Russian River Brewing Company

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American Wild Ale
Ranked #10
Ranked #121
4.53 | pDev: 8.83%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: Dark ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with Brett, Lacto, Pedio, and currants
Reviews: 1,203 | Ratings: 5,530 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of entheos
3.25/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Disappointing in that it tastes more like a wine than a beer, but that’s the point. It’s white grape residue that would serve better in a wine glass than a beer mug.

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Photo of JAB80104
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The gold standard for sours. Dark red, slightly cloudy pour. Lots of bubbles, but low head. Complex, layered flavors of stone fruits (cherries being the most prominent), wine, yeast, citrus tartness. Silky mouthfeel, with a delightful sour bite on the tongue. Aged since Aug 2017. I will pickup a bottle whenever I see it, because it ages so well.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown with low, wispy head.

Smell is sour with notes of rowan-berries, currants, citrus and a hint of juniper and Seville oranges.

Taste is properly sour and intense with notes of cherries, sloe, currants, red wine and some grass and citrus. Dry and complex finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, dry and well carbonated.

Overall, a superb sour, complex and powerful.

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Photo of 5toutman75
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The smell and look are perfect. You know that there will he so much going on that it makes me excited to drink it. Flavors of cherry, vanilla and a tartness won’t make your face crinkle but lasts in a good way. Hides the alcohol very well. Smooth and full mouthfeel, with the right amount of carbonation. Bottled 12/16/16, so some good aging. Love this beer!

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Photo of lucius10
4.06/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Subdued, red wine tart aromatics on this one. Taste follows with a red wine tart finish and swallow. This is pretty well-balanced and easy drinking. Good!

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Photo of REVZEB
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear chestnut brown with dark tinting, no head save a thin off-white ring. Lovely and expressive red wine barrel with oak, brett, lacto, dried cherry, currant, and sour plum. Taste really does stand out, was skeptical given the hype and specifically the age of the hype, but the red wine makes this sour, playing with the oak, fruits including the addition of green apple and date, flowers, funk, brett, and lacto really well. Almost has a wine pouched cherry aftertaste with oak. Starts wet and vinous, but slowly and steadily makes its way to a drier and wood tannin laden finish, with green sour and funky textures in between, with all three phases melding into one another, best aspect of the beer. Stands the test of time, well done!

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark amber; reddish 3/4 inch head that dissipates quickly; active bubbling.

S - Wine; cherries; prunes.

T - Sour cherries and grapefruit, but sourness not overly powerful; mild bitterness.

M - Medium body; crisp from carbonation and medium booziness.

O - Tons of flavor; fantastic smell; very palatable sour for non-sour drinkers.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from @bum4ever in a BIF box. Poured from cork and cage bottle into a teku glass. It pours a pretty ruby-orange color. The thin, ecru-colored head dissipated rapidly. On the nose there is red wine, oak, cherry, brown sugar, and Brett yeast. It's highly fragrant. As expected, it's both sweet and sour with tart cherry and currant, red wine grapes, and vinegar, tobacco and oak notes. It finishes surprisingly bitter. The flavors blend very well. It is well-carbonated and drinks below its 10% ABV. Overall, it is a highly flavorful and pleasing ale. I'm very happy to have had the chance to savor it.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, that was bottled on '022218'.
Amber brown colored body, with a hint of red currants. The pour resulted in a slightly organized skim of surface bubbles, but this quickly disappears. Has a partial bubble fed ring. No lacing.
Aroma of currants and cherry, with a solid component of red wine oak barrel. Has a sweet and slightly funky yeast note.
Taste is a tremendous combination of red wine oak barrel, the added currant fruit, and the wild nature of the yeast. Notes of tobacco and slight funk. Rather wet and juicy at the end.
Medium mouth feel, slightly tight vinous quality. Good carbonation.
I really enjoyed this beer. Shares a lot of characteristics with a good Cabernet Sauvignon wine, but is more complex with the malts and yeasty funk. Also really hides the higher ABV% well.

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Photo of farrago
4.06/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Meager dusting of tan foam which is pretty much gone just as the pour settles, in turn no lacing to speak of but one really wasn’t expecting much of either. Light and fully transparent brownish red with wide yellow rims, while the bubbles are about as miniscule as imaginable there are steady streams of them. The sour cherry scents stunted by caramelized brown sugar and molasses notes, touch of coconut flakes, more vinegary than vinous, turns to pie dough and Ovaltine, not as high-toned as expected nor as generally powerful. Medium-bodied, has acidic punch and feels very firm in the mouth. The cherry, currant fruit flavors strong here but so is the oak. Grilled nuts, cocoa, molasses to at times more American oak dill accents. Clean attack, gets funkier towards the finish and retronasally. No astringency, dryness or deep puckering sensations, balanced and approachable. No alcoholic heat either. Even as one notes this, it bears the stamp of a wild ale, albeit mannered. The grip extends the texture a good bit after the flavors have subsided. Not discerning noticeable change as it warms towards room temperature. Suavely arrayed.

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Photo of GarrettB
4.51/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

July 27th, 2015 - Legendary and luxurious, I now get to have the Consecration fresh from the tap. Dark and with soda like bubbles on the edge, it gives off a power and luscious smell of sour cherries and candied apples, bright and beautiful. And the flavor gives much the same, with a perfect, perfect sourness and a perfect acidity. The flavor notes feature juicy bordeaux grapes and even a bit of sparkling grape juice. It's far better than it sounds, and absolutely lands the acidity.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.22/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a fairly clear dark red color with a thin foamy head that quickly dissipates. Very little to no lacing. Aroma of sour dark fruits and red wine. Tart and smooth taste. Red wine and dark fruits. Very good.

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Photo of mkh012
4.46/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1 year ago.

Pours deep ruby red with a short-lived head.

The nose is strawberry, black cherry, green apple, and rose petals.

The taste is cherry, grape, balsamic, some green olive, and dry barrel.

The mouthfeel is medium minus, made taut by the barrel. Not as sour as expected. Tastes like a mature Cabernet.

Overall, complex and tasty.

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Photo of npolachek
4.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Terrific beer with amazing Brett. Great dank smell with perfect balance between darkness and sour. Great level of carbonation and an absolute pleasure to drink.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle

Oak forward nose with a lot of vanillins. Very vinous with a lot of cab-sauv, which the currants meld with seamlessly. Notes of cocoa and spice cake too. Taste is more spice cake forward, but with a nice layer of baryard funk and phenol too. Vinous again with a big cab sauv character. Currant tartness manifests toward the end. Big and round cab sauv feel, but with gentle carbonation too. Toasty, oaky, and nutty with cocoa blooming on the finish. Great.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.46/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby-burgundy with a light fog. Head formation is nearly non-existent. Aroma is grapes, currants and oak all layered over a lactic acid sourness. Very straight forward, and focused. Flavor profile is grapes, black currants, oak, toffee and toasted and nutted malts. While it starts with sweet fruit, it ends with a lactic sour twist that lingers on the tongue for a long while after each sip. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a smooth, glossy texture. Overall, a very good sour that mixes fruits well with an underlying and unmistakable sourness.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 375mL bottle. Bottled 6/17/15, consumed 9/9/18.

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Photo of Lucular
3.95/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Leather, oak, funk, dark fruit, leather, sour stout, leather, acidity, and more leather. Almost as though the a sweaty leather strap soaked in the bottle for a while. It's on the verge of being astringent and bitter and to me the leather overwhelms everything else this beer has to offer. Kind of disappointed in my first RR beer.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

7/19/18...on tap at Monks in Philadelphia. Tulip glass pour. Dark mahogany brown. Low foam. Still. Currants cherries and oak in the nose. Light sour, heavy wood. Mellow and sneaky boozy. Lots of wood. Cabernet all throughout. Fantastic.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.26/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark ruby in color with excellent clarity. There's a minimal amount of a fingernail of beige on top. The aroma is packed with Cabernet, tart Brettanomyces, and woodsy oak. The mouth is very dry and moderately carbonated.

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Photo of Psilo
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 07/18/16.

Pours a ruddy brownish red. Clear, with an off-white finger of foam which dissipates rapidly, despite being fed by a steady stream of small bubbles from the bottom. The yeast sediment is firmy stuck to the bottom of the bottle, and the careful pour that the label suggests proves unwarranted.

I'm not really a wine drinker, but the initial aroma is strongly red wine-like. 

The taste, as well, is quite winey. Dark fruit, oak tannins, grape skins, and alcohol on the back end. I give my sister a sip (she's a wine drinker), and she says it tastes like "beery wine". And indeed it does. I don't particularly pick out black currants, but I imagine they're a part of the dark fruit flavors.

Lively carbonation, and smooth sipping. Wine flavors and alcohol linger. Very dry.

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Photo of FloydTurbo
4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pretty good. Smells better than it tastes. Aroma is slight with a little bit of sour cherry, says it’s refermented on bottle. Enjoy the smooth bite at top of taster, and had some flavours of the Chardonnay but still had some tendencies of beer instead of drinking a glass of wine. Enjoy!

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The most deceptive 10% ABV beer I've enjoyed to-date. I've had beers that mask higher ABV with massive flavors, i.e. super hopping, bourbon barrel aging, tons of malt, massive fruit additions, etc. but this beer does so with seeming simplicity and grace.

Purplish reddish hue with a puffy, soapy head that dimpled, sagged and then faded away.

Aroma and taste is a balanced dance between jammy fruit, oak, funk and tart. There's sweet and slightly puckering fruit that feels like a mélange of berries - blackberry, raspberry - followed by plump red wine grapes and then red wine itself.

Tannic and dry, somehow still light on the palate - this is an awesome example of the style in which the ABV only helps accentuate that sit-back-and-sigh feeling after every sip.

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Photo of sjrider
4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany color with quickly dissipating white head leaving a tiny ring of bubbly lacing. Nose is dark stone fruit ,currants and funky yeast. Taste follows with a little sweet-tartness and red wine barrel woodiness. May be the best sour I have tried, reminds me of some of the Flemish ales I drank in Belgium.

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Photo of stt1118
4.21/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle dated 12/16. Great funk and red wine on the nose. Taste is quite complex. Bright in the beginning, funky and barrel in the middle, extremely tart on the finish. This is a good sour but somehow lacks drinkability and overall harmony in flavor for me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.52/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Russian River Brewing Co. "Consecration"
375 ml brown glass bottle, corked and caged, "BOTTLED ON:100316" and sampled on 040718
$15.99 @ The Beer Yard (The Beverage Store), Wayne, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: This isn't the first time I've had Consecration, and it probably won't be the last, but expensive bottles are few and far between for me these days, especially when there are so many new beers out there as well. This, however, has always been a favorite for me, even within the Russian River family of beers so here goes... it's brown in color beneath a very short-lived head of off-white foam. It disappears almost immediately, but that's common for sour beers. As this was a long standing bottle all of the sediment was finely packed and remained at the base of the bottle and it's quite clear. It has some very nice ruby highlights to it. In the nose it's fruity and oaky, vinous and funky. It reminds me of a Flemish brown ale but different. The flavor follows with some added maltiness that's got some caramel to it, and a stiff bitterness. The currant is clear but not too bright, blending in with the rest of the beer so that it becomes one rounded flavor rather than pieces that aren't so finely put together. This one has it all, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus and it shows - yet at the same time it's very refined, there must be some good blending going on in its production. It's earthy, a bit leathery, kind of grassy like wet straw, and even slightly metallic. It's not too tart or sour though, and I don't think that many would be turned away by it. Well, at least people who knew they were going to drink a sour beer, and unlike many other sour beers there is some bitterness there as well. But is that from hops or the currant? And it really is the currant that really makes this work, and what makes it stand out. I don't think I've ever had a currant beer either before or after this, and it's really unusual. It's so refreshing and livening, and although it's a little like dark cherries and black grapes it's really something different altogether. In the mouth it's medium in body and delicately effervescent and caressing. Wow, what a special beer. This is absolutely world class. Even the best Belgian sour producers would have to look at this with at least a little bit of awe. Haha, so I've reminded myself that even though it's expensive, it's really worth it. I could spend the same amount and get twice as much volume in a fairly good wine, but would it satisfy me as much? No, for me, I'm sure of that. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant, I'm not sure what else to say. Seek it out.
Review# 5,933

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 5530 ratings