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Compunction - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

78 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 78
Hads: 220
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 368
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 220
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Matt for bringing the growler to Beachwood for Gabe's birthday. Full pours for everyone!

Poured a brilliant pale yellow with a small foamy white head. Many bubbles throughout the glass.

The aroma was of some brett funk, but a ton of that great lambic acidity and some nice acetic notes. Not really any fruit in the aroma, but damn, it reminded me of 99 Bellevue Selection Lambic. Very fresh aroma.

The flavor was intensely tart and acidic. It had a promient acetic note, much like the Bellevue and Rodenbach that was amazing. The maltiness was light, but full enough to round things out and create a very balanced profile. Some biscuit and wheat. A little grapefruit citrus quality as well. I didn't really get much fruit in this beer, but the other flavors were so intense and well-developed that it didn't matter.

The body was light as was the mouthfeel, but in no way were they thin. The carbonation was bright and lively.

An outstanding sour beer that very well may be the best I've had from Vinnie on this end. Hell, it may be the best American sour I've ever had. What a magnificent creation.

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Photo of patm1986
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from Monk's Cafe Stuff-If-Ication dinner 7 June 2011

Huh? What is that?
Answer: Compunction Sorbet Float

we received a flute filled with a melon-baller size scoop of compunction sorbet over this AMAZING beer.

light gold in color. no head. champagne in comparison: the flute vessel, beaded carbonation, light coloration.

smelled of white grape, pear, tart cherry, grapefruit, tangerine, lime. very sharp aroma.

holy S. to be less specific, it tasted like someone went half and half with temptation and supplication. EXCELLENT. sour as hell with a lot of grapefruit, cherry, pear, peach, and pinot grigo flavors. really smooth though--of course it's smooth, what have i learned thus far? the sorbet, however, was very subtly fruity with a bit of yeast at the back end. creamy for a sorbet, too.

thinner than the other sours supplication and temptation and definitely more thin bodied. it's resembles a sparkling white wine more closely than any beer in texture and consistency i've had to date.

wow. i mean really killer. this was only a single 4oz flute pour; by far the smallest pour of the evening. i'd defenestrate to have some more of this.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to AgentSteve for trading me a growler of this expensive beer!

Opened this one inside the Lost Abbey during the Port 2nd Anniversary Party. From my notes.

Wow, oh wow!

Poured a golden color, very similar to an ipa. Very good retention.

The aroma was amazing. Malty, tart, fruity, well balanced. There was some sea salt, pear, citrus fruits, vinegar and funk. There were fruits like pears, apricots, and grapes.

The taste was very similar and also included some dry white grapes or white grape skins, vinegar and a mix of berries. Very tart but not overly sour. It had a nice dry finish that kept you asking for more. This was too easy to drink.

One of the best sour beers I have ever had.

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Photo of BrewBakerE
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at Stone's Bistro and Gardens. I wont waste any time and just say I LOVE THIS BEER. Poured golden yellow with a white head that quickly dissipated into a nice lace. The nose was fairly sour, and drew me in. For being as sour as it was, I found compunction to be very drinkable. I would love to drink this beer again.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at toronado in a wine glass. notes from the "tion" night last year. I figured I'd finally get around to filling in some of the 10,000 review from notes that I ahve yet to enter into the beeradvocate system. Anyways. This one is a great hazed peach flesh colour with a small off-white cap of foam that actually sticks to the glass pretty well and provides with some visual legs and lacing. Aroma is straight pluot and barnyard funk with a lot of complexity, vinegar, eacetic acid, and wild brett notes. Taste is similar with a very acidic backbone and fruity and very flavorful funkafied front palette. Mouthfeel is very refined and sharp and the drinkability is awesome, but this one is a heartburn burner for sure!

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Photo of Floydster
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two tasters at the Second Stone Sour Fest to start off the day, wish I had more of this one now, worth every word of hype for me, best sour from Russian River or really anybody else for that matter with the exception of their Toronado and Bottleworks collaborations probably,

A-Golden yellow with a very slight orange look, 3/4 inch thin and very bubly head, incredible retention, some lacing
S-Vinegar, malt, funkiness, apricots, various citrus aromas, salt, pears, plums, brettanomyces, grapes, complex and fantastic, smell was best part of this brew
T-Very tart, full of berries, super dry finish, never too sour like I had heard but perfect instead in that sense, great balance of fruits, gets even better as it warms, deep sweet flavors
M-Carbonation is very aggressive, very acidic and tart mouthfeel, thin to medium body, taste lasted a long time and you never wanted it to go away
D-Would have gotten a perfect all around if it was not for the fact that the acidity could really take its toll after a while, low ABV though, refreshing, not a sipper but should be attacked that way for your stomach's sake

Been wanting to try this since trying my first RR brew a couple years ago, thought this would be two taster tickets at the fest for sure and luckily it was not, cannot believe this stuff is usually fifty dollars for a growler, it is still worth it for that in my opinion, too bad this is not bottled or available year round, exceeded my expectations, cannot wait to drink again and might a trip up to Santa Rosa that year for that reason alone, truly something special, cannot recommend this one enough

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Photo of Estocker
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh, my, goodness... If Vinnie doesn't add this as a regular bottled sour, I will forever miss the day I had Compunction on tap.

Pours a hazy golden color. I can smell the tart citrusy smell before the bartender even sets it down. I'm not sure if that's making the beer look greenish or if this beer has a slight lemon-limy tinge to it. Anyways, it looks pretty.

This has, by far, my favorite aroma of any of the RR sours I've had so far. Lemon and grapefruit and some other weird citrusy fruits are exploding in my nose. I am so ridiculously amped to taste this that I have to literally take a few breaths and calm myself before I can have a sip.

Hallelujah! This monster tastes like someone melted a lemon and a grapefruit warhead and threw them in my face. It's delicious. I have found my new favorite sour, sorry Supplication.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is brewed with pluots.

This pours a clear golden straw with tight white bubbles and tight lacing.

Overwhelmingly sour and tart aroma hits you upfront, almost immediately—as I approached the glass to nose it the aroma caught me off guard. Strong and to the point, I like it!
Like a pluot? Maybe if said pluot was squeezed and some of the spray caught you in your eyes?

The flavor is sharp, intensely tart, it has a mouthpuckering sourness upfront and just rolls off the tongue.

Shippable, fantastic, dry finish.

So good I I made my sour drinking friend jealous. Best part—at the end, as it warmed, I caught some toasted coconut. Yet another amazing brew from Russian River.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of bkrueger
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
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!

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Photo of ggaughan
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of mcallister
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken at DLD '08. Didn't know much about this beer when I bought it but must say it was the best beer I had on the four day beer excursion leading up to DLD.

Pours a clean golden color with a brillian white head holding hefty retention.

Aromas are fantastic and fruity with very sour almost vinegar like appeal. Apricot, hints of peach, pear and muscat grapes.

This beer just totally dominates the palate. Fresh sour tart flavors could almost be used as paint thinner (in a good way). Nice carbonation and a great 360 from all the stouts, barley wines and DIPA's I've had this weekend. A vinegar flavor in the middle full of ripe juicy fruits taste like it smells. A fabulous beer that I'm very happy I bought.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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).

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Photo of Ynot2
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery on 12/5/2010.

The color was a pale amber with a decent off white head.

The aromas are pretty full of citrus along with strong ripe apricot. There is a fairly strong hay funky smell going on that really rounds the aromas.

The taste is amazing. This is a sour, not mouth puckering, lemonny mouth drying sour, but more of a green grape, lemonade sour with slight hay aftertaste. The fruits really come through toward the end evening out the initial sour.

Moderate carbonation in the mouth.

More drinkable than Consecration. A nice smooth easy going sour. Will have more of this really good beer.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at T-25 weekend at RR. Pours a somewhat hazy dark orange color with a very small white head. Scent is absolutely fantastic. Very sour aromas with a good amount of funk. Some nice oaky aromas with tart apricot. I just learned what a pluot was, so I guess the apricot makes sense. Nice stone fruit aromas with some lovely barrel characteristics. Taste is just as fantastic! Great stone fruit flavors with intense sourness. If they had Temptation on draft, I would be able to do a side by side, but I'm almost positive this one is more sour. Funky yeasty flavors with nice oak and fruit. Mouthfeel is dry, light, and puckering. Drinkability is very high. Overall, one of RR's best beers. Wish they would bottle this one. Had it side by side with T-25, and although I really enjoyed both, Compunction is the better beer IMO.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just now getting my reviews for Stone Sour Fest into the old CPU.

A: Hazed hay colored brew with a medium off white head on top. Pretty straight forward.

S: Grapefruit, coins, limestone and pineapple.

T: Starts tangy like vine ripened green fruit. More tangy flavors, this time pineapple, starfruit and mango puree comes next. A beautiful brett wave crashes in, bringing with it apricot, peach, banana and yogurt flavors. Vitamin C crystals pop in the mouth, bursting with flavor. Finishes spicy with aspects of dried hay and floral yeast.

M: Medium body, hard water mouthfeel yet soft carbonation.

D: Superb. Simply tremendous.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a clear goldenrod with a light white head, good lace.

S: Strong pluot/apricot notes, stone fruit with a lot of lemon.

T: The stone fruit here is superb. The yeast adds more complexity with a hint of spice and fruity esters. Complex, very interesting with a strong undercurrent of lemon and lactic acid.

M: Medium-bodied, medium strong acid, well put together, but very easy to drink.

O: This is an impressive beer. It's delicious and thought provoking. Anyone who finds this on-tap needs to try it, this is what American Wild Ales are all about.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at the brewery. Reviewed from notes.

A: Served a slightly hazy citrus-amber with a thin white collar of a head.
S: Sweet tart fruits, cranberries, currents and prunes. This has a fruit juice sweetness to it along with some vinous white grapes and a touch of citrus. Very delicious smelling.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of cranberries, plums, citrus and other fruits. The finish is full of sweet apricots and sweaty sock funk. The aftertaste has some citrus sourness to it and just a touch of lemon. As it warms more of the cheesey sock funk comes through.
M: Exceptionally clean mouthfeel, very refreshing with a manageable amount of sourness.
D: This one probably falls just after Temptation in the RRiver sourness scale. I really really hope they bottle it because I think this would do wonders with a little bit of age on it. One of the more uniquely flavored sours I've had. Well done!

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Photo of rudylaw
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
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!

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Photo of juhl31
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
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

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Photo of younger35
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this on tap at Dark Lord Day compliments of emerge077. I love Russian River and these wild sour ales are pretty much kick ass. Drank from a nice classy plastic cup (the way Vinnie intended).

Appearance- Pours a hazy golden yellow with a small bright white head that sticks around for quite a while. Leaves a decent cap and collar and some good lacing although it's hard to tell in on these stupid plastic cups.
Smell- Like you'd expect plenty of vinegary goodness stings the nostrils. Tart and fruity just the sharpness of the nose makes my mouth water. Light melon fruits such as watermelon and cantaloupe are the first thing that come to mind (it's hiding under all that twang but it's there!). Lightly funky and coarse (not as much as some) but not the focus like some other Russian River brews.
Taste- Wow, the smell prepared me for what was about to come but damn! Super sour and tart with a vinegar splash that puckers the lips. I thought it would be a bit fruitier but the amount of Brett in this badboy covers most of it up. It gets better as my mouth adjusts to the tart and the picks up a bit more. Something reminiscent of pomegranate and apricot are noticeable but all in all the acid dominates.
Mouthfeel- Medium to light body with sharp aggressive carbonation.
Drinkability- At first the beer is a little tart and is definitely a sipper. Once you adjust and the nuances begin to appear though it's a fantastic brew. Probably the most sour/tart brew that I've ever tasted and I loved it. Really tasty and a great beer that I'm glad I got to enjoy while waiting for my Dark Lord.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So excited to try this. Shared at Starr's bday tasting.

A huge thanks to my buddy for the hookup on the sly. What an incredible gesture.

The beer is golden orange and mildly hazy with a soft head of broken bubbles. The aroma is fantastic, offering apricots, stone fruits, wild yeast. Smells like a fantastic Russian River beer. The flavor is distinctly Russian River. Well balanced and fantastic, with apricots and plums. Sour and tart, and very easy to drink. A very anticipated beer that definitely delivered.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly, what a place.

In the Tulip Compunction looks like a mix of bronze and a lighter blue shaded color. It's very dark in Monk's so that could be way off. a nice set of white bubbles that kinda die off. Smell is very fruity and somewhat acidic. Rockpile yeast and pluots, whatever those are. I do get alot of berry and some underlining malt with the warmth. This reminds me of supplication alot, only different fruit. the oak is big and the smell is lovely. Taste is really really good, I love it, just what Im looking for. berries mixed with pulots, apple skin, and a sourness that's is somewhat stingy and soothing if ya dig. A lot of oak and if i were to guess, pinot flavors from the barrel. Very similar to supplication again. the feel is at about medium and the carbonation is stiff yet not scorching. Very well rounded body You get a bit of everything towards the end. i had two glasses and could of easily drank more of it. Depending on the price of pulots, Vinnie should consider bottling this even if it is a small batch, I could see this doing something nice in a bottle. If you ever see this on tap, do yourself a favor.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Geist for bringing this forbidden growler the tasting.

Beer pours a hazy golden orange with a thin white head. Smell is incredible - it's one of those sour/vinous beers that really gets my mouth watering. Flavor is fantastic as well. I don't get a ton of fruit, but the wine characteristics are excellent and it's very sour and awesome. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite nice. Overall, this is yet another awesome wine barrel aged sour from Russian River. These guys consistently roll out the best sours in the U.S. and this is another one in that vein.

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Compunction from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.