Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

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: 6,222
Photo of treyrab
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Dyan for bringing this to our Graduation Tasting! I have been yearning for this beer for a long, long time and finally got a taste!

A: Pours a hazy brown with noticeable crimson and brick colored hues. Yields a nice off white with a nice noticeable spritziness and carbonation.

S: Wow. Tons of lemon soaked red grapes, nice Cabernet or another red wine, lemon and yeast funk. This is a very complex smelling beer.

T: Just an incredible sour. Nice vinous qualities with red wine, red grapes, lemon tartness, dry oakiness and some light grapes as well. One of the most complex sours yet nice and easy to drink.

Overall, this was an incredible beer. Thanks again to Dyan and I can't wait to try this again!

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Photo of jmalex
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Continuing my tradition of a Russian River sour on my birthday each year. This will finish the day off nicely.

Batch 002

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Hennepin tulip a somewhat murky reddish brown. There's not much of a head on it - instead it forms a thick white collar with a splotchy haze of foam across the surface of the beer.

SMELL: Damn. In stream of conscious form: sour, tart, deep, complex, vinous, dark fruits, chocolate-covered cherries, alcohol. And one more: awesome.

TASTE: Insanely tart right from the get go. As it subsides, a major fruitiness develops then starts going 100 different ways. There's a decent alcoholic heat on the end as well as a mild bitterness that I cannot believe would be from any hops. And then it keeps going. The flavor of chocolate is left in your mouth even after you swallow. And as if that wasn't enough, your mouth then seizes up with an intense tartness leaving you wanting.. no, needing another sip.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation is a tad low, perhaps due to the 2+ years of storage I gave this beer. The body is, well, bone dry.

DRINKABILITY: This beer is beyond awesome and I wish I could drink it forever. That is all.

If my calculations were correct, this should be the beer that puts the first drop of beer in my mug. Matching it up with review #300 would have awesome, but that just means I have another excuse to open up something awesome again soon. As it is, I'm still reeling from the fact that this bottle will no longer be in my 'cellar'. My spreadsheet says I bought it on 4-18-07 - over 2 years ago. But a birthday is a great day to reward all that patience.

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Photo of sholland119
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Had this one on Russian River Day at Teresa's Next Door.

A-Clear amber with a thin white head.

S-Oaky, smoky stopping just shy of charcoal, lots of tart sour cherry notes.

T-Moderate barnyard funky notes, lots of sour cherry juice, other dark fruits like plum, a bit acidic. Nicely complex.

M-Bright sparkling carbonation, rather light bodied.

D-Excellent drinkability for the style. I rarely crave a second wild ale but I'd make an exception for this.


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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 biegaman
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003 - sampled April 6, 2009.

Sun blistered cognac that is, quite surprisingly, crystal clear. The complexion is immaculate and its tone radiant. The refermentation in bottle (the same process used in Champagne) was hugely successful at providing carbonation; the capping is firm, thick and thorough. It's said for Champagne that the smaller the bubbles the finer the wine - if these little acrobatic pin pricks are any indication this will be of the usual Vinnie Cilurzo high standard of quality.

Pouring the bottle at arms length I could pick up on the aromatics of fruit vinegar, musty oak and fruit juices. With my nose buried in the glass the funky trio of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus wild yeasts raddle the nose hairs. Its volatile, long-chained molecules then stream up the nasal passage, prancing through a pattern of receptors, before finally tickling the olfactory nerve cell at the bulb of the brain.

It is there, in the brain's olfactory cortex, where higher functions such as memory and emotion are coordinated with the sense of smell. My memory makes the connection to musty, wine soaked oak barrels, butterscotch and cherry juice. The emotion side recaptures the encounters of gueuze in Brussels, it reminisces the Red Ales of Flanders, and remembrance of a tasting in the barrel room in Santa Rosa.

The taste is, put simply, a sour red wine-like Belgian-style ale with tons of complex funk. More specifically, it's an intense fruitiness that includes plum, ripe raspberry, black cherry and red currant flavors. The taste of musty oak is prevalent and the backdrop is a combination of both metallic and malty notes. There are hints of butterscotch, an abundance of vanilla and spicy phenols in low amounts.

The mouthfeel is dominated by an acidic, tannic bitterness and a touch of oxidization. The sourness (which is still well shy of being puckering) imparts a noticeably acetic/vinegary character. There's also a touch of sherry-like character which, along with the brown malts, produces a sweet-and-sour profile (the sour outnumbering the sweet by 2:1). It has all the dryness of a white wine but all the complexities of an aged, vintage red.

I've enjoyed this batch more than the previous (002) but I appreciate the concept of each vintage being unique. Such annual changes burgeon with notions of immortality and evolution; the idea that the beer lives on to provide sustenance even after its grains are spent, the cherries rotted and the yeasts tired. The beautiful tragedy of it is the vintage is consumed and only the memory of it remains; thus conveying the transience of life. least until next year.

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

In a tulip:

This brew has some seriously insane lacing over and amber/copper hazy body. From the moment the cork is popped, the room fills with a sour aroma. The nose also has green apple, raisin, and coriander. The taste has pounds of sweet and sour, with a pleasant green apple tartness in the beginning and a sour bitter finish that gives way to a cherry aftertaste. Extremely thick mouthfeel for the style and carbonation that ably delivers flavor. So delicious... I could drink quite a bit of this.

Overall: Supplication was my first sour. Wow, this is incredible. I can't believe what I've been missing.

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

Bottle, batch 5, 01/11. Big thanks to drabmuh for this amazing extra.

Pours deep, glowing red with a copper tint. Thin, fluffy off-white head that fades into some soapy suds.

Nose is really complex - red grape skins and a bit of sour cherry, nicely sour with a light barnyard funkiness that has the signature - I don't know, authenticity? Complexity? - of Russian River's bigs. Vinous, very interesting.

Taste starts with a beautiful combination of sour bite and tannic, vinous red grape skins. Sourness isn't too in your face, but it's certainly set off by the clear, vinous red grape character that just shines. Finish is puckering, a bit astringent, faint lingering acidity in the back of the throat after the initial bite.

Mouthfeel is dry, puckeringly sour, light body with crisp carbonation. Beautifully drinkable.

Bottle, batch 3, 07/08.

Pours a dark orange amber, very hazy, slightly off-white fluffy head.

Aroma is sour cherry, a bit of citrusy, almost orangey acidity, vinous.

Taste is sharp tartness up front, bit of vinegar, with a citrusy acidity on the finish - a bit earthy also, woody barnyard.

Crisp and so light in body. Beautifully done beer.

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Photo of pwoods
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged brown bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a burning ruby amber with good clarity. A large, fluffy, lightly tinted head forms and holds pretty well. Nice lacing throughout.

S: Nice clean sour and lightly tart aroma. Plenty of the sour cherries coming through along with plenty more of the wine like tannins. A pleasant sweetness plays well with the lightly tart wheat malts. Some woody and earthy notes from the oak.

T/M: Sourness is at a good level and the tartness has definitely been bumped up some since I had this last. More of the sour cherries and tannin qualities as well as a pretty distinctive pear taste. Definitely a bit more funk has formed in the year or so that this has been out lending some musty, dewy flavors as well as some light cheesy flavor(almost nutty and salty like parm-reg). Body is medium to medium light and pretty healthy carbonation. Finishes very dry and a bit puckering and it only gets more puckering as it warms and as I drink more. Not a bad thing :)

D: The 12.7oz. is definitely enough for me but that doesn't mean it becomes too much. Refreshing and drinkable even with the enhancements from the age.

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

Received in a trade,big thanks to ralflord

App: Hazy golden in color w pronounced carbonation and white head that lingers although thin

Aroma: Oak barrel, sour mustiness (a la Cantillon), faint hint of sour cherries. Oak prevalent but in a wonderful way, slight scent of sweet hay in there as well. Some of that barnyard funkiness comes too.

Taste: Sweet tart cherry sourness up front dominates flavor, acidic and very dry, oak barrel flavor comes through as well

Mouthfeel: Carbonation level and tartness dominate the overall mouthfeel,dry and crisp, sourness lingers to the finish

Overall: Wonderful sour barrel aged beer, sourness,cherries and funkiness all play together nicely. Very enjoyable

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

Tap @ O'Briens TION night. Poured hazy, bright gold with a frothy white head. Musty, dank yeast funk combined with oaken wine barrel earthiness. Effervescent mouthfeel gives it a light feel. Mouth-puckering tartness right away. Lemony citric bite along with the bretty funk. A vinuous tanginess follows as does the oak and cherry flavors. Definitely a success in terms of aging in that it tones down the sometimes harsh vinegar and cheese flavors. They are present, but in far less degree so the quality of the beer itself comes through. The pricetag on a bottle of this can be prohibitive, which makes having this on tap a rare treat.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this one a few months ago from JHenry04 and I've been holding on to it for awhile. I found a good opportunity to share this with a few other BAs and went for it.

A soft hazy body that isn't quite what I would call rust, but it isn't really orange or brown either. A small off-white head that leaves just a bit of spotty lacing on there.

Smell is fantastic. After the first sniff I said "whoa." The sour, tart notes are there, reminding me of both sour apple and sour cherry. Oak is in the background along with some lighter fruits like apricot notes. A little sweetness from brown malts. Big, complex, and very appealing, Supplication seems to be yet another winner from Russian River.

The flavor doesn't disappoint in either complexity or enjoyability. The sour notes come through once again with tart cherry and apple. There are also touches of both vinegar and slightly funky cheese type flavors. There is some good spicy oak characterisitcs that I could swear come with a touch of white wine, but that one could just be my imagination. Some light fruits come out again and the perfect balance of sweet malt is present also.

Mouthfeel is middle of the road in thickness with higher than moderate carbonation. It is pretty highly carbonated actually, but it works here.

This is one hell of a drinkable beer, but you will definitely be sipping Supplication to savor and enjoy it.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy yellow appearance with a small head that quickly dissipates.
Wild yeast is very apparent with a sour, funky smell.
This beer was sampled with a friend and pointed out that this beer tastes like a warhead hard candy. Some orange is also present in the mix as well as a hint of wood. The cherries are hard to find.
Good carbonation and a full body hold this beer together.
A fantastic American Wild Ale. What a great beer, I will have this beer any time it is available.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003
Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a radiant amber that leans more to the brown side. Sort of like cider on some steroids, which make it glow. Semi-clear until the yeast went in. Produced a nice three fingers width of white head that lasted quite a while.

S- Loved it! Had a nice, musty brett smell along with sharp cherry aromas. Comingling amongst these aromas was a tart, vinous scent of oaked grape skins.

T- Plenty of tartness and citric acidity to go around. Almost mouth puckering at points, just really well done. Plenty of sour cherries and oak flavors to go around. Also liked the unique barrels used as it added a distinct wine-like characteristic to the flavor.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Left wonderful sour residue all over the palate.

D- I wish this came in a 750mL bottle. I could definitely put down a few of these in a sitting. If you like sours, this is about as drinkable as they come.

Overall, why do I have to live so far from Russian River? Their sours are amazing and this is no exception. If you can get your hands on it, do it.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So my wife asks, "what is that?" To which I reply, "Imagine beer, plus wine, plus oak, plus cherries." "Yuck!" "YUM!!" Alas, I've turned her into a beer fan, but she holds mixed drinks to things with umbrellas.

Me, however, I"m just getting started with this whole Brett thing. Pours a red-tinged amber, a small white head that shrinks to a ring around the collar, not much lacing more than a nugget here or there. Aroma comes mostly in tart cherry, faint oak, and a funky bunch of b-list characters, and for the style, they work nicely.

Taste is all kinds of crazy, to spectacular effect. Tart, sour cherry, oak, funk, must, a dry ending. Quite hard to describe, about as akin to normal beer as American football to 'intl' football. Mouth is mostly dry, medium light bodied, puckering, smooth, rather easy to drink, for its oddity. Its not my first 'brett' beer, but its probably the finest. Much thanks to Tom (MuenchenerKindl) for this one.

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

Batch 003

a - cidery color, red, clear, lots of head. No gush but tonds of head. Bubbles are like paste on the glass.

s - cherries and sour. Have to forgo some aroma whifs to taste because the head is not moving. The smell really singes my nose hairs a bit.

t - controlled tartness up front, but asservies and smooth in the middle and slight hint of phenolic (?). Clean finish. Not a long finish. Cherry pits. Phenol taste is slight, but it's something not awesome.

m - very smooth. Not over carbonated, but it should probably be super chilled before opening.

d - super high. I shared this tiny bottle and I want MORE! It's not mouth pucking sour but quality sour that's easy drinking.

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4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer has really became a legend in just a few years of existence. I have waited to try it for a long time.

Hazy light amber body hosts a solid beige head that stands at an inch and has about three minutes of retention before staying at a skim. Nose is invigoratingly tart with notes of sour cherries, electric funk, and grape skin. With another sniff you get some woodsy alcohol. Immediately attacks the tongue with yeasty barnyard sour funk. The cherries bring about a nice tongue glazing tartness. Yeasty and almost creamy on the back of the tongue. Oak really comes through as you continue to drink. Mouthfeel has back-end thickness, consistent tart funk, and yeast that turns to a veggie like hue. I shared this with my wife and the drinkability makes me wish the bottle was twice as big.

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

Batch 3- poured into a RR barrel glass in celebration of a shitty week at work and my washing machine breaking today. Yee ha. Pours a orange amber colour, with reasonable clarity. Frothy one finger vanilla coloured head with good lacing. Nose- cherry, wood, musty, sour and just damn inviting. Taste- sublime lacto sourness, citric zing, and green apples. Very dry, earthy and woody finish. This brew has dried out quite a bit since the last time I've had one. The cherries are more of a complementary player than in the forefront which is fine by me. Drinkability is superb and the spritzy carbonation dances across the tongue. Very well crafted brew.

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Photo of b3barron
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in an oversized wine glass.

A - Nice fluffy white, two-finger head with decent lacing. Reddish orange color with good clarity.

S - Cherry big time. Reminds me of cherry jolly rancher candy. Plenty of oak too and maybe a hint of chocolate.

T - Rhubarb. Tart apple and raspberry. Lots of funk. A very distinct earthiness and plenty of oak. Surprisingly I can pick up on some hops about halfway through. A puckering tartness lingers. I like it a lot.

M - Smooth and light-bodied.

D - Tough to rate as these aren't session beers for me. It is very quenching but I don't think I''d care for much more than what is in the 375 ml bottle.

Overall, a fantastic beer that I am joyous to have had the opportunity to drink. If I am in RR's neck of the woods I would probably seek out another bottle but at a $17 price tag I won't be stocking up.

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

Russian River, if you see, it you grab it, its great on tap or in a bottle.
The creativity and perfection on this brew is amazing. I nice tasting brew... some sweet and sour/tart, with a nice bubbling effect for your mouth.
Its worth the hunt, go get one.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome brew with consistant notes from tap and from 375ml bottle. Lots of time these type of brews have weird color, this one pulls it off. Amazing aroma that is very complex, funk, bright and muddled red fruits. Acidity / sour is bam! which should evolve well in bottle. Less than beatification and more than temptation for my palate. Lots of upside, some oak tannin. Nice finish, long and the sourness carries thru and brings the flavors along with it. Very nice and distinct.

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Photo of BeerStine
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 003. 12.7 oz bottle poured into a tulip. $16.99 kinda pricy. Hope it's good.

A slow pout produces a amber brown with an off-white fluffy head. Smells of apples and white wine. Light musky malts smell too. Taste is intense! A very tart flavor. Makes my checks tingle. Tastes like it smells: apples and white wine. I can defiantly taste the malts too. The oak barrels definitely help bring all the flavors together. Plenty of balancing hops that increases the viscosity of my saliva. Mouth feel is light with lots of carbonation. If you let it wonder, you can feel the bubbles form all over your tongue and mouth. Drinkability is better than most wine/beers. I think the aging in oak barrels have contributed to the drinkablilty.

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Photo of csmiley
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ricand for hooking this one up.

A - Appears amber, gold, or orange - the lighting can really play tricks with the color of this beer. Head is just off white and rises to just under half inch. Retention looks good. Lacing is average.

S - Apples and grape skins are evident right out of the gate. Sweeter aromas come through next. Could be caramel and candied sugar. Musty and funky toward the end. Smells a little like old dried up wood.

T - This is where the cherries come in. Mix them with some grapes and that is how the flavor starts out. A hefty dose of oak really comes through well in the flavor and adds a nice compliment to the fruitiness. Oak is quickly followed by the Brett, imparting a very earthy feel. Some malt sweetness comes and goes with hints of caramel and maybe brown sugar.

M - Medium bodied with a nice carbonation level that stays fairly active but doesn't really get in the way. Finish is tart and smooth at the same time.

D - Drinkability is good. The big tart flavors and complexity of this brew make it a candidate for a sipper. The cherries add something different and unique to this brew and pushes the drinkability up a notch. As it warms the Brett flavors start to smooth out and some brown ale qualities start to come through. This is another winner from Russian River. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

yet another reason for me to love the shit out of russian river. bout time i review this little beauty.

pours a light copperish red into my bruery snifter. a small white head comes but fades within a few seconds.

smell is big on the sour cherries with a nice hint of oak. smell isnt over the top with the sourness but just enough to get me excited.

taste is very nice. complexities of the sour cherry and oak flavors hit me up front and leave me with a slight sour/sweet finish. very nice.

mouth is smooth and light. a nice pucker but not going out of its way to slap you in the face with it.

overall i really enjoy this beer. probably one of the best wild ales ive ever had. i will look forward to hunting this sweet bitch down again.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003
A: Brown body with reddish hints. small off white head, little lacing.

S: Sour cherries, oak, apple cider, slightly wine-like in feel.

T: This is the epitome of wine smoothness and beer complexity. Sour and tart fruits up front, with a hint of bitterness. Lots of cherry flavors. Some wine like acidity from the barrel aging. Delicious.

M: Smooth. Flavors seamlessly transition on the tongue. The tart and sourness is not overwhelming, but distinctive enough to make this beer special.

D: I had no problem putting this bottle down... and would have another if it wasn't so pricey.

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Photo of antilogic
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 13oz Chimay. Have had it in bottle (batch 003) on several occasions previously. Bottle matches tap pretty close.

Color was a dull gold with a light white head. Smells of tart fruits, cherry, apple, sourness. A very drinkable sour, less biting than a flanders or some of RR's other sours, medium bodied, and less fruits in the taste than I expected. Good stuff.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,222 ratings.
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