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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,379 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,379
Hads: 5,718
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 18.89%
Wants: 2,590
Gots: 1,885 | FT: 130
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
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Reviews: 1,379 | Hads: 5,718
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 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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Photo of dukedevil0
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Evan (beddachedda) for sending this 375mL bottle to me in a recent trade. Batch 04x1.

A: Pours into the glass a brown color with reddish tint that lead to just a thin layer of white bubbles

S: Smells lightly funky, lactic scent, tart cherries, light oakiness

T: Very similar to the smell - sour cherries, light oakiness, lactic acid and some minimal funk

M: Highly carbonated and almost too much so if you ask me that makes this really full bodied

D: Surprisingly, even though I'm not a big fan of sours yet, I am liking this beer the more sips I take. I guess that's just getting used to the style. I wouldn't drink a ton of this, but it's a nice change from the usual beers to sip on for an occasion.

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%

Bottle dated 4/11/13, poured into a snifter. My first Russian River sour.

A - Reddish amber, effervescent with scores of bubbles coating the glass and a slight bubbly halo. Hazy glacine.

S - Crisp sour apple and some sharp blue cheese. Accents of lemon juice. Smell is on the musty end, like damp laundry. Woodiness.

T - Cidery tart and a bit sugary. There's a mealy fullness in the middle, more malty then I'd expect. Grass, black cherries, green grapes, unripe raspberries. A dry burnt wood finish. Significantly smoother than most wild ales I've had.

M - Oddly heavy; a sort of medium weight with the fizziness of a sour.

O - Enjoyable, charming, but not revelatory. Still, It's piqued my interest for RR's other wine barrel ales.

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Photo of claspada
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Monks for $5 during Zwanze Day 2012.

Pours a a hazy, dark amber/light brown color with little-to-no head and some spotty lacing.

Aroma begin quite sweet and tart. Initially you get the Brett with a little bit more sweet on the nose though then some of the recent sours I have had. Cherries and other tart fruitiness become more apparent as it warms close to room temperature. Funky yeast continues to evolve more with some light woody aromas as well now as it gets a little warmer; this was turning out to be very nice indeed.

The taste begins with the funkified Brett tartness with a surprisingly substantial pilsner malty sweetness. Deep sour tastes join the party, but not as much as I was expecting. Maybe this is still too "young". Nice notes of dark cherry throughout. As it warms you get some more cherry sweetness with some nice tones of wood mixed in throughout.

The mouthfeel is average with appropriate carbonation for the style. Brett and traditional yeast really help this to finish quite dry with a nice lingering taste of sour Brett. It came off a little bit fuller then some of the other sours I have had, with more of a rich feel despite the loads of carbonation.

Overall this is a really great sour beer. I don't believe it is the best I have had by far but I cannot deny the extremely high drinkability this possesses. Normally I do not seek out this beer because of the high price tag and "average" flavor profile for a sour but for $5 on draft, I'll take that everyday of the week and 2x on Zwanze Day.

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Photo of John_M
4.14/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of Adrianized
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 005x4, poured into a snifter.

Murky brown in color, dark orange/red/rust when held to the light.  Aggressive pour yields a finger thick off white head with settles to a film.

The nose is strong, I can smell it while it sits at the table.  Right up front is a winey character, and strong notes of oak aging.  Sour dark cherries, Brett, and maybe some other dark fruits.

The taste is immediately sour cherries and a nice oak background.  The sour tartness hangs on to the end.  The finish is sour and very funky.

Mouthfeel is effervescent and full bodied.  Missing the light refreshing feel I like in my sours.

Overall, another nice sour offering from Russian River.  Although this one is pretty straight forward sour cherries on oak, it's nice.

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Hazy reddish amber color. 1-inch head that dissipates quickly. Very bubbly, very cloudy.

S - Sour and sweet. Orange and passion fruit.

T - Very sour cherry with just a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of bitterness at the end.

M - Medium body without a lot of burn.

O - This is a strange one for me. A very sour beer with an apple cider vinegar aftertaste. Not my preferred choice, but interesting.

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Photo of jooler
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell is of cherries and not feet. Initial taste is very alcoholic but I get use to the taste and it starts tasting better. The finish is less alcoholic and tart. Pretty good

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Photo of bmwats
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Golden amber. Not much head and no real lacing to speak of.

S: Sourdough bread, and raspberry.

T: Flavor follows suit.... bready, raspberry and fermented cherry. A little alkaline

M: Slightly bitter with a dry finish.

D: Enjoy....

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Nice appearance although not much in terms of head or lacing. Nose is a basic but a strong fruity bready combo. Flavor is fruity, but only a little sweet, white bready. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of ccrida
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Belmont Station, served in a chimay goblet, Supplication is a gorgeous pale burgundy rose, with a small white head that leaves light lace.

Smell is pretty funky, a lactic sourness and touch of musty brett horseblanket, with touches of wine and tropical fruits, limes in particular, it sweetens as it warms.

Taste is tart but not overly sour (well at least compared to the last RR sour I had, Beatification), lots of acidity, which is my favorite sour component, citrusy but not particularly vinous, or woody for that matter. Maybe not the most complex wild ale, but it's very tasty and hitting the spot on this 100F day.

Mouthfeel is spritzy and dry, with a medium body and some lingering tannins, which seem to be the main contributions from the wine barrel aging.

Drinkability is very nice, flavorful and acidic without being overly sour or sweet, no vinegar notes either, it's really close to my taste in wild ales, well made, and gets bonus points for rarity, especially on draught!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is brown and slightly hazy. Form an off white head of small bubbles that falls away leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low. Looks good, not sure what I expected.

Aroma is sweeter than I was expecting for sure. There is also a funky spiciness to the whole thing. I'm interested for sure. What's going to happen next.

OK, I like this beer but this is not my favorite sour, not at all. This was sweet and there is a lot of carbonation in the mouth that accents the sour notes. It ends rather tart but overall its not as sour as the other offerings. Its citric and lactic in nature with a pretty dominant sweetness overall. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is high. Still a great beer.

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Photo of mryuk
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish orange with a small head that does stay around.

Smell is very overpowering strong sour cherries. There is a bit of citrus sour in there also.

Taste is also very sour. For me the sour flavor was overpowering most everything else.

Mouth was surprisingly thick with a good carbonation.

WOW. This beer was without a doubt like nothing I had ever had before... hard to tell at times if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I am leaning toward good but really struggled to finish with the overpowering flavors eventually getting to me. Quite a bit too much sour for me to enjoy finishing the entire bottle let alone having another.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,379 ratings.