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: 6,294
Photo of Beerisheaven
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recent batch sent to me by one of BA's best traders and all-around good guys - ipa247.

Popped this 375 bottle and it sounds like a small firecracker on July 4th. Loud pop with wispy cloud.

A - Made sure to not be too aggressive with the pour as I have read reviews that it is a bit of a gusher. Ruby color red with a large pillow of white immediately upon pour. As you work your way through the glass, significant retention on the glass. Very impressive.

S & T - Cherry and oak dominate this beer with a measurable amount of funk but not over the top. The taste is just about perfect. Beautiful tart sour cherry and oak combine to make this a world class beer. Not face puckering by any means. If you are a not a huge fan of sours, this is the beer for you. As soon as I started drinking it, I became sad knowing that I was killing off one of the bottles.

M & D - Very nice, but I dinged it just a bit not knowing how much of this I could actually drink. One 375 bottle was more than enough for me.

I always liked Temptation, but this one is now my favorite in an impressive lineup of RR beers. I need to get more of this, because it is a beer that I would like to have whenever the desire is there. Really top notch.

Thanks Jeff for picking this up and sending to me. More, more, more!!

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

Big thank to tzanio for this one!

L: Pours a nice copper orange brown color with a tall and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malt, huge cherry, wood, and a big sour aroma at the end. Complex yet enticing aroma.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, big cherry flavors mixed with oak notes, a big sour almost citrus-y sour finishes this one off.
M: Very crisp, medium bodied, full flavored, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable. This was very interesting and the flavors all mixed very well. Excellent beer.

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Photo of JBogan
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An attractive dark amber body supports a one finger off white crown. There's a substantial amount of lacing left behind. This is one good looking beer.

The delicate aroma consists of cherry, oak and a light barnyard funk.

The taste is even better. One again cherries play the leading role, the oak the supporting cast (cask?), and the barnyard funk is there in the finish along with a bit of lemon. A near perfect blend and extremely delicious.

The mouthfeel is smooth, rich and with a slightly dry finish.

Wow, what a nice sour. I was extremely impressed by this beer and would recommend it to anyone who even remotely likes this style.

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Photo of loving44
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

A: Deep ruby brown with a pillow-like foamy head.

S: Sour cherries, lifesavers, very wine like

T: Sour cherries, sour patch kids with citrus sweetness, starts malty and sweet then quickly turns tart.

M: light with tight carbonation

D: Delicious and addictive, the tartness keeps you in check, easy to savor sip by sip, a great beer!

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

Aromas of cherries and berries, grassy funk, pepper, lemon, vanilla, baking spices.

First sip is a burst of sourness followed by cherry finish, then complexity builds. Gets lemony, and increasingly creamy, but definitely has a peppery and earthy side. Finishes very dry. Towards the end of the bottle, I got the exact taste of slightly tannic green tea with honey.

Has a very dry sourness.

You want to take very small sips of this one. Each sip brings something new.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - very consistent pour and settling, one finger head and nice lacing that sticks, reddish/amber opaque in color

smell - cherry nose, very fragrant and consistent

taste - cherry taste, sweet and tart, complex, sour but not aggressive

mouthfeel - strong body, consistent mouthfeel, medium carbonation, smooth finish

drinkability - very drinkable, excellent flavor, great treat

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

Batch 04x5, poured into a Cantillon glass.

A - Tawny deep copper/brown color. It pours with a thin head that sticks around for the entirety of the beer. some thin lacing crawls down the glass.

S - Tart cherries and wood. There is a slight vinegar nose but nothing out of control. The beer smells like a cherry lover's dream.

T - Brown style ale lends a good base here, as there is a roasty malt flavor and even a little hint of hops. But you'll have to dig for those flavors, since the tartness and cherry are the most present notes here. Again, this is well balanced, and not too sweet or tart; the biggest advantage the beer has is this restraint and balance.

M / D - The mouthfeel is exceptional; crisp and refreshing. As for drinkability? I could have a couple of these a night. If only they were easier to find!

All in all, it's another amazing beer from RR!

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

10oz pour at Monk's Cafe. While I noticed some marked differences between this and the batch 3 bottle I had last year, I wasn't aware that I was drinking Batch 1 (4.5 years old) until later in the afternoon. Especially with all of the talk that batch 4 is very pungently cherried, I assumed I was having delusions or that Younger had wrecked my palate, neither of which is true.

A- Pours a brownish amber with 1-finger of off white head, which is very spritzy and dissipated quickly leaving sticky, streaky lacing.

S- Huge lactic character with a slightly vinegary aroma (which is much more pronounced that I remember from the fresher bottle I sampled.) I wrote in my notes that I got no cherry whatsoever in the nose, due to the overpowering lactic sourness and this makes perfect sense in retrospect. The old wood and vinegar that followed the sourness are much more welcome with the knowledge that this beer had been aged for 4.5 years.

T- Initially, I get an ever-so-slight fruitness, which I wouldn't even single out as cherries except for the fact that I know this beer is aged with cherries. The Pinot Noir barrels may play a role in this initial fruiting as well. The fruit immediately gives way to the huge lacto sourness I have already alluded to in the smell category. In the finish, I get a lot of the vinegar flavor, which is much more intertwined with the woodiness and marked leathery flavors making it much more enjoyable than in the nose.

MF- Spritzy mouthfeel with a medium body. The fresh consecration I sampled right after this was slightly syrupy for my liking, but this was pretty much the perfect viscosity for this beer.

D- Slightly more acidic that I would like to the point where it had a burn that was slightly more on the esophagus than most any sour I have tasted. This is not to say that it was more sour or worse, it just burned a little. Other than that one downside, however, the beer was extremely drinkable and has held up VERY nicely.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very cloudy deep orange-brown with a tiny head and some slippery lacing.

The smell is sweet with rich malty notes that are quickly put in check by a cherry infused sourness that is all but overwhelming in the nose.

Hints of vinegar and loads of sour cherries. Champagne like dryness supplemented by sour green apples and nuances of oak barrel. Strong vinous tannins remind me of a good north coast Pinot Noir. A fine wine of a brew.

The mouthfeel is light and aggressively carbonated. Coating and dry.

Overall, great offering from a great brewery. Probably best sour I have had to date from RR. Awesome.`

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

Appearance- Low and fleeting head, tiny and persistent bubbles and a light amber color.

Smell- Lots of fresh oak barrel, light sourness of cherries.

Taste- More fresh oak barrel, cherries are light, covered by a brisk, clean, puckering sour.

Mouthfeel- Lightly but crisp carbonation. A palate scrubber.

Drinkability- A nice enjoyable drink.

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

A wonderful cherry beer with the background of must, funk, sour, and dryness.

Supplication begins with a deep redish-brown color, boardering on rust with it's medium haze. An off white head forms above the beer and soon settles to an intermitten blanket of foam with solid lacing. A fine looking beer indeed.

Very tart, musty, horsey, and sharply of lime and vinegar-like to the nose. Bold cherry aromas take center stage and in tart and under-ripe versions. Amber malts begin to temper the acidic notes with light breads and toast. Slight phenolics give a bit of medecine notes to go along with peppery scent. As with most Belgian Lambics, the aroma promises serious complexity, strength, and depth... let's see.

Crazy intense flavors of tart cherries hold center stage and push the yeast and malt character way down. Cherry notes are complimented by lemons, limes, apples, cranberries, and crab-apples. Funky vinous notes of cider, red-wine or balsamic vingar, musty-dusty earthiness, and aged woods give a lot of flavor and help to intensify the character of the cherry fruits. A salty, minerally flavor also amplifies the sharp flavors quite a bit. Softer malts pad the impact of the yeast and fruit agains the tongue with just enough bread crust and toffee sweetness to remind me that this is indeed a beer.

Acrid, astringent, and mouth puckering up front but the beer holds enough maltiness to give it a bit of cushion on the back side that allows for dryness but not an insatiable astringency. This gives a great clean lactic quality that erases the enamel from the teeth but keeps from the burn in the throat.

This is a delicious beer. With that extra mild malty finish the beer has a more inviting flavor and mouthfeel than say another great sour in Drie Fonteinen fruit sours.

Thanks waltonc, bbehr!

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

11.2oz bottle, this was a very generous extra from BA user da man! served in a Stone Levitation glass...

A - after the cork pop, foam started to slowly rie out of the glass, stopping just short of spilling over (and wasting a few drops), a good omen as the beer gods must be watching this one. poured about an inch and a half of tight pillowy and frothy, very light tan foam. leaves a thin layer of webbed lacing around the glass as it slowly falls. the beer is a very hazy, dark gold/orange color.

S - this one hit my nose as soon as i got the cork off...noticing some oak right away. big whiffs of belgian yeast, some sour lemon/green apple and ample tartness. sweetness comes in the form of cherries, oak, vanilla.

T - flavor explodes in the mouth at each sip, tons of sour and tart cherries, turns mouth watering and puckering before more subtle stuff comes through, oak, vanilla, brett...sweet malt underneath carries throughout. outstanding balance and development from sour, to tart, to funk, to acidic, to sweet. some time settling brings out some more funk and a slight pepperyness also some toasted nuts out of nowhere. beers like this still blow my mind with displays of what strains of yeast are capable of.

M - this is everything a Wild Ale should be...healthy amount of tight carbonation that is just spot on, not distracting and aids to delivering a myriad of flavors to all corners of the mouth. ample creaminess is sufficient enough to fight through massively puckering tart/sour.

D - a beer like this just begs to be slowly sipped and savored, the problem is its just so damn delicious and balanced. the alcohol is simply non-existent, and balance just unbelievable. sitting and settling for a few minutes brings out a whole new slew of tastes and textures. certainly holds its own against other RR sours/wilds.

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Photo of alli4051
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 350ml bottle into a red wine glass (it was all I had).

A: Pours a hazy orange/amber color. Produces a finger of brownish white head that recedes quickly leaving some faint lacing.

S: I think this may be the most aromatic beer I have had to date. Vanilla and cherry up front. Some oak and spiciness in the background.

T: Tart cherries and currants take the forefront here. Some oak and spices (cinnamon maybe?) are present as well.

M: Medium/full bodied brew with a clean finish. The finish is surprising considering how sour this is, after a second or two its like it was never there.

D: I will admit I am not a fan of the style but had to try this due to the hype. The sourness was a shock at first; however, after a few sips it all came together and I could easily see how fans of sours could crush this and beg for more.

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Photo of hardy008
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 04x5. Dark amber with a large off white with good retention and it leaves a nice lace. The smell is quite complex, and consists of oak, tart cherries, and barnyard funk. There are other aromas present, but I can not pick them out.

The flavor is tart cherries, wood, a little sweet malt which I did not detect from the smell, and some funk. Very good, very dry and complex as well. Medium bodied, smooth, and quite drinkable.

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

Enjoyed from a 375mL bottle (Batch 04x2) in a tulip glass. Dark amber in color with one finger of light tan head, fading into a nice cap and lacing. Smells of oak, tart cherries, and funk, but primarily cherries. Taste is mouth puckeringly tart: sour cherries, oak, and a bitter, tannic finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. As much as I love everything about this beer, it can be very hard to drink. An excellent brew all around!

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Photo of GilGarp
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 04X5, a 375 mL corked and caged bottle.

Pouring slowly into the wine glass, trying to keep sediment and yeast in the bottle, Supplication pours a hazy redish brown color with thick white head. There is a lot of activity in this beer with tiny flecks of suspended yeast. The head settles very slowly with spotty lace left behind.

Aroma is wonderful and full of sour cherries and tart cranberrier. In fact, as soon as the cork came loose, the smell of sour funk was is the air. It's not overpowering but it's a very prominant aspect of the beer.

Flavor is suitably intense. Sweet and sour, tart and bitter, all in balance. Reminds me very much of Consecration in that respect. So much flavor but all in unison. The cherries are probably the most forward of flavors but, as noticed in the nose, cranberries are there as well. The brown ale base is not completely lost but I would be interested to try it alone without the addition of wild yeast and barrel aging. Some toasty malt and caramel come through but it's certainly overwhelmed by the conditioning.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Lots of flavor, especially sour, and the alcohol is not too strong.

Overall another great beer from Russian River. If I could afford it, I would love to try Supplication, Consecration, and Temptation in a side-by-side sour tasting. Without trying the latter yet, I have high expectations after trying the other two.

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Photo of gibby
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle batch 004x1 purchased at Capone's last week.
Poured into an oversized wine glass. Great copper color with a minimal beige head that didn't last long. Minor lacing down the glass. Smells great, big burst of cherries, wood and some funkiness. The taste is where this beer really shines in my book. It's dominated by cherries with a great sourness but nothing over the top. Very, very delicious beer. I felt like I was flying through this beer so I had to slow myself down to really enjoy it. Mouthfeel is excellent as well. The carbonation is spot on and it has a sort of champagne quality that coast your tongue. Drinkability is off the charts in my opinion. Feel like I could sip on this all day long. Temptation and consecration were very good but I think supplication is my favorite of the 3. I will get more, highly recommended.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this from trenton road takeout. Pours a cloudy brown. Thick bubblier then bubbly heading. Some Lacing throughout.

Smell is of a fine wine with a beer twist ending. All cherry and tart upfront but there are some toasted malt notes in it.Subtle fruity yeasty aroma's as well. Different but yet intriguing.

Taste is well EVIL. Am I sure that this is beer? Ridiculous tartiness with a nice punch of sour cherry.There is a a linger in the end of a bready maltiness.

Mouth is full bodied with a champagne bubbliness that never settles completely. Tart feel completely numbs the palate and makes the tongue slap against the roof of my mouth a few times after each sip.

Although I don't think this is a session type beer it surely is one of the best tasting beers out there. A must try for everyone who enjoys unique beer.

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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 BeerImmediately
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 04x1. 375ml into Duvel glass.

Started rising out of the bottle as the cork was popped. Poured with a massive 4f of chunky off white head, over top of a deep amber body - plenty of visible carbonation. Good lacing.

Overall aroma was not overpowering, but was really top notch for a 'wild ale'. Plenty of oak barrel to start, followed by rich, dark fruit skins, gym sneakers, some red twizzler sweetness, and a bit of cinnamon hiding out in the back.

Tart, nearly puckering at the onset - flavor was full of brett and cherry skins, with lesser levels of acidic / lemon juice and bready/yeasty goodness. Phenomenal carbonation balance, creating a smooth slide over the tongue, with dry, tight finish.

This is really hard to just let sit in the glass... it constantly pulls you back, leaving you quickly wishing there were 5 more of it's sibblings waiting for you in the fridge. But that would be an expensive 6 pack now, wouldn't it.

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Photo of snpub540
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper hue with some ruby highlights. There is a cream colored head that lasts a long time and leaves thin scattered lacing on the glass.

Smell is a mixture of balsamic vinegar, tart cherries, grapes, and some alcohol sweetness.

Taste is of sweet cherries upfront, but a quick in your face sour funk sweeps. A dry woody finish mellows things out. The sour creeps up hard but it balances away very nicely.

Drinkability is good as it is not too sour or overwhelming. Alcohol is not very present. Mouthfeel is creamy and coats the whole palate. Another good sour from RR.

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

Grabbed a couple 350ml bottles at Beaumont Market yesterday shortly after Justin posted this special release on Facebook.

- Clear straw yellow with lots of bubbles keeping a forever lasting smooth blanket of foam on top... about as pinky fingers depth. Bottle had opened with a healthy pop.. and it is kind of fun watching all the bubbles on the side of the tumbler glass I used.

- Nice tart sourness of front, and underneath is a nice blend of white grape, zesty hops.. and a noticeable brown ale-like malt sweetness... bit of oak and not too much cherry.. unless it is adding to the tartness.

- Wonderful flavors... and I really let this sit around awhile and get warm so all the flavors would come out to play. Zesty sour white grape-like notes for me... a background of currants, oak, and sweet roasted grain and molasses. Hops were there and present... blended perfectly and oh so subtle.... fantastic.

- This is where my judging of this brew drops a bit. It was a thin bodied brew.. perfectly tart and mouth watering... but I though much over carbonated. It would almost be worth letting it sit out a long time to just settle down... what a live beast of a brew.

- Overall I really liked this, and I plan on sitting on others for a long time to see what can happen to this brew, and if the carbonation would calm down a bit. Overall very good. Would still buy Consecration before this one though. Even Temptation too I think.... but either way, I will buy all of them. Love each and every one of them.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 04x3, new 375ml designed bottles...still corked and caged. Poured into my large Delerium snifter. Pours a ruby/orangish color with smooth creamy one finger head. Head dissapates quickly but remains a layer of cream. Appears to leave thick bubbly lacing.

Aroma is wonderful. Full of tart cherries...obviously. Citrus and booze in the nose at all. Slight vinegar aroma, overall though, my mouth is watering!

It's a pucker! Solid sour...tons of fermented cherries, carbonation...and very crisp. I guess I should mention I chose to pour slowly at first, and then swirled the setiment and poured in into my glass anyway. I personally love the added flavor. There's a very nice sweet flavor that rests on the tongue well after each sip. A great sour!

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy orange tea color with a thick stiff foamy white head that resists fading, leaving a huge amount of Belgian lacing, some 3D. The smell is aggressive, complex and fruity classic Bing cherries down to the unique tart character. The aroma also has a sweetness that i want to associate with malt but with a creamy vanilla note that i sense may be from the barrel aging. Full flavored, the tart cherry character is intense without being offensive and in fact is exceptional. Visibly effervescent, the mouth feel finishes clean and dry. This is the most drinkable sour that I've experienced...right up there with Brute and LeBleu. The depth of the flavors and aroma of this one exceeds the other two. Really glad that I had the opportunity to consider it!

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Photo of portia99
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle (batch 04x3) received in trade from Nanoslug - Thanks! Poured into a Russian River Belgian stemmed glass.

A - Cork comes out with a nice pop and a small rush of trapped CO2. Pours a clear, nice light amber color with an overall pinkish hue to it...somewhat reminiscent of unblended cranberry juice. A thick two fingered pillow of cream colored (again with a slight pinkish tint) foam rests on top and shows absolutely no sign of going anywhere. An endless stream of carbonation bubbles rises through the glass giving a champagne impression. Very pretty wild ale.

S - When I popped the cork, I took a quick smell and my immediate impression was...Canada Dry gingerale?...I love this smell so we are off to a good start - although this is not what I was expecting to get. Upon closer inspection I still get a gingerale'y effect, but with more going on as well. Some good lactic sourness and really get the cherries coming thru too. Really nice blend of aromas. Also, as I come back for more, really start to get the brett funk coming out - spicy, horseblankety, tart. Excellent!

T - Not overly sour or tart in the spirit of Beatification, although there are plenty of sour flavors here. Plenty of lactic acid up front. Fruity overall, sour cherries, (still getting gingerale too), pinot grigio, some oaky woodiness, plenty of brett character - quite funky overall. Very enjoyable.

M - Carbonation is characteristically high but has a bit of a creaminess to it. Body is thin, but a bit fuller than I expected and fuller than most wilds I've had. Lactic sourness fills the mouth and gives a drying and slightly puckering sensation, but really feels pretty refreshing overall. Again, quite good.

D - Hmm, very good wild ale...really a toss up between this and Consecration for my favorite RR wild, and up there overall, probably adding Ithaca Brute into the mix. Good blend of fruitiness, sour, brett...sorry that this is only a 375ml bottle...have to try to get a few more of these before they become scarce.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,294 ratings.
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