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: 1,143 | Ratings: 5,202
Photo of laituegonflable
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky, Hellish red colour, brown mostly but with an ominous red tinge. Modest beige head sinks to a rim at the top. Lace is fairly nice, sticky sheets but not very clingy. Bit of cloud in the body. Nice colour, otherwise fairly impressive.

Lots of character on the nose - mostly sweet, with lots of fruit, berries and currants on there. A very sweet, almost creamy character comes up behind, a bit of caramel sweetness, some light toffee and some light milk chocolate notes. Also on there is funk, a hint of leather, pongy brie, barnyard animal notes. Lots of oak as well, and even some vanilla. Funk is slight - just a nice whisper lingering at the back of the nose, which is not just very nice - it's divine in fact. Superbly complex but balanced, just gives a lot without demanding. Incredible.

Taste is sour all over that. Starts off quite acidic, with a sharp citric twang to it, and the flavour of that continues to the mid without ever going overboard and being puckering, or painful. It's almost like the mid is 'cut off' by the flavour of the currants, which comes through fairly late but just in time it seems to clip off the puckering sourness. Really impressive effect with tart, underripe berries on the front, really seems painful, then a sweet-but-tart currant character and plenty of rich, fruity flavours on the back - prunes and currants and a big brandy alcohol warmth. Hints of oregano and other mixed herbs as well complete a really excellent, interesting palate profile. It gives you all the power of the funk but without the intensity or harshness. A challenging brew, but very, very enjoyable.

Slick and dry on the feel, really. Lots of body but never thick or syrupy, goes down well and although the puckering flavour is so expertly cut off, the sensation is still there, and the mouth feels a little sucked dry at the end. Good for the style though.

An excellent, extremely thirst-quenching, interesting, pleasant, beer. I could go on. An excellent choice to be my #500 review.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brought back from California wrapped safely in my luggage, cracked open with my bro @LaitueGonflable to celebrate his 500th review on BeerAdvocate.

Pours a dark deep blood red colour, dark grape-juice with a filmy tan head that collapses very quickly. Lots of carbonation swirling up through the depths, which makes the beer look alive, with a nice bead. Looks very heavy in the glass as well, although the carbonation is large-bubbled. Looks very decent.

Big vinous notes on the nose - lots of tannic red wine, tobacco leaf, dark curranty fruits and a hint of musty oak. Slight funk coming off it as well - although the acidity isn't present here, there's a whiff of barnyard and ripe cheese on the nose. Altogether, it's a wonderfully refined nose, sweet subtlety bouncing off rambunctious wildness.

Extremely long and full palate, starting with vinous acidity backed with earthy oak and tannic tobacco leaf. Port like heat seems to well slightly as the palate continues, leaving a warm booze note. Just when you think that's the end, up comes the berry-like currant note flushing its sweet-sour finish like warmed Christmas pudding over the palate. It is ever threatening to burst to extremes, but everything holds everything else together and it just rampages down the middle ground, never veering too far one way or the other. Coupled with this is the complex mouthfeel, that lingers through crewy and ripe at the start, almost touching harsh heat as the alcohol note comes through, before finishing with a cleansing, slightly puckering note. I've possibly never had a beer with a longer and more expressive palate - the fact that long after the beer is gone, there is still a dance of different characters developing is absolutely sublime. The complexity is amazing - the way the palate develops after each sip is absolutely stunning.

This is an absolutely exceptional beer. There's no getting around it. This beer proves why American Wild Ale is a unique style, and why it is such a well-regarded one at that. It also cements in my mind Russian River as an exceptional brewery. The complexity is incredible - I can't believe how much there is going on. Let's just put it bluntly, this is a really, really, really good beer.

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Photo of APetitfils
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light, almost Red-copper, lightens up to a more golden brown when in direct light. Tried in a snifter

S: Initial sour tones. Replaced with definite oaky wine signatures. Fruity smells interlaced as well. After opening up the richness of the oaky-wine and fruit aromas become more prevalent, blends with the alcohol

T: Sour-sweetness overrides all first flavors and sensations. As is opens up the oak and cabernet remnants become nicely apparent and equalize the sour beginning.
NOTE: Truly my initial impression was shock. The sourness was so strong that I almost fell aghast. Yet, with patience its true oak and cabernet personality began to show itself. Sweeter taste after breathing

Mouthfeel: The lack of strong carbonation is taken over by the sourness and tannins from the oak conditioning. Again, after opening up the richness becomes more apparent, but never surpasses the sour blast. The alcohol did not produce strong warmth

Drinkability: This beer was my first funky American Wild Ale that was conditioned in cabernet oak casks. The sourness was honestly overpowering at first, both through the smell and taste (more so with the taste). However, as the beer opened up the aromas firstly became very exciting and did the beer's conditioning absolute justice. The taste took longer to come around, but as I began to realize the complexity I wanted nothing but more.

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

Big thanks goes out to seanpachefddfa for sending me this. Sean, you are the man. Been holding on to this for a while and finally chose to crack it open during a giant snowstorm.

Batch 001x4

Pours a pretty much clear burgundy ruby color, with a off white head that starts out at about two fingers but fizzles out very quickly, leaving no lacing behind. Good color, and the lack of head is understandable.

The nose is intensely sour and tart, with a nice woody character, and a light funk in the background. A nice, acidic sourness fuels this beast and is definitely the focal point. As it warms, the English Barleywine-like maltiness of the base beer comes out ever so slightly.

As soon as it hits your lips, the blast of acidic burn hits you like a wall. Intensely sour and mouthpuckeringly tart. Tart cherries with a nice woodyness. The bugs have definitely been working hard in this one. The huge malty base beer comes out more in the taste than it did in the nose, tastes like an aged Barleywine.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with a mouthpuckering sourness. Drinkability is dangerous, as the 10% is hidden very well.

Overall, a very good sour beer. A sipper, and one to enjoy over the course of an hour or more. Savor this one, enjoy it. I look forward to trying more of this in the future. Thanks Sean!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR
Poured a burgundy color with red hues and a nice white head. Nose is tart berries, oak and just a plain overall sour aroma. Taste followed the nose ery much the same with tart berries being the first thing you taste and then oak, booze and earthiness. This is my favorite RR sour. Very tasty, big, and awesome. Alcohol is noticable but the flavor just tends to bury it. Very damn good.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to capra12 for providing this one. Been waiting a long time for this... had at a tasting 1/29. Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 750ml. bottle into a 8oz. pint glass.

A: Moderate pour yields a 3 finger light reddish-chocolate head that shrinks quickly. Beer is a crystal clear purple and leaves no lacing.

S: Woody funk, grape, fresh red fruit, slightly boozy. Pretty typical of RR sours and I can see how this is like a "cousin" of Temptation. Sharp, distinct constrast with the other beer.

T: Sweet, fresh red grapes, tartness throughout. Slightly boozy as it travels to the middle of the throat. Oaky tones are strong throughout along with a funk and Brett flavor. The whole experience is very deep here and the best way to describe it is this is as close to wine as I've had from a beer.

M: Light to medium bodied, dry, lingering and watery. Sourness is puckering and it really gets the saliva in the mouth flowing. Puckeringly sour though this isn't a one shot hit your face sour, this is a drag it out, continually pounding sourness...

D: Highly enjoyable. For me, this is strictly better than Temptation though both are solid beers. Deeper and more complex and I enjoy the dark fruit overtones in this one. Worthy of the praise. Seek it out!!

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Sour grapes, rich ripe dark fruit, tartness, some cellar / wild yeast character. Delightful.

Taste: While its full frontal sour without a doubt, this is tempered by incredibly juiciness....grapes, apples, plums. There's even some banana flavor. A bit of spiciness and low lying woodiness and dryness add interest. No alcohol presence. Finish is very, very fruity, slightly oaky and slightly dry.

Notes: Like a great Cabernet but sweeter, fruitier, and more delicious.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful dark brown color with red hues. Nice tan head fades quickly. This beer has fairly restrained carbonation. Sourness is evident in the aroma from the first whiff. Apple cider vinegar mixed with brown sugar and fermented berries. Wow, this tastes amazing. Tons of sour, tart cherries, berries, citric acid and vinegar. This is backed up by a dark sugar, caramely malt base with what seems like a hint of vanilla and a bit of spice. Also has a bit of a red wine like quality. Quite tasty and begging for another sip. Fairly full bodied with a somewhat sticky finish. The sour helps balance off the sweetness in the finish. Also worth mentioning that for being it goes down quite smooth. Cannot detect the 10% ABV at all. For the style I would say this is quite drinkable. I think I will have another!

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Photo of djbreezy
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Saraveza in Portland, OR in a snifter

Appearance - Nice foamy head, moderate lacing, dark brown copper appearance

Smell - Fruit aromas

Taste - Has a cider/wine taste, some citrus, very sour

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, medium-light thickness, a bit tingly on the tongue

Drinkability - Delicous beer. Highly regarded and worth it. Could easily finish a 750mL bottle if I wasn't driving anywhere.

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Photo of SiphonKing
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazing barrel-aged sour beer from Russian River. Thanks Cole for having this brought in from the West Coast for some Midwest beeries. Lots of sour and delicious puckery taste to this beer. The currants add a rasiny almost fruity aftertaste to the palate. The Cab. barrel must have had a hand in adding some sort of tannic quality to the beer but it is not overpowering. The sour really shines through. Excellent time in the barrel and very delicious. A true sipping beer and a worthy treat!

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Photo of hayesez
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with vasdef42. Thanks for the hook-up and extreme generosity, Jared!

Shared with my wife and poured into my New Belgium tulip glass (also courtesy of vasdef42). We've been stuck on this Wild Ale kick and have enjoyed trying several new beers!

This one presents a dark copper pour leaving a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Against the wishes of Russian River, I swirl the good stuff and top off my glass. A light brown two-finger head is perched atop this brew and the sediment muddies it, and the rest of the beer, just a bit. When held to the light, the beer shines a deep red.

The smell was surprisingly mild. Not as much funk as I would expect, but I could definitely get a whiff of the sour. Hints of dark red fruits with vinous tendencies.

The taste is an intense tart and sour. The red wine is definitely there, as well as the dark fruit. A lighter medium-bodied beer that has a divine lingering astringency. It ended up being a bit much for my wife...but that just means more for me. The 10% alcohol was not detectable at all. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer...seems to be commonplace for Russian River.

Consumed on 1/27/2010

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Photo of hardy008
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 003X3. Pours a ruby brown color with a tan head which did not last long. After I opened the bottle, I went to put the corkscrew away and could smell the beer from 10 feet away. Smells of sour cherries, currants, vinegar, oak, and some vanilla. So far, this is hands down the best tasting sour ale I have had. The taste matches the smell almost perfectly, except the vinegar is muted, and the cherries are more tart than sour.

Finishes dry, with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. The alcohol is well hidden for 10%. Light, fizzy carbonation, and medium bodied. Very smooth for a sour or wild ale. Very drinkable.

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Photo of davod23
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 3 poured into my Bruery tulip.

Pours a deep, clear garnet. A light beige head rises up and fizzles away immediately - and I do mean immediately. I barely had time to note the color before it was gone. Ah well, that's expected in a big sour like this one. Holding the beer up to the light, there are the most beautiful shimmering golden highlights. Beautiful.

Smell is good. I believe that I am sensing a pattern where my lowest score for my reviewed beers tends to be on the aroma. I don't know why that is - but often I wish that the aroma was more in my face. That's the case here. I am getting plenty of sour fruit here, mostly currants, red berries and perhaps a bit of raisin and cherry. Smells sour. A hint of the barrels, and I can detect red wine from the cabernet. Very inviting, if not as robust as I would like ideally.

Taste is superb. Massive sour fruit kick, currants and berries mostly. This is sour, but not puckeringly so - there is a sweetness that offsets it nicely. Tannic, oaky. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Robust. Especially full mouthfeel for the style. The lack of head belies the active carbonation.

I drank a full 750 of this two nights ago, and I'm doing it again tonight. This is INSANELY drinkable for a 10% American Wild. Insane.

This is my second-favorite Russian River sour behind Supplication. Highly, highly recommended.

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Photo of Fweezle
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this bottle of batch 1 sitting in the cellar and decided to crack it open.
Pourned a murky reddish brown with a soda fizz head that dissipated as quickly as it formed. Smell was really great. Deep musty wood, a hint of barnyard and sour fruit. Taste rivaled the tartness of La Folie, bracingly sour. I couldn't believe it. A healthy dose of barnyard funk intermingled with red wine tannins and oak wood. Almost spicy. Outstanding. Mouthfeel was light, not too fizzy but kept a nice sour tartness on the tongue. Not thin by any means. Drinkablility was pretty good although it was a little rough getting the last bit down. I could feel the glands in my jaw start to swell a little bit, and my mouth was getting pretty dry from all the tartness, but didn't change the amazingness of this beer. 10%? No way.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle, provided by a BA member, this beer was a murky, copper color. The head was similar to the color of toasted wood, the retention was ok as a thin collar and the lacing in spots. The aroma was big and sweet with dark fruits, grapes and raisins, currants, sweet dough, alcohol and candied fruit. Like an alcohol infused fruitcake! The flavors were very similar to the aroma but aggressively tart. Highly acidic which was further pronounced by the alcohol punch and I tasted the additions of kirsch as well as some funky, musty wood. The currants truly came through on the finish giving the brew a unique character. The mouthfeel was good, the body medium and the carbonation light/medium. For 10% it was very drinkable and an excellent example of the variety and complexity available within the American Wild Ale style.

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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 snpub540
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am just beginning to venture into the world of sour and this is going to keep me here for sure.

A pop and some whisps of smoke on taking the cork out. Poured a brown hue with some amber highlights when held up to the light. Vigorous pour brought about a fizzy head that dissappeared very quickly. Lots of carbonation at first that settled down into a playful dance of bubbles.

My nose was first hit with a vinegar sourness, but in a good way. Also scents of green apple and cherry. At this point I was a little intimidated.

The first taste is almost mouth puckering, but then the crisp and sweet green apple flavor kicked in. Also some sour cherry notes in there. Finally a dry woody finish. Very vinous in its qualities.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and crisp. The carbonation was wonderful, adding another amazing aspect to this beer. It's amazing that it has taken me this long to venture into sour beers or anything from RR for this long. Definately an amazing treat.

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Photo of brentk56
4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
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 cvstrickland
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork-in-cage bottle, courtesy of Murchmac. Thanks, Tim!

The well-rested, cellar-cool bottle yields its stopper with a vigorous *poof* and a high-speed blast of funky fruitiness. Poured into my Maredsous goblet, Consecration is quite clear when held before the light and ruby-hued amber in color. This barrel-aged beauty sports an effervescent, quick-fading cap of grainy beige foam, and active carbonation roils continuously to the surface. A soft sheet of slumping non-stick lacing follows the liquid to its terminus at the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is pungently fruity with a mildly acidic malt-vinegary edge. Notes of cherry, sugary dates, soft green leaves, and a snap of spice are cleanly accented with dry oak and a drop of vanilla.

The taste is crisply fruity with a musky, tannic, vinegary bite. Notes of tangy cherry-laced cider vinegar are grounded in a mild earthy funk and sharpened with a splash of naked acidity, tooth-squeaking tannins, and a big fat dose of lively carbonation. The profile is propped up with a cool dry oakiness laced with vanilla that lingers long into the aftertaste. Successive pours with increasing amounts of lees in suspension offer a growing notion of woody nuttiness, and a touch of soft dark fruits and a pleasantly-buggy note of dank, muddy, twangy wildness accent the entire experience.

The drink is light-medium in body with vivacious carbonation. The fluffy, refreshing, tangy nature of the brew belies the otherwise invisible 10% ABV and lends itself to being quaffed more quickly than is likely advisable. Good stuff, Murch, and thanks again!

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

750 ml bottle Batch 001x2. Acquired in a trade and has been aging in my cellar since. Poured into a snifter. Consumed last night.

A-Body is a very hazy translucent medium mahogany hue. Pours with an approximately 1 finger foamy off-white head but this quickly fades pretty quickly leaving only a thin collar.

S-Nose has a very pungent acidic tartness from and is all that I noticed initially. With a deeper look aromas of oak, cigars, red wine, and cherry pits are also noted.

T- Much like the nose the flavor initially is dominated by a sharp acidic sourness all the way through with a very clean finish. With a deeper look and as one becomes more accustomed to the sourness the oak barrel flavor comes through as well as red wine and tobacco-more so with the finish than initially. Its interesting because the more you sip the more complex the beer becomes and the more you notice. The slightest alcohol

M- Exceptionally smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. Body is thick, velvety smooth, and rich.

D- Wow. This is another excellent sour from the folks at Russian River. Delicious, rich, and complex. This beer has aged very well so far and is certainly a slow sipper. This should definitely be shared- 750ml is too rich for one person in one sitting. This is a beer that I would love to have again.

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Photo of spointon
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 750ml brown bottle into a stemmed goblet. This bottle was from "Batch 3", sent to me by the great BA Schmittymack.

A= Poured a very clear deep reddish brown color with a short lived 1/2" off-white head. There was a ton of active carbonation release...a constant stream of gas rising out of this brew.

S= A heady, complex array of malt, lactic sourness, brett funk, fruity sweetness, wood, red wine, and hints of chocolate and tobacco. Entirely captivating.

T= Every bit as good as the smell if not better. The acidic sourness was there throughout, but was never overpowering. Lots of malt sweetness and what I believe was a bit of candi sugar made it through to the taste buds. Complex fruity/tart notes of currants & cherries. The wild yeast components gave flavors of light vinegar and a refreshing edge. I was particularly happy with the hints of oak and red wine still lingering in the taste. Subtle yet delicious. Finished dry, tart, and crisp.

MF= Medium bodied with a very active and crisp carbonation. Entirely refreshing to the mouth.

D= This was balanced, complex, and extremely refreshing. Dangerously drinkable for the ABV. A world class beer for sure!

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Photo of DrJay
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 (002X3).
Clear chestnut brown with a fizzy/soapy, short-lived beige cap. It looked a lot like a glass of Coke, with not much head or lace to speak of. It was a light gusher too, so watch out. Aromas of tobacco leaf, cherries, berries, currants, earthy with a light funk, red wine, strawberry seeds, hint of cocoa. More earthiness as it warms. The flavour was a combination of fruity and earthy, chocolate covered raisins, berries/currants, a bit tart but very pleasant and non-aggressive in this character. Faint vinegar, light woody oak, green berries. Mild alcohol and warmth in the finish with a lingering berry sweetness. Medium bodied and off-dry, moderate carbonation after the initial loss of aggressive carbonation (it took about 20 minutes to clear from the bottle), a bit of woody astringency. I really liked this one. Nicely balanced with complex fruit flavours.

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Photo of joepais
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Santa justn for sending this my way.
Bottle split three way's among friends in tulip glasses. It had a slight head off white that just went away. The body of the brew was a red to brown.

The aroma was by far the best sour I have smelled in a while there were currants, chocolate covered cherries and funk. This is one complex brew. it had a light carbonation but If I was to hand it to some of my European relatives the would immediately think this was some sort of carbonated red wine. It was fruity and slightly tart to the taste. This is a great wild one of the best I have had.

Drinkability was what I expected. I took my time with the brew and enjoyed every drop and a hour after the glass was gone I wanted more.
It's a world class brew from a world class brewer

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

750 mL bottle courtesy of bmanning. Batch 002x3, poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark cognac-hued - sort of a orange raisin, a slightly-hazed burnt amber - that's clear enough in a vacuum that you can see some cloudy, suspended yeast when you hold this attractive beer up to the light. The head is precisely what you would expect on a 10% wild ale - it's eruptive, fizzy, and fades as quickly as it rises up. I'd estimate that it lasts in any significant form a mere fifteen seconds, and at least ten of that is supported on the backs of thousands of small, mercurial bubbles. The effervescence on this bottle is fierce, but that much was obvious from the pop of the cork - it ultimately fades down to a more controlled, lackadaisical, less dense, but still consistent, even though by this point it's only supporting the thinning, balding ring of fuzz around the rim of the glass. The lacing is again what you'd expect from a beer of this style, glittery, and largely runny, with only frail, thin tendrils clinging ever so infrequently.

Aroma: I served this one relatively warm, but give it even more time to warm to let it truly shine. The base beer is wonderfully rich, decadent even, and you can smell its pungency even beyond the swarm of Brett notes - huge caramel, rum-soaked raisins, buttery toffee, and faint boozy alcohol provide the base for an amazing array of complex, interlacing tart, sour, fruity, and lactic notes. The lactic notes intermingle with the slightly buttery notes and the caramel sugars in the base beer - dulce de leche? - but that's almost an afterthought in this aroma. Tart fruity notes are dominated by the currants, but the tartness lends apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, and melons. And don't forget the slightly funky, moderately and faintly cheesy Brett note, the vinous tannins, nor the moderately woody, toasty barrel notes.

Taste: It's taking me a while to get ahold of what I'm tasting here. The base beer is more well hidden here than it was in the nose, or I suppose a better way to put it would perhaps be that I taste sour more pungently than I smell sour. Or something. The sweetness is nonetheless potent, showcasing brown sugar, huge caramel notes, and dark fruit sugars. Slightly acetic, acidic sourness intermingles with a huge, vastly complex array of fruit notes - kiwi, green apples, currants, plums, red grapes - and the slew of green, vinous, leafy, tannin-y, and wooden notes. Some thick, barnyardy Brett beautifully accompanies the lactic sourness here, and the mild alcohol note that's here is well buried under the sweet'n'sour combo. The Brett and sweetness intensifies as it warms, enhancing the sweet side of the sweet'n'sour duo, rendering a darker, more savory beer - indeed, as it hits warm temperature, I'd say it's about a 1:1 ratio.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably soft. A seemingly irrelevant but really not-so-much anecdote: my favorite band is Steely Dan, and my favorite thing about Steely Dan is how their music - oftentimes showcasing complex compositions with bright, competent instrumental work and upbeat tempos - is juxtaposed against their lyrics, which can range from perverse to downright morbid. The mouthfeel of this beer is the Steely Dan of mouthfeels. After the initial blast of carbonation has fallen off (during which time it's, yes, admittedly a little explosive, uneven, fluffy), this is a smooth, gentle brew, which is wonderfully juxtaposed with the sweetly pungent and sourly potent one-two kick that the flavor profile of this brew is all about. It's quite the dichotomy, but the seemingly inharmonious combination works wonders on the palette.

Drinkability: There was a time not too long ago when I'd have rated the taste and aroma of this one well below the mouthfeel and appearance. Sours have grown on me since then, and this is one of the best I've had. The sweet and sour combo almost reminds me of an Oud Bruin in places, but there's enough sourness here that it falls firmly in the right place (and it's also probably not purely funk enough). It's hard for me to give anything that's 10% abv a drinkability that's too high, ergo the score on this one, but it's still pretty amazing. This one seems like one you couldn't age too terribly long without it getting violently carbonated, but I would have liked the pure Brett on this one to be a little more pungent (something that would only come with additional age) - I'd love to try Batch 001 right around now, or to get a current bottle and let it sit for 2, 3 years. A phenomenal brew, brimming with complexity, aromas, and flavors, this one would have paired well with some Roquefort or Stilton ... had I had any. Curses!

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Photo of rwdkosak
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby with a foamy head that doesn't linger long and settles to a ring for the rest of the drink. Smell is of light sour note of currant. Taste is clean, sour, currant again with nice full oak flavor that balances well to the finish leaving a great aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good as well with pleasant carbonation, a great sour. Drinkablility is lower simply because of the 10% ABV but could easily have a couple of snifters of this.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
4.41 out of 5 based on 5,202 ratings.
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