Thursday, November 17, 2011

Russian River Consecration

It's been too long since my last Russian River "ation" beer so I decided to go for one of the big ones tonight: Consecration. This is a dark sour barrel-aged beer that a lot of BeerTubers and bloggers have been raving about, but doesn't have the reputation of greatness as some other beers (or even some other RR beers for that matter). This was sent to me in a trade with and he (Sean) said it's amazing. Would I agree? Watch and find out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (571) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 17, 2011
I poured a 375ml caged and corked bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beautiful shade of hazy ruby red/mahogany. Forms a tiny head which fizzles away like a soda.

Smell: Distinct sour red grape with a lot of vinous overtones. Strong vanilla/wood aroma imparts rustic earthiness.

Taste: You know a beer is going to be great when, upon your first sip, you can’t think straight afterwards because you’ve just experienced so many different flavors at once! That’s what happened to me just a few seconds into Russian River Consecration. Wow! Where to begin? It’s like a Belgian quad that’s been soured and wood-aged with some roasted malts added and gone flat. I’ll break it down:

It begins with immediate sourness - the tasty kind you find in beers like this brewed with wild ales. Next comes dark, tart, acidic fruits like cherry, black cherry, currants, blackberries, and sour red grapes. It’s similar to sangria, but with an overt sourness to it. After all that comes the barrel-aged portion with strong vanilla and wood flavors - akin to a clean rum. I even detect a brief, subtle flavor of chocolate or dark roasted malts, although I doubt there’s any used in the brewing of the beer. It comes full circle back to the sourness, only stronger and drier, with a surprisingly clean aftertaste. It’s delicious and I want more!

Mouthfeel: Thin, tepid, slight warming sensation and accompanying taste of alcohol.

Drinkability: Russian River Consecration is an expensive beer, which is a shame because it’s so easy to drink and such a delight for the palate that you wish one bottle didn’t cost the same as a 12-pack of most supermarket beers. The palate is strong as hell, no denying it, but the drinking process is amazingly easy. It goes down like water, and it’s even refreshing for a moment with no cloying after effects. An amazing beer on so many levels.
Grade: 10/10

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