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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,732 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,732
Reviews: 1,314
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 2,134
Gots: 1,424 | FT: 93
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: 4,732 | Reviews: 1,314 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cpetrone84
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one! Re-review 12/10.

A-pours a vibrant dark amber with nice red glow to it. The head is a thick and creamy off white leaving a strong lace on the side of the glass.

S-light acidity up front, notes of oak and brett play together, sour cherries come in behind. the aromas are simple yet well integrated.

T-here the brett comes in first, light leathery notes, good dry oak presence that doesn't detract but adds to it, sour cherries are so juicy and vibrant. almost no acidity but a nice bit of sourness to it.

M-medium to light body, very smooth and creamy with a decent bit of carbonation and a semi dry finish that prickles on the back of the throat.

D-this is very simple and straight forward but still very tasty. the flavors blend together very well and it goes down so smooth. it has a great sourness to it with virtually no acidity.

cpetrone84, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of 321jeff
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle from batch 004x1 poured into my Goose Island glass.

Pours a reddish brown with a finger of tannish head that fades, leaving some lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma has some mild funk with notes of oak and cherries. Also some sour vinegar-like notes. Not quite as harsh as vinegar, but notably sour.

Taste hits with some sour right off the bat before moving to the cherry sweetness in the middle and a dry sweet and sour finish that I can only describe as similar to a sweet tart... and there's nothing wrong with that.

It's medium in body with a mild carbonation, but it's a highly drinkable sour and it's a really top notch example of the style. Not really puckeringly sour, but sour enough and the cherries add an extra level of complexity. I'm definitely glad I've got a few more of these tucked away in the cellar.

321jeff, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of donManguno
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed blind. Sent to me by the great AleWatcher.

I enjoyed this beer with a special cigarette while watching The Expendables. It was a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

A: Slightly hazy ruby red color. Poured gently into a Duvel tulip, producing a one-finger cream colored head that recedes very slowly and left something beyond lacing. A film of foam was left on the sides of the glass as it emptied.

S: This beer smells of bacteria. It's very sour and vinous, but not vinegary, some sour cherry but mostly indistinct sourness. I can defenitely detect an oak barrel. I believe this is a Flanders Red. As it warms, the cherry becomes much more prominent.

T: First sip is mouth-puckeringly sour, there are cherries in this beer. Maybe this isn't a Flanders Red, as most of the fruity tartness seems to be from the Cherry. Anyway, I like it. It's also quite dry. Not much else until it gets to about 60º. Now I can taste the oak, and it's much more vinous, like a very dry wine.

M: Velvety. Minimal carbonation, and that's how it should be. Very dry, maybe a little too dry.

D: Excellent sipper.

Batch 005X5

donManguno, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of emagana
3.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a copper red orange with a fast dropping head. i can see small carbonation bubbles.
aromas of sour funk come off. some oak and a wine like association smells. i can already tell that its going to be sour. small hints of rasberries and cherries.
starts off with an explosion of bubbles that help spread the funky goodness. not very over powering in the sour as the hints of oak begin to take the place of the cherry flavor. lingering oak and tart finish. well balance for a sour. very interesting. not sure i'm convince of being a sour fan yet but i wouldnt mind drinking this one again.

emagana, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of mattdev
2.73/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish red with a thick, beige head that dissipates leaving a filmy layer at the top. Smell is of spoiled cherries, hints of oak, and earth. Taste is quite vinegary, almost too much so. Sour cherries and heavy lacto. There is a light funk and light lingering biter on the throat. Pinot very much shines through on the second sip. Finishes very dry, leaving my mouth a bit parched. Heavy alcohol burn on the swallow which is surprising for a beer of only 7%.

mattdev, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of muttyd
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Golden amber with a thin white head.

S: Big brett presence with a fruity (cherries, apples, grapes) acidic undertone. This bottle is about one year old and the brett has really had the opportunity to dry this one out.

T: Spot on. Sweet malty brown ale with tart cherry, oak and brett funk. Some vinegar character as well. The one year on this beer has really put this beer into the 5/5 category for flavor.

M: Bubbly, sticky, and has a long sour finish.

D: Very drinkable, throughly enjoyed this one.

muttyd, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly cloudy brown amber color with a modest fuzzy white cover and lots of lacing. The aroma is undoubtedly floral cherry with a subtle lemony air. If you enjoy sours this is pretty nice. The flavor initially says sour sour sour! Yikes. It has a definitive Alka-Seltzer quality with cherries on steroids. It's a bit lemony with granny apple cherry tart bite. Quite a lip twister with a hyperactive carbonation that keeps a lively feel in a mid-light bodied fizzy brew. It's pretty drinkable if you go for this sour stuffn and I do. Nice.

Durge, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle (batch 005X3) into snifter glass. Pours murky brown / hazy amber with a minor, then dissipating head leaving very thin lacing throughout the session. Nose is big and soft, lots of vinous type notes. Cherries are still vibrant in this one. Funky, oaty, lactic acid, oak, vinegar, tart cherries, wild yeast, and sour nose. On taste, this is how to do a cherry sour. Softened acidity. The oak comes across to prop up the cherry notes. Medium body with some graininess and some sharp, but soft carbonation. The finish is very tart and dry. This is a great sour beer for sour beer lovers. Top 50 material for me? Not for me, but wow what a beer! Respect.

CuriousMonk, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one finger head of bubbly white foam. Nice head retention and left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of cherry and sour notes. There were some mild grape aromas, too.

T - Great sour cherry flavor and some grape.

M - It was very crisp and had a strong puckering bite. A medium bodied ale.

D - This is a really outstanding wild ale. I'm glad I finally got a chance to try one.

zeff80, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of Blanco
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red color with white head. Lots of carbonation bubbling from the bottom at first but eventually it stops. Smells of typical wild critters along with some indistinguishable fruit notes. Taste is very sour and sweet at the same time. The flavor sits on the tongue for a bit and livens up the mouth. Has some wine-like qualities to it, but not really like a pinot. The mouthfeel is intense as it constantly has that tingling going on. Drinkability is good for a sour. I wouldn't drink these all day long, but very nice. My favorite RR sour of those I've tried (temptation, consecration).

Blanco, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of bballmj2k
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had a fair number of Geuzes/Sours so I figure my palette is ready for the holy grail. Props to BottleTrek in Oregon for shipping this all the way out to New Jersey (and a Temptation...)

Appearance - Orange/ruby red with a bit of haziness. Minimal carbonation, vigorous poor yields half finger head of loose bubbles that recede quickly.

Smell - Apples, cherries, grapes (all of them tart). Vinegar, sweet red fruits. Hint of oak/woodiness. Smells like a sour.

Taste - Bam. Intense tartness/sourness and acidity upfront followed by sweet fruity flavors. Ends with more tartness. Super complex with some oakiness, maybe some hints of the pinot barrels? Probably a bit too cold right now but as its warming theres more depth to the taste.

Mouthfeel - Great carbonation with a lingering bitterness. Really nice aftertaste.

Drinkability - Well it cost a pretty penny to get out here. I think the depth/cost/sourness would prevent me from drinking more than one. Definitely intend on savoring this one. Really impressed with my first taste of Russian River.

bballmj2k, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this from Mikesgroove a while ago in a trade. Thanks again Mike! Poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy brown with a slightly red hue to it. Starts with about a finger of fizzy head that dissipates quickly. At first I kind of just thought this smelled medicinal. I was put of at first and thought I was getting set up for a big disapointment. Once I got into it a little bit sweet cherries reveal themselves as an overtone to the aroma with a nice balance of oak and bret funk. It finishes with a slightly tart vinegar aroma to it. World class flavor on this. Cherries right up front; being slightly tart and a bit of sweetness to finish it out. Woody oak notes surround the pallet here. The feel is kind of dry with lively carbonation. Really nothing to shake a stick at here. Overall, Russian River seems to make some of the most drinkable American sours on the market. File this under perma-want.

Bendurgin, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of mjn5036
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005. I have had this so many times I can't believe I have yet to review it...

375ml bottle poured into a snifter. This particular gem pours an earth brown and rich mahogany with bright dark cherry red highlights. A large, three to four finger head rises from the pour, bone white it color. The head dissipates quickly and does not leave any lacing on the glass. A nice ring of lace is however left around the circumference of the surface of the beer.

The brett and lacto have taken over this beer for the most part. What was once a brown ale is no more in the olfactory department. Ripe cherries and brett on the nose. Strong fruit characterists, a nice sourness are triumphant. The aging is pinot noir barrels is evident with the heavy wood profile I am picking up on.

The brown ale base is evident in the creamy, bready maltiness that crosses my taste buds, mingled with the tart sour cherries. Brilliant. Some time in the cellar has done this batch well. The added cherries, or maybe some other factor, make my taste buds succumb to a pleasant sweetness. A nice funky aspect has taken a firm grip on this batch.

Mildly acidic with a prickly carbonation is absolutely perfect, this beer is insanely drinkable. The alcohol is unnoticeable to the palate. It drinks very similar to a good pinot noir as the wine characteristics truly shine in this beer.

mjn5036, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Cork didn't shoot out all by itself and foam over like some RR beers have done to me in the past. Pours a murky/unfiltered dark brown with a huge light-foamy head that fades rather quickly leaving little lace on the glass. Bottle has yeast dregs left in the bottom.

S - Lots of funk on this one, in a good way of course. The wine barrel/woody flavor is definitely present and the cherries are a little more difficult to pick up over all the yeast aromas.

T - Very tart and dry from the barrel aging and from all the fun bacteria used to make this brew. Wine-like tannins can be detected and the cherries do come out a little more when drinking and they are mostly sour as well. Great dry oak flavors at the finish as well as all the yeast-produced flavors. Great complexity but not too much as to confuse the palate.

M/D - Medium body with a high amount of carbonation (as should be for this sytle) which leaves a very dry mouthfeel. All the flavors of wood, fruit, and bacteria aging blend very well and make it super easy to drink.

Another knock-out punch from Russian River.

VaTechHopHead, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of bump8628
4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cool little corked and caged bottle with Russian River's trademark crappy label art, luckily their beer is some of the best in the world.

Pours up a pristine, clear ruby brown with two fingers of light, airy foam that doesn't collapse as expected, but instead hangs around for the duration.

Russian River's classic sour/wild profile is in full force. Aggressive acid, mildly funky and fruity Brett, with a complementary and complexity-adding note of acetic acid. Some notes of caramel and toffee just barely peek out from behind the wild notes and ultra-dry finish, while musky oak and a little brightness from the cherries rounds it out and softens the edges a bit.

The best American Wild Ale I've sampled to date. Funky, complex, sour, but altogether well-balanced and superbly drinkable.

bump8628, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of mryuk
4.13/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish orange with a small head that does stay around.

Smell is very overpowering strong sour cherries. There is a bit of citrus sour in there also.

Taste is also very sour. For me the sour flavor was overpowering most everything else.

Mouth was surprisingly thick with a good carbonation.

WOW. This beer was without a doubt like nothing I had ever had before... hard to tell at times if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I am leaning toward good but really struggled to finish with the overpowering flavors eventually getting to me. Quite a bit too much sour for me to enjoy finishing the entire bottle let alone having another.

mryuk, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a huge thanks to john for being such a generous host, and sharing some truly amazing beers

Pours a hazy deep amber color with a nice off-white head.

nice tart scent up front with hints of cherries and oak, light funk

Taste is pretty close to the nose with a nice blend of sour notes along with cherries funk and oak

The body is a little bit fuller than other sours I had at the tasting

this is a beer that i could drink all day

rowingbrewer, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of steve8robin
3.88/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this on a recent trip to San Diego. Glad to try some more RR. 375ml bottle...

A: A murky brownish cherry red with a small white head that fades at a decent pace. Decent.

S: A sugary lemon scent upfront quickly followed by a hint of cherry. Kind of like a medical cherry medicine mixed with an energy drink. Good.

T: A tart lemon upfront, but not too harsh. It's a sour, but not overly sour. Hints of cherry in the middle with some sugary malts on very hidden on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a huge carbonation. A very tart finish. Good.

D: Once you get past the sourness, it goes down decent.

All in all, this is a very sour brew. Not really my style. It's a good beer, but not my style. Sours have never really made it up my alley. Good to try if you like tart brews

steve8robin, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of bwiechmann
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005X4 poured into a tulip glass. Got this in an overly-generous trade from optimator13.

Pours a hazy, murky deep amber color with a nice off-white head.

Smells of sour, barnyard funkiness are first noticed. Sour cherries play nicely with beautiful oak nuances.

Taste follows the nose with a complex melding of sour cherries, oak, and funk. Needs to be experienced to understand. Strangely delicious.

Medium body with light, creamy carbonation to massage the tounge.

My first foray into the world of sours was extremely successful. A very unique beer everyone should try at least once. I highly recommend this expertly-crafted brew.

bwiechmann, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

241st review on BA
bottle to tulip
375 C/C Batch 005X4

App- A much darker beer than I would have thought. Amber with orange highlights. One finger head that didn't last long.

Smell- A nice smelling beer with the grape skin tannins, Cherry, funk and yeast at time eminating upward on big sniffs.

Taste- On my 1st sip of a RR sour I get a feeling of being sucked into a cult. These are very good and I see why people love them. It's different from Cantillon and Drie because of the flavors. Not as tart, or off putting. A nice sweet flavor with the tartness you are looking for.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a high carbonation. Very bubbly on the mouth with a champagne feel except with a yeasty cherry funky taste. Quite good.

Drink- Outstanding by itself but with the right dessert for me could be magical. The cherries and the bubbles are like a nice white wine. Vinnies background is very evident in the sours he does.

FosterJM, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of Pencible
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy dark gold, with a little white head.
S: It smelled like sour and dry white grapes and green apples. Very champagne-like, with mostly tart and funky fruits, along with some sour wild yeast and grassy hops.
T: It tasted like very puckering sour and tart green apple and white grape, with some oak and vinegar and tons of wild yeast. It had a super tart and sour aftertaste that lasted quite a while.
M: It was thin with lots of bubbly carbonation, reinforcing the similarity to champagne.
D: This was a great wild ale, with super sour and tart scent and taste. It had a light and fizzy body, which I normally don't like, but it worked well for the style. Alcohol wasn't noticeable either, so this was really not that difficult to drink. But like most wild ales, this beer is really meant to be sipped. Not sure how age might help this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed it fresh.

Pencible, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of warnerry
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

batch 005X2

A - pours a deep reddish brown with only half a finger of persistant head (though I poured it a bit slowly to keep yeast sediment in the bottle).

S - Cherries are initially prevalent, giving way to hints of oak, a bit of funk and sour apple. This smells fantastic.

T - Very tart, acidic cherry and oak tannins come through and dry the palate; some sour apple and mustiness as well. A wonderful blend of flavors. I'm really enjoying this.

M - Medium mouthfeel with great carbonation. This is lively, tart and drying on the palate.

D - Definitely one to sip slowly and enjoy. Makes me want to travel to California more often.

warnerry, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Body is clear brown, resembling dark apple cider. Poured easily to a half inch of tan head, which quickly dissipated to a collar, producing some trace elements of lacing as it is consumed.

Complex nose of sour apples, oak wood, vanilla, citrus, cinnamon spice, cherries and pinot noir.

This tastes somewhat tart, mainly of sour apples with a little cinnamon spiciness. Cherries and pinot noir add deeper body. The acidity is balanced by woody vanilla notes. It is dry in the finish, through which the pinot flavor extends all the way.

Body is light and carbonation is fizzy, giving this a refreshing, crisp mouthfeel.

This is a very tasty beer. It builds on the Belgian bruin style, with a foundation of bacteria-produced sourness and cherries. But aging in pinot noir barrels gives this its lovely spicy varietal element that is unique and delicious (OK, I like pinot).

Beerenauslese, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of bs870621345
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to AFKsports for this bottle at splinter black...finally got around to drinking it.

Pours deep amber with a half inch of off white head. Leaves almost no lacing down the glass.

Smells like barnyard, slight citrus acidity, oak, wheat and cherry sweetness.

Taste is acidic, sour, oak, cherry, lemon, barn-ish flavor. Think like a tamer version of Cantillon kriek. The wine flavors make an appearance out of my Infinium glass, not as much out of the ommegang glass.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated with a moderate mouthfeel. Carbonation cleans palate.

Drinkability is amazing. Not sour enough to deter, carbonation cleanses the palate.

Closest to a perfect beer as I've ever had. As enjoyable as Temptation for me.

bs870621345, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of Brabander
3.78/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got two of these bottles from two BA's buddy's and one of them is opened tonight.

Poured in my Struise glass the beer looks OK, nothing fancy. The fluid is brown like tea and the head sizzles in the glass when i poured the beer with some light carbonation.

Smell is not spectacular but the taste is very good for this style. Oak smell and the sour taste make this beer quit good. Cherries far away. This is not my style as you may have noticed but not bad.

Brabander, Feb 06, 2011
Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,732 ratings.