Russian River Brewing Company

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Wild Ale
Ranked #5
Ranked #49
4.6 | pDev: 8.7%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 1,518 | Ratings: 6,641 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Stacia_Tai
Stacia_Tai from Oklahoma

4.37/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L-Nice amber red color with minimal head
S-I can smell the oakiness coming through with a sour tart aroma
T-Sour smoothness that isn’t too tart and no puckering here. Just a smooth cherry mouthful that leaves you wanting more.
F-Happy cherry carbonation that dances on my tongue.

Yesterday at 03:51 PM
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just1cho from California

4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 375mL bottle*

This beer poured an orangeish-brown ran color, a bit murky. There was an initial two finger thick white colored head to it, but it almost immediately disappeared as soon as it was poured into my glass. The head left a razor thin white colored lacing around my glass.

Needless to say, this beer was super funky, probably the funkiest beer I've had so far. Upfront, I got notes of leather, oak, pinot, and generally just funky horse blanket. In the back-end, I got a bit more notes of sour cherries, but the fruitiness that was present wasn't nearly as prominent as the earthy and funky aromas that I got in the front.

As expected, this beer was very sour forward and funky. I got big notes of acetic acid upfront along with a nice funk from the brett, both were coupled with prominent notes of oak and pinot. The sourness mellowed a bit towards the middle and end, where the beer showcased more of its sweet/tart cherry notes in the middle, followed by a slight but noticeable bready malt character in the finish. Truly a nice balance between the flavors of the cherries, barrel, and brett/lacto/pedio.

This beer was medium bodied and had a medium amount of carbonation to it. The beer also left a little drying sensation in my mouth. Obviously this was super sour and puckering, but I still thought that this was relatively drinkable. I probably would never chug this down, but still really drinkable.

Overall, this was a very good wild ale. This beer was very balanced, showcasing nice notes of its barrel character as well as the cherry and notes of the bacteria. I'm not typically a big fan of sours, but I definitely enjoyed this one and would definitely buy this again if given the chance.

Jun 26, 2020
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SushiSakeBeer from Oregon

3.81/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Nice thick, foamy head, that dissipates rather quickly. Cloudy, orange-amber (4.25) Smell: mellow-soft nose (3.5) Taste: hits dead center, mid-palate; light-medium bodied, stained with sour cherries and oak notes, smooth finish (4) Feel: well-balanced, yet subdued, dry (3.75) Overall: It's as if I am looking for something more here. Good, but not great.

May 31, 2020
Photo of paltemose2303

3.91/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a funky one.

L: Amber with a soft white head that didn't stick around too long. Not much lacing on the glass.

S: Pretty good preview of the taste. Lots of funk with a mix of cherry, red wine, oak, and floral elements.

T: Middle of the road tartness with a lot of sour cherries. There was definitely a strong red wine backbone with some oak flavors too. Mostly sour cherries, which is not my personal favorite. Wasn't overpowering like some sour cherry beers I've had, but definitely dominated the flavor.

F: Thinner mouthfeel. Pretty dry and decently carbonated.

O: Cherry beers aren't my favorite, but this was the best I'd had. I felt the beer was better when it was colder, and as the beer warmed it became a little drier and more of the red wine and oak flavors came out. I think this gave the beer a pretty complex flavor, but sour cherries with red wine was a little much for me. Felt more sour as it warmed.

May 08, 2020
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cork'n'cage 375 mL bottle. Batch 090216

L: Nearly clear golden burgundy pour. Thick foamy white head leaves great lacing. Some haze and sediment on the 2nd pour.

S: Tart cherry and funk. Oak and red wine.

T.F: Tart without being sour. Baking cherry... funk and bacterial flora. Oak and red wine. Dry with the wisp of some residual fruity sweetness. Moderately acidic... tanins and grape. Medium bodied... surprisingly smooth and creamy on the tongue. Balanced... more cherry and red wine at the finish.

O: Absolutely outstanding beer. Loads of flavor... super drinkable... and tart but approachable. Russian River has their reputation for a reason.

Mar 26, 2020
Photo of Anders91
Anders91 from California

4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: nice amber color, thin white head

Smell: sour cherry, you can definitely smell the wine barrel in it

Taste: follows the nose, plus lots of good funk in there

Feel: prickly bubbles rolling over the tongue

Feb 18, 2020
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jglenn73 from New Jersey

4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 07/21/17. I was expecting the cork to pop, it didn’t. The pour is very dark, light head that doesn’t last. You can smell the Pinot and cherries. None of the flavors are dominant. Really nice balance between the tart and the residual wine aspects, and just the right amount of funk. I need to try a newer bottle for comparison.

Overall a wonderful ale!

Feb 15, 2020
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entheos from California

4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells wonderful! It’s truly a fine Belgium inspired brew that any fine monk would enjoy. Amazing how the taste of the Pinot noir enhances the taste buds when I am usually adverse to wine alone. Just outstanding!

Jan 04, 2020
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It looks beautiful with light carbonation remaining after a pour. The smell is a bit muted but you can smell a bit of funk. There's so much happening in the taste. The carbonation is spot on. I don't taste outright cherries but I get the bret. The funk is not incredibly strong, but it's there to keep things interesting. This was bottled 1/25/18 and I wonder how that has affected the taste. It's very smooth, if it weren't so expensive I could drink this all day long. I am glad I have another bottle from my visit and I'm curious how a couple of more years will affect it.

Dec 31, 2019
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Jacobier10 from New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 mL corked and caged, bottled on 9/2/2016.

My friend brought back two bottles of this from the brewery for me a few years ago. I drank one fresh and the other after cellaring for 3 years.

Ruby brown color with a small off-white head. Good clarity. Aroma hits you with a strong funkiness up front and a wave of sour cherries. Taste is tart and acidic but it really mellows and smooths out as you drink your way through the beer. A little oak in the background as well. Medium bodied with lively carbonation.

I remember enjoying it more fresh than aged. There is probably a sweet spot of around one year of aging for this. It isn't the most complex beer as far as flavors go, but it wouldn't be my pick to introduce someone to sour/wild ales either. Just a well-made beer with few flaws.

#46 Top 250 Rated Beers
#42 USA
#8 California
#5 American Wild Ale

Dec 04, 2019
Photo of Trevor11
Trevor11 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucky enough to grab the last bottle at Brick Store Pub (ATL) for a pretty penny. Worth the money since this is unlike any beer that I have ever had. Unique base brown ale with drying vinous funk of the Pinot noir barrels. I think I prefer Saison Bernice slightly but this is essentially flawless.

Nov 09, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 6/7/16; drank 5/29/17 @ the Yarchives.

Cloudy red/purple appearance; champagne bubbles throughout.

A rough pour yielded a nice, noisy khaki head; almost no lace.

Tart strawberry, strawberry jam & sea salt notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Strawberry jam & cabernet sauvignon flavors up front; tart strawberry & mild oak notes in the nose.

A balanced fruit treat; I'd love to have a case in my cellar. Delicious.

Oct 17, 2019
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Viaduck from California

4.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow times 5! An explosive pop of the cork announces that you are in for a real treat.
Appearance: wow, it’s a beautiful red-orange color. It requires a gentle pour to prevent the head from escaping the glass.
Aroma: Wow, this could be a best selling men’s cologne! Musky, musty, earthy, funk,cedar, wine & a lot more than I can identify.
Taste: Wow, there is some much going on here. A fascinating blend of t bitter, tart & salty. Add cherries, vanilla & alcohol to those listed in the aroma to make one of the most complex flavor profiles I’ve ever tasted.
Feel: Wow, it’s the perfect blend of viscosity, carbonation & alcohol. It makes the mouth happy.
Overall: Wow, this beer is incredible! Paired with a good cheese like an aged emmi, you get a double dose of earthyness. Oh, no! My class is empty, 12 oz is not enough. Why didn’t I buy 4 or 6?

Sep 14, 2019
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

bottled 7/21/17, consumed 9/2/19

wow, there is a lot going on here. cherry skin, minerality, earthy must, woody oak quality, mellow vanilla sweetness, vinous quality of red wine, musty grape skin. wet earth, herbaceous and slightly floral, rose petals. very mellow aciditiy hinting at some bright fruity qualities of tart apple and lemon. overall this one has a ton of depth but drinks really easy. a wonderful treat!

Sep 03, 2019
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VoodooBear from Puerto Rico

4.46/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 375mL brown bottle with the bottling date printed on the label. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: The thick, rocky, three finger head goes down slowly and leaves behind a lot of patchy lacing. It's a hazy, bright, reddish copper color.

Smell: It's a beautiful fruity and funky smell with notes of cherries, grapes, plums, raisins and wood.

Taste: It's a mildly sour, acidic and dark flavor. At first there's cherries, dried plums, and grapes. That's followed up by an earthy, humid wood note and a distinct herbal aftertaste with a touch of wine-y alcohol.

Mouthfeel: It's soft and smooth but quite crisp with medium-high carbonation. It's not cloying despite the sweetness.

Overall: A rich, fruity and complex beer with a lot of layers that feels boozier than the 7.5% ABV would suggest.

May 31, 2019
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TheDoctor from Canada

4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: Bottle
Bottled: Jul-2-2018 (Consumed Apr-16-2019)

It pours a pretty clear dirty garnet with a skiff of beige head that becomes a thin ring. Little retention; no lacing. (4)

Earthy, sweet, tart, funky, spiced cherries, cinnamon roll dough, old work gloves, saddle soap. (4.5)

Big, evolving complex mix of earthy, musty, oaky, bitter funk and bright, clean, hint-of-vanilla, funky, musky, red tartness. (4.5)

Bright, sharp, active carbonation, lingering twitchiness,well balanced yet still kind of extreme. (4.75)

A superb beer.
Granted I am far from a sour expert and not very good at describing beers like this, but this one is excellent. Pours a nice ruby-brown. The aroma and flavor are finely layered, complex, ebbing and flowing. A yin and yang of huge barny funk complete with gloves, dirt, tack room, muddy, bruised medicinal herbs, etc. balanced with an equally assertive sour cherry, red-wine tanninic, oaky, funky medley with macerated berry bushes (dirt, roots, leaves and all). It is very drinkable for as tart as it is (for my tastes at least) and has the subtle, near-constant, tongue-corner-mouth-watering-tickle-thing going on that makes beers like this a non-stop experience when drinking them, as its residue lingers and evolves in your mouth between sips. Very nice! (4.75)

Apr 17, 2019
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gcasher from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 'll bottle
Cork pops
I can smell the funk and wine right away.
Amber brown pour with thin khaki head.
Not too much lacing in the tumbler.
Smells sweet and funky.
Taste starts sweet, but quickly transitions to bitter and dry.
I am getting a wood flavor from the barrel.
Overall, this is less funky than I expected, but surprisingly dry and refreshing.
The cherries add a nice tardiness too.

Mar 24, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.56/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, that was bottled on '012518'. ABV% is labeled as 7.75%.
Cloudy, medium amber colored body. Partial finger of off white head upon pouring, which quickly retreats to a partial cap and bubble fed ring. Leaves behind a few scattered spots of lacing.
At slight distance, the aroma of oak and funk waft into the nose. Upon closer examination, the sour cherry is smelled. Quite a wonderful aroma blend with the leather/horse blanket funk.
Taste is sour, with lemon, sour cherry, and Pinot Noir wine. The oak and funk join in. Funk is tobacco, leather, and horse blanket. The finish is very dry.
Medium body with a dense texture. Very good carbonation.
This beer excels as a sour, and brings forward an excellent and balanced blend of Brett, cherry, and Pinot Noir oak barrel.

Feb 27, 2019
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GarrettB from Colorado

4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

July 27th, 2015 - Finally, the last Russian River taster on this long journey through the absolute unit of a taster tray served to our table. The Supplication is a relaxed auburn color, and the aroma is a bright cherry note, and I instantly fall in love. The flavor introduces vanilla, sherry and cherry with a delicious tartness, and an excellent freshness. The oak is well balanced too, making this is an excellent finish to our day marking the completion of our beer pilgrimage.

Feb 23, 2019
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this from @bum4ever in the NBS BIF 8.5. Bottled on 7/2/2018 and poured from a 375 ML cork and cage bottle into a tulip glass. The color is somewhere between ruby and orange and the ecru-colored head dissipated quickly. It has a very fragrant smell of ripe cherry, oak, red wine, and brett yeast. The taste is complex: tart cherry, pinot noir, oak, and a crackery malt at the finish. The flavors are all bold but they blend very well and there is a surprising balance of sweet and sour. It finishes with a touch of bitterness. This ale is a nice, full body with lively carbonation, and it's easily drinkable at 7.75% ABV. While I am not a connoisseur of Wild Ales, I have to say that Supplication is really delicious and fun to drink.

Jan 13, 2019
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

4.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish brown color with a thin foamy head. No head retention with mild to moderate lacing. Tart, smooth taste with cherries and mild red wine. Nice tart taste with cherries up front and red wine on the end. Smooth. Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Jan 05, 2019
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JamFuel from Sweden

4.02/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brownish orange with fine, soft head.

Smell is tart and oaky with notes of cherries, red wine, grapefruit and orange rind.

Taste is tart and funky with notes of cherries, oak and citrus. Very subtle and balanced with a dry, almost coarse finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, with bright carbonation.

Overall, a really nice sour that is subtle and well made, but maybe not as exceptional as I had hoped.

Dec 26, 2018
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digboy from New Hampshire

4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful slightly hazy deep reddish amber color with a 2 finger biscuit head. Aroma is dense with red whine and oak notes. Flavor is warm oak up front quickly turning to pinot noir notes. A rich sweet malt behind it blended with the lightly sour notes is very well done. Feel is lightly soft with a moderate effervescence. This is just stupendous. Perfectly balances in all regards.

Dec 25, 2018
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Shantzak from California

4.11/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It smells phenomenal. I don’t think the taste lives up to the smell, and for the price and hype I have to say I was disappointed.

All in all a very high quality beer.

Nov 11, 2018
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heygeebee from Australia

4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours deep reddish brown. Lovely head but short lived.
After that it's all Beer vs Wine... lovely red wine notes throughout and its well sour. Cherry menthol and port--like warming alcohol without a burn. add in some nut flavours as well.
There is a complexity to this I haven't had before in any sour. The port notes and the smooth mouthfeel are soooo different.

Nov 10, 2018
Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 6641 ratings