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Supplication - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,380 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,380
Hads: 5,725
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 18.89%
Wants: 2,592
Gots: 1,888 | FT: 131
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: 1,380 | Hads: 5,725
Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

drank during the bears sucking up the game. My 50th review so I figured I would drink something good.

a- orange red with a huge fluffy white head thats seems to take forever to go away a brilliant looking beer.

s- You can tell this beer is sour. Alot of cherries and lemons and grapefruit fill the nose.

t-woah the taste is awesome. granny smith apples type of sour. The beer is almost salty, but like a good margarita it adds to the sour flavor.

m- alot of carbonation that succums to the sour flavor. very very very good

d- I like this beer and would drink this alot but the reason it isnt perfect just results in the style.

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

The Russian River "ation" series of sour ales is really good. They have yet to let me down and this one is no different.

The beer is a cloudy brownish yellow with bits of dead yeast slowly floating to the base of the glass. It pours with a medium head that is a lovely yellowish white and sticks around till the glass is finished.

The nose entices the senses with cider, apple, oak, and a little apricot. There are some faint notes of almost a chemical smell as well as some heat and for that it got marked a down a little on the smell.

The ale has an orchard fruit profile with notes of apple, pear, and a bit of cherry on the tip of the tongue. The beer starts sweet and then bites you at the end with its lovely sour characteristic.

The body is thin but balanced by a good amount of carbonation which adds to the sour nature of the beer.

Overall this is an exceptional sour beer and I tend to choose it when I'm in the mood for something out of my ordinary. I definitely recommend this beer to any sour lover and its also a great beer for those who aren't the typical beer drinkers.

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Photo of jm1229
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into my Stone IRS tulip. Batch 7.

A- Lively carbonation quickly settles and leaves no lacing. Rusty orange color with hints of red.

S- Cherries, oak, grapes, apples. SOUR! Oh man, this smells amazing. My mouth is watering.

T- Follows the nose completely. Cherries, oak, grapes/wine (no doubt from the Pinot). It's so sour; more so than any other sour I've had to date. World class.

M- Prickly carbonation coats the tongue. Perfect amount. So drinkable, I'm afraid this bottle (or my other 3) will not last nearly as long as they should.

O- One of my all time favorite beers. Ever since I had this with my friends at RR, it's been on of "those" beers for us. Wish it was cheaper (and easier to find), but I'll take what I can get.

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

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

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Photo of anchordrinker
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Orange-ish amber in color, 1.5 finger head thins out but sticks around. Good lace.

S- Cherries, oak, earthiness, hint of vinegar, and some wine-y qualities. Exactly how I want a sour to smell, seriously complex but nothing abrasive

T- If there is one thing this beer does better than aroma it is taste. Initial lightly tart and sweet cherry and light oak-iness fades into an earthy funk, that is briefly overtaken by a flash of strong citric tart flavor from the sour lacto. As the strong tartness peters off, the funk kicks again towards the end, culminating in an extremely satisfying dry finish.

M- Very nice mouthfeel, extremely fine, spritzy carbo that is reminiscent of champagne. This fine carbo and medium body make for a silky smooth sip that allows all of this beer's amazing flavors to shine through.

Overall- This beer is a testament to the idea that brewing is as valid an art as any. As a beer with unbridled complexity that leaves you wanting more after each sip, Supplication is a memorable experience that is well worth the high price.

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Photo of fatmusic14
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

While I'm relatively new to sours, I've had some impressive variations lately. At my local brew store, I saw Supplication - and knew it came highly recommended. While I've got some work to do on my glassware game, this was served from a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- a beautiful burnt orange, like a Colorado sunset - when the sky looks like its on fire. Deep, rich hues that invoke memories of world travel and freedom. Carbonation bubbles constantly float upwards, in a seemingly endless fashion.

S - Wow. Cherries, Sour, smells like winter and spring at the same time. Refreshingly in your face, but the tartness of the ale really comes through your nostrils.

T - A beautifully put-together sour ale. So complex, with flavors galore. Not overpowering, not too tart, very very well done.

M - my mouth is still watering.

O - At $13 for a pint, I'd buy a 6 pack. Highly, Highly recommend.

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Photo of thatguy3579
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber in color, medium cloudiness, and a persistent tan head.

S: A good smell of sour apples and cherry.

T: Taste is plenty sour, but pleasant - each sting begs for another. Mostly sour apples and cherry.

M: Thin, with low carbonation.

D: Sour, but not abrasive or overpowering. A little goes a long way though - I would not drink this frequently or in volume.

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

Had on tap at the brewpub in the newer style Russian River glass as opposed to the old tulip style.

This beer came out with next to no head. There was a thin veil of bubbles across the top of the beer but as I drank it down none stuck to the sides of the glass. The color was decided caramel with the translucent liquid having a honey color when held up to a light source.

Boom, this beer smells like Russian River. That Brett funk is here with each waft smelling more and more like the cork of a freshly popped bottle of red wine. with a deeper inhale I get some oak chords along with that indescribable wet barnyard stench.

This is a chewable beer. There is very little carb bite to it and though the beer itself might not be thick, my tongue thinks it is due to its mellow, nearly fizz free texture.

This beer is TART. Like taking a hit of apple cider vinegar tart. It reminds me of that sour feeling you get when you eat dried apricots, minus the apricot flavor of course, a natural sour vibe abounds. There is a bit of tart cherry flavor to this guy and the barrel aging is certainly noticeable with the hint of oak. Truly a sour head's delight.

Not too high drinkability as I find this RR sour in particular to have a cumulative puckering affect. Really only one glass is suitable, but that one glass is really a good one.

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Photo of bergdj
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A delicious beer with just a hint of sourness. The fruit from the Pinot barrels is not overwhelming. Very well balanced. I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

I got a bit too much head and resulted in a little flatter then i think it would have been otherwise. Really a great beer though.

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

What a great beer with a medium rare steak. Made me feel as if I was drinking a $50 bottle of wine. Oak aged, great bitterness, just super well rounded. What a treat! Just wish I could get this regularly. Wife was super impressed and asked why we can't get this here. Russian River beers are top of the line.

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Photo of BlackHoleBrew42
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank the lord Jebus...

On Tap at Falling Rock in Denver. Been waiting to try this one, and it did not dissapoint. Little head, gives way to a nice ruby color, smelling of hay and fruit. Mouthfeel is amazing, acidity is there and cuts into it, but you really get a nice dose of the cherry. The cherry element reminds me of New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red, but the sourness creates its own unique world. What a beer, I would gladly drink this all day and all night. Thank you, Mr. Cilurzo. Thank you.

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

375 mL corked and caged bottle.

A. Bright red/amber with some orange highlights around the edges topped by 1 inch of fluffy white head. Quite an exceptionally good looking beer. A steady stream of small champange style bubbles is present giving this beer a very lively look. As the head fades into a collar only a couple light swirls are needed to revive a solid half inch.

S. Very tart acidic cherry presence initially that is accompanied by some bright lemon and bitter/sour underripe grape notes. Quite oaky as well with a touch of vanilla, also some definite funky/barnyard brett aspects.

T. Initial puckering tartness, big acedic acid cherry flavors. The bitter/sour unripe red grape aspect is more pronounced in the taste than the smell and really adds another layer of complexity. Sour lemon, earthy brett and evident oak flavors really work wonders in this beer. My favorite flavor combination of any Russian River wild ale I have tried.

M&D. Light, lively, well carbonated. The complexity of this beer really helps the drinkability as I find myself continually sipping to dissect all the different aspects that go into this beer.

A great wild ale, I'm glad to be getting into craft beer when this style is really being developed by american brewers.

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Photo of nectar14
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear gold amber with lingering white head

S: detailed and complex, with tobacco smoke, vanilla, cherries, malt, and funky Brett

T: cherry, malty grains, vanilla oak, tart acidity carrying well-balanced flavors

M: finessed, gentle, and broad. Really lovely.

D: not too heavy at all and I could drink a few of these.

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

Bottled 1/07/14. Pours slightly cloudy (I poured to fast....) kind of dark rose color with small off white head. Nose is sour vinegar - if it was a wine it would be going back! Bacteria is here in force.
Sharp acidity hits first bam! then an incredible sourness hits the back of the throat BAM. Second sip is better as the mouth adjusts, subtly cherry comes out, sour cherry, white grapes? Lots of funk.

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Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Russian River's Belgian style beers all are aptly named after different stages of religious conversion. Their Supplication, a sour brown ale "aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels" is an example of craft brewing at its finest. A ménage à trois of brettanomyces yeast and lactobacillus and pediococcus bacteria (as well as an addition of sour cherries to the barrel) all contribute to an incredibly complex melange of tart flavors.

Supplication pours the honey color of an aged port producing minimal head with some lacing. Its nose hints of champagne and the delicate carbonation extends the comparison, until ... the first sip of hits your mouth and intense flavors flood your palate--the sourness running around to tantalize the glands in your neck. With another taste, the high cherry notes ring out and are balanced by a wonderfully mellow oak finish at the back of the mouth. I wish I could walk around with that taste every day.

After letting it breathe and adding a little more of the yeasty goodness, Supplication becomes even more complex with more high notes and incredible mouth sizzle; adding in the lees really takes the sour cherry down a peg without losing the oak-fueled finish.

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

Poured from a 375 ml into a la chouffe tulip - bottle 04x1

Appearance - Beautiful deep amber with nice head that leaves a beautiful lacing with decent retention.

Smell - ohhh - tart dark fruits grape, licorice, cherry a bit of a sour funkiness to it - man this is exciting...

Taste - man that is some sour deliciousness. Just read the back of the bottle and the strong grape and cherry tones make a lot of sense now. Sour cherry, grape, deep fruitiness with hints of oak that I perceived as roastiness for a split second - followed with a potent funk from the bret et al. ending in a very pleasant dry tartness. Much more complexity that I cannot put my finger on. Can't wait to review with increased tasting abilities.

Exceptional beer - seriously fantastic. I have fallen off the deep end into a deep love of well brewed sour beers. Wow this is good.

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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 oceanman
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of cherries and berries, grassy funk, pepper, lemon, vanilla, baking spices.

First sip is a burst of sourness followed by cherry finish, then complexity builds. Gets lemony, and increasingly creamy, but definitely has a peppery and earthy side. Finishes very dry. Towards the end of the bottle, I got the exact taste of slightly tannic green tea with honey.

Has a very dry sourness.

You want to take very small sips of this one. Each sip brings something new.

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Photo of loving44
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

A: Deep ruby brown with a pillow-like foamy head.

S: Sour cherries, lifesavers, very wine like

T: Sour cherries, sour patch kids with citrus sweetness, starts malty and sweet then quickly turns tart.

M: light with tight carbonation

D: Delicious and addictive, the tartness keeps you in check, easy to savor sip by sip, a great beer!

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

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a chalice. Batch 5. Bottled May 2010. Drank 01/13/2011.

Poured a slightly hazy cherry wood color. Fizzy rusty head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left some lacing around the top of the glass. Smell was tart and with the slightest hint of earthy leather.

Dancing carbonation makes this a very light bodied beer. Fruity, sour cherry at first followed by a very slight brett character. Red wine. Leather, wood. Very dry. Mouth puckeringly dry. But in a good way.

Lengthy sour finish. Delicious. This beer would be great with a cheese plate and some dark fruits. Each sip is seemingly palate cleansing. Did I say delicious?

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Hazy reddish amber color. 1-inch head that dissipates quickly. Very bubbly, very cloudy.

S - Sour and sweet. Orange and passion fruit.

T - Very sour cherry with just a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of bitterness at the end.

M - Medium body without a lot of burn.

O - This is a strange one for me. A very sour beer with an apple cider vinegar aftertaste. Not my preferred choice, but interesting.

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Photo of rjengelking
4/5  rDev -11.1%

I can't say I agree with the consensus that this is the best sour from Russian River. It is very, very good, but I would rate Consecration, Temptation, and Sanctification all above this one.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great nose as soon as you pop the cork. Had in a Belgian style tulip glass out of the bottle.
The funk of Brett provides an immediate impact on the smell and a sour back flavor. Very carbonated with the bubbles delivering a balance of complex favors across your palette

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Photo of etaggie09
3.22/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

appearance: pours a cloudy brown with a two finger foamy white head that dissipates moderately. not very much lacing on the glass.

nose: bottle says that its aged in pinot noir barrels and has cherries added to it. i definitely smell both of those things. has a definite wine characteristic to it as well as a fruity cherry sweetness in the nose. smells exactly like a cherry pie. instantly brings thanksgiving to mind. that's my favorite holiday. you're cheating, supplication. it not only smells like cherries, but it has that buttery dough smell that is quite pleasant. a slight, slight belgian yeast spiciness is in the background, but it is quite subdued. This really just smells like a freshly baked cherry pie. There isn't much else, but it is amazing how much this smells like a real cherry pie.

taste: UGH! That is some sour ass shit! Tastes like the tiniest grape you ever ate mixed with hay and moldy parmesan cheese rind. I don't want any more of this. The second sip is a little more forgiving than the first, but it still is freaking sour! Why is this beer so freaking highly rated? Who seriously looks for these flavors in a beer? I mean it gets more tolerable the more you drink it, but holy crap that first sip was not very pleasant.

mouthfeel: moderately carbonated and fairly viscous. not watery at all, but not too thick. the mouthfeel is quite pleasant and I'd imagine it is quite spot on for the style.

overall: i have found a style of beer that i have zero interest in exploring. I imagine that some beer geeks out there will love this, but for me, a sour ale is just not something i'll ever want. the flavor is decent, but not all too complex, and it is not very refreshing at all either. Glad I tried the best of the sour ales before I wasted my time with any other ones. This just isn't my cup of tea.

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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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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,380 ratings.