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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,391 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,391
Hads: 5,776
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 2,616
Gots: 1,914 | FT: 131
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Supplication Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,391 | Hads: 5,776
Photo of gigaknight
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This offer pours with a bit of carbonation, eventually settles to a thin halo of head around the edges of the glass. Glowing sunburst hue, with blood orange color in the center that radiates outwards into a golden straw yellow. Lots of great bubbling, looks almost like a sparkling wine or cider.

S- Though the strong suggestion of vinegar in the nose may be unpleasing to some palates, it immediately makes my mouth water. Some tart cherry comes through, but mostly a sticky sweet acidity. No hops are detected whatsoever, and the smell of the malt has been so strongly mutated by the sour yeasts that it's unrecognizable.

T- At first sip, a bit of light oaked fruit sits on the tongue for a moment, and then a wave of sour makes its way across the palate. The vinegar notes are expertly married with balanced sweet cherry, and the brown ale base keeps the whole concoction still within beer territory. That being said, the barrel aging and semblance of tannin structure put forth a lot of wine personality in this brew, which is, in my opinion, one of the most attractive things about wild ales. You get much of the character and diversity of fine wines without the high alcohol content (or price tag). The aftertaste sees the bacterial acidity through a slow transformation into a pleasantly mild lemon juice finish. It's fantastic for the style, but personally, I would have liked just a tad more sweetness in the flavor profile. Be it from more malt or treating the cherries differently, this brew might have been driven into my 'all-time-favorites' with a little something more to provide contrast to the sourness.

M- I think the rather high carbonation really works well for this type of beer, contributing to the overall refreshing nature of the style. The light citric flavors, tartness, and sparkling mouthfeel once again almost take this into champagne/sparkling white wine territory, but of course no grape has the gumption to make this ambitiously bold of a beverage.

O- Russian River has cemented it's reputation as one of the best (if not the best) producer of American wild ales, period. I tried not to judge this brew against my preferred vehicle of sour beers (Flanders Reds) and consider it within the parameters of its style. Personal preference aside, this was a masterfully brewed beer that is positively bursting with originality and flavor.

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Photo of donManguno
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed blind. Sent to me by the great AleWatcher.

I enjoyed this beer with a special cigarette while watching The Expendables. It was a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

A: Slightly hazy ruby red color. Poured gently into a Duvel tulip, producing a one-finger cream colored head that recedes very slowly and left something beyond lacing. A film of foam was left on the sides of the glass as it emptied.

S: This beer smells of bacteria. It's very sour and vinous, but not vinegary, some sour cherry but mostly indistinct sourness. I can defenitely detect an oak barrel. I believe this is a Flanders Red. As it warms, the cherry becomes much more prominent.

T: First sip is mouth-puckeringly sour, there are cherries in this beer. Maybe this isn't a Flanders Red, as most of the fruity tartness seems to be from the Cherry. Anyway, I like it. It's also quite dry. Not much else until it gets to about 60º. Now I can taste the oak, and it's much more vinous, like a very dry wine.

M: Velvety. Minimal carbonation, and that's how it should be. Very dry, maybe a little too dry.

D: Excellent sipper.

Batch 005X5

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Didn't really pay attention to the batch number...but it's the most recent one..just got delivered from RR last Thursday.

A: Nice hazy reddish orange, fairly interesting color. It almost makes me think of tomato juice (if it were less pulpy). Fluffy head, about a one-finger retention.

S: Strong sour smell-I note sour cherries and the typical citric acid smell of brett beers.

T: Lemony citric acid flavor dominates at first, which I've found is pretty typical for the style. Still, even at first this is more subdued than some of the other sour beers I've had. Once I got used to this, the cherry really came out, along with a funky/woodsy taste. This just got better and better as I drank it with the nuances really coming out by the end of the glass.

MF: Pretty mellow carbonation, a good thing since this doesn't really need any more bite. Not quite mouth-puckering, but it gets the salivary glands working. Syrupy, full, and extremely dry finish. Alcohol is noticable, and by the end it had hit me a bit, but it's not that strong.

O: Best sour beer I've had to date (not that I've had a ton). Very drinkable once you get over the initial shock. I don't know if this will ever be a style that I just love, but this was surely worth the money. If this were more readily available, it would be something I'd try to keep on hand for when the mood struck me.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one! Re-review 12/10.

A-pours a vibrant dark amber with nice red glow to it. The head is a thick and creamy off white leaving a strong lace on the side of the glass.

S-light acidity up front, notes of oak and brett play together, sour cherries come in behind. the aromas are simple yet well integrated.

T-here the brett comes in first, light leathery notes, good dry oak presence that doesn't detract but adds to it, sour cherries are so juicy and vibrant. almost no acidity but a nice bit of sourness to it.

M-medium to light body, very smooth and creamy with a decent bit of carbonation and a semi dry finish that prickles on the back of the throat.

D-this is very simple and straight forward but still very tasty. the flavors blend together very well and it goes down so smooth. it has a great sourness to it with virtually no acidity.

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked bottle into my RR Belgian glass.

Appearance: Deep amber/ruby/almost reddish brown. See a lot of carbonation with a decent head. Head eventually recedes to an 1/8 head.

Smell: Cherries, yeast. Not impressed by the smell or appearance honestly.

Taste: This is where it gets better. Tartness hits you immediately. Immediate cherries into some sweet and sour apple. You can taste the wine from the wine barrels. It all works really well. Love the complexity.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation initially intimidated me but it all works really well. Medium bodied.

Overall: Not for the faint of heart. Wouldn't recommend this for someone's first sour. At the same time, I love the pinot barrel taste and the complexities. Not necessarily the best sour I've ever had but I would certainly recommend. Don't get why so many find this one "world class"...had many European sours that trump this one. Either way, I woould love to try this one on tap to see if I spot anything else. Good stuff.

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Photo of zoolzoo
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks chickencoop
Batch 04x1

Pours a reddish copper, translucent. One finger white head dissipates into a lingering cap. Bubbles everywhere, I can tell this is going to be spritzy.

S: Sour green apples, but musty. Getting alot of brett too.

T: No surprise, immensely tart and sour. But why can I not stop sipping this? Really "fun" to drink. Im thinking more sweet and sour green apples than cherries. Brett funk is melded throughout the entire palate. I had some trouble detecting any wood characteristics, maybe next time?

M: Medium bodied, spritzy carb. Leaves you salivating as if you are drinking something like orange or grapefruit juice.

D: Hmmm. I would have to say drinkability suffers because of acidity. A whole 375 ml gave me a little heartburn. Additionally, any sour can become tiresome to the palate. Excellent beer when you are in the mood for it, a "world class" sour.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown, dark gold in color. Smell is tart cherries and funk. There are also some wine qualities from the barrels as well. Taste is more of the tart cherries and a good amount of the Brett showing as well. Tart and sour on the mouthfeel and non-cloying. A real joy to drink. Everything melds itself together well and no one characteristic dominates. Very good sour.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 002

I new to expect a gusher and it wasn't too bad. That said, no worrying about a soft pour with this one!

A - Murky reddish brown. Small off white head that settled out really quick.

S - Sour cherry, hints of raspberry, oak and horse blanket.

T - Similar to the aroma but so much more captivating and complex. Sou, but not harsh, swirling malts but nothing singularly identifiable. Brett influenced but not dominated. Wow.

M - medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Tart but just below pucker range.

D - highly drinkable. 9% but one of the least noticeable 9% brews I've ever had.

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Photo of adam42381
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Spiegelau tulip. Bottled on 1/16/15 printed on label.

Appearance: Pours an opaque copper-orange with a 1/2 finger bubbly snow white head which dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Oak barrel and cherries dominate with a touch of barnyard funk and vinegar. There is a hint of sweetness that balances out the sour aroma. Smells amazing.

Taste: The oak characteristic from the barrel is dominant up front with a blast of sour cherries and lacto sourness in the middle before ending with tannic dryness that leaves a very mildly sour and oaky finish. Overall, the flavor is a bit abrasive and not as balanced as I would have liked.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. This is a one and done beer for me.

Overall: Very good beer overall. The aroma is by far its best characteristic as it smells truly great. I would definitely recommend trying this beer, but I think it's a bit overrated.

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Photo of haazer
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After having two bourbon barrel aged brews, I decided to wipe my palate clean with this crazy concoction.

A- Deep raspberry look. Amber and strawberry hues. Very "pretty" looking beer.

S- Fruity, and ever so funky! Brett aroma is apparent. Sour cherries, dry oak. Leather, sweaty socks, band aids, barnyard horseblanket you name it. Great aroma.

T- Pickles??? Anyone else get this? Sour pickles. The beer itself is mouth puckeringly sour. Bitingly sour cherry pits. Under the sour is a lot of funk. Hay, straw, and horseblanket. Very acidic and lactic.

M- Puckering of course. Light to medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Despite the intensity I could drink a few of these.

O- This is the first sour I've tasted that really blew my palate apart. I'm hard pressed to try and find something more intense than this. This beer is a game changer . Great offering from RR .

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Photo of srandycarter
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was hoping for Cable Car on tap at Toronado, but sold out before I got there.

A - Clear copper, small head, spotty lace.

S - Sharp tartness. Don't really discern much else.

T - Nice medium maltiness followed by nice balancing tartness. Slightly band aid.

M - Medium body, low carb, nice balance.

D - Nice substitute for what I was looking for.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange color with 2 fingers white head and good lacing.

Scent of cherries, some yeast and a hint of breadiness. Scent is quite sour, but balanced balanced well.

Taste is very sour as well, cherries, some lemon and yeast start. Some oak comes in a it warms a bit. This one probably could have stayed in the cellar for a little longer.

Mouthfeel is clean and light.

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Photo of Wisconsuds
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, Supplication. Your 375ml bottle has been sitting in my fridge for quite some time now. No longer will you take up room while my tongue cries for you. A 7% sour barrel-aged 12-15 month brew will finally be imbibed. Batch 005x3 poured into a snifter.

Pours the color of an amber-ruby red, like the mosquito lodged in tree sap in Jurassic Park. ROAR! Bathtub foam bubbles create a 1/2 inch of head, which quickly rescinds. A thin layer sticks around on top for the duration of your drinking session.

Aroma is all sour, brett-y funk, followed by cherries and other yeasty smells I'm not accustomed to coming in contact with. Really punches the olfactory glands. Smells like oak as well.

This extremely sour brown puckers your lips up & assaults your palette with a champagne effervescence and tart cherry combo. A fresh crispness coats the mouth in the finish, which actually becomes bitter after the swallow. This beverage is heavily carbonated, but that's not necessarily a bad thing here. A fizzy sour cherry bomb.

Not my style but highly enjoyable to say the least. Would seek this out again, and continue aging a few to see the effects. Californians - you are lucky. Very, very lucky.

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Photo of snpub540
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper hue with some ruby highlights. There is a cream colored head that lasts a long time and leaves thin scattered lacing on the glass.

Smell is a mixture of balsamic vinegar, tart cherries, grapes, and some alcohol sweetness.

Taste is of sweet cherries upfront, but a quick in your face sour funk sweeps. A dry woody finish mellows things out. The sour creeps up hard but it balances away very nicely.

Drinkability is good as it is not too sour or overwhelming. Alcohol is not very present. Mouthfeel is creamy and coats the whole palate. Another good sour from RR.

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Photo of drewba
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of ddugan
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375ml bottle. Pours a nice red color with minimal head. Smells of cherry and oak from the barrels. Really like the smell of this ale. Taste is cherries, oak, and red wine. Very good carbonation for a nice mouthfeel. Overall a very good wild ale.

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Photo of mikey711
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A: a lightly cloudy amber color that have a bit of brightness to it. decent white head that holds fairly well. No lacing.

S: Tart cherry, wood, earthiness. Some vanilla.

T: The cherrys hint my palate instantly and leave me puckering a little bit. Definitely a nice level of funk with hints of vanilla and dirt

M: A bit light and slightly hot.

D: I think i much prefered batch four to batch five. Still a great sour that never disappoints

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Photo of BZero007
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, Monks Cafe Philidelphia, PA

Poured a light tan/Orange glow with a light off white head forming pretty well. The head stuck around for a bit and left some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma of this brew gave my Wife and I a clue that this was going to pucker us up. The smell consisted of Sour Fruits Cherry's and apples up and to the front. Though in the background seemed to be a herbal undertone that gave these sour smells more power.
The first sip blew both of us away as we quickly fell in love with it. My Wife who from this beer alone has joined the ranks of craft beer enthusiast, is now drinking wild ale, saisions, lambics, and Barleywines. The flavor was very sour but not to the point where it left no flavor, quit the opposite. The flavors plowed threw our taste buds with the carbonation at a perfect level to achieve this move. After my second sip I removed my self to use the washroom and came back to an empty bottle. The Wife had no look of guilt but of satisfaction. Which she now pays for with the shipping of these types of beers as it is little to find in my area.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Very nice light brown, with a faint reddish hue. Thin one finger white head that quickly disappears. Not much lacing and no alcohol legs.

S - Sour cherries, slight oaky red wine smell, but mostly cherries

T - Oak, spice followed up with sour cherries. Very complex flavors. Not quite a sour, but more sour than anything else.

M - Very refreshing for the person that likes sours. Lots of carbonation keeps this just the way I like it!

O - Extremely drinkable and very complex in flavor. Top ten beers in the world? Why not.

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Photo of 7ways
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
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

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Photo of angelmonster
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Freshcraft in Denver

Pours a clear brown body, 1/2 inch off white head. Lacing and head retention were good.

Smell is of very light vinegar but dominated by tart fruit like cherry and kumquat. There is also some oak at the end.

Taste is of straw malt mixed with sour apples. Sour pickle brine is also present along with some puckering tannins you'd get from a dry chardonnay. No hops or alcohol was detected.

Mouthfeel is light, puckering and finishes dry. Carbonation is perfect but the head was only semi present.

Overall this was a good refreshing beer. Would love to have this in the mountains on a spring day. Not too much into the particular style but would definitely buy another bottle whenever it rarely pops up.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
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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Photo of Haybeerman
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange/amber color. Poured a 2 finger biege head with good retention to thick, even skim. Decanted continually. Laced in wide sheets.

S: Cherries and white grapes. Distinct, but not overpowering sour funk. Wood and earth. Alcohol.

T: Sweet and sour with cherries. Woody, earthy yeast funk. Very fizzy in the finish.

M: Light body. Very high carbonation. Fizzy, bright and tart.

D: Sweet and sour coupled with all the carbonation diminish drinkability. Being like candy, remind myself to slow down and enjoy.

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Photo of thatguy3579
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber in color, medium cloudiness, and a persistent tan head.

S: A good smell of sour apples and cherry.

T: Taste is plenty sour, but pleasant - each sting begs for another. Mostly sour apples and cherry.

M: Thin, with low carbonation.

D: Sour, but not abrasive or overpowering. A little goes a long way though - I would not drink this frequently or in volume.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,391 ratings.