Russian River Brewing Company

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Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Wild Ale
Ranked #14
Ranked #198
4.49 | pDev: 8.91%
Nov 24, 2022
Oct 31, 2008
Notes: Dark ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with Brett, Lacto, Pedio, and currants
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Photo of SierraNevallagash
Reviewed by SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Vintage 10/24/19 - poured into a cabernet stem at ~50°F

Pours a deep garnet-copper hue, beautifully translucent, and with not a spot of foam or rim. Some slow, lazy bubbles meander up, but otherwise, appears nearly still. 4.75

Nose: Right from the start, this is a balanced aroma. The base of warm, toasty, semi-sweet grain is apparent, forming a lively clean platform for the sharp characteristics. Plenty of bright dark fruit currant flair, with notes of plum, overrule cherry, prune, and even a bit of jammy red fruit. That cabernet cask is front and center, with lots of cab, and lots of cask. 4.5

Palate: Consecration hits the palate with, in typical Russian River fashion, a full on velvet assault. That is, the ale is incredibly bold and boisterous, yet it's done so with such deft balance and nuance. The wild culture acidic is so perfect - bretty and dry, with the acetic nature really softened, allowing the subtler complexities to shine. The currant is vague on the nose, but here, they distinguish themselves from other dark fruit. Tart, tangy, and tannic, which accents the microbes wonderfully. The cabernet casks, again, are just so dialed in, right there. Deep, dense, peppery wine-stained oak, complimenting those currants. Between the cultures, you get a zip from the pedio, but in the spotlight is the brett - that dusty, musty, drying tannic bitter funk - reaching a prominent but fitting peak, before letting off, and really allowing that clean, simple, semi-sweet grainy base to take over, concluding with a bit of bread crust on an exhale of intense cabernet and bretty black currant. 4.5

Mouthfeel/Body: Really lovely feel here. Yes, it's a bit on the lazy side. Not still - there's definitely some life here, but it's loose and sparse. However, at 10% ABV, it drinks exceedingly well and fluid. Not syrupy at all. Quite crisp, while still having some heft. 4.25

Overall: I think this is great. The complexity here is quite surprising. There's just a lot of depth and nuance. This seems to be a theme with RRBC wild ales, from what I've tried. This, though, captures this trifecta of complex nuance, super present wine cask and fruit character, and remarkable balance. It's a bit tannic, and packs a semi-bitter bite, but there's so much to unpack. That's just an additional layer. Just so juicy and dense. Consecration? Should be called Concentration! This one is seriously bold, intense, and bursting at the seams. A lovely bottle, and quite fitting for this Thanksgiving's pour. Well done. 4.25
Nov 24, 2022
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Reviewed by ac0oh

4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Incredible. Best sour ale on the market. Beautiful cabernet flavor with notes of raspberry, oak, currant, blackberry, and orange. It's as complex as wine while still being beer. I hope they offer it in more stores.
Sep 11, 2022
Rated: 4.4 by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

Sep 04, 2022
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Reviewed by UWDAWG from Washington

4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a 12.68 ounce bottle dated 11/5/20 into a snifter.

Look- Amber brown, clear, no visible particulate, fine cream colored head, below average head retention and lacing.

Smell- Very fragrant, black currant, tobacco, plum, blackberry, black cherry, brett, oak, black licorice.

Taste- Black currant, black pepper, brett, plum, blackberry, black cherry, transitions during the sip from sweet/sour to just sour.

Feel- Between medium and full body, very mouth watering upfront, highly dry at finish, soft, silky, sour finish, moderately mouth coating, below average carbonation.

Overall- Highly complex beer with an abundance of flavor and a powerful bouquet. Nice balance of plum, black currant, blackberry, and black cherry made for a wonderful experience.
Aug 22, 2022
Rated: 4.43 by _Adam_ from Maryland

Aug 18, 2022
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Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.39/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Received via NBS BIF #13 from @Jayorear.
Poured brown with tints of red, the beige head grew to about 1 cm and settled to a thin film leaving no lacing.
Aroma had red wine vinegar and, oddly, red wine (I mean, how do they get both of those aromas to come through?)
The taste, wow. Oak, funky red wine vinegar and, at the edges, dry red wine. Faint but unmistakable. The flavors play off each other in every sip.
The feel is medium with very active carbonation. Fits well with the flavors.
Thanks Jay, this was amazing!
Jul 10, 2022
Photo of draheim
Reviewed by draheim from Washington

4.41/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Re-reviewing this one (7/1/2022) now that I have an additional decade of beer tasting experience (and, consequently, several additional pounds) under my belt.

375mL (bottled 7/12/2021) into a tulip. Pours a clear amber/mahogany with almost zero head, lazy carbonation rising from the bottom.

Aroma is acidic and vinous, tart and bright. Bready caramel malt, oak, apple cider vinegar. The yeast is clearly doing the heavy lifting here.

Taste is likewise sour and fruity with lots of red wine character. Oak barrel, wild yeast, clean malt, tannins. Complex and delicious.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light, hiding the relatively high ABV. Finishes clean and dry, super refreshing.

Overall an excellent, well constructed wild/sour ale. Seems pretty straightforward but it’s one of those beers that is deceptively simple. Clearly a great deal of skill and artistry went into producing this. It’s reputation is well deserved.

Previous review (10/22/2011) for posterity:

4.35/5 rDev -3.1%
look: 4.0| smell: 4.0 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5| overall: 4.5

750mL bottle (batch 003X3) poured into a snifter. Pours a clear mahogany with minimal head, champagne carbonation. A ring of bubbles forms around the edge of the glass.

Aroma is tart cidery funk w/ bright notes of sour fruit and oak. A slight solvent aroma lingers.

Taste is tart, sour, oaky and fruity. Lots of wine notes, really dry on the palate. Almost a combination of a lambic, cabernet, and champagne. Really interesting beer to pick apart; complex.

This is not a beer I would drink every day, but definitely worth revisiting once in a while.
Jul 01, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by archero from Texas

Jun 25, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by Chuckg93 from Oregon

Jun 13, 2022
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Reviewed by brewerburgundy from West Virginia

4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
375ml bottle, tulip, bottled 2/26/20.

There’s a little fizz as I pour, but my attention quickly shifts to the eye catching dark amber liquid. It has a viscose appearance, bubbles move slower, like a hardening piece of amber, and there’s a notable lack of foam.

It’s funky, naturally. Lacto sourness, copper, and the currants come through with their gamey, deep fruitiness.

Moderate tartness before moving on to a schmorgasbord of funk, leather, barrel, dry red wine, and those delicious little berries.

Light body, practically no carbonation, and just a little slick.

When I picked this bottle up last year I was surprised I hadn’t had Consecration. It’s just a super well done beer.
May 14, 2022
Photo of Sparty1224
Reviewed by Sparty1224 from Michigan

4.21/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Brief Review:

O: So this is my first time with any of the RR sours. Right away, I don't see too much as to why this is so special or a top 250 beer. I've had many sours and Cab-aged sours that are similar to this. Don't get me wrong, it's a fine beer. Very complex and deep and the barrel is done really nice. I can be maybe this being very pioneering back in the day, so maybe it's reputation precedes it. Just don't think in 2022 this can hold a candle to some of the wild ales from HF or SARA or even Bellwoods.

Recommendation: I mean, yeah, it's an RR sour from the -ation series, you gotta try it. Just don't go in expecting to get your mind blown. Hopefully the next two I have are better.
May 05, 2022
Photo of arizcards
Reviewed by arizcards from North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A friend of mine visited Colorado for a family Christmas and he brought back a bunch of RR goodies 12-31-21 including this 375ml bottle for $14.99. Bottled 7-12-21; consumed 5-3-22.

Beer poured a red wine color with a fizzy carbonated head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is cherry and strawberry forward and red wine barrel that gives a touch of leather.

Taste is a wonderful balance of leather, red wine vinegar, cherries and strawberries, finishing very clean with each sip.

Mouthfeel is light and delightfully smooth.

Overall a really well executed beer!
May 03, 2022
Rated: 4.56 by forum8417 from New Jersey

Apr 01, 2022
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottled 7/12/21

I’m back with my next Russian River Wild. I had Temptation last week, and while I thought it was pretty good, it didn’t completely wow me. This one sounds like it’ll be more up my alley anyhow, so I have higher hopes here. This one currently sits at the 15th highest rated Wild Ale and 209th highest rated beer overall on BA. Let’s pop the cork and get to it

Pours a murky light brown with a finger of off white head that quickly fades to a thin ring and leaves no lacing

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this gives off a huge Flanders Red/Brown vibe in the nose, and it’s quite nice. I’m picking up on aromas of tart cherry, black currant, brown bread, red wine vinegar, sharp oak, toffee, raisin, and light leather

Oh man, this is rather unique in taste. It's so easy to lean too far into either funk or fruit with the style, but this one strikes an incredible balance and provides a dark wine character which hardly ever comes through this much. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting black currant, buttery oak, tobacco, leather, light lemon zest, red wine vinegar, and a touch of bready malt. The swallow brings notes of old leather, black currant, tobacco, brown bread, tart cherry, black pepper, red wine vinegar, toffee, sharp oak, and light vanilla

A medium body pairs with moderate carbonation, resulting in a sharp yet gentle beer. Finishes a bit sticky but dries over time with a wonderful complexity. Drinks well under 10%

Well this was just awesome. I can see why this is considered a classic. I could have a cellar full of this and be happy. Cheers yall
Mar 14, 2022
Rated: 4.16 by Bhubbard34 from Pennsylvania

Feb 03, 2022
Rated: 4.53 by Taenim from New Jersey

Jan 29, 2022
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Reviewed by DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Reddish brown liquid, off-white, slightly pinkish head that diminishes quickly. Dark fruit and oak fills the flavor profile, derivative of the Cabernet aging. A slight tartness like red wine vinegar, but also currants and berries. Delicious and complex, as the flavors unfold from first taste to finish.
Jan 24, 2022
Rated: 4.28 by Gkruszewski from New York

Jan 19, 2022
Rated: 4.33 by not2quick from Missouri

Jan 18, 2022
Photo of SHODriver
Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
I've had this beer since 2011 and it's from when they were still doing batch numbers rather than bottling dates.

A: Poured into a Russian River tion glass to a deep reddish brown beer which is topped by a dense bit of pinkish white head which fades to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells of a really nice amount of tartness with some red wine vinegar notes, currants, and oak along with a touch of caramel.
T: Taste is red berries and currants with some nice acidity. Oak and red wine with some more berry fruitiness. On the swallow there's more red berries, currants, red wine, acidity and some lingering oak.
M: This beer has a body which is on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is on the low end with a somewhat syrupy feel while the beer has a drying finish due to the acidity.
O: Overall this is an outstanding dark sour. Really nice flavors and complexity with a really nice amount of acidity to really round things out. I wasn't sure how well this one would have held up but it's an incredible drinking experience.
Nov 06, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by beermanben from Wisconsin

Oct 05, 2021
Rated: 4.06 by Nyarko-San from Pennsylvania

Sep 21, 2021
Photo of colts9016
Reviewed by colts9016 from Idaho

4.41/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Review 1598
Russian River Brewing
Date: 05 November 2020
Another sour today, but this one is aged in wine barrels with currants. Pulling the cork carefully, then a loud pop, followed by mist. The beer is 48 degrees, and I served it my Stone RIS tulip. The pour created a fizzy and airy off-white head with poor retention. No lacing on the glass after the quick dissipation. The color is a combination between maroon and mahogany with brownish hues. This beer is translucent, with a few carbonation bubbles present.

The aromas in the beer are vinous, fruity, sour apples, oaky, funkiness, earthy, horse blankets, biscuit, bready, and a slight hint of pharmaceutical.

The flavors are oaky, earthy, funky, lightly toasted malt, brett, sour apple vinegar, bready, a hint of floral esters, vinous, stone fruit, tart cherries, and danky.

The mouthfeel is dry, tannic, and puckering

The body of the beer is medium, medium-plus carbonation, and lingering finish.

This sour is wonderful all the flavors in the beer create this harmonious blend of flavors. The wine barrel aging gave the beer depth and complexity. Stellar beer!
Aug 28, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by rstump24 from Ohio

Aug 24, 2021
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
Reviewed by Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours a deep amber with a cream colored head.

Sour and sharp with notes of leather and tobacco rounded by floral and wood.

Sour, leather, tobacco, up front with notes of citrus & lime. A sharp sour punch, finishes dry and woody
Aug 23, 2021
Rated: 5 by kblomseth from California

Aug 19, 2021
Rated: 4.48 by Ben1313 from New Hampshire

Jun 22, 2021
Rated: 3.5 by Hellpimp from California

Jun 16, 2021
Rated: 4.56 by blisscent from Rhode Island

Jun 02, 2021
Rated: 4.11 by beefbucket from Missouri

Apr 20, 2021
Rated: 4.54 by gefinley from California

Mar 28, 2021
Photo of guile
Reviewed by guile from Nevada

4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
What else can you say about this? Lively, funky, bright, full flavored, complex, refreshing... This is a great sour ale with a beautiful amber russet color. Carbonation is moderate and provides nice effervescence. The taste follows the nose perfectly with currant and bretty funkiness. So easy to drink at 10% abv. No real rough edges here. An excellent beer that few would find controversial.
Mar 20, 2021
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Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.52/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Shared bottle, RBNAG 2011. Barrel aged 6 months, with currants added. Reddish brown colour. Intense farmhouse aroma, sour fruit, oak and spices. Sour flavour, good but not impressive.
Mar 19, 2021
Rated: 4.41 by goleeoh from Michigan

Mar 04, 2021
Rated: 4 by Bugsmcl from Ohio

Feb 12, 2021
Rated: 4.49 by eshooshoo from California

Feb 05, 2021
Rated: 4.46 by Yungcoolship from Wisconsin

Feb 05, 2021
Rated: 4.87 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia

Feb 03, 2021
Rated: 4.27 by Unitspin from Massachusetts

Jan 24, 2021
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 5600 ratings