Sunday, 19 May 2013

For Russian River Sours, I Supplicate!

I don't really understand those beer drinkers who don't like sours.  Then again, I do understand that any - let alone good - sours are hard to come by and it may just take the right (re-)introduction!

It was my good fortune that some dear friends brought me back a Supplication and a Consecration from Russian River in Santa Rosa, California after their recent visit.  (I have yet to try the Consecration, but I promise to let you know what I think!)

This delicious American Wild Ale evolves from a base brown ale that is aged for a year in pinot noir wine barrels.  Moreover, during the aging process, sour cherries, brettanomyces (a funk-inspiring yeast) and two intentional (not harmful) souring bacteria (lactobacillus and pediococcus) are added.  The bottles are additionally bottle conditioned and, let me tell you, this results in one fantastic product!

This 7% ABV beer pours a gorgeous clear red capped by a thick frothy white head of fair retention.  Some fine lacing clings weakly to the glass and recedes alongside the delicious nectar of the gods as it is tilted to the mouth.

Enticing aromas of wine, wood, and tart vinegar alongside traces of fruit and something like soured apple juice greet the nose.  As great as the nose is, the taste is even better with a virtually unrivalled complexity and flavour evolution.  It begins with a sweetly-sour cherry taste before a tingly acetic-vinegar-esque lactic sourness ahead of the combination Brett funk and wine dryness that leaves some lingering tartness.  This tartness is the farthest thing from unpleasant, rather it leaves the mouth craving more!

On the tongue, it presents a medium body with a solid balance of tingly (bottle-conditioned) carbonation alongside the moderate gravity of the final body.

This beer is, in my opinion, perfect.

Grade: A clear A+

The bottle itself defines Supplication as, "V 1. to ask for humbly or earnestly, as by praying. 2. to make a humble entreaty to; beseech."  By this definition, I cannot be the first and probably won't be the last to supplicate to any forthcoming North Cali visitors to bring me more of this!

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