Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
99
world-class
1,438 Reviews
SupplicationSupplication
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,438
Ratings:
6,121
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
9.11%
 
 
Wants:
2,703
Gots:
2,126
For Trade:
144
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,438 | Ratings: 6,121
Photo of nrbw23
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

S- Slightly sour cherries up front. Oak, a hint of yeast, just a bit of funk and maybe a bit of Earthy hops.

T- A bit of the cherry flavor is present, with some caramel, spice, and a big dose of oak. The finish is tart, but not nearly as sour as I expected.

M- Lighter side of mediun in body and carbonation.

D- Very easy to drink and would enjoy this one again.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is our last beer from Russian River. This is also the highest rated on BeerAdvocate. We need to take a trip to the Russian River Valley so we can visit the brewery. Their beers are made in pretty small batches, and they don't get great distribution. I landed this, and all of the other beers from them, in a trade. Speaking of trades, I just bought 14 bottles/cans tonight for a massive trade I am doing with Ashley Bower. REALLY looking forward to that one. She is sending us a bottle of Mexican Cake. It's not on the list, but I am pumped to try it.

It was cool learning about the owners of Russian River Brewing Company and their love for Pinot Noir wine. I like Pinot Noir, too. This beer was aged for a year in Pinot Noir barrels. I am fickle when it comes to barrel aged beers, but I have some pretty big expectations for this one. I bet this is sour, too. I could smell this as I was pouring it… and it smells quite sour. I am going to stop talking… let's drink!

In the Glass: This is quite carbonated, and it was producing a ton of bubbles and a nice thick white head as I was pouring it. I could smell, as I was pouring it, the subtle sourness that I am looking forward to. The head just sits there and while the beer doesn't have much lace, the head makes me want to grab a spoon and start eating! I hope this beer smells good.

Oh, the beer has a nice amber color to it. I am sure some of that color comes from the Pinot Noir barrels. It says on the bottle that this is aged 9 to 15 months. I wonder how they decide how long to age a particular beer like this.

Nose: It doesn't smell as sour as I expected it to. I am getting some of those tannins that you get when smelling a well balanced Pinot Noir. In the back of my mind I want this to taste more like a glass of wine than a beer. The bubbles, however, leave me to think I am going to have an experience as if I was drinking champagne. A second sniff has me smelling more fruit and I am sure it reads weird, but it smells expensive. Is that weird?

Flavor: The beer is not as carbonated as I expected it to be, but it is quite sour. Good thing I like sour beers. There is a lot going on here with the flavor and it really changes as it slides across your palate. There are some bubbles when it first hits your lips, and then it begins to really open up as you swallow. There is a ton of flavor in the aftertaste, too, leaving this beer a wide range of awesome! The sour quickly fades leaving you a hint of those tannin that I keep talking about.

Mouthfeel: There are a ton of bubbles at first, but it's not overwhelming. I wouldn't recommend swishing this around in your mouth much. I did that on my second sip, and the sour flavor really comes through. But the bubbles become overwhelming. If you don't like sour beers, stay away. As you swallow, the beer mellows out and you are left with a nice thin layer of sweetness every time you swallow. This beer is well produced and that is obvious every step of the way.

Aftertaste: That is my favorite part of this beer. As soon as you swallow you are hit with some subtle dryness that just coats your tongue with flavor. I have been sitting on this last sip for a good 5 minutes and I feel/taste like I just took a sip. I don't know the process of aging a beer in a wine barrel, but there has got to be some trial and error to realize the beer is ready after 9 months or not quite ready until it hits 15 months.

Speaking of barrel aged beers, the last time we tried Sirius Black, a killer beer from Four Peaks Brewing Company, I talked with someone from the brewery. He said the batch we were trying, at a tap takeover at Hops On Birch, had been aged for 12 months in a barrel. I am not sure I could be that patient pouring a beer as good as Sirius Black into a barrel just to wait a year! That is what makes cellering beer so tough.

We can't get Russian River beers here, but if we could I would be broke. This, along with all the other "-ation" beers we have tried/reviewed, is great. The more sour the better. Cheers, people!

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

Enjoying this the evening before my first brewery only release at Troegs for Splinter Black. From a batch 5 bottle. Shared with the woman, who gives the dreaded beerface to it (a day after giving La Folie two thumbs up!).

Supplication is a wildy tasty sour. Great lacing, half finger of head that dissipates but spots the glass and retains well. The aroma is strong of cherries and puckering tartness. Taste follows the nose and is dark cherries that pucker but aren't overwhelmed by malts. The malts are present too, just dominated by the sourness.

For all the sour, it's still highly drinkable. After the medium body, nicely carbonated brew goes through it leaves you puckering for more. At 7.00%, that's not hard. Only problem is the price.

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

-on tap at the Falling Rock $6.50 per 1/2 pint and worth every penny. Nice brown-red-orange color in the wine glass. Smells sour, dull, hmmm, bottle was better. It tastes nice and sour with some cherry and it does pucker. A lot of people were ordering this and I already knew why. An awesome sour but I preferred the bottled version oddly.

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

This beer came highly recommended by my a trusted friend and considering I can find it more readily in Denver I decided to open my bottle.

The beer poured an nice amber/red and had a nice single finger head with itty-bitty bubbles throughout.

The nose was of sour cherries with a little bit of wood.

The taste was a dry tartness with a slight dark fruit bitterness developing into sour cherries and finishing with oak on the tongue.

The mouthfeel was elegant and fitting for as much esteem as I have heard this beer receive over the past few months.

Overall this is a great beer with a dry finish that doesn't turn me off like some beers I have recently tasted. Not much sweet which I found very inviting for this beer.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pure amber color with mild chill haze. Head is rocky beige, subsiding into a thin ring. Cherries and brown sugar are the primary aromas with some citrus and brett influence as well. Intense tartness in the taste. Sour cherries and a vinous quality that leaves a tannic impression on the tongue. An herbal bitterness lingers on the tongue as well.

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

RBSG 2005... Poured a hazy orange gold color with a light, off white head, that left spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of diactyl, herbs, tart grapes, and a touch of caramel. Taste of sweet malts, oak, coconuts, yeast, tart, and sour grapes. Thanks Eyedrinkale

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

Many thanks to Tom for the bottle!

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

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

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

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

Review from notes.

A: Poured into a wine glass. Beaten copper color with minimal head and minimal lacing. First appearance is hazy, but that is actually extremely fine carbonation rising to the surface. Tiniest little bubbles ever.

S: Cherries, sour mash, lactobacillus funk, candied red fruit, barnyard, straw.

T: Barnyard funk, musty beginning, acidic, wine like, tart bright cherry candy finish (think cherry Jolly Rancher). Flavor sticks with you.

M: Big acidity. Absolutely massive flavor for being light to medium bodied. Carbonation works wonders to bring everything together.

O: The mountain top of sours. Extremely high quality, very flavorful without being a "big" beer. One of the paragons of the style.

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

Batch 3, bottled 3/4/200, and the last Supplication to use the R.R. wine yeast.

A - A deep amber with 2 fingers of khaki head, excellent retention, some legs.

S - slightly acetic, brett, and malt. cherries aren't really apparent in the nose anymore.

T - starts with nice sour cherry, but the belgian brown base is more noticeable at this age. Has a nice sweet finish with a bit of oak.

M/D - Medium carbonation with a medium body. Highly drinkable after your palate adjust a few sips in. Reminiscent of a Flanders Red, especially at this age with the cherries sitting further back.

A great beer at this age, but I'm not sure if aging it longer will do it any good.

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Photo of aquazr1
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle serves in a tulip.

A - Pours a dark amber color with a nice white foamy head. Nice head retention but little lacing.

S - Pick up the cherries immediately. Lovely aroma.

T - Nicely soured so as not to overwhelm.

M - Medium bodied with excellent carbonation.

O - A well done sour. This bottle was dated 10/21/13. Going to put away a couple to see how they age.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a goblet. One finger of head on a deep amber colored body.
The aroma is a sour smell with brown sugar, wood and raspberry all mixed up in the best way.
The taste is quite sour with wood and raspberry.
The texture is crisper with moderate carbonation.
A great drink.

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Photo of abfraser
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at The Trappist with waltonc. Like the beer a little better than him but have similiar comments

A: Light reddish color, hazy. Virtually no head nor lacing

S: Tart cherries. A mild funk in the background but it's very subtle

T/M: Exactly like it smells. Tart cherries. A little tarter than I remember. A little earthiness, probably from the Brett even though I don't know for sure what that tastes like. Medium bodied and dry. Really good stuff.

D: I really enjoy this beer and could probably drink a couple of glasses. But too many sours in one night has me craving malty sweetness soon thereafter.

An excellent beer. Like this the most of the RR sours.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle Batch 005X3 split between the girlfriend and I. Served at cellar temperature.

A: Dark honey-amber body with steady carbonation bubbles rocketing to the surface. Fizzy and bubbly off-white head. Splotchy lacing and a nice retention cap.

S: Acidic cherry notes, light malt-vinegar, milky, faint wood and some sour citrus. End is apricots and bay leaves.

T: Immediate tartness washes over the entire palate. Some mild honeydew, cherry and papaya flavors give a great balance to the sour qualities. Nothing is overbearing or understated, really nice example of an American Wild.

M: Extremely bubbly and carbonated, though light on the palate. Overall, a wonderful mouth feel for the style.

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Photo of dboon
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml batch 04X1. This might just be my favorite sour by RR. This sour solder is orange/amber in color with a small head. The old cake whole is inundated with tart and sour cherries, light fruit, oak, funk, and brett.

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Photo of silenius
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As I was drinking this beer I kept thinking to myself what restraint the brewer used in all the components added to the mix. This led me to realize that some remarkable craftsmanship went into the making of this beer.

Another brewer might have tried to make this into a big taste salad by upping the flavor profile. That would be a mistake in my opinion. This beer has many interlocking smells and flavors that each stand on their own and interplay with each other. An incredible job.

It pours slightly hazed orange red with no discernable solids in the body, but it was not clear. The head on the pour was nice and solid and lowered to a skim after a minute or so.

I think I dipped my nose in the glass more than I sipped. The smell is quite incredible. It starts with more of a slightly sour smell with some cherry pits, but as it warms it takes on a more winey character with a definite cedar smell. I really enjoyed the smell of this beer. It had many distinct but subtle smells - light balsamic vinegar, cherry pits, cedar, brown sugar, red wine, and a damp sweet earthiness. Truly amazing.

Taste was quite good as well, but not as complex as the nose. It had a light sour character that interplayed with some sweetness and a dry woodiness.

Mouthfeel was spot on - moderately thick, creamy carbonation and a slight drying.

What a great sipper.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this on my second trade but have just been letting it sit trying to gather up the nerve to try it after being wrecked by the Sourness that is Consecration.

A - Vibrant amber color. With rocky white head and great lacing. This beer looks similar to a Dr. Pepper with some malt body.

S - The smell comes off with a fruit bouquet with mostly a tart black cherry smell that is quite nice. After the initial fruit aromas it has complexity. There is a sour character, some oakiness, and some tannins and a wine character from the barrel. In addition to all that there is also a malt, grain, and a sweet diacetyl which really adds depth.

T - With the first sip you get rocked by all of the different flavors but like all of the best beers it is complex but you can dissect it. Initially the cherries, sweet malt, and oak hit the front and then develop quickly in the middle with the sour but still fruity character that is more vinous. On the finish the sour helps cleanse the ton of different flavors but there is enough residual sweet malt, cherry, and grape to keep it tasty.

M - light mouth-feel with high carbonation. The low ABV makes this very easy to drink and the balance of sweet and tart is pleasant.

Overall, a very tasty sour. The cherries really make this beer. I really enjoyed how the fruit flavors blend well with the wine and malt but in a light bodied ale. It isn't like a Lindemans Kriek cherry flavor but more like a dark cherry that rounds out the flavor instead of being a more candy cherry flavor. The sour is a strong contributor being at different intensities throughout the entire taste but is always complimented by some other flavor. This is much better than Consecration because of the balance of cherry, wine, oak, malt, sweet, and sour without the sour really making you cringe or overrunning all the other flavors.

Glass- Tulip

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Photo of WoostaBia
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Good sour beer, the cherries come through well but the acidity was a tad over for me, shared a bottle and struggled a bit with the excess sourness. It's a very well made beer.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a tawny brown with a fizzy, loosely structured head that dissipates pretty quickly. Lots of sediment floaties.

Smell is sharp, funky and acidic, with barnyard and vinous notes.

Taste is sharp and assertively tart at first, sour on the back end. Mellows out after a few minutes and notes of grape, cherries, green apple and lime come through. It remains very tart, but in a more mellow, refreshing way. A truly unique beverage that makes you totally forget you're actually drinking a beer. Let alone a somewhat strong beer -- there is no alcohol flavor to be found.

Mouthfeel is prickly from the tartness, not so much from the carbonation, which is fairly minimal. Yet it manages to also be soft and velvety and coats the palate nicely.

This beer brings together traits from so many delicious beverages -- tart sparkling cider, champagne, red wine -- and marries them with a beer base to great effect. Not quite a luxurious as the Bruery's Oude Tart, but somehow more unique and refreshing.

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Photo of kbuzz
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a tulip. Batch 008.

A: Fairly clear...a little bit of haze from the yeast that got in. Copper/amber in color. One finger white fizzy looking head. Retention is pretty solid.

S: Soft tartness. Funk. Some of the oak aging comes through a bit. Some white grape. Mostly vinegar tartness.

T/M: Massive puckering up front. A good of wine-like bozziness. Defintiely more on the bitter end of tartness. Not as sweet as some other sours. Some bready malt character. More white grape and oakiness. Fizzy and creamy at the same time on the palate. Medium-thin bodied. Finishes on the dry side for sure.

O: A great sour. Really deserves all the accolades. More bitter than sweet and finishes nice and dry. A real treat to get to try this finally.

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Photo of papat444
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

***Batch 006X1***

Big thanks to jzeilinger for this one.

Poured from a 375ml. bottle.

Appearance: A lightly tan head generously fills the glass above a deep amber body. Stick lacing and retention is great though it would have been nice if it lasted longer.

Smell: Sour cherries, vinegar, dry with a mostly tart aroma though a hint of sweet there.

Taste: Very tart bordering on sour. Not mouth puckering but close. Next to no vinegar except a slight hint in the finish. Sourish cherries throughout with some wood on the outskirts.

Mouthfeel: Active carbonation with a lively body makes this one pleasant. Yes it abrasively sour sometimes but i also find it refreshing strangely enough.

Overall: I must honestly say it took me awhile to grow accustomed to it and it was a bit difficult but worth the effort. A truly well made beer.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft for Sourfest 2009 at Brouwer's for SBW. Pours a nice dark orange/red with a cream head. Citrus was the dominating aroma and grapefruit followed into the flavor. The yeast is more pronounced here as well and finishes long on the tongue. Similar to other Russian River sours, but great overall. (7/5/7/4/16 - 3.9)

Re-rate: 375mL bottle of Batch 04x2 tasted on 3/11/10. Pourse solid orange with beautiful cream head. Aroma of orange, cherry, oak and pine. Dray fruity flavor of peach and currants with nice tart cherry. Little dry beer that is very sour but an amazing sipper. (9/5/8/4/18 - 4.4)

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 12/24/2012

Batch 008

The beer pours a very clear red brown with a lovely white head that turns into a thin film over the top of the beer.

The aroma in mostly sour but present is a little bit of fruitiness.

The beer starts of sweet and quickly moves to a sour semi-sweet somewhat funky finish.

Overall the beer is okay. I have not had a lot of sours so it is hard to rate it against other beers in its style. However, as a beer for special occasion it will not stand out in my memory compared to a lot of the beers that I have had.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Tulip glass.
Batch 005x4

Appearance - Reddish amber with a 1 finger tan head.

Smell - Cherry, wood, red wine-like.

Taste - Sour Cherries, apple, oak.

Drink - Very carbonated. Tartness hits you hard, but calms down. Lingers in the mouth.

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Photo of harrymel
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rating based on most current review:

13DEC11 review:
Batch 005x4 - Brewed 2009, bottled May 2010
A: A lovely amber ale pours from the bottle and falls under a finger of taupe foam of fine nature. The foam settles into a solid, thick sheet of the same. Sandy, spotty lace. Excellent clarity. Looks both rustic and inviting. (4.5)
S: What jumps out at me immediately is how much this smells like a Flanders Red now, oak and cherry hues over an apple cider vinegar intonation. There's a tannic characteristic in the nose as well. There's a slight grassy funk which is woven into the tart and woody characteristics quite well. Although there is much going on here, I find the nose a little too delicate. (4)
T: Tart with cherries so dominant. I am very, very surprised on how pronounced the cherry is here. It is followed through with oak, dry grapes, and interesting canned spinach flavor. I'm noting an umami/leather flavor as well. Complex, intriguing. There's a bitter undertone that is just bitter enough to impress me to reserve appreciation for the other flavors, but just as I start to get annoyed, it seems fleeting, and I almost seek out the bitterness to help clean the medium of my tongue. The tart aspect of the beer is inhibited by this bitterness in so much as it accentuates the character and marries the other nuances of the beer together. Seriously, this is really, really well blended beer. Impressive. (4.5)
M: Medium bodied and lively foam conspire to a really velvety feel and as this roams my mouth, I think it will dry it out. Upon swallowing and exhaling, my mouth is simply wet and the notes are warmed via alcohol and blossom back through the mouth. Really nice feel here. I'm hard pressed to think of what I would change here, can't think of a thing, a hard earned 5 here. (5)
O: I am struggling to think of another beer in this particular style I prefer to this one. I am calling this a Flander's Style, and I am only considering one other in the realm that competes for me: Dissident. And only time will tell if the '11 batch will meet expectations. I really enjoy this beer. And although I'm not likely to go out of my way to find it as much, I would likely grab some next time I see it on the shelves. (4)

25JAN11 review:
Batch 005x3 - '09, bottled May 2010
A: Beautiful blood orange color. Light and sandy lemon foam atop ale - two fingers which last for-ev-er. (4.5)
S: The smell of this burst out the bottle as the cork came out. Sour apple, cherry, farm funk, and grain all balance so beautifully I struggle to understand the process of developing this type of complexity in a beer. Goddamn gorgeous. (5)
T: So sour. Deliciously sour. So much going on here, I'm not going to waste time trying to articulate. (5)
M: Lovely carb tone with great latitude when gliding over the palate and I get to savor every. last. drop. (4.5)
D: Don't ever NOT drink this beer. (5)

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 1,438 ratings.
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