Russian River Consecration (American Wild Ale)
The Russian River sours are the beers that really sent me down the path of wild and sour ales, and it was nice to return to the brewery to try them again.
Consecration is a big sour. It’s wild tasting–this is a tough taste to describe, but where some styles are more controlled like porters or IPAs, these sours taste really natural. Gotta taste it to understand. It’s got a big ABV at 10%, and it quite expensive, as batches are fermented naturally and the brewer has no real way of knowing whether or not it’ll work. Consecration is then aged in oak Cabernet barrels, adding to the flavor profile, as well as the cost.
I got mine on draft at the brewery and it comes out a dark ruby color with barely any head and a light bit of lacing. Smell is good, but not very strong. If you’re used to fruits sours (Duchesse, Rodenbach, etc), Consecration will surprise you. Yes, it’s got it’s fruit, but it’s a tart dark fruit heavily infused by the oak, rather than the cranberry, cherry, and balsamic fruit flavors a more, well, fruity sour will give ya.
Although Consecration scores a blistering 97/100 at Beer Advocate and I really do like it a lot, I’m a fan of more fruity or minerally sours. Would I drink it again? Helllllls yes, but kicking $7 for a tulip of it, getting knackered by the ABV, and passing up Russian River’s other delectable options will probably not happen again.
And if you haven’t made your way to the brewery yet, I highly, highly recommend it. The choices are vast, the prices are decent, food is pretty darned good (Drew Bites!), and the service is decent.
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