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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,364 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,364
Hads: 5,637
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 3.79%
Wants: 2,557
Gots: 1,847 | 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
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Reviews: 1,364 | Hads: 5,637
Photo of BVukelich
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a special "barrel" week at The Beer Junction. $4 for a 4oz pour, 7% ABV. Rich, red-copper color. Tremendous lace sticking to the glass. Aroma was a bit sour and unfortunately, I think I was picking up hints of the sanitation in the glass. Flavor had a mild puckering tang, no hop bitterness and not too sweet. Carbonation was average and viscosity was above average. Delicious aftertaste. This was worth the price for a special treat. (442 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on 10/21/13.

A- Pours a reddish-brown medium garnet color with a small slightly pink head that dissipated to a very thin ring. Nice degree of clarity.

S- Sour cherry with some light sweet cherry in there. Lots of barnyard funk and sour apple, slight hint of alcohol.

T- Lots of sour and funk. Sour cherry, not as much as in the aroma. Get some light cereal grain in the finish.

M- Medium, long sourness in the mouth. Very fitting for the style.

O- Some American sours I've had don't deliver on the funk and sourness but this one certainly does. This is one of the best examples of a sour beer I've had. The fruit is there as a support to the funk and sour. It is definitely a sipper of a beer but for all the right reasons. Certainly a beer to seek out if you love sour beers. (838 characters)

Photo of NickBiller
5/5  rDev +11.6%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of macher0
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow I'm excited.

Thanks to Jake_ramrod for the share.

A. Bright amber. Translucent. Poured minimal head that retreats to a fine rim.

S. Tart. Sour fruits of cherries, apples, grapes, and persimmon. Sour bacteria. Neutral oak. Clean and crisp.

T. Super tart. Follows the nose with sour fruit, light malts, sour yeast, and bretts.

M. Crisp and clean. Extremely smooth to the 3rd degree. Low carbonation. Light body.

O. This lives up to the hype. I would go to great lengths for this again. It's way sour but in an excellent way. Super clean. One of the best sours brewed in the U.S. (590 characters)

Photo of jjdc
4.94/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rusty, oxidized brown in color. Cherry, oak and funk on the nose. Baby apple skins. Cherries and a nice bit of backbone from the Pinot Noir barrels. There's a hint of pencil eraser on the finish. A pleasant bit of funkiness and a phenomenal sour. Among the best. (262 characters)

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Very nice light brown, with a faint reddish hue. Thin one finger white head that quickly disappears. Not much lacing and no alcohol legs.

S - Sour cherries, slight oaky red wine smell, but mostly cherries

T - Oak, spice followed up with sour cherries. Very complex flavors. Not quite a sour, but more sour than anything else.

M - Very refreshing for the person that likes sours. Lots of carbonation keeps this just the way I like it!

O - Extremely drinkable and very complex in flavor. Top ten beers in the world? Why not. (531 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper color with almost no head.

S: Dark red wine in the nose.

T: Tastes a bit like red wine, dark grapes, and some tartness. Pinot barrels work perfectly with this type of sour.

M: Somewhat astringent, medium bodied, and smoothish.

O: One of the best sours I have ever had. (287 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle purchased at City Beer in San Francisco weeks ago.

The appearance both surprised me and impressed me as I felt that the head on the beer was not typical of other sours I've tried. The head was thick, foamy and frothy and formed a finger and a half thick over the liquid. The beer was copper-colored and semi-opaque.

I was again impressed by the aromas emanating from this gem: sour cherries, dark fruit, and lots of yeastiness. It smelled light and refreshing.

The taste was everything the nose had lead me to expect. There was some wine-like tastes, dark sour cherries, other dark fruit hints, and some yeast. Truly a delicious beer.

I remember thinking this beer was champagne like, with the high carbonation, smoothness and slight creaminess, plus a dryer finish. Supplication feels like so much more than a beer.

Overall, an outstanding beer, even though I kept thinking I was sipping a wine or maybe a champagne, I realized that Supplication is a transcendent brew. There's so much complexity here and so much good flavor. I loved this. (1,083 characters)

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle aged for about 15 months (forgot date). Batch 009. Also now realize I never did an unaged review.

A: Pleasant chestnut-brown color. I did a very slow pour into a tulip glass and got no head whatsoever. IIRC, there was a small to moderate head on the unaged one.

S: Sour cherries dominate, definite notes of yeast, some malts.

T: Would recommend serving closer to aging temperature as opposed to fridge temperature. Sour cherries again dominate, but in balance, its not overly sour and is balanced by malt sweetness as it warms up. Finish is more sour and pretty dry despite low alcohol.

M: Big difference from unaged bottle is lack of carbonation and it definitely takes away from the overall experience. Light-to-medium bodied, well-balanced.

O: It's Russian River, it's a sour beer, so it's great. Unaged bottle would have scored higher, but this may be an outlier, so can't say definitively whether aging is a good idea or not. (949 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Chris for grabbing this on the way through Colorado Spings. Poured a dark amber a bit red. Lots of bubbles. Khaki head very creamy but fades quickly no lacing. Smell is fairly one dimensional and potent it's advertising the presence of sour cherries. Taste is all about cherries and currants it's sour but not puckeringly aggressive. There is a bit of sweetness and acid reminiscent of raspberries. A light dose of funk but thankfully not over the top and it works well here. Medium light body and brightly carbonated. Finish is cherry, tart, and dry. Definitely shows off the Pinot barrel aging. Very good. (614 characters)

Photo of MalWilkinson
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

When it comes to wine, I'm a big pinot noir fan. That being said, to find beer aged in pinot noir barrels brings a smile to my face. Supplication has a dark orange/ruby red color to it with sweet, but mainly sour cherry aromas. The taste is of tart cherries with a bit of oak and raspberry.

I really enjoy this beer, it's sweet but still a true sour ale. (356 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle serves in a tulip.

A - Pours a dark amber color with a nice white foamy head. Nice head retention but little lacing.

S - Pick up the cherries immediately. Lovely aroma.

T - Nicely soured so as not to overwhelm.

M - Medium bodied with excellent carbonation.

O - A well done sour. This bottle was dated 10/21/13. Going to put away a couple to see how they age. (382 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 041113.

A: Pours a beautiful ruby red. Tall, fizzy tan head. Almost soda-like. Fizzes out pretty quickly. Zero lacing and little head retention.

S: Tart cherries with some leathery tannins. Hint of oak and a little sweet fruits join when swirled - sweet raspberries I'd say mostly? General berry fruitiness everywhere.

T: Whoa, much more sour than the aroma betrays. Tart grapeskins from the wine and loads of sour cherries up front. Sour cherries don't fade, they actually get more and more tart through the middle. A little bit of raspberry sweetness and then lots of oaky, leathery tannins in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, mouth-puckeringly sour.

O: Seriously sour, I actually think this was more sour than beatification. Or maybe it's just the wine adding more layers of tartness that amplify the sour cherries. I'm not sure. Strongest/sourest cherry flavor in a beer I've ever had. A little over the top for me, but obviously well crafted. Big and bright flavors for sure. Barrel aging isn't over the top and adds quite a bit of complexity. I'm not a big fan of wine or wine barrel beers so my subjectivity is showing with my scores. It's a good beer but just not up my alley, I think. (1,205 characters)

Photo of laglocal
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml Bottle poured into a tulip

A - Pours with a ruby translucency, head was a finger but was almost gone before I could observe it. Interesting that this was originally a brown ale as it looks nothing like that after the almost year of labor put into it.

S - Intoxicating. Sour cherries and a bit of alcohol warms the nose. Smells almost like the favorite sour cherry chewy gummy things of my youth. I know I said this on another recent review but this is one of the best smelling beers Ive ever smelled. Maybe my nose is just getting better

T - It should be mentioned that this is also my first sour ale. Interesting. The sour cherry flavor from the nose comes across slightly but the wine undertones are definitely stronger. The funk of traditional sour ales is definitely strong. Not sure this is my favorite style although if it were stronger on the sourness it would not be as tasteful I don't think. Still really enjoyable and pleasant, but with the price I will save this for really special occasions. I am curious about how it would age though, so I will probably toss a few bottles in the cellar

M - Really pleasant carbonated, a thin mouthfeel leaves the sour cherry and wine flavors sitting on your tongue to linger.

O - I'm sure if I had more context for the style I would have been wowed by this beer but as such I am a sour noob. I still loved the cherry and wine notes and think those will come out stronger as I age it (hopefully!) (1,454 characters)

Photo of vinny21bal
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best sours out there. Great beer. Temptation is my favorite of the line but this one is very amazing. Perfect sour with a little bit of funk like the old world sours. To many of the American sours are just sour and miss a lot of the funky barnyard flavor that a sour should have. If this beer is ever available. Don't think twice. (341 characters)

Photo of detroithopluv
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer from a liquor store in Sacramento last summer. It sat in my fridge for months. Decided it was a special occasion(Detroit Tigers vs Oakland A's playoff game 2) . I had forgotten what kind of beer this even was. I was very surprised to find it was a sour type beer. It smelled awesome. I can't even describe it. Then the taste....just awesome. Nice and bubbly. (377 characters)

Photo of MNRealtor
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorite beers. The last time I got to enjoy this beauty was while visiting the Stone brewery. There were so many amazing choices, but i could not pass up this one while sitting out on the Stone patio. I'm kicking myself that I did not bring any home with me to MN. (292 characters)

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle dated 4/11/13 into a Riedel Cabernet glass.

A - Cloudy, copper in color with a 1/2" head that fades to a faint white ring. Scattered carbonation bubbles float throughout the glass.

S - Sweet and tart cherries on the initial whiff followed by the infamous funk. You can definitely detect the Pinot barrels on the nose. Beautiful fruit and hints of malts on the back end. Very clean aroma!

T - Flavors of oak and sour cherries accompanied by a well balanced tartness and sourness. As a former wine junkie, you can pick up the Pinot on the finish. No presence of alcohol.

M - A wonderful acidity while holding it in your mouth followed by a dryness once swallowed. Not overly sweet and the sourness delivers spectacularly.

O - This was well worth the wait! I've 5 bottles staring at me for months and decided that they had sat long enough. I cannot wait to try some of the year old bottles that I have as this can only get better with age. Seek this out and you will be delightfully satisfied! (1,020 characters)

Photo of Jas45678
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle (dated 12/17/12) into tulip

Pours a copper color with some floaties and a minimal white head. Smell is tart cherries, oak and a little Pinot. Taste is tart cherries and raspberries, I get a little bit of Pinot and oak. Not as tart as I expected. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation and a little dry. Overall it is very good, I just expected a little more due to its current ranking. (411 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a goblet. One finger of head on a deep amber colored body.
The aroma is a sour smell with brown sugar, wood and raspberry all mixed up in the best way.
The taste is quite sour with wood and raspberry.
The texture is crisper with moderate carbonation.
A great drink. (278 characters)

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/2012

A: Pours a dark reddish/copper colored body. Dense, frothy head runs down the glass with no lacing but settles into a silky rim reminiscent of a latte.

S: Tart cherries. Mega funk. Oak. Brown sugary sweetness. Apple cider. Grapefruit and citrus. This smells brilliant.

T: Wow. There is a ton of funky sweet tart, balanced with loads of cherries and a white grape juice flavor in the finish. There is a perfect amount of oak to balance and round the whole thing out.

M: Heavy carbonation. Medium body. Puckering tart. Prickly. Dry.

O: Every bit of the hype is warranted on this one. Mind bending good. (621 characters)

Photo of NuclearRich
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A. Copper hues pour without any semblance of foam but there is some trickling streams of bubbles spattered about. Slight haze.

S. Oak, earth, tart cherries, mild funk

T/M. Yum! A light tartness plays very well with a light cherry sweetness, dry oak along with the tartness give a puckering feel. Well carbonated and feels effervescent. As it warms, more barnyard funk comes out.

O. Quite delicious and I was very happy to drink it! (436 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Raul is up in it at Haven's 4th anniversary in Orange, CA and he is feelin' it hard with a Supplication. And to think that this 90 degree heat is melting Raul; no no no, it's the Supplication. Beyonce one said, "life is but a dream;" and if that dream were Raul's, it would be filled with Supplication. Not overly sweet, not syrupy, just clean and smooth like, well, Supplication.

Yep! (386 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)


Russian River's Supplication: sour ale aged in Pinot Noir barrels with tart cherries added, 7.75% ABV, very carbonated;

Appearance: deep orangish-amber with plenty of grey sediment, no head;

Smell: sharply pungent, acidic fusion of Pinot Noir and cherry, faint woody notes;

Taste/Mouthfeel: sharp acidity, very raspberry-like fruit, red wine dryness, minimally bitter, orange-y citrus on the finish; good.

Poured into a pint glass. (496 characters)

Photo of Philousa
4.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale brown with a good amount of brown head that dissipates very quickly, leaving nearly zero carbonation at the top of the brew. Active, visible carbonation in the brew. Sweet fruit in the nose, cherries and apricot come to mind. Some Belgian yeast and and subtle bitterness from hops are present with a little bread aroma with a swirl. Fresh baked white to be exact, for you perfectionists (goes with the pale malt). Grape aroma is very evident, especially with multiple whiffs; pinot is very evident and some might argue a little overpowering. Dark fruit hits the palate at first: cherries, apricots, sour date (is that possible?), then light fruit, such as green grape and pear, then sourness and bitterness. This last combo is face-punching. Seriously. The mouth feel is wet and sloshy, very thin, which is a contrast to the flavors.

This is a very flavorful, complex beer. Then comes the sourness! Woah! I ain't kidding! This needs to be more balanced for me. I really wanted to like it, especially after having consecration, but it just didn't hold up. If you really enjoy sour beers, then this is for you. I guess I'm just not up to the task right now.


After nearly two years since my initial review, I felt it time to revisit this one.

Pours a leathery copper color with big, effervescent head that fades quickly. The aroma is complex, but not overreaching. Cherries, dates, plum, and other darker pit fruit along with cranberries, lingonberries, and other tart berries. The malt is subtle, but there with a dark bread presence, like pumpernickel. The light berries (cranberry, etc.) dominate with a subtle bit of overcooked wheat crust. The sourness is most like vinegar, but the darkness in the flavor offsets it a bit. I also get some oak and it's not too subtle. The dryness of the finish really helps balance the oak, as I'm one that can think it's overbearing too easily. Sourness is substantial but not overpowering. I hardly puckered my face this time. The finish is only somewhat bitter, and I can tell the hops are not their best, which really helps keep the focus on the sour and barrel aspects of this brew. The feel is light, even for a sour.

This is a great beer, but not one to reach for other than a special occasion. The sourness isn't overpowering like before, though maybe I'm just more used to sours. The only big flaw is its lack of depth. This beer can wear on you quickly, especially when warmed. (2,446 characters)

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,364 ratings.