Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
4.56 w/ 6,363 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,363 |  Reviews: 1,468
Photo of jeonseh
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into Mikkeler tulip. Batch 5.

A - Resembles a darker Felmish red ale as it is a dark reddish brown. Has a glow about it that almost makes it resemble a spirit. Small head head slowly went down to just a layer of foam on the sides.

S - Tart cherries, sweet sugar, oak lemon, red wine tannins, and a slight Brett funk.

T - Cherry, slight Brett funkiness up front. As it moves on, there is lemon, slight orange peel, wheat grass, oak, red wine tannins. There is a slight sugary sweetness as well that keeps it nicely balanced from being too tart. Well-balanced and complex as each sip brings a slightly different experience.

MF - Nicely, medium carbonated. Slightly thick body with a slight stickiness. The carbonation helps bring the tart flavors that leave a tingle in the tongue. There is a slight astringency that hangs on in the finish.

O - Probably the most complex of the Russian River sours that I've had. Each sip brings something new as it is tart, sweet and funky all in one beer.

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Photo of LargeCrab
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of vandemonian
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Russian River Supplication is an amazing beer. There are so many flavours: sourness; wood; grape; cherry; and malt. They are all noticeable and they are integrated into a wonderful overall flavour. Great beer!

A: Red colour and a 5 mm head that fades leaving little lacing. Shake the glass and the head comes back. 4

S: Malt, lemon rind and some sourness. Pleasant. 4

T: Sourness with hints of wood. Dry. The sourness dominates over the malt. There is some sour funk from the bugs as well as some bitter grape sourness from the wine. The finish is a a mix of grapeskins and a little funk. So many flavours in there and yet they combine into something great. 4.5

M: Foamy. 4

O: 4.5

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Photo of gregshead
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange/light brown with slight haze but mostly clear. Half finger of head.

S: Cherry (light smell) & oak smell. Not a lot on the nose. Also a little barnyard.

T: So Sour. Tart cherries up front and oak aftertaste. Light acid taste.

M: Dry finish. Champagne like carb

O: The overall value of this sour wild ale is incredible. For the amount that is made of this sour, its pretty impressive

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Photo of Proteus93
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dkachur for being kind enough to share this one.

A: A crisp golden, with the finish adding a bit of haziness between a couple glasses. Moderate head of white.

S: Straight up sour cherry, somewhat peppery.

T: Tart cherry flavours, some notes of apple (sour apple), a soft spiciness and the slightest bit of funk and woodiness.

M: Very dry... Crisp. Leaves very little behind, amazingly clean. I love me a dry drink, especially when they are tart/sour

D: Not too shabby. Not really one of my styles, perhaps, but a good example of the style.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Ruby, caramel color. Not much head, but carbonation is present.

S-Cherries, grapes, oak, smells dry.

T-Tart not overly sour. Cherries and oak, well balanced. Some grassy notes as well.

M-Medium bodied, silky smooth but not much carbonation.

O-A great well balanced sour. Looking forward to Temptation, but it was better than Consecration.

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Photo of abagri
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was acquired in a recent trade with BrewerB. Thanks Brian! I've been wanting to try this one for awhile. This bottle was Batch 6X1.

This beer pours a rich, brownish amber in color, very reminiscent of cherry wood. It featured a nice cream colored head which laces the glass and sticks to the sides. The aromas consist of primarily sour cherry with a light grape like sweetness. It has a good amount of funk but it's hard to tell which is winning, the cherry or the funk. I'm glad the sweetness is allowed to show past the cherry. The flavors are very sour and dry. You definitely get a boatload of cherry, oak, and nice funk. The tartness is in your face initially before letting the other flavors take place. The most impressive aspect is how the flavor resonates even five minutes later. It leaves behind a really, really nice aftertaste of all of the flavors meshed together in perfect harmony. Overall this is a very, very good wild and I definitely prefer it over Consecration.

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Photo of Maltster85
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of razorhawk
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HosP
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened this a couple weeks ago to celebrate a weekend of moving. Big thanks to Scottfrie to this wonderful beer.

A- Nice big pop from the cork opening this bottle. Poured nice light brown with good size head to it.

S- Lots of cherry notes to this aroma. Very small hints from the oak aging.

T- Very interesting first sip. The tartness isn't overbearing but allows you to enjoy each drink. The sour cherries were just right and gave a good taste amazingly.

M- Nice tart, crisp, almost a little dry. Medium body with lots of carbonation.

T- Was very excited to try my first wild ale and it didn't let me down. Thought maybe it would be a little to much, but it had great balance and good taste. The acidity to the beer probably would stop me from another bottle that night, but would drink another one anytime.

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Photo of Tommo
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 007. 375 mL corked bottle bought for $11.99 at Cork n Bottle in Monument, Colorado.

The body of this beer is beautiful crimson-brown and clear, initially full of large bubbles (no head) and after a few minutes settling down to a number of tiny streams of bubbles rising to the surface.

Lacto/pedo wine-like notes paired with cherries are the forefront aromas in the nose, followed by a subtle brett character and possibly a touch of oak. Less complex on the nose than I expected.

Unexpected in the flavor department. Instead of full fledged sourness and cherries, the flavor of this ale takes a different route. Initially there is tartness and a touch of sour, but quickly sweet cherries show through. Right after the sweet is a wash of brett and slight funkiness, at this point the flavor is really getting good. To top it off, an interesting honey malt flavor arrives and brings the whole experience to a conclusion. This pronounced malt flavor is not quite like anything I have had in a wild ale, and sets this beer apart. Overall less bold than I expected.

The mouthfeel is on the dry side (however the flavor is fairly sweet) with ample (but not excessive) carbonation. Medium bodied.

Conclusion: Not what I expected, but very tasty and complex. I always thought this would be more sour and singular, with bracing sourness and a real smack of cherries. Instead it is softer and presents its flavor profile a gentle touch. The flavors are defined and layered, and overall this is just a great beer.

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Photo of evil
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sd123
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brystmar
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle split with my brother. Batch 007.

A: the cork pops off this beast with the ferocity of champagne. Active body through the reddish hues. Thin white head leaves behind mild lace.

S: wow, sour goodness ahead! Tart fruit, cherries, funky yeast.

T/M: very actively carbonation blasts your tongue as the first wave of sour fruit approaches. Plenty of wine-like qualities to be appreciated here alongside the funky Brett yeast. I don't drink *that* many sours, so it's still kinda hard for me to describe exactly what's going on. Finishes bone dry and quite smooth.

...and then comes the aftertaste. A bitter oak barrel flavor sets in about 15 seconds after you swallow and lingers. Interesting, sure, but not really my thing.

D: 375mL split two ways is simply not enough. Russian River delivers once again! Now if only they'd ship to NYC...

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Photo of adman08
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours with ample head that falls quickly but the carbonation is fairly high so a thin layer of foam sticks around. Nice copper color.
S-Mostly you get the typical sour ale smell with a hint of wood.
T-Very complex. You get flavors of wood and wine along with the tartness from the brett and the lacto and pedio bacteria.
M-Tart, very dry, almost no fruit sweetness. Lots of bubbles.
Overall, very complex beer. I enjoy sours a great deal and this is the best I've had for the style. Sometimes it's nice to have a sour that has more sweetness but this has a very winelike character and lots of different flavors.

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Photo of stxSS07
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a rusty copper with a finger of off-white head. Streaming carbonation. Nice lacing. Huge pop off of the cork.

S- Tart green apples. Cherries, with a wine-like buttery quality. Acidic vinegar with a bit of funk.

T- Puckering sourness. Tart cherry, green apple, lacto, and a mineral quality. Buttery wine sweetness.

M- Medium thin with high carbonation. Extremely drying finish.

O- One of the best sours for a reason. I've had this one multiple times and still love it.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a "Belgian Independence Day" tulip at high altitude near Denver, CO. Batch 10. My expectations for this one couldn't be higher.

A: Pours an orangish-amber color with a foamy three-finger off-white head or nice retention. Plenty of lacing on the glass. Large chunks of yeast sediment floating around here.

S: Cherry notes are the most prevalent here, with plenty of sour yeast character present as well. Hints of berry notes in the background here.

T: Opens with dark cherry notes that give way to a proper level of sourness, just below lip-puckering level. Wine barrel notes come through on the finish and help to balance the sourness. The flavors make this one very easy to finish quickly.

M: Medium-bodied with plenty of prickly carbonation and a dry finish. Suits the flavors very nicely and makes me want to come back for another sip just after most of the sourness fades away.

O: This beer is my new standard for sours. I would highly recommend trying it at least once even if the price is high.

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Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to open this one and share it with a few friends during one of the recent UFC fights. Bottle of Batch 4 poured into an over sized snifter.

A - Pours murky brown, with hints of ruby red around the sides, with a stark white one finger tall head leaving spotty lace down the glass.

S - Smells of tart cherries, damp basement must, light vinegar, funky brett, and some dry oak tannins. This one has aged quite nicely.

T - Starts off with lots of tart cherries up front slowly giving way to a mix of light sweetness, funky brett, strong sourness, and some must. The finish is a mix of tartness and quite a bit of dryness, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Dry, tart, feel with plenty of it lingering through the finish.

O - I still love this beer and it only seems to get better with age. I just wonder how long it can go for. If this one is any indication I would say quite awhile.

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Photo of fiver29
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle batch 003. Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a thick white head. Smells musty and sour. Has a medium mouthfeel. Taste is very complex and has many flavors including: oak, sour, fruit, tartness, pepper spice, and some acidic spiciness. Overall this is not a punch you in the mouth sour like some of the other sours out there. Its more subtle. Its more drinkable. My drinking buddy commented its like eating a piece and candy and wanting more. That's what its like between sips. Overall a great brew.

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Photo of Jkolls
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nrbw23
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
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 -5.7%
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 -5.7%
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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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97.7% out of 100 with 6,363 ratings
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