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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,461 | Ratings: 6,293
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Over the past year, I've had this beer probably six times at the least. Every time I do, I hearken back to a day at O'Brien's Pub in San Diego when a couple of my friends and I were at their Russian River day. We had two goblets of Supplication, a pint of Pliny, and starting to feel the alcohol, we picked up a Beatification. Then, in a moment of stupidity or brilliance (or perhaps both) we decided to drop the $95 bucks and buy the 3 liter Batch 2 Supplication. It was epic, and the bottle crowns my bottle collection. A day I'll never forget.

Anyway, about the beer:

Appearance: Nothing particularly remarkable here. Hazy-red brown brew with an almost oddly white head that laces lightly. The carbonation is mild, and not too much in the way of clingy foam.

Smell: Whew, there's that Russian River tartness. Big sour notes of cherry, oaky wine, leathery and bretty funk, and just general tartness. The pucker is on!

Taste: Man, this is what a cherry sour should be. The Pinot barrels really add the oak-wine quality that just pairs perfectly with the tart cherry and sweet-sour combo that Russian River always seems to do to perfection. Puckering and dry on the back end, finishing with the tart cherry as the lasting flavor. Taste continues to evolve as she goes along, providing a steadily sour, funky, cherry goodness from first drop to the last. Just delicious.

Mouthfeel: Tart, dry, and sour. Nothing too acidic or astringent, which is appreciated. Sometimes I wish it slightly less dry, but still very good.

Driinkability: I have had this beer a half-dozen times now, and it's still ringing true as one of the better Wild Ales of its kind. I have had over a liter and a half of this beer in a sitting, and I am positive I'll never do that again for several reasons, namely my digestive tract. That being said, the beer was so fantastic it was very tasty to the last drop. Sure, I tend to like the citrusy sours slightly more, but this beer is nothing short of outstanding.

 1,991 characters

Photo of alli4051
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 350ml bottle into a red wine glass (it was all I had).

A: Pours a hazy orange/amber color. Produces a finger of brownish white head that recedes quickly leaving some faint lacing.

S: I think this may be the most aromatic beer I have had to date. Vanilla and cherry up front. Some oak and spiciness in the background.

T: Tart cherries and currants take the forefront here. Some oak and spices (cinnamon maybe?) are present as well.

M: Medium/full bodied brew with a clean finish. The finish is surprising considering how sour this is, after a second or two its like it was never there.

D: I will admit I am not a fan of the style but had to try this due to the hype. The sourness was a shock at first; however, after a few sips it all came together and I could easily see how fans of sours could crush this and beg for more.

 843 characters

Photo of JulioH
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Very nice sour beer, with lots of brett agents.

Pours a dark beer with a reddish tint. Little bit of bubbles. Smell is glorious, typical sour. Taste is very good. I thought that I couldn't drink this by myself, but I totally can. It is not overly sour that makes your stomach burn. It is well balanced. Some traces of grapes.

 332 characters

Photo of GuzzLah
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy amber with a standard head that dissipates and forms a ring around the glass. No lace. Too hazy to see bubbles.

S - relatively soft aroma. Pedio/lacto sourness, sour cherry, oak, soft malt and pinot noir.

T - is similar to the aroma. Sour cherry dominates upfront, but not intense like a Kriek. Pinot noir and oak follows the cherry in the finish. Very nice flavor!

M - medium body. Creamy, bubbly and slightly oily. Quite acetic with a long and really pleasantly warm winey finish.

O - absolutely delicious. The pinot noir barrels compliment a sour cherry ale very nicely.

 594 characters

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.

 722 characters

Photo of GregA135
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 011615

This was my first American Wild Ale I have ever tasted and pretty damn good.

Definitely could taste the cherries, pinot noir and oak - Since this was my first time trying this I expected this to be super sour and tart, but it was perfectly balanced and not overbearingly sour. Definitely will have to get more of RR's beers!

 340 characters

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

Been sitting on this for a month or so. Nice to finally imbibe.

Appearance: Man, I'm a sucker for wild yeasts' ability to make a beer lively. You see, I enjoy a good lacing, and this has it in spades. That being said, the head, relative to the bottle of Temptation I had a few months ago, is barely existent, so it loses some points for that. Lacing is just amazing, that being said. Sticky, spotted, arm-like, all the patterns I seem to see in other beers wrapped into one. The body is also a very pretty approximation of caramel. Cool.

Smell: Jesus. Candy sugar, wine grapes, oak, a definite black licorice, cherries, plums, raisins, cranberries, apple, burnt sugar (caramel), brett, nutmeg, cinnamon, yeasty dough, sandalwood, rosemary, I just could go on and on. Tremendously complex. Absolutely phenomenal. I am again, as I suspected I'd be, floored by RR's wild ale.

Taste: Tart cherries on the front end, sea salt, brett, pinot noir grapes, oak on the back, rosemary, plums. Again, like Temptation, I find mouth less adequate at picking out the individual flavors than my nose. Either that, or I find the nose to be better than the mouth, but only by a hair. The taste is massively complex, still, just, in this one, the tartness of the cherry flavor can be a bit overpowering. Still, bloody awesome.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, tart, astringent, syrupy, light and heavy at the same time. A wonderful variety.

Drinkability: This is a sipper, but really only for its flavor and nose complexity. The alcohol, if any, is barely apparent, and the flavors do not overwhelm you. The tartness of the cherries is perhaps the only overpowering characteristic, and really that only shows itself upon swallowing.

An amazing ale.

 1,733 characters

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

Opens with a phenomenal pop and a lot of CO2 vapors swirling out of the classy, classy champagne bottle.

Pours a beautiful, unfiltered, hazy reddish orange into a white wine glass. One finger of bubbly, short-lived white head. One hell of a lot of carbonation. Faint traces of oil float on top.

Smells like sour cherries, and another tart, almost raspberry-like aroma, along with a faint note of acetic acid.

Tastes just the way it smells. Mouth-puckering tartness, just the way it should be. Sweet cherry notes help to make this beer so much more drinkable. What I really like about this beer is that it has the tartness of a good infected beer, but it is not as much of an uphill battle to drink as some I have had. A great example of what this style can be.

Lively, bubbly, creamy mouthfeel. Now if noly my teeth didn't hurt from all the acidity...

As far as this style goes, this is the most drinkable I have yet encountered. I knocked back the whole bottle alone without any difficulty.

Truly a remarkable achievement.

 1,045 characters

Photo of VetsPackage
3.93/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sharing a birthday with a bottle dated 1/16/15
No hiding the use of pinot barrels or cherries in this one. Moderately strong barrel character, one of the oakier sours I've had and accurately reflects the time some of these blends spent in wood. Cherry taste is more earthy than sweet/tart. Very restrained sourness to the beer, can see why this is so popular as it serves as a great intro to the sour style. I like them a little more aggressive than this but it's easy to see how this beer has stood the test of time.

 517 characters

Photo of BeerGodz
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap @ Standard Tap

Look: Deep amber, slight haze, thin head with no retention little lacing. No surprise though.

Smell: Brett funk, cherry, oak, and malt

Taste: Up Front: Tartness, cherry. Finish: Brett funk, oak, an almost Pinot Noir like flavor at the end

Mouthfeel: Light/crisp body with a light carbonation works perfectly here!

Drinkability: Simply amazing

Overall Impression: This beer is beyond amazing!!! I enjoyed this even more than Consecration, and I was not sure that was possible. It's very hard to find, and it's expensive, but you simply MUST buy it if you see it. Once you taste it, you'll forget all the price.

 637 characters

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

Shared by generous BA ClarkGriswald. Poured into a tulip.

A - beautiful apple cider color with bubbles rushing to the top. A nice amount of white head sits on top and is sticking around. Looks extremely inviting.

S - a ton of cherries, some apples and oak.

T - cherries right away, then some citrus and apple in the middle. A good amount of tartness, which smooths out on the back.

M - great carbonation and feel, this beer sits on my tongue like a fluffy cloud. Great balance of tart and sweet.

D - it's a sipper, but one I could stick with all night.

Excellent beer!

 578 characters

Photo of Forb
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle...

Appearance: Label states it's from batch 008 (early 2012) - having aged 9-12 months in Pinot Noir barrels with cherries added. Heavy, glass-hugging, lacing around a creamy, fluffy tan head. Body is of copper/amber hue with a haste of bubbling to the peak. Brewed with Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and Pediococcus.

Smell: Sour cherry with definitive wine undertones. Cleanly wild yeast presence.

Taste: Tart cherries hit from the beginning with the wooden barrel's wine notes fluttering throughout. An almost vinegary/peppery presence is also noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Suites this beer properly. A strong carbonation that finishes dry and clean with minor flavorful reminiscence of the sips had, to linger. Beautifully done.

Overall: A phenomenal beer. This brewer, having once been focused on wine, knows what he is doing - and does it well.

 889 characters

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

A - Pours a light redish brown with 1.5 finger head. Decent retention, excellent lacing.

S - Cherry, oak, barnyard funk, brett.

T - Sour cherries, touch of oak, barnyard funk from the brett.

M - Light to medium with abundant carbonation.

O - Top tier sour with lots of complexity and great sourness. Another great sour from Russian River.

 342 characters

Photo of 7ways
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 04x5

Pours a purplish brown with a fluffy off-white head. Nice lace.

Smell is a little alcoholic, but includes pleasant notes of musty wood, cherries, and strawberry. Kind of like a weak Oud Bruin.

Tastes... not too good. There is nothing but sour abrasion that tastes like Band-Aids and vinegar. Not the yummy vinegar, but the stuff old wine turns into. It is not extreme, but is at the forefront. Now I love hugely sour beers, but the tartness should be balanced by sweetness, not adhesive. The cherry flavor, if it is there at all, is completely buried. It's like this bottle was picked off the beer tree before it was ripe.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, just like every other RR I've had.

This isn't terrible, but it's a pretty poor showing that I won't seek out again, at least not this batch. I'll edit my review if a future or past batch comes my way.

***UPDATE*** Re-Review, batch 5 x 3

OK, maybe it was a batch issue, maybe I had an off night. Whatever the case, here is the edit.

The beer in my glass right now tastes pretty great, and smells less like alcohol and more like a chocolate cherry Avery Brabant. The adhesive and white vinegar flavors are nowhere to be found, and the sour cherry just shines, along with notes of currant and strawberry. There's also a striking (red?) wine component behind the tartness. It's about as sour as Temptation and Ithaca Brute, which to me is perfect.

Changes I made in the scores:
Aroma 3.5 to 4
Taste 2.5 to 4.5
Drinkability 2.5 to 3.5

 1,496 characters

Photo of slayer3604
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer definitely pushes every button on me that loves sour beers. Unfortunately, the beer isn't PERFECT, but I felt that 4.5 across the board is exactly what this beer deserves. Thank you, RR, the god of beasties shines upon thine hearth.

A- Fuzzy off white head thats about half an inch thick and sinking, coating a tequila sunrise with effervescent goodness wreathing around to the top.

S-musty peachiness, cherry, cracked lemon pepper, and a tad of malt come through, but this nose sticks with you from pour to bottles up.

T- Tart and acidic up front, followed by climbing multitudes of creamy body, and an under ripe cherry flavor, finishing in a dry smack.

M-Sturdy, but on the medium side, and has an amazingly dry and refreshing finish.

D- you can't taste the 7% abv, and its surprisingly easy drinker of a sour. Can't beat that.

 848 characters

Photo of Giovacchini
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a 16 oz. Tripel Karmeliet glass.
A- reddish copper appearance with a thin head

S- cherries, yeast, and wine.

T- wine, yeast, mild breadiness, sour wine finish. Paired it with a Belgium endive salad with capers and vinaigrette.

M- very sour sour beer. Taste lingers on pallet.

O- I did not like this beer the first time I had it. Now I appreciate the sourness. I love RR for the high ibu beers and this beer brings something different to the table.

 477 characters

Photo of biggied
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Color is a real burnt orange. Head has a slight brownish yellow to it. Decent lacing. Nice sedement floating in the glass. Real small stuff that you might not notice unless you were looking for it.

S. Smell is yeast. Lots of different yeast. Floral, citrus, sweet.

T. Wow! Very acidic. Very tart. A little sweetness but not much. Dried cherries come through a little. Tangy for sure.

MF. Reminds me a little of champagne flavors.
This one brings only bliss as its lasting effect.

D. For such a tart beer, I could drink this one all day.

Serving type: bottle

 569 characters

Photo of BeantownBrews
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage:

Honey amber pour, slight head

Acidic, vinegar scents with layered malt and citrus sweetness

The acidity is near absent, lovely fruit (raw cherry, grapefruit, orange, papaya, lemon/lime, sour grapes) flavors with a wine like playfulness, slight horse blanket-iness

Feel similar to an IPA almost pillowy, light but fullbodied

Overall, glad I sought this out might be the first "sour" I seek out more of

 420 characters

Photo of pastradul
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is another one that several of us were looking forward to opening. Upon opening the bottle there was a nice POP from pulling the cork and the aroma of sour cherries and sour fruit fill your nose and make you want to pucker up a little. Pours a brilliant red with good carbonation and a mild light pink head. The initial taste is that of strong sour fruit and it lingers for a while before living the mouth. Takes you back to the days of sucking on sour worms and war heads until you tongue was sore. Liquid candy was how many people described it. This beer is a solid 5.

 575 characters

Photo of beerloverofbham
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a schooner (not my first choice).
Deep copper in color with a thin, cream-colored, head, this had a softer nose than I expected; subdued scents of cherries and grapes, with a little bit of oak. On my initial taste the beer is only moderately tart, and flavors include cherries, grape must, and fresh blackberries from early in the season; it finishes dry with traces of oak. Hardly any sweetness at all. The carbonation I do sense quickly dissipates. Nearly as good as the bottle I remembered...

 507 characters

Photo of RickSawyer
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange with minimal white head. Smell is very nice! Lemons, ripe pear, sour green apples, green grapes, tropical pine apple! Wow! So many smells coming and going! Taste is wow. Begins with a puckering lemon juice, hints of lime, white wine tropical notes of pine apple and a wonderful transition to a green apple finish. Mouthfeel is refreshingly carbonated... I am in love!

 389 characters

Photo of amcmaho1
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As much as i don't like to have superlative reviews, this beer definitely warrants one. Thanks again JCDenver for getting me this beer!!

Served chilled into Bruery tulip
Batch 6

*reviewed from memory of last night's impromptu sour tasting

Appearance: Earthy crimson color, with some definite influence from the barrel for color, and lots of ruby from the cherries. Awesome off-white head sticks around a while, and slowly recedes and leaves some pretty nice lacing. This beer certainly has a very "classic" appearance, for lack of a better word, and is a sexy beer to sit an look at.

Smell: Right off the bat, the cherries come through the nose very strongly, as does the oak. The beer is definitely holding some really vinous-pinot notes on the nose, along with some relatively tame "funk." The "funk" comes through to me, as a sort of clean earthiness, which compliments the cherry so well.

Taste: The cherries are definitely holding their own still! Nice and tart, leading into a more focused sourness which is accompanied by the oak. There are hints of a vanilla quality on the finish, which accompanied with the dryness, make for a really enjoyable sour experience. Makes me sad I only had one bottle of this, and a 12 oz. bottle at that...

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, while being a tad bit on the sticky side; which is very welcomed here. Very nice carbonation, and all the characteristics of sours working together to make this beer extremely enjoyable.

Overall: Simply amazing!! I had wanted to try this beer for a very long time, and upon finally getting the chance, i was worried i would have built it up too much in my expectations. Certainly not the case though, this is a stellar beer. I love the complexity that this beer holds, and i love knowing how much time and effort went into making it. I will without a doubt be getting this again in the near future...

 1,879 characters

Photo of fatmcb1
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River 9-29-11

Poured an amber, reddish color with an off-white ring of head.

Smelled of tartness, fruit, and barnyard funk.

Tasted of sour cherries, green apples, grape, and wild yeast. Bready malt provides a slight balance. However, there remains a very strong acidic profile. Sour flavor lingers. It is well carbonated, and creamy.

This is my single favorite wild ale to date. The tartness is not overpowering, but instead mingles with the fruit and malt to allow for a high level of complexity. Very recommended!

 537 characters

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.

 678 characters

Photo of BTPete
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle recieved in trade. Thanks alexd3891.

A: Hazy amber with pink/brown color.

S: Sweet tart cherries with a nice underlying of musty funk.

T: Nice tart cherry flavor. Some funk, sour, oak, and cherry but it all is working well together. They balance each other out almost to perfection.

M: Rally nice combo or medium/light body and carbonation.

D: Really awesome beer. Had a 375 and wish it was a 750.

 414 characters

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,293 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.