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Compunction - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

78 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 220
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 363
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 pwoods
2.56/5  rDev -41.7%
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 :)

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Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at O'Brien's ConsumpTION night. Pours pellucid straw golden with a foamy white cap. 

S: Aroma is not unlike Temptation, but with subtle pluot notes. I've never had a pluot, but it smells as I'd expect, which is a mixture of apricot and plum, but more apricot than plum. A little lemon is in there along with oak. Barnyard notes are subtle, and there's a firm lactic presence.

T: Flavor displays a moderate lactic sourness which accompanies notes of apricot, plum, and lemon. Fruit isn't very strong. There's a noticeable buttery oak character. Sourness is pretty clean. No real acidity.

M: Upper light in body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: I recall liking the first batch a lot more, but that was a long time ago so it's hard to be sure. Pretty good, not great. Kinda simple and could use more acidity.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub. From notes.

A: Pours an apricot body with some haziness to it. It's lighter than the Temptation I was double-fisting. The head is off-white, with good retention and some register marks down the glass.

S: Plum and apricot, yup yup yup. I've never had a pluot but I think I've figured out where the name comes from. It's oaky in the nose, with a contribution of (surprisingly) grapefruit. Lactic sourness, mineral notes, and a small barnyard note.

T: If you're looking for a fruit bomb, look elsewhere. It's fruity, but nicely integrated with other flavors to let everything have a say in the final product. Plums, apricots, grapefruit. It's quite bretty, moreso than the Temptation I ordered at the end of the glass. I pick up leather, hay, barnyard. The also brett seems to contribute a strong mineral note to the beer; I had this same complaint about Sanctification and I'm raising it again here. This is a good beer, but I just don't like the mineral finish. There is also a light, buttery oak presence in the finish. If this was wine-barrel aged, I'm not picking it up.

M: Carbonation is light-medium, but with the dry body it still seems pretty spritzy. As I mentioned above, the aftertaste is a bit of a turnoff. It wasn't harsh enough that I didn't want to drink it, but I was conscious of it during every sip.

D: It's good, and I'd certainly have it again, but I'm lukewarm about it in general. I enjoyed Temptation, Consecration, and Supplication more.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for sharing this...A peachy color, decent carbonation considering the circumstances...The aroma is a very acidic grapefruit juice with typical Russian River oaky undertones. Pretty balanced...The taste represents more of the oak than I would like, loses a lot of the citrus and acidity. The citrus isn't really defineable to me, grapefruit like, but I guess that's the unfamiliarity with a plout..The feel reminds of a dry white wine.

Another decent RR sour but nothing significantly different than other beers.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.83/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

No link because I'm at the brewery dudes...pours a hazy amber, middling carbonation, and the bubbles are tiny! Champagne like...tiny wisp of head adorns this, like melted marshmallows that are just starting to cool...nice so far...only 6% ABV, I'm surprised...nose is dominated by sour peach...and tart cherry...very typical for their sours, but peachier....not much else in there but it's crisp and robust...flavor is mostly brett sourness and a lot of that peach from the nose....apparently they used pluots in this brew, and I'm getting that now that I think about it...the carbonation is super crazy on the tongue...like a Black Metal blast beating...it's all over the place. Did I mention I'm going to see Steve Smyth, Lance Skitzo abd all the rest as Sweet Leaf tonight?? Well I am...in any event..this beer is a subtler version of their various sours...I like...

What I like most: the subdued brett profile and beautiful color.

What I like least: the price at $6.75/glass and lower ABV

Verdict: fans of sours must try it...nuanced and excellent...

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Photo of
3.87/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Still getting used to sours, so read this review with that in mind.

On tap at Russian River.

Cloudy, pale yellow liquid served in a tulip glass. Topped with a medium sized, white head. Decent lacing.

Scent was tart, touch of vinegar, lots of citrus. Small bit of sweet, fruit-like in character.

Taste was TART! Pretty much entire experience for me. To my taste, this was like Supplication, but dialed up quite a bit in the tartness department. Again, chewable vitamin C comes to mind. Sour cherries, perhaps? I had no luck finding the pluots....Finish seemed to bring in a little bit of grass.

Mouthfeel was relatively light. Carbonation seemed medium to high, could be just the acidity of the beer. Pretty dry.

Overall, still getting into this style, but I can see why people develop a love affair with it. Very good beer!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at O'Brien's, San Diego.

Pours a hazy light straw/gold color with a light white head. Mild sour aroma with a hint of vanilla and wheat. Light bodied with medium carbonation and easy to drink (low ABV too). Tastes of cherry, wheat, and some light yeast. Good, but not particularly compelling to me.

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Photo of kevanb
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado SF, part of a Russian River take over on 2/12/13. Review is from notes. 6oz pour into a stemmed tulip.

The beer pours a nice soft lemon color, bits of straw and gold, slight chill haze, lots of bubbles rising to the top of the glass, a small fizzy white head sits atop the beer but recedes immediately and leaves no lacing. The aroma is nice, light hazy grain, funky hay, light citrus, tart fruit character, possibly the pluot? I'm not that familiar with pluots, it has some apricot character to it, but not getting any plum. The aroma is nice and easy, but the fruit is a bit faded and muted, but inviting. On the tongue there is light citrus and some soft fuzz fruit flesh, again, must be pluot, funky brett character, light vinegar and some pale grain at the finish. It's easy to drink, refreshing and lively, but the fruit seems a bit muted. The body is juicy and full, less lively than expected with lower carbonation, a bit of a funky dry finish.

Verdict: A good sour from Russian River, but sub standard in comparison to many of their creations. I enjoyed drinking this, but wouldn't choose it again over their standard trio of sours.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler, thanks Geist.

Beer is yellow and hazy with a minimal head and low lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is fruity, sweet, lactic, acetic mild.

Beer is clean and bright, effervescent, nice fruitiness, the temptation base comes through nicely. I prefer temptation over this but this is a nice beer overall.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

04/15/07- Had on tap at the Russian River Brewing Co in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 14oz tulip pour plus a 2oz sampler via the tap.

Appearance- Clouded off golden colored pour, maybe a bit of a hue towards orange. Smaller less than a 1/4 inch head which thins out soon thereafter. Leaves behind a few nice lace rings.

Smell- Decent amount of barnyard funk and a heavy dose of brett. This will be sour.

Taste- Hmmm, sour, but not the intense sour I was expecting. Seems like more towards a lambic style...maybe even a gueuze. I can taste what could be a light muddled plum flavor, but can't make out the apricot.

Mouthfeel- Very lightly carbonated and flows very easily down my gullet. Lambic style smooth.

Drinkability- Had a cold when I tried this, so I'm either giving it too much due, or not enough. Hoping I see it again in the future so I can give it a better review. As is, another classic example of what an american brewery can do with belgian style brews.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens

A: Slightly hazy light brown and orange in color. Some small patches of white foam on the surface, but not much of a head.

S: Definitely smells like a sour. I picked up some cherry, lemon, brett and apricot along with a little bit of honey.

T: Sharp sour bite right away and then a nice apricot sweetness, with a little malt and carbonation that numbs the sourness a bit. A little lemon on the finish. This beer is definitely a sour, but not overwhelmingly so. Well balanced and definitely lighter than most of the other "tion" beers.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, golden-copper body. Clear. Moderate sized frothy white head with solid lacing.

S: Nice funky-earthy-woody notes play on top of peach-apricot fruit notes.

T: Similar to the nose. A healthy interplay between funky notes and softer peach-apricot notes. Interesting but not my favorite flavor profile.

M: Medium bodied. Dry with a bit more carbonation than probably necessary.

O: Nice, but not the best Russian River offering

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Photo of JAXSON
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 rate.

On tap at Monk's Cafe. Let me preface this by stating that I've eaten a pluot, and I didn't care for it. I didn't get a ton of pluot influence in this beer. It poured a really clear light amber, which makes me think perhaps this would be better from closer to the bottom of the keg. Compared with the Supplication, this was was lighter in body, more sour, a little less bretty, and kind of chewier. Of course tight, refined, non-acidic, all huge positives which always make Russian River a winner in this style. It might be asking too much of the beer for it to carry a stronger pluot influence, but from what I remember that was a dull, boring fruit. Nevertheless, a nicely made, refreshing brew, kind of interesting, but I'd like to see more residual sweetness from the fruit.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first sour I ever had and it took some getting used to but I did enjoy this one. I had no idea what I was getting into on this one. Had this on Dark Lord Day and waited on the review until I had a few more of the style under my belt.

A- Pours a golden orangeish color. Reminded me of grapefruit juice in appearance.

S- Super sour and tart. Some fruits in there as well.

T- Quite a bit of fruity flavours and very sour. Probably the most sour thing I've ever drank or ate.

M- Lighter to medium in body and higher on carbonation.

D- Very interesting. I drank the whole glass and still getting used to the style but its growing on me for sure.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised this came to OH, Relative Brewing rocks.

Clear and light gold colored with just a ring + film for head. Still adequate carbonation, even out of the growler, but no real foam on top.

Nice fruit aromas, light tropical fruits like mango and tangerine, and apparently pluot which I've never heard of before. The internet tells me that it's a hybrid of plum and apricot, so there's your tropical fruits I guess. Funky aromas as well of course.

Nice wild flavors, not over the top tart but more widely approachable, and the fruit integrates nicely. Based on this experience I think I like pluots.

Good mouthfeel given the potential growler deterioration of carb. My small pour dissapeared in no time, extremely glad to have tried it.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of bgramer
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of TheEremite
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden yellow, slightly cloudy/opaque with a small white ring of small bubbles around the glass.

S: Lactic acid! Tart, acidic nose with some apple and esthery fruitiness. There's also some apparent acetone aroma on here. It's not strong or distracting, but it's there.

T: HooWaah. TART! now, that's a lambic. It's the cleanest, most straight forward lambic I've had that was made in the states. Powerful acidic bite, but then finishes with some slight citrus and apple fruit flavors. No perceivable pluot/plumquot character here. The tartness is outstanding, but for a fruit lambic, I would have liked to taste some fruit.

M: Lively, dry, as a lambic should be.

D: I guess it's drinkable. But, after one or two it may eat through your stomach lining... Still, it's very refreshing on a hot day.

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Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Monk's Cafe.

Pours a very dark golden orange/copper color with a one finger frothy white head that slowly fades into a thick lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Slightly funky aroma with sweet fruit, vinegar, earthy oak and subtle vanilla creaminess.  Lactic funk with earthy barnyard and brett notes.  Under the funk there is a prominent light fruit presence with hits of apple and strawberry.  Slightly floral with some zesty spice and a touch of acetic vinegar.  

Medium bodied but on the lighter end with a funky, puckering tart character up front without being very acidic.  This is balanced by a faint malt backbone along with some earthy oak, vanilla, cream and light berries, especially strawberry and cherry.  Lingering acetic finish.  

Overall this was pretty good but not one of Russian River's best sours. I've had it once before and remember it being more sour and complex. Perhaps it varies from batch to batch? Either way, this was a nice beer that is worth seeking out.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to Relative Brewing for getting this for us from Russian River. Glad you guys have a great relationship and was able to score this.

A - Pours a yellow/orange color with some very large bubbles around the edge of the glass. No real lacing or retention to speak of, just the beer.

S - Oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, sour/tart, lacto funkyness. I like the fruity notes and funk. Very nice.

T - Same fruity funk as the nose, Chard-esk grape notes, oak/barrel.

M - Light, semi-dry finish, no carbonation.

D - Another great wild from RR, what else do you expect? I would really like to try this at the source. I'm going to adjust the A and M because this is coming out of a growler.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado. 2010 vintage served in a flute.

A - Pours with a quarter-finger of foam that quickly settles to a thin ring of bubbles. The body is a hazed golden orange color.

S - Grape skins, sour plum, white wine, acetic acid, oak. As it warms more sweetness emerges in the form of brett clausenii and graham cracker malt.

T - If you haven't had pluots this will evoke sour grapes and plums complete with skin. In the periphery there is some buttery oak. The finish is heavy in vinous sourness and tannins from both fruits and oak.

M - Some light carbonation tingle, medium body, and a very dry finish. I suspect the added zest on-tap would liven this up a bit, but it was still quite acceptable.

D - Unsurprisingly this is a very good beer, but I'm not certain it's better than Russian River's regular sour lineup. Still, I could crush a few glasses of this one.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a footed glass at the brewery.

A: No head, hazy-dark body, slightly orange.

S: Sour fruit. Tart and nice. Obvious wine influence. Less obvious fruit. Lots of funky yeast.

T: Interesting. Light-bodied and full of lightly sour alcoholic wine-like fruit. Pretty much what I expected. Fruity tart-sweet. Excellent balance.

M: Smooth and tart. Smack worthy.

O: A good beer but perhaps not differentiable from other RR sour ales. Recommended. Would have

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