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 BlackHoleBrew42
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank the lord Jebus...

On Tap at Falling Rock in Denver. Been waiting to try this one, and it did not dissapoint. Little head, gives way to a nice ruby color, smelling of hay and fruit. Mouthfeel is amazing, acidity is there and cuts into it, but you really get a nice dose of the cherry. The cherry element reminds me of New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red, but the sourness creates its own unique world. What a beer, I would gladly drink this all day and all night. Thank you, Mr. Cilurzo. Thank you.

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Photo of Foxtrot
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4X2. I've always been intrigued by sours, but haven't taken the plunge. I heard through my local beer scene that a few cases had made it to my neck of the woods and couldn't resist.

Pours from 375ml bottle a brown/amber with a creamy colored cap. Foam was about 2 finger width with an abundance of lacing and long lasting retention.

The aroma is just explosive. Tartness, grapes, cherries, and a hint of pepper. A touch of vinegar is present, but really is taken back by the fruit.

Pungent tart and sourness up front, and gives way to cherries and and some slight yeast. Little vinegar, but it adds more to the tart notes at the front rather than the finish. Goes down crazy smooth.

Mouthfeel was medium. Sturdy enough to hold all the flavors together and just light enough to really enjoy during a session.

Drinkability is great, if sour is your bag.

PS. This is my first sour, and I really enjoyed it. I can see myself really enjoying this style more often. Thanks Russian River.

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Photo of billab914
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 003 poured from a 375 ml bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Poured a brown/red color with about half an inch of white frothy foam on top. It kept a thin white covering on the beer as I drank it, which made each sip a little frothy and really enhanced the beer. I don't think I could ask for a better looking beer of this style.

Aroma is sour and tart with some grape, cherry and sour candy apple flavors. The taste is not surprisingly sour and tart, but it also has a candy sweet-tart like flavor to it. It has a acidic bite to it as soon as it hits your tongue, and then mellows out a bit to show some of the complex flavors. The cherries come through very nicely in the finish. Awesome flavors and complexity, probably the best tasting of the style I have had.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's very delicious which helps the drinkability out a lot. It's sour, tart and acidic for sure but it's so good and complex drinking it really is a pleasure. Plus I really love anything with cherries involved in it. The acidity is the only thing that would probably get to me if I were to drink too much of this.

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Photo of vacax
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Gold with pink and red in color, nicely robust head with equally alluring retention and lacing. Aroma is sour, acetic, sweet with a mild note of dark fruit. Tastes nicely sour, of cherry skin, pediococcus, and well rounded. Body is moderate in heft with a smooth plentiful carbonation. Tart and sweet and quite easy to quaff, well deserving of its prestige.

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Photo of gthornton
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber red/brown with a hint of gold when held in the light. A 1.5" head recedes within a few minutes, leaving a sticky lacing.

Acidic cherry at the front and brown sugary sweetness in the back.

Sweetart-like sourness on the tip and sides of the tongue. Tart cherry again taking the lead here.

Mouthfeel is like a sour cherry candy... a rush of tart up front washes away cleanly, then finally a quick rush of tartness comes back up front.

The mouthfeel makes me want to keep sipping, it is addictive in its uniqueness. Would be great with thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 04x3. Poured from a caged and corked 375mL bottle into my White Birch tulip. A satisfying "pop" issues forth when I carefully removed the cork.

A slow decanting builds four fingers of champagne foam resting atop a clear, dark, mercurial body of shifting colors: rust, rufous, burnt orange, tenné, and mahogany. The head recedes to a shuddering weakly whipped half finger. Lacing is like a mirror filled atlas with glimmering tears.

Very mild bacteria build the foundation of tartness that seamlessly leads into the cherry aromatics which begin lightly acidic then turn sweet, oaky, and faintly vinuous. Delightful.

Acidity is more bracing on the palate, but quickly balanced by a light fruity sweetness. Mid-palate you can detect more of the "barnyard" influence of Brett. which adds an excellent complexity to the flavor. Fresh cherry pits, and faint pinot noir grapes are suggested adding further diversity to the range of tartness. Very light bitterness and light wine barrel notes rounds out the finish.

Medium-light bodied, smooth, effervescent, and with the perfect amount of astringency. Hard to imagine this getting any better.

For some time I saw American Wild Ales as a sort of lesser cousin of traditional lambics. While Supplication lacks the intensity of aromatics or flavors (at least at this young stage) compared to its Belgian predecessors, it more than makes up for that in balance and supreme drinkability.

All in all, a very impressive, superior crafted, creative success.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel so lucky to live in a place where I can get this brew. Poured into my RR "TION" glass.

Appearance is beautifull. A light red color with some amber hues. I'm assuming most of the red is from the cherries. Nice thick head with beautiful lacing.

Smells amazing. Tons of Bret funk and sourness going on with a good tart cherry aroma.

Taste is great. This is what a wild ale should taste like. Lots of funk mixed with a great tartness that is on the higher side of the spectrum but not the most tart beer I have had. The cherries are there and taste great. I wish there was a little more but I'm sure that's impossible with this beer. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel is good. Great carb and the bottle made a nice loud pop when I opened the bottle.

Overall I would drink this as much as I could because I don't see it often. But I am lucky to see it here and there.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper/cherry color with a finger of head that camps out forever. Smell is cherries up front with surprisingly little tartness or funk. Granted, there is definitely some cobweb and band aid present, it's just not an assault on the senses. Some dry oakiness is also present. Overall just a fine wild ale aroma.

The taste is superb. Tartness is relatively light for the style, inducing only the slightest of puckers. The funk is a bit more prominent on the tongue than it was in the smell, and it carries along with it a rich cherry fruit flavor that adds depth and complexity . I also sense notes of other dark fruits such as raisins, but they are extremely subtle. White grapes, oak, band aid, and yeast round out the flavor profile.

The body is medium and the carbonation levels are very high, but fairly standard for the style. Drinkability is solid thanks to the funk and sourness being kept in check. Overall this is a fantastic beer, and definitely one of the best sours available.

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Photo of SaisonInTheAbyss
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a chimay goblet.

a- pours a nice deep bronze. The beer is a little hazy and the head stayed about a half inch thick throughout.

s- smell of slight brett funk, oak, and dark cherries. Very inviting, and hard to stop sniffing.

t- a very dry, oaky ale taste up front, followed by a sour cherry tang on the back corners of the mouth.The complexity of flavors work so well together. The whole tongue is needed to taste this beer.

m- champagne-like carbonation, The dryness really leaves you wanting more.

d- I could drink this all day, every day. It's a shame it's seasonal (as well as a little pricy) because these are the only things keeping me from doing so.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

375 thanks to Duffman069, ooh yeah!

A - Light to solid copper, off white foam, dissipates slow, and leaves little to no lacing. Slightly carbonated.

S - Lacto, brett, honey, and light bitterin hops.

T - Can I marry this beer? Same as the smell, but with funk in the yeast and very smooth tasting.

M - Moderate bodied, malt and bacteria dominated, oh so good. Very sweet and smooth finish.

D - This is the most perfect sour I've had to date. Awesome.

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Photo of popery
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft, Toronado, 2007 Vintage. This beer certainly changed over the course of 2-3 years. There's very little head. The sourness is considerably amped up. It almost drowned out the malt complexity for me. Those sour cherries are very punchy. It gets almost difficult to drink by the end, but it's a delicious torture. Wonderful beer and I would be very interested to see further changes over time.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at the Pliny the Younger release. Batch 04 x 1. Poured into a duvel tulip.

Brown/amber/mahogany semi opaque beer. Two and a half finger cream head. Very impressive head retention, and awesome lacing.

Smells of sourness, bready yeast, oak, and a faint bit of vanilla.

Oaky tannins, sourness, brett, cherries, champagne, vague dark fruits (raisins/plumb), and vanilla.

Full bodied, well carbonated, fairly dry and creamy.

Delicious sour ale that keeps you coming back for more.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Orangish copper with a white 1/2 inch head. Amazing lace all over my tulip glass.

Smell - Phenomenal - Some boozy barrel-aged stuff happening (like Allagash Curieux). Sour cherries and other berry smells also. Appetizing funky yeast aroma.

Taste - Like a punch in the face. Brace yourself for the tartness, but then the lovely backbone of kriek-like cherry flavor. Oud Bruin to the max, with a little saison thrown in, and kriek lambic to finish off. As this warms, more malt character is prevalent, and this is when this can truly be savored. Intensity is present throughout. Long, winey/vinegary finish leaves you smiling.

Mouthfeel - Very acidic, gets the glands working for sure. Stings the lips a bit, to be honest. After it warms up, thought, more of the wood flavors pop out and the finish is buttery. MMM....

Drinkability - Can't get enough.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours into my Russian River tulip with a hazy tangerine/brown color. If you hold it up to the light you can see bits of the yeast sediment not so much floating in the glass as they are locked in place. About a half finger of head that quickly dissipates and leaves minor lacing.

Smell - That smell! Brett, wine, tart/sour Michigan cherries. Once this strong forefront smell wanes, the slight barnyard funk begins to emerge though not as heavily as I would have thought. Slight wet hay/dust is really the main funk I am getting.

Taste - There were three definte phases to this beer which were amazing for the fact they were so distinct it felt like three different beers at once. First, the sour punch at the outset where you can taste those amazing tart cherries which gives a wave of slight sweetness. The beer then changes gears and decides to get it's "funk on" allowing you to taste some of the earthy barnyard flavors previously mentioned under the smell. Now the end is where it really got me. I haven't seen this in other reviews but I got a slight red wine undertone but this gave way to a relatively strong black licorice flavor that actually stays after the sip. Very interesting and incredibly tasty.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, great carbonation that prickles the tongue, and finishes a tad dry.

Drinkability - For as sour as it is, I am rather enjoying this 375ml bottle. I really wish I could do a comparison between Temptation, Consecration, and this beer (the only three sours from RR I've had). I definitely feel this is better than Consecration in my honest opinion, and also edges out Temptation. Still, it would be interesting to see them all together. This one has a massive sour punch and I rather enjoy that. An amazing beer and I'm glad I picked up a couple extra so I can age them.

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Photo of LevitatedEep
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12.68 fl oz bottle, batch 04x4

A - Cloudy and brownish / orange in color...looks very inviting.

S - Spicy and wine like in smell. Smell is outstanding!

T - Very very sour like eating sour candy or very sour fruit. definately an interesting taste and very different from beers I usually drink, but i like it.

M - very carbonated reminds me of champagne.

D - Pretty drinkable but very sour so some may not like it.

Overall I enjoyed this beer a lot because it is so unique.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 04x4

Opens with a POP. Pours amber orange. Sits in the glass brown/orange and cloudy. Some yeast sediment floating around. Nice coating on the glass.

Smell is exceptional! Pino noir, corriader, booze, grapes, tomatoes, apple cider vinegar.
There is a distinctt tone of brettanomyces here, like some lambics

Tastes sour up front. VERY different. Braggs apple cider vinegar, sour wine, and many sweet overly ripe fruits. The
carbonation makes it seem like it is a very flavorful chamapagne.

A bit too sour for me. makes the mouthfeel a bit difficult to
rate. but still above average here. Very carbonated.
Champangnee like.

drinkibility...same notes as the above moutfeel. Exceptional originality in this brew giving it the high scores it deserves.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap on the release day and out of the bottle the day after. I prefer this on tap than in the bottle. The nose and tastes are stronger out of the keg.

The appearance is a murky brown color with lots of purple hues. Like most of the Russian River sours the head is very crisp at first, then goes away by the first few sips. A very crisp carbonation is evident, both in the bottle and on tap.

The smell is of Brett, tart and sour cherries, bits of wooden oak, and just overall funk. These first smells of fresh Supplication are very fruit dominant, reminding me of Consecration.

The taste is superb, just the right combination of tart cherries with that funky brown ale base. Lots of great funk that is brought on by Brett and Pedio among others. Another sour that just keeps the mouth watering after the beer has left.

The mouthfeel is tart and funky. Incredibly mouth watering with such an enjoyable mix of sour characteristics, delicious.

The drinkability is great. Is there any doubt that Russian River makes the best wilds? This is just another testament to a brewer striving for perfection.


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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR.
Poured a hazy brown colo with red hues, little white head. Nose is sour cherries and a tartness. Taark cherries and a deeper tartness than Consecration. Pretty sweet, booze and all is well put together, creating a good brew. Mouthfeel has a wine like characteristic. Very good sour and I kept going back to this. So good!

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Photo of SShelly
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber with light white head , a little cloudy.

Slight tart aroma, very mellow aroma.

Very crisp tartness, a little lactic, leaves a light sweet and tart thing in the mouth.

Extremely drinkable and delicous, glad I have a growler and will definetly get this when I see it.

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Photo of jdklks
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The best sour I've ever had. Pours a dark orange/light brown that turns golden at the edges in the light. A nice tan head that sticks around for much longer than one would expect, but does eventually disappear. The smell is fantastic... So complex. Sweet sweet dark fruits: lots of cherry and plum along with figs and currants. a great oakiness to compliment the brett smell that is so overwhelmingly awesome. I find it hard to really get a grip on everything that eminates from a glass of supplication.

The flavor is equally phenomenal. Everything from the aroma is there in a big way. Lots of oak and cherries up front to start off sweet, and then it moves into the more subtle fruit flavors with the plum and figs. Raisins are even perceptible. Some alcohol to go along with the beautiful tartness in the finish and sweet sweet aftertaste that keeps you reaching for so much more. Just a really, super complex, ridiculously well made beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and wonderful with, of course, excessive carbonation. The drinkability is as good as any sour out there.

This beer brings tears to my eyes. Highly recommended.

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Photo of k3n
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

New 375ml bottling, Batch 4x2

Clear reddish-amber. Plenty of head upon pouring which dies down to a steady cap of bubbles. Plenty of lacing. Swirling the glass brings back a really nice head again.

The aroma is bright and tart. The tartness is acetic, and smells slightly oaky as well.

Taste starts bracingly sour (duh). More vinager-y tartness. Cherries are evident in the middle, and then finishes with a tannic dryness. Sour, yet very drinkable and refreshing!

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Photo of Chambic
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

02.03.10 at City Beer

A: kind of a lighter, more clear brown

S: this barnyard-y smell always makes me think of hay

T: a rounded, more delicate sour, very well-balanced by the fruit

M: tingles nicely on the tongue with the tartness and carbonation level

D: so, so good

This batch is even better than the last!

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 7 oz champagne flute and allowed this to warm to about 50 degrees before digging into it.

A: Pours a darkish peach, almost has some brownish color to it. There is a ring of head around the edges of the glass, but as with most wilds that I have tried, the carbonation does not manifest itself in any form of visible head. Additionally, the carbonation seems to be better masked than I have seen in bottled wilds. There are no coarse bubbles on the sides of the glass submerged in the beer (as you would see in soda). This is in stark contrast to the Yellow Bus and Frambozen that I tried at my last tasting of sours.

S: Obviously, one of the dominant aromas is the strong brettanomyces funk, but there is much more to this beer than just sourness. Very evident is a musty and tart cherry character, undoubtedly from the cherries used in the creation of this beer. However, there is also a sweet aspect to this that I did not expect. It doesn't come from any malt profile, so I suspect that it is again the cherries.

T: The first striking thing about this beer once it is on my palate is that it is much more sour than I had initially expected after the aroma was mild and somewhat sweet. This is definitely a Russian River sour, as their yeast strain comes though very evidently. This sour flavor is complemented nicely by an earthiness that comes from the barrel aging, sweetness from the cherries, and an underlying red wine acidity from the pinot noir aging.

M/D: This beer is very desirable on pretty much every level. Despite looking flat, Supplication on tap surprises with a tingly feeling of carbonation that envelops the palate, working with the yeast to give a mouth-puckering feeling. As this was the latest batch of Supplication, I imagine that a couple more months of aging will do this beer a lot of good as the sour notes mature and amplify. However, the flavor and the balance of sweet and sourness in the this beer is impressive, to say the least.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle from Batch 003 generously shared by Andy yesterday at the tasting.

A: The pour is a hazy, light brownish red (not exactly amber) color with a sticky white head.

S: The cherries have diminished quite a bit from this one in the going on two years since it's release. In their place, a vinegar aroma has started to set in. The oak and funk are still prominent and help to distract you from the acetic qualities.

T: The cherries seem to be lingering a bit in terms of the flavor. The vinegar is not quite as pronounced as it is in the nose, but still detectable. There is also some lactic sourness and a mild Brett funk and definitely dryness.

M: The body is medium with a a slight slickness on the tongue. A moderate level of carbonation provides a bit of dryness to the finish.

D: Just as drinkable as the fresh batch that will be released on Friday. That said, I think this one should be consumed fairly soon, unless more vinegar is your thing in sours.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Molasses, exceedingly ripe plum, some sour, a little brett/horsey notes, and tart citrus hops. Awesome.

Taste: Wow. Quite tart but the fruit flavor is overwhelming. Its like tart cherry candy in the best way possible. Sweet ripe plums and cherries collide with honey and refreshing yeast and spicy notes to just make everything delightful. Wood notes lay low but add character. Toasted caramel emerges as the temperature increases a bit.

Finish is quick, citrusy, sour and crisp - doesn't linger at all.

Notes: Amazing brew. My favorite between RR temptation, consecration, and this...though it is a close one.

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