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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: 6,170
Photo of flagmantho
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 375mL bottle into a tulip. Batch 04X3, whatever that means.

Appearance: deep, woody amber color with a finger of compact tan head. Looks good enough to eat. There is a very nice lacing left on the glass as I drink.

Smell: tart and woody with a little sweet malt aroma coming through. Complex and tasty smelling.

Taste: this is one tart wild ale. Flavor moves from tartness to woodiness and, finally, to the sweet fruitness of the cherries. The cherry flavor is more of a hint or suggestion, but it proves a very nice contrast to the brightness up front. The cherry lingers on the palate a good long time. This beer is quite delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with big carbonation. While not really creamy (it's too acidic for that), it is still a very smooth effect which I find appealing.

Drinkability: this is incredibly drinkable. Were I to win the lottery tomorrow, I'd definitely try to get my hands on a few cases of this stuff.

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Photo of John_M
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blue Dog Tavern the other day.

Supplication pours an apricot amber color with fairly good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer is quite vinous, showing an iimpressive array of grapes, vanilla, wine and light sour. The flavor profile replicates the nose for the most part, except I'm getting a bit more wine vinegar and sour funk. The sour component definitely dominates the flavor profile, though it's not so over the top as to be unenjoyable. This beer is hugely flavorful with no more than a medium bodied mouthfeel, and the finish is long, winey and sour. This beer has almost an electric component to the flavor profile, at least that's how the sour hits me on the finish. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol nearly unnoticeable. Am not a huge fan of sours beers, but this is pretty fun to drink (though I can't imagine drinking a whole lot of it). However, I confess the sour component does seem a bit more intense on draft then I recall experiencing from the bottle.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a mostly clear dark red, with a small head, and not much in the way of lacing.

Smells like sour cherry, light leathery funk, some white wine, a bit of oak, and some lemony tartness.

This was the first sour I ever had, and I thought it was terrible. I didn't really understand sours. But now, having this again, a few years later, I can see how great it is. It's got a great sour macerated cherry flavor, a bit of oaky bitterness, some leathery funk, and a nice sharp acidity. The base brown ale is fairly present still, with some breadiness, and a little bit of sweetness. This is awesome.

This is medium bodied, with a juicy and tart mouthfeel, and a higher level of carbonation.

One of the best and most classic fruited sours out there. Near perfection.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


I've been enjoying the hell out of this beer since its release, so I thought it was time to review it. Bottled batch 004. The beer appears deep orange tinged ruby with a voluminous light beige head, excellent retention, and lots of scattered lacing.

The nose is redolent of tart cherries and lactic character, with a balancing sweet malt presence and apparent wood notes. The fruit is incredibly vibrant, a moderate acetic character is evident, and vanilla is subtle.

The flavor opens with tart cherry flesh and skins, segueing into a moderate lactic sourness and a slightly balancing malty sweetness. Acetic acid character is at a pleasantly restrained lower moderate level, adding balance rather than churning my stomach. Other fruit notes are of grapes and plums, but cherries are most prominent. The finish is tart and lightly tannic with a plethora of fruit and a drying woody sensation. Outstanding. The mouthfeel is dry and soft, with a fitting moderate level of carbonation.

I consumed a growler of batch 004 back in December, but I've been told that a different blend was put into bottles. I enjoy this even more than the first blend, if that's possible, and I shall drink up while the fruit is fresh.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From the corked, caged bottle with a bottling date of 011615. Sampled on December 28, 2015. Received in trade from a non BA member.

Attractive amber-range pour with modest head. Some red hues in the light.

Big aroma of wine, grapes, cherries, and wild yeast. A hint of spice.

Medium to full body,.

The taste is tart and sour but not overwhelming. Decent toasted malts in the mix. A peppery note. This is a wild ale that I could drink often.

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

I finished an in-depth review and the damn thing didn't save!

I had been saving this for my 2000th review, but then Rutager sent me something I'm sure I'll enjoy more.

A: Amber with a bubbly, cream-coloured head, some retention, shows some leg.

S: Pleasant funk, with a little tart/sour aroma.

T: The lacto & pedo sourness is a bit much for my palate, but I like the funk from the Brett. This is like a Flanders done in the Extreme American style. Leather, steelie mineral, hay, cherry, wheaty biscuit, balanced bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body, quite bubbly, some acidity, crisp, very dry finish.

D/O: I know this is a top 50 brew, but I'm still surprised I really like this (I'm not a sour guy). I'd say this is better than many Belgian brews... though personally, I'd still prefer a New Glarus Belgian Red.

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Photo of weeare138
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to PWalk...
Appears an amber/orange with a small white head and streaky lacing.
Smell is of brett, wildness of tart fruit, slight oak barrel aging.
Taste is slightly vinous, wild, and sweet but sour. Maybe some cherries in the mix. Pretty complex.
Mouthfeel is smooth, wine-like, chewy but pleasant, sweet & sour.

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Photo of dar482
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer has a golden hazy bronze color.

The aroma is vinegar tart, but really huge on the fruit character. Not as red wine as Consecration. It’s definitely more sour, more sweet, and more sweet than Consecration.

The flavor is hugely. You get a bit of the wine character, but Pinot does not stand out as much as Cabernet for Consecration. The cherry is not huge in there, but you do get a hint of it in the back. The beer is not for those who do not like sours. It really is strongly puckering. One of the most sours beers I’ve had.

The mouthfeel is quite light on this. It does not have a huge carbonation. Despite being in a longer time than Consecration, it does not have as big of wine characteristic.

I was actually a bit disappointed by this. I do love the fruit and sweetness, but the sourness is a bit strong. It could use more complexity. Still a wonderful beer.

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

Pours a deep light golden-brown colour, with a fine bubbled and incredibly dense head of white foam. Lacing is superb. Not just patterns, but full sheets of bubbling sticking to the edge of the glass. Odd, slightly chunky static carbonation as it's swirled, as though the bubbles get caught in clumps. Really lovely looking brew.

Very full and very lovely nose of oak, acidity, crushed vegetation, sour fruit, wood shavings... I could go on. Very sharp, extremely oaky and wine-like and extremely intense. Lovely complexity.

Immediate acidity on the front palate, but it mellows just divinely to earthy wood characters, with a hint of cherry pip, green apple skin and a resinous hint of rubbed lemon rind. I love the way it just relaxes on the tongue, giving you the full force of the acidity straight up, before almost melting to something soft and supple. Mouthfeel is crisp and subtle, but it gives this three-dimensional dance throughout, starting rigid and sharp and finishing languid and soft.

What a lovely drop of beer, and a truly excellent wild ale. There are reasons this is rated as highly as it is. In terms of straight complexity, I think I actually prefer RR's Consecration, but this is probably a more true, more pure and more raw example of the genre.

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Photo of corby112
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at the brewpub in Santa Rosa.

Pours a deep dark cherry red mahogany color which is pretty cloudy and completely opaque. Frothy 1.5 finger off white head with pretty good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves streaks of soapy lacing behind.

I could smell this beer coming my way from across the room. Lots of eRthy brettu funk with a pro
inent barnyard horseblanlet character in the nose. Very vinous with lots of dark fruit balancing out the brett, especially sour dark cherry, grape, plum and raisin.

Funky tart Pickering mouthfeel that isn't acidic in the least bit. Perfect balance of brettu funky sourness, slight malt and sweet dark fruit notes. Lots of spur dark cherrry, vinous grape, raisin and plum. The tart curries really come through and make this beer amazing well balanced and quaffable. The ABV is nearly undetectable and there is a slightly vinegary Pickering aftertaste that leaves me salivating for another gulp. I love this damn beer and am so excited to try it on tap. This further cents my opinion that Russian River is the best brewery on the planet. Sek tuis beer out at any cost, especially on draft.

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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 jbaker67
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rusted brown with a little brownish head that sticks around longer than expected. Lots of oak on the nose with hints of sour cherry but nothing overpowering. There’s also a bit of red wine and some funkiness, but not that much really. Over ripe cherries start the palate off and then there’s a nice funky, wood middle with a solid sour finish that doesn’t last quite as long as I’d like.

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

A 375 mL corked and caged bottle from Batch 003.

A: The ale is a reddish brown color, like grenadine in orange juice only with a little less haze. A finger plus of highly carbonated foam has left spots of lace around the mouth.

S: Aroma-wise, the ale is just plain funky. The barnyard aromas are hard to avoid, filling the nose with sour cherries, pepper and apple butter.

T: The tartness here surpasses the bite of Temptation, scalding the tastebuds with each sip. Sour cherries follow the tartness, adding a little more depth to the taste. Red wine and vanilla finish out the taste. The ale is incredibly carbonated, adding to the lively taste with each sip.

M: The ale is quite dry from the barrel aging. That, in conjunction with the wild yeasts, creates a beer that stabs the tastebuds with each sip. The complexity is present but you have to appreciate it.

D: The wood, vanilla and funk are incredible. This is a great beer to sip from a snifter.

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Photo of beertunes
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #600 for me. Bottle numbered 04x2. Poured into crystal tulip. Poured a coppery orange amber color with just a trace of tan head that didn't have much retention or lacing.

Some fruit hides behind the upfront vinegary scent, with a bit of yeast adding some funkiness. The flavors were similar, just magnified. The dry bitterness was dominate and the flavors lurk in the background.

Body is good for the style, although I found it a bit thin. Drinkability was good, depending your tolerance for sourness. Overall, a good beer, worth a shot for anyone and a must try for sourheads.

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

I got this bottle of batch 00s thanks to a trade with Tayner. Thanks Dana!

It pours a hazy peach colour with a 1" head of foam.There's some good lacing and foam is shrinking but looks like some of it will be around at the end of the session. Ok, the foam did leave the scene entirely but, what the hell..

The smell is just what I like to find in American Wild Ales...huge sour notes from cherries and lemons. Also a big yeasty profile with some vanilla and oak. Super nice nose.

The taste is as good if not better than the nose. Wow. Big oaky and yeasty notes with some yeasty tones and big fruity tartness from lemons, apricots, and cherries. There's also an underlying sweetness coming from vanilla. And did I mention the funk? No? My bad. The Brett is definitely present here working its magic, intertwining with all the other luscious flavours. and bringing real justice to the style.

Marvelous, simply marvelous. The mouthfeel is medium, the carbonation is brisk but fits this ale so well, and it finishes with that sour cherry tartness that just demands that I take another sip tout suite. Eminantly drinkable for me, to say the least.

This is a world class brew in my book and thanks go out again to Dana for sending this my way!

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

A: Orange/amber color. Poured a 2 finger biege head with good retention to thick, even skim. Decanted continually. Laced in wide sheets.

S: Cherries and white grapes. Distinct, but not overpowering sour funk. Wood and earth. Alcohol.

T: Sweet and sour with cherries. Woody, earthy yeast funk. Very fizzy in the finish.

M: Light body. Very high carbonation. Fizzy, bright and tart.

D: Sweet and sour coupled with all the carbonation diminish drinkability. Being like candy, remind myself to slow down and enjoy.

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

375ml Bottle - review #1000 - thanks to zacs for this beer

Appearance - Slightly hazy red/copper colour with an averge size fizzy white coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Lemons, cherries, funk, wheat, yeast

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste citric acid/lemons, wheat, yeast, and cherries. There is also a bit of a vinegar taste. It ends with a tart lemon/cherry flavour.

Overall - Just a fantastic beer and drinking experience. It's got the flavours found in a average sour but there is also a level of complexity that keeps it interesting throughout. I'm happy I picked this one for review 1000 and I'm looking forward to the next 1000 beers. Happy 2012 BA!

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml batch 007 into a snifter.

pours a light brown with a slight head. smell of cherries..very faint. taste is smooth, quite subtle on the cherries. wine barrel smoothes it out to be quite drinkable.extremely smooth. slight tart. mild body, mild carbonation.

overall superb. love this!

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

375ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 17/4/12 batch 007 even James Bond would put down the shaker for a glass of this one

A great dark reddish amber with so many bubbles I can't tell if there going up or down, this one is very much alive, two fingers of light tan head hold on for a little while stopping at a well retained thin film that doesn't allow you to see the liquid, just a few random dots of lace

S right out of the bottle as I pour I get some woody vinous notes, the funk is mild and blends in perfectly with the oak and some sour strawberry and cherry, there's a little vinegar and cider notes but everything just blends together so well after a few minuets I struggle to pin point anything it all just meshes together, what amazing stuff

T it mimics the smell very well thankfully, one second I'm getting some oaked vinous notes, then it morphs to sour cherry and the next sip the funk comes out to play, just wonderful stuff

M sour but not turning my mouth inside out, plenty of pin prick bubbles no doubt about that, leaves the mouth a little slick, and a little cherry vinegar lingers

O an epiphany in a glass of beer? this one's an eye opener for me, what else in life have I been missing out on?

This ones changed the way I look at sours, such a well made brew, many things needed to happen in just the right proportion and order to make this what it is. On top of that it also needed to be well packaged and sent to me by the most generous and awesome Rutager

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Nose: sour, cherries, suggestion of wine, faint malt.
Pours: brilliant garnet tinted amber – almost a brandy color, under a stiff finely bubbled off-white foam cap with a faint pink tint.
Palate: Cherry, lemon, light funk, tart. The cherries are excellently done and are well balanced by the tartness and the rich malt flavors cavorting in the background. As the beer warms slightly more elegance emerges as the pinot noir flavors emerge and mingle with the malt. Long lingering tart cherry flavors dominate the aftertaste.
Medium body and medium to above on the carbonation.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Pours a lightly turbid brownish hue. The body is misty, yet semi-clear. The head retains its stature proudly and doesn't waver much. Foamy lacing patches cling to the glass.

S-When initially served, it was a bit too cold and the aroma was stunted. However, as it warmed I really was impressed. A triad of wine, ale and sour yeast. The tart cherries are eccentric and enticing. The distinct Pinot Noir aroma rises and strengthens as the glass warms. Musty, dusty and oaky. The base ale also lends some pleasant malted aromas as well.

T-The flavor wowed me as well. The initial tartness of the yeast and cherries stunned my palate. As my tongue became accustomed to the flavors, I was able to pick up the delectable offerings of the barrel-aging process. Supplication is vinous and bretty while also staying sweet and ripe. I love the must, dust and oak that is found both in flavor and aroma. Perfect level of sourness.

M-Lighter side of medium bodied. Whizzing carbonation. Off-dry. No hints of alcohol. Supplication drinks with epic ease. I licked my lips and they even tasted tart.

O/D-What a success. One of the best Sours I have come across. Deserves its nearly godly reputation. This could turn any wine lover into a beer lover with one quick sip.

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

22oz bottle received via I Want That BIF from flexabull. Corked and caged, Batch 002. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" light beige head over the reddish amber brew. Head fades gradullay, with plentiful slow-falling lace. Aroma is bubblegum upfront, with a strong tartness coming in after. Taste is cherries, sweet and then tart. Not noticing the barrel flavors as much as in Batch 001, seems a bit more lambic-leaning. Mouthfeel and drinkability are very nice. Tartness quenches the thirst as a bonus. Not quite as impressive for me as it's predecessor.

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Label says 082712

A- Pours a rubyish light brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that bears little retention time before fizzing away to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Bright fruity nose with some lactic acid sourness. Notes of cherries, grape juice and plum. Slightly effervescent.

T- Semi-heavy sourness plays off the cherry and other fruit notes well with some vinegar in the aftertaste. Not much else going on but there doesn't need to be. Very straightforward.

M- Prickly and crisp with a tartness that causes the mouth to salivate after every sip. Medium-low carbonation is a surprise but doesn't detract from the overall experience. Medium body.

O- Finally starting to truly develop a palate for sours. This one isn't my favorite, but it drinks well and has enough sweetness to balance.

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

Thanks go out to nn8dietz for picking this beer up for me.

I like the faitnly hazey ochre color to this brew. Two finger, bone colored head that recedes to a nice thick film of foam. Bubbling is unimpressive.

The aroma is a tart, cherry hint added to a sherry wine through and through. Add some young, Granny Smith apple skins to that as well. The malt bill has only a little whole grain white bread crust to the aforementioned aroma. I do seem to get a soft woddy not here and there as well. There seems to be a smokey note slinking around as well.

I taste super ripe cherry pie, crust and filling. Then tart, viney toasted Wonder bread crust and slightly fermented wine grapes.

The palate has no indication of aging in my opinion. Except for maybe this beer would more tart if it wasn't aged.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml C&C bottle dated 12/17/12, popped and poured into a Russian River snifter glass and quaffed today, 4/23/2013. Thanks to powz87 for hooking me up with this amazing wild.

Aroma: Lots of tart cherries and sour + sweet wine grapes, all in a fantastic way. There is a sickly bittersweet scent that reminds me of a good red wine but somehow different- maybe more of the sweet rather than the bitter. A little bit of oak too. Altogether, it's a funky, sour and sweet beer that smells great. The first whiff of the nose made me excited to drink this one. (4.5)

Colour: Pours a hazy dark red-brown, almost a very dark amber with a thick 2cm off-white head that sticks around for about a minute before it bows out, leaving a foamy collar. The lacing is quite sticky and pretty. Overall, a very good looking beer. (4.25)

Flavour: Damn! This thing is sour as hell. Its got that tartness of cherry, but also that funky sourness that I've come to associate with wild yeast (thank homebrew infections). But its also got a delicious underlying sweetness that seems to come from the underlying malt- it's cherry, grape, raspberry all in one. So if that makes sense, its sweet and sour all at once and in an almost overwhelming fashion. I really love the tartness as it sticks with you the entire time, but its complemented very well by the fruit sweetness. Freaking amazing experience! (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Thinner medium bodied brew with excellent carbonation. It's somewhat resinous and coats my tongue in pure sourness along with the fizzy carbonation. The aftertaste is of course sour, with some sweetness all at the same time. It's a true pleasure to drink. (4.5)

Overall: I'm amazed at how good this beer is. It disappeared so quickly- it's that easy to drink and appreciate. Smells great, tastes great and overall deserves its reputation as probably the best AWA out there. Sour as hell yet has its sweetness that makes it an incredible sensory experience. If you hate sours, you should still try this beer. If you love sours, chances are you've already had this beer. So I don't know if my review will contribute anything to this site, except to show how much I love drinking this Russian River brew. World class stuff. (4.5)

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Supplication from Russian River Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 6,170 ratings.
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