Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

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6,433 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,433 |  Reviews: 1,479
Photo of nvsblman
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, reddish-brown color with about a finger or so of off-white head. Musty aroma, full of cherries, and also a slight tartness. Almost like a little lemon zest has been added. Nice and funky flavor, with a great sour cherry flavor. A little oaky and some vanilla. Also a little bit of lactic acid flavor. Velvety mouthfeel, great carbonation. It seems like there are new flavors coming out with every sip. Very nice offering!

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.32/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork pops off with an explosive pop. The beer pours aky red in color with a moderately thin off-white head. Very sour aroma! Big cherry flavor with a nice oaky character. Flavor starts very sweet. Gets a bit rough on the tongue mid-palate -- like licking a cork. Oaky woodiness then comes through fairly strongly, blending nicely with a semi-sweet cherry flavor at the finish. Yeast pour mellows the flavor a bit, enhancing the fruity character nicely. Another great one from Russian River!

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Photo of bruachan
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

every time i'm at the brickskeller i ask for this...finally they did. delish. batch 001

i just had jolly pumpkin's la roja recently, and it makes sense now. i gett brett. sour, sharp spice (but not spiced). i can pull out the cherries but only because i was looking for them. complex, but so easy to appreciate

i've got nothing but praise for vinnie. truly a pioneer

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Photo of Realale
4.02/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous onion skin with amber highlights. Creamy off-white extremely fine head peaks at a solid half inch and settles slowly to a complete cap that leaves nice lace.

Extraordinary nose of deep, fleshy sweet cherry intertwined with racy sour notes. As it warms, the brett aromas appear adding horse blanket, and dark spice. There's an earthy maltiness rumbling below it all. Just stunning.

The palate is a relatively big let down from the nose (but almost anything would be). Much simpler with the flavors that are so distinct on the nose becoming muddy. It's on the full side of medium, and the malt plays the predominant role in the mouth. The cherry moves to a bit role, and it's surprisingly no where near as sour as the nose promises. Medium length, with a touch of acid coming through with a whack of oak on the finish.

Lovely bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. Really velvety and attractive. Smellability is off the scale, but drinkability not so much for me as the oak is a bit much, and the palate just isn't that interesting. Some additional cellar time might allow the sourness to build and break through the palate adding balance and interest. We'll see. Regardless, an inspiring effort and one hell of a nose. Batch one.

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Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Corked and caged warning of 7% abv. Odd sized bottle, batch 001

Aroma: Rich vinegar balanced by mild cherry and vanilla notes.

Appearance: Hazy brown with some chunky floaties. Thin collar and cover gives touches of lace.

Flavor: Vanilla front going funky Lambic sour quickly with some hints of cherry skin and a sharp lemonish finish. Very unique.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, mild carbonation

Overall Impression: Sour, but not overwhelmingly so. Tart. Wild.
A good flavor, but I didn’t do a great job capturing it here in my review. It came late in a session. I recommend it.

Thanks to Eric for hand carrying it to Texas for me!

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yikes, where to begin; the cacophony of artistry that went into brewing this is mind numbing. Purchased this in California in February, and after going back there recently I was reminded, hey I didn't drink that Supplication yet! So here we are. An interesting creation indeed. Pours a deep, hazed orangey amber, with an initally thick head that dies to lace, though upon swirling to pick up the interesting aroma, it rebounds if only for a moment.

Initially, the first thought upon getting a whiff of this brew is "lambic." Sour, musty funky cherry aroma, but there's also a very earthy rotted pumpkin thing going on here. Innnteresting. Flavors meld beautifully; upfront tartness yields to woody birch bark flavors, followed swiftly (as this is all too quaffable) by the lingering mildly sour cherry vanilla notes. Carbonation is noticeable on the palate, yet somehow has a creamy, lactic milk-like feel that I've never tasted. Usually it's one or the other; this is well carbonated and strangely creamy. What the? Can there be a creativity rating? This gets 5's there. Extremely unique, tasty, complex and worth seeking out.

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

Supplication-To ask for humbly or earnestly, as by praying. (According to Webster).

I was lucky enought to try Russian River's Supplication on Tap at Monk's in Philly and it was just phenomenal. It's hard to rate it according to style, being a wild ale. It certainly was wild. Like an american lambic but hoppier and less concerned with stylistic guidelines.
Hoppy, fruity, slightly piney.
Taste is just a unique experince. More like a lambic but with some bitterness and some strong alcohol kick.
Had with a venison pot pie. Excellent pairing.
Just find it and drink it!

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Photo of AlexJ
4.79/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.05/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ray and Cornelia who shared this at the Charlotte BA tasting. absolutely beautiful bottle score extra points (hey, it's my opinion). The only other Wild Ale I've had is also from Russian River (Insanity?). Nice copper color with sour grape taste and smell. It's hard to be "wild" over this style, but I believe Russian River has nailed it.

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Photo of instrumentality
4.03/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured the contents of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The head filled it to the rim, then settled to a dense 1/4" lacy layer. The color was a light orangy-copper color. I held the beer up to the light and saw a swirling cloudiness that made it seem like something significant was going on inside that glass. I was anxious to proceed.

I perceived the odor as a mixture of cherries and pine.

Upon entering my mouth, the first sensation I felt was tartness, extreme tartness to the point where could actually feel the glands in my neck swelling from the shock. I quickly identified the source of this tartness as a cherry flavor which gradually became sweeter and more soothing as my taste buds adjusted. Mixed with this was a flavor reminiscent of champagne.

It was very abrasive on the palate, acidic, somewhat vinegary, somewhat heavy on the carbonation.

Tart cherries? Acidic? Vinegary? Abrasive? Despite all of these seemingly deterrent qualities, I actually enjoyed this one. It went down more easily with each sip, and not just because the alcohol was taking effect. I liked that the cherry flavor was tart rather than sweet, as it tasted more genuine and better complemented the other intense flavors.

Supplication is unlike anything I've ever had; in a blind taste test, I'd wonder if this was, in fact, a beer, and not some other category of alcohol with which I'm not familiar. Maybe I'm just not that well versed in high quality brown ales, or maybe this one's just in a league of its own.

I decided not to read the bottle before trying this so as not to bias
my senses, but now that I read the description--the year of aging, the winemaking background of the brewer, the similar process to champagne making--I understand why this beer tastes so unusual.

I'll definitely pick this one up again on occasion, and I'd like to try it with a heavy meal, perhaps some tri-tip and mashed potatoes.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.73/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
3.72/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orangey-brown with floaties and a white 1-inch head. Aroma is stong cherries as soon as the cork is popped. Vinous with a faint band aid aroma. Taste is sour cherries and grapes. Vinous, vinegary alcohol. Sourness hides any hop or malt complexities. Mouthfeel is nice. Bubbly creamy,medium body. Drinkability is hindered by extreme sourness & alcohol. Not my style, as I prefer the temptation.

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Photo of clvand0
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with very little head that falls fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly sour, but not nearly as sour as I expected it to be. The flavor is surprisingly smooth. Slightly soured, but very mellow. Some fruits linger on the palate as does a light bit of maltiness. The aftertaste is very inviting. The body is light and the drinkability is very good. Very nice beer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.77/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a lightly ambered color with a finger of head over top that falls to a healthy cover over top. Clarity is moderate, with a bit of haze and without apparent carbonation. Good looker. Nose is excellent, with moderate sourness, with a very solid backing of cherry. Its not biting, but very inviting. Almost a touch of acetone-like aromas that I associate with sour browns. Flavor is very nice, mildly sour, moving towards a very smooth cherry fruityness, finishing with a light tartness. Aftertaste is very solid sour cherry that lingers well in to the finish, enticing me to drink more and more of this beer. Very nice balance between fruit flavor and sour tinge. A mild sourness hangs on the sides of my tongue into the finish as well. Very excellent. Feel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. It doesn't interfere with the flavor while having enough carbonation to make it lively. Drinkability is awesome. No hint of the alcohol at all in this one. Its smooth and enjoyable while having a prominent sour character. The fruityness is excellent, and compliments the base beer excellently. Well worth the wait.

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Photo of drewmprs
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rich tangy pour with bubbles clinging in ribbons on the glass. Mouthfeel is a soft spritzy flavor with gentle hints of brets. Similar yet remarkably different from the temptation. Was it worth the 8.99 a bottle? Let's just say i'm not gonna go run and get a 6 pack

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Remarkable! A brilliant beer!

A long-standing bottle pours a clear, deep-crimson-amber body beneath a full head of creamy light tan foam that holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lace about the glass. The lacing could be better, but the retention is impressive.

The nose is sparkling with Brettanomyces and tartness; metal, oak, wet and oily leather, acetic acid, uric acid, chalk, must, damp newspaper, wet straw, papaya, plum, citrus rind, and cherry.

It's delicately effervescent in the mouth with a medium body that leaves it quite smooth, a bit airy, and somewhat creamy despite it's initial spritz.

The flavor is just as the nose suggests, but with a much fuller character. The sourness appears upfront; followed by the delicate, tart fruit (cherry, papaya, summer berries); and then mustiness and some very drying oak in the finish.

It's quite simply remarkably bizzare and flavorful, yet somehow completely pulled together and ultimately refreshing! It's astonishingly entincing, enaging, and almost consuming.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, cloudy maroon with a very effervescent, faomy head that then settled rather quickly.
Aroma of musty fruit with maybe some cherry, blueberry and raspberry evident. Some earthy soil and musty hay with a nit of weahtered leather as well.
Flavors of dark fruits, some licorice, a bit of pepper provide an amazing but almost confusing set of flavors.
Mouthfeel is moderate but very tart and crisp. Very tart and juicy with some saw dust dryness on the finish.
Drinkability is very high. Amazingly complex and I can imagine each bottle tasting very different from the last. Memorable for sure

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

Simply an amazing brew, with a fiery orange color, a dynamic and vibrant aroma and an astonishing medley of flavors. Meticulous balance of cherries, yeast and oak, producing a range of flavors. Vinnie does great work with Sour Belgians. I love the wine barrel aging and the vinous character.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 001, cellared on the side.

Pours turbid, dark red, with an ambitious, spritzy head that falls immediately.
Hissing and prickling akin to a Schweppes.
Persistant release of carbonation not evident through the depths of the body, but revealing on the placid surface.
Sour cherries up front in the nose, with peppered leather and dusty boards.
Quite earthy and musty, with warming spice.
Cinnamon bark, anise, cardamon, paprika, dried mint, and schezuan peppercorns step forward as it breathes.
A cedar chest in the loft of a barn, filled with spice satchels, dried cherries, and old leather soles.
Medium bodied, subdued carbonation, but still lively- juicy and crisp.
A moderate amount of tartness leads the pallet, with a zesty cherry kick and a drying woodiness.
Developes warm and spicy, with some continued puckering, and tannic drying.
Finishes lengthy with some playfull, musty funk- and warming, dried citrus zest.
Not over-the-top wild, but already quite complex, and another 3-5 years in the cellar should further "Supplicate" this Vinnie masterpiece further.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.82/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeerBeing for the trade. Pours with moderate foam, body is a cloudy brownish red. Has characteristics of a nice red wine, vanilla, oak, faint Brett.

Taste is fucking amazing! Great pinot noir flavor, vanilla, cherries, oak, plus dirty barnyard notes. Slightly sour. Mouthfeel is great, just like that of the Temptation I had before this. Just as impressive as Temptation. I've found the new crack!

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Photo of mattcrill
4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to cmaruschak for the chance to enjoy this one.

Batch 001

Appearance: Cloudy amber colored pour with a light tan head.

Smell: Smoke, oak, sour cherries, vanilla. It smells warm (can warm be a smell???)

Taste: Sour cherries, apple cider, tart apples, chardonnay grapes, and a slight lactic astringency.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Very drying to the palate.

Drinkability: The tartness beats down the palate but I found it to be very interesting. The best of the tasting flight we had.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Batch 001: Ruddy amber color with a thin light beige head that disappears almost immediately. Barely any light penetrates. Tiny rising bubbles and lacing that races down the sides of the glass. Aroma of grapes, brown sugar and sweet candy. Medium body with a smooth mouthfeel, and a bold vinous character. Flavors of dark cherry and light spice and oak. The flavoring does not linger too long though. The finish is extremely dry and feels like it is sucking the moisture from your tongue as you drink it. The finish is moderately sour and peppery. Overall a very well-made and enjoyable beer.

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

Muted copper/orange appearance. A tightly packed one inch vanilla color head. Retention is fabulous and the lace left behind is picture perfect. Beautiful aroma. Tart cherries and brown sugar and acidic properties and wood mingle delightfully on the nose. This beer starts with a mild tart, acidic attack of the palate. But as you drink on, this trait subsides and cherry skin, wine notes, oak properties and Brett-induced sourness surface. A light little prick of carbonation tantilizes the tongue. And the body of this beer is hovering just below medium or so.

Gotta send thanks out to the Bum for yet another RRB product. It's much appreciated.

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

Pours out a hazy, cloudy orange-red color with a tightly-packed beige head that held for quite a while and left a nice little lacing in the glass.

Smell is interesting, there's a definite white-wine aroma that wafts up out, with some juicy light fruits, but there's also a yeasty/vinegary side to it that gives it a lambic-like tartness. The cherries come through pretty clearly here, too.

Flavor is interesting. Mildly acidic, but not a complete pucker-inducing ravage on your tongue. The lactic flavors blend well with the cherry flavors, and the oak comes through more clearly as it warms up a bit. The aftertaste is fairly acidic, but pleasantly so, and the wood lingers on this one in a very similar way to how it does in the Temptation. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and pretty lively.

Overall: This is a truly interesting brew, and although I don't love it quite as much as Temptation, I would highly recommend it if you want to try something funky and tart. One note, though, is that I really felt this one got much better as it warmed even after I served it at just under cellar temp.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.56 out of 5 with 6,433 ratings