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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: 6,195
Photo of OldSock
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance and Presentation – Batch 001. Cool 12.7 oz caged and corked bottle. The beer pours a fantastic color, amber, orange and red all interplay. On top of the slightly hazy beer is an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell – Right off the bat the cherries are superb, just like dried sour cherries. Not an overwhelming smell but really engaging.

Taste – Up front there are sweet and sour cherries as it moves back the cherries taste dried and tart. There is some sweet malt there throughout, but the cherries are the main player. It is right between sweet and sour, a great balance. This probably has the best fruit flavor of any beer that I have had, if you have ever had dried sour cherries this beer tastes just like that. There are no hops present, but they are certainly not missed.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with stiff carbonation. Perfect and smooth.

Drinkability and Notes – Insanely drinkable. Many fruit wilds/lambics are either too sour or too sweet, Russian River has found exactly the right blend with this beer. Definitely get your hands on this if you can find it and don’t mind paying a considerable amount to get a small bottle.

Update: After a year I drank my second bottle, the strong cherry has melded into a perfect balance with the malt and matured brett character... A different beer then it was, but as good if not better.

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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 Halcyondays
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. blue bottle, batch 002, bought at ABC Liquor in Long Beach, CA, on December 10th, 2007,

A: Pours a murky brown, but with a thick, nice, white head that leaves good retention until the beer is drunk, nice lacing there as well, but not a 5.

S: Complex - Brown ale malt, sour cherries - kind of a Warheads/Sour Patch kids smell, but not artificial, real cherries, also balsamic vinegar, tart apples, strawberry, horse blankets and funk, with a hint of gouda or cheddar cheese, red apple peel as well. Possibly the most fragrant, beautiful smelling beer I have ever had.

T: Just as complex as the smell. Tartness and sour cherries at first sip, then the grape skins come in. The pinot noir and barnyard character is there throughout, there is also a light taste of grass and wood, wet hay as well. Once the beer is in your mouth for a couple of seconds, there is this funky hit that is just to die for. Truly fantastic and a brewing work of art.

M: Smooth, acidic, and tart, but it just melts across the tongue at a perfect pH, sublime, definitely has a cidery character to it.

D: This is definitely one of the best beers that I have ever had. I had had it once before when it was first released in stores here in SoCal a few months ago and really liked it, but this time wow. It's so easy to drink, I could have drank it in like 20 minutes, but I milked it for a couple of hours while watching the Santa Clause because it's so damn good. An extraordinary beer, couldn't recommend it more, go buy it, it's worth the price, even if it is about a dollar an ounce.

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

375ml bottle poured into a oversized wine glass

Appearance : dark cloudy burnt orange in color -tons of white fizzy champagne bubbles form the head and quickly fades away leaving a white ring of bubbles behind.

Smell : abundance of complex aroms that are strangely addictive .Pure funky goodness ... nuff said I wanted to drink a couple of these first before I reviewed to so I could get a handle on this one. Now after having couple more I am blown away by this beer.

Taste : huge flavor profile this is truly a beer/wine hybrid. Tons of tart sour cherries dominant this beer and I cant ever get enough of it

Mouthfeel :light bodied beer with great carbonation

Overall :cant say enough good things about this beer if haven't had it it is worth the I vestment

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Photo of ElectricSalmon
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I love this beer. I don't live in the area so I can't do a proper review of this beer, but I just want to add the praise that this beer deserves. It is so good. I will drive out of my way to visit the brew pub in Santa Rosa. The Russian River beers are outstanding and this is no exception.

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Photo of beerfan99
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch 4x1 - 375 ml bottle

A: Amber/Orange/Red in color and clear. Perfectly carbonated to create a short-term white head.

S: Incredible sour smell, can't miss the brett here. The sour cherries and oak barrel aromas come through. Have a hard time smelling the Pinot Noir.

T: Absolutely amazing. More than lives up to its sour smell. Very tart. This my definition of a sour bomb.

M: Well carbonated to provide bubbly feel to the palate.

O: Currently, this is my favorite wild ale from Russian River. I have been lucky enough to have multiple vintages of Supplication. Based on my experience, the vintages are very consistent and age well for several years. Batch 4 is drinking really well these days.

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Photo of mc4z
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On-tap at City Beer Store (SF), had many times before on-tap and bottle. Far and away my favorite RR sour. Supplication pours a dark opaque red. There is minimal carbonation and almost no lacing. The smell is strong - mainly sour cherries, but the red wine barrel is there too. The taste is brilliant - such well balanced fruit and tartness. Despite the tartness, I could (and have) drink this beer several times over. As I said, definitely my favorite RR sour, my favorite American Wild, and certainly in my top 5 of any beer

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Photo of switzer
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

purchased, poured (tulip) and drank (slowly) bottle at beer revolution in oakland. the gleam in the bartenders eyes when i asked about it was enough for me.

i waited too long to try this one. despite its hefty price tag ($12), its one i’ll be enjoying from time to time. the reviews on this are excellent and i agree. it feels light, tastes moderately sour and smells so good that its hard to savor. i like this a little more than consecration, but its close.

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

Poured into a Russian River "tion" glass. Batch 008.

Appearance - Opens with a very loud pop. As it is being poured it is fizzing up with very large bubbles to leave a finger of solid foam that is of an off white slightly reddish hint. The beer is a dark golden red with dark honey orange hue. The head is gone within a minute or two and there is only a thin layer of white at the top.

Smell - Sour woody cherries, fresh raspberry juice, sweet red berries, some hints of sour pinot barrel, and lots of complexity.

Taste - Sour cherries on the top of the mouth, lots of carbonation for a crisp cider like taste with some of the oak barrel showing through. Very carbonated, leaves a slightly fresh juice feel after a couple of minutes and the sourness is still evident minutes later as it has a very long aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Great mouthfeel of sourness dominating with the bitterness making for a good pucker. There are also feelings of the fresh sweeter fruits to give complexity to this highly fizzy beer. Very drinkable and easy to have another and so on.

Overall - I have had this many times on tap and in the bottle from various batches. I absolutely love this beer and would have it in my top 10 or so of beers of all time. I feel that this beer has a more sour aspect to it in the bottle and is more carbonated than when served on tap. One of my favorites so it's nice to always have this around in bottle and also to get it on tap for only 6.75 at the brewery. If you haven't had this beer make sure you try some.

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Photo of Modernrickk
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This brew is as close to perfect to a style as I've ever had - everything is noticeable - even hops! But the Pinot barrels shine here like no other -

First off this brew looks beautiful. As you pour it's a bruin brown but shines and turns into a dark ruby red with a crystal white head - such an illusion. This is like a wine with head .
Aromas are of barrel flavors and funky bacterias. Pure wild ale bliss!
Tastes like dark colored grapes with other fruits.
So tasty. Layers of barrel red wine flavors. Ripened cherries that have almost reached fermentation. That funky flavor of cherries locked up in a ziploc found a day after a long hike - such a unique flavor here
Mouthfeel is crisp but not too fizzy - sooo good when cold. A taste of decadence but never making one make a Face of discomfort - perfection

Overall this is probably the best beer I've ever had regardless of style - it's so inviting and just full of all the favorite flavors I like in wine. A freaken winner and I would buy this EVERYTIME I see it

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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 Duhast500
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a light dark red with a nice finger or two of foamy white head and some thick lacing.

The smell is a bit sour and fruity with some nice white grape and some light apple. There is some hints of wet leather and candy apple.

The taste is a bit tart with some light fruit flavor and a really nice spicy hop flavor. There is a really nice green apple flavor that is really sweet. It has some an interesting Hawaiian punch flavor as well that is in back of this apple skin, granny smith flavor. It brings back memories of jolly rancher candies. Some nice sugary sweet flavor

The feel of this beer is really great and pleasant on the palette. It has a nice warming feel with a nice fizzy feel. It goes down really well and is quite refreshing. The sweetness is really light on the palette and is really enjoyable. One of the best beers I have had.

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Photo of falc0n2600
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was incredibly spoiled for this to be the first sour beer I ever tried, on New Year's Eve 2012. $12 for a 12 oz bottle, and worth it. Dark red in appearance with incredible champagne-like bubbling that didn't stop. The bubbles felt great without being overpowering. The various yeasts combined to create a not-overpowering sour flavor mostly of cherries and wine grapes with some slight wood flavors from the Pinot barrels. Such an awesome beer. Having now tried a bunch of Russian River sours, this is still my favorite, although Consecration tastes very similar and is somewhat stronger.

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Photo of larryi86
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to alenonbeeradv for this
375 mL bottle batch 006x1 poured into a tulip

A- A deep slightly hazy red with an orange tint with a one finger off-white head.

S- This just smells really good. Tart cherries, hint of citrus,hint of funk, a little wine like, a little sweet. Can't wait to give this a sip.

T- A more intense version of the smell. Tart cherries, hint of sour lemons, hints of funk in the finish, hint of wine, great balance of flavors.

M- Crisp, smooth, refreshing, a little light.

O- This is a great sour and I am very happy to have another bottle to save for a later date. I am just blown away by this beer.

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Photo of MGoBlue93
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer. Reminded me of Berliner Weise from Germany. I had it last Sunday at Russian River's pub in Santa Rosa, California.

Here is how they describe the beer on their beer chart:

Supplication: It is a brown ale aged for 12-15 months in used Pinot Noir barrels with Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus yeast strains added to each barrel. It also has sour cherries added to the barrel. The sour cherries and flavor from the Pinot Noir barrels dominate the aroma and flavor with a mild acidity and dry finish. 7 percent ABV.

I had it as part of a beer flight - and then followed that up with a pint of the beer. Really unique. You can taste the Brettanomyces which I think produces the sweet/sour taste. The cherry taste was also dominant.

We went to Russian River to drink the Pliny the Elder Double IPA - which is an excellent beer - but I may have enjoyed this beer more than the Pliny.

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

On tap @ Standard Tap

Look: Deep amber, slight haze, thin head with no retention little lacing. No surprise though.

Smell: Brett funk, cherry, oak, and malt

Taste: Up Front: Tartness, cherry. Finish: Brett funk, oak, an almost Pinot Noir like flavor at the end

Mouthfeel: Light/crisp body with a light carbonation works perfectly here!

Drinkability: Simply amazing

Overall Impression: This beer is beyond amazing!!! I enjoyed this even more than Consecration, and I was not sure that was possible. It's very hard to find, and it's expensive, but you simply MUST buy it if you see it. Once you taste it, you'll forget all the price.

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Photo of MaltLickyWithTheCandy
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Re-rating this because the first time i had it was only a 3 oz pour. Managed to enjoy a whole bottle with a buddy. This beer is the closest thing to perfect you can get. The smoothest and tastiest sour i've ever had.

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Photo of Benish
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 12/17/12. Poured into snifter glass. Beer had the color of dark orange or dark ruby-like. A couple mm thick head is present. It's a pretty solid foam that appears to be going no where for a while. There is some sediment at the bottom but partly my fault the way I poured it.

Smell: Definitely funky! It's honestly hard to describe but the best I can come up with is fermented tart cherries. Just taking a whiff of this smell and I think whoa something was a lot of fermentation happening in there. There is also notable wine characteristics.

Taste: At first when I take a sip, the sourness and tartness just slaps me across the face. It's almost pungent but in a palatable way plus a bitter component as I move the beer around the mouth. Plenty of sweetness, possibly from the cherries. Wow! Every swallow of a mouthful of this beer is one attack after another. It stays tart the entire time. There are also tart cherries that is easily noticeable. I'm new to sours but this really impressed me. After I finish a sip of the beer I get some flavor of dried cherries at the back of the tongue. The acidity of this beer stays after I finish the sip.

Mouthfeel: it has a medium mouthfeel to it and moderately carbonated.

Overall: This is one heck of a sour beer. Like I said, I've never had many sours so I won't ever forget this one. I hope I can get this again.

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

Big thanks to a number of BAs for hooking me up with bottles of this. One of them almost killed me, or at least it almost took my eye out when the cork skyrocketed to parts unknown upon the final turn of the loosening of the cage.

A - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Very nice ruby hue, translucent, not so much lace, but wild/sour seldom does etc.

S - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. And as palatable and easily appreciable as any that comes to mind.great tartness, barrel and cherry; sublime, not overly pungent

T - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Great cherry flavor. Like a drier version of Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek, like as if it were made by Cantillon. Shows some notes of the wood char-sulfur that I find in the finest Gueuze.

M - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Tart, refreshing, medium bodied, nearly perfect carbonation.

D - This brew has almost everything I look for in the style. Just phenomenal. It is a beer like this that makes a brewery world-famous.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is for batch 4.

A-A very unassuming pour. Not that bright just a yellow-orange liquid with a little white head that dissipates quickly.

S-Awesome. You first get the sour then the cherries come through.

T-SOur! Just like I like it. Kick you in your pants kind of sour. SLightly acidic with a little vinegar and of course the cherries are there.

M-Light bodied and highly carobnated.

D-So sour you can't drink a ton of this but that in no way is a bad thing.

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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 Aenema
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 003
Appearance - Pours a reddish-orange brown with a slight tan head that quickly fades.
Smell - Tart cherries, hay, brett funk.
Taste - Puckeringly tart, cherry, some pinot and oak. Awesome, complex flavors.
Mouthfeel - Light to medium-bodied and highly carbonated with fine bubbles. Very nice dry, crisp finish.
Drinkability - Very smooth with great flavor, I could drink this all day.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let's make it another special night. This one was bottled on July 11th, 2014, so it's about 15 months old. 375 ml bottle into a champagne flute.

A - Pours a deep burnt orange. Translucent with lots of bubbles. It's a light, coppery head that's fizzing away rather quickly. Sharp looking.

N - Yeah, tons of barnyard funk with some sweet, sweet fruits around the edges. You can tell the tartness is lurking somewhere just beneath the surface waiting to pounce on your taste buds.

T - Wow, amazing amounts of tart cherry and more barnyard funk. A slight bitterness rounds out the flavor profile. You get that sense of foundation that all great sours seem to have.

M - It's all froth in the mouth; the liquid froth-ifies the second it hits your tongue. The tartness and combination leave a somewhat dry finish on the tongue, but the residue is everywhere else on the inside of your cheeks and the palate.

O - A real winner. Hope I can get back to Philly for another bottle soon.

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

Batch 002. Sam from the Stuffed Sandwich was nice enough to sell this to me.

A - The beer pours with a rich foamy head. The color is a light red to amber. Head disipates to a skim of white foam leaving a little lace

S - The beer smells of sour cherries. This would make the brewers of Rodenbach blush.

T - More sour cherries. I also taste the oak barrel. Incredibly balanced.

M - Well carbonated, medium bodied, very dry finish.

D - Incredibly drinkable. This is probably Russian River's most balanced beer. If you can find it, buy it and drink it.

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

Bottled 8/27/12

Appearance: Cloudy amber with a 1/2 finger of white head that eventually recedes down to a small layer.

Smell: Intense! Definitely some barrel character, cherries, Brettanomyces, strawberries, tart sugary sweetness.

Taste: Tart cherry/strawberry sweetness hit the tip of the tongue right away. The second wave of flavor reveals the deep, complex and delicious barrel character, where the Noir notes really stand out. After the second wave passes, there is some subtle cherry remaining, but it cuts off very sharply and leads into a crisp and dry finish. It's almost like your palate is in such shock from the intense experience, that is has to reset itself for revisiting the intensity of the next sip. It finishes so clean at the end with this sudden cutoff; it's almost like someone flips an off switch at the end of every sip.

Mouthfeel: Perfect balance of weight and carbonation. Wow.

Overall: This is hands down the best sour I've ever had. Would love to get my hands on more of this. Does that sum it up?

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,195 ratings.
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