Supplication | Russian River Brewing Company

6,315 Ratings

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brown Ale aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma County wineries. It is aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and oak balance each other nicely with a little funk from the brett.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2005

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Ratings: 6,315 |  Reviews: 1,463
Photo of artoolemomo
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Spider889
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to J2Brew2 for this bottle. Probably my most-looked forward to RR sour.

Batch 04X2, brewed on 12/23/08, bottled 12/14/09. Just shy of the bottle-proclaimed 12-15 month barrel aging.

Poured into my Lost Abbey tulip. Mild haze to a garnet colored beer. Lively carbonation dances up from below to yield a tall foamy white head. The foam cap sticks around for several minutes, and leaves behind thick smearing swaths of lace. The bubbles are very fine and delicate looking. Once this grew to near room temperature it gained wonderful clarity for the style.

Smells very bretty though ripened black cherry does intermingle with this this yeast-driven beer. Very subtle vinegar notes as well as old leather and floral barnyard funk. Musty oak also adds some funk and caramel aromas.

The taste is where this beer truly shines. It begins faintly sweet and insanely sour. Supplication is a mouth-watering combination of several different yeasts that create a puckering first few sips. (The website claims this batch uses abbey yeast and wine yeast as well as brettanomyces.) Soon enough my palate adjusts and the real depth of flavor emerges.

The first several sips left me feeling disappointed. Suddenly I was thinking, "wow, maybe I was wrong about how good Jackie O's was with their sours - Russian River tastes about the same!" But once I adjusted to the tartness of the beer, I was relieved that this beer did indeed live up to the hype as one of the best American Wilds. To clarify - the JO's stuff is good, but Supplication is world class.

Cherries are very prominent - both tart green acidic cherry, alongside ripened red summer cherries. This is wonderful because most 'cherry' beers either have no cherry flavor, or extremely artificial cherry flavor. Additionally, Supplication develops wonderful flavors of oak, very mild vanilla and cinnamon, and bitter clementine. Sweet notes of merlot and smokey pinot noir are also discernible.

The spry carbonation isn't overly assertive as I first feared. The beer finishes a little slick with some mouth-watering qualities stamping out the characteristic dryness associated with most of these type of sours. The acidity does grow with time into a small burning deep in my chest, but I have discovered that this seems to happen with just about any serious sour for me.

Overall an exceptional beer, and truly worthy of its praise. Easily my favorite Russian River offering to date.

 2,442 characters

Photo of Zimm
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Memphis Taproom (Philadelphia, PA):

The beer appeared a very nice dark red color with a highly carbonated, off-white head that dissipated in a matter of moments. The beer gave off a nice sour cherry aroma with a hint of something, but I can't place it. The taste of the beer is unbelievably good. Sweet and sour, with sour more dominate, cherries, a hint of alcohol. The beer had a good feel to it, light and very smooth. It left a nice dry aftertaste. Overall, an outstanding sour, which hopefully I will get to enjoy again.

I also bought a bottle at Capone's (Norristown, PA) before heading back home, since you can't get this stuff in Georgia. Bottled: 04 11 13

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Photo of NHbeerfishing
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Washuffizi98
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of cfrances33
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tria Rittenhouse in Philly on 7/5/12 and served in a tulip glass.

Pour: Deep copper with two fingers of off white head.

Smell: Tart cherries to the max with a great hay musk.

Taste: Tart cherries and some sour apples too. Sour maltiness on the finish. Vinous flavors lended from the pinot noir barrel aging. Equally pleasant woody characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Really nice tartness that isn't overpowering. Carbonation is really fantastic. An interesting dynamic between the dryness and the tartness. The crisp dry body encourages you to keep drinking, but the tart finish that lingers on the palates demands that you slow down to enjoy this beer because your palate will become too coated with tart cherries.

Overall: Really great sour, but I think I prefer Sanctification

 787 characters

Photo of pknyc
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of sukwonee
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Giving this a 2nd try. I didn't think much of it about a year ago, but I have grown to like Sours since.

375ml bottle (batch 7) poured into RR Tulip

A: Reddish brown color, it's transparent, but a bit murky. Lots of bubbles forming in the bottom of the cup. Half a finger head, almost no lacing.

S: Sour fruit... (cherries probably as written on the bottle - hard to make out), yeast, vinegar-like scent, maybe a bit of grapes

T: Tartness and sourness hit you - then a small pause - then more sourness towards the end. I get the wine flavor in my mouth a little bit and at the end lingering (mostly as an after taste), but it's mostly sour, acidic, and tart cherries, lemon (especially in the middle and towards the end, lemon kicks in, followed by extreme second wave of sourness). Very very sour (but not as sour as Beatification)

M: High carbonation, light-to-medium body. Near Perfect.

O: I enjoyed this bottle a lot more than my first one. In fact, I will drink this more in the near future. I still seem to prefer Temptation and Beatification over this one, but regardless, an excellent sour.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Yeti1979
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MTKATL
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of parris
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown, dark gold in color. Smell is tart cherries and funk. There are also some wine qualities from the barrels as well. Taste is more of the tart cherries and a good amount of the Brett showing as well. Tart and sour on the mouthfeel and non-cloying. A real joy to drink. Everything melds itself together well and no one characteristic dominates. Very good sour.

 377 characters

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

Again, cell phone notes.

This beer has a sourness from the spontaneous fermentation and bacteria. It has a sour tart crispness and the addition of cherry makes this an incredible beer. I could drink it all day.

Sorry for not having better notes. I want to be sure to remember to have this beer again when i go to california.

 327 characters

Photo of Phillyz
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of BeerMeBro720
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

375ml bottled graciously shared by bulldogp04 in line at the CBS release, thanks Dean! Small pour into my Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a hazy amber and brown combination with a frothy white head. Pretty nice looking and leaves some sticky lace down the glass.

S: Great combination of barnyard funk, citrusy sourness and peels of lemon and lime. Slighty sweet berry in there as well.

T: Very tart with a burst of sour lemon. Very subtle sweetness that is vine fruit in nature as well. Slight vinegar mixed in and it finishes with a funky yeast.

M: So clean and very crisp. Light bodied. It has incredible drinkability and is very refreshing.

O: This was a winner in my book. Very well balanced between funk and sour and the subtle sweetness really rounded it out.

 766 characters

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

Big thank to tzanio for this one!

L: Pours a nice copper orange brown color with a tall and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malt, huge cherry, wood, and a big sour aroma at the end. Complex yet enticing aroma.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, big cherry flavors mixed with oak notes, a big sour almost citrus-y sour finishes this one off.
M: Very crisp, medium bodied, full flavored, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable. This was very interesting and the flavors all mixed very well. Excellent beer.

 590 characters

Photo of sliverX
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of carteravebrew
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of TonyTalon
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Shandycan
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Ssippisam
2.66/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Way to sour for me...

21 characters

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

Had this as a send-off to 2010 and had only had small GABF samples prior.
Pours a brownish red that's surprisingly pretty clear throughout. Head is heavy initially, but fades into a sheen that laces as well as you could hope.
The primary flavor profiles overlap and ebb/flow between citrus, sour cherries, lemon rind, dry red wine, and spicy notes from the yeast. Occasionally I'd pick up malt notes that remind me of the balsamic-like Belgian browns, too. There's so much going on, but it never seems like any one flavor dominates and everything seems to work in harmony.
I split one of the newer 375's of this and truly wish I had more. Even at a pretty steep price, this stuff is worth every penny.
Definitely something I plan on seeking out in the future, I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for this on tap, too.

 815 characters

Photo of KAP1356
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last review from notes and then I think I'm all caught up. Consumed 5/28/2010 at The Broad Axe Tavern (couldn't believe they had this in the bar. Also couldn't believe the price). 375 ml. bottle marked Batch 04x2. Unfortunately the bartender must not have known anything about this beer as she presented it in a pint glass. Hoping it doesn't detract from the experience...

A - Slightly amber-yellow color with a fluffy creamy colored head that fades quite quickly leaving very little lacing. Despite the pint glass, it looks very inticing.

S - Wow. Woody, oak, and brett right up front. Vinous as well (as hoped) as the pinot noir deffinitely comes out as does the cherris. Really smells quite fantastic.

T - Extremely well balanced combination of woody oak, cherries, brett and lacto. Very bright and fruity wuth the cherries being oh so tasty. Everything seems to be working so well together. The sourness actually stays with you throughout the entire bottle which I found very nice.

M - Very carbonated and it works quite well. Medium bodied and actually quite silky despite the carbonation. Lactic acid bite at times in the throat, but nothing that detracts from the beer.

D - Very drinkable beer, especially for a sour. Everything is so well balanced that it makes it easy to drink the whole way through. Really can't wait to stock up on a few bottles of this baby.

 1,376 characters

Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,315 ratings.
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