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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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5,174 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,174
Reviews: 1,338
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 2,294
Gots: 1,629 | FT: 110
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,174 | Reviews: 1,338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of veinless
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a couple months back, but decided to rereview while sharing with AwYeh.

Vintage: Batch 005x1

Pours a darker orange/red than I expected, with a foamy head that retains pretty well and leaves decent lacing. This looks a lot like Pliny the Elder actually.

Smells of tart cherries, Brett, and a bit of barnyard funk. Cherries are lacking that cordial sweetness and are definitely of the sour variety. Oaky wood comes through as well.

Tart, sour cherries assault the palate at the start but fade to a semi-sweet fruity body before it gets to be too much. Acidic, puckering and awesome start. The middle is very juicy cherries, plenty of Brett, a lot of oak, and a fair amount of sour citrus as well. Winy character is present throughout and a great complement to everything else. Finish is a solid 50/50 of sweetness and sourness that lingers until the next sip.

Mouthfeel is acidic, but not overly so. The feel is balanced by some sugary character and the fruits somehow. Drinkabiility is very, very good for such a strong, sour beer - the balance mentioned earlier is a boon to this category. Your mouth doesn't get killed by the acidity in this as much as in some other strong sours, and it lets the beer be drinkable for a long period of time. If you haven't had a wild ale, have this and you'll be sold on the style.

Photo of dvmin98
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JDice20
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JoshVandy
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Smarcoly and Tieman for providing me bottles of this. Thanks guys!

375mL corked and caged bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Batch 006x1

A- Pours a deep ruby red color with about a 1 finger cream colored head that stays for a ridiculous amount of time after the initial pour, never going below about half a finger. Fantastic lacing on this one as well.

S- Strong cherries with a nicely integrated sour funkiness to it that I really enjoy. Wild yeast is definitely present as well, with a nice funky wet hay/barnyard scent, with slight oaky undertones. Very appealing.

T- Great sour and tart cherries up front with that funky wild yeast I come to expect present in spades. The sourness becomes more subtle as it warms, giving way to a little of the oak from the barrels. It's very subtle, but it's there and I love it.

M- Semi-smooth, light, and soft, with decent carbonation. Provides a nice and dry finish that lingers for a while after the last sip.

O- This is my second of the Russian River sours, and this one was more enjoyable than Consecration to me overall. Love the use of the cherries and the nice oak presence as well. A fantastic example of a wild and a great introduction to wilds as well. Very well done.

Photo of ajramirez1
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not a big fan of Sour beer. Ive tried just a limited amount, but this was the best so far. Amazing look of a beer, color blends make this beer look stand out. Overwhelmed with sour taste and it was apparent from start to finish. Sour smell, sour taste, etc. definitely a
Tasty sour but not my preference.

Photo of lurpy1
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Russian River beer! Helpfully located for me by the great guys at Davis Beer Shoppe. I have split on Russian River for a while. On the one hand, I have been seeking their stuff out and looking forward to trying it - it is universally regarded as an awesome brewery with a lot of unusual beers. On the other hand, there is a part of me hoping I don't like their stuff. Nothing against the Russian River brewery. Russian River loyalists, on the other hand....well, let's just say, from reading posts, this is the one brewery where the most loyal fans clearly believe if you're not drinking Russian River, you might as well be drinking superheated yak piss.

Split into 2 pint glasses. First mark against this beer: It's too damn expensive. I believe I paid $6 for a 12 oz. There are plenty of damn good beers that can be had for $2-$4. But that's not what reviewing's about.

The pour is an inert amber, with some carbonation but in general just sort of sits apathetically in the pint.

The smell has a lot of vinegar, and a whacked-out, overall tart smell. It smells to me like skunked beer, intentionally skunked in the right hands. It isn't foul, very intriguing, good smell.

The taste is absolutely pucker-worthy. Sour cherry? Sour grapefruit? Sour grape? Can't pick it out. No matter. Love.

Bang-bang accurate carbonation, the sour has generally rendered this a sipper, but RR gets the consistency right on.

I hate to validate all the RR boobs out there, but this is a great beer. Really enjoyed this. At this price I could not drink Supplication daily without liquidating my 401k, but I will seek out other RR wilds and would periodically by Supplication again.

Photo of daveosf
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

tasted this beer with friends on friday night while trying other RR beers!

reviewed from notes.

Appearance: dark amber to mahoganey bodied beer with a small white head that fades quickly to nothing.

Smell: funky sour cherries with a musty smell. Oaky.

Taste: moderately sour right up front and continues throught the entire taste. Cherries! Its got the barnyard funkiness to it as well. you can taste some yeast in the back of all that sour vinegar note with a touch of barrel.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Another nice sour from RR.

Photo of Bobheed
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep red/dark honey type color. Soapy light tan one finger head that dissipates into a nice ring. Very good carbonation, consistent bubbling

S: Cherries, good bit of funk. Smells a bit like a good shiraz, also a damp smell(don't really know how to describe that one, like a wet towel that's starting to get mildew)

T: As I've come to expect from RR sours, fantastic. Very tart, the most sour of their lineup I've had. Definitely cherries, vinegar, whole grain bread

M: Very good, really soft. Pretty thick, syrupy. The tartness gets you in the jowls and made me salivate a bit.

Overall, this one was lovely. Out of this compared to the other 2 RR wilds I've had (consecration, temptation) I'd have to put this third. Cheers to them though, never disappointed. Will definitely get again and again.

Photo of thedindaniel
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Blind Lady Ale House. Pours out with a nice copper color, which I'm guessing comes from the cherries, decent amount of head in the glass. Smell and taste were almost identical for me... tart cherries, with just a hint of sweetness. I felt this beer was perfectly carbonated, dry like a champagne and incredibly easy to drink. The bar listed it at 9% abv, though it's listed differently here, either way, it was a beer where the alcohol creeps up on you so beware! I had read that the beer is barrel aged, but I didn't really get "barrel" flavors as you might with some other B.A. beers. Another home run from Russian River.

Photo of merlin48
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oddly shaped, olive brown hued bottle is corked and caged, 12.7 oz, batch 001.
Appearance-Pours into a chalice a hazed apricot body awash with carbonation. Small offwhite head is shortlived, but leaves a shimmering chain of sheet lace to grace the rim of the chalice.
Aroma-Very Kriek-like, with tart cherries and acidic lemon. More complex than a lambic, with accents of red wine, clean yeasty funk, vinegar, and a powerful note of woody oak.
Mouthfeel- Light medium body with moderated carbonation. Tingly and tannic.
Taste- Very complex and highly detailed. Immediately tannic, sour, and acidic. Sour cherry blends with red and white grapes, atop a very oaky and woodsy character. Yeasty funk is clean, airy, and outdoorsy. Some hints of caramel malt try to balance the tartness, but without success. Lemon and tangerine notes linger on the palate.
Drinkability- This one reminds me of an oaky, Flanders Red Ale blended with a geuze. Very satisfying sipper that is quite tasty and refreshing. Complexities abound. Very expensive stuff here. I could have purchased a Rochefort 10 for the price of this one. I'm going to lay down my other bottle for a few months and see what happens.

Photo of Jcru33
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A- pours a dark, murky shade of a brownish orange with a one finger white head that fades quickly and laces nicely. Not outstanding

S- nice dark cherries with some of the FUNK in there too...its oddly overwhelming and awesome, I really can't explain it

T- sour cherries, with a really nice dark tart bite near the end...awesome

M- its got a nice feel, some thickness to it...THE FUNK brings a little something to the table too

D- maybe a little too sour, but its a damn good beer, well worth its rating

Photo of klikger
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River

A - Medium shade of brown with a touch of red; very little white head, yet great lacing

S - Sour cherries and raspberries with a bunch of funky yeast. I'm drooling on myself.

T - Tart cherries, vinegar, and brett are tasted from the get-go. The middle is dominated by lemon juice, and this finishes like a quality, sour vinaigrette.

M - Medium-bodied and awesomely acidic - makes the sides of my mouth tingle. Good amount of carbonation.

D - Good drinkability - it's sour enough to offset the fruit factor.

Another RR wild, another great experience. I need to move to Santa Rosa.

Photo of cfrances33
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tria Rittenhouse in Philly on 7/5/12 and served in a tulip glass.

Pour: Deep copper with two fingers of off white head.

Smell: Tart cherries to the max with a great hay musk.

Taste: Tart cherries and some sour apples too. Sour maltiness on the finish. Vinous flavors lended from the pinot noir barrel aging. Equally pleasant woody characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Really nice tartness that isn't overpowering. Carbonation is really fantastic. An interesting dynamic between the dryness and the tartness. The crisp dry body encourages you to keep drinking, but the tart finish that lingers on the palates demands that you slow down to enjoy this beer because your palate will become too coated with tart cherries.

Overall: Really great sour, but I think I prefer Sanctification

Photo of ghostee
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color with a small head, with lacing at the sides of the glass.

Smell is very tart, fruity, and cherry. Smells like a weaker version of what I'd expect from some wines.

Immediately hits the tongue with sour tartness. The intensity of the sourness builds a bit as it rolls over the palate, and finishes dry. The sour cherries are very dominant in the flavor. Tastes also like funky fruit other than cherries.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and tongue biting. The sourness really attacks the tongue.

Drinkability on this one is low. While delicious, I wouldn't want to have more than one of these in a night. The one I do have, though, goes down super easy.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. This is completely different from what I drink, but it's delicious and a wonderful change of pace.

Photo of AdamGarcia
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle served in Unibroue tulip. Batch 04X5

Huge thank you to tturaiders for the chance to try this!

A: Moderate pop w/ some wispy "smoke." Relatively clear, pinkish copper hue. Firm, sturdy head looks like it could last all day. Even as I near the final third of this beer there is a solid finger of head. Very attractive.

S: Tart cherries jump out of the glass. Nice, citrusy funk. Smells like a hazy summer day amidst the wilderness: tall grass, wildflowers, foliage, berries, and pollen filled air.

T: Very flavorful. The kind of beer that just bursts over the palate leaving you wanting nothing else but another sip. Mildly sweet up front. Tart cherries and wildberries drizzled with fresh lemon juice. Sour and funky, but very approachable. Finishes with just a little pucker.

M: Just about perfect. The kind of feel that can only come from a bottle conditioned beer.

D: I wish I had another bottle!

I certainly had high expectations for this one and it didn't disappoint. I'm not an expert on sour/wild ales, but I can't imagine there are many better than this on the landscape of American made wild ales. Find one of these and drink it as soon as you can.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yetiman420 was kind enough to share this in his dazzling beer cellar - I wasn't expecting it, so thank you! It's people like him, that make me strive to be a beer advocate.

A loud, angry pop was heard as the cork flew off this one and hit the ceiling in his basement. Batch # 3 in the 375ml format.

Pours a slightly cloudy, light brown with a white, tightly compacted head. Good amoeba-like lacing up the side of my over-sized Duvel snifter and great head retention.

Smells of ripe, tart cherries, possibly some lightmalts and even a touch of nut brown nuttiness.

High, spicy carbonation as it hits my mouth, reminiscent of sticking pop rocks in your mouth! Sparkling mouthfeel. Slightly sweet and very crisp. Light bodied and unique medium to full flavored. Sourness is the predominant quality, but extremely smooth.

Very nice and worth the hype! Go out and try this!

Photo of stewart124
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got a chance to try this at the Toronado in San Francisco. Poured into a tiny tulip glass with just a whisp of head atop this dark copper colored beer.

The smell is exactly what I would expect from a wild ale. Lots of winey characteristics, floral aromas and just a funky aroma in general.

Suprisingly balanced and a sourness that is sharp but appealing. Very unique flavors of cherry, wood and a light caramel note. As expected this finishes very dry and puckering. While sipping this more complex cherry notes come on.

Pleasing wild ale which seems simple yet complex all the way through. Maybe it just confused my palate though since I haven't had too many wild ales. This is a tasty ale to say the least.

Photo of nniicckkww
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a chalice. Batch 5. Bottled May 2010. Drank 01/13/2011.

Poured a slightly hazy cherry wood color. Fizzy rusty head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left some lacing around the top of the glass. Smell was tart and with the slightest hint of earthy leather.

Dancing carbonation makes this a very light bodied beer. Fruity, sour cherry at first followed by a very slight brett character. Red wine. Leather, wood. Very dry. Mouth puckeringly dry. But in a good way.

Lengthy sour finish. Delicious. This beer would be great with a cheese plate and some dark fruits. Each sip is seemingly palate cleansing. Did I say delicious?

Photo of Arbitrator
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Edited to reflect newer batches (at the time of this writing, batch 006). There's always a minor rearrangement every time Russian River releases a new batch of sours. As of 10/26/2011, the latest Temptation is winning, with Consecration next, and Supplication last.


All right, I should probably review this since I've had in on tap multiple times now. Batch 004 at the Bistro -bal Fest and again on tap at the Rose & Crown in Palo Alto.

A: Pours a murky amber with glowing orange highlights when held to the light. It has a finger of cream-colored head that retains pretty well; it eventually retreats into a clump of bubbles on the brew and a very thin collar, with no lacing.

S: What a fantastic aroma. It has the right balance of tart, sour cherries, acetic acid, and lactic sourness. Tannins come through quite strongly, along with grapes (I didn't pick up on this until largadeer pointed it out, but afterward, it was obvious). Just the slightest hint of brett, with a musty leather undercurrent.

T: Sour cherries and more than a hint of dark red grapes, giving it a vinous quality right from the start. It's lactic up front, with the mid-taste seeing an evolution of tannins and light leather. The finish is acetic and dry, but not so overwhelming that it burns the throat. There is a little lingering sourness in the aftertaste.

M: I was very pleased with the balance of characteristics here. I don't enjoy super-dry or super-acetic beers; Supplication delivers both qualities in moderation, producing a sublime drinking experience. It's light-bodied with moderate carbonation that cleanses the palate very well.

D: I had two 10oz pours of this and strongly considered a third. In fact, as I'm typing this up, I'm tempted to go back and get said third. Probably my favorite Russian River wild ale now that Consecration's recipe has changed.

Photo of jojox
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 003

a - cidery color, red, clear, lots of head. No gush but tonds of head. Bubbles are like paste on the glass.

s - cherries and sour. Have to forgo some aroma whifs to taste because the head is not moving. The smell really singes my nose hairs a bit.

t - controlled tartness up front, but asservies and smooth in the middle and slight hint of phenolic (?). Clean finish. Not a long finish. Cherry pits. Phenol taste is slight, but it's something not awesome.

m - very smooth. Not over carbonated, but it should probably be super chilled before opening.

d - super high. I shared this tiny bottle and I want MORE! It's not mouth pucking sour but quality sour that's easy drinking.

Photo of spointon
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12.9oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass. This was batch number 003.

A= This sour ale poured a very hazy orange/amber color with a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't 3/4" off white head that appeared and disappeared completely in a heartbeat. No lacing to speak of.

S= This one gave a general aroma of sourness and tartness for sure, but I also found grapes, wine, and some background sweetness. The sour character of this beer lent a certain baryard funk to the initial smell that was pretty complex. The barrel lent just a hing of wood smell.

T= Some fairly faint malt shot underneath a big sour tartness. Though throughout there are hints at a myriad of flavors like grapes, cherries, wood, etc I found the sourness and the spicy yeast character to be most prominent. Though I am not well versed in sour ales, this definitely has a great deal of appeal to me in the flavor department. Finished very dry and tart.

MF= Medium bodied made to feel lighter by a near-magical carbonation level. I say that because after 10 minutes in the glass, there is not a bubble or sign of cabonation to be seen yet this ale felt dry and very crisp on my tongue.

D= This was easily the best sour I have had to date...world class for sure. I really appreciated the flavors without being overwhelmed by them. Despite the challenging nature of this sour, I believe it would be easy to have a couple in one sitting.

Photo of bobbypaulson
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hawks10
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked & caged bottle - Batch 005x4 - Poured into my Russian River stemware...

Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange color, somewhat pale with a ruby red tiny. When held to the light however, this beer is beautiful, deep ruby red with some orange mixed in, a solid stream of little bubbles rises from the bottom. Two fingers of very soft, beige head forms and slowly recedes, leaving a thick cap of haze and some nice lacing behind...

Loads of super fresh, powerful tart cherries fill the nose. The fruit aspect of this beer is intense and wonderful. A nice lactic sourness is evident and is tempered a bit by a good dose of funk/barnyard aromas and oak. Tartness does take a backseat to the funk after a few whiffs, wonderfully complex and very enticing smell...

Beer begins slightly tart with loads of funk in the finish. Dry and oaky, the barrels are much more evident in flavor than in aroma. Acidic and slightly fruity, was expecting a more intense dose of cherries given their abundance in the nose, but they kind of take a supporting role here. The earthy, barnyard/funk flavors, combined with a strong oak presence kind of subdue the cherry/fruit aspect of the taste. The finish is a strange combination of dry, dusty and musty basement with a biting acidity...

Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, yet the beer is silky. The tartness of the beer isn't quite to the puckering level, but the high acidity does start to eat at your palette. Finishes dry and dusty with a lingering acidity...

I really enjoy this beer. Nice and tart, but not overwhelmingly so. Wonderful complex aromas and flavors combine to make a highly drinkable beer that never gets old. The acidity is a little on the high side, but with sours, it's hard to complain about that. This may be my favorite American Wild Ale, as a Belgian Lambic fan, I'm usually let down by American Wilds, not the case here...

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 5,174 ratings.