Symposium Sour Brown Ale | Russian River Brewing Company

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Symposium Sour Brown AleSymposium Sour Brown Ale
Very Good
77 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: 77 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of MrFootstones
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of AshleyMiller
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of cbeer88
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted blindly courtesy of the Blind BIF. Poured into Lost Abbey teku glass.

Appearance: Pretty amber/brown and a nice fluffy two finger head. Great lacing as the head dies down.

Smell: Oak is most prominent, with some strong fruity balance that I believe is cherry. Definite acetic tart odor as well. Stronger aroma would have gotten this rated higher.

Taste: Fantastic. Oak, vinegar, and fruit all blend together fantastically. The malt body is a perfect balance to carry the rest of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium, with a nice carb level.

Drinkability: Very high - this beer is the perfect amount of sour for when you're not trying to rip your enamel off.

Overall: This is a great beer. Honestly this is about perfect for the style, and I don't have much bad to say about it at all. I could drink this regularly.

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Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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 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.

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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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Photo of giants24
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of funkel81
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Genghis22
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Notes, had on tap at the brew pub on Thursday, March 24.

A - Light amber brown, slightly hazy. Thin, off white head, with little lacing.

S - Nutty funk. Roasty brown ale goodness with touches of sour cherry.

T - Cherry up front. Not overly tart. Sweetness washes over the tongue. Then there is a dry nutty finishes. Aftertaste is bitterhops and sourness.

M - Nice full body, not too thick, but certainly not thin. Super tight carbonation, almost champagne like. Very nice.

O - Well made beer. Not as assetive or impressive as Supplication, which this beer reminded me of. Sort of seemed like a lighter version of Supplication. I would drink this again, but wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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Photo of jethrodium
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the the Public House in San Francisco. Pours a hazy brown with a small white head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is strongly oak and the typical brett funkiness. There is also some red wine and raisin and a little bit of a mineral earthiness. The initial taste is tart lemon with a slight sweetness going into oaky red wine. The finish is acetic vinegar. A little bit more than I would have liked. A little bit astringent. Light-medium body. Medium carbonation. Overall a pretty solid beer. I found it to be similar to Consecration, but not quite as good.

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Photo of Beerbom
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of patm1986
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from the final course at Monk's RR Dinner 7 June 2011

Cream filled donuts with local rhubarb

mud brown with a red base hue with an inch of tan head.

smells like soured malt, wood chips, a little honey, and some, just a light amount, molasses. smells much like a starting point for consecration.

reallly niiice. not as intense as consecration, but it has most of its characteristics: mild cassis, oak, cherry, bread. smooth, mild funk in comparison. the donuts were a miss unfortunately, but it is incredibly difficult to make donuts to order for 75 ppl, so it was understandable. the rhubarb was brilliantly paired. this beer is a course good enough on its own.

some bite that numbs the mouth, but, overall, thicker than most sour brown ales with some creaminess to balance the whole palate experience.

thank you, monk's, as always. this was one INCREDIBLE experience.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap last night at Russian River (so happy to see try this!). Pours a somewhat-murky brown color with a very small, off-white head. Scent is very delightful, with some great oak aromas. I get some tart cherry aromas as well as some red wine. The taste is very oaky and not as sour as I was expecting. Very delicious, however. The great oak flavors blended well with the red wine and tart brett flavors. There were some nice cherry flavors as well as some surprising nuttiness. Mouthfeel was nice and full bodied with some acidic, crisp qualities. I feel this was a good beer for a cold night, just as well as for a hot day. Drinkability was high. Overall, this beer was very tasty and I'm fortunate to have gotten to try it.

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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).

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

527th Review on BA
Draft to Tulip
@Toronado San Diego

Consumed 5/29/11

App- A murky light brown, a little bit hazy and only a ½ in head. No cling in the glass as well.

Smell- A nice soft sour. Its got a mix of some dampness to it, a little musty funk, its a bit of a citrus lemon peel tart and a little candy sweet

Taste- This was quite a bubbly sour. Little pockets of flavors popped. It was sweet like candy a little citrus tart. Not mouth puckering. Nicely composed. Nice light flavors.

Mouth- Light bodied and medium carbonation. Residual sweet/tart flavors.

Drink- Very tasty. A fuller sour that was too sweet/tart either way. I would like to have this again.

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Photo of Bike2work
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

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Symposium Sour Brown Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 77 ratings