Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

1,451 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: 1,451 | Ratings: 6,252
Photo of Xul
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber with some golden hues on the edges when held up to the light, capped by a two finger cream colored head with great retention that leaves tight lacing down the side of the glass. Beautiful.

S: Sour cherries up front with a lot of complexity backing it up - vinous characteristics, some oakiness, a hint of yeasty aroma, a bit of funk (although there's more sour aspects than funk), earthiness that could be from the hops or the funk. Every whiff reveals a slightly different balance of the components.

T: More tartness than the aroma lets on, but far from overpowering. Sour cherries are the first taste, giving way to oaky notes, grapes, some funk poking out from behind the sourness on the backend, even a bit of leather. All of it is backed up by a slight caramel malty aspect. Strongly sour, but balanced in the sense that it doesn't hide the complexity of everything going on in this beer.

M: Good medium carbonation and a smooth feel balance the mouth-puckering sourness. High in acidity but remarkably refreshing.

D: If not for price and rarity, I could drink this like water...and that's only a slight exaggeration. An amazing beer, and I can't wait to see how it evolves over the next couple years.

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

A - Pours a surprisingly dark and malty, hazy ruby copper with a smallish light tan head that recedes at a slightly slower than normal pace to a thin fiml of microbubbles.

S - A pretty sour cherry kick in the nose that gets stronger as it warms. Only hints of funk with a slight vinegar character, a tad musty.

T - Sour sun-turned cherries, lime, and lemon zest. Oak has rounded this beer nicely. The barnyard indeed comes out here too as it warms, but never too much.

M - A little heavy for the style, but the relatively high carbonation helps to create a nice balance.

D - This brew is delicious, but far from the most complex sour I've had. It's a kriek alright, but not much more. I would seek out again, but wouldn't go too far to get it.

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Photo of koopa
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4 375ml bottle received in a trade with abecall98 thanks!

Appearance: Pours a caramel copper with honey bursts and red folds. The crown is white, billowy soft, about 1.5 fingers, shows some retention and serious lace.

Smell: Very soft and delicate yeast, cherries, white grapes, lightly toasted oak and leather.

Taste: Lots of cherries, white grapes, and some lemony brett. Moderate pucker and sourness but quite tart and acidic!

Mouthfeel: light bodied with velvety small carbonation.

Drinkability: The acidity is the only thing that holds this back from being sessionable. Good stuff.

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

Poured from 375mL bottle into a tulip. Batch 04X3, whatever that means.

Appearance: deep, woody amber color with a finger of compact tan head. Looks good enough to eat. There is a very nice lacing left on the glass as I drink.

Smell: tart and woody with a little sweet malt aroma coming through. Complex and tasty smelling.

Taste: this is one tart wild ale. Flavor moves from tartness to woodiness and, finally, to the sweet fruitness of the cherries. The cherry flavor is more of a hint or suggestion, but it proves a very nice contrast to the brightness up front. The cherry lingers on the palate a good long time. This beer is quite delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with big carbonation. While not really creamy (it's too acidic for that), it is still a very smooth effect which I find appealing.

Drinkability: this is incredibly drinkable. Were I to win the lottery tomorrow, I'd definitely try to get my hands on a few cases of this stuff.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001. Poured into a flute from a 375 ml. bottle. Bottled 5/28/2005.

A: Beautiful hazy amber color with a thin white head that settles quickly, but leaves great lacing on the glass.

S: The cherries have diminished greatly, leaving behing the aroma of great Burgundy. Spice, forest floor, and some ripe cherry flavor is present. Hops are no longer there due to age and preservation.

T: A bit of the cherry flavor is present, but dominating flavors are tart and barnyardy, with some caramel, spice, and a big dose of oak. The finish is tart, dry, and refreshing.

M: Light, tart, and very complex, this brew dances around the tongue and leaves flavors that last almost a lifetime.

D: If one happens to get ahold of this brew, buy it! Don't mind the cost. It's amazing, and is the pinnacle of this style. I would like to try a younger example, just to see how it compares.

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Photo of nectar14
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear gold amber with lingering white head

S: detailed and complex, with tobacco smoke, vanilla, cherries, malt, and funky Brett

T: cherry, malty grains, vanilla oak, tart acidity carrying well-balanced flavors

M: finessed, gentle, and broad. Really lovely.

D: not too heavy at all and I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.63/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Paid $12.99 for a 375ml bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into a wine glass to review. Batch 04X3.

Fizzy white head of about an inch. Deep orange in color and similar in appearance to a glass of champagne. A nice layer of retention and great lacing.

Wild yeast, brett, white grape, melon, citrus, oak and grassy hops. A bit of musky funk to it, but certainly not the dominating aroma.

Taste is more sour than I expected with cherry and red pinot grape coming more into play. Nice oak with some musk and brett; certainly let you know they are in there, but again, not overpowering.

Mouth is vinous, dry and astringent yet still with a crispness from the nice carbonation. Lighter bodied and a true sipper.

I still think I'm getting acclimated with these variety of ales. I respect this beer but don't think I can truly appreciate it yet. I'll be re-reviewing this in a year or so to see how my palate has changed.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Our good friend Justin (a.k.a. JustinA1, formerly Unwiseman Crappler) brought this back from his trip to Santa Rosa. Thanks a ton buddy! Much appreciated!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Pours out caramel-colored and oily, producing very little head. A very thin, white halo retains for the entire session, and leaves just a touch of lacing. Body is crystal clear and reddish copper. Looks nice.

Smell: Juicy lemon, blackberry tarts, cherries, and, of course, brettanomyces. Sweet and sour aromas come together beautifully! No vinegar here. Mouthwatering!

Taste: Initially sugary, but rapidly switches to sour bret. Cherries are subtle, but there. Dry esters pick up midway through, and I also get just a touch of salt. Finishes like cherry lemonade. I love the sourness, and as Wiseman Zach said (after trying this - his first sour!), "This one really grows on ya." Huge sourness. I love it!

Mouthfeel: Delicately carbonated, dry, and tremendously sour. Lots of mouth-numbing and/or palate-wrecking. Pretty light in body though. Exactly how a wild ale should be.

Drinkability: Sadly, I only got about 4oz. of this. I would've gladly taken more. Thank you SO much Mr. Appler! This is the best sour I've had to date!

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

Batch 4

A- Poured into a Bruery tulip glass, Supplication pours a caramely amber color with a slightly off-white head that settles to a silky, bubbly cap over the liquid. A thick ring of foam along the inside of the glass leaves drapes of web-like lacing after each sip.

S- Wild yeast imparts the expected notes of tartness and acidity. Aromas of red wine and oak barrel rest atop a bed of lightly toasted, sweet(ish) malts. Musky tones of barnyard hay emerge as the beer warms up.

T- The flavor is very tart at first. Notes of oak barrel, dark cherries, and caramel-brown malts make up the delicious mid palate, though the sourness accents these flavors all along the way. The finish is dry and leaves more lightly acidic tartness clinging to the inside of the mouth while bready malt notes lay on the palate.

M- A full-bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation that feels right for this beer. The corked popped out with such force that I was expecting the beer to be over-carbonated, but the mouthfeel is perfectly balanced.

D- This is one of the most enjoyable, drinkable beers that I've ever had. I made very short work of my 375 ML bottle and I'm sad that I only bought one.

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Photo of roan22
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

balosss and I shared a bottle of this, received in a trade. 7.0%, aged in pinor noir wine barrels 12-15 months, according to the label. The label provides a wealth of information.

Appearance: peachy reddish color. light foam and lace, tiny bubbles.

Aroma: sour patch kids and Funk. On the pungent side, a good thing.

Taste: like a frickin sweet tart [the candy]. sour and tart. thirst quenching.

Mouthfeel: Light, spritzy and puckery as hell. It will suck all the moisture out of your mouth.

Drinkability: Just one glass for me but this beer could possibly appeal to people who think they don't like beer, or any alcohol [sour candy freaks]. Nice job Russian River.

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Photo of tturaiders
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Reddish honey copper hue with a nice white head on it. The lacing is really nice as the head recedes.

Smell - Strong scents of green apple, cherries, and an overall sour fruit aroma. You can pick up on a slight oak note as well.

Taste - Amazing sourness. Reminds me of a Warhead candy. Lots of intense sour cherries, green apple, lemon, and the end has a nice earthy balance that makes your mouth water.

Mouthfeel - Very good carbonation. It has the "pickle-effect" that makes your mouth continue to water long after you've had a drink.

Drinkability - It's very smooth considering the sourness. The acidity and carbonation help balance it out and make it a smooth drink amid the sour fruit flavors.

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

I'm excited to try this, I've only had one other RR sour.

A- There was a huge pop when I let the cork fly. Good carbination in the glass. A nice head formed, about an inch, and it's pretty frothy and tightly nit. The glass has a lot of carbination action going on in the beer itself. A nice amber color nestles itself within my glass.

S- The sourness is there for sure. A lacto smell is there, reminds me of a cherry tums in a strange way. A nice oak smell with the presence of the pino for sure along with the sour cherry taste that floats around. Pretty complex nose.

T- Good clean beer taste, very crisp and refreshing. The sourness sits and waits till the end to pounce and pucker the tongue. This is a sour beast, almost like sucking on sour lemons. The sourness even lingers on my teeth, gums and down my throat. My most recent taste made my eye twitch, whew. The sourness is so overwhelming that I'm not getting too much of the other flavors. But this is tasty.

M- Besides the mouth puckering sourness the carbination is totally awesome and helps this beer out a great deal.

D- Easy to drink, but the sourness does slow down the drinking of the beer, but I want to enjoy this as it is.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got this one delivered today. Poured from the new 375mL style bottle into my tulip glass.

A: Pours a copper/ruby color with a nice two-finger head that is ever-so-slightly pink. Plenty of lacing initially as the head recedes, and some nice legs as it goes down.

S: A good amount of cherry in addition to a hefty amount of lactic sourness. Some oak. The cherry itself isn't over-the-top, but is somehow soothing as I inhale. Also detecting a very modest amount of earthy funk.

T: The cherries bring this beer to a completely different level. Absolutely beautiful how they are integrated--both sweetness and tartness--with the lactic sourness of the base beer. A bit of brown malt underlying the entire brew.

M: Fairly low carbonation on a medium body. Not terribly mouth-puckering, but fairly dry with a nice acidity.

D: Very drinkable, especially considering the style. Good carbonation levels, beautiful fruit, and a beautifully-balanced sourness.

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

Batch 4x2 poured into Chimay Glassware.

A- Hazy golden amber color with loads of carbonation that immediately dies to a small foam pool in the middle of the glass and nice fine lacing on my glass.

S- Loads of cherry, lemon, and brett right away, basically what you would expect from an American Wild, followed by some subdued sweet oak scents. Very nice balance.

T- Insane amounts of wild Brett yeast, sour cherries, lemon, green apple, with some slight acidity, followed by some nice slightly sweet oak and a nice dry finish that leaves your mouth watering.

M- Very nice acidic cherries/lemon going on but balances a nice slightly sweet oak backdrop and loads of fine carbonation throughout. Leaves you wanting more.

D- Really easy to drink a lot of this beer, undeniably refreshing. Reminds me of sour skittles(though not as sweet), they would leave me always wanting more. Best wild ale I have had, worth the cost...

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy cherry color with an off white colored medium sized head. Great retention on the sides of the glass. Looks damn good.

Smell is very complex, some cherry, vinegar, and a funky aroma. Many aromas exude from the glass. Way too many for me to name them all.

Tart and delicious up front. Tastes kind of like a sour patch kid without the sugar. Cherry, brett and funk come through hard core with this beauty. Everything complements each other so well, this beer is harmony in the mouth. So good, wow. You can definitely tell why they refer to it as a "sour."

Full mouthfeel with a little acidity. Terrific beer, great level of carbonation as well.

Great drinkability, I would love to sip on one of these all day long.

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

Batch 04x3. Thanks, augustgarage! Also a big thanks to teamizm, who hooked me up with a few for the cellar. 12.68 fl oz into Chouffe tulip.

A- Amber/caramel, snowy white head that drifts and builds into the tulip. Delightfully light yet rich. Looks like a snowdrift. Head is well-retained and laces like icing. Fantastic.

S- Cherries, oak, like chewing on a toothpick. Cherries are more tart than sweet. Acidic, like a good kriek/oud bruin.

T- Brett, cherry tartness, oak, lingering but reserved acidity. In perfect harmony. Really blown away at this one. Nowhere near the powerful wallop of a Cantillon, but oh-so-drinkable. Really great interplay with the cherries, funk, and oak.

M- Tart, acidic, but not too much. Great carbonation. Impossibly refreshing.

D- Insane. I'd drink a 3L of it if I could. Really glad I have a few more. Simply fantastic and the best Am. wild ale I've ever had.

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Photo of juhl31
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from tap at russian river

-medium amber/goldish through light. okay looking white head and lacing through the experience

-if sour has a smell, this is it. can slightly pull out some fruits in there too...banana, maybe a hint of peach

-wow! this blasts the taste buds really hard and immediately. much more intense than the pour i got about a month ago. has more of a lime sourness to it than lemon. finishes with quite a banana bread taste which is nice. once it warms up it really tastes like eating a warhead in which it has a bitter, kind of dusty sourness to it. really hard to pull much else out of it

-very powerful, but still smooth somehow. carb is not overdone and it has a nice amount of dryness to it

-i am not the biggest sour beer fan out there, and this is my favorite out there by far. very drinkable for me considering the style. could definitely be excited to order this for years to come

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

A: tight bubbles, small to medium head, lacing stays on glass for a while. nice hazy orange color.

S: subtle smell - sour and fruity (grapefruit, mild spiciness). as warms up smells sweater.

T: In the first taste, sourness overwhelms - but on second and subsequent taste sourness is very balanced and drinkable. Taste fruity but I don't detect cherries per say. musty earthness, but not overwhelming.

M: Puckery - silky, great carbonation feel

D: definitively drinkable, very smooth

batch 04x4

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Photo of BlackHoleBrew42
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank the lord Jebus...

On Tap at Falling Rock in Denver. Been waiting to try this one, and it did not dissapoint. Little head, gives way to a nice ruby color, smelling of hay and fruit. Mouthfeel is amazing, acidity is there and cuts into it, but you really get a nice dose of the cherry. The cherry element reminds me of New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red, but the sourness creates its own unique world. What a beer, I would gladly drink this all day and all night. Thank you, Mr. Cilurzo. Thank you.

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

Batch 4X2. I've always been intrigued by sours, but haven't taken the plunge. I heard through my local beer scene that a few cases had made it to my neck of the woods and couldn't resist.

Pours from 375ml bottle a brown/amber with a creamy colored cap. Foam was about 2 finger width with an abundance of lacing and long lasting retention.

The aroma is just explosive. Tartness, grapes, cherries, and a hint of pepper. A touch of vinegar is present, but really is taken back by the fruit.

Pungent tart and sourness up front, and gives way to cherries and and some slight yeast. Little vinegar, but it adds more to the tart notes at the front rather than the finish. Goes down crazy smooth.

Mouthfeel was medium. Sturdy enough to hold all the flavors together and just light enough to really enjoy during a session.

Drinkability is great, if sour is your bag.

PS. This is my first sour, and I really enjoyed it. I can see myself really enjoying this style more often. Thanks Russian River.

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Photo of billab914
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 003 poured from a 375 ml bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Poured a brown/red color with about half an inch of white frothy foam on top. It kept a thin white covering on the beer as I drank it, which made each sip a little frothy and really enhanced the beer. I don't think I could ask for a better looking beer of this style.

Aroma is sour and tart with some grape, cherry and sour candy apple flavors. The taste is not surprisingly sour and tart, but it also has a candy sweet-tart like flavor to it. It has a acidic bite to it as soon as it hits your tongue, and then mellows out a bit to show some of the complex flavors. The cherries come through very nicely in the finish. Awesome flavors and complexity, probably the best tasting of the style I have had.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's very delicious which helps the drinkability out a lot. It's sour, tart and acidic for sure but it's so good and complex drinking it really is a pleasure. Plus I really love anything with cherries involved in it. The acidity is the only thing that would probably get to me if I were to drink too much of this.

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Photo of vacax
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Gold with pink and red in color, nicely robust head with equally alluring retention and lacing. Aroma is sour, acetic, sweet with a mild note of dark fruit. Tastes nicely sour, of cherry skin, pediococcus, and well rounded. Body is moderate in heft with a smooth plentiful carbonation. Tart and sweet and quite easy to quaff, well deserving of its prestige.

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Photo of gthornton
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber red/brown with a hint of gold when held in the light. A 1.5" head recedes within a few minutes, leaving a sticky lacing.

Acidic cherry at the front and brown sugary sweetness in the back.

Sweetart-like sourness on the tip and sides of the tongue. Tart cherry again taking the lead here.

Mouthfeel is like a sour cherry candy... a rush of tart up front washes away cleanly, then finally a quick rush of tartness comes back up front.

The mouthfeel makes me want to keep sipping, it is addictive in its uniqueness. Would be great with thanksgiving dinner.

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

Batch 04x3. Poured from a caged and corked 375mL bottle into my White Birch tulip. A satisfying "pop" issues forth when I carefully removed the cork.

A slow decanting builds four fingers of champagne foam resting atop a clear, dark, mercurial body of shifting colors: rust, rufous, burnt orange, tenné, and mahogany. The head recedes to a shuddering weakly whipped half finger. Lacing is like a mirror filled atlas with glimmering tears.

Very mild bacteria build the foundation of tartness that seamlessly leads into the cherry aromatics which begin lightly acidic then turn sweet, oaky, and faintly vinuous. Delightful.

Acidity is more bracing on the palate, but quickly balanced by a light fruity sweetness. Mid-palate you can detect more of the "barnyard" influence of Brett. which adds an excellent complexity to the flavor. Fresh cherry pits, and faint pinot noir grapes are suggested adding further diversity to the range of tartness. Very light bitterness and light wine barrel notes rounds out the finish.

Medium-light bodied, smooth, effervescent, and with the perfect amount of astringency. Hard to imagine this getting any better.

For some time I saw American Wild Ales as a sort of lesser cousin of traditional lambics. While Supplication lacks the intensity of aromatics or flavors (at least at this young stage) compared to its Belgian predecessors, it more than makes up for that in balance and supreme drinkability.

All in all, a very impressive, superior crafted, creative success.

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

I feel so lucky to live in a place where I can get this brew. Poured into my RR "TION" glass.

Appearance is beautifull. A light red color with some amber hues. I'm assuming most of the red is from the cherries. Nice thick head with beautiful lacing.

Smells amazing. Tons of Bret funk and sourness going on with a good tart cherry aroma.

Taste is great. This is what a wild ale should taste like. Lots of funk mixed with a great tartness that is on the higher side of the spectrum but not the most tart beer I have had. The cherries are there and taste great. I wish there was a little more but I'm sure that's impossible with this beer. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel is good. Great carb and the bottle made a nice loud pop when I opened the bottle.

Overall I would drink this as much as I could because I don't see it often. But I am lucky to see it here and there.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,252 ratings.
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