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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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5,155 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,155
Reviews: 1,337
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 2,287
Gots: 1,619 | FT: 113
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: 5,155 | Reviews: 1,337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chizoad
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second time having this one. Batch 005x2. The first time I was not prepared in the least. I love both Temptation and Consecration, two other sour beers from Russian River, and I was excited for the comparison.

The pour brought me a beer with about a 1/2 finger head that I thought would disappear after time. It didn't. The head gave a little lacing, which was nice. Clear amber beer. Looked good but not outstanding.

Amazing aroma of sour cherries, hints of malt, dust.

The first sip really got me excited. Big pucker to start, then mellowing to cherries and actually a little sugar. That was very short lived. Within a few sips it was nothing but bright sourness and sour cherries. Done well, but missing that little twist of complexity. Or maybe it's me.

Good mouthfeel and carbonation. Big bubbles, but still bright. Relatively light body, fitting the style.

Drinkable, but I'm only ever having one. And at this price, there are many better offerings.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this as an extra from nerd. Poured into a tulip. Batch 005X1. Light brown with a reddish tint to it. There is a light brown head that rests on top; about a quarter inch thick.

Smells slightly sour, a hint of oak is noticed in the background. I get a good whiff of cherry vanilla as well. This doesn't smell overly sour, allowing a more complex aroma from the other scents.

The taste starts with just the slightest bit of vanilla sweetness, and follows with a nice sour finish. Nicely balanced, but still sour forward.

The mouthfeel here his nicely done. The carbonation has a nice prickliness to it, and the body fills the mouth nicely when quaffed.

As far as sours go, this is highly drinkable, but I will resist the urge to gulp it down and make it last.

Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blue Dog Tavern the other day.

Supplication pours an apricot amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer is quite vinous, showing an iimpressive array of grapes, vanilla, wine and light sour. The flavor profile replicates the nose for the most part, except I'm getting a bit more wine vinegar and sour funk. The sour component definitely dominates the flavor profile, though it's not so over the top as to be unenjoyable. This beer is hugely flavorful with no more than a medium bodied mouthfeel, and the finish is long, winey and sour. This beer has almost an electric component to the flavor profile, at least that's how the sour hits me on the finish. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol nearly unnoticeable. Am not a huge fan of sours beers, but this is pretty fun to drink (though I can't imagine drinking a whole lot of it). However, I confess the sour component does seem a bit more intense on draft then I recall experiencing from the bottle.

Photo of calir1
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite sour around. As far as a taste review, I cant name everything in it, it is just sour tart and awesome. It has some great wine characteristics and a go to sour when I am at the pub. Russian River makes some wonderful sours but this one is on the top of them all

Photo of 7ways
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 04x5

Pours a purplish brown with a fluffy off-white head. Nice lace.

Smell is a little alcoholic, but includes pleasant notes of musty wood, cherries, and strawberry. Kind of like a weak Oud Bruin.

Tastes... not too good. There is nothing but sour abrasion that tastes like Band-Aids and vinegar. Not the yummy vinegar, but the stuff old wine turns into. It is not extreme, but is at the forefront. Now I love hugely sour beers, but the tartness should be balanced by sweetness, not adhesive. The cherry flavor, if it is there at all, is completely buried. It's like this bottle was picked off the beer tree before it was ripe.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, just like every other RR I've had.

This isn't terrible, but it's a pretty poor showing that I won't seek out again, at least not this batch. I'll edit my review if a future or past batch comes my way.

***UPDATE*** Re-Review, batch 5 x 3

OK, maybe it was a batch issue, maybe I had an off night. Whatever the case, here is the edit.

The beer in my glass right now tastes pretty great, and smells less like alcohol and more like a chocolate cherry Avery Brabant. The adhesive and white vinegar flavors are nowhere to be found, and the sour cherry just shines, along with notes of currant and strawberry. There's also a striking (red?) wine component behind the tartness. It's about as sour as Temptation and Ithaca Brute, which to me is perfect.

Changes I made in the scores:
Aroma 3.5 to 4
Taste 2.5 to 4.5
Drinkability 2.5 to 3.5

Photo of SiepJones
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4
Poured into a Snifter

A: Pours a reddish brown with a small head on top. Supplication looks like a glass of apple cider with a light topping of foam. The head dissipates very quickly.

S: The Brett, Lacto, and Pedio blend together to give this a good musty, funk on the nose.

T: The Brett and Lacto create a musty barnyard flavor on the front, while the sour cherries add to the tartness of the finish. I am picking up slight notes of pinot noir on the finish as well.

M: Very carbonated as the bubbles tingle the tongue.

D: This is a sipper as the funk is strong but not overpowering on the taste. ABV is not too high at 7%, but the flavor will keep you drinking this beer slowly. Complex, sour, and very enjoyable.

Photo of laituegonflable
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a vibrant orange colour with delicious dense head, about 2cm thick, retaining well with craters bubbling on the top. Stunning ring of lace is left behind. Slight haze shows a slow but steady stream of bubbles. A few floaties chunks which are a bit unnerving, but otherwise damned nice.

Smell is very funk-é, with a lot of tart yeast aromas coming off that, hints of cranberry and citrus zest with a slight paw-paw note as well. Slight brassy fragrance as well. Seems a bit simple, but decent, yeah.

Taste starts out sour, stays sour. Kind of vinegary on the front, with more of that brassy metallic character, then gets really pleasantly sweet actually, early on the mid, with a sweet-and-sour-sauce flavour and maybe some lemon squash. Lemon juice is the dominant flavour on the back, lots of citric acid with a very slight rubbery character as well. Nice fresh zest on the very back kind of clips off the sourness so there's isn't much tartness left lingering. Yeah, very nicely done - potentially repellent but is made crisp and refreshing. Good sipper for flavour but also very good for just throwing back - again, like lemon squash.

Good body to it, and no harshness from the wild yeast. Pretty damned nice texture, actually.

Yeah, I like this a lot. It's sour and interesting, but really nicely quaffable. A very steady and skilled brewing hand is behind this. Great Summer or Spring quencher.

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

A - Poured a brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of sour cherries

T - This is awesome tasting just like it smells lots of tart sour cherries

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - After drinking a few different bottles I think this is one my favorite beers to drink now ignore the price and get your hands on a bottle or two

Photo of stingrayvr6
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle I picked up at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia. Poured into a chalice, showed a beautiful hazy golden with yeast visible, good frothy white head. Smell of bitter fruits, cherry slightly present in the nose, super earthy and yeasty smell. Taste was refreshing and crisp up front, sweet then balanced out by sour fruits and dry finish that left me wanting more after every sip. Fantastically crafted complex brew, one of the best I've ever had.

Photo of CMW
4.93/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the opportunity to crack on of these this weekend thanks to a buddy's haul from GABF.

A - Beer pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights. Head is a good 1 inch but fades rather quickly.

S - All I can say is wow. Tons of sour cherry and even some oak notes. Filled with beautiful funk.

T - Heavily acidic kick upfront that makes me pucker. Sour fruits soon come pouring through and it finishes with a mustiness that tastes like your breathing in a cave.

M - Carbonation danced on the tongue.

D - I could drink these all night. I waited what seemed like forever to try this and it was worth every minute.

Photo of Anthony1
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a light reddish golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass. The aroma is full of cherries along with some yeast, light malts and a touch of hops.The taste is very tart and sour up front with a strong cherry flavor. There's a thin malt character and a mild hops presence. After-taste is also quite sour. If you're into the sour beers, this is a good one for you. Smooth and very crisp, light body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

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

One can be fortunate to come across many beers that are very good, but the beer that makes you pause and marvel upon first sip are rare indeed. Bitter cherry and oak notes drum a steady sour/tart backbeat while the yeast flavors lend a funkyfied harmony that melds into a delightful experience. Must find more.

Photo of rhodeska
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer, really interesting sour.

looked different, not something that I would normally see. Darkish brown, good strong apple smell and sour too.

The taste was pretty much exactly what the smell seemed like, was very full and delicious, quite apple-y.

Great beer, excellent way to mix it up between normal styles, and I highly recommend it.

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

Poured into a tulip. It poured a gorgeous light brown with reddish overtones that was crystal clear and highly carbonated. Nice firm white head that dissipated quickly. Great looking beer.

Aroma was full of tartness, like a lambic but without any funky barnyard stuff in there. Maybe a slight cherry character, but it is slight.

Taste was very tart and sour with some wood in there -- very wine like in taste though. Some nice malt character in here. It has some malty sweetness (though it's not sweet in any usual way). Bit of tart cherry flavor. Complex and remarkably clean in flavor.

Mouthfeel was solid but bright, spritzy on the tongue. It would be ridiculously easy to drink several pints of this if it weren't very hard to get in Alabama and not so expensive. Great stuff.

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

Cork and caged 375mL (Batch 005X3), poured into a Balloon glass.

Supplication was my 2nd beer from Russian River, after Consecration, and so my expectations were set high.

From the bottle:

"Ironically, Vinnie decided his winemaking days were through when he discovered it takes just twenty-one days to make beer. Years later it takes him over a year to make this beer!"

For my part, I'm thankful Vinnie is still patient.

A: Deep mahogany brown, 1 finger soapy head, dissipates rapidly.

S: Bloody. Rich and tart, can smell the cherries working in there.

T: Clean. Smooth and rich. Mega-tart in the finish, cherries hit hardest there and linger.

F: Rich and smooth.

D: Just delightful.

Photo of Brez07
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes a few days old. 375ml bottle poured into a wine glass. Batch 4x4

A: Got a nice pop when I open this and foam slowly started to rise to the top of the bottle. Pours a brownish cherry red. Leaves a 1/2 finger of white head with fairly good retention. Crazy amount of active carbonation that I can see in the glass. 2nd pour was a bit cloudy

S: Sour tart cherries/raspberries. A kick of brett/funkiness up front. Occasionally notes of oak

T: Just like sour cherry pie (if such a thing existed). Not overwhelming sourness, but definitely gets me in the jaw. Tart fruit puree and an oakiness round things out

M: As mentioned above, fairly tart but nothing crazy. Crisp, dry. Light, great carbonation

T: Very easy drinking wild/sour. Not overly tart so I had no issues finishing the bottle. Probably wouldn't drink any more though as I can feel the acidity getting to my stomach. Need to land another of these, so good

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

375 mL corked and caged bottle.

A. Bright red/amber with some orange highlights around the edges topped by 1 inch of fluffy white head. Quite an exceptionally good looking beer. A steady stream of small champange style bubbles is present giving this beer a very lively look. As the head fades into a collar only a couple light swirls are needed to revive a solid half inch.

S. Very tart acidic cherry presence initially that is accompanied by some bright lemon and bitter/sour underripe grape notes. Quite oaky as well with a touch of vanilla, also some definite funky/barnyard brett aspects.

T. Initial puckering tartness, big acedic acid cherry flavors. The bitter/sour unripe red grape aspect is more pronounced in the taste than the smell and really adds another layer of complexity. Sour lemon, earthy brett and evident oak flavors really work wonders in this beer. My favorite flavor combination of any Russian River wild ale I have tried.

M&D. Light, lively, well carbonated. The complexity of this beer really helps the drinkability as I find myself continually sipping to dissect all the different aspects that go into this beer.

A great wild ale, I'm glad to be getting into craft beer when this style is really being developed by american brewers.

Photo of msmezher
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Supplication, by Russian River fits well into their line-up. As in it's damn near incredible. Aptly described, strong aromas of cherries and oak, with tastes to match. The beer is slightly sour tasting, but even stronger sourness to the smell. A highly refined package, and a treat whenever afforded. Russian River doesn't mess around, and neither should you. So drink Russian River. A premium beer with very classic sour notes, well aged, with a fine wood finish. (By the way, I think this is my worst review for a Russian River beer, so really, if you have the chance drink everything you can by them)

Photo of designergeoff
4.13/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from a bottle into tulip glass

A- medium brown hue, slightly opaque
S- lots of fruits sour cherries, hints of oak, very tart
T- excellent sour taste, very balanced. must better than expected. cherries and cranberries, so oak features
M- great carbonation, not overpowering
D- highly drinkable if your into the sour side, very addictive

Photo of emmasdad
4.05/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had been wanting to drink this one to celebrate passing the bar exam, and although I have a bottle ready to go, the opportunity to try it came up, and I didn't pass it up. Pours a somewhat medium brown, with a smallish white head. Aromas of red grapes, tart cherries and wood. On the palated, this one is bracingly sour, with fresh cherries and oak fighting the balance battle. Another nice effort from the folks at Russian River.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to forgetfu for this one! 375mL brown glass cork & cage finished bottle. Batch # 005X3. No date.

Pours a ruddy brickish brown with some thin off-white head. Aroma is pure sour sour sour cherries. Black cherry, fruit leather, and dried leaves.

Palate is WOW super sour! Big fat bing cherry, black cherry and lots of citric acid-like acidity. That fruit-leather thing is there, very stewed/preserved fruit like density. Tanned leather too, raspberry jam, blackberries, and all sorts of sour fruit.

Finish is long and sour, surprisingly (sarcasm) focused on cherries.

Notes: This is not tart, this is sour. I really enjoy sour cherry beers, but didn't find this one to be as complex or enjoyable as it's trumped up to be. It's very clean as others have noted, but the complexity level doesn't rise to the occasion. Don't see the value for the money (quoted as $14). That's not to say that this is not a well made beer and clearly unique - I just personally don't find it that interesting.

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

On tap at La Trappe in San Fran $8 for 25cl

A: great velvet head, rosey light brown color
S: great nose, sour with oak and malt backbone - mild to medium
T: great, good balance between sour and malt, oak, spritzy, quenching
M: excellent, spritzy and alive
D: very drinkable even at 7 ABV

Photo of rtepiak
4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a rather fantastic and expensive that for cantillion lovers is a must.

I am finding that american wild ales seem to fall in two categories... failed belgian attempts made sour and stored by knowledgable brewer... and the sour intentionals. This is the latter. there is no intent to save a missed beer style. this was very much so a goal in mind.

pour is orange crimson cloudy with almost no head. White bubbles. Nose of tart. The palate is very much so that as well. Mild wood and floral lambic qualities, cherry tart, the black berry in the finish as a mineral fused with the malt. Could use some more of that. A fantastic quality the unites malt and sour fruit.

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

App- A slightly murky maroon with whitish-pink head. Lots of lactic lacing

Sm- Tart cherries, oak, funk, and a roasted toffee hiding in the back.

Ta- Cherries, but not very pronounced. The tartness is there but is seems to come from the yeast not the fruit. Funk is minimal and comes through with some barnyard smells. The malts are rich and have a some sweet caramel, toffee flavors.

MF- Small bubbles with minimal carbonation. Nice.

DR- Amazing. Another winner that can be savored slowly (because you don't want it to end) over and over.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first RR sour (batch04x4) thanks to portia99. I'm somewhat new to this style, so here we go...

A:Poured into my Duvel tulip, this brew pours a burnt orange with a thick bubbly head, leaving some lace as the glass empties. Definitely impressive, but not stunningly impressive.

S: The aroma is sugary sour cherries and cranberry. Tart fruit are all in the aroma. Tart fruit dominates. Seems like the Oak Barrel aging smoothed some yeasty clove/spice that I would have loved to have smelled more of.

T: Wonderfully sour without being offensive. Being new to the style, it seems like brewers struggle to make a brew flavorful without over doing the sour. This brew is tart, fruity, balanced. Clove and spice replace hops as the tingle and sting on the back of the pallet.

MF: The mouthfeel is light and dry on the finish. Unique to many other beers, and a little creamy at times.

D: Drinkability is great, like I said this is not a harsh beer.

Overall, I do like Supplication and will seek out other RR sours. If it were me, I brew this beer up with some more yeasty Belgium inspired spicy clove, which would help to massage the pallet and give a good contrast to the sourness of this brew. Very interesting indeed. Note to RR...I like the old style bottles better!

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 5,155 ratings.