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Consecration - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,096 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,096
Hads: 4,853
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 20.18%
Wants: 1,628
Gots: 1,694 | FT: 126
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: 1,096 | Hads: 4,853
Photo of hrking
3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one of those beers that drinks more like a wine than a beer. Aged in wine barrels and carrying the flavors over into the finished product with a unique character added to the tartness of this beer. All the RR products are made to the highest of standards by one of craft beers true master brewers! I recommend trying all their brews if you can get your hands on them..

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Photo of WCBCFrank
2.3/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Russian River's Consecration Ale pours a deep, ruby red in a goblet or Chardonnay glass. Good carbonation and massive Beethoven's 5th notes of very ripe fruit and dark cherries. Lots of wine like qualities - more like Muscat-beer like qualities. Good amount of sourness and kinda like a blended cocktail of Muscat, sherry, Belgian dubbel, and a lambic. One of the few beers that is STRICLY an after-dinner thought.

For the novice: You probably won't like it.

Personally: Up front, I am not a fan of the oak barrel infused types of beer that tastes like wine or whiskeys. Consecration is in this category. Although, I can see drinking this over Temptation Blonde, that's not saying much. Not worth the price, I rather just buy a Flemish Sour.

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Photo of biga7346
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Shimmering ruby-like color, very turbid, murky, rusted metal, apple cider.

N - Cider vinegar-like acidity, massive tart cherries, red wine vinegar and lots of winey notes folds into an almost clove-like suggestion, possibly whole nutmeg, green peppercorn, maybe figs or rose hips; the nose roams wildly and is pretty perfumy not like a Supplication which was more subtle. Wafting herbal aromas balanced with sour milk, wet and old hay, top soil.

T/M - Wow...teeth chattering tartness, cloying sour and irony mouthfeel; blackberries, raspberries, black peppercorn and figs; lemon skin, much more drying tannins in a lasting finish than the Supplication; leather strap, blackcurrants.

D - Not sure if I could drink more than one of those but this is definitely the most interesting sour beer I have had. I think I prefer the sessionable enjoyability of Supplication. We had both of these back-to-back in a recent sour tasting.

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Photo of chalsk
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 4. Pours a deep amber brown color with a medium off white foam head. Has an aroma of vinegar and cherry. Has a sour, tart taste with hints of cherry, some grapes as well. Very excellent sour brew. I have been very impressed with this brewery. Ready to move to Cali and hang with Vinne. Just good stuff.

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Photo of jmadrigal2
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Sandalwood
3.84/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time tasting a sour. Pours a purple wine color with a little head and plenty of carbonation. Not much lacing, but quite a bit of suds. The odor is champagne like, fruity, lie de vin, farmhouse, yeasty, metallic, wine like. The taste is very crisp, fruity, peach, grapefruit, currants, champagne like, wine, dried fruits and dry sour on the back end.

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Photo of humanawho
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - nice deep red color with a very active head of cream and good lacing but dies away quickly

S - lots of fruit aromas including currents, grapes and some strawberries there is also a woody component that balances the sweet aroma of the fruit

T - again a lot of fruit with currents and strawberries and blueberries with a great but light sour component and again some clean woody, leathery flavors

M - a little thin on the mouth and somewhat weak carbonation

D - amazing drinkablity with just the touch of sour and no way to tell its high in alcohol

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Photo of alpineclimber
4/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of wd40
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark, deep burgundy hue in glass. Has a sweet fruitiness of raspberries and currants balanced by sour tartness. Consecration is aged in wine barrels and there is definitely a hint of red wine in the aftertaste. Although it's sour, it's so delicious I found myself almost gulping it down.
What makes this beer work so well is the balance between dark/sweet flavors, and bright/sour flavors. The dark/sweet flavors coming from the fact that the baseline beer for this brew is a Belgian style dark ale with currants added, that has been aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
The yeast used, Bretanomyces, also adds some earthy flavors to the mix. This is then counterbalanced by the bright sourness produced by the bacterias: Lactobacilius and Pediococcus. FWIW, that kind of sourness I can only relate to candy like sour patch kids, but the sourness has a lot of flavors competing for attention. This brew has some real complexity and depth of flavor. Highly recommended.

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Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.83/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of JoshVandy
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
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+

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Photo of macktbone
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of jgap
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.02/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of jsapunor
2.12/5  rDev -51.9%
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.

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Photo of gtn80
3.92/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of 3sheets2wind
4.81/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of psiweaver
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of stonelis
4.85/5  rDev +10%
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!

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Photo of jojox
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
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 ;)

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Photo of Dynobolt
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a sour! Pours dark reddish with head dissipating quickly.. Aromas are out of this world, first sip was outstanding and will never forget.. Kept sipping on this bad boy for awhile and cud never figure out were the 10 ABV is coming from. Excellent beer world class!!

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Photo of JimsArcade
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,096 ratings.