Maybe Next Time I’ll Read The Label

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Recently, my friend Nick and I were discussing the ridiculousness of the Beer Advocate’s Top 100 List. As you go through the list, you’ll notice that the majority of all the beers listed are Double/Imperial Stouts and Double/Imperial IPA’s. At the time, Russian River’s Supplication (ranked #13) caught our eye because of the words “American Wild Ale”. Curiosity got the best of us and we decided to try a bottle. If you haven’t tried an American Wild Ale, or a Sour as it’s so diminutively called, you’ll probably be caught off guard like we did. Imagine popping a Warhead into your mouth without realizing what it was. The face I made was probably similar to that of a child biting into a lemon.

After the initial surprise had subsided, and don’t get me wrong, it was a lengthy inquiry of “what the $#!@ did I just put into my mouth?” I started analyzing what I was experiencing. The smell was that of lemons, tart cherry, earthy aroma of yeast, and a little apple cider. Flavors of tart, sour cherries, bready/malty yeast, sour lemon, and that distinct smell of brettanomyces (Brett for short) pretty much dominate the palate. A light bit of hops were apparent in the middle and a tad bit of woodiness sum up the finish.  Did I mention it was sour? So. Very. Sour.  

The puckering mouthfeel is like no other beer type I had ever tried in my life. The beer attacks the salivary glands in a way that is both alarming and pleasurable, and lingers for quite some time. It has a minimum carbonation and should be enjoyed on it’s own, no food necessary.

I was extremely pleased with this beer and have since purchased 3 more bottles to enjoy at a later date. Maybe next time though, I’ll read the label before drinking.