Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,379 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,379
Hads: 5,713
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,587
Gots: 1,880 | FT: 130
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2005

Brown Ale aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma County wineries. It is aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and oak balance each other nicely with a little funk from the brett.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,379 | Hads: 5,713
Reviews by Patrick2012:
Photo of Patrick2012
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in 16 oz. Tulip glass

A: Medium Amber with a finger width head that has kind of an off-white color. Lots of sediment from the yeast or something dancing around in it.

S: Sour and intense with a little bit of cherry.

T: One of the most intense tasting beers I've ever had! Sour sour sour!!! with a good amount of sweetness too, not to bitter. Very much tastes like a pinot noire. If anything this is more like a wine than a beer in my opinion. There is some cherry in there too. Very delicious!

M: Tastes like I just had a big glass of sparkling red wine haha. Very nice subtle aftertaste.

 599 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

Batch 001. Aged in pinot noir barrels for over a year, with sour cherries, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus (oh my!) introduced over the course. Presented in an awesome 375 ml corked-and-caged bottle.

Decanted ever-so-slowly so as not to rouse the sediment, the beer pours a brilliant deep orange with reddish hues. Active carbonation rises to form a half-inch layer of off-white foam that rests at a ringed lace. Big, Lambic-like aroma--tart and barnyardy--but much cleaner, with suggestions of sweet fruits and bread. First sip is an awakening of the senses, with a big smack of tartness and a pleasing acidic sharpness. Sour-cherry flavors run deep, and also provide a gentle sweet- ness and fruitiness to counter the tartness. Suggestions of weathered hops and leafy undertones within light tannins. Cheesy wine and oak provide some background complexities and are cushioned by a layer of Brett breadiness. Finish is very vinous, with a lingering tartness, tannins and a dry, puckering finish.

One of the best examples of American artisan brewing to have met our palates. Period. Don't bother pairing this one with any food. It's to be indulged in on its own. Batch 002 is on sale now at their website ($11), and they'll ship to about half of the states in the US.

 1,329 characters

Photo of Jason
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml brown mini-magnum with "Batch Number 001" on the label.

A- Hazed orange amber with a showing of active carbonation, awesome lacing ... it literally sticks every where.

S- Tartness of a lambic but clean like an American ale. Well maybe not totally clean as there is a mild cellar / barn yard character from the wild yeast in the aroma. I can barely pick out the sour cherries in the aroma as the wood blankets the nose. Fruit cake?

T- A thick layer of bready malt runs up against a solid tartness, both don't collide yet they meld together. Big wild yeast flare with a weathered hop bite in the middle. Big snap of tartness flows with a mild sweetness from the cherries and malt. The woodiness is more of back ground character yet adds more complexity to the brew than anything else IMO. More tartness and a growing woody dryness in the finish.

M- Creamy with a bitty wood bite that leads to a dry palate.

D- So easy to quaff that I struggled to savor every drop.

By far the best American beer I have had this year, It is beers like this that inspire and show where modern American brewers can go ... there are no boundaries.

 1,148 characters

Photo of Hoppity1
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best smelling beers I've ever had. My wife who hates cherries and is not a big sour fan agreed about the smell. She did shudder after drinking it though.
I loved it. Perfect tartness and the perfect level of funk. Great feel for a sour. I opened it last night after my nephew scored me another bottle from the brewery (along with several others)! Not sure if I should age it longer or not?
This was bottled in early January of 2015, so it was almost 8 months old. It sure hit the spot for me. Hard to imagine it being better.

 544 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Russian River Supplication has a medium, white head, a murky, amber appearance, some noticed suspended yeast chunks, and low-level lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sourness, up front, but there’s a background maltiness, brown bread crust, fruitiness of a type, and the flavor is of tart cherry skins, semi-sweet malt, sour and sweet fruit, and essentially no bitterness. Even a nutty, woody, cherry seed. Also, barrel-aged wood. Mouthfeel is medium, and Russian River Supplication finishes semi-dry and exquisite.


 530 characters

Photo of Dynobolt
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow what an awesome sour! Never thought I wud have a better sour then concecration but I just did!! Brought this baby from Russian River back home to so cal in imperial.. And enjoyed it with boy Jared..

 203 characters

Photo of NickBiller
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite RRB and beer in general. It has opened my eyes to the potential of sour beers. The cherry flavor is exquisite.

Note: This beer is extremely sour. Don't expect to chug this or even think about ordering this without time to slowly drink and enjoy. Even though I love this, I cannot make myself drink this fast. The sourness is so extreme that it takes some time to adjust to. It is kind of like getting hit in the head with a heavy object.

But the sour cherry flavor makes it my favorite beer by far. I live near RRB and probably drink one 375ML bottle of this beer every week. I don't even care that it costs ~$13. It is worth it.

 651 characters

Photo of Alequine
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours an inviting amber-mahogany color. The most sophisticated description of smell that I could initially muster was: sour. After giving the beer a minute to breathe, though, it reveals fragrances of cherry and cranberry that then give way to scents of green apple and lime. Taking the first sip is an experience unto itself. While the nose gives you every indication that you should expect a Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple-Cranberry concoction, the sour profile puts your tongue in a chokehold. This aggressive taste eventually does mellow and reveal an oaky red wine flavor. Tannins are present and add to the tartness of the sour cherries. Overall, this beer is one of the pinnacle sours available today. And beyond all else, you have to love the fact that the carbonation bubbles – like the old man in Up – continue their journey through the very last sip. (1,510 characters)

 884 characters

Photo of alexhahn82
2.1/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A. Semi peachish amber color. Pours with plenty of head, roughly 1.5 fingers.

Smell. You sure this is beer? lol. Smells of heavy influence of the wine barrel. Slight tone of fruit.

Taste. WOW. Holey f*ck. 4 years ago, regardless of the $12 price point I would have poured this beer out. Now, understanding the process that made this beer it is impressive. This is a palette cleanser. This is like wine and beer had an affair and this is the illegitimate child from that process. Very tart and sour with plenty of pinot noir tones.

Mouthfeel. Tart, dry, semi bitter. SOUR. very nice.

Overall: If you are in search of a sour beer, this is one of the tops, This will light your taste buds up like licking a 9 volt battery!And thats about it, not much for flavor, price point is off by a mile, and this is something that you would rather have a sample of, not too many people would sit down and enjoy this beer IMO, this is one you split between 5 or 6 people just to say you've had it.

 987 characters

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 1/16/15 and poured into an oversized wine glass. Exceptional carbonation as expected with resilient head/lacing. Beautiful color. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and barrel compliment each other well. I know there are plenty of fantastic sours out there and but the standard by which they are still measured are those from Russian River.

 354 characters

Photo of MrBrewMaster
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My buddy came back from Cali with a 3 litre bottle of this from the brewpup. It was a celebration to have this beer in the midwest. good sour flavor. I really enjoyed popping the cork on such a large bottle...it felt like being in the winner circle after an F1 race win!

 270 characters

Photo of oldn00b
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a thin head that fades entirely pretty quickly.

Nose is funk forward, tinge of sour and vinegar with some bright over ripe fruit, definitely cherries on the top.

Flavor is exactly as expected except maybe even more sour than expected. Definitely a solid funk here and a really bright and bitter component along with the sour. The oak adds a nice depth of character and the body feels more well rounded for it. Really awesome sour here, a real treat.

 486 characters

Photo of humuloner22
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would have never thought in a thousand years when I began reviewing beers that my first perfect score would be a wild ale. I honestly hated the first few I tried. I have tried to think of any reason to knock this one down a notch but honestly I can't find anything wrong with it!

Appearance: Gorgeous copper red with some brown notes, a little hazy and a beautiful creamy head that just lies there throughout the drinking of this gem.

Aroma: Soft tart cherries, some brett notes, some earthy notes and a slight grape note from no doubt the Pinot barrels, but not overly potent, very nuanced this one. The layering of the aromas is truly magnificent.

Taste: First you get some mild tart notes, but not really sour, just balanced. The Pinot Noir is definitely detected in the flavors, oakey vinous notes dominate, a slight farmhouse note but very subtle, not one that hits you in a dominant way. This beer has a nice clean carbonation on the tongue but it is also very creamy to the mouthfeel. I really don't know how they do it!

Overall: As I said before this is a perfect beer in every way. I am truly surprised. I want more and hope I can obtain many more, I have to be able to share this one with friends, its too good to have all to myself! Thanks man for the trade, truly incredible experience!

 1,305 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 062212, this is an old one. Figured it would be a good 1000th review.

Pours orangey copper with pink glints. The fizzy head lasts about 20 seconds before disappearing and not leaving much lace on the glass. Gorgeous cherry and oak notes mingling with some funk in the nose. Cherry, raspberry, lemon, irony oak notes, horse blanket, tropical fruit and bready malt. The finish is super dry and fruity, lasting a good while. The mouthfeel is full of carbonation, not as prickly as champagne but very active.

This is a fantastic Wild Ale. Deservedly a benchmark of the style. So complex and juicy, and it holds up to age fantastically. A must try for anyone.

 673 characters

Photo of Racinjoe
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much better in bottle then on tap

33 characters

Photo of Rau71
1.89/5  rDev -58%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed from notes. Drank on 4/13/12.

This was one of the two beers that I tried to see if I liked Sour beers. I don't. This "beer" poured a strawberry blonde into a snifter. Their was a rush of carbonation that left no head and no lacing. This one tastes Like a sour cherry wine cooler. Zero beer taste. I should note that I do not like wine and this beer had a very distinct pinot noir flavor to it. Every sip made me pucker up and shiver from the sourness of everything in one beer. Sour beers are not for me.

 514 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001. Rusted orange peel with edges of polished brass gleaming under candlelight. The sandstone colored cap has plenty of character, even if it isn't as awe-inspiring as it might have been. A few patches of sudsy lace grace the upper reaches of the glass... while the final pour brings a darker, murkier look that is immensely appealing.

The nose is unquestionably awe-inspiring and lets the sniffer know what's in store when it comes time to soak the taste buds. The word complexity seems horribly inadequate. How about complex complexity? Brown malt, sour cherries and microbe-generated funk. It's all present and it smells fandamntastic!

Supplication is beautiful beer. I don't care how long it took Vinnie to create it (more than one year according to the rear label), it was time well spent. It's obvious that the flavor has held up perfectly well. The body/mouthfeel might be a different story. However, since this is my first bottle, it's impossible to say for sure.

According the Russian River website, this batch is supposed to be less acidic and acetic than subsequent batches. I think it's just right in that regard. Any more acid and flavor and drinkability would have taken a hit. The website also says that cherries are more prominent in 001. It's great that tart fruit dominates, even with so much else going on.

As for the bugs, Brettanomyces was used, as were Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. The horse blanket characteristics of Brett are obvious, as are the smelly feet charcteristics added by the two bacteria. What cheesemakers have known for millenia, brewers are just beginning to discover. That's nothing but good news for craft beer lovers.

The flavor profile is a kaleidoscope of deliciousness. It includes brown malt, fermented sour cherries, a shot of oak-soaked Pinot Noir, fruit vinegar and a lovely funkiness that is anything but overpowering. Warming doesn't change much, but then the beer was mind-blowingly deep right out of the chute.

I'm still not sure what sort of mouthfeel an American wild ale should have. This one is light-medium and the carbonation lacks softness. It still fits the beer very well, however, which is the biggest reason why it hasn't been penalized too severely.

Supplication (noun): humble prayer, entreaty or petition. Mr. Cilurzo, I humbly ask that you do whatever is in your power to return to the days when those of us who reside outside of California were able to have Russian River beer delivered to our homes. Supplication is well worth its lofty ranking on The Top Beers on Planet Earth.

 2,564 characters

Photo of smb
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours crystal clear auburn with a silky and luscious billowy white head that settles to around 1/2 inch and stays. Carbonation is light-to-medium and has a champagne like effervescence. One of the most amazing looking beers I've seen.

S: Sour and tart cherry-funk first, with a sour apple and light pear aroma following, not overwhelming but very enticing and inviting.

T: Follows through on the nose, although the cherry flavors are very understated, as is the oaky sour apple/pear funk. What struck most was the silky, creaminess of the cherry flavors, which don't hit at the front of the tongue like everything else, but at the back.

F: Unbelievably creamy, full, rich and smooth. As mentioned above, the cherry flavors coat like whipped cream and balance out the oak and funk. 7.75% abv and you don't really even taste 0.5% of it.

O: Beautiful to look at, inviting aroma, complex flavors that unfold slowly, but never fight for their place as they move across the palate, all while remaining smooth and silky. The perfect sour for me thus far. A classic.

 1,071 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This one is a bright orange in color and very cloudy with a moderate head that went down rather quickly as is typical of the style. The liquid though just lit up the room.

Smell – The big malted notes and controlled sourness are in perfect balance at the nose. I am amazed at how exactly even the balance here is between the malts and sour fruits. The cherries are most dominant I think but there are lots of other sweets in here.

Taste – The brown malts here are just gorgeous. I just love the wonderful Belgian lightly-toasted malts and how they played with the sourness of this ale. The sour flavors are extremely refined. This is not a hurtful sourness or something meant to knock you off your barstool. This is a sour flavor, mated equally with the malt, to encourage a broader acceptance of this style.

The fruits are exciting and, again, could be appreciated by those unfamiliar with this style not commonly found here in the US. The cherries are the most prominent, but I can pick up a diverse sugary complexity that consists mostly of citrus and darkish fruits like dark berries.

The lambic nature of this ale is unmistakable. This is like a great raw lambic with incredible smoothness mated to big Belgian malts and some nice fruits.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied with some comfortable sourness in the mouth and a light bitterness at the very end. Even the finish is balanced.

Drinkability – This is the first sour Belgian Ale that I wanted to drink all night. I really had a hard time finding fault with this Russian River offering.

Comments – This was an “early preview” of Vinnie’s next batch that will condition in the bottle for another nine months or so prior to release. I’m not sure how much better this one can get, but I want to thank the brewmaster for sharing this wonderful sour ale with me, my wife, and rapopoda who was also in town for barrel-tasting weekend.

One more note. I’m hesitant to send in a change of style request since I am certainly no expert on Belgian sour ales, but the big malt here makes me think that this is more of a brown (Oud Bruin) than a red. However, this is aged in oak (old pinot noir barrels), so who knows.

 2,218 characters

Photo of aszatk01
2.25/5  rDev -50%

Photo of legalag11
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Brewbacca for sending several bottles a while back. I’ve finely gotten around to trying some and I am very pleased.

Pours a turbulent orange-red with uncanny carbonation and head. It takes a long time to descend but eventually rests as a healthy and easily excitable skim.

Aroma is heavy on cherry vinegar, or what I imagine cherry vinegar would smell like if such a thing exists. Oak and wet animal hide really dominate but light notes of papaya and other tropical fruits do shine through from time to time.

Body is very acidic, quite tart and somewhat sour. Tart cherries with a heavy wood presence dominate. Very bready or cakey with a lot of sour fruit yeast flavor.

Delicious, depthful, and drinkable by the case.

 748 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of nickseevers
4.5/5  rDev 0%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,379 ratings.