Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

6,313 Ratings

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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Ratings: 6,313 |  Reviews: 1,463
Photo of AlexJ
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a Magnum bottle (thanks to Ray and Cornelia) this ale is a murky, dirty apricot color with a frothy off white head that leaves delicate patterns of lace.

The aroma is a mouthwatering melange of sweet/tart cherries, rotting pit fruit, vanilla and oak, light spice, and something that is just impossible to put into words. The wild yeast really works a strange kind of beer magic here.

The flavor first strikes you as tart, cidery, and lightly acidic. Warmpth brings out a sweet and sour fresh cherry note with hints of almond and pear. The layers of oak and vanilla add a not so subtle complexity that is heightened by the funky yeast that is both rustic and farmy. Definately has Flemish Red Ale qualities but is in a league all of it's own.

Body is very smooth and buttery, with a soft, creamy texture and amazing drinkability. Another superb product from a brewer that is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites.

 941 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 375 mL bottle marked with a 12/17/12 bottling date. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack edition tulip glass.

Appearance - Body is a translucent brown with bits of sediment and highlights of rust and burnt ochre. Holding the light behind it reveals raspberry red highlights. Head is a little less than a finger of bubbly, sudsy head the color of faded rose quartz. Dissipates fairly quickly leaving little to no lacing.

Smell - Notes of sour cherries and faint cinnamon along with the backbone of pinot aroma and hints if wine-like tannins. I also detect some notes of apple cider vinegar peeking through as well.

Taste - Tartness up front, with notes of green apple and lemon that evolves into a more complex depth of flavor, with some grape must and elements of malty sweetness to balance the sourness. Sour flavor profiles stand out more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - Slightly puckering, with a high level of effervescence and a medium-to-light body. Finish is mostly dry, with a slightly sweet lingering aftertaste.

Overall, a fantastic sour beer that has a good balance of sour and fruit. I would drink this all the time if it was easily attainable.

 1,181 characters

Photo of micropale
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of M1A2
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MastaShonuf
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dwoolley1
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of hockeyfighter19
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of asabreed
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #001 w/ four hourglasses. 375 ml bottle purchased probably around two years ago, for around $8.99.

Appearance: A deep orange and ruby color with some haze, though the bottle was careful not to be disturbed. I expected a bigger head, but perhaps it was too cold, though I only chilled it in the fridge for a bit. Still it's pretty striking to look at it, and a swirl or two recharges it nicely.

Smell: Pinot ripeness with hints of raspberry, dark strawberry, tinges of vanilla and oak, candy sourness, and with swirls in between the earthy and more discordant nature comes out, balanced with the ripe fruit aromas. Also some orange and lemon zest with the sourness, and the bacterial and funky nature is wonderfully bizarre and intriguing. So much to love about the aroma, and more complexity to be discovered as it warms.

Taste: Sour candy and tart fruit initially with bursts of earthy bacterial and phenolic funk to spice things up. Just enough sweetness to balance out the dryness, making this feel more like a Saison than any other RR brew I've had. As it warms, the initial bone dryness (and almost vinegar in nature, though more complimentary than discordant) gets a bit sweeter as it warms, or if not sweeter, then more balanced, with layers of flavor changing each second. Finish is dry and extremely long, with so many flavors coming out with the oak, funk, vanilla, fruit, tartness and fruity sourness, and just the effervescence of all of it combined. Wonderfully insane and beautiful overall.

Mouthfeel: Wonderfully crisp and dry with a mouth puckering finish at the end. Can't really find any faults with this at all, as the carbonation with the medium body meld pretty much perfectly, especially with the sour and Saison-like nature of the brew.

Drinkability: This is hard to find in the Richmond area, and a few years ago I got, I think, the last two bottle that Once Upon A Vine had. I still have another one that I'm planning to save for something special, but this one was opened because it's been way too long without trying it. Certainly there are many characteristics related to a Saison, more so than Temptation even I think, but it's truly an experience, and I really hope more folks start to experiment with the style in the future. Worth the $9 in my opinion, but obviously not something you could probably get often (especially since the bottle's slightly over 12 ounces). But still, bravo, this is amazing stuff, and I hope the distribution increases throughout the US as the years go on.

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

Batch #003. Split a bottle with Roberts at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver during my trip last week. It wasn't on the beer list but we asked and lucked out. Poured from a 375ml cool shaped bottle into a snifter. The lighting wasn't great since a bar but looked ciderish in color and texture. Some carb and slight lacing. It had about a finger of white head that settled into a foam with collar.

The aroma was exceptional. I love sour beers and this one has the classic smell. No one does it better than RRBC. The brett really stands out. Also had wine undertones. The taste was also exceptional. Had a great sour bite with a slight dry finish. Absolutely perfect. The mouthfeel had the great sour bite with the tingling of the carb so a great mix.

Overall, a world-class beer that deserves to be so highly ranked. My mission in life is to find more of this beer - now! I could have just drank this all night but this ended up being the first in a classic night of beer drinking at Falling Rock. Most highly recommend - get one now....wait, don't get one as that would leave less for me.

 1,093 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 007. Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. Beautiful clear,dark copper-amber color with a thin head. The nose is extremely active. There are notes of cherries, bubblegum, sour apples, candy, and a definite barnyard funk, all harmoniously blended together.

The flavor is highly acidic and slightly tannic. I get flavors of tart cherries in the front of my mouth, then at mid-palate the beer takes on a stony champagne-like dryness. It has an excellent finish. The acidity dries your mouth and the sour cherry and champagne flavors linger for a long time, making you practically salivate for another taste. The beer has a light to medium body, but is not as highly carbonated as I expected it to be. It is extremely easy to drink.

This is a world class beer. The flavor is aggressively sour, but there's an underlying sweetness and a nice dry finish to complement the tartness. It's one of the most refreshing beers I've ever had and is very reminiscent of Rodenbach Grand Cru (in overall drinking experience if not in flavor). Every beer fan should seek this one out and try it at least once. I can't imagine how difficult this beer must be to make.

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Photo of leinie13
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of eldoctorador
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Bought this bottle (375 mL, olive green, batch 001) a month or two ago and finally mustered up the will to open it - which I had a hard time doing as the cork was a bit stubborn. I served it just below cellar temperature in a flute/goblet type glass I've got. It pours a beautiful hazed golden/orange/peach color with lots of carbonation and 2 fingers of tan head which consists of small bubbles and reduces to a half-inch, sticking to the glass throughout. It smells sharply tart with sweet and sour cherries, not-quite-fresh milk, oak, a good funkiness, and grapes, currants and blackberries which show up later. It's really making my mouth water wondering how it's gonna taste. It is sour/tart, but not as powerful as I thought it was going to be. There's also some malts, sour cherries, oak, the fruits I mentioned above, and some medicinal and vinous qualities. The pinot noir barrels in which it was aged contribute mainly to the aftertaste, which has grapes, blackberries, and currants, and a dry, woody coating effect similar to the few pinots I've tried. Initially the body is sharp and dry with a carbonation that is high but not prickly and it evolves from being light and airy to medium and smoother. Quite an interesting beer, and one that tastes like a gueuze mixed with a pinot noir. Hats off to Russian River for attempting such a mysterious creation. My only complaint, as others have noted, is that the bottle is too damn small, but other than that, keep up the good work.

 1,490 characters

Photo of srw
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of ari32
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy amber grape fruit color. Head is tight bubbles that last the run of beer.

Smell: Aroma is oak, cherries, yeast...mystery.

Taste: The wild yeasts have been hard at work. Scores of dried apricots, tart cherries, yeasty goodness with a touch of citrus. Truly amazing.

Mouthfeel: Cream and silk, perfectly balanced.

I :heart: this beer.

 365 characters

Photo of mscudder
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of bschmidt_37
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HRamz3
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Booner818
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of kdown
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of erialbill
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of artoolemomo
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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

Many thanks to Tom for the bottle!

Pours an amber-orange color, with a foamy, fizzy head, which reveals fiery spots in the glass, when faded.

The aromas reveal cherry stone pits among dried cherries, vanilla, warm, old wood and a zippy funkiness. Due to the present tartness, the cherries get a vinous, fermented note, gracefully balanced by the wooden, leathery malts, which lets their sweeter side stand out even more. Cherries evoke a pungent, rich impression of sunbathed, ripe fruits during a warm summer, with just a hint of invigorating lemon zest to them.

Has an unusual sweet taste for a sour beer, based on its malt and ripe fruit foundation, accompanied by matured, wine soaked chunks of wood, topped with a hint of vanilla. Lactic sourness rises from the fruitiness, giving the cherries a powerful, pleasant character, hovering above musty malts and oak. Acidity then blends outstandingly well into the cherry flavor, adding a vinous note to it without becoming too sour, accentuating the rich fruitiness, balanced by the earth and leather. The beer finishes pleasantly dry nontheless, supported by a vivid carbonation, with cherryskin, toasty stone fruit pits, a vinous tang and tooth quenching sourness, still leaving enough space for rejuvenating cherry qualities.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,313 ratings.
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