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Compunction - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
CompunctionCompunction

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

78 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 220
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 4.81%
Wants: 352
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 220
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. (468 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
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. (918 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (655 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (1,150 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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). (410 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (824 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (388 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (875 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (321 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.59/5  rDev +5%
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. (513 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (985 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (2,109 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (1,161 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (582 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (1,015 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (894 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/29/2011

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. (845 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,054 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
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). (687 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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. (2,903 characters)

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. (565 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.15/5  rDev -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. (840 characters)

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