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Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

1,426 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: 1,426 | Ratings: 6,070
Photo of jamie2dope
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thankyou goes to jw347 for sending this bottle my way. This will be my first time drinking a beer from Russian River Brewing Company. Poured in to a wide mouthed wine glass a strawberry color, with a very nice, sizable white head show. Aroma is wonderfully funky, with those micro bacteria showing themselves early on. Lemon juice, sour cherry, vinegar, and a slight dry champaign character are in there too. Taste hits the palate with a wave of sour funk, tart fruit, and a lovely, almost spicy feel. Carbonation is just right, giving it even more of a champaign feel. This is one to let warm up a bit as well, as many more complexities push themselves forward. Drinkability is quite good for this style, as the carbonation helps things out. For me, this resembles a Cantillon beer, which is very impressive, because their beers are so complex. I would say that if anyone wants to get an idea of what this beer tastes like, to grab some Cantillon, assuming that it is available in your area. This is an exceptional wild ale. I cannot wait to try some of the other offerings from Russian River. Cheers

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.09/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Russian River- Supplication (batch 002)

Big thanks to SpaceCoyote for this 1.

A- Pours a Hazy blood red/ brown with a small foamy head. Quick dissipation and no lacing.
S- Very sour cherries, whisky sour mix, sugar, and tart grapes.
T- Very sour, cheek hurting sour grapes, cherries, and green apples. Sugary sweet.
M- Very sour and very tart. Sweet fruity finish.

Overall- Boy was this 1 tart! Quite unique and enjoyable is you like sour tartness. A little like a sour patch kid candy!

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.91/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bgramer for this bottle!

Batch 003

The color is a beautiful orange-hued amber, the center of the crown is eruptive and avtive as hell with quick streaming bubbles, a good sign of lively yeast.Not much of a crown as it rises and falls quickly but plenty of bubbly foam remains.

The nose has a sharpness, very bitter and tart cherries, dry-earth scent, subtle, spicey hop, slightly medicinal.

The flavor is a wild-yeast tartness that brings along sour cherries, citric and acidic fruitiness, much like young, wild concorde grapes. The ending dry and slightly bitter, but earthy bitter...not hop bitter. This is a light feel, crisp and Belgian-like smoothness at the end.

I'm all for pushing the bounds of yeast!

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Photo of maximum12
4.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

I bow in a westerly direction towards swnicholson who boxed, swathed, & shipped this brew into the great Midwest.

Brew pours out golden with racing carbonation & a filmy appearance. Smells of funk & cherries.

Wow! Holy James Brown in a green suit! This has some serious funk, my first close encounter with the UFO that is brett. Plenty of pine & funk, with a mild undertow of cherries. I'm not sure if it's the brett or the carbonation or what, but the stuff puts a charge into the roof of my mouth, numbing it, & my lips start to tingle. This is either potent stuff or I better seek immediate medical attention.

Drinkability isn't there. I split this small bottle with the wife & the small pour was enough. I lick my numb lips to get the last drops. I guess that's a good sign.

I don't feel I need another, but already I'm wondering about the Avery Fifteen in the cellar & the Riserva that's headed my way via FedEx. I need to try more of this Wild Ale thing.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for brandoman63 for the opportunity!

I'll keep this brief since many have already covered what I want to say. This is an exceptional sour beer. The oaken cherry funkiness was just plain outstanding. This was from batch 003.

This was, of course, very sour... cherries, lemon, yeasty. It finished very smooth after the initial pucker when you have your first sip.

I had this after an hour walk on an 85 degree day, but I still found this beer amazingly drinkable. In fact, I had several gulps.

Do what you can to try some Russian River sours. Supplication is the epitome of what an American wild ale/sour beer should be.

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Photo of BgThang
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jonathanL7890 for a chance to try this one.

Pours a big whopping 3 finger head, may want to pour easier on this one. Light brown to copper color and cloudy for the appearance.

The nose is that of sweetness, cherries, candies, and some yeastiness as well

Mouthfeel WOW! this is one helluva sour beer. At first the sweetness hits the mouth then the sour packs a whopper of a punch. Made me feel like my asshole was being sucked through my mouth GEEZ! the puckerness factor.

This is an amazing sour beer. Its a must try for anyone who calls themselves a beer nerd or beer geek. This really is a beer that is on the extreme side.

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

Poured from a .375L bottle to a snifter the liquid is medium copper with very good carbonation. The head is tall, white and leaves nice lace.

The smell is typical Russian River Sour, wild yeasty and plenty of cherries. This could be my favorite from this brewer.

The taste follows with a huge tart sourness and I love the Cherries. Low funkiness also adds to the great flavor.

The mouthfeel is good, nice body and very good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good, I really like this brew, It will be fun to cellar a few.

Prosit, und Zum Wohl, MK

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

This poured an orangish copper in color with tinges of red and brown. It had a fluffy head of beige bubbles with faded to leave some island lacing from the constant bubbles. The nose showed off the sour cherries along with other red fruits, "brown" wood and an herbal funkiness. In the mouth this is extremely sour and acidic with the tart cherries being the domminate flavor and a tannic grip on the finish. While acidic, the midpalate does come off as balanced with a nice combination of carbonation and supple edges.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a cloudy brown color with very little head.

S: The aroma was quite sour, but cherries were definitely noticeable.

T: Sour. I could pick out hints of cherries and oak flavors. Another RR that I think might be on brett?

M: Thin and dry. Very well suited.

D: Interesting beer. Sour beers are slowly growing on me....this is the most palatable RR I've had.

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Photo of dbONE
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in a corked 375 ml bottle from Batch 001.

This thing is a beautiful reddish brown hue.
A very carbonated Burnt amber color holds a foamy head for a good amount of time.

A boastfull aroma knocks the nose with alot a unfamiliar smells from the wild yeast. Sour cherries dominate with just a touch of ground pepper and sweet rotting wood.

The tartness will make you pucker and the tastbuds are bonbarded with sour cherries. You can pick up the vanilla and dry wine from the oak barrel. The head is still lingering around to enhance each sip as it rolls back through the pallett.

Pairing this with a nice rare cut of red meat will bring out some additional characters in the beer. Enjoy this one for awhile, let it warm up a bit and hang on.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to gford217 for sending this one my way!

Batch #3, poured into a Duvel tulip.

This pours out an opaque deep golden, almost orange with a huge fluffy persistent head that finall falls to a 1/4 but never fully dissolves... Beautiful.

What a funky aroma! This is truly a first for me...and I love it! Surprisingly I smell some maltiness that is immediately followed by a blast of sour cherries and funkiness... I can definitely smell the pinot noir and the oakiness... it seems like I can smell some old leather too..

Whew!! This is bracingly sour and funky at first with the cherries bombarding my senses but soon enough it mellows out into a smooth vinousness that seems to end with that earthy funky leather I was smelling..it finishes quite dry and leaves me wanting another sip..this is a crazy brew...

My first Russian River brew and I actually liked it more than I thought I would. I was expecting to sort of think it might be ok but hell, it seemed like the more I sipped, I couldn't wait for more...very unusual but in a very good way..

Thanks again to Grant for the opportunity to try this!!

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

Appearance: It's a very attractive golden brown color. A little hazy. Sitting atop is a white, foamy finger and a half head. It stuck around for a bit and left a nice, spotty coat of lace lining the glass. Really nice looking beer.

Smell: The addition of Brettanomyces is immediately noticeable on the nose. It's pretty funky smelling. It also has a strong fruity and sour presence. Very impressive. The fruity aroma is mostly attributable to cherry. There's clearly a spicy element as well, though this nose is not capable of distinguishing the particular spices. Toward the end, the oak or wood smell emerges and really caps it off nicely.

Taste: Initially, it's very tart and tastes like sour cherries. It's a little maltier than I expected. Malts add some sweetness and blend really well with the strong tart flavor. Again, there's some spicy flavors in there, but I can't identify them. They're subtle but really add a lot to the flavor. It also has a nice grainy aspect. It finishes tart and the oaked or wood flavor kicks in and appears to dry it out quite a bit.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied and extremely smooth. I'm really tempted to pull the "5" trigger on feel, but it's not quite there. Almost though...damn close. Given its abv is 7%, it's very drinkable. I could tackle two or three of these with no trouble. It's very engaging and inviting.

Supplication's another fine beer from Russian River. I characterized Beatification as "art in a bottle" and this is no different. These really are special beers. Russian River's the most artistic brewery I've encountered. Their beers are really unlike anything else I've tried. Truly special and unique. Hopefully they'll distribute on a more widespread basis someday.

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

A 375 mL corked and caged bottle from Batch 003.

A: The ale is a reddish brown color, like grenadine in orange juice only with a little less haze. A finger plus of highly carbonated foam has left spots of lace around the mouth.

S: Aroma-wise, the ale is just plain funky. The barnyard aromas are hard to avoid, filling the nose with sour cherries, pepper and apple butter.

T: The tartness here surpasses the bite of Temptation, scalding the tastebuds with each sip. Sour cherries follow the tartness, adding a little more depth to the taste. Red wine and vanilla finish out the taste. The ale is incredibly carbonated, adding to the lively taste with each sip.

M: The ale is quite dry from the barrel aging. That, in conjunction with the wild yeasts, creates a beer that stabs the tastebuds with each sip. The complexity is present but you have to appreciate it.

D: The wood, vanilla and funk are incredible. This is a great beer to sip from a snifter.

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

Batch #3, poured in to a tulip glass. Amberish color with a great two finger high head.

Amazing smell of cherries and sweet malt. Lovely.

SOUR oh so TART!! The cherries are seriously linger in the background along with wood. Oh such a treat.

A bit of a dry finish, great mouthfeel.

Again this is a great rare beer that could be drank every day but is best shared with friends to make great moments.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #3. Shared with sberman77. Poured into Russian River tulip. Beer was amber in color with a two-finger, off-white head. Excellent lacing and soft carbonation.

Aroma is dominated by sour cherries and sweet malt.

Taste is sour and tart. Sour cherries really come through along with vanilla and oak.

Long sour finish. Very tasty brew and one I wish I could have more often.

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

Thanks to Deepsouth for this one!

Pours a nice hazy orange color with a nice 1/4" head. Lots of sticking!

Very sour aroma with a tangy-citrus aroma with a nice mellow cherry in the background.

SOUOOOUUURRR!!! Love it! Huge random flavors of cherry combined with a nice citrus flavor that is combined with a long lasting oak aroma.

Very tart to the tongue and mouth. Delicious and smooth with a nice tart finish.

Very drinkable but to rare to drink often. Another smashing hit from Russian River.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a pleasant amber color witha nice fluffy slightly off-white head to it. There is a good amount of carbonation rising up giving the head some nice retention. It leaves some fairly thick lacing as it recedes. It has a very dry smell consisting mostly of sour cherries. Notes of a dry white wine give it some nice complexity.

The first sip is very tart, with a slight cherry finish to it. It definitely has some solid bite to it. The more it warms up the more the wine-like qualities of the beer come through, and the tartness mellows somewhat. Some light phenols and hints of brown sugar are there as well. The carbonation is rich and gives it an excellent mouthfeel. Overall, excellent beer.

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

12.7 oz brown bottle, corked and caged, batch 003.

Pours a nice amber color with slight auburn hue to it, topped with a foamy ring and skim coat of head that lasted the entire glass. clear until the last little pour when i got some yeast into it. Laces nicely.

Smell is very tart and funky from the second i popped the cork out of the bottle. no denying the sourness of this one without even tasting it. It makes my mouth water just smelling it.

Taste is sour. I would say tart, but this goes right to the edge of tart and then one step further. once you get your jaws unlocked there are some subtle oak and vanilla flavors along with some sour cherry notes. It has a sour candy sweetness to it that makes it very enjoyable and keeps it from going over the top. It finishes like a dry wine, begging for you to drink more.

Mouthfeel on this one is good. There is plenty of carbonation to keep this one from being overwhelming while keeping a nice thick film of head for the entire glass.

As for drinkability, the only reason it does not get a 5 is that it is so hard to come by. I could drink this all day, although it would have to be sipped :) there is no hint of alcohol in this one, completely masked by the tartness. I have a few more of these i wanted to age, but not sure how long i will be able to hold on to them now that i popped the first one open!

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Photo of tpd975
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to myself for this one wow did I like it.

A: Pours a nice murky amber hue with a huge rocky head in the proper barrel aged Russian River tulip. Nice tiny bubbles rise to the top to maintain the head. Overall excellent head retention.

S: Wonderful aromas with tons of tart Bing Cherries. You can tell this one is barrel aged as the oak vanilla and sour wine really come thru.

T: Even better than the aroma. This one is worth every dollar I spent to get it shipped to Florida. Tons of tart ripe cherries right from the start. The barrel ageing really comes thru with tons of oak and vanilla. Wow very vineous this is one well crafted brew. Beneath all this there is just a touch of sweetness. I bought a second to trade but I am sorry I will be enoying it myself.

M: Light in body very spritzy. Very guezue like wonderful overall.

D: I love this, glad I shared it but could have enjoyed it myself no problem.

Overall: Great Brewer, Great Beer... If you have not tried it do all you can to get it. Wonderful!!

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Photo of ryrust5301
3.38/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance - Pours a murky copper color with a picturesque tight white finger length head. Lite lacing on the sides, as it forms small patches in spots.

Smell - Cherries and oak are present immediately. Very sour smell, almost akin to a flemish ale (DUCHESSE DE BOURGOGNE).

Taste & Mouthfeel - Wow! This is a sour beer! It's so tangy and sour you can't really taste much else. Definitely a sweet cheery flavor with a light oakiness to it. Feels very carbonated in the mouth but smooths out quickly, and finishes very dry.

Drinkability - Not quite what I expected. I expected it to be much sweeter and more balanced than just a huge sour tartness. A cool beer for the style, but I don't get all the hype. I could throw one back every once in a while, but not something I would seek out as an elite beer. Too tart to the Extreme for my taste.

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Photo of ShrLSU
3.78/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from slender neck bottle into an over sized wine glass.

A- Poured a deep burnt copper color with a nice one finger tight white head.

S- Very cherry and a bit of oak. On smelling it seems to have a bit of a sweet and sour nose.

T & M- Very sour. I was expecting this to be sour so it didn't take me by surprise. Its sour upfront but has a mild sweetness to it in the end. i can definitely taste the sour cherries. That's probably the most prevelant. Smooth on the tongue and the good carbonation balance gives it a little spice.

D- I'm definitely not a fan of this style. However for what this beer is trying to accomplish, it does it perfectly. In the right arena this is an exceptional brew. I would probably enjoy this more if it were paired with foods, but I'm just drinking it straight up at the moment. If your into trying new different styles, this is a must. It's the best Wild Ale you'll get.

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Photo of Goliath
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with one finger of slightly yellowed head. Decent retention and no lacing.

Aroma has some barnyard funk, fruit, and elludes to tartness.

Taste is very nice. Tart cherry with a dry finish makes the mouth water for more.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and finely carbonated.

Drinkabilityi s fairly high. Alcohol is moderate and flavors are great, but tart beers are always limited in their consumption.

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Photo of alexgash
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle, batch 002.

Slightly hazy, amber-copper body with a dense finger of dirty khaki head. Great lacing. Intoxicating sourish Brett funk hits the nose first. A bit musty with a tart edge. This lays over toffee-coated cherries and grapes. The winy fruits add a slight powdered sugar sweetness to the nose. Notes of oak and leather as well. Wow.

Taste starts off rather tart and acidic. Lime and cherry tartness make up the most of it. Relentless sourness is backed up by slightly sweet cherries, red wine, and oak. Delicious. Finish remains tart and acidic with residual cherries, leather, vinous grapes, and oak. Very well done. Medium body with a very dry finish. Spritzy, sparkling carbonation. Would love to get more bottles of this!

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Photo of 0110x011
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
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!

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

This beer is, in a word, divine. If you believe sour is at the top of the beer-flavor hierarchy, as I do, than this beer is for you. If you don't believe this, well chances are this beer is still for you. It offers a rich amber color, abundant head, delicious aroma, and even better taste. Aroma is citrus-y, sour, candy-sweet, yet somehow (despite what I've already said) balanced and distinctly beer-like. Flavor is distinctly sour, although I've certainly had beers sourer. It has a musty, sweet-tart, clove, complex and delicious. Mouthfeel is excellent.

This is not a beer that is not easy for most of us to get our hands on. However, if you've not had it, you should travel, trade, or attend a festival to get it.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,426 ratings.