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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,308 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,308
Reviews: 1,355
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 2,404
Gots: 1,712 | FT: 120
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,308 | Reviews: 1,355
Photo of jlindros
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to all of the following great traders for this: RaulMatisse, Solomon420, imperialbeachbrw, Ultraman9000.

Light fizzy head with light lacing, hazy peach orange color.

Nose light Brett and funk, plenty of tart sour fruit, light barnyard, light cherry and berry, touch of lactic acid.

Taste light Brett and barnyard, tons of tart sour fruit, light toasty oak and vanilla, little sour cherry bolotin like, light malty taste, finish is a little flemmy, very mouth watering, light lactic acid, so tasty.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bodied, good carb, mouth watering sour acidic taste.

Overall awesome beer, great tart sourr flavors, nice Brett and wild flavors, nice cherry flavor and touch of oak.

Photo of JHamm
4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured cloudy, slight lacing around edge of glass with slight head. small amounts of carbonation present. redish-orange color - a darker iced tea in a way.

Smell - subtle amounts of cherry. something else sweet in the background. has a white wineish aroma.

Taste - tart-like cherry. a sourish after taste. suprising up front but very pleasant after taste. A bit sour in the end.

Mouthfeel - refreshing. there's a sweetness and a sourness that compliment each other extremely well. seems like a very carbonated white wine.

Drinkability - I wish I had another. A very unique beer that doesn't feel like a beer at all. the fruity sweetness with tart sourness blends well in a light consistent beer.

Photo of mavbrew
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz, batch 005X2 into Portsmouth Balloon glass.

A: Pours a hazy amber with red highlights. The head is off-white in color and about two fingers thick and slowly dissipates, leaving some nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: The scent has a powerful cherry aroma right off the bat, sort of a tartness as well. Also slight hints of yeast are present but they are faint.

T: The taste is much like the smell, the upfront taste is cherries, cherries and more cherries with a bit of the tartness coming through and sticking around. The finish has a bit of yeast and some wood with a bit of dryness coming in as well.

M: Light to medium bodied with bubbly carbonation that really tingles the palate. Tart feel throughout.

D: This beer is very solid, very crisp and smooth. It's "sour" but not overwhelmingly sour, but it's present so expect some bite to it. Although I don't have many sour ales under my belt, I'd say this is one of the better examples.

Photo of larryi86
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to alenonbeeradv for this
375 mL bottle batch 006x1 poured into a tulip

A- A deep slightly hazy red with an orange tint with a one finger off-white head.

S- This just smells really good. Tart cherries, hint of citrus,hint of funk, a little wine like, a little sweet. Can't wait to give this a sip.

T- A more intense version of the smell. Tart cherries, hint of sour lemons, hints of funk in the finish, hint of wine, great balance of flavors.

M- Crisp, smooth, refreshing, a little light.

O- This is a great sour and I am very happy to have another bottle to save for a later date. I am just blown away by this beer.

Photo of ShanePB
4.29/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle Batch 005X3 split between the girlfriend and I. Served at cellar temperature.

A: Dark honey-amber body with steady carbonation bubbles rocketing to the surface. Fizzy and bubbly off-white head. Splotchy lacing and a nice retention cap.

S: Acidic cherry notes, light malt-vinegar, milky, faint wood and some sour citrus. End is apricots and bay leaves.

T: Immediate tartness washes over the entire palate. Some mild honeydew, cherry and papaya flavors give a great balance to the sour qualities. Nothing is overbearing or understated, really nice example of an American Wild.

M: Extremely bubbly and carbonated, though light on the palate. Overall, a wonderful mouth feel for the style.

Photo of timtim
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow. always awesome. not for the closed-mind or faint at heart. this review is for batch 005x4. gentle pour reveals a reddish brownish orangish beer with an off-pink-white head that hangs in there and leaves lots of lace as it goes. nose is vanilla, cherry, leather, earth, wood, cherry pie, nut, black cherry, raspberry, lactic, vinegar and funk. brilliant. hands down, miles ahead of the competition in the US. in the taste, everything is in near perfect harmony, with dark cherry and nut flavors rearing their heads throughout, leathery wine barrel notes midpalate and a nice, funky sourness that wraps everything up, leaving the palate very cleanly while just a hint of spice and heat/warmth linger. medium full body that never gets sticky. finish is just hot enough to amplify the experience and really add some depth to the character. just wonderful, classy and sophisticated. this is the brewing art at it's finest for sure.

Photo of Bubba83
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle, batch 04x1, poured into a Bruery tulip glass at around 45-50 degrees. This is a bit over a year old at this point, I've been saving it a while to see how it has changed.

Pours a rich mahogony with a very light tan tinged head. Miniscule carbonation rises from the bottom, keeping afloat the one finger width of very fine froth on top. Fantastic clarity, excellent retention, and crazy lacing. In a word - perfect.

Initial aroma impressions include red wine vinegar, grape skin, red currants, maraschino cherries, and wood. Digging deeper I'm finding green apple, raisin, and some sourness mixed with barnyard funk. Quite complex indeed.

Red wine is the first thing I taste, but that quickly succumbs to a sour burst of cherries. Underneath the puckering sourness is a bit of balsamic vinegar, but it's kept in check thankfully. The back end presents a bit of the brown ale malts with some faint caramel and bready bits. There's a bit of leather, earth, funky straw, hay and grass to wrap it all up into a big package of awesomeness.

The best mouthfeel of any American Wild Ale I've ever had. I attribute it mostly to how microscopically small the bubbles are, creating a soft and smooth feeling across my tongue. The body feels slick, with a proper viscosity that is right within the means.

I think this is the best experience I've had to date with this beer, so I'd definitely recommend aging a bottle for a year and a half. This is the most balanced sour beer I can remember having, with all sorts of flavors and smells to pick up that can too often be covered up by a cloying sourness. I always told my parents I wanted to be a Blue Angels pilot when I grew up, but now I just want to be Vinnie Cilurzo.

Photo of abuliarose
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005X3, poured into a Goose Island glass revealing light ruby red colored body under a finger of thinned white head. Lively bubbling. Little lacing. Very graceful looking. Smells sweet and sour like peach nectar and white vinegar. Some white grape juice. Some nondescript Belgian spiciness and oak. Sour cherry isn't what I think of when I smell it, but sour cherries tend to smell different than "cherry smell" anyway.

Tastes deliciously fresh with a serious sourness up front which cleans up to a gentle mealy malt finish. Some sour cherry and grape to the flavor, but everything is very well-integrated. Slight meatiness. Hints of mineral water on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is lively and light with huge volume-adding waves of carbonation. Very drinkable, flavorful but clean.

Overall I quite like this beer. Really wished I lived closer to where this was sold on the shelves.

Photo of Avagadro
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Kingkong for hooking me up with this bottle. 375mL marked as batch 006x1

A: Supplication is mahogany in color, and pours with a quickly fading head. Despite my every attempt at coaxing some sort of froth out of the brew, it remains still after only a few moments. It is clear in the glass, and boasts plenty of lacing.

S: A marvelous bouquet of cherries, rose, Pedro Ximenez, and balsamic is presented elegantly. I can already tell that this is going to be a treat.

T: Delightfully dry, and pleasantly tart, Supplication is packed with oak, raisin, barnyard funk, almond, and a touch of sour cherries. I actually think that the cherry flavor comes from the yeast, while the cherries themselves add to the sherry/raisin tones. There is also a delightful earthiness that I feel is added by the Pinot Noir trapped in the barrels.

M: Light, dry, effervescent, and a touch tannic.

D: A great brew to say the least. This is balanced in its tartness, impressive in both its breadth and depth of flavor, and yet, remains distinct from the sour ales of Belgium. I couldn't justifiably classify this Lambic nor flanders ale; it is its own style. Definitely worth a try if you are fortunate enough to have access to RR's brews, as it is a great example of America's ability to take the best parts of other brewing traditions while adding our own flair.

Photo of IKR
4.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber brown with reddish tint. Huge off- white head. Good looking beer.

Smell: Predominately barnyard funk. Some tart citrus-y notes

Taste: Tart cherries and grapefruit. Slight Belgian funk in the taste, though I might have carried some yeast over into the Tulip.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a high level of carbonation.

Overall: Excellent taste with a fair measure of sourness. one of my first introductory sours that I'm finally reviewing. Russian River always comes through on the sours.

Photo of Lunch
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a several occasions by Lord Huhzubendah as he attempts to woo me at his manor, because he is just that kind of gentleman.

Poured into a Russian River "tion" glass because I will not have it any other way. Pours a rather hazy golden apricot color with a bright white head. Smell like a goddamn delicious river in the hills of Russia. Some funk and hints of peach behind some fragrant cherry notes. Taste is fortunately the same and this is a rather refreshing beverage. Spot-on carbonation with lighter medium body. Thanks Matt!

Photo of Murchmac
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I hated this beer for years. Now I cant get enough.

I used to hate sours, but this is like duchess but a little more sour. Where has this been all my life? I freeking love it.

If youre reading this because you dont know if you should get supplication. Do like I did. Get one every year. By the fifth year you'll like. it. This is some good asss shit.

Photo of Nesued
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up several Russian River offerings during a trip to California earlier this year. Batch 04X4.

Appearance - A hazy peachy color fills my Great Divide tulip glass. A nice two-finger head formed which resolved to a 1/4in ring. A bit of lacing but not enough to mention.

Smell - Bright and clean aroma on the nose. Cherries, funky brett and lacto along with a complex matrix of malty sweetness and woody/grassy components from the aging.

Taste - Let the first sip coat your palate to prepare you for what lies ahead. You will be shocked by the bold and for many a "non-beer" profile. For those who thirst for wild ales, you have found your holy grail. Lively cherries tart and tangy contributions from brett, lacto and pediococcus coat your tongue with the harsh yet refreshing tastes of a musty barn added to leather and grassy notes. This sits on the back of your tongue and requests that another mouthful joins in on the fun. Snaps of sweet malt and tart intermingle throughout the sampling of this fine beverage. My goodness, this is beer like many of you have never (yet need to) experience. The alcohol is non-existent.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation well transports the offering around your mouth. Very nice density with a crisp finish.

Overall - Why did I only bring six back with me.... This is an outstanding wild ale. Crisp and clean, tart on your tongue. Just try to name all of the smells and flavors you experience with this offering.

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a HotD tulip on 3/25/11

Pours a beautiful dark amber color that has a wonderful mix of orange and red hues when held to the light. About a half a finger of head that just sticks around. Very nice.

Smells great. Lots of sour cherry and sweet malt tones that makes this a joy to smell.

Taste is much like the smell. Lots of mouth puckering cherry and a tiny bit of sweet malt taste.

Mouthfeel is medium with a nice easy carbonation. Just the lightest bite on the middle of the tongue.

Drinkability is good on this one. Low ABV and a great mouth feel are pluses but even though it tastes great I don't think I could take more then 2 of these at a time because of the mouth puckering sour sensation.

Photo of veinless
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a couple months back, but decided to rereview while sharing with AwYeh.

Vintage: Batch 005x1

Pours a darker orange/red than I expected, with a foamy head that retains pretty well and leaves decent lacing. This looks a lot like Pliny the Elder actually.

Smells of tart cherries, Brett, and a bit of barnyard funk. Cherries are lacking that cordial sweetness and are definitely of the sour variety. Oaky wood comes through as well.

Tart, sour cherries assault the palate at the start but fade to a semi-sweet fruity body before it gets to be too much. Acidic, puckering and awesome start. The middle is very juicy cherries, plenty of Brett, a lot of oak, and a fair amount of sour citrus as well. Winy character is present throughout and a great complement to everything else. Finish is a solid 50/50 of sweetness and sourness that lingers until the next sip.

Mouthfeel is acidic, but not overly so. The feel is balanced by some sugary character and the fruits somehow. Drinkabiility is very, very good for such a strong, sour beer - the balance mentioned earlier is a boon to this category. Your mouth doesn't get killed by the acidity in this as much as in some other strong sours, and it lets the beer be drinkable for a long period of time. If you haven't had a wild ale, have this and you'll be sold on the style.

Photo of AwYeh
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, batch 005x1, poured into snifter; big thanks to madvermin for splitting this one with me.

A: Pours a dark amber color, with a hint of mahogany coming through, especially when not in direct light. One finger of foamy white head; good retention with spotty lacing.

S: Great smelling beer- I immediately pick up quite a few of both sour and sweet tones, lots of dark cherries, Brett, and oak.

T: Very tart, with a lot of sweetness behind it- many of the same flavors I'm picking up in aroma (cherries, Brett, oak). Not that much I can say about it, as far as other adjectives go, but a very high quality flavor- very well balanced/complex, with a lingering sour finish.

M: Light/medium-bodied with moderate carbonation; extremely smooth with a pleasant, lingering, sour palate coating after the beer has been swallowed. Can't ask for much more than this.

O: Simply an outstanding beer; one that disappeared from my glass quickly, and certainly one that I will be picking up again.

Photo of Cmack15
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow I was really surprised by this beer. I thought the cherries were going to be too much for this beer and ruin it but I was so mistaken the cherries really make this beer great. The color is a nice deep brown. Slight sourness and cherries plus some malty sweetness are the aromas that greet your nose. These same flavors come through in the taste plus a few other notes that hard to truly pick out. I could see a few years really helping this beer balance out and become even better. Great to drink now but some age will just make it that much better.

Photo of Axic10
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 006X1 poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with hints of red and orange with a finger and a half of off white head that settles down to a half finger for most most of the drink.

Smell: Apple cider, vinegar, funky brett, sour cherries, oak.

Taste: Tart, sour cherries, vinegar, bretty funk, finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and sharp.

Drinkability: I love this beer. I think it's my favorite out of the three readily available Russian River sours (although it is very close). I pick this up whenever I see it.

Photo of flipper2gv
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Mad thanks to nickd717 for this beer I've been waiting ages to try.

Batch 006

A: Pours a perfectly translucent reddish-orange color with a good amount of off white head. Head looks creamy, retention is good and lacing is really good.

S: WOW! This is complex! The brett are more than evident in the smell with all the musky notes associated with it (horse blanket among others) as well as a lactic acidity (thanks to the bacteria used). Vinous and oaky notes are very present thanks to the Pinot noir aging. Some red wine vinegar. The cherries are also very evident in the smell as well as the tartness you'd expect with a wild ale. Vanilla and lemon zest are in this, but not as much in the front than the other smells. Somewhat comparable to a very fresh bottle of Duchesse de Bourgogne (less vinegar). As it warms up, the malt base really came out with some caramel.

T: Dayum, this is really really sour. As it enters the mouth, you're attacked by the puckering acidity. The cherries are more present than in the smell and blends perfectly with a less strong taste of horse blanket than expected from the smell. Again, this is quite vinous and the oak tannins make it even more evident of the use of wine barrels. Very tart (d'uh!). The vanilla and lemon zest are still there, but there is also lemon juice (and a LOT of it). As it warms up, the malt base came forward more with some sweetness.

M: Light body with medium carbonation. Nowhere as light and fluffy as the Cantillon offerings (that I thought was the perfect fit for the dryness of the beer and its acidity), but still is a decent fit for the beer.

O: This beer packs a punch. Sour noobs be aware this is EXTREMELY sour. Very drinkable and perfectly balanced between the fruits, the acidity, the funkyness. This is an exceptional offering from Russian River, definitely one of my favorite beers of all time.

Photo of jsanford
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, batch 04X1. Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a very dark orange-brown with a thick and creamy off-white head that never fully dissipates. Leaves sudsy lacing as it recedes. Very pretty!
S - Excellent aromas of tart cherries, oak, caramel malt, and funky microbial tartness. It's tough to really make out individual aromas, this is more of a heavenly marriage between all the best Lambics, Krieks, and Flanders Reds.
T - Wow, you know how I said this smelled like some kind of blend of Lambic, Kriek, and Flanders Red? It tastes exactly the same! Cherries, oak, brown sugar, tobacco, caramel, red wine, and funk with just the right amount of tartness. Amazingly complex, this could be a deserted-island beer!
M - Quite slick, with a medium body and crisp, sharp carbonation. Nicely dry and tannic finish, much like a red wine.
O - Well, what more can I say? This was an amazing beer, easily one of the most flavorful, complex, and nuanced I've ever had. Another home run from Russian River!

Photo of anchordrinker
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Orange-ish amber in color, 1.5 finger head thins out but sticks around. Good lace.

S- Cherries, oak, earthiness, hint of vinegar, and some wine-y qualities. Exactly how I want a sour to smell, seriously complex but nothing abrasive

T- If there is one thing this beer does better than aroma it is taste. Initial lightly tart and sweet cherry and light oak-iness fades into an earthy funk, that is briefly overtaken by a flash of strong citric tart flavor from the sour lacto. As the strong tartness peters off, the funk kicks again towards the end, culminating in an extremely satisfying dry finish.

M- Very nice mouthfeel, extremely fine, spritzy carbo that is reminiscent of champagne. This fine carbo and medium body make for a silky smooth sip that allows all of this beer's amazing flavors to shine through.

Overall- This beer is a testament to the idea that brewing is as valid an art as any. As a beer with unbridled complexity that leaves you wanting more after each sip, Supplication is a memorable experience that is well worth the high price.

Photo of ChanChan
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch: 04X04

Poured into a tulip glass

Appearance: Dark orange and slight reddish color

Aroma: Lots of Cherries, funky wine smell as well

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated showing a decent amount of tannins

Taste: This beer is quite sour with strong hints of cherry and vinegar, I also detect a faint taste of Pinot noir in it, basically, it tastes a bit like wine.

Overall: It is worth all the hype and all the time it took me to get ahold of this one.

Photo of Takahiro
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005X3 into tulip

S: sour vinegary, apple cider, caramel
T: tart vinegar, lemonade, cider, hint of caramel, faint oak in the back ground
M: light but not thin. There's some body left
D: good, but 350ml is good enough for me.

I don't understand why there's minimum 250 word for a review. some beers don't need a lot of word

Photo of LtCracker20
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly orange/red with some cloudiness, but pretty clear. Very awesome 2-finger off-white head that falls to a thick cap and leaves great lace.

S- Very tart. Sour cherries, great barnyard funk. Lots of woodiness.

T- Just like the aroma. Extremley tart and sour, full of wild cherries and more of the wood flavors. A citrus like flavor lingers on you lips.

MF/D- Dances on the palate every so lightly, carbonation helps the flavors coat your entire mouth. Very drinkable and at only 7%, can enjoy it over and over.

Photo of brew3crew
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4 and 5 side by side!

A-muddy beige color with a white head. Head retention on the 4 but not the 5
S-fruity smooth and crisp
T-the 4 is a lot more tart and sour than the 5. Nice and fruity combination with the tartness.
M-crisp and smooth. Very smootj
D-nicely drinkable. Wish I had a full glass rather than a taste.

The 4 is better than 5. The age defineitly does this body good.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 5,308 ratings.