Monday, December 20, 2010

Russian River Rumble

Thanks to my awesome sister in law, I finally got my hands on bottles of Russian River Consecration and Supplication in order to do a side by side tasting.  Every time I've had one or the other, I've decided that it's the best but it's purely because I can never remember what the other tasted like.  Friday night I decided to try to end my confusion once and for all.  Or, at least until I have the loser again and decide it's better.  I'm fickle, so sue me.

In the left corner, we have Consecration, a dark ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels with currants.

In the right corner, we have Supplication, a brown ale aged in Pinot Noir barrels with cherries.
Notice, the consecration is a bit darker with less head.

I started the night with the Consecration.  It had a tangy, vinegar smell with a tiny bit of sweetness to it.  Starts very tart and kind of sharp.  I honestly don't know what currants taste like, but the beer had some raisin flavors in it.  (My brother and my wife, who both detest raisins, just read that and grimaced.)  I also thought there was a little plum and some other fruity notes.  End is a bit dry and puckery and builds on itself.  Interesting tangy flavor throughout.  Enjoyable but it doesn't ever back down.

After that, I kicked back with the Supplication.  Sweeter, more caramel nose on this one.  Almost definitely a result of the cherries added to it.  First sip was tart but felt more balanced than the Consecration.  It's still tart, don't get me wrong, but just not nearly as in your face.  The finish is dry but also not as much as the Consecration.  There was a pleasant cherry note that lingered which balanced the end really well for me.

If the descriptions didn't tip my hand, I enjoyed the Supplication a little more than the Consecration.  I thought it was just a bit more balanced between tart and sweet which made it more drinkable.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't refuse either of them, but right now I'd prefer the Supplication if given a choice.

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