Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

1,458 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: 1,458 | Ratings: 6,279
Photo of phillyfan9
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been on a sour kick for the last year or so, and came across this beer at a local beer festival. I recognized the name, looked it up again online quick to confirm how highly rated it was, then went over and talked to the guy pouring. I couldn't believe they had a full keg of it, and the guy confirmed that it's pretty rare to see and there were no restrictions on how much I could drink. I sat by that keg for as long as possible, consumed at least ten beers worth since the guy picked up quickly and started pouring full glasses to save us both time and effort... and it was amazing. Easily the best beer fest experience of my life. This beer is the gold standard of sours, I couldn't imagine a better drinking experience. Sours are a genre of their own, so tread lightly if you haven't dabbled before... but if you are into the style, you can't get better than this IMO.

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

I was sunday schooled today @ Tria in Philly. Can you believe it this was the beer offering- bottles at cost, and people drinking this as common as yuengling or ___! Now this place is a beer as well as wine and cheese counesouers trifecta- but come on! Amazing offering of an amazing beer. I 've had Pliny the elder and Dammnation and have enjoyed those- but I have to honestly say, and I've drunk enough beer and reviewed a scant number here(though generally only those that really stand out)- this may have been the best I've had yet.
Color- a honied amber- beautiful. Creamy subtle head poured silkily into a a tapered wine glass...
Aroma- of port and cherries and an aluring sweetness
First tast-incredible balanced depth. good warming alchohol and cherries- di I say cherries- wonderful nuancied cherries, but better than any Kriek- Rodenbach/New Glarus souped up wth La Fin du Monde. Wonderful, wonderful special occasion beer. Paired well with the French terriorfamhouse cheese and gargonzola/fig brushetta...
There has been much love, sweat, detail, patence, and time put forth into this brew. This is truly exceptional offering from what I am experiencing to be atrul exceptional, creative daring brewery. TRY IT and SAVOR! Wonderful!!

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

Batch # 04x2

strawberry reddish in color lots of floaties and tons of effervesence. White fluffy 2 finger head with very small tight bubbles. Very nice looking beer.
I definity get the wine barrel characteristics. Lots of oak,sour cherries and a touch of vinegar with some funk and some floral.
Right away I get the tart cherries. Very acidic but balanced with a ton of depth for being so sour.
Nice tangy acidic mouthfeel. Smooth light bodied and so very easy to drink
no doubt about it. This is one of the best beers I've ever crossed paths with. Simply amazing!

*From notes taken on 8/4/10

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

This beer is, in a word, divine. If you believe sour is at the top of the beer-flavor hierarchy, as I do, than this beer is for you. If you don't believe this, well chances are this beer is still for you. It offers a rich amber color, abundant head, delicious aroma, and even better taste. Aroma is citrus-y, sour, candy-sweet, yet somehow (despite what I've already said) balanced and distinctly beer-like. Flavor is distinctly sour, although I've certainly had beers sourer. It has a musty, sweet-tart, clove, complex and delicious. Mouthfeel is excellent.

This is not a beer that is not easy for most of us to get our hands on. However, if you've not had it, you should travel, trade, or attend a festival to get it.

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

Served in a tulip.

Pours an orangish amber color, with a white head that dissipates rather quickly. No real lacing, but it leaves a nice white ring of bubble around the edges.

Smells of oak and fresh cherries, with a crisp champagne-like nose.

The taste is of cherries and tartness, and there is a nice caramel malt backbone that plays very nicely off of the sourness. Nice oak character ties everything together for a really stellar experience. The mouth feel is very smooth, with nice carbonation

This beer is truly incredible and is a pleasure to drink

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

This beer is absolutely amazing. The smell reminded me of some very good wines I've had. I can't say I've every smelled a beer that had that familiar a smell of a really good wine. Even my wife, who is much more a vinophile than I am, smelled it, she was impressed. Combine that with a phenomenal sour ale, and you've got a sure winner. Absolutely phenomenal, perfect beer. If I could find a stock of this, I'd buy everything they had.

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Photo of mig100
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours crystal clear auburn with a silky and luscious billowy white head that settles to around 1/2 inch and stays. Carbonation is light-to-medium and has a champagne like effervescence. One of the most amazing looking beers I've seen.

S: Sour and tart cherry-funk first, with a sour apple and light pear aroma following, not overwhelming but very enticing and inviting.

T: Follows through on the nose, although the cherry flavors are understated, as are the oaky sour apple/pear funk. What struck most was the silky, creaminess of the cherry flavors, which don't hit at the front of the tongue like everything else, but at the back.

F: Unbelievably creamy, full, rich and smooth. The cherry flavors coat like whipped cream and balance out the oak and funk. 7.75% abv and I taste about 0.5% of it.

Overall: Beautiful to look at, inviting aroma, complex flavors that unfold slowly but never fight for their place as they move across the palate. All while remaining smooth and silky. Did Russian River invent American Wild Ale? Not sure, but they definitely defined it.

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Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A Reddish color. Had this for Fathers day. A little treat for myself. Lots of carbonation and lively bubbles meet the glass.

S-cherries, sour, brett, funk, wine barrel, oak. Tons of nose in this beer. Opens up when it warms. This is a bang of a beer and it just jumps at you with beautification.

T I had this stored at about 55 degrees so it was cool enough to drink and enjoy from the beginning. It got a little sweeter as it warmed up too. The beer has a lot of depth of flavor. At first the beer is really tight, but gets more open as time goes on.

m-Sour candy with a kick. Has a lot of good feel, lingers on for a while.

O When can you say you had fun drinking a beer? I can, and do all the time. It is rare that I drink alone, but it was a good time to chill and watch a good movie. Great times.

Serving type: bottle

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

A : Pours a nice murky brown with a decent head. Leaves some nice lacing

S : The Brett aroma is definitely prevelant. There are also notes of cherry and oak

T : There's an excellent tartness throughout the taste. The cherries and oak make a good appearance. The wine like flavors from the Pinot Noir barrels make a nice subtle appearance towards the end.

M : Light to medium bodied, good carbonation, and a nice dry finish

D : Why did I just get one bottle of this? This is an awesome beer that I want to have again and again. This is one beer that I can't find any faults with and have no idea how you would even improve it.

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Photo of JohnCassillo
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split with a buddy, so poured into Stone Sourfest taster glass.

Pours a hazy, darker amber with a mild head and some delicious cherry and sour funk notes emanating out. Goes down incredibly smooth and not too bitter at all on the back-end. The cherry flavors are a highlight and provide a very different takeaway than most sours. There's a reason this one's so well regarded.

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Photo of JonathanC
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Supplication is a fine crafted beer, which provides you with a unique output. This beer is indeed a favorite, and I BELIEVE by far one of the best sours I've come across.

This beer when opened provided a great smell of tart and cherries. Moving foward, we poured the gleaming off centered gold into our tulip glasses. We then drank. As it hit my pallet I was amazed by the light sour yet flavorful filled beer that possesed me. Why not add that last cherry tart taste to top it off, well they did it and they Russian River did this one right.

Never would pass a bottle of this, I would never trade a bottle of this, and Never would I not open it for a very special occasion.

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Photo of pkalix
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$14 for a 12oz bottle of beer....
pours exactly as the last guy stated...."hazy amber, thin head, minimal lacing"... exactly....
smell is awesome. sour cherry. i really like the sours; love the belgian petrus. this one has the twist of the cherries...
really like the sour taste. but it isnt a 'sipper' as far as i'm concerned. i prefer a full gulp to slosh around inside my mouth and let all my taste buds enjoy.... it is a cherry flavor, and there are other 'berry' flavors seemingly in there and i can definitely drink these continually throughout the evening... but once you get the 'sour' you kind of need to continue with the sour as it throws the flavor off everything else... which is the best reason of all to pop that petrus i've been saving for the last six months....
there's a tingly kind of small-bubble carbonation and overall i really really like this brew. i dont want to abuse the 'straight 5' review and i dont want to be intimidated by the super high price i had to pay to try this brew, but i honestly feel it is worthy of 5s across the panel. for me, as much as i absolutely LOVE the sour beers, this one is a complete winner and as close to nirvana as i plan to ever get; thus, the marks.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.98/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - didn't pour it into a glass this time (yea I know). Great bottle though, makes me feel like I'm drinking a medieval ale.
S - biggest notes are first tart cherry then a must in essence that reminds me of my grandpa's basement in a good way. Then more tartness, funk, barnyard, hay in the background. Some brown ale caramel and bready notes are peeking through the sourness. The MAIN thing with this beer is its a complex sour ale. It gives you more than just the sour.
T - same as the smell. Awesomness. See above.
M - medium mouthfeel. Initially feels like it should be light but once you start drinking it the sour/funky parts of it separate the boys from the men. Alc covered. Aftertaste is sour cherry.
O - RR sours are the best overall had. Maybe Cantillon is better but I wouldn't know. I've never had a domestic brewery that lived up to the home of Supplication and Sanctification.

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Photo of Tony49er
4.98/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Serving Type- On tap at Russian River Brewery

Appearance- Amber color, almost zero head, light fizzy carbonation

Smell- Slight cherry, sour, slight funk, oak notes, tart cherry skin

Taste- Slight cherry sour notes, slight funk, great oak notes and tannin from the Pinot Barrels used, a little plum and dark fruits as well

Mouthfeel- Meduium

Ovearall- EPIC one of the BEAST Sours in the world if you have never had this beer get it...CHEERS

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Small 375ml corked and caged bottle that is elegantly labeled and informative. Batch 001. The cork produces a loud pop with wisps of white into the air. Poured into my SN tulip a amber orangish red with rising bubbles that create a tight eggshell head. The color of an autumn afternoon. As my nose reaches the glass I'm left nearly speechless. Dew covered freshly picked sour cherries meld with aged woody tones. Vinous sour grapes peek out as well, all touched with a musty, funky yeastiness. Vinegar and lactic acid come to mind with each inhalation. Each aroma seems to have its place in the overall beauty of this unique offering.

My first sip brings a conglomeration of sour cherries and grapes awash in a sea of slightly dry woody tannins. The slight hint of sweet caramel collides with a vibrant, earthy, musty yeastiness imparted by the brettanomyces. A bit acidic with a lactic twang and vinegar undertones. Exceddingly complex and challenging on the palate. Each sip causes me to envision the barrel this magnificent liquid called home for a year, where the amazing wild yeasts and bacteria did their part to help create a truly awe inspiring beer. A tart, vinous finish leaves traces of pinot noir and oak dangling on the back of the tongue.

Smooth and creamy with virbant carbonation that dances across the palate. Each subsequent sip leaves me in anticipation of the next. I really wish this bottle was 750ml as I'm dreading the end of my glass and I could lust after each sip of this beer all day. Truly a work of brewing art if there ever was one and without a doubt one of the most complex, unique and well built beers that has ever graced this beer drinkers lips. Highly recommended and not to be missed. Vinnie has created a masterpiece that I sincerely hope to have the pleasure of drinking again. Many thanks to irishsnake for the amazing opportunity.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #003. Split a bottle with Roberts at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver during my trip last week. It wasn't on the beer list but we asked and lucked out. Poured from a 375ml cool shaped bottle into a snifter. The lighting wasn't great since a bar but looked ciderish in color and texture. Some carb and slight lacing. It had about a finger of white head that settled into a foam with collar.

The aroma was exceptional. I love sour beers and this one has the classic smell. No one does it better than RRBC. The brett really stands out. Also had wine undertones. The taste was also exceptional. Had a great sour bite with a slight dry finish. Absolutely perfect. The mouthfeel had the great sour bite with the tingling of the carb so a great mix.

Overall, a world-class beer that deserves to be so highly ranked. My mission in life is to find more of this beer - now! I could have just drank this all night but this ended up being the first in a classic night of beer drinking at Falling Rock. Most highly recommend - get one now....wait, don't get one as that would leave less for me.

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Photo of Maddmartagan
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, what a beer.

Just getting into sours and my buddy brought me one of these back.

Pours rich amber, almost reddish with fluffy white head that stuck around. Good retention.

Great smell. Tart, cherries, oak, and some good funk. Hints of oak as it warms a little.

Flavor was off that charts. Super tart up front, hits the back of the teeth aggressively, then it smooths out. Cherries, some lemon, Brett funk, all kinds of stuff going on.

Good carbonation that keeps all the complexity and flavors slightly at bay. Balances on the tongue.

Overall? One of the best beers I've ever had. Sours might be my new favorite thing. Not sure any will ever beat Supplication though

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Photo of CaskBeerouac
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my best beer drinking experiences I've ever had.

Had it before last year at Hunahpu Day at Cigar City, but it kind of got lost in the incredible smorgasbord of beers we drank. Had it the other day via the kindness of a new found friend, and it blew me away properly.

It's so tart and refreshing I just want to keep drinking it, but at 7% it can sneak up on you. An excellent sour ale. Tart hints of grapes and maybe some lemony notes in the aroma. Good sour funk. Very similar and equally delicious flavor.

Russian River never fails to impress me.

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Photo of Phatz
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
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 connecticutpoet
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received in an excellent trade with GClarkage. I can't wait until they get some of this in this area.

This one poured into my chalice a hazy orange-amber with a half-finger head. It subsided to a thin layer, but remained throughout the experience.

Aroma was vinous, some sweet fruit (I know there's cherries, but it wasn't distinctive),and hints of oak. I noticed a little vanilla and a bit of a medicinal tang that was not unpleasant. Excellent

The taste was tart, a little sour, and vinous, with some cherry sweetness and some oaken notes. Extraordinary. Even the aftertaste was great.

Mouthfeel was tart and a little puckering, but not too much. Not as thin as I would have expected, very very good for the style.

Drinkability was wonderful. I saved this for an extra-special occasion, and this was well worth it.

DAMN, this was good.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep burgundy with almost no head. Very little retention or lacing. The nose is vinous and tart, with cherries right out in front, followed by the pinot oak and faint whiffs of brett. A very good indication of what's to come. The first sip is tart and bracing. As the tartness fades, sweet and sour cherry flavors push through on a
wave of subdued oak. The brettanomyces funk works against these extreme flavors to provide an earthy balance in the finish. Medium bodied, with bright, sharp carbonation. A sour ale that slaps you in the face and demands your attention.

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Photo of helmstreet
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in a white wine glass.

This is my second ever bottle of supplication, pretty much my favorite thing ever.

Head dissipated quickly. The nose is incredible. Funk and cherries. The cherries return in the taste along with a faint oak turning tart and finishing dry and almost sweet. It's amazing how the cherries persist throughout without being over the top like a lindeman's. The effervescence sends the beer across my tongue but dries out quickly to leave just a hint of cherries. This is an amazing beer: nuanced and tasty.

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Photo of mgironta
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First of all, yes, I paid $18 for this beer, which I think is outrageous, but I always have to grab up Russian River beers when I see them. This beer poured a cloudy reddish-brown color with lots of active carbonation. The head was one finger and pure white and lingered around for awhile, although it didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. On the nose, there was a definite presence of cherries and funk. Minor notes on the nose included oak and a bit of red wine. Complexity much? On the first sip, the first thing I think is that this beer is crazy tart. It took me a few sips to get used to that. It also didn’t have as much funk as I thought it would. After I got used to that, there was definitely oak and cherries in the taste. The carbonation is definitely active and goes well with the brew, which is much lighter than I thought it would be. This brew almost reminds me of a red wine, which also could be because it was aged in Pinot Noir barrels. The finish lingers with tart cherries. Although this would not be a beer I could have every night, the complexity really makes it an amazing beer. I would have this again in a second.

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Photo of ChanChan
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch: 04X04

Poured into a tulip glass

Appearance: Dark orange and slight reddish color

Aroma: Lots of Cherries, funky wine smell as well

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated showing a decent amount of tannins

Taste: This beer is quite sour with strong hints of cherry and vinegar, I also detect a faint taste of Pinot noir in it, basically, it tastes a bit like wine.

Overall: It is worth all the hype and all the time it took me to get ahold of this one.

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Photo of illidurit
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a goblet. Orangish amber color, off-white head. Carbonation is champagney, effervescent and lively.

Smells beautifully sour. Oak and cherries come out in the background but overall this smells very acidic and tart.

Sweet red fruit fights for its life but the tartness takes over. Notes of cherry, wood, wine grapes, vanilla, brett. Bone dry finish. Great complexity here and a great combination of flavors.

Delicate body, carbonation like champagne, very smooth and bubbly. Clearly a beer to sip but it's very rewarding as it evolves with warmth.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,279 ratings.
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