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Compunction - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompunctionCompunction

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

79 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 233
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 15.26%
Wants: 362
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 79 | Hads: 233
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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Photo of flexabull
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft last week at Russian River Brewing Co. listed on their board as "Blonde Ale with Pluots (Apricot/Plum hybrid) aged in Chardonnay barrels . 5.80% ABV / 1.048 O.G / 25 BUs" for $4 -poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy blonde/apricot hue with a decent head that dissipates quickly leaving a ton of lacing in its tracks.

S: Smells like the forest - piney woody and earthy (from the chard barrels no doubt), some funk and fermented fruit.

T: Wow - this one's unique! Fresh cut lumber - sweet resinous earthy pine up front big time (from the barrels, not from the hop), some sour funk that mixes very well with the woody aspects, there's some peppery citrus in the mix as well, and right when you think the pluots were a waste of time, they come through strong at the end and linger in the aftertaste. Tastes like Nor-Cal for sure!

M: Light/medium-bodied, crisp, well carbonated lending the the dryness, extremely refreshing leaving a lingering lactic bitterness that is nice.

D: Extremely easy to drink. If you don't like the flavor of wood in your ale, you won't be diggin this one and may get sick of the dry oaky presence like my buddy did with his. I absolutely love it though and could session these no problem.

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Photo of Lothore
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep golden color with a thin, off white head that fades quickly.

S- Very tart, ripe fruit, cranberry, lemon

T- Apricot and lemon up front leading to a fairly deep tartness.

M- Medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

D- This is an excellent sour and i'm glad I had the chance to try it. I would definitely order it again if I saw it on tap.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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).

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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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Photo of DJButters
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at monks in philly after the rr dinner.

A- a small cap of off white head that settles rather quickly and leaves no lace. Deep pink red brown in color with some haze to it.

S- nice sharp sour hit and a good funky woody punch. Fruity and tart with some berries and grape notes.

T- opens up with a solid fruity sour and wet funky oak. surprisingly fruity with some berries and grape must. The oak keeps developing as it warms and really shows its depth.

M- a bit less then medium in body. Not heavy but brightly carbed with small bubbles. Awesome tannic semi dry quality.

O- another great sour from the man that can't brew a bad beer. For a non fruited wild ale the fruity character of the beer is impressive. I'm so glad I was able to enjoy this with by good bud onix1agr, rip little black.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been a while since I've had a new sour beer from Russian River. I, of course, have no objections.

Lactic tones are most prevalent on this one. Woody funky tones are in there also with a mildly fruity edge. There is a vibrancy that is nice also.

Gotta love the RR sours. This is in line with all the great ones. Makes your mouth pucker with a bit of dryness that might detract for some.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's RR TION Weekend. Chalice.

A: Golden, clear, some off white head. Not much retention or lacing except for a few dots.

S: Funk, malt, stone fruit, cantaloupe (?). Really inviting.

T: Apricot and other fruit. Nice puckering tartness. Juicy, like biting into a ... pluot? Some sweetness really pulls this

together. Some oak in the secondary. A long tart finish.

M: Medium body and lively medium-high carbonation.

O: Delicious and well executed. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of clickpush
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Draught to tulip glass at the brewery. A lightly clouded pale golden ale arrives with about a half inch of white head that melts into a medium lace cap. Plenty of bubbles punctuate the body of the beer.

Nose: Rather light in the aroma, but very obviously an RR wild ale. Full of brett, must and farminess with a touch of tart fruit presence. Very dusty.

Mouth: Much like it smells - unbelievably sour, in the best way possible. Horse blanket, sour brambles, brett, puckering like you can't believe. The chalkboard says this one is aged for 1.5 years with plumcots (which in my experience are really called pluots) - a hybrid of a plum and apricot. Mouthfeel is full bodied and quite effervescent. This one takes a second for the mouth to recover from the sourness, but it goes great with the meat calzone (#2) and balances out the extra pepper flakes that I generously applied.

Why doesn't RR bottle everything?!

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Photo of nataku00
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ RR brewery
pours light yellow, golden clear with a slight head and a bit of lacing

taste is really nice, wonderfully balacned blonde sour with some dry niceness and some incredible, unique earthy, woody, delicious notes throughout

feel is very good, dry not slick - pleasant

drinkability is fantastic, what a beautiful, refreshing blonde sour. mmm

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a taster glass at Beachwood BBQ's Sourfest.

Appearance: Dark Coppery color, clear, decent white head, good lacing.

Smell: Funky, sour, oak, plums, store fruit.

Taste: Sour, funky, stone fruit, oak, berries, red wine, very complex.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, good carbonation.

Overall: A great beer, as are all of Russian River's -tion beers.

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Photo of nickd717
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's Pub in San Diego, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with some fruity and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity and wood flavor on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is very tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of kajerm
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Pours surprisingly light-- straw-colored with two fingers of fine, dense white foam. Carbonation rushes up the center of the glass in a continuous column of tiny bubbles, champagne style. Lots of lace. Holy shit, it even LOOKS sour.

The aroma is pure acid, lots of vinegar and a little lactic acid character. In the background is Brett funk, definitely musty and cidery, although I'm not getting "horse blankets" in this beer (if I ever actually smelled horse blankets in any beer.)

The flavor opens up fruity, with loads of stone fruits-- peaches and apricots, definitely. I didn't know what the fuck a pluot was at the time (it's half plum and half apricot, according to Wikipedia) but apparently this is what it tastes like. Mid-palate, finish, and the next three days are all dominated by sourness. I can honestly say that this is the sourest beer I've ever tasted in my life, and that I honestly mean this in a good way.

Mouthfeel is ruled by sourness, with only a little room for the bright carbonation.

I think the extreme sourness of this beer might cut into the drinkability a little bit (which means a lot coming from a guy who thinks that Girardin Gueuze is a session beer), but it kicks so much ass I'd keep drinking it until it corroded away my last tooth and burnt a hole in my throat.

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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the First Annual Stone Sour Fest, July 2007
This beer has a hazy, copper-gold tint to it and it is topped by a wispy, barely there, white head. Green fruit aromatics greet my nostrils as I take my first draught of the aroma; I get flavors of star fruit, not-quite ripe honeydew or perhaps it is a not-ripe cantaloupe aroma. The plum notes become quite noticeable as I dig around in the nose. Actually the fruit character really starts to open up after a little bit; Pluots indeed. I can't seem to shake a sharp, green note here though; perhaps it is contributed by the sour bugs. At times I actually get some notes reminiscent of sweet cherry skins; it is fleeting, but when noticed adds a really nice note to the aroma.

Upfront this beer tastes crisp, tart and dry; it really hits that quaffable character that I like in sour beer. There is a noticeable green fruit note here as well as a touch of vegetal character in the background. The dominant note is a tartness, but I really think (at least it seems so) that the pluots contribute a roundness & extra complexity to the sour notes that are in this beer. As I expected, the fruit character is much more apparent in the nose (which is typical of softer fruits like apricots, peaches and plums). When my palate gets used to the initial flavors, I am able to pick out notes of sourdough (a mix of the funk and some malt notes) at times as well as a grassy grain flavor. Lactic acid is the most apparent acidic quality here, but like I said, there is a persistent, fruity acidity here that is really quite nice.

While the beer is light, it is not austere or bony, there is some body here, which seams wrapped up in the fruit presence / contribution. This is quite complex, though it is not necessarily on the surface and you do have to work at it. I find that I am starting to take Vinnie's artistry for granted; this beer is so well integrated, so well made. I almost don't think about it, b/c despite this being perhaps the most balanced, multi-layered, eminently crafted beer at the festival, I almost felt like it was overlooked.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pale yellow straw color with just a bit of haze. A pretty true white head tops it off.

S: Stone fruit (tart peach and apricot) and grannysmith apple meet a funky spice note. Oh I guess that may all be due to the pluot but its like very tart unripened pluot.

T: Brilliant carbonation (think Cantillon) which helps develop flavors. Bright peach and tangerine along with a grassy note which adds a nice tad of bitterness. Lots of tart bright yellow and green fruit is stirred around with a very clean funky spice follow. Green plumb if you will. Very nice stuff!

M: amazingly developed carbonation which strikes the mid palate in a similar way to Cantillon. If that isn't high praise I don't know what is.

O: Very good beer, I would say that while there is a good depth of flavor its heavy handed on delicious tart fruit which perhaps takes away from i'ts complexity. Age this for 5 years if you can get a bottle!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A recent trip to Russian River provided the oppourtunity to try this great brew. I wanted to take some home with me, but growler fills were $50+.

A: Golden / orange pout with nearly no lasting head.
S: Strong nose of sour cherry.
T: Sour taste but smooths out towards the end. A mild, light woodiness. Strong brett characteristics.
M: Sharp feel with high carbonation. This lined my moath and throat with alcohol and taste.
D: A funky sour that packs a punch. Glad to say I have tried it, but I don't see being able to put down more than two in a sitting.

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Compunction from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.