Compunction - Russian River Brewing Company

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CompunctionCompunction

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

220 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 220
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 349
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: 220 | Reviews: 78
Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of callmemickey
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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

Photo of JAXSON
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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 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 TheEremite
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of Sean9689
4.22/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev -5%
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.

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 AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
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

Photo of cpetrone84
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Russian River for the T25 party. Pour is a ruby grapefruit red, very hazy and a thin white head. The nose is a bit subtle, the plums are most prominent with some red wine notes, light acetic and lactic behind. The flavor is much more bright, strong plums, red wine and dry oak, assertive dusty brett funk, assertive sourness and light lactic note. Great body, light and airy with great carbonation and a dry finish. Very well balanced, nice sourness to balance the sweetness with a good barrel characteristic.

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 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 d0ggnate
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I was lucky enough to go to Russian River twice during the two weeks they had Pliny the Younger on draft. I only had two glasses of Younger the total of both trips. This was one of the beers I kept going back to because its delicious.

This looks fairly golden with a light hue of pink or peach. It wasn't poured with a strong head and doesn't have the a lacing or leg. Its just a pretty good looking beverage, and the appearance on this won't stand out in my mind.

It is served too cold, thus muting any sort of smell. Once it warms up it reminds me a bit of Temptation. It has that great 'Russian River sour' smell to it that is crisp and sharp. A light fruit smell is detected reminding me of peach.

This is a delicious sour. It has a great sourness to it that again reminds me of Temptation, one of my favorite beers of all time. The fruit in this is sits back seat to the sourness, which is nice because the lemon and tart grapefruit that is produced by the bacteria pairs well with the pluots.

This beer gets you salivating, which is almost dangerous. Its one of those sour beers that is just sour enough that you keep revisiting it over and over to almost torture yourself. Great sourness and fruitiness with perfect carbonation.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to Huhzubendah, thanks a lot for this Matt. This is my 500th review, and a fittingly rare beer to have for this review. We all bow to the Russian river sours.

The beer pours a color similar almost to an ipa with an orange semi hazy hue, but the head is very bubbly not fluffy white at all. Sme lacing left on the sides, and some bubbles in the body of the beer clinging to the glass.

The smell is very nice, a great blend of berries, stone fruits like apricot or peach and funkiness, a very nice aroma that I expect from Russian river sours. clean and not overpowering.

The beer is quite sour, but has nice flavor to back it up. High acidity in the front, almost citrus like and then a biscuit type malt center and an abrupt finish. Great fruit notes in the flavor, peach and apricot, some berries.

The feel is tart and nice, almost like a very lemony tea with a little carbonation in the feel.

Overall a nice beer, glad to have tried it.

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 Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of flannelman808
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

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.

Compunction from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.