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Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

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1,445 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: 1,445 | Ratings: 6,168
Photo of appenzeller
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forewarning: my review is going to fall off the grid.

First, for the standard analysis: this beer fares well on all criteria, pours a lovely dark brown into my Duvel chalice, good head. Nice, complex aroma with cherry, wine overtones. Lovely taste, complex tartness, this beer tracks its strong Belgian heritage and then adds something. This is, of course, something to be savored to the full--a dessert beer, really.

My objection to this beer is simple and straightforward. I love both wine and beer, but this one toes the line uncomfortably close to wine territory in my view. The dominant flavors here are, plainly, largely from being aged in wine barrels (one can pick that out immediately). As my review above states, this is a fine tasting beer and I'd gladly have it again but bluntly if this is the flavor I am craving, I'd rather have a nice glass of Rioja or Cotes du Rhone than this (which, by the way, is equally if not more costly).

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

Thanks again to ales4baldo for this awesome wild ale!
Poured from the bottle to a tulip glass.
Pours a nice deep redish brown with orange hues when up to the light. I got a one finger head from a pretty vigorous pour that then disappears to nothing with no lacing.
Nose is bright with fruit, candy sugars, tart apple, cranberry defiantly a little yeasty funk, and a hint of oak.
Flavor defiantly shows off the tart cherries. I get some nice sour apple, and cranberry but it has an interesting fresh fruit juice in the middle. I can defiantly pick up on some oak.
Mouthfeel is pretty nice, almost a cider like feel with a medium high level of carbonation. I defiantly get a nice lingering bitterness and tartness.
Overall an awesome brew. Really complex but very well balanced. I Love a good sour and this has topped them all so far!
Thanks Baldo!

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Photo of kaips1
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml litter bottle into a la chouffe snifter

had this at DLD from a bottle from the first 3 batches and now the review is from the 6th batch

a- a dark ruby reddish orange, not cloudy but almost opaque, it kind makes me think of thick apple cider in looks
s- some funk, some sweet, slight apple
t-sour sour sour, this bottle wasnt like my first tasting but its not bad by any means, almost like a warhead candy, you can definetely taste the cherries in the finish
m-lively and jaw locking, lots of carbonation, very dry finish
o/d- overall i love it, my favorite sour so far, drinkability- is good its easy to take down,smooth and light

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Photo of Takahiro
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005X3 into tulip

S: sour vinegary, apple cider, caramel
T: tart vinegar, lemonade, cider, hint of caramel, faint oak in the back ground
M: light but not thin. There's some body left
D: good, but 350ml is good enough for me.

I don't understand why there's minimum 250 word for a review. some beers don't need a lot of word

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Photo of awalk1227
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 10/24; got in a trade from Rock4sc96, thanks Chris!

Into Southern Tier elongated tulip

A: Poured slowly, no yeast. Brilliant clear amber with a fluffy off white head. Incredible carbonation surging up from the bottom. Like champagne.

S: Brett funk, berries. Sour grapes, tart apples.

T: Tart up front, dark fruit, sour cherries. It's a delight to drink, and the sour pronounces a bit more as it warms.

F: Light and fizzy. Carbonation dances on the tongue.

D: What alcohol? It has about as much burn as an apple cider. Could have done a magnum of this in a sitting.

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

poured from a 375ml bottle purchased at Mile High Wine and Liquors on a recent trip to Denver. Been wanting to try this one for a while.

Batch 5

Pours a hazy amber with just a touch of red to rosy it up.

Smells sour, slight funk, hint of cherries, very pleasant

Tastes tart, sour up front, transitioning into a very slight cherry sweetness before finishing dry. A near perfect blend of sour, dry, and slightly sweet cherry flavor.

light crisp, but complex enough to not immediately fade.

Excellent overall. I liked it better than temptation and consecration and maybe even better than Sanctification, which to this point had been my favorite sour-ish beer. Glad I have another couple of bottles

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Photo of PatYoda
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 001.

Hazy peach with a large fluffy head that dies down pretty quickly. Smell is very strong - floral and herbal characters along with a vinegary smell dominate. There is definitely some sour cherry in there, and a woody smell. Taste is more of the same. The taste is a tad muted, but well done. A tiny bit of spicy alcohol shows through but other than that it is well hidden. The sourness is mild in this brew compared to most of the Belgian lambics I've had, but the cherry taste seems to come out more, along with a vinous character. Finish is very clean with some lingering oak. Mouthfeel is spot on for the style, pretty thin. Could use a bit more carbonation. Drinks very easily. Very interesting brew.

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

Newer vintage of Supplication served from a 375ml bottle into a tulip.

A: A rich rose/amber color that looks stunning when held up to the light. Small white head that dissipates rather quickly, head leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S: Smell number one is FUNK, and a lot of it, then the cherry shows up to the party. Then it just is a duet between the two, it’s very enjoyable.

T: First sip makes the mouth pucker from the tartness; this is very dry wild ale also. Then once you get past the tartness and the dryness its all cherry and oak funk that floods the mouth.

M: Ideal for a beer like this, it’s a little dry, but that is just what makes this so enjoyable. Carbonation is on par and the drinkability is amazing.

O: This is one of my favorite Wild Ales on the market, and it’s nice that RR brews this and releases it a few times a year. Always nice to have a fresh back to drink and then a few to age.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh no, looks like I'm disappointed. This beer is really great, don't get me wrong, I just don't think it's worth me getting so excited about seeing it on a shelf. Happy to check this off the list though. Kind of a rotten aftertaste. Solid otherwise.

Sour Browns have seen better days, although from what I understand this beer has gone downhill a bit? That would make sense. Still great though and still worth the price even if it's no longer worth the hype.

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Photo of davod23
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Russian River, I salute you. Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Clear, beautiful ruddy brown with golden highlights. A thin cap forms, but only a collar remains after a couple of minutes. The color reminds me of what a deep sunset on the beach looks like.

Smell: Yep, there's the Russian River signature. Unmistakable sourness awaits me. Tart cherries, wood, musty old attic, and a faint pungent smell of putrefaction. I know that last item probably sounds bad, but I think it's goddamn great.

Taste is exquisite. This bottle is not particularly fresh, but it was stored in cold conditions for a long time. I think this is probably why the cherries are still somewhat prominent here. Cherry, oak, red wine, all taking turns dancing with the buggy acidity. Quick finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. Very dry, crisp finish, with lively carbonation. The carbonation is, at first, a tiny bit harsh... a few minutes into the glass it has smoothed out considerably.

Drinkability: I might drink gallons of this when bottles are released later this year. Fantastically drinkable.

This and Consecration (Batch 1) are my two favorite Russian River sours to date. This is great stuff. I am looking forward to trying it fresh.

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Photo of abecall98
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Won my office March Madness pool, so I bought a case!

A - This beer pours a bright red pinkish color. It has a nice white lacy bubbly head. The beer loses points because it has just so much sediment in it. Probably the most I have ever seen in a beer.

S - Straight tart fruitiness right out of the gate. The beer hints with sour cherries to follow. After that, a small hint of barrel finishes.

T - Begins with the Cherries. Wow, so much cherry tartness going on. Follows with acidic notes and finishes slightly woody. Yup, Woody. Damn good.

M - Smooth, creamy, and highly carbonated. It coats the mouth. The only problem is that the floaties from the sediment are slightly noticable, and I don't like that.

D - It is damn good. Drinkability is probably a 5 on tap, but the bottle seems more acidic, and the the floaties prevent this from getting a 5.

O - This sour is amazing. On tap, it's epic, but that will wait for another review down the road. Get this beer if you enjoy a nice sour fix.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow I was really surprised by this beer. I thought the cherries were going to be too much for this beer and ruin it but I was so mistaken the cherries really make this beer great. The color is a nice deep brown. Slight sourness and cherries plus some malty sweetness are the aromas that greet your nose. These same flavors come through in the taste plus a few other notes that hard to truly pick out. I could see a few years really helping this beer balance out and become even better. Great to drink now but some age will just make it that much better.

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Photo of StaEva
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Damn good beer...that being said, I think so much of the ravenously devout following that RR has is based so much around the hype of the company, and thus societally imposed interpretations of the beer manifest. But, that being said, this is a great fucking work of craft.

The beer looks like Pinot Noir: slightly translucent ruddy brown color, good haziness, nice carbonation visible in the frothiness of the head.

Smells of beautiful vinous cherry, subtle oak, and tangy yeast.

Taste follows smell, almost to the letter. A bit more tang from the wild. very subtle and refreshing, not terribly funky.

Yes, there's a reason, objectively, that there is so much hype surrounding RR. But, you can pay 2 dollars more for a 750mL of Jolly Pumpkin and support a smaller, still-growing independent producer that makes a beer that's almost as good in a very similar style.

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Photo of chakadrum
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I happened to be walking down Pine St. in Philadelphia after a dentist appointment today. Ordinarily, this would just be another street. However, I was far enough east that my journey would take me right past a Philadelphia beer mecca known as The Foodery. If you strolled by briskly you could easily mistake it for your typical corner bodega/deli if it weren't for the assortment of beer bottles on display in the windows. I love when I find myself in the neighborhood.

The store has the usual suspects in terms of the Belgians, a wide variety of American craft and a great selection of one-offs and randoms scattered around the back of the store. I saw the bottle of Supplication sitting by itself on a shelf and I knew I needed to purchase it. I gave up browsing at that point since I knew this one bottle would be a small fortune and worth every penny: ~$19.50 for 375ml.

I was planning to eat spicy chili tonight so I made it a point to enjoy this beverage fully before touching my dinner. Didn't want to ruin my palate with such a great beverage ready to entertain my mouth.

I poured 90% of the beer into a Duvel glass and did a good swirl to capture the yeast (against the advice of the bottle) as I like to get the fully experience even if it means extra yeast flavors. The color was brown/cherry. Jumping ahead, as I drank the lacing was light but looked like it would never give up its grasp of the side of the glass. No real head on this beer.

The smell is sour but nothing pastoral or farm-like about it other than the fact that it makes you feel strangely relaxed much like being in the rural lands of central Pennsylvania. Who would have thought that sour is a smell? As you breathe it in you can almost taste sour without anything touching your lips. The smell is enhanced as you take the first sip.

Exactly what I hoped. Sour thought smooth at the same time. The liquid is thin and first but fills your mouth instantly with flavor that makes it feel a lot more heavy-bodied. I don't know enough about the bacteria in this beer to say how they each contribute to the flavor but overall the wildness of it is enagaging but not overwhelming. It is not too wild. After drinking a sip and thinking about it for a minute the acting of licking one's lips is a treat. It is a different sense of sourness. Speaking of sourness, on the grand scale of sour this really isn't too bad. I'd give it a 6/10 on the sourness scale.

Overall, this is definitely an easy drinker which might be surprising for such an extreme mouth shocker. Equally shocking, the weight of the bottle. This is one heavy bottle for such a small volume of beer. Totally worth the price to try but I don't think I'd penny up another $20 as I'd rather try other Russian River offerings first.

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

Had this one for $17 at Eulogy while traveling in Philadelphia. A steep price, but building in the restaurant's markup, I felt pretty much fine about this pricier pickup, especially since this beer never comes my way. Having had some of their traditional ales (Salvation, Redemption, Damnation), this sour from Russian River really knocked me out.

A lot of people talk about Russian River's sours as if they're of an entirely different stock than their other beers. I can now see why. The balance on this wild ale rivals anything from the best Belgian sours, and has a subtlety that quickly trumps other American brewers like, say, Allagash (not that that subtlety is always a good thing).

Ruby colored with fruity notes that are both vibrant and delicately mixed. There's no unpleasant sharpness challenging or harming the taste. Likewise, the carbonation is just active enough to bring out the subtler notes that might otherwise be lost. Smooth and downright delicious, I can't wait to find this one on tap. Curious how it would compare to that fresh Lou Pepe 2008 I just had...

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
4.11/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #10

A- 1 finger of a coarse light tan foam. It's a bit champagne like at first with bubbles rising through the glass. No lacing and the color looks like a Roobios (SP?) tea.

S- Fruity sour a little medicine-y twinge of green apple with a musty almost nutty smell at the end (Oak ?) As it warms in the glass the Pinot really comes through.

T- Cider-like that drops off sharply to a sour cherry and mild currant. The malt characteristic is really not present but the tannins are revealed when you exhale. It does become more wine-y as you drink it.

M- effervescent at first that mellows to a level of a cask ale. It is only mildly sweet, but the sour zing comes more from under the tounge. It is also somewhat dry

O- Its a great sour, gets better with every sip. Would age well, would pair well with cheese. Its wine its beer its sour its great! Its an experience!

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Photo of marksto
3.83/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this one along side a Temptation, and this one was not my favorite of the two.

Supplication pours amber colored with a slight reddish tinge when held to light. Aroma is dominated by a strong musty character with perhaps a touch of cherry but not much. Mouthfeel is very dry and tart. Flavorwise, it it has a "clean" sourness (lacto-dominate?) with just a bit of cherry and almond. Displays less complexity than the best sour beers. I was expecting more cherry and funk.

Overall, worth a try but to me not among the very best of sour beers.

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

In a tulip:

This brew has some seriously insane lacing over and amber/copper hazy body. From the moment the cork is popped, the room fills with a sour aroma. The nose also has green apple, raisin, and coriander. The taste has pounds of sweet and sour, with a pleasant green apple tartness in the beginning and a sour bitter finish that gives way to a cherry aftertaste. Extremely thick mouthfeel for the style and carbonation that ably delivers flavor. So delicious... I could drink quite a bit of this.

Overall: Supplication was my first sour. Wow, this is incredible. I can't believe what I've been missing.

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

Thanks to Deepsouth for this one!

Pours a nice hazy orange color with a nice 1/4" head. Lots of sticking!

Very sour aroma with a tangy-citrus aroma with a nice mellow cherry in the background.

SOUOOOUUURRR!!! Love it! Huge random flavors of cherry combined with a nice citrus flavor that is combined with a long lasting oak aroma.

Very tart to the tongue and mouth. Delicious and smooth with a nice tart finish.

Very drinkable but to rare to drink often. Another smashing hit from Russian River.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 5-8-10 with TCHopCraver, thanks to zoso1967's kind provision.

Appearance: Poured into a wine glass. Color is a golden brown, with some red hints thrown in for good measure. A one-finger head dissipates pretty slowly and leaves a soapy ring of lacing. The lacing is extremely sticky and will cling to any part of the glass if given the chance. There are delightful yeasties and cherry bits dancing around, further agitated by a decent stream of carbonation rising up from the bottom.

Smell: Cherry fragrance abounds! Almost smells like Grandma's in the kitchen baking up a cherry pie! The only difference is that this pie is sour and full of pinot noir, funky yeast, spice, and wood.

Taste: Wow! Not what I was expecting at all. I expected something much sweeter, but instead I find a dryness that is simply enchanting. It's like all the best things about wine and beer brought together in a masterful harmony. This is definitely one of the most refreshing and invigorating beverages I have had the pleasure of consuming. The cherry sweetness of the nose is paired extremely well with the dry, champagne-like flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and refreshingly dry. Starts with a biting fruity punch to the tonsils and ends clean and dry.

Drinkability: Very refreshing and easy to drink, but this beer is so intense that it lends itself more to being a sipper.

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

Supplication Batch 006X1. 375ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: 4
Brassy brown red body with 1’ white head that slowly dissipates to nothing. Mild faint lacing.


Definite sour aroma with notes of lemon, minimal dark fruit, and faint funkiness. Not really barnyard smelling though as I thought it might be. Also a slight toffee note of sweetness, I imagine from the malt.

Taste: 4.5

A great sour with amazing balance. It’s definitely a moderate-strong sourness, but the overall profile seems so refined. It’s not harsh or caustic, but instead very pleasant. Get a mild almost woody funk with notes of lemon/citrus, presence of pinot noir grapes as well as faintest of sweetness of the malt. Lingering sour aftertaste with touch of malt and bitterness. Nice crisp, bright mineral presence in sour component, like a good white wine; this really adds a nice level of complexity to the flavour

Mouthfeel: 4.5
So delightfully sour, but again somehow balance. Great champagne-like soft, fine carbonation that leads to almost pillowly sensation. Mild thickness. Perfect amount of slimily acidic feeling ( which sounds weird I know, but seem spot-on appropriate). I really love how this beer feels actually.

Overall: 4.5
A surprising, subtle, well balanced beer that is definingly sour, but in the same breath incredibly balanced. It’s a little different than I anticipated, much less in-your-face. But really its just such a good beer.

I wasn’t 100% sold of sour beers before this, but now I am. It was just so enjoyable. In fact, super easy drinking and I was very quick to finish it, wishing I had more.

Must Try Recommendation.

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Photo of bradford
4.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted on 4/24/07
Appearance: Dark, burnt orange. Little to no head after the inital foaming from cork popping
Smell: Fantastic: Smelly sour with a lot of brett and a slight cherry note
Taste: Brilliant. Sour, sweet, cherry
Mouthfeel: Another great note. The sour brett does not take anything away from the mouthfeel.
Drinkability: Perfect. No other way to describe this beer. Absolutely phenomenal. I wish it didn't cost this much, but I understand.
Russian River is THE best brewery in America. Hands down. Vinnie truly is a beer genius. Can't wait to try other "tion" beers

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

Batch 003. 375ml pulled from the "cellar" (dark, insulated coat closet) and chilled for 20 minutes in freezer.

Nice pop from the cork. Poured into tulip, producing a beautiful thin, creamy off-white head atop a copper colored, slightly hazy brew. Aroma of ripe cherries and wood punctuated with a good sharp dose of brett funk. Flavor is a well-rounded blend of tart cherries and saturated red wine barrel, with a lingering sweet/tart finish. Has a wonderful mouthfeel thanks to a light-to-medium body--surprisingly heavier than I remember, especially compared to recent, fresher batches I've had--and perfect carbonation with a perpetually replenishing head which leaves an impressive lacing behind.

This is a terrific beer that has aged tremendously. I'd have to say it's my most successful cellaring experience to date.

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Photo of BgThang
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jonathanL7890 for a chance to try this one.

Pours a big whopping 3 finger head, may want to pour easier on this one. Light brown to copper color and cloudy for the appearance.

The nose is that of sweetness, cherries, candies, and some yeastiness as well

Mouthfeel WOW! this is one helluva sour beer. At first the sweetness hits the mouth then the sour packs a whopper of a punch. Made me feel like my asshole was being sucked through my mouth GEEZ! the puckerness factor.

This is an amazing sour beer. Its a must try for anyone who calls themselves a beer nerd or beer geek. This really is a beer that is on the extreme side.

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Photo of Cinderbike
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 5 bottle poured into snifter.

A - copper with minimal head.
S - lemon, tart cherry, wet leather, dirt, hay, and toasted bread
T - cherry, dry red wine, oak, Brett funk, stale bread
M - thin with high carbonation
O - probably in my top 5 American sours. I need to get more of this to cellar.

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,168 ratings.
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