During my recent trip to Colorado I picked up quite a few beers that I can't get here in Houston. I love going to Co for many reasons, but getting beers that are unique to Texas is near the top of the list for me. One of the beers I picked up is from California favorite, Russian River, maker of not only one of the best IPA's in the world (arguably one of the best beers period), but brewer of unusual Belgian style ales as well. They specialize in barrel aging and sour ales. That's a lot to pack in for a brewery, but RR does it all incredibly well.
Supplication is RR's Brown ale aged in French Oak that previously held Pinot Noir. Three strains of bacteria were added along with sour cherries. The bacteria added are Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus.
The Beer: The beer weighs in at 7.0% and pours a lightly beige almost pinkish with a dense head of off white head. On the nose its malty, sour cherries, oak, barnyard notes, hay, and horse blanket. The mouthfeel is medium, tons of carbonation. Funky, tart, sour, acidic are the first impressions of this beer. Notes of cherries, oaky, and dry finish. Vanilla and cherries. It gives me the impression of a cherry vanilla coke. Its not a sweet beer. Although there is a cherry sweetness up front the finish is dry enough that there is a great balance. Sour funky and barnyardy. Tons of sour cherries with undertones of roasted malts, caramel, even a nuttiness. This is such an outstanding beer. Every sip adds some new nuance to the flavor profile. I love it, this one gets an A from me. Here's what folks from BA think.
UPDATE: Experienced a mis-type in my entry. Brettanomyces is a strain of Yeast that was added to Supplication, Lacobacillus and Pediococcus are both different strains of bacteria. Sorry for the error.