750 ml bottle sent to me by the great rhinos00. This was actually the beer I was most excited about that he sent me in the Gentleman's Club BIF. This beer is special to me because it is the official beer that is helping me celebrate this Pen's Cup victory tonight. Big night for a big beer. Served up in a tulip, lets do this shit. Batch #1
A: Pours a dark brown in color. It actually does have some varied colors in here with an almost red/ruby/plum color coming across. I think a nice plum hue is the best way to describe the look, nice! Kinda a hint of dark red wine. The beer is pretty opaque, not seeing any light come through and I can't see through it for sure. The head was huge and when I popped the cork, there was a good amount of overflow coming out of the bottle. The head is almost a light brown in color and is about two fingers in height. Sadly, it falters quickly and I am getting no lace on the glas. Ah well, still a good looking brew.
S: Smell is nice for sure. Getting the Cab wine barrel aging for sure. Nice dark grape presence with a nice robust aroma. Then the sour kicks in. Getting some nice sour granny smith apples and some tart dark cherries coming across. A nice touch of some red wine vinegar in here bringing even more tart qualities. The oak is there with a slight sweetness coming from a touch of vanilla along with that nice wood. Very nice and absolutely appetizing. Well played, sir.
T: Nice red wine vinegar up front, bringing the sour and tart first and foremost. Slapping you across the face with sour flavors. The fruits are some really tart green apples, dark ass cherries, and touch of sour and grainy pear. Really nice cab flavor comes across with dark grape acidity and a touch of the tannins. The grapes are dark and heavy but they still have a sweetness to them. Yet again you get that slight hint of oak, but the wine and grape translates a lot more. Just the slight sweetness from the vanilla from the oak creeps in. That sour really translates and the brett makes its presence known for sure with a slight touch of funk. Maybe just a touch of tobacco on the back end that brings that rich and dark earthiness. SOOOO, nice.
M: Medium in body that has a really nice carbonation (maybe a bit of a suprise). Actually pretty damn crisp and thirst quenching. Has a nice drying quality to it that is just enough to keep you pulling from the glass. The feel is tart and puckering but never gets unpleasant. ABV is nicely hidden where the drying quality is the most prevelant quality. Not really getting much warmth out of this beer from the ABV. The aftertaste is all the tart and sour flavors just mingling pleasantly on the palate. Awesome here.
D: Not a problem to drink at all. Sometimes I have a problem with some sours and wilds, but this one is easy to take care of. Actually refreshing as hell and has a nice and light drinkable quality. never have a problem taking another pull. A well crafted beer from start to finish. Sure I could use a bit more head and lace but screw it, the flavor, aroma and feel more than make up for that lack. Drink it if you got it. Great beer.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 06-13-2009 05:23:07
Served In: Tulip
This bottle comes from one of the best traders out there, BitterBill, thanks again Bill! Consecration pours like a Coke with the same dark body bordering on black with burgundy highlights and a fizzy, easily rising dirty tan head. The head rose to two fingers in height and fizzled rather quickly to a solid cap with streams of active carbonation rushing up the sides of the glass to revive the suds. Cascading drink lines stick to the snifter after each swig.
The nose on this wild is insanely interesting and unique. Huge notes of currants and buttery oak simply jump from the glass. The aromas stack like legos. Under the barrel aging and currant addition there are deep notes of cabernet, black cherry, an earthy cocoa, and a squeeze of lactose. The oak aging brings vanilla to the table and I keep getting a hint of black licorice that, oddly enough, seems to fit near perfectly. Along with some warming walnuts start to show themselves; crazy. Consecration gets my smeller working overtime.
Tartness washes over my tongue from the get go, just enough to cause a little pucker. Currants again take the lead throughout. A touch of cola sweetness comes across mid palate. The complexities are nearly dizzying. The oak meshes with the cabernet, vinous flavor and the currants perfectly. Zesty black cherry hits on the swallow along with a touch of anise and dusty cocoa. I wouldn't have expected to find the anise and cocoa qualities in this beer but they work amazingly well. I've only begun to scratch the surface on the complexities of this brew.
The body is incredibly light and airy when taking the abv into consideration. Each drink just rolls across the tongue with ease while a lively, but far short of prickly, carbonation works its magic. The finish is tartly sweet; impressive.
There is not a touch of noticeable alcohol in this beer which makes it a dangerous drinker. The flavors keep me coming back as soon as the last drink is swallowed. The tartness on the finish keeps me coming back for more.
Russian River does it yet again with this incredible brew. Consecration is an incredibly unique libation that I honestly can't get enough of. I will be getting more bottles in the future, without a doubt. Thanks for this treat, Bill!
Served In: Pint Glass
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.
Served In: Pint Glass
This one is dedicated to the birth of my son, Luke.
Who loves ya? This guy!!!!
Thanks go to smellysell and stopbarking for the opportunity to try this!
A resounding *pop* of the cork and this one comes tumbling forth into my goblet just the most beautiful shade of deep burgundy... dark as the label itself. Clear and inviting, with a two finger cap of mocha latte colored froth. The cap quickly falls to about 3/16s of an inch in height - and this is where it remains. A quick swirl brings a foamy reaction, with lacing slipping down the walls of the glass leaving no trace of their being...
Aroma is tart, borderline sour. A slightly caramel-like sticky sweetness is pulled into the nostril's, followed quickly by a dark fruit sweetness - yes yes -currants and dark cherries and perhaps just a handful of raisins. Next wafting to the nose is an oaky tannic aroma, deep and complex, throwing a touch of vanilla/grape skin around. A light, dusty/musty funk aroma follows everything up, blending and complimenting along it's way... slightly cheesy, with some attic funk thrown in... nice.
Tart this is - not all that sour at all. And I am completely into it. Very Flemish Red like in a way... not overly vinegary at all... just a real light vinegar base, if you will - just noticeable. The fruit is the star here, the same dark fruits noted in the aroma - currants (of course) and soft, dark, sweet cherries. The fruit element blends quite well with the tartness of this beast, bringing a complex offering to the tongue. Rounding things out as well are the same funky notes mentioned by the nose... musky cheese hanging in an attic. The oak aging in Cabernet barrels smooths everything out and just adds more to the complex nature. Everything blends well and carries throughout the everlasting finish.
Medium to full in body. Smooth, almost airy mouthfeel, with a dry, puckering finish. Carbonation is very good -prickly- a touch more zip would be nice, but what is there very nicely compliments the whole experience. Just an oh-so-slight hint of boozy warmth to this (again, me likey).
Insanely drinkable. Insanely refreshing, enjoyable yet challenging all at the same time. Complex. Balanced.
I really like this... I really can see a comparison to a Flemish Red being made here, same qualities and characteristics - with a twist.
Love the use of currants in conjunction with wine barrels for aging - classic combo.
I am soooo very glad I have another bottle yet, and will be seeking out more.
Happy Birthday, my son.
Served In: Pint Glass
Gushed when I popped the cork and ended up getting some yeast in the glass as a result of a rushed pour! I think I need to start chilling my sours instead of just pouring them at cellar temp since this is a pretty consistent problem. It pours a ruddy brown with a big dark tan head that vanishes almost immediately. There is absolutely no lacing at all.
When I put it to my nose it smells amazing similar to a big Cab initially, but this is accompanied by sour vinegar and an earthy funk.
You’re hit with a nice tartness and cider vinegar up front. As it rolls across the sweetness from the currants provide a nice balance to the tartness. Right before the finish the alcohol makes an appearance. While it is a bit hot, it isn’t unpleasant. I think I was more just caught off guard because it isn’t something I’m used to in a sour. It finishes extremely long and dry.
The carbonation and body both fall in the average range. It works well with the flavors and extremely dry finish.
It’s probably a good thing these are so expensive since at 10% it is amazing drinkable. The depth of flavor and balance is simply amazing. This is one of the few $20+ bottles of beer that I’ve had that I would shell out the money for again without hesitation.
Served In: Pint Glass
I'm decided I'm not waiting any longer on this one. Thanks to Westsidethreat for the bottle.
A - Big pop on the cork. Pour produces a full two and a half inches of fizzes, cola like foam. It recedes just like it would on a soda, fizzing down, but leaves a nice coating on the surface. Body is carmelized sugar. Pretty much clean with no real haziness.
S - Wow. Smells as great as my favorite Russian River beers do. Nice big tart/sour aroma that seems to be signature to Vinnie's creations. Fruity for sure, the currants are standing out. Also standing out is the wine-like qualities from the barrels used.
T - Starts out attacking the palate with a big tart blast. Lemon and lime tartness. Takes a couple sips for your taste buds to adjust to the tartness, then you are better able to appreciate the other flavors going on here. Big time fruity, wine-like characters. Grapes, currants, with a very vinous character. Every sip makes me want to take another one. A bit of woodiness comes along, with a touch of bitterness that seems derived from the wood. Berries come in with strawberry, blackberry, and bing cherries. Brown sugar sort of floats underneath the whole time. The aftertaste is mostly tartness with a touch of sour, making your mouth water for another sip.
M - Medium bodied, this one gets a bit acidic midway through, then calms back down. The fizziness almost helps to open your taste buds.
Overall - Ok, I constantly have to debate over the price of beers like these, but there is no debate on this one. It is well worth what it is selling for. Go and get some if you can.
Served In: Tulip
Had some of this on tap at the insane “TION Night” at O’Brien’s Pub.
The beer was poured into a Chimay goblet. The color of the beer was of a burnt brown sugar, and only a very thin ring of bubbles around the glass.
The aroma at first was a bit mute but that was due to the beer not being at the proper temperature and the glass being full, so I let this one warm up for about 30min while I worked on another beer. Upon revisiting the beer had a huge note of grapes, currants, brown sugar, toasted malts, and a vinous character. The beer continued to develop until the final sip, as it opened up there were more fruity notes of strawberry and cherries as well as some chocolate and fleshy raisins, figs, and maple in the background. I picked up a burst of tart grapes upfront and sweet brown sugar in the finish.
The taste was just as complex as the aroma, even a little more. A rush of currants, grapes, vinegar, brown sugar, and raisins. There was a strange, but very interesting and tasty, combination of sweet and tart fruits, as well as chocolate, toast, and nuts in the finish. Hugely complex, I would easily put this one up there with the likes of Toronado 20th for complexity.
The mouth-feel was acetic mid-way through up until the finish, tart upfront, with very smooth and low carbonation. Very refreshing, easy to drink, and the alcohol is masterfully hidden.
I can’t wait to try this one again.
Served In: Goblet
Sampled Falling Rock, GABF week 2008
I was able to sneak into a spot at the bar and got one of the first glasses of this, the first keg blew in 5 minutes (before Chris even had a chance to announce it was on tap) and the second only lasted an additional 15 minutes; I was definitely quite lucky to get two glasses of this beer. The beer arrives with quite a clear appearance, it is the hue of a raisin with a rich concentrated color and shows a deep red hue when held up to the light. It is topped by a pale, ring of a heat that after a bit forms a brown tinged, full tan colored head that just covers the beer. The aroma definitely has a tartness to it, but also has a rich, thick fruitiness to it that reminds me of a mix of concentrated tamarind, syrupy-fruity balsamic vinegar and rich raisins.
As the beer first hits my tongue it is chewy and rich; a sour beer with a substantial texture (at the time I didn't realize how strong this beer was, but in hindsight the richness makes a lot of sense). Tannins coat my teeth and there is a soft, yet noticeable barrel character in the finish that adds a spicy oak bite. Rich raisin flavors, a substantial berry-like wine note, as well as some rich dried fig and prune flavors all combine to provide a big, fruit-driven backbone that anchors the flavor of this beer. The rich fruit and oak flavors is tempered by a mouth puckering, somehow rich, sourness that is mostly lactic in character but sees to have some acetic overtones to it that reminds me of some sort of berry vinegar as well as hints of a rich, grape balsamic notes. The beer almost develops a raspberry flavor at times, and this actually is pretty nice (says someone who generally shies away from raspberry flavors in beer). As I contemplate my second glass of this beer I start to notice more of the oak flavors coming to the fore with flavors of vanilla, light coconut that is sort of Bourbon-like somehow as well as a structured wine character and a definite berry note that seems like a wine signature.
I haven't said this yet, but this beer is just fantastic. It has an incredible balance of tartness to rich fruit and light, though structured oak character. The flavor is just so well integrated, everything just seems to work together to carry this beer up to another level of complexity and interest. The oak really does add lots of structure, which goes a long way towards helping the overall balance of this beer. I like that the incredibly rich fruit character never gets overwhelming (back to that balance again). This is an awesome beer, whose enjoyment I am sure was magnified by the setting as well as he prior afternoon session of the GABF.
Served In: Tulip
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