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 Brewfan
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Props to WarriorSoul for the bottle!
Poured into my wide-mouth Duvel tulip.
Poured a very murky orangy-apple cider color. Minimal head with a ton of small bubbles. The very fine lace stayed throughout and re-emerges with gentle encouragement.
There is a galaxy of tiny black specs floating throughtout the beer, but settled to the bottom. Yeast? Cherry pit scrapnel? Not sure what it is. Had no adverse effects on this beer.
Nose of sour cherry and earthy yeast mustyness. Enjoyably tart. Very vinous and smells of a well made hard cider.
Not exactly sure how to catagorize what I'm tasting. It's unlike any beer I've ever tried before. Sour wild cherry and Brett takes presidence, along with musty fruit-cake, minus the nuts. Subdued hoppiness but there is a malty sweetness. Quite dry and woody. My vocabulary cannot express what I'm actually tasting. So much complexity here. Maybe it's not meant to be described.
Very drinkable, smooth dry body. At 7% I wasn't expecting anything too heavy. Mouthfeel reminded me of a nice dry cider.

Awsome beer from Russian River and Vinnie. Like I said before, unlike anything I've previously had. Almost too good for words.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12.68 oz. bottle purchased on a recent trip to San Francisco, unclear bottling date (batch #009), poured into my FFF Teku glass, drank 8/3/13 over an hour.

A: 2/3 - orange-brown coloration, minimal clarity (cannot see through), off-brown/white head dissipates into small glass lacings, surprising big alcohol legs for a 7.00%ABV concoction

S: 11/12 - lots of pungent sour notes admixed with cherries and mild tannins imparted by the use Pinot Noir bottles; really enticing aroma

T: 19/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a strong sourness - vinegar, sour cherries and even some apple cider notes, in the middle of the mouth, some of the vinous qualities start to rear their head - tannins, grapes and stone fruit; the alcohol is present but certainly not overwhelming in the taste with some minor malt characters to hint at balancing

M: 5/5 - moderate bodied and appropriately carbonated for an American wild ale; really nice dry, crisp finish that doesn't linger with a puckering sourness

O: 10/10 - as opposed to some of their other beers, which I believe have a tendency to be overrated, this one lives up to the hype; on numerous levels, it's just about a perfect sour - tart, refreshing, dry with a complex aroma and flavor; cheers to Vinny C. for reinforcing my faith in the power of the sour!

TOTAL = 47/50

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Photo of Stolenface1
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage reviewed on 11/15/15:
Pours a gorgeous red color with little head. Aroma of cherry, oak, lactic acid, green apple, Pinot Noir... flavor follows the aroma with tart raspberry, cranberry, vanilla, citrus, slight lambic-like funk, Pinot, and tannins from both the barrels and dried cherry skins ..complex, balanced and absolutely wonderful. The feel is light and spot on for the style. Sparkling carbonation. Overall, a spectacular beer.

12/2014 Vintage reviewed on 3/13/16:
Pours an amber/copper with small off white head. Aroma of green apple, oak, funk, slight wine barrel, slight malt. Flavor follows the aroma with hints of cherry and a slightly different "twang than the other bottle reviewed that was 1 yr younger(fresh). The year of age has affected the color and flavor of this beer tremendously. I get much less of a red color, and much more funk and acetic notes than the fresh bottle. It is neither good nor bad comparing, just different. Very pleasing. More vinous. Carbonation is slightly higher but not tremendously.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Now THIS is what a sour beer should taste like! Supplication has been on my bucket list for a long time and it's so nice when something actually lives up to the hype. The flavor of wine comes through loud and clear on this one and though it is sour it is not overly so. Really the only way I can adequately describe it is to say that it is delicious

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Photo of Celtics17
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

After a few sips, and as the sour warmed. I got a big pinot noir flavor in the back after the puckering sourness faded. I get a must flavor as well, but nice wine quality with this sour. I get some vinegar, but big wine character that doesn't go away.

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Photo of calir1
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite sour around. As far as a taste review, I cant name everything in it, it is just sour tart and awesome. It has some great wine characteristics and a go to sour when I am at the pub. Russian River makes some wonderful sours but this one is on the top of them all

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Photo of MadCat
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours a nice clear reddish color without too much head

Smell: Tart cherries and hints of dry red wine

Taste: A complex brew of nice sourness, tart cherries, subtle dry red wine, hints of oak

Feel: Medium body and carbonation

Overall: This is a an excellent brew. Would love it if this was easier to get, though that might not be good for my wallet.

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Photo of vic21234
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a snifter. Batch 008.

A- Pours an off red. Large white head forms on the bottle. Numerous fizzy bubbles can be seen going to the surface. The head dissipates and forms a frothy film along the top.

S- Grapes and cherries. Definitely reminds me of the smell of wine.

T- I've only had a few sour/ wild ales but this one takes it. Initially I get a bit of an alcohol taste which sharply turns sour. The sour taste leads back to grapes and cherries.

M- Light, carbonated and sour.

Just starting out with this style of beer but Supplication will be hard to beat. A must try.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer came my way as an extra from Sholand. Thanks man this is a great beer. The beer was served chilled in a wide mouthed goblet.

Appearance: The body of the beer is ruby coloration. The head is short lived white coloration. A thin rim of white rings the rim of my glass. Webbing of lacing marks the beers passage.

Smell: I hesitate to call any wild ales aroma clean. Musty cellar aroma combine with tart semi sweet cherries grapes and oaken barrel.

Taste: The flavor of the beer is loaded with tart cherries. Nice bracing bret sourness. Again I hesitate to call it a clean flavor but I love the brief sweetness of cherries and then the tartness nice oak tones noted to flavor.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The sourness and the tartness are well balanced. The body is light and very refreshing. A very drinkable sour beer. The beer disappeared from my glass way too fast. This beer is an American classic.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - 4.75 - orange-red color, hazy, white head leaves great lacing
S - 4.75 - tart, sour lemon, a little bit if vinegar and funkiness
T - 4.75 - sour, cherries, lemon juice, vinegar, funky, barnyard tastes, grass, bread
M - 4.75 - light but sour and funky, alc covered, aftertaste is lemon juice. def a sipper.
O - 4.75 - a little overhyped. Nothing like anything else I've tried though. A true unique beer.

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Photo of NolanGTI
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW. Beer, meet cherries. Cherries meet champagne. this is quite simply an astounding beer and I hate fruit in my beer typcially.

A small head coats the sides as you drink this bad boy down. Cherries are front and center followed by the taste of a nice champagne yeast, unlike anything I have ever tasted in a beer before. This was followed by the nice flavors of a mild brown ale. Tart, but not overly slow with a tangy middle and a nice ale finish. Just a real gem.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Aaron for hooking me up with a beer I've really been wanting to try.

Poured into a Claret...

Appearance-Amber body with a bubbly, champagne like two finger off white head. Nice retention and about a 1/3 finger head still sits atop the beer throughout the whole drink.

Smell-First thing I get is the Pinot Noir(my favorite wine). Apple, Pears, Sour cherrys. Some vinegar and a nice amount of pepper. Made me eager to dig in.

Taste-Wow. Big Oak and Sour Cherry. Pinot Noir really comes through. Light bitterness. It's amazing how simple this beer is but how amazing this beer tastes.

Mouthfeel-Extremely drinkable. Medium bodied, champagne like carbonation. Refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall-If this were available in Tx and not so expensive I would drink one every night. The sour and tartness of this beer did not fright me off like others sours I've tried. Crazy drinkable. If you can get this beer and haven't tried it yet, go get it now.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle from Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins. $12.29. Batch 04X5

A: Hazy brown/burnt orange in color with about half an inch or so of incredibly dense cream colored head. Impressive retention as well as lacing. Fair amount of bubbles moving up from the nucleation point in this goblet.

S: Sour funk, that is the initial go to smell, super acidic sour notes followed by a decent funky sweaty feet smell. Leans more towards the sour cherry and lemon like profile. Then the barnyard really starts to hit in this one, very strong barnyard, moldy straw/hay. Then way in the back is a caramel maltyness as well. This is everything I ask for in a sour, just not that amazing to be a 5.0.

T: Lemon and sour cherries, mix in with an incredible amount of acidic flavors, this sucker is incredibly sour. Wow. As it continues to warm the notes of cherries really play into this one. Behind that is a strong brown ale with notes of caramel and some notes of a light vanilla as well. Definite lingering funk in here the sweaty horse, barnyard phunknastyness lingers forever on the tongue. Just a hint of bitterness on the tongue here that lingers nicely after the finish. My tongue is torn, screaming for another tasty drink as well as reeling from the overall sourness of this one. Awesome.

M: Medium body, creamy, very creamy in the mouth from the perfect carbonation it just rolls across your mouth and down the throat, and then dries up making you want another sip. Doesn't make my spit nearly as thick as other sours, but definitely has a nice lactic profile. Slight little bit of alcohol heat as well.

D: Very high on the drinkability, but I have a feeling enjoying a second one in a sitting wouldn't give the beer its due. Incredibly easy as this basically disappears in your mouth. The sourness would wears on me a bit, but it is incredibly enjoyable. Definitely in that upper echelon of beers for me. Highly recommended.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on 10/21/13.

A- Pours a reddish-brown medium garnet color with a small slightly pink head that dissipated to a very thin ring. Nice degree of clarity.

S- Sour cherry with some light sweet cherry in there. Lots of barnyard funk and sour apple, slight hint of alcohol.

T- Lots of sour and funk. Sour cherry, not as much as in the aroma. Get some light cereal grain in the finish.

M- Medium, long sourness in the mouth. Very fitting for the style.

O- Some American sours I've had don't deliver on the funk and sourness but this one certainly does. This is one of the best examples of a sour beer I've had. The fruit is there as a support to the funk and sour. It is definitely a sipper of a beer but for all the right reasons. Certainly a beer to seek out if you love sour beers.

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Photo of paulys55
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed (understatement) at the Spinnerstown Hotel in PA. I had heard of this place and cant believe it took me so long to get there, it truly is heaven. Poured a red/brown/amber haziness into tulip with nice head and good lacing. Aroma is of citrus, wine and berries. This beer hit my mouth and it was like the sour patch kids were dancing on my tongue. Cherry and strawberry notes burst forth from the solid carbonation and leave the mouth tingling with joy. Wine and fruit in the crisp finish and I can only say it was worth the wait. Definitely give it a taste if you get the chance.

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Photo of bump8628
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cool little corked and caged bottle with Russian River's trademark crappy label art, luckily their beer is some of the best in the world.

Pours up a pristine, clear ruby brown with two fingers of light, airy foam that doesn't collapse as expected, but instead hangs around for the duration.

Russian River's classic sour/wild profile is in full force. Aggressive acid, mildly funky and fruity Brett, with a complementary and complexity-adding note of acetic acid. Some notes of caramel and toffee just barely peek out from behind the wild notes and ultra-dry finish, while musky oak and a little brightness from the cherries rounds it out and softens the edges a bit.

The best American Wild Ale I've sampled to date. Funky, complex, sour, but altogether well-balanced and superbly drinkable.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beauty pours with a light golden-amber color.
There’s a lightly tart aroma to it which is immediately noticeable. The flavor has a pronounced tart/sour cherry character with a highly acidic sourness intensifying the tasting experience. Fantastic brew.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Kingkong for hooking me up with this bottle. 375mL marked as batch 006x1

A: Supplication is mahogany in color, and pours with a quickly fading head. Despite my every attempt at coaxing some sort of froth out of the brew, it remains still after only a few moments. It is clear in the glass, and boasts plenty of lacing.

S: A marvelous bouquet of cherries, rose, Pedro Ximenez, and balsamic is presented elegantly. I can already tell that this is going to be a treat.

T: Delightfully dry, and pleasantly tart, Supplication is packed with oak, raisin, barnyard funk, almond, and a touch of sour cherries. I actually think that the cherry flavor comes from the yeast, while the cherries themselves add to the sherry/raisin tones. There is also a delightful earthiness that I feel is added by the Pinot Noir trapped in the barrels.

M: Light, dry, effervescent, and a touch tannic.

D: A great brew to say the least. This is balanced in its tartness, impressive in both its breadth and depth of flavor, and yet, remains distinct from the sour ales of Belgium. I couldn't justifiably classify this Lambic nor flanders ale; it is its own style. Definitely worth a try if you are fortunate enough to have access to RR's brews, as it is a great example of America's ability to take the best parts of other brewing traditions while adding our own flair.

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

166th Review
Served into snifter
On-draft at Falling Rock Taphouse

From notes.

A: Medium burgundy. 1.5 (white) fingernail head.

S: Sweet cherry, tart apples, oak, vanilla, and hint of fig. Nice!

T: Much like the nose, but oh so tasty! Sweet cherry up-front with immediate dry tartness. Hints of oak and bacteria blend amazingly well together with a masterful (soft) citrus finish. Delicious through and through and to enjoy it on draft is even better than the bottle.

M: Light-medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Another fantastic beer from RR! This one is usually my go-to beer from RR as it is usually readily available and uber choice all-around. The complexity, yet simplicity is so perfect that words do not do it justice. If you haven't tried it, go get it! If you have tried it and don't like it, send the rest my way. If you enjoy it like me, I dig your style and maybe I'll invite you when I crack open the large format - that will be epic.

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Photo of Halfbrother83
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A: Pours a really nice, deep ruby-mahogany color with zero head whatsoever.

S: Black cherry Warhead candy, dry red wine, vinegar tartness, some funk.

T: Tart, oak-y Pinot flavor immediately, some cherry tartness follows. Dark, dry fruit, some funk in the finish.

M: Dry with light carbonation. Sourness is very pronounced, making this a sipper for sure.

O: Very, very solid,and truly unique. I prefer Consecration over this one, but would never turn it down... definitely one of a kind.

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Photo of shangwang
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack open a bottle I've been aging for a while; I needed a little holiday cheer. Batch 006x2 poured into my Chimay glass.

Poured a hazy reddish hue with a frothy full finger of head which reduced quickly to a thin splotchy layer. I loved the columns of constant tiny bubbles rushing to the surface. It truly appeared as if my glass was alive! There was lots of great sour smell; I caught funky yeast, apple cider vinegar, cherry, and a little bit of general booziness. Very tart taste, which was totally to be expected and what I had anxiously hoped for. I tasted the brett in action (funky!), as well as the cherries and lots of bitter and sour. Also felt like like i tasted a sour apple/pear kind of thing in there. The mouthfeel was perfect- lots of crisp carbonation from the bottle conditioning which gently foamed on my tongue.

All in all, another great Russian River experience and a very satisfied customer! Sours are definitely an acquired taste, but this is among the best of the best. Definitely lives up to the hype, IMO.

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Photo of STEG
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5, duvel tulip, deep mahogany color eggshell colored fluffy head with good retention certainly. Smell has cherries tobacco red grape and a sour phenolic funk. Taste has the cherries show first with an almost medicinal character to it, cherry flavored cough syrup but in a good way a nicer, more memorable way. Mouthfeel is oily and viscous with a nice dryness and the sourness remains for a while. I could have a couple of these but not too many.

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Photo of rhodeska
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer, really interesting sour.

looked different, not something that I would normally see. Darkish brown, good strong apple smell and sour too.

The taste was pretty much exactly what the smell seemed like, was very full and delicious, quite apple-y.

Great beer, excellent way to mix it up between normal styles, and I highly recommend it.

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Photo of Chaney
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Top 100 beer review... and this one probably always will be.

I'm bracing myself for this one. As many fine beers that I've tried now, this was absolutely my first time ever trying this one.

I need to thank my good buddies Huhzubendah and biglobo8971 for BOTH sending me bottles of this renowned sour.

Batch 005X1 poured into a tulip at cellar temperature.

No working around of the cork necessary.... this sucker just popped right away!

A: Dark amber color, with ruby highlights when held up to a light source. Mildly off-white head became an oblong bubble formation as it died down.

S: The barrel-aging was evident from the get-go. Brett was totally prominent, but not ridiculous. Sour cherries for sure, along with a good bit of pepper.

T: Mildly jaw-locking, with the RR taste profile on the forefront in spades! The barrel-aging definitely tamed the over the top sourness. Mildly wine-like, but not totally.

M: Definitely carbonated and then some, but much more so than than a fine wine. Fairly thick! I didn't find this one vinegary in the least and was totally state of the art in the Mouthfeel category!

O: This one has earned its place as one of the best sours on the market. Amazing stuff!

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ML bottle batch 006X2.

A: Reddish amber with 3/8" soapy white head that dissipated over 2 minutes.

S: Sour cherries and yeast.

T: Starts off like a typical cherry lambic, but is incredibly smooth and dry and leaves very little aftertaste. Very peculiar and interesting, you want to just keep going for more and more in order to try and figure it out...

M: High level of medium carbonation. Wow.

O: I typically don't like sour beers or lambics but I really enjoy this beer. Exceptional.

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