Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

1,461 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: 1,461 | Ratings: 6,296
Photo of cjgiant
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 09/2016:
Review is on both a slightly heavy pour that didn't decant the beer as well as possible, with notes on a shared one that was

Pours a very clear amber brown until the bottle is tipped a little too far. A properly decanted beer holds its off-white head a little better. Visible but limited streams of tinny bubbles eventually can't hold the impression, and the beer ends up mostly devoid of head.

The nose is classic upon initial impression - which comes quite quickly after the cork releases with a loud pop. There seems to be a fairly even balance of cherry tartness, red wine grape, and barrel woodiness.

The first sip hits me with more sour punch than I expected from the nose. Once that is accounted for, the beer "mellows" a tad, though it is still decently sour - which does take this to the next level over the Flanders styles that came from the nose. Despite limited exposure to my sight, the carbonation is definitely sensed via feel. It accentuates (or is accentuated by) the sour notes from the added yeast strains. This sourness has a cherry aspect to it, but overpower that flavor for the most part. The wine tannins along with the former barrel's resident come out by mid taste, more notable than the cherries. The cherries seem to make a little return in the lingering taste that otherwise has the yeast and barrel notes lingering.

The better decanted offering was a little more clean, but didn't seem to have too different a profile. There was just a little more "funk" from the beer that had a little cloud of the dregs into it.

I slowly appreciated this more as I drank it, though I had it rated fairly high initially. I really like the wine aspect of it, but wish the cherry was a little more evident on my palate. Having had Dissident last week, I feel this one is a little more sour, doesn't showcase the cherry nearly as much, but has an better feel to it. If the two weren't relatively difficult to obtain, I think it would be a fun side-by-side.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've become more and more a fan of the 375 ml format - those honking 750 ml bottles are too much for me to tackle, and there's something about the weight of this bottle coupled with the primary color-minimalist-religiously-themed label heightens anticipation. Pours beautiful out of the bottle - an amber hue with a thin head. Aroma is must, oak, overripe cherries and green apple. The taste follows right along in a cascade of sweet, sour, funky and woody. There's an impeccable dry crispness that zips to the back of my mouth and zaps my palate with a flanking attack. Wonderful feel, beautiful beer.

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Photo of smanson56
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

As with all the other "tion" beers that I have had this is a great example of the style. The pinot noir aging comes through in all aspects. The cherries comes through in the finish. Nice smooth drinking with a great finish. This is what you expect in a sour from Russian River. hard to say anything more about this wonderful beer.

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Photo of brunsojw
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best sours I have had. Batch 090216.

Tart, but not overwhelming-ling so.

Pinot Noir comes through with lots and lots of cherries!

Great beer and great sour!

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass. This beer is 9 months old. Reddish brown filtered body with an effervescent white bubbles that face. But bubbles leave even legs on the glass.
The smell and taste are of wine barrel and cherries. The sour cherries are on the forefront, with red wine and oak. Slight musk on the nose and a lovely tartness on the palate. Grape must. Incredibly crafted beer. A nice mouthfeel, well carbonated and not overly tart, dry.
Any time you get a Russian River beer it's a great occasion and I'm very glad to have‚Äč enjoyed this.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If I hadn't tasted Consecration, I might have thought higher of this beer. That said, the quality is undeniable. It's an optimal sour with a great tart, yeasty bite. The ABV works overtime and you can definitely taste the strength of the booze. The flavor starts with tons of oak & dry pinot noir barrel flavor with cherry & apricot, and a surprisingly bitter finish, like a digestif. Does the Belgian tradition proud.

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Photo of Buck89
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a small taster glass. A hazy rusty-brown color with a modest off-white head. The nose was full of wine notes- cherries, pinot, oak, and vanilla. Also a bit of hay and funk. The taste showed the pinot and had a distinctive wine character, but was complex with Brett, hay, bread, and funk. Really enjoyable.

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

The beer pours a nice white head that dissipates very quickly but leaves a nice ring around the inside of the glass. The beer itself has a very nice wine look to it with it's nice medium brown amber that is clear. It's a really nice beer to look at and the texture has a nice slightly syrupy appearance. The look is pretty nice.

The smell and taste have similar notes but at different strengths that create different experiences. The smell is a bit more bitter with the brett notes and a light berry pinot noir note that creates a nice light balance between the two notes. The oak note is a bit light and the cherry adds a nice tartness, which unfortunately gets lost in the brett every once and a while. The taste has a stronger pinot noir note as well as the other notes except for the Brett, which is weaker. The Brett note is weak but shows up stronger in the end as well as a slight vinegar note.The wine notes along with the oak mix very well but the cherry tart seems to be even lighter.

The feel is pretty good. It has a nice medium body that has a nice heft to it with some nice tingling carbonation to it. The beer is pretty smooth.

Overall, this a very good beer and worth getting if you enjoy sours. It's a nice mixture of different notes that complement and contrast each other. If you can get it, go for it.

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Photo of zimm421
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 051115. Pours a beautiful ruby red with a fluffy off white head. The nose is sour cherries, funk and a touch of oak. The taste starts out nicely tart with loads of cherries, good wine notes and oak. There's a touch of sweetness in the middle, and it's nicely balanced between the sour and sweet. The finish is funky, sour and woody. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth without the typical bite I get from a lot of sours. The carbonation is spot on. This is something I could go back to repeatedly - if only I had the access.

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Photo of gibgink
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015, pours a dirty brown with a surprising amount of head. Good funk on the nose. The taste was a very nice tart/sour with just a hint of cherry on the finish. A very well made beer, would suggest picking up a lot if you ever get the chance.

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Photo of BeantownBrews
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage:

Honey amber pour, slight head

Acidic, vinegar scents with layered malt and citrus sweetness

The acidity is near absent, lovely fruit (raw cherry, grapefruit, orange, papaya, lemon/lime, sour grapes) flavors with a wine like playfulness, slight horse blanket-iness

Feel similar to an IPA almost pillowy, light but fullbodied

Overall, glad I sought this out might be the first "sour" I seek out more of

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

- bot. 02.23.16. consumed 01.29.17. in duvel glass.

A: Monstrous soapy foam head with a macro-bubbly topping, light tan coloring dominates the greater portion of the vessel with a leisure decline. Backlighting reveals a dark ice tea coloring with a bubbly sense of micro-carbonation. Lacing kept to a minimal.

S: Huge funky barn scent, animal feed, hay and sour fruit, cherries and musty wood. Good scent.

T: Smooth sour cherries, damp fruit and barn like funk. Feed grains, apple-plum esters like flavor. Light sour lemon fruit, cypress greenery, sour caramel and light herbal tea with a lightly acidic nature and acetic notes.

M: Silky smooth, no carbonation, medium-full density.

O: The flavor is very good, soothing sourness. Hard to go wrong with a Russian river, very eloquent, smooth, well blended complexity and transiition of flavor from start to finish. A bit $ at 16.50 per 12oz, but worth the experience one time. Barrel aged, and sure to impress.

4 3.75 4.5 4.25 4.25

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Photo of Erikshegda1994
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome sour beer that tastes almost like a wine. Good balance of flavors between sour, sweet and bitter. A good beer to try if you are just getting into sours.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1/16/15, consumed 1/28/17.

This beer pours a hazy reddish brown color. When held directly up to the light it reminds me of juicy juice. There is a fizzy, one finger off white head that recedes quickly to a 1/4 inch ring around the edge of the glass and a microfilm layer across the top. No lacing to speak of.

Smell is red wine, sour cherries, apple cider vinegar, slight barnyard funk and oak.

Taste is the same. Just a touch of sweet at the start that is washed away by tart flavors. 7 out of 10 on the pucker scale. Very complex.

Feel is light, crisp and well carbonated.

Overall a fantastic beer. I'm not extremely well versed in sours, but I've had more than a few, and this is really incredible. The best of the best.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy, brownish red beer with an off white head that quickly fades and leaves nothing behind. The aroma is sweet with the oak and cherries the most noticeable to me but the oaky vanilla smells almost like caramel. The taste is pleasantly sour and sweet with the taste of wet oak, vanilla and cherries that are complimented by the bright, tart acidity of the wine. What a finely crafted and complex brew.

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Photo of njcraftguy
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This brew surprised me. After a long search I was able to try Pliny and honestly don't get the hype. Not a bad beer but nothing special IMO. Supplication on the other hand is special. So much amazing flavor throughout. Nice aroma and easy to drink. So much damn flavor, complex brew. Excellent .

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Photo of Zythophile
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: 2/23/16
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Appearance is nearly red, but not quite. There's still a little amber. Chalk up a new color. It's clear, and there's not much head.

The smell is floral, funky, and cherry. It's also medicinal, which isn't quite what I'm looking for.

Fortunately, the taste exceeds the smell (and it's usually the other way around). The cherries are more prominent, but I'm getting a lot of cinnamon for some reason. Oh, well. I'll just enjoy it. Hibiscus tea, plums, and currants, too. There's even a bit of chicory in there. The brett settles way down, letting other star flavors headline.

The feel is plenty carbonated, and maybe a little thinner than I'd like. In the aftertaste, the hibiscus and cherries fade a little, letting the brett back in.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Copper with a hint of red, cloudy like morning in P.E.I. Its topped with a finger of off white head, tinged with pink.

Smells amazingly of Brett, sour cherries, barnyard funk, Cantillon Brewery-like woody cellar, and oak. It's all richly balanced and smooth on the nose.

Sour and perfect. Taste follows the nose, but all these nuances are so subtly displayed, without any obtrusive features. The smoothness of Pliny the Elder on the tongue, though a completely different beer altogether.

Light feeling body, highly carbonated to almost more than expected.

Got at Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA a few weeks ago. Drinking in New Hamburg, Ontario, October 10th, 2016. Been looking forward to this beer for a long time, and it doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of phillyfan9
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been on a sour kick for the last year or so, and came across this beer at a local beer festival. I recognized the name, looked it up again online quick to confirm how highly rated it was, then went over and talked to the guy pouring. I couldn't believe they had a full keg of it, and the guy confirmed that it's pretty rare to see and there were no restrictions on how much I could drink. I sat by that keg for as long as possible, consumed at least ten beers worth since the guy picked up quickly and started pouring full glasses to save us both time and effort... and it was amazing. Easily the best beer fest experience of my life. This beer is the gold standard of sours, I couldn't imagine a better drinking experience. Sours are a genre of their own, so tread lightly if you haven't dabbled before... but if you are into the style, you can't get better than this IMO.

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Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Tulip

Pours a deep tangerine hazy orange with half finger egg white head. Dissipates to just a ring. No lacing. Looks like iced tea.

Smells of funk, cherries, oak, grapes and apples. A lot going on in the aroma with all the funkiness. Definitely smells like sour cherries though.

Taste of oak, sour cherries, apples, grapes from the Pinot Noir and some funk. Very balanced with all the flavors attacking. Very smooth. Taste like a sour alcoholic Shirley temple. Very nice.

The mouth is sour funk, with a solid amount of carbonation. Juicy finish.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect on this guy, but he was pretty good. Very well balanced. I'm not sure if I'd pay $16 for another bottle, but I would definetly drink this again with no hesitation.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/16/15. About 2 years old.

With a POP of the cork, this beauty pours out a pale blonde forming into what I can only describe as Cranberry Cocktail, or Strawberry puree mixed with a dash of prune juice. The head is diminutive and fleeting, leaving only bubbles on the upper deck. Opacity is darn near full moon, but leaves enough room for light to ignite the sides of the body in this tulip.

Perfumey notes of crisp cut apple, potpourri, bartletts, and cider.

Taste actually throws a huge curveball of vinegar first...quite different than what I was expecting. After a couple of seconds, this fades into some muted apples, dark berries, oak woodiness, and light fruit skins. Still, tannins and vinegar permeate the flavor profile profusely. It's almost as if fruit flies were to magically spew out from the glass. Very fermented. Ends with strong vinegar and wine notes.

A bit dry and tart on the feel, feeling a touch parched here, yet it still finshes rather wet.

Overall, SUPPLICATION was not the grand slam I thought it would be, but it could be due to the age (I was traded this bottle without prior knowledge of the age). I'd like to try this fresh, but definitely not at the $15-20 a bottle this normally goes for.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.98/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - didn't pour it into a glass this time (yea I know). Great bottle though, makes me feel like I'm drinking a medieval ale.
S - biggest notes are first tart cherry then a must in essence that reminds me of my grandpa's basement in a good way. Then more tartness, funk, barnyard, hay in the background. Some brown ale caramel and bready notes are peeking through the sourness. The MAIN thing with this beer is its a complex sour ale. It gives you more than just the sour.
T - same as the smell. Awesomness. See above.
M - medium mouthfeel. Initially feels like it should be light but once you start drinking it the sour/funky parts of it separate the boys from the men. Alc covered. Aftertaste is sour cherry.
O - RR sours are the best overall had. Maybe Cantillon is better but I wouldn't know. I've never had a domestic brewery that lived up to the home of Supplication and Sanctification.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A 375ml bottle with a bottled on date of 6.7.16. 7.75%

L - Reddish brown, with 1 finger of head and some lacing.

S - Sour cherries, grapes, and funkiness

T - Sweet up front, light cherries, turns into a huge sour tart bomb. Not overwhelming, just perfect.

F - Well carbonated, medium body

O - An insanely intense and tasty brown sour

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Photo of Ranz
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date 10.08.15

A: With an earthy reddish brown color in my Teku, this beer has a quickly dissipating head. Inspecting through light, the color almost has a copper-blood hue.

S: Heavy cherry and red wine character with a hint of cherry on the nose.

T: Rich sour barrel flavor with dark cherry and lacto funk. If you let the beer sit on your tongue, its brown ale base is much more apparent with lots of creamy malt. This makes it sing.

M: Lots of carbonation tartness with a decently creamy follow-through.

O: I may enjoy Consecration a bit more, but this is probably a higher quality beer with more elements waiting to be explored. Regardless, this is fantastic stuff.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this as part of a RR sour panel (Con, Sup, Temp, Sanc) and it came in second for me. Liked the cherries and the oak and had some nice funk to it. Not my favorite of the four but would drink this any chance that I got.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,296 ratings.
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