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Compunction - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompunctionCompunction

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

219 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 219
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 335
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: clickpush on 04-01-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 219 | Reviews: 78
Reviews by juhl31:
Photo of juhl31
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

-foggy, yet clear gold color. pours with a fluffy white head

-the sour lemon jumps out first, then the pluot rolls in. some banana and a bit of malt which is nice

-good tartness up front, then the fruits roll in - pluots, lemon in the back, the farmhouse taste finishes the in the aftertaste. some actual bitterness to it which is nice as well

-very dry with some tannin mouth as well

-wow this stuff is good. amazingly drinkable. i also like that it still has a lot of actual "beerness" to it. you still get maltiness and bitterness to it behind the wild ale forefront. have been back on a couple more occasions and couldnt pass this one up

More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Hazy golden orange with very little, almost zero, head that eventually leaves dots of lace down the glass. Pretty and appropriate per the style.

A big aroma and quite the combination: oaken wood, fresh, juicy pluots, and big notes of Bretty yeast. The funkiness is far more present than in the other Russian River sours, along with lots of stinging acidity.

The flavor too is quite funky, complementing the big, juicy, pluots' flavors. There's also a touch of graham cracker sweetness and a hint of sulfur.

Thin to medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation. A true joy to drink.

Another incredibly enjoyable, complex, fruity sour from Russian River. Probably not quite as good the best batches of Consecration, Supplication, or Temptation, but damn good nonetheless.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip side by side w/ Cantillon Fou Fune at Beachwood's Sourfest '11. Nice orange color, less dense than the other. Great aroma, the pluots really came out (plum/apricot) and were complimented by a nice bretty aroma that wasn't noticeable in the appearance. Beautiful smelling stuff.

Epicly pungent sourness, yet a clean, dry and refreshing mouthfeel from it, sticks to the teeth, gets that squeaky thing going, like when you eat fresh cheese curds in Wisconsin. Really like sour blonde ales, the light body allows the fruit and sourness to jut out even further, but never being abrasive here. Mild oak component to it, the furthest thing you have to look for (but don't).

Photo of rudylaw
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another winner I tried on-tap at DLD.

I knew nothing about this beer before it was handed to me in line. It smells like vinegar. Really tart and fruity like the previous review stated. I also detected some melon as well.

Upon first sip, my lips puckered like alum. Holy cow is this sour. Easily the most sour beer I've had in a long, long while. But delicious! I had to pull back because I kept sipping and I needed to savor it.

I love tart everything and this was a tart beer. It was perfect after all of the heavy beers I had been drinking to stay warm before the sun came out. Kudos RR!

Photo of OStrungT
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy orange color, with pretty much no head. What little head that was present was slightly off white. It left some off white leace on the glass.

This beer has a sour aroma. It smells of tart fruit. It has a slight viniger aroma as well, but the viniger aroma certainly did not detract from this beer. I could also smells a slightly spicy aroma when I looked hard.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Sour, with tart fruit and viniger. The slight spicy aroma I detected was present in the flavor as well.

This beer was highly carbonated, suiting the style. It left a sour aftertaste.

I am not sure this beer would make the best session beer. It is not high in alcohol, but it is sour, and aggressive.

Overall: I loved this beer, and could probably drink it all night. I wish this beer would be made more available.

Photo of pwoods
2.56/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at DLD. 8oz. sample

A: Cloudy apricot. Short white head, frothy. Not much retention but a bit of lacing.

S: Very sour. Vinegar. Oh, man, what am I getting myself into? Sweet but with overpowering sourness.

T/M: Loads of sour cherries in the front. Sourness is massive. Very tart cherries, cranberries, raspberries. Vinegar is nearly overpowering. Body is light and feels very watery. Mild bitterness in the back. Gherkins pickles keeps popping into mind. It actually makes my mouth pucker a bit and then water to try and dilute it.

D: I haven't had too many soured beers but this is by leaps and bounds the most sour. I made it about half way through the sample and had to call it quits. The vinegar and sourness just intensified far too much. I appreciate what RR and all these breweries are doing with sours but I just don't think I'll even develop a taste for them. There have been styles that I've 'not liked so much' in the past but none that I have not at least come around to and none that I continually can't finish.

Note: Please don't flame me :)

Photo of ggaughan
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled with my cousin krkearney. Thanks keith. What a treat this is.

The beer poured a clear golden color with a thin but bubbly white head that stuck around for a bit. There was nice fruity (based on the pluots that are aged in this) aroma and some funky earthy tones as well. the taste is fruity up front, apricot maybe and tart throughout. This is another fine example of a wild ale from RR and I can't see anything wrong with this one. There is a lingering fruit taste that runs around the mouth and sticks on the tongue and some peppery notes that are mixed in as well. I think the plummy taste at the end is a nice finish to this fine beer. I really wish this made it to bottles but this sampling will do me for now.

Photo of DJButters
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour significantly darker than its Sanctification counterpart. I had a pour of Sanctification prior to this pour of Compunction.

S: The nose starts off with lots of tannins from the oak and pluots. Significant amounts of sour fruit smell gets the salvation glands kicked in to high gear for what is coming.

T: Smooth for a sour beer - perhaps a bit too smooth. Lots of dry oak notes along with pluot/sour fruit notes. A mild acidity and less bitterness than San.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high carbonation and a very crisp finish. Think green apple bite.

D: I will be back for more as I was very impressed. Watching the Chargers/Raiders game at the brewery left a sour taste in my mouth... but I think this beer was sourer.

Photo of nickd717
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to alfrantzell for hooking up a "special growler" of this new tick.

Mostly clear deep amber in color with a lasting bubbly white head. Really looks excellent for the style.

Nice plum aroma along with a very Russian River like yeast aroma. Funky and musty with Brett and lacto evident.

The flavor is excellent, like most other Russian River sours. Big plum and pluot flavors, slight sweet malt notes (although the sweetness is minimal). Excellent tart and funky finish.

Really nice acidic tingling on the palate with a good level of carbonation. Medium bodied and very dry.

Overall, another really awesome sour from Russian River. Never surprising but always enjoyable.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drove up seven hours to Sacramento to stay at Abel's (abecall98) in Sacramento this past Friday, then drove another two hours Saturday morning to go to Santa Rosa. I have heard about this beer for quite some time and am extremely pumped I was able to try it on tap.

Appearance - Poured into a standard tulip at the RR brew pub. Pours a wonderful golden hay color with less than a finger of head that dissipates relatively fast leaving slight lacing.

Smell - Woah! Tart! The smell of this immediately makes me realize this sour is different from the others Vinnie has made. Great barnyard funk, must, wet hay, and great tart fruits. This beer is making my mouth water way more than other RR sours!

Taste - "Drool"...wow. My mouth puckers up immediately with the initial sip. A very complex sour/wild ale. The barnyard funk hits the palate first which is followed almost immediately by the citrus fruits such as peaches, berries, and green apple. A bit more acidic than other RR sours out there but I really enjoy it. Finishes a hint dry. Wow.

Mouthfeel - lighter bodied, prickly carbonation, refreshing.

Drinkability - This one actually took me a while to drink, but that does not downplay it's drinkability. An amazing beer. Very glad I was able to try it.

Photo of nataku00
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a goblet. Beer is a light yellow, straw collored and mostly clear with a thin off white soapy head off tap. No carbonation visible through the glass.

Nose is wet hay, sour lemon, astringency from what I believe are the pluot (or plucots) skins. Nice pungent aroma for not too much head.

Taking a sip, the sour lemon and astringency is upfront, mellowing a bit into stone fruit sweetness on the finish. Medium length finish from the sweetness and a bit of tartness and fruit peel. Funky earthiness develops as the beer warms closer to room temperature as well,

Light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation but I would have preferred a bit more bubbly on the tongue. Very easy to drink, and I think this would be great to sit outside with this on a warm day like today.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

amber color right out of the gate. A very nice, and slightly hazy looking consistency to it, IA gorgeous looking head of about two fingers in height rose up off the top Thick, and coating side glass lace then trickled down the side of it and really just thickened up the whole thing. T

nice and tart. Huge aromas of Brett coming off of this immediately, This was a little bit more sweet on the nose though then some of the other sours I have had, and after a few minutes, the cherries were very much detectable, with a dark sweetness about it. Very bright aroma, that really stuck out at you and welcomed you in. Some light woody aromas as well now as it gets a little warmer, this was turning out to be very nice indeed. deep, resonant sour taste, seems to be a little more tame that what I was expecting, A good bit of sweetness in here, balancing this one out a bit more. Nice notes of cherries riddled throughout this one. Very nice. After the initial wave of Brett, some soothing cherry sweetness rolls in behind it, with some nice tones of wood raveled in throughout as well. Really well blended, the aging is really coming into play here now.

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Compunction has a bright peach flesh colored body. A slim head tops the beer, but doesn't last long. The body has a slight reddish-purple tint.

The nose is dry and dusty, white wine-like with a pluot character that grows stronger as the beer warms. Brett is prominent, lending a musty funk and juicy pineapple.

Sharply sour and acidic on the palate, the pluots come through nicely, quite plum-like to me. Lactic acidity and tannins are pretty strong. It's quite vinous too, especially in the finish, and there's a big leathery, fruity brett character.

I've been wanting to try this beer for a long time, and it didn't disappoint.

Photo of bkrueger
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Russian River served in a tulip glass, 07/31/12.

Pours a honey orange with little to no head.

Smells similar to Temptation but with some stone fruits, primarily apricot and pluots. Subtle nose and not bursting with fruity smells but you can tell they are there.

An initial chalky (similar to Temptation) mouthfeel, grainy almost. Chardonnay like barrel qualities. Blonde sour, once again tasting similar to Temptation but with apricot flavors.

Very drinkable, thirst quenching, with plenty of carbonation. Has a good sourness level and a fruity bite to go with it.

The pluots are amazing. Please have this available more!

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Beachwood Sour Fest on days 1 & 2.

A: Pours a nearly clear pale yellow with a very fine white head and beautiful puzzle-like lace.

N: Fruity, oak, grass, and mild funk.

T: Stone fruits (yes, pluots) up front, oak tannins, floral notes. Complex tartness.

M: Prickly fine carbonation, dry finish.

O: Been wanting this and so glad to finally have tried it. Very good - wow. Thanks Gabe (and Vinnie).

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub...
The waitress couldn't tell me much about this, other than "it's sour".
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white head that fades into a mild cap and a hearty collar. Streaky lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is of sour cherries, vanilla, light lacto bacilli infection, vinegar, tart lemon, oak, and a hint of plums.
Taste is of cherries, tart fruit(ie. kiwi), strawberry juice, pomegranate, and worcestire sauce.
Mouthfeel is tart, medium bodied, and as dry as can be. Ohhh...forget about it. This was the winner of the night, even after that awesome witbier (Little White Lie). This was just what the doctor ordered to conclude my evening at Russian River. The only thing that would've made it better would've been leaving with one of those kick ass growlers full of this stuff. I wish I had more room for the luggage etc. I was bringing home with me.

Photo of rfgetz
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a every so lightly hazed and lightly darkened gold color, nice cap of white froth, leaving decent lacing. Scent is mild and at first lightly tart and sour, supported by a nice amount of fruit and freshly malted grain. Taste brings more sour and tart then nose lead me to believe was in here, strong notes of fruit (mango, light berry) and a solid amount of fresh malted grain. Medium bodied, carbonation not over the top, lightly dry. A very nice wild ale from RR, ranks up there with the bottled varities and has a bigger malt profile and a touch more fruit.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Relative Brewing for securing this nectar for this tasting. Served in a mini-snifter.

Pours a slightly-hazy apricot color with a half-finger of head. Aroma brings some really nice notes of grapefruit juice along with the zest of a Ruby Red. There is a slight sour character in the nose, though not all that much comes through. A find a bit of purple plum in there, but that character seems a bit muted.

The flavor melds the citrus peel character with some plum and red grapes. A good level of pucker factor hits here, though not nearly as much as is generally the case with Russian River. All together, the taste is definitely more integrated and complex than the nose, but doesn't really take it to the next level. `The finish is fairly dry and is probably the best component of this beer, although at the same time it does drink quite well and is certainly more quaffable than a few of their other wilds.

Photo of AgentZero
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Relative Brewing for hooking us up with this for my Bachelor Weekend tasting. Best of luck on future collaborations.

A - Golden colored beer with minimal head (we'll blame that on the fact it was growlered). Fairly clear with bubbles up to the top.

S - Fruity smell that I cannot place, this must be the pluot influence on this beer. The barrel aging is pretty subtle, with some oak, and a sweet tartness.

T - Fruity, hint of oranges, grape skins, the taste of sour plums is present, I need to try one of these pluots sometime, as their effect on this beer is nice. Tart with some barrel influence.

M - Crisp, light, if the carbonation was a little more present I imagine this would be quite effervescent.

D - Not highly drinkable given the low ABV, but a really good beer that people should try if they have the opportunity.

Photo of bgramer
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this on tap at DLD.

A golden-orange/apricot color with minimal head. This beer is very sour and TART... Delicious imho, it's tartness takes some getting used to. Very fruity and light and the carbonation is aggressive.

This is one of these beers that when you realize how sour it is, you slow down and sip it, and along the way, you notice different flavors revealing itself as you keep sipping. This isn't just a "sour" beer... it's complexity reveals itself over time.

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Russian River

A: The pour is a hazy golden orange color with a finger's worth of white head and some spotty lacing.

S: The nose starts off with lots of tannins from the oak and pluots. A nice lactic acidity provides some lemony tartness, along with pluots in terms of the fruit. Wet oak and grass give the requisite funkiness.

T: Very, very earthy and tannic. Lots of dry oak notes along with pluot skins. A slight fruity character from the pluots as well a fairly mild lactic acidity. There's a bit of a chalky dryness and astringency, too.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high carbonation and a very dry finish.

D: After how much this beer was talked up, I tried to be realistic going into it and I think I was. This was indeed a very good beer, but so are pretty much all of Russian River's beers.

Photo of bosco7
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap yesterday at the brewpub. The waitress warned me of the sourness and asked me if I would like a sample before purchasing the beverage. I declined and explained to her that these beers are why I visit the establishment.

Served in a tulip glass. Golden blonde in color with superb clarity. Head is lacking. Nice lacing.

Big acetic acid aromas with some woody smells, and pluot (plum X apricot hybrid that this beer was aged on) aromas.

Lots of sour! If memory serves me this beer is twice as sour as Temptation. Still not overwhelming. Apricot, oak, and white wine flavors stand out. Very refreshing.

Slight pucker from the sourness and tannins. Delightful. Yet another finely crafted sour ale from Russian River.

Photo of flexabull
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel lucky that I got to try this last night.

Beer pours a crisp gold color with a faint head.

Aromas are dusty, tart, and with a fair sour fruitiness.

Reminds me of a lighter Supplication. It has a more dry flavor then Supplication. But it still has a very sour fruity character. It's certainly dry, as mentioned before. .. and it finishes with a tart, dusty, and with a puckering quality. Another complex and well put together Russian River Wild Ale.

Mouthfeel is top notch. Every time I try a Russian River beer, I am always reminded at how full and thick they feel in your mouth. Excellent!

Drinkability is WAY up there. This one easily competes with Temptation and Supplication. Great stuff!

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub today...

The beer pours a fairly light gold color with great head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is just wild and shows considerable brett influence, with sour funk, vinegar and barnyard aromas, but with considerable underlying plum and cherry as well. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose in this complex, wild ale, and I have to say the interplay of flavors in this beer is just amazing. Along with the noted aroma profile, there's also something of a fresca/sprite flavor, with a hint of hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to light, and despite all the flavor and impressively long finish, you can tell the alcohol is fairly low in this one. Also, I'm just loving the sweet tart on tart finish in this well crafted beer. Anyway, drinkability is otherwise pretty good, with the alcohol barely more than an afterthought. The sour funk is a bit much for someone like me, but even a confirmed sour hater like myself can tell this is one very fine, well made, easy to appreciate beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Before I get to my review, this beer was the first Russian River beer as well as the first American Wild Ale I'd ever had. That was at Dark Lord Day 2008, where my reaction was "Man, that's sour" and I went back to drinking more imperial stout. Since then, I've had a fair number of RR beers and AWAs, and I'm curious to see what I think. Thanks, C-dogg.

Pouring a brilliantly clear light amber with a dense, frothy, off-white head, this beer looks pretty excellent. Some lacing is present as well.

The nose is absolutely fantastic. Clearly, Relative Brewing needs to work on how they fill growlers, 'cos this smells rather incredible. The RR pale sour base is immediately noticeable, with a moderate Temptation-like character with grass, hay and a moderate lactic character. There isn't much barrel character, at least not a wine barrel character. And then there's the fruit. Beautifully expressed, in some ways this reminds me of fresh Fou'foune. Having had a chance to travel through CA farm country earlier this Fall and sample 4-5 different varieties of pluots, this beer brings back memories. Fruity light plums, apricots, a mild floral character, this is pretty close to perfect. A touch of acetone (just a hair) rounds out the nose, and this is one of the few beers where I like it. Brett and funk character are mostly hay-like and part of me wonders if the mild floral character is a blend of both a tropical Brett character and the pluot.

The palate opens rather bracingly sour, surprisingly so, and more than I was expecting. Very clean with a blend of lemon and lactic acids, there's a moderate Bretty leather, dry and mildly musty. This leather character is rather surprising, given the rather pale base beer, but that's Brett for you. A touch of fruity pineapple is also present, along with a nice light-plum fruitiness in the mid-palate. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer finishes dry and a sour with a moderate acidic character. Acetone and acetic acids are really low here, and that's not surprising given Vinnie's history brewing sours. The fruit character isn't as strong as I was hoping, but it was still rather excellent, reminding me of a Fou'foune at 2-3 years. Again, that moderate leather character lingers on the finish, working quite well with the fruitiness, a combination that is unique. Some tannins are present too. Just a little slick on the finish as well. While the acidity is high, I can see myself going through a quart of this. Excellent stuff.

Ultimately, I ask myself - how does this compare to the other RR sours? I'd say that while it isn't as good as the better batches of Beatification, Temptation, Supplication or Consecration, it is still fantastic right out of the gate. In that regard, it beats out Temptation, which needs a few months to come into its own. I hope to god Vinnie bottles this, as it is something I'd love to try again.

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Compunction from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.