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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,393 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,393
Hads: 5,782
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 18.89%
Wants: 2,622
Gots: 1,921 | FT: 132
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Supplication Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,393 | Hads: 5,782
Photo of mynie
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 002.

Awful nice pour. Incarnadine, light specks of yeast floating upward against a cascade of champagne bubbles. Bigass, sticky white head.

Smells of very sweet malt--almost a little rye, if that doesn't seem too odd--along with chewy french bread and fresh, tart black cherries. Smells like candies, pie, and beer.

Tastes amazing! Belgiany yeast, europsice, and cherry juice dance all around each other all throughout as it the beer starts tart, moves into a dryer, sweeter middle, and ends on a kick of candy sour. The flavors blend so well! It's like some sort of candy syrup only it's not so sickeningly sweet as most candies.

Absolutely fantastic. Blows away any other sour beer I've had. Amazing. The first beer I've had from Russian River and already I am absolutely in love with this brewery.

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Photo of Phatz
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Millions of thanks to ClockworkOrange who shared a bottle of this with me. And also to metallitone1; Thanks Tim so much for hookin me up with one of these. I shared the second bottle with phnphilly and bookert last night and I am in love with this beer, WOW!

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous ruddy copper color with a foamy head that fades fast leaving a little lacing in the glass.

Smell: Rich sour apple aroma with musty woody funk and lactic notes just absolutely flood the nose. There is a distinct sweetness that suggests fruits but it does not detract from the bold sour cherry and Brett that comes close to as funky as a Lambic but narrowly skirts that level of intensity.

Taste: Here the nose skirts the sour side and mellows a bit with sweetness the flavor in the mouth slides over a bit more to the delicious dark side. It does start out with a element of sweet fruit but quickly the lactic notes and wild funk along with a touch of acidity move in on the palate. The wood flavors are strong and seep deep into the cheeks. Tart cherry is evident in the musty funkiness that takes over the entire palate. The best feature is the amazingly long lingering after taste! EXCEPTIONAL!

Mouthfeel: The acidity is the mouth is very solid but not overwhelming. The finish does force a pucker and leave a long lingering aftertaste on the cheeks long after the beer is gone. After the sourness fades there is a residual sweetness that seem to seep back out onto the cheeks.

Drinkability: I LOVE SOUR BEER! This is a beer I could dink forever. Thank you thank you thank you Jason for sharing it with me!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of bradford
4.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on 4/24/07
Appearance: Dark, burnt orange. Little to no head after the inital foaming from cork popping
Smell: Fantastic: Smelly sour with a lot of brett and a slight cherry note
Taste: Brilliant. Sour, sweet, cherry
Mouthfeel: Another great note. The sour brett does not take anything away from the mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Perfect. No other way to describe this beer. Absolutely phenomenal. I wish it didn't cost this much, but I understand.
Russian River is THE best brewery in America. Hands down. Vinnie truly is a beer genius. Can't wait to try other "tion" beers

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

Batch 002. Poured well-chilled into a Russian River Barrel Aged Ales stemmed glass, Supplication is a striking ruby and amber color -- like the blood orange Italian soda my partner brought home the other day -- hazy with a thin but persistent pinkish-grey head. Sour citric aromas (lime, kumquat, orange zest) mingle with a sharp bretty funk, some rubbery phenolic business, and a dusty attic floor scent. Mind-bogglingly complex, to say the least, and incredibly mouth-watering as well. Make that mouth-puckering. This is unbelievably sour, with an acidity that rivals the strength of Cantillon gueuze but retains a fruity zing that is entirely its own. There are slight cherry notes, along with an unripened raspberry twinge. The cherry flavor rapidly emerges to the fore with every degree warmer this beer gets. Mellow wood grain inflections. Tannic grapeskin in the aftertaste. Juicy mouthfeel up front due to the fruit flavors, but extremely dessicating from mid-sip onward to the cottonmouth-inducing finish. An amazing creation overall, and an exceptional beer with which to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather.

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Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A surprising pour of amber greeted me – for some reason I thought it would be a brownish type color. Aroma of cherry Champaign, sharp and tart. Quaff was a smorgasbord of funk – musty ol’ cherry bourbon mash, horse blanket left in a barn, and some apples left in a barrel. Nice.

All that funk and it still started sweetish, and then finished with a sour sweet-tart. Also seemed fairly thin bodied, no coatings to speak of.

A heck of a beer, sent by skinnyelvis for my BA annv. – thanks again!

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Photo of hero27
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002.

12.7 oz corked/caged bottle.
7% abv.

Aged in oak pinot noir wine barrels for 15 months.

Dark orange, fizzy beige head forms after the volcanic explosion upon releasing the cork. Bold cherry sourness..woody flavors are definitely noticeable and both come together quite well. The alcohol blends in flawlessly and is almost an afterthought after each swallow. Body is oily and fairly coating. Mouthfeel is slick yet slightly syrupy. Overall a very good wild ale which pretty much defines the style.

A great example of American experimentation with craft beer.

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

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.


Batch 002

Got a nice pop from cork pull, poured a nice slightly cloudy darker orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, some nice sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is of sour/tangy grapes, cherries, citrus, malts, and slight caramel. The taste is sour/tangy, slight malts/hops, ends quite dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is another awesome brew from RR, highly recommended.

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Photo of jastack
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of having this beer completely by chance, as they aren't avalible in CT. Wow, what a beer, I'm a fan of the Jolly Pumpkin's and this was a natural for me. Great tart, friuty aroma that was present in the taste also. On top of this there was slight oak and malt flavors, amoungst a bunch of others that I couldn't even idenify, but did taste them there. The mouthfeel was standard for a beer of this type, and the tartness was not over powering by any standards. I wish I could taste there whole line of wild ales, but my home state has affectively shut me out of this oppertunity, damn shame, brewing is an art.

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Photo of rowew
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz mini champagne style bottle, corked and caged. Barrel aged 15 months, Long description of the beer on the back - batch 002.

Appearance: Solid pop as the cork is pulled, pours a reddish brown with a bit of haze, medium head that fades very slowly, leaving quite a bit of lacing. Great head retention.

Smell: Sour and fruity. Tartness definitely dominates, underneath is just a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste: At a bit of a loss here - unfortunately I don't have the opportunity to taste enough wild beers to be able to identify all the subtleties of flavor present here. Starts off a bit puckering - very sour. Then some malt flavors come in - just a bit bready, finishes super dry. Lots of acetic acid flavor, but not in a bad way at all. A bit of farmhouse funk to it as well - like a stinky cheese.

Overall impression: As with most Russian River beers, I'm impressed. Huge depth of flavor - although it cost me a fair amount to get it to Colorado, it was more than worth it. Why aren't more American brewers experimenting with the wild styles?

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

375mL mini-magnum with a simple blue label marked "batch 001" and "barrel-aged one year." I'm giving extra appearance points for the coolness of this bottle, which is enough to legitimately add to the drinking experience.

Pours cloudy gold with fine, brisk carbonation and a half finger head and quite a bit of lacing. Aside from the cloudiness and the head, this beer is indistinguishable from a fine champagne.

The nose is impossibly complex. A drop of acetic acid and just a shade of barnyardy Brett. Distinct winey and cidery notes are clearly present, along with some phenols. Absolutely no malt, hops, or anything to otherwise suggest that this is beer.

The flavor includes everything in the nose, but in different percentages and with a few surprises. The Brett is in the background now, with the brisk, refreshing sourness, winey flavors, berries, and sour cherries in the forefront. Finishes with a snap of fruity sourness.

The palate is lively, with loads of fine carbonation and mouth-puckering sourness.

How's this for drinkability? I could easily drink ten bottles a day, every day for the rest of my life.

This beer is a masterpiece.

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

Been sitting on this for a month or so. Nice to finally imbibe.

Appearance: Man, I'm a sucker for wild yeasts' ability to make a beer lively. You see, I enjoy a good lacing, and this has it in spades. That being said, the head, relative to the bottle of Temptation I had a few months ago, is barely existent, so it loses some points for that. Lacing is just amazing, that being said. Sticky, spotted, arm-like, all the patterns I seem to see in other beers wrapped into one. The body is also a very pretty approximation of caramel. Cool.

Smell: Jesus. Candy sugar, wine grapes, oak, a definite black licorice, cherries, plums, raisins, cranberries, apple, burnt sugar (caramel), brett, nutmeg, cinnamon, yeasty dough, sandalwood, rosemary, I just could go on and on. Tremendously complex. Absolutely phenomenal. I am again, as I suspected I'd be, floored by RR's wild ale.

Taste: Tart cherries on the front end, sea salt, brett, pinot noir grapes, oak on the back, rosemary, plums. Again, like Temptation, I find mouth less adequate at picking out the individual flavors than my nose. Either that, or I find the nose to be better than the mouth, but only by a hair. The taste is massively complex, still, just, in this one, the tartness of the cherry flavor can be a bit overpowering. Still, bloody awesome.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, tart, astringent, syrupy, light and heavy at the same time. A wonderful variety.

Drinkability: This is a sipper, but really only for its flavor and nose complexity. The alcohol, if any, is barely apparent, and the flavors do not overwhelm you. The tartness of the cherries is perhaps the only overpowering characteristic, and really that only shows itself upon swallowing.

An amazing ale.

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

Purchased at Stone Brewery Bistro. Man oh man, this was my first American Wild Ale, and it was a real beauty. After my first drink I already knew it was at least in top 10 favorite beers. I would even venture to say that it is my absolute favorite, right up there with De Ranke's Kriek. It smelled somewhat like a lambic, and it had a similar sourness to it, though I could certainly taste the aging in the Pinot Noir wine barrels...though the alcohol was only slightly present in the taste, it more so affected the mouthfeel adding a little warmth to it. Overall, it was a very distinct experience from tasting a lambic and I highly recommend it to anyone. I can't wait to crack open the one I have waiting at home in California as well as the RR Temptation in there as well. This indeed is the future of beer!

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a - burnt orange color with a reddish tint, smallish ivory head with no retention or lacing, quite hazy, what I expect from the style

s - sweet sourness on the nose, nice cherry aroma, a bit of funk

t - nice big sweetness at the start, develops quickly into a big sourness with lots of cherry and funk, finish is lingering sourness and tartness, very dry

m - quite a bit of carbonation, relatively light bodied, very dry finish

d - can't taste the alcohol at all, the sourness and sweetness limits somewhat, one bottle is good for me

Great wild ale from RR. Nobody does this style better. Very complex and interesting taste. Definitely worth seeking a bottle of this out.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 002

I new to expect a gusher and it wasn't too bad. That said, no worrying about a soft pour with this one!

A - Murky reddish brown. Small off white head that settled out really quick.

S - Sour cherry, hints of raspberry, oak and horse blanket.

T - Similar to the aroma but so much more captivating and complex. Sou, but not harsh, swirling malts but nothing singularly identifiable. Brett influenced but not dominated. Wow.

M - medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Tart but just below pucker range.

D - highly drinkable. 9% but one of the least noticeable 9% brews I've ever had.

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Photo of sman262
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002 - brown ale aged in oak barrels (pinot noir) sour cherries added, creates an awesome smell. Reminds me alot of the blushing monk, by founders. A -- looks like a redissh brown ale in the glass, but if glass is held to the light, the blood redness comes through. S -- I have a thing in the summers for montmercy cheeries, which have a sour -- sweet taste. The smell is so much alike. T -- GOSH i wish i bought more than two bottles, that weekend when RR had them for sale online. The lingering after taste of the exceptional cherries is so amazing. M -- Not tooo sour, but just right. D -- one of the beer geeks holy grails of beer.

This is my first Russian River experience, but so far they are some freaking ballers. OMG i need traders.

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Photo of drseamus
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is batch 002 and consumed on 3/15/07. When I popped the cork, the beer rocketed out. The beer is dark amber in color with little yeasties floating in suspension. Floating yeast is to be expected from a bottle conditioned beer. The head fell quickly, although I did leave the bottle for a bit after it ran over. The aroma has a strong brett presence with a cidery aroma in there as well. The tart cherry taste, brett, and carbonation make the glands in my neck tingle. The brett is very pronounced and seems to make the body seem lighter and thinner. Overall, the only disappointment is the lack of body.

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

Served initially at under cellar temp into my wonderful Delirium Tremens glass, but consumed over the course of an hour.

A: Beautiful medium red color with a hint of brown topped off by a 1 finger off-white head that leaves just a bit of lacing.

S: Smell is mostly of tart cherries, but with a certain mellowness. Has some woody notes too. Upon warming, it has an almost musty (in a good way) port wine sort of note. Wonderful.

T: Initial taste is of tart cherries. Subsequently, there is some sweetness in the background - maybe some raspberry and woody flavors. As it warms more, the cherries retreat some to let the sweter malts come through. A raspberry-like sweetness is definitely there (and no, not in an artificial way at all). Oh man. This just keeps getting better! The cherry tartness now just peeks out ever so delicately at the end. I've never tasted such a delicate wild ale involving cherries before! Just a bit of earthy funkiness too. Think delicate raspberries with a dash of vanilla and cocoa, followed by a perfectly balanced cherry tartness. The taste of this beer is practically perfect. I don't award many 5s here, but this beer, this divine nectar, is definitely deserving.

M: Coats all of the mouth ever so well with flavor with a medium body and an almost smooth, rich finish. I say this while also acknowledging a quick, sharp bite at the end from the cherries.

D: One of the most drinkable wild ales of this sort. While I enjoy a Duchesse on occasion, this I consider far more drinkable. For the style, I have to give this a 5 for drinkability.

Highly recommended. Truly masterfully crafted. This is a beer you give to someone who says all beer tastes the same. One taste and they'll beg forgiveness for spouting off such crazy fallacies.

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Photo of badbeer
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Warning: Open this bottle over a bowl so that when it overflows you can still pour it into your glass. I did not use a bowl so the table got to drink a few ounces.

Batch 002
Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a quickly dissipating off-white head. Smell is very tart, there are aromas of cherries, but there isn't a whole lot to them, predominant smells of sour and funk. This is not as sour as some other beers of this style, but that's not the goal, the goal is to create a damn good brew and I would say mission accomplished. There are sour cherries in the taste as well, but it's more of a vinegar-like sourness mixed with some oak and some grapes. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and had medium levels of carbonation, finish was dry. Extremely drinkable, I would have plenty of this often if I were given the chance.

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

Batch 002

Appearance: Reddish brown with a head strong enough to stick around the side of the glass throughout the whole imbibing period. There was no lacing, and no change to the appearnce through drinkage.

Smell: A little like a flemish red ale, and a little like cherries, this smells like it's going to taste out of this world. I would have liked a little more of the oak aging to come through, however.

Taste: Fresh cherries hit the palate, but are not very strong. There is also a vinegar taste and a malt depth that reminds me of some stronger belgian dark beers. Nothing in the taste is very intense, but everything blends to make this quite nice. I ate this along with jalapeno poppers and a raspberry dip, and they complimented each other very well.

Mouthfeel: So sour, one of the sourest beers I've ever had, if not the sourest. Amazing.

Drinkability: I want more, much more, this is now one of my favorite beers. I'm going to order a ton of batch 003 when they finally come out with it. Yum.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle exploded all over an we lost some of the beer (wait until the yeast is out of suspension when it gets to your house by mail). Yeah. Pours a slight head that goes away right away. The color is brownish gold with a cloudyness. The smell is very Belgian with Brett yeast and some horse blanket, but the age has made it so it's not too offensive. The taste is sour with an lemon-like aftertaste mixed with the horse blanket sourness. It's definetly like my first sour beer where I made a sour face, this is mellowed and nice. The mouthfeel is good, a little heavy like water, but nothing negative to say about it. Overall it was nice to try, I would have this again sometime.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 002 - Bottle says a brown ale aged in oak barrels (pinot noir) for 15 months with cherries added (and brett, lacto & pedio).

A - Pours a murky orange copper with no head. I used a delicate pour after the bottle overflowed when the cork was popped.

S - Sour cherries with oak. Sweet grapes with some musty funk and a vinegar lactic acid blend. It is sour complex and funky with a dose of cherry.

T - Sour cherries with some tannin from the wood followed by a punch of acidic & vinegar sourness that bites at the tongue. The acidity packs a punch. You are left with a grapey pinot noir taste dangling on your tastebuds.

M - Medium bodied with lively carbonation which plays up the acidity.

D - I am beginning to really love the combo of sour beers and cherries (thanks to the help from New Glarus) and Supplication is a great example of this combo. A fantastic beer. Wish I had ordered more.

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

On tap at Russian River March 1st.
Cloudy dark ruby with a thick solid ring of white bubbles around the edges with whispy spotty head in the middle of the top of the beer.
I can smell the beer as soon as the waiter set it on the table. Sweet tarts, light hints of vinegar, sour grape, oak and cherry permeate boastfully from inside the glass.
Prominent tart character is first, and once my mouth accepts the initial sour a plethora of flavor shows through. There is a sugary sweetness touched with sour, almost like a pinch of brown sugar soaked in a blend of lemon juices. Once the tart character starts to fade hints of malt sweetness become more noticable along with cherry and the oak. The cherry and oak sneak in to be noticed as I swallow and is has a subtle complimentary relationship with the rest of the taste.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium levels of carbonation.
This beer is very drinkable and is very refreshing. Just a real pleasure to sit and sip on this beer and try to pick up all it has to offer. I look forward to cracking some bottles and exploring further.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002

This is one hell of a beer. Just the right amount of funk to it. I'm never quite sure what to expect with one of these Russian River wild ales, but they don't cease to disappoint.

The beer pours to a murky rusted brown color. Completely opaque. An effervescent brown head forms and falls no sooner then it builds. Subsequently no lacing to the glass, though it does show off a nice pair of legs similar to that of a nice fine wine.

The smell is nothing short of spectacular. Perhaps I am getting a bigger whiff than would be afforded by pouring straight into my goblet since about 3 ounces of the liquid is currently soaked into the carpet which my ass is currently parked next to, no thanks to a gushing bottle. Take care to open the bottle over the sink and have your glass ready so as not to waste a good portion of this precious liquid to the drain. Anyways, back to the smell. Wonderful tart cherry aromas. Also a good deal of oak tannin and a host of aromas thrown off by all the funky bacteria. Just a little bit of grainy must and candied sweetness. Easily among the most wonderful smells I've ever experienced from a beer.

The taste is also very good, but the cherry is not quite as pungent. The funky bacterial yeasts make sure of that, along with a stronger oak flavor. Candy sweetness up front, shortly followed by a nice sour cherry and funky tartness to the finish. Not nearly as tart as something such as Cantillon. More along the lines of a Gueuze Boon. The finish drops off abruptly, leaving only the taste of oak and cherry as a reminder. Actually has a decent amount of hops bitterness to it, considering the style.

The body is difficult to judge when my whole mouth is puckering under the onslaught of tartness, but I would judge that it is medium and fairly dry. The 9% ABV is very well hidden. Crisp carbonation as one would expect. Quite drinkable for a strong tart beer. Reminds me quite a bit of Gueuze Boon Marriage Parfait, though with more oakiness.

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

Batch #2

Pours a light brown color, cloudy, and with a nice head.

Smells SUPER tart, and cherry like.

This is the most sour beer I have ever tasted. Sour, with a very tart cherry flavor.
It's sour... sour... sour... SUPER sour! Very tart and crisp on the finish, there is also considerable bitterness noted as well.

Mouthfeel is great, carbonation is wonderful.

This is easily the most interesting beer I have ever tried. Highly recommended! It's a bit too funky to be an everyday drinking beer. This is so different... I just think I like Temptation just a little bit better.

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Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ordered a bottle of Batch #2 from the RR online store.

Its a hazy red with a bit of foam. Smells of oak, leather, paint. Tastes tangy and a touch bitter with cherry and pinot flavors for the barrels. Drink this one cool as the fruit flavors come out more. The funky bacteria flavors tend to overtake this one as it warms. A heck of an interesting brew though. I'd take this over Rodenbach any day. Cheers to RR for making weird stuff like this.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,393 ratings.