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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,690 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,690
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 2,128
Gots: 1,404 | FT: 92
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: 4,690 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of appenzeller
4.1/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forewarning: my review is going to fall off the grid.

First, for the standard analysis: this beer fares well on all criteria, pours a lovely dark brown into my Duvel chalice, good head. Nice, complex aroma with cherry, wine overtones. Lovely taste, complex tartness, this beer tracks its strong Belgian heritage and then adds something. This is, of course, something to be savored to the full--a dessert beer, really.

My objection to this beer is simple and straightforward. I love both wine and beer, but this one toes the line uncomfortably close to wine territory in my view. The dominant flavors here are, plainly, largely from being aged in wine barrels (one can pick that out immediately). As my review above states, this is a fine tasting beer and I'd gladly have it again but bluntly if this is the flavor I am craving, I'd rather have a nice glass of Rioja or Cotes du Rhone than this (which, by the way, is equally if not more costly).

appenzeller, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of thetomG
4/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one as an unsolicited gift from jale (thanks again!)...

Pours a nice cloudy orange/amber color. Decent amount of head that lingers and leaves spotty lacing around the glass.

Aroma is excellent. Strong waves of super tart cherry overpower everything - this effect is even more prevalent once you take a taste. Very lush and bubbly, it feels nice swishing around your mouth with each sip. The super tart nature of this makes it hard for me to drink alot of, but it is excellent nonetheless.

Not a big fan of sours or wild ales, but I would definitely drink this again if I get the chance.

thetomG, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

ChadQuest, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of Metalmonk
3.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reverence and respect to msubulldog25 for including this in our most recent trade! (Batch 04X2, whatever that means)

I opened this a mere two hours after receiving the trade box, which made a cross country journey. Something seemed fishy about the cork, like it was going to pop any second. I got 5 twists into the wire cage, and POP!!!, the cork hit my ceiling like a cannonball and I made sure to get this thing into the glass with a quickness. Pours a rusted light brown color, nearing a peach shade. The head is made of incredibly small bubbles, and though it's not thick, it stays a long while and leaves lots of lace.

I don't know much about wine, but my first smell communicates "white wine." I later looked on the label's fine print and found this was aged in pinot noir barrels. There you have it. Wood gives way to white grape, and there's the distinctively weird/funky/stinky essence of the bad boys of the yeast world here (Brett, Lactobacillus, etc.).

I like funk, and this one brings a nice bit of saddle blanket sweat into the mix. There's also the extremely tart essence of too-young green apple, too-young white grape, and green/white gooseberry. Super-tart, hell, even full-on sour, this leaves the mouth puckered and dry. The "cherries added" are here, but only in their tartness, lacking the sweeter, juicier essence I think of when I think "cherry."

Crisp but smooth, and extremely dry, any real textural impression is left in the dust once the mouth puckers and all the alarms ring "sour! sour! sour!"

Not my favorite sort of thing, especially with the intense tartness, but there's no question how well this is made. I wouldn't reach for it often even if I could, but for lovers of this sort of beer it's got to be total nirvana. I'll rate the drinkability a "4" as a more objective judgment than I'd normally do. Personally, I'm super-glad to have tried it (thanks Brian!), but still kind of circling around most sours as a merely intrigued novice.

Metalmonk, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of coalclear
4/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firstly, I'll disclose I'm not a fan of sours, I don't care for wine and if there is too much lip puckering involved, I simply won't drink it. That being said, with this brew I was still able to appreciate a fine and balanced treat.

Beer pours jack o lantern orange, and supplies a decent head with exceptional lacing. Very pretty.

Smell is dry and sour, I can't really pick up on the cherries or any other obvious fruits or scents at this point. Though I can smell a fruitiness, almost like a wine.

Because I'm not a particular fan of this style I can't rate it definitively. However I have had sours before and my GOD, this blows the others away. The beer just simply tastes balanced, there isn't too much or little of anything, the sourness is strong but restrained and the fruitiness is a nice touch. There is a rare complexity to it as well that leaves me ponderous yet intrigued. It is dry and there is a woody texture as well. The cherries don't really come into the play until the aftertaste, as my breath smelt like cherries after. Very solid, I need to get into this style more.

Mouthfeel has a good texture, thick and dry. Lots of carbonation. Perhaps even too much? I let this sit for a while, and after it warmed up and lost its bite it tasted much much much better to me.

Drinkability is good, I could drink a few of these no problem, and one 375ml will leave you wanting more, trust me.

As said before, I really need to mess around with this style a bit more.

coalclear, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Luk13
4.25/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 375ml thanks to mikesgroove. Beautiful orange/brown body with tons of white browinish lacing. Aroma of fresh butter, vinegar, tart cherries, rotten apples. Wow, this is complex. Taste is quite different. At first, it's very sour with tart cherries. Then I get some apple/grape sweetness and oak flavors. It finishes with a lemony dry and sour lingering finish. Palate is hard to describe, it is both dry from the sourness yet it also has something sticky sweet about it too. A truly unique experience.

Luk13, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of chalsk
4.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great sour from Russian River. Damn tasty brew. Pours a lighter amber color with a thick white foam head. Has an aroma of vinegar and cherries. Has a nice frothy, medium mouthfeel. Has a sour taste with some bitters and notes of cherries. Really enjoyed this sour.

chalsk, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of elliot23
4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. color is a real burnt orange. Head has a slight brownish yellow to it. Decent lacing. Nice sedement floating in the glass. Real small stuff that you might not notice unless you were looking for it.

S. Smell is yeast. Lots of different yeast bertana misease? Maybe. Floral, citrus, sweet.

T. Wow! Very acidic. Very tart. A little sweetness but not much. Dried cherries come through a little. Tangy for sure. I can taste the brett very much. This one is a knockout.

MF. Reminds me a little of champagne Great resonance of flavors.
This one brings only bliss as its lasting effect.

D. For such a tart beer, I could drink this one all day.

elliot23, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to a number of BAs for hooking me up with bottles of this. One of them almost killed me, or at least it almost took my eye out when the cork skyrocketed to parts unknown upon the final turn of the loosening of the cage.

A - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Very nice ruby hue, translucent, not so much lace, but wild/sour seldom does etc.

S - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. And as palatable and easily appreciable as any that comes to mind.great tartness, barrel and cherry; sublime, not overly pungent

T - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Great cherry flavor. Like a drier version of Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek, like as if it were made by Cantillon. Shows some notes of the wood char-sulfur that I find in the finest Gueuze.

M - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Tart, refreshing, medium bodied, nearly perfect carbonation.

D - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Just phenomenal. It is a beer like this that makes a brewery world-famous.

ktrillionaire, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Russian River's Belgian style beers all are aptly named after different stages of religious conversion. Their Supplication, a sour brown ale "aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels" is an example of craft brewing at its finest. A ménage à trois of brettanomyces yeast and lactobacillus and pediococcus bacteria (as well as an addition of sour cherries to the barrel) all contribute to an incredibly complex melange of tart flavors.

Supplication pours the honey color of an aged port producing minimal head with some lacing. Its nose hints of champagne and the delicate carbonation extends the comparison, until ... the first sip of hits your mouth and intense flavors flood your palate--the sourness running around to tantalize the glands in your neck. With another taste, the high cherry notes ring out and are balanced by a wonderfully mellow oak finish at the back of the mouth. I wish I could walk around with that taste every day.

After letting it breathe and adding a little more of the yeasty goodness, Supplication becomes even more complex with more high notes and incredible mouth sizzle; adding in the lees really takes the sour cherry down a peg without losing the oak-fueled finish.

monkeylovebeer, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of Soonami
4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A wonderful beer I had on tap at Local 44 during beer week. This was the last beer we had in our session and I'm glad because not much really stands up to the acidity and flavor of this beer. It has beautiful bouquet with fresh cherry and grape notes with toasted oak, barnyard and sharp acid. The taste was very much wine like with an interesting combination of both fresh and aged character, there was low apparent bitterness that seemed to get lost in the tartness, but that was enough to just provide balance.. The grape and cherry fruit flavors dominate this beer, with the bret and wild character providing a background of interest. This was a great beer to share because at 10 oz, I think this is the most I could drink before I would no longer be able to taste the different individual flavors and my palate was shot.

Soonami, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of nataku00
4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened one of my bottles from batch 04X3. Pours a ruddy dark brown with a 1/2 inch pale head in an Allagash chalice. Head laces beautifully while sipping, and stays for a good 20 minutes while drinking.

Smells like sour cherries, with good reason, with a decent amount of oak and malt. I do not notice a strong funk to the beer, but I started sipping at 40°F.

Not quite as sour as some other wild yeast ales I've tried in the past. The brown ale base is a good match with the sour cherry and barrel aging, picking up a slight tartness while also rounding out sweetness of a brown ale by marrying it with the tannins.

Swishing the beer around in my mouth, it is a surprisingly crisp beer. There is little aftertaste, but a pleasant aroma can still be detected by nose minutes after drinking it.

At 7.0% abv, the beer is very drinkable, especially with how quickly the sourness dissipates in your mouth, leaving you with the slight scent of cherry and malt to encourage you to take another sip.

nataku00, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of zigpenguin
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 005x2 375ml bottle

Appearance: mahogany brown, thin persistent head, steady stream of bubbles

Smell: Burgundian cherry/raspberry and oak mixed with some hints of funk and sourness. I think some of the Pinot Noir barrels come through. The smell is a bit faint when cold, with more presence as the beer warms up.

Taste: Cherries, red Burgundy, oak (vanilla, spice), sour/malty sweet balance finishing sour. A bit of tobacco/currant. The finish lingers for a while, a sour funkiness. The balance on this beer is impressive. The sourness is noticeable, but doesn't dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, finishes fairly dry.

Drinkability: With the sourness and dry finish, it is easy to drink. Each finish begs the next sip, until the bottle is gone.

zigpenguin, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle in flute. Batch 04X1.

A: Pours a bubbly amber with a thin white head that had great retention and left a sticky sheet of lace down the glass. A few flecks of yeast made it out with the pour.
S: Smells of sweet cherry with a touch of sour tartness and musty wood funk. I also pick up notes of plum skin, lemon juice and Brett.
T: Taste follows the nose with sour cherries and enough tartness to get my mouth to water, but not overwhelmingly so. There is a light malt and red wine flavor all the way through, and touch of sweetness and tannin in the finish. Aftertaste is vinous and has a slight cheesy funk.
M: Acid nips at the tongue in the dry finish. This beer is well carbonated, fizzy but soft. Body is medium, but the mouthfeel is a tad rough around the edges.
D: This most definitely lives up to its reputation. Crazy, complex and delicious.

scottfrie, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of chumba526
4.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appears a light brown/amber color with a fairly thick white head.

Smells like tart cherries there is also a sweet floral aroma. A damp wood smell and citrus smell is noticeable. The smell is very complex and is loaded with some many different smells it hard to note them all.

Tastes at first of tart cherries with a tad bit of a lemon rind taste. It progresses to a wood like flavor and a bit of cherry sweetness. There are musty and funky overtones. There are a lot of complex flavors mingling in this. It is very sour but has other flavors present as well.

Often times I find sour ales to be one dimensional but this ale has a lot of stuff going on. This is the best sour I have had. The carbonation is moderate low and light.

This is a really easy beer to drink and is flavorful but it did wreck my palate. This is deserving of the hype it has.

chumba526, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of AdamGarcia
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle served in Unibroue tulip. Batch 04X5

Huge thank you to tturaiders for the chance to try this!

A: Moderate pop w/ some wispy "smoke." Relatively clear, pinkish copper hue. Firm, sturdy head looks like it could last all day. Even as I near the final third of this beer there is a solid finger of head. Very attractive.

S: Tart cherries jump out of the glass. Nice, citrusy funk. Smells like a hazy summer day amidst the wilderness: tall grass, wildflowers, foliage, berries, and pollen filled air.

T: Very flavorful. The kind of beer that just bursts over the palate leaving you wanting nothing else but another sip. Mildly sweet up front. Tart cherries and wildberries drizzled with fresh lemon juice. Sour and funky, but very approachable. Finishes with just a little pucker.

M: Just about perfect. The kind of feel that can only come from a bottle conditioned beer.

D: I wish I had another bottle!

I certainly had high expectations for this one and it didn't disappoint. I'm not an expert on sour/wild ales, but I can't imagine there are many better than this on the landscape of American made wild ales. Find one of these and drink it as soon as you can.

AdamGarcia, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a corked 350ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. Very nice copper/amber color with a small head, not much lace.
The smell is like a good wine. The cherries are right up front with a wine barrel smell that overpowers most everything else. Slight malts and hops but barely noticable.
Wow, this is an amazing Sour Wild Ale. Cherries, wine barrel, sweet, light malts and a slight taste of earthy hops. Very smooth and not overbearing. A great sour for anybody. Wow one more time.
For a sour this has great drinkability. I could easily grab another. THANK YOU RUSSIAN RIVER, and keep up the quality on your amazing beers.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of airohead2001
3.9/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part IV of epic RR tasting including Tempt, Sancti, Beati, Suppl, and Consec. I'm re-reviewing this one because I feel that my initial review was done too early in my BA days, prior to tasting any other sours, and prior to having a more refined palate.

Dark copper, reddish brown with a persistent haziness. Supplication pours with a one and a half finger head that quickly fades to a thin film that remains for the rest of the drink. Sour cherries, musty wood, vines, slight malts, dark chocolate, raspberries, and booze. Sour cherries and ripe lemons up front followed by a funky mustiness and some alcohol heat. The aftertaste is rich in bread, sweet cherries, a touch of cinnamon, and a lingering sour must. A drinkable beer.

airohead2001, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of washburnkid
4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up this bottle at the Younger release. I've been taking good care of it, waiting for the right moment to crack it open. Yesterday happened to be that right moment. Reviewed from notes.

A small head shows beige over amber and tanned hues. Aromas are sour and acidic. They're undeniably fruity, but I am not confident that it's quite "cherry". But a pull from my glass tells another story. The flavors are hugely sour, a massive wop of cherries explodes in my mouth, tingles, tickles, and makes me pucker. The cherries are really sublime, though the oak offers an earthiness that does well to balance it out enough that I don't want to call this a lambic. As I sip, I notice the froth is retaining and lacing the glass ... which is always something I like to take note of. Vinous and flavorful, this ale isn't too highly carbonated and has a light to medium mouthfeel. I love a good sour, and this one is done wonderfully. I can't wait to try future batches!

washburnkid, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of MeisterBurger
4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly turbid mahogany topped by a healthy, lumpy head that retains nicely and laces beautifully.

The aroma is black, bruised cherries and saddle leather, white wine, slight lemony acidity, with some green apple and unripe peaches.

The taste is acerbic bing cherries all the way with a hint of pepper, barnyard and a nice, clean, dry okay finish. Tart and crisp. Sour like a lambic, but lighter and brighter on the palate with some aged hop presence as well. Very vinous. Borderline vinegary.

Really, this is an engaging beer that really draws me in and makes me want to never stop drinking it. It feels simple and complex at the same time.

Very easy drinking and definitely a beer made for pairing with food.

MeisterBurger, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 6/20/10

Batch 04X5

Dark tobacco-burst brown; lighter around the edges & dense in the middle. Highlights of ruby if the light catches it a certain way. An ample amount of billowy foam rose to over two fingers. Over time it has been reduced to an island of bubbles amid a skim. Very impressive clinging lace.

Tart & sour cherries are strong in the nose. Without agitation, the aroma is faintly funky but not overly so. Swirling changes that, opening up to reveal hints of wet hay, lactic acid & a bit of barnyard funk. A pervasive wooden mustiness further calls to mind a deteriorating barn.

Extremely sharp & sour cherries are immediately apparent; they're also unrelenting. Right after the initial shock of the cherries, swaths of lactic acid move in, offering an interesting (if not obscure) counterpoint. A little brett-induced funk manifests around the middle, becoming more pronounced with warmth. Undertones of oak & pinot noir creep in toward the finish. It's a bit spicy & very, very dry.

Medium-full bodied. Carbonation seems pretty appropriate. The taste is to incredibly sharp it makes the carbonation seem more vigorous than it really is. Sourness & lactic residuals linger on the finish with a some dry spiciness.

Supplication is most impressive in that the extreme tartness doesn't subside over time. I've been trying to treat it as a sipper, but it keeps drawing me in; I fear I've gone through it too quickly. This is a fine beer; I'd love to give it another consideration

Ryan011235, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of Exiled
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml Bottle - Batch 004

Pours an amber color with an off white head. Smell is tart cherries, funk, oak, and vanilla. Taste is sour cherries, oak, and some funk. Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation. Overall this is a great sour that im glad I finally got to try.

Exiled, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL poured into Bruery tulip. Batch 4. Thanks to beerwolf77 for this one. Beer#1 of our RR tasting.

A- Pours a light copper with a slight haze to it. A small head, less than half a finger worth of head. leaves good lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Very tart on the nose. Sour cherries and a healthy dose of wood, probably oak. Maybe some grapes and some yeast.

T- The sour doesn't disappoint. Very sour cherries and little malt presence. Maybe some grapes as well. A nice amount of oak in there and just the slightest bit of brett.

M- Very dry finish and makes your mouth pucker from the sourness. A little bit of sweetness but not overly so. Light bodied with good spritsy carbonation.

D- I can see why this beer comes in a 375. It is the perfect amount of this beer. A sipper for sure but leaves me wanting it again. RR has yet to disappoint me.

Wisconsinality, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a amber brown with yellow highlights and a thin head that left very good sticky lacing.

S: sour acidic cherry aromas with good oak notes and barrel funk. There is also vinegar hints of brett and barn yard hay.

T: very nice sour puckering with the cherries meshing very well with the vinegar to produce a pleasent tart taste along side the oak accents and barn yard funk.

M: light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet sour and slight dry finish. Very nice

D: lovey sour beer from russian river these guys really know how to brew some wild ales. I'm glad I have access to it on a regular. I don't think I can get bored of this beer.

Gobzilla, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of djmichaelk
4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the excellent Rose & Crown in Palo.

A - Hazy pinkish-orange, with a two-finger head that doesn't last too long. Thin cap and generous lacing on the glass as it goes down.

S - Cherries dominate the nose, not sweet but very sour. At first there is a bit of funk around the edges, then the sour cherries come right up the middle. I had my nose in the glass most of the night.

T - The cherries are much more subtle than I would've thought from the aroma. They linger in the background, you know they're there but they never really step into the spotlight. Sourness is the king of the ring here. Not just cherries but apple cider and maybe a little bubblegum and brown sugar around the edges. No alcohol that I can detect.

M - Pretty light, which works well with the other characteristics of this beer. Substantial but also dancing across the tongue.

D - A mixed bag... As much as I love this beer, the sourness just gets to me after a while and I need a change of pace. But I keep coming back to it.

O - I sampled six beers last night, and this is the only one I had several of. And next time I go back I'll certainly have more -- hell, it'll be the reason I go back.

djmichaelk, Jun 21, 2010
Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,690 ratings.