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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,365 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,365
Hads: 5,645
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 7.59%
Wants: 2,561
Gots: 1,856 | 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: 1,365 | Hads: 5,645
Photo of klewis
4.94/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to Jetsbeer for this bottle

Batch 001

A: Pours a very murky golden with a tiny bubbly head that subsides to a clingy ring of froth around the tulip. Lacing slowly slides down the glass.

S: Very aromatic with a prominent aroma of pinot noir, and one that would be easily recognised as such even if it were not on the label. Also, a subtle cherry aroma and a bit of funk.

T: Again, lots of pinot noir and cherry in the flavor. The brett provides a complexity that is unparalleled with anything that I've had. Finishes with a sort of menthol/minty taste. Oustanding.

M: Medium-full bodied with a chewy and sticky texture. Quite a bit of carbination from the bottle-conditioning, but it is very complementary.

D: This is ecstasy in a bottle. Go get some. Sell off your children if necessary. (820 characters)

Photo of studentofbeer
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. batch 001. poured a pretty, super clear red/orange mahagony color with no head whatsoever. this was just a few degrees below room temp.

aroma is yeasty, deep cherry, berries, dried apricot aroma, combined with complex earthy, barnyard and brett aromas. very inviting.

wow, great penetrating sour taste hits the tongue. didn't pick all that up in the aroma. super dry, with sour cherry, bitter lemon, sweet berry, cassis. tons of minerality and acidity. carbonated and zippy, but smooth like a fine champagne. finishes with a slightly bitter, funky barnyard note.

basically, an amazing beer. i wish i had a case of this stuff, and that this was a 750ml bottle. i don't know how long ive been hiding it in the cold (at least a year, maybe two), but it's perfectly balanced and wonderfully complex. perfect as an apparatif or with food.

combines the best complexity of a lambic with a friendly fruity flavor and a minerality reminiscent of great champagne.

near the end of the beer i swirled the tiny bit left in the bottle and poured the yeast in, creating a murky orange color. surprisingly, more of the cherry sweetness came out in both the aroma and taste. the beer became softer and creamier. this was not what i was expecting. good, but i prefer it without the yeast because of its racy, sour characteristics (even tho many beers i prefer adding the yeasties).

this was truly a perfect pairing with a thick cut pork chop with a sweet and sour pan sauce (sweet vermouth, smoked bacon, shallots, plum tomato, butter, etc.), some roasted yams and a salad. just amazing. (1,595 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lots and lots of samples at the GABF 06. This thing wreeks of funk and tart cherries. I love it. Golden straw color with lively carbonation with a spritzy white head. The cherries come through very nicely. Oat and then the bugs. Awesome stuff. Next time they are selling the barrel stuff online, I’m pulling the trigger. (321 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy light amber in color, with a small white, and scattered, patchy lacing.

Aroma: Sharp vinegar sourness up front, with a malty, honey-like sweetness beneath, and a pronounced note of dark cherries.

Taste: Opens with sharp, tangy vinegar notes, followed by dark cherries, vanilla, lemon, and a musty, old cheese note. The finish is quite dry, with a wood note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, quite full, pleasing.

Drinkability/notes: A difficult beer to review, certainly possesses a daunting complexity, but in a positive sense. Try it if you are able. Thanks to my friend and fellow BA HardTarget for sharing this rare example. (650 characters)

Photo of chadspivey
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to witbier for the opportunity....
375 ML. Poured into my st. bernardus goblet

A: Pours a murky brownish golden red. One finger yellow, offwhite head to a thin cap in one minute

S: can smell apples, other fruits, maybe cranberries. can smell hints of alcohol, but not so apparant.

T: I wondered where the cherries were in the smell, but they hit in the first sip. This tastes like it could be a wine of some kind. grapy, viney taste with candied apple taste and other fruits.

M: velvetty... perfect for the style

D: gets better with every sip. That being said, I feel satisfied after drinking the one bottle...good thing too because it's $15/bottle. (673 characters)

Photo of hopsaplenty
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml smoked green bottle, batch 001.

Polished, glimmering bronzed amber. Short cap of tanned, loosely piled bubbles that dissipates to a skim coat. Initial glass-covering large bubbled carbonation gives way to a narrow pillar of fine bubbles. Vibrant aromas of brett, cherry pits and tart skin, some damp wood. Simultaneously sweet and just a touch sour and funky. The taste starts with a nice tart sharpness that is filled with a dry cherry-laced sweetness. The underlying brown ale is readily discernable and serves as a solid base. Some damp wood becomes evident during consumption. The brett character is long in the finish and is complimented by a bit of sourness in the tail end. As it warms, the sweetness comes up a touch. Medium body with barely detectable carbonation, the light sharpness reduces the body a bit. There is a light slickness that glazes the tongue. It was hard to put the glass down as the Supplication was absolutely enjoyable. Unfortunately it was my last bottle, but I am looking forward to the next release. (1,040 characters)

Photo of NoLiberty
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a great beer. Thanks to GrassrootsVT for spotting this at the new Foodery in Philly. Had Supplication after several other dank beers and a day of tasting at the Kennett Square Beer Fest, and despite all of this I was still in awe. A delicious beer.
It pours a beautiful clear copper, brown orange, glowing with nice light and clarity. Good head with slight crisp burnt toffee lacing.
Could have a near perfect aroma: a great balance of sour cherry, alcohol, horse blanket, vanilla and baking pie crust. Nice.
The taste follows as near perfect: a big wallop of front sweet, sour cherry, vanilla, tart pie baking crust, full full funkiness, barnyard, tart apple, cranberry. Great finish dry and fruity tart.
Mouthfeel is great, excellent carbonation, with clean biting, semi-dry but still wet. Yes, I wanted more after my half glass was gone, still wanting more. (869 characters)

Photo of nvsblman
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, reddish-brown color with about a finger or so of off-white head. Musty aroma, full of cherries, and also a slight tartness. Almost like a little lemon zest has been added. Nice and funky flavor, with a great sour cherry flavor. A little oaky and some vanilla. Also a little bit of lactic acid flavor. Velvety mouthfeel, great carbonation. It seems like there are new flavors coming out with every sip. Very nice offering! (427 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork pops off with an explosive pop. The beer pours aky red in color with a moderately thin off-white head. Very sour aroma! Big cherry flavor with a nice oaky character. Flavor starts very sweet. Gets a bit rough on the tongue mid-palate -- like licking a cork. Oaky woodiness then comes through fairly strongly, blending nicely with a semi-sweet cherry flavor at the finish. Yeast pour mellows the flavor a bit, enhancing the fruity character nicely. Another great one from Russian River! (490 characters)

Photo of bruachan
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

every time i'm at the brickskeller i ask for this...finally they did. delish. batch 001

i just had jolly pumpkin's la roja recently, and it makes sense now. i gett brett. sour, sharp spice (but not spiced). i can pull out the cherries but only because i was looking for them. complex, but so easy to appreciate

i've got nothing but praise for vinnie. truly a pioneer (372 characters)

Photo of Realale
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous onion skin with amber highlights. Creamy off-white extremely fine head peaks at a solid half inch and settles slowly to a complete cap that leaves nice lace.

Extraordinary nose of deep, fleshy sweet cherry intertwined with racy sour notes. As it warms, the brett aromas appear adding horse blanket, and dark spice. There's an earthy maltiness rumbling below it all. Just stunning.

The palate is a relatively big let down from the nose (but almost anything would be). Much simpler with the flavors that are so distinct on the nose becoming muddy. It's on the full side of medium, and the malt plays the predominant role in the mouth. The cherry moves to a bit role, and it's surprisingly no where near as sour as the nose promises. Medium length, with a touch of acid coming through with a whack of oak on the finish.

Lovely bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. Really velvety and attractive. Smellability is off the scale, but drinkability not so much for me as the oak is a bit much, and the palate just isn't that interesting. Some additional cellar time might allow the sourness to build and break through the palate adding balance and interest. We'll see. Regardless, an inspiring effort and one hell of a nose. Batch one. (1,237 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Corked and caged warning of 7% abv. Odd sized bottle, batch 001

Aroma: Rich vinegar balanced by mild cherry and vanilla notes.

Appearance: Hazy brown with some chunky floaties. Thin collar and cover gives touches of lace.

Flavor: Vanilla front going funky Lambic sour quickly with some hints of cherry skin and a sharp lemonish finish. Very unique.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, mild carbonation

Overall Impression: Sour, but not overwhelmingly so. Tart. Wild.
A good flavor, but I didn’t do a great job capturing it here in my review. It came late in a session. I recommend it.

Thanks to Eric for hand carrying it to Texas for me! (664 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yikes, where to begin; the cacophony of artistry that went into brewing this is mind numbing. Purchased this in California in February, and after going back there recently I was reminded, hey I didn't drink that Supplication yet! So here we are. An interesting creation indeed. Pours a deep, hazed orangey amber, with an initally thick head that dies to lace, though upon swirling to pick up the interesting aroma, it rebounds if only for a moment.

Initially, the first thought upon getting a whiff of this brew is "lambic." Sour, musty funky cherry aroma, but there's also a very earthy rotted pumpkin thing going on here. Innnteresting. Flavors meld beautifully; upfront tartness yields to woody birch bark flavors, followed swiftly (as this is all too quaffable) by the lingering mildly sour cherry vanilla notes. Carbonation is noticeable on the palate, yet somehow has a creamy, lactic milk-like feel that I've never tasted. Usually it's one or the other; this is well carbonated and strangely creamy. What the? Can there be a creativity rating? This gets 5's there. Extremely unique, tasty, complex and worth seeking out. (1,131 characters)

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

Supplication-To ask for humbly or earnestly, as by praying. (According to Webster).

I was lucky enought to try Russian River's Supplication on Tap at Monk's in Philly and it was just phenomenal. It's hard to rate it according to style, being a wild ale. It certainly was wild. Like an american lambic but hoppier and less concerned with stylistic guidelines.
Hoppy, fruity, slightly piney.
Taste is just a unique experince. More like a lambic but with some bitterness and some strong alcohol kick.
Had with a venison pot pie. Excellent pairing.
Just find it and drink it! (578 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a Magnum bottle (thanks to Ray and Cornelia) this ale is a murky, dirty apricot color with a frothy off white head that leaves delicate patterns of lace.

The aroma is a mouthwatering melange of sweet/tart cherries, rotting pit fruit, vanilla and oak, light spice, and something that is just impossible to put into words. The wild yeast really works a strange kind of beer magic here.

The flavor first strikes you as tart, cidery, and lightly acidic. Warmpth brings out a sweet and sour fresh cherry note with hints of almond and pear. The layers of oak and vanilla add a not so subtle complexity that is heightened by the funky yeast that is both rustic and farmy. Definately has Flemish Red Ale qualities but is in a league all of it's own.

Body is very smooth and buttery, with a soft, creamy texture and amazing drinkability. Another superb product from a brewer that is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites. (941 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ray and Cornelia who shared this at the Charlotte BA tasting. absolutely beautiful bottle score extra points (hey, it's my opinion). The only other Wild Ale I've had is also from Russian River (Insanity?). Nice copper color with sour grape taste and smell. It's hard to be "wild" over this style, but I believe Russian River has nailed it. (349 characters)

Photo of instrumentality
4.03/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured the contents of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The head filled it to the rim, then settled to a dense 1/4" lacy layer. The color was a light orangy-copper color. I held the beer up to the light and saw a swirling cloudiness that made it seem like something significant was going on inside that glass. I was anxious to proceed.

I perceived the odor as a mixture of cherries and pine.

Upon entering my mouth, the first sensation I felt was tartness, extreme tartness to the point where could actually feel the glands in my neck swelling from the shock. I quickly identified the source of this tartness as a cherry flavor which gradually became sweeter and more soothing as my taste buds adjusted. Mixed with this was a flavor reminiscent of champagne.

It was very abrasive on the palate, acidic, somewhat vinegary, somewhat heavy on the carbonation.

Tart cherries? Acidic? Vinegary? Abrasive? Despite all of these seemingly deterrent qualities, I actually enjoyed this one. It went down more easily with each sip, and not just because the alcohol was taking effect. I liked that the cherry flavor was tart rather than sweet, as it tasted more genuine and better complemented the other intense flavors.

Supplication is unlike anything I've ever had; in a blind taste test, I'd wonder if this was, in fact, a beer, and not some other category of alcohol with which I'm not familiar. Maybe I'm just not that well versed in high quality brown ales, or maybe this one's just in a league of its own.

I decided not to read the bottle before trying this so as not to bias
my senses, but now that I read the description--the year of aging, the winemaking background of the brewer, the similar process to champagne making--I understand why this beer tastes so unusual.

I'll definitely pick this one up again on occasion, and I'd like to try it with a heavy meal, perhaps some tri-tip and mashed potatoes. (1,928 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy amber grape fruit color. Head is tight bubbles that last the run of beer.

Smell: Aroma is oak, cherries, yeast...mystery.

Taste: The wild yeasts have been hard at work. Scores of dried apricots, tart cherries, yeasty goodness with a touch of citrus. Truly amazing.

Mouthfeel: Cream and silk, perfectly balanced.

I :heart: this beer. (365 characters)

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.72/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orangey-brown with floaties and a white 1-inch head. Aroma is stong cherries as soon as the cork is popped. Vinous with a faint band aid aroma. Taste is sour cherries and grapes. Vinous, vinegary alcohol. Sourness hides any hop or malt complexities. Mouthfeel is nice. Bubbly creamy,medium body. Drinkability is hindered by extreme sourness & alcohol. Not my style, as I prefer the temptation. (398 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with very little head that falls fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly sour, but not nearly as sour as I expected it to be. The flavor is surprisingly smooth. Slightly soured, but very mellow. Some fruits linger on the palate as does a light bit of maltiness. The aftertaste is very inviting. The body is light and the drinkability is very good. Very nice beer. (414 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a lightly ambered color with a finger of head over top that falls to a healthy cover over top. Clarity is moderate, with a bit of haze and without apparent carbonation. Good looker. Nose is excellent, with moderate sourness, with a very solid backing of cherry. Its not biting, but very inviting. Almost a touch of acetone-like aromas that I associate with sour browns. Flavor is very nice, mildly sour, moving towards a very smooth cherry fruityness, finishing with a light tartness. Aftertaste is very solid sour cherry that lingers well in to the finish, enticing me to drink more and more of this beer. Very nice balance between fruit flavor and sour tinge. A mild sourness hangs on the sides of my tongue into the finish as well. Very excellent. Feel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. It doesn't interfere with the flavor while having enough carbonation to make it lively. Drinkability is awesome. No hint of the alcohol at all in this one. Its smooth and enjoyable while having a prominent sour character. The fruityness is excellent, and compliments the base beer excellently. Well worth the wait. (1,117 characters)

Photo of drewmprs
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rich tangy pour with bubbles clinging in ribbons on the glass. Mouthfeel is a soft spritzy flavor with gentle hints of brets. Similar yet remarkably different from the temptation. Was it worth the 8.99 a bottle? Let's just say i'm not gonna go run and get a 6 pack (266 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Remarkable! A brilliant beer!

A long-standing bottle pours a clear, deep-crimson-amber body beneath a full head of creamy light tan foam that holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lace about the glass. The lacing could be better, but the retention is impressive.

The nose is sparkling with Brettanomyces and tartness; metal, oak, wet and oily leather, acetic acid, uric acid, chalk, must, damp newspaper, wet straw, papaya, plum, citrus rind, and cherry.

It's delicately effervescent in the mouth with a medium body that leaves it quite smooth, a bit airy, and somewhat creamy despite it's initial spritz.

The flavor is just as the nose suggests, but with a much fuller character. The sourness appears upfront; followed by the delicate, tart fruit (cherry, papaya, summer berries); and then mustiness and some very drying oak in the finish.

It's quite simply remarkably bizzare and flavorful, yet somehow completely pulled together and ultimately refreshing! It's astonishingly entincing, enaging, and almost consuming. (1,050 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, cloudy maroon with a very effervescent, faomy head that then settled rather quickly.
Aroma of musty fruit with maybe some cherry, blueberry and raspberry evident. Some earthy soil and musty hay with a nit of weahtered leather as well.
Flavors of dark fruits, some licorice, a bit of pepper provide an amazing but almost confusing set of flavors.
Mouthfeel is moderate but very tart and crisp. Very tart and juicy with some saw dust dryness on the finish.
Drinkability is very high. Amazingly complex and I can imagine each bottle tasting very different from the last. Memorable for sure (604 characters)

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

Simply an amazing brew, with a fiery orange color, a dynamic and vibrant aroma and an astonishing medley of flavors. Meticulous balance of cherries, yeast and oak, producing a range of flavors. Vinnie does great work with Sour Belgians. I love the wine barrel aging and the vinous character. (291 characters)

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,365 ratings.