Consecration | Russian River Brewing Company

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ConsecrationConsecration
BA SCORE
4.49/5
Outstanding
5,429 Ratings
ConsecrationConsecration
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian-style dark ale aged in American oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with currants.

Added by Gueuzedude on 10-31-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#126
Reviews:
1,185
Ratings:
5,429
pDev:
8.91%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,662
Gots:
1,944
Trade:
135
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,429 |  Reviews: 1,185
Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours out as a pretty nice wine like Amber Red color. The head vanishes quickly after the pour and just leaves a thing white film on top of the beer. The smell is super tart smelling, very acidic like vinegar. The taste is of sour cherry and stomach acid similar to a Geuze Lambic. The after taste leaves a dry mouthfeel in the back of your tongue. It makes you want another sip but since I'm not into this style too much it's almost unwanted. The mouthfeel is similar to a red wine in my opinion. It's an awesome beer for those who like the Wild Sour Ales but it's just not for me.

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Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of metter98
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark crimson red in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dark beige head that gradually died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels are present in the nose along with a slight amount of sourness.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the wine isn't as prominent and there are also notes of oak and hints of cherries.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little acidic on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a good balance for an barrel aged beer and doesn't seem too winey.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alas, a top ranked beer that doesn't disappoint.

I guess I expected a lighter colored beer to pour from the bottle, but the Flanders Red-looking beer runs from ruby red to cola brown and morphs into a classic Oud Bruin appearance. Much better head retention than most other Wild Ales which shows a lot of maltiness and protien character that keeps the beer inviting. Moderate retention and lacing accompanies the beer into its proper warmth.

Mouthwatering aromas of red wines, apples, tart berries, plumbs, grapes and... oh yea, cherries. (think skins of these fruits as much as the actual fruits themselves). Throw in a vineous, vinegar touch that keeps the beer sharp and clean. And, is this beer dry-hopped?- even in the nose, it takes on an Orval-like resemblence.

Flavors are a very directe carry-over from the nose with heavy emphasis on a clean, tart fruitiness with a strong malt foundation. Even a light detection of chocolate malts helps to envelop the aged fruit flavors and make a buffer between the pith and the acidity. Even with the clean lactic taste, these bugs do not disolve the beer into vinegar, but their restrained attenuation gives the beer a lot of malt flavor.

Likewise, the beer carries the maltiness into the mouthfeel. Again, the clean attenuation keeps the beer acidic, thin, and light while allowing a creamy maltiness to protect the beer from complete astringency. The beer carries the grape, cherry, and plumb taste and feel deep into the finish and with a clean apple aftertaste.

This beer may be the finest example of working with wild yeast and bacteria. Outstanding.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml brown glass bottle with an intricate cork+steel wire cap served into a hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations were high as this is me second favourite brewery in the world and me favourite in the Americas.

A: Pours a three finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and poor retention. Colour is a dark copper with the potential for overcarbonation, judging by the bubbles. It's appealing in a generic sense.

Sm: Aroma consists of souring hops - which aren't overpowering like some lambics, wine, grapes, mild wood notes, and some lactic notes. Aroma is of moderate to mild strength.

T: A very complex taste, consisting primarily of souring hops but with a wine "shell" around it. Some cedar comes through, particularly from the midpoint through the climax. If berries are present, they're buried. The finish smacks of grapes, which closes out the flavour nicely. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Very smack your lips pleasant due to the grape finish - sort of a slight Welch's commercial effect. It's smooth and wet all around, but perchance a touch too thick. Overcarbonation is slight but existent.

Dr: It hides its ABV very well, and has some great complex flavours, but does suffer from some minor issues, namely overcarbonation. I could see this getting better with age, but it'd be very difficult to drink more than one. It's nice to kick back and enjoy after returning from work, but sippers only go so far. Excellent value in California.

B+ / VERY GOOD

***
09.09.17 impression from a ~1 year old bottle (Bottled 100316):

A: Gorgeous vibrant deep red body. Khaki-white head lasts maybe a minute at best.

Tastes of cranberry and redcurrant with ample Belgian ale yeast (saccharomyces) nuance. Tart, a bit acetic, and of mild (~4-5/10) sourness. Hints of pomegranate seed. Grape...not recognizably caberent sauvignon, but I'm no expert (though it does have a jammy flavour I'd liken to the better Napa valley cabernet sauvignon wines I've tried).

Impeccably well balanced, with no obvious off-flavours, booze, or other issues.

Texture is plump, tart, refreshing, slightly acidic, smooth, wet, and medium-bodied. Its medium body and moderate thickness combined with its tart fruity taste bring pie crust to mind.

Overall, it's a remarkable beer worthy of Russian River's high reputation. Never betrays its 10% ABV, and I find myself questioning if it's actually that high in alcohol. Great work from a great brewery.

B+ / VERY GOOD

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Photo of oline73
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at Capone's during the Russian River event. Poured into a goblet. This was Batch 1.

Appearance: Pours an opaque reddish brown color with a layer of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Sour fruity vinegar with a hint of sweetness. I'd say it is very wine like.

Taste: Just like the smell, I'm picking up sour fruit and vinegar notes, but much smoother here than in the smell. I can taste oak, and red wine. All the flavors are in perfect balance. The finish is warm from the alcohol, very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly mild carbonation. The finish is dry and woody.

Overall: I haven't found a sour beer that I like better than this one. The flavors are so well balanced, and the alcohol isn't anywhere to be found. Very smooth.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001 cellared in cold storage.

Forceful pop from the cork, made it a few yards into the other room even :D Gunsmoke emitted from the bottle, thankfully not a gusher. The tawny brown beer produced an uprising of tan foam, that was fizzy and fairly short lived. It faded to an ever present ring that clung to the edge.

Damp leather, tobacco, slight brown sugar and balsamic sweetness in the nose. Reminiscent of best-in-class Oud Bruins like Oerbier Reserva and Haandbaak. Fairly restrained wildness, pretty accessible to the wild/sour ale novice.

Sustained tartness at first, moving into sour territory before dissipating quickly. Lingering aftertaste of leather and tannic dark fruit skins, currant and black cherry. Dry mild oak and wine grapes imparted from the Cab barrels. Pretty clean and full of sour fruitiness. Well carbonated, lending to an effervescent feel.

Paired with cheese, the acidity is more obvious, and scrubs the palate clean.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, batch 005X2E. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a small fairly dense off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lacing fairly quickly. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour cherry, green apple, raisin, plum, fig, red wine, oak, clove, hay, straw, leather, musty funk, light vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, oak barrel, and fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big sour cherry, green apple, raisin, plum, fig, red wine, oak, hay, straw, leather, musty funk, light vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Good amount of fruity/earthy sourness on the finish; with lingering notes of sour cherry, green apple, raisin, plum, fig, red wine, oak, hay, straw, leather, musty funk, light vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, oak barrel, and fruit flavors; with a great sweetness/sourness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, acidic, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome fruited wild ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, oak barrel, and fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of zeff80
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled of oak (and a little bourbon) with a strong yeasty aroma. Light caramel notes, too.

T - Great sour bite grabs you at first sip. It tasted spicy and yeasty, too. Almost like a brown ale with brett. A nice funky flavor.

M - This was very smooth and soft with a nice dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a really good wild yeast ale. The aging served it well.

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Photo of brentk56
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 002x01

Appearance: Pours a tawny brown with, dare I say it, currant highlights; the beer opened with an explosive sound and, though I feared a gusher, it poured with a nice head that dissipated rather quickly, leaving the occasional splotch of lace

Smell: Sour balsamic vinegar, toned down with sweeter elements of cherries, currants and a massive quantity of oak and leather

Taste: Starts out sweet but puckery with developing sour fruit flavors of currants, figs, green apples and tart cherries as well as leather, cocoa and loads of horseblanket; after the swallow, the wood really comes through to complement the potpourri of flavor into the long, persistent finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, silky smooth, with a puckering mouthfeel but relatively low carbonation

Drinkability: A stunningly bold achievement; may be the best thing Russian River produces

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy reddish color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of oak and tart notes with some blackcurrant notes – very complex. Taste is also a very complex mix between some blackcurrant, some tart notes and some pedio with light sweet figs at the end. Body is quite full for style with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol even though it does pack quite a punch. Very well done.

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Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a relatively clear crimson red in color with some heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger and a half tall fizzy yet creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to heavy aromas of tartness/sourness with dark fruit (cherries and currants) and heavier smells of red wine and oak.

T: Moderately tart upfront with some vinous notes, hints of balsamic vinegar, and a moderate amount of sour cherries. Light to moderate flavors of oak and red wine along with some dark fruits (currant). Moderately tart which lingers in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Relatively dry in the finish with a heavy amount of acidic prickliness.

O: Reminds me more of drinking a slightly tart red wine than a beer (so to speak) but it is definitely an enjoyable experience. Due to the tartness, it was one that I needed to enjoy by sipping rather slowly but it is definitely a phenomenal beer. Nice job of balancing the sourness with the red wine flavors.

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Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass.

Opens with a nice big pop. Batch 002X1

Pours only a thin layer of tan head. Decent retention. Color is a dark dark cherry-hued brown. It is a clear bee but you can't see all the way through it.

Aroma: I can smell the wine from the barrels that it was aged in. A nice wood/oak smell. Grapes. I am guessing this is the currants, which I am liking. A very complex flavor. A nice sour/wild smell if that makes sense. Makes the mouth water.

Taste: Very sour and amazing. I am digging the currants. A lot of fresh ripe berries. Nice barrel-aged taste going on her. It is very tart. Has some grapes here as well. Damn, this tastes good. Stunning. Next up is the tart cherries with a little bready malts to balance out things. I am very impressed.

Mouthfeel: Sour, tart, and puckering. I love it. Medium bodied with a perfect level or carbonation. This beer is just flowing right now. Leaves a nice tart aftertaste. Damn RR did an amazing job here. Very clean.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. I am trying not to drink this treat fast, but it that isn't happening very well. Very drinkable and I want more. One of my favorite beers I have had yet!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
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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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes. Mahogany color with beige head. Aroma is really fruit forward with the currants making me think of blackcurrant wine. Also some caramel and wood notes. Taste is sweet with fruits and caramel notes at first but gets intensely sour and acidic on the finish and aftertaste. You can get a bit of warming alcohol too. Really nice fruit profile and complex taste.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%

Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.49 out of 5 with 5,429 ratings