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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ConsecrationConsecration

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,080 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,080
Hads: 4,742
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 1,598
Gots: 1,624 | FT: 122
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,080 | Hads: 4,742
Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Out of all the non limited release RR sours this is the bees knees.

The pour is dark much more so than Temptation, the abv is whopping and well hidden.

This was the beer that turned my wife on to sours and her favorite to this day. When this is available at my local stores I get it ever time.

Highly recommended to any entry or veteran sour lover. (351 characters)

Photo of jmadrigal2
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this out of the bottle.

The appearance was brown/red color with little head.

Smelled of cherry, hint of alcohol and a hint of tamarind

Taste is similar to the smell. Sweet fruity taste at the start but quickly turns tart. The tartness does not linger long and ends mildly sweet.

I like this beer a lot and always pick up a bottle to enjoy whenever I can. (366 characters)

Photo of JoshVandy
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Smarcoly for sending this bottle out in a trade as an extra. Shared with Emmaus217 on April 25, 2011 before he left for the military today.

Batch 005x2F
Corked and Caged 375mL bottle into a Cigar City snifter

A- Pours a beautiful dark ruby red with a nice 1 finger white head that almost immediately disappears. No lacing to speak of either. A great looking beer.

S- A fantastic sour funk that makes way to the dark fruits and old leather as it warms in the glass. Reminds me of a nice red wine.

T- Great tartness up front with grapes, a hint of currants, sweet acidity, kind of like a sugar covered lemon, and a great sour back end. Very enjoyable.

M- Perfectly carbonated with a nice dry finish. Slightly thin, but in a good way that doesn't overpower the more defining parts of this beer.

O- Very impressed. This being my first Russian River wild ale, I was expecting a great funky beer and came away with just that. A perfect send off beer for my best friend, Emmaus217. Good luck man. (1,005 characters)

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

A big thanks to rmaste6282 for this bottle.

A 375ml bottle caged and corked, poured into a tulip glass. A good frothy head attempted to form but quickly dissipated to a ring of bubbles.

The nose on this one is very interesting, sweet like bubble gum, phenolic, sour and tart cherry.

Taste is great, a nice balance of tart dark fruit with a dry finish. Not much sweetness in the taste as the nose would leave one to believe.

Pretty good overall. The bottle lacks carbonation but I am not complianing, that's a reality with bottle conditioned beers. The alcohol is very well hidden in this one. (597 characters)

Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange with a reddish hue. Retention reduces to a ring. Good sticky lacing.

S - Much less sour in the nose. Definite cabernet sauvignon aroma, oak is quite pronounced as well. Smells like a slightly sour cabernet sauvignon.

T - Strong sour grape in the front, much like a wine with a lot of tannins. Lush dark fruits like cherry, residual sugars, oak comes through in the finish.

M/D - Smooth with a fair amount of carbonation. Great mouthfeel, the sour notes give it a nice pucker. Feels almost like a champage.

O - Fantastic beer. A+ (543 characters)

Photo of macktbone
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at the brewery on PTY release day 2-2-09.
Batch 2

A- Red hue with whiskey like body. Heaven help you if that's what you expect.

S- Sour grapes, lime, a touch of rum.

T- Tart cherries, sour patch kids, mold, oaky finish compared to batch 1.

M- Crisp and Clean.

D- IF you like sours this 10% beauty will bathe you in joy and happiness. It makes me smile.

Images of Friar Tuck and RobinHood flow from the glass. Just think of making a sour mead between battles with the sheriff of Nottingham. Arrows and barrels everywhere, the beer conjurs such strong emotion response.

Let us fight a revolution for the Hop Nation.

Keep in mind I wrote this at the brewery towards the end of a very long Russian River day. Thought I should re-write it a month later and laugh about it again. (788 characters)

Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours an amber with almost a purplish hue. Great head that stays. Pretty unique and looks awesome.

S- Dark Cherries, Sour Apple, Sweet brown sugar, and a whole lot more. This is getting exciting. Probably one of the best noses on a beer.

T- Exceptional, if all sours tasted like this I would be a happy man. Tastes of slightly tart green apples, dark fruits, sweet malt, and has a nice dry finish with the sourness shining through. Killer.

M-A little thick but should be expected in such a complex beer, great carbonation.

D- My favorite Sours and now one of my favorite beers hands down. (595 characters)

Photo of jgap
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Henry for bringing this to our tasting. Pours a toffee brown with little head that quickly becomes a pleasant lacing. Smell is sophisticated currants and sour notes with brett. Taste is sticky fruit, woody oak, white grapes, and plumb. There are also deep sour currants. Finish is long and dry with a lingering sour and maybe even a little salt. Well blended brew. Very good. (389 characters)

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

10oz poured into a large flute glass

A: Pours a deep brown with a cream/tan head that shrinks to a ring and leaves little to no lacing.

S: Smells funky, tart, sour, bit of freezer burnt ice cream, nail polish, lemons, and cat pee. (Not all bad smells)

T: The taste is incredibly tart and sour, lots of grapefruit and lemons with some funk. The more it warms, some bubblegum comes through.

M: The feel is creamy yet astringent.

D: Decent drinkability.

This was a really great beer. As a wild ale, I expected funk, but I never expected the amount of lemony sourness. I was expecting a more beer type sourness, like more funk to it. At times it was almost like drinking lemon juice with beer, and it was great. This was a great continuation of sour beers for me. I can't wait to crack open my others. (803 characters)

Photo of KBS
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The first few sips were not fantastic for me but thought it was a completely different experience as it opened up and warmed. Loved the 2nd half as the barrel came through. Very enjoyable. (188 characters)

Photo of ThirdLap
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There are few beers that served as 'eye-openers' for me, that is, they forever turned me on to the style and helped me realize what they were capable of being. Stone IPA, The Elder, and Stone IRS are all examples. Consecration joined this list several months ago, as it was the first wild ale that really caught my attention.

The color is deep ruby-red, with a short-lasting off-white head. I'm working from notes at the moment, but I'm inclined to say the Consecration I've had many times on tap appeared to be a deeper red, almost opaque. I only recently had the opportunity to try it from the bottle, and it appeared a bit more translucent than what I remember having on tap. No lacing remains as the Consecration quickly disappears.

The nose is tart berries, wine, and pure funk.

Consecration is a shock if you are new to the style, so don't try to win any craft beer converts with this one. Huge tartness from the currants are the first thing that hits you, followed by citrus, sweetness, and dark fruits, followed by a sour but clean finish.

Body is medium to full, with the on-draft variety seeming slightly fuller-bodied. Alcohol is present but very well muted for such a huge beer. Carbonation is well-balanced, and the finish is wonderfully clean. Drinkability is through the roof, especially if you're accustomed to the style.

At a recent tasting, I remember a friend's 60+ year-old father continually commenting 'this isn't what beer should taste like' after sampling Consecration for the first time. Not in a mean-spirited or angry manner, but in a rather shocked and confused way. It certainly is different, and far-removed from what most beer drinkers envision beer to be.

The best comparison I can think of is when a person tries something very sour for the first time, for example, a sour candy. Sweetness is expected, but this is the complete opposite! Shocked and slightly turned off, the candy is immediately removed from the mouth. Some time later you found that you actually enjoyed the variation in flavor and the effects it had on your tastebuds.

It's an oversimplification, but it illustrates how sours must be approached. There's a wealth of complexity hidden in them, one that you'll hopefully find just as exciting to explore as any other big beer.

Don't miss this one. As I've said before, Consecration is to wild ales what the Younger is to Imperial IPAs. If sours weren't so darn polarizing, this would undoubtedly be on the top 10. (2,476 characters)

Photo of gtn80
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance is a great ruby red color, almost mahogany. Bit worried about the lack of head though, almost like the secondary fermentation in the bottle didn't happen. No head, no pop when cork came out of the bottle.

Smell is malt that gives way to sourness, bit of funk. Dark fruits.

Taste is sourness all over, tart fruit, bit of vinegar. Pretty heavy malts mixed in, but overpowered by the sour and fruits. Touch of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel is full and thick, not helped by the lack of carbonation.

Drinkability is great for such a big beer, and even despite the carbonation.

I feel bad because my only experience with this beer is with lack of carbonation, so I can't tell if it's the beer or just the bottle. (772 characters)

Photo of KidDoc
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

I was in San Diego for Beer Week and SD Taproom had a Russian River tasting. I was in pursuit of Pliny the Elder but got there too late. The only beer left was the Consecration. I am not generally a big fan of the sour beers but this was fantastic. The high alcohol was well-hidden under the many layers of flavor. One of the best beers I have ever had. I can't wait to get the chance to try other beers from this brewer (427 characters)

Photo of jsapunor
2.12/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured beautifully, an opaque red mellowing to a rose at the bottom of the tulip glass. Small head.

Smells lilke wine and vinegar.

A very strong and intense sour flavor even for a style where strong flavor is to be expected and valued. There is a high level of carbonation. Cough syrup start then finishes with hints of sour yogurt.Tastes like fizzy balsamic vinegar.
I have tried a number of these beers in the last year or two but this one is in a league of it's own. If you like sour, go for it but if you are not devoted to this style try something less intense. I couldn't finish it. (590 characters)

Photo of 3sheets2wind
4.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is a fantastic beer. I had a vertical tasting at toronado in San Diego in August 2012. That was an amazing experience. Served from a bottle aged 1 year in my refrigerator beer pours dark purplish brown with very little head but a lot of fizzy carbonation. The mouth feel is fizzy with a pleasant tart puckering. The taste is vinegar and very little malt and granny smith apple peel. In my top five sours of all time and proof that Russian River is one of the best breweries in America. (490 characters)

Photo of psiweaver
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich brown/golden color. A thin head that pours off white and is very thing. very light carbonation.

S: sour funky smell with lots of apple and citrus and a somewhat funky brown ale smell.

T: rich and complex with loads of sourness and a sharp finish that lingers on the tongue. Very delicious and great sour character.

M: rich and smooth in the mouth with some bite and sourness.

D: Great to sip and enjoy, not one you are going to be pounding down but all in all very delicious and complex.

Fantastic beer very delicious one of my favorite sours. I can't wait to try some of the other sours from Russian River. (624 characters)

Photo of stonelis
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
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! (368 characters)

Photo of jojox
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at RR but more recently on tap at Local 44.

a - reddish hue, not much head, whispy. It's not completely opaque but it is dark.

s - sour. The great type of sour from RR. A bit acid, a bit sulfur, a bit "hairy"

t - wow. It's sour, not hugely sour, but assertively sour. There are a lot of wine characteristics in this one, tannin, grape type flavors. It's delicously balanced and very enjoyable. It's not too sour to keep drinking.

m - pretty high carbonation, sour isn't quite puckering but it's close.

d - pretty high, I could drink several but acid reflux would probably kick in. It's a bit pricy to be very drinkable though ;) (644 characters)

Photo of JimsArcade
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful reddish-brown with little head. The smell is reminiscent of pure cranberry juice. Tart cherries and tannins dominate the palate with a medium body. It's akin to a dry Oud Bruin. It's a sipper for sure, meant to be savored not sessioned.

I have to admit, while I really like this beer, I can find similar Belgian offerings cheaper and more easily. It's worth drinking but it's not worth what you have to pay or go through to obtain. (450 characters)

Photo of hopoilcrazy
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle popped at Yazoo's Embrace the Funk Fest

Great Tawny Port color and nice lacing from a thin cap of head

The aroma of this sour is out of control: tobacco, catty, ashy, faint vanilla, dark fruit, red grape, apple skin, slightly buttery - every bacteria listed on the bottle is represented here.

The flavor is great and balanced with a surprisingly mild tang. I was expecting a wallop, but it is mild and restrained...even a little subtle. Cookie spiciness, leather, acetobacter?? Very dry finish with no residual sugar to fuck everything up

The mouthfeel is vibrant and lively carbonated. Feels great on the tongue.

Thanks to ETF Fest for this sample! (670 characters)

Photo of kleffman
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First had this beer in Santa Rosa when I left a bar I was in telling my girlfriend I "had to go to the bathroom" but I really went down the street to Russian River. Incredible decision making.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with little head. Aromas of sour fruit, woody tannins and wine characters blend well with dark sour fruit flavors, oak and red wine. A drying, tart finish full of wonderfully balanced flavors rounds it out very well. High drinkability for a beer that is 10% alcohol. You would never know it. I could drink an awful lot of this beer, and thankfully have had it 3 times now. Fantastic. (611 characters)

Photo of WilliamD
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label states batch 001X3.
Popped the cork and was greeted with a rush of foam. Ran it into the kitchen and set in the sink. Lost perhaps an eighth of the contents. Now that was rather disappointing.
After cleaning up the spillage, poured into a snifter. Attractive amber with a golden halo and a thin, fizzy head that eventually dissolves.
Smells tart with a fruitiness that I presume is the currants. Slight, earthy, oakiness as well.
Taste is tart and sour, with a definite presence of the wild yeast. Divine, oaky finish. Very delicious.
Mouthfeel is excellent as well- crisp, dry and tingly, like a fine champagne.
I can't believe this is 10% ABV. It is completely concealed. I would love to continue on to another bottle when I finish this one, but this is far too precious a beer to treat in such a frivolous manner. (822 characters)

Photo of ebin6
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003x1

A - Poured into my NB tulip glass. Dark amber/brown in color. The head fades quickly with a pool of carbonation forming in the center, bubbling for the duration of the drink

S - Sharp oak smell with hints of the currants present

T - A very sharp, sour initial taste. Currants, grapes, and oak taste on the back end once the sour fades.

M - Completely amazing. Resonates throughout the mouth, touching every spot long after swallowing. Your taste buds literally pulsate for a few seconds after a good swirl.

D - Better with every sip. For a sour it goes down well and does not fade, opening up as it gets warmer. (628 characters)

Photo of ekardz
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004x2

Aggressive pour leaves almost no head and little carbonation with a reddish amber color. Smells like a red wine, sour grapes, cherries, and smell the currants. Tastes like a sour red wine, picking up lots of tart flavors and light citrus. Light bodied with little carbonation and a dry finish. Very easy to drink, and @ 10% can sneak up on you quickly, just getting into sours, and this was a nice one to enjoy. (424 characters)

Photo of sessycuban
4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer is a deep red, much like a cab. Fantastic lacing, small head.
S - The beer smells of oak, cab, and butter. Nothing surprising here.
T - The beer has a balanced taste of cab, butter, grapes, and a bit of yeast. I'll admit, cab is the only style of wine that I abhor, but Vinnie really made this work.
M - The beer is quite dense, probably more so than any sour I've ever had. This is very unique.
D - It's very strong for a sour, but it works as a sipper. This was so tasty that I got a growler, despite the hefty price tag. Vinnie is still the king when it comes to sours. (585 characters)

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.