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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,448 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,448
Reviews: 1,306
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 2,078
Gots: 1,332 | FT: 83
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brown Ale aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma County wineries. It is aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and oak balance each other nicely with a little funk from the brett.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,448 | Reviews: 1,306 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Labonix


4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darkish amber/brown with a thin amount of head. The aroma right away is sour cherries followed by oak and some funk. The flavor is very complex. There is sour tart cherries and brett with oak and wine. There is also vinegar, but not too much. Its pretty sour on the palate, but not overpowering making this an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 23:34:34 | More by Labonix
Photo of Kshock


4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Burnt Auburn color, but bright and slightly translucent. Decent head retention with some lacing left on the glass.

S- Lactic acid and sour cherries. There is some bready yeast character coming through towards the end, but very slight. Smells very sour.

T- Tastes very sour up front with some intense pucker on the palate. You get some of the bready yeast character, but its mostly acidic cherry. Very well balanced and amazingly clean.

M- Nice little bubbly texture from the agitation, very clean on the back end and med to lite body. Very nice

O- Great beer, will always get it when i see it.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 21:13:52 | More by Kshock
Photo of xerotime


4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottled into a Russian River "TION" glass.

Pours a nice light brown with a small tan head. Aromas of tart cherries, oak, and funkiness. Taste was nothing short of amazing..tart, dry and refreshing. Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation to make the sourness pop. A fantastic example of how a sour beer should be done. If I had access to this all the time I could see it being a regular offering in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 23:09:25 | More by xerotime
Photo of petacutlasaurus


4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one for $17 at Eulogy while traveling in Philadelphia. A steep price, but building in the restaurant's markup, I felt pretty much fine about this pricier pickup, especially since this beer never comes my way. Having had some of their traditional ales (Salvation, Redemption, Damnation), this sour from Russian River really knocked me out.

A lot of people talk about Russian River's sours as if they're of an entirely different stock than their other beers. I can now see why. The balance on this wild ale rivals anything from the best Belgian sours, and has a subtlety that quickly trumps other American brewers like, say, Allagash (not that that subtlety is always a good thing).

Ruby colored with fruity notes that are both vibrant and delicately mixed. There's no unpleasant sharpness challenging or harming the taste. Likewise, the carbonation is just active enough to bring out the subtler notes that might otherwise be lost. Smooth and downright delicious, I can't wait to find this one on tap. Curious how it would compare to that fresh Lou Pepe 2008 I just had...

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 18:03:07 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of amphion1065


4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the super efficient hand-off OrangeAmps. 375 mL bottle poured into a stemless wine glass.

Ruby red with auburn highlights, this almost looks orange when held up to the light. Translucent. A creamy one-finger head forms and never fades. Just a little swirl leaves cascading lacing all over my glass. Beautiful.

Lots of tart, sour cherries in the nose, with an underlying aroma of citrus fruits. Barnyard funk and lemons abound. All that wild sourness is balanced by fruit sweetness - this almost reminds me of (honest-to-goodness, not out of a plastic lemon) lemon juice. Very, very appealing.

Well, it's sour. Those sour cherries in the aroma are the first to hit, and God do they stick around. There's an immediate sourness in the back of my throat; again, lemon juice. This is all lactic funk and horse blanket enveloping a wine-like cherry flavor profile. Not even close to mouth-puckering, this is supremely well-balanced.

The mouthfeel is perfect. Absolutely flawless carbonation, but somehow it feels creamy. Simultaneously lively and smooth, this is terribly easy to put down.

I first tried Supplication this February, when I split a 375 with a good friend. Tonight, I was more than eager to polish off a little bottle on my own. I will crush a 750 before the summer is over.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 02:59:01 | More by amphion1065
Photo of ajsdad06


4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, batch 2.

Pours a hazy reddish golden brown color with a medium sized off white head.

The aroma is tart cherries, woody, acidic and moderately sour. The Brett fingerprints are there as well.

The flavor is heavy with tart cherries, caramel malts, woody, and an overall sourness that is very drinkable. This is extremely well crafted.

Medium bodied with the perfect level of tart fruit to provide a tingle yet still come off smooth.

I had this batch when it was fresh and it has aged wonderfully. I have had a bottle of the batch 2 every year since it was released and it never fails to satisfy. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 23:38:19 | More by ajsdad06
Photo of DaveMarner

New Mexico

5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Redish with a perfect off white head.

S - Funk and sour cherry right away.

T - Yes! Sour cherry, oak and pure funk. This is perfect.

M - Crisp and a great medium carbonation.

O - This is my new favorite beer. Very Drinkable. Great for a hot summer day while sitting on the back porch or anytime actually.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 04:35:54 | More by DaveMarner
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.18/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of GRG1313. Batch 04x04. Served in my CL tulip at 53 degrees. Pours a pleasant caramel hue with a slightly hazy clarity and a one inch, dense and creamy off-white head embedded with tiny ringlets. Textured bands of lacing are revealed as the brew recedes. Nose expresses tart cherries, a buttery quality and a trace of American Oak. Cherry is much more muted in the flavor profile. There is also a vinegary and citrus character dispersed throughout. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a bright, lively carbonation, some acidity that lightly stimulates the salivary glands and a semi-dry finish. This is a solid American Wild - not my favorite from this brewer, but quite complex and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 14:58:59 | More by Jwale73
Photo of draheim


4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle (Batch 005X4) poured into a snifter. The Tour de France is on, riders are climbing the Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees - seems like a perfect time to crack this one. Even if it is a replay of an earlier live broadcast.

Deep amber color with minimal head - but vigorous carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma of cherries, bitter oak, slight funk, and a bright sour sweetness.

Taste is tart, dry, and vinous. Carbonation gives it a pleasant, velvet mouthfeel that amplifies the flavor and complexity. Fine bubbles coat the side of the glass.

This is definitely one to be sipped and savored, contemplated. Another home run from Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 06:08:37 | More by draheim
Photo of Adrianized


4.13/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005x4, poured into a snifter.

Murky brown in color, dark orange/red/rust when held to the light.  Aggressive pour yields a finger thick off white head with settles to a film.

The nose is strong, I can smell it while it sits at the table.  Right up front is a winey character, and strong notes of oak aging.  Sour dark cherries, Brett, and maybe some other dark fruits.

The taste is immediately sour cherries and a nice oak background.  The sour tartness hangs on to the end.  The finish is sour and very funky.

Mouthfeel is effervescent and full bodied.  Missing the light refreshing feel I like in my sours.

Overall, another nice sour offering from Russian River.  Although this one is pretty straight forward sour cherries on oak, it's nice.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 23:59:47 | More by Adrianized
Photo of Janderson91


4.13/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sent to me in a trade from dmsohyea. Batch 006x1. Enjoyed on 07/13/11.

A - Poured into a Stone chalice. Pours a quite hazy deep red/brown muddy color with a one finger tan head that recedes quickly. Leaves no lacing.

S - Bubblegum, tart cherries, Belgian candi sugar, plums, raisins, vanilla, oak. Aroma is good but not as complex as the taste.

T - Wow, this is good. Sour cherries, apples, grapes, raisins, citrus, very fruity. Some mellow vanilla from the oak. This is an excellent beer.

M - Mouthfeel is good. I might like just a tad less carbonation.

O - Overall, this is an excellent wild. Very easy to drink and quite tasty. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 22:52:26 | More by Janderson91
Photo of dirtylou


4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, bottleworks. obscenely priced but obscenely good.

from notes.

appearance: split and served in my hopleaf tulip, deep crimson-orange body, active carbonation and a light bubbly beige head

smell: quite tart - sour cherry, oak barrel, wet straw. very funky

taste: a definite tongue-buckler, the tartness is very high and the abundance of cherry plays well off the sharp oak notes, sprizzy carbonation, straw, hay and other barnyard funk on display. I only wish it were more affordable.

mouthfeel: blasting carbonation, high tartness

overall: great

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 18:46:28 | More by dirtylou
Photo of kaseydad


4.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with some slight burgandy tints and nice foamy throughout the session. A lot of floaties but good. Nice funk in the aroma with some cherries, raspberries and wine-like whiffs. Nice. Tough on the esophogus after each sip for me....right to the finish. Tart but not overly distracting. Some cherries and more tart fruit in the taste. Nice. Dry and clean finish. Salivation on the buds after each sip. Overall I thought this was a great wild ale and a great starter if someone is looking to try the style. Not overly sour and pleasant to sip.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 02:08:21 | More by kaseydad
Photo of Kubus

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep Crimson, a lot of fizz, little retention.

S: Wild cherries, fermented wheat, a hint of hops.

T: Sour with a really light hint of cherry in the background. I guess this type of beer just isn't my style.

M: Light, Tangy, Bubbly, with a deep layer of sourness hanging overall.

O: With the mythical proportions that Russian River has ascended to, I guess I set the bar too high and ended up disappointed. All of this gibberish about this brew proving beer had no limits and is an American national treasure overhyped this to an absurd level. Sure it was a good beer, but it is not the second coming of Christ in beer form like a lot of people on BA seem to believe. It also doesn't help that this beer cost $12 (american). I will say try it if you're feeling indulgent, but don't invest in the hype.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 06:48:44 | More by Kubus
Photo of gigaknight


4.18/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This offer pours with a bit of carbonation, eventually settles to a thin halo of head around the edges of the glass. Glowing sunburst hue, with blood orange color in the center that radiates outwards into a golden straw yellow. Lots of great bubbling, looks almost like a sparkling wine or cider.

S- Though the strong suggestion of vinegar in the nose may be unpleasing to some palates, it immediately makes my mouth water. Some tart cherry comes through, but mostly a sticky sweet acidity. No hops are detected whatsoever, and the smell of the malt has been so strongly mutated by the sour yeasts that it's unrecognizable.

T- At first sip, a bit of light oaked fruit sits on the tongue for a moment, and then a wave of sour makes its way across the palate. The vinegar notes are expertly married with balanced sweet cherry, and the brown ale base keeps the whole concoction still within beer territory. That being said, the barrel aging and semblance of tannin structure put forth a lot of wine personality in this brew, which is, in my opinion, one of the most attractive things about wild ales. You get much of the character and diversity of fine wines without the high alcohol content (or price tag). The aftertaste sees the bacterial acidity through a slow transformation into a pleasantly mild lemon juice finish. It's fantastic for the style, but personally, I would have liked just a tad more sweetness in the flavor profile. Be it from more malt or treating the cherries differently, this brew might have been driven into my 'all-time-favorites' with a little something more to provide contrast to the sourness.

M- I think the rather high carbonation really works well for this type of beer, contributing to the overall refreshing nature of the style. The light citric flavors, tartness, and sparkling mouthfeel once again almost take this into champagne/sparkling white wine territory, but of course no grape has the gumption to make this ambitiously bold of a beverage.

O- Russian River has cemented it's reputation as one of the best (if not the best) producer of American wild ales, period. I tried not to judge this brew against my preferred vehicle of sour beers (Flanders Reds) and consider it within the parameters of its style. Personal preference aside, this was a masterfully brewed beer that is positively bursting with originality and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 19:16:36 | More by gigaknight
Photo of TheMurse


4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 006x2 When this arrived I had to force myself to wait and let it settle from its airplane ride. The anticipation was almost to much to bear. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale glass holds the whole bottle.

Appearance - This one is for me and me alone. The color of the liquid is deep amber almost the color of a cherry wood stain.

Smell - The smell is funky, with a hint of woody undertones. You can smell the cherries. They are in the background, but they are there. The smell is adding to the anticipation.

Taste - First you are hit with the sour taste. It hits immediately, however it dissipates quickly. That funky taste one comes to expect flashes in the palate competing with the sour. Oh how I love this competition. There is no vinegar after taste that I have come accustom to when trying beers of this style. The cherry is late to the party and highly welcomed. Five minutes in and I am still tasting cherries! While I smelled wood, I can not taste it. The pinot noir is lost in my opinion, however maybe I would long for it if the beer were aged in something different.

Mouthfeel - This is sour but not a pucker your lips I do not want it again sour. The carbonation helps with this I think. The beer is definitely alive with carbonation. The beer plays across my tongue. I belched on the third sip! That makes it a real beer in my opinion! I think maybe another California brewery might want to take a field trip and get some pointers. I love the mouthfeel!

Overall - Oh where have you been all my life. Now, I have a ways to go in terms of Wilds, Lambics, and Guezes. I have had several in my time. I still need to try all sorts of beers yet to qualify as some sort of sour expert. However, with that written, I must state this plainly as I can. This is the best Wild Ale I have ever had and one of the top 5 beers I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 03:08:54 | More by TheMurse
Photo of OPWN3NTSL4Y3R


4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml corked & caged bottle into a Chimay chalice

A- Hazy mahogany/orange color, pale 2 finger head with nice lacing and some floaty sediment

S- Tart funky barnyard, wet hay, oak, dried cherries, vanilla, some Pinot Noir notes

T- Bready malt with solid tartness, pleasantly sour with a balance of oak and cherry, Brett

M- Creamy, woody bite, tart/dry finish, nice bottle conditioned carbonation

O- Intriguing, clean yet complex, sour flavors and dry finish beckon you to keep sipping

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 23:47:55 | More by OPWN3NTSL4Y3R
Photo of Knapp85


4.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I felt this beer was going to be a challenge for me to get down. Since I'm not a big fan of sour ales if this wasn't a Russian River brew I probably would have just overlooked it. The beer poured out as a sparkling red color with some in there too. The head was fizzy and white and then vanished pretty quickly. The smell of this beer was big, it's stung the nostrils like sex panther a little bit. The smell of tart cherries and oak wood mixed with a big amount of wild yeast explode on nose. The taste of the beer is interesting too, The sour cherries almost make your lips pucker, the sour subsides and leaves you with a nice oak and vanilla smoothness. The mouthfeel is little thin, but has enough flavor to balance out the whole thing. Overall it's a good sour beer, I'm trying to give it praise despite the fact I don't care for the style. I feel that people who enjoy these will definitely enjoy this one too.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 16:56:59 | More by Knapp85
Photo of AdamBear


4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-beautiful mahogany colored with a thin cream colored head. very pretty.

S-smells like tart cherries with a hint of caramel.

T-comes in with a great tastes of really fresh tart cherries. its a subtle taste but one of great quality. the after-taste is just perfect. great candied cherries and flavored sugars, possibly vanilla? just great

M-medium to heavy carbonation with a very dry finish

O-well this is almost perfect. this is an absolutely and amazing and unique beer. i love it so much. i'd like the initial hit to be more powerful, but the after-taste is so strong and long lasting. its definitely very dry. i would recommend this to sour lovers and non believers alike.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 07:36:18 | More by AdamBear
Photo of scinerd3000


4.83/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid 25 dollars for a 355ml. Poured into a tulip.

A: Beautiful red tinged beer with lots of bubbles. Hazy and with minimal head.

S: Sour apples, cherries, lots of fruitiness. Slight brett?

T: Exceptional. Very complex with sourness and cherry melding into an almost wine like quality. Finished dry with a lingering sweetness. Malt character is also perceivable in a biscuit like quality.

M: Well carbonated and slightly lighter body make this go down very easy.

O: A+ Worth 25 bucks....

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 15:13:45 | More by scinerd3000
Photo of zrab11


4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a reddish orange color with nice carbonation and a 1 finger white clean head

S- Has a nice sour funk smell with some cherry and yeast notes rising from it

T- Has a nice clean tart flavor up front followed by a nice cherry sour flavor and finishs with a nice dry but somewhat sweet flavor

M-Light bodied with excelent carbonation

O-overall i was very pleased with this beer. Wished the cherry flavor was just alittle more prominate. I think santification is still alittle better but i wouldnt hesitate to trade for this brew again.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 03:15:49 | More by zrab11
Photo of HotHands


4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a reddish copper color with a nice white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Loud audible fizz, like champagne.

S - great smell of cherries, pinot noir type notes (like jammy fruits), other stone fruits, and a good amount of funk to balance it. Not unlike some krieks.

T - Significantly sour but not unpleasantly, with plenty of fruit flavors dancing around. Sour cherries predominate and there are some apple and pear notes as well. The funkiness is a bit subdued in place of sourness.

M - high prickly carbonation, like a sparkling wine. Finish is a split between dry and silky.

Overall - a superb sour. I can pick out the cherries and the pinot noir barrel aging fairly easily. It's not as funky as some others, which is fine because the flavors are very well balanced. Definitely seek out RR beers if you can.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 02:38:49 | More by HotHands
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a snifter

Batch # 005x5

A- Dark burnt orange color, excellent lacing and retention, one finger off white head, fizzy, very attractive beer.
S- Brett up front, nice funky sourness, cherries, pears, white grapes, barnyard, refreshing
T- Wow, very nice, slight puckering taste, slight vinegar, tart, very smooth, cherries, pear, grapes, oak, funky, balanced sourness, delicious, very complex.
M- Medium mouth feel, smooth, well carbonated, tart, puckering.
O- This is an amazing sour, absolutely surpassed my expectations, out of all the “tions” from Russian River that I’ve tried this takes the cake, now to hunt down some more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 07:06:15 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of burnstar


4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours bright brown with a medium sized head. Nice lacing on the surface. Visible carbonation. Smell is yeasty. Big cherries. Taste has a big hit of tartness up front. Balanced with just a touch of background sweetness. Sour cherries are very noticeable but don't totally dominate the flavor. Puckering tartness ends with a dry hit of bitterness. Tons of flavors all over the place. Oak. A bit of herbal hops. Lots of barnyard yeastiness. The wild strains are obvious, although it's hard for me to describe the flavors they contribute (except for some sourness) since I've had very few wild beers. Great well carbonated mouthfeel. Full to medium bodied. Crisp with a lip smacking tart and dryish finish. Great tart and slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall this is pretty great stuff. I paid a lot for it but I'm definitely glad I tried it and will check out the rest of their wild ales if I can find them.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 21:24:27 | More by burnstar
Photo of meatyard


4.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 04X3

Opens with a huge pop of the cork and then some foam works it's way out. The pour reveals a nearly clear, light mahogany with a 1-finger, off-white head that hangs around for a short while before devolving into a cover leaving a short ring of wet lace.

The smell is a pleasant aroma of sour cherry and yeasty goodness. The wine from the barrels also makes it's presence known.

The taste is tart (but not quite puckering) cherries, the oak from the barrels stands out as well. The Brett adds funk to the many things happening with this delicious beer.

Mouthfeel is medium tending to full and quite dry with lingering moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a very well-made beer that I'd like to have more of if the price was right. Most of the elements in this beer tend to balance themselves out so that nothing is particularly overwhelming except that the sourness is always there. It does deserve to be priced higher than many other beers - considering the effort put into it. Any sour lover could hardly do better than this one. It's worth the effort to obtain one and I look forward to it's next arrival in Philly.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 20:24:25 | More by meatyard
Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,448 ratings.