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Consecration | Russian River Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,130 | Ratings: 5,148
Photo of TMoney2591
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Thanks to G311 (and the Mathmagicland BIF) for this beast!

My first RR wild, so let's do this. It pours a translucent dark garnet topped by a fizzy tan foam that's just too effervescent to exist for very long, kinda like those crazy man-made elements at the end of the periodic table. The laser etch at the base of my glass must be workin', 'cause a perpetually resurgent ring o' fizz is dancing around on the surface. Good times. The nose comprises a good amount of funk, oak, sour grapes, sourdough, prunes, and a touch of a bleu cheese/ranch blend. I can only assume this is one of those wild/sour beers. Am I right? Regardless, the fizzy ring continues to mock the lack of perpetual motion machines out there. The taste is a new kind of melange for me: sour berries, sour apples, rye bread, a slight bit of vinegar, extra sweet toffee in background spurts, some of that blue cheese again, and an underlying current of oak. I'm both pleased and intrigued, leading to a clear desire for more of this. The body appears to be a whispy medium, with a surprisingly slight carbonation and a very smooth, fluid feel. Overall, a very tasty and interesting brew. Simply put: get some!

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Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap into a mini pint at TJ's 7th Anny. Party. Number one of three in my Russian River flight. An amazing party with amazing beers.

A - Pours deep amber with a thin film of white head that leaves minimal lacing down the glass.

S - Strong tartness up front, strongest of the three. Hints of spices, berries, and oak. Aroma's don't linger for long but they leave a lasting impression.

T - Not the first time I have had this one. Starts with a bit of spice from the currents quickly giving way to a blast of strong tartness. Finish is a lingering funk with a bright acidic note. I prefer the other two, supplication and temptation, but I still like this one a lot. Still one of my favorite wild's.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Tart finish lingers but not for too long. It wears you down after a full glass.

D - Fairly high. I really like this one but when you put all three of these together you really see how different they really are. I would rank this one last out of the three but it is still so good that you can not go wrong. Glad I have a few bottle of this in the cellar.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes 1/22/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing.

A: Dark red in color with a 1/2 finger head that forms during the pour, but dissipates very quickly. No lacing at all.

S: Tart cherries, cinnamon, a little oak and vanilla. Has a slight funky aroma as well.

T: Quite sour at first, a good bit of sour/tart cherry flavor. A nice oaky flavor in the background.

M/D: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a dry finish. Overall extremely drinkable, does not feel like 10% at all. Look forward to drinking this one again. Had it at the end of a night, so might amend this review later.

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Photo of billab914
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey stemware glass. It poured a brownish/deep red color with a very fizzy and active head to it. The head settled down very quickly, almost like a cola.

The aroma shows off an acidic sourness as well as some fruity notes to it. The currents give it a tart and dry fruitiness that is very nice. The sourness is sharp with moderate acidicness. Just a hint of the woody, barrel character comes through.

The taste starts off with a sharp acidic bite to it with more of the moderately sweet current fruitiness coming through. As you get closer to the finish more sour and tart flavors come through. The currents leave a grape/wine like dry, tartness on the palate. It's great in how the sweet and tart flavors both come through so well in it. It's definitely one of the more tart and sour beers of the style I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied overall, and more heavy then most I've had in the style. Carbonation is very high and sharp. Drinkability is good, it had some excellent flavors to it and some great complexity. As I said before I loved how it had both sweet and tart flavors at the same time. The currents were also excellently done. Very tart and sour too. Excellent beer overall.

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Photo of InspectorBob
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Olde City during their sour week.

Poured into a tulip, dark ruby red color with about one finger of hesd which dissipates quickly leaving very little if no lacing.

Aromas of dark fruit, cherry/fig. Red wine gone bad.

Taste is sour and tart. A slight bit of sweetness for balance.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with some carbonation, dry, very dry.

Very drinkable, you hardly notice the 10% ABV on the finish. Becomes more funky as it warms. I like this beer...

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Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 4/25/10 notes. Poured from a 750 ML bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark amber color with one finger of white head. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of red wine, sour dark fruits, some sweet fruits, funk, and oak.

t - Tastes of sour fruits, wine, sweet malts, and some funk. A little disappointing from the smell.

m - High carbonation and medium body.

d - Pretty good and better than temptation, but not as good as supplication. Worth checking out and I would have again. Thought it smelled a little better than the taste.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into my Liefman's Goudenband glass, head quickly dwindles tan head forms thick but fleets me. The carbonation never quits moving, leading me to believe that this beer is still alive. Aromatics are so deep with vinous tones in this case it seems to be currants added to the mix for the super fruitiness. Batch # 004X3 weird stuff that keeps giving off a wonderful nose. Hints of sherry vinaigrette blowing off the rapid bubbling head, mild cider notes with wild funky tones that could only be dreamt about if your not drinking this wild ale...horse blanket barnyard doesn't even do it justice. Flavor hits you with a blast of oak with tart fruits galore seems like currants are the victim once again. This beer dares you to keep drinking it make sure your immune system is up to par it hit's with a very acidic tartness that's probably not healthy for your digestive tract unless your consuming this regularly. If Vinnie just all about vomit acid inducing sour ales I've gone too far, but so far his Damnation was the best American brewed Belgian anything that I've tried thus far. I guess it's a question of do you really like sours? I do...it's so different from your average brew out there this wild fermentation really peaks my interest even if it ends in a sour vinegar lactic pedio WTF?

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002X3

Purchased at the brewery in Fall, 2009 and consumed while playing original Nintendo on July 12, 2010. Decadence.

A: A thin and flat appearance, ruby-tinged brown hued with very little head and virtually no retention or lacing. Upon the second pour, the head is very fizzy and fades almost instantly with a hissing sound.

S: Cherries, oud bruin, wild yeast, wood. This beer smells very complex.

T: A lot of flavors going on here. Everything I named in the aroma, plus a funky tartness that makes my lips pucker and my throat tingle. Really profound and complex, this beer is very intriguing and enjoyable. Many sours in the 10% or above abv range are considerably harsher than this.

M: Acetic, vinegar finish that grows stronger over time. Puckering finish that makes the cheeks (on your face) pucker and cringe (in a good way).

D: I'm taking on the whole 750mL tonight, but this is certainly a good candidate for splitting amongst a few friends.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
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 stakem
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark amber color with some redness and brown hues about it. Served with no head present and minimal amount of faint spotty lacing. Nose is funky with oak and woodsy characteristics. Alcohol and Brett are apparent. Dry fruit smells riddled with alcohol. Taste is puckering with sourness and alcohol right upfront playing a lead role. Quite drying and tart. Flavors of dark skinned fruit come through as it warms...and warms it does as the alcohol in this beer is there in both warmth and taste. The woodsy flavors mesh favorably with the alcohol. Lingering tartness is left in the mouth that is puckering enough to make you go back in for continuous repetitive sips. Light feel and highly carbed this was one very enjoyable experience.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Batch 006.

Appearance - Pours with a hint of a brown head that's gone in a flash. Nothing after that. Looks flat as hell. The body is a dark ruby red. Looks like a glass of cabernet.

Smell - Acidic and lactic sour aromas. Oak. Strong red wine presence. Distinctly cabernet, too. I'm amazed how well the wine comes through. Sour fruits round out the flavor. Cherries and I suppose currants, but hell if I've ever actually smelled currants.

Taste - Like the flavor, but with a more pronounced acidity. Sour at first. Not puckering, but it's sustained throughout the drink. Lots of sour fruits followed by a ton of cabernet. The finish of the beer is dry, but the wine character overwhelms the dryness leaving it with a vinous character in the end.

Mouthfeel - It's not a light sour by any means. In fact it gets kinda tough to drink after a while. Medium-low carbonation doesn't help. It feels like I'm drinking a sour glass of wine more than a beer.

Overall - Interesting flavors, but a huge sour ale that gets sluggish and repetitive as I drink it. Tasty, but not something I could drink all the time.

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Photo of jwc215
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Batch 001X2, cage-corked bottle.

Pours hazed deep mahogany with a styro-foamish head that thins.

The smell is of red grape - vinuous with currants and oak. Some tart black cherry as well.

The taste is of tart black cherries with black currents. Some and sour, funky with some wood. A firm darkish maltiness supports it. It has a vinuous, dry finish.

It is effervescent. Alcohol there, but reasonably well-hidden.

In some ways wine-like, but with a funky, malty character. Well-balanced - sweet and sour but not too much in one direction. An interesting, delicious, unique, sipper.

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Photo of tdm168
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for hooking me up with a bottle of this.

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip. Pours a dark ruby, amber color with a thin layer of fizzy, white head that quickly fizzles away. The nose has notes of grapes, alcohol, and currants. The smell is quite spicy and fruity with a significant amount of the alcohol coming through. The flavor is very tart and sour. It makes my cheeks pucker immediately. The currants come through as do some fruits like red grapes and maybe raspberries. There is a juice or wine characteristic to it. The alcohol really isn't too noticeable. It adds some warmth as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit viscous, smooth, and has a bubbly carbonation.

This is my first Wild Ale. I'm impressed. It's complex, drinkable, smooth, refreshing, but a sipper. If RR was available around NC I would have this more often for sure.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting on this one for a while. From the same BA trade that got me the Lost Abbey Witches Wit, as well as the Lost Abbey Cuvee De Tomme that I'm sitting on even longer. It's been sitting in the fridge for about six weeks, and I can't wait any longer. Away we go!

Dark plum-red coloration, with no head at all, starts slightly fizzy, then quits quickly.

Aroma: ah, that's the stuff, there's the brett, that funky wild wicked twisted sour and sassy wine-ish nose. Currants are doing plenty of work here, too, it's fresh with the fruit. Lovely, lovely stuff.

Tasting it: Whoa! Grabs the tongue and pins it down. Puckeration all the way, in this. Does not relent with the intense tartness. Fruit flavor gives some relief, squeezing in between the huge tart bite.

Another sip, another gulp, and in rushes cherries, blackberries, grapes, some sweet, and then sour. grips the tongue, spanks it a bit, slathers it up and down with funk and sour. Luxurious, relaxing, lush and wonderful.

Halfway in, it's getting deep, plummier, richer...moreover. I'm more impressed-er, for sure. Deeee-licious. Mmmm. Mmm. Mm. M.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch 004X1. Thank you slentz for the trade!

No head off the slow pour, what little there was, was a light tan brown that quickly faded and left the smallest of all collars. Body color is a gorgeous dark red and brown cherry, very wine like looking.

A nice simple tartyness that isn't overpoweringly sour. Cherry like fruit sensation. Not even any heat really coming off for this high abv. Standard funky barnyard to go with it, musty and dank, slightly dry. No sense of oak from this at all.

Classic tart and viscous sour, but sort of boring. Sour cherries also. Almost red wine vinegar but not quite. Sort of one dimensional. Fairly alright for mouthfeel light bodied, warming in the stomach, and coating snap feeling mid palate with some spice. Strangely I get a feeling for summer sausage when having this beer. I want paprika with this.

Overall alright but sort of pedestrian. Feels like a food beer than for casual drinking for me. It will do.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #250 - Big thanks to Dave (d0b) for sharing one of these on New Beer Sunday. Batch 001X3 served in a Hopleaf tulip glass.

A - One finger of fairly quick-dissolving tan foam, that doesn't leave a ton of lacing, but settles into a nice ring that lingers throughout the drinking experience. Medium brown color, with firey red highlights at the edges of the glass and lots of tiny bubbles racing upwards. I know that it's possible to do better, even within the constraints of the style and ABV - see my description of Toronado 20th .

S - Lots of bretty funk, tart and sour currants, tobacco, sweet caramel malts, and wood. The mix of Belgian dark and wild ale is reminiscent of the T20th, but this is quite as nice, particularly the wood smell initially gave off a slightly plastic kind of smell before the brew warmed up.

T - The taste is a bit of a revelation, with lovely tartness, no discernible alcohol, a lovely red wine/Cabernet acidity, oak barrel, currants, and sweet caramel malts. There's significantly more sour and less funk here, and the flavors come together in a much more satisfying way. Since so much of this review is going to be ultimately very T20th influenced I'll mention that the oakiness and lacto-sour elements are much milder here, although I'm wondering if that is because of the age or the recipe itself...

M - Sticky, but with a dry finish, moderate carbonation, minimal alcohol heat, and medium body. Some cotton mouth but not where near as extreme as the Lou Pepe Framboise we had. Right on for the style.

D - Shockingly drinkable for a 10% wild ale. Great aftertaste and negligible carbonation burn or bloat. Other than the (slight) problem of getting stupidly drunk from a 750ml bottle this is terrific stuff.

A couple thoughts...
This is a superb substitute for Toronado 20th. While clearly a different beer it does a lot of the same things very well - blending two classic Belgian styles (quad/dark ale with gueuze/lambic), hiding a ridiculously 10%, and marrying a whole host of wonderful and seemingly incongruous flavors. The only place is comes up short is in the appearance, and that doesn't really influence my drinking enjoyment all that much. And when one factors in the huge price differential...

Batch variation seems to be pretty obvious. I didn't get that vague plastic smell from the batch 001x4 bottles I've sampled. I'll comment further when I open up my own bottle at some point. I'm also looking forward to batch 002.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Monks.

A - Great looking brown/reddish body deep in color.

S - Smelled sweet and sour, fruity and delicious.

T - Alot of fruity wine flavor on the palate. This one is sour, dry and delicious. Semi sweet with some citrus and slight warming alcohol.

M - Moderately carbonated and so smooth and soft. Very crisp taste and mouthfeel makes this one enjoyable. Dry and sour/sweet through the whole sip.

D - This beer was incredibly tasty and crisp and refreshing. To me that makes it very easy to drink. The alcohol wasnt overwhelming.

Notes - First time I had this beer and it was fantastic. Had it along with the Charcouterie platter full of meat, cheese and fruit and paired nicely.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, the beer pours a deep, dark amber color that appears to be clear, and starts with an inch of bubbly head that quickly vanishes down to nothing. The beer smell is an uncanny comparison to a light merlot. The currants are definitely apparent when you raise the glass to your nose. The beer has good carbonation throughout drinking, which helps to keep the heavy flavors light in mouth. The beer is sour on the tip of the tongue, and continues down the tongue, almost puckering at points. Dark fruit flavors abound throughout the mouth, with a slight peppery spice every once in a while. Very tasty, and again, the lightness and crispness provided by the steady carbonation make this a nice, smooth drink. The beer leaves a sour grape-type flavor in the mouth after each sip, but light. The sour aftertaste and the lingering finish pucker the mouth a bit, and it begs for another sip. Delicious!

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Photo of Billolick
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Caged and corked Belgian style bottle, pours a regal tone of soft brown, under a lighter mocha head. The nose on this one is infused with wood and hints of maple. On the tongue instantly noticable are notes of soft vermouth, ripe fruit, light pepper, complexity extending light funk and echos of yeast coursing through, simply delicious in every way. Smooth, soft, flavorful and yummy in a dark and wet Belgium filtered through sunny California sort of way. Please consider distributing this to my local bars and stores sometime soon...

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Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An impromptu Consecration vertical broke out at a recent tasting, we were able to sample batch 1, 2, and 3 side by side. I am happy to report that they are very similar.

Batch 001 - Beer is brown and clear, there is no head and only slight carbonation. The aroma is a mixture of sweet and sour (but not of the Chinese food variety). Really great sour / tart flavor with a hint of malt in there, really shocking. Beer finishes slightly dry overall. There is also a hint of oak and funk at the end, very slight.

Batch 002 - Again, it is clear and brown but this time the carbonation a lot higher. Large bubbles rise through the beer quickly, still no head. The aroma is slightly sweeter but is still very sour. The beer has the same sour notes at the batch 001, in fact they are pretty much the exact same flavor but this one has a slight bitterness to it. I think the bitterness helps accent the oak flavors in the back.

Batch 003 - This one appears slightly lighter than the other two, but just slightly. Still brown and clear. Not as bitter as the Batch 002 but just as sour. Some oak notes in the back.

Overall this is a top notch sour, one of my favorites by a lot. All three were great and I would have them again.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/15/08- Had on tap at the Bistro Barrel Aged fest in Hayward, CA.

Presentation- Via the tap into small taster size glasses.

Appearance- Auburn colored pour, slightly murky but ultra fine yeast sightings if any. No real head and slight lace remnents.

Smell- Large amount of sour berries and lots of brett sourness and barnyard notes.

Taste- Unlike other supperb Wild Ales by RR, this one has some serious depth. Or at least thickness and a more fruity base other than just sourness. Cherry, raspberry, blackberry...can't really tell what berry (although I think it's cherry). Very sour with sharp acidic flavor. Winelike taste due to the cab barrels used for aging. Almost seems like some mild sweetness trys to creep in, but can't get it's head through the door.

Mouthfeel- Very full mouthfeel for a Wild Ale. Sharp and ultra clean with a medium crisp carbonation level.

Drinkability- Right up there with all the other Wild Ales Vinnie brews, one of my new favorites. Winner of the fest IMO.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #006. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Medium to dark brown with almost no light passing through aside from a slight glow around the edges. A small amount of cream coloured head formed and quickly receded to almost nothing.

S - A subtle hit of grapes intermingled with the expected funky/sour yeast notes. The sourness, although definitely a big part of the nose, doesn't dominate like it does in most American Wild Ales. A complex complimentary array or armoma, includes sour cherry, vinegar and oak.

T - Tart and tangy brett flavours dominate the palate up front but. The full spectrum of flavours shows up in the middle, with currants, sour cherry and oak all combining to create a complex flavour profile. The funky/sour flavours return in the finish and linger a little bit in the after taste.

M - Light body with light to moderate carbonation.

O - This is a style that I am still developing a taste for and this is the first one that I have truly enjoyed. I am very happy tha I took a chance on this one.

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at a Portland co-op, because that's the sort of town Portland is. Anyways, I split the bottle with a couple friends and was worried the sour and funky flavors, but they actually mild compared to some of the guezes I've tried. Instead of being a big, beat you over the head sour beer, the tang compliments the fruit, estery yeast, and mellow dark malts. I should also say that for 10%, this is as drinkable as any good beer is going to be.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with ruby highlights that had a half finger head and very little lacing left on the glass. I love beers that have a nose like this one which consisted of oak funk, wine vinous characters, acidic sour notes, apples, and currants. You can definitely tell its gonna have some sour tartness. Sour vinegar currants strike first on the palate with oaky traits from the barrel, citric lemons, and cherry accents; nice sourness. The beer was medium body with a good amount of carbonation with a sweet sour and dry finish. It drank very well and is very tasty but for some reason everytime I drink a consecration I get a hangover. I guess I have overlooked the 10ABV and I always seem to drink a 750ml bottle to the neck..

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Photo of SadMachine
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a muddy brown with a small head that vanishes quickly. A tiny bit of carbonation is visible. It sure isn't pretty!

S- Thank God the smell is a vast improvement over the look! Tons of sour and funky notes. Barnyard funk and hay are prevalent, with tart cherries coming through big as well. A good bit of granny smith apple, and a touch of dark fruits (figs/currants/raisins etc.). This smells like it will be a delicious tart monster!

T- Wow, this is crazy with tons of tartness and unexpected flavors! It's definitely more boozy than expected. White grapes and the cabernet barrel is definitely evident. The tart cherries and granny smith apples are there as well. The tart bite is a bit much and isn't balanced quite enough with other flavors. Don't get me wrong, I love mouth puckering sours, but this just is lacking that extra something to make it world class.

M- The mouthfeel is thicker than most sours, but w/ the high abv this is understandable. Decent carbonation and a distinct boozy finish round it out.

O- Overall this is a very good sour that could just use some refinement and balance.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
4.41 out of 5 based on 5,148 ratings.
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