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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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5,248 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,248
Reviews: 1,348
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 2,346
Gots: 1,666 | FT: 112
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: 5,248 | Reviews: 1,348 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cjacobsen
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown with orange mixed in. Has a nice off white head that diminishes rather quickly.

You can smell the sourness. There's some cherry and other fruits. Some citrus and light floral notes with some sugar tossed in.

The taste is sour cherry with a nice citrus blend giving some base. You can taste the wine influence. Kind of has a sugared grapefruit taste to the middle of the taste.

Not so much of a tart front that I was expecting. It was a nice blend of flavor and sourness.

Another great sour ale from RR. It's got a lot of great flavor and a refreshing quality to it. Definitely want more.

Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of EgadBananas
3.03/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Fair complected, with a light head and nice lacing.

Aroma is rather puckering sour, funky, tart, slightly spicy, green apple tart/sweetness.

Lip pucking sour, bitter, tart cherries and green apples, semi sweet.

Medium bodied, on the light side though, with light carbonation.

The sour for me is overwhelming and makes this very difficult to put away. I've been working in some sour beers to get accustomed, but this is still a bit much for me.

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A= It's got like a burnt orange color some red hues in it when held up to the light. Nice tight off white head that disappears after awhile.

S= I get the cherries in the nose you also get a lot of the yeast funkness in the nose very nice nose.

T= I'm surprised how much cherries come up in the taste considering how long this has been aged they taste very fresh. This is a Tart beer very nice.

M= I guess it would be thin in body. Nice dry finish nice carbonation.

D= Very drinkable wish I had another to go with the first one.

Photo of avaccani
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful golden copper with a tight 1 finger head that dissapated rather quickly. Held up to a light some red tones are in there as well.

S - I am getting cherries, vanilla, oak, some yeast funk, and I am getting alot of grape. If I was blindfolded, I'd of guessed a wine by the smell.

T - Mouth puckering! This is one tart sour. Personally I am getting alot of wine showing through. I get the oak, some vanilla, a little bit of the cherries, but mainly I taste wine. With the higher carbonation it reminds me of a champagne almost. Very different. Very good.

M - Light on the tounge. Nothing sticks around on the palate. Leaves you ready for some more!

D - Pretty darn good. I prefer Temptation, but would never refuse another bottle! Try it, you won't be disapointed.

Photo of bamadog
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I received this in a trade some time ago, can't remember who it was with, but I'm really glad whoever it was made this deal go down. Review is from notes taken on 1/21/2011 and poured from the bottle to a goblet, batch 04X1.

Appearance: Pour is a rich orange and coppery color with a bit of a reddish tone in the highlights; starts with a short, 1/4 finger off-white fizzy head that fades very quickly to a thin, uneven and incomplete skim on the surface; body is just a touch hazy/cloudy, but still shows ample carbonation bubbling up and throughout; only a few strands of lacing are left on the front, but the back of the glass is a thin, but complete wall of sticky lacing.

Smell: Very nice -- lots of very tart cherries, some oak notes and a bit of that sweet vanilla presence that often accompanies the oak -- the sweetness creates just a touch of a medicinal quality to it; a bit of a brett funkiness, but it seems to be hiding behind the cherries; the tartness in the scent makes my mouth water and I can tell it's going to make me pucker.

Taste: Wow, this may be the tartest ale I've ever tasted -- the sour cherries are strong and right up front, but they taste amazingly fresh considering how long this sits in the barrel and has been sitting on a shelf in my beer closet, it's as if I literally bit through the skin of a fresh picked cherry; bit of a slight vinegar presence and touch of the brett funkiness that is present in the nose; there is a touch of oakiness in it and it brings about an attempt at some sweetness to provide a touch of balance, but the sour/tart/funkiness really leads the way in this beer, just as it should; the flavors that the cherries and barrel-aging in the pinot barrels are extremely prevalent.

Mouthfeel: The body is just a tad heavier than what I would consider light; the carbonation is present and lively, but doesn't come across as harsh or anything; the tartness is amazing, especially on the first sip and it makes my mouth pucker and water in an uncontrollable fashion; a thick, moist stickiness is left all over the mouth and continues to linger long after each sip; belly is left warm from the acidic nature of the beer; really awesome effects coming from this one and it really helps make for more of a total experience as opposed to just drinking a beer (not that there's anything wrong with that either).

Drinkability: Really an amazing beer and on part with the other great beers I've been fortunate enough to sample from Russian River; nice smells, amazing flavors and a roller coaster of a mouthfeel certainly give it a lot of credence, however, the strong nature of the acidity and extreme tartness is not something that I feel I would crave on a regular basis, but when the mood strikes, this is a world class offering.

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

Batch 2 poured from a 375ml bottle

a: Amber/Red in color, small head with no lace at all.

s: Cherry and vinegar, you can tell that its a 4 year old bottle. The funk really comes out as well.

t: Really one of the best "sour" beers I have ever tasted. Sour cherries, very sour and very complex that I just cant point out. I am tasting some of the wood as well. Very complex and tasty beer, especially for such an old beer. I really thought that it wouldn't be that great of a beer either.

m: Thin and very carbonated and finishes very dry

d: Highly drinkable if you are a fan of sour beers. If I had access to this beer on a regular basis I really think that I would be drinking it all the time.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A red and ruddy brown appearance with tons of sediment. Good white head leading to sticky lace. Aroma massively tart and sweet cherry and oak.

Taste, astringent, tart, puckering cherry flavor. Again, oak. Tons of brett flavor, lots of tannin grittiness coats the tongue and mouth.
A very chill sweetness to it, along with a gritty earthiness. One of the best wild ales out there, only rivaled in its style by Bruery's oude tart w/ sour cherries.

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy, ruby red liquid. Slightly larger than one-finger, white head; dissolves down to thick lace quickly and clings to the glass as the beer level drops. Fair amount of vigorous carbonation as well.

Smell: Mixture of apple, cherry, and grape aromas. Very strong; flows out of the glass and into my nose from three feet away.

Taste: Wow! This is probably the fullest bodied beer I have drank to date. Tangy cider taste to start, evolving into a bold cherry on the tongue, and back to sharp apple aftershocks. Wish I had enough bottles on hand to do a Temptation/Supplication comparison. Going off memory, this one probably wins.

Mouthfeel: Every drink washes the palate clean. There is just ever so slight a hint of the sour taste left over, but mainly there is a clean slate waiting for the next sip. Sadly there are not enough.

Drinkability: If I lived somewhere that this was readily available I would line my cellar with it. A great brew. The only thing that hindered its drinkability was knowing that once I drank it all I had no more. Gives a whole new meaning to crying in your beer.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.41/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 37ml bottle. Batch 005.

A - Pours a strong gorgeous amber color with some nice copper hints. A nice off white light cream head is present with some nice dense bubbles interlaced with some medium sized ones. There is about 1 inch of head and retains pretty good.

S - Some corn husk and hay come in fast with the nice cherry tartness. Nice and very slight fruit aroma is mixed in with the tartness. Some good funky yeast in the nose that is perfectly balanced with the sour notes. Delicious woody oak hints finish this beer of with a clean nose.

T & M - Tart cherry notes puckers the mouth quickly. The sour notes are more toward the fruiter side at the beginning but then finish off a bit on the vinegar side, good balance. Some nice tart grape and obviously cherry. Wood dryness coats the palette. The funk is present but less so on the taste. Feel is nice and light and clean. Delicious brew with good carbonation and a prickly feel. Some slight alcohol is noticed but not too much.

D - Delicious beer by RR. I really enjoyed this sour and have been slowly getting into them; with this one being the best yet.

Photo of tobin
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came to the table with a slightly hazed orange red with no discernable solids in the body, but it was not clear. The head on the pour was nice and solid and lowered to a skim after a minute or so.

The smell is quite incredible. It starts with more of a slightly sour smell with some cherry pits, but as it warms it takes on a more winey character with a definite cedar smell. I really enjoyed the smell of this beer, cherry pits, cedar, brown sugar, red wine, and a damp sweet earthiness. Truly amazing.

Taste was quite good as well, but not as complex as the nose. It had a light sour character that interplayed with some sweetness and a dry woodiness.

Mouthfeel was spot on - moderately thick, creamy carbonation and a slight drying.

Photo of bum732
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Oak, cherries, some tartness, lemons mostly, sweet caramel malt, some funk and barnyard but pretty restrained. Touch of spiciness, maybe even some breadiness.

L: Hazy orangish red, nice tight off-white head with lots of bubbles. Decent retention for a sour. Burnt orange bordering on brown.

T: Bready dark malt followed quickly by cherry tartness. Fairly strong acidity cleans the palate leaving some tingling on the tongue. As it warms, more cherry tartness is left on the palate with just a touch of sweetness. Some winey tannins in the finish drying the palate.

M: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation, some warming alcohol.

Fantastic sour, not sure if i liked it as much as Temptation. But very well balanced with great bold flavors. Loved it.

Photo of UTCengOwl
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served this in a Great Divide balloon glass poured from a bottle. I gave 1/3 to myself, 1/3 to a roommate and 1/3 (the dregs) to a fermented of my own wild. Batch 005x3.

This beer is wonderfully clear. Its color is brown with clear orange notes. However, it's not breathtaking or remarkable in any way other than its clarity. The head is thin and white, but it does leave some nice lacing on a glass at was too recently washed with soap.

The nose is sour, tart and inviting. Definitely a sour, fruity and funky beer. The fruit is mostly cherries in my opinion. There's great complex layering here. Not the best smelling beer I've ever had, but it's definitely up there.

The taste is dry, fruity, sour and funky. It starts with a lactic acidity, moves to a dry cherry and ends with a barnyard, footy funk. I love beers that are layered like this. The beer is wonderfully carbonated, which makes it bright on my tongue.

I've gone out of my way to bring this back to Texas with me a few times and I'm homebrewing a batch to duplicate its wild nd sour character. Can there be any higher praise? This is unquestionably a world class beer.

Photo of nniicckkww
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a chalice. Batch 5. Bottled May 2010. Drank 01/13/2011.

Poured a slightly hazy cherry wood color. Fizzy rusty head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left some lacing around the top of the glass. Smell was tart and with the slightest hint of earthy leather.

Dancing carbonation makes this a very light bodied beer. Fruity, sour cherry at first followed by a very slight brett character. Red wine. Leather, wood. Very dry. Mouth puckeringly dry. But in a good way.

Lengthy sour finish. Delicious. This beer would be great with a cheese plate and some dark fruits. Each sip is seemingly palate cleansing. Did I say delicious?

Photo of StormKing47
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with cmurren25, Jwiss22, JayW73 and Lane23 at a little tasting, finally a proper review of one of my all time favorites and the experience was just like always...

A- A nice dark brown color with a slight ruby/mahogany hue. A nice steady stream of bubbles showing off the nice carb and leading up to a fluffy and thin white head with a little pinkish tinge.

S- Uh Oh! Here we go again the beer that always gets me in trouble. I can never get bored of that aroma. It's an immediate rush of sour and tart cherries with some amazing musty and lactic undertones. I love this smell. It's a crazy and complex aroma that I wish they made into deodorant. As it warms which is hard for me to let happen it allows the sublte oak undertones to breathe and let the vanilla and faint, but sharp mustiness to come out. Really an incredible aroma!

T- BLISS! A rush or sour cherries has led me to nirvana. It is life altering good. The cherries are the focal point in the beginning, but the awesome lactic sourness and the sublte brett mustiness work well together side by side with the sour cherries. I detect and almost sharp cheese characteristic that is awesome as it warms then I realize that it's all the barrel. The bugs are going crazy. A crazy mix of earthy wood, sweet oak and subtle vanilla that make the finish simply divine. Again BLISS!

M- It's a sour obviously, but it's crazily balanced. A great mustiness, awesome slightly syrupy coating and an in your face, puckering sour that leaves you craving more. The carb tingles, prickles and makes sure that it coats every inch of your mouth so you can taste every single nuance of this masterpiece.

D- You bet your ass! I can't believe how refreshing, fulfilling and satisfying this one is. I love the complex aromas and tastes. The ridiculous balance leaves you wanting more and more and more. It continues to impress every time I crack a new bottle. A MASTERPIECE!


Photo of BigJTrucker
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance is a beautiful mahogany color, with a thin off white collar of foam. Smell is pronounced sour cherry, not much else. Taste is just the right amount of sour, without any yeasty funkiness. Mouth-feel is very smooth, nice and moist to start fading slowly to a crisp dryness. This beer is an excellent reminder of what a good beer can be, and an excellent return for me to reviewing beers.

4.55/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12,75oz bottle shared into chalice tasting glasses, from notes. Thanks to Stoney73!
A: Pour a nice and bold red/brown, not as much red from cherries as I would have guessed. Head is fluffy and holds very well, lacing is as sticky as the head is.
S: An aroma that can only come from a well produced sour. A tight and sharp snap from the Bret, underlining a use of cherry and very dry use of hop.
T/M: The bold and complex flavors in this beer are beyond the norm, this is a highly great use of sour, that shows a nice blend of brown sour character and a interplay of a Belgian Kriek. SOUR, SOUR and more sour, this is spot on for the American style and sets standards for what the Wild ale should be compared to.
D: Mind blowing, had this while brewing a Pliny clone with my father, wow thanks Russian River, great brews and pushing the style envelope. I could find my self drinking many of these sours.

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drink this beer far to often not to have reviewed it yet. This is from limited notes on my phone, along with memory.

Poured from Bottle into Bells Tulip.

A - Dark orange color with a good amount of cream colored head. Dissipates quickly, leaving a thick foam cap. Lots of lacing...

S - Tart Cherries, some sugars and a bit of funk. Wood is also present, but very subtle.

T - I love this stuff. Sweet cherries go well with the tartness and lacto. Bready Malts were surprising the first few times, but it's an awesome compliment. Sour finish and a bite of carbonation goes to MF.

M - Very dry with that carbonation bite. Leave you with that sweet tart taste.

D - I drink it all the time, and just wish it was more readily available. 12 bucks a bottle on the east coast is also holding this back, but I still buy it.

Photo of david18
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every time I got to San Francisco, which is once a year, I get as many Russian River beers as I can find. I love sour ales and russian river makes some of the best out there.

The color is a medium colored amber with a typical fizzy head. Aroma is fantastic, citrus, malt, almost fruity. Flavor is also very good, quite sour with a citrus flavor, some sense of the brown ale as well. Overall one of the best sour ales out there.

Photo of dfillius
4.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Goblet, batch 04XI Thanks ksullnh!

A: Gentle pour yields 1/4 finger of fizzy tan head with poor retention - I'd like more and better retention. Is that possible with sour beers? Clear light brown liquid with some red and amber highlights. Color is great, which brings my rating up from a 3.5 to a 4.0.
S: Citrus, lemon zest. Slight aspirin? Slight bread. So intriguing and inviting.
T: Delicious! Perfect tasting sour brown (which I thought it was!), sourness and sweetness mix perfectly, like lemonade almost. Slight whole wheat breadiness in the aftertaste. Some Atomic Warhead candy in aftertaste too. Apple cider, woody, grapeskin.
M: Expectorant, tart, dry
D: So nice. I'd definitely order another and will buy again when I can!

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

Had this as a send-off to 2010 and had only had small GABF samples prior.
Pours a brownish red that's surprisingly pretty clear throughout. Head is heavy initially, but fades into a sheen that laces as well as you could hope.
The primary flavor profiles overlap and ebb/flow between citrus, sour cherries, lemon rind, dry red wine, and spicy notes from the yeast. Occasionally I'd pick up malt notes that remind me of the balsamic-like Belgian browns, too. There's so much going on, but it never seems like any one flavor dominates and everything seems to work in harmony.
I split one of the newer 375's of this and truly wish I had more. Even at a pretty steep price, this stuff is worth every penny.
Definitely something I plan on seeking out in the future, I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for this on tap, too.

Photo of drewba
4.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 4, bottling 5 poured into my snifter.

A - cloudy brown with a finger white head which stays for the whole our. Lacing is fairly heavy and slowly cascades down the side of the glass.

S - Intense aroma - loads of lemon, vinegar, grass, and some phenoly alcohol.

T - Intensely tart lemon and mouth puckering vinegar and funky farmhouse/grass. This isn't the most sour wild/geuze I've ever had, but it certainly does the trick. You can definitely detect where the "brown" from the sour brown ale came from - though the malt profile is absolutely swallowed by the tart and funk, there is a little bit of residual caramel and nut flavor when you search for it. The finish is astringent, mouth drying lemony vinegar with a grassy quality. Imo, not as mouth puckering and dry as a consecration, but ten fold the sour as say, a temptation.

M - medium body with mediumish carbonation. The vinegar and lemon qualities are lingering for quite a long time. This isn't necessarily a negative, but the finish is intense.

D - This is a Tums required beer; so vinegary, so acidic that you'll eventually need some relief after a 375. As much as I love the flavor, this gets somewhat offensive when you near the dregs. After nearly a whole 375ml, I feel like I've stripped a coat of skin off my tongue and mouth.

Photo of MatthewPatthew
3.38/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A great sour to help ring in the new year.

A: Fairly opaque, very dark burnt orange. Quickly dissipating, small bubbled white head.

S: Smells very strongly of lacto-sour. That smell is so distinctive and overpowering that it's

T: Distinctly sour, hard to pick out any outstanding hops or malts, but it's notable for it's lack of a harshness at the end of the taste. The tart cherry flavor is pretty up front in the flavor profile.

M: Med-light body.

D: Fairly drinkable, very good for a sour though.

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

OK, I've said before that I don't really like sours. This beer has converted me. Wow.

A: Light gold with red highlights, lots of thin bubbles clinging to the class. Really beautiful.

S: Tart cherry, strawberry, rich wine-y notes. There's something slightly sweet in the smell.

T: Tartness with slight strawberry flavor upfront, followed by a distinct funk, and bitterness across my whole tongue. The aftertaste is winey, and I love the sweet and aromatic wood flavor at the end. Tartness lingers on the back of the tongue for 30+ seconds, but is never pucker-worthy. End tastes of fresh cut grass, young wood, and maybe fresh pea or something like that. Incredibly refreshing.

M: Really tiny prickly bubbles.

D: This is the first sour that I've been determined to purchase again. Amazing.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Classic solid sour from RR.

A: Pours a dark amber with lots of bubbles and a head that dies down quickly, not a lot of lacing either, but i wasn't expecting much.

S: Smell is very funky, but not overly sour like some wilds tend to be. Tart cherry is the star with touches of vanilla oak, yeast, and a sugar coating rounds it out, nice stuff.

T: Awesome flavor that showcases great balance while still having an awesome tartness. Barnyard funk, tart cherry, oak vanilla, very savory sweet end at the back of the palate with some fruit rind bitterness to boot. Sour twist of lemon and lime under the cherry. Some malt to balance as well. Awesome.

M: Nice carbonation yet smooth and leaves the tongue electric with flavor.

D: High for a sour in my opinion. While most sours are good for 4oz and then you're done, this one you can have a good bit more and not get tired of it. Great balance, tasty!

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 5,248 ratings.