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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,379 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,379
Hads: 5,720
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 18.89%
Wants: 2,591
Gots: 1,884 | 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: 1,379 | Hads: 5,720
Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently received this in a trade with pwoody11 (thanks again), and since it was the newest batch and I have some older stuff in the basement I figured it'd be worth drinking soon and adding the dregs to my oude bruin in secondary. Cracked this one open after a hearty dinner of rich beef stew. Really cut through all the rich robust flavors, though I'm glad I waited to drink it as an after dinner drink.

A: Nice auburn with your typical barrel-aged sour head, a quick pop that fades right away.

S: The bugs are present, but I'm still getting a lot of yeast character. Its certainly got an acetic punch too it, but not much of the funk I sometimes get from this beer. Sour cherries are very pronounced. There's a nice rich brown sugar sweetness in the background as well as a bit of oak character to be found. Pinot noir is kind of hard to miss.

T: A bit more funky than the nose first made me think. Lots of sour tart puckering (three adjectives, you are warned) cherry flavor. There's a strong spice not that I'm guessing is from the Pinot Noir barrels. For being sour there's enough residual brown sugar & molasses sweetness to overcome any notions of straight vinegar.

M: Lively carbonation carries this light to medium bodied beer. That said, as it warms a lot of body is lost. Due to the tartness and slight tannic nature finish is very dry. Alcohol becomes more present as it warms as well.

O: Reading over my review I keep thinking it sounds like I didn't really enjoy this one. I did, I always do. It was different than other bottles I've had, which is of course to be expected. Its not a perfectly balanced beer, but its an extremely enjoyable one that fully deserves the praise it gets. It really was a nice contrast to dinner, and I'm hoping it'll do some great things to my conditioning beer.

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Photo of jman42
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Drank on tap at Barcade Philly

A = A deep orange with some brownish tints to it. Very clear. Minimal head on this pour.

S = We really had a hard time picking out any special scents. Just well balanced.

T = Cherries. Tart. That was our big takeaway from this one.


O = A great beer, but not my favorite style of beer. That is on me and not Russian River though.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App- A slightly murky maroon with whitish-pink head. Lots of lactic lacing

Sm- Tart cherries, oak, funk, and a roasted toffee hiding in the back.

Ta- Cherries, but not very pronounced. The tartness is there but is seems to come from the yeast not the fruit. Funk is minimal and comes through with some barnyard smells. The malts are rich and have a some sweet caramel, toffee flavors.

MF- Small bubbles with minimal carbonation. Nice.

DR- Amazing. Another winner that can be savored slowly (because you don't want it to end) over and over.

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Photo of ghetto90007
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 006 (bottle says 006X1). 375 mL. Poured into my Stone Old Guardian Barleywine goblet. My favorite glass these days - works wonderfully with several different styles, especially puckery ones like IPAs, DIPAs and SOURS.

I actually pulled this one out of the fridge because I had a greasy quesadilla from a Lincoln Heights Mexican hole-in-the-wall up on North Broadway called Carnitas Michoacan. Needed something acerbic to settle the stomach. This one fit the bill nicely.

Poured like the red-orange hues of the sunset. Really a beautiful color, the red must be coming from the cherries. Respectable white head, really great lacing. This bottle came out nicely and perfectly conditioned.

Smells like mouth-wateringly tart cherries, some vague sweetness and the oak is definitely present.

Wow, this one is sour, but it's nice. The sour cherries are dominant here, there's some mild sweetness, which provides some balance making this one more pleasant. The oak starts to come to the forefront and then begins to recede in the follow, but lingers in the aftertaste. The oak really does a great thing for this brew - sometimes this barrel aging stuff gets a little gimmicky, but this is right on. It adds wonderful complexity - the cherries and the oak infused with a quality sour are what makes this beer something quite special.

Mouthfeel is fairly light in body, decent carbonation, but also a bit of a softness.

I could drink a good amount of this. It's really good, complex and interesting, but remarkably drinkable. Makes me really happy.

I'm a learner in the sour department, but this beer converted me to the style. I enjoyed it and rushed out the next day to procure another bottle. This will be a beer I'll seek out as a regular whenever it's available.

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Photo of jojox
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of Jovial_Libations
3.89/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a tulip glass. The initial burst of air from the bottle had loads of cherry smell in it. Poured into the glass it more of a sour/vinegar brow ale smell. Taste was actually kind of bitter, some pinot noir and cherry but not sour at all. Well crafted but not a big fan of the flavor.

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Photo of sessycuban
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 002. Sam from the Stuffed Sandwich was nice enough to sell this to me.

A - The beer pours with a rich foamy head. The color is a light red to amber. Head disipates to a skim of white foam leaving a little lace

S - The beer smells of sour cherries. This would make the brewers of Rodenbach blush.

T - More sour cherries. I also taste the oak barrel. Incredibly balanced.

M - Well carbonated, medium bodied, very dry finish.

D - Incredibly drinkable. This is probably Russian River's most balanced beer. If you can find it, buy it and drink it.

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Photo of cpone
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: A lot of power behind that cap, intense carbonation. Fairly aggressive pour into a tulip. Light brown/caramel body with a two finger, creamy off white head.

S: Strong oak, very vinous - reminds me of my uncle's wine celler. Dark fruit, mostly cherry but some prune. A slight funk to the nose, and a touch of alcohol.

T: Holy sh*t. Definitely get tart cherries, a bit of orange peel, lemon, grapefruit. A funky quality, but not Lambic funk - it's more earthy, more subtle. Get the oak, and wines notes. Unbelievably clean finish, slight bitterness.

M: Funk and carbonation just roll over your tongue. Medium body. Leaves your mouth watering begging for more but also very satisfied.

Amazing brew. So consistent. A lot of beers have a great nose, but fail to back it up in the taste or mouthfeel - everything is in sync here. Gets better with each progression.

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Photo of Dynobolt
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow what an awesome sour! Never thought I wud have a better sour then concecration but I just did!! Brought this baby from Russian River back home to so cal in imperial.. And enjoyed it with boy Jared..

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Photo of antilogic
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 13oz Chimay. Have had it in bottle (batch 003) on several occasions previously. Bottle matches tap pretty close.

Color was a dull gold with a light white head. Smells of tart fruits, cherry, apple, sourness. A very drinkable sour, less biting than a flanders or some of RR's other sours, medium bodied, and less fruits in the taste than I expected. Good stuff.

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Photo of kbanks13
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 4x4, thanks to a trade with Popkas

Pours a beautiful deep ruby red with a finger of soft cream colored head that has great retention and great lacing. Smells of wood, red grapes, some spice, cherries, and definitely a funky brett smell. Taste is much like the nose but now I can pick up on raspberries and the vinegar cuts through, in a very pleasant way. The sourness is mouthwatering and refreshing, not burning or overly drying. Nice and sweet but nicely sour too, ends pretty cleanly but still has a faint lingering grain taste, but more noticeable in the slight aftertaste are the sour cherries. Wonderful carbonation and coating round out the dry and tart body. Incredibly delicious and enjoyable, though I could see how having much more would be troublesome for a person's stomach or tongue. Still, this is an incredible beer and I wish that RR distributed in MA!

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Photo of abrethanson
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a rich copper /amber color topped with a (1) finger foam head. The balance between the head and body is exceptional... maybe I am just a pro at pouring. Leaves a light lacing around the tulip glass as carbonation continues to rise. Looks like the standard for a tart brown ale

Smells - fruity and tart. Wife says she can smell a bitter fermentation.

Taste - The sourness stands out heavily from the lactobacillus and pediococcus, fruity tart from cherries. Grapefruit tartness hangs at the end. Having a hard time pulling the Brett our with the overpowering sourness.

Overall - Refreshingly well-balanced between the sour and fruit. Great for a sunny afternoon picnic or just complimenting some brie crackers. If you like sours this is the one to have.

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Photo of timfc
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I was walking through SF and came upon a small corner bottle-shop. I went inside and, WTF?!? It was like a beer mecca (there's irony here people); where things I'd only heard about were just sitting on the shelf waiting for someone to purchase. Why, there's a Black Albert, sure, I'll take one. Oh, a Supplication? I would love one...

Have I mentioned that I like sours?

No, well...

I don't know how to put into words the level of love that I have for this beer. It's perfectly balanced, it's got amazing depth, the barrel, the cherries, oh my...

Right, tell you why I like the beer: it's simply one of the best examples of a barrel aged sour beer that exists. The flavor is slightly fruity, puckery, and has these amazing layers that just keep coming. It's one of the best beers that I ever had. I disconnected my analytical beer drinking side, sat, and sipped thinking, "oh god" over and over. Not many beers allow me to do that.

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Photo of Mattygross44
3.81/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

I guess sours are just not for me i mean i am a beer drinker if i wanted something like this i would be a wine drinker!! I will stick to my manly big boy beers and leave the sours to the wine lovers. Shouldnt be considered a beer at all!

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. Beer, meet cherries. Cherries meet champagne. this is quite simply an astounding beer and I hate fruit in my beer typcially.

A small head coats the sides as you drink this bad boy down. Cherries are front and center followed by the taste of a nice champagne yeast, unlike anything I have ever tasted in a beer before. This was followed by the nice flavors of a mild brown ale. Tart, but not overly slow with a tangy middle and a nice ale finish. Just a real gem.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.86/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. batch 001. poured a pretty, super clear red/orange mahagony color with no head whatsoever. this was just a few degrees below room temp.

aroma is yeasty, deep cherry, berries, dried apricot aroma, combined with complex earthy, barnyard and brett aromas. very inviting.

wow, great penetrating sour taste hits the tongue. didn't pick all that up in the aroma. super dry, with sour cherry, bitter lemon, sweet berry, cassis. tons of minerality and acidity. carbonated and zippy, but smooth like a fine champagne. finishes with a slightly bitter, funky barnyard note.

basically, an amazing beer. i wish i had a case of this stuff, and that this was a 750ml bottle. i don't know how long ive been hiding it in the cold (at least a year, maybe two), but it's perfectly balanced and wonderfully complex. perfect as an apparatif or with food.

combines the best complexity of a lambic with a friendly fruity flavor and a minerality reminiscent of great champagne.

near the end of the beer i swirled the tiny bit left in the bottle and poured the yeast in, creating a murky orange color. surprisingly, more of the cherry sweetness came out in both the aroma and taste. the beer became softer and creamier. this was not what i was expecting. good, but i prefer it without the yeast because of its racy, sour characteristics (even tho many beers i prefer adding the yeasties).

this was truly a perfect pairing with a thick cut pork chop with a sweet and sour pan sauce (sweet vermouth, smoked bacon, shallots, plum tomato, butter, etc.), some roasted yams and a salad. just amazing.

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Photo of drowland
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at RBWG 2010 from a 375mL bottle. The aroma is huge oak and Belgian yeast with definite tartness and touches of brett and lacto for sure. The flavor is big sour, plenty tart, with citrus and so much more. The oak presents itself more subtley than in the aroma with a hint of Brett presence as well. Awesome stuff!

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Photo of benpopper
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005x3

In the glass it is very deep red and had almost no head. Fades quickly, not a whole lot of lacing.

The smell is great in its complexities. A whole lot of the outdoors up front with a little cherry hiding behind it all.

Sweeter than the other two Russian River offerings we shared this night, but has a good amount of the funky quality we hope to get from a wild right behind. Great sipping quality to try to pick different things out of.

It is a great drinker with a god amount of carbonation, yet smooth feel going down.

Definitely something I want to drink more often than the yearly bottle I currently get.

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Photo of pmoore311
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle on 4/22/10.

Appearance - Beautiful orangish brown color, with bubbly white head.

Smell - good, sour, vineger, and cherries, I am not getting a ton of the barrel in the nose, but overall very pleasant.

Taste - delicious sweet tart like cherry with a variety of additional dark fruits fruits and earthiness. Subtle notes from the barrel come through as it warms.

Mouthfeel - very bubbly and compliments the style.

Overall - Fantastic, I have been slowly getting more and more into this style and after having this one I am hooked. Absolutely a world class beer.

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Photo of heelsn02
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 005X1. Major thanks to ipa247 for sending this my way.

SO excited to drink this... tried it on draught at RR about 2 years ago, which seems like forever ago.

12.68 fl. oz. bottle poured into my newly acquired catawba valley brewing Co. snifter.

Picking up the nose 2 feet away, straight from the pour. Almost looks like a bourbon color to me (probably b/c i've been pouring some Buffalo Trace lately :) amber/deep orange color. Very cloudy and very bubbly. 2 fingers worth of eggshell head. Awesome looking beer.

Crazy unique smell. Smells wonderfully fruity fresh, flowery wild yeast. Crisp, clean, earthy aromas. Most complex beer I've ever smelled and it's not even close. Very tart... a bit boozey, but not overwhelming. Dirty brett barnyard funkiness. just heavenly.

Taste is very tart, very sour. absolutely incredible. Lots of tart cherry flavors coming thru. GREAT stuff. Pucker power for sure. Some pineapple/strawberries coming thru too. No oaky/woody barrel tones at all, not at all like a lambic either. Can taste some pinot noir characteristics - my favorite wine too. I just LOVE it. Absolutely phenomenal. Super complex stuff here. almost like liquid sweet tarts. I could drink this all night long.

Pretty dry, wine-like finish, very carbonated.

Really wish I had another one of these in the fridge. The best sour beer I’ve ever had, might be the best beer I've ever had too. RR rules. thanks again Jeff.

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Photo of dfclav
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pour is a very nice two finger dark amber colored cascading head. Plenty of active carbonation keeps the head up for several minutes.

S - huge whiff of Brett funk first smell that overpowers everything else. Underneath that you get a bit of cherry with oak and a touch of bready yeast.

T - a very well balanced mix of Brett and cherries that go together extremely well. Many breweries fail with the addition of cherries, it is really almost always a miss for me. This is a definite exception. A very nice tartness accompanies this beer, about the level of eating a fresh tamarind. As it warms oak adds another layer of complexity.

M - medium to light bodied, fairly light on the carbonation in the mouth which always works for me in sours because high carbonation makes me believe my teeth are going to rot out. Finish is very dry and oaky, and delicious. Mouth wateringly delicious.

O - If you are a fan of the style this is a must have beer. If you are just getting into the style this may be a bit intense but should give you some good hindsight about the style. This is a very well crafted brew and worthy of being called one of the best beers in the world.

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Photo of Doc_Hops
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Supplication pours a wonderfully deep amber/ brown hue with hints of dark red around the edges of the glass. The head is off white lingering on light tan and it is quickly disappearing.

S- The pinot noir is very evident and dominates the nose. Dark, sour cherries are quite present as well. Absolutely no hop aroma to speak of. Some residual fruit sweetness on the back end as well.

T- Just like the smell, the wine is very present. Sour grapes and cherries shine through. It's almost squint worthy. It's a little yeasty but not too much.

M- Quite tangy this one. Its lip-smackingly good but it also makes my right eye squint at times. The pinot noir resonates more than anything and I'm loving it. Very easily drinkable at 7.75% as well.

O- Spectacular beer. It's bitey, tangy, sour, a little sweet, and complex. Awesome, unique take on a style that is constantly changing. Good stuff from RR.

Serving Type- 12oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. Thanks for reading.

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Photo of gwood
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003

Pours orange with amber highlights with a big airy head that laces nicely. Active carbonation consistently wells up in the center of the tulip glass, pushing it's way through the head to the surface.

Smells of acidic fruits and yeast are met with a big blast of tart lighter fruits on the tongue. Slight apricot mixed with green apple quickly gets taken over by a big ball of sour funk that fades into a very slight grain note that then transitions back to some slight wood tannins and more tartness. The cherries are here but they are far from taking over, I think they've added more in the way of color (which was just awesome, love the way this beer looks in the glass).

The finish is dry and crisp and is carried along the whole way by a wonderful blend of carbonation and tartness, body is medium. I wish that this bottle was twice the size that it was, but I'll relish the fact that I've got a few more waiting. Just a highly drinkable and highly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

drank during the bears sucking up the game. My 50th review so I figured I would drink something good.

a- orange red with a huge fluffy white head thats seems to take forever to go away a brilliant looking beer.

s- You can tell this beer is sour. Alot of cherries and lemons and grapefruit fill the nose.

t-woah the taste is awesome. granny smith apples type of sour. The beer is almost salty, but like a good margarita it adds to the sour flavor.

m- alot of carbonation that succums to the sour flavor. very very very good

d- I like this beer and would drink this alot but the reason it isnt perfect just results in the style.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,379 ratings.