1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,080 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,080
Reviews: 1,332
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 2,243
Gots: 1,574 | FT: 103
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Supplication Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,080 | Reviews: 1,332 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marburg
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opens with a big "pop." Vermillion-brown with a nice layer of foamy suds adorning the top of the beer. An exceedingly woody nose full of dry rot and tiny hints of cedar. Always wary of American beers that advertise their funkiness, I was prepared to be let down by a lack of brett and/or bacteria, but the nose was both moderately tart and funky and hinted at a very pleasant sour cherry flavor that might be coming my way.

While the cherry flavor never fully emerged, I was certainly treated to a subtly sour beverage that was impressively well balanced and dry. If one could register a complaint, it's that a leisurely approach to drinking this allows it warm to the point where a slightly boozy red wine burn develops that distracts from the interesting funk and wood flavors present in the beer. Nonetheless, quite an accomplishment.

Photo of callmescraps
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's about time. I've been saving this for a special occasion. Then I realized that drinking this beer would make any night a special occasion.

Appearance- A reddish chestnut. It appears brown, but glows a warm, deep ruby when held to the light. Half inch of head with some nice big bubbles. Slightly off-white.

Smell- Very nice. The cherry comes through, without a doubt. Sour, old cherries. A nice funky farmyard. There is a strong vinegar note that is sharp on the nose. The wood comes through as well. Good stuff all around.

Taste- The cherry comes through immediately. There is plenty of wood as well. It finishes wonderfully tart. Would like a little bit more of that funky goodness. That sharp sour note really gets the salivary glands going, so I'm literally drooling over this one. The acidity on this one is no joke.

Mouthfeel- Great carbonation. Nice and bubbly on the tongue. Good body. Very nice.

Drinkability- So tart it's a little tough, but I'd love another one. Still, the acidity is near overwhelming. Tums, please.

Another knockout from Russian River. I just can't get enough of their beers. May not like it quite as much as Consecration, but everyone is a winner in that comparison.

Photo of Treebs
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottled graciously shared by bulldogp04 in line at the CBS release, thanks Dean! Small pour into my Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a hazy amber and brown combination with a frothy white head. Pretty nice looking and leaves some sticky lace down the glass.

S: Great combination of barnyard funk, citrusy sourness and peels of lemon and lime. Slighty sweet berry in there as well.

T: Very tart with a burst of sour lemon. Very subtle sweetness that is vine fruit in nature as well. Slight vinegar mixed in and it finishes with a funky yeast.

M: So clean and very crisp. Light bodied. It has incredible drinkability and is very refreshing.

O: This was a winner in my book. Very well balanced between funk and sour and the subtle sweetness really rounded it out.

Photo of Bobheed
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
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 DeanMoriarty
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Real nice golden red hue with a light head that dissipates quickly.

S: Sour cherry, woody and peppery.

T: Crisp sour cherry with a well balanced bready and plum-like finish.

M: Light and silky smooth.

D: Exceptionally smooth and easy to drink in large quantities. I only wish I could afford to at nearly $15 a 375ML! Well worth every penny though.

Without a doubt one of the finest sour-style ales i've ever had the privilege of tasting.

Photo of csmiley
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ricand for hooking this one up.

A - Appears amber, gold, or orange - the lighting can really play tricks with the color of this beer. Head is just off white and rises to just under half inch. Retention looks good. Lacing is average.

S - Apples and grape skins are evident right out of the gate. Sweeter aromas come through next. Could be caramel and candied sugar. Musty and funky toward the end. Smells a little like old dried up wood.

T - This is where the cherries come in. Mix them with some grapes and that is how the flavor starts out. A hefty dose of oak really comes through well in the flavor and adds a nice compliment to the fruitiness. Oak is quickly followed by the Brett, imparting a very earthy feel. Some malt sweetness comes and goes with hints of caramel and maybe brown sugar.

M - Medium bodied with a nice carbonation level that stays fairly active but doesn't really get in the way. Finish is tart and smooth at the same time.

D - Drinkability is good. The big tart flavors and complexity of this brew make it a candidate for a sipper. The cherries add something different and unique to this brew and pushes the drinkability up a notch. As it warms the Brett flavors start to smooth out and some brown ale qualities start to come through. This is another winner from Russian River. Highly recommended.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR.
Poured a hazy brown colo with red hues, little white head. Nose is sour cherries and a tartness. Taark cherries and a deeper tartness than Consecration. Pretty sweet, booze and all is well put together, creating a good brew. Mouthfeel has a wine like characteristic. Very good sour and I kept going back to this. So good!

Photo of drseamus
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is batch 002 and consumed on 3/15/07. When I popped the cork, the beer rocketed out. The beer is dark amber in color with little yeasties floating in suspension. Floating yeast is to be expected from a bottle conditioned beer. The head fell quickly, although I did leave the bottle for a bit after it ran over. The aroma has a strong brett presence with a cidery aroma in there as well. The tart cherry taste, brett, and carbonation make the glands in my neck tingle. The brett is very pronounced and seems to make the body seem lighter and thinner. Overall, the only disappointment is the lack of body.

Photo of 100floods
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy copper hue. No head. Nice scents of tart cherries with a faint sweet smell. Notes of red wine are present in the aroma, too and compliment the tartness nicely Big, but tame tartness with a decent acidic flavor. After letting this sit and stir for a while the sweeter notes come to the front. Dark cherries, diacetyl, hints of dry red wine. The carbonation definite helps the tartness of the brew, it makes it sharper. Noticeable notes of brett and diacetyl for a buttery, yet funky finish. The beer's medium body definitely helps your palate deal with the tartness and the acidity nicely so that you can enjoy the complexity rather than focus on how funky it is. Top notch. Very well balanced.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this as an extra from nerd. Poured into a tulip. Batch 005X1. Light brown with a reddish tint to it. There is a light brown head that rests on top; about a quarter inch thick.

Smells slightly sour, a hint of oak is noticed in the background. I get a good whiff of cherry vanilla as well. This doesn't smell overly sour, allowing a more complex aroma from the other scents.

The taste starts with just the slightest bit of vanilla sweetness, and follows with a nice sour finish. Nicely balanced, but still sour forward.

The mouthfeel here his nicely done. The carbonation has a nice prickliness to it, and the body fills the mouth nicely when quaffed.

As far as sours go, this is highly drinkable, but I will resist the urge to gulp it down and make it last.

Photo of julian
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing this. I've bought dozens of these for trades but never got around to trying it. It's not even noon on Monday and I'm busting this one out....at work.

A: Crimson amber in color with a nice lasting almond colored head that forms a thick ring around the edges. Clarity is medium to good.

S: Obviously the first thing I smell is the funky brett aroma. It's not something you can really cover up, although it has to be one of the more pleasant brett beers I've had the pleasure of smelling as it's not overwhelming and compliments the other aromas nicely. There's some tartness to the nose too, probably from the pinot barrels, some cherries and a faint vanilla aroma along with an oaky woody essence.

T: Taste is of cherries, oak, kind of a sweet malt/vanilla backbone but very, very subtle. The wine/pinot essence comes through too as a kind of tartness, although this could be from the brett too. There's a slight alcoholic warmth to this as well. Very complex, and very balanced for the style.

M: Mouthfeel is great. Not too dry, just right. Carbonation is perfect. Finishes smooth.

O: Probably one of the best wild/brett ales I've had. Very delicious. I can't really complain about anything on this one.

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks a lot to MASPuros for this one! Batch 04x4. 375ml corked and caged bottle. Served in a Tank 7 tulip. Poured a clear dark gold with two fingers of fine bubbled, white head. Lots of carbonation, effervescent. Great aroma with tart cherries and some brett. Light bodied and fairly dry. Very tart flavor with more fruit. Some of the barrel flavors came through in the finish.
Very unique and complex beer.

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Supplication Batch 006X1. 375ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: 4
Brassy brown red body with 1’ white head that slowly dissipates to nothing. Mild faint lacing.


Definite sour aroma with notes of lemon, minimal dark fruit, and faint funkiness. Not really barnyard smelling though as I thought it might be. Also a slight toffee note of sweetness, I imagine from the malt.

Taste: 4.5

A great sour with amazing balance. It’s definitely a moderate-strong sourness, but the overall profile seems so refined. It’s not harsh or caustic, but instead very pleasant. Get a mild almost woody funk with notes of lemon/citrus, presence of pinot noir grapes as well as faintest of sweetness of the malt. Lingering sour aftertaste with touch of malt and bitterness. Nice crisp, bright mineral presence in sour component, like a good white wine; this really adds a nice level of complexity to the flavour

Mouthfeel: 4.5
So delightfully sour, but again somehow balance. Great champagne-like soft, fine carbonation that leads to almost pillowly sensation. Mild thickness. Perfect amount of slimily acidic feeling ( which sounds weird I know, but seem spot-on appropriate). I really love how this beer feels actually.

Overall: 4.5
A surprising, subtle, well balanced beer that is definingly sour, but in the same breath incredibly balanced. It’s a little different than I anticipated, much less in-your-face. But really its just such a good beer.

I wasn’t 100% sold of sour beers before this, but now I am. It was just so enjoyable. In fact, super easy drinking and I was very quick to finish it, wishing I had more.

Must Try Recommendation.

Photo of SQNfan
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured an orangish copper in color with tinges of red and brown. It had a fluffy head of beige bubbles with faded to leave some island lacing from the constant bubbles. The nose showed off the sour cherries along with other red fruits, "brown" wood and an herbal funkiness. In the mouth this is extremely sour and acidic with the tart cherries being the domminate flavor and a tannic grip on the finish. While acidic, the midpalate does come off as balanced with a nice combination of carbonation and supple edges.

Photo of deereless
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Nice rusty gold in color, finger of foam off a hard pour that dropped relatively quickly, some visible sediment – 4.50, S: Cherries are very evident on the nose, soft tartness comes through as well, pinot noir is present but doesn’t dominate – 4.50, T: Quite tart, sour cherries, not the normal brett beer I’m accustomed to, woodiness is subtle, pretty dry, faint hops deep in the body, cider vinegar – 4.50, M: Mildly puckering and with a tannic dryness – 3.75, D: Hands down one of the better wild ales I’ve tasted, seek this beer out – 4.25

Photo of ChadQuest
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sunburst orange but on the darker side of the spectrum of fade, with a light collar around the edge.

Light aroma, smells great and inticing, like hay that sat in the barn a few wet seasons with a leaky roof, there is a light fruity aspect also.

Bottle says cherries are added and that is there but there is also a darker taste possibly from the malt, like currants maybe, just some darker fruits and funky brett character melded together, not the most sour beer i've tried from Russian River but very up front nontheless, has that spring grassy field character i really enjoy.

It's a sour ale, so yo know it's dry and puckering, not the most sour but enough to satisfy and make you desire it on a hot day.

Photo of veinless
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
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 ummswimmin
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to find this while on a day trip to Pennsylvania. We don't get the amazing offerings from Russian River in New Jersey. So, I have to find it in Pennsylvania or from friends and family visiting from California.

My review is from batch 007... look at that... drinking James Bond beer!

I poured Supplication into a snifter to hold in the great smell coming off the beer. Speaking of, this beer smells amazing. You get a great dose of sour coming off the top. There is also a decent amount of cherry.

Supplication looks pretty good. The foam is minimal, as expected for an aged beer (this one is almost five years!). There is also some pretty good alcohol legs on the glass.

The flavor is very vibrant. You really have to sip this because a mouthfull is just too strong. This is a great example of a sour. You can get the cherry, yeast, and pinot noir in the glass. I also like the way it tingles a little in the mouth.

This is a very good beer. I wish I didn't have to go so far out of my way to get the greatness coming from Russian River.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed, tawny, deep amber/orange, under a fizzy slab of off-whitish foam...

Oooo...sow-wer aroma, wild and funky, citrus and spice at play in the great outdoors...oooo...aaahhh!

A most unusual taste. Full bodied, and utterly weird. Bold fruit, forward and beautifully blended. Cherries are on top, but don't dominate, there's a greater complexity, made more confounding by the tartness that abounds.
Gets mellower as we sip, and wider, too...more open, spacious, ...with incessant bursts of cherry-licious flavor...me, oh, my...

This beer requires a larger bottle, and a momentous occasion, to share with special someones...drinks down deliciously...

A most stupendous creation.

Photo of hero27
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002.

12.7 oz corked/caged bottle.
7% abv.

Aged in oak pinot noir wine barrels for 15 months.

Dark orange, fizzy beige head forms after the volcanic explosion upon releasing the cork. Bold cherry sourness..woody flavors are definitely noticeable and both come together quite well. The alcohol blends in flawlessly and is almost an afterthought after each swallow. Body is oily and fairly coating. Mouthfeel is slick yet slightly syrupy. Overall a very good wild ale which pretty much defines the style.

A great example of American experimentation with craft beer.

Photo of TychoNDC
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. I have had the pleasure of drinking this beer many times, but have never been in a situation in which I could mull over a review. Fortunately I brought back a bottle recently and had the opportunity to do so.

375 ml bottle, bottle date 04/11/2013. Poured into a HF tulip.

A. Deep amber. Not a classic yellow amber, but rather an opaque brown. I imagine this is what some 100 million year old insect amber looks like. The beer possesses some light carbonation, and forms a small tan head which quickly recedes, leaving a hazy lacing.

O. Tart and lactic. Sour but not bitingly so. There is a cherry sweetness that really comes through here. The oak lingers in the nose, and really starts to take over as the beer settles.

T. The cherry shines up front, with some breadyness complementing it. There is a pleasant sourness all the way through, and a tart oaken flavor dominates at the end. The wood is present here through and through. Very exciting.

M. This beer is almost wine like, especially as the carbonation gives away. That said, it's more medium bodied, not like a heavy red wine or anything, and the alcohol is well hidden.

O. This is a marvelously drinkable beer, and a classic American wild ale. One of my favorite "readily available" sours. The balance of tart, sweet, and oak in this brew is superb, especially when fresh. The mouthfeel is lacking a bit, and I wish there was a bit more carbonation in the bottling of this beer. Otherwise it's fantastic.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Thick three finger off white head with excellent retention and nice lacing on a clear copper with burnt orange hue.

S: yeast, bubble gum, sour cherries, cane sugar and tangerine.

T: sour cherries, oak, caramel, tart citrus, excellent level of sourness. It's very complex as one would expect.

M: medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: this is a very good beer. Smooth even with the tartness but it's one of those for me that may have been overhyped. The degree of sourness lessens over time and it loses some of its luster. It's still delicious.

Photo of Beaver13
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, batch 04x5. Pours a clear reddish copper with a medium creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a little subdued but very nice - sweet and tart cherries with some wood and a touch of alcohol.

The flavor is a huge punch of sour tart fruits. After getting accustomed to the sourness, some sweet cherries and wood comes out. It has a dry finish with some sharp sour notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly sharp.

Overall, this is one of the sourest beers I've had and one of the best sours. It's very nice - the sweet cherries help balance the sourness and make it interesting. I picked up very little Brett, more could be interesting. This is even more intense in the bottle than when I had it on draft. A bit of an expensive treat at $13 a bottle.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered online from their website and shipped to my bro's place in NC...one more reason to anticipate the visit.
I was fortunate to sample this a couple times at the ABF...finally have a full 12oz. to enjoy to myself.
Pours a cloudy rust color w/ less than 1/4 finger of head...hardly no lacing forms on the sides of the snifter glass.
Aroma is very inviting...subtle sour cherries w/ hints of the pinot noir barrels this offering was aged in.
The taste is quite tart...cherries are not overbearing and a definite vinous quality. Finishes slightly bitter...more tart IMO.
The mouthfeel and carbonation are perfect for the style...both very quenching/refreshing, even served at room temperature.
At 7%, I could enjoy this one all afternoon...gets better w/ each sip.
I have one more to age for a year and am hoping it will sour even more...cheers to Vinnie at RR for this one.

Photo of Adeezy4495
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 5,080 ratings.