beer to be sure, curious about the stillness of this particularly bottle. Very good, but not as appealing as Supplication, Sanctification, or Temptation for my money.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Monks.

A - Great looking brown/reddish body deep in color.

S - Smelled sweet and sour, fruity and delicious.

T - Alot of fruity wine flavor on the palate. This one is sour, dry and delicious. Semi sweet with some citrus and slight warming alcohol.

M - Moderately carbonated and so smooth and soft. Very crisp taste and mouthfeel makes this one enjoyable. Dry and sour/sweet through the whole sip.

D - This beer was incredibly tasty and crisp and refreshing. To me that makes it very easy to drink. The alcohol wasnt overwhelming.

Notes - First time I had this beer and it was fantastic. Had it along with the Charcouterie platter full of meat, cheese and fruit and paired nicely.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a muddy brown with a small head that vanishes quickly. A tiny bit of carbonation is visible. It sure isn't pretty!

S- Thank God the smell is a vast improvement over the look! Tons of sour and funky notes. Barnyard funk and hay are prevalent, with tart cherries coming through big as well. A good bit of granny smith apple, and a touch of dark fruits (figs/currants/raisins etc.). This smells like it will be a delicious tart monster!

T- Wow, this is crazy with tons of tartness and unexpected flavors! It's definitely more boozy than expected. White grapes and the cabernet barrel is definitely evident. The tart cherries and granny smith apples are there as well. The tart bite is a bit much and isn't balanced quite enough with other flavors. Don't get me wrong, I love mouth puckering sours, but this just is lacking that extra something to make it world class.

M- The mouthfeel is thicker than most sours, but w/ the high abv this is understandable. Decent carbonation and a distinct boozy finish round it out.

O- Overall this is a very good sour that could just use some refinement and balance.

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Photo of DrJay
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 (002X3).
Clear chestnut brown with a fizzy/soapy, short-lived beige cap. It looked a lot like a glass of Coke, with not much head or lace to speak of. It was a light gusher too, so watch out. Aromas of tobacco leaf, cherries, berries, currants, earthy with a light funk, red wine, strawberry seeds, hint of cocoa. More earthiness as it warms. The flavour was a combination of fruity and earthy, chocolate covered raisins, berries/currants, a bit tart but very pleasant and non-aggressive in this character. Faint vinegar, light woody oak, green berries. Mild alcohol and warmth in the finish with a lingering berry sweetness. Medium bodied and off-dry, moderate carbonation after the initial loss of aggressive carbonation (it took about 20 minutes to clear from the bottle), a bit of woody astringency. I really liked this one. Nicely balanced with complex fruit flavours.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
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!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev -2%
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

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

750 ml bottle, big thanks to Carlos and GregMcQ for both hooking me up with one of these.

Pours a clear dark reddish orange, some amber highlights, thin off white head forms, quickly drops to a thin ring around the glass before almost disappearing, some lace spots stick to the glass. Smell is real nice, currants and funk, sour fruity, cranberries, alcohol, candi sugar, grapes and oak, vanilla, very sour and acidic in the finish, nice complex tropical fruitiness, does remind me a bit of the Toronado 20th. Taste is similar, lemony up front, very sour and funky, acidic, caramel/honey sweetness, currants and grapes, sour fruit, oak and vanilla, very dry in the finish, tons of fruit, sourness is not overdone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth going down. Very nice sour, don't think I enjoyed this one as much as most of the other RR sours, but still pretty damn good. Thanks Carlos and Greg!

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

375ml bottle poured into a HotD Tulip glass.
Batch 006.

A - Pours a cola brown with a lively, foamy tan head. Good retention.

S - Tart cherry, red wine, spices.

T - Woody, red wine, funky, tart.

D - Tons of carbonation, light to medium body, fizzy.

O - Looks like another winner from Russian River.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came out brown with red hues to it. Minimal head to the beer. Aroma of funk, cranberry, cabernet, cherry and oak.

Taste, excellent, tart, yet substantial, tannins dry out the mouth, wood flavor melds with everything else. Slight cherry flavor. Even though very red and brown in appearance, comes off very dry. Currants, brown sugar.

Extremely drinkable, alcohol doesn't seem to be present at all. Couldn't give it a perfect 5, it is just too expensive to get a perfect score.

Loved having this in the bottle as well, the cork was all twisted to one side, so you knew there was lots of carbonation in there (not too much though).

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Photo of dgilks
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
3.96/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Recent batch (July). Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby garnet hue with a fizzy one finger head that fades nearly immediately. Hard swirls produce fleeting wisps.

S - Currants, vinegar, wine barrels, light funk, faint alcohol. Quite pleasant. Not too sour though.

T - Taste is considerably more sour than the nose. Powered smarties, currants, cherries, light leather. Oak tanins, a faint chocolate. The fruits almost come across as syrupy. The flavour is there, but...I just don't like it. I like black currants too so I'm kind of confused as to why I'm not digging the taste.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Nice and crisp, alcohol hidden quite nicely.

O - Overall, I'm not sure if its the syrup like flavour aspects of this or what but I'm just not digging it. I want to like it, hell, I want to love it. Unfortunately though, I do not.

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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 pat61
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Nose: dark dried fruit – figs and prunes, earthiness, slight funk, lemon.
Deep mahogany body with a slight chill haze.
Palate: tart, dark dried fruit some faint grape notes, cherry, currants, with some malt in the background.
Medium body and medium high fine, soft carbonation.
Tart fruit flavors linger long through the finish into the aftertaste.

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Photo of glid02
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Batch 001x4 at Naja's in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of tart cherries and currants - though I'll be the first to admit the latter is noticed primarily from reading the bottle - with a solid funkiness and hints of oak. As it warms the oak flavors gain some steam but the tart fruit never wavers.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly sweet light to medium fruit flavors up front are overtaken quickly by tart fruit flavors that become more tart as the beer warms. There's a hint of raisins and other dark fruit in the taste that wasn't present in the aroma. Ending is solidly tart and mildly dry.

Mouthfeel is great. This is one of the best I can remember from an AWA, a very nice thickness with active and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished the bottle surprisingly quick and could easily have had another.

Overall this was a very good AWA and my first foray into RR sours. A good way to start.

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Photo of claspada
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of HimerMan. From the second bottling ever, LA website says 12/26/08. Let's see how it has matured.

Pours a dark red/amber color with an shade darker that totally white head. Pretty good soapy lacing.

Aromas begin with a good/deep sourness that is not at all overpowering; more of an inviting scent. Behind that, sweet and tart fruits. Not sure what a currant smells like but I am not getting much of an actual fruitiness beyond the sour aromas, but that is to be expected from a 3+ year old sour ale.

Flavors begin with an excellent level of sourness. A lot of complexity in the flavor. Lots of tartness paired with some citrus and sweet fruits. Some darker maltiness as it starts to warm, but the long drawn out sour flavor comes back and dries out the palate and really pushes the flavor to the next level. While I love the flavor it is still fairly one dimensional at this stage of it's lifespan.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with the perfect amount of sourness. Good carbonation but not overwhelming which can happen with certain sours overtime. Drink WAY WAY lighter than 10%, drinks like 6% max; this stuff is straight dangerous.

Overall this was a nice treat for me. I really loved the flavor profile despite it being fairly one noted. I would have liked to sample it fresher to see if I could have tasted more currants or some actual fruits beyond the sourness. Drinkability is off the charts expecially for how high the ABV is on this beast. A really solid sour and worth seeking out for fans of the style. Nothing mind-blowing, just super solid.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 1/10/2011

A: sour cherries, very tart, semi-sweet

Ap: amber-red with a small white to off-white head (the top layer of the glass only) that dissipated very quickly. absolutely no lacing.

B/T: moderate carbonation, lots of tiny bubbles dancing on my tongue

Af: definitely sour! taste like tart cherries, a little bit of sweetness in the mix

O: sour cherry sippin' beer


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Photo of dirtylou
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
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

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
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

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Photo of ccrida
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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