Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

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6,479 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: 6,479 |  Reviews: 1,484
Photo of MiScusi
4.27/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 002.

A: Poured into Stone IRS snifter, Light brown, reddish, off-white thin head that forms a rung around glass. Effervescent.

S: Could probably smell this a block away. fruit, tart cherries mixed with light oak.

T: tart fruit, vinous.

M: Cidery. Light and prickly on the tongue. Pretty acidic.

Enjoyed this very much. Had a nice rich taste within a relatively light alcohol body. Acidity is its limiting quality, as it somewhat burns on its way down. Otherwise the sour and fruit work very nicely together.

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

Poured from a 375ml bottle (batch #2) into my Russian River Barrel Aged Beers glass.

A: Pours a brilliant orange color. Lots of foam after I popped the cork on this one. It overflowed a bit but nothing too bad. Virtually no head at all.

S: Lots of tart fruit aromas in the smell. There is also some funky earthy aromas in there as well.

T: A fascinating beer, probably the most unique one that I've had yet. Starts with some fruity sweetness; cherries, apricots, and lemon. The tartness then shines through in a big way. Lots of complexity in this thing coming from the oak flavors as well as the funky and musty yeast flavors. Very wine like with big bursts of flavors.

M: A totally unique mouthfeel. It's slightly syrupy with very light carbonation.

D: It's definitely a sipper. Would pair very will with food. Not something I'll be having very often but highly recommended in order to demonstrate the wonderful range of beer and the incredible things that are being done by American craft brewers.

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Photo of Viggo
4.57/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002, big thanks to oakbluff for hooking me up with this one!

Pours a very cloudy reddish brown, nice tinge to it, thick off white, little reddish head forms, quickly settles down to a thin layer, thick ring around the glass, few lace spots. Smell is very acidic, lots of cherry, very oaky, toffee, sweet and malty once you get used to the acidity, excellent. Taste is very powerful, very malty, lots of sweet cherry, oak, toffee, touch of vanilla, sour cherry and funk, moves into a kind of minty citrus, more oak, malty dates, wow. Insanely complex, nice acidic finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, really coating, silky carbonation. Excellent beer, not as insane as Temptation but a broader range of flavours and I think a little more complex. Thanks Scott!

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Photo of brentk56
4.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch No. 1 (tasted 6/24/07) and Batch 3 (tasted 4/26/08)

Appearance: Batch 1 pours a hazy mahogany color with a moderate head that declines to a ringlet and leaves the occasional shard of lace (the less mature Batch 3 has a much bigger head but the rest of the commentary is accurate)

Smell: Sour cherry, vinous pinot, oak barrel and some barnyard funk

Taste: Starts with a characteristic Flanders Red flavor profile with slightly toasted malts that build in tart cherry and chocolate directions by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sourness really builds and joins with the oaky character to provide a balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, creamy carbonation

Drinkability: Batch 1 has been aging in my cellar for two years and has truly benefited from the age; an extraordinary accomplishment; (Batch 3 is a bit raw so if you have patience, wait a couple of years)

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

This bottle is from batch 002.

Appearance: Deep, dark transparent red with a small blanket of foam that fades into a ring pretty quickly.

Aroma: Lactic sourness with a hint of sweetness. Unripened cherries and slight funk. The wine barrel becomes more noticeable as it warms. Outstanding.

Taste: Cherries and raspberries, oaky tannins, just a touch of sweetness. The dry finish really brings out the wine barrel flavors.

Mouthfeel: Moderate acidity. Medium-to-light bodied, but the tart quality of the ale gives it a refreshing quality. Gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: Normally such an acidic beer would keep the drinkability fairly low for me, but this is so good that I honestly don't mind it.

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Photo of krkearney
4.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Draft, at Monk’s cafe RR dinner 1/23/07. I presume this was batch 1.

Ruby colored, barely any head (sample was poured into my glass from a pitcher).

Beautiful funky sour aroma, with cherries fairly evident. I could smell this beer all day.

Tart cherrry flavor. Notes of oak and red wine. Complex yet refreshing. Finishes dry.

Delicious beer; I’d love to have a few cases in my cellar. Matched beautifully with an apple glazed duck breast.

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

Expensive and unusual, this is not for anyone not appreciating tartness. White head on a golden body. Strong aromas, wine and cherry and wood. Complex taste of wine, cherry, wood. Balanced by malt, and while sour is not aggressive on the palate as I wouod expect. A sipper. Up there with the Cantillons but a top 10 beer because of its similarity to wine?
On tap and upgraded, enjoyed at the brewpub. Bold flavours, decent mouthfeels,despite sourness.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002, 375ml, in a Riedel Vinum Extreme flute.

Bright reddish amber color. Quite clear on the first pour. Modest beige head.

Smells staggeringly good. Bright sour fruit blends seemlessly with brett funk and caramel. Cherry, raspberry, pineapple, apricot, horse, leather, deep bacterial damp earth. Hints of wood, vanilla, vinegar. Complex, cohesive, and wonderful.

Tastes fruity and bracingly tart, with delicate sweetness balancing very well with the acidity. Quickly dries out, with brett and some pleasant cherry stone bitterness picking up. Totally cohesive - like a horse eating cherries and raspberries in some brambly woods, the day after a rainstorm - and very enjoyable.

Prickly acidity and some woody cherry stone astringency make for a good mouthfeel.

Ridiculously drinkable, for the acid level. Very refreshing. This went too fast.

Really great stuff.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I traded a growler of Imperial Porter from Portsmouth Brewery for this beer. Chris at Ebenezer's Pub wanted me to try Supplication. (By the way, if you're ever in central western Maine, Ebenezer's in Lovell is a destination). This was a 375ml champagne bottle, Batch 002, poured into a tulip glass. Nice red color with very little head. It had a cherry aroma. The taste was primarily sour cherry, very tart and almost astringent. It was vaguely vinous. A little bit of yeast showed up late. Very good mouthfeel. The drinkability, to me, is limited by the tartness.

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Photo of Boppar
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opens with a phenomenal pop and a lot of CO2 vapors swirling out of the classy, classy champagne bottle.

Pours a beautiful, unfiltered, hazy reddish orange into a white wine glass. One finger of bubbly, short-lived white head. One hell of a lot of carbonation. Faint traces of oil float on top.

Smells like sour cherries, and another tart, almost raspberry-like aroma, along with a faint note of acetic acid.

Tastes just the way it smells. Mouth-puckering tartness, just the way it should be. Sweet cherry notes help to make this beer so much more drinkable. What I really like about this beer is that it has the tartness of a good infected beer, but it is not as much of an uphill battle to drink as some I have had. A great example of what this style can be.

Lively, bubbly, creamy mouthfeel. Now if noly my teeth didn't hurt from all the acidity...

As far as this style goes, this is the most drinkable I have yet encountered. I knocked back the whole bottle alone without any difficulty.

Truly a remarkable achievement.

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

Pours a hazy reddish orange with some sdiment and a nice white head that fades pretty quickly. The smell is wonderful- sour cherries and a bit of funkiness. The taste is even better, with an acetic quality to start followed by a long slightly bitter finish. There is some funkiness,but its restrained. There is also a noticeable hit of cherries at the end. I'm putting one of these bottles down for a yewar to see what happens. Very crisp mouthfeel. Eminently refreshing and drinkable.

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

A- Thin off white head on a pretty clear deep amber body with bits floating in it.
S- Big sour nose with some red wine in there too. Cherries and grapes come out along with some oak. The sour is pretty strong up front.
T- Sour cherries up front followed by a really dry grape flavor which then blends into the red wine characteristics which warms chest nicley, especially for only 7.00%. It leaves mouth very dry with a light bitterness and warmth to it. Oak flavors come in and out and stay along for the aftertaste too.
M- Medium/thin body with a high/medium champagne carbonation feel to it.
D- I think it is very nice. I would probably buy another bottle of this but it isn't #1 on my list. I think the beatification is a lot nicer.

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Photo of mynie
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 002.

Awful nice pour. Incarnadine, light specks of yeast floating upward against a cascade of champagne bubbles. Bigass, sticky white head.

Smells of very sweet malt--almost a little rye, if that doesn't seem too odd--along with chewy french bread and fresh, tart black cherries. Smells like candies, pie, and beer.

Tastes amazing! Belgiany yeast, europsice, and cherry juice dance all around each other all throughout as it the beer starts tart, moves into a dryer, sweeter middle, and ends on a kick of candy sour. The flavors blend so well! It's like some sort of candy syrup only it's not so sickeningly sweet as most candies.

Absolutely fantastic. Blows away any other sour beer I've had. Amazing. The first beer I've had from Russian River and already I am absolutely in love with this brewery.

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Photo of Phatz
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Millions of thanks to ClockworkOrange who shared a bottle of this with me. And also to metallitone1; Thanks Tim so much for hookin me up with one of these. I shared the second bottle with phnphilly and bookert last night and I am in love with this beer, WOW!

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous ruddy copper color with a foamy head that fades fast leaving a little lacing in the glass.

Smell: Rich sour apple aroma with musty woody funk and lactic notes just absolutely flood the nose. There is a distinct sweetness that suggests fruits but it does not detract from the bold sour cherry and Brett that comes close to as funky as a Lambic but narrowly skirts that level of intensity.

Taste: Here the nose skirts the sour side and mellows a bit with sweetness the flavor in the mouth slides over a bit more to the delicious dark side. It does start out with a element of sweet fruit but quickly the lactic notes and wild funk along with a touch of acidity move in on the palate. The wood flavors are strong and seep deep into the cheeks. Tart cherry is evident in the musty funkiness that takes over the entire palate. The best feature is the amazingly long lingering after taste! EXCEPTIONAL!

Mouthfeel: The acidity is the mouth is very solid but not overwhelming. The finish does force a pucker and leave a long lingering aftertaste on the cheeks long after the beer is gone. After the sourness fades there is a residual sweetness that seem to seep back out onto the cheeks.

Drinkability: I LOVE SOUR BEER! This is a beer I could dink forever. Thank you thank you thank you Jason for sharing it with me!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of bradford
4.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on 4/24/07
Appearance: Dark, burnt orange. Little to no head after the inital foaming from cork popping
Smell: Fantastic: Smelly sour with a lot of brett and a slight cherry note
Taste: Brilliant. Sour, sweet, cherry
Mouthfeel: Another great note. The sour brett does not take anything away from the mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Perfect. No other way to describe this beer. Absolutely phenomenal. I wish it didn't cost this much, but I understand.
Russian River is THE best brewery in America. Hands down. Vinnie truly is a beer genius. Can't wait to try other "tion" beers

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Photo of orfeu
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002. Poured well-chilled into a Russian River Barrel Aged Ales stemmed glass, Supplication is a striking ruby and amber color -- like the blood orange Italian soda my partner brought home the other day -- hazy with a thin but persistent pinkish-grey head. Sour citric aromas (lime, kumquat, orange zest) mingle with a sharp bretty funk, some rubbery phenolic business, and a dusty attic floor scent. Mind-bogglingly complex, to say the least, and incredibly mouth-watering as well. Make that mouth-puckering. This is unbelievably sour, with an acidity that rivals the strength of Cantillon gueuze but retains a fruity zing that is entirely its own. There are slight cherry notes, along with an unripened raspberry twinge. The cherry flavor rapidly emerges to the fore with every degree warmer this beer gets. Mellow wood grain inflections. Tannic grapeskin in the aftertaste. Juicy mouthfeel up front due to the fruit flavors, but extremely dessicating from mid-sip onward to the cottonmouth-inducing finish. An amazing creation overall, and an exceptional beer with which to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather.

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

A surprising pour of amber greeted me – for some reason I thought it would be a brownish type color. Aroma of cherry Champaign, sharp and tart. Quaff was a smorgasbord of funk – musty ol’ cherry bourbon mash, horse blanket left in a barn, and some apples left in a barrel. Nice.

All that funk and it still started sweetish, and then finished with a sour sweet-tart. Also seemed fairly thin bodied, no coatings to speak of.

A heck of a beer, sent by skinnyelvis for my BA annv. – thanks again!

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Photo of hero27
4.37/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 002.

12.7 oz corked/caged bottle.
7% abv.

Aged in oak pinot noir wine barrels for 15 months.

Dark orange, fizzy beige head forms after the volcanic explosion upon releasing the cork. Bold cherry sourness..woody flavors are definitely noticeable and both come together quite well. The alcohol blends in flawlessly and is almost an afterthought after each swallow. Body is oily and fairly coating. Mouthfeel is slick yet slightly syrupy. Overall a very good wild ale which pretty much defines the style.

A great example of American experimentation with craft beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisit: 31 Jan 17
375ml Bottle
Bottled On: 060716
ABV: 7.75%

Been really close to 10 years since last I've had this brew.

Poured into a tulip a very nice cloudy amberish color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice quick/fizzy off-white head, which leaves a really nice island and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, funky, with some cherries, grapes, citrusy, slight oakyness. The taste is really nice, malty, yeasty, funky as hell, cherries/grapes/citrus, nice little oak note. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, a pretty complex brew, nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, been a while since I've had something funky from RR. Recommended!

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

Batch 002

Got a nice pop from cork pull, poured a nice slightly cloudy darker orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, some nice sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is of sour/tangy grapes, cherries, citrus, malts, and slight caramel. The taste is sour/tangy, slight malts/hops, ends quite dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is another awesome brew from RR, highly recommended.

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

I had the pleasure of having this beer completely by chance, as they aren't avalible in CT. Wow, what a beer, I'm a fan of the Jolly Pumpkin's and this was a natural for me. Great tart, friuty aroma that was present in the taste also. On top of this there was slight oak and malt flavors, amoungst a bunch of others that I couldn't even idenify, but did taste them there. The mouthfeel was standard for a beer of this type, and the tartness was not over powering by any standards. I wish I could taste there whole line of wild ales, but my home state has affectively shut me out of this oppertunity, damn shame, brewing is an art.

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Photo of rowew
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz mini champagne style bottle, corked and caged. Barrel aged 15 months, Long description of the beer on the back - batch 002.

Appearance: Solid pop as the cork is pulled, pours a reddish brown with a bit of haze, medium head that fades very slowly, leaving quite a bit of lacing. Great head retention.

Smell: Sour and fruity. Tartness definitely dominates, underneath is just a bit of malt sweetness.

Taste: At a bit of a loss here - unfortunately I don't have the opportunity to taste enough wild beers to be able to identify all the subtleties of flavor present here. Starts off a bit puckering - very sour. Then some malt flavors come in - just a bit bready, finishes super dry. Lots of acetic acid flavor, but not in a bad way at all. A bit of farmhouse funk to it as well - like a stinky cheese.

Overall impression: As with most Russian River beers, I'm impressed. Huge depth of flavor - although it cost me a fair amount to get it to Colorado, it was more than worth it. Why aren't more American brewers experimenting with the wild styles?

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Photo of kajerm
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375mL mini-magnum with a simple blue label marked "batch 001" and "barrel-aged one year." I'm giving extra appearance points for the coolness of this bottle, which is enough to legitimately add to the drinking experience.

Pours cloudy gold with fine, brisk carbonation and a half finger head and quite a bit of lacing. Aside from the cloudiness and the head, this beer is indistinguishable from a fine champagne.

The nose is impossibly complex. A drop of acetic acid and just a shade of barnyardy Brett. Distinct winey and cidery notes are clearly present, along with some phenols. Absolutely no malt, hops, or anything to otherwise suggest that this is beer.

The flavor includes everything in the nose, but in different percentages and with a few surprises. The Brett is in the background now, with the brisk, refreshing sourness, winey flavors, berries, and sour cherries in the forefront. Finishes with a snap of fruity sourness.

The palate is lively, with loads of fine carbonation and mouth-puckering sourness.

How's this for drinkability? I could easily drink ten bottles a day, every day for the rest of my life.

This beer is a masterpiece.

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

Been sitting on this for a month or so. Nice to finally imbibe.

Appearance: Man, I'm a sucker for wild yeasts' ability to make a beer lively. You see, I enjoy a good lacing, and this has it in spades. That being said, the head, relative to the bottle of Temptation I had a few months ago, is barely existent, so it loses some points for that. Lacing is just amazing, that being said. Sticky, spotted, arm-like, all the patterns I seem to see in other beers wrapped into one. The body is also a very pretty approximation of caramel. Cool.

Smell: Jesus. Candy sugar, wine grapes, oak, a definite black licorice, cherries, plums, raisins, cranberries, apple, burnt sugar (caramel), brett, nutmeg, cinnamon, yeasty dough, sandalwood, rosemary, I just could go on and on. Tremendously complex. Absolutely phenomenal. I am again, as I suspected I'd be, floored by RR's wild ale.

Taste: Tart cherries on the front end, sea salt, brett, pinot noir grapes, oak on the back, rosemary, plums. Again, like Temptation, I find mouth less adequate at picking out the individual flavors than my nose. Either that, or I find the nose to be better than the mouth, but only by a hair. The taste is massively complex, still, just, in this one, the tartness of the cherry flavor can be a bit overpowering. Still, bloody awesome.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, tart, astringent, syrupy, light and heavy at the same time. A wonderful variety.

Drinkability: This is a sipper, but really only for its flavor and nose complexity. The alcohol, if any, is barely apparent, and the flavors do not overwhelm you. The tartness of the cherries is perhaps the only overpowering characteristic, and really that only shows itself upon swallowing.

An amazing ale.

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Photo of EmilNoldSinclair
4.94/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Stone Brewery Bistro. Man oh man, this was my first American Wild Ale, and it was a real beauty. After my first drink I already knew it was at least in top 10 favorite beers. I would even venture to say that it is my absolute favorite, right up there with De Ranke's Kriek. It smelled somewhat like a lambic, and it had a similar sourness to it, though I could certainly taste the aging in the Pinot Noir wine barrels...though the alcohol was only slightly present in the taste, it more so affected the mouthfeel adding a little warmth to it. Overall, it was a very distinct experience from tasting a lambic and I highly recommend it to anyone. I can't wait to crack open the one I have waiting at home in California as well as the RR Temptation in there as well. This indeed is the future of beer!

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a - burnt orange color with a reddish tint, smallish ivory head with no retention or lacing, quite hazy, what I expect from the style

s - sweet sourness on the nose, nice cherry aroma, a bit of funk

t - nice big sweetness at the start, develops quickly into a big sourness with lots of cherry and funk, finish is lingering sourness and tartness, very dry

m - quite a bit of carbonation, relatively light bodied, very dry finish

d - can't taste the alcohol at all, the sourness and sweetness limits somewhat, one bottle is good for me

Great wild ale from RR. Nobody does this style better. Very complex and interesting taste. Definitely worth seeking a bottle of this out.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.56 out of 5 with 6,479 ratings