Friday, August 30, 2013

Russian River Supplication

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Chad9976 (959) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 30, 2013
I poured a 375ml bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 12/17/12 and cost $18 ($1.42 per ounce). Thanks to Dave S. for picking up this bottle for me in Philadelphia.

Appearance: Brown proper color from a distance, though actually ruby red upon closer inspection. Carbonation can be seen streaming up the side. Forms a small, dirty white, soapy head which fizzles away quickly like a soda and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Pungent red wine scent; dark cherries and a general sour aroma.

Taste: It’s kind of ironic that beer snobs love sour beers since they tend to taste like liquid candy to me. That’s okay, because a delicious beer is still my idea of a good beer and a reason why I’m rating Russian River Supplication so highly. While the craftsmanship that goes into making this beer is quite impressive, it’s the actual outcome that I appreciate so much.

This beer starts out as a brown ale and is then aged in pinot noir barrels with sour cherries and a cocktail of yeasts and bacteria are added for fermentation and the souring effect. The result is a luscious, complex palette that has so much going on and it’s all wonderful. To call this beer sour or tart is an understatement. Any beer can be soured, but it’s pointless without the right base brew. Though the core brown ale is difficult to distinguish, there are still plenty of individual components that are noticeable. Sweet, confectionery flavors of caramel and toffee come through in the finish. The cherries are present from start to finish - initially tart and sharp, but sweeter and more refined at the end. This palette probably won’t be enjoyed by everyone, but those who have the taste for it are in for something really special.

Drinkability: Russian River Supplication is about as far from subtle as you can get. That being said, it’s no challenge whatsoever to drink. The mouthfeel is thin and crisp, but not spastic or obtuse. It’s actually really refreshing while in the mouth and leaves just a hint of cherry in the aftertaste. Nothing cloying here at all. It doesn’t seem nearly as strong as its 7.75% ABV weight should be. There’s no alcohol presence or excess body here at all. 
Grade: 10/10