Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

1,418 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,418 | Ratings: 5,998
Photo of tmoneyba
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by alexsdad06.

Poured a hazy reddish brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with fair lacing. Moderate to heavy tart cherry, yeasty and wood aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation and small particles. Medium to heavy sour & sweet flavor with a medium to heavy sweet & sour finish of moderate to long duration.

This is a standout beer for style. Thanks Brad.

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

Review #500. Decided to go with a nice treat from RR.

Batch 3

Poured into tulip glass.

Opens with a nice big pop very easily. I should have been a little more careful opening this guy. I took one small wif from the bottle and my mouth is already watering.

Poured slowly but a nice big near 2 finger head that is colored very slight tan. Decent retention leaving some nice lace walls down the glass. Aroma is a clear peach hued copper.

Aroma: Vinegar/acidic aromas, tart cherries, oak/wood, tons of wild notes. Mmmm it is delicious.

Taste: These sour beers are quite awesome. Not as much vinegar/acidic flavors here as I was expecting from the aroma (not that it's a bad thing). Cherries are tart, but not overly tart. The oak is a lot more dominate here and takes over the cherry flavor a bit. The wild yeasts obviously make this one tart. The taste is very dry.

Mouthfeel: Very sour and tart, but not as tart as others I have had. Still makes the mouth pucker. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a very clean sour cherry flavored aftertaste.

Overall, one of the best sours out there imo. Very drinkable and I wish I had more of this. I will probably have to get some of the next batch when it comes out. All around a good beer. I really enjoyed that it wasn't overly dominated by vinegar and acidic tastes.

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Photo of pepsican
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

batch 003. Brown pour with a thin off white head. Aroma was mild cherry and a bit of funk. Flavor had more cherry, lemon, funk. not nearly as acidic as I thought it would be.

UPDATE, old score fresh = 3.6. Opened one recently and it had gotten nice and sour, and the lemon had really started coming out. The funk was spot on, not dominating but making itself known. REscored 4/2/09

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

.375 bottle split w/ JHamel. Poured into Duvel tulip. Batch 3.

Amber in color with a light red cherry tint. Small, bright white head that leaves minimal lacing. Slow/steady stream of carbonation from nucleation site.

Acetic acid/vinegar aromas are primary. Some oaky/vanilla impressions with tart cherries coming out of the glass secondarily. I could already tell from the smell that the cherries were fading into the background.

This is a changed beer (not a bad thing). When fresh I think of these as very Kriek like. With some age, the taste is dominated more by the acetic acid and wood tannins with sour cherry being more of a background flavor. Lacks the juiciness of the fresh bottle. Still packs great sour flavor.

Mouthfeel is prickly with sour/tartness. Seems to be medium/high carbonation for the style which keeps the beer lively and bright.

High level of drinkability with the light cherry flavors and carbonation balancing the sourness.

I may like this beer better fresh, but this was still great.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to try this on tap.

Rusty amber color without much head.

Floral and bretty notes with wonderful cherry notes.

Taste is sour cherries, subtle vanilla, and pinot noir.

Mouthfeel is where it really blows up. It's a medium mouthfeel that finishes acidic with superb dry, red wine tannins.

Probably not really drinkable for a lot of people considering how sour and dry it is. For me, bring it by the pitcher.

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Photo of Deuane
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a review of Batch 003.

A-Slightly hazed copper with a thin white head that left spotty lace.

S-Dry oak and sour cherry. Not intensely sour, more tart, Lightly aromatic but quite pleasant.

T-Cherry flavour up front and very prevalent. Comes through as a super tart cherry. Oak notes meld throughout adding a nice amount of depth and dryness.

M-Light bodied, crisp and tart, Drying finish with long lasting sourness.

D-This one simply works for me. Like a light, dry, cherry wine! Another American wild winner from the genius mind of Vinnie!

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Photo of schinebd
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 3

A - A cloudy burnt brownish color that sits squarely between a belgian pale and belgian dark. A moderate brownish white head builds and recedes quickly, with a little that retains and remains. Unique.

S - Certainly a tart aroma from the cherries and smorgasbord of other fruit underscored by biscuity spice and some wet leather brett aroma. Sweet, earthy, funky and spicy, with each facet taking its proper place.

T - Having had Temptation recently, I was anxious to see if Supplication was both as distinct and excellent as her blonde sister. Amazingly the answer is yes. Up front is some intense sour and tartness. It takes a few sips to get past the sourness and get the heart of this brew. The sourness gives way to some caramel malt bread taste. Some mild funk sticks its head in to say hello somewhere in the middle, but the Brett makes a quick visit, and goes as fast as he came. In the end is a nice rise of pure sweetness from cherries, grapes, melons oh my which goes against some yeast spice. Some oakiness lives in the breath.

M & D - Light/medium bodied with just the right balance of carbonation and smoothness to enhance the flavors. The sourness dries the tongue right out, and the flavors make you yearn for the next sip. A winning combination, but I'm not looking the empty glass that my future soon holds.

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Photo of Aenema
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 003
Appearance - Pours a reddish-orange brown with a slight tan head that quickly fades.
Smell - Tart cherries, hay, brett funk.
Taste - Puckeringly tart, cherry, some pinot and oak. Awesome, complex flavors.
Mouthfeel - Light to medium-bodied and highly carbonated with fine bubbles. Very nice dry, crisp finish.
Drinkability - Very smooth with great flavor, I could drink this all day.

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Photo of rpstevens
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to JDV for this bottle, batch 003. Poured into a dogfish head signature glass.

The beer pours a muddy/ruby red with a one finger off-white head. The beer is very carbonated and looks very appealing.

The smell is all tart/sour cherries with a little malt in the background. There is definitely some funk in the background, nothing extreme, but a nice earthy funk that blends with the slight oak barrel scent under all that tart cherry.

The smell is sour cherry followed by some more sour cherry!! What an awesome wave of sour, bordering on bitter, flavors. The sweetness from the brown ale along with the slight oakiness come through to balance the tart cherry at the end, but that is very minimal.

The mouthfeel of the beer is perfect for the style, it is well carbonated, dry and crisp. This is a beer that I wish I had multiple bottles of, and something I would like to drink all the time for sure.

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from MrChopin. Poured into an oversized wine glass from the bottle. Batch 003

Pours a reddsih brown with no head which isn't surprising. I don't think I've ever had anything with a wild yeast that has had a head. It's a bit murky too. Definitely true to the style, a good looking beer.

Smells acidic with some barnyard funk. The cherries come through a bit with the funk.

Tastes acidic but not overly so. This is a perfect amount of tartness and sourness. The cherries come through as well but not too much. If you didn't tell me to look for them I may have not tasted them.

Mouthfeel is great. Almost the perfect body for this kind of beer. It isn't thin and it isn't thick. Probably because the base beer for this was a brown ale.

Drinkability is high, I want more of this but I couldn't see myself craving this all night.

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Photo of fiver29
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle batch 003. Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a thick white head. Smells musty and sour. Has a medium mouthfeel. Taste is very complex and has many flavors including: oak, sour, fruit, tartness, pepper spice, and some acidic spiciness. Overall this is not a punch you in the mouth sour like some of the other sours out there. Its more subtle. Its more drinkable. My drinking buddy commented its like eating a piece and candy and wanting more. That's what its like between sips. Overall a great brew.

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Photo of MMAJYK
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Supplication Batch 3

A. Light copper color with a thin ring of foam covering the top.

S. Cherries, lemons, funk-tastic-ness (Brett, Lacto, etc etc). Sherry like oxidative notes with some woodsy aromas thrown in. This beer is uber complex.

T. Orange and lemon tartness with some barnyard funk. Lime peel, sherry, slight bubblegum and a touch of caramel sweetness is about all I can pick out. This beer is crazy, over the top complex.

M. Thin to medium in the mouth--quite zingy in terms of carbonation. Somewhat puckering but that's what I wanted with this beer.

D. On this hot, summer brew-day, this beer really does myself and mrandypandy well. So complex and lively. This beer has like 2000 different tastes going on. It feels like a sour pogo-stick jumping around on my tongue. Nice job, guys!

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Photo of spointon
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Sunburst amber, no real head save for the bubbles rising to the top

S- Earthy notes of grape, must, leaves, dark fruit, leather and hints of spice

T- Tart and acidic dark cherry fruits with hints of oak, leather and earth but like a fine wine where it was fully balanced and smooth

M- Smooth and perfectly carbonated. Nice tart coating

D- Amazingly balanced and smooth for a sour. A leader in its class.

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Photo of philipquarles
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle from Batch 3. Pours an opaque dark copper with a fluffy white-orange head that isn't quite as substantial as one would hope. Some sediment. Smells heavily acidic with plenty of leathery brett character. Earthy with some cherry notes. Sharp, acidic taste with noticeable barnyard character. Woody and tannic. The cherry flavors are much stronger here than in the nose. Unapologetically sour and dry. Medium body with high carbonation. Fantastic.

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Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 003, thanks muenchnerkindl for this one.
Small corked bottle, opens with a very loud pop, poured into a tulip.

Dark golden, medium sized white head good retention and lacing.
Aroma is tart and acid, fruity, funky, with a hint of oak and vanilla.
Medium bodied yet refreshing; tart and acidic notes dominate the flavor. Fruitiness, some spiciness, with faint vanilla and oak.
This is a very nice beer, but IMHO, not nearly enough for the top 50. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of craytonic
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 003

Appearance: rusty amber mahogany with a bit of orange on the edges. Some lacing.

Smell: Very complex - Oak sour cherries, pinot noir, and a delicious funk with some horse blanket, mushrooms, etc

Taste: French oak, dry with strong tannins, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, hint of molasses, sour cherries, pinot noir, leather, bit of tobacco, plum, dates, a bit of vinegar and funk. Amazingly integrated. Nice, big malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation.

Drinkability: Why isn't this a 750ml?!?


Just tried batch four, moved mouthfeel down a notch as it is overcarbonated (and will probably get even more so).

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Photo of Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003
Poured from 375ml bottle into Duvel tulip.
A nice "pop" once the cork came off...a nice sound. ;-)

A - Pours a burnt orange with a white fizzy head. Bubbles linger on top and around the edge of the glass. Carbonation continues to rise up from the bottle of the glass to the top. Some lacing, but the head isn't all that sticky, which doesn't bother me at all.

S - A wonderful fruity tart smell immediately hits the nose. Lots of oranges, apples, mangos, pineapple mixed with some wonderful sour cherries, lemons, and limes. A fruit explosion, you could say. There isn't an overpowering of either, a perfect match, which is something I look for in an American Wild Ale. Too much of one or the other takes away from the beer - this is a perfect balance.

T - Nice and tart/sour right off the bat but not much sweetness at all, which is surprising because of the nose. I also get some oak/wood flavors. A dry finish, much like champagne. The aftertaste is where I get some fruity sweetness - very nice. Really enjoyable, just what I was looking for when I opened this bottle.

M - Very nice and rich, although light in body. Nice fizzy carbonation which matches perfectly with the style. I'm enjoying this one much like a glass of fine champagne, probably even more.

D - A really enjoyable AWA that I'm going to look for again. I know it's getting hard to find, but hopefully I'll be able to trade for another down the road. RR does it yet again!

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Photo of jjanega08
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A= pours a great amber cherry red with a beautiful two finger thick creamy off white head that keeps great tention and amazing lacing.
S= cherries and sourness. A slight touch of wood. Some vinegar and funk is also present.
T= really quite interesting. Smooth cherry sourness with a touch of funk. Lots of great wood characteristics come in to mellow the whole thing out. Some funkyness but nothing overebearing. This beer is simply breathtaking.
M= super dry finish and very very smooth. Amazing
D= super amazing. One of the best beers I've ever had by far. Lew me away.

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Photo of Damian
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12.70 fl. oz. (375 ml) bottle
Batch 003
Served in a tulip
Acquired in a trade with mikesgroove

Review #425

The beer poured a hazy, orangey-amber color with a bubbly, light tan, one-finger head that quickly faded to a frothy mass. As the beer warmed, the chill hazed disappeared and the beer turned a brilliant copper-amber color. Odd shaped blocks of lacing cascaded down the glass.

The aroma was amazingly interesting and complex. Funky and sour with obvious brett characteristics. Semi-sweet, sour cherry and lemon peel notes came through as well. Crisp and musty with a barnyardy twang.

The taste was even more impressive than the aroma. Lots of brett and funk right from the start. Maltier and richer however than your average sour ale. As in the aroma, sour cherry notes were apparent. The fruity, sweet/tart cherry flavor really helped to balance out the beer. Hints of vinegar appeared in the lingering, dry, oaky and tannic finish. White wine-like characteristics (pinot noir?) were also noticeable. Overall, an incredibly complex brew.

The mouthfeel was creamy, frothy and silky smooth with a fine yet lively effervescence. This sour definitely had a bit more heft than I am used to for the style.

Drinkability was outstanding. The beer was funky and tart but well balanced by the rich malts and sweet/tart fruity notes. Furthermore, the 7% ABV was barely detectable. I wish I could have sipped this one all night long.

This was definitely the best Russian River sour I have had to date and possibly the best sour overall. Not only did this beer contain an amazing amount of intensity and complexity but it displayed a level of balance demonstrated by few others. This brew is destined to be a classic.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Graduation Tasting: This was the first beer brought out, courtesy of Dyan. Caged and corked 375ml, and poured into a high stemmed tulip.

This pours a body that is a very shiny and slightly hazy orange-copper body. Slight white creamy head that laces well.

The smell is very floral, with an incredibly nice oak component. Sour tart cherry, pinot noir blend with with primary scents. Brett acts more a background plug-in. Light fruits are prevalent, as well.

Incredibly tart, mouth puckering cherry is matched with incredible oak age and a very well executed Brett/lemon sourness. Sour grapes standout, and add for an impeccable taste. This is such an easy drink with many pinot noir characteristics.

This served for a great start to the day, thanks again Dyan!

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

On a day in which I was able to celebrate my birthday, go to Port Brewing's 3rd anniversary party, devour two pints of Angel Share, and go to O'brien's...a good buddy of mine, decided to end our day of triumph by purchasing a bottle of Supplication. Thanks Mauerhan, and to all those that made this birthday remarkable.

A: As I have come to expect with most American Wild Ale's, this brew boasted a prune juice like hue with cherry highlights to go along with it. Carbonation was visibly abundant as was the thick layer of lacing clinging to the edge of my glass.

S: Unlike other sours I've had, Supplication seems to have a complexity that separates itself from others within the same style. Nice cherry notes throughout the whole whiff which helps mask the strong sour yeast components. The brown ale characteristics are slightly noticeable.

T: The brown ale subtleties in the aroma definitely come through a lot more on the palate, as does the strong and swift tart flavor that puckers and constricts the tongue/lips (Don't give me a hard time on that last line Victor...cause I know what you're thinking). The cherries on the other hand, back off and let the other qualities of the beer take over. Alcohol adds some punch and kick to the flavor profile also.

M: More than enough carbonation...which I feel fits and adds a refreshing quality to the "lambic" style ales. I like it a lot!

D: Very impressed! Not necessarily an easy drinker, but full of flavor and refreshes you in a way that is unique to other beers within this same genre. I loved this beer the first time I had it, and I still think it's among some of the best sours I've had.

Overall: What a way to finish off a wonderful birthday...sorry, had to mention it once more. Anyways, this beer is worth getting your hands on, even if you don't like this style of beer. More flavor than you would expect and a great beer overall. Cheers!

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Photo of treyrab
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Dyan for bringing this to our Graduation Tasting! I have been yearning for this beer for a long, long time and finally got a taste!

A: Pours a hazy brown with noticeable crimson and brick colored hues. Yields a nice off white with a nice noticeable spritziness and carbonation.

S: Wow. Tons of lemon soaked red grapes, nice Cabernet or another red wine, lemon and yeast funk. This is a very complex smelling beer.

T: Just an incredible sour. Nice vinous qualities with red wine, red grapes, lemon tartness, dry oakiness and some light grapes as well. One of the most complex sours yet nice and easy to drink.

Overall, this was an incredible beer. Thanks again to Dyan and I can't wait to try this again!

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Photo of jmalex
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Continuing my tradition of a Russian River sour on my birthday each year. This will finish the day off nicely.

Batch 002

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Hennepin tulip a somewhat murky reddish brown. There's not much of a head on it - instead it forms a thick white collar with a splotchy haze of foam across the surface of the beer.

SMELL: Damn. In stream of conscious form: sour, tart, deep, complex, vinous, dark fruits, chocolate-covered cherries, alcohol. And one more: awesome.

TASTE: Insanely tart right from the get go. As it subsides, a major fruitiness develops then starts going 100 different ways. There's a decent alcoholic heat on the end as well as a mild bitterness that I cannot believe would be from any hops. And then it keeps going. The flavor of chocolate is left in your mouth even after you swallow. And as if that wasn't enough, your mouth then seizes up with an intense tartness leaving you wanting.. no, needing another sip.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation is a tad low, perhaps due to the 2+ years of storage I gave this beer. The body is, well, bone dry.

DRINKABILITY: This beer is beyond awesome and I wish I could drink it forever. That is all.

If my calculations were correct, this should be the beer that puts the first drop of beer in my mug. Matching it up with review #300 would have awesome, but that just means I have another excuse to open up something awesome again soon. As it is, I'm still reeling from the fact that this bottle will no longer be in my 'cellar'. My spreadsheet says I bought it on 4-18-07 - over 2 years ago. But a birthday is a great day to reward all that patience.

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Photo of sholland119
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Had this one on Russian River Day at Teresa's Next Door.

A-Clear amber with a thin white head.

S-Oaky, smoky stopping just shy of charcoal, lots of tart sour cherry notes.

T-Moderate barnyard funky notes, lots of sour cherry juice, other dark fruits like plum, a bit acidic. Nicely complex.

M-Bright sparkling carbonation, rather light bodied.

D-Excellent drinkability for the style. I rarely crave a second wild ale but I'd make an exception for this.


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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,418 ratings.