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Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

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1,445 Reviews

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,445 | Ratings: 6,168
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a HotD tulip on 3/25/11

Pours a beautiful dark amber color that has a wonderful mix of orange and red hues when held to the light. About a half a finger of head that just sticks around. Very nice.

Smells great. Lots of sour cherry and sweet malt tones that makes this a joy to smell.

Taste is much like the smell. Lots of mouth puckering cherry and a tiny bit of sweet malt taste.

Mouthfeel is medium with a nice easy carbonation. Just the lightest bite on the middle of the tongue.

Drinkability is good on this one. Low ABV and a great mouth feel are pluses but even though it tastes great I don't think I could take more then 2 of these at a time because of the mouth puckering sour sensation.

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Photo of deapokid
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin pinkish red with lively carbonation and a beautiful spiderweb of lacing. Reminds me of a sangria, especially with its murky dark fruit coloration and slightly lighter build.

Smells of tart cherry, light musk and tropical fruit. It's pleasant, but surprisingly light on the standard sour and horse blankety aromas.

Taste has a bold tartness, with a very pronounced, Bretty finale. Cherry and mixed berry make up the fruit components, while the complex and subtle wood-barrel notes add a nice earthiness. The barreling also tempers the tartness, making for a masterful brew that allows all of the elements to shine on their own terms.

The beautiful tart smack also tingles the roof of the mouth, allowing the winey sweetness to resonate and linger. The balancing act is a profund one and I wouldn't expect anything less from Russian River.

The ABV even feels elegantly understated, allowing for a sippable, but endlessly dynamic ale.

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

7% ABV
27 IBUs
OG 1.064
Brown Ale aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels with three strains of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and sour cherries. 375 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks Anand!

Appearance: Rust brown, somewhat hazy, with a very good and creamy light khaki colored head. Excellent retention and lacing. 5/5

Aroma: Sour, obviously. Notes of brett, but not overpowering. Much sweeter than I expected, and very welcome. Earth, spice, and fruit --- quite rustic. Some vinegary sharpness comes along with warmth. 4/5

Taste: Tart and sweet, but never overpoweringly sour. Everything from the aroma is present, and it goes down with a kiss of sour cherries. Amazingly clean with a subtle yet long aftertaste of cherries and funk. Also, oak gets quite strong as the beer warms up. 4/5

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with a certain fullness yielded by the high, and yet soft, carbonation. It's an oxymoron! Very dry and clean. 4.5/5

Overall, very very good, and so refreshing! A testimony to what subtle can be... it is sour but a lot of other things too. I love it. 4.5/5

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first RR sour (batch04x4) thanks to portia99. I'm somewhat new to this style, so here we go...

A:Poured into my Duvel tulip, this brew pours a burnt orange with a thick bubbly head, leaving some lace as the glass empties. Definitely impressive, but not stunningly impressive.

S: The aroma is sugary sour cherries and cranberry. Tart fruit are all in the aroma. Tart fruit dominates. Seems like the Oak Barrel aging smoothed some yeasty clove/spice that I would have loved to have smelled more of.

T: Wonderfully sour without being offensive. Being new to the style, it seems like brewers struggle to make a brew flavorful without over doing the sour. This brew is tart, fruity, balanced. Clove and spice replace hops as the tingle and sting on the back of the pallet.

MF: The mouthfeel is light and dry on the finish. Unique to many other beers, and a little creamy at times.

D: Drinkability is great, like I said this is not a harsh beer.

Overall, I do like Supplication and will seek out other RR sours. If it were me, I brew this beer up with some more yeasty Belgium inspired spicy clove, which would help to massage the pallet and give a good contrast to the sourness of this brew. Very interesting indeed. Note to RR...I like the old style bottles better!

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Photo of philbe311
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005x5

A - The head is non-existent post pour... All that remains is the slightest of collars around the edge of the glass... The color is a light to medium brown... There is a distinct murkiness throughout... A modest bit of moderate to brisk paced carbonation rises within...

S - Some faint brown sugar notes... Dark cherries... Faint vinegar... Simple... Straight-forward... Quite pleasant and effective...

T - Red wine like tannins... Red grape skins... Dark cherries... A bit of vinegar... A bit of brown sugar... Layers of complexity... Lots of funkiness... Some faint woody oak notes...

M - Medium bodied... Light to brisk carbonation... A subtle touch of dryness... Even and consistent...

D - Loaded with layers upon layers of complexity in every facet... By far my favorite Russian River "tion" to date... Excellent brew and a challenge to even the most developed palette...

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Photo of peabody
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out a cloudy reddish amber with lots of offwhite suds.
The bottle was quite the bubbler when the cork came off.
Smell is the first thing to hit you. It is a strong heavy aroma.
Sour grape skins mixed with orange / lemon peel and sour tarts candy. Very sweet/sour mixture going into the nose.
The taste is dried cherries and lemon zest with a strange sweetness behind the spoonfull of tang first flavor.
Aftertaste is of dried sour fruit with a candy sweetness finish.
Mouthfeel is very clean and this has all the pucker power you could want.
Drinkability is good here except for not being able to acquire more than one bottle at a time. Ky/California delima.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Chris for grabbing this on the way through Colorado Spings. Poured a dark amber a bit red. Lots of bubbles. Khaki head very creamy but fades quickly no lacing. Smell is fairly one dimensional and potent it's advertising the presence of sour cherries. Taste is all about cherries and currants it's sour but not puckeringly aggressive. There is a bit of sweetness and acid reminiscent of raspberries. A light dose of funk but thankfully not over the top and it works well here. Medium light body and brightly carbonated. Finish is cherry, tart, and dry. Definitely shows off the Pinot barrel aging. Very good.

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Photo of Durge
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly cloudy brown amber color with a modest fuzzy white cover and lots of lacing. The aroma is undoubtedly floral cherry with a subtle lemony air. If you enjoy sours this is pretty nice. The flavor initially says sour sour sour! Yikes. It has a definitive Alka-Seltzer quality with cherries on steroids. It's a bit lemony with granny apple cherry tart bite. Quite a lip twister with a hyperactive carbonation that keeps a lively feel in a mid-light bodied fizzy brew. It's pretty drinkable if you go for this sour stuffn and I do. Nice.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of GRG1313. Batch 04x04. Served in my CL tulip at 53 degrees. Pours a pleasant caramel hue with a slightly hazy clarity and a one inch, dense and creamy off-white head embedded with tiny ringlets. Textured bands of lacing are revealed as the brew recedes. Nose expresses tart cherries, a buttery quality and a trace of American Oak. Cherry is much more muted in the flavor profile. There is also a vinegary and citrus character dispersed throughout. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a bright, lively carbonation, some acidity that lightly stimulates the salivary glands and a semi-dry finish. This is a solid American Wild - not my favorite from this brewer, but quite complex and refreshing.

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Photo of clvand0
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thanks to Floydster for hooking me up with this great brew. Batch 003. 375 ml poured into my snifter. I am consuming this as I review it.

A- Body is a very hazy IPA-like amber hue. Pours with a nice, bubbly 1-2 finger head that immediately subsides to a thick collar and has great retention from there. Cloudiness is thick and mostly uniform with some dynamic yeast sediment floating around at the bottom.

S-The first thing that comes to the nose is slightly sour with a big accent on vinegar but a slightly acidic sourness as well. Behind this is sweet orange, exotic fruit, and a hint of cherry as well as a hint of vanilla and oak.

T- Slightly salty flavor upfront accompanied by a slight vinegar sourness. Behind this is some oak and a slight presence of exotic fruit but the cherry is a bit hard to detect. More oak and perhaps cherry pits come through for the finish as the initial sourness and saltiness wears off. What lingers is the remnants of oak and cherry flavors as well as a slight acidic bitterness.

M-High tingly carbonation and medium weight body. Body is not crass but does have a slightly acidic tone to it.

D- This is another great sour from RR. Not as good as their other sours that I have tried, IMO...but still a very very good sour. This one has a bit more of a vinegar presence than the others but is still a very good, well done beer. I am looking forward to Consecration and their other beers that I have not tried yet.

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Photo of fewa
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 003 bottle The beer pours a nice golden-caramel color with a thin head that diminished quickly. Smell: tart, cherry-apple aroma with undertones of oak. Taste, nice and complex: Sweet, smooth entry leads into a tart, semi-funky cherry and sweet apple. Oak and yeast flavors become apparent on the finish; Drying and semi-puckering. Very nice beer

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

10 oz pour during San Jose beer week.
I was at RR last week and had Consecration, and I'll preface this review by saying I enjoyed that beer more. Supplication has a very nice bright nose that is fruit-forward, sour,and followed by some in ce brett funk. The taste loses most of the fruit and is extremely vinous. The finish is like licking the side of a wine barrel. Very interesting, but a bit odd with such a disconnect between the nose and taste. I also found myself seaching for those cherries to no avail. Overall, a pretty good beer, but not as balanced as some other RR sours.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a rather fantastic and expensive that for cantillion lovers is a must.

I am finding that american wild ales seem to fall in two categories... failed belgian attempts made sour and stored by knowledgable brewer... and the sour intentionals. This is the latter. there is no intent to save a missed beer style. this was very much so a goal in mind.

pour is orange crimson cloudy with almost no head. White bubbles. Nose of tart. The palate is very much so that as well. Mild wood and floral lambic qualities, cherry tart, the black berry in the finish as a mineral fused with the malt. Could use some more of that. A fantastic quality the unites malt and sour fruit.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle today from South Bay Drugs and Liquor.

Batch 003.

Big pop! Lots of pressure but thankfully not a gusher. Pours a caramel color with some red overtones when held to the light. A frothy white head builds up to about two inches and settles to half within the minute. There are some lacing on the sides of the glass every time I take a sip.

Smell is great. Tart cherries with some wood, funk, sour apples, and pears. The malt is hiding in the background behind the fruitiness, tartness, and funk. Some toasted bread aromas begin to come through as it warms up.

Taste is of a lovely sour and slightly aggressive carbonation on the back of the tongue. It leaves a bit of a salty sensation on the palate and you can feel the acidity travel down to your stomach. It has a big apple taste upfront too and mixes well with the sour cherries. Some vinegar flavors near the finish and lots of sour lemons too. Lots of oak flavors and right now it seems to be suppressing the cherries. Would have scored higher on the taste if I could taste some more cherries.

Mouth-feel is aggressive and punishing with the sourness and carbonation. The fruit seems to come near the finish and in the after-taste. Not as aggressive on the tongue once it warms up but still quite sour.

I need to get some more of this stuff.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Little corked bottle poured into a St. Bernardus glass

A little cloudy, orangey-brown, very little head, medium active carbonation. Smell is tart and pleasant, a little unripe orange or maybe grapefruit juice, cherry blossom.

Taste is very tart with a dry chalky twist (which is better than it sounds). Makes me think a little bit of the big white chalky chewable vitamin C pills that my parents used to have (and which I secretly loved). Tartness is strong enough for a big mouthful to twinge my jaws.

Mouthfeel is dry, light, not sticky at all. A little effervescent. I couldn't session any beer this tart, but it's a pleasant, tasty beer.

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Photo of bwmichaud
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured slowly from a 375ml bottle and left the sediment in the bottom. It poured a dark cloudy orange with a perfect head. Smells of cherries, obviously. The first taste if of cherries followed by sour. The sour is not overdone. Quite a nice brew and if you like sour cherries, it's worth seeking out.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 9/25/08. Bottle courtesy of iowaherkeye (thanks Joey!). Pours a cloudy dark orange/light brown with a small tan head. Aroma of tart fruits (some apple, maybe cherry?) and oak barrel. Flavor is quite tart and sour with a small hint of the brown ale. Lots of wood and oak barrel. Some faint grape, wine-like notes in the finish. Superb mouthfeel for a sour. Very tasty and drinkable. I don't really get any cherry flavor from it though.
8/4/9/4/17 (4.2/5)

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Photo of jdense
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25 cl pour into Delirium Tremens mini-snifter at Belmont Station PDX 12.1.2010 $5.

3/4 finger brown head, quick dissipation resulting in thin broken layer on top of clear reddish brown body, small trail of very small bubbles rising from bottom of glass. Nose is a bit fruity, some oakiness, horse blanket funk, not picking up a lot of hop aromatics. Taste features a bit of cherry sweetness upfront, a bit more tart than sour, funky backend, musty, some floral hops but not much bitterness, not mouth puckering sour. Mouthfeel just on the light side of medium, pretty sticky. Drinkability is good for style but dont' want to do multiple glasses re palate fatigue. Complex and certainly recommended for fans of the style.

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Photo of Dobby
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber color with high carbonation and about a 2 finger head

S: Mostly brett with a hint of cherries

T: Lots of brett up front but who says thats a bad thing. Some oak and cherries come though, mild tartness, enjoyable.

M: Well carbonated, creates a nice puckering sensation. Hint of dryness

D: I love RR sours but I think this has to be my least favorite. Trying to age some to see if it gets any better but right now id put it in 4th behind Compunction, Temptation, Consecration and Sanctification.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh no, looks like I'm disappointed. This beer is really great, don't get me wrong, I just don't think it's worth me getting so excited about seeing it on a shelf. Happy to check this off the list though. Kind of a rotten aftertaste. Solid otherwise.

Sour Browns have seen better days, although from what I understand this beer has gone downhill a bit? That would make sense. Still great though and still worth the price even if it's no longer worth the hype.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A prayer to a deity to provide something, what? Pours a murky dark amber color almost boarder line brown. A soft pour did not leave much for a head. Not much on retention or lacing either.

The nose is complex. Some soft malt character with a hint of sourness. A very light subtle fruit aroma with a hint of cherry. Don't know if I would be able to pick it out if I didn't read it on the bottle. Some minor horse blanket but would have liked a touch more. Some oaky note on the back end. Some yeasty notes but kind of hidden with everything going on.

The taste is representative overall. The first taste is a light malt followed quickly by a tart taste with a lemon cherry mix. The tart taste lingers into the finish but blends well. The cherries note is light but hints are there. Some nice sour notes that come out but make way for a funk in the finish. Some leather and horse blanket notes. Some minor butyric notes and a touch of oak notes. Light vanilla. Good acidic finish.

The body is light to moderate. Limited carbonation but ok. The tartness leaves a good finish that really helps. But I would like a bit more complexity.

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Photo of MASPuros
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003

Poured into my Duval Tulip, lots of bubbles with a 2 finger white head. No lacing. Brilliant clear copper color when held to the light. You can see a little sediment but not much. Overall the beer looks clear with its golden copper color.

Vinegar is very dominant and the first aroma I can detect. I also smell some apple and a slight funk.

Taste is same as smell, tons of vinegar upfront but fades into sour apple or cherry. I can also taste the oak and I get a tart finish that lingers on the tongue. All around smooth the blend is balanced, not much complexity in this brew.

The carbonation is strong but helps with the vinegar taste, like a sparkling wine.

I don't have much to compare this to since this is my first attempt at this style. I have to say I enjoyed it considering this was totally different. It was very drinkable and especially nice with my cheese and crackers. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more sour apple/cherry flavors. I can't wait to try Temptation next!

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into my Duchesse goblet. Got one of these from mikesgroove and one from domtronzero. Thanks guys! This is a review of 004 x 02

A- Hazy orang/red body with a decent sized off white head resting on top.

S - Smell's like this one will be pretty sour. Also picking up hints of cherry. Oak notes are certainly present as well.

T - More funky and less tart than I was expecting. Really clean finish. Some cherry notes but not too much. Plenty of barrel flavor. Earthy notes are also in play

M - medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

D - A nice sour indeed. Plenty of funk and other good wild notes. Not as sour as I would have liked but I've found that to be the case with most RR sours. I like this one better than Consecration and Temptation bt not as much as some other sours out there. I would certainly drink/buy this one again if I had the chance but wouldn't go too crazy trying to get it.

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Photo of gigaknight
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This offer pours with a bit of carbonation, eventually settles to a thin halo of head around the edges of the glass. Glowing sunburst hue, with blood orange color in the center that radiates outwards into a golden straw yellow. Lots of great bubbling, looks almost like a sparkling wine or cider.

S- Though the strong suggestion of vinegar in the nose may be unpleasing to some palates, it immediately makes my mouth water. Some tart cherry comes through, but mostly a sticky sweet acidity. No hops are detected whatsoever, and the smell of the malt has been so strongly mutated by the sour yeasts that it's unrecognizable.

T- At first sip, a bit of light oaked fruit sits on the tongue for a moment, and then a wave of sour makes its way across the palate. The vinegar notes are expertly married with balanced sweet cherry, and the brown ale base keeps the whole concoction still within beer territory. That being said, the barrel aging and semblance of tannin structure put forth a lot of wine personality in this brew, which is, in my opinion, one of the most attractive things about wild ales. You get much of the character and diversity of fine wines without the high alcohol content (or price tag). The aftertaste sees the bacterial acidity through a slow transformation into a pleasantly mild lemon juice finish. It's fantastic for the style, but personally, I would have liked just a tad more sweetness in the flavor profile. Be it from more malt or treating the cherries differently, this brew might have been driven into my 'all-time-favorites' with a little something more to provide contrast to the sourness.

M- I think the rather high carbonation really works well for this type of beer, contributing to the overall refreshing nature of the style. The light citric flavors, tartness, and sparkling mouthfeel once again almost take this into champagne/sparkling white wine territory, but of course no grape has the gumption to make this ambitiously bold of a beverage.

O- Russian River has cemented it's reputation as one of the best (if not the best) producer of American wild ales, period. I tried not to judge this brew against my preferred vehicle of sour beers (Flanders Reds) and consider it within the parameters of its style. Personal preference aside, this was a masterfully brewed beer that is positively bursting with originality and flavor.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,168 ratings.
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