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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,948
Reviews: 1,323
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 2,193
Gots: 1,497 | FT: 96
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: 4,948 | Reviews: 1,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rconn006
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

Rconn006, Mar 07, 2012
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3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

mark99, Feb 05, 2013
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3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

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3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

Hoptologist, Dec 08, 2012
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3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

Cooker_stp, Aug 18, 2013
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3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

caponeduke, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of djjolt
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

djjolt, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of P-Rod
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

P-Rod, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of dheldman
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

dheldman, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of dknight75
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

dknight75, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of jwolfie70
3.53/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a tan amber red, with a thin white head. Smell is a mix of sour fruit with musty funk, taste is more of the same. The beer has a good malt sweetness that comes through a little, but the taste is overall dominated by the tartness. A good beer, but not for all occassions.

jwolfie70, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of RedDiamond
3.53/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I think I like this beer more for what it aspires to be rather than for what it actually is. It is worth seeking and experiencing, but it is not easily appreciated. Or categorized.

Supplication is born from a highly complex recipe and ambitious aging regimen. It spends a full year in oak wine barrels with sour cherries, "wild" yeast, and two strains of friendly bacteria. It then undergoes a third fermentation in small corked bottles. With so many ingredients pulling in so many directions, the taste can be cluttered with one element obscuring or conflicting with another. The result achieves more convolution than integration.

Lightly oaken colored with no visual suggestion of cherries, Supplication begins with a powerfully explosive uncorking followed by thready, sustained bubbles and a remotely indifferent head. The pungent sour cherry and white wine elements are easily detected in the nose. The taste harbors core woodenness and a tart acidic twang and leans towards a bubbly wine. It bears some resemblance to a wheatless lambic but none at all to a Belgian kriek. There is no defining malt profile to speak of and the hops are similarly obscured by the medley of microorganisms and their attendant fermentation signatures.

I respect this beer a great deal but in the end there's just too much going on here for a singular identity to emerge and this makes Supplication difficult to approach. I found it not nearly as drinkable as Temptation or Damnation.

Batch 001. Special thanks to Brewbacca for the trade.

RedDiamond, Dec 05, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.58/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

off white head, body is tan to copper, massive carbonation to the point I would say this is the most aggressive carb's i've seen to this point, it comes up in waves of dominance.. Yeast chunks float about.

a strong lambic, strawberry, currant type mix hits me up front. Malted sweetness and grape finish the nose. interesting to say the least.

Carbonation is sizzling and overpowering but when its finished the overall taste is of young fruit. Imagine picking up an unripe pack of strawberries and grapes, mashing them together and you've got the general idea. Finishes with a touch of malt sweetness and clean.

Notes: Ehhh

DogFood11, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of seeswo
3.58/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Casey. Thanks man.

Pours a light amber/brown. The nose is big cherries, a yeastiness, red wine, grapes and a bit of straw funkiness. The cherries and the funkiness come together in a slightly medicinal way. Sour, tart cherries dominant the taste, intermingled with red wine, that yeastiness, a touch of grape and that straw funkiness. The body is medium but the carbonation is quite high, though it works. This isn't my favorite wild, though it is one of the better ones that is readily available. Everyone else liked it better than I did, but that is not uncommon for wilds. Solid.

seeswo, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
3.58/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to nn8dietz for picking this beer up for me.

I like the faitnly hazey ochre color to this brew. Two finger, bone colored head that recedes to a nice thick film of foam. Bubbling is unimpressive.

The aroma is a tart, cherry hint added to a sherry wine through and through. Add some young, Granny Smith apple skins to that as well. The malt bill has only a little whole grain white bread crust to the aforementioned aroma. I do seem to get a soft woddy not here and there as well. There seems to be a smokey note slinking around as well.

I taste super ripe cherry pie, crust and filling. Then tart, viney toasted Wonder bread crust and slightly fermented wine grapes.

The palate has no indication of aging in my opinion. Except for maybe this beer would more tart if it wasn't aged.

scruffwhor, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.58/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 375ml bottle stamped as "batch 001".

I bought this in CA a few weeks ago, and was really looking forward to trying it. The bottle says "Brown ale aged in oak barrels with cherries added." The bottle goes on to say it's aged for 1 year.

I had hoped for a different flavor out of this beer. I expected a wild ale, maybe a little sour due to the Brett. But this tasted mostly along the lines of a Rodenbach or La Folie. Extremely sour, with some cherry flavor in the background.

If you like Flanders Reds, then you should love this beer. If you expect something else (like I did), you'll be disappointed.

TurdFurgison, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.58/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle, batch 003.

Reviewed Jul 2008.

Small creamy faintly pink head. Well carbonated. Cloudy rosy amber color. Smells like sour cherry pastry, earthy, yeasty. Starts very sour, puckery, tart. Sour enough to take your breath away. Finshes dry. Some white wine character in finish and aftertaste. Still very sour. Medium body. I want to like this more but sourness overpowers everything.

htomsirveaux, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
3.6/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Paid $12.99 for a 375ml bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into a wine glass to review. Batch 04X3.

Fizzy white head of about an inch. Deep orange in color and similar in appearance to a glass of champagne. A nice layer of retention and great lacing.

Wild yeast, brett, white grape, melon, citrus, oak and grassy hops. A bit of musky funk to it, but certainly not the dominating aroma.

Taste is more sour than I expected with cherry and red pinot grape coming more into play. Nice oak with some musk and brett; certainly let you know they are in there, but again, not overpowering.

Mouth is vinous, dry and astringent yet still with a crispness from the nice carbonation. Lighter bodied and a true sipper.

I still think I'm getting acclimated with these variety of ales. I respect this beer but don't think I can truly appreciate it yet. I'll be re-reviewing this in a year or so to see how my palate has changed.

ibbjamin, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.63/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle...man, that's some thick glass.
Pours lighter than I expected, but still a nice amber with a fairly dense head. The small snifter glass I was using really captured the foam and the aroma, which is...sour. Although not all cherry. While some cherry is present, I get more of an apricot or overripe persimmon. Some sweet caramel just barely on the end.

Very small hints of strawberry and red plum in the flavors. Mostly sour bread, sour grapes and cherries. The pinot noir is subtle as is the cherry flavor. Not quire sure which cherries are used. Apricot comes and goes, and the caramel is summarily killed.

Sour, but not overly so. Not much sweetness on this one. Pretty darn good.

Mebuzzard, May 11, 2011
Photo of rapidsequence
3.63/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle from Tim. Batch 005- that's 2/09 according to the website.

Appearance: There's a bit of rocky head that fades pretty quickly to a thin sheet. A few spots of lacing. The beer itself is a very clear, bright red. Good looking beer.

Smell: Sour cherry, medicinal phenols, oak, and tannic red wine. Musty cellar funk.

Taste: Pretty sour real cherry flavors. It doesn't have medicinal phenols in the flavor like I smelled. Malt flavor hides in the background and is overpowered by the tannic red wine and oak. The wine fades a bit in the long finish and a little sweet fruit and malt comes through with a little funk.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good carbonation, the body of the beer is on the lighter side, but the tannins leave a sticky, furry feeling on the tongue.

Drinkability: I love the sour, fruity, and funky notes, but the red wine and tannins are a little out of control. It limits the overall enjoyment. Beer should taste like beer, this one tastes too much like wine.

rapidsequence, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of ccahoon22
3.65/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a local Denver place called Fresh Craft, great beer list

A - Light, almost with a wheat look. Lots of carbonation activity going on.

S - Sweet sparking smell, definite white wine smell

T - very sour like chardonnay but refreshing with tons of carbonation and some hints of fruit

ccahoon22, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of Metalmonk
3.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reverence and respect to msubulldog25 for including this in our most recent trade! (Batch 04X2, whatever that means)

I opened this a mere two hours after receiving the trade box, which made a cross country journey. Something seemed fishy about the cork, like it was going to pop any second. I got 5 twists into the wire cage, and POP!!!, the cork hit my ceiling like a cannonball and I made sure to get this thing into the glass with a quickness. Pours a rusted light brown color, nearing a peach shade. The head is made of incredibly small bubbles, and though it's not thick, it stays a long while and leaves lots of lace.

I don't know much about wine, but my first smell communicates "white wine." I later looked on the label's fine print and found this was aged in pinot noir barrels. There you have it. Wood gives way to white grape, and there's the distinctively weird/funky/stinky essence of the bad boys of the yeast world here (Brett, Lactobacillus, etc.).

I like funk, and this one brings a nice bit of saddle blanket sweat into the mix. There's also the extremely tart essence of too-young green apple, too-young white grape, and green/white gooseberry. Super-tart, hell, even full-on sour, this leaves the mouth puckered and dry. The "cherries added" are here, but only in their tartness, lacking the sweeter, juicier essence I think of when I think "cherry."

Crisp but smooth, and extremely dry, any real textural impression is left in the dust once the mouth puckers and all the alarms ring "sour! sour! sour!"

Not my favorite sort of thing, especially with the intense tartness, but there's no question how well this is made. I wouldn't reach for it often even if I could, but for lovers of this sort of beer it's got to be total nirvana. I'll rate the drinkability a "4" as a more objective judgment than I'd normally do. Personally, I'm super-glad to have tried it (thanks Brian!), but still kind of circling around most sours as a merely intrigued novice.

Metalmonk, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Supplication comes in a pricey little 375 mL bottle. (I think I paid $12.00?) The bottle looks neat though, with a long, bulged neck like a miniature version of it's 750 mL big brothers. Corked and caged. Served at 47°F.

A: Uncorked, revealing a swirling mist in the bottle. Pours into my NB goblet a cloudy, light copper, peachy brown, that's too dark for an amber but lighter than a typical brown. A creamy, one-finger sandstone head emerges, with just a tinge of pink.

S: Sour cherries, which undoubtedly had been eagerly anticipating uncorking, fill the room before the pour. This brew is almost overwhelmingly sour and complex. The nose is packed with vinegar, as well as clove, cinnamon, Morello cherries, and a slight, salty, barnyard funk. Overall the smell is an intense sour acid with accents of warm, herbal Christmas notes. The background spice is phenolic and slightly solventy.

T: The taste is predominantly dry, woody, and tart. It's very complex, but it's a well past center on the sour scale, so it's hard for me to decide if I love it or not. The carbonation and sourness hit first, but then a solventy hotness follows. The flavor also finishes with more fresh-cut oak and vanilla than any other sour I've tasted.

M: This wild is highly carbonated, so the effervescence foams in the throat and causes major burpage. The bubbles from the foam nucleate and explode in the mouth, but the cream makes the bursting bubbles and ensuing foam stick to your mouth and throat. There is also enough sourness to bring on some puckering and pangs in the jaw.

D: I would say drinkability is severely limited on cost alone, but as far as the beer itself goes, the real factor is your appreciation of very sour beers. I tend to avoid more acidic beer styles like Flanders Red, but I would consider this to be right at my limit for sourness. Medium.

SPThirtyThree, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of Kemmerlin
3.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Amber red in color but slightly darker and cloudy, good head to start and stuck around for a while.

S: Very simple, sour cherries and yeast.

T: Over powering sour cherries that needs sugar to calm the sour down. The flavors actually climbed up inside my nose and would not leave for quite some time.

M/D: Sour and hard to drink because of the lock jaw that ensued. I appreciate what the brewer was trying to do and that was create an amazingly sour beer for those who love sour like my wife but this intensity was a little to much for me. I will be having it again since my wife loves this one.

Kemmerlin, Mar 25, 2008
Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,948 ratings.