Russian River Brewing is probably one of the hottest names in the American craft brewing scene. Vinnie Cilurzo has reached the status of a cult personality mainly because of his double IPA, Pliny the Elder. This beer, which is next to impossible to find, has become the holy grail for many beer enthusiasts, almost to the point of idiocy. While it is a truly fantastic beer, I personally think Russian River’s real brewing prowess can found in their sour beers. Fortunately for me, the brewery continues to dedicate more space and time to their barrel-aging and sour programs. They’ve stated repeatedly that they don’t wish to become the “Pliny the Elder Brewing Company.”
Consecration is probably the closest the brew gets to brewing a “Flemish-style” red. They call it a dark ale that’s been aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with black currents. Additionally, they’re using Brettanomyces wild yeast, and lactobacillus and pediococcus bacteria in the brewing process. (If you’d like to learn more about wild yeast and bacteria, please read my post about them: “The Yeasties, The Yeastie: The WILD Beasties in my Beer.”
Appearance: Ruby Brown/red with the slightest touch of haze. Off white head with poor retention.
Aroma: Balsamic vinegar, barnyard notes, tobacco, dark cherries, vinegar, raspberries.
Taste: Tobacco, chocolate, leather, acidity with notes of wood tannin.
Overall Impression: This is an impressively complex and interesting beer. You could literally get lost in it for an evening and totally be satisfied with the adventure. This is another amazing sour beer from Russian River. This may not be the best beer to start with if you’re a novice, but man is it beautiful. I highly recommend if you see it.
Availability: Infrequently released, highly limited in a few cities in the west and Philadelphia. Click the label to view their website which shows their availability map.
Notes: Batch 008