Russian River Brewing Company

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Wild Ale
Ranked #10
Ranked #123
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: 1,215 | Ratings: 5,582 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
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
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colts9016 from Idaho

4.41/5  rDev -2.6%
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
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Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
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
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guile from Nevada

4.78/5  rDev +5.5%
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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Sigmund from Norway

3.52/5  rDev -22.3%
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
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IBU_Hunter from California

4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent A+++ premium Beer all the way!
*Aroma- Oak, Red Wine, Sour Ale/Yeast
*Looks: Dark Sour Ale, good head
*Taste: BEST. Oaky, leather, sour, black current, subtle cabernet wine notes, malty but super light/refreshing. Not heavy by any means. Super super easy to drink! Be careful with this since the drinkability is out of the charts and hides 10% alcohol so well. This is the best American Sour/Wild Ale that gives the world-class Belgian Sour Ales a run for their money! Although expensive at $15.99 a bottle, this Beer is not to be missed by any Beer lover. The alcohol at 10% is so damn well hidden. As the great JR from the erstwhile WWF would put” By God! This is the best American Beer. The taste, the alcohol goes from your mouth to your brain to the spine and gets you the best buzz on God’s Green Earth. Consecration 3:16...”
*Overall*: 5/5 for me. This beer along side Pliny The Younger and Stone Enjoy By series should be declared National Treasures!

Jan 10, 2021
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HelloBrewklyn from New York

4.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I understand that many brewmasters won’t even step foot in RR’s facility because they use Brettanomyces in this work of art but By God! this is the type of stuff no good beer advocate should ever live their entire life without trying at least once!

Brown. Red. Dark. Seductive. And down right smoooooth. This Wild Sour is second to none in America as far as I’m concerned. Folks in CA and PA: don’t take it for granted!

Word to the wise — Make the trip to Russian River, do yourself a favor and drop the $25 on 12 oz. bottle reserve. They’ll show you what you’ve been missing in your sour ale quest.

Dec 22, 2020
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

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

Pours clear mahogany with purple glints and a crackly head that lasts a long while. Berries and a complex matrix of funky, tart flavours in the aroma. Lots of sourness and barnyard notes in the first sip. Pineapple juice in there too. Sweet berry notes add excellent balance but things are still bone dry overall. The 10% abv is shockingly well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with prickly, champagne like carbonation.

A stellar wild ale from the OG producer. Complex, nuanced yet still dangerously quaffable. A must try.

Jul 12, 2020
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mytone from California

4.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

L: Brilliant clear amber brown in color with a light lace.

S: Very fragrant, powerful scents of funky sour cherries, grapes and plum.

T: Initial bright refreshing champagne-like start, it’s a split second of silence as your taste buds reset. As you wait for it, a smooth transition of flavors move towards the rear and to the sides of your tongue as you saliva glands get seduced. Flavors of sour cherries, nectarines, kumquats, apricots and plum emerge and give way to more complex flavors of oak, black pepper and tobacco as it stimulates your salivary glands, drying your mouth and making you thirst for more.

F: Medium bodied

O: One of the smoothest sours I have ever tasted! People celebrate with champagne, if this bubbled like champagne, this would replace champagne. This is delish!

Jun 30, 2020
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TheGent from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consecration - 9/17/2015

Look: Pours translucent and murky medium brown. Auburn and chestnut in the light. A beige colored head that disappears with a thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass. No lacing and no visible carbonation.

Smell: The aroma is floral, powdery, perfumey and musty. A lot of wood. Fresh currant, cherry and blackberry. Citrus acidity and a faint amount of some apple cider vinegar.

Taste: Sweet and sour. A hint of apple cider vinegar. Some cinnamon spice. Some berry flavored chocolate. Some pithy bitterness. The acidity level is medium for me.

Feel: Very smooth and low carbonation. Some more effervescence would help. Not sure if it’s flattened out a bit over time or not. Sweeter up front and dry on the finish.

Overall: You’d never know this beer is 10% other than feeling the alcohol. No alcohol on the aroma of taste. Definitely has some red wine similarities, but also many aspects from the mixed fermentation that you’d not expect in red wine. It’s really delicious.

Apr 26, 2020
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Treyliff from West Virginia

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

2014 Vintage
375ml cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours deep ruby in color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring around the glass

S- brett and lacto funk are complimented by dark fruit notes of vinous red wine, black currant, cherries, raspberries, oranges & figs. Old wet oak and leather close it out

T- fruity up front with an emphases on currants, cherries and raspberries. Mid-palate brings a bold bret and lacto tartness, tannic oak brings out deep cabernet notes. The finish is tart, fruity and oaky

M- medium-light body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a tart, semi-dry finish

O- I can't believe it took me this long to finally reviews this one, it's a classic that paved the way for what would become the sour craze in America

Apr 15, 2020
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear reddish brown with decent foamy head that fades quickly. Nice aroma of oaky wine and sour cherries. Flavor is tart cherries, oaky tannins, big dose of sourness, bordering vinegary. Very tangy and acidic. Overall I am glad I tried it, might have held it too long...

500ml bottle dated 8/11/17 - thanks Adam
4.25 rating

Mar 22, 2020
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entheos from California

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.

Feb 13, 2020
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JAB80104 from Colorado

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.

Jan 26, 2020
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JamFuel from Sweden

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.

Dec 07, 2019
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5toutman75 from Illinois

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!

Dec 01, 2019
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lucius10 from California

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!

Nov 26, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

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!

Oct 22, 2019
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silverblaze540 from Virginia

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.

Jul 12, 2019
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MacMalt from New Jersey

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.

Mar 02, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

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.

Feb 28, 2019
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farrago from New Jersey

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.

Feb 23, 2019
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GarrettB from Colorado

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.

Feb 21, 2019
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

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.

Jan 05, 2019
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mkh012 from Colorado

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.

Oct 11, 2018
Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 5582 ratings