Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

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5,070 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,070
Reviews: 1,330
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 2,239
Gots: 1,565 | FT: 101
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: 5,070 | Reviews: 1,330 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A- pours a dark, murky shade of a brownish orange with a one finger white head that fades quickly and laces nicely. Not outstanding

S- nice dark cherries with some of the FUNK in there too...its oddly overwhelming and awesome, I really can't explain it

T- sour cherries, with a really nice dark tart bite near the end...awesome

M- its got a nice feel, some thickness to it...THE FUNK brings a little something to the table too

D- maybe a little too sour, but its a damn good beer, well worth its rating

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

On tap at Russian River

A - Medium shade of brown with a touch of red; very little white head, yet great lacing

S - Sour cherries and raspberries with a bunch of funky yeast. I'm drooling on myself.

T - Tart cherries, vinegar, and brett are tasted from the get-go. The middle is dominated by lemon juice, and this finishes like a quality, sour vinaigrette.

M - Medium-bodied and awesomely acidic - makes the sides of my mouth tingle. Good amount of carbonation.

D - Good drinkability - it's sour enough to offset the fruit factor.

Another RR wild, another great experience. I need to move to Santa Rosa.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

tasted this beer with friends on friday night while trying other RR beers!

reviewed from notes.

Appearance: dark amber to mahoganey bodied beer with a small white head that fades quickly to nothing.

Smell: funky sour cherries with a musty smell. Oaky.

Taste: moderately sour right up front and continues throught the entire taste. Cherries! Its got the barnyard funkiness to it as well. you can taste some yeast in the back of all that sour vinegar note with a touch of barrel.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Another nice sour from RR.

Photo of dpnelson1978
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into glass tulip.
Batch No. 005X1

A: Cloudy deep oxidized copper body topped with one finger of loose pink-tan head that quickly dissipates leaving light bubbles of lace and a thin cover.

S: Cherries, leather, and a slight acidic funk. No hop presence.

T: Very light fruit flavors up front, cherry in particular, giving way to an unmistakable acidic twang. Lactic, with no detectable acetic. Despite the fruit character there is almost no sweetness, and the acidity hangs on the tongue long after the sip.

M: Light to medium body with heavy carbonation that bites the tongue immediately. Acidity prickles and the palate is left bone dry.

O: Really solid sour. Not something I would consider a session choice, but very interesting. Excellent with food, and a something I would spend the money on again in the future.

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

So my wife asks, "what is that?" To which I reply, "Imagine beer, plus wine, plus oak, plus cherries." "Yuck!" "YUM!!" Alas, I've turned her into a beer fan, but she holds mixed drinks to things with umbrellas.

Me, however, I"m just getting started with this whole Brett thing. Pours a red-tinged amber, a small white head that shrinks to a ring around the collar, not much lacing more than a nugget here or there. Aroma comes mostly in tart cherry, faint oak, and a funky bunch of b-list characters, and for the style, they work nicely.

Taste is all kinds of crazy, to spectacular effect. Tart, sour cherry, oak, funk, must, a dry ending. Quite hard to describe, about as akin to normal beer as American football to 'intl' football. Mouth is mostly dry, medium light bodied, puckering, smooth, rather easy to drink, for its oddity. Its not my first 'brett' beer, but its probably the finest. Much thanks to Tom (MuenchenerKindl) for this one.

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

Batch 009 served from 375ml bottle into snifter.

A- Murkey brown color with a bit of a copper hue. Very little head on this one after a couple of seconds. Some lacing as you move the glass around.

S- Some lemons, cherries, grapes oak and just a touch of funk.

T- Super sour cherries, apples, a bit of a wine like "sweetness", a touch of caramel, and a super dry, sour finish.

M- Drinks exceptionally well for the abv. Slightly tannic, dry, fizzy.

O- Slowly becoming one of my favorite sours out there. Worth the price tag for sure.

Photo of cfrances33
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tria Rittenhouse in Philly on 7/5/12 and served in a tulip glass.

Pour: Deep copper with two fingers of off white head.

Smell: Tart cherries to the max with a great hay musk.

Taste: Tart cherries and some sour apples too. Sour maltiness on the finish. Vinous flavors lended from the pinot noir barrel aging. Equally pleasant woody characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Really nice tartness that isn't overpowering. Carbonation is really fantastic. An interesting dynamic between the dryness and the tartness. The crisp dry body encourages you to keep drinking, but the tart finish that lingers on the palates demands that you slow down to enjoy this beer because your palate will become too coated with tart cherries.

Overall: Really great sour, but I think I prefer Sanctification

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

Pours a cloudy amber color with a small head, with lacing at the sides of the glass.

Smell is very tart, fruity, and cherry. Smells like a weaker version of what I'd expect from some wines.

Immediately hits the tongue with sour tartness. The intensity of the sourness builds a bit as it rolls over the palate, and finishes dry. The sour cherries are very dominant in the flavor. Tastes also like funky fruit other than cherries.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and tongue biting. The sourness really attacks the tongue.

Drinkability on this one is low. While delicious, I wouldn't want to have more than one of these in a night. The one I do have, though, goes down super easy.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. This is completely different from what I drink, but it's delicious and a wonderful change of pace.

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

Yikes, where to begin; the cacophony of artistry that went into brewing this is mind numbing. Purchased this in California in February, and after going back there recently I was reminded, hey I didn't drink that Supplication yet! So here we are. An interesting creation indeed. Pours a deep, hazed orangey amber, with an initally thick head that dies to lace, though upon swirling to pick up the interesting aroma, it rebounds if only for a moment.

Initially, the first thought upon getting a whiff of this brew is "lambic." Sour, musty funky cherry aroma, but there's also a very earthy rotted pumpkin thing going on here. Innnteresting. Flavors meld beautifully; upfront tartness yields to woody birch bark flavors, followed swiftly (as this is all too quaffable) by the lingering mildly sour cherry vanilla notes. Carbonation is noticeable on the palate, yet somehow has a creamy, lactic milk-like feel that I've never tasted. Usually it's one or the other; this is well carbonated and strangely creamy. What the? Can there be a creativity rating? This gets 5's there. Extremely unique, tasty, complex and worth seeking out.

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

Batch 007. 12oz bottle poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance- Amber with an off white head. Little lacing. 4/5

Smell- Sour cherries. Not much else. Still good. Not over powering. 4/5

Taste- Sour cherries with bits of malt. The sourness is not overpowering at all. As a baby sour fan (now) I really like this beer. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- I don't know what the standard mouthfeel is for sours but this is a combo of med and thin. Well done. 4.5/5

Overall - Damn good beer. As a non-sour-about-to-get-into-sour fan this is a great intro into sours. Consecration and temptation was too much for me, but this was good. 4.5/5

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

Batch 5, barrel 3

Reviewed from sour tasting notes.

A. Pours a hazy orange/ brown with lacing.

S. Apple, oak, tart, with good cherry contribution

T. Same as aroma - quite a bit of tartness, but not overwhelming

M. Medium body with fairly low carbonation level

D. Very drinkable, delicious - I'd definitely seek this out again; one of my favorite sours

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

375ml bottle served in Unibroue tulip. Batch 04X5

Huge thank you to tturaiders for the chance to try this!

A: Moderate pop w/ some wispy "smoke." Relatively clear, pinkish copper hue. Firm, sturdy head looks like it could last all day. Even as I near the final third of this beer there is a solid finger of head. Very attractive.

S: Tart cherries jump out of the glass. Nice, citrusy funk. Smells like a hazy summer day amidst the wilderness: tall grass, wildflowers, foliage, berries, and pollen filled air.

T: Very flavorful. The kind of beer that just bursts over the palate leaving you wanting nothing else but another sip. Mildly sweet up front. Tart cherries and wildberries drizzled with fresh lemon juice. Sour and funky, but very approachable. Finishes with just a little pucker.

M: Just about perfect. The kind of feel that can only come from a bottle conditioned beer.

D: I wish I had another bottle!

I certainly had high expectations for this one and it didn't disappoint. I'm not an expert on sour/wild ales, but I can't imagine there are many better than this on the landscape of American made wild ales. Find one of these and drink it as soon as you can.

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

Poured from 375 ml bottle, batch 7 into DFH signature glass. Thanks to Celso for the RR delivery.

Appearance: Aggressive pop from the cork when opened. Nice sediment found on cork...Pours a rosey, quite hazy amber color with soft white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Cherry wine. Notes of vanilla, slight oak, very bright and dry cherry

Taste: Boom. Great flavors of tart cherry, oak, and a musty Brett character to follow. Good vinegar sharpness, balanced nicely with an appropriate amount of oak.

Mouth: Medium bodied, tart and drying. Very intriguing, and wants to be savored.

Drink and overall: Fantastic beer. A real nice treat, that I will seek out again in the future. I've had enough to know it's worth it's weight in shipping. My mouth has a great lasting flavor that I am really enjoying, thank you VC.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yetiman420 was kind enough to share this in his dazzling beer cellar - I wasn't expecting it, so thank you! It's people like him, that make me strive to be a beer advocate.

A loud, angry pop was heard as the cork flew off this one and hit the ceiling in his basement. Batch # 3 in the 375ml format.

Pours a slightly cloudy, light brown with a white, tightly compacted head. Good amoeba-like lacing up the side of my over-sized Duvel snifter and great head retention.

Smells of ripe, tart cherries, possibly some lightmalts and even a touch of nut brown nuttiness.

High, spicy carbonation as it hits my mouth, reminiscent of sticking pop rocks in your mouth! Sparkling mouthfeel. Slightly sweet and very crisp. Light bodied and unique medium to full flavored. Sourness is the predominant quality, but extremely smooth.

Very nice and worth the hype! Go out and try this!

Photo of areich6
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks a lot like wine. Almost as though you mixed red and white wine. Pours a red-orange color with very little head. Looks very smooth.

S: Can smell a very faint presence of cherries. What I smell is good, but it is very perfunctory.

T: Wow. Haven't had too many sours, but this is great. Tastes like a cherry warhead, maybe not quite as sour.

M: Extremely smooth. Has the consistency of wine.

O: This is a fantastic sour beer. My experience with sours is limited, but compared to what I have had this is in the top 2 on my list.

Photo of stewart124
4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got a chance to try this at the Toronado in San Francisco. Poured into a tiny tulip glass with just a whisp of head atop this dark copper colored beer.

The smell is exactly what I would expect from a wild ale. Lots of winey characteristics, floral aromas and just a funky aroma in general.

Suprisingly balanced and a sourness that is sharp but appealing. Very unique flavors of cherry, wood and a light caramel note. As expected this finishes very dry and puckering. While sipping this more complex cherry notes come on.

Pleasing wild ale which seems simple yet complex all the way through. Maybe it just confused my palate though since I haven't had too many wild ales. This is a tasty ale to say the least.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited to reflect newer batches (at the time of this writing, batch 006). There's always a minor rearrangement every time Russian River releases a new batch of sours. As of 10/26/2011, the latest Temptation is winning, with Consecration next, and Supplication last.


All right, I should probably review this since I've had in on tap multiple times now. Batch 004 at the Bistro -bal Fest and again on tap at the Rose & Crown in Palo Alto.

A: Pours a murky amber with glowing orange highlights when held to the light. It has a finger of cream-colored head that retains pretty well; it eventually retreats into a clump of bubbles on the brew and a very thin collar, with no lacing.

S: What a fantastic aroma. It has the right balance of tart, sour cherries, acetic acid, and lactic sourness. Tannins come through quite strongly, along with grapes (I didn't pick up on this until largadeer pointed it out, but afterward, it was obvious). Just the slightest hint of brett, with a musty leather undercurrent.

T: Sour cherries and more than a hint of dark red grapes, giving it a vinous quality right from the start. It's lactic up front, with the mid-taste seeing an evolution of tannins and light leather. The finish is acetic and dry, but not so overwhelming that it burns the throat. There is a little lingering sourness in the aftertaste.

M: I was very pleased with the balance of characteristics here. I don't enjoy super-dry or super-acetic beers; Supplication delivers both qualities in moderation, producing a sublime drinking experience. It's light-bodied with moderate carbonation that cleanses the palate very well.

D: I had two 10oz pours of this and strongly considered a third. In fact, as I'm typing this up, I'm tempted to go back and get said third. Probably my favorite Russian River wild ale now that Consecration's recipe has changed.

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

I have now had 2 bottles of this, plus once on tap in the Russian River tap room. This review takes into account all 3 tastings.

Kind of a tangerine color split between a goblet and pint glass. Nice head, no lacing.

Hard to detect much other than the sourness on the nose.

Beer out of the bottle was very sour, but I believe this was due to serving temperature. We took it slow and really let the beer warm up and then the other flavors started to emerge aside from the sour microbes. Nice wood notes to accompany the sourness. A little bit of citrus zest, a hint of malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel was surprsingly crisp for a sour. Surprised as to the difference between a sour beer and a hop bomb treats the palate. Hops tend to linger and shred the palate, but the sour doesn't linger too long.

Overall this is a fuck of a beer. Easily one of the best offerings from Russian River. PLEASE be sure to drink this at the proper temperature. Minimum of 55F to let all the flavors emerge.

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

I poured this one from a 12.9oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass. This was batch number 003.

A= This sour ale poured a very hazy orange/amber color with a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't 3/4" off white head that appeared and disappeared completely in a heartbeat. No lacing to speak of.

S= This one gave a general aroma of sourness and tartness for sure, but I also found grapes, wine, and some background sweetness. The sour character of this beer lent a certain baryard funk to the initial smell that was pretty complex. The barrel lent just a hing of wood smell.

T= Some fairly faint malt shot underneath a big sour tartness. Though throughout there are hints at a myriad of flavors like grapes, cherries, wood, etc I found the sourness and the spicy yeast character to be most prominent. Though I am not well versed in sour ales, this definitely has a great deal of appeal to me in the flavor department. Finished very dry and tart.

MF= Medium bodied made to feel lighter by a near-magical carbonation level. I say that because after 10 minutes in the glass, there is not a bubble or sign of cabonation to be seen yet this ale felt dry and very crisp on my tongue.

D= This was easily the best sour I have had to class for sure. I really appreciated the flavors without being overwhelmed by them. Despite the challenging nature of this sour, I believe it would be easy to have a couple in one sitting.

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

I poured this from a corked 350ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. Very nice copper/amber color with a small head, not much lace.
The smell is like a good wine. The cherries are right up front with a wine barrel smell that overpowers most everything else. Slight malts and hops but barely noticable.
Wow, this is an amazing Sour Wild Ale. Cherries, wine barrel, sweet, light malts and a slight taste of earthy hops. Very smooth and not overbearing. A great sour for anybody. Wow one more time.
For a sour this has great drinkability. I could easily grab another. THANK YOU RUSSIAN RIVER, and keep up the quality on your amazing beers.

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

Opens with a big "pop." Vermillion-brown with a nice layer of foamy suds adorning the top of the beer. An exceedingly woody nose full of dry rot and tiny hints of cedar. Always wary of American beers that advertise their funkiness, I was prepared to be let down by a lack of brett and/or bacteria, but the nose was both moderately tart and funky and hinted at a very pleasant sour cherry flavor that might be coming my way.

While the cherry flavor never fully emerged, I was certainly treated to a subtly sour beverage that was impressively well balanced and dry. If one could register a complaint, it's that a leisurely approach to drinking this allows it warm to the point where a slightly boozy red wine burn develops that distracts from the interesting funk and wood flavors present in the beer. Nonetheless, quite an accomplishment.

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

It's about time. I've been saving this for a special occasion. Then I realized that drinking this beer would make any night a special occasion.

Appearance- A reddish chestnut. It appears brown, but glows a warm, deep ruby when held to the light. Half inch of head with some nice big bubbles. Slightly off-white.

Smell- Very nice. The cherry comes through, without a doubt. Sour, old cherries. A nice funky farmyard. There is a strong vinegar note that is sharp on the nose. The wood comes through as well. Good stuff all around.

Taste- The cherry comes through immediately. There is plenty of wood as well. It finishes wonderfully tart. Would like a little bit more of that funky goodness. That sharp sour note really gets the salivary glands going, so I'm literally drooling over this one. The acidity on this one is no joke.

Mouthfeel- Great carbonation. Nice and bubbly on the tongue. Good body. Very nice.

Drinkability- So tart it's a little tough, but I'd love another one. Still, the acidity is near overwhelming. Tums, please.

Another knockout from Russian River. I just can't get enough of their beers. May not like it quite as much as Consecration, but everyone is a winner in that comparison.

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

375ml bottled graciously shared by bulldogp04 in line at the CBS release, thanks Dean! Small pour into my Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a hazy amber and brown combination with a frothy white head. Pretty nice looking and leaves some sticky lace down the glass.

S: Great combination of barnyard funk, citrusy sourness and peels of lemon and lime. Slighty sweet berry in there as well.

T: Very tart with a burst of sour lemon. Very subtle sweetness that is vine fruit in nature as well. Slight vinegar mixed in and it finishes with a funky yeast.

M: So clean and very crisp. Light bodied. It has incredible drinkability and is very refreshing.

O: This was a winner in my book. Very well balanced between funk and sour and the subtle sweetness really rounded it out.

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

A: Pours a deep red/dark honey type color. Soapy light tan one finger head that dissipates into a nice ring. Very good carbonation, consistent bubbling

S: Cherries, good bit of funk. Smells a bit like a good shiraz, also a damp smell(don't really know how to describe that one, like a wet towel that's starting to get mildew)

T: As I've come to expect from RR sours, fantastic. Very tart, the most sour of their lineup I've had. Definitely cherries, vinegar, whole grain bread

M: Very good, really soft. Pretty thick, syrupy. The tartness gets you in the jowls and made me salivate a bit.

Overall, this one was lovely. Out of this compared to the other 2 RR wilds I've had (consecration, temptation) I'd have to put this third. Cheers to them though, never disappointed. Will definitely get again and again.

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 5,070 ratings.