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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SupplicationSupplication

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,820 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,820
Reviews: 1,320
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 2,157
Gots: 1,450 | FT: 94
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,820 | Reviews: 1,320 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
Photo of rickyleepotts
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is our last beer from Russian River. This is also the highest rated on BeerAdvocate. We need to take a trip to the Russian River Valley so we can visit the brewery. Their beers are made in pretty small batches, and they don't get great distribution. I landed this, and all of the other beers from them, in a trade. Speaking of trades, I just bought 14 bottles/cans tonight for a massive trade I am doing with Ashley Bower. REALLY looking forward to that one. She is sending us a bottle of Mexican Cake. It's not on the list, but I am pumped to try it.

It was cool learning about the owners of Russian River Brewing Company and their love for Pinot Noir wine. I like Pinot Noir, too. This beer was aged for a year in Pinot Noir barrels. I am fickle when it comes to barrel aged beers, but I have some pretty big expectations for this one. I bet this is sour, too. I could smell this as I was pouring it… and it smells quite sour. I am going to stop talking… let's drink!

In the Glass: This is quite carbonated, and it was producing a ton of bubbles and a nice thick white head as I was pouring it. I could smell, as I was pouring it, the subtle sourness that I am looking forward to. The head just sits there and while the beer doesn't have much lace, the head makes me want to grab a spoon and start eating! I hope this beer smells good.

Oh, the beer has a nice amber color to it. I am sure some of that color comes from the Pinot Noir barrels. It says on the bottle that this is aged 9 to 15 months. I wonder how they decide how long to age a particular beer like this.

Nose: It doesn't smell as sour as I expected it to. I am getting some of those tannins that you get when smelling a well balanced Pinot Noir. In the back of my mind I want this to taste more like a glass of wine than a beer. The bubbles, however, leave me to think I am going to have an experience as if I was drinking champagne. A second sniff has me smelling more fruit and I am sure it reads weird, but it smells expensive. Is that weird?

Flavor: The beer is not as carbonated as I expected it to be, but it is quite sour. Good thing I like sour beers. There is a lot going on here with the flavor and it really changes as it slides across your palate. There are some bubbles when it first hits your lips, and then it begins to really open up as you swallow. There is a ton of flavor in the aftertaste, too, leaving this beer a wide range of awesome! The sour quickly fades leaving you a hint of those tannin that I keep talking about.

Mouthfeel: There are a ton of bubbles at first, but it's not overwhelming. I wouldn't recommend swishing this around in your mouth much. I did that on my second sip, and the sour flavor really comes through. But the bubbles become overwhelming. If you don't like sour beers, stay away. As you swallow, the beer mellows out and you are left with a nice thin layer of sweetness every time you swallow. This beer is well produced and that is obvious every step of the way.

Aftertaste: That is my favorite part of this beer. As soon as you swallow you are hit with some subtle dryness that just coats your tongue with flavor. I have been sitting on this last sip for a good 5 minutes and I feel/taste like I just took a sip. I don't know the process of aging a beer in a wine barrel, but there has got to be some trial and error to realize the beer is ready after 9 months or not quite ready until it hits 15 months.

Speaking of barrel aged beers, the last time we tried Sirius Black, a killer beer from Four Peaks Brewing Company, I talked with someone from the brewery. He said the batch we were trying, at a tap takeover at Hops On Birch, had been aged for 12 months in a barrel. I am not sure I could be that patient pouring a beer as good as Sirius Black into a barrel just to wait a year! That is what makes cellering beer so tough.

We can't get Russian River beers here, but if we could I would be broke. This, along with all the other "-ation" beers we have tried/reviewed, is great. The more sour the better. Cheers, people!

rickyleepotts, Jul 03, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

BeerAdvocate, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of Jason
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Jason, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of NickBiller
5/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

NickBiller, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

RoyalT, Mar 08, 2005
Photo of aszatk01
2.25/5  rDev -50.7%

aszatk01, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

DanGeo, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of Smokesnotes
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Smokesnotes, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of nickseevers
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

nickseevers, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jeff for cracking this with me, the last of the "regular" Russian River sours for me to try. Supplication pours a mildly translucent copper color with some very deep orange-ish hints throughout. Much like the rest of these sours, the off-white head wisps away fairly quickly without leaving anything behind to tell you that it ever existed.

Calling the aroma of Supplication "sour" or "tart" would hardly do it justice - it is extremely tantalizing to the saliva glands from the very first whiff. Sour, black cherries, grapes, apples, huge amounts of vinous notes, most likely from the Pinot Noir barrels. Secondary, yet still integral aromas include vinegar and a solid brazing of wet oak. The funk is certainly hanging about, too; very light horsey aromas, along with some musty cellar, wet hay, and faintly cheesy funk. Highly complex, and a wonderful aroma overall.

Up front, big-time vinegar and vinous flavors immediately jump out and start thrashing my tongue right away. The oak and barrel flavors are also amplified much more on the palate than they were on the nose, coming out heavy with some large grape skins, cherries, and apple. A huge collage of a nearly fifty-fifty split of juicy fruits and more sophisticated vinous flavors. Supplication is exceedingly tart and puckering with a lasting and somewhat acidic sourness that will keep your palate on its toes the whole time.

The tartness may be dominant, but the funk is not to be forgotten. Lots of Brett shines from the middle into the finish; cork, wet wood, light barnyard, and a super dry funk to close everything out. Though it's only 7% ABV, some alcohol characteristics become noticeable upon warming, more so adding another layer of complexity rather than being a nuisance. The mouth feel is dry and crispy with heavy carbonation; thin-medium bodied, wet and slick.

Wow, yet another fantastic Russian River sour. Drinkable beyond belief, as long as you don't mind a stomach ulcer or two. I'd put this one right around the middle of the pack of their regular line-up of sours (which is saying quite a bit, because even the bottom ones in my opinion are still damn good). I prefer this to Consecration and Sanctification, it's a bit more complex and has a better balance of tart and funk. All these sours make me upset that I don't receive Russian River distribution.

tectactoe, May 13, 2013
Photo of ricke
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4x3.

Murky orange/red/brown color with a big off-white head that leaves plenty of lacings.

The smell is fairly blurry with a prominent oak character and notes of sweet cherries, grass, mud and brett. Nice acidicty.

The taste is full of events. Sweet malty cherries and malts up front quickly handing over to a prominent sourness coupled with grass, lemon, minerals and vinegar. A mild bitterness develops towards the finish as the beer ends with nice cherry flavors, oak and a very mild funkiness.

Medium body and velvety smooth but dry finish.

A nice one. Very impressive composition. Quite reminiscent of a sparkling fruity wine.

ricke, May 22, 2010
Photo of DavyJones
5/5  rDev +9.6%

DavyJones, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +9.6%

t2grogan, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this on 5/3/10 with TCGoalie and then again 5/8/10 with Buckyfresh. Thanks for sending it our way, zoso1967!

A: Served into an oversized wine glass, this beer appears as a copper/peach/raspberry colored amalgamation, and is topped with a pillowy beige head that starts at 1 finger high and slowly recedes. The head retention is exceptional. And, boy oh boy, is the lacing amazing! It is uber sticky and looks like the splashing water that Mickey Mouse controls in "Sorcerer's Apprentice." This is the finest lacing I have seen from a beer.

S: Aromas of sour fruitiness greet me when I take this beer deeply into my olfactory. I also detect a slight vinegar presence which contrasts nicely to all sorts of fruit smells: cherry, raspberry, peach, golden delicious apple. There is a healthy dose of funk in this smell, as well. The aroma is quite wine-like, closely related to a Pinot Grigio; this is odd, because the label says that the beer was aged in Pinot Noir barrels. Other aromas I get from this beer are some spice in the form of clove, paprika, and black pepper, and also some fresh woodiness.

T: Wow, sour! My first thought of a similar experience in my mouth is that of sucking on a Sour Patch candy. This beer lights up every crevice of my palate with a dry, biting, cherry, blueberry, golden delicious cider bomb of a flavor. There is some serious funk in the taste, in a great Tower of Power sort of way. You've got to Funkifize! The more I taste this, the more I recognize a similarity to quite dry Champagne.

M: Supplication takes my mouth on a roller coaster ride. The sourness explodes onto every taste bud, lingers for around ten seconds and then really dries out my mouth with a long, dry cherry-like residue.

D: I really enjoy the sour and dry character of this beer, and having split two 12.68 bottles in separate sittings, I would certainly classify this brew as a drawn out tasting sipper. This is by far the most original and exciting beer that I have had in awhile and it really shocked and delighted my taste buds. What a great beer!

TCHopCraver, May 09, 2010
Photo of MadScientist
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A pale copper with excellent clarity, which surprised me after wresting the cork as much as I did I was sure I'd have stir up the sediment. The off-white head with a touch of pink/orange is quick to fade leaving a ring of fine bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S: An intense sour aroma with moderately-strong fruit aromas mostly of black cherries and currents. There is some of that velvety red grape aroma layered on top of the vanilla and oak notes. Nothing in the way of malt or hops aroma; no diacetyl either.

T: Lots of fruit most red currents and oranges with a moderately-strong sourness. There is a little bit sweetness but the balance is pretty tart, like a sweet tart with twice the tart. There aren't any hops to be found here either but there not needed; very low bitterness and no flavor. The finish is very dry, there is a tartness left in the aftertaste but its mostly fruity with oranges, dark cherries and even a touch of strawberries.

M: moderately-light bodied with moderate carbonation. It's not cream nor crisp. No astringency.

O: Wow! A complex, fruity sour with a whole lot of balance. Well worth getting a hold of. This beer could easily substitute for light to moderate red wine when paired with food. There a quiet a few beers with more sour than this but Supplication has elegant refined flavor, I want nothing more out this beer than say a few more bottles.

MadScientist, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

jono0101, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of brownbeer
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to try this on tap.

Rusty amber color without much head.

Floral and bretty notes with wonderful cherry notes.

Taste is sour cherries, subtle vanilla, and pinot noir.

Mouthfeel is where it really blows up. It's a medium mouthfeel that finishes acidic with superb dry, red wine tannins.

Probably not really drinkable for a lot of people considering how sour and dry it is. For me, bring it by the pitcher.

brownbeer, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of npala86
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%

npala86, May 13, 2014
Photo of abeerdude
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

abeerdude, May 17, 2013
Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Schlais, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of Dabeel
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Dabeel, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of Krafty34
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Krafty34, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light redish brown with 1.5 finger head. Decent retention, excellent lacing.

S - Green apples, oak, slight vanilla

T - Taste starts out sour and funky with lots of citric notes. Sour cherries and grapes appear in the middle. Finishes very sour and astringent.

M - Full bodied, medium acidity, great balance, nice complexity and long finish

O - One of the best American Wild Ales I've had. Glad I got to try this one.

SkiBum22, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of readicculus
5/5  rDev +9.6%

readicculus, Dec 14, 2011
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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,820 ratings.