Symposium Sour Brown Ale | Russian River Brewing Company

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Symposium Sour Brown AleSymposium Sour Brown Ale
Very Good
76 Ratings
Symposium Sour Brown AleSymposium Sour Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by womencantsail on 02-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 32
Reviews by juhl31:
Photo of juhl31
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-dark caramel brown in color. some fog to it, you cant see through it and not just because it's too dark in color. thin white head that leaves pretty quickly

-little bit of a sour note, with some vanilla in there as well. there is some malts that can be reached at the end of the sniff

-good subtle sour taste that doesnt make your teeth melt. can get some of the brown type malts through it all and again there seems to be a faint vanilla accent in there as well

-again, this is a great mouthy sour beer. it is really smooth and it doesnt make you want to lick the inside of your mouth afterwards

-a great drinking sour. it is really good and extremely easy drinking. if there wasnt more beers i wanted to drink at the event, i couldve kept coming back for 3 or 4, easy

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Bike2work
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of glid02
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Simon - much obliged!

Pours a hazy amber-brownish color with a cream-colored head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of medium malts with good amounts of lightly tart berries and currants with hints of darker raisins. Also present are mild amounts of funk.

Tastes substantially less complex than it smells. Moderately dry medium malts up front are joined by subtle funk and lightly tart currants. The fruits carry through to a mildly tart ending. Mouthfeel is OK, the body is a bit on the thin side with prickly carbonation.

Overall I was impressed with this beer after the first sniff, but the flavor department let me down. Perhaps more time will add complexity, it's worth sitting on if you have a bottle.

 727 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Funky aroma, light brown coloured body with little head. Tasty,mild cherry, malty Worcester sauce, very drinkable. Nothing exceptional to report as I was expecting more from RR, just very nice and earthy that I would have again. Thanks for sharing, Jon.

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Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of DJButters
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to (Jeff) ipa247 for this one. Poured from a 375ml corked and caged bottle into a Duchess oversize wine glass. Shared with schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger frothy, creamy white head with great retention. Beer is a clear brown. Lacing is thin and stringy with good stick. One of the best looking beers of the style I've seen to date.

S: Nose is moderatly funky and simple. Strong Brett presence with notes of pineapple and sour cherries. Not a whole lot going on here but nothing really off either.

T: Opens tart cherries and raspberries with a bit of alcohol towards the middle. Brett presence creates a band-aid and cobweb taste. Plastic at the end with some sour tea leaves and a slight dried leaf bitterness in the aftertaste. Very simple but relatively clean.

M: light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth with but goes down rather smoothly. Finish is brief with a clean, non-sticky aftertaste. Appropriate.

O: Very simple at the moment but with a lot of potential. Symposium sour needs a bit of time to develop and get rid of a bit of booziness and the dried tea leaf presence at the finish. Can't wait to see what happens with this one.

 1,208 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now for the whole reason I traded for the four-pack... Big thanks goes out to chickencoop for sending me this one in a past trade! Shared this one with mikesgroove during a small ticking session at his house last night. Served from bottle into a Russian River -tion chalice. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, funk, slight tart, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, funk, and slight caramel. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. Getting to try this one was definitely worth trading for the four-pack for sure. This one went down nice and easy as the flavors were all perfectly blended together and worked in unison. The aroma was quite excellent and inviting as the fruit touch welcomed you in for more. The slight caramel touch I got on this one was a nice touch with the wild yeast flavors as it added a little sweetness to the line-up. Definitely worth trying if you get the opportunity for sure.

 1,109 characters

Photo of hobojon
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River, this is the third time I have had it. On the chalkboard as CBC Sour Brown. OG: 1.048 ABV 6.2 BU 18

Aroma: mild sourness, some toasty malt with hints of chocolate. mild brett character, but has the house Russian River funk aroma. some tropical fruit.

Appearance: hazy brown with a small layer of off white foam that dissipates. laces a bit.

Taste: mild sourness, but assertive enough. tropical fruit (pineapple, mango) and citrus. citric and lactic sourness. some hints of berry. nice -bal character with vinous qualities. some tannic dryness.

Mouthfeel: dry, med high carb (good for draft). drying with some tannins or slight astringency. makes this beer more drinkable. smooth alcohol. unique for a beer because it is so dry and vinous.

Overall: I keep ordering it despite the Pliny or other -tion beers, so I must like it. It is complex in a way that is different that other Russian River beers, with more tannins, and less sourness but nice tropical brett funk. I would really like to try the bottle conditioned version to see how the carbonation difference effects the beer.

edit: After reading other reviews, I agree that this beer could have used more time (but not in the wine barrels).

 1,224 characters

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

On-tap at Monk's. Thank goodness for leftovers!

A: The wild ale is dark, a caramel brown color that is opaque. A thin head came with the glass.

S: The nose is funky, tart with lemony citric acids. The horseblanket funk really stands out, the wildest of the RR ales on tap today.

T: Darker caramel malts, horesblanket, lemony citrus. Six words succinctly cover this ale. More in depth, the acidic bite has a soft acetic underside, vinegary in just a small dose. The darker malts don't make much of a difference, allowing the brett to control the ale with plenty of tart funk flavors. Very dry in the finish with just enough of a pucker factor.

M: An honest to goodness sour at PBW? Nice! Plenty of brett to go around, a nice sharp bite in every sip.

 752 characters

Photo of nataku00
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Calton for sharing this one at my house on Monday night. Really appreciate it man, loved the vertical/horizontal, whatever we call this.

The winner of the day for me, this one ours out a nice lovely brown color with an off white head that streaks down the sides of the glass,

Lovely aroma is a mixture of sour and sugary malts wonderful dark fruits, caramel, toffee, tart cherries, really the closesst thing I have had to a consecration in a long time. Smooth as silk with a great finish and wonderful back to it.

Sooo far and away the winner of the day, just a great, great beer.

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Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy brown with purple highlights. Little head or lacing.

Smell: There's a huge cab barrel character to the noise. Very vinous and fruity, brett-heavy with a touch of lacto beneath the funk. Surprisingly, Sierra Nevada's kellerweiss yeast is very noticeable too, lending a little sulfur and spice.

Palate: Crisp, mild lactic sourness up front. Some bready brown malt, tons of cab barrel providing vinous fruitiness, and a hint of weissbier yeast. The kellerweiss yeast strain may not have been the best choice here, it's somewhat at odds with the bacteria and wine barrel. Very oaky, tannic finish, quite dry. Tastes a bit young, another 6 months in the barrel probably would have produced a better beer, but it's still very enjoyable.

Overall: Good, but not one of Russian River's better sours. It comes across as a rushed effort.

 846 characters

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Maroon body. Soft brett in the nose. Light aromas similar to an oud bruin (just a hint of malty sweetness blending with some sour).

Taste is fairly light and crisp. Minimal amount of lactic sourness and malt sweetness that leads into a vegetal bandaid bretty finish. The kellerweis yeast seemed to clean out most of the flavor and left the bugs with nothing to work with. The wine barrel is a little unnoticeable adding a slight leathery vinous and oak flavor.

This beer is pretty much exactly what you'd expect if Sierra Nevada did a sour. A traditional feel that caters a little to the average craft beer drinker. Seems a bit too average for such big name collaboration.

 674 characters

Photo of levifunk
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle shared with the usual suspects.

a - cloudy brown with off-white head.

s - nose is pretty sour. reminds me a lot of la folie actually, but with a kick of funk.

t - green apple tartness and a white wine dry finish. not as big as i was expecting....but still good

m - a little light on the body. good carbonation. dry finish

overall a solid brew, but nothing special imo. always fun to tick.

 406 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dulled penny color, moderate cap of khaki head, gone quickly with little lacing. The sscent is a wonderous blend of tart and sour, earth and wood, dried plum and currant, light brown sugar. Expected taste to be big and bold based on look and scent, but fairly straightforward blend of muddy earth, brown sugar, light tartness and fruityness. Medium bodied, slightly high carbonation. A nice sour all around, but the boldness expected was not present.

 464 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Piddmeista
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle generously shared by Tim. Thanks!

A: The pour is a light brown, call it amber, color with a minimal amount of off-white foam.

S: Really a strange aroma. It's a little bit salty at first, and there's a touch of sulfur. Lots of yeast and a fair amount of oak. Some dark fruit notes and a little bit of wine. There is some acidity, but it's not as strong as I would expect.

T: Really heavy on the oak and yeast. There is a decent enough tartness, and it's mostly green apple with a little bit of lemon. Some miscellaneous dark fruit notes, but they're sort of weak/faint.

M: Medium in body with a very high carbonation and a dry finish.

O: Fairly disappointing. This beer seems sort of rushed. It would be nice to have seen what this could have become with some more time in the barrels.

 796 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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Symposium Sour Brown Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 76 ratings
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