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Consecration | Russian River Brewing Company

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1,131 Reviews
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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,131 | Ratings: 5,152
Photo of HopHead84
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River. A silly bar pour leaves the beer nearly spilling out of the glass. No head. The beer is a dark, dark reddish purple.

The nose is of tart raspberries and plums with a touch of vinegar. The currants work very nicely in the beer. This is reminiscent of the Toronado 20th. There are faint alcohol notes, but it relatively well hidden for 10%. Much like the aroma, the flavor is of ripe, tart raspberries and those delicious currants again. There is a nice medium level of sourness to Consecration. The finish is dry and slightly puckering, with just a touch of alcohol.

This is a medium-full bodied sour with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is vinous. This is the closest thing I've had to Toronado. I'd love to do a side by side comparison of the two. The alcohol is well hidden, which leads to a damn drinkable strong sour. I'm glad I stocked up on this.

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

Batch 002X3

Brewed: 6/18/2008
Bottled: 4/1/2009
Primary: Abbey Ale Yeast
Conditioning: Rockpile

A: Deep chestnut brown, very bubbly, tan head, no retention, only a hint of leg.

S: Nice sour aroma with plenty of dark fruit, brown sugar, a little brett & funk, fairly woody.

T: Plenty of dark fruit and currants, a pleasant sourness (a light mix of Brettanomyces, lactobacillus & other funk), hints of cocoa and dry-roasted nuts, wood.

M: Very dry, very bubbly, with only a slight acidity.

D: A remarkably good drinker.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Capone's...
Appears a dark amber with a small white head that quickly fades. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of tart strawberries, funky barnyard, sugary fruit, vanilla oak, and rhubarb.
Taste is of the same aromas with strawberries, currants, wine and raisin flavors taking over.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, funky, chewy, with barnyard funk sticking to the palate.

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Photo of dar482
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color is a red brown bubbly beer. It almost looks like a dark Shirley Temple. Tons of big bubbles and carbonation.

The aroma has a sour funk, but there’s tons of wine tannins, lots of vinous, oak, a bit of dark fruit. However, the tartness does really stand out on this. It’s vinegar and Flanders sourness.

The flavor is vinegar tart, but then there’s tons of red wine and then some oak character. The tartness is actually hidden away as the beer warms up and blossoms to become a very red wine flavored beer. There really is not an alcohol flavor as it is like 10% ABV.

The mouthfeel on this is almost like a Coke-Cola. Tons of large bubbled carbonation that just rolls all over the tongue.

The huge wine flavors mean that you want to share this beer. I wouldn’t want 375ml myself. A good amount is to share it with someone.

This beer really stands out for me having had it next to Supplication. I preferred this actually. It’s so interesting because I’ve never had a beer that has had more red wine character in it that this. This for me is probably the best Wild Ales I have had. What a treat. It’s so different and amazing.

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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 corby112
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a deep ruby color with golden mahogany edges and a two finger frothy off-white head. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Funky, musty aroma with lots of earthy oak tannis, dry brett and vinous dark fruit. The barrel aging is very prominent in the nose with lots of red wine character. Hints of grape, currant, tart cherries and other dark berries as well as oak and subtle vanilla. This is complimented by the funky/barnyard/horsey notes.

Full bodied, intensely tart and puckering with slight acidity and some soft carbonation up front. Very funky with lots of musty, dry brett/bugs as well as a sour vinegar flavor that lingers over the barrel and vinous dark fruit notes into puckering dry finish that leaves me drooling for more. As in the aroma, the barrel character is prominent with earthy oak, slight vanilla and a prominent red wine/dark fruit flavor. Hints of grape, currant cherry, plum, raisin and other dark berries.

This beer has an incredible balance of tart, acidic, funky sourness and sweet, vinous dark fruit and it is the perfect blend of the wine and craft beer worlds.

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Photo of rudzud
3.96/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Recent batch (July). Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby garnet hue with a fizzy one finger head that fades nearly immediately. Hard swirls produce fleeting wisps.

S - Currants, vinegar, wine barrels, light funk, faint alcohol. Quite pleasant. Not too sour though.

T - Taste is considerably more sour than the nose. Powered smarties, currants, cherries, light leather. Oak tanins, a faint chocolate. The fruits almost come across as syrupy. The flavour is there, but...I just don't like it. I like black currants too so I'm kind of confused as to why I'm not digging the taste.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Nice and crisp, alcohol hidden quite nicely.

O - Overall, I'm not sure if its the syrup like flavour aspects of this or what but I'm just not digging it. I want to like it, hell, I want to love it. Unfortunately though, I do not.

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

A: Small, rapidly dissipating head. Slightly cloudy garnet color.

S: currants and vinegar. Really mouth-watering.

T: Currant on the front of the tongue, followed by a little apricot and wood. This bottle was only mildly sour, although I've had more sour pours of this beer in the past.

M: Moderately carbonated with a long, fruity finish

O: Damn good. My only complaint is that it's gotten easy enough to get around here that it's no longer the treat that it used to be.

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

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle of Batch 001-3. I received several in recent trades, so thanks to beerbeagle, jw347 and ralflord.

A: The ale is a dark crimson red that has a full wooden brown appearance from afar. A loud pop didn't conjure up as much head as I wanted, nor did what popped up linger for long.

S: The ale has a vinous aroma, the long barrel-aging stint put to good use. The wine is red and very full-bodied. Tartness is behind the red wine but not as strong as I've experienced in other RR wild ales.

T: The currants are strong up front, sweet and juicy. As the currants fade, red wine and oaky tartness come through. The red wine is cabarnet, full and rich. The barrel has added a subtle tartness that goes well with the wine. The tartness is citric, very acidic. The bite is nice, a natural flow from the fullness of the red wine.

M: The currant/red wine/oak barrel interplay is interesting. Tartness follows full barrel and sweet berries. The currants are a nice deviation from grapes.

D: The 10% alcohol never rears its head. The ale is very approachable with a pleasant tartness that never makes me pucker too much.

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Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what style glass this was served in, it was kind of a cross between a flute and a tulip. Poured a reddish mahogany with about 1/2 inch of off-white head that had medium retention and light lacing.

Grapes and wine! That is what dominated the nose, and there were traces of malt, spice and yeast in the background. Oh yes, this is mouth-puckeringly sour brew. Tart, tangy and sour, they wine flavor wasn't as strong as the had led me to expect.

The body was good, although a bit thinner than I would have liked. Drinkability was very good for a sour and the beer stayed puckerific to the last drop.

Overall, a good beer, a must try if you see it.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from caged and corked 750 ML bottle(Batch 001X2) a clear amber brown with a very spritzy head of foam. When it's spritzy, I know it's not going to last very long and it didn't. The bubbles surfacing to the top are keeping a small island afloat, so to speak. Hehe..the foam reminds me of pixels on a computer screen...

The smell is just as I remember from the samples I had at last year's GABF...Cabernet Sauvignon notes dominate with big notes of vanilla and oak and fruit that *is* currants. I love red currants on buttered toast and the smell here totally reminds me of that.

The taste is deliciously both sweet and tart up front. Maybe a bit more intense than I remember from the 1 oz samples but hey, I love that it is and I love the fact that I now have 25.4 oz, give or take a few as I've just taken a few sips, to take my time with and savour. The foam is now gone but I can still see the lively carbonation throwing up....errr...tossing...err..the bubbles are still making their way to the top nearly smack damn in the center of the glass.
Back to the taste. I'm now getting a pretty big kick from the Brett(sorry, I have a hard time spelling it out) and I'd be amiss if I didn't say there's a fair amount of caramel malt here, hence my first sentance on taste. Gee wiz this is so damn tasty and there's so much going on with the flavours, I can't describe them all properly.

Medium mouthfeel and pretty high carbonation, a plus in my book, it finishes with big sour and Brett notes. Wonderful!

Drinkability? 10%abv and I cannot taste it or feel it during or after the swallow. No warming for me at all but I *know* that when I finish this big bottle, I'll feel that all is right with the world, if that makes any sense. ;^)

Bottom line: A superb! American Wild Ale that I fell in love with from my very first sip. A must try for anyone who favours the style!

Finally..a big Thank You goes out to The Wine Underground in Englewood CO for making this available online!

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

375ML corked bottle poured into a snifter glass. 01/31/13 bottling date

Pours a gorgeous copper red color with a ton of bubbles, but the head is not out of control like you would expect from the amount of carbonation. Thousands of tiny white bubbles shoot from the bottom of the glass up towards the top, quite a sight to behold. Just about the perfect looking beer. Aroma is out of this world. Its got sweet cherries and grapes that you can smell from feet away. Taste is so tart, i love it! Sour raspberries, cherries, grapes dominate the palate here. I cannot believe this is 10%ABV, i'm blown away. A lingering tartness on the tongue after you swallow allows you to enjoy the flavor for quite some time. High carbonation, medium bodied. Goes down smooth and leaves you desiring to have another sip right away.

Overall we have a world class beer right here. Russian River really knows what theyre doing and may hold the top spot as best brewery in the world with so many quality offerings. I return to this beer again and again.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 22/4/12 batch 006

A clear light ruby red when held to the light with just a thin film foe head that falls quickly and leaves zero lace, I like the color

S funky strawberry and cassis with some oaked vinous notes with some vinegar, smells pretty good and I'd never guess it's 10%

T I prefer the taste with more sour vinegar and the cassis is easier to pick up, more vinous notes leaves me wondering if there was still wine in the barrel, I pick up on the subtle barrel notes but its the liquid grape that I can taste

M sour and leaves my mouth tingling just a little, still no heat and a slickness left behind, pin prick bubbles work well

O perhaps I was a little hard on the smell, it may have been closer to great then good, I'm more impressed by how they made a 10% BA brew that has no booze anywhere

I see a trend developing with Russian River, great stuff being brewed!! yet another big thank you too Rutager for sending me this one along with many others

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Nose: dark dried fruit – figs and prunes, earthiness, slight funk, lemon.
Deep mahogany body with a slight chill haze.
Palate: tart, dark dried fruit some faint grape notes, cherry, currants, with some malt in the background.
Medium body and medium high fine, soft carbonation.
Tart fruit flavors linger long through the finish into the aftertaste.

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

A-Transluent brown in color. Bubbly head quickly fizzes away and leaves remnants on the top of the brew.

S-Smells very tart. Strong vinegar whiffs. Sour fruits. Aged in Cab Sauv barrels and you can tell.

T-Delicious. I love this. Super-sour. Ultra tart cherry. Less vinegar than the nose. Hints of rich dark chocolate. Leaves the tongue scorched by the menacingly sour taste.

M-Very carbonated but fairly heavy on the body. Slick and memorable.

D-I only have one of these and I wish I had many, many more. Excellent. Alcohol is masked perfectly. The harsh taste leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of dwagner003
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer on tap, out of bottles fresh and out of bottles with 8-10 months of aging. On tap, which is the basis for this rating, it was one of the most enjoyable beers I've ever had the pleasure of smelling/drinking.

It's a deep reddish-brown color with almost no head. As it sits, there are absolutely no bubbles on top. The smell hits you immediately and it's just unreal. It smells sour, but there is so much more in there. Wonderfully warming oaky notes with some sweetness in the background. You can smell it from across the table.

The initial taste is that of tartness, but just wait a few seconds. Your palate is bathed with this sweetness that is perfectly subtle. The oak erupts and you can taste all those years that these barrels were filled with Cabernet. I don't taste the currants exactly, but I am sure they are contributing to the subtle sweetness.

This was FAR superior to the bottled versions. I'd buy bottles again, but I will always order it if it's available on tap.

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Photo of barczar
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lightly medicinal phenols and floral character in aroma. It's a bit funky.

Flavor is tart and sour, with a dry finish. The currants add citric acid complexity to the lactic already present. Belgian character is definitely dominated by the wild yeast.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says 091412.

A- Pours a rubyish light brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that doesn't retain long at all before fizzing away to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and extremely active patterns of surface foam. Minimal lacing.

S- Moderately sour, crisp aroma with some sweetness and a hint of spice. Mainly fruit notes like cherry, red grape and, of course, currant.

T- Strong tartness, but not too strong, with a decent amount of fruit such as plum, cherry and grape juice. There's a hint of rubbery solvent but it's actually quite complimentary. Also, I couldn't really tell that this is 10% what with the burst of other intense flavors.

M- Lots of pucker and dryness. Medium carbonation with a body on the full side for the style.

O- Yeah, I definitely dig the darker sours more than the lighter ones. Probably my favorite RR sour to date.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375cc cork and caged bottle, batch 004x1, poured into a Russian River snifter at cellar temperature and quaffed today, 5/4/2013

Aroma: Punched in the face with sourness. Tart cherries, raspberry and blackberry all jammed together. A lot of it reminds me of a good red wine (I assume Cabernet) that's gone sour. And definitely sour grapes, vinegar with a touch of earthiness. That part is like being in a barn, but subdued. I'm thinking that's the Brett funk. Full bodied nose for sure. (4)

Colour: Pours a very dark, opaque reddish brown body with minimal head, though one gets mesermized looking at the film on the surface that's got tons of tiny bubbling and bubbling in spots. It's really cool. The collar is actually quite thick, dense and white. The lacing is superbly thick like the collar, but quickly falls back into the collar. Otherwise, a tasty appearing dark ale. (4)

Flavour: Damn! This is why I love wild ales. Refreshing quantities of tart dark fruits- cherry, raspberry, blackberry, plus some honey and a good bit of the underlying brown ale malts. A good bit of vinegar hits in the middle of the experience, which rather accentuates the sweet and sour clash here. There's even a little bit of oakiness and smokiness in the finish. Overall a very complex, tasty blend of sweet fruits and malt, sourness and even more sour funkiness accentuated by some earthy oak. Truly a pleasure to quaff. (4.75)

Mouthfeel: Thinner medium bodied brew with excellent, and I truly mean excellent carbonation. It fizzes all over my mouth, coating my palate with pure sourness and earthy funk. It truly feels like a thicker, sour wine yet it brings more to the table than a merlot that's been sitting out for too long. The carbonation is fantastic and the finish is stunningly fizzly and clean yet it leaves my palate with a nice oaky, earthy aftertaste that I savor. There is absolutely no indication that this beer is a 10%. None. It's almost perfect. (4.5)

Overall: Another awesome AWA by Russian River. It's definitely a beer that any wine lover would enjoy, and absolutely a beer that any sour lover will love. It borrows a lot of characteristics of the used Cabernet barrels, but the base malt really makes itself known amidst all the sour, dark-fruity and earthy funkiness. There's a lot going on here that comes together very well, and it's truly an excellent bottle of beer to drink. (4.5)

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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 tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay Chalice

Appearance: minimal head, cloudy, chestnut brown in color, some sediment, low carbonation

Smell: cherry, sour mix, and vinegar

Taste: cherry, red wine grapes, sour mix, and vinegar

Mouthfeel: sour, light bodied, medium carbonation but very prickly..

Overall: A very good American Wild Ale worthy of a special occasion. I love the wine-like qualities in this one--although I do prefer Supplication. This one is a complex sipper that I would pick up in a heartbeat if I could find it.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002 x 3 from the Northeast Craft Beer Outlet at a rediculously good price...

A- Dark brown with red highlights. Big, whispy carbonated head that dicipates quickly. Little to no lacing.

S- Red wine, oak, tobacco. Slight red wine vinegar acidity note. Slight dark fruit note as well. Amazing.

T- Amazingly complex belnd of sour yet subtle fruit, red wine and oak, hints of vanilla. Nice earthy notes. Slight acidity on the back end. Finishes with a nice red wine taste. Perfect.

M- Medium bodied, perfect carbonation level from the yeast. Excellent smooth, silky wine like finish and aftertaste.

D- Wow, if i was never allowed to drink red wine again and wanted to still experience many of the positives, i would reach for this. The ultimate American Wild Ale experience.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.75/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from strang. Batch 008. From notes.

A - Deep red colour, cloudy with one finger of light brown head that fizzled away fast. Quite effervescent. No lace, no retention.

S - Grapes, plums, Brett, some wood, lemon candy, mustiness.

T - Tart with grapes and not much else. Musty, tart, lemons, not much 'dark' to speak of, it's mostly just a Brett assault. Maybe a tiny bit of dark fruit was there. No alcohol.

M - Strong carbonation, medium to full body, puckering tart finish.

O/D - Enjoyed it. Too bad there couldn't be more malt complexity with the Brett dialed back. Carbonation was also a bit much and made tasting a bit difficult. Not bad for a wild ale though and was pleasant to drink, but didn't seem to break new ground for the style .

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A very dark brown with some dark red edge to it. Small head, off white, almost tan like, 1/4". Aroma hits those currant, cranberry, red wine, cabernet grape, dark cherry and oak forest notes.

Taste, wow, this is a big sour, almost bitter, astringent tannin like effort. Probably the most challenging of all their wild ales, even though the alcohol is still amazingly well hidden. Its a pricey beer that keeps going up, but as far as the darker more Belgian inspired wild ales over here, it is still one of the best.

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Consecration from Russian River Brewing Company
4.41 out of 5 based on 5,152 ratings.
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