Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

1,461 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: 1,461 | Ratings: 6,295
Photo of magictrokini
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap @ O'Briens TION night. Poured hazy, bright gold with a frothy white head. Musty, dank yeast funk combined with oaken wine barrel earthiness. Effervescent mouthfeel gives it a light feel. Mouth-puckering tartness right away. Lemony citric bite along with the bretty funk. A vinuous tanginess follows as does the oak and cherry flavors. Definitely a success in terms of aging in that it tones down the sometimes harsh vinegar and cheese flavors. They are present, but in far less degree so the quality of the beer itself comes through. The pricetag on a bottle of this can be prohibitive, which makes having this on tap a rare treat.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this one a few months ago from JHenry04 and I've been holding on to it for awhile. I found a good opportunity to share this with a few other BAs and went for it.

A soft hazy body that isn't quite what I would call rust, but it isn't really orange or brown either. A small off-white head that leaves just a bit of spotty lacing on there.

Smell is fantastic. After the first sniff I said "whoa." The sour, tart notes are there, reminding me of both sour apple and sour cherry. Oak is in the background along with some lighter fruits like apricot notes. A little sweetness from brown malts. Big, complex, and very appealing, Supplication seems to be yet another winner from Russian River.

The flavor doesn't disappoint in either complexity or enjoyability. The sour notes come through once again with tart cherry and apple. There are also touches of both vinegar and slightly funky cheese type flavors. There is some good spicy oak characterisitcs that I could swear come with a touch of white wine, but that one could just be my imagination. Some light fruits come out again and the perfect balance of sweet malt is present also.

Mouthfeel is middle of the road in thickness with higher than moderate carbonation. It is pretty highly carbonated actually, but it works here.

This is one hell of a drinkable beer, but you will definitely be sipping Supplication to savor and enjoy it.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cloudy yellow appearance with a small head that quickly dissipates.
Wild yeast is very apparent with a sour, funky smell.
This beer was sampled with a friend and pointed out that this beer tastes like a warhead hard candy. Some orange is also present in the mix as well as a hint of wood. The cherries are hard to find.
Good carbonation and a full body hold this beer together.
A fantastic American Wild Ale. What a great beer, I will have this beer any time it is available.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003
Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a radiant amber that leans more to the brown side. Sort of like cider on some steroids, which make it glow. Semi-clear until the yeast went in. Produced a nice three fingers width of white head that lasted quite a while.

S- Loved it! Had a nice, musty brett smell along with sharp cherry aromas. Comingling amongst these aromas was a tart, vinous scent of oaked grape skins.

T- Plenty of tartness and citric acidity to go around. Almost mouth puckering at points, just really well done. Plenty of sour cherries and oak flavors to go around. Also liked the unique barrels used as it added a distinct wine-like characteristic to the flavor.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Left wonderful sour residue all over the palate.

D- I wish this came in a 750mL bottle. I could definitely put down a few of these in a sitting. If you like sours, this is about as drinkable as they come.

Overall, why do I have to live so far from Russian River? Their sours are amazing and this is no exception. If you can get your hands on it, do it.

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

So my wife asks, "what is that?" To which I reply, "Imagine beer, plus wine, plus oak, plus cherries." "Yuck!" "YUM!!" Alas, I've turned her into a beer fan, but she holds mixed drinks to things with umbrellas.

Me, however, I"m just getting started with this whole Brett thing. Pours a red-tinged amber, a small white head that shrinks to a ring around the collar, not much lacing more than a nugget here or there. Aroma comes mostly in tart cherry, faint oak, and a funky bunch of b-list characters, and for the style, they work nicely.

Taste is all kinds of crazy, to spectacular effect. Tart, sour cherry, oak, funk, must, a dry ending. Quite hard to describe, about as akin to normal beer as American football to 'intl' football. Mouth is mostly dry, medium light bodied, puckering, smooth, rather easy to drink, for its oddity. Its not my first 'brett' beer, but its probably the finest. Much thanks to Tom (MuenchenerKindl) for this one.

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Photo of jojox
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 003

a - cidery color, red, clear, lots of head. No gush but tonds of head. Bubbles are like paste on the glass.

s - cherries and sour. Have to forgo some aroma whifs to taste because the head is not moving. The smell really singes my nose hairs a bit.

t - controlled tartness up front, but asservies and smooth in the middle and slight hint of phenolic (?). Clean finish. Not a long finish. Cherry pits. Phenol taste is slight, but it's something not awesome.

m - very smooth. Not over carbonated, but it should probably be super chilled before opening.

d - super high. I shared this tiny bottle and I want MORE! It's not mouth pucking sour but quality sour that's easy drinking.

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4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer has really became a legend in just a few years of existence. I have waited to try it for a long time.

Hazy light amber body hosts a solid beige head that stands at an inch and has about three minutes of retention before staying at a skim. Nose is invigoratingly tart with notes of sour cherries, electric funk, and grape skin. With another sniff you get some woodsy alcohol. Immediately attacks the tongue with yeasty barnyard sour funk. The cherries bring about a nice tongue glazing tartness. Yeasty and almost creamy on the back of the tongue. Oak really comes through as you continue to drink. Mouthfeel has back-end thickness, consistent tart funk, and yeast that turns to a veggie like hue. I shared this with my wife and the drinkability makes me wish the bottle was twice as big.

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Photo of oakbluff
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 3- poured into a RR barrel glass in celebration of a shitty week at work and my washing machine breaking today. Yee ha. Pours a orange amber colour, with reasonable clarity. Frothy one finger vanilla coloured head with good lacing. Nose- cherry, wood, musty, sour and just damn inviting. Taste- sublime lacto sourness, citric zing, and green apples. Very dry, earthy and woody finish. This brew has dried out quite a bit since the last time I've had one. The cherries are more of a complementary player than in the forefront which is fine by me. Drinkability is superb and the spritzy carbonation dances across the tongue. Very well crafted brew.

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Photo of b3barron
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in an oversized wine glass.

A - Nice fluffy white, two-finger head with decent lacing. Reddish orange color with good clarity.

S - Cherry big time. Reminds me of cherry jolly rancher candy. Plenty of oak too and maybe a hint of chocolate.

T - Rhubarb. Tart apple and raspberry. Lots of funk. A very distinct earthiness and plenty of oak. Surprisingly I can pick up on some hops about halfway through. A puckering tartness lingers. I like it a lot.

M - Smooth and light-bodied.

D - Tough to rate as these aren't session beers for me. It is very quenching but I don't think I''d care for much more than what is in the 375 ml bottle.

Overall, a fantastic beer that I am joyous to have had the opportunity to drink. If I am in RR's neck of the woods I would probably seek out another bottle but at a $17 price tag I won't be stocking up.

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Photo of Radiodred
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Russian River, if you see, it you grab it, its great on tap or in a bottle.
The creativity and perfection on this brew is amazing. I nice tasting brew... some sweet and sour/tart, with a nice bubbling effect for your mouth.
Its worth the hunt, go get one.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome brew with consistant notes from tap and from 375ml bottle. Lots of time these type of brews have weird color, this one pulls it off. Amazing aroma that is very complex, funk, bright and muddled red fruits. Acidity / sour is bam! which should evolve well in bottle. Less than beatification and more than temptation for my palate. Lots of upside, some oak tannin. Nice finish, long and the sourness carries thru and brings the flavors along with it. Very nice and distinct.

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Photo of BeerStine
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 003. 12.7 oz bottle poured into a tulip. $16.99 kinda pricy. Hope it's good.

A slow pout produces a amber brown with an off-white fluffy head. Smells of apples and white wine. Light musky malts smell too. Taste is intense! A very tart flavor. Makes my checks tingle. Tastes like it smells: apples and white wine. I can defiantly taste the malts too. The oak barrels definitely help bring all the flavors together. Plenty of balancing hops that increases the viscosity of my saliva. Mouth feel is light with lots of carbonation. If you let it wonder, you can feel the bubbles form all over your tongue and mouth. Drinkability is better than most wine/beers. I think the aging in oak barrels have contributed to the drinkablilty.

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

Thanks to ricand for hooking this one up.

A - Appears amber, gold, or orange - the lighting can really play tricks with the color of this beer. Head is just off white and rises to just under half inch. Retention looks good. Lacing is average.

S - Apples and grape skins are evident right out of the gate. Sweeter aromas come through next. Could be caramel and candied sugar. Musty and funky toward the end. Smells a little like old dried up wood.

T - This is where the cherries come in. Mix them with some grapes and that is how the flavor starts out. A hefty dose of oak really comes through well in the flavor and adds a nice compliment to the fruitiness. Oak is quickly followed by the Brett, imparting a very earthy feel. Some malt sweetness comes and goes with hints of caramel and maybe brown sugar.

M - Medium bodied with a nice carbonation level that stays fairly active but doesn't really get in the way. Finish is tart and smooth at the same time.

D - Drinkability is good. The big tart flavors and complexity of this brew make it a candidate for a sipper. The cherries add something different and unique to this brew and pushes the drinkability up a notch. As it warms the Brett flavors start to smooth out and some brown ale qualities start to come through. This is another winner from Russian River. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

yet another reason for me to love the shit out of russian river. bout time i review this little beauty.

pours a light copperish red into my bruery snifter. a small white head comes but fades within a few seconds.

smell is big on the sour cherries with a nice hint of oak. smell isnt over the top with the sourness but just enough to get me excited.

taste is very nice. complexities of the sour cherry and oak flavors hit me up front and leave me with a slight sour/sweet finish. very nice.

mouth is smooth and light. a nice pucker but not going out of its way to slap you in the face with it.

overall i really enjoy this beer. probably one of the best wild ales ive ever had. i will look forward to hunting this sweet bitch down again.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003
A: Brown body with reddish hints. small off white head, little lacing.

S: Sour cherries, oak, apple cider, slightly wine-like in feel.

T: This is the epitome of wine smoothness and beer complexity. Sour and tart fruits up front, with a hint of bitterness. Lots of cherry flavors. Some wine like acidity from the barrel aging. Delicious.

M: Smooth. Flavors seamlessly transition on the tongue. The tart and sourness is not overwhelming, but distinctive enough to make this beer special.

D: I had no problem putting this bottle down... and would have another if it wasn't so pricey.

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Photo of antilogic
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 13oz Chimay. Have had it in bottle (batch 003) on several occasions previously. Bottle matches tap pretty close.

Color was a dull gold with a light white head. Smells of tart fruits, cherry, apple, sourness. A very drinkable sour, less biting than a flanders or some of RR's other sours, medium bodied, and less fruits in the taste than I expected. Good stuff.

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Photo of MASPuros
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003

Poured into my Duval Tulip, lots of bubbles with a 2 finger white head. No lacing. Brilliant clear copper color when held to the light. You can see a little sediment but not much. Overall the beer looks clear with its golden copper color.

Vinegar is very dominant and the first aroma I can detect. I also smell some apple and a slight funk.

Taste is same as smell, tons of vinegar upfront but fades into sour apple or cherry. I can also taste the oak and I get a tart finish that lingers on the tongue. All around smooth the blend is balanced, not much complexity in this brew.

The carbonation is strong but helps with the vinegar taste, like a sparkling wine.

I don't have much to compare this to since this is my first attempt at this style. I have to say I enjoyed it considering this was totally different. It was very drinkable and especially nice with my cheese and crackers. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more sour apple/cherry flavors. I can't wait to try Temptation next!

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yetiman420 was kind enough to share this in his dazzling beer cellar - I wasn't expecting it, so thank you! It's people like him, that make me strive to be a beer advocate.

A loud, angry pop was heard as the cork flew off this one and hit the ceiling in his basement. Batch # 3 in the 375ml format.

Pours a slightly cloudy, light brown with a white, tightly compacted head. Good amoeba-like lacing up the side of my over-sized Duvel snifter and great head retention.

Smells of ripe, tart cherries, possibly some lightmalts and even a touch of nut brown nuttiness.

High, spicy carbonation as it hits my mouth, reminiscent of sticking pop rocks in your mouth! Sparkling mouthfeel. Slightly sweet and very crisp. Light bodied and unique medium to full flavored. Sourness is the predominant quality, but extremely smooth.

Very nice and worth the hype! Go out and try this!

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thank you to stfun37 for filling this big want.

Looks a murky brown/gold, like unfiltered apple cider. Head is small, but I made an admittedly gentle pour.

Smells fantastic. Wine, apples, vinegar. Beautiful.

Tastes of apples, sour goodness, other fruits dancing in the background, but very crisp. Incredible stuff.

Mouth is spot on, thin/med with relatively high carbonation.

They say sour is the new IPA. Well if this is the head of the sour class, count me in to the new school. May the beer gods bring Russian River to Western PA.

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Photo of kasper
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12.7oz bottle (Batch 3)

A: Pours a translucent amber with gold highlights. Nice fluffy off-white head recedes into a thin blanket and ring around the glass.

S: Apple cider vinegar, pears, oak, some funky mushroom/earthy aromas in the background.

T: Lots going on here. Similar to a flanders red style but lighter, smoother... flavors of red wine, oak barrel, cherries, maybe a bit of tobacco. Finish is tart with hints of vinegar, but composed. Very smooth, refreshing.

M: Fairly light, but pretty well carbonated with a almost a subdued champagne/sparkling texture. Huge POP when uncorking.

D: A sour thirst quencher for any day =P Really balanced wild ale/sour -- what have you. Would like to have more of these.

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Photo of bbothen
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Summer 2008

Sampled while sitting on the patio in beautiful Bodega, Ca. Looking out at the Pacific Ocean. That's right. Listening to Mark Lanegan's "Bubblgum". Good times right here.

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a snifter. Pours out a rusty/amber color with a creamy tan/of white colroed head. The head stays around for quite some time. Not much lacing or webbing left on glass.

Smeels quite tart, fruity, funky, musty, yowza, brett.

This is something. Tart fruit & cherry, mouth puckering tartness, wine like complexity, bready malt, nice sweetness, noticeable wood character. The wood & tart/sour play nicely. Possibly the most complex beer I've had to date. I likey.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, dry, lingering sourness.

To say I enjoyed & savored every gulp would be an understatement. Worthy of the hype & kudos this brew gets.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.6/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle, batch 003.

Reviewed Jul 2008.

Small creamy faintly pink head. Well carbonated. Cloudy rosy amber color. Smells like sour cherry pastry, earthy, yeasty. Starts very sour, puckery, tart. Sour enough to take your breath away. Finshes dry. Some white wine character in finish and aftertaste. Still very sour. Medium body. I want to like this more but sourness overpowers everything.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 9/25/08. Bottle courtesy of iowaherkeye (thanks Joey!). Pours a cloudy dark orange/light brown with a small tan head. Aroma of tart fruits (some apple, maybe cherry?) and oak barrel. Flavor is quite tart and sour with a small hint of the brown ale. Lots of wood and oak barrel. Some faint grape, wine-like notes in the finish. Superb mouthfeel for a sour. Very tasty and drinkable. I don't really get any cherry flavor from it though.
8/4/9/4/17 (4.2/5)

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Photo of joepais
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to JVD for this long time want.
Batch #003 bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth white head that went to a good layer of lace. The body of the brew was interesting reddish brown/ amber, if that's a color

Aromas of sour cherries are really evident. Nice wood aromas as well as wonderfully funky yeast. It reminded me a lot of a Rodenbach

Flavors of a dry white wine and sour cherries this stuff is great. Light, crisp and dry in the mouth

Drinkability on a sour is a strange question; yes its drinkable but how much sours can one take. I'm glad I decided to crack this one open tonight I have been really missing the sours and it was easy to finish this bottle of myself

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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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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,295 ratings.
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