Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

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1,379 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,379
Hads: 5,715
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 18.89%
Wants: 2,586
Gots: 1,882 | 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: 5,715
Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Brownish-red with virtually no head on an aggressive pour. Lots of bubbles streaming up and no lacing.

A: Big, bright pit fruit, cherry and peach. Sweet sugary notes from the caramel malt and tart sourness noticeable as well. There is a definite oaky, wine character to the back, very fruity.

T/M: A good pop of sourness at the front, enhanced by moderate carbonation. Moves into sweet cherry and peach blended with brown sugar and vanilla notes. The finish is dry with lingering sourness and fruity flavors, a pilsner malt character moves in as well.

Overall, pretty much the best sour beer I have had. The appearance is nothing to behold, but the balance in aroma, flavor and mouthfeel is something to behold. While many sours may pound you with severe dryness, achieving great flavor but with severe detriment to your palate over the course of consumption, this ale strikes a perfect balance, never going to far either way. It utilizes a myriad of flavors from many parts of the process and creates one hell of a flavorful beer. This beer absolutely lives up to the hype.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - 4.75 - orange-red color, hazy, white head leaves great lacing
S - 4.75 - tart, sour lemon, a little bit if vinegar and funkiness
T - 4.75 - sour, cherries, lemon juice, vinegar, funky, barnyard tastes, grass, bread
M - 4.75 - light but sour and funky, alc covered, aftertaste is lemon juice. def a sipper.
O - 4.75 - a little overhyped. Nothing like anything else I've tried though. A true unique beer.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Thick three finger off white head with excellent retention and nice lacing on a clear copper with burnt orange hue.

S: yeast, bubble gum, sour cherries, cane sugar and tangerine.

T: sour cherries, oak, caramel, tart citrus, excellent level of sourness. It's very complex as one would expect.

M: medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: this is a very good beer. Smooth even with the tartness but it's one of those for me that may have been overhyped. The degree of sourness lessens over time and it loses some of its luster. It's still delicious.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle dated 01-07-14

Pours a hazy topaz brown with a micro thin head and lacing from the very fine carbonation. I am getting a foundation of grape and cherry on the nose with some lemony sourness. There is some faint sweetness on the nose which carries over to the taste. The grape was surprisingly dominant on the taste for me and I felt like the tart and dry pinot wine backbone held on to the finish. The cherry is also vivid but integrated in a pleasant way like in a good kriek lambic. There is a fullness of flavor - perhaps umami - but the beer remains very approachable and refreshing. The lemony pop also reminds me of good lambic, but the strong grape presence and the very dry and oaky finish does not. There is some presence of alcohol on the finish. There is also a good amount of earthy brett funk throughout as well. This beer is fairly sour. The barrel presence is actually quite strong and I think I would prefer a little less of it. The prickly and effervescent carbonation creates a creamy, light mouthfeel that works really well with the flavors and sourness.

This is an amazing beer, no doubt about it. There are a number of flavors that intertwine and last forever, helped along by perfect carbonation. This is a beer that goes down easy yet it has so much going on. My only complaint is that it has a little too much pinot grape influence for my taste. I wish the cherries had shown through more than the grape did. Nevertheless, I still love this beer and highly recommend it.

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Photo of hops202
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a rocks glass.

Great look upon first pour - a dark amber/red. I am a newbie when it comes to wild ales aged with sour cherries in pinot noir bottles. However, this is the second time I have drank this beer and it is pretty damn good. Especially becuase I prefer IPA's and Stouts. Aroma is sour pinot noir, funk and cherries. Taste is might good with some sour, pinot, yeast, cherries and a hint of vanilla. Quite delicious and well balanced.

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Photo of dank203
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of mc4z
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On-tap at City Beer Store (SF), had many times before on-tap and bottle. Far and away my favorite RR sour. Supplication pours a dark opaque red. There is minimal carbonation and almost no lacing. The smell is strong - mainly sour cherries, but the red wine barrel is there too. The taste is brilliant - such well balanced fruit and tartness. Despite the tartness, I could (and have) drink this beer several times over. As I said, definitely my favorite RR sour, my favorite American Wild, and certainly in my top 5 of any beer

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Photo of socon67
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap at Monk's Mad Monday event..

A - Red pour with visible carbonation. Thin head that settles fast. No lacing. Clear hue. Really perfect for the style.

S - Sour cherries, vanilla, and oak hit the nose. You can really smell the pinot noir coming through this beer as it absorbed the wine notes.

T - Rich cherry flavor that ends with a tart finish. The wild yeast gives it a nice blend of funk. The aging allows some reserved oaken pulp in the finish as well. Some vanilla bean balances this out with a little sweetness.

M - One of the easiest drinking sour beers I've ever come across. Scratch that, it is. just a perfect balance of sweet to tart notes.

O - I am not an expert on this style but I don't know how this could be better. This is why RR is on that elite level. And this is why American craft can accomplish anything when craftsmen brew this quality of beer. Just a wow moment drinking this one.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite RR sour! So tasty and sour with strong notes of the Pinot Noir barrels that it sits in. Not overly sour like Cascade beers so this is a great beer for someone to try if they are new to drinking sours.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My thanks to my good friend JohnParadee for this delicious beer.

Bottled on 10/21/2013. Enjoyed on 3/5/2014.
Poured from the bottle into two Prohibition Pig snifters.
Pours a nice hazy medium red with minimal head that quickly dissipates.
Smell is of brett, some good funk, hayfield and cherries. Some wine notes as well.
Taste is delicious and showcase the tart brett, the cherries and the Pinot from the barrels. It's complex, and wonderful.
Mouthfeel is dry and tart. It's perfect for the brett.
Overall, I loved the beer. I have just recently had another cherry brett, The Alchemist's Petit Mutant. I felt the cherries were more prominent in the Petit Mutant, but Supplication had the Pinot Noir notes.
This is a world class beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from the brewpub itself, dated 1/7/14. Pours a dark red color, somewhat opaque, with a one finger off white head on top. Aroma of sour cherries, vinegar, vinous grape notes. Very nice. Flavor is a medley of sour cherries and vinegar first, but with some beautiful oak and vinous notes that give this a huge punch of flavor and depth. Lots of bretty funk and big lacto bite. The wine notes continue to emerge as it warms. Some nice sweetness that balances out the sour beautifully. Full bodied for a sour brew, with lots of carbonation. A top rated beer for good reason. This is honestly one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz..

Pours a cloudy peach bronze, some particulate matter in the brew. Bit of white lacing for a head.

Smells of almond, cherries, and slightly of sweet melon.

Flavor is sweet like Belgian candi sugar followed by potent tartness like tart apples, cherries, and a hint of lemon. There is a sweet banana bread flavor underneath, barely detectable over the strong tartness.

Medium body with light bubbly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Truly exceptional among sour beers. Maybe not quite Rodenbach Grand Cru, but then again I could see myself drinking this more readily than that. Undoubtedly top tier.

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Photo of oldmankoch
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I have to say is Those Cherries. Awesome Beer! The sweet/sour tartness this beer delivers from the interplay of pinot and cherry is something that remains within my palate memory as a top 5 all time beer flavor. Thats not even mentioning the beautiful appearance (the light rose fluffy 2 finger head and hazy reddish amber beer hue)

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Photo of i4ourgot
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer very complex both in the aroma and the flavor. The aroma is cherry with some brett spiciness that is much more subdued in the flavor of the beer. The beer had lots of carbonation but not as much as champagne. The beer was dry with some sweetness and lots of fruit flavor with cherry being the dominant fruit flavor. The beer was sour but it was not overwhelming. The beer finishes tart with a slight bitterness. The beer had a ruby red/ caramel color to it. I was very impressed with this beer and I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml batch 007 into a snifter.

pours a light brown with a slight head. smell of cherries..very faint. taste is smooth, quite subtle on the cherries. wine barrel smoothes it out to be quite drinkable.extremely smooth. slight tart. mild body, mild carbonation.

overall superb. love this!

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Photo of BVukelich
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a special "barrel" week at The Beer Junction. $4 for a 4oz pour, 7% ABV. Rich, red-copper color. Tremendous lace sticking to the glass. Aroma was a bit sour and unfortunately, I think I was picking up hints of the sanitation in the glass. Flavor had a mild puckering tang, no hop bitterness and not too sweet. Carbonation was average and viscosity was above average. Delicious aftertaste. This was worth the price for a special treat.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on 10/21/13.

A- Pours a reddish-brown medium garnet color with a small slightly pink head that dissipated to a very thin ring. Nice degree of clarity.

S- Sour cherry with some light sweet cherry in there. Lots of barnyard funk and sour apple, slight hint of alcohol.

T- Lots of sour and funk. Sour cherry, not as much as in the aroma. Get some light cereal grain in the finish.

M- Medium, long sourness in the mouth. Very fitting for the style.

O- Some American sours I've had don't deliver on the funk and sourness but this one certainly does. This is one of the best examples of a sour beer I've had. The fruit is there as a support to the funk and sour. It is definitely a sipper of a beer but for all the right reasons. Certainly a beer to seek out if you love sour beers.

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Photo of NickBiller
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite RRB and beer in general. It has opened my eyes to the potential of sour beers. The cherry flavor is exquisite.

Note: This beer is extremely sour. Don't expect to chug this or even think about ordering this without time to slowly drink and enjoy. Even though I love this, I cannot make myself drink this fast. The sourness is so extreme that it takes some time to adjust to. It is kind of like getting hit in the head with a heavy object.

But the sour cherry flavor makes it my favorite beer by far. I live near RRB and probably drink one 375ML bottle of this beer every week. I don't even care that it costs ~$13. It is worth it.

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Photo of macher0
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow I'm excited.

Thanks to Jake_ramrod for the share.

A. Bright amber. Translucent. Poured minimal head that retreats to a fine rim.

S. Tart. Sour fruits of cherries, apples, grapes, and persimmon. Sour bacteria. Neutral oak. Clean and crisp.

T. Super tart. Follows the nose with sour fruit, light malts, sour yeast, and bretts.

M. Crisp and clean. Extremely smooth to the 3rd degree. Low carbonation. Light body.

O. This lives up to the hype. I would go to great lengths for this again. It's way sour but in an excellent way. Super clean. One of the best sours brewed in the U.S.

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Photo of jjdc
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rusty, oxidized brown in color. Cherry, oak and funk on the nose. Baby apple skins. Cherries and a nice bit of backbone from the Pinot Noir barrels. There's a hint of pencil eraser on the finish. A pleasant bit of funkiness and a phenomenal sour. Among the best.

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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 BierJager89
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper color with almost no head.

S: Dark red wine in the nose.

T: Tastes a bit like red wine, dark grapes, and some tartness. Pinot barrels work perfectly with this type of sour.

M: Somewhat astringent, medium bodied, and smoothish.

O: One of the best sours I have ever had.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle purchased at City Beer in San Francisco weeks ago.

The appearance both surprised me and impressed me as I felt that the head on the beer was not typical of other sours I've tried. The head was thick, foamy and frothy and formed a finger and a half thick over the liquid. The beer was copper-colored and semi-opaque.

I was again impressed by the aromas emanating from this gem: sour cherries, dark fruit, and lots of yeastiness. It smelled light and refreshing.

The taste was everything the nose had lead me to expect. There was some wine-like tastes, dark sour cherries, other dark fruit hints, and some yeast. Truly a delicious beer.

I remember thinking this beer was champagne like, with the high carbonation, smoothness and slight creaminess, plus a dryer finish. Supplication feels like so much more than a beer.

Overall, an outstanding beer, even though I kept thinking I was sipping a wine or maybe a champagne, I realized that Supplication is a transcendent brew. There's so much complexity here and so much good flavor. I loved this.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375 ml bottle aged for about 15 months (forgot date). Batch 009. Also now realize I never did an unaged review.

A: Pleasant chestnut-brown color. I did a very slow pour into a tulip glass and got no head whatsoever. IIRC, there was a small to moderate head on the unaged one.

S: Sour cherries dominate, definite notes of yeast, some malts.

T: Would recommend serving closer to aging temperature as opposed to fridge temperature. Sour cherries again dominate, but in balance, its not overly sour and is balanced by malt sweetness as it warms up. Finish is more sour and pretty dry despite low alcohol.

M: Big difference from unaged bottle is lack of carbonation and it definitely takes away from the overall experience. Light-to-medium bodied, well-balanced.

O: It's Russian River, it's a sour beer, so it's great. Unaged bottle would have scored higher, but this may be an outlier, so can't say definitively whether aging is a good idea or not.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Chris for grabbing this on the way through Colorado Spings. Poured a dark amber a bit red. Lots of bubbles. Khaki head very creamy but fades quickly no lacing. Smell is fairly one dimensional and potent it's advertising the presence of sour cherries. Taste is all about cherries and currants it's sour but not puckeringly aggressive. There is a bit of sweetness and acid reminiscent of raspberries. A light dose of funk but thankfully not over the top and it works well here. Medium light body and brightly carbonated. Finish is cherry, tart, and dry. Definitely shows off the Pinot barrel aging. Very good.

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