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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,059 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,059
Reviews: 1,330
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 2,232
Gots: 1,556 | 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: 5,059 | Reviews: 1,330 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msmezher
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of messyhair42
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured into an oversized wine glass, one finger head dissipates into a thin foam and leaves a lacing pattern on the glass

S: Oak, Leather

T: notes of tobacco, oranges, lime, chocolate and a fresh apple crisp. tart, the oak is present but blends with the other flavors. the amber aleness is almost completely masked. long finish of oak. stronger sour taste than consecration

M: effervescent, light

O: would drink again on a special occasion.

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

Summer 2008

Sampled while sitting on the patio in beautiful Bodega, Ca. Looking out at the Pacific Ocean. That's right. Listening to Mark Lanegan's "Bubblgum". Good times right here.

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a snifter. Pours out a rusty/amber color with a creamy tan/of white colroed head. The head stays around for quite some time. Not much lacing or webbing left on glass.

Smeels quite tart, fruity, funky, musty, yowza, brett.

This is something. Tart fruit & cherry, mouth puckering tartness, wine like complexity, bready malt, nice sweetness, noticeable wood character. The wood & tart/sour play nicely. Possibly the most complex beer I've had to date. I likey.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, dry, lingering sourness.

To say I enjoyed & savored every gulp would be an understatement. Worthy of the hype & kudos this brew gets.

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

one of the best, and most, sour beers ive ever had! pours a thin brownish rust color with a short but very active tan head. fizzy. smells like sour cherries, old church wine, and brettanomyces. its almost like smelling salts, it throws the head back in intensity. wow. flavor is hard to describe, there are notes of cherries, but nothing sweet. there is so much sour here it puckers you rich up for a moment, then it goes insanely dry and is gone without a trace. the brown ale base is inconsequential here as the bacteria and fruit steal the show. the tannic tang from the wine barrels adds another layer of sour depth to this one. feel is perfect perfect perfect. more than effervescent carbonation serves the sour train well, and the drinkably medium body is a welcomed surprise. russian river rules the roost on beers of this genre. this baby is alltime!

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

Purchased at Union Jacks Inn on the Manatawny, enjoyed at home in a tulip glass, just like instructed on the cork. Batch 002.

Pours a hazy copper with pink hues with fizzy beige head, little retention and spotty lacing. Smells of sour cherry, citrus zest, caramel, bread, yeast, and red wine. Taste is very tart with lots of sour cherry presence. Beyond that there is a taste of grapes, caramel, oak, brown sugar, and a musty funk. Medium-light in body with good carbonation and lots of tartness and an acidic balance. With a good amount of tart and sour flavors it isn't a beer for everyone, but it is certainly different and at least worth a try. A very unique brew that I wish I had more bottles of. Certainly not sessionable, but nice for a change every so often, especially for dessert.

Photo of mjl21
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle. Batch 003. Poured into a tulip glass. Purchased at the brewery when it was first released and kept at cellar temperature. Poured into a tulip glass. Comes in at 7.00%.

A-Pours a golden orange amber color. It has a two finger almost tan colored head that has incredible retention and rests at about half of its original size. The head results in great streaks of lace after every sip. Large amounts of bubbles can be seen continuously breaking from the bottom of the glass.

S-As this bottle is now almost two years old, the pinot noir character has reduced along with the aroma of fresh cherries. It now is a lot more acidic/vinegar-like. The sour/tart cherries can be detected along with some musty oak barrel aroma. There is also definite funk lingering in the nose. The funk and sour elements are quite balanced.

T-It starts with sour/tart cherries. It is not overwhelmingly tart/sour at the start. Mid-sip it has some sweetness from the brown ale base beer and some vanilla from the pak barrels. As it goes down is when its enhanced acidic/vinegar character is a lot more noticeable. It is a lot stronger than when it was fresh. A touch below Beatification's sour level, but definitely stronger than Temptation.

M-Medium bodied, dry, a little oily, and a comfortable carbonation level.

D-After almost two years it is interesting to see how much more tart/sour this beer has become. It is a lot more accessible when fresh. I liked it with age, but miss some of the pinot noir character of a fresh bottle.

I am curious to see how my remaining bottles will continue to age. This beer can be aged for up to four years. I can only imagine it will be quite sour in another year or two.

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

Pours a slightly turbid mahogany topped by a healthy, lumpy head that retains nicely and laces beautifully.

The aroma is black, bruised cherries and saddle leather, white wine, slight lemony acidity, with some green apple and unripe peaches.

The taste is acerbic bing cherries all the way with a hint of pepper, barnyard and a nice, clean, dry okay finish. Tart and crisp. Sour like a lambic, but lighter and brighter on the palate with some aged hop presence as well. Very vinous. Borderline vinegary.

Really, this is an engaging beer that really draws me in and makes me want to never stop drinking it. It feels simple and complex at the same time.

Very easy drinking and definitely a beer made for pairing with food.

Photo of ChiliSauce
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 0110x011
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours a hazy copper into a tulip. Big, fluffy 3-finger head slowly fades to a thin cap with spotty lacing. Nose is all sour, tart fruits, with a bit of citrus & vinegar. MAN this beer is sour! I've only had a couple of sours, but this one really makes the lips pucker. Cherry, raspberry, and lemon all over. After a few sips, the sphincter-tightening sourness subsides somewhat, giving way to a pleasant sweetness, with a dash of bitterness at the end. The finish is crisp, dry, and refreshing. A brew unlike any I've had. And that's a good thing. I'd very much like to see what effect a good year or two of age will have.

Thanks to cloudskipper for the hookup!

Photo of Trueant1
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 04x4

Opens with a POP. Pours amber orange. Sits in the glass brown/orange and cloudy. Some yeast sediment floating around. Nice coating on the glass.

Smell is exceptional! Pino noir, corriader, booze, grapes, tomatoes, apple cider vinegar.
There is a distinctt tone of brettanomyces here, like some lambics

Tastes sour up front. VERY different. Braggs apple cider vinegar, sour wine, and many sweet overly ripe fruits. The
carbonation makes it seem like it is a very flavorful chamapagne.

A bit too sour for me. makes the mouthfeel a bit difficult to
rate. but still above average here. Very carbonated.
Champangnee like.

drinkibility...same notes as the above moutfeel. Exceptional originality in this brew giving it the high scores it deserves.

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

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Batch 001: Ruddy amber color with a thin light beige head that disappears almost immediately. Barely any light penetrates. Tiny rising bubbles and lacing that races down the sides of the glass. Aroma of grapes, brown sugar and sweet candy. Medium body with a smooth mouthfeel, and a bold vinous character. Flavors of dark cherry and light spice and oak. The flavoring does not linger too long though. The finish is extremely dry and feels like it is sucking the moisture from your tongue as you drink it. The finish is moderately sour and peppery. Overall a very well-made and enjoyable beer.

Photo of lunarbrew
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber/hazy red with little head but a nice lacing that sticks tight. Head is khaki colored.

It has a nice acidity. Cherry, red wine vinegar, Some oak. Not a huge smell as far as sours go. A little sweetness balances. Excited to drink it.

More sour than I was expecting from the nose, but not as big as some. The acidity doesn't linger long. It rounds out really quickly. There is an astringent bitterness that hits as the sourness falls of, then the cherry flavor sets in. This flavor is very raw and natural. I don't get a lot of juiciness, but instead I get a cherry flesh flavor. Really nice. Flavors are cherry (of course), red wine vinegar, green apple, and lemon. Also taste some oakiness, but again, this is a very raw (wood bark) flavor.

Medium-high carb medium body, and I swear I feel some tannin on my tongue from the cherry and pinot noir. I also get the tannin bitterness. Really nice.

This was an excellent beer. To me, it didn't quite live up to the hype, but I still really enjoyed that complex and raw flavors. No doubt that this beer is complicated. Nice sourness that's not over the top. A pretty easy drinker, actually.

Photo of Flounder57
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 008 375 ml bottle was poured into a large Duvel glass. The cork came off of the bottle with a nice pop and imagine that this bottle of beer has not seen air since 2010 or later. That is crazy wild.

Appearance: Slight head that reduced to a thin layer. Hazy reddish brown with signs of carbonation coming up through the center of the glass. Lots of tiny little bubbles. A very wild ale this beer must be.

Smell: sour and tart cherries, pinot noir aroma, oak, a nice yeasty and bacteria funk. I can't wait to take a sip. Super funkiness going on here. Whoa.

Taste: This bottle has conditioned nicely and blended all the flavors together great. The sourness and tartness from the cherries come out first. A nice funky and yeasty taste similar to rubber tires, but these tires are not as bad as other wilds and easily bearable, which makes me extremely happy at the moment.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carboantion, light bodied, somewhat dry on the palate and puckering too. Very interesting and great to drink. It keeps me wondering. If the carbonation could be toned down a bit, this could go down like water.

Overall: Wild ales are growing on me and seem to get better with each one I have and each BBF I volunteer for. If it wasn't for the fests, I would have very little knowledge or experience with these sour and funky beer. I am happy to have brought this back safely from Denver and to start off the new year in Boston on a good note.

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

Tasting on 12/16 with GarrettMD. Batch 04x5, 375 mL bottle into DFH snifter.

A - Pours a clear ruby-ish copper with a half finger of off white head. Looks nice.

S - This is not a smell I know. Is this the legendary "Brett funk"? It is a bit sweet, a bit sour, and yeasty. Sour black cherries and perhaps some sour apple.

T - Extremely sour on the first sip, you get used to it as you drink. Definitely earns the title of Sour Ale. Sour apple and sour cherries. I am instantly reminded of the dry acidity of pinor noit. This is so so delicious.

M - Medium to light body with very active carbonation. A bit cloying finish.

D - Despite the sourness I find it very easy to drink. Tart and sweet and an absolute joy and privilege to drink.

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

Bottle from BrewerB, poured into a wine glass, split three ways. Thanks!

Appearance: A gorgeous, slightly hazy orange amber body with a nice amount of lacing, an attractive head,

Aroma: Mild but very interesting. Mild sweet cherry, definite Brett, cinnamon, spice, sweet golden honey, floral leafy notes, light fruity esters, and a sweet woody note. It's very delicate and subdued, but very complex.

Taste: Tart, and wonderfully dry. There's TONS of wood here - more so than in many other beers, almost like chewing on a stick at some points - and loads of fruity esters. Crisp, dry granny smith apple skins, Concord grapes, tons of funk - smells like a funky cinnamon cherry pie.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-bubbled, fluffy, soft, powdery, puffy.

Drinkability: I'm still not completely on board with this whole wild ale thing - it's a slow and steady acclimation process, as with any new style. That being said, this was a pretty enjoyable beer in my opinion. It was absolutely incredible smelling, not nearly as tart as some wild ales I've (enjoyed/been subjected to), and overall a very pleasant experience, with a completely manageable abv. Recommended.

Photo of iamtimanderson
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Wayne17
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of SteveCarrozza
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of MarioM
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml poured into a SN tulip

A: Pours a beautiful crisp clear mahogany almost amber or copper color. Small head formed at first after pouring but quickly dissipated. Carbonation is medium to high.

S: Smells very lactic and tart. Dark fruits and great oak character. Very earthy and nice subtle hints of vanilla and good yeast spice. Aroma is very fruity and sweet but interesting for sure.

T: Nice tart bite and good oak character right up front. Dark fruits and almost vinous character make for a very interesting brew. Not as tart as I was hoping but this bottle is young and would love to see how it ages. Nice dryness and almost tannin finish makes for a refreshing brew as well.

M: Dry and fruity with good oak character and tannins lingering between sips.

O: A great beer for sure but my expectations where a little high and was slightly let down. Don't get me wrong, its an amazing brew and definitely a must have by RR but maybe I'll give it another shot with some age.

Photo of nhudson
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 poured from a 375ml bottle

a: Amber/Red in color, small head with no lace at all.

s: Cherry and vinegar, you can tell that its a 4 year old bottle. The funk really comes out as well.

t: Really one of the best "sour" beers I have ever tasted. Sour cherries, very sour and very complex that I just cant point out. I am tasting some of the wood as well. Very complex and tasty beer, especially for such an old beer. I really thought that it wouldn't be that great of a beer either.

m: Thin and very carbonated and finishes very dry

d: Highly drinkable if you are a fan of sour beers. If I had access to this beer on a regular basis I really think that I would be drinking it all the time.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big big thanks to JackCrow for throwing this one in as an extra.

A: Cloudy, bronze, cherry, head is thick bubbly with tinges of pink and sandy brown mixed together with the standard whipped cream white head. Lacing is a pretty solid curtain, especially considering the sourness of the beer. So good on me for really cleaning my glass.

S: Woody and even slightly sweet cutting though coming through the sourness, very flowery, oaky with an almost unassuming cherry tartness. peppery, white grapes, white peaches.

T/MF: Incredibly woody, tongue numbingly tart. sour cherry, white grape skins, plum skin, lots of skins of fruits is what I am driving at here. Finish is bigger on the berries, blueberry, currants in particular. Feel is full, super bubbly and sticky and dry at the same time. Sticky is perhaps the wrong word to use here, more of a constricting dryness like the beer was stretched over my tongue and shrunk wrapped around it.

D: Fantastic beer, would love to have frequent access to it so I could bury it in my cellar for about a dozen or so years and see what would happen. The tartness my be a bit overpowering for those not expecting it and gives you pause between each sip to let your tongue recover, which I suppose isn't such a bad thing as it lets additional flavors to develop in the finish.

Photo of elricorico
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Hazy orange brown in colour with a large fluffy cream coloured head. Head lasts and lasts, even growing for a minute after the pour. Rings of lacing as I drink. Looking good.

Smells of oak, vanilla, some cherry, orange or lemon rind and a strong acidic sourness/tartness. A feast for the nose.

Tartness right from the beginning. Sour and citric, a bit musty and cetainly fruity. Pineapple impressions in the middle and finish. Oak is there throughout, but it is not overpowering. Puckering and lip smacking.

Very dry to the mouth, with a bit of body and ready carbonation. Acidic in the finish, leaves as much after-feel as aftertaste.

I like it, very much, but thinking about more than one bottle at a time is not appealing. That being said, I'm sure the brewer didn't intend this beer to be sessioned. Something to savour for sure, if you are a fan of sourness, this will test just how much of a fan you are.

Photo of DAllspaw
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR brewpub while on vacation. A fairly light clear brown with some tan head. Light body and mouthfeel but the most complex, layered sour I have tried thus far. Reminds me a it of morning wood from against the grain brewery, albeit not as dark, but similar.

Photo of IdrinkGas
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 06X2
A: As always I poured it gently into my snifter and was rewarded with a finger of white head. The head doesn't stick around too long . It looks like carbonated cherry juice.

S: Sour cherries, red wine, some oak, a little brett. Its got complexity on its side.

T: Tart cherry, oak flavors and just the right amount of brett funkiness all blended together perfectly. Definitely some wine comparisons. Its sour but not overwhelmingly so.

M: Light bodied and surprisingly very refreshing.

O:Had this on tap a few times at Monk's and I always seem to pick one up when I go to the bottle shop. Definitely my favorite of the -tions. The only bad thing about this beer is that due to the sourness and acidity I wouldn't really want to drink more than one. Overall a great beer!

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 7 oz champagne flute and allowed this to warm to about 50 degrees before digging into it.

A: Pours a darkish peach, almost has some brownish color to it. There is a ring of head around the edges of the glass, but as with most wilds that I have tried, the carbonation does not manifest itself in any form of visible head. Additionally, the carbonation seems to be better masked than I have seen in bottled wilds. There are no coarse bubbles on the sides of the glass submerged in the beer (as you would see in soda). This is in stark contrast to the Yellow Bus and Frambozen that I tried at my last tasting of sours.

S: Obviously, one of the dominant aromas is the strong brettanomyces funk, but there is much more to this beer than just sourness. Very evident is a musty and tart cherry character, undoubtedly from the cherries used in the creation of this beer. However, there is also a sweet aspect to this that I did not expect. It doesn't come from any malt profile, so I suspect that it is again the cherries.

T: The first striking thing about this beer once it is on my palate is that it is much more sour than I had initially expected after the aroma was mild and somewhat sweet. This is definitely a Russian River sour, as their yeast strain comes though very evidently. This sour flavor is complemented nicely by an earthiness that comes from the barrel aging, sweetness from the cherries, and an underlying red wine acidity from the pinot noir aging.

M/D: This beer is very desirable on pretty much every level. Despite looking flat, Supplication on tap surprises with a tingly feeling of carbonation that envelops the palate, working with the yeast to give a mouth-puckering feeling. As this was the latest batch of Supplication, I imagine that a couple more months of aging will do this beer a lot of good as the sour notes mature and amplify. However, the flavor and the balance of sweet and sourness in the this beer is impressive, to say the least.

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 5,059 ratings.