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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SupplicationSupplication

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,700 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,700
Reviews: 1,312
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 2,133
Gots: 1,407 | FT: 94
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: 4,700 | Reviews: 1,312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tbdkev
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Though listed as a wild ale, I'll go out on a limb and say that this is what every sour should aim for in terms of profile. It pours a burned red-orange to pink with some lacing. The aroma is out of this world. There are definite hints of cherry and pinot noir as advertised, but I also pick up a hint of eggnog, oddly enough. The taste follows the aroma. There's a definite mouth-puckering cherry tartness that quickly fades to a dry, clean finish. The sourness is very pronounced, and I think it may mask other flavors that are present. Nevertheless, this is one of the best sours I've ever had.

tbdkev, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of Gosox8787
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 375 mL corked and caged bottle labelled with Batch Number 005X4. Poured into a snifter glass at room temperature.

Appearance: Ruby red with a hint of light brown in color. Pours a really large fizzy head that recedes pretty quickly into nothing.

Aroma: Tart cherries, pinot noir, vinegar, and some nice funk. The aroma really does just fill the room after opening this. Really balanced and complex. The tart cherries are probably the biggest note in the aroma, but all the other notes are definitely present and contributing to teh aroma.

Taste: Really tart cherries stand out upfront. The sourness definitely is the first thing you notice. After the initial blast of sour, the pinot noir, vinegar, and barnyard funk really start to stand out. All some together really nicely. A puckering finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and with a lot fo carbonation. Very crisp. Also very acidic.

Drinkability: I wanted more than the one bottle after finishing. The alcohol was not overpowering at all, but definitely was warming.

Overall, the single best American wild ale I've ever had. Extremely complex and flavorful. All the elements work perfectly together and don't overpower. My highest recommendation.

Gosox8787, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of FirstMan
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I went to RR to try the oh-so-raved-about-Plinys (with reason), the beer that absolutely floored me was Supplication. This ranks in the top 10 beers I've ever had (which is determined by a complex algorithm involving the beer, where I had it, and the overall experience of drinking said beer).

Color is bronze to orange - darker with hints of evil lurking.

Wonderful sour cherries and wood in the nose. Earthy, musky, clean forest decay. Just what you want from a wild.

Cherry tartness up front as you'd expect, but eased out and rounded by sweet ripe fruit and then the dryness of the oak lingers. The acitic tannins sit on the back center of your tongue forever, just tempting you to mellow them out again with another sip.

Despite the complex flavors and darker character, I found this beer to have a lighter mouthfeel due to its tartness and dryness.

Drank a ton. Too much, actually. Paid for it the next day in the Muir Woods bathroom (or was it the oysters?).

Was worth the payment, regardless.

FirstMan, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of Freethyhops
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle provided by ahatcher78. poured into a flute

a- pours a light orange almost IPA color. maybe a pale tainted by the cherries? produced a substantial amount of fluffy white head. probably the best lacing I've seen on an American wild.

s- funky, sour cherries to the max. the cherries are so vibrant and inviting. it's hard to describe the strength of the aroma. awesome.

t- definitely some mouth puckering acetic sourness up front. it's got some great complexity to it. all the flavors are as intense and as they are pleasant. to sum it up. sour, brett, sweet cherry candy, hint of vinegar. I really can't imagine anything being much better than this. Certainly the best I've had to date.

M- super dry, light/medium bodied with fairly subtle carbonation. can mouth puckering count as a plus count as a plus in this category? since I'm not sure I'll keep it at a 4.5. BM me if you think I should bump it up.

d- yea, I could drink all my money away on this beer. and probably be pretty satisfied with my investment. dead and dying from starvation but enjoying some extremely fine brew. I've been borderline bumping up a couple stats so I'll say 5.

Freethyhops, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of fatmcb1
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River 9-29-11

Poured an amber, reddish color with an off-white ring of head.

Smelled of tartness, fruit, and barnyard funk.

Tasted of sour cherries, green apples, grape, and wild yeast. Bready malt provides a slight balance. However, there remains a very strong acidic profile. Sour flavor lingers. It is well carbonated, and creamy.

This is my single favorite wild ale to date. The tartness is not overpowering, but instead mingles with the fruit and malt to allow for a high level of complexity. Very recommended!

fatmcb1, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

Beerenauslese, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of steeb
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper/brown with a thin white head. Slight opacity

S: Grapes, cherrirs, and sourness. Like grape candy.

T: Tart. Deep robust wine character. Cherries. Amazing

M: Light bodied really let's the flavors shine.

O: Just another great Russian River sour. Cherries and pino noir are a very nice touch

steeb, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of unclejazz
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to open this Batch 8 things of beauty. Well, Super Bwl Sunday seems as good of a time as ever. On he brief tip, this beer delivers on everything it promises. The Pint Noir barrels come thru nicely, the cherries along with the trio of yeasts make this a tart number with a delicious zing. Very nice mouthfeel, but the flavor is the star of the show, and I believe this flavor earned an Oscar nomination in my eyes. This beer has gone to territory only held previously by Abyss and BCBS. Well, there is a new King of the hill, so let us see if any other wild ales or sours can knock Supplication off its new perch. Challenge!

unclejazz, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of scinerd3000
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid 25 dollars for a 355ml. Poured into a tulip.

A: Beautiful red tinged beer with lots of bubbles. Hazy and with minimal head.

S: Sour apples, cherries, lots of fruitiness. Slight brett?

T: Exceptional. Very complex with sourness and cherry melding into an almost wine like quality. Finished dry with a lingering sweetness. Malt character is also perceivable in a biscuit like quality.

M: Well carbonated and slightly lighter body make this go down very easy.

O: A+ Worth 25 bucks....

scinerd3000, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of kajerm
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375mL mini-magnum with a simple blue label marked "batch 001" and "barrel-aged one year." I'm giving extra appearance points for the coolness of this bottle, which is enough to legitimately add to the drinking experience.

Pours cloudy gold with fine, brisk carbonation and a half finger head and quite a bit of lacing. Aside from the cloudiness and the head, this beer is indistinguishable from a fine champagne.

The nose is impossibly complex. A drop of acetic acid and just a shade of barnyardy Brett. Distinct winey and cidery notes are clearly present, along with some phenols. Absolutely no malt, hops, or anything to otherwise suggest that this is beer.

The flavor includes everything in the nose, but in different percentages and with a few surprises. The Brett is in the background now, with the brisk, refreshing sourness, winey flavors, berries, and sour cherries in the forefront. Finishes with a snap of fruity sourness.

The palate is lively, with loads of fine carbonation and mouth-puckering sourness.

How's this for drinkability? I could easily drink ten bottles a day, every day for the rest of my life.

This beer is a masterpiece.

kajerm, Mar 27, 2007
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

armock, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of pjs234
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 008

A - A very careful and slow pour results in a monstrous three to four finger head. The head is very fluffy and hangs out for a while before fading away with hardly any lacing. The beer itself if a cloudy copper color with constant carbonation bubbles streaming to the surface

S - Holy tart batman... made my mouth water excessively. Smells of apples, grapes and cherries. Can tell this one will be sour.

T - Very tart and sour on first sip, but some sweetness is present as the sip progresses. The sour flavors come from the cherries. The finish is very nice. Also, this beer hides the 7% ABV very well, as there is no noticeable alcohol flavors.

M - Very light and crisp mouthfeel. Very carbonated and actually a tad refreshing. Very drinkable.

O - I have always liked sours and this one just cements that feeling. I really enjoyed this and wish that this beer were available around here.

pjs234, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brinking a Supp Batch 9. Ok, I am spoiled by living in Europe for the past few years and having visited the Lambic region in Belgium many times. This is a great beer, no doubt, and I love it, but there are many out there that have a lessor rating that could and should be rated better. Many from the Lambic region that are pretty obscure (not going to list any plugs for other beers on this Supplication review).

A: Deep ruby-brown hued with a golden amber tone! Looks so delish!! Nice one finger head.

S: Sour and bitter...really nice! The cherries (big time sour cherries!!!) and pinot noir are in there with an awesome balance of fruity flavors! Nice!

T: Wow! so nice. Love the sour notes and the cherries and the oak and pinot background notes. Now I know why this beer is rated a 99!

M: Smooth and bitterly sweet...really nice!

O: Worthy. I like it a lot. Really coming on board with RR wild ales and this one did not disappoint! Simply put...wow.

4thelvofbeer, May 23, 2012
Photo of gibby
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle batch 004x1 purchased at Capone's last week.
Poured into an oversized wine glass. Great copper color with a minimal beige head that didn't last long. Minor lacing down the glass. Smells great, big burst of cherries, wood and some funkiness. The taste is where this beer really shines in my book. It's dominated by cherries with a great sourness but nothing over the top. Very, very delicious beer. I felt like I was flying through this beer so I had to slow myself down to really enjoy it. Mouthfeel is excellent as well. The carbonation is spot on and it has a sort of champagne quality that coast your tongue. Drinkability is off the charts in my opinion. Feel like I could sip on this all day long. Temptation and consecration were very good but I think supplication is my favorite of the 3. I will get more, highly recommended.

gibby, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of jjayjaye
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy orange tea color with a thick stiff foamy white head that resists fading, leaving a huge amount of Belgian lacing, some 3D. The smell is aggressive, complex and fruity classic Bing cherries down to the unique tart character. The aroma also has a sweetness that i want to associate with malt but with a creamy vanilla note that i sense may be from the barrel aging. Full flavored, the tart cherry character is intense without being offensive and in fact is exceptional. Visibly effervescent, the mouth feel finishes clean and dry. This is the most drinkable sour that I've experienced...right up there with Brute and LeBleu. The depth of the flavors and aroma of this one exceeds the other two. Really glad that I had the opportunity to consider it!

jjayjaye, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to brent56k for the opportunity. Batch 003.

A: Poured a golden copperish color. Very different than the other wild ales I have had from Russian River. Reminds me of Tornado 20th but a few shades lighter. Poured with a 1/2 finger of white head. Good head retention especially for the style.

S: Nice mix of funk/ sweetness and cherries. The funk is subtle but definitely there. The horse blanket is in the way back but it is there.

T: The tartness is caught right on the front of your tongue. Totally up front. Almost like a sweet tart. Little bit of sweetness from the cherries after that. I wouldn't say it is balanced but it is enjoyable. This is nice and tart but more balanced than Beatification I would say.

M: Little bit thicker than other wild ales I have had. Probaly a result of this starting out as a brown ale. Carbonated well.

D: God damn it. Why can't beers like this be on the shelves of the store. That being said this is a treat. The cherries and the fact that it was a brown ale blend everything nicely. A good starter for someone wanting to try a wild ale. I find that Russian River nails that tart sourness better than just about everyone.

aerozeppl, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of NoLiberty
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a great beer. Thanks to GrassrootsVT for spotting this at the new Foodery in Philly. Had Supplication after several other dank beers and a day of tasting at the Kennett Square Beer Fest, and despite all of this I was still in awe. A delicious beer.
It pours a beautiful clear copper, brown orange, glowing with nice light and clarity. Good head with slight crisp burnt toffee lacing.
Could have a near perfect aroma: a great balance of sour cherry, alcohol, horse blanket, vanilla and baking pie crust. Nice.
The taste follows as near perfect: a big wallop of front sweet, sour cherry, vanilla, tart pie baking crust, full full funkiness, barnyard, tart apple, cranberry. Great finish dry and fruity tart.
Mouthfeel is great, excellent carbonation, with clean biting, semi-dry but still wet. Yes, I wanted more after my half glass was gone, still wanting more.

NoLiberty, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of vinny21bal
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best sours out there. Great beer. Temptation is my favorite of the line but this one is very amazing. Perfect sour with a little bit of funk like the old world sours. To many of the American sours are just sour and miss a lot of the funky barnyard flavor that a sour should have. If this beer is ever available. Don't think twice.

vinny21bal, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of Zaplt
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375 ml into a la chouffe tulip - bottle 04x1

Appearance - Beautiful deep amber with nice head that leaves a beautiful lacing with decent retention.

Smell - ohhh - tart dark fruits grape, licorice, cherry a bit of a sour funkiness to it - man this is exciting...

Taste - man that is some sour deliciousness. Just read the back of the bottle and the strong grape and cherry tones make a lot of sense now. Sour cherry, grape, deep fruitiness with hints of oak that I perceived as roastiness for a split second - followed with a potent funk from the bret et al. ending in a very pleasant dry tartness. Much more complexity that I cannot put my finger on. Can't wait to review with increased tasting abilities.

Exceptional beer - seriously fantastic. I have fallen off the deep end into a deep love of well brewed sour beers. Wow this is good.

Zaplt, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of dank203
4.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

new style for me really, haven't had many sour beers. this thing really spoke to me. lot of sour cherry. aroma had sort of a funky note but it wasn't offensive. it wasn't a particularly fruity or tart smelling beer. only had a 6 oz glass and wanted t much more

dank203, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of tjthresh
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lots and lots of samples at the GABF 06. This thing wreeks of funk and tart cherries. I love it. Golden straw color with lively carbonation with a spritzy white head. The cherries come through very nicely. Oat and then the bugs. Awesome stuff. Next time they are selling the barrel stuff online, I’m pulling the trigger.

tjthresh, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 4/11/13
Poured in a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (4.75)
Pours a hazy light amber/orange with lovely peach highlights throughout the body. A small, finger tall, off white cap of a head quickly forms and falls leaving no lacing behind. Which is to be expected of a barrel aged sour ale. The body is gorgeous.

Aroma: (4.75)
A blast of tart cherries up front, which are positively drenched in some lovely barnyard funk; Musty, dusty hay, leather, light tobacco. The initial blast of cherry seems to be a byproduct of lactobacillus, which are one of the souring bacteria that Russian River(as well as most other sour ale producers) uses in this beer, but underneath the tart and funk is a fabulous aroma that you can only get from fresh cherries. The cherries really add a great, fresh contrast to dusty Brettanomyces in the nose. The aroma is bathed in a thick barrel character from the Pinot Noir barrels; mostly vanilla and slight, earthy pepperiness. A faint, malty sweetness lingers in the background.

Taste: (4.75)
Bright, juicy and sour lemon attacks your palate immediately with ripe, tart cherry skins soon to follow. Like the nose, the aggressive sourness is clothed in this musty, dusty barnyard funkiness. Middle of the mouth is when the fresh cherries really come out to play in conjunction with lightly bready malt backbone. The beer finishes VERY dry and sour with lingering notes of sour cherries, bitter lemon peel and a light tannin presence. The barrel comes out more and more as the beer starts to warm; notes of vanilla, cherries and a generic pepperiness.

Mouthfeel: (4.75)
Fully bodied with an interesting creaminess. High carbonation.

Overall: (4.75)

This doesn't become the highest ranked 'American Wild Ale' on Beeradvocate.com without good reason. This beer is absolutely awesome and extremely ahead of its time(for American Craft Beer) when it first came out in the early 2000's. This beer is awesome, and do to it's extreme sourness, I can only recommend it to seasoned sour fanatics.

flayedandskinned, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of Wantbeer
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper with a thin white frothy head.

S: Very nice aroma and pungent. Sour with a touch of phenols. Apples and spice with some sweetness and an underlying woody / mushroomy note.

T: Sweet and sour up front fading to a spiciness and finishing dry and woodsy. Alcohol starts to come through at the finish. There's definitely a tanin note from the wine barrell againg.

M: Thick and smooth with perfect carbonation.

D: Great

O: This is unique and delicious. Proof that if you take the care in brewing a beer you would in creating a fine wine, the results can be just as mind blowing.

Wantbeer, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of montrealbcr89
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks for rutager for this one!

A: Pours a brownish orange with a 3/4 finger off-white head with small bubbles. Head fades quickly. In the glass, this thing is a beautiful reddish-copper with brown notes.

S: You really have to get in there to get a good nose on this one, but when you do - wow. Sweet, tart cherries, little bit of vinegar, definite funk with some leather notes. Really nice.

T: Whoa. Hang on. Balance. Right up front, you are hit with the tartness. And then some funk. But towards the end, you get some sweet cherry and fruit notes. Some definite wine notes from the barrels. The funk adds another dimension to this beer. terrific stuff.

M: Pretty much perfect. Not too carbonated, very refreshing.

O: Super impressed. This one is a winner. I keep delving deeper into the "tion" series, and continue to be very pleased. I would have this any time. Great stuff!

montrealbcr89, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of errantnight
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to drinking this... what an amazing beer.

Poured into a tulip glass, and that was the last time the beer would even mildly disappoint. A hazy light amber/brown (burnt sienna, we'll say) with a thin, waif-y head that disappears quickly. It looks fine, but if I wasn't sneaking glances back over at the bottle I wouldn't know quite what a treat I was in for.

The aroma is stunning. Sharp cherry tartness and other ripe fruit on a malty backbone with a distinct funk.

And it tastes even better... I was splitting this bottle with my girlfriend (damn my generous ways!) and it was all I could do not to gulp this down. Clean, crisp, refreshing! The funky sourness gives an awesome bite that never completely overpowers (this doesn't reach that "other" level of sourness achieved by, say, a nice geuze), and the cherry notes are carried high with the proper amount of sweetness, which isn't cloying or simple, but complex and full bodied, coats the tongue and lifts with an excellent level of carbonation. Oak-y astringency is just around the edges, rounding it off nicely. I couldn't be more pleased, particularly after Temptation set the bar so high. If I could afford to purchase by the case, I would.

Excessively drinkable, complex enough to handle a variety of duties in food pairing, you simply must try this beer. And Russian River simply must find a way to produce more of it.

errantnight, Nov 13, 2007
Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 4,700 ratings.