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Compunction - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Compunction
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BA SCORE
98
world-class

212 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 212
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 304
Gots: 5 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: clickpush on 04-01-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 212 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ynot2
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%

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

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

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

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

Moderate carbonation in the mouth.

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

Ynot2, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
3.7/5  rDev -16.7%

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.

Arbitrator, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

DefenCorps, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -11%

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.

Thorpe429, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of DJButters
4.53/5  rDev +2%

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.

DJButters, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.73/5  rDev -16%

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.

jrallen34, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

MasterSki, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

TurdFurgison, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

Sean9689, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
4.13/5  rDev -7%

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.

AgentZero, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%

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.

nickd717, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

womencantsail, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

largadeer, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

nrbw23, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of mcallister
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%

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

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

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

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

mcallister, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%

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

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

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

Floydster, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of rudylaw
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%

Another winner I tried on-tap at DLD.

I knew nothing about this beer before it was handed to me in line. It smells like vinegar. Really tart and fruity like the previous review stated. I also detected some melon as well.

Upon first sip, my lips puckered like alum. Holy cow is this sour. Easily the most sour beer I've had in a long, long while. But delicious! I had to pull back because I kept sipping and I needed to savor it.

I love tart everything and this was a tart beer. It was perfect after all of the heavy beers I had been drinking to stay warm before the sun came out. Kudos RR!

rudylaw, May 22, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
4.93/5  rDev +11%

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

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

Wow, oh wow!

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

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

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

One of the best sour beers I have ever had.

seaoflament, May 04, 2008
Photo of bgramer
4.13/5  rDev -7%

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.

bgramer, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of pwoods
2.53/5  rDev -43%

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 :)

pwoods, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of younger35
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%

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

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

younger35, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%

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!

, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of TheEremite
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

TheEremite, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%

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

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

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

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

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

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

SacoDeToro, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of kajerm
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

kajerm, Mar 28, 2008
Compunction from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.